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Blocking and Tackling

As Ken Baris says, Vince Lombardi was someone who knew how to win, and just like Lombardi’s team, Baris’s brokerage firm “is all about blocking and tackling.”

To that end, says Baris, “We want to focus on taking listings, taking more listings and better listings, and marketing them more effectively to get them sold in order to drive more listings.”

While some brokers focus on their top producers, Baris zeroes in on the new agent. “Focus your leaders on the agents who will make the most difference,” he advised. “This could be the new associate who in three years will be a top producer.”

Baris also explained the importance of focusing on “directional nudging” at his firm. “Rome wasn’t built in a day; you have to pick two or three initiatives and nudge them along to completion. Instead of having lots of things on the table that you can’t complete, focus on getting smaller, meaningful initiatives to completion. It’s important to have all employees involved in this directional nudging.”

According to Baris, something as seemingly small as office appearance can spark a ripple effect that also helps increase profitability. “Little things combine to be significant,” he explained. “I recently put up wainscoting in one of our offices. So many companies are pulling back that I says, ‘let’s make our offices look even better.’ This led people to say, ‘good things are happening at Jordan Baris.’”

Commitment management is another strategy Baris follows at his firm. “You are limited if you try to do everything yourself, however, with commitment management, our staff gets busier. People like responsibility; commitment management says that ‘I respect you enough so that when I make a commitment, I’m counting on you to rise to the challenge to help fulfill it.’ People want more of that…not less. Envision, empower, energize—that’s what we do with commitment management.”

Drawing on another lesson from the world of sports, Baris discussed legendary basketball coach Pat Riley’s strategy for ensuring a “three-peat” victory. “Riley says that the only way we’re going to make the team twice as good is by making each player 10 percent better. So he worked on improving one player’s shooting, another player’s fitness, another’s mental errors, etc. We are doing the same thing at Jordan Baris. We can fine-tune people by looking at the areas where they can make a difference. By helping some people with a little, they can help others a lot.”