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Archive for orientation

clockOnboarding: Those critical first seven days. Find out why that first week is so critical.

First: What does new agent onboarding and training have to do with retention? According to two recent studies–a whole lot!

In this blog, I’ll address some of the results and its ramifications for real state companies–from the survey published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Why Bother with a Great Onboarding System?

Because you’ll have much great retention! According to the SHRM study, companies that leave onboarding to chance experience higher than 50% failure rates when it comes to retaining new talent.

Question: Do you have a great orientation system? Are you leaving anything to chance? Does your new agent feel like he/she is in a fog for the first few months?

If you want a template and suggestions of what should be included in your orientation, click here.

Those New Hires Check Outa There Fast! (Faster than you Think!)

According to the same SHRM survey, 67% of millennials are already thinking of looking for their next job on day ONE!


Tips for Those First Critical Seven Days:

  1. Manager sends a welcome email  or snail mail (better) to new agent on day one.
  2. Each day’s activities are completely outlined so the new agent knows exactly how to proceed (you’re building in habits of success).
  3. The first week’s activities include shadowing and lunch with one of your senior colleagues. (If you have an advisory council, this is a perfect match!)
  4. Welcome gift given to the new agent on day one.
  5. End of first day checklist completed with manager
  6. Round table or lunch set up with your influential agents to welcome the new agent
  7. Use a detailed, prioritized action-plan checklist, like Up and Running in 30 Days, to assure the new agent knows exactly what to do, how to do it, and is held accountable to it.

Outcome: 69% of new employees are more likely to stay more than three years if they have experienced a well-structured onboarding program.

So, how does your onboarding system stack up?

Find out: Regularly survey your agents who have been with you 6 months to find out what they found valuable and how it could be improved. Why not have the best onboarding/retention system in the industry?

A Survey for You to Use: Next

In my next blog, I’ll share the survey I just did in an office where I’m consulting on their onboarding system. Boy, did I get some great feedback!

How’s Your Quick-Start Program Working?

Up and Running_5e largerBoth these onboarding studies prove that leaving the new agent’s orientation, training, and start to chance just doesn’t cut it. Take a look at what’s new in Up and Running in 30 Days: updates in 5th edition. This invaluable book is only $32.95 plus shipping, and has been used by thousands of new agents to launch successful careers. Order here.

What could your retention rate be if you had a superior onboarding system?



Here’s what your new agents need to do their second week in the business.

These 2 blogs (my previous one and this one) are excerpted from my eBook, What They Don’t Teach You in Pre-License School.

Compare this advice to how you start your new agents into their second weeks in the business.

Here’s what to do your second week in the business.

Business start-up plan: You should start your lead generating now, devoting two hours a day, five days a week. Why? Because you want to generate lots of potential clients so you can choose the best ones. If you dona��t start now, you are just putting off your success another month!

Your coach: Meet with your coach at least 3 times this week to assure youa��re starting your business to production fast.

Benefits of ShadowingA�

Shadowing: This literally means following a seasoned agent as he/she does his/her business. Typically, you would shadow an agent doing a listing presentation, a buyer presentation, or presenting an offer. Is it a good thing to do? It depends on the abilities of the agent. If you decide you want to shadow, find out:

What format the agent is going to use; is it a format that you will or have been trained to do (like an approved listing presentation)?

Whata��s the point of the shadowing?

Will you get coaching on your own presentations as part of the shadowing process?

What are you expected to provide in return?

Shadowing provides a a�?modela�� for you. Be sure ita��s a model you want to emulate!

What Your Training Priorities Should BeA�

Most companies have company training programs, or programs they recommend. You should attend.

These are:

  1. Lead generation communication skills: You need to learn, and practice the skills of lead generation so you can begin to generate leads (which lead to appointments which lead to clients which lead to SALES!)
  2. Buyer and seller presentations: You should be given these presentations and should practice them. This includes qualifying buyers and sellers.
  3. Business planning skills, including a business start-up plana��you should have a course that teaches you the basics of how the numbers work, and gives you a method to set your goals and keep score
  4. A�Principles of Agency and how to explain agency to a seller or buyer
  5. How to complete a listing agreement and explain it to a seller
  6. How to write a purchase and sale agreement and explain it to buyers and sellers

Why these priorities? Because these either put you right on the sales path, or provide the technical information you need to support those sales activities.

