I have managed hundreds of real estate sales executives over the years. Each one of them has come from a different background with unique life experiences. Some come with baggage but have the motivation to work and others think real estate is just a quick way to make money. I believe in giving people a fair chance, but I’ve also learned to recognize when someone isn’t going to work out. And I know that the most successful companies depend on a strong team staffed by hard-working, motivated employees who are passionate about their jobs and supporting their colleagues.
Early in my career, I developed a reputation for being able to turn unproductive offices into strong, profitable offices. Nobody really taught me how; I just hashed out a system of my own. And it took some trial and error. Essentially, my approach was this: Only surround yourself with people who share the same drive and passion who will work towards common goals. That’s how I learned that less can be more.
I created an aggressive approach to management with a competitive, winner-take-all vibe — and it was effective. I learned that I couldn’t change people, but I could change the environment by getting rid of those who were too satisfied with the status quo and hire people who wanted to improve.
Eventually, I had an epiphany: When you’re in management, you can provide your sales team with just about all the tools they need, except motivation — and that’s the most important thing. If they don’t have motivation already, you can’t force them to find it. That’s why it’s so important to recruit motivated individuals who clearly have a passion and drive for their work. Recognizing those traits in potential hires is what makes a strong manager.
I won’t apologize for being selective when it comes to hiring. RE/MAX Results isn’t an easy place to get a job, and I’m proud of that. We rarely hire inexperienced salespeople; 98 percent of our salespeople come to us with prior experience and a proven track record. We’re looking for people who are clearly prepared to give their all, all of the time.
On average, our sales executives sold 23 houses per person last year. They work hard, and our team works hard to give them a healthy working environment and the tools they need to continue succeeding. As a result, we’re also supporting the buyers and sellers — because if our sales executives are empowered, their clients will reap the rewards.
For more reading on my team building philosophy and what it takes to reach your full potential, check out my book, The Reward of Knowing.