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 Profitability

Are you talking too much in the interview?

A lot of recruiters/interviewers think that, if they’re great talkers, they’re great recruiters (same as agents think talking equals selling…..)

You’re a manager who recruits. You want to get winners in that recruiting seat. You pride yourself on being a great talker. (A manager once told me he just talks them to death–until they say they’ll join the company–what a great screening method-not!) But, too much talking is just old-style hard ‘selling’–and that’s certainly not the bulk of an effective selection process.

Ask, Don’t Tell

Probe to find out more. Keep finding out more until you’re really sure you know what they mean. Let me give you an example:

The recruit says, “I want a deal.”

Do you jump to a conclusion because you know what a deal means? Don’t. You may be surprised. Instead, ask questions at what does a deal mean to that recruit? When you know exactly what the recruit means, you can proceed to find what he really wants–instead of what someone else told him he should ask for!

A Pre-Screening Process for New Agent Candidates to Save you Time

Ask these questions before you spend time and money chasing candidates who don’t meet your standards. Click here to get my knockout factors on the phone.

Use In-Depth Questionnaires to Discover Real Needs

Besides using these preliminary questions, always use written in-depth questionnaires so you’ll know

  • The benefits to the features/needs stated
  • Hidden objections you may not discover until too late
  • Motivations to buy that not even the buyers realize they have

Ever heard the term “buyers are liars”? I think that’s not really the case. I think that we don’t ask the right questions to help buyers (our recruits) clarify what they really want. Most ?buyers of services don’t know what they really want. They think they want a better commission split. But, what they’re really looking for is the motivation provided by secrity. That means different things to different people. Find out what’s really motivating your candidate, not just what he says to your basic questions.

Ask the Right Questions in the Right Order and You Won’t Have to Close

Finding the motivators of your buyers (recruit/candidate) is key to helping them make the right buying decisions for themselves. All you have to do to close is to remind them that this product fulfills their needs. And, how do you get there? By creating and using the right questions in the right order.

Don’t forget to grab your pre-screening process–knockout factors to ask on the phone: click here.

Want to streamline your selection process and recruit more winners? Check out Your Blueprint to Selecting Winners. It’s completely digital, so you get all the information right now. Includes an 11-step proven process to interview successfully. Do you have a process or do you just ‘wing it’?

 

This month, I’m focusing on recruiting and selecting.

Isn’tt it amazing the number of things a new manager is supposed to be able to do from day one, even though he or she isn’t trained to do those tasks? Take recruiting, for example. As As a new manager, I was expected to lead generate, get appointments, ask great questions, and select agents who would be successful. But, did I have the skills to perform those tasks with competence? You can bet not!

Even though I was a top-producing agent, I didn’tt take the time to think through, and didn’t know how to, apply the sales skills I had used to attain high sales volume to the recruiting tasks at hand. So, I, like thousands of other new managers, just did it allby ear! Along the way, I had some wins and lots of losses. Through my observations of myself and others, Ia’ve created a list of ten top mistakes, so that you can avoid the pitfalls I and others without training have fallen into.

In this blog, we’ll look at the first five. Also, I’ll add some advice I learned from all those mistakes!

1. Charge ahead to hire

It should occur to us that we need to sit in a quiet place and think about the kind of people we want to hire before we dive in. But, we are so thrilled that someone is in front of us that it doesn’t occur to us that they bring with them their values and ethics. So, if we haven’t thought out our values, our beliefs, and our perspectives first, we run the risk of hiring people who will then dictate what the company values become. Before you start interviewing, decide what you will and what you won’t stand for. Write out your values and your beliefs. Then, when you interview, check to be sure that agent carries those same values and beliefs into your office. Someone’s got to be the leader, and it better be you!

2. Recruiting to old-style management strategies

I know, I know. Just go make those calls and you will get some recruits. Yes, that’s true. But, wouldn’t it be better if you built a company that stood apart from the others because of its attractors? The greatest attractors today to a company are twofold:

Values: Does the company have values and beliefs that the agent can live by and agree with?

Focused on success of its agents: Does the company focus its energy on the success of the agents or on itself/

If you are still trying to recruit to an old-style dictatorship, or, if you’ve given up leadership. Find out what participative management is all about. Find out how to build a team. Figure out how to help each agent reach his/her goals. Now, you’re on the right track. Re-tool your business structure so you’re attractive to the entrepreneur of today and tomorrow.

