Author Archives: Kathy Baker

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Hold the Vision

Category:KB Consulting Solutions

The first key in our 5 Keys to Legendary Leadership is to “Hold the Vision.”  To hold your vision is to lead with your mind.

Now that is powerful.  So powerful that you might ask, “How does that work?”

My experience with legendary leaders is they not only possess the ability to see things others don’t, they have the ability to articulate their vision so clearly that others see and believe.  Not only do they believe, they join in to help obtain the goals set forth.

Legendary leaders hold the vision and remain steadfast. They continue seeing the end result in their mind’s eye in the midst of roadblocks and detours.  Challenges quickly become opportunities. This applies so appropriately to the real estate industry. Those of us whom have survived the many ups and downs, ins, outs and cycles understand the significance of leaders keeping the vision clear.  We understand how legendary leadership is essential in an ever-changing, volatile industry.

To hold and fulfill the vision, legendary leaders set standards and non-negotiable goals while delicately learning to pivot.  In an industry that changes as rapidly as real estate, pivoting is critical.  While leaders may need to pivot, change their methods, and adapt to technology, communication trends and techniques, the vision does not change.

Legendry leaders are laser focused yet adaptable to needed modifications and changes.  They basically see the vision when others doubt and question.  They see the vision when others don’t. Especially when others don’t!  They hold on while others doubt, deny, back-peddle and quit.  Legendary leaders are relentless in their pursuit driven by clarity and transparency.

The final element of legendary leaders holding the vision is accountability.  Their desire to be held accountable and hold others accountable ensures that while the methods may be modified, collaboration and teamwork through accountability are vital on the path to success.

Lead, learn, leverage, and hold on to your vision.

Be a resource, not a sales pitch.

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Five Keys to Legendary Leadership

Category:KB Consulting Solutions

As we move into the height and thrill of the spring market, let us ever be reminded that a great, healthy market allows us to foster and develop bad habits.  (If you are in Coaching, how many times have you heard me say that?)

Over the next 5 weeks, rather than harp on the fundamental practices of real estate, our focus will be on the Five Keys to Legendary Leadership as modeled by “The Go-Giver Leader” by Bob Burg and John David Mann.

In this series we will focus on the following topics and carefully thread the message into our industry to ensure that each one is developing and executing the right habits to lead as a business owner in any market (not just the good one)!  These lessons will apply to every aspect of the industry and empower us to design, develop and engage in the right habits to sustain a profitable and productive business.

The series of messages will feature:

  • Hold the Vision:                        Lead with your mind.
  • Build Your People:                    Lead from the heart.
  • Do the Work:                              Lead from your gut.
  • Stand for Something:                Lead with your soul.
  • Practice Giving Leadership:    Great leadership is never about the leader.

Regardless of your role in the real estate industry, or as a business owner and leader in any industry, this series is brief and intentional in providing a message that you can learn, leave, and lead with!

Stay tuned as we lead to be a resource, not a sales pitch.

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Top 3 Ways to Build Your Best Business (part 3)

Category:KB Consulting Solutions

Don’t let a great market create bad habits!

In the midst of the chaos of the business, it’s important that we maintain great habits and sharpen the fundamental skills that sustain a solid, profitable business! Especially in times of a healthy housing economy with depleted inventory seriously impacting our business, we must stay true to solid fundamental skills and business practices.

In our final blog of this series, we want to focus and be intentional with crafting a story that best communicates (at a much higher level) the value you bring to the table as a professional.

What Sets You Apart…

        Why would someone hire you today?

Telling Your Story

The art of story-telling the secret to success in sales.

Historically, salespersons have often been seen, or at least perceived as, pushy, forceful and often less than authentic.  Much like our badger or a used car salesman.  You know (if you are old enough) the one in the polyester leisure suit with patent leather shoes.  Thank goodness, along with the shift in the market, there is a shift in the sales profession and the perception of what a professional REALTOR® should represent.  You are now the navigator, the expert and the guide.  Your role as a Consultant is to be knowledgeable, transparent and trustworthy.

You should always be a resource and not a sales pitch.  You should tell your story well while remembering you are there to serve their needs and serve from a place of knowledge and leadership about the market and market conditions.

Your presentations should be:

  • Compelling
  • Value Driven
  • Truthful

Identify your value and brand:

Why should I hire you today?  Right now, take a clean sheet of paper and write down the Top 10 reasons you are the REALTOR® of choice.  Ready, set, GO!

If you have no problem with this exercise…congratulations!  You are well on your way to mastery of your business and future.  IF you struggle…  Dig deep. It is imperative for you to own this.  Again, this is where a great market can introduce and allow bad habits.  Hints are listed below for you to create and live an unfair advantage.

Creating an Unfair Advantage

  • Create a ROI
    1. Your personal production vs. the competition
    2. Production #’s from your office
    3. Your market Snapshot
    4. Hometown experience/world of experience
    5. Designations, training, expertise

Keep in mind, we are “unique” in some way or another and that also applies to business.  Know your strengths and weave them into a powerfully compelling story that ensures you secure the business every time.

My best advice?  Always…be a resource, not a sales pitch.

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Top 3 Ways to Build Your Best Business (part 2)

Category:KB Consulting Solutions

Don’t let a great market create bad habits!


I love this time of year!  I am a sunshine, warm weather spirit!  It’s spring, the flowers are blooming, the trees budding, and the market is HOT!  Each spring, professional baseball players pack up and travel to Spring Training.  They relentlessly practice the fundamentals of the sport: throwing, catching, pitching, batting, running, sliding…basic skills.

As a professional REALTOR® we must do the same.  Keep our skills sharp and in fundamentally sound.  The best way? To develop and sustain strong, well-documented best practices:

Develop and Implement Systems

  • Plan Your Work; Work Your Plan
    • Vision – Define your Big WHY?
    • Business Plan
      • Business Snapshot: an overview of your source of sales and what potential business  you might be allowing to fall through the cracks
    • Review Activities vs. Results
      • Daily/Weekly/Monthly/Quarterly/Annually
    • Measure and Track
      • Source of Sales (Quarterly at a minimum)
      • What is working; what is not?
      • What do you need more of; what do you need less of?
        • 42% of Buyers were referred to an Agent
        • 12% of Buyers used a REALTOR® they previously worked with
        • 10%  of Buyers found their REALTOR® on a website
  • Listing Practices
    • Checklist: Listing to contract – what you do/how you do it
    • Set the agenda/schedule of the process
    • Set communication expectations to Seller with Seller
  • Buyer Practices
    • Consultation process
    • Checklist: Contract to Close
    • Set communication expectations to Buyer with Buyer
  • Additional Opportunities to Build a Strong Business
    • Open House
      • Open House in a Box
      • Get creative; Set amazing expectations
        • Food Truck
        • Ice cream vendor
        • Wine and Cheese Neighborhood Gathering
    • Switch properties
  • Door Knocking
  • FSBO Open House
  • Video Preview to Agents with similar sales

Create a Covenant

Imagine if you could double your listing inventory with one action.  What would that mean for your business?  What would it mean for your family?  Your wealth?  Your future?

Historically, our industry leaders and gurus have encouraged us to build a strong business by providing an extraordinary experience for the client and then asking for a referral.  This has empowered may professionals to build a phenomenal business and sell homes to generations of clients.  The practice has worked for years and continues to work in today’s market…yet timing is everything!

We propose that rather than asking for the referral (you know, friends, family and business associates who might be interested in a real estate transaction) at the closing table, that you ask for the referral at the time the listing agreement is signed, in the form of a “Covenant.”

“The typical Seller has recommended their agent twice since selling their home.

Thirty-three percent of Sellers have recommended their agent three or

more times since selling their home.”

— 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

Know Your Market

Own it.  You are the expert.  You are the navigator. The facilitator, the professional who Is driving the transaction.  To dominate your market and deliver exceptional service you must:

  • Know your numbers
    • Know and understand your Market Snapshot:
    • Market Stats—Year-over-Year; Month-over-Month (Per Price Point)
      • Absorption rate
      • Average days on market
      • List vs. sales price
  • Know your Office Stats
    • Year-over-Year; Month-over-Month
      • Volume
      • Per Person Productivity
  • Know Your Performance Stats
    • How do you measure against the market?
      • Average days on market
      • List vs. Sales Price
  • Know your Unique
    • What sets you apart from everyone in the market?

Designing and executing best practices within your practice moves you to a higher level of professionalism and help to create an entity with greater value and marketability!  Knowledge of your business provides power and security!

