Every real estate broker and team leader should have a dedicated safety program for their agents, but this ideal situation is still far from reality. Safety training should always be preemptive because if it is reactive, it could already be too late for one of your agents.
Shannon Belzer, a managing broker in Kansas City, found that one of the biggest hurdles to teaching safety practices is engaging her agents. “Agents will not show up for training unless it is a class that teaches them how to make more money,” she says.
- Appeal to agents with safety protocol that can be profitable
- Assess the specific needs of the agents in your office before planning a safety program
- Every safety program should include an instructor, content, real-life experiences, storytelling, and takeaways/resources
Though agents need to learn realistic and effective safety techniques, such training must also be engaging. So, as important as it is to choose a qualified instructor for your safety program—which I discussed in my last article—the content of the course is even more crucial.
I decided to focus on adding quantitative value to my training. I had to show agents how to utilize safety to become more profitable, as well as make it home safely every night. So, I created a program that allows agents to share safety and security advice with the consumer—buyers, sellers, and even FSBOs—including supportive tools such as a security checklist for sellers, a safety and security tip sheet for FSBOs, and a resource list for buyers.
For other broker-owners and managers who want to plan a quality safety program, you need to begin by assessing the needs of the agents to find what’s best for your office. The distinct needs of the audience should drive the training discussion. Some agents are going to attend simply because they feel obligated or need to acquire continuing education credits. Other agents will show up because they really want to be there.
Here is a list of five essentials every safety program should include.
1. The Instructor: Choosing the right instructor is the foundation of a good safety program. I go into detail on this point in my first article in this series.
2. The Content: A safety class must be based around actual, realistic work practices. The goal is to show agents how to incorporate safety systems on a daily basis. Oftentimes, cookie-cutter safety training may spout the same generic safety tips, such as not hosting an open house alone or not showing a property after dark. These are well-intentioned goals but not always realistic in the course of commission-based sales work. The training must offer safe workarounds, or safer alternatives, to long-standing sales practices.
3. Historical Data and Real-Life Experiences: Part of an effective safety program includes information on past crimes against agents. The goal is not to induce fear but to break down crime data, which you can find though the U.S. Department of Labor, and offer real-life examples that agents can relate to. As the saying goes, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”
4. Storytelling: There is no better way to learn than by example. But the educator must be able convey the message properly. That means storytelling. Hearing what has happened to other agents and how they got out of a dangerous situation offers invaluable insight. Instructors should also know how to sympathetically and tactfully share experiences of agents who’ve been victimized.
5. Takeaways and Resources: Agents need to be able to walk away from a safety program with the ability to implement the procedures and practices they learn easily and immediately. A well-designed program will incorporate actual handouts and takeaways as extra value. The seller security checklist and FSBO safety tips are examples of what I provide. Takeaways should also include examples of safety tools.
View the original article at Realtor Magazine