A few years ago, Lamacchia Realty broker-owner Anthony Lamacchia had his senior agents mentor junior agents. It may have worked in theory, but the reality of that mentoring model was less than ideal for the five-office, 85-agent indie brokerage.
“There was abuse both ways,” Lamacchia said. “We saw cases where experienced agents were taking advantage of junior agents, and others where new agents were taking advantage of experienced agents who were doing everything for them.”
Something had to give, so the Boston-based broker decided to implement a training program for new agents, starting with a course on the basics.
Lamacchia, who is a member of Zillow’s advisory board, began buyer agent training in 2012. When that led to an increase in sales, he introduced seller agent training, and now both sales-oriented programs run full force — preparing agents to handle real-life obstacles and teaching them about lead conversion, among other things.
What makes Lamacchia’s trainings different? It’s simple: “Our trainings are real,” he said. “It’s important to train on the real problems that agents have, the real struggles that agents have, the real objections that agents hear from buyers and sellers, and how to train your brain to overcome those objections.”
“Everything we teach has been tested. It’s being used every single day of every single week with our agents here,” he added.
Lamacchia, in business since 2005, enjoys when veteran agents come to sessions for strategic advice: “When they feel like they have a plan of action for how to prospect a client, [a training session] gives them confidence,” he said.
Insecurity will come across in an agent’s voice, so many of them attend training to obtain and practice description dialogues until they feel completely confident, he said.
One such agent, Michelle Wesson (formerly with Keller Williams), went from selling five houses a year before she joined to 16 in her first year with Lamacchia Realty. She sold 30 in her second year, and this year she’s looking at closing 50 homes.
Training other brokerages
In an effort to spread the wealth of knowledge (and cast his training net wider around the country), Lamacchia is now offering live training to other brokerages via Skype. Among those interested are a leading Keller Williams team, a Coldwell Banker team and the broker-owner of another indie brokerage.
His first training client, Linton Hall Realtors in North Virginia, signed up in January for a monthly fee and has seen a 37 percent increase in sales volume and a 50 percent increase in gross commission from 2016, according to executive vice president of Linton Hall, Scott Corbett.
Lamacchia Realty’s 2016 sales volume was $300 million, and this year it’s projected to be over $400 million. He plans to be at over $1 billion by 2019, getting him closer to his goal of building the largest privately held real estate company in New England.