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The broker’s quick guide to instilling accountability in your team—and yourself

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teamworkEveryone manages someone.

Maybe your commercial real estate brokerage team includes you and one admin to support you. Maybe you manage one other broker, or 10. Or perhaps you’re an independent contractor and it’s really just you! Even then, you’re managing yourself and your work and output every day. As they say in commercial real estate, you eat what you kill, so you have to make sure you’re managing yourself as best you can.

Whatever size your team, instilling accountability can be difficult. Here are three tips to make it easier by structuring accountability into your processes.

1. Schedule structured accountability meetings.

A weekly, one-on-one check-in meeting is a simple concept, and it’s commonplace in most businesses. Commercial real estate is its own beast, though, and brokers are often independent-minded people. It can also be hard to find time to sit down when everyone is on their own schedule and out in the field.

But you need to know your team is committed, and that means keeping track of the metrics that matter, particularly around prospecting. It’s the easiest task to postpone, but the most important for long-term success. That’s why these meetings can help. You can review the number of calls made and meetings scheduled, as well as other deal updates. Maybe your broker needs help negotiating a tricky deal, or navigating a complex process.

If you think of it that way, these meetings should be something you both look forward to. Having a mentor is crucial in commercial real estate, so an outside perspective can only help. You get visibility into performance and accountability, they get motivation and coaching—everyone wins.

We’ve found that weekly meetings work best, with the option for a monthly review. And again, if you’re an independent contractor, you can put time on your calendar to review your own goals.

2. Implement worksheets that track relevant metrics and are submitted weekly. 

As we mentioned, everyone on your team is probably pretty busy, and they have their own schedules for tours, networking lunches, etc. Maybe you just can’t make weekly meetings happen.

Another option would be to create a simple worksheet or dashboard and have your brokers update it every week. (You can also expand this to non-brokers on the team, just adjust the goals accordingly.) Have everyone submit the metrics that matter to you, such as number of prospecting calls made, meetings scheduled, tours held, etc.

Just writing those numbers down and seeing the results can be a big motivator. When a broker sees they only did two hours of prospecting all week, it’s easier to realize that that’s not going to be enough! All the more reason to get back to it and do 10 hours the following week.

Without that accountability of actually filling out a form, brokers can continue feeling like they’re busy but not actually productive.

And of course, you need to actually check the worksheet and acknowledge it! If no one is looking, there’s no reason for them to do it.

3. Find an accountability partner.

We know one broker who works on a team with his son. They have a deal—if one of them doesn’t hit their numbers (in this case it’s the number of prospecting calls made each week), they pay the other $10.

It’s easy enough to pick a buddy on your team and do the same, adjusting the amount as you wish. Maybe you’ll be more motivated by $20. You could also pick a charity and donate each week you don’t hit your goals.

The idea is to make accountability more of game by upping the stakes. Again, this is a way to have fun with it! Your system doesn’t have to involve money at all. It could be emptying the dishwasher at the office or giving up your parking space for the week.