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  Prudential Teleclass Notes
Brad Pearson
Prudential California


Overnight Productivity
Carol Johnson
Brad Pearson
Carol Johnson Brad Pearson was The Recruiting Network's "Recruiter of the Year" in 2000.  We instantly fell in love with him upon first meeting him.  He had been in management for 10 minutes with Prudential's Rich Cosner when he was introduced to me.  Sitting around the pool in Palm Springs, a resort area, Brad just awed us with his ideas.  During the first year, he had 16 sales people.  The following year he had 65 agents.  Brad, please tell us how you got started in the business?
Brad Pearson Thanks for such a warm welcome.  I really can't tell people what to do, but I'm happy to share my experiences with them in hopes that I may be able to help.  I was in the United States Air Force for four years.  After I got out, I tried to apply for a job as a car salesman; however, I couldn't get hired.  I was told that I was too young and immature, which was probably right.  Immediately, I started listing houses, and I survived seven years as an agent.  At 22 years old, I was the riches person among my friends.  Then I met Rich Cosner of Prudential.  He offered me a management position overseeing 38 agents.  At the first sales meeting, only 15 or 16 sales people actually showed up.  So there I was: a brand new manager with no experience, and the sales team was not so happy to see me.  The first month was really bad; the formal manager was still at the company.  He was very well liked but had returned to the position of an agent. 
Carol Johnson How did you win them over?
Brad Pearson I gave them all of my secrets -- how I became so successful so fast.  I also showed them how to use daily face-to-face contact to recruit effectively.  The team appreciated this.  My first three days on the job sent me to Carol's conference in Palm Springs. I got a chance to meet a lot of the top honchos, and it was a great experience.
Carol Johnson

It was great that you could interact with some of the top honchos.  I really believe that everyone has something to contribute to the art of recruiting.  How did you win over the agents?

Brad Pearson I proved that I was staying with the organization, and that I was competing with them.  I gave them all my letters.  In fact, my sales meetings turned into training seminars.  I knew that I could win them over one day. 
Carol Johnson Did the old manager support you?
Brad Pearson He was actually an old friend of mine but unfortunately, he couldn't support me very much.  But he's still with our firm, and he's one of our Top Two agents with six million in volume.  Our average is 180.
Carol Johnson Tell us the difference between the environment in the old office and the new office?
Brad Pearson Rich felt that a change was needed.  The old facilities were totally outdated.  The place did have its problems.  For instance, we had to go outside to get to the second floor.  We had air conditioning on and off -- a scary thought when you operate in the desert.  I literally stuck desks wherever I could.  The first week, I ordered 35 desks even though I didn't have 35 agents to fill them.  For me, I just needed more people.
Carol Johnson How many agents do you have now?
Brad Pearson I've lost count.  I know we're past the 155 mark.  I know we have 149 agents for certain, but we've hired lots of people in the last week.  We've also hired 20 to 30 in the last three months.  We have 60 to 65 sales and we're one third of the way through, so we're perched to hit 150 in sales.
Carol Johnson You've done all of this in three years.  Where do you find the people?
Brad Pearson When we first started out, we were ranked 32 in a market with 30 companies.   I found the people just by calling.  Being persistent is important.  I remember when I parked across the street from a Coldwell Banker office, and I picked off their agents one by one until that office had to close.  Sometimes it required me to pay splits to start the flow.  In the end, I got all of their agents before the office closed.  The goal was to get 200 agents and after that, 300 agents would be nice.  I use every avenue and tactic available.  I talk to title agents, sales people, and use them as sources.  Here's a tip you should know:  every company experiences trouble in the first quarter of the year.  That's when commission rates drop.
Carol Johnson So you should anticipate a change in Q1?
Brad Pearson That's when the new policies come out.  Change also comes at the end of the year as well, but keeping your eye on the changes in Q1 can definitely be beneficial.
Carol Johnson So how do you set appointments?
Brad Pearson The telephone is my greatest tool.  I also do a lot of mailings -- at least one per week.  I've slowed down somewhat on the mailings, because it takes so much time to do.   There's a set of canned letters, which come from Prudential, and I usually send out eight different types.  I just take the board roster, enter into our database, and then send out a mass mailing.  I do personalize the letters as well.  I sign all letters in blue ink, and I also include a personal note as well.  My administrative assistant usually hand writes the address to add an extra personal touch.
Carol Johnson Do you use a Number 10 envelope?
Brad Pearson We used to have bigger envelopes with no return address, but when we ran out, we switched to the Number 10 envelope.  We still put the letters on blue Prudential letterhead, but the personalization shows that I've actually written the letter.

