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RISMEDIA, March 3, 2011—You have 10 offices; you don’t have an exit strategy; the average age of your managers is 55 and the average age of your agents is 50. You have a lot of reinventing to do over the next few years in order to survive and put yourself in a position to exit the business more comfortably than you can today.

Your current managers are an integral part of this process. They must become “managers of the future” as soon as possible while you go about building your bench for the future.

You must lead by example. You might have the “managers of the future” right now, but if they don’t see you doing what you are asking from them or, worse, blocking their efforts at innovation and change, you will not accomplish your goals.

Here are the things you need to assess as you move forward with your reinvention:

-Assuming your team has been loyal and productive over the years, you are going to want to keep them intact. The question is, are all of them ready and willing to reinvent themselves?

-Are they all able to reinvent themselves?

-What if some of your managers are not willing or able to reinvent themselves? Are you in a position to replace them? Have you been developing a “bench” of potential managers that can succeed in this new environment?

You must start developing and/or recruiting this new type of manager today. Before you get going, however, make sure you are not just trying to recruit a younger, more technology-oriented version of your current managers. The role has changed dramatically over the past few years:

-Define what you think the office manager’s role should be in today’s environment.

-Make sure you are looking for someone who is proactive instead of reactive. Too many managers are great at putting out fires but don’t necessarily give you the leadership and innovation needed right now.

-Make sure that person is willing to be held highly accountable to clear metrics built around what it takes to be successful in 2011 and beyond.

Brokerages that address this issue head-on will be in a much better position to succeed going forward. Look outside your “bubble” to see what others outside your market and our industry our doing and don’t be tied to the paradigms of the past.

Jose Perez is the president of PCMS Consulting, a provider of recruiting, Internet, management and franchise solutions for the real estate brokerage industry. If you are a LinkedIn member and would like to hear what other leaders are doing to address this important issue, please join our group, RE Leader Search, or e-mail jlawler@pcmsconsulting.com for an invitation.

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