The real estate industry has changed tremendously over the last decade, and the way new agents learn the ropes and service their clients has also evolved. Agents and brokerages have weathered a market crash, a slow recovery and a slew of new lending regulations. At the same time, technological revolutions such as the rise of the smartphone and the advent of consumer-focused aggregator sites have forced agents to adapt to a market in which consumers have greater access to free information about properties and pricing than ever before.
For Eli Masud of Dream Town Realty, the training he received to use the technology tools available to him was vital to getting his team off the ground. Masud and his business partner, Jose Bedolla, joined forces last year to form Second City Agents. Both came from sales backgrounds, but had no prior real estate experience. Combining their training and their local knowledge resulted in such a successful year for the company that Masud was a finalist for Rookie of the Year in the 2015 Agents’ Choice Awards.
“What I was most concerned with initially was not really knowing how fast I could learn the information once I had the resources to help me get there,” Masud said. “Dream Town does a really good job of helping us learn to carry ourselves like professionals with 10 years of experience, even if we’ve only been in the industry for a year.”
Dream Town offers continual training for its agents, and it’s not alone. Keller Williams, Baird & Warner and other brokerages also place a greater emphasis on the value of career enrichment programs than they have in the past.
“At least once a week they have some type of formal training where they present different topics that you can choose to attend,” Masud said of his experience with Dream Town. “It ranges from things like how to use the MLS to how to negotiate your sale and how to price a property. The list is endless. They also do it based on your skill set. They’ll have more of a one-on-one class or two-on-one or three-on-one so you can progress with the training.”
Efficiently leveraging technology is an important skill that today’s agents must master to stay ahead. The National Association of Realtors’ 2015 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report found that ninety percent of Millennial purchasers used an agent to complete their transaction, and 5 percent chose their Realtor due to the agent’s practice of constant contact through a smartphone, tablet or other device.
“The technology training is what really helped us because everything they [Dream Town] do really helps us automate the process,” Masud said. “Time is key, and you can only be in so many places at once.” He explained that new agents learn how to use the tools at their disposal to address their clients’ needs, and how automation, client relationship management systems and search tools help agents stay organized and keep deals on track. What’s been the most valuable aspect of the training Masud received as a new agent? “It’s all these technology tools that they taught us how to use in order to service our clients better.”