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Archive for interdepentent

Do you tell everyone that your agents are a ‘team’. Really? Read what it means to be a ‘team’, and some of the steps to take to get there–and the benefits.

‘Team’–or, “You’re on your Own”

In real estate, for years we said,

“We don’t need to think of ourselves as a team. We’re independent contractors. We work alone.”

That perspective has certainly changed in the last few years, and it’s a continuing trend. Why? Because the challenges are so much greater. The needs for specialists is so much greater. Both managers and agents are learning the benefits of a synergystic team. And, for managers, it gives them an opportunity to stop that old ‘top-down’ management style and step into participative management

Who Has Supported You in your Life?

Think of a time in your life when you accomplished something noteworthy. Were you completely alone? Or was someone with you? If someone was involved in your accomplishment, think of how that person was involved. Did he or she help you get that done? Taught you the skills to do that job? Encouraged you?

That exercise always elicits smiles, warm memories and enthusiasm. And no one with whom I’ve done that exercise has ever said that he or she accomplished something important alone. Wow–you were a part of a ‘team’!

Management tip: Try that in your real estate office. See what kind of response you get. Then hold a discussion using the points in this and my next blog.

No One Succeeds Alone

What about talented people? Can they master skills alone? The answer is no. (I said ‘master’, not slop through……). Since I have been a musician from age four, I thought about my musical experiences and how much musicians can accomplish alone–or not. I concluded as I thought about my musician friends, that, no one could succeed to a high level without outside coaching.

As I grew up, I watched innately talented musicians get stuck. Why? They could take themselves only so far without some coaching. (You would call that ‘playing by ear’ For example, many found they had to learn to read music to achieve their goals. Why? It is impossible to learn a Beethoven sonata by ear–accurately! It is simply too long. I don’t know anyone who taught him- or herself to read music alone. And that just the basics.

We musicians know that we can’t hear ourselves play or sing well enough to correct all our mistakes. We tend to get into bad habits, and keep repeating them. We need a coach with a great ear to help us refine our performances. And the need for coaching never ends, as long as we want to maintain levels of performance.

Who Is Supporting You to Master Real Estate Management?

It is time to acknowledge that none of us can master real estate alone. How did we ever create the folklore that we had to work alone in our endeavors to achieve accomplishments in real estate? I can’t think of a skill that anyone can master where the practititioner had no teaching, coaching, mentoring or encouragement.

We Damaged the Real Estate Industry….

By perpetuating this folklore, we have damaged the real estate industry. We did the easy, expedient and inexpensive thing: We told our sales associates that this was an an ndependent business–that they were in business for themselves. (We are, to great extent, but that doesn’t assume we hve the SKILLS to run those businesses!) We trashed our training programs. We forced our sales associates to seek outside coaching and consulting.

What we got was a very uneven standard of performance, and we created adversarial relationships among sales associates and between sales associates and managers. What we allowed were uncommon goals, more competition, less cooperation–and we did it with a bunch of people who already are highly competitive. We threw out leadership and what we got was anarchy, in some cases.

Leadership Steps

Start coaching your sales associates again. Help them discover that no one achieves alone. Then start building a team atmosphere. What do I mean by a team? Not what you might think. Don’t get up in front of your sales associates and say, “We will accomplish more together as a team.” So now we are a team. That’s ludicrous. And yet, that’s exactly why so many teamwork concepts fail. Teamwork is not an announcement. It is a process–a process that requires skills that many managers, and sports coaches, have not mastered.

What Exactly is a ‘Team’?

A team is not a rah-rah group of people drawn together in a power play. A team isn’t a social group. A team isn’t a group of people who agree to do things the manager’s way, or whoever is the a boss– such as the dominant sales associate. A team is two or more people working on a common task, focused on mutually agreed to and mutually beneficial results.

You can think of the team acronym, “Together Everyone Accomplishes More.”

What do you think? What’s your experience in a ‘go it alone’ atmosphere, versus a team atmosphere?

Man-Walking-Up-Stairs-to-GlobeDropping 1979 practices:A�The evolution and why you need to know.

This blog series is taken from an article I just wrote on the history and future for real estate. But, it’s not just a look from afar. It’s an actual history of how we agents operated and how companies encouraged how we practiced real estate. But, as real estate has changed, have agents (and companies) changed their approach to real estate sales? Here’s theA�third blog entry.

Dependent on the Company for Successa��or our Own Efforts?

Stephen Covey, in his wonderful book, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, relates three phases of a persona��s growth: Dependent, Independent, and Interdependent. As kids, wea��re certainly reliant on our parents for everythinga��wea��re dependent. Then, as teen-agers, we get to drive, and, voilaa��.we become (or like to think we become) independent (and we think we know it all). Finally, as we mature, we find that going it alone is tougher than teaming with othersa��that we actually dona��t know everythinga��and that othersa�� support, love, and consideration are supremely important to human beings. The same can be said of the evolution of companiesa��and, in fact, real estate companies.

The Evolution to Todaya��and on to Tomorrow

You can imagine that the dependent type of company brand strength would be challengeda��and it was. In the 80a��s the a�?independenta�� real estate concept turned the business upside down. Agents had learned that they actually have much more control over their own businesses than theya��d thought. They didna��t feel they needed to be managed like employees. They were ready to create and drive their own businesses and spend their own money to do it. Many thrived in this environment, but some didna��t have the business skills to take over and run their businesses like businesses.

The Internet Took away the Inventory a�?Secretsa��

One powerful a�?secreta�� agents had over their clients is that the clients didna��t have access to listing information. The MLS sure wanted to keep it that way. But, with the Internet, all those a�?secretsa�� disappeared. Agents had to ask themselves, a�?Whata��s my value? If my value isna��t in knowing all about those homes (and the client doesna��t), what value do I bring?a�? Savvy agents realized their value lay in personal service, and the knowledge and judgment honed over years of real estate practice. So, we agents had to pivot from a�?product-centrica�� to a�?agent-centrica�� businesses. Not all agents made the pivot.

Time warp check: Are you able to clearly articulate your value to the client in todaya��s work environment?A�

Todaya��and Tomorrow; Where are We Going?

In the past 20+ years, the emergence of the a�?interdependenta�� real estate company has made this evolution go to the third round. Simply stated, all the systems and models of the company are set up to create a team atmosphere and to optimize each persona��s potential. Easier said than done! The brand takes a back seat to each agenta��s development.

In the next blog, we’ll look further into the interdependent model, and what it means to you as a practicing real estateA�professional.

Big lesson: No matter the model you work in, you must evolve your business to meet the needs of today’s real estate climate.