You Don’t Whistle For Winners

I couldn’t begin to estimate how many times real estate agency leaders have commented about another team saying something along the lines of, “She is lucky – she’s got a great team”.

It’s almost as though they think that all you need do is stick your head out the window and whistle, and winners will come running. You don’t whistle for winners, and luck has nothing to do with building a winning team. Continue reading You Don’t Whistle For Winners

The True Cost of Incompetence

Leaders often think that the cost of having an incompetent salesperson on the team is the wage paid to that person. But there is a lot more to lose. The salary is just the beginning.

Let’s say you pay $50,000. In Australia you add 9.5% superannuation so now you’re at $54,750. For this exercise we’ll ignore payroll tax and other on-costs. Continue reading The True Cost of Incompetence

Four Steps to Turn Around Struggling Salespeople

Struggling salespeople – we’ve all had them. They can be frustrating, and they can cost your company a lot of money. So how do you know whether to persist with them or fire them?

In 25 years as a real estate agency profit consultant, I have seen entire teams of strugglers who fail to reach an acceptable performance.

Why do leaders keep such people? Some leaders wrongly believe that inconsistent or poor performance is just the way it is in Sales. But I can show you many Pittard clients who have incredible teams of happy, peak performers. Continue reading Four Steps to Turn Around Struggling Salespeople

Talent Scout and Coach

To maximise profit, two of the leader’s most important roles are Talent Scout and Coach.

Gary Pittard

In my 25 years as a real estate agency profit consultant, one of the greatest ‘sins’ I’ve seen leaders commit is holding onto the wrong people for too long – often despite their better judgment.

When an underperforming team member leaves, or is eventually fired, I’ve lost count of how many times the leader has said, “I should have done this long ago”. Continue reading Talent Scout and Coach

Marketing

When the market turns down many agency leaders wisely cut expenses. But there is a right way and a wrong way to do this. Cut the wrong expenses and you will quickly lose profit.

Some expenses can be cut without affecting your income. We call these ‘fat’ expenses. Things like publications you don’t read. Stop expenses like this and you will be more profitable. Continue reading Marketing

Hiring Do’s and Don’ts (Part 2)

This is a two-part article on the Do’s and Dont’s of hiring. Last month, we discussed the Hiring Don’ts. This month we look at the Hiring Do’s.

The Seven Do’s of Hiring

  1. Hire for attitude

If you hire somebody with a bad attitude, this will poison your team. Author of Winning the War for Talent, Mandy Johnson, says that people with bad attitudes are hardly likely to suddenly develop a good attitude once they join your company.

Frame your questions around testing attitude, for example, “Can you give me an example of what you think is a good work ethic?

Continue reading Hiring Do’s and Don’ts (Part 2)

Hiring Do’s and Don’ts (Part 1)

This is a two-part article on the do’s and don’ts of hiring. In this issue, we will discuss Hiring Don’ts. Next month we will cover Hiring Do’s.

First a question: Do you believe successful hiring is an art or a science?

Many real estate agency leaders will say that hiring is an art. Without  effective hiring and induction systems, they’d be right. But with systems, you have more certainty of finding and developing winners, moving hiring from art to science. Continue reading Hiring Do’s and Don’ts (Part 1)

Reviews: Your Name in Lights

Here in the digital world of the 21st century, let’s give some thought to happy client reviews and, in particular, how we use them.

Some salespeople appear to be more interested in seeing their ‘names in lights’ on sites like the major property portals and Rate My Agent.

Less, if any, attention is given to Google and Facebook. Continue reading Reviews: Your Name in Lights

A Sure Way to Higher Profits: why coaching salespeople pays dividends

Many offices struggle and so do their salespeople.

In the nineties, salespeople wrote on average $135,000 in fees. Since 2010 we have seen little evidence that this average has changed much, despite selling fees trebling over that time and markets booming in many regions. Continue reading A Sure Way to Higher Profits: why coaching salespeople pays dividends

Out of Control: What to do when salespeople won’t do the actions

Leaders often complain that their salespeople won’t do the right actions. It’s one of the biggest complaints that leaders make. They fear putting pressure on their salespeople to do the right actions out of fear they will leave.

These leaders have no control, and without control they will never develop winning teams.

A large part of this problem stems from the reward structures these agencies use – commission-only definitely, but debit-credit is no better. When salespeople are in credit, they are fundamentally the same as commission-only salespeople. In their minds, they work for themselves and will resist leaders asking them to do any actions they don’t want to do (like prospecting). Continue reading Out of Control: What to do when salespeople won’t do the actions

Data Theft: Disease or Symptom?

