‘Pick up the phone and start dialling’ – is property recruitment that simple?

Our Managing Director, Gerard McVeigh explores whether hitting your daily targets is enough to be a successful property recruiter

One of my favourite films in recent years is Scorcese’s The Wolf of Wall Street starring one of my favourite actors, Leonardo DiCaprio as lead protagonist Jordan Belfort.

When the film was released in London at the start of 2014, I remember a number of big corporate companies organising trips to the cinema after work to go and watch the blockbuster as a group. They’d swagger down Shaftsbury Avenue near my old office, some of them in ‘city slicker’ fancy dress, with a certain determination that they were going to watch and learn something that they could take into the office the next day. Perhaps it was the mid-afternoon dwarf tossing contests or the coffee break desktop strippers.

I believe that part of the appeal for corporate evenings out such as these was that those involved were going to discover the golden ticket in how to make themselves a great deal of money in a relatively short space of time, and that the Belfort-DiCaprio Hollywood combo had helped develop an easy to understand formula of how to successfully sell over the telephone. Belfort has since been on tour delivering seminars and presentations about how people can replicate the incredible financial success he experienced all those years ago.

My favourite scene from this film is when DiCaprio begins to try and teach his sales patter to the new starters in his company. He proclaims that all one needs to do to be successful and earn a pay cheque that looks more like a phone number, is to follow his script and ‘pick up the phone and start dialling’.

Of course any successful salesman you ask will always say sales is a numbers game, which is why KPIs are often an integral part of the sales environment. Simply the more calls and more people you speak to, the better the chance of finding your diamond in the rough and subsequently earning yourself a healthy chunk of commission.

I for one certainly agree with this mindset, but I think it can be taken a step further:

If you are to make the same phone call to 100 decision makers, with the same words and phrases and the phone is put down 100 times, what do you do? Do you continue on your numbers mindset and say to yourself ‘ well if I do 100 more, than I am bound to hit 1 or 2 people who want to talk?’ or is it time for a change of tack? I think it is at this stage that perhaps the separation between poor recruiters with a poor reputation and successful recruiters with a successful reputation occurs.

At Surge Recruitment House, we believe that in a busy industry such as property, where business owners and key decision makers are being approached more and more by recruiters not just over the phone, but also across other medians such as emails and LinkedIn, the onus is really now on the property recruiter to have the detailed knowledge, understanding and full grasp on the subject they are talking about. Gone are the days where recruiters can speed through their sales patter, drop in a few buzz words, book a couple of interviews and the job’s a good’un -recruiters now need to be experts in the individual fields and specific companies they are recruiting into. Without this knowledge, hitting the daily numbers all of a sudden becomes irrelevant, and no matter how many times you go knocking, nobody of any real significance is going to open up and let you in.

Recruiters now have to be able to hold top-level technical conversations with Directors of huge corporate companies. They have to be able to perfectly explain the specialist details of a job description to potential candidates, who themselves may be at the very top of the industry. In some cases property recruiters advise on how best to structure companies in terms of personnel, how to streamline and make these corporate structures efficient to perform at the highest level possible. They write job descriptions, they structure pay packets, and have to be hot on a wide spectrum of market facts, figures and industry averages. Being a good talker and making the number of phone calls is no longer enough if there is little substance behind the words – the recruitment industry, particularly when recruiting sales personnel has, over time, unfortunately been flooded with good talkers but not enough good thinkers.

So yes, Mr.DiCaprio we agree, sales is a numbers game, but what needs to be added to the daily targets is the industry knowledge and expertise to be able to offer accurate business advice – that way, Mr Business Owner, maybe our phone call is worth taking?

Surge Recruitment House knows about property, and we know how to not only entice top-level clients but also how to encourage the best applicants in the industry to have discreet conversations with us. If you want a conversation in confidence, pick up the phone, start dialling +44 (0) 121 647 3730, and speak to an expert consultant today.