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Choosing the Right Business Coach

Choosing the Right Business Coach

By Darrin Friedman

In a well crafted article posted recently by Inman News, Teke Wiggin discussed the value that our industry places on the hired real estate coach. He supplied survey results to corroborate his findings that, in the end, the return on investment usually outweighs the cost of these programs.

However, the article brings up one of the deep, dark secrets of the real estate industry that I think we need to address openly: people love to take money from real estate agents. Some of them are nationally recognized real estate coaches touting the latest and greatest mechanisms for success, while others are lone wolves who target the proverbial "low-hanging fruit" among agents -- the ones desperately seeking help and not sure where to find it. Unfortunately, while some of these "experts" may be truly gifted coaches, others are shameless opportunists, predatorily feasting on agents who are in need of guidance. They may be selling a surefire "system," sessions of expert coaching, or just sheer faith, and according to Wiggin's survey, the largest cost segment for such services is over $400 dollars a month. I'm not sure about you, but to me that seems like a heavy investment to make when you may be bringing in little or no monthly income.

The most basic problem with relying on paid vendors for coaching is simple: they have no skin in the game. There are simply no repercussions if these coaches-for-hire do not achieve results worthy of their exorbitant cost. But the beautiful truth is that there is a way to get help at no cost from people who are invested in you as an agent, and not in your wallet.

It comes down to this: the person most directly tied to your success is the person with whom you have affiliated. A talented and highly functioning broker or office manager is the person most doggedly determined to make you thrive.

The other problem with coaches-for-hire and their "systems" is that, quite simply, no single approach is right for everyone. It's about diversity. Indeed, perhaps the most maddening element of system-oriented coaching is that dogma usually wins out. The coaching is built on a system, and the system is built on a creed that, by definition, prevents other systems from infiltrating it. Even the most liberal of coaching systems are created in such a way that prevents you from using other systems simultaneously. In an ecosystem like the real estate industry of today, one thing is clear more than any other -- DIVERSITY must win out. Only when multiple approaches and styles are tried, modified, and even combined can most agents fully reach their potential. Therefore, while it's okay to go to seminars, try out new systems, and take classes to learn different ways of doing things, remember that no one method has to cancel out all the others. Very often, each system you try will have some nuggets of wisdom you can take away, which means that the more proven strategies you combine to create your own individual master system, the better off you will be.

Which brings us back to the person who, most likely, has had the experience with multiple systems and can fine tune something best for you: the office manager.

In most cases this person has already experienced the many trainers out there and can help influence you in a way that makes sense for you. After all, who knows you better? The person who you chose to be your business partner or a vendor from some remote location.

You be the judge.