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RISMEDIA, June 27, 2011—In real estate, coaching is a huge business. And depending on your preference, your coach can focus on a number of things related to good business practices and increasing your bottom line.

But how do you know who’s the right coach for you? In order to achieve maximum ROI with your coach, there are steps you can take to ensure that you are choosing the best coach for you and creating the best coaching partnership possible.

Here are six tips from the International Coaching Federation for creating a great coaching partnership:

1. Do your homework. You may have heard that coaching can help people manage their work-life balance or improve relationships, but do you really know how it works? Today, there are coaches with a vast array of specialties including business, relationship, spiritual, health and wellness, life planning and many more. Educate yourself about the coaching process and what you can expect from a coaching relationship. Read books on coaching at your local library or visit the ICF website

2. Know what you want from coaching. Think about the kinds of goals you want to create for your life and outline your objectives for working with a coach. Do you have your eyes set on a new business venture? Are you hoping to improve your communication skills or become a more effective leader? Coaching will provide the pathway to your goals, but it is ultimately up to you to decide where you want to go. Set realistic expectations and know that you are responsible for your own learning, growth and progress. Your coach will be there to hold you accountable.

3. Consider your personal preferences. Certified or credentialed coaches, no matter what their background, are trained to listen, observe and customize their approach to individual client needs. But are there other qualities that would make you feel more comfortable with your coach? What about his or her professional experience, coaching specialties offered, your desired coaching method (in person or face-to-face), language, or location? The Coach Referral Service (CRS) at is a great place to start your search based on your specific preferences in these areas.

4. Shop around. Interview three coaches before you decide on one. Ask each about his or her experience, qualifications and skills – does the coach follow a code of ethics or belong to a coaching professional association? And don’t forget to ask for at least two references. If you know someone who has been coached, ask for recommendations – satisfied coaching clients are highly likely to advocate their coach to others.

5. Connect. Coaching is an important relationship. There should be a connection between you and the coach that “feels” right to you. Many coaches will offer a complimentary first-time coaching session to help you both decide. Again, think about your objectives for working with a coach. Do you feel comfortable addressing those goals with this person?

6. Put it in writing. Be sure you have a written agreement in place for coaching services. As with any business arrangement, putting everything in writing provides a record for what both parties have agreed upon and diminishes the potential for misunderstanding.