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2010-11-10 22:36:31

December: A Great Time for Evaluations

Ready or not, the end of 2010 is upon us. I wonder if you’re like me in December? I enjoy the month, especially for Christmas and the holidays.


But there’s another reason I like December: I’ve found it to be a perfect time to reflect, to take some time to look back over the year to see what worked and what might need some polishing.


More specifically, it’s a good time to for Realtors to examine their teams, to evaluate how everyone is doing and look at what they might need to do their jobs better in 2011.


I know when the word evaluation comes up in conversations at the office, it can sometimes make palms a little sweatier and heartbeats a little faster. But evaluations are vitally important for any business because they give you and your employees a nice measuring stick so everyone can actually see their improvement and development.


And down deep, employees want to know how they’re doing. They want feedback. Actually, they need feedback. In fact, they can’t get better without it. Would Michael Jordan (or any superior athlete) have improved if he hadn’t gotten feedback on how his jump shot was working? I like to think of evaluations as medicine: It often tastes bad going down, but it makes us better.


Here are a few tips you can use to help your employees be the best they can be in 2011 and beyond:


  1. Be goal oriented. Always align employees’ goals with your office’s goals. This gives them something bigger than themselves to get behind and to feel more a part of a team. And get buy-in from all team members on those goals from the very start. This lays the foundation for you and employees to measure their performance. 


  1. Be specific.Good feedback is specific, not general.  Don’t just say, “Great job on that phone call.” Share specifics like, “You took care of that buyer very well because you told him exactly what he wanted to know.”  


  1. Be positive first.It’s better to focus on the positive instead of the negative when you start with an evaluation.People usually take positives a little more lightly and the negatives with more weight. If you start with a negative, you drown out the positives.


  1. Make time for improvement. If an employee isn’t meeting expectations, get to why that is quickly. Maybe they’re stillnew, or they need more training or they’re unsure of their responsibilities. Whatever it is, get it out and into the open so you both can see it and explore it. Then give a specific timeframe to improve the performance.


  1. Keep records.Always keep detailed records of each employee’s performance by noting accomplishments and the needed areas of improvements. If questions ever arise, your records keep everyone on the same page, literally!Feel free to e-mail me at and I’ll send you a free self-evaluation form for support staff that I’ve created to help my clients make evaluations easier. 
  2. End evaluations on a crystal clear note.When you finish an evaluation, be absolutely sure employees leave knowing exactly what’s expected of them in the future, especially for areas that need improvement. Ensure there’s a plan the team member can follow easily with specific tactics and goals.


Let me hear from you. What’s going on in your world with evaluations? Do you have any examples that are working for you? Do you have any tips on evaluations you’d like to share? What do you find most helpful about team evaluations? Please share any comments or questions you have about this article. Send me an e-mail at


Bob Corcoran is a nationally recognized speaker and author who is founder and president of Corcoran Consulting Inc. (, 800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into the residential or commercial broker or agent’s existing practice.


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