Measure and Improve


In any professional sport, whether it is AFL, Rugby League or Union, swimming, you name it, teams and individuals compete firstly with themselves.

Athletes know their Personal Best (PB). When athletes beat their PB, this new PB becomes the one to beat. Athletes measure their performances in relation to their PBs – as either falling short of PB, equal to PB, or a new PB.

A Personal Best is a measurement. In athletics or swimming a PB is measured in distance and time. Other sports, such as AFL or NFL, have many statistics: certain players may be encouraged to increase their personal tackle count, for example. Continue reading Measure and Improve

Sack Your Dilberts


Attitude:
we all know how important it is, but how often do we allow a person with a lousy attitude to get away with negativity or laziness without calling them on it?

Geoff Burch, in his excellent book, Writing On The Wall, said:

I have noticed recently that a few business books have used Dilbert cartoons to give a wry insight into management, but despite them being very funny I hate the Dilberts of this world. Dilbert is lazy, disloyal and seditious. Tip number one – Sack your Dilberts. The first battle, then, is for the attitude of the entire team.

Attitude is the most important word in the dictionary. Attitude permeates everything a salesperson does. Continue reading Sack Your Dilberts

Listings Require Total Team Commitment


The most common complaint of real estate agents is that they don’t have enough listings. But it’s impossible to be short of listings when you have good prospecting systems in place.

In our Real Estate Agency Management Program, https://pittard.com.au/blog/wp-admin/post.php?post=525&action=editwe show attendees how to implement Permanent Listing Enquiry, which is one of the Six Essential Elements that are necessary to make a highly profitable real estate agency. Permanent Listing Enquiry requires total team commitment.

There are three main ways that sellers are located.

  • The first way is when sellers walk into or phone your office and say that they want to sell – we call these P.I. (Phone In) Listings. In far too many offices, these are the only sellers that are found.
  • The second way is the Solo Seller Sources that we examine in our sales program, Winning Ways. About half of the listings that come into your office each month should be generated by team effort – prospecting, hunting, actively seeking out business.
  • Management Systems, the third way, is where management promotes the business to sellers by way of Leaflet and Letter prospecting systems and by employing permanent prospectors – we call them HomeFINDERS.

Continue reading Listings Require Total Team Commitment

Is Door Knocking Still Effective?


According to an August Straw Poll in a Real Estate Business Bulletin, 47.5 percent of agents believe that door knocking is not effective.

Trainer, Peter Gilchrist, was quoted as saying that the last type of person a home owner wanted knocking uninvited at their front door was an agent. “I’d rather have Mormons knock on my door“, he was reported to say.

Now let me tell you about Adam Horth, who in August 2012 listed 35 properties in the Ipswich QLD area, 14 of which came from door knocking.

Adam’s secret: knock on lots of doors.

People that say door knocking is dead either haven’t knocked on many, or they have a terrible door knocking presentation. Either they did not speak to enough people, or they did so incompetently. For such people door knocking is dead. For the rest, it’s alive and well.

Continue reading Is Door Knocking Still Effective?

Unstick Your Stuck Stock

While visiting a real estate office in Perth recently, a salesperson told me that ‘all‘ the sellers he met wanted too much for their properties. He said, “Nobody is realistic – they all want too much and if they can’t get what they want, they won’t sell.

Now I could have argued that thinking in absolutes was the cause of his poor results – ‘all‘ the sellers he met? ‘Nobody‘ is realistic – what, he hadn’t met so much as one realistic person? But I knew he wasn’t going to be convinced because this would have meant that he had to take personal responsibility for his poor results, and he wasn’t about to do that.

What I found most interesting was that this salesperson was operating in a booming Perth market. Yet the same problem that dogged him was causing concern to his counterparts in the eastern states of Australia (many parts of New Zealand too) that are no longer booming.

This tells me that it’s not the market to blame: it is the lack of skill on the part of the salesperson.

Continue reading Unstick Your Stuck Stock

Unattractive Company

Do you know one the Top Three Greatest Real Estate Excuses Of All Time?

You can’t find good people!

These are profit-killing words you should never utter, let alone believe.

If you truly believe that you cannot find good people, what you are really saying is that your company is no good. That’s nonsense. Why wouldn’t somebody want to come and work with you?

There is a reason, but that reason is NOT that your company is no good. Please don’t take offence at this, but with all probability the reason you cannot find good people is:

Continue reading Unattractive Company

Getting Past the Rhetoric

MBWA – management by walking around – is a good thing for leaders to do on occasions. It gives you an opportunity to listen to what your salespeople are saying to their clients. You may be unpleasantly surprised by what you hear.

  • “Yes Mrs Seller, our company’s service is terrific!”
  • “We’re the best!”
  • “We’ll get you the best price.”

Such statements are rhetoric. Everybody says this kind of stuff. Most fall far short of delivering on it too.

As the leader of your agency, you must help your people to get past the rhetoric. Provide your people with training and sales aids that put an end to them making shallow statements and move them into the realm of the professional salesperson – salespeople that make memorable and powerful statements that are backed up with solid PROOF.

