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Commentary By John Fuhrman

RISMEDIA, Nov. 13, 2007-Don’t get me wrong, the value of the courses in the continuing ed program provide valuable information about compliance, practices, and much more. Every agent and broker should take full advantage of them. That being said, are you looking to earn income or just be compliant? Compliance allows you to practice your vocation, sales and other training provides you with methods and principles to succeed at it. The point is, you need both.

Look at it from a marketing perspective. When you see ads about individual agents or offices, has the headline of the ad ever said, “We’re the most compliant office in the land”? Of course not. Success is measured in transactions, time in the market, experience, and the like. Compliance just lets you in the game. If you want to excel, you and/or your office need to go above and beyond.

From a broker/owner standpoint, training is like investing in your greatest asset. Real estate. Human real estate. If you invest in your team’s success it will return dividends in several ways. Reduced turnover will save you thousands each year in lost business. Increased knowledge will enhance market image, increase sales and listings, and make you much more attractive to other agents looking for a place to succeed.

How do you measure a return on your training investment? The best way is to really get what it is you paid for. If you want to increase listings, have a program designed to do just that. General sales training programs are usually a great beginning and can be measured by real results. Then get more specific as time goes on. Make programs work for you rather than have your team change to fit the mold of the trainer.

Go live. When it’s possible, bring the real deal into your office. While there are many high quality programs available on CD’s or the Internet, there is nothing more impressive than having the “expert” in your office. That way you know the program is really geared for your specific needs.

Buy books. They don’t have to be real estate specific, but if you get your people in the habit of reading just 15 minutes per day, they will acquire five college educations in their lifetime. That kind of knowledge is hard to beat. Then, learn if the authors of those books are in your area, and if so, think about sending your people.

Listen to your peers. If colleagues are talking about a particular trainer, or training event, you should check it out. Chances are, their agents are talking to your agents and you don’t want your team wondering why you don’t help them with training and the competition does.

John Fuhrman is the director of training for www.mygreenparachute.com, who provide customer acquisition sites such as exit strategies, referral networks, and sales/training. His nine published books are on topics such as sales, leadership, goal setting, personal finance and the fears of rejection and failure. His best-selling book, “REJECT ME – I LOVE IT! – 21 Secrets for Turning Rejection into Direction” has been translated into a dozen languages.

For more information, e-mail jfuhrman@mygreenparachute.com and ask about the “Success on Sale” program.

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