Sales Management Tip #101: Hire Hard, Manage Easy

Posted: January 17, 2019 | Categories: Articles

Recruiting great people is the toughest part of homebuilding. Yet many builders continue to prioritize the urgent over the important.

Great sales teams are tough to come by. Ask most sales managers for one wish to make their life easier and chances are they will tell you “better quality sales professionals.” But follow-up the question with; “So what are you doing to improve the quality of your sales team?” and it’s likely you’ll hear things such as “more training” or “a better communications process.”  

Rymer’s Rules :: Top 3 Best Sales Recruiting Practices for Success

1.    Allocate 10% of Time to Recruiting
2.    Get Serious about “Best Place to Work”
3.    Be Proactive

Let’s dive deeper into Rymer’s Rules for Best Sales Recruiting Practices

At Rymer Strategies, our experience with over 100 home builders has shown that the biggest single impact to a great sales team is the emphasis on recruiting. So why do many well intended managers fall short in recruiting? It’s the adage of separating “important” vs. “urgent” issues. Many well intended, hard-working sales managers are reactive rather than proactive on recruitment and hiring. The result is often a mediocre group of sales agents.

Here’s a road map to the activities that will ensure your sales team is the envy in your market:

1.    Allocate 10% of Time to Recruiting –   If you’re saying this seems like a lot of time spent recruiting, ask yourself the following – how much more time would you have to spend on important areas of the business if your best sales professional today was my typical sales professional a year from now?
Part of the commitment to spending 10% of time on recruiting is making the time productive. Going to SMC events to look for sale professionals may occasionally be time well spent, but don’t confuse expanding personal social activities with the importance of time spent recruiting.

2.    Do Pro-Active vs. Reactive Hiring – Do you wait to interview new candidates until you have a sales opening? The best sales managers are constantly interviewing to uncover potential new team members. Do you tend to hire only those with whom you know? That’s a road map to mediocrity. Don’t limit yourself. Elite sales managers look both inside and outside the industry to supplement their teams. The process requires vigilance and discipline, but the returns far exceed the upfront costs. The following professions tend to result in the best talent pool:

  • Build a Relationship with Your Competitors’ Agents - The best managers use competitor shops as a reason to locate and bond with elite new home agents. Performing a CMA gives a manager a reason to visit the community and a format to see first-hand who are the best agents. It also gives the manager an opportunity to make a positive impression on your competitor’s top performers. Yes, a top performer may be happy today, but you always want to be the first phone call they make when they are ready to move.
  • Always Leave the Door Open for a High Performing Departing Agent – Even when things go bad with a top performing agent, the best managers always find a way to leave the door open for a second act. It’s easy to have sour grapes when a top performer leaves for more money or a perceived better opportunity. Don’t allow your ego to get in the way of improving your sales team. Always tell them you will keep the door open if they have a change of heart.
  • Consider Apartment Leasing Agents – Leasing agents are typically graded on a 50% sales conversion, are accustomed to working weekends and make a lot less than new home sales professionals.    
  • Target Educators – As we all know, teaching is not a high paying profession. Statistics show that a segment of teachers in years 3 – 6 of the professional careers begin looking for jobs outside of education that provide them with higher incomes. Late spring and early summer are the best time to recruit as many are available over the summer vacation.
  • Send Mass Inquires to Those Who Recently Passed the Real Estate Exam – Most states provide names and contact info on individual who recently passed the real estate exam. Recruiting from this pool often results in dealing with uneven level of skills. The initial interview process may include a group interview with an administrative person in your office to quickly eliminate non-qualified candidates. Having said that, when you find the diamond in the rough, it will prove to be worth the added effort.

3.    Develop a Strong Bench -  Are you proactive of reactive in searching for new sales professionals. Too often builder will wait until a vacancy exists to begin the recruitment process. This creates too problems – (1) You wait too long to terminate a sub-par sales agent because you don’t have someone ready to step in and (2) You find yourself short staffed when someone leaves. Both are fatal problems. From a business standpoint it is far better to have one too many qualified sales agents than one to few.

So, allocate time to manage your sales team based on what’s important rather than what’s urgent. For an audit of your sales hiring processes, please contact us at (404) 909-5799 or

Tags: John Rymer | New Homes Sales Management | Rymer Strategies
By John Rymer
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