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Got a minute? If you're a busy manager, that's about all you have. That's why Carla Cross, management coach, speaker, and author, has created this blog just for you, with ready-to-use tips to master management through people.

Archive for standards

hands of keysFrom working with dozens of real estate owners and managers, and as my position as a CRB (Certified Real Estate Broker) instructor for twelve years, I’ve had an opportunity to see exactly what makes a company profitable–in the long run. So, this month, I’m going to share what I’ve found to be the critical pieces of the puzzle that lead to sustainable profits. I’ll spotlight the 4 foundations you have to have to be exceptionally profitable–no matter your economic model. Actually, I’ve come to these foundations by observing how companies fail to be profitable over a period of time without these four foundations. In each of these blogs, I’ll spotlight one foundation. The first was

Vision: The Missing Component in Most Business Plans (and in most real estate offices!)

The second, which I’m spotlighting today, is standards.

How did I learn about the importance of standards? As a lifelong pianist, I learned from a very early age that I had to play up and beyond a certain standard to get into master groups, to get a great piano teacher, to win competitions, and to be awarded a degree in piano performance. Standards are simply a part of the competitive action-based environment (like real estate sales!).

What are Standards?

What are standards? It’s the least you’ll put up with. You may call them ‘minimums’. Now, some real estate offices have standards/expectations like

1. You must take floor time

2. You must be a Realtor

3. You must wear clean clothes and drive a clean car.

Those are all nice. But, have you ever seen a failing agent take floor time? Be a Realtor? Of course. Too often, we establish standards of behavior for our convenience as managers–not to assure we have productive agents!

The most important standards to put in place are

production standards

I Don’t Need Standards: My Economic Model is Different

You may say, “I don’t have to have production standards. I’m a desk fee company.” Sure, that works fine when the market is good. But, what happens to all those fees when the market turns down? You bet. Your desk fees shrink and your non-collectible fees go up dramatically! Or, you’re a high agent count company with narrow profit margins. Sure, that’s fine too as long as the market carries you. But, if you’re finding it hard to recruit great people, or if your market turns down, you’re in the same boat as the desk fees.

The bottom line: Having productive agents is important to your long-term profitability, no matter your economic model.

Standards Establish What You’re Like as a Company

Describe your agents. What are they like? Would you describe them as productive professionals? Are they doing enough transactions apiece that the public thinks your company is serving the public well? Or, do you have a majority of low-producing part-timers–which, even though we don’t want to admit it, tarnish our company image.

How many sales and listings sold are expected to stay in your office? If you don’t know, neither do they! So how can you expect them to go to work, when work is whatever they’d like to do that day—real estate sales or not! Before you can expect your training or coaching to work, you must establish productivity standards. Armed with those standards, you and they know what’s expected. Now, you have a baseline from which to coach. Your consumer also has a baseline of expectations from your company.

Standards Establish Pride in Belonging

Which organizations are you proud to belong to? Why? Do you think your agents are proud to belong to your company? If so, why? Standards say ‘you’re special’. Standards say that you believe you can develop that agent to his/her fullest potential. If you don’t have established, held-to production standards, you aren’t protecting your long-term profitability.

In my next blog, I’ll discuss the third foundation you need to create a profit foundation that won’t waver even when the market tanks–and it will again!

LM CoverDo You Know the Steps to Implementing Standards?

Many times we avoid setting standards because we are either afraid to, or don’t know how to do it in a way that brings all the agents with you. In our one-on-one customized Leadership Mastery Coaching, Carla takes you through the steps and helps you implement standards so you have confidence in the process and the agents are pleased you’re taking leadership. Find out more with a complimentary consultation.

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