December 5, 2019

What Your Ops Boss® Wants For The Holidays

I’m going to say something to team owners and agents that may be a bit provocative. (Of course – that’s like saying “a bit pregnant” – either you are or you’re not.) So here goes:

Is it about you or is it about them?

Around this time each year, I see a bunch of Facebook posts asking what other agents do for their assistants to thank them. Lots of ideas are posted. (I polled the assistants themselves and you can scroll down for results.)

The agents are often looking for something “fun” and “splashy” – something they will feel good doing in the moment – you know, like a surprise shopping spree at the mall or a scavenger hunt with envelopes of cash. I love that people want to appreciate their support teams. Their intentions are golden…and assistants totally appreciate being appreciated.

And while these ideas are often good, I can also tell you, without a doubt, there is one thing an Ops Boss™ wants more than anything, and that is your TIME. Isn’t that the same with anyone who cares about you – your spouse, your kids, your good friends?

Who spends more time focused on your success than your assistant? Probably not too many people.

Over and over, I hear your assistants lamenting the fact that they cannot get a regular, standing meeting with you. Meetings are forgotten, canceled, rescheduled, and bumped. Or the meeting becomes just another seagull dump for the team owner.

(Now, I know there are some who do meet regularly. Our coaching clients learn how to make that happen! Just know, if you do, you’re among the minority, and your Ops Boss™ appreciates you!)

After 23 years in real estate, I know things often “come up”, and that “meetings” don’t feel like a priority. However, when you constantly miss meetings with your Ops Boss™, you’re sending the message that they are low on your priority list.

Last year, as I was preparing my own business plan, I decided to go back and re-read what Gary Keller (Chairman of the Board of Keller Williams Realty, and author of the NY Times Best Seller “The One Thing”) had to say about prepping for the New Year. Here’s an excerpt (note – this is how Gary writes; these are not typos):

“ i go to my calendar with that answer for each goal and i time block out the year to make sure those things get done. first, i time block all my time off – vacations, days off, short days, etc., so that i make sure they don’t get left out. if i intend to work hard then i’ll need this time to renew. next is, my meetings with the people who report to me. next, i make sure i have my time to plan out every week. (i’ve done this so long on a sunday night that i don’t even block it anymore), usually an hour a week on a sunday. then it’s all about work. so, for example, if lead generation is your number one business action then you time block it for 5-6 days a week for 3 -4 hours a day before noon. for me it’s writing so my goal is to just make sure that gets done – then i’m open to the possibilities of everything else. my motto is “until my number one priority on my list is done each day all else is a distraction”! (You can read the full blog post here.)

What struck me was just one short line in Gary’s email: “next, is my meetings with the people who report to me.” Time with the people who report to him is the second most important thing he blocks on his calendar – just after his time off and BEFORE his “One Thing”!

WOW. That hit me like a ton of bricks. He wrote a whole book about how important your “One Thing” is. He spent years before that researching it and living it. Yet, more important than your “One Thing” is your PEOPLE.

Now, I realize that’s kind of obvious. Of course our people are important. But do our schedules mirror that, and do our actions reflect it?

I can tell you unequivocally that, while there are many things your Ops Boss™ would appreciate, your TIME is probably on top of that list. To make 2020 the best year you’ve ever had, make it about them, not you. Giving splashy gifts is fun in the moment, so do those fun things. Your people have worked hard and earned the rewards. But also commit to consistently showing up. THAT will impact you both in a positive way all year long.

In the meantime, there is definitely a place for tangible gifts to thank your Ops Boss™ during the holidays (or anytime!). I surveyed a number of Ops Bosses™ and came up with this list:



Invest in Training or Personal Development

Upgrade Their Work Environment

  • Give them a gift card to shop for new office décor
  • Get a stand-up desk
  • Provide a flexible schedule or the ability to work from home one day a week
  • Give them unlimited vacation (as long as the job gets done and doesn’t come back to you!)
  • Re-arrange so they have a private office

Money, Money, Money

  • Gift cards
  • Shopping spree at the mall
  • Bonus

Appreciation & Time

  • Write a handwritten note – something specific and meaningful.
  • Commit to meeting with them weekly and really do it! Your Ops Boss™ may appreciate that as much as any of the items listed above.

Cheers to a Fabulous 2020!

Christy Belt Grossman

CEO, Ops Boss Coaching™

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