Consider that when interviewing for a salaried position, screening is crucial. Background checks, including contacting references, are standard. Personality profiles may be incorporated. The same level of due diligence should be taken when hiring a commissioned sales person. This person will be representing you and your brand and although not paying him or her a salary, you will be investing quite a bit of your time and energy into this person. As you well know, your time is valuable!
New agents need more than just technical support. They need to feel as if they’re a valued member of your team. Starting a new career can be both financially and emotionally challenging. Be prepared to spend the necessary time and energy to get them quickly to a position where they’re making a positive contribution. As you can see, properly screening a new applicant will help weed out those who may not be able to contribute.
Rigorous Sales and Technical Training
Sales training is more than just giving reading material to a student; it’s about doing. After conducting several studies, Albert Bandura, a Canadian psychologist, developed a theory of learning based on observational learning or modeling. The student observes and then does. I believe that by incorporating modeling in sales and technical training, the student’s likelihood of learning and being able to execute what’s been learned is much greater than any other type of program.
What should your sales training include?
At REMIC, we’ve developed a 12-month sales training program that focuses on the modeling theory. To put your agent on a path to success, I suggest beginning with business planning, followed by these topics: motivation, generating referrals, personal branding, database marketing, targeted marketing, networking, real estate agents, blogging, the philosophy of sales, advertising, Google Adwords, and social media marketing.
Retaining agents is the result of providing them with a clear path to success. That takes a dedicated, well thought-out approach. In doing so, you’ll not only increase your retention, but your agents’ overall job satisfaction and productivity as well. In the end, that will increase the entire industry’s market penetration, something that’s long overdue.
About the writer: Joe White is founder and president of the Real Estate and Mortgage Institute of Canada Inc. (REMIC). He has been involved in the development and delivery of Ontario’s previous mortgage broker licensing program (the Financial Services Underwriting or FSU program), through Seneca College since the mid-1990s, as well as the Mortgage Agent Program (MAP) and Mortgage Broker Program (MBP). He has instructed over 10,000 students and has been involved in the mortgage industry for over 20 years as an agent, VP of sales and MIC owner, among other key roles.