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Archive for Retention

do itHow good is your agents’ start-up plan? (Or, do they have a start-up plan?!)

This month, I’m featuring excerpts from my new 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

{Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.}

You know what your training will do for you. So I hope you are convinced you also need to implement a business start-up plan to put all that information in perspective. But watch outa��there are more poor ones than good ones out there. As a CRB (Certified Real Estate Broker) instructor for 12 years, I taught thousands of owners and managers nationally. I saw plenty of poor plans managers shared with me. (These were the plans they were giving their agents, too.)

Commonalities of Poor Plans

  • They are laundry lists of busywork activities interspersed with activities that actually make you money, so the agent doesna��t get any evaluative perspective to self-manage.
  • They do not prioritize lead-generating activities, so the agent thinks all types of lead generation have equal payoffs.
  • They do not have methods of setting goals, keeping track of results, and analyzing results to make changes quickly. (Up and Running provides sales ratios so you learn how many specific actions it takes to get the results you want.)
  • They do incorrectly prioritize actions. For example, as a high priority, they direct the new agent to a�?see all the inventorya�? before doing anything else. The rationale is that ita��s very important to see all the inventory to build a knowledge base. It is important, but only as it relates to working with buyers and sellers. (Ita��s the means, not the end.) But new agents dona��t want to do the high-rejection, high-risk activities such as talking to people. So they gladly see all the inventory until it becomes their job descriptions!
  • They do include plenty of a�?busyworka�? as equal priority to lead generatinga��such as a broker having an agent visit a title company to learn how it operates. This keeps the agent busy and out of the brokera��s hair! Also, the new agent loves the broker for a while, because the broker isna��t asking the new agent to do those high-rejection activitiesa��those activities that lead to a sale!

Bottom line: No would-be successful agent in his right mind would continue doing this type of plan any longer than he had to, because the successful agent recognizes the plan is a poor one.

* Big Idea: Be very critical before you commit to any start-up plan. It is prioritizing your mind! The start-up plan you may love because it keeps you out of sales activities isna��t the plan that is going to love you back (get you the sales you want). What you do every day becomes your job description.

An Effective Start-Up Plan

Here are the six attributes of an effective business start-up plan:

  1. Does not give equal weight to all activities
  2. Provides an organized activities schedule with certain activities prioritized first because they lead to a sale (in Up and Running, these are called a�?business-producinga�? activities)
  3. Includes an organized activities schedule with certain activities prioritized seconda��and explaining why (In Up and Running, these are called a�?business-supportinga�? activities)
  4. Provides a road map for a continuing plan (remember that a�?plan for lifea�??)
  5. Builds in the a�?whya�? of the plan structure, so you learn to self-manage
  6. Has a method to measure and make adjustments in your plan as you progress
  7. Has a coaching component, so someone can coach you effectively to the plan

Managers/trainers: How well did your start-up plan score? Why not try using a proven plan that gets much better results faster? You’ll increase your retention and your profits!

Up and Running_5e largerAre You Using the Best Start-Up Plan for your New Agents?

Does your plan have the detailed, prioritized checklists needed to assure a great start? Does it have built-in inspiration and motivation? Does it have dozens of tips to control the attitude? If not, you need Up and Running in 30 Days. Just out in its 5th edition, it’s the most successful book for new real estate agents ever!

Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

 

 

training up stepsHow can you help your agents create a better future? In my best-selling book (the business start-up plan for the new agent), Up and Running in 30 Days, now in its 5th edition, I tackle lots of motivational, inspirational, and attitude challenges. I want to help you help your agents master the real estate business! Here’s an excerpt from the 5th edition, just out:

{Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.}

Creating the Future You Really Want

You have been in the business three weeks. {This excerpt is from week 3 of the 4-week quick start plan). Is your image of yourself different from the one you had when you started in this business? Successful performers have learned to create a completed picture of themselves as great performersa��long before they are terrific performers. This helps them to predict the outcome of their efforts. If you dona��t know where youa��re going, you cana��t get there!

Seeing Yourself in the Future as You Want to Envision YOU

Lou Tice, the founder of Pacific Institute, calls this skill self-efficacy. It is the ability to create yourself as a finished product in your head and hold that image, even though no one in the outside world has a clue that you are going to end up that way. What a skill! This technique is practiced in karate. When our son, Chris, took karate lessons he first watched great performersa��black beltsa��performing the katas (fighting moves in a format) and kumite (actual fighting). Then he envisioned himself performing each part of these movesa��just like they did. Finally, he performed the moves for his coach, very slowly, practicing perfectly.

How Coaching Supports that Future Vision

Chris’s karate coach watched carefully to ensure that he was practicing perfectly. After he perfected each move in context, he practiced performing faster. This method of creating perfect performance paid off. He won many medals in national and international competitiona��even while experiencing great growth spurts. His developed skill of self-efficacy ensured that his mind would hold the picture of his perfect performance. This skill has proved to be invaluable throughout his life.

* Big Idea: To become a master of whatever you want, hold your future picture of yourself more strongly than your present reality.

Develop the Professional a�?Youa�?

Take a few minutes in a quiet place by yourself. Imagine yourself as the successful real estate agent you intend to be.

What will you do?

What kind of recognition and power will you gain?

What affiliations will you make that reflect your ideal of yourself as a pro?

Create a movie with you as the star, complete with the movement, color, dialogue, tastes, and smells. Make it fun, exciting, and rewardinga��in color. Play it over and over in your head 20 times a day for a month. Doing this will counteract your a�?growth spurtsa�?a��objections, barriers, negative self-talk, lost leadsa��as you start your career. You must develop some mental ammunition.

Remember, people treat you as they see you.

They cana��t see the new movie you have created until you start acting it out. Even then, they will try to put you back into your a�?old movie.a�? Ita��s human nature. Unwittingly, we help our friends fail by not becoming supporting players in their new picture. You must have a strong movie to move yourself in the direction you want to go so that others can get caught up in the new action and let go of the old.

* Big Idea: Develop an ideal future a�?moviea�? of yourself, with color, sound, and feeling.

Managers and coaches: What skills do you have to help your agent become that agent you know he/she could be?

A�Up and Running_5e largerAre You Using the Best Start-Up Plan for your New Agents?

Does your plan have the detailed, prioritized checklists needed to assure a great start? Does it have built-in inspiration and motivation? Does it have dozens of tips to control the attitude? If not, you need Up and Running in 30 Days. Just out in its 5th edition, it’s the most successful book for new real estate agents ever!

Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

man ponderingHow good are your agents at managing their attitudes? Did you ever think about that, or think you’d need to manage that–or that they would need to consciously manage their attitudes?

I’ve just published the 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days. In it, I’ve included lots of up-to-the-minute updates. You can read some of them, in these blogs.

Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

Below is an excerpt from the newest edition of the book.

Wea��ve talked about your managing your Up and Running plan. Thata��s the a�?hard sidea�? of the businessa��the facts, figures, and activities. However, therea��s something else you must manage: the a�?soft sidea�? of the businessa��your attitude.

How Our Attitudes Change with the Challenge

One of the things we managers love about a new agent is the enthusiasm with which they start. Youa��re excited to jump into sales. Sometimes youa��re even overconfident. You tell us managers you are tenacious and that you can handle rejection. You describe yourself as a self-starter; you assure us you can motivate yourself. Then, reality takes over. Youa��ve always thought of yourself as a good communicator.

When You Start Lead Generating….Attitude Counts!

However, as you lead generate, you find it difficult to convince people to work with you. People somehow create many ways to reject you. Youa��ve always liked people, and you sense they like you. Yet they act differently with you now that youa��re in sales. People make up stories to avoid you, say they a�?have a friend in the business,a�? secure information from you but do not give you information, promise to meet with you at the officea��but dona��t show up. You experience these feelings:

Rejection

Frustration

Impatience

Self-doubt

Inadequacy

Your image of yourself is tested. Who is the real you? The one who feels confident and tenacious and is a self-starter? Or the one who feels rejected, frustrated, inadequate, and full of self-doubt? Your attitude about the businessa��and yourselfa��is in danger of shifting from positive to negative.

* Big Idea: The best way to change your attitude from negative to positive is to get a sale.

Attitudes are Fast-Change Artists

Attitudes can change in seconds.a��Each day, hour, and minute, you evaluate your feelings about the business. Your experiences as you perform the activities in this plan fuel this evaluation. Your conclusions are based on your personal belief system. Ita��s not the activities that cause you to have a certain attitude about the business, but the conclusions you draw from your experiences with these activities. Leta��s say you have knocked on 50 doors without getting a lead. What do you conclude? Agents who will fail conclude that a�?this wona��t work in this area.a�? Agents who will succeed imagine themselves one step closer to a lead with every rejection. These agents realize that they must experience many rejections to get success.

* Big Idea: Tenacity is the one character attribute that is 99 percent of an agenta��s success.

