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