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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.

Danger: Don’t Wait To Train Your Agent Until Training Starts!


Your new agent started in the business Tuesday. You have sent the agent through your orientation process, but your training program doesn’t start for another three weeks.  Have you thought about what that agent will be doing from now until the start of training? Unless you organize that experience, the answer is…..


My survey of hundreds of agents with less than three months in the business shows that new agents expect to get a sale in their first month in the business (!). So, if you want to retain them and keep them motivated, you just can’t afford to let them sit around and get bad habits for 2-4 weeks.

What do you do to assure that agent gets a fast start in the business?  First, here’s what NOT to do:

  • Tell them to ‘see the inventory’ The problem is that they’ll think that’s the job description of a real estate agent: “Become an inventory expert”. Some agents have been known to inspect the inventory for years before they would talk to a human being about buying or selling a home! And, by that time, their money is all gone and their motivation to be successful has shrunk to nonexistence.
  • Give them your own activity sheet that you used umpteen years ago–to keep them occupied. Watch out. They’ll follow literally whatever activities you tell them to do. And, they’ll use the same priorities you have. So, if you put first on your activity list, “Interview a mortgage company to see what services they provide,” they’ll think that ‘getting ready to get ready’ is a high priority. Then, when you ask them to go talk to people about buying and selling real estate, they’ll look at you as if you’d just told them to fly. After all, doing research is a much safer activity than lead generating.
  • Give them nothing specific to do and see what happens. The other agents will probably keep them busy with administrative work (!). Or, the new agents will just love spending time with other agents going to brokers’ open houses and eating food. They’ll think that any activity directed by an experienced agent is a good one….

Two Truisms about Human Nature and Sales 

First truism: Only about one out of a hundred new agents is a ‘natural, talented’ salesperson, who will figure out how to prioritize business producing activities on his/her own. All others need a prioritized, highly structured start-up plan so they can succeed. They need sales activities prioritized first (lead generating, showing, closing). Then, they can implement a job description for success.

Second truism: 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. These include paperwork, inspecting homes, follow-up, database management, meetings, and training. They’ll think that, if an activity is scheduled by the office, it must be a high-payoff activity.

What do you do with your new agents to get them on the ground running the first week in the business?

logoAfter Orientation: What happens Next?

If you’re waiting for your training program to start to ‘start’ your agents, you’re unwittingly helping them get bad habits! Take a look at my online training/coaching/accountability program, Up and Running in Real Estate. Because it’s online, agents start when they should–not when your training program starts! There’s a coaching component, too.

How many more sales could you get (and how much more profitable could you be) if your new agents hit the ground running?

Check out Up and Running in Real Estate now.

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