This is the second article in our new series covering broker recruitment strategies. This article details the main types of hires available to a broker, provides techniques to solicit prospective talent and advises on how to alter the solicitation approach depending upon the type of hire.

The first article covers the creation and maintenance of a broker’s recruiting plan and goals.

Types of hires

As a broker, setting a recruiting goal enables you 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.

The types of hires available to brokers include:

  • pre-licensed prospects;
  • newly licensed agents;
  • experienced agents and broker-associates; and
  • inactive licensees.

The type of hire a broker chooses to pursue will have varying needs and skill levels. Some, such as prospective agents, will require more time for training than others, such as veteran agents and broker-associates.

Brokers who are recruiting are to determine which type of hire fits their recruiting plan best. If you decide to go with multiple types, prioritize them and create different strategies to attract each type.

Read on to learn how to identify and attract each of the four types of hires listed above.

Aspiring, unlicensed agents

New recruits don’t have to be licensed to be considered for employment in your office. Unlicensed individuals are often a productive part of your business model, particularly when these individuals are groomed and trained to later become licensed. They frequently take the form of unlicensed finders.

Finders are those with a desire to enter the real estate profession — aspiring agents — and do not need to be licensed by the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) so long as their conduct with members of the public remains limited to that of a finder. [See RPI e-book Real Estate Practice Chapter 20]

Finders are not controlled by DRE law and regulations — rather, finders are controlled by California law. Thus, finders are not real estate licensees. They are unlicensed agents-in-training.

As part of a strategy for generating business, an unlicensed finder on behalf of a broker or agent, may:

  • be recruited and immediately hired under a written contract of employment [See RPI Form 115];
  • begin work locating and introducing transaction participants who need real estate services to licensees at the brokerage office, functioning as a “runner” or “gopher” while bonding with the brokerage office as part of the team;
  • study and train to be licensed by enrolling in the three DRE-approved statutory pre-licensing courses needed to qualify for the salesperson exam while getting practical experience;
  • pass the state exam administered by the DRE; and
  • restructure their employment within the brokerage office on becoming a DRE licensed salesperson, taking on the more demanding fiduciary duties a licensee owes to clients.

A finder’s function is limited to soliciting, identifying and referring potential clients to brokers, agents or principals in exchange for a fee. Essentially, finders provide leads about individuals who may become participants in real estate transactions.

Related Video: Finding and Introducing Participants

Click here for more information on this topic.

Attracting pre-licensed agents

When soliciting unlicensed recruits to become your sales agents, you will need to:

  • address your role in their DRE educational needs for licensing;
  • plan for a lag time between recruitment and eventual employment as a licensed agent; and
  • be prepared to provide much initial training and guidance since your new hires lack experience and understanding about client relationships and real estate transactions.

To recruit pre-license prospects:

  • create an employment section on your company’s website offering training for new licensees;
  • rent a booth at a local job fair;
  • post flyers at your local community adult schools and community colleges; and
  • place ads on internet job boards.

For the pre-license type of hire, the formula is deceptively simple:

  • hire;
  • work;
  • study;
  • license; and
  • promote.

Related page:


Newly licensed agents

The next type of hire to consider, newly licensed agents, are freshly licensed with the DRE, but not yet affiliated with an employing broker.

A list of recently licensed agents is available through the DRE, though it is not organized according to a specific city or ZIP code. Finding agents who are in your area will take a considerable amount of time with this tool alone.

However, as a CalPaces member, you may easily download a free list according to your preferred city or ZIP code from the Recruit Local Licensees link on your CalPaces Broker Affiliate page. You may also choose between multiple parameters of newly licensed agents, such as those who have been licensed for 3 months, 6 months, 9 months or one year — narrowing your target on the prospects which fit best with your model.

The most efficient approach to take when soliciting a newly licensed agent is to mail a letter introducing yourself and your company. Emphasize how you will help your prospects move forward with their real estate careers and boast about the tools you and your brokerage offer to help them achieve their goals. Every office is different, and you need to speak to what makes yours desirable.

