Higher Realtor® Production Starts with Hiring Right By Linda Brakeall, GRI, CRB, SP Word Count: 1256 It is difficult, almost impossible, to predict success among any commissioned sales people and Realtors® are no exception. Over the years I have been involved with creating some sales predictor tests and I think I have used every one that has ever been published, but I have yet to find one that is more than 50% reliable. And most are far less accurate than that! Some people will sell well working for certain managers, but not for others. Some will sell well under a particular given set of circumstances, (a friend of mine was the top appliance salesman at Sears when he was 16 because his father had recently died and Jerry had to support the family. He tells me he has never again sold as well. Joan sold 3 million dollars in residential real estate a year when managed by Russ. She never sold a single house for me… or for anyone else!) Some you can't start and some you can't stop! Predicting success for any given person at any given time is tough. But you know what is really simple? To figure out who will NOT succeed. It finally occurred to me that if I merely eliminated those who were highly unlikely to succeed, based on my own particular experiences, (and everyone is different!) that I would immeasurably improve the odds on finding successful salespeople in those who remained. If you are a manager of Realtors you can look back over the past year or so and analyze why those who failed did so. It will not be the same for all, but some common denominators will quickly emerge. Your list may be different than mine, but here are some of the eliminators for me. I will never again hire a commissioned salesperson who is in crisis, change or flux. Examples: Newly married, newly widowed or newly divorced. Usually these people are so very concerned with their own personal lives --good or bad -- that they really aren't "there" at work! LOOK FOR: People who are stable, well-adjusted and are looking for a new challenge that will enhance their life, not BE their life! Look for people who have support at home. This is not the easiest job in the world and if the family is not "on the team", that player won't be on your team next year! I will never again hire a job hopper. No matter what the excuse or reason. If they've been with 4 companies in 4 years, chances are they will be 5 companies in 5 years. Do you want to be the 5th company? I don't. It takes too long to get them up to speed. Why would you do that to yourself or to the people who work with you? Every time someone leaves the whole office grieves. (Occasionally the office cheers, but obviously THAT was a hiring mistake, too!) LOOK FOR: People who want to expand, to improve or to move up to the next logical step on the professional ladder. I will never again hire a gossip. My Momma used to say that small people talk about people, average people talk about things, and exceptional people discuss ideas. Even at a first interview you can identify a gossip. He or she tends to tell you all about their own and others' personal data, habits and foibles. Spare me! If they gossip at the interview with YOU, someone they are supposed to impress, what do you think will go on over coffee in the kitchen? LOOK FOR: People who will share ideas about where the industry will be in the next five years, how they think technology is going to serve lending or ideas for improving or finding business! I will never again hire a salesperson who does not have a track record of success. When asked about their successes, they (the success-free people) would say: "Well, gee, I've never done anything very important." Trust me, that will not change. People who have repeatedly not made the grade doing ANYTHING are not good candidates for success! LOOK FOR: Any signs of success. Success in sales would obviously be your first choice but I've hired many "soccer Moms" who had previously run the PTA, or had been a successful officer of local civic or social organizations. They often told me stories (with prompting) about projects they had organized, money they had raised, goals they had met, changes they had orchestrated. Selling homes is all about people skills, some financial acumen, good organization and time management skills. Soccer Moms and other unlikely sources often have those skills. I will never again hire anyone who does not have an aptitude for numbers & technology. It is downright embarrassing to see a Realtor who cannot compute a payments, figure closing costs or able to use a computer to find listings. LOOK FOR: People who do not run in horror from a calculator or a computer. They may not be fully competent in those areas now, but they have to be willing to learn and show some ability. TEST! I will never again hire anyone who is late for the interview. I know that sounds hard, and maybe petty, but my experience has been if they will not bend over backwards to make a good impression up front, it will not improve. LOOK FOR: People who are not only on time, but also well dressed and well groomed. These are the folks who will be representing you out there in the community. I will never gain hire anyone who cannot hold an easily flowing conversation at the interview. If they can't talk with you, can they talk with buyers or sellers? Enough said. I will never again hire anyone who has a lousy attitude, or whines. PMA (for positive mental attitude) had become a platitude but as a manager you cannot change someone's attitude. No one can. I don't care how great their skill and or how high their production looks, they are simply too expensive to have around an office. I had a good producer that I once inherited who either intimidated, aggravated or infuriated everyone in the office. I kept her for about 6 months before I bit the bullet and fired her, thinking my bottom line would plummet when her 3.5 million in volume walked out the door. The remaining salespeople immediately picked up the slack and then some. She had depressed us all and we (including ME!) had not working up to capacity because we had to deal with HER. Once she left it was happier, more productive office. Yes, you can change their actions, but you CANNOT change their attitude and bad attitudes are contagious and deadly. LOOK FOR: A cheerful disposition, a positive outlook, and a smile! A sociologist friend when asked if the glass was half-empty or half-full said they only intelligent answer was: "Yes". At the risk of sounding less than intelligent, I'd still rather work with the half-full folks! That's my list, what's on yours? Linda Brakeall, GRI, CRB, is a nationally recognized expert in sales and marketing for Realtors®. Linda, a Realtor® for 13 years, three of which were as an award wining sales person, spent the next ten years as a manager and corporate trainer. She has been speaking professionally speaking, training and consulting since 1992. For info about Linda, please contact The Frog Pond Group at 800-704-FROG (3764) or email email@example.com; http://www.frogpondgroup.com.