The real estate professional’s job is always changing. Not only are the changes based upon what’s going on in the market (and the world), the agent’s daily activities also vary as technology advances and new tools enter the industry. One thing that doesn’t change, however, is the weekly office sales meeting. The weekly office meeting is a great time for agents to get together, to share important information, and to keep focused and motivated—even in tough and challenging times.
If you are a broker or office manager, it is likely your responsibility to organize those meetings. The idea of planning and motivating agents to attend 50 meetings per year can be a bit daunting. Not only do you have to get the agents in the door, but you’ve got to have interesting information and motivating subject matter in order to keep ‘em coming throughout the year.
Weekly Meeting Topics and Schedules
Believe it or not, you can plan your entire year of meetings in one sitting. Check out these suggestions for quarterly and monthly activities, which should help to increase meeting attendance.
- Contracts and paperwork. Several meetings a year should cover contracts and paperwork. Whether the broker is seeing a common error made by many agents or if there is a new listing agreement or purchase agreement being adopted by your state, there needs to be office-wide training on contracts and paperwork. It probably goes without saying that when agents understand how to complete that paperwork correctly, everyone’s job is made a whole lot easier. These meetings can be conducted by the broker, the sales manager, or even a trainer from your local association.
- Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Training. Most MLS systems are so robust that they cannot be learned in just one sitting—or even two. Schedule a representative from your local MLS to come to your office and conduct quarterly trainings. Have the trainer vary the instruction and include not only simple searches but also more advanced information on automated searches and customized CMAs.
- Paperless Platforms and Contract Software. If your office uses a paperless electronic platform or a contract platform (such as zipForm® Plus), it’s a good idea to review the processes and procedures for creating contracts and getting them into the office filing system. Couple that with information on electronic signatures, and you’ve got yourself another three or four meetings per year.
- Speakers. Consider inviting a variety of speakers whose information will benefit your agents. Include 1031 exchange facilitators, accountants, attorneys, local loan officers, and marketing specialists, among others. Keep the speakers flowing in order to engage your agents in different aspects of the industry.
- Sales Training. Conduct monthly sales trainings on subjects such as seller objections, buyer objections, scripting, open houses, prospecting, cold calling, and other relevant topics. Pass out scripts and practice role-playing. Get all the agents involved in these dynamic and interactive training sessions.
- Technology. Nobody would argue that technology is the direction of the industry. With this in mind, use several trainings per year to cover topics such as video, blogging, websites, social media, email campaigns, online database management, search engine optimization, and Craigslist advertising among other topics.
- Hot Topics. Since the industry in continuously changing, you never know what hot topic may arise during a given month. Assess current industry news and devote at least one meeting currently to addressing hot topics. Current hot topics may include Realtor® safety devices, how agents can compete with large syndicators such as Zillow and Trulia, and the legal battles surrounding independent contractor status.
If you’ve spent all this time preparing the meetings and nobody shows, it is a real drag. The best way to get agents to attend to your weekly meetings is to make them interesting. Couple that with some email and text reminders and your weekly sales meetings in 2015 will be a smashing success.
Recognize and use free time at work like the gift it is
(PRODUCTIVITY) Free time during your workday can lead to furthering your mind and productivity.
Clocked in but clocked out
We’ve all had those slow days at work where we’re looking for ways to kill the time until the clock strikes five.
While it can be tempting to use this time to text or mess around on the Internet, there are much better ways to use that free time that will make your future so much easier.
Cleanliness is next to godliness
First off, tidy up your workspace. Papers and items have a way of accumulating and may be distracting you even if you don’t realize it. By organizing your stuff and throwing away what you don’t need, you’re able to breathe and focus within your workspace.
It also does wonders for your work brain to clear up your email inbox.
Once that’s all done, plan out the rest of your work week. Make a list of the major goals you’d like to accomplish and then a sub-list of how you’ll knock those goals out. Update your calendar and make sure everything is on track.
Social media, networking, and research
It’s also beneficial to use this downtime to further yourself and your organization. Three ways you can do this is through: social media, networking, and research.
If you have access, take some time to look through your company’s social media and see what can be done to enhance it. Either throw up some posts yourself or pitch ideas to the social media manager.
Networking can be done in this small amount of time by sending out “catch up” emails to old colleagues, “welcome emails” to new clients or introduction emails to LinkedIn contacts.
Send them a “how’s it going?,” tell them what’s new with you, and see what they have going on. You never know where networking can lead so it’s always good to stay in touch.
With research, see what the latest trends are in your field and study up on them. This may give you new ways to look at projects and tasks at hand. And, it’s always beneficial to have continued learning.
