Let’s face it. It’s more challenging today than ever to motivate your agents to show up to team meetings. Successfully getting them to participate and engage is even more difficult!
Over the past 15 years operating real estate brokerages and leading sales teams, I’ve learned a few secrets about running effective and inspiring team meetings—ones that agents actually look forward to attending. Today, I’m happy to share those strategies with you.
Sure, it may be easy to blame your team. As managers, we may say, “They just don’t care,” or “They’re lazy.” But the truth is, if your team meetings were more engaging, informative, and entertaining, you wouldn’t have a participation problem. Read on to find out how to fix your attendance and engagement issues!
Table of Contents
10 Tips for Running More Effective & Inspiring Team Meetings in 2021
1. Make It Easy
A real estate agent’s day-to-day is very different in 2021 than even just a few years ago. Today, the lines between work and personal life are much less clearly defined. You’re no longer just competing with showings to get agents to come to meetings. You’re competing with their personal obligations as well.
2. Offer Virtual Team Meetings & Record Them
At one time, it was a novelty for a real estate brokerage to broadcast their team meeting online or virtually, but today it’s a necessity. Even post-pandemic, virtual participation in regular meetings seems like it’s here to stay. Virtual meetings provide options for everyone to participate, reducing commute times, and allowing for meetings to be recorded and replayed in the future.
So if you want more agents to attend your meetings, make them virtual. Then, save the meeting recordings and post them on a private YouTube channel or Facebook Group. You can later edit any outstanding topics and speakers you feature in your meetings into downloadable training for new agents.
3. Send a Reminder … or Three
I get it. Why send reminders if your team meeting is at the same time every week? Well, for starters, because your agents are busy and they will forget to prioritize them. Plus, your reminder can provide a detailed agenda that includes a list of topics you’ll cover in the meeting. Even better, your reminders may even build a little FOMO in your agents!
4. Send a Follow-up Email After the Meeting
Send a follow-up email to all the agents with a link to the recording and maybe some highlights from the meeting for agents who might not watch it. The goal is to remind the agents who attended, what they learned, and share notes or slides for their review.
Better yet, it will give agents who didn’t show up a feeling that they missed out on something fun and valuable for their career advancement—making it more likely they will attend your next meeting.
5. Run Your Team Meetings Like an Orchestra Conductor
Your role is similar to that of an orchestra’s conductor. As the leader of your brokerage team meeting, you’re responsible for the momentum of the meeting (the orchestra) and the engagement of your agents (the audience).
As the conductor of the team meeting, you should always stand in the front of the room when you are speaking and make eye contact with each agent as you look across the room.
A successful, enjoyable team meeting is 20% content and 80% entertainment. Overloading your agents with too many details will do very little to inspire or motivate them. Instead, create excitement and a sense of urgency by keeping the energy light for most of the meeting.
You should also never allow the meeting to get bogged down with material that can be taught in a basic skills class. Teaching basic skills and concepts slows down the energy and loses the focus of the primary message of the meeting. It will also ensure your producing agents totally tune you out and stare at their phones for the duration of your time together.
If someone on your team needs clarity or details, offer to sit down with them after the meeting instead of using valuable meeting time to cover things most agents already know.
6. Keep the Pace Up to Minimize Agent Distraction
Meetings with a quicker pace create a sense of urgency and keep agents from getting distracted. If you see attendees on their phones or checking email at your meetings, it is often because their mind is losing focus. Do something to shake things up. Ask a lot of questions, tell a joke, or begin to move around the room so you can see their screens, so they know you are noticing.
Engagement also helps keep people focused. Allow for group discussion but keep the individual conversations outside the room. Be cautious of calling on or calling out individuals directly. While an extrovert may like the attention, an introvert may feel picked on.
[Related article: The Pivot: Do Introverts Make Better Real Estate Agents?]
7. Teach to the Top Agents
Teach as if you are speaking to just the top producers in the room. You are not preparing them for a test—you are motivating them to improve.
Keep new or basic training out of the team meeting. If agents begin to feel they have already learned everything they can from you, they might stop coming to your meetings. Eventually, they may leave your brokerage if they don’t feel challenged enough.
Don’t worry about newer agents feeling left out because you aren’t addressing their needs directly. When they notice the attention you pay to top producers in your meeting, you’ll have inspired them to work harder to become one themselves.
8. Prepare Your Meeting Topics in Advance
A powerful meeting is well-thought-out. Whenever possible, start preparing your agenda and your content a week in advance. Thoughtful preparation will allow you to invite guests, review statistics, and develop your topic, content, and presentation.
9. Be the Best Source of Knowledge in the Room
Don’t surrender your position. If you’re constantly bringing in outside trainers and coaches to teach your agents, this non-verbally communicates that your agents can get all their training outside your office. Why do they need to be at your meetings or even your brokerage if they can get better training elsewhere?
If you must bring in outside trainers or coaches, meet with them and share your brokerage’s mission and vision to align their presentation with your brokerage goals. Set clear expectations about what programs they are going to pitch. Explicitly state that they are not to recruit to other brokerages. (Be cautious—many coaches are affiliated with brokerages that reward them for recruiting your agents.)
[Related article: How to Create an Inspiring Mission, Vision & Values for Your Brokerage]
10. Make Sure Your Meetings Follow a Schedule & Regular Format
Always start and finish on time! Top-producing agents are busy, and they place a high value on their time. They will stop coming to your meetings if they feel it is inconsistent and unpredictable. I always follow the exact same format for my meetings, which builds a sense of comfort and predictability for the agents on my team.
Here is a quick rundown of the format I use for my meetings:
The Ultimate Brokerage Team Meeting Format
There is no “ideal” time to hold your team meeting. Still, over the past 11 years of running and leading real estate brokerages, I found that weekly Tuesday meetings starting at 11:00 and finishing up right at noon was the ideal schedule for optimal agent attendance and participation.
Weekly meetings are predictable and build good habits in your team. The late morning also allows some agents to get in early for some morning prospecting, while others have time to get their kids off to school.
Ending at noon provides a perfect opportunity for a trusted lunch sponsor to provide a snack or light lunch and for agents to socialize with each other after the meeting.
Here is the exact team meeting format I follow:
The Ultimate Team Meeting Format
10:55 5-Minute Countdown!
Turn on some upbeat music and put a countdown clock on the screen. Walk around the office and tell agents you are beginning the meeting in five minutes. Have your Operations Manager set up the Zoom and take notes for the follow-up email. It may seem like overkill, but remember, high energy attracts people!
11:00 (10 Minutes) Meeting Opening
Always start on time (even if there are only two people in the room).
a) Share Something Good That Happened This Week
Ask people to share something good that happened at work or to them personally over the past week. You’ll be giving agents a chance to share early, so they don’t interrupt the meeting later. We all know how chatty agents can be, so let them get it out of their system early in the session.
The chat sessions give extroverted agents something to look forward to in their week and a reason to show up.
b) Share a ‘Failed Forward’ From This Week
This segment allows agents to share stories about how they tried something new, failed, and learned from it.
It reminds everyone that success is a process of failure. Top producers are often more willing than new agents to share their failures—reinforcing a “growth mindset” and encouraging others to take chances.
A “fail forward” also provides a coaching moment around how agents can quickly overcome failure. You can lead the discussion with questions like:
- “Will this truly impact you in 90 days?”
- “What did you learn from this?”
- “What can you do differently next time?”
- “What do you choose to do?”
c) Meeting Overview
Share with everyone what lessons or topics they are going to hear about in the meeting. Give them a reason to stay!
11:10 (20 Minutes) Agent Training or Coaching
For many of the agents on your team, this is the most important part of the meeting. It’s your chance to teach, challenge, and expand your agents’ knowledge and skills. I will discuss this in detail later in the article.
11:30 (5 Minutes) Broker Moment
Have the managing broker review an interesting real estate negotiation, contract correction, or real estate regulatory change. Of course, you’ll want to keep this (sometimes) dry material to a minimum, reserving contract training to contract classes and out of the team meeting.
11:35 (5 Minutes) Operation Manager Update
Have your Operations Manager review any office policy or process changes. Announce any upcoming events.
11:40 (5 Minutes) Brokerage Goals & Alignment
The Sales Manager reviews the brokerage’s annual and monthly goals and actual monthly and year-to-date closings and pendings.
The Sales Manager gives an inspirational message or pep talk to unite the team around a specific message or mission (see the “Team Objective” section in the topics below).
11:45 (10 Minutes) ‘Haves & Wants’
Allow agents to share their buyers’ housing needs and listings coming to market.
Begin by asking who has active buyers. Then, while they are talking, write the agent’s name on the whiteboard, along with their buyer’s desired property location, price range, home type, and number of bedrooms and baths.
Next, ask the agents to share if they have any new listings coming on the market soon. Write the agent’s name, the property address, home type, and number of bedrooms and baths of the upcoming listing on the whiteboard.
