Leaders often complain that their salespeople won’t do the right actions. It’s one of the biggest complaints that leaders make. They fear putting pressure on their salespeople to do the right actions out of fear they will leave.
These leaders have no control, and without control they will never develop winning teams.
A large part of this problem stems from the reward structures these agencies use – commission-only definitely, but debit-credit is no better. When salespeople are in credit, they are fundamentally the same as commission-only salespeople. In their minds, they work for themselves and will resist leaders asking them to do any actions they don’t want to do (like prospecting). MORE
Reward schemes aside, as an agency leader, if you can’t establish control you can’t direct your team to do the actions that will make them, and the agency, successful. Effectively, you will be a leader without followers!
The way I see it, sales is not a democracy. If you are going to call yourself a salesperson, whether paid by commission or by salary, you must do the actions required of the role. All salespeople use up offices resources and all must pay their way. The right actions make salespeople more profitable.
What consequences are there in your office when salespeople won’t do the actions?
Are you prepared to terminate those who won’t do the actions? Are you afraid to do so because if they leave you have nobody to replace them? If you think of this way, think about this:
No people are better than the wrong people!
Are you prepared to hire, to look for those who will do? A good hiring system is an antidote to salespeople who won’t do the right actions, in ample quantities, consistently over time. If you can’t change your people, change your people.
What would you do if the receptionist refused to answer calls because he or she were ‘too busy’? Would you find another receptionist?
Why should sales be any different?
In many offices, it is different, but why? If you develop the mindset that salespeople in your agency are going to do the actions, or you’ll find somebody who will, you will be one step close to taking back control of your agency.
A word of warning, however. If you start, be prepared to follow through. You may have to do plenty of hiring as you weed out the “Won’t do’s” and replace them with the “Will do’s”.
The reward will be a more profitable agency and a lot more enjoyment of your leadership role.
The right people do that for you!
Whether a real estate agency leader, or a salesperson, good habits propel you toward success, while bad habits hold you back.
Real estate agency profit consultant, Gary Pittard, believes that repeated actions become habits over time. Repeat the right actions and good habits form. Unproductive actions, or inaction, also become habit – bad ones.
Habits reign supreme – wouldn’t it be better to develop habits that lead to success?
During the boom, I heard many salespeople talk up their results. Many of them are quiet now that the market has turned. Now I see many leaders and salespeople in a state of panic. They’re not making sales and they’re blaming the buyers.
It’s time to get out of panic mode and get to work.
Do you have listings? How many are you personally managing? If you have stock, you can talk to the owners about the state of the market. If they want to sell, they must understand that their properties are commodities on a market. Overpriced properties don’t sell. MORE
Are you prepared to recommend that people withdraw their property from the market if they won’t reduce to a price that sells? What good is overpriced stock and stubborn clients? They demotivate you and give you false hope. Some sellers need to be politely ‘fired’.
Are you prepared to prospect to increase your chances of having motivated sellers to work with? Inaction has consequences. So does action.
Don’t blame buyers. They will buy properties that are priced fairly for TODAY’S MARKET. You are not paid to get yesterday’s prices.
If you want to motivate your buyers, motivate your sellers first!
Properties that are priced right sell.
The days of “If we get our price, we’ll sell” are over! This is not the market to ‘try’. This is print-age mentality. In the days of print, about 1 in 30 used to buy the properties they enquired about. In the age of digital advertising, it’s more like 1 in 6. Sellers who sit on the market overpriced, burn good buyers.
Consider the Digital Footprint – if buyers see an overpriced property sitting on the market, they begin to wonder either of two things: What is wrong with the property, or
What is wrong with the owner?
They think that something is wrong with the house, or that the owner doesn’t want to sell. Either is not a good reputation for sellers to have, about themselves or their property.
In the days of print, sellers could sometimes find a naïve buyer who would pay over the market value. They don’t exist anymore. Buyers do their research online and know current market prices as well as agents. Holding out for a price is an outdated strategy, especially in a falling market where the longer you wait, the lower the price you will receive.
The skills you needed during the boom are different to the skills you need when a market turns. Now you must have those tough conversations with you sellers. Put price on the table and address it head on. Avoid those conversations and you’re sure to fail.
Sales success still comes back to this one question:
“If your listings were half price, would they sell?”
A good question to ask your sellers, too.
One of the biggest waste of a salesperson’s time is to spend it with the wrong people. This applies in business and in our personal lives.
In this short sales session, real estate agency profit consultant, Gary Pittard, suggests that the right people – buyers and sellers – make life easier. Higher income and work enjoyment are the reward for being choosy.
