After publishing my last two articles, I received a lot of emails about our plans to begin licensing our technology only to our coaching students. Most have gone on and asked me about our coaching services. Well, over 100,000 agents have taken one of my online courses in the last seven years, and many have called or written me for help, but I have never held myself out as a “coach”, per se.
As one of only a few coaches or trainers in the industry that actually does free coaching, it was difficult to get my mind around the idea charging agents for what I do. I didn’t like the idea. As a new agent I struggled and nearly quit the business. When I ultimately figured out how to generate and close business online, it was without the help of the several coaches and “experts” who I had paid for training.
After my business began to explode and my practice was growing larger and larger, I decided that when other agents called me for help, I would take the time to share what I’d learned. In my thinking, it was the right thing to do: Freely you have received, freely give, in the words of Jesus.
The next nine years found me traveling and speaking, answering questions for agents, and trying to live up to that early decision. In fact, because my company does so much training in the use of our various technologies as well answering questions about my books, I find myself either writing for or speaking to agents almost every day.
What many agents don’t understand is that the licensing of our technology is the easy part. The getting agents to use it properly, and “reprogramming” their brains to do real estate the “new way” is the hard part. Some “get it” and go on to change their practices forever. Others don’t seem to get it and give up after a month or two of half-hearted trying.
The reason I filled you in on the background is because it will probably help you understand why I’ve decided to embark on this new coaching program. After knowing the history, seeing why we’re changing is easy. Our old way just wasn’t working the way I wanted it to.
Don’t get me wrong — plenty of agents signed up to license our technology, and many of them went on and got their lead generation started. Unfortunately, however, the number who actually pressed through the learning curve and became mega-producers was a lower number than I could live with. Remember back to your pre-licensing training, and the concept of “highest and best use”.
I felt like spending many hours training agents through step one or even step two of an entire process was not only a waste of their time, but a waste of mine too. Training is fine, but many of us need not only training but accountability as well. For years I’ve been struggling to find a new way that could deliver both training and accountability.
How could I accomplish that? As someone who is passionate about training agents and seeing them succeed, that very issue has been a source of real frustration for me over the years. I’ve noticed that those agents who’ve taken the training, asked questions along the way, and who I’ve managed to hold accountable to follow through the relatively short process of learning real estate the new way — their results have been nothing short of astounding.
And those who have signed up for our technology, taken an orientation class or two and fallen off the radar screen have for the most part died on the vine. As the inventor of the technology and as a broker and agent, myself, I feel as though I’ve failed those agents. I had to come up with another way. Here is the problem in a nutshell:
Most agents who are starting to do internet business need somebody they can turn to when they are discouraged or have a question. In fact, many of them (especially the more experienced agents) find the transition to be a challenge initially, and they need to be able to simply pick up the phone and call somebody. Sometimes it’s for advice, but often it is just the need to hear an encouraging voice to keep them pushing through while they transition into the unknown.
For most of those agents, the last person they can turn to is their broker. It is not necessarily that their brokers don’t care, but more often than not, it is because the brokers are just as lost when it comes to all things internet as the agents they are trying to lead. Let’s be honest, a lot has changed in the last few years.
Of course, from day one, I’ve made myself available to our technology users, but even though I openly publish my direct phone number, most agents are either too timid or too considerate to want to call me, wrongly thinking they’d be bothering me. Those who work up their courage to call are generally surprised when I actually answer the phone.
That brings me to our brand new offering. It finally occurred to me that training and coaching are not the same. Training is good, but coaching is training with accountability. I decided that I would replace our technology licensing with coaching. Instead of charging for our technology, I’d charge for the coaching, and then I’d give away the technology, with some strings attached.
Before I’d let an agent use our technology, that agent would have to undergo the requisite training so they’d ultimately be successful using the tool. Each separate technology would be available to every agent at no additional cost if and only if that agent was willing to do the work to learn to master it. All my training would be available to every agent, again at no charge, assuming the agent completed the training he or she registered for.
But the thing I like the best about our new offering is that it will now be relational. That will make it much more personal. And because agents will be paying for coaching and direct access to me and my staff, they will actually feel comfortable in calling and allowing us to help them. How cool is that?
Additionally, I intend to start teaching weekly classes by conference call, systematically covering several of my books. Those conference call classes will be interactive so agents will be able to pick up tips and tricks from others on the calls. What I think will be really cool is that we’ll be recording the calls and making them available as pod-casts so any of our students can download them and listen to them again and again.
Now let’s talk money. Our intention is that any agent can spend the same amount they now spend licensing our technology, only instead of only getting the technology and whatever training they proactively seek out, now they will have our coaching staff holding them accountable for taking the training, and getting through the short learning curve. The result, I believe, will be a much more successful agent, and let’s be honest: that’s what agents are looking for — return on investment.
If an agent isn’t getting it, they can call us every single day until it finally clicks. They can take a quick refresher any time they want with no feeling of embarrassment. And they can have a personal coach to help them fill in the gaps that their broker is unable or unwilling to fill.
For us, it will be a lot more work, but it will also be much more rewarding. We will get to spend our time helping agents who want help and we will get the reward of seeing a much larger number of them succeed and become mega-producers, even in these tough economic times.
But what about those agents who are currently using our technology? No problem. They will all be grandfathered into our new program at no additional cost to them even if the new coaching pricing is higher what they are currently paying. Of course, if they leave, and later return, they will be subject to the current pricing — that’s only fair.
Think about this: Most of us have invested big money on technology hoping for “the magic”. For most of us, that magic didn’t happen. Sometimes it was our fault, sometimes it wasn’t. Sometimes it was just that the technology without the entire mindset was useless. Now, imagine if you could get the mindset first, then have the technology given to you.
Imagine what it would be like to have the technology provider guarantee you’d “get it” or they’d hold your hand until you did? What would it be like to have a ton of business along with zero technology bills during this the toughest of times? Well, I’m excited because I know that for many of you reading this, this can be the start of a brand new practice. I’m excited because many of you will now be able to relax and finally have somebody help you “get it” and that will make all the difference in the world.
Next week we intend to launch our brand new coaching program, so stay tuned… OH — and don’t forget, if you’re already one of our LCM Success users, you’ll get the added value without any higher cost.
As always, thank you for reading.