A sizeable portion of the recruiting business has gone online, and a lot of small and medium-sized businesses are using them. We hear a lot of ads for them—promising job hunters an efficient way to distribute their resumes; promising business managers an efficient way to attract new talent.
Busy town business managers are assured they’ll snag quality candidates to fill their open positions by simply filling out an online form describing their job vacancies. Some even promise to deliver the resumes of dozens of candidates almost overnight (if not actually overnight!) using their online job-hunting database systems. What is left unsaid is what personnel professionals know to be the most important next step in the recruiting process: the interview.
If you are wondering what this has to do with you and town real estate, the answer is just about everything! If you are selling your home or condo (and are among the nearly 90% of people who team up with a real estate agent to help get it done), your choice of agents makes you a personnel manager. You are the CEO of your own home selling enterprise; you’re the boss. And all experienced business owners will verify that just collecting resumes and leafing through them is not good enough. Not when you’re looking for top talent.
It takes some winnowing; some qualifying; the willingness to make judgement calls. There are books written about effective approaches to interviewing, but you don’t have to have a business or psychology degree to select a local real estate agent you can have confidence in. And you don’t have to devote days to the process, either. There are a couple of pointers about the interview, and a shortcut to the whole process:
First, once you have picked out the names of a few area real estate agents whose qualifications seem to fit the bill, give them a call. Be clear and honest about where you are in the process, and let them know you are pre-interviewing. You can do this over the phone. Let them present their qualifications briefly—and then get down to business.
- Ask them for the names and phone numbers of two former clients and two current clients.
- Then call the clients (be sure to thank them for their time at the end of the calls).
You’ll find out as much (probably more) this way than you would through hours-long conversations with the real estate agents themselves. By the time you have their clients’ feedback on how well they provide marketing materials, handle buyers, and stay in touch, you’ll be a local expert on our town’s real estate agents.
Once you determine which ones have the ‘A’ ratings, it will be time to sit down and have a couple of in-depth interviews—the kind that tell you how well you mesh on the extremely important personal level. By then, you’ll have the satisfaction of having done a most professional job of selecting your agent who (I hope) is me!