Aug 2 / Arvid Madland Lyngnes

No training, no growth!

Is there a point in your professional career where you are done developing? A point where there is no more to learn? Have you reached the peak of the summit? You are the best of the best and can rest accordingly on your laurels?  

Getting sales inspections and listings can metaphorically be seen as going to battle. There are several opponents and in most cases only one winner. And in general it’s not luck who decides the winner. It's the skills each agent brings to the battlefield. 
And it should come as no surprise that the agents who spend the most time on practicing, learning, and honing their skills, tend to win more battles than they lose.

“If you spend 2 hours a day developing and working on your telephone skills. Within a month you can book a sales inspection with anyone, anywhere at any time. Such dedication will work on any activity you do as an estate agent”

Several studies conducted the last 5 years shows that training and development programs provide a host of benefits. They enhance employee performance, boost employee productivity, reduce employee turnover, and improve company culture. One company who has embraced such studies and implemented it into every part of their business is google with their free and famous Google Digital Workshop, an in-person and online training course with an accredited certification at the end to help graduates boost their LinkedIn profile and CV. Encouraging their employees to use as much as 20% of their workday to train. 
(Savills offers their agents courses, personal coaching, bachelor degrees, master degrees and digital training)

In real estate, Keller & Williams, Savills, Remax and Sothebys have followed suit and developed large educational, training, coaching and personal development programs for their agents.
And arguably this must be viewed as a success. The big 4 have experienced a massive growth in local and international markets in later years. A growth largely driven by being able to retain and develop their workforce.
In Scandinavia, a rather small but attractive area for estate agents. The turnover of estate agents has been extreme for the last 3-4 years.
Thus leading the market to a situation where no one, no franchise or agency is able to do the same as those big 4 has done.
Although in the last 2-3 years, the big 4 are beginning to find their feet in these markets as well. So to see what's being done by the resident Scandinavian agencies and franchises to counter the agent turnover I spoke to my good friend and L&F CG ambassador Thomas Wahl from Aktiv Torshov and Grefsen. 
Thomas Wahl L&F CG ambassador
Training is not only important. It’s an absolute prerequisite for agency growth. For the agency it’s about making your agents as good as possible. Making sure each agent finds their sweet spot, their area of expertise and develops their personal skill set to master that area. Any or every estate agent is a raw canvas when they start their career, and it takes time and dedication to develop the different skills you need to be the best you can be. 
Obviously with a high turnover of agents, that’s not going to happen. As an agency you get a double loss. First we have to start over, train a new agent. Second, it's harder to know who to recruit. Everyone has a role to fill and in my experience it takes a little time to figure out what role that is. I can’t speak for other agencies in Aktiv, but to counter the trend of high turnover we have started to develop our own training regime. Both as an agency, filling different roles and serving different segments in the market. And also catering to the individual agent's potential and needs.
We as an agency know our customers, they'r needs and how to serve. By training and developing our agents to fit just those needs. Our agents are perfect for us, our team and our clients. Making it much more attractive to stay for the long haul. 
I for one wholeheartedly concur with Thomas sentiment. Training and personal development is key to retaining estate agents. “Go for it champ” is no way near enough. Setting long and short term goals together with each agent. Then designing and customizing that individual's road or journey is essential. Finding each agent's perfect clients. Designing a personal outreach. Then help them develop the skills they need to master every part of the process.
As a  result; the agent gets the sale. The agency gets the sale and fills a role in the agency’s marketplace. That's how you grow an estate agency.    

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