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. MORE

The issue is confused as she is making sales, but she sells her colleagues’ listings because she is low on stock and her stock is overpriced. Her stock situation is unlikely to improve because, in addition to her refusal to train, she also refuses to prospect.

What value is this person to the team? I believe none. I asked the leader what he intended to do about this person. He said, “When I get back to the office, I’m going to read her the ‘riot act’”. I said, “There’s another option. Fire her”.

I explained to the leader that there is no hope with a person like this. Without training, she will never improve. Without prospecting, she will never contribute to the company’s saleable stock. And her personal culture is not one of pursuing excellence, but one of mediocrity.

Why do you do this to yourself?” I asked. The look on this leader’s face told me that this person was going to continue working with the agency, spreading her lessons of mediocrity to the rest of the team. Winners seldom ever positively influence the mediocre people; it’s the opposite – the mediocre infect the winners.

Leaders who tolerate mediocrity endorse it.

The death knell for a salesperson’s career is a disregard of training. Keep them and you send a message to your team that you are a weak leader who has no intention of building a great company.

Your team may feel sorry for you, they may think you are a nice person, but is pity the emotion you want when your team thinks of you?

I know why this leader will keep this person, for a little while longer at least. It is because he is not hiring. He doesn’t have a likely replacement for her.

Hiring is your insurance against mediocrity. If you won’t hire, you are stuck with the team you have. If it’s a team of winners, good luck to you. But if you are tolerating mediocrity because you have no other option, I ask you again: WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO YOURSELF?

Gary Pittard

Stop Slumps Before They Occur


Any real estate agency leader can tell when a salesperson is in a slump, but according to real estate agency profit consultant, Gary Pittard, the real art lies in stopping slumps before they occur. With the right tools, agency leaders can keep their teams on track, producing results and higher profits.

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Visual Aids

An age-old question for presenters is, “Should I use visual aids?”.

While I agree that people can become overly reliant on visual aids, resulting in a boring presentation, I believe that good presenters use every tool at their disposal to foster understanding with their audiences. Visual aids do just that: they aid understanding.They don’t say, “A picture is worth a thousand words” for nothing. MORE

Despite the wisdom that supports the use of visual aids, I see many salespeople who refuse to use them. What reasons can there be for this?

  1. Ego – perhaps these salespeople feel that they are such wordsmiths they don’t need to use visual aids. They may be right, IF they have a present-to-list ratio exceeding 75%, but even then, could visual aids have helped them get one from the 25% of listings they lost? With today’s selling fees, that’s a lot of money lost because of pride.
  2. They worry about delivering a ‘canned’ presentation –this is an excuse really. Great presenters can deliver the phone book and make it interesting. Poor presenters can take the most compelling presentation and make it boring. If you worry about delivering a canned presentation, practice is the way to make your presentations fluent and natural. Blaming visual aids for a canned delivery is like blaming the car because you don’t know how to drive.
  3. They have never taken the time to structure their story –they ‘wing it’. This is the arena of the mediocre performer, the sales hack. If you think about the story you want to tell at your listing presentations, you can structure it so that it ‘builds’ towards the signature. Visual aids can be used to break up the presentation, to help you make important points with clients. Never ‘wing it’. Never!

Many offices are complaining that they are low on stock. If you are in this position, it is even more critical that you make every listing presentation count. I recommend that you rethink your listing presentation – work at improving it.

How can you deliver a more convincing presentation, one where sellers feel compelled to list with you? I guarantee that your presentations can be enhanced by including visual aids.

This is especially important when listing absentee owners. Some salespeople are so stupid that they will try and list sellers over the phone! If the distance is too far for a face-to-face visit, the next best thing is to present over Skype and screen-share your visual aids.

Should YOU use visual aids? Yes! Whether face-to-face, or listing absentee owners with Skype, you will improve your present-to-list ratio if you use them.

Gary Pittard

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.

In this short sales session, real estate agency profit consultant, Gary Pittard, says that while many people believe they have goals, they are not written down, which means that these are not goals, but dreams.

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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

MORE

You cannot motivate people. Don’t even try. If a person does not bring drive and energy to the table, anything you do to help this person improve will be a waste of your time. Hire motivated people and teach them to sell.

Goals

Set goals with your people. What do they want? I mean really want? Are they willing to work hard, to take themselves out of their comfort zones, to get it? Clarify their goals.

Plans

Goals without plans are wishes.

