Stop poaching sales agents, principals urged

Simon Parker

Principals should spend more time recruiting fresh talent rather than poaching staff from competitors, a franchise manager has claimed.

“Too many principals are chasing other principals’ sales representatives,” Mark Lynch, franchise development manager at Victoria-based Barry Plant, told Real Estate Business.

Mr Lynch said poaching staff was an “enormous” problem in the real estate industry, and principals should instead spend more time finding and developing new staff.

He said career nights, which were often overlooked by principals, could be a rich source of new talent.

He cited a recent career night held by a Barry Plant franchisee in Melbourne, which attracted 35 candidates and ended up generating three new employees for the principal who ran it. He added that a number of senior personnel from within the Barry Plant group were sourced from similar career nights.

The career night, which featured a 45 minute presentation, was promoted via a two-week advertising campaign in the local newspaper, he said.

Paul Campbell, director at LJ Hooker Toronto, near Newcastle in NSW, agreed with Mr Lynch’s comments.

“There’s too much of a quick-fix attitude in this industry,” he told Real Estate Business, pointing to the propensity for numerous principals to “pinch” top agents from their competitors.

“If you pinch theirs, remember, they can pinch yours as well,” he cautioned.

Building an office culture that espoused loyalty, career development and support were the key foundations to his operation, he said, and this approach was reflected in what his career nights were about.

Mr Campbell said his career nights, which went for up to one and a half hours, featured a presentation that sought to highlight the realities of being a sales agent. He would normally attract 30 people from diverse backgrounds to each night, and from these he had secured three “very good sales people.”

He said there were no trends in terms of the ‘type’ of person who ended up being employed – his career night additions included someone aged in their 20s with a service industry background and a 40-plus year-old with corporate experience - although the best candidates were those who had “the right attitude”, and who could be coached.

Simon Parker

Principals should spend more time recruiting fresh talent rather than poaching staff from competitors, a franchise manager has claimed.

“Too many principals are chasing other principals’ sales representatives,” Mark Lynch, franchise development manager at Victoria-based Barry Plant, told Real Estate Business.

Mr Lynch said poaching staff was an “enormous” problem in the real estate industry, and principals should instead spend more time finding and developing new staff.

He said career nights, which were often overlooked by principals, could be a rich source of new talent.

He cited a recent career night held by a Barry Plant franchisee in Melbourne, which attracted 35 candidates and ended up generating three new employees for the principal who ran it. He added that a number of senior personnel from within the Barry Plant group were sourced from similar career nights.

The career night, which featured a 45 minute presentation, was promoted via a two-week advertising campaign in the local newspaper, he said.

Paul Campbell, director at LJ Hooker Toronto, near Newcastle in NSW, agreed with Mr Lynch’s comments.

“There’s too much of a quick-fix attitude in this industry,” he told Real Estate Business, pointing to the propensity for numerous principals to “pinch” top agents from their competitors.

“If you pinch theirs, remember, they can pinch yours as well,” he cautioned.

Building an office culture that espoused loyalty, career development and support were the key foundations to his operation, he said, and this approach was reflected in what his career nights were about.

Mr Campbell said his career nights, which went for up to one and a half hours, featured a presentation that sought to highlight the realities of being a sales agent. He would normally attract 30 people from diverse backgrounds to each night, and from these he had secured three “very good sales people.”

He said there were no trends in terms of the ‘type’ of person who ended up being employed – his career night additions included someone aged in their 20s with a service industry background and a 40-plus year-old with corporate experience - although the best candidates were those who had “the right attitude”, and who could be coached.

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