Monthly Archives: September 2017

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Holding on to your best!

Category:KB Consulting Solutions

May we all agree the most effective and efficient recruiting a Broker can do is to retain the agents they have?  We know this, yet why is our churn rate often high?  Well, honestly, sometimes we simply attract and hire the wrong talent for our organization. Yet the most common challenge is that agents (like your market) are constantly moving…leadership delays the process!

Best practices for Agent Retention:

Recruiting is how well you tell your story…retention is how well you live and deliver the story you tell.

The Key thoughts to empower you to provide what you’ve promised:

  1. Transparency!  This starts in the initial conversation!
    Here is the dialog I used when adding agents to the office:
    “Selling real estate is a process…not an event …so is office leadership.
    In the sales process, you can experience ease and elegance or blood and guts. The same is true for Brokerage Operations.  I choose ease and elegance; therefore, you will find a copy of our Office Policy and Procedures Manual in your On-Boarding Kit… and it is to be discussed and signed by all parties once you officially join!”
  2. Take care of all details in writing: *
    Included in your Office Policy and Procedures Manual should be written guidelines for all office practices, protocol and procedures.  Some examples may include:
    a.  How we handle all money issues:
    i. Delinquency; monthly investment
    ii. Commissions paid;
    iii. Commission disputes,
    iv. E&O Claims
    b.  What marketing practices are acceptable.
    i. How, when, what, why
    ii. Brand (if applicable) compliance standards
    c.  Pre Nup
    i. In the event things don’t work out how do we handle
    1.  Inventory
    2.  Pending Sales
    3.  Unpaid expenses owed to the Brokerage
    ii. This is the birth of respect and integrity.  How you end the relationship is being viewed by the entire real estate community.  Lead with strength not by fear.

    *While, much of this may or may not be included in the Company/Brand Independent Contractor Agreement (ICA) however it is important to remember that what is provided by your Brand is a boiler plate and may not be customized to you market and your specific office practices.  Make sure you take time to customize to protect all parties involved.

  3. Set both expectations and consequences for all parties:
    a.  Set expectations for all essential brokerage necessities:
    i. Production
    ii. Participation
    iii. Attitude
    b.  Set consequences for what happens when things go up-side down.
  4. Praise publically, coach privately
    a.  Praise publically! It is important to pat both your agents and staff on the back for a job well done.  Make sure your appreciation is shown frequently, consistently, justly, fairly and most importantly…sincerely.
    b.  When performance does not meet, or exceed expectations, coach privately.   Behind closed doors, fulfill the role of the Leader and lead. Have the tough conversation.  Reluctance to address the problem never makes the problem go away or better. Often it has the opposite impact.  Hit the challenge square in the eye; honestly, directly yet with care and compassion!
  5. Recognize patterns and address them
    a.  Often with sales professionals, patterns and behaviors impact production. As the Leader document the pattern so that you can discuss it at the appropriate time wisely and logically.
    b.  Once the established pattern has been discovered and explored, have the conversation.  With care and candor discuss how the pattern might be impacting production and relationships.
    c.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  When discussing production and behavior patterns, again praise publically and coach privately.  This conversation must be free of all emotion yet hosts the potential to build a bond that cannot be shaken.
  6. LEAD!
    a.  As a Leader, you have most likely tapped into two amazing gifts.  The gift of anticipation and the gift of discretion. Practice and honor both.  Work ahead of all opportunities before they become challenges.  Buffer and avoid as much drama as possible.  This is a huge assignment yet a significant practice.
    b.  Train your tribe!
    i. Encourage best practices for all real estate activities
    ii. Provide resources for the best systems, processes and procedures
    iii. Be a resource, not a sales pitch.  Provide what is needed to take each member to their desired level of production.
    c.  Educate your tribe!
    i. Provide relevant, state of the art, industry specific tools, resources and benefits to ensure your agents grow their business.
    ii. Keep the vision and goals HUGE. Challenge each with industry specific opportunities to grow their business under your leadership
    d.  Celebrate
    i. Frequently and publically!
    ii. Consistently find way so recognize and celebrate as many members as often as possible.  This action much be all inclusive and not limited to a select of Top Producers.
    e.  Coach and consult.
    i. Constantly work to build respect and trust with your tribe!
    ii. Communication must be authentic and frequent
    iii. Empower each member to create a 1-3 and 5-year vision, and discern what action steps must be taken today to fulfill each year’s.

Simple is not always easy.  This is a great example of that principle.  Once you involve the dynamics of personalities, emotions and friendship things have potential to become complicated.  That’s why our advice (for the third time in this blog) is to have all things in writing.  It’s much easier to make the call when all parties have agreed and signed off!

