November 20 was one of those days in Toronto where everything from the sky to the street to the soul seems to be the same impassive grey. But inside Universal EventSpace, where Richard Robbins was already on stage and preaching the real estate gospel to a packed house before most people had finished their morning coffee, it was all light, hope and handclaps.
It was the second day of Richard Robbins International’s Masters Academy, billed as “one of the most advanced, innovative and results-driven learning experiences in the industry.” From what REP witnessed in our few short hours there, the description is apt.
Robbins has always come across as one of the more charismatic members of real estate coaching’s elite, and he takes the stage today like he was raised on it. He’s tanned, fit and casual, with a seemingly limitless supply of aphorisms that, on closer inspection, even the most cynical among us would have to describe as truth.
But it soon becomes clear that Masters Academy isn’t about Robbins. It’s about results.
The morning session was broken up into a series of Lightning Rounds, where some of Robbins’ top coaching clients – all proven, market-leading agents – detailed specific strategies for improving results. These weren’t hypothetical pep talks; they were clinical, step-by-step breakdowns of proven strategies that the presenters had used to literally change their lives.
“It’s very content rich, very tactical and how-to,” says company president and co-founder Sue Robbins, adding that, “With the sheer amount of strategies on offer – it’s like a firehouse of information.” Robbins says the sensory overload is part of the appeal: it allows agents to pick the strategies that fit their personalities and sensibilities.
In the four segments REP was present for, there was advice on earning higher income by presenting clients with a tiered-fee system that allows them to choose between a basic marketing approach and a more advanced option; a session about farm marketing that included an actual schedule of community outreach projects agents could consider and adapt; a hungrily watched demonstration on becoming the highest ranked local realtor on Yelp! and RankMyAgent; and even an extended one-on-one with Dr. Elaine Chin, who talked at length about what agents can do to maintain their energy levels.
The attendees REP spoke with were most definitely feeling it.
During the break, as John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Authority Song” blasted over the speakers, Kristin Ferreira, marketing manager at Leamington, Ontario’s Local Home Team, was there to bolster her nearly-completed REALTOR® training and, she said, “to better prepare myself for when I take the official leap.”
Ferreira was already familiar with Robbins’ results – RRI’s head of coaching, Dana Richard, has been working with the Local Home Team for years – but it was her first time to see the man in action.
“It’s my first experience, but he’s amazing. He knows what he’s talking about and he presents it in a really fun way. He gets you pumped up for it. I’m really excited to come back as an agent.”
Rohan Brown, who sells for Century 21 Leading Edge in Scarborough, had first encountered Robbins’ methods at a free event the company hosted in Ajax. Masters Academy was his first full-on RRI experience.
“I was actually captivated a little bit,” Brown said. “His system is something that’s easy to understand and it’s very, very practical.” Brown found especially rewarding Robbins’ philosophy toward referrals: reward the behavior of referrals, not the results. He told REP that alone was worth the price of admission.
As Robbins got the crowd on its feet for a bout of rhythmic stomping and clapping that incorporated the name of his life and business partner – stomp, stomp, “Sue!” stomp, stomp, “Sue!” the woman herself explained to REP what Masters Academy is all about.
“Because they see dozens of people on stage who have done it who were in their position not too long ago,” Robbins says, “the biggest thing that we give people here is hope.”