  • How much will it cost to get what they want?
  • How much do they need to earn after tax?
  • What production figure per annum is required?
  • How many listings per month do they need?
  • How many sales per month?
  • How many potential sellers do they have to prospect daily to make these results happen?
  • How many buyer property inspections must they conduct per week?

Train

It takes as long to lose a listing as it does to get it. The better trained they are, the more results they will produce from the appointments they attend. It’s no use planning to achieve a higher performance if you are not willing to train to get there. Follow up with your salespeople to ensure that they are training.

Monitor

Winners keep score. They know how many appointments they set and how many sales or listings they got from those appointments. They know how many people they prospected each day, week and month. They know their ratios.

If they know their statistics, they can work at improving them. If they don’t know, they aren’t serious about their goals.

The Leader’s Role

I would not expect that anything I have said here is news to you, and possibly not to your salespeople either, but this is not the point – what are you doing about it?

It’s not what we know that counts; it’s what we DO with what we know that defines a winner.

Our role as leaders is to sit our people down, one-on-one, and help them define what they want from their careers. Then it is our role to help them get it.

They will blame you if they fail. Wouldn’t you rather they thank you for playing such a large part in their success?

Gary Pittard

Make Them Feel Important


Sometimes being a real estate salesperson is hard slog. There is pressure to bring in results, rejection to be faced on an almost daily basis, and then there’s the loneliness of being out often until late in the evening doing listing presentations to strangers in strangers’ homes. It can be tough.

Some leaders might find this hard to believe, but many salespeople suffer from poor self-esteem. You will know these people instantly – they are the ones who get ‘eaten up’ by sales and are the ones who most often leave.

In this sort leadership session, real estate agency profit consultant, Gary Pittard, discusses the importance of making our team members feel important.

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Has Sales Changed That Much?

We often hear about disruptive change. Uber for taxis, Amazon for book stores… Now people are saying that a new player in the Australian market, Purplebricks, could be real estate’s ‘Uber Moment’. I have to say I’m a little over ‘Uber Moments’!

Whether Purplebricks is going to cause disruptive change in the real estate market remains to be seen. While the parent company is throwing millions of dollars into advertising campaigns and the market is booming, it’s easy to see why they may be a threat. MORE

But does this mean that the fundamentals of Sales has changed? I don’t think so.

Skill

When has ‘cheap’ ever been a substitute for skill? 

Salespeople who are trained in the art of negotiation should be in a better position to negotiate higher prices for their clients.

The trouble is, many salespeople say they are great negotiators but few can prove it and few have ever attended a negotiation course or opened a book on negotiation.

When has skill not been a requirement for success in Sales?

Value Proposition

Having skill and proving it are two different things, however.Not only must you be skilful, but you must be able to prove it.

My friend, Peter O’Malley, author of Real Estate Uncovered, and his latest book Inside Real Estate, said that more than ever agents must demonstrate their Value Propositions. They must show sellers how they will be better off if they list their property with a skilled agent. They must prove their case.

When has proving your worth not been a requirement for success in Sales?

Relationship

Regardless of the market, you will sell more properties if you enjoy good trusting relationships with the owners of the properties you list.

If sellers trust you, they will follow your advice. They will price their properties so that they are competitive in the current market. They will sell.

If they do not trust you, they will ignore your advice, refuse good offers or refuse to reduce.

When have trusting relationships not been a requirement for success in Sales?

Bottom line

Here is the bottom line:

If I could convince you that I can get you more money in your pocket, after fees, than any other agent can get you, would you list with me?

Prove that and you just might disrupt the disruptors!

Prospect constantly and set more appointments. Prove your Value Proposition and show your skill. Develop good relationships with your clients, and prove that even if they pay you more, they will have more money in their pockets because you are working for them.

When has this not been a requirement for sales success? 
Sales has not changed that much!

Gary Pittard

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.

Operating at a mediocre level is much harder and more stressful than working towards Greatness.

In this short sales session, real estate agency profit consultant, Gary Pittard, asks “What habits would you foster if you were the greatest salesperson in the world?”

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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. MORE

They say that they don’t need to train because they are ‘experienced’, but length of tenure in real estate does not make you a winner. Happy clients and high results are the benchmarks, and people who have spent their careers shunning training aren’t winners.

So what has changed?

Learning Styles

Modern audiences want variety in their training. They do not like lecture-style seminars as much as do older leaders and salespeople. Most do not have CD and DVD players, and none have cassette players, so much of typical offices’ training libraries sit around gathering dust.

