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3 Ways Real Estate Professionals Engage Their Team Through Numbers

Real estate organizations need to lead their people by the numbers. We are often disengaged when we are given a job without direction. The numbers you give your team members to reach offer them purpose and meaning.  

Research from a popular 1981 article entitled, How to Retain Real Estate Sales People, expresses how real estate brokers and managers believed that money was the only important motivator for salespeople.

This could not be further from the truth. The biggest mistake Realtors make, when attempting to engage and retain talent, is thinking retention is based on income or pay.

Retention comes when a staff member is fully engaged.  Engagement happens when managers follow the Leadership Engagement Process and the second step is ensuring the entire staff knows their number.

Each position within the organization should be measured with a number.  

The biggest mistake successful Realtors make, once they figure out number measurement is thinking that every position in the organization needs to be tied to revenue generation or expense cutting. There are some important positions that offer support and structure to revenue generation or expense cutting.

All positions, especially these positions, must be managed to a number that offers insight into the staff members production.  

If you think it is important to hire someone, best you think though step one what is the mission of the position and then step two what number will measure the position.  Each position in your organization must exist for a purpose. That purpose must be to improve a number.

There are three types of numbers managers must pay attention. These three numbers will engage their teams and embrace people’s internal competitive natures:  

1.       Managers Numbers: If you are managing managers, these managers should be given a team goal to hit. This goal should be based on the production of the teams they supervise. This concept seems simple but you would be shocked how many companies confuse this simple concept. Managers mange people to produce. If they are given an individual production number they will be focused on producing.  

2.       Production Numbers: Producers get production goals to hit. If the individual within your organization does not manage people, then they should have a production goal. This means that producers should have a goal that is based on their individual efforts. This goals should be one that they can accomplish but stretches just beyond their comfort zone.

3.       Profitability Numbers: The manager’s numbers and the production numbers should directly affect profitability. Everyone in the organization should know the profitability numbers and how their position’s number supports the profitability numbers of the organization.

Think about the company numbers like a child would when stacking their blocks. You lay the foundation, or base, with your managers’ goals. There is often a lot of these blocks because they need to be the base from which all other goals are set.

Then your managers will help their team members set their individual production goals based on the needs of the organization.

The couple of blocks at the top are the profitability goals that you expect to hit based on the KPI’s or numbers set with your mid-level managers. If you drive goals top down or bottom up, you may be setting your organizational goals to high or low. Your mid-level managers know the resources that they have.

Now, if you are the only person in your organization you should focus on a production goal. Once you add your third team member you should begin to transition to manager goals. Once you reach your 12th person hired in your company you should focus on profitability numbers and help your managers set the company foundation goals, managers goals.  

Understanding your numbers is the second step in the Leadership Engagement Process, and you can download the quick 6 page reference guide for free: Here.

Roseberg, L. J., Gibson, C. K., & Epley, D. B. (1981). How to Retain Real Estate Sales People: What Things Work. Journal Of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 1(2), 36.

Nathan is the Senior Property Manager for US Revi Rentals a numbers driven property management firm in St. Charles, Missouri. Nathan holds an MBA with an emphasis in accounting from Keller Graduate School of Management and a B.A in Nonprofit Management from Lindenwood University. In addition to his degrees, he holds a Missouri Real Estate License and a National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP) certification. He is currently a member of SCORE which is a nonprofit organization that serves to mentor start-up and growing businesses. Lastly, Nathan wrote the book Leadership Coaching as a Strategy for Employee Development and has been a guest speaker and facilitator at national conferences on the topics of leadership. 


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