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Seriously gutsy recruiting


with Brad Jackson

Building a business
takes bravery and
guts. No-one knows
that more than Brad
Jackson. Working
in inner Brisbane in
RE/MAX Toowong,
Brad took 29
brilliant agents, retained them, and built a
profitable sales division the likes of which
has rarely been seen.

Brad has his own particular style. While at
Toowong, he did not list and sell property
against his team. He had a supportstyle
approach to management and he
focused on recruiting and listing people,
not property. He says, “One of the things I
think was a real turning point in my career
was when I accepted I was really in the
salesperson business. I wasn’t in the real
estate business. Now okay, that might be
a bit quirky; people might want to debate
that with me but that is a major shift. We
provide the environment, the salespeople
go and do the business.”

Brad says that his staff “knew I cared,
and I think when they know you’re on
their team, you can be tough but you can
be fair. I think when they know you’re on
their team they’ll follow you because of
what you’ve done for them; they’ll follow
you because of what you represent.
Staff want an energised leader as
opposed to a lacklustre boss.”

A key prong in Brad’s tactics was
developing his SGR or “Serious Gutsy
Recruiting’ strategy. He explains, “If
you want to build a substantial real
estate business, you need to get
serious and gutsy about recruiting.”

Brad believes that recruiting is a contact sport. He says, “In the
old days, when I learned real
estate they used to talk about
‘Prospect, list, sell’. Then good
people like Lee (Woodward of
Real Estate Academy) came along
and showed us that it was, ‘You
don’t prospect to get listings, you
prospect to get leads. You put
them into a database, you build
a relationship with them. When
they’re ready, you’re positioned to
get the business’. It’s the same with
recruiting. You can’t cram recruiting;
it’s a process. You can’t rush it.
It doesn’t matter what you have
done in the marketplace, nothing
will make a salesperson leave the
opposition. The reality is something
has to stuff up where they are. And
when they become unhappy, you
need to have positioned yourself as
second choice, so they’re going to
pick up the phone and call you."

Some may argue that Brad is a
poacher – but to that he replies, “I
respect their views, they’re not mine. I
think we go fishing where the fish are.
I think, if I’m a bricklayer and I hear
that someone needs bricks laid, I’m
going to approach. I think even in my
selling days as a salesperson when I
listed and sold, if I found out someone
wanted to sell a house, be that by
referral, via enquiry or going on the
property, I would have let them know I’m
available.” It’s part of the job.

Inspired by the likes of internationally
renowned real estate recruiting coach,
Judy LaDeur and other industry leaders,
Brad’s SGR goes something like this.

Develop a hit list

Brad says the first thing to do is scour the local paper and and,
“Work out who you are going to approach. I don’t think you can discriminate there. I
think you’ve got to put a plan in place to talk to everyone.”

Make the recruiting calls

Brad says you have to be gutsy about making calls. “You need to make that
appointment in your diary with yourself. The more you do, the more you’ll get better
at it. You’ll get the same objections. You’ve got to make some recruiting calls.”

Create some marketing pieces

If you are targeting an agent, Brad suggests that once you are on that agent’s
radar, stay in touch by, “sending something that highlights what you’re doing at
your office and demonstrates value. The best is sending them something that
you’ve uncovered through your interview with them, that really rings their bells.
And you know, getting that out regularly is important.” Brad believes that email
doesn’t cut through so don’t rely on it.

The interview and presentations

The next step is to arrange a meeting. Brad believes that the first meeting is an
opportunity to get to know the potential recruit better. He explains, “It’s about them,
and this is where so many businesses muck up.” At that meeting, he’d go through
his preamble asking questions like, ‘What do you know about Jackson Real Estate?
How long have you been in real estate? What industry is your partner in?’.

As the discussion continues, Brad’s questions would become progressively gutsier.
Brad says he’d ask questions like, ‘What sort of numbers are you doing? How many
sales did you make last year? What commission split are you on?’. And after that, he’d
start with one of his golden nuggets questions: ‘I know you said you’re happy where
you are and I respect that, and I only want to be second choice; but hypothetically, if
something happened next week and you were looking for a new office, what would
say, be, the top three things you’d be looking for in that new office?’.

Brad says, at this point he would get out his pen and pad and start writing down
the prospect’s top three things. He would then ask if there was anything else. “If
the potential recruit mentioned something a couple of times I’d circle it, because I
wanted to find the person’s pain. Because my plan was once I found their pain, I
wanted to make it unbearable for them over the next few months.”

He adds, “So once I’ve found out those things, they’re the only things I want to talk
about because that’s where the pain is, that’s what you’re looking for. If I’m trying to
recruit someone on board, it’s not just what I’ve got; it’s what I’ve got that they want
or need or want better, that they are missing out on now. That’s how you’ll get their
attention, because when we get to that part of the presentation where I’m going to
start talking about the systems that we offer and the things that we do, I’m going to
reference it back to those things they gave me.”

SGR worked wonders for Brad Jackson. Now more than ever, recruiting and
retaining outstanding agents is critical for long term success. Maybe it’s time to try
some SGR in your office.

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