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Archive for time management

Are your new agents struggling with time management? Here’s an easy way to help them.

A simple way to help your agents manage time.

We all have the same amount of time. Yet, some agents start their careers like rockets, launching fast. Others just can’t seem to get a foothold. 

I’m just finishing my new book, Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Won’t Teach You in Pre-License School (out in about 3 weeks). Although the book is written for the person thinking about real estate as a career, or is in pre-license, this book actually is a treasure trove for any agent. Why? It

  1. Lays out a simple, effective business start-up plan
  2. It exposes the mistakes agents make in launch, that costs them time and money–and sometimes a whole career
  3. It helps agent budget–both personally and professionally

Time Allocations for Newer Agents

New agents attend training school. They learn lots of interesting–and sometimes valuable-information. But, they seldom learn how to organize their businesses, prioritize their time, and measure their advancement. One of the basic premises to success is to allocate their time to the right activities. Here’s my list, from Launching Right in Real Estate:

Figure_3.6_Time_Commitments__How_To_Allocate_Your_Time

Common Time Management Mistakes

The new agent: We go into real estate with lots of confidence. We love houses. We like people. We want to help people. Then, we find out there’s a whole lot to learn. So, we spend most of our time ‘getting ready’. I’ve watched new agents spend many months learning–and avoiding jumping on what I term the sales path--talking to, working with, and selling homes to real people. 

Compare Your Agent’s Time Management to My Allocations

Use my time management allocations to coach your agents. What do you see as differences? What are the activities leading to a sale? What are the activities that actually protect you from working with those challenging people–those potential clients? What adjustments do you want to make to create a faster career launch for yourself? 

Want to save time and inform your would-be agents? Use my book, Launching Right in Real Estate: What They Don’t Teach You In Pre-License School. I’ve addressed the hundreds of questions and concerns would-be agents have. See what I’m advising them! Order now at half price: $12.95. Publish date: July 15.

What? Here are MORE strategies that don’t work anymore.

Florida Realtor just interviewed me for an article on the sales strategies that agents are still using–but that don’t work. I thought that was such a great topic that I want to share them with you here. So, these blogs will each explore 2 habits. This is great for managers to think about, because these habits and strategies can wreck your training–or make it effective!

My first two strategies were no database or contact management and using a ‘love ’em and leave ’em mentality. Now, here are those next two ‘no-no’s.

  1. Not qualifying your buyer or seller

You’d think that agents would learn and use qualifying methods because they’re always challenged by ‘time management’. But, no. For some reason, many agents still believe that any client is a good client. So, they waste hundreds of hours either hauling non-buyers around–or listing properties that won’t sell. Even in this hot market! I know, this market is generally very forgiving. But, it always won’t be that way!

Managers: How are you teaching your agents to qualify buyers and sellers? Do you have them role play their qualifying procedures? Do you have them identify knockout factors and establish standards for working with buyers and sellers?  (If you want great ‘courses’ for these things, check out Your Complete Buyer’s Agent Toolkit and Your Complete Power Listing System. They’re resources with all the background and documents agents need to do great qualifying interviews. And, they’ll provide you comprehensive courses in those subjects, too).

2.  Not using a visual presentation for buyers and sellers

This goes with #1. I separated them, though, because both need to happen so the agents fully informs the client and finds out if the client is ‘for real’.

 And, most people are visual learners. Finally, agents (and generally salespeople) are not deemed the most trustworthy people on the planet (just perception, not truth!). Usually visual substantiation and 3rd party endorsements and statistics add immeasuable credibility.

Managers: Do you work with your agents to create visual presentations with real substantiation for their claims (like, ‘our listings sell faster’). Do you help each agent create their personalized presentations to spotlight that agent, or do you rely on general company overviews (won’t work anymore!).

Resources: If you want great ‘courses’ for these things, check out Your Complete Buyer’s Agent Toolkit and Your Complete Power Listing System. They’re resources with all the background and documents and visual presentations agents need to do great qualifying interviews. And, they’ll provide you comprehensive courses in those subjects, too).

