Putting together a talented team in the luxury space that inspires trustworthiness from you and your clients alike can be a difficult feat – not to mention a costly one. But just because it can, does not mean it should. During the “Build a Talented Luxury Team in Any Market” panel at this year’s digital Mega Camp, KW MAPS Coach Lisa Becker spoke to three luxury team leaders about their big business-building journeys and the hiring practices that ensured each of them brought on support that helped their business soar even further. Thinking about hiring leverage for your own business? Read on.
Make use of your network.
When it comes to hiring new talent, Jonville team lead Nicolas Jonville never uses ads. Instead, as soon as he’s assessed the new hire need and what they will be doing, he taps into his network. “I am looking at the people we do business with to refer any superstars they know,” Jonville, who runs the number one team in San Diego County, says. Once he receives a few names that seem to be a good fit, he reaches out for résumés and screens potential team members with two rounds of interviews. This strategy has worked wonders for Jonville’s team retention. “Our average agent spends eight years on the team,” he says.
Involve your team.
Dow Realty Group founder Adam Dow has previously taken on hiring new talent as a solo project, and the results weren’t as expected. “I have done hires without incorporating our director of operations and our team in the interview process and that has not worked out well,” he says. Because of his previous experience, Dow stresses the importance of having his team involved in the hiring process, so everyone is able to gauge how a prospective new colleague is both professionally and personally. “We want to have a good culture on our team, so it’s a huge thing for us to hire people that are good fits for how we operate, how we act, and the standards that we keep up,” he says.
Hire for experience.
In addition to involving his team, Dow is very intentional about the criteria for his hires. In assessing candidates, he looks at experience in real estate, as well as local expertise. “We’re always looking for people that are ingrained in the community,” he shares. If an agent has one but not the other, Dow will move forward. In one particular case, Dow remembers an agent who clearly had the drive to succeed, but was from a different area than the one her job would require expertise in. Even so, he went through with the hire and now she is producing at a high level. “You have to decide whether you believe it is someone who could be successful in that area,” he says. “You want to make sure that they have the capability of breaking into that community to be able to pull the team in.”
Let the candidate’s actions and references speak for themself.
Number one Dallas agent and Van Poole Properties Group founder Barbara Van Poole is a fan of the old saying ‘actions speak louder than words.’ When hiring new agents, she requires that they speak with multiple members of the team during the interview process. In order to make it happen, Van Poole provides the candidate with the necessary team member contact information and leaves it up to them to follow up. The way they handle the follow-up, she believes, is the same way they would handle a client interaction.
When checking references, Van Poole will ask the reference if there is an additional person she could contact with questions about the candidate. And, when speaking with them, instead of asking for a candidate’s weakness, she will say: “How can we best help this candidate with their personal and professional goals?”
Take your time with hiring.
As your business grows, Dow advises taking it slow and methodically when it comes to hiring new leverage. When his expansion business began taking off, he remembers: “I didn’t have my hub or my systems in place when I started to hire people. I was running a creative business versus a systems-based one, and I went out and hired too many people.” Before going deep on hiring, make sure that your hub is solid, and check on the people currently serving you. Nowadays, Dow would rather have one strong agent that is doing a fantastic job than two that are just OK. “I don’t want to hire somebody that is going to dilute somebody else on the team,” he says. “That is a mistake I’ve made.”
Give your clients confidence.
Your clients should be able to have just as much confidence in your team members as you do. Van Poole says, “We start everyone on our team on the sales side. Everyone who comes in is a market specialist first. To us, it is important that they are trained to work with clients in the way that we work with clients.” This offers each agent face-to-face time with clients to help further these relationships. In addition, everyone on her team has a specialist or manager role – an intentional title choice that helps put client minds at ease.
Tap into resources.
At the end of the day, when creating your best hiring practices, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Many resources (including Keller Williams’ own Connect Leverage Series) as well as top-performing leader strategies are available online, allowing you to leverage the models and systems that have created myriad successful teams and unlock new possibilities for your own.Explore the Leverage Series