While on the subject of continued learning, take this time to mess around with something you may not feel completely knowledgeable of. Maybe dig around RPR data, perhaps practice using different computer programs it is never a bad a idea to nourish your brain.
Having free time during the workday is something of a gift. If you can help it, try not to waste it.
Bill Gates’ big regret of a simple command haunts him, what haunts you?
(EDITORIAL) If BIll Gates is still living with a big regret, it’s time to ponder your own, your own humanity, and consider moving past it in a healthy way.
It has come to light that Microsoft founder Bill Gates regrets some of the original design decisions of the PC. Namely, the CTRL+ALT+DEL command that allows you to log in to the computer, due to its lack of simplicity when trying to access a key part of a computer’s operating system.
I know Mr. Gates probably has other regrets when looking at the span of his more than thirty years involvement with being associated with one of the most profitable companies in the world. I am assuming that you also have some regrets you have also in regard to your own business and/or career.
We all do.
According to psychologists, regret occurs when an something perceived as an error is made that has some personal accountability tied to it. If you’ve ever been a part of a business team, supervising employees, or been the boss, you’ve had a wealth of personal accountability. And, since you’re human, you’ve definitely made some mistakes.
One of my former bosses told me after a long day, in which I made some mistakes: You did the best you could have with the information you had. More than likely, if you’re agonizing about that mistaken car reservation or wrong decimal point, you made a normal human error. Even if it isn’t a small day to day thing, but perhaps a big issue with some big consequences, you can move on from that. It will be okay.
A great way to move on from a failure or mistake in business is to use the situation as a lesson for the future. Chances are, if you’re a team leader who messed up a relationship with an agent, you will have more agents in the future to avoid that error with.
Learning from your mistakes, and using your errors as fuel to increase your motivation for the next project, is a great way to deal with regrets healthily. If you don’t process your regrets, you can deal with a wealth of mental and physical health problems like chronic stress, depression, and damage to the systems that regulate your hormones.
You will have mistakes, but those mistakes have gotten you to this point in your life. It’s impossible to guess how your life would change if you were able to go back and fix that one thing that feels like a turning point in your business life. Living in spite of regrets is one of the hardest challenges in life to face, but just like Gates, you will accept the past and move on.
Working Woman’s Wife: on-demand assistants for busy female brokers and agents
Austin startup, Working Woman’s Wife, offers on-demand help for ambitious female executives juggling work and home life.
Over the past half century, women have made enormous strides into the workplace, including previously male-dominated professions. More than ever, women are serving as executives for major organizations, starting their own businesses, and finding success in the world of real estate.
Unfortunately, women’s success in the working world has not been counterbalanced by a reduction in their responsibilities at home. Statistics released by the U.S. Department of Labor last year reveal that women are still doing the vast majority of housework, including childcare, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and shopping for household amenities.
On an average day, half of all women are completing chores and errands, while only 19 percent of men are contributing to running the household.
Even when men do pitch in, they tend to spend less hours on housework, while women often cut into their work time or overbook and overstress themselves to manage both their careers and their households.
Helping ambitious women every day
An Austin-based startup wants to help ambitious women who “have long been without the advantages wives have provided to men.” The Working Woman’s Wife is an all-around personal assistance and concierge service fulfilling many of the housewifely functions that have long given men a leg-up in the business world.
According to the Working Woman’s Wife, women complete an average of 18 hours per week of unpleasant and unpaid work, which means they have less time to advance their careers or spend quality time with their families.
When you hire a “wife,” she will complete many of these tasks for you, including office task such as emails and data entry, organization of your personal spaces or office, pet care, party planning and cleanup, cooking, laundry, running errands, personal shopping, and chauffeuring. They can even hang out at your place until the repairman shows up, so you don’t have to waste half a day of work taking care of a household problem.
How pricing for a “wife” works
Wives are available by purchasing packages of hours in increments of 30, 60, 80, or 100 hours per month, starting at $900 per month. Currently the Working Woman’s Wife serves the Austin, Texas area, but they are hoping to open chapters in Seattle, San Francisco, Dallas, Boulder, and the Silicon Valley.
Busy women brokers, real estate agents, and executives could obviously benefit from having someone take care of all of the “little things” that so often burden women who could be making more money, advancing their careers, and relaxing, if they had the time.
However, I can’t help but wonder who will be helping your “wife” run her own household while she is busily tending to yours. It’s great to see women wanting to help out other women, but maybe it would be better if men would step up to the plate. In lieu of $900 per month, perhaps you can convince your hubbie to pick up some of the slack instead.
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