The accepted statistic in the real estate sector is that 80 percent of all real estate agents are out of the business within 5 years of earning their licenses. Of that number, 75 percent are out after just their first year. Some churn is expected in a career that is as much about marketing and lead generation as it is about sales, but it is possible to lower the attrition rate significantly. How? By coaching students after they pass their exams to succeed in their chosen field.
What a Real Estate Coach Does and How It Differs from Instructing
As a real estate instructor, you teach your students what they need to know for licensing. You are skilled and engaging—a great communicator—doing what you can to make sure students remember the facts, figures, and procedures for passing the licensing exam. But, after they pass, the new agents are not magically equipped for success. And this is not a reflection on you, but instead on the industry as a whole.
Coaches remedy that situation. They help newly licensed agents understand the real estate business, including the lead generation and marketing required. However, instead of teaching the agents what to do, coaches hone the agents’ decision-making and problem-solving skills because those are required for a successful career in real estate.
For example, a coach will hold a session with their students and encourage them to solve scenarios from their own experiences, such as, “I am representing a seller who thinks we should replace the carpeting before we put their home on the market. What color should we decide on, and what dealer should we use?” This is a real-world example, where, instead of telling the student what to do, the coach encourages the person asking the question to explore the answer themselves. Instead of stating, “I think a good neutral color is best, and the best prices are from XYZ distributor,” the coach asks, “Why do you think new carpeting is the best solution to a higher valuation and a quick sale? What other options (paint, landscaping, etc.) might be considered? If you are convinced that new carpeting is the way to go, how would you research the best way to proceed?” In the session, the coach could also invite other agents to share their solutions.
Why Instructors Should Consider Becoming Real Estate Coaches
Becoming a real estate coach affords a great deal of satisfaction, along with financial gain. First of all, coaching helps the real estate industry as a whole. After coaching, real estate agents are much less likely to leave the business or fail after their first year, or even after their fifth. Instead, they have the knowledge and problem-solving skills needed for success.
Becoming a coach helps your real estate school as well. Your former students are now agents, and they become new leads. It’s a pretty easy sell when you look at some numbers. Recent surveys show that 90 percent of agents who worked with a coach increased their business by 10 percent in a year. Of those, 50 percent said their business increased by as much as 25 percent. And 20 percent say their business doubled. Successful agents are happy agents—and they’re also ready to spread the word about how they succeeded, as well as the school that got them there.
On a personal level, real estate coaching is emotionally and financially rewarding. There is a great deal of satisfaction to be derived from guiding an agent to becoming a better decision-maker and problem-solver, and to watch that agent grow as those skills are honed with your help. In addition, real estate coaches have the potential for greater earnings over time. Your revenue potential per student is not just limited to the multi-month licensing course. You now have the opportunity to generate an additional year-long revenue stream by coaching your newly licensed former students to succeed in their new career.
From Instructor to Coach: What’s Needed
If you’re an instructor who is passionate about the success of your students beyond the licensing exam, maybe even keeping up with them afterwards, becoming a coach could be a natural step for you. Dedication to, and passion for, the success of others is a required trait for coaching.
Before you decide you’re all in on becoming a coach, think carefully. If your passion for helping students succeed is focused on providing answers to their questions, then coaching will be difficult. And that’s okay. The world needs great instructors like you to help students earn their licenses.
If you have found yourself encouraging your current students to solve problems on their own, or have guided them toward making their own decisions in the classroom, coaching is a natural next step in your career. Coaching is all about changing student behavior so that they become self-reliant—ready to come up with their own solutions to challenges.
In addition, coaches must motivate, act as consultants, and above all, be ready to answer a question with another question. In other words, a coach’s answer to “What should I do in this situation?” is “What do you think you should do?” You also have to be skilled at being brutally honest without killing motivation. If you’re nodding your head along with all of this, then you probably have what it takes to add coaching to your repertoire.
A Final Tip
The popularity of coaching is on the rise. There are even lists of the 25 most successful real estate coaches published each year. Making a name for yourself as a coach will take some time, so be ready to invest your energy and finances into your own marketing.
Consider being a local market real estate coach, rather than someone who tours nationwide like an evangelist. After all, real estate is a regional profession, and being able to help agents succeed in a local market, especially an aggressive one, can improve your chances of being a success yourself. It can also help your school, because it will be known as the place to get coaching for a specific area or MLS. You can always scale your successful business model to a larger service area when things take off.
If you reviewed your career as an instructor and realized that you have the qualities and passion to be a coach, there’s training available for you. Consider a “train the trainer” instructional program designed for anyone who aspires to be a successful real estate coach.