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Give Yourself a ‘Whack’ on the Side of the Head


My dad used to say when my sister and I were behaving badly he thought we needed a a�?whack up the side of the heada��. Dona��t worry. He didna��t actually do it, but we did pay attention when he said it, because we knew it was time to stop, look, and listena��and change our behavior! Ita��s time, I think, for brokers to get a few a�?whacks up the side of the heada��, too.

Why Listen Up Now?

You have heard many of the ideas here before. Businesses in other industries have embraced these business concepts in the past decade. But, brokers simply have not adopted them. Why should brokers listen and take action now? Because times have changed enough that we cana��t afford to keep persevering in old ways and expect to make the profits we deserve for the risks we take and the hard work we do.

Small actions finally create a a�?critical massa�� and a trend.

In his book, Microtrends, Mark Penn identified 75 microtrends sweeping the nation. One of them he calls a�?southpaws unbounda��. Since Ia��m a lefty, I read that trend with interest, because I was one of a few of those children of my generation who learned to write properly with my left hand. When I was about four, my mother, a schoolteacher, taught me to write, and let me use my dominant left hand. When she found out schools were forcing kids to become right-handed, she asked my kindergarten and grade school teachers to allow me to write with my left hand.

Now, though, the trend of making all lefties into writing with the right hand (or at least trying) is reversed. According to Penn, the number of left-handed people has doubled in two generations.A� Why? The idea of writing with your a�?natural handa�� has reached critical mass. Parents are encouraging their children to use the naturally dominant hand. Schools are now teaching left or right hand writing. What does that trend mean to business? A wealth of opportunities to create left-handed gadgets. What does that mean to the lefty? No conflict in the brain about natural dominance. No failure in school because we couldna��t translate the right-hand directions. More confidence in our own abilities. This trend may seem very a�?microa�� to you, but, to a lefty, ita��s huge!

(My mom, who worried a lot about what people think, would feel very pleased that her bravery in insisting I stayed left-handed in school was vindicated).

A a�?Whacka�� for Brokers and Recommendations

As with all adopted practices, several principles and actions come together to create a a�?critical massa��. Below is my observation about one of our very important traditional business practices that has become ineffective, due to consumer dissatisfaction, business expectations, much more education, mass communication, and market conditions.

Whack: Recruiting can no longer be thought of as an a�?on accidenta�� occurrence.

In a fast market, everybody wanted to sell real estatea��and, most of them could sella��a bit. Then, the market turned and it seemed no one was selling real estate! As the market picks up, ita��s our opportunity to change the way we recruit and select, so we wona��t experience that lack of sales to that degree ever again. To change our businesses for the bettera��forevera��we need to find agents who will actually develop careers. That means brokers must search for capable agents on purpose (just like agents must lead generate on purpose).

In the next blog, I’ll make several suggestions about how to ‘whack yourself on the side of the head to recruit on purpose–and double your profits.

Question: What ‘whacks’ do you see that brokers need to give themselves now? What ‘whacks’ are you giving yourself?

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