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Real estate firms recruit agents after recession

TNS Regional News • Jul 29, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Joe DiSalle, a broker manager at the DiSalle Real Estate Co., cannot wait for Aug. 6.

The local real estate firm will hold a career night that evening as part of ongoing efforts to attract more people into the real estate industry.

DiSalle held a similar job fair in February amid the snow and cold and managed to attract 12 candidates. But with a mix of summer weather and an improving home-selling market, Mr. DiSalle is hoping interest in joining his DiSalle team will be larger.

“We have openings for the right people, there’s no doubt about it,” he said.

“We do these about once per quarter and every time we’ve done one it’s been pretty good,” he said.

DiSalle’s career night event will be at 6 p.m. Aug. 6 at its Arrowhead Park office at 1204 Conant St. in Maumee.

But the Toledo-based real estate firm isn’t the only one seeking new agents.

With the local real estate market rebounding from the most recent recession — a recession that contributed to hundreds of real estate agents leaving the profession between 2007 and 2010 — the opportunity to get a foothold in the real estate industry has never been better.

“In round numbers, pre-recession our local organization had over 2,000 agents. But that dropped to about 1,100 post-recession,” said John Mangas, president of the Toledo Board of Realtors. “We lost a big piece of our membership with the recession.”

Over the last few years, the market has begun to recover but the number of new agents joining the ranks has not been huge.

As of Monday, the Toledo Board of Realtors membership totaled 1,209 agents. It may take a while to replenish the ranks, said Mr. Mangas, broker-partner at Re/Max Preferred Associates of Toledo.

But on the positive side, the interest in becoming a real estate agent is growing, particularly among young people, he said.

“As the market has begun to recover and we see more transactions taking place, we’re seeing more and more people getting into the real estate business again,” Mr. Mangas said.

Hondros Business College in Maumee is the primary locale for real estate agent training courses in the Toledo area, and its classes have been running full for nearly a year, Mr. Mangas said.

Hondros has even begun offering weekend classes to meet demand, he added.

Mr. DiSalle said that Stautzenberger Business College also has begun offering real estate classes once again, a curriculum that it suspended during the recession.

Like DiSalle, Hondros has been offering career night events, and it has become a primary conduit for local real estate companies to find new talent.

Dan McQuillen, broker manager of The Danberry Co.’s Maumee office, said competition for potential agents is fierce, but has always been so.

So most companies pursue potential real estate agents in a variety of ways.

Some use Web sites, some use referrals from agents, some recruit past clients, and others are reaching out through social media like Facebook.

“We’ve noticed in the last year that interest is up. And we did take a hit during the recession,” Mr. McQuillen said.

“At Danberry, we were getting low on agents. So this year we brought in a number of new agents. Our biggest challenge now is to get them up to speed — and we could always use more,” he said.

“One thing that has been worrisome is the average age of an agent is 58 years old, so we will definitely be needing more soon. But the good thing is that this past year it seems we’ve got more and more younger agents.

“About 10 or so of those we hired this year are under the age of 35. We are very excited about that,” Mr. McQuillen said.


By Jon Chavez - The Blade, Toledo, Ohio (MCT)

©2014 The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)

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