Accountability is something that many real estate agency principals feel they need to have for “Newbies” in their industry, but feel it is not good use of time once team members are proficient and performing.
At the risk of offending some, I would say that this is not only incorrect, it is also lazy management, and very un-motivating for many employees. Great coaching, and active management, of real estate team members at this level will see good results become exceptional!
What Might your Team Member’s Think?
Taking this from many real estate employees perspective (whether salespeople, property managers, or administrators) they may well be thinking – “It appears you were keen to make me show you what I was doing when I was struggling to reach the results or targets you expected, however now I am up and running and achieving those targets you need I am not given the opportunity to show you I have achieved this, how I am developing, and it does not seem that I am important to you anymore!”
Prior to me acting as a real estate coach to my team, I have been guilty of this personally. Many years ago, I had a sales team member leave me to go to another agency who had always done quite well, caused no issues in the office, and was a great team member and a pleasure to work with. When we had an external consultant do an exit interview with this person, the main reason he left was that he did not feel “valued” or “appreciated” by me. While he was never the number one salesperson, if I could have had five, or even ten of him in the office I would have had an exceptional business with very little stress. If I had continued to have effective accountability sessions with him, he would have had more opportunities to show me what he had achieved, and I more opportunities to show how much I appreciated this.
I fully realise there are always exceptions (and I have worked with a couple), but most great team members love recognition. Successful employees may occasionally gripe about reports and statistics; however, they love to be able to show and be recognised for achieving their goals or targets. In my opinion there is also great truth in the old saying “What gets measured gets done”. If your team has minimal accountability, they are less likely to consistently achieve their goals, which in the end is responsible for you achieving your goals.
What Level of Accountability is Needed?
You may well be thinking now: “What sort of accountability would you suggest putting in place?” This is where I think experience does really matter. For experienced people I think this focus can very much be just on major results. E.g. for a Senior Property Manager: Net gain of properties, vacancies, arrears, survey results, rent reviews, etc. For an established salesperson: New listings, exchanges, client surveys, appraisals, etc.
However, for a newer person into the industry it might be also about activities. For the new property manager, you might also consider contacts with owners, routine reports finalised, maintenance actioned, etc. For the newer salesperson you might also consider prospecting undertaken, potential vendors added to database, inspections conducted, etc. Basically, these actions you are holding them accountable for are the actions you know will lead to great results in the future if done well.
We coach real estate agency principals and leading real estate salespeople from Sydney, Canberra, and in a wide range of cities and towns in NSW from the high country, to the Central West. Great management that is both motivating and challenging to the team is what we see inspire exceptional results.
As always if you have taken the time to read this and have any comments, I would love to hear them!