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 lead generation

Polish your presentation skills: three quick, effective tips to make all the difference in your impact.

Managers, trainers, salespeople, and even a�?real peoplea�� present frequently in front of one–to hundreds of people. Unfortunately, most presenters (yes, you become a presenter when youa��re selling!), arena��t trained with the best presentation tools. Instead, they just a�?wing ita��. So, we in the audience (or your clients) are frequently bored silly. It doesna��t have to be that way. Take a look at the three tipsa��tips Ia��ve learned first as a musician, then as a speaker, in front of hundreds of people. These tips will make your next time in front of a few a��or manya��enjoyable, memorable, and equally enjoyable for your audience or client.

Three Powerful Presentera��s Tips

Death by Lecture

  1. Don’t lecture for more than 10 minutes. Adults just don’t have that long an attention span (too much on our minds!). Change it up. Use various “alternative delivery methods”–methods to teach other than lecture. In myA�Instructor Development WorkshopA�course, I help students learn these teaching methods by modeling them so they can observe me teaching. Then, we de-brief on what we did. Finally, each student teaches a short module using creative methods, and the rest of the students provide feedback. (We really only learn when we do something).A�DoingA�greatly increases confidence–and competence.

Question: If youa��re in sales or management: Are you talking through your listing or recruiting presentation because you know a lot? How long will it take until the person in front of you gets a�?glassy eyesa��?

Do Something Else Before You Talk too Much

2. When you want to change adults’ perceptions, beliefs, or knowledge, don’t just start talking to them.A�You may be setting up an adversarial relationshipa��and youa��re too predictable! You may just cause them to shrink more into their beliefs, and to defend those beliefs (have you observed students who live to argue with the instructor?)

How to tackle the ‘old belief’ challenge:

Prepare students or your clients to learn something new. For example: Use a ‘true-false’ or ‘multiple choice’ to start the presentation, or to check learning. I do this in myA�Instructor Development Workshop courseA�in the middle, and ask students how they would have answered at the beginning of the course–and then contrast that with their new perceptions and learning. It creates lots of ‘ahas’ with them, and further cements their learning experience.

Tip: If youa��re in sales: Use a fun true-false survey for sellers to use prior to meeting you. It can have lots of fallacies and misinformation, and will set up your presentation to help sellers get the real facts and make the best decision for them.

Quit Relying on the ‘Screen’ to Talk for YOU!!!

3. Don’t just read from the PowerPoint on the screenA�(and, just as onerous, provide the student with the PowerPoint as the “outline”.) If an instructor does that, I feel I want to just take that outline and leave. I can read, thank you! Too many presenters/trainers rely on PowerPoint to do the teaching. Instead, invest in a a�?pointera�� that allows you to make the screen blank. Remember: YOU are the presenter, not your Powerpoint!

Tip: If youa��re in sales or management: Dona��t just drone on from your presentation manual. (thata��s your Powerpoint in this instance.) Instead, Use questions, handouts, pauses, and summaries to give your presentation contour and interest.

Use that Right Brain of Yours

Effective presenting is much more than just talking. It should be creative. Use all the “attention strategies” at your disposal (that means to get them into your repertoire).

Suggestions to get creative:

Use props, stories, various audio-visual aids, and handouts to control the audience “contour”. I learned this as a musician playing for dancing. You direct how you want the audience to dance by the music you pick, and you ‘contour’ the whole experience (slower to faster, then back to slow). As a great instructor/ facilitator/presenter, you can direct your audience (clients) in an awesome learning experience. It just depends on the skills you bring to the table.

Tip: Adapt your creativity to your presentation to clients. They’ll appreciate your innovative approach and you’ll become memorable–not just another voice!

Ita��s Worth the Effort

A�Most presenters/trainers arena��t in it for the big bucks (where are those big bucks, again?). Theya��re in it to assist others. Gaining and practicing presentation skills helps us give back better. The bonus: Deep appreciation from our audience or your client. Wea��ve even been known to change lives for the better! No amount of money can provide that sense of accomplishment.

Carla’s next innovativeA�Instructor Development WorkshopA�is coming up May 22-23, 2018 in Bellevue. Washington.A�Click hereA�for specifics.

Resources to Present More EffectivelyA�

Take a look at Carla’s comprehensive training resource,A�The Ultimate Real Estate Trainera��s Guide,A�and her presentation resource,A�Knock Their Socks Off: Skills to Make Your Best Presentation Ever.A�A�See all her coaching and training resources atA�www.carlacross.com.

Here are benefits and downsides of joining a team–from a new agent’s perspective. As you read below, ask yourself, “How well do my leaders of teams meet the criteria? How well are they leading their teams? Is it a benefit for one of my new agents to join a particular team?

This blog is excerpted from my ebook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.A�A�

I wrote this eBook to save prospective agents and managers time during the interview/selecction process. Here’s an excerpt from the eBook, where I discuss teams–the good and the negatives–for new agents.

Joining a TeamA�

As you interview, you may be invited to join an office team. That means youa��ll be essentially working for a a�?rainmakera��, a lead agent who generates a�?leadsa�� for those on his team. Of course, those leads cost money, and the rainmaker takes about half the income from the team member for the lead generation and other services.

Teaming helps agents obtain leads as they start up business. While agents earn the most in commission dollars when they generate their leads themselves, a new agent may need to pay for someone elsea��s lead generation to begin to develop business. There is a downside to this approach, howA�ever. Agents can become complacent and sit and wait for leads. They wona��t generatea��until they get tired of paying for someone elsea��s leads.

A�Positives: You may be able to jump-start your career with leads given to you.

A�What to Watch For

  • Sit in on her team meeting to see how she manages the team.
  • Find out if and how the rainA�maker will train you.
  • Find out how much turnover there has been on the team.
  • Find out whether you can sell and list houses outside the teama��and how much the rainmaker would charge you if you did.
  • Read the contract the rainmaker asks you to sign and be sure you understand the consequences of your involvement.
  • Evaluate how good a leader that rainmaker is. Some rainmakers are great salespeople, but lousy leaders, and so their team never a�?jellsa��.

Generate your Own Leads, too?

Most team leaders ultimately expect their team members to generate their own leads, in addition to team leads. If you cana��t meet the rainmakera��s expectations, you are terminated. Be willing and ready to take the responsibilities of team member seriously.

Are You Helping Candidates Make the Best Business Decision for Them?

If you’re interviewing tons of prospective agents, you’re spending lots of time at it. Why not let Carla answer some of the most important new agent questions–and free you up to do a real interview? Check outA�my ebook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.A�

You’ll save lots of interview time and help the winners choose you!

agent with buyers with sold houseAre your agents leaving their best source of business $$$$ on the table? Most agents are. They’re missing their ‘goldmine’ business.

Whata��s a a�?goldmine businessa��? I think ita��s a business that results from at least 50% referrals. Why? Because referrals

  1. Cost less
  2. Are wonderful people to work with
  3. Make you feel good!

Unfortunately, agents do not a�?minea�� this potential goldmine of business. According to the latest National Association of Realtorsa�� survey, only 18%A�of agentsa�� business came from referrals last year! And, a full 21%A�of agents said they got NO referral business!

Managers: Have you helped your agents track and analyze best sources of business?A�

QuestionsA�to Ask Your Agents

Do you know how many of your sales and listings sold came from referrals in 2018?
Whata��s your goal for referral business in 2018?
How important are referrals to you?

I hope youa��ve done your business plan for 2018. (If not, see my program, Beyond the Basics of Business Planning, for full business planning templates and guidance).

Two Best Strategies

1, Take every opportunity to recognize those who have helped you in your career. For example: Do you provide a closing gift? If not, what do your clients think of you? (That you just took the money and ran?)

2. Thank your referral sources profuselya��at the time of the referral, not at closing. And, create ways to say a�?thanksa�� for the smallest positive action! Why? You want others to think of you in a positive light. You want your communications to be effusive in your generous thank you mentality!

Big idea: Behavior that’s rewarded is repeated!

Finally: Do your agents have a referral plan? Brain storm with your fellow agents about how they create more referrals. Of course, ask for them. But, better than merely asking, show that you are thankful for your clientsa�� support in all your actions. Youa��ll create a much stronger A�business AND youa��ll find your business much more pleasant and rewarding.

Free giveaway: Need ideas on how to ‘thank’ your referral sources? Grab my Idea Fest: 42 Ideas to Put Into your Business Plan. Click here to get it.

Are we still operating as though it was 1979?

I’m writing an article about how real estate has changed for a prominent real estate magazine. Here is the first part of that article, which will be continued in the next two blogs. As I write the article, I am actually stunned as I think about the number of habits we have carried over from 1979 (even though they didn’t work real well then and they sure don’t work now.)

Agents Were Hired to Sell and ‘Service’ Listings

a�?Sell, sell, sell!a�? Ia��ll never forget the cry of the vice-president of our company yelling that at the end of an all-company meeting. When I started in real estate, about four decades ago (wow!), a company wanteda��and expecteda��agents to sell houses. Thata��s it. The company would take care of the advertising to gain leads, business plan, financesa��and charge 50% of the commissions for doing it. Does that sound onerous to you? Well, to us, entering the business, it sounded great! After all, what did we know about how to marketing to find business, how to spend our marketing dollars, how to think longer-term about our careers? No. What we thought about was that we would probably see some nice listings that day, and wea��d go home and try to find a buyer for that listing.

How Agents a�?Lead Generateda��

Well, they didna��t really lead generate themselves. They waited for the company to spend money to get prospective buyers and sellers to call them. Herea��s how it was done:

  1. The company placed ads in newspapers. Agents were assigned a�?floor timea�� to answer these inquiries. The listing agent didna��t get the calls. Unfortunately, many times agents were new, and/or hadna��t seen the homes. But, the company a�?solda�� the opportunitya��and agents complained that there were few a�?qualifieda�� calls. Fortunately (?), sellers didn’t realize how these calls were handled–and they weren’t told anything about call handling during the listing presentation. They were just ecstatic that their home would be advertised!

Managers: Are you training your agents to tell the truth about what advertising/open houses do? Are you training your agents NOT to rely on these methods to get houses sold?

Contrarian view: As I write this, I’ll tell you how I bucked the practices of the day, because I found these practices to set up win-lose situations. Most agents sat and waited for a lead to come to them. But, since I knew 2 people when we moved to Seattle, I was afraid to a�?sit and waita��. Fortunately, I had a manager who told me to a�?go talk to peoplea��. So, I dida��for sale by owners, expired listings, farminga��you name it, I did it (without any training–I just read articles and bugged agents!) I did proactive lead generating way before it was a�?ina�� to doa��and was named in the top 10 agents in my 400 agent company my 2nd year in the business (boy, was I surprised!).

2. Open houses: The office assigned agents to hold homes open (especially new homes). Most of the time, these werena��t the listing agents. Instead, the listing agents promised the builders that someone would hold the home open every Saturday and Sunday. So, agents (especially newer agents) were assigned these a�?opportunitiesa��a��even though the home may be on a lane in the woodsa��.

Contrarian view: When I becameA� manager, I taught our agents never to promise open houses if the house wasna��t situated in a high traffic area. Why? Ita��s unfair to sellers AND agents. Also, we kept statistics on A�how often a buyer walked in a bought the home (very, very seldoma��in a normal market).

Managers: Do you keep statistics on how buyers find the home they bought? And what happens in open houses? Train your agents to educate sellers and buyers on why open houses are held and the results of them.

Big question

Managers: Are you still encouraging a ‘sit and wait’ attitude by the systems you use in your office (assigning floor time and/or open houses)? I don’t mean that these are not means to find buyers. But, buyers’ habits have changed and I’m afraid these systems and agents haven’t changed with them. Are you still operating in 1979?

bus plan 9One More Opportunity to Get My Business Planning Resources at Deep Discounts

Thought you’d get it done but it’s still on your ‘to do’ list? I want to help! So, I’ve extended my discounts on my online business planning resources through Jan. 31.

Managers: Frustrated because you can’t get your agents to plan? Problems solved! I’ve put my exclusive planning pages online–plus webinars to help you get through that plan fast. Don’t wait another year for business success. See more here.

Special discounts through Jan. 31: Purchase the agent’s planning resource, Beyond the Basics of Business Planning for agents, A�and save $20 (regularly $99). Use coupon code agent bus plan.

Managers: I’ll teach your agents how to plan, too! Included in your Manager’s Package!

Purchase the manager’s planning resource, Beyond the Basics of Business Planning for Managers, A�with all office/company planning documents and save $50. Use coupon code manager bus plan.

Offer ends Jan. 31: Big discounts on these programs–use the coupon codes below to order.

Ready to order? Click below:

Beyond the Basics of Business planning for ManagersA�– regularly $249, now $199 with coupon code managerA�bus planA�

Beyond the Basics of Business Planning for AgentsA�A�–regularly $99, now $79 with coupon codeA�agent bus plan

Remember, this special offer expires Jan. 31, so, order now and get your business plan ready for 2018.

PS: I’ve got dozens of ideas on how you can refine your systems for tomorrow’s real estate practices–not yesterday’s….

shaking hands over computerIs technology your greatest challenge as a leader?A� I just saw an advertisement for a large franchise convention. The focus will be on technology. Okay. But, what about you leaders? What are your big concerns? I’ll bet they are NOT technology. They are

1. Finding great candidates — not just anybody

2. New agents joining–getting them successful quickly; reducing turnover

3. Creating a ‘team’ atmosphere that serves as a magnet for retention

In fact, I’m afraid that most companies are focused on yesterday’s challenges. If technology were still actually the #1 focus, our agents would all be doing well, and eager to embrace technology to support those efforts. The company challenge would be just to either provide that technology or the training to use it.* That’s not the case. Companies have plenty of technology resources or access to them. It’s just that agents reject using these resources! Why? They aren’t committed to their businesses. Or, they don’t know how to use the technology. That’s a leadership training opportunity.

*If I were to look at the convention speakers, would I find someone who was working with leadership to help them counsel and consult each agent to his tech plan? To provide a calendar with tech training customized to each office needs? Without these ‘on the ground’ actions, talk about tech is pretty worthless!

Technology: A Crutch, or a Support?

If agents see technology as a crutch, or an excuse NOT to lead generate, they will look to technology to solve their income problems. Tech experts say that less than 2% of all tech leads turn into sales. But, do agents think that? No. They think that each tech lead is a guaranteed sale. They think it’s easy to convert that lead. When they find out it’s not easy and that there’s such a low conversion rate, they give up fast. Franchises have failed nationally that relied on technology to provide leads to agents. Unfortunately, those agents were sold that the company leads would guarantee them a handsome income. So, they had inflated expectations about the quality of leads. And, according to the franchise owners, the agents wouldn’t follow up on most of the leads!

Getting the Cart before the Horse

So, focusing on technology intimates that it will be the solution to a manager’ owners challenge: To get more production from his/her agents. Technology will not do that. Technology will provide support for lead generation. Technology will make it easy to track those leads and constantly communicate. But, that means there still has to be a caring, communicating human being driving that technology–the responsible agent.

Leaders: What do you think are the biggest challenges managers face today in real estate offices?A� How does tech fit in?

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

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

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

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

Now: Four Distinct Segmentations of Buyers

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

  1. Traditionalsa��those older baby-boomers who are retiring
  2. Baby-boomersa��getting ready for retirement, these folks make up the second largest buying population and have the greatest assets
  3. Gen-Xa��these folks have purchased first homes, but because of the housing bust, hadna��t been able to move up
  4. Millennialsa��(Gen Y) first-time home buyers, typically looking for affordable housing, such as condos, co-ops, and so on

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

  • Positives: If you are able to adjust in the areas mentioned here, you can relate and sell to more people. To be successful, you must be flexible and sensitive to these differing needs and desires.
  • Watch out for: Dona��t try to lump all these needs into one. The average real estate agent is in his 50s; the average buyer is in his 30s. Also, minorities will account for many more clients in the future, yet minorities are a small part of the real estate community. In many areas, buyers are frequently more tech-savvy than agents (thata��s generally true in the Seattle area, where I live, because of MicrosoftA� and related businesses). Also, agents tend to work the market as theya��ve known it. They are relating to the past, rather than accessing trends and working the market theya��re given. Be sure to stay updated on where the market is going (your manager is a great source of this information).

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

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

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

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

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

How Consumer Habits have Changed

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

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

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

  • Positives: It will be great for those competent, caring agents who really take care of their clients. It is easier now for potential clients to get feedback from third-party sources, clients just like them.
  • Watch out for: Doing a next kind of business, where you dona��t care what happens after the sale. The client has recourse now, of the most expensive kinda��a poor review!

Tip: Always use a a�?after salea�� survey to find out what your clients thought of your service. If youa��d like a sample survey form, click here.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Why Systematize with Technology

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

The First Step: Create Checklists and Processes

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

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

Your Second Step: Add the right Technology

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

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

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

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

Pros and Cons of Systematization with Technology

  • Positives: Youa��re going into the industry as it has matured in its choices for needed technology. It will be easier for you to choose those that are important to your career success.
  • Watch out for: Invest quickly enough, but dona��t invest in gimmicks. Also, dona��t let yourself think that if you have all the technology toys, youa��ll be successful.

* Big Idea: Duplicate and delegate.

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

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

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

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

shaking hands over computerClient relationship management: When do your agents start–and how can you help them capture and keep clients from day one?

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.}

Client Relationship Management Supports Great Time Management

One of the biggest benefits of Up and Running in 30 Days is gaining strategies to conquer time managementa��prioritization and organization. A new agent starts with little concept of whata��s importanta��so everything becomes importanta��or everything becomes unimportant! Their priorities get skewed because of bad training, hiding in low-impact activities, or really not knowing whata��s important. So, time management becomes an agenta��s biggest challengea��whether that agent is in the business three days or thirty years.

The Biggest Key to Effective Time Management

One of the biggest ways to constantly move ahead is to organize your contacts and leads into a database from day one. Yet, very few new agents do this. Why?

  1. They dona��t think ita��s important for them now (they dona��t realize that every person they meet could be a gold minea��if they track that person, constantly communicate with that person, and show that they care more than a commission!)
  2. They dona��t think they can afford a client relationship management. Yet, almost everyone has Outlook on their computers. Or, title companies over free contact management. There really is no excuse for not utilizing some type of electronic organization from day one!

For this 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days, I asked successful first year agents and leaders of teams what they felt contributed to an agenta��s successa��and what detracted. When I asked those agent and team leader contributors what technology is important to incorporate, herea��s what they said:

a�?CRM and lead management toolsa�?a��Diane Honeycutt

a�?A really good and easy-to-use CRMa�?a��Cerise Paton

a�?A good CRMa�?a��Chris Cross. Yet, Chris has told me that, when he teaches a new agent course, only about 10% of those new agents are populating even a database, although, their assignment is to populate it aggressively.

According to Gary Richter, having a CRM is critical to his success: a�?For me having a CRM to track my leads and contacts is absolutely critical. I live in that database daily.a�?

Picture this: You meet a potential client, and a competing agent like Gary meets that potential client, too,A� The other agent (Gary) consistently followed up and kept in toucha��and you didna��t. Who would finally earn that commission from that client? Dona��t lose out because you are trying to operate without a CRMa��and have a haphazard follow-up marketing plan!

So, dona��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.

A�Bottom Line: Youa��ll Make More Money!

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?

So, the big lesson here is to organize all your contacts into a database, or better yet, client relationship managementa��from day one! Which CRM should you use? Dona��t dither around! Choose one and start. You can always expert your contacts to a more robust program later.

Note: I got lots of recommendations on CRMs from my tech experts for Up and Running in 30 Days. I have made an extensive Resources section in this 5th edition of Up and RunningA� to list all the resources, including all types of technology, training, and support resources.

Managers: Using Up and Running with its extensive resources will save you so much time–and your agents will thank you forever!

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.

 

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.