3. Trying to recruit on the company features

“Our company is the largest around.” Well, guess what? If you’re a branch manager, and all your branch managers say the same thing, you’re not going to differentiate yourself that way! You must make yourself a magnet. What about your background provides a benefit to a new agent? To an experienced agent? For example, I was a musical performer and teacher. That taught me performance skills, and how to teach others performance skills. You can see the benefits to agents. I’m able to help an agent reach his goals through greater skills.

4. Not differentiating the feature from all the other companies that have the same thing

“We have a great training program.” So says every company out there. What’s so great about your program? You’d better be able to tell ’em and show ’em. For example: “Our training program has a 90% rate in our agents making a sale in the first thirty days they’re with us.” No one else in the area has success figures like that. Here’s the brochure about our program. It spells out the comprehensive five-step program for new agents. Do you want a program that assures you make money fast?

5. Trying to attract agents through price wars

We in the real estate industry just love to hire agents through the bidding wars. We either provide a lower desk fee, better commission splits, or more trinkets and trash. Guess what? That’s the chicken’s way out. In reality, price is never the best recruiter. But, if you don’t have a great company organization, if you don’t help agents meet their goals, you’re going to have to compete on price. It’s all you’ve got. Now, work hard to provide real value. After all, consumers pay 10% more for products and services they believe are of quality.

Recommendation: Read Drive–The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us, by Daniel Pink. The motivators have changed, but no one has told real estate professionals!

So far, what have I left out?

Get The Insights You Need to Hire with Confidence

You work so hard to gain those interviews. But, do you have planned interview process that assures you pick winners? (And assures the candidates are impressed with you….) Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners, with new information about what desired agents of today are looking for, is a guide to create your unique attractors, how to put together a powerful presentation, and a completely new video showing exactly how to craft the best ‘crystal ball’ type of questions. Learn more here.

Here’s what to do if you’re interviewing and the candidate says, “I hate the word ‘salesperson’.”

Ever been interviewing and, you think, Darn, this is going really well. The person looks good, smells good, and talks good. The person is likable. The person eagerly answers your questions. Then, somehow, you bring up the word ‘salesperson’. (In fact, throw that into your interviewing repertoire: “What does the word ‘salesperson’ mean to you?” And be ready for the responses below).

After you ask that question, all that positive energy that had been in the interview comes to a screeching halt, because the person says,

I don’t want to be called a ‘salesperson’.

You’re thinking, Woooooh up there. I thought I was interviewing for a sales job. What’s going on here?

What Do They Want to Be?

I just wrote a blog for for a large blogpost in which I chastised real estate agents for the ‘shortcut’ mentality of trying to use technology so they didn’t have to talk to the people. (Yes, it’s true. They think that’s smart. Just read their comments back to me.) At least two things became apparent from the very strong comments:


2. Some agents think technology will take away the need for agents to form relationships (These are the licensees who love houses. They just hate people).

So, When you hear the comment ‘I don’t want to be called a ‘salesperson’, consider:

1. That person will be resistant to any kind of sales training (which means they won’t be willing to ask insightful questions to determine buyer/seller qualifications–and so they won’t be willing to close)
2. That person will want a different ‘label’ on the business card. Something like ‘consultant’ or ‘educator’.
3. That person will feel most comfortable being as far away from potential prospects as possible!
4. That person doesn’t want to sell; that person wants to be the happy recipient of someone else’s work to get the ‘lead’
5. That person won’t work to create trust and long-term relationships, because they don’t think that’s the point

What This Means to You

You already know 90% of what I’m going to tell you here. The bottom line is that this person doesn’t respect the art, science, and skill of becoming a competent salesperson. They’re not going to your sales training. They’re going to discount any help you try to give them on communication skills development. They going to think that mastering the knowledge and technology of real estate will make them successful. They’re going to wait until you give them leads, and then they are going to discount these leads because they aren’t “good enough”.

Should You HIre This Person?

I know. You hired one person once who had the traits mentioned above and they were successful selling real estate. Okay. But, are you going to base your interviewing decisions on Las Vegas odds? Better not. Probe more to find out what that person thinks ‘salesperson’ means. Find out their prior sales training. Delve deeply into this question and their answers, so you’ll hire those who love sales.

Get The Insights You Need to Hire with Confidence

You work so hard to gain those interviews. But, do you have planned interview process that assures you pick winners? (And assures the candidates are impressed with you….) Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners, with new information about what desired agents of today are looking for, is a guide to create your unique attractors, how to put together a powerful presentation, and a completely new video showing exactly how to craft the best ‘crystal ball’ type of questions. Learn more here.

In the last blog, I named 3 things that bad hiring costs you.

There are some of those line items that are hard to quantify–but are very real. If you’ve ever hired an agent who lied to you or others, or undermined you, or talked behind your back in the kichen–you know there are very real costs to your culture.

Another real but hard to quanitify cost: Have you ever had good agents leave because they weren’t challenged? Because they felt you were hiring poor agents, and dragging down everyone’s production? If that only cost you one productive agent, it’s a lot!

What are your numbers? What does it cost you for an agent who failed? Have you ever figured it out? Let me know. As a CRB (Certified Real Estate Broker) instructor, I would ask managers this question. Generally, they figured the cost of a bad hire was $10,000-$30,000. What’s yours?

eBook Cover(2)
Grab Your Selection Blueprint and Gain a System

Are you wasting time interviewing those who fail? Do you want to have a systematic method of selection (just as you tell your agents to use with sellers and buyers!).  Or, do you need some guidance to figure out those you don’t want? Get Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners and make better hiring decisions.

Ready to use and immediately downloadable!

Here’s why just hiring more may not be best for you. This month, I’m focusing on hiring–and termination. Why? Because they are the most important activities you can do. And, they determine the profitability and culture of your company.

Do you know how much poor hiring practices cost you? Most brokers don’t realize they are doing irreparable damage to their companies by hiring those who aren’t going to go right to work and keeping those who won’t work. Here are the 3 biggest consequences to poor selection I see.

1. Stops you from hiring great producers.

Likes attract. How can brokers hope to hire that great producer when they have more than 10% of their office as non-producers? I can see it now. Sure, I’ll come to your office. I’m a top producer, and I just love to be dragged down by those non-producers. It will be my pleasure to waste my time with them. Not.

2. Kills your recruiting message.

Do you have a training program? Do you use it to recruit? Here’s the real message: We have a training program. All our new agents go through it. We don’t get any results from the program, so it really doesn’t work. But, join us. You can’t possibly show how successful your training program makes your agents because your training program can’t possibly get results from poor people in and no actions and accountability required.

3. De-motivates your agents to provide referrals to you.

Why would one of your good agents possibly refer someone to you when your good agent doesn’t see those you hired starting right out and making money fast?

As the Market Shifts: It Won’t Cover Up an Inadequate Selection Process

In a fast market, accidental sales buoy up poor agents and make them look as though they were actually selling enough real estate to be a median agent. When the market shifts, so do the agents ‘ mirage of decent production. With that shifted market, brokers need to hire with purpose (using a stringent, professional interview process). Then, they need to put agents right to work with a proven start-up plan.

Please Tell Me What You Think

What do you think a non-productive agent costs the company? In my next blog, I’ll give you some line items that will probably double what you think a bad hire costs. Let’s see what you think first. Poor hiring practices really, really hurts brokers, both financially and emotionally.

Are Your Agents Still Selling with These Two Ineffective Strategies? Do you need to put new strategies in your training and coaching?

Florida Realtor just interviewed me for an article on the sales strategies that agents are still using–but that don’t work. I thought that was such a great topic that I want to share them with you here. So, these blogs will each explore 2 habits. This is great for agents  and managers to think about, because these habits and strategies can wreck your results!

My first two strategies were no database or contact management and using a ‘love ’em and leave ’em mentality. The next two ‘no-no’s were not customizing your presentations–or just ‘going verbal’, and not qualifying your leads.

The last two are:

  1. Thinking ‘training’ is just for ‘newbies’
  2. Little or no proactive lead generation

Who’s Training For?

Often, when I ask an agent about training, they said “I’ve gone through the company new agent training program. I’ve been trained.” Sure. That’s like saying, I took one piano lesson so now I can play a Beethoven sonata. Not quite…..Or, almost as bad: As agents become more ‘seasoned’, they get new technical information, but don’t take classes in presenting, sales techniques, or management. In other words, they’re not growing as professionals.

Managers: What training do you offer your agents to keep them growing after your new agent training? What training do you offer the seasoned agent to ‘push them back’ to growth and excitement?

Little or No Proactive Lead Generation

No, I don’t mean ‘sit and wait’ for a lead–like from floor time, or leads from your manager, or relo leads–or those lead generation  companies.Ii mean ‘you go out and get the lead’. That’s your insurance plan, and it will protect you when times get tougher (and they will).

Managers: Do you help your agents build in a lead generation plan into their business plans? Do you help them be accountable to the plan? To measure the plan?

What are your ‘old strategies’ that you see agents doing that they need to dr

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Managers: Do you help your agents build in a lead generation plan into their business plans? Do you help them be accountable to the plan? To measure the plan?

What are your ‘old strategies’ that you see agents doing that they need to drop now?

Why not assure more of your new agents are successful fast?

This month is ‘training’ month. So, I’m writing blogs to help you train your agents to more production. In this blog, we’ll focus on your would-be agents–you know, the ones you’re interviewing right now.

Why Not Put Them to Work While They’re in Pre-License School?

Why aren’t your agents getting prepared to sell real estate while they are in pre-license school? 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.

What The RE Schools Say about Preparing Agents to Sell Real Estate

Dearborn Real Estate Publishing has published my books for a long time. They work with real estate schools, and publish many books to help pre-license students pass the licensing tests. They just started doing a survey with real estate schools. The 2018-19 survey just came out.

You know that from hiring these people! In fact, I think we managers and new agents would say that pre-license courses do little to prepare people to sell real estate. And, in truth, that’s not the job the Departments of Licensing expect them to do.

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? 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 new 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

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 launching a pilot program to train would-be agents in the basics and get them ready to sell real estate. I’ll be telling you more about it soon. Wouldn’t it be great if you could hire someone you were 90% sure would be successful selling real estate–and was prepared to work to do so?

Save Time! Give Those Interviewees the ‘Scoop’ Here

Would-be agents have a million questions (!) and can take many hours of your time. Instead of answering over and over, give them this eBook and you’ll be able to get to an in-depth interview faster–and discover the talented ones, too! Check out What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School, now in its 2nd edition. Save time and hire great ones!

head in the sand a salespersonDropping 1979 practices: Get into today’s and tomorrow’s real estate world!

This blog series is taken from an article I just wrote on the history and future for real estate. But, it’s not just a look from afar. It’s an actual history of how we agents operated and how companies encouraged how we practiced real estate. But, as real estate has changed, have agents (and companies) changed their approach to real estate sales? Here’s the second blog entry.

Get to Know and Stay In Contact with Former Clients?A� Why?

As you can see from my descriptions so far of how real estate was practiced when I started in the 70’s , the emphasis was not on client satisfaction. A�No one taught us to interview buyers prior to hauling them around to see homes (yes, we called it a�?haulsa��) or form relationships with them! No one trained us to interview sellers for needs before we a�?solda�� the seller on our services (and we basically sold company features and benefits, not what an individual agent would do for the client). No one taught us that it was important or that we were to keep clients over time. In fact, it seemed to be a a�?nexta�� business (find a new buyer or seller). The company took the responsibility to keep track of the clients.(And, of course, the companya��s attitude was that they a�?owneda�� the client).

Time warp check: Do you know agents who still dona��t start client relationships with and in-depth interview process, so the client needs are discovered and met?A�

Because the company was spending money on advertising, the agents assumed clients would remember the agent and perhaps come back of their own accord.

Problem: The clients remembered the company but didna��t remember the agent! Agents seemed interchangeable (and you know theya��re not!).

Time warp check: Do you know agents who still dona��t keep in close contact with their best source of businessa��those they just a�?solda��?

Dependent on the Company for Successa��or our Own Efforts?

Stephen Covey, in his wonderful book, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, relates three phases of a persona��s growth: Dependent, Independent, and Interdependent. As kids, wea��re certainly reliant on our parents for everythinga��wea��re dependent. Then, as teen-agers, we get to drive, and, voilaa��.we become (or like to think we become) independent (and we think we know it all). Finally, as we mature, we find that going it alone is tougher than teaming with othersa��that we actually dona��t know everythinga��and that othersa�� support, love, and consideration are supremely important to human beings. The same can be said of the evolution of companiesa��and, in fact, real estate companies.

The Dependent Company was Dominant

Above, Ia��ve described my early experience in a company as a�?dependenta��. We relied on the company to create the brand, create the business, schedule our time, take care of the business side of things, and even track and re-communicate with the client.

Time warp check: Do you know agents that still operate without a business plan or a budget, relying on the company plan to suffice?

In the next blog, I’ll discuss the continuing evolution of real estate. And, I’ll relate to how many agents are still practicing–not stepping up their business to compete now. And, unwittingly, companies are encouraging these old practices through their branding and practices.

Plan_Act_CelebrateOne More Opportunity to Get My Business Planning Resources at Deep Discounts

Thought you’d get it done but it’s still on your ‘to do’ list? I want to help! So, I’ve extended my discounts on my online business planning resources through Jan. 31.

Managers: Frustrated because you can’t get your agents to plan? Problems solved! I’ve put my exclusive planning pages online–plus webinars to help you get through that plan fast. Don’t wait another year for business success. See moreA�here.

Special discounts through Jan. 31: Purchase the agent’s planning resource,A�Beyond the Basics of Business PlanningA�for agents, A�and save $20 (regularly $99). Use coupon codeA�agent bus plan.

Managers: I’ll teach your agents how to plan, too! Included in your Manager’s Package!

Purchase the manager’s planning resource,A�Beyond the Basics of Business Planning for Managers, A�with all office/company planning documents and save $50. Use coupon codeA�manager bus plan.

Offer ends Jan. 31: Big discounts on these programs–use the coupon codes below to order.

Ready to order? Click below:

Beyond the Basics of Business planning for ManagersA�– regularly $249, now $199 with coupon code managerA�bus planA�

Beyond the Basics of Business Planning for AgentsA�A�–regularly $99, now $79 with coupon codeA�agent bus plan

Remember, this special offer expires Jan. 31, so, order now and get your business plan ready for 2018.

PS: I’ve got dozens of ideas on how you can refine your systems for tomorrow’s real estate practices–not yesterday’s….

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 3

Note: Through November and December, I’m going to help you and your agents with your 2018 business plans. You’ll find free documents from my online business planning system for agents and ownersA�and an invitation to a complimentary webinar. Why not subscribe to my blogs and be sure not to miss a thing?

Yes, I know. Wea��re supposed to have our business plans all done and ready to goA�priorA�to the New Year. But, in addition, how do we make them realistic? How do we make them action road maps?

Note: Check out my free business planning webinar (see below) AND grab the free handout–my flowchart of the owner/manager planning process.

Four Steps to Integrate Your Plan with your Agents’ Plans

Have you thought about how your agent plans impact your office plan? Unfortunately, most planning systems treat these plans as separate. Actually, they need to be integrated. Why? Because the total of the agents’ plans goals are YOUR goals too!

Take these four steps to get that business plan finished and implemented with real action steps byA�January first.

  1. Meet with each of your agents and assure each has a plan.
  2. Capture the goals of each of your agents: listings, listings sold, and sales. Now, add a dash of realism. Ask yourself, a�?Based on what the agent accomplished last year, are his/her goals realistic for this year?a�? Then, make any adjustments you think need to be made.
  3. Add your agentsa�� adjusted goals in each of the three areas. Those sums are your office business plan objectives. Why? Because your agents are the ones who actually create the listings, listings sold, and sales.
  4. Decide, in each of the action areas below, the actions you will take to assure you reach the office goals, which are a summary of your agentsa�� goals.

The Six Action AreasBusiness Planning for the Owner overview

Create action plans in these six areas. Using these divisions, youa��ll assure that you cover all the bases.

  1. Recruiting and selection
  2. New agent productivity through training and coaching
  3. Higher production/retention for your experienced agents
  4. Marketing: Internal/external
  5. Personal/professional development
  6. Operations: financial planning/staff

For a flow chart of the leadership business plan in this blog, including these six action areas, excerpted fromA�Beyond the Basics of Business Planning,A�click here.

Plan_Act_CelebrateMore from Carla Cross on Business Planninga��free Webinar

Listen/look at the free webinarA�I’m doing Nov. 29 or Dec. 6 (you pick the best date for you and invite all your agents!). Click here for more information and registration.