The Millennial Wheel: Recruiting – and Retaining – Tomorrow’s Agent

By Suzanne DeVita

At just above 30 percent, millennials now make up the largest segment of buyers. Only 2 percent of REALTORS® are under the age of 30. How can the industry reconcile such a discrepancy?

As attendees of RISMedia’s recent Broker Best Practices Webinar learned, the solution is a spoke-hub recruitment and retention strategy, centered on—what else?—all things millennial.

“My study groups have shown that millennials would rather work with people close to their own age,” says Vince Leisey, president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate, in the DocuSign-sponsored webinar, “Bringing on the Best: Finding, Hiring and Keeping Your Next Superstars.” “If they’re truly going to be the generation with the greatest buying power…we need to understand how to communicate with them, how to relate to them, and how to attract them to our business.”

One of the key spokes in the wheel? A team-oriented environment.

“Most top-producing agents, especially millennials, want to be surrounded with other top-producing agents they can mastermind with,” says Rick Geha, leader of The Rick Geha Team with Golden State Realty & Leasing, and a former recruiter with Century 21 Real Estate and Keller Williams Realty. “If they can find those other top producers in their own office, they are more likely to stay.”

“They are the generation of collaboration, teams, doing things together—completely unlike the baby boomer generation, which was, ‘It’s me against the world…I don’t need anybody else’s help,’” says Leisey, whose three largest teams have leaders averaging 30 years old.

Leisey calls upon a numerical system, called the ‘1-3-6’ process, to teach new recruits how to set goals and manage their time. The first step, the ‘1,’ requires agents to ask themselves, “What is my one objective?” In the second step, the ‘3,’ agents must ask themselves, “What are the three action steps I need to do every day to achieve that objective?” In the third step, the ‘6,’ agents map out the six activities they need to either stop doing, do less of, or delegate to accomplish their goal.

“Our belief is that we need to re-recruit the agents that we have first,” Leisey says, “and that if we do a great job of taking $6 million dollar-producers and making them $7 million dollar-producers…everybody in the marketplace takes notice of that. It becomes real easy to recruit.”

The most valuable takeaway from the webinar? Successfully executing these strategies begins and ends with culture, agree Geha and Leisey.

“If you have incredible culture…you’ll have no problem recruiting new agents, because they’re going to be influenced by you, your disposition and your confidence level,” Geha says.

“Culture is No. 1 in an organization,” says Leisey. “Let’s work with purpose, but let’s also give [agents] an environment where they can take a break, have some fun and relax.”

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s Online Associate Editor: sdevita@rismedia.com.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

Millennial, Millennial, Schlemennial…Why Should We Care About Marketing to Millennials?

Have you noticed that it is getting harder and harder to get the attention of anyone online?  The younger the user that more difficult it seems to draw focus.  The latest and largest generation, known as Millennials, require a shift in our efforts to attract customers.

Research has found that Millennials are bombarded with more than 5,000 marketing messages a day. They have learned how to tune out anything that doesn’t immediately resonate with them.  We have to work harder to inspire action.

In some ways, content marketing is the only marketing left. Traditional push marketing no longer works with this generation. You cannot solve your problems through buying advertising space, particularly digitally.  The good news is that content marketing, done right, can be the path to ad-loathing Millennials’ hearts.

Content marketing in its current form allows brands more room for subtlety; to get noticed by helping and inspiring people before selling to them; to build trust and earn ultimate referral to friends and family that eventually gets you customers. At the core of the principles behind content marketing lies the conviction that if potential buyers are presented with interesting and relevant information, they will ultimately become customers.

Content marketing is a process of creating and distributing non-commercial information that is valuable to customers. It promotes information and ideas, not products or services directly. Content marketing isn’t advertorial and should never be self-serving.

Millennials are highly sensitive to people and businesses that are not seeking a win-win situation, so if the brands’ messages don’t resonate with a young person’s life, they are seen as ineffective self-promoters and are immediately ignored.

Marketing WITH Millennials (not TO them)

Millennials, the largest and most connected generation in western history, are those born between 1980-2000. New technologies have shaped this generation socially, politically and culturally, so that their identities cannot be separated from the advent of the digital age.

Millenial 02

The non-hierarchical, interactive and knowledge-led nature of the internet, which allows debates to spark and conversations to evolve organically, has enabled this generation to take control of their consumption like no generation before them.

Gen Y doesn’t need brands to overtly promote products as they have in the past, because everything we want to know about any subject is at our fingertips. Buying decisions are less influenced by repeated exposure to the same message. Instead, they are built on conversations and information – in other words, they are built on content.

Brands should of course, bear in mind that not all Millennials are the same, and they will not all respond to the same content or messages. If you are a marketer looking to engage young people, target consumers by life stage, not age. A 34 year old Millennial is likely more career and family oriented than a 16 year old in school, for example.

There is a misleading stereotype that Millennials are just a bunch of hipsters who take selfies and share content like crazy. In reality, the average person will not analyse content or brands that much at all. People are not all sitting by their smartphones desperately waiting to pick up messages coming from brands, they are sitting there to pick up messages coming from friends, family or people they look up to. People’s lives don’t revolve around brand content because they have better things to do.

There is a strong argument that social media is over-rated for brands, because ultimately on social media people follow people not brands. If you look at the top 100 most followed Canadian accounts on Twitter, you’ll see the first 24 are people (personalities, celebrities, musicians). The most popular Canadian Justin Bieber alone has 27 times more Twitter fans than the top 10 Canadian brands combined.

The legendary copywriter Dave Trott rightly said that in order to persuade somebody to do something, you need to get their attention first. You need to have an impact upon them. They need to see, stop and think before they can be persuaded to take action.

Getting it right

What is the best way to have an impact on Millennials? The Youth Trends Report 2015, which focuses on the latest social, cultural and digital trends amongst 16-24 year olds in the UK, found that short, concise, visual and collaborative content is where the focus should be when it comes to online campaigns.

Don’t take up too much of busy consumers’ time, they’d rather spend it with friends and family – instead offer them short, insightful campaigns and services that enhance their hectic lifestyles.

Millenials interact with brands if and when they want to.  Get the conversations right and your brand will reap the rewards.