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An interview with Broker Audrey Bullock, Century 21-HT Brown Real Estate Inc., Columbia, Maryland

By John Voket

A lot of new agents are learning the hard way that they have just stepped into a declining and highly competitive market. How can you get these agents off and running successfully so they will have the confidence and income to sustain their rookie year?

In my opinion, the best approach to take when mentoring a new agent or when facilitating a training program like Brian Buffini's 100 Days to Greatness® class, is to get the new agents into the immediate practice, then habit, of consistent lead generation.

That means getting them consistently using Brian's systems that have been tried and true for hundreds or thousands of other new agents before them. New agents have such unabashed enthusiasm for our business, and many quickly prove they have the capacity to do a great number of transactions. Unfortunately, too often the newer agents have their enthusiasm quelled after only a short period of time by either talking to "experienced" agents who are going through a dry spell-sometimes a very long dry spell-or because they lack the necessary guidance or training on the habits they need to practice in their first several months in the real estate business. If the mentor or facilitator instills these critical daily habits, they will result in lead-generation from the onset and the new agent immediately and consistently experiences great success.

What is the single-most important aspect of Brian's systems you encourage your agents to practice from day one?

Today's real estate market requires absolute consistency to achieve maximum results. A Realtor, even a brand new Realtor, can make a healthy income, provided they are equipped with the tools and knowledge to succeed. I support our new agents who I train and mentor by several different strategies: I let them shadow me for a brief period of time so that they learn what activities come into play in a Realtor's week; I role play with new agents to help them gain confidence and have some practiced answers to client's possible questions or objections; and I help them celebrate and chart their successes based upon their transaction and lead-generation goals.

How do you know that your mentoring approach is really working?

During my first 100 Days Class, I had a student who was very skeptical of the program from day one. At that point, 100 Days seemed like it was going to be an eternity for both of us! But today, she is one of the strongest advocates we have for the class, and she has had huge success with her clients while implementing the fundamentals that she learned in my very first session. Another student that I had in a different 100 Days class shared with me that she had seven transactions closed within 60 days of completing the class, and she attributed every one of those closings to principles that she learned in the class. I don't think you'll need to call in CSI to find evidence in those testimonials!

How do you deal with agents who buck the mentoring approach?

In every class or Mentor program, some agents will step up to the plate and some will not. But for those who do, the importance of keeping them focused on consistent lead generation cannot be emphasized enough. These agents have the energy, and most of them have the inner drive to do the tasks. Then it becomes the Mentor's job to make sure that those activities turn into habits during the first few months of a new Realtor's career. If I can do that with every one of my agents, I know they will hit the streets with the greatest possible chance to succeed.