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4 ways to ditch waste-of-time meetings

by Chip Bell

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The average meeting is expensive, long and a waste of time. Those are not the inherent traits of meetings; they are the reality of what contemporary business culture has relegated them to.. But you and your agents deserve better.

American corporate culture loves to hold meetings; annually, we host more than a billion, according to collaborative software company Attentiv. But by and large, these intra-office get-togethers are often more like social summits than productive collaborations.

But that’s not to say a meeting can’t be valuable. They can and they should be, but there are steps to take to ensure that happens. Here are four ways to keep real estate team meetings on track:

  1. Plan, plan, and yes, plan – Attentiv reported that the majority of meetings are 31 minutes to 1.5 hours long, cost an average of $338 and are commonly described as being “inconclusive” and “unproductive.” That’s a lot of wasted time and money. Attentiv also found that 63 percent of all meetings were conducted without a pre-planned agenda. And therein lies a major problem for real estate agents. Real estate is a 24/7 business, and when it comes to meetings, they need to be: 1. valuable and 2. scheduled and planned out. If you want your agents to come prepared, schedule meetings and draft an agenda well in advance.
  2. Today we’ll be speaking about… – The most common complaints about meetings are that they’re inconclusive, they suffer from poor preparation, they’re disorganized, are often dominated by a single individual and end with no discernable results. These are all symptoms of the same thing: a lack of focus – which supported survey results from Mersive, which found “keeping meetings focused and on track” as the No. 1 challenge faced in meetings. Even if meetings are scheduled in advance, if the direction and purpose of the gathering isn’t fully fleshed out before the host begins to speak, the audience is already lost. Develop set topics to discuss before you schedule the meetings themselves.
  3. Give recognition where recognition is due – Meetings are great platforms to give praise; and praise is a great way to show appreciation and bolster motivation. In a study from McKinsey & Company, when examining “effective motivators,” praise from an immediate manager and attention from leaders were both found to have a bigger impact on employees than “cash bonuses,” raises in base pay and stock options.
  4. Involve the team – Another effective motivator that McKinsey found to outperform monetary incentives was offering the opportunity to lead. Not every agent will be equipped or have the desire to host a meeting, but if an agent – especially a top producer who already has the respect of his or her fellow agents – wants to speak on a topic they’re well-versed in, allowing them the opportunity is an effective way to engage and inspire.

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