Industry Innovators: Felicia Hengle on Training Your Agents Effectively

Posted on Jul 18 2018 - 3:20pm by Jameson Doris
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mediumAs president of Ohio operations for Coldwell Banker Schmidt Family of Companies, Felicia Hengle has become known for motivating her agents to become more engaged in their offices through training.

Prior to her current role, Hengle was the CEO of an office in the Cleveland area which consisted of over 200 agents. Her team has come to rely on her for both her direction and creative approach to business planning.

In the following interview, Hengle discusses her training techniques—and what she believes will be the next big trend in real estate.

What first drew you to the real estate industry?

Like many REALTORS®, I always had a fascination with looking at homes and had been quite entrepreneurial in my leadership style. I believed that if I learned enough to be effective and credible, real estate could become a vehicle to bring me back to my passion for leadership in a way that was more fulfilling than hospitality management.

Why did you choose Coldwell Banker?

Coldwell Banker was the only broker I interviewed, and I immediately bought into the vision of real estate being about relationships and a value system that was based on integrity.

What was your biggest obstacle when you first got started?

Initially, my biggest obstacle was that there was no roadmap to follow and very little guidance available. I found my own mentors along the way and I persevered, but I'm sure that it would have been easier in today's environment.

You have fairly extensive experience training your agents. Can you tell us a little bit about your coaching background?

I received most of my coaching skills during my time with Keller Williams when I left Coldwell Banker to pursue a leadership opportunity. Everything I was searching for was available, and being extremely "learning-based," I soaked it in like a sponge. In my role, I was expected to coach my top 20 percent of the agent roster of 175 agents, and I knew that I needed to be good, so I studied coaching and had a coach myself.

I launched a productivity coaching program and hired a productivity coach to lead the program. We required all of the newer agents and those not hitting their goals to go through it. When they were in the top 20 percent, they could coach with me or hire a coach. After four years, I returned to Coldwell Banker under the Schmidt Family of ownership and have been back for three years. Today, this is a different company with a tremendous vision that centers around growth—both for agents and for leadership.

Could you describe your training techniques?

The training techniques we use are activity-based. We use written business plans and demonstrate to our agents what's necessary to attain their personal goals. In addition, there's a hands-on component where scripts, role play and calls are completed in a workshop setting. Finally, accountability is key, and the agents who commit to the program must come to each session prepared to share their activities for the week.

What qualities do you look for in an agent?

When I'm looking to go into business with an agent and bring them into The Schmidt Family of Companies Coldwell Banker operation, I'm looking for a few things: drive, coachability, integrity, social style through behavioral assessment, a mindset of collaboration and loyalty.

What’s the next big trend going to be in real estate?

I think we need to continue to embrace teams and create a roadmap for our entrepreneurial agents to follow. We need to continue to drive home the value of leadership-led brokerages versus cloud brokerages and high-split, no-value concepts. Leadership needs to be inspiring, relevant and credible to attract and retain top agents. We have to be difference-makers in the lives of agents. It's more than a relationship; we have to add value and be invested in their dreams and futures.

Where do you see yourself five years down the road?

My five-year plan is a growth plan, not only for the region I lead for the Schmidts, but also for me personally. I plan to be a sought-after leader, a business coach for teams, and someone that attracts the best talent in our marketplace both in leadership and real estate sales.

Featured image: Coldwell Banker Schmidt Family of Companies

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