Why most real estate Teams and Companies don’t grow and what to do about it

They’ve bought into myths which I will eliminate right here and get you on your way to growth…????

1) Our split, cap, fee, revenue share, etc. need to change for me to even be able to compete.

2) I don’t have time to recruit, I am too busy selling or running the business.

In 1998, my third year as a branch manager I took over a job of an office of just over 100 agents.

To say I was scared would be an understatement. I went to work for a multi-office organization January 1 in a role where the company ALWAYS hired from within.

As a matter of fact, the long standing assistant manager was so confident he was going to be given the job and higher compensation, went out and bought a brand new car.

My nervousness, discomfort and a knowing many of the agents would be upset with the choice the company made in hiring from outside was through the roof.

I knew there was one solution that would make a strong statement and have an immediate impact…

…have a MASSIVE recruiting month.

I was taught early on…

Recruiting Solves All Problems.

I was fortunate to recruit 12 agents into the office my first month, but there was a problem.

Ownership was very pleased with the result, but I was not. There were a ton of agents that didn’t join because of “The Splits” and “Fees”…

…or so I thought.

I went to ownership and said, “Well if the splits and fees were different I could of recruited 20 agents…EASY!”

At that point, he did one of the most impactful things for me and my career to this day

“OK Jon, here’s the deal. Go back to those agents and offer them anything you want to for the next 30 days”

…and so I did.

Any guesses on how many of those agents joined?


Right there and then I had a discovery that would chnage the course of my career, and to this day…

…do the same for Brokers, Owners and Team Leaders in their recruiting across North America I have worked with.

The first reflection I had was, “How many of my agents could go to another brokerage and cut a better deal?”

EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM… and today, every single one of YOUR AGENTS could go cut a better deal with another brokerage or team.

How come they don’t?


The Discovery:

How come they don’t leave?

My focus immediately shifted to reverse engineering what I am doing to retain the current agents in my office and look closely at what it was that made agents choose to join in the first place.

If there was a MODEL truly impacting my office and taking my agents, that model would of put everyone out of business long ago.

To this day there are so many different models it’s confusing. No one model has put EVERYONE out of business.

It’s not the business model agents choose, it’s the leadership model they choose.

Be the leader of choice.

I remember 2000-2002 as a General Manager of a Multi-Office, Tri-State Consortium of Real Estate Offices, Keller Williams was applying massive pressure to the market.

They were on an undeniable growth trajectory and I was even approached by them.

“Thanks so much, but not interested. (Great Company, I was very happy with my current company and the latitude I was given to operate) I know exactly what you are doing and it’s not what people think you are doing.

You have everyone distracted by the profit share model, but in reality, you are attracting agents to community, belonging and an inclusionary process.

You are building on an abundant environment of cross-pollination and idea exchange with massive collaboration.

Your recruiting strategy is to hold training/recruiting events to allow agents to “experience your leadership”…to ‘create an experience of what it’s going to be like when they join, before they join’”.

And has continued to work.

I get it, I learned this lesson personally in 1998, it’s not about the splits, fee, profit share etc.

People don’t join or leave a business model, they join or leave the competency and relevancy of the leader, PERIOD.

Again, all our current agents can get a better deal, how come they have not all left us?

Broker/Owners and Team Leaders have reached out to me for years, frustrated because they have offered agents a TRUE no fee, 100% split for 12 months, 18 months and even 24 months…

The agents still wouldn’t join.

It’s not about the splits, fees and revenue share.

Time and again I see it happening to this day, agents joining Brokers, Owners and Teams for substantially lower splits and higher fees…Constantly.

People join or leave a leaders ability to demonstrate the best investment/return model.

Agents are investing a portion of their commissions and their time in partnership with THE leader who can demonstrate through their skill-sets a business relationship with the agent that allows them to experience the Highest Return…

If agents join you because of the money (model) they will leave you because of money (model).

Agents leave you how they joined you and there will never be enough money to keep a relationship together.

But wait Jon, you just said it is investment/return…it is, along with the psychological and emotional bonds, community they become connected to and their sense of belonging.

Again, how many of your current agents could go cut a better deal somewhere else? Ultimately every human being chooses with their heart and justifies with their minds.

So how do we put this all into action in the recruiting process Jon?

Prove it to me.

1) No one believes what they are told, they believe what they experience. Create an experience of what it’s going to be like when they join, before they join.

2) Everyone wants to buy, no one wants to be sold. STOP running conversion language “Join Us Join Us Join Us”. Ever have that interview you thought went really good and then the agent “ghosted” you…disappeared?

Didn’t return calls, texts or emails?

Of course, you went to conversion language way too early. They weren’t ready, they were in discovery NOT consideration mode, so you became irrelevant in current space in time to them.

3) It takes 14 contacts on average before an experience agent makes a move. 14 contacts of value and deposits in the business relationship equity account.

Asking an experienced agent to make a move prior to that when they have not raised their hand is simply moving an agent from the “indifferent” phase of change to “annoyed”.

I see it time and again working with over 80 leaders a week on my coaching calls.

4) The obstruction is not splits, fees, revenue share etc. We are going to an atm machine with our bank card trying to make a withdrawal from an account with no money in it.

We make a call and can’t get an appointment, or interview with an agent and can’t get them to join.

The heart chooses, the mind justifies. We have not “made deposits in the business relationship equity account”.

We have not built the bond and demonstrated our leadership at a high enough level for them to TRUST this is a better opportunity for them.

5) Coach, train and lead the competitors agents better than their current agents are so that one of two things happen.

A. The agent eventually sees value and wants to join

B. Something happens at their current brokerage and they decide to join.

6) Recruiting is not a one trick pony or an event. It’s a series of events over time. Think about it this way, they are no different than a lead.

You must market daily with the RIGHT MESSAGE on Social Media, Weekly Minimum Drip Campaigns, Operate in a CRM, and Daily Calling.

It is no different than the expectations you have of your agents. Recruiting Requires A Proven System and Process.

7) Humans have 3 Favorite Subjects, Me, Myself and I. I always ask Broker/Owners and Team Leaders…

“So based on this TRUTH, how does your marketing message, call dialogue and interview look now?
Is it all about you?”

No one wants to be “Feature Dumped”. Remember, everyone wants to buy, no one wants to be sold.

8. Not Enough Time To Recruit

How do you handle when an agent leaves and what is the true net cost to you?

Market positioning loss

Market perception loss

Internal perception and the likelihood another agent or more could leave with them

My strong suggestion is make the time or hire someone today. It’s really that simple.

Final Pro Tip: If you are making calls and struggling to get appointments, it’s probably not what you are saying that’s the problem (although that could be part of it)

What are you sending them BEFORE you call them?

1) We are so amazing, we are the best, we have the best deals

2) You are sending them nothing

3) You are warming them up, no longer making COLD calls, by sending them an item of value WITHOUT conversion language.

You are invoking the law of reciprocity and the law of fair exchange which makes them feel obligated to talk with you and more likely to schedule an appointment.

You are choosing #3 and making deposits in the business relationship equity account so that when you make the call, you can make the withdrawal (get them to spend their time with you on the phone and meet with you)

This is how leaders are experiencing growth and profitability in the recruiting and leadership game.