Viewing by month: January 2012

New Year’s resolutions for your real estate business – and how to keep them

New Year can be a refreshing time for a real estate franchise business to re-evaluate its goals and priorities, particularly as many people will have come back to work after a break and with renewed focus, energy, motivation and ideas for the company.  As such, this period is an excellent time to set a renewed series of resolutions and goals for your business to achieve – giving the company direction for the year ahead. 

 

While the resolutions for each business may differ, according to the internal state of a company as well as its stage in the business life cycle, there are several resolutions that many owners and/or managers of real estate franchises could find value in achieving. 

 

These include:

 

·         Improve delegation tactics.  As owner and /or manager of a busy real estate franchise, there are usually a number of tasks to be done at any one time.  Consider improving your time management and levels of productivity by selectively delegating suitable tasks to appropriate staff members – as a result freeing up your time for other management activities. 

 

·         Ensure staff members feel appreciated.  As offices become busy and stressed, acknowledging the contribution of your staff can sometimes fall by the wayside.  There is much to be said for thanking and showing appreciation for your team through small gestures, which don’t have to be costly. 

 

·         Investigate the potential of social media.  While social media tools will not be the most effective form of marketing for all real estate franchises, it is nonetheless a rapidly emerging and influential tool.  As owner and/or manager it is important for you to remain up to date with this technology to ensure that you don’t miss the boat and miss out on valuable marketing opportunities. 

 

·         Ensure you maintain a healthy work/life balance.  As the year progresses and work becomes busy, it is important for owners and managers not to lose sight of their personal New Year’s resolutions and to ensure that there is a balance between work time and personal time. 

 

With these resolutions (and others that may also be important to your business) in place, it is important to give yourself the best chance of achieving them.  Potential tactics to increase the likelihood of staying on track with your resolutions can include:

 

·         Limiting the number of your resolutions to five, listed in order of priority;

·         Setting further ‘sub’ resolutions under each main resolution outlining the necessary steps to achieve them;

·         Keeping your top five resolutions close by as a daily reminder of what you wish to achieve;

·         Setting yourself a deadline by which each resolution should be achieved, with a reward for success; and

·         Revisiting your goals and monitoring your progress on a regular basis (e.g. monthly) to ensure you stay on track. 

 

Goal setting is important for all businesses, and real estate is no exception.  From a managerial perspective it is important to start a New Year refreshed and with goals in sight, both to encourage yourself and to motivate staff.  By setting key resolutions to be achieved, and having an understanding of how to accomplish them, your real estate franchise should be in a much better position to succeed over the year ahead.


0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 31/01/2012 at 11:36 AM | Categories:

Employing and integrating new staff for the success of your franchise

As the owner and/or manager of a CENTURY 21 real estate franchise, one of your key roles and responsibilities will surround the hiring and successful integration of new staff members into your office environment.  As many experienced managers will understand, this is not always just as easy as hiring the person with the best credentials and most experience, but rather can involve selecting somebody who is the best overall fit for your workplace, and having systems in place to assist them settle in smoothly. 

When hiring new staff to join your team, personality, along with qualifications, is an extremely important consideration.  In most cases (and dependent on your existing staff and office culture), an ideal new employee will be somebody who fits easily into the office environment, getting along reasonably well with most existing members of the team.  While personality shouldn’t dictate who you hire, particularly if somebody is well suited to the job at hand, it is definitely worthy of contemplation, especially if your new employee is to settle in quickly. 

Some offices may find that it can also be advantageous if new additions introduce a certain level of healthy competition into the workplace – driving all existing employees to achieve even greater feats as a result.

Upon hiring new team members, real estate franchise owners and managers may like to hold a series of activities to promote healthy team bonding and interaction – particularly outside of the work environment.  These do not have to be expensive or time-consuming, rather could simply be the suggestion of a social get together after work at the end of a week.  You may find that the integration process is furthered quite effectively when your team members are given an opportunity to get to know one another away from the pressures of work.

In addition, it may also be a worthwhile exercise to establish a system akin to a ‘buddy’ system upon a new staff member starting in your office.  By assigning the person to spend time with various other team members for a period of time as they engage in their day to day roles (such as going to visit a client, updating the office website, presenting a house for inspection, conducting an auction) the new staff member gets a fairly indepth look at each of the roles present in the office, as well as an opportunity to get to know individual team members. 

