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 Career Success

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.
Do you do career nights? Here’s a great way to get your attendees involved.

Holding career nights is one of the lead generating methods recruiters use to find great recruiters. But, too many career nights sound the same: Sales spiels of the company and how great the company is. After while, it’s not believable. Instead, why not use some methods to involve attendees and help them self-select for real estate. 

Hiring Someone Who Won’t Contribute Doesn’t Help You

First, before I show you my  quick questionnaire of self-analysis, let me ask you: Do you want to hire anybody, just to have a body? I know. Managers tell me they are careful who they hire. Yet, 50-75% of their hires fail in the first year. How does that compare with retention rates of other businesses? Not so good–in fact, it’s pathetic…..

What Do You Gain with High Turnover?

Well, you do gain bodies and momentum for a short time. You gain bragging rights. Maybe you even gain market share–at least agent market share. And, it takes some time to see what you are losing. So, what do you lose?

  1. Your good agents–they don’t want to work with non-producers
  2. Your staff–they burn out trying to help those who won’t go to work
  3. Your bottom line–your expenses go up, without profit coming in  
  4. Your position in the market–you become the place to go where people don’t work

Help Them Screen Themselves Before they Enter Real Estate

I’m just finishing my book, Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School. In it, I’ve put several self-analysis tools to help those interested people decide whether they will love real estate, are willing to do the work, and what it takes to succeed. Here’s one of those analysis tools: 

Figure_1.2_Self-Analysis_Attributes_for_Success

Make Your Career Night Stand Out: Be the Counselor, not the Salesperson

Most people who hold career nights act like super salespeople, and they may be. But, just selling someone on something without interviewing them is against all the sales principles we use today. Why not follow the guidelines of principles sales, and inform, educate, and counsel. You’ll stand out as a quality company who upholds its values and chooses wisely. Great recruits will appreciate your approach.

Let me know how this self-analysis works for you.

Save time in your interview. Be sure your interviewees are informed so you can do a real interview, asking in-depth questions. Launching Right has the answers to would-be agents’ questions. Order it now at 1/2 price–$12.95 Published July 15.
Be prepared for these questions in your interview.

Here are the questions I think are most important for a would-be or transferring agent should ask their interviewers. 

Unfortunately, the interview process is not as practiced or prepared by either party as it could be. So, the interviewer doesn’t find out critical information from the candidate, and the candidate asks a few general questions. I hate to say this, but some interviewers spend most of the time selling the candidate on the benefits of that particular company. Candidates get excited and join–and then find out there’s more to the story.

Any Surprises Should be Good Ones

It’s very dis-enheartening when the agent new to an office finds out that something he heard–or assumed–was not exactly  what he found after being hired. Guard against that by fully informing that would-be agent prior to hiring. The only surprises the agent should get are good ones! 

It’s a Retention Issue

 I don’t think we in real estate appreciate how important our approach to interviewing and onboarding is to retention. According to a recent business onboarding survey, the majority of those new to companies (all companies, not just real estate), decide in the first 30 days whether they want to stay with the company. It pays to be fully transparent and consistent, from that first interview, through onboarding, and into training.

Those Questions Candidates Should Ask

Here are the questions, excerpted from my new eBook, Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Won’t Teach You in Pre-LIcense School.

Figure_9.6_The_Five_Critical_Questions_to_Ask_cropped

What do you think I’ve missed with this critical list of questions?

P. S. Launching Right in Real Estate has 77 questions or categories for candidates to choose from, to assure they get the information they need to make the right choices for them.

 

Save time. This eBook will educate those would-be agents, so you don’t have to. And, you want to know what they’re being told. Hot off the presses at the end of June, pre-order at half price–$12.95 (regularly $24.95). Lots of information, too, that’s great for Career Nights.

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

Have great would-be agents studying for their real estate license exam? Pass on these proven tips to pass the first time.

You’ve interviewed that would-be agent with great potential. Here’s a method to not only stay in touch, and support them like no other manager will.

Launching Right in Real Estate, What They Won’t Teach You in Pre-License school, tells would-be agents everything they need to know to choose real estate as a career, how to prepare for the license exam, the secrets of a great interview, choosing the best company, office, and manager for each individual–every question a would-be agent has! Here’s an excerpt from the chapter on real estate exams: What to expect and how to pass that exam the first time.

