Training Woes

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

I was having a discussion with a fellow Training Director for a real estate office, and he shared some training woes with me.  I tried to help him with his predicament, drawing upon my own experience in training.  As the Director of Training for my market center, I am tasked with the responsibility for making sure that our agents receive awesome training.  We take our commitment to training VERY seriously.  In fact, as a whole, Keller Williams Realty has been called "A training and consulting company cleverly disguised as a real estate company."  Between our team leader, operating principle, the agents and myself, we've come up with some great topics for training, and have SOMETHING on the calendar for every weekday.

His problems are all with the instructors.  Instructors show up late.  Instructors forget they're teaching that day.  Instructors put the book aside and say "let me just show you how I do it" (in a highly structured training class).  Instructors come in unprepared and "wing it".  Instructors talk about getting "wasted" in front of the students.  Instructors tell the students that they are "taking their valuable time" to teach, so the students had better listen up.

Frankly, a lot of his newer agents are getting fed up with this, and I can't blame them.

These instructors are all mega-agents, who are highly successful in the business.  What he's trying to reconcile is HOW to get these problems solved, while still preserving the relationship that he has with these agents (i.e. not his personal relationship, but his training relationship, where they are happy to come and teach). 

Does anyone have any suggestions?  Any trainers out there go through the same problem?

To me, it comes down to personal integrity.  When I teach a class, I usually get there 15-30 minutes early to make sure myself and the facility are prepared.  I read the material ahead of time and get myself mentally prepared before I even head to the classroom.  Training is a very powerful committment, because the new agents that we train are highly affected by what happens in that classroom.

Any suggestions?  Comments?  I'm glad to hear from any of you, and I will pass on your advice.  Besides, I'm sure that SOMEWHERE out in the 'Rain community, someone is going through this same thing!

Take care, and enjoy your long weekend.



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Comments 11 New Comment

David Spencer
Chicago Area Commercial-Residential R.E.
Keller Williams Team Realty
I do pre-license training, Continuing Education training in my KW office, however, its via my own school. If Team Leaders want professional instruction through qualified trainers, pay them. How does that go? "You get what you pay for". All Real Estate Board classes require a fee, and all KWU seminars require a fee.
September 01, 2007 02:56 PM
Anonymous #8

How much do you think the average real estate agent, new and experienced, WILL and SHOULD spend on training per year?

Thanks for your help.

September 09, 2007 11:26 AM
Bill Kennedy
Homes For Sale Greenville SC
Keller Williams Realty

Jesica, good question.  I think that it depends on the availability of resources for that agent.  For instance, my company provides a humongous amount of training and coaching for new and experienced agents at no cost.  If you are with a company that doesn't, then I think it's reasonable to pay at least a thousand dollars a year for training.  You should constantly be going to seminars or classes to keep your edge sharp.  FOr example, when I was with my previous company, I paid about a thousand dollars in one year to get my GRI designation - not for the designation, but for the fact that there was so much good training to go with it.  Now I pay between three and five thousand dollars a year for training.  I go to at least four or five events ouf of state each year, plus several in my region.  The highest productivity agents understand that they constantly have to earn, but they also need to learn. 

If that didn't answer your question completely, I'd be glad to email you or answer you further on here.


September 10, 2007 12:20 PM
Patricia Clink
Watson Realty Corp.


I am licensed to teach the pre-license sales course in my state (Georgia) and I love it.  I generally average two to three hours of prep time before each class.  I sit in the back of the room and review the power point presentation and also review my handouts to ensure that the information is up to date.

I have experience training adults from my time in the Navy when I had to prepare my sailors for watch station quals and advancement exams.  Some people are more hands on and some people are more book smart.  You just have to understand that and not take it personally when someone doesn't grasp the information.

Also, it is difficult for some people to adapt to a classroom environment whan it's been awhile since they were in school.  Test phobia seems to be the biggest "headache" for students.  I try to quiz after each topic to get students used to test taking and also a review to see how many of the class understood the topic.  I've only had to go back once, and that was the first class I taught.  Feedback from the students has been that they like it because it also gives them a study guide for the topic.

Hope I wasn't too off topic.

November 11, 2007 06:54 PM
Kirk Westervelt
Kirk Westervelt, Broker In Charge, Van West Realty - CDPE - Short Sale Agent - Home for Sale - Greenville, Simpsonville, SC
Van West Realty - Greenville, SC Realtor -Short Sale Expert!

Hi Bill,

Well, speaking as someone who has been in one of our/your structured training programs it is a joy to stay on topic and follow the structured course outline. Our structured training programs are equivalent to going through a college course. You need to stay on topic and absorb as much as you can.

Now, the funny and ironic thing about this is the fact that even when the mega-agent trainer is on their's great, and when they're off still learn a whole bunch!  I guess that's just the culture of our company.

 However, my vote is to stay on schedule and stay on topic, for the on-going, structured training courses.

You do an awesome job! Thanks for being there for all of us!

Kirk, Greenville, SC 


February 23, 2008 11:02 AM

Bill Kennedy

Homes For Sale Greenville SC
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The idle contemplations of one of the up-and-coming real estate agents and trainers in Upstate South Carolina. Feedjit Live Blog Stats