The Harvard Business Review published an article diving into the principle of “hire slow, fire fast.” This onboarding model operates alongside the same principle, allowing your team to test drive a new employee so both they and you can see how well fit they are for your business, team culture, and the future goals of your company.
Before you hire anyone, you need to have a firm business foundation in place, and review this article about where to spend and where to save when operating a real estate team.
Remember, when you are onboarding new agents it doesn’t matter if you are hiring your first agent or your 20th, the same general timeline should apply.
Our tips in that article will help you prepare for unexpected costs you may incur when growing a team.
The agent onboarding plan below is for new agents with beginner to intermediate experience. It is also hybrid of real estate onboarding models found in the teams of Kevin Smits’ Century 21 Gold, the Duncan Duo, Path & Post Real Estate, and Alyssa Hellman’s training expertise.
Agent Onboarding Plan: Days 1-30
This first full 30 business days is going to be all about catching up to the learning curve. Your main systems, support, technology, and business planning will be covered here. It is a lot, and you need to remember that for incoming members.
We advise appointing an advisor or mentor if you do not have time to do so who checks in with the new hire once a week, if not more. This way they have someone to go to for questions throughout the process.
Step One: The first week should be filled with information about your business history, region of expertise, company mission, brand, and culture. Review your company business plan and discuss how to setup the new hire’s business plan once things get going.
Takeaway — They should begin to draft their templated personal business plan with goals related to this onboarding plan for the first three months. They can revisit this plan once the 90 days is up to add transactional milestones.
Step Two: Begin training on your technology and processes. If you have a technology advocate, introduce the two and make sure your new hire knows that questions about certain technology platforms should be forwarded to that person. Now they have two supports in place, the technology advocate and their mentor.
Takeaway — Have them run through everyday processes within your technology systems. It helps to have the new hire enter a fake lead from the beginning and show you how to take this lead through follow-up, nurture, and all the way to close.
Step Three: Begin training on the phones. Our plan has new hires, no matter their personal goals, starting on the phones answering to new leads. This way they begin to train and master breaking the ice and extending conversations into actual information. We advise keeping your new hires on the phones for the entirety of the first 100 days.
Takeaway — Run scripts for the phones. Whether they are on call or text, have your new hire comfortable with these general “branded” conversations before they hop on the phone. Then establish a conversion rate for the first two weeks on the phone (and detail this in the personal business plan) for them to work towards. Make sure this conversion rate will challenge, but not overwhelm them.
Step Four: Continue with them on the phone and introduce them to each specialist role on your team. If this is your first hire, or your first agent, then you may have less people to introduce them to. Don’t forget your recommended lenders or other home buying referrals (contractors, inspectors, plumbers, etc.).
Takeaway — Analyze and adjust the phone leads conversion rates. Talk over scripts again and any obstacles they have in their conversations. Discuss how to add value and get to the point in a casual, but efficient way. See here for phone and texting tips.
Have your new hire shadow each specialist (ISA, seller specialist, showing specialist, etc.) each afternoon for one or two hours. This way they get a taste for what everyone contributes to the team.
Agent Onboarding Plan Days 31-60
This portion of your plan should only commence when your new hire is comfortable one the phones, has a good handle on the team’s technology, and can navigate everyday processes.
If they need one more week or a few days to master those first, then don’t hesitate, some people learn at different paces.
The next several days will focus on transitioning your new hire into a 50/50 position. They will work the phones half of the day and act as a showing specialist for the rest. Or you can alternate days if that works easier for you.
Step Five: Train your new hire to operate as a showing specialist. Kevin Smits’ implements this position and has new hires spend 9 months in this role. You can adjust to whatever length you deem necessary.
Takeaway: Continue to train on the phones, shadow other specialists on the team, and begin to preview properties. Maintain a consistent schedule throughout this period since there is, like the first 30 days, a lot going on and a large learning curve for beginner agents.
Adjust their business plan to reflect an updated conversion rate and an amount of properties they should preview per week.
Agent Onboarding Plan Days 61-100
At this point the new hires should be starting to adjust well to the team processes, but again, if they need more time, or you feel more comfortable expanding these time frames, absolutely do so!
In the Salary Vs. Commission article, we discuss Kevin Smits’ longer term onboarding plan that ensures each new hire covers every basic to his team. Our agent onboarding plan may be shorter, but his is perfectly proportioned if you have the time.
Read the article here.
Step Six: The last leg of your first 100 days should be spent as a showing specialist, on the phones, reviewing your marketing practices, along with contract and negotiation tactics.
This is a lot to handle, so consider if this timeline works well for you, or if more time needs to be added to appropriately train your new hire.
Remember to have a technology advocate (this may be you!) on your team to be the point person for tech questions, along with weekly or bi-weekly check-ins with the new hire’s mentor. This way your new hire begins to adhere to team accountability and they know there is always someone there to answer a question.
The final portion of your onboarding plan should continue to have your new hire on the phones, at this point their conversion rates should be rising. They should also be able to increase the number of properties previewed in their time as showing specialist.
Takeaway — Update the new hire’s business plan at the beginning of this period to reflect new phone conversion rate goals, property quotas for previewing, and establish that they know good and well your platforms and processes.
At this point you should arrange more shadowing for the new hire to observe and interact during the contract, negotiation, and closing process. Ensure these shadowing experiences are interactive and the new hires aren’t simply watching from the sidelines.
Agent Onboarding Plan: Post 100-Day Review
Now is the time to review your new hire’s first 100 days business plan and their progress. If goals were not met, explore why. If they exceeded goals, explore this as well, maybe you could learn something from how they are doing things.
Most importantly, review whether or not they have interacted well with your fellow team members, their mentor, if they went to the tech advocate for questions, etc.
The “hire slow, fire fast” mentality works well with this process because the “fast” portion allows you to spend ample time allowing a new hire to assimilate. And if they don’t for reasons related to culture, not handling conversations well, or bringing down the team or your brand, then the decision is obvious: they are not a good fit.
The goal however of this 100 day process is to allow your new hire to experience every facet of your company. This way if they continue on as an agent with your team they will hopefully understand and appreciate everyone’s contribution.
At the end of the day, a real estate team needs to act together as a well oiled machine. If one part malfunctions or misunderstands the point or purpose, then you have a problem. If everyone is well trained on the process and your mission, then all systems are a go!
For more advice on training your new hires, onboarding plans, or real estate in general, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at (844) 358-9091. Or click the link below: