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 selecting managers

Finding your next great manager requires you to think through exactly what you want. See my qualifications below.

In my earlier post, we discussed finding that next great manager. Now, here’s more information you need to get that great leader–that person you’ll enjoy working with!

You are Not Done Describing the Job

You need to attach your performance standards for management activities (minimum expectations for that person to retain his/her job) in each of these areas.

For example:

How many hours a week do you expect your manager to recruit? (lead generate)

How many lead generating calls do you expect your manager to make per week?

How many interviews do you expect your manager to hold per week?

How many hours a week do you expect your manager to interview and select?

What are the selection standards you expect from your manager (who should be hired and who should not)?

How many hours a week do you expect your manager to train?

How many hours a week do you expect your manager to coach?

Who do you expect your manager to coach?

What leadership activities do you expect of your manager?

What staff/operation activities to you expect?

What do you expect your manager to do to increase the bottom line?

Decide this in terms of:

How many recruits per month (decide on your ratio of new or experienced)

Production per month

Moving your experienced agents from ____ revenue units (sales and listings sold) to ________ revenue units by _____________ (date)

Profitability increase of __________ in _____________ months

Standards Agreement Usually Missed in the Hiring Process

This specific standards agreement is usually missing in the hiring process. It takes awhile during our coaching sessions to develop a workable standards agreement for each situation. But, without a standards agreement, you haven’t laid out exactly what the job expectations are. You have no method to coach and hold your new manager accountable. And, if you need to terminate, you should have measureable reasons to terminate.

Now, armed with your description of the ideal manager, your job description, and your standards agreement, you are ready to search for that people developing manager who will take your company to greater productivity.

Carla is standing by to coach you to choosing your next great leader. Her background as a regional director where she screened dozens of leadership candidates has given her a unique perspective on the process. Why not see if Leadership Mastery Coaching is a ‘fit’ for you? Click here for a complimentary consultation.

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.

Rate yourself on your management skills, so you’ll know what you need to work on prior to going into management (or if you’re already in management).

Are you thinking of going into management? Few of us knew the skills–or the level of skill attainment–we needed to succeed in the job. I want to help all of you who want to go into management to succeed at a high level. Thus, these blogs.

For the past couple of months, I’ve been interviewing potential managers. I’ve found that almost none had done any ‘prep’ work to go into the position. Yet, successful managers have developed specific, somewhat unique skills to do their jobs. And, what I’ve found is that these skills must be at least partially developed before we launch ourselves into management–or else we get swamped by all these new challenges hitting us in the face!

In an earlier blog, I discussed the skills we need to have honed prior to going into management. In this blog, we’ll tackle getting those skills in certain areas.

At the end of this blog: grab my assessment tool I use in my Leadership Mastery coaching series to help new managers plan for this skill attainment.

The Biggest Skill Area Managers Need Today to Succeed

What do you think it is? It’s recruiting and selecting skill. Why? Because, there’s so much competition for good agents that a manager just can’t sit back and wait for agents to come to them. It isn’t the old days (although I never was able to do that in my ‘old days!’).

These skills are the same skills good agents use to expand their businesses. That’s why we need to hire managers who have been successful recruiters and selectors. Notice I said recruiters and selectors. I know companies brag about how mahy gross recruits they landed that month or year, but, long-term, it’s those who stay, prosper, and grow with the company that add to the profitability of all.

One of the standards you need to create when you’re hiring a manager is

How successful was that agent as a business getter? What’s the number of transactions you would accept?

How to Get Recruiting and Selecting Skills

Your company may have a course focusing on these skills. If so, take it prior to going into management. Overall, the best courses out there for management are the CRB courses, leading to the Certified Real Estate Broker designation. I highly recommend them. Here’s the link.

What’s Your Agent Track Record?

In addition, if you don’t have a track record of at least 12-20 transactions a year as an agent, in my opinion, you have not developed the skills in recruiting and selecting you will need as a successful agent. It’s my experience that agents who didn’t actively lead generate will carry that habit into management. They will balk at lead generating for agents, and they will fight upper management to the death–and to everyone’s detriment.

Resource (Some are FREE) to Gain those Management Skills

This month, I’m offering some of my management resources free with purchase of other resources. Check it out here.

Grab the leadership skill assessment here.

Managers or general managers: If you’re hiring a new manager, help them evaluate their skill levels and then create a training and coaching program to assure they get those skills before they launch their management career.

Here’s how to find out if management is in your future–and how to prepare to succeed.

** See my prioritized job description of a manager as a handout–along with the number of hours I recommend you spend in each activity.

For the past couple of months, I’ve been interviewing potential managers. I’ve found that almost none had done any ‘prep’ work to go into the position. Yet, successful managers have developed specific, somewhat unique skills to do their jobs. And, what I’ve found is that these skills must be at least partially developed before we launch ourselves into management–or else we get swamped by all these new challenges hitting us in the face!

Skills you need to effectively develop individuals:

  • Lead generation/recruiting/presentation skills
  •  Interviewing/selection skills (both for agents and staff)
  • Coaching skills (along with a proven coaching approach)
  • Training skills
  • Management: Ability to create and implement a business plan
  • Ability to create and implement a training plan as part of your business plan
  • Ability to create and implement a leadership council, for participative management/ develop that leadership
  • Ability to create meaningful office and staff meetings

In these blogs, I’ll make some recommendations to you about how to get those skills. Unfortunately, we go into management thinking either

  1. We have enough of the skills to succeed
  2. There aren’t skills needed to suceed in management
  3. I’ll learn ‘on the job’

The Best Management Training Courses Out There

Are you familiar with The CRB courses? These are offered by an arm of the National Association of Realtors, and are, by far, the best management courses out there.

Here’s the link: https://www.rebinstitute.com/. It’s called Real Estate Business Institute now. I highly recommend the courses.

When to take these courses? Before you go into management! They are offered throughout the United States (and some in Canada). I was an instructor with the Institute for 12 years, and so I know the value of these courses (I also took several of them prior to going into management).

Investigating Management

Have you interviewed at least 5 managers to find out what they do and how they got the skills to do it? If not, start your interviews now. You’ll find a wide range of management descriptions, of course. Some managers will describe what I call ‘maintenance management’–keeping the place running by doing administrative duties and listening to agent complaints. That’s not what it takes today to succeed in ‘active’ management. In fact, I think a great manager can be compared best to a great or mega-agent.

Questions you’ll want to ask:

  1. What’s your biggest challenge in management?
  2. What’s your biggest win?
  3. What’s different from management than you thought before you went into management?
  4. How do you create a real team?
  5. How do you recruit?
  6. How did you prepare to go into management?

Suggestion: Ask for a copy of the manager’s job description. I’ll bet few of them have ever seen one!

Here’s the link to the prioritized manager’s job description.

Another way to prepare to go into management: See my management resources at www.carlacross.com. 

Want to go into management? Try ‘perfect practice’ to get the skills you need BEFORE you jump into the job.

This month, I’m taking what I’ve learned as a musical performer from age 4 to the world of leadership and sales. (And, read my musical quotes at the end of each blog. I hope you’ll get a chuckle!)

Are You Prepared–or Just Hopeful?

My son owns a real estate company, and I help him initially screen candidates for manager and assistant manager. He has created a very detailed job description for any of those applying. Yet, we see two problems:

  1. Most of the candidates do not meet the qualifications the job requires
  2. Even the borrderline candidates have done nothing to prepare themselves for the job

For several years, I was a regional director of now the largest real estate company in the world. One of my jobs was finding and screening leadership. Boy, did I learn a lot! So, with that experience, I’m writing some tips here for those of you who want to step from sales into management (and for those looking for leadership). I’m not going to address the first problem. For example, some candidates just haven’t had job experience of any type in real estate. Although I know there are exceptions, generally, if you haven’t successfully sold real estate, you won’t understand, emphasize and be able to ‘develop’ agents successfully.

The Principle to Prepare: Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

Of course, this principle comes from my world of music. I learned this from my college piano professor.

. That means hundreds or thousands of hours in the practice room, not in performing! (In other words, you have to practice your little heart out before they’ll let you loose in front of discerning people!) It’s drudgery and you wonder what you’re accomplishing. But, this perfect practice pays off when you have to perform in front of thousands and put to use your ‘muscle memory’. When you’re performing all those notes so quickly, you don’t have time to consciously figure out where your fingers should go (just like you do’t have time in an interview to figure out a good interview process!!!!)

What This Means to Your Preparation for Management

Here’s a straightforward job description for a successful leadership-manager:

Find and develop people

Skills you need to effectively develop individuals:

  • Lead generation/recruiting/presentation skills
  •  Interviewing/selection skills (both for agents and staff)
  • Coaching skills (along with a proven coaching approach)
  • Training skills
  • Management: Ability to create and implement a business plan
  • Ability to create and implement a training plan as part of your business plan
  • Ability to create and implement a leadership council, for participative management/ develop that leadership
  • Ability to create meaningful office and staff meetings

How Are You going to Develop Those Skills–Before You Get into Performance?

Go through the checklist/description above. Ask yourself: Have you devleoped those skills? If not, are you going to wait and ‘wing it’ on the job? As a pianist, I wouldn’t dare ever get in front of people to perform without having practiced!

Next blog: Suggestions in how to do that perfect practice in each of these areas.

Managers: Share this blog with those who are interested in going into leadership. In later blogs, I’ll share some analytical tools I’ve developed to help you help others develop their leadership skills.

Just for chuckles:

“I can’t listen to that much Wagner. I start getting the urge to conquer Poland.” — Woody Allen

Do you know the major red flags that can pop up in your interview process?

For the last few blogs, I’ve been blogging about that all-important interview process. We’ve talked about the dangers of ignoring the red flags. We’ve investigated how to discover those red flags.

I just want to hang my license (usually stated over the phone; my response is that I want to hang them…)

What are your commissions? If stated in the first five minutes of the interview (I’ve never interviewed an agent I hired who started the interview that way)

I want a special deal. –also usually stated in the first five minutes of the interview, or even over the phone (what makes them so ‘special’?)

Personally, I have never interviewed a candidate who was a a fit with one of my offices when they led with these questions.

Are these red flags to you? If not, why not?

Other Red Flags

The candidate won’t fill out any paperwork (pre-appointment questionnaire or application)

They drop in and expect me to drop everything to meet with them (they must think we managers just sit around waiting for Their Excellencies to show up)

They’re late to the interview just don’t show up!

They obviously didn’t make an effort to dress in business attire for the interview (I realize this varies greatly by area, but you can tell if the person made an effort).

Specific Red Flags To Notice in the Interview Itself

They won’t answer my questions, or, when they answer, they answer as though it was a question for me to acknowledge

They won’t let me set the structure and tone of the interview (they immediately want to know what I will do for them)

They say they don’t know their production for the past year with any metrics (or, if they do, they won’t share it)

They defend their low production and/or are accepting of a few transactions a year.

They don’t have an idea of how they will change their production for the better.

They seem enamored with the companies that have already hired them in a 15-minute a interview (low self-esteem, anyone?)

They have been sold on the companies that tell them they will provide them leads.

They want to be hired on the spot. They’re not willing to do a 2-interview process, even when I explain the benefits to them.

As you can tell from my red flags, my values and vision drive my judgement about these candidates.

What are your Red Flags?

One broker’s red flags may be another broker’s acceptable standards. What are yours? List five red flags or knock-out factors. What process or system do you have to discover them? Decide whether you would absolutely not hire an agent who demonstrated that behavior, or whether it was a minor flag. Finally, how many of those minor red flags do you need to identify before you rule that candidate not suitable for your team?

Want to streamline your selection process and recruit more winners? Check out Your Blueprint to Selecting Winners. I’ll give you great questions to ask. But, better than that, I’ll show you how to craft questions to discover exactly what YOU”RE looking for.

Think back to the last time you qualified a buyer, a seller, or a recruiting candidate. How much talking did you do? How many questions did you ask? Unfortunately, too many of us go into sales because we’re good talkers. Then, we wonder why we’re not burning up the world selling real estate. It’s because we’re talking too much. The same is true with us managers when we start recruiting/selectingHere are some recommendations on talk vs. listening. You’l make more sales and gain more recruits with these tips.

How Much Talking?

Why? Because you want to gather all the information you can from your client or recruiting candidate. How come? Because you have to have that information do decide

  1. If you want that person as a client or agent recruit
  2. Do you want to do a presentation

Also, if we don’t know their hidden needs and sub-conscious motivations, how are we going to help them make buying decisions?

Here’s what that process should look like, whether you’re an agent or a broker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

excerpted from The Complete Recruiter.

Why don’t we ask more Questions?

If it’s so important to ask all those questions, why don’t we do it?

  1. We get nervous, so we talk
  2. We don’t have the questions
  3. We don’t understand the significance
  4. We’ve focused on the tell or the sell, thinking that was the way to convince people to work with us

The Significance of the Questions

How do we know when we haven’t been able to sell something to a client? They don’t buy. But, here’s the problem. It’s way too late then. Sure. We can become masters at objection-countering, memorization, and jam it down their throats. But, that’s an awfully old-fashioned way to try to sell, and consumers hate that today.

Closing and then Answering Objections– Not Today’s Best Method

We take all kinds of classes to learn to answer objections and close. We think that we’re supposed to sell, sell–get those objections and answer them so beautifully that the client acquiesces and falls at our feet, buying whatever we want them to buy. Happens once in awhile. But, we don’t gain loyal clients who will refer us to others. Instead, we create lots of buyers with buyers’ remorse.

I hope you’re now convinced to ask questions. In the next blog, I’ll discuss more about this process, and give you some questions you can ask to screen potential new recruits–before you get them into your office (a great time saver).

Before I leave: How many questions do you ask a potential recruit? Are you satisfied with your selection process?

 

Want to streamline your selection process and recruit more winners? Check out Your Blueprint to Selecting Winners. I’ll give you great questions to ask. But, better than that, I’ll show you how to craft questions to discover exactly what YOU”RE looking for.

 

 

 

Recruiting: Here’s what you need in your post-interview package. This month, I’m focusing on recruiting and selecting systems, to help you work faster and better and recruiter winners.

Remember the Chinese water torture? Drip, drip, a drip at a time. That’s the key to recruiting successfully. Here’s another drip you’ll want to provide your candidate after that first interview. This is another package with the information you think the candidate will find useful. Here’s why:

We remember only 10% of what we heard three days later!

Unfortunately, candidates don’t remember much of what we discuss in the interview. Or, they remember it wrongly. It seems easy to us, but, it becomes a muddle to them when they interview five companies in as many days. So, take the time to assemble what I call the after first-visit package or post-interview process. In it, you’ll reiterate important points, and again differentiate yourself and your company.

Systemize Like your Great Agents

Great agents assemble these packages for sellers and buyers. You are modeling the behaviors you want to teach the agent. You can explain the parallels in the interview process. This is a very strong recruiting strategy. The old adages

In Your Post-First Visit (Post-Interview) Package

Here is a sample list of the materials you may include in an after-first visit recruiting package. Note that some of the material is duplicating your pre-first visit package. Also, sometimes you won’t have the opportunity to provide a pre-first visit package. Of course, you’ll always have the ability to customize each package. However, it’s much easier to do this from a prepared package than to start from scratch each time.

Letter from the manager explaining what’s in the package

  •  Training calendar (you do have one, don’t you?)
  • Training brochure
  • Company/office/manager story
  •  Attractive company/office/manager statistics
  •  Articles featuring company/manager
  •  Costs of affiliating  with explanations

Bottom Line: You’ree Proving your Competency to Each Candidate With Every Recruiting Process You Do

Well-assembled packages reflect clear thought processes. Merely putting these together will clarify your recruiting and selection story. It will help you figure out and communicate your culture and values. It will provide you differentiation and memorability. It says to the candidate, I prepared for you. Your time is valuable. I am here to dedicate my skills and talents to help you develop your business.

You will recruit more and better agents, you will save time, and you will be able to delegate or clone yourself by hiring a manager or recruiter when the need arises.

Want to avoid re-inventing the wheel? Check out my recruiting resources here.CompleteRecruiterfor web OBrecuiter

Oct
15

5 More Recruiting Mistakes to Avoid

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In an earlier post, we explored 5 of the 10 biggest mistakes I’ve seen real estate recruiters make–and, admittedly, I’ve made. After all, I started like most of you–here’s your desk, here’s your phone……you know the drill…

By the way, I put a picture of a coach reading off a layer, because that’s certainly a mistake we make in management! (Or, you could interpret it as me yelling at you to avoid these mistakes….)

So, here’s the rest of my list. What did I leave out? Why are we selecting so many who fail to make it in real estate?

6. Recruiting agents without the necessary skills or motivation to be
successful

There are the agents that fall over at the first objection (and there are many, even though they tell us they’re tenacious!) We keep beating our heads against stone walls recruiting agents who are deficient in the two skill sets we say are most important to real state success: technical (computer) skills and sales skills. We hire them, and then we pour thousands of dollars down a black hole trying to train them to do the things they won’t or can’t do.

Why not hire agents who already have technical and sales skills? In my program, The Complete Recruiter, I ask managers to make a list of the skills and qualities they feel are critical in the agents they hire. Please do that. Then, create questions that bring out whether an agent has the skills and qualities you need.

7. Talking too much in the interview process

Well, it’s not really an interview process to most managers. It’s actually a talk marathon, where the manager talks to the would-be agent until the agent gets tired and agrees (or not) to join the company. That’s what dozens of agents have described as their “recruiting interview”.

What are you doing while the interviewee is talking? Asking questions and listening. What are you listening for? Whether or not that interviewee has the necessary amounts of the skills and qualities you want. How do you assure you’ve got the complete story? Probe around that one idea until you’re completely assured that the interviewee has sufficient strength of that trait or skill. The Complete Recruiter has lots of tips on mastering sales skills for recruiting. This is just one of them.

8. Selling all the features and benefits of the company in the same way to each recruit

That’s simply because the manager didn’t ask good questions at the beginning of the process. If he had, he would’ve discovered what needs the agent wanted met. Then, he would’ve designed his presentation to meet those needs.

9. No recruiting plan

A few years ago I was the head writer for the CRB (Certified Real Estate Broker) People Management course. This course includes recruiting, selecting, training, and motivating agents for high productivity. I was excited to teach the course the first time, and was thrilled that there were about sixty managers in the course. I found that most of them had been in the business over ten years.

I wanted to create something where they could share recruiting experiences and a wins, so I decided to do a little contest for best recruiting campaign. I introduced the contest the first morning, and waited for the entries. There were none. At the beginning of the second day I asked the students if it was a dumb contest, or what seemed to be the barriers. They told me that none of them had a recruiting plan, much less a campaign! How could you implement your recruiting moves without a plan of action? We pound into our agents heads the idea of business plans. Yet, we dona’t have plans for the most important of all our activities–recruiting. If you’re among the 95% of managers who don’t have a plan, I’ve provided a simple, straightforward method of planning in The Complete Recruiter.

10. No system for agent follow-up

You’ve interviewed the agent. The agent doesn’t join that day. Now, what happens? In most companies–nothing! You need a contact management system. You need a contact plan. You need materials, and you need strategy. Finally, you need someone to run that plan. Hire a competent assistant and let that assistant engage your plan. This agent follow-up is really a part of your overall recruiting plan. You expect your agents to do it, and you need to do this, too, with your potential recruits. Remember, follow up until they buy or die!

It doesn’t take a masterful recruiter to win all the awards. All it really takes is determination and persistence. And, when you look at the few managers who actively recruit, you know that merely taking a stab at in a consistent manner will win you many recruits. Start now!

CompleteRecruiterHow is your Recruiting Plan Working?

Well, shall we be honest? You probably don’t have a plan. At least, that’s my experience in training and coaching thousands of owners and managers. If you don’t have a plan, how do you know what to do each day to find, select, and recruit those you really want? How do you measure how you’re doing? The Complete Recruiter has it all: the plan, the dialogues, the systems. Get it this month at a blazingly good price, too! Find out more here.

red flagDo you use a planned, consistent interview process? If you do, you will easily discover those a�?red flaga�� areas–those areas you must double-check to assure that candidate is qualified to work with you. If you dona��t use a consistent interview process–when every interview is a a�?wing-ita�� experiencea��youa��re constantly thinking about what to do next. We cana��t pay attention to those red flags which pop up and wave themselves in our faces. Wea��re seduced, too, by what we perceive as the candidatea��s attractiveness for us, and we tend to ignore those red flags. If you’ve ever hired someone, and then discovered, that person had a ‘secret’ he kept from you in the interview, you know what I mean!

Methods to Discover those Very Important ‘Red Flags’

Here are some methods you can build into your interview process to avoid those costly hiring mistakes:

  1. Use an application consistently, or at least ask the candidate to answer some questions in writing (have all questionnaires approved by an attorney to assure they consist of legal questions)
  2. Ask the prospective candidate to complete some tasks prior to the interview, so you know if the are willing to make you a�?leadera�� and learn from you
  3. Create a professional interview process you follow consistently*
  4. Create a�?behavioral predictora�� questions (questions based on their past) and practice those questions until you are a master at them
  5. Use a behavioral profile (like the DISC) to check your observations and learn more about the candidate. Learn how to a�?validatea�� the behavioral profile with the candidate.
  6. Quit being in a hurry to hire every candidate, and choose those candidates more carefully. After all, they reflect your vision and values.

(Remember, if you do it for one, you must do it for all!)

How many of these points do you take advantage of?

For a copy of my 8-step interview process, click here.

What a Systematized Interview Process Does for YouA�

You will not only hire better candidates, you will avoid those awful a�?surprisesa�� after committing to that agent (and Ia��ve had some doozies, as you probably have had, too). You will gain the respect of your team, because you arena��t giving them a problem, but a solution. You will find hiring winners easier, because that candidate is judging your competency as an interviewer and leader at the same time you are judging that candidatea��s appropriateness for your team.

blueprint_ebook_cover4

Quit ‘Winging it’ And Get Systematized!

How do you think the candidate regards you? Are you organized, systematic, and professional in your interview process? Or, do you ‘sell’ the candidate instead of asking lots of questions first? Do you have a method to capture candidates’ answers to your critical questions? Do you even have a list of questions you always ask? If you know you could polish that all-important process and hire more of those great agents you want, grab the most proven, effective interview process around: Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners. All digital so you can use it immediately!

Click here to see more.