Category: Principals

michael-sheargold-real estate-coaching-training
Oct
08

Standing out Online: Social Media 101

Social media has fast become a powerful tool for businesses operating in a society that largely handles business online. According to a 2018 Sensis social media report almost eight in 10 people (79%) now use social media. Key factors driving this trend are increasing mobile access and older use adoption, so rest assured this is a figure that will continue to grow.  

The Real Estate industry as a whole, I believe, have a long way to go to capitalise on the role social media plays in consumer communication. Many business owners I talk to say they simply don’t “get” social media. My response is: you don’t need to know how it works, just utilise it in a way to build momentum and effectiveness. It is easier than you think.

Visibility creates credibility

What are you currently doing from a social media point of view? Don’t be embarrassed to say nothing – you’re certainly not alone! But by the end of this article I want you to be open to creating a social media plan – something you can implement this month. It’s no longer an option not having visibility in this space because it is likely that some of your customers will want to get information from you and about you via a social network.

So buckle up and enjoy the social media ride that is taking the world by storm.

Understanding social media

At a basic level, social media can be understood by knowing the channels, dos and don’ts and learning the language of the platform. Here’s a snapshot of each:

  1. Top channels of social media
  •        Facebook remains the largest social media channel with 94% of social media users on the platform.*
  •        Visual Platforms continue to grow in popularity, with Instagram seeing a 15 point jump in users from 31% t0 46%*
  •        18% of social media users use LinkedIn*
  1. The dos and don’ts of social media.

Dos:

  •        Use a Mix of professional and personal updates, 4-7 times per week
  •        Engage with your followers (like, comment, tag, share information)
  •        Provide value with images, articles, market knowledge

Don’ts:

  •        Rant or be negative
  •        Overshare personal information
  •        Ignore comments and likes
  •        Use bad grammar
  1.  Mastering the language

Remember it’s social media, not business media so anything you post should reflect that. Other terms you need to be across:

  •        Like – I enjoyed your content
  •        Status – allows you to post updates
  •        Tag – identifies a person

Social media strategy

A social media strategy defines how your organisation will use social media to achieve its communications aims, and the supporting platform and tools needed to achieve this. It can be broken down in to five main focal points:

  1. Establish goals
  •        What do you want to get out of social media?

–        Deepen existing relationships?

–        Highlight your competencies?

–        Stay on top of mind?

  1. Narrow your focus – pick two or three channels to master. As a minimum I would recommend focusing on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

  2. Develop a content plan
  •        Create a repository of content that:

–        Provides value

–        Encourages engagement

–        Builds trust

  1. Schedule/interact/monitor
  •        Set aside 10 minutes every morning and afternoon for social media
  •        Set a goal – engage with one person each day on a social media platform

  1. Track and measure how you’re going
  •        Take time to look at your reach, engagement and growth per month

Social media has tremendous value for anyone looking to build awareness of their business, foster prospective customers and establish themselves as an expert in their industry. For further information about how you can make social media work for your business or to request a copy of our Social Media Strategy Guide, contact the team on 1300 273 785.

https://www.sensis.com.au/about/our-reports/sensis-social-media-report


michael-sheargold-real estate-coaching-training
Oct
08

The future of real estate: consumer choice and customer experience

Having worked in the real estate industry for more than 20 years, Leanne Howard knows a thing or two about the importance of customer experience (CX). In her current role as Head of Growth and Client Engagement at RERN, Leanne has provided valuable insights in to the future of real estate and the role CX will play in the industry.

I sat down with Leanne to find out more.

The real estate industry has faced heavy criticism in the past when it comes to creating good client experiences, why do you think that is?

I really think it all comes down to being able to offer consistency. As an industry we are not traditionally good at that. A client’s experience is very much dependant on either the agent or property manager they deal with. This means it can vary from brand to brand, office to office or agent to agent. I’m yet to see a real estate brand that offers consistent, exceptional on-brand experience which astounds me given the cost of poor performance can be considerable!

What is the cost agencies will pay by not offering exceptional service?

In a nutshell loss of income – from sales, from referrals and from management fees.

A 2016 study conducted by CoreLogic found that 62% of tenants would never recommend their agency and 39% of landlords would not sell through their agency. Here you have both sides of the client base saying they would not use or recommend their property managers services. These stats are, and should, be really concerning. We’re talking about more than $3.5 billion in commissions that are up for the taking so we have to take that extremely seriously. We need to do better.

Do you think CX is an area that franchise owners are seriously why/not?

