Thursday 21 February 2019

Paul McNeive: 'What do you expect from yourself this year?'

The Right Moves

Paul McNeive
Paul McNeive

Paul McNeive

Another very good year for property lies ahead - but what are you going to make of it?

As a starter, may I remind you that if you intend taking four weeks of holidays, and not working on weekends or bank holidays, there are just 223 days left until you sit down again for your Christmas dinner. The year will fly by, so we must make good use of our time. Are you a 'high-impact' person, bringing your very best to everything you do, or are you drifting, and hoping for the best?

My work as a motivational speaker means that I regularly get to hear the best motivational speakers in the world at various conferences. Blending my own experiences, with the best of what I have heard, my advice is as follows:

1) Have a plan for your career. Have just one 'game-changing' goal for this year. Where do you want to be by year end? What do you need to do to achieve that? Write down the actions you need to take and start doing them. When you achieve your 'game changing' goal, start on another one.

2) You're going to have to change what you are doing, or you will achieve nothing new. If your greatest goal was going to result from how you normally behave, it would have happened by now.

3) You need to operate outside your 'comfort zone'. Your best progress will be made when you are pushing yourself to do better in an area that doesn't come naturally to you. For property professionals, that usually means making a concerted effort to make more connections and deepen relationships with clients. Last week, a top lawyer invited me to his house to speak at an informal gathering of business contacts, which he holds monthly. Every month there is a speaker on some topic. It lasts about two hours and everyone makes 'high-level' new friends. That's brilliant. Why don't you do it?

4) Work hard now and get off to a fast start. The first quarter is vital when it comes to having a great year. The deals you tee up now are what you will be invoicing for in April and May. If you get off to a slow start, you can find yourself behind, coming into the slower summer months. By autumn you may be struggling to do deals that can be invoiced before year-end.

5) There's a trend in the study of high-achieving individuals and teams, to look at the bigger picture. In sport too, top managers demand higher standards - in everything. That's to do with how we behave, how we interact with family and friends, our health, our appearance, and our gratitude for what we have. The thinking is that if we demand a higher standard of ourselves, and of our colleagues, then greater success will inevitably follow. As one top leader puts it: "It's what we do when no one's looking, that matters most."

An agency conundrum

I came across an interesting agency conundrum. An agent took instructions to sell a building. A mail shot by e-mail, produced an enquirer. In the course of viewings, the enquirer met the vendor, who worked from the premises. The enquirer made offers, which were refused, but then received an e-mail from the agent, with details of another property.

The enquirer contacted the vendor to tell him they believed the estate agent was not working in the vendor's interest, by deflecting him to another property. The vendor lost faith in the agent and negotiated directly with the enquirer.

Did the agent act incorrectly? And is the agent entitled to a fee if they do a deal?

The fee entitlement may well turn on the agent's terms and conditions, and the usual test relates to the 'introduction' of the purchaser. Sending a brochure for another property, during negotiations, is probably down to one person (or a computer) in a firm, not knowing that the enquirer in question was already in negotiations. I suspect that this situation can arise fairly easily, and firms might like to discuss ways in which it might be addressed, and better still, avoided with their staff.

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