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Archive for termination

In the last blog, I named 3 things that bad hiring costs you.

There are some of those line items that are hard to quantify–but are very real. If you’ve ever hired an agent who lied to you or others, or undermined you, or talked behind your back in the kichen–you know there are very real costs to your culture.

Another real but hard to quanitify cost: Have you ever had good agents leave because they weren’t challenged? Because they felt you were hiring poor agents, and dragging down everyone’s production? If that only cost you one productive agent, it’s a lot!

What are your numbers? What does it cost you for an agent who failed? Have you ever figured it out? Let me know. As a CRB (Certified Real Estate Broker) instructor, I would ask managers this question. Generally, they figured the cost of a bad hire was $10,000-$30,000. What’s yours?

eBook Cover(2)
Grab Your Selection Blueprint and Gain a System

Are you wasting time interviewing those who fail? Do you want to have a systematic method of selection (just as you tell your agents to use with sellers and buyers!).  Or, do you need some guidance to figure out those you don’t want? Get Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners and make better hiring decisions.

Ready to use and immediately downloadable!

bus-plan-7-teamHere are the nine big signs your manager must be fired–and some are obvious–but others are just as important but often ignored until it is way too late!

In the next few blogs, I’ll focus on ownership/general manager issues.A� The reason I’m writing this blog is that, I am seeing managers go off the rails and try to take the office with them! Unfortunately, clever managers get the support of their agents while not managing properly. With their popularity, the ‘boss’ may hesitate firing them–even when they need desperately to be fired!

Managers are Clever at ‘Buying’ Support–Especially when under Stress

Some get that support by ‘buying’ the agents–giving their favorites leads. Some get that support by creating a flurry of activity, that obscures what’s really going on behind the scenes. I know how hard it is to tell, from an agent’s perspective, if the manager is doing his/her job. As an agent myself, I watched from afar, not knowing exactly what my manager did or didn’t do. I also didn’t know the activities he was supposed to be doing–and the activities he was avoiding or refusing to do.

I’ve screened, hired and coached dozens of managers, both as a regional director for one of the largest franchises in the world, and as an independent coach. I have seen things go off the rails many times–even when the agents in the office don’t have a clue!

The Nine Signs Your Manager Must Leave

1. Refuses to recruit to your standards (minimums)–that means numbers of contacts, interviews, and hires.

2. Refuses to hire to your standards–hires anyone and calls it ‘good’.

3. Refuses to coach agents up–or out; refuses to manage via standards (minimums) of performance.

4. Refuses to do the activities as designated and trained to by the general manager (such as interviewing appropriately or teaching to your culture).

5. Refuses to uphold all aspects of the culture (hires an agent who’s a top producer but doesn’t represent the culture).

6. Takes frustrations and problems with upper management to the agents, when he/she should only discuss any problem areas directly with management.

7. Openly disrespects and berates upper management–both to agents and directly to management.

8. Acts in an adversarial and/or fearful way to anyone he perceives as an authority.

9. Shares things with agents that should not be shared.

In other words: the manager has become a liability to the culture and the office. He/she is not teaming with upper management; he doesn’t have the same vision as leadership; he is fighting for control. It’s your office and you’re the boss. You must exercise your authority now for the preservation and growth of your office.

What did I miss? Let me know and we’ll add to the list!

Mar
01

Are You Gutless about Termination?

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man ponderingThis month, I’m featuring leadership. Part of leadership is to know who to hire–and when to fire.A�How to let someone go fairly–with grace–is a huge challenge for many managers. This challenge just came up again. I was just asked by an association of real estate companies to do a leadership webinar on standards. Before I do a ‘live’ presentation or a webinar for a particular group, I use my Pre-Conference Survey to find out exactly what their needs are.
(Note: If you do presentations for ‘outside groups’, consider making a pre-conference survey so you find out their exact needs, cultural specifics, and market differences. It makes a huge difference in your ability to deliver to their needs). This was the question that stood out most to me in the survey.

Question: How Do You Terminate Someone Fairly and Effectively?
Do you believe that the person who is failing knows he/she is failing? Of course they do. And, the longer they fail, the further down their self-esteem sinks, the further their confidence shrinks, and, finally,

the person simply quits working!

They still may be employed/contracted with you, but, they aren’t doing the things necessary to move their job forward. So, it’s not fair to simply let them continue failing. Nothing will change. You must step in.

The ‘One Last Chance’ Conversation and System
I’m a huge believer in game plans and systems for situations. That means you are fair with everyone. One of the reasons managers don’t want to fire is that they are afraid they will be unfair–or perceived as unfair. The way to take away those fears is to implement a system to give each person one last chance (this is after you have tried your normal coaching and training methods).

What’s in the One Last Chance’ Conversation
Here are the steps to terminate someone fairly and with grace.
1. Call the meeting. Do not engage in small talk. This is serious; it has no social aspect.
2. State that the person has not met your standards (minimum expectations). You DO have those in place, right?
3. Tell the person you will provide them one last chance.
4. Show them the performance system you will use (something like The On Track System to Success in 30 Days).
5. Get agreement that the person will use the system.

Make The Time Frame Short
I have been snookered by the best of them! I’ve learned to make the time frame no more than 30 days. You want that person to go right to work. You also must reserve the right to terminate at any time.

Good News: They Will Let Themselves Go 50% of the Time
You will find that many people are just waiting for you to provide that last chance, so they can face the fact they really don’t want to work. They will let themselves go.

When You Terminate
You have given them a fair chance. You have been straightforward. They have not gone to work. All you have to do in your termination conversation is to state just that. 95% of the time you will get no argument. In fact, they will thank you for being honest with them. Using these five pointers will allow you to let them go with grace, and relieve your mind that you are fair in your termination guidelines.

How do you terminate? Or, do you terminate or just let them fade into the sunset?

small LM CoverAre you Confident in your Leadership Skills?

We’re always urging agents to get a coach. But, what about you? Do you have a performance coach you trust? Just think what you could accomplish if you had the skills, technique, and confidence in what you thought was right–to manage effectively. Why not find out about Leadership Mastery Coaching? Just sign up for a complimentary consultation to match your needs to your coach, and find out if this unique performance-based program is for you. Click here to find out more. A�(And–this month, sign up for Leadership Mastery Coaching and receive $1000 worth of resources–systems and training to run your business).

 

man ponderingThis month, I’m featuring the lifeblood of real estate management–hiring and firing. Yes, firing!

Do you have a foolproof way to figure out who to keep and who to cut loose? In this blog, I’ll show you.

Who adds value to your environment? Hiring and firing is not a ‘black or white’ 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.

Use This Analytical Tool to Evaluate Your Agents

Let’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:

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).

Assign a Relative Weight

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, let’s say you are evaluating your top producer. In the production value, that producer would get a “4”. But, let’s say that top producer isn’t much of a team player, and you’ve evaluated her as a “1”. When you’re through evaluating that agent, add all the numbers to get a cumulative number.

Click here to see an example of an evaluative table.

What’s Your Agent’s Real Value to Your Office?

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 are-and who your worst office associates are.

Bottom-Line Questions to Ask Yourself

I know it’s very difficult to terminate people. In fact, one manager asked me to advise him on how to do aA� ‘graceful termination.’ 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?
What’s Joe’s value to you?
Can this value be quantified in a business sense?
What are you getting personally out of keeping Joe?
What are your next actions?
Why are you avoiding what you need to do?
Don’t you deserve more than Joe is giving you?
How does Joe feel now? Does Joe deserve an environment where he can win?

What do you use to evaluate your agents? How is it working for you?

LM CoverGet Some Help in Creating a Better 2016

Why not get some support and guidance in setting up your 2016 business plan? Do you have a recruiting plan? A career development plan? A training plan? Standards? If not, you’re still managing by the seat of your pants. Schedule a complimentary consultation to see if Leadership Mastery coaching would benefit you. In January: $1000+ bonuses in training, coaching, and recruiting programs, too. See more here.A�

many peole standing recruitingLeadership is about moving ahead. But, it’s also about knowing when not to keep working with someone. That means you have to know when to let them go.

DoA� you put off letting someone go? You’re not alone. How to let someone go fairly–with grace–is a huge challenge for many managers. This challenge just came up again. I was just asked by an association of real estate companies to do a leadership webinar on standards. Before I do a ‘live’ presentation or a webinar for a particular group, I use my Pre-Conference Survey to find out exactly what their needs are.

(Note: If you do presentations for ‘outside groups’, consider making a pre-conference survey so you find out their exact needs, cultural specifics, and market differences. It makes a huge difference in your ability to deliver to their needs). This was the question that stood out most to me in the survey.

Question: How Do You Terminate Someone Fairly and Effectively?

Do you believe that the person who is failing knows he/she is failing? Of course they do. And, the longer they fail, the further down their self-esteem sinks, the further their confidence shrinks, and, finally,

the person simply quits working!

They still may be employed/contracted with you, but, they aren’t doing the things necessary to move their job forward. So, it’s not fair to simply let them continue failing. Nothing will change. You must step in.

The ‘One Last Chance’ Conversation and System

I’m a huge believer in game plans and systems for situations. That means you are fair with everyone. One of the reasons managers don’t want to fire is that they are afraid they will be unfair–or perceived as unfair. The way to take away those fears is to implement a system to give each person one last chance (this is after you have tried your normal coaching and training methods).

What’s in the One Last Chance’ Conversation

Here are the steps to terminate someone fairly and with grace.

1. Call the meeting. Do not engage in small talk. This is serious; it has no social aspect.
2. State that the person has not met your standards (minimum expectations). You DO have those in place, right?
3. Tell the person you will provide them one last chance.
4. Show them the performance system you will use (something like The Up and Running in Real Estate.)

5. Get agreement that the person will use the system.

Make The Time Frame Short

I have been snookered by the best of them! I’ve learned to make the time frame no more than 30 days. You want that person to go right to work. You also must reserve the right to terminate at any time.

Good News: They Will Let Themselves Go 50% of the Time

You will find that many people are just waiting for you to provide that last chance, so they can face the fact they really don’t want to work. They will let themselves go.

When You Terminate

You have given them a fair chance. You have been straightforward. They have not gone to work. All you have to do in your termination conversation is to state just that. 95% of the time you will get no argument. In fact, they will thank you for being honest with them. Using these five pointers will allow you to let them go with grace, and relieve your mind that you are fair in your termination guidelines.

logoGot Someone You Must Judge ‘Up or Out’?

It’s hard to tell who is working unless you have them working in a specific program and reporting to you. Up and Running in Real Estate makes that easy to do. In 8 weeks, you’ll know whether that person is working–and attaining–or not. You don’t have time to work with those who won’t work, do you? Take a look at Up and Running in Real Estate as your ‘rejuvenation’ tool.

man with hand over faceLet’s be honest. Have you ever hired someone and found out it was the ‘hire from hell’? If you haven’t, you just haven’t hired enough agents or staff!A� Many managers tell me that the hardest thing they have to do is to hire staff. I think that’s because most of us never had any training in how to hire staff (or hire agents, for that matter).A�During a 3-day management symposium I taughtA�in South Carolina, and one of my students emailed me: “Can you give me some tips toA� assure I don’t make a hiring mistake with staff? If any of us hasn’t made mistakes hiring staff, please comment! I know I’ve made many–and that’s why I’ve developed the tips here. This tips work for hiring agents or staff. And, they work for agents hiring team members.

So, here are four surefire tipsA� for you.
1. Create the right kind of questions from your job description
Using that job description you created (you did create one, didn’t you?) for your agent or staff position, create past-based questions that tell you if the candidate has the skills and qualities you need. For example. You’re looking for someone who cares about the company. Here’s the question: “In your past jobs, give me 3 examples of how you watched out for the company’s best interests.” Listen and probe. Here’s an example for hiring agents. Let’s say you want an agent who is a ‘self-starter. The question: “Was there a time in your past when you wanted something badly, and you went out and got some kind of job to earn it?”A� Listen and probe.
For more information on behavioral predictors, see The Complete Recruiter and my eBook on interviewing, Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners.
2. Follow a planned, proven interview process to assure you get all the information you need
Most of us don’t interview; we, just sell. We don’t find out the ‘secrets’ about the candidate, but, the candidate sure finds out about us! If you need a proven process, see Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners. I created 8 steps to use each time for a smooth, professional interview.
3. Use a Behavioral Profile
I’d also suggest you use a behavioral profile, for those who pass your first interview. Use it to gather information prior to your second interview. In our coaching company, we use Michael Abelson’s: www.abelson.net. It’s well worth it because you find out things that are very hard to discover in the ‘live’ interview. Then, you go back and ask more past-based questions about those areas. That’s called ‘validating’.
4. Check references “3 deep”
Be sure to check references–not just the ones the candidate gives you, but go ‘3 deep’. That means to ask the people the candidate gives you, ‘Who else could I contact about this candidate’? Go 2 people deep from each of the names the candidate gives you. That way, you’re sure to get a better, less biased picture of the candidate. You’ll find you learn a lot from people who weren’t ‘direct references’!
Now, you have those four surefire tips to avoid staff hiring mistakes. Let me know how they work for you!How’s Professional is Your Interview Process?

eBook Cover(2)You work so hard to gain those interviews. But, do you have planned interview process that assures you pick winners? (And assures the candidates are impressed with you….) Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners, with new information about what desired agents of today are looking for, is a guide to create your unique attractors, how to put together a powerful presentation, and a completely new video showing exactly how to craft the best ‘crystal ball’ type of questions. Learn more here.A�

Do you have a foolproof way to figure out who to keep and who to cut loose? In this blog, I’ll show you.

Who adds value to your environment? Hiring and firing is not a ‘black or white’ 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.

Use This Analytical Tool to Evaluate Your Agents

Let’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:

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).

Assign a Relative Weight

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, let’s say you are evaluating your top producer. In the production value, that producer would get a “4”. But, let’s say that top producer isn’t much of a team player, and you’ve evaluated her as a “1”. When you’re through evaluating that agent, add all the numbers to get a cumulative number.

Click here to see an example of an evaluative table.

What’s Your Agent’s Real Value to Your Office?

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 are-and who your worst office associates are.

Bottom-Line Questions to Ask Yourself

I know it’s very difficult to terminate people. In fact, one manager asked me to advise him on how to do aA� ‘graceful termination.’ 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?
What’s Joe’s value to you?
Can this value be quantified in a business sense?
What are you getting personally out of keeping Joe?
What are your next actions?
Why are you avoiding what you need to do?
Don’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. I’ll bet Joe is just waiting to see what you will do. After all, you’re the leader….

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.A�

Use This Analytical Tool to Evaluate Your Agents

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 consistencyA�

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

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.A�

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

 

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.A�

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:A�

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*A�

A�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��.A�

Win a Copy of My New BookA�

Would you like to win a copy of my new 4th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days, the new agent’s start-up plan? It’s not even on the shelves yet. Just go to my Facebook business page and enter the contest (win a book).

In my earlier blog, I told you about “Joe”–that nice agent who never sells a stick of real estate. He’s your billboard. Joe the Billboard publicizes the outcomes from your recruiting, training, and coaching–just by being “Joe”.

After you read these, I hope you’ll consider any more ‘Joes” as potential hires as RED FLAGS.

Here are the outcomes to your efforts that Joe publicizes for you.

Recruiting. You find it hard to recruit. See, likes attract. People see that Joe (or lots of Joes) are in your office. Agents do search the MLS to find out what the sales statistics are in offices. (Why would good agents go to an office that has low production?) Maybe youa��re like me, taking over a real estate office where it was known in the area, literally, as a�?the place you went if you didna��t want to work.a�? Boy, what a great recruiting endorsement!A� If so, you know that ita��s a terrific uphill battle to recruit good people into a bad office. (Hint: You must get rid of the bad people first, then build on a new foundation. You cana��t fool those agents!).

Training. Youa��re finding it hard to get agents to attend your training classes. Why? Because Joe attends every one of thema��and then doesna��t take any action. So, your class endorsement is actually a�?those classes dona��t do any good.a�?

Coaching. People say they want help, but they wona��t go into a coaching relationship with you. Why? Because Joe tells them it wona��t do any good. After all, hea��s been in your office for six years, and being with you certainly hasna��t done him any good. (Joe also rains on the newer agentsa�� parades, by convincing them that no lead generating method you endorse is worth their time. After all, the one home Joe sold was a walk-in.)

Click here to get my take on how much it costs to hire a non-productive agent. And, do your own math. Are you stunned? What did you learn?

Joe is Making Your Success an Uphill Battle

Youa��ve tried to help Joe. Youa��ve decided you cana��t help him. Youa��re working harder and longer. Yet, your office culture and productivity just dona��t seem to improve. Ask yourself:

What percent of a�?Joesa�? do you have in your office right now?

Carlaa��s rule: If you have over 10% seasoned non-producers, you arena��t leading. They are.A�A� A�

Discover If They’re Workers or Wanderers

My On Track to Success in 30 Days System for the Experienced Agent is a great way to see if your a�?Joea�� or Josephine really intends to go to worka��and goes to work. Ia��ve provided the link to the agentsa�� and coacha��s program here. It will get agents back in the gamea��with confidence and results.

So you think you can’t fire Joe? Why are you keeping that deadwood, anyway? Okay. Thata��s a pretty blunt statement. But, good agents resent the a�?deadwooda��. Theya��ve told me that time and again. Non-productive agents waste their time, and communicate from management that work ethic doesna��t matter in that office. Yet, managers are reluctant to cut anyone loose. Today, though, there are few benefits of keeping someone who demonstrates he/she is not interested in being productive.

Agents: Read this and tell me if you have deadwood in your office that slows you down. Why do you think managers keep the deadwood?

Everyone has a Joe (or Josephine) in their office. Joea��s been an agent for six years. Hea��s the guy who makes coffee every morning. Hea��s the guy who takes peoplea��s open houses (although he never picks up a client). Hea��s even the guy who steps in when someone in the office cana��t make their floor time (but he has never converted an inquiry to a clienta��). Hea��s also the guy who doesna��t sell a stick of real estate. Woops. I misspoke. He did sell one home once. It was during the a�?on firea�� market. Joe was on floor time. He got a walk in: A buyer who found the home himself, had cash, and was willing to write it up at Joea��s convenience. (After closing, Joe didna��t follow up with the client again. After all, the sale is over, isna��t it?)A�

Whata��s the matter with just keeping Joe?A�

Nothing, if you dona��t care about your bottom line. Brokers tell me that a poor hire or a non-productive agent costs them nothing. Unfortunately, thata��s far from the case.

Herea��s How Joe Costs You $$$$$–Lots of $$$$$$A�A�

If you read nothing else in this blog, please read this line:A�

Joe is a walking billboard for failurea��an effective marketing strategy that communicates your officea��s failure to make him successful, and your failure to making him successful.A�

Joe the Billboard publicizes the outcomes from your recruiting, training, and coaching.

In my next blog, I’ll give youA�the costs of retaining Joe. You’ll be shocked!

A Tool to Re-Energize, Retain, and Figure Out Who To Send Next Door.

My On Track to Success in 30 Days System for the Experienced Agent is a great way to see if your a�?Joea�� or Josephine really intends to go to worka��and goes to work. Ia��ve provided t he link to the agentsa�� and coacha��s program here. It will get agents back in the gamea��with confidence and results.