Driving Growth

Investing in Your People is Critical for Real Estate Success

BY

Bonnie Sue Lovelace

.

June 21, 2022

In our industry, education & training needs to be a lifelong pursuit. Today, we’re joined by Bonnie Sue Lovelace, Vice President, Learning, Anywhere, to discuss the future of real estate learning, and how brokerage investments in education pay off in the long-term.

As any successful real estate professional would tell you, there is always more to learn. We work in an ever-evolving industry, which means it is imperative to stay informed on emerging technologies, communication techniques, lead generation training, contract law…and everything else under the sun.

Today, we are going to look at the importance of learning curriculums in real estate, and how real estate professionals affiliated with a national brand can often have a leg up when it comes to access to cutting-edge education.

But first, we speak with Bonnie Sue Lovelace, Vice President, Learning at Anywhere, about current trends, the future of learning in real estate, and how brokers can support their agents when it comes to professional development and continuous learning.

What are some mega trends in real estate you are seeing across the Anywhere family of brands and our network? What does the future of learning look like for real estate?

Among the biggest trends is in fact a continuation and deepening of a trend we’ve seen for a while: consumers continue to highly value the services provided by real estate agents—those knowledgeable, skilled professionals whom they can trust, who guide them past obstacles, who demystify complex processes, and who get them successfully across the finish line of either buying or selling a home.

And that leads me to the second part of your question about the future of learning in real estate. At Anywhere, the future of learning is happening right now. We’ve built arguably the most robust and user-friendly system for delivering next-level learning at a huge scale. Our unequivocal focus has always been equipping agents with the skills, acumen, tools, and market knowledge that will create a differentiated, successful experience for their clients. And we’ll never be done creating the future of learning. That’s what’s so great about how we approach learning and client success.

Your team oversees the learning strategies and programs for all six of our powerhouse brands. What is the data telling you in terms of the connections between brokers and agents that invest in learning and their business success?

That is a great question. What we’re seeing from the data is that our approach makes a difference in agent productivity. Agents in our courses are focused on the activities and best practices that drive growth, and by following our experiential learning pathways, they see the impact of their actions reflected in their production and can plan for their next level of development.  Our tracking data reveals that agents who take our courses have greater improvement in metrics like closed units and closed volume in the 12 months after they take our courses compared to the twelve months prior.* And we also find strong evidence that compared to agents who haven’t taken our courses, the agents who do have greater improvement over the same time period.

What are agents looking for when it comes to learning in 2022 and how can their brokers support their development?

For brokers who want to support their agents, I would encourage them take advantage of the tutorials we are just now rolling out on how to get the most of out of MoxiWorks. These products offer amazing simplicity and efficiency for agents at any stage of their career. And the second thing I would recommend is for brokers to encourage agents to take advantage of all the free training and tools available through their brand universities.

Why is learning a critical piece of a successful customer success team?

Maybe I am biased, but I feel as though success that has no learning behind it is probably mostly about luck. The most recent NAR research tells us that 90 percent of sellers used a real estate agent to sell their home in 2021. And 88 percent of sellers who said selling their home was not urgent still chose to use an agent. Consumers are very savvy. They know they need the expertise of a highly-skilled professional to navigate one of the biggest, if not the biggest, financial transaction of their lives. Learning is integral to success because it’s the foundation of continued success. Our brand universities are where agents know that at any point in their career they can find that extra edge to differentiate them from the competition and the next-level skills and tools that will propel their business forward.

Can you share a favorite moment or ‘win’ when it comes to your  team?

We’ve been fortunate to have quite a few wins, because we have a remarkable team that collaborates so well with the best brands in the world. It would be difficult to choose any one win or moment. I am so proud of what this team does. And we are all proud of the fact that agents and brokers continue to give our training amazing testimonials, and our strong stats continue to show that once an agent engages in our training their productivity grows, so I would say that our biggest wins are still ahead of us.

