Written by JohnReinhardt
It’s official…the Fillmore PRO Training Certification Deadline has now passed and over 100 agents are now on a 45% split. That’s right…Fillmore introduced an aggressive training program this year to keep up with the theme, “Be the Change that You want to See.” Agents that did not reach the production threshhold for the previous 6 months were told that Fillmore’s new offer of compensation would be reduced to 45%. These agents had the opportunity to either accept the change or to enroll in the Fillmore PRO training class and complete it’s requirements by September. There were many standing room only classes and many agents got their careers in gear with this incentive. Fillmore effectively raised the bar in the company and agents that might have left without motivation are now doing better and are more satisfied with their career.
The strategy was to find an aggressive way to affect change with the bottom quartile of the company. As the market tightened there were far too many agents that were not making what we would consider a decent living. We predicted that the fallout rate of these agents over the next year would be extremely high unless we did something to help. We created a strategy to get them involved and doing things that would either make them produce more or leave the business.
Here’s how the Fillmore PRO training classes works:
There are ten classes that encompass everything from taking a listing, meeting with a buyer, prequalification, forms, negotiation, objections, creating compeling property descriptions…you get it, everything that a new agent would need to know. The tough part of the program was the fact that agents were given tests on each module and they were required to pass the tests to get Fillmore PRO Certification.
Upon introduction of the program there was an initial reaction by the agents that this was not fair and was something bad, but that attitude changed when we explained the purpose properly. The program is a win-win for everyone in the company! Every PRO agent will be proven to understand the company strategies and programs. Agents who were not doing well would certainly benefit from these classes as their skills would all be sharpened. Agents who were not in the program loved it because it would make sure that every Fillmore agent met the new and higher minimum standards that were set by the company. Top agents were supporters because they felt more pride in being with a company where each agent had passed a series of tests. If an agent didn’t want to take their career seriously, they would be enticed to retire from the company by getting the lower commission split.
We figured we would win in two ways: Training our agents to produce and getting our agents that were not up to par to join the competition. Strengthen ourselves while weakening the competition!
Here’s what happened:
Program was met with initial friction but once understood, was supported by everyone.
Classes were STANDING ROOM ONLY and agents were begging us to fit them into the classes.
Our trainer went from holding classes for an average of 8 students to over 60 students…overnight! The great thing about this was that the training costs are relatively the same for 8 or 60 students, so we got a monumental improvement in our training productivity.
Many agents took the tests and passed. Only a few failed the exams, and we offered them one on one assistance and now they all have passed.
In a tough real estate market, we created a way to get the agents to move and do something. They were stagnant and non-productive before the program, and now they are all moving and doing things. Some of these agents have now continued on and are in advanced training programs such as the SWEATHOGS where they are enjoying at least a listing or two a month. (not bad for agents that would have most likely been ignored and out of the business by the end of the year if nothing was done)
Agents are now proud of the program and have placed Fillmore PRO certified on their business cards and they make sure to mention it on their listing presentations. Our recruitment of experienced agents has increased dramatically due to this program. Agents that have not produced in other companies and agents that are in a slump in other companies are our biggest draw. Agents don’t want to be non-productive and they just need to be shown the way.
As the president of the company, I enjoy the fact that we are helping people to be more productive and provide for their families. We have successfully changed the career course for dozens of agent. They took the training because of the reduced split, and they wouldn’t have taken the classes if this wasn’t in place. Now, they are enjoying the benefits of attending the classes where they knew that they had to pay attention, do the homework and be ready for their test. It was different than before. They just weren’t sitting in a class to appease us…they were there and they knew that we meant business. As it worked out..we meant more business for them!
The training program was videotaped and is available for the agents to take online or to go back to to refresh the concepts that they might be struggling with in the future. Agents that are productive but want certification can review the videos before they take an equivalency test for Fillmore PRO Certification.
I believe that sometimes you have to just get your agents moving. It’s far too easy for agents to be complacent in this market and that’s not good. This is the exact type of market where we must sharpen our skills to catch a larger portion of the business that is out there and when the market picks up, watch out! We’re going to have a better and stronger team that is prepared for action.
I look forward to providing readers of The Reinhardt Blog with a year end report that measures the actual dollar success of the Fillmore PRO graduates versus those who didn’t attend and compared with industry averages.
If you have any questions about Fillmore PRO, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I believe that this is a great way to help your agents, and your company and it would be my pleasure to help out friends in the industry at these challenging times.
Make them Move
Make them Commit
Make them Accountable
Make them Proud
Enjoy the Fall Selling Season!
All the Best,