8 Things Real Estate Professionals Need to Know About Engaging People

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Are you too hard on your staff? The answer to that question is likely, yes. If you are anything like me, you want more for your team than they often want for themselves.
Engagement is an interesting word. Think of a couple getting married, “Engagement.” Why do we call a proposal, “Getting engaged?” What does it take for people to, “Get Engaged?”
In 2010 I proposed to my wife. First, we met, then we dated, then we kissed, then we got engaged. During that period of time, I was totally focused on her, and she was totally focused on me.
Anything she needed, I moved heaven and earth to be there for her. I utilized positive language, we spent time together, I gave her gifts, I also met the people she cares about most in her life.
After we did all that, we finally got engaged. Think about this for one second, are you engaging your team all wrong?
I know, we often like to think that we hire people who are smarter than us, you may even be thinking, I hired you to do XYZ. It’s your job to figure it out. This could not be further from the truth.
If you are asking yourself, “What am I paying you for,” then you probably need to take a deep breath.
Now, on the flip side, there are two things that you should absolutely not tolerate.  People who have action and attitude problems. If they have a bad attitude, that’s on them.
If they have an action problem, that’s on them, also. They can’t show up to work, or won't actually do the job they were hired for, then yes, they have got to go. I would not start with, “fire them.”

Disengagement is actually disguised as an action and/or attitude problem.

I was working with a property management company a couple of years ago. They had a very hardworking employee that just seems to always have a bad attitude when I started working with them.
It was not too long into my time with them that I notice that this employee was “overworked!” I don’t throw that word around loosely. They were on call and doing the job of close to 4 people.
They could not keep up with everything and the ownership would not hire her additional help. I eventually convinced the owners to hire additional help and her attitude started to improve. Within one year of working with me, our team quickly realized how talented and valuable she was. When I arrived her job was on the chopping block.
Even if you do not have employees, you are likely to have customers. There are 8 things you can do as a Realt Estate Professional to ensure that your team (or team of customers) love working with you, and are completely engaged in their job.
  1. Don’t blame them - If things are not going well or are not hitting the milestones you were expecting to hit. Take a real deep look at yourself. It is often not a problem with somebody. Research explains that you should look first inward and not outward (Firestone 2013). The first rule of couples therapy is to stop blaming the other person.   
  2. Don’t overwork them- If things are not going well, ask yourself, are you overworking the other person. Tiago Paiva is the CEO and Co-Founder of Talkdesk says, “Burnout is a common phenomenon that no one is immune to.”  It is easy to give up quickly if the other person feels overworked and is given too much, much more than they can handle. If this is the case right now, you may need to think about hiring some help for that person.  
  3. Don’t underestimate the importance of training/on-boarding them - If things are not going well ask yourself, did I spend my time training this person, and teaching them According to the Saxton Group training is important (Bickerton, 2014)..  If you find yourself constantly telling people to “figure it out,” they will quickly become disengaged. Starting the relationship properly is one of the most important things you can do. Set the other person’s expectations. Tell them how you want to be treated right upfront. Tell them how to communicate with you, their team, and set goals helping them ensure they are following step by step what is expected from them.
  4. Don’t argue with them - Learn the art of being agreeable. According to Brian Tracy arguing gets you nowhere (Tracy, 2011).. No one is engaged when you start arguing with them. The argument itself becomes disengaging. If you have found yourself in an argument, go say sorry right now. It’s not there fault it is yours. You now know better.
  5. Don’t lie to them - Lying is a quick way to disengage your team. According to Amber Neeley on Bright Hub a popular HR blog,“There usually aren't any legal repercussions to scare tactics or giving employees false hope.” Do not tell them one thing and then do something else. You have to build trust with people and lying will quickly tear it down.  
  6. Don’t work with everyone - Rise your selection criteria. “You'd be crazy not to use these personality assessment services today, they are scary accurate and can save you tens of thousands in hiring and management” (Holmes, 2016). You don’t have to work with every buyer, and you don’t have to work with a body for any job. Raise your standards about who you want to work with and pay them for it.
  7. Don’t under-value them- Don’t undervalue employees or customers. Each one is worth, what to your company? Do you know? Have you calculated it? According to Sandy Mckeey, on a popular site Survey Gizmo, “Organizations often measure employee satisfaction, but few are measuring engagement despite numerous studies that indicate that engaged employees care more, are more productive, give better service, and stay in their jobs longer”  (Mckee, 2014).
  8. Don’t control them- This last thing is pretty tough to do. People who try to control others are often out of control themselves (Schnarch, 2011). Management is all about control. Controlling the outcomes.  Today’s businesses need less management and more leaders. Leadership is the process of influencing the outcomes but not controlling them.
You may be asking yourself, how do I not control outcomes, but influence people to be more productive. I would suggest that you take a second and download the LEADERSHIP ENGAGEMENT PROCESS, QUICK 6 PAGE REFERENCE GUIDE.  Your team will thank you. You must engage your team through the fundamentals. Each page of the quick 6 peage reference guide defines the necessary steps to ensure your team member becomes fully engaged.

Bickerton, P. (2014). The Importance Of Training Staff. Saxons Group. http://www.saxonsgroup.com.au/blog/human-resources/the-importance-of-training-staff/

Firestone, L. (2013). Stop the Blame Game in Your Relationship. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/compassion-matters/201302/stop-the-blame-game-in-your-relationship

Holmes, C. (2016). Test New Hires With Amazing Results. Chet Holmes International.

Palva T.(2013). How to Avoid Employee Burnout. Kissmetrics. https://blog.kissmetrics.com/prevent-employee-burnout/

Tracy, B. (2011) How To Influence People: Avoid 5 Common Mistakes. Brian Tracy. http://www.briantracy.com/blog/sales-success/how-to-influence-people/

Neely, A (2012). Why You Should Never Mislead or Lie to Employees. Bright Hub. http://www.brighthub.com/office/human-resources/articles/123632.aspx

Mckee S. (2014), Why Employee Engagement Matters and How to Measure It. Survey Gizmo.  https://www.surveygizmo.com/survey-blog/why-employee-engagement-matters-and-how-to-measure-it/

Schnarch Ph.D. D. (2011). Intimacy and Desire. People Who Can't Control Themselves Control The People Around Them: Let other people have their own life. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/intimacy-and-desire/201105/people-who-cant-control-themselves-control-the-people-around-them