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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 real estate interview

head in the sand a salespersonHere’s why brokers who think failing agents costs them 0 are wrong. Yes, many brokers tell me that unproductive agents don’t cost them a thing.

But,  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—poor people in and no actions and accountability required.

3. De-motivates your agents to provide referrals to you.
Your outcomes and hiring practices speak more loudly than you could possible speak. 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?

If Your Market’s on Fire, You May be Kidding Yourself
In a fast market, ‘accidental sales’ buoy poor agents and make them look as though they were actually selling enough real estate to be a ‘median’ agent. But, be aware: When the market turns, so do the agents’ ‘mirage’ of decent production. So, it’s best to hire with purpose (using a stringent, professional interview process). Then,  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 You Hitting your Ceiling of Achievement?

You encourage your agents to get coaching. Or, perhaps you coach them. You know how important having someone ‘see you from the outside’ is. But, how about you? Are you going it alone? I know, from managing so many years, it’s a lot lonelier worldLM Cover than being an agent. Who do you bounce ideas off? Who do you trust as your mentor? Check out Leadership Mastery coaching today.

Sign up for a Complimentary Consultation to see if Leadership Mastery would benefit you. What do you have to lose?

Bonus for new coaching clients this month: $1000+ of Carla Cross’s recruiting, training, and coaching resources FREE ! Includes:

The Complete Recruiter, at $129.95 value–the strategies, planner, and dialogues you need to recruit winners

Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners, a complete interviewing guide, a $79.95 value–free.

Recruiting Objection Busters, scripts and dialogues to counter the toughest recruiting objections, a $40 value

Business Planning for the Owner, Manager, and Team Builder,a $100 value

Operations/Orientation Manuals and Checklists, a $30 value

Coaching Companions to coach new or experienced agents, a $200 value

Advantage 2.0 facilitator guide, a complete training program (a $500 value)

Click here to learn more about Leadership Mastery Coaching.

Click here to schedule a complimentary consultation to find out more about the program, ask questions, and see if it’s a ‘match’. After your consultation, you’ll receive a ‘thank you’ of a 2-pack management audio CD series.

Mar
01

Are You Gutless about Termination?

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man ponderingThis month, I’m featuring leadership. Part of leadership is to know who to hire–and when to fire. How to let someone go fairly–with grace–is a huge challenge for many managers. This challenge just came up again. I was just asked by an association of real estate companies to do a leadership webinar on standards. Before I do a ‘live’ presentation or a webinar for a particular group, I use my Pre-Conference Survey to find out exactly what their needs are.
(Note: If you do presentations for ‘outside groups’, consider making a pre-conference survey so you find out their exact needs, cultural specifics, and market differences. It makes a huge difference in your ability to deliver to their needs). This was the question that stood out most to me in the survey.

Question: How Do You Terminate Someone Fairly and Effectively?
Do you believe that the person who is failing knows he/she is failing? Of course they do. And, the longer they fail, the further down their self-esteem sinks, the further their confidence shrinks, and, finally,

the person simply quits working!

They still may be employed/contracted with you, but, they aren’t doing the things necessary to move their job forward. So, it’s not fair to simply let them continue failing. Nothing will change. You must step in.

The ‘One Last Chance’ Conversation and System
I’m a huge believer in game plans and systems for situations. That means you are fair with everyone. One of the reasons managers don’t want to fire is that they are afraid they will be unfair–or perceived as unfair. The way to take away those fears is to implement a system to give each person one last chance (this is after you have tried your normal coaching and training methods).

What’s in the One Last Chance’ Conversation
Here are the steps to terminate someone fairly and with grace.
1. Call the meeting. Do not engage in small talk. This is serious; it has no social aspect.
2. State that the person has not met your standards (minimum expectations). You DO have those in place, right?
3. Tell the person you will provide them one last chance.
4. Show them the performance system you will use (something like The On Track System to Success in 30 Days).
5. Get agreement that the person will use the system.

Make The Time Frame Short
I have been snookered by the best of them! I’ve learned to make the time frame no more than 30 days. You want that person to go right to work. You also must reserve the right to terminate at any time.

Good News: They Will Let Themselves Go 50% of the Time
You will find that many people are just waiting for you to provide that last chance, so they can face the fact they really don’t want to work. They will let themselves go.

When You Terminate
You have given them a fair chance. You have been straightforward. They have not gone to work. All you have to do in your termination conversation is to state just that. 95% of the time you will get no argument. In fact, they will thank you for being honest with them. Using these five pointers will allow you to let them go with grace, and relieve your mind that you are fair in your termination guidelines.

How do you terminate? Or, do you terminate or just let them fade into the sunset?

small LM CoverAre you Confident in your Leadership Skills?

We’re always urging agents to get a coach. But, what about you? Do you have a performance coach you trust? Just think what you could accomplish if you had the skills, technique, and confidence in what you thought was right–to manage effectively. Why not find out about Leadership Mastery Coaching? Just sign up for a complimentary consultation to match your needs to your coach, and find out if this unique performance-based program is for you. Click here to find out more.  (And–this month, sign up for Leadership Mastery Coaching and receive $1000 worth of resources–systems and training to run your business).

 

many peole standing recruitingThis month, I’m focusing on recruiting and selecting. And, I have some blazing ‘deals’ on my recruiting resources to help you get a great plan and implement it right away!

Isn’t 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 a new manager, I was expected to prospect, 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’t 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 ‘by ear’. Along the way, I had some ‘wins’ and lots of ‘losses’. Through my observations of myself and others, I’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:

a.  Does the company have values and beliefs that the agent can live by—and agree with?

b. Does the company focus its energy on the success of the agent—or on itself/

If you are still trying to recruit to an old-style dictatorship, or, if you’ve given up leadership—get a clue. 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. “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?

Blazing ‘Deal’ On My Complete Recruiting Systems this Month

How’s your recruiting strategy? Have a complete system? Here it is, half price– at $120 off this month. Purchase The Complete Recruiter AND get Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners–a unique step-by-step interview process–PLUS Recruiting Objection Busters–for $120 off (Regularly $250 now $129.95 ONLY this month). This is the cost of just The Complete Recruiter!

The Complete Recruiter provides you the scripts and dialogues you need, the recruiting planner you don’t have (!), and dozens of tips to recruit the winners you want. Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners gives you an 11-step interview process to assure you interview those you want–without unpleasant surprises.  Recruiting Objection Busters shows you scripts and dialogues to counter any recruiting objection with grace, logic, and attractiveness.

Click here for more information and to order.

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Blueprint_Ebook_Display

trainingreThis month, the focus is on training. Not just any training though–training that works to increase your agents’ production AND become a powerful magnet recruiting tool. In this blog, I’ll ask you some questions so you can see how your process with agents really works–or doesn’t work too well!

How do you know how well it’s working? One measure is your retention. What was your retention percentage last year? Is that good enough? How much money/time/effort are you wasting hiring people who don’t work? If they’re slipping through the cracks, you’ve got some work to do, and here’s what needs to be done.

What’s Your Plan with that Agent?

Recently, I was consulting with a real estate company on their post-recruitment programs. They had added an agent–a transfer from another branch office. It became apparent from this agent’s lack of training that she didn’t know how to do the basics. And, she didn’t go through a thorough intake procedure (including orientation, policies, etc.). Since no ‘in-take’ interview or procedure was in place, no one caught her deficiencies until she got into a commission problem and wanted to be bailed out by the broker!

Right now, write down what you do with a new agent as soon as that agent is hired. Do you have a comprehensive ‘development’ plan for that agent? Does it include

Orientation

Intake interview to discover the agent’s needs?

Stepwise process to train, coach, and evaluate the agent for that agent’s first six months in the business?

Who follows that agent’s development? Who assesses it at one month, two months, etc.?

What happens if that agent isn’t meeting office production standards? (You are measuring these, aren’t you?)

The Intake Interview with the ‘Seasoned’ Agent

We may think we’re hiring a seasoned agent if that agent has been in the business six+ months. However, don’t take for granted that agent knows the basics. You need an intake interview to determine needs. Here are some questions:

1. What training have you had? Please describe. (Did the agent actually do something during the training–like lead generation–or did the agent just listen to speakers?)

2. What’s your background prior to real estate? (What skills do they bring to real estate?)

3. How many transactions did you complete? What was the source of the leads?

4. Do you have a pre-listing/listing process and packages? (Please see these items.)

5. Do you have a pre-first visit/buyer process and packages? (Please see these items.)

6. Do you have a business plan? (Please see it).

Asking those questions will help you determine a career path with that agent.

You need to have the training/coaching/accountability in place to help that agent develop his business to the next level. How would you rate yourself on your intake system?

 small LM CoverAre You Organized Enough to Grow?

If you’re struggling trying to maintain a successful real estate sales career–while growing a real estate office–you need help! My Leadership Mastery Coaching takes advantage of my 3+ decades in ownership, general management, and management. My dozens of resources assure you don’t have to spend years ‘reinventing the wheel’! Why not find out if it’s time to get the help you need with this type of program? Sign up for a complimentary consultation today. Click here to learn more.

 

 

girl with mirrorRecruiters: What’s your ‘attractiveness’ quotient? Being ‘attractive’ to desires recruits is a powerful magnet effective recruiters develop. I don’t mean attractive in a physical sense (although you want to be clean, dress reasonably, and smell good…)  I mean the traits and skills you bring to the table that your desired recruits want.  What do I mean by ‘magnet’? Those attributes, qualities, talents, and skills, that agents are drawn to. The market’s hot, and good recruiters are getting appointments like mad. What makes one person be able to hire great agents with ease, while other recruiters find it difficult? Effective recruiters have, purposely, developed magnets. You can, too.

The Steps to Develop Powerful Magnets

1. Identify your strengths.

Look beyond the normal things managers talk about. I know you have some special talents and skills from ‘the rest of your life’. What are they? One of the best recruiters I know has figured out to get right to agents’ hearts—to find out their fears and their aspirations. Although this came naturally to her, she has also taken several coaching and self-actualization classes, and has worked hard to translate what she learned to her recruiting strategy.

2. Attach the benefits of those strengths to your recruit—keeping in mind the needs you are filling for that particular recruit.

By doing this process, you’ll have the information you need to design a full presentation that takes advantage of the trends, makes it easy for you to become a master presenter, helps you reveal and explain your magnets, and gets you the recruits you want.

Who determines what’s really “attractive?”

Agents. Managers are usually long-term real estate “pros”. They assume their company features are the best attractors to desired agents. Problem: These features are valued by managers, but they may not be equally as attractive to agents. Second problem: features are not benefits. As you are rattling off the features of the company, the candidate is sitting across from you, thinking, ‘What does that mean to me?’

Example: For years, a large company in the area told prospective agents they could make more money by affiliating with that company because, “We have meetings daily.” In reality, the meetings had become poorly attended, boring, and resented by the agents. The only “beneficiaries” were the managers, since they could more easily keep tabs on the agents if they required the agents’ bodies show up at the desk at 9 A.M. daily! As agents became more independent, and competition from other companies increased, the meetings, which 30 years ago had been team-builders, became outmoded. They actually were a deterrent to recruiting! If these managers had taken the agents’ perspective, they could have avoided using a worn-out, ineffective presentation.

Be sure the features you’re promoting are of value to agents–and that you attach a benefit! Wow–use sales skills……

Big idea: YOU—your talents, your skills, your personality—are the biggest magnets imaginable. Build them to exceptional strength!

Question that will determine how well you can recruit: Do you rely on company features to ‘sell’ the recruit? Or, are you digging deeper and attaching benefits to being with your office, your agents, and you?

Here’s Help in Developing those Magnets

small CompleteRecruiterMy Complete Recruiter takes you through the entire recruiting process, helping you organize your recruiting materials, develop effective scripts, and create great magnets and presentations. In addition, I even have a 5-step Recruiter Planner. (Do you have a recruiting plan? 95% of managers who want/need to recruit don’t have a plan……). This month, The Complete Recruiter is on sale for $59.95 (half price). Can you compete against those who have their recruiting act together? You will be able to, by putting these strategies to work right now! Find out more here.

graph going up sledgehammerThis month I’m spotlighting recruiting and selecting winners.

Selection. I think it’s a big problem today in the real estate industry. Do you? Why? Because we hire too many people who can’t or won’t sell real estate, and then hope they have a ‘happy accident.’ Let me know your feedback about the comments below.

A Whack on the Side of the Head

Before I start: Where does the ‘whack’ come from?  My dad used to say when my sister and I were behaving badly he thought we needed a ‘whack up the side of the head’. Don’t worry. He didn’t actually do it, but we did pay attention when he said it, because we knew it was time to stop, look, and listen—and change our behavior! It’s time, I think, for brokers to get that ‘whack up the side of the head’, too.

Selection ‘Whack’:  That ‘Give Everyone a Chance’ song is so played out.

It’s time for us brokers to get serious and re-vamp our selection process. Start thinking of your potential recruits as ‘candidates’. It helps us use a selection process to actually screen candidates, not just sell them on us. Other businesses have used stringent candidate screening processes for years. We are about the only industry left that doesn’t use a planned interview process. The ‘on fire’ market covered a multitude of sins. However, our less than skilled business practices don’t work for us when we need real workers and when our clients expect a high level of service.

Recommendations:

Get and use a planned interview process.

Spend at least ½ of the time you have with a candidate asking questions and listening.

Ask the right questions (questions about their pasts). Practice those questions and keep a list of them in front of you.

Use the hiring ratios great companies use: Hire only one out of five candidates at minimum and one out of ten to create a quality company. Do these ratios this frighten brokers? Sure. It means we must become skilled recruiters. Businesses hiring service people use hiring ratios of one to twenty.

Ask yourself: Would you hire a secretary with the interview-to-hire ratios you hire agents? Do your agents have as great an impact on the perception of your company from the public as do your staff?

What do you want to polish about your selection process this year to assure you’re choosing great people?

eBook Cover(2)Grab the Proven System to Select Winners

If you don’t have a proven selection process, you need the Blueprint! I’ve created dozens of tips on interviewing and selecting. In addition, I’m sharing my 8-step process to select a winner every time. Do you have a planned selection process that delivers every time? You will if you invest in this eBook! See it here.

many peole standing recruitingDo you know what your best recruiting sources are? Do you have a recruiting plan? Are those sources prioritized in your recruiting plan? Are you saying, as most managers say, ‘what recruiting plan?’ Can you list at least 10 sources? April is Recruiting Month for this blog, so, here’s a focus on where to find those great recruits.

To get my list of 10 best sources, see the end of this blog.

The Importance of Listing Several Sources

Most managers don’t have an ‘on purpose’ recruiting plan. Instead, they wait for people to come to them. This results in a ‘feast or famine’ result in recruiting. Not only that, but, if managers get desperate for bodies, they tend to hire just anyone (agents complain to me about this all the time….). Then, they blame their training or coaching programs for not making these non-workers go to work. (Sound familiar?). So, an on purpose prioritized source recruiting plan is paramount for success–and changes your recruiting results for the better.

List your sources of recruits here.

Now, prioritize them.

Why Prioritize Your Sources

You don’t have time to run around trying to recruit everybody. Instead, you’ll want to target your recruiting efforts based on your best sources. So, think about the best agents you have now. Where did they come from? How did you find them? From my experience, my best sources were my agents, who referred me to other great agents. Don’t expect all your agents to be good referrers. Some will do an abundant job for you; others never refer.

10 Sources is the Magic Number

Most managers work only 2-3 sources. Yet, they complain about the quality of their agents, and decry their lack of motivation and production. What’s the ‘cure’? Working 6-10 sources to assure you have plenty of candidates. That’s just like I teach in Up and Running in Real Estate to real estate agents. I show them the numbers and priorities of their lead generating sources, so they can manage their activity and result levels of their lead generation.

Question: If I were to want to purchase your real estate office, would you have a recruiting plan in place for me to implement?

Don’t forget: To get my list of 10 best sources, click here.

small CompleteRecruiterGet Your Recruiting Organized and Effective!

Check out this comprehensive recruiting resource. It even includes the template to make an effective recruiting plan. Can you afford NOT to recruit? Click here to find out more.

assignmentThis month is recruiting month on my blog.

What reasons have you run across, as a recruiter, that people give in telling you why they won’t move? I

n the previous blog, we explored the first three reasons agents stay–and how to move them. Here are the 6 reasons:

  1.      Starting over is time-consuming.
  2.          Re-branding can take away from your productivity.
  3.          They are ‘happy where they are’.
  4.          They aren’t convinced the grass is greener.
  5.          They are afraid of change.
  6.          They have gotten an offer from their present ownership to entice them to stay (better commission split, freebies, ownership, etc.)—they’re ‘bought back’.

Now, we’ll tackle the last 3. By the way, don’t forget to grab my transition plan below.

Which of these barriers have you experienced as a recruiter/interviewer?

How to Fire Up that Discontent

Before we go to reasons 4, 5, and 6, let’s discuss a little more about #3: I’m happy where I am.  Sure. They all (or most of them) say that. My question to you is,  Are you asking the right questions of the candidate? You should be asking questions to help that candidate reveal areas of discontent. For example: Has the candidate been in the business several years? Does he have some frustration in the direction the company is taking? If he has voiced concerns to you, keep asking probing questions about those concerns to raise his level of discontent. Don’t worry. You won’t create discontent where he has none! But, many times we just live with that discontent—just like I did with that bathroom–because we’ve too complacent to do something about it!  I want you to practice with someone to increase that pain. Don’t jump to the better picture with you or solve the problem until you’ve explored the depth and reasons for that pain.

One of the agents I recruited told me she was ‘happy where she was’, and proceeded to tell me all the things she wanted changed in the company—and was frustrated she couldn’t change them. After our conversation, I said, ‘You sure sound happy!’ She laughed, and then joined our company. Sometimes just acknowledging the discontent lets the candidate move off dead center.

  1. They Aren’t Convinced the Grass is Greener

Earlier, I said some reasons for staying are valid. I believe that the grass isn’t always greener. At least, not the kind of grass some managers fertilize! For instance, a better commission split rarely solves a production problem. But, agents try to solve it by going to an in-expensive desk fee company. Sure, less expenses are the easy way to think the problem is solved. But, the underlying cause of low production is still there. The greener grass is actually a manager with the systems to help that agent produce more successfully. Although the commission splits and fees must be competitive, they rarely resolve the real problem—discontent with the production level.

  1. They are Afraid of Change

Is there anyone who isn’t afraid of change? No matter what we say, we are where we are because we are more comfortable with that than the unknown. How can you help that candidate become acclimated to the ‘new’?

  • ·        Invite the candidate to your training sessions. 
  • ·        Offer to coach the agent.
  • ·        Invite the agent to social functions.
  • ·        Include the agent in your newsletters and social media.
  • ·        Show the agent around your office and introduce him/her to your associates.

In other words, start treating the agent like she’s with you—before she is.

  1. They are ‘bought back’.

What does this say to the agents in that office? “You’re much less valuable than the less than loyal person who is leaving us.” I don’t believe in buying back an agent. You ruin your teamwork and become less than a fair leader. Instead, of getting in a bidding war for the agent, simply recruit the other agents in that office who can’t be thrilled when they find out they are second-class citizens!

How do you handle these ‘status quo’ decisions? The more skilled you become at ‘disrupting’ the status quo, the more candidates you recruit.

Don’t forget to grab my transition plan. Click here.

Do You Have an Effective Recruiting Plan?

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Want recruiting strategies? Don’t have a recruiting plan? Get my comprehensive resource, The Complete Recruiter.  Click here to see it.

Do You Have a Selection System?

Blueprint_Ebook_DisplayOr, you can get them into your office, but you’re having trouble picking winners? Check out my dandy eBook, Your Blueprint to Selecting Winners.

man standing by measure standardsThis month, I’m focusing on recruiting and selecting. Why? Because it’s spring, and recruitment is in the air. Catch it!

Recruiting: 6 Reasons They Stay and How to Move Them–Do you know? If you’ve recruited, you’ve heard the common—and expected—objections to coming to your company. There are only about 5 or 6. But, what can you do to convince someone who is intent on staying where he/she is—to make the move?

In this first blog, we’ll explore the first 3 reasons.

Most Common Reasons Agents Stay Where they Are

When I knew I was going to write this blog, I asked my friends on Facebook and LinkedIn to share with me what they thought were the most common reasons agents don’t make the move. Here they are:

  1.                          Starting over is time-consuming.
  2.                          Re-branding can take away from your productivity.
  3.                          They are ‘happy where they are’.
  4.                          They aren’t convinced the grass is greener.
  5.                         They are afraid of change.
  6.                                           They have gotten an offer from their present ownership to entice them to stay (better commission split, freebies, ownership, etc.)—they’re ‘bought back’.

Some of these, I think, are valid, maybe for the wrong reasons. Let’s look at each of them, along with exploring why people make certain decisions, and how you can affect those decisions.

  1. Starting Over is Time-Consuming

Well, that’s true. It is. And, the longer we’ve been in a job, the more comfortable we are there. At face value, we can all agree with that. So, as a recruiter, what can you do to ease the burden of transition? You can create a transition plan that takes away the pain. Do you have a checklist, along with the personnel, to make that transition painless (or at least almost painless)? Show you are dedicated to managing the transition so the agent can be more productive. One of the things you’ll learn as you take them through the items on the transition plan is that most agents either have no database or a database they haven’t updated to years! So, you’ll want to assign an assistant to update or create the database. Your transition plan should include a pre-written email and hard copy message that is customized and sent by the assistant to a designated number of people in the agent’s database.

Managing the transition process really works. Armed with an assistant dedicated to implementing the transition plan, a top producing agent actually got more referrals and doubled his income the year he went from company A to company B. Why? Because the assistant ‘drove’ the contacts to the agent, increasing by far the ‘touches’ the agent had made to his valued past clients.

Click here to get my transition plan.

  1. Re-branding Can Take Away from your Productivity

This is similar to the first ‘stay where I am’ reason. But, it goes further. Put yourself in the agent’s shoes. How would you like to face ordering new business cards, changing your logo on all print/electronic materials, updating your website, your blog, your social media? Overwhelming. So, that must all be included in your transition plan.

Proof is in the outcome: Be sure to gather testimonials of those you’ve helped transition, along with their income increases. That speaks volumes to the candidate!

  1. They are ‘happy where they are’.

Of course they are. We’re all where we are because we believe it is safer, less fearful, and more predictable than the unknown. And, we’re happy they’re happy. But, here’s the real question: Do you believe they would be happier with you? Do you fervently believe you can help them further their careers? That’s where it starts. If you believe they would be better served to be with you, it’s your job to gain the skills to help them start feeling more comfortable with the ‘unknown.’

The Motivational Cycle Gives Us Clues for Supporting Change

Let’s look at how each of us decides to make a change—in anything. What causes you to finally make any change? How discontented to you need to be before you take action? The motivational cycle gives us clues:

Starting the motivational cycle. First we have unrealized discontent. For example: One of our bathrooms has cried out for some re-modeling, and I have ignored the cries for years. But, finally, for some reason, I recognized that cry for ‘polish’. I had talked to a contractor months ago but didn’t follow through (investigation). Recently, I finally realized that discontent (I looked at the peeling wallpaper behind the door one too many times!). Now, because my conscious discontent has been nagging me, I just made the call to the contractor.  I’m ready to take action and get that bathroom looking nice! That will mean my need is realized. But, guess what? I’ll have another episode of discontent!

Our job as ‘motivational cycle facilitators’ is to help the candidate feel the maximum amount of his discontent.

Which agents have you tried to recruit who have thrown these barriers in your way? How skilled have you been at removing them?

Tune in for the next blog to explore the other 3 reasons agents give that they stay.

Thinterview with clip boardis month, I’m featuring information for would-be or new agents. Why? Because although they get lots of information, much of it is slanted by the person offering the advice! (Think ‘interviewer’….). I was just asked to write an article on best advice to a new agent–as though that new agent were my relative.

As an interviewer, my question to you is, “Are you giving unbiased advice? Can you back it up with statistics–proof that what you say works? Read my advice here.

Because I have start-up plans and programs for new agents, I’m contacted constantly by new agents wanting advice. The most discouraging thing they tell me (more discouraging to me than them at the beginning) is that they have no one to train or coach them to success. From talking to these agents, I think they’re vastly underestimating what it takes to get started and be successful. They’ve been sold by a nice and well-meaning manager on the thought that joining them and buying a book or going to an easy-in training program will do the trick. And then, when it doesn’t, the agent is out of time and money—and it’s too late for a re-start.

What Did They Tell You about their Training?
My best advice to the would-be and new agent interviewing is to be very, very tough when talking about training expectations. Never accept the phrase that ‘we have training’. I have yet to talk to a manager who says they don’t have training. Yet, when the agents talk to me after being hired, they say there is no or little training….

What Are You Being Coached To?
Be sure the manager (or in-house coach)is going to train and coach you with a business start-up plan, so you know exactly what to do, how to do it, and how to measure it. Without that specific plan, you’re essentially foundering around trying this and that. And, most importantly, see the programs in writing, so you know they’re real. And, be discriminating when looking at those programs. Too many of them are cobbled together lovingly (but not professionally) by well-meaning people who aren’t trained as trainers or coaches.

What Results is the Program Getting?
Finally, find out the results of the program. Good programs measure results to assure you that the program works. You deserve this level of expertise to start a successful career.
Here are the questions: Describe your training program. Is it foundationed in a business start-up plan that you’re going to coach me to? Please let me see your start-up program—the training, the coaching, and the start-up lan. What are the results?

New agents and managers: What would be your best advice for the serious new agent?

what-they-dont-3d_cover cropped As an interviewer, you need to know what I’m telling your candidates!

Take a look at the five most important questions you should ask your interviewer—and how to evaluate the answers, in What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

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