How to regain your mojo when you’re stuck in a sales slump

Nov 22, 2023
challenges faced by commercial real estate leaders during difficult market conditions

No matter how good you are, there will be times when it seems like nothing is going your way.

If you’re a high performer, this can be extremely frustrating. And if it starts to impact your confidence and momentum, it then becomes harder to break free from the downward spiral.

So, when you hit a rough patch, try to keep morale high but also look at strategic shifts (not panicked pivots) that can guide your business to stronger performance.

If you’ve been through it before, think back to your last dry spell and how you got through it; your experience can reassure yourself and your colleagues that sales slumps don’t last forever.

And, when you can’t find what the issue is, or it’s an external factor, it can help to just focus on what’s within your control, like the daily activities that will get your performance back on track.

For more help with staying positive, focusing on the fundamentals, and regaining your mojo, check out episode 166 of Commercial Real Estate Leadership.


Episode transcript:

If you're a commercial real estate leader, one of the most challenging times that you can face is when market conditions more difficult.

Or when individuals within your business, particularly high performing individuals just aren't getting the results that they used to.

And look, this is inevitable. There are always going to be times over a period where there is a dip in performance.

Whether that's due to performance slumps within individual or because the business needs to be steered through some difficult times.

So, what I want to talk to you about today is how you can maintain morale, but also make those important strategic shifts that will guide your business through to stronger performance.

Hey, welcome to episode 166 of Commercial Real Estate Leadership. I'm your host, Darren Krakowiak. And I help commercial real estate leaders to continue growing through challenging market conditions.

And look, we've all been there, those periods where it feels like nothing is going your way.

Whether you call it a dry spell, a rough patch, or a sales slump, it's a challenge that even the most seasoned professionals within commercial real estate can face from time to time.

And I think it's a situation that becomes more common when market conditions are more challenging.

And for competitive high achievers, this can be a really confusing and unsettling time.

It can be deflating, it can be demoralizing, it can get people to really question their ability to continue on the trajectory that they've been on up into that point.

So, if you're the leader of a larger team, and you've built that team on high performance, then it's an issue that you're going to need to be equipped to handle.

Because every agent who is focused on growth is going to face a period where they're not seeing their own personal production grow at the rate that they're used to, or they're satisfied with.

So how do you navigate through these turbulent times?

What I want to do in today's episode, is talk to you about some strategies from a leadership perspective to get the team back on track.

But also, as an individual, whether you are an individual performer, or whether you're a leader who personally has six of impact in their personal production, what it is that you can do as an individual to also get your performance back on track?

So, the first thing I want to recommend that you do as a leader is stay positive.

I believe that it's your job to keep morale and motivation high.

And one reason for you to do that is because of your own personal experience and beliefs, right?

You've seen this movie before, you know that we go through cycles, and that individuals sometimes don't stay on the same level of growth that they have been on for the last 348 years, right?

It's all part of the game. So, we've got to keep our eyes on the bigger picture. And we need to maintain a positive outlook.

And if you've got the experience in the industry, well, you'll know that there's actually good reason to maintain your motivation and to keep morale high, because you will get through this difficult time.

And one thing that you could do, if you've seen it before, is to share your wisdom.

So not only to be positive, but to share stories to use your experience to reassure the team that the industry is full of ups and downs. And it's okay to have a rough patch.

In fact, the perspective that you can offer can help keep short term slumps in perspective for the people who are going through them.

They can, through your own experience, realize that a short-term slump is not a reason to be deflated, demoralized, and to let short term performance impact their longer-term trajectory within their overall career.

So, while we want to, I think, be positive and help our people get through it, we also want to take a little bit of a look at what's going on in the business.

We want to put on a bit of a diagnosis hat and just see, is there something that is going on, which actually is impacting the performance of the business or the performance of those individuals?

So, we take a step back and we just assess the situation in a calm way. Right?

Is the market shifting? Are there new competitors are disrupting the landscape? Have we changed anything in relation to our lead generation or sales process?

If we can pinpoint an issue, we can then adjust our strategy so we can get the business back on track.

And I don't recommend doing drastic things unless something has significantly changed.

But they can sometimes be some small tweaks and adjustments that we can make, that can get the business back on track, if we've got evidence from a longer period of time that overall, the business has been performing well above what else is going on in the market.

And the last thing that I think we can do as a leader is to look for growth opportunities.

So, if sales activity is down, and that's been a feature of the markets at the time of recording, in November 2023, that investment volumes transactions are well down, well, maybe we can focus on leasing, or perhaps we can set up a strategy to sign up new property managements.

In fact, one of my clients right now, has set himself a goal of signing up one new property management every week, and he is exceeding that goal.

So, while he's operating in a market, where sales volumes are massively down, he is thinking about, "Well, what can I do to continue growing, to stay positive, to continue momentum, the growth trajectory that I've been on in this business?"

