Viewing by month: November 2010

What type of boss are you?

The leadership style of a boss can add tremendous value to any organisation.  To staff, the type of boss who directs them can often be the difference between viewing work as a day-to-day chore, as opposed to enjoying the challenges brought on by each new day. 

As a CENTURY 21 franchise owner, it could be a valuable exercise to acknowledge the leadership traits you possess.  Having such an understanding could help you to improve the way you guide your team, improving both the office environment and success of your company.  

There are many different personality types that make a boss.  However according to Monster.com, the most common stereotypes include:

• The Authoritative Boss who is a risk taker with a flair for drama.  Such bosses can often be poor communicators and suspicious of others.

• The Everyman Boss who although is likeable does not possess good decision-making skills.

• The Narcissistic Boss has a tremendous sense of self-entitlement and thinks themselves to be above others. 

• The Autocratic Boss who makes it very clear that they are in charge; staff often follow such leaders due to fear. 

•  The Pace-Setting Boss who maintains high standards and is demanding of employees, creating a competitive office environment.

It important to realise that the ideal boss will have a mixture of the above personality traits.  Many employees, including real estate agents, need a leader who can inspire them to achieve their best results, while at the same time being somebody who is approachable and knowledgeable. 

Employees don’t often have a great deal of respect for a boss they can simply walk over – such a boss would fail to provide direction or a good learning experience.  Similarly, a dictatorial boss has the potential to make the day to day lives of employees miserable. 

The best boss is somebody who can achieve a workable combination of leadership attributes.  Achieving such a balance may depend on the organisation of your office, the attitude of your staff to their jobs and you as their leader, as well as your own personality traits and the type of boss you desire to be. 

In the end it is important to realise that an effective leadership style will ultimately help in the growth of your CENTURY 21 franchise.  The success of your real estate business could be enhanced by your taking the time to honestly reflect on the type of boss you believe yourself to be and making an effort to engage in self-improvement. 


0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 29/11/2010 at 2:32 PM | Categories:

Don't underestimate the effectiveness of Social Media when marketing to older clients

With the advent of forms of social media marketing, many companies including real estate agencies have used such tools as a way of communicating with the younger generation, namely those aged under 35. 

When it comes to older consumers, a mixture of both social media and more traditional forms of marketing (such as print advertising) are usually undertaken.   However the emphasis is often on the more conventional forms, with the view of some being that social media mechanisms are not as effective at reaching those in older generations. 

It has now come to light that business owners and those in charge of marketing should be careful when assuming who the most prominent users of social media are.  A report released recently by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, entitled ‘Australia in the Digital Economy: The Shift to the Online Environment’, has found that that it is the 35 – 49 years age group which dominates online activity, making up 27 per cent of Australia’s Facebook community.   

According to the report the internet is being used by this age-group to talk to friends and family all over the world who have scattered geographically.   The study’s author, Joseph Di Gregorio, commented to the Daily Telegraph newspaper that the age group is communicating online, uploading photos and staying in touch with family and friends. 

For many businesses across Australia, including CENTURY 21 franchises, this information may come as a surprise and may even require an alteration to your current social marketing strategy.  It most certainly means that your franchise cannot underestimate the power of using online social media in marketing to older clients – perhaps even more so than with younger ones.

It light of this study, it could be worthwhile for your CENTURY 21 franchise to take stock of your various social marketing tactics and see what can be changed so as to take advantage of opportunities you may be missing.     

With Facebook, for instance, you may like to analyse the demographic information surrounding your database of ‘friends’.  You may, unsurprisingly, find that many of your followers are in the younger age brackets, i.e. 18 – 34. If this is the case, you should try to spend a bit of time finding and connecting with Facebook users in your area who fall within the 35 – 49 and older age brackets.  You may find a whole market of people that you have not been communicating with. 

It could also be worth scrutinising the photos of properties that you upload onto your various social media tools.  If people in the older age brackets are looking for larger, suburban homes with spacious living areas and room for a family, and you have focused your imagery on apartments and houses more appropriate to first home-buyer budgets or younger tastes, again you could find yourself losing opportunities. 

As a CENTURY 21 franchise owner it is important to note that these findings do not mean that you should be ignoring your younger audience and instead focus on older markets.  Rather this report highlights a marketing opportunity that you may be missing; social media marketing can be effective with your older markets as well as your younger ones and as such could be very advantageous for your franchise.  

 

 


0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 22/11/2010 at 2:24 PM | Categories:

What to look for when hiring agents and staff for your franchise

Finding real estate agents and office staff to add to your CENTURY 21 Franchise can be a delicate process.  There are certain skills that you need to look for (those related to selling property) yet the person needs to be able to fit smoothly into your work environment as well.  It is usually worth taking the time to find the right person for the position you have available so that a productive working relationship is established.      

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘you are only as good as your weakest link’? If one person in your agency is known for inappropriate behaviour or has poor people skills and upsets a customer, your Franchise’s reputation can be quickly affected and somewhat damaged.  It is therefore important to look for new agents and staff who you believe will fit in well to your office culture and reflect positively on your agency.  

When hiring a real estate agent you should look for people who can sell with conviction.  This is twofold, as agents need to market both themselves (in order to secure listings) and properties (to actually achieve sales) effectively.  There is a fine line between arrogance and self-confidence and it is important to find agents to strike this balance.  And of course, the agent must have the skills to back up such self-belief.        

