Real estate teams are among some of the original remote workers. Because of the constant need to be out showing homes and meeting with clients and contractors, most real estate agents and brokers find themselves spending more time out of the office than in the office. Although in the past agents have typically spent a lot of time out of the office and working remotely, most brokers still would still see their agents face to face in the office regularly. However, now that more teams are working entirely remotely, there are some changes that brokers and agents are going through to be able to do this successfully.
Transitioning to managing a remote sales team may take some time, along with some trial and error, but thanks to technology and the fact that real estate has always been somewhat remote it can be a pretty simple adjustment. But what are the best practices when it comes to managing a real estate sales team remotely?
Provide the right technology
We are lucky to live in a time where we have the right technology to make remote working possible. However, this also means that there are many different tools, software, and technology available to manage our teams and for our teams to utilize in their day to day. Providing the right tools and technology from the get-go will not only make doing their jobs easier, it’ll make for simplified and streamlined project management and communication. When everyone is on the same page, using the same tools, and understands how to properly utilize that technology, you’re setting your team up for better communication and collaboration.
Here are some recommendations for remote real estate sales teams:
- Connect Now: Allows agents to respond quickly to leads generated by your website or 3rd party sources. Connect Now provides all the necessary information so that your team can start a sales conversation with the lead within minutes. In addition, it provides top of funnel analytics and automatically integrates with most CRM software for ease of use.
- Google Drive: replaces expensive and outdated Microsoft Office programs with Google cloud-based software that makes it easy to create, edit, store, and share documents with other team members as well as clients.
- Lastpass: If your team is sharing passwords for certain websites or software, Lastpass only requires one master password to access all other passwords. It makes it quick and easy to login to different websites as well as let your team access accounts without the actual password.
- HelloSign: There are several websites available to help you collect electronic signatures and avoid a lot of the inevitable paperwork that comes with real estate transactions. HelloSign is one of the most simplified and affordable options that will allow digital signatures for agreements, contracts, leases, and any other paperwork that needs to be signed.
- Zoom: Keeping face to face contact with your team is crucial and Zoom is one of the most popular video chat platforms available. Having regular meetings, or even one on one chats, with your team is made easy with Zoom.
- Slack: Email tends to pile up and communication gets buried. Many organizations have ditched the back and forth of emails and have moved to cloud-based apps like Slack for quick check in’s and communications that don’t need to be a full email. Your team will thank you for reducing their inbox clutter!
Set clear expectations with a remote working policy
When your team isn’t in a physical office, it’s essential to set clear expectations so that there are no misunderstandings or assumptions made. This can be done by creating an official remote working policy that can be distributed and referenced by your team as necessary.
A remote working policy should cover best practices and guidelines for your sales team to follow as they work remotely. It can clear up any confusion and allow your team to feel like they know what to expect as well as what is expected of them.
What should a remote working policy cover?
- Hours and schedule: Is your team expected to work a certain number of hours per day or per week? Are there certain hours that they are expected to be working or can they create a schedule that works best for them?
- Tools and software: What tools, technology, and software is your remote team expected to use? This can eliminate any confusion caused by not knowing how to deliver files or what programs to use for specific tasks.
- Communication: What is expected as far as communication? Will there be weekly Zoom meetings that your sales team is expected to participate in? What is the preferred method of communication for different situations?
- Privacy and security: Because of the nature of working remotely, it’s a bit harder to control privacy and security. Providing guidelines on how to handle sensitive information in your remote working policy will give clarity on how to safely handle that information so that it’s as safe as possible.
- Performance expectations: What expectations do you have for your sales team as far as performance? Are they expected to hit certain metrics?
Keep up with regular communication
Though you will not see your team face to face regularly, it is still essential to keep up with communication. If your team is new to remote working, it can take some time to find a balance between staying in regular contact with your team but also allowing them to work independently and set their own schedules and boundaries.
Communicating with a remote sales team should include regular contact with an emphasis on quality over quantity. While some teams may need a daily meeting, others may not and would prefer to meet less frequently. Besides, it’s becoming more accepted that meetings are abundantly necessary, and anything that can be taken care of via email or other means of communication is usually much more efficient.
Lastly, consider avoiding falling into the habit of only reaching out personally for negative reasons. Reaching out to give kudos and thanks more often than you think you need to can give your personnel the motivation and feedback they need to do good work. Remote work can be challenging and not being in constant contact with colleagues can leave team members feeling lonely, isolated, or unsure of their performance. Recognition will go a long way for remote employees who may feel disconnected. It’s a simple act that can truly increase morale.
When managing a sales team remotely, there is no one way to go about it. However, the tips above will give you a head start to figuring out what will work best for you and your remote sales team.