Train’s the way to go.!

Do you remember the add.? Perhaps if you are a Gen Z or younger you won’t have any idea what I am talking about…..but if you are starting to get a bit grey behind the ears you will remember the NSW Transports marketing campaign to get people out of their cars and into the suburban cattle cart.

“Trains the way to go yeah……trains the way to go”.

Now it may seem that I have a vested interest in encouraging estate agents to train but I can say with certainty that after meeting and talking to hundreds of agents each year, there is very little offered to staff in the way of ongoing targeted skills training to empower staff to perform better and become more efficient in their real estate career’s.

To me….it doesn’t make sense. An employer spends hundreds of thousands of dollars employing people to carry out daily work tasks and then doesn’t empower them with the necessary skills to be able to carry out their work. How do I know this.?

Everyday I am training agents on statutory skills to help them comply with their legislative requirements and keep them off their regulator’s radars. That’s fine…..compliance is tough…and ever changing…….but when I press students (who represent your staff members) on simple skills that they need to actually carry out their work…..eg presentation skills, rapport building skills, negotiation skills, educational skills……..I see very few students who can demonstrate a sound knowledge in any of the above. How much business are you losing. ? (Glass half empty). ☹ How much more business would you be winning.? (Glass half full) ?

So why isn’t this training occurring on a regular basis.? I see a few main reasons.

1) Too busy to train.

Really.? Why not start an hour earlier or finish an hour later each week? Perhaps let a staff member pick and present a topic that they feel they are skilled in.?  It doesn’t always have to be the boss that sets the schedule or topic. …or why not start with a think tank and let staff tell you what they feel they need to know more about.

2) Sales staff are commission only.

This approach is used by the employer as a “throw away” excuse suggesting that if they wanted training to improve their income……then it’s not the employer’s problem. What message does this send to the commission only employee.?

3) Employer not skilled enough to deliver effective training.

Who has the best skill set in the company? Why not appoint the Sales or Property Manager to deliver the training. Who will lead and follow up on the training.? How will you know that the training is having an effect.?  Who will mentor the staff.? What about introducing role playing scenarios so staff are more confident before using their new skill set on your customers and clients.?

Regular ongoing skills training should be a permanent part of your weekly regime. Topics should be set in advance eg…. steps in a listing presentation, educating landlords and prospective vendors on their statutory responsibilities, skills to win the listing and negotiate an attractive selling fee or even understanding/explaining selling and management agreements. There are so many topics available that will assist staff become more efficient and effective in their daily work tasks.

Start by surveying your staff members, they will have loads of ideas on what they need to help them become better at their job. Advance to researching material on the selected topics or put down in writing what you know about the topic and ask for input from other knowledgeable team members.

Move to setting an agenda and calling a training session and then deliver your training over a breakfast session. Follow up by requesting feedback and most importantly…. check to ensure what shared knowledge is now being utilised in the workplace. Are staff getting results.? If not…why not?

Remember this, a trained employee feels better about themselves and better about their employer. You are now show that you care enough to invest time and resources back into them and their careers so they, in turn increase income and efficiency….so everyone has a win.

Making training a regular part of your week not only will lead to increased results but let’s your team members know that they are an important asset in your company. People want and need to feel good about their work……your support through training demonstrates you’re a company that cares about its people.

Train…it’s the way to go.