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 real estate assistants

Here’s how to avoid hiring the agent from hell!

Let’s be honest. Have you ever hired someone and found out it was the ‘hire from hell’? If you haven’t, you just haven’t hired enough agents or staff! Many managers tell me that the hardest thing they have to do is to hire staff. I think that’s because most of us never had any training in how to hire staff (or hire agents, for that matter).

After a 3-day management symposium I taught in South Carolina, one of the attendees emailed me: “Can you give me some tips to assure I don’t make a hiring mistake with staff? If any of us hasn’t made mistakes hiring staff, please comment! I know I’ve made many–and that’s why I’ve developed the tips here. This tips work for hiring agents or staff.

And, these tips work for agents hiring team members. (Managers: forward this to your agents who want or have teams).

So, here are four surefire tips for you.
1. Create the right kind of questions from your job description
Using that job description you created (you did create one, didn’t you?) for your agent or staff position, create past-based questions that tell you if the candidate has the skills and qualities you need. For example. You’re looking for someone who cares about the company. Here’s the question: “In your past jobs, give me 3 examples of how you watched out for the company’s best interests.” Listen and probe. Here’s an example for hiring agents. Let’s say you want an agent who is a ‘self-starter. The question: “Was there a time in your past when you wanted something badly, and you went out and got some kind of job to earn it?” Listen and probe.
For more information on behavioral predictors, see The Complete Recruiter and my eBook on interviewing, Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners.
2. Follow a planned, proven interview process to assure you get all the information you need
Most of us don’t interview; we, just sell. We don’t find out the ‘secrets’ about the candidate, but, the candidate sure finds out about us! If you need a proven process, see Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners. I created 8 steps to use each time for a smooth, professional interview.
3. Use a Behavioral Profile
I’d also suggest you use a behavioral profile, for those who pass your first interview. Use it to gather information prior to your second interview. In our coaching company, we use Michael Abelson’s: www.abelson.net. It’s well worth it because you find out things that are very hard to discover in the ‘live’ interview. Then, you go back and ask more past-based questions about those areas. That’s called ‘validating’.
P. S.
4. Check references “3 deep”
Be sure to check references–not just the ones the candidate gives you, but go ‘3 deep’. That means to ask the people the candidate gives you, ‘Who else could I contact about this candidate’? Go 2 people deep from each of the names the candidate gives you. That way, you’re sure to get a better, less biased picture of the candidate. You’ll find you learn a lot from people who weren’t ‘direct references’!
Now, you have those four surefire tips to avoid staff hiring mistakes. Let me know how they work for you!

eBook Cover(2)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.

coaching for leadershipDo you have a coaching program? Are you sure? Coaching, mentoring, and peer coaching terms are used with wild abandon. So, are you offering coaching, mentoring, or peer coaching? What’s the difference? Should agents get a coach–or a mentor? Have you defined those terms? Are you clear with agents as to what they’re getting in each of these categories?A� Before you create a program, be sure you know what the program is and should do for that new or re-energizing agent.

Should I get a coach or mentor? Those are questions new agents (and seasoned agents) ask themselves over and over. This blog is excerpted from my eBook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

This advice is given to the agent entering the business, but, as a manager, read it as though you are also defining your services.

What Do Those Coaching Choices Mean to the New Agent?

Agents: As youa��re interviewing, you may be offered these things:

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

In this blog, we’ll tackle the pros and cons of getting a coach. In a later blog, we’ll look at mentoring.

What about Getting a Coach?

I hope your manager will become your accountability coach. In fact, a recent survey by Inman Select found that one of the biggest pieces of advice for new agents’ success was to get a coach. But, many managers promise to a�?coach youa��. However, that quickly becomes a a�?got a minutea�� answer man function instead of a focused, linear, goal-oriented action coaching. You dona��t need a coach just for answers. You need a coach to hold you accountable to your goals and action plan.

Choosing a Coach

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

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

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

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

Managers/coaches: How would you answer the questions above? Do you provide evidence? How competitive are you with your defined programs?

Treat getting a coach or a mentor as an employment issue. Create good questions and interview. Armed with the advice above, you’ll make the right decision for you.

what-they-dont-3d_cover

Save Time Interviewing. Help Sort the Serious from the Semi-Pros!

Are you spending hours educating would-be agents on the business? If so, you need this eBook! In 282 pages, Carla Cross provides answers to hundreds of questions agents have. Help your interviewees get the advice they need, find dozens of questions to ask, and use checklists to hit the ground running before they are licensed! Check out What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

Managers: Use the checklist on what to do in pre-license school to hit the ground running to ‘test’ your best interviewees and get them prepared to sell real estate FAST when they are licensed.

<p><a href=”http://getarealestatecoach.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/leadership-elements-qualities-25801327.jpg”><img class=”alignleft size-medium wp-image-3525″ src=”http://getarealestatecoach.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/leadership-elements-qualities-25801327-300×246.jpg” alt=”http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-leadership-elements-qualities-image25801327″ width=”300″ height=”246″ /></a>This month, I’m featuring the topic ‘leadership’. Why? Because it’s one of the biggest real estate industry trends (and probably world trends) of today and beyond. Look for leadership strategies and trends (not just in the real estate industry), plus ready-to-use documents to go from ‘maintenance management’ to leadership.</p>
<p><strong>Is your leadership style ‘tell them what to do and expect them to do it’? </strong>It seems so easy. Youa��re the chairperson or manager. Just take charge, tell people what to do, and theya��ll do it. NOT. Ita��s just not that simple. At least, ita��s not that simple unless systems are already in place and peopleA� know what their tasks are.</p>
<p><strong>Seven Truisms about Effective Participative LeadershipA�</strong></p>
<p>It’s not enough today to be good at a traditional leadership style. In fact, you have to really ‘turn your leadership style’ upside down to become effective. You must become a ‘participative’ leader. What is a ‘participative’ leader? One who coordinates, facilitates, and encourages input and collaboration.</p>
<p>Here are seven truisms to help you flex your natural style toward more participation from your team members.</p>
<p><em>Truism #1: New chair people don’t know what’s expected of them</em></p>
<p>Just because people accept the title it doesn’t mean they know how to proceed with the job. Most people have never chaired a committee, so they don’t have the skills. It’s especially challenging when it’s a new task. They need to have clear direction, a job description, job responsibilities, and exactly who to go to when the job doesn’t get done.</p>
<p><em>Truism #2: People don’t know HOW to get it doneA�</em></p>
<p>Even when people know what to do, they don’t usually have checklists, systems, deadlines, and assignments to get it done; it doesn’t work to leave it to a person (95% of the time, the other 5% will figure it out on their own) to decide how to get the job done.</p>
<p><em>Truism #3: Myth: “Leaders are theA� “idea people” and arena��t supposed to get into implementation (someone else will figure out how to get the work done)</em></p>
<p>When leaders say that, they immediately put others into the a�?secretarya�? mode. Their mentality is, someone else beneath them should be able to figure out how to get that done. Thata��s a secretarial or assistanta��s job, isna��t it? But, your committee members dona��t work for you. They work with you. You cana��t expect someone to raise his hand and offer to be your assistant because you came up with the idea.</p>
<p><em>Truism #4: Verbal-type people resist processes and systems</em></p>
<p>There is a natural resistance in us (maybe especially in we verbal-type people) to organizing processes and systems. We love to talk about the idea. We don’t like to clarify exactly how that idea gets into process.</p>
<p><em>Truism #5: We ‘big idea’ people think we can delegate systems design to an assistantA�A� </em></p>
<p>Having worked with assistants for over 15 years, I have found that not true. Assistants need help in systematizing any process that YOU want done. They are good at systematizing their own processes–but not good at all at systematizing ours!</p>
<p><em>Truism #6: Leaders know committees take most of their time REPORTING to the larger group, not deciding on issues or processes</em></p>
<p>A mistake that committees make is to try to design processes within the large committee meeting. Instead, create task forces to report back quickly to you.</p>
<p><em>Truism #7: When accountability factors aren’t built in, things don’t get done.</em></p>
<p>This is a dicey issue, because you’re working with volunteers. Or, in the case of a real estate company, with independent contractors. At the same time, your association or business also expects the services and programs you promised. There’s a great difference between “do it the way you want” and expecting results and “do it the way you want” and let’s check how it’s going regularly.</p>
<p><strong>Sharpening Your Participative Leadership Skills</strong></p>
<p>What truisms do you want to add from your experiences in leadership? What do you see of yourself in these truisms? How can these help you lead? What needs to be done inA� your leadership position to gain greater skills? These skills are learned over time, and the pay-off is an association or business that is a�?owneda�� by all those involved, with empowerment assured.</p>
<h2><a href=”http://getarealestatecoach.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/LM-Cover.jpg”><img class=”alignleft size-medium wp-image-3455″ src=”http://getarealestatecoach.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/LM-Cover-286×300.jpg” alt=”LM Cover” width=”286″ height=”300″ /></a>Support for New Leadership Strategies</h2>
<p>We hear so many great ideas–but, when it comes to implementing them, they seem difficult or distant. And, it’s hard for us to have confidence in our ability to implement. Why not get the support you need to step ahead and lead your office or company to greatness? Your first step is simple, free, and will be informative. Request a ‘complimentary consultation’ to see how Carla’s unique one-on-one coaching program works, and how it may be able to help you get ahead faster and with more confidence. <a href=”http://carla-cross.com/coaching/complimentary-consultation/” target=”_blank”><strong>Click here</strong> </a>for more information and request. Read more about Leadership Mastery Coaching <a href=”http://carla-cross.com/coaching/leadership-mastery-coaching/” target=”_blank”><strong>here.</strong></a></p>