the good people you have Recruited
Salespeople - choosing your office
soon learn that salespeople are a very mobile commodity
and that one of the key functions in running a good real
estate business is maintaining a stable base of skilled
and productive salespeople.
Apart from continually focussing on their recruitment activity
managers need to also take a regular look at what salespeople
look for when selecting their office or why they consider
Everybody is leaving - you just don't know when.
Firstly recognise that higher commission payouts dont
attract everyone. The fact that the majority of salespeople
are on standard arrangements, many with bonuses, suggests
that simply offering a larger share of the cake is not the
only method to recruit and retain the right people. There
are more critical issues for many salespeople than just
money. I regularly see salespeople move from an office of
higher fee payouts to an office of a lesser base payout
because they see other elements as more important in their
long-term success, than just the percentage of the fee they
receive. Over the years I have been working in the coaching
and training world I have asked those who have moved, what
has driven them to move and why they went where they did?
The smallest group was those who moved after being tempted
by a higher fee payout. So why do they move?
Leadership or lack of it is a major reason for changing
offices. Salespeople want to work for managers and business
owners who are Leaders and who can pass on their vision
of the future of their business and how that salespersons
business can grow within it. Leadership goes beyond that
it includes being prepared to work on the listing
and sales front and sharing the hard work that builds success.
Leaders inspire people to happily do things they wouldnt
ordinarily do. Salespeople leave managers who lack vision
and energy to participate actively in the market place.
Ethics are important to the majority. The acceptance
by management of unethical tactics by some salespeople,
destroys not only any chance a developing a team culture,
but encourages the ethical to leave as their sense of values
destroys their motivation to perform. The feedback is that
they feel un-ethical behaviour only exists because management
Office Environment ranks high as reason to select
an office. The physical resources and layout, is now showing
itself as an important criteria, more so now that we see
some wonderfully resourced and presented offices take a
strong market presence. The corner store with mini-cubicle
is fast going to loose attraction.
But environment has more to do with atmosphere and office
mood than just physical resources. Whilst it is often said
in management training that good managers should have no
favourites it is often taken out of context. No-favourites,
means that the rules apply to everyone. It does not stop
good leaders from recognising and adequately rewarding their
Nothing upsets sales people more than seeing management
allowing the better performers to openly break office rules.
They look for consistent and decisive management that applies
the rules fairly and quickly. Managers who avoid conflicts
hoping they will simply go away simply loose people. Sales
people who move, look for offices where management has a
strong hand and doesnt allow prima-donnas to control
the office rules in their own interest.
Offices with simmering undercurrents, simply waste energy,
divert focus and destroy motivation. People eventually leave
and seek a stronger leader. Too many sales people stay too
long in these environments thinking it will get better or
perhaps all offices are the same. Clearly they are not all
Technology and Human Resources also play a big role
in office stability. Access to statistical and property
information is vital, and they seek either easy uncluttered
access to terminals, easy log into office networks or competent
and speedy in-house operators. The next issue is access
to marketing resources, great printer and copy services,
colour copying and innovative and quality marketing ideas.
The ability to use bulk e-mail marketing, easy mail-merge
facilities and the rapid and quality production of Pre-Listing
and Presentation Packs are critical in the selection process.
Having to queue to use these resources or waiting for incompetent
or over-loaded administration staff simply leads top performers
to perform these tasks themselves, engage a Personal assistant
or find an office that is more supportive. The more independent
these salespeople become the more easily they can move their
business to another facility.
Training and Coaching are other critical selection
criteria for salespeople. When starting their careers, salespeople
rate training as one of their major concerns. What training
will I get? Who will train me? Okay so you have a great
induction course, but who will help me after that? Who will
guide me day to day once I am back in the office? I often
hear from salespeople who have invested heavily in their
new careers and attended corporate induction courses, who
on their return to a follow-up course, state they have not
had a one on one with their manager in 8 weeks. They simply
want guidance daily on what to do and how to do it.
The more experienced want training too. The market continually
changes and often people are trapped in a mode of operation
and the behaviours for a Buyers Market, need major adjustment
to cope with the current Sellers Market. Most managers have
had no training in how to train or coach their people and
this is possibly the biggest weakness of management in the
Appreciation and Recognition play a huge role in
maintaining loyalty and longevity of a sales team. Leaving
success unrecognised, not sharing achievement and showing
appreciation are probably the greatest drivers of sales
people to seek an office with higher payouts as they think
that may be the only option and that all managers are the
There are ample examples in New Zealand of highly successful
offices where the team is stable, highly productive and
happy, and its all down to the leadership and tone
provided by the owner or manager. The sales people have
their own network they share what is good and bad
within their offices the recruitment and retention
of the right people is influenced more by your management
and leadership reputation, than by any fancy recruitment
advertisements or commission payout scheme.