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 mentoring

Do you tell everyone that your agents are a ‘team’. Really? Read what it means to be a ‘team’, and some of the steps to take to get there–and the benefits.

‘Team’–or, “You’re on your Own”

In real estate, for years we said,

“We don’t need to think of ourselves as a team. We’re independent contractors. We work alone.”

That perspective has certainly changed in the last few years, and it’s a continuing trend. Why? Because the challenges are so much greater. The needs for specialists is so much greater. Both managers and agents are learning the benefits of a synergystic team. And, for managers, it gives them an opportunity to stop that old ‘top-down’ management style and step into participative management

Who Has Supported You in your Life?

Think of a time in your life when you accomplished something noteworthy. Were you completely alone? Or was someone with you? If someone was involved in your accomplishment, think of how that person was involved. Did he or she help you get that done? Taught you the skills to do that job? Encouraged you?

That exercise always elicits smiles, warm memories and enthusiasm. And no one with whom I’ve done that exercise has ever said that he or she accomplished something important alone. Wow–you were a part of a ‘team’!

Management tip: Try that in your real estate office. See what kind of response you get. Then hold a discussion using the points in this and my next blog.

No One Succeeds Alone

What about talented people? Can they master skills alone? The answer is no. (I said ‘master’, not slop through……). Since I have been a musician from age four, I thought about my musical experiences and how much musicians can accomplish alone–or not. I concluded as I thought about my musician friends, that, no one could succeed to a high level without outside coaching.

As I grew up, I watched innately talented musicians get stuck. Why? They could take themselves only so far without some coaching. (You would call that ‘playing by ear’ For example, many found they had to learn to read music to achieve their goals. Why? It is impossible to learn a Beethoven sonata by ear–accurately! It is simply too long. I don’t know anyone who taught him- or herself to read music alone. And that just the basics.

We musicians know that we can’t hear ourselves play or sing well enough to correct all our mistakes. We tend to get into bad habits, and keep repeating them. We need a coach with a great ear to help us refine our performances. And the need for coaching never ends, as long as we want to maintain levels of performance.

Who Is Supporting You to Master Real Estate Management?

It is time to acknowledge that none of us can master real estate alone. How did we ever create the folklore that we had to work alone in our endeavors to achieve accomplishments in real estate? I can’t think of a skill that anyone can master where the practititioner had no teaching, coaching, mentoring or encouragement.

We Damaged the Real Estate Industry….

By perpetuating this folklore, we have damaged the real estate industry. We did the easy, expedient and inexpensive thing: We told our sales associates that this was an an ndependent business–that they were in business for themselves. (We are, to great extent, but that doesn’t assume we hve the SKILLS to run those businesses!) We trashed our training programs. We forced our sales associates to seek outside coaching and consulting.

What we got was a very uneven standard of performance, and we created adversarial relationships among sales associates and between sales associates and managers. What we allowed were uncommon goals, more competition, less cooperation–and we did it with a bunch of people who already are highly competitive. We threw out leadership and what we got was anarchy, in some cases.

Leadership Steps

Start coaching your sales associates again. Help them discover that no one achieves alone. Then start building a team atmosphere. What do I mean by a team? Not what you might think. Don’t get up in front of your sales associates and say, “We will accomplish more together as a team.” So now we are a team. That’s ludicrous. And yet, that’s exactly why so many teamwork concepts fail. Teamwork is not an announcement. It is a process–a process that requires skills that many managers, and sports coaches, have not mastered.

What Exactly is a ‘Team’?

A team is not a rah-rah group of people drawn together in a power play. A team isn’t a social group. A team isn’t a group of people who agree to do things the manager’s way, or whoever is the a boss– such as the dominant sales associate. A team is two or more people working on a common task, focused on mutually agreed to and mutually beneficial results.

You can think of the team acronym, “Together Everyone Accomplishes More.”

What do you think? What’s your experience in a ‘go it alone’ atmosphere, versus a team atmosphere?

Blog-CoachIn the prior blog, we talked about the attributes of various types of coaching/mentoring programs. Coaching, mentoring, and peer coaching terms are used with wild abandon. So, are you offering coaching, mentoring, or peer coaching? What’s the difference? Should agents get a coach–or a mentor? Have you defined those terms? Are you clear with agents as to what they’re getting in each of these categories?A� Before you create a program, be sure you know what the program is and should do for that new or re-energizing agent.

Should I get a coach or mentor? Those are questions new agents (and seasoned agents) ask themselves over and over. This blog is excerpted from my eBook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

This advice is given to the agent entering the business, but, as a manager, read it as though you are also defining your services.

Types of Coaches

Professional coach: Someone trained to coach, who uses a specific program and who is paid to be your coach. If youa��re considering a professional coach, find out the specific program the coach will use to coach you. Get expectations in writing, and give your expectations in writing. You should expect to sign a 3-12 month contract.

Manager coach or in-office coach: Someone who may be trained as a coach, who has agreed to coach you. May be paid from your commissions or from a combination of office/your commissions. May be paid on an hourly based by the agent. Be sure this coach is prepared to be your accountability coach, has a specific schedule with you, and a specific start-up plan to coach you. Otherwise, youa��re just getting an a�?advice sessiona��.

Peer coach: Someone in the office, an agent, who has agreed to be your coach. However, this could be anything from

  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Answer questions
  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Let you a�?shadow thema�� (see how they do a listing/buyer presentation or offer presentation)
  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Be your accountability coach

Most peer coaches dona��t have a coaching program to coach to, and havena��t been trained. They are also at a loss with what to do if the agent refuses to do the work.

In my experience, the agent has the highest hopes that the peer coach will fulfill his dreams of whatever coaching is to him. The peer coach is hoping the agent just doesna��t ask too many questions!

Advice to Agents

If youa��re going to work with a peer coach, get in writing exactly what that peer coach is willing to do with and for you. Bad peer coaching can turn into a nightmarea��for both parties.

Agentsa�� advice: Dozens of experienced agents have told me they wish they had started with a professional coach. If you can find one to trusta��and to followa��youa��ll shorten your learning curve dramatically and easily pay for the coaching fee. Plus, youa��ll establish a successful long-term career.

Getting a Mentor

What is a a�?mentora��? Therea��s not a clearly defined job function. Mentors are usually seasoned agents who offer to help new agents. They may

  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Offer advice
  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Allow you to shadow them
  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Ask you to do parts of their business

New agents love the thought of a mentor, because they have so many questions. And, they think the mentor will be their a�?answer mana��. But, Ia��ve observed that having an a�?answer mana�� surely doesna��t guarantee success. In fact, it may impede an agent getting into action. How? An agent may think he needs more and more information before he will act. Then, he just keeps coming to the mentor for every question under the sun. And, the more the new agent knows, the more frightened he becomes. Plus, the advice received from the mentor may not be in the new agenta��s best interest.

If you are considering a mentor, get in writing exactly what the mentor will do for you.

Big question: Why is the mentor willing to help you? What does the mentor expect from you?

Treat getting a coach or a mentor as an employment issue. Create good questions and interview. Armed with the advice above, you’ll make the right decision for you.

Managers: What programs do you offer? Have you defined them? What are the benefits to your prospective ‘clients’?

what-they-dont-3d_cover

Save Time Interviewing. Help Sort the Serious from the Semi-Pros!

Are you spending hours educating would-be agents on the business? If so, you need this eBook! In 282 pages, Carla Cross provides answers to hundreds of questions agents have. Help your interviewees get the advice they need, find dozens of questions to ask, and use checklists to hit the ground running before they are licensed! Check out What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

Managers: Use the checklist on what to do in pre-license school to hit the ground running to ‘test’ your best interviewees and get them prepared to sell real estate FAST when they are licensed.

coaching for leadershipDo you have a coaching program? Are you sure? Coaching, mentoring, and peer coaching terms are used with wild abandon. So, are you offering coaching, mentoring, or peer coaching? What’s the difference? Should agents get a coach–or a mentor? Have you defined those terms? Are you clear with agents as to what they’re getting in each of these categories?A� Before you create a program, be sure you know what the program is and should do for that new or re-energizing agent.

Should I get a coach or mentor? Those are questions new agents (and seasoned agents) ask themselves over and over. This blog is excerpted from my eBook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

This advice is given to the agent entering the business, but, as a manager, read it as though you are also defining your services.

What Do Those Coaching Choices Mean to the New Agent?

Agents: As youa��re interviewing, you may be offered these things:

  • An accountability coach (the manager or a professional coach affiliated with that office)
    A peer coach
    Become a team member
    Become an assistant

In this blog, we’ll tackle the pros and cons of getting a coach. In a later blog, we’ll look at mentoring.

What about Getting a Coach?

I hope your manager will become your accountability coach. In fact, a recent survey by Inman Select found that one of the biggest pieces of advice for new agents’ success was to get a coach. But, many managers promise to a�?coach youa��. However, that quickly becomes a a�?got a minutea�� answer man function instead of a focused, linear, goal-oriented action coaching. You dona��t need a coach just for answers. You need a coach to hold you accountable to your goals and action plan.

Choosing a Coach

Here are three important points you should consider as you search for a coach:

  1. The specific program should be highly organized and precisely outA�lined with checklists and systems. Ask, a�?What system are you going to use to coach me?a�? You need a specific game plan, because you are new. You have no history.
  2. The specific program should be related to a a�?game plana�?a��a busiA�ness start-up plan. Ask, a�?What game plan are you going to use?a�?
  3. The coaches should be trained and coached themselves. Ask, a�?Whata��s your coaching background, and what sales principles do you believe in?a�? For example, each of our coaches in the Carla Cross Coaching program has been trained by me and coached regularly by me.

A�Positives: Having a coach keeps you on track, motivated, and, ideA�ally, inspired to reach your goals.

Watch out for: Your coach is trained and dedicated to your success, and is following a proven game plan (otherwise youa��ll be paying just to talk to someone every once in a while).

Managers/coaches: How would you answer the questions above? Do you provide evidence? How competitive are you with your defined programs?

Treat getting a coach or a mentor as an employment issue. Create good questions and interview. Armed with the advice above, you’ll make the right decision for you.

what-they-dont-3d_cover

Save Time Interviewing. Help Sort the Serious from the Semi-Pros!

Are you spending hours educating would-be agents on the business? If so, you need this eBook! In 282 pages, Carla Cross provides answers to hundreds of questions agents have. Help your interviewees get the advice they need, find dozens of questions to ask, and use checklists to hit the ground running before they are licensed! Check out What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

Managers: Use the checklist on what to do in pre-license school to hit the ground running to ‘test’ your best interviewees and get them prepared to sell real estate FAST when they are licensed.

Are you offering coaching, mentoring, or peer coaching? What’s the difference? Should agents get a coach–or a mentor? Have you defined those terms? Are you clear with agents as to what they’re getting in each of these categories?A� Before you create a program, be sure you know what the program is and should do for that new or re-energizing agent.

Should I get a coach or mentor? Those are questions new agents (and seasoned agents) ask themselves over and over. This blog is excerpted from my eBook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

This advice is given to the agent entering the business, but, as a manager, read it as though you are also defining your services.

question in front of faceAs youa��re interviewing, you may be offered these things:

  • An accountability coach (the manager or a professional coach affiliated with that office)
    A peer coach
    Become a team member
    Become an assistant

In this blog, we’ll tackle the pros and cons of getting a coach or a mentor.

What about Getting a Coach?

I hope your manager will become your accountability coach. But, many managers promise to a�?coach youa��. However, that quickly becomes a a�?got a minutea�� answer man function instead of a focused, linear, goal-oriented action coaching. You dona��t need a coach just for answers. You need a coach to hold you accountable to your goals and action plan.

Choosing a Coach

Here are three important points you should consider as you search for a coach:

  1. The specific program should be highly organized and precisely outA�lined with checklists and systems. Ask, a�?What system are you going to use to coach me?a�? You need a specific game plan, because you are new. You have no history.
  2. The specific program should be related to a a�?game plana�?a��a busiA�ness start-up plan. Ask, a�?What game plan are you going to use?a�?
  3. The coaches should be trained and coached themselves. Ask, a�?Whata��s your coaching background, and what sales principles do you believe in?a�? For example, each of our coaches in the Carla Cross Coaching program has been trained by me and coached regularly by me.

A�Positives: Having a coach keeps you on track, motivated, and, ideA�ally, inspired to reach your goals.

Watch out for: Your coach is trained and dedicated to your success, and is following a proven game plan (otherwise youa��ll be paying just to talk to someone every once in a while).

Types of Coaches

Professional coach: Someone trained to coach, who uses a specific program and who is paid to be your coach. If youa��re considering a professional coach, find out the specific program the coach will use to coach you. Get expectations in writing, and give your expectations in writing. You should expect to sign a 3-12 month contract.

Manager coach or in-office coach: Someone who may be trained as a coach, who has agreed to coach you. May be paid from your commissions or from a combination of office/your commissions. May be paid on an hourly based by the agent. Be sure this coach is prepared to be your accountability coach, has a specific schedule with you, and a specific start-up plan to coach you. Otherwise, youa��re just getting an a�?advice sessiona��.

Peer coach: Someone in the office, an agent, who has agreed to be your coach. However, this could be anything from

  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Answer questions
  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Let you a�?shadow thema�� (see how they do a listing/buyer presentation or offer presentation)
  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Be your accountability coach

Most peer coaches dona��t have a coaching program to coach to, and havena��t been trained. They are also at a loss with what to do if the agent refuses to do the work.

In my experience, the agent has the highest hopes that the peer coach will fulfill his dreams of whatever coaching is to him. The peer coach is hoping the agent just doesna��t ask too many questions!

If youa��re going to work with a peer coach, get in writing exactly what that peer coach is willing to do with and for you. Bad peer coaching can turn into a nightmarea��for both parties.

Agentsa�� advice: Dozens of experienced agents have told me they wish they had started with a professional coach. If you can find one to trusta��and to followa��youa��ll shorten your learning curve dramatically and easily pay for the coaching fee. Plus, youa��ll establish a successful long-term career.

Next, wea��ll discuss three a�?safety-netsa�� that some new agents considera��because theya��re afraid they will not be able to generate enough commissions by relying solely on their own work.

Getting a Mentor

What is a a�?mentora��? Therea��s not a clearly defined job function. Mentors are usually seasoned agents who offer to help new agents. They may

  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Offer advice
  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Allow you to shadow them
  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Ask you to do parts of their business

New agents love the thought of a mentor, because they have so many questions. And, they think the mentor will be their a�?answer mana��. But, Ia��ve observed that having an a�?answer mana�� surely doesna��t guarantee success. In fact, it may impede an agent getting into action. How? An agent may think he needs more and more information before he will act. Then, he just keeps coming to the mentor for every question under the sun. And, the more the new agent knows, the more frightened he becomes. Plus, the advice received from the mentor may not be in the new agenta��s best interest.

If you are considering a mentor, get in writing exactly what the mentor will do for you.

Big question: Why is the mentor willing to help you? What does the mentor expect from you?

Treat getting a coach or a mentor as an employment issue. Create good questions and interview. Armed with the advice above, you’ll make the right decision for you.

what-they-dont-3d_cover

Save Time Interviewing. Help Sort the Serious from the Semi-Pros!

Are you spending hours educating would-be agents on the business? If so, you need this eBook! In 282 pages, Carla Cross provides answers to hundreds of questions agents have. Help your interviewees get the advice they need, find dozens of questions to ask, and use checklists to hit the ground running before they are licensed! Check out What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

Managers: Use the checklist on what to do in pre-license school to hit the ground running to ‘test’ your best interviewees and get them prepared to sell real estate FAST when they are licensed.

This blog is excerpted from my new eBook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.A�

As managers, I want you to know the advice I’m giving to prospective agents.

coachingAs youa��re interviewing, you may be offered these things:

  • An accountability coach (the manager or a professional coach affiliated with that office)
  • A peer coach
  • Become a team member
  • Become an assistant

In this blog, we’ll tackle the pros and cons of getting a coach or a mentor.

What about Getting a Coach?

I hope your manager will become your accountability coach. But, many managers promise to a�?coach youa��. However, that quickly becomes a a�?got a minutea�� answer man function instead of a focused, linear, goal-oriented action coaching. You dona��t need a coach just for answers. You need a coach to hold you accountable to your goals and action plan.

Choosing a Coach

Here are three important points you should consider as you search for a coach:

  1. The specific program should be highly organized and precisely outA�lined with checklists and systems. Ask, a�?What system are you going to use to coach me?a�? You need a specific game plan, because you are new. You have no history.
  2. The specific program should be related to a a�?game plana�?a��a busiA�ness start-up plan. Ask, a�?What game plan are you going to use?a�?
  3. The coaches should be trained and coached themselves. Ask, a�?Whata��s your coaching background, and what sales principles do you believe in?a�? For example, each of our coaches in the Carla Cross Coaching program has been trained by me and coached regularly by me.

A�Positives: Having a coach keeps you on track, motivated, and, ideA�ally, inspired to reach your goals.

Watch out for: Your coach is trained and dedicated to your success, and is following a proven game plan (otherwise youa��ll be paying just to talk to someone every once in a while).

Types of Coaches

Professional coach: Someone trained to coach, who uses a specific program and who is paid to be your coach. If youa��re considering a professional coach, find out the specific program the coach will use to coach you. Get expectations in writing, and give your expectations in writing. You should expect to sign a 3-12 month contract.

Manager coach or in-office coach: Someone who may be trained as a coach, who has agreed to coach you. May be paid from your commissions or from a combination of office/your commissions. May be paid on an hourly based by the agent. Be sure this coach is prepared to be your accountability coach, has a specific schedule with you, and a specific start-up plan to coach you. Otherwise, youa��re just getting an a�?advice sessiona��.

Peer coach: Someone in the office, an agent, who has agreed to be your coach. However, this could be anything from

  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Answer questions
  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Let you a�?shadow thema�� (see how they do a listing/buyer presentation or offer presentation)
  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Be your accountability coach

Most peer coaches dona��t have a coaching program to coach to, and havena��t been trained. They are also at a loss with what to do if the agent refuses to do the work.

In my experience, the agent has the highest hopes that the peer coach will fulfill his dreams of whatever coaching is to him. The peer coach is hoping the agent just doesna��t ask too many questions!

If youa��re going to work with a peer coach, get in writing exactly what that peer coach is willing to do with and for you. Bad peer coaching can turn into a nightmarea��for both parties.

Agentsa�� advice: Dozens of experienced agents have told me they wish they had started with a professional coach. If you can find one to trusta��and to followa��youa��ll shorten your learning curve dramatically and easily pay for the coaching fee. Plus, youa��ll establish a successful long-term career.

Next, wea��ll discuss three a�?safety-netsa�� that some new agents considera��because theya��re afraid they will not be able to generate enough commissions by relying solely on their own work.

Getting a Mentor

What is a a�?mentora��? Therea��s not a clearly defined job function. Mentors are usually seasoned agents who offer to help new agents. They may

  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Offer advice
  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Allow you to shadow them
  • A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Ask you to do parts of their business

New agents love the thought of a mentor, because they have so many questions. And, they think the mentor will be their a�?answer mana��. But, Ia��ve observed that having an a�?answer mana�� surely doesna��t guarantee success. In fact, it may impede an agent getting into action. How? An agent may think he needs more and more information before he will act. Then, he just keeps coming to the mentor for every question under the sun. And, the more the new agent knows, the more frightened he becomes. Plus, the advice received from the mentor may not be in the new agenta��s best interest.

If you are considering a mentor, get in writing exactly what the mentor will do for you.

Big question: Why is the mentor willing to help you? What does the mentor expect from you?

Treat getting a coach or a mentor as an employment issue. Create good questions and interview. Armed with the advice above, you’ll make a good decision.

Managers: How would you address the concerns above?