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Archive for Selection

These questions will lead you to think you have a winner. You would be wrong….

Interviewing: Throw out these over-used questions and select better team members.

Three Dumb Questions You Should Not Be Asking in the Interview

We all have our favorite interview questions. Yet, most of the time, those favorite questions don’t give us insights into our candidate (think of them as candidates). They give us the answers we want to hear–and the candidate wants to give us!

Before I tell you the three dumb questions, write down your favorite interview question.

Now, the three dumb questions:

1. How much money do you want to make? (or any question to which they are going to give a wild guess, yet interviewer-pleasing answer)

Dumb because: If the agent is new, they have no clue of what it takes to make that money. They are just throwing a number at you.

Rule: Avoid ‘future-based’ questions. They fail to give you real information about that person. Why? Because they are ‘reading you’ and giving you the answers they think you want to hear. They are just guessing about a rosy future.

2. Are you honest? Are you tenacious? Are you ethical?

Dumb because: Any of the ‘value questions’ are dumb because no one is going to tell you ‘no’ to them! Almost everyone thinks they are ethical. Just listen to any agent describing any other agent as unethical….. 

There’s a much better way to find out the person’s ethics and values, and that’s to ask ‘behavioral predictor’ questions. Those are questions based on someone’s past.

3. Will you take part in our ____________? (meetings, trainings, etc.)

Dumb because: They will usually say ‘yes’–and then not appear. Instead, you need a ‘mutual expectations’ dialogue at the end of your interview, where you lay out expectations and get agreement–in writing.

Big principle in interviewing: People behave in the future like they behaved in the past.

Find out about their past.

In my new book, Launching Right: What They Won’t Teach You in Pre-License School, I reveal best interview practices that the would-be agent should recognize. These include asking behavioral-based questions. 

What questions have you been snookered on? How did you change those questions?

What’s your Blueprint for Selection Look Like?

Do you ask the right questions? For an 8-step ‘sure-selection’ process, best questions to ask, and what to put in your selection packages, see Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners. This unique resource is all online, so you get instant access. Isn’t it time to polish your selection process so you don’t have to work so hard and get better results?

Would-be agents hear all the wonderful things about real estate as a career. Here’s a better way to help them make the best choice for them.

Here’s an interview time-saver: An ‘ideal job’ analysis. 

As a manager or recruiter, you can spend thousands of hours of time educating would-be agents. That’s admirable, but that’s a huge drain on your time. At the same time, those same would-be agents frequently have a very rosy picture of real estate sales. Some of it is factual, but a lot of it can kindly be referred to as a ‘sales presentation’. 

Let The Candidate Do Some Self-Analysis

I’ve interviewed thousands of would-be agents. I’ve found, like you, that much of that ‘interview’ wasn’t an interview. It was an educational session. Finally, I got tired of going over the same things, and put the information in a book. Now, I’ve just published a book: Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Won’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

In it, I attempt to balance the wonderful benefits of a real estate career with the hard facts. One of those facts is that it’s not for everyone. But, how would that candidate know? 

The Self-Analysis Tool

One of the things that sets this book apart is that I provide several self-analysis tools–tools for the would-be agent to use to clarify whether she is a ‘fit’ with the career, and whether she will love selling real estate. The tool below is one of these self-analyses: Your Ideal Job. 

Figure_1.1_Your_Ideal_Job-with-reference

How to Use The Self-Analysis

You can:

  1. Email the analysis with a short note after a first inquiry
  2. Provide the analysis after the first interview
  3. Use the analysis in Career Nights

I love that last suggestion, because most Career Nights are just sales presentations. The savvy candidate will appreciate your handling the interview and the career night as any other profession would. And, that doesn’t start with a sales job!

Let me know how you use these self-analysis tools.  I know they will save you time, and help candidates self-select, so you hire more winners.

Save time. Educate would-be agents to the facts. Prepare your interview process. See what agents are asking–and prepare your presentations. Great for Career Nights, too. Launching Right in Real Estate–available in paperback and eBook now.

The opposite of talking isn’t listening. The opposite of talking is waiting.                   Fran Leibowitz

Ok. Let’s be real. We’ve all been listening in a conversation and just couldn’t wait to get a word in edgewise. To be truthful, we weren’t really listening, we were preparing in our head what we wanted to say. It happens in everyday conversation and it happens when we’re interviewing potential real estate agents–candidates.

We Get Interviewing Backwards

I asked a manager about his interviewing methods. He said, “I just keep talking to them and tell them all the great things about our company and office until I convince them to join. Woops……that’s not an interview. That’s the sales job.

Questions First

Every sales course and every recruiting/selecting course I’ve ever attended–or written–has taught the correct method of interviewing. Here it is:

 

The Sales and Interview Process, in the Right Order

Whether you’re interviewing sales candidates, clients, or team members, creating great interview questions and follow-ups is key to choosing those who fit your team. 

Who Asks the Questions?

The interviewer should have specific, unique questions to ask–and should lead the interview. In Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Won’t Teach You in Pre-License School, I provide this process. In addition, I provide the best questions managers should be asking, and the 5 important questions the candidate should ask.

Your Candidate is Judging Your Expertise

A savvy candidate will have insightful questions ready, and he/she will make judgments about a manager’s capabilities based on the manager’s questions and responses. Up your game by having best questions and having the best answers for your candidate.

Find questions for manager and candidate in Launching Right in Real Estate. 

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 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.
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.

You know who this is. Read how he turned an exceptional basketball career into an even more successful business career.

I can’t do it. It’s someone else’s fault. If only….I’ll never be able to. I tried that once. It didn’t work. It won’t work for me. Give me (you fill in the blanks) or else I can’t succeed.

You’ve heard all these reasons why someone can’t succeed. (Makes me depressed just reading this list.) So, it’s refreshing to hear someone speak about how to succeed—with no excuses.  I don’t mean that we all don’t at times need a hand up. But, those are the few times.  They don’t become our mantra.

I just watched a video where a UPS executive interviewed Magic. Here are some of Magic’s insightful comments.

Dream it First to Live It

At age 16, Magic was a janitor while in school. He would go sit in the CEO’s chair and pretend he was the CEO; giving orders, making decisions, acting like a CEO. He said he always wanted to be an entrepreneur, not just a basketball player. Look what happened.

What are you dreaming?

On Not Giving Up

As Magic transitioned from famous, successful pro basketball player to businessman, he thought his fame would magically open doors and make him successful. He found it opened doors (they all wanted to meet him), but, it didn’t get him the funding he needed to expand his business. He was turned down ten times before a bank took a chance on him.

How tenacious are you?

Network and Lead Generate and Learn

Magic wanted to find out what was important to prominent people. He got the list of Lakers season ticket holders, and called up to 50 a day. Many met with him, and several became investors with him.

Are you lead generating with tenacity?

Tailor to your Target

Magic was an early investor in Starbucks, and has over 125 Starbucks locations today. He met with Howard Schultz, the founder and then president, and told him he needed to tailor his Starbucks businesses to his clientele. You can imagine where Magic wanted to place his Starbucks. He told Mr. Schultz he didn’t want that music that was in most Starbucks stores. He wanted Michael Jackson, Beyonce, etc. He didn’t want scones. You get the picture.

Are you targeting your marketing to your audiences?

Hire and Work with the Best

Magic says, if you find great talent, you don’t need to micro-manage them. This comes from his experience as a basketball player.

Are you affiliating with the best? Do you need to ‘up your game’ interviewing? 

Shine Your Light on Others to Succeed

As you help others succeed, you’ll succeed. Magic says his reason for being in business is to help others. He’s helped thousands of minority business people launch businesses. This comes, too, from his experience as a basketball player. His mentoring others resulted in more success for everyone.

Are you providing a hand up to qualified, determined talent?

Learn from Everyone

Magic believes everyone has something he can learn from. He values each person and seeks their contributions. He says he loves to learn and he’s constantly learning.

Are you learning from those you’re around?

Add Value

Magic believes the secret of business success is to add value. When he meets with someone, he thinks about how he can add value for that person.

Are you adding value to those you work with, coach, or teach?

Does your Interview Process Need Polishing?

Check out this system for selecting winners. Save time, money, and training. See it here.

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.