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Archive for new agents’ advice

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!

Apr
17

Should New Agents Get a Coach?

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Should new agents get a coach?

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, discussing whether agents should get a coach, mentor, or…..:

New Agents A Looking for Support–Sometimes in the Wrong Places

As youa��re interviewing {this is from the new agent’s perspecive}, you may be offered these things:

  • An accountability coach (the manager or a professional coach affiliated with that office)
  • A peer coach
  • Become a team member
  • Become an assistant

Which of these are good for you? Herea��s my advice on coaches. Watch for future blogs on enlisting a mentor, joining a team, or becoming an assistant.

The Coach

I hope your manager will become your accountability coach. But, many managers promise to a�?coach youa��. However, that quickly becomes a a�?got a minutea�� answer man function instead of a focused, linear, goal-oriented action coaching. You dona��t need a coach just for answers. You need a coach to hold you accountable to your goals and action plan.

Choosing a Coach

Here are three important points you should consider as you search for a coach:

  1. The specific program should be highly organized and precisely outA�lined with checklists and systems. Ask, a�?What system are you going to use to coach me?a�? You need a specific game plan, because you are new. You have no history..
  2. The specific program should be related to a a�?game plana�?a��a busiA�ness start-up plan. Ask, a�?What game plan are you going to use?a�?
  3. The coaches should be trained and coached themselves. Ask, a�?Whata��s your coaching background, and what sales principles do you believe in?a�? For example, each of our coaches in the Carla Cross Coaching program has been trained by me and coached regularly by me.

Positives: Having a coach keeps you on track, motivated, and, ideA�ally, inspired to reach your goals.

Watch out for: Your coach is trained and dedicated to your success, and is following a proven game plan (otherwise youa��ll be paying just to talk to someone every once in a while).

Types of Coaches

Professional coach: Someone trained to coach, who uses a specific program and who is paid to be your coach. If youa��re considering a professional coach, find out the specific program the coach will use to coach you. Get expectations in writing, and give your expectations in writing. You should expect to sign a 3-12 month contract.

Manager coach or in-office coach: Someone who may be trained as a coach, who has agreed to coach you. May be paid from your commissions or from a combination of office/your commissions. May be paid on an hourly based by the agent. Be sure this coach is prepared to be your accountability coach, has a specific schedule with you, and a specific start-up plan to coach you. Otherwise, youa��re just getting an a�?advice sessiona��.

Peer coach: Someone in the office, an agent, who has agreed to be your coach. However, this could be anything from

  • Answer questions
  • Let you a�?shadow thema�� (see how they do a listing/buyer presentation or offer presentation)
  • Be your accountability coach

Most peer coaches dona��t have a coaching program to coach to, and havena��t been trained. They are also at a loss with what to do if the agent refuses to do the work.

If youa��re going to work with a peer coach, get in writing exactly what that peer coach is willing to do with and for you. Bad peer coaching can turn into a nightmarea��for both parties.

Agentsa�� advice: Dozens of experienced agents have told me they wish they had started with a professional coach. If you can find one to trusta��and to followa��youa��ll shorten your learning curve dramatically and easily pay for the coaching fee. Plus, youa��ll establish a successful long-term career.

In the next blogs, wea��ll discuss three a�?safety-netsa�� that some new agents considera��because theya��re afraid they will not be able to generate enough commissions by relying solely on their

own work.

Have All the Answers You Need to Make the Best Business Decision for You?

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!

I’m giving the same advice to those interviewing while in pre-license. These preferences are excerpted from my ebook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.A�A�

From the Prospective Interviewee’s Perspective

Youa��re getting ready to go into the interview. Do you know what youa��re looking for? Use this checklist to decide what kind of company, office, and atmosphere youa��ll feel most comfortable in.

Selling vs non-selling manager

You prefer a manager who doesna��t sell real estate.(non-competing)

You prefer a manager who sells real estate (may provide a good role model).

Managers: How will you explain the benefits you bring as a selling or non-selling manager?

Training

You prefer a formalized training program.

You prefer to a�?go it on your owna��, with the manager available to answer questions.

Managers: How will you explain the benefits of the kind of program you provide?A�

Large/Small Office

You prefer a large, busy office.

You prefer a small, more laid-back atmosphere.

Managers: How will you differentiate between the large and small offices, and explain the benefits to your type of office?

Large/Small Company

You like the idea of a large company behind your efforts.

You like the idea of a boutique, specialty company.

Managers: What are the benefits of your type of company?

Many/Few New Agents

You want to be around other new agents like you, so you prefer an office with lots of new agents.

You want to be with seasoned agents, and would rather be among the few new agents in the office.

Managers: What are the benefits of your agent mix? (Do you know what your agent mix is?)

Top Producer Assignment

You want to be assigned to a top producer to find out how that top producer works, and perhaps do work for that top producer.

You want to become an above-average producer fast, and dona��t want to be in the shadows of anyone else.

Managers: How do you explain the benefits of a mentor program to your interviewee–if you have one?

Age of Agents

You want to be around people your age.

You want to be around people of a wide range of ages and interests.

Managers: Do you know your agent age mix? How do you explain the benefits of it?

Work from Office/Work from Home

You want to work from the office, and have a desk at the office.

You want to work from home.

Managers: What’s your take on the benefits of either of these? Do you have requirements? How do you explain benefits?

No Supervision/Management

You prefer little or no a�?supervisiona��. Youa��ll go at your own speed.

You want and expect leadership and guidance as you start your career.

Managers: How much supervision do you employ? What are the benefits of your approach?

Coach/No Coach

You want a coach dedicated to your success.

You prefer to go it alone and operate independently.

Managers: Do you have a coaching program? How do you explain the benefits–or not?

Mentor/Manager

You want a mentora��someone you can go to ask questions at any time.

You want to go to your manager as your trusted adviser.

Managers: Do you have a mentor program? Who is the mentor? How do you explain benefits?

Most Important in the Interview

There are 3 important points here:

  1. Create questions based on these preferences
  2. Be ready to explain the benefits of how you work
  3. Decide your standards–what you will tolerate; what you won’t tolerate

Save Interview Time and Give Them the Straight Scoop

Are you spending hours in the interview process? Explaining the same things over and over again? Why not let Carla take some of that obligation from you, so you can spend your time in a great interview? Check outA�What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.A�A�

 

 

coaching-hand-upHere’s how to get more success with your new agents–starting with before licensing.

Managers: Use this as you’re interviewing to help those best candidates get ready to be successful.

Managers: your new agents wait to start training until AFTER they join an office. Why? Think how much faster they could go if they had lots of the organization and training under your belt prior to their first day in the business?A� Okay. I know. Until they are licensed, they can’t do the things licensed agents can do. But, they can do many things. And all those things get them ready to hit the ground running. At the end of this blog, I’m providing you my great checklist,A�30 Things to Do Right (In Pre-License School) Now to Hit the Ground Running. (from my new eBook,A�What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School).

New Agents Lose Lots of Time Because They are Not Prepared to Start the Business

New agents generally spend the first 1-2 weeks getting ‘orientated’. Brokers have checklists to assure they get their keys, join the Realtor association, etc., etc., etc. How long do you estimate it takes the new agent just to get those orientation checklists finished? 2-4 weeks? In some cases, they never finish them!!!!! Not only that, they probably think that finishing those checklists assures they are going to be successful agents.A� Ha!

When Do New Agents Plan to Start Lead Generating?

My studies show that new agents want to make a sale their first month in the business. That means you need to start lead generating your first WEEK in the business! From hiring and training hundreds of new agents, I’ve observed they put off the inevitable as long as possible, hoping ‘there’s another way!’ In fact, the more ‘get ready to get ready’ work new agents doing, the worse their habits become and the less money they make!

A Better Method to GetA� a Check Fast

Instead of waiting until new agents areA�are licensed, why not get them prepared to sell real estate while they are in pre-license school? These eager beavers can do things like

  • Decide on the database/CRMA�they want to use and learn how to use it–with your guidance
  • Populate their databases with 100-300 potential clients
  • Prepare an email/hard copy note/letter to all those in their databases saying they’ve joined_____________ real estate company

30 Things to Do While in Pre-License School

In fact, as I was writing myA� eBook,A�What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School, I started thinking about how we could really prepare agents to sell real estate–lots of real estate. That’s how I came up with this checklist.A�Click hereA�to get it.

Let me know how theA�checklistA�worked for you. I’ve used this with pre-licensees and seen them sell much faster and with much more confidence.

what-they-dont-3d_coverYou Need This! Prepare to Sell Real Estate Fast and Well

This 280+ page eBook is packed with questionnaires, advice, processes, and systems to prepare pre-licensees (and new agents!) for the real world of real estate.A� SeeA�What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.A�Only $14.95, and immediately downloadable. Now, a Kindle version, too.

Managers: Use this to help your great candidates assure they make it in the business!

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.

 

little girl with phoneReal estate trend: Lead generation is STILL King!

Dearborn Education Company just published my 5th (!) edition of Up and Running in 30 Days. It has lots of updates, including updates on 10 trends that I think newer agents should recognizea��and know the pros and cons. Herea��s an excerpt from my new edition of the book.

Trend Three: Lead Generation is Still King

In their excellent book, Game Plan: How Real Estate Professionals Can Thrive in an Uncertain Future, authors Steve Murray and Ian Morris also name this trend as one of the top ten for the next five years. In my view, lead generation is always king (I cana��t see how it wouldna��t continue to be a number one trend and priority). But, Murray and Morrisa��s point is that real estate professionals who want to be successful cana��t depend on leads just coming their way. Instead, they must actively go after them. That means creating systems, disciplines, priorities, and goals for capturing, working with, and keeping leadsa��forever. Herea��s what they say:

…contact management, lead cultivation, and customer relationship management systems can and will play a huge role in determining which agents and companies are most successful.

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?A�A�A� In that Inman Select survey I mentioned earlier {in the book}, How to Fix New Agent Onboarding, 47% of respondents stated lead generation is critical in initial training. And, they observed most new agents struggled with lead generation.A� Thata��s why this Up and Running start-up plan is so important to follow to the letter!

Herea��s what Kyle Kovats, that great a��30 under 30a�� nominee, {one of my top agent contributors to the book} said: a�?Get out there and just do it.A� Try different forms of prospecting and see what works. An ounce of action is more powerful than a ton of planning.a�?

Positives: For those of you who intend to be successful in sales, this trend should be a comfort. That means, if you invest in yourself, your work ethic, and your systems, you will be ahead of the pack. In Up and Running in 30 Days, Ia��ve laid out a plan of action for those of you who do intend this success. Ia��m not being facetious here. Some agents are surprised that, in fact, one must lead generate to be successful in this business.

Watch out for: Companies and/or managers who tell you that leads will simply come to youa��or that they will provide them to you . That would include all those reactive (you sit and wait for the lead) lead-generating strategies:

  • The traditional ones, such as open houses and floor time or relocation leads
  • The technologically driven leads, such as software and programs that capture leads for you (they dona��t just sell themselves; you must have an effective capture, engagement, and follow-up program)

Isn’t There an Easier Way?

Unfortunately, interviewers use the a�?we will take care of you and give you leadsa�? strategy to convince new agents to work with them. Then, after the agent is with that office, the agent learns there is no free lunch. Do I mean that you shouldna��t accept various types of leads from others? No. (Just know that you will be paying for that lead).A� But, consider this. If that lead source goes away, what are you left with? You are a first-day agent all over again! The Up and Running program will protect you from that, helping you build your own business so you always rely on yourself, not someone else.

Note: Ita��s very, very important that you capture your leads in a database, or better yet, in a CRM (Client Relationship Management) program from your first week in the business. Why? Because you cana��t remember who those people are, and you certainly cana��t remember how and when to stay in touch with them! Ia��ve provided a list of various databases and CRM programs in Section 14: References and Resources. Ia��m not endorsing any one of them. Ia��m just providing you several to research and to choose. See your manager for recommendations.

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

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.

* Big Idea: To build a strong long-term business, order takers need not apply. To be successful, you must create relationship continuance, no matter your lead-generating sources.

Managers: Do you have a robust, precise lead generating program to start your new agents to success fast?

Up and Running_5e largerClick here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

 

shaking hands over computerDearborn Education Company just released my 5th edition (!) of Up and Running in 30 Days. This book is literally the new agenta��s business start-up plan. In addition, Ia��ve provided lots of training and advice to assure new agents know what to do and how to do it.

One of the updates in this edition is the technology new agents really needa��and what they dona��t need, so they dona��t waste their previous dollars!

What My Technology Experts Told Me

Use technology to support your dynamic business. The easiest way to organize the names of prospects and clients is on a computer. If youa��re not in the technology world nowa��jump in. Youa��ll need technology to do the following (these are not my priorities, just a list):

Technology Recommendations from Up and Running

Use technology to support your dynamic business. The easiest way to organize the names of prospects and clients is on a computer. If youa��re not in the technology world nowa��jump in. Youa��ll need technology to do the following (these are not my priorities, just a list):

  1. Work from wherever you are with a laptop so you can find properties, do market analysis, and create presentations anywhere, anytime
  2. Organize your prospects, clients, and affiliates (such as mortgage lenders) in a database (if youa��re not extremely computer literate, start with Microsoft Outlook, which almost everyone already has on their computers)
  3. Organize your follow-up programs for specific target markets viaA� client relationship management (CRM)
  4. Capture and follow up on your Internet leads with Internet lead follow-A�up technology designed for that purpose
  5. Measure your progress to your goals with specific software
  6. Keep in contact with your customers via cell phone and pager (you will find it truly amazing how few agents return phone calls)
  7. Carry your contacts (database), schedule, and so on with you on a personal digital assistant
  8. Create a personal Web site and/or blog that promotes you and/or provides your prospects and clients access to information they value, such as updates on their property, marketing, or transaction progress
  9. Take pictures with a digital camera and add them to your Web site or your flyers
  10. Invest in a video flip camera so you can promote yourself and your listings via video
  11. Budget for your expenses, track expenses, and create, implement, and analyze your profit and loss statements with financial software (such as QuickBooks, Quicken, or Mint)

Note: See the References and Resources section in UP and Running in 30 Days A�for resources for these valuable tools. And, the reference section offers dozens of references for other software, training, etc.

