This is the fourth article in our new series covering broker recruitment strategies. This article explores how a broker solicits potential hires using direct mail recruitment.

The first article covers the creation and maintenance of a broker’s recruiting plan and goals, the second article covers broker solicitation techniques which vary depending upon the type of hire required, and the third article covers the broker’s interview process.

Direct mail benefits

After setting a recruiting goal, a plan of action, and establishing minimum standards, an employing broker is ready to solicit new hires.

The recruiting goal allows you as the broker to identify:

  • how many agents you want to hire;
  • what qualities you are looking for in an agent;
  • how much time you are willing to commit to training new agents; and
  • who you are going to solicit.

Direct mail is often used as part of a broker’s direct marketing campaign. Direct marketing is a means of bulk advertising sent to owners and tenants within a FARMing community. It is a mass approach to reaching multiples of people.

A broker uses direct mail marketing to reach potential clients. However, they may also use direct mail in their recruiting process to reach potential recruits. The best types of hires to approach using direct mail are newly licensed agents and inactive licensees.

Direct mail is tangible and persistent. It has staying power and lasts much longer than an email which is more ephemeral. A letter may sit on a recipient’s desk or counter for days or weeks, rather than an email, which is out of sight, out of mind.

In addition to having a longer-lasting impact, physical mail also elicits stronger emotional responses than information received through email. Physical advertisements produce stronger memories compared to digital ads, while also increasing the recipient’s desirability for the product or service and their perceived valuation of the product or service, according to a 2019 research study from Temple University and the U.S. Postal Service.

Your cost for producing direct mail will depend on:

  • the type of materials you send out;
  • volume; and
  • postage rates.

It’s good practice to track your direct mail efforts. This includes:

  • how much you’re spending on materials and postage;
  • who you are mailing to; and
  • who responds to your solicitations.

Related article:

All about direct mail marketing

Steps for direct mailing recruits

To begin recruiting through direct mail, a broker needs to have access to:

  • local agents and broker-associates they may hire;
  • the licensee’s physical mailing address; and
  • a recruiting template for crafting introductory letters.

Brokers with 10 or more employed licensees are eligible to join firsttuesday’s CalPaces program. CalPaces provides brokers with all the above information so they may easily recruit new talent.

Using the Recruit Local Licensees feature found on your broker homepage, you may search by city, ZIP code or region for local agents and broker-associates to hire. You can also adjust the parameters of this search to find newly licensed sales agents and broker-associates, including those licensed for:

  • one year;
  • 9 months;
  • 6 months; and
  • 3 months.

You will receive a list of licensees in your desired area which includes their name, DRE license number, expiration date of their license and their physical mailing address.

Once you have potential recruits to contact, use the new agent recruiting letter provided with your CalPaces membership as a recruiting template for direct mailing newly licensed agents.

Or use a FARM letter template for recruiting new agents to your brokerage. You just need to enter your company name and address, the recipient’s name and address, a few positive qualities about your company you wish to highlight and your contact details.

FARM letter templates are also available for recruiting experienced agents.

Another CalPaces feature includes a Print Labels option. The Print Labels button creates a separate blank document containing the names and addresses of the potential recruits of your choice so you may easily print labels to place on the envelopes containing your recruiting letter. This saves significant time and effort which would otherwise be expended when doing this manually.

The Download List button is also available for you to download the list you received within your search parameters as a spreadsheet for record-keeping purposes or ease of access.

When your mail hits the streets, be prepared to send recruits who return your communications the Agent Interview Sheet. [See RPI Form 500]

The Agent Interview Sheet gathers fundamental preliminary information about potential recruits, asking them to provide information on their background, education and real estate-related activities to help you determine whether a personal interview is merited. [See RPI Form 500]

Related article:

Form-of-the-Week: Agent Interview Sheet and Sales Agent and Broker-Associate Employment Agreements — Forms 500, 505 and 506

Join CalPaces today

CalPaces is a Broker Appreciation Program offered by firsttuesday for brokers with 10 or more licensed employees. The goal of CalPaces is to encourage high levels of agent education and awareness.

Broker members with CalPaces pay nothing for the service. No sign-up fees, no annual fees — an absolutely free service with multiple reasons to join!

In addition to the Recruit Local Licensees feature, updated monthly, broker members also enjoy the following benefits:

  • a 30% discount for the broker’s agents;
  • a 15% monthly refund on all the broker’s agent sign-ups, and a 15% instant discount for their agents; or
  • a 30% monthly refund for the broker.

Choose one of three options, and you’ll receive a personalized CalPaces source code. Enter this source code whenever you or one of your agents places an order for firsttuesday courses to activate the discount or refund. That’s it!

CalPaces broker members also receive monthly reports detailing the agents who enrolled under their personalized source code, the course they enrolled in and the price they paid. Here, you can easily keep track of your agents’ progress.

In your monthly reports, you’ll also receive notices for agents who are coming up for license renewal within the next six months. Use this list to discuss with your agents the California-specific firsttuesday courses they will enroll in.

Related article:

The value in having a list of local agents

Recruitment alternatives fall short

Some alternatives for recruiting other than using CalPaces include:

  • cold calling potential recruits;
  • sending cold emails;
  • using coaching services which provide business plans for brokers; and
  • waiting for recruits to contact you (i.e., doing nothing).

Cold calling is the solicitation of another who has no prior interaction with the caller. Cold calling produces one appointment for every 330 calls made, or a 330:1 call-to-appointment ratio, according to a Keller Center research report.

Sending cold emails is another method of recruiting. Like its telemarketing counterpart, this alternative also has a low success rate. Remember, print media and ads have a much longer shelf life and stay in a recipient’s memory for longer than information received digitally, such as through email.

Enlisting the help of a coaching service is another method for generating business for a broker. The broker’s coach addresses the broker’s business operations and development to keep the broker financially solvent. Some of these programs have trainers who are not licensed themselves and have no real experience with real estate sales (i.e., charlatans), and they will cost brokers up to and above $300 per month, or $3,600 per year, while providing no real tools or methods for recruiting other than theoretical knowledge.

Finally, the broker may elect to do nothing substantial to recruit new agents and broker-associates, but simply wait for new talent to show up at their door. Without planning to actively recruit new and active licensees as well as future licensees, a broker will not generate new business — and risks being driven out of the real estate profession.

Don’t wait for talented licensees to contact you. Be proactive! Enroll in CalPaces and begin recruiting — and saving — today!

Call 951.781.7300 or visit

Related Video: Referral Fees and Business Development

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