There are 7 Serious Flaws in
Conventional Real Estate Training

As a result, most agents are seriously under-trained.

Therefore — they cannot help their sellers get full value, and they cannot help themselves get enough good listings, and … their brokers cannot get the market share they desire.

Serious Flaw 1:

  • Historically, in residential real estate brokerage “Selling” and “Salesmanship” have been considered personality based abilities, rather than a science of specific “What to Say” learned skills which can be measured.
  • Agents Are Not Taught What To Say For All Occasions.
  • The Single Greatest Reason agents fail to secure the listings they need or want is because they have not been taught what to say for all situations and occasions.
  •  Most conventional listing instruction is focused on Lead Generation, not Lead Conversion; on what to do, not what to say. Likewise, most of the listing aids and tools available focus on Lead Generation, not Lead Conversion.
  • New agents are given brief instructions on how to conduct a listing interview and sent out to sink or swim. Most sink. Many never recover.
  • Few new agents have been thoroughly taught what to say
  • to make listing appointments,
  • to develop rapport and trust,
  • to qualify sellers for motivation,
  • to help home owners sell at full value,
  • to help expireds get fast sales,
  • to help by-owners net more by not selling privately,
  • to help sellers get more showings,
  • to help sellers price right,
  • to help sellers offer the right commission,
  • to respond to stalls and objections.

New Technology – New Challenge

  • New technology, especially social media, has lured many in the real estate profession into thinking that technology, especially Artificial Intelligence (AI) will replace the need for communication skills.
  • Agents are so mesmerized by the potential of social media and the ease of texting, that they completely overlook the vital importance of saying the right things, in the right way, at the right time and … with the right intention.
  • Brokers and managers are so distracted by the sheer tsunami of new technology, and the need to learn how to use it, that basic communication, basic dialogue of ‘what to say’ gets overlooked as a training priority.

Serious Flaw 2:

There Is Very Little Actual Training; Agents Do Not Practice And Rehearse Enough To React Quickly and Correctly. There has been no way for agents or trainers to evaluate an agent’s actual communication skills.

  • Vince Lombardi: “Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes habits. Perfect practice makes perfect.”
  • Showing or telling new agents what to do, is not training.
  • Giving new agents a general idea of what to say with instructions to ‘put it in your own words’, can be counter-productive.
  • The benefits memorizing ‘what to say’ for instant and perfect recall is not encouraged or required.
  • Agents are not taught to speak precisely. Rather, they are given general concepts and encouraged to say them in their own words.
  • The Advice to “Be Yourself,” results n agent’s using inadequate, less-than-precise words.
  • Most people are taught from childhood to avoid bragging or making promises that cannot be fulfilled; as a result, they develop the habits of using less promising words, such as ‘might benefit’ rather than ‘will benefit’.
  • “Every Word Counts” is not cliché, it is an important understanding to be applied thoughtfully on every sales point.
  • Agents are not led to ‘Practice Until Perfect.
  • Some ‘training’ is counter-productive; having two new agents practice giving each other their ‘shoot-from-the-hip listing presentations, is setting them up for frustration and defeat. They are repeating their mistakes and making habits of their less-than-adequate word choices.
  • Sending new agents out with successful listing agents generally fails, because most high producers operate on gut feelings, intuition, charisma, personality, and past successes, none of which can be taught.
  • Education is the act of passing information along … or of demonstrating how something could be done or should be done; training is a repetitive process that results in skills and correct reactions. Experts react correctly. That takes practice, drills, rehearsal. And it takes frequent testing to measure skill progress.
  • Understanding a selling concept is not the same as having the skill to communicate the concept persuasively.
  • Having learned a great response to a specific objection six months ago, doesn’t mean an agent will have the presence of mind to think of it when needed today. Unless the response is practiced frequently before it is needed, the ability to communicate it accurately and effectively is not likely.
  • Call reluctance is proof of lack of sufficient training in ‘What to say.’
  • There has been no way for agents or trainers to evaluate an agent’s actual communication skills.

Serious Flaw 3:

Most Listing Instruction Is About Agents Getting Listings, Not About Sellers Getting Full Value.

  • New agents are taught the legal and fiduciary requirements of taking listings, but not the ethical and moral obligations of helping sellers get full value.
  • Humans learn by what they are taught specifically, (reading, writing, math, history, etc.) , by what they observe casually (how families and societies interact, dos and don’ts, etc.,) … and by what is not  taught  or mentioned ( that item or value that must not be important).
  • Agents who’s main intents are to get listings for a chance to earn commissions will not be as successful as agents who’s intents are to help their listing clients sell at above average prices and get full value.

When office discussion, year after year, are focused on getting listings (so agents can earn commissions), on getting listings priced right (so their listing don’t expire), on getting full commissions, (so they earn more per deal). and nothing is said or taught about  an agent’s fiduciary obligation to help the sellers get full value (not just average value) it is no wonder that the idea of having a strategy for helping sellers get full value seldom crosses the minds of the majority of new or experienced agents.

 Serious Flaw 4:

Agents Are Not Taught How To Take The Lead At Listing Interviews.

  • In school and early employment, we are taught to obey the teacher, follow orders, and obey your supervisor/boss. Most new agents go on listing appointments as if applying for a job, not as a listing expert with a strategy to get the sellers faster than average sales and above average selling prices.
  • Agents’ listing successes, and therefore their earnings, are the direct result of their ability to persuade home owners to choose them as their listing agents, and to list at the right price, the right commission, and the right staging to enjoy a full-value sale. Agents cannot achieve that by following the seller’s lead.

Serious Flaw 5:

Agents are not taught the value of “Printed Persuasive Messages.”

  • Most people make decisions based on what they see as well as what they hear; many people need visual confirmation to buy into an idea.
  • Printed Persuasive Messages can be the foundation of important selling points. They can also Conversation Starters and Conversation advancers.
  • Having something to show often gives agents the opportunity or courage to bring up difficult or complex topics.
  • Printed words validate spoken words. Words in print are more credible than words spoken.

Serious Flaw 6:

Agents are not taught how close the sale.

  • Very few agents actually sell houses; they just show houses until someone buys one. Likewise, few new agents and most under-performers ask prospects for the listings; they just hand out CMAs and staging tips and hope for the best.
  • Many agents, especially new agents, are so afraid to get a ‘No’, or a ‘We’ll think about it,’ they can’t bring themselves to ask for a ‘Yes’.
  • It doesn’t occur to many agents that most people don’t like to make decisions, especially big or important decisions that are seldom required, such as selling one’s residence, or have big economic consequences such as pricing too low and not getting full value, or putting one’s biggest asset in the care of a stranger.

Serious Flaw 7:

Agents Are Seldom Offered Opportunities To Become Skilled Listing Agents Before Going Solo.    

  • No physical support, no moral support, no message support on the first critical calls to listing leads.
  • No weekly testing of presentation skills while learning.
  • No peers to compare progress against.
  • No training on specific ‘what to say’ dialogue and language.
  • No watching a listing expert present the exact same dialogue and presentations strategies in practice or real listing situations.
  • No ‘dress rehearsals’.
  • No accountability.
  • What mentoring that is offered usually centers on business models or business guide.