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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.

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.

time management guy with clockManagers: Are you systemized–or, is your office piles of papers–that you can’t find when you need them? Are your systems up to speed? On a scale of 1 to 10, ten being high, how would you rate your organization and your systems? Do you seem to be grabbing at papers right before your recruiting appointment? Do you find yourself sketching a training outline five minutes prior to the training start time? If so, you’ll want to take some time to “systematize” yourself. Why?

Save time

Get more done

Lower your stress levels

Enjoy your job more

(See the end of this blog for a link to systems you need in place).

Why do Managers Need Systems?

Good agents today have systems for each process they manage. For example, an agent has a listing process system, which includes the materials, packages, and checklists to manage the process. With those systems, agents can not only the manage the process, they can delegate the right activities to their assistants. (See my blog link at the end of this blog for systems agents need).

Managers Don’t Have Nearly the Systems Agents Have

Think about the systems, processes, and checklists you, as manager, recommend that your agent create to accomplish the critical tasks, or activities, in his business. Now, compare that with the tasks you, as manager, have to accomplish in your position as “people” manager. Work from the tasks to systems to manage these tasks. To prioritize the systems you want to develop, first:

1. List the tasks you do as manager. Now, list the parallel the tasks agents do.

An example: A critical task an agent does is to prospect. Good agents have systematized that process into a marketing plan, complete with specific tactics, dates, and budget. Managers must prospect, too. They prospect for agents.

Does your prospecting (recruiting) plan for agents resemble that of your best agent’s marketing plan? Is it as systematized? Does it have the materials, time frames, budgets, and delegations that good agents have in their plans?

2. Prioritize your tasks as they relate to accomplishing your main objectives. What are the most important tasks you do as manager to assure your office makes a profit?

An example: If recruiting is very important to reaching your objective, how complete is your recruiting system? How organized is it? Who is involved with you in your recruiting plan? How well are you delegating the systems?

Your Job Description Comes First

Developing systems first requires that you’ve prioritized your job description. (Wait: Do you have a job description?) Then, you must either create or purchase systems to manage these processes. One reason managers haven’t systematized their work is that managers have few resources for systems organization. To actually systematize their work, they must create these systems from scratch. Given the myriad of activities managers must accomplish, that’s a daunting assignment. Instead, many managers stay in “crisis” management, which admittedly takes up a lot of the day, but doesn’t allow the manager to move ahead as a leader.

In contrast, agents have many resources for systems organization, both purchased and exchanged with other agents. First, there are many more agents than managers, and agents coming into the business each day. So, there is a larger market, and need, for agents’ systems. In addition, agents have led the way in organizing their businesses to delegate to assistants. It’s become ‘the thing’ to do.

Resource List of Needed Systems

Click on Managers Package and Systematize for a list of systems and process you need to manage your business with grace and lower your stress level.

Want to know what systems your agents need? Read my blog on systems for agents.

LM Cover

Let Me Help you Get your Systems in Place–and How to Use Them

It would take you years to create the systems I’ve already created–and are available in my one-on-one leadership coaching program, Leadership Mastery Coaching. If you’re tired of working too hard for too little pay-off, why not do a complimentary consultation and see how Leadership Mastery can benefit you? Click here to schedule your 1/2 hour appointment.

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.

little girl with phoneIs your phone voice driving them away? Recently, I did a presentation to a group of Luxury Agent Specialists. It was about sound and it’s impact on others. We usually think of visual impact. But, as agents, we come across way more people initially via email or phone than we do by sight. So, isn’t it time to polish your ‘phone voice’? It’s probably the first ‘warm’ impression people get of you (I call email ‘cold communication’ because it vastly shrinks the three major ways we communicate: sight, sound, and feeling).

Don’t Mistake Technology as the ‘End’ 

We are so focused on technology today, that we are in danger of forgetting to effectively use that technology. Here’s an example. When I phone an agent today, I have no idea where that agent will answer his or her phone—or from what phone the call is being answered. And, I don’t really care. Technology allows the phone to follow the agent. That’s great. Here’s what’s not so great. The agent’s message is so dull, powerless, or mumbled that it doesn’t sound as though the agent wants to talk to me. Or, the agent’s message is so long, that I’m impatient by the time I get to leave the message.

