ASK THE COACHES

Lau­ren Kirk, Kate Ben­jamin & Heidi Walkin­shaw

Elite Property Manager - - Contents - To have your ques­tion an­swered email ask­the­[email protected]

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

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