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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 systems

finger wantWe’ve discussed the importance of systematizing your recruiting. I’ve given you information about the contents of a pre-first visit folder. Now, let’s take a look at the folder you need to create for that all-important interview process. First: Do you have a firm system for your process? What percent of interviewers do you think use a planned method? What percent ‘wing it’?

Note: Although we know recruits are the lifeblood of our offices, it’s amazing how we continue to try to ‘wing it’ during the interview process. Assembling these materials will assure that you never are flying by the seat of your pants–or look like it to the candidate!

Keeping Track of Candidates is Tougher than it Seems When You’re in the Recruit Mode 

How are you going to keep track of each candidate? If you’re interviewing five to ten candidates per week (the number necessary to build your office at a rate of 4-5 people per month), you will need a method to keep these candidates in mind. (It’s really embarrassing to wrong recall something about a candidate in an interview—and find out you have the wrong ‘Barry’….)

Here’s what should go in the candidate selection folder:

  •        Phone interview questions and candidate notes from phone interview
  • Candidate needs assessment questions
  • Candidate’s application (be sure your attorney reviews this for legalities)
  • Candidate behavioral predicting questions See The Complete Recruiter and Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners–information on these resources is below)
  • Post-interview checklist

Of course, prior to the interview, you’ll want to gather your presentation and a notepad to keep notes.

Armed with these tools, you’ll not only appear to be organized, you WILL be organized. Your good candidates will appreciate your professionalism, and will be drawn to you. The poor candidates probably won’t care (and neither should you…).

For a checklist of recruiting processes and systems needed, click here.

Want to avoid re-inventing the wheel? Check out my recruiting resources here.    

Here’s the only comprehensive interviewing process I’ve ever seen in real estate. Why not be better than those other interviewers with the best professional system you can use?

Check out Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners. 

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-leadership-elements-qualities-image25801327Recruiting: Here’s what you need in your pre-interview package. This month, I’m focusing on recruiting and selecting systems, to help you work faster and better and recruiter winners.

Remember the Chinese water torture? Drip, drip, a drip at a time. That’s the key to recruiting successfully. Here’s another ‘drip’. You’ll want to provide your candidate after that first interview another package with the information you think the candidate will find useful. Here’s why:

We remember only 10% of what we heard three days later!

Unfortunately, candidates don’t remember much of what we discuss in the interview. Or, they remember it wrongly. It seems easy to us, but, it becomes a muddle to them when they interview five companies in as many days. So, take the time to assemble what I call the ‘after first-visit’ package or post-interview process. In it, you’ll reiterate important points, and again differentiate yourself and your company.

Systemize Like your Great Agents

Great agents assemble these packages for sellers and buyers. You are modeling the behaviors you want to teach the agent. You can explain the parallels in the interview process. This is a very strong recruiting strategy. The old adages

 We believe what we see, not what we hear

and

 Do as I do, not as I say

are true, as we know ‘in real life’.

In Your Post-First Visit (Post-Interview) Package

Here is a sample list of the materials you may include in an after-first visit recruiting package. Note that some of the material is duplicating your pre-first visit package. Also, sometimes you won’t have the opportunity to provide a pre-first visit package. Of course, you’ll always have the ability to customize each package. However, it’s much easier to do this from a prepared package than to start from scratch each time.

Letter from the manager explaining what’s in the package

  •        Training calendar (you do have one, don’t you?)
  •        Training brochure
  •        Company/office/manager story
  •       Attractive company/office/manager statistics
  •        Articles featuring company/manager
  •        Costs of affiliating  with explanations

Bottom Line: You’re Proving your Competency to Each Candidate With Every Recruiting Process You Do

Well-assembled packages reflect clear thought processes. Merely putting these together will clarify your recruiting and selection story. It will help you figure out and communicate your culture and values. It will provide you differentiation and memorability. It says to the candidate, “I prepared for you. Your time is valuable. I am here to dedicate my skills and talents to help you develop your business.”

You will recruit more and better agents, you will save time, and you will be able to delegate or ‘clone’ yourself by hiring a manager or recruiter when the need arises.

For a checklist of recruiting processes and systems needed, click here.

Want to avoid re-inventing the wheel? Check out my recruiting resources here.     CompleteRecruiterfor web OBrecuiter

man with hair in airRecruiting: Do you have systems, or do you ‘wing it?’ At the end of this blog, I’m providing you a checklist of the systems you need. See how prepared you are!

When you look at all the organization required to systematize your recruiting, it can be daunting. So, why not start with the packages?  Here are the packages you need: 

  •  Folders to hold all selection materials/processes for each agent interviewed
  • Pre-first visit package (sent prior to the interview)
  • Your interview process (application, your analysis forms, interview format, questions, etc.)
  • Visual recruiting presentation
  •  After first visit recruiting package

Why are these packages important? It takes six to eight times of meeting someone before you remember that person. In some sense, recruiting is like what one of my old bosses called the Chinese water torture: You must just keep dripping, dripping, and dripping on the candidate so you are

  •  memorable
  •  perceived as more professional than others the candidate will be interviewing

Savvier Candidates Require Savvier Recruiting Organization

Assembling and using these packages shows your candidate that you are organized, interested, and dedicated—both as a manager, and in helping that person create a viable career. A few months ago Charles Dahlheimer wrote an excellent article in The Real Estate Professional– an analysis of 2010. In it, he noted that more college-educated people are coming into real estate today. You can read the whole article here.  Because these candidates are more educated than before, it’s important to present yourself in the same light as other professionals in other fields the candidate may interview. And, it’s important that you create polished, well-thought-out packages that appeal to these candidates.

Start the Process: Just Throw ‘Possibilities’ in a Folder

The best way, I’ve found, to create packages, is to first simply create a folder (either hard copy or on your computer), and start throwing possible inclusions for that package into the folder. Don’t judge them! Judging them prematurely will not get you anywhere. As a musician, I know creativity is messy. In fact, the most inhibiting action to creativity, I think, is that we energetically critique every possibility when we try to construct something. So, too many times, we end up with not starting! Instead, squelch your impulse to judge anything until you have all your possibilities. After that, you can prune and prioritize. In my view, ANY prepared package is better than none!

Note: Because most recruiters don’t have systems, any organization and system you have created with stand out.

Communicating your ‘Memorability Factor’

In the next blogs, I’ll go more deeply into what can go into some of these packages. I’m going to give you my recommendations for three packages. More importantly, though, you decide the overall messages you want to convey through these packages. As the candidate reads the package, what do you want them to think about you? What values and culture do you want to communicate? What objections do you want to anticipate via each package? What misconceptions do you want to correct?

For a checklist of recruiting processes and systems needed, click here.

Want to avoid re-inventing the wheel? Check out my recruiting resources here.    

small CompleteRecruiterStart Here with Creating a true Recruiting ‘System’ (and save over $100)

If you don’t have the systems you need, here’s your chance to get them–at a terrific price. The Complete Recruiter is a self-training and resource manual on recruiting. Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners is the only step-by-step interviewing resource available for real estate interviewers today. And, another bonus, Objection Busters for Recruiters. This package is regularly $220. Now, it’s only $129.95–the price regularly of just The Complete Recruiter.  Why not save thousands of hours of time and build your systems with confidence–and recruit more winners? Click here to get the special offer.
Blueprint_Ebook_Cover(4)

 

Man-Walking-Up-Stairs-to-GlobeRecruiting and selecting: Are you systematized or scattered? I”m focusing on selecting and interviewing in this series of blogs. Why? Because most managers just ‘wing it’!

Most managers are surprised, when they start managing–with the demands of their new job. Many times, they didn’t
know they would be expected to recruit! One manager I was coaching in a group, told me his owner assured him he wouldn’t have to recruit. Then, a couple of years into the job, the owner hired me to teach the managers recruiting skills. Boy, that was an interesting situation….As you can imagine, the manager felt betrayed. At least he learned to trust me enough to confide in his quandary.

In fact, managers typically thought they could stop lead generating when they became managers. Not so fast. Recruiting is job # 1 in a manager’s job description.

 Where are the Recruiting Systems?

Some managers expect to walk right into an office and put those recruiting systems in place to work. You can imagine how surprised they are when they find out there are no systems to aid in recruiting. And, without systems, recruiting becomes way too daunting a task. Especially, too, if you’re a new manager and have no clue how to recruit!

How Managers Cope

In fact, many managers push it further ‘down the day’, until exhausted and beaten down by the demands of their job, they say they just don’t have time to recruit.

Systems Solve All Those Problems

You know that systems gain us time. They allow us to prepare prior to a crisis situation. Systems are also teaching tools. We follow systems to learn how to do something. Systems create great habits. For our discussion today, I’m going to divide recruiting systems into external and internal.

 External Recruiting Systems

Perhaps you’ve used recruiting lead generating companies in the past. Those companies either supply you leads, or supply you cards to send to your recruits. That’s great. Those are systems. But, I’m not talking about those ‘external’ systems. I’m talking about a whole other group of systems—internal systems—those systems you develop to ‘run’ your recruiting plan.

 A Day in the Life

You’ve seen agents in constant upheaval without systems. They get a listing appointment, and they run around attempting to put together a package or presentation. You’re constantly telling them to prepare, systematize, and package their presentations so they’re ready at the drop of a hat.

Okay. How systematized are you in your recruiting? It’s just like the agents’ lead generating, right? Are you always ready when that recruit shows up? Do you have the packages in place to show that recruit that you are really professional. Or, like the agent, do you run around trying at the last minute to get your act together?

 A Successful Recruiter’s Tools and Systems

 Successful recruiters organize their recruiting and selecting processes just like successful agents do. You need:

1. A database and contact management software

2. Folders for each candidate (enough pre-set up files for one month’s interviewing)

3. A system to pre-screen, interview, and choose the right candidates

4. The recruiting packages to support your efforts

You can delegate the packaging and systematization to an assistant, so you can do the important activities to build your company: Recruiting, face to face interviewing and selection!

In my next few blogs, I’ll break down what goes into each package and system.

Question: What percent of managers interviewing do you think have these systems?

small CompleteRecruiterStart Here with Creating a true Recruiting ‘System’ (and save over $100)

If you don’t have the systems you need, here’s your chance to get them–at a terrific price. The Complete Recruiter is a self-training and resource manual on recruiting. Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners is the only step-by-step interviewing resource available for real estate interviewers today. And, another bonus, Objection Busters for Recruiters. This package is regularly $220. Now, it’s only $129.95–the price regularly of just The Complete Recruiter.  Why not save thousands of hours of time and build your systems with confidence–and recruit more winners? Click here to get the special offer.
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man ponderingThis month, I’m focusing on helping you retain your new people.

Managers: What’s your retention rate for new agents under 6 months in the business? Do you know? Do you have a goal for it? Now, I don’t mean how many agents you hire who stay in the business no matter what they do! That’s not profitable to you! If you don’t know your retention rate now, figure it out. But, drop out those who are staying in your office without production–just because you don’t ask them to leave!

How Much Money Is Low Retention Costing You?

Do you know how much money it’s costing you if you have too low a rate? What rate do you think is reasonable to expect? In another blog, we’ll discuss the line items that you should use to figure your retention rates.

I’ll bet 90% of managers can’t answer all the questions above. Although no manager would ever tell me he/she hires just to see what sticks to the wall, in reality, that’s what much of the hiring still looks like today.

One View: Hiring Everyone Is Just OK

If you think that’s true, then, what’s it costing you in management and training time? Management and training turnover? It doesn’t take too many agent failures to make a manager give up. I know. I’ve coached many of them. Managers need to feel that the agents they hire are going to work, so that the manager’s time and expertise is respected and rewarded. Is your hiring expectation supporting your manager, or not?

What’s it costing you in your ability to recruit winners? Agents know the ‘aura’ and culture of an office. Don’t kid yourself. If you load your office with non-producers, you’ll get to be known, as an office was known when I started managing there–as the office that ‘you go to if you don’t want to work’. What are agents saying about your office? What do you want to do about it?

Three Things You Have to Have in Place to Get your Good Hires a Sale Fast

Obviously, you have to have a great screening/interview process. But, for now, I’m going to assume you have just that. So, here are the three things you have to have in place to get those agents a sale NOW:*

(My study, that I show in my ebook for would-be agents, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School, revealed that over half the new agents (under 3 months in the business), expected a sale in their first 30 (yes, 30!) days in the business!). So, your 3-step system has to have that as a goal. Why? Because your agents, whether you know it or not, are mentally out of the business in 3 months if they haven’t gotten a sale.

1. A thorough on-boarding system

Take a look at your first 3 weeks in the business for your new agent. What is that agent doing every day? Do you have checklists? Processes? Someone dedicated to coaching them through those first 3 weeks? In my next blog, I’m focus in on that on-boarding system you need. Studies show that ‘workers’ success and loyalty, plus their retention, is cemented–or not–in the first few weeks they’re in your office. Is your on-boarding system a ‘loyalty-glue’ maker?

2. Someone completely dedicated to guiding them through the onboarding and business-start up systems

Do you have a coach specifically dedicated to assuring your new agents get on track and stay on track? That coach may be you–but someone has to do it. You’d be amazed the number of times I hear newer agents tell me that there’s no one dedicated to coaching them to a start-up plan? Why? Isn’t each new agent hired worthy of that dedication? Or, if not, why were they hired? (remember that ‘throw them up against the wall’ approach?)

3. A specific, accountability-anchored business-start-up plan supported with training modules

Imagine your new agent sitting at her desk. How does she know what to do each day to get that sale quickly? Does she have a specific business start-up plan supported with training so she knows how to do the work? If not, she is just floundering, trying to pick up ideas from those agents who stay in the office–because they’re not working with clients! How would you rate your start-up plan?

How did you rate yourself on the 3 systems above? What do you want to work on first?

logoDon’t Reinvent the Wheel: The Start-up Plan, Training, Coaching, and Accountability is Here

It literally took me years to put together this unique online program, Up and Running in Real Estate. Why not let me take a huge burden off your shoulders and provide you 2 of the three things you need to jump-start your agents? Take a look at Up and Running in Real Estate and the companion Coaches’ Corner. You’ll reap many more rewards for a small investment, and find it easier to recruit winners.

many peole standing recruitingThis month, I’m focusing on recruiting and selecting. And, I have some blazing ‘deals’ on my recruiting resources to help you get a great plan and implement it right away!

Isn’t it amazing the number of things a new manager is supposed to be able to do—from day one—even though he or she isn’t trained to do those tasks? Take recruiting, for example.  As a new manager, I was expected to prospect, get appointments, ask great questions, and select agents who would be successful. But, did I have the skills to perform those tasks with competence? You can bet not!

Even though I was a top-producing agent, I didn’t take the time to think through, and didn’t know how to, apply the sales skills I had used to attain high sales volume to the recruiting tasks at hand. So, I, like thousands of other new managers, just did it ‘by ear’. Along the way, I had some ‘wins’ and lots of ‘losses’. Through my observations of myself and others, I’ve created a list of ten top mistakes, so that you can avoid the pitfalls I—and others without training—have fallen into.

In this blog, we’ll look at the first five. Also, I’ll add some advice I learned from all those mistakes!

1. Charge ahead to hire

It should occur to us that we need to sit in a quiet place and think about the kind of people we want to hire—before we dive in. But, we are so thrilled that someone is in front of us that it doesn’t occur to us that they bring with them their values and ethics. So, if we haven’t thought out our values, our beliefs, and our perspectives first, we run the risk of hiring people who will then dictate what the company values become. Before you start interviewing, decide what you will and what you won’t stand for. Write out your values and your beliefs. Then, when you interview, check to be sure that agent carries those same values and beliefs into your office. Someone’s got to be the leader, and it better be you!

2. Recruiting to old-style management strategies

I know, I know. Just go make those calls and you will get some recruits. Yes, that’s true. But, wouldn’t it be better if you built a company that stood apart from the others because of its ‘attractors’? The greatest attractors today to a company are twofold:

a.  Does the company have values and beliefs that the agent can live by—and agree with?

b. Does the company focus its energy on the success of the agent—or on itself/

If you are still trying to recruit to an old-style dictatorship, or, if you’ve given up leadership—get a clue. Find out what participative management is all about. Find out how to build a team. Figure out how to help each agent reach his/her goals. Now, you’re on the right track. Re-tool your business structure so you’re attractive to the entrepreneur of today and tomorrow.

3. Trying to recruit on the company features

“Our company is the largest around.” Well, guess what? If you’re a branch manager, and all your branch managers say the same thing, you’re not going to differentiate yourself that way! You must make yourself a magnet. What about your background provides a benefit to a new agent? To an experienced agent? For example, I was a musical performer and teacher. That taught me performance skills, and how to teach others performance skills. You can see the benefits to agents. I’m able to help an agent reach his goals through greater skills.

4. Not differentiating the feature from all the other companies that have the same thing

“We have a great training program.” So says every company out there. What’s so great about your program? You’d better be able to tell ‘em and show ‘em. “Our training program has a 90% rate in our agents making a sale in the first thirty days they’re with us.” No one else in the area has success figures like that. Here’s the brochure about our program. It spells out the comprehensive five-step program for new agents. Do you want a program that assures you make money fast?”

5. Trying to attract agents through ‘price wars’   

We in the real estate industry just love to hire agents through the bidding wars. We either provide a lower desk fee, better commission splits, or more trinkets and trash. Guess what? That’s the chicken’s way out. In reality, price is never the best recruiter. But, if you don’t have a great company organization, if you don’t help agents meet their goals, you’re going to have to compete on price. It’s all you’ve got. Now, work hard to provide real value. After all, consumers pay 10% more for products and services they believe are of quality.

Recommendation: Read Drive–The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us, by Daniel Pink. The motivators have changed, but no one has told real estate professionals!

So far, what have I left out?

Blazing ‘Deal’ On My Complete Recruiting Systems this Month

How’s your recruiting strategy? Have a complete system? Here it is, half price– at $120 off this month. Purchase The Complete Recruiter AND get Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners–a unique step-by-step interview process–PLUS Recruiting Objection Busters–for $120 off (Regularly $250 now $129.95 ONLY this month). This is the cost of just The Complete Recruiter!

The Complete Recruiter provides you the scripts and dialogues you need, the recruiting planner you don’t have (!), and dozens of tips to recruit the winners you want. Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners gives you an 11-step interview process to assure you interview those you want–without unpleasant surprises.  Recruiting Objection Busters shows you scripts and dialogues to counter any recruiting objection with grace, logic, and attractiveness.

Click here for more information and to order.

small CompleteRecruiter

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interview with clip boardSelection: If you’re a great talker, your cooked! A lot of recruiters/interviewers think that, if they’re great talkers, they’re great recruiters (same as agents think talking equals selling…..)

You’re a manager who recruits. You want to get winners in that recruiting seat. You pride yourself on being a great talker. (A manager once told me he just talks them to death–until they say they’ll join the company–what a great screening method-not!)  But, too much talking is just old-style hard ‘selling’–and that’s certainly not the bulk of an effective selection process.

Instead of muscling a sale or a ‘yes’ from a recruit….ask questions. Lots of questions. Probe to find out more. Keep finding out more until you’re really sure you know what they mean. Let me give you an example:

The recruit says, “I want a ‘deal’.”

Do you jump to a conclusion because you know what ‘deal’ means? Don’t. You may be surprised. Instead, ask questions at what ‘deal’ means to that recruit. When you know exactly what the recruit means, you can proceed to find what the really wants–instead of what someone else told him he should ask for!

A Pre-Screening Process for New Agent Candidates to Save you Time

Ask these questions before you spend time and money chasing candidates who don’t meet your standards.  Click here to get the complete process.

Use In-Depth Questionnaires to Discover Real Needs

Besides using these preliminary questions, always use written in-depth questionnaires so you’ll know

  • The benefits to the features/needs stated
  • Hidden objections you may not discover until too late
  • Motivations to buy that not even the ‘buyers’ realize they have

**Ever heard the term ‘buyers are liars’? I think that’s not really the case. I think that we don’t ask the right questions to help buyers (our recruits) clarify what they really want. Most ‘buyers’ of services don’t know what they really want. They think they want a better commission split. But, what they’re really looking for is the motivation provided by secrity. That means different things to different people. Find out what’s really motivating your candidate, not just what he says to your basic questions.

Ask the Right Questions in the Right Order and You Won’t Have to ‘Close’

Finding the motivators of your ‘buyers’ is key to helping them make the right buying decisions for themselves. All you have to do to ‘close’ is to remind them that this ‘product’ fulfills their needs. And, how do you get there? By creating and using the right questions in the right order.

Don’t forget to grab your pre-screening process:  click here.

Want to streamline your selection process and recruit more winners? Check out Your Blueprint to Selecting Winners. It’s completely digital, so you get all the information right now. Includes an 11-step proven process to interview successfully. Do you have a process or do you just ‘wing it’?

 

Dec
15

Can You Pass this Business Plan Exam?

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assignmentIn December, I’m featuring business planning. Suggest to your agents they check out Up and Running in 30 Days, my blog for achieving agents. I’ll provide lots of planning tips and free documents.

What should a business plan do for you? Appease your owner? (I’ve been there, so I know….) Or, should it actually provide you specific, day-to-day guidance about what to do to make your business thrive? If you’re a practical person like me, you don’t like to do ‘busy work’. You and I believe, then, that a business plan should have a practical application for every day of your business.

The ‘Business Plan’ Exam

Take this quick ‘exam’ to see how your business plan stacks up: (and give it to your agents so they can check their plans, too).

1. By going through your process of business planning, you get the ‘vision’ and mission principles to make the positioning, marketing, hiring, and termination decisions right for your particular business.        T                      F

Got that vision? Few business plans start with vision. This causes huge problems when real estate professionals try to implement—such as implementing a marketing plan.  A potential coaching client told me she ‘wasn’t very good at marketing’, and wondered how to get better. You can’t become a great marketer unless you have a very clear vision of who you are and where you expect your journey to take you. It all starts with a crystal clear idea of your vision, mission, and positioning in the market. Your business plan should contain these very important statements. Then, when you design an institutional marketing plan, you’ll be able execute your thoughts and feelings visually.

If your vision and mission aren’t well defined in your business plan, you simply have no solid foundation to make those tough leadership decisions.

2.  Your business plan starts with reviewing and researching the past year in all your business areas.                                             T                         F

Have you really reviewed your situation? If your planning ‘template’ doesn’t lead you through the analysis of key business statistics, you simply don’t know what happened. So, you can’t possibly make decisions for next year, because you don’t know whether to do it, stop doing it, or start doing something differently!

Example: In your office, what percent of your listings sold within normal market time? What was the percent of list price to sale price? Few business planning templates ask you to grab these statistics and analyze them. Yet, these are the statistics that directly point you to your strategies and tactics for the coming year.

3. Does your business plan have an ‘action plan’ area, so you can translate your yearly and monthly goals into daily actions—and actually schedule these actions?                                                      T                         F

No action plan means you just wasted a lot of time: I have seen so many business plans that only played on the ‘results’ playing field. Writing down the results you want are great, but if your plan doesn’t get down to where the rubber meets the road, (what you need to do daily), you simply are doing an exercise. In other words, you have to get past the ‘what’ and get to the ‘how’ and ‘how much’.

For example: You may say you want to increase your ‘sold’ listings by 25% in the coming year. How are you going to do that? Here are some possibilities for your action plan:

Through recruiting: Hire 12 listing agents that have demonstrated they list properties that sell quickly. That’s 1 per month. That’s 5 interviews per month. That’s 100 recruiting calls per month. Now, you can break that into weeks and days.

Through training: After researching each agent’s numbers of listings and listings to sold ratios, you are going to create and implement a high accountability training program to teach your agents the skills of successful listing. You will put your training series, which will be a series of four classes, presented 3 times a year, on a training calendar to hold yourself accountable to do them. (And, a calendar is a great recruiting tool).

4. Does your plan consist of integrated, ready-to-follow systems so you can delegate?

T                      F

Ever thought your systems WERE your plan? Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth and The E-Myth Revisited, says that a business plan consists of the integration of your systems. Most managers and agents feel they are working too many hours. They want to be able to delegate specific duties. But, without systems and processes in place, delegation is impossible.

Is your Business Salable?

Pretend you wanted to sell me your business. I walk into your office. What systems do I see? What systems can I buy from you, so I don’t have to ‘reinvent the wheel’? What systems do you have that integrate and reflect your values in the overall way you do your business? If you don’t have systems in place that I can readily take over, I might as well start my own company!

How did you do on the ‘exam’? Here’s your opportunity to think through your business at a much deeper, more meaningful level. Doing so will re-motivate you, re-ignite your passion, and provide you some solid answers for next year.

Click here for an overview of what a leadership planning system should contain.

Want to see more on business planning? Check out my online program Beyond the Basics of Business Planning. All the instructional webinars and documents are online, and very easy to complete and implement. This is a program created exclusively for real estate owners and managers. And, when you purchase the manager’s package, you also get access to all the agent’s planning videos and documents.

Complimentary Business Planning Webinar

Just did it with an enthusiastic group last week, and now it’s available to view–along with a PDF of the slides and more. See it here. Why not show it to your agents?

penguins focused on goalsDo you hate your business planning process? Here’s how to stop hating and start loving it! I’m focusing on business planning Nov. and Dec. Review all the blogs to get dozens of tips and docs to plan effectively.

It’s time to do that dreaded business plan. Here’s how to make it a love fest, not a drudgery.

It really can be fun….What if you could actually have fun making a plan—and know that the plan you made would at least double your profits for next year? Wouldn’t that be lovely? Having helped hundreds real estate professionals create plans, I’ve found an easy method to make that plan in no time. Better yet, I promise that plan will be a blueprint that will work hard for you.

We all talk about it. Few of us actually do it. Even less of us actually follow it! But, almost all of us know we should do it: make a business plan. Why do we resist? Why do we make plans (if we do) that gather dust on a shelf? I think it’s because it’s too cumbersome to make the plan. Most plans aren’t practical enough to follow. We’re going to change all that right now.

Why Your Planning Process Didn’t Work for You
Too many real estate professionals try to start planning by writing an action plan. (That should actually be the last step!). Instead, start your plan as I’ve outlined below. The surprising observation I’ve made is that it’s much faster and better to create the plan when you’ve done the preliminary steps. In fact, finding out the information below catapults you to your next year’s action plan—before you have a chance to question yourself. It assures you have a great plan, too. (And, it goes so much faster).

We’ll start with the first two steps. In my next blog, I’ll lead you through the next two steps. So, before you know it, you’ll be ready to polish the fine points of your plan.

Here are those first two steps:

1. Gather and analyze the important numbers. Gather last year’s numbers so you can analyze them quickly. (Best to have your secretary/assistant do this for you). These numbers should include the results that most greatly impact on your profitability: (You may have some other favorites. Feel free to analyze them):

a. Number of recruits/lead generation/appointment numbers
b. Net number of agents (how good were your recruiting/ retention efforts?)
c. Number of listings taken
d. Number of listings sold
e. Ratio of listings taken to listings sold
f. Number of sales
g. Balance/ratio of number of sales to listings sold
h. Expenses (what’s higher than your budget for the year?

What’s out of balance with your income and profitability? What can you change?)

Analyzing these numbers give you great big hints as to what you should do as an action plan next year. In fact, you’ll find it difficult not to think ahead to your action plan! (That’s a good thing!).

Your recruiting/lead generating plan for next year
Your retention plan for next year
Your training plan for listings next year
Your coaching plan for each agent/for you (balance of listings sold and sales?) (productivity)

Just with that first step, you almost have the action part of your business plan done!

2. Evaluating YOU. Rate yourself in the various skill areas: recruiting, selection, coaching, training, retention, staff management, etc. For agents, that would be lead generation, lead conversion, presentation skills. Technology skills, etc.

Bonus Want some planning documents? See my October newsletter. I’m including 2 bonuses this month: an internal review for agents, and a manager’s skills review for leadership (great for those managing managers, too).

What have you mastered? What do you want to improve? This becomes your personal/professional training/coaching program for next year.

Your Goal Deadline for These Two Steps

Holding ourselves accountable for what we want is very difficult! So, to help you, I’m going to ask you to create a target date to finish these two steps: Dec. 1. Why? So you’ll be ready for my next blog and the next two steps. This year: A fun, ‘got the love’ business plan! I promise you’ll stand out from the normal real estate pro who never gets around to getting one.

Plan_Act_CelebrateDoes Your Planning System Make the Grade?

If it doesn’t, check out my completely online, on demand system–one version for managers/owners, one version for agents. I’ll coach you through your plan, and provide you all the planning pages. For your agents: I’ll educate/train them in how to plan (so you don’t have to) AND provide them all their planning pages. This is a bargain, because you will have focus and direction for your company for 2016. Click here to learn about Beyond the Basics of Business Planning.

 

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I’m focusing on business planning this November and December. If you’re not excited about making your business plan, watch Carla’s short video to get inspired!

Plan_Act_CelebrateHow Does Your Planning System Stack Up?

There are lots of free planning systems out there. How have they worked for you? Why not step up to a professional planning system, written by the only real estate trainer to have a book on business planning for real estate professionals published internationally. Check out Carla’s exclusive program, Beyond the Basics of Business Planning. It’s not just the planning pages–it’s a comprehensive ‘how to plan’ program to coach you to a great plan. Click here to find out more.

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