This is the first article in a two-part series on professional coaching.
Professional coaching isn’t just for athletes. It’s a service many successful REALTORS® invest in to take their businesses to the next level.
“If you’re looking for a way to enhance your income over the next several years, then coaching could be a wonderful addition to building your career, whether you’re a new agent or an experienced veteran,” said Mike Ferry, the founder of the Mike Ferry Organization, a real estate coaching and training company in Florida.
Ferry said about 50 percent of his clients are top-producing, experienced veterans who are looking at ways to become more efficient and profitable at what they do. The second largest group is new licensees, many with college degrees, who recognize they need an education to become a top salesperson.
Real Estate Champions CEO Dirk Zeller said, “I’ve had clients add $400,000 to $500,000 to their profits. One may have started at $200,000 and has risen to $600,000. These are normal agents in normal markets doing normal business but doing exceptional business.’’
He believes many agents think too small. “Coaching helps you think bigger,” Zeller added. “Many agents don’t understand the assets they have internally in their business and are underutilizing them. The numbers may be down but the market doesn’t dictate your success.”
Having a coach is vital in the real estate industry, according to John Alexandrov, CEO of Real Estate Inner Circle. “It’s become easy for consumers to do due diligence on REALTORS®. Consumers aren’t just going to hire a friend of a friend anymore – they’re looking for professionals,” Alexandrov said. “Things will continue to change at a more rapid pace and how REALTORS® adapt to the change will affect how they do business and whether they’ll remain in the business.”
Kelli Snyder, a coach with Buffini and Company, said the accountability aspect of coaching is invaluable to REALTORS®. “The reality is that we get more done when we work with coaches,” she said. “This is such a free-spirited industry that if you don’t have some system in place, I don’t think you will be as successful as you could be.”
When choosing a coaching company, it’s important for REALTORS® to consider what they want from a coach and what type of coaching system the company uses.
Zeller suggests REALTORS® research the companies and have a consultation with them. “Coaching takes a lot of forms – it’s not one-size-fits-all. What’s right for you? One-on-one coaching may not be the best fit for you as an individual. It may be more than you need or too costly. Are there other options? You need to choose a program that works for you,” he said.
REALTORS® should ask companies about their system, what it’s based on and whether it’s flexible or one-size-fits-all. He said many companies use an intake assessment to evaluate how their clients work, think, process and approach situations so the coaches can target skills needed.
Other things to consider when choosing a coaching company, according to Ferry:
- Length of time the coaching company has been in business
- The company’s experience with other agents
- The number of agents they’ve coached
- Their ability to fulfill all the things they say they can
- The company’s references.
The Mike Ferry Organization teaches the Mike Ferry Sales System for listing and selling houses. “We tailor the coaching around the agents’ needs, their experience and the level of the goals they’re trying to accomplish,” Ferry said. “If someone’s goal is 15 transactions a year or 150 transactions, we help them achieve their goals.”
Alexandrov said his company takes an individualized approach by creating customized coaching programs geared to the person’s personality and their goals. He urges REALTORS® to ask about the coach’s experience in real estate.
“Ask why that company is different, more progressive and more creative than other companies. Many companies are still using the same materials they did 20 years ago but the market is changing so rapidly that those old techniques may not be applicable to today’s world,” Alexandrov added.
Zeller added, “The bottom line is that REALTORS® need to look at their businesses and their practices. Most aren’t tracking their marketing, their results and their lead conversion numbers. A good coach is going to put monitoring and tracking measures in place so they understand what’s getting results.”