Does every real estate professional need to hire a coach? “I’ve yet to come across a top producer who doesn’t have one,” says Praful Thakkar, e-PRO, a sales associate with Keller Williams Realty in Andover, Mass. Of course, practitioners can build a decent business without the added expense of one-on-one coaching, but such mentorship can elevate your production level from good to great. “My coach helps me focus and keeps me accountable,” says Thakkar, who has received coaching from Buffini & Company. “It’s been a small investment for all I get out of it.”
Enrolling in a coaching program can be an expensive proposition, though. The cost of training materials, supplementary courses, guidance to implement what you’ve learned, and coaching seminars can run from hundreds to thousands of dollars each month. Fans of these programs say the return on investment is significant. But if you’re not quite ready to drop that kind of money, there are cheaper ways to get started with coaching that still provide good insight into your business.
Jeff Manson, broker-owner of American Dream Realty in Kailua, Hawaii, says that in the 10 years he’s used Mike Ferry’s coaching programs, some of the most useful tips he’s gleaned came from peers who spoke at sponsored events. “When I went to seminars, I got to hear top-producing agents who shared what they were doing and how they go about building their business,” Manson says.
So, along with other industry leaders, he’s put together a free MasterMind series of webinars at KeepingItReal.com using the knowledge he sourced. “If you can’t afford the $500 to $1,000 for a coaching program now, [the webinars] are a great place to start,” Manson suggests. Other inexpensive options for career development include free podcasts and videos, as well as continuing education courses, which carry a one-time fee.
What You Can Do to Make Your Coaching Experience Better
A coach won’t change your business fortunes overnight. If you’re willing and able to make the mental and financial commitment to professional coaching, you must have the patience to follow the program. The rewards you reap will come later. “If you’re going to hire a coach and don’t execute what he or she advises you to do, you’re just wasting your money,” Manson warns. Here are some things that will set you up for a positive coaching experience:
- Come into it with the right attitude. “You have to make the decision that you will be coachable,” says Venus Howard, GRI, a sales associate with RE/MAX Alliance in Westminster, Colo. “You have to be open to having some tough conversations and getting called out about how you are doing things.” In other words, for coaching to work, you have to want it to work. You’ll only grow if you’re willing to listen to someone else’s advice.
- Know where you need help. Coaches and coaching programs emphasize different skills and mindsets. To find the one that will have the most impact on your business, it will help if you can identify areas where you’re struggling before you start evaluating your options. Then you can make choices with a clear idea of what you want to get out of your coach.
- Make sure you can make the financial commitment. It may take half a year or more before you start seeing tangible results from coaching, so you’ll be paying a hefty monthly fee for the services until then (or until you feel you’ve gotten what you wanted out of it). Make sure it’s an investment you can afford long enough for a fair trial run.
- Understand what you’re getting for the money. Coaching programs are typically offered in different pricing tiers. Entry level gives you the basic tools, scripts, and strategies for building your business, along with limited or group coaching sessions. One-on-one mentoring may be a step-up expense. Make sure you know what’s included, how many sessions with your coach are covered, and how much more extras cost. For a subscription coaching service, find out if you’ll eat any cost if you end a program early.
- Do your homework. Thakkar and Howard both did some trial and error with other coaching programs before landing on the one that was right for them. But you can avoid some of that hassle if you spend time fully exploring and comparing programs and coaching philosophies. Attend seminars hosted or sponsored by different companies to get a feel for the culture. Read online reviews, check out sample videos, and talk to subscribers of a program before you enroll.
- Reevaluate along the way. Throughout a coaching program, periodically review the impact it’s having on your business. If you can measure results, maybe it’s time to step up to the next level. If it’s not bringing quantifiable change, is it you or the program? Would another coach or approach make a difference? Occasional reviews will help you decide whether it’s time to explore other options.
Training Programs and Products
Here is a small sampling of some of the larger and more established coaching and mentoring programs available to help real estate professionals advance their careers. Inclusion is not an endorsement; you should fully investigate any coaching program before enrolling, as fees can be substantial.
Buffini & Company
|$395||Twelve-week course offered online or as a group session in a classroom. Includes 12 tutorials, a marketing kit, the ReferralMaker app for customer relationship management, and access to an online resource center for additional training and coaching resources.|
|$44 per month||WBNL Coaching is a consulting company focused on business and life coaching, with programs for real estate professionals and team leaders. Wanderers’ Club membership covers online courses, two training workshops, monthly group coaching sessions, marketing support materials, and discount pricing on additional WBNL events and products.|
|Real Estate by Coach Simple
|$199 per month for small-team version (up to 10 users)||Helps team managers and team members implement strategies for improving productivity. Includes modules for coaches and team members to set goals, develop business processes, track sales activity, measure productivity, and integrate professional life.|
|Advanced Commercial Real Estate Coaching
|$19.95 for two-month trial; $297 per month after that||For commercial practitioners, services include monthly online webinars with Q&A sessions, along with a written transcript of each webinar; monthly 10-minute dial-in sessions with a one-on-one coach; and a monthly commercial real estate newsletter.|
|Real Estate Coaching Essentials
Tim and Julie Harris
|Starting at about $400 per month||Entry-level training package providing a step-by-step plan for increasing sales, attracting more listings, and maintaining a successful real estate career. The company also offers personal coaching programs and specialized training in short sales, REO properties, and BPO (broker’s price opinion).|
|$650 per month with 12-month commitment||Basic one-on-one coaching program from the Mike Ferry Organization, including 40 training calls with a personal real estate coach, a sales kit, subscription to Selling magazine, and 50 percent discounts on Mike Ferry–sponsored events, products, and audio downloads.|
|Virtual & One-on-One Coaching
|Starting at $59 per month for virtual coaching; $499 per month for one-on-one coaching||Jared James Enterprises also offers the BluePrint For Real Estate Success Course for only $499, which includes more than 10 sections, 50 training videos, and all the templates/dialogues needed to learn how to run a predictable real estate business.|