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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.

Archive for firing

bus-plan-7-teamHere are the nine big signs your manager must be fired–and some are obvious–but others are just as important but often ignored until it is way too late!

In the next few blogs, I’ll focus on ownership/general manager issues.  The reason I’m writing this blog is that, I am seeing managers go off the rails and try to take the office with them! Unfortunately, clever managers get the support of their agents while not managing properly. With their popularity, the ‘boss’ may hesitate firing them–even when they need desperately to be fired!

Managers are Clever at ‘Buying’ Support–Especially when under Stress

Some get that support by ‘buying’ the agents–giving their favorites leads. Some get that support by creating a flurry of activity, that obscures what’s really going on behind the scenes. I know how hard it is to tell, from an agent’s perspective, if the manager is doing his/her job. As an agent myself, I watched from afar, not knowing exactly what my manager did or didn’t do. I also didn’t know the activities he was supposed to be doing–and the activities he was avoiding or refusing to do.

I’ve screened, hired and coached dozens of managers, both as a regional director for one of the largest franchises in the world, and as an independent coach. I have seen things go off the rails many times–even when the agents in the office don’t have a clue!

The Nine Signs Your Manager Must Leave

1. Refuses to recruit to your standards (minimums)–that means numbers of contacts, interviews, and hires.

2. Refuses to hire to your standards–hires anyone and calls it ‘good’.

3. Refuses to coach agents up–or out; refuses to manage via standards (minimums) of performance.

4. Refuses to do the activities as designated and trained to by the general manager (such as interviewing appropriately or teaching to your culture).

5. Refuses to uphold all aspects of the culture (hires an agent who’s a top producer but doesn’t represent the culture).

6. Takes frustrations and problems with upper management to the agents, when he/she should only discuss any problem areas directly with management.

7. Openly disrespects and berates upper management–both to agents and directly to management.

8. Acts in an adversarial and/or fearful way to anyone he perceives as an authority.

9. Shares things with agents that should not be shared.

In other words: the manager has become a liability to the culture and the office. He/she is not teaming with upper management; he doesn’t have the same vision as leadership; he is fighting for control. It’s your office and you’re the boss. You must exercise your authority now for the preservation and growth of your office.

What did I miss? Let me know and we’ll add to the list!

head in the sand a salespersonHere’s why brokers who think failing agents costs them 0 are wrong. Yes, many brokers tell me that unproductive agents don’t cost them a thing.

But,  most brokers don’t realize they are doing irreparable damage to their companies by hiring those who aren’t going to go right to work—and keeping those who won’t work. Here are the 3 biggest consequences to poor selection I see.

1. Stops you from hiring great producers. Likes attract. How can brokers hope to hire that great producer when they have more than 10% of their office as non-producers? I can see it now. “Sure, I’ll come to your office. I’m a top producer, and I just love to be dragged down by those non-producers. It will be my pleasure to waste my time with them.” Not.

2. Kills your recruiting message.
Do you have a training program? Do you use it to recruit? Here’s the real message: “We have a training program. All our new agents go through it. We don’t get any results from the program, so it really doesn’t work. But, join us.” You can’t possibly show how successful your training program makes your agents because your training program can’t possibly get results—poor people in and no actions and accountability required.

3. De-motivates your agents to provide referrals to you.
Your outcomes and hiring practices speak more loudly than you could possible speak. Why would one of your good agents possibly refer someone to you when your good agent doesn’t see those you hired starting right out and making money fast?

If Your Market’s on Fire, You May be Kidding Yourself
In a fast market, ‘accidental sales’ buoy poor agents and make them look as though they were actually selling enough real estate to be a ‘median’ agent. But, be aware: When the market turns, so do the agents’ ‘mirage’ of decent production. So, it’s best to hire with purpose (using a stringent, professional interview process). Then,  put agents right to work with a proven start-up plan.

Please Tell Me What You Think
What do you think a non-productive agent costs the company? In my next blog, I’ll give you some line items that will probably double what you think a bad hire costs. Let’s see what you think first. Poor hiring practices really, really hurts brokers—both financially and emotionally.

Are You Hitting your Ceiling of Achievement?

You encourage your agents to get coaching. Or, perhaps you coach them. You know how important having someone ‘see you from the outside’ is. But, how about you? Are you going it alone? I know, from managing so many years, it’s a lot lonelier worldLM Cover than being an agent. Who do you bounce ideas off? Who do you trust as your mentor? Check out Leadership Mastery coaching today.

Sign up for a Complimentary Consultation to see if Leadership Mastery would benefit you. What do you have to lose?

Bonus for new coaching clients this month: $1000+ of Carla Cross’s recruiting, training, and coaching resources FREE ! Includes:

The Complete Recruiter, at $129.95 value–the strategies, planner, and dialogues you need to recruit winners

Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners, a complete interviewing guide, a $79.95 value–free.

Recruiting Objection Busters, scripts and dialogues to counter the toughest recruiting objections, a $40 value

Business Planning for the Owner, Manager, and Team Builder,a $100 value

Operations/Orientation Manuals and Checklists, a $30 value

Coaching Companions to coach new or experienced agents, a $200 value

Advantage 2.0 facilitator guide, a complete training program (a $500 value)

Click here to learn more about Leadership Mastery Coaching.

Click here to schedule a complimentary consultation to find out more about the program, ask questions, and see if it’s a ‘match’. After your consultation, you’ll receive a ‘thank you’ of a 2-pack management audio CD series.

beatles youngWhat in the world do the Beatles have to do with real estate pros success? A lot, I think. We’ve all heard of Paul, George, Ringo, and John—but, does the name “George Martin” ring a bell? Maybe. Martin was the record producer who discovered and molded the Beatles, adding his classical musical background to the Beatles’ creativity to produce the Beatles’ unique and ever evolving sounds.

As a musician myself, I’ve always marveled at how the Beatles put classical musical aspects into their rock ‘n roll. Well, guess what? They didn’t do it by themselves—they melded their talents with Martin. George Martin just died at age 90, and many articles are being written about his collaboration with the Beatles. As I read these articles, I was thinking, “These life and performance lessons are absolutely applicable to us real estate professionals.” So, I culled five life and performance lessons we can learn from their association. Here are the first two, and I’ll continue in my next blog.

  1. Keep improving your team until you are working with the best.

Martin urged Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein to replace drummer Pete Best with Ringo Starr, who he felt was a better drummer. Is your team the strongest it can be? Who’s holding you back? Who’s hindering your best performance? Who do you need to replace? I know, as an ensemble musician, you never play any better than your worst player! 

  1. Start every listing, buyer and training presentation with an attention-getting ‘hook’.

Quit that boring droning that begins most presentations! Instead, do what Martin suggested: Start with a ‘hook’.   Martin suggested Paul McCartney replace the first verse of Can’t Buy Me Love with the ‘can’t buy me love’ intro. That’s the hook, and we never forget it, do we? Do your listing/buyer and training presentations start with something attention-getting, or do you ‘ease into’ your presentation with banal comments like ‘I’ll keep this short’ or ‘we’ve got a lot to cover’. Stop being banal and get creative with your opening (we practice this in my Instructor Development Workshop and I teach this in The Ultimate Real Estate Trainer’s Guide).

Applying these Principles with your Agents

Are you working with the best people? If not, why not? What do you need to do with your recruiting, selecting, and retention to upgrade your team so you all do better?

LM CoverWho’s On your Side? Who’s Supporting You?

Owners and managers: Are you as profitable as you deserve to be? If you’re selling AND managing, you’re finding yourself going 6 ways to Sunday! If you’re not satisfied with your results, consider Leadership Mastery coaching with Carla Cross. This is not a ‘cookie cutter’ program. This is a completely customized owner/manager program focusing on recruiting, coaching, training, leadership, delegation, and staff management. Why not hone your skills with Carla as your guide and support? Get your best sources of recruits, a great recruiting plan, AND a failsafe selection process to pick winners.

Sign up for a Complimentary Consultation to see if Leadership Mastery would benefit you. What do you have to lose?

Bonus for new coaching clients this month: $1000+ of Carla Cross’s recruiting, training, and coaching resources FREE ! Includes:

The Complete Recruiter, at $129.95 value–the strategies, planner, and dialogues you need to recruit winners

Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners, a complete interviewing guide, a $79.95 value–free.

Recruiting Objection Busters, scripts and dialogues to counter the toughest recruiting objections, a $40 value

Business Planning for the Owner, Manager, and Team Builder,a $100 value

Operations/Orientation Manuals and Checklists, a $30 value

Coaching Companions to coach new or experienced agents, a $200 value

Advantage 2.0 facilitator guide, a complete training program (a $500 value)

Click here to learn more about Leadership Mastery Coaching.

Click here to schedule a complimentary consultation to find out more about the program, ask questions, and see if it’s a ‘match’. After your consultation, you’ll receive a ‘thank you’ of a 2-pack management audio CD series.

 

 

man ponderingThis month, I’m featuring the lifeblood of real estate management–hiring and firing. Yes, firing!

Do you have a foolproof way to figure out who to keep and who to cut loose? In this blog, I’ll show you.

Who adds value to your environment? Hiring and firing is not a ‘black or white’ issue. There are many shades of gray. I know. I managed almost two decades. We become friends with our agents. They rely on us. We rely on them. In some cases, we become almost moms and dads to them. It becomes a very dependent environment. No one wants to disrupt it. However, you are running a business–not a social welfare state.

Use This Analytical Tool to Evaluate Your Agents

Let’s recognize that not all the value, or, to some of us, even half the value of our agents is in their ability to close sales. In other words, your top producer may not be your most desired agent. There are other valued assets they bring to the table, like:

Uphold the culture
Provide mentoring
Create stability in the office
Team player
Longevity and consistency

What are yours? Write them down.  (Use 4-6 values).

Assign a Relative Weight

Now, give each one of these values a possible rating of 0 to 4 (4 being highest). Finally, evaluate each of your agents with each of your important values.  For example, let’s say you are evaluating your top producer. In the production value, that producer would get a “4”. But, let’s say that top producer isn’t much of a team player, and you’ve evaluated her as a “1”. When you’re through evaluating that agent, add all the numbers to get a cumulative number.

Click here to see an example of an evaluative table.

What’s Your Agent’s Real Value to Your Office?

Now, you have evaluated each agent on all the values you feel are important to the success of your company. To see how they stack up, make a list of them, starting with the agent who scored the highest cumulative number. This evaluation process will give you a very different picture of who your best producers are-and who your worst office associates are.

Bottom-Line Questions to Ask Yourself

I know it’s very difficult to terminate people. In fact, one manager asked me to advise him on how to do a  ‘graceful termination.’ Really, behind termination anxiety lurks these questions. They need to be answered for you, as leader, to take the actions that your good agents are expecting from you:

Can an agent be a noteworthy negative to your reaching your goals?
Can an agent actually provide substantial energy against your culture?
What’s Joe’s value to you?
Can this value be quantified in a business sense?
What are you getting personally out of keeping Joe?
What are your next actions?
Why are you avoiding what you need to do?
Don’t you deserve more than Joe is giving you?
How does Joe feel now? Does Joe deserve an environment where he can win?

What do you use to evaluate your agents? How is it working for you?

LM CoverGet Some Help in Creating a Better 2016

Why not get some support and guidance in setting up your 2016 business plan? Do you have a recruiting plan? A career development plan? A training plan? Standards? If not, you’re still managing by the seat of your pants. Schedule a complimentary consultation to see if Leadership Mastery coaching would benefit you. In January: $1000+ bonuses in training, coaching, and recruiting programs, too. See more here. 

man on groundThis month, I’m featuring the lifeblood of a real estate office–hiring AND firing.

No one wants to talk about it, but, the passive-aggressive method of just letting them die isn’t leadership–it’s cowardice! Instead, we need to develop a fair method of letting those go who need to go.

Everyone has a Joe (or Josephine) in their offices. Joe has been an agent for six years. He’s the guy who makes coffee every morning. He’s the guy who takes people’s open houses (although he never picks up a customer). He’s even the guy who steps in when someone in the office can’t make their floor time (but he has never converted an inquiry to a client…). He’s also the guy who doesn’t sell a stick of real estate. Woops. I misspoke. He did sell one home once. It was during the ‘on fire’ market. Joe was on floor time. He got a walk in: A buyer who found the home himself, had cash, and was willing to write it up at Joe’s convenience. (After closing, Joe didn’t follow up with the client again. After all, the sale is over, isn’t it?)

What’s the matter with just keeping Joe?

Nothing, if you don’t care about your bottom line. Brokers tell me that a poor hire or a non-productive agent costs them nothing. Unfortunately, that’s far from the case. In this article, we’ll just beat up poor Joe. In the next article, we’ll address the new agent – poor hire.

dollar  markHere’s How Joe Costs You $$$$$–Lots of $$$$$$

If you read nothing else in this article, please read this line:

Joe is a walking billboard for failure-an effective marketing strategy that communicates your office’s failure to make him successful, and your failure to making him successful.

Joe’s “billboard” publicizes the outcomes from your recruiting, training, and coaching. Here they are.

Recruiting. You find it hard to recruit. See, likes attract. People see that Joe (or lots of Joes) are in your office. Agents do search the MLS to find out what the sales statistics are in offices. (Why would they go to an office that has low production?) Maybe you’re like me, taking over a real estate office where it was known in the area, literally, as “the place you went if you didn’t want to work.” Boy, what a great recruiting endorsement!  If so, you know that it’s a terrific uphill battle to recruit good people into a bad office. (Hint: You must get rid of the bad people first, then build on a new foundation. You can’t fool those agents!).

Training. You’re finding it hard to get agents to attend your training classes. Why? Because Joe attends every one of them-and then doesn’t take any action. So, your class endorsement is actually “those classes don’t do any good.”

Coaching. People say they want help, but they won’t go into a coaching relationship with you. Why? Because Joe tells them it won’t do any good. After all, he’s been in your office for five years, and being with you certainly hasn’t done him any good. (Joe also rains on the newer agents’ parades, by convincing them that no lead generating method you endorse is worth their time. After all, the one home Joe sold was a walk-in.)

Joe’s Making Your Success an Uphill Battle

You’ve tried to help Joe. You’ve decided you can’t help him. You’re working harder and longer. Yet, your office culture and productivity just don’t seem to improve. Ask yourself:

What percent of “Joe’s” do you have in your office right now?

Carla’s rule: If you have over 10% seasoned non-producers, you aren’t leading. They are.

In my next blog, I’ll show you a different way of evaluating your agents. It will give you a method you can trust to figure out who to keep and who to put the ‘happy trails’ record on for…..

small LM CoverAre you Unsure of Who to Hire and Who to Fire?

Why not see if Leadership Mastery Coaching can help you gain the skills and judgments to make great personnel decisions? This is a unique, one-on-one coaching program expressly for real estate leadership. Sign up for a complimentary consultation today. Make 2016 the year you break through your ceiling of achievement!

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