I think more and more business owners are understanding that people don’t put up with bad service anymore. Moreover, they are seeing the benefit of offering exceptional service to clients. The emergence of low cost competitors have prompted everyone to look at their offering more closely.  But what we really need to aim for is creating a consistent customer journey, not just a once-off great experience. You want your brand to strive to be like an Apple, Disney or Four Seasons – not matter where you go you will experience a consistent customer experience with these brands. No one in real estate is doing this yet.

So, what can business owners do to become more like an Apple or Disney?

  1.  Map out a journey: from initial contact right through to post transaction. What does the journey look like for your clients?       How do you make it easy for them to work with you? How do you surprise and delight them at every point in that journey? Most importantly, how do you show consistency?
  2. Benchmark: look around. Who is setting the benchmarks in the industry? Who are doing the best opens? Settlement gifts? In-office? Find out who is the best of the best and then make that your new standard.
  3. Show empathy: in real estate you are dealing with someone’s biggest asset. It’s their home, their shelter and the safest place in the world for them so it’s important to understand that. How in the customer journey do you acknowledge and show empathy towards that?

Two great examples:

Di Jones: Every customer who sells or buys through Di Jones gets eight hours of free packing with a packing company. A fantastic example of how they have looked at the pain point (of moving) and created a solution to make the journey easier for their customers.

Harcourts: When people buy a home one of the first things they want to do is show it off to family, friends of even get a few trades in. The challenge with this is that there often is a 6-8 week settlement period and most agents won’t give you access to the home. As part of the vendor contract, Harcourts now include a provision that allows the buyer a three hour visit to the home in the first two weeks after exchange!

Those are the sorts of things that are making things easier and creating memorable experiences for clients.

What us the best way to train your staff to provide exceptional service?

I would say rather than training, the most important thing you can do is work with your team to design the client journey. Look at all of your touch points, how do you enhance these? Some of the solutions will be automated and some will rely on support staff or agents but ensure everyone is across what their role in the journey is.

I would also suggest to have a list of office promises i.e. this is what we always do with clients, this is what we never do. Include in that a ‘no negotiable’ list – i.e. we always return calls or emails within 24 hours.  

How can agencies track their success in CX?

There are multiple ways to track your success in the CX space.

  •        Repeat and referral rates give you a great indication of how well you do
  •        For property management you might look at the longevity of the client and repeat or referral business
  •        Adoption of other services ie loan services, property management
  •        Net promoter score system ie Real Satisfied – a survey is sent after every transition for instant feedback
  •        Online comments or testimonials

In addition to all of those measurement tools, I am a huge fan of creating an advisory board. Gather current or previous clients together once or twice a year and find out from them how you can do better.

 For further information about the direction of CX the vital role it could play for your agency, contact the team on 1300 273 785.

 


michael-sheargold-real estate-coaching-training
Sep
26

Strategising You Inc.

In today’s business world, everyone is under pressure to get more done, to work more efficiently and increase productivity.

But how do we make sure we are getting the best “bang for our buck” when it comes to our own productivity? The answer is not to work more, rather work more intelligently and to put strategies in place that are designed to achieve more with your time and resources.

In other words: we need to Strategise You Inc.

Where do we start?

We are all familiar with the 80:20 rule in terms of results and activities whereby 20% of your activities will drive 80% of your results.

The issue I see with this concept is that often we focus on the lower value activities and put off the bigger or more important activities. Doing this time and time again will not produce the right result. Instead, I believe we need to add time in to the mix.

Afterall besides energy, time is the single most important thing you can put in to your business.

If we mix the equation around and put 80% of our time into the 20% of activities that produce 80% of our results,  all of a sudden you are looking at a far more effective strategy that could make a real difference to your productivity.


80% Time = 20% Activities = 80% Results


Results Profit Zone

We can also start to incorporate this new shift of thinking in to our results profit zone. The results profit zone is underpinned by the idea that the more dollar productive you are, the better results you will produce. Traditionally agents would immediately bring this back to listing and selling. But what if we shifted our thinking to managing our pipeline and generating leads? I feel like I need to insert a footnote here! I’m not suggesting listing and selling aren’t important, but with the right mix of dollar productive activities and appropriate measures in place, listing and selling should naturally flow. What I am saying is that if you also dedicated some of your time to pipeline and lead generation, all of a sudden the increased number of qualified meetings and potential listings will be there for you to capitalise on. It’s food for thought.


Short-term $ producing activities vs medium-term

Working more dollar-productive hours are critical to boosting team productivity. Sometimes the success of these activities is dependant on the market. For example, if the market was in momentum some agencies could manage by only undertaking short-term dollar producing activities such as:

  •      Listing appointments
  •      Buyer/seller calls
  •      Seller meetings
  •      Open homes
  •      Private showings
  •      Auctions
  •      Negotiations

These activities all rely on keeping commitment to people so are much easier to achieve. On the other hand, when the market is not in momentum (such as now), medium-term dollar producing activities become more critical.

