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Archive for New Agent Orientation

Recruiting: Gain relationships and help great potential recruits hit the ground running!!!!

Try this recruiting tool and hire more winners.

Successful recruiting and selection depends on your forming a trusting relationship with your candidate. Here’s one way to do that. Plus, the bonus: You’ll prepare those great potential agents to sell fast, because they will hit the ground running. 

Managers: Your new agents wait to start training until AFTER they join an office. Why? Think how much faster they could go if they had lots of the organization and training under their belts prior to their first day in the business? Okay. I know. Until they are licensed, they can’t do the things licensed agents can do. But, they can do many things. And all those things get them ready to hit the ground running. At the end of this blog, I’m providing you my checklist, 30 Things to Do Right Now to Hit the Ground Running, from my new eBook, Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Won’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

New Agents Lose Lots of Time Because They are Not Prepared to Start the Business

New agents generally spend the first 1-2 weeks or more getting ‘oriented’. Brokers have checklists to assure they get their keys, join the Realtor association, etc., etc., etc. How long do you estimate it takes the new agent just to get those orientation checklists finished? 2-4 weeks? In some cases, they never finish them!!!!! Not only that, they probably think that finishing those checklists assures they are going to be successful agents. Ha!

When Do New Agents Plan to Start Lead Generating?

My studies show that the majority of new agents want to make a sale their first month in the business. That means they will need to start lead generating their first WEEK in the business! From hiring and training hundreds of new agents, I’ve observed they put off the inevitable (lead generation) as long as possible, hoping ‘there’s another way!’ In fact, the more ‘get ready to get ready’ work new agents doing, the worse their habits become and the less money they make.

A Better Method to Get a Check Fast

Instead of waiting until new agents are are licensed, why not get them prepared to sell real estate while they are in pre-license school? These eager beavers can do things like

  • Decide on the database/CRM they want to use and learn how to use it–with your guidance
  • Populate their databases with 100-300 potential clients
  • Prepare an email/hard copy note/letter/social media announcement to all those in their databases saying they’ve joined_____________ real estate company

How this Helps You Recruit

You will

  1. Form unbreakable relationships from helping great candidates through this checklist
  2. Be able to see if your candidate goes to work and is serious about a career in real estate
  3. Develop a great program to prove to would-be agents you are the best choice (keep the statistics and show how much faster these agents make a sale after licensing) 

30 Things to Do While in Pre-License School

Even though I call this a ‘checklist’, it’s much more than that. It’s really a mini-training program. You can use my eBook, Launching Right in Real Estate as a reference to help agents through the program.

Proof

How do I know this program achieves the three goals I stated above? I used it as a manager. I saw how some people went to work. These same people literally ‘hit the ground running’ and made sales faster than those who waited until they got their licenses.

Click here to gain my checklist. Let me know how it works for you.

 

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!
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.

Is your onboarding process creating loyalty or ‘buyer’s remorse’?

What do your agents think about your onboarding process?

In my earlier blogs, we’ve explored the importance of onboarding, and some of the common mistakes we all make. I am in the midst of a consulting assignment with a real estate company. They asked me to evaluate their onboarding process and make recommendations. To do that, I created and did an onboarding questionnaire. In this blog, I’m using ‘we’ do protray the company leadership and me.

I promised I’d share my onboarding questionnaire, so here it is.

Have you ever found out what your agents think about your process? Now is an excellent time to do this. Use my questionnaire and add your own questions. I asked these questions over the phone. At first, agents were reticent to share. Then, as I explained we were working to tighten the process, they opened up, and gave us great information. The bottom line: They were thrilled we had asked them! It made them feel an important part of the organization.

When you ask: Don’t judge, and don’t criticize. Just accept the information or probe for more detail.

My Results of My Survey

I’m going to share the results of my survey here with you. Some of the results were surprising; some were predictable.

What We Did With the Results of the Survey

We held a series of meetings to discuss the results. We then assigned duties to make this whole process better. We hired a person whose main job is to ‘dog those agents’ tracks through the complete onboarding process. Do you think this will result in a better retention record? We do.

Your turn: What are you doing to assure your onboarding process continues the excitement and loyalty you set up during your interview process? Or, have you thought about it?

