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has long been the magic talisman of the real estate industry. Mistaken though it might be, the idea that adding more bodies to the salesforce solves everything just won’t seem to go away. Until managers become fully committed to productivity, not body count, at least let’s find ways to add better people to the mix. Here are ten simple phrases that just might help.

Obviously, recruiting is the single most important thing a manager must do, considering they are supposed to be always doing it. Since real estate brokerage is perpetually growing, managers constantly struggle to add more agents to handle the business. Likewise, the endless supply of  great candidates pumped out of license schools merits more time attracting new people than managing current agents back at the office. But mostly, managers have more fun going to lunch every day, talking about their company in idyllic ways.

Ok – now that we’ve gotten that out our system – let’s get back to the task at hand.

If the industry won’t yet substitute daily performance for compulsive recruiting activity, let’s at least add a modicum of effectiveness to the incessant imperative. To do this, we’ve designed simple, short phrases managers can say during an interview. By dropping these statements  into the conversation, then watching the facial expressions of the agent, managers will know instantly if they have found the right person for the job. And they won’t even need to fire up PowerPoint!

Here are the ten key recruiting phrases to spice up any agent interview:

  1. It’s so exciting to meet a salesperson who is committed to making at least one sale a month!
  2. I look forward to having you lead one of our office meetings and sharing your expertise with the rest of the team!
  3. It’s refreshing to meet a salesperson who loves their company’s systems and tools.
  4. It’s funny, but all of our managers own pens that can’t sign overpriced listing contracts.
  5. Most of our clients really like it when unlicensed, non-selling assistants don’t do their open houses.
  6. Do you prefer we bill you or charge your credit card for every company lead you throw away?
  7. What a classic phone! Is it an original Graham Bell?
  8. I couldn’t find you on Facebook; do you use an alias?
  9. Can we stop by your new construction listing after lunch – you know, the one that was “too new for photo” in MLS?
  10. Is that a postcard in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Each of these phrases, carefully inserted into the conversation, is sure to move the recruiting conversation in the right direction. It’s important for managers to deliver their lines with a smile and aplomb. There’s no reason to turn the discussion into an interrogation of past performance or examination of sales techniques. Simple get to know each other and have a nice chat, tossing out a one or two of these phrases as the conversation permits. It’s likely you won’t need to use all ten, but you’ll know when to stop. And unlike an actual job interview, there’s no need to see a resume or references.

Either you’ll have found the perfect candidate, who picks up the luncheon check. Or you’ll know it’s time to call back the waiter, and change the agent’s order “to go.”