A few years ago, Corcoran, the New York- and Florida-based brokerage, launched Agent Studio, an in-house learning and development center.
Now, with New York City the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, Corcoran swiftly made Agent Studio digital and has seen agents flock to the platform as a result.
“We took this as, okay, we have business restrictions in place now, but we want to use this time to make sure our agents have the tools and the knowledge that is needed to rule the recovery,” Corcoran CEO Pam Liebman told Inman. “We looked at it as a period of professional growth.”
Before restriction were put in place across the state, the company rushed out to purchase cameras, microphones and lights. It’s not exactly television, Liebman said, but they wanted high-quality video. The company also trained its leaders and agents on how to use the equipment.
“When we went to the COVID-19 lockdown, we had a very short period of time where we could figure out how to move everything online,” Liebman told Inman. “We’ve really learned a lot from it. A lot of the stuff we moved online, maybe we keep online because the usage has been extraordinary.”
In the seven weeks since the digital platform’s launch, Corcoran has hosted 215 classes with total attendance clocking in at 8,487, including agents who attended multiple sessions. An average of 40 people attend the classes and Liebman said she’s happy with the level of engagement she has seen.
“I thought, are they going to readily engage or are we going to have to push — and they jumped all over it,” Liebman said. “I guess it’s a combination of the type of agents that we have — they’re always trying to improve their skills and become even more successful — and I think they really needed something to do and they really wanted to engage and not just sit home and eat bonbons for lack of a better expression.”
Classes are available to all agents affiliated with the company-owned brokerage in New York City, the East End of Long Island and South Florida. Agents affiliated with the newly launched Corcoran franchises can also participate and have, Liebman said.
As of May 1, the company has hosted 64 real estate classes, 38 business and development classes, 48 digital marketing classing, 42 technology tools classes, 12 wellness classes and 11 manager and staff development classes.
Classes included a real estate and mortgage market update in conjunction with Citibank, an overview of the CARES Act, author interviews, workout and meditation classes, sales and retail training and lead nurturing classes.
Corcoran’s parent company, Realogy, has also leaned into education at a time when real estate transactions are slowing, with fewer listings hitting the market due to COVID-19 and business restrictions put in place. Realogy has pivoted its platform to help agents, “rule the recovery,” a phrase that Liebman herself echoed when talking about Corcoran’s platform.