Get Advice Before You Invest

These references include only a few of the technologies agents use in business. Before you buy anything, interview three technology-savvy, high-producing agents in your office and identify the technologies they consider important. Dona��t expect your real estate company to provide them, although seasoned agents within your organization may be willing to provide direction on the best use of technology. Also, see your manager for advice on the most up-to-date technology you need to perform.

Caveat: Dona��t run around buying every marketing program and tech tool from vendors. As Gary Richter, one of the newer, successful agents quoted in my book, advises: a�?There are many different programs and systems that vendors will try to sell to you as a new agent. Many overlap in capabilities. Pick one that works for you and stick with it.a�?

Up and Running_5e largerTake a look at what’s new in Up and Running in 30 Days:A� 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.

Up and Running_5e largerI just received my copy of my 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days, the new agenta��s business start-up plan. Dearborn Education, a division of Kaplan, Inc., has published this book since its first edition. Ia��ve put lots of updates in this 2017 edition, including advice from successful newer agents. Rather than my trying to convince you of these principles myself, herea��s what theya��ve said:

On Training

Herea��s a quote from Kyle Kovats, who was recently chosen as one of the finalists for the a�?30 under 30a�? honors from the National Association of Realtors.A� These select nominations are agents chosen because they are under 30 and very successful in the business.

Kyle advises: a�?Find a broker who has a comprehensive training program. Ask if you can speak with agents who have gone through it to get the agentsa�� perspective on whether it was helpful.a�?

{Note: Up and Running in 30 Days has tips for you new agents in choosing the right training programa��a training program that actually assures you launch a great career).

The Importance of Coaches and Mentors

Therea��s a lot more to success than just attending even a great training program. Read this from Merrilee Prochaska, a�?I wish I had understood the importance of a mentor/coach before I began.a�?

{Up and Running in 30 Days discusses the trend toward coaches, and provides guidance in choosing the right coach for you.}

On What They Wish Theya��d Done Differently

Ita��s not all a smooth ride! Here are some comments from Cerise Paton, on what she wishes she would have done differently: a�?Followed up more and more consistently; understood the time and discipline and numbers needed for lead generation and lead conversion; recognizing the time it took to build trust; going on more appointments, failing more often, and getting better, practicing presentations with friendsa�?.

Gary Richtera��s comment on what he would do differently could apply to most new agents: a�?Contact all of my sphere and ask for business.a�? Gary admits he was reticent to ask them all for business.

On Prioritizing Your Activities and Lead Generation Sources

Dona��t take my word for it that clearly prioritizing your activities as business-producing or business-supporting is key to success. Hear it from Gary Richter, who used Up and Running in 30 Days to start his career. He says his priorities are big reasons hea��s succeeding now: a�?I am cognizant of my daily activities and recognized them as either business producing or business supporting. I spend the majority of my time on business-producing activities.a�?

And, Diane Honeycutt states, a�?Take the advice in this plan and be sure youa��re not a a�?secret agenta��! Develop a work plan and stick to ita�?.

Herea��s what Kyle Kovats, that great a��30 under 30a�� nominee, said: a�?Get out there and just do it.A� Try different forms of prospecting and see what works. An ounce of action is more powerful than a ton of planning.a�?

Gary Richter advises: a�?Get off your computer and go out into the areas. Focus on business-producing activities.a�?

More great advice from Kyle Kovats: a�?Be relentless. Follow up with handwritten letters rather than the generic form letters/cards most agents send people. Be unique.a�?

On the Importance of Client Relationship Management Technology

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

So, dona��t be like the majority of new agents (and even seasoned agents who put off capturing all those leads in a database and then, even better a CRM!) Start using a database, or better yet, a CRM your first week in the business.

On Spending Money for Leads

Herea��s some advice from one of those Top 30 Under 30 finalists, James Pierce: a�?Don’t pay a dime to sites like Zillow, etc.a�?

From Cerise Paton: a�?You will get a lot of calls to sell you leads, google placement, banner ads, shopping carts, you name it. Dona��t do it. It either has no value, orA�you’reA�not ready for it, or you cana��t afford ita�?

Tip for managers: As you read these comments, ask yourself, a�?How is my training, coaching, and business start-up plan keeping my new agents on track?a�? What needs to be changed or refined so I get better results?a�?

How about YOU?

Are you following these principles? How many have you rejected or violated in your first few months in the business? Why? Success isna��t always easy, but it always has patterns and leaves clues! Dona��t try and re-invent the wheel. Follow a proven plan with assured results and you will be wildly successful!

Take a look at what’s new in Up and Running in 30 Days:A� updates in 5th edition.