As agents learn that they can find information online from some of the biggest names in the business, more coaches and trainers will start to offer their knowledge as well. So, how will this affect brokerages who pride themselves on having the best training? It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few years.
The bottom line for me is that I can get better education from authoritative people online in greater speed and variety than anywhere else that I know. For this reason, I would never recommend joining a brokerage simply for their training. Here are three reasons why:
1. Depth of knowledge
I don’t know how any brokerage can truly match the depth of knowledge available online. I’m not saying that it can’t be done; I’m just saying it would be hard to compete with.
Most agents who follow and learn from thought leaders online would agree. The depth of knowledge and data shared is immense.
Many times, new ideas are being created as a conversation is happening. Agents post their open-house strategies and then adjust when another agent comments on it. Others will share a Facebook ad and agents will chime in with ideas of things to adjust to get better results. Real-time feedback is hard to compete with.
There are too many niche things to specialize in right now. I know agents who are SEO geniuses, so that’s where I go when I need an SEO question answered.
I also know agents who are pay-per-click experts, farming experts, luxury experts and social media experts. There is no way that most brokerages can truly offer that kind of variety and depth of knowledge.
2. Constantly changing information
With the rate that lead generation is advancing through technology, real estate brokerages would have to reprint their curriculum every year to keep up. Granted, the old ways of doing business do still work, but that’s not all agents want to know about anymore.
They’re going to want to also know about landing pages, PPC budgets, online conversion rates, SEO practices, easy graphic creation methods, content marketing, video marketing and so on. Unless every agent you recruit has a large sphere of influence to tap into and are all beyond middle age, you’re not going to be able to avoid these topics.
As new agents enter the market, many of them are going to find answers in these Facebook groups and YouTube channels. They’re going to wonder why their brokerages are not talking about the same stuff that they’re learning online. It’s most likely going to create tension between the agent and his or her brokerage.
Companies that have weak or outdated training are going to get hit the hardest. The further the gap between the information you teach and what your agents find online, the worse you’re going to look when your agents find it elsewhere. It’s just the reality of the situation.
3. More people to collaborate with
How many people in your office will give you real-time stats on their Internet traffic, PPC campaigns and marketing budget? Why won’t they? Because they are local. They are essentially competing with you. Online, I can ask other agents in different markets to share these numbers with me and there’s no threat.
Being able to learn from agents in other markets is a great privilege. Not a day goes by where I’m not being asked a question or asking a question myself, with an agent from another market. I think that this is a growing trend among successful agents and brokers. Collaboration speeds up growth and helps agents avoid testing ideas that have already been tested by agents in other markets.
Many brokerages have certain personalities and methods to success that fit their model. They can become too comfortable. They can get stuck in a group-think environment that limits creativity. I recently wrote about this in another Inman article.
I remember going through my initial training when I first became a Realtor. Google Adwords was fairly new, but I was already familiar with it from my previous job. I ended up being suckered into teaching that section of my training because the teacher didn’t know anything about it. I wondered, “Why am I here?”
The information that brokerages teach is no longer hidden. There is nothing I learned in my initial brokerage training that I haven’t heard online or couldn’t find online if I wanted to. If you don’t believe that, you might be completely disconnected from the reality of the situation. It’s all online now.
Stay tuned Tuesday, where I’ll discuss some of my favorite online resources and discuss what brokers can do to remain part of the conversation.
Andrew is the owner and managing broker of Great Colorado Homes, Inc. in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is known for creating unique infographics, videos and graphic design on his website and his company’s Facebook page.