559 S. Washington Ave., Kankakee,IL 60901

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The gifts of giving with love to others with return to you a hundred fold. Thank you for a new level of life. Terry Murphy, Real Estate Speaker


Coaching Checklist

Are you Ready?

Some of the top performers have one – do you? They keep you true to your stated goals. Focus and knowledge are their product in trade. Wondering how you are ever going to make it without one? Let’s review the included three checklists to see if a coach would be right for you!

These three checklists include what you should do before you hire a coach, how to hire a coach, and what you should expect from a coach. Before you hire a coach, take the following information into consideration first.

Checklist One: What Should I Do Before Hiring A Coach?

1. A great coach is going to help you divide your time between real estate and your “F” words. The “F” words are what may be important in your life like family, friends, fun, faith, fitness, and finances. Since there is only so much time, important decisions will have to be made before you start coaching. Elimination of business and personal activities that are not parallel with your core values will have to be eliminated to allow time for your new real estate productivity.

2. Furthermore, if you are going to take massive amounts of time off away from work, consider starting a coaching program when you have twelve months of work with just the “regular” pre-occupations. I have had clients that were building their own homes and taking a six months’ sabbatical to help the poor in Belize. We had to interrupt the coaching process and re-start when full attention was available.

3. Why pay someone to help you with stuff that your manager, broker, or office trainer can help you with? Also, there are some great speakers and seminar leaders; their products will take you through the foundational real estate systems.

4. Before you call a coach, have your computerized database started with a contact system in place. The Microsoft suite of software that you probably received with your computer has Access and Outlook already included for your use. Have some lead generation systems in place for soliciting seller demographics. Examples of this would be out of towners, absentee owners, expireds, FSBOs, mature owners in large homes, or open house attendees. Even though a coach would make these lead generation systems much more effective, it would behoove you to have the basics down in these areas.

5. An effective listing presentation is also available to most agents for free (just ask around). My job as a coach would be to make your listing presentation shorter with a higher closing ratio.

6. A basic buyer program is something that also needs to be added.

7. Don’t forget to add few checklists for your basic activities.

I have found that someone at approximately the three million-dollar level or twenty transactions a year is a good starting candidate for coaching. If the coach is priced very low or you find a free mentor/coach starting sooner is appropriate.

Armed with the above thoughts, I believe that you are positioned to receive the most from a quality coaching agreement. Next is how to find a coach that’s right for you.

Checklist Two: How Do I Find A Coach?

1. Coaches are everywhere – local and national, big and small, experienced and inexperienced. Just like with any other investment, check your sources! Check the internet, ask national trainers, inquire of your company and franchise, and ask for references from other top producers. You could even recruit someone you respect that has a style and business plan that you would like to emulate. They would consider it a compliment!

2. Make sure the coach is going to teach you something! If your coach never sold real estate, was never a superstar, or has no amazing coaching success references – keep looking! Also, make sure they can go in the direction that you want to go. If you have raving clients, a good referral based business, and wonderful follow up, you don’t need a coach to generate more referrals. You might want a coach that can generate more leads through other pro-active lead generation systems.

3. Does the schedule or frequency of coaching allow you to implement the teachings and be flexible enough to allow for your bumps in the road of life? I find that an hour of coaching a week on mutually agreed upon goals is about right to provide a week’s worth of “tweaking” to an individual’s business. Also, is the coach flexible enough to schedule different times and days as your schedule allows?

4. Can you afford it? If you can afford the time that it takes to implement the teachings, can you afford the cost? Your office trainer may be free; however, some of the best coaches are as much as a thousand dollars a month with a year commitment! You can find quality coaching programs for about $6,000 per year. Compare, compare, compare. My suggestion is to get a list of past (and a few current) clients of the coach and interview them. Ask for coaching clients who are from your same town size, price range, and experience level. Five past (or current) coaching clients from each prospective coach will be enough for you to do your due diligence. Students and coaches form a bond; if success results from their experience together, they will be happy to talk with you.

5. Who is your coach? The famous front person or an employee? Make sure that you are getting the person whom you are interviewing.

6. Is it a “hold accountable program” or a teaching program? The difference is are they going to customize new ways to achieve your goal or just hold you accountable to some average, well-advertised activities? Remember that you want a coach so that you will work smarter, not harder.

Checklist Three: What Should I Expect From A Coach?
Here are activities that you should expect from your new real estate coach:

1. Checklists started and “tweaked” for almost every activity from holding an open house to closing out a file
2. New, inexpensive lead generation activities added to your daily business plan
3. Improvements made to your listing presentation for a higher closing ratio
4. Better systems for handling fewer but higher quality buyers
5. Aggressive team building and delegation
6. Personal investing tips in real estate leading to financial independence
7. Aggressive price point increases in your inventory and buyers
8. Anti-commission reduction systems
9. Advertising, promotion, and marketing ideas that are customized and proven to produce profit
10. Reducing time invested in all activities and increasing dollar productive activities
11. Cutting business and personal costs by at least 20% a year
12. Personalizing the program so that all of the above will fit with the context of achieving your goals without violating any of your core values.

There you have it – the intelligent, three checklist primer on what to consider before and even during your experience with a coach. Most students considering outside help and using the above guidelines to bring a coach into their life, find the investment is returned to them quickly in the form of a higher net income and more time to enjoy the “F” words!

Walter Sanford was one of the top real estate agents in North America for nearly thirty years, and now, he is one of the most requested speakers, trainers, and coaches. He has authored twelve systems and books on checklists, proactive lead generation, affiliate lead generation, plus others mentioned in this article. You can hire Walter for speaking events, personal coaching, or buy his products by visiting his website for more details at, by calling 815-929-9258, by emailing Walter at, or by mailing Sanford Systems and Strategies at 559 South Washington Avenue, Kankakee, Illinois, 60901.


Click on one of the links below to read more about Walter has to say about the real estate market.

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