Younger generations, particularly Gen Y, expect their training to be more hands-on.

Education Delivery

Because of changes in learning styles, how trainers deliver their training needs to change too.

If CDs and DVDs are old fashioned, and if audiences largely prefer not to attend lecture-style seminars, I say we should be delivering training in ways that complement our audiences’ learning styles, assuming that we want our audiences to learn, of course!

Streaming

Pittard® saw these trends in 2014 and in that year we developed iTrain®, our streaming portal, through which we deliver current and relevant training in video, audio and written formats.

iTrain® delivers training directly to our audiences across Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia, to the device of our customers’ choice, smart phone, computer, tablet, PC or TV. Our people have no excuse for not training!

Online Forums

Many people do webinars, but an online forum takes webinars to new levels. Leaders in different agencies can talk to each other and share ideas, and nobody has to leave their office. Collective wisdom, delivered online.

Webcasting

Through our webcasting portal, Pittard TV, I interview some of the world’s leading business minds and transmit live across five time zones. These are live seminars that nobody need travel to attend. We call Pittard TV, “Training that comes to you”.

Interactive Events

Instead of lecture-style seminars, we bring groups of salespeople together and have them share their knowledge and expertise with each other. Again, we come back to the collective wisdom of groups. As individuals, we might know a lot about real estate, but none of us knows more than a group of one hundred. Sharing knowledge is 21st century.

Old Style Still Has A Place

Pittard® still conducts some lecture-style events, we host our Leadership Conference and our Real Estate Agents’ Convention yearly, and these are popular, but if you want your people to LEARN, you must offer options to how they receive their educational material.

Adult education has evovled and smart leaders and teams evolve too.

Gary Pittard

Keep The Team Busy

Idle hands, idle mind, so the saying goes. School children who are kept busy with sport and similar extra-curricular activities are less likely to hang around in shopping malls getting into trouble. Busyness is a cure for an idle mind.

In this short leadership session, real estate agency profit consultant, Gary Pittard, suggests that this same principle applies in team management: leaders who want their offices to do well must keep their teams busy. Teams that aren’t kept busy have too much time to think, and left unchecked, this thinking becomes negative. They worry about things like the state of the economy or the state of the market. Before long sales suffer.

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Can Booming Markets Conceal Mediocrity?

The real estate agent’s prayer goes like this: “God grant me another boom and I promise I won’t stuff it up this time”. Such is the prayer of the mediocre salesperson.

Some salespeople are what I call ‘Market Victims’. When the market is booming, they do well, but when the market is falling, so too do their results.

Winners know how to thrive in any market. Sure, when the market corrects, there might be an adjustment period while they change tactics, but once they do, winners start selling properties again. MORE

While booms do offer up challenges of their own, they do conceal mediocrity.

I had a conversation today with an agency owner with three agencies. Two are doing well and one is not. His market in Western Australia is depressed. So what is the difference between the two offices that are doing well and the one that isn’t?

The answer is: Winners.

There is activity in the thriving offices – prospecting and relentless marketing. Everybody is involved, including the salespeople. Nobody is exempt from prospecting, from seeking new business. And guess what? The salespeople are making money.

Contrast this to the struggling office. The salespeople do not prospect. They rely on office marketing for their leads. They think that office-generated leads are their God-given right. Their personal activity is low. They sit and wait for business.

And they slowly starve.

All three offices are in similar markets. All were trading during the WA boom, and all are trading now with mostly the same people.

During the boom all those salespeople needed to do was list properties and the boom took care of the sales. Now they have to work. Listing properties is fairly easy, but working with the sellers to help them understand the market takes skill.

For these salespeople, mediocrity began during boom times. When sales flowed they truly believed that their skill was the reason why they were doing so well.

But they weren’t training, and so they weren’t ready when the market changed. They grew lazy and now find it easier to blame a tough market than face the truth: they do not presently have the skill and motivation to succeed in their current market.

Winners do well in any market, not just during booms. Mediocre salespeople who struggle when markets turn ‘interesting’ had better keep praying for the next boom.

Gary Pittard

Group Your Tasks

‘Task Hopping’ is a time management trap that causes huge productivity losses. Real estate profit consultant, Gary Pittard, says that multitasking is a myth, a practice that prevents us from getting into ‘flow’. Grouping tasks is a smarter way to work.

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