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.
Any time you are in front of people and want to capture their attention NOW, you need to do this.

Watch this short video to find out the biggest mistake presenters make, and how you can easily avoid it. Grab your audience’s attention, keep them interested and involved, and help them learn.

See Jerk the Paradigm here. 

What do you think? How do you capture the audience’s attention quickly? What mistakes do you see trainers make that get their presentations off on the wrong foot?

 

Want dozens of new training techniques? Solve your most challenging problems in front of people? Join me Oct. 19-20 in Seattle, Wa. for Instructor Development Workshop. Certifies you as a Washington approved clock hour instructor and you gain 15 clock hours. Much more, though, than just a certification course. See more here.

Help your agents choose the absolute best team leader for them.

As a three-decade owner and manager on the firing line, I’ve seen some teams thrive and many others fail. Here are the questions an agent should ask before joining a team, from my new book, Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Won’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

Questions:

  • How many leads are distributed to a team member per week? Per month?
  • Am I expected to generate leads for the team? How many a month?
  • Let me see your vision and mission statements. What are the values you expect your team to uphold?
  • If I want to leave the team, how will you help me transition to my own business?
  • How will I be held accountable? (meetings/reports/CRM input)
  • Ask how much turnover there has been on the team.
  • Ask whether you can sell and list houses outside the team—and how much the rainmaker will charge you if you do.
  • What is your experience as a leader? (courses, jobs, etc.)
  • What are the systems you use? See the specific systems the rainmaker will use with his team. Lack of systems means the team will not operate as a team, and you will be left trying to figure out how to take action on your own.
  • What is your commission structure: Read the contract the rainmaker asks you to sign. Be sure you understand the consequences of your involvement. Evaluate how good a leader that rainmaker is.
  • Interview tip: Do not lead with a question about commissions! As a manager, that was a red flag to me. I want to see if we are a ‘fit’ before we talk specifics about pay.

Great Salespeople; Lousy Leaders

Some rainmakers are great salespeople, but lousy leaders. As a result, their team never jells. Most team leaders ultimately expect their team members to generate their own leads in addition to team leads. If you cannot meet the rainmaker’s expectations, you are terminated. Be willing and ready to take the responsibilities of team membership seriously.

Starting Over: When you leave the team, you are generally starting again as a new agent, since you have not generated your own leads (unless you have worked for an exceptional team leader who has helped nurture you so you can transition successfully into your own business).

Managers: What did I forget? What is your experience working with teams in your office?

Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Won’t Teach You in Pre-License School will save you hundreds of hours in explaining real estate to would-be agents. It will help you advise people in whether real estate is the career for them. Now, available in paperback or eBook. You need this book so you know what I’m advising would-be agents to look for, too!

P. S. Great tools, too, to use for your Career Nights.

Is your handout enhancing or detracting from your presentation or course?

Here’s why your handout just can’t be your PowerPoint slides.

I know. It’s easy to rely on those slides. Some presenters just read the slides, word for word. How interesting. How entertaining. That’s how to keep your audience engaged–not. Just as bad, some trainers use those slides as the outline or handouts. Here’s why that’s not in your best interest–or your audience’s.

  1. You’ve just given out your presentation via your slides in advance–so your audience doesn’t have to pay attention to you! You’ve seen it. You hand out the ‘outline’–just the PowerPoint slides–and your audience immediately flips through all of them. Now, why do you have to be there? You don’t, and they know it! You’ve just given away all your mystery, your interest, and the reason for you to be there to command their attention.
  2. It looks lazy–and it is. If you want to impress your audience with your training expertise, your outline and/or handouts goes a long way in this regard. Which would you be more impressed with, those slides as a handout (which they are going to see in a minute), or a handout that was a ‘keeper’ for attendees to use practically in their own businesses? 

Solutions

  1. Make your outline or handout something that audiences interact with during the presentation. Tomorrow, I’ll be doing my ‘live’ workshop on how to teach: Instructor Development Workshop. During the workshop I’ll have attendees apply what they’re learning to their own teaching and courses. Written right into the outline, the attendees with answer questions and grapple with the real application of what I’m teaching in that module. I’ve put these questionnaires and applications into the course so they appear 6 times. I call this ‘reflection time’. So, they will walk out with ready-to-use solutions to their presentation challenges. I want them to refer to that outline indefinitely, and use it as a resource. I want them to remember me forever, not just try to recall my name during these two days.
  2. Include handouts that are useful AFTER your event. Because we’re doing so many more virtual events, I’m including a small module on how to use the course strategies in a virtual presentation. I’ve created a 2-page handout–a checklist for attendees to use as they create their presentations. I hope this will be ‘evergreen’–that they will use this checklist forever and think of me!

Become Memorable

Doing your presentation is an opportunity to educate. And, it’s an opportunity to become memorable. Many of you reading this are affiliates who want more business. Many of you are managers who want great recruits. Leaving something with your attendees that they will use in their own businesses assures you are memorable. They will remember your expertise and your determination to go the extra way to help them succeed.

Join us for a unique Mastermind group, where we’ll work on our presentation skills and courses. Carla will facilitate, and you’ll have an opportunity to work directly with her and others in the group. You’ll also have the opportunity to try out parts of your course to see how it works. Contact Carla at 425-392-6914 or carla@carlacross.com to find out more. 

8 weeks; weekly Zoom conferencing; $499. 

Are you among the 75% of people afraid of public speaking? Here are 3 solutions that work.

Are you afraid to get up in front of people? There are millions of people just like you. For over three decades, I’ve taught people how to teach. I’ve seen thousands of people come to class eager to learn. At the same time, I’ve seen dozens be so afraid I thought they would run out the door on the slightest provocation.

Fear of Public Speaking: Common Phobia

Glossophobia, or a fear of public speaking, is a very common phobia and one that affects up to 75% of the population. Glossophobia may relate to one’s prior experiences. Jeffrey R. Strawn, MD, FAACAP, is an associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics and director of the Anxiety Disorders Research Program in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati. He says. “An individual who has a bad experience during public speaking may fear a repeat of that prior experience when attempting to speak again.”

Three Strategies that Really Work to Change ‘Flight’ to ‘Excite’

As a musician, I know what it’s like when things don’t go like I thought they would. I’ve had times when I wanted to run off the stage instead of continue. And that’s not all. Frequently, one bad experience, in any instance, convinces us to never try that again!

What if you could gain some skills that would stop that ‘flight’ impulse and replace it with an ‘excited to be presenting’ feeling.  Here they are. I’ll name the problem and then its solution.

  1. Fear that you’ll get stuck in the middle and can’t get out, remember where you were, or what to do next. This comes from not using a tried and true process for creating your talk. It would be like me, a musician, trying to play a piece of music without knowing its beginning, middle, and end. I would be scared spitless, too!

Solution: Learn a simple process for creating your presentation. In my Instructor Development Workshop and Train the Trainer, I teach people how to use what I call the ‘pop tune’ construction. It always works, and it’s a great relief to know that you have a clear guide to follow. Having that clear guide increases your confidence tenfold.

  1. Relying on ‘once is enough’ practice. I know. They all tell you to practice. But, what they don’t tell you is this: Your practice needs to ‘escalate’.

Solution: First, practice by yourself, watching yourself in a mirror. Then, expand your practice to practicing with a friend. Finally, practice with a small group. Why? You are changing your environment and adapting, just like you will when you do your presentation ‘for real’. My son, Chris, was a karate champ as a kid. His coach had him practice in the empty auditorium prior to a big event. So, he became acclimated to that auditorium. When he performed, it seemed he had been through it before—because he had. One of the surprises of performance is that it seems foreign, new, and overwhelming. Take away those feelings by gradually simulating your ‘real life’ situation.

  1. Just before you perform: Letting your nerves create the story in your head—and it’s not a happy ending. If you don’t control the ‘movie’ prior to getting on the stage, your naïve mind makes its own movie—with negative results.

Solution: Create an inspiring ‘movie’ prior to ever stepping into the performance arena. As a musician, my classical piano teacher taught me how to approach the piano, how to gather myself, and how to play the first bars of the music in my head before I put my hands on the keys. Another way we speakers do this is to listen to our introductions. Of course, they are flattering (we wrote them) and it helps us remember why we are there—because we are a value to the audience.

Get a Proven Process, Practice Right, and Make the ‘Mind’ Movie

Putting these three strategies into your presentation plan work, whether you’re doing a listing presentation, a workshop, a course, or a Zoom call. I’d love to know your strategies for increasing stage confidence, and how my strategies have worked for you.     

               Join Me for a Fast-Paced, Practical Course

Want dozens of teaching techniques? How to control audiences? How to structure your workshops? More presentation skills? This 2-day course qualifies you to teach clock-hour courses in Washington state; 15 clock hours, too. $249. Sept. 21-22 in Bellevue, Wa. Find out more here. 

Whether you’re training or presenting to a client, one bad habit causes your audience to lose attention.

You’re giving them great information. But, they aren’t paying attention. This can be a problem, whether you’re training or giving a client presentation. Here’s the reason their attention is wandering, and what to do about it. Watch the 2-minute video.

In later videos, I’ll show you different methods of bringing people’s attention back to you–gracefully, so you get greater audience engagement and better results.

Managers and Interviewers: Are you prepared to answer these 5 questions?

Here are the five questions you need to be prepared to answer. They probably aren’t the questions you’ve anticipated.

I’ve just finished my new book, Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Won’t Teach You in Pre-License School. It addresses every question I’ve been asked by the hundreds of would-be agents I’ve interviewed. 

Agents Get Many Misperceptions about the Business 

I know. As an interviewer, you want to sell your company, your office, and yourself. That’s fine. But, many would-be agents draw the wrong conclusions from those sales pitches. They get the idea that real estate is easy. They hear they are special. They assume they will make gazillions of bucks–just like they see in those reality TV shows.  Plus, they get information from other sources: Their agent friends, their other friends, etc. The result is that they go into the business with rose-colored glasses. That’s why it’s estimated that over half of all agents who enter the business in any given year are out of the business by the end of that year.  

Agents Need to Look Behind the Curtain

Besides the sales presentations, would-be agents need a full picture of the business, so they can make good decisions. In my Launching book, I give would-be agents the facts about real estate sales. I provide them self-analysis tools so they can find out if they are good candidates for this business. In addition, I give them the five most important questions they should ask their interviewer. Here they are:

 

Figure_9.6_The_Five_Critical_Questions_to_Ask_cropped

Are you asking these questions? How can you prepare for these questions?

Get Ready to Provide the Proof

Throughout the book, I advise these candidates to ask for proof of claims. They hear:

“Our training program is great.” 

“You can make lots of money here.”

“We provide leads.”

“Our new agents make money fast.”

Instead of accepting these statements, I advise interviewees to ask to see outlines, schedules, and statistics. You will stand out if you can verify your sales statements with the facts. 

Grab your copy of this new book to save time and educate your would-be agents. You’ll find it easier to choose winners. eBook is $9.95. Find out more here.

Recruiting: Gain relationships and help great potential recruits hit the ground running!!!!

Try this recruiting tool and hire more winners.

Successful recruiting and selection depends on your forming a trusting relationship with your candidate. Here’s one way to do that. Plus, the bonus: You’ll prepare those great potential agents to sell fast, because they will hit the ground running. 

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 their belts 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 checklist, 30 Things to Do Right Now to Hit the Ground Running, from my new eBook, Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Won’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 or more getting ‘oriented’. 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 the majority of new agents want to make a sale their first month in the business. That means they will need to start lead generating their first WEEK in the business! From hiring and training hundreds of new agents, I’ve observed they put off the inevitable (lead generation) 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/social media announcement to all those in their databases saying they’ve joined_____________ real estate company

How this Helps You Recruit

You will

  1. Form unbreakable relationships from helping great candidates through this checklist
  2. Be able to see if your candidate goes to work and is serious about a career in real estate
  3. Develop a great program to prove to would-be agents you are the best choice (keep the statistics and show how much faster these agents make a sale after licensing) 

30 Things to Do While in Pre-License School

Even though I call this a ‘checklist’, it’s much more than that. It’s really a mini-training program. You can use my eBook, Launching Right in Real Estate as a reference to help agents through the program.

Proof

How do I know this program achieves the three goals I stated above? I used it as a manager. I saw how some people went to work. These same people literally ‘hit the ground running’ and made sales faster than those who waited until they got their licenses.

Click here to gain my checklist. Let me know how it works for you.

 

Do you feel like you need a crystal ball when you’re interviewing? We may think we’re good at picking winners, but, the statistics say we….well, I’m going to say it–we suck.

How do I know? I see the retention statistics in real estate offices. I just spoke with an agent who told me they were hiring lots of people. That was true. However, out of the 150 people they hired last year, only 40 are still with them. Sounds like a lot of work for little reward.

Three Ways to Predict if They will Succeed

  1. They let you lead the interview

Don’t you love it when that would-be agent wants in, and immediately tries to grab the conversation? Usually that person opens with, “What are you going to give me?” Or, I want a special deal.”  There are two problems here. The first problem is that they asked for a special deal and you don’t even know who they are. After having interviewed thousands of would-be agents, I’ve concluded that the ‘importance posturing’ is just that. The second problem is that they aren’t letting me lead the interview process. If they won’t let me lead now, are they trainable? My experience is that they are not trainable. They know what they know and they defend it to the death. 

2. They demonstrate the qualities you want with ‘past-behavior’ questions

Frequently, interviewers ask ‘future-based’ questions, like, “If you were ever in a situation where you had to lie, would you?” Well, of course, the candidate has the ‘right’ answer ready for you. Avoiding any future-based questions is one of the keys to choosing the right interview questions to review what you want to learn. Instead of those future-based questions, learn to ask ‘past-based behavioral predictors’. In the next blog, I’ll explain these questions. In short, these questions revealed how the candidate acted in the past. The truism is 

we behave in the future as we behaved in the past.

3. They demonstrate, through their actions, they possess the qualities and skills you want.

Few interviewers decide in advance the qualities and skills they want in an agent. If you haven’t done that, do it now. Rate them in order of importance. Now, create questions (past-based), that will reveal to you whether the candidate has the qualities and skills you want.

In my new book, Launching Right in Real Estate: What They don’t Teach You in Pre-License School, I give would-be agents the qualities will-be successful agents possess. I also provide them some questionnaires to help them determine whether they have those qualities.

Here’s my list:  

 

What’s your list? What questions do you have that indicate whether the candidate has the qualities you’ve observed show they will make in the real estate business?

Check out this new eBook. It will save you hundreds of hours of interview time, and help would-be agents self-select.
Rather than spending hours educating that would-be agent, use the self-analysis tool here.

Interview time saver: Use this self-analysis tool. 

Having interviewed at least hundreds of would-be agents, I know that they really don’t want to be interviewed. They want information. So, I used to spend hours educating them. That is, until I figured out that shouldn’t be my job. But, somebody has to, right? That’s why I wrote Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Won’t Teach You in Pre-License School. 

Pre-qualifying Tools for You

When I wrote the book, I was thinking of those hundreds–or thousands–or hours I spent, and how futile that was. Why? Because the majority of those people either wouldn’t go into real estate or weren’t serious about making it a career. Was I naive? Sure. Did I do a poor job of screening? Yes.  But, that’s how I learned to provide the information would-be agents need, and the self-screening tools to help them make the best decisions for them.

Help Them Choose the Best Job for Them

One of the pre-qualifying tools I created for the Launch book is called ‘What’s Your Ideal Job’? This helps people clarify what they really want. It also opens the door for you to probe further to find out what’s really on their minds.

Make your Career Night Stand Out

Most career nights are simply sales jobs. The speaker tries to convince everyone to join the company. And, these speakers are good salespeople! So, many people go into real estate sales who really shouldn’t be there. That’s one of the reasons we have those high turnover rates. Using the self-analysis tools in the Launch eBook for your Career Nights will help you screen people properly–and will help them separate the myths from the truths about selling real estate.

The Self-Analysis Tool: What’s Your Ideal Job?

Use this in your Information Package and/or Career Nights. Let me know how it works for you. Here’s to an effective, time-saving process for pre-screening your candidates.

Figure_1.1_Your_Ideal_Job-with-reference

Check out my new eBook, 1/2 price at $12.95 pre-publication. Will be out in a couple of weeks!
Are your new agents struggling with time management? Here’s an easy way to help them.

A simple way to help your agents manage time.

We all have the same amount of time. Yet, some agents start their careers like rockets, launching fast. Others just can’t seem to get a foothold. 

I’m just finishing my new book, Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Won’t Teach You in Pre-License School (out in about 3 weeks). Although the book is written for the person thinking about real estate as a career, or is in pre-license, this book actually is a treasure trove for any agent. Why? It

  1. Lays out a simple, effective business start-up plan
  2. It exposes the mistakes agents make in launch, that costs them time and money–and sometimes a whole career
  3. It helps agent budget–both personally and professionally

Time Allocations for Newer Agents

New agents attend training school. They learn lots of interesting–and sometimes valuable-information. But, they seldom learn how to organize their businesses, prioritize their time, and measure their advancement. One of the basic premises to success is to allocate their time to the right activities. Here’s my list, from Launching Right in Real Estate:

Figure_3.6_Time_Commitments__How_To_Allocate_Your_Time

Common Time Management Mistakes

The new agent: We go into real estate with lots of confidence. We love houses. We like people. We want to help people. Then, we find out there’s a whole lot to learn. So, we spend most of our time ‘getting ready’. I’ve watched new agents spend many months learning–and avoiding jumping on what I term the sales path--talking to, working with, and selling homes to real people. 

Compare Your Agent’s Time Management to My Allocations

Use my time management allocations to coach your agents. What do you see as differences? What are the activities leading to a sale? What are the activities that actually protect you from working with those challenging people–those potential clients? What adjustments do you want to make to create a faster career launch for yourself? 

Want to save time and inform your would-be agents? Use my book, Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Don’t Teach You In Pre-License School. I’ve addressed the hundreds of questions and concerns would-be agents have. See what I’m advising them! Order now at half price: $12.95. Publish date: July 15.