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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 staff.

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

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

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

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

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

The Nine Signs Your Manager Must Leave

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Motivation and Appreciation

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

The best positive motivator is appreciation

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

Behavior that’s rewarded is repeated.

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

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

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

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

Let Me Help Motivate your Agents to Greatness!

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

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

Save time

Get more done

Lower your stress levels

Enjoy your job more

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

Why do Managers Need Systems?

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

Managers Don’t Have Nearly the Systems Agents Have

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Job Description Comes First

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

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

Resource List of Needed Systems

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

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

LM Cover

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

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

<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. You’re the chairperson or manager. Just take charge, tell people what to do, and they’ll do it. NOT. It’s just not that simple. At least, it’s not that simple unless systems are already in place and people  know what their tasks are.</p>
<p><strong>Seven Truisms about Effective Participative Leadership </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 done </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 the  “idea people” and aren’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 “secretary” mode. Their mentality is, someone else beneath them should be able to figure out how to get that done. That’s a secretarial or assistant’s job, isn’t it? But, your committee members don’t work for you. They work with you. You can’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 assistant   </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 in  your leadership position to gain greater skills? These skills are learned over time, and the pay-off is an association or business that is ‘owned’ 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>

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