The art of working with vendors can be tricky to master, as a seller’s often sentimental ties to their property may lead them to believe that they know the best way to market or sell it.  Any agents you hire must thus be equipped with the skills of gentle persuasion.  In most situations the agent will be trained and experienced in real estate sales, whereas the vendor will not be; the agent needs to be able to politely but firmly convey this difference in experience to the vendor and help them to accept his or her professional advice. 

A very important characteristic to look for when hiring both agents and office staff is enthusiasm.  This quality will resonate with sellers, who ideally want to work with an agent who is excited about selling their home.  If your agents cannot display a genuine eagerness to work with a client to sell a property, it might prove difficult for such agents to create solid client relationships and in turn sell said property successfully. 

There are a large range of skills that you as the owner of a franchise can look for in potential staff and which will add value to your agency.  Ultimately, the agents you hire should be competent and enthusiastic about their primary goal – selling houses! If these qualities are present when hired, employees can always undergo further on-the-go training to make them even better suited to your franchise.    

 


0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 15/11/2010 at 11:44 AM | Categories:

Essential tips for franchise success

With its remarkable reputation and proven business model, owning a CENTURY 21 franchise offers you a head start against your real estate competitors.  However, in owning a real estate franchise, you need to stay ahead of the game by learning about the tools you can use to help your business grow and succeed.

The following tips may prove useful in the running of your CENTURY 21 franchise:

1. Maintain a strong work ethic
This may seem obvious, but maintaining a consistent work ethic can lead to increased sales and growth.  To get the most out of your franchise you need to learn how to maximise each section of your business, encouraging your staff to become 100 per cent committed.   By offering extra training for your staff and creating bonus packages you can help to motivate and encourage your team to stay focused and on top of their game.
 
2. Seek independent expert advice when required
Owning a franchise can become overwhelming at times, especially with the complex legal and financial issues which can sometimes arise.  When issues get beyond your level of knowledge it can be a good idea to seek expert advice, especially before signing any documents.

3. Ensure you have your family’s support
The effort required to own and run your franchise may take a toll on your personal life.  Take the time to balance your work life with your family life and ask your family and friends for their support when needed.  

4. Fine tune your daily business skills
As well as doing what you’re good at, selling real estate, running a CENTURY 21 franchise requires you to communicate with staff, manage clients, and monitor and understand your business’ structure, strategy and planning processes.  If you feel that you lack the skills for any of these tasks, perhaps take the time to engage in an external training or business course to help increase your proficiency. 

5. Have an open mind and be passionate
You need to enter into this franchise with an open mind.  Talking to your staff and being passionate about what you do and respectful of others’ ideas will help you to see and act on new opportunities as you grow.

It is important to note that not everything can be learnt from a text book; rather it is experience in your franchise that should help you to learn and experience business growth.
 


1 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 09/11/2010 at 12:32 PM | Categories:

Ensuring your staff understand correct email etiquette

It is amazing to find in this day and age that many business owners do not understand the importance of good grammar and etiquette when it comes to writing emails.  In fact, many people send emails late or don’t even attempt to reply at all. 

Clients usually appreciate good customer service and professional email responses fall into this category.  If your CENTURY 21 Franchise is able to respond to emails efficiently and helpfully, you could create a competitive advantage for your real estate agency.

As the owner and/or manager of the Franchise it is recommended that you provide guidelines for your employees outlining correct etiquette for writing emails at work.

Suggestions include:
1. Always use appropriate business language in all electronic communications.
Remember that emails can last forever.  Never write inappropriate words or comments in work emails, even if they are to personal friends or colleagues.

2. Use spell-check  
Spell-check needs to become habit when sending out emails to clients.  Poor grammar is an immediate sign that your Franchise may lack attention to detail.  You do not want to turn away new or existing clients from poorly constructed emails. 

3. Take your time to react to situations
Whilst responding to emails promptly is recommended, it is also important to take a moment to step away from an email containing criticism to reflect on how to write a diplomatic and clever response.  If you cannot think of anything nice or constructive to say, perhaps call the person to resolve the matter. 

4. Use caution with the ‘Reply to All’ button
Embarrassing moments can happen when you accidently send an email meant for one person to a large number of people.  Take care.
 
5. Be concise and to the point
Do not make your emails longer than necessary.  This will discourage people from reading them and could make them harder to access from a mobile phone. 

6. Make emails personal
Personally address your emails and try to include customised content, even when using a template.  Avoid sending automated emails wherever possible. 

7. Do not over-use the high priority function
Use the high priority function only when an email is extremely important.  If overused, people could begin to ignore the significance of your emails. 

8. Do not write in CAPTIALS
Emailing in capital letters gives the impression that you are SHOUTING to your recipient. 

9. Don’t leave out the email’s message thread
Try to reply to emails instead of starting a new message as it can be helpful to have immediate access to previous correspondence.  Building email threads will also help you manage your inbox when you need to search for prior comment.

10. Do not abbreviate or attach unnecessary files
Be careful about using abbreviations in your emails as the recipient may not understand your meaning.  Where possible try to compress large files and only send attachments where necessary.

It is often worth establishing an office policy regarding email etiquette and taking the time to convey to your team the importance of such etiquette.  Remember that one poisonous email can damage the reputation of your real estate franchise.

 


0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 01/11/2010 at 3:44 PM | Categories: