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 Peak Performance

Managers: You motivate others. 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.

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. That will get you down. In fact, I’d look in the mirror and wonder if I’d ever look like meA� again.

During one particularly horrible bout with my enemy, poison oakA� (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. (But I still hated poison oak…)

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’.

The biggest desire of a human being is simply recognition.A�

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 Motivate Your Agents While I Train Them

As a manager, do you have a lot on your plate? I know. I managed for over 2 decades! Why not let me train and coach your agents, while I motivate them to high goals? Check out my online training/coaching/accountability program, Up and Running in Real Estate. Along with 25+ training webinars and dozens of checklists/documents to guide your agents, I’ve also built in lots of motivation and accountability. Check this unique program out here.A�

Motivation: Does it come from the inside or outside?

There are two ways to get that motivation, that appreciation, that support you need. We already discussed a�?going outsidea�� (see the earlier blog). But, therea��s another method. Thata��s the method so few of us use: Going inside. We shy away from acknowledging our own efforts. Why? Perhaps your mom (as mine did) told us not to brag. It was unseemly to be immodest.

Not about Bragging

Acknowledging yourself is not bragging. It is not only positive, it is absolutely critical to do if we are to be effective leaders. We must use all the methods as our disposal to keep ourselves a�?upa��, so we can be models for those who follow us.

Going inside. Someone you can always count on. When I was in college, I remember going sailing with a group of people. It was a gorgeous day. We sailed around the large lake, enjoying moderate winds. Then, about 6 o’clock, we decided to sail back to the dock. Problem. No wind. We had no choice but to wait for that wind to bring us back. (or use the little outboard motor, which the purest a�?captaina�� was loathe to use.)

Frequently, we count on others to ‘sail us back to the dock of positive attitude’ when we’re down. Like the wind, though, they may not be there when we need them!

Draw a Different Conclusion

Actually, though, we have our own outboard motor on board–our own minds. We have the ability to change our minds about things (especially we women, men say…). We have the ability inside us to re-draw a conclusion about an event. For instance, we managers get ‘down’ when the agent we thought we were going to hire went to another agency. We can look at it as a loss, or as an opportunity to learn from the experience. If we’re good at managing our attitude, we’ll call that agent to find out what attracted that agent to the other company–and learn from the experience.

What’s your best way to get motivated? How do you you ‘tap’ those inner fires of motivation?

A Training/Coaching Program Online with Motivation Built In

As a manager, you have a million things to do. You’re expected to be ‘up’ all the time. It’s challenging to provide the motivation — the attitude–needed to keep those agents keeping on. So, I’ve built in motivation in my unique online training/coaching/accountability program, Up and Running in Real Estate.

Take a look. Let me help you train and motivate your agents to great success fast! Click here to learn more.

What’s changed about motivation–and how to take advantage of it…

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 book,A�Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel Pink lays out a persuasive case, backed by extensive scientific studies, about why the traditional a�?carrot and sticka�� motivational methods just dona��t work for us today. Ita��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 Doesna��t Work as a Motivator

First, as Pink points out, money and/or material things are good short-term motivators. (Read Herzberga��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 therea��s food! But, as Herzberg and others have pointed out, money is a lousy long-term motivator. You know that if youa��ve tried motivating your kids with moneya��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

AboutA� 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,A� says about autonomy:A�The art of the art {of autonomy} is picking your limits. Thata��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?

AboutA� 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 cana��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 ita��s in the arts, sciences, or business. A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Teresa Amabile, Professor, Harvard University

Our Coaching Helps You Motivate

Carla Cross’s extensive background and study into effective motivation is an extra benefit to you in her Leadership Mastery coaching program.A�Click hereA�for a complimentary consultation.

Great Topic for a Convention/Management Retreat

Yes, the desire and need to motivate is very strong today with managers. But, they need new information and new motivation methods for those millennials. Why not invite Carla to your next convention or management meeting and let her help your managers help more agents?

Greatest Motivational Method in the World!

Behavior that’s rewarded is repeated.A�

 

coachingHave an unmotivated agent? Tips to light ’em on fire!

Do you have any seasoned agents in your office who have lost their fire? Therea��s probably no challenge for a manager today greater than that of rejuvenating your experienced, valued agents. Even though your market is better than it was, these seasoned agents just dona��t seem to be able to re-light those fires of desire. Youa��ve tried being supportive and empathetic. Youa��ve even given them leads. Nothing has seemed to work. What are you going to do to retain these agents, motivate these agents, and get them back into the fray?

Before We Start: What Doesna��t Work

As a coach, Ia��ve been working with management teams to save and re-generate the careers of experienced agents. One of the biggest mistakes Ia��ve seen managers make is to try to help these seasoned agents through support and empathy. Thata��s just not enough. And, ita��s actually demeaning. Yes, some empathy is needed. But, my observation is that it too often drifts into sympathy. Instead of motivating these seasoned agents to get back at it, these well-meaning but misguided managers are sympathizing the agents into a deeper

You Can Fill the Motivational Void Left by the a�?On Firea�� Market

As a manager, you have the ability to not only provide an atmosphere, along with a platform, to motivate that agent back into the business, you can go much further than that, to a�?inspirationa�?.

Just think what would happen if you could get that seasoned, slumping, a�?stucka�� agent back into the business with fervor. The whole attitude of your office would improve. Your coaching would work. Your training would be well attended. Your bottom line would look much healthier.

Two Steps to Create an Awesome Motivational Office

Ia��ve created a two-step approach to re-ignite your seasoned agents. In the next few blogs, Ia��ll show you exactly how to not only motivate those agents, but go way beyond motivation to inspiration.

Before I give you my approach, let me ask you to think about what motivates you. What re-lights your fires of desire? How have you noticed your seasoned agents ‘checking out’? Do some observation and research before you read my next blog post.

Want to Be Approved as a Clock-Hour Instructor in Washington–and Learn from Carla?

IDW_coverGet approved for teaching real estate clock-hour approved courses. Receive 15 clock hours of continuing education credits. Learn from the only Washington’s only National Realtor Educator of the Year. Gain invaluable strategies; worth so much more than just clock hours or certification!

New! Bring the course you want to teach and we’ll apply new teaching methods for you. Get strategies to be the engaging, creative instructor you know you are!

2018 scheduled courses:

May 22-23, 2018 in Bellevue, Wa.. A� A�A�A�Click hereA�for more information and registration.

Fall course: Oct. 23-24, 2018 in Bellevue, WA. (registration link to be included later).

Need to get approved as an instructor right away?A�Order our distance learning courseA�A�Train the Trainer. Fulfills the same requirements, has the same curriculum, has 15 clock hours. Take this course at your own speed and fulfill the requirements to become a Wa. state approved clock-hour instructor.

Your knowledge of my part of the business helped me to recognize ideas I can use in title insurance and escrow.A�Judy Williams, Chicago Title

Carla is fantastic! I will always be appreciative.A�Kim Emmons, manager, John L Scott, Maple Valley, Wa.

Instructor is 100% competent. Her passion, professionalism, and knowledge of the subject is passed on to her class.A�Mike Kerwin, Keller Williams Realty

Bonus: 30% discount on 3 of Carla’s training resources to attendees.

Space is limited. Don’t miss this opportunity!A�Click hereA�for more information and registration.

 

bus plan 7 team

Is your business plan missing the vision component?A�Below is an explanation of why having a vision is so important to the success of your business plan. In fact, I believe the lack of vision in a plan leads to a demotivating and certainly uninspiring plan.

For you managers: I think helping your agents create an inspiring and motivating plan will remove their reticence at doing a plan.

Why Vision is Important

A few years ago, business professors, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, studied very successful companies to find out the differences between a�?stunninga�� (high profits and highly regarded), and other like companies who were almost as profitable, but not so successful). They published the results in the best business book Ia��ve ever read,A�Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies.

What did they find was the common difference between the highly profitable and merely very successful?

A common vision and values shared by every person in the company.A�

Porras and Collins’ conclusion was that the desire for profits isna��t the main driver for profits. The focused and tenacious vision, shared by all in the company, was the biggest determinant for profits.A�

Components of VisionA�

Your vision is made up of yourA�core ideologyA�and yourA�envisioned future.A�A�

As you can see from the chart on the right, excerpted from myA�online business planning resource, Beyond the Basics of Business Planning,A�yourA�core ideologyA�is made up of your core values and core purpose. If you look at your life, youa��ll see that the things that inspire and motivate you are the things that adhere to your belief system. Thata��s what this part of the vision statement says about you.

Your envisioned futureA�is made from a vivid description of this future, and BHAGsa��big hairy, audacious goals. Those are goals five years out, that you really dona��t think you can attain.

The Power of BHAGs

Surprisingly, as Porras and Collins found, when companies stated these goals, they actually attained them in three years! (Inspirational goals that are congruent with your core values and core ideology are powerful motivators!).

What Vision Does for Companies

Herea��s Porras and Collinsa��s function of a vision statement:

Provides guidance about what core to preserve and what future to progress toward.A� Made up of core ideology and envisioned future.

Here’s an example of a vision of one of the book’s stand-out companies:

Our basic principles have endured intact since our founders conceived them.A� We distinguish between core values and practices; the core values dona��t change, but the practices might.A� Wea��ve also remained clear that profit a�� as important as it is a�� is not why the Hewlett-Packard Company exists; it exists for more fundamental reasons.a�?

A� A� A� John Young, former CEO, Hewlett-Packard

A�How to Construct your Vision

How do you want to see yourself in this business? How do you want people to talk about you and your business after you retire? What values are most important to you? What ideology do you follow in your business?

Managersa�� exercise.A�A�To figure out what your core values are, imagine that you are opening an office on Mars. You can only take three agents with you on your spaceship. Name those three agents. What are the core values of these agents? Who in your office doesn’t exhibit those values? Why is he/she still with you?

Looking back:A�Imagine you are at your own memorial, watching from above. What are others saying about you? Whata��s most memorable about you?

Voicing those BHAGs

What is a great goal you would love to accomplish in your business, but really dona��t feel ita��s possible for you within five years? Write it right now.

Note: In the complimentary business planning webinar, we’ll be exploring vision and agents will actually write some BHAGS!

Why We Dona��t Reach Those Lofty Goals

Is that goal thata��s been eluding you congruent with your core values? What I mean by that is, does that goal feel comfortable to you? For instance, if that goal is that youa��ll make two million dollars, and you dona��t like the feeling of that much money, because your values are aligned differently, you just arena��t going to reach that goal. That, I believe is the reason many of us dona��t reach some of our goals. Those goals arena��t in alignment with our core values.

Herea��s what great motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said about goal-value alignment:

You cana��t consistently perform in a manner that is inconsistent with the way you see yourself.

Finding your Alive, Powerful Motivation

In my business planning system, I also provide another method to check your motivation.

Click hereA�to get this document.

Ia��m convinced that we reach or dona��t reach our goals based on the intensity of our desire, driven not by cold numbers, but by the warm emotion of aligned values and inspiring goals. Yogi Berra said it well:

Life is like baseball; ita��s 95% mental and the other half is physical.

Plan_Act_Celebrate

bus plan 6Do your agents have mission statements as part of their business plans?A�Why is having a mission important? How should it guide agents? You’ve heard the talks about finding your passion. But, you see your agents being over-whelmed in their careers. It’s just too much to think big when they’re A�just trying to find that house or convince a buyer to work with them!

This month, I’m featuring tips on business planning in both my blogs (see also my blog for agents Up and Running in 30 Days.)

The Importance of Your Mission

This time of year, we’re encouraging everyone to create their business plans. One of the first things you’ll do in creating your own business plan is to define your mission. Why? Because, otherwise, you don’t know whether or not the actions you decide to take will fulfill your mission. This is also true of your agents.

Tackling and Bringing Down your Time Management Challenges

If agents have been in the sales business a little while,A�they’ve already discovered thatA�their biggest challenge isA�time management.A�A�HowA�can theyA�get done in a business day everything that needs getting done? That’s where your mission comes in. Creating your mission helps youA�prioritizeA�all the things you’re supposed to do. It helps you decide whatA�notA�to do. Most important, it helps you figure out

how to put YOU into your management and sales business successfully

Want more business planning help?A�I’ll be doing a webinar Dec. 6 at 4 PM Pacific Time. It’s complimentary, and I’ll even give you ‘assignments’ to get you going on a great 2018 plan.

Plan_Act_CelebrateMore from Carla Cross on Business Planninga��free Webinar

Listen/look at the free webinarA�I’m doing Dec. 6 (you pick the best date for you and invite all your agents!). Click here for more information and registration.

Managers: I’ll get your agents started on their plans with 4 assignments, and give you tips on how to assure all your agents get great plans!

do itHow good is your agents’ start-up plan? (Or, do they have a start-up plan?!)

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

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

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

Commonalities of Poor Plans

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

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

* Big Idea: Be very critical before you commit to any start-up plan. It is prioritizing your mind! The start-up plan you may love because it keeps you out of sales activities isna��t the plan that is going to love you back (get you the sales you want). What you do every day becomes your job description.

An Effective Start-Up Plan

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

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

Managers/trainers: How well did your start-up plan score? Why not try using a proven plan that gets much better results faster? You’ll increase your retention and your profits!

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

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

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

 

 

Are your agents resisting getting into action?

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

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

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

{To agents}

Real Estate Sales IS Challenging!

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

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

Getting Ready to Get Ready

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

How People Get into Action

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

Embrace Embarrassment

Go aheada��be embarrassed.a��There is no way to be experienced until you get experience. No agents like to take risks, be embarrassed, or have buyers and sellers guess that they are new in the business. But face ita��everyone has been new in the business. Just go ahead and get those first few months over with. You will be embarrassed every daya��many times. As a new agent, my most common statement to buyers or sellers was a�?I dona��t know, but Ia��ll find out.a�? In music, little could stump mea��but in real estate anything could stump me! Still, I muddled through it, and you will, too.

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

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

Real estate is a performance art. It doesna��t matter how much you know; it only matters how you interact with people. And that takes practice and performance. To remember and emulate good performance, we need to perform right after we have heard, seen, and practiced that performance. Learning something in a class and letting that skill lie dormant for months just guarantees poor skilla��and high stress.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

The Value of Practice

Ita��s painful to learn from your mistakes with real clients. However, therea��s an additional way to learn skillsa��practice. All too often, the value of practice is underestimated by both agents and managers. But ita��s worth the effort to role-play each segment that requires sales communication with people:

  • Lead-generating scenarios
  • Following up with Internet inquiries
  • Counseling/qualifying buyer scenarios
  • Showing and closing buyer scenarios
  • Presenting and negotiating offer scenarios
  • Qualifying seller scenarios
  • Marketing/presentation scenarios
  • Price reduction/review scenarios

Managers and coaches: How many of these situations do you coach to via practice?

Agents believe that because they can talk they can sell. But we have already discussed the realities of conversation versus the special communication skills required for sales success. I guarantee that if you take seriously the practice asked of you in Up and Running, your performance with people will improve quickly and your confidence will soar. Every successful salesperson I have known who started quickly in this business organized, systematized, practiced, and perfected each step in the sales cycle.

Caution: A reason new agents start slowly or fail early is that they underestimated their need to develop a mastery of sales skills in their first months in the business. So, they fail to convert those leads!

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

The best kind of practice increases your skill and results. Back to my piano-practicing days: as a four-year-old, I picked out tunes on the keys and added the chords. I could play pop music reasonably well. Then, at age six, I started piano lessons. As I progressed to more demanding piano teachers, I learned that a�?faking it a��til you made ita�? just would not meet their standards. In fact, my best piano teacher, Mr. Green, taught me to practice very slowly, so there werena��t any mistakes. I found that if I practiced quickly, I practiced my mistakes right along with the rest of the piece.

Although his kind of practice was tedious, it was right. By using Mr. Greena��s method I became a much better pianist, gaining a degree in piano performance. Too often, real estate agents practice the mistakes and end up with a sales system that is a�?more mistake than effective.a�?

* Big Idea: Perfect practice makes perfect. Go for mastery, not just mediocrity. One of a coacha��s opportunities is to help you get into action, take risks, and work toward a�?practicing perfectly.a�?

Up and Running_5e largerWhat is the ‘Music’ You Use to Coach?

You need a guide–a solid business start-up plan, with the what, how, how much, and why built in. Take a look at the new 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Big Idea: Be very critical before you commit to any start-up plan. It is prioritizing your mind! The start-up plan you may love because it keeps you out of sales activities isna��t the plan that is going to love you back (get you the sales you want). What you do every day becomes your job description.

An Effective Start-Up Plan

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

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

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