* Big Idea: My survey {of hundreds of new agents} showed the majority of new agents expect a sale in the first month. Not getting one puts their attitude in the dumper. Protection plan against an a�?in the dumper attitudea�?: go out and talk to lots of peoplea��fast. That is, lead generate!

Up and Running_5e_616x800

Do You Provide Your Agents with a Proven Start-Up Plan with Attitude Advice Built In?

Up and Running in 30 DaysA� has lots of up-to-the-minute updates. Plus, a proven, prioritized business start-up plan with inspiration, motivation, and action items built in. You can coach to the start-up plan, and see great results fast from your agents.

Check it out!

 

 

A�

clockOnboarding: Those critical first seven days. Find out why that first week is so critical.

First: What does new agent onboarding and training have to do with retention? According to two recent studiesa��a whole lot! The new fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days, my new agenta��s business start-up plan, has just come out. Dearborn Education is the publisher. There are many updates in this edition. Included in these updates are conclusions from these studiesa��conclusions that support the importance of starting each new agent with a proven lead generating plan.

(To see the updates in Up and Running in 30 Days, 5th edition, click here).

In this blog, Ia��ll address some of the results and its ramifications for real state companies–from the survey published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Why Bother with a Great Onboarding System?

Because youa��ll have much great retention! According to the SHRM study, companies that leave onboarding to chance experience higher than 50% failure rates when it comes to retaining new talent.

Question: Do you have a great orientation system? Are you leaving anything to chance? Does your new agent feel like he/shea��s in a fog for the first few months?

If you want a a�?templatea�� and suggestions of what should be included in your orientation, click here.

Those New Hires a�?Check Outa�� Fast! (Faster than you Think!)

According to the same SHRM survey, 67% of millennials are already thinking of looking for their next job on day ONE!

Question: On day one, how are you cementing the relationship and helping that new person feel really welcome in your culture?

Tips for Those First Critical Seven Days:

  1. Manager sends a welcome email to new agent on day one.
  2. Each daya��s activities are completely outlined so the new agent knows exactly how to proceed (youa��re building in habits of success).
  3. The first weeka��s activities include shadowing and lunch with one of your senior colleagues.
  4. Welcome gift given to the new agent on day one.
  5. End of first day checklist completed with manager
  6. Round table or lunch set up with your influential agents to welcome the new agent
  7. Use a detailed, prioritized action-plan checklist, like Up and Running in 30 Days, to assure the new agent knows exactly what to do, how to do it, and is held accountable to it.

Outcome: 69% of new employees are more likely to stay more than three years if theya��ve experienced a well-structured onboarding program.

So, how does your onboarding system stack up?

Find out: Regularly survey your agents whoa��ve been with you 6 months to find out what they found valuable and how it could be improved. Why not have the best onboarding/retention system in the industry?

How’s Your Quick-Start Program Working?

Up and Running_5e largerBoth these onboarding studies prove that leaving the new agent’s orientation, training, and start to chance just doesn’t cut it. Take a look at what’s new in Up and Running in 30 Days:A� updates in 5th edition. This invaluable book is only $32.95 plus shipping, and has been used by thousands of new agents to launch successful careers. Order here.

 

 

interview with clip boardWhat does new agent onboarding have to do with retention? According to two recent studiesa��a whole lot! The new fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days, my new agenta��s business start-up plan, has just come out. Dearborn Education is the publisher. There are many updates in this edition. Included in these updates are conclusions from these studiesa��conclusions that support the importance of the principles in Up and Running. The biggest is starting each new agent with a proven lead generating plan.

(To see the updates in Up and Running in 30 Days, 5th edition, click here).

What Does Onboarding Include?

One study I used in Up and Running in 30 Days was the Inman Select Special Report: How to Fix New Agent Onboarding. The Inman report didna��t define what was included in Onboarding. From reading the study, however, Inman included initial training, coaching, and mentoring. I am going to add basic orientation and basic actions to the Onboarding process. Why? Because many real estate companies do not have adequate orientation processes. So, agents dona��t get the basic direction needed to launch their businesses.

Question: Whata��s your initial orientation like? Does it cover all the bases? If you want a a�?templatea�� and suggestions of what should be included in your orientation, click here.

In this blog, Ia��ll address the results and its ramifications for real state companies–from the other survey published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Retention Starts in the Interview

From working with real estate companies over the past three + decades, I think that most brokers regard retention as something that we must do to keep those seasoned agents. However, according to the survey results in the SHRM study, retention decisions are made by those we hire within a very short period of time. In fact, both studies indicate retention starts prior to hiring!

Here is a major conclusion from this survey, and it what means to real estate companies.

Expectations of the job are different than what new hires heard in the interview. And, the Inman report said new agents fail because they are unprepared for the realities of working as an independent contractor. Ia��m sure youa��ve experienced this. Your new agent is all excited about a career in real estate. But, he/she will not do the lead generating activities required to launch a career. You told the candidate he/she had to lead generate. Whata��s wrong?

Question for you: A�How well do you explain the job expectations in your interview? Do you provide a prioritized job description for the new agent? (Click here to grab mine). How do you give the prospective agent a real idea of the job?

Three Tips:

  1. Prior to hiring: Have the agent shadow one of your agents who is modeling the behaviors you want.
  2. Provide the agent with the eBook What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School. This eBook tells the truth about real estate as a career! You’ll save lots of time in the interview process and winners will pick themselves.
  3. Ask the prospect agent to do an activity you feel is important: Like create a dialogue to talk to someone they know about buying/selling real estate.
  4. Prior to hiring: Give the prospective agent Up and Running in 30 Days. Ask them to review the book. In my experience, if they come back, excited to begin this specific start-up plan, they are a good match for a productivity-focused office. If they come back and reject your lead generating plan, not a good prospect!

In my next blog, Ia��ll discuss more of the study conclusions and what they mean to us as real estate owners. Ia��ll also offer tips to tighten your onboarding process. Isna��t it worth having great systems if you could increase your retention of first year agents to 75%?

Last question: Whata��s your retention rate now of first year agents? How much

How’s Your Quick-Start Program Working?

Up and Running_5e largerBoth these onboarding studies prove that leaving the new agent’s orientation, training, and start to chance just doesn’t cut it. Take a look at what’s new in Up and Running in 30 Days:A� updates in 5th edition. This invaluable book is only $32.95 plus shipping, and has been used by thousands of new agents to launch successful careers. Order here.

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!

trainer sayingAre you training ‘know-it ‘alls’ or ‘do its’?

This month, I’m featuring training. Why? Because you’re probably hiring like mad in this fast market. So, if your training systems aren’t keeping up to your hiring demands, read each of these blogs.

Note: I’m doing a series of digital newsletters for trainers this year, called ‘Behind the Mic‘. If you’d like to be included in my mailing list, go to my Carla Cross website home page, www.carlacross.com. Toward the right bottom, there’s a request to join Carla’s Community. Join, and you’ll get newsletters and resources FREE as a member. If you want to only receive the Trainers’ newsletters, state you are a trainer.

Are you standing in front of your students to create better performance, or more knowledge? If you are want to train, ita��s very important to clarify for yourself exactly what your role is. Why? Because it will determine the outcomes you get.

I learned this the hard way. After graduating in piano performance, I applied to and had been awarded a scholarship to UCLA as a graduate assistant in the music department. But, after I was at UCLA a few weeks, I became disillusioned, for I found out that the UCLA music department was all about ‘knowledge’, not performance. Professors earned tenure by publishing papers about sixteenth century Elizabethan madrigals–but they didn’t have to be able to play the madrigals…My interest and experience in music had been performance.

Are You After Better Performance or More Knowledge?

I’ve never forgotten that lesson about the difference in the knowledge about something–and the performance of it. Which is more important in what youa��re teaching? What do you want your students to be able to do as a result of your presentation/training? Sure, just like musical performance, you must have some technique to perform. But, also like musical performance, lots of knowledge doesn’t make you a good performer.

If You Want Better Performersa��..

Here are five areas to look at to assure you’re creating performers, not just know-it alls.

1. What percent of your program is instructor focused? That is, the instructor performs. If it’s more than 50%, you have a knowledge-heavy program. Model your program like the piano teacher teaches piano. He talks very little, demonstrates some, and listens to the student play and gives positive reinforcement and re-direction. The teacher knows he taught because the student can play.

2. Do you choose your instructors based on their knowledge and their ability to deliver the message attractively? Start choosing your instructors, instead, on their ability to facilitate performance. They should be able to demonstrate a role play, set up a role play, and draw conclusions. Like great piano teachers create increasingly difficult programs for their students, your instructors should be able to craft ever-increasing difficult rule plays. Think of them like creators of ‘virtual reality’.

3. Who is held accountable for the program–the instructors or the students? In most programs, we ‘relieve’ the instructor if he doesn’t get good reviews from the students. The instructor’s the only one accountable. Turn it around. 75% of the accountability should be on the students to demonstrate they have learned the skill. Why? Because, without student accountability, managers get your ‘graduates’ who can’t perform.