These activities include:

  •      Training and role playing
  •      Prospecting
  •      Networking
  •      Nurturing

With these activities, results are not always obvious instantaneously but will certainly get you moving forward and with momentum down the track.


Strategising You Inc.

The most important thing to remember when formulating a strategy to boost your productivity is that you need to measure productivity in terms of how much you accomplish – not how busy you are.

hile there are certain activities we must do each day if we want to be successful in business, it is also good to think outside the box and take a longer-term sustainable view as opposed to a short-term fix.

A great line I like to use that I believe perfectly sums this up: “Don’t freak out when you haven’t got a listing, get excited when you have 10 in your pipeline”!

For further assistance in creating your productivity strategy contact check out Drive Performance – www.driveperformance.com.au

 


michael-sheargold-real estate-coaching-training
Sep
25

Moving with Momentum


On the sporting field we often talk about teams gaining momentum and by that we usually mean they are on a winning streak, unstoppable even.


The same rings true in business.

When you have team momentum, everything seems to be in great working order, targets are met, employees are productive, customers are happy and spectacular results are realised.

So how do you create momentum in your business?

And, perhaps more importantly, how can you measure its success?


Creating Momentum

In any industry businesses are faced with external and internal market factors. External market factors are things that we need to be aware of, but ultimately are out of our control. Internal market factors are things we can (and should!) have some influence over. Real Estate is no exception.

In order to gain momentum, it is imperative that you have clarity around what it is you are trying to achieve. Lack of clarity leads to confusion and a confused mind? Well, it stalls. Not from laziness or lack of skill, just because it doesn’t know which direction to head.

To capitalise on what you can control and propel your business forward, you need:

  1. a) a clear and concise strategy
  2. b) to know what your workload looks like and;
  3. c) know exactly what you need to do to focus on your role.

Once you have clarity around these three areas, you will find it much easier to gain momentum in your work and ultimately in your business.


Measuring Momentum

In the past, real estate agents have fallen into the trap of measuring their level of momentum using a simplistic formula: What did I list and what did I sell?

While these are important momentum indicators, the concept of momentum is so much more than that.

My suggestion is to create 3-5 momentum indicators that you can apply to your work. If you regularly achieve these indicators, you will know that you are on an upward trajectory.

Two great examples include:

  1.     Have I had three qualified face to face meetings with qualified buyers/sellers per day? If you can say yes to this, that is a total of     15 for the week – a huge momentum indicator!
  2.     If someone were to come and ask you for your next 10 listings, could you provide them straight away? Not three, but 10?!

Momentum indicators are a really important tool that will help you and your team focus on what is important to keep the business moving forward.


Another practical exercise you can adopt to ensure greater momentum in your business is to apply the 5 E’s – energy, empathy, expertise, enthusiasm and effort.


These five areas are critical to achieving that renewed sense of energy and productivity.

  • Energy – people buy your energy so don’t store it, use it.
  • Empathy – step in to your clients shoes. Understand what they are trying to achieve and their associated feelings and work out how you can play a role in easing any pressure.
  • Expertise – ensure you have unparalleled insight and expertise. The two times you are going to be asked to demonstrate this will be in listing and pricing. How are you going to showcase your skills in these areas to stand out from competition?
  • Enthusiasm – different from energy. Energy is what you bring to play. Enthusiasm is how excited are you to bringing this property to market? Clients will judge you on this.
  • Effort – there is no point in having the energy with no effort behind it.

Momentum is the key to success of any business but it doesn’t happen by chance. It requires an application of process, planning and commitment.  

For further information on how you can enhance your business through momentum, see Drive Performance.

 


michael-sheargold-real-estate-coaching-training
Jul
27

Thinking ahead…what’s your 3 year plan?

Real Estate expert Michael Sheargold takes us through the ins and outs of having a three year business plan.

If you fail to plan…you are planning to fail – the words of Benjamin Franklin ring true to this day. Yet, time and time again I come across business leaders in real estate who struggle to make the transition from having a short-term view on their business to a much longer-term view with adequate planning for the future.

Changing this mindset in our industry is one of our greatest challenges but as a business owner it is one you need to overcome. After all, if you as the leader don’t have a long-term view of your business, by default your team won’t either!

So where do you begin? Having three year business plan that underpins your operation is a great start. Why three years? Put simply, people tend to overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in five, so three years is the perfect compromise.

Your three year business plan should clearly lay out the long-term milestones that are most important to the success of your business and should contain five key components which we will explore in detail below:

  1. Vision: sometimes called a picture of your company in the future. You vision statement needs to provide clarity on where you are heading and ultimately what you want to achieve in your business. 
  2. Growth strategy: what is your strategy aimed at winning larger market share? Consult with your business coach, partners and staff to determine where you want to be in your market and devise a strategy as to how you can get there. 
  3. Targets: anything you want to target over the next 12 months. The list can be wide and varied from an increase in listings, focus on recruiting or achieving training objectives. 
  4. Values: should support your vision and guide everything your employees do at work. Your organisation’s workplace values set the tone for your company’s culture, and they identify what your organisation, as a whole, cares about. It’s important that your people’s values align with these. 
  5. Upgrades to make this happen: what changes need to be made, what upgrades need to be implemented and what training needs to be integrated to make this happen?

Once you have your three year plan in place, you need to communicate and get buy-in from your team. It is fundamental that each component of your business plan is understood by every person in the business and moreover that they have a sense of how their roles interweave with the larger goals of the company.

But don’t stop there. It’s no use having a plan that everyone loves – it has to also be one that makes your business goals a reality.

Quarterly check points and team meetings are a great way to show progress and draw on your team’s insights to see how the business is tracking from different perspectives. In addition, recognising and rewarding staff who go above and beyond to achieve your business goals is fundamental to creating a positive work culture and employee engagement.

And finally, continue to make time every week to work on your business, not just in it.

This is vital to the wellbeing of both you and your business and will provide you with time to innovate, create, set new goals and uncover new opportunities.

If you’re a principal wanting to capitalise on the next three years of your business growth I would suggest attending The Business of Real Estate in September on the Gold Coast. Check out the website here.


michaelsheargold-elite-agents-success
Jul
12

10 Success Qualities of Elite Agents

One of the things that fascinates me is how is it that 10% of agents are writing the vast majority of business – and that’s pretty much across all markets. What are they doing? What are the key success qualities they put into place that makes the biggest difference in their results?

Having completed over 7,000 coaching sessions in the real estate profession I’d like to share with you the 10 Success Qualities of Elite Agents.  

As you review these, ask yourself the question…

“How well am I applying this success quality?”  And give yourself a score out of 10 on each.

Obviously from there, build for yourself a simple action plan based on what you are going to Start doing… Stop doing… and Continue doing… to make the biggest difference in your results.

The 10 Success Qualities

  1.   Build a Winning Attitude

One of the things to recognise is that you must have a great attitude – one that’s positive and motivating. What is your attitude saying about you? Your attitude really creates your world view and it’s what you’re putting out before you get anything back. What is your winning attitude like? Can you tweak it, hone it and improve it so it’s a can-do attitude?  It’s all about getting out there and making it happen.

  1. Get Super Client Focused

That fastest way to get you what you want is to help your clients get what they want. When you’re client focused, you tune in to them.
Asking yourself… “How can I deliver great service to you and help you achieve your goals?”
In real estate, it’s the ultimate Win-Win-Win situation – when the seller wins and the buyer wins, then you win.
Service also kicks into gear the best marketing in the world – word of mouth and Elite Agents know the referral power of this.

  1.   Become Massively Organised and Follow Through

Your level of organisational skills has a huge impact on your success.  You might be a great communicator but if you’re not great at following through on the commitments you make, that’s going to get in the way of how people perceive you. It won’t be a communication issue, it will be an organisation issue.
So how organised are you? Are you putting the right things in at the right time to produce the right results?
My simple view and one that Elite Agents embrace is… It’s not the hours you put in that count, it’s what you put into the hours!

  1.   Grow Your Level of Passion

Being passionate about helping people and passionate about this business is critical to your success. It’s a turn on, a switch on, it’s being passionate about helping them achieve their goals but also being passionate about property. This allows you to explore and you’re your knowledge. You’ll ask that extra question or two because you’re passionate in helping them. An average agent might stop after the first question but you go and ask an extra 1, 2 or 3 additional questions about them and their situation – you truly are interested in them.

 

  1.   Develop a Highly Confident Belief

This is about bringing your confidence into play. One of the things that happens is that if you lose confidence in a property or client, I can pretty much guarantee that’s going to roll through in terms of the way you communicate. So make sure you’re playing the confidence game. That means you have positive anticipation – you’re going to have a great open or a great auction.
Confidence is driven by the level of knowledge and skill set you have developed. A great strategy here is to explore areas of knowledge and skill improvements you know would make a difference to you being even more confident.

 

  1.   Maintain High Standards of Excellence

Without a doubt, the best agents in the business have high standards of excellence – the standards they choose to operate by. So you go to one of their opens, you’ll experience high standards or their buyer follow up – high standards. Anyone around them starts to step up to the plate as well. A great strategy here is to ask yourself and the team…
“Where do my/our standards sit?” If you haven’t done any work on this area, I strongly recommend you do.

