Expert Real Estate Coaching for Top Real Estate Agents, Top Real Estate Teams, and Top Brokerages across North America
Part 1 of Middleton Elite Coaching’s ‘Thought Leader Friday – Expert Coaches Series’ – for Real Estate Professionals, by Real Estate Professionals
Doubling Your Business Through Accountability & Rapport
If we told you that you could double your business over the next two years by increasing the number of meetings that you have with your people, you would probably call us crazy.
Zane Meadors, co-owner of The Kirby + Zane Team, our good friend, a Middleton Elite Coaching Client, and more notably, a Middleton Elite Coaching Real Estate Coach, recently shared with us during Part 1 of our ‘Thought Leader Friday – Expert Coaches Series’, exactly how their team has done that.
Zane Meadors and his professional business partner, Kirby Bridwell, run a successful 7-person real estate team based in Greenville, SC.
The Kirby + Zane Team had long been searching for ways to build unity and momentum within their team. At this time, they were Clients of expert real estate coaching company, Middleton Elite Coaching, and were being mentored by partners and head coaches Bill Middleton & Debbie Lariviere.
“As you might be thinking, I was like, ‘I don’t want to have more meetings. I’ve had my share of corporate meetings.’ If you’ve owned businesses, meetings are boring. However, we slowly implemented these meetings, and it really took off.“
According to Zane, the meetings themselves are not the only reason that they’ve doubled their business. He attributes the success of the last 2 years to his great partner and his awesome team. And, meetings are a large contributor to the success and growth of their business.
The full, 30-minute episode “Doubling Your Business Through Accountability and Rapport”, is available for viewing here.
4 Types of Meetings
There are 4 types of meetings that Zane performs with his team.
These meetings are:
- The ‘Daily Check-In’
- The ‘Weekly Tactical’
- The ‘Monthly Strategic’
- The ‘Off-Site Team Advance’
The ‘Daily Check-In’
The Daily Check-in is a meeting that Zane and his team have every day, regardless of what is going on that day. This meeting is brief and is held on a recurring schedule and at the same time every day. This meeting can be conducted in person, via Zoom, or even over the phone on a dedicated conference line.
During this 5-10 minute meeting, Zane allows each of his team members an opportunity to share:
- What they accomplished yesterday
- What they are going to accomplish today
- What, if anything, they need to help execute these tasks
Zane tries to keep this meeting fun and light-hearted, encouraging more of a brief overview than a detailed report.
The Daily Check-In helps keep each member of the Kirby + Zane Team accountable to themselves and to each other.
“It just gives us all an idea of what everyone is doing. If one agent hears another say ‘I’m doing door knocking today’, this may cause them to think ‘oh, I need to go pick up my game.’. It really works.”
Zane adds that another fun, and sometimes depressing, thing their team does during the Daily Check-In, is they will guess the daily inventory rate of their market.
The ‘Weekly Tactical’
The Weekly Tactical meeting is a meeting held weekly with multiple facets of the team. The total time commitment for this meeting is between 45 – 90 minutes, depending on the size of your team. The purpose of this meeting is to offer a time for team members to provide a more detailed update than a daily check-in and covers all of the ‘Must-Do’s’ of the week.
There are three types of Weekly Tactical meetings performed by Zane with his team.
1. Weekly Tactical – Staff Meeting
This meeting is held between Zane, Kirby, and their Director of Operations. It is approximately 20 minutes and, like the Daily Check-In, can be held in person, via Zoom, or over the phone.
Attendees of this meeting use a file-sharing service such as Google Drive, to work from a live document, serving as a task list for each week.
Examples of the topics discussed during this meeting are:
- What’s in the pipeline?
- How many are under contract?
- What do we need to do next?
- Are there any upcoming open houses?
- They discuss The 4P’s, and determine their productivity, upcoming projects, the people needed to execute on the projects, and how each of them is doing and feeling personally.
Their director of operations takes notes as they go through the document together, and the live document is updated with the responsibilities and tasks needing to be accomplished.
Immediately following this meeting, Zane will go into the second of the three tactical meetings:
2. Weekly Tactical – Team Meeting
The Weekly Tactical Team Meeting includes all members of the team. This meeting is 30-45 minutes and works great in person. Like all of the others, this meeting can be held via Zoom or over a dedicated conference line.
The purpose of this meeting is to:
- Review production numbers of the week
- Set goals for where these numbers need to be in the future
- Determine what open houses are coming up during the week
- Explore what listings are coming up
- Discuss any buyer needs or buyer-related items
- Uncover any key issues of the team and determine how they may be able to help each other as a team
According to Zane, this meeting is very tactical, very actionable.
3. Weekly Tactical – 1-On-1 Meeting
This meeting is one of Zane’s favorite types of meetings. To him, this type of meeting is the most impactful.
Zane holds a 1-on-1 meeting with each of the agents on his team. It helps him take a deep dive into how best to help and coach them. Zane feels this allows him to practice being an effective leader and to know his team better, especially as they are growing.
During these 30-minute weekly 1-on-1 meetings, Zane will encourage the agents on his team to set their own goals, and he will coach them toward these goals.
Zane works from a templated spreadsheet he affectionately calls the BizTracker. Zane keeps a BizTracker for each agent on his team. This spreadsheet covers 3-4 tactics they will use to reach the agent goals. In addition to goal setting, Zane helps coach his agents on time management, their budget, and most impactful to them, build and track their net worth.
Zane offers help with net worth building as an option to his agents, and although not all of them will participate, he is seeing amazing strides in those that do.
Agents join his team mostly unaware of their current net worth or how to determine and track it. Some of his agents are initially apprehensive to share or even to learn what their current net worth is. Zane adds that once they dig in and begin to track it, they can have real and insightful conversations that lead to real wealth-building progress.
In the full episode that you can view here, Zane shares an example of an agent that began in February of 2021 with a net worth of $12,800.
Using the tips and tools provided by Zane, the same agent had increased their net worth to $70,000 by August of the same year.
In another example, one agent began in January of 2021 with a net worth of $46,000, and although they initially saw very little movement, they stuck with tracking and now have a net worth of over $100,000.
Zane shares this to show the true impact of teaching, coaching, and training your team members to their goals. This has helped Zane build foundational trust with the agents on his team, and to help his team members succeed.
‘Don’t Fall In Love With Your Under Contract Pipeline’
We have all known agents who have a hefty under-contract pipeline, so they slow down on the work they put in and eventually find themselves in a slump.
During the 1-on-1 meeting, and through the use of his BizTracker Spreadsheet, Zane goes over the under contract, active buyers, upcoming listings, and other status types with each agent.
Through the use of this visual format, Zane can take a quick snapshot view to determine the health of that agent’s pipeline.
Zane finds that he doesn’t go over each tab in the BizTracker at every meeting. He prefers to touch on the hot points and items of importance, keeping all of the information in one place to use as needed.
The BizTracker spreadsheet also shows Zane how many hours each agent has been putting in, how many leads they are generating, how many outreaches and conversations they are having, and how many appointments were set and conducted.
What Zane calls ‘the powerful, secret sauce’, is combining his BizTracker Spreadsheet with the use of CTE, Middleton Elite Coaching’s business tracking tool. Through the use of these two tools, Zane is able to quickly dig into the challenges of his agents, and make effective changes on the spot.
In addition to covering the goals and conversions of each agent, Zane uses the Weekly 1-on-1 Meeting to talk about:
- What good things happened this week?
- What were the results from what you committed to do last week?
- What were your biggest challenges of last week?
- What’s your most important goal for the week? For the month?
- What are your goals and actions?
- What are you going to commit to this week? (he then follows up to confirm it is on the calendar)
These questions help lead the meeting to a range of productive topics, which Zane admits will often differ from what he would put on his agenda.
“I want to coach to the day, not necessarily to my agenda”.
Zane feels that the natural flow of topics during these meetings is the most important part of his team’s weekly cadence. “Don’t feel overwhelmed by the beginning of these meetings. Just trust me, because it works.”
Through weekly meetings, Zane is able to look at the production (and the gaps) of each agent on his team, which in turn allows him to coach them to be more productive.
In one example, Zane talks about an agent on his team who was a little more pushy than warm to new leads, ultimately causing a lack of appointments and closed deals. In identifying this, Zane coached his agent to become more personable.
He recalls an episode of one of his favorite shows ‘Better Call Saul’, in which Saul, an attorney, hires a receptionist for his firm. This receptionist was trying to attract new business, so Saul suggested she be more ‘folksy’ in her conversations.
“If you hear a dog in the background, you’ve got to say, ‘Is that a dog? What’s your dog’s name? Pepper. What, what kind of dog is pepper?’ and just learn to get chatty.”
Zane coached with this agent and helped them figure out how to get chatty in their conversations. The lead conversions of this agent just kind of went off the charts and this agent is going to reach their goals, and big goals they are, this year.
The ‘Monthly Strategic’
The ‘Monthly Strategic’ meeting is conducted once per month for 2-4 hours. The meeting is attended by all owners, partners, and operational leadership. The meeting attendees cover a multitude of financial and operational topics. This meeting allows their team to discuss, analyze, brainstorm, and decide upon critical issues affecting their long term success
Zane’s team uses the ‘Monthly Strategic’ meeting to cover:
- Profit and Loss review
- Budget Review
- Personnel needs
- Strategic planning for big events and large-scale projects
The Monthly Strategic meeting helps the Kirby + Zane team figure out how they are appropriating their money and their time, and how best to execute a growth plan for the future.
Another type of Monthly Strategic meeting that the Kirby + Zane team may hold on occasion is an Ad Hoc meeting.
Ad Hoc Meeting
The Ad Hoc meeting is designed to cover critical issues that need to be addressed quickly.
Zane emphasizes that by quickly addressing critical issues with his team, foundational trust is built, which he believes is the key to longevity on his team.
Depending on the source of the critical issues, or if there is an issue that continually arises within the team, Zane will hold an Ad Hoc Training Session with his team.
Ad Hoc Training Session – Allowing Others to Lead
Typically held every 4-6 weeks, Zane’s team will train on issues that they continually face, allowing them to learn to solve, or even to eliminate, these types of problems within their team.
Zane will often let his team facilitate the training in an effort to build leadership within his team. It is a great way to allow the team to work in their strengths, training each other and asking each other questions.
When asked about passing leadership opportunities onto his team, and how to decide when/what to hand off to whom, Zane had a great response.
“Understand that it is okay as a team leader to empower your team members and give them an opportunity to own their position.”
Zane says a lot of the top real estate agents, top real estate teams, and top brokerage clients that he Coaches with Middleton Elite Coaching face the challenge of feeling like they have to do everything themselves.
“A big move is to delegate some of these things to other people, but do it in a way that they see how you do it, and to some extent, they model the way you do it and then let them go, let them run.”
This provides his team members with a structure and a model for leadership.
Training Your Team To Lead
In an example he shared during this ‘Thought Leader Friday’ episode, Zane had an established agent on his team that was performing very well with the lead generation component of their CRM. He saw this as an opportunity to allow that agent to train their peers.
“I put them all in the room. We had some overview talk, went over some key numbers, some metrics, how many contacts until you get the final breakthrough and big numbers stuff. And then I asked this agent to sit down at the front of the room and lead and facilitate this training on our CRM. The room really responded because they weren’t listening to Zane anymore. They were listening to one of their peers show up as a leader. It was very powerful. The new agents took it to heart.”
Though not regularly on the calendar, Zane’s team likes to conduct these Ad Hoc Training Sessions on Friday mornings and conclude by meeting for lunch as a team.
The ‘Off-Site Team Advance’
The Off-Site Team Advance is a full-day or multiple-day event. It is away from the office, and ideally, uninterrupted by the outside world.
Zane’s team once held a team advance in a location without cell service. According to Zane, it was great. He had the full attention of his team and they built a rapport with each other during this time.
RELATED: Don’t Miss Part 2 in our ‘Thought Leader Friday – Expert Coaches Series’ which will cover ‘How To Win Your Team Annual Team Advance’ with Middleton Elite Coaching partners and head coaches Bill & Debbie
Commitment to Meetings & Managing Time
Like us, you’re probably thinking ‘that’s a lot of meetings’. You may initially wonder how you will fit in these meetings and achieve a healthy work-life balance How will you manage your time? What will holding these meetings really afford you?
Zane shares that the beginning was hard, but you will begin to set a rhythm for your team and that’s where the accountability factor shows up. He shares that because of this new weekly cadence, he knows that Mondays are dedicated to his team. He stacks his Weekly Tactical Meetings and 1-on-1s on Mondays in an effort to block and tackle any big issues from over the weekend.
Though Mondays work for him, Zane shares that it “doesn’t matter when you do it. You just need to do it.”.
“By creating this rhythm, I know what my calendar is. My team is more productive. They know if they have a question, they don’t necessarily have to call me on Thursday afternoon because we are going to talk about it on Monday. So I would say it sets an expectation because you have this rhythm, this cadence, and they know they’re going to have one-on-one time with you.”
Additionally, members of Zane’s team know they are going to get a deeper answer during their scheduled 1-on-1 time with him, as opposed to flying in and out of his office unscheduled.
“Oftentimes, if they’ve got a bigger problem, I’ll carve out more time and we’ll work through it.”
Zane adds that everybody on his team is more committed to productivity and to the time they allow for conducting their business. He agrees that there has been an exponential improvement to the work and life balance of his team members thanks to these routine meetings.
“It’s allowed me to take more time off and has allowed my partner to know that he can take time off. It’s allowed our admin to turn off the phone on the weekend so that no one’s calling her; because we all know we’re going to take care of this together during the week.”
And they’re also committed to tracking personal goals, taking trips, and addressing conflict quickly; three things many agents on his team rarely ever did before.
Accountability and Setting Expectations
How on earth will I ever get my team to fill out the BizTracker and get it to me?
Zane says, honestly, it took a while and it took some cajoling. He admits he reached a point where if a team member showed up to a meeting without having completed their homework he would simply end the meeting.
“When you get it done, you text me and we’ll start the meeting again”.
This often resulted in a text from that team member just minutes later stating that they had filled out their work, so the meeting would resume and they would work through it.
It just takes time.
Establishing a weekly rhythm through meetings allows new additions to the team to embrace the structure and cadence of the team. They are open to all of the benefits brought on through the meeting rhythm and team unity. They jump right into healthy conflict resolution, tough conversations, net worth tracking, and goal setting with the team.
New Teams Can Do This, Too
Kirby and Zane have been working together for 5 years now, though they had not become purposeful about building a team until just 3 years ago. Zane encourages anyone considering building their team, or who may be getting started.
Their 3-years-long journey has gone from two business partners making a decision to build a team, to closing $60M in volume this year, with an average sales price in the $300k-$350k range.
A Catalyst For Meetings – A Means To Accountability
Zane says he didn’t just wake up one day and decide to begin having meetings. There was a significant catalyst and that was called COVID. Zane mentions that during COVID, his team went from having a unity and working in a building together to having to check in with each other from home or from on the road.
During this time, Zane leaned heavily on his Middleton Elite Coaching expert real estate coaches, Bill & Debbie, and asked ‘What do we do?”
Bill & Debbie encouraged Zane to keep it up, not to stop. During a time when everyone else was pushing pause and watching events unfold, Zane turned it into an opportunity to double down on the things that worked well for their team, and to develop this daily team meeting, a means to their new team rhythm.
Zane says that he and his team spent a lot of time on Zoom, and they mostly still do. He agrees though, that once the cadence happened, they all felt it.
Building Your Business By Showing Up As A Leader
Zane says his business took off when his team started following him.
“I showed up as a leader because I was coaching them through the day-to-day of everything that we could.”
Growing your business and building rapport with your team allows you to share in their successes.
Being the leader of a team of seven, and an expert real estate coach to others, Zane certainly has had the opportunity to share in many successes.
He shares a story about one of his real estate coaching clients through Middleton Elite Coaching.
“My client said excitedly, ‘I just did my net worth tracker today!’. When I asked him his number, his face lit up and he realized he had a net worth of over a million dollars. It was absolutely fantastic!”
Zane also shares that he loves all of the people he is fortunate to coach and to lead, and to see this excitement is one of the things he loves most about being an expert real estate coach with Middleton Elite Coaching.
“I see it on my team. I see it with my clients. It’s absolutely great. It’s not just building trust with your team, it’s going to create stickiness. And when I say stickiness, I mean, your people are going to stick with you.”
A Final Thought On Where To Start
“First, I would say – take action.”.
Zane encourages taking even small steps in the beginning, just take action.
Secondly, Zane expresses the importance of having an agenda for every meeting. Even having a loose agenda provides you with something to build upon. It will help build rapport. It will help build accountability. It will help build a cadence. It can help you increase, and in Zane’s case, double the amount of business you can do over the next two years.
“Stick with it and at the end, I promise that you’re going to see that this cadence is the rhythm of meetings.”