I am [no longer, cancelled in April – updated 6/17/10] a Mike Ferry 2-on-1 coaching participant.  I do this because my company has a relationship with the Mike Ferry Organization, and I was strongly encouraged to do it as it would help me grow my already successful business to a new level. I have been participating for the last six months.  My coach is lovely, and has a lot of good information, not necessarily anything that I don’t already know, but knowing and implementing are two entirely different things. I am a little “uncoachable” at times (read: Stubborn).

The other day I got a “Message From Mike”, it basically expounded on the merits of the “old fashioned” business development process and activities.  That Social Media is snake oil.  Which is interesting as Tom Ferry (yes related to Mike) and Rob Hahn had a lovely “duet” debate on that subject at the Inman Connect in January in Manhattan, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  I read the message, and I considered it. Then I laughed. It read like a desperate attempt to hold onto something, to grasp at straws as it were.  A drowning mindset grabbing for a life perserver?

I really found it amusing, a bit disconcerting, and then I took offense.  I am sure offense was not intended, Mike is a very thoughtful man. I am a customer,  I pay for their coaching system, yet he was telling me that what was in fact growing my business, and giving me a very good return on investment, was not in fact something that would benefit my business.  This type of attitude is very “old school”.  I appreciate that Real Estate is a very diverse business, that there are many ways to accomplish the same goals, that there is the old way of thinking, and then there is the new an innovative, but for someone with so much influence to make such a sweeping dismissal of my way of life – it didn’t go down well.

I teach Real Estate agents how to do it the new way.  I guess I coach them to do it the new way, so to read this, and consider the tone, was very thought provoking to me. It would have been interesting to have a conversation with Mike about that letter, about his beliefs.  He is not wrong in his suggestions and his methods, they work. I have “internalized” many scripts, but internalizing the scripts is one thing – it isn’t so much about the scripts, it is the confidence that the Agent gets from knowing how the process works and how to keep a conversation on track.

I have been a Real Estate Agent in my market since 2001, I just started coaching in October 2009, the confidence I got and the success I built was based on my own experience and knowledge.  Any Real Estate Agent develops the same confidence as they progress in their career, so coaching is great and can help you gain confidence earlier, but I truly believe experience is the best teacher.  Coaching adds to the skill set.  I am in favor of coaching, but I also think that denying that a new way of doing business is not going to give ROI to an agent is not really very forward thinking, and perhaps even harms the direction that the industry and consumers are taking Real Estate.  The letter was also about this being the “easy” way to prospect, I beg to differ, there is NOTHING easy about Social Media, it is very intricate process in how you build and establish a relationship with people, and then build business from it. But that is a different post, or if you have taken one of my classes or heard me speak, you know what I have to say about that and how to do it correctly.

I am cancelling my MFO coaching. I believe in what Social Media/Digital Media can do for my business. I teach, speak, train it, how can I not?  I wish Mike Ferry the best of luck, great gentleman, but it is time to see the results of what Social Media is doing, the early adopters, the new converts, people who are making it part of their business plan, not the only business building, but a PART of it.  I calculated it the other day, 75% of my currently active clients are a direct result of my Social Media activites, primarily the connections I have made via Twitter.  How can he argue with that?  Mike, your company has my phone number, feel free to call and lets have a chat.  In the interim, Tom Ferry – we still need to have a chat, I like how you work.

So – as a Real Estate Agent what kind of coaching do you do? Does it benefit you? What do you think of Social Media and Real Estate? Is it a fad? Is it a fluke?