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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 Real Estate

Here’s what your new agents need to do their second week in the business.

These 2 blogs (my previous one and this one) are excerpted from my eBook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

Compare this advice to how you start your new agents into their second weeks in the business.

Here’s what to do your second week in the business.

Business start-up plan: You should start your lead generating now, devoting two hours a day, five days a week. Why? Because you want to generate lots of potential clients so you can choose the best ones. If you don’t start now, you are just putting off your success another month!

Your coach: Meet with your coach at least 3 times this week to assure you’re starting your business to production fast.

Benefits of Shadowing 

Shadowing: This literally means following a seasoned agent as he/she does his/her business. Typically, you would shadow an agent doing a listing presentation, a buyer presentation, or presenting an offer. Is it a good thing to do? It depends on the abilities of the agent. If you decide you want to shadow, find out:

What format the agent is going to use; is it a format that you will or have been trained to do (like an approved listing presentation)?

What’s the point of the shadowing?

Will you get coaching on your own presentations as part of the shadowing process?

What are you expected to provide in return?

Shadowing provides a ‘model’ for you. Be sure it’s a model you want to emulate!

What Your Training Priorities Should Be 

Most companies have company training programs, or programs they recommend. You should attend.

These are:

  1. Lead generation communication skills: You need to learn, and practice the skills of lead generation so you can begin to generate leads (which lead to appointments which lead to clients which lead to SALES!)
  2. Buyer and seller presentations: You should be given these presentations and should practice them. This includes qualifying buyers and sellers.
  3. Business planning skills, including a business start-up plan—you should have a course that teaches you the basics of how the numbers work, and gives you a method to set your goals and keep score
  4.  Principles of Agency and how to explain agency to a seller or buyer
  5. How to complete a listing agreement and explain it to a seller
  6. How to write a purchase and sale agreement and explain it to buyers and sellers

Why these priorities? Because these either put you right on the sales path, or provide the technical information you need to support those sales activities.

What About Everything Else? 

What about all the rest of the knowledge you don’t have and are afraid someone will find out you don’t have? Don’t worry. You will be able to learn as you go. But, if you avoid getting into the field and meeting potential clients, you won’t need to worry about learning more. You’ll be out of the business…..

See more: For detailed weekly schedules and activity plans for your first two months in the business, see my online business start-up program, Up and Running in Real Estate.

 

What should you expect your first week in the business?

The next few blogs are excerpted from my ebook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School (the facts about real estate as a career!).

Here’s Your Desk, Here’s Your Phone, Got Any Questions…..

That’s what my first boss told me as I was hired. So, I went to the desk I was assigned and…..waited for something to happen. I was so naïve I didn’t even know the questions to ask! You may be laughing now, but, that still occurs in real estate offices today. What would you do if that happened to you? Probably sit and wait for someone to

Invite you to have a cup of coffee or lunch

Invite you to go see homes for sale

And, those were both things that happened to me. You may even conclude that’s how real estate was sold. Wrong. Unfortunately, neither of these activities makes you any money. So, I quickly figured out I couldn’t do things like the agents in the office did them, or I would produce the same amount they produced—3-4 sales a year. (There were two others in the office, but I never saw them, because they were out selling….).

What Your First Week Should Look Like

Orientation: Get everything done on the orientation checklist your manager provided. Work with the secretary or assistant to complete all the tasks, so you’re ready to sell real estate.

Schedule an appointment with your manager to get your business start-up plan and a coaching schedule with him/her or someone designated as your accountability coach.

Start-up checklist: Your manager may provide a start-up checklist, which has things on it such as ‘create a database’; call potential clients’; ‘meet with a mortgage rep’. These lists can include business developing and business-supporting activities. Just be sure they are targeted to start your business successfully—not just give you busywork.

Schedule your initial training: Your company should have an initial training program that occurs at least every two months. Schedule attendance at it. Chapter 9 has a comprehensive new agent training calendar you can use to compare to what you’ve requested in the interview.

Property inspection: Every new agent wants to feel comfortable with inventory. So, schedule inspection of listings for 3-5 hours this week, and during your first month. As you become comfortable with inventory, don’t ‘preview’ any more than you need to  feel comfortable working with buyers and sellers.

Top-producing agents preview with a reason: To do research on a potential listing, or to preview with a specific buyer in mind. They don’t have time just to preview pretty properties because they are on the market—but non-producing agents have plenty of time to become ‘property experts’.

See my business start-up plan,  for a good prototype schedule for yourself, so you’ll get great time management habits from day 1.

Want proven guidance to start your career? Check out

What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School  – everything each prospective agent should know about careers in real estate

Up and Running in 30 Days — the new agent’s business start-up plan, with dozens of training tips, checklists, and sales guidance to start your career right

UP and Running in Real Estate — the comprehensive online version; a detailed start-up plan, with 25 training videos, dozens of documents to save you thousands of hours, and coaching plus motivation to keep your momentum to success

Carla’s advice: No matter how you start, start with a proven plan!

Managers: You motivate others. 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.

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. 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. (But I still hated poison oak…)

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’.

The biggest desire of a human being is simply recognition. 

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 Motivate Your Agents While I Train Them

As a manager, do you have a lot on your plate? I know. I managed for over 2 decades! Why not let me train and coach your agents, while I motivate them to high goals? Check out my online training/coaching/accountability program, Up and Running in Real Estate. Along with 25+ training webinars and dozens of checklists/documents to guide your agents, I’ve also built in lots of motivation and accountability. Check this unique program out here. 

Motivation: Does it come from the inside or outside?

There are two ways to get that motivation, that appreciation, that support you need. We already discussed ‘going outside’ (see the earlier blog). But, there’s another method. That’s the method so few of us use: Going inside. We shy away from acknowledging our own efforts. Why? Perhaps your mom (as mine did) told us not to brag. It was unseemly to be immodest.

Not about Bragging

Acknowledging yourself is not bragging. It is not only positive, it is absolutely critical to do if we are to be effective leaders. We must use all the methods as our disposal to keep ourselves ‘up’, so we can be models for those who follow us.

Going inside. Someone you can always count on. When I was in college, I remember going sailing with a group of people. It was a gorgeous day. We sailed around the large lake, enjoying moderate winds. Then, about 6 o’clock, we decided to sail back to the dock. Problem. No wind. We had no choice but to wait for that wind to bring us back. (or use the little outboard motor, which the purest ‘captain’ was loathe to use.)

Frequently, we count on others to ‘sail us back to the dock of positive attitude’ when we’re down. Like the wind, though, they may not be there when we need them!

Draw a Different Conclusion

Actually, though, we have our own outboard motor on board–our own minds. We have the ability to change our minds about things (especially we women, men say…). We have the ability inside us to re-draw a conclusion about an event. For instance, we managers get ‘down’ when the agent we thought we were going to hire went to another agency. We can look at it as a loss, or as an opportunity to learn from the experience. If we’re good at managing our attitude, we’ll call that agent to find out what attracted that agent to the other company–and learn from the experience.

What’s your best way to get motivated? How do you you ‘tap’ those inner fires of motivation?

A Training/Coaching Program Online with Motivation Built In

As a manager, you have a million things to do. You’re expected to be ‘up’ all the time. It’s challenging to provide the motivation — the attitude–needed to keep those agents keeping on. So, I’ve built in motivation in my unique online training/coaching/accountability program, Up and Running in Real Estate.

Take a look. Let me help you train and motivate your agents to great success fast! Click here to learn more.

coaching-hand-upHere’s how to get more success with your new agents–starting with before licensing.

Managers: Use this as you’re interviewing to help those best candidates get ready to be successful.

Managers: your new agents wait to start training until AFTER they join an office. Why? Think how much faster they could go if they had lots of the organization and training under your belt prior to their first day in the business?  Okay. I know. Until they are licensed, they can’t do the things licensed agents can do. But, they can do many things. And all those things get them ready to hit the ground running. At the end of this blog, I’m providing you my great checklist, 30 Things to Do Right (In Pre-License School) Now to Hit the Ground Running. (from my new eBookWhat They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School).

New Agents Lose Lots of Time Because They are Not Prepared to Start the Business

New agents generally spend the first 1-2 weeks getting ‘orientated’. Brokers have checklists to assure they get their keys, join the Realtor association, etc., etc., etc. How long do you estimate it takes the new agent just to get those orientation checklists finished? 2-4 weeks? In some cases, they never finish them!!!!! Not only that, they probably think that finishing those checklists assures they are going to be successful agents.  Ha!

When Do New Agents Plan to Start Lead Generating?

My studies show that new agents want to make a sale their first month in the business. That means you need to start lead generating your first WEEK in the business! From hiring and training hundreds of new agents, I’ve observed they put off the inevitable as long as possible, hoping ‘there’s another way!’ In fact, the more ‘get ready to get ready’ work new agents doing, the worse their habits become and the less money they make!

A Better Method to Get  a Check Fast

Instead of waiting until new agents are are licensed, why not get them prepared to sell real estate while they are in pre-license school? These eager beavers can do things like

  • Decide on the database/CRM they want to use and learn how to use it–with your guidance
  • Populate their databases with 100-300 potential clients
  • Prepare an email/hard copy note/letter to all those in their databases saying they’ve joined_____________ real estate company

30 Things to Do While in Pre-License School

In fact, as I was writing my  eBook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School, I started thinking about how we could really prepare agents to sell real estate–lots of real estate. That’s how I came up with this checklist. Click here to get it.

Let me know how the checklist worked for you. I’ve used this with pre-licensees and seen them sell much faster and with much more confidence.

what-they-dont-3d_coverYou Need This! Prepare to Sell Real Estate Fast and Well

This 280+ page eBook is packed with questionnaires, advice, processes, and systems to prepare pre-licensees (and new agents!) for the real world of real estate.  See What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School. Only $14.95, and immediately downloadable. Now, a Kindle version, too.

Managers: Use this to help your great candidates assure they make it in the business!

coaching hand upHave you made someone’s day today? Many times, we’re so caught up in our challenges and putting out fires we forget to give a little time to appreciating the positive actions others take. Yesterday, I got a very touching card in the mail from my friends at the Northwest Chapter of the National Speakers’ Association. I’ve been a member of National Speakers’ Association for over 2 decades, and have been very active in our chapter, although I’m not now. Even though I know only a few board members, they all took the time to write me a note for a challenge my family is experiencing. It not only made my day, it made me feel as though I had made a positive impression on their lives at some point!

So, if you want to lift yourself up, take the time to lift someone else up! It not only will make that person feel wonderful, it will make you feel wonderful.

Motivation and Appreciation

As managers and trainers, we know the need to motivate. Yet, most of us aren’t students of motivation. No need to memorize psychologists’ names or read thousands of pages on motivational theory. To motivate best, you just need to apply this key principle:

The best positive motivator is appreciation

What do you appreciate? I don’t mean necessarily trophies in front of thousands! (Some people hate that one!) I mean those little things. Why appreciate to motivate?

Behavior that’s rewarded is repeated.

How often do you appreciate? Much more than you think! (When is the last time you heard someone grumble because they were appreciated? Not!)

One minute action for the day: Make a list of the different ways you motivate by appreciating. Now, tally the number of times you have motivated someone using one of your appreciation motivators this week. How high can you go? The more you appreciate, the better behavior you get.

For a list of 25 ways to appreciate, plus basic principles of motivation, click here.

Upping your appreciation motivation gets you something we managers yearn for: Appreciation for our hard work…..

Let Me Help Motivate your Agents to Greatness!

logoManagers have huge responsibilities. I know–I did that job for almost 2 decades! Let me help you. Up and Running in Real Estate has lots of positive motivation and encouragement built right in. It also has a coaching component, to make it easy for you to track your agents’ progress. Take a look. I’ll help you guide your agents, train your agents, and motivate your agents.

man ponderingThis month, I’m focusing on helping you retain your new people.

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

How Much Money Is Low Retention Costing You?

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

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

One View: Hiring Everyone Is Just OK

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

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

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

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

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

1. A thorough on-boarding system

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Use Piano Teachers as the Analogy….

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

Five Proven Components for Great Performance

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

1. Great piano teachers screen in and screen out.

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

Click here to request your copy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Behavior that’s rewarded is repeated.

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

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

Principles, System, Coaching–Putting it All Together

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

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.

trainer at boardThis month, we’re focusing on training. Why? Because you can recruit your heart out, but, if you’re not developing each agent to his/her potential, you’re not retaining! (and you have a revolving door……)

By the way, check out my website for a free coaching product ($100 value) as my thanks to all you trainer/coaches.

Authored by one of our Senior Career Coaches, Jodi Sipes, M. A., this blog shows you how to create a training calendar you’re proud of. Jodi’s advanced education in adult learning, plus her years of experience creating and implementing exceptional training for new agents, gives her a unique perspective. Here are invaluable tips as you take action to control your income in these shifting markets. You’ll make your training an awesome recruiting tool, while making it effortless to implement training week after week.

Why bother to create your year’s training calendar? With managers running in 50 directions at once, time management is a huge issue. Designing a training calendar allows managers to get their systems under control. It allows managers to delegate some training duties. Outcomes: More production, more profits, and better retention!

Your First Step in Creating that Calendar: Get the Rhythm

Before you try to create that calendar, consider the rhythm of your year. When do you hire the most agents, when is the market busiest, what seasonal issues do you want to address? For example, you’ll want to decide when is a good time to focus on listings, what issues come up at tax time, etc? This will give you a good over-view of how to plan your education and training.

Your Second Step: Decide the Major Issues You want to Train To

Now, it’s time to decide this:
If there were one thing my agents could do better that would raise productivity more than any other single thing, what would that be?

Answer that question, and you’ll get the major issues handled in that calendar. For example: If you have an office with many new people, you probably have fewer listings than you’d like. Or, your listings may be sitting in your shifting market. So, a major part of your calendar will be high-activity training to the listing process, focusing on getting marketable listings. A major mistake managers make in creating calendars is to merely drop in whatever they think agents would like! Don’t do that. You’re in control, and you need to train to the outcomes you need—and should expect.

Your Third Step: Make a System for New Agents

If you are hiring brand-new agents you will then need to schedule for them:

• Recruiting/hiring group informational events
• Orientation (Office equipment, your brokerage procedures, meet affiliates, etc.)
• New agent education (how to fill in forms, how to complete quarterly taxes, etc.–this should be in sync with MLS and Realtor Association training) At Carla Cross Seminars, Inc., we call this “Technical Training”.
• New agent start-up plan/coaching sequence so they go to work the first week. Our start-up plan and coaching companion is Up and Running in 30 Days.
• New agent skills training and practice/support sessions (how to answer objections, qualify buyers and sellers, etc.) Our complete training/coaching high accountability system for this is Advantage 2.0.

For a complete system already written, see our New Agent Development System, which encompasses selecting, orientating, business planning, and high accountability training—all congruent, all planned and systematized in the right order for your ease in implementation. We also provide a comprehensive new agent calendar for you to use within this program.

To assure you’ve covered the right bases, ask yourself about your desired outcome: What do you want your new agents to know, and be able to do in their first year?

Your Fourth Step: Make a System for your Experienced Agents

Here are some of the training issues you will want to consider:

• Sequence of business-building training (taking them to the next level)
• Yearly planning and Goals (this should be done in November of the prior year)
• Keeping them up-to-date on the law and technical issues (required classes, new forms, legal issues, new developments like more condos in the area or re-zoning)
• Life-style enhancement (time management, hiring an assistant, etc.)
• Train the Trainer class and opportunities to teach if they enjoy giving back to others (this is a great retention tool)

I know–it’s a big commitment. But, when you have your training systems fully in place, and you start measuring results, you’ll see the fruits of this labor.

logoWhy Not Make It Easy On Yourself: Up and Running is Done for You!

It takes me a year+ to write a training program, and I’ve done it several times! How long will it take you to write a program? Why reinvent the wheel? It’s enough to expect you to coach those in a program, not write it, and teach it in addition! Check out my comprehensive, high accountability, training/coaching program for agents under 2 years in the business. If you want to get them started fast, and are willing to coach them to the program, you’ll love the results. See it here.

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