 

  1.   Live with High Energy

You might think this is similar to passion but it does have a twist. More than anything else people buy your energy! Your energy is influenced on many level but do a review of your balance, sleep, excercise and food management – all of these have a significant impact on who you are being and the energy levels you have. Interestingly anyone can have high energy on a few calls, Elite Agents have the ability to turn up their energy for the 120 calls they’ll make this week! How would you rate your energy?

 

  1.   Be an Influencing and Communication Legend

A great influencer doesn’t have only one way to communicate. Elite Agents recognise it’s all about different strokes for different folks. Your style needs to change if you’re dealing with a young professional couple, an elderly couple, or if someone has gone through some hard times personally – it’s the ability for you to tune in to their wavelength. You see, you’re either broadcasting or tuned in to your client. The question is, how much work have you done in improving your communication, influencing and negotiation skills?

  1.   Develop Your Outcome and Deal Focus

A lot of the time people think that negotiations start when someone puts their hand up and says “I would like to buy this property.”
But the best in the business understand that deal focus begins now. On an initial phone enquiry sharing…
“I strongly recommend you put this property on your shopping list. It would absolutely be on the top of my shopping list if I was in search mode for a property along these lines. Can I ask you a couple more questions to understand your situation a little better?”  You become engaging and help people marry the property – it really builds amazing momentum.

  1.  Upgrade Your Willingness to Learn

Where can you improve? How can you tweak that strategy?  This is about making learning an essential – so you’re focused on getting smarter faster.

Great agents review their listing appointment, you can ask: “What did I learn from this? How could I/we do it better?”

The key here is to not attempt to improve everything at once.  Focus on 3 to 5 improvement areas that will give you the biggest bang for your buck.  Then find someone who can help you build that skill. That could be attending a workshop, jumping online to grab a resource or bring coaching into the mix of your success strategy.

These 10 Success Qualities are incredibly important to have in your toolkit. So now rate yourself (or if you’re game have someone else rate you) to identify your greatest opportunities to improve.
You’ll also see where you’re strong and look at how you could build on it even further. 
You improve these success qualities and I guarantee you’re going to improve who you are in the marketplace.

You can move from being the secret agent to being the one people want to choose!


michael-sheargold-mid-year-review
Jul
04

Your team’s best ever mid-year review

Mid-year is the perfect time of year to sit down with your team and check in on productivity and progress. Here’s an effective process for you as a leader to work through in order to capitalize on the next 6 months and enjoy the best preparation for the next year.

  1. The first step is to schedule this team meeting, set aside part of the day for this meeting, part of the day for a learning element and part of the day (usually the last part of the day) for a celebration with the team. Maybe that’s a beers & bbq, a dinner out, an afternoon drinks session – however your team celebrates together!
  2. Set the agenda for the meeting. This meeting is a 3 part meeting. You want to cover what is working, what’s not working and the projects you want to focus on between now and the end of the year. So basically – past, present, future.

Here’s a meeting flow for you:

Part One (Past)

An excellent way to start the meeting and clear the air from the last six months. Remember the reason for this meeting with your team – to move towards a powerful 6 months of big results. Sometimes to achieve that you need to acknowledge and move past whatever the team is hanging onto.  This section is also where you celebrate exactly what you have achieved so far as a team (whether that’s marketshare, rebrand, new office, implementing a new system, marketing campaigns, etc).

 

  • What have we achieved so far this year?
    These are real, tangible achievements.
  • What is going well?
    The highlights of this year so far – what are the wins and the standouts?
  • What hasn’t gone well so far?
    Where are the ‘clunky’ parts of the business. What is frustrating you? What problems exist in the business?

 

 

Part two (Present)

From there, the meeting evolves beautifully to current upgrades. Listen to the elements the team has just outlined in what is clunky in the business and acknowledge to fix them.

This is where you as your team’s leader is already prepared with what you want to see happen in the next 6 months, however it’s also an open forum to what the team sees they can achieve in the next 6 months.

4) What are the things we need to upgrade or improve?

 

Part Three (Future)

So, continuing the process and creating momentum for change, part three is to uncover “where to from here” and show that you have moved on from the past 6 months and looking forward to a bright future.

Focus on 3 key questions to wrap the meeting:

5) What are the December benchmarks?
At the end of the year, what are the benchmarks or successes we want to achieve so we can really say “We have moved forward in the last 6 months”.

 

6) What are the key projects that will help us achieve those benchmarks?
These might be certain systems or standards you need to implement.

 

7) Are there any quick wins we can make happen right now?
This is all about ‘new business energy’ and what can be implemented quickly to see big results.

