I’m really amazed at the lack of training among real estate agents in Boston. Of course, there is always a good amount of inexperienced rental agents taking their first steps in the market. No one can be blamed for not knowing things right off the bat. They can be blamed for not knowing things months or years down the line, however. As much as I’d like to blame the agents, its really the fault of their brokers. If a real estate broker doesn’t start training new agents correctly from day one, they are going to have problems years down the line. Its much harder to unlearn bad habits than to learn the right habits the first time.
Maybe certain brokers aren’t good at training people. That’s understandable. As a licensed teacher in the state of Massachusetts, I can tell you that teaching is a lot harder than you may think. Being able to do something, no matter how well, in no way translates into an ability to teach it.
However, if you are aware that training isn’t your thing, you need to bring someone on board who can. All you are going to end up with otherwise is an office full of half trained agents with bad habits who will make you pull your hair out (and consequently make me pull my hair out when I have to deal with them).
Some brokers seem to think that aligning themselves with a big franchise name will take care of everything. I can’t tell you how many RE-MAX and Century 21 agents I have to walk through a simple deal because all they’ve known is “Clients will list with us because of our name, and then all I have to do is show up and unlock a door…maybe fill out a piece of paper or two”. No one has taught them the fundamental building blocks of being a competent salesman: Ethics, Drive, and Timeliness.
Knowing how to complete the details of a real estate deal are something you learn with experience. Knowing that you have to pick up the phone and make calls the moment a client asks you to…knowing how to handle a situation in a way that best represents your client’s interests while maintaining an ethical approach…knowing how to get yourself in the door on time whether its to the office or to a showing…these are the things that can make just about anyone successful. Without them, no one is successful.
So…we end up with a glut of Boston real estate agents who, despite having years of experience, still just bumble along making everyone’s life just a little harder everyday. I wouldn’t want to deal with a house full of poorly trained agents. I know as a client, they would have me running for the office next door. Frankly, while deals may still get done, your brand will carry a negative reputation in the long run. With the heavy value clients place on Yelp reviews and other emerging internet media, brokers can not afford to disregard the long view. Remember, everyone is quick to drop a negative review the moment one person messes up. A small fraction of those people will take the time to write a positive review. It adds up quickly.
This leaves me with the question(s): Brokers, why aren’t you training your agents properly? Why aren’t you demanding the best of your team? Who decided that settling for “OK” was the way to run a successful business?
This isn’t an industry of getting it done sometimes. We aren’t in a market that allows for trying the same old thing one more time. Boston real estate demands virtually all of your time and effort. Just as you owe your clients 100%, you owe your agents the same if they are to reach their full potential.