As CEO of Your Coach, an international coaching and training company, Tom Ferry has been helping real estate agents, brokers and others in the field create inner and outer wealth by helping them grow a prosperous business that they love.
With 26 years in the industry, the renowned speaker has helped more than half a million people with their business goals and regularly appears on TV, in print and on radio with advice on how to succeed. Plus, he’s personally engaged on social media sites, so if you send him a tweet @tomferry, he promises it will be him responding.
Ferry recently took time out of his busy speaking schedule to talk with RIS.
Q: What is your coaching philosophy?
Ferry: Our coaching philosophy is to help clients build their real estate business, not enhance a hobby. Business is predicated on two things, innovation and marketing. We believe agents should be continually innovating to improve the client experience. They should stay ahead of curve and be relevant to the ever-changing buying method of consumers. Therefore, how you market today really matters. So, we provide our clients with multiple lead generation systems that are tailored to their budget, focus and market. Bottom line, the agent who markets most effectively, wins the business. So we help our clients do just that. Our experience is that many coaching programs are too positional, they want the agent to ‘do it their way,’ which is usually based on ‘their one system.’ We know in 2015, with today’s connected consumers and the many ways they have to select an agent, this approach is simply too myopic.
Q: Why should a savvy real estate pro hire a coach?
Ferry: Because a coach holds you accountable to get it done, to stay inspired, to see ideas from a different perspective and most importantly, to hold you accountable to implement. Accountability is the game changer. Peter Druckers says, ‘when performance is measured, performance improves.’ It’s that simple.
Q: How does coaching differ from what they receive within their own firms/franchises? Ferry: The brand, the manager, the agent and the coach each have a unique role. In today’s fast paced world most (not all) managers simply don’t have the time to give each agent the individual the one-on-one scheduled attention and coaching they need. I have so much respect for managers and executives in real estate. We coach hundreds of them. We know, between daily agent deal doctoring, reporting, meetings, and running operations something has to give. That’s why coaching companies exist. Our day is strictly dedicated to giving agents the one-on-one coaching and training they need to increase their production and hold them accountable. The best-case scenario is when we work with the agent and have an open relationship with the managers and executives so we’re all on the same page. That’s when the real magic happens!
Q: How have your coaching methods and offerings evolved over the years to stay relevant to both changing market conditions and changing agent needs?
Ferry: Our business model follows a Peter Druckers quote: ‘Business has only two functions—marketing and innovation.’ In order to give our clients the best coaching we must evolve. For example, in 2009 I recognized the importance of YouTube and began teaching our clients how to maximize the use of video to increase their business. We were the first to teach Facebook dark posts and continue to be a thought leader on Instagram. Just the other day during one of my free Facebook coaching sessions the question I received the most was, ‘How do we use Instagram?’ This shows that agents are hungry for innovative marketing techniques.
I personally spend my time reading, testing and analyzing what’s new, what’s working right now and what’s coming to ensure our clients are first to market with new marketing techniques. Continuous innovation is the only way to ensure our clients are getting the best possible training.
Q: How have you incorporated technology and social media into the very personal and relationship-centric field of coaching?
Ferry: We lead by example. I’m personally very engaged in social media and technology. In fact, our coaching program includes access to private Facebook groups that my team, coaches and myself are very active in. The engagement, support, motivation and referrals that happen within the groups is nothing short of extraordinary. The referrals alone could cover the entire cost of coaching. Last month $2.1 million in referral commission opportunities happened within the groups.
Recently I brought in social media expert, Gary Vaynerchuck, to speak with our clients about how to use social media to grow their business. The 45-minute Q&A session with Gary was extremely powerful.
Q: What makes your coaching so successful?
Ferry: Results. My entire team is committed to getting results, and then it really comes down to our coaches and our community. We pride ourselves in having the best coaches in the industry and ensuring that they are matched up appropriately with each member. Some clients work better with a no BS coach and others need something a bit different. We have coaches that can meet the needs of each individual client. My company would not be as successful as it is without our community. And by community I mean all of our clients, our coaches, our staff and our partners. Every single person is truly passionate about our mission ‘to create a better real estate experience.’
As the CEO—Chief Energy Officer, I do a lot to keep people fired up, innovating and in action. Because of the awesome community we’ve built, everyone is committed to doing it better. Their willingness to share, support and contribute to so many agents around the world impresses me every day.
Q: How do the agents/firms you work with measure their return on investment from your services?
Ferry: We spend time up front with each client to understand his or her ultimate goals. We then coach and train them to achieve those goals and hold them accountable every step of the way. Normally increasing someone’s business by one transaction covers the entire year of coaching. At that point we can move beyond the ‘if’ coaching is right and focus on ‘when’ the right time is to increase their goal number.
Q: What makes you different from other real estate coaches/trainers in the field?
Ferry: What really sets me apart is my philosophy that there’s no wrong way to generate to a lead. I’m all about innovation and marketing and teaching clients how to do the things that work in today’s market and adapting as necessary to remain successful. The other thing is my willingness to take risks and go against the status quo. There are no sacred cows in my world. Whatever I was teaching that worked 19-months ago is meaningless to me today if it’s no longer relevant.
I am truly grateful that coaching companies exist to give agents a dedicated place for training and there are many coaches in the industry. For me, it’s in my blood. Helping real estate agents build successful businesses is what I am truly passionate about…it’s what I go to sleep thinking about, wake up excited about and dedicate my life to.
Q: In your opinion, how should brokers get involved in outside coaching?
Ferry: There’s no wrong way. From my experience brokers should have a relationship with coaching companies but not necessarily pay for the agents individual program. Coaching demands commitment and in a way making the personal investments increases the commitment. Some brokers successfully offer incentives or reimbursements towards coaching which motivates the agent to produce. Brokers that understand the different coaching programs and refer their agents intelligently, generate the results in their per-person production. I don’t believe brokers should pay for it. I do believe brokers should have a relationship with all of us. Know us, know our beliefs, this way they can refer agents that are ready for the right program.
For more information, visit www.tomferry.com.