Real Estate Training for New Agents: Three Tiers to Success

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Looking for training and coaching opportunities as you launch your Chicago real estate career to new heights? At Baird & Warner Lincoln Park, we have a training program and office culture that is designed to help boost your confidence and productivity from day one.

Whether coming to us with experience or brand new to the business, every new broker who joins our office is offered access to three important levels of training, including:

  • Corporate training
  • Office-level training, and 
  • Individual coaching and mentorship

These three distinct training opportunities work together to provide you with all the tools necessary for success, empower you to feel confident venturing into your new career, and help accelerate your success curve with a business plan tailored to your specific goals.

Curious about what our corporate, office-level, and one-on-one training can do for your real estate career? Let’s explore each of these three levels of training in a bit more depth: 

Corporate-Level Training: BW Achieve

Step one is to get familiar with the real estate industry and many of the tools and resources available to Baird & Warner brokers. Our corporate-level training program is called BW Achieve, and is generally taught at our downtown home office — with remote course options available during COVID-19.

This fantastic course consists of eight total modules, each driven toward helping new-to-the-business brokers generate and serve real estate clients. Some of the important topics covered in this course include working with buyers and sellers, writing a business plan, analyzing the market, and putting our company’s tools and technology to work to serve your clients. Achieve is taught by fantastic corporate trainers with hands-on experience in real estate sales and management. The course also features panels with brokers who recently launched their own businesses — giving newer-to-the-business brokers an opportunity to not only learn about how to grow a real estate business, but also a better understanding of the remarkable company and culture that they are now a part of.

BW Achieve is for those that have joined a Baird & Warner office in the last 4-6 weeks. This gives new-to-the-business brokers the opportunity to connect with people from all over Chicagoland, from Crystal Lake to the South Loop — and makes Achieve a fantastic networking opportunity, in addition to being a learning opportunity. In fact, I know this firsthand! One of my first personal transactions when I was in sales actually came from a colleague that I met at my Achieve class. 

Office-Level Training: Achieve Lincoln Park 

The topic overviews and training offered during the Achieve program are incredible — but it’s also important to reinforce those ideas and gain a local perspective. That’s where our office-level training opportunities come in. 

The reality is, because there is so much content that is being delivered in such a short period of time, it can be difficult to retain all of the information you receive from these valuable corporate training courses. That’s when the small group training within our office becomes very helpful.

Our office-level program, Achieve Lincoln Park, is really meant to ensure that you’re well-versed in the language of real estate, and get you up to speed for the local markets you’ll be working in.

Remember, there are definitely some intricacies to understand, market by market. For instance, in Chicago we sometimes use different contracts than in the suburban markets. Meanwhile, we also sell a lot more condos and townhomes. To serve clients in our neighborhoods, knowing how to negotiate those deals or understand these types of buildings is really important. 

This level of training is all about drilling down deeper, and putting concepts into practice. These office-level training sessions are taught in small groups (usually no more than 6 to 10 people at any one time), and are meant to be much more interactive than many other real estate classes. 

Our Achieve Lincoln Park classes are taught by myself and Negeen Masghati, our Assistant Managing Broker. We’ll explore topics in more depth, usually with a conversational approach. For example, we’ll always try to use real world scenarios and specific case studies — preferably from things that are actually happening in the marketplace. While eliminating names, addresses, and details from the transaction to keep confidentiality, we still give our newer brokers the chance to explore situations that are actually happening in the market in real time. 

My experience is that having discussions about actual, specific case studies is really beneficial, and allows brokers to retain more. These classes also help make our large office feel a lot smaller. They provide an opportunity to build some culture and relationships with other newer brokers in the office — as well as more experienced brokers who have been in the business for a decade or more, who are going back for a refresher or to collaborate with our agents. 

Individual Training & Coaching: Work With Managers Who Empower You

Our third training opportunity is one-on-one coaching and training with our management staff — Negeen, Sales Support Manager Diana Duvall, and myself. 

