Real estate coaches provide objective business consulting and can even provide the catalyst for personal transformations. But who needs a coach and what’s the best way to select one?
An experienced real estate agent with a solid clientele and a steady stream of income might ask, “Why would I want to hire a real estate coach?”
Fair point. With reputable programs starting at around $500 per month and a significant time commitment, coaching is neither cheap nor always convenient. Perhaps most challenging, coaching involves giving someone else permission to scrutinize every aspect of an agent’s life and business practices.
However, both newcomers and top-earning agents who find the right coach agree that the increased business and, in some cases, the personal transformations they gain more than pay for the investment. Here’s why.
Professional athletes have long realized that even in sports in which physical size, speed and conditioning are critical, it’s the athlete’s psychological mindset that often poses the biggest barriers to reaching that next level of performance.
Consider Stephen Curry, the Golden State Warriors’ top-scoring point guard and the first player to win the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award unanimously. While his team provides some of the best coaching staff in the league, Curry continues to work with renowned agility coach Brandon Payne, running drills to improve his coordination, accuracy and split-second decision making.
Pro golfers, whose success depends even more on their mental state, also rely on handsomely paid private coaches. Dave Pelz, Phil Mickelson’s short game guru, commands $20,000 per day ($30,000 if he travels to you) and is highly in demand.
A good coach can give a player something he can never do on his own — the opportunity to scrutinize himself from the outside, says long-time golf pro teacher Chuck Cook. “Without another set of eyes,” he says, “it’s difficult for a player to know exactly where he is in his swing.” Without this objectivity, a player usually takes his technique in the wrong direction, he notes.
A good coach gives their students much more than improved technique. When reflecting on two of his top coaches, golfing legend Jack Nicklaus says, “They both had the gift of imparting to their students the ability to believe in themselves.”
Lisa Archer, Chief Opportunity Officer at Live Love Homes and a Keller Williams MAPS Coach, agrees, noting that building confidence is one of the most important benefits of having a real estate coach.
Agents who are confident in their real estate coach will be more likely to take the steps they never would have tried if they simply waited for assurance in their own abilities.
A good coach can help agents reach the next plateau in their business and professional life.
Author, speaker, consultant and a certified coach with 30 years’ experience, Bernice Ross notes that real estate coaches are usually hired to help with mindset and behavioral challenges. Once an agent hurdles the mental blocks that are encumbering their personal and revenue growth, they can aspire higher to reach goals they felt were previously unattainable.
A good coach will hold the agent accountable to take the action steps needed to reach the next level of performance.
While many coaches require a contract of several months or longer, this time and money investment can also work in the agent’s favor by incentivizing them to follow their coach’s advice.
Jeff Cohn, leader of Nebraska’s No. 1-selling real estate team and CEO of Elite Real Estate Systems coaching, notes that about only one out of 10 agents treat their practice like a business, so the small minority who understand the value of coaching have a much greater shot at success.
Nevertheless, many agents are confused about the difference between training and coaching. They are not the same thing, Archer says.
Coaching, on the other hand, allows agents to focus on what they need to improve, Archer says.
Real estate coaches vary greatly in their areas of speciality and ability. Here are a few tips to help narrow the field:
A great real estate coach should be able to provide references of agents who have become measurably more successful through their help. Begin by asking colleagues for referrals.
A Personal Fit
Finding the right personal fit is important. Ross suggests agents find a coach who reviews the whole person and not just their business. How the coach makes the agent feel is a good indicator. Does the coach not only lecture but also truly listen? Does the interaction truly energize and encourage the agent to take action?
Breadth of Experience
Agents looking to improve one specific area of their business may also need a coach who specializes in sales and marketing, lead gen or conversion. Some coaches find their strength in consulting team leaders or developing personal skills.
Certification programs are also available for coaches to receive measurable experience under the tutelage of a proven coaching team. Such programs usually require the coach to attend a structured program and then accumulate a certain number of hours before receiving their certification.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
There are many different types of coaching arrangements as well. Some coaches use a structured system for all of their clients. Others tailor their approach to each client. Both methods have proven effective. The key is to conduct thorough research, including talking to some of the coach’s current students.
As a more affordable option, group coaching offers agents the ability to receive personal assessment and accountability while learning from others in the group.
Regardless of the option selected, agents need to keep an open mind throughout the coaching sessions. Many real estate agents get into real estate because they don’t want a boss telling them what to do. Yet by hiring a coach, they’re giving someone permission to do exactly that.
Perhaps that’s the biggest takeaway of all in the coaching process: Agents must remember to let go of their preconceived notions and remain open to all ideas if they want to truly flourish and grow.