With real estate sales skyrocketing during the pandemic and showing little sign of slowing in many markets, new agents are faced with a hectic time to learn the ropes of how to sell a new home. At New Home Star, we break it down for our agents just starting out, arming them with all of the tools, mentors, and resources they need to become rockstar sellers.
We firmly believe that the more new home sales agents can nail the basics early, the more they’ll be set up for a successful career complete with strong builder and customer relationships. Here are ten of the most important training tips for new agents tackling some of their first months on the new job.
1. Be a Student of the Game
New agents need to be fully committed to learning every facet of the new home sales business to excel in new home selling. As we covered in this article on rockstar new home sales traits, a dedication to self-education is one trait that can make a superb seller stand out from an average one. Being a student of the game means getting home from work and reading industry articles, attending relevant webinars, taking continuing education classes on real estate, and advancing through other learning methods. Without a desire to take part in these ways of furthering their real estate knowledge, sellers will fall behind their peers who are eager to immerse themselves in the industry. To learn about our approach to selling, check out this article on the formal new home sales training process.
2. Stay Committed to Role-Play
No patient goes into major surgery and hears the doctor remark, “I’m so excited for this... it’s my first time!” Becoming an expert surgeon requires years and years of role-playing and shadowing to perfect the craft. New home selling isn’t quite as high stakes as performing surgery, but the importance of role-play holds: spend time practicing what you might say with more experienced sellers who can share candid feedback. We find that many junior sellers don’t want to role-play for several reasons — it’s stressful and they don’t want to perform. Still, we encourage them to get over that initial internal pushback, swallow the frog, and practice with their team.
3. Put Bravery First
Bravery is needed not only for this role-play that may require an extra boost of confidence to perform in front of peers but for any endeavor in a new seller’s first few years on the job. In role-play practice or in other trainings, at New Home Star, we tell our junior sellers, “You don’t need to be the loudest person in the room or in the front row, just take that first step to get out of your comfort zone.” Once you risk that first leap into the unknown, you also need to stay vulnerable to receiving feedback that can help improve your performance over time. Nobody gets anything perfect on their first try, and everyone has something they can improve on; it’s all about taking in the feedback to implement during the next go.
4. Know There are No Dumb Questions
New agents need to question everything and not be afraid to raise their hands to call out something that they disagree with or don’t fully understand. They need to dig further into what’s being presented and taught to them and use their circle of mentors as guides to help them learn as much as possible during their first few years. We sometimes see new agents worried about asking a question that’s been answered already or coming off as uninformed — they need to leave their pride aside and know that nobody is judging them; everyone at the organization just wants to see them learning and growing.
5. Practice... and Practice Again
Practice, practice, practice, and when you feel like you just can’t practice anymore... keep practicing. Think about a football team: they work every single day of the week for just one game — they study the competition, watch replays of past games, and have a whole squad running the opponent’s offense and defense to get them ready for one game. New agents should see selling practice through a similar lens and view each meeting with a new customer as a game to tackle. Many new agents make the mistake of not taking their initial meetings with clients seriously enough and not putting in enough practice hours, and this can prevent them from making strides early in their career.
6. Learn the Construction Process
New agents should learn the construction process quickly during their first year and learn it fully. They need to work closely with product managers and builders, ideally on a weekly basis, and have them walk through the building process and what happens each step of the way. Within six months, they should be experts in the basic process and can refine their learning and expertise from there — but the first months are critical to nailing the fundamentals.
7. Block Time in the Week for Catch-Up
Most new sellers come in with a mindset that they have to be as organized as possible and attempt to section off their days accordingly, planning for meetings, trainings, and time to get work done. But in real estate, last-minute responsibilities, tricky customer questions, and other unseen obligations can quickly ruin a perfectly planned out day and push that day’s to-do list items to the following. New agents should know that it’s a best practice to block time in their week — usually, Friday afternoon is a great window — to catch up on everything that took a backseat to the more urgent demands they had to manage. This keeps them from falling behind and provides a window of time in a chaotic week to think, reflect, and organize for the one ahead.
8. Take Training Seriously
At New Home Star, we put our junior sellers through a training process that prepares them for the hardest selling seasons and pushes them to their limits. It’s an eight-week training schedule that one New Home Star seller compared to “learning to ride a bike” — in these eight weeks, sellers learn the basics to survive on the sales floor so that new agents can take those skills and reform them over the next critical 12 months of learning. The first two years are the most essential for soaking in critical information, and new sellers need to focus on honing the basics. Once they hit the two-year mark and selling becomes more automatic and natural to them, they can then focus on elevating the customer experience.
9. Always Review and Debrief
After a role-play session, a training, or a new meeting, new agents should schedule time with the other leaders and mentors present to review and debrief about how they performed. They should be asking themselves questions like “What were my key takeaways?” and “What do I wish I did differently?” Debriefing should also include self-evaluation. We encourage our junior sellers to take a moment to internalize and understand the key lessons from the event — either through writing it down or sharing with someone else — and use those insights to improve performance next time.
10. Have Fun
Last but not least: if new agents aren’t having fun, they aren’t doing it right. New home selling can be challenging, but at the end of the day, it’s exciting and rewarding to help a client find a space that fits their needs. Anytime a housing market is strong like it currently is, it attracts new sellers in it for the money instead of those who really love the craft. In these times especially, it’s important for builders to evaluate the selling team closely to determine which sellers have that innate drive and passion for helping buyers find their dream house. At New Home Star, we hire sellers who show us they’re in it for more than the paycheck — we take pride in a team that puts their energy and passion fully into the work they do each day.
Every new agent learns and operates differently in their first few months and even years on the job, but these tried and true ten tactics will have sellers well on their way to gaining the skills they need to excel in any market. Ultimately, it’s mostly about putting the time and energy in to learn from the best, staying in touch with the latest trends in real estate, and maintaining the right energy and passion to guide your career.
To learn more about our new home sales training services, please visit our service page.