Originally published on dotloop.com
Every real estate broker or team lead knows that recruiting new agents is an ongoing challenge as you grow, but just getting warm bodies in the door isn’t enough. An effective long-term strategy requires the recruitment of the right kind of people — agents whose personalities and philosophies fit your brokerage’s core culture.
Brokers have many ways to identify, connect with and actively recruit ideal agents. One effective channel that’s often overlooked, however, is LinkedIn.
Although Facebook’s active participant numbers (2.23 billion) clearly overshadow the business social site’s active ranks (500 million), most LinkedIn members use the platform for one purpose: to further their careers.
Because of this laser focus on business, agents find the site offers a good source of client leads and referrals. One survey by content marketing platform Hubspot found that conversion rates for marketing on LinkedIn were up to 277% higher than the mainstream social networks.
Of course, not all agents are regularly participating on LinkedIn, but those who are will most likely be more strategy-focused and business-minded than average. So if you want to recruit the most serious agents, LinkedIn offers a great option to find them.
There are several simple steps for recruiting on LinkedIn. First, make sure that your content, including your personal page, brokerage page, posts and articles communicate your culture and workplace clearly to ideal prospects.
Second, maximize your network through the connection function and Realtor groups.
Third, commit to an ongoing outreach plan, in which you can naturally invite the best agents to your brokerage.
A free LinkedIn membership is fine for basic networking, but if you’re serious about getting an edge on agent recruiting, their paid features may be worth the investment.
1. Prepare Your Profile
On LinkedIn, your profile page is critical and even more important than on the other networks. The site’s visitors typically respond to a connection request immediately or soon after reading a helpful article. In both cases, they want to know who the contact is and if they are someone with whom they might want to network.
By design, a LinkedIn profile offers the visitor much more data than the profile pages on Facebook and Twitter. However, a LinkedIn profile that’s missing information can have an opposite, negative effect.
Think of ways to present your information so that it directly addresses the agents you want to recruit. Include a pithy headline that will make a prospect want to read more about you.
While the profile page is a place where many people brag about their accomplishments, a better strategy is to write it so that any agent who reads it will understand a) what makes your brokerage unique and b) how that benefits them.
The brokerage page connected with your profile page should even more clearly communicate the benefits to a prospective agent. Include an overview of your facility, agent support and development, as well as your current team of successful agents.
Also, check out your competition. Run a search for brokers in your area and view them from the perspective of an agent who’s considering a change.
It’s important to regularly update this page with images and videos so prospects know you’re keeping it current.
As paid options, you might want to set up a Career page and build what is essentially a company website within the platform. These options allow brokers to showcase their work environment and to post agent job openings.
2. Maximize Your Network
LinkedIn has several degrees of connections designed to enable networking while preventing unsolicited messaging. Contacting people who are first- or second-degree connections is free.
First-degree connections comprise people who have accepted your invitation to join your LinkedIn network. Once connected, you can see their full profile and communicate with them through the message system.
Second-degree connections include those connected with your first-degree connections who are not directly connected with you. You don’t have full communication with them through the platform, but LinkedIn makes it easy to request a first-degree connection. (Just click the Connect button.)
Anyone in your email address book is considered a second-degree connection, and LinkedIn can help you bulk-send connection requests to those people.
Third-degree and higher connections encompass all the contacts who are further removed from your network. With a LinkedIn premium account, you can message these people through the InMail function. Otherwise, you would need a chain of introductions for a connection.
Join the Right Groups. LinkedIn groups are places you can interact with people of similar interests without direct connections. There are thousands of groups covering nearly every type of business interest. Since your goal is to make personal connections, you might start by searching for “Realtors” and consider local groups in your area.
To join a group, click the “Ask To Join” button, which will send a request to the group manager. Each group has its own purpose and rules, so it’s helpful to get a sense of the subject matter and tone of discussion before posting.
If you can’t find an appropriate group for local agents, you can always start your own. LinkedIn gives you easy instructions.
3. Work Your Outreach Plan
Drew Peterson, a real estate recruiter who uses LinkedIn, suggests sending five new connection requests every week. Look for agents referred by your current agents, those who meet your criteria, or people you’ve heard about through social media or other connections.
Make sure you include a personal touch point. For instance, before sending an invitation to connect, review the agent’s profile and look for a conversation starter. Maybe you attended the same school or share an interest in a cause or activity?
If you can’t find something in common, Peterson suggests looking at their recommendations to find a topic. On the agent’s profile page, click the link for “See all activity,” and take a look at what they’ve posted, liked and commented.
Keep your communication brief, limiting your remarks to no more than a sentence or two. Let the conversation lead naturally to a phone call or face-to-face meeting as part of a long-term plan. An agent worth recruiting will take time to consider whether or not your brokerage is worth joining.
Start a Conversation. Once you’ve sent five new connection requests, message five of your existing prospects to keep the conversations rolling.
LinkedIn shouldn’t replace your current offline recruiting effort, but it can serve as a natural complement. Remember, good agents who you’re wooing through other channels will also be looking at your LinkedIn profile page as they make their decisions on which brokerage to ultimately join.