On Accountability

Burning-Match -derek-GaveyMonday Morning Match is a quick post – maybe a quote, inspirational story or idea – intended to spark some motivation inside each of you so your week gets off to a fantastic start on Monday morning.

Last week I completed a session of our company’s new agent development program. It’s always a great experience to graduate a new class of agents who worked hard during the series of classes to learn new dialogues, discovered how to handle many of the situations that Realtors encounter in their career and attempted to increase their confidence and competence each day to better serve their customers and clients and earn trust along the way.

It’s always interesting to see what happens next.

After three weeks of pretty intense activity and a rigorous schedule, this first week out of the class for these agents, they must feel sort of like a baby bird. They innately know how to fly but they need to be pushed out of the comfort of their nests and develop the strength to flap their wings.

And so their mother pushes them.

Realistically most will spend their week doing what you all did your first week – getting ready to get ready. This first week without an instructor breathing down their neck will be a bit of welcome relief. No one telling them what to do or how to say something. There will be no homework assignments or required phone calls to members of their sphere or a For Sale By Owner or expired listing. As you probably know, most new agents who think they can “take a little break” from the rigorous routine of dialogues and appointment-setting, will quickly find that, much like running, it’s harder to get started once you have stopped for a while.

EAGLE AND BABY 2As “independent contractors” there is really no one telling these agents what they have to do each day. Branch managers or brokers aren’t really bosses, they are merely the figurehead that agents work with and hopefully are being held accountable by. And that’s where it gets interesting.

I am convinced that no one enters a career in real estate hoping to be mediocre. No one ever begins their Realtor days hoping to be an average agent.

So why are so many people afraid to be held accountable to the activities needed to achieve the results they desire?

Is it fear of failure? Fear of success? Lack of commitment? Insecurity about knowing what to do? A belief boundary so big and strong that accountability will make the status quo seem that much more comfortable?

“It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.“-  Moliere

I’ll Check In On You

We offered something new to our students this session. We offered to personally hold them accountable to their activities and efforts that would be needed to achieve the levels of success they desire. I would be reaching out to them weekly over the next month, bi-weekly for the next two months and then monthly for months 4 through 6.

These wouldn’t be “coaching” calls or visits. These are strictly simple check-ins on business activity for the week. Calls, appointments, showings, new clients signed, etc.

I was amazed that not every student took advantage of the offer. I certainly wasn’t offended and I understand that every person who enters this career has a different definition of success. I know a new career can be a little overwhelming and there is a lot to get used to about the life of a solo-preneur…even if you have a team of people here to help. I guess I was just expecting that anyone who dedicated themselves to three weeks of pretty intense training would want to make sure that they continue doing what it takes to achieve success.

I’m excited to connect with those who do want to share their results with me each week. As you loyal Carp’s Corner readers know, the real estate career isn’t easy and it takes a lot of dedication and overcoming failures and rejection to be successful. It’s been said that it takes 9 “no’s” to get to a yes so it’s a fact that this business is filled with more rejection than acceptance. That’s why it’s so important to…as Winston Churchill once said,  “go from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

Do You Offer Accountability?

And what about those of you who are in a leadership role as a manager, broker or owner? How are you helping to support and develop your team with accountability? I understand that people may not like the word “accountability” but when you’re treating real estate as a career and not as a hobby, results are critical and they rarely come without some serious efforts to secure, service and successfully represent home buyers or home sellers in a real estate transaction.

“Leaders must develop a lower threshold for alibis and become better communicators and enforcers of what they want done. If you are more interested in being liked and popular than holding people accountable for results, you have a serious leadership weakness. It is not your job to make people happy. Your job is to get them better. Holding people accountable to high standards and results is nothing to apologize for. Failing to stretch them to their potential is.” Dave Anderson, Author of No-Nonsense Leadership

I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

  • Do you practice accountability in your career?
  • Does it help you stay focused and committed?
  • Do you answer to a partner or spouse or is it a business only relationship like a manager or a business coach?

No matter your level of accountability – both personal and professional, I hope you have a great week. Make sure you hold yourself accountable to build relationships, solve problems and have fun.

After that, everything else is easy.


Photo Credit: Derek Gavey via Creative Commons



photo by: kensbirds
One Response to On Accountability
  1. Leslie Ebersole
    June 24, 2013 | 1:01 am

    Sean, having you as an accountability coach is a gift I would NEVER turn down.

    Would love to see the achievement paths of the folks who took you up on this generous offer.