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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 Motivation

kid with magnifying glassWhat’s your mission? It’s time to begin writing your business plan for 2016. In November and December, I want to give you a few tips on creating various parts of your business plan. One of the important, but often-left-out parts of a business plan is your mission statement. What it is? It’s literally your mission in your business.

Mission statements answer the questions:

Why are you in this business?
What do you want to accomplish?
How are you going to achieve your mission?
What’s important to you?

Why Have a Mission Statement?

To keep yourself on track.
To decide what you will and won’t do.
To state who you work with (and to think about who you wouldn’t work with).
For time management
For clarity and focus

To convey to potential recruits what you’re about
To use as a springboard to your marketing

Mission statements should be:

• Well-defined
• Restrictive
• Complementary with your company statement (and the company statement should be reflected in any branch office/associate statements)

Mission statements are:

• Not lightly changed (usually stay the same through your
years’ business plans)
• Written in the present tense
• Do not contain objectives or goals
• Not tied to time

3 Don’ts for Mission Statements

1. Mission Statements Are Not Objectives or Goals

Mission statements are not quantifiable. Leave out any numbers – they go into your objectives. Following is an example: A person may write, “I am a profitable agent. I will make a profit of $50,000 every year.” The first part of the statement, “I am a profitable agent” has a place in a mission statement. But the last part of the statement is an objective, or quantifiable end result, and should be placed in another section of your plan. The mission statement is broader; it guides you as you make long-term decisions. The above offers some valuable tips on writing mission statements.

2. Mission Statements Aren’t Changed Lightly

Because mission statements are really statements of you as a businessperson, these statements are not lightly changed – just as you would not lightly change yourself. That does not mean that you might not work over time on how your statement is constructed, but it does mean that you do not change the essence of the statement, the specialties, the ideals – without considerable thought.

3. Mission Statements Aren’t Statements of the Future

I’ve seen many mission statements that say ‘I will be’ or ‘we will be’. No. Mission statements assume we are what we state–in the present.

Plan_Act_CelebrateWant to see many agent and company mission statements? Check out Beyond the Basics of Business Planning.

Step by step, I take you through the planning process with a much more in-depth, interesting, and helpful process than you’ll find in those ‘easy squeezy’ form planning products!

There’s one for managers and one for agents.

Managers: I teach your agents how to plan in webinars. I show you how to lead the planning process. I make it really easy for you to get great plans from your agents! Check it out here.

girl with inspiration sayingsThis month, I’m focused on leadership….easy to talk about, challenging to do.

Leadership: Have you ever thought of your office as your orchestra, with you as conductor? As a flutist and music major, I played in exceptional orchestras and for great conductors all through high school and college.  I experienced how great conductors pulled the orchestra together as a team to create an awesome, inspiring, focused sound—the sound of one instrument.  You could think of this as a vision-focused team.

To do this the overall sound had to have been planned, practiced, nurtured, and led by the conductor—the leader with the end vision in mind.

Where’s the Real Estate Leadership Today?

The development of the orchestra by its leader is a good analogy to use to take a fresh look at how we lead, the things we encourage, and the actions and attitudes we tolerate.  After all, the broker/leader’s challenge is the same as an orchestra conductor’s: To create an atmosphere of common focus, shared values, and teamwork for mutual success.  So, for this blog, I’ll use the orchestral analogy to explore a common problem in real estate offices—negativity–a problem that I believe few managers consciously address well.

When an Agent Hears a Different Tune, Who is Really Leading?

A few days ago, a newer agent in another state who had bought my program, Up and Running in 30 Days, called me to ask this question: “How do I keep my spirit and motivation high when the agents in my office are so negative?”  This is not the first time I’ve been asked this question.  I hear it hundreds of times each year, as I talk to your newer agents and those experienced agents who are struggling.

Yet, I don’t think brokers realize the extent of this negative atmosphere—or the irreparable damage it causes. Worse yet, some brokers actually take actions—or allow situations–that actually ‘nurture negativity’. Why? Simply because they haven’t  thought through the ramifications of their actions as leaders.  How do I know this?  Brokers tell me various ‘solutions’ to their lack of common focus–solutions which really encourage negativity!

Rewarding Negativity Gets More of It….

Let’s take the problem of negative people in a real estate office. This is how many brokers ‘handle’ that problem.  They simply advise the new agent not to talk about business to Sally, Bill, or George, because they’re negative.  Oh, sure.  That’s like the orchestral conductor saying to the oboists, “Don’t listen to the flute section because they’re not playing it right.  Just listen to the clarinets.”  If the conductor did that, he’d have several different versions of the symphony going on.  Let’s get real.  The agent listens to whoever talks to him, because he believes there is only one orchestra in the office (what a thought)!  The manager, though, by her actions, is creating four or five!

They ‘Get’ The Tune and the Rhythm Every Day Intuitively and Automatically

We brokers delude ourselves that, by attempting to ‘segregate’ the agent’s conversations, the agent will hear only what we want them to hear, believe only what we want them to believe, and perform only how we want them to perform. Only in our dreams!

Why Look at the Problem?

Because a strong ‘negative motivation factor’ costs brokers money and wasted effort.  In teaching CRB (Certified Real Estate Broker) courses, I’ve found that brokers estimate it costs ten to thirty thousand dollars to hire a new agent who fails in six months! I know you work hard at recruiting.  Doesn’t it make sense, then, to assure that the agent you recruit experiences the very best, most focused, team-oriented atmosphere available?

Your Turn

What have you found supposed ‘leaders’ do that actually inhibits reaching their vision? How do you avoid it and what positive actions do you take?

small LM CoverGetting Ahead in Leadership Faster

Do you advise your agents to be coached? Do you want to coach them? Are they receptive? One of the things leaders do is to ‘do as I do, not as I say’. Have you considered getting a coach? Why not take part in our complimentary consultation to see if our Leadership Mastery Coaching is for you?  Click here to find out more and request a one-on-one consultation with Carla Cross.

 

man ponderingSelling real estate: What’s farming got to do with it?

No—I don’t mean farming the fields to reap the food. Well, yes I do—in a different context. In real estate sales, ‘farming’ means contacting people in a specific market (can be a geographical area), forming a business relationship with them over time, and making that area/target market your specialty. Through time, people get to know and trust you, and will turn to you for their real estate needs.

Recently, an office with whom I consult invited a master real estate ‘farmer’ who farms a specific geographic area to share with us his secrets to great success. Steve Hicks, agent with Windermere Wall Street in downtown Seattle, has enjoyed a dominant market share (that’s his PERSONAL market share, not the company!) in Queen Anne, a very upscale, historically-significant area of Seattle, Washington.
So, guess what? When people in Queen Anne are thinking buying or selling, who do you think they think of? Yes—Steve Hicks. How would you like to have that name recognition? How would you like to go to a listing presentation with respect for your expertise already built in? Steve has established that.

Here are 3 big principles Steve shared with the group, mainly seasoned, successful agents on the Eastside of Puget Sound.

1. Recognition, Trust, and Business Doesn’t Come from a “Once Is Enough” Approach

One of the big lessons Steve left with the group was that, to be successful, you must focus your efforts. Why? Because people buy and sell real estate with people they know and trust. They buy and sell real estate with those they believe have expertise in the area. That trust and respect doesn’t happen in a ‘once is enough’ approach. Today, agents in the great Puget Sound can roam far and wide to list and sell homes. What they don’t realize, though, is that they are not establishing a recognition for excellence, expertise, and trustworthiness.

Big lesson: What does this mean to you if you’re a small business owner, a salesperson in another field, or a recruiter?
That our goal is to establish a trusting relationship over a period of time, building a reputation for trustworthiness and excellence. Too many times, we launch our businesses thinking we’re something special, something different—and we expect success in a nano-second.

Stop and reflect: What are you doing to create a reputation that’s spotless, that’s trustworthy, and that’s there for the long run?

2. Contact, Capture, and Follow-up is Key to Relationship-Building

Steve didn’t become the ‘master farmer’ overnight. He built his business through constant reflection, taking risks, and trying new things. Most importantly, he built his business by first knocking on doors to establish that relationship. At the same time, he captured each person’s name and contact information, first, by writing it down, and then establishing a database and contact management system. Then, he dutifully followed up. Sounds simple, but, how many salespeople contact—and then don’t capture? Or, they capture, and don’t follow up. Steve says there are 22,000+ agents in his multiple listing service. He knows he must out contact, capture, and follow up to stand out.

Big lesson: No matter if you’re in real estate or in another field, if you want to build a business, immediately establish a method to contact, capture, and follow up.

Stop and reflect: Are you a service business, like a dentist, window washer, or car detailer? Do you have a list of all your clients in a database? Do you contact them regularly? If not, you’re leaving thousands of easy dollars on the table!

3. Consistency is Key

Too often, we think, since we’re trustworthy, since we’re nice people, since we work hard, people will recognize that and instantly work with us. Wrong. It takes dozens of contacts or time to establish a trusting business relationship. Steve has a marketing plan that includes a monthly newsletter. This newsletter includes information about homes for sale and homes that have sold. It is short and concise. Steve writes his own newsletter, but advises agents to start with as company-or other resource written newsletter. Why? The most important consideration is to be consistent.

Big lesson: No matter what your business is, you need a consistent marketing plan to ‘touch’ your would-be and present/past clients at least monthly. With 22,000+ real estate agents in the area, your potential/present client is easily ‘swayed’ to someone else if you’re not relentlessly consistent.

Stop and reflect: Do you have a marketing plan? Are you consistent? How many easy sales are you missing because you are treating your business like a ‘once is enough’?

My personal thanks to Steve Hicks for sharing his expertise with others in our industry to improve our client service. Starting with my years as a piano performer and teacher, I learned that the very best in any profession have several common traits. One of them is that they generously share their knowledge with no fear that someone will ‘steal’ their ideas. Second is that they are constantly challenging themselves to get better. Steve Hicks reflects both of these exceptional success qualities.

How can you  use these principles yourself? How can you use them with your agents?

logoIf Your Agents Aren’t Buying Into Lead Generation, You Need this Program!

What if your culture was that productive agents are the norm? What if all your agents lead generated? How much more profitable would you be? If you want increased profits, take a look at Carla’s revolutionary online training/coaching program, Up and Running in Real Estate.

Blog-CoachHow coach able are you? (Not everyone is a good coaching prospect….).  Are you trying to coach an agent and not getting anywhere? Maybe that person isn’t coach able. See below for my ‘coach ability’ evaluator’ to help you find out if you’re coach able (and use it with your agents)..

In an earlier blog, we explored the first attribute for coach ability–motivation. Here are the two other big attributes I’ve identified, from my many years being coached (first as a musician and then as a real estate professional), and as a coach.

Do You Recognize Mentors or Coaches Who Partnered in your Success?

It is amazing to me how many real estate professionals say they ‘work alone’. They say they have nothing to do with anyone in their office, and impact no one. (Really? Our actions impact no one? That must mean we’re pretty insignificant…) While real estate success is certainly due to one’s efforts, to think that we are virtual ‘islands’ of knowledge and action is not only ludicrous—it’s dangerous. Before you fall for that ‘I alone am responsible for my success’, I have a question:

Who in your life mentored you, coached you, parented you, advised you, encouraged you—and set you straight when you needed it? How many people can you name? This can be positive or negative, too. We learn as much or more from a bad experience as a good one!

If you truly can’t name anyone, you don’t believe that others can help you ‘break through your ceiling of achievement’. Could that mean YOU don’t believe you can break through…..or that you have great fear of ‘being flexible’?

How Accountable Are You Willing to Be?

This is actually the ‘biggie’. If you’re not willing to be accountable to your own actions—and to your coach—DON”T start a coaching relationship! I know many of you think accountability is a dirty word. It’s true that some coaches (sports, music, etc.) have accentuated the down side of accountability—being punitive, negative, critical…(There are a lot of inept coaches out there.) No wonder people don’t want to be accountable if they think they will be punished for any wrong action (or inaction). But, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about a situation where you make a promise and keep it. In doing the promised action, you are guaranteed to get praise—and results.

The Natural Reticence to Answer to Anyone

Recently I launched an online training/coaching/accountability results-based program called Up and Running in Real Estate. I essentially put the principles and processes from my best-selling book Up and Running in 30 Days online. But, it’s now 8 weeks of planned actions—my business start- up plan step by step. I built in the parameters I have learned assure the greatest success:

• A coaching component
• Lots of encouragement
• Processes and systems that are ‘self-teaching’
• Accountability.

Guess what many participants do with the program? They do some of the work (they love the multiple choice tests) but don’t do the business-producing work. By their actions, they are not accountable to themselves or to their coaches. So, of course, they aren’t getting the results—and they can’t get appreciation and recognition—two big drivers to continue the motivation. How unfortunate!

My question to you: What times in your life have you been accountable to actions and to someone else—and enjoyed the experience? Are you running away from accountability because you haven’t experienced the ‘up’ side?

So, are you coach able?

Armed with the answers to the questions in this article, you can assess whether you will benefit from a coach. And, managers and coaches, you can help your potential client figure out whether she is a good candidate for coaching.

The Coach Ability Evaluator

I have been coached by the ‘best in the business, first as a musician and then as a real estate professional. I’ve learned what works. Because of my performance background, the coaching methods we use at Carla Cross Coaching are much different than most. From all these experiences, I’ve discovered who is coach able and who is not. Find out more here.

Click here to take my Coach Ability Evaluator.

Mgrs UpRun Cover

Free Coaching Resource to Thank You Coaches

To thank all you coaches out there, I’m GIVING AWAY my $99 resource, Managers’ Coaching Companion to Up and Running in 30 Days. Why? It was created to partner with the 3rd edition of Up and Running in 30 Days. Now, the 4th edition is published (and a new ‘delivery’ of my coaching help is available at Up and Running in Real Estate). The coaching companion I’m giving away this month still has lots of value. With 109 pages, 2 audio CDs, and 1 ‘document’ CD I’ve packed this resource with dozens of coaching strategies, tips, and questions for coaches to use in ANY coaching situation. Just pay shipping and handling and I’ll get one out to you–while they last. And, thanks, coaches, for your dedication to raising the standards of our industry. Click here for a description and to order.

Agents: Forward this blog to your managers and tell them to take advantage of my offer. They’ll get lots of practical, proven information on productivity coaching (I know, I’ve done these strategies for over 2 decades!).

Agents: Feel free to forward this information to your managers. I think all those in leadership need awesome coaching skills!

Agents: Want to learn more about our exclusive one-on-one coaching for leadership (not some warmed-over sales agent program!)? See Leadership Mastery Coaching.

coaching hand upIf you’re coaching: Are you missing the ‘secret ingredient’? If so, you’re not going to get good results.

Coaching is a ‘buzzword’ in the world of business today, and especially in the world of real estate. Why? We have more committed people coming into real estate to make it a real business, not just to sell a few houses. And, it costs much more money to enter and run a real estate sales career than it did years ago. So, committed agents are looking for methods to assure their successes.

Years ago, I discovered that changing an office’s production for the better, and thus, increasing the bottom line, didn’t have anything to do with ‘managing an office’. Instead, it had everything to do with training small groups and coaching individuals to greater successes. However, I found I was one of the few managers that took that approach. Even though my office became number one in productivity per agent and profitability in the company, it didn’t seem that the other managers thought coaching individuals was ‘key’ to that accomplishment.

From what agents tell me today, I’m sorry to say that it still seems the case. I’m afraid many managers try to increase their salespeople’s performances with the ‘group’ approach. I know that doesn’t work very well. In my ‘other life’, I was a performing pianist and teacher. I taught piano classes and individual piano lessons. I found that students didn’t learn to play very well in a piano class. They needed individual attention, so they could build on their individual strengths, and learn the skills of perfect practice. I believe the same principles of increasing performance are true of sales. After all, sales success is measured by our performance of it, not our knowledge of it, isn’t it? Mastering the skills of sales and business management seems to me foundationed on the same principles as mastering any skill.

The Coaching Feedback Loop

One of the biggest mistakes coaches make is in the feedback (evaluation) part of coaching.

What is the ‘coaching feedback contour’? It’s the framework for performance feedback in a coaching session. The ‘contour’ shows you how to coach performance so that you encourage good performance, and motivate your ‘client’ (the person you are coaching) to better performance.

Coaching Performance Feedback

Step One                                     Step Two                                      Step Three
Positives First                          Re-Direct/Questions               Positive Reinforcement

What I (you) liked Next time, how could I know you can…
What I (you) attempted you…….. (what Encouragement
What I (you) did ‘new’ resources are available

Do you include this coaching ‘contour’ in your coaching sessions?

In the next blog, I’ll go more deeply into each step for you.

thumbnail-1Give Your Newer Agents Some Positive Results!

Why not get your newer agents into a situation that gives you great results? They will accomplish more than you ever thought they could. Check out Up and Running in Real Estate. Coaching is built in! Also, check out Coaches’ Corner, where Carla provides dozens of coaching ideas and specific coaching guidance for each session of this program.

 

motivationCould you be de-motivating your agents? Are you sure you’re motivating methods working? If you’re using the methods most managers use, they aren’t working like they used to. Why? Because today’s agents just aren’t motivated by the things ‘workers’ used to respond to. Today, it’s very important that we motivate effectively, because we have to get out agents back out into the market.

Motivational Methods Must Change

In his book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel Pink lays out a persuasive case, backed by extensive scientific studies, about why the traditional ‘carrot and stick’ motivational methods just don’t work for us today. It’s especially true with real estate professionals. Why? Because we in effect work for ourselves. We have to be self-starters, initiators, and tenacious in our pursuit of our goals. That means we have to be motivated by things other than promises of material things.

Why Money Doesn’t Work as a Motivator

First, as Pink points out, money and/or material things are good short-term motivators. (Read Herzberg’s studies on short and long-term motivation). In fact, just take a look at the number of real estate agents who are motivated to visit an open house when there’s food! But, as Herzberg and others have pointed out, money is a lousy long-term motivator. You know that if you’ve tried motivating your kids with money—or threats (the carrot and stick).

I know. The agents all say they need to make more sales. But, what have you noticed they are willing to do to make those sales? Lead generate more regularly? Make more sales calls? We all know that lead generating is the answer to that money problem. Yet, the vast majority of agents avoid lead generating as if it gave us some chronic disease! So, money is just not an effective long-term motivator.

Best Motivators to Motivate Others

Pink shows, via extensive studies, that there are three driving motivators which we should put to work today to fire ourselves up, keep those fires lit, and achieve what we want to achieve. They are:

  1. Autonomy
  2. Mastery
  3. Purpose

Questions to Ask Your Agents to Get Them Excited Again

About  Autonomy

Are you in charge of your own business, or are you waiting for someone else to tell you what to do?

Do you expect your manager to make you go to work, or are you self-directed and self-starting?

Are you disciplined in your business, so you can enjoy that autonomy?

Seth Godin, author of Tribes,  says about autonomy: The art of the art {of autonomy} is picking your limits. That’s the autonomy I must cherish. The freedom to pick my boundaries.

My question to you: Do you have agents that you believe will never operate in autonomy? Don’t you need to invite them to another profession?

About  Mastery

Are you working just to get by, or are you consistently working to get better? What do you want to excel at? How does that translate into your business?

About Purpose

What excites you so much you can’t sleep at night?

Is there a way to translate that to your real estate business?

The desire to do something because you find it deeply satisfying and personally challenging inspires the highest levels of creativity, whether it’s in the arts, sciences, or business.                                                                                  Teresa Amabile, Professor, Harvard University

Webinar: How to Motivate

Motivation without Skill is a Dream without attachment to Reality

I may be motivated to play the piano after I go to a wonderful recital. But, unless I get some skill, that motivation will stay only as a dream. So, be careful to balance your motivation with real skill enhancement.

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Motivation AND Skill Built Into this Program

Carla knows how motivation and skill interact. As a teaching and performing musician for years, she had to balance both. Now, she has put that expertise into a radically different program to propel new and newer agents to success fast. Check out UP and Running in Real Estate.

Coaches’ Corner offers managers the coaching expertise and guidance they need to coach their agents in the Up and Running Program. This spring, entry into coaches corner has been made even more affordable. See more here.

man with pockets turned outAre some of your agents stuck in ‘just good enough’? Do you want them to break through to mastery? Break through that ceiling of achievement? Here are 4 steps that work.

Do you wonder why some agents seem to effortlessly get a marketable listing, or always sell the buyer they’re working with? Is it magic, or is it mastery? It may look easy, but it’s probably hard work, tenacity, and, most important of all—practice. I understand mastery, for I earned a bachelor’s degree in piano performance, and taught college-level piano and flute for several years. Ironically, you wouldn’t expect to play the piano well without practicing—for months, if not years. But, agents expect to master sales skills without practice. Why? Because, it seems easy to talk, so it must be easy to sell. Here are 4 tips I’ve learned from the world of performing that are directly applicable to the world of sales mastery:

          1. Spaced repetition is key to mastering skills. Practice a bit of the sales skill. Leave it, then return to it after a day. You’ll get better fast.

Question: Do you have your agents practice what you learned in class, or do you expect them to just ‘wing it’ in the field with a real live person? Would you expect your airline pilot to do the same?

          2. Practice with a coach. Who would expect to learn to play the piano with mastery without a master-level piano teacher? Sales skills require practice, too, with a master instructor.

          3. Don’t expect to just hear it, then do it. You can’t learn to play the piano by listening to a concerto, and you can’t learn sales skills just by hearing someone else. Hearing is the first step. Doing it is the next.

          4.  Don’t expect to do it well the first time. Tolerate your mistakes—but don’t settle for just good enough. Mastery requires tenacity and determination. Only you can know how good you’re going to be at the end!

Put these steps to work and tell me how it makes a difference in your performance–in your ability to break through that ceiling of achievement. It works. I promise you. I know from the field of practice in music!

Question: What gets in your way of accomplishing what you really want?

logoCheck out Up and Running in Real Estate to help your agents achieve their potentials!

So you think you’re a great motivator? Unfortunately, some of the things we consider to be motivational are actually just the opposite. Watch this short video about one of the most common mistakes real estate managers make–and drive their agents to the competition!

Cincopa WordPress plugin

smallest 365_leadership_logo  365 Leadership Gives you 12 Great Strategies to Motivate All Year!

It’s not enough to be a ‘maintenance’ manager today. You’ve got to get ahead and lead. But, how do you possibly take time to lead when you have all those other jobs! You take advantage of 365

Leadership, which provides you a leadership strategy for each month of the year. All the forms, information, and guidance you need to put these proven strategies to work!

“I thought the webinar yesterday on recruiting was outstanding. Thank u so much for such an organized and valuable session.”
Linda Argo, Virginia Cook Realtors

“I feel like I am going to get help in what and how I need to manage the office and 24 agents that I am responsible for. Thanks to Bill for getting me in touch with you Carla.”
Sandy Wells, Charles Burt, Realtors

Read more here.

 

 

coachingManagers and owners: Who motivates YOU? Who gets you up when you’re down? That’s a really important question for us managers. Why? Because we’re expected to be the ‘cheerleaders’ for our associates. So, if we’re down, we can bring everyone down. But, who is going to re-motivate you? Encourage you? Your owner? Or, if you’re the owner, who takes over?

Wondering If It Will Ever Be as Wonderful Again…..

Have you ever gotten poison oak? In Oregon’s Willamette Valley, where I grew up, poison ivy seemed to be waiting in the woods ready to attack me each time I ventured out of my yard. Getting poison ivy meant itchy skin, at the least, and, at its worst, it meant a face swollen to the point where my eyes were just slits. And, a body that burned and itched as if it had been seared in a fire! That will get you down. In fact, I’d look in the mirror and wonder if I’d ever look like me  again.

During one particularly horrible bout with my enemy, poison oak  (you can tell I really hated this stuff), I remember riding in the car with my mother to pick up my sister at school. (I couldn’t go to school with the poison oak raging, but I was probably driving my mother so crazy that she let me take this little trip). We got near the school, and I forgot I had this grotesquely swollen face for a moment. I waved at a friend. I got a stare back. Turning to my mom, I asked, “Will I ever get over this?” Of course, as good moms do, she replied, “Of course, sweetie. It’s just temporary. You’ll look like your cheery little self real soon again.” And, of course, after a couple of weeks, I did resemble me.

What do you do when your mom’s not there?

We managers have many varieties of poison oak waiting to attack us as we venture into the ‘woods of management’ each day. An agent leaves us, a call from an unhappy seller, a letter from a new homeowner, saying, “What is your company going to do about our pest infestation problem?” I’ll bet you can think of 25 others! Sometimes you wish your mom could just sit with you in your office each day and say, over and over, “It’s okay, honey. They don’t dislike you, they just have a problem.” Sounds far fetched, but, the real question is, “Who gets you up when you’re down?”

