Chapter 96 - Coaching

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Dominic Nicoli,  Inaugural Member of the Intero Real Estate Services Hall of Fame

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Adam Eyre, Top 100 Lender at PrimeLending and previously Top 100 at Wells Fargo Bank

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for real estate lenders, real estate agents and those who would like to learn about the professions.


About a year into my active career as a real estate agent, I started hearing about these “coaching” companies. I asked my granddad about it. He said, “Oh, yes, we would caravan to conferences, stay in a nice hotel, eat well, drink, goof off, play golf, and have a good time. I never much actually attended the sessions, but it was a great vacation.” I suspect my granddad was there for the party.

As the real estate industry matured, so did the coaching industry that served the real estate industry.

What is coaching?
You can think of coaching as education, business consulting, or a combination of the two. The customer is the real estate agent or lender, and the service provider is the coaching company. The customer can also be management; those are more isolated instances, however, so we’ll keep it simple and just say that the customer is the real estate agent or lender.

The term coach, naturally, comes from athletics; the term has migrated, however, into business over the years. The traditional definition of the word coach is “a person who teaches or trains.” Additionally, over time, the coaching companies have overlapped business training with personal advice. Personal and business are naturally related, particularly so in real estate, so the overlap made sense.

Here is a list of possible areas the coaching companies cover: personal finances, business finances, marketing, operations, and philosophies. They deliver these services in a group setting or on a one-on-one basis. In summary, the coaching companies teach and train on both a personal and business level; hence, the word coach.

Where they fit. In this business of real estate, we find deals, we do deals, we manage some money, and we work to keep our head straight; marketing, operations, finance, and attitude. Coaching fits nicely within attitude. The coaching industry works hard to help us producers keep our heads straight. They overlap into the other three categories, of course; but attitude holds it all together. Therefore, coaching should be considered when you think about attitude.

Where to find them. There are several capable coaching companies in the United States and beyond; it’s not my intention to promote a specific company. Do a Google search on “real estate coaching” or “real estate coaching companies” and you’ll find them. You’ll find companies that are small, medium, and large (and individuals). You’ll find some that offer yellow ice cream, some that offer purple, and some that offer the Farrell’s bananarama split special. Do your homework, understand the offerings, and then decide what is best for you.

How much do they charge. Many services provided by this industry are free. You can attend a conference for a fee, or you can hire a “personal coach.” Personal coaching can run from $100 to $2,000 monthly, depending on the company and level of service.

Time to get away. The coaching industry offers one-day to approximately seven-day business conferences. I have attended many. This is a great time to brainstorm with colleagues, plan, dream, and scheme, and do all this without the demands of day-to-day life. You just pay your fee and go. You don’t have to be involved in personal coaching to attend these events. Frankly, I would attend only about 75 percent of the sessions and be planning like crazy (in my room) the other times. I found myself going to a session, becoming energized by an idea, and then wanting to plan while it’s fresh in my mind.

Take away from a conference. There is so much information presented at these events that it can be paralyzing at times. I learned early on, for me, that I wanted to walk away with one idea that I could use. By this time, I had organized (in my head) the categories of real estate into marketing, operations, finance, and attitude. So I really didn’t care which category the idea fell within, I just wanted one. And frankly, when I found my one idea, I left. Sometimes it took me four days; sometimes I found it within the first day. Right after I found it, however, I was on my way back home. Some of my colleagues would stay for days on end, and that’s what they needed, for themselves. Either way is fine. You are running your own small business, so you decide how long you want to stay.

Biggest benefit.
One of the biggest benefits of the conferences is the exposure to other people that are working hard to achieve. As it relates to business conferences, it can be worth the price of admission just for this one fact alone. You may meet someone from two thousand miles away that is having the same challenge as you, and he or she may explain a solution in a way that “clicks.” It’s good talking with people outside your geographical area that are trying to achieve at high levels.

Be careful. There is a chapter in this book called “It’s All on You.” The chapter talks about the fact that you are 100 percent responsible for everything in this business. By recognizing that and accepting that as fact, you build mental muscle, long-lasting muscle that could sustain you for the rest of your life. If you decide to hire a coach, do not become dependent on the coach.

Think of the coaching industry similar to the way you think about your manager. The manager will support you, encourage you, mentor you, cheerlead for you, but it’s all on you to get it done. The same applies with the coaching company. Don’t allow yourself to become weak and reliant on the coach; he or she is there to help, to advise, to encourage, to motivate, to inspire, and, in some cases, to hold accountable. But he or she is not there to actually be doing it. Maintain your muscular independence. Don’t lean too hard.

Personally. “Jim, have you ever hired a coaching company?” Yes, I have, several times over the years, and multiple companies.

Does everyone have a coach? No. In my most recent office of about one hundred real estate agents, I am guessing that only two or three had actively hired a coach on a monthly basis. People can produce at high levels with a coach or without a coach. I have colleagues that I dearly respect that have never been to a conference and some that wouldn’t miss a conference. That is the beauty of this industry. Be unique to you. Do it the way that you want to do it.

You are a small-business owner. The coach could play a role within your business. But you are still the CEO of your small business. You decide: 1) if you want or need a coach; and 2) what role you want the coach to play. You are in control of your business. That is a blinding flash of the obvious; just keep it mind.

Reinforcing a message. The conferences and other services provided by the coaching industry reinforce messaging from management. Sometimes, if we hear something from a third party, we get it. We may have heard that same message one hundred times from Susan (the manager), but the second we hear it from Kim (the coach), it sinks in.

On the other hand, by attending some of these conferences, you can also evaluate what your manager is saying as opposed to what the coaching industry is saying. There is nothing wrong with hearing differing opinions: show-up equipped with your critical-thinking cap and take it all in.

Don’t be intimidated. When attending a conference, don’t allow yourself to be intimidated. You are there for just a window of time. There is an element of “performance” to it, so you are observing things within a controlled environment. Don’t allow yourself to be mesmerized by “the stage of it all.” You are there for business. You are there to learn. You are there to get one to two ideas that may help to move your life and/or your business forward. That’s it. Then, get in your car or on the plane, and go home.

Drunk on the Kool-Aid.
I went to a conference one time and allowed myself to get all fired up. I came home and told my wife that our cars were crummy (cars that had no debt). I asked my wife to accompany me to the car dealership, where I proceeded to purchase no less than a $100,000 car. Ridiculous. I was intoxicated on the Kool-Aid from the conference. As I sobered up over the next month, this sinking feeling of Oh sh&*t fell over my body like an anchor. Now I’m dealing with a giant payment for five years. My fault. Be discerning and take small sips of the Kool-Aid.

A global perspective.
As producers, we are on the front lines; management is advising from the press box. The coaching industry, however, is looking at the industry from a plane thirty thousand feet in the air. They study the industry as an industry. Their perspective is different because they might be talking with a group in Chicago one day, Seattle the next, and Canada the day after that. Therefore, you can learn things that you may not learn in your home town.

In a supersensational, simplistic explanation of the real estate business, the business consists of management, producers, and vendors. You can think of the coaching industry as a vendor industry, catering specifically to producers but consulting from time to time with management. The coaching companies play a very important and valuable role within the real estate industry.

Go get ’em!

To think well and to consent to obey someone giving good advice are the same thing.