2023 in the rearview mirror: coaching your agents for 2024 success

— Weichert Franchise

While last year was a real estate rollercoaster ride, there’s much to look back on to help propel your agents forward in 2024. As a real estate broker, you can play a crucial role in your agents’ success in the new year. It all boils down to coaching. Really good, strategic coaching. Agents, especially those not as seasoned as you, need strategies to compete in today’s highly competitive real estate environment. While your brokerage can offer them marketing and technology tools, there’s nothing quite like the 1-on-1 coaching that only you can provide. 

Weichert® has tips to help coach you to elevate your agents’ performance and confidence this year. 

Harness the data from last year

Start the coaching process by analyzing your agents’ performance in 2023. Look at metrics like closed deals, listings acquired, lead conversion rates, and client satisfaction. Identify individual strengths and weaknesses, and group trends across your team. Did certain specializations fare better? Were there specific prospecting methods that proved more effective? This data is your goldmine, revealing areas for individual coaching and highlighting best practices for broader training initiatives.

Coaching tip:

  • Find a balance between “bravo” and “darn.” Lead with the positives that your agents can build on this year, and then dig into the areas that can be improved. 

Tailor the approach for each individual

With coaching, one size doesn’t fit all. Your methods need to be as diverse as your agents. Categorize your team based on performance. Top performers need strategic guidance to push their boundaries, while struggling agents may require more fundamental support. For those in the middle, identify areas for incremental improvement and provide actionable steps to get them to the next level. 

Look for personalized guidance that unlocks individual potential. Be honest about their strengths and weaknesses and offer each agent the opportunity to weigh in about what went well in the prior year and what could have been better. All this information creates a solid foundation for setting goals that will motivate the individual agent in the year ahead.

Coaching tips:

  • Formally set goals together. A good challenge is to ask each player (agent) to write a one-page letter to themself, dated a year ahead explaining, in the first person, exactly what they accomplished in the year. Tell your players to GO BIG!!! Squeeze it into a single page of blank white paper with a blue pen. (Source: NAR)
  • Ensure that an agent’s goals interlock with the goals of the brokerage. At the end of the day, you’re coaching your agents to be their best, so your business can thrive. Sync agent goals back to your brokerage’s business plan and provide agents with visibility as to why this is important for everyone.

Sharpen their skills

Beyond technology, focus on honing essential skills, like cold calls and situational selling. Negotiation skills will be crucial in this more price-sensitive market. Coach your agents to be assertive yet empathetic, understanding the needs of both buyers and sellers to secure the best deals. Communication skills are also paramount. Teach them to actively listen, build rapport, and tailor their communication style to different client personalities. Remember, effective communication is the cornerstone of trust and successful transactions.

Coaching tip:

  • Show and tell. Coaching agents with directions and instructions may be helpful, but agents may be better able to understand your teachings with real-life examples. For instance:
  • Play recordings from customer-agent calls and pinpoint what parts of the call worked well and where things may have gone wrong.
  • Walk them through a tech demo to help the agent better understand how to utilize your CRM. Teach them how to fish!

Pay attention to the reluctant agent

But what about agents who say they don’t want to be coached? Or don’t need to be coached? Many long-time, successful agents hear the word “coaching” and are immediately taken back to their early careers when they learned the basics of selling real estate. Approach these agents in a different way. Sometimes, all they need is a real example to “prove” why coaching matters, even for those who are at the top of their game.

Even top athletes rely on coaching. Coaches can help them to see possibilities they may have missed, stay focused on a goal, and provide a sounding board to approach a challenge with a different point of view. Sometimes the biggest value we can receive from a good coach is positive reinforcement, encouragement, and a motivational kick in the pants. 

Coaching tip:

  • Get to the heart of each individual’s motivation. Even an agent who is reluctant to coaching is motivated by something! Find out what that is, and then coach them accordingly. You might reframe the word “coaching” by using other words, such as mentor, lead, and inspire. 

Embrace your role as a coach

While there may be those agents who are skeptical about the need for coaching, you may also have your own doubts. What makes me qualified to coach? How will I ever have time for this? What if it doesn’t even make an impact?

These are questions that most broker-owners have asked themselves one time or another.  The National Association of REALTORS® says it well: “Brokers are the leaders—like a team captain or an association president—[and] they are responsible for your team’s growth by helping each individual player perform their best. Agents are the players, and creating a winning team takes involvement from everyone.” So, even if the role as captain is out of your comfort zone, do your best to own it. 

Coaching tip:

  • Set your own goals. Decide what you want to get out of coaching your agents. Yes, you want to see the results in the bottom line, but how about in other areas, such as your personal growth? Weichert coaches our broker-owners in so many ways all year long, from developing strong leadership skills to knowing how to speak with confidence even when there’s market turbulence.

Look to the road ahead

By leveraging the lessons of 2023 and implementing these coaching strategies and tips, you can empower your agents to thrive in 2024. Remember, effective coaching is a two-way street. Listen to your agents, understand their needs, and provide them with the tools and support they need to succeed. The time investment is worth it.

And remember—even great coaches need coaching. Weichert is here for you. Contact us to start the conversation.

Let's Connect

Are we a good fit?

Let’s talk about it. We promise no pressure, just useful information.