Agent Hunting Season
I grew up in Alaska, and hunting is a part of life up there.
In America, every September-December is hunting season, when hunters (hopefully) set out with the core mission of filling their freezers to feed their families. Hunting for food is an honorable job, so long as you go about it honorably and ethically.
For those of you who are real estate agents, you may have noticed that September-December is also Recruiting Season for real estate brokerages.
Odds are high that in your inbox right now there are multiple messages from brokerages that are trying to recruit you. You may even have somebody persistently calling or wooing you to come over to their brokerage or to “have coffee” with you.
Sometimes the recruiting is done by agents of the brokerage, who are financially incentivized if they bring on agents. It could be from a paid recruiter they’ve hired (although their title is never “recruiter” but usually something fancy like “business development manager” or “agent happiness director”).
It can be quite flattering to be recruited. Flattery is the primary weapon of any recruiter.
Plus, if you feel ignored or under-appreciated where you currently hang your license, and then all of a sudden someone appears to notice how awesome you really are, it feels good. Right?
So what is the problem? Is there one?
YES. AGENTS BEWARE.
I write about this extensively in Agent Entrepreneurs. When the housing market cools down in the fall and winter, the recruiting season really heats up. Many agents during this season are already nervous about their business because their pipelines are often less full than they were during the summer months.
This is why you are being hunted. It’s the time of year you often have fewer listings and worry most about the upcoming year. When I say hunted, I also mean agents being courted, bribed, and seduced into switching brokerages.
I spoke to two agents recently who told me how they are getting the full court press from fill-in-the-blank brokerage. To be clear, don’t blame these brokerages or teams. This is how they fill the freezer. It’s the lifeblood of their company. The more agents in their office, the better. So the harder they recruit, the better. And you are fair game.
My point is: be careful.
I’ve heard countless stories of “EMPTY PROMISES” offered to agents to get them to sign on.
You’ll get X number of leads!
You’ll get to work with X builder!
We’ll help you double/triple your business just like X agent did!
You’ll get X support, and X help!
Maybe this has happened to you already.
Brokerage recruiters and team leaders know it takes a lot to get an agent to make a move, so many of them have a habit of saying whatever that agent wants to hear, rather than being completely upfront with them.
It’s kind of like the lender that is so anxious to have your business and keep your business that they just tell you the best case scenario with your buyer’s loan, instead of the hard facts that you need to know to properly mitigate a delayed closing ahead of time.
The real estate career we’ve all chosen is amazing because it provides unlimited opportunity.
But that also comes with substantial uncertainty.
We have the ability to make an amazing amount of income – or nothing – for the same amount of work.
It’s this uncertainty that recruiters feed off.
Things will be better over here. You’ll reach your goals faster over here. You’ll have less uncertainty over here. In fact, your business will explode with opportunity over here.
Recruiters also stroke our egos. And let’s face it. It feels good.
It feels amazing to be recognized and wanted.
This is why we, as Agents, are easy prey.
I have no problem with agents changing brokerages. If it’s not the right fit for you, then by all means, look elsewhere. If you’re happy where you are, stay there!
Most agents make a change once a problem has manifested for a while and reaches a tipping point. Then they get to a point where they just want to make a change as soon as possible.
But then they rush the decision, so they can move before their next listing starts or before their buyer makes another offer.
They often go with whoever has been recruiting/hunting them the hardest, even though that may not be the best direction for their business.
Before you hastily switch brokerages: GET A SECOND OPINION.
Just like when you have a major medical procedure you need done. Getting more than one opinion from different doctors is highly recommended.
If nothing else, it can give you more clarity and confidence in your decision.
Skipping that step can often lead to regret or mental baggage in wondering if you made the right decision.
Then you stay in the new brokerage even though you are not happy because the PAIN OF DISCONNECT (the hassle of going through another move) is too great.
It’s no secret that I have a brokerage. My goal is to have great agents operating their businesses through our firm.
But we are not after volume (aka we’d we don’t want just any agent of the street). We have no desire to grow FSB to a massive company. Rather, we desire quality, because we value our reputation above everything else.
Most of our contact with agents outside of our firm is not in a recruiting format. It’s through education, volunteerism, and mentorship. It’s the opposite of recruiting. It’s worked great for attracting agents who align with our business ideology, ethics, and our low-drama, fun-driven culture.
However, we have missed out on a few really great agents in town who decided to make a move, but they never came to talk to us. That fact has motivated me to write you today.
At FSB, we don’t hunt Agents like prey.
We prefer to be the destination brokerage. As in when the right agents are ready for a move, they simply come to talk to us. They find out if we’re a good fit or not.
There are many misconceptions about how we operate at FSB.
Many agents assume we are more expensive than their current brokerages, which is most often far from the truth.
Years ago, the agents at FSB participated in choosing a brokerage split they would be happy with long-term.
It’s highly competitive, and arguably the best value in town when you consider the mentoring, tools, and support you get from FSB.But I’ll leave that for another time.
This letter is not designed to CLOSE.
That what recruiters/hunters aim to do.
My goal is simply to inform you to:
- Be careful you don’t get “Closed” by a recruiter. Stay in the driver’s seat.
- Always get a second opinion before you make the leap.
- Just because you are not being “hunted” by a brokerage, that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t love to have you as part of their organization, especially if you share the same values and core business principles.
At least, that’s the way I see it.
Mike Turner – Designated Broker
Front Street Brokers