Editor’s note: This month, Inman News is inviting reader to share their thoughts about making real estate offices more efficient, including the use of online and mobile technologies to deploy office functions out in the field. The following is a guest contribution by Bill Fooks, a real estate professional in Rhode Island. Click here to learn more about this month’s coverage focus, "Beyond Brick and Mortar."
By BILL FOOKS
Lordy, lordy. A chance to look into the future, having the past 43 years in the business as my guide. If I could have had all these tools back when I started in 1966, with the wisdom I have now, I would do it this way:
An office for new people is vital for the growth of our industry. Sales managers are a must and they must be selling managers. That being said, let’s look at the trained, 20-plus-transactions-a-year salesperson. (This 20 has to be in a good market and bad market.)
Tech stuff is excellent for gathering info to make our job of informing the public easier. It helps in communicating with our clients. But first we have to make them a client. This can be started with the tech stuff. This is not a substitute for actually meeting face-to-face.
Teaching new people how to do this effectively will be the job of the sale manager, not the office manager. Teaching this skill and instilling the confidence to do this will be done in a brick-and-mortar setting. Passing this test is only in the results of signed contracts. How little we talk of this and want to focus on the latest tech tool. We have seen many people in this market be good on the tech stuff but not able to meet and get signed contracts. This is OK.
The person who learns to master both skills will be the true winner. The client who hooks up with this individual will be the lucky one. There are few of these people. They will control 90 percent of the future business. The person who learns only one part of this equation will be an average to below-average sales person, totally frustrated and dropping out of the business in a few years.
May we all be guided to be superstars in our service to the public in one of the most exciting businesses in the world.
So bricks and mortar are necessary but as we progress they become less important. Our skills of negotiating and using our wisdom in this area can be displayed in any setting. Keeping our team motivated to keep on going in a tough market requires a sales manager in an office setting. There are too few good sales managers, but many good office managers.
We will see the rate of license renewals fall off in this market and no tech stuff will stop it. But the wise user of tech stuff, and the superior negotiator, will win this battle and will be one of the top contract signers.
Bill Fooks is a broker associate and a team leader at Coldwell Banker RB in Warwick, R.I.
What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below or send a letter to the editor. To contact the writer, click the byline at the top of the story.