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If Your Training Isn’t Working for You

Jan 4, 2016

Posted by

Carla Cross

About Carla Cross, CRB, MA International speaker, trainer, and coach specializing in career development, business planning, brokerage management, leadership, and instructor development. What sets Read more

trainer hand in airThis month, I'm focusing on training. So, let's be honest. Are you making the money you thought you'd make in real estate? Did you think that company training would work wonders for you? Get you started in the business to fast success--and it didn't?

Why isn't your training working for you? Every company says they 'have training'. Yet, whether you've been in business 2 days or 20 years, you've probably felt frustrated that those hours spent in class--listening to someone at the front (the 'expert)--didn't do you any good. There’s one reason training doesn’t work—and here’s how to make it work for you, so you don’t waste precious hours in training rooms.

Don’t forget: Get the Analysis of your Sales Performance Skills worksheet at the end of this blog. This is great for managers to use to plan training needs and for agents to use to assure they’re refining the skills that make a difference.

Training doesn't work because it's not taught right--and the people in the class aren't doing what needs to be done for training to make a difference in their lives.

 Here’s what training needs to help you every time you’re in class:

Training must have 
action inside class to be effective for you

What do I mean?

 I mean we have to look at real estate as a ‘performance art’, not a ‘knowledge pursuit’!

Big question for you: Think of your last 3 trainings--that you took--or you facilitated. What were you doing in class? Listening to the ‘expert’? Or, were you putting to work what you were learning—while in class, so you could get valuable feedback before you ‘practiced’ on real people—your clients?

What you need to be doing in class to assure you can do it ‘for real’:

  • If it’s appropriate, you need to role play (like answering objections, giving a listing presentation, etc.)
  • If appropriate, you need to differentiate (like finding mistakes in a purchase and sale agreement).
  • If appropriate, you need to practice the actions in class and then go out and do it with a ‘real person’—the client—and come back and tell how it went (practice a listing presentation, do it ‘for real’, and come back to class and refine it).

None of these things happening in class? Make it work anyway. Take the ‘actionable’ items you learned in class and go do them—for real—within 3 days of going to class (otherwise we only remember 10% of what we heard!!!!!). Now you’ve made your own action plan.

Trainers: I just did a series of 5 videos showing how to make your training work. See them on my 

uTube channel.

Real Estate: Performance Art or Knowledge Pursuit?

Let’s be honest: Do you know someone in your office who seems to know everything—but doesn’t sell a stick of real estate? Sure. That’s the problem with treating real estate as a ‘knowledge pursuit’. It has little to do with results. It’s a performance art. How you perform in the field—with real clients—determines your success.

Big question for you: Which kind of agent are you? A ‘performance art’ agent or a ‘knowledge pursuit’ agent?  Which is easier to become?

Your Training Should Resemble a Piano Lesson

As a long-time pianist and teacher, I know intimately that, if you don’t practice, you can’t play (or you play badly)! Think of effective training like a piano lesson. You practice outside class. You come prepared. You get tips and modeling from your teacher. Then you practice in class with your ‘coach’ watching and listening. Then, you ‘go out in the field’ and practice. You come back ready to perform for your coach again. That’s effective training.

Here are 3 things that don’t work in training (and things for you to avoid):

  1. Listening for a long period of time and thinking you can do it (you already know that, from your experiences, right?)
  2. Thinking most company training will ‘do it’ for you
  3. Relying on ‘on demand’ video. Many large franchises are providing video on demand training. Brokers may be relieved that this is going to take training off their plates. I wish. Unfortunately, video training can provide very limited production results. Why? Because people don’t learn much by watching video. Yes, they learn a little. They observe someone else doing something; they get information. But, they don’t have to take action.

When you’re ready to get results from your training, you’ll be ready to treat your training like the power tool it really can be.


Want to see an effective training program? Check out Up and Running in Real Estate. It combines knowledge, action, coaching, and accountability--the whole package!

Don’t forget to grab that Analysis of your Sales Performance Skills here. Tell me how it worked for you.