G.M. Filisko is a Chicago area freelance and former editor for REALTOR® Magazine.
Is Your Training Tired? Try These 4 Tips
Expand agents’ selling repertoire and encourage participation with these flexible, relevant, and fun sales exercises.
October 24, 2014
Even the best brokers can get into training ruts where they sympathize with restless and bored salespeople. One problem is that as markets and technology have changed, you’re probably having fewer associates coming into the office for education, says Karlton Utter, director of learning technologies and solutions for Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate in Parsippany, N.J. Here are Utter’s workarounds:
1. Make videos available for when associates are free. “Associates are looking for more self-paced training,” says Utter. “If they’re up at 10 p.m. and have a couple minutes, they can watch a video. One thing that works for us is to hire subject-matter experts who put together programs. We also take the training sessions we do, whether they’re live or through a webinar, and record them. We add all those to our company’s learning library.”
2. Ask experts to record videos. “Find an expert on the topic you want to cover,” explains Utter. “Then instead of doing a live webinar or training, ask, ‘Can you take what you’d talk about in a training and break it into six videos for us?’” Keep videos to 3-5 minutes, advises Utter, and don’t worry so much about the quality. “The question is whether it has actionable information,” he says.
The cost varies depending on the glitz of the production. “I’ve had social media experts give us videos they did on a webcam or by recording themselves giving a webinar, so then you have a PowerPoint presentation associates can flip through while listening,” says Utter. “Those cost about the same as a webinar, which could be $300 or $3,000.”
3. Create group get-togethers. “Lot of associates are used to one-on-one sessions where it’s the associate and the broker plus a lot of accountability,” Utter says. “Instead, I suggest creating groups on topics particular associates enjoy. Maybe you’re putting together associates who want to get better at social media. You could switch up the groups each month.”
Let salespeople lead the groups while you act as moderator, advises Utter. They can share their success stories and challenges. Or each week, have an associate do a mini-presentation on what’s working in his or her business. “It’s a nice, interactive way for salespeople to get together,” says Utter. “And it doesn’t feel like, ‘The broker’s going to yell at me because I didn’t do enough open houses this week.’”
4. Host lunch sessions. “Lunch and learns are a pretty cool idea,” Utter says. “Invite salespeople, and then have an [expert] either Skype in or do a Google Hangout, with you moderating. After, you can host a Q&A or take the topic to a more localized level. A lot of times, you’ll hire somebody to do a webinar and you end up just hoping salespeople log on. This way, you get associates all in one place, and afterward you can talk about things like what they can implement from the session or their main takeaway.”