4. Is your focus on curriculum? Are you attempting to create value for the program to management or owners by providing more information than the other school? Most training programs could cut 50% of their curriculum and graduate better performers. Instead of focusing on curriculum, create your program as ‘virtual reality’. Have a system that provides a series of “performance building blocks”. Don’t tell them all about playing a concerto. Just tell them enough to let them ‘get their fingers on the keys’.

5. Are the objectives of your program knowledge-based? How do the students graduate from your program? Do they pass a written exam? Managers want a graduate who can perform the activities of a real estate salesperson to reasonably high performance standards. A good training program should identify, teach, observe, and coach performance in several critical performance areas until the student can perform well enough to graduate.

The Right Performance a�?Testa��

As a piano performance major, each term, I had to play a ‘mini-recital’ in the music auditorium for an audience of four–all piano professors. I couldn’t just talk about music theory, or answer a multiple choice exam. I had to play. And, to pass the ‘course’, I had to play to certain set performance standards.A� The more your training program resembles the ‘virtual reality’ of your specific performance, the more valuable your program to the people who hired your students –and you.

In the next blog, I’ll tell you about the latest trends in training–and why you need to adopt them now!

logoAre You Making it Hard on Yourself to Train ‘Newbies’?

Why not take off the pressure and let me help you. I’ve created a comprehensive online training/coaching program for new agents: Up and Running in Real Estate.A�I’ve included 25+ training videos and 50+ documents, systems, and how-tos. And, I want to include you–since your interest and dedication will make all the difference to that new agent’s success. So, I included Coaches’ Corner–all the information you need to coach an agent to this program. See more here.A�

 

bus-plan-strat-8Your business plan: have you created your training calendar?

Through December, I’m focusing my blogs on business planning. Look for ready to use checklists, processes and systems to help you and your agents plan for a successful next year.

Youa��re putting together your business plan. How do you know what training to provide your agents? One method is to look at your profit and loss. Herea��s the other way to do it. Simply provide your agents an a�?internal review a��of their sales performance mastery (or not) as part of their business planning process.

Click here to see the internal sales performance review, excerpted from my comprehensive online business planning program, Beyond the Basics of Business Planning.

What Youa��ll Find When They Rate Themselves

Have your agents rate themselves on their performance skills. You will see that they rate themselves lower than you would rate them. Why? Because we’re harder on ourselves than we are on others.

Commonalities

What do you think the agents rate themselves lowest in? Youa��re right. Prospecting/lead generation. So, youa��ll want to create a�� with thema��a dynamic lead generating plan for next yeara��and coach them to it.A� See the lead generating plans for seasoned agents in Beyond the Basics of Business Planning,A�and, for new agents, in Up and Running in Real Estate.

Planning your Training Calendar

Your training plan should be a part of your business plan. Your training plan should tackle the challenges you have noted as a part of your own business reviewa��and of the agentsa�� business review. By the way, be sure those challenges you noted can be handled through training.

For example: Youa��ve noted an ethics problem in your office. You want your agents to a�?be more ethicala��. Thata��s not a training problem. It is a selection problem. You cana��t train your way out of the ethics we grasped when we were 5! But, you certainly can solve a listings sold problem with training. Be careful when youa��re creating your training, and tackle the problems that you can solve with training.

Put That Training on a Calendar

You’ve done your own analysis of your profit and loss statement. You’ve done your analysis with your agents. You’ve made your training plan. Now, you’re going to put it on a training calendar–and use it to guide your agents, your staff–and to recruit. Not only that, you have an integrated training system that you can delegate. Good work.

Recruiting tip: Include your training calendar in your recruiting handout, in your faxes, in your emails, and in your social media. Let prospective agents know you are organized, and you are committed to their success.

Watch my Complimentary Business Planning Webinar

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

Click here to see the webinar and grab the handouts.

Here’s to a great 2017 with your polished business plan!

Plan_Act_Celebrate

Comprehensive OnlineA�Business Planning Program for Managers

Do you find it difficult to get your agents to plan? Do you put off doing your office plan? Here’s your solution. This all-new program does several things for you:

2 webinars teach your agents how to plan using Carla’s strategic planning system

14 planning documents are included to guide your agents right through the planning process

3 webinars for you:

1. How to Create a Great Office Plan

Included: 22 office planning documents to make it easy for you to stay on track and create a great plan

2. How to Convince your Agents to Plan

3. How to Integrate your Office and Agents’ Plans

Check out Beyond the Basics of Business Planning: A planning system exclusively for real estate managers.

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!