A Slow Death

Editor’s Note: This article was written nearly 30 years ago, but it sounds like it could have been written today. Some truths just don’t change!

From A Bang to a Fizzle

Many exchange, marketing and problem solving groups appear to go through cycles. A lot of groups start out with a bang, appear to be doing well, and then slowly die down.

Same Old Thing

See if this sounds like your group. The group does well at first and then you start to notice the same properties being presented over and over again. You also notice the attendance starts to dwindle. A quick check shows the same regulars in attendance, but no new blood.

The Real Problem

The real problem is the group does not have an active program to attract others into this specialty field. Without a program, this group might as well die or merge with a group that is active, alive, and meets the “Life blood” challenge.

The Multi-Level Group

An experienced visitor to a marketing (exchange and problem solving) meeting can quickly notice if the group is “multilevel.” Multi-level means the group has three or more levels of expertise in its members. For example: Level one – the beginners; Level two – those with a year or so experience and have taken one or two seminars and have been working modestly within the group; Level three – those with two to four years experience, have taken several seminars, work aggressively within the group, and make a large amount of income from their participation within the group; and Level Four – the experienced exchangors who have taken many seminars, aggressively work in their own groups, and other groups, and are recognized as “Area Leaders.”

The Area Leader

The main problem with those individuals who become Area Leaders is they often get too busy to spend time helping the other levels to rise, thus, the levels remain constant and the group does not progress.

The Life Blood-Level One

Often as members of groups’ progress through level one into level two, three and four, they forget or neglect to develop a new cast for level one. Thus, the group becomes top heavy and you start to see the same old regulars, the same old property, and hear the same old discussions. Attendance, profits, and spirits drop and the group is in trouble.

Place the Blame

It’s easy and natural to place the blame on the group leadership. However, to be more truthful, the blame should be placed on the entire membership, as the leadership is as only good as the membership directs.

Rule No. 1 – Objective

Every group must develop a primary rule and it should be a well-defined objective. The objective must produce benefits to its membership. The Real Estate Practitioners are tired of being ripped off by those groups (clubs, societies, institutes, chapters) who feel success is measured on the amount of members obtained (give old Joe a wall plaque because he brought 12 new members into the fold). If the group does not produce benefits to its members, the group is misdirected (soon the 12 members brought in by Joe will be given an award for hanging old Joe).

Some of the Solutions

If the group is primarily an educational group, then the group should aggressively develop educational programs to benefit its members.

If the group is a marketing group, it has a two-fold problem.

  1. The marketing must be developed to produce the maximum in production. This can best be accomplished by:
    • Securing top production moderators.
    • Working from a planned agenda.
    • Working on exclusive listings.
    • Presenting properties on written packages.
    • Have homework kits on both the property and client.
  2. The group must develop or secure education for those aspiring to level one in a multi-level group. This is the lifeblood.

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