When you finally get your real estate license and join a brokerage, you face an unexpected wake-up call. There’s nobody within your office that will take you under their wing and walk you through things like lead generation, getting listings, and negotiating deals. Your options are to “wing it” and hope your educated guesses are correct or pursue outside training to teach you the ropes (and some tips and tricks).
You can find new real estate agent training online, in print media, or via in-person or virtual classes. The best places for training include YouTube, the National Association of Realtors (or local Realtor association), in-office training, conferences, and real estate magazines.
In an industry that revolves around strict laws and tons of competition, there’s no room for error when it comes to your training. You want to be sure that the resources you rely on are accurate and give you actionable advice to further your career. To learn about a few places to find the best new real estate agent training, read on!
Buyer Beware: Not All Training Programs Are Useful
There’s no shortage of real estate training out there, both free and paid-for. Want to learn more about lead generation?
Lucky for you, there are over 152,000,000 results on Google that you can turn to if you’re looking to educate yourself on that topic alone. But not all new real estate agent training videos, articles, and training courses are helpful or even relevant to you. It’d be a shame to figure this out after you spend hundreds of dollars or waste hours of your time.
Now, let’s discuss a few things to keep an eye out for when weeding out the training duds and finding the diamonds in the rough.
State vs. National Concepts
One of the most significant indicators for whether a real estate training tool is “useful” is the location it targets.
In real estate school, you learned about plenty of national topics like the Fair Housing Act, types of mortgages, and maybe even lead generation. Since these concepts relate to real estate as a whole and rein true in every U.S. state, you have far more training tools to rely on.
Those YouTube videos and Realtor Magazine articles walking you through cold-calling scripts and email marketing will help you whether you live in West Virginia or North Dakota.
Things get a little dicey when you’re looking for more location-specific insight. For example, New Jersey agents may want to learn more about the Pinelands Protection Act of 1979. A Maine real estate agent may be more interested in the paperwork that goes into contracts, offers, and agreements. In these cases, you’ll want to lean on state-level real estate resources like your local association of Realtors or your home office.
Just because a real estate training tool is “informative,” that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to apply what you do in your day-to-day life. After all, it wouldn’t make sense to spend hours learning about building a business profile on Facebook if you don’t plan on using the platform for marketing at any point.
The training topics to center your attention toward include:
- Lead generation & prospecting tactics
- Marketing & advertising tools methods
- Scripts & communication techniques
- Time-blocking & making the most of your time
You’ll notice that what seems like 90% of the training out there teaches you to rely on a single resource—perhaps that’s Zillow, Facebook, or even your brokerage. Learning how to use each of these things to your benefit can prove beneficial for generating leads and converting sales, but no real estate agent cashes in on one tactic alone.
Any training resource that insists that Trulia or Instagram (or any other tool)—particularly the paid version—is like “black magic” for catapulting your business is untrustworthy. You never know who’s profiting when you sign up, and putting all of your eggs into one basket is sure to hurt your business in the long run.
The idea that completing a specific real estate course will earn you a certification or designation sounds delightful to many new agents. After all, additional qualifications make you more marketable and can even trigger a significant pay raise in most other industries. Unfortunately, that’s nowhere near true in the real estate world.
While these training courses and modules can undoubtedly be useful in the field (for example, property management coursework and negotiation skills classes), they don’t do anything to catapult your career as they suggest. Those extra letters after your name mean absolutely nothing to clients looking to hire an agent—even if these designations come from the National Association of Realtors!
In short: Choose your training resources based on what you want to walk away from the course or video with, not for the certifications you may be able to add to your business cards.
Now that we’ve covered all of our bases, we’re going to review some of the best places to get new real estate agent training to ensure success in your new career—from day one!
The Best Places to Find New Real Estate Agent Training
As a new agent, you may be desperate to get your hands on any real estate training that can help you build your business from the ground up. But before we get into some better places to find new agent training, we want to make one thing clear: You should never take everything you hear, read, or see as a cold-hard fact.
