As I’ve mentioned in previous articles in this series, we focus on coaching and culture more than everything else combined. This month, I want to discuss the importance of coaching your agents and the impact it will have on your culture and bottom line.
We see coaching and training agents as a number of things (see graph on right).
If everything else is equal in life, there is no debate that those who have a coach and are held accountable will out-produce those who don’t.
Through one-on-one coaching, we break down the agent’s strengths and weaknesses. We focus on building their strengths and have them focus on three strategies to build their business. When anyone tries to do too many things at once, they get frustrated and usually stop working on all of them.
By helping the agent understand and focus on a few things at a time, they’re able to achieve more, and the sense of accomplishment drives them to continue to work hard. Ultimately, they grow their business faster and are much happier. By putting in the time to coach them, we’ve found that they’re more likely to help others. This means everyone is more productive.
The mastermind groups we develop have the greatest positive impact on culture. There are 12 people per group. The agents must have an accountability partner, turn in a weekly schedule and share ideas that are helping them grow their business, among other things. An owner or manager must be in each meeting to help keep the group on track. By encouraging one another, sharing ideas and talking about issues they’re having in the market, everyone walks away feeling positive, energized, better prepared to handle issues and focused on how to continue to grow their business. The agents also get to know each other better, which leads to them working together better. They bond.
Our view is not to take business from each other, but to take business away from other competition in the marketplace. As a coach and trainer, by actively participating in mastermind groups and one-on-one coaching, we become more knowledgeable and able to help all of our agents succeed.
We’ve also developed a six to eight week prospecting class that consists of approximately 70 agents at a time. Each agent must have an accountability partner and complete specific prospecting activities on a weekly basis. Agents get together in groups and share what they’re doing. Again, this brings them together in a positive manner. We bring in speakers and top producers to share various ways to prospect and role play what they’re doing with buyers and sellers. We push and encourage agents to get outside their comfort zones, helping them overcome fears and mental obstacles.
Bringing the agents together creates an environment where they’re motivated by each other’s success, have friendly competition and look to their colleagues as respected friends. They’re more willing to help each other and cheer one another on. This energy transmits throughout the office and everyone is left feeling like they’re part of a great, winning team.
In the end, culture without great coaching or vice versa doesn’t work. Agents can love the company and environment, but if they aren’t making any real money, they’ll leave. Therefore, the responsibility and burden is on us as owners and managers to make sure we understand how to teach, develop and coach our agents to not only meet their goals, but exceed their own expectations. When we help agents grow through coaching and create a positive environment to work in, they’ll be loyal and more productive. And we’ll attract additional agents.
Vince Leisey is the president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate.
For more information, visit www.bhhsamb.com.