In my previous Inman articles, I’ve written a lot about how leaders can make a team perform better by producing a culture of training and learning. My last article was about setting goals for agents. What I am going to talk about today is this: An agent needs to focus on income-producing activities that lead to their goals. But to be successful as leaders, we need to make sure that they also focus on process.
I spent a lot of last year working with our agents to make sure that they have their goals in front of them, and then getting them to take action, and tracking their progress (how many calls they make each week, how many open houses, meetings with past clients, etc.) It’s these income-producing activities that will get an agent closer to achieving their goal.
But as leaders, we also have to focus on the process of these actions and help our agents by making sure they are performing each action at a high level.
You outline your goal, you dig deeper and you lay out the actions that lead to those goals and then you make commitments to keep completing the steps that will bring you closer to the goal.
The Kaizen way
There’s a practice called Kaizen that comes from Japan. It’s all about making little tweaks in your process that slowly perfect your outcome. The book Atomic Habits talks about a lot about a similar way to develop better habits.
Agents need to think of goals from the 30,000 feet high view of what you’re trying to accomplish. Then they need to outline the steps. These are the tasks that you commit to realizing your goals, which is the 10,000-foot view. And finally, there is the process of each action. Focusing on the process is looking at each step deeply and making sure that each one is optimized to yield the best result. This doesn’t mean that you’re chunking the goals or that you lose sight of your steps that lead to your goals. You never want to lose sight of those.
If one of your commitments is to hold more open houses, then think about the entire process of that activity that can turn the dial to make it more successful. How many signs do you put up? Do you put the sign-in notice on the door so buyers can expect that they will be asked to sign in? What are the words you are going to use when those people walk into a home? What about your facial expression and your mood when they walk in? These little tweaks will make a big impact if you tune them in an proper way, with a good attitude and an authentic desire to serve.
How about making calls? It’s the same thing. You have to think about the entire process. Are you in the right head space? If not, get there. Do you know what to say, or in this case, more likely what to ask? If not, make a small change in the process every time you make a call until it gets better. Substitute the words you’re using with ones that will have a better impact.
Think about your fallback plan. I do this when I’m making calls to agents to ask them to coffee. If I am talking to an agent and I can see they’re politely trying to get off the phone with me, I know that the next best thing is to leave a deposit. So I try to ask them about their goals and look for an opening where I can give them some sort of piece of information that will truly help them in their career.
Process, process, process
I wholeheartedly believe that having a measurable goal is important to success. And I also believe that commitments to the action that lead them to a goal are very important. But don’t be solely focused on the goal: The process is just as important and the art of truly mastering your goal.
My journey as a leader of successful agents has been gradual but very fulfilling. One thing I’ve learned is that you take one bite at a time. And sometimes you have to work backward. For us, one of the first things we wanted to achieve was to make sure our agents had something to look at where they knew what they wanted to achieve. That was their yearly production goals. And then we had to get them to buy into setting specific times to undertake the activities. We did this by the use of accountability groups. It’s done wonders for us.
Now we’re ready to take it the next level by making sure that our agents are fully trained on the process of every lead-generating activity they take on.
Are you ready for what the industry holds in 2020? Inman Connect New York is your key to unlocking opportunity in a changing market. At Connect you will gain insight into the future, discover new strategies and network with real estate’s best and brightest to accelerate your business. Create your 2020 success story at Inman Connect New York, January 28-31, 2019.
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