• Bill Lublin, Samantha DeBianchi, Laurie Weston Davis and Becky Barrick debated the merits of real estate coaches.

SAN FRANCISCO — If William Shakespeare were to have set Hamlet in the world of real estate, it’s a safe bet that the Prince would be contemplating his career: “To be coached, or not to be coached…”

At Inman Connect San Francisco, four industry pros debated the merits of coaching, sales training, and the evolving brokerage business model. Brad Inman moderated the discussion.

Was there a clear winner? No.

Did the discussion get heated at times? Most certainly.

Samantha DeBianchi and Becky Barrick sat on the side of pro-coaches. Bill Lublin and Laurie Weston Davis sat on the opposition.

Are coaches necessary?

DeBianchi opened the discussion pitching her new coaching site, SamSpeaks.com. It is there that people can connect with her, West Hubbard and Jessica Fernandez with questions about real estate.

She said there are a lot of people reaching out to her, wondering how to be as successful as she.

“You cannot expect to just wake up and make money,” she said. “You need a mentor, you need a coach, and you need to learn from the best.”

She added that she could’ve learned many of the fundamentals earlier had she had a coach when she started out her career.

Lublin was quick on the draw with a retort: “I got to say it’s a shame you worked for a crappy broker. Agents need to be taught to hunt, fish and farm.”

Lublin thinks that it’s on the brokerage to provide the necessary tools and training in order for agents to be successful.

(Well, that escalated quickly.)

Inman directed the conversation back to the pro-coach side.

Barrick spoke about her experience working with a coach, one with whom she’s worked with for 13 years. She said that her reasons for using a coach are because she’s part of a large brokerage with over 200 agents, and “there’s no way on God’s green earth that my broker is going to spend that much time with me — and to be quite honest, he shouldn’t.

“Even walking through this room, I bet I couldn’t walk 10 feet without running into someone who has on their profile that they’re a coach,” Davis opened.

“I do not understand why we need that many coaches in this industry.” She added, much like Lublin, that the responsibility falls on the broker to provide the tools.

Where is the disconnect?

Davis addressed the problem when she said that brokers that have let coaching become something that agents might actually need.

“I feel sad that we need — that we’ve allowed it to become something that we need so terribly. I think as brokers we have let this slip. It’s a value we should be bringing to our agents,” she said.

Questions from the audience circled around the argument that coaches sometimes get misconstrued into the world of sales training.

Barrick explained the difference by saying that coaches should help you organize life problems that come with working in real estate. She described how coaches help guide you and streamline business, not teach you how to sell the most houses.

It’s about efficiency.

And who knows what William Shakespeare would say today? After all, he and his business partners built the Globe Theatre, and he himself bought leases to properties that earned him income.

He also wrote in The Tempest: “I would give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren ground.”

A coach with an understanding of coastal real estate might advise against that.

Email Britt Chester

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