As Leapfrog Property Group (Leapfrog) believes the ongoing training of estate agents is of the utmost importance to ensure service excellence across the board and to raise the bar in the industry as a whole, the current economic downturn is being optimised to upskill agents, says national Leapfrog trainer and former teacher Greg Simpson.
“Because of the new training criteria required by the Estate Agencies Affairs Board (EAAB) Leapfrog Property Group has a very pro-active approach to training. The slowdown in the economy provided the perfect opportunity to introduce extensive training to best equip agents, not only to survive the current economic crisis, but also to gain the competitive edge once the market turns.”
Simpson says the approach to training was aimed at showing Leapfrog agents that the company cared about them furthering their education and to give them a positive experience regarding the National Qualifying Framework (NQF) programme as there was much uncertainty about NQF requirements.
“Because of its involvement in the structuring of the NQF, we took on the Prior Learning Centre as our partner. We soon found that the NQF really helped to bring our franchises together, that agents started working better as a team and that the camaraderie of the offices improved.”
In-house training is another key focus area, says Simpson: “We’ve developed a number of different work shops for principals and agents. Leapfrog Property Group prides itself on the fact it’s not just about the people, it’s always about the people,” explains Simpson.
An on-line training programme called Leapfrog Campus is currently being piloted to enable new agents to undergo a four-week training course online. This helps them by means of a learn-and-earn type of programme. It is also useful for existing agents, as it helps them to review specific aspects, thereby sharpening their skills.
Simpson believes this programme makes Leapfrog Property Group unique in that it engages agents in a completely different way. “It’s one thing to be productive, but another to be successful and earn money. We want our agents to be successful in good and bad times, so we constantly need to make them aware of the above aspects.”
Simpson is confident that, once the final NQF results are released, one third of Leapfrog’s agents will have been found competent – “which is something really worth bragging about”.