PLACE Magazine Inaugural Issue, December 2022

“If you look at operators who are recruiting the most agents to their team, every month, they talk to 6 0 new connections they’ve never talked to before. These top team builders meet with 1 8 of that group in person, then present an opportunity to eight. They’re actually hiring three out of the eight.” — Chris Stuart, President, PLACE

Kimberlee Meserve: Don’t Reinvent the Wheel Owner/Operator, Newton, Massachusetts

Jacqueline Smith: The Need to Recruit Owner/Operator, Vancouver, Washington

“I think the number one thing that I’ve done wrong is I’ve really underestimated how much I need to recruit,” Jacqueline Smith (BKT Vancouver) cautions.

Through conversations with other PLACE Partners, Kimberlee Meserve (Street Property Team) has been able to leverage the expertise of others and learn from them. “I’m not reinventing the wheel,” she says.

After joining PLACE, the Vancouver, Washington partner made recruiting her priority with a goal of building to 12 agents by the end of her first year. She’s learned the hard way that she needs to double down on recruiting if she wants to do more than maintain her team. There are a lot of factors she doesn’t have control over, like a military spouse being transferred out of state or a new parent needing to spend more time with their child, she says. Her ongoing recruitment strategy is to send out value. She reaches out to agents in her recruiting database every Monday, experimenting with the content to get a response and engagement. Tuesday through Thursday, she’s contacting potential recruits to set up coffee and lunch conversations. She switched her focus from recruiting new agents to targeting those in the business for 12 to 18 months, “who have done a few transactions but still are not really fully getting off the ground,” she says. Since then, she’s built her team to 21 agents with a goal of 30 by the end of this year, she says. She has developed a strategy to avoid making cold calls to experienced agents. “I’m inviting agents to do the things that I’m doing and see who is engaging, then I’m connecting with those people,” she says.

Earlier this year, she spent a lot of time in conversations that didn’t develop into anything. “It took me a long time to figure out how to recruit,” Meserve admits. “My struggle was that I was too enthusiastic about the opportunity, almost to the point of not being clear enough on the expectations.” She says she’s also “kind of copied what Jay is doing” by getting her admin involved to do the last interview to go over expectations and get her thumbs-up. “We’ve done a lot of Indeed ads. I do something similar to what Adelina is doing if they’re not licensed; I funnel them to my career night,” she explains. Her first career nights drew a group of 20 and her most recent career night welcomed more than 40. If an attendee is licensed, she schedules a phone screening with them. Since February, all eight of her hires have been new agents. After two of them left, she pivoted to make it more clear in recruiting conversations that her team wasn’t for everybody. She can do this during her initial telephone conversation with the agent. “We’re for the people that want to come in and build a really big business together, grow together, and we work super hard,” Meserve tells potential recruits.


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