April 23, 2016
In late 2015, we conducted about 120 interviews with Brokers from all over the country on their priorities and goals for the coming year. One of the major things we discussed and asked these Brokers about was what they were planning on training and educating their agents in this year. Not only does this indicate what skills they're looking for in agents they're recruiting, but it gives you a good idea of what Brokerages' priorities are when it comes to what they want their agents working on.
Some of these top priorities included Contracts, Sales/Leads/Referral generating strategies, and New Media. While training in something like how to handle Contracts may seem like a no brainer, the other two may come as a bit more of a surprise...because, what's New Media considered to be anyway? We'll break it all down for you.
Two of these skills are near and dear to our heart; understanding new media and lead generation and referral strategies. If these sound like something out of the realm of Real Estate Agents, then read on, we can assure you that having a better understanding of these areas not only makes you a more profitable Agent, but also a far more attractive one to Brokerages looking to recruit.
Real Estate Agents are expecting 49% of their leads this year to come from referrals. That's nearly half! And it's one of many reasons why getting training in how to generate those leads and referrals is such a hot topic for training in Brokerages. Plus, making sales is no longer an in-person game, so much of it now lives online and understanding how to leverage the online platforms into real-life business relationships with potential clients is now a necessary skill.
We're going well beyond the famous billboard or Realtor headshot on the bus stop bench here, generating qualified leads is no mean feat and when the competition is all online and fighting to grab prospective leads, it could get a little bit scrappy. So what's the training all about then? Well to start, understanding what a qualified leads looks like for you and your Brokerage is big part of those lead generating strategies.
Without that knowledge, you're left grasping at folks who may not quite fit the bill, or worse aren't interested at all. While it's always a good idea to have folks in your sales pipeline, filling your pipeline with leads that won't pan out is never the best use of your time or energy. Instead, be scrupulous and organized in managing your leads and referrals and don't hesitate to share the love by referring a potential client to a fellow agent who may be better suited to assit them with their needs.
Otherwise known as online resources and tools. We're surprised that this is one of the lower priorities on the list despite all the signs pointing towards our online lifestyles. In a world where at least 80% of all potential home buyers are doing their research online as they search for homes, it just goes to show that a greater understanding of what goes into optimizing your online presence as a Real Estate Agent is all the more important.
Across the board, we found that more often than not, the Brokers we spoke with were looking for their Agents to have the best understanding of Facebook as possible. You may be shocked, but Facebook can be a great source for inbound leads and establishing a presence on the platform as a Realtor is key in making yourself discoverable to those who are searching online for their next Agent. Establishing a presence on Facebook is key in setting yourself up as a credible source and resource for future clients.
Think about it this way, how often have you began an online research journey after you've been recommended someone or something by a friend? Whether it's a service, a new restaurant or a product, chances are that you searched a bit online about it first. If you were recommended someone like a Realtor and you couldn't find any mention of them online, wouldn't you be a bit skeptical?
Understanding the importance of social media strategies for platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and how to utilize it for your business is a key step in conquering the world of 'new media' as a Real Estate Agent.
Arm yourself with these skills (and more) and understand that these are the topics that Brokerages are looking to train their Agents with, so why not come prepared if you're on the market or looking to join a firm? Yes, we know that there's far more skills out there that a successful agent needs to have, but these were the topics we found that Brokerages were looking to train their agents in this year and will most likely be looking for as they recruit new agents.
Looking for more insights to further understand what brokerages are looking for this year and what their priorities will be moving forward?