Einstein, discussing human behavior, said it is easier to denature an atom than a person.
When denaturing a person as a prospective new employee, the bottom line is that good hiring decisions lead to good results; bad hiring decisions lead to poor performance. Since the importance of hiring candidates who “fit” the culture of an organization and come from the strongest work and academic backgrounds cannot be minimized, we implemented a very thorough and structured process.
The hiring decision at Eastern Consolidated is shared, as candidates meet with several of our brokers and members of management. During the process we stress the behavioral expectations and performance goals we have for our brokers and discuss the factors that lead to success. The uniqueness of our system requires that we interview many but hire few, maintaining our culture and the quality of our brokers.
Here are some of the traits we find in our top brokers and seek in our new hires.
1) Eastern brokers are independent and entrepreneurial. While dynamic teams allow our new brokers to learn from many different brokers, the reality is that Eastern brokers are working for themselves. This is important because being part of a hierarchical team limits upside as one needs to wait for a defection to rise up in the ranks. At Eastern, every one of our brokers starts with the opportunity to be a top performer, and this has led to a remarkable degree of success. This independence in a commission-oriented position leads to an unparalleled level of drive, innovation and focus.
2) The best brokers are students of the game. They are on a never-ending quest to learn, grow and develop both their knowledge and skills. They quickly know the players, trends and deals that define New York City real estate. They find information by digging and conducting research and analysis in creative ways. I am often amazed by how, with almost encyclopedic knowledge, they understand markets and valuations and can compete with anyone regardless of experience.
3) That great brokers possess ample amounts of self-confidence is an aphorism. New brokers must learn to check their egos at the door as they learn the business and build relationships both internally and externally. They need to pay attention to the fundamental basics, such as developing lists and cold calling. But it is precisely these activities that teach them the right way of conducting business. Coupled with this they learn the deal side of the business, including negotiating, from a number of senior brokers on active deals.
4) Brokers must covet collaboration and teamwork. Eastern employs an industry-leading “dynamic team” model that creates deal teams best suited to work on opportunities. This means new brokers will be working on multiple deals with different senior brokers, steepening the learning curve and increasing income potential. Our brokers must be flexible, learn and adapt quickly and enjoy others.
5) Brokers must have a positive response to adversity. Yes, brokers need to be optimistic, but this runs deeper. Managing constant rejection is difficult. The best brokers meet rejection with equanimity, not letting it impact their behavior. They have long memories for positives and amnesia for negatives.
Eastern has all the tools to effectively train new brokers: a great platform, people, expertise and training. In the end, though, our effectiveness is tied directly to the quality of our people and these are the traits we look for!
Mark Schnurman, Director of Sales and Training at Eastern Consolidated, is a veteran sales manager and coach with diverse sales management, training, recruiting, strategy and coaching experience in real estate and financial services.