Over the course of the past year, our team at SIG has been developing an online training and onboarding process. With brokers spread across the country, we had already made virtual training and onboarding a priority for 2020. When the realities of COVID-19 set in, that priority quickly became a necessity. We went from a 0% to a 100% remote workforce in 5 days. That kind of upheaval can easily sink a company, however because of the work we’ve done and the base we’ve built, we were prepared to not only survive but thrive.
As of 2019, 84 brokers have gone through our remote workshops and onboarding process. Of those, 33% have been entirely virtual hires. They are finding immediate success due to the best-in-class program we’ve developed for the commercial real estate industry. 6 months into being a virtual workforce, here’s what we’ve learned about remote onboarding and training:
Break Your Training Into Bite Size Pieces
We currently have more than 30 training modules and growing. They encompass everything from our internal systems to sales best practices to goal setting.
Why so many? The key is individualization. Not everyone needs to go through the same training track. Based on an individual’s role, location and existing knowledge, each gets a customized program. This keeps our training focused, meaningful and highly individualized. That has led to quicker results and more success.
At the end of their training, we group our new hires with our management team and they get to participate in a hands-on, practical assessment. Each goes through a mock cold call, makes a proposal presentation and pitches a listing. This chance for team-building and feedback is invaluable to their success.
Keep the Focus on Culture
Onboarding isn’t just about getting your new hires up to speed. It’s also their first introduction to your company’s culture. Building relationships quickly with the right reports and mentors is the key to successful teamwork. Regularly scheduled virtual check-ins are a must. But that’s just the start.
SIG hosts happy hours, team meetings, workshops, guest speaker series and a whole host of other ways to get together with our coworkers outside of day-to-day work. With everyone spread out and working from home, it’s become an absolute necessity if you want to keep your team feeling like a team. Our current favorite: Cooking with Max. Each week, the Managing Director of our Austin, TX office, Max Freedman (a trained chef), teaches the team how to slice and dice their way to delicious meals over a group Zoom.
Iterate Quickly With an Eye on Success
COVID-19 turned the business world upside down. We at SIG are fortunate for the quick action and hard work of our HR team. With multiple office locations and an existing infrastructure to serve team members across the country, we were able to pivot quickly and efficiently into a remote workforce. Rather than halt growth and expansion, we’ve actually seen an uptick in our hiring. By acting fast and continually improving our virtual training, our new team members can hit the ground running and find success quickly.
One recent hire has over $25 million in listings in his first year. Another has multiple deals currently in escrow. Overall, we’ve grown to over 100 employees, 6 offices and were named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies in America. We’re ecstatic our brokers are finding success during this truly unprecedented time, and excited for what the future holds for SIG.
If you’re a commercial real estate broker looking for a change, you don’t have to wait until things get back to normal. SIG is growing and continues to actively hire.
Learn more about our culture and onboarding process and find out how you can Join our team >