You’ve made the commitment — financially, emotionally, psychologically — to putting a team in place. And as long as your salespeople produce, it will be worth every penny you’ve invested.
That said, you’re not looking for average results.
You’ve stepped up to put your team in position to succeed and you want to make sure that sales are commensurate with your commitment to making your team as successful as can be.
As someone who’s been where you are right now...I know exactly how you feel.
What I’ve found is that in order to get your team producing in any market environment, you must do the right things in the right order and hold people accountable to getting them done.
When you do this — and do it consistently — you’ll be well on your way to your best sales year ever.
Let’s take a closer look at what it takes to make it happen.
Getting More Production From Your Team
The first place to start is…
- Hiring the Right People
It seems like a no brainer, but it’s often overlooked by agents looking to grow a team.
Often times, agents will hire friends, people who were referred to them or other unqualified prospects just to get the real estate team structure in place.
Unfortunately, these short-sighted hiring decisions turn into huge losses of time and money for the real estate team on the whole due to lack of sales, time invested in training the wrong people and wasted leads.
If you want to get more production out of your team on a year-over-year basis, you need to have the right people on your team.
You’re looking for people who want to sell, aren’t afraid to get on the phone and who are willing to do what you instruct them to do (even though they’re not employees of the company).
More importantly, they should be good core value and culture fits. If they are lights-out good in selling homes, but they make the staff on your team want to vomit every time they’re at the office, that, alone, is a recipe for disaster.
Now, I’m not recommending that you stop reading and start firing people on your team.
Please, don’t just go and kick over the sand castle because you don’t like the shape of one window or door.
Instead, look at your team members and make sure they all fit. If you have to, reinterview everyone to ensure that they belong.
From there, you can either let go of who you want to or keep everyone on the team and slowly top grade as you bring on new agents who are more suitable members of your team.
Bradford Smart’s Topgrading for Sales is a great book to read on this topic.
You should definitely check it out.
- Have the right leads
There is no shortage of lead sources available for you to spend your hard-earned commissions on each and every month.
As I pointed out in a recent blog post, there’s no such thing as a bad lead.
There is, however, such a thing as bad lead providers.
What I mean by this is that there are companies out there that don’t provide good lead information with properly augmented data that gives strong contact info.
Having weak lead sources can lead to lower conversions, more wasted time prospecting, fewer sales and even lower morale.
You must be sure that you give your team good leads from good lead providers on a consistent basis.
To that end, you also need to be sure that you have a copious number of leads available to ensure proper conversion opportunities.
On the buy side, that’s roughly 25 leads and 10 to 12 contacts per sale.
On the sell side, it’s going to be much closer to 80 leads and 23 contacts (and as many as 43 to 60 contacts) per sale based upon lead source.
While these are numbers we’ve vetted ourselves, it’s important that you track your own leads and have a clear idea of the volume and quality of leads you possess in order to maintain and improve production.
Which leads me to…
- Have good tracking in place
Anytime you want to make improvements on anything, you need to track and measure your results on a consistent basis.
Your tracking doesn’t need to be fancy, it just needs to be detail oriented and done regularly.
For your Inside Sales Agent ( ISA ) and salespeople, you can collect basic data on a daily basis.
We use a simple spreadsheet like this that calculates the numbers and provides compiled data in Google Drive:
Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. And by looking at it weekly, we can see what our ISA and agent’s efforts are and what part of the conversion cycle, if any needs work.
Once you collect about 30 to 60 days worth of data from your inside and outside sales people, you’ll know the following:
- How many dials and contacts are needed to make an appointment/nurture.
- If they’re making enough dials and contacts to get the number of appointments and nurtures needed to reach their goals.
- If they’re over the phone skills are strong enough to convert at the level they need to in order to reach their goals
- If they have enough leads to contact in order to reach their goals.
Armed with this data, you can address any bottlenecks that are preventing your salespeople from performing at an optimal level.
As well, you can fix any problems that are preventing success either through better training or systems improvement.
From my perspective, the late business optimization expert, Peter Drucker made the best case for tracking and measuring results in any successful business in his book Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices.
In it he wrote: “Work implies not only that somebody is supposed to do the job, but also accountability, a deadline and, finally, the measurement of results —that is, feedback from results on the work and on the planning process itself”.
Well said in my opinion and certainly a philosophy all business owners should subscribe to if they’re looking to make improvements in their business.
- Have accountability strategies in place
“People don’t do what you expect, but what you inspect.” Lou Gerstner, Jr., former CEO and Chairman of the Board, IBM
I’d like to circle back to my original comment about your high level of commitment to making this real estate team structure work.
Part of that commitment needs to be holding your team accountable to what they say they’re going to do.
Virtually everyone needs accountability in their personal and business lives.
And to be honest, if the people on your team were completely self driven and committed to making huge things happen, they would be on their own and/or have their own team.
The fact that they aren’t a solo agent and/or don’t have a team of their own should be a clear sign that they are looking to you for leadership and accountability.
And as their leader and the one who’s taking on the responsibility to make this thing happen, you need to give it to them.
Now, I’m not talking about micromanaging them.
Conversely, I’m telling you to put mechanisms in place where they report their efforts to you on a regular basis and then you meet with them in group and individual formats at various times during the month.
Here’s what it should look like:
- Brief morning huddles where your team members share good news, what they’re focus is for the day and any choke points they have to reaching their goals for the day.
- Weekly team meeting where you discuss numbers, procedural issues and any other operational related issues that everyone can benefit from hearing about.
- Weekly team training where you work on skills to improve conversions face to face and over the phone.
- Weekly call night to ensure that calls are being made and that skills being taught are actually being implemented, too.
- 15-minute one on one meetings every other week to discuss personal production goals and results.
All in, we’re talking about 5 to 6 hours of office time per week. It’s not a huge commitment of time on anyone’s part, but the accountability is strong and it will definitely lead to good results in the end.
- Have the guts to make changes
“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” Teddy Roosevelt
Human beings are strange creatures, for sure.
We will live with dysfunction for a long time rather than address it and take it head on as soon as it crops up.
For some reason, we just do more to avoid pain than we do to seek pleasure...even it means more pain.
If you want to improve production in your business this year, you must have the guts to make changes. If you’re not willing to do that, then you may not enjoy the increase in production you seek.
To achieve your goal of better sales and more profitability, you may need to:
- Let someone go or hire someone new
- Drop or add a lead source
- Get rid of a vendor or bring on a new one
- Fire a client
- Stop spending money somewhere
- Start spending money somewhere
- Do something that you’re not comfortable doing. Period
No matter what it is, you’re going to have to make changes along the way if you want better results.
Make the decision now that you’re committed to doing whatever it takes to enjoy the fruits of your labor in the form of better production from your team.
As with all success in life, there is a formula to follow.
I’ve laid out what I know to be a successful recipe for you to experience increased production on a year-over-year basis.
The key to achieving the results is implementation - implementation on your part and on the part of the people who are part of your team.
If all of you are willing to do your part and take action, you are virtually guaranteed success.