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 Recruiting

coaching for leadershipWant a no/low cost effective marketing method? Herea��s an inexpensive, yet very effective method to stand out from the crowda��writing articles to establish yourself A�as the a�?real estate manager of choicea�?.

We become managers because we love to succeed through others. Most managers thrill to track their agentsa�� developmenta��and recognize that at least part of those agentsa�� successes are attributed toA�the managers who support themA� So, great managers develop the skills of training, coaching, and consultinga��the methods they use to develop their agentsa�� careers.

However, ita��s not enough to have the skills. These managers must also help agents find them! In this blog, I explore an inexpensive, very effective method for managers to use to promote themselves. (It works, too for agents to promote themselves as experts effectively and inexpensively).

The Problem

You can have the best product or service in the world. Yet, if you dona��t let others know about it, the product or service doesna��t succeed. Ita��s the same way with managers. Too often, these same highly skilled, highly effective managers think that agents will, on their own, simply figure out that these managers are exceptional and join them. Not so. Unfortunately, many agents think that their success will be due to other factors such as:

The amount of good floor time given in a particular office–or Internet leads, or Relo leads–or any of those ‘reactive’ lead sources unscrupulous managers promise agents to get them to sign up!

The name of the company

The real estate market at the time

The amount of desk fee or commission structure

If any of these were true, the agents in that particular office would all be making the money of their dreams! We know thata��s not so. You know youa��re a great manager. You know youa��ve helped agents succeed at a high levela��fast. How do you promote this fact to hire more great producers?

Advertising And Public Relations: Do You Have Both in your Recruiting Strategy?

Too often, real estate companies and managers use a one-dimensional approach to recruiting. They look to institutional advertising only to recruit agents, just as they look to home advertising to find buyers and sellers. There are three concerns with relying on paid advertising only for recruiting:

1. The agent is over-communicated with todaya��everyonea��s doing it

2. The cost of mail and newspaper advertising is ever-increasing

3.A� It relies on the strategy that all managers are the same, ita��s just the company thata��s better

Revving Up your PR

Instead of spending so much money in advertising, and/or relying only on one type of marketing, expand your recruiting strategy to a different method of promotion: public relations (PR). Specifically, add to your recruiting strategy writing articles, getting them published, and using them for various recruiting tactics. You can use the same articles in your blogs. Why PR? First, it costs nothing except your time. Second, an article has a much higher a�?trusta�� level than an ad. Third, youa��ve got little competition. Fourth, you can use those articles in a myriad of ways to promote yourself:

In mailers

In your office entry a�?Book of Greatnessa�? *

*See the link below for the contents in a Book of Greatness

In your pre-first visit recruiting package

In your recruiting presentation

Click here to get your complimentary ‘how to’:

Create your recruiting Book of Greatness for your entry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

marketing you 3 DHow to ‘Market’ your Brand

How do you create trust? How do you differentiate yourself? How do you prove you really are what you say you are? In this market, everybody and their brother tells potential recruits and clients they are the best. You can’t afford to be one of the crowd!

This resource shows you, step by step, how to gain trust and differentiate yourself in a graceful, effective manner–a manner that’s comfortable for YOU. See it here.

 

coachingHere are ten tips to gain platinum level trust. Why is gaining trust so important? Managers are also salespeople. We salespeople can’t sell anything to anyone without first establishing an exceptional level of trust–an increasingly difficult thing to do. The ten tips I shared on in a recent radio show can help sales and management professionals build a ‘platinum level’ of trust.

The Ten Tips

1. Learn non-verbal skills and apply them in writing, on the phone, and in person to establish rapport in an increasingly a�?cold inquirya�� world.

2. We believe what others say about a salesperson, not what the salesperson says about themselves. Use testimonials; check evaluation websites to see what consumers are saying about you.

Check out www.realestateratingz.com and www.incredibleagents.com. Find other sites (like Zillow and Realtor.com) that display testimonials from your agents’ clients. What are they saying about your company?

