Viewing by month: July 2013

Tips for improving performance over the 2013/14 financial year

As the year goes on, enthusiasm for work can begin to waver, particularly if you haven’t had any breaks or holidays for a while. However, the beginning of a new financial year can provide a timely opportunity to take stock at work and recalibrate for the fiscal year ahead. To this end, we have prepared three simple tips to help you maximise your job performance over the 2013/14 financial year. 

1. Stay positive: as with many situations in life, you may be made responsible for tasks and projects that aren’t entirely aligned with your wants or interests. However, by focusing on the potential positives and benefits associated with these types of tasks, you can increase your chances of maintaining a positive attitude and performing your job proficiently at all times – regardless of what you’re tasked to do; 

2. Maintain your client relationships: in the digital age, it’s easy to rely on emails and phone calls to communicate with clients. However, it is important not to disregard in-person contact altogether. Most clients appreciate it when you make an effort to see them, so book in a quick coffee or casual lunch to make sure that your clients know they are valued;

3. Re-charge your batteries: many professionals find themselves without sufficient opportunities to take part in hobbies that they enjoy, such as reading books or playing sport. A proper work-life balance is, however, an important component for personal well-being and strong workplace performance. As such, it important to make time at different points throughout the work week to engage in activities which bring relaxation and rejuvenation to your life.

Try these tips out and see if they make any difference to your performance at work in the current financial year. 


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 29/07/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Dealing with unsatisfied clients

Most real estate agents will encounter challenges in dealing with unsatisfied clients at one point or another. However, if client complaints are addressed in an effective way, they can potentially pave the way for renewed and more communicative working relationships. In light of this, we have prepared five quick tips to help agents deal with client complaints.

1. Listen – then act: some agents fail to understand the whole issue at play before rushing to provide a solution, which can sometimes yield negative results in terms of diffusing clients’ frustrations. When things go wrong for a client, they may simply want to vent and release frustration – so it’s important to let them air their concerns before interjecting. If you have a solution in mind that will likely solve their problem, that’s great; but if you don’t give the client an opportunity to speak first, they may never willing to be hear you out;

2. Thank the client: thanking the client for raising their issue with you may help to legitimise their concerns and diffuse their anger. This doesn’t mean that you have to accept complete responsibility for the issue; just that you thank the client for being honest and bringing the issue to your attention;

3. Empathise: empathy can be a powerful tool for connecting with unsatisfied and frustrated clients. However, if used carelessly, empathy can also work to fuel a client’s anger. The key to displaying empathy is to be sincere and to avoid commonising or minimising the client’s experience. To this end, it’s best to avoid using phrases such as “I know how it feels” and the like. Using broader statements that repeat the client’s problem such as “I understand that you’re having problems with settling this transaction” may prove more effective;

4. Follow-up promptly and regularly: It is important to follow-up with clients shortly after you’ve implemented a solution to ensure that they are satisfied with the outcome. Even if you know that the client is satisfied with the outcome, it is still important to regularly touch base to show them that you care and value their business.

By listening, thanking, empathising and following up with unsatisfied clients promptly and regularly, agents can place themselves in a strong position to diffuse client frustrations and salvage valuable professional relationships. 


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 19/07/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Stress management tips for agents under pressure

 

A career in real estate can be stressful at different points; clients can’t always be happy, market conditions can fluctuate, and even simple day-to-day tasks like getting to meetings on time can present occasional difficulties. Despite this, managing stress is a skill that can be learned and, as such, we have decided to share five quick tips to help you stay calm in the workplace.

 

1. Embrace stress: research released earlier this year by Yale University showed that individuals who have a positive mindset towards stress are likely to have higher levels of productivity, health and life satisfaction. With this in mind, try to make stress a constructive rather than destructive influence on your work life. Approach stressful situations with an open and positive attitude, and you may be surprised at the results;

 

2. Take 10: taking a break – even for 10 minutes – may help you to gain a sense of calm and focus. Through stepping away from a stressful situation for a short period, you can give yourself an opportunity to reflect, refresh and get back into work with a clear head;

 

3. Cut yourself some slack: self-compassion is commonly overlooked as an effective method for dealing with stress. Some US studies have found that self-compassionate people deal with stress in more constructive ways. Remember – to err is human, so don’t be too hard on yourself;

 

4. Take a deep breath: breathing deeply releases a flow of oxygen to the brain and blood supply, working to calm the body and release tension. So next time you find yourself overwhelmed by your “do-to” list or upset by a situation, take a few deep breaths and you’ll likely feel a little bit better.