What I really concentrate on is selling Rich Cosner's vision.  Not many other agents would do what I would do: leave a job making $134,000 to make $3,000 per month.  I believed in Rich Cosner. If you can get recruits to believe in the vision, then they will follow you.
Carol Johnson Have you seen a change in managers from the past versus the future?
Brad Pearson I've been at Prudential for three years, and actually not one of them is here anymore.  But I have never forgotten the people who started with me, and I try to take care of them.
Carol Johnson How often do you recruit?
Brad Pearson I recruit daily, and the number of appointments I book per day varies greatly.  Some days I might have three interviews, and on others I may not have any interviews.  My dialog is pretty basic.  I just introduce myself, ask if they are happy with their current company, and find out when they might like to meet.  Hearing the word "no" is common but it just makes you persistent in contact. I've even had prospects laugh and hang up on me, but it has never stopped me from calling back.

A great book everyone should read is Good to Great by Jim Collins.  In that book, Collins basically says that you can't motivate a person; they have to be self-motivated.

Questions & Answers

Question

What part does commission play in your recruiting practices?
Brad Pearson When I first started out, I didn't have negotiating skills, so the splits weren't very good.  Over time, I got better at it, and now commission matters more.  The last three years have been a period of evolution.  It's just about finding good, nice, honorable people.
Question What do you do when you are in a very small market, and there is no one to recruit?
Brad Pearson It's not for me to really say, but if were me, I'd get out of the smaller market and move into the larger one to take away some of the competition's agents.  Honestly, if I were in your market, I would have raided your office a long time ago.  It all depends on what your goal is.  You might just want to be comfortable and that's okay.  When you have an office as small as yours with seven or eight agents, then you are sitting in a very dangerous position.
Question To the question posed earlier, have you considered doing career seminars?  The answer to your problem might lie in the fact that you need to recruit people from outside of our industry.  For example, you can hold a career night at your office for people in the banking or insurance industries.  These might be people who are looking to take on a totally new career.
Brad Pearson That's a good point, because these days my experience in dealing with new licensees is not very extensive.
Carol Johnson Yes, you can use this opportunity to hold a seminar.  You don't have to book a hotel to do it; it can be in your office, but make your office look nice.  Bring out the nice plates and silverware and spend a little money and time decorating.
Question Also in response the question posed earlier: has anyone seen the article on Realtor.com called Top 30 Under 30?  It shows some outstanding young people who are going to be very successful some day.  You might find some tips on finding new recruits that way.
Carol Johnson I think it was mentioned that the largest competition for the person who had the question came from RE/MAX.  Jim Gilreath specializes in recruiting quality agents away from RE/MAX.  You can visit his website at www.recruitthebest.com for more tips.
Brad Pearson It seems like a lot of agents are having problems in finding potential recruits in smaller areas.  My last piece of advice would be to spend time looking for the best people you can find.  All of my recruits are not always top producers, but they work well on our team and that's important.  Also, attack your larger competitors and don't be afraid to raid them until they either have to pay agents a great deal to stay at their organization (and lose money), or the recruits come over to your side.  If you're able to get an agent to come over, then all of the agent's friends will likely come over as well.  The key is to really explain why you're better for them and make them believe in your vision.  If they believe in you, then they will follow.
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Carol Johnson is President of The Recruiting Network and Publisher of The Recruiting Pipeline web site, the real estate industry's leading source for strategic recruiting resources. She is the author of The Recruiting Revolution in Real Estate and a leading authority on recruiting systems, products and services.  Her monthly Teleclasses attract some of the most influential brokers and recruiters in the industry. Her coaching has increased individual manager�s recruited volume with astounding results.  For information on Carol Johnson's coaching and consulting programs call: 847-524-8487.PD