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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

man and woman at tableDo your agents try to ‘tell’ their clients everything, or do they show them with credibility and evidence? If you’re not teaching your agents to ‘back up their mouths’ with the credibility of visuals (3rd party sources, statistics, graphs, etc.), you’re not helping them create trust and rapport with their clients!

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.}

Here’s one about the credibility/visual issue:

This week, I’ve asked you to start organizing your seller and buyer visual presentations. Why? Because I want to give you every bit of support, every bit of guidance, every bit of added edge I can to ensure you convert leads to customers and clients. Creating visual systems does five things for you:

  1. It makes you look credible and professional—we believe what we see, not what we hear.
  2. It is a self-teaching tool—you’ll learn how to counter those objections and how to present to buyers and sellers 100 percent faster with these tools than without them.
  3. You’ll learn how to best organize your presentation to flow smoothly.
  4. You’ll learn the visuals that best counter the common objections.
  5. It is a great confidence-building tool—you will never feel like you’re out on a limb without the answers to sellers’ and buyers’ questions.

Trying to give a professional presentation without the visuals is like trying to play a Mozart sonata just by listening to it. Trust me—as a musician. It can’t be done. Not only is it very difficult to remember what you wanted to say to a buyer or seller when you’re under stress, it just isn’t nearly effective for you. I know because I’ve had agents do listing presentations in class for other agents with visuals and without them. The agents without visuals were voted worse presenters and not as credible as those with visuals!

You’re Going to See and Hear the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

When you talk to agents in your office about presentations and objections, you are going to be amazed. Some of the information you get will be very good. Some will be very outdated. Some will be outright wrong or bad. What may be stunning to you is the lack of substantiation for what agents tell you. Even though we’ve been teaching agents for years to “put your visuals where your mouth is,” most agents just think they can talk people into anything!

* Big Idea: Put your visuals where your mouth is.

Up and Running_5e larger

Are 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.

 

 

training up stepsHow can you help your agents create a better future? In my best-selling book (the business start-up plan for the new agent), Up and Running in 30 Days, now in its 5th edition, I tackle lots of motivational, inspirational, and attitude challenges. I want to help you help your agents master the real estate business! Here’s an excerpt from the 5th edition, just out:

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

Creating the Future You Really Want

You have been in the business three weeks. {This excerpt is from week 3 of the 4-week quick start plan). Is your image of yourself different from the one you had when you started in this business? Successful performers have learned to create a completed picture of themselves as great performers—long before they are terrific performers. This helps them to predict the outcome of their efforts. If you don’t know where you’re going, you can’t get there!

Seeing Yourself in the Future as You Want to Envision YOU

Lou Tice, the founder of Pacific Institute, calls this skill self-efficacy. It is the ability to create yourself as a finished product in your head and hold that image, even though no one in the outside world has a clue that you are going to end up that way. What a skill! This technique is practiced in karate. When our son, Chris, took karate lessons he first watched great performers—black belts—performing the katas (fighting moves in a format) and kumite (actual fighting). Then he envisioned himself performing each part of these moves—just like they did. Finally, he performed the moves for his coach, very slowly, practicing perfectly.

How Coaching Supports that Future Vision

Chris’s karate coach watched carefully to ensure that he was practicing perfectly. After he perfected each move in context, he practiced performing faster. This method of creating perfect performance paid off. He won many medals in national and international competition—even while experiencing great growth spurts. His developed skill of self-efficacy ensured that his mind would hold the picture of his perfect performance. This skill has proved to be invaluable throughout his life.

* Big Idea: To become a master of whatever you want, hold your future picture of yourself more strongly than your present reality.

Develop the Professional “You”

Take a few minutes in a quiet place by yourself. Imagine yourself as the successful real estate agent you intend to be.

What will you do?

What kind of recognition and power will you gain?

What affiliations will you make that reflect your ideal of yourself as a pro?

Create a movie with you as the star, complete with the movement, color, dialogue, tastes, and smells. Make it fun, exciting, and rewarding—in color. Play it over and over in your head 20 times a day for a month. Doing this will counteract your “growth spurts”—objections, barriers, negative self-talk, lost leads—as you start your career. You must develop some mental ammunition.

Remember, people treat you as they see you.

They can’t see the new movie you have created until you start acting it out. Even then, they will try to put you back into your “old movie.” It’s human nature. Unwittingly, we help our friends fail by not becoming supporting players in their new picture. You must have a strong movie to move yourself in the direction you want to go so that others can get caught up in the new action and let go of the old.

* Big Idea: Develop an ideal future “movie” of yourself, with color, sound, and feeling.

Managers and coaches: What skills do you have to help your agent become that agent you know he/she could be?

 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.

coachingAre you helping your agents be accountable? Did you think it was even your job?

I’ve just published the 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days. In it, I’ve included lots of up-to-the-minute updates. You can read some of them, in these blogs.

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

Below is an excerpt from the newest edition of the book. I’ve included the important principle of accountability, to help you help your agents follow through and see real results fast.

Why the Best Business Plans Don’t Work

You’ve heard it before. Business people make fancy, multi-page, even excellent business plans, and then fail. Why? Because making the plan doesn’t ensure success. Doing the plan does. (You wouldn’t expect that if you studied the life of Mozart you could automatically play a Mozart sonata, would you?)

*Big Idea: No success is realized without action.

If action brings about success, then why don’t people get into action?

Because it’s human nature not to! So what is the missing ingredient you need, besides a great start-up plan and action-oriented training so you have the skills to implement the plan? You need someone to be accountable to. Study after study shows that we attain our goals when we are accountable, regularly, short-term, to someone. That’s because we human beings tend to work on time frames and schedules. (Do you really get your taxes done by April 15 because you love doing them?) Those studies prove we work best on deadlines. We work best when we have a heavy workload. We work best when we have high expectations of ourselves, and we have someone—our coach—who shares those high expectations. (I know all this from being a pianist from age four, and having the privilege of being taught by exceptional piano coaches.)

* Big Idea: People succeed not because they have a plan. They succeed because they get into action and are accountable to the plan.

Keeping the priorities straight without a coach is very difficult to do.

I know what you’re going to tell me. You’re goal-oriented. You’re a self-starter. You don’t need a coach. That’s what most new agents say, and over 50 percent of them fail their first year in the business! Unless you have already attained high performance in music, sports, and the like, how would you realize that you can’t achieve those high levels of performance without a coach?

* Big Idea: The habits you form your first month in the business greatly influence your career success—forever.

Most agents have never been in a field that requires such a high degree of self-direction and the mastery of many skills to succeed. So they don’t know how easy it will be to get priorities all backwards! They also don’t realize how difficult it is to change a bad habit. If you want to be a great pianist, you’d find a great teacher, wouldn’t you? So, look at starting your real estate career just like you would look at becoming a great pianist or golfer. You need someone to be accountable to. You need a trained, committed coach, so you have deadlines, expectations, someone to help you keep those priorities straight, and someone cheer leading and believing in you.

* Big Idea: No one succeeds alone.

Owners, managers, coaches and trainers: How have you built in accountability for your programs? Do you teach a class and hope the agents take action, or do you follow up with an accountability session to check results?

Up and Running_5e largerDo You Provide Your Agents with a Proven Start-Up Plan with Accountability Built In?

Up and Running in 30 Days  has lots of up-to-the-minute updates. Plus, a proven, prioritized business start-up plan with inspiration, motivation, accountability, and action items built in. You can coach to the start-up plan, and see great results fast from your agents.

Check it out!

 

man ponderingHow good are your agents at managing their attitudes? Did you ever think about that, or think you’d need to manage that–or that they would need to consciously manage their attitudes?

I’ve just published the 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days. In it, I’ve included lots of up-to-the-minute updates. You can read some of them, in these blogs.

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

Below is an excerpt from the newest edition of the book.

We’ve talked about your managing your Up and Running plan. That’s the “hard side” of the business—the facts, figures, and activities. However, there’s something else you must manage: the “soft side” of the business—your attitude.

How Our Attitudes Change with the Challenge

One of the things we managers love about a new agent is the enthusiasm with which they start. You’re excited to jump into sales. Sometimes you’re even overconfident. You tell us managers you are tenacious and that you can handle rejection. You describe yourself as a self-starter; you assure us you can motivate yourself. Then, reality takes over. You’ve always thought of yourself as a good communicator.

When You Start Lead Generating….Attitude Counts!

However, as you lead generate, you find it difficult to convince people to work with you. People somehow create many ways to reject you. You’ve always liked people, and you sense they like you. Yet they act differently with you now that you’re in sales. People make up stories to avoid you, say they “have a friend in the business,” secure information from you but do not give you information, promise to meet with you at the office—but don’t show up. You experience these feelings:

Rejection

Frustration

Impatience

Self-doubt

Inadequacy

Your image of yourself is tested. Who is the real you? The one who feels confident and tenacious and is a self-starter? Or the one who feels rejected, frustrated, inadequate, and full of self-doubt? Your attitude about the business—and yourself—is in danger of shifting from positive to negative.

* Big Idea: The best way to change your attitude from negative to positive is to get a sale.

Attitudes are Fast-Change Artists

Attitudes can change in seconds. Each day, hour, and minute, you evaluate your feelings about the business. Your experiences as you perform the activities in this plan fuel this evaluation. Your conclusions are based on your personal belief system. It’s not the activities that cause you to have a certain attitude about the business, but the conclusions you draw from your experiences with these activities. Let’s say you have knocked on 50 doors without getting a lead. What do you conclude? Agents who will fail conclude that “this won’t work in this area.” Agents who will succeed imagine themselves one step closer to a lead with every rejection. These agents realize that they must experience many rejections to get success.

* Big Idea: Tenacity is the one character attribute that is 99 percent of an agent’s success.

* Big Idea: My survey {of hundreds of new agents} showed the majority of new agents expect a sale in the first month. Not getting one puts their attitude in the dumper. Protection plan against an “in the dumper attitude”: go out and talk to lots of people—fast. That is, lead generate!

Up and Running_5e_616x800

Do You Provide Your Agents with a Proven Start-Up Plan with Attitude Advice Built In?

Up and Running in 30 Days  has lots of up-to-the-minute updates. Plus, a proven, prioritized business start-up plan with inspiration, motivation, and action items built in. You can coach to the start-up plan, and see great results fast from your agents.

Check it out!

 

 

 

Are your agents resisting getting into action?

I’ve justdo it published the 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days. In it, I’ve included lots of up-to-the-minute updates. You can read some of them, in these blogs.

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

Below is an excerpt from the newest edition of the book.

{To agents}

Real Estate Sales IS Challenging!

I’ll bet you didn’t know how challenging real estate sales were until now. To cope with those challenges, your creative subconscious may be coming up with ways to convince you to avoid getting into action. You might even start believing your subconscious! One of the most common reasons is the old “I can’t do that because I don’t know enough.” Or, maybe your subconscious has convinced you that you’re not organized enough to get into action, or that you’re not perfect enough.

{Managers: Do you have some agents frozen into inaction–or trying for perfection before they’ll start?}

Getting Ready to Get Ready

Ned, an agent in my office, acted in a way that is an example of creative avoidance. In the business eight months, Ned had made only one sale. However, he was in the office regularly and appeared busy with paperwork. He attended law courses and was well-informed on financing. One day I saw Ned collating maps. I asked him what he was doing. He explained that he was putting together a series of maps for a buyer’s tour. I thought that was exceptional; buyers would really want to know the whereabouts of the homes they were seeing. Unfortunately, Ned had used his strategy with only six buyers—all the buyers he had put in his car in the past eight months! He had spent his time on this nifty map system, but had not talked to enough people to get them into the car—or have the opportunity to appreciate the map system! Which is more important to your goal attainment—talking to people, qualifying them, and showing them homes, or working diligently on a map system in case you find someone who wants you to show them homes?