 

Through implementing these four simple tips, you may be able to better deal with stressful situations in the workplace. Though not all of these methods may necessarily work for you, some likely will – so relax, try them out and hopefully you’ll see some results.


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 15/07/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Managing your social media presence: LinkedIn

LinkedIn is commonly thought to be a tool for gaining career momentum or searching for new employment. While these perceptions are more or less correct, LinkedIn can also be a valuable tool for client prospecting. With that said, here are five tips for creating a stronger prospecting presence on LinkedIn. 

1. Consider your profile picture: if you’re still using the same photo as when you joined LinkedIn four years ago – it’s probably time for an update. The picture you upload should not only be up-to-date, it should also project you in a professional way – not a personal one. Whilst a picture of you playing with your dog in a park may get plenty of likes on Facebook, this image would arguably be inappropriate in a professional networking context and, as such, it could potentially hinder rather than help your online prospecting potential;

2. Avoid sending out mass requests for recommendations: sending out requests for recommendations to all of your contacts may be tempting, but it is often unproductive. Personalising requests may take a little longer, however, you’ll be more likely to get relevant responses and less likely to frustrate your contacts; 

3. Keep it personal: only accept friend requests from, or make friend requests to, people you know – or have a good reason to connect with. Sending out phantom requests in order to boost your number of connections could potentially work to alienate the receiver rather than creating a new connection;

4. Contextualise your invitations: though you may have just met the person you’re sending an invitation to, it’s best to write a small note indicating how and when you met the person. Doing so will serve as a reminder of how you met and why you should be connecting;

5. Don’t blindly send out sales pitches: connecting with someone purely to send them a sales pitch may be perceived as tactless, aggressive and/or rude. Take a little time to build your relationships online first and your prospects may be more receptive to a face-to-face meetings or phone calls later down the track. 

Connecting with prospects on LinkedIn can be an effective strategy for boosting your client base – however, if used incorrectly, it may frustrate clients and alienate connections.  Consider the above tips and see if you can make your LinkedIn profile a springboard for new business. 


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 03/07/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Key reasons to clean your workspace

Most of us will have seen the image of a work desk overflowing with paperwork, rubbish and stationary. For some people, a cluttered desk evokes feelings of stress and disorganisation; for others, it doesn’t make an obvious psychological difference. However, regardless of whether you’re a neat-freak or an office hoarder, there are plenty of good reasons to keep your workspace clean and tidy. Here are a few of them:

Efficiency

Have you ever frantically searched for a file on a tight deadline and not been able to locate it in mounds of paperwork? Have you been late to client meetings because you’ve thrown out contact or address details that you mistook for “rubbish”? If your answer to either of these questions is “yes”, you’ve probably been the victim of your own mess at one point or another. 

Desk clutter can make it difficult to locate files and information quickly – if at all. Furthermore, visible piles of paper and the like can work to distract you from key tasks and priorities. If you want to give yourself the best chance of maximising your workplace efficiency, a clean desk is certainly a good place to start. 

Mental clarity

Tied to the issue of efficiency (or lack thereof) is stress and mental clarity. Generally, if you are disorganised and inefficient, your stress levels increase, your concentration levels suffer and your productivity levels drop. 

As a little experiment, pick a task that you commonly complete at work – one that takes approximately one hour. Firstly, attempt to complete the task with files and paperwork scattered across your desk. Write down how long the task took to complete and keep a copy of your output. Then, the next time you are about to complete the task, clean your desk so it’s spic-and-span. Again, complete the task and record your output as well as the timeline for completion. 

Compare your results and see if there is a difference in the quality and speed of your output. You might be surprised at how the cleanliness of a workspace affects your ability to think clearly and quickly.

The perceptions of others

There is little denying that appearances matter in the workplace. Several studies have shown that the appearance of a person’s workspace impacts on how they are perceived by their managers and co-workers – the cleaner their desk is, the more organised and professional they appear to be.

Cleanliness is even more important when clients come into your workspace. If clients see mess and clutter everywhere, it is hardly going to instil a great deal of confidence in your abilities to manage their property affairs. 

By keeping a clean and tidy office, you will likely increase your efficiency, productivity, organisation and reputation within the workplace – boosting your ability to list and sell more real estate. 


0 comments | Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 01/07/2013 at 12:00 AM | Categories: