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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 Training

shaking hands over computerClient relationship management: When do your agents start–and how can you help them capture and keep clients from day one?

This month, I’m featuring excerpts from my new 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

{Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.}

Client Relationship Management Supports Great Time Management

One of the biggest benefits of Up and Running in 30 Days is gaining strategies to conquer time management—prioritization and organization. A new agent starts with little concept of what’s important—so everything becomes important—or everything becomes unimportant! Their priorities get skewed because of bad training, hiding in low-impact activities, or really not knowing what’s important. So, time management becomes an agent’s biggest challenge—whether that agent is in the business three days or thirty years.

The Biggest Key to Effective Time Management

One of the biggest ways to constantly move ahead is to organize your contacts and leads into a database from day one. Yet, very few new agents do this. Why?

  1. They don’t think it’s important for them now (they don’t realize that every person they meet could be a gold mine—if they track that person, constantly communicate with that person, and show that they care more than a commission!)
  2. They don’t think they can afford a client relationship management. Yet, almost everyone has Outlook on their computers. Or, title companies over free contact management. There really is no excuse for not utilizing some type of electronic organization from day one!

For this 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days, I asked successful first year agents and leaders of teams what they felt contributed to an agent’s success—and what detracted. When I asked those agent and team leader contributors what technology is important to incorporate, here’s what they said:

“CRM and lead management tools”—Diane Honeycutt

“A really good and easy-to-use CRM”—Cerise Paton

“A good CRM”—Chris Cross. Yet, Chris has told me that, when he teaches a new agent course, only about 10% of those new agents are populating even a database, although, their assignment is to populate it aggressively.

According to Gary Richter, having a CRM is critical to his success: “For me having a CRM to track my leads and contacts is absolutely critical. I live in that database daily.”

Picture this: You meet a potential client, and a competing agent like Gary meets that potential client, too,  The other agent (Gary) consistently followed up and kept in touch—and you didn’t. Who would finally earn that commission from that client? Don’t lose out because you are trying to operate without a CRM—and have a haphazard follow-up marketing plan!

So, don’t be like the majority of new agents (and even seasoned agents!): Start using a database, or better yet, a CRM your first week in the business.

 Bottom Line: You’ll Make More Money!

A recent study by Active Rain (a popular real estate blog and tech information center), showed that agents who spent more money on contact relationship management (CRM) made significantly more money. It just makes sense. Agents who capture their leads via a database and then keep in touch with them via contact management software assure they keep their names in front of their potential clients, and are able to management and help many more clients. Agents who try to organize their clients via pieces of scrap paper and remember to call them once in awhile are woefully inadequate when it comes to staying in meaningful contact with their potential clients. Which agent would you prefer working with, as a client? An agent who regularly contacted you and kept you abreast of the market, or one who either never called you or contacted you irregularly?

So, the big lesson here is to organize all your contacts into a database, or better yet, client relationship management—from day one! Which CRM should you use? Don’t dither around! Choose one and start. You can always expert your contacts to a more robust program later.

Note: I got lots of recommendations on CRMs from my tech experts for Up and Running in 30 Days. I have made an extensive Resources section in this 5th edition of Up and Running  to list all the resources, including all types of technology, training, and support resources.

Managers: Using Up and Running with its extensive resources will save you so much time–and your agents will thank you forever!

Up and Running_5e largerAre You Using the Best Start-Up Plan for your New Agents?

Does your plan have the detailed, prioritized checklists needed to assure a great start? Does it have built-in inspiration and motivation? Does it have dozens of tips to control the attitude? If not, you need Up and Running in 30 Days. Just out in its 5th edition, it’s the most successful book for new real estate agents ever!

Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

 

audience sleepingAre you getting the biggest ‘bang’ for your training buck?

Are you frustrated because your training isn’t getting results? Or, people just aren’t showing up? Or, worse yet, falling asleep in that factoid-heavy class?

Maybe you have a specific problem you’ve noticed when you read your latest profit and loss statement. For instance: Perhaps your agents are giving too many commission concessions.

If you’re experiencing any of these challenges, you’ll love the tool here. I’m providing an insightful analytical tool to discover what’s right–and wrong–with your training.

Three main reasons your training isn’t working:

1. It isn’t tied to the problems you want to solve in your office (agents not productive enough, commissions too low, etc.)
2. It doesn’t teach your agents to perform better–just gives information
3. It isn’t exciting enough–teacher just drones on and on…..

As I work with owners, managers and trainers internationally, I see these same three problems crop up over and over.

Click here to get your analytical tool — along with tips to correct your training to make it pay off.

Affiliates: Share this with the managers/trainers in the offices you call on. Use these tips, too, to streamline the training you provide.

coachingWant Help in Improving your Training?

Why not get some assistance in refining your training, creating or improving your training calendars, and energizing your courses with refreshing and effective training methods? Carla Cross has helped the major franchises internationally do just that, and she will help you, too.

Customized coaching to:

  • Improve training, training calendars and results 
  • Insert more exciting training methods into courses to improve attendance
  • Create methods to assure better training results
  • Contact Carla to find out how she can help you get better results from your training. Each coaching series is customized to meet your needs and get the results you want.

These series range from 2 sessions to 6, depending on your needs. Carla will work with you one-on-one or with your group of trainers.

do itHow good is your agents’ start-up plan? (Or, do they have a start-up plan?!)

This month, I’m featuring excerpts from my new 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

{Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.}

You know what your training will do for you. So I hope you are convinced you also need to implement a business start-up plan to put all that information in perspective. But watch out—there are more poor ones than good ones out there. As a CRB (Certified Real Estate Broker) instructor for 12 years, I taught thousands of owners and managers nationally. I saw plenty of poor plans managers shared with me. (These were the plans they were giving their agents, too.)

Commonalities of Poor Plans

  • They are laundry lists of busywork activities interspersed with activities that actually make you money, so the agent doesn’t get any evaluative perspective to self-manage.
  • They do not prioritize lead-generating activities, so the agent thinks all types of lead generation have equal payoffs.
  • They do not have methods of setting goals, keeping track of results, and analyzing results to make changes quickly. (Up and Running provides sales ratios so you learn how many specific actions it takes to get the results you want.)
  • They do incorrectly prioritize actions. For example, as a high priority, they direct the new agent to “see all the inventory” before doing anything else. The rationale is that it’s very important to see all the inventory to build a knowledge base. It is important, but only as it relates to working with buyers and sellers. (It’s the means, not the end.) But new agents don’t want to do the high-rejection, high-risk activities such as talking to people. So they gladly see all the inventory until it becomes their job descriptions!
  • They do include plenty of “busywork” as equal priority to lead generating—such as a broker having an agent visit a title company to learn how it operates. This keeps the agent busy and out of the broker’s hair! Also, the new agent loves the broker for a while, because the broker isn’t asking the new agent to do those high-rejection activities—those activities that lead to a sale!

Bottom line: No would-be successful agent in his right mind would continue doing this type of plan any longer than he had to, because the successful agent recognizes the plan is a poor one.

* Big Idea: Be very critical before you commit to any start-up plan. It is prioritizing your mind! The start-up plan you may love because it keeps you out of sales activities isn’t the plan that is going to love you back (get you the sales you want). What you do every day becomes your job description.

An Effective Start-Up Plan

Here are the six attributes of an effective business start-up plan:

  1. Does not give equal weight to all activities
  2. Provides an organized activities schedule with certain activities prioritized first because they lead to a sale (in Up and Running, these are called “business-producing” activities)
  3. Includes an organized activities schedule with certain activities prioritized second—and explaining why (In Up and Running, these are called “business-supporting” activities)
  4. Provides a road map for a continuing plan (remember that “plan for life”?)
  5. Builds in the “why” of the plan structure, so you learn to self-manage
  6. Has a method to measure and make adjustments in your plan as you progress
  7. Has a coaching component, so someone can coach you effectively to the plan

Managers/trainers: How well did your start-up plan score? Why not try using a proven plan that gets much better results faster? You’ll increase your retention and your profits!

Up and Running_5e largerAre You Using the Best Start-Up Plan for your New Agents?

