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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 standards

bus-plan-7-teamHere are the nine big signs your manager must be fired–and some are obvious–but others are just as important but often ignored until it is way too late!

In the next few blogs, I’ll focus on ownership/general manager issues.  The reason I’m writing this blog is that, I am seeing managers go off the rails and try to take the office with them! Unfortunately, clever managers get the support of their agents while not managing properly. With their popularity, the ‘boss’ may hesitate firing them–even when they need desperately to be fired!

Managers are Clever at ‘Buying’ Support–Especially when under Stress

Some get that support by ‘buying’ the agents–giving their favorites leads. Some get that support by creating a flurry of activity, that obscures what’s really going on behind the scenes. I know how hard it is to tell, from an agent’s perspective, if the manager is doing his/her job. As an agent myself, I watched from afar, not knowing exactly what my manager did or didn’t do. I also didn’t know the activities he was supposed to be doing–and the activities he was avoiding or refusing to do.

I’ve screened, hired and coached dozens of managers, both as a regional director for one of the largest franchises in the world, and as an independent coach. I have seen things go off the rails many times–even when the agents in the office don’t have a clue!

The Nine Signs Your Manager Must Leave

1. Refuses to recruit to your standards (minimums)–that means numbers of contacts, interviews, and hires.

2. Refuses to hire to your standards–hires anyone and calls it ‘good’.

3. Refuses to coach agents up–or out; refuses to manage via standards (minimums) of performance.

4. Refuses to do the activities as designated and trained to by the general manager (such as interviewing appropriately or teaching to your culture).

5. Refuses to uphold all aspects of the culture (hires an agent who’s a top producer but doesn’t represent the culture).

6. Takes frustrations and problems with upper management to the agents, when he/she should only discuss any problem areas directly with management.

7. Openly disrespects and berates upper management–both to agents and directly to management.

8. Acts in an adversarial and/or fearful way to anyone he perceives as an authority.

9. Shares things with agents that should not be shared.

In other words: the manager has become a liability to the culture and the office. He/she is not teaming with upper management; he doesn’t have the same vision as leadership; he is fighting for control. It’s your office and you’re the boss. You must exercise your authority now for the preservation and growth of your office.

What did I miss? Let me know and we’ll add to the list!

What are you looking for–and what aren’t you looking for–in a real estate agent?

This month, I’m featuring recruiting. Why? Because it’s the life blood of real estate success. Unfortunately, too many managers, though, don’t honor it as such.

Knock-Out Factors

First, let’s tackle what you’re not looking for! What are your knock-out factors?

Here are some of mine. Grab a pen and write yours. Now, include these as questions in your pre-interview phone questionnaire. (You do have one, don’t you?)

knox-pdf_page_08

(See Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners for a full list of pre-interview questions.

 

 

 

 

 

What ARE You Looking for in a Real Estate Agent?

You’ve listed the knock-out factors that would disqualify the candidate from an interview–or a second interview. Now, let’s look at what you are looking for:

Take a look at the categories below.

knox-pdf_page_09

Now, write the specific skills, talents, and qualities you’re looking for that would add to your team in your office:

 

 

 

 

 

The last question for you in this blog: Do your interview questions reflect what you’re looking for? Write your 3 favorite interview questions and see if they are revealing exactly what you’re looking for. If not, why are you asking them?

In our next blog, I’ll share the best type of interview question you can ask!

blueprint_ebook_cover4Save Time and Recruit the Right People with a great Interview Process

Are you wasting time interviewing and not hiring? Or, interviewing and hiring and then finding out they aren’t a ‘fit’? This resource will help you stop all that and provide laser focus and skills for hiring with confidence.

Check out Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners now–all online for immediate download.

hands of keysWhat does my piano teacher have to do with real estate coaching–or training? Everything. Here’s what I learned about coaching great performance–not from a business coach, but from my great piano teacher (in fact, I’ve had many of them.)

As you know, some pianists become great, while most others just become good enough to play the notes. It’s the same with trainers’ outcomes. Last week, one of my coaching clients (an owner of a real estate company) asked me, “Why do some trainers and coaches get great results and others don’t–but seem to be working as hard?”

Great question, huh? In fact, if we trainer/coach types knew that answer, we could build our systems so that we assured great performance! So, I went back to my ‘former life’–that as a musician and piano/flute teacher, and thought, “Why do some piano teachers create great performers–and others don’t?”

Why Use Piano Teachers as the Analogy….

I use the analogy of the piano teacher, because it’s easy to hear differences in sloppy and great performance. I’m sure you’ve heard 2 people play the same piece of music. One plays it accurately and one just kind of slops through it. Or, some piano teachers’ students drop out, unmotivated to practice, while others stay motivated, challenged, and achieve high performance–even if they don’t seem to have great talent.

Five Proven Components for Great Performance

From having taken piano lessons since age six, gaining a degree in piano performance, and having taught piano at the grade, high school, and college level, I’ve had an opportunity to see the great and the not-so-great–both teachers and performers. Here are the five components I’ve discovered make the biggest difference in great performance. As you read this, ask yourself, “How am I, as a trainer and/or coach, applying these principles?” “What outcomes am I getting?”

1. Great piano teachers screen in and screen out.

They don’t let just anybody take lessons from them. Trainers and coaches: What’s your ‘screen in’ process? Do you have one? Do you have a list of questions you ask? In our coaching company, we have a prescribed list of questions we ask potential clients (and we unfortunately have to turn down some). I even have a Coach ability Assessment I provide potential clients.

Click here to request your copy.

2. Great piano teachers set expected standards (minimums) during the screening process–not after the lessons start!

Those standards include: Amount of practice each day, recitals attended and played in, going to lessons, etc. What do you expect of your clients? Make a list of at least 5 standards now–and get the ‘mutual expectations’ agreement in writing prior to letting them into your program.

3. Great piano teachers figure out the ‘competency levels’ they want their students to attain–and when they expect them.

How good do you expect your students to get in that one-month training program you’ve been doing? Do you even measure skill levels? Which skill levels to you measure? How? Do you have your students practice their listing presentations until they reach the level of competency you believe the real client expects? What an eye-opener! Make a list now of 5 skills and the level of competency you want your students to attain in your training program. You’ll see your outcomes go way up just by doing this.

4. Great piano teachers get better performance because their excellent students motivate other good students to excellence.

Have you ever gotten yourself into the situation where you felt like you were way above the other people in your group? This isn’t an ego thing–it’s just a ‘I don’t belong here’ thing. Likes attract. Good performers motivate other good performers. Excellent performers stay. Are you creating a self-motivating group–or, are you creating a situation where your good performers will leave for a team that is ‘more like them’? This goes back to those ‘screen in’ and setting competency principles. I know we all feel challenged when people don’t appear motivated. Here’s one of the secrets to fire them up!

5. Great piano teachers provide lavish praise–when deserved.

Behavior that’s rewarded is repeated.

If you have competency levels, you have a way and a reason to praise. Your students/clients know when they have reached those levels–and can expect praise, too! In fact, strong students/clients will ask you for praise. Write down the 5-10 methods you use to appreciate and praise good performance. If you can’t get to 10, figure them out.

But, what about the method? The specific coaching, the training? Yes, the method is important, but the coaching/training techniques above are much more important. I’ve heard some great performers and some poor performers all playing the same kind of music from the same method. At the same time, great methods should have some ‘built-in’ features that assure the trainer/coach is achieving these 5 principles.

Principles, System, Coaching–Putting it All Together

From talking with prominent trainers, managers, and coaches, we’ve pinpointed a need for all those training and coaching today to get the coaching they need to turn out great performers.  In my online coaching program for new agents, logoUp and Running in Real Estate, I’ve put these components into the program as a integral way to assure great performance.

Beatles laterWhat in the world do the Beatles have to do with real estate pros success? A lot, I think. We’ve all heard of Paul, George, Ringo, and John—but, does the name “George Martin” ring a bell? Maybe. Martin was the record producer who discovered and molded the Beatles, adding his classical musical background to the Beatles’ creativity to produce the Beatles’ unique and ever evolving sounds.

As a musician myself, I’ve always marveled at how the Beatles put classical musical aspects into their rock ‘n roll. Well, guess what? They didn’t do it by themselves—they melded their talents with Martin. George Martin just died at age 90, and many articles are being written about his collaboration with the Beatles. As I read these articles, I was thinking, “These life and performance lessons are absolutely applicable to us real estate professionals.” So, I culled five life and performance lessons we can learn from their association. I’ve put the first two lessons in my previous blog, and here are the last three.

Take your presentation apart and rebuild it with new elements.

You know the great ballad Yesterday (see, you’re humming it in your head!). But, did you know McCartney originally sang it with just acoustic guitar accompaniment? Martin added a string quartet, and that’s how that mellow, full, ethereal sound was created.

Have you gone outside your comfort zone with your presentations? Have you gotten some coaching to polish and improve? Have you polished your recruiting presentation recently?

Think outside the box—for a change.

Martin took his classical music background and added Souza marches and a calliope to Sgt. Pepper’s. But, he didn’t just add them—he cut the tapes in pieces, turned them upside down, and switched the phrases to provide a somewhat chaotic, yet captivating mosaic.

Are you thinking outside the box? What have you done for the first time this year? What have you done differently? How are you keeping your business fresh and exciting?

No one succeeds alone.

As you can see from these examples, Martin’s genius and the Beatles’ creativity resulted in something that had never been heard before—and will never be replicated again. But, what would they have been without each other? The Beatles would have been just another English rock ‘n roll group, and Martin would have been just another successful record producer. They melded their talents and were both flexible and adventuresome in trying new approaches.

Who’s your partner in success? Real estate agents like to think they do it all on their own. But, studies show that virtually no one succeeds alone. Yes, someone may be the ‘front man’ (or woman), but there’s a partner behind the scenes, making everything better.

Remember to thank that partner now and then. It could be your manager, the owner, a trainer, a coach—or your family.

Now, take these five life lessons to make your real estate career even more spectacular!

LM CoverAre You Achieving What You Know You Can?

You encourage your agents to get coaching. Or, perhaps you coach them. You know how important having someone ‘see you from the outside’ is. But, how about you? Are you going it alone? I know, from managing so many years, it’s a lot lonelier world than being an agent. Who do you bounce ideas off? Who do you trust as your mentor? Check out Leadership Mastery coaching today.

Sign up for a Complimentary Consultation to see if Leadership Mastery would benefit you. What do you have to lose?

Bonus for new coaching clients this month: $1000+ of Carla Cross’s recruiting, training, and coaching resources FREE ! Includes:

The Complete Recruiter, at $129.95 value–the strategies, planner, and dialogues you need to recruit winners

Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners, a complete interviewing guide, a $79.95 value–free.

Recruiting Objection Busters, scripts and dialogues to counter the toughest recruiting objections, a $40 value

Business Planning for the Owner, Manager, and Team Builder,a $100 value

Operations/Orientation Manuals and Checklists, a $30 value

Coaching Companions to coach new or experienced agents, a $200 value

Advantage 2.0 facilitator guide, a complete training program (a $500 value)

Click here to learn more about Leadership Mastery Coaching.

Click here to schedule a complimentary consultation to find out more about the program, ask questions, and see if it’s a ‘match’. After your consultation, you’ll receive a ‘thank you’ of a 2-pack management audio CD series.

man ponderingThis month, I’m featuring the lifeblood of real estate management–hiring and firing. Yes, firing!

Do you have a foolproof way to figure out who to keep and who to cut loose? In this blog, I’ll show you.

Who adds value to your environment? Hiring and firing is not a ‘black or white’ issue. There are many shades of gray. I know. I managed almost two decades. We become friends with our agents. They rely on us. We rely on them. In some cases, we become almost moms and dads to them. It becomes a very dependent environment. No one wants to disrupt it. However, you are running a business–not a social welfare state.

Use This Analytical Tool to Evaluate Your Agents

Let’s recognize that not all the value, or, to some of us, even half the value of our agents is in their ability to close sales. In other words, your top producer may not be your most desired agent. There are other valued assets they bring to the table, like:

Uphold the culture
Provide mentoring
Create stability in the office
Team player
Longevity and consistency

What are yours? Write them down.  (Use 4-6 values).

Assign a Relative Weight

Now, give each one of these values a possible rating of 0 to 4 (4 being highest). Finally, evaluate each of your agents with each of your important values.  For example, let’s say you are evaluating your top producer. In the production value, that producer would get a “4”. But, let’s say that top producer isn’t much of a team player, and you’ve evaluated her as a “1”. When you’re through evaluating that agent, add all the numbers to get a cumulative number.

Click here to see an example of an evaluative table.

What’s Your Agent’s Real Value to Your Office?

Now, you have evaluated each agent on all the values you feel are important to the success of your company. To see how they stack up, make a list of them, starting with the agent who scored the highest cumulative number. This evaluation process will give you a very different picture of who your best producers are-and who your worst office associates are.

Bottom-Line Questions to Ask Yourself

I know it’s very difficult to terminate people. In fact, one manager asked me to advise him on how to do a  ‘graceful termination.’ Really, behind termination anxiety lurks these questions. They need to be answered for you, as leader, to take the actions that your good agents are expecting from you:

Can an agent be a noteworthy negative to your reaching your goals?
Can an agent actually provide substantial energy against your culture?
What’s Joe’s value to you?
Can this value be quantified in a business sense?
What are you getting personally out of keeping Joe?
What are your next actions?
Why are you avoiding what you need to do?
Don’t you deserve more than Joe is giving you?
How does Joe feel now? Does Joe deserve an environment where he can win?

What do you use to evaluate your agents? How is it working for you?

LM CoverGet Some Help in Creating a Better 2016

Why not get some support and guidance in setting up your 2016 business plan? Do you have a recruiting plan? A career development plan? A training plan? Standards? If not, you’re still managing by the seat of your pants. Schedule a complimentary consultation to see if Leadership Mastery coaching would benefit you. In January: $1000+ bonuses in training, coaching, and recruiting programs, too. See more here. 

man on groundThis month, I’m featuring the lifeblood of a real estate office–hiring AND firing.

No one wants to talk about it, but, the passive-aggressive method of just letting them die isn’t leadership–it’s cowardice! Instead, we need to develop a fair method of letting those go who need to go.

Everyone has a Joe (or Josephine) in their offices. Joe has been an agent for six years. He’s the guy who makes coffee every morning. He’s the guy who takes people’s open houses (although he never picks up a customer). He’s even the guy who steps in when someone in the office can’t make their floor time (but he has never converted an inquiry to a client…). He’s also the guy who doesn’t sell a stick of real estate. Woops. I misspoke. He did sell one home once. It was during the ‘on fire’ market. Joe was on floor time. He got a walk in: A buyer who found the home himself, had cash, and was willing to write it up at Joe’s convenience. (After closing, Joe didn’t follow up with the client again. After all, the sale is over, isn’t it?)

What’s the matter with just keeping Joe?

Nothing, if you don’t care about your bottom line. Brokers tell me that a poor hire or a non-productive agent costs them nothing. Unfortunately, that’s far from the case. In this article, we’ll just beat up poor Joe. In the next article, we’ll address the new agent – poor hire.

dollar  markHere’s How Joe Costs You $$$$$–Lots of $$$$$$

If you read nothing else in this article, please read this line:

Joe is a walking billboard for failure-an effective marketing strategy that communicates your office’s failure to make him successful, and your failure to making him successful.

Joe’s “billboard” publicizes the outcomes from your recruiting, training, and coaching. Here they are.

Recruiting. You find it hard to recruit. See, likes attract. People see that Joe (or lots of Joes) are in your office. Agents do search the MLS to find out what the sales statistics are in offices. (Why would they go to an office that has low production?) Maybe you’re like me, taking over a real estate office where it was known in the area, literally, as “the place you went if you didn’t want to work.” Boy, what a great recruiting endorsement!  If so, you know that it’s a terrific uphill battle to recruit good people into a bad office. (Hint: You must get rid of the bad people first, then build on a new foundation. You can’t fool those agents!).

Training. You’re finding it hard to get agents to attend your training classes. Why? Because Joe attends every one of them-and then doesn’t take any action. So, your class endorsement is actually “those classes don’t do any good.”

Coaching. People say they want help, but they won’t go into a coaching relationship with you. Why? Because Joe tells them it won’t do any good. After all, he’s been in your office for five years, and being with you certainly hasn’t done him any good. (Joe also rains on the newer agents’ parades, by convincing them that no lead generating method you endorse is worth their time. After all, the one home Joe sold was a walk-in.)

Joe’s Making Your Success an Uphill Battle

You’ve tried to help Joe. You’ve decided you can’t help him. You’re working harder and longer. Yet, your office culture and productivity just don’t seem to improve. Ask yourself:

What percent of “Joe’s” do you have in your office right now?

Carla’s rule: If you have over 10% seasoned non-producers, you aren’t leading. They are.

In my next blog, I’ll show you a different way of evaluating your agents. It will give you a method you can trust to figure out who to keep and who to put the ‘happy trails’ record on for…..

small LM CoverAre you Unsure of Who to Hire and Who to Fire?

Why not see if Leadership Mastery Coaching can help you gain the skills and judgments to make great personnel decisions? This is a unique, one-on-one coaching program expressly for real estate leadership. Sign up for a complimentary consultation today. Make 2016 the year you break through your ceiling of achievement!

many peole standing recruitingLeadership is about moving ahead. But, it’s also about knowing when not to keep working with someone. That means you have to know when to let them go.

Do  you put off letting someone go? You’re not alone. How to let someone go fairly–with grace–is a huge challenge for many managers. This challenge just came up again. I was just asked by an association of real estate companies to do a leadership webinar on standards. Before I do a ‘live’ presentation or a webinar for a particular group, I use my Pre-Conference Survey to find out exactly what their needs are.

(Note: If you do presentations for ‘outside groups’, consider making a pre-conference survey so you find out their exact needs, cultural specifics, and market differences. It makes a huge difference in your ability to deliver to their needs). This was the question that stood out most to me in the survey.

Question: How Do You Terminate Someone Fairly and Effectively?

Do you believe that the person who is failing knows he/she is failing? Of course they do. And, the longer they fail, the further down their self-esteem sinks, the further their confidence shrinks, and, finally,

the person simply quits working!

They still may be employed/contracted with you, but, they aren’t doing the things necessary to move their job forward. So, it’s not fair to simply let them continue failing. Nothing will change. You must step in.

The ‘One Last Chance’ Conversation and System

I’m a huge believer in game plans and systems for situations. That means you are fair with everyone. One of the reasons managers don’t want to fire is that they are afraid they will be unfair–or perceived as unfair. The way to take away those fears is to implement a system to give each person one last chance (this is after you have tried your normal coaching and training methods).

What’s in the One Last Chance’ Conversation

Here are the steps to terminate someone fairly and with grace.

1. Call the meeting. Do not engage in small talk. This is serious; it has no social aspect.
2. State that the person has not met your standards (minimum expectations). You DO have those in place, right?
3. Tell the person you will provide them one last chance.
4. Show them the performance system you will use (something like The Up and Running in Real Estate.)

5. Get agreement that the person will use the system.

Make The Time Frame Short

I have been snookered by the best of them! I’ve learned to make the time frame no more than 30 days. You want that person to go right to work. You also must reserve the right to terminate at any time.

Good News: They Will Let Themselves Go 50% of the Time

You will find that many people are just waiting for you to provide that last chance, so they can face the fact they really don’t want to work. They will let themselves go.

When You Terminate

You have given them a fair chance. You have been straightforward. They have not gone to work. All you have to do in your termination conversation is to state just that. 95% of the time you will get no argument. In fact, they will thank you for being honest with them. Using these five pointers will allow you to let them go with grace, and relieve your mind that you are fair in your termination guidelines.

logoGot Someone You Must Judge ‘Up or Out’?

It’s hard to tell who is working unless you have them working in a specific program and reporting to you. Up and Running in Real Estate makes that easy to do. In 8 weeks, you’ll know whether that person is working–and attaining–or not. You don’t have time to work with those who won’t work, do you? Take a look at Up and Running in Real Estate as your ‘rejuvenation’ tool.

man with hair in airDo you say your agents are your ‘customers’? Many brokers call their agents their ‘customers’. We thought that, by calling our agents our customers, we would please them, create loyalty and forge recruiting tools. This trend of calling agents ‘customers’ was a reaction to the old-style ‘father knows best’ top-down management. Not a bad thought, but, unfortunately, too limiting. We assumed that, if we provided the services agents wanted, everything would be wonderful. If you’re considering your agents your customers, has it worked out the way you expected?

Who is Your Real Customer?

That thought process has sure gotten us into trouble. Why? Because we forgot that the person who actually pays commissions is called a ‘buyer’ or a ‘seller’—the end user. If the end user is unhappy, they vote with their feet. The result of our lack of focusing on the end user is plummeting commissions and alternative ‘agent-lite’ companies, relying much more on technology than personal service.

The bigger business world got it long ago. When is the last time you were asked about the level of service in a business you were using? I’ll bet you are asked at least once a week. The bigger world of business discovered long ago that they had to satisfy the needs of the consumer-and that those needs were escalating by the minute.

How do we put the real consumer first, providing the services that make them so happy they would never leave us?

Recommendations:

  1. Quit hiring non-committed agents. They simply will not do the work, create a business, and serve consumer needs to warrant a ‘generous’ commission. If your agents don’t go to work, it doesn’t matter what you do for them or the services you provide.
  2. Establish standards of production for your agents. What do you expect of them—and when? What do your standards say about you?
  3. Accept that a low-producing agent cannot and does not provide excellent service—and the consumer knows that. If you have many low-producing agents, what level of service are they providing? What does that say about you and your company?
  4. Pretend you are a consumer. Which of your agents would you want to work with? Which of your agents wouldn’t you want to buy a home from?

If your agents aren’t your customers, what are they? Perhaps partners, as one very successful franchise has termed them. You decide. If, in fact, you’re leaning toward ‘partners’, you must establish communications, culture, and values that reflect a partnership–not just call your agents ‘partners’!

LM CoverCould You Use some Help Refining your Leadership Style?

What is your leadership style? How well is it working? Do you want to expand, refine, or re-define it to reflect your values and those of the kind of person you want to recruit today? It’s difficult to do that on your own, and you also need the systems to back up your works. Leadership Mastery Coaching can guide you through the process.

Why not have a complimentary consultation with Carla Cross  to see if Leadership Mastery Coaching is for you?

Conductor with His OrchestraThis month, I’m focused on leadership. Why? Because it takes much more than management to move a real estate office (or any business) forward today.

Today, I want to concentrate on the similarity of a real estate office to a fine orchestra–and what we can learn from world-class orchestras. As a long-time flutist, I know an orchestra either played in harmony–or it didn’t. And, it only took one out-of-tune player to make the whole orchestra sound bad! Just as there are negative consequences to orchestras when even one player who play ‘out of tune’, there are also negative consequences to a real estate office whose associates are out of synch with leadership (and the right leadership).  So, let me take the analogy further.

There are three important lessons we can learn from the great orchestral conductors about leading for a productive, focused atmosphere with common values (which translates into more profits.)

Admittance Isn’t Free to Everyone…..

1.  To get into the orchestra is a privilege; you must audition.  Each player must meet certain standards if the orchestra is to succeed as a whole. So, selection is key to top performance.  That means, to the real estate manager, that we must be selective and set standards for hiring, so that the person hired will fit well into our common focus. If we hire Bill, Sally, and George, and them segregate them, we fracture our focus, and create a negative atmosphere that makes it extremely difficult for our new associate to perform well.

Each Person Must Constantly Strive to Improve

2.  Before the conductor allows the orchestra to play the piece together, each person and then each section must practice to perfect their parts.  Musicians know perfect practice insures perfect performance.  When we finally put all the parts and sections together, we also experience the whole as greater than the sum of the parts.  In the business world, we call the results of this practice method ‘teamwork’ and ‘synergy’. How does a real estate manager accomplish this in his office?  By establishing a strong, comprehensive new agent training program, focused on practice and performance, not focused on knowledge.  The training program is the ‘music’, complete with the values and concepts that are endorsed in that real estate office.  Each member agrees to and is trained that way.

The Leader Must Represent the Best Values of the Culture

3. The ‘first chair’ leader (the best player) has great responsibility for the teamwork and focus of his section.  He is charged with assuring his section plays as one and that each player plays well so all players benefit.  On solo parts, he can shine, but he still needs to play within the framework of his section and of the whole orchestra.  This creates a win-win for all in the ensemble.  The first chair must be a consummate leader.  There are actually many wonderful virtuosos who can’t play in orchestras, because they aren’t team players.  They want to ‘play it their way’—and their way is not the orchestra’s way.  Kind of like a real estate office, except, brokers, unlike conductors, many times allow solo performers in their offices even if they aren’t team players!  You brokers tell me that your top agent ‘does her own thing’.  I hear you say that she is ‘not a team player’, but she does make you lots of money.  Oh, really?  So, in what orchestra is that top agent playing?  Obviously, not yours! The lack of common focus and endorsement of maverick behavior by top producers only shatters any teamwork and shared values the broker is attempting to instill in his group.  So, make up your mind. If you want a team, create one with an all-winner group.  Banish your maverick player to someone else’s orchestra. The result: More production from your ‘section’ players, more teamwork, more common focus, and a more pleasant job for you!

What do you see managers do that unwittingly undermine their abilities to create a congruent team?

LM CoverAre You Reaching your Potential as  Leader?

It’s easy to talk about leadership. It makes you feel good. But, that’s not very productive. You must also engage in leadership ACTIONS. How can you learn, implement, and be confident in those critical actions? By engaging with a coach who can lead you as you lead. Why not find out if Leadership Mastery coaching is for you? Click here for a complimentary consultation.

coaching hand upFrom working with dozens of real estate owners and managers, and as my position as a CRB (Certified Real Estate Broker) instructor for twelve years, I’ve had an opportunity to see exactly what makes a company profitable–in the long run. So, this month, I’m sharing what I’ve found to be the critical pieces of the puzzle that lead to sustainable profits. I’ll spotlight the 4 foundations you have to have to be exceptionally profitable–no matter your economic model. Actually, I’ve come to these foundations by observing how companies fail to be profitable over a period of time without these four foundations. In each of these blogs, I’ll spotlight one foundation. The first is

Vision–do you know where you want to end up, and have you communicated it and gotten the team on board?

The second,  is standards. Do you know what you’ll put up with–and what you won’t? Do you have production standards (the minimum someone can do and stay with you….)

If you don’t have those foundations, you aren’t leading. You’re just managing. And, in a fast market, you can get away with that. But, if market conditions aren’t sweeping your office forward, you need to step up to these 4 leadership foundations.

The Third foundation: Accountability

You can have vision and standards, plus goals–but, if you don’t hold yourself and others accountable to them, nothing changes.

You’ve heard all this before (or you’ve said it): “I don’t need a coach”. “I’m accountable to myself”. And, you should be. But, none of us are able to move forward and break through those barriers to achievement at times–without a coach to be accountable to. How do I know that? As a long-time professional musician, I know that we need someone to show us around our barriers. We need someone to help us set those goals AND move toward them.  No great performer ever is so naïve to believe he can coach himself. You just can’t see what you’re missing! Look what happened to Michelle Khan, the ice skater, when she decided she could coach herself? A downward spiral, which resulted in lowered self-confidence and self-esteem. It was a long climb back for her, too.

Deadlines to Get it Done

The biggest plus of having a coach is that the coach sets deadlines with you for accountability. The second biggest plus is that the agent/client gets the positive reinforcement all motivational studies show is absolutely critical for higher goal attainment. If you want your agents to produce more, hold them accountable for that production. The third plus is that the coach offers suggestions in how to get there and reinforces what he/she knows will work. So many times, I’ve thought intuitively that a particular strategy was right. But, I gave it up because it wasn’t reinforced by a coach (or by anyone). And, it takes a long time to see your efforts work (just think about recruiting!).

Your Biggest Value to Your Agents

What do you think it is? It’s not things. It’s actually invaluable. It’s what you can do to help them develop the best career they can have. And, that is through coaching and accountability.

How do You Learn How to Coach?

Be coached by the right coach–a coach who has proven that specific leadership/action strategies will work for you. It’s important not to get just platitudes or encouragement, but to get practical actions that are proven to move a company forward.  If you don’t have a coach now, you’re telling your agents to be accountable–but you’re not. So, consider gaining a coach this year to help you put these foundations in place.

LM CoverAre You Developing your Leadership Skills?

If you’re stuck in management and want to move to leadership, if you want to expand your office with a firm foundation for long-term profits, consider coaching. Sign up for a complimentary consultation to see if Leadership Mastery Coaching is for you.

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