Viewing by month: March 2011

Why meeting regularly with your team improves performance

As the manager and/or owner of a CENTURY 21 real estate franchise, one of your main roles is to coordinate your team of real estate agents.  It is therefore important to ensure that you and your team come together at regular intervals, so as to meet with each other and remain up to date with the happenings of your franchise. 

To this end, when conducted correctly, team meetings, or Work in Progress (WIP) meetings can become a driving force motivating team performance within your CENTURY 21 franchise.

WIP meetings serve a variety of important functions in all businesses.  These include:
• Keeping employees (your agents) focused on their weekly tasks at hand and motivated to update you and the team on progress made. 
• Encouraging staff to motivate each other and reach goals on time.
• Enabling your team to remain well aware about what is going on in the company.
• Offering an opportunity for you and your team to share ideas and assist each other. 

WIP meetings should not be looked upon as time misspent, but rather as an important management tool that can be utilised to motivate your team and keep your team members on track.  It is often mentioned that motivating one’s staff is a key factor when managing a business – motivated people are usually more productive, efficient and sound.

When it comes to managing your franchise, motivating your team at times needs to go beyond the individual relationships that you have with your team members and recognising that when your agents come together as a group, they can motivate and encourage each other.  

WIP meetings are also important in that they offer your agents the ability to remain aware and up-to-date with projects that are going on around them – including the sales assignments of fellow agents as well as office happenings.  This transparency within your office will be valuable in the instances when issues arise and various team members require help on individual projects. 

It should also be noted that holding regular WIP meetings can help to ignite refreshing ideas within your franchise.  While individual agents may work on their own projects, sometimes thoughts from a fresh set of eyes can help to add a further dimension to a task, or help to resolve a problem that has arisen. 

WIP meetings, which although can be time consuming and are sometimes tempting to reschedule, are an excellent management tool that you may like to consider incorporating into your franchise environment.  When held at regular intervals, these meetings serve to gather your team of agents together, encouraging them to work efficiently and giving them the opportunity to learn from other members of the franchise.  

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 28/03/2011 at 9:02 AM | Categories:

Smart ways to save money in the office

Business is not necessarily always about how efficient and productive you are as a manager to your CENTURY 21 real estate agents, but can sometimes depend upon how smart you are in improving your bottom line. 

As manager or owner of a CENTURY 21 franchise, adopting some of these smart and easy tips could help to ensure your office runs at a lower operating cost. 

Tip 1: Do not overstock on stationary supplies
? Stocktake your office’s stationary cupboard to see what quantity of items such as pens and notebooks are required for your staff to function for the next few months.
? There is no need to go shopping and splurge on stationary at the beginning of the year, as many stores overstock common items and will have regular sales. 

Tip 2: Search for cost reductions
? If you can, choose to avoid purchasing stationary and printing equipment such as toner, ink and paper at corner stores or private stationary sellers, and instead shop at large retailers for their own home brands, which can be found at much lower prices.
? When buying ink for your printer, discounts can generally be found when purchasing in bulk.

Tip 3: Cut your paper costs
? It can be simple to cut your paper cost by printing on both sides of the page.  This function can be set using your computer’s printing options.
? Leave a pile of scrap paper next to the printer so these sheets can be used when printing research or draft documents.
? Substitute paper trails for emails.
? Get more copy per page by slightly reducing the size of your font when printing.

Tip 4: Be green and contain your energy consumption
? To help preserve trees and land waste, choose to purchase sustainably sourced recycled paper.
? Adopt a power management strategy for the computers in your office to help manage energy costs.  For instance, turn off computers after hours, or set up a software application that shuts down your computers after they are left idle for a specific amount of time. 

The best way to understand what you can save is by educating yourself on what energy and expenses your franchise currently utilises.

By applying even one of the aforementioned tips, you are able to save money, end up with a more organised and efficient office space, and reduce your negative impact on the environment. 

