The hiring of Buyer’s Agents has perplexed Lead Agents for years. I will admit that much of what I write about this subject comes from many mistakes in personally hiring and firing Buyer’s Agents. Some of the principles, skills, techniques, and evaluations have come from the frustration of the trial and error methods that my clients initially implemented to create a more effective process to hire their Buyer’s Agents.

Few Agents have any type of rules or processes to follow when deciding on which Buyer’s Agents are suited to join their team. My goal is to give you some guidelines and coaching on the crucial evaluations you must make as a business owner to help you select the right Buyer’s Agent the first time. The cost of the wrong one, factoring in lost training time, low conversion rate of leads, personal frustration, blown transactions, and going through these steps again with another Buyer’s Agent, is significant.

New versus experienced

The first question you must ask yourself is, what level of proficiency do you want your new Buyer’s Agent to possess? There are valid reasons to hire only experienced Buyer’s Agents. You can also make just as compelling of a case to hire only new Buyer’s Agents. The question is which arena you want to work in. You must create a long-term standard or profile of what a good Buyer’s Agent prospect looks like for your team.

I coach Champion Lead Agents with large practices who will argue on this issue of new versus experienced. One Champion Lead Agent swears off new Agents, and the other swears by them. I believe you can build a successful practice with either new or experienced Buyer’s Agents. The real question is who you want to work with.

Looking at the advantages and disadvantages of new vs. experienced

When you look at new Agents, there is probably a greater element of risk. They don’t have any type of track record in real estate sales. They might have a track record of success in sales that will help, but to compare all sales jobs to that of an Agent is a stretch. You will be training a new Agent through every step of the real estate process from securing the lead from an ad call, sign call, or open house to buyer interview presentations, showing property, promoting urgency to buy, writing and negotiating contracts. Your training program will need to be from soup to nuts. Even with an effective training program, there is a risk that your expenditure of time in training won’t produce any fruit in terms of enough sales. Here is a short list of advantages and disadvantages of hiring a new Agent.
Brand new, wet behind the ears Agents can have a lot of success in the business quickly. The real factor that swings success in their favor is their attitude and desire. If they really want to be successful badly enough and are willing to put in the effort to achieve it, a new Agent can achieve in excess of thirty units in their first year.

Because the learning curve is steep for a new Agent in terms of skill development, they must be willing to rely on their number of contacts and method of contact to earn their success. They must be willing to make more contacts (i.e. make more calls, reach more people, return calls more promptly) than a more experienced Agent might have to. They will need to do more personal prospecting and select a better method of prospecting that gets them face-to-face or even phone-to-phone more frequently than other Agents. They will not win by waiting around for better prospects. They are going to have to make due in the short run with lower quality prospects because the quality of their message is sub-standard. It is not where it needs to be to be incredibly successful.

They also must be willing to exert the effort in practicing and perfecting their sales skills. They must role play daily with someone. They must role play weekly with you on their ad calls, sign calls, open house scripts, lead follow-up, presentations, showing property, and converting clients to contracts.

Most Champion Lead Agents would rather hire an experienced Agent than someone who is new. While I tend to agree with this thinking in general, there are diamonds in the rough that you will lose if you have a blanket philosophy of not hiring new Agents.

The basic assumption by most Lead Agents is that an experienced Agent is much closer to having their act together as a real estate Agent. In many cases that is true; in many others, that assumption is disastrous. To always assume that a person who wants to join your team to be a Buyer’s Agent is currently a successful Agent is dangerous. If they were at a high level of success currently, they would not be talking with you about a position. Most of the Buyer’s Agents working for Champion Teams would not be as effective on their own. They joined the team for a number of reasons but the most common one is for lack of leads. They don’t have a system that creates enough good quality leads with enough consistency to sustain their business as a singular Agent. If they did, they wouldn’t be working with you! Don’t ever lose sight of that fact. There is a deficiency in their ability that you will need to work to fix.

If their number of leads is low, then you can be assured that they won’t have exemplary lead follow-up and appointment booking skills. They haven’t had enough opportunity at doing it. They probably haven’t practiced in the meantime while they were waiting for their opportunity to work with a live buyer prospect. Getting an experienced Agent to adhere to your standards of practice, role playing, scripting, and delivery is one challenging area. There will be times when they will move back to the old habits they had established because they are comfortable with them. The old habits brought them to your team; the old habits will get them fired from your team.

Author's Bio: 

Dirk Zeller is a sought out speaker, celebrated author and CEO of Real Estate Champions. His company trains more than 350,000 Agents worldwide each year through live events, online training, self-study programs, and newsletters. The Real Estate community has embraced and praised his six best-selling books; Your First Year in Real Estate, Success as a Real Estate Agent for Dummies®, The Champion Real Estate Agent, The Champion Real Estate Team, Telephone Sales for Dummies®, Successful Time Management for Dummies®, and over 300 articles in print. To learn more regarding this article, please visit http://www.realestatechampions.com/championteambook/.