How People Get into Action

How do you “get into action”? In a wonderful book, The Conative Connection, Kathy Kolbe explores the ways different personalities get into action—not how we learn, but how we get into action. Some people barge ahead and worry about the details later. We start badly, but, because we’re tenacious, we surprise people by how good we finally get. Unfortunately, our supervisors often remember only how bad we were when we started. We must be tough-minded and keep at it; we must retain an image of ourselves as “finished products,” because others will not see us that way. Other people observe the action for a long time. Finally, when we feel ready to perform well, we get into action. We start slowly but well. Because of our slow start, we don’t get much positive reinforcement from our supervisors (or coach or manager), who note our lack of progress compared with others in the office. If slow starters are tenacious and believe in themselves, they become very good because they practice perfectly. Kolbe points out several “get into action” styles. This book will help you pinpoint your “get into action” style as well as the barriers and challenges you face as you start your real estate career.

Embrace Embarrassment

Go ahead—be embarrassed. There is no way to be experienced until you get experience. No agents like to take risks, be embarrassed, or have buyers and sellers guess that they are new in the business. But face it—everyone has been new in the business. Just go ahead and get those first few months over with. You will be embarrassed every day—many times. As a new agent, my most common statement to buyers or sellers was “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.” In music, little could stump me—but in real estate anything could stump me! Still, I muddled through it, and you will, too.

* Big Idea: Your ability to get into action and risk being embarrassed is one of the attributes of a successful new agent.

Why not take your time? I’ve interviewed prospective agents who told me they really didn’t want to sell real estate right away. They wanted to learn everything they could. Then, after six or eight months, they would feel ready to sell real estate. It doesn’t work that way! I wish I could tell you that you can successfully launch your real estate career by taking lots of time to “get ready.” However, if you take all the time in the world, you will fail:

Real estate is a performance art. It doesn’t matter how much you know; it only matters how you interact with people. And that takes practice and performance. To remember and emulate good performance, we need to perform right after we have heard, seen, and practiced that performance. Learning something in a class and letting that skill lie dormant for months just guarantees poor skill—and high stress.

* Big Idea: 99 percent of what we learn we learn by doing.

Managers: Are you unwittingly stopping people from getting into action by insisting on perfection?

Up and Running_5e largerDo You Have a Proven Start-Up Plan with Inspiration Built In?

Up and Running in 30 Days  has lots of up-to-the-minute updates. Plus, a proven, prioritized business start-up plan with inspiration, motivation, and action items built in. Check it out!

 

trainer sayingI’ve just published the 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days. In it, I’ve included lots of up-to-the-minute updates. You can read some of them, in these blogs.

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

Below is an excerpt from the newest edition of the book.

The Value of Practice

It’s painful to learn from your mistakes with real clients. However, there’s an additional way to learn skills—practice. All too often, the value of practice is underestimated by both agents and managers. But it’s worth the effort to role-play each segment that requires sales communication with people:

  • Lead-generating scenarios
  • Following up with Internet inquiries
  • Counseling/qualifying buyer scenarios
  • Showing and closing buyer scenarios
  • Presenting and negotiating offer scenarios
  • Qualifying seller scenarios
  • Marketing/presentation scenarios
  • Price reduction/review scenarios

Managers and coaches: How many of these situations do you coach to via practice?

Agents believe that because they can talk they can sell. But we have already discussed the realities of conversation versus the special communication skills required for sales success. I guarantee that if you take seriously the practice asked of you in Up and Running, your performance with people will improve quickly and your confidence will soar. Every successful salesperson I have known who started quickly in this business organized, systematized, practiced, and perfected each step in the sales cycle.

Caution: A reason new agents start slowly or fail early is that they underestimated their need to develop a mastery of sales skills in their first months in the business. So, they fail to convert those leads!

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

The best kind of practice increases your skill and results. Back to my piano-practicing days: as a four-year-old, I picked out tunes on the keys and added the chords. I could play pop music reasonably well. Then, at age six, I started piano lessons. As I progressed to more demanding piano teachers, I learned that “faking it ’til you made it” just would not meet their standards. In fact, my best piano teacher, Mr. Green, taught me to practice very slowly, so there weren’t any mistakes. I found that if I practiced quickly, I practiced my mistakes right along with the rest of the piece.

Although his kind of practice was tedious, it was right. By using Mr. Green’s method I became a much better pianist, gaining a degree in piano performance. Too often, real estate agents practice the mistakes and end up with a sales system that is “more mistake than effective.”

* Big Idea: Perfect practice makes perfect. Go for mastery, not just mediocrity. One of a coach’s opportunities is to help you get into action, take risks, and work toward “practicing perfectly.”

Up and Running_5e largerWhat is the ‘Music’ You Use to Coach?

You need a guide–a solid business start-up plan, with the what, how, how much, and why built in. Take a look at the new 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

bus-plan-11How good is your start-up business plan for your new agents?

I’ve just published the 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days. In it, I’ve included lots of up-to-the-minute updates. You can read some of them, in these blogs.

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

Below is an excerpt from the newest edition of the book.

Managers: Check these lists against the start-up plan you use to launch your new agents (and re-launch your seasoned agents). {You DO have a proven start-up plan, don’t you?}

Critical Analysis: How Good Is That Start-Up Plan?

You know what your training will do for you. So I hope you {the new agents} are convinced you also need to implement a business start-up plan to put all that information in perspective. But watch out—there are more poor ones than good ones out there. As a CRB (Certified Real Estate Broker) instructor for 12 years, I taught thousands of owners and managers nationally. I saw plenty of poor plans managers shared with me. (These were the plans they were giving their agents, too.) Here are some commonalities of them:

  • They are laundry lists of busywork activities interspersed with activities that actually make you money, so the agent doesn’t get any evaluative perspective to self-manage.
  • They do not prioritize lead-generating activities, so the agent thinks all types of lead generation have equal payoffs.
  • They do not have methods of setting goals, keeping track of results, and analyzing results to make changes quickly. (Up and Running provides sales ratios so you learn how many specific actions it takes to get the results you want.)
  • They do incorrectly prioritize actions. For example, as a high priority, they direct the new agent to “see all the inventory” before doing anything else. The rationale is that it’s very important to see all the inventory to build a knowledge base. It is important, but only as it relates to working with buyers and sellers. (It’s the means, not the end.) But new agents don’t want to do the high-rejection, high-risk activities such as talking to people. So they gladly see all the inventory until it becomes their job descriptions!
  • They do include plenty of “busywork” as equal priority to lead generating—such as a broker having an agent visit a title company to learn how it operates. This keeps the agent busy and out of the broker’s hair! Also, the new agent loves the broker for a while, because the broker isn’t asking the new agent to do those high-rejection activities—those activities that lead to a sale!

Bottom line: No would-be successful agent in his right mind would continue doing this type of plan any longer than he had to, because the successful agent recognizes the plan is a poor one.

* Big Idea: Be very critical before you commit to any start-up plan. It is prioritizing your mind! The start-up plan you may love because it keeps you out of sales activities isn’t the plan that is going to love you back (get you the sales you want). What you do every day becomes your job description.

An Effective Start-Up Plan

Here are the six attributes of an effective business start-up plan:

  1. Does not give equal weight to all activities
  2. Provides an organized activities schedule with certain activities prioritized first because they lead to a sale (in Up and Running, these are called “business-producing” activities)
  3. Includes an organized activities schedule with certain activities prioritized second—and explaining why (In Up and Running, these are called “business-supporting” activities)
  4. Provides a road map for a continuing plan (remember that “plan for life”?)
  5. Builds in the “why” of the plan structure, so you learn to self-manage
  6. Has a method to measure and make adjustments in your plan as you progress
  7. Has a coaching component, so someone can coach you effectively to the plan

Up and Running_5e largerManagers and trainers: Take a look at the business start-up plan thousands of new agents use successful to launch businesses fast.

carrying papersA Big Training Manual: Does It Equate to Success?

I’ve just published the 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days. In it, I’ve included lots of up-to-the-minute updates. You can read some of them, in these blogs.

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

Below is an excerpt from the newest edition of the book. I want to give advice to new agents about what they need to succeed. Unfortunately, both new agent AND their managers tend to rely on the company training program to ‘fix’ the new agent. But, it never works that way. Why? Because a wealth of information is just that–just lots of information. As you read this, think about your training program–and that big manual. What’s it accomplishing? What do you want it to accomplish? What else does that new agent need to succeed?

That Big Training Manual….

You’ve finished your training program. You have a huge training manual. Now, what do you do? You know a lot of things, and you have a lot of information in that training manual. But, without Up and Running, you still don’t know what do on Monday. I learned how new agents get the wrong idea about selling real estate firsthand. As a manager, I sent my new agents to the five-day company training program. When my new agents came back, they would ask, “Now, what do I do?” I would get out Up and Running, which I had introduced to them in their interview, and remind them that this is a business plan—a performance plan for real life. Sometimes I wished I just had not let them go to training, because they came out of training thinking it was optional to start the Up and Running plan! Why? They thought information was all they needed to succeed. They didn’t have to actually take any actions!

I told you I would include advice {in this newest edition of Up and Running} from very successful newer agents. Here’s a quote from Kyle Kovats, who was recently chosen as one of the finalists for the “30 under 30” honors from the National Association of Realtors.  These select nominations are agents chosen because they are under 30 and very successful in the business.

About training, Kyle advises: “Find a broker who has a comprehensive training program. Ask if you can speak with agents who have gone through it to get the agents’ perspective on whether it was helpful.”

My question to you: Do you have a precise, prioritized start-up business plan for that new agent? If not, what are you relying on to get them into the field and into action–fast? If asked, what would your newer agents say about your training?

Up and Running_5e largerManagers and trainers: Take a look at the business start-up plan thousands of new agents use successful to launch businesses fast.

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little girl with phoneReal estate trend: Lead generation is STILL King!

Dearborn Education Company just published my 5th (!) edition of Up and Running in 30 Days. It has lots of updates, including updates on 10 trends that I think newer agents should recognize—and know the pros and cons. Here’s an excerpt from my new edition of the book.

Trend Three: Lead Generation is Still King

In their excellent book, Game Plan: How Real Estate Professionals Can Thrive in an Uncertain Future, authors Steve Murray and Ian Morris also name this trend as one of the top ten for the next five years. In my view, lead generation is always king (I can’t see how it wouldn’t continue to be a number one trend and priority). But, Murray and Morris’s point is that real estate professionals who want to be successful can’t depend on leads just coming their way. Instead, they must actively go after them. That means creating systems, disciplines, priorities, and goals for capturing, working with, and keeping leads—forever. Here’s what they say:

…contact management, lead cultivation, and customer relationship management systems can and will play a huge role in determining which agents and companies are most successful.

A recent study by Active Rain (a popular real estate blog and tech information center), showed that agents who spent more money on contact relationship management (CRM) made significantly more money. It just makes sense. Agents who capture their leads via a database and then keep in touch with them via contact management software assure they keep their names in front of their potential clients, and are able to management and help many more clients.

Agents who try to organize their clients via pieces of scrap paper and remember to call them once in awhile are woefully inadequate when it comes to staying in meaningful contact with their potential clients. Which agent would you prefer working with, as a client? An agent who regularly contacted you and kept you abreast of the market, or one who either never called you or contacted you irregularly?    In that Inman Select survey I mentioned earlier {in the book}, How to Fix New Agent Onboarding, 47% of respondents stated lead generation is critical in initial training. And, they observed most new agents struggled with lead generation.  That’s why this Up and Running start-up plan is so important to follow to the letter!

Here’s what Kyle Kovats, that great ’30 under 30’ nominee, {one of my top agent contributors to the book} said: “Get out there and just do it.  Try different forms of prospecting and see what works. An ounce of action is more powerful than a ton of planning.”

Positives: For those of you who intend to be successful in sales, this trend should be a comfort. That means, if you invest in yourself, your work ethic, and your systems, you will be ahead of the pack. In Up and Running in 30 Days, I’ve laid out a plan of action for those of you who do intend this success. I’m not being facetious here. Some agents are surprised that, in fact, one must lead generate to be successful in this business.

Watch out for: Companies and/or managers who tell you that leads will simply come to you—or that they will provide them to you . That would include all those reactive (you sit and wait for the lead) lead-generating strategies:

  • The traditional ones, such as open houses and floor time or relocation leads
  • The technologically driven leads, such as software and programs that capture leads for you (they don’t just sell themselves; you must have an effective capture, engagement, and follow-up program)

Isn’t There an Easier Way?

Unfortunately, interviewers use the “we will take care of you and give you leads” strategy to convince new agents to work with them. Then, after the agent is with that office, the agent learns there is no free lunch. Do I mean that you shouldn’t accept various types of leads from others? No. (Just know that you will be paying for that lead).  But, consider this. If that lead source goes away, what are you left with? You are a first-day agent all over again! The Up and Running program will protect you from that, helping you build your own business so you always rely on yourself, not someone else.

Note: It’s very, very important that you capture your leads in a database, or better yet, in a CRM (Client Relationship Management) program from your first week in the business. Why? Because you can’t remember who those people are, and you certainly can’t remember how and when to stay in touch with them! I’ve provided a list of various databases and CRM programs in Section 14: References and Resources. I’m not endorsing any one of them. I’m just providing you several to research and to choose. See your manager for recommendations.

When I asked those agent and team leader contributors what technology is important to incorporate, here’s what they said:

“CRM and lead management tools”—Diane Honeycutt

“A really good and easy-to-use CRM”—Cerise Paton

“A good CRM”—Chris Cross

So, don’t be like the majority of new agents (and even seasoned agents!): Start using a database, or better yet, a CRM your first week in the business.

* Big Idea: To build a strong long-term business, order takers need not apply. To be successful, you must create relationship continuance, no matter your lead-generating sources.

Managers: Do you have a robust, precise lead generating program to start your new agents to success fast?

Up and Running_5e largerClick here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

 

clockOnboarding: Those critical first seven days. Find out why that first week is so critical.

First: What does new agent onboarding and training have to do with retention? According to two recent studies—a whole lot! The new fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days, my new agent’s business start-up plan, has just come out. Dearborn Education is the publisher. There are many updates in this edition. Included in these updates are conclusions from these studies—conclusions that support the importance of starting each new agent with a proven lead generating plan.

(To see the updates in Up and Running in 30 Days, 5th edition, click here).

In this blog, I’ll address some of the results and its ramifications for real state companies–from the survey published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Why Bother with a Great Onboarding System?

Because you’ll have much great retention! According to the SHRM study, companies that leave onboarding to chance experience higher than 50% failure rates when it comes to retaining new talent.

Question: Do you have a great orientation system? Are you leaving anything to chance? Does your new agent feel like he/she’s in a fog for the first few months?

If you want a ‘template’ and suggestions of what should be included in your orientation, click here.

Those New Hires ‘Check Out’ Fast! (Faster than you Think!)

According to the same SHRM survey, 67% of millennials are already thinking of looking for their next job on day ONE!

Question: On day one, how are you cementing the relationship and helping that new person feel really welcome in your culture?

Tips for Those First Critical Seven Days:

  1. Manager sends a welcome email to new agent on day one.
  2. Each day’s activities are completely outlined so the new agent knows exactly how to proceed (you’re building in habits of success).
  3. The first week’s activities include shadowing and lunch with one of your senior colleagues.
  4. Welcome gift given to the new agent on day one.
  5. End of first day checklist completed with manager
  6. Round table or lunch set up with your influential agents to welcome the new agent
  7. Use a detailed, prioritized action-plan checklist, like Up and Running in 30 Days, to assure the new agent knows exactly what to do, how to do it, and is held accountable to it.

Outcome: 69% of new employees are more likely to stay more than three years if they’ve experienced a well-structured onboarding program.

So, how does your onboarding system stack up?

Find out: Regularly survey your agents who’ve been with you 6 months to find out what they found valuable and how it could be improved. Why not have the best onboarding/retention system in the industry?

How’s Your Quick-Start Program Working?

Up and Running_5e largerBoth these onboarding studies prove that leaving the new agent’s orientation, training, and start to chance just doesn’t cut it. Take a look at what’s new in Up and Running in 30 Days:  updates in 5th edition. This invaluable book is only $32.95 plus shipping, and has been used by thousands of new agents to launch successful careers. Order here.

 

 

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