Continue reading Getting Past the Rhetoric

Clueless Negotiating

I recently saw a press release about a “new eBay-style platform which allows vendors to bypass agents” being launched by non-bank lender inTouch. The release said that the service was designed to deliver transparency and allow vendors to avoid paying agents’ fees.

Sounds fair enough: I don’t mind competition, and I especially respect good competition.

The founder of inTouch, Mr Paul Ryan, was quoted as saying that one of the great frustrations for vendors and buyers was the lack of transparency around the sales process. Their solution was a “vendor assisted” platform they call “Live Offer“.

A later quote attributed to Mr Ryan said: “Live Offer allows the vendor to see offers from real buyers and buyers know what other buyers are offering“. Continue reading Clueless Negotiating

Are You Doing Your Best

Are you doing your best? A good way to determine this is to look at your TARGETS and your progress toward achieving them.

Your targets should stretch you and they should be based on reality, not fanciful thinking about what you hope to get. Not only should you know how many listings, sales and asking price adjustments you will achieve in the month, you should also have a plan showing where your results will come from. As the result of this plan you will reach, or exceed, your targets.

Is this true of you?

Do you consistently reach or exceed your targets? By comparing your results against your targets, you will quickly see how committed you are. Committed people reach target. And goal-orientated people set targets that stretch them.

Goals, Targets, and then Plans is the three-step process that will almost guarantee that you will consistently reach challenging, yet realistic, targets.

I do not know of many, if any, people who manage to stay focused in the long term without undergoing this process, through which they gain a clear understanding of what they want from their careers and how they intend to achieve it.

Continue reading Are You Doing Your Best

Cut To The Chase

 We’ve just booked Rob Redenbach to present his seminar Straight Talkin’ Teams at our Winners Circle Workshops next month. The reason we engaged Rob is that we want to encourage within our team members a culture of straight talk – ‘cutting to the chase’ – in all communication.

Salespeople who waffle confuse clients and lose business. Salespeople who waffle to their colleagues lose respect. Have you ever noticed how some people say five sentences when a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ would have sufficed? Some people speak a lot but say little. You cannot afford to have team members like that.

Allow me if you will to teach you some words from a unique language that I call ‘Salesperson-ese’.

English question: “What have you got on today?”

Salesperson-ese answer: “Ahhhhhh”.

Continue reading Cut To The Chase

A Leadership Handicap

One of the biggest handicaps we face as leaders is that many of us are really salespeople. We think like good salespeople. Good salespeople, that is.

A good salesperson wants an instant result. It gives you a ‘high’. This is where a lot of us go wrong – we don’t knuckle down and take care of the hard management and leadership tasks that are necessary to our long-term success. We want results NOW.

I know how you feel. It’s like going to a nursery and being told a shrub grows to ten feet fairly quickly. How quickly you ask. Seven years – that long! “How much for one that’s already ten feet tall? I’ll have that one!

Being a good leader is a balancing act. You have to get results now and, at the same time, lay the foundations for your future success.

I’ll give you one example: Spotter Ads. In our Real Estate Agency Management Program we advise leaders to place regular advertisements in their local papers advertising for home owners who may wish to sell to buyers we have on our books. We give specific examples of buyers and describe the type of properties they are looking for.

Continue reading A Leadership Handicap

High, But Not Out Of Sight

Goal setting needs to be done properly if it is going to work. Statistics show that only five percent of people set goals. Those five percent earn more than the ninety-five percent of people who don’t set goals.

Many people believe they have goals, not written down, but ‘in their heads’. This is nonsense. Goals in the head are dreams, not goals. People who refuse to write their goals clearly, with deadlines for their achievement, are copping out. Because their goals are not written down, there is no evidence that they did not achieve them. This is a perfect excuse: nobody will know they failed.

The problem with this method is that it sets you up for massive frustration. When you think you want something and then don’t achieve it, frustration at not getting what you ‘want’ becomes strong and is a negative emotion to carry around with you.

It’s far better to decide what you want, calculate the income required to earn what you want, calculate targets that will bring that income, and formulate plans to reach those targets. From the moment you do this you will feel happier, with a sense of purpose.

Continue reading High, But Not Out Of Sight

The Most Important Journey

Set Smart GoalsLife: it’s the most important journey you can embark upon. Have you mapped out where you want to go during your life’s journey? People spend more time planning their holidays than they spend planning their lives, which explains why so many people drift through their lives, accomplishing very little, complaining how tough life is. Isn’t your life infinitely more important than any holiday you might take? Devote the most earnest effort toward planning your life’s journey and set for yourself worthwhile goals. As we approach the final quarter of 2012,  this is a great opportunity to plan the remainder of your year,  to finish the year with a flurry of results, and to set yourself up for a great 2013.  Set SMART goals.  Set them today. Instead of living with a series of things you might ‘wanna’ accomplish, take time to think about what you truly want from your life. Continue reading The Most Important Journey

Money In The Bank

Database - Money in the bank

What most real estate agents refer to as Marketing is really nothing more than Advertising. Advertising is just one small component of the large umbrella that is Marketing.

Agents place ads on websites, in newspapers, they erect signs, they place leaflets in letterboxes, but all of these are advertising. What other MARKETING do they do? Not much really.

