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In November and December, I’m featuring business planning. Why? Because we’re all told to make business plans. But, it’s estimated that only about 20% of leadership and less than that for agents–actually have plans.

What is ‘Intentional Planning’?

It’s making a behavioral-based action plan–which answers the questions What are you going to do?

When are you going to do it? 

How are you going to go about it?

The Science Behind this Component

A study in Advances in Experimental Social Psychology conducted with 8000 participants found that intentional planning was the key factor in a successful habit change. This approach increased the chance of successful change by 50-80%!

The ‘Secret’ to Change

We regularly declare our intentions. But, we rarely get specific about them. When we’re not specific, we don’t have a roadmap to chart that change. We don’t know the actions to take. In order to change our intentions from ‘general’ and ‘philosophical’ to action-based, we need to answer these questions:

What

When

How–what shall we practice? How shall we do it?

The Reason Most Business Plans Fail

As a manager and trainer, I’ve seen all sorts of business plans. I’ve seen all sorts of business planning templates. Unfortunately, many plans stay in the ‘what’–the philosophical statements or just the numbers. Inferior templates encourage this flawed thought process. So, people blithely create these business plans, focusing only on the ‘what’, set them on the shelf, and continue doing exactly what they have been doing!!! So, they get the same results.

Fire Up Your Agents with Intentional Planning

Here’s how to use intentional planning to fire up your agents. I’m always looking for tips in motivating others (and myself). I found a great article from my personal trainer. It says that ‘intentional planning’ is the biggest component to obtain your goals.

My Business Planning System ‘Forces’ This Thought Process

Having used those flawed plans and having seen my agents and other managers fail with them, I built into my business planning system and templates the when and how. So, My system actually forces the user to think through the whole process–to get to the weekly/daily action plans that will help change their business habits for the better.

How Specific is YOUR Plan?

The acid test: Could I take your business plan, follow it, and see results? If it’s not that action-oriented, you can’t follow it either!

As Michael Gerber, author of the E-Myth Real Estate Agent and the E-Myth Revisited, stated

The integration of your systems is your business plan.

Be sure the business planning system and templates you’re following direct your thinking from the ‘what’ to the when and the how. Now you’re cooking!

Managers: As you’re counseling your agents, be sure their plans get to ‘where the rubber meets the road’. Could you follow their plan–or is it just a series of numbers or high-fallutin’ statements?

Complimentary Business Planning Webinar

Get inspired to create that business plan you’ve been wanting for a better 2021!

It’s been a chaotic, year, where our best laid plans have been tossed upside down. That’s why doing a fresh, creative business plan is so important right now.

Register here for How to Build the Best Business Plan Ever.

You’ll gain:

  • A new way to think through your business so you have a plan that works
  • The missing planning step that assures your plan will work for you
  • The biggest change to make to thrive in 2021
  • Insights with 10 questions to answer BEFORE you commit to action
  • The seven best recommendations to put in your plan

Included: Strategic business planning handouts and 2 bonuses for managers

When: November 16 (Monday)                     1-2 PM Pacific Standard Time

Register now.

I created the only internationally published book for real estate agents on business planning, and I can help you and your agents build exceptional plans.

You’ve interviewed dozens–maybe hundreds of would-be agents. What behaviors have you seen them exhibit that indicate they will be successful in real estate?

What are behaviors that #successful agents exhibit? What are the #attributes of successful real estate agents?

Make your list here. Now, compare it to the behaviors I listed in my book I wrote to educate prospective real estate agents. 

What They May Exhibit that will Assure Failure

It may be easier to make a list of the behaviors that assure someone won’t make money fast enough in our competitive, self-starting business:

  1. Never had a job until mid-twenties.
  2. Still lives at home.
  3. Doesn’t have to make a living.
  4. Has never taken initiative to try something new. 
  5. Hates having to reach out to talk to people.
  6. Loves technology; fears people.
  7. Has had 7 jobs in 7 years.
  8. Doesn’t believe in having to learn from someone or be led.
  9. Gives up easily.

What should I add to that list?

How to Use this Information in the # Real Estate Interview Process

Are you familiar with behavior-based questions? They are questions that ask a person about his past behavior. Why? Because past behavior determines future behavior. (Not always, just 95% of the time. Do you like those odds?) I don’t mean that what someone does specifically determines she will do that again. This is what I mean:

As you listen to a person tell a story about his past, listen for themes that run through the story. For example: One of the behaviors good agents exhibit is tenacity. They just don’t give up. They accept rejection and keep going. If someone or something is difficult, they wade through it. 

The question: Think of a time in your life when you thought of giving up–a time when you really wanted something, but getting it seemed difficult or out of reach. Describe what happened. 

Don’t interrupt. Don’t ask another question. Just hum, agree, or probe. Find out all you can about that story. As you listen, ask yourself:

Does that person have enough ________________ to be a success in real estate?

Your turn. Look at my list of behaviors. What should I add?

I’m updating my book for prospective agents. Please help me create a book that’s different, insightful, and helpful to both the prospective agent and the manager/interviewer. Thank you!

You’ve probably interviewed dozens of would-be agents. What do you wish they had known before they committed to a real estate career?

What should an agent know before committing to real estate as a career?

After interviewing dozens of would-be agents, I had compiled a stack of paper that I handed out to interviewees. I was trying to educate them so they could make a good career decision. One day, one of my recent recruits said, “You should put that in a book.” So, I did. Now, I’m creating a new edition of the book. I’ve renamed the book

Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Won’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

What should be in the book? What’s most important for that would-be agent to know? What mistakes do would-be agents make in choosing companies? What could I add to make

Saving Management Time

From all those interviews, I found I wasn’t really interviewing. I was educating. What could I include in the book that would save you interview time, and prepare the candidate for a real interview?

What misconceptions do would-be agents bring into the business that cause them to start slowly or fail?

Blast-Off for Launching Right

I’m planning on having the edits done by Dec. 1, so the eBook will be available a few weeks after that. Please add your experience and expertise so I know the contents will be useful to real estate managers.

Just leave me a comment and contribute to our industry. Thank you!

Recently, Real Estate Bees, a real estate educational site, asked us coaches about our opinions and business as #COVID hit the industry and #real estate coaches. You may be surprised at some of the responses. It’s a pleasure to be named one of these #real estate industry experts –along with my cohorts on this site.

Here’s the article:

Covid Impact on Real Estate Coaches.

How has this business pivot affected your business?

Everyone’s doing virtual presentations. But, how good are they? Here is what to watch for.

Virtual presentations: Three biggest red flags in virtual presentations today.

  1. Too much ‘tell’, not enough ‘show’

We’re onstage. We’re wowing them with our humor, our movement, and our audience interaction. Good. Now, switch to virtual. We don’t really have a stage. We don’t have freedom of movement. We don’t have that energetic audience interaction. What do we do? Try harder? Keep the same modalities of presentation? 

No. We need to show more and tell less. Instead of tell people how to do a listing presentation, show them through the steps. Show them examples.

Question: What could you switch to ‘show’ to be more interesting, more memorable, teach more effectively?

2. Less stationery; more audience movement.

Sitting in front a screen even for an hour is exhausting. It’s exhausting to present for that long, too. A huge presenter challenge is #how to keep the audience’s attention. One way is to increase the audience’s movements. Some of these suggestions are from a great article on #virtual training in Training magazine, by the wonderful trainer Bob Pike.

Have your audience get up. What for? Find something that’s pertinent to the conversation and bring it back to the screen. Or–find something blue (or red, or whatever color you want) and bring it to the screen. Tell significance.

Write down two action items in your handout (great for #business planning, which I’ll be doing in a few weeks). When you’re done, type ‘up ‘and stand up for 30 seconds.

Question: How do you change the pace by #involving your audience every four minutes? How do you move the audience (I mean physically?)

3. Figuring out the technology while you’re teaching–not before

Yes, there do seem to be surprises. But, if we practice beforehand, we reduce those surprises. It’s just like practicing the piano. I’ve been a pianist since I was four. I would never, ever get up in front of an audience to play the piano (seriously) unless I had practiced my little heart out. After all, perfect practice makes perfect. I owe it to the audience.

Question: How much practice do you do? Are you ready to perform at a high level?

Masterclass From Classroom to Online

Watch for my virtual training coming up on how to take your presentation online with verve.

How to Organize Your Virtual Presentation for Greatest Impact

You had three hours to give your presentation live. Now, you’re going to give that presentation #virtually. Not so fast. You just can’t keep them riveted to you online for three hours! You’ll need to take out the paring scissors and cut your presentation to under an hour. Why? Because that’s all the time you can expect people to stay focused on you. If you wonder if that’s true, ask attendees how long they can stay focused on an #online presentation? When I asked, 50% said ten minutes or less. So, give up on the long, tedious virtual presentations. That means you’ll have to do some re-organization before you turn on that camera.

Overall Organization that Works

I just read an article in Training magazine by one of my heroes, Bob Pike. Author of 30 books, and founder of an international training organization, Bob’s advice is always expert, practical, and proven. Here are some of the points he made to create effective #virtual presentations, along with my points and comments.  

Compare Your Presentation

Right now, draw your online presentation organization.

Do you have an introduction? How long is it? (no more than two minutes)

Do you have a planned ending? Does it involve your participants?

How long are you talking before you involve your audience? Are you involving them at the beginning?

How many times do you #involve your audience within those 45 minutes? (at least every 4 minutes)

How varied are your #attendee activities? How are you keeping attendee attention during your virtual presentation?

Give Me Your Rating

How would you rate the presentations you’ve attended lately–on a scale of 1 to 10? Why?

You know who this is. Read how he turned an exceptional basketball career into an even more successful business career.

I can’t do it. It’s someone else’s fault. If only….I’ll never be able to. I tried that once. It didn’t work. It won’t work for me. Give me (you fill in the blanks) or else I can’t succeed.

You’ve heard all these reasons why someone can’t succeed. (Makes me depressed just reading this list.) So, it’s refreshing to hear someone speak about how to succeed—with no excuses.  I don’t mean that we all don’t at times need a hand up. But, those are the few times.  They don’t become our mantra.

I just watched a video where a UPS executive interviewed Magic. Here are some of Magic’s insightful comments.

Dream it First to Live It

At age 16, Magic was a janitor while in school. He would go sit in the CEO’s chair and pretend he was the CEO; giving orders, making decisions, acting like a CEO. He said he always wanted to be an entrepreneur, not just a basketball player. Look what happened.

What are you dreaming?

On Not Giving Up

As Magic transitioned from famous, successful pro basketball player to businessman, he thought his fame would magically open doors and make him successful. He found it opened doors (they all wanted to meet him), but, it didn’t get him the funding he needed to expand his business. He was turned down ten times before a bank took a chance on him.

How tenacious are you?

Network and Lead Generate and Learn

Magic wanted to find out what was important to prominent people. He got the list of Lakers season ticket holders, and called up to 50 a day. Many met with him, and several became investors with him.

Are you lead generating with tenacity?

Tailor to your Target

Magic was an early investor in Starbucks, and has over 125 Starbucks locations today. He met with Howard Schultz, the founder and then president, and told him he needed to tailor his Starbucks businesses to his clientele. You can imagine where Magic wanted to place his Starbucks. He told Mr. Schultz he didn’t want that music that was in most Starbucks stores. He wanted Michael Jackson, Beyonce, etc. He didn’t want scones. You get the picture.

Are you targeting your marketing to your audiences?

Hire and Work with the Best

Magic says, if you find great talent, you don’t need to micro-manage them. This comes from his experience as a basketball player.

Are you affiliating with the best? Do you need to ‘up your game’ interviewing? 

Shine Your Light on Others to Succeed

As you help others succeed, you’ll succeed. Magic says his reason for being in business is to help others. He’s helped thousands of minority business people launch businesses. This comes, too, from his experience as a basketball player. His mentoring others resulted in more success for everyone.

Are you providing a hand up to qualified, determined talent?

Learn from Everyone

Magic believes everyone has something he can learn from. He values each person and seeks their contributions. He says he loves to learn and he’s constantly learning.

Are you learning from those you’re around?

Add Value

Magic believes the secret of business success is to add value. When he meets with someone, he thinks about how he can add value for that person.

Are you adding value to those you work with, coach, or teach?

Does your Interview Process Need Polishing?

Check out this system for selecting winners. Save time, money, and training. See it here.

Build this into your training; get better audience attention.

According to my informal surveys, real estate trainers say that keeping the audience’s attention is their biggest challenge. Here’s an easy and fun way to put a great motivator into your online training.

Behavior that’s rewarded is repeated.

Reward the Behaviors You Want

What do you want your attendees to do? Pay attention, coordinate with each other, do work outside class? Decide first what is important o you–and them. Then, choose some rewards for the behaviors you want in your virtual classroom.

Behavior Wanted: Put the Ideas to Work after Class

Recently, I did a webinar on how to convert your classroom course to online.  I wanted to help attendees take these ideas and immediately apply them to their courses. I was concerned that, because there was lots of material in a short period of time, attendees could be overwhelmed and not know how to start. So,  I promised I’d send my Big Ideas in a Little Book to the first 10 people who emailed me after the webinar, telling me what they were going to implement right away.

I will also follow up with my ten ‘winners’ to find out how they’ve implemented their ideas. This can form another blog or article, and give them some publicity (if they want it), too.

Question: What ‘reward’ could you offer to participants for finishing work, or promising to put to work some of the ideas in your webinar?

To the left is another example. In my Train the Trainer distance learning program (15 clock hours), I’ve created ‘badges’ that are rewarded for good work. This is just one way I can show that I appreciate the work and dedication of the participants.

Rewards for Doing the Work

A large real estate company I consult to decided to put their initial training course online. Although I know it’s not as simple as turning on the camera, I still found a myriad of operations that needed to be addressed. But, most importantly, I wanted to address the motivation issue. How could I keep the attendees’ attention and compel them to do the work outside class?

Three Solutions

  1. Provide small, immediate rewards for doing the work. Studies show that small rewards, awarded immediately, work much better than big rewards held back until weeks into a course. So, I asked affiliates to provide small rewards that will be handed out (virtually) each week for those who finish all the work.
  2. Reward through creating accountability partners. We’re also pairing up people, and will create some awards for partners who finish the work.
  3. Public” acknowledgment.  The training manager will de-brief attendees at the beginning of each session, and choose ‘heroes’ to acknowledge (those who have done outstanding work).

How do you use rewards as motivators in your online classes?

Help is Here…. 

Want some help in taking your classroom online? Want to get great attention, better long-term learning, and enthusiastic attendees? Call me at 425-392-6914 or email me at carla@carlacross.com. I’d love to put my three+ decades of working with real estate trainers just like you to work to make online training fun, fast, and rewarding!

Your classroom style is awesome! How does it translate to virtual delivery?

You’re great in the classroom. So, are you great on camera? Maybe, maybe not. 

What Makes Us Effective in the Classroom

Most of the time, real estate presenters use lecture and discussion to deliver their messages. It works ‘live’ because we have energy, we have physical presence, and we can add movement to keep the audience’s attention. We even use a high range of vocal inflections. Even though lecture and discussion delivery methods don’t get much participation from audiences, they still can work in short presentations because of the energy, presence, movement, and dynamics we use in the classroom. 

On Camera, It’s a Different Game

Unfortunately, when we present online, we lose

  • our physical presence
  • much of our physical energy
  • our ability to move around
  • our ability to approach the audience and create dialogue with them
  • our ability to use a wide range of vocal dynamics

Using Alternative Teaching Methods Online

When we’re teaching online, we have to stretch our skills and employ some different teaching methods to get participation and keep the audience’s attention. These include:

  • Using break-out rooms
  • Using handouts for work before, during, and after the presentation
  • Using chat feature
  • Using engaging PowerPoint presentations
  • Using whiteboard
  • Using music
  • Using more than one presenter
  • Using polls

Audience Presentation Tip

Use at least one method of audience participation every 5-6 minutes during your presentation so you keep your audience’s attention and interest.

What About You?

How many of these features do you use right now when you teach online? What can you incorporate to get that high audience participation you need?

 

Challenged with getting your classroom to work online? I’d love to help you. Having done webinars for over 15 years, and taught Instructor Development Workshops for three decades, I know how to make your classroom work online easily so you’ll have more fun teaching. Contact me and we’ll talk! 425-392-6914 or carla@carlacross.com.

Taking your classroom online takes skill and planning.
Going from classroom to online isn’t a straight path. It takes planning and skill to make that live class work effectively online.

Are you making this mistake training online?

You’ve created a course that you present in the classroom. You’re entertaining, you get interaction, and you encourage lots of discussion. Good. So, what’s the problem? That teaching style doesn’t translate well to the online environment. Structuring and presenting an online course is different than designing a ‘live’ course. Here is a fatal mistake presenters make when attempting to adapt their classroom course to an online platform.

Mistake:  Talking Through the Hour

In the classroom, you have live bodies (including yours) to energize and exchange ideas. You probably love to hold discussions—and there are some lively ones in your class. It doesn’t bother you that the discussion gets off-topic because it’s interesting.

The online presentation is different. You don’t have those bodies to energize and be energized. You don’t have time to get off topic. You don’t have the audience there for discussion. So, how do you interact with your audience and keep them engaged (especially challenging with a real estate audience)?

Solution: Change the way you present to utilize the audience interaction tools available in your online platform. That means you must be able to ‘flex’ your teaching methods to adapt to the online environment.

There are at least 7 ways you can create meaningful audience interaction while teaching online. These include:

  • Chats
  • Whiteboard
  • Questions
  • Polls
  • Surveys
  • Small groups
  • Rewards

Experts say you should get audience interaction about every 5-7 minutes. That means you’ll have to ‘choreograph’ your presentation much differently than you do when you’re live.

How much interaction are you adding to your presentation or course?