- THE YEAR OF A THOUSAND OPPORTUNITIES
The hoopla is all over 2000 is here. Despite all
the predictions of the bureaucratic doomsayers and the techno-opportunists
things are as they were. Except for the calendar.
Many of us will have now taken the opportunity to review
last years business experiences, reflect of the good and
the bad, and set new targets for 2000. Its time to
look forward the media have wanted us to remember
and be nostalgic about the last 1000 years thats
nice, but it wont necessarily help your business success
2000 is where you will make your success this year
so lets treat it as The year of 1000 opportunities.
As you prepare to invest more energy, time and drive into
your Real Estate business or career, its perhaps time
to ensure the foundations for your success are solidly established.
The four cornerstones are:
1. A clear map of where you are going and the plan to get
2. Systems that keep the pathways open.
3. People to walk the pathways with you.
4. The skills to cope with the tasks on the journey.
There are other factors to be taken care of too, but these
four really lay the foundation for business growth and development.
1 The Map
If you know where you are going its much easier to
get there. If you made some New Year resolutions or plans
for your business its important to have spent some
time to detail how that will all happen.
Now is not the time to debate the value of goal setting
and planning. It simply needs to be understood that if what
you are doing isnt bringing you the results you want,
youd best change something.
A Business Plan provides the map:
It shows where you are going and prescribes the pathways
for the journey.
Your plan needs to contain:
1. A clear description of your long term goals over the
next 5 to 10 years
a. This could include the value youd like to place
on your business.
b. What you would like your lifestyle to be like
c. The income needed from your business to fund your
2. The outcomes you will deliver in the next 2-3 years.
Specific Business performance aspects that will have you
3. An honest appraisal of your current reality
a. Internally- your strategic strengths, weaknesses, opportunities
b. Externally your competitors strategic advantages
etc and your market environment
4. Key performance indicators required to deliver the new
5. The success strategies that will create the changes &
deliver the new outcomes.
6. Action plans for the success strategies.
7. Implementation & monitoring plan.
2 Systems that Deliver.
In commission based enterprises all too often the quality
of service delivery is left to the individual contractors.
To continue to rely on this paradigm for business growth
and success is at best, an abdication of quality management
by the business leader.
Those businesses that have grown over recent years have
made the quality of service delivery a company responsibility.
Not a discretionary option of sales people.
There is an ability to guarantee service levels once this
approach is introduced the approach is called
Its the way we do it around here - every time!
You need to be able to guarantee that;
The vendor receives all the communication that is promised
at the listing presentation.
The letters from the manager and the sales consultant go
The one week follow-up is done.
that sales consultants provides weekly feedback,
That review meetings are held,
That you ring after 10 days to check all is going as planned
And all the other tasks your system delivers
No matter which type of listing, can you be absolutely certain
that all tasks take place for each Listing.
Fortunately computers have made this much easier. There
are now several software packages that provide you with
the opportunity to create a set of tasks that must take
place for any listing or sale, every time.
Have you prescribed all the actions that must take place
for all the activities that surround a listing or sale?
Do you have standard letters and forms to ensure your minimum
standards are always met?
Do you have a task management system which ensures effective
and accurate delivery of this programme?
Core Systems MUST exist for
Induction of new staff
o Clearly spell out expectations, resources & provide
o Core tasks to ensure nothing is overlooked, no matter
what type of listing. Have you written down all the tasks
that must take place once a New Listing is obtained.
o Checklists which are simple for sales consultant to complete
and have the marketing desk take over.
o Have you a set of standard letters & tasks that automatically
begin one a contract is signed and the sale settled.
Disbursements and Payroll
Its not the purpose of this article to detail the
systems, but simply to prompt us to check not only have
them but, there is a certainty of delivery.
Check also the competence of the people performing the administrative
functions. So much time is spent coaching and training sales
consultants that we too often overlook the competence and
delivery of the people delivering the systems. Check for
bottlenecks, which cause frustration and delays. Sometimes
there are tasks best described as, thats what
weve always done. Are all those long established
actions really useful or just habit?
3 People to walk the pathways with You
The most successful businesses not only ensure their people
know what to do and how to do it, they know whether its
being done and how often its being done.
