It is crunch time. Get the most out of your team

The market is turning.

Call it whatever alliterative term you’d like, but there is definitely a change in the air.

In the first full week of 2020, every single agent we spoke to had more than a few positive things to say.

Registrations are up. Valuations are up. Offers are up and sellers are ready to deal, not wanting to miss an onward opportunity.

That’s all welcome news, but it comes with a caveat. All those agents were putting in the work. Opportunities don’t often present themselves and they certainly don’t convert themselves.

So as the market turns for the better and the work ramps up, you need all hands on deck. Ideally you want your colleagues and staff to be excited about the challenges ahead, rather than overawed at the work. 

Once the market fully turns, we’ll be back in that situation of ‘anyone can sell a house’.

So, right now, in this goldilocks zone where your results entirely match your skill and effort, how do you make sure you’re getting the best out of your teams to beachhead as much of your market as possible? 

Here’s a few things we’ve learned over the last few years.

It’s all positive.

Whether it’s a tight deadline or just a period of time where you have to ‘go hell for leather’, it can be hard to keep people focused and motivated when they’re feeling overloaded. Most people already have a lot on their plate, so when you ask your team for more, it can leave people feeling overwhelmed and inadequate.

You can help move past these feelings by highlighting how positive the added work is now and how positive it will be in the future. To lead, you need to be engaged, motivated and emotionally invested not only in your business but (and most importantly) in your people.

We all know there’s money to be made, that’s the easy thing to focus on. But highlight the real, positive difference the work now will make - not only to their lives but to the lives of their clients too.

Lead from the heart. 

Once you’ve personally connected to the work and its purpose, be upfront with your team and acknowledge everything involved, like long hours and perhaps some courageous conversations.

Express empathy, talk about how you know it’s going to be hard. Make sure your team knows you’re feeling it too. Remember, you’re all in it together. 

Make sure everyone is aware that there’s fun to be had, too. If you still have a sales bell, make sure you talk about how often it’s going to be ringing. Maintaining team camaraderie is a priority. That way, you get buy-in and positive accountability.

Let them get to work.

Here’s where it might start to feel a little uncomfortable for you old school bosses reading this.

Allow your teams to structure their work in ways that maximise their productivity. In most cases, this means working at the times where their clients want them to be working. 

Crunch times are not the time for politics around meaningless office time to get in the way. If you have the right people in your business, the right work will get done.

Trust is a huge factor in a business's success. You want your people to feel involved in the process. Giving them autonomy around their work goes a long way towards doing that.

Pay for success.

Rewards and incentives are powerful motivators. Offer them from day one. 

We’ve discussed intrinsic rewards above, but extrinsic count just as much. Particularly for high functioning sales people. 

If it’s not an increase in commissions, perhaps a holiday can be offered as a reward. There needs to be financial skin in the game for all parties.

Lastly, be grateful.

One final piece of advice, say thank you. It’s easy to do and so often overlooked.

If you do all the other things right but don’t continually acknowledge the efforts made, your leadership will be an epic failure and your people will leave for greener (or more grateful) pastures. 

Bringing it all together…

Between now and the Summer of 2020 represents the opportunity estate agents across the UK have been waiting for for the better part of the last five years.

People have been ready to move for a while, but in 2020 they’ll be willing. Between now and then, it has to be your job to form lasting relationships with as many people in your market as possible, and work as hard as you can to find the short term opportunities that exist between them.

The agents that work the hardest now, will be the only ones to thrive into the future.