In an earlier blog, I discussed the difference between coaching and mentoring. Here are more considerations. This blog is excerpted from my eBook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.
Types of Coaches
Professional coach: Someone trained to coach, who uses a specific program and who is paid to be your coach. If you’re considering a professional coach, find out the specific program the coach will use to coach you. Get expectations in writing, and give your expectations in writing. You should expect to sign a 3-12 month contract.
Manager coach or in-office coach: Someone who may be trained as a coach, who has agreed to coach you. May be paid from your commissions or from a combination of office/your commissions. May be paid on an hourly based by the agent. Be sure this coach is prepared to be your accountability coach, has a specific schedule with you, and a specific start-up plan to coach you. Otherwise, you’re just getting an ‘advice session’.
Peer coach: Someone in the office, an agent, who has agreed to be your coach. However, this could be anything from
- Answer questions
- Let you ‘shadow them’ (see how they do a listing/buyer presentation or offer presentation)
- Be your accountability coach
Most peer coaches don’t have a coaching program to coach to, and haven’t been trained. They are also at a loss with what to do if the agent refuses to do the work.
In my experience, the agent has the highest hopes that the peer coach will fulfill his dreams of whatever coaching is to him. The peer coach is hoping the agent just doesn’t ask too many questions!
If you’re going to work with a peer coach, get in writing exactly what that peer coach is willing to do with and for you. Bad peer coaching can turn into a nightmare—for both parties.Agents’ advice: Dozens of experienced agents have told me they wish they had started with a professional coach. If you can find one to trust—and to follow—you’ll shorten your learning curve dramatically and easily pay for the coaching fee. Plus, you’ll establish a successful long-term career.
Next, we’ll discuss three ‘safety-nets’ that some new agents consider—because they’re afraid they will not be able to generate enough commissions by relying solely on their own work.
Getting a Mentor
What is a ‘mentor’? There’s not a clearly defined job function. Mentors are usually seasoned agents who offer to help new agents. They may
- Offer advice
- Allow you to shadow them
- Ask you to do parts of their business
New agents love the thought of a mentor, because they have so many questions. And, they think the mentor will be their ‘answer man’. But, I’ve observed that having an ‘answer man’ surely doesn’t guarantee success. In fact, it may impede an agent getting into action. How? An agent may think he needs more and more information before he will act. Then, he just keeps coming to the mentor for every question under the sun. And, the more the new agent knows, the more frightened he becomes. Plus, the advice received from the mentor may not be in the new agent’s best interest.
If you are considering a mentor, get in writing exactly what the mentor will do for you.
Big question: Why is the mentor willing to help you? What does the mentor expect from you?
Treat getting a coach or a mentor as an employment issue. Create good questions and interview. Armed with the advice above, you’ll make the right decision for you.
Are you spending hours educating would-be agents on the business? If so, you need this eBook! In 282 pages, Carla Cross provides answers to hundreds of questions agents have. Help your interviewees get the advice they need, find dozens of questions to ask, and use checklists to hit the ground running before they are licensed! Check out What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.
Managers: Use the checklist on what to do in pre-license school to hit the ground running to ‘test’ your best interviewees and get them prepared to sell real estate FAST when they are licensed.