Real estate brokers looking to up their game, or at least move their business to a different brokerage, know that there’s a lot of competition out there. So, we spoke with Seattle-area real estate leaders to learn what they look for when recruiting agents to their firm — some of their answers might surprise you.
We spoke with Stacy Jones, owner and chief people officer at Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty; Tasha Pasco, executive vice president of sales and leadership development at Coldwell Banker Bain; Dina Charlton, business development strategist at John L. Scott Real Estate; and Tyler Simmonds, director of growth for Windermere Real Estate.
Here are some of the top skills and personality traits they say can help put prospective new agents over the top.
Spirit of giving
All four of our experts emphasized the importance of becoming involved in local associations, community groups and other entities. Not only to raise an agent’s exposure, but to play an active role in contributing to the health and vibrancy of their local market.
Windermere’s Tyler Simmonds says it’s a combination of grit and empathy that makes a great agent. “We’re looking for relationship heroes, people who have a servant’s heart and understand that their job really starts when they close on that first home for a client,” he said, stressing the importance of following up for repeat business and referrals.
In order to help their clients through the process, they need to embrace a spirit of giving, according to Tasha Pasco at Coldwell Banker Bain. “If the agent comes from a place of wanting to help others, it’s a great career for them,” Pasco added.
Bring your hustle
Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty’s Stacy Jones knows a thing or two about getting brokers motivated. Her job is to tap into the potential of all her brokers and help them maximize their individual skills. “They must have the desire to show up and level up and bet on themselves,” she said. That means engaging with clients and being present, not standing around the proverbial office water cooler and waiting for the phone to ring. “We’re looking for people who say yes more than they say no,” she added.
Bringing the hustle is all about always being prepared, according to Dina Charlton at John L. Scott. “You have to be able to connect with people and go deep — even when you’re not working, like when you’re at a grocery store or gas station; you don’t want to miss an opportunity,” she told Seattle Agent magazine.
“It’s about finding out how can you be of service to your client… That’s when things fall into place and the transactions naturally come,” she said.
The long game
Charlton said one of the make-or-break things she looks for when hiring a new agent is whether they’re ready to take on the challenge of the real estate business. “How much time are they able to devote to the business? It helps to have a solid sphere of 100 people in your database. If you’re part-time, that’s probably not a good fit for John L. Scott,” she said.
She added that agents working another job must have a transition plan.
Jones’ approach with agents is coaching them to tap into the potential of their clientele, many of whom are high-net-worth individuals with multiple properties. Building relationships with other professionals, such as wealth managers and others, can also bring in more clients. “If I have a relationship with that wealth manager, then I have the opportunity to represent more than a home but five homes; if I do a good job, then I can represent all 12 of their clients,” she said. “So many people wait for calls instead of being proactive,” she added.
Work well with others
It might seem obvious, but reliability and working well with colleagues goes a long way in real estate. Simmonds said it’s one of the things he values when recruiting. “It’s always been our model to focus on the high-achieving real estate agents and the professionals, people who are a good cultural fit,” he said. “We want to work with people we would want to hang out with outside of work.”
It’s not just about making the homebuying experience a positive one for everyone; but it can also mean sales at the end of the day, according to Pasco. “A big part of success in the industry is how other people think of you — are you a good person to work with and are you going to get the transaction closed?” she said.
In multiple-offer situations, an agent’s relationship with the professional on the other side of the equation can make or break a deal, she said. That agent can steer their client away from you if they believe your lack of professionalism could kill the transaction.