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Got a minute? If you're a busy manager, that's about all you have. That's why Carla Cross, management coach, speaker, and author, has created this blog just for you, with ready-to-use tips to master management through people.

Archive for selecting managers

red flagDo you use a planned, consistent interview process? If you do, you will easily discover those ‘red flag’ areas–those areas you must double-check to assure that candidate is qualified to work with you. If you don’t use a consistent interview process–when every interview is a ‘wing-it’ experience—you’re constantly thinking about what to do next. We can’t pay attention to those red flags which pop up and wave themselves in our faces. We’re seduced, too, by what we perceive as the candidate’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 ‘leader’ and learn from you
  3. Create a professional interview process you follow consistently*
  4. Create ‘behavioral predictor’ 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 ‘validate’ 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 You 

You will not only hire better candidates, you will avoid those awful ‘surprises’ after committing to that agent (and I’ve had some doozies, as you probably have had, too). You will gain the respect of your team, because you aren’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 candidate’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.

Tquestion in front of facehis is the time you should be lead generating for recruits and selecting carefully. So, this month, I’m spotlighting 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 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?

man with hand over faceLet’s be honest. Have you ever hired someone and found out it was the ‘hire from hell’? If you haven’t, you just haven’t hired enough agents or staff!  Many managers tell me that the hardest thing they have to do is to hire staff. I think that’s because most of us never had any training in how to hire staff (or hire agents, for that matter). During a 3-day management symposium I taught in South Carolina, and one of my students emailed me: “Can you give me some tips to  assure I don’t make a hiring mistake with staff? If any of us hasn’t made mistakes hiring staff, please comment! I know I’ve made many–and that’s why I’ve developed the tips here. This tips work for hiring agents or staff. And, they work for agents hiring team members.

So, here are four surefire tips  for you.
1. Create the right kind of questions from your job description
Using that job description you created (you did create one, didn’t you?) for your agent or staff position, create past-based questions that tell you if the candidate has the skills and qualities you need. For example. You’re looking for someone who cares about the company. Here’s the question: “In your past jobs, give me 3 examples of how you watched out for the company’s best interests.” Listen and probe. Here’s an example for hiring agents. Let’s say you want an agent who is a ‘self-starter. The question: “Was there a time in your past when you wanted something badly, and you went out and got some kind of job to earn it?”  Listen and probe.
For more information on behavioral predictors, see The Complete Recruiter and my eBook on interviewing, Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners.  I just updated that program, and added a video showing exactly how to structure and ask those ‘behavorial predictors’.
2. Follow a planned, proven interview process to assure you get all the information you need
Most of us don’t interview; we, just sell. We don’t find out the ‘secrets’ about the candidate, but, the candidate sure finds out about us! If you need a proven process, see Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners. I created 8 steps to use each time for a smooth, professional interview.
3. Use a Behavioral Profile 
I’d also suggest you use a behavioral profile, for those who pass your first interview. Use it to gather information prior to your second interview. In our coaching company, we use Michael Abelson’s: www.abelson.net. It’s well worth it because you find out things that are very hard to discover in the ‘live’ interview. Then, you go back and ask more past-based questions about those areas. That’s called ‘validating’.
4. Check references “3 deep” 
Be sure to check references–not just the ones the candidate gives you, but go ‘3 deep’. That means to ask the people the candidate gives you, ‘Who else could I contact about this candidate’? Go 2 people deep from each of the names the candidate gives you. That way, you’re sure to get a better, less biased picture of the candidate. You’ll find you learn a lot from people who weren’t ‘direct references’!
Now, you have those four surefire tips to avoid staff hiring mistakes. Let me know how they work for you!

eBook Cover(2)How’s Professional is Your Interview Process?

You work so hard to gain those interviews. But, do you have planned interview process that assures you pick winners? (And assures the candidates are impressed with you….) I’ve just completely updated Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners, with new information about what desired agents of today are looking for, a guide to create your unique attractors, how to put together a powerful presentation, and a completely new video showing exactly how to craft the best ‘crystal ball’ type of questions. Learn more here. 

How do you choose that next manager? Are your questions revealing the aspects you really want revealed? Choosing that best manager is very challenging. This month, I’m featuring blogs concerning new managers.

Before I share my interviewing questions with you, let me ask you:

What traits, skills, and qualities are you looking for in a manager? List them before you read the rest of this blog.