Your Business Plan spells out what has to happen to achieve
the success you want.
In successful businesses the owner/manager is a great coach,
with the ability to get alongside their people and work
with them. They nurture their people assets and help them
manage their time, to ensure they work a plan.
This plan is usually a weekly quota of key dollar productive
tasks. The top coaches have their sales consultants on a
plan a detailed schedule of events that
record what they do and how often they do. If you dont
have this sort of detail then how do you help people to
improve their performance.
People need to be held accountable for:
the use of the resources you provide
the servicing of the contacts and client leads your business
generates and provides to them.
Your task now is to create an environment in your business
where people can succeed. This is where your leadership
and management skills really are put to the test. As a leader
you set the tone, you set the rules and your ethics provide
the foundations for the teams conduct.
People work much more productively in environments where
o Positive, fair and decisive management
o Clear policy and procedures
o Systems that deliver effectively and efficiently
o Clear expectations
o A bottom line of performance that is enforced
o Clear rules
o Encouragement to grow
o No negativity and secret agendas
o Where the rules apply to everyone, including the top sales
o Fun and energy
You will find you need to recruit new people as you address
the issues of non-performance, non-competence and non-compliance.
Dont overlook the need to be viewing this as a long
term and on-going project. As Ive said in previous
articles you need to compete with other industries for the
people you want now. Take a longer-term view, consider younger
people and how you have to pay them while they get them
established. Whatever you do, there must be something in
your diary each week for recruitment.
Your focus must also be very clear on the induction of your
new recruits. Induction is the process of ensuring they
know how its done around here, that they know what is expected
of them, and so the removal of any excuses to not succeed.
4 Skills to Perform
Another of your key responsibilities is to ensure all your
personnel have the skills to perform their tasks superbly.
You charge Vendors the same fee level no matter the competency
of the sales consultant, so ideally they should all be delivering
at the highest level.
Not only must you know how to train, have an on-going training
programme and sales/technical skills, you must be able to
train on the-spot and in-the-field.
Take some time to review the skills of your people and compare
them to those required for your business to prosper. Remember
you chose your personnel and if they dont have the
necessary skills it is also up to you to fix that situation.
Core competencies to be excelled at are:
o Communication listening, speaking and writing
o Technical skills pricing, contracts, property information,
technology, property law, paper work etc.
o Empathy gaining clients trust and confidence
o Learning basic scripts
o Know the market
o Awesome listing presentation with full menu of offerings
o Can sell close the sale on
o Listings with your company
o Other controlled listings
o Benefits of additional marketing
o Negotiation too often overlooked, especially when
you consider the fine line we walk, representing both parties.
o Open Homes
o Vendor reviews
o Buyer counseling the forgotten art
o Marketing if you dont have a department to
leave it to
To lead your people forward you are responsible for ensuring
their competencies are strong enough to meet the needs of
If the results in your business or career are not yet what
you want, then take a look at the skills level for the above
tasks. An honest review here can create that relevant and
effective training programme you really do need.
Establishing high competence and delivery in these four
factors will provide you with a powerful and rewarding year.
All that we have set out to do in this article is to encourage
you to take some time to review and plan so you have some
clarity on where you are going and what to do to get there..
As you embark on this path there are two more vital attributes
you need to maintain.
The ability to see what you are doing, and to see the results
you are getting.
The preparedness to do something different. If you see what
you are doing is not bringing you the results you want then
do something different.
The ability (& willingness) to monitor and review your
progress, and to amend what you are doing, is critical.
Not only have I suggested you take some actions to clarify
your business goals and outlined some skills you must excel
at, there is the issue of focus and personal discipline.
The ability to do things that will build the business
(not just maintain it) on a continuing basis.
Perhaps its time to consider a business mentor or coach.
Find someone you respect, someone youd like to emulate,
someone who can teach you what you need to know and have
them keep you on track. Its amazing how our performance
can improve when we make ourselves accountable to someone
An investment in time and planning right now could be the
most important thing you do this year. Whatever course of
action you select you will get to experience the consequences
nothing is more certain than that.