Well, I can go out there and win more managements. And that's something that I can do to keep my motivation levels high, and to keep on doing what it is that I know I'm good at doing, which is going out there and winning new business and keeping my business growing.

So, there are a few things from a leadership perspective.

Now, I want to just talk about how as an individual you can keep your head in the game, when you're going through a period of performance, which is not up to your personal expectations.

So, the first thing I think to do is to not panic.

A short-term slump can really impact your confidence.

And like I mentioned before, if you're a high performer, and even if you're not, it can start to make you think really negative thoughts about yourself.

And about whether you're on the right path towards that you thought you were on. Whether you should be continuing in this industry.

And that can lead to a vicious cycle, which can impact your confidence, and can really, I guess, snap any momentum that you might want to be able to continue if you're on a very high period of growth before that short term slump is coming in.

So, I think we want to remember that you're in this for the long haul. Hopefully, you're in this for the long haul, right?

So just how, if you're a commercial property investor, what would you advise an investor to do when the markets perhaps a little bit rough?

You probably would advise them, if you will, offering to give them the best possible advice that commercial property is a long-term play.

And that if they're a long-term investor, they shouldn't just cut and run.

They want to see themselves through these difficult periods to make sure that they can enjoy the upside, once it comes.

And I think it's the same for us as commercial real estate professionals, right?

Take a step back, have a look at your performance over a more extended period.

You might find that you're doing better than you thought. You might find that, “Okay, the last three months hasn't been great. But when I look at my performance, year on year, I'm still on the right track. And I can overcome this short-term slump, to get back on that growth path that I was already on.”

Another thing to think about is, this could be when you're going through performance slump, it can be a sign of growth pains.

And I think a short-term struggle often indicates that you're playing a bigger game.

So, what I mean is that you might be going after clients who are perhaps more ideal, right?

And they might be a little bit more difficult to win, you might be going after bigger transactions. Maybe you're involved in more competitive tenders.

You’re not just going after any deal like you were before, but you're going after the best clients.

So, when you're going through a period of performance, which is not as great as you're used to, you can see that as a sign of your upward trajectory.

Sometimes you need to take a step back, to take two steps forward.

I think I've used the word trajectory, which I think I say different every time, about four times already in this episode.

I need to stop saying it because it's a difficult word to say. But it does describe a lot of this, right?

That pathway that you've been on, you want to make sure that we can recognize, that we want to get back on that track, right?

And sometimes we just deviate from it a little bit.

Well, a good way to think about it is like, when a plane takes off, it knows it's going to land at a certain time in the destination.

And it gets a little bit off track over the journey, but it always sort of seems to get back on track and land at the time that it's set out in the journey.

So, this can be just like that some headwinds that are hitting you along the journey.

And ultimately, though, if we do what we need to do, and we focus on the fundamentals, we'll get back on track and will land at our destination. It's a long way of not saying that word.

External factors do matter, right? So right now, market conditions are difficult.

Now we don't want to take away our personal responsibility. But also, we don't want to beat ourselves up for things that are beyond our control.

So, recognize that external factors are at play, and that they can impact your performance.

And also, as an individual, you can look for the good news, right?

So, dig deeper into the data. Are there other metrics which are still improving, which actually demonstrates that you are still making progress?

Focus on the controllable, build on what's improving.

If your production has fallen by, let's say, 15%, but the market that you're operating in, has seen transaction volumes fall by 30%, then your market share is still growing.

So, while the final number and your commission's and your income may not be growing at the rate at which you're used to, you may have seen some big strides in your market share.

And once you know that, you'll know that when the market comes back, then you'll be in a better position to handle more of the upside.

And if you want to go and ask yourself an even more pertinent question, it could be, "Well, if I can only see it 15% fall in my production, when the markets falling by 30%, what would I need to do in order to maintain my level of production or even grow it while the market is falling by 30%?"

And then you can start to really focus on the things that are within your control; what it is that you can do to keep your production growing?

Now in our guide, Multiplied Growth, which is a wonderful segue, what I've just been talking about.

We discuss how the number of proposals, lead generation and prospecting and conversations and meetings have an impact on the performance of a business, the win rate has an impact.

The other things that you can improve are the listings that you convert into deals, the fees that we're charging clients, and also the size of the deals that we're doing.

To get an understanding of how you can make some small changes to your commercial real estate business to unleash multiplied levels of growth, I want you to go to and download our free Commercial Real Estate Business Growth Guide.

I hope that today's episode, firstly, one doesn't apply to you because I hope that you're not going through a personal production slump, or you're not leading a team that's going through difficult times.

But if you are, then I hope that some of what we've talked about today is useful.

And if you're not, then I hope that you'll remember some of what we've talked about.

So, when you do face this period, remember, we all face them from time to time, it's only normal, that you'll be better equipped to keep morale high, maintain your level of motivation, and to get through to the other side.

Hey, that's our episode for today. Thank you so much for listening, and I will speak to you soon.

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