 

This is a simple structure that you can do with your team so you can enjoy a great end of the year, popping the champagne and heading into the Christmas New Year celebrations on a high!

Please invest the time in doing this as a group (the same can be used individually with your personal team reviews). You will be amazed at the energy it can create with your team.

Side note: Mid-year is also a perfect time for an office spring clean, a chance to have any ‘hard’ conversations you’ve been putting off, a chance to show your team you appreciate them and acknowledge the hard work they’ve put in so far this year.

From a client perspective, mid-year is an awesome opportunity to ramp up client appreciation events, maybe implement an appraisal drive, reach out to your COI’s, communicate any big wins to your market and freshen up the look and feel of your website and marketing – all in preparation for the Spring selling season!

Enjoy mid-year and if you and your team would like to join me for two full days of strategy, you are invited to my award winning Agent Success Program: TurningPoint, coming up soon in Sydney. Please click here for all the info.


Four Ways to Increase Your Market Share Now!
May
29

Four Ways to Increase Your Market Share Now!

Growing market share is a concept not limited to the real estate industry. Organisations around the world in a number of industries are striving to beat out their competition and win customers over in a bid to be at the top of their market.

In real estate, strengthening customer relationships, adopting smarter hiring practices, retaining skilled team members and increasing productivity are four areas that can assist you to increase your market share. Let’s break them down…

1. Strengthening Customer Relationships.

Walt Disney said it best:

“Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.”

In today’s competitive business environment caring for your customer has never been so important. The positive word-of-mouth customer is priceless to your organisation and will ultimately lead to an increase in market share. This is why it is even more important than ever to create an excellent experience for your customers to help develop your company’s relationship with them.

What strategies are you currently adopting in your agency to ensure you delight your customers?

 

2. Smarter Hiring practices:

Companies with the highest market share in their industries almost invariably have the most skilled and dedicated employees – and the right number of them! It almost goes without saying that in order to increase your market share, you need to have the agents to do it. Work backwards and look at the market share goal for your organisation and ask yourself – how many agents will it require to get there?

But don’t stop here.

 

3. Retaining team members:

Hiring employees that will represent your brand well is just a start to creating a strong team. Next, you have to keep them. High team turnover will result is significant loss in terms of time and productivity and as such this is an area that warrants focus.

What tactics are you currently adopting to ensure you will be able to retain agents for years to come?

Here are a few ideas to consider:

  •        Offer a competitive benefits package.
  •        Make sure employees know what’s expected of them and how they can grow within your agency.
  •        Provide incentives to help keep workers motivated and feeling rewarded.
  •        Foster employee development.
  •        Communicate your business’s mission and ensure staff know how they fit in to this.

4. Driving productivity:

The measurement of productivity in real estate generally relates to number of transactions your agents are making.

How do you increase the number of transactions?

  1.      First and foremost you need to be at the table when listings take place.
  2.      You need to make it easy for the client to choose your agency – what do you have that your competitors don’t?
  3.      You need to have exceptional sell-through – make sure you deliver what you say you will deliver.

How do you drive this?

Driving productivity can ultimately be achieved through coaching and training. Agents needs to learn to become exceptional at all they do and coaching ensures your staff will have the skillset and drive to achieve the results you’re after.

Where to next?

The natural state of a business is to grow. In real estate, market share is the ultimate indicator of business growth. The four strategies we have highlighted above are just the tip of the iceberg.

Are you joining us at The Business of Real Estate in September? Visit the website now and register your leadership team.


michael-sheargold-coaching
May
17

4 simple ways to immediately become a better coach for your team

Ever have the same negative situations pop up within your business over and over again?

This is when you’re dealing with challenges in the same way repeatedly, and getting the same (unwanted) results?

I call it the Fly Strategy.

Fly Strategy

Think of a fly that enters a room through an open window. It flies around a bit, does fly things, and eventually decides it’s time to leave.

But, instead of flying out of the open window through which it entered, the fly chooses a closed window to make its exit.

Obviously it is unsuccessful so it tries harder to get through the window then flies around the perimeter of the (closed) window.

Check a few hours later and you’ll find one deceased fly.

The strategy killed the fly.

Whenever you find yourself taking the same actions in the same situations and getting the same result (it didn’t end well for the fly) it’s time to elevate your thinking.

Falling into the trap of trying harder to succeed with the same flawed strategy that failed previously is a dead end. We need to step back and see it from a different point of view.

When you are in the picture it is hard to see the frame

As performance coaches, we need to help our team see beyond what they are currently seeing.

To become a better coach we need to shift this thinking in ourselves first so we can lift up our team members to a whole new performance level.

