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Agent Education: How to stay sharp at every stage of your career

by Jason Porterfield

Coaching for success

Taking online courses or pursuing designations might be enough for some agents. But many elect to employ a professional real estate coach. The cost of such a service can be prohibitive for a newly licensed agent who is just starting out. But for those who can afford a real estate coach, a common benefit (in addition to experience and personalized feedback) is being held accountable. That is a boon for agents who struggle to self-motivate or are not used to working for themselves.

“What we find is most training programs focus on compliance and legalities, which is important,” says Debbie Holloway, a national speaker and real estate coach with Tom Ferry. “Yet, real estate is a sales and marketing business. Therefore, what you say matters. Mastering sales skills and marketing techniques is crucial.”
Coaching is available for agents at all levels, though the personal attention can be costly. Tom Ferry coaches identify five stages of professional development for which agents may need help: startup, growth, “cash cow,” “fading winner,” and restructuring agent. The approach is customized to fit each agent’s needs, and it is aimed at accelerating growth.

“Some programs focus on one way of generating business, whether it is by referral only or cold calling,” Holloway says. “At our company, we believe there’s no wrong way to generate business. We train based on what works best for the individual member, so we can help them reach their goals faster.”

Regardless of the course an agent chooses to follow, he or she should always be looking for ways to continue their real estate education and grow professionally, Toban believes. The continuing education requirement can be a chore from which the agent shies away, or it can be seen as an opportunity to improve.

“Be open to the new learning methods,” Toban says. “Consider investing in and actually paying for education that’s worth something to you. Seek it out and don’t just wait for it to show up at your office as a free presentation or something that someone gives you. If it’s valuable, go get it.”

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