Make me want you: a lesson for recruiters

by James F. McClister


Phillip Schwartz is a successful real estate broker in Chicago, and he has been for 13 years. So when he gets calls from recruiters, he does not find it particularly surprising or flattering.
There are some calls, though, that stand out – and not in a good way. Schwartz recently spoke with Chicago Agent to discuss the subject of recruiting in real estate, and he recalled one bizarre recruiting call in particular.

The recruiter opened with a strong, straightforward “We want you, Mr. Schwartz,” which was then immediately followed by, “But first you’ll need to fill out a psychological profile.”
For Schwartz, the conversation was already over.

“If you need a psychological profile to tell you I’m fit enough to work for you and know that I’m not going to come in and kill everybody, you do not know me,” Schwartz says.

And that was the real problem – they did not really know him.

It’s easy for recruiters to check the MLS, search for the moneymakers and give them a ring. It’s easy to peddle flattery and call it recruitment. But for serious professionals like Schwartz, moving brokerages is a deeply personal decision that is made not because someone told him they wanted him, but rather, because what that brokerage can offer in terms of resources and outreach is specifically suited to help him achieve his goals.

When Schwartz left his last brokerage to move to @properties earlier this year, the firm first intrigued him with tools they offered, such as Point Drive – which consolidates digital listing materials and streamlines sharing so that a bundle of information on a single listing can be easily transferred from one agent to another – but he was ultimately sold on their approach to his business.

“The best recruiters ask what you’re looking for, or what you want to accomplish,” he says. “So many times over the years I’ve gotten a call from a managing broker and their pitch is ‘Let me tell you why we’re good and your current brokerage is bad.’ That does not work.”

Schwartz does not want to know why his current brokerage – the place where he’s chosen to work – is bad for him.

“What I’m looking for is to grow my business,” he says. “How are you going to do that for me?”

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