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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 pre-license

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?  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.

question in front of faceAs you’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 or a mentor.

What about Getting a Coach?

I hope your manager will become your accountability coach. But, many managers promise to ‘coach you’. However, that quickly becomes a ‘got a minute’ answer man function instead of a focused, linear, goal-oriented action coaching. You don’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 out­lined with checklists and systems. Ask, “What system are you going to use to coach me?” You need a specific game plan, because you are new. You have no history.
  2. The specific program should be related to a “game plan”—a busi­ness start-up plan. Ask, “What game plan are you going to use?”
  3. The coaches should be trained and coached themselves. Ask, “What’s your coaching background, and what sales principles do you believe in?” For example, each of our coaches in the Carla Cross Coaching program has been trained by me and coached regularly by me.

 Positives: Having a coach keeps you on track, motivated, and, ide­ally, 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 you’ll be paying just to talk to someone every once in a while).

Types of Coaches

Professional coach: Someone trained to coach, who uses a specific program and who is paid to be your coach. If you’re considering a professional coach, find out the specific program the coach will use to coach you. Get expectations in writing, and give your expectations in writing. You should expect to sign a 3-12 month contract.

Manager coach or in-office coach: Someone who may be trained as a coach, who has agreed to coach you. May be paid from your commissions or from a combination of office/your commissions. May be paid on an hourly based by the agent. Be sure this coach is prepared to be your accountability coach, has a specific schedule with you, and a specific start-up plan to coach you. Otherwise, you’re just getting an ‘advice session’.

Peer coach: Someone in the office, an agent, who has agreed to be your coach. However, this could be anything from

  •           Answer questions
  •           Let you ‘shadow them’ (see how they do a listing/buyer presentation or offer presentation)
  •          Be your accountability coach

Most peer coaches don’t have a coaching program to coach to, and haven’t been trained. They are also at a loss with what to do if the agent refuses to do the work.

In my experience, the agent has the highest hopes that the peer coach will fulfill his dreams of whatever coaching is to him. The peer coach is hoping the agent just doesn’t ask too many questions!

If you’re going to work with a peer coach, get in writing exactly what that peer coach is willing to do with and for you. Bad peer coaching can turn into a nightmare—for both parties.

Agents’ advice: Dozens of experienced agents have told me they wish they had started with a professional coach. If you can find one to trust—and to follow—you’ll shorten your learning curve dramatically and easily pay for the coaching fee. Plus, you’ll establish a successful long-term career.

Next, we’ll discuss three ‘safety-nets’ that some new agents consider—because they’re afraid they will not be able to generate enough commissions by relying solely on their own work.

Getting a Mentor

What is a ‘mentor’? There’s not a clearly defined job function. Mentors are usually seasoned agents who offer to help new agents. They may

  •           Offer advice
  •           Allow you to shadow them
  •           Ask you to do parts of their business

New agents love the thought of a mentor, because they have so many questions. And, they think the mentor will be their ‘answer man’. But, I’ve observed that having an ‘answer man’ surely doesn’t guarantee success. In fact, it may impede an agent getting into action. How? An agent may think he needs more and more information before he will act. Then, he just keeps coming to the mentor for every question under the sun. And, the more the new agent knows, the more frightened he becomes. Plus, the advice received from the mentor may not be in the new agent’s best interest.

If you are considering a mentor, get in writing exactly what the mentor will do for you.

Big question: Why is the mentor willing to help you? What does the mentor expect from you?

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.

penguins focused on goalsHow can you put some pizzazz in your career nights? Are they dazzling, informative, and truthful? Or, do you just plow through the material and hope, at the end, you’ve ‘covered the material’? Career Nights are one of the 11 methods of finding recruits. Why not optimize your chances of finding more winners?

Here are three ways to assure your Career Nights involve, provoke, and capture the attention and imagination of your audience.

1. Help them discover their own business attributes

Are you using some analytical tools that help the attendees discover if they would be a ‘fit’ for real estate sales? In my new eBook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School, I provide some analytical questionnaires for would-be agents so they can discovered whether they would love real estate sales.

Point: It’s much more interesting talking about yourself than hearing others talk!

2. Provide them a solid job description

But, don’t just hand it out. Instead, work with them in listing business-producing or business supporting activities. Help them prioritize the activities that make them money–and cost them time. What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School has a job description for a successful real estate agent.

Point: Most agents never get a job description, and end up doing many things that don’t make a difference in their careers.

3. Help them discover their ideal job

In the pre-license book, I have them answer a questionnaire that helps them discover their ideal job. The truth is that some people will love selling real estate, and many won’t. Wouldn’t it be better for everyone involved to figure that out prior to making the decision to go sell real estate?

Point: We don’t need more licensees. We need more people who will love selling real estate and be compelled to do it well!

What do you include in your Career Nights that makes it exciting, involving, and truthful? Is it helping you choose winners?

This month, when you order my eBook below, I’ll include the documents from the eBook ready to use in your Career Nights.

Save Time and Make your Interviews Work for You

what-they-dont-3d_coverSee more about that eBook here. There are dozens of ideas you can incorporate into Career Nights, your interviews, and your recruiting packages.

 

 

question mark collageIn my eBook for prospective and new agents, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School, I address several choices they need to make. I know some of these choices feel ‘safe’. But, are they really good for you? Here are pros and cons to each of these possibilities.

Managers: Use this information to counsel your indecisive agents, whether they’re new or not!

Joining a Team

As you interview, you may be invited to join an office team. That means you’ll be essentially working for a ‘rainmaker’, a lead agent who generates ‘leads’ for those on his team. Of course, those leads cost money, and the rainmaker takes about half the income from the team member for the lead generation and other services.

Teaming helps agents obtain leads as they start up business. While agents earn the most in commission dollars when they generate their leads themselves, a new agent may need to pay for someone else’s lead generation to begin to develop business. There is a downside to this approach, how­ever. Agents can become complacent and sit and wait for leads. They won’t generate—until they get tired of paying for someone else’s leads.

 Positives: You may be able to jump-start your career with leads given to you.

 Watch out for: Be careful to choose a rainmaker who really has enough good leads to distribute to you. Sit in on her team meeting to see how she manages the team. Find out if and how the rain­maker will train you. Find out how much turnover there has been on the team. Find out whether you can sell and list houses outside the team—and how much the rainmaker would charge you if you did. Read the contract the rainmaker asks you to sign and be sure you understand the consequences of your involvement. Evaluate how good a leader that rainmaker is. Some rainmakers are great salespeople, but lousy leaders, and so their team never ‘jells’. Most team leaders ultimately expect their team members to generate their own leads, in addition to team leads. If you can’t meet the rainmaker’s expectations, you are terminated. Be willing and ready to take the responsibilities of team member seriously.

Become an Assistant

Some agents have the bright idea (they think) to become an assistant to ‘learn the business’. I have seen a few assistants become good real estate agents. But, here’s the rub: The good assistant likes to do ‘tasks’. Remember the information about behavioral profiles? The assistant profile is task-oriented, while the salesperson profile is people-oriented. So, while the assistant criticizes the agent for not doing paperwork, the agent is out in the field selling houses. (The assistant’s job is paperwork…..). The agent and assistant’s skills are supposed to complement each other, not duplicate each other.

If you become an assistant, you’ll learn the paperwork side of the business. If you have the right profile and background, you may become very good at it. But, the more you love being an assistant, the more you will hate selling real estate!

Big idea: Assistants see a different side of the business, and see what the agent isn’t doing well (paperwork and follow-up). What they don’t see is the people-interaction—which the agent does exceedingly well. So, assistants think that the business is a task/technical one. That’s the wrong emphasis.

Start the Business Part-Time

We’ve already discussed the part-timer in another part of this book. If you’re considering that, I have important questions to ask you:

What will compel you to change your emphasis from your present job to selling real estate?

What will compel you to do the hard things in real estate—lead generation—when you have a safety net of your other job?

How will you have the 2-4 hours each day to lead generate? How will you have the time to show homes and market listed properties?

Do you have the guts to set a drop-dead date to change to full-time real estate?

Don’t leap into any of these positions until you really, really look. Too often, agents are choosing these positions because they are afraid of–or don’t want to do the work of a real estate agent. Find out the ‘why’ behind the rationale, and help your agents make the best choices for themselves.

what-they-dont-3d_cover

 Use this Tool to Save Time and Inform Prospective/New Agents

Managers: You don’t have time to spend hours educating those prospective agents! Instead, share my new eBook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School. (You need to have this information, too)!

 

This blog is excerpted from my new eBook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School. 

As managers, I want you to know the advice I’m giving to prospective agents.

coachingAs you’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 or a mentor.

What about Getting a Coach?

I hope your manager will become your accountability coach. But, many managers promise to ‘coach you’. However, that quickly becomes a ‘got a minute’ answer man function instead of a focused, linear, goal-oriented action coaching. You don’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 out­lined with checklists and systems. Ask, “What system are you going to use to coach me?” You need a specific game plan, because you are new. You have no history.
  2. The specific program should be related to a “game plan”—a busi­ness start-up plan. Ask, “What game plan are you going to use?”
  3. The coaches should be trained and coached themselves. Ask, “What’s your coaching background, and what sales principles do you believe in?” For example, each of our coaches in the Carla Cross Coaching program has been trained by me and coached regularly by me.

 Positives: Having a coach keeps you on track, motivated, and, ide­ally, 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 you’ll be paying just to talk to someone every once in a while).

Types of Coaches

Professional coach: Someone trained to coach, who uses a specific program and who is paid to be your coach. If you’re considering a professional coach, find out the specific program the coach will use to coach you. Get expectations in writing, and give your expectations in writing. You should expect to sign a 3-12 month contract.

Manager coach or in-office coach: Someone who may be trained as a coach, who has agreed to coach you. May be paid from your commissions or from a combination of office/your commissions. May be paid on an hourly based by the agent. Be sure this coach is prepared to be your accountability coach, has a specific schedule with you, and a specific start-up plan to coach you. Otherwise, you’re just getting an ‘advice session’.

Peer coach: Someone in the office, an agent, who has agreed to be your coach. However, this could be anything from

  •           Answer questions
  •           Let you ‘shadow them’ (see how they do a listing/buyer presentation or offer presentation)
  •          Be your accountability coach

Most peer coaches don’t have a coaching program to coach to, and haven’t been trained. They are also at a loss with what to do if the agent refuses to do the work.

In my experience, the agent has the highest hopes that the peer coach will fulfill his dreams of whatever coaching is to him. The peer coach is hoping the agent just doesn’t ask too many questions!

If you’re going to work with a peer coach, get in writing exactly what that peer coach is willing to do with and for you. Bad peer coaching can turn into a nightmare—for both parties.

Agents’ advice: Dozens of experienced agents have told me they wish they had started with a professional coach. If you can find one to trust—and to follow—you’ll shorten your learning curve dramatically and easily pay for the coaching fee. Plus, you’ll establish a successful long-term career.

Next, we’ll discuss three ‘safety-nets’ that some new agents consider—because they’re afraid they will not be able to generate enough commissions by relying solely on their own work.

Getting a Mentor

What is a ‘mentor’? There’s not a clearly defined job function. Mentors are usually seasoned agents who offer to help new agents. They may

  •           Offer advice
  •           Allow you to shadow them
  •           Ask you to do parts of their business

New agents love the thought of a mentor, because they have so many questions. And, they think the mentor will be their ‘answer man’. But, I’ve observed that having an ‘answer man’ surely doesn’t guarantee success. In fact, it may impede an agent getting into action. How? An agent may think he needs more and more information before he will act. Then, he just keeps coming to the mentor for every question under the sun. And, the more the new agent knows, the more frightened he becomes. Plus, the advice received from the mentor may not be in the new agent’s best interest.

If you are considering a mentor, get in writing exactly what the mentor will do for you.

Big question: Why is the mentor willing to help you? What does the mentor expect from you?

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

Managers: How would you address the concerns above?

 

teacher at boardHow can you put some life into your Career Nights? Too often Career Nights fail to achieve either the goals of the attendee or the presenter. Not only that, they’re just plain boring! In this blog, I’ll show you how to put some energy into your career nights to get more audience participation AND help you stand out as an exceptional manager.

Your Goals for Career Nights

What  do you want to accomplish? Just get candidates to attend, or, do you also want to screen them? Do you want to make appointments with everyone, or those who are really qualified to meet with you? If you want to do more than get attendance, you’ll need to create Career Nights that not only have information, they have

standards

What do I mean? In your Career Nights, you’ll want to explain your point of view of real estate. Do you accept anyone? Do you accept part-timers? If so, do you have a ‘drop dead’ date? (when the part-timer must go full-time?) Unless you convey your standards, you’ll find yourself interviewing everyone. And, in truth, many of those who are thinking about getting a license aren’t interested in selling more than a very few homes. There are companies who welcome those people. Are you such a company?

Add the ‘Why’

As you explain real estate, and your company, be sure to include the ‘why’. Why do you hire those who can commit a majority of their work day to selling real estate? How long does it take? What are the upsides or downsides of being part-time? Think all these considerations through, and explain your point of view fairly, so candidates can screen themselves. The ones who are matches will want to interview with you. The ones who aren’t will be drawn to a different company culture.

The Attendees’ Goals for Career Nights

What do you believe the attendee wants? Why not start your Career Nights by telling attendees what you will explore. Then, ask them what they want to accomplish. Write both those lists on the board. Tell the attendees how you can meet their goals–and when you can’t.

Make it Participative and You’ll Make it Interesting

Too often, Career Nights are facts and figures–plus lots of advice–about selling real estate. If that delivery worked, wouldn’t we have a lot more successes in the field? Instead of a ‘now hear this’, include some questionnaires to find out the candidates’ intentions and help them clarify why they want to sell real estate.

How to Get Participation

You’ll want to do more than ask questions so the attendees can raise their hands! Instead, use some planned events. Here’s one internal survey you can use. It’s how to self-analyze attributes for success. It’s excerpted from my new eBook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

After you have candidates complete the survey, you can lead a discussion on what they learned from taking the survey. You can also discuss the attributes of successful agents.

what-they-dont-3d_coverSpecial Career Night Package

When you order my eBook this month, I’m including several figures extracted from the book that you can use for your Career Nights, including:

  • Job Description of a Successful Real Estate Agent (great to show them what activities are done in specific priorities by successful agents)
  • What’s your Ideal Job? (another great survey to give your candidates during career nights)
  • Qualities of Successful Real Estate Agents (so they can match their qualities to successful agents)
  • A method to determine your monthly living costs so you can figure out how much money you need to make in real estate
  • Business producing activities (so you can talk about time management and the critical activities that determine success

How do you want to infuse interest, participation, and your standards into Career Nights?

Time management tip: Why not order the eBook What They Don’t Teach you in Pre-License School for your Career Night candidates that make the ‘first cut’? You’ll save hours of time and help them generate great questions.

 

 

man jumping through paperManagers: Have you thought about a ‘head start’ program for your newbies? If you’re like 98% of managers, you wait to start training your agents until AFTER they join your office as newbies. Why? Think how much faster they could go if they had lots of the organization and training under their belts prior to their first day in the business?  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 checklist, 30 Things to Do Right (In Pre-License School) Now to Hit the Ground Running. (from my new eBook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School).

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? (Better track that so you know who’s going to work). 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

This list is not only helpful to those you know you’re hiring, it’s a very effective recruiting tool. It proves to your potential recruits that you care about their career success–even before you hire them!

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.)

Take It a Step Further

Why not create a 4-6 module course based on this checklist. Do it evenings, with assignments for the attendees. You’ll be able to see who is willing to go to work. Now, you’ll be able to hire the best!

what-they-dont-3d_coverSave Time! Prepare Your New Agents to Sell Real Estate Fast and Well

This 280+ page eBook is packed with questionnaires, advice, processes, and systems to prepare that pre-licensee for the real world of real estate. You’ll save precious interview time and help winners choose you. See What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School. Only $14.95, and immediately downloadable. Now, a Kindle version, too.

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