We’ve all had our first day on the job and remember how it felt to be the “new kid”. Any agent that joins your team must undergo the inevitable learning curve on their way to closing their first deal and proving themselves as a powerful — and profitable — addition to the business.
Building a strong foundation through solid, consistent training can help new agents and up-and-coming teams:
- Boost their productivity and motivation
- Build stronger loyalty and sense of self
- Require less supervision from leadership
- Encourage growth and innovative thinking
- Avoid frustrating — or even costly — errors
A Two-Phase Approach
While it might be tempting to throw new agents into the deep end, taking a beat to train them properly can make a world of a difference. You don’t want to cut corners or skip hands-on, dedicated training — you want to set them up for success.
It’s important to keep in mind that speed isn’t always an indicator of success, and that forcing a newcomer to jump right in and figure it out as they go can actually lengthen that pesky learning curve. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Don’t double back to correct mistakes or undo bad habits that could have been prevented with solid training from the start.
Once an agent has joined your team, it can take months before they close a deal. By investing the time to offer intensive, strategic, and involved training from the start, you can help shorten this timeframe.
We like to take a two-phase approach to training: Initial Onboarding and Ongoing Refinement. Both are equally important in their own right, and we’ll break down the ins and outs of each.
Phase One: Initial Onboarding
Consider this phase of training to be the building of the foundation for your new agent. Just like a house needs a strong foundation to withstand the test of time and the elements, your agent needs a solid start to ensure they’ll have long-lasting, enduring success in your business.
It is imperative to ensure your new agent learns and becomes deeply familiar with the systems your team uses, has a deep understanding of and alignment with your vision and goals, and is up to speed with how things work within your business from a day-to-day perspective.
Taking the time to invest in phase one can set the stage for your new agent to shine.
Hands-On, Thorough Systems Training
This is absolutely critical. Focus here first.
Do we have your attention?
The technology your business uses, like a CRM, lead generation software, or transaction management tool, all requires hands-on training. Your agents must know how to use your systems, and how to use them effectively.
Technology is a critical investment to stay competitive in real estate, and getting your agents on board and actively using your technology is key to driving the success of your business. Failing to train agents to use your systems can cost you in both time and ROI.
Pro Tip: If you’re not sure where to begin, dig into what your software company can offer. Oftentimes, they’ll have training materials and resources on their website, or even a hands-on team of experts to train your agents one-on-one. It’s also a good idea to stay on top of system updates, new training courses, and regular refreshers to ensure you maximize your investment in software and use it to its fullest potential.
Lead with Purpose
As the leader of your business, you are the captain of the ship. Your team looks to you and your vision.
As such, the responsibility of training — whether you do it yourself or select your top performers to do so — falls on you. To help speed up your agent’s ride along the learning curve, you should:
- Enforce that they take every opportunity for training and resources that the software company has available.
- Develop and implement an accountability system across the business to make sure your agents are properly and accurately using the technology.
- Make it a priority to hold regular check-ins with your team to address and discuss any questions, concerns, or issues they may face with your technology, or share any new features and updates that may have been rolled out by the software company.
Dedicating this much time to training may seem overwhelming or counterintuitive. We get it, time is money. But think of it like putting together Ikea furniture. You could skip the manual and spend 2 hours putting it together blind… or spend 10 minutes reading the manual and build it in half an hour.
Internal operations, or the day-to-day activities, of your business are also key for a new agent to be immersed in as they are trained.
These operations can be both formal and informal in how they are documented, so spending time training your new agent from the very start on how things work within your business can help prevent numerous interruptions down the line.
No matter how you run your team or manage your business, be crystal clear about protocol, processes, and practices. Give your new agent an in-depth rundown of every detail, even allowing them to shadow other agents for a week or more and document questions or curiosities that arise as a result.
As an added benefit, these questions can also help you develop a training manual and process if you plan to expand and hire more agents.
Align with Business Goals and Mission Statement
Odds are, you’ve sussed out the quality of talent in your agent during the interview process, including how they align with the goals and mission of your business.
Regularly communicating your team’s goals and having a crystal-clear mission statement is important: taking your compelling vision and infusing it into regular training will help keep everyone on the same page and motivated to deliver their best work.
Now that your new agent has gotten their feet wet and is settling into their groove as a team member, phase two of continual refinement can begin.
Think of this as continuing to smooth out any rough edges as their integration into your team becomes more and more seamless. Continual refinement looks like having ongoing training sessions, maintaining regular check-ins, and even pairing your new agent with a mentor.
Not only will this second phase help keep agent performance on par, it will also help them build upon their strong foundation and develop their own flair and strengths as a real estate professional. Making regular training a part of your company culture helps foster teamwork, and also ensures that any new agents can join the business with minimal friction and quicker pipeline to success.
What are some other ways to continue to refine your agents’ success?
The real estate industry is constantly changing. There’s always something new to learn and transformations taking place. In the last three years alone we’ve seen a tremendous shift in real estate, all of which means it’s more important than ever to stay ahead of the curve and afloat of new changes.
Some different ways to help your team stay fresh in their industry knowledge include:
- Downloading industry reports
- Monitoring market trends
- Signing up for real estate newsletters and blogs
- Watching webinars or virtual training
- Attending seminars and conferences
Give Your Marketing Strategy a Refresh
Your online presence is everything, and technology is also constantly changing. Best practices for online lead generation are always shifting, and staying ahead of trends to promote your business is key.
Consider implementing a social media strategy, search engine marketing best practices, or investing in online marketing campaigns. Keep your eye on the ROI to ensure your refresh is maximizing your dollar spend.
Fine-Tune Sales Skills
Are you sensing a pattern here? Training isn’t a one-and-done event, it should be a constant. This is how you ensure greatness on your team, and keep innovation and collaboration alive in your business. From brand new agents onboarding to industry veterans that need a nudge to adopt new trends, refining sales skills through sales training is critical.
Consider investing in a real estate coach, implementing a mentorship system, or requiring your agents to attend annual trainings or conferences, and even earn certifications.
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