3. Help your agents create an after-the-sale survey and use it consistently. If therea��s something wrong, fix it fast.

4. We believe what we see, not what we hear. Show, dona��t tell. Use visual presentations consistently. And, as a trainer, I know that people retain only 10% 3 days after hearing it. But, when they also see it, they retain 60%. Which retention rate do you need to gain trust?

5. Flip your sales presentations. Ask questionsa��lots of questionsa��first. Educate. Finally, sell (well, you wona��t have to sell).

6. Tell the truth attractively. Show evidence, dona��t try to scare the client into action by predictingA� the future.

7. Evaluate the agent/client for long-term relationships. Is the agent/client someone you want to add to your a�?tribea��?

8. Use a�?tough lovea�� with a client to tell the truth, turn down a clienta��to stay true to your values. Do whata��s best for the client.

9. Re-cap. Regularly, stop and re-cap with the client. Do this, too, when you cana��t meet client expectations.

10. Book of Greatness: Dona��t brag about yourself in the middle of a presentation. Create a a�?Book of Greatnessa�� to use in your pre-first visit so your clients get to know you and your approach to sales.A� (See Marketing You for more information on that Book of Greatness.)

marketing you 3 DHow to ‘Market’ your Brand

How do you create trust? How do you differentiate yourself? How do you prove you really are what you say you are? In this market, everybody and their brother tells potential recruits and clients they are the best. You can’t afford to be one of the crowd!

This resource shows you, step by step, how to gain trust and differentiate yourself in a graceful, effective manner–a manner that’s comfortable for YOU. See it here.

 

many peole standing recruitingGrab this FREE recruiting tool: Publicity.

Do you want a free recruiting tool? Youa��re a real estate professional. You have limited advertising/recruiting funds. You want to recruit more. You want to establish your credibility as an industry leader. One of the best strategies is to write articles that get published, and use those articles in all of your marketing strategies. Here are the steps to follow to write articles that are valuable and that get published every time. The best thing about this strategy: It’s absolutely free!

The Process: Simple and Straightforward

Writing an article follows the same process composers use in writing a popular tune: It starts with the theme (A), continues with the middle, where you expand on the idea and example (B), and ends again with the theme. When Ia��m teaching my a�?Train the Trainera�? course, we practice this simple structure when we create training programs.

The Eight Simple Steps to Get Started

Here are the simple steps Ia��ve used over the years to create articles that have gotten published hundreds of times in major real estate magazines and newsletters:

1. Decide on who your audience is, so you realize for whom youa��re writing

2. Decide on the challenge (s) they have that you want to address

3. Jot down all the ideas you have about the challenges and solutions

4. Narrow the topic so you can zero in specifically on what you want to write about.A� The biggest mistake writers and teachers make is to choose too broad a topic for the time or word framework.A� For example, it’s difficult to write 500 words on how to create a team. You CAN write 500 words about why to create a team; or three strategic tips in creating a team.

5.A� Choose one to three ideas to discuss.

6. Arrange the topics in the order you want to discuss them

7. To expand on the ideas, present the idea clearly and then give an example. One commonality Ia��ve found among editors is that they want examples with the idea. Otherwise, the reader doesna��t really get the picture.

8. Close the article with the reiteration of your challenge and solution. Give your audience positive motivation to take action.

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.A� 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!

red flagDo you use a planned, consistent interview process? If you do, you will easily discover those a�?red flaga�� areas–those areas you must double-check to assure that candidate is qualified to work with you. If you dona��t use a consistent interview process–when every interview is a a�?wing-ita�� experiencea��youa��re constantly thinking about what to do next. We cana��t pay attention to those red flags which pop up and wave themselves in our faces. Wea��re seduced, too, by what we perceive as the candidatea��s attractiveness for us, and we tend to ignore those red flags. If you’ve ever hired someone, and then discovered, that person had a ‘secret’ he kept from you in the interview, you know what I mean!

