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

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 thatA�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:




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–orA�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….).A� 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,A�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?A�

My Job Description for a Real Estate Manager

Now, click here to gain my manager’s job description.A� Not only have I prioritized the activities managers do, I’ve quantified them with numbers of hoursA�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!

Whata��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,A� how do you know what to do every day? How do you know the priorities expected by your a�?bossa��? (Or, if youa��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 youa��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 a�?maintenance managementa��?A�

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!

A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� 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, Ia��ve listed each important trait, quality and skill an effective manager needs (in my opinion).A�A�

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

Using this questionnaire: Probe deeply in each question to discover their true behaviors. Dona��t go quickly from question to question. Write the answers and analyze them later.

A�1. Successful salesperson in real estate or another field

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

A�Note: You need a manager with a successful sales record or else that manager wona��t actively recruit, and wona��t have the skills to make recruiting calls.

A�2. Possesses leadership qualities to inspire others.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A�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).

A�4. Has recruiting skills.

A�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 wasna��t a�?inside sales (retail or given an area to follow up on).

A�Question: Describe your lead generating plan in sales.

A�5. Has coaching skills.

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

A�Question: Have you ever coached others? Probe.

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

A�6. Has training skills.

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

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

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

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

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

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

A�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 a�?traditional managera�� 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

A�If your candidate says any of the statements below,

A�a�?I just want to support my agentsa�?.

a�?Ita��s tough out there; I want to keep encouraging them to just hang in there.a�?

a�?I want to be available to agents 24 hours a day.a�?

a�?Retention is much more important than recruiting.a�?

a�? I dona��t train or coach. Youa��ll have to hire someone to do that.a�?

a�?I dona��t believe in taking courses. I learn from experience.a�?

a�?My expertise is in answering broker questions. Ia��ll be there for thema�?

a�?Crisis management is my forte.a�?

A�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 a�?maintenance managementa��. 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 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!

Are you dreading hiring your next manager? Have you had some bad experiences? Made some serious hiring mistakes? You’re not alone.A� This is one of the most important decisions you need to make, and one of the toughest.

There are a myriad of classes on recruiting and managing agents. But, wherea��s that class (or series) on choosing and managing your manager? I coach leadership in my coaching company. Ita��s obvious that owners are having lots of trouble figuring out how to hire the right managera��and how to manage their managers. So, helping owners step to that next level of hiring a managera��or helping them figure out if their manager is making or costing them money, is an integral part of our coaching process.

A�A�If you want to hire a manager, or, if you now have a manager that you doubt is giving you your moneya��s worth, thisA�blog is for you. (And, if youa��re thinking of managing, or are a manager now, do the work here to assure you are a a�?marketablea�� managera��that you are doing the job that provides value to your owner).

A�Your First Step in Hiring a Manager: Describe the Kind of Person Youa��re Looking For

A�What are the traits and skills of the person youa��re looking for? Before you read my list below, write your own list.A� In my opinion, this person should have been an above-average agent on his way to becoming a top 20% agent.. Why? Because this person must have the skills of

A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Organizing a lead generation database (for recruiting)

A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Writing and running a marketing plan to prospects (recruiting marketing plan)

A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� A�Above-average selection and presentation skills (for recruiting and selection)

A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Tough-mindedness, to make selection choices for developable agents (that selection demonstrated by above-A�A�

A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� average agents)

A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� More tough-mindedness, for setting and holding to standards of performance (who they will and wona��t work with)

A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Creating long-term relationships

(See my job description for a great manager below, too).

More Skills You Will Need

A�In addition to the skills Ia��ve just listed that above-average agents have developed, there are other skills you will need in an a�?agent developinga�� manager:

A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Training skills

A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Coaching skills

A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Leadership skills

A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Computer skills

A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Staff management skills

A�Fresh and Revitalized, or Tired of the Business?

Look for the person who has been in the real estate business up to five years, and has developed a strong business. Why five years? This person is probably still a�?on his/her way upa��, is excited about the business, and is using the business skills that work in this environment. This, of course, is very approximate, but I think you understand what IA�mean.A�

Job Description: Click here to get my detailed job description for a successful manager.

A�Note: By the way. Ita��s so difficult for managers to step into leadership today. Ia��ve created a a�?leadership by the montha�� series of specific strategiesa��one a month, to energize and enable managers to lead. Check it out at The next series starts in September.


Past Experience is a Huge Benefit

Look for a person who has been trained in another business as a trainer/coach/leader. This is really important. When I was finding and screening leadership for one of the largest franchises in the world, I found that the really a�?magica�� ingredient was that the potential leader had already had some experience in the skills of management.

Now, you have the right combination for a dynamic, effective a�?agent developinga�� manager.

What did I leave out that y ou think is important? Let me know.