Case Study: BHHS Fox & Roach Is Recruiting Top Talent
The competitive landscape for attracting and securing great agents has escalated to unprecedented levels over the past few years. Susan Patt, Vice President & Director/Corporate Initiatives for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, Realtors® is always researching and testing new technology that will benefit the firm’s managers as they recruit top talent. Susan realized that the first step is to ensure BHHS Fox and Roach is easily found in online searches and then to ensure their message and reputation is clear and positive.
Who should build the reputation of a real estate firm?
Initially, Susan began looking for a survey or review tool to help managers effectively convey the many reasons top-producing BHHS Fox & Roach agents love the firm.
But she quickly realized that recruiting agents is not unlike recruiting new buyer and seller clients — the best testament is not from the source of the services, but from who they serve. In other words, she wanted a public-facing product that would allow agents to review the firm and their broker, rather than an internal survey tool.
“This would be a way to aim our main message straight to recruit prospects from the agents themselves. It would allow the manager to step back and let agents speak with each other, to show what our culture is really like,” said Susan.
A simple integration, and its wide-ranging effects
Together with the BHHS Fox & Roach management team, Susan facilitated a partnership with Reach150, an automated testimonial and referral management system from SmartZip that collects and publishes reviews and testimonials.
Participating brokers send automated requests to agents, who can write in their transparent views of the company, its management, culture and more. The reviews are approved by the broker, then displayed on search engine-optimized pages that can be shared with top recruits — or found organically as they search for more information about the company.
“What we liked was that it provided an immediate way for our agents to talk about how much they like our sales offices, sales leaders, the environment, the culture — and to share that out to recruit prospects,” said Susan.
A less invasive way to facilitate recruiting
Managers sometimes get a bad reputation for being too persistent, and BHHS Fox & Roach sales leaders want to be sure that they’re steering clear of that characterization even as they recruit top talent.
Reach150 has been instrumental in facilitating non-invasive conversation starters with agents who may not be actively seeking a new firm.
Joy L. Zwicker, a Vice President / Sales Leader for BHHS Fox & Roach, who includes the Reach150 link in her email signature and in emails to recruit agents, says, “The testimonial page is a great conversation starter. I believe it’s quite valuable, as agents are very resistant to speaking with any manager. It is another tool that opens up the conversation.”
Of course, it’s not just recruits that want a more organic experience. Reach150 also helps BHHS Fox & Roach’s managers promote their best-in-class culture and reputation in a natural way that fit their own personalities.
Says Susan, “Some managers are more comfortable sharing super-positive things, like our dominant market share and some aren’t. We’re almost too humble at times. Reach150 lets our agents speak on our behalf about what the company is doing really well.”
In recruiting, agents are the best proof points
When agents can review their firm openly, and the testimonials are made public, the sales managers reap the benefits during the recruiting process.
As Joy explains, “We need multiple communication venues to reach out to prospects and Reach150 provides a way for agents to speak to agents without the manager getting in the middle of the initial communication stream.”
Joy and Vice President / Sales Leader Gail E. Renulfi have recently reported the successful hire of two new agents, who joined BHHS Fox & Roach after reading the reviews on their Reach150 testimonial pages.
Says Gail, “One of our agents recommended the firm to a friend, Jackson, who looked me up online and ended up visiting my Reach150 page. He contacted me via the site and also called me. I successfully recruited him from there. Jackson is currently in new agent training and has set a goal to be Rookie of the Year! I have no doubt that the positive reviews he saw on Reach150 helped me to recruit him.”
A continued partnership, centered on automation and excellence
The integration of Reach150 represents a deepened partnership between SmartZip and BHHS Fox & Roach. The firm also leverages SmartZip’s Pre-Mover Scores, which help identify predicted sellers within an agent’s sphere of influence. The company’s agents can access and leverage Pre-Mover Scores from within the ACE (Agent Center for Excellence) Platform, launched earlier this year. ACE provide agents best-in-class tools for increasing new, repeat and referral business.
Leveraging tech to build stronger relationships
At BHHS Fox & Roach, the culture is hyper-focused on people. They strongly believe that real estate is, was and always will be a relationship business. This attitude starts at the top and trickles down through every level and every team internally, through partnerships and affiliates and finally, with their clients.
The role of technology, then, isn’t to replace the agents or managers, but to help free them up to do what they do best — advocate for those who will benefit from their services.
For Gail Renulfi, whose recruiting efforts are bolstered everyday by Reach150, the benefits of the product are clear.
“It is very easy to use and it works without me doing anything but asking for a testimonial. My days are very busy and if I had to spend a lot of time with the system, I most likely would not. So the simplicity and ‘Set it and forget it’ feature is perfect.”
For Susan Patt who helps identify technology solutions for all BHHS Fox & Roach managers, Reach150 solves a critical pain point as the firm looks to grow even further.
“Recruiting is always the top goal for sales leaders. Looking at ways we can help them is a critical function — and Reach150 helps us, help them.”
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