The Benefits of Continued Learning

New ideas, new techniques, and new technologies are always being introduced. Staying on top of the latest advancements will help keep you knowledgeable, which can reflect positively in your business.

In addition to the obvious benefits of continuing education—increased knowledge, enhanced familiarity with technology, etc.—there are lots of unexpected benefits too:

  • Greater lead generation: Training can play an outsized role in lead generation, showing you how to create a pipeline of high-quality leads. It can show you how to “organize, qualify, and nurture” leads via powerful techniques that can make a tremendous impact on your bottom line.
  • Stronger structure:  Agents can learn “systems for success” that build the foundational knowledge to close more deals.
  • Enhanced productivity:  Education is not just about rules, regulations, and technology. It can also teach you valuable time management strategies to help keep you on track to close more sales.

Education Puts Anywhere at the Head of the Class

Here at Anywhere, we have always prioritized continuing real estate education for our employees and affiliates. It’s one of our biggest differentiators, and a big reason for our leadership position in the industry.

Investing the time and effort into learning can help your business. Just take a look at these metrics from one of the Anywhere learning programs:

  • Affiliated Agents who took the Listing Presentation Program exhibited greater improvement than agents who didn’t. (Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, ERA Real Estate®, Coldwell Banker® and CENTURY 21® combined).
  • *24% More Listings Taken
  • *23% More Closed Units
  • *29% Higher Sales Volume

Real Teamwork, Real Success

Perhaps more than any other industry, real estate makes that abundantly clear. When you’re affiliated with a national brand, you simply have more resources than those who “go it alone.”

This 2021 Rismedia feature on our own Sue Yannaccone hammers this point home as well as anything you’ll see. It talks about how the “deep bench of tools and resources” at Anywhere provide an edge that’s just about impossible for independent real estate professionals to replicate. It’s a question of size, scope, and scale.

As Sue explains, the total commitment to giving affiliated agents and brokers the tools to succeed made all the difference during the peak of the pandemic. “We found that during 2020, the connection our brand leaders had to our entrepreneurs on the ground was invaluable. Our brokers and agents had access to thought leadership and expert distillation of what was going on in the macro environment as well as at the hyperlocal level so that they could adapt and evolve and continue to work…The scale gives brokers and agents access to programs and products they wouldn’t be able to invest in otherwise.”

Though adding continued learning into your already busy schedule may seem overwhelming, the investment in the long run can be very beneficial for your business…and having those resources at your fingertips can make all the difference!

* Listings Taken, Closed Units, and Closed Sales Volume (collectively, the “Metrics”) were measured during this Study. To calculate the results, we took a sample of the 5,857 independent sales associates who had been affiliated with Coldwell Banker®, Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, ERA® , or CENTURY 21® for at least a year prior to the study and who participated in their respective brand’s “Listings” training classes and activities between August 2017 and August 2019 (the “Sample Pool”) and entered their activities into REScoreboard.com. All sales associates included in the study completed one or more training classes, each ranging in duration from a minimum of three hours up to twenty-two hours. We measured the Metrics generated by the Sample Pool during the 12 months prior to their taking any of their brand’s training and then measured the Metrics generated during the 12 months after the end date of each agent’s training. Study completion date was September 2020. The research is subject to a sampling error rate of + or – 5%. This was not a controlled study; correlation does not equal causation. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Market conditions may influence results and there is no assurance any Realogy affiliated sales associate will achieve the same or similar results. © 2020 Realogy Services Group LLC. All rights reserved. Realogy Services Group LLC and its affiliate companies fully support the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each franchised office is independently owned and operated.

Bonnie Sue Lovelace

Vice President, Learning, Anywhere Real Estate Inc.

Bonnie Sue is the Vice President of Learning at Anywhere Real Estate Inc. where she develops and executes on business-critical strategies that fuel inspiration, productivity and growth by creating best-in-class learning tools and services. Her recipe for impact includes passion for operational efficiencies, innovation, curiosity, courage and resilience.

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