If we continue to handle repeat issues in the same way and get similar (unwanted) results, remember the “fly strategy” doesn’t work for anyone.

Start by elevating your own thinking.

What do you want for your team?

A magic “shopping list” of skills and talents for your team might look something like this:

  1. Nurtures clients well;
  2. Able to embrace their ideal week;
  3. Deliver outstanding opens that build the company brand;
  4. Have superior product knowledge;
  5. Standout listing skill set;
  6. Handle objections brilliantly;
  7. Remarkable at pre-framing;
  8. Brilliant at lead generation;
  9. Exceptional at seller management;
  10. Brilliant at buyer management;
  11. Great buyer database management;
  12. Aware of upcoming opportunities;
  13. Great property presentation;
  14. Market properties effectively;
  15. Outstanding negotiation skills;
  16. Brilliant at sharing case studies at a listing appointment;
  17. Great at gaining testimonials;
  18. Strong ability to connect in a variety of situations.

This is a great set of skills and talents; but not every team member needs to possess every one, right now.

Rather than wistfully hoping someone will wave a magic wand –  shift your thinking: how can you use this list of skills & talents to elevate the performance your team – today?

michael-sheargold-coaching

 

Here are FOUR ways you can actively shift the performance of your team simply by changing your communication:

1) Like vs Respect

There is a difference between being liked and being respected; as a coach it’s more important to be respected than liked.

To become the best coach you can be, let go of an exaggerated need to be liked.

When you focus on being liked you’ll avoid the most important conversations your team needs to hear.

Intentionally shift your focus on being respected over being liked so that you can have tough love conversations that help move your team forward.

 

2) Framing

Effective communication is the most powerful influencing strategy and will make you and your team better negotiators, deal makers, and influencers.

The heart of communication is all about:

  •       Gaining (question and listening)
  •       Giving (statements we say)
  •       Content (the information and detail provided)

The level of quality in our communication has a lot to do with the frame we set around it.

Remember, when you are in the picture it is hard to see the frame.

There are three communications frames to consider in our coaching:

a)   Pre-frame: is how we set the scene of our coaching meetings. The quality of our communication has a lot to do with the quality of our pre-framing.

How to implement: Instead of popping questions to a team member out of the blue, schedule a meeting and let your team member know what you’ll be discussing so that they can prep ahead of time.

b)   Re-frame: when you’re in the middle of a discussion and you realise you are not on the same page, shift the frame of reference so you can approach the challenge differently.

How to implement: Don’t get caught in the drama. Change the perception of the communication (for example, is the problem truly catastrophic or is it relatively minor?).

c) Next frame: Where to from here? This closes the loop of our communication. That means we have agreed on the next steps and our team member knows what is expected of them.

How to implement: Always lead the next step; what needs to be delivered and when to effectively close the loop? Hold your team member to the agreement.

This isn’t micromanaging but we do want to ensure they follow through and take action.

The value is not in the conversation but in the implementation of the actions discussed.

Failure to Implement (FTI) is the biggest issue that needs to be addressed. Most of our team members know what they need to do but the challenge is moving from knowing it to taking action.

Get your team to become implementation legends with the next two steps.

michael-sheargold-coaching

 

3) Motivational Language

Juicy words have a motivational component when they are spoken and when they are heard.

Compare the words good, great, and exceptional. Which word has the most impact?

That’s right, exceptional.

Now compare, “Let’s talk about your goals,” versus saying, “Let’s talk about your goals that will make the next six months your most sensational year yet”.

Here’s a shopping list of words that evoke greater motivation (but only use the words that you feel comfortable using):

  •       Passionate
  •       Exceptional
  •       Brilliant
  •       Focused
  •       Awesome
  •       Sensational
  •       Unexpected
  •       Phenomenal
  •       Fantastic
  •       Epic
  •       Wow results
  •       Fabulous
  •       Extraordinary
  •       Outstanding
  •       Spectacular
  •       Motivated
  •       Heroic
  •       World class
  •       Premium

What we say to our team should be laden with motivational words; questions and statements that make an impact and immediately create a shift in the listener.

 

4) Presuppositions

Presuppositions literally pre-supposes or suggests something; similar to pre-framing a conversation.

If you were to ask a team member, “How can you produce outstanding results?” an issue immediately crops up because of the word choice pre-supposes (suggests) that you don’t think the person is already producing great results and is therefore underperforming.

This works in reverse as well. Supplement positive presuppositions such as asking, “How can you deliver even greater results” (the even more added in pre-supposes that your team member is already delivering great service).

The words, at least can also be used as presuppositions, for example, “Work towards a goal of listing at least four properties a month”.

Unlocking the greatness of your team’s potential is your responsibility as a performance coach. One of the easiest ways to start achieving that goal is by making the four simple changes listed above to become a more powerful communicator.

