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Got a minute? If you're a busy manager, that's about all you have. That's why Carla Cross, management coach, speaker, and author, has created this blog just for you, with ready-to-use tips to master management through people.

Author Archive

training signTrainers: Is your training really a ‘hot mess’?

This month, we’re focusing on training. Why? Because you can recruit your heart out, but, if you’re not developing each agent to his/her potential, you’re not retaining! (and you have a revolving door……)

Doing Everything Wrong? Or Right?

“Oh, no. I’ve been doing EVERYTHING wrong!” That’s what one of my attendees groaned after I explained the training calendar evaluation tool I created to help trainers assess their training programs. Too often, I see training programs thrown together from various cobbled (and ripped off….) sources. Sure. You can do that and call it your training program. But, it makes for a disjointed, shattered ‘picture’ of your company and culture. And, it doesn’t work to get what you want—more production and profits.

Here, I want to share an analysis tool I created that will help you see the good and challenging parts of your training program and tune it up to really make a difference in your company.

Do You Really Have a Training Program?

When asked this question in a National Association of Realtors’ survey, the majority of the brokers said they did have a training program. But, what does that mean? What does it encompass? How would I know you had a real program? Here are the three questions to ask yourself to see if you really have any type of cohesive, coherent training program focused on the results you want:

1. Is your training program a part of your business plan?
2. Have you created a training calendar so you know what you’re doing and when you’re doing it?
3. Could I look at your calendar and see exactly why you had scheduled those events—and that they had cohesiveness to your ‘big picture’?

Evaluate your Training Program Now

The training calendar evaluation tool I mentioned above is invaluable to see how effective your training program really is—and to target the changes you want to make so you’re training with purpose.

At the end of this blog, I’ll share it with you. First, let’s walk through it.

What Kind of Training Are You Offering?

Look at your training calendar. If you don’t have one, simply take a 3-month calendar and write in the training you’re providing.
What’s the ratio of business-producing vs. business supporting training modules? When I see some training calendars, I can see why their training is not increasing productivity. All their modules are concerned with business supporting subjects (technical knowledge): home inspections, the law of agency, websites, social media, etc. That’s all nice, but what does it directly do with creating productivity? Here’s the path to a sale:

Lead generation

Interviews/qualifying buyers and sellers

Listing homes/showing homes

Selling a home/listing sells        $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

If you want to increase productivity and profits, your training calendar needs to reflect your training in these business-producing areas.

What are you training to that will make a real difference in your productivity and profits next year? Put that in your business plan.

What Does Your Profit and Loss Statement Tell You to Train To?

Take a look at your P and L. What’s your ratio of listings sold to sales? Do you like that ratio? Would you like it to be different? Do you want more sold listings? If so, start training to that. When I took over a failing office, I saw the ratio of listings taken to listings sold was a miserable 30%! So, I started action-focused training on the whole listing process. I had them role-playing their hearts out. I did a listing presentation play-offs  In short, I trained them specifically to change that ratio for the better. By the end of three years, our ‘conversion’ ratios were 85%–the highest in the area.
What is your training accomplishing? What do you need it to accomplish? Want can you measure?

Who Are You Training?

We segment our markets when we design our marketing plans. We need to segment our ‘market’ for our training plan, too. In this case, our ‘market’ is our agents. When I ask seasoned agents about whether there is a training program in their company, they say ‘yes’. It’s for the new agent. What? Are those seasoned agents in the office chopped liver?

Click here to grab the training calendar evaluator.

Tell me: How would you rate your training, on a scale of 1-10, 10 being fantastic? What can you do to improve it?

Tip: See my resources on training and writing courses at www.carlacross.com. 

trainerTrainers: how to make your course ‘teachable’.

