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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 Leadership

shaking hands over computer

Presenters: Is there a webinar in your future?

This month, I featuring training.

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

about them. Here goes. Enjoy!

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

  • Trainer
  • Coach
  • Manager
  • Team leader
  • Salesperson

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

  • Inform
  • Introduce
  • Sell
  • Increase your image

What can’t a webinar do? It can’t

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

Of course, the upside of a webinar is that

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

Some Basic Choices to Make Before You Start

  1. Your vehicle

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

  1. What’s your message?

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

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

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

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

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

Your Topic: Overview or Detailed?

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

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

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

A Resource for You

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

audience sleeping

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

I’m featuring training this month.

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

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

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

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

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

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

alternative delivery methods

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

Give your Students some Credit

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

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

or

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

How to Teach through Student Involvement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

What is ‘teaming’?

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

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

How Joining a Team Can Help a New Agent

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

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

3.  How will you train me?

4.  How much turnover has the team had?

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

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

Positives of teaming:

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

Watch out for:

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

Is he or she a leader?

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

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

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

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

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

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

audience sleepingAre you getting the biggest ‘bang’ for your training buck?

Are you frustrated because your training isn’t getting results? Or, people just aren’t showing up? Or, worse yet, falling asleep in that factoid-heavy class?

Maybe you have a specific problem you’ve noticed when you read your latest profit and loss statement. For instance: Perhaps your agents are giving too many commission concessions.

If you’re experiencing any of these challenges, you’ll love the tool here. I’m providing an insightful analytical tool to discover what’s right–and wrong–with your training.

Three main reasons your training isn’t working:

1. It isn’t tied to the problems you want to solve in your office (agents not productive enough, commissions too low, etc.)
2. It doesn’t teach your agents to perform better–just gives information
3. It isn’t exciting enough–teacher just drones on and on…..

As I work with owners, managers and trainers internationally, I see these same three problems crop up over and over.

Click here to get your analytical tool — along with tips to correct your training to make it pay off.

Affiliates: Share this with the managers/trainers in the offices you call on. Use these tips, too, to streamline the training you provide.

coachingWant Help in Improving your Training?

Why not get some assistance in refining your training, creating or improving your training calendars, and energizing your courses with refreshing and effective training methods? Carla Cross has helped the major franchises internationally do just that, and she will help you, too.

Customized coaching to:

  • Improve training, training calendars and results 
  • Insert more exciting training methods into courses to improve attendance
  • Create methods to assure better training results
  • Contact Carla to find out how she can help you get better results from your training. Each coaching series is customized to meet your needs and get the results you want.

These series range from 2 sessions to 6, depending on your needs. Carla will work with you one-on-one or with your group of trainers.

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 out—there are more poor ones than good ones out there. As a CRB (Certified Real Estate Broker) instructor for 12 years, I taught thousands of owners and managers nationally. I saw plenty of poor plans managers shared with me. (These were the plans they were giving their agents, too.)

Commonalities of Poor Plans

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

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

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

An Effective Start-Up Plan

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

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

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.

 

 

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

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

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

Here’s one about the credibility/visual issue:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Up and Running_5e larger

Are You Using the Best Start-Up Plan for your New Agents?

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

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

 

 

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

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

Creating the Future You Really Want

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

Seeing Yourself in the Future as You Want to Envision YOU

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

How Coaching Supports that Future Vision

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

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

Develop the Professional “You”

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

What will you do?

What kind of recognition and power will you gain?

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

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

Remember, people treat you as they see you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are your agents resisting getting into action?

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

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

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

{To agents}

Real Estate Sales IS Challenging!

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

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

Getting Ready to Get Ready

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

How People Get into Action

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

Embrace Embarrassment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An Effective Start-Up Plan

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

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

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

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