What About Everything Else?A�

What about all the rest of the knowledge you dona��t have and are afraid someone will find out you dona��t have? Dona��t worry. You will be able to learn as you go. But, if you avoid getting into the field and meeting potential clients, you wona��t need to worry about learning more. Youa��ll be out of the businessa��..

See more: For detailed weekly schedules and activity plans for your first two months in the business, see my online business start-up program,A�Up and Running in Real Estate.


trainer hand in airDo you know what your new agents thought of your ‘start’ program? That is, your orientation, mentors, training, and coaching in their first 6 months in the business? Most brokers have some type of what I call a ‘career development’ program. But, hardly anyone ever asks the 6-month agent what they thought of it? If you don’t know, as a broker, how can you keep improving it?

The Secret to Retention: The First Month in the Business is Critical to Success

I just read an excellent booklet on the importance of a spectacular orientation system to the retention of ‘workers’. It stated that studies showed that people who experienced a very strong orientation process were retained for the long haul. And, those that didn’t have a good orientation process were quickly gone. Did you ever think about how you impact that agent in the first month? The first three months? The first six months?

Time to Polish your Orientation/Career Development System

I’m working on the 5th (!) edition of Up and Running in 30 Days, the new agent’s start-up plan, and I’m updating technologies, trends,and statistics. In addition, I want to include advice to new agents from successful agents who’ve been in the business 1-3 years. Why? Because this advice will be pertinent, up to date, and I think new agents will listen to someone who’s been there–and succeeded. It occurred to me that you can ask the same questions to your 6 months to 12 month agents to get feedback to polish your orientation/career development system. Below are the questions.

I Need Your Help

Do you have an agent in the business 1-3 years, and did at least 15 transactions their first year (not given to them as a team member)? If so, your agent could be featured in my new edition, due out in January 2017. A�I will be featuring 5-7 quotes in various places of my book, and it would be great PR for your agent (and you). Your agent will receive a copy of the 5th edition, of course.

Here are the questions I’m asking:

  1. What are 1-3 things you did as a new agent to successfully launch your career?



  1. What do you wish you had done differently?



  1. What advice would you give to new agents?



  1. What technology is absolutely critical for the new agents to incorporate? Why?



5. What specific orientation start-up procedures were most helpful to you? What do you wish you had (actions, training, coaching, etc.) in your first 3 months that would have increased your quick success?



Other comments:


Thanks so much. Please include your name as you want it used, your company name, your email and phone (for contact information so you can get referrals).






Number of transactions completed your first year in the business:

Please return this to me by 4.30 so I can include it! Thanks again. Let me know how/if I can help you! You’re doing a great service to those going into the business!

Getting Back to Me

You can forward this to your agent (s) and your agent can write answers as comments. Or,A�here’s the link to the questionnaire. A�Just forward the link to your agent.

In my next blog, I’ll be asking you for your advice to new agents. I’m going to add this to the new edition. It should be very telling, and interesting to see the commonalities of managers’ advice to new agents.

Here’s the link again to the questionnaire. Your agent’s advice will help the industry and certainly help determined new agents!

Let me know what you discovered when you used that questionnaire to polish your orientation/career development program.


trainingreThis month, the focus is on training. Not just any training though–training that works to increase your agents’ production AND become a powerful magnet recruiting tool. In this blog, I’ll ask you some questions so you can see how your process with agents really works–or doesn’t work too well!

How do you know how well it’s working? One measure is your retention. What was your retention percentage last year? Is that good enough? How much money/time/effort are you wasting hiring people who don’t work? If they’re slipping through the cracks, you’ve got some work to do, and here’s what needs to be done.

What’s Your Plan with that Agent?

Recently, I was consulting with a real estate company on their post-recruitment programs. They had added an agent–a transfer from another branch office. It became apparent from this agent’s lack of training that she didn’t know how to do the basics. And, she didn’t go through a thorough intake procedure (including orientation, policies, etc.). Since no ‘in-take’ interview or procedure was in place, no one caught her deficiencies until she got into a commission problem and wanted to be bailed out by the broker!

Right now, write down what you do with a new agent as soon as that agent is hired. Do you have a comprehensive ‘development’ plan for that agent? Does it include


Intake interview to discover the agent’s needs?

Stepwise process to train, coach, and evaluate the agent for that agent’s first six months in the business?

Who follows that agent’s development? Who assesses it at one month, two months, etc.?

What happens if that agent isn’t meeting office production standards? (You are measuring these, aren’t you?)

The Intake Interview with the ‘Seasoned’ Agent

We may think we’re hiring a seasoned agent if that agent has been in the business six+ months. However, don’t take for granted that agent knows the basics. You need an intake interview to determine needs. Here are some questions:

1. What training have you had? Please describe. (Did the agent actually do something during the training–like lead generation–or did the agent just listen to speakers?)

2. What’s your background prior to real estate? (What skills do they bring to real estate?)

3. How many transactions did you complete? What was the source of the leads?

4. Do you have a pre-listing/listing process and packages? (Please see these items.)

5. Do you have a pre-first visit/buyer process and packages? (Please see these items.)

6. Do you have a business plan? (Please see it).

Asking those questions will help you determine a career path with that agent.

You need to have the training/coaching/accountability in place to help that agent develop his business to the next level. How would you rate yourself on your intake system?

A�small LM CoverAre You Organized Enough to Grow?

If you’re struggling trying to maintain a successful real estate sales career–while growing a real estate office–you need help! My Leadership Mastery Coaching takes advantage of my 3+ decades in ownership, general management, and management. My dozens of resources assure you don’t have to spend years ‘reinventing the wheel’! Why not find out if it’s time to get the help you need with this type of program? Sign up for a complimentary consultation today. Click here to learn more.



Your new agent started in the business Tuesday. You have sent the agent through your orientation process, but your training program doesna��t start for another three weeks.A� Have you thought about what that agent will be doing from now until the start of training? Unless you organize that experience, the answer is…..


My survey of hundreds of agents with less than three months in the businessA�shows that new agents expect to get a sale in their first month in the business (!). So, if you want to retain them and keep them motivated, you just can’t afford to let them sit around and get bad habits for 2-4 weeks.

What do you do to assure that agent gets a fast start in the business?A� First, herea��s what NOT to do:

  • Tell them to a�?see the inventorya�� The problem is that theya��ll think thata��s the job description of a real estate agent: a�?Become an inventory experta�?. Some agents have been known to inspect the inventory for years before they would talk to a human being about buying or selling a home! And, by that time, their money is all gone and their motivation to be successful has shrunk to nonexistence.
  • Give them your own activity sheet that you used umpteen years ago–to keep them occupied. Watch out. Theya��ll follow literally whatever activities you tell them to do. And, theya��ll use the same priorities you have. So, if you put first on your activity list, a�?Interview a mortgage company to see what services they provide,a�? theya��ll think that a�?getting ready to get readya�� is a high priority. Then, when you ask them to go talk to people about buying and selling real estate, theya��ll look at you as if youa��d just told them to fly. After all, doing research is a much safer activity than lead generating.
  • Give them nothing specific to do and see what happens. The other agents will probably keep them busy with administrative work (!). Or, the new agents will just love spending time with other agents going to brokersa�� open houses and eating food. Theya��ll think that any activity directed by an experienced agent is a good one….

Two Truisms about Human Nature and SalesA�

First truism: Only about one out of a hundred new agents is a a�?natural, talenteda�� salesperson, who will figure out how to prioritize business producing activities on his/her own. All others need a prioritized, highly structured start-up plan so they can succeed. They need sales activities prioritized first (lead generating, showing, closing). Then, they can implement a job description for success.

Second truism: In the absence of a precisely, well-thought out prioritized start-up activity plan, most salespeople will create a plan for a a�?slow starta��. Theya��ll form hard-to-break bad habits, scheduling easy-to-do, low pay-off activitiesa��because theya��re easier and non-threatening. These include paperwork, inspecting homes, follow-up, database management, meetings, and training. Theya��ll think that, if an activity is scheduled by the office, it must be a high-payoff activity.

What do you do with your new agents to get them on the ground running the first week in the business?

logoAfter Orientation: What happens Next?

If you’re waiting for your training program to start to ‘start’ your agents, you’re unwittingly helping them get bad habits! Take a look at my online training/coaching/accountability program, Up and Running in Real Estate. Because it’s online, agents start when they should–not when your training program starts! There’s a coaching component, too.

How many more sales could you get (and how much more profitable could you be) if your new agents hit the ground running?

Check out Up and Running in Real Estate now.