Fine Tune Those Interview Skills
By Real Estate Recruiting Coach Judy LaDeur
Recruiting season is right around the bend – which mean NOW is the time to fine tune those interview skills. Use the summer to stay in touch with your recruits, and to turn up the heat on your recruiting skills by practicing. While it might not feel natural at first – I challenge you to stick as close to the interview process as possible.
Here is an overview of the interview process:
The set up: This is the time to tell them the goals and agenda for the meeting. Set up the interview by sharing your goals and agenda. Let them know that your job is to give them the information that they need that day to make the best decision for their real estate career, and to better have a feel of whether your company is the right choice for them. You should know if the agent is an emotional decision maker or a logical decision maker within the first 5-10 minutes. You need to mirror your candidate for optimal results. Maintain a businesslike manner for logical agents and a friendly, warm manner for emotional agents.
The questions: The questions are the foundation of your interview. If a broker/recruiter cannot master this component, their presentation will be weak, or even worse, they will find themselves “buying agents through making deals” if they cannot hire on value. Surface questions will not give you what you want to know. They just skim the surface. You must really dig deep and find out what is happening in their professional life, what they have now, how do they feel about what they have, and what do they want. Why, When and Why are how most of your questions should start. You can also say, “Tell me more about that” or “when you say, what do you mean?”
The goal of asking questions for the new or struggling agent:
Do you want them? Will they make it? What are their past accomplishments? Sales experience? What is their behavior style? What have they been doing to build their career up until now? Number of people in their data base? Number of calls they make daily? Farming? FSBO? Expireds? What are they willing to do to have a successful career? Number of hours they plan to work to achieve goals?
The goal of asking questions for the experienced agent interview:
What do they like where they are? What do they dislike? What is the point of difference between your company and their company? What are their long term goals? Can they achieve them at their current company? What are their expectations of you as their broker? What are they doing to generate business now? What tools would best support them to take their career to the next level?
At the end of the questions, you should know which systems you will present and what it’s going to take to hire them. If you don’t know these things, then you either need to ask more questions or better questions.
The prospect that can be most challenging at this stage is the driver. If you are interviewing the driver, keep the questions moving fast, and be very direct. Otherwise, they will start asking you questions and you will lose control of the interview. If you lose control of the interview in the questioning process with a driver, it’s because it’s moving too slow or they are frustrated with the interview and you are not staying on task. This can be a very tough position for any manager or recruiter, but when you find yourself in that position, first realize how you got there and next, regain control as fast as possible. You can listen to the CD’s if you need additional support with regard to asking questions.
Please remember that the purpose of asking questions is to identify the right systems to present to the agent. They usually only need about 5 systems to meet their needs.
The area that I would like for you each of you to really practice and develop is the 3-step presentation process and the ROI or value close. Failing to present each system in a way that shows value, is the #1 reason that the agent will not join. With regard to presentation skills, please remember that you don’t need to present everything about your company, but you should have visuals and info on everything that is unique about your company and be ready for each interview. What sets you apart and gives you a point of difference? Not only for experienced agents, but for new as well. It can be on a laptop, folders, whatever, as long as it is easy for you to use and it is going to demonstrate what makes your office unique and the results that can occur when they join your team.
This is your 3-step presentation process.
- Recap what they said in the questioning process.
- Present the tool or system using a visual
- Present the results using results from agents at your office or survey results from an organization such as NAR.
Each tool gets presented the same way with the three step process. Then after the presentation, please go back and ask them to give you their opinion as to how many more transactions they can have with each tool. Please remember that they need you to give them results, in order for them to calculate value.
You can then close on the value of joining, which means that you do not have to worry about fees. When you follow the process above, you will see that they can give you the value as perceived and believed by them. It will definitely make recruiting easier.
The RECAP = your ROI
The ROI = your Value Proposition
If you are not using the 3-step process above, and sharing results with your recruit, you will not be able to value close them. After presenting each of your systems, you will recap, which is when you build value.
Dialog to start the recap:
“Let’s review what we have discovered. There were 5 different areas of your real estate career that YOU felt could use some improvement. You said that you definitely need:
- More leads
- More marketing support
- Personalized coaching and broker support
- Better tools to compete for listings
- More market presence or a strong name in the community.
Is there anything that I missed? Let’s look at each tool/ system and determine what the value is to your career.
With regard to Leads: You said……. As you recall, our agents receive an average ofper year, with most converting 25% of those leads within 6 months. If we gave you the same number of leads each year, how many could you convert?
REPEAT THIS PROCESS FOR EACH TOOL OR SYSTEM WHICH WAS DISCUSSED.
Total all the opportunities and use this dialog:
“If we total up all the opportunities that you believe you could have with our office, the number isadditional sales and or listings sold. If we multiply that number by the average commission received, which is $__, it looks like you could have an additional $ in income with our company. How does that sound?
More importantly, these are opportunities that do not exist at your current company, so currently, you do not have the opportunity to earn this money at your current firm. You will need to join our team to have these opportunities. When you came in today, I told you that my goal was to give you the information that you needed to make the best decision for your real estate career TODAY. Based on what you are looking at, does it look like a good time to join (your company)? I agree, so let’s take a look at the various compensation plans and determine which one is best for you!
This is called: Closing on VALUE. When you get their commitment, before talking about compensation plans, it’s a lot easier to hire them.
THE CLOSE: You must ask them to join. I like the handshake close. Those who have tried it have found it works great. There are a few people who are shy about trying it. This summer is a great time to master the official Judy LaDeur Hand Shake close.
Stalls and Objections: If you need help handling stalls and objections, please listen to your CD’s. I have all the solutions recorded. Here’s what others have found. When you follow the interview process, as described above, you will have fewer stalls and objections. Have a great summer!
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