I see agents place ads in newspapers, sit in open houses, and watch as ‘buyers’ wander through the ‘open’.  At the end of the open, they close that property, travel to the next one, open that and… guess what?… many of the same people attend the next open house.

Do you see what is happening here? The agency paid for two advertisements – one for each property opened for inspection – and many of the same people attended both opens.  Continue reading Money In The Bank

Group Your Tasks

Group Your Tasks

A few years ago, my wife bought four-flat pack wardrobes, which needed assembly. These times are not exact, but roughly it took me forty-five minutes to assemble the first wardrobe. The second took around thirty-five minutes, the third around twenty-five, and I finished the fourth in under twenty. The more I repeated the same task, the quicker I got. This is the advantage in grouping your tasks. The more you do of the one type of task, the more efficient you become.

We recommend to leaders that, when they conduct first interviews with prospective salespeople, they conduct at least fifteen on the one day. We caution them against having two interviews on one day, one on another, spreading their interviews over several days.

Leaders that conduct all their interviews on the one day report that by around the third interview they are ‘warmed up’ and much more capable of spotting that potential winner. By grouping this task, they get better at it as the day progresses. Continue reading Group Your Tasks

Expenses and Results

Results before noonOver the years many leaders have said, “My team loves me. They would die for me.”  This was said when the office’s month-to-date results were pathetic. Your team does not have to die for you, but is it too much for you to expect it to sell for you?

Expenses are incurred by a business daily. You cannot ring your landlord and say, “My business is closed for twelve hours each day. Therefore I will pay only half the rent.” While this concept is laughable, there are many offices that, in spite of the fact they accrue Expenses on a daily basis, fail to accrue Results daily.

Commit to one listing result per day. Any office can achieve this. Once this result standard has become a habit, the next stage is to make a sale each day. If you have the stock, this too is possible.

Continue reading Expenses and Results

Meeting Future and Immediate Sellers

How to become a ‘stand out’ with Potential and Existing Sellers.

Two questions that I always include in our sales program, Winning Ways – Real Estate Sales  are “Who wants to sell?” This leads to the second question, “Which property can I list today?”  These questions remind us how important it is to prospect with a clear purpose, to focus on the result we are after, and not the activity itself.

If you find yourself getting plenty of future sellers but nobody who is selling now,  you would do well to remember those two questions.
Before going too far, let’s recap the first question again because it is important. It says, “Who wants to sell?” It does NOT say, “Who tells me they want to sell?” Try this quick quiz:

What, in your opinion, is the purpose of a prospecting call?
  1. To find somebody who says, “Yes, I want to sell now“, or
  2. To find somebody who SHOULD sell, regardless of whether the client agrees with this or not?

Continue reading Meeting Future and Immediate Sellers

Whose Bright Idea Is This?

I recently attended in Sydney a leadership seminar presented by Professor John Adair. He was the first person ever to be awarded a chair in Leadership Studies by any university anywhere in the world. I thought he’d be worth listening to. He was. But only thirty-nine other people agreed. There was hardly anyone in the audience.

Late last year I attended in Brisbane a seminar presented by John Maxwell, in my opinion one of the best speakers and writers on the subject of leadership. I thought that he, too, would be worth listening to. I was right. Again, however, the audience numbers were low – under one hundred. There should have been thousands of leaders and would-be leaders at this seminar.

My experience, and from the experience of other training companies, indicates that Sydney appears to have the lowest regard for training, followed closely by Brisbane, but the numbers at both seminars in Melbourne wasn’t much better.

Over the past seven years I have volunteered my time on an industry advisory body. I hear about industry attitudes toward training from several training organisations and institutions. All lament that training appears to be held in low regard.

Continue reading Whose Bright Idea Is This?

The Cost of a Cheque

When you write a cheque, you would do well to remember that money is about to leave your bank account. Before signing it, ask yourself, “What is this expense for?” If the cheque you are writing isn’t directly contributing to profit, chances are that you should seriously consider never agreeing to this type of expense ever again.

Things like rent, telephone, postage, insurance, stationery and electricity are must-have items and little scrutinisation of these costs is necessary. Other expenses such as sign erection, window cleaning, advertising, leases, entertainment, gadgets; etc, should be viewed with suspicion and traced back to see if they truly lead to income and profit.

Most agency owners would love to have that extra sale a month, one that they could ‘;squirrel away’ into a profit account, which is just for themselves. If you examine your expenses closely you might just get the equivalent income from the slashing of unnecessary expenses. Continue reading The Cost of a Cheque

Habits Of The ‘Greats’

Habits are a foundation of success.

As you progress through your sales career, your results will improve as you replace bad habits with good habits.

I’m a great believer that being a salesperson who operates at the mediocre level is much harder work than working towards Greatness. I also believe it’s a lot more stressful.

Think about it:

What habits would you foster if you were the greatest salesperson in the world?

  • Would you set GOALS to help you focus?

Winners don’t ‘wing it’. They set goals, carefully calculating what TARGETS they need to achieve if they are to reach those goals.

Continue reading Habits Of The ‘Greats’