Real Estate Agent Training: Checkers or Chess

Being a real estate agent isn’t easy. It requires constant hustle, learning, and growing to stay relevant. In a business environment where agents work within the framework of a brokerage, it has become an industry standard for companies to offer training programs to their agents. These training programs are, for the most part, one size fits all.

A real estate agent is an entrepreneur. They should have a mindset that they’re building a business. A key factor in what makes entrepreneurs successful is that they have a talent and an innate drive to share it. Funneling agents into “Jack of All Trades Master of None” development platforms can divert them from what they’re best at and slow their growth.

 

real estate agent training checkers and chess culture

Checkers: One Size Fits All

While many real estate companies offer training and coaching to their agents, that often does not mean that they have in-depth learning opportunities specific to each agent’s ideal path. Instead, they provide a one-size-fits-all approach, which doesn’t address the unique personal skills and style of each agent as an individual. It can be the fatal flaw of an agent development program.

Everyone has something unique about them: innate abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Some agents are great at the contractual and detail sides of the business but not as strong in marketing. Some have incredible interpersonal skills but struggle to keep up with paperwork and due dates.

A one-size-fits-all approach to agent development is like a checkers game: every piece moves forward, in the same way, trying to reach the same destination. The best possible outcome of this training model is a group of somewhat well-rounded individualists: agents who are ok but still have a hunger to let their gift shine. Mediocrity should never be the goal. Our aim is not to have a company full of just ok agents. Being “just ok” is the kiss of death in a business that’s as competitive as ours is.

Everyone has something unique about them: innate abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.

Yes, agents need to be capable in all aspects of the business, but “capable” is the operative word. Having the ability to get the job done outside of their core skillset is crucial to success, but they don’t have to be an expert at everything (nor should they try to be).

Our Approach: A Game of Chess

We think agent development should be tailored to the agent, more like chess than checkers. Each chess piece has its own abilities, and they’re best when they work together. We’ve modeled our training to help each agent take advantage of their unique strengths and to help them offset their weaknesses. Like the agents at BloomTree, chess pieces come together to make a strong team and strategy. As chess champ Bobby Fischer once said: “Winning in this game is all a matter of understanding how to capitalize on the strengths of each piece…”

Winning in this game is all a matter of understanding how to capitalize on the strengths of each piece…” Bobby Fischer

Our aim is to build a company of agents who are amazing at what they do. At BloomTree our agents shine when they hone their own gifts and collaborate with others who excel where they don’t. We focus our training on helping each individual agent leverage what they’re great at, building up their best skills, and teaching them how to offset their weaknesses. Agents embrace their complementary skills, combine forces, collaborate, learn from and teach each other, and partner up when needed. We want our agents to stay focused on the “highest and best use” of their time.

Thinking of our training like a chess game, not checkers, helps us to create a more effective agent development strategy where we build a team whose strengths and weaknesses play off each other. It’s incredibly empowering for our agents. They feel free to shine in the areas of the business where they excel, and they can avoid being dragged down in the areas where they don’t.

A Strengths-Based Approach: Better

At BloomTree our competitive edge depends on our ability to be better. Better for agents, better for our industry, better for our clients, and better for our local community. We could not achieve any of that if our workforce, our agents, was mediocre at best.

A strengths-based approach is a perfect fit for our culture, and to be honest, without that culture it would never work. Our methods are unconditionally reliant on the synergy that is so much a part of who we are.

A lone wolf is, by definition, not part of the pack. When agents are separate from their peers they cannot reap the benefits of strength in numbers.  There is no tribe mentality because there is no tribe. Likewise, there is no tribal knowledge.

A lone wolf is, by definition, not part of the pack. When agents are separate from their peers they cannot reap the benefits of strength in numbers.

Everything that we do here is intertwined. The way that we train our agents is both a result of and a component of our culture. Our culture and training are significant factors in our growth because they drive agent production. Our training is also a substantial factor in recruiting and retention, being one of most common reasons that agents join BloomTree. Most importantly, we’re able to provide great service to our clients because our agents are incredibly good at what they do.