ONE OF THE MOST COM­MONLY HEARD TERMS in this in­dus­try is ‘tak­ing your busi­ness to the next level'. To some this may mean open­ing another of­fice or buy­ing another rent roll. To oth­ers it may be putting on a busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager, a PA or in­vest­ing i

Elite Agent - - FRONT PAGE - Julie Davis and Neil Wil­liams

In our ex­pe­ri­ence, one of the most com­mon path­ways for growth is by adding more peo­ple to the team. Team growth makes sense to most of us be­cause it al­lows us to lever­age the skills and labour com­po­nent of oth­ers. How­ever, ir­re­spec­tive of whether we have a large of­fice or a BDU, we should first val­i­date that we ac­tu­ally need to add another team mem­ber.

Team growth needs to oc­cur when we have iden­ti­fied a short­age of skills that are lack­ing in the team, or we want to al­lo­cate some of our cur­rent tasks to free up time for our­selves and oth­ers to de­vote to func­tions that add more value. Ev­ery team mem­ber needs to have a spe­cific role, with spe­cific lev­els of re­spon­si­bil­ity and ac­count­abil­ity com­men­su­rate with the re­quire­ments of the po­si­tion and the needs of the busi­ness.

When de­cid­ing whether to re­cruit more peo­ple we need to val­i­date against spe­cific mea­sur­able cri­te­ria to de­ter­mine whether we ac­tu­ally ‘need' more peo­ple, or if we can achieve the growth through more ef­fi­cient sys­tems.

The first step is to iden­tify whether there is cur­rently a par­tic­u­lar skill or level of ex­pe­ri­ence that is miss­ing and re­quired for fu­ture growth. If the an­swer is yes, we need to as­sess whether an ex­ist­ing team mem­ber can be ei­ther trained or de­vel­oped to carry out the func­tion. Of­ten the so­lu­tion is al­ready within our ex­ist­ing team and there is no re­quire­ment to add another fifty or sixty thou­sand dol­lars to the pay­roll.

Adding more peo­ple to roles that are not clearly de­fined is ex­pen­sive in both time and money, and can of­ten re­sult in messy end­ings. So many of our team mem­bers al­ready have the skills and mo­ti­va­tion to be able to add value, but are not be­ing used be­cause of our re­sis­tance to think­ing lat­er­ally. If they are al­ready part of our cul­ture; we sim­ply need to as­sess their ca­pa­bil­ity and ca­pac­ity for self-growth.

If there is a need to add to the team, then get re­ally clear on the roles and re­quire­ments of the po­si­tion. As­sess ev­ery can­di­date against a se­lec­tion cri­te­ria and make the re­cruit­ment process both rig­or­ous and de­fined. It is as­ton­ish­ing to those out­side our in­dus­try that we con­tinue to re­cruit based on rep­u­ta­tion, of­ten in­volv­ing far too lit­tle scru­tiny of past per­for­mance and val­i­da­tion of skill level.

En­sure that your busi­ness, how­ever big or small, has processes with in­di­ca­tors and trig­gers so that each re­quire­ment for the next phase of growth has checks and bal­ances in place to mit­i­gate the chances of mak­ing poor and ex­pen­sive de­ci­sions.

The num­ber one in­hibitor to growth is our re­sis­tance and in­abil­ity to let go and en­trust tasks and de­ci­sion-mak­ing to oth­ers. Surround your­self with the right peo­ple and have faith that your stan­dards and sys­tems will sup­port you. A lot of us re­sist del­e­gat­ing be­cause we think that no one can do a job as well as we can. This is small­busi­ness think­ing and will stop busi­ness growth in its tracks.

You will never go to the next level if you are con­tin­u­ally go­ing back down the lad­der to tell the team what to do. Se­lect the most suit­able can­di­dates, both in­ter­nally and ex­ter­nally, against a cri­te­ria, train and sup­port them and then let them fly. Yes, there is an el­e­ment of risk in­volved but mi­cro-manag­ing peo­ple into early re­tire­ment is not a good busi­ness plan.

Julie Davis is one of the coun­try’s top fe­male real es­tate coaches. Neil Wil­liams is a qual­i­fied coach, trainer, li­censed real es­tate agent and work­place as­ses­sor. To­gether they use their skills to as­sist in­di­vid­u­als and teams cre­ate their op­ti­mal busi­ness de­vel­op­ment path­way. For more in­for­ma­tion visit agent­dy­nam­ics.com.au.

You will never go to the next level if you are con­tin­u­ally go­ing back down the lad­der to tell the team what to do.

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