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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 new agents

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.  

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 Team 

As you interview, you may be invited to join an office team. That means you’ll be essentially working for a ‘rainmaker’, a lead agent who generates ‘leads’ 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 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.

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

 What to Watch For

  • 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.
  • Evaluate how good a leader that rainmaker is. Some rainmakers are great salespeople, but lousy leaders, and so their team never ‘jells’.

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 can’t meet the rainmaker’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 out my ebook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School. 

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.  

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 you’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? Here’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 ‘coach you’. However, that quickly becomes a ‘got a minute’ answer man function instead of a focused, linear, goal-oriented action coaching. You don’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 out­lined with checklists and systems. Ask, “What system are you going to use to coach me?” You need a specific game plan, because you are new. You have no history..
  2. The specific program should be related to a “game plan”—a busi­ness start-up plan. Ask, “What game plan are you going to use?”
  3. The coaches should be trained and coached themselves. Ask, “What’s your coaching background, and what sales principles do you believe in?” 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, ide­ally, 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 you’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 you’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, you’re just getting an ‘advice session’.

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 ‘shadow them’ (see how they do a listing/buyer presentation or offer presentation)
  • Be your accountability coach

Most peer coaches don’t have a coaching program to coach to, and haven’t been trained. They are also at a loss with what to do if the agent refuses to do the work.

If you’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 nightmare—for both parties.

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

In the next blogs, we’ll discuss three ‘safety-nets’ that some new agents consider—because they’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 out my ebook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School. 

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.  

From the Prospective Interviewee’s Perspective

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

Selling vs non-selling manager

You prefer a manager who doesn’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 ‘go it on your own’, with the manager available to answer questions.

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

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 don’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 ‘supervision’. You’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 mentor—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 out What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.  

 

 

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 don’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 you’re starting your business to production fast.

Benefits of Shadowing 

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)?

What’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 ‘model’ for you. Be sure it’s a model you want to emulate!

What Your Training Priorities Should Be 

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 plan—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.  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? 

What about all the rest of the knowledge you don’t have and are afraid someone will find out you don’t have? Don’t worry. You will be able to learn as you go. But, if you avoid getting into the field and meeting potential clients, you won’t need to worry about learning more. You’ll be out of the business…..

See more: For detailed weekly schedules and activity plans for your first two months in the business, see my online business start-up program, 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!).

Here’s Your Desk, Here’s Your Phone, Got Any Questions…..

That’s what my first boss told me as I was hired. So, I went to the desk I was assigned and…..waited for something to happen. I was so naïve I didn’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 that’s how real estate was sold. Wrong. Unfortunately, neither of these activities makes you any money. So, I quickly figured out I couldn’t do things like the agents in the office did them, or I would produce the same amount they produced—3-4 sales a year. (There were two others in the office, but I never saw them, because they were out selling….).

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 you’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 ‘create a database’; call potential clients’; ‘meet with a mortgage rep’. These lists can include business developing and business-supporting activities. Just be sure they are targeted to start your business successfully—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 you’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, don’t ‘preview’ any more than you need to  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 don’t have time just to preview pretty properties because they are on the market—but non-producing agents have plenty of time to become ‘property experts’.

See my business start-up plan,  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 School  – everything each prospective agent should know about careers in real estate

Up and Running in 30 Days — 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!

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?  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, 30 Things to Do Right (In Pre-License School) Now to Hit the Ground Running. (from my new eBookWhat 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.  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 Get  a Check Fast

Instead of waiting until new agents are 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/CRM 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 my  eBook, 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. Click here to get it.

Let me know how the checklist 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.  See What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School. 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!

bag of money

Are your training during pre-license? Why not?

This month, we’re focusing on training.

Managers: Why aren’t you training for sales during pre-licensing? You hire them–then you just wait until they have their licenses to start training.

Give Them a Head Start Instead

Have you thought about a ‘head start’ program for your newbies? If you’re like 98% of managers, you wait to start training your agents until AFTER they join your office as newbies. Why? Think how much faster they could go if they had lots of the organization and training under their belts prior to their first day in the business?  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 checklist, 30 Things to Do Right (In Pre-License School) Now to Hit the Ground Running. (from my informative eBookWhat They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School).

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

You know the drill. We hire that new agent. We spend the first 1-2 weeks with them getting the ‘orientated’. We 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.  Ha!

When Do Your New Agents Start Lead Generating?

