As a broker or sales manager, your entire future sales revenue depends upon creating valuable relationships with each of your sales associates. When your agents rely on you for more than making sure the lights work at the office or that admin tasks are getting done, they look to you as a business partner and someone who adds real value to their lives financially, professionally and personally.
We need to guide and coach agents with a high level of support and direction at every level of their business lifecycle. Whether a new agent, a seasoned, mid-level, top producer or agent running a team, they all need a highly supportive and highly directive leader to help them at every level.
When I became a manager, I remember a very highly seasoned manager whom I greatly respected asked me, “How do you hold your agents accountable without insulting them?” I answered with, “because I am the sales manager and I need to know what type of month we are going to have for new listings and sales”—and the truth is, we are the pivotal position of leadership to 1) make a huge difference in your agents’ business and financial goals; 2) be responsible for driving listings and sales results; and 3) offer highly supportive and highly directive leadership that will pay huge dividends in accomplishing the first two.
When you only offer support, meaning you are at your desk with an “open door policy,” that is great, but it is only half the role. When you provide direction and lead, now you will be taking people to greatness and watching your agents soar to new heights. Like any great sports coach, they lead the players, they lead and direct the plays, and they show the plays that help the team win. You’re literally the head coach in your role, and it is through this great combination of highly supportive and highly directive communication and leadership that will create wildly successful results for your agents, your office and your company overall.
You will build a mutually beneficial relationship on trust and confidence that no one can replace. Not another manager, not another brokerage. Developing this leadership is the catalyst to unlocking the amazing potential and growth that will create year-over-year increases in top-line revenue, marketshare, recruiting results and a thriving/winning team that is loyal and in total partnership with you, their trusted business partner and coach.
Here’s how to shift your leadership style from only supportive to more directive and bring the results you are looking for.
- Add non-transferrable value. When you add so much value to an agent’s business and have helped them achieve success in hitting their goals, providing better strategies for them to list or sell more with your marketing and technology tools or help them achieve incredible financial success, that adds real value that can’t come from any other manager or company. Your agent only gets you at your current brokerage. They can’t take you with them, and they are more inclined to stay with you because they can’t take you with them. Add so much value that you are a partner to your agents for their success. You’re not taking credit for their success, but rather, you’re helping them by providing the strategies to grow their business with less cost and more results.
- Drive success at all producing levels. Your top 10% are probably doing 90% of the business in your office, and they need to be communicated with differently than the new agents or seasoned, mid-level producers in your office. But don’t assume they don’t need you. They do, just differently. The new agents you can be directive with by literally guiding them and telling them what and how to do the activities they need to do to be successful. And with your seasoned and or mid-level agents, it is important to know what their goals are and communicate to them where they are. Meaning some want to grow, some don’t. It’s okay. Don’t put the growth expectations on the ones that don’t want to grow. Instead, find the agents that want to grow and coach them. Again, dial up or down the directiveness with these agents because they are in their business lifecycle that is okay with them and okay with you. You can dial up the directive and supportive communication with your new agents because they need it the most. And let’s be honest, the agents on your roster that are struggling in the lower quartile of your ranking report by sales could also use some highly directive communication and focus, too. This approach has helped many part-time agents or agents who say they had to get a job to come in through your great leadership and direction. You can get them selling enough that they can quit that other job within four to eight transactions. Direct them to greatness and watch the success just grow.
- Build trust and real relationships. I would often get asked, “how do you have so many close relationships with your agents, and how do you get such a huge following?” I was leading over 750 sales associates and literally knew 700 of them personally. My reaction was and still is that you must have meaningful and real relationships with people by gaining their trust and confidence. This brings about a relationship where you have their best interests in mind on all things and you will have their back and support and direct them over all other things. This cannot be bought; it has to be organic, authentic and real.
- Unlock agent’s true potential. The great thing about coaching with a highly supportive and highly directive communication and leadership style is that you are literally transforming people and changing their lives, and it’s awesome to watch. Taking a new agent from rookie to rockstar status and helping them get there with the roadmap and formula for success. Our job is to push people out of their comfort zones and help them achieve their goals—and even beyond their goals sometimes.
By adopting and modifying your leadership behavior to one that is more directive and supportive (and not just supportive), you will be helping drive more success from every one of your agents who wants to grow their business. This approach will help you train and coach new agents with greater success, it will help you coach and support mid-level and top-producing agents and/or teams, and will help you recruit more effectively.
If you are interested in learning more about Sherri Johnson Coaching and our full suite of services ranging from training, coaching, consulting management and agent development strategies and solutions, recruiting services, or to book Sherri for your next keynote event, contact us at https://www.sherrijohnson.com/contact/ .
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