Running a real estate business requires its leaders to wear many hats. We are still people businesses, so the discussions that drive accountability remain critical.
Sales divisions still rely heavily on the commission structure to drive performance, but moving forward it may not be enough on its own.
As technology becomes more and more a critical part of the business model, so too will be the ‘people’ side of business.
Those businesses that achieve above average results have amazing leaders and invest in a great culture. Here are some tips for keeping to your plan.
1. WATCH OUT FOR SQUIRRELS
Squirrels are those random ideas or bright, shiny objects that distract you from what you should be focused on in business.
Principals will often bring a squirrel into the office and sometimes they are good, but it is not wise to have too many squirrels in the office at any point in time.
2. GET SOME RHYTHM
Know what you need to monitor daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually. Not everything should be monitored all the time and too many KPIs can be confusing for the team.
3. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE DISCUSSION
Measure your KPIs, but the most important part of accountability processes is actually the discussion surrounding them.
Ask your team members to discuss what worked, what didn’t work, and what you could do together to deliver a better result.
4. PROXIES CAN SOMETIMES BE ENOUGH
When precise data doesn’t exist, don’t stress and use a proxy. It is the trend that often matters most, so start measuring and watch for trends.
Even measurements like net promotor scores (NPS) are only a proxy, but I also like measuring things like team happiness.
5. KPI FATIGUE IS REAL
When things change in your business there is a temptation to add new KPIs. Not everyone deals with this well, so before you add new KPIs every month make sure they are really going to benefit the team and the business.
6. OFTEN YOU ENCOURAGE THE WRONG BEHAVIOUR
Make sure your KPIs are linked to your vision for the business.
Often, I see a disconnect between the big picture and what people hold the team accountable to. If you are measuring it, that is the behaviour you are encouraging.
7. RUBBISH IN, RUBBISH OUT
Attention does need to be given to how data is collated. Take the time to check the process for data collation upfront so you have confidence in what is produced.
8. IT’S OK TO HAVE A FEW FAVOURITES
I have a few favourites I always lean on for the real estate industry. Find yours and hero them within your business.
One of my favourites is probably not a true KPI, but I love monitoring the breakeven point every quarter (not something you want to do every month).
9. WATCH OUT FOR THE VANITY METRICS
Sales are vanity, profits are sanity, but cash is reality. Make sure you are not just tracking vanity metrics in your business.
10. BUILD TRUST TO CREATE OPPORTUNITY FOR REAL ACCOUNTABILITY
Don’t underestimate the importance of the human side of accountability. Check out Patrick Lencioni’s book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.
You need to build trust before you can have healthy discussions and hold the team accountable.
The most important part of accountability is the discussion, but even that is useless if you don’t have the trust with your team members to raise and challenge what is working and what is not.