Leadership Lessons In Today’s Uncertain World...

Jun 28, 2012

An Interview with Mike Pallin                       

In these times of swift (and often chaotic) change – brokers, managers and leaders are often hungry for the direction and tools they need to not only build their offices, but provide the must-have skills and solutions their agents need to thrive.

We sat down with Company President Mike Pallin recently to talk about what he sees in terms of trends, needs and strategies for success.

Q:  With so many changes in our market in recent years, how do you think that's affected leadership roles for brokers and managers? 

A:  Floyd teaches us that sales managers have five jobs: recruit, train, direct, motivate and upgrade – and you’ll notice that each of those jobs is focused on PEOPLE.

The economy and changes in the market have, for many industry leaders, necessitated some managerial changes that unfortunately have taken their focus OFF people and put it on managing transactions instead.

Every business associated with the real estate transaction was unprepared for the speed and breadth of the changes caused by the economy. The slightest flaw in every single business model was magnified and exaggerated. Some businesses were gutted, some disappeared, and everyone was deeply affected.

What has emerged from the fire is proof of the Wickman truth that “When the going gets tough, the weak get going, and the tough get back to the basics.” Those brokers and managers who continued to recruit, train, direct, motivate and upgrade have survived and recovered much quicker. Some have even prospered, and that was because they stayed focused on their people and kept their people focused on doing the basics.

Q:  Floyd has some pretty powerful philosophies on how to grow  the RIGHT teams and keep agents on track -- can you share with us a little about those? 

A:  Growing the right team begins with an understanding of the ingredients. It’s like a recipe. When you use the best ingredients you can find, in the right amount and combined in the right sequence, the outcome is always predictable (and delicious!)

A team must first have a common goal to be a team. We prove every week in the program that a group of people working together for a common goal will always produce more than a group of people working as individuals.

To keep agents on track, get them to buy into the common goal, convert the goal into activity and publicly track activity and results. That is a very simple formula for success in leading a team, but it is absolutely foolproof. You find out quickly who is in and who isn’t.

Secondly, a team must have minimum standards.

Here’s a little example, but it turns out to be a big thing. We have become a very casual society. Yet in every well-run company we visit, the management team is always dressed for success.

Here’s another little thing that turns out to be big. When every team member’s email signature looks the same and has the same contact information and marketing slogan -- and that makes a huge difference.

Floyd’s philosophy is, “The higher the standards, the longer the line will be to get in.” How eager are the right people to get into an organization that has no standards? Or one that doesn’t enforce standards?

Standards will attract team members, because belonging to an organization that adheres to standards, values, principles and ideals is very attractive to people who are willing to work toward a common good.

The third ingredient of a team is integrated activity, which is nothing more or less than everybody contributing what they are supposed to contribute to the team effort. Doing their part, whatever their designated part is. For agents, that’s easy – bring in salable listings.

The fourth ingredient is individual commitment.  That means “look me in the eye and say I’m in,” sign a contract, or recite a pledge. “I’m in” can be obtained in a variety of ways, but the leader of a team has to get commitment from each individual.

Q:  You've got a new, exciting webinar series coming up --what should brokers know about that and why should they attend? 

A:  People today are drowning in a sea of information, and at the same time thirsting for direction. Floyd provides direction, straight from the heart, based on thousands of successes with managers and brokers. Not theory, but rather very practical, how-to systems and strategies that work.

I believe people want to be led. Our customers and clients need to be led to decisions which if left up to them, they wouldn’t make, but they will thank us for later. Agents want to be led to do the things that cause success, but if it were left up to them, they wouldn’t voluntarily do them. And leaders need reminders of the principles behind their decisions, and an affirmation of the actions they take. Leadership is very rewarding, and it can be lonely. Floyd will provide that reminder and affirmation.

Best part? You don’t have to get in the car and drive anywhere to spend an hour with Floyd. He comes to you. Live and in-person.

Q:  The Floyd Wickman Program is widely known to help brokers take the bottom 50% of their organizations and turn them into producers.  The impact of that on the whole company is usually a game-changer.  Tell us a little more about why that's so important.  

A:  I’d love to.  The  fact is that 82% of our students are either new or in the bottom half of production. What happens when they start to produce as much as the top half? (And by the way they do in our program!)

Here is what always happens:

  • More people are in your office working.

  • More people attend your meetings and your training.

  • More of your company listings get shown and sold.

  • Your listing inventory will increase in number and in quality.

Not once in over thirty years has production gone down when a company brings in a Floyd Wickman Program. Not once. Ever.

And when some of your better producers see the new people and formerly low producing people gaining on them, what do you suppose they do? There is a spillover effect that touches even the people who don’t take the program.

Besides, where do your better producers come from? They don’t appear as if by magic. They are developed. We speed up the development process.

Bottom line? Regardless of commission structure, there is almost always more profit and company dollar with transactions from agents in the bottom half. That’s why Floyd says, “Build from the bottom.”

Q:  Your best advice for brokers eager to succeed in today's market? 

A:  Recruit people with the understanding that their job is to bring in salable listings.

Train them to be effective listers. Teach them how to generate leads, convert leads to appointments, put on a powerful presentation, handle objections, close, and build referral relationships.

Direct their daily and weekly activities toward listings.

Motivate them to be listers with the following: Recognition. Praise. Awards. Perks. Conspicuously chart listing activity and results.

Upgrade if they don’t list. Find another place for them, maybe working for or with a full-time listing agent. Buyers give you a paycheck. Listings give you a business.

And, finally, if you are eager to succeed, time is of the essence. Invite a Floyd Wickman Trainer to meet with you and your leadership team. Get all the facts and see if the time is right to join forces with the most trusted name in real estate training, Floyd Wickman.

Thanks Mike!  Great information!  If you want to learn more about this powerful program – call the Floyd Wickman Team today at 800-910-5351 or click here to learn more online.  If you'd like to attend Floyd's upcoming webinar for leadership- click here.  

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