The art of attraction

The demand for high quality staff in real estate has never been greater. But how do you attract and retain them?
Virginia Brookes gives her insight

TO ATTRACT good talent, you need to be a good employer – remember, candidates do as much research on you as you do on them.

Looking outside the square can be a good source of start for employers.

People from hospitality and retail sectors have very transferrable skills: they have great customer service skills, good problem solving capabilities and are used to working long hours.

Meanwhile, candidates look for roles in an office that has strong branding, an excellent reputation, solid staff retention and growth opportunities. Sales agents in particular look for branding, market share and an agency’s access – successful people like to surround themselves with other successful people.

The interview is the employer’s big opportunity to really get to know the candidate and find out if they’ll connect with the company ethos, so here are a few tips to get the most out of that all-important meeting:

• Make sure you have a read through the candidate’s resume and make sure you have this with you to refer to during the interview

• Give each candidate the courtesy of your time – you cannot understand and assess their suitability for the job and your business in 10 minutes, even if you think they are the perfect fit.

• Always do a second interview and have someone else sit in with you. That way they might see a positive or negative that you don’t

• Leave your phone out of the interview – someone else can look after it.

• Have a full job description of the role available so candidates know what you expect.

• Be prepared – this is your chance to sell the benefits of your company, and carefully composed questions will help you understand their suitability for the role

Once you have recruited your ideal team member, ensuring you retain them becomes the next focus. These pointers should have you heading in the right direction:

• Recognise and reward hard work – appreciate your team and remember, even a sincere thank you goes a long way

• Value your team’s opinions – everyone can have at least one great idea for your office to take on board

• Put targets into place and reward well once these are met

• Communicate – set expectations around roles and explain what great delivery is

• All people make mistakes – don’t vilify, instead use it as a learning tool Treat all your staff with the same respect, and don’t forget to get theirs either

• Put good training sessions in place – everyone generally wants to further their knowledge and skill set and this can only help your business

• Social get togethers boost morale and allow staff to strengthen relationships with one another

• Offer a work-life balance with a degree of flexibility for proven performers

• Be passionate – if you care, others care too

In our current climate, real estate offices are hiring good people, not firing them. There are good candidates out there but when it comes to finding them, sometimes you need to think outside the box instead of taking the easy option.
Factoring in these simple tips when your next position becomes available will undoubtedly make the process more streamlined, clearer and effective.
You will be giving yourself the best shot at creating a top-notch team, and keeping them.

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