Move closer each day to be a resource, not a sales pitch.

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Top 3 Ways to Build Your Best Business (part 1)

Category:KB Consulting Solutions

Don’t let a great market create bad habits!

Across the nation, the Spring market is well underway!   Our healthy housing economy has resulted in depleted inventory and is significantly impacting our industry!  With mere weeks of inventory available in many markets, there are greater opportunities and challenges than we can imagine.

In the midst of the chaos of the business, it’s important that we maintain great habits and sharpen the fundamental skills that sustain a solid, profitable business!

For the next few weeks, we’ll explore one of each of our top choices to stay on top of your game and build your best business.


CommunicationHow do we communicate at a higher level?

 “Seek first to understand then be understood.”   Stephen Covey

To communicate at the highest possible level, it’s important to understand behavior styles –

Years of research have revealed that people operate with four distinctive ways of interaction or behavior styles:

  • Amiable
  • Expressive
  • Analytical
  • Driver

Do you know and understand your behavior style?  We believe self-discovery is a critical step in high-level communication. Seek first to understand how you think, react and make decisions.  Once you identify your own style, it’s easier to understand others.  Always remember, your job as a professional is to meet others where they are, and not drag them into where you are. (This is a critical step in your growth as a master communicator.  Should you desire additional assistance in exploring this concept. Feel free to contact me!)

Your goal is to speak in such a way that others want to listen to you. And listen in such a way that others love to speak to you.

Contact—Built to last

It’s important for you to know who you know…and know how to stay in touch with each through an effective and consistent marketing strategy.

Build your base!

Your database is your bank and has value beyond belief!  So, how is your database?

  • Is it marketable?
  • Is it transferable?
  • Who is in the database?
    • SOI-COI
    • Past Buyers and Sellers
    • Geo
    • Adoption (with warning)

Let’s take a few moments to explore the significance of the business you’ve built and why this is so critically important:

Reason #1

According to the 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers (as provided by NAR):

  • 90% of Sellers would use their REALTOR® again
  • 60% of Sellers used an Agent referred to them or one used previously
  • 53% of Sellers used the Agent who sold them the house
  • 89% of Buyers and Sellers would use their REALTOR® again
  • 12% of a REALTOR®’s business is repeat business
  • Average tenure in a home is 8-10 years!

Reason #2

Your database is saleable! If and when:

  • Your contact information is dimensional
  • Your contact information is “green”
  • You remain “Top of Mind”
  • Your database is relationshipdriven

Consistency—Who, what, when and how…

Now that we have established and have validation that your past buyer and sellers respect your performance enough that they would use you again, how do we make sure that over the next 8-10 years, they remember who you are and know how to find you?

  • Essential elements of consistency of farming
    • Budgetbuild it to be sustainable and consistent
    • Resourceswho and what will you use to stay in touch?
    • Delivery
      • Direct mail
      • Digital
      • Social
      • Video
      • Face-to-face visits
      • Client appreciation events
    • Frequency
      • Set it and forget it
      • Leverage and outsource
  • To reinforce, enrich, and sustain the relationship
    • Call them
    • Social Media touches

In a great market, we can serve many buyers and sellers and truly make dreams come true.  In a great market, we can be both productive and profitable.  Our caution is this:  A great market can also encourage bad habits and neglect the fundamental elements that made you successful.  Maximize these great times, build great habits, and develop a referral network that will sustain you in any market!

Be a resource, not a sales pitch!

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Improve Your People’s Quality of Life

Category:KB Consulting Solutions

As we approach the final entry in highlighting leadership from the perspective of Captain Michael Abrashoff and the US Navy’s USS Benfold, we look at what we do to improve the lives of others and leave a legacy.  What do we do today that might have a positive impact tomorrow?

The challenge with today’s world and society is that we are wired for a potential nervous breakdown.  Have you thought about that?  With technology surrounding us, our world has changed. The sense of urgency is heightened.  Some things are great…some not.

First, let’s celebrate one great thing about technology…for me.  I’ve never been good at math. Seriously, if you want me to have a major meltdown, traumatic experience…give me a word problem.  And I vividly remember a teacher saying to me, “You must learn this, you will never have a calculator at your fingertips.”  Well, thank you Apple, I guess we showed her, didn’t we!!

