The strategic combination of prominent real estate training gurus Tom Panos, Josh Phegan, Caroline Bolderston and Chris Helder with the latest webinar technology empowered leading property group Raine & Horne to increase its training engagement by as much as 900% in 2020.
"The high-level training proved a major foil to the COVID-19 pandemic as it enabled us to triple the amount of in-person training seminars we conducted in 2019, as well as providing an almost tenfold increase in the numbers of sales agents who received training this year," said Angus Raine, Executive Chairman Raine & Horne.
"The training received an extraordinary response with one of Tom Panos's webinar sessions, Covid-19 Scripts and Dialogues, attracting 200 participants. Typically, an in-person seminar would attract 20-25 participants."
Mr Raine continued, "By harnessing virtual technologies, we provided up to 1,200 hours of sales tuition in 2020, which demonstrates our training doesn't geographically discriminate."
"If you're in Dalby in western Queensland, Mandurah in south-western WA or Darwin you can now have regular training."
Sales focused training
The webinars focused on all aspects of professional development with Tom Panos concentrating on sales scripts, dialogues and prospecting. In August, Josh Phegan presented ways agents can become customer-obsessed, while Caroline Bolderston addressed themes such as planning and accountability.
"Sales Masterclass was primarily for salespeople but also for our principals and those staff members who may be considering a future in sales," Mr Raine advised.
Given the success of the initial seminars, sessions from high-energy trainer Chris Helder were added to the network's rapidly expanding online training calendar in October. "Around 250 participants dialled in for Chris's "Creating Real Estate Habits for Success" that addressed the value of building deeper relationships with vendors and buyers, along with prospecting skills that achieve results," said Mr Raine.
Ms Tarrant agreed the Sales Masterclass Series had wide-ranging benefits for the leading real estate group. "Rather than providing training in silos state by state, COVID forced us to take our training online and provide headline trainers such as Tom, Josh and Caroline free of charge to our entire network.
"It was amazing and just fabulous that we could reach out to our Victorian colleagues when they were going through tough times in lockdown."
Hybrid sessions for Sales Masterclass Series on the drawing board for 2021
Despite the success of online training, Ms Tarrant believes there will still be demand for in-room training next year. "Agents love being in the same room as a trainer, so we will be considering hybrid training in 2021 that provides the option of in-person or online training.
"Either way, we are excited about how online training has the potential to unite our network, and we can confirm the Sales Masterclass Series will be back next year every month for the entire Raine & Horne network."
Ms Tarrant added that the Sales Masterclass Series, delivered enormous cultural benefits to Raine & Horne in 2020.
"As part of Sales Masterclass, we provided the ability for agents to engage in online chat. This has, for example, enabled agents in Darwin and regional WA to forge relationships with colleagues in Sydney.
"We have seen a massive spike in cross-network collaboration, which we're thrilled about."
Masterclass supports office visits
Moreover, Ms Ashton said Sales Masterclass Series doesn't end with the webinar or chatroom discussions and is extended to office visits by Raine & Horne's Network Management team nationally.
"Katrina and I curated the topics for each session based on agent feedback, and this enabled us to reinforce the key training messages presented by the trainers."
The choice of the trainers was critical to the success of the Sales Masterclass Series in 2020, according to Ms Ashton. "We wanted our agents to focus on what they could do during COVID, rather than what they couldn't do," she said.
"For this reason, we went with industry trainers that provided a different flavour. We curated the topics so that all the sessions had linkages whether Tom, Josh or Caroline were delivering it.
"We allowed our agents to attend every session or cherry-pick, and for those who missed a webinar, the sessions were recorded so they could catch up at their convenience.
“By giving our agents the ability to choose their modules and timing, we generated massive engagement, while Sales Masterclass Series united our network at an incredibly challenging time for our industry. It was brilliant."