Whether you’re a rookie agent, a rising team leader or an established veteran broker, we can all benefit from sharpening our skills. Follow our “Back to Basics” series to learn fundamental strategies, tactics, philosophies and more from real estate pros across the industry.
In the constantly changing real estate industry, how do real estate brokerages furnish their agents with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed — especially when agents are rarely in the same place at the same time?
To keep pace with rapidly evolving trends and developments, it’s essential to embrace continual education. Real estate firms that maintain targeted training programs develop strong teams that are well-equipped to serve today’s unique clients.
According to the Association for Talent Development (ATD), companies that offer comprehensive training programs have 218 percent higher income per employee than companies without formalized training. In addition, these companies enjoy a 24 percent higher profit margin than those who do not invest time in training and development.
Ongoing educational programs strengthen and expand the skills of agents in all stages of their career, enhance company culture and help agencies retain top talent. As a result, both agents and their brokerages enjoy sustained profitability.
Below are some of the top strategies real estate brokerages can implement to foster agent growth (and company success) through coaching, ongoing education and proactive training programs.
1. Offer on-site coaching
Agents should never stop looking for opportunities to improve and learn how to best serve clients. To assist agents in achieving their goals, consider providing an on-site development coach who will contribute to the professional growth of your employees.
One-on-one consultation with an industry expert who understands the company’s unique mission and culture is one of the most effective ways to nurture an agents’ growth.
Offer 30-minute training sessions once a week to any agent looking for guidance and support. Agents will also benefit from a variety of hands-on training that goes beyond the theoretical and offers strategic, actionable solutions.
Ensure your professional development coach is available to work with agents to fine-tune their organizational skills, create effective follow-up tactics, enhance marketing efforts and improve technological know-how, specifically with the utilization of customer relationship management (CRM) platforms. The personalized support and readily available advice provided by an on-site coach is a worthwhile investment with long-lasting benefits.
2. Bring in renowned speakers
One of the best ways to inspire and motivate agents to reach their full potential is to connect them with independent thinkers who are moving the needle in their industries. Do this at times when all your agents will be gathering in one spot, such as at company-wide weekly sales meetings or retreats.
Bring in authors, thought leaders and experts in the field who present rich sets of ideas on a variety of topics. Inviting speakers of different backgrounds with unique experiences and specialties empowers agents with diverse market knowledge.
Examples of topics that will resonate with agents include: how to implement high-caliber marketing into your practice, establishing oneself as a leading source of luxury sales knowledge and successfully selling or acquiring a thriving real estate business.
3. Be mindful of the technology learning curve
If harnessed correctly, technology can enhance performance, efficiency and satisfaction for real estate agents and their clients. However, just like real estate, the technology industry is an ever-changing animal.
Not all agents are technologically savvy, so it’s crucial to offer various learning opportunities to finesse these skills. If your firm is using a CRM platform for lead generation and maintenance, make sure you carefully outline best practices and procedures to new team members and provide ongoing support.
Provide similar assistance for agents who want to leverage social media to reach clients. Have an on-site director of technology development, and encourage agents to work closely with them to ensure they feel confident about executing tasks and organizing information and data.
4. Make training an ongoing priority
Never subscribe to the notion that training is something that only happens during the first 90 days on the job. Anyone who’s passionate about this profession is eager to learn how to be better, and these days, the best agents have multilayered skills in business and administration, marketing, law and economics.
Sustainable success and employee longevity start with recognizing that your agents need access to helpful resources and continual support to operate at the highest level.
In our modern, rapidly evolving world, access to ongoing education is a must for real estate agents to thrive, whether they are brand new to the industry or have years of experience.
Agents who have convenient access to inspiring expert speakers, professional development resources and technical support and guidance will be well-positioned to succeed.
A commitment to elevating your agents’ skillsets is a commitment to growth and profitability. Investing in continual learning enhances corporate culture and the bottom line; it not only benefits individual agents but also makes your entire organization stronger.
Jill Butler is the CEO of and founder of RedKey Realty Leaders St. Louis — an independent real estate agency created on a foundation of love, service and fun. You can find RedKey on Twitter @RedKeyStLouis and on Facebook.