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Managing Director, iamproperty


Experts share secrets to successful learning and development for property pros

Over the last two years, the property industry has experienced unprecedented change through shifting market conditions and new regulations around compliance. To remain ahead of the curve, it is now vital for property professionals to prioritise learning and development.

As part of the latest edition of iamproperty’s PropTech publication, Tech of a Life, leading learning and development experts sat down to discuss how agents can accelerate their professional development and put in place innovative ways to make learning more digestible and efficient.

Charlotte Jeffrey-Campbell, Director of The Able Agent and Edward Short, the Head of Professional & Financial Services at gamified training developer Attensi, joined Dan Milne, Customer Success Manager at iamproperty to discuss innovation and the future of learning and development for property professionals.


Why is now a key time to invest in learning and development in the property sector?

Charlotte said: “Within the property industry, there often isn’t the structure in place to ensure optimum learning and development for property staff. The disruption of the pandemic has brought with it some accelerated positives, such as unlocking the potential for online learning and a new-found appreciation for career development and learning across all sectors.”

Edward said: “The property sector needs to be continually prepared for what’s next, so training for that is essential, even if it doesn’t feel valuable right now. A big part of winning engagement with Estate Agents is to make learning convenient and immersive, as well as fun.

“If training is a big task that takes up huge blocks of time, it’s hard for businesses and employees to see how it fits into the working day, which makes it easier push it down to the bottom of the list, until the business realises how much the training is needed. If businesses make training a convenient ongoing task that team members can come back to whenever they have 10 minutes spare, it becomes much less like a chore and a lot more enjoyable.”

How can we shape learning and development to be more effective for property professionals?

Edward said: “The younger generations, like Gen Z and Millennials are digital natives and they’re very used to having multiple screens and apps open. This has an interesting influence on people’s expectations of content – they want to be able to pick it up and put it down wherever they want.

“That means short, snappy and consistent training, but what is also means is that when it comes to learning about new products and services, they’ll likely want to have access to look around, want to experience it for themselves and access it on the device they respond to best. People want the whole journey to link up a cross their laptop, tablet and phone.”

Charlotte continued: “It‘s almost certain that the ongoing development of video content will shape training and development in the property industry over the coming years. A desire for a wider range of content – not just industry specifics – will drive learning for new skillsets outside of the traditional property-focused qualifications.

“As the industry continues to embrace online learning, there will be an appetite for a wide range of holistic content, encompassing skills and knowledge around the likes of wellbeing, leadership, customer service, social media and digital marketing.”

What are the essential elements to creating a successful learning platform?

Charlotte explained: “According to LinkedIn’s 2022 Workplace Learning Report, ‘opportunities to learn and grow’ are the top priorities of great working culture. For training to be successful, the underpinning element has got to be the individual. You can teach the group ethos, company value and topic focuses, but if you haven’t got that underpinning knowledge in place for the individual, that they’ve been able to gain flexibly and in a way that suits their own particular learning style, the development of staff won’t be truly effective. A lack of individually-tailored training assumes that everyone is at the same level, but in the property industry they’re definitely not.”

Edward added: “When I think about how I take in any new information I never get anything spot on first time, I need to practice, repeat, make mistakes, ask questions, and test different scenarios. When you’re learning you will naturally make mistakes, and not everyone responds well to doing that publicly amongst their peers. What often works better is creating a digital environment in which it is safe to learn and to fail, because it feels like a video game. It’s fun and competitive but no one is looking over your shoulder if you do take a wrong turn through the training.

“What Estate Agents can learn from tried and tested gamified knowledge transfer is that by creating a ‘safe’ physical experience that replicates real life scenarios, people take in more information and are able to implement new products and services faster – we see this all of the time in retail and sales.”

What do you think is a key piece of advice for agencies wanting to innovate and progress learning and development?

Edward said: “Estate Agents are known for their competitive nature, and it’s what makes the industry so savvy and fast paced. My advice to agents is to play to this strength and tap into that competitive nature. We all like to win, and the elements used in gamified knowledge transfer make the whole experience competitive. It’s playing to the psychology and the proven tactics that ensure we take in information, especially when it comes to new technology, products, or services.”

Charlotte concluded: “Be very clear with the goals that you want your training to achieve and choose a training resource that enables flexibility. Many of The Able Agent’s clients do training modules on their phone when they’ve got a quick 15-minutes to spare, so ensuring that training is accessible remotely and on a range of devices is key.”

Find more expert insights in the latest issue of Tech of a Life.

*Ben Ridgway is managing director of iamproperty


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