I hear a lot about threats in real estate these days. Whether it’s interest rates, inflation, or stagnant inventories, many people seem safe to believe that outside forces are the biggest threat facing real estate professionals right now. If you subscribe to this theory, I have a wake-up call for you: the changing market isn’t the biggest threat facing you or your real estate team.
In an 1838 speech by Abraham Lincoln he said: “At what point, then, can danger be expected to approach? I answer that if it ever reaches us, it must arise among us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction is our lot, we must be its originators and finishers ourselves.” Lincoln’s words should chill you to the bone. The biggest threat to your real estate business comes from within.
In collaboration with Sisu, I recently commissioned a national study on real estate teams conducted by the Center of Generational Kinetics. Among many interesting insights, our research found that poor communication and poorly defined roles top the list as the biggest threats to building a strong real estate team. Even if you’re a lone agent, you should be concerned about these threats—you work with brokers, clients, and others with whom these breaches of communication and trust could spell disaster.
A famous quote from George Bernard Shaw says, “The single greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it happened.” Do you have systems, standards, or processes in place to ensure clear and effective communication? Does the right hand know what the left hand is doing? If your answer is not enthusiastic and confident Yes indeeda threat lurks in your midst.
When communication breaks down, time is wasted, opportunities are missed and your business suffers. What do you do to ensure that communication not only happens, but is effective? Measuring how information flows through your business is critical to your success in this changing marketplace – shore it up now, before it rears its ugly face and you miss out on profits, opportunity, or both.
Poorly defined roles and responsibilities
When someone you deal with regularly doesn’t understand the relationship the way you do, you are dealing with ill-defined roles and responsibilities. In a team or with a broker this can quickly become obvious, but solutions are not always obvious. When dealing with customers, poorly defined roles can kill your business and wipe out your commissions.
This is really a function of communication. Clarity in communication is a good start to solving this problem, but at the heart of this problem lies accountability. When people—even customers—are not held accountable for their roles and responsibilities, the definition of those roles and responsibilities falls apart. Setting clear expectations from the beginning of a business relationship helps keep roles clearly defined. Following up after initiation with clear communication and accountability will help nip this threat in the bud.
This changing market should worry you not because the market itself is worrying, but because it is less forgiving of threats and mistakes on your team. The biggest threats to your business are communication, clarity and accountability. Prop them up now if you don’t want to be hit by a falling market. These insights come from our national study of real estate teams. For more insight into real estate teams, you can access the full study for free on the Workman Success Systems website.
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