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 21/03/2011 at 10:29 AM | Categories:

Understanding and benefiting from the business lifecycle

Franchises, just like any other business structure, move through cycles of establishment, growth, maturity and in some cases decline or renewal. 

As the owner/manager of a CENTURY 21 franchise it is can be helpful to fully understand and utilise the benefits possible at each stage of this natural business cycle.

What is the business lifecycle and how does it affect the management of your franchise?
The business lifecycle refers to the various stages of development that many businesses will go through.  Each of the different stages of development – establishment, growth, maturity and decline/renewal – present an assortment of opportunities and challenges for businesses. 

The good news for owners of franchises, including CENTURY 21 franchisees, is that you have an established organisation and brand behind you providing you with expertise, additional resources, systems and management guidelines to assist your franchise achieve long term success and longevity in the marketplace.   

It is up to you to take advantage of this support and use it to ensure the survival of your business. 

How can I avoid or protect myself from the decline stage in my business lifecycle?
The majority of businesses find themselves in a state of decline for a variety of reasons, including having too much debt, the presence of inadequate leadership and poor planning. 

This does not have to be the case for you.  The success of your franchise will be largely dependent on your abilities to manage and run the business, including the hiring of agents with a high level of local knowledge and expertise and upholding a strong standard of ethics. 

Having access to the CENTURY 21 business model and operating system will also help you to protect your franchise from suffering decline, and the company is able to offer support during times which may prove to be difficult. 
How do I benefit from my business lifecycle?
One of the best ways to ensure that your franchise moves successfully through cycles is to be aware of how your business is performing and to proactively implement any changes that need to be made. 

As long as you have the resources necessary to deal with burgeoning clients and revenues in the growth phase, seek new business when things peter out in maturity, and make changes to rejuvenate your company when necessary, you should be able to progress through the business lifecycle achieving success.  


0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 15/03/2011 at 11:37 AM | Categories:

The importance of taking a break during the work day

As the owner of a Century 21 franchise you will understand the benefit to your business of keeping your real estate agents energised and motivated.  No matter how busy work may be, taking breaks during the day helps to clear heads and rejuvenate minds – usually resulting in increased productivity.  

It is therefore important for you to encourage your staff to take a break each day.  If your agents do not take moments for rest they may experience fatigue, reducing their efficiency.  In turn, this could affect the functionality and effectiveness of your day-to-day business.

According to a 2009 survey of 1,000 American workers by US food brand DiGiorno, 45 per cent of US workers said they took shorter or fewer lunch breaks than they did a year previously, with one third of employees admitting to passing on their lunch break due to an increasing workload. 

The ironic point highlighted by this survey is that despite seemingly working for a greater period of time in the absence of taking a break, by lunchtime/early afternoon the brain (which most workers rely on) has burned through the energy gained from breakfast and blood sugar levels have dropped – meaning it cannot function at an optimal level.  Therefore, having a break and eating actually improves the ability to function and helps to increase afternoon productivity.   

Whilst your employees’ choice of diet and how time is spent is not your personal responsibility, it is often in the best interests of your real estate franchise to ensure they have adequate time during the working day to eat and refresh their body and mind.  The amount of time that is appropriate for this break will usually be determined according to the contracts existing between the franchise and your agents. 

With the majority of your agents travelling between different neighbourhoods and clientele each day, as well as the advances in technology allowing people to be increasingly mobile, such break monitoring can prove difficult.  As the manager or owner of your franchise the best way to ensure your employees are healthy and energised at work (without taking too much time out) will often be through education.  By informing your agents about the importance of taking a break, and potentially even bringing in an expert to conduct a talk/training session in your office, your staff should get the message that taking a break is encouraged and may even help them to be more productive.

As a result, improving the performance of your real estate agents by encouraging them to take a break during the day should have a positive impact on the effectiveness of your franchise.    


1 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 07/03/2011 at 4:20 PM | Categories: