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 New Agent Orientation

interview with clip boardOnboarding: Is it causing attrition or retention in your company? Do you know? Do you know how awesome (or not) your onboarding system is? Have you done a survey? (more about that in later blogs).

The biggest lesson in the onboarding process is starting each new agent with a proven lead generating plan.

What Does Onboarding Include?

One study I used in Up and Running in 30 Days was the Inman Select Special Report: How to Fix New Agent Onboarding. The Inman report didn’t define what was included in Onboarding. From reading the study, however, Inman included initial training, coaching, and mentoring. I am going to add basic orientation and basic actions to the Onboarding process. Why? Because many real estate companies do not have adequate orientation processes. So, agents don’t get the basic direction needed to launch their businesses.

Question: What is your initial orientation like? Does it cover all the bases? If you want a template and suggestions of what should be included in your orientation, click here.

In this blog, I’ll address the results and its ramifications for real state companies–from the other survey published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Retention Starts in the Interview

From working with real estate companies over the past three + decades, I think that most brokers regard retention as something that we must do to keep those seasoned agents. However, according to the survey results in the SHRM study, retention decisions are made by those we hire within a very short period of time. In fact, both studies indicate retention starts prior to hiring!

Here is a major conclusion from this survey, and it what means to real estate companies.

Expectations of the job are different than what new hires heard in the interview. And, the Inman report said new agents fail because they are unprepared for the realities of working as an independent contractor. I’m sure you’ve experienced this. Your new agent is all excited about a career in real estate. But, he/she will not do the lead generating activities required to launch a career. You told the candidate he/she had to lead generate. What is wrong?

Question for you: How well do you explain the job expectations in your interview? Do you provide a prioritized job description for the new agent? (Click here to grab mine). How do you give the prospective agent a real idea of the job?

Three Tips:

  1. Prior to hiring: Have the agent shadow one of your agents who is modeling the behaviors you want.
  2. Provide the agent with the eBook What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School. This eBook tells the truth about real estate as a career! You’ll save lots of time in the interview process and winners will pick themselves.
  3. Ask the prospect agent to do an activity you feel is important: Like create a dialogue to talk to someone they know about buying/selling real estate.
  4. Prior to hiring: Give the prospective agent Up and Running in 30 Days. Ask them to review the book. In my experience, if they come back, excited to begin this specific start-up plan, they are a good match for a productivity-focused office. If they come back and reject your lead generating plan, not a good prospect!

In my next blog, I’ll discuss more of the study conclusions and what they mean to us as real estate owners. I’ll also offer tips to tighten your onboarding process. Isn’t it worth having great systems if you could increase your retention of first year agents to 75%?

Last question: What’s your retention rate now of first year agents? How much money do they make their first year in the business? Do you know?

How’s Your Quick-Start Program Working?

Up and Running_5e largerBoth these onboarding studies prove that leaving the new agent’s orientation, training, and start to chance just doesn’t cut it. Take a look at what’s new in Up and Running in 30 Days: updates in 5th edition. This invaluable book is only $32.95 plus shipping, and has been used by thousands of new agents to launch successful careers. Order here.

Here’s what your new agents need to do their second week in the business.

These 2 blogs (my previous one and this one) are excerpted from my eBook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

Compare this advice to how you start your new agents into their second weeks in the business.

Here’s what to do your second week in the business.

Business start-up plan: You should start your lead generating now, devoting two hours a day, five days a week. Why? Because you want to generate lots of potential clients so you can choose the best ones. If you dona��t start now, you are just putting off your success another month!

Your coach: Meet with your coach at least 3 times this week to assure youa��re starting your business to production fast.

Benefits of ShadowingA�

Shadowing: This literally means following a seasoned agent as he/she does his/her business. Typically, you would shadow an agent doing a listing presentation, a buyer presentation, or presenting an offer. Is it a good thing to do? It depends on the abilities of the agent. If you decide you want to shadow, find out:

What format the agent is going to use; is it a format that you will or have been trained to do (like an approved listing presentation)?

Whata��s the point of the shadowing?

Will you get coaching on your own presentations as part of the shadowing process?

What are you expected to provide in return?

Shadowing provides a a�?modela�� for you. Be sure ita��s a model you want to emulate!

What Your Training Priorities Should BeA�

Most companies have company training programs, or programs they recommend. You should attend.

These are:

  1. Lead generation communication skills: You need to learn, and practice the skills of lead generation so you can begin to generate leads (which lead to appointments which lead to clients which lead to SALES!)
  2. Buyer and seller presentations: You should be given these presentations and should practice them. This includes qualifying buyers and sellers.
  3. Business planning skills, including a business start-up plana��you should have a course that teaches you the basics of how the numbers work, and gives you a method to set your goals and keep score
  4. A�Principles of Agency and how to explain agency to a seller or buyer
  5. How to complete a listing agreement and explain it to a seller
  6. How to write a purchase and sale agreement and explain it to buyers and sellers

Why these priorities? Because these either put you right on the sales path, or provide the technical information you need to support those sales activities.

What About Everything Else?A�

What about all the rest of the knowledge you dona��t have and are afraid someone will find out you dona��t have? Dona��t worry. You will be able to learn as you go. But, if you avoid getting into the field and meeting potential clients, you wona��t need to worry about learning more. Youa��ll be out of the businessa��..

See more: For detailed weekly schedules and activity plans for your first two months in the business, see my online business start-up program,A�Up and Running in Real Estate.

 

What should you expect your first week in the business?

The next few blogs are excerpted from my ebook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School (the facts about real estate as a career!).

Herea��s Your Desk, Herea��s Your Phone, Got Any Questionsa��..

Thata��s what my first boss told me as I was hired. So, I went to the desk I was assigned anda��..waited for something to happen. I was so naA?ve I didna��t even know the questions to ask! You may be laughing now, but, that still occurs in real estate offices today. What would you do if that happened to you? Probably sit and wait for someone to

Invite you to have a cup of coffee or lunch

Invite you to go see homes for sale

And, those were both things that happened to me. You may even conclude thata��s how real estate was sold. Wrong. Unfortunately, neither of these activities makes you any money. So, I quickly figured out I couldna��t do things like the agents in the office did them, or I would produce the same amount they produceda��3-4 sales a year. (There were two others in the office, but I never saw them, because they were out sellinga��.).

What Your First Week Should Look Like

Orientation: Get everything done on the orientation checklist your manager provided. Work with the secretary or assistant to complete all the tasks, so youa��re ready to sell real estate.

Schedule an appointment with your manager to get your business start-up plan and a coaching schedule with him/her or someone designated as your accountability coach.

Start-up checklist: Your manager may provide a start-up checklist, which has things on it such as a�?create a databasea��; call potential clientsa��; a�?meet with a mortgage repa��. These lists can include business developing and business-supporting activities. Just be sure they are targeted to start your business successfullya��not just give you busywork.

Schedule your initial training: Your company should have an initial training program that occurs at least every two months. Schedule attendance at it. Chapter 9 has a comprehensive new agent training calendar you can use to compare to what youa��ve requested in the interview.

Property inspection: Every new agent wants to feel comfortable with inventory. So, schedule inspection of listings for 3-5 hours this week, and during your first month. As you become comfortable with inventory, dona��t a�?previewa�� any more than you need toA� feel comfortable working with buyers and sellers.

Top-producing agents preview with a reason: To do research on a potential listing, or to preview with a specific buyer in mind. They dona��t have time just to preview pretty properties because they are on the marketa��but non-producing agents have plenty of time to become a�?property expertsa��.

See my business start-up plan, A�for a good prototype schedule for yourself, so you’ll get great time management habits from day 1.

Want proven guidance to start your career? Check out

What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License SchoolA� -A�everything each prospective agent should know about careers in real estate

Up and Running in 30 DaysA�–A�the new agent’s business start-up plan, with dozens of training tips, checklists, and sales guidance to start your career right

UP and Running in Real Estate — the comprehensive online version; a detailed start-up plan, with 25 training videos, dozens of documents to save you thousands of hours, and coaching plus motivation to keep your momentum to success

Carla’s advice: No matter how you start, start with a proven plan!