This article examines the various uses of the Local Licensee List, one of the CalPaces benefits offered by first tuesday to enrolled brokerages with 16 or more agents.
There is value in knowing who your local agents are, and first tuesday is giving this knowledge away for free.
The California Department of Real Estate (DRE) has a list of all active and inactive licensees in the state. This list is available to the public, for a fee. Or, eligible brokers may access this list for free as members of first tuesday’s CalPaces program.
CalPaces is a free program available to brokers with 16 or more agents on their license. Certain brokers in the CalPaces program may offer their licensees discounted continuing education and licensing courses, as well as a number of additional benefits, including marketing materials and a First-time Homebuyer Guide and Seller’s Guide.
One benefit CalPaces brokers should not overlook is the Local Licensees List.
The list may be sorted by:
- active and/or inactive agents;
- brokers or sales agents;
- newly licensed sales agents or all sales agents; and
- city, ZIP code or California region.
The results produce a honed list of agents in the area chosen, giving the searcher information made public by the DRE, including each licensee’s:
- license number;
- license expiration date; and
- mailing address.
Thus, a broker can use this list to send direct mail marketing to other agents.
Use 1: Recruiting agents
The most common use of this tool is for brokers seeking to grow their brokerage to recruit new sales agents.
Searching for agents in their city who have been licensed within, say, the last three months, will produce a list of new sales agents the broker may want to consider bringing on. The broker may then mail out materials to these new, local sales agents, telling them how they will help them move forward in their new career and outlining any training programs available in the office. The broker may direct them how to contact the broker if interested in a formal conversation and interview.
When using this list to reach out to new sales agents as potential members of a brokerage, some reasonable caution is warranted, as the list provides only very basic information. To ensure they bring on board only good quality new agents, brokers need to interview prospective agents first to make sure they are a good fit for the brokerage. [See RPI Form 500]
The new agent needs to be able to accept supervision, as the broker’s license will be on the line for any legal violations the new agent may commit. Further, the broker needs to consider how much time they and their current agents have to commit to train and supervise these new agents.
Finally, the broker needs to set realistic expectations with the agent upfront. The new agent needs to accept the fee split in writing, as well as understand the reality that they may not receive a paycheck for weeks or months while they are training and before they gain any clients. If the new agent is prepared to meet this challenge, they may be a good fit.
Use 2: Marketing and finding listings
This list may also be used to market listings to fellow agents.
Sure, any broker can (and definitely will) market their listings on the local multiple listing service (MLS). But there are times when direct mailings come in handy to make a listing stand out. For instance, consider a special property that may only appeal to a very specific type of homebuyer. This type of property will require extra marketing efforts to get the word out so that all local agents have it in mind when discussing homes with their buyer clients.
On the other end of the transaction, a buyer’s agent may be having a difficult time finding a home for their client in a tight, competitive market. Sending letters to nearby agents letting them know they have a ready and eager homebuyer for their sellers’ homes may mean the buyer gets first dibs on any new listings.
However, brokers and agents need to be careful not to abuse the list, avoiding sending out announcements for every new listing or buyer wish list. Someone who receives something with the same letterhead every week is going to throw it straight in the trash without opening it.
Therefore, carefully choose and target who receives correspondence off this list. Unlike email or internet ads, direct mail marketing to agents is not (yet) a flooded marketplace. As long as agents aren’t spammed with relentless letters, agents will continue to pay attention to each contact received.