Top Real Estate Brokers Give Us Their Perspective on Hiring Trends

How are real estate brokers hiring these days? Where do you find the right brokerage for your personality and career goals? What are real estate brokers looking for before they hire and how are hiring trends impacting real estate brokers? We talked to three brokers who gave us their perspective on hiring and what makes an agent stand out.

Q: What do you look for in an agent?

Bruce Ailion, leads a team of agents at one of metro Atlanta’s largest brokerages and has 39 years of experience: Personally, I look for a technology savvy, educated person with a strong work ethic and history of success in another field particularly a service field.  Often people come to real estate as a second or third career. I have found people coming from teaching, hospitality, customer service, and the military have skills that translate to real estate.

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Mike Pappas, CEO of the Keyes Company with more than 3000 agents: We hire agents and managers. Now, we’re looking at the manager differently. Before we were looking for managers, almost psychologists, empathic, people who had good people skills and could deal with a large number of associates and personalities.

As the technology is changing we’re finding that the manager has to be more technologically proficient. The sales and people are still important but processes and systems have become just as important. If the leader isn’t aware of those different formats and able to guide the associates in the usage of those, and data management, then they may not be able to maximize the associates potential.

Raphael Fetta, Bohemia Realty Group: Having trained many agents over the past six years, I’ve come to the conclusion that the algorithmic, data-driven selection criteria we use for so many things in modern life doesn’t work out too well when hiring a new agent. In real estate, a person’s attitude and willingness to learn will almost always win out over experience and educational level. I look for curiosity, humility, strong communication skills, and a good sense of humor. All the other details can be taught.

David Ranish, broker and co-owner of Ethos International Realty: The type of agents that I like are ones that are open minded to changing markets. What works in one doesn’t mean it works in another. I like agents that are willing to put in the work to make their business successful. It doesn’t matter if they have been in the business for more than 10 years or a brand new agent that needs training. As a broker, my job is to make sure they are in a position to be successful.

Q: Where do you find new agents?

Pappas: There are four ways we find agents. For newcomers, through the licensing process, we then notify those individuals that are getting their license and offer to interview them and talk to them.

Ranish: I love to go to broker preview and open houses. This way I can talk to the agent in person and find out what their needs are. In person is still the best way to communicate. Other ways are Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Craigslist, Facebook and Instagram. Last but not least is a referral. That’s my favorite when someone recommends your company

Q: What makes an agent a good fit at your brokerage?

Ailion: A growing company needs to recruit brand new or agents early in their career. Importantly this group needs to understand real estate brokerage is not an area where you are highly managed. It is a requirement that you can manage your time and motivate yourself to prospect, follow up and keep focused on the goal of listing and selling real estate. You need to be someone who is enthusiastic, and not someone easily discouraged by failure and rejection. There is a lot of failure and rejection to reach success in real estate. I look for someone with some financial stability. The first paycheck in real estate is three, six, or nine months away. People who look at clients as a bag of groceries, car or mortgage payment will not be successful. Ethics and a commitment to continuing education are critical to success. Lastly, every office has a particular culture. We look for someone who fits our company culture.

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