If something during your training contradicts what you learned in pre-licensing or during your first few months on the job, do a little fact-checking to figure out the truth.
While somewhat of a hassle, skepticism is ironically one of the skills you must have to thrive in the real estate industry—clients aren’t always truthful, and you cannot take anyone’s word at face value, so learn this skill now! It’s also better to confirm what a training tool says than blindly accept it as “accurate” and go on your way with a false idea.
With that in mind, let’s review some of the best places to find new real estate agent training.
At Your Local (or Regional) Realtor Association
Many big brokerages will require their new agents to join the local (or regional) Realtor association, usually at the county or state level. Some counties even attach MLS access to these local associations, so you may not entirely have an option regarding whether or not to join. The good news is that, since these are local-based organizations, you’ll learn about things more relative to your town or county rather than real estate as a whole!
Many local or regional associations host training courses, conferences, and orientations for agents—regardless of their experience level. Some of these educational resources may even count toward your state-mandated CE hours that you’ll have to stay on top of within every renewal period (which is usually every two to four years)—that’s just a bonus!
Some types of training available (webinars, courses, etc.) include:
- How to use the MLS (search tools, create listings, schedule showings)
- How to use online real estate tools to build your business (i.e., DotLoop)
- How to fill out contracts, agreements, and other pertinent paperwork
- How to abide by ethical obligations and the Fair Housing Act
On top of learning about things you can actually use to build your business, you’ll also have the opportunity to meet other local agents. This comes in handy when you’re building a vast referral network on a more local scale. However, since many of these courses come with CE credits, early enrolling is necessary if you want to claim your seat before the classes fill up.
Watching YouTube Videos From Skilled Agents
For every topic you could possibly want to learn about, there are likely hundreds of YouTube videos to pick from—that goes for real estate topics as well!
However, given the weight of the advice that these YouTube videos may provide (like closing a deal or a long-term business strategy), it’s essential to rely on the more reputable channels that provide honest real estate advice. That means no “make $1,000,000 in your first year, guaranteed!” videos.
Here are two of the better YouTubers you can trust.
Tom Ferry is easily one of the most recognizable names in real estate, at least for the agent that spends a lot of time online. With over 1,000 videos on his channel, you can have one of the best agents in the biz walk you through things like time-blocking for productivity, client-winning scripts, and building your online presence for you to show up on Google.
Here’s a video from Tom Ferry that boasts over 500,000 views. You’ll learn about why 87% of new agents fail within their first few years and what you can do to keep you from becoming nothing more than a statistic.
Kevin Ward isn’t just the author of The Book of YES. He also serves as your unofficial real estate coach through YouTube. His videos provide incredibly useful actionable advice for new and skilled agents, including topics like setting the right list price, adjusting your business strategies during market fluctuations, and how the market may change in the coming months.
Here’s a video from Kevin Ward with almost half a million views so far. You’ll gain some insight into how to use scripts to turn leads into clients, something many new agents struggle to do.
Through the National Association of Realtors (NAR)
Unless you’re working with a big-name brokerage that requires all of its agents to join the NAR, there’s no definitive need for you to spend the $150 in annual membership fees. However, while the NAR’s certifications and designations won’t suddenly make you more marketable to clients, there’s another perk that comes along with being a Realtor: Training opportunities. Fortunately, some of these courses are a mere $39.
Examples of courses and training that the National Association of Realtors offers agents include:
- Calculating list prices & rent
- How to lease commercial real estate
- Real estate in other countries & on other continents
- Best practices in real estate photography
- Working with different types of clients (FSBO, first-time buyers)
- Negotiation tactics to close a deal
- Listings: From appointments to closing
- Scripts that work
- How to manage properties
- Handling short sales and foreclosures
What’s fantastic about these course offerings is that they aren’t generic like your pre-licensing course—they put a specific niche or topic in the spotlight. So if you’re looking to work directly with senior citizens, rentals, or FSBOs, there are courses from the NAR for that! And if you want to learn the foundational principles of calculating comps, hosting listing presentations, and marketing yourself online for cheap, there are courses for that as well.
Another thing worth pointing out is that these courses and training modules are 100% authentic and trustworthy, as the NAR vets them for accuracy and usefulness. The NAR also hosts virtual instructor-led courses if you feel self-paced learning modules are tedious or difficult to focus during.
Within Your Brokerage (In-Office or Company-Wide)
As a new agent, you may spend a lot of your time out in public—knocking on doors, hanging flyers, dropping off EDDM postcards at the post office, and attending small social gatherings. You may not even realize that your very own brokerage (or your company, if you’re a franchise agent) hosts educational training sessions for its real estate agents too. These are not the same things as your weekly office sales meeting!
Talk to your broker or office admin about the office training calendar to see the informational sessions available to you. These sessions are the perfect opportunity to learn about using your company’s tech tools, geographical farming strategies, and contracts in a small group setting with just a few other agents, including yourself.
On a broader scale, there’s a good chance that your company hosts single or multi-session educational courses available to all agents within the state (or region). These are the courses worth enrolling in, as they’re typically taught by a certified real estate instructor with years in the business and will teach you tried-and-true ways to get clients.
Many big-name brokerages offer new agent training to onboard new agents and teach them the ropes. The problem is that many of these new agent training courses focus on building pride within the company rather than teaching agents how to develop their own business.
Keller Williams is a real standout in this area, offering the Ignite training program that brings brand new agents on a month-long crash course for igniting their business.
Via Online Real Estate Education Providers and Schools
While many real estate agents groan about continuing education courses, they’re grandly overlooking the educational value these courses provide. As a new agent, completing these CEUs during your first few months as an agent will also give you a headstart on your mandatory credits. That means they don’t creep up on you a month before your license renewal, a problem that many agents face!
Thanks to online real estate schools like Mbition, The CE Shop, and Real Estate Express, it’s possible to take these training courses from your own home on your own time. Not only are they insanely affordable, sometimes $29 per three-hour class, but they’re also state-specific.
Some topics you can learn a little more in-depth about include:
- Short sales
- Affordable housing (and financing options)
- Tips for filling out documents
- Mortgage fraud
- Marketing and social media compliance
- Performing market analysis
- Real estate taxes
- Laws of agency
- Fair Housing Act
- Tech tools
These courses will offer you a unique look at the real estate concepts you want to know a bit more about, but your broker probably isn’t willing to sit down with you about to discuss. You can be absolutely sure that you’re abiding by the rules and laws in your local area while also learning how to ignite your career and get started.
In Real Estate Books and Magazines
There’s nothing better than skimming an article or a blog post on topics of interest to you—avoiding the fluff content and self-promotion that many YouTubers cannot seem to leave in the past. But just like YouTube, any Joe Schmoe can make a website (or blog), claim to be a real estate expert, and then offer training that’s nowhere near useful or accurate.
Now, we’re going to let you in on the best-written materials for real estate.
The Millionaire Real Estate Agent is one of the best real estate books out there for newbies like yourself attempting to get a hold of the fundamentals. Written by Gary Keller (co-founder of Keller Williams), this book will walk you through how to ramp up your business and, in time, clinch your first million in commission.
Keller talks about topics like how to improve production, how a millionaire agent thinks, and the steps you must take to pocket a million bucks in real estate. Fifteen years later, and this book still is an industry training leader.
These sites offer content on nearly every real estate topic, including:
- Tech tools
- Home & interior design trends
- Training opportunities
- Law & ethics
- Recent mortgage rates
- The latest market trends & fluctuations
- How to be successful
It’s worth noting that these written training materials won’t teach you step-by-step how to sell a house or use the MLS. However, they will give you insight into what’s going on in real estate right now and make the most of recent trends. Learning about things like new legislation and technology tools can help catapult your career and sound far more knowledgeable when working directly with clients and even other agents.
At National and Local Real Estate Conferences
The other agents in your office are fantastic, but there’s an issue with solely relying on them for real estate training and advice: You only know what you know. By that, we mean that there are hundreds of thousands of other agents across the country. They’re all doing their own thing, trying unique strategies, and some are even raking in millions of dollars in commission each and every year!
One of the best ways to expand your horizons and learn about success as a new agent is by attending national and local real estate conferences. Let’s review some of the better conferences out there and what you may gain from them!
Inman is one of the leading online resources for agents and brokers, and also happens to host an annual conference—Inman Connect—that attracts over 4,000 agents every year.
On top of a vast number of educational sessions about topics like marketing and technology, you’ll also be able to network with agents across the country (build a referral network) and hear from some of the biggest names in the industry. Past keynote speakers include Barbara Corcoran (Shark Tank & real estate investor), Gary Keller (from Keller Williams fame), and Alexis Ohanian (founder of Reddit).
Tom Ferry’s Success Summit
Tom Ferry, regarded as the #1 real estate coach across the nation and CEO of Ferry International, is one of the most well-known names and faces in real estate.
Tom Ferry is the mastermind behind “Success Summit,” an annual real estate event still going strong 17 years later. This yearly expo unleashes the secret tips and tricks that millionaire real estate agents can attest to first-hand, helping you send your marketing strategies into overdrive for the upcoming year. He’s had the likes of Andy Tse ($480M volume) and Tim Smith ($382M volume) lead presentations, so it’s the real deal.
Suppose you’re a member of a franchise brokerage. In that case, you’re in luck: Most will host annual conferences for agents within the brokerage to build a referral network and learn how to take advantage of the unique tools that your company offers.
Examples of these events include Gen Blue by Coldwell Banker, Mega Camp by Keller Wiliams, R4 by RE/MAX, and so on. Attendance is an excellent choice if you’re new to your brokerage and looking to learn about the belief systems and principles that the company stands by.
Through In-House Coaching and Mentorship
The last thing a client wants to hear when you’re putting in an offer or adding their home to the MLS is, “I’ve never done this before!” Selling or buying a home is the largest investment in most people’s lives, and they want to be sure that this decision is in good hands.
But the hassle of being a new real estate agent is somewhat of a vicious cycle: Many clients feel more comfortable choosing an agent with experience, but you can’t get experience unless a client decides to list with you.
An in-office coach or mentor can help you get some much-needed hands-on experience, even before you officially sign an agreement with your first client. A mentor can help you build the confidence and expertise that you need to reassure clients that, despite being a “new” agent, you know what you’re doing!
Some old-fashioned real estate brokerages will pair new agents with a top-producing agent to teach them the fundamentals. But there’s also the chance you’ll be on your own. So take the time to meet other agents in the office, find one you connect with both personally and professionally, and ask if they’d be willing to lend you a helping hand from time to time.
A great mentor may help you in the following ways:
- Staging mock listing presentations or property tours
- Helping you to memorize scripts
- Checking up on you weekly to learn about your progress
- Teaching you the basics of lead generation and marketing
- Allowing you to shadow them as they work with clients
- Assigning you “homework” assignments related to business-building
- Sitting by your side as you fill out paperwork for the first time
- Answering your questions and telling you stories from their experiences
Your mentor can help fill in the gaps with things you didn’t learn in real estate school, particularly business-building concepts and new real estate agent training tips for succeeding locally. Keep in mind that having a mentor isn’t a shortcut to success in your new career venture, but rather a shoulder to lean on in a time of need. Try not to become overly reliant on your mentor or coach, as they also have clients and deals to juggle.
You can watch every real estate YouTube video and attend dozens of in-person training courses. Unfortunately, knowing what to do to ignite your career won’t make a difference if you don’t apply the concepts and strategies you learn.
It’s also essential not to get complacent as you spend time in the industry. The world of real estate is always on the move (really, PPC ad marketing wasn’t even a thing two decades ago), and you need to stay on top of your game.
Commit to training weekly, monthly, or even annually to stay current on new real estate ideas.