Less Selling, More Leading

Multi-tasking is a myth.

While performing two straightforward chores at the same time is easy – you can stir the custard while talking on the phone – it is folly to think that this transfers to complex tasks. The law forbidding texting while driving is for good reason – you cannot safely do both at the same time. Likewise, you cannot perform other complex tasks simultaneously. Continue reading Less Selling, More Leading

Get Rich Quick Is Not a Plan

Many people who open real estate agencies expect it to be easier than it eventually turns out to be. Many suffer from the Field of Dreams thinking, “If you build it, they will come”. That doesn’t happen very often.

It does not take long for agency owners to realise that Get Rich Quick is not a plan. Most times, business is a hard slog, which can be made harder by a lack of planning and a lack of training. Continue reading Get Rich Quick Is Not a Plan

Is Excellence Compulsory In Your Agency?

As leaders, we should be the ones setting the standards in our businesses. One standard that should be compulsory is Excellence. Is Excellence compulsory in your agency?

There is an old saying, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well”. No doubt you have heard this gem. I agree with it wholeheartedly.

If we are going to do anything, shouldn’t we do it well? Personally, I’d rather be known for quality than mediocrity, or carelessness. I am sure you feel the same way. I have great difficulty understanding why anybody would want their name applied to anything less than excellent. Continue reading Is Excellence Compulsory In Your Agency?

You Cannot Motivate People

In almost three decades as a real estate agency profit consultant™, I have worked with many leaders and interviewed many more. Over this time, I have heard many leaders say, “I can’t seem to motivate… [insert name here]”.

Leaders who say such things do not appear to understand the source of motivation: motivation comes from within. Leaders cannot motivate people – it’s a waste of time trying – we all must motivate ourselves. Continue reading You Cannot Motivate People

A Leader’s ‘Non-Negotiables’

In my 25 years as a real estate agency profit consultant, I have often heard leaders complain that they can’t find good people. A second complaint is that they can’t get salespeople to do the winning actions necessary for success. Prospecting is always top of that list of actions they can’t get people to do.

When are we going to stop whinging and start acting to fix the problem?

Great leaders set standards. Great leaders have Non-Negotiables. Depart from these and you no longer work on the team. Continue reading A Leader’s ‘Non-Negotiables’

Strict or Soft: the problem with extremes

Some leaders are too strict with their teams. Others are too soft. There are problems with being at either extreme.

Soft leaders

Soft leaders should not be in leadership positions. They seldom build excellent companies. They rate avoiding conflict higher than they rate setting standards and enforcing them. If these leaders do build excellent companies, it is often because they have deputies that have the real control. Continue reading Strict or Soft: the problem with extremes

Why Do We Do It To Ourselves?

There would not be one business leader who doesn’t know that it is easier to lead the right people than it is to lead the wrong people. Despite that, many leaders continue to keep the wrong people on their teams. Why do we do this to ourselves?

I spoke with a leader recently. He has a ‘salesperson’ who has been with him for less than one year. Despite having no previous experience in real estate sales, she refuses to attend training. She is ignorant, and intends to stay that way. Continue reading Why Do We Do It To Ourselves?

Getting the Team to Focus

One of the top three complaints from agency leaders is that they cannot get their teams to focus on actions that produce results. Some have been complaining for almost as long as they have been in business. Wouldn’t you think that at some point they would do something about it?

If you are the leader of your business, you have control, and if you don’t, it’s high time you resumed control.

Agencies with salespeople paid by commission-only or by commission debited against retainer – typical industry reward systems – are most at risk of having little control. They can be too scared to set standards for fear of losing their teams. Is that any way to run a business?

Assuming that you have approachable people who want to win, then you can help them to learn to focus.

Motivation

Continue reading Getting the Team to Focus

The Changing Face of Adult Education

As an educator in the real estate sector, I have seen the face of adult education change radically. Agency leaders should change their view of training, too, and should ensure that their trainers do likewise. That is, if they do not want their agencies and teams left behind.

Some things never change, however. Our industry still largely shows a disregard for training. In states such as NSW where Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is compulsory, many practitioners begrudgingly attend 3 to 5 hours training so they can tick the box with the state regulator and then attend no other training for the year. Continue reading The Changing Face of Adult Education

Buying a Name

Some real estate agency owners believe you need a big name to survive in the marketplace but this is not necessarily so. In the 25 years that I have been operating as a real estate profit consultant, I have seen franchised offices, marketing group offices and independent offices go broke. I have also seen many thrive, trading successfully for decades.

What makes the difference between success and failure? Is it the name? No. Clearly not. The difference between going broke and profiting over the long term is the calibre of the person who owns the business. All successful businesses need competent leadership. What a competent business leader choose to call their businesses makes little difference. Continue reading Buying a Name

Forwards or Backwards: there is no standing still

A question I often ask leaders is “Where are you taking your business?” The reply is sometimes “Umm..” meaning that the leader does not know.

You are either taking your business forward, toward worthwhile and meaningful goals, or you are going backwards. There is no standing still.

