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Accountability vs. motivation: Which is more important now?

As a leader, you need to focus more on systems and processes and let your agents determine their own ways of ensuring accountability and motivation.

In the real estate industry, the terms accountability and motivation are thrown around like confetti in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. They sound like productivity’s secret ingredients for success. They are the leadership philosophies that sometimes end up promoting more talk than walking.

There is nothing wrong with accountability or motivation. Yet, neither one is truly effective unless the individual is an accountable person and a self-motivated individual. You see, we often think that accountability and motivation are something we do to and for other people. But that’s not the case. Accountability and motivation are self-driven.

You’re never really able to motivate someone unless they already believe that what you are asking them to do will benefit them in some way. Either that or their thinking and beliefs are already in line with yours, and they agree.

The same concept applies to accountability. You can’t really hold someone accountable for completing a project, hitting a sales goal, or showing up to work on time unless they, too, agree to the standards and expectations set, and then are an accountable individual. Someone who does what they are going to do — with or without any consequence or outside influences.

However, even while accountability and motivation are self-driven, a little outside influence in the form of prescriptive activities, inspiration, education, and a focus on discipline never hurt anyone.

I would argue, though, that real estate professionals don’t need inspiration right now. They don’t need a big, descriptive, audacious vision to keep them engaged in the months ahead. Nor do they need more accountability measures, metrics to track, or people checking in on their work.

If they aren’t already motivated to sell real estate, and willing to show up and do the work required to build the business they desire, there isn’t anything you can say to change that.

What is most important for real estate agents right now is prescription, not description. We are in a skills-based market, where the most educated, skilled, and savvy real estate agents will come out on top.

As a leader in the real estate industry, working with your team on the following will help you stay one step ahead of the market:

Focus on the numbers that matter

For our teams, that means being crystal clear on signing something, selling something, or setting an appointment every day, and adding five new contacts to their database each week. That’s all that matters.

Master the market

Whether you provide it for your team, or you are an independent agent, make sure you are studying the national real estate and economic markets, as well as your local area. Being able to interpret that information for clients and customers is key.

Practice sales conversations

Now is not the time to rest on your laurels. Set aside time every day to practice different sales conversations, negotiation techniques, objection handling, and more. The more you practice various scenarios, the more confident and prepared you will be to engage in any conversation that comes your way. Everyone is a buyer, seller, or investor, they just may not know it yet.

Accountability and motivation are great. But what is more important right now is for leaders to be incredibly prescriptive with their agents and team members. You handle the “to-dos” and let the individual handle the accountability and motivation — the “how” they get it done.

By Adam Hergenrother

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