Great sales management starts with having the right people and creating processes that allow them to succeed, says performance coach Chris Pollinger. That’s what separates them from those who continue to struggle year after year.
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Great sales management is arguably the most difficult skillset to find in real estate. Good managers and brokers are always in demand — leaders who can drive profit by growing and managing their team well. I have found there are four P’s of great sales management: people, prospects, plan and performance.
Do you have the right people? Are they in the right roles? Is each person contributing to the overall team?
The right people ought to be filtered through a set of shared core values. That’s going to be the glue that holds you all together. It’s the fundamental root of why it’s important to do what you do.
Each person possesses a special set of inherent strengths. Match those with the activities that will prove to be the highest return on their effort. Consider each of their personalities. Their unique dispositions will dictate how they should do what they do. When they are working within their strengths and personalities, they have the highest return. This leads to staving off burnout and reduces unnecessary turnover.
There is a natural attrition in experienced real estate agents that runs between 7-8 percent a year. This represents the people who leave the business or the market area for one reason or another. Those leaving to competitors is the metric you need to take personally as the leader.
Who do you have each associate reaching out to? Is it purposeful? What messaging do you have them using to position them as the best choice for the prospects they are talking to?
The industry is diverging between two types of successful agents. The first is the elite agent. That is the agent who is providing value that transcends the transaction. They are hyperlocal. The elite agent invests in relationships and loyalty. The second is the online lead funnel agent. They are working with massive pipelines. The lead funnel agent focuses on metrics and numbers. Both are effective.
What doesn’t work is trying to be a hybrid of both. As a gross generalization, extroverts tend to excel as elite agents. Introverts naturally do better with lead funnels. With that said, both personalities can be rockstars in either model. But only if they become obsessive about being great agents.
Does each person on the team have a plan? Do you know what it is? Is it written down in some form?
Plans need to be nimble and will change. Think of them as a GPS versus an old school map. The routes will change based on current and changing conditions. The destination will remain the same.
Ask each person how much money they need to make. Follow that up with a question about 15 percent less being OK. If they are OK with the lower number, then they don’t really “need” the first number.
Experienced salespeople tend to perform at the level they need to. Markets fluctuate. They will pivot to hit the numbers they need to. In my experience, quantum growth change does not happen out of inspiration. It happens out of a shift in the person’s personal needs due to a life change.
Keep the plans realistic. But also make sure to budget in taxes, inflation, and market projections. The vast majority of agents seem to be disconnected between the realities of gross commission income and net. Their plan with you should be net-focused.
Accountability is not a dirty word. As a society, we have hijacked it into a realm with negative connotations. Accountability is measuring against the plan. Good metrics are celebrated and rewarded. Bad metrics point us to needing to adjust the plan.
We work in a performance industry. If things don’t close, people don’t get paid. The grocery store will not give you any credit if you try and pay with a participation trophy. This isn’t a bad thing. It’s one of the reasons that I personally love this industry. It’s also why I love the crazy cats who make it their profession.
Meet with your people regularly in groups. It’s also important you are meeting with them one-on-one. The higher producers can go quarterly without intervention. Your mid-tier once every 60 days works. Those who are struggling may need it every seven to 14 days.
Each of those meetings should measure where they are against their individual plan. Celebrate the successes. Help them pivot on the plan where they are short. Ask what you can do to help. Your success as a leader is dependent on their success. When they win, the spotlight is on them. When they lose, the spotlight is on you.
Great sales management starts with having the right people. It then ensures those people are building quality relationships with the right prospects. This requires a flexible plan that allocates for the ever-changing market conditions. A constant focus on performance is the distinguishing factor between great sales managers. It separates them from the masses who continue to struggle year after year.
Chris Pollinger, CEO of RE Luxe Leaders, is the profit whisperer to the leadership elite in the business of luxury real estate. He is a senior sales and operational executive skilled in strategic leadership, driving profit, business planning, sales, marketing, acquisitions, operations, recruiting and culture building.