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 real estate owner

Rate yourself on your management skills, so you’ll know what you need to work on prior to going into management (or if you’re already in management).

Are you thinking of going into management? Few of us knew the skills–or the level of skill attainment–we needed to succeed in the job. I want to help all of you who want to go into management to succeed at a high level. Thus, these blogs.

For the past couple of months, I’ve been interviewing potential managers. I’ve found that almost none had done any ‘prep’ work to go into the position. Yet, successful managers have developed specific, somewhat unique skills to do their jobs. And, what I’ve found is that these skills must be at least partially developed before we launch ourselves into management–or else we get swamped by all these new challenges hitting us in the face!

In an earlier blog, I discussed the skills we need to have honed prior to going into management. In this blog, we’ll tackle getting those skills in certain areas.

At the end of this blog: grab my assessment tool I use in my Leadership Mastery coaching series to help new managers plan for this skill attainment.

The Biggest Skill Area Managers Need Today to Succeed

What do you think it is? It’s recruiting and selecting skill. Why? Because, there’s so much competition for good agents that a manager just can’t sit back and wait for agents to come to them. It isn’t the old days (although I never was able to do that in my ‘old days!’).

These skills are the same skills good agents use to expand their businesses. That’s why we need to hire managers who have been successful recruiters and selectors. Notice I said recruiters and selectors. I know companies brag about how mahy gross recruits they landed that month or year, but, long-term, it’s those who stay, prosper, and grow with the company that add to the profitability of all.

One of the standards you need to create when you’re hiring a manager is

How successful was that agent as a business getter? What’s the number of transactions you would accept?

How to Get Recruiting and Selecting Skills

Your company may have a course focusing on these skills. If so, take it prior to going into management. Overall, the best courses out there for management are the CRB courses, leading to the Certified Real Estate Broker designation. I highly recommend them. Here’s the link.

What’s Your Agent Track Record?

In addition, if you don’t have a track record of at least 12-20 transactions a year as an agent, in my opinion, you have not developed the skills in recruiting and selecting you will need as a successful agent. It’s my experience that agents who didn’t actively lead generate will carry that habit into management. They will balk at lead generating for agents, and they will fight upper management to the death–and to everyone’s detriment.

Resource (Some are FREE) to Gain those Management Skills

This month, I’m offering some of my management resources free with purchase of other resources. Check it out here.

Grab the leadership skill assessment here.

Managers or general managers: If you’re hiring a new manager, help them evaluate their skill levels and then create a training and coaching program to assure they get those skills before they launch their management career.

bus plan 3

Note: Through November and December, I’m going to help you and your agents with your 2018 business plans. You’ll find free documents from my online business planning system for agents and ownersA�and an invitation to a complimentary webinar. Why not subscribe to my blogs and be sure not to miss a thing?

Yes, I know. Wea��re supposed to have our business plans all done and ready to goA�priorA�to the New Year. But, in addition, how do we make them realistic? How do we make them action road maps?

Note: Check out my free business planning webinar (see below) AND grab the free handout–my flowchart of the owner/manager planning process.

Four Steps to Integrate Your Plan with your Agents’ Plans

Have you thought about how your agent plans impact your office plan? Unfortunately, most planning systems treat these plans as separate. Actually, they need to be integrated. Why? Because the total of the agents’ plans goals are YOUR goals too!

Take these four steps to get that business plan finished and implemented with real action steps byA�January first.

  1. Meet with each of your agents and assure each has a plan.
  2. Capture the goals of each of your agents: listings, listings sold, and sales. Now, add a dash of realism. Ask yourself, a�?Based on what the agent accomplished last year, are his/her goals realistic for this year?a�? Then, make any adjustments you think need to be made.
  3. Add your agentsa�� adjusted goals in each of the three areas. Those sums are your office business plan objectives. Why? Because your agents are the ones who actually create the listings, listings sold, and sales.
  4. Decide, in each of the action areas below, the actions you will take to assure you reach the office goals, which are a summary of your agentsa�� goals.

The Six Action AreasBusiness Planning for the Owner overview

Create action plans in these six areas. Using these divisions, youa��ll assure that you cover all the bases.

