Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2009 - (Page 32)
CASEBOOK Coldwell Banker Training Tomorrow’s CLOSERS B Y T I M S O S B E The past few quarters have been tough on many businesses, but as an industry, real estate has been among those hardest hit by the economic recession. You don’t need the nightly news or Wall Street Journal to tell you that: A simple drive through most neighborhoods or shopping strips tells a story about the movement – and sometimes the lack thereof – in real estate. The professionals at Coldwell Banker and Coldwell Banker Commercial certainly know about today’s real-estate market, as the nation’s oldest real estate brand, and a subsidiary of Realogy Corporation, the world’s leading real-estate franchiser. Those widespread groups of real-estate experts all come together for learning under Coldwell Banker University, which serves the needs of 97,000 residential agents, and Commercial University, which provides learning for 3,000 commercial real-estate professionals. In all, 100,000 agents work in 3,300 offices in 47 countries. As senior director of learning for Coldwell Banker, David Birnbaum oversees the two university branches. Birnbaum started on the commercial training side before taking responsibility for both sister franchises. While there are obvious differences between commercial and residential specialties, there are also some similarities in the challenges and approaches. That includes the fact that the agents are independent contractors, and training is offered, but cannot be mandated. “What we’re proudest of and what’s been very successful is new agent training, on both sides,” Birnbaum said. “It’s also a good challenge, because we have to show the value in the training in order to get the agents to take it and stick with it.” The new-hire training is more than simple orientation, they’re very rigorous and measured, Birnbaum said. The comprehensive training programs are designed to get sales staff up to speed as quickly as possible, while encouraging productivity business activity. It’s a mission that’s reflected in the name of the residential training program, eFastStart. Training Industry Quarterly, Fall 2009 / A Training Industry, Inc. ezine / www.trainingindustry.com/TIQ
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