"Good for you, let me know if you need anything."

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

That's the response my first-month real estate agent friend got from her Big Name broker when she emailed to say she had a $1.5M buyer lead.  "Good for you, let me know if you need anything."

Are you kidding me?

My friend, smart as she is ;-] can barely spell MLS. She doesn't know what radon is, she doesn't know any inspectors, she doesn't yet have a relationship with a lender. She doesn't know how to select the best homes to show her new buyer.math

But of course, she's been thoroughly trained on scripts, farming and other prospecting strategies as part of her Big Name training package.

We've all been there, and it's a scary place. An exciting place to be, for sure, especially when a $1.5M buyer comes to call (hmmmmm... yeah, I can do that math). And yes, being new implies a level of scariness when presented with one's first customers. But Puh-leeeeaze! To tell a brand spanking new agent to "let me know if you need anything" is criminal, in my opinion. Okay, that's melodramatic, so if not criminal, let's say irresponsible. Heck, how about downright STUPID? My friend is on a 60/40% split, so the broker's take on this deal is... how much? A LOT. And the chances of my friend closing this deal without help are slim-to-none. Oh, and the guy is qualified up to $3.5M but claims that he's "cheap," so he asked my friend to try to stay around $1.5M.

My friend calls me for help. Of course, I don't know her market or her contracts or her MLS or her local customs, but so far, I've been a hell of a lot more help to her than her on-site, stands-to-make-$20k-on-the-deal broker.

I won't name names, but this is a national company that recruits rookie agents and promises them world-class training. I'm underwhelmed, to say the least.

Thanks for listening.



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Charlie Ragonesi
AllMountainRealty.com - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

I am still waiting for that 1.5 million dollar call ! Unbelievable the attitude. But really believable based on what I am seeing in the market these days

Jul 11, 2009 06:00 AM #17
Elizabeth Cooper-Golden
Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group) - Huntsville, AL
Huntsville AL MLS

Wow, that's pitiful, isn't it?  If her career is starting this way with her broker, she's probably in for a few more surprises, sadly.  Supporting new agents is SO important to ensure they are successful.   There is only so much "training" they can get from a video, or a book.  They need one on one as well, in my opinion. 

My old office in Nashville had a weekly meeting for the Rookie agents that they HAD to attend, as well as their own personal mentor.  We also had a non competing broker, that was there to help get deals put together, if needed.  More offices should have the same policy!  Bob Parks Realty is amazing :) 

Jul 11, 2009 08:52 AM #18
Ken Tracy
Keller Williams Realty Infinity - Naperville, IL
Helping clients buy and sell since 2005

Hi JA.

Couldn't agree more. 

Training?  A joke.  They teach scripts.  Not how to take care of the customer.


Jul 11, 2009 03:01 PM #19
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

BTW, the $1.5M buyer was a referral from my friend's SOI ;-]

Ken - you put that very succinctly...

Elizabeth - every transaction is unique, so there's no way you can learn much about taking care of the deal from a book or video. If I ran my own shop, I'd want it to be like the one you describe!


Jul 11, 2009 11:57 PM #20
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

Wow, I feel sorry for the CLIENT.  A new agent does not even begin to know what they do not know and there is a lot of money at stake REGARDLESS of the amount of the transaction.  To some people, a $100,000 house is huge, so while it seems worse because this is a bigger number, it's not - regardless, we are dealing with other people's money and it's important to each of them. 

She does not have a good broker.  Period. And I agree, it does border on criminal.

There are plenty of great brokers out there who mentor, train and hand hold every step of the way...I know, I have one and despite being in a relatively large office (200 agents, 2 managing brokers), I feel as if I have a broker who somehow is ALWAYS there for me - and I don't know how he does it!

Jul 12, 2009 01:33 AM #21
The Somers Team
The Somers Team at RE/MAX Access - Philadelphia, PA
Real People. Real Dreams. Real Estate.

Jennifer - Is the Agent considering looking around for a better work atmosphere where more support and training is provided ?  She could ask around the Real Estate community in the area and begin to ask some of the agents that she knows at other offices of interest. 

Jul 12, 2009 02:40 AM #22
Teral McDowell
Referral Patners LLC - Murphy, TX

I love this post. I know the experience. And I am so glad to see it in the open. Thanks, Jennifer.

Jul 12, 2009 07:24 AM #23
Glenn S. Phillips
Lake Homes Realty - Birmingham, AL
CEO, Lake Homes Realty / LakeHomes.com

One of the suprises for me as I learned more about the Real Estate business .... just how many brokers are just in the business of renting desks and collecting a "piece of the action."  

We deal with many agents and brokers from a different vantage point than other agents, brokers and customers.  It has been very revealing.



Jul 13, 2009 01:37 AM #24
Tina Merritt
Nest Realty - Blacksburg, VA
Virginia Real Estate

I am so fortunate that I was watched like a hawk by my Broker for my first year.  I wasn't allowed to submit a contract without her reviewing it first.  Thank you Arlyn!!!!!

Tina in Virginia

Jul 13, 2009 02:26 AM #25
Glenn S. Phillips
Lake Homes Realty - Birmingham, AL
CEO, Lake Homes Realty / LakeHomes.com

FYI Jennifer... this inspired me for a post (which, naturally links to yours). Thanks for the seed!! G

Jul 13, 2009 02:33 AM #26
Linda Jandura
Raleigh Cary Realty - Apex, NC
Realtor, North Carolina Buyer & Seller Specialist

Jen- this echoes my experience with my first broker- a "big name" local agency with many offices. (see my recent blog on scripts).  We were even given "mentors", who used practically these exact words- Let us know if you have any questions. I found out later the mentors were getting paid for this!

Jul 13, 2009 09:55 AM #27
Richard Stabile
Re/Max Real Estate Limited - Oradell, NJ
Bergen County New Homes Builder Realtor


Being extroverted comes from knowledge and confidence in what you are talking about.


Jul 17, 2009 02:10 PM #28
Rick Schwartz
William Raveis Real Estate - Danbury, CT

The brokers should just give all rookies a copy of Sell With Soul - and they'll be all set.

Jul 18, 2009 01:42 AM #29
Monica Bourgeau
New Phase Business Coaching - Portland, OR
Business Coaching

Wow, sounds like our first broker. I hope she has ActiveRain - that's how we were able to get through those first big tranasctions, with help from our friends on ActiveRain.

Jul 18, 2009 04:20 AM #30
Ryan Shaughnessy
PREA Signature Realty - www.preasignaturerealty.com - Saint Louis, MO
Broker/Attorney - Your Lafayette Square Real Estate Partner

Jennifer - I agree with your general take on some of the large national brokerage churning new agents.  They make their 4-5 sales in the first 2 years and move on - usually out of the business.  However, I think that there is a bigger problem in the industry.  It includes independent contractor agreements, part-time agents, and low entry barriers into the profession.  It has developed a Walmart training model - that is, "just in time" delivery.  We see agents who don't want to learn the skills until they absolutely need them as opposed learning new skills daily and implementing them daily.  I'm not sure that the agents failure to develop a relationship with a lender, building inspector, etc. or learning about radon can be solely placed at the broker's feet.  We do meet and greets with our preferred service providers as a part of the orientation process.  Having said all this, I know one thing for sure.  Either my partner or I would be accompanying this agent and showing them the ropes on a $1.5 million sale.  However, at our brokerage, the shadowing process and working with buyers starts on their first day, not when they absolutely need assistance.

Jul 18, 2009 05:11 AM #31
Tina Allen
Exit Realty Tri-County - Mount Dora, FL

I think I could take a wild guess on that big name company with that split....glad I left them in the dust and moved on to a company that will have my back. 

Jul 18, 2009 01:14 PM #32
Pat Argo
Keller Williams Realty of Brevard - Titusville, FL

     I've seen that time and time again! When I had my own firm, I made it a point to help them, be with them as needed and available toanswer questions or concerns. I enjoyed helping them become successful.

     One office I was at (may be same franchise?) did not even return any of my clients calls when my spouse was transferred to an out of area hospital in an emergecy and I could not call out. I did let them kow where I was and about the situation. Did not even refer calls to my best friend in our other branch. And the only thing on MY mind was my spouse. The office manager said"not her problem" and the boss had a flood in new condo when he ran the dishwasher so he just did not have time for any calls... in a week. Obviously I made a change... and a good one!

Jul 19, 2009 12:00 PM #33
Lois Kubota
Keller Williams, Walnut Creek, California, DRE#01865028 - Walnut Creek, CA

Wow, how ironic.  I have a close friend that had almost an identical situation.  She said the client must have figured her out because he stopped calling her back.  Luckily she knew that she didn't know squat and didn't dwell on it.  She took the high road and called it experience!

Jul 20, 2009 12:27 PM #34
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Jennifer - When a broker stands to make any amount of money from what their agents are producing, I just can't believe that the broker is not more than willing to help throughout the entire process.  That is why I am where I am at, and love my small independent broker.  She understands that if I make money, she makes money, and she is more than willing to help with anything and everything.

Jul 21, 2009 05:45 PM #35
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May 31, 2012 11:43 PM #36
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