Title: VP of Professional Development
Hometown: Meadville, PA
Current home: Miami Township
Proudest career or life accomplishment: I’ll never not say “my kids” to a question like this. But if we’re talking career, then it’s being asked by Xavier University to teach in their psychology department, and having a chance to shape the next generation of I/O Psychologists
Favorite local hangouts: The Governor in Old Milford
As an Industrial Organizational Psychologist (say that 3 times fast!), Eric Barrett never thought he’d find himself in the real estate business. 12 years ago he was working with a consulting firm, traveling to a new city every few days, and working with Fortune 500 companies.
“But after one particularly long trip on the road, I decided enough was enough. I wanted to find a company that had a great culture, was looking to be an innovator in their field, and most of all, didn’t require me to travel a lot,” says Eric. “Sibcy Cline fit the bill perfectly. And while I never thought I’d end up in real estate, I honestly have a hard time believing I’d be anywhere else.”
If Eric was looking for a place to innovate, he found it at Sibcy Cline. He soon discovered that his job not only allowed innovation, but required it. “I have to continually re-evaluate how we deliver training to agents. And that means constantly learning new ways of doing things.”
The impact of those innovative efforts to deliver more and better training to agents creates a huge impact on the Sibcy Cline organization and beyond. As a brokerage, we are known for the extensive training we provide our agents. When new agents are choosing a brokerage, one of the reasons they cite for partnering with us is the quality of our training programs.
Classes like Eric’s, “The Psychology of Selling Real Estate” CE class expand our agent’s skills beyond the nuts and bolts. This class has been is popular not just within the brokerage, but with outside agents as well, and was picked up by the National Association of REALTORS who included it as one of their offerings to agents across the country.
Being the only Industrial Organizational psychologist in the world of real estate (as far as he knows), gives Eric the opportunity to apply the knowledge and experience he has from his educational and professional background to the trainings Sibcy Cline provides. “We want agents to get something meaningful out of their time with us, but we also want it to be a fun experience.”
Delivering something meaningful and fun to 1000+ agents in the Sibcy Cline brokerage can be exhausting, but it’s also what Eric loves most about his job. “There’s always some new challenge, some new agent to help, some new program to roll out. I get to see how changes I make impact both the brokerage and our agents, which isn’t always possible in the work of an I/O psychologist. At Sibcy Cline, I get to see it all play out.”
One of the ways that agent training has been significantly challenged is by the need to move classes online during the pandemic. “We’ve had to re-think not just the classes we offer, but how we offer them. We’ve had to find new ways of integrating technology. But one thing that’s never changed is helping agents succeed. Seeing those moments when someone “gets it” are worth all the challenges we’ve faced.”
As the pandemic drags on, Sibcy Cline has continued offering online trainings, but the goal remains to get as many classes back in person as possible. “Real estate is fundamentally a ‘people business’ and training people in person is always going to be better because great learning tends to happen agent-to-agent. I’m a huge fan of technology and the convenience of digital training, but I look forward to having more in person classes, bigger venues, and regular training back in our branch offices.”