What Baggage Are You Carrying?

Business has been good for many agents in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s not forecast to stay that way. Experts are forecasting difficult times in 2021 as the economic fallout of the pandemic bites.

Please don’t think that I’m trying to scare you, or talking the market down. On the contrary, I’m trying to prepare you.

Are you carrying any unnecessary baggage into 2021? If you are, it could weigh you down and hurt your profit.

The biggest danger you face in 2021 will not be recession or a down turning market. Your greatest challenge will be underperforming salespeople.

Mediocrity is a major cause of lost profit, but more so when the economy is in recession.

The cause of poor performance can be that a salesperson is poorly trained, doesn’t do enough of the right actions, has a bad attitude, or is resistant to change.

Another challenge is the ‘600-pound gorilla’ – the agency’s best performer who threatens to leave any time you try to make changes.

This person may be the highest performer in the agency, but that does not mean that their overall performance is impressive. Often the ‘gorilla’ is not a great salesperson, it’s just that their performance is better than everyone else on the team.

Have you ever fired somebody and had team members congratulate you for ridding the agency of this overbearing person? Then you just got rid of a gorilla.

You undoubtedly know the typical behaviours of the mediocre salesperson. Here are just a few:

  • They complain that there isn’t enough being done to generate enquiry
  • They discount their fees
  • They blame the client – complain that clients are greedy, are bargain hunters, are stupid, or won’t reduce their prices
  • They’d rather read a newspaper than prospect
  • They teach new salespeople bad habits
  • They claim every lead they can as their own, including those prospected by newer, more active salespeople – “They’re my clients, I sold them that property 10 years ago!

Take these people into 2021 and you will struggle. You’ll be listing and selling just to cover their wages.

Even if they’re commission-only, they still cost you by taking up space a winner could occupy. And let’s not forget the massive amount of income they lose for the company because of their bad attitude, incompetence and inactivity.

Trim the fat. Do this sooner rather than later. As Mike Weinberg says, “Free them to succeed somewhere else”.

Take winners into 2021. Only winners. Drop the baggage of mediocrity.

Gary Pittard

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