Any real estate agent knows that the road from lead generation to closing a transaction can be one riddled with landmines. How do I craft the perfect elevator pitch? What do I say when a prospect tells me he has an agent in the family? What does the lender do?
When it comes to real estate, it’s important to provide agents with hands-on experience so they know what to expect in the field. Preparatory experience and exposure to different aspects of a transaction alleviates apprehensions and unknowns, which changes the external conversation that they’re having with potential clients and prospects. Instead of a weary attitude and unsure answers, agents can confidently tell a client what they can expect throughout the transaction process. Hands-on training builds confidence, better habits and better skills so they can become more efficient and effective agents.
Here are three types of hands-on training geared toward new and seasoned licensees to include in your mentorship program:
Field Trips: A Day in the Life
Give agents an opportunity to elevate their business by exposing them to real-world situations that happen during a transaction. Try some of HomeSmart’s proven off-site trainings:
- Mock Inspection – The mock inspection gives agents the opportunity to go through an inspection and be exposed to the portion when the inspector speaks to the client. When agents know what to expect, they can be prepared to have confident and intelligent conversations about what the inspector is going to do and help their client make informed decisions—and, when a client has a better experience, it is a referrable experience.
- Lender Roundtable – Agents can sit down with a lender and ask clarification questions. What are the different types of lending? What can the client expect throughout the process? Where does the agent’s job stop and the lender’s job begin? Being able to explain these things to the buyer prior to referring them to a lender is going to build the relationship between agent and client.
- Tours of Homes – Agents should practice showing a home. Review what to say, what not to say, how to use the lockbox, how to properly close up the house afterward and what to do when there’s an issue at a home, like a key breaking in a lock or accidentally setting off an alarm. These are all things that happen on occasion, and if you don’t know what to do, you panic. This hands-on training will relieve that stress.
Push the Limits: Breaking Out of Their Comfort Zone
Agents, especially those who have been licensed for years, get stuck in their ways and resist situations that make them uncomfortable. Growth comes when you break through your own limitations.
Networking: In Class and Off-Site
Rubbing elbows is a crucial part of building business relationships, but not everyone understands how to network purposefully. Hold a class dedicated to the basics and answering the questions: What is the purpose of networking? What should I focus on? How can I network properly? Push your mentees to have mock conversations. Practice in a controlled environment will prepare them to have candid conversations outside of the classroom.
A few months after the networking class, send your agents to network on their own. Meet them at a restaurant for happy hour and assess their behavior. Things to consider include monitoring alcohol consumption and not speaking with a full mouth. Expose them to the not-so-obvious aspects of networking.
It’s common for people to be uncomfortable in front of the camera. Provide a class that forces agents to videotape themselves. Let them see what they look like and repeat the practice until they become comfortable. This is a way to help your licensees overcome their fear of Facebook Live or sharing a video on YouTube or in an email. Video can be used as a prospecting tool, a way to keep in contact with current clients and a vehicle to bring valuable information to others who may turn into prospects and eventually clients.
Personal Mentorship: Overcoming Obstacles
The company’s broker or owner should identify an individual who will lead one-on-one coaching sessions. This person should be someone with experience who understands the lifecycle of a real estate agent and what they go through on a daily basis. The coach should give the agent situations where they tend to get stuck in conversations and provide them ways to overcome those obstacles. Work on building out responses to common objections like, “I have a cousin that’s a real estate agent.” How do you overcome that objection? Give agents tools and guidance on expressing why they should be chosen as the agent, and help them pinpoint and articulate their value proposition.
Agents hit roadblocks at every stage of their career. Everything can be an obstacle for a new agent, but for a seasoned agent, identifying where they’re struggling in their business and helping them overcome those obstacles with different strategies, tactics and suggestions are most important.
By coaching them through their stages of growth, you’ll change the way they think from being a REALTOR® to being a business owner. That type of hands-on training is invaluable.
Jennifer Ridenour is the national education director at HomeSmart. In her role on the HomeSmart brokerage team, she spearheads agent development and education. For more information about joining HomeSmart as an agent, visit Homesmart.com/join, or visit HomeSmart.com/Franchising for franchising opportunities.
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