My studies show that new agents want to make a sale their first month in the business. But, when do you think they start lead generating? Do you know? (Better track that so you know who’s going to work). I believe they put off the inevitable as long as possible, hoping ‘there’s another way!’ In fact, the more ‘get ready to get ready’ work you have them doing as licensees, the worse their habits become and the less money they make!

A Different Method to Get Them a Check Fast

Instead of waiting until they are licensed, why not get them prepared to sell real estate while they are in pre-license school? They can do things like

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

30 Things to Do While in Pre-License School

In fact, as I was writing my eBook, 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. Click here to get it.

How to Recruit with the Checklist

This list is not only helpful to those you know you’re hiring, it’s a very effective recruiting tool. It proves to your potential recruits that you care about their career success–even before you hire them!

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Offer this checklist to all your new licensee candidates
  • Offer this checklist for your Career Nights
  • Offer this checklist in your ads (newspaper, Craig’s List, Facebook, etc.)

I’m Taking It a Step Further

In the next few weeks, I’ll be introducing a course to prepare people to sell real estate. More to come!

what-they-dont-3d_coverSave Time! Prepare Your New Agents to Sell Real Estate Fast and Well

This 280+ page eBook is packed with questionnaires, advice, processes, and systems to prepare that pre-licensee for the real world of real estate. You’ll save precious interview time and help winners choose you. See What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School. Only $14.95, and immediately downloadable. Now, a Kindle version, too.

P. S. This book will save you hours if interview time because it will weed out the ‘hang my license’ bothersome ones…..unless you want non-producers, of course!

training your successHere’s how to fill your classroom with enthusiastic attendees.

This month, we’re focusing on training. Why? Because it should be a huge part of your value proposition. After all, you can’t just recruit them–can you? You need also to have a complete development system. Coaching and training ARE your development system.

Having trouble getting them to training? Authored by one of our Senior Career Coaches, Jodi Sipes, M. A., this second article of our series shows you how to market your training to attract your agents and get them excited as students! Jodi’s advanced education in adult learning, plus her years of experience creating and implementing exceptional training for new agents, gives her a unique perspective. Here are invaluable tips as you take action to control your income in these shifting markets. You’ll make your training an awesome recruiting tool, while making it effortless to implement training week after week.

Don’t be Dull! Set up Themes to Pique the Curiosity and Up the Attendance

Don’t just list the topics you are going to present. Create themes. For example: Listing month! New Year Planning! Spotlight on Buyers! Now that you have the over view of training and components put together, make sure that they compliment and support each other. For instance, when you are coaching new agents with the Up and Running in Real Estate program, you should have supplementary training/practice days in your office. This is also a great place for experienced agents to grow as trainers—plus, their time will be saved, as they will teach everyone at once, instead of having a bunch of new agents knocking on their door with questions all the time.

Get Creative! Give it a Provocative Title

We see lots of training calendars in our training consulting. Most of them are dull as old brick! Don’t just list the topic. Instead, get creative. Make the topic interesting, even provocative. Put a new ‘spin’ on the topic. For ideas, read the names of programs given at your state and national conventions. Some of the topic names are really creative!

Give it a Double Punch for Double Learning

Don’t just teach the curriculum. Find ways to expand that subject from all the angles. For example: When you have a new agent training section on listing presentations you should have a top Realtor from your office give a demonstration on an effective listing presentation or an effective CMA. When you work with Buyer’s presentations, have a lender come explain the issues and requirements Buyer’s face. Lead follow up and business planning create a good time for software vendors to show their programs. Marketing sections offer an opportunity for affiliates to show how they can support agents, and for vendors to show how their products can support agents. These supplementary classes are great for all agents of all levels.

Alternate Formal with Casual for the Unexpected

It’s also great to incorporate casual (brown-bag lunch—agent “Rap” session) support groups to encourage agents to share their ideas and frustrations. This creates a “teamwork” feel to your office, and helps agents through current challenges. When the manager shows up at these for the first part, agents can get their questions answered in a format that answers these for many agents—saving the manager time!

One of your Biggest Problems Solved: Getting them to Attend Enthusiastically

Here are 3 surefire ways to get your agents to attend—and get recruits to attend, too!

1) Leverage Affiliates
Title representatives, mortgage brokers, escrow companies, home inspectors, and others can support your training calendar by adding lunches and other incentives to improve attendance. The best benefit is that this is a win for everyone, and forges bonds between agents and affiliates. The benefit for the affiliate: they get in front of your agents and get to know them—building trust. The benefit for the agents: they get hands-on training from people who are “out there doing it now,” and they get to know a variety of affiliates so they can decide if they would like to do business with them.

2) Create Positive Expectations for their Accomplishments
For new agents, create a booklet that details all the classes you expect them to attend in their first year. You can use this to set mutual expectations at the time of hiring. Check off each class as they complete it, and celebrate their growth! Everyone should celebrate when they get their first listings and sales, too. The booklet helps them keep it all straight, and is a tool for you to keep track of their progress, as well.

3) Be Lavish in your Recognition/Improved Performance
Have drawings or special prizes and recognition at meetings for the agents who grow to a new level through the office training. Use their testimonials when you market the classes to your agents. When an agent admires the performance of another, they will want to model what they do.

Remember that putting together world-class training is a process, and will not be all you want it to be right away. It takes planning, support from your agents and affiliates, and time to catch on and develop. You can grow and improve each year!

We are here to support your agent development systems. Talk to us about coaching you in developing world class training. You’ll go further faster, and have time to do all the other management duties you know you should be doing!

LM CoverAre You Recruiting Winners–or Bodies?

Let us help you create a recruiting plan that works. Then, we’ll help you career complete Career Development Systems for both new and seasoned agents. Now, you have systems. You can expand. you can relax a little. Why not check out Leadership Mastery Coaching with a complimentary consultation?

trainer at board

Why don’t you have a training calendar? Here’s how to get one now.

This month, we’re focusing on training. Why? Because you can recruit your heart out, but, if you’re not developing each agent to his/her potential, you’re not retaining! (and you have a revolving door……)

Guest Author, by Senior Coach Jodi Sipes

Authored by one of our Senior Career Coaches, Jodi Sipes, M. A., this blog shows you how to create a training calendar you’re proud of. Jodi’s advanced education in adult learning, plus her years of experience creating and implementing exceptional training for new agents, gives her a unique perspective. Here are invaluable tips as you take action to control your income in these shifting markets. You’ll make your training an awesome recruiting tool, while making it effortless to implement training week after week.

Why bother to create your year’s training calendar? With managers running in 50 directions at once, time management is a huge issue. Designing a training calendar allows managers to get their systems under control. It allows managers to delegate some training duties. Outcomes: More production, more profits, and better retention!

Your First Step in Creating that Calendar: Get the Rhythm

Before you try to create that calendar, consider the rhythm of your year. When do you hire the most agents, when is the market busiest, what seasonal issues do you want to address? For example, you’ll want to decide when is a good time to focus on listings, what issues come up at tax time, etc? This will give you a good over-view of how to plan your education and training.

Your Second Step: Decide the Major Issues You want to Train To

Now, it’s time to decide this:

If there were one thing my agents could do better that would raise productivity more than any other single thing, what would that be?

Answer that question, and you’ll get the major issues handled in that calendar. For example: If you have an office with many new people, you probably have fewer listings than you’d like. Or, your listings may be sitting in your shifting market. So, a major part of your calendar will be high-activity training to the listing process, focusing on getting marketable listings. A major mistake managers make in creating calendars is to merely drop in whatever they think agents would like! Don’t do that. You’re in control, and you need to train to the outcomes you need—and should expect.

Your Third Step: Make a System for New Agents

If you are hiring brand-new agents you will then need to schedule for them:

• Recruiting/hiring group informational events
• Orientation (Office equipment, your brokerage procedures, meet affiliates, etc.)
• New agent education (how to fill in forms, how to complete quarterly taxes, etc.–this should be in sync with MLS and Realtor Association training) At Carla Cross Seminars, Inc., we call this “Technical Training”.
• New agent start-up plan/coaching sequence so they go to work the first week. Our start-up plan and coaching companion is Up and Running in 30 Days.
• New agent skills training and practice/support sessions (how to answer objections, qualify buyers and sellers, etc.) Our complete training/coaching high accountability system for this is Advantage 2.0.

To assure you’ve covered the right bases, ask yourself about your desired outcome: What do you want your new agents to know, and be able to do in their first year?

Your Fourth Step: Make a System for your Experienced Agents

Here are some of the training issues you will want to consider:

• Sequence of business-building training (taking them to the next level)
• Yearly planning and Goals (this should be done in November of the prior year)
• Keeping them up-to-date on the law and technical issues (required classes, new forms, legal issues, new developments like more condos in the area or re-zoning)
• Life-style enhancement (time management, hiring an assistant, etc.)
• Train the Trainer class and opportunities to teach if they enjoy giving back to others (this is a great retention tool)

I know–it’s a big commitment. But, when you have your training systems fully in place, and you start measuring results, you’ll see the fruits of this labor.

Click here to grab my sample new agent training calendar.

 

logoWhy Not Make It Easy On Yourself: Up and Running is Done for You!

It takes me a year+ to write a training program, and I’ve done it several times! How long will it take you to write a program? Why reinvent the wheel? It’s enough to expect you to coach those in a program, not write it, and teach it in addition! Check out my comprehensive, high accountability, training/coaching program for agents under 2 years in the business. If you want to get them started fast, and are willing to coach them to the program, you’ll love the results. See it here.

training signTrainers: Is your training really a ‘hot mess’?

This month, we’re focusing on training. Why? Because you can recruit your heart out, but, if you’re not developing each agent to his/her potential, you’re not retaining! (and you have a revolving door……)

Doing Everything Wrong? Or Right?

“Oh, no. I’ve been doing EVERYTHING wrong!” That’s what one of my attendees groaned after I explained the training calendar evaluation tool I created to help trainers assess their training programs. Too often, I see training programs thrown together from various cobbled (and ripped off….) sources. Sure. You can do that and call it your training program. But, it makes for a disjointed, shattered ‘picture’ of your company and culture. And, it doesn’t work to get what you want—more production and profits.

Here, I want to share an analysis tool I created that will help you see the good and challenging parts of your training program and tune it up to really make a difference in your company.

Do You Really Have a Training Program?

When asked this question in a National Association of Realtors’ survey, the majority of the brokers said they did have a training program. But, what does that mean? What does it encompass? How would I know you had a real program? Here are the three questions to ask yourself to see if you really have any type of cohesive, coherent training program focused on the results you want:

1. Is your training program a part of your business plan?
2. Have you created a training calendar so you know what you’re doing and when you’re doing it?
3. Could I look at your calendar and see exactly why you had scheduled those events—and that they had cohesiveness to your ‘big picture’?

Evaluate your Training Program Now

The training calendar evaluation tool I mentioned above is invaluable to see how effective your training program really is—and to target the changes you want to make so you’re training with purpose.

At the end of this blog, I’ll share it with you. First, let’s walk through it.

What Kind of Training Are You Offering?

Look at your training calendar. If you don’t have one, simply take a 3-month calendar and write in the training you’re providing.
What’s the ratio of business-producing vs. business supporting training modules? When I see some training calendars, I can see why their training is not increasing productivity. All their modules are concerned with business supporting subjects (technical knowledge): home inspections, the law of agency, websites, social media, etc. That’s all nice, but what does it directly do with creating productivity? Here’s the path to a sale:

Lead generation

Interviews/qualifying buyers and sellers

Listing homes/showing homes

Selling a home/listing sells        $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

If you want to increase productivity and profits, your training calendar needs to reflect your training in these business-producing areas.

What are you training to that will make a real difference in your productivity and profits next year? Put that in your business plan.

What Does Your Profit and Loss Statement Tell You to Train To?

Take a look at your P and L. What’s your ratio of listings sold to sales? Do you like that ratio? Would you like it to be different? Do you want more sold listings? If so, start training to that. When I took over a failing office, I saw the ratio of listings taken to listings sold was a miserable 30%! So, I started action-focused training on the whole listing process. I had them role-playing their hearts out. I did a listing presentation play-offs  In short, I trained them specifically to change that ratio for the better. By the end of three years, our ‘conversion’ ratios were 85%–the highest in the area.
What is your training accomplishing? What do you need it to accomplish? Want can you measure?

Who Are You Training?

We segment our markets when we design our marketing plans. We need to segment our ‘market’ for our training plan, too. In this case, our ‘market’ is our agents. When I ask seasoned agents about whether there is a training program in their company, they say ‘yes’. It’s for the new agent. What? Are those seasoned agents in the office chopped liver?

Click here to grab the training calendar evaluator.

Tell me: How would you rate your training, on a scale of 1-10, 10 being fantastic? What can you do to improve it?

Tip: See my resources on training and writing courses at www.carlacross.com. 

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