Viewing by month: December 2013

Take control of your meetings

Meetings are essential to the continued success of any business, regardless of size, market share or scope of operations. However, if not well run, meetings can often turn into activities which needlessly use up a teams time and energy, resulting in these meetings being regarded as a waste of time by those who attend.

With this in mind, here are four tips to help you regain control of your meetings in 2014.

1. Stick to an agenda: while a free flowing discussion can be useful in one-on-one situations, in a meeting, discussions like this can serve to distract from the point of the meeting. You may find it beneficial to write out an agenda for your meetings and stick to it, ensuring that attendee’s time is used well;

2. Limit size: you may want to limit participation in meetings to those who will directly be involved in the matter at hand. This may help ensure that everyone present is engaged in the meeting and prevent the group’s attention from wandering;

3. Manage ramblers: you may find that in meetings some people tend to ramble about their particular area, or passion, which can lead to other attendee’s becoming disengaged from the conversation. One way to manage these situations is to set a time limit to individual’s contributions. While this doesn’t need to be set to a stop watch, a rough guide will give you the opportunity to cut short needless distractions;

4. End the meeting well: some organisations have templates for taking notes which include space to write down key tasks which are assigned during the meeting. You may find it beneficial to have someone responsible for completing your own version of this checklist. The checklist can then be read back to attendees as the meeting is finishing, ensuring that everyone is aware of the key tasks they are responsible for after the meeting closes.


0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 21/12/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Refresh your marketing this summer

With the height of summer closing in, it’s a good time to start planning your marketing efforts for this summer and the year ahead. Summer is a great time to build your brand presence in the community – generally speaking; you’ll be able to engage with clients and prospective customers while they’re relaxed and away from the stress of the office.

With this in mind, here are four tips to help you plan this summer’s marketing activities.

1. Sponsor local events: it’s likely that a multitude of local events will be held over summer and you may want to consider sponsoring or working with these events to connect with your community. Often you’ll be able to pay for sponsorship, but you may want to consider offering ‘in-kind’ sponsorship, such as holding an auction to raise money for the organisation holding the event;

2. Target the beaches: it’s common knowledge that most Australians love spending time at the beach over summer. As such, you may want to consider engaging with your target market at the beach – for instance, sponsoring your local surf life saving club, or purchasing advertising space near the beach;

3. Consider sponsoring a sporting event: sporting tournaments are held across the country during the warmer months and it may be worthwhile to consider sponsoring a local tournament. On a national scale this has worked effectively for Century 21, with sponsorship of the 2013 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open generating strong positive media coverage and reached a large, national audience;

4. Leverage available resources: it’s important not to forget to utilise existing resources available to you, such as Smartbooks, TwentyOne magazine and home listing videos. While new initiatives can be exciting, these tried and true forms of marketing and promotion provide an opportunity to easily connect with your clients and community.

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 17/12/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Developing your leadership style

As a CENTURY 21 Principal, the leadership you provide to your sales team, property managers and support staff is essential to the success of your Franchise. The style of leadership you provide will have a clear impact on the way your franchise operates, however, many Principals lack the time to step back and examine their individual style.

In order to assist you with developing your leadership style in a limited time frame, we’ve put together four, easy to remember, D’s of leadership.

1. Dreaming: leaders need to be able to dream of a higher vision, before leading the team towards it. A leader serves to remind the team of how they fit into the bigger picture and larger goals of the organisation;

2. Decisiveness: a leader who lacks the ability to decisively make decisions can paralyse their entire business through inaction;

3. Drive: great leaders lead by example and show the entire team their drive, not necessarily by slaving away for hours at their desk, but by clearly demonstrating how every action they take builds the business;

4. Detailed: leaders need to know when to pay attention to the detail, and more importantly, when not to. It’s very easy to become a micro-manager, and monitor the tiny details of your employees work and great leaders know when to give their staff autonomy and trust them to deliver.

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 06/12/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Help your staff work smarter – not harder


With the constant availability of email and mobile phones in the digital age, the “work smarter not harder” adage may seem out of place in the modern office. Recent research by Atlassian, an Australian software development company, discovered that over 60 per cent of employees time at work is wasted and pointed out two major causes – emails and face-to-face meetings.

While meetings are essential to the running of any business, over reliance on email as a primary communication method may have a detrimental impact on staff’s productivity. For instance, Atlassian found that most people check their email at an average rate of around 36 times per hour.

It’s not so much the time staff spend reading email that is concerning, as the act of checking email in itself is remarkably disruptive. Every time an employee checks their email, it takes anywhere from 30 seconds to 16 minutes to refocus on the task they were doing prior.

Email also serves to silo people’s knowledge, and is best suited for simple communication, not lengthy back and forth collaboration. If a problem requires the collaboration of multiple staff members, it may work best to bring them all together for a brief, informal meeting to discuss solutions.

While it is unrealistic to remove email communication from the workplace completely, it may be beneficial to limit the amount of time spent checking email. This can be achieved easily by limiting email programs to only check for new messages every half hour, or once every hour.

Helping employees take control of their email could help regain some lost productivity in your office, however, it is important to remember another adage – “if it wasn’t written, it didn’t happen.” Reminding staff of this may help ensure that an over-reliance on email doesn’t suddenly turn into them neglecting it completely.

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 02/12/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories: