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 new agents’ advice

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.

 

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

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

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

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

What Do You Gain with High Turnover?

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

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

Help Them Screen Themselves Before they Enter Real Estate

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

Figure_1.2_Self-Analysis_Attributes_for_Success

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Taking the Test

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

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

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

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

 

May
14

New! For Your Career Nights

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

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

Put the Selling Aside and Let Attendees Discover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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.