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 webinars

kid with magnifying glassAge disparity between clients and their agents and what it means to you!

Before you read this, take my true-false a�?exama�� to test what you know about Realtor trends. Click here to get it.

How did you do on the true-false a�?exama��? I didna��t create it to a�?testa�� you. I created it to crush some old assumptions. And, I want to point out what some of these trends mean to you and what we need to do about them.

Every time a National Association of Realtor survey comes out, I eagerly get it. Why? It gives us clues into the trends and directions of our industry.A� There are two major reports that come out yearly or every two years: The Member Profile and the Profile of Buyers and Sellers. I highly recommend you get these reports* and use them to educate buyers and sellers. Youa��ll find you become much more credible when youa��re using statistics from a third party source, instead of trying to convince buyers and sellers youa��re righta��because you know youa��re right!

Note: These reports are available at Realtor.org at a discount for Realtors:

http://www.realtor.org/research-and-statistics/research-reports

Now, leta��s take a look anotherA�of these true-false statements (see my previous blog for the first commentary) Here’s how these statistics are important to you. Ia��ve put the number of the statement before my comments.

  1. False the median age of a Realtor has decreased. This, on its face is great. But, the median age of a buyer is still 44 years. And, the largest group of buyers (28%) are in the 25 to 34 age group. What does that mean to you? As a manager, youa��ll want to hire those who relate to the target markets you serve. Also, members are starting to retire. (Is this true in your real estate office? How are you going to keep your office fresh and alive?) Those 65 years and over dropped to 16 percent from 25 percent in 2015.

Because only 13% of agents coming into the business are under 30, we have two challenges:

  1. Because the average age of a Realtor is 53, they are less fluent in social media and even computer skills.
  2. Because the largest group of buyers is aged 25-34, we have a mis-match between the agent generation and the buyer generation.

Managers: Solve the problem. Hire more younger agents AND those making real estate their first career!

Managers: What are you seeing in your office? In your area? Are these trends borne out there? What are you doing about it?

Plan_Act_CelebrateComplimentary Business Planning Webinar Coming Up Nov. 8–Grab your Seat NOW!

If youa��re like most real estate professionals, you create some type of a business plan this year. But, maybe it didna��t work for you. Or, maybea��you just didna��t work it! Join usA�Nov. 8 at 3 PM PacificA�time) to get the answers you needa��and the inspirationa��to make a bullet-proof plan for next year.

During this fast-paced webinar youa��ll see:

Why your plan probably didna��t work for youa��and what to do about it

  • How to definitely find out what will work for YOU (not someone elsea��s plan!)
  • How to anticipate market shifts (!)
  • What to STOP doing in 2017
  • What one thing will assure your business plan works
    • Bonus: 10 Creative Marketing Ideas for your plan

    Included handouts:

    1. The strategic planning process created exclusively for real estate professionals by Carla Cross
    2. Review: Your best sources of business (so you know what to keep doing and where to stop spending marketing $$$$$)

    Managers: Youa��ll get tips on how to help your agents create great plans!

    Click hereA�for more information on the webinar and to register.

Affiliates: You’re welcome to invite your agent and manager clients!

3 men and women working at tableI know you want to help your agents gain great business plans. So, here’s how to schedule your business planning process. I’m sharing some tips with you on initial scheduling for business planning and on-going coaching to a business plan. You’ll see the dates in the schedule below are in January, because this is from a live webinar series I did for a real estate company. It would be better for you to start the process sooner.A� I’ll address on-going coaching in my next blog.

First, what doesn’t work:

Hand out the planning pages and say ‘have a nice day’.

Instead, you must have a schedule to assure the agent gets that plan written.

Scheduling an interview: When I’m teaching this as a course, or doing a webinar, I give the agents questions to interview their managers–questions that reveal what the managers foresee as strengths and challenges and trends in the marketplace and in their offices. See that interview scheduled below.

Here’s the schedule I’m giving to the leadership to use for their business planning process:

PDF how to get each of your agents a great business plan 1

 

This is just the first schedule. After the initial ‘help’, you must schedule individual appointments for the agent to finish his/her plan:

coaching appointment

 

Now, you’ve educated the agents about business planning. You’ve team ified and created confidence with your meeting. Finally, you’ve set appointments for individual coaching for the plan. In my next blog, we’ll discuss how to use the business plan for coaching all year, so you’re fully imbued in the success with each of your agents.

Plan_Act_CelebrateWant Some Support to Get Your Agents Business Plans?

 

Webinar coming up: Join Carla as she shows you how to make business planning fun, exciting, and creative–and get a GREAT 2016 plan.

When: Dec. 4, 1-2 PM Pacific Time (that’s 4 Eastern, 3 Central, and 2 Mountain)

Included:
The 3 critical components of a successful plan usually left out
How to make your plan truly YOURS, not someone else’s (that won’t work!)
What to STOP doing in 2016

What one thing will assure your plan works

And, much more!

If you’re a pro, if you want to create a fun, successful, fulfilling career, you need the right kind of business plan. Don’t wait to step up to the next level now. Join us!

Space is limited, so sign up now. This is a complimentary session, from Carla Cross, CRB, MA, who wrote the internationally published book on business planning, along with business planning courses for most of the major franchises. She’s tested her system ‘in the trenches’ with real agents–so she knows what works.

Click here for more information and to register. Get inspired to make a great 2016 plan!

____________________________________________________

Want Help in Getting your Agents to Plan? Why not contact me to find out how I can educate your agents on business planning and support and coach you as a leader. Give me a call at 425.392-6914 or email me at carla@carlacross.com. I can do a webinar series for you, supply you will all the planning documents, and help your leadership coach your agents–at a very affordable cost with big pay-off for you.

 

 

hand with keyCongratulations! You’ve helped your agents each gain a business plan. That’s a huge key to their success–but only the first step. Now, how can you capitalize on all that work (both you and the agents?) It’s not enough to teach them to plan, or even to sit down with each agent and work through their plans. In order to really help them use those plans as a guide all year, you need to use that business plan as a platform from which to coach the agent all year.

Here are the basics of coaching to a business plan.

How often should you coach?

That depends on the agent. For newer agents, coach more frequently (at least monthly). For seasoned agents, coach a minimum of quarterly and better yet, monthly.

What should you coach to?

You’re going to use the numbers that the agent is generating by measuring the results of his business plan:

First, the goals: listings sold, sales, listings. Then, you’re going to help that agent measure activities:

Lead generation

Listing/sales appointments

You’re going to help the agent translate the activity numbers into ratios so the agent knows the work he must do to reach his goals.

Why bother to use the business plan as a foundation for coaching?

Because, otherwise, you’re just giving advice or doing ‘crisis management’. You want to be perceived as a trusted business coach, helping the agent grow his/her business.

Big questions: Is the planning system you’re using

1. Help the agent assess his business–where he’s been?

2. Help the agent set realistic goals and an action plan that translates into daily activities?

3. Has an accurate method to measure the activities and results of the activities so you and the agent can make fast adjustments?

Man-Walking-Up-Stairs-to-GlobeWant Some Support to Get Your Agents Business Plans?

Why not contact me to find out how I can educate your agents on business planning and support and coach you as a leader. Give me a call at 425.392-6914 or email me at carla@carlacross.com. I can do a webinar series for you, supply you will all the planning documents, and help your leadership coach your agents–at a very affordable cost with big pay-off for you.

Dec
16

Do You Have a Real Business Plan?

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small write outlineWhata��s in a business plan? Goals? Action plans? Youa��re right, as far as it goes. Buta��..Recently, I presented a webinar through the National Association of Realtorsa�� Learning Library, titled Not Your Grammya��s Business Plan. One of the points I made was that the old-style one-two page business planning templates just dona��t make it these days. Ita��s not enough to either write a

Platitude-heavy mission/vision plan, with a lot of a�?we will bea��.a��
Or
A goals-only plan

Why? Because neither version of a business plan does you much good if you want to create a business plan that is useable every day. You need a complete plan. You need to use a solid planning process–not just fill in some blanks!

Whata��s in a Useable Business Plan

Click here to see the parts of a strategic business plan for a real estate agent (this would work for any salesperson). I created this a�?flow charta�� after being frustrated that there was no good business planning process or template for real estate salespeople. I found that there needed to be a clear a�?patha�� from the big picture planning aspects (vision/mission/objectives) to the action plan. I also found there had to be a clear delineation of the parts of the action plan. Why? Agents will focus on what they find easya��the business support parts of the plan, not the lead generating parts of the plan.

Make Moneya��Or Not

By focusing on the review and action portions of your plan, you will have a real blueprint to follow to create success every day. Be very careful about which planning system you use. The way you think will determine the kind of plan you get. Follow the model I’ve provided her. Now, you have a useable business plan for 2010.

Want to see more on business planning? Check out my online business planning resources for agents and managers: Beyond the Basics of Business Planning. I take you right through the process.

Plan_Act_CelebrateManagers: In your program, I teach your agents how to make a plan. I help you integrate the office and agent plans, too.

 

penguins focused on goalsWhata��s your mission? Ita��s time to begin writing your business plan for 2015. In the next few blogs, I want to give you a few tips on creating various parts of your business plan. One of the important, but often-left-out parts of a business plan is your mission statement. What it is? Ita��s literally your mission in your business.

Mission statements answer the questions:

Why are you in this business?
What do you want to accomplish?
How are you going to achieve your mission?
Whata��s important to you?

Why Have a Mission Statement?

To keep yourself on track.
To decide what you will and wona��t do.
To state who you work with (and to think about who you wouldna��t work with).
For time management
For clarity and focus
To use as a springboard to your marketing

Mission statements should be:

a�? Well-defined
a�? Restrictive
a�? Complementary with your company statement (and the company statement should be reflected in any branch office/associate statements)

Mission statements are:

a�? Not lightly changed (usually stay the same through your
yearsa�� business plans)
a�? Written in the present tense
a�? Do not contain objectives or goals
a�? Not tied to time

Mission Statements Are Not Objectives or Goals

Mission statements are not quantifiable. Leave out any numbers a�� they go into your objectives. Following is an example: A person may write, a�?I am a profitable agent. I will make a profit of $50,000 every year.a�? The first part of the statement, a�?I am a profitable agenta�? has a place in a mission statement. But the last part of the statement is an objective, or quantifiable end result, and should be placed in another section of your plan. The mission statement is broader; it guides you as you make long-term decisions. The above offers some valuable tips on writing mission statements.

Mission Statements Arena��t Changed Lightly

Because mission statements are really statements of you as a businessperson, these statements are not lightly changed a�� just as you would not lightly change yourself. That does not mean that you might not work over time on how your statement is constructed, but it does mean that you do not change the essence of the statement, the specialties, the ideals a�� without considerable thought.

Mission Statements a�� In the Present

Statements should be written in the present tense. These statements convey you at your best a�� how you see yourself as a real estate professional. Because you may not have actually attained the picture you have in mind, you may be writing about yourself as you see yourself in the future. To cement that thought in your mind, use present tense verbs as you create your statement.

How to Use your Mission Statement

a�? To reflect back and forth throughout your business plan (Are
your actions congruent with your plan?)
a�? In your officea��framed in your entry
a�? In your marketing materials
a�? In your Professional Portfolio
a�? In your pre-first visiting listing and buyer packages
a�? In your email signatures
a�? On your website

Mission statements first clarify for you whata��s important, your focus, and your limitations. Then, they help consumers choose you. Use the parameters above to create your mission statement. It’s a basis for a successful business plan.

Resources

There are several examples of mission statements in both of my business planning resources: Both the managers’ and the agents’ resource are now online at Beyond the Basics of Business Planning. You can go back as often as you want and choose some–or all of the planning documents. Webinars walk you through the planning process.

Also, both my complimentary webinars on business planning are on my website. Click here to view them.

blue ribbonsHere are four tips to increase your agents’ chances of reaching their goals. The previous blog explored the power of intention in planning. So, how do we ‘supersize’ intentions so they last all year–and longer?

Here are four tips:

1.A�A�A�A� Include the a�?whya��

Why do you want this? Be specific. Make it full of passion and a�?technicolora��. This gives you purpose to what you want to achieve. Be sure ita��s something you really wanta��not something someone else wants for you (are they your goals or othersa�� goals?)

2.A�A�A�A� Concentrate on one intention at a time.

If you take too big a bite, you choke. So, focus on one thing you want to accomplish at a time. Use a calendar and put an intention for the quarter, for example.

3.A�A�A�A� Make it specific. Spell out exactly what youa��re going to do.

A�For example, if ita��s lead generation, say who youa��re going to contact, when, where, and what youa��ll say. Make a tracking system, too. Pretend youa��re giving this action plan to someone else. Could they follow it?

4.A�A�A�A� Repeat the strategy session every three months.

Research showed that intentions start to diminish. But, doing a a�?re-strategya�� session every three months renewed the intensity of the intention. So, Sit down and ask yourself those a�?whya�� questions every three months. A�

Managers: Teach your agents to have intention in their plans. Help them with their 3-month review strategy. Youa��ll be assisting them to form life-long habits of achievement. Everyone wins.

Plan_Act_CelebrateGet More Business Planning Help Here

Take a look at the 2 webinars I did on business planning. There’s one for leadership and one for agents. I hope you’ll get both information AND inspiration!

Click here to see them.

Looking for a business planning systems that really covers the bases? Check out my online program, Beyond the Basics of Business Planning.

I’ve got all the analysis tools you’ll need for your business plan–and for your agents’ plans. Don’t let 2014 be less than it should be because you don’t have all the information

A�

bullseyeHere’s how to use intentional planning to fire up your agents. I’m always looking for tips in motivating others (and myself). I found a great article from my personal trainer. It says that ‘intentional planning’ is the biggest component to obtain your goals.

What is ‘Intentional Planning’?

It’s making a behavioral-based action plan–which answers the questions what are you going to do? When are you going to do it? and How are you going to go about it?

The Science Behind this Component

A study in Advances in Experimental Social Psychology conducted with 8000 participants found that intentional planning was the key factor in a successful habit change. This approach increased the chance of successful change by 50-80%!

The ‘Secret’ to Change

We regularly declare our intentions. But, we rarely get specific about them. When we’re not specific, we don’t have a roadmap to chart that change. We don’t know the actions to take. In order to change our intentions from ‘general’ and ‘philosophical’ to action-based, we need to answer these questions:

What

When

How–what shall we practice? How shall we do it?

The Reason Most Business Plans Fail

As a manager and trainer, I’ve seen all sorts of business plans. I’ve seen all sorts of business planning templates. Unfortunately, many plans stay in the ‘what’–the philosophical statements or just the numbers. Inferior templates encourage this flawed thought process. So, people blithely create these business plans, set them on the shelf, and continue doing exactly what they have been doing!!! So, they get the same results.

My Business Planning System ‘Forces’ This Thought Process

Having used those flawed plans and having seen my agents and other managers fail with them, I built into my business planning system and templates the when and how. So, My system actually forces the user to think through the whole process–to get to the weekly/daily action plans that will help change their business habits for the better.

How Specific is YOUR Plan?

The acid test: Could I take your business plan, follow it, and see results? If it’s not that action-oriented, you can’t follow it either! Be sure the business planning system and templates you’re following direct your thinking from the ‘what’ to the when and the how. Now you’re cooking!

Managers: As you’re counseling your agents, be sure their plans get to ‘where the rubber meets the road’. Could you follow their plan–or is it just a series of numbers or high-fallutin’ statements?

Plan_Act_CelebrateGet More Business Planning Help Here

Take a look at the 2 webinars I did on business planning. There’s one for leadership and one for agents. I hope you’ll get both information AND inspiration!

Click here to see them.

Looking for a business planning systems that really covers the bases? Check out my online program, Beyond the Basics of Business Planning.

I’ve got all the analysis tools you’ll need for your business plan–and for your agents’ plans. Don’t let 2014 be less than it should be because you don’t have all the information

A�

 

 

small write outlineComplete that business plan; here are steps 3 and 4. (You got steps 1 and 2 in my previous blog) Youa��ve got to cracking on those first two steps to a great business plan that I gave you in my previous blog. Now, leta��s tackle the last two steps. Admittedly, you wona��t have an in-depth plan with these steps, but, you will have thought through the most important aspects for you to get ready to tackle. (and, I think you’ll be excited to get your plan done before the end of the year!).

Step three: Evaluating YOU

Rate yourself in the various management areas: recruiting, selection, coaching, training, retention, staff management, etc.

Bonus business planning form

Click here to get a management evaluation to see what you’ve already mastered and what you want to work on.

What have you mastered? What do you want to improve? This becomes your personal/professional training/coaching program for next year.

Step Four: What if

Complete this sentence:a�?If I did these three things next year, I would increase my productivity and profitabilitya�?:

1.
2.
3.

Now, you have your a�?big rocksa�� for your business plan for next year done.

Business plans: Active and Breathing, or Stuck on a Shelf?

Youa��re not making a business plan as a financial plan to get money from a bank. Youa��re not creating this wonderful, mushy visionary plan. Youa��re thinking about your specific situation, and then creating an action plan. You will actually put these actions into your monthly and weekly schedule, and act on them! This is the plan you will revisit at least monthly, to measure your actions and results against what you planned.

Make it an action plan and you will get into action.

For a comprehensive business planning systems, with fill-in forms for each part of your plan, see my online program for agents and leadership: Beyond the Basics of Business Planning.

Note: Both of these business planning systems have been recommended and endorsed by industry leaders CRS (Council of Residential Specialists) and CRB (Council of Certified Real Estate Brokerage Managers (advanced designations provided by the National Association of Realtors).

Plan_Act_CelebrateGet More Business Planning Help Here

Take a look at the 2 webinars I did on business planning. There’s one for leadership and one for agents. I hope you’ll get both information AND inspiration!

Click here to see them.

Looking for a business planning systems that really covers the bases? Check out my online program, Beyond the Basics of Business Planning.

kid with magnifying glassIt’s not too late to get your business plan done! Here are some tips to get it in motion–and have a good time doing it.

It really can be fun….What if you could actually have fun making a plana��and know that the plan you made would at least double your profits for the year? Wouldna��t that be lovely? Having helped hundreds real estate professionals create plans, Ia��ve found an easy method to make that plan in no time. Better yet, I promise that plan will be a blueprint that will work hard for you.

We all talk about it. Few of us actually do it. Even less of us actually follow it! But, almost all of us know we should do it: make a business plan. Why do we resist? Why do we make plans (if we do) that gather dust on a shelf? I think ita��s because ita��s too cumbersome to make the plan. Most plans arena��t practical enough to follow. Wea��re going to change all that right now.

Why Your Planning Process Didna��t Work for You

Too many real estate professionals try to start planning by writing an action plan. (That should actually be the last step!). Instead, start your plan as Ia��ve outlined below. The surprising observation Ia��ve made is that ita��s much faster and better to create the plan when youa��ve done the preliminary steps. In fact, finding out the information below catapults you to your next yeara��s action plana��before you have a chance to question yourself. It assures you have a great plan, too. (And, it goes so much faster).

Wea��ll start with the first two steps. In my next blog, Ia��ll lead you through the next two steps. So, before you know it, youa��ll be ready to polish the fine points of your plan.

Here are those first two steps:

1. Gather and analyze the important numbers. Gather last yeara��s numbers so you can analyze them quickly. (Best to have your secretary/assistant do this for you). These numbers should include the results that most greatly impact on your profitability: (You may have some other favorites. Feel free to analyze them):

a. Number of recruits/lead generation/appointment numbers
b. Net number of agents (how good were your recruiting/ retention efforts?)
c. Number of listings taken
d. Number of listings sold
e. Ratio of listings taken to listings sold
f. Number of sales
g. Balance/ratio of number of sales to listings sold
h. Expenses (whata��s higher than your budget for the year?

Whata��s out of balance with your income and profitability? What can you change?)

Analyzing these numbers give you great big hints as to what you should do as an action plan next year. In fact, youa��ll find it difficult not to think ahead to your action plan! (Thata��s a good thing!).

Your recruiting/lead generating plan for next year
Your retention plan for next year
Your training plan for listings next year
Your coaching plan for each agent/for you (balance of listings sold and sales?) (productivity)

Just with that first step, you almost have the action part of your business plan done!

2. Evaluating YOU. Rate yourself in the various skill areas: recruiting, selection, coaching, training, retention, staff management, etc. For agents, that would be lead generation, lead conversion, presentation skills. Technology skills, etc.

What have you mastered? What do you want to improve? This becomes your personal/professional training/coaching program for next year.

Your Goal Deadline for These Two Steps

Holding ourselves accountable for what we want is very difficult! So, to help you, Ia��m going to ask you to create a target date to finish these two steps: Jan. 5. Why? So youa��ll be ready for my next blog and the next two steps. This year: A fun, a�?got the lovea�� business plan! I promise youa��ll stand out from the normal real estate pro who never gets around to getting one.

For a comprehensive business planning systems, with fill-in forms for each part of your plan, see my online program for agents and leadership: Beyond the Basics of Business Planning.

Note: Both of these business planning systems have been recommended and endorsed by industry leaders CRS (Council of Residential Specialists) and CRB (Council of Certified Real Estate Brokerage Managers (advanced designations provided by the National Association of Realtors).

Plan_Act_CelebrateGet More Business Planning Help Here

Take a look at the 2 webinars I did on business planning. There’s one for leadership and one for agents. I hope you’ll get both information AND inspiration!

Click here to see them.

Looking for a business planning systems that really covers the bases? Check out my online program, Beyond the Basics of Business Planning.

I’ve got all the analysis tools you’ll need for your business plan–and for your agents’ plans. Don’t let 2014 be less than it should be because you don’t have all the information!

person with card successDo your agents have mission statements as part of their business plans?A�Why is having a mission important? How should it guide agents? You’ve heard the talks about finding your passion. But, you see your agents being over-whelmed in their careers. It’s just too much to think big when they’re A�just trying to find that house or convince a buyer to work with them!

The Importance of Your Mission

This time of year, we’re encouraging everyone to create their business plans. One of the first things you’ll do in creating your own business plan is to define your mission. Why? Because, otherwise, you don’t know whether or not the actions you decide to take will fulfill your mission. This is also true of your agents.

Tackling and Bringing Down your Time Management Challenges

If agents have been in the sales business a little while,A�they’ve already discovered thatA�their biggest challenge is time management.A� HowA�can theyA�get done in a business day everything that needs getting done? That’s where your mission comes in. Creating your mission helps you prioritizeA�all the things you’re supposed to do. It helps you decide what not to do. Most important, it helps you figure out

how to put YOU into your management and sales business successfully

I have a gift for you right now, to help you assist your agents inA�defining their vision (where you want to ‘end up’ in your business) andA�their missions (it works for leadership, too). Click hereto get this planning tool, which is excerpted form my resource Beyond the Basics of Business Planning (all the planning documents and guidance you need for yourself AND to guide your agents).

Plan_Act_CelebrateGet More Business Planning Help Here

Take a look at the 2 webinars I did on business planning. There’s one for leadership and one for agents. I hope you’ll get both information AND inspiration!

Click here to see them.

Looking for a business planning systems that really covers the bases? Check out my online program, Beyond the Basics of Business Planning.

I’ve got all the analysis tools you’ll need for your business plan–and for your agents’ plans. Don’t let 2014 be less than it should be because you don’t have all the information!