A blueprint to maximize your time on the most popular virtual meeting platform.
While agents everywhere make necessary adjustments to their real estate businesses to operate in a virtual environment, brokers and managers must also do their part, including ensuring that their virtual sales meetings are maximally effective. Using the Zoom platform as an example (although the approach would be similar on other meeting platforms like Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, etc.), here are some tips to ensure that you bring your “A” game to your sales meetings to engage and inspire your agents:
Set up your meetings purposefully. Since most sales meetings will have more than three people and will last for more than 40 minutes, these tips assume that you have at least a Pro or Business plan, either of which are less than $20 per month and will allow you to host up to either 100 or 300 participants. After choosing “Schedule a Meeting,” fill in the details as follows:
– Schedule the meeting at your normal sales meeting time
– Suggested meeting duration = one hour
– Make the meeting recurring, with an end date far out in the future
– Do not require registration—this will make attendance easier for your agents
– Customize the password for your office or company (e.g. office name, company catchphrase, etc.)
– Enable “Join before host”—you wouldn’t keep your sales meeting room locked at the office, would you?
– Record the meeting automatically
These settings will make your meeting consistent and promote pre- and post-meeting interactions, including sharing the meeting recording with those unable to attend.
Send a sales meeting agenda in advance. Just as you would hand out an agenda at a live sales meeting, be sure to prepare and distribute an agenda to your agents before your virtual meeting begins. Show your agents that you are not lowering expectations of yourself or of them in this changed environment. Plan your meeting well, commit it to an agenda and share it with your agents. I recommend sending the agenda out with a pre-meeting reminder or “pump up” email approximately one hour before the meeting begins; your reminder email should also include the meeting link and password information, which can be copied from your Zoom set-up information.
Show up professionally. While working remotely can lend itself to a casual approach in business, make the effort to show up early to the meeting and to appear professional. In addition to dressing well, or at least in company gear, try to choose a background setting that is neat and professional. Do not host a meeting by phone only, in your car or with a messy household behind you (don’t laugh—all have happened). Keep kids, pets, dishwashers, etc. out of sight and sound range to the best of your ability. If finding a good background setting is challenging, go to the ‘Stop/Start Video’ icon on the bottom left of your Zoom screen and click the options arrow next to it, then Choose a Virtual Background. You can then put a scene or picture behind you (I recommend putting a company logo or something else appropriate for your meeting). This very simple step will ensure that you never have an embarrassing or unprofessional setting behind you. Lastly, be sure that any presentations, webpages or other material to be covered are pre-loaded and ready to be quickly accessed during the meeting.
Familiarize yourself with in-meeting tools. Take some time before your meeting to learn the many features available in Zoom or any other platform to make your meetings effective and free of disruption. Examples include knowing how to mute or unmute all participants, knowing how to screen share (this is pivotal for demonstrating new tools), and utilizing in-meeting chat. Although many of us are new at this and allowances can be made for learning curves, it is important to be an example for your agents that the professional execution of virtual tools—in this case, your meeting platform—is a reflection on our competent execution in all of our real estate responsibilities for our clients.
Follow up. After the meeting, be sure to follow up quickly and thoroughly to any questions or discussions that came up, especially regarding new technological tools necessary to conduct business. Also, you can send a link to the recording of the meeting by copying it from the “Recordings” section of your Zoom account. This is a good way for agents to revisit valuable instructions or discussions, or to watch it in the event that they were unable to attend live. Do not allow this feature to become a substitute for live attendance, however; if it becomes too much of a crutch, this feature may need to be downplayed.
Even virtually, your sales meetings are one of your most important retention tools for your agents, and your energy, preparedness and value should be on full display now more than ever. Follow the tips above and you will propel your agents’ production to the highest levels and be the example that many of them need in this unique real estate environment!
For a free copy of my exclusive “Sales Meeting Agenda checklist,” 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 Homes.com Secrets of Top Selling Agents tour and the Official Real Estate Coach for McKissock Learning and Real Estate Express. She is also an RISMedia 2020 Real Estate Newsmaker as an industry Influencer. Sign up for a free 30-minute coaching strategy session or visit www.sherrijohnson.com for more information.