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Brainstorm Better Using These 5 Tips

by James McClister

Brainstorming is one of the most beneficial activities a team can take part in…but only if it’s done right.

With so much emphasis placed on the individual, it’s easy to forget that real estate is often a team effort ¬¬– but it is. Brainstorming can help bring together the valuable insights of individual team members and leverage them into an amalgam of information that everyone can benefit from. However, if the process isn’t approached correctly, the results may suffer.

Here are five ways to help maximize the effectiveness of your brainstorming sessions:

1. Acclimate – Just like athletes need to warm up their muscles before a game, so do real estate agents before going into a brainstorming session. You want agents operating at their mental peak, which means allowing team members an opportunity to warm up their brains prior to the start of your session. It doesn’t have to be anything big, maybe a quick exercise or game – something to get those creative juices flowing.

2. Breakup the Monotony – When your days are habitually filled with emails, listings and a slew of meetings with clients and colleagues, it can be easy to lose yourself in the repetition. To help your team members break free from the shackles of habit, which, as Thoreau learned writing “Walden,” is easier said than done, breakup the day by getting creative with your brainstorming sessions. Go offsite and get some fresh air, or bring in props and informative visuals to help stimulate the uninspired. Also, make sure to keep the cell phones off or back at the office. Getting people involved requires them to first pay attention.

3. Encourage Notes – Not to be passed among each other like smitten children, of course, but rather to be used as a memory and clerical device. Once a brainstorming session hits its stride, and each of your team members is actively contributing to the overall discussion, things are going to move quickly, and not every good idea will get its due attention. Taking notes allows team members to document the conversation while including thoughts and ideas that might not have been brought up during the session itself.

4. Keep It Going – A physical brainstorming session must have an end, as much of a real estate agent’s job takes place outside of the office, but that doesn’t mean the brainstorming itself has to stop. Interactive and affordable digital platforms have given companies the perfect medium for sharing ideas instantaneously across virtually any terrestrial expanse. Whether your in the bath and have a “eureka” moment or your at a showing and a client inspires a brilliant thought, with access to a digital brainstorming session, the rest of your team can benefit from those insights instantly.

5. Cultivate the Atmosphere – In an increasingly corporate world, where rules and restrictions dictate the direction of work, it’s easy for employees to go into a brainstorming session with some reservations about what they should and should not say. This is going to be a hurdle to any effective brainstorming session, and the easiest way to circumvent this pitfall, is to establish early on the tone of the session, meaning, make it light. Cultivate an atmosphere of relaxation and safety. When employees feel comfortable, they’ll speak more freely, and when they speak more freely, you’re more likely to hear the unrefined, original ideas that lead to greatness.

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