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.

Archive for accountability

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Do your agents know what’s expected of them? Or, is ANYTHING expected of them? What are your standards of practice?

Unfortunately, unlike most businesses that are clear in their performance expectations, we either skip this conversation entirely or gloss over it.

I have done 2 short videos on these very important topics. The first video addresses establishing standards (minimum expectations). The second video explains how to address these expectations with the agent. I’m including the first video today. In my next blog, I’ll show you the second video.

Take a look at the first video here: Establishing Standards and Mutual Expectations

Here are the documents I mentioned to help you think through and put your standards in place:

Establishing Your Hiring/Retention Standards for your Agents

Up and Running in 30 Days Goals and Standards

Up and Running in Real Estate Commitment Letter

Use the information here, along with the standards documents, to raise the performance of your team to a much higher level!

Let me know how you’re doing with this! Remember, be careful about establishing your standards and how you implement them!



Is your onboarding process creating loyalty or ‘buyer’s remorse’?

What do your agents think about your onboarding process?

In my earlier blogs, we’ve explored the importance of onboarding, and some of the common mistakes we all make. I am in the midst of a consulting assignment with a real estate company. They asked me to evaluate their onboarding process and make recommendations. To do that, I created and did an onboarding questionnaire. In this blog, I’m using ‘we’ do protray the company leadership and me.

I promised I’d share my onboarding questionnaire, so here it is.

Have you ever found out what your agents think about your process? Now is an excellent time to do this. Use my questionnaire and add your own questions. I asked these questions over the phone. At first, agents were reticent to share. Then, as I explained we were working to tighten the process, they opened up, and gave us great information. The bottom line: They were thrilled we had asked them! It made them feel an important part of the organization.

When you ask: Don’t judge, and don’t criticize. Just accept the information or probe for more detail.

My Results of My Survey

I’m going to share the results of my survey here with you. Some of the results were surprising; some were predictable.

What We Did With the Results of the Survey

We held a series of meetings to discuss the results. We then assigned duties to make this whole process better. We hired a person whose main job is to ‘dog those agents’ tracks through the complete onboarding process. Do you think this will result in a better retention record? We do.

Your turn: What are you doing to assure your onboarding process continues the excitement and loyalty you set up during your interview process? Or, have you thought about it?

Want to talk about my helping you create a world-class onboarding process? Email me at carla@carlacross.com or call me at 425-392-6914. Let’s get this to mastery level!

Rate yourself on your management skills, so you’ll know what you need to work on prior to going into management (or if you’re already in management).

Are you thinking of going into management? Few of us knew the skills–or the level of skill attainment–we needed to succeed in the job. I want to help all of you who want to go into management to succeed at a high level. Thus, these blogs.

For the past couple of months, I’ve been interviewing potential managers. I’ve found that almost none had done any ‘prep’ work to go into the position. Yet, successful managers have developed specific, somewhat unique skills to do their jobs. And, what I’ve found is that these skills must be at least partially developed before we launch ourselves into management–or else we get swamped by all these new challenges hitting us in the face!

In an earlier blog, I discussed the skills we need to have honed prior to going into management. In this blog, we’ll tackle getting those skills in certain areas.

At the end of this blog: grab my assessment tool I use in my Leadership Mastery coaching series to help new managers plan for this skill attainment.

The Biggest Skill Area Managers Need Today to Succeed

What do you think it is? It’s recruiting and selecting skill. Why? Because, there’s so much competition for good agents that a manager just can’t sit back and wait for agents to come to them. It isn’t the old days (although I never was able to do that in my ‘old days!’).

These skills are the same skills good agents use to expand their businesses. That’s why we need to hire managers who have been successful recruiters and selectors. Notice I said recruiters and selectors. I know companies brag about how mahy gross recruits they landed that month or year, but, long-term, it’s those who stay, prosper, and grow with the company that add to the profitability of all.

One of the standards you need to create when you’re hiring a manager is

How successful was that agent as a business getter? What’s the number of transactions you would accept?

How to Get Recruiting and Selecting Skills

Your company may have a course focusing on these skills. If so, take it prior to going into management. Overall, the best courses out there for management are the CRB courses, leading to the Certified Real Estate Broker designation. I highly recommend them. Here’s the link.

What’s Your Agent Track Record?

In addition, if you don’t have a track record of at least 12-20 transactions a year as an agent, in my opinion, you have not developed the skills in recruiting and selecting you will need as a successful agent. It’s my experience that agents who didn’t actively lead generate will carry that habit into management. They will balk at lead generating for agents, and they will fight upper management to the death–and to everyone’s detriment.

Resource (Some are FREE) to Gain those Management Skills

This month, I’m offering some of my management resources free with purchase of other resources. Check it out here.

Grab the leadership skill assessment here.

Managers or general managers: If you’re hiring a new manager, help them evaluate their skill levels and then create a training and coaching program to assure they get those skills before they launch their management career.

Here’s what you need to know about training, from my piano teachers.

Special Blog for Anyone Who Trains and Coaches

Recently, one of my coaching clients (an owner of a real estate company) asked me, “Why do some trainers and coaches get great results and others don’t–but seem to be working as hard?”

Great question, huh? In fact, if we trainer/coach types knew that answer, we could build our systems so that we assured great performance! So, I went back to my ‘former life’–that as a musician and piano/flute teacher, and thought, “Why do some piano teachers create great performers–and others don’t?”

Why Use Piano Teachers as the Analogy….

I use the analogy of the piano teacher, because it’s easy to hear differences in sloppy and great performance. I’m sure you’ve heard 2 people play the same piece of music. One plays it accurately and one just kind of slops through it. Or, some piano teachers’ students drop out, unmotivated to practice, while others stay motivated, challenged, and achieve high performance–even if they don’t seem to have great talent.

Five Proven Components for Great Performance

From having taken piano lessons since age six, gaining a degree in piano performance, and having taught piano at the grade, high school, and college level, I’ve had an opportunity to see the great and the not-so-great–both teachers and performers. Here are the five components I’ve discovered make the biggest difference in great performance.

1. Great piano teachers screen their students in and screen their students out.
They don’t let just anybody take lessons from them. Trainers and coaches: What’s your ‘screen in’ process? Do you have one? Do you have a list of questions you ask? In our coaching company, we have a prescribed list of questions we ask potential clients (and we unfortunately have to turn down some). I even have a Coachability Assessment I provide potential clients. Click here to request your copy.

2. Great piano teachers set expected standards (minimums) during the screening process–not after the lessons start!
Those standards include: Amount of practice each day, recitals attended and played in, going to lessons, etc. What do you expect of your clients? Make a list of at least 5 standards now–and get the ‘mutual expectations’ agreement in writing prior to letting them into your program.

3. Great piano teachers figure out the ‘competency levels’ they want their students to attain–and when they expect them.
How good do you expect your students to get in that one-month training program you’ve been doing? Do you even measure skill levels? Which skill levels to you measure? How? Do you have your students practice their listing presentations until they reach the level of competency you believe the real client expects? What an eye-opener! Make a list now of 5 skills and the level of competency you want your students to attain in your training program. You’ll see your outcomes go way up just by doing this.

4. Great piano teachers get better performance because their excellent students motivate other good students to excellence.
Have you ever gotten yourself into the situation where you felt like you were way above the other people in your group? This isn’t an ego thing–it’s just a ‘I don’t belong here’ thing. Likes attract. Good performers motivate other good performers. Excellent performers stay. Are you creating a self-motivating group–or, are you creating a situation where your good performers will leave for a team that is ‘more like them’? This goes back to those ‘screen in’ and setting competency principles. I know we all feel challenged when people don’t appear motivated. Here’s one of the secrets to fire them up!

5. Great piano teachers provide lavish praise–when deserved.

Behavior that’s rewarded is repeated.

If you have competency levels, you have a way and a reason to praise. Your students/clients know when they have reached those levels–and can expect praise, too! In fact, strong students/clients will ask you for praise. Write down the 5-10 methods you use to appreciate and praise good performance. If you can’t get to 10, figure them out.

But, what about the method? The specific coaching, the training? Yes, the method is important, but the coaching/training techniques above are much more important. I’ve heard some great performers and some poor performers all playing the same kind of music from the same method. At the same time, great methods should have some ‘built-in’ features that assure the trainer/coach is achieving these 5 principles.

Principles, Systems, Coaching–Putting it All Together

From talking with prominent trainers, managers, and coaches, we’ve pinpointed a need for all those training and coaching today to get the coaching they need to turn out great performers. Check out Leadership Mastery Coaching.

What do you do if someone won’t get into action?

This month, I’m featuring tips to get your agents–and you into action better–and faster. Why? Because real estate is a ‘performance art’, not a knowledge pursuit!

(Note: Watch for my new little book, it’s literally a ‘little book’, with the quotes I’ve coined (or copied, I’m sure), over the years. The quote above is from the book, too). Oh, the name of the book: Big Ideas (in a little book). By the way, the book is a great gift to your agents–and will give you 80+ quotes for meeting discussions, too.

Real Estate Sales IS Challenging!

I’ll bet your agents didn’t know how challenging real estate sales were until now. To cope with those challenges, our creative subconscious may be coming up with ways to convince us to avoid getting into action. We 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.

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. (Today, Ned would be using apps for that–and spending lots of time getting the right apps and exactly the right ‘maps’……..)

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”? How do your agents 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.

Slow Starters May be Deceptively Competent!

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 various types of ‘action starters’ face as they start their real estate careers.

Help Your Agents 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 (or manager!).

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 agents can successfully launch real estate careers by taking lots of time to “get ready.” However, if you take all the time in the world, you will fail. Why? Because lack of success is a great de-motivator!

. 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.

On a scale of 1-10, 10 being “I jump right into action”, how would you rate yourself in getting into action?

Let Me Help Your Agents Get Into Action with More Confidence

It can seem like every day in real estate is a new challenge! I know–I remember those days well! Why not get the best start (or re-start) possible? Take a look at my innovative online, training/accountability program, Up and Running in Real Estate. There’s a coaching component, too, so you can track your agents’ successes and coach them along the way. Check it out here.

do itHow good is your agents’ start-up plan? (Or, do they have a start-up plan?!)

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.}

You know what your training will do for you. So I hope you are convinced you also need to implement a business start-up plan to put all that information in perspective. But watch outa��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.)

Commonalities of Poor Plans

  • They are laundry lists of busywork activities interspersed with activities that actually make you money, so the agent doesna��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 a�?see all the inventorya�? before doing anything else. The rationale is that ita��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. (Ita��s the means, not the end.) But new agents dona��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 a�?busyworka�? as equal priority to lead generatinga��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 brokera��s hair! Also, the new agent loves the broker for a while, because the broker isna��t asking the new agent to do those high-rejection activitiesa��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 isna��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 a�?business-producinga�? activities)
  3. Includes an organized activities schedule with certain activities prioritized seconda��and explaining why (In Up and Running, these are called a�?business-supportinga�? activities)
  4. Provides a road map for a continuing plan (remember that a�?plan for lifea�??)
  5. Builds in the a�?whya�? 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

Managers/trainers: How well did your start-up plan score? Why not try using a proven plan that gets much better results faster? You’ll increase your retention and your profits!

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

Youa��ve heard it before. Business people make fancy, multi-page, even excellent business plans, and then fail. Why? Because making the plan doesna��t ensure success. Doing the plan does. (You wouldna��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 dona��t people get into action?

Because ita��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. Thata��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 someonea��our coacha��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 youa��re going to tell me. Youa��re goal-oriented. Youa��re a self-starter. You dona��t need a coach. Thata��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 cana��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 successa��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 dona��t know how easy it will be to get priorities all backwards! They also dona��t realize how difficult it is to change a bad habit. If you want to be a great pianist, youa��d find a great teacher, wouldna��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 DaysA� 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!

 

bus-plan-11Need strategies to get your agents to create great business plans? Here they are!

In November and December, I’m focusing on business planning, to help you and your agents get a great business plan for next year. Look forA� checklists, processes, and systems ready to use, too.

I know ita��s a lot of work to get your agents to commit to paper on anything. And, from working with thousands of agents on business planning over the years, I know the challenges. But, for us managers, the huge pay-off comes not from whata��s on paper, what, whata��s in the head. When we use a good business planning process we literally teach agents how to think through their businesses.

Three Huge Stealth Strategies

1. Take Away Commitment Phobia

Ita��s estimated we are told a�?noa�� 148,000 times prior to age eighteen. No wonder we dona��t want to commit to try anything! I know from teaching adults to play the piano, that adults are conditioned not to try anything new for fear of not being perfect. To many, writing a business plan means planning to faila��and then getting punished for it.

So, the first time you introduce business planning, take away the old downside of goal setting (not reaching it and getting punished),A� and help your agents move in incremental steps forwarda��a step at a time, with lots of positive reinforcement along the way. You have to create a safe haven for first-time planners.

2. Eat the Elephant a Bite at a Time

One of the agents in an office where I just did a small group coaching series told me he put a picture of an elephant on the wall, and then literally divided the elephant into bite-sized pieces, with an action step listed on each bite. What a wonderful visual! For many of your agents, planning is just the most overwhelming process they could envision. So, simply start with one or two areas. Personally, I start with 2-3 areas in the Review. See my next blog for an example of this.

3. Make it Really Easy to Start

Have a great business planning system to provide your agents. (Never just ask them to make a business plan without a system to follow, because youa��ll get all kinds of formats). Dona��t overwhelm your agents with too many planning pages to start. Customize your package with each agent. If you can get each agent to look at 1-3 areas of his business, and plan change strategies for a better year in that area, youa��ll have started the processa��a process that will continue, grow, and reap big benefits by year three.

We Do What We See, Not What We are Told

Do you have a business plan? If not, why should your agents be interested ? Making your a�?stealtha�� approach work means you must lead by example. Doing so creates a synergy between your plan and all the agentsa�� plans, and builds a strength that perseveres even in the toughest market.

What should be in an agent’s business planning system? Click here to see a ‘flow chart’.

Watch my Recorded Complimentary Business Planning Webinar

During this fast-paced webinar youa��ll see:

  • Why your plan probably didna��t work for youa��and what to do about it
  • How to definitely find out what will work for YOU (not someone elsea��s plan!)
  • How to anticipate market shifts (!)
  • What to STOP doing in 2017
  • What one thing will assure your business plan works
  • Bonus: 10 Creative Marketing Ideas for your plan

Included handouts:

  1. The strategic planning process created exclusively for real estate professionals by Carla Cross
  2. Review: Your best sources of business

Click here to see the webinar and grab the handouts.

Here’s to a great 2017 with your polished business plan!

Plan_Act_CelebrateHow Good is Your Business Planning System?

Need a comprehensive business planning system that is designed ONLY for leadership? Most planning systems don’t cover the specific areas you need to address.

Check out Beyond the Basics of Business Planning.

 

 

man ponderingThis month, I’m focusing on helping you retain your new people.

Managers: What’s your retention rate for new agents under 6 months in the business? Do you know? Do you have a goal for it? Now, I don’t mean how many agents you hire who stay in the business no matter what they do! That’s not profitable to you! If you don’t know your retention rate now, figure it out. But, drop out those who are staying in your office without production–just because you don’t ask them to leave!

How Much Money Is Low Retention Costing You?

Do you know how much money it’s costing you if you have too low a rate? What rate do you think is reasonable to expect? In another blog, we’ll discuss the line items that you should use to figure your retention rates.

I’ll bet 90% of managers can’t answer all the questions above. Although no manager would ever tell me he/she hires just to see what sticks to the wall, in reality, that’s what much of the hiring still looks like today.

One View: Hiring Everyone Is Just OK

If you think that’s true, then, what’s it costing you in management and training time? Management and training turnover? It doesn’t take too many agent failures to make a manager give up. I know. I’ve coached many of them. Managers need to feel that the agents they hire are going to work, so that the manager’s time and expertise is respected and rewarded. Is your hiring expectation supporting your manager, or not?

What’s it costing you in your ability to recruit winners? Agents know the ‘aura’ and culture of an office. Don’t kid yourself. If you load your office with non-producers, you’ll get to be known, as an office was known when I started managing there–as the office that ‘you go to if you don’t want to work’. What are agents saying about your office? What do you want to do about it?

Three Things You Have to Have in Place to Get your Good Hires a Sale Fast

Obviously, you have to have a great screening/interview process. But, for now, I’m going to assume you have just that. So, here are the three things you have to have in place to get those agents a sale NOW:*

(My study, that I show in my ebook for would-be agents, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School, revealed that over half the new agents (under 3 months in the business), expected a sale in their first 30 (yes, 30!) days in the business!). So, your 3-step system has to have that as a goal. Why? Because your agents, whether you know it or not, are mentally out of the business in 3 months if they haven’t gotten a sale.

1. A thorough on-boarding system

Take a look at your first 3 weeks in the business for your new agent. What is that agent doing every day? Do you have checklists? Processes? Someone dedicated to coaching them through those first 3 weeks? In my next blog, I’m focus in on that on-boarding system you need. Studies show that ‘workers’ success and loyalty, plus their retention, is cemented–or not–in the first few weeks they’re in your office. Is your on-boarding system a ‘loyalty-glue’ maker?

2. Someone completely dedicated to guiding them through the onboarding and business-start up systems

Do you have a coach specifically dedicated to assuring your new agents get on track and stay on track? That coach may be you–but someone has to do it. You’d be amazed the number of times I hear newer agents tell me that there’s no one dedicated to coaching them to a start-up plan? Why? Isn’t each new agent hired worthy of that dedication? Or, if not, why were they hired? (remember that ‘throw them up against the wall’ approach?)

3. A specific, accountability-anchored business-start-up plan supported with training modules

Imagine your new agent sitting at her desk. How does she know what to do each day to get that sale quickly? Does she have a specific business start-up plan supported with training so she knows how to do the work? If not, she is just floundering, trying to pick up ideas from those agents who stay in the office–because they’re not working with clients! How would you rate your start-up plan?

How did you rate yourself on the 3 systems above? What do you want to work on first?

logoDon’t Reinvent the Wheel: The Start-up Plan, Training, Coaching, and Accountability is Here

It literally took me years to put together this unique online program, Up and Running in Real Estate. Why not let me take a huge burden off your shoulders and provide you 2 of the three things you need to jump-start your agents? Take a look at Up and Running in Real Estate and the companion Coaches’ Corner. You’ll reap many more rewards for a small investment, and find it easier to recruit winners.

Blog-CoachIn the prior blog, we talked about the attributes of various types of coaching/mentoring programs. Coaching, mentoring, and peer coaching terms are used with wild abandon. So, are you offering coaching, mentoring, or peer coaching? What’s the difference? Should agents get a coach–or a mentor? Have you defined those terms? Are you clear with agents as to what they’re getting in each of these categories?A� Before you create a program, be sure you know what the program is and should do for that new or re-energizing agent.

Should I get a coach or mentor? Those are questions new agents (and seasoned agents) ask themselves over and over. This blog is excerpted from my eBook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

This advice is given to the agent entering the business, but, as a manager, read it as though you are also defining your services.

Types of Coaches

Professional coach: Someone trained to coach, who uses a specific program and who is paid to be your coach. If youa��re considering a professional coach, find out the specific program the coach will use to coach you. Get expectations in writing, and give your expectations in writing. You should expect to sign a 3-12 month contract.

Manager coach or in-office coach: Someone who may be trained as a coach, who has agreed to coach you. May be paid from your commissions or from a combination of office/your commissions. May be paid on an hourly based by the agent. Be sure this coach is prepared to be your accountability coach, has a specific schedule with you, and a specific start-up plan to coach you. Otherwise, youa��re just getting an a�?advice sessiona��.

Peer coach: Someone in the office, an agent, who has agreed to be your coach. However, this could be anything from

  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Answer questions
  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Let you a�?shadow thema�� (see how they do a listing/buyer presentation or offer presentation)
  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Be your accountability coach

Most peer coaches dona��t have a coaching program to coach to, and havena��t been trained. They are also at a loss with what to do if the agent refuses to do the work.

In my experience, the agent has the highest hopes that the peer coach will fulfill his dreams of whatever coaching is to him. The peer coach is hoping the agent just doesna��t ask too many questions!

Advice to Agents

If youa��re going to work with a peer coach, get in writing exactly what that peer coach is willing to do with and for you. Bad peer coaching can turn into a nightmarea��for both parties.

Agentsa�� advice: Dozens of experienced agents have told me they wish they had started with a professional coach. If you can find one to trusta��and to followa��youa��ll shorten your learning curve dramatically and easily pay for the coaching fee. Plus, youa��ll establish a successful long-term career.

Getting a Mentor

What is a a�?mentora��? Therea��s not a clearly defined job function. Mentors are usually seasoned agents who offer to help new agents. They may

  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Offer advice
  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Allow you to shadow them
  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Ask you to do parts of their business

New agents love the thought of a mentor, because they have so many questions. And, they think the mentor will be their a�?answer mana��. But, Ia��ve observed that having an a�?answer mana�� surely doesna��t guarantee success. In fact, it may impede an agent getting into action. How? An agent may think he needs more and more information before he will act. Then, he just keeps coming to the mentor for every question under the sun. And, the more the new agent knows, the more frightened he becomes. Plus, the advice received from the mentor may not be in the new agenta��s best interest.

If you are considering a mentor, get in writing exactly what the mentor will do for you.

Big question: Why is the mentor willing to help you? What does the mentor expect from you?

Treat getting a coach or a mentor as an employment issue. Create good questions and interview. Armed with the advice above, you’ll make the right decision for you.

Managers: What programs do you offer? Have you defined them? What are the benefits to your prospective ‘clients’?

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