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Archive for Management

From many choices: The best planning choice for your agents

The one best thing your agents can do to thrive in their businesses next year….

I just attended a virtual training on marketing for speakers. Our presenter gave us 32+ actions we could take for our 2022 business plan. That’s a lot to choose from! As real estate professionals, we have the same considerations: What to put into our 2022 business plan that will drive us forward–and how to prioritize our actions for best results. 

The Big Question: What Do You Want?

Stop for a second now and ask yourself that question. Your answer should drive you to your 2022 priorities–both as a leader and as a consult to your agents..

The Easiest, Least Expensive, and Most Rewarding Strategy

For most people, increasing their business without going broke would be a good start to their business plan strategy. If that’s you, here’s the answer:

Make a plan for increasing referral and repeat business 

For leadership, that means getting more agent referrals from your present agents.

How can agents increase their return and repeat business? Watch my video below.

 

Ready to make your plan? Two resources for you.

  1. Join our podcast Thursday, Dec. 16, at 1 PM PST. My guest, Sandee McDuffie, a top producer, will share how she creates referral and repeat business. Register here:

    https://carlacross.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=d3d683c51cefb9ce7759dcc47&id=1bf8b21b9b&e=25d73543ac

  2. Create a business plan that actually works for you: Beyond the Basics of Business Planning. One system for agents; one system for leadership.
Would-be agents hear all the wonderful things about real estate as a career. Here’s a better way to help them make the best choice for them.

Here’s an interview time-saver: An ‘ideal job’ analysis. 

As a manager or recruiter, you can spend thousands of hours of time educating would-be agents. That’s admirable, but that’s a huge drain on your time. At the same time, those same would-be agents frequently have a very rosy picture of real estate sales. Some of it is factual, but a lot of it can kindly be referred to as a ‘sales presentation’. 

Let The Candidate Do Some Self-Analysis

I’ve interviewed thousands of would-be agents. I’ve found, like you, that much of that ‘interview’ wasn’t an interview. It was an educational session. Finally, I got tired of going over the same things, and put the information in a book. Now, I’ve just published a book: Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Won’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

In it, I attempt to balance the wonderful benefits of a real estate career with the hard facts. One of those facts is that it’s not for everyone. But, how would that candidate know? 

The Self-Analysis Tool

One of the things that sets this book apart is that I provide several self-analysis tools–tools for the would-be agent to use to clarify whether she is a ‘fit’ with the career, and whether she will love selling real estate. The tool below is one of these self-analyses: Your Ideal Job. 

Figure_1.1_Your_Ideal_Job-with-reference

How to Use The Self-Analysis

You can:

  1. Email the analysis with a short note after a first inquiry
  2. Provide the analysis after the first interview
  3. Use the analysis in Career Nights

I love that last suggestion, because most Career Nights are just sales presentations. The savvy candidate will appreciate your handling the interview and the career night as any other profession would. And, that doesn’t start with a sales job!

Let me know how you use these self-analysis tools.  I know they will save you time, and help candidates self-select, so you hire more winners.

Save time. Educate would-be agents to the facts. Prepare your interview process. See what agents are asking–and prepare your presentations. Great for Career Nights, too. Launching Right in Real Estate–available in paperback and eBook now.

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. 

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.

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!
Here’s why your agents aren’t achieving their potential–and what you can do about it

Here’s why your agents aren’t achieving to their potential, and what you can do about it. 

Each week, I do a live Zoom coaching call with all those agents and coaches in my Up and Running in Real Estate program. This week, we talked about why many agents don’t make it in real estate–or fail to achieve their goals. 

We’re New: How Would We Know what Good Performance Looks Like?

I surveyed 400 agents under three months in the business to find out their expectations for income–and when they expected to make their first sale. (See Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Won’t Teach You in Pre-License School). The majority of these agents said they expected (not wanted, but expected) to make their first sale in 30 days. What does that mean? They must go to work lead generating their first week in the office. But, most agents feel they just can’t go talk to people. They need training. Lots of training. So, they sit in the classroom for weeks, soaking up the expertise of the instructors. Then, unfortunately, their money runs out before they really get started. Their self-esteem goes in the dumper. They don’t know what good performance looks like.

Coaches provide the Framework for Good Performance

Let’s say you want to learn to play the piano. So, you come to me for piano lessons (I taught piano for several years). We have our first lesson, and I give you the assignment: Practice the lesson a half hour a day.  That is the expectation. You are accountable to play for me next week–and to play up to an acceptable standard. I’m serious that this is the way you’ll learn to play. But, you don’t practice that week. When you come to your lesson, guess what? I’ll have to fire myself as your teacher. Why? Because my reputation depends on your being able to play. Not only that, you told me you wanted to learn to play the piano. 

Accountability in the Real Estate Office: Coaches Have Three Jobs

Your new agent just doesn’t know what’s expected of her. She doesn’t know what it takes to succeed.

  1. Your first job as her coach is to lay out a program that will get her the sales she desires in the time frame she desires. That’s the ‘music’.
  2. Your second job is to provide expectations. 
  3. Your third job is to hold her accountable to the actions she agreed to do. 

Anything Goes…

In many real estate offices today, there are no expectations. There isn’t any accountability. Even though we provide training and good advice, agents get the idea they can take it or leave it. When they leave it, they fail. Because we don’t carry through, agents think they don’t have to do certain activities to achieve. 

How do you use the laws of achievement (a plan, expectations, and accountability) to help your agents succeed?

 

I’ve put the plan, expectations, and accountability all in my online program, Up And Running in Real Estate . Check it out here.

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.