 

To engage with other entrepreneurial leaders, learn from the best in the business and step into a new level of leadership mastery – join us at The Business of Real Estate in September. 


Michael-Sheargold-Leadership-training
May
16

How performance coaching can up-level your real estate biz

Performance coaching is about unlocking a new level of capability in your team and helping individual members achieve the next level of greatness.

Your responsibility as a leader is to bring out the absolute best in your individual team members, and ultimately the whole team, which filters through the entire business.

It is also the most under achieved area in the real estate industry.

How can we truly maximize performance coaching in our businesses to mentor others to achieve the greatness they possess? Start by seeing your individual team members as your clients. Your job as performance coach is to increase their capacity to achieve, which will ultimately enhance the performance of the entire team.

  •       Performance coaching isn’t about providing appropriate “deal support” (although deal support is an important function)
  •       Performance coaching is about helping people to achieve their goals.

As a leader in the real estate industry you fulfil three distinct functions within your business including:

  •       Leading
  •       Managing
  •       Performance Coaching

Many people confuse the three functions. Is there a difference or are these descriptions simply three “job titles” that are interchangeable?
All three roles overlap and have similarities but they are three different skill sets that are valuable in specific situations.
But how do leading and managing differ from performance coaching?

Let’s take a look:

1. Leading

Leadership qualities are important for heads of any business but the objective differs from that of performance coach. We lead people in the direction of our vision; we inspire them to see and buy into our vision.
Great leaders have integrity, top communication skills, are loyal, can make the tough decisions, empower others, and are often charismatic.
A great leader will say, “This is where we are heading and how we get there”. Once you have your team turned on to your vision you can lead them to work in unity in achieving the goal.

2. Managing

The big difference here is that we manage projects and processes, not people. As a manager you are responsible for providing clear, concise focus on outcomes, deliverables, and deadlines to your team.
A term that often gets confused with coaching is “sales management” which is the focus on the numbers, processes, and projects but it leaves out the most vital part of success: coaching your people.  
Management happens the most often within a business but would you be surprised to learn that it’s not your most important function?
You may fulfil all three capacities in your business: leader, manager, and coach, but the real challenge is recognizing when to perform which task.

Michael-Sheargold-Leadership-training


3. Performance Coaching

Performance coaching is literally moving your people towards their goals. As a performance coach within your business you guide your team members in two ways: moving people towards an effective decision and helping people be in action towards their goals.

1) Moving people towards an effective decision

The root of the word decision literally means to “cut off”; in other words, committing to a decision removes all other choices.

Making a decision cuts off all other options.

The key to successful coaching is helping your team to cut down their options. We become overwhelmed by too many options, and most often why someone doesn’t move forward.
It may look like they are procrastinating.
It may look like they are being lazy.
But in actual fact they simply don’t have clarity.
When you cut off all the options you are left with only one thing to do:
so Just Do It.


2) Helping people be in action towards their goals


This is moving your team to achieve their goals, not your goals. Big differenceSetting the right goals creates a tension similar to the strain found as an elastic band is s t r e t c h e d.
Not enough tension and the band will go nowhere (ie: low goals that don’t generate excitement to achieve).
Too much tension (from being overly stretched) and the band will snap erratically or break (as in unachievable goals that are set too high).
Your role is to nudge team members with low goals and encourage them to increase their vision.
Alternatively, and this is often true with new people, you may need to guide them to lower expectations that are too high and are unachievable or they may burn out.

Team members who don’t know where they are or where they want to be will come across as underachievers and unproductive because they are unable to take any action.
Performance coaching is guiding your team to recognise their current reality (where they are right now) and their desired reality (where they want to be).

Right in the middle of their current reality and their desired reality is a GAP. Your job as a performance coach within your team is to bridge the GAP and together design an Action Plan to move them from Point A to Point B.

TIP: If a team member seems unmotivated it may be because there is no GAP between where they are and where they want to be (the tension of where they are and where they want to be is too slack).

Your task is to work with individual team members to achieve a different desired reality that creates a challenge; a tension that motivates them to achieve.

As a coach to your team you want to:

  • Build on strengths
  • Increase confidence
  • Learn and grow
  • Empower beliefs;
  • Help to make great decisions;
  • Empower action
  • Develop habits
  • Support change
  • Create brilliant results       
  • Create accountability

We can evaluate the long term success of our coaching sessions by measuring outcomes in each particular area in which our team members are being coached. I hope you enjoyed this article about How performance coaching can up-level your real estate biz! Get to it.

If you are a leader wanting to seriously take charge of your future results and the success of your business, check out The Business of Real Estate coming up in September.