With Parts B & C moving closer to launch, we spoke with Beth Rudolf about what will be expected of agents, the dangers of non-compliance and how technology can support in easing the transition.
Tech of a Life Edition Two: Sustainable Learning in an Evolving Market
Let’s discuss: Positive Disruption
Our second edition of our new digital magazine, Tech of a Life, is packed with collaboration and ideas, hearing from forward-thinking industry experts on how to tackle disruption head on and their views on the future of the property market.
Grab a cuppa and dive into some really interesting interviews with Simon Whale, MD & Founder at Kerfuffle; Adam Day, International Expansion Leader at eXp; Charlotte Jeffrey-Campbell, Director of property training platform The Able Agent and more.
Sustainable learning in an evolving market
Charlotte Jeffrey-Campbell, Director of property training platform The Able Agent
As the property industry faces changing market conditions and an imminent regulatory overhaul, it is more crucial than ever that learning and development is made a priority by agents and property managers alike.
Charlotte Jeffrey-Campbell, Director of property training platform The Able Agent, shares why now is the time to innovate when it comes to learning and development for property professionals
Challenges of the current market
In an industry that has been turned upside down by market, economic and regulatory factors over recent years, the need for flexible learning and development has never been greater.
On a macro level, the pandemic has caused unprecedented economic upheaval, while the after-effects of Brexit are still being felt alongside the ongoing cost of living crisis by consumers and businesses alike, and property has been no different. With housing stock dropping to record lows, in this seller’s market, professionals across the property sector are having to adapt quickly to new technologies, alternative methods of sale, such as auction, as well as enhance their knowledge in areas such as lettings and property management.
Internally, there are various challenges from a learning and development perspective that agents need to tackle head on. Resources are tight; indeed, belts have been tightened across all industries according to the most recent CIPD Learning & Skills At Work survey “with around a third of organisations reporting reductions in budgets, L&D headcount and the use of external consultants.”
Within the property industry, there often isn’t the structure in place to ensure optimum learning and development for property staff. Good salespeople are promoted to managers without necessarily having the appropriate management skills, meaning that training can be limited or ‘one-size-fitsall’ models are adopted. Alternatively, the training ‘away days’ that have been historically used by agencies are not always cost effective or practical – particularly for smaller branches and given the current changing market conditions.
The disruption of the pandemic has brought with it some accelerated positives, such as unlocking the potential for online learning and a new-found appreciation for career development and learning across all sectors. Human Resources body, The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), reported that “the pandemic has significantly reduced traditional L&D organisational metrics related to resourcing and investment.” The move away from traditional learning and development requires innovative and disruptive solutions that meet the needs of the individual and to help Estate Agents to stay compliant, grow their business and stand out in the crowd.
Individually tailored training
According to LinkedIn’s 2022 Workplace Learning Report, “opportunities to learn and grow” are the top priorities of great working culture. In a time where employees have the upper hand in the job market, the importance of strong learning and development opportunities cannot be underestimated. For training to be successful, the underpinning element has got to be the individual. You can teach the group ethos, company value and topic focuses, but if you haven’t got that underpinning knowledge in place for the individual, that they’ve been able to gain flexibly and in a way that suits their own particular learning style, the development of staff won’t be truly effective. A lack of individually-tailored training assumes that everyone is at the same level, but in the property industry they’re definitely not.
Existing qualifications only test either estate agency knowledge or lettings knowledge. Because we believe in creating property experts, we at The Able Agent have developed a qualification that covers both of these areas.
Our bitesize learning model supports smaller agents who can’t afford a trainer or for their team to leave the office for a day to go and be trained.
Upcoming industry trends
It‘s almost certain that the ongoing development of video content will shape training and development in the property industry over the coming years. A desire for a wider range of content – not just industry specifics – will drive learning for new skillsets outside of the traditional propertyfocused qualifications. As the industry continues to embrace online learning, there will be an appetite for a wide range of holistic content, encompassing skills and knowledge around the likes of wellbeing, leadership, customer service, social media and digital marketing. There will also be an appetite for small bitesize chunks of all sorts of different content to enable people to develop themselves at times that suit them, especially in an industry where they are on the move and often time poor. It’s all about the individual developing themselves and feeling supported to do so and that will help to ensure they stay with the business.
Top tips for Estate Agents:
- Tangibly build chunks of training into the structure of your week. Make sure it’s specific training time but keep it bitesize. Training doesn’t need to be an hour at a time. 10- 15 minute slots are more manageable and easy to fit into a busy schedule.
- Choose a training resource that enables flexibility. Many of The Able Agent’s clients do training modules on their phone when they’ve got a quick 15-minutes to spare, so ensuring that training is accessible remotely and on a range of devices is key.
- Be very clear with the goals that you want your training to achieve. Consider specific business objectives, like increasing your number of auction listings, improving your social media presence, reducing complaints, etc.
- Monitor and measure the results following your specific training to see if they align with your learning goals