Editor’s note: This is the first part in a two-part series.
Are you ready to double or triple your real estate income? Who is the best person to get you there: A coach, a trainer or a mentor?
I’ve been in the real estate training business since 1989 and started my coaching website back in 1996. During this time, two important facts have become apparent.
First, most real estate professionals who want "coaching" are really looking for real estate sales training. Second, there is tremendous confusion about what constitutes coaching, training, and mentoring.
Depending on what you want to achieve, each of these approaches is a viable way to increase your income. Here’s how to tell whether training, coaching, or mentoring is the best choice to help you achieve your goals.
1. Real estate sales training
Training teaches you a skill or a strategy for your business. This can include how to conduct a listing presentation, scripts for working with buyers, or how to use Web tools or mobile apps. In each of these examples, the trainer is the expert who is showing you what to do and how to do it.
No matter how long you have been in the business, attending regular training can help you improve your business and your income. Today’s technology innovations are occurring at such a rapid pace that it takes a concerted effort to stay up to date.
In fact, when I do a major speaking gig for a company, the management almost always makes the same observation: "My top producers were all sitting in the first three rows. The people who really needed this aren’t here."
When I ask the top producers about why they are such avid consumers of training books, seminars, and webinars, they pretty much agree on this one point: "If I learn just one thing that can help my business, it was worth my time."
2. Real estate sales mentoring
Mentoring refers to learning from someone who is an expert. An excellent example includes working with a top producer and shadowing that person to learn how the individual conducts business. A mentor draws upon professional experience and can provide you with practical and proven success strategies.
3. Real estate coaching
Many agents have discovered the benefits of working with a coach both in terms of increased production and having a better life. While training and mentoring can help you achieve your goals, coaching is usually the best tool for helping you to double or triple your commission income.
Unfortunately, because of the confusion about what constitutes real estate coaching vs. training and mentoring, agents often end up with a solution that won’t work for them.
Here are some examples of real estate "coaching" that may or may not be a great solution for your business. Use this list to determine what will work for you:
1. The granddaddy of them all
Mike Ferry was a pioneer in launching a national coaching program. Ferry’s programs have a proven track record for success that date back over two decades. His programs are well suited to those who have a strong drive to succeed, handle rejection well, and are numbers-focused.
Coaching consists of staying on target with your numbers, mastery of scripts and dialogues, and access to video, online, and live training to support your success. The core emphasis is on cold-calling, door-knocking, and calling on owners of expired listings and for-sale-by-owner homes.
2. Oh, by the way
Brian Buffini and Joe Stumpf focus on helping agents build their businesses "by referral." Their programs provide a turnkey solution that sends snail-mail letters to your database each month. Your coach works with you on using their systems and strategies to generate referrals.
3. Words of wisdom from Gary Keller
Gary Keller, who consults and coaches the top agents in his company, made an interesting observation about how well his agents did with each of these two different approaches.
According to Keller, the people who rely exclusively on door-knocking and calling on owners of expired and FSBO listings must place up to five times as much effort into their lead generation activities vs. those using the by-referral model.
On the other hand, because the referral approach requires someone else to generate the lead for you, agents who rely exclusively on this approach often see their business decrease by as much as 80 percent during market downturns. This occurs because someone else is controlling their lead generation.
The agents who have consistent top performance are those who actively prospect daily and maintain strong relationships with their referral database.
4. You know what to do … what’s keeping you from doing it?
Coaching is about removing the blocks that keep you from achieving success, and building on your strengths. It’s not about trying to force yourself to do something that you hate doing.
As Joeann Fossland says, "No one ever got to the top by developing their weaknesses."
The challenge with training and mentoring is that they address the "what to do," but don’t provide the coaching necessary for you to personally implement these skills in your business.
If you want to double or triple your business, implementation is the key. See Part 2 for specific steps on methods that could help you to multiply your real estate income.