It can be a challenge to make sales meetings relevant to your agents. If you typically use the time to reiterate your company’s goals for sales volume, it’s probably turning agents off.
“You need to show your agents that you believe in them as a whole person, not just as tools to increase sales,” says Jim Garman, broker-owner of Better Home and Garden Real Estate—Go Realty in Durham, N.C.
So how can your sales meetings strike a personal, engaging tone while also promoting your company’s bottom line? At Inman Connect this year, brokers offered some modern spins on the traditional sales meeting.
1. Give your sales meetings an identity. Nothing’s more boring to an agent than being asked to join a “sales meeting,” says Katie Maxwell, managing broker of Intero Real Estate Services in Houston. She calls her weekly meetings the “rally hour,” which resonates with her 100 agents, who are mostly millennials. They get together to discuss their biggest accomplishments of the week and strategies to meet a new goal the next week. She also incorporates themes into her sales meetings.
One common complaint she heard from agents was that their families don’t understand their jobs. So Maxwell hosted “An Evening of Enlightenment,” inviting agents’ spouses to sit in on their sales discussions to learn about real estate. “It’s a great environment where we nurture everyone, and now I’m closer to my agents because I know their spouses,” Maxwell says.
2. Don’t just talk about your company’s goals. Thaddeus Wong, cofounder of @properties in Chicago, holds eight annual companywide meetings and dedicates a portion of each to discussing disruptors in the industry. “We talked about Redfin, for example, and their value proposition and whether they’re a threat to the market,” he explains. “We found that talking about disruptors demystifies them and allows us to focus on our own value proposition and what it is we do differently for our clients.” Wong says his company has created vocabulary to describe competitors, which engages agents in building company culture.
3. Add some entertainment and social value. Garman hosts the monthly “Go Show” at his office. The meeting mimics a talk show with rotating segments, such as top 10 lists and good news, in which agents share personal and professional triumphs. Ninety of his 110 agents typically show up, he says, partially due to the outreach to get them involved. “If they miss it, they feel like they’ve missed something,” Garman says. “We reach out to them and say, ‘Hey, we missed you. Here’s what happened while you were gone.’ People want to be missed.” Garman also uses the hashtag #GoShow on social media to generate buzz around the sales meetings.
4. Make it a time to try something new. You may ask your agents to put down their devices during sales meetings, but Wong asks his agents to pick them up — and try out a demo for a new piece of technology. “It’s the perfect time to pull up technology you’re trying to get them to use in their listings,” he says. “We’re showing our value to them by buying them this license to this product and allowing them to use it.” Creating the idea that sales meetings are a time to experience innovation gives agents a payoff for attending, Wong adds.
5. Give equal shine to top producers and smaller producers. It seems logical to spotlight top producers during sales meetings, but it potentially leaves other agents feeling disengaged. Plus, “sometimes top producers feel like a meeting cuts into their productivity,” Garman says.
Wong has figured out a way to keep everyone involved. At his meetings, top producers introduce mid-range producers they are mentoring and call out their successes. It gives smaller producers some recognition for their work, while also offering top producers a platform to educate from personal experience. “It takes the top producers and reengages them with our company and makes them remember how they grew themselves,” Wong says. “And if they can relate their own stories to others, it creates a powerful message.”