Coach Bob Corcoran: ‘A balance between work and home life is essential’

Agent hang-ups, needs and how to be successful

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Bob Corcoran is the owner and founder of Corcoran Consulting & Coaching.

Age: 58

School: Illinois Benedictine College

Location: Lisle, Illinois

Social media: LinkedIn, Twitter

Bob with family Inman News Photo November 2014

Bob Corcoran with his family

What’s your favorite activity outside of work and why?

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Vacations with my wife, Brenda, and friends, and reading are very important to me. We all work hard, and we all deserve some downtime. I learned years ago to recharge my battery, because without it, we start to go into burnout stages in our lives.

Approximately how many real estate agents do you coach? How many real estate agents does your business coach?

I personally coach 25 clients, and let me clarify that when I have a coaching client, that also means I make myself available to each person on their team, not only the “rainmaker.” So, while I have 25 clients, I am actually coaching a great many more people than that on an ongoing basis. Corcoran Consulting & Coaching, as a company, coaches on any given day approximately 285 clients.

Do you measure the average ROI of your clients? If so, what is it, and how exactly do you measure it?

ROI is a very opinionated outlook. If you want data analytics, then clients see an average of 47 percent increase in production, along with a 21 percent decrease in expenses, in the first 12 months of coaching with us. However, the nondata analytic ROI is that our average client works only 40-45 hours a week on their business; which gives them a work-life balance that is not measured by a profit and loss statement! We do review our clients’ profit and loss statements on a monthly basis, and our clients have a budget that they are held accountable to by their coach.

Do you think some holidays are kind of annoying? If so, why? If not, why?

According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of holiday is “a day of festivity or recreation when no work is done.” That being said, there are no “holidays” in real estate. Every minute of every day, there are prospects out there looking to sell or buy a house! With the systems that we teach, our client companies run 24/7, and you can take off as many days as they feel fit! The business is structured to be more reliant on technology, while our clients are high-touch with clients and prospects.

Bob with Wes Madden in Alaska Inman News Photo November 2014

Corcoran with Wes Madden in Alaska

Different people have different needs, but what specific business strategies do you seem to find yourself recommending most often to real estate agents?

I absolutely agree that different people have different needs, but at the end of the day, the nuts and bolts of real estate are very similar, no matter what market you are in. We recommend that each of our clients build their business with a strong foundation of systems. Operational excellence and building teams of real value is the secret to success in real estate. Therefore, 80 percent of the work that our clients do is no different than any other agent. It is the 20 percent of customization that has allowed our clients to be a list of “who’s who” in the real estate industry.

What are some common hang-ups or weaknesses that keep real estate agents from realizing their full potential?

I have always said that real estate agents are often expert salespeople but terrible managers! They are terrible managers of time, managers of client relationships, follow-up, etc. In my 25 years of consulting and coaching real estate, I have seen over and over the same mistakes repeated on one team after the next. Based on that experience, I believe we have the industry’s best programs for bridging the gap that is left between an agent’s sales expertise and their lack of management skills. In addition, real estate agents have the mindsets of independent contractors; we teach our clients to have the mindset of a chief executive officer and to run their practice as a business, not as a real estate agent.

How do you address those hang-ups or weaknesses through coaching?

All of the weaknesses I mentioned have a solution that can be found in a system. Our systems are the solution, and that is what we teach our clients: how to use our systems to focus on dollar-productive activities, enrich the lives of their clients, and manage a better balance between their work and personal lives. We confront the hang-ups head on!

How much does the average client pay your business for coaching every month?

I don’t believe in a “one size fits all” approach to real estate coaching — or any business coaching, for that matter. Our coaching programs are set up in tiers so that we are able to best meet our clients and their teams’ needs based on where they are currently and what their ideal goal is one year, three years and five years down the road. Corcoran Consulting & Coaching has programs from $49 per month to $5,000 per month based on the clients’ specific needs.

Bob Corcoran with Bubba Mills.

Bob Corcoran with Bubba Mills

What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve faced in growing your business, and how have you tried to overcome it?

I cannot pass up this opportunity to explain that we don’t “try” to do anything. I will do it or not do it, but we’ve never “tried” to overcome an obstacle. Having said that, the greatest obstacle to growing my business was explaining to the real estate industry that we are not for everyone with a license. Our perfect client is someone that wants to build a team, is a team lead, owns a franchise or owns an independent brokerage.

What do you do when you want to relax?

Vacation as much as possible. Brenda and I love to travel, and it gives us alone time to spend with each other. I am an avid reader, and I always have books on leadership, management and motivation with me.

Do you think coaching is more popular in real estate than in other sales industries? If so, why? If not, why?

I don’t know if we could say that real estate coaching is more popular than other sales coaching, but I think it’s very safe to say that real estate is one of the most populated sales industries. The Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) estimates that there are about 2 million active real estate licensees in the United States. Now, of course, there is the 80/20 rule — 20 percent of agents produce.

Have you ever been a real estate agent?

I was first licensed in 1992.

Do clients often begin coaching agents themselves? If so, why?

Once we have set in place the foundational structure for our clients, we teach our clients to become the coach and mentor of their teams first. Occasionally, a client becomes a coach for us.

Do your coaches typically have coaches themselves? If not, why?

I have read that the great artist Michelangelo said toward the end of his life that he was still learning. I think there will always be ways we can continue to grow and better ourselves, so yes, our coaches are continually training and improving their skills. I have a director of coaching who oversees all of our training with all of our coaches. They each have access to me, and of course, to one another. We are all always learning.

How should real estate agents measure success?

Success can be measured in numerous ways, but I believe that perhaps the most important is evidenced in your work-life balance. Success in business is important, but will ultimately be empty if it has come at the expense of your family. That’s why we teach our clients that a balance between work and home life is absolutely essential. Sadly, most agents measure success by the amount of money they make.

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