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 Leadership

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.

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.

Our brains are phenomenal. They protect us. But, our clients’ built-in responses ‘trick’ our agents into thinking ‘no’ means ‘no’ forever. How many transactions are lost because agents give up too quickly?

No means no, right? No, it doesn’t. Watch this short video to find out who it takes several ‘nos’ to get to ‘yes’. How many more deals could you and your agents complete if you could help them graciously get past the ‘nos’ to ‘yes’?

Training tip: Use this video to start a discussion on how to keep the relationship going, and how to avoid that final ‘no’. You will be amazed at the increased number of transactions your agents will complete.

Save time. You don’t have enough time to provide the answers those prospective agents want. Instead, provide this new eBook, with answers to the myriad of questions they ask. You’ll help them choose real estate as the right career, and prepare them for a real interview. Preorder now, and receive a bonus: 30 things to Do in Pre-License School to Hit the Ground Running. Check it out here. Regularly $24.95/preorder until June 1 publication date at half price–$12.95.
You’re interviewing a would-be agent. Are you prepared for these 77 questions? Seventy-seven?????!!!!!!

Are you prepared for those 77 interview questions?

You’re interviewing a would-be agent. But, you quickly find out these aren’t interviews. These are Q and A. And, the would-be agent is asking all the questions. You, ever gracious, are taking hours with each person. Unfortunately, you never see most of them again.

I just finished my new eBook Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Won’t Teach You in Pre-License School. Of course, to write the book, I contacted dozens of newer agents. I also drew on my experience of having interviewed thousands of eager, enthusiastic–and naive–people who thought they would love selling real estate.

They Have More Questions than You have Time to Give

When I was a new manager, I graciously spent hours answering these many questions. I found out, though, that I didn’t get to know the candidate at all. Why? Because they just weren’t far enough along in the ‘gathering information’ process to answer my candidate questions. They were just hungry to get information. 

Would-Be Agents Get Lots of Dis-Information

I found out that these would-be agents thought:

  1. They would make $100,000 their first year in the business
  2. They could work 20 hours a week.
  3. The business consisted of looking at pretty houses and selling them to clients that magically appeared.
  4. Somehow, the client would find the agent.
  5. Armed with business cards and a good company name, the agent would provide great service, were ‘honest’, ‘worked hard’, and would ‘go the extra route’. (Heard those claims before?)
  6. Someone (manager, company, relo, websites) would provide them leads–all people ready and willing to buy from that agent.
  7. Their training program would give them all the answers and they would be educated to deal with any client. 

Where Did the Would-be Agent Get These Fantasy Ideas?

From affiliates, friends, reading, and, unfortunately, some interviewers. Oh, I almost forgot. They also get it from agents who write those ‘how I made a gazillion dollars selling real estate in a half year in my spare time’.

How Do You Set the Record Straight?

I tried to solve that problem by handing the would-be agent lots of information. Finally, one of my new agents said, “Why don’t you put that in a book?” So, I did. I found providing the book early on in the relationship saved both the would-be agent and I time, and gave the would-be agent better information with which to interview.

Back to those 77 Interview Questions

Get ready to answer ANY of these 77 interview questions…..

Download those interview questions and topics below.

Save time and give those eager would-be agents good, straightforward, realistic information. The easy way to do that is to get Launching Right in Real Estate and provide it to your would-be agents. Pre-order now and get it at half price (regularly $24.95, now $12.95). Available June 1, 2021.

You have your favorite interview questions. But, what about the potential agent? What should they be asking YOU?

What do you think are the five most important questions the would-be agent should ask you? I know. You have your favorite interview questions. At the same time, the prospective agent has questions for you. I’m just publishing my new book, Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Won’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

In this new eBook, I answer the myriad of questions the new agent candidate has. In addition, I provide advice on whether real estate may be for them (a series of self-analyses), a look at a day in the life, so they know what to expect, and the business start-up plan to assure they make a sale fast. 

Thousands of “Interviews” have Taught me a Lot

The other day, I figured the number of interviews I had done with would-be agents. I was astounded to find it was in the thousands. Did I ever learn a lot from holding these interviews. At first, I interviewed them–well, I thought I interviewed them. But, in reality, it wasn’t an interview, it was a Q and A–and they were asking all the questions. So, I started putting all those questions and answers in handouts. Finally, one of my newer agents said, ‘You should put that in a book.” So, I did. Then, when a prospective agent wanted an “interview”, I provided them the book. When they were into the pre-license course, I would schedule an interview. What I found was that I could really do an interview. I could spend most of the time asking questions and deciding for myself whether that person would be successful in real estate, and whether she would be a ‘fit’ with my company. 

A Question for You First

Before I show you the questions that I advise readers to ask, let me ask you:

Those Five Important Questions

Your Turn: What Do You Think Prospective Agents Should Ask?

Save Time! Get More from your Interview.

You can pre-order this eBook now here.

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!

Posted by: | Comments (0)
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!