What Is the Difference Between a Real Estate Coach and a Trainer?


If your brokerage isn’t where you want it to be, are you considering a coach or a trainer?  Moreover : do you know the difference between the two?

I ask this because there seems to be a lot of confusion in the real estate world.  Time and again, when brokerage owners contact me for help,  I’ve noticed one thing.  People seem to think real estate coaches and trainers are interchangeable. They’re often startled when I tell them: nothing could be further from the truth!

I find this highly disconcerting, to be honest.  There are a lot of reasons brokerage owners call me. Yet, they nearly always think the solution to their problems must be one-size-fits-all.  When you think of the myriad of reasons someone’s brokerage might be in trouble, this is a bit shocking.

Some feel their brokerage isn’t as profitable as they’d like. Others are concerned they’re losing agents to the competition. Whatever the concern, these people might need a specialized solution.  This is exactly why they -and you- need to know the difference between a real estate coach and a trainer.

Let’s take a better look below.

-Training Vs Coaching

Both a real estate coach and trainer are here to help you build your brokerage.  They’re here to help identify the source of any problems, and to help you resolve them. That’s where the similarities end, though.

A trainer usually has created their own system for their clients to follow.  This system is usually designed with several predetermined steps so that clients can achieve almost any goal. 

In the case of a real estate trainer, their system is meant to overcome issues that brokerage owners face.  This can be things like having trouble attracting the right agents. Or it could be a per-person revenue that’s lower than someone wants it to be. A trainer will introduce their clients to their system, then have them follow it exactly to the letter.  In most situations, there is no deviation or modification of the system.

A coach,  meanwhile, will act as their client’s guide.  They will analyze a client’s situation first and then create an action plan after.  Like in any sport,  a coach will work with their client day in, day out, and make changes to the plan whenever necessary. 

Real estate coaching, in particular,  requires both coach and client to be flexible.  We all know that our business can change in an instant due to outside factors! A coach will know to take these changes in stride and change their client’s plan where necessary.

So in short: a  trainer teaches you how to follow one preset system; a coach guides you every step of the way to your desired goal.

-“Square Peg Round Hole” Syndrome

Here’s where it’s necessary to explain why I think real estate training can be flawed.  It can create what I call “Square Peg Round Hole” syndrome.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the expression “ trying to put a square peg in a round hole”.  This refers to any situation where you’re trying to jam something into a place where it wasn’t designed to fit.  It just fails, and leaves everyone frustrated.

Real estate trainers may have a great system (and most of them are!).  If their system doesn’t fit you, though,  then you have a “square peg round hole” situation. Trainers’ systems are often designed to be one size fits all. They will try to fit you into their system, rather than deviate from it.  If you fit the system,  that’s great and you’ll likely get the results you seek.  If you’re the square peg jammed into a system for round ones, though,  it’s going to be a disaster.

I’ve spoken with broker-owners who have found themselves in this situation.  They’d chosen to work with a trainer who had gotten great results for some of their colleagues.  Unfortunately,  they weren’t seeing the same success, despite following the same system.  In the end, they were discouraged and wondering if they’d done everything wrong.

There’s nothing wrong with you if you’re the proverbial square peg.  There’s nothing necessarily wrong with the trainer’s system, either.  It just means you need to find a system that works for you.  More often than not, that might mean you need a customized plan, and one that changes with you as you go.

Breaking Free From The “Syndrome”

I mentioned earlier how quickly our business can change,  and it’s often due to reasons beyond our control.   This year’s health crisis has shown us that!  For that alone, many people can become “square pegs” when following a training system.

Things can change at a moment’s notice at the individual brokerage level as well. That’s often the reason broker-owners, following a trainer’s system, can find themselves frustrated.  They need adaptability in their plan, or they’ll never get their brokerage to where they want it to be.

That’s why I feel real estate coaching gives people an advantage.  They’ll be working with a plan that’s tailored to their individual needs. They’ll also be working with a coach who can change the plan to suit their needs, instead of the other way around. They’ll never be the square peg who’s uncomfortable in a round hole.  Instead, they’ll be guided every step of the way, with a plan designed specifically for them.

-Get A Coaching System That Works For You

So is your brokerage not where you want it to be? Are you’re frustrated with “one size fits all” training solutions?  Then it’s time to give real estate coaching a try.

A quality coach understands that building a business is a journey.  It’s one that requires not only a road map but room for adaptability and change as well.  With an experienced real estate coach,  you can get your brokerage to exactly where you’re aiming for.

-Interested? Get Your Free Consultation Today!

In fact,  I’ve coached dozens of broker-owners through whatever obstacles were holding them back.  That’s why I’m inviting you to sign up for a free strategy session to help you get started.  Just contact me at timewithbill.com and pick a time that’s best for you. It will be the best 30-45 minutes you’ll invest in all year.

So break away from “square peg round hole” syndrome.  Give me, Bill Foss, a call today.

Bill Foss

I love helping brave business people, those who take risks and place their future and financial wellbeing squarely on their own shoulders, to reach for their business potential in a way that supports their life vision!

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