Viewing by month: April 2011

Team building can help your bottom line

As is the case with any thriving business, for a real estate franchise to be successful each of the members of a team need to be able to work together effectively.  As much real estate transacting is often done on an individual or small group basis, there are some real estate franchises that find it challenging to work together as a cohesive unit. 

But even if your agents do conduct a lot of their work individually, your business’ profitability it is still reliant in part on your team working well together.  This includes everybody from your administrative staff to your top salespeople.  There are many team building activities that you can conduct with your employees to increase the effectiveness of their group interactions, which can in turn help your franchise’s success. 

There are a great deal of reasons why team building can be good for your real estate franchise and your employees.  Various exercises can:

• Help your team members get to know each other and develop relationships
• Help individuals get a sense of their strengths and weaknesses
• Help your team to understand where its strengths and weaknesses lie and the roles that individual members are best suited to
• Improve communication amongst the group
• Serve as a way to communicate and collaborate regarding the business’ objectives
Team building exercises will usually be based on a theme that is important for the workplace.  Examples of exercises include ones to improve communication skills, to encourage problem solving and various methods of decision making, to develop effective planning skills and to build trust within a team and between individuals. 

An aim of any team building session that is held in your franchise should be to develop the individual skills of your employees as well as the effectiveness and cohesiveness of the group as a whole.  A good outcome to have reached at the conclusion of a team building session is for your team to feel positive about their ability to achieve results through working together. 

As many work environments, including real estate, often reward and incentivise individual performance, the notion that a business benefits from its employees working as a team can sometimes fall by the wayside.  Do not underestimate the success that your franchise could achieve by incorporating team building activities that capitalise on improving the productivity of your team as a whole as well as developing the strengths of individuals. 

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 27/04/2011 at 9:16 AM | Categories:

Healthy habits, healthy workplace productivity

Establishing a healthy workplace by promoting healthy habits for your employees who are both on the road and in the office can result in significant benefits for your workers and your CENTURY 21 franchise.

The secret to workplace productivity can be simple – healthy employees positively correlate to a successful business. According to the Victorian Government’s WorkHealth program a healthy workplace is one where employers value the health and wellbeing of their workers. Creating a supportive environment where health becomes an integral part of your business’ strategy and daily initiatives can play a significant role in increasing staff productivity.

As manager or owner of a CENTURY 21 Franchise, it is recommended that you acknowledge the wellbeing of your staff as key to the success of your business. The more initiatives you can implement to improve the health and welfare of your real estate agents who are both out in the field and in house, the more likely you are to keep them actively interested in and engaged with their work.

Here are some helpful facts from WorkHealth that may encourage you to build a healthy workplace:
• Organisations that implement health and wellbeing strategies can reduce their employees’ health risk factors by up to 56%
• Productivity gains of up to 15% can be achieved by upgrading the workplace environment
• Obese employees are more likely to take higher levels of sick leave. Absenteeism due to sickness costs Australian businesses $7 billion annually.
• Overweight agents are more likely to have additional health risks and are considered by the Australian Safety and Compensation Council to be less productive and prone to injuries.
• Stress related workplace claims cost Australian businesses more than $200 million annually.

Impressing upon your agents the importance of healthy eating and regular physical activity amongst other habits, can not only help to improve profitability and efficiency within your Franchise, but can also enhance the general wellbeing of your CENTURY 21 real estate agents.

Several simple ways to boost health and productivity at your workplace include:
1. Challenge your staff to a fitness challenge
2. Opt for healthier food choices for working luncheons or catered events
3. Utilise natural light in the office as much as possible
4. Implement support services or health workshops to educate employees on the importance of their wellbeing
5. Select healthy rewards as incentives when encouraging or thanking employees
6. Organise office sports competitions
7. Create policies and practices that support a healthy balanced lifestyle
8. Make healthy and nutritious snacks readily available for your staff, such as fruit
9. Make sure your managerial leadership style embraces and supports the functioning of a healthy workspace

Creating an environment where you value the health and wellbeing of your workers has a number of benefits, including the reduced risk of chronic disease and workplace injury, as well as the potential for a drastic increase in your CENTURY 21 Franchise’s workplace productivity and success. Healthy eating habits really do equate to a healthy business.