Tip #1: Before each in-class session, or when you start your next online chapter, skim the new chapter for highlights. Then, read the chapter carefully. You need to get the “big picture” before you grasp the details. This is “the forest and the trees” study truism: “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” When you use this study tip, you will see both when you need to.

Learning Fact: Experts tell us we “learn what we already know.” In other words, you must have a context for what you are learning. By seeing the big picture first, you have context. Then, you fill in the blanks with the details. Works every time… I promise.

Tip #2: Right after class, review your class subjects and notes. Why? We remember only ten percent of what we’ve heard three days after we heard it.

Learning Fact: We learn through repetition. You will need to revisit each concept at least six times to commit it to memory.

Tip #3: Make a notebook (hard copy or online) with all the definitions you covered in each class session. Create test questions to match words and definitions.

Learning Fact: It takes time and repetition to make that learning stick long-term. Now you are making your learning go deeper. You are rearranging it so you really grasp it.

Tip #4: If you learn through listening, and you can’t listen to audio only, record yourself saying the definitions. Play these in your car as you drive.

Learning Fact: Use all the senses to learn. Seeing, hearing, and using the material increases your retention to 65 percent three days later.

Tip #5: Keep up with the class work. Faithfully attend every session and study every chapter. Study regularly between sessions. If you have ever gotten behind on your work in school, you know why this is important!

Take every practice exam until you are comfortable with the process and format.

Learning Fact: When you are successful doing something, your fear goes away, and you look forward to doing that again. Train yourself to win!

Taking the Test

Face it. We have all had exam anxiety at some time. Here are five pointers that will help you relax, control your emotions, and pass the test the first time you take it:

  • Read each question slowly; then, read all the possible answers. Do not jump to conclusions to mark the “right” answer. Instead, tell yourself why each answer is wrong. By the process of elimination, find the only answer you think is correct. If you find two out of four that may be correct, leave that question and come back to it.
  • Remember, the point of the exam is to limit the number of agents coming into the field. One of the ways to do this is to write exams where exam takers jump to the “right” answer. Do not fall for it!
  • Do not answer any questions unless you are absolutely sure of the answer. Skip questions for which you are unsure and come back to them. You will either remember the answer later as you “warm up,” or the remaining questions will give you some hints as to the other answers.
  • Take your time. You will have plenty of time to answer each question on the exam.
  • Build your self-confidence as you start by skimming the exam. Find some questions you are certain you can correctly answer and answer them first. Amazingly, when your mind gets warmed up, you will find you can think through questions that baffled you when you tried to attack them at the beginning of the testing period.
  • Let the test give you the answers. By reading through the complete test first, answering only the questions you are sure of, you will find hints of other answers. Your confidence will soar, and you will find you are answering more questions as the test period continues.

These tips are excerpted from my new eBook for anyone interested in real estate as a career. Carla Cross, CRB, MA, has interviewed thousands of would-be agents. As a successful real estate agent, manager, owner, regional director, and international trainer, Cross knows the questions you have—and what you may not be told—and should know. Order her new eBook here. 

Managers: Use this to inform those great potential agents while you save time so you don’t have to answer the same questions again and again. Helps the best candidates choose real estate as a career and take it seriously.

 

May
14

New! For Your Career Nights

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Here’s something to put new energy and interest into your Career Nights.

In my new book, Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Won’t Teach You in Pre-License School, I provide several self-analysis tools so people can make the decision that’s right for them. Unfortunately, often would-be agents are not informed. Instead, they’re sold. They get excited about real estate as a career, see the ‘easy money’, and think it’s for them. Not so fast. Selling real estate can be a wonderful career for the right person. And, it’s the wrong career for some people, too. 

Put the Selling Aside and Let Attendees Discover

Unfortunately, Career Nights can dissolve into sales pitches. Instead, give some time to helping attendees discover whether they are right for real estate.

Use this quick questionnaire help attendees rate themselves in the qualities that make agents successful.

Take the Questionnaire Yourself. How Many Threes Did You Give Yourself? 

You can rate yourself from “3”, which means you rate yourself as having lots of that quality, to a “1”, meaning you have not so much. 

Congratulations! Every ‘3’ represents a quality that successful agents exhibit. Here’s what I mean.

#1. Successful agents get up in the morning and start their day in a productive way. They have a great deal of self-discipline. No one has to kick them out of bed or tell them to get to work.

#2. Successful agents finish the job, even if it takes them 12 hours that day. Unsuccessful agents great selling real estate like a 9-5 job. Doesn’t work with clients!

#3. Successful agents don’t shy away from challenges. They’re always learning and striving.

#4. Successful agents don’t wait for someone to invite them. They organize, motivate, and inspire!

#5. Successful agents have a great belief in their abilities to succeed, even when others don’t.

#6. Successful agents always keep their promises; clients can count on them.

#7. Successful agents are ‘learning based’. They don’t believe their training is over after that initial office training!

#8. Successful agents love accomplishing things. That’s their motivation–not just the money.

#9. Successful agents learn to handle the great deal of rejection we get in this business. They’re very tough-minded.

#10. Successful agents are willing to jump off the high diving board without gathering every bit of information available anytime. 

What’s a Trait of Successful Agents I didn’t mention?

Let me know what I missed. There are a myriad of qualities and traits successful agents exhibit each day.  Also, let me know how this energizes and changes your Career Nights so they stand out from the others.

 

Save time. Prepare would-be agents for your great interview and for a successful career. Purchase now in pre-release for 1/2 price. Now $12.95. Release is June 1. Great for managers to use for Career Nights or information for would-be agents.

They all have high aspirations in the interview. But, how can you predict who will really be successful–fast?

Here’s how to absolutely predict they will be successful selling real estate.

Nope, it’s not about behavioral profiles. Although they are somewhat accurate, there are qualities, traits, and skills that most profiles don’t measure. It’s not the entrancing, rehearsed answers they give you to your equally entrancing questions during the interview. Words are cheap. It’s about measuring activities.

Watch What They Do 

Yes, you’re going to ask the right type of questions during your interview (See ‘behavioral predictor questions’ in The Complete Recruiter and Your Blueprint to Select Winners). However, even when their answers are on track, they’re not actions–yet. Instead, watch and measure what they do from the first day in the business.

What New Agents Say They Expect

What does that mean? When do they have to start looking for leads? That first week in the business! Yet, how many of them start lead generating even in the first month?

Expecting ‘Dumb Luck’ to Carry them to Success

Inevitably, there is a new agent who has an Aunt Martha in his back pocket. That is, Aunt Martha wants to buy a home, and has told nephew Tommy she’ll wait until he gets his license to purchase from him. Ca-ching. Dumb luck. Tommy concludes that’s how the business goes. You just wait for someone to find you and sell them a home. We know that’s not the norm, though. Unfortunately, Tommy’s going to wait a long time for that next transaction! The ‘dumb luck’ approach to the business results in low results. Since the ‘dumb luck’ agent isn’t doing a business start-up plan, we have no way of predicting results, because we can’t measure business-producing activities. We can only measure other ‘dumb luck’ agent incomes. That’s way too late to actively coach–or to terminate with purpose.

Are You a Pardon the Expression–‘Dumb Luck’ Manager or a Business Start-up Coach?

 Dumb luck managers just look at results; sales and listings sold. So, they are not aware that agents may be failing for months. If new agents expect to make a sale in month one, how many months do you think it takes for them to get dis enheartened? 2-3? Not long. So, once they’re mentally and emotionally out of the business, they will resist any help from you. They’ve decided they can’t make it in the business. They’ll stay awhile, though, for ‘dumb luck’ transactions. 

Leave Them Alone–They will Leave–and You’ll be Surprised

They’re nice. They are team players. Although they aren’t selling much real estate, they’re not causing problems, so you leave them alone. One day, they come in and tell you they are going to ABC Realty, because they will get ‘support’ there. They have a marketing person to help them, etc., etc., etc. You are surprised and dismayed. You thought they were happy with you, even though they weren’t experiencing much ‘dumb ‘luck–or any kind of luck. That’s the problem with leaving them alone until they fail. It’s too late for them–and you. It’s a huge retention problem. 

Tip: Even though they keep rebuffing your efforts at ‘help’, keep trying to put them into a business start-up plan, so they’ll come to the conclusion that you are on their side, and that is the way to create a concrete, predictable business. Then, if they leave, they leave without blaming you, or trying it with another company who provides ‘more support’.

Lead Generating on Purpose

Do you start your new agents in a specific lead generating plan their first week in the office? Is it made up of prioritized lead generating activities? Does it have ratios of activities to results, so the new agent knows whether he is on track to his goals? Here are my activity ratios that will result in 8-12 transactions the first year in the business:

20 contacts to get one buyer or seller lead

8 times of putting people in the car to sell someone a home

3 listing appointments to gain one marketable listing

80% of listings sell

80% of transactions close

What are the ratios in your office? Do you coach your agents to those ratios? Do they know the work it takes to consistently generate the income they want to generate? Or, are they counting on ‘dumb luck’?

 

    

Here’s the straight scoop on real estate as a career: Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Won’t Teach You in Pre License School. I’ve put the principles of a business start-up-plan, and I’ve laid out exactly what it takes to create a successful career-fast. Pre-order now here. Available April 30. $24.95 300 pages/eBook.
You’ve interviewed plenty of new agents. What do you wish they had been told to prepare to sell real estate successfully?

What do you wish new agents had been told before they hit the ground? 

You could save many hours interviewing and informing would-be agents if they knew the facts–and the best questions to ask.

I’m just completing my new book, Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Won’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

I started gathering information for this book as I interviewed dozens of would-be agents. They were hungry for information. I found they had lots of misinformation, too, from various sources. So, I started gathering reams of information to hand to them. Finally, one of my agents said, “You should put that in a book.” So, I did. I’ve just written a whole new version, with the most updated facts, figures, tech, and knowledge I can find.

Lots of Info on How to Become a Zillionaire Selling Real Estate, But…

There’s little or no comprehensive information on the decision to or steps to becoming a real estate agent. Or, as I read articles, they sound too good to be true (and they probably are). The real estate agents I talk to are quick to tell me what they wish they had known prior to getting into real estate. They tell me they weren’t told the whole story. So, this book is from the perspective of the would-be agent–not the agent already in business.

In this eBook:

  • Common myths about real estate as a career
  • How to tell if this is a career you’ll love—and whether you have the habits and skills to succeed
  • How much money you can make—and when and how you’ll get paid
  • What it costs to get started—and how to budget so your money doesn’t run out before your first commission
  • 70+ areas to query your interviewer to assure you pick the right company, office, manager and team for you
  • The 5 most important interview questions to ask
  • The best first-year start-up plan to launch you right and get paid fast
  • 30 actions to take during your pre-license training to hit the ground running after you’re licensed (great to help agents make money their first month in the business!)

Not a Pie in the Sky Viewpoint

I’ll warn you. This is not a sugar-coated, everyone should become a real estate salesperson eBook. Why? Because our industry is not doing itself any favors by inviting everybody and their brother into the business (which is what we do–sorry, but we do). This book has several self-analysis tools to help readers figure out if:

  1. They will love selling real estate (several questionnaires)
  2. They are ‘wired’ to accept the actions and responsibilities of selling real estate
  3. They have the financial back-up to start the business

Can You Help Me Out Here? FREE book! 

What do you find is a misconception your interviewees carry into the interview process? What do you want me to tell them as they prepare for a career? What advice to you want me to give them? How can I help you save time in the interview process and prepare good people for a real estate career? 

Tell me me in the comments here. I’ll send you complimentary copy of the eBook, out in mid-April. Thank you for your contributions to our industry!

Pre-order your copy here. Out mid-April.
Do you think new real estate agents have a romantic–or a realistic–view of the business? Give me your advice.



The ‘romantic’ view: I’ve got my license, my business cards, I’m with a wonderful company. People will find me, be really nice to me, never offer objections, never lie to me, and do whatever I tell them. I will make lots of easy money fast, working no more than 30 hours in a hard week.

The ‘reality’: I don’t expect people to find me. I have to go out and find lots of people. I have to use my ingenuity, grit, tenacity, and never give up. I have to be able to say ‘I don’t know but I’ll find out’ a dozen times a day. I have to be able to tolerate clients not showing up, not telling the truth (come on, don’t be tough on me, it’s true….), not buying when they should, and listing with someone else. 

How do we present reality? You can help. I’m editing the 6th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days, the internationally-published business-planning/action book for new agents. I’m also finishing a new book for would-be agents, Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Won’t Teach You in Pre-License School. 

Tell me what you think. I’ve made 2 surveys, one for agents and one for managers. They each will take you just a few minutes, and you’ll be helping our industry prepare people for the reality of the business, not just the romance.

Here’s the link to the survey for agents.

Here’s the link to the survey for leadership.

Please return the survey to me by Feb. 27. If you’re quoted in either book, you’ll receive a copy, of course, and acknowledgment in the book.

Feb
19

Give Me Your Expert Advice!

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How can we ‘stack the deck’ so new agents succeed more often? More $ for you, easier to recruit….

Give me your expert advice!

What are new agents doing that causes them to succeed–or 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, the new agent’s business start-up plan, for the 6th edition, due to be out in mid-2021.  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. It has the specific prioritized weekly schedule and activities that future-exceptional agents do to assure a sale fast.

Many updates: The 6th edition has lots of updates, including a new section on promoting yourself through social media, new tech new agents need, and alternative methods of lead generation.

In the next blog, I’ll share more of what I’m putting into this wildly-successful program and get your input, too.

In my blog for agents, Up and Running in 30 Days, I am asking for their advice too, with a separate questionnaire.  

What’s Your Advice?

As one of the new features of the 6th edition, I’m incorporating great managers’ advice to new agents. And, I’m providing dozens of coaching tips to help managers and motivate the new agent and keep him/her in the game.

Here’s what I’m asking:

  1. What do new successful agents do consistently that agents who fail don’t do?
  2. What common mistakes do new agents make that cost them time, money–and hinder their success?
  3. 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?
  2. Other advice you provide to a new agent?

Comments: Do you have advice to me about what’s missing in training and coaching programs? Just put that in comments here. 

Your name:                                                         Email:

Company name:                                                           Your Phone:

Number of agents in your office:

How to Get your Advice to Me

You can write comments to this post with answers to these questions.  

Or, you can download the questionnaire to your computer, complete the questionnaire, save it, and email it to me at carla@carlacross.com. Here is the questionnaire.  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!

If I’m able to use your comments in my book, you will receive a complimentary copy of Up and Running, acknowledgment of your comments, AND lots of PR–to help you in your recruiting as an expert in helping new agents.

P. S. Please get your comments to me by Feb. 24, so I can meet the publisher’s deadline for submitting the edited book. Thank you!

Blog-CoachYou worked hard to help your agents gain business plans for the coming year. Now, optimize that work!

Are you using your agents’ business plans to coach all year? If not, you’re missing out on leveraging that plan!

First, congratulations! You’ve helped your agents each gain a business plan. That’s a huge key to their success–but only the first step. Now, how can you capitalize on all that work (both you and the agents?) It’s not enough to teach them to plan, or even to sit down with each agent and work through their plans. In order to really help them use those plans as a guide all year,  use that business plan as a platform from which to coach the agent all year.

Here are the basics of coaching to a business plan.

How often should you coach?

That depends on the agent. For newer agents, coach more frequently (at least monthly). For seasoned agents, coach a minimum of quarterly and better yet, monthly.

What should you coach to?

You’ve provided your agent with a method to set goals in finding, working with, and closing clients (I hope you’re using my Beyond the Basics of Business Planning system.) You have provided your agent a method to measure results. You’re going to use the numbers that the agent is generating by measuring the results of his business plan:

First, the goals: Lead generation, listings, listings sold, sales.

Lead generation

Listing/sales appointments

Listings

Listings sold

Sales

You’re going to help the agent translate the activity numbers into ratios so the agent knows the work he must do to reach his goals.

Why bother to use the business plan as a foundation for coaching?

Because, otherwise, you’re just giving advice or doing ‘crisis management’. You want to be perceived as a trusted business coach, helping the agent grow his/her business.

Big questions: Is the planning system you’re using

1. Helping the agent assess his business–where he’s been?

2. Helping the agent set realistic goals and an action plan that translates into daily activities?

3. Includes an accurate method to measure the activities and results of the activities so you and the agent can make fast adjustments?

Man-Walking-Up-Stairs-to-GlobeWant Some Support to Get Your Agents Business Plans?

Contact me to find out how I can educate your agents on business planning and support and coach you as a leader. Give me a call at 425.392-6914 or email me at carla@carlacross.com. I can do a webinar series for you, supply you will all the planning documents, and help your leadership coach your agents–at a very affordable cost with big pay-off for you.