Methods to Discover those Very Important ‘Red Flags’

Here are some methods you can build into your interview process to avoid those costly hiring mistakes:

  1. Use an application consistently, or at least ask the candidate to answer some questions in writing (have all questionnaires approved by an attorney to assure they consist of legal questions)
  2. Ask the prospective candidate to complete some tasks prior to the interview, so you know if the are willing to make you a�?leadera�� and learn from you
  3. Create a professional interview process you follow consistently*
  4. Create a�?behavioral predictora�� questions (questions based on their past) and practice those questions until you are a master at them
  5. Use a behavioral profile (like the DISC) to check your observations and learn more about the candidate. Learn how to a�?validatea�� the behavioral profile with the candidate.
  6. Quit being in a hurry to hire every candidate, and choose those candidates more carefully. After all, they reflect your vision and values.

(Remember, if you do it for one, you must do it for all!)

How many of these points do you take advantage of?

For a copy of my 8-step interview process, click here.

What a Systematized Interview Process Does for YouA�

You will not only hire better candidates, you will avoid those awful a�?surprisesa�� after committing to that agent (and Ia��ve had some doozies, as you probably have had, too). You will gain the respect of your team, because you arena��t giving them a problem, but a solution. You will find hiring winners easier, because that candidate is judging your competency as an interviewer and leader at the same time you are judging that candidatea��s appropriateness for your team.

blueprint_ebook_cover4

Quit ‘Winging it’ And Get Systematized!

How do you think the candidate regards you? Are you organized, systematic, and professional in your interview process? Or, do you ‘sell’ the candidate instead of asking lots of questions first? Do you have a method to capture candidates’ answers to your critical questions? Do you even have a list of questions you always ask? If you know you could polish that all-important process and hire more of those great agents you want, grab the most proven, effective interview process around: Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners. All digital so you can use it immediately!

Click here to see more.

bus-plan-7-teamThis is the time you should be lead generating for recruits and selecting carefully. So, this month, I’m spotlighting recruiting and selecting–the one step in the recruiting process that’s not well taught–or mastered.

Three Dumb Questions You Should Be Asking in the Interview

We all have our favorite interview questions. Yet, most of the time, those favorite questions don’t give us insights into our candidate (be sure to call them candidates). They give us the answers we want to hear–and the candidate wants to give us!

Before I tell you the three dumb questions, write down your favorite interview question.

Now, the three dumb questions:

1. How much money do you want to make? (or any question to which they are going to give a wild guess, interviewer-pleasing answer)

Dumb because: If the agent is new, they have no clue of what it takes to make that money. They are just throwing a number at you.

In fact, any ‘future-based’ questions fail to give you real information about that person. Why? Because they are ‘reading you’ and giving you the answers they think you want to hear.

2. Are you honest? Are you tenacious? Are you ethical?

Dumb because: Any of the ‘value questions’ are dumb because no one is going to tell you ‘no’ to them! There’s a much better way to find out the person’s ethics and values, and that’s to ask ‘behavioral predictor’ questions. (See YourA�Blueprint for Selecting Winners for details).

3. Will you take part in our ____________? (meetings, trainings, etc.)

Dumb because: They will usually say ‘yes’–and then not appear. Instead, you need a ‘mutual expectations’ dialogue at the end of your interview, where you lay out expectations and get agreement–in writing.

Big principle in interviewing: People behave in the future like they behaved in the past.

Find out about their past.

What questions have you been snookered on? How did you change those questions?

eBook Cover(2)What’s your Blueprint for Selection Look Like?

For an 8-step ‘sure-selection’ process, best questions to ask, and what to put in your selection packages, see Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners. This unique resource is all online, so you get instant access. Isn’t it time to polish your selection process so you don’t have to work so hard and get better results?

Do you have your recruiting plan done? This month, I’m featuring recruiting. Why? Because it’s the life blood of real estate success. Unfortunately, too many managers, though, don’t honor it as such.

In a few days, I’m a guest for David Knox’s series of First Mondays webinars for leadership. My topic will be 4 strategies for successful recruiting in 2017. I’ll post the video on my website, Carla Cross, after next Monday.

Okay. Let’s get real. Do you actually have a recruiting plan? If not, how do you know what to do each day to find great agents who would love to work with you?

First, what in the heck is a recruiting plan?

knox-pdf_page_04

 

Isn’t that a great way to look at recruiting plans? They provide you a process and a system to recruit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, to have a recruiting plan that integrates into your overall process, you need a business plan. Now, you have the integration of all your systems.

So, what should be in a recruiting plan?

knox-pdf_page_05

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have a schematic that helps you put all these variables into context? If not, you can find a planner inA�Beyond the Basics of Business Planning.A�my comprehensive online business planning site for agents and leadership.

In my next posts, I’ll give you more tips on how to make your recruiting really pay off for 2017. But, first, get that plan done!

man ponderingBusiness planning: Are you making these 5 planning mistakes?

During November and December, I’m writing business planning blogs to help you create great plans with your agents. Check these blogs, too, for checklists, processes, and systems ready to use.A� For your agents: Check out Up and Running in 30 Days, my blog for your associates.

As you make your business plan, avoid the common mistakes that many real estate professionals make. Here they are:

MISTAKE #1

Betting on a business plan that’s only about 1/4 of a plan. Many of us write down our goals. Yet, that’s not a business plan. That’s just one part of the business plan. There are six parts to a real business plan:

a. Your vision-what do you have as an “end in mind”?
b. Your review-what happened last year?
c. Your mission-what are you about?
d. Your goals-expressed in the best terms for profitability today
e. Your action plan in each of 6 areas.
f. A method to measure your results.

Which parts do you include? What would your outcomes be if you thought through your business, covering all the bases?

Click here to see and grab my chart’ of a manager’s business planning system (excerpted from Beyond the Basics of Business Planning–one program for agents, one program for leadership.)

MISTAKE #2

Ignoring the importance of ‘revenue units’ (sales and listings sold). Unfortunately, when we write our goals, we like to use those great million dollar numbers and measurements like market share. Yet, setting goals for revenue units assures that you keep your eye “on the ball”-homes sold, which make you money. There’s another huge benefit to focusing on revenue units: You can then integrate your agents’ plans with your office plan.

MISTAKE #3

Not doing a thorough review (or not doing a review at all). Looking back on your last year is so important, because it gives you the “hints” you need to write your best action plan for the next year. I think it also solves the problem of the manager trying to figure out what to do next.

For example: It’s amazing that brokers don’t know one of their most important numbers for profitability: percent of listings taken to listings sold. You may be wasting many dollars in marketing homes that won’t sell-no matter what you do. Also, your agents become unmotivated and depressed when their listings don’t sell. Knowing this ratio gives you direction for your training and coaching for the coming year. Create a higher ratio and you’ll be able to use it to recruit, too.

MISTAKE #4

Writing the plan ‘in a vacuum.’ Almost always, brokers sit down to torture themselves by writing a business plan in a room with the doors shut and no windows. But, they don’t know yet what their agents want to accomplish for the next year. The right way to plan is this: First, help each of your agents create a business plan. The sum of your agents’ goals should form the foundation for your goals. After all, your agents’ efforts should be reflected in your revenue unit goals, shouldn’t they? Yet, very few brokers even help their agents write business plans. So, they can’t really get good projections of what they think their agents will produce in the next year.

If you do assist your agents in their planning processes, you will have a much better foundation for a realistic business plan of your own. (That also means you should be consulting your agents on their business plans in November, so you’ll have all their plans together as you start creating your office plan).

MISTAKE #5

Not creating specific action plans in each of the action plan areas. Michael Gerber, a spectacular “guru” for small businesses, says “the integration of your systems is your business plan.”

In other words, if you have a real business plan, I should be able to read it, come into your office on any day, and see how you’re carrying out your business plan in recruiting, selecting, training, coaching, and marketing. You would be able to delegate many of your duties, too, because you had specific action plans for each of these areas. You would be able to measure your progress at any given point. Further, if you have created action plans that are systems, someone would be willing to buy your company from you, giving you a very attractive price! (That’s what Gerber terms “franchising.”)