Allow agents to ask questions, and don’t forget to celebrate their success!
Have the Operations Manager email the list of “Haves and Wants” to the team and share it on your company’s internal Facebook group.
11:55 (5 Minutes) Lunch Sponsor Introduction
Before allowing your sponsor to present, have a conversation with them about expectations and standards to present to your group. Remind them that they only have five minutes to present and limit their presentation to showcase why the agents will want to talk with them after the meeting.
Give agents the option to stay after the meeting for lunch and hear a more extended presentation from the sponsor.
Noon: End the Meeting
Thank the sponsor for supporting your office and remind your team to stay for lunch if they’d like to hear more. Thank everyone for their time, officially end the meeting, and permit them to leave.
Example Team Meeting Coaching & Training Topics
Agents want to feel excited, supported, and motivated when they come to work every morning. They don’t want to hear repetitive stories of how you got your first listing or the importance of knowing the infinite details of water laws. Therefore, keep the training portion of the team meeting to no more than 20 minutes and keep your detailed content to a minimum. (Have I said this enough?)
There are five categories of topics I use to lead my team meetings. Rotate these each week to keep your team meetings relevant, fun, and fresh.
1. Seasonal Lead Generation Activities
- Spring is a great time to get the agents to contact their sphere. Rehearse and role play client referral scripts.
- Summer is the time to build their listing inventory. Rehearse and role play expired scripts and objection handlers.
- Fall is the time to give back. Have agents reconnect with their community by hosting a food or coat drive.
- Winter is an excellent time for agents to pop by their clients’ homes with a small holiday gift or treat.
[Related article: 15 Best Expired Listing Scripts & Objection Handlers 2021]
If you don’t have time to cover an entire topic, just do an overview and offer to spend time in a later group class for those interested in learning more. Don’t forget to share examples of other agents who are using these techniques to get success!
2. Coaching Presentation
Your coaching presentation should involve a technique or strategy that an agent can use to overcome limiting beliefs, insecurities, and fear of rejection. The presentation can be a short inspiring video, a passage from a book, or even song lyrics.
Make the coaching message more emotional by sharing a personal story about how this technique or strategy helped you.
3. Team Objective
- Objective: Create a team objective or a goal. For example:
“Help 100 people buy or sell a home in the next 90 days!”
“Collect 1,000 pounds of food for the food drive.”
“Knock on 1,000 doors in the next week.”
- Belief: Tell them why you believe they can accomplish this as a team and what exactly they must do to achieve the goal.
- Unity: What you are asking them to do is impossible as individuals, but as a team, it is possible!
- Create meaning: Explain how achieving the goal you’ve set forth is essential to the organization’s survival, how it will impact the community, and how they may benefit from participating.
“We MUST do this to achieve the next milestone!”
“We will feed 300 families.”
“When we achieve this, we will achieve 10% market share, and sellers are going to know our company by name!”
- Follow-through and accountability: Provide weekly reporting and accountability. Accomplish this in your team meeting, a small committee meeting, or a weekly email. Remember: If you don’t follow through, agents won’t take you seriously the next time.
4. Guest Speaker
Ask an interesting expert to talk for 20 minutes. When I say interesting speaker, I DON’T mean a title rep, lender, or a continuing education (CE) trainer. Provide a chance for your agents to hear from someone they wouldn’t usually have an opportunity to meet.
I’ve had energy healers, solar experts, and city planners speak at my meetings. As long as it is interesting and helpful information that an agent will get value from, they are welcome at my team meetings.
Here are a few ideas for relevant guest speakers you can find in your local community:
- County Commissioner
- City Planning Dept.
- Local developer
- CEO or Board of Director from the Association of REALTORS
- Local political candidate
- Real estate attorney
5. Agent Interview
Interview a top agent about a best practice at which they uniquely excel. Choose them from your brokerage or a brokerage from outside your area. Agents who are successful and skilled at video marketing, social media, blogging, or listing and buyer presentations can provide actionable advice for your agents.
Just make sure they present in such a way that other agents feel they have the same opportunity to achieve similar success. Show your agents that they also have the tools and ability to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to achieve the same results. Make it inspiring!
Real estate can be a lonely business. Agents need time to talk shop, share their wins, and socialize. If your team meeting involves too much training, your agents will lose interest and stop coming. Your responsibility as a leader is to provide an atmosphere of excitement, fun, and learning to keep your agents engaged in your team meetings.
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