Don’t worry, this not yet another post telling you how to spin things to impress someone, how to modulate your voice, or how to dress. Quite the contrary actually: This is about taking the spin out of your communication in order to actually be helpful and demonstrate how you add value to whomever you’re managing up to.

“Don’t tell me how the clock is made, I want to know what time it is!” is an oft used refrain to explain the frequent disconnect between boss and employee.

How many times have you spent hours updating the office’s sales performance reports only to arrive at the team meeting and 3 other people have their own version, none of which are the same? Here are some helpful hints to prepare you for your next meeting.

Know your audience: Real estate brokers often come from one of two paths: those with a financial background and those from the sales field For the financial set, numbers, accuracy, details, etc. will be paramount. Try to anticipate their questions and bring more information than you could ever cover in the meeting, just in case. This group will take comfort in sales volume, days on market, average price, etc… Those with a sales background may want more qualitative understanding of the market, what is happening, and who is doing it. Their backgrounds often mean they think in terms of sales opportunities based on the current market climate. Tailor your presentation accordingly.

Platform, Platform, Platform: If you are still trying to get everyone to use a shared Google doc or an Excel file saved “in the cloud”, it is time to consider industry specific software solutions. A centralized, cloud-based, platform, built specifically for your industry, is a requirement in almost every field. You’d think real estate, where spreadsheet “hell” is still alive and well, might be an exception, but it isn’t or shouldn’t be. Find a platform that captures all of your data in one place, provides for the broad team to have real time access to update information, and allows you to create reports, because it tracks all of the relevant variables from total sales, commission volume, additional fees such as referrals and any agent expenses.

Push your boundaries: New analyses and ways of looking at information will set you apart from Peter in the cube down the hall. The single hardest part to undertaking this type of initiative is actually getting a complete dataset together. In most cases, information resides in various places which further limits your ability to analyze the situation. Centralize all of your data—you will be amazed at what insights will come from it.

 “The thing is, it’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care;” don’t end up like Peter from Office Space—be a star and use data to help you get there. How have you used your real estate data to be a star?

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