By Leon d’Ancona
 
Picking the wrong agent can be a costly and time consuming affair. Yet many recruiters don’t seem to have a definitive plan about who they should recruit. Others take the point of view that as long as the person in front of them “can fog up a mirror” and has the ability to pay desk fees, that’s good enough.
 
If you take that point of view, you likely are in the “people business” and your raison d'être happens to be real estate. In which case, move on to the next page. I’m not offended.

The average cost to a broker who hires the wrong person, given to me by seasoned recruiters, is well over $8,700. It is certainly worth your while to invest some time and effort in learning more about the candidate you want to have on your team.
 
For those looking for long-term stability in your organization I offer the following sage advice.
Know the benchmark: It amazes me that many seasoned brokers and owners I speak to daily do not have a measure of the production of agents. It is only through this knowledge that the above-average professional can be hired.
 
The average “ends” for the last 12-month period varied from three to eight units. It is also fair to say that nationally, almost 50 per cent of licensed residential real estate professionals do not make enough money to sustain their careers.
 
Possibly for some readers who are in a position to give great training to struggling hires, this works out well. For most of us, the recipe of hiring people who will not make money ultimately ends with a demoralized staff, not conducive to high morale or profits.
 
Monthly sales activity: There is a tendency in the profession to rest on laurels. When you study the profile of your prospective new hire, have a look at the consistency of the candidate’s production. The chart above shows that this prospective hire had almost no activity in March, April, May and June. It is possible that you might not see any activity from the new hire, after a period of successful sales.
 
Another key criterion I recommend is what I call the comfort graph. By charting the performance of the MLS and the performance of your prospective candidate you can quickly see if the candidate performs according to your expectations.
 
If the market is doing poorly, it would not be unusual for the professional’s sales activity to be poor. Conversely, if the market is hot and the candidate does poorly, that might indicate a lack of talent or ability. There is comfort in knowing that a sales representative’s performance is in tune with the market activity.
 
What you are likely looking for is someone who actually outperforms what the overall real estate market is doing, with a performance level of Joe Superstar. You will note that Joe follows the market trend and in many months exceeds it.
 
Picking the right people for your team should not be a guessing game. You can spend many hours doing your own research, or you can make intelligent informed choices with tools that are available to you from a third party.
 
Many markets are seeing the turnarounds I have been writing about. This is the perfect time to take the time to add long-term candidates to your organization.
 
Leon d’Ancona B.T.L., M.T.L., RRESI, is president and founder of IMS Incorporated, and creator of REality, an online service used by franchises, brokers and agents to improve their bottom line. Author and writer, he is a regular speaker at real estate gatherings throughout the continent, and is well-known for his entertaining, illuminating presentations. Email: [email protected]
 

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