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Find That Silver Lining

The power of positive thinking can be a magical thing for brokers, particularly when market conditions aren’t such that buyers are funneling in through the door and sellers are waving down sales associates on the street to come in and list their homes for sale. “Look for what is good in the marketplace, and work hard to promote it,” says Patti Brotherton. “When you start feeling good about it, then your agents will feel good about it too.”

The momentum created by just a few positive comments can go a long way toward making sales associates feel comfortable, secure and productive in an otherwise challenging environment. On the other hand, the broker who complains openly about falling profits and unfavorable market shifts can put a real damper on productivity.

“I thought the market was good when interest rates were 19 percent,” says Brotherton, a self-proclaimed wearer of rose-colored glasses. If you’re one of those who may not be so likely to spread the good word in an uncertain market, she suggests taping yourself at your weekly sales meetings and playing back those tapes to hear just how positive (or negative) you sound. “As the broker, it’s up to you to tell the agents what’s going on. If you don’t see things positively, you won’t have a positive office.”
The proof is in the results, says Bob Corcoran, who recently asked one Florida sales associate, who’s a real “listing machine,” for his secret to keeping productivity up in today’s market. “He told me that everyone in Florida is complaining about how bad and how soft the market is,” says Corcoran, “but he goes out into the field every day thinking that the market is just fantastic.”

Brokers can borrow a page from that sales associate’s book, says Corcoran. “When you talk about maintaining profitability at a brokerage,” he says, “remember that it all starts with the right attitude.”