What do you think are habits and strategies that agents are still using that just won’t propel them forward in today’s competitive environment?

 

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.

 

Up and Running_5e largerI just received my copy of my 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days, the new agenta��s business start-up plan. Dearborn Education, a division of Kaplan, Inc., has published this book since its first edition. Ia��ve put lots of updates in this 2017 edition, including advice from successful newer agents. Rather than my trying to convince you of these principles myself, herea��s what theya��ve said:

On Training

Herea��s a quote from Kyle Kovats, who was recently chosen as one of the finalists for the a�?30 under 30a�? honors from the National Association of Realtors.A� These select nominations are agents chosen because they are under 30 and very successful in the business.

Kyle advises: a�?Find a broker who has a comprehensive training program. Ask if you can speak with agents who have gone through it to get the agentsa�� perspective on whether it was helpful.a�?

{Note: Up and Running in 30 Days has tips for you new agents in choosing the right training programa��a training program that actually assures you launch a great career).

The Importance of Coaches and Mentors

Therea��s a lot more to success than just attending even a great training program. Read this from Merrilee Prochaska, a�?I wish I had understood the importance of a mentor/coach before I began.a�?

{Up and Running in 30 Days discusses the trend toward coaches, and provides guidance in choosing the right coach for you.}

On What They Wish Theya��d Done Differently

Ita��s not all a smooth ride! Here are some comments from Cerise Paton, on what she wishes she would have done differently: a�?Followed up more and more consistently; understood the time and discipline and numbers needed for lead generation and lead conversion; recognizing the time it took to build trust; going on more appointments, failing more often, and getting better, practicing presentations with friendsa�?.

Gary Richtera��s comment on what he would do differently could apply to most new agents: a�?Contact all of my sphere and ask for business.a�? Gary admits he was reticent to ask them all for business.

On Prioritizing Your Activities and Lead Generation Sources

Dona��t take my word for it that clearly prioritizing your activities as business-producing or business-supporting is key to success. Hear it from Gary Richter, who used Up and Running in 30 Days to start his career. He says his priorities are big reasons hea��s succeeding now: a�?I am cognizant of my daily activities and recognized them as either business producing or business supporting. I spend the majority of my time on business-producing activities.a�?

And, Diane Honeycutt states, a�?Take the advice in this plan and be sure youa��re not a a�?secret agenta��! Develop a work plan and stick to ita�?.

Herea��s what Kyle Kovats, that great a��30 under 30a�� nominee, said: a�?Get out there and just do it.A� Try different forms of prospecting and see what works. An ounce of action is more powerful than a ton of planning.a�?

Gary Richter advises: a�?Get off your computer and go out into the areas. Focus on business-producing activities.a�?

More great advice from Kyle Kovats: a�?Be relentless. Follow up with handwritten letters rather than the generic form letters/cards most agents send people. Be unique.a�?

On the Importance of Client Relationship Management Technology

When I asked those agent and team leader contributors what technology is important to incorporate, herea��s what they said:

a�?CRM and lead management toolsa�?a��Diane Honeycutt

a�?A really good and easy-to-use CRMa�?a��Cerise Paton

a�?A good CRMa�?a��Chris Cross

So, dona��t be like the majority of new agents (and even seasoned agents who put off capturing all those leads in a database and then, even better a CRM!) Start using a database, or better yet, a CRM your first week in the business.

On Spending Money for Leads

Herea��s some advice from one of those Top 30 Under 30 finalists, James Pierce: a�?Don’t pay a dime to sites like Zillow, etc.a�?

From Cerise Paton: a�?You will get a lot of calls to sell you leads, google placement, banner ads, shopping carts, you name it. Dona��t do it. It either has no value, orA�you’reA�not ready for it, or you cana��t afford ita�?

