On Thursday this week I had two new real estate agents join our team. They’re not brand new to the real estate business, but just new to working on my team. I’m not sure who was more overwhelmed, me or them. We’re a small team of seven, so it’s up to me and my Chief Operations Officer Elizabeth Gilbert to get them integrated into our systems and fully trained. The upside is they both already have their real estate licenses and both have had some experience selling homes. They won’t have to start from scratch, but it’s still stressful thinking about all the things they’ll need to learn.
I’m guessing most people think, “What’s the big deal? They just have to show homes and write contracts, right?” Well it’s a little more complicated than that in today’s real estate business. They’ll have to fill out a mountain of paperwork and a full week of administrative duties just to get their real estate licenses switched over to our office. They’ll be required to update their status with Heartland Multiple Listing Service (HMLS) and the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors. They’ll need to get set up on our database and start entering names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, etc for all their past clients, family, and friends. These are a small handful of duties they’ll need to perform, but there are many more things they’ll need to get set up, long before they begin working with their first clients.
On Tuesday, Elizabeth and I sat in my office putting together a huge training schedule that will easily take the remainder of this year to get them through. We both now feel better about the quality of our training for these agents and for the first time ever, I feel like we have a great plan in place.
As we were putting this training together, I was thinking about all my past jobs and the lack of quality training I had in the first two months. I enjoyed working at most of these places and although I loved all my bosses, I know they really had no clue of how to train me for success. It’s tough to get integrated into a company when they don’t train you properly. Many of them were good business owners, but they were terrible at showing me how to do the job. To be fair, most of my jobs have been sales related and many business owners are not salesmen. Because of this, they’re not really sure what you need, so they show you a desk and a phone, then say, “There you go. Go get ‘em!”
Sales jobs are not like any of the other jobs within an organization. You are expected to know how to be personable and talk to prospective clients to assess their needs. You have to learn all the aspects of production within the company so you can talk intelligently about the company with your clients. You typically have to be concerned about a budget and profitability too. Salespeople rarely keep a 9 to 5 schedule. Many times I would be traveling away from my family, or at least driving back to Kansas City late at night.
I want to make sure I give my team members the proper guidance and instruction. These two agents will probably get up and running much faster than they could on their own. I remember when I started in real estate thirteen years ago, there were so many things to learn. Today there are even more things to master with all the technology we now have in the real estate business. When speaking with other new agents in our Keller Williams office on Englewood Road, I tend to hear the word “overwhelmed” a lot.
On my team they’ll have the luxury of receiving highly skilled administrative help. They’ll have multiple people training them and on a wide variety of subjects too. As my real estate business has grown, we need more help and it’s very important to me to have knowledgeable people on my team. It may take a little more time to make sure they’re trained right, but my hope is they’ll be able to take care of our clients at a very high level as well.