  1. Recruiting and selection
  2. New agent productivity through training and coaching
  3. Higher production/retention for your experienced agents
  4. Marketing: Internal/external
  5. Personal/professional development
  6. Operations: financial planning/staff

For a flow chart of the leadership business plan in this blog, including these six action areas, excerpted fromA�Beyond the Basics of Business Planning,A�click here.

Plan_Act_CelebrateMore from Carla Cross on Business Planninga��free Webinar

Listen/look at the free webinarA�I’m doing Nov. 29 or Dec. 6 (you pick the best date for you and invite all your agents!). Click here for more information and registration.

30137_flying_by_the_seat_of_your_pants_andy_watsons_comedy_in_progress1Are your agents systematized in their businesses–or are they flying ‘by the seat of their pants’?

This month, I’m featuring excerpts from my new 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

{Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.}

In this latest edition of Up and Running, I’ve identified 10 real estate trends that most critically affect how agents do business. Here’s trend #4: Systematization.

Why Systematize with Technology

To be more effective, you need to a�?duplicate and delegate.a�? The trend today is for agents to move faster and better by systematizing what they do and using technology to do it.

The First Step: Create Checklists and Processes

The first step is to create checklists and processes for everything you do. These become your systems. For you new agents, take full advantage of every checklist and presentation your company offersa��and those here in Up and Running in 30 Days . Youa��ll save hundreds of hours of time and energy, because these resources are the result of expertsa�� work. Your clients want to know that you have systems so that you provide a high quality of work every time.

* Big Idea: Ita��s much easier to refine a ready-made system than to create one from scratch.

Your Second Step: Add the right Technology

Your second job is to find some technology to support these processes. Your company may have already done that research work for you. It is amazing to me the number of agents who do not take advantage of the technology their company has paid for in research, development, or partnering costs. For example, one large franchise had partnered with a lead follow-A�up company to ensure that their agents had a simple, effective method to follow their Internet leads. The franchise spent thousands of dollars and hours researching companies to ensure that they chose a company in the agentsa�� best interests. They negotiated a great price for their agents, too. However, only about half of the agents in that franchise took advantage of the thousands upon thousands of dollars their company spent to create that partner agreement. I just cana��t see any reason not to take advantage of such a great opportunitya��unless the agent just didna��t care to be successful!

In this newest edition of Up and Running, I have a comprehensive References/Resources section. Ia��ve asked experts in the real estate field to name their favorite technology and Ia��ve provided their recommendations to you.

Gary Richter, one of my agent contributors, advises: a�?Get off your computer and go out into the areas. Focus on business-producing activities.a�? {and use technology as a support}

* Big Idea: Use the technology and systems your company has invested in for your convenience.

Pros and Cons of Systematization with Technology

  • Positives: Youa��re going into the industry as it has matured in its choices for needed technology. It will be easier for you to choose those that are important to your career success.
  • Watch out for: Invest quickly enough, but dona��t invest in gimmicks. Also, dona��t let yourself think that if you have all the technology toys, youa��ll be successful.

* Big Idea: Duplicate and delegate.

So, here are my questions to you: Have your agents started organizing their businesses with checklists and processes? Have theyA� taken advantage of your company’s resources? Are they starting with the technology they offer to you?

Up and Running_5e largerAre You Using the Best Start-Up Plan for your New Agents?

Does your plan have the detailed, prioritized checklists needed to assure a great start? Does it have built-in inspiration and motivation? Does it have dozens of tips to control the attitude? If not, you need Up and Running in 30 Days. Just out in its 5th edition, it’s the most successful book for new real estate agents ever!

Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

bus-plan-6Checklist: Keys to being a great business planning coach.

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 to change 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,A�Beyond the Basics of Business Planning.

Watch my Complimentary Business Planning Webinar

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

Click here to see the webinar and grab the handouts.

Here’s to a great 2017 with your polished business plan!

Plan_Act_Celebrate

Comprehensive OnlineA�Business Planning Program for Managers

Do you find it difficult to get your agents to plan? Do you put off doing your office plan? Here’s your solution. This all-new program does several things for you:

2 webinars teach your agents how to plan using Carla’s strategic planning system

14 planning documents are included to guide your agents right through the planning process

3 webinars for you:

1. How to Create a Great Office Plan

Included: 22 office planning documents to make it easy for you to stay on track and create a great plan

2. How to Convince your Agents to Plan

3. How to Integrate your Office and Agents’ Plans

Check out Beyond the Basics of Business Planning: A planning system exclusively for real estate managers.

interview with clip boardDo you know the best question you can ask a candidate? I know. You have your favorite questions. And, this month, I’m going to focus on the selection process. Why? Because we managers have the least training in it, yet more hinges on our skill in this process than any other–maybe except lead generating for recruiting.

What’s your favorite interview question? In the next few blogs, we’ll discuss types of interview questions. Some are great, some are okay–but some are misleading or worthless.

The Category of Question You Should Always Include

Are your favorite questions present or future-based? If so, beware. You’re being misled. I’ll explain more in a future blog. But, for now, I just want to focus on the category of question that assures you get the truth about the candidate: the past-based question. A� That question begins with “In the past, was there a time when you…………………” Why is that type of question so powerful? Because candidates seldom lie about their past when they are posed a question like that. Also, even though this is the best type of question you can ask, few managers are trained to ask a majority of this type of question. In a later blog, I’ll show you more about creating this type of question to find out the quality you’re looking for.

The Question You Want to Ask

Here it is: “When did you get your first job?”

Why is that so powerful? Because it demonstrates the qualities you’re looking for. According to my surveys of thousands of real estate pros, the vast majority of successful real estate pros started working as kids! This shows their ingenuity, belief in themselves, and determination that they alone are in charge of their destinies. Imagine some of the answers you’ll get, and what those answers will tell you:

“I got my first job at age thirteen.”

or

“I just started looking for a job. I’ve been living with my parents. They support me, and I really want to find the right job for me (I’m 27 years old).

What do these answers tell me about the candidate’s likely success in a business that requires self-confidence, ingenuity, tenacity, and ability to do it themselves?

Keep Probing about that Answer

One of the big mistakes we interviewers make is that we jump from question to question before we find out what’s really going on. So, don’t do that! Stay on that same question/answer and probe. Imagine some of the probing questions you can ask about that first answer: “How did you happen to get the job?” “Why did you want a job?” How long did you keep the job?” What did having a job at age 13 teach you?” What will the answers tell you?

Sometimes Our First Job Tells us what We DON”T Want to Do the Rest of our Lives

The reason that I wrote this blog is that I just read an article about Fred Hassan, CEO of Warbug Pincus, a private-equity firm. He said his first job was a produce picker and cannery worker. He said he learned about getting up early and working hard. And, he said it convinced him that he was very lucky to get to go to college and escape manual labor. I had a similar experience. As a 6th grader, I started picking strawberries and beans in our little town of Lebanon, Oregon. It was back-breaking, hard, sweaty work, and I vowed I’d use my brains and my talent to make a living–instead of doing manual labor!

Let me know the answers and insights you get from asking the question, “When did you get your first job?” (Remember to stay on that question and probe, probe, probe!)

eBook Cover(2)Is Your Selection Process really Professional?

Quick. Write down the 9 steps you take through your selection process. Difficult, isn’t it? Most interviewers just wing it, spending most of their time selling the company. Wrong! Find out the 9 steps Carla shows you that keep you in control of the interview–and help you stand out as the exceptional manager that desired candidate wants to work with.

Your A�Blueprint for Selecting Winners is only $79,95, and it’s immediately downloadable. This resource will save you thousands of dollars of hiring mistakes!

Click here for a detailed description.

 

many peole standing recruitingThis month, I’m focusing on recruiting and selecting. And, I have some blazing ‘deals’ on my recruiting resources to help you get a great plan and implement it right away!

Isna��t it amazing the number of things a new manager is supposed to be able to doa��from day onea��even though he or she isna��t trained to do those tasks? Take recruiting, for example.A� As a new manager, I was expected to prospect, get appointments, ask great questions, and select agents who would be successful. But, did I have the skills to perform those tasks with competence? You can bet not!

Even though I was a top-producing agent, I didna��t take the time to think through, and didna��t know how to, apply the sales skills I had used to attain high sales volume to the recruiting tasks at hand. So, I, like thousands of other new managers, just did it a�?by eara��. Along the way, I had some a�?winsa�� and lots of a�?lossesa��. Through my observations of myself and others, Ia��ve created a list of ten top mistakes, so that you can avoid the pitfalls Ia��and others without traininga��have fallen into.

In this blog, we’ll look at the first five. Also, I’ll add some advice I learned from all those mistakes!

1. Charge ahead to hire

It should occur to us that we need to sit in a quiet place and think about the kind of people we want to hirea��before we dive in. But, we are so thrilled that someone is in front of us that it doesna��t occur to us that they bring with them their values and ethics. So, if we havena��t thought out our values, our beliefs, and our perspectives first, we run the risk of hiring people who will then dictate what the company values become. Before you start interviewing, decide what you will and what you wona��t stand for. Write out your values and your beliefs. Then, when you interview, check to be sure that agent carries those same values and beliefs into your office. Someonea��s got to be the leader, and it better be you!

2. Recruiting to old-style management strategies

I know, I know. Just go make those calls and you will get some recruits. Yes, thata��s true. But, wouldna��t it be better if you built a company that stood apart from the others because of its a�?attractorsa��? The greatest attractors today to a company are twofold:

a.A� Does the company have values and beliefs that the agent can live bya��and agree with?

b. Does the company focus its energy on the success of the agenta��or on itself/

If you are still trying to recruit to an old-style dictatorship, or, if youa��ve given up leadershipa��get a clue. Find out what participative management is all about. Find out how to build a team. Figure out how to help each agent reach his/her goals. Now, youa��re on the right track. Re-tool your business structure so youa��re attractive to the entrepreneur of today and tomorrow.

3. Trying to recruit on the company features

a�?Our company is the largest around.a�? Well, guess what? If youa��re a branch manager, and all your branch managers say the same thing, youa��re not going to differentiate yourself that way! You must make yourself a magnet. What about your background provides a benefit to a new agent? To an experienced agent? For example, I was a musical performer and teacher. That taught me performance skills, and how to teach others performance skills. You can see the benefits to agents. Ia��m able to help an agent reach his goals through greater skills.

4. Not differentiating the feature from all the other companies that have the same thing

a�?We have a great training program.a�? So says every company out there. Whata��s so great about your program? Youa��d better be able to tell a�?em and show a�?em. a�?Our training program has a 90% rate in our agents making a sale in the first thirty days theya��re with us.a�? No one else in the area has success figures like that. Herea��s the brochure about our program. It spells out the comprehensive five-step program for new agents. Do you want a program that assures you make money fast?a�?

5. Trying to attract agents through a�?price warsa��A�A�A�

We in the real estate industry just love to hire agents through the bidding wars. We either provide a lower desk fee, better commission splits, or more trinkets and trash. Guess what? Thata��s the chickena��s way out. In reality, price is never the best recruiter. But, if you dona��t have a great company organization, if you dona��t help agents meet their goals, youa��re going to have to compete on price. Ita��s all youa��ve got. Now, work hard to provide real value. After all, consumers pay 10% more for products and services they believe are of quality.

Recommendation: Read Drive–The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us, by Daniel Pink. The motivators have changed, but no one has told real estate professionals!

So far, what have I left out?

Blazing ‘Deal’ On My Complete Recruiting Systems this Month

Howa��s your recruiting strategy? Have a complete system? Here it is, half pricea��A�at $120 off this month. Purchase The Complete Recruiter AND get Your Blueprint for Selecting Winnersa��a unique step-by-step interview processa��PLUS Recruiting Objection Bustersa��for $120 off (Regularly $250 now $129.95 ONLY this month). This is the cost of just The Complete Recruiter!

The Complete Recruiter provides you the scripts and dialogues you need, the recruiting planner you dona��t have (!), and dozens of tips to recruit the winners you want. Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners gives you an 11-step interview process to assure you interview those you wanta��without unpleasant surprises.A� Recruiting Objection Busters shows you scripts and dialogues to counter any recruiting objection with grace, logic, and attractiveness.

Click here for more information and to order.

small CompleteRecruiter

Blueprint_Ebook_Display

penguins focused on goalsDo you hate your business planning process? Here’s how to stop hating and start loving it! I’m focusing on business planning Nov. and Dec. Review all the blogs to get dozens of tips and docs to plan effectively.

Ita��s time to do that dreaded business plan. Herea��s how to make it a love fest, not a drudgery.

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 next 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.

Bonus Want some planning documents? See my October newsletter. I’m including 2 bonuses this month: an internal review for agents, and a manager’s skills review for leadership (great for those managing managers, too).

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: Dec. 1. 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.