Tip for managers: As you read these comments, ask yourself, a�?How is my training, coaching, and business start-up plan keeping my new agents on track?a�? What needs to be changed or refined so I get better results?a�?

How about YOU?

Are you following these principles? How many have you rejected or violated in your first few months in the business? Why? Success isna��t always easy, but it always has patterns and leaves clues! Dona��t try and re-invent the wheel. Follow a proven plan with assured results and you will be wildly successful!

Take a look at what’s new in Up and Running in 30 Days:A� updates in 5th edition.

time management guy with clockManagers: Are you systemized–or, is your office piles of papers–that you can’t find when you need them? Are your systems up to speed? On a scale of 1 to 10, ten being high, how would you rate your organization and your systems? Do you seem to be grabbing at papers right before your recruiting appointment? Do you find yourself sketching a training outline five minutes prior to the training start time? If so, youa��ll want to take some time to a�?systematizea�? yourself. Why?

Save time

Get more done

Lower your stress levels

Enjoy your job more

(See the end of this blog for a link to systems you need in place).

Why do Managers Need Systems?

Good agents today have systems for each process they manage. For example, an agent has a listing process system, which includes the materials, packages, and checklists to manage the process. With those systems, agents can not only the manage the process, they can delegate the right activities to their assistants. (See my blog link at the end of this blog for systems agents need).

Managers Dona��t Have Nearly the Systems Agents Have

Think about the systems, processes, and checklists you, as manager, recommend that your agent create to accomplish the critical tasks, or activities, in his business. Now, compare that with the tasks you, as manager, have to accomplish in your position as “people” manager. Work from the tasks to systems to manage these tasks. To prioritize the systems you want to develop, first:

1. List the tasks you do as manager. Now, list the parallel the tasks agents do.

An example: A critical task an agent does is to prospect. Good agents have systematized that process into a marketing plan, complete with specific tactics, dates, and budget. Managers must prospect, too. They prospect for agents.

Does your prospecting (recruiting) plan for agents resemble that of your best agent’s marketing plan? Is it as systematized? Does it have the materials, time frames, budgets, and delegations that good agents have in their plans?

2. Prioritize your tasks as they relate to accomplishing your main objectives. What are the most important tasks you do as manager to assure your office makes a profit?

An example: If recruiting is very important to reaching your objective, how complete is your recruiting system? How organized is it? Who is involved with you in your recruiting plan? How well are you delegating the systems?

Your Job Description Comes First

Developing systems first requires that you’ve prioritized your job description. (Wait: Do you have a job description?) Then, you must either create or purchase systems to manage these processes. One reason managers haven’t systematized their work is that managers have few resources for systems organization. To actually systematize their work, they must create these systems from scratch. Given the myriad of activities managers must accomplish, that’s a daunting assignment. Instead, many managers stay in “crisis” management, which admittedly takes up a lot of the day, but doesn’t allow the manager to move ahead as a leader.

In contrast, agents have many resources for systems organization, both purchased and exchanged with other agents. First, there are many more agents than managers, and agents coming into the business each day. So, there is a larger market, and need, for agents’ systems. In addition, agents have led the way in organizing their businesses to delegate to assistants. It’s become ‘the thing’ to do.

Resource List of Needed Systems

Click onA�Managers Package and SystematizeA�for a list of systems and process you need to manage your business with grace and lower your stress level.

Want to know what systems your agents need? Read my blog on systems for agents.

LM Cover

Let Me Help you Get your Systems in Place–and How to Use Them

It would take you years to create the systems I’ve already created–and are available in my one-on-one leadership coaching program, Leadership Mastery Coaching. If you’re tired of working too hard for too little pay-off, why not do a complimentary consultation and see how Leadership Mastery can benefit you? Click here to schedule your 1/2 hour appointment.

3 men and women working at tableI know you want to help your agents gain great business plans. So, here’s how to schedule your business planning process. I’m sharing some tips with you on initial