Friday, October 8, 2010
In praise of good managers.................
Jeffrey Barrett manages the Newark office of Coldwell Banker
King Thompson, one of the stronger offices for one of the
stronger residential real estate brokerages around these parts.
Favorite blogger Mathew Ferarra's post on Wednesday talked
about an undercurrent of stress and malaise that he is sensing
throughout the entire residential real estate world. It is a post
worth reading, here.
"I’m beginning to think it’s a psychological effect, a sort of
post-traumatic stress disorder affecting a large group of over-
worked, under-paid and constantly-targeted entrepreneurs
called REALTORS. Maybe it was what caused one student
recently to take me aside after a workshop in Minneapolis and
say, “Thanks for making me laugh for a couple of hours.”
Sure, she appreciated the skills and ideas she learned, but
more importantly, right now, she just needed to laugh.
It almost made me cry.
Whatever it is, it’s dangerous, this thing in the air
surrounding the housing industry. It’s got a lot of people
teetering: trying to make sense of a different set of answers
every day, always changing, never certain, stable, consistent –
or sensible – is more dangerous than any wave of foreclosures
or lengthening of the hidden inventory shadows........
But whatever it is, it doesn’t have to win, wear us down, or
spoil one more day. I think it can be fought off with a simple,
funny video – shared with our social network. Or a kind word
or encouragement spoken in our office meetings. Maybe even
a politically incorrect hug (agents aren’t employees, so maybe
we won’t have any lawsuits). Perhaps a cheesy joke in a mid-
week blog post can spark a smile or two."
I would think that the cure for "post-traumatic stress disorder
affecting a large group of over-worked, under-paid and
constantly-targeted entrepreneurs called REALTORS" is
having a good office manager.
Real estate sales is a business like none other. In the morning
you might compete against an agent for a listing assignment.
That very afternoon you might have to cooperate with that very
same agent on a sale. Your competitor/cooperator agent may
work for your company, or may work for a competitor's
company. It does get interesting and it can get stressful- even
in a good economy.
Managing agents can be like herding cats. After all, they are
Independent contractors (with a capital I).
But, a good manager......well, a good manager can make all the
difference. While there undoubtedly is a need for technical and
professional expertise, setting the tone, the atmosphere, the
attitude of the office may be the manager's most critical task.
A manager that creates a positive, optimistic, smiling, sharing,
problem-solving, goal-setting, and client-serving atmosphere,
will not only have a successful office, but is also going to make
coming to work fun!
Not only is Jeffrey Barrett a successful manager, he is fun
personified. I mean, really, look at the picture. Instant