Get Ahead of the Curve

If you don’t have a business plan, there’s still time to get one done. Just by thinking through your business, you’ll be ahead of 95% of your competing brokers!A� If you want to make more money, gain time, delegate more to others, open another office, or create an office that’s saleable, it all starts with thinking through your business, getting it down on paper, and attaching systems to each of your action plan areas. Now, you’ve got something you can run, you can delegate, and you can sell.

Plan_Act_CelebrateMissed my complimentary business planning webinar?

Watch it here, and get all the handouts AND slides.

And, don’t forget to check out my comprehensive business planning program, all online: Beyond the Basics of Business Planning.

It’s much more than just a business planning process. I train your agents and consult with you and your agents to make great plans!

kid with magnifying glassAge disparity between clients and their agents and what it means to you!

Before you read this, take my true-false a�?exama�� to test what you know about Realtor trends. Click here to get it.

How did you do on the true-false a�?exama��? I didna��t create it to a�?testa�� you. I created it to crush some old assumptions. And, I want to point out what some of these trends mean to you and what we need to do about them.

Every time a National Association of Realtor survey comes out, I eagerly get it. Why? It gives us clues into the trends and directions of our industry.A� There are two major reports that come out yearly or every two years: The Member Profile and the Profile of Buyers and Sellers. I highly recommend you get these reports* and use them to educate buyers and sellers. Youa��ll find you become much more credible when youa��re using statistics from a third party source, instead of trying to convince buyers and sellers youa��re righta��because you know youa��re right!

Note: These reports are available at Realtor.org at a discount for Realtors:

http://www.realtor.org/research-and-statistics/research-reports

Now, leta��s take a look anotherA�of these true-false statements (see my previous blog for the first commentary) Here’s how these statistics are important to you. Ia��ve put the number of the statement before my comments.

  1. False the median age of a Realtor has decreased. This, on its face is great. But, the median age of a buyer is still 44 years. And, the largest group of buyers (28%) are in the 25 to 34 age group. What does that mean to you? As a manager, youa��ll want to hire those who relate to the target markets you serve. Also, members are starting to retire. (Is this true in your real estate office? How are you going to keep your office fresh and alive?) Those 65 years and over dropped to 16 percent from 25 percent in 2015.

Because only 13% of agents coming into the business are under 30, we have two challenges:

  1. Because the average age of a Realtor is 53, they are less fluent in social media and even computer skills.
  2. Because the largest group of buyers is aged 25-34, we have a mis-match between the agent generation and the buyer generation.

Managers: Solve the problem. Hire more younger agents AND those making real estate their first career!

Managers: What are you seeing in your office? In your area? Are these trends borne out there? What are you doing about it?

Plan_Act_CelebrateComplimentary Business Planning Webinar Coming Up Nov. 8–Grab your Seat NOW!

If youa��re like most real estate professionals, you create some type of a business plan this year. But, maybe it didna��t work for you. Or, maybea��you just didna��t work it! Join usA�Nov. 8 at 3 PM PacificA�time) to get the answers you needa��and the inspirationa��to make a bullet-proof plan for next year.

During this fast-paced webinar youa��ll see:

Why your plan probably didna��t work for youa��and what to do about it

  • How to definitely find out what will work for YOU (not someone elsea��s plan!)
  • How to anticipate market shifts (!)
  • What to STOP doing in 2017
  • What one thing will assure your business plan works
    • Bonus: 10 Creative Marketing Ideas for your plan

    Included handouts:

    1. The strategic planning process created exclusively for real estate professionals by Carla Cross
    2. Review: Your best sources of business (so you know what to keep doing and where to stop spending marketing $$$$$)

    Managers: Youa��ll get tips on how to help your agents create great plans!

    Click hereA�for more information on the webinar and to register.

Affiliates: You’re welcome to invite your agent and manager clients!

2 girls for magnetsAre your career nights frankly boring? Here are some tips to put some pep into them.A�A�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?

See the bonus for your Career Nights, too, at the end of this blog.

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. Do you provide a job description at least–during your interview?

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-licenseA�ebook, I haveA�attendeesA�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.

You’ll save hundreds of hours in time, too, so you won’t have to do ‘informational sessions and can concentrate on those invaluable screening interviews.