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.

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This month, I’m focusing on business planning. I want every professional to have a great plan for next year. Look for checklists, processes, and systems, too, ready to use.

You’ve decided to coach your agents in creating great business plans. but, if you’ve never coached an agent in business planning, it can be quite daunting.A� So, what do you look for? In this blog, I’ll show you how to use their statistic

listings taken to listings sold in normal market time.

to coach them to a better year next year. You would think agents know this statistic, but very few do. Ita��s so important, because it

  1. Determines whether the agent makes enough money per listing or not
  2. Determines whether the agent builds a positive reputation or a poor one
  3. Reflects the agenta��s value-proposition strategy
  4. Reflects on the officea��s productivity and profitability

Your success rate with listings sold is, in my opinion, the one most important reflection of agent value propositions out there.

For example: A�George Smith, a 10-year seasoned agent, has demonstrated a consistent listing strategy. A�Georgea��s a�?success ratioa�� is 40%. That is, he sells 40% of his listings in normal market time. What does that say about Georgea��s values proposition strategy? How is George a�?usinga�� his listings? Is that the culture you want perpetuated in your office?

Sally Overton has a different value proposition strategy. She has a 90% success ratio in listings taken to listings sold in normal market time. Obviously, she is building her referral systema��her raving fans. She is making herself more money in less time. She is drastically reducing the number of complaints (and attacks on her self-esteem, too). She is a role model for best practices in her real estate office. Is that practice more in line with your culture?

Your opportunity: As Georgea��s business planning consultant, youa��ll be a�?testinga�� George to see if he wants tochange his strategy (some agents love being a�?bait and switchersa�� too much to change). Youa��ll have the opportunity to help Sally leverage her awesome conversion rates to obtain even more raving fans. (Nothing succeeds like success).

Do you know your ‘conversion numbers’ in listings taken to listings sold for your company? When you make your own plan, be sure to do a thorough review, and find this number. A high number means you’ll be able to recruit better, get better retention, have better team spirit, and your agents can build on that reputation. A low number means you have a lot to work on!

Click here for a list of common agent business planning mistakes to help you as you coach agents through the planning process.

Excerpted from my agent business planning system, The Business Planning System for the Real Estate Professional.

In my business planning coaching series, I take manager coaches through the process, show them what to look for, and coach them as they coach agents. Check it out. I’ll do most of the work, and you’ll get the credit–and, a focused, inspired group of agents eager to reach their goals next year.

As a musician, I know when I play a piece of music people like, they clap. That makes us musicians feel good. In fact, it makes us want to play more music. Another way to look at it is

Behavior that’s rewarded is repeated.

As managers, we need to use our motivational tools with great skill. Unfortunately, once in awhile, with certain personalities, we unwittingly start rewarding behavior we really don’t want repeated.

The Dreaded Visit from Sally

You’re managing a busy office. There are lots of people in your office that you look forward to seeing. Then, there’s……..Sally. She’s the person who corners you in your office with a complaint. In fact, it’s always a complaint! (You start wondering how she can keep thinking up new ones…) It doesn’t take long until you dread seeing Sally. You even make excuses not to talk to Sally. But, Sally is tenacious. She catches you when you’re not looking–and tosses another monkey for you to catch, nurture, feed, and keep forever (you remember the ‘monkey on your back’, don’t you?) At this point, you have a choice to make:
1. Give Sally the attention she wants for her complaint–reward the behavior
2. Change the game to one of positive reinforcement for the behaviors you want from Sally

Giving it Back to Sally–Differently

Instead of always reacting to Sally’s complaint (she can really come up with doozies, can’t she…), take a different tack. Get on the ‘offensive’. Invite Sally to lunch, or to coffee–anything to get her out of her attack mode and frame of reference. Explain you want an opportunity to get to know her better.

Changing Frames of Reference Can Get Behavioral Changes

Your job is to start providing rewards for the behaviors you want, instead of rewarding the behaviors Sally is exhibiting naturally. Sally has learned to create uproar, controversy, and to get attention through her negativity. Changing the ‘view’ and the behavior-reward process will provide you an opportunity to create a much better relationship with Sally–to the point where you will actually look forward to her visits!