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One of the Greatest Rules of Leadership

Category:KB Consulting Solutions

Do you remember the childhood game, “Follow the Leader?” Now if you remember and if you will agree and admit you enjoyed the game ONLY IF you were the Leader that everyone followed, that was perhaps the birth of your destiny to become a Leader…

Indeed, the first indication that you have leadership qualities and characteristics surfaces very early.  As schools start back, I’m sure seasoned teachers in the classroom can and will readily identify the leaders and the followers within the first few weeks of school.  There is no right or wrong, good or bad distinction between the two…remember all tribes must have Chiefs and Indians to be a healthy, productive tribe who live in harmony. Right?

My experience on the road to Leadership has been colored with exceptional people and a variety of experiences that have paved the broken road to success.  One of the greatest lessons I learned was a bit painful, a bit embarrassing, a bit of a blow to my ego…yet the growth after accepting and acknowledging the lesson learned was life changing!

This law of leadership is simple, not easy.

Once you hire correctly and have the right members in the right position for your tribe, you just need to get the heck out of the way to allow them to grow, enrich and develop the business objective you seek to accomplish!  More simply, when you hire competent talent, get OUT OF THEIR WAY and LET THEM DO THEIR JOB.

Boom!  Period! 

Simple, yet not easy….

Here are 3 essential steps to keep in mind as you move out of the way and onward to greater success in leadership:

I.  Embrace Change

  1. The first change is to accept that things will NOT be done the way you would do them.  Now we all know that our way is not necessarily the only way, yet it is certainly the BEST way of accomplishing any task. Right?  WRONG!
    • Others may do things differently
    • Other may do things better
  2. Allow leverage to be your Friend and allow you to complete either income producing task, or pleasure producing task.  Getting out of your way allows you to do more, better.
  3. Tell your EGO to take a hike.  It will be done differently, it will be done better.  That’s okay. Really…it is.

I recently had a Coaching Client upon return of an extended vacation state to me…” You know, while I was gone, I delegated (leveraged) several tasks to my Assistant and she did an amazing job. It was so great to realize that she is trained, competent and able to handle her job duties and perhaps a bit more.  Now I’m looking around trying to figure out what else I can give her that I will not take back.”

Now folks, this is leadership growth in action.  The key takeaway for me and where I see the greatest stride to masterful leadership, delegation and leverage?  The closing phrase…” What else can I give her…that I WILL NOT TAKE BACK.”   He totally gets it.  It’s about letting go and letting it happen.  Not only get out of the way, yet stay out of the way!!!!!

II.  Double-Line Rule:

As an old-school accountant (when our only technology or computer was a 10-key adding machine with a tape), you will remember the “double-line” rule.  That was how you validated that all accounts were in balance.  If your debits and credits were in balance at the end of the report, you always drew double lines under each column to indicate…” All good, we are in balance”.  To check for completion, you simply looked at the bottom of each report.

  1. Others may do things differently.  That’s okay. For the transition of power to effectively and efficiently happen as you get out of the way, it’s imperative to have systems, procedures and processes in place.
    • Other will do things differently, yet as long as protocol or procedures are followed and you can “double-line” each project upon completion—it’s great!
    • Change occurs when fresh eyes take ownership of a task and offer opportunities to improve, modify, simplify, deconstruct and reconstruct to improve the outcome.  If you can “double-line” the result to meet your objective, accept the change and stay out of the way.
  2. Others may do things better.  So, what if fresh eyes see ways to improve what you are doing?  What if there is technology to replace your way and allow a stream-lined more accurate way of meeting your objective?
    • Listen and allow the owner of the project to offer suggestions, vet solutions and improve the way you are doing business.
    • Beware of seeing change as a threat and challenge to your authority.  My philosophy has always been to hire people much more skilled and knowledgeable that me.  Trust me, it has NEVER been a problem. When you find that talent…empower them to be the best they can be.  Allow them to serve well and OWN not only the project, yet also the results, the credit.  “Double-line” their success with gratitude, acknowledgement and celebration.

III.  As a leader, be prepared to experience:

  1. Growth beyond expectation.
    Production, confidence, profitability
  2. The benefits of leverage
    • Understanding the power of delegation
    • Getting more done fueled by getting out of the way
  3. Explosive results
    • Improved effectiveness and efficiency as an organization
    • Ways to do more with less

There is huge opportunity when you can get out of the way of others and empower the next generation of leadership to learn, grow and have ownership.  Let it begin with you.  The feeling is liberating and the results are astounding.

Lead by example…be a resource, not a sales pitch.

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