A very wise woman once asked me to share some off-the-cuff thoughts on “best business practices” with her Admin Mastermind Group. Her question caused me to reflect on my 20+ years as an operations leader. And it stretched me to think beyond the “everyday” activities I did, into the “why” behind what I was doing, and on to more universal themes. I concluded there were 6 Bossy Business Practices that had contributed to my career success from assistant to chief operating officer, as well as to the success of my team. Here are those six practices:
- PROACTIVE vs REACTIVE
Success and forward trajectory happen exponentially when you solve problems before they happen and when you look for opportunities. That doesn’t mean waiting for opportunity to knock and then seizing the opportunity. It’s more than that. Waiting is passive, not active. Success comes from creating opportunity. THAT is Bossy.
It’s funny. I still keep hearing teams talking about, “We need to do more video. Video is going to be really important.” I remember being at the AT&T store in Dec. 2009. I was upgrading my iPhone and the salesperson was explaining why I needed more storage. It was because “video is the new thing”. Back then, people weren’t doing much video, but it wasn’t long until the switch flipped and video was everywhere. I came home from buying my phone and, in Jan. 2010, started doing video market updates for my team. (I also did a marketing video where I showed how I trained my dog to sneeze on command – LOL.) In addition, I created a ton of business from Facebook networking (starting in 2008) and was a blogger long before that. I got a jump on most people in our industry, and that created opportunity for our team. (Being proactive in social media “back in the day”, before it was de rigueur, is one reason I was on stage with Gary Keller at Mega Camp in 2012.)
So, for example, are you waiting for the “BE A BOSS” class to come to your local area, or are you creating that opportunity for yourself by getting the info, gathering interest, and going to your ALC, team leader or manager to see what needs to be done to make it happen? Are you waiting for someone else to start an EA Mastermind, or have you started your own? (Here are some ideas for topics if you’d like to start one.)
In many parts of the country, we are seeing signs of a shifting market. Are you being proactive or reactive? Are you looking to just “survive” the shift? Or are you looking to position yourself to THRIVE?
We are also seeing a HUGE SHIFT in the world of how real estate is practiced. How things happen today is NOT how things will happen tomorrow. Are you waiting to see how it shakes out? Or are you finding windows to create opportunity for your team?
Communication is one of the best ways to build culture and drive vision. It’s also key to customer satisfaction & experience. The most successful teams I coach are the ones where the leader has clear, CONSISTENT communication. You can never communicate too much – whether it’s with your agents, your ops staff, or your clients. One of the biggest complaints we heard from sellers over the years (who were listed with other agents) was: “My agent never called me until they asked for a price change.” Guess who picked up those listings when they expired? We did! Team leaders (sales AND ops) should overcommunicate with their agents and staff. Agents and ops should overcommunicate with their clients. The way you “plus” your communication is by under-promising and over-delivering. Tell people what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it. Then do it sooner, and circle back to tell them you did it. That develops trust. Trust is foundational to success. (You might also read the post we shared on “How To Speak The Same Language”.)
- INVEST IN YOUR PEOPLE
Your goal as a leader should always be to be a vehicle for your team’s success. Know your people’s dreams and help them chart a path to get there. This means knowing the “why” behind their “what”. Why do they come to work each day? Why are they on YOUR team? What’s important to them personally? What are their goals?
More important than knowing their goals and assisting them with a plan, though, is holding them accountable. It’s said that 10% of your success comes from having goals, 10% comes from having a plan, and 80% comes from having accountability. If they could achieve their dreams with just a goal and a plan, they wouldn’t need you. Be consistent in holding your people accountable. This means investing your TIME with them. You also invest in your people by providing opportunity and a clear path to earning that opportunity. Have those conversations EARLY – and OFTEN. (See #2 above.)
- SYSTEM FOR EVERYTHING
No matter how small the task, no matter how infrequently you do it, EVERYTHING needs a system. Create the systems. Tweak them constantly. Do you take a new team photo once a year? Great. Do you have the follow-up steps documented as a system so next year you can just follow the list to make sure the photo is updated in all the right places online and in your marketing? When you have things “fall through the cracks,” ask yourself, “Did I fail the system, or did the system fail me?” If it’s the latter, tweak the system. Know who owns each system. Ask yourself if anyone can follow the systems, and whether they are scalable. Build with the end in mind.
- CULTURE OF INTEGRITY
Do the right thing – always – no matter if anyone is looking…especially if no one is looking. It’s that simple. If the seller shouldn’t sell now, tell him. If the buyer should really wait a year to buy, tell her. If an agent referred you a client but never sent a referral form to sign, pay them anyway. If someone on your team wants to gossip, shut it down. I could give a million examples here. The team I was on has been in business for 52 years. That’s like being a unicorn in real estate. The culture of integrity is probably the number one thing we were known for, along with our expertise. It feels good and it serves everyone well to practice integrity. It leads to longevity and loyalty.
- MENTORSHIP & MASTERMINDING
Have a mentor. Be a mentor. Be in a mastermind. Lead a mastermind. Find the people who are doing things at a higher level and learn from them. Stretch your leadership muscle by giving back to others as a mentor. (And, of course, coaching falls into this general category. Every successful leader has multiple coaches, accountability partners, or mentors – one for each area of life that’s important to them – business, spiritual, health, relationships, financial, etc.) Climb the growth ladder by grabbing onto someone’s hand above and, at the same time, extend a hand to someone below. It’s a win-win.
Cheers to getting Bossy!