Today I'm going to continue the discussion about accountability. I'm going to teach you how to use accountability in your own office to increase productivity to an even higher level than you are today and, if you’re not doing it, teach you how to get it started. To do this we’re going to go through a series of ten questions and thoughts. So, let’s begin.
1. How strong are you as a broker/manager or leader?
Do you have agents who know more about how to list and sell Real Estate than you do?
Do you have agents who you are afraid of and why?
Do you have any fear that by holding agents accountable, you might learn something from them? In the past, have you tried to hold them accountable and not achieved the results you wanted and why?
2. Why do you want to monitor your agents and hold them accountable to their goals?
Can you identify the specific benefits to your agents if you do this?
3. Once you’ve answered these questions and considered the answers carefully, you must decide who among your staff is going to be monitored. Certain agents have to be monitored. These agents are:
A. All new agents,
B. Agents who are below the standards you’ve set,
C. Agents who want to go to the next level.
It is your decision which agents you are going to monitor and hold accountable. The decision will be influenced by how successful you want to be and how much you want your office to grow. At the same time, this program will be influenced by the current makeup of your office staff and how much control you have of the group at this time.
4. Once you decide who is going to be involved in this accountability program, the next step is to hold the initial meetings with the agents who are going to be monitored. Our belief is that unless you have a defined script you are going to use, the meeting will not go well and neither you nor the agent will want to continue this process. A few of the topics you may want to consider for your first meeting would be:
A. Is this year’s goal realistic based upon last year’s production and the agents’ work habits?
B. What was the breakdown of the last twelve months business for the agent … where did it come from?
C. Based on last year’s breakdown, what changes have to be made in order to achieve the goal?
D. How is the goal going to be achieved? What steps are going to be taken?
E. What can I do as a broker/manager to assist you in this process?
F. What training will you need?
5. Once the initial meeting has been done, there has to be a standard format for all of the meetings. Since the major percentage of all agents have never been monitored in the past or held accountable, you probably want to keep the initial meetings very simple in their approach. The following outline will work.
A. How many listings taken and listings sold have you had?
B. What price reductions have you taken?
C. Have you stayed close to your schedule for prospecting?
D. What are you going to focus on for the next two weeks?
If the agents are in the Mike Ferry Business Planning System, you can intensify the questions by going through the number of ratios that we recommend.
It is important that you have a file on each agent that is updated every two weeks and that you record the information and refer back to it.
5. How do you set the schedule to be workable and adhered to without being changed on a regular basis? When you set a schedule of any type and you bring the agents in, you have to make a decision as to which way the conversations are going to run: are they going to remain only business discussions or are you going to get involved in personal discussions; which way do you want the conversations to flow? This, many times, will determine how long your accountability sessions will be. You need to answer the following four questions:
A. How often are you going to meet with them?
B. How long should each meeting last?
C. Should you schedule meetings every day or one day per week?
D. Should there be a standing meeting time or rescheduled each time you meet?
7. What do you do if an agent doesn’t show up for a meeting? You need to establish a policy and enforce it. You need to decide what the policy is going to be.
8. You have to assist the agents in learning how to write a business plan.
9. Your accountability has to go beyond these meetings. It involves the day-to-day contact that you have with your agents, the positive feedback that they receive from you, and the on-the-spot training that you offer based upon the problems that they are having at the time.
10. Now you have to decide to what degree you want to make this program work.
With commitment and follow up, you will be successful in achieving accountability and high productivity.
CEO - The Mike Ferry Organization