Help Your Agents Improve Their Confidence

There’s never an easy time to be an agent, but right now it is particularly complicated. Work with your agents to build confidence so they can find their footing.
Three black women smiling as they look down at a table at paperwork, teamwork

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For many practitioners in today’s market, confidence is in shorter supply. Experienced and newer agents find that strategies to build confidence that worked before are no longer cutting it. So, how can you help your team boost their mojo? According to Tim and Julie Harris, of Tim and Julie Harris Real Estate Coaching, the bottom line is encouraging them to remain active—even if they’re feeling discouraged. “They shouldn’t wait to have a stellar mindset before getting into action. Once they get into action, a stellar mindset will follow,” says Tim.

Here are eight strategies brokers, managers and team leads can use to boost their agent’s self-assurance.

Throw Them Into the Fire

“The conventional wisdom is to sit around and think, but the problem there is you don’t build momentum,” Tim explains. That’s why he and Julie prescribe 90-day “massive action plans” to coaching clients newer to the industry. Read: they get them out of planning mode and into the activities of real estate as quickly as possible. Along with shadowing experienced agents, this involves spending two straight weeks previewing properties. Segueing from the bottom to the top of the market (including new construction), they visit 10 listings per day for four to five days a week. While there, they learn about each property and how to show it. “Knowledge equals confidence, and ignorance equals fear,” Tim explains. So, the sooner agents become knowledgeable, the more quickly they’ll build their confidence.

Let Them Fail Early

“We want agents to fail in such big, horrible ways right when they get their licenses because they’ll realize it wasn’t that big of a deal,” reveals Julie. “Otherwise, they’re living in fear of the monster under their bed.” For instance, if they lose a buyer because they neglected to give a buyer presentation, they’ll learn not to skip that step next time. “By making mistakes, you can course correct faster,” she adds. 

Encourage Proactive Lead Generation

Discourage agents from spending time and money on speculative activities, like social media marketing, Tim advises. “It’s ego-satisfying for agents to say they’re building their brands. But if they don’t get results, they’ll lose their confidence and blame themselves.”

Often, these efforts take a long time to build, if they result in any measurable profit at all. “Agents are being told to do social media marketing and branding, but that stuff will be ubiquitous,” he projects. “AI will make everyone an Instagram and YouTube star and at such a frequency and high level. So, agents who think they’ll differentiate themselves with branding are 100% wrong.”

Instead, suggest your agents focus on proactive lead generation strategies that get them in front of actual buyers and sellers. Time-tested strategies, like attending open houses and door-knocking, tend to be more effective, in their experience. As a result, agents will experience success more quickly, expediting their path to confidence.

Suggest a Nourishing Morning Routine

“Control all your inputs,” Julie advises their coaching clients. Instead of scrolling through news feeds with doomsday headlines or nasty comments on social media, your team members can work on proactive lead generation or read inspiring biographies. “Salacious news headlines can get you in your head and take you off track.”

Emphasize Presentation Skills

Recommend your agents dress one notch above the local market, suggests Tim. Think linen pants and lace-up shoes in an area where jeans are the norm. Also, encourage them to build their communication skills by joining a Toastmasters group and steering clear of texting mainstays, like emojis and acronyms (“SMH,” “IRL,” etc.). To sound relaxed and articulate when communicating with clients or prospects, they should rehearse their presentations and scripts, ideally in front of colleagues.

Teach Them That Confidence is a Team Effort

It’s human nature to want to appear knowledgeable and confident, but sometimes that can lead to issues. Train agents to understand that they won’t have all the answers, and that’s okay. It doesn’t make them less of an agent as a result. Instead, teach them this line:

I might not know the answer, but I have a team of experienced leaders at the other end of a phone call always available to answer my questions.

“My agents say that constantly,” reveals Erin Cestero, San Antonio Division President at JB Goodwin REALTORS. “Knowing they have access to knowledgeable leadership so they can get advice in real time gives them the confidence to handle different scenarios,” she adds.

Praise Wins, No Matter the Size

Your highest-performing agents are recognized the most for their efforts, but they’re not the only ones doing the work.

“You can’t just celebrate million-dollar sales—it takes a while to get there,” notes Cestero. “So, build agents’ confidence by celebrating small wins.” In weekly sales meetings, her team announces an “agent of the week.” Instead of sales volume, this award is based on less obvious successes, like dynamic open houses and lead conversions.

Always Educate

“Real estate is always changing,” says Cestero. “So, on a regular basis, provide agents with knowledge from the leadership team, which will empower them to tackle those changes.”

Her brokerage’s marketing department distributes scripts to help agents talk about the state of the industry. In sales meetings, they talk about relevant market issues and updates and give out guides on navigating those issues with consumers. After these sessions, “our agents left fueled and excited and were high-fiving—they were in a real great place. A flood of them posted photos from the meeting on social media saying they’d met with leadership and could best answer questions” Cestero says.