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 Sales

If you teach: tips to stop them from being bored!

Let’s get honest. Do your students get bored when you present? As a student, you know those 71/2 clock hour courses can be killers! The presenter goes on and on. It may be great information, but, after _____ minutes (you fill in your blank), you just zone out (usually about 10-15 minutes!). And, sellers and buyers feel the same way about boring presentations.

Here are 2 quick tips to rev up your presentations, increase your effectiveness, and keep your a�?audiencea�� riveted.

  1. Ask more questions

Dona��t go over 3 minutes in a listing or buyer presentation without asking a question. How about your presentations? Do you drone on for A? hour or an hour without involving your audience? Quit right now. Thata��s where your audience a�?controla�� problems starta��when ita��s all about you.

Action: Write down a question you can ask during your normal a�?lecturea�� period. Or, as a listing or buyera��s agent, write down a question you can ask instead of droning on over 3-4 minutes.

  1. Quit lecturing your way through all that time!

Instead, break up that lecture with some questions. Better yet, use a�?alternative delivery methodsa�� (all those methods to teach besides lecture!). Those would include breaking students into task forces, or giving small groups a case study to tackle, or role play.

You can even do some of this with your sellers and buyers. Involve them in the process!

Action: If youa��ve taken an instructor development course, go back and see where the instructor used a�?alternative delivery methodsa��. Then, find a place in your presentation where you could use one of these methods. Keep expanding your horizons!

The result: Youa��ll have more enthusiastic a�?receiversa��. Youa��ll have more fun teaching, and youa��ll greatly reduce any audience a�?controla�� challenges.

Click here to grab my ‘workshop cheat sheet’, which shows you how to put alternative delivery methods into any workshop–and in which order so they ‘flow’ right.

Is the Course You Teach Just a Lecture (read ‘boring’ to students!)?

Is the class youa��re teaching (or supposed to teach) full of facts and figures? And, therea��s no instructor manual or guidance in how to teach it? Are you finding yourself talking through ita��talking for hours? (Even boring yourselfa��) Are you struggling to make that course come alive?

If you want to energize your course, keep your audience interested, and change their outcomes for the better, you need this unique course!

Bottom line: Youa��ll walk out of this course with the skills to take any boring class and make it highly participative, useful, and fun to teach. Youa��ll get the 3 best methods to use, how to use them, and when to use them to a�?plug them intoa�� any course at the right time. Youa��ll even have time to try out your new methods in your own course and get feedbacka��and watch others, too.A� Why not energize your course, have a better time teaching, and gain business all at the same time?

When: Sept. 12 and 14 (2 half days, so you can polish your course)

Time: 9:30 am to 1:30 pm each day

Where: Bellevue, Wa.

Investment: $149

Accredited for 7.5 clock hours in Washington state

Not in Washington? Contact Carla to bring her to your company or association and invigorate your courses so your students clamor to come back! (and they learn a lot!)

Click here to register.

If you teach: Do you know the process to break people into small groups and run a successful small group exercise?

In less than 2 weeks, I’ll be doing my unique version of Instructor Development Workshop. * (May 22-23 in Bellevue, Washington). One of the most challenging, yet most effective teaching method, is using small groups. These can be task force, case study, and role play. I say ‘most challenging’, because these small groups frequently go wrong. Why? Because the facilitators don’t know how to organize, run, and summarize them correctly. So, recently, I added this 12-point checklist to use to assure your small group exercise will go as you want it to go!A� Grab the 12-point checklist at the end of this blog.

*This course fulfills a qualification for you to teach clock-hour approved courses in Washington state, and it includes 15 real estate clock hours.A�

Why Not Just Talk Your Way Through your Class?

In a word–because it’s boring!

In my Instructor Development Workshop, I demonstrate several creative methods. We try them out, and then you try them out in a sample teaching situation. Rather than ‘winging it’ by trying out these methods on ‘real people’, you have a chance to watch me and then take part in several teaching situations.

Application to Your Course

Another new feature I’ve added to my Instructor Development Course is more application of these teaching methods to your course. Unfortunately, most courses aren’t written with instructor direction. In fact, they’re not even written as courses. Instead, they’re ‘streams of consciousness’. It’s very hard to take all those words and make them into a teaching course!

So, I now have you bring a module of the course you want to teach–or are teaching–to our Instructor Development class. We spend some time deciding which teaching methods would fit into that section of your course. You walk away with a much better grasp–and concrete skills–to make that course come alive!

Join Me for a Unique Instructor Experience

Even if you’ve taken other instructor development courses, I promise you’ll get new strategies–for teaching, for presenting, and for course creativity. Plus, we have a lot of fun doing the course, too.

Grab my 12-point checklist for running those small group exercises here.

Join Me for Instructor Development in May!

Why not polish your presentation, teaching, and facilitation skills, gain 15 clock hours, and have a great time at it? I’d love to work with you to do all these things. Click here for more information and registration. See you May 22!

Polish your presentation skills: three quick, effective tips to make all the difference in your impact.

Managers, trainers, salespeople, and even a�?real peoplea�� present frequently in front of one–to hundreds of people. Unfortunately, most presenters (yes, you become a presenter when youa��re selling!), arena��t trained with the best presentation tools. Instead, they just a�?wing ita��. So, we in the audience (or your clients) are frequently bored silly. It doesna��t have to be that way. Take a look at the three tipsa��tips Ia��ve learned first as a musician, then as a speaker, in front of hundreds of people. These tips will make your next time in front of a few a��or manya��enjoyable, memorable, and equally enjoyable for your audience or client.

Three Powerful Presentera��s Tips

Death by Lecture

  1. Don’t lecture for more than 10 minutes. Adults just don’t have that long an attention span (too much on our minds!). Change it up. Use various “alternative delivery methods”–methods to teach other than lecture. In myA�Instructor Development WorkshopA�course, I help students learn these teaching methods by modeling them so they can observe me teaching. Then, we de-brief on what we did. Finally, each student teaches a short module using creative methods, and the rest of the students provide feedback. (We really only learn when we do something).A�DoingA�greatly increases confidence–and competence.

Question: If youa��re in sales or management: Are you talking through your listing or recruiting presentation because you know a lot? How long will it take until the person in front of you gets a�?glassy eyesa��?

Do Something Else Before You Talk too Much

2. When you want to change adults’ perceptions, beliefs, or knowledge, don’t just start talking to them.A�You may be setting up an adversarial relationshipa��and youa��re too predictable! You may just cause them to shrink more into their beliefs, and to defend those beliefs (have you observed students who live to argue with the instructor?)

How to tackle the ‘old belief’ challenge:

Prepare students or your clients to learn something new. For example: Use a ‘true-false’ or ‘multiple choice’ to start the presentation, or to check learning. I do this in myA�Instructor Development Workshop courseA�in the middle, and ask students how they would have answered at the beginning of the course–and then contrast that with their new perceptions and learning. It creates lots of ‘ahas’ with them, and further cements their learning experience.

Tip: If youa��re in sales: Use a fun true-false survey for sellers to use prior to meeting you. It can have lots of fallacies and misinformation, and will set up your presentation to help sellers get the real facts and make the best decision for them.

Quit Relying on the ‘Screen’ to Talk for YOU!!!

3. Don’t just read from the PowerPoint on the screenA�(and, just as onerous, provide the student with the PowerPoint as the “outline”.) If an instructor does that, I feel I want to just take that outline and leave. I can read, thank you! Too many presenters/trainers rely on PowerPoint to do the teaching. Instead, invest in a a�?pointera�� that allows you to make the screen blank. Remember: YOU are the presenter, not your Powerpoint!

Tip: If youa��re in sales or management: Dona��t just drone on from your presentation manual. (thata��s your Powerpoint in this instance.) Instead, Use questions, handouts, pauses, and summaries to give your presentation contour and interest.

Use that Right Brain of Yours

Effective presenting is much more than just talking. It should be creative. Use all the “attention strategies” at your disposal (that means to get them into your repertoire).

Suggestions to get creative:

Use props, stories, various audio-visual aids, and handouts to control the audience “contour”. I learned this as a musician playing for dancing. You direct how you want the audience to dance by the music you pick, and you ‘contour’ the whole experience (slower to faster, then back to slow). As a great instructor/ facilitator/presenter, you can direct your audience (clients) in an awesome learning experience. It just depends on the skills you bring to the table.

Tip: Adapt your creativity to your presentation to clients. They’ll appreciate your innovative approach and you’ll become memorable–not just another voice!

Ita��s Worth the Effort

A�Most presenters/trainers arena��t in it for the big bucks (where are those big bucks, again?). Theya��re in it to assist others. Gaining and practicing presentation skills helps us give back better. The bonus: Deep appreciation from our audience or your client. Wea��ve even been known to change lives for the better! No amount of money can provide that sense of accomplishment.

Carla’s next innovativeA�Instructor Development WorkshopA�is coming up May 22-23, 2018 in Bellevue. Washington.A�Click hereA�for specifics.

Resources to Present More EffectivelyA�

Take a look at Carla’s comprehensive training resource,A�The Ultimate Real Estate Trainera��s Guide,A�and her presentation resource,A�Knock Their Socks Off: Skills to Make Your Best Presentation Ever.A�A�See all her coaching and training resources atA�www.carlacross.com.

Apr
17

Should New Agents Get a Coach?

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Should new agents get a coach?

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

I wrote this eBook to save prospective agents and managers time during the interview/selecction process. Here’s an excerpt from the eBook, discussing whether agents should get a coach, mentor, or…..:

New Agents A Looking for Support–Sometimes in the Wrong Places

As youa��re interviewing {this is from the new agent’s perspecive}, 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

Which of these are good for you? Herea��s my advice on coaches. Watch for future blogs on enlisting a mentor, joining a team, or becoming an assistant.

The Coach

I hope your manager will become your accountability coach. But, many managers promise to a�?coach youa��. However, that quickly becomes a a�?got a minutea�� answer man function instead of a focused, linear, goal-oriented action coaching. You dona��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 outA�lined with checklists and systems. Ask, a�?What system are you going to use to coach me?a�? You need a specific game plan, because you are new. You have no history..
  2. The specific program should be related to a a�?game plana�?a��a busiA�ness start-up plan. Ask, a�?What game plan are you going to use?a�?
  3. The coaches should be trained and coached themselves. Ask, a�?Whata��s your coaching background, and what sales principles do you believe in?a�? 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, ideA�ally, 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 youa��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 youa��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, youa��re just getting an a�?advice sessiona��.

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 a�?shadow thema�� (see how they do a listing/buyer presentation or offer presentation)
  • Be your accountability coach

Most peer coaches dona��t have a coaching program to coach to, and havena��t been trained. They are also at a loss with what to do if the agent refuses to do the work.

If youa��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 nightmarea��for both parties.

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

In the next blogs, wea��ll discuss three a�?safety-netsa�� that some new agents considera��because theya��re afraid they will not be able to generate enough commissions by relying solely on their

own work.

Have All the Answers You Need to Make the Best Business Decision for You?

If you’re interviewing tons of prospective agents, you’re spending lots of time at it. Why not let Carla answer some of the most important new agent questions–and free you up to do a real interview? Check outA�my ebook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.A�

You’ll save lots of interview time and help the winners choose you!

I’m giving the same advice to those interviewing while in pre-license. These preferences are excerpted from my ebook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.A�A�

From the Prospective Interviewee’s Perspective

Youa��re getting ready to go into the interview. Do you know what youa��re looking for? Use this checklist to decide what kind of company, office, and atmosphere youa��ll feel most comfortable in.

Selling vs non-selling manager

You prefer a manager who doesna��t sell real estate.(non-competing)

You prefer a manager who sells real estate (may provide a good role model).

Managers: How will you explain the benefits you bring as a selling or non-selling manager?

Training

You prefer a formalized training program.

You prefer to a�?go it on your owna��, with the manager available to answer questions.

Managers: How will you explain the benefits of the kind of program you provide?A�

Large/Small Office

You prefer a large, busy office.

You prefer a small, more laid-back atmosphere.

Managers: How will you differentiate between the large and small offices, and explain the benefits to your type of office?

Large/Small Company

You like the idea of a large company behind your efforts.

You like the idea of a boutique, specialty company.

Managers: What are the benefits of your type of company?

Many/Few New Agents

You want to be around other new agents like you, so you prefer an office with lots of new agents.

You want to be with seasoned agents, and would rather be among the few new agents in the office.

Managers: What are the benefits of your agent mix? (Do you know what your agent mix is?)

Top Producer Assignment

You want to be assigned to a top producer to find out how that top producer works, and perhaps do work for that top producer.

You want to become an above-average producer fast, and dona��t want to be in the shadows of anyone else.

Managers: How do you explain the benefits of a mentor program to your interviewee–if you have one?

Age of Agents

You want to be around people your age.

You want to be around people of a wide range of ages and interests.

Managers: Do you know your agent age mix? How do you explain the benefits of it?

Work from Office/Work from Home

You want to work from the office, and have a desk at the office.

You want to work from home.

Managers: What’s your take on the benefits of either of these? Do you have requirements? How do you explain benefits?

No Supervision/Management

You prefer little or no a�?supervisiona��. Youa��ll go at your own speed.

You want and expect leadership and guidance as you start your career.

Managers: How much supervision do you employ? What are the benefits of your approach?

Coach/No Coach

You want a coach dedicated to your success.

You prefer to go it alone and operate independently.

Managers: Do you have a coaching program? How do you explain the benefits–or not?

Mentor/Manager

You want a mentora��someone you can go to ask questions at any time.

You want to go to your manager as your trusted adviser.

Managers: Do you have a mentor program? Who is the mentor? How do you explain benefits?

Most Important in the Interview

There are 3 important points here:

  1. Create questions based on these preferences
  2. Be ready to explain the benefits of how you work
  3. Decide your standards–what you will tolerate; what you won’t tolerate

Save Interview Time and Give Them the Straight Scoop

Are you spending hours in the interview process? Explaining the same things over and over again? Why not let Carla take some of that obligation from you, so you can spend your time in a great interview? Check outA�What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.A�A�

 

 

What should you expect your first week in the business?

The next few blogs are excerpted from my ebook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School (the facts about real estate as a career!).

Herea��s Your Desk, Herea��s Your Phone, Got Any Questionsa��..

Thata��s what my first boss told me as I was hired. So, I went to the desk I was assigned anda��..waited for something to happen. I was so naA?ve I didna��t even know the questions to ask! You may be laughing now, but, that still occurs in real estate offices today. What would you do if that happened to you? Probably sit and wait for someone to

Invite you to have a cup of coffee or lunch

Invite you to go see homes for sale

And, those were both things that happened to me. You may even conclude thata��s how real estate was sold. Wrong. Unfortunately, neither of these activities makes you any money. So, I quickly figured out I couldna��t do things like the agents in the office did them, or I would produce the same amount they produceda��3-4 sales a year. (There were two others in the office, but I never saw them, because they were out sellinga��.).

What Your First Week Should Look Like

Orientation: Get everything done on the orientation checklist your manager provided. Work with the secretary or assistant to complete all the tasks, so youa��re ready to sell real estate.

Schedule an appointment with your manager to get your business start-up plan and a coaching schedule with him/her or someone designated as your accountability coach.

Start-up checklist: Your manager may provide a start-up checklist, which has things on it such as a�?create a databasea��; call potential clientsa��; a�?meet with a mortgage repa��. These lists can include business developing and business-supporting activities. Just be sure they are targeted to start your business successfullya��not just give you busywork.

Schedule your initial training: Your company should have an initial training program that occurs at least every two months. Schedule attendance at it. Chapter 9 has a comprehensive new agent training calendar you can use to compare to what youa��ve requested in the interview.

Property inspection: Every new agent wants to feel comfortable with inventory. So, schedule inspection of listings for 3-5 hours this week, and during your first month. As you become comfortable with inventory, dona��t a�?previewa�� any more than you need toA� feel comfortable working with buyers and sellers.

Top-producing agents preview with a reason: To do research on a potential listing, or to preview with a specific buyer in mind. They dona��t have time just to preview pretty properties because they are on the marketa��but non-producing agents have plenty of time to become a�?property expertsa��.

See my business start-up plan, A�for a good prototype schedule for yourself, so you’ll get great time management habits from day 1.

Want proven guidance to start your career? Check out

What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License SchoolA� -A�everything each prospective agent should know about careers in real estate

Up and Running in 30 DaysA�–A�the new agent’s business start-up plan, with dozens of training tips, checklists, and sales guidance to start your career right

UP and Running in Real Estate — the comprehensive online version; a detailed start-up plan, with 25 training videos, dozens of documents to save you thousands of hours, and coaching plus motivation to keep your momentum to success

Carla’s advice: No matter how you start, start with a proven plan!

 

 

 

 

 

 

coaching teaching skills

Make your training pay off: four great principles.

This month we’re focusing on training.

How badly do you really want your training to pay off? Recently, I A�reviewed a training program to see if the attributes for effectiveness were there. Most of them weren’t. And, frankly, I think they weren’t there because no one cared enough to assure they WERE there. Why? Because it’s regarded as just too much trouble! That’s the sad truth. But, why do we bother to train if we can’t expect a measurable outcome? What if I could absolutely guarantee you, that, if you put these 4 principles in place, you will see results in your training, turn out productive agents, and have a great recruiting tool. How much would that be worth to you? (I don’t mean how much would you pay for this, but how much effort would you be willing to put into it?)

Here are the four principles/attributes that need to be in place:

1.A�Expectations/Accountability

How will you hold agents accountable to work to be done in the program? What are the ‘rules’? When do you explain the rules? Do you have a commitment letter?

2.A�Work during the course

Do you have the agents completing work during the course? Lead generation, packaging, presentations, etc. If not, how do you know they can do what you taught?

3. Measurable results

Are you having the agents measure their results? If not, how are you going to use the program to recruit? How will you know the program worked?

4.A�Fixed curriculum and highly trained instructors

Do you have a written curriculum with course objectives? If not, are you just wandering around in a wasteland of information?

Are your instructors trained in participative teaching methods? Are you monitoring your instructors so you know they are teaching skills, not just talking or providing war stories?

Grade yourself on each of the attributes above. What did you excel at? What do you need to improve?

How awesome could your training be if it had these 4 principles/attributes in place?

logoHere’s a Program with the Principles Written Into the Training

It’s deceptively challenging to include those 4 principles/attributes above in a training program. Yet, if they aren’t there, your training can’t be effective. Why not look at the unique UP and Running in Real Estate, written by National Realtor Educator of the Year Carla Cross.

This online program is terrific for those hiring 1-4 agents a month, because the agent can start the program at any time, and work through the program, while jumping ahead to needed topics–and going back.

Check it outA�here.

Also: There’s a coaching component, so you can fully support your agent’s success.

 

training signTrainers: Is your training really a ‘hot mess’?

This month, we’re focusing on training. Why? Because you can recruit your heart out, but, if you’re not developing each agent to his/her potential, you’re not retaining! (and you have a revolving door……)

Doing Everything Wrong? Or Right?

a�?Oh, no. Ia��ve been doing EVERYTHING wrong!a�? Thata��s what one of my attendees groaned after I explained the training calendar evaluation tool I created to help trainers assess their training programs. Too often, I see training programs thrown together from various cobbled (and ripped offa��.) sources. Sure. You can do that and call it your training program. But, it makes for a disjointed, shattered a�?picturea�� of your company and culture. And, it doesna��t work to get what you wanta��more production and profits.

Here, I want to share an analysis tool I created that will help you see the good and challenging parts of your training program and tune it up to really make a difference in your company.

Do You Really Have a Training Program?

When asked this question in a National Association of Realtorsa�� survey, the majority of the brokers said they did have a training program. But, what does that mean? What does it encompass? How would I know you had a real program? Here are the three questions to ask yourself to see if you really have any type of cohesive, coherent training program focused on the results you want:

1. Is your training program a part of your business plan?
2. Have you created a training calendar so you know what youa��re doing and when youa��re doing it?
3. Could I look at your calendar and see exactly why you had scheduled those eventsa��and that they had cohesiveness to your a�?big picturea��?

Evaluate your Training Program Now

The training calendar evaluation tool I mentioned above is invaluable to see how effective your training program really isa��and to target the changes you want to make so youa��re training with purpose.

At the end of this blog, Ia��ll share it with you. First, leta��s walk through it.

What Kind of Training Are You Offering?

Look at your training calendar. If you dona��t have one, simply take a 3-month calendar and write in the training youa��re providing.
Whata��s the ratio of business-producing vs. business supporting training modules? When I see some training calendars, I can see why their training is not increasing productivity. All their modules are concerned with business supporting subjects (technical knowledge): home inspections, the law of agency, websites, social media, etc. Thata��s all nice, but what does it directly do with creating productivity? Herea��s the path to a sale:

Lead generation

Interviews/qualifying buyers and sellers

Listing homes/showing homes

Selling a home/listing sellsA�A�A�A�A�A�A� $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

If you want to increase productivity and profits, your training calendar needs to reflect your training in these business-producing areas.

What are you training to that will make a real difference in your productivity and profits next year? Put that in your business plan.

What Does Your Profit and Loss Statement Tell You to Train To?

Take a look at your P and L. Whata��s your ratio of listings sold to sales? Do you like that ratio? Would you like it to be different? Do you want more sold listings? If so, start training to that. When I took over a failing office, I saw the ratio of listings taken to listings sold was a miserable 30%! So, I started action-focused training on the whole listing process. I had them role-playing their hearts out. I did a listing presentation play-offsA� In short, I trained them specifically to change that ratio for the better. By the end of three years, our a�?conversiona�� ratios were 85%–the highest in the area.
What is your training accomplishing? What do you need it to accomplish? Want can you measure?

Who Are You Training?

We segment our markets when we design our marketing plans. We need to segment our a�?marketa�� for our training plan, too. In this case, our a�?marketa�� is our agents. When I ask seasoned agents about whether there is a training program in their company, they say a�?yesa��. Ita��s for the new agent. What? Are those seasoned agents in the office chopped liver?

Click hereA�to grab the training calendar evaluator.

Tell me: How would you rate your training, on a scale of 1-10, 10 being fantastic? What can you do to improve it?

Tip: See my resources on training and writing courses at www.carlacross.com.A�

shaking hands over computerClient relationship management: When do your agents start–and how can you help them capture and keep clients from day one?

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.}

Client Relationship Management Supports Great Time Management

One of the biggest benefits of Up and Running in 30 Days is gaining strategies to conquer time managementa��prioritization and organization. A new agent starts with little concept of whata��s importanta��so everything becomes importanta��or everything becomes unimportant! Their priorities get skewed because of bad training, hiding in low-impact activities, or really not knowing whata��s important. So, time management becomes an agenta��s biggest challengea��whether that agent is in the business three days or thirty years.

The Biggest Key to Effective Time Management

One of the biggest ways to constantly move ahead is to organize your contacts and leads into a database from day one. Yet, very few new agents do this. Why?

  1. They dona��t think ita��s important for them now (they dona��t realize that every person they meet could be a gold minea��if they track that person, constantly communicate with that person, and show that they care more than a commission!)
  2. They dona��t think they can afford a client relationship management. Yet, almost everyone has Outlook on their computers. Or, title companies over free contact management. There really is no excuse for not utilizing some type of electronic organization from day one!

For this 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days, I asked successful first year agents and leaders of teams what they felt contributed to an agenta��s successa��and what detracted. When I asked those agent and team leader contributors what technology is important to incorporate, herea��s what they said:

a�?CRM and lead management toolsa�?a��Diane Honeycutt

a�?A really good and easy-to-use CRMa�?a��Cerise Paton

a�?A good CRMa�?a��Chris Cross. Yet, Chris has told me that, when he teaches a new agent course, only about 10% of those new agents are populating even a database, although, their assignment is to populate it aggressively.

According to Gary Richter, having a CRM is critical to his success: a�?For me having a CRM to track my leads and contacts is absolutely critical. I live in that database daily.a�?

Picture this: You meet a potential client, and a competing agent like Gary meets that potential client, too,A� The other agent (Gary) consistently followed up and kept in toucha��and you didna��t. Who would finally earn that commission from that client? Dona��t lose out because you are trying to operate without a CRMa��and have a haphazard follow-up marketing plan!

So, dona��t be like the majority of new agents (and even seasoned agents!): Start using a database, or better yet, a CRM your first week in the business.

A�Bottom Line: Youa��ll Make More Money!

A recent study by Active Rain (a popular real estate blog and tech information center), showed that agents who spent more money on contact relationship management (CRM) made significantly more money. It just makes sense. Agents who capture their leads via a database and then keep in touch with them via contact management software assure they keep their names in front of their potential clients, and are able to management and help many more clients. Agents who try to organize their clients via pieces of scrap paper and remember to call them once in awhile are woefully inadequate when it comes to staying in meaningful contact with their potential clients. Which agent would you prefer working with, as a client? An agent who regularly contacted you and kept you abreast of the market, or one who either never called you or contacted you irregularly?

So, the big lesson here is to organize all your contacts into a database, or better yet, client relationship managementa��from day one! Which CRM should you use? Dona��t dither around! Choose one and start. You can always expert your contacts to a more robust program later.

Note: I got lots of recommendations on CRMs from my tech experts for Up and Running in 30 Days. I have made an extensive Resources section in this 5th edition of Up and RunningA� to list all the resources, including all types of technology, training, and support resources.

Managers: Using Up and Running with its extensive resources will save you so much time–and your agents will thank you forever!

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.

 

do itHere’s the easiest, least expensive, and effective thing your agents can do to get business.

Having hired and trained probably hundreds of new agents, I know the myriad of questions they have. So, here’s the simplest, yet most effective thing you can teach your new agents (and your experienced agents) to do.

Herea��s the answer to the question, a�?What is the one thing I should do to get business?a�? Yes, people are always asking me that. I think ita��s because Ia��ve written two resources for would-be and new agents: What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License SchoolA� and Up and Running in 30 Days . By the way, Up and Running was just published in its 5th edition!

Now, we know that becoming a skilled real estate agent isna��t just one answer. But, there is one thing new agents can do that requires

No skill

No experience

No money

Little time

And, this one thing will make you stand out from the crowd better than any other one thing you could do! What is it? Simply:

Write a thank you note (a real hard copy note, not an email)

Why?

Because manners and a�?thank yousa�� have gotten increasingly uncommon! You will stand out simply because youa��ve taken the time, thought about that person, and cared enough to writea��and put that stamp on it.

Write More Than One Note

Ia��m not going to tell your new agents to write a certain number of notes per day. You and your agents can set your standard (that means the minimum youa��ll do).

What to Say

Thank you. Thinking about you. I appreciate you. I used your advice. Herea��s something for you that would be helpful. I found the information you wanted.

Note to managers: This is also one of the strongest motivational tools you’ll ever have–writing notes to your agents with encouragement, thanks, etc. Do you do enough of it? Set your own goals now.

Big important sales principle:

Contacting people is simply finding an excuse to write, pick up the phone, or go see. Retaining salespeople is similar!

My challenge: How creative can you get?

Your agents are more creative than they think they are. Now, get them to sit down and think hard about 5 people they’ve started to work with, but need to contact now. What about them fits into any scenario for you to write that note, pick up the phone, or go see?

They are now using a�?advanceda�� sales techniques, and they already know how to do all of this.

Sales meeting tip: One of the managers I know actually has agents write these notes during a sales meeting, and brainstorms the reasons one could write a note.

Proof is in the Pudding

My first year in real estate, I sold 40 homes. Also, I sent more things in the mail than any other of the 30 agents in my office. Why? Because I wanted to create a a�?critical massa�� of people who thought I was wonderful. Yes, an agent can also do this with social media. But, you want to stand out. And, you will stand out much more if you write to one person than to many. After all, you are working with that one person who will pay you thousands of dollars. He/she is worth that special, individual effort! That’s the one thing your agentsA� should do to get business.

Managers: How are you making this simple tip work for you and your agents?

Up and Running_5e largerHelp Your Agents Get a Sale Much Faster!

Why not provide your agents a proven business start-up plan, along with hundreds of success tips? Check out the new 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.