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I’m often asked by brokerages to help consult and coach their management teams to improve performance, predominantly the sales managers. A high-performing top manager is operating at peak performance, increasing revenue and marketshare, coaching agents, recruiting, creating adoption of core service affiliates, successfully retaining their agents and building successful cultures.

Here are the common characteristics you can emulate to be on top of your sales management game for high performance and wildly successful results:

  1. Take ownership.
    As the leader of your office, it is important to take ownership of your office—not only taking responsibility, but also owning everything that happens, good and bad. Things are going to happen, and how you handle them says so much about you. A quick admission of a mistake shows humility and teaches your team to also take ownership of their work. When you jump in to take ownership of a situation and then solve the problem for an agent or client, you are in that very moment exhibiting leadership by owning the situation, even if you didn’t cause it. It’s really a great way to diffuse situations, create solutions, serve and help lead your organization or team to success.
  1. Know your numbers—relentlessly.
    As the sales manager, you must know your numbers, and know them every day—how many sales do you bring in daily, how much revenue is coming in as new written business and how much revenue has closed. Where are you month-to-date, year-to-date or year-over-year? Know your breakeven number of what it takes monthly to run your operation, so you know, to the day, when you’re in profit. Knowing your numbers and focusing on them increases your improvement of those numbers. Tracking and reporting these numbers will help you implement and execute plans to increase them. Knowing your agents’ numbers is also important—they feel so amazing when you know their numbers better than they do. In sales, your numbers are your pulse. Top-performing sales managers are obsessed with their numbers, and so should you be if you want to grow.  
  1. Know your agents personally and professionally.
    Building relationships on trust and confidence makes a top-performing manager successful. They know that their relationships are the key to long-term retention and partnership with their agents. Personally and professionally knowing your agents makes you have a special relationship with them that they don’t have with anyone else; you are their coach, their confidant, their rock. You help them through tough times and celebrate with them during the great times. Continuing to build on the relationship year after year is key. Top-performing managers continually foster the relationships with all their agents to keep them mutually beneficial and real. Relationships are the key to retention and culture.
  1. Add tremendous value.
    Top-performing sales managers are constantly adding value to their agents and consumers. When you are adding value, you become invaluable. Agents need coaching, training, information, guidance and direction. If you show your agents how they can use your tools to make more money and grow their business, you will be adding value to the relationship. When you help them use marketing tools to generate more listings and close more sales, you are adding value—so, go add tremendous value to your agents every day.
  1. Drive listings and sales with energy and momentum.
    Top-performing sales managers know that their No. 1 job is to drive listings and sales for their team. Every sales agent needs and thrives on positive energy, momentum, motivation and inspiration. Challenge your team to do more than last month. Remind them where they can go make a difference and grow their business. Consistently ask for monthly forecasts from your team and hold weekly sales meeting to help drive listings and sales activity in your offices. 
  1. Recruiting is a priority.
    Top-performing sales managers are always growing their office and team with more agents. Whether new or experienced, they are always recruiting new blood to their operations. With new recruits comes an increase of company dollar, increased marketshare, increased profits, and so much more. Keeping recruiting a priority means you are actually growing your office in net gain of company dollar and with more people.  Top managers recruit on purpose, with a plan. You can make a significant difference to your bottom line by making recruiting a priority. 
  1. Overcommunicate.
    Strong and effective sales managers overcommunicate their information to their teams. In today’s environment, information must be given to a person seven different ways, seven different times. Top managers keep their sales agents informed of what’s going on with the company, the marketplace and the community. Make it a point to use face-to-face MBWA (management by walking around) and Management by Objectives to attain the trust and confidence of your team. They will more than appreciate your timely communications of what’s going on when they hear it from their leader: you.
  1. Be proactive and solve issues.
    Make sure you address situations and resolve conflict. Top and effective managers have a track record of solving issues quickly, so they don’t fester and create an undercurrent of toxic behavior. Resolving issues between agents or offices makes you a leader that is fair, trusted and respected. Bringing people together to help them resolve their differences is part of your job as the manager/leader. Make sure you build trust and remain fair, and hear all three sides of a story when resolving issues, whether between agents or between a client and an agent. Being proactive and not reactive will also create a very positive environment of mutual respect and teamwork in your office or organization.
  1. Be magnetic.
    Be a leader people will follow. When you’re magnetic, people are attracted to you and your energy and want to follow you. Top-performing sales managers lead their teams and create environments that people thrive in. You will attract people to you when you are leading them to success and providing value, tools, coaching and support. Be the leader that people want to follow for success.

Remember, your office is a direct reflection of you, and you want your top-performing managers bringing out the best in their teams and providing the environment for agents to thrive and grow. Adopting these characteristics and examples, you can dramatically increase your effectiveness as a sales manager in leading top-producing agents in a successful environment. Create the momentum, drive listings and sales, and build a culture where people want to be a part of your winning team!

For a free copy of my exclusive LeadershipPRO® Culture Assessment Worksheet that will help keep you performing at the highest level as a manager, click here.

Sherri Johnson is CEO and founder of Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting. With 20 years of experience in real estate, Johnson offers coaching, consulting and keynotes, and is a national speaker for the Secrets of Top Selling Agents tour. For more information, please contact or 844-989-2600 (toll-free) or visit