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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 Peak Performance

bus-plan-7-teamHere are the nine big signs your manager must be fired–and some are obvious–but others are just as important but often ignored until it is way too late!

In the next few blogs, I’ll focus on ownership/general manager issues.  The reason I’m writing this blog is that, I am seeing managers go off the rails and try to take the office with them! Unfortunately, clever managers get the support of their agents while not managing properly. With their popularity, the ‘boss’ may hesitate firing them–even when they need desperately to be fired!

Managers are Clever at ‘Buying’ Support–Especially when under Stress

Some get that support by ‘buying’ the agents–giving their favorites leads. Some get that support by creating a flurry of activity, that obscures what’s really going on behind the scenes. I know how hard it is to tell, from an agent’s perspective, if the manager is doing his/her job. As an agent myself, I watched from afar, not knowing exactly what my manager did or didn’t do. I also didn’t know the activities he was supposed to be doing–and the activities he was avoiding or refusing to do.

I’ve screened, hired and coached dozens of managers, both as a regional director for one of the largest franchises in the world, and as an independent coach. I have seen things go off the rails many times–even when the agents in the office don’t have a clue!

The Nine Signs Your Manager Must Leave

1. Refuses to recruit to your standards (minimums)–that means numbers of contacts, interviews, and hires.

2. Refuses to hire to your standards–hires anyone and calls it ‘good’.

3. Refuses to coach agents up–or out; refuses to manage via standards (minimums) of performance.

4. Refuses to do the activities as designated and trained to by the general manager (such as interviewing appropriately or teaching to your culture).

5. Refuses to uphold all aspects of the culture (hires an agent who’s a top producer but doesn’t represent the culture).

6. Takes frustrations and problems with upper management to the agents, when he/she should only discuss any problem areas directly with management.

7. Openly disrespects and berates upper management–both to agents and directly to management.

8. Acts in an adversarial and/or fearful way to anyone he perceives as an authority.

9. Shares things with agents that should not be shared.

In other words: the manager has become a liability to the culture and the office. He/she is not teaming with upper management; he doesn’t have the same vision as leadership; he is fighting for control. It’s your office and you’re the boss. You must exercise your authority now for the preservation and growth of your office.

What did I miss? Let me know and we’ll add to the list!

coaching hand upHere’s the missing ingredient that, without it, your business plan is useless!

For November and December, I’m featuring business planning. I want to help you get a great plan for 2017! You’ll see complimentary handouts and lots of business planning tips.

See my complimentary business planning webinar, too, coming up November 8.

Click here for more information on the webinar and to register.

Vision: The Missing Ingredient in that Plan

Is your business plan missing vision? 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 ‘stunning’ (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 I’ve ever read, 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. 

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

Components of Vision 

Your vision is made up of your core ideology and your envisioned future. 

As you can see from the chart on the right, excerpted from Beyond the Basics of Business Planning,  your core ideology is made up of your core values and core purpose. If you look at your life, you’ll see that the things that inspire and motivate you are the things that adhere to your belief system. That’s what this part of the vision statement says about you.

Your envisioned future is made from a vivid description of this future, and BHAGs—big hairy, audacious goals. Those are goals five years out, that you really don’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!).

By the way, if you watch the webinar, I’ll be giving an ‘assignment’: To create one BHAG for your business plan–to get inspired!

What Vision Does for Companies

Here’s Porras and Collins’s function of a vision statement:

Provides guidance about what core to preserve and what future to progress toward.  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.  We distinguish between core values and practices; the core values don’t change, but the practices might.  We’ve also remained clear that profit – as important as it is – is not why the Hewlett-Packard Company exists; it exists for more fundamental reasons.”        John Young, former CEO, Hewlett-Packard

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?

Managers’ exercise.  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: Imagine you are at your own memorial, watching from above. What are others saying about you? What’s most memorable about you?

Voicing those BHAGs

What is a great goal you would love to accomplish in your business, but really don’t feel it’s possible for you within five years? Write it right now.

Why We Don’t Reach Those Lofty Goals

Is that goal that’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 you’ll make two million dollars, and you don’t like the feeling of that much money, because your values are aligned differently, you just aren’t going to reach that goal. That, I believe is the reason many of us don’t reach some of our goals. Those goals aren’t in alignment with our core values.

Here’s what great motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said about goal-value alignment:

You can’t consistently perform in a manner that is inconsistent with the way you see yourself.

Fnding your Alive, Powerful Motivation

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

Click here to get this document.

I’m convinced that we reach or don’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; it’s 95% mental and the other half is physical.

Plan_Act_CelebrateHow to Bullet-Proof your Business Plan for 2017

If you’re like most real estate professionals, you create some type of a business plan this year. But, maybe it didn’t work for you. Or, maybe—you just didn’t work it! Join us Nov. 8 at 3 PM Pacific time) to get the answers you need—and the inspiration—to make a bullet-proof plan for next year.

During this fast-paced webinar you’ll see:

  • Why your plan probably didn’t work for you—and what to do about it
  • How to definitely find out what will work for YOU (not someone else’s plan!)
  • How to anticipate market shifts (!)
  • What to STOP doing in 2017
  • What one thing will assure your business plan works
  • Bonus: 10 Creative Marketing Ideas for your plan

Included handouts:

  1. The strategic planning process created exclusively for real estate professionals by Carla Cross
  2. Review: Your best sources of business

Carla Cross, CRB, MA, is the only real estate professional ever to have had her business planning system published internationally and used by thousands of successful real estate professionals. Carla also has written a business planning program for CRB, leading to the Certified Real Estate Broker designation. She’s an acknowledged expert, and has been working with Realtors for over 2 decades, test marketing her planning system and seeing results. Let’s work together to create an unassailable plan for 2017.

Managers: You’ll get tips on how to help your agents create great plans!

Click here for more information on the webinar and to register.

 

coaching hand upIt’s getting toward the end of the year. It’s time to coach again, so I’m featuring coaching tips this month.

Here’s how to motivate the ‘tough case’ agent.

Do you have any seasoned agents in your office who have lost their fire? There’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 don’t seem to be able to re-light those fires of desire. You’ve tried being supportive and empathetic. You’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 Doesn’t Work

As a coach, I’ve been working with management teams to save and re-generate the careers of experienced agents. One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen managers make is to try to help these seasoned agents through support and empathy. That’s just not enough. And, it’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

Motivating in an On Fire Market

Do agents actually slump in a great market? Of course. They sit around and watch others’ success and wonder what’s wrong with them. But, in my experience, few have the ability to analyze what’s going on and actually make a plan for effective change. 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 “inspiration”.

Just think what would happen if you could get that seasoned, slumping, ‘stuck’ 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

I’ve created a two-step approach to re-ignite your seasoned agents. In the next few blogs, I’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.

LM CoverOur 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. Click here for a complimentary consultation.

coaching-standing-in-the-light If you’re coaching: Are you really motivating? This month, I’m focusing on coaching. Why? Because we have one more quarter to reach our goals. Coaching is proven to help all of us stay focused and get what we really want!

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 our agents into the market with confidence–and tenacity!

Motivational Methods Must Change

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

Why Money Doesn’t Work as a Motivator

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

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

Best Motivators to Motivate Others

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

  1. Autonomy
  2. Mastery
  3. Purpose

Questions to Ask Your Agents to Get Them Excited Again

About  Autonomy

  • Are you in charge of your own business, or are you waiting for someone else to tell you what to do?
  • Do you expect your manager to make you go to work, or are you self-directed and self-starting?
  • Are you disciplined in your business, so you can enjoy that autonomy?

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

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

About  Mastery

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

About Purpose

  • What excites you so much you can’t sleep at night?
  • Is there a way to translate that to your real estate business?

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

More about effective motivation today: I’ve taken these new motivational techniques straight to the real estate industry with my new speaking presentation, Light ‘Em on Fire: Newest Motivators to Inspire your Team. Email me for information on bringing this inspiring presentation to you.

LM CoverOur 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. Click here for a complimentary consultation.

graph going up sledgehammerIs your highest producer really your best producer? Not necessarily. We managers are frequently asked to ‘quartile’ our team, or evaluate our team members–to somehow rate the salespeople with us. Usually, we just start with the highest producer and work downward. But, is your highest producer your best producer?

‘Weigh’ Your Team Members Using your Values

When I was teaching CRB (Council of Real Estate Brokerage Management) courses nationally, I frequently heard the comment, “My top agent is not a team player.” Brokers complained their top agent didn’t represent the best in the company. So, the question is, “Is that really your top agent? Maybe not–and not, for sure, if you value team play!

Your mission should define your rating system. Bring out your vision or your mission statement. What values do you hold dear? Do you say that your salespeople are ‘team players’? Do they provide exceptional customer service? Have they committed to a long-term career? Is one of your values that each member is contributive?

Develop a Weight System for Accurate Evaluation

Let’s say that your five top values are:

Production
Team player
Customer Service
Longevity
Company contribution

Assign a range of 1 to 4 points to each value (4 is the highest score). Finally, score each agent in each of the five areas. Now, list your agents, starting with the highest cumulative score.

Why Values-Based Ratings are Important

Your values define you and your company, both within and with your clients. When you tout the ‘highest producer’ you are inadvertently endorsing that set of values as the values most important to you. Unfortunately, what we wish for we frequently get! In this day in age where the consumer is wary of ‘salespeople’, it’s time to define, rate, and reward your salespeople with the values you treasure. You’ll change the culture of your company for the better, and start hiring to the profile you really want.

What did you find when you developed a ‘weight’ system? What did you use as areas? What can you add to this discussion?

Tip: If you have an assistant manager, designated broker, or coach, ask them to also rate your agents. What do you see as differences between yours and their ratings?

LM Cover

 Why Not Get Further Faster?

You have great ideas. But, you’re not sure if they’ll work. How about bouncing those ideas off a seasoned, successful coach? You have lots of systems you want to get in place. But, you know it would take years of ‘test marketing’ and design to get them finished–and you don’t have years. Sign up for a complimentary consultation with Carla Cross and see if Leadership Mastery Coaching would benefit you.

motivation signIf you manage someone: 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 our agents into the market.

Motivational Methods Must Change

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

Why Money Doesn’t Work as a Motivator

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

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

Best Motivators to Motivate Others

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

  1. Autonomy
  2. Mastery
  3. Purpose

Questions to Ask Your Agents to Get Them Excited Again

About  Autonomy

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

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

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

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

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

About  Mastery

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

About Purpose

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

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

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

Teresa Amabile, Professor, Harvard University

What changes have you seen in what motivates people? The signs are all around you!

LM CoverOur 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. Click here for a complimentary consultation.

coaching hand upHave you made someone’s day today? Many times, we’re so caught up in our challenges and putting out fires we forget to give a little time to appreciating the positive actions others take. Yesterday, I got a very touching card in the mail from my friends at the Northwest Chapter of the National Speakers’ Association. I’ve been a member of National Speakers’ Association for over 2 decades, and have been very active in our chapter, although I’m not now. Even though I know only a few board members, they all took the time to write me a note for a challenge my family is experiencing. It not only made my day, it made me feel as though I had made a positive impression on their lives at some point!

So, if you want to lift yourself up, take the time to lift someone else up! It not only will make that person feel wonderful, it will make you feel wonderful.

Motivation and Appreciation

As managers and trainers, we know the need to motivate. Yet, most of us aren’t students of motivation. No need to memorize psychologists’ names or read thousands of pages on motivational theory. To motivate best, you just need to apply this key principle:

The best positive motivator is appreciation

What do you appreciate? I don’t mean necessarily trophies in front of thousands! (Some people hate that one!) I mean those little things. Why appreciate to motivate?

Behavior that’s rewarded is repeated.

How often do you appreciate? Much more than you think! (When is the last time you heard someone grumble because they were appreciated? Not!)

One minute action for the day: Make a list of the different ways you motivate by appreciating. Now, tally the number of times you have motivated someone using one of your appreciation motivators this week. How high can you go? The more you appreciate, the better behavior you get.

For a list of 25 ways to appreciate, plus basic principles of motivation, click here.

Upping your appreciation motivation gets you something we managers yearn for: Appreciation for our hard work…..

Let Me Help Motivate your Agents to Greatness!

logoManagers have huge responsibilities. I know–I did that job for almost 2 decades! Let me help you. Up and Running in Real Estate has lots of positive motivation and encouragement built right in. It also has a coaching component, to make it easy for you to track your agents’ progress. Take a look. I’ll help you guide your agents, train your agents, and motivate your agents.

man ponderingThis month, I’m focusing on helping you retain your new people.

Managers: What’s your retention rate for new agents under 6 months in the business? Do you know? Do you have a goal for it? Now, I don’t mean how many agents you hire who stay in the business no matter what they do! That’s not profitable to you! If you don’t know your retention rate now, figure it out. But, drop out those who are staying in your office without production–just because you don’t ask them to leave!

How Much Money Is Low Retention Costing You?

Do you know how much money it’s costing you if you have too low a rate? What rate do you think is reasonable to expect? In another blog, we’ll discuss the line items that you should use to figure your retention rates.

I’ll bet 90% of managers can’t answer all the questions above. Although no manager would ever tell me he/she hires just to see what sticks to the wall, in reality, that’s what much of the hiring still looks like today.

One View: Hiring Everyone Is Just OK

If you think that’s true, then, what’s it costing you in management and training time? Management and training turnover? It doesn’t take too many agent failures to make a manager give up. I know. I’ve coached many of them. Managers need to feel that the agents they hire are going to work, so that the manager’s time and expertise is respected and rewarded. Is your hiring expectation supporting your manager, or not?

What’s it costing you in your ability to recruit winners? Agents know the ‘aura’ and culture of an office. Don’t kid yourself. If you load your office with non-producers, you’ll get to be known, as an office was known when I started managing there–as the office that ‘you go to if you don’t want to work’. What are agents saying about your office? What do you want to do about it?

Three Things You Have to Have in Place to Get your Good Hires a Sale Fast

Obviously, you have to have a great screening/interview process. But, for now, I’m going to assume you have just that. So, here are the three things you have to have in place to get those agents a sale NOW:*

(My study, that I show in my ebook for would-be agents, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School, revealed that over half the new agents (under 3 months in the business), expected a sale in their first 30 (yes, 30!) days in the business!). So, your 3-step system has to have that as a goal. Why? Because your agents, whether you know it or not, are mentally out of the business in 3 months if they haven’t gotten a sale.

1. A thorough on-boarding system

Take a look at your first 3 weeks in the business for your new agent. What is that agent doing every day? Do you have checklists? Processes? Someone dedicated to coaching them through those first 3 weeks? In my next blog, I’m focus in on that on-boarding system you need. Studies show that ‘workers’ success and loyalty, plus their retention, is cemented–or not–in the first few weeks they’re in your office. Is your on-boarding system a ‘loyalty-glue’ maker?

2. Someone completely dedicated to guiding them through the onboarding and business-start up systems

Do you have a coach specifically dedicated to assuring your new agents get on track and stay on track? That coach may be you–but someone has to do it. You’d be amazed the number of times I hear newer agents tell me that there’s no one dedicated to coaching them to a start-up plan? Why? Isn’t each new agent hired worthy of that dedication? Or, if not, why were they hired? (remember that ‘throw them up against the wall’ approach?)

3. A specific, accountability-anchored business-start-up plan supported with training modules

Imagine your new agent sitting at her desk. How does she know what to do each day to get that sale quickly? Does she have a specific business start-up plan supported with training so she knows how to do the work? If not, she is just floundering, trying to pick up ideas from those agents who stay in the office–because they’re not working with clients! How would you rate your start-up plan?

How did you rate yourself on the 3 systems above? What do you want to work on first?

logoDon’t Reinvent the Wheel: The Start-up Plan, Training, Coaching, and Accountability is Here

It literally took me years to put together this unique online program, Up and Running in Real Estate. Why not let me take a huge burden off your shoulders and provide you 2 of the three things you need to jump-start your agents? Take a look at Up and Running in Real Estate and the companion Coaches’ Corner. You’ll reap many more rewards for a small investment, and find it easier to recruit winners.

time management guy with clockManagers: Are you systemized–or, is your office piles of papers–that you can’t find when you need them? Are your systems up to speed? On a scale of 1 to 10, ten being high, how would you rate your organization and your systems? Do you seem to be grabbing at papers right before your recruiting appointment? Do you find yourself sketching a training outline five minutes prior to the training start time? If so, you’ll want to take some time to “systematize” yourself. Why?

Save time

Get more done

Lower your stress levels

Enjoy your job more

(See the end of this blog for a link to systems you need in place).

Why do Managers Need Systems?

Good agents today have systems for each process they manage. For example, an agent has a listing process system, which includes the materials, packages, and checklists to manage the process. With those systems, agents can not only the manage the process, they can delegate the right activities to their assistants. (See my blog link at the end of this blog for systems agents need).

Managers Don’t Have Nearly the Systems Agents Have

Think about the systems, processes, and checklists you, as manager, recommend that your agent create to accomplish the critical tasks, or activities, in his business. Now, compare that with the tasks you, as manager, have to accomplish in your position as “people” manager. Work from the tasks to systems to manage these tasks. To prioritize the systems you want to develop, first:

1. List the tasks you do as manager. Now, list the parallel the tasks agents do.

An example: A critical task an agent does is to prospect. Good agents have systematized that process into a marketing plan, complete with specific tactics, dates, and budget. Managers must prospect, too. They prospect for agents.

Does your prospecting (recruiting) plan for agents resemble that of your best agent’s marketing plan? Is it as systematized? Does it have the materials, time frames, budgets, and delegations that good agents have in their plans?

2. Prioritize your tasks as they relate to accomplishing your main objectives. What are the most important tasks you do as manager to assure your office makes a profit?

An example: If recruiting is very important to reaching your objective, how complete is your recruiting system? How organized is it? Who is involved with you in your recruiting plan? How well are you delegating the systems?

Your Job Description Comes First

Developing systems first requires that you’ve prioritized your job description. (Wait: Do you have a job description?) Then, you must either create or purchase systems to manage these processes. One reason managers haven’t systematized their work is that managers have few resources for systems organization. To actually systematize their work, they must create these systems from scratch. Given the myriad of activities managers must accomplish, that’s a daunting assignment. Instead, many managers stay in “crisis” management, which admittedly takes up a lot of the day, but doesn’t allow the manager to move ahead as a leader.

In contrast, agents have many resources for systems organization, both purchased and exchanged with other agents. First, there are many more agents than managers, and agents coming into the business each day. So, there is a larger market, and need, for agents’ systems. In addition, agents have led the way in organizing their businesses to delegate to assistants. It’s become ‘the thing’ to do.

Resource List of Needed Systems

Click on Managers Package and Systematize for a list of systems and process you need to manage your business with grace and lower your stress level.

Want to know what systems your agents need? Read my blog on systems for agents.

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Let Me Help you Get your Systems in Place–and How to Use Them

It would take you years to create the systems I’ve already created–and are available in my one-on-one leadership coaching program, Leadership Mastery Coaching. If you’re tired of working too hard for too little pay-off, why not do a complimentary consultation and see how Leadership Mastery can benefit you? Click here to schedule your 1/2 hour appointment.

hands of keysWhat does my piano teacher have to do with real estate coaching–or training? Everything. Here’s what I learned about coaching great performance–not from a business coach, but from my great piano teacher (in fact, I’ve had many of them.)

As you know, some pianists become great, while most others just become good enough to play the notes. It’s the same with trainers’ outcomes. Last week, one of my coaching clients (an owner of a real estate company) asked me, “Why do some trainers and coaches get great results and others don’t–but seem to be working as hard?”

Great question, huh? In fact, if we trainer/coach types knew that answer, we could build our systems so that we assured great performance! So, I went back to my ‘former life’–that as a musician and piano/flute teacher, and thought, “Why do some piano teachers create great performers–and others don’t?”

Why Use Piano Teachers as the Analogy….

I use the analogy of the piano teacher, because it’s easy to hear differences in sloppy and great performance. I’m sure you’ve heard 2 people play the same piece of music. One plays it accurately and one just kind of slops through it. Or, some piano teachers’ students drop out, unmotivated to practice, while others stay motivated, challenged, and achieve high performance–even if they don’t seem to have great talent.

Five Proven Components for Great Performance

From having taken piano lessons since age six, gaining a degree in piano performance, and having taught piano at the grade, high school, and college level, I’ve had an opportunity to see the great and the not-so-great–both teachers and performers. Here are the five components I’ve discovered make the biggest difference in great performance. As you read this, ask yourself, “How am I, as a trainer and/or coach, applying these principles?” “What outcomes am I getting?”

1. Great piano teachers screen in and screen out.

They don’t let just anybody take lessons from them. Trainers and coaches: What’s your ‘screen in’ process? Do you have one? Do you have a list of questions you ask? In our coaching company, we have a prescribed list of questions we ask potential clients (and we unfortunately have to turn down some). I even have a Coach ability Assessment I provide potential clients.

Click here to request your copy.

2. Great piano teachers set expected standards (minimums) during the screening process–not after the lessons start!

Those standards include: Amount of practice each day, recitals attended and played in, going to lessons, etc. What do you expect of your clients? Make a list of at least 5 standards now–and get the ‘mutual expectations’ agreement in writing prior to letting them into your program.

3. Great piano teachers figure out the ‘competency levels’ they want their students to attain–and when they expect them.

How good do you expect your students to get in that one-month training program you’ve been doing? Do you even measure skill levels? Which skill levels to you measure? How? Do you have your students practice their listing presentations until they reach the level of competency you believe the real client expects? What an eye-opener! Make a list now of 5 skills and the level of competency you want your students to attain in your training program. You’ll see your outcomes go way up just by doing this.

4. Great piano teachers get better performance because their excellent students motivate other good students to excellence.

Have you ever gotten yourself into the situation where you felt like you were way above the other people in your group? This isn’t an ego thing–it’s just a ‘I don’t belong here’ thing. Likes attract. Good performers motivate other good performers. Excellent performers stay. Are you creating a self-motivating group–or, are you creating a situation where your good performers will leave for a team that is ‘more like them’? This goes back to those ‘screen in’ and setting competency principles. I know we all feel challenged when people don’t appear motivated. Here’s one of the secrets to fire them up!

5. Great piano teachers provide lavish praise–when deserved.

Behavior that’s rewarded is repeated.

If you have competency levels, you have a way and a reason to praise. Your students/clients know when they have reached those levels–and can expect praise, too! In fact, strong students/clients will ask you for praise. Write down the 5-10 methods you use to appreciate and praise good performance. If you can’t get to 10, figure them out.

But, what about the method? The specific coaching, the training? Yes, the method is important, but the coaching/training techniques above are much more important. I’ve heard some great performers and some poor performers all playing the same kind of music from the same method. At the same time, great methods should have some ‘built-in’ features that assure the trainer/coach is achieving these 5 principles.

Principles, System, Coaching–Putting it All Together

From talking with prominent trainers, managers, and coaches, we’ve pinpointed a need for all those training and coaching today to get the coaching they need to turn out great performers.  In my online coaching program for new agents, logoUp and Running in Real Estate, I’ve put these components into the program as a integral way to assure great performance.

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