You may have read about the highly publicised court case in South Australia where Harris Real Estate and agent Arabella Hooper were ordered by the court to pay $750,000 in damages. The judgment cited that after leaving Toop & Toop for Harris Real Estate, Hooper used data to develop business using data taken from her former employer.

It’s refreshing to see that the courts are now taking data theft seriously, but if you find yourself overly concerned with this, ask yourself, is data theft a disease, or is it merely a symptom? Continue reading Data Theft: Disease or Symptom?

Listing Flow: an essential focus

Pittard clients are spread across Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. It stands to reason that they are operating in different markets. Some are in booming markets, some in static markets and some in down-trending markets. But no matter what market they find themselves in, we give all the same advice:

It’s not the market that determines your success, it’s YOU. Continue reading Listing Flow: an essential focus

Numbers and Ratios: A Glimpse of the Future

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out when a salesperson is in a performance slump, although many leaders don’t appear to notice until the salesperson has been in the slump for too long – sometimes months.

In aviation, pilots have a saying, “Stay ahead of your aircraft”. There have been many pilots involved in serious accidents or killed because they were flying aircraft that were too fast for their skill. Flying fast aircraft requires thinking ahead especially when landing. Pilots must slow fast aircraft sooner, washing off speed early so that they don’t approach the airstrip too quickly. Continue reading Numbers and Ratios: A Glimpse of the Future

Essential Actions

If you want to get your new sales recruits off to a flying start, first teach them the essential actions – those necessary to succeed – and then help them formulate a plan loaded with those essential actions. Then follow up and ensure they are being done.

Essential actions are non-negotiable. Do the actions, or leave. Never allow your salesperson to negotiate the actions downwards. Continue reading Essential Actions

Activity

Take a minute and look around your agency. Everybody looks busy, don’t they? But are you making money? Are they making money? If you’re not careful, you may mistake busyness with production. Remember – not all activity is created equal!

In all jobs, including yours, there are only two types of activity:

ACTIVITIES THAT LEAD TO RESULTS AND ACTIVITIES THAT DON’T. Continue reading Activity

Financial Foundations

In my experience as a real estate agency profit consultant, I’ve seen many real estate businesses in grave financial trouble, and many spend themselves into oblivion. For businesses to survive and thrive, they must be built on solid financial foundations.

This is explained in depth in our four-day presentation of the Agency Profit System®, but here are some important foundations that all leaders should strive to have in place. Continue reading Financial Foundations

There’s No Marking Time

Of all sayings, I despise this the most: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

I have heard people use this phrase as justification for not training, not leading, not prospecting, not developing a team, as justification for leaving things exactly as they are.

To illustrate how stupid and dangerous this is, let’s apply it to your car. Would you drive your car, kilometre after kilometre, never adding oil, checking the tyre pressure or having it serviced? Would you just drive it into the ground?

Why not? “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Treat a car this way and soon it will be ‘broke’ and you will need to fix it. A hefty repair bill will follow.

Imagine if you did this to your business!

Sad news: MANY LEADERS DO!

Leaders who don’t study leadership or work at developing their teams, who fail to determine a culture and set standards, fail to control expenses, fail to keep a watchful eye on profit, who lack discipline, are leading their companies downwards.

There is no marking time. You can’t stay exactly where you are.

You’re either going backwards or forwards, and it’s up to you, the leader, to decide in which direction you will take your company.

Great leaders constantly fine-tune their company and their team for peak performance. Leaders who fail to do this are attempting to mark time, not realising that they are, in fact, going backwards.

A leader who thinks, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” may have a business that is doing fine now, but it’s only a matter of time before the business will be ‘broke’ and the leader in damage control – and probably broke too.

Ditch the loser saying and replace it with this one:

“If it ain’t broke, build on it!

Gary Pittard

Profit Systems

In the eighties, management expert Michael Gerber coined a phrase that became popular across the world: Work on your business, not in your business”. A lot of us were very excited to hear that.

I still am. However, I saw a few people send their business bankrupt and then blame Gerber’s maxim. Let me make it clear: it wasn’t Gerber’s fault. His ideas were sound then and now. What these leaders overlooked was the word “Work”. WORK on your business… Continue reading Profit Systems

When Salespeople Won’t Do the Actions

In my work as a real estate agency profit consultant, I have heard all the excuses. It’s twenty years since I heard a new one. The complaints remain the same. The same conversations we had in the nineties are still around this century.

One of the top complaints is from leaders: “I can’t get salespeople to focus!” Two others are “It’s different in my area” and “I can’t get my people to prospect”. Continue reading When Salespeople Won’t Do the Actions