Agents should spend at least a fortnight every year working in another real estate office, according to one trainer.
Both business owners and agents become insular when stuck in their own environment for extended periods of time, according to real estate coach Peter Brewer.
“Most people don’t remember travelling to work in the morning because we just get so stuck in the same old habits, doing the same thing and heading in the same direction every day,” he told Real Estate Business.
“We’ve been doing the same stuff for so long and most agents haven’t ventured outside their own office to spend time in someone else’s business to see what other people do.”
According to Mr Brewer, a ‘buddy’-style exchange program could benefit both offices.
“I’d say for two weeks a year, everyone should get outside their own businesses. Buddy up with someone and spend some time there. You’ll start realising that there are better ways to do things.”
One agent who has found enormous success doing this is John Cunningham, principal at Sydney-based Cunninghams Property.
“During the past year I have visited over 10 progressive real estate businesses around Australia to both study what they are doing right now and to see where the industry is heading,” Mr Cunningham said in his latest blog.
“I have also had over 40 agency principals visit my office during the same time, including 30 in early April from Robert Bevan's Best Practice Study tour who were on the same journey.
“Some traditions are slowly dying while the fundamentals are as strong as ever, but they are being finessed and adapted to modern communications and are driven by a far more sophisticated consumer, who has high expectations.”
As the former chairman of The Professionals Real Estate Group, Mr Brewer admitted that even large businesses can get caught up in staleness.
“I remember sitting in a board meeting, and all the directors thought we had the ultimate secret recipe for real estate and that no one else in real estate knew what we knew.
“I was invited to a training day, and there was about 150 agents who attended. There were people on stage from different independent offices around the country, and one of Brisbane’s top agents shared all his commission structures, all his earnings of sales people, his marketing ideas. Another agent got up on stage and shared his 92-page business plan.
“Here was my group thinking we had all the secrets and no one knew the stuff we knew, and when I was exposed to that information I was blown away. We seemed to have forgotten that we didn’t know everything.”