Something every successful real estate professional knows: No one does this business alone. 

And by “doing the business,” we mean actually getting the right things done at the right time and the right frequency to pay the bills and grow your business. 

Try to do it alone, and burnout is inevitable. This is why top agents have paid assistants, if not a hired team of professionals who handle tasks outside the agent’s income-producing skillset. 

Humaniz founder and CEO Chris Giannos knows this better than most. He’s also made a career out of helping agents hire and recruit the right people for their business. 

Chris joined Byron Lazine for a BAM interview that aired this week. Read on for some of the highlights. And watch the full podcast to enjoy their whole conversation. 

What’s a good expectation when it comes to hiring staff & recruiting agents?

Byron asked the question, “What’s a good expectation for someone who’s trying to build a staff or build a network of agents…What should they be looking for?” 

Chris takes a holistic approach to recruitment. There’s a lot more to it than simply going online and Googling “how to recruit real estate agents.” You can try that, but the advice and insight you’ll turn up is likely a decade old or longer. 

What Humaniz focuses on begins with three essential ingredients most agents are looking for in a team or brokerage:

  • Leads
  • Training
  • Support

We call it LTS at Humanize: Leads, Training, and Support—those are the three primary catalysts for behavior change. That’s why people leave brokerages or other teams and join teams that actually provide those three things.

Chris Giannos

Humaniz founder and CEO

If you provide all three to the agents on your team, that should be part of the conversation you’re having with new potential recruits. Give them a reason to want to get to the next step of the interview process. 

You have to correctly articulate your value prop… A lot of our customers and people we coach through this, they treat it like a job interview. And they 20-questions someone and go, “Cool! Do you want to sign up?” And it’s like, “Well, you didn’t really tell me a whole lot about why I should sign up.

Chris Giannos

Humaniz founder and CEO

Chris’s 2-step interview process

Chris’s two-step interview process begins with a 10-15 minute initial conversation he and his team call “opportunity calls.” 

So, it’s a 10-15 minute call where either you or your recruiter is going to get on the phone. And all you’re going to do is do two things. You’re going to qualify to what we call the three Cs: Culture, character, and coachability. That’s your qualification benchmark. Because if they have those three things, and you have leads, training, and support, you can turn that person into a producer regardless of where they’re at.

Chris Giannos

Humaniz founder and CEO

The second part of the interview process goes one of two ways: 

  1. If the agent fits that box (has the three Cs), you tell them why they should come meet with you in person. 
  2. If they don’t have those three Cs, you close with, “Hey, I’m going to circle back with the rest of the leadership team, and I’ll be in touch with next steps.” 

Most likely, those who hear option number two will not be joining your team. But those who do progress to the face-to-face interview will be asked Chris’s favorite interview question: 

Tell me about the last 12 months of your business. How’s it been going?

And from there, the conversation generally goes only one of two ways: 

Either I’m listening for “Hey, I’ve had a great time. I’ve done a bunch of deals, I’m working super-hard, I’m doing open houses, but, Chris, I’m just not getting it. Something is missing.” LTS, something in there. 

Or—and I encourage any agent listening to never do this—but a lot of the time when you ask that question, it turns into the blame game…We call it broker-shaming. But they’ll [say] “Yeah, Chris, working super-hard but all the leads my broker Bob gives me are crap. They don’t work. And the market sucks, and my broker promised me all this stuff and he didn’t deliver on anything….” That agent, regardless of how well your team is structured, is going to be doing the same thing in six months.

Chris Giannos

Humaniz founder and CEO

Before you start recruiting agents…

As important as it is to know how to recruit the right agents for your business, the whole process of building that agent network comes after you hire at least one permanent staff member to handle tasks outside your income-producing skillset. 

Byron summed it up this way: 

An agent or broker should not be making a hire of an agent until they’ve actually hired their first assistant, transaction coordinator…these roles that are supportive of their business.

Byron Lazine

In complete agreement, Chris went on to explain why he and his team at Humaniz are quick to assess whether an agent looking to recruit would be better served hiring an assistant. 

I’ve talked to so many people that make this mistake. They’re like, ‘Well, I’m super-busy. I feel like I need to hire a buyer’s agent.’ And it’s like, ‘Cool. What’s your goal?’ Because for a lot of people, it’s ‘I want to do more transactions and make more money.’ I go, ‘Fantastic! Then you shouldn’t start a real estate team yet.’ Create an infinite amount of leverage in your own business first—doctor’s office model. You go to the doctor’s office, that doctor is in there for five minutes. You’ve got a PA or a nurse that comes in and takes your blood pressure, checks your chart, etc. Figure out what you can take off your plate that isn’t in your zone of expertise, and give it to someone you can either pay hourly or a percentage of the commission or whatever it is before you start going big.

Chris Giannos

Humaniz founder and CEO

As any business owner can tell you, decision fatigue is real. And the more decisions you have to make on a daily basis, the more likely you are to under-deliver when it comes to those tasks no one but you can handle. 

“You can’t do this business alone.”

Whether you’re looking to hire your first assistant or you’re ready to start recruiting agents, one thing both Chris and Byron agree on—along with every successful real estate agent—is you cannot do this business alone. 

Both know how difficult it can be to delegate tasks you’re accustomed to doing yourself. But growing a real estate business takes people at the helm who know how to delegate as well as how to keep improving at the tasks that cannot be delegated.  

Most people get to 70% and think it’s 100%. I’m trying to find seventh gear, and I hit it. But I could not do it without Andrea and without our team at Humaniz. It’s just not possible. Because I have a natural inclination—and I’m sure you do, too—like a high D on a DISC assessment, I want to do everything. And no one can do it as good as me, which is a crazy lie that we tell ourselves. I think it’s important to start realizing that other people can do it just as good as you if you teach them how to do it and you give them a playbook on how to do it.

Chris Giannos

Humaniz founder and CEO

Watch the full interview for more. And stay tuned for the master recruiting guide Chris is putting together to help BAM readers like you hire and recruit the best people for your team or brokerage.