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Archive for real estate interview

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.
Are your new agents struggling with time management? Here’s an easy way to help them.

A simple way to help your agents manage time.

We all have the same amount of time. Yet, some agents start their careers like rockets, launching fast. Others just can’t seem to get a foothold. 

I’m just finishing my new book, Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Won’t Teach You in Pre-License School (out in about 3 weeks). Although the book is written for the person thinking about real estate as a career, or is in pre-license, this book actually is a treasure trove for any agent. Why? It

  1. Lays out a simple, effective business start-up plan
  2. It exposes the mistakes agents make in launch, that costs them time and money–and sometimes a whole career
  3. It helps agent budget–both personally and professionally

Time Allocations for Newer Agents

New agents attend training school. They learn lots of interesting–and sometimes valuable-information. But, they seldom learn how to organize their businesses, prioritize their time, and measure their advancement. One of the basic premises to success is to allocate their time to the right activities. Here’s my list, from Launching Right in Real Estate:

Figure_3.6_Time_Commitments__How_To_Allocate_Your_Time

Common Time Management Mistakes

The new agent: We go into real estate with lots of confidence. We love houses. We like people. We want to help people. Then, we find out there’s a whole lot to learn. So, we spend most of our time ‘getting ready’. I’ve watched new agents spend many months learning–and avoiding jumping on what I term the sales path--talking to, working with, and selling homes to real people. 

Compare Your Agent’s Time Management to My Allocations

Use my time management allocations to coach your agents. What do you see as differences? What are the activities leading to a sale? What are the activities that actually protect you from working with those challenging people–those potential clients? What adjustments do you want to make to create a faster career launch for yourself? 

Want to save time and inform your would-be agents? Use my book, Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Don’t Teach You In Pre-License School. I’ve addressed the hundreds of questions and concerns would-be agents have. See what I’m advising them! Order now at half price: $12.95. Publish date: July 15.
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.
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.

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.

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.
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!

It’s probably the toughest thing we do–hire a manager. And, there’s little information to help us. That’s why I wrote this series of blogs. 

Past Experience is a Huge Benefit

Look for a person who has been trained in another business as a trainer/coach/leader. This is really important. When I was finding and screening leadership for one of the largest franchises in the world, I found that the really magic ingredient was that the potential leader had already had some experience in the skills of management. (sometimes not in real estate).

The Second Pre-requisite to a Successful Management Hire

Now, go back and prioritize those duties–with the most important ones first. Here is what I hope your list says–in this order:

Recruit

Select

Train

Coach

Lead: Challenge and inspire seasoned agents to the next career level (retention)

Manage staff

Time Frames for Important Activities

Did you add time frames to that job description? If not, go back and do it now. You don’t want a manager that pushes recruiting to the last hour in the day and then doesn’t get to it!

To get my manager’s detailed job description with hours expected, plus a time analysis you can use for all your managers, click here.

Doing all the other Stuff…..

Where does the rest of the go? I know. You have on your list: Broker questions; crisis management; floor schedules; write ads.

Guess what? You can get just about anybody to do those jobs. In fact, instead of hiring a real sales manager, if all you need is operations, hire an administrative assistant who can and will do it all (except for the broker questions, which you can field, or hire one of your good agents to field).

The All-too Common Problem: Hiring an Operations Manager

I find too many owners or general managers who needs to hire and manage a manager are settling for an a operations manager when what they desperately need is a people developing manager.

What does a people developing manager do?

Finds the right people and develops them into productive salespeople who return a profit to you

You don’t need a babysitter. You don’t need just an answer man (or woman). You don’t need merely an operations person. You shouldn’t settle for just a a crisis manager. You need someone who will focus on and drive

recruiting and productivity--to lead that office into greater profitability, not just take up space in the manager’s office!

Get my manager’s detailed job description, plus a time analysis you can use for all your managers: click here.

What didn’t I say in these blogs that you believe is important in hiring a great manager? Let me know. Watch for the next blogs for more in hiring that next great manager.

Experience is the best teacher! As regional director for now the largest real estate company in the world, I screened dozens of would-be leadership. I learned a great screen process and how to find the kind of leaders needed for real estate offices. Why not let me help you? Get a complimentary consultation to see if working with me is a ‘fit’ for you. Check out Leadership Mastery Coaching.

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.