Want to talk about my helping you create a world-class onboarding process? Email me at carla@carlacross.com or call me at 425-392-6914. Let’s get this to mastery level!

interview with clip boardOnboarding: Is it causing attrition or retention in your company? Do you know? Do you know how awesome (or not) your onboarding system is? Have you done a survey? (more about that in later blogs).

The biggest lesson in the onboarding process is starting each new agent with a proven lead generating plan.

What Does Onboarding Include?

One study I used in Up and Running in 30 Days was the Inman Select Special Report: How to Fix New Agent Onboarding. The Inman report didn’t define what was included in Onboarding. From reading the study, however, Inman included initial training, coaching, and mentoring. I am going to add basic orientation and basic actions to the Onboarding process. Why? Because many real estate companies do not have adequate orientation processes. So, agents don’t get the basic direction needed to launch their businesses.

Question: What is your initial orientation like? Does it cover all the bases? If you want a template and suggestions of what should be included in your orientation, click here.

In this blog, I’ll address the results and its ramifications for real state companies–from the other survey published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Retention Starts in the Interview

From working with real estate companies over the past three + decades, I think that most brokers regard retention as something that we must do to keep those seasoned agents. However, according to the survey results in the SHRM study, retention decisions are made by those we hire within a very short period of time. In fact, both studies indicate retention starts prior to hiring!

Here is a major conclusion from this survey, and it what means to real estate companies.

Expectations of the job are different than what new hires heard in the interview. And, the Inman report said new agents fail because they are unprepared for the realities of working as an independent contractor. I’m sure you’ve experienced this. Your new agent is all excited about a career in real estate. But, he/she will not do the lead generating activities required to launch a career. You told the candidate he/she had to lead generate. What is wrong?

Question for you: How well do you explain the job expectations in your interview? Do you provide a prioritized job description for the new agent? (Click here to grab mine). How do you give the prospective agent a real idea of the job?

Three Tips:

  1. Prior to hiring: Have the agent shadow one of your agents who is modeling the behaviors you want.
  2. Provide the agent with the eBook What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School. This eBook tells the truth about real estate as a career! You’ll save lots of time in the interview process and winners will pick themselves.
  3. Ask the prospect agent to do an activity you feel is important: Like create a dialogue to talk to someone they know about buying/selling real estate.
  4. Prior to hiring: Give the prospective agent Up and Running in 30 Days. Ask them to review the book. In my experience, if they come back, excited to begin this specific start-up plan, they are a good match for a productivity-focused office. If they come back and reject your lead generating plan, not a good prospect!

In my next blog, I’ll discuss more of the study conclusions and what they mean to us as real estate owners. I’ll also offer tips to tighten your onboarding process. Isn’t it worth having great systems if you could increase your retention of first year agents to 75%?

Last question: What’s your retention rate now of first year agents? How much money do they make their first year in the business? Do you know?

How’s Your Quick-Start Program Working?

Up and Running_5e largerBoth these onboarding studies prove that leaving the new agent’s orientation, training, and start to chance just doesn’t cut it. Take a look at what’s new in Up and Running in 30 Days: updates in 5th edition. This invaluable book is only $32.95 plus shipping, and has been used by thousands of new agents to launch successful careers. Order here.

Here’s what your new agents need to do their second week in the business.

These 2 blogs (my previous one and this one) are excerpted from my eBook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

Compare this advice to how you start your new agents into their second weeks in the business.

Here’s what to do your second week in the business.

Business start-up plan: You should start your lead generating now, devoting two hours a day, five days a week. Why? Because you want to generate lots of potential clients so you can choose the best ones. If you dona��t start now, you are just putting off your success another month!

Your coach: Meet with your coach at least 3 times this week to assure youa��re starting your business to production fast.

Benefits of ShadowingA�

Shadowing: This literally means following a seasoned agent as he/she does his/her business. Typically, you would shadow an agent doing a listing presentation, a buyer presentation, or presenting an offer. Is it a good thing to do? It depends on the abilities of the agent. If you decide you want to shadow, find out:

What format the agent is going to use; is it a format that you will or have been trained to do (like an approved listing presentation)?

Whata��s the point of the shadowing?

Will you get coaching on your own presentations as part of the shadowing process?

What are you expected to provide in return?

Shadowing provides a a�?modela�� for you. Be sure ita��s a model you want to emulate!

What Your Training Priorities Should BeA�

Most companies have company training programs, or programs they recommend. You should attend.

These are:

  1. Lead generation communication skills: You need to learn, and practice the skills of lead generation so you can begin to generate leads (which lead to appointments which lead to clients which lead to SALES!)
  2. Buyer and seller presentations: You should be given these presentations and should practice them. This includes qualifying buyers and sellers.
  3. Business planning skills, including a business start-up plana��you should have a course that teaches you the basics of how the numbers work, and gives you a method to set your goals and keep score
  4. A�Principles of Agency and how to explain agency to a seller or buyer
  5. How to complete a listing agreement and explain it to a seller
  6. How to write a purchase and sale agreement and explain it to buyers and sellers

Why these priorities? Because these either put you right on the sales path, or provide the technical information you need to support those sales activities.

What About Everything Else?A�

What about all the rest of the knowledge you dona��t have and are afraid someone will find out you dona��t have? Dona��t worry. You will be able to learn as you go. But, if you avoid getting into the field and meeting potential clients, you wona��t need to worry about learning more. Youa��ll be out of the businessa��..

See more: For detailed weekly schedules and activity plans for your first two months in the business, see my online business start-up program,A�Up and Running in Real Estate.

 

What should you expect your first week in the business?

The next few blogs are excerpted from my ebook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School (the facts about real estate as a career!).

Herea��s Your Desk, Herea��s Your Phone, Got Any Questionsa��..

Thata��s what my first boss told me as I was hired. So, I went to the desk I was assigned anda��..waited for something to happen. I was so naA?ve I didna��t even know the questions to ask! You may be laughing now, but, that still occurs in real estate offices today. What would you do if that happened to you? Probably sit and wait for someone to

Invite you to have a cup of coffee or lunch

Invite you to go see homes for sale

And, those were both things that happened to me. You may even conclude thata��s how real estate was sold. Wrong. Unfortunately, neither of these activities makes you any money. So, I quickly figured out I couldna��t do things like the agents in the office did them, or I would produce the same amount they produceda��3-4 sales a year. (There were two others in the office, but I never saw them, because they were out sellinga��.).

What Your First Week Should Look Like

Orientation: Get everything done on the orientation checklist your manager provided. Work with the secretary or assistant to complete all the tasks, so youa��re ready to sell real estate.

Schedule an appointment with your manager to get your business start-up plan and a coaching schedule with him/her or someone designated as your accountability coach.

Start-up checklist: Your manager may provide a start-up checklist, which has things on it such as a�?create a databasea��; call potential clientsa��; a�?meet with a mortgage repa��. These lists can include business developing and business-supporting activities. Just be sure they are targeted to start your business successfullya��not just give you busywork.

Schedule your initial training: Your company should have an initial training program that occurs at least every two months. Schedule attendance at it. Chapter 9 has a comprehensive new agent training calendar you can use to compare to what youa��ve requested in the interview.

Property inspection: Every new agent wants to feel comfortable with inventory. So, schedule inspection of listings for 3-5 hours this week, and during your first month. As you become comfortable with inventory, dona��t a�?previewa�� any more than you need toA� feel comfortable working with buyers and sellers.

Top-producing agents preview with a reason: To do research on a potential listing, or to preview with a specific buyer in mind. They dona��t have time just to preview pretty properties because they are on the marketa��but non-producing agents have plenty of time to become a�?property expertsa��.

See my business start-up plan, A�for a good prototype schedule for yourself, so you’ll get great time management habits from day 1.
Want proven guidance to start your career? Check out

What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License SchoolA� -A�everything each prospective agent should know about careers in real estate

Up and Running in 30 DaysA�–A�the new agent’s business start-up plan, with dozens of training tips, checklists, and sales guidance to start your career right

UP and Running in Real Estate — the comprehensive online version; a detailed start-up plan, with 25 training videos, dozens of documents to save you thousands of hours, and coaching plus motivation to keep your momentum to success

Carla’s advice: No matter how you start, start with a proven plan!