What to Look for in a Real Estate Coach

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In the past decade, few niches within the real estate field have grown faster than that of real estate coaching. By now there are countless familiar faces in the industry, many of whom have mixed reviews. But, who are these so-called real estate experts and are they worth the high fees they charge? I will break that down later in the article and advise you on what to look for when hiring a real estate coach.

What Is A Real Estate Coach?

A real estate coach is a paid consultant that will help change an agent’s business. One of the most common goals for an agent that hires a coach is to acquire more leads, although some are simply looking to organize their business or cut down on expenses.

Do All Real Estate Agents Need a Coach?

Most real estate agents learn from a mentor in the field. Usually this means an experienced agent invites them to join their team, and after a few years they use what they have learned to work independently (See: How to Become a Real Estate Agent and Find Success). 

A competent agent is one who is always learning about the ever-changing field. Some contract with a coach, while others have a less formal relationship with a mentor. Others find information online (like here on pyvt) or in books. A few use a combination of sources or cycle between them. Regardless, the overall goal is to improve an agent’s business.

How Much Does a Real Estate Coach Cost?

Most real estate coaches I have come across charge between $100 and $150 an hour. This assumes you use their services either weekly or bi-weekly. Generally, the less you use a coach, the higher their hourly rate will be.

Many experienced coaches charge more than $200 an hour, and I have heard of a few asking more than $300 an hour.

Some factory coaches charge by the month and give you access to online materials to track your progress: A factory coach is one that works for a larger firm. There are some benefits to this system, although the principal drawback is that the coach’s plan is likely less personalized than that of a local and independent coach.

What Separates a Good Coach From a Bad Coach? 2 Myths and 3 Facts

If you are looking for a real estate coach, you should have clear expectations of what you want to gain from using them. Simply put, a good coach is one that is knowledgeable and is a competent teacher. You should feel that they are providing your business with more benefits than the cost of hiring them. A bad coach is one that brings little benefit, if any, to your business.

Myth: The Coach Has to Be a Former Agent

If you wanted to learn about the mindset of billionaires, who would you turn to for advice: Warren Buffett, or a respected university economics professor that has spent years studying the behavior of billionaires and teaches a class, ‘The Mindset of Billionaires’? Warren Buffett, for sure.

Let’s replace Warren Buffett will John Doe, a billionaire who inherited his money and is number 2,105 on Forbes real-time billionaire’s list, having just about a billion in assets. Now the right answer becomes far less clear.

Let’s apply this example to real estate coaching. If the most successful real estate agent in the world offered to coach you, you would take the deal. It really does not matter how they got there, they will surely have useful information. But how about the 2,105th most successful agent versus a seasoned and respected real estate coach: Will the well-to-do agent really have many tips to share with you? Will the tactics they used to find success many years ago work in your situation today?

Time and time again I see people pay for a real estate coach simply because the coach was a successful real estate agent. One can further ponder, if they truly were so successful as an agent, why have they now pivoted into coaching? Fundamentally, you want to hire someone because they can help you achieve your goals. Don’t get fooled or swayed by their past success as an agent.

Myth: The Coach With the Largest Social Media Presence Is the Best One

Even in areas where social media is given heavy weight, such as Miami and New York, it should still only account for a small portion of an agent’s marketing plan. Relying on it to not only significantly grow but make your business, especially in the long-term, is a bad idea.

If a coach wants to spend half of a session talking about ways to grow your social media following, ask them to justify why that is? Do they think that is the easiest way to grow your business?

Fact: The Coach Should Use Quantitative Metrics to Measure Their Success.

What is the most important goal you hope to achieve by hiring a coach? Most of the time, you want them to help you grow your business. How can you expect them to do that if they have no actual data to back-up their claims? Any coach that relies on their gut feeling to measure success is one to be avoided.

For example, if a coach says that those agents that have started working with them have seen their business increase by 30% in the subsequent two years, ask them how they know that. Follow that by asking for a few references that work in similar real estate markets. Remember, some coaches may not only help you grow your business, but alternatively help organize what you already have, thereby saving you time. That is fine too, but they need data to verify their claims.

Fact: The Coach Should Be Familiar With Your Local Market

Name me some similarities between the Los Angeles, California and West Plains, Missouri real estate market? I can’t think of any. Do you expect that using the exact same tactics that work in Los Angeles, a key example being trying to gain a following on social media, will work in West Plains? Of course not. But when you use a factory coach, marketing plans may not change all that much between geographic areas.

But that does not mean a coach from Los Angeles cannot help someone in West Plains, or Cedar Rapids, or Fargo or wherever a mentee is located: The coach simply must be able to understand the target area. Fortunately, most demographic information is available online, and a reputable coach should have taught other students in similar areas; Hence, they can use the tactics that worked for other students in areas like yours, to ultimately help you.

Fact: The Coach Should Balance Long-Term and Short-Term Goals

When you go to your doctor’s office for your annual physical, your doctor generally asks you questions about your health over the past year: An example being, “How many days a week do you exercise?” They are thinking long-term. If you go to a fitness class, the instructor may ask you, “How many days did you exercise in the last week?” They are thinking short term. Both questions are very similar, but in response to each of them an entirely different answer is expected.

A good real estate coach should balance your short-term and long-term goals: They need to make sure you are sticking to your plan, but also tweak it if things are not working out. A coach that spends the entire session talking about the latest trends on Twitter, or analyzing where the real estate industry will be in 10 years, is not much of a mentor at all. When only focusing on the minutia or big picture, it is almost impossible to measure a coach’s usefulness. Simply put, a competent coach should have an action plan with clear expectations for both the student and the coach.

Conclusion – What to Look for in a Real Estate Coach

By now it is clear, real estate coaching is here to stay. But just because the young industry is run by fancy technology companies with quasi-celebrity figureheads, does not mean you should shell out hard-earned money for them. A few inspirational YouTube videos would probably accomplish the same goals.

However, a competent coach will compliment your style and ultimately help you reach your objectives. In essence, they would create a win-win situation where both of you benefit in some way. When looking for a coach, interview them like they are real estate buyers and you are comparing offers on a hot property. Do not fall for the far-reaching social media presence and charming personas, the bells and whistles of the real estate industry.

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