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15 October 2010

Accountability Is Not A Four-Letter Word

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One of the most challenging things for real estate leaders is creating accountabilities that support their business initiatives. Accountability types are as many and varied as there are situations and can relate to both productivity and cultural issues in the organization. Some examples include:

  • Achieving specific production levels (# of listings and sales, or GCI) to qualify for a desk
  • Maintaining production levels in order to qualify for company generated leads
  • Completion of requisite training courses to qualify for relocation and specialty business
  • Professional dress
  • Professional behavior
  • Ethical dealings with others

In a nutshell, It’s all about belief in your ability to hold people accountable.

Below are two key thoughts for leaders (Brokers, Owner and Office Managers) regarding implementing accountabilities in the real estate environment. These ideas come from actual sales management experience.

1. Standards can be raised, but never lowered

You can always increase your office standards, but you can never back off of them once they are in place, so go slowly with this. Consider the effect of standards upon each and every person on your sales agent roster before proceeding. Consult key advisors and agents who are positive influencers. Remember to get their buy-in prior to launching your new standards. Doing so will help to generate general support from ‘within’, and prevent backlash from top producers once new standards are announced.

2. What is your minimum standard, really?

This is a question that we ask of company leaders and office managers all the time. The answer they normally give is a specific GCI amount per desk and the like. But then we ask them about their worst producer, who has been with the company for at least two years. Normally, the person that comes up has done no production at all and there is always an elaborate rationale around why this is somehow acceptable to the leader. In this case, it is important to acknowledge that the office standard is effectively ‘zero.’

Rule of thumb:

The production level of the lowest producer, whom you allow to stay, is your

true minimum standard. (…and your agents know it!) – Bob Albanese

2 thoughts on “Accountability Is Not A Four-Letter Word

  1. Even though most Realtors earn their living from Commissions, and are therefore classified as "Independent Contractors" and not "Employees", there should be a system of "accountability" from both the Broker/Manager and the New Agent. Even more than "accountability", there should be a "mentoring" time period for every New Agent. This "mentoring" should be provided by a "Seasoned Agent", assigned by the Broker/Manager. Real Estate "Experts" are saying that the future Broker/Owners will be those that prepare their New Agents better, by providing an ongoing, "mentoring" program. New Agents left alone, to fend for themselves, will lose interests and motivation, and will drop out.

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