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Rate yourself on your management skills, so you’ll know what you need to work on prior to going into management (or if you’re already in management).

Are you thinking of going into management? Few of us knew the skills–or the level of skill attainment–we needed to succeed in the job. I want to help all of you who want to go into management to succeed at a high level. Thus, these blogs.

For the past couple of months, I’ve been interviewing potential managers. I’ve found that almost none had done any ‘prep’ work to go into the position. Yet, successful managers have developed specific, somewhat unique skills to do their jobs. And, what I’ve found is that these skills must be at least partially developed before we launch ourselves into management–or else we get swamped by all these new challenges hitting us in the face!

In an earlier blog, I discussed the skills we need to have honed prior to going into management. In this blog, we’ll tackle getting those skills in certain areas.

At the end of this blog: grab my assessment tool I use in my Leadership Mastery coaching series to help new managers plan for this skill attainment.

The Biggest Skill Area Managers Need Today to Succeed

What do you think it is? It’s recruiting and selecting skill. Why? Because, there’s so much competition for good agents that a manager just can’t sit back and wait for agents to come to them. It isn’t the old days (although I never was able to do that in my ‘old days!’).

These skills are the same skills good agents use to expand their businesses. That’s why we need to hire managers who have been successful recruiters and selectors. Notice I said recruiters and selectors. I know companies brag about how mahy gross recruits they landed that month or year, but, long-term, it’s those who stay, prosper, and grow with the company that add to the profitability of all.

One of the standards you need to create when you’re hiring a manager is

How successful was that agent as a business getter? What’s the number of transactions you would accept?

How to Get Recruiting and Selecting Skills

Your company may have a course focusing on these skills. If so, take it prior to going into management. Overall, the best courses out there for management are the CRB courses, leading to the Certified Real Estate Broker designation. I highly recommend them. Here’s the link.

What’s Your Agent Track Record?

In addition, if you don’t have a track record of at least 12-20 transactions a year as an agent, in my opinion, you have not developed the skills in recruiting and selecting you will need as a successful agent. It’s my experience that agents who didn’t actively lead generate will carry that habit into management. They will balk at lead generating for agents, and they will fight upper management to the death–and to everyone’s detriment.

Resource (Some are FREE) to Gain those Management Skills

This month, I’m offering some of my management resources free with purchase of other resources. Check it out here.

Grab the leadership skill assessment here.

Managers or general managers: If you’re hiring a new manager, help them evaluate their skill levels and then create a training and coaching program to assure they get those skills before they launch their management career.

Want to go into management? Try ‘perfect practice’ to get the skills you need BEFORE you jump into the job.

This month, I’m taking what I’ve learned as a musical performer from age 4 to the world of leadership and sales. (And, read my musical quotes at the end of each blog. I hope you’ll get a chuckle!)

Are You Prepared–or Just Hopeful?

My son owns a real estate company, and I help him initially screen candidates for manager and assistant manager. He has created a very detailed job description for any of those applying. Yet, we see two problems:

  1. Most of the candidates do not meet the qualifications the job requires
  2. Even the borrderline candidates have done nothing to prepare themselves for the job

For several years, I was a regional director of now the largest real estate company in the world. One of my jobs was finding and screening leadership. Boy, did I learn a lot! So, with that experience, I’m writing some tips here for those of you who want to step from sales into management (and for those looking for leadership). I’m not going to address the first problem. For example, some candidates just haven’t had job experience of any type in real estate. Although I know there are exceptions, generally, if you haven’t successfully sold real estate, you won’t understand, emphasize and be able to ‘develop’ agents successfully.

The Principle to Prepare: Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

Of course, this principle comes from my world of music. I learned this from my college piano professor.

. That means hundreds or thousands of hours in the practice room, not in performing! (In other words, you have to practice your little heart out before they’ll let you loose in front of discerning people!) It’s drudgery and you wonder what you’re accomplishing. But, this perfect practice pays off when you have to perform in front of thousands and put to use your ‘muscle memory’. When you’re performing all those notes so quickly, you don’t have time to consciously figure out where your fingers should go (just like you do’t have time in an interview to figure out a good interview process!!!!)

What This Means to Your Preparation for Management

Here’s a straightforward job description for a successful leadership-manager:

Find and develop people

Skills you need to effectively develop individuals:

  • Lead generation/recruiting/presentation skills
  •  Interviewing/selection skills (both for agents and staff)
  • Coaching skills (along with a proven coaching approach)
  • Training skills
  • Management: Ability to create and implement a business plan
  • Ability to create and implement a training plan as part of your business plan
  • Ability to create and implement a leadership council, for participative management/ develop that leadership
  • Ability to create meaningful office and staff meetings

How Are You going to Develop Those Skills–Before You Get into Performance?

Go through the checklist/description above. Ask yourself: Have you devleoped those skills? If not, are you going to wait and ‘wing it’ on the job? As a pianist, I wouldn’t dare ever get in front of people to perform without having practiced!

Next blog: Suggestions in how to do that perfect practice in each of these areas.

Managers: Share this blog with those who are interested in going into leadership. In later blogs, I’ll share some analytical tools I’ve developed to help you help others develop their leadership skills.

Just for chuckles:

“I can’t listen to that much Wagner. I start getting the urge to conquer Poland.” — Woody Allen

Here’s how to avoid hiring the agent from hell!

Let’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).

After a 3-day management symposium I taught in South Carolina, one of the attendees 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, these tips work for agents hiring team members. (Managers: forward this to your agents who want or have teams).

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.
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’.
P. S.
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)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….) Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners, with new information about what desired agents of today are looking for, is 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.

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

As managers, I want you to know the advice I’m giving to prospective agents.

coachingAs youa��re interviewing, 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

In this blog, we’ll tackle the pros and cons of getting a coach or a mentor.

What about Getting a 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.

A�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

  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Answer questions
  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Let you a�?shadow thema�� (see how they do a listing/buyer presentation or offer presentation)
  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� 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.

In my experience, the agent has the highest hopes that the peer coach will fulfill his dreams of whatever coaching is to him. The peer coach is hoping the agent just doesna��t ask too many questions!

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.

Next, 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.

Getting a Mentor

What is a a�?mentora��? Therea��s not a clearly defined job function. Mentors are usually seasoned agents who offer to help new agents. They may

  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Offer advice
  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Allow you to shadow them
  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Ask you to do parts of their business

New agents love the thought of a mentor, because they have so many questions. And, they think the mentor will be their a�?answer mana��. But, Ia��ve observed that having an a�?answer mana�� surely doesna��t guarantee success. In fact, it may impede an agent getting into action. How? An agent may think he needs more and more information before he will act. Then, he just keeps coming to the mentor for every question under the sun. And, the more the new agent knows, the more frightened he becomes. Plus, the advice received from the mentor may not be in the new agenta��s best interest.

If you are considering a mentor, get in writing exactly what the mentor will do for you.

Big question: Why is the mentor willing to help you? What does the mentor expect from you?

Treat getting a coach or a mentor as an employment issue. Create good questions and interview. Armed with the advice above, you’ll make a good decision.

Managers: How would you address the concerns above?

 

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).A�During a 3-day management symposium I taughtA�in South Carolina, and one of my students emailed me: “Can you give me some tips toA� 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.
So, here are four surefire tipsA� for you.
A�
1. Create the right kind of questions from your job description
A�
Using that job description you created (you did create one, didn’t you?) for your 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.
For more information on behavioral predictors, see The Complete Recruiter and my eBook on interviewing, Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners.
A�
2. Follow a planned, proven interview process to assure you get all the information you need
A�
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.
A�
3. Use a Behavioral ProfileA�
A�
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’.
A�
4. Check references “3 deep”A�
A�
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.
A�
Now, you have those four surefire tips to avoid staff hiring mistakes. They would work as well hiring salespeople, wouldn’t they?
I just taught a 3-day management symposium in South Carolina, and one of my students emailed me: “Can you give me some tips toA� 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.
So, here are four surefire tipsA� 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 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.
For more information on behavioral predictors, see The Complete Recruiter and my eBook on interviewing, Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners.
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.

Now, you have those four surefire tips to avoid staff hiring mistakes. They would work as well hiring salespeople, wouldn’t they?
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