Here are some tips on how to gain focus on that great course you want to create–that course that’s been bouncing around in your head for years! In my next few blogs, I’m going to give you some specific tips to make your course truly ‘teachable’. Why? From teaching for over 2 decades, I’ve found many courses are not actually very ‘teachable’. In fact, they are either

1) Streams of consciousness

or

2) Information dump

If you’ve picked up someone else’s  ‘course’, and tried to teach it, I’ll bet you know what I mean. Unfortunately, too many times, courses are written from an ‘information organization’ perspective, not a teaching perspective. In fact, because so many instructors have expressed frustration, I’ve just finished a resource on how to write a course.

Gaining Focus for your Course

Let’s look at the 6 W’s that you should answer before starting to create your course: The What, Why, Who, When, Where, What’s Next of your course, so you can clarify what you want to accomplish and gain focus. As I give you these, take time to answer each of these questions.

 What course do you want to create?

Take a moment and write exactly what is in my mind (and heart) about this course. Ask yourself, “Is this actually a course”? Or, is it your desire to persuade people to your point of view? That’s certainly okay in a course, but not as a whole course. Instead, you have a ‘persuasive presentation’. Sometimes we want to impart our beliefs to people or make them ‘be’ in some way, but that’s not a course. (Be responsible, be customer-service oriented, etc.) Now, it’s true that can be one of the objectives of a course, but, just getting in front of people and telling them how they should be won’t make it as a course!

Do you see this course as an overview?     An introduction?  Comprehensive?    A series?

Why?  What are your compelling reason(s) to create this course? Be sure it’s not just all about you….

Who is this course for?  What segment of the population do you want to address? One of the mistakes we make is not narrowing our focus to the level of expertise of our desired target audience.

What is their level of learning in your topic right now?

Who would not benefit from your course?

Do you need to narrow your scope for this course?

Where (type of delivery)

Is this course ‘live’? Is it distance learning? Will it be given as a webinar? Your decisions will direct you to the delivery methods (how you will teach).

Armed with the answers to the 6 W’s, you can gain a laser focus for your course, and go to the next step of course creation.

Expert Guidance to Write that Great Course!

SSS_coverIf you’re serious about writing that great course, this is the resource for you. Step by step, Carla Cross, who has written courses for Re/Max, Better Homes and Gardens, Keller Williams Realty, GMAC, Royal LePage, and CRB, shows you exactly how to create your course and your outline. And, for those Washington state instructors, she shares tips on how to get your course approved for clock hours.

This resource is digital. You will get access immediately.

Introductory bonus: Keys to a Killer Introduction

Includes:

2 instructional videos
Templates to use as guides for course creation
Examples of courses
2 ‘cheat sheets’ to write your course modules
Guidance in how to get your course approved in Washington state.

With 95 pages, this resource, along with the 2 instructional videos, shows you exactly how to create a course that has substance, sizzle, and ‘sell’!

Thank you for a wonderful class on writing a course. This practice and hands on class has given me the confidence and tools I need to move forward with my course curriculum. I feel I have been given a business race car and I can move forward towards my dream of training agents across the country.  Mary Lee, former head of training for Windermere Real Estate, Spokane, Wa.

Just  $129.50   Click here for more information and to order. You’ll get immediate access to the 95-page resource guide and 2 instructional videos. Plus–a bonus: Keys to a Killer Introduction. 

 

 

Trainers: More ways to teach effectively than you can name! (42)

Do they snooze when you’re in front of them? Do their eyes slowly close—and then blink open when they’re startled by something you do in the classroom? Do you feel frustrated when you can’t keep their attention?

The solution is simple: Gain more teaching skills.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But, the most difficult thing for us adults to do is to gain new skills. Instead, we tend to try to purchase competency (invest in software, programs, and ‘things’ that supposedly do the work for us). But, in this case, all the PowerPoints in the world can’t overcome a boring presenter!

You Can Expand Your Teaching Repertoire

Did you work to put yourself through college? I did. I found out it was much easier to put my talent to work and get paid, than to pick beans! So, when I was nineteen, I got a job playing piano in a bar. (Boy, did I learn about human nature).

When I was tickling the ivories, playing my way through college and graduate school, I noticed that, the more tunes—and styles–I mastered, (that’s the repertoire), the more tips I made. I could please more of the people more of the time. It’s the same way with teaching, or doing keynotes, or presentations, or facilitation. The more skills you hone, the easier it is to be effective in front of people.

Most Presenters Know Just One Tune and Style

Most of us who present start by getting in front of people, and naturally doing some things right. We get acceptance. We get acclaim. We find we’re good talkers in front of people. In fact, most people think that refining presentation skills are merely a function of

talking better.

So, we try to talk better. But, then, we hit our ‘ceiling of achievement’. We can’t seem to get any better. Then, we get frustrated. We try harder. That doesn’t help. Sometimes we look for someone who can help us ‘talk better’. We take a class thinking that someone will make us titillating on the stage. The interesting thing is that—it’s not the answer for most of us.

Gaining Other Presentation Skills

Sure, there are a myriad of presentation skills that help us in front of audiences. We can speak slower, speak more clearly, pause more effectively, use our bodies more effectively.  But, in addition, there are teaching methods that increase the effectiveness of our presentations. These include

Crafting of the presentation

Audience participation

Use of visuals and props

How good are you at these teaching methods? Do you tend to rely on the good old stand-by, lecture?  If so, you’re boring your audiences to death!

A Great ‘How to Teach’ Course Will Help You

I teach Instructor Development Workshop in the state of Washington. This fulfills a requirement for instructors to teach clock-hour approved courses in the state. So many times, people come into the class wanting me to ‘fix them’ so they will be fascinating in front of people. What I have to do is to teach them all those other methods to teach effectively—skills they can learn and master. It’s interesting to watch their paradigms switch from “make me another Johnny Carson or Don Rickles” to “I’m grasping great teaching methods that work for me.”

To see my upcoming course, coming up Oct. 5-6, click here.

Those 42 Teaching Methods

One of the things I do in Instructor Development is to demonstrate to students many teaching methods. Then, we ‘take it apart’ and talk about how they would apply these methods to their own situations. I’ve developed a list of 42 Teaching Methods to summarize the course.

Click here to get it.

Bring Skills to Your Company or Association

Want me to come to  your company or association and teach these methods? I’ll customize the subject matter to match what you need. I believe training is major answer to our industry’s offering value for services, and I can help you create great trainers and effective training. Click here to contact me, and we’ll talk about your needs.

shaking hands over computer

Presenters: Is there a webinar in your future?

This month, I featuring training.

Is a webinar in your future? Everybody and their brother are doing webinars. I am doing a ‘live’ Instructor Development Workshop, and there is interest in webinars each time I do this course. So, I thought I’d write a blog

about them. Here goes. Enjoy!

Should you become a webinar ‘maven’? If you’re a

  • Trainer
  • Coach
  • Manager
  • Team leader
  • Salesperson

you may want to consider the ‘delivery method’ of a webinar. What can a webinar do for you? It can

  • Inform
  • Introduce
  • Sell
  • Increase your image

What can’t a webinar do? It can’t

Change people’s behavior (it’s not training. It’s education). Webinars are not the magic training bullet we’ve wished for. There are limited objectives you can accomplish by doing a webinar. (We’ll investigate this more later).

Of course, the upside of a webinar is that

  • People don’t have to travel to get to the ‘event’
  • It’s very cost-effective
  • It puts you in front of new audiences
  • You can make it ‘evergreen’ (record it and share it)

Some Basic Choices to Make Before You Start

  1. Your vehicle

Which company will you use to deliver your webinar? There are over 100 companies today offering some type of ‘screen sharing’. They range from free to $100+ a month. The free versions companies tout are for a limited number of viewers (usually 5-10). After that, figure on paying for the services. Among the most popular services are GoTo Meeting, WebEx, and BrightTalk. Whatever you choose, pick a service that will be easy for you! Getting caught in the technicalities while you are trying to be a sparkling presenter is death by webinar.

  1. What’s your message?

Decide on your topic. Is it something that would lend itself to a webinar? To find out, study webinars you’ve attended. Do some seem too wishy-washy to have been worth your time? Are some so full of facts and figures you snooze off?

Now, decide on your objectives. In other words, start with the end in mind. To write your objectives, start with this sentence,

As a result of this webinar, attendees will____________________________. Examples of objectives for a business planning webinar could be:

  • Understand the ‘flow’ of the strategic business planning process
  • Be able to differentiate between a vision and a mission statement
  • Be able to pinpoint 3 areas of concern about their business from the previous year

After I’ve written my objectives, I know the basic structure of my webinar. I can prioritize those objectives and start arranging my webinar in the right presentation order.

Your Topic: Overview or Detailed?

Is your topic an overview, or is it more detailed? Decide on the scope of your topic, and your objectives, before going further.

Common webinar mistake: Either being so ‘global’ there is little information, or being so detailed you lose the audience in facts and figures.

After deciding on your desired delivery company, and drafting your topic and objectives, you’re ready for the next step. In the next blog, we’ll discuss best presentation methods–and common presentation mistakes.

A Resource for You

To get more information on creating courses with objectives, see The Ultimate Real Estate Trainer’s Guide. Not only for real estate presenters, this guide provides a step-by-step process for putting together a presentation (not just webinars), and dozens of presentation tips.

audience sleeping

When you’re presenting: Are they awake AND interested?

I’m featuring training this month.

If you’re presenting in front of 2 or hundreds, you must wonder at times whether your delivery is interesting. Too often, we drone through the subject, stop to tell a joke or two, and just trudge through the trenches of information until the clock tells us to stop!

Are your students nodding off as the day goes on? Do you frantically wonder how to keep their attention—all day? The answer is not what you think it is. Last week, I taught my Instructor Development course to real estate professionals and affiliates. I’ve taught this course for about fifteen years. Here’s the biggest mis-conception students come in with:

If I’m just learn how to be a more captivating speaker, I can keep the students’ attention for hours on end.

NOT! In today’s frantic world, the person in front of everyone cannot hope to hold students’ attention for more than 10 minutes at a time! If you think I’m wrong, just count the number of commercials in a TV break. These commercials are down to about 15 seconds apiece. The images go by so fast you can scarcely count them. In fact, we’ve become a society of easily distracted, multi-tasking, not very focused beings (watch pedestrians—or drivers—in action with a cell phone…..).

The Focus Doesn’t Have to Be On You at All Times

So, what are you going to do to ‘hold’ students’ attention? You are going to implement some teaching methods called

alternative delivery methods

Alternative delivery methods: all those methods used to teach that are NOT lecture. Examples: Town hall, task force, case study, role play, action plan.

Give your Students some Credit

People who lecture their way through a day (or days!) either

  1. Just don’t have any repertoire of alternative teaching methods

or

2. Just don’t think the students can be involved with theirs and others’ learning

How to Teach through Student Involvement

Instead of talking through each point you have on your PowerPoint slide or in our outline (boy, is that riveting!), use town hall, task force, case study, and role play to teach. To do that, you’ll need to take an Instructor Development course to learn those methods, and practice using them in class.

Note: My next ‘live’ Instructor Development Workshop will be in Bellevue, Washington, Oct. 5-6, 2017. Click here for more information and registration. This course satisfies the requirement to teach clock hour courses in Washington State, and carries 15 clock hours.

You’ll find your students know much more than you think they do about what you’re teaching. You’ll be able to clarify points of concern, use the talents in your class, and actually provide a stimulating, active learning environment. The result: your students will be energized all day.

References: Here are two training tools for those who want to present and train more effectively: Knock Their Socks Off: Tips to Make your Presentation the Best Ever, and The Ultimate Real Estate Trainer’s Guide. Find them at www.carlacross.com.

trainingreAre you keeping them on the edge of their seats when you
 teach?
This month, I’m featuring training.
Presentation skills–or the lack of them–makes or breaks any classroom experience.
Go ahead. Admit it. The last real estate presentation you attended had you bored to tears,
not eager, in the first two minutes! And, it got worse from there……..and it really got worse
when the presenter said, “We have a lot of material to cover”–and you wished the presenter
would just end it all by throwing a snuggly blanket over all of you…..

Don’t let that presenter be YOU! Here is most important skill you’ll have to master to be one of those exciting salespeople/presenters, not one of the boring ones:

Do something to get your audience (can be one seller or buyer–that’s an

audience) engaged in the first two minutes of your presentation.

  • Ask a question
  • Get the audience up and moving
  • Do an unexpected warm-up (not that tedious ‘tell us your name….’)
Who needs presentation skills?
 
You may think that presentation tips are only for those famous keynoters. No….they are for any salesperson
who wants to convert a ‘lead’ to a ‘sale’, any manager who wants to train effectively (and have your agents
eager to attend training, and anyone who needs to persuade someone in 3 minutes–you title and mortgage
reps, for instance).

Want to Grab all those Skills to Keep Their Interest and Assure They Learn?

 
Join me Oct. 5 and 6 in Bellevue, Washington, for my Instructor Development Workshop. You’ll gain the
skills to present with authority and confidence. You’ll learn why most instructors are ineffective–and how you
can stand out from the crowd. You’ll get dozens of methods to teach effectively. You’ll see others actually demonstrating good teaching methods (and you’ll be able to try yours out, too). This course qualifies
instructors to teach clock hour courses in Washington state, and is accredited for 15 continuing education
clock hours in Washington.
 
IDW_coverClick here for more information.
 
For you out of Washington state: Why not invite me to teach your association or company leadership the
kind of presentation/facilitation skills that engage and entertain audiences–while they learn.
 

 

training up stepsThis blog addresses another one of the 10 trends I’ve identified in the 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

This trend addresses segmentation: It’s no longer effective to market the same way to everyone. And, it’s no longer okay to try to appeal to all client segments. Even if you choose 3-5 segments, you must learn to speak to each in its own language.

This month, I’m featuring excerpts from this book. As a manager, read the thoughts on segmentation and ask yourself, “Am I teaching my agents how to identify their best markets? Am I helping them segment and market to that segment?”

{Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.}

Now: Four Distinct Segmentations of Buyers

As a new agent, I know you’re just concerned about finding someone who wants to purchase or sell a home! Yet, let’s think past just that. There are now four distinct segmentations of buyers (meaning those who want to buy our services of buying or selling a home). As you think about these distinct groups, ask yourself, “How do I have to adjust my selling style, my technology, my communication, and my expectations for each of these distinct groups? Which groups will I naturally relate to?”

  1. Traditionals—those older baby-boomers who are retiring
  2. Baby-boomers—getting ready for retirement, these folks make up the second largest buying population and have the greatest assets
  3. Gen-X—these folks have purchased first homes, but because of the housing bust, hadn’t been able to move up
  4. Millennials—(Gen Y) first-time home buyers, typically looking for affordable housing, such as condos, co-ops, and so on

In the National Association of Realtors’ 2015 report, Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends, Gen Y (millennials) comprises the largest share of home buyers, at 32%. This trend will continue, as their large numbers combined with improving personal financial conditions will enable these buyers to move the market. Gen X has the largest share of first-time sellers at 68%. Read this report to see buyer and selling habits of these various ‘target’ (segmented) markets, and choose your markets carefully.

  • Positives: If you are able to adjust in the areas mentioned here, you can relate and sell to more people. To be successful, you must be flexible and sensitive to these differing needs and desires.
  • Watch out for: Don’t try to lump all these needs into one. The average real estate agent is in his 50s; the average buyer is in his 30s. Also, minorities will account for many more clients in the future, yet minorities are a small part of the real estate community. In many areas, buyers are frequently more tech-savvy than agents (that’s generally true in the Seattle area, where I live, because of Microsoft® and related businesses). Also, agents tend to work the market as they’ve known it. They are relating to the past, rather than accessing trends and working the market they’re given. Be sure to stay updated on where the market is going (your manager is a great source of this information).

* Big Idea: One size fits all is no longer applicable to real estate sales. Agents must specialize in each of the niches they want to serve.

3 men and women working at tableTrend: Teaming–advantages and disadvantages.

These trends are from my new 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

This month, I’m featuring excerpts from this book. As a manager, read the thoughts on teaming and ask yourself, “Am I supporting teaming? Do I have enough control over my teams?”

{Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.}

What is ‘teaming’?

It is affiliating yourself with a “rainmaker” agent, an agent who will deliver leads to you, for which you’ll pay a portion of your commission. You’re teaming up with that agent to do the work that the rainmaker agent doesn’t have time to do. First, teaming doesn’t mean partnering—two agents working together. If you join a team, you are working for that rainmaker agent.

Generally, agents who grow teams have been in the business at least a few years. They’ve developed a large business. To grow their businesses, they need to “duplicate and delegate.” So they hire assistants and buyers’ agents—agents who work with buyers the rainmaker agent has generated. Many times they hire new agents and train them in their methods.

How Joining a Team Can Help a New Agent

Teaming helps agents obtain leads as they start up business. While agents earn the most in commission dollars when they generate their leads themselves, a new agent may need to pay for someone else’s lead generation to begin to develop business. There is a downside to this approach, however. Agents can become complacent and sit and wait for leads. They won’t generate—until they get tired of paying for someone else’s leads.

Questions to Ask the Rainmaker1.  How many leads will I get per week?2.  How do you manage the team?

3.  How will you train me?

4.  How much turnover has the team had?

5.  Can I sell homes from my own leads, and what will you charge me?

6. Do you expect me to generate my own leads? How many?

Positives of teaming:

  • You may be able to jump-start your career with leads given to you.

Watch out for:

  • Be careful to choose a rainmaker who really has enough good leads to distribute to you.
  • Sit in on her team meeting to see how she manages the team.
  • Find out if and how the rainmaker will train you. Find out how much turnover there has been on the team.
  • Find out whether you can sell and list houses outside the team—and how much the rainmaker would charge you if you did.
  • Read the contract the rainmaker asks you to sign and be sure you understand the consequences of your involvement.

Is he or she a leader?

Evaluate how good a leader that rainmaker is. Some rainmakers are great salespeople but lousy leaders, and so their team never gels. Most team leaders ultimately expect their team members to generate their own leads, in addition to team leads. If you can’t meet the rainmaker’s expectations, you are terminated. Be willing and ready to take the responsibilities of team membership seriously.

* Big Idea: If they aren’t your leads, you’re starting the real estate business all over again when you leave the team.

Question: Have you thought about joining a team? Or, if you joined a team, how did it work out?

Up and Running_5e largerAre You Using the Best Start-Up Plan for your New Agents?

Does your plan have the detailed, prioritized checklists needed to assure a great start? Does it have built-in inspiration and motivation? Does it have dozens of tips to control the attitude? If not, you need Up and Running in 30 Days. Just out in its 5th edition, it’s the most successful book for new real estate agents ever!

Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

shaking hands over computerTrend: Consumers are choosing agents differently. This is trend # 9 of 10 trends I’ve identified as very important for new agents to recognize. These trends are from my new 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

This month, I’m featuring excerpts from this book.

{Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.}

Also: Check the end of this blog for your free ‘end of sale’ survey to capture and keep more loyal clients.

How Consumer Habits have Changed

Traditionally, consumers either stumbled upon an agent (e.g., going into an open house) or got a referral from a friend. Although that’s still true, consumers have another powerful method to choose an agent: the Internet. Increasingly, consumers are looking at evaluations on Internet sites such as Zillow or LinkedIn to find out what other clients thought about that agent. Take a look yourself. Some of the evaluations are wonderful. Some are stunningly awful. And all are very public! There are even specific agent-rating sites such as www.realestateratingz.com and www.incredibleagents.com. Also, take a look at Zillow, which has agent ratings now. Bank of America and USAA are also getting into the game. You must work for long-term customer engagement and great ratings to sustain your real estate business. This will continue as a trend, and, I believe, change the way consumers choose and keep their agents!

