How Leadership is Changing

It is the time of year to plan our objectives for the coming year. Here are just a few suggestions for anyone supervising a team of professionals.

The ongoing objective of any leader in real estate, mortgage is to recruit and decruit. The hiring of new agents into your office is an ongoing skill that requires dedicated hours every week if not every day in order to satisfy the net income for your business.

I mention decruit, as the New Year draws near, for the simple reason improving company morale can happen through the steps taken to say good-bye to the dead wood. Often agents lose some faith in the leader if the leader continues to accept the non-performance of the non-performer.

Mastering the ongoing objective of hiring new people can be done through many on-going platforms. The first and most important step is when interviewing look for agents who are already motivated sales people. If you are interviewing a negative person they are not of the frame of mind to bring much sales success to themselves and the office. The word of mouth benefit to your recruiting program can be accomplished by offering a dynamic training and coaching reputation which hones in on mastering sales skills. Sales people need and desire ongoing, positive, key skill improvement sessions. Are you doing that? What effect do you have on morale? Does it need an overhaul or at least a strong recommitment to leadership attributes?

Today’s companies are finding out that “team attachment” is very important. All the years of independent agent activities are changing back to the importance of team connection. How do we get it? We concentrate on sales production with our sales force not training them to spend their valuable hours recruiting for the office or company. That’s the leader’s responsibility. We are told companies are highly recommending all agents attend weekly office “sales training” and think tank sessions with their colleagues. The enticement of parties, prize drawings, and great educational sessions are the tools for “asking them back to the office” campaigns. Why?

Leaders have lost touch with how their agents are doing; why their agents are not succeeding as well as each would hope they would succeed; they are not completely in tune to the level of expertise of the sales force.

There is a saying, “eagles attract eagles” meaning top producers like to be with other top producers; the converse being true that top producers tend to not stay at their current office if they perceive their sales office is not as productive as the office down the street. Therefore, feedback and communication among the associates is a major reason for the change back to office camaraderie.

Why do companies keep non-producing agents? Here are some of the answers to that question: the agent is nice; we’re nice people and don’t enjoy firing; it’s too difficult to let someone go; they don’t cost me anything; someday they just might make a big sale. As you are reading this, you know any and all of these statements do not make for a profitable company. Leader, change your thinking and know the above statements are detrimental to your office.

However, did you, the leader, evaluate your own responsibility in the failure of these people? Are you doing performance interviews and follow up? Did you give a time table for a change in behavior or sales success? "I would like to meet with you to discuss your performance. What has been working? What needs improvement? Let's get back together in 30 days after you have tried these suggestions and see where you are."

The #1 change in your leadership that is the easiest and fastest return on time and morale is demonstrate appreciation. If you are a leader who finds it difficult to voice or demonstrate appreciation to your sales force, change. The number 1 reason agents leave a company is not the beauty of the office, the presence in the community but not feeling appreciated. This is an easy fix but it requires change.

So to summarize here are the Leadership Changes for 2011:

Hire motivated people. Know that keeping an office to capacity requires ongoing recruiting and sometimes decruiting for the respect of your sales force. Bring your sales force back into the office for regular coaching sessions and communication. Schedule regular follow up meetings with those needing morale boosting, or additional training. Show appreciation by being supportive, approachable, fair, have a positive attitude and stay current on today’s sales tools and methods; the easiest and best direction is to simply say, “I appreciate you”.