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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 Trends

Oct
25

Christian Louboutin Espadrilles Men

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It will be a truly summer with a pair of Christian Louboutin espadrilles. Christian Louboutin espadrilles for men, featuring comfortable linen sole can save you from uncomfortable feeling or pain and are perfect for your go-to vocation look for summer. There are diversified vamps and colors for your selection, supple veau velours vamp, calf leather vamp, luxurious multicolored woven leather vamp and so on. Adding a touch of laidback feeling to your more casual looks, you deserve one of Louboutin espadrilles. Some espadrilles of Louboutin men will be your favorite, made of classic handcrafted black leather with a distinguished mustache adorned on the upper vamp, this espadrille can add a touch humor to you. Other funny embellishments like gorgeous pineapple and Louboutin crest certainly can enliven your look.

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Oct
25

Christian Louboutin Derby Men

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Christian Louboutin men shoes derby style is perfect for modern gentleman who is looking for new style to his red sole collection. Featuring a sleek and classic look, the Louboutin men derby in camel suede is in lightweight appearance, so this derby version is very perfect for warm weather months and can add red sole sophistication to your on and off-duty look. Some derbies made of classic black leather, featuring a fashionable pointed toe are a must-have staple in your Louboutin collection. Sublime oxford style or cap-toe oxford style which is perfect to set up your looks, if well matched with close-fitting pants, you will seem to be full of youth and gentility. Exquisite craft work and sophisticated look, you will rely on it for many seasons to come.

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Oct
25

Christian Louboutin Men Boots

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Every modern man who knows fashion needs Christian Louboutin boots. Sophisticated shape of Louboutin boots adds handsome and chic feeling to you. The timeless classic easy-to-wear style works with almost all kinds of boots. Of course there are still some ultra masculine boots provided for you. Various kinds of material, such as soft camel suede, havane calf leather and striking black leather are available. One of the classic version which featuring a thin sole and narrow heel, and in soft camel suede vamp, has been the best-selling these days. You can choose one stylish boot you are fond of in Louboutin boutique to accompany. Boots of Christian Louboutin red sole whether for Autumn/Winter or Spring/Summer are all in elastic detail for flexibility comfort.

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small write outlineIn an earlier blog, I gave you some tips to controlling audiences. There’s no reason your class attendees should feel the class is out of control. After all, it’s up to us to keep that class interested, interesting, and moving. Here are more tips to do just that.

1.      Limit the general discussion. You’re behind time (you did time your class and put your time frame on your outline, didn’t you?). You see 5 hands raised and you need to move on. Here’s the phrase:

“We have time for 2 more questions.”

2.      Stop the chatty Kathys. There are a few techniques you can use that work.

a.      Walk away from the ‘Kathy’ so she can’t catch your eye and/or wave her hand in your face.

b.      Ask each person to ‘write it down’ first. (stops the hand jerking into the air!)

c.      Ask the person to tell another person, not the whole group.

d.      Ask for feedback this way: “What did you hear {your work partner} say that you really liked?”

3.      Quit teaching only from the front of the room. Be sure you can walk down the aisle, and, if you have a mike, it allows you to do so. Making eye contact and respecting the learners in all parts of the room is graceful and effective. 

Handling Really Tough Situations

Sometimes, once in a great while, someone just has a meltdown. If that happens, take a short break. Take that person out of the class (never, ever address a concern in front of others, or try to  rival stand-up comedian, the sarcastic but always funny Don Rickles—you aren’t and you’ll lose). Use this dialogue:

“I’m feeling badly {be sure and use the word ‘feeling’} about what’s going on in there. What can I do to make this a good learning experience for you?” Or, “We need to move ahead and can’t seem to do so. What can I do for you so we can move ahead together?”

When all else fails, personally and privately invite that person out of the class.

Who’s Important?

The learning of the majority of the class is what’s  important. It’s up to you as training/facilitator/presenter to gain and use the skills that assure a great course experience.

Keep honing those skills, and thank you for dedicating your experience to our industry!

P. S. Don’t forget to gain 42 Innovative Presentation Methods that increase your effectiveness, click here.

Ultimate_RE_Trainer

Tips, Tricks, and Just Plan Great Strategies for the Real Estate Trainer

It’s harder than ever to provide effective training today. So, we need all the new strategies we can get! The Ultimate Real Estate Trainer’s Guide helps you through all types of situations, and provides dozens of ideas for you to use. See it here. 164 pages/4 audio CDs.   $129.95 plus shipping.  Click here to find out more.

Step-by-Step How To Train with New Techniques

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. Included in this practical, easy to implement guide:

30 Checklists and Outlines

Over 30 documents, checklists, and outlines you can immediately use with confidence, including

• 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

Click here to order.

As I’m doing this blog, I am reminded that it’s mid-year–a great time to evaluate our progress. So, in this blog, I’m providing you an evaluation we use in our Leadership Mastery coaching program. Things have changed so much in all of business–and, in real estate. Yet, I find many managers are managing just like they did 10 to 20 years ago! To keep up–and, best, stay a bit ahead, we need to constantly evaluate ourselves, and, as my friend Gary Keller says, ‘re-invent ourselves’.

The Performance World KNOWS  About Evaluation

When I was growing up, I focused on becoming a good–okay, great–musician. Part of that was being evaluated by others regularly. I learned four things about performance evaluation:

1. Evaluating yourself is a good thing–but it’s not enough

2. You must be honest with yourself when you evaluate yourself

3. You need good evaluation tools–you have to know what good performance looks like

4. You need someone else to evaluate your performance, too (like a competent coach)

The Link to the Management Evaluator

Take about 10 minutes and evaluate yourself in the areas I believe are most important for a manager’s success. Here’s the link:  Click here.

Note to general managers or owners who manage managers: This is an excellent tool to use during business planning, so you’ll know the training and coaching your managers want and need.

It’s What Happened When We Weren’t Looking that Defeats Us….

I just finished the 4th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days, the new agent’s business start-up plan. To do this, I updated the trends, and told new agents what those trends should mean to them as they start their businesses. But, let’s talk about trends from a management perspective. Are you anticipating them or chasing them? The last few blogs were concerned with trends and management long-term habits. It’s hard to change those habits. One way to convinnce yourself, though, that it really is time to make some changes is to look at current trends and see if you are 

recognizing them

watching them

or

anticipating them and implementing new strategies

 Being able to identify a trend or micro-trend is an art and a science. It’s difficult for us brokers to step back and look at a bigger picture, because we are so busy running our businesses. And, many of our models of success –and successful businesses–are based on old business practices (like hiring everyone who walks in the door). “If it works, don’t break it” is our favorite mantra. Yet, that very philosophy has lowered our commission structures, threatened our consumer base, and made our good agents unhappy with our offices (if we’re keeping non-producers and have no standards).

 Getting a ‘whack up the side of the head’ from this very challenging market now may be enough for us to take another look at our business practices and ask, “Is that the best we can do?” 

How to Proceed. Choose one area of concern that you have with your business. (Hint: the foundation of all change in a real estate office is the implementation of standards). Write a plan for implementing that change. Take action in one area, and you will see how it positively affects other areas. Mentally get out of real estate for awhile. Look at other successful businesses to see how they handle their customers, their employees, their standards. Get a coach or consultant to help you as you make these changes, so you do these things with purpose, congruent to your core values. There are some of you reading this that will actually change the industry for the better!

 

 

Whack: Toss the mantra ‘our agents are our customers’. The real customer is demanding we pay attention to them—or else.  

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’ management. Not a bad thought, but, unfortunately, too limiting. We assumed that, if we provided the services agents wanted, everything would be wonderful.

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
  2. Establish standards of production for your agents. What do you expect of them—and when?
  3. Accept that a low-producing agent cannot and does not provide excellent service—and the consumer knows that
  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. 

Get Real Leadership Strategies

Do you want to step into a better leadership style? Be more effective? Recruit more and better? I’ve created a very special, unique program for managers and owners: Once a month I share a specific leadershp strategy to recruit, choose, train, coach, and retain winners. These are proven strategies to get you out of a rut, take you past crisis management, and energize and inspire your team. See more at 365 Leadership. This new series closes for enrollment March 15. Find out more here.

 

In this series, I’m sharing some ‘whack up the side of the head’ for managers. Here’s today’s whack: ‘Father knows best’ is so fifties old-style management. 

In the fifties, ‘father knows best’ was the preferred management style. The CEO made the decisions. The agents, the workers, sold real estate. Unfortunately, too, many managers took that top-down management style clear to the doting parent extreme. When you act like the parent, guess what the agents are supposed to act like? The kids. That management style caused a rebellion from agents in the seventies, when they decided they ‘didn’t need a manager’ (a parent) and left the traditional ‘parental style’ management real estate offices for offices promising more independence. 

The Extreme ‘Father’

Many managers have taken that parental management style to the extreme in a challenging market. I call this the ‘loving parent’ manager. The ‘loving manager’ dialogue sounds like this: “If I just love them enough they will come back and go to work. I feel sorry for them. I just need to be there for them because times are so tough.” 

Unexpected results. There are, unfortunately, negative outcomes from this management style: 

          1. This style appeals to the non-producer.  Loving your agents bleeds clear into sympathy, and sympathy encourages victimization. And victimization encourages non-action. 

          2. This style treats adults like little kids. When a three year old skins her knee, we kiss the knee to make it better, and put a cute little band-aid on it to comfort that three-year old. Why are we treating our agents like three-year olds?  

          3. This style drives producers crazy, lowers their production, and they ultimately leave. A recent study from The Ripple Effect, a Washington , D. C. management training and research firm, asked over 70,000 executives, managers and employees in 116 organizations what kind of impact underperformers were having on their workplaces? Eighty-seven percent said working with a slacker actually made them want to change jobs (retention issues, anyone?). Ninety-three percent said it had hampered their development or decreased their productivity. 

          Poor producers cause producers to produce less.

          Poor producers cause good producers to leave. 

 Recommendations: 

  1. Respect each agent as a responsible adult. Have an adult conversation with each agent. Ask that agent if he/she intends to work in real estate? Ask for a commitment to a work plan. After all, this is a business, not a love-fest!
  2. Move your ‘love them into business’ actions toward ‘business love’. Ask yourself: Is it fair that they work in the business to enjoy those commissions they want to earn? Is it fair to expect that they work even half as had as you work? Is it fair to expect that they keep honing their skills, keep getting better? Is it fair for you to expect them to invest in their businesses?

 The irony of the ‘adult-style’ manager, foundationed in standards, is that it actually is the kinder of the management styles—by far. Why would we want to keep agents in careers where they were failing? Why would we want to provide sympathy instead of helping them create and implement a plan of action?

Leadership by the Month

Do you want to step into a better leadership style? Be more effective? Recruit more and better? I’ve created a very special, unique program for managers and owners: Once a month I share a specific leadershp strategy to recruit, choose, train, coach, and retain winners. These are proven strategies to get you out of a rut, take you past crisis management, and energize and inspire your team. See more at 365 Leadership. This new series closes for enrollment March 15. Find out more here.

 

 

 This January and February, I’m featuring the topic ‘leadership’. Why? Because it’s one of the biggest real estate industry trends (and probably world trends) of 2012 and beyond. Look for leadership strategies and trends (not just in the real estate industry), plus ready-to-use documents to go from ‘maintenance management’ to leadership. And, check out my complimentary recorded  webinar for leadership. See more below, too.        

The market was on fire. To take advantage of that situation, the majority of brokers were hiring everyone that walked in the door They knew even the least dedicated agent could find a friend, a relative—a stranger—to sell a house. Most brokers considered the business as a ‘bigger is better’ proposition. 

The ‘on fire’ agent mentality. Agents scoffed at the notion of business plans. They didn’t need business plans. They were too busy. They didn’t need training. Who needs training or coaching when buyers and sellers find them? In truth, there were plenty of opportunities to make money in real estate without much dedication, hard work, and skill required. So, that’s what brokers got: Lots of agents having happy ‘accidents’, not skilled, not very committed to the long term—but making some money. 

Happy Sales Accidents Come to a Screeching Halt 

Then, things changed. Those ‘fair-to-middlin’ agents having many happy ‘accidents’ in an on fire market weren’t really ‘fair-to’middlin’. In a more challenging market, their deficiencies showed up. They became one-to-two transaction agents who had a few lucky accidents and sold some houses. Even though we love to tell agents to create referral businesses, we would all agree that closing one to two transactions yearly will never create the critical mass needed to drive a referral business. 

Agents reacted quickly to market change. Realizing that the market wouldn’t be so forgiving, agents found ‘real’ jobs. But, in most cases, they kept their licenses with the brokerage, hoping to run into someone with whom they could work. Some hoped that this was just a blip in the market and that the fire would rise from the ashes again soon. 

Brokers less quick to adapt. While agents sought other jobs or relied on other sources of income, most brokers took no actions. So, brokers were left with half their office ‘checked out’. They languished about their work force. “How can we get them to work?” they asked. The answer is simple but not what brokers want to hear. Most agents who had a few happy accidents in the former market aren’t willing to lead generate to make sales. 

Bottom line: What worked in an ‘on fire’ market just doesn’t work when the market isn’t ‘pushing’ sales. 

Get Whacked and Make the Changes Needed to Profit 

My dad used to say when my sister and I were behaving badly he thought we needed a ‘whack up the side of the head’. Don’t worry. He didn’t actually do it, but we did pay attention when he said it, because we knew it was time to stop, look, and listen—and change our behavior! It’s time, I think, for brokers to get that ‘whack up the side of the head’, too. 

In my next few blogs, I’ll provide that ‘whack up the side of the head’ I believe we brokers need to move our businesses past ‘maintenance to leadership.

Gain Innovative Action Strategies

Do you want to step into a better leadership style? Be more effecctive? Recruit more and better? I’ve created a very special, unique program for managers and owners: Once a month I share a specific leadershp strategy to recruit, choose, train, coach, and retain winners. These are proven strategies to get you out of a rut, take you past crisis management, and energize and inspire your team. See more at 365 Leadership. This new series closes for enrollment March 15. Find out more here.

 

Feb
09

Do You Have a Group or a Team?

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This January and February, I’m featuring the topic ‘leadership’. Why? Because it’s one of the biggest real estate industry trends (and probably world trends) of 2012 and beyond. Look for leadership strategies and trends (not just in the real estate industry), plus ready-to-use documents to go from ‘maintenance management’ to leadership. And, check out my complimentary recorded  webinar for leadership. See more below, too.

A Group is Not a Team

So, you’ve got a group of people together in an office. They’re a team, right? Wrong. Until the leader orchestrates teaming, the group is just a group. Can’t associates start teams without the support of the manager? Sure, but the leader (who, I assume thinks he/she is the leader) can’t be assured that the team is going in the direction that’s best for everyone. (Prima donnas, anyone?) Reminds me of the saying, “Where are they going? How many of them were there? I must find them. I’m their leader….”

When a group of musicians gathers to play together, we first have to decide where we’re going–the tune we’ll play. We must decide what key it will be in, and what rhythm we’ll use. To make these decisions, we find ourselves starting to cooperate and compromise, to share the talents of each player. I’ve played in musical groups that obviously weren’t teaming–just getting through the tune. That’s no fun, and actually takes more energy than it’s worth.  I’ve played in other groups that were so attuned to each other, that it the joy in creating became so infectious that we all played better than we knew we could. That’s when a team starts happening.

Creating Team Synergy                                                      

 Without the synergy of the team feeling in an office, agents (and manager) spend too much energy just fighting to stay in business. Managers spend too much time with crisis management, constantly handling internal and external conflict. Working together toward common, inspiring goals, crisis management shrinks, while inspiring leadership blossoms. With teaming, agents and manager perform to higher standards than they thought they could. With consumer expectations so high today, it’s much safer, and a better way to reduce risk, to orchestrate methods where agents are working together for the best interests of the consumer. That takes teaming.

 Taking another look at ‘teams’ in the real estate office. There are three reasons why the industry should redefine teams–and use them:

       1. The public is pressuring real estate companies to be accountable to them. When they call a manager, they want to know “who is supervising that agent?” Risks could be reduced greatly by agents working more closely together for the good of the consumer–and much more return business, at low cost,  could be generated.

            2. The industry is changing too quickly for managers or agents to  keep up ‘on their own’. Too much information too fast– on our own, we simply can’t process and prioritize this  information sufficiently well to compete in the future. Agents  who have been extremely independent are finding out that the isolation they thought they treasured is leaving them  behind the learning curve.                                                                         

            3. The business world internationally is using new combinations of teams to manage their new work force–the values of Generation X and Y. With more workers staying home to work, or working in a ‘mobile office, the most successful businesses in the world are  finding that innovative teams solve the problems of ‘culturizing’     and sharing vision. As real estate offices hire more of these  people, they must change their management strategies to fit the  style of the Generation X and Yers, who value education, information, and teamwork. 

Translating teams to the real estate office. One of the biggest concerns of real estate companies today is raising the productivity of their agents. Those of us in performance fields know that raising performance comes from associating–working with–the best. Creatively orchestrating people working together is the best way to enhance performance.  

What’s your take on teamwork and the real estate industry? Have you had success creating a team?

 

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