THE MARINES HAVE LANDED * November 10, 2008
It is that dreaded time of year again! This is when any real estate broker or sales manager worth his or her salt intensifies their recruiting efforts while paying extra attention to retaining those agents who are contributing to the company dollar and profitability. What about the rest of your company? Does each and every employee in your brokerage truly regard each sales executive as a valued client or customer that is driving the bottom line?
Let's step back and take a long, hard look at the United States Marine Corps and their long tradition of "espirit de corps" that any Marine will tell you separates Marines from all other branches of the service. Their philosophy is very simple and perhaps even understated, but it goes like this: "You are a Marine first!" That means if your job is that of jet pilot, you are a hard-charging, ground-pounding, barking at the moon, lean, mean, green fighting Marine first . . . and a pilot second! The same is true for every specialty in the Marine Corps. No one in the Corps ever loses sight of the fact they are a Marine with a mission first; their occupational specialty must always take back seat to being a Marine.
So, the question I would pose is: "Does each and every staff member and employee in your organization see themselves as a REALTOR first"? Or does your accounting staff (not to single out accounting) view their work efforts at a distance from the business of selling real estate transactions? Do your employees view their position through the eyes of a dedicated, relentless sales executive that is working on a commission only basis to drive the revenue engine for your company? If not - you may have already spotted a major gap in your long term retention efforts. This same blind spot on the part of staff and employees will eventually erode recruiting efforts if left unchecked!
I am completely cognizant of just how difficult it is for staff and employees to embrace this notion - especially when they see the earnings potential of an agent or have to suffer though their poor paperwork habits and abilities. If you are really brave, ask some of your key agents to tell you the truth about their own customer service experiences with you staff. Then stand back and hope they don't scream - in a loud, command voice, "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!."
Would you rather shop at K-Mart or at Nieman-Marcus? Would you rather stay at the No-Tel Motel or the Four Seasons? The answers are obvious! Your customer service expectations at the Four Seasons or at Nieman-Marcus are at very high levels and are routinely exceeded by these companies.
This might be the perfect time of year to evaluate your managers, staff, and employees' level of customer service that is being delivered to your sales executives - who we all know are the lifeblood of our business. Let's learn from the Marines when the mission is put into perspective, that we will achieve that elusive state of espirit de corps. This in turn will build a solid foundation for retention and future recruiting.
[This post is dedicated to Maria Mull, VP AlignMark . . . who inspired this effort! Thank you Maria! Please visit her website at: http://www.ihireyou.com/ or her new recruiting blog at: Maria Mull's Blog.]