Now, let’s consider what is not great.  As previously discussed, the onset of such a high-tech world has taken the high-touch away.  Most had rather text than talk and we’ve potentially raised a generation of screenagers that don’t understand meaningful eye to eye contact, how to read body language or how to socially engage with others.   Let that sink in for a moment. Do you agree?

So, let’s consider applying what Captain Abrashoff found useful and successful in improving the quality of life of his sailors and consider applying to our industry.

Fun with Friends Makes a Happy Ship

As mentioned in previous blogs, real estate is a tough business. Those who win, play hard to do so.  Those who are full-time professionals, play wholeheartedly and too often get their hearts broken.  Therefore, your office and brand should be their refuge.

  • Your “ship” should provide a haven of safety and comfort
  • Celebrate victories publically and loudly
  • Provide opportunity to fail forward, learn, grow, and be successful
  • Seek to catch professionals doing things right and celebrate their activity

The First Priority: Good Food

If you’ve ever been in a workshop with me, you know I believe in food, fun and recognition.  I’ve seldom met a REALTOR® who was not an excellent cook; if not, they know the best eating establishments in the area.  Good food is the key to celebration of what went well and to heal what did not.

As a professional REALTOR®, this is also true for your sphere and all you serve.  Good food and recognition is a great way to show gratitude and appreciation.  As you build your budget, it is critical to acknowledge people with acts of kindness and if they are tasty, the experience is all the sweeter.  Pop-bys might include everything from a simple snack to something of meaning that speaks to your model and personality.  Some brilliant examples I’ve experienced with my Coaching Clients include:

  • Agent appreciation activities such as:
    • Bowling night with beer and brats
    • Family picnics
    • Ball games
    • Wine tasting events
  • Pop-bys have included:
    • Pecans with an amazing recipe for a pecan pie
    • Champagne or Cider (allowing them to choose either or both!)
    • Seasonal gifts with food themes

Entertaining your way to retention is the secret sauce of most. Watch your budget and allow sponsorship (as a Broker and an Agent) and celebrate and show gratitude.  A great way to give back!

Add to Your Crew’s Bottom Line

We believe the most effective way to do this is to provide consistent and effective training, coaching and education.  As the landscape shifts again and again, professionals are often concerned with “what’s coming next.” As a leader, we need to be serving as the “spotter” for what is coming their way.

Being overwhelmed is almost always a result of being underprepared. That is every professional REALTOR®’s fear. The fear is that the market will leave them behind.  To add to the bottom line of your agents, customers, and clients, know what is next.

In Heavy Times, Lighten Up

In addition to providing a safe haven, often we serve and provide strong shoulders.  Coaching and leading is about compassion, empathy, thinking fast on your feet, being prepared and most important, listening.  Listening aggressively.  Living in curiosity–not judgement.  We all stumble, many fall.  As a leader, you should be the safety net. And a strong shoulder. When times are hard and heavy, lighten things up as a trusted advisor, navigator and friend.  It’s a huge part of true, authentic leadership.  Recognize, you may be the only encouragement and support they have.

The Secret of Good Work? Good Play

My bet is that if you read the profile of a most successful REALTOR®, you see things like “work hard, play hard”, “play to win”, etc.  Success in this industry is extremely competitive. Day after day you work to put yourself out of business.

Pause and think about that for a moment. A successful sales person works relentlessly to close the deal and essentially put themselves out of business, get up the next day and hunt for the next opportunity to serve.  Hmmmm…..

If that is the description and definition of good work or a good day or a successful day, doesn’t it make sense that good play is essential?

Most professionals thrive and jump with joy for the opportunity to be recognized, celebrated, and acknowledged by their peers.  It is the responsibility of the leader to provide the opportunity.  Be creative and schedule events that allow everyone to shine.  Everyone.

The Captain of the USS Benfold celebrated his sailors as often as possible.  He worked diligently to catch others doing things well for the opportunity to congratulate, brag, and highlight their efforts and results.  We recommend you do the same.

To build and improve the lives of others, be a resource not a sales pitch.

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Generate Unity

Category:KB Consulting Solutions

This topic is so dear to my heart.  And it starts with a very simple question. Why on earth have we participated in “Diversity Training” for the past few decades?  What confused individual or group thought it would be a good idea to gather people of all kinds and discuss how we differ? Who on earth thought it would be good to start debates, inspire hatred and divide so many by pointing out why we might not get along?

