Let’s Look At The Real Problem

In some markets, real estate agents often say that they have plenty of listings, but need buyers. Real estate agency profit consultant, Gary Pittard, says that this thinking is unprofitable. “Look at the real problem”, Gary says. The real problem is not too many listings, but not enough SALEABLE listings. All real estate agencies could do with more listings that are priced to sell.

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The More You Learn

Show me an industry where you can earn six-figure incomes without knowing what you are doing. I’ll bet that you cannot name one. Yet this is what many real estate people – salespeople and leaders – seem to think. Many believe that they can earn high incomes without learning, study and practice.

The real estate industry demonstrates a low regard for training. The real estate industry is also one of the most lowly-regarded for honesty, competence and integrity. I do not think this is a coincidence. MORE

Some years ago, NSW introduced compulsory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for real estate practitioners. I can understand the reasoning behind this, but the sad fact is that you can qualify for a year’s CPD with just four hours’ training.

They don’t say “The more you learn, the more you earn” for nothing. Your knowledge and skill is what sellers are paying you for, and four hours’ training isn’t sufficient to be competent. We all know that many practitioners do just enough training to qualify for CPD.

Sampling

I agree that good training can be expensive, both in monetary and time investments, but training can easily give you a $100 return for every dollar invested. Despite this, many try to get by on free training.

But the ‘free stuff’ will only take you so far. You will get the odd good idea, but free training is not organised into systems that you can implement over the long term.

Think about it – do you really believe that any trainer is going to give you the whole story – all their training systems – at no charge? What you get is a little ‘taste’, just enough to whet your appetite.

You think you are training, but all you are really doing is SAMPLING. Those little tastes will never make you great.

You are the investment

Next time you are tempted to think that training is ‘too expensive’, ask yourself, “What am I spending this money on?” It’s not training, it’s YOU. You are the investment!

You are not investing in training; you are investing in yourself and your ability to boost your income through increased knowledge and skill. You are investing in your ability to feed your family, and to enjoy longevity and a high income in your real estate career or business.

One more thing:

Training makes you better. ‘Better’ earns more than ‘mediocre’.

The more you learn the more you earn.

Gary Pittard

Is Door Knocking Still Effective?


In a real estate industry poll, over 65 percent of respondents said that door knocking is no longer an effective method for finding new listings. In this short sales training presentation, real estate agency profit consultant, Gary Pittard, says that people who say door knocking is dead either haven’t knocked on many doors, 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.

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Strict or Soft: the problem with extremes

Some leaders are too strict with their teams. Others are too soft. There are problems with being at either extreme.

Soft leaders

Soft leaders should not be in leadership positions. They seldom build excellent companies. They rate avoiding conflict higher than they rate setting standards and enforcing them. If these leaders do build excellent companies, it is often because they have deputies that have the real control. MORE

When leaders are more interested in being liked than they are in developing their people, they accomplish neither – they fail to bring out the best in their people, and while they may be liked, are usually not respected. Often, they are pitied by their teams – pitied for being too soft, for allowing people to be slack, sometimes allowing people to get away with outrageous behaviour.

These leaders are most likely to keep the wrong people and by failing to set and enforce standards, harbour mediocrity in their teams. They most often fear their teams, fearing that if they call people out on unacceptable standards, those people will leave.

Occasionally these leaders do have winners on the team, but the winners soon move on once they lose respect for their soft leaders.

Strict leaders

Leaders can be too hard on their people, too. But strict leaders are often strict about everything and can micromanage to a point where their people are afraid to show initiative, and even more afraid to convey bad news to their leader.

These leaders often fail to celebrate results and, while they are quick to point out what people have done wrong, can feel awkward metering praise to their people. Their offices are often dour places to work, with very little fun.

One leader I know recently forbade his two salespeople to have lunch together. What did he think was going to happen – a conspiracy? I can’t even call this strict leadership – it’s downright dumb leadership. This leader has precisely ZERO salespeople now!
Some wear their strict leadership as a badge of pride, but being too strict can be as ineffective as being too soft. Strict leaders lose people, many who could have become winners had they received good leadership.

Extremes

Extremes of strict and soft are not good. I am not suggesting middle ground either.

Good leaders set standards for their people and, when people fall short of those standards, they are counselled, retrained if necessary, and terminated if they continue to fall short of the standard. If termination is required, they do it swiftly, but always with kindness and compassion.

But there are times when leaders must also allow minor things to pass without comment. Teams can get under pressure and leaders must release the pressure occasionally, or good people will leave. A bit of fun does wonders.

Good leaders have range in their leadership styles. Strict when necessary, uncompromising when necessary and soft on occasions. Always we must show our people that they are important to us, and the best way to show that is to be interested in them, and work at bringing out the best in them.

Avoid the extremes, they burn good people and kill profit.

Gary Pittard

Salaries: Expense or Return?

Many real estate agency principals suffer from ‘salary phobia’: they view salaries as an expense instead of an investment. Real estate agency profit consultant, Gary Pittard, says that this salary phobia leads agency owners to use commission-only or debit-credit reward schemes, and in doing so cause their agencies to haemorrhage profit.

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A Little Word Salespeople Should Use More Often

Good salespeople are always on the lookout for new lines and for new ways to deliver their messages, but there is one word that many should consider using more often. That word is ‘No’.

People-pleasing salespeople are too quick to say ‘yes’, and doing so causes them to agree to actions that are, or should be, of a lower priority.

Beware of questions that begin with: MORE

  • Got a minute?” It never is just a minute. If you don’t believe me, time the next interruption that begins with this question. Most of these interruptions are from unfocused or disorganised people who want to look busy, and they’re using you to do it.
  • Would you give me a hand with…?” could involve you in a task taking ten minutes or more. Ten minutes might not sound like much time, but anything that takes you away from the pursuit of results is something you should not get involved in, UNTIL you have achieved your results for the day.
  • Can you just…?” The task you are about to get roped into doesn’t sound like much because it’s softened by the word ‘just’, but as with the previous two questions, the task is about to take you off track, away from results.

These are examples and no doubt you can think of other ‘danger questions’. Answering ‘Yes’ to such questions without clarifying what the asker wants can cost you valuable time. This is time that you will never get back, leaving you with less time to achieve your goals.

Flow

When we focus on the one task for any length of time, we can enter a state called ‘flow’. You might also know it as being ‘in the zone’. Flow is a highly-focused state during which you accomplish much more.

It takes a while to get into flow, but it can be broken in seconds.

It is never wise to allow interruptions when you are concentrating on important tasks. It breaks ‘flow’.

Choose

I am not asking you to be unhelpful. I am suggesting that you pick your moments and not dance to somebody else’s tune.

When you are pursuing results, nothing except real emergencies should take you off track. There is plenty of time to help people with tasks, or for those ‘got a minute?’ requests, but for winners, results come first.

Choose the people to whom you will give your time. Choose your tasks carefully. Distractions can cost you time, loss of focus, and income.

Gary Pittard

Clueless Negotiating


“Transparency” is all the rage, but as a negotiation strategy it is full of holes. Real estate agency profit consultant, Gary Pittard, says that transparency is clueless negotiating. When buyers give an offer on a property, it is nobody’s business but theirs, the agent’s and the sellers’. Gary says, “Give me PRIVACY over transparency any time!”

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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

Want to reach your profit potential? Contact us now.

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