Make a Superior Phone Message

For three days, listen carefully to the tone, intent, and messages your hear in phone messages. Listen carefully to how agents, managers, and your affiliates answer the phone at their offices. What do you think? If you didn’t know these people, what would you think of them? Are they excited to hear from you, or are they bored?

Here are 4 important tips to remember when recording your own message:

  1. Stand up—you’ll sound as though you have much more energy.
  2. Write out your script first—and be sure it’s not too long. I don’t really care where you’re going to be all day!
  3. Modulate your voice pleasantly. Try to get some resonance.
  4. Sound as though you’re looking forward to hearing from me!

Re-record Your Phone Message

Practice your phone message several times before you record it. Then, record and listen critically. Don’t just use the first recording. Make sure your ‘phone voice’ is the best first impression you can make.

P. S. Managers: Call each of your agents’ phone mails. What’s the impression you get? Are they professional? Do they state the company name? Do they represent your culture and image?

Create a quick class in phone messaging using the information in this blog.

what-they-dont-3d_cover croppedWasting Time Educating Too Much in Initial Interviews?

Why don’t you let me do the heavy lifting and answer those dozens of questions prospective agents ask? In my eBook, What They  Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School, I answer hundreds of these questions–and give them the straight scoop on real estate as a career. There are also valuable self-assessment tools, too, to see if these would-be agents are good successful agent candidates. Order it and get it immediately–plus a unique checklist, Hit the Ground Running–what to do with that agent prior to their getting their real estate license. You’ll hire more winners who make more money fast!  

 

Blog-CoachIn the prior blog, we talked about the attributes of various types of coaching/mentoring programs. Coaching, mentoring, and peer coaching terms are used with wild abandon. So, are you offering coaching, mentoring, or peer coaching? What’s the difference? Should agents get a coach–or a mentor? Have you defined those terms? Are you clear with agents as to what they’re getting in each of these categories?  Before you create a program, be sure you know what the program is and should do for that new or re-energizing agent.

Should I get a coach or mentor? Those are questions new agents (and seasoned agents) ask themselves over and over. This blog is excerpted from my eBook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

This advice is given to the agent entering the business, but, as a manager, read it as though you are also defining your services.

Types of Coaches

Professional coach: Someone trained to coach, who uses a specific program and who is paid to be your coach. If you’re considering a professional coach, find out the specific program the coach will use to coach you. Get expectations in writing, and give your expectations in writing. You should expect to sign a 3-12 month contract.

Manager coach or in-office coach: Someone who may be trained as a coach, who has agreed to coach you. May be paid from your commissions or from a combination of office/your commissions. May be paid on an hourly based by the agent. Be sure this coach is prepared to be your accountability coach, has a specific schedule with you, and a specific start-up plan to coach you. Otherwise, you’re just getting an ‘advice session’.

Peer coach: Someone in the office, an agent, who has agreed to be your coach. However, this could be anything from

  •           Answer questions
  •           Let you ‘shadow them’ (see how they do a listing/buyer presentation or offer presentation)
  •          Be your accountability coach

Most peer coaches don’t have a coaching program to coach to, and haven’t been trained. They are also at a loss with what to do if the agent refuses to do the work.

In my experience, the agent has the highest hopes that the peer coach will fulfill his dreams of whatever coaching is to him. The peer coach is hoping the agent just doesn’t ask too many questions!

Advice to Agents

If you’re going to work with a peer coach, get in writing exactly what that peer coach is willing to do with and for you. Bad peer coaching can turn into a nightmare—for both parties.

Agents’ advice: Dozens of experienced agents have told me they wish they had started with a professional coach. If you can find one to trust—and to follow—you’ll shorten your learning curve dramatically and easily pay for the coaching fee. Plus, you’ll establish a successful long-term career.

Getting a Mentor

What is a ‘mentor’? There’s not a clearly defined job function. Mentors are usually seasoned agents who offer to help new agents. They may

  •           Offer advice
  •           Allow you to shadow them
  •           Ask you to do parts of their business

New agents love the thought of a mentor, because they have so many questions. And, they think the mentor will be their ‘answer man’. But, I’ve observed that having an ‘answer man’ surely doesn’t guarantee success. In fact, it may impede an agent getting into action. How? An agent may think he needs more and more information before he will act. Then, he just keeps coming to the mentor for every question under the sun. And, the more the new agent knows, the more frightened he becomes. Plus, the advice received from the mentor may not be in the new agent’s best interest.

If you are considering a mentor, get in writing exactly what the mentor will do for you.

Big question: Why is the mentor willing to help you? What does the mentor expect from you?

Treat getting a coach or a mentor as an employment issue. Create good questions and interview. Armed with the advice above, you’ll make the right decision for you.

Managers: What programs do you offer? Have you defined them? What are the benefits to your prospective ‘clients’?

what-they-dont-3d_cover

Save Time Interviewing. Help Sort the Serious from the Semi-Pros!

Are you spending hours educating would-be agents on the business? If so, you need this eBook! In 282 pages, Carla Cross provides answers to hundreds of questions agents have. Help your interviewees get the advice they need, find dozens of questions to ask, and use checklists to hit the ground running before they are licensed! Check out What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

Managers: Use the checklist on what to do in pre-license school to hit the ground running to ‘test’ your best interviewees and get them prepared to sell real estate FAST when they are licensed.

coaching for leadershipDo you have a coaching program? Are you sure? Coaching, mentoring, and peer coaching terms are used with wild abandon. So, are you offering coaching, mentoring, or peer coaching? What’s the difference? Should agents get a coach–or a mentor? Have you defined those terms? Are you clear with agents as to what they’re getting in each of these categories?  Before you create a program, be sure you know what the program is and should do for that new or re-energizing agent.

Should I get a coach or mentor? Those are questions new agents (and seasoned agents) ask themselves over and over. This blog is excerpted from my eBook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

This advice is given to the agent entering the business, but, as a manager, read it as though you are also defining your services.

What Do Those Coaching Choices Mean to the New Agent?

Agents: As you’re interviewing, you may be offered these things:

  • An accountability coach (the manager or a professional coach affiliated with that office)
    A peer coach
    Become a team member
    Become an assistant

In this blog, we’ll tackle the pros and cons of getting a coach. In a later blog, we’ll look at mentoring.

What about Getting a Coach?

I hope your manager will become your accountability coach. In fact, a recent survey by Inman Select found that one of the biggest pieces of advice for new agents’ success was to get a coach. But, many managers promise to ‘coach you’. However, that quickly becomes a ‘got a minute’ answer man function instead of a focused, linear, goal-oriented action coaching. You don’t need a coach just for answers. You need a coach to hold you accountable to your goals and action plan.

Choosing a Coach

Here are three important points you should consider as you search for a coach:

  1. The specific program should be highly organized and precisely out­lined with checklists and systems. Ask, “What system are you going to use to coach me?” You need a specific game plan, because you are new. You have no history.
  2. The specific program should be related to a “game plan”—a busi­ness start-up plan. Ask, “What game plan are you going to use?”
  3. The coaches should be trained and coached themselves. Ask, “What’s your coaching background, and what sales principles do you believe in?” For example, each of our coaches in the Carla Cross Coaching program has been trained by me and coached regularly by me.

 Positives: Having a coach keeps you on track, motivated, and, ide­ally, inspired to reach your goals.

Watch out for: Your coach is trained and dedicated to your success, and is following a proven game plan (otherwise you’ll be paying just to talk to someone every once in a while).

Managers/coaches: How would you answer the questions above? Do you provide evidence? How competitive are you with your defined programs?

Treat getting a coach or a mentor as an employment issue. Create good questions and interview. Armed with the advice above, you’ll make the right decision for you.

what-they-dont-3d_cover

Save Time Interviewing. Help Sort the Serious from the Semi-Pros!

Are you spending hours educating would-be agents on the business? If so, you need this eBook! In 282 pages, Carla Cross provides answers to hundreds of questions agents have. Help your interviewees get the advice they need, find dozens of questions to ask, and use checklists to hit the ground running before they are licensed! Check out What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

Managers: Use the checklist on what to do in pre-license school to hit the ground running to ‘test’ your best interviewees and get them prepared to sell real estate FAST when they are licensed.

training up stepsIs that person who you want to coach–or wants to be coached–really coach able? In my earlier post, I discussed attributes that a potential client must have to be ‘coach able’. Here are two more attributes. Why are these important? So you don’t get into a coaching relationship that is doomed to fail.

At the end of this blog, grab my Coach Ability Evaluator. Use it with potential coaching ‘clients’.

Consideration and Attribute of Potential Client:  Do You Recognize Mentors or Coaches Who Partnered in your Success?

It is amazing to me how many real estate professionals say they ‘work alone’. They say they have nothing to do with anyone in their office, and impact no one. (Really? Our actions impact no one? That must mean we’re pretty insignificant…) While real estate success is certainly due to one’s efforts, to think that we are virtual ‘islands’ of knowledge and action is not only ludicrous—it’s dangerous. Before you fall for that ‘I alone am responsible for my success’, I have a question:

Who in your life mentored you, coached you, parented you, advised you, encouraged you—and set you straight when you needed it? How many people can you name? This can be positive or negative, too. We learn as much or more from a bad experience as a good one!

If you truly can’t name anyone, you don’t believe that others can help you ‘break through your ceiling of achievement’. Could that mean YOU don’t believe you can break through…..or that you have great fear of ‘being flexible’?

Consideration and Attribute of Potential Client: How Accountable Are You Willing to Be?

This is actually the ‘biggie’. If you’re not willing to be accountable to your own actions—and to your coach—DON”T start a coaching relationship! I know many of you think accountability is a dirty word. It’s true that some coaches (sports, music, etc.) have accentuated the down side of accountability—being punitive, negative, critical…(There are a lot of inept coaches out there.) No wonder people don’t want to be accountable if they think they will be punished for any wrong action (or inaction). But, that’s not what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about a situation where you make a promise and keep it. In doing the promised action, you are guaranteed to get praise—and results.

The Natural Reticence to Answer to Anyone

I launched an online training/coaching/accountability results-based program called Up and Running in Real Estate. I essentially put the principles and processes from my best-selling book Up and Running in 30 Days online. But, it’s now 8 weeks of planned actions—my business start- up plan step by step. I built in the parameters I have learned assure the greatest success:

  • A coaching component
  • Lots of encouragement
  • Processes and systems that are ‘self-teaching’
  • Guess what many participants do with the program? They do some of the work (they love the multiple choice tests) but don’t do the business-producing work. By their actions, they are not accountable to themselves or to their coaches. So, of course, they aren’t getting the results—and they can’t get appreciation and recognition—two big drivers to continue the motivation. How unfortunate!

My question to you: What times in your life have you been accountable to actions and to someone else—and enjoyed the experience? Are you running away from accountability because you haven’t experienced the ‘up’ side?

 So, are you coach able? Is your potential client coach able?

Armed with the answers to the questions in this blog, you can assess whether you will benefit from a coach. And, managers and coaches, you can help your potential client figure out whether she is a good candidate for coaching.

The Coach Ability Evaluator

I have been coached by the ‘best in the business, first as a musician and then as a real estate professional. I’ve learned what works. Because of my performance background, the coaching methods we use at Carla Cross Coaching are much different than most. From all these experiences, I’ve discovered who is coach able and who is not. Find out more here.

Click here to grab my Coach Ability Evaluator.

LM CoverWhy not see if Leadership coaching is for you? You’ll get practical strategies to be more profitable and Carla will help you translate everything you do in the Leadership coaching program to working with your agents. Click here to arrange a Complimentary Consultation.

 

 

coaching hand upDo you think you can coach everyone? You may want to think again! At the end of this blog, I’ve included an evaluator to use with your potential ‘clients’ to see if they are actually coaching potentials.

I’ve been coached and have been a coach most of my life (first music, then real estate). But, I don’t believe that all people can benefit from coaching. Most managers and coaches will tell you everyone needs a coach. After all, no great performers move past their ‘ceilings of achievement’ without a coach. I certainly know that as a pianist.

But, not everyone can benefit from a coach. Why? Because some people aren’t very ‘coach able’. Another way to say it is that they aren’t ready to be coached. So, before you waste your money on coaching (yes, I’m willing to say it!), let’s explore what it takes to benefit from coaching.

What It Takes to be Coach able

There are 15 questions on the coach ability evaluator. But, in this blog and the next are 3 attributes I believe you need if you are to get the very most from any coaching experience.

 How Strong is your ‘Why’?

Why do you want to be coached? How motivated are you to break through your ‘ceiling of achievement’? Why is that important? Because your coach can’t provide you with the all the ‘fire in the belly’ you’ll need to keep on keeping on (although many coaching clients expect their coach to find a motivation that’s not there…..).

 motivation cycleHow the Motivation Works

Let’s look at how motivation works. First, you have an unrealized discontent. Maybe you have been schlepping along at 5, 10, or maybe even 30 transactions a year. But, at some level, you realize you are working way beneath your potential (step #1). So, you start looking at others who started in the business about the same time as you (#2). You see they are attaining more results faster. Then, you start looking around for a coach (#3). You take a big breath, take out your checkbook, and start working with a coach (#4). It’s not easy. It means doing things you have avoided doing, changing beliefs, expanding your horizons—and just plain working hard.  But, it’s worth it, because you’re seeing results (#5).

I just took myself through the motivational cycle. For years, I’ve tried to lose weight. But, I just didn’t have that ‘fire in the belly’. For some strange reason, this time, though, I found it! In February, I paid lots of money to a weight-loss program (yes, I believe that if you have appreciable ‘skin in the game’ you’re more likely to stick with it). At the same time I hired a personal trainer. Talk about baptism by fire! But, the combination of my own motivation and the environment that I      placed myself in has attributed to my continued motivation—and I’ve lost 40 pounds (and have about 15 to go, but, it’s kind of a piece of cake (woops) now.

My question to you:  How motivated are you? Is the environment you are in motivating to you? Challenging? Encouraging?

Want to see if your potential ‘clients’ will be good coaching clients? Click here to grab my Coach Ability evaluator.  In my next post, we’ll explore 2 more big determinants of coach ability.

What have you found determines coach ability? When have you been wrong about the coaching potential of one of your agents? How can we avoid that?

red checkmarkHow would you rate your on boarding program for your new agents? I mean

1. your initial orientation procedure (do you have one)

2. A coach or mentor to work with that new agent from day 1

3. A start-up plan initiated from week 2

4. A training program to support the start-up plan–starts in their week 2

Go through each of these and rate yourself. Interestingly, few companies even have a complete on boarding program.Instead, they have a checklist that they go through with the new agent. Then, they explain that training will start in 4 weeks. Woops! My studies show that the majority of new agents expect a SALE within 4 weeks! So, if they’re not lead generating from week 2, how in the world will they get that early success?

The most important part of the on boarding process is the start-up plan. Do you have one? What’s your ‘bottom line’ for an ideal start-up plan for a new agent? Many managers tell me they don’t want to hire new agents because they’re too much work–and, too many of them fail. True. Yet, on the other hand, managers find it difficult to recruit seasoned agents who fit their profile, culture, and standards. One answer to this dilemma is to develop a start-up program for new agents that avoids the pitfalls associated with hiring new agents.

The Ideal Porgram Should Assure…

1. The new agent will succeed–fast (not this normal 50% failure rate!)

2. The new agent is directed by the start-up program–not a situation where the manager has to re-invent the wheel with every new agent

3. The manager doesn’t have to invest hundreds of hours in a new agent–only to find that agent fails

4. There’s direction from a ‘trusted advisor’–an outside coach, to save the manager’s time

5. There’s coordination and interaction between the ‘trusted advisor coach’ and the manager, so the manager isn’t left out of the loop

6. The new agent is challenged by meaningful activities leading to a sale, not just unprioritized busy work

What other goals should your ideal program provide you?

Refining My Start-Up Plan

I’m doing the fifth edition of my best-selling start-up plan for new agents, Up and Running in 30 Days. I want to assure that it fulfills all the goals above–and the goals you have for me.  Want to give me some feedback? Here’s a manager or owner questionnaire for you. Get it back to me by May 20, 2016. If I can, I’ll include you in quotes in the new edition, out in early 2017. And, of course, you’ll receive a complimentary copy of the fifth edition!

Want to share your observations? Click here for that questionnaire.

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!

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