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.

First Whack Up the Side of the Head for Real Estate Leaders


This January and February, I’m featuring the topic ‘leadership’. Why? Because it’s one of the biggest real estate industry trends (and probably world trends) of 2012 and beyond. Look for leadership strategies and trends (not just in the real estate industry), plus ready-to-use documents to go from ‘maintenance management’ to leadership. And, check out my complimentary recorded A�webinar for leadership. See more below, too.A�A�A�A�A�

Here is the first a�?whack up the side of the heada�� we managers need to implement the actions to assure profits now. Therea��s a longer-term ramification, too. The result of implementing these a�?whacksa�� is an tremendous opportunity to actually improve our industry, stabilize the freefall of commissions, and become the value-added profession we so long have touted as true.A�

Why Listen Up Now?A�

You have heard many of the ideas here before. Businesses in other industries have embraced these business concepts in the past decade. But, brokers simply have not adopted them. Why should brokers listen and take action now? Because times have changed enough that we cana��t afford to keep persevering in old ways.A�

Small changes have big impacts. In his book, Microtrends, Mark Penn identified 75 microtrends sweeping the nation. One of them he calls a�?southpaws unbounda��. Since Ia��m a lefty, I read that trend with interest, because I was one of a few of those children of my generation who learned to write properly with my left hand. When I was about four, my mother, a schoolteacher, taught me to write, and let me use my dominant left hand. When she found out schools were forcing kids to become right-handed, she asked my kindergarten and grade school teachers to allow me to write with my left hand. She actually single-handedly countered the principle of forcing naturally left-handed kids to become right-handed.A�

Now, though, the trend of making all lefties into writing with the rightA� hand (or at least trying) is reversed. According to Penn, the number of left-handed people has doubled in two generations.A� Why? Because parents are encouraging their children to use the naturally dominant hand. Schools are now teaching left or right hand writing. What does that mean to business? A wealth of opportunities to create left-handed gadgets. What does that mean to the lefty? No conflict in the brain about natural dominance. No failure in school because we couldna��t translate the right-hand directions. More confidence in our own abilities. This trend may seem very a�?microa�� to you, but, to a lefty, ita��s huge!A�

(My mom, who worried a lot about what people think, would feel very pleased that her bravery in insisting I stayed left-handed in school was vindicated).A�

A�A�TheA�A�a�?Whacka�� and RecommendationsA�

Several societal sea changes were at work to alter how left-handed people were treated. One change was the recognition there were other ways to do things than what was traditionally donea��a change embraced by both parents and schools. Another societal change was that creativity was now valued, not just a�?do it as I did it because I told you to do ita��.A�

As with all adopted practices, several principles and actions come together to create a a�?critical massa��. Below are my observations about our traditional business practices that have become ineffective, due to consumer dissatisfaction, business expectations, much more education, and mass communication. Here are the observations, along with recommendations, to move our business practices to stability and profitability long-term.A�A�

Whack #1: Recruiting can no longer be thought of as an a�?on accidenta�� occurrence.A�A�

In a fast market, everybody wanted to sell real estatea��and, most of them could sella��a bit. Now, thata��s not the case. Brokers need to find agents who will actually develop careers. That means brokers must search for capable agents on purpose (just like agents must lead generate on purpose). Yet, very few brokers have a recruiting plan. It seems they are still waiting for the market to become that accidental marketa��just like agents. Ita��s time to break the habits of the a�?on accidenta�� recruiter and get focused. Now, just another body to fill a seat wona��t cut it.A�

Recommendations to become an a�?on purposea�� recruiter:A�

  1. Make a recruiting plan! (Youa��ll need a a�?templatea�� to guide you through the thought process in my 365 leadership program)
  2. Use a good contact management program. How else are you going to track all those people you will be contacting?
  3. Set aside two hours each day (in the morning) to make recruiting calls.
  4. Set aside at least ten hours a week to interview a�?candidatesa��. Yes, stop thinking of anyone in front of you as a coveted potential agent, and start thinking of them as a�?candidatesa��. Using that word implies that it is a privilege to get to be chosen by you.

What paradigms have you changed in your recruiting and selection to adjust to the emerging market?

Leadership Strategies By the Month

A�Do you want to step into a better leadership style? Be more effective? Recruit more and better? I’ve created a very special, unique program for managers and owners: Once a month I share a specific leadershp strategy to recruit, choose, train, coach, and retain winners. These are proven strategies to get you out of a rut, take you past crisis management, and energize and inspire your team. See more at 365 Leadership. This new series closes for enrollment March 15. Find out more here.


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