An industry-wide Problem

It’s not just us brokers who seem to be fighting more ‘poison oak’ every day. It’s all of us in the industry. As agents capture more of the commission dollars, they’re more ‘on their own’. They’re fighting more of their own battles, with less management help. There’s less ‘broker supervision’. Now, to independent people like you and me, that sounds great. We don’t need someone standing over our shoulder telling us what to do. But, there’s a downside to no supervision. When we do something right, there’s no one to congratulate us! And, since most of us in this industry thrive on recognition, we’ve given up a chance to get it from an ‘authority’. On the other hand, when things go wrong, with less interest and guidance in how we’re doing, we’ve given up the chance to let someone who cares about us ‘pump us up’ when we’re down.

How do you respond to barriers? How quickly can you bounce back? Tell me your strategies and share them with our readers.

 

Let Me Help You Motivate your Agentslogo

Having done your job for 2 decades, I know how difficult it is to train, coach, and motivate your agents–while you have dozens of other things to get done! So, I’ve built in lots of inspiration and motivation into my new online training/coaching program, Up and Running in Real Estate. Click here to learn more. Launch is June 1.

 

motivation(Sorry, I couldn’t resist the picture….).

Are your motivating methods working? If you’re using the methods most managers use, they aren’t working like they used to. Why? Because today’s agents just aren’t motivated by the things ‘workers’ used to respond to. Today, it’s very important that we motivate effectively, because we have to get out agents back out into the market.

Motivational Methods Must Change

In his new book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel Pink lays out a persuasive case, backed by extensive scientific studies, about why the traditional ‘carrot and stick’ motivational methods just don’t work for us today. It’s especially true with real estate professionals. Why? Because we in effect work for ourselves. We have to be self-starters, initiators, and tenacious in our pursuit of our goals. That means we have to be motivated by things other than promises of material things.

Why Money Doesn’t Work as a Motivator

First, as Pink points out, money and/or material things are good short-term motivators. (Read Herzberg’s studies on short and long-term motivation). In fact, just take a look at the number of real estate agents who are motivated to visit an open house when there’s food! But, as Herzberg and others have pointed out, money is a lousy long-term motivator. You know that if you’ve tried motivating your kids with money—or threats (the carrot and stick).

I know. The agents all say they need to make more sales. But, what have you noticed they are willing to do to make those sales? Lead generate more regularly? Make more sales calls? We all know that lead generating is the answer to that money problem. Yet, the vast majority of agents avoid lead generating as if it gave us some chronic disease! So, money is just not an effective long-term motivator.

Best Motivators to Motivate Others

Pink shows, via extensive studies, that there are three driving motivators which we should put to work today to fire ourselves up, keep those fires lit, and achieve what we want to achieve. They are:

  1. Autonomy
  2. Mastery
  3. Purpose

Questions to Ask Your Agents to Get Them Excited Again

About  Autonomy

Are you in charge of your own business, or are you waiting for someone else to tell you what to do?

Do you expect your manager to make you go to work, or are you self-directed and self-starting?

Are you disciplined in your business, so you can enjoy that autonomy?

Seth Godin, author of Tribes,  says about autonomy: The art of the art {of autonomy} is picking your limits. That’s the autonomy I must cherish. The freedom to pick my boundaries.

My question to you: Do you have agents that you believe will never operate in autonomy? Don’t you need to invite them to another profession?

About  Mastery

Are you working just to get by, or are you consistently working to get better? What do you want to excel at? How does that translate into your business?

About Purpose

What excites you so much you can’t sleep at night?

Is there a way to translate that to your real estate business?

The desire to do something because you find it deeply satisfying and personally challenging inspires the highest levels of creativity, whether it’s in the arts, sciences, or business.                                                                                  Teresa Amabile, Professor, Harvard University

Light’ Em on Firelight em on fire Cross motivational presentation

Why not invite me to speak to your leadership team about effective motivation? I’ll point out the common strategies managers use that actually de-motivate, and how to create motivators that work long-term to create a better team atmosphere, more production, and bottom-line profits. Contact me at carla@carlacross.com for more information.

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