You may have read about the highly publicised court case in South Australia where Harris Real Estate and agent Arabella Hooper were ordered by the court to pay $750,000 in damages. The judgment cited that after leaving Toop & Toop for Harris Real Estate, Hooper used data to develop business using data taken from her former employer.
It’s refreshing to see that the courts are now taking data theft seriously, but if you find yourself overly concerned with this, ask yourself, is data theft a disease, or is it merely a symptom? MORE
Sure, data theft is serious, but there could be some underlying issue that is more serious.
To illustrate, think about this environment:
Many years ago, I visited an agency and noticed a dot matrix printer (I said this is was many years ago!) that periodically burst into life and printed a quick line then stopped. A few minutes later it did the same thing. It did this for the entire time I was at this office. I asked the leader what this printer was doing. I was told that it recorded every outgoing call, “So we can check on who the staff is calling”.
This air of suspicion pervaded the whole agency. Later, I conducted a sales meeting with the team and asked a salesperson, “What do you have cooking?” I was asking him about the sales he was working on. He replied, “I’m not telling you!” When I questioned him further, he said he didn’t want “the others” (not colleagues!) to know what he was working on.
Suspicious leaders, suspicious team. The culture of distrust thrived in this agency and the culture was determined by the agency leadership.
Now let me ask you a question: would you be surprised if any person from this team left and stole data?
For some leaders, data theft is not a concern. They are careful with the selection, induction, training and monitoring of their salespeople. They jump on unacceptable behaviour as soon it’s detected, never allowing bad behaviour to become permanently embedded into their agencies’ culture.
I believe that data theft is a symptom of a poor culture.
Data theft should not be as big a concern for leaders as poor culture.
Agencies that have an ‘us versus them’ mentality, who have salespeople who gang up on the leader, who refuse to do the right actions or who leave and steal data, didn’t suddenly become that way – they were part of a culture that allowed this behaviour to flourish.
Don’t let that environment become your environment.
It’s an easy option to blame the market when business is slow, but real estate agency profit consultant, Gary Pittard, asks, “How much marketing are you doing?”.
When promoting advertising to clients, real estate agents often advise sellers that they should not keep their property ‘a secret’. Shouldn’t they follow their own advice and market their own agencies?
Late last year, I read a Real Estate Business Online article entitled, Purplebricks already effecting ‘dramatic change’ in commission-charging agents’ behaviour. It quoted Purplebricks global COO Neil Tavender stating that since entering the Australian market, Purplebricks has caused traditional agents to reflect significantly on how they operate.
Tavender was quoted as saying, “We have seen in some instances where commissions have come down from 2.5 per cent to 1.8 per cent. But obviously with the fixed cost models that they have, with premises and associated costs, that is not a sustainable future.”MORE
Personally, I think this is a bit of a stretch. In states where the market was tanking, WA for example, you hardly hear of Purplebricks. Pittard has clients across Australia and none have raised Purplebricks as being a threat.
The fact is, weak real estate salespeople have been discounting their fees to win business long before Purplebricks came along. The recent boom in some states was the reason some salespeople discounted their fees – they wanted to win listings and discounting was the only way they could see to do it.
But Neil Tavender does make a good point: discounting is not a sustainable future.
If you feel that you must discount to win business, if you think that fee is all you’ve got, you have no alternative but to be cheap. And no matter how cheap you are, somebody will always be cheaper.
A better way to win business at a fair fee is to prove your VALUE CHAIN. Your value chain consists of things you can do for sellers that other agents do not do.
To create a value chain, think: why should sellers list with you?
You say you are good, but in what way?
Salespeople often give this little thought. The result is that they look the same as their competitors. When you look the same, you can only compete on fee and giveaways – lower your fee, or perhaps throw in some premium advertising.
Cutting your fee, or adding incentives, cuts into your profit. It demonstrates a lack of business acumen. And if you lack business acumen, how could you expect sellers trust you to sell their properties?
Think about your value chain – it’s the key to winning business with a fair fee for your hard work. Leave discounting to those who have no value to offer.
In the absence of a conscious pursuit of excellence in our careers, says real estate agency profit consultant, Gary Pittard, many salespeople inadvertently pursue mediocrity. How sad to work hard all our lives and have little to show for it. Gary Pittard believes that the pursuit of excellence, even if for its own sake, is a noble pursuit – a journey worth starting today.
Pittard clients are spread across Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. It stands to reason that they are operating in different markets. Some are in booming markets, some in static markets and some in down-trending markets. But no matter what market they find themselves in, we give all the same advice:
It’s not the market that determines your success, it’s YOU. MORE
It is too easy to blame the market. Seriously, have you got any business problems that a massive increase in listings and sales wouldn’t fix? So why don’t you go and look for listings? I’m sure you agree that this would be a good start.
But not all would agree and, if you are one of those people, I hope to change your mind.
In EVERY market, Listing Flow is ALWAYS the essential focus.
This is a no-brainer in booming markets. When you sell everything you list, it’s easy to understand why everybody on the sales team, and agency management, must make getting listings a priority.
However, in down turning markets, when sales are harder to come by, it’s easy to make sales the focus. I hear many leaders and salespeople say, “I’ve got plenty of listings, it’s buyers we need!” While it might be understandable thinking, taking the focus off listings and putting it onto buyers is a dangerous focus.
For all agencies, always, the essential focus for all leaders and team members should be Listing Flow. You can’t sell what you haven’t got listed.
For those who think they need buyers, there is one simple question: If all your listing were half price, would you have plenty of buyers? If the answer is ‘Yes, of course’, then if you are not making sales, your stock is overpriced.
Now for the “But Gary…”. “But the vendors won’t reduce”. Here we get to the root of the problem: sellers who are holding out for prices they are not going to get in this current market. I put it to you that these are not sellers – their listings are a waste of your time.
Think about all the listings you have that are overpriced with owners that won’t budge. Take those listings off your books and ask yourself, “Now, do you have plenty of listings?” I’ll bet you are now low on stock.
Stubborn sellers chew up a lot of time for no result. Instead of thinking that you have listings, change your thinking:
Do you have plenty of SALEABLE LISTINGS?
This should be your goal for your agency – plenty of saleable listings. Properties where the owners trust you, who want to sell, and will list at fair market prices to do so.
Instead of allowing your team to waste time on listings that aren’t going to sell, wouldn’t it be better to have the team spend that time prospecting, looking for more reasonable sellers, those who are serious about selling?
Without leadership direction, salespeople will chase sales at the expense of listings, or waste large amounts of time on sellers who aren’t going to sell. Take a stand – put the owners of your listings under the microscope and ‘fire’ those who won’t follow advice and price to market.
Then, get the team prospecting. Send out plenty of office marketing. Chase stock, get that stock to fair market prices, and sales will happen.
Listing flow is an essential focus. In every market!
As the owner of a real estate business, you are its leader. Real estate agency profit consultant, Gary Pittard, suggests that, as the leader, you should know exactly where you are taking your company. Fail to plan and you run the risk of leading your company downwards. Where are you taking your company? Do you know?
An interview of William Danko, co-author of Richer Than a Millionaire with Richard Van Ness, will be released this month on Pittard’s streaming platform iTrain®.
In Professor Danko’s previous book, The Millionaire Next Door, co-authored with the late Thomas Stanley, the focus was on what it takes to become a millionaire. In Richer Than a Millionaire, the focus has shifted to two areas: what it takes to be wealthy, and what it takes to be well-adjusted.1 MORE
This is an important distinction. What’s the point of being wealthy if your spouse and kids hate you or have no time for you? What’s the point of being wealthy if you’re miserable or unhealthy?
I like this broader focus. True success is building not only a healthy financial life, but a healthy personal life too. You can be successful and have little money, and you can have enormous wealth and still be unsuccessful.
Many people labour under the mistaken belief that most people gain their wealth through inheritance. The belief that you must be born rich is mistaken. According to the research in Richer Than a Millionaire, most wealthy people developed their wealth in one generation. This should give hope to us all!
Another key to being well-adjusted and wealthy is a happy relationship. Divorce, the authors say, can set wealth creation back by decades. On a personal level, long-term loving relationships do wonders for life enjoyment and longevity.
Fundamentally, we all feel this is so. But I wonder how many people stop to appreciate what they have and work on both their personal lives and on wealth creation. According to Richer Than a Millionaire, we can and should do both.
If you would like to improve your relationship with your significant other, read The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. This interesting read might make you rethink how you and your spouse can get the most from your relationship.
And if being wealthy and well-adjusted is your goal, read Richer Than a Millionaire. These two books together are sure to give you a new perspective.
Rich and miserable? That’s not for you, is it?
Real estate agency profit consultant, Gary Pittard, warns real estate salespeople that they must be sure to learn the REAL reason why property sellers put their properties on the market. “Motivation” can be elusive and is often misunderstood by salespeople, and the result of this can be a lot of hard work for no fee. Don’t let this happen to you!