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Managers, Get More Agent Teamwork in 2015!

Feb 3, 2015

Posted by

Carla Cross

About Carla Cross, CRB, MA International speaker, trainer, and coach specializing in career development, business planning, brokerage management, leadership, and instructor development. What sets Read more

As the New Year approached, no doubt you were creating your office plans and working with your agents on their plans for 2015(at least I hope you were!).  Now that we’re into the New Year, it’s time to begin fine-tuning those plans.

One of the most left-out parts of the planning process—yet, I believe, one of the most important—is the “vision” aspect which starts the whole strategic planning process.

Let’s begin by prioritizing “core values.”

Why Should You Care About “Vision” Stuff??

In what I believe is the best business book ever written, authors Porras and Collins researched great companies and found the most profitable by far were those who shared management’s “vision and values” with their people. (Read: 

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies.)

Why Most Office Business Plans Fail to Ignite Agents

First of all, unfortunately, most office plans are merely half-hearted guesses at goals for the coming year.  This won’t inspire your agents, it won’t make them team players, and it certainly won’t elevate your office to a higher performance level.  The second problem is that management doesn’t share its core values with its agents in any meaningful way.  The strategy below solves both those problems.

The “Focusing Workshop”

Before I left a management position in one of my real estate offices, I wanted to cement the vision and values that I believed we had created.  I wanted to leave a permanent reminder to our agents of why they were with us, of the atmosphere they had created, and of the values they held dear.  So I conceived what I call the “Focusing Workshop” in which we created a true meaningful mission statement.  When I started managing this particular office there was no organized office plan.  So, I just used my previous office mission statement (Don’t do that!) which I, of course, shouldn’t have.  It’s never too late to take advantage of the following strategy to create your

own mission statement ... hence leading to more teamwork, more success.

The Seven Steps to Creating this Workshop

1.)  In a general office meeting, explain why you’re organizing a company focus workshop to facilitate and create a vision and mission statement for your office -- so everyone achieves more through synergy and teamwork.  Tell your agents how you will proceed so there’ll be no surprises later on.

2.) Talk to several agents in your office who you feel would be excited, contributive, and would lead others as you “raise the bar” from merely surviving in real estate to achieving exceptional goals.  Pick about three to five agents.  Ask them to be on a task force to start gathering useful information.  Tell them you will be assigning books to read on “vision and mission statements” from well-known, successful companies.  Understand that you, yourself, will first need to do some prior research, so you can point them in the right directions.  Set a date for their research to be completed and also when you will meet again.

3.)  When you do meet again be ready to guide them as they sort through important information they gathered (just keep an outline of their ideas and recommendations).  And now set a date for an “all office” meeting.

4.)  At this meeting you will announce progress, get input from others, and excite the group about this effort.  Here’s the agenda I found useful:

a.)  Recap your task force’s work (better yet, have a task force member do it);

b.)  Explain again why this is important (what’s in it for them—the sales agents);

c.)  Brainstorm with them your proposed mission statement and elicit ideas like the ideal qualities of an agent, what makes a team work well, and so forth.

d.)  Also brainstorm setting team performance standards

—what kind of people should be on the team, how best to determine this, how to measure an agent’s performance, and similar topics.

5.)  Take all this information and meet again with your task force.  Refine your initial vision and mission statement.

6.)  Report the final statement in a general sales meeting.  Discuss how to use these in advertising, in an agent’s personal promotion, in recruiting activities, and so forth.

7.)  Revisit your vision and mission statement yearly during your annual planning session.

Note: There’s only one “downside” to this process.  The agents in my task force were so inspired by the process they kept thinking of more and more “tasks!”  They were much more motivated by this exercise than by any platitudes, quotes, or “pep talks” I could have given.  The experience they had creating the company’s vision and mission had a lasting effect on them.

Remember, Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t say, “I have a business plan.”  He said, “I have a dream.”  Coupling your own business planning process to the focus workshop’s ideas provides the inspiration and motivation you need to create the teamwork and enthusiasm of your agents which lasts all year and beyond.