Does your plan have the detailed, prioritized checklists needed to assure a great start? Does it have built-in inspiration and motivation? Does it have dozens of tips to control the attitude? If not, you need Up and Running in 30 Days. Just out in its 5th edition, it’s the most successful book for new real estate agents ever!

Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

 

 

man and woman at tableDo your agents try to ‘tell’ their clients everything, or do they show them with credibility and evidence? If you’re not teaching your agents to ‘back up their mouths’ with the credibility of visuals (3rd party sources, statistics, graphs, etc.), you’re not helping them create trust and rapport with their clients!

This month, I’m featuring excerpts from my new 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

{Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.}

Here’s one about the credibility/visual issue:

This week, I’ve asked you to start organizing your seller and buyer visual presentations. Why? Because I want to give you every bit of support, every bit of guidance, every bit of added edge I can to ensure you convert leads to customers and clients. Creating visual systems does five things for you:

  1. It makes you look credible and professional—we believe what we see, not what we hear.
  2. It is a self-teaching tool—you’ll learn how to counter those objections and how to present to buyers and sellers 100 percent faster with these tools than without them.
  3. You’ll learn how to best organize your presentation to flow smoothly.
  4. You’ll learn the visuals that best counter the common objections.
  5. It is a great confidence-building tool—you will never feel like you’re out on a limb without the answers to sellers’ and buyers’ questions.

Trying to give a professional presentation without the visuals is like trying to play a Mozart sonata just by listening to it. Trust me—as a musician. It can’t be done. Not only is it very difficult to remember what you wanted to say to a buyer or seller when you’re under stress, it just isn’t nearly effective for you. I know because I’ve had agents do listing presentations in class for other agents with visuals and without them. The agents without visuals were voted worse presenters and not as credible as those with visuals!

You’re Going to See and Hear the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

When you talk to agents in your office about presentations and objections, you are going to be amazed. Some of the information you get will be very good. Some will be very outdated. Some will be outright wrong or bad. What may be stunning to you is the lack of substantiation for what agents tell you. Even though we’ve been teaching agents for years to “put your visuals where your mouth is,” most agents just think they can talk people into anything!

* Big Idea: Put your visuals where your mouth is.

Up and Running_5e larger

Are You Using the Best Start-Up Plan for your New Agents?

Does your plan have the detailed, prioritized checklists needed to assure a great start? Does it have built-in inspiration and motivation? Does it have dozens of tips to control the attitude? If not, you need Up and Running in 30 Days. Just out in its 5th edition, it’s the most successful book for new real estate agents ever!

Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

 

 

Are your agents resisting getting into action?

I’ve justdo it published the 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days. In it, I’ve included lots of up-to-the-minute updates. You can read some of them, in these blogs.

Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

Below is an excerpt from the newest edition of the book.

{To agents}

Real Estate Sales IS Challenging!

I’ll bet you didn’t know how challenging real estate sales were until now. To cope with those challenges, your creative subconscious may be coming up with ways to convince you to avoid getting into action. You might even start believing your subconscious! One of the most common reasons is the old “I can’t do that because I don’t know enough.” Or, maybe your subconscious has convinced you that you’re not organized enough to get into action, or that you’re not perfect enough.

{Managers: Do you have some agents frozen into inaction–or trying for perfection before they’ll start?}

Getting Ready to Get Ready

Ned, an agent in my office, acted in a way that is an example of creative avoidance. In the business eight months, Ned had made only one sale. However, he was in the office regularly and appeared busy with paperwork. He attended law courses and was well-informed on financing. One day I saw Ned collating maps. I asked him what he was doing. He explained that he was putting together a series of maps for a buyer’s tour. I thought that was exceptional; buyers would really want to know the whereabouts of the homes they were seeing. Unfortunately, Ned had used his strategy with only six buyers—all the buyers he had put in his car in the past eight months! He had spent his time on this nifty map system, but had not talked to enough people to get them into the car—or have the opportunity to appreciate the map system! Which is more important to your goal attainment—talking to people, qualifying them, and showing them homes, or working diligently on a map system in case you find someone who wants you to show them homes?

How People Get into Action

How do you “get into action”? In a wonderful book, The Conative Connection, Kathy Kolbe explores the ways different personalities get into action—not how we learn, but how we get into action. Some people barge ahead and worry about the details later. We start badly, but, because we’re tenacious, we surprise people by how good we finally get. Unfortunately, our supervisors often remember only how bad we were when we started. We must be tough-minded and keep at it; we must retain an image of ourselves as “finished products,” because others will not see us that way. Other people observe the action for a long time. Finally, when we feel ready to perform well, we get into action. We start slowly but well. Because of our slow start, we don’t get much positive reinforcement from our supervisors (or coach or manager), who note our lack of progress compared with others in the office. If slow starters are tenacious and believe in themselves, they become very good because they practice perfectly. Kolbe points out several “get into action” styles. This book will help you pinpoint your “get into action” style as well as the barriers and challenges you face as you start your real estate career.

Embrace Embarrassment

Go ahead—be embarrassed. There is no way to be experienced until you get experience. No agents like to take risks, be embarrassed, or have buyers and sellers guess that they are new in the business. But face it—everyone has been new in the business. Just go ahead and get those first few months over with. You will be embarrassed every day—many times. As a new agent, my most common statement to buyers or sellers was “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.” In music, little could stump me—but in real estate anything could stump me! Still, I muddled through it, and you will, too.

* Big Idea: Your ability to get into action and risk being embarrassed is one of the attributes of a successful new agent.

Why not take your time? I’ve interviewed prospective agents who told me they really didn’t want to sell real estate right away. They wanted to learn everything they could. Then, after six or eight months, they would feel ready to sell real estate. It doesn’t work that way! I wish I could tell you that you can successfully launch your real estate career by taking lots of time to “get ready.” However, if you take all the time in the world, you will fail:

Real estate is a performance art. It doesn’t matter how much you know; it only matters how you interact with people. And that takes practice and performance. To remember and emulate good performance, we need to perform right after we have heard, seen, and practiced that performance. Learning something in a class and letting that skill lie dormant for months just guarantees poor skill—and high stress.

* Big Idea: 99 percent of what we learn we learn by doing.

Managers: Are you unwittingly stopping people from getting into action by insisting on perfection?

Up and Running_5e largerDo You Have a Proven Start-Up Plan with Inspiration Built In?

Up and Running in 30 Days  has lots of up-to-the-minute updates. Plus, a proven, prioritized business start-up plan with inspiration, motivation, and action items built in. Check it out!

 

trainer sayingI’ve just published the 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days. In it, I’ve included lots of up-to-the-minute updates. You can read some of them, in these blogs.

Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

Below is an excerpt from the newest edition of the book.

The Value of Practice

It’s painful to learn from your mistakes with real clients. However, there’s an additional way to learn skills—practice. All too often, the value of practice is underestimated by both agents and managers. But it’s worth the effort to role-play each segment that requires sales communication with people:

  • Lead-generating scenarios
  • Following up with Internet inquiries
  • Counseling/qualifying buyer scenarios
  • Showing and closing buyer scenarios
  • Presenting and negotiating offer scenarios
  • Qualifying seller scenarios
  • Marketing/presentation scenarios
  • Price reduction/review scenarios

Managers and coaches: How many of these situations do you coach to via practice?

Agents believe that because they can talk they can sell. But we have already discussed the realities of conversation versus the special communication skills required for sales success. I guarantee that if you take seriously the practice asked of you in Up and Running, your performance with people will improve quickly and your confidence will soar. Every successful salesperson I have known who started quickly in this business organized, systematized, practiced, and perfected each step in the sales cycle.

Caution: A reason new agents start slowly or fail early is that they underestimated their need to develop a mastery of sales skills in their first months in the business. So, they fail to convert those leads!

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

The best kind of practice increases your skill and results. Back to my piano-practicing days: as a four-year-old, I picked out tunes on the keys and added the chords. I could play pop music reasonably well. Then, at age six, I started piano lessons. As I progressed to more demanding piano teachers, I learned that “faking it ’til you made it” just would not meet their standards. In fact, my best piano teacher, Mr. Green, taught me to practice very slowly, so there weren’t any mistakes. I found that if I practiced quickly, I practiced my mistakes right along with the rest of the piece.

Although his kind of practice was tedious, it was right. By using Mr. Green’s method I became a much better pianist, gaining a degree in piano performance. Too often, real estate agents practice the mistakes and end up with a sales system that is “more mistake than effective.”

* Big Idea: Perfect practice makes perfect. Go for mastery, not just mediocrity. One of a coach’s opportunities is to help you get into action, take risks, and work toward “practicing perfectly.”

Up and Running_5e largerWhat is the ‘Music’ You Use to Coach?

You need a guide–a solid business start-up plan, with the what, how, how much, and why built in. Take a look at the new 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

bus-plan-11How good is your start-up business plan for your new agents?

I’ve just published the 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days. In it, I’ve included lots of up-to-the-minute updates. You can read some of them, in these blogs.

Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

Below is an excerpt from the newest edition of the book.

Managers: Check these lists against the start-up plan you use to launch your new agents (and re-launch your seasoned agents). {You DO have a proven start-up plan, don’t you?}

Critical Analysis: How Good Is That Start-Up Plan?

You know what your training will do for you. So I hope you {the new agents} are convinced you also need to implement a business start-up plan to put all that information in perspective. But watch out—there are more poor ones than good ones out there. As a CRB (Certified Real Estate Broker) instructor for 12 years, I taught thousands of owners and managers nationally. I saw plenty of poor plans managers shared with me. (These were the plans they were giving their agents, too.) Here are some commonalities of them:

  • They are laundry lists of busywork activities interspersed with activities that actually make you money, so the agent doesn’t get any evaluative perspective to self-manage.
  • They do not prioritize lead-generating activities, so the agent thinks all types of lead generation have equal payoffs.
  • They do not have methods of setting goals, keeping track of results, and analyzing results to make changes quickly. (Up and Running provides sales ratios so you learn how many specific actions it takes to get the results you want.)
  • They do incorrectly prioritize actions. For example, as a high priority, they direct the new agent to “see all the inventory” before doing anything else. The rationale is that it’s very important to see all the inventory to build a knowledge base. It is important, but only as it relates to working with buyers and sellers. (It’s the means, not the end.) But new agents don’t want to do the high-rejection, high-risk activities such as talking to people. So they gladly see all the inventory until it becomes their job descriptions!
  • They do include plenty of “busywork” as equal priority to lead generating—such as a broker having an agent visit a title company to learn how it operates. This keeps the agent busy and out of the broker’s hair! Also, the new agent loves the broker for a while, because the broker isn’t asking the new agent to do those high-rejection activities—those activities that lead to a sale!

Bottom line: No would-be successful agent in his right mind would continue doing this type of plan any longer than he had to, because the successful agent recognizes the plan is a poor one.

* Big Idea: Be very critical before you commit to any start-up plan. It is prioritizing your mind! The start-up plan you may love because it keeps you out of sales activities isn’t the plan that is going to love you back (get you the sales you want). What you do every day becomes your job description.

An Effective Start-Up Plan

Here are the six attributes of an effective business start-up plan:

  1. Does not give equal weight to all activities
  2. Provides an organized activities schedule with certain activities prioritized first because they lead to a sale (in Up and Running, these are called “business-producing” activities)
  3. Includes an organized activities schedule with certain activities prioritized second—and explaining why (In Up and Running, these are called “business-supporting” activities)
  4. Provides a road map for a continuing plan (remember that “plan for life”?)
  5. Builds in the “why” of the plan structure, so you learn to self-manage
  6. Has a method to measure and make adjustments in your plan as you progress
  7. Has a coaching component, so someone can coach you effectively to the plan

Up and Running_5e largerManagers and trainers: Take a look at the business start-up plan thousands of new agents use successful to launch businesses fast.

audience sleepingIs your audience’s mind ‘wandering’? Here are 42 ways to keep their attention.

This month, I’m focusing on training. Why? Because you’re hiring good potential, but you need a plan to develop that potential. And, that development comes through training and coaching.

Trainers: Do they snooze when you’re in front of them? Do their eyes slowly close—and then blink open when they’re startled by something you do in the classroom? Do you feel frustrated when you can’t keep their attention?

The solution is simple: Gain more teaching skills.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But, the most difficult thing for us adults to do is to gain new skills. Instead, we tend to try to purchase competency (invest in software, programs, and ‘things’ that supposedly do the work for us). But, in this case, all the PowerPoints in the world can’t overcome a boring presenter!

You Can Expand Your Teaching Repertoire

Did you work to put yourself through college? I did. I found out it was much easier to put my talent to work and get paid, than to pick beans! So, when I was nineteen, I got a job playing piano in a bar. (Boy, did I learn about human nature).

When I was tickling the ivories, playing my way through college and graduate school, I noticed that, the more tunes—and styles–I mastered, (that’s the repertoire), the more tips I made. I could please more of the people more of the time. It’s the same way with teaching, or doing keynotes, or presentations, or facilitation. The more skills you hone, the easier it is to be effective in front of people.

Most Presenters Know Just One Tune and Style

Most of us who present start by getting in front of people, and naturally doing some things right. We get acceptance. We get acclaim. We find we’re good talkers in front of people. In fact, most people think that refining presentation skills are merely a function of

talking better.

So, we try to talk better. But, then, we hit our ‘ceiling of achievement’. We can’t seem to get any better. Then, we get frustrated. We try harder. That doesn’t help. Sometimes we look for someone who can help us ‘talk better’. We take a class thinking that someone will make us titillating on the stage. The interesting thing is that—it’s not the answer for most of us.

Gaining Other Presentation Skills

Sure, there are a myriad of presentation skills that help us in front of audiences. We can speak slower, speak more clearly, pause more effectively, use our bodies more effectively.  But, in addition, there are teaching methods that increase the effectiveness of our presentations. These include

Crafting of the presentation

Audience participation

Use of visuals and props

How good are you at these teaching methods? Do you tend to rely on the good old stand-by, lecture?  If so, you’re boring your audiences to death!

A Great ‘How to Teach’ Course Will Help You

I teach Instructor Development Workshop in the state of Washington. This fulfills a requirement for instructors to teach clock-hour approved courses in the state. So many times, people come into the class wanting me to ‘fix them’ so they will be fascinating in front of people. What I have to do is to teach them all those other methods to teach effectively—skills they can learn and master. It’s interesting to watch their paradigms switch from “make me another Johnny Carson or Don Rickles” to “I’m grasping great teaching methods that work for me.”

To see my upcoming courses, click here.

Those 42 Teaching Methods

One of the things I do in Instructor Development is to demonstrate to students many teaching methods. Then, we ‘take it apart’ and talk about how they would apply these methods to their own situations. I’ve developed a list of 42 Teaching Methods to summarize the course. Click here to get it.

Bring Skills to Your Company or Association

Want me to come to  your company or association and teach these methods? I’ll customize the subject matter to match what you need. I believe training is major answer to our industry’s offering value for services, and I can help you create great trainers and effective training. Click here to contact me, and we’ll talk about your needs.

training your success Trainers: Wouldn’t you love to know how to get paid MORE for the great information and training you provide?

This month, I’m focusing on training. Why? Because you’re hiring good potential, but you need a plan to develop that potential. And, that development comes through training and coaching.

Adults are Enigmatic Animals

Do you sometimes have trouble figuring out the level of expertise of a particular audience? Do you have some students say, “That was too basic.” Do you wonder how your audience likes to learn? In other words—are you in the dark about your audience background and preferences? If so, you don’t know how to ‘hit the bull’s eye’ in the classroom.

Problem Solved

You can solve many of your instructional problems simply by using a pre-conference survey.

Adults Have Learning Diversities

Children are so much easier to teach than adults. Children are relatively ‘clean slates’. They don’t know so much (and don’t know things incorrectly), and they’re eager to learn. Adults, on the other hand, come into the classroom with some terrific learning, skills—and a lot of ‘missed learning’ and baggage. To teach effectively, you must find out everything about your audience before you get in front of them.

A Lab on Finding Out Who These Students Are

Twice a year, I teach my Instructor Development Workshop in this area (Bellevue, Washington). I’ve done this for lots of years. It’s very challenging to teach, because these adults come into class with so many widely varying experiences about training. To teach them effectively, I need to know as much as possible about them before class starts.

What I Want to Learn About My Students

To prepare to teach Instructor Development, I always ask participants to answer a pre-conference survey. Here are some of the questions I ask:

  1. Have you had any formal training? Please explain.
  2. What do you want to accomplish?
  3. What do you want your students to be able to do?
  4. What are your favorite teaching methods?
  5. How do you like to learn in a classroom?

Trainers: Take this list right now and customize it for your course.

Can you guess why I ask these questions? I need to know

  • Their relative backgrounds, so I know the range of the students
  • What they want from the class, so I know their expectations (and lack of expectations!)
  • If they expect their students to change behavior as a result of the class—or if they just want students to learn ‘neat stuff’
  • How they like (and what they depend on) to teach—so I know their skill sets
  • Their favorite learning method, so I can include it in my teaching

What I Learn from Those Who Don’t Complete the Survey

That’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? In my Instructor Development course, I ask students why they think I did the survey, and what it tells me. We then discuss how to use surveys in various situations to gather information about those adult learners. I know if a student doesn’t complete the survey, they don’t find value. They may be hard to teach. Or, they were just plain too busy or distracted.

Raising the Level of Your Course—and Charging More for It

By using a pre-conference survey, you show students that there are expectations of your course. You show them that there will be more value than the ‘just show up and sit there’ type of course. You show them that you care more about them than just showing up. You show them you will customize this course specifically for them. You can charge more for your course, because you have elevated the course from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Your Responsibilities to the Students

Gathering all that information isn’t a free ride for you! Students will expect you to use that information to customize your course, teach to various learning styles, and stretch yourself as an instructor.

Let me know how you use surveys prior to courses to increase the value of your course.

A Gift for You

During my Instructor Development Workshop, I show dozens of teaching methods. I’ve compiled a list of 42 of them. Click here to get it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ultimate_RE_Trainer

A Teaching Resource for You

Tired of your own teaching methods? Want to dial it up? Take a look at The Ultimate Real Estate Trainer’s Guide. 

Learn the 6-step process to create a great workshop, so you can create your own training workshop. Grasp the 3-part process to create a persuasive presentation to motivate your associates. You’ll get the most common mistakes trainers make—and how to avoid them.

30 Checklists and Outlines

• A ‘cheat sheet’ to put together a workshop in 10 minutes
• 2 ready-to-use teaching outlines
• An example of a student outline and a coordinating teaching outline (use as a guide to submit your outline to your Dept. of Licensing)
• 28 speaker’s tips
• Example of a training calendar
• A student evaluation form
• How to get students to attend: An effective marketing flyer
• 10 minute system to create a 1-3 hour training session—one that works!
• Worksheet: How to create an in-office workshop
• 5 methods to build in student accountability and measurable results
• 6 ways to lose your ‘stage fright’
• 6 ways to keep the audience’s attention
• 10 methods to ‘control troublemakers’ in your audience
• 15 forms, systems and processes to create better training
• How to assure they’ll participate in your training session
• How to build learning theory into your practical workshops
• How to avoid talking through an hour
• Attributes of effective new agent training
• Attributes of effective experienced agent training
• How to ‘time’ your presentations so you end on time
• The 6 steps to build a workshop
• What to do when they’re not paying attention
• What to do when you’re out of time
• How to control the student who dominates questions
• How to utilize your agent talents in your training program
• A post-workshop trainer’s evaluation
• How to use role play the right way
• 5 ways to teach instead of lecturing
• The positives and pitfalls of each teaching method
• The coaching feedback loop, to motivate your students
• 28 tips for speakers
• Worksheet: attendance record
• Sample article to promote your workshop
• Sample flyer to promote your workshop
• Career Life Cycle: How to figure out who to train and the training you need
• Agent survey to discover training needs
• Your training calendar evaluator
• An example new agent training calendar
• An example of experienced agent training: The Masters Series
• How to find presenters
• How to design and present a panel discussion
• How to evaluate your training program
• 10 most common training program mistakes

Check out The Ultimate Real Estate Trainer’s Guide. 

trainer sayingAre you training ‘know-it ‘alls’ or ‘do its’?

This month, I’m featuring training. Why? Because you’re probably hiring like mad in this fast market. So, if your training systems aren’t keeping up to your hiring demands, read each of these blogs.

Note: I’m doing a series of digital newsletters for trainers this year, called ‘Behind the Mic‘. If you’d like to be included in my mailing list, go to my Carla Cross website home page, www.carlacross.com. Toward the right bottom, there’s a request to join Carla’s Community. Join, and you’ll get newsletters and resources FREE as a member. If you want to only receive the Trainers’ newsletters, state you are a trainer.

Are you standing in front of your students to create better performance, or more knowledge? If you are want to train, it’s very important to clarify for yourself exactly what your role is. Why? Because it will determine the outcomes you get.

I learned this the hard way. After graduating in piano performance, I applied to and had been awarded a scholarship to UCLA as a graduate assistant in the music department. But, after I was at UCLA a few weeks, I became disillusioned, for I found out that the UCLA music department was all about ‘knowledge’, not performance. Professors earned tenure by publishing papers about sixteenth century Elizabethan madrigals–but they didn’t have to be able to play the madrigals…My interest and experience in music had been performance.

Are You After Better Performance or More Knowledge?

I’ve never forgotten that lesson about the difference in the knowledge about something–and the performance of it. Which is more important in what you’re teaching? What do you want your students to be able to do as a result of your presentation/training? Sure, just like musical performance, you must have some technique to perform. But, also like musical performance, lots of knowledge doesn’t make you a good performer.

If You Want Better Performers…..

Here are five areas to look at to assure you’re creating performers, not just know-it alls.

1. What percent of your program is instructor focused? That is, the instructor performs. If it’s more than 50%, you have a knowledge-heavy program. Model your program like the piano teacher teaches piano. He talks very little, demonstrates some, and listens to the student play and gives positive reinforcement and re-direction. The teacher knows he taught because the student can play.

2. Do you choose your instructors based on their knowledge and their ability to deliver the message attractively? Start choosing your instructors, instead, on their ability to facilitate performance. They should be able to demonstrate a role play, set up a role play, and draw conclusions. Like great piano teachers create increasingly difficult programs for their students, your instructors should be able to craft ever-increasing difficult rule plays. Think of them like creators of ‘virtual reality’.

3. Who is held accountable for the program–the instructors or the students? In most programs, we ‘relieve’ the instructor if he doesn’t get good reviews from the students. The instructor’s the only one accountable. Turn it around. 75% of the accountability should be on the students to demonstrate they have learned the skill. Why? Because, without student accountability, managers get your ‘graduates’ who can’t perform.

4. Is your focus on curriculum? Are you attempting to create value for the program to management or owners by providing more information than the other school? Most training programs could cut 50% of their curriculum and graduate better performers. Instead of focusing on curriculum, create your program as ‘virtual reality’. Have a system that provides a series of “performance building blocks”. Don’t tell them all about playing a concerto. Just tell them enough to let them ‘get their fingers on the keys’.

5. Are the objectives of your program knowledge-based? How do the students graduate from your program? Do they pass a written exam? Managers want a graduate who can perform the activities of a real estate salesperson to reasonably high performance standards. A good training program should identify, teach, observe, and coach performance in several critical performance areas until the student can perform well enough to graduate.

The Right Performance ‘Test’

As a piano performance major, each term, I had to play a ‘mini-recital’ in the music auditorium for an audience of four–all piano professors. I couldn’t just talk about music theory, or answer a multiple choice exam. I had to play. And, to pass the ‘course’, I had to play to certain set performance standards.  The more your training program resembles the ‘virtual reality’ of your specific performance, the more valuable your program to the people who hired your students –and you.

In the next blog, I’ll tell you about the latest trends in training–and why you need to adopt them now!

logoAre You Making it Hard on Yourself to Train ‘Newbies’?

Why not take off the pressure and let me help you. I’ve created a comprehensive online training/coaching program for new agents: Up and Running in Real Estate. I’ve included 25+ training videos and 50+ documents, systems, and how-tos. And, I want to include you–since your interest and dedication will make all the difference to that new agent’s success. So, I included Coaches’ Corner–all the information you need to coach an agent to this program. See more here. 

 

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