To help you create a great system to choose your manager, I’ve created questions based on the skills, traits and qualities I think are important in a manager. First, I’ve listed each important trait, quality and skill an effective manager needs (in my opinion).  

Questions: After each item, I’ve listed questions to ask to ascertain if this person has sufficient strength and background in each area. 

Using this questionnaire: Probe deeply in each question to discover their true behaviors. Don’t go quickly from question to question. Write the answers and analyze them later.

 1. Successful salesperson in real estate or another field

 Question: Describe your sales record in your previous field (s). Probe.

 Note: You need a manager with a successful sales record or else that manager won’t actively recruit, and won’t have the skills to make recruiting calls.

 2. Possesses leadership qualities to inspire others.

 Note: You need a manager who can get others to follow in a positive, participative manner.

 Question: Describe a time in your life where you assumed a leadership role. Probe.

 Question: Which manager in your business history did you admire? Why?

 Question: Which manager in your business history did you not admire? Why?

 Question: Have you ever worked in a participative organization? (with leadership groups, etc.)  Probe.

 3. Is willing to hire and retain to company standards.

 You need someone tough enough, but diplomatic enough, to create and implement a standards-based company.

 Question: Have you ever worked in an organization with standards? (minimum expectations). Probe.

 Question: What standards did you work with at your last real estate company? (You want to ascertain if this person thinks standards are important, and whether this person will implement standards to hire, select, and retain).

 4. Has recruiting skills.

 Question: Describe how you got leads in your sales career (listen for pro-active lead generation). Listen for taking full responsibility for his/her own sales success. Listen to assure it wasn’t ‘inside sales (retail or given an area to follow up on).

 Question: Describe your lead generating plan in sales.

 5. Has coaching skills.

 Question: Have you ever been coached? Describe it. What were the positives? The negatives?

 Question: Have you ever coached others? Probe.

 Question: Have you ever taken a course (s) in how to coach? Describe.

 6. Has training skills.

 Question: Have you ever trained anyone? Please describe. (Listen for training, accountability, measuring results).

 Question: Describe your training (the training you have taken). Have you taken training courses in management? Describe.

 Question: Have you ever taken a speech course? Describe. (ability to organize thoughts, do persuasive presentations, lead meetings successfully)

 7. Ambitious and energetic person who wants to build wealth through others.

 Question: Tell me a goal you attained and how you attained it.

 Question: Tell me about a time in your life when you refused to give up on a dream of yours. Probe.

 Question: How have you been preparing to lead others?

What other traits, skills, and qualities are you looking for in a manager? Do you questions reflect your needs? Let me know.

Note to would-be and new managers: See how you would answer these questions.

This month, I’m featuring blogs for would-be and new managers. If that’s you–or even if you just want to review your business–this is the blog for you.

What are your business priorities? If you’re a new or would-be manager, you may not know. (General managers: This is a great analysis to use with your managers, too).

In my coaching business, Leadership Mastery coaching, I help new clients assess their needs before we set our goals. I’m going to share one of those assessments here with you.

Just What are Business Priorities?

Every day, we managers decide what to do. We attempt to prioritize our actions, but, often, ‘life’ gets in the way (agents wanting ‘just a minute’–crises–you know the drill).  So that we accomplish the really important things, take a minute and write down those actions you believe will move you closer to more production and profits. I call those ‘business producing’ activities.

Now, write down all the other activities you could do. I call those ‘business supporting’ activities.

Which is the larger list?

Go back to one of my earlier blogs, where I shared my manager’s job description to get a prioritized job description of a manager.

How Systemized and Organized are You?

I find that managers generally don’t think in terms of systems. So, they can’t move very fast. They can’t delegate. They an’t grow a big office for more profits. (In fact, some say they just can’t manage very many people). Just think if Bill Gates, while working out of his garage starting Microsoft, thought that….). I want you to think in terms of creating systems from the things you do. For instance, you recruit. But, do you have a whole recruiting system?

Click here to get my systems and processes’ assessment.

What did you find? What do you want to work on first this year?

General managers and owners: This is a great assessment to use with your managers–and during the interview process.

 

This month, I’m featuring blogs for would-be and new managers. If that’s you–or even if you just want to review your skills–this is the blog for you. (The picture is there because it reminds me of the awesome advances those contestants on Dancing with The Stars make….)

As I said in an earlier blog, most managers don’t start with a job description. So, they really don’t know what to do each day. They don’t know know the priorities of the person who hired them. They don’t know what they should be held accountable to. In my coaching program (Leadership Mastery coaching), that raises a huge challenge: If you don’t know what to be accountable to, how do you know how you’re doing?

What Are You Good At? What Do You Want to Master?

To help my coaching clients assess their skills, I’ve developed an analysis tool (actually, I have developed many analysis tools) to find out what they feel they don’t need to work on–and what they do need to work on to master their craft (management and leadership).

Before I give you that assessment, write down the 5 skills you believe you are really good at–skills that managers need in their day-to-day work.

Now, write down 5 skills that you want to polish–or you want to gain.

How Are You Going to Gain or Refine those Skills?

There are various methods for you to gain skills:

Training

Courses

Reading

And, best of all–coaching. Why? Because we adults have a wide variance of skill levels and needs. Training can certainly provide the basic foundation. But, to move toward mastery, we must also initiate coaching. This year, to get to the level of achievement you want, consider hiring a coach.

Click here to get the skills assessment.

What did you learn from the assessment?

General managers and owners: This is a terrific assessment to use with someone you’re thinking of hiring–or with your present managers.

 

What’s your manager’s job description? This month, I’m featuring blogs for new managers (but, these tips would apply to any manager anywhere, anytime….).  In my coaching business, I often ask managers

“Did you get a job description when you were hired as a manager?”

They almost always answer “no”. And, my question is, “If you didn’t get a job description, how do you know what your owner expects of you? How do you know your priorities?” In fact, managers don’t. So, before I share my prioritized job description for managers, write down your job description as you see it–with the priorities of the job.

What do you think are the parts of your job that move your office ahead in production and profits?

What are the ‘support’ parts of your job that you need to do to keep the ship afloat?

Which of these categories do you do more consistently? Why? 

My Job Description for a Real Estate Manager

Now, click here to gain my manager’s job description.  Not only have I prioritized the activities managers do, I’ve quantified them with numbers of hours managers should spend in each category. Compare my description to yours.

General Managers: Use this description to hire and terminate

Too often, when managers are hired for the job, they aren’t told the priorities or the amount of time they should spend on those priorities. Then, when they aren’t attaining their goals, and their ‘boss’ gets frustrated, the manager says, “Well, I’m doing what I thought you wanted me to do.”

Misleading Statements in the Interview Lead to Managers’ Failure

From working with managers for decades, I’ve heard some doozies in the interview. One manager told me his owners told him–during the interview–he didn’t have to recruit. After a couple of years of his office failing, his owners hired me to get the managers (3 of them) to recruit! What a setup…..

Another group of managers told me they were hired ‘to keep people happy’. Nothing about production. Nothing about profits…..these managers were really glorified baby-sitters!

So, be careful to provide your version of the manager’s job description during the interview, and create your interiew questions to reflect your values.

Managers: Get Your Obligations Straight In the Interview–Not After

If you’re just interviewing for a job now, or are a new manager, take my job description to your owner or general manager and find out exactly what your priorities are. Find out what you’ll be held accountable to. Find out what training and coaching you’ll receive to reach and exceed those goals. Now, we’re all on the same page!

What’s your job description? Did you get one prior to taking your present position with your company? Very few managers did. If you didn’t,  how do you know what to do every day? How do you know the priorities expected by your ‘boss’? (Or, if you’re the boss, how do you know your priorities? How do you know how to hold your managers accountable?)

Your Present Job Description

Here’s how to figure out the present job description you’re ‘using’. Aalyze the number of hours you’re spending in

Business producing activities (recruiting, selecting, training, coaching, team building)

Business supporting activities (everything else!)

That gives you a great idea about your actual, practical job description. Is it the one you want? Is it the job description you thought you were following?

A Prototype Job Description for You

I’ve created a prototype job description with hours allocated to various types of activities.

Click here to get it and compare it with your job description analysis. What do you think of my descriptions? What do you think of my hourly allocations?

After your analysis: What do you want to change to move your office forward? Do you need to move more into leadership, and away from ‘maintenance management’? 

General managers or owners who hire managers: Create a job description from which to interview potential managers. Never hire without getting agreement from your candidate that he/she will execute THAT job description!

                             If you’re wondering whether you’re on track with your career, why not take advantage of our complimentary consultation in our Leadership Mastery coaching program? Click here for more information.

Choosing that best manager is very challenging. Before I share my questions with you, let me ask you:

What traits, skills, and qualities are you looking for in a manager? List them before you read this blog.

To help you create a great system to choose your manager, I’ve created questions based on the skills, traits and qualities I think are important in a manager. First, I’ve listed each important trait, quality and skill an effective manager needs (in my opinion).  

Questions: After each item, I’ve listed questions to ask to ascertain if this person has sufficient strength and background in each area. 

Using this questionnaire: Probe deeply in each question to discover their true behaviors. Don’t go quickly from question to question. Write the answers and analyze them later.

 1. Successful salesperson in real estate or another field

 Question: Describe your sales record in your previous field (s). Probe.

 Note: You need a manager with a successful sales record or else that manager won’t actively recruit, and won’t have the skills to make recruiting calls.

 2. Possesses leadership qualities to inspire others.

 Note: You need a manager who can get others to follow in a positive, participative manner.

 Question: Describe a time in your life where you assumed a leadership role. Probe.

 Question: Which manager in your business history did you admire? Why?

 Question: Which manager in your business history did you not admire? Why?

 Question: Have you ever worked in a participative organization? (with leadership groups, etc.)  Probe.

 3. Is willing to hire and retain to company standards.

 You need someone tough enough, but diplomatic enough, to create and implement a standards-based company.

 Question: Have you ever worked in an organization with standards? (minimum expectations). Probe.

 Question: What standards did you work with at your last real estate company? (You want to ascertain if this person thinks standards are important, and whether this person will implement standards to hire, select, and retain).

 4. Has recruiting skills.

 Question: Describe how you got leads in your sales career (listen for pro-active lead generation). Listen for taking full responsibility for his/her own sales success. Listen to assure it wasn’t ‘inside sales (retail or given an area to follow up on).

 Question: Describe your lead generating plan in sales.

 5. Has coaching skills.

 Question: Have you ever been coached? Describe it. What were the positives? The negatives?

 Question: Have you ever coached others? Probe.

 Question: Have you ever taken a course (s) in how to coach? Describe.

 6. Has training skills.

 Question: Have you ever trained anyone? Please describe. (Listen for training, accountability, measuring results).

 Question: Describe your training (the training you have taken). Have you taken training courses in management? Describe.

 Question: Have you ever taken a speech course? Describe. (ability to organize thoughts, do persuasive presentations, lead meetings successfully)

 7. Ambitious and energetic person who wants to build wealth through others.

 Question: Tell me a goal you attained and how you attained it.

 Question: Tell me about a time in your life when you refused to give up on a dream of yours. Probe.

 Question: How have you been preparing to lead others?

What other traits, skills, and qualities are you looking for in a manager? Do you questions reflect your needs? Let me know.

You’re in the interview process, attempting to do a great job in choosing your next manager. What do you want to listen for? What ‘red flags’ should you notice? It all starts with your job description. (Look below to get mine).

The real estate industry is changing rapidly. Yet, many of our job descriptions for managers have not changed in 40 years! So, don’t rely on that old job description when hiring. Instead, look way past the ‘traditional manager’ profile. What do I mean? You can’t afford to have just a ‘maintenance manager’. You can’t have a manager who:

Sits in the office and waits for a crisis

Refuses to recruit because he/she ‘doesn’t have time’

Doesn’t believe in standards of performance

Thinks training should be done by someone else (unless he/she is managing a very large office)

Thinks managing is about getting groups to do what he/she says, instead of developing each agent to his/her potential

What to Listen for in the Interview

 If your candidate says any of the statements below,

 “I just want to support my agents”.

“It’s tough out there; I want to keep encouraging them to just hang in there.”

“I want to be available to agents 24 hours a day.”

“Retention is much more important than recruiting.”

“ I don’t train or coach. You’ll have to hire someone to do that.”

“I don’t believe in taking courses. I learn from experience.”

“My expertise is in answering broker questions. I’ll be there for them”

“Crisis management is my forte.”

 Run the other way. In my experience interviewing hundreds of would-be leaders, any of these statements is a strong indicator that the person is going to practice ‘maintenance management’. You need much more than that. You need an action leader.

For a job description of that action leader, click here.

Want many more tips/strategies/leadership actions to put to work to build a more profitable office? Check out www.365leadership.net. This subscription series provides you one leadership idea/action per month. It will motivate and inspire you to be the best leader you can be. Next series starts in September. Join us!

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