Here is my next career venture. I want to host opportunities for these same individuals and groups to gather, discuss, explore and celebrate how we are ALIKE!  Now some of you may say, but Kathy, we already do that…I’m not so sure.

Although we are commanded (scriptures) and encouraged (society) to celebrate one another, something has gone wrong.  But not in my industry!!!

There are several things about my industry that makes me extremely proud.  Almost without exception, real estate breathes and lives unity. Within our associations, brands and brokerages, we are one.  We work collaboratively to provide housing for all.  There is commitment to serve homeowners and provide alternatives for those who cannot (for whatever reason) participate in home ownership and often put them on the right path to purchase, if that is what they desire.

The REALTOR® community as a whole “gives back” at an extraordinary level.  Keep in mind, when a licensed REALTOR® contributes to a cause, we are giving from commissions earned, not a salary, not a guarantee, not from fear, but from faith. Faith in each other and faith in you.

I have often said, a healthy tribe of REALTORS® greatly resembles a beautiful box of crayons.  Regardless of condition, shape or color, where they’ve come from, where they’ve been, or what they believe, each contributes their best.  As the most diverse group of individuals on the planet, we show up and work for others truly exemplifying servant leadership on many, many levels.

Because of our actions and results, we are the poster children for Unity Training.

Thank you for who you are, how you serve and for those who work to be a resource and not a sales pitch.

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Go Beyond Standard Procedures

Category:KB Consulting Solutions

This week’s leadership discussion pulls at my heart and gives such great energy.  How do we step out of standard and achieve extraordinary results?

Captain Michael Abrashoff references this in his book, It’s Your Ship.  He discusses that SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) as it is known is the Navy, is safe, proven and effective yet seldom generates outstanding results.

Think about that for a moment.  Standard operating procedure seldom generates outstand results.  So, how do we break out of “standard” in the real estate industry and achieve extraordinarily outstanding results?

Keep your Priorities in Focus

In the military, you must be combat ready at all times.  Constantly, your state of readiness may determine life or death consequences.  Believe it or not, the same is true in real estate.  The “life” of your business is defined and determined by your readiness.

Therefore, to keep your priorities in focus is a critical step.  It seems simple, to sell homes, right?  Well, as you know, simple is not always easy.  We encourage you to challenge standard and ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the objective? (And there may be multiple)
  • Within each objective, what is the priority?
  • What do I need to do today, to achieve the objective?
  • What can I do better?
  • What do I need more of, what do I need less of?

Stay Ahead of the Competition

Forward planning and gathering competitive intelligence provides tremendous advantages, thus opportunity.

  • What do you know about how the competition operates?
  • What value added resources will they provide to:
    • Hire and retain talent
    • Secure more marketable listings
    • Represent more buyers
    • Serve and grow an ever-changing industry

After gathering the information, evaluate your SOP and discern what adjustments and modifications you should make to stay ahead and moving forward to capture your share of the market.

Push the Envelope for Innovation

This one is tricky.

Words of caution:  Avoid shiny objects and “the next latest, greatest…” whatever.

Push and challenge the standard yet watch the ROI on each innovative initiative.

Track. Measure. Assess. Value. Measure again.

Volunteering Benefits Everyone

Healthy growth within your team or organization will result in a strong, contagious increase in the vibe. You will experience a shift within production and attitude. As the environment is stimulated and vibration increased, you will experience an amazing occurrence.   People will step up!  You will sense an enhanced ownership and positive attitude shift within the tribe.

Let the love flow!  As people step up and desire greater ownership and opportunity to celebrate success, allow them to find their space, volunteer and participate.  Celebrate their role and show gratitude for their ownership.  With this…you will move well beyond SOP!

Go for the Obvious. It’s Probably a Winner.

Sometimes the perfect solution is so obvious that we miss it. Especially in today’s climate where we feel we need to be harnessed into the latest technology solution.  What if…your solution is not cool, complex or expensive?  What if it is simple, efficient and right in front of you.

Simple is not often easy…but simplifying how we do business may ease your budget, efforts and return much greater results.

Don’t Work Harder. Work Smarter.

Going beyond standard procedure is not at all about working harder. It’s not more hours, more weekends and burning more energy. It’s about consistently evaluating what is being done, how it is being accomplished and most significantly how you can accomplish greater results, hit your objectives and achieve your goals.

Maybe it’s technology related, maybe it is not.

One of the many things that I absolutely love about this industry is the ever-changing landscape that we strive to champion every day.  There is unlimited opportunity each day to go beyond standard procedures, challenge status quo and derive extraordinary results.  Go!  Make change!

Always serve, and work to be a resource, not a sales pitch.

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Build Your People Up

Category:KB Consulting Solutions

In his book, It’s Your Ship, Captain Michael Abrashoff states that in his opinion, leadership is somewhat easy.  It’s mastering the art of doing simple things very well.  Okay, sit with that for a moment.

Leadership is mastering that art of doing simple things well.  May we add consistently and transparently?  When we do so authentically, we are strengthening our position by allowing and empowering others to do their job well. Once that occurs, not only does production improve, yet so does morale and energy.

As simple is not always easy, let’s highlight what it takes to lift people and truly build them up.

Little Things Make Big Successes

Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  This is what the Captain practiced each day and what we encourage you to incorporate into your daily mantra.  It’s the small things that have the greatest impact.  Hand-written notes, a handshake, taking one moment out of your busy schedule to be wholly present for those around you.  Imagine how that might significantly change and intensify each relationship that you have.

With technology pressing us to have less one-on-one time and more “instant” everything that is a text or a swipe, the art of heart to heart communication is at risk.  We challenge you to do one small act of kindness each day and be aware of the difference it makes.

Trust People. They Will Usually Prove You Are Right.

Like combat, business success is often about readiness. As discussed in previous Blogs, readiness is about listening more than commanding.  When you listen and trust people to do their job, their performance, ownership and overall command of your business might surprise you.  Allow competent people to do their job.  Encourage failing forward.  Encourage going out on a limb. Trust.

Newbies are Important. Treat Them Well.

The greatest gift we can give those new to the industry is the greatest path to success. We do that by not allowing assumptions and notions to rule. We do that by providing a solid, detailed learning path to provide a solid foundation of fundamental business and sales practices.  When we couple a solid learning path with accountability, we empower others to reach their goals.  I am personally convinced that the reason our churn rate is so high in real estate is not the fault of the apprentice…it’s the negligence of the Broker/Brokerage.   Too many talented individuals joined the right industry with the wrong company.

Be the Rising Tide That Lifts All Boats

Honestly, real estate can be a hard business. I know many (including myself) who have been battered and bruised not only by the state of the market, yet by those who surround us in what should be a non-hostile environment.  There is nothing worse than being blindsided by “friendly fire” within your own office or brand.  As a leader, the antidote for “friendly fire” lies in making each person you contact feel valued and appreciated. Even if you have to fake it.  Do it.  You just don’t know what the other individual may be going through.  Your positive attitude may indeed serve as the “rising tide” to lift their spirits and your reputation of service.

Expect the Best from Your Crew. You Will Get It.

One of the principles I try to lead by is #5 of Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  “Seek first to understand, then be understood.”  Encouraging people to participate at an open, meaningful level (and this includes co-workers, buyers, sellers, church members, students, family and friends) is to understand and appreciate them as individuals.  Transparently.

As a Coach, nothing is more moving and inspirational than helping someone to identify and own their big “Why.”  To discover not only the motivation, yet who will be and how they will be impacted by the success of the professional is no less than amazing.  Dig deep.  Allow others to set incredible expectations and plan to celebrate when success is achieved.

Build A Strong, Deep Bench

We must consistently work to serve the next generation.  Whether it be the next generation of buyers and sellers, Realtors®, leaders or staff.

In real estate, it is wise to constantly build the team and keep your sales force strong by nurturing your next generation of stars.  Train them up and hold them accountable.  Instill courage and confidence.  No one did this better than Dean Smith of University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill (sorry, got to let a little of my light blue pride leak out) as Coach of the Tarheels.

Coach Smith was famously known for his “Blue Team,” which was his second string.  He would masterfully take his entire first string off the court and reload with his bench.  Sometimes it was an act of discipline (which was never pretty), yet more often, it was to simply park the first string to provide the opportunity to rest their legs, catch their breath and absorb a bit of coaching wisdom. This act of sweeping change caused amazing reactions and sent strong messages:

  • To the first string, that you can be replaced in one blow of a whistle
  • To the bench, that you are appreciated and competent
  • To each individual on the bench, that they are potentially Carolina’s next star
  • To the opponent, to be prepared for potential dominance by a well-rested first string

Now keep In mind, it was not the expectation of the Blue Team to build a huge lead, yet rather to hold the opponent at bay.  To run the court and exhaust the opponent while the first string rested.  Yet each player on the hallowed Blue Team understood, he was next.  Their position on the team ensured them that Coach Smith had confidence and trust that they were worthy of first string action at any given moment.

Your business model should include a “Blue Team.”  Leadership delays the process, but Realtors® are constantly moving.  Think about that for a moment.  Are you nurturing and investing in tomorrow’s leaders and building your bench?

Counsel Continuously—and Honestly.

We’ve referenced four great leaders in this Blog.  Maya Angelou, Steven Covey and Dean Smith and of course, Michael Abrashoff.  One common trait and characteristic of all three is their willingness and commitment to invest in others.  Investment in the whole person.  Listening aggressively, advising compassionately and communicating authentically with great clarity.

Build your people up.  Be a resource, not a sales pitch.

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Take Calculated Risks

Category:KB Consulting Solutions

Ahhh…. I must admit, I love this leadership lesson.  I must admit, I love those who are willing to crawl out on a limb and risk all for the chance to improve the cause!   Yet unfortunately, in many industries, taking a risk can put your career in danger.  However, an organization with the objective to remain alive, vital and strong should praise and promote risk-takers and those willing to speak up.  Even and especially if they fail once in a while.  Show me someone who has never make a mistake, and I’ll show you someone who is not willing to do a darn thing to improve the industry or the organization.

Captain Michael Abrashoff provides great insight and wisdom from his view as Leader of the US Navy’s USS Benfold.  Let’s see how we might apply his principles of leadership to our industry:

Bet on the People Who Think for Themselves

If you only give orders, then all you will attract and retain are order-takers.

There is such power in that simple statement.  How do you want to run your organization? Do you want to be known as the Leader who gave others a chance to shine, build a legacy and created better ways with greater results?  If so, get out of the way.

Here is what I have learned in my career and life.  It might be a challenge to find someone who will out-work me, yet it has never been a challenge to find talent smarter than me. The challenge has always been for me to get out of the way and allow their brilliance to shine and create a new path.

True growth was achieved when I realized that my way is not the only way, and absolutely not always the best, most efficient or effective way to get the job done.  That wisdom was only gained by finding talent with the ability to think and the courage to take the actions needed to get the work done!

Take A Chance on A Promising Sailor

With the churn rate in our industry being 80% (for clarity—only 2 out of 10 REALTORS who come into the industry make it), you can see why leaders of organizations are hesitant to invest time, energy and finances in those new to the industry.  We believe the key word in this equation is “promising.”

Set your filter high in discerning what talent looks like.  Use great interview questions to discover hints to success based on previous activities and experiences.  Once you’ve make that decision, give them your best.  Invest, mentor, and for goodness sake, hold them accountable to their actions.  Much of our industry is activities based.   Look for those with a passion and appetite to hunt, not a tendency to gather.

If a Rule Doesn’t Make Sense, Break It

Please exercise caution here.  We are not referring to any activity that will jeopardize your license, risk your career or reputation.  What we mean is simple.  Just because “that’s the way we’ve always done it,” does not make it best.  Challenge process and procedures.  Look for new ways to serve and represent your industry while delivering extraordinary service and an unforgettable experience to the consumer.  Whether that be your agents, your buyers or your sellers, work to create an opportunity to build your business through referrals and amazing relationships.

If A Rule Doesn’t Make Sense, Break It Carefully

Carefully, methodically and measurably.  Document what works and what does not work.  Strive to always better yourself, your business and the experience you deliver.  With over 85% of consumers reporting that they would use us again and less than 20% doing so…what are we missing?  We are not following the rules of engagement and follow up.  How do we do that?  One relationship at time with great systems and consistency.

Break apart the rules of engagement and put them back together with consistency and intention to be their Broker/Agent until you are their Broker/Agent…

Above all, be a resource, not a sales pitch.

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