real estate development training
Training & Learning

5-Step Guide to Training and Development in Real Estate

Real estate development training is critical to the success of any listing service or brokerage firm. Since agents come from such diverse backgrounds, you may find that they don’t have the sales or marketing experience, or the communication or negotiation skills they need to be successful.

Even if they have previous experience or the required skill set under their belt, it may not translate directly to real estate. As an office or sales manager who supervises brokers and agents, focus on the reasons why trainees fail, as these points should be addressed during training.

To help you develop a real estate development training manual, here are 5 steps you must include in your program to help your brokers and agents sell more in less time.

Step 1: Teach key real estate hard skills

Hard skills are specific capabilities or abilities that a person can possess and demonstrate in a measured way. Licensed real estate professionals should learn the following hard skills, as they’re necessary to perform tasks or a series of tasks that are required for mastery at their jobs.

Negotiation

Negotiation training should include introducing your agents to new negotiation techniques and giving clear examples of effective negotiation in practice. The negotiator should be able to see the deal from both sides and make the right business decision that ends in a “win-win.”

Copywriting

When selling a property, good photography alone doesn’t make a strong listing. It’s essential to learn how to write copy that sells, using SEO and search-driven keywords. Agents should also write compelling copy that draws in buyers, so a course on basic copywriting is a must.

Objection handling

During negotiation training, don’t always be a “Yes Man.” Agents are going to hear the word “No” often, making objections handling a major part of their jobs. Teach your agents that objections can get them closer to a sale because they can learn what the buyer truly wants when buying a home. 

Presenting

Real estate agents must have strong presentation skills to pitch and show off properties. Many real estate development training programs offer public speaking and/or presentation resources that can help your agents feel more confident and in control while pitching.

Local area knowledge

Office and sales managers can teach their agents about the area they’re selling in as this can help them promote properties. It’s important to know what restaurants, schools, and amenities are accessible to new buyers. Agents should also keep up with local events and festivals.

Step 2: Teach key real estate soft skills

Soft skills, also known as common skills, are skills that are desirable in all professions. Whether you’re starting as a transaction coordinator or opening a new brokerage, everyone working in the real estate sector should learn or develop the following soft skills.

  • Communication: Considered as the most important soft skill, great communicators can understand pain points and solve them during a real estate transaction. Teams can practice communication skills through role play and everyday interaction with customers.
  • Active listening: Half of communication is active listening, which requires your undivided attention. No one should ever listen just to respond, as that won’t help you solve conflicts. During communication role-play, watch if trainees are truly listening.
  • Picking up on social cues: While working in the real estate sector, you’ll come across different people from many cultural backgrounds. When meeting international clients, it’s important to brief your employees on culture-specific social cues to avoid giving offense. 
  • Patience: Most deals in real estate take a while to close, making patience a crucial soft skill. When closing large housing developments or commercial properties, it can take years to complete the purchase, and patience is needed to avoid unnecessary mistakes.
  • Tactfulness: An essential part of real estate development training is learning how to take your losses in stride. Tactfulness is difficult to teach, but most successful trainees will be able to improve on a negative situation without burning bridges.

Quizzes and exams can’t accurately measure leadership or interpersonal skills, but group projects can effectively develop soft skills. The development of soft skills is much more difficult than hard skills, as it requires consistent interaction and constructive feedback.

While training to develop these skills, keep the individual person in mind. Some trainees take criticism to heart, so it’s important to give feedback in a way that doesn’t make them shut down.

Related: 9 Tips to Create a Truly Effective Peer Feedback Loop

Step 3: Teach key technology

Trainees in the real estate sector use technology every single day of their lives, but some pieces of software are more important than others. Don’t leave out the following tech in your modules.

Online marketing

93% of homebuyers in the United States searched for properties to buy online, making online marketing a vital skill to learn in real estate. Be sure to teach concepts like SEO, content marketing, inbound marketing, social media, and email marketing as soon as possible.

MLS listings

The vast majority of people start their home searches online. During their research, they’ll likely stumble upon a multiple listing system. Trainees need to know how to use this technology. Walk them through how to post on an MLS and explain its nuances and advanced selling features.

Mobile apps and video conferencing 

Video conferencing software helps the real estate industry keep in touch with its clients. It can also be useful for showcasing homes to international clients. When conducting real estate development training, test whether or not they can use mobile apps like Zoom.

Videography andphotography

Quality videography and photography will sell a home faster than just about anything else. While your trainees don’t have to be professionals, they do need to understand where to shoot, how to shoot, and beginner staging and lighting techniques they can use with their phone camera. 

Scheduling and time management software

Without time management software, real estate agents the world over would quickly lose track of client calls, appointments, and viewings. Other trainees in the real estate sector, like front desk staff, will need to use this software to book meetings for agents and brokers.

Step 4: Encourage development through goal setting

Brokers should set goals that motivate their agents to encourage further skill development. A key thing to add to your real estate development training modules is how to create SMART goals. There are many variations of what SMART stands for, but they typically look like this:

  • Specific: Is the goal clear and defined?
  • Measurable: Can you meet this goal in a reasonable time frame?
  • Attainable: Will you be able to complete this goal?
  • Relevant: Are your goals relevant to your career?
  • Time-Bound: Does your goal have a deadline?

Explain to trainees that putting their goals in writing holds agents to task. Ask them to write out their goal using “I will” statements, not “I wish to” or “I might,” or else they may get sidetracked.

Finally, create an action plan that includes rewards to ensure agents are continuously developing their skills. By writing out individual steps and then crossing each off as they’re completed, trainees will realize that they’re making progress towards their ultimate goal.

Related: Our 3-Step Process for Using OKRs to Drive Performance (+ Free OKR Template)

Step 5: Use real estate courses for ongoing learning

Your real estate development training program may require some help from an outside source. The following real estate courses are perfect for busy trainees. 

  • Real Estate Express: A multifaceted training program that covers every stage of professional real estate. It also features programs specific to the laws of 36 US states.
  • Udemy: The Modern Real Estate Agent: This course offers advice on relationship-building, goal setting, financial decision-making, and much more.
  • Mbition: Mbition covers topics related to appraisals, real estate, and home inspection. This company wishes to fully educate agents at any stage of their careers. 
  • The National Association of Realtors: With over 100 classes and presentations available, this website is tailored to teaching agents about nuances in their field.
  • Cornell Commercial Real Estate Certificate: Focusing on selling commercial real estate, this course covers topics like property valuation and property management.

To track the progress of your trainees, ask them to take a test or see how far they are in a module. 

Some people learn better in an environment away from their peers or don’t have the time to pop in for a training session. For example, some of your agents may have full-time jobs. However, distance learning can keep your trainees up-to-speed without cutting in on their time.

How Collaborative Learning helps train and develop teams

Getting learners fired up about training starts with providing an excellent learner experience. Real estate development training teams could use a powerful learning platform that gathers all of their teaching and development modules in one accessible location. 

Trainers can use 360Learning’s Collaborative Learning platform (which combines collaborative tools with the power of an LMS) to provide a collaborative training environment for your agents, brokers, and staff. Subject-matter experts can create courses themselves, and trainees can learn and interact with their co-workers in real-time, encouraging leadership, communication and negotiation skills.

Want to see the platform in action? Schedule a demo today.