What Coaches Can Do For Business

Sometimes asking for help can be the key to success. Find out how a life, money, or fashion coach can improve your bottom line.

December 10, 2015

Marguerite Giguere wants to improve her life, health, and real estate business. So, she uses a life coach, a personal trainer, a physical therapist, and a money coach.

“When you use coaches, it allows you to go through a door that you didn’t think you could,” says Giguere, an agent with Windermere Professional Partners in Tacoma, Wash. “Once you are there, coaching is addictive. There are so many things I never envisioned myself doing that I do now.”

Giguere has started pushing her limits since working with coaches — and not just through daredevil activities such as skydiving but also in her real estate career. She’s more selective in the clients she works with, makes more money, and invests more wisely.

She’s not alone in her quest to be the best she can be by reaching out to a coach. In fact, the International Coach Federation says there are more than 50,000 professional coaches in business worldwide, compared with 2,100 in 1999. This growing profession has many specialties, from relationships and health to technology.

By using coaches, agents can get a fresh perspective on personal challenges, and brokers can enhance their leadership skills.

Windermere Professional Partners has used a coach for the last three years to develop and train managers at its four offices.

“Our organization is very team-based and has been growing in the number of agents, thereby requiring more managers,” says broker-owner Kevin Mullin. Coach Mimi Welch helps members of the management team understand one another’s perspectives and sets the stage for better communication.

“Each manager has their own issues that can cause obstacles for personal and professional growth. Mimi helps work with our team to resolve those,” Mullin says. Admitting he has control issues, Mullin adds that his business could not have grown to where it is now without help from Welch.

“We have an organization that can grow by 20 percent in six months or less, and we have to handle it without melting down,” he says. “To have excitement and not fear is the coolest result of using a coach.”

For Giguere, the life coach she has been working with for five years has helped her get past her own limits about success. “As a real estate person, we make about as much money as we think we can. I had a lot of blockage about that because both of my parents came from poorer backgrounds. I didn’t finish college. I never thought I’d have financial security,” she adds.

Giguere pays about $6,500 a year for all of her coaching time. Her life coach charges $250 for two sessions a month. “Obviously, it’s not for everyone. But I don’t have a car payment, and most people pay more on their car than coaching,” she says.

Looking and Feeling Better

Susan Kanoff works as a fashion coach in Boston and has helped many real estate brokers and agents change their look.

“I worked with ‘Tammy.’ She was ready to take her real estate business to the next level and wanted a new image that reflected the message of success,” she says.

Getting dressed was stressful for Tammy, and she never felt like she wore the right clothes when she met with a client or attended a business function. So Kanoff worked with Tammy to fill her closet with pieces that are easy to assemble into gorgeous outfits that she felt confident wearing.

They started by getting rid of Tammy’s outdated and ill-fitting clothes. Next, they discussed her best styles and colors, put together a few visual ideas, and wrote out a complete shopping list of what she needed to purchase.

“We hit the local malls and found some gorgeous clothes that not only flattered her but made her feel fabulous. My secret to successful shopping is to only buy what you love,” Kanoff explains.

The last step was to put her outfits together. Kanoff came to her home and took photos of her ensembles to create an outfit guide.

“Tammy told me that her new look has elevated her business. She now looks like the successful real estate agent she is,” Kanoff says.

Kanoff’s fees are straightforward. It’s $375 for up to three hours of in-home wardrobe/closet sessions or personal shopping and $100 for each additional hour. For onsite coaching or online shopping, her fee is $100 an hour.

She has worked with many people in the real estate field because it’s important for them to put their best foot forward. “What message do you want to send to your clients, your friends, and whoever it is in your life? Some people just don’t know how to do it. They have clothing from 10 years ago, and it just doesn’t work now,” Kanoff says. “If you don’t dress for success, people don’t take you seriously. It’s distracting.”

Diving Into Coaching

Former real estate pro Nancy Jamieson believes coaching is really about transformation. “But transformation can be really scary,” says Jamieson, who now works as a life coach for Anam Cara Coaching and Consulting in Minneapolis. Having a coach requires having a strong level of trust in that person so they can help you accomplish greater things in life, Jamieson says.

And coaching doesn’t happen overnight. For example, a new agent might need to meet with a sales coach three or four times a month to get his or her business moving forward, Jamieson says. Or a broker could hire a coach to help with a certain task, such as moving offices or launching a new website.

Jamieson works with her clients in a variety of ways, including brainstorming and visualization exercises. “Some clients come and go after different stages in their lives and careers. But it’s always good to give coaching a good two- or three-month process before getting too critical about it or walking away,” she says.

Before hiring coaches, brokers and agents should check to see if they have an accreditation or have gone through a certification program. Check their references, website, prices, and résumé. Then, have a conversation with them to see if you feel comfortable working together.

Coaches are the people who support your biggest goals and life changes, Jamieson says, so it’s important to be selective.

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Lee Nelson

Lee Nelson is a freelance journalist from Illinois. She writes for several state REALTOR® association magazines along with LawnStarter.com and Nurse.org. She has written for Yahoo! Homes, MyMortgageInsider.com, and TheMortgageReports. Contact Lee at leenelson77@yahoo.com.