*Originally posted here.
As real estate brokers and managers continue to look for new ways to revitalize their teams and increase their bottom line in 2014, one renowned authority firmly believes that the best place to motivate agents and clarify expectations is in sales meetings.
Unfortunately though, international sales management expert Kevin Higgins, CEO of Fusion Learning, explains that traditional team meetings are typically regarded as:
• Leader dominated, with those in charge taking 70 percent of the talk time
• Results focused, with a common theme being how far short the team is falling from their target
• Information based, with team members sharing in detail what they did last week and what they will do this week
• A necessary evil
"Let's face it, good REALTORS® are good producers — they make money," Higgins says. "So if you're going to take away their time and lock them in a room, you have to make sure they will exit that room equipped with something to make them more productive, or that will help make them more money."
Like with many companies who employ driven, competitive and busy associates, Higgins believes it’s time brokers and real estate managers shift meeting strategies toward engaging agents and support staff. According to Higgins, there are six keys to conducting a successful meeting, beginning with introducing an energizer.
INTRODUCE AN ENERGIZER
"Do something fun and interactive to start out the meeting," Higgins advises. "If you start with something fun and active, people will tend to show up on time. Choose either a fun energizer, or a business, strategy, sales, or company energizer.
"REALTORS® are often all over the map, and you need to get them to focus. So a strategy energizer would be asking each agent about one thing they will focus on that month so they will hit their sales goal. That way you have something to coach them on for the rest of the month," Higgins explains.
KEEP IT SIMPLY SIMPLE
The next key, says Higgins, is to keep it simply simple (KISS).
"A sales meeting is one-on-many, not one-on-one," Higgins explains. "Recognize that you have 10 or 20 people in the room, so you have to move fast, make it more valuable and have fun. Don't get hung up trying to do one-on-one coaching, which should be saved for a private meeting."
STAY FOCUSED ON A CENTRAL THEME
Higgins’ third key, incorporating three rules for individual updates, directly addresses the No. 1 killer of meetings.
"Let's face it—it's like passing a microphone around at a party—it just kills it," Higgins says. "So follow three rules: set time limits, have a theme, and don't be afraid to interrupt and take ‘rant sessions’ offline by reminding everyone to stick to the theme or by providing a central question for everyone to respond to, such as, what was your most exciting lead or best deal last week?”
MOTIVATE & REWARD
The next key to a successful meeting is a no-brainer, says Higgins: motivate and reward.
"I'll write the names of five or six people who did something important the previous week and end the meeting by recognizing them,” says Higgins. “It really ends meetings on a high note."
CREATE CAPABILITY ACTIVITIES
The fifth key is to create a capability activity. According to Higgins, this is the No. 1 thing brokers and managers can do to ensure a great meeting.
"Have the team put up the top-10 list regarding objections they get from new listing prospects, and ask each to respond in terms of how they would turn the objection into a listing," Higgins suggests. "Or have everyone look at a great prospective listing and share the top three things they like about the property. This can generate a lot of exciting marketing ideas."
STICK TO A STANDARD AGENDA
When it comes to conducting a successful meeting, Higgins' final key is to live by the standard agenda.
“With a standard agenda, you should be able to get ready for a sales meeting in 10 minutes or less,” Higgins says. "You'll know it always starts with an energizer, follows up with a capability activity, asks about individual and team updates, and then rewards and recognizes. I encourage brokers to use the standard agenda for every meeting.”
By utilizing the standard agenda, REALTORS® will know the structure, but they won't know what to expect.
"They come knowing it's going to be interactive and that they’ll be expected to participate and speak,” says Higgins. “They all come in sharp because they know the meeting is for—and about—them and they will be called on to take an active part."
John Voket is a contributing editor for RISMedia, an award-winning journalist and broadcaster covering a diverse range of topics related to the real estate industry.