As Sales Support Manager, Diana’s focus is on providing individual attention and training with the tools and resources you need to know how to use to serve your clients — from accessing our office marketing services to learning how to use the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and create search histories for your clients. She is joined by Sales Support Specialist Jon Gould, who has experience helping new and experienced agents leverage Baird & Warner’s proprietary tools.  

Negeen is going to focus more on the strategies you can take to drive business. For newer brokers, she will help draft a preliminary business plan and talk about the different ways that you can find new clients and build new relationships. She’ll also start to develop a list of tactics to help you pursue those opportunities as you identify them. 

I’ll help you to finalize your business plan and work through those tactics that you want to pursue, and Negeen and I will both help you implement your plan.

In these individual training sessions, we will focus on crafting an approach that is truly tailored to you. 

Too often, newer brokers who start with a business plan are using one that was given to them by someone else, which they then try to replicate. In other words? They’re told what to do, but not how to do it. 

For instance, a new broker may be told: “You need to go get clients at open houses.” That’s a great tactic — but it leaves off how you can do that most effectively. We’ll work together to determine your goals and the tactics that you want to explore, while also discussing the principles behind them. Our ultimate goal is to take the success curve and bring it closer to day one — so that instead of taking two months to launch your program and become successful doing open houses, we can help empower you to do it in two weeks instead. 

Meanwhile, when I say our entire office is here to support you, I mean it. 

While we may not have a formal mentoring program in Lincoln Park, we do have a very organic one, which our managers help facilitate. For newer brokers looking to build on a specific skill, for instance, we’ll make introductions to agents who have been successful at those same tactics. In my experience, this is a much more authentic and efficient way to support our brokers.

For example, for a new broker just getting started with open houses, we may connect them with an experienced broker who is very strong at converting open house leads. This way, they can monitor how the other broker hosts open houses, how they follow up with leads, or what their system is to drive activity. In my experience, our brokers are always willing to share their systems, resources, and ideas.

We don’t want people always getting ready to get ready. At some point, you have to leap. While you won’t ever be a master at everything, you will always be able to move forward — with the confidence that you have a fantastic support team behind you. If you find yourself with the opportunity to help a client during training, you can trust that our staff will be there to help you hit the ground running, even as you continue to learn and develop your skills. 

What Sets Our Office Apart?

At Baird & Warner, our training and coaching opportunities are unmatched. In my experience, most other brokerages will have some version of a corporate-level training program. There may be a follow-up video, or some guidebooks to consult. But once a new broker goes through their central program, they go into the marketplace and are left to figure it out on their own — without any of the individual training, coaching, and hands-on experience that makes it easier to build a successful and long-lasting career.

As a Managing Broker, I don’t think that’s the way to really accelerate your success curve. Instead, I know how beneficial it is to build on these important concepts by really drilling down at the office level, and the one-on-one level. 

At Baird & Warner Lincoln Park, we invest in our new brokers from day one, providing a multi-disciplinary training experience from talented teachers and trainers. We strive to create a collaborative environment where our brokers use the innovative tools and support we provide to build thriving, sustainable businesses. 

We also know that training never stops. To further hone your skills and refine your business model, the management team is consistently available to meet with you one-on-one to continue the learning process. To help keep up with the ever-evolving world of real estate, our office also comes together on a regular basis to learn, share, and discuss the latest developments — including getting the perspective of expert guest speakers in fields such as real estate law, mortgage lending, and social media.

Want to Keep the Conversation Going?

Whenever you’re ready to start the discussion, I’m excited to share more about the Lincoln Park office and my thoughts on a career in real estate. 

When I was getting started in real estate, I wanted a strong, ongoing training program, a culture that was high-energy and collaborative, and a brand with a reputation for integrity that brought me credibility in the market. Today, as Managing Broker of the Lincoln Park office, I take ownership in creating and maintaining an office culture that promotes continuous improvement, and a culture and brand that I can be proud of.I always welcome the opportunity to discuss your real estate career. Whether you are considering a career change or looking for a new partner in your existing business, I truly look forward to connecting.

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