A flourishing working atmosphere in any industry is often the result of staff members interacting well together – creating an enjoyable and productive environment.  The successful hiring and integration of team members thus becomes an increasingly important exercise if such a balance is to be maintained.  Owners and managers of real estate franchises should note that there are a number of ways that new staff members can be suitably hired and then incorporated, ensuring the team, and office, continues to thrive – giving your office the best chance of achieving ongoing success.  


0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 23/01/2012 at 9:44 AM | Categories:

Manage your staff with freedom and responsibility

As many owners and managers of businesses will understand, a key aspect of management is knowing how to promote both productivity and creativity in the workplace, which will often depend on levels of freedom and responsibility granted. 

While some managers will want to oversee all aspects of all activities, as businesses grow in size this may not necessarily be practical all the time, and some level of delegation and transfer of authority may be necessary to keep productivity high.  In addition, managers should not discount the value of creative thought from employees – which is often a result of an encouraging management style. 

With responsibility can come productivity
It is often the case in the business world that when employees are given ownership of an appropriate task, whereby the outcome of that task is linked to their personal success, their level of determination and thus productivity can improve.  This is a key consideration for management – by passing on certain levels of responsibility (where appropriate) to qualified members of staff, the owners and managers of franchises can often see increased business success. 

With freedom can come creativity
In the competitive world of residential property sales, it is becoming increasingly important for real estate franchises in some markets to employ more ‘outside the box’ sales and marketing tactics.  Such thinking may begin with your staff members who are often out in the field and may have insights into creative improvements that can be employed.  Managers may find that a worthwhile exercise could be to encourage their agents to consider valuable new ways to improve everyday tasks.  Supporting such freedom of thought, where appropriate, has the potential to add value to any business.    

There is no doubt that there are many different types of management styles that exist with the potential to result in a successful business.  However, managers may find that a balanced office can be developed by encouraging staff to think outside the box where appropriate, while also making agents responsible for the outcomes of their actions (where suitable).  Many managers and owners will find that considering such a balance may help to improve levels of productivity and profitability within their real estate franchise. 


0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 16/01/2012 at 10:13 AM | Categories:

Opening up shop? Essentials for a first time real estate principal

The coming of a new year often sees the establishment of new businesses, and the real estate industry is no different.  If 2012 is set to see you open your first real estate franchise business – congratulations on your decision and welcome to the game. 

As the new principal of a real estate franchise your role will no doubt see you strive to both continue your success as a real estate agent, as well as manage a busy and thriving business.  There will be exciting times as listings are achieved and sales are made, and there could also be challenging periods where activity is slow and team morale is not as strong as usual.  As the leader of your team it will be part of your responsibility to keep your office on track and eager to move ahead. 

For first time principals there are a few essential concepts that you may find helpful as you navigate your new roles and responsibilities. 

 

Set an overarching strategy and goals

An all-encompassing business plan is necessary for any business, whether new or established.  Determining what it is you plan to achieve from the get-go should better position you to actually achieve these targets over the specified period.  A strategy can include your revenue, sales and listing targets, as well as plans for employee growth.  For the best results, monitor this strategy at set points (for example, quarterly) and assess your actual position as compared to that which was forecast. 

Communicate and meet with your team

No matter how large or small your team, aim to meet with them at regular times (for example at the beginning of each week) to go through your expectations and their work list.  Not only are such meetings essential for keeping your staff on task and motivated, it also allows you as Principal to remain aware of the progress of the business and where extra effort may be needed. 

It is also important that the relevant targets of your business strategy be communicated to your team so as to give them an understanding about where the business is going and the goals that you hope to achieve.  Providing such insights into your aspirations for the real estate business could serve to motivate your employees to contribute to such growth. 

Give thanks and motivate

Start-up businesses can sometimes be hard to get off the ground, no matter what the industry, and your team will no doubt play a significant role in ensuring the overall success of your business.  As Principal, remain aware of their contributions and acknowledge their work – even a verbal thank you can mean a huge amount to a hard working employee. 

As you are no doubt aware, the real estate industry can be a hugely rewarding one to be a part of.  With a solid strategy and good communications platform in place, you will be well on your way to ensuring the success of your new venture.


0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 12/01/2012 at 10:11 AM | Categories: