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Archive for real estate team

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?

question mark collageIn my eBook for prospective and new agents, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School, I address several choices they need to make. I know some of these choices feel ‘safe’. But, are they really good for you? Here are pros and cons to each of these possibilities.

Managers: Use this information to counsel your indecisive agents, whether they’re new or not!

Joining a Team

As you interview, you may be invited to join an office team. That means youa��ll be essentially working for a a�?rainmakera��, a lead agent who generates a�?leadsa�� for those on his team. Of course, those leads cost money, and the rainmaker takes about half the income from the team member for the lead generation and other services.

Teaming helps agents obtain leads as they start up business. While agents earn the most in commission dollars when they generate their leads themselves, a new agent may need to pay for someone elsea��s lead generation to begin to develop business. There is a downside to this approach, howA�ever. Agents can become complacent and sit and wait for leads. They wona��t generatea��until they get tired of paying for someone elsea��s leads.

A�Positives: You may be able to jump-start your career with leads given to you.

A�Watch out for: Be careful to choose a rainmaker who really has enough good leads to distribute to you. Sit in on her team meeting to see how she manages the team. Find out if and how the rainA�maker will train you. Find out how much turnover there has been on the team. Find out whether you can sell and list houses outside the teama��and how much the rainmaker would charge you if you did. Read the contract the rainmaker asks you to sign and be sure you understand the consequences of your involvement. Evaluate how good a leader that rainmaker is. Some rainmakers are great salespeople, but lousy leaders, and so their team never a�?jellsa��. Most team leaders ultimately expect their team members to generate their own leads, in addition to team leads. If you cana��t meet the rainmakera��s expectations, you are terminated. Be willing and ready to take the responsibilities of team member seriously.

Become an Assistant

Some agents have the bright idea (they think) to become an assistant to a�?learn the businessa��. I have seen a few assistants become good real estate agents. But, herea��s the rub: The good assistant likes to do a�?tasksa��. Remember the information about behavioral profiles? The assistant profile is task-oriented, while the salesperson profile is people-oriented. So, while the assistant criticizes the agent for not doing paperwork, the agent is out in the field selling houses. (The assistanta��s job is paperworka��..). The agent and assistanta��s skills are supposed to complement each other, not duplicate each other.

If you become an assistant, youa��ll learn the paperwork side of the business. If you have the right profile and background, you may become very good at it. But, the more you love being an assistant, the more you will hate selling real estate!

Big idea: Assistants see a different side of the business, and see what the agent isna��t doing well (paperwork and follow-up). What they dona��t see is the people-interactiona��which the agent does exceedingly well. So, assistants think that the business is a task/technical one. Thata��s the wrong emphasis.

Start the Business Part-Time

Wea��ve already discussed the part-timer in another part of this book. If youa��re considering that, I have important questions to ask you:

What will compel you to change your emphasis from your present job to selling real estate?

What will compel you to do the hard things in real estatea��lead generationa��when you have a safety net of your other job?

How will you have the 2-4 hours each day to lead generate? How will you have the time to show homes and market listed properties?

Do you have the guts to set a drop-dead date to change to full-time real estate?

Don’t leap into any of these positions until you really, really look. Too often, agents are choosing these positions because they are afraid of–or don’t want to do the work of a real estate agent. Find out the ‘why’ behind the rationale, and help your agents make the best choices for themselves.


A�Use this Tool to Save Time and Inform Prospective/New Agents

Managers: You don’t have time to spend hours educating those prospective agents! Instead, share my new eBook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School. (You need to have this information, too)!