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   Prudential Teleclass Notes
 

Sadie Moranis
Prudential Sadie Moranis Realty
Terry Moranis
Prudential Sadie Moranis Realty
Frank Kirschner
Prudential Sadie Moranis Realty


Small Things Done Well... Make a Big Difference in Building a Team
Carol Johnson
Sadie Moranis
Terry Moranis
Frank Kirschner
Carol Johnson I would like Sadie, Terry and Frank to give us a brief overview on how they came into real estate and some highlights of their careers.
Sadie Moranis I started in 1964.  I felt that I wasn�t trained for anything in particular, and since I always enjoyed real estate, I thought I would try it.  I do believe that it is the best business in the world, and I really have a passion for it.  You can work as hard as you want to, and you can make as much or as little money as you desire.  It depends on you.  That is pretty unique; you really control your own destiny.
Carol Johnson How did you happen to start your own company?
Sadie Moranis I started working for a broker who worked in an area where I lived.  My son was 12, and Terry was 9.  I wanted to be close to home so I could keep an eye on the children.  I worked for him for 13 years.  He was the top broker in his company, perhaps the city.  I decided that I wanted to go out on my own.  I was out on a deal with one of the big realtors in town, and jokingly he said to me, �Sadie, why don�t you buy my company?�  I replied, �That�s a good idea.  How much do you want?�  After he told me how much I said, �That is too much, I will give you X number of dollars.�  He said, �I�ll take it.�
Carol Johnson Terry, how did you join your mom?
Terry Moranis I was teaching school and losing my job due to seniority.  I had my real estate license, so I went to work and never looked back.
Carol Johnson Frank, how were you recruited?
Frank Kirschner I started in the early 1980�s as a salesperson.  I became a company owner after about five years and then sold a successful company in 1990.  I had a five-year non-compete with the new purchaser, so I switched hats and got on the corporate side of the desk.  That is how I went to work for Prudential California Realty.
Carol Johnson What did you do in franchises, Frank?
Frank Kirschner I worked as a Regional Director for ERA in New York.  I left the company to join Prudential and worked out of California as the Director of Operations in Canada before the Countrywide and Sussex merger.
Carol Johnson Your backgrounds give you all completely different perspectives on recruiting, so as a team, how do you tackle your recruiting?
Frank Kirschner We think recruiting is a very personal matter.  We do it as a �team-effort� as well as individually.  At some point in time, every single recruit that walks through the door will have the opportunity to sit and talk with every one of us.  We are not into huge e-mail blitzes, electronic postcards, or other e-recruiting forms, although they are helpful.  Our main stay is the good, old-fashioned, eyeball-to-eyeball, face-to-face conversations that bring people in and let us get personal with them.
Sadie Moranis

I have two examples of that.  We were looking for a manager.  We made numerous phone calls and placed ads in the paper -- the usual ways in which you try to recruit a manager.  Then Terry and I were sitting and having a conversation, and I said that I was going to call Frank Kirschner.  I think target recruiting is the most effective and successful way of getting the caliber person you want.

I called Frank and told him that my manager had left, and I needed a new manager and I wanted him.  He told me that he was interested.  That is how we became partners.

Carol Johnson Now that Frank is on board, what is your job description, Frank?
Frank Kirschner

You might call me a General Manager.  My actual title is Managing Director.  I am responsible for day-to-day management with Terry and Sadie�s input whenever necessary.  Things that we do really well are:

We tap our agents very consistently for personal recommendations.  We know that the return that they can bring us would be much greater than what anyone of us could bring in alone.

We send personal letters to the competition, to every staff member in that office.  We invite them to come to a confidential meeting if they are considering a change.  The letter goes as follows:

Dear Agent,

With the scheduled change of address for your company, we thought we would offer you an exciting opportunity.

If you are not sure about your upcoming move and you would like to consider an alternative, we would like to talk to you.  Prudential Sadie Moranis Realty offers:

  • Competitive Commission Packages that bring you more money.
  • Private and semi-private offices. 
  • Impressive, newly renovated, 10,000 square foot office.
  • Superb location.  Parking for over 100 cars. 
  • Corporate brand with international recognition.
  • Number 13 on the Fortune 500.
  • A very strong local presence in the GTA.
  • A direct cottage-country link with our four Northern offices.
  • A vibrant relocation department. 
  • An in-house marketing department that provides the finest in marketing materials.
  • A dedicated sales team of about 150 agents.

If you would like to consider a fresh start with a great company, call us.  Your confidentiality will be respected.  It is your move.

Sadie Moranis We send cards to agents that have done deals with our company.  We invite them to come into our office.  We thank them for doing business with us, and we ask them if they would like to use our facilities, closing rooms, phones, fax, email, etc.
Frank Kirschner We also send a personal thank you note from one of us for special occasions, when an agent goes the extra mile.
Terry Moranis When we are doing any special company meetings or events off site, we have a �hit list� of people that are invited to those functions.
Carol Johnson During the co-op transactions, do you have a system for contacting those people at different points along the way?
Frank Kirschner As soon as we send out a commission statement, I send out the personal greeting card and include a brief note and mention that we would love to have them on our staff.
Carol Johnson I believe in making the effort along the way.  Thank them at the closing or send the note.  Call them at the beginning of a transaction.
Terry Moranis When co-op agents come in to drop off the check or pick up keys, we always make the effort to go out to the front and greet them.
Carol Johnson That is a key point, when you have your front desk trained to recognize the fact that you are looking to recruit those other agents.
Frank Kirschner We keep the feeling at the front of our office like it is our living room.  If someone were to knock on your door, walk into your living room, and you didn�t greet them, it would be rude.  We treat it like our living room.  We welcome them.
Carol Johnson When you have these interviews and each one of you speaks to the recruit; do each of you hit a different point?
Frank Kirschner

First, we let them talk about themselves quite a bit.  We then have a series of questions that we ask.  My questions usually involve productivity.  Terry�s questions also hit on productivity, and Sadie�s will be more on management.  Here is a sample of questions that we might ask based on what the recruit has told us:

Has your business increased or decreased over the past year or so?
Why do you think your business wasn�t as productive as last year?
What kind of prospecting activities are you using?

I ask open-ended questions and let them talk.  If they fumble and mumble when they talk, then I know that they are probably not that organized and focused.

Terry Moranis I think it also depends on where they are coming from.  What kind of office environment are they coming from?  Does the manager compete with them?  Then you can ask questions like: What do you think the disadvantages of working for a selling manager are?  How do you feel when a broker competes with you for a listing?  How do you feel when your broker is not available to answer a question when you really need an answer?  How do you think the financial capability of the company affects your future income?
Carol Johnson Many companies don�t have a list of questions that they ask; they just wing it.  In the U.S., you have to treat everyone that comes in the door the same way. When there aren�t lists and there aren�t systems, it is very hard to prove that you treat people the same.  You will start to see patterns, based on the questions, on what personality-types do better in your office.
Frank Kirschner We often use Sadie as our master closer.  We bring her in at the end, and she closes the deal.  Terry has a stack of recruiting ads. Maybe she could share some of those titles?
Terry Moranis

We started running some ads for recruiting and I will run through the titles of the ads:

A name you recognize.
The exceptional service you deserve.
Team up with a company that opens doors for you.
Thinking of a change?
No time to market yourself?  Let our in-house marketing center do it for you.

We did an ad where half the page was black and half the page was white.  The ad said, �When it comes to your success there is no gray area -- I guarantee it.  So let�s talk.� 

I think that if you do ads consistently, you will see results.

Carol Johnson Tell me about your marketing department.
Frank Kirschner It is like having a small Kinko�s office under our roof.  We have two staff members assigned to a variety of responsibilities.  They take photos of property, they do feature sheets, we have a program that will make floor plans... virtually anything.  There is a small fee for these services, but we try to make it better then what they would have to pay elsewhere, plus the convenience of having it in-house makes it a good commodity.
Carol Johnson How many of your agents have personal assistance?
Terry Moranis There are still many high producing, low-tech agents in our industry.  That is the reason for the marketing department.  We tell them that their job is to go out and make deals and let the marketing center provide you with professional materials.  We have some of the greatest materials in print in the industry.  Our web site is in the process of being re-designed.  We have recently added the mortgage center and put a mortgage manager in our office full time.  The reality is we give away about .82 of every commission $1.00.
Carol Johnson What kind of turn around time would an agent have if they placed an order in the marketing center?
Terry Moranis It depends on the week.  There's usually about 24 to 48 hours of turnaround time.
Carol Johnson How do you use technology to recruit?
Frank Kirschner We have the electronic postcard mailing system.  But we think the personal contact is the best.
Carol Johnson

I just returned from a Brian Buffini seminar.  I was really impressed by him.  He talks about how agents can catapult their referral business by using personal handwritten notes.  He said that it doesn�t matter how much technology you have access to, there is nothing better than a handwritten note.  He told a story about a British reporter who had interviewed President Bush, and the reporter asked what was it that helped him get to be President.  President Bush replied, �It is my lifetime habit of writing 10 personal notes a day.�

I support people who keep their databases up, who use the Internet to recruit, and who know everything there is to know about their market.  However, it should not replace going out and reaching people personally because ultimately that is what people need.

Frank Kirschner I am sure many of you have heard agents say that this business used to be much more fun years ago.  The agents are making a much larger commission split with their broker; they are not enjoying it as much.  Why?  Because there was much more of a personal connection going on, there was fun, there were social events, and there was a good spirit.

Today, everyone is an island.  We have to make it a fun place.  We have to give and not take as much.  It may be better to recruit a mid-range producer with a controllable ego that would add much more to the company dollar with a warm personality then having somebody who does a bunch of deals.
Carol Johnson What do you do to create excitement in your office and build that company personality?
Frank Kirschner We stay involved. We have our finger on the pulse of what is going on.  We love what we are doing.
Sadie Moranis We instituted a plan recently where, if the agents reaches a goal of $750,000 GCI, we give them a nice lunch.  We have a thermometer in the office showing the measurements and when it reaches the goal, then there is a lot of excitement.  Each office has their own goals.
Carol Johnson Terry, you were telling me that you had a special peek at the trends.  How did you manage that?
Terry Moranis We had CMHC come and do a seminar for us.  The agents could use this seminar for a credit towards continued mandatory education.  We were the first to do something like this.  We invited agents that we were targeting and took everyone out for lunch.
Carol Johnson In terms of PREA systems and training tools, are there any special uses that positions you better in the market?
Frank Kirschner We know that agents� time is very valuable, so we have short video clips with handouts, usually one-hour training sessions done on alternate weeks.  Those short training sessions work better than planning a whole day.  These people are smart, so they just want to be refreshed.
Terry Moranis Most of the training is done in-house.
Carol Johnson

You should look at it like feeding your children.  Would you take your kids out for dinner once a month and not feed them the rest of the time? 

Is your recruiting plan a written one?

Frank Kirschner We do have goals.  In addition to the individual recruiting, sometimes we will get on the phone and call up small companies and ask for merger talks.
Carol Johnson

Some of these brokers don�t have a succession plan.  If something happens to them, there is literally no one to run their companies.  When you are looking to acquire a company, you should look at those that won�t be around that much longer, so why not bring them on now.  I think this is a great way to go.

I would like to ask each member of Team Moranis to give one piece of recruiting advice.

Frank Kirschner Schedule an appointment to make recruiting calls daily.
Carol Johnson Sometimes it is good to stay home one day a week and make your recruiting calls from 8:30am � 9:30am.  Many agents are slow to leave their homes in the morning.
Terry Moranis It is a �never say die� commitment to growth and a passion for the business.
Sadie Moranis I believe that most agents are reluctant to call a broker to see if there is a position open for them, because they don�t want to risk being refused.  You must target them wherever you are at.  Keep your business cards with you at all times -- at the grocery store, the dry cleaners -- and be ready.

Questions & Answers

Question

What are your percentages of new versus experienced agents?
Frank Kirschner We are finding that we are getting more new agents then in the past, because the experienced agents are either happy where they are or are asking for the sun, moon and stars, and we can�t compete for them.  At least half the agents coming in are new.
Carol Johnson Thank you, Team Moranis, for your tips today.
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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