ASK THE COACHES
Lauren Kirk, Kate Benjamin & Heidi Walkinshaw
It's only fair that our EPM readers get their questions answered in the same way as our Elite Agent readers who are are able to 'Ask the Coach'. Ready to help in 2018, with no question too big or too small, are our three Real+ expert coaches, Lauren Kirk, Kate Benjamin and Heidi Walkinshaw.
Q. What can I do to improve the service my team delivers to our clients? We know that our business is dependent on our clients and their experience. What they do or don't say (both on- and offline) has an effect, not just on the property management team, but the business as a whole.
Of course, this means your team's attitude, language and actions can all make or break a relationship with your clients. The number of years of experience doesn't mean everything, because a hostile conversation will be remembered over their knowledge of legislation.
So what can you do to drive service first? Having the right team in place is the most important. Skills can be taught; attitude is more difficult to change. However, as a leader you also need to drive this attitude and lead by example. What you do and say is reflected by your team's attitude and actions.
What else can you do? Ensure your team are empowered to help by being able to make quick decisions, focus on communication in all processes so your customers' journey is a positive experience, and reward and recognise those who get positive feedback from your clients. So often we reward for growth, numbers and income, and forget to acknowledge exceptional customer service. Perhaps there is an investment in training needed to improve skills and knowledge so consistency is also achieved. Lastly, ensure changes are made when needed, embrace new ideas from your team and have service as your number one value for 2018.
– Lauren Kirk, General Manager, Coach, Consultant and Trainer
Q. How do I foster a better relationship with my sales team to generate referrals? The first question a sales person will ask is ‘What's in it for me?'. Salespeople have a job to do: they must list and sell homes to get paid. This is their number one priority. So how do we make it attractive to refer across those allimportant investor leads? The answer is simple – give to gain. Whilst a sure-fire way to grab their attention is to offer a monetary incentive, there are other ways to get the message across. Here are just a few to get you started:
• Keep it simple; make sure the team understands that lukewarm, possible investor leads are 100 per cent acceptable and that you require only a name and number to follow up a lead.
• Consider an office leaderboard and turn referring into a competition – salespeople are competitive by nature. Report on this in a public forum on a weekly basis. This may be done by sending a group office email or at the weekly sales meeting. Consider offering a monthly or quarterly prize for both converted leads and/or leads passed across.
• Always treat your referrers as you would a VIP client. When they do send leads your way, make sure you keep them up to date with progress and demonstrate how diligent you have been with your follow-up.
– Kate Benjamin, Coach, Consultant and Trainer
Q. I know there is opportunity for my team and me to be more productive, but I'm just not sure where I should start. The first step is to understand your purpose: what are the goals that are driving the business? The next step is to create the plan and then to ensure that your team understand how they are contributors to the overall success of the year ahead. Once the team understand where they are heading and what they need to achieve to be successful, they will start to look at their day-today operational tasks in a different light. Are there ways to become more efficient, whether by implementing new technology or simply removing some of the unnecessary distractions, paperwork or manual processes? The person in the job knows the job better than anyone else; trust and empower team feedback and make sure you encourage and set time for both individual and group feedback. When the vision is clear, teams are engaged and will naturally be looking for ways to help reach business goals.
– Heidi Walkinshaw, Coach, Consultant and Trainer