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… MORE
Over the ensuing decades, I saw some leaders turn their back on their business by appointing an ineffective manager who ran the business into the ground.
And the “Work” that was supposed to happen? It didn’t happen either. The systems urged by Gerber failed to materialise.
Another of Michael Gerber’s maxims was:
“Systems run the business. People run the systems.”
This is what these leaders were supposed to do: find or design profit systems for their businesses. Without profit systems, a business is highly susceptible to the winds of change, especially the market.
Some businesses generated large sums, often from income generated by the leader, but turnover and profit are different things.
These are some of many systems a real estate agency needs to maximise profit.
Big profit requires comprehensive profit systems.
How would you rate your profit systems?
It is no secret that far too many business people, salespeople and leaders, hold training in low regard. In this short leadership session, real estate agency profit consultant, Gary Pittard, asks, “Whose bright idea is this?”
How would you feel if you went to a doctor who qualified in 1960, but who never attended a training course since? Mediocrity and lack of training are close cousins!
Salespeople spend a lot of time trying to convince sellers how good they are. They talk about the advertising they do, the awards they’ve won, the results they’ve had. The trouble is, too many salespeople make the presentation all about themselves.
Whether your clients are buyers, sellers, landlords or tenants, they are all out to look after themselves. Most are fair, but in their minds, their own interests are paramount. MORE
Buyers may have little choice of the agents from whom they purchase, but salespeople who fail to look after them have no chance of ever being invited back to discuss the sale of those properties when the buyers decide to sell. Salespeople who disclose one buyer’s offer to another, who treat buyers badly, or who resort to other questionable tactics will only ever take advantage of those clients once.
Sellers and landlords have more choice. They can choose the agent they like the best and are in a better position to negotiate terms that are favourable to them. Salespeople who give client-centric presentations, who take the time to ask good questions and find out what’s important to their clients, give themselves a huge advantage over their competition.
Once you know what is important to your clients, you can tailor your presentations toward showing them why they should use you. You position yourself to answer the question: “Why you?”
Read the Play
Too few salespeople actually listen to what is going on around them. They fail to ‘read the play’. They encounter the same objections again and again, but never stop to think if there is a better way to handle those objections, or even smarter, avoid them altogether.
So slow down a little when you’re with clients. Ask good questions and find out what is important to them. Tailor your presentation toward proving that you are different from your competitors, that you are a better choice because you deliver solutions to clients. Make the presentation all about them.
Why you? Because they got to know, like and trust you. The promises you make are what your clients want and need. And you deliver on your promises.
If you have received even a modicum of real estate training, you know about SMART Goals: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and achievable in a realistic time frame. MORE
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”. MORE
Getting salespeople to focus is a topic all on its own. To get salespeople to focus there are seven major actions that leaders must tackle with each team member, in one-on-one meetings. If you would like to learn more about how to do this, contact us for the next screening date of the webcast Prospecting: how to get salespeople to FOCUS.
But what do you do when salespeople won’t do the actions?
In profitable agencies, leaders hold their salespeople accountable for actions.
These leaders set action expectations with their team members, and then record and monitor those actions with a Weekly Call Report.
The Weekly Call Report measures the level of actions for each salesperson in a number of areas, including:
When leaders gather statistics and interpret them, it becomes very clear who is doing the actions becomes very clear. Remove the uncertainty around the numbers – count actions and hold your people accountable for them.
While monitoring actions and determining ratios are important, there is one big question leaders should always consider:
What are the consequences in your agency when people do not do the actions?
The consequence of doing the actions is results. The consequence of a lack of action is mediocrity. But is that the only consequence? It shouldn’t be.
Great leaders never tolerate mediocrity. They train their people and set action expectations. If those actions are not performed, they counsel the salesperson and retrain if necessary.
After that, however: no more chances. The consequence for inaction, then, is dismissal. This is fair enough. If they won’t do the actions, what are they doing there?
I love the saying, “If you can’t change your people, change your people“. If you have “Won’t Do’s” on your team, and they won’t change their ways, PART WAYS.
Invest your time, energy and money into the right people. Profit will be your reward.
“If you want to boost your real estate agency’s profit, put more focus on your agency’s Break Even Point”, says real estate agency profit consultant, Gary Pittard. “The sooner you break even, the sooner you begin to profit”.
How much focus do you give your Break Even Point? How many sales does your office need to break even each month? These are figures that all real estate agency owners MUST know!
Any person who wants to succeed in their career must study their craft.
Self-improvement isn’t a luxury. Winners realise that every dollar they invest in themselves has the potential to boost their income and job satisfaction.
But there is another benefit to studying that often gets ignored – the improvement to your marketability. MORE
In the 21st century, many traditional jobs are dying out. Skill and knowledge are the currency of today. The more you know, the more skills you have, the more desirable you are in the market. Have you heard the saying, “She can write her own ticket”? It means that, within reason, she can charge whatever she likes. Only those with the highest skill can do that.
If knowledge and skill are the new currency, how do YOU study?
When a baby boomer like me started their sales career, books, cassettes and then CDs were a common way to study. A car with audio became a ‘university on wheels’, as Zig Ziglar used to say.
YouTube largely changed that. Most millennials love video. If that’s the way you like to train, there is nothing wrong with that.
Reading has become less popular but will always be a valuable learning source. Some say reading is too slow but, personally, I absorb material faster through reading than through video.
Cassettes, CDs and DVDs are dead, gone the way of the floppy disk.
In 2014 Pittard launched its streaming portal iTrain® followed by the iTrain® App in 2015.
That same year Pittard TV was born as we entered the world of webcasting. This technology allows us to interview some of the finest business minds in the world, with live questions from subscribers anywhere in the world. Those who miss the live broadcast can stream it on demand on iTrain®.
What I love about this technology is that our clients no longer have outdated programs. The latest versions are always on iTrain®.
No doubt the internet has a massive amount of good information, much of it free, which is good. But there is a catch with ‘free stuff’. On its own, it’s not going to make you great.
The downside is that most ‘free stuff’ is not a systemised, cohesive program that builds step-by-step. You get little snippets of this, snippets of that, but seldom complete programs.
No trainer is going to give you their entire program for free. All you get is little ‘tastes’. You must invest to get the full program.
Do you invest? If not, all you are getting are the crumbs off the table.
The free material I provide gives good takeaways designed to help people think and grow. There are good tips for salespeople and leaders, but tips are what they are.
Our Agency Profit System® is presented over four days. It is a complete business system for running a profitable agency. There is nothing like it anywhere in the world. I can give leadership tips in my blogs, but there is no way I could provide the full profit system piecemeal in videos or blogs.
Likewise our flagship sales seminar, Winning Ways, is a three-day presentation for salespeople at all levels. How could three days fit into short videos and articles?
What Are You Really Investing in?
When people cut corners with training and opt for the free stuff, they sell themselves short.
What are you really investing in? Are you investing in training, or is the price of training actually an investment in something more important: YOU? You know the answer to that!
Get into training – video, audio, written, seminars, webinars and webcasts. Study, absorb, and practise. Get skilled. Add action to the mix and your income will soar.
Invest in you. You’re worth it.
Sales can be a tough career. We face rejection daily, doing most of our presenting in unfamiliar territory. We know that we are only as good as our last order, meaning that if we don’t sell, we don’t eat. And like every other ‘civilian’ we have bills to pay. On days without results (most days for many) it can be extremely stressful. MORE
In this short sales session, real estate agency profit consultant, Gary Pittard, shows that by taking a different approach to their work, all salespeople can increase their job satisfaction, and help many clients in the process.
Multi-tasking is a myth.
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. MORE
One ‘deadly combo’ of tasks that should never be performed together is selling and leading – trying to lead a team while being heavily engaged in listing and selling. When you are selling, you are NOT leading.
If you own a real estate business, and are a principal who sells, you should examine your reasons for doing so.
Do you sell because you need to bring money into the business? If so, why?
While I understand that you need to sell to keep the doors open, unless you address the reasons why you must sell, you will always be a slave to your business. Your business needs leadership, urgently!
Do you prefer selling over leadership?
If so, why have you got a real estate office? Leadership and Sales are different skills. If you are working hard as a salesperson and not making much profit, sell the business and work for somebody else.
Do you think you can do both?
Perhaps you can, and there’s an easy way to find out:
Examine your previous year’s income. Subtract the income from the Property Management Department and income generated by you. How much is left? What is the profit, or loss, on that income?
If the profit is low (under $200,000), or if there is a loss, clearly you cannot lead and sell. Your business needs leadership!
I don’t mean to offend you by making these statements, but too often agency leaders measure their success by how long they have been in business. This means nothing!
Measure your success by the PROFIT you make, profit generated by your Property Management Department and by your Sales Department, MINUS any fees generated by you. Your profit should exceed $400,000 per annum without you needing to list and sell.
If you’re not making this profit, there is room for improvement, and certainly for more leadership.
And if you want a hand to figure out a way forward, please let me know.
The best leaders Pittard works with NEVER allow their offices to close unless their agencies have at least one real result for the day. But what is a REAL result? In this short leadership session, real estate agency profit consultant, Gary Pittard, explains the four results and shows the importance of focusing on them. You incur expenses every day, so shouldn’t your real estate agency be getting results every day?
Everybody wants to be a better closer. Of all the skills salespeople say they want to improve, it’s closing. But there is more to a GOOD sale than just closing.
What is a good sale? It’s one where all parties – clients, salespeople and the agency – are satisfied with the transaction.
To make every sale a good sale, there are things to do before the major close, the close for the ‘order’. MORE
Questioning and Listening
Many people say they want to be better closers, but few will admit that their questioning and listening skills need work. Questions help uncover the clients’ hopes, dreams and fears. Many property owners, have never sold before and are uncertain how to do so.
When a salesperson asks good questions, and listens to the answers, the sellers’ confidence in the salesperson grows – good questions do that – and they begin to believe that the salesperson will look after them.
For the responsible salesperson, one who wants to delight clients, asking questions and listening to the answers will tell the salesperson what is important to the clients.
Understanding is the goal of questioning and listening. After all, how can you PROVE to clients that you can give them what they want and need if you don’t first UNDERSTAND what they want and need?
Before you present, identify the points you will need to prove so the clients can see that you are the salesperson they should appoint.
When you know what is important to them, you can help them understand why they should choose you.
Good presentations are loaded with value propositions. When presenting, the question you must always address is, “Why should I list with you?”
Sellers might not ask this question point blank, but this is what they want answered. Your value propositions should answer this question.
Asking comes last
We must earn the right to close, which means that the major close – the one where we ask for the business – comes last.
If you have asked good questions, listened, determined what is important to your clients, and proved that you can solve their problems, they feel emotionally connected to you. Achieve that connection and you will be the salesperson for them.
Now go ahead and ask for the order.
In this short sales session real estate agency profit consultant, Gary Pittard, says that, for most salespeople, a typical month is a string of bad days punctuated by the odd good day, one where they are happy with their results.
What if you were to reverse this trend? The more good days you have, the higher your income will be. If you are in Sales for the ‘long haul’, this sales session is for you!