* Big Idea: It costs six to nine times more to get a new client than to keep an existing client. Retention is king, and reputation is key.

{In the book, I’ve given positives and ‘watch fors’ to agents so they have great judgment on how to use these trends.}

  • Positives: It will be great for those competent, caring agents who really take care of their clients. It is easier now for potential clients to get feedback from third-party sources, clients just like them.
  • Watch out for: Doing a next kind of business, where you don’t care what happens after the sale. The client has recourse now, of the most expensive kind—a poor review!

Tip: Always use a ‘after sale’ survey to find out what your clients thought of your service. If you’d like a sample survey form, click here.

Managers: Have you read your agents’ clients’ feedback online? Make it a regular habit!

Up and Running_5e largerAre You Using the Best Start-Up Plan for your New Agents?

Does your plan have the detailed, prioritized checklists needed to assure a great start? Does it have built-in inspiration and motivation? Does it have dozens of tips to control the attitude? If not, you need Up and Running in 30 Days. Just out in its 5th edition, it’s the most successful book for new real estate agents ever!

Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

 

30137_flying_by_the_seat_of_your_pants_andy_watsons_comedy_in_progress1Are your agents systematized in their businesses–or are they flying ‘by the seat of their pants’?

This month, I’m featuring excerpts from my new 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

{Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.}

In this latest edition of Up and Running, I’ve identified 10 real estate trends that most critically affect how agents do business. Here’s trend #4: Systematization.

Why Systematize with Technology

To be more effective, you need to “duplicate and delegate.” The trend today is for agents to move faster and better by systematizing what they do and using technology to do it.

The First Step: Create Checklists and Processes

The first step is to create checklists and processes for everything you do. These become your systems. For you new agents, take full advantage of every checklist and presentation your company offers—and those here in Up and Running in 30 Days . You’ll save hundreds of hours of time and energy, because these resources are the result of experts’ work. Your clients want to know that you have systems so that you provide a high quality of work every time.

* Big Idea: It’s much easier to refine a ready-made system than to create one from scratch.

Your Second Step: Add the right Technology

Your second job is to find some technology to support these processes. Your company may have already done that research work for you. It is amazing to me the number of agents who do not take advantage of the technology their company has paid for in research, development, or partnering costs. For example, one large franchise had partnered with a lead follow-­up company to ensure that their agents had a simple, effective method to follow their Internet leads. The franchise spent thousands of dollars and hours researching companies to ensure that they chose a company in the agents’ best interests. They negotiated a great price for their agents, too. However, only about half of the agents in that franchise took advantage of the thousands upon thousands of dollars their company spent to create that partner agreement. I just can’t see any reason not to take advantage of such a great opportunity—unless the agent just didn’t care to be successful!

In this newest edition of Up and Running, I have a comprehensive References/Resources section. I’ve asked experts in the real estate field to name their favorite technology and I’ve provided their recommendations to you.

Gary Richter, one of my agent contributors, advises: “Get off your computer and go out into the areas. Focus on business-producing activities.” {and use technology as a support}

* Big Idea: Use the technology and systems your company has invested in for your convenience.

Pros and Cons of Systematization with Technology

  • Positives: You’re going into the industry as it has matured in its choices for needed technology. It will be easier for you to choose those that are important to your career success.
  • Watch out for: Invest quickly enough, but don’t invest in gimmicks. Also, don’t let yourself think that if you have all the technology toys, you’ll be successful.

* Big Idea: Duplicate and delegate.

So, here are my questions to you: Have your agents started organizing their businesses with checklists and processes? Have they  taken advantage of your company’s resources? Are they starting with the technology they offer to you?

Up and Running_5e largerAre You Using the Best Start-Up Plan for your New Agents?

Does your plan have the detailed, prioritized checklists needed to assure a great start? Does it have built-in inspiration and motivation? Does it have dozens of tips to control the attitude? If not, you need Up and Running in 30 Days. Just out in its 5th edition, it’s the most successful book for new real estate agents ever!

Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

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