To help you craft a personalized letter introducing yourself and encouraging new licensees to join your office, consider using a customizable FARM template for new agents. Simply fill out the template and send it to contacts directly or use it more generally in your marketing campaign to draw attention to the fact that you are actively hiring.

When you are a CalPaces member, you are also given access to a handy new agent recruiting letter. You will find this letter at the bottom of the Recruit Local Licensees page. Introduce yourself to agents you find through your local licensee search who meet your professional needs.

Entering the information is quick and easy, as the recipient’s name and address will be provided in your licensee search. The only other information you need to enter is your name, your company’s name, your phone number and your email.

Recruiting just got a lot easier for you savvy brokers!

Finally, you may also provide training information for new agents on your company website. Newly licensed agents are typically interested in training opportunities and will likely inquire into what sort of support and training will be available to them. Letting them know upfront will answer some of their basic questions and place you higher on their radar. You are not only their employing broker, you are their mentor.

Related article:

Brokerage Reminder: Recruit and retain for long term success

Experienced agents

Attracting active, experienced agents and broker-associates to your brokerage is all about leveraging what makes you unique and competitive as an employer.

Active agents and broker-associates have no incentive to join your team unless your benefits outweigh their current situation.

When recruiting experienced agents, focus on the distinct benefits you and your office have to offer that will improve the agent’s income opportunities and advance their career. Agents in this category will be hungry to level up to a more advantageous opportunity for them in terms of income, benefits and their overall career trajectory.

These agents and broker-associates won’t need as much training as an unlicensed finder or newly licensed agent, thus will require less of your time upfront. The trade-off, however, is that you will have to make a convincing case selling the benefits you offer in exchange for their expertise — and offer them more than the previously discussed types.

Since you will have to boast the benefits you offer to this group more than any of the others, it’s paramount that you are already familiar with what sets you apart from the rest of the competition. Determining these factors in advance when you are setting up your recruiting plan will make the process easier when you are ready to solicit these experienced agents. [See RPI e-book Office Management and Supervision Chapter 2]

Agents and broker-associates in this category are already affiliated with another broker. Although soliciting another broker’s agents is fair game, it’s important to be tactful in your approach. Most are content where they are, and even when they are not, they may not admit their discontent. Personal contact is best for these recruits.

To recruit experienced agents:

  • call them directly and discuss the benefits of joining your team;
  • be respectful to them and their companies; and
  • be honest about what you offer.

Related FARM letter:

FARM: Join the team (active agents)

Inactive licensees

Finally, inactive licensees may take the form of inactive sales agents or independent brokers. This type of hire is not currently employed by a broker but may be interested in rejoining their former trade.

When you are recruiting inactive licensees, focus on why it is the optimal time to get involved in real estate transactions again, and how they can build a profitable career in today’s market. Keeping your finger on the pulse of the economy and real estate market in your area will help you formulate your case to these prospects.

Visit the firsttuesday Journal for reports on your local real estate market and real estate trends.

A few useful tools include:

When soliciting inactive licensees, you will want to point out the benefits of working for you and what you offer that sets you apart from other brokerage options and those that were previously available. When you are putting together your recruiting goals and recruiting plans, this is where you will want to determine what distinguishes you from other employing brokers and which benefits to highlight to your candidates for hire.

Related article:

Brokerage Reminder: Recruiting agents – tools and techniques

With CalPaces, you will be able to easily find inactive licensees using the Recruit Local Licensees feature available on your homepage. Here, you may select to search for Inactive licensees in your desired area — city or ZIP code.

When you have a list of licensees to contact, send them an introductory letter explaining what they will achieve from working for you. Recruiting Letter templates are available for your use as well.

The list is updated monthly, so remember to check back as needed!

Not a CalPaces member? Brokers with 10 or more employees are eligible to join. Broker members in CalPaces pay nothing for the service.

Join today by calling 951.781.7300 and asking to speak to a CalPaces representative or by visiting to leave your contact information.

Want to learn more about soliciting particular types of hires? Click an image below to download the RPI books cited in this article.