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Archive for Management

audience sleepingHow to get them to attend training?

A common complaint of managers is that they can’t get their agents to come to training. For the next few weeks, I’m concentrating on training.  Why? Because it should be a huge part of your value proposition. After all, you can’t just recruit them–can you? You need also to have a complete development system. Coaching and training ARE a huge part of that agent development system.

Having trouble getting them to training? I turned to one of our senior coaches, Jodi Sipes, M. A. Here, Jodi shows you how to market your training to attract your agents and get them excited as students. Jodi’s advanced education in adult learning, plus her years of experience creating and implementing exceptional training for new agents, gives her a unique perspective.

Don’t be Dull! Set up Themes to Pique the Curiosity and Up the Attendance

Don’t just list the topics you are going to present. Create themes. For example: Listing month! New Year Planning! Spotlight on Buyers! Now that you have the over view of training and components put together, make sure that they compliment and support each other. For instance, when you are training new agents with the Up and Running in Real Estate training schedule, you should have supplementary training/practice days in your office. This is also a great place for experienced agents to grow as trainers—plus, their time will be saved, as they will teach everyone at once, instead of having a bunch of new agents knocking on their door with questions all the time.

Get Creative! Give it a Provocative Title

We see lots of training calendars in our training consulting. Most of them are dull as old brick! Don’t just list the topic. Instead, get creative. Make the topic interesting, even provocative. Put a new ‘spin’ on the topic. For ideas, read the names of programs given at your state and national Realtor conventions. Some of the topic names are really creative!

Give it a Double Punch for Double Learning

Don’t just teach the curriculum. Find ways to expand that subject from all the angles. For example: When you have a new agent training section on listing presentations you should have a top Realtor from your office give a demonstration on an effective listing presentation or an effective CMA. When you work with Buyer’s presentations, have a lender come explain the issues and requirements buyers face. Lead follow up and business planning create a good time for software vendors to show their programs. Marketing sections offer an opportunity for affiliates to show how they can support agents, and for vendors to show how their products can support agents. These supplementary classes are great for all agents of all levels.

Alternate Formal with Casual for the Unexpected

It’s also great to incorporate casual (brown-bag lunch—agent “Rap” session) support groups to encourage agents to share their ideas and frustrations. This creates a “teamwork” feel to your office, and helps agents through current challenges. When the manager shows up at these for the first part, agents can get their questions answered in a format that answers these for many agents—saving the manager time!

Putting together world-class training is a process, and will not be all you want it to be right away. It takes planning, support from your agents and affiliates, and time to catch on and develop. You can grow and improve each year.

We are here to support your agent development systems. Talk to us about coaching you in developing world class training. You’ll go further faster, and have time to do all the other management duties you know you should be doing.

LM CoverAre Your Agents Developing Quickly?

Let us help you create a recruiting, coaching, and training plan that works to get you–and them–more productivity faster. We’ll help you career complete Career Development Systems for both new and seasoned agents. Now, you have systems. You can expand. you can relax a little. Why not check out Leadership Mastery Coaching with a complimentary consultation?

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.

Use these questions to counsel your agents and inspire them to create plans that will work for them.

At the end of each year, I dedicate these blogs to all my real estate friends who are doing business plans. 

Don’t Start at the End of the Planning Process!

Managers: You’ve heard it over and over. “What actions should I put in my business plan for next year?” “What should I do?” “Give me what to do so I’ll do everything right next year.” Unfortunately, that’s doing your business plan backwards. It’s like starting at the end of a piece of music and playing it to the beginning.

What You CAN ‘Copy’ for a Great Business Plan every Time

Another thing you may have heard from agents: “Give me a business plan.” or “I want to use _______’s plan.” That’s another big mistake. It’s your business and it needs to be your plan.  However, what you can copy is the process for a great plan. In fact, Dwight D. Eisenhower (former US President), said, “The planning is everything. The plan is nothing.” What he meant was that it’s the thought process that’s important. So, use a planning process that takes you and your agents through the necessary steps. (See Beyond the Basics of Business Planning, for an online business planning system based on the strategic planning process).

10 Questions to Ask Your Agents so They Can Create the Right Action Plan for Them

Recently, I did a business planning webinar for an association. I provided attendees with 10 questions to ask themselves. The answers to these questions provide the guidance needed to create that effective, individualized business plan. Here are those questions for you to use as you create your plan. 

Counseling your Agents with these Questions will Motivate Them

What percent of your agents do you expect to have good business plans for this next year? Using these 10 questions with each of your agents in a coaching session will motivate them to create plans that work. Let me know your results!

Strategic-Business-Planning-10-Questions-to-Ask

Want 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.

Do you have a social media plan for 2021?

In the last two months of this year, I’m featuring business planning.

How have your agents integrated social media into their business plans? Where does it go? In the marketing part of their plans. That’s pretty easy. But, what should social media to do for agents? Sell houses? Get calls to them? Increase their (and your) image? Before we can answer that, we have to define types of marketing and how to measure its success.

Does Social Media Work?

One of the biggest questions agents ask is,  “Does social media work?” Well, that depends on what you expect it to do for you. To make any of marketing effective, the marketer must first decide what the objectives are for that marketing. Then, marketers can set up appropriate measurement tools.

The Two Types and Objectives of Marketing

Merchandise: That means advertising a product or a service to get the phone to ring, or to get a specific, immediate response. An example of merchandise advertising would be placing a home ad in the newspaper or placing a home ad on Facebook.

Institutional: That means advertising that increases your image, cements your uniqueness in the mind of the consumer, and/or establishes you as the agent of choice. These are not placements that make the phone ring, or get an immediate response. Instead, this kind of marketing is more subtle. It is also more difficult to measure, but, it can be measured. How? By establishing a baseline of consumer perceptions about the product or service, and then measuring the consumer perception after the campaign. (Best to hire a professional marketing service to do this, because it requires expertise).

What do Agents Expect from Social Media Efforts?

If agents are placing homes on Facebook, they probably expect to get inquiries on those homes. Are they getting them? Do they have a method to measure results? Or, if they’re not expecting an immediate response, why are they putting the home there? To show Facebook friends they are successful? The marketer must decide.

If agents (or you) are blogging, what to you expect to get from blogging? If you are establishing yourself as a neighborhood expert or expert in certain types of homes, you should be able to see more acceptance and trust from the consumer after you consistently and frequently add to your blog.

Don’t Give Up!

Frequency and consistency are the by-words of marketers. Yet, advertising executives always complain that their clients expect results too quickly and change their campaigns way too soon. Just think. How many times did you have to hear that pop tune until you started recognizing it? How long until you could hum it? Probably anywhere from 8-20 times!

In my business planning system for real estate agents,  (with a section for managers), I show agents how to create a marketing plan. Put your social media into that plan, be clear about your objectives, and set up consistent and frequent efforts to your best target markets. Now, you are using social media as part of your overall marketing strategy.

Do you have your business plan done this year?

Check out my free business planning information for you in the recorded webinar, available at Carla-Cross.com/free webinars and more. You will get my exclusive strategic planning system flow chart, plus a 10-question planner to help you in creating a great business plan. 

head in the sand a salespersonDo your agents have their business plans for this year? Have you been avoiding the issue, hoping they would do it on their own? Not going to happen…..What’s YOUR plan to get them business plans?

What Doesn’t Work

It doesn’t work to hand them those planning documents and tell them to get them done. It’s useless. You need to teach them the process, be involved in the process, and coach them through the process. Then, you’ll motivate them to complete those plans. Also, when you treat this as important, they will respond.

What Does Work

Here are 3 ways to get your agents to do business plans:

1. Get the best planning ‘templates’ you can find, so your agents have a good planning process to follow

2. Do a class on business planning, using a proven step-wise process, along with the planning templates you’re going to use (In my online business planning system, Beyond the Basics of Business Planning, I have 2 webinars for your agents to take them right through the process, along with the documents. I also have provided you the outline for a class, if you’d like to teach it. You can use my agent webinars in your class, too).

3. Sit down with each agent and help that agent flesh out the plan. It may take more than 1 meeting. Are you willing to commit?

Level of Support

If you’re willing to provide that level of support, you will have much a better chance of getting business plans for each of your agents.

Question: Did YOU create a business plan for your office? It’s not too late to get that done, too. Then you’ll know exactly how to make a plan. (See my online program, Beyond the Basics of Business Planning, for the documents and guidance you need to create a great office plan.)

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

Why not 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.

Here’s how you can inspire your agents to make great business plans. It’s all in the mission!

It’s time to do your #business plan! So, my next blogs will focus on helping you create that business plan–and getting your agents to plan. I’ll include some of the planning templates, too, from my business planning program (see below).

The Mission Creates Excitement and Inspiration

Do your agents have mission statements as part of their business plans?

Why is having a mission important? How should it guide agents? You’ve heard the talks about finding your passion. But, you see your agents being over-whelmed in their careers. It’s just too much to think big when they’re just trying to find that house or convince a buyer to work with them!

The Importance of Your Mission

This time of year, we’re encouraging real estate professional to create their business plans.

Why? Because, otherwise, you don’t know whether or not the actions you decide to take will fulfill your mission. This is also true of your agents.

Tackling and Bringing Down your Time Management Challenges

If agents have been in the sales business a little while, they’ve already discovered that their biggest challenge is time management. How can they get done in a business day everything that needs getting done? That’s where your mission comes in. Creating your mission helps you prioritize all the things you’re supposed to do. It helps you decide what not to do. Most important, it helps you figure out

how to put YOU into your management and sales business successfully

#Free Business Planning: I have a gift for you right now, to help you assist your agents in defining their missions (it works for leadership, too). Click here to get this planning tool, which is excerpted from my unique online resource Beyond the Basics of Business Planning. 

How About Creating a Real Professional Strategic Plan this Year?

Ready to step up to a real strategic business plan? Here’s help to you and to your agents. The leadership program of Beyond the Basics of Business Planning gives managers guidance in how to get their agents to plan. It gives them a #course on business planning if they want to teach it to their agents. Or, Carla will teach your agents with 2 webinars. Your leadership tuition includes all your leadership planning documents and all the agent planning documents and webinars. Check it out here.

Note: Through November and December, I’ll help you with your 2021 business plans. You’ll find free documents from my business planning system for owners. Subscribe to this blog so you won’t miss a thing.

How to get your agents to create business plans–and they’ll love it!

Let’s get real. Your agents aren’t motivated to build that business plan–and we aren’t either. We know we’re supposed to write business plans. Yet, if your agents are like 95% of real estate professionals, doing that seems just like an exercise in futility. Most business plans don’t inspire.

Leaving out the ‘Magic’?

There are components left out of most plans–components that put the inspiration and motivation into your plan and your agents’ plans. I’ll give you specific guidance for you to put that magic into business plans, so you and your agents are inspired every day to not only to complete the plan, but to use it as a very personalized and specific guide to your success.

Why Are Most Business Plans Useless?

Unfortunately, when most people write business plans, all they do is fill in some blanks with “guess” numbers. The problem here is that numbers in blanks aren’t inspiring. They aren’t motivating. They don’t call out and suggest to you that you should look at those numbers once in awhile!

What Really Motivates Us?

If numbers inspired us, we’d all be gazillionaires selling real estate. After all, we say we want to sell more homes than the average agent. We want to make more money than the average agent. You know the drill, and we’ve heard it from hundreds of agents hundreds of times. Yet, if numbers and money were motivators, our results would be different than they are. The fact is that money, in itself, is not a motivator.

Your Vision Drives Your End Game

What will people say about your business when you retire? That’s your vision. It’s really important for you, as a leader, to have a clear vision of your business. It’s just as important for your agents to have a vision.

Click here for a worksheet on vision. Inspire your agents to keep the end game in mind. Why are we doing what we are doing? In a later post, I’ll give you another tool to inspire your agents to a great plan–and you.

Ready to step up to a real strategic plan? Here’s help to you and to your agents. The leadership program of Beyond the Basics of Business Planning gives managers guidance in how to get their agents to plan. It gives them a course on business planning if they want to teach it to their agents. Or, Carla will teach your agents with 2 webinars. Your leadership tuition includes all your leadership planning documents and all the agent planning documents and webinars. Check it out here.

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!