John Prescott was in his element this week, coaching about 75 Wichita residential real estate agents in a meeting room at Immanuel Baptist Church.
It was Coach Prescott's weekly Wichita visit to motivate his team of salespeople as they tackle a struggling housing market.
"I guess I am a coach," said Prescott, a North Carolina man who is a master faculty member at Keller Williams Realty's Mega Achievement Products Systems program, or MAPS.
"Here's the difference between a coach and a consultant. A basketball coach tells you to do 100 layups and how. You get really proficient at what you're doing.
"A consultant flies in, looks at your business and they're gone. No attachment to the outcome. I feel like I do have some attachment to the outcome for these folks."
Prescott makes a weekly Tuesday visit to Wichita to coach a group of about 75 agents, from Keller Williams and other brokerages across the city, as part of an eight-week program.
He dashes around the room like a coach making halftime adjustments, checking on agents and offering tips.
Prescott's game plan is MAPS' A Business Objective, a Life by Design, program, or BOLD. It's a multifaceted program focusing on thought: How the buyer thinks; how the seller thinks; how an agent should think.
"A lot of it is psychology," he said. "It's motivation and it's also education.
"There are a lot of buyers out there... but a lot are afraid to pull the trigger because they hear what's happening on the news and they're not educated about the $8,000 first-time homebuyer credit."
BOLD's theme is a Norman Vincent Peale-style dose of positive thinking: You can accomplish anything, from buying or selling a home to improving your life.
"It's a program, really, to get buyers, sellers and Realtors off the sidelines and out of their comfort zone," Prescott said.
"We would like for these people's whole life and business to be changed. This is not just about selling real estate, it's a mindset about how to do business and how to live, really."
BOLD is working at Keller's east- and west-side offices, said brokers Penny Johnson and Amanda West.
Listing inventories are up 63 percent on the east side, and have tripled on the west, they said.
"It's how to grow, how to find niches, how to say things better," Johnson said. "It's not just about practicing those 100 layups. It's practice makes perfect. It's about making those layups in a perfect way."
Despite its evolution at Keller Williams, the company has no qualms about teaching BOLD to competing agents, Prescott said.
"If we're all educated and do a better job taking care of the consumer, we're all going to benefit as a real estate community," he said.