It seems that whether you hate continuing education (CE) credits with a passion or you’re a card-carrying member of the Raise the Bar group, you’d agree that good real estate training is hard to find. I hear brokers and sales associates alike complain bitterly about the educational dearth on both the giving and the receiving ends.
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“The average real estate training program is no program,” a trainer and former real estate professional told me recently. They went on to say that associates generally don’t try to fill the gap themselves, either, usually because they feel like they’re too busy. “They do CE because they have to… They don’t even know they’re clueless.”
Now Jeff Cobb’s new book, Leading the Learning Revolution, is targeted at people who want to become teachers, lecturers, educational gurus, and the like in this new age of adult learning. And if you fall in that category, I’d recommend it as a resource in your endeavors. But it’s not really aimed at brokers simply trying to train their sales associates. Regardless, in reading the book I came across a chapter that could help solve this real estate training conundrum.
Let’s say you’re a broker trying to offer some useful training to your associates. Why aren’t they showing up in droves, you ask? Well, Cobb has a checklist that might provide some insight as to what you missed.
- You didn’t tell them what they stand to gain. You need to provide adult students with measurable learning objectives that use active, specific language.
- You didn’t give them the why. Cobb suggests showing participants how the knowledge is relevant to them by asking them to complete a task that they cannot do before completing the training, or by simply asking them what they want to achieve by attending the class.
- There’s too much there. Cobb notes that adult learners have a limited amount of working memory at their disposal. He compares the necessary process of editing instructional material to pruning, cutting out the excess so that the final product can grow stronger.
- Are you rambling again? “Chunk it,” Cobb advises. Focus on any given point no more than 12 minutes, and then move on.
- Their ears are worn out. Or their eyes. Take the time to stimulate all the senses, thoughtfully integrating multimedia and interactive learning devices into your written material or lectures.
- What was that again? If you want your associates to move information (or skills) into their long-term memory, they need to hear (or do) it three times. But be sure to explain the need for what scientists call “elaborative encoding,” because they won’t want to do the same thing over and over again (even if it is good for them).
- They’re on the outskirts. It’s vital that you find ways for associates to participate in their own training, whether you choose worksheets, brainstorming, checklists, group discussion, or role play.
- You’re taking all the responsibility. Adult learners want to be recognized as capable of self-direction, Cobb says. Instructors can do this by bringing learners in on the decision-making process when it comes to learning outcomes and future goal setting.
So, next time you see an agent’s eyes glaze over in a training session, don’t automatically assume they’re unteachable. Think about what you can do to become a learning leader for your team.