Plan_Act_CelebrateDoes Your Planning System Make the Grade?

If it doesn’t, check out my completely online, on demand system–one version for managers/owners, one version for agents. I’ll coach you through your plan, and provide you all the planning pages. For your agents: I’ll educate/train them in how to plan (so you don’t have to) AND provide them all their planning pages. This is a bargain, because you will have focus and direction for your company for 2016. Click here to learn about Beyond the Basics of Business Planning.

 

hands of keysFrom working with dozens of real estate owners and managers, and as my position as a CRB (Certified Real Estate Broker) instructor for twelve years, I’ve had an opportunity to see exactly what makes a company profitable–in the long run. So, this month, I’m going to share what I’ve found to be the critical pieces of the puzzle that lead to sustainable profits. I’ll spotlight the 4 foundations you have to have to be exceptionally profitable–no matter your economic model. Actually, I’ve come to these foundations by observing how companies fail to be profitable over a period of time without these four foundations. In each of these blogs, I’ll spotlight one foundation. The first was

Vision: The Missing Component in Most Business Plans (and in most real estate offices!)

The second, which I’m spotlighting today, is standards.

How did I learn about the importance of standards? As a lifelong pianist, I learned from a very early age that I had to play up and beyond a certain standard to get into master groups, to get a great piano teacher, to win competitions, and to be awarded a degree in piano performance. Standards are simply a part of the competitive action-based environment (like real estate sales!).

What are Standards?

What are standards? Ita��s the least youa��ll put up with. You may call them ‘minimums’. Now, some real estate offices have standards/expectations like

1. You must take floor time

2. You must be a Realtor

3. You must wear clean clothes and drive a clean car.

Those are all nice. But, have you ever seen a failing agent take floor time? Be a Realtor? Of course. Too often, we establish standards of behavior for our convenience as managers–not to assure we have productive agents!

The most important standards to put in place are

production standards

I Don’t Need Standards: My Economic Model is Different

You may say, “I don’t have to have production standards. I’m a desk fee company.” Sure, that works fine when the market is good. But, what happens to all those fees when the market turns down? You bet. Your desk fees shrink and your non-collectible fees go up dramatically! Or, you’re a high agent count company with narrow profit margins. Sure, that’s fine too as long as the market carries you. But, if you’re finding it hard to recruit great people, or if your market turns down, you’re in the same boat as the desk fees.

The bottom line: Having productive agents is important to your long-term profitability, no matter your economic model.

Standards Establish What You’re Like as a Company

Describe your agents. What are they like? Would you describe them as productive professionals? Are they doing enough transactions apiece that the public thinks your company is serving the public well? Or, do you have a majority of low-producing part-timers–which, even though we don’t want to admit it, tarnish our company image.

How many sales and listings sold are expected to stay in your office? If you don’t know, neither do they! So how can you expect them to go to work, when work is whatever theya��d like to do that daya��real estate sales or not! Before you can expect your training or coaching to work, you must establish productivity standards. Armed with those standards, you and they know whata��s expected. Now, you have a baseline from which to coach. Your consumer also has a baseline of expectations from your company.

Standards Establish Pride in Belonging

Which organizations are you proud to belong to? Why? Do you think your agents are proud to belong to your company? If so, why? Standards say ‘you’re special’. Standards say that you believe you can develop that agent to his/her fullest potential. If you don’t have established, held-to production standards, you aren’t protecting your long-term profitability.

In my next blog, I’ll discuss the third foundation you need to create a profit foundation that won’t waver even when the market tanks–and it will again!

LM CoverDo You Know the Steps to Implementing Standards?

Many times we avoid setting standards because we are either afraid to, or don’t know how to do it in a way that brings all the agents with you. In our one-on-one customized Leadership Mastery Coaching, Carla takes you through the steps and helps you implement standards so you have confidence in the process and the agents are pleased you’re taking leadership. Find out more with a complimentary consultation.

group with ballWhich agents are really your team builders? Is it the agent who produces the most–but doesn’t come into the office–ever? Is it the agent who fixes coffee and is agreeable, but sells only 3 homes a year, in a good year? Hiring and firing is not a a�?black or whitea�� issue. There are many shades of gray. I know. I managed almost two decades. We become friends with our agents. They rely on us. We rely on them. In some cases, we become almost moms and dads to them. It becomes a very dependent environment. No one wants to disrupt it. However, you are running a business–not a social welfare state.

How to Find your real Team Builders

Leta��s recognize that not all the value, or, to some of us, even half the value of our agents is in their ability to close sales. In other words, your top producer may not be your most desired agent. There are other valued assets they bring to the table, like:A�

Uphold the culture

Provide mentoring

Create stability in the office

Team player

Longevity and consistency

What are yours? Write them down. A�(Use 4-6 values).

Now, give each one of these values a possible rating of 0 to 4 (4 being highest). Finally, evaluate each of your agents with each of your important values.A� For example, leta��s say you are evaluating your top producer. In the production value, that producer would get a a�?4a�?. But, leta��s say that top producer isna��t much of a team player, and youa��ve evaluated her as a a�?1a�?. When youa��re through evaluating that agent, add all the numbers to get a cumulative number.

Name Production rating Culture rating Mentoring rating Total
Sally Production/4 Culture/3 Mentoring/3 10
Joe Production/0 Culture/1 Mentoring/0 1

 

Leadership group idea: If you work with a leadership group, ask them to evaluate those in your office youa��re unsure of. You may be amazed!A�

Whata��s Your Agenta��s Real Value to Your Office?A�

Now, you have evaluated each agent on all the values you feel are important to the success of your company. To see how they stack up, make a list of them, starting with the agent who scored the highest cumulative number. This evaluation process will give you a very different picture of who your best producers area��and who your worst office associates are.

Bottom-Line Questions to Ask YourselfA�A�

I know ita��s very difficult to terminate people. In fact, one manager asked me to advise him on how to do a a�?graceful termination.a�� Really, behind termination anxiety lurks these questions. They need to be answered for you, as leader, to take the actions that your good agents are expecting from you:

Can an agent be a noteworthy negative to your reaching your goals?

Can an agent actually provide substantial energy against your culture?

Whata��s Joea��s value to you?

Can this value be quantified in a business sense?

What are you getting personally out of keeping Joe?

A�What are your next actions?

A�Why are you avoiding what you need to do?

Dona��t you deserve more than Joe is giving you?

How does Joe feel now? Does Joe deserve an environment where he can win?

Make a Plan of Action*

It could be to get Joe into production within a certain time period, or help him find a better career fit for himself. It could be to help Joe into that new career right now. Ia��ll bet Joe is just waiting to see what you will do. After all, youa��re the leadera��.

Question: What are you values and how do you weigh them?

audience sleepingLet’s get honest. Do your students get bored when you present? As a student, you know those 71/2 clock hour courses can be killers! The presenter goes on and on. It may be great information, but, after _____ minutes (you fill in your blank), you just zone out. And, sellers and buyers feel the same way about boring presentations. Here are 2 quick tips to rev up your presentations, increase your effectiveness, and keep your a�?audiencea�� riveted.

1.A�A�A�A�A� 1. Ask more questions

Dona��t go over 3 minutes in a listing or buyer presentation without asking a question. A�How about your presentations? Do you drone on for A? hour or an hour without involving your audience? Quit right now. Thata��s where your audience a�?controla�� problems starta��when ita��s all about you.

Action: Write down a question you can ask during your normal a�?lecturea�� period. Or, as a listing or buyera��s agent, write down a question you can ask instead of droning on over 3-4 minutes.

2.A�A�A�A�A� 2. Quit lecturing your way through all that time!

If youa��re doing a presentation, and youa��re lecturing more than 10 minutes at a time, youa��re losing your audiencea��s attention. Instead, break up that lecture with some questions. Better yet, use a�?alternative delivery methodsa�� (all those methods to teach besides lecture!). Those would include breaking students into task forces, or giving small groups a case study to tackle, or role play.

You can even do some of this with your sellers and buyers. Involve them in the process!

Action: If youa��ve taken an instructor development course, go back and see where the instructor used a�?alternative delivery methodsa��. Then, find a place in your presentation where you could use one of these methods. Keep expanding your horizons!

The result: Youa��ll have more enthusiastic a�?receiversa��. Youa��ll have more fun teaching, and youa��ll greatly reduce any audience a�?controla�� challenges.

Click here to grab my ‘workshop cheat sheet’, which shows you how to put alternative delivery methods into any workshop–and in which order so they ‘flow’ right.

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