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 19/04/2011 at 11:41 AM | Categories:

Enabling positive growth in your franchise

Once you have established your CENTURY 21 Franchise, the reality is that the business’ ability to remain profitable is relatively dependent on your own attitude and capability to empower its continued growth and development. 

Creating an easy-to-understand and execute strategy, encouraging assertive and positive attitudes amongst your real estate agents and regularly finding new ways to deliver value to your clients, are just some of the ways that you as manager and/or owner of this franchise can ensure the ongoing progression of your business. 

As the manager and/or owner of a franchise your ability to make strategic decisions for both short-term and long-term sustainable profitability is reliant on the management strategy and outlook you adopt.

For example, when it comes to current or forthcoming changes to economic conditions, it is often easier to be pessimistic rather than optimistic about negative activity.  In order to find opportunities in every situation, you should instantly take a closer look at the state of property in your local area, ensure you avail yourself of all available data and make sure you are aware of the comprehensive needs of your customers.  Armed with such knowledge, you will be in an enhanced position to execute an appropriate strategy, motivate staff, and limit a downturn in business activity – essentially turning a potentially harmful external situation into an advantageous opportunity for your franchise.     

The outlook and culture of the agents and staff working in your office is also important in ensuring the positive growth of your franchise.  Creating an engaging workspace can not only motivate and encourage staff to work through difficult situations, but can also give employees the means to become assertive and confident.  Such positive energy can often translate into more sales as your team takes proactive steps towards delivering value to your CENTURY 21 clients.

Successful organisations maintain regular, direct contact with their clients.  By simply taking the time to observe your clients’ buying habits and behaviours, your franchise may be able to discern areas where further value can be delivered, potentially resulting in more satisfied customers and a larger volume of work for your franchise.  For example, continued communication post-transaction to educate your interested clients about available real estate in their areas, could encourage them to do further business with you.

The success and longevity of your franchise ultimately depends on your ability to develop and grow a sustainable company.  Proactively making sure you are positioned to take advantage of a variety of market conditions, understanding the needs and wants of your clients, and working to ensure the optimism and motivation of your employees, are some of the things you can consider in order to make sure you maintain continued positive growth for your CENTURY 21 franchise. 

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 08/04/2011 at 11:30 AM | Categories:

Embracing mobile work strategies for your agents

Owning a real estate franchise means that a large number of your agents could spend a great deal of time both on the road and off-site for the majority of their working day.  Whether your employees are meeting with clients, showing open homes or simply driving from appointment to appointment, ensuring they are able to work remotely can be vital for the success of your business.

Today’s world of continuous advances in technology has made operating outside the office a much easier and more streamlined endeavour for both managers and employees.  As the owner and manager of your CENTURY 21 franchise you are fortunate to be able to maintain a continuous flow of information with your agents via handheld devices that support phone calls, a personal organiser, internet use and live emailing. 

And with the more recent advances in tablets and laptops, agents are now able to replicate all functions they would otherwise have in the office when they are on the road.  While the purchase of such technologies can be quite expensive, it is important to understand that in assisting your agents to work effectively when out of the office, you are essentially investing in improving your franchise’s productivity.     

Having said this, not all people are suited to working by themselves out of the office, despite the assistance that various technologies can provide them with.  This is something to keep in mind when hiring new agents for your franchise.   

There are certain traits that you can look for in agents to ensure that any new personnel you hire will be suited to working out of the office, without supervision.  A sense of initiative is important, as is the ability to create and work to a personal schedule, without the structure of formal business hours.  Effective agents need to be able to move seamlessly in and out of work mode, making use of small pockets of time in between client meetings and property showings in order to get tasks done, such as answering emails and phone calls. 

With agents on the road, it is important to be mindful of the fact that a lack of communication between staff can sometimes result in lower levels of productivity.  To further ensure accountability and profitability, it is recommended that as manager you continually touch base with your off-site staff by holding regular meetings or conference calls to make sure tasks and goals are being met on time and to offer advice and support where needed.    It may also be a worthwhile exercise to hold training sessions for your agents regarding how they can maximise their productivity while out of the office.
There is no doubt that as a manager, having little face to face time with your agents can be frustrating at times.  However, by embracing and giving guidance around mobile work strategies you can ensure that your on the road team remains up to date with office happenings and that productivity and motivation remain high. 

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 04/04/2011 at 9:31 AM | Categories: