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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 Up and Running in 30 Days–4th Edition

man with pockets turned outWhat are new agents doing that causes them to fail? What do you want in a start-up program that will help more of your new agents do well–and do it fast? What’s missing in the training and coaching programs you’ve been using?

I’m editing Up and Running in 30 Days for the 5th edition, due to be out in early 2017. As you probably know, Up and Running in 30 Days is literally the new agent’s start-up plan. In it, I show the what, how, why, and how much of real estate activities needed to do well quickly. Up and Running is very specific, and is easy to use to coach new agents to productivity fast.

Asking New Agents for their Advice

I’m in the midst right now of asking 1-3 year successful agents for their advice for the new agent. I will use these quotes throughout the book, to reinforce the start-up plan principles. If you have a successful 1-3 year agent that you’d like featured, you can forward my questionnaire here.

What’s Your Advice?

As one of the new features of the 5th edition, I’m incorporating great managers’ advice to new agents. Here’s what I’m asking:

  1. What do new successful agents do consistently that agents who fail don’t do?

 

  1. What common mistakes do new agents make that cost them time, money–and hinder their success?

 

  1. Would you advise a new agent to (why or why not)

–join a team

–have a mentor

–hire a professional coach

  1. What should a new agent look for in a training program?

 

 

  1. Other advice you provide to a new agent?

 

 

Your name:

Company name:

Number of agents in your office:

Number of agents you’ve hired that have completed at least 10 transactions their first year in the business:

How to Get your Advice to Me

If you’d like to write a comment to this post with answers to these questions, your comments will be relayed to me. If I’m able to use them in my book, you will receive a complimentary copy of Up and Running AND lots of PR–to help you in your recruiting as an expert in helping new agents.

Or, if you’d like to complete the questionnaire and email it to me, Here is the questionnaire. Just complete it and email it to carla@carlacross.com. You will be assisting thousands of new agents as they begin their careers, and, I think you’ll find that being published will help your ‘street cred’ with those you want to hire!

Comments: Do you have advice to me about what’s missing in training and coaching programs? Just put that in comments here. Thank you!

trainer hand in airDo you know what your new agents thought of your ‘start’ program? That is, your orientation, mentors, training, and coaching in their first 6 months in the business? Most brokers have some type of what I call a ‘career development’ program. But, hardly anyone ever asks the 6-month agent what they thought of it? If you don’t know, as a broker, how can you keep improving it?

The Secret to Retention: The First Month in the Business is Critical to Success

I just read an excellent booklet on the importance of a spectacular orientation system to the retention of ‘workers’. It stated that studies showed that people who experienced a very strong orientation process were retained for the long haul. And, those that didn’t have a good orientation process were quickly gone. Did you ever think about how you impact that agent in the first month? The first three months? The first six months?

Time to Polish your Orientation/Career Development System

I’m working on the 5th (!) edition of Up and Running in 30 Days, the new agent’s start-up plan, and I’m updating technologies, trends,and statistics. In addition, I want to include advice to new agents from successful agents who’ve been in the business 1-3 years. Why? Because this advice will be pertinent, up to date, and I think new agents will listen to someone who’s been there–and succeeded. It occurred to me that you can ask the same questions to your 6 months to 12 month agents to get feedback to polish your orientation/career development system. Below are the questions.

I Need Your Help

Do you have an agent in the business 1-3 years, and did at least 15 transactions their first year (not given to them as a team member)? If so, your agent could be featured in my new edition, due out in January 2017.  I will be featuring 5-7 quotes in various places of my book, and it would be great PR for your agent (and you). Your agent will receive a copy of the 5th edition, of course.

Here are the questions I’m asking:

  1. What are 1-3 things you did as a new agent to successfully launch your career?

 

 

  1. What do you wish you had done differently?

 

 

  1. What advice would you give to new agents?

 

 

  1. What technology is absolutely critical for the new agents to incorporate? Why?

 

 

5. What specific orientation start-up procedures were most helpful to you? What do you wish you had (actions, training, coaching, etc.) in your first 3 months that would have increased your quick success?

 

 

Other comments:

 

Thanks so much. Please include your name as you want it used, your company name, your email and phone (for contact information so you can get referrals).

Name:

Company:

Phone:

Email:

Specialties:

Number of transactions completed your first year in the business:

Please return this to me by 4.30 so I can include it! Thanks again. Let me know how/if I can help you! You’re doing a great service to those going into the business!

Getting Back to Me

You can forward this to your agent (s) and your agent can write answers as comments. Or, here’s the link to the questionnaire.  Just forward the link to your agent.

In my next blog, I’ll be asking you for your advice to new agents. I’m going to add this to the new edition. It should be very telling, and interesting to see the commonalities of managers’ advice to new agents.

Here’s the link again to the questionnaire. Your agent’s advice will help the industry and certainly help determined new agents!

Let me know what you discovered when you used that questionnaire to polish your orientation/career development program.

 

coaching teaching skillsWhat’s your advice for new agents? I’m editing Up and Running in 30 Days for the 5th edition, due to be out in early 2017. As you probably know, Up and Running in 30 Days is literally the new agent’s start-up plan. In it, I show the what, how, why, and how much of real estate activities needed to do well quickly. Up and Running is very specific, and is easy to use to coach new agents to productivity fast.

Asking New Agents for their Advice

I’m in the midst right now of asking 1-3 year successful agents for their advice for the new agent. I will use these quotes throughout the book, to reinforce the start-up plan principles. If you have a successful 1-3 year agent that you’d like featured, you can forward my questionnaire here.

What’s Your Advice?

As one of the new features of the 5th edition, I’m incorporating great managers’ advice to new agents. Here’s what I’m asking:

  1. What do new successful agents do consistently that agents who fail don’t do?

 

  1. What common mistakes do new agents make that cost them time, money–and hinder their success?

 

  1. Would you advise a new agent to (why or why not)

–join a team

–have a mentor

–hire a professional coach

  1. What should a new agent look for in a training program?

 

 

  1. Other advice you provide to a new agent?

 

 

Your name:

Company name:

Number of agents in your office:

Number of agents you’ve hired that have completed at least 10 transactions their first year in the business:

How to Get your Advice to Me

If you’d like to write a comment to this post with answers to these questions, your comments will be relayed to me. If I’m able to use them in my book, you will receive a complimentary copy of Up and Running AND lots of PR–to help you in your recruiting as an expert in helping new agents.

Or, if you’d like to complete the questionnaire and email it to me, Here is the questionnaire. Just complete it and email it to carla@carlacross.com. You will be assisting thousands of new agents as they begin their careers, and, I think you’ll find that being published will help your ‘street cred’ with those you want to hire!

coaching hand upWhat’s your advice to new agents? I’m working on the 5th (!) edition of Up and Running in 30 Days, the new agent’s start-up plan, and I’m updating technologies, trends,and statistics. In addition, I want to include advice to new agents from successful agents who’ve been in the business 1-3 years. Why? Because this advice will be pertinent, up to date, and I think new agents will listen to someone who’s been there–and succeeded.

I Need Your Help

Do you have an agent in the business 1-3 years, and did at least 15 transactions their first year (not given to them as a team member)? If so, your agent could be featured in my new edition, due out in January 2017.  I will be featuring 5-7 quotes in various places of my book, and it would be great PR for your agent (and you). Your agent will receive a copy of the 5th edition, of course.

Here are the questions I’m asking:

  1. What are 1-3 things you did as a new agent to successfully launch your career?

 

 

  1. What do you wish you had done differently?

 

 

  1. What advice would you give to new agents?

 

 

  1. What technology is absolutely critical for the new agents to incorporate? Why?

 

 

Other comments:

Thanks so much. Please include your name as you want it used, your company name, your email and phone (for contact information so you can get referrals).

Name:

Company:

Phone:

Email:

Specialties:

Number of transactions completed your first year in the business:

Please return this to me by 4.30 so I can include it! Thanks again. Let me know how/if I can help you! You’re doing a great service to those going into the business!

Getting Back to Me

You can forward this to your agent (s) and your agent can write answers as comments. Or, here’s the link to the questionnaire.  Just forward the link to your agent.

In my next blog, I’ll be asking you for your advice to new agents. I’m going to add this to the new edition. It should be very telling, and interesting to see the commonalities of managers’ advice to new agents.

Here’s the link again to the questionnaire. Your agent’s advice will help the industry and certainly help determined new agents!

Feb
03

You Hired Them…Now What?

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men shaking handsYou hired them. Now what? Too many managers wait to get their agents into action until after training school. But, do you want them sitting around for weeks or months?

Here’s the situation: Your agent started in the business Tuesday. You have sent the agent through your orientation process, but your training program doesn’t start for another week. What do you do? Well, here’s what NOT to do:

• Tell them to ‘just see the inventory and get acquainted’ (they’ll think that’s the job description and some have been know to inspect the inventory for years before they would talk to a human being prospect!)
• Give them your own activity sheet that you used upteen years ago–to keep them occupied
• Give them nothing and see what happens—the other agents will probably keep them busy with administrative work (!)

Watch Out for the Truisms

Truism number one: Only about one out of a hundred new agents is a ‘natural, talented’ salesperson, who will figure out how to prioritize activities on his/her own

Truism number two: In the absence of a precisely, well-thought out prioritized start-up activity plan, most salespeople will create a plan for a ‘slow start’; they’ll form hard-to-break bad habits, scheduling easy-to-do, low pay-off activities—because they’re easier and non-threatening

Here’s What to Do

Use a preliminary start-up plan that has the same priorities as the business plan you’re going to teach and coach them to during their training period. (You are going to start them with a proven start-up plan, aren’t you? And, you’re going to coach them into doing that plan until it becomes habit, 30-90 days, aren’t you?) Why use a preliminary plan that has the same priorities as your chosen business start-up plan? So the agent doesn’t get conflicting priorities. And, remember, in the face of conflict, we all take the easiest way out. That’s not good for fast income!

Here’s what to look for in a preliminary-to-training activity plan:

• It has the same priorities of business activities as your training start-up plan, so your agent ‘gets the picture’ of success from day one
• It gives your agent meaningful activities to complete prior to starting your training program
• It doesn’t require anyone in the office training that agent—until your training program starts
• It forms the basis for first-day coaching, if you want it to
• It takes advantage of your affiliates (mortgage, title, inspectors, etc.) who want to form relationships with your agents—to teach them the basics of the technical aspects of real estate

Consistency Equals Productivity

Your job as a manager/trainer is to create—or choose—a preliminary plan, a start-up plan, and a training program that all present the agent’s job description in the same manner with the same priorities—so your agent has a clear roadmap on how to succeed every day. Doing so assures you have to hire less new agents to meet your recruiting goals, you’ll have more success that you can promote to recruit, and more real dollars will flow to your bottom lines—and theirs!

logoYou Don’t Have to Wait for Training School!

60% of new agents expect a sale within 2 months (that’s according to my survey of hundreds of new agents). How are they going to reach those expectations if they aren’t out lead generating in their first week in the business? Why not use the proven start-up plan that gives them the what, the how, the how much, the why–and the motivation. Up and Running in Real Estate is all online, and ready for your agent to start anytime. Check it out.

clockThrough December, I’m focusing on business planning in my blogs. Look for checklists, processes, and systems–ready to use.

Business Planning: Is Time Management One of your Agents’ Biggest Challenges?

If you’re like most of us, (and your agents), you have much more on your ‘to do’ list than you get to during your business day. What does that have to do with business planning? At this time of year, we need to analyze how we spent our time. Then, we can make adjustments for next year. All of us have the same amount of time, yet, some people seem to know how to optimize it.

We Don’t Manage Time

The notion that we manage time is actually a mis-nomer. We manage activities. Have you ever known an agent who comes into the office every day, seems to work hard, yet makes little money? That person would tell you he manages his time. Yet, his time is spent doing the wrong activities. (Or, maybe, he intends to spend his time in non-productive activities…….).

As managers, you can be very influential in helping agents better manage those activities through their business plan.

A Major Principle for Great Time/Activity Management

In Up and Running in 30 Days, (use this program if you’re under a year in the business for business planning) I introduced the principle of categorizing activities so that you can tell whether you are spending your time in activities that will make you money—or not. All real estate activities can be categorized as either

Business producing or

Business supporting

Which are which: Those activities that have you meeting people directly (lead generation), working with people, and selling houses are business producing. All the rest are business supporting. Do your agents know the difference? Use the following analysis tool to help your agents see how they are spending their time. It will literally tell them (and you) why they are making the money they are making!

Click here to get my time/activity analysis, excerpted from my online business planning resources for agents and managers, Beyond the Basics of Business Planning.

Let me know what you found out from your time/activity analysis, and the changes you’re making for next year’s business plan.

Plan_Act_CelebrateGrab the Business Planning System Internationally Published Exclusively for Real Estate Pros

If you’re tired of filling in the blanks with numbers that mean little to you, it’s time to step up to a real strategic planning system–a system made exclusively for real estate pros. Check it out at Beyond the Basics of Business Planning.

man with pockets turned outYour agent started in the business Tuesday. You have sent the agent through your orientation process, but your training program doesn’t start for another two weeks (or maybe 3 months!). What do you do? Well, here’s what NOT to do:

• Tell them to ‘just see the inventory and get acquainted’ (they’ll think that’s the job description and some have been know to inspect the inventory for years before they would talk to a human being prospect!)
• Give them your own unprioritized (or wrongly prioritized) activity sheet that you used upteen years ago–to keep them occupied
• Give them nothing and see what happens—the other agents will probably keep them busy with administrative work (!)–or they will spend their time bothering those other agents

Watch Out for the Truisms that Predict your Agents’ Success

Truism number one: Only about one out of a hundred new agents is a ‘natural, talented’ salesperson, who will figure out how to prioritize activities on his/her own

Truism number two: In the absence of a precisely, well-thought out prioritized start-up activity plan, most salespeople will create a plan for a ‘slow start’; they’ll form hard-to-break bad habits, scheduling easy-to-do, low pay-off activities—because they’re easier and non-threatening

Here’s What to Do

Use a start-up plan that has the same priorities as the business plan you’re going to teach and coach them to during their training period. (You are going to start them with a proven start-up plan, aren’t you? And, you’re going to coach them into doing that plan until it becomes habit, 30-90 days, aren’t you?) Why use a plan that has the same priorities as your chosen business start-up plan? So the agent doesn’t get conflicting priorities. And, remember, in the face of conflict, we all take the easiest way out. That’s not good for fast income!

Here’s what to look for in a start-up business plan:

• It has the same priorities of business activities as your training start-up plan, so your agent ‘gets the picture’ of success from day one
• It gives your agent meaningful activities to complete prior to starting your training program
• It doesn’t require anyone in the office training that agent—until your training program starts
• It forms the basis for first-day coaching, if you want it to
• It takes advantage of your affiliates (mortgage, title, inspectors, etc.) who want to form relationships with your agents—to teach them the basics of the technical aspects of real estate

Consistency Equals Productivity

Your job as a manager/trainer is to create—or choose—a  start-up plan, and a training program that all present the agent’s job description in the same manner with the same priorities—so your agent has a clear road map on how to succeed every day. Doing so assures you have to hire less new agents to meet your recruiting goals, you’ll have more success that you can promote to recruit, and more real dollars will flow to your bottom lines—and theirs!

What percent of new agents do you believe start a start-up plan their second week in the business?

logoUp and Running in Real Estate Starts Your Agent Right to an Exceptional Career

Do you have newer agents who you know should succeed? Do you want them to start NOW, not after training school? Please do them a favor and have they enroll in Up and Running in Real Estate. All the training, coaching, and supporting documents are online, so agents can go at their own speed and go back as many times as they want. How this program is different: It is foundationed with a business start-up plan, so agents learn how to self-manage a successful business, not just do activities. And, there’s nothing else to buy–no extra cards that stay in their trunks! (And, there’s a coaching component for you to support your agent every step of the way!).

Check it out and see how you can help your agents can reach their potential–and beyond!

men shaking handsLet’s turn the tables. What should agents do for you and your company? I’m just finishing my new book, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School (out in about a month). I wanted prospective and new agents to know they also have an obligation to their companies (is this a new thought?!). I included the ten things below in my book.

When agents interview, they understandably want to know what the company is going to do for them.  We managers spend a lot of time creating what we feel are value-added services, and explaining these services.  In reverse, Do you tell them what your company expects from them? Do you have a ‘mutual expectations’ talk?

Sobering thought: If  the company doesn’t expect anything from the agent, how much effort will the company put out to see the agent is successful?

The Ten Things

From working as an agent for 8 years, and managing agents for almost two decades, I’ve drawn some conclusions about the ‘turnabout’s fair play’ that I believe agents owe managers. I’ve also listed these in Up and Running in 30 Days, to give agents a ‘heads up’. I believe if managers are willing to give 100% support through training and coaching each agent to success, agents need to give it their best, too. Here are agents’ ten commandments:

  1. Do the work. You know what it is!
  2. Don’t argue.
  3. Don’t make excuses for not doing your start-up plan.
  4. Don’t tell the manager you’ve been in the business two weeks and you have a better way.
  5. Do thank your manager frequently.
  6. Do tell other agents that you appreciate your manager’s efforts.
  7. Do tell other new agents you meet in other companies that you have a great manager.
  8. Don’t bug other people in the office to find another answer because you didn’t like your manager’s answer.
  9. Don’t change the Up and Running plan because you “don’t like it”. (You just don’t like lead generating, do you?)

10. Don’t miss a coaching appointment!

I’d love to hear what you think of my ‘ten commandments.’ Are there others you think are important? Before you hire an agent, get agreement on what you will do for the agent–and what that agent will do for you!

Getting agreement on what we both expect before deciding to work together is key to a happy partnership. The only surprises I want agents to have after they start are good ones!

logoUp and Running in Real Estate Starts Your Agent Right to an Exceptional Career

Congratulations to the 3 winners of the scholarships for my new UP and Running in Real Estate program:

Jeffery Doescher of Apollo Realty in Cocoa Beach, Florida

Stacy Coppola of Coldwell Banker in Castro Valley, California

Bessie Selfridge of Coldwell Banker in Port St Lucie, FL

You can bet they are going to get the secrets of becoming a top producer–and get into action with the most proven business start-up plan in the business!

Do you have newer agents who you know should succeed? Please do them a favor and have they enroll in Up and Running in Real Estate. All the training, coaching, and supporting documents are online, so agents can go at their own speed and go back as many times as they want. How this program is different: It is foundationed with a business start-up plan, so agents learn how to self-manage a successful business, not just do activities. And, there’s nothing else to buy–no extra cards that stay in their trunks! (And, there’s a coaching component for you to support your agent every step of the way!).

Check it out and see how you can help your agents can reach their potential–and beyond!

coachingManagers and owners: Who motivates YOU? Who gets you up when you’re down? That’s a really important question for us managers. Why? Because we’re expected to be the ‘cheerleaders’ for our associates. So, if we’re down, we can bring everyone down. But, who is going to re-motivate you? Encourage you? Your owner? Or, if you’re the owner, who takes over?

Wondering If It Will Ever Be as Wonderful Again…..

Have you ever gotten poison oak? In Oregon’s Willamette Valley, where I grew up, poison ivy seemed to be waiting in the woods ready to attack me each time I ventured out of my yard. Getting poison ivy meant itchy skin, at the least, and, at its worst, it meant a face swollen to the point where my eyes were just slits. And, a body that burned and itched as if it had been seared in a fire! That will get you down. In fact, I’d look in the mirror and wonder if I’d ever look like me  again.

During one particularly horrible bout with my enemy, poison oak  (you can tell I really hated this stuff), I remember riding in the car with my mother to pick up my sister at school. (I couldn’t go to school with the poison oak raging, but I was probably driving my mother so crazy that she let me take this little trip). We got near the school, and I forgot I had this grotesquely swollen face for a moment. I waved at a friend. I got a stare back. Turning to my mom, I asked, “Will I ever get over this?” Of course, as good moms do, she replied, “Of course, sweetie. It’s just temporary. You’ll look like your cheery little self real soon again.” And, of course, after a couple of weeks, I did resemble me.

What do you do when your mom’s not there?

We managers have many varieties of poison oak waiting to attack us as we venture into the ‘woods of management’ each day. An agent leaves us, a call from an unhappy seller, a letter from a new homeowner, saying, “What is your company going to do about our pest infestation problem?” I’ll bet you can think of 25 others! Sometimes you wish your mom could just sit with you in your office each day and say, over and over, “It’s okay, honey. They don’t dislike you, they just have a problem.” Sounds far fetched, but, the real question is, “Who gets you up when you’re down?”

An industry-wide Problem

It’s not just us brokers who seem to be fighting more ‘poison oak’ every day. It’s all of us in the industry. As agents capture more of the commission dollars, they’re more ‘on their own’. They’re fighting more of their own battles, with less management help. There’s less ‘broker supervision’. Now, to independent people like you and me, that sounds great. We don’t need someone standing over our shoulder telling us what to do. But, there’s a downside to no supervision. When we do something right, there’s no one to congratulate us! And, since most of us in this industry thrive on recognition, we’ve given up a chance to get it from an ‘authority’. On the other hand, when things go wrong, with less interest and guidance in how we’re doing, we’ve given up the chance to let someone who cares about us ‘pump us up’ when we’re down.

How do you respond to barriers? How quickly can you bounce back? Tell me your strategies and share them with our readers.

 

Let Me Help You Motivate your Agentslogo

Having done your job for 2 decades, I know how difficult it is to train, coach, and motivate your agents–while you have dozens of other things to get done! So, I’ve built in lots of inspiration and motivation into my new online training/coaching program, Up and Running in Real Estate. Click here to learn more. Launch is June 1.

 

Managers: Do you provide a job description for success during the selection process? If you’re like most managers, the answer is ‘no’. And, if you’re not, you’re missing a great opportunity to

1. Find out if that agent intends to do the job of a successful agent

2. Get that agent on track to successful action priorities

3. MAKE more money from that agent (and that agent makes more money!)

Real vs. Ideal

In truth, whatever we do each day becomes our job description. Rather than leaving those actions to chance, help your new agent (or transferring agent) get her/his business on track from day one.

To Create your Agent’s Job Description

List all the activities agents do in a business week. Now, go back and prioritize them as ‘business producing’ (those that lead directly to a sale) or ‘business supporting’ (those that support those business producing activities).

Okay. Now, compare it with my lists.

Here’s my list of business producing activities:

Business Development (those activities that result in a sale)

  • Contacting prospects (“lead generation”)
  • Following up on “leads” –  only phone and in person count here
  • Qualifying buyers
  • Showing homes to qualified prospects
  • Writing and presenting offers to purchase
  • Giving listing presentations to qualified sellers
  • Listing marketable properties
  • Attending offer presentations on your listings
Here’s my list of Business Supporting Activities
  • Previewing properties
  • All paperwork
  • Mailings/marketing
  • Talking to loan officers, title companies
  • Attending meetings
  • Education/research
  • Creating processes and systems
  • Personal website work/email marketing/social media

How often do you expect agents to do business producing activities? How often do you do expect them to do business supporting activities?

Here’s my prioritized job description for a successful real estate agent.

A Prioritized  Job Description of a Successful Real Estate Agent

Create your version of a job description with prioritized activities. AND, provide it during the interview process.

 

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