Take Real Estate Agent Onboarding to the Next Level

February 22, 2017 | BY Greg Ausley

As a real estate executive, broker, or manager, you’ve preached the need to make a great first impression with every new prospect.  There’s way too much competition to allow your prospect have a superior experience with someone else. 

So why is it that when you bring on new agents, you’re organization isn’t always making a great first impression with them?

Helping countless real estate firms engage with their agents, we’ve found that this process is often focused on stacks of mundane paperwork, a seemingly scattered and disorganized process and lack of clear direction during the onboarding process.  

The “Typical" Onboarding Process
The typical onboarding process includes necessary paperwork, assignment of technologies, introductions to associates and some training materials.  This is all necessary. 

But are you really showing your new agent that you have a thoughtful, interactive and organized process or are you creating a regrettable first impression?

Are you presenting a boring, mundane, 20th century onboarding process in a highly competitive, millennium inspired, 21st century world?

Do it Differently
What if instead, you provided your new agent with an interactive and engaging onboarding experience?  What if they had a fun and simple tool to walk through an otherwise boring and time consuming process?  What if you overwhelmed them with inspiration and thoughtful content that makes them feel they have just joined a modern, organized and highly efficient market leader?  

To deliver on these lofty but achievable goals, we strongly encourage you and your team to do your homework and get organized well in advance of their arrival.  Think about the experience from their perspective.  We’ve found that successful organizations have clearly defined agendas for their first day, first week and even their first 90 days.

“My first day"
Rather than piling on an overwhelming amount of mundane tasks, start with one single item:  Setup an account for them on your company’s onboarding and productivity platform and let them dive into their onboarding program right away.

Start with some inspirational videos about your organization rather than focusing specifically on compliance or training right from the start.  Include video messages from your executives, some fun videos of agents and staff,  coverage of an office charity or social gathering and even include a few client testimonials. This is a great way to establish your office's culture and get them excited to be on the team.   

Will they be working with a manager or mentor?  Spending some time face-to-face before lunch will be invaluable for setting expectations for the rest of the day, week and the next 90 days.    

After lunch with their peers, have your HR and and IT Directors tackle any incomplete paperwork and technology requirements.    

Before their first day ends, have them log back into your automated onboarding program and watch a video explaining in more detail what their upcoming week and next 90 days will look like. 

And finally, let’s be honest.  A career in Real Estate means unconventional hours and extra work to build your business, so why not set the tone right away and assign them a little "homework assignment” such as reading a few chapters in an inspirational book or researching informative real estate web sites. 

“My first week"
Newer agents need to learn a potentially overwhelming amount of industry knowledge in their first few weeks.  So, on their second day, they should hit the ground running with the learning modules.  

Your onboarding process should include a well defined learning path for a new agents and a more realistic refresher path for seasoned professionals.  You most likely have all the necessary training materials in various formats and platforms throughout your organization.  But do you have a well organized learning process that includes a clear and logical path as well as periodic knowledge checkpoints and conversation starters with managers and mentors? 

Most real estate companies fall short in this area. They often assign some videos to watch or handouts to read, but rarely do they follow-up to confirm the knowledge was properly transferred.  Even more importantly, they rarely have the structure in place to have a meaningful coaching based conversation with a manager or mentor to practically apply what was learned into the new agent’s day-to-day practices.  A well conceived onboarding and learning program should include knowledge checkpoints, role plays and discussions topics to help facilitate discussions between agent and their manager or mentor.

And because it’s impossible to retain everything learned so quickly, make sure to preserve the content by creating “ever green” micro-learnings that are always available in a searchable resource library. This allows your agents to freshen up on a specific topic on their own schedule to remind them of the details they might have missed the first time. 

“My first 90 days”
Learning is a key part of the onboarding process, but establishing the proper success habits and consistently reinforcing them is even more important as it provides a structure and discipline that will help agents be successful over time.

Therefore, your onboarding process must include a sales success habits program where agents can check in on a daily basis to gain focus, clarity and direction on what they need to tackle for the day.  They should be able to log successes and acknowledge setbacks as they occur.  In addition to daily check-ins, the agent should have a weekly conversation with their sales manager or mentor to review the results produced, discuss challenges faced and identify specific follow-up action items for the upcoming week.   

In the past, agents may have attempted to keep track all of this in their head, on paper or perhaps in an excel file, but we suggest this be done in a cloud based sales activity platform that is easily shared by agents, managers and mentors.  It must be accessible to the agent on a laptop, tablet or mobile device your agents, managers and executives all work from a variety of locations so this will ensure seamless communication.  Additionally, the data stored in a central location allows executives and mangers to easily generate leaderboards to monitor patterns and trends emerging in the organization.

Sticking with the plan of providing focused learning, performing daily and weekly check-ins and having a weekly coaching call with the manager or mentor will ensure agents establish success habits and achieve the highest level of success possible.

Have a Path
Your organization has a wealth of information in various formats including files on a shared drive, youtube videos, LMS courses, website links, PDFs and even printed materials.  You have the knowledge, experience and wisdom to take an inspired newbie and turn them into a well oiled, commission earning machine.

But, are you like many real estate organizations failing to fully leverage your content and distribute it to your agents efficiently?  Does your agent onboarding process feel more like a fire drill or seem less effective than it can be?  

We Can Help 
We can help you sift though your piles of content, create structure and provide a self-guided and automated platform to help your agents reach their true potential. 

CoachSimple Real Estate is a Sales Enablement, Coaching and Productivity platform helping Brokers and Managers to guide their agents through the success lifecycle which includes: onboarding, learning, success habits, business planning, goal setting and leadership training.  All with a coaching mindset at every step.  


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