Businesses that attempt to remain static, those with the “business as usual attitude”, will face increased competition over time. If we are not training our teams on ways to improve, it is only a matter of time before competitors steam up behind, poised to overtake. Continue reading Forwards or Backwards: there is no standing still

Your Capacity To Market

Over the past year, I have spent a good deal of time visiting real estate businesses. To those clients who attend our business system presentation, Agency Profit System®, to those thinking of opening a real estate agency, and to those who are interested in rebranding their agencies (moving from a franchise or marketing group to independent) Pittard offers a business analysis to devise action plans for higher profits.

One of the items on my checklist is the business’s capacity to market for new business. This is an important component of business success and you may be surprised at the number of businesses that have very little capacity to market to potential clients. No wonder so many real estate business owners struggle! Continue reading Your Capacity To Market

Teaching Results Focus

Over the decades, I have worked with many focused leaders and teams. You know these teams when you are among them – they have fun, but they never lose sight of their targets and the actions required to reach them.

I have also worked with unfocused leaders and teams. Almost everybody in these companies is caught up in ‘process’. These are the people who are most likely to tell you that they are busy, but they seldom show results for all this busyness. The work, not results, becomes the focus.

The person responsible for instilling a results focus in the team is the leader – unfocused leader, unfocused team. Continue reading Teaching Results Focus

What’s Your Plan?

I don’t want to alarm you, but we are nearing the end of the first quarter of 2017. Are you following a plan that you devised in late 2016, or early January 2017? Put another way, what’s your plan?

Pittard works with some highly profitable real estate businesses. Several make over $1 million profit just from their residential sales departments.

In many of these businesses, the owner does not list or sell. Some have a huge rental department, but neither the sales department nor the rental department occupies a large amount of the business owner’s time. These owners are running businesses, not departments. Continue reading What’s Your Plan?

Growth Isn’t Always Good

Growth appears to enjoy good press, but is it always a good thing? I don’t think so. Here are two examples.

A person contacted me saying that he was thinking of opening a real estate agency. He and his wife had another business that still required a good deal of input from them both and would for the foreseeable future. I advised him not to open just yet – wait until the other business was profitable, established, and didn’t need input from the one who was going to run the real estate agency. They opened anyway. Now they are nearly broke.

Another couple has a real estate business and wants to move into another town. Their first business still needs work to make it consistently profitable and it needs a lot of input to get the team right. Some people need to be terminated, some need to lift their game, and others need to be hired and put on a path to peak performance. Continue reading Growth Isn’t Always Good

The Blame Game

In preparation for her interview on Pittard TV on 19 January, I read Susan Scott’s book Fierce Leadership. I read her other book Fierce Conversations many years ago. Both are excellent books.

To clear up any misunderstanding Susan uses the word “fierce” to indicate conversations that we must have – those conversations that if left unsaid can lead to a deterioration in relationships and a loss of morale and productivity. Fierce in Susan’s context does NOT mean aggressive behaviour.

Accountability is a topic I covered in my post in December 2016. Susan’s thoughts on accountability are worth adding to my post. Continue reading The Blame Game

The Seeds We Sow

“You reap what you sow. If you go through life sowing seeds of inconsistency, shortcuts, compromises, and minimum effort, then you shouldn’t be surprised when you reap a banquet of mediocrity. You are responsible for your decisions, actions, and results; therefore, if you do not like what you are reaping, quit blaming the world, and start sowing something else.”

It’s Not Rocket Science: 4 Simple Strategies for Mastering the Art of Execution
by Dave Anderson

Responsibility is the cornerstone of great leadership. When we take responsibility for our present circumstances, we hand ourselves the control to change those circumstances. We begin to sow the seeds of success. Continue reading The Seeds We Sow

Attitude or Bust

attitude“The Winner’s Edge is all in the attitude! Not aptitude—attitude is the criterion for success. But you can’t buy an attitude for a million dollars. Attitudes are not for sale.”

The Winner’s Edge: How to Develop the Critical Attitude for Success
by Dr Denis Waitley

If you want to build a profitable and dynamic business, every member of the team must have the right attitude. This begins with the leader, but must include the entire team. Literally, it’s attitude or bust. Allow poor attitudes to rule your company and it can send you broke.

Author of Winning the War for Talent, Mandy Johnson, says, “When would you hire someone with a bad attitude? The answer is, never!Continue reading Attitude or Bust

Execute Or Be Executed

execute“In reality, the last thing most organizations need is another goal they will miss because their people cannot execute, often simply because they were never taught how.”

It’s Not Rocket Science: 4 Simple Strategies for Mastering the Art of Execution
by Dave Anderson

I am a fan of Dave Anderson’s work. I have been promoting Up Your Business to our agency leaders for many years. His new book It’s Not Rocket Science is also a must-read. I interviewed Dave on Pittard TV in August and was reminded about how much he knows about business and leadership. Continue reading Execute Or Be Executed

Direction and Action

direction_actionReal estate leadership can be tough. Things don’t always go as planned. At times like this, it’s easy to complain: salespeople aren’t doing the right actions; salespeople aren’t performing; the market is tough; listings are tight; we’re not getting called in; you can’t find good people; etc.

But where does this get you?

Complaining fixes nothing. As leaders, we must be decisive. We must decide on the direction in which we want to take our company, and then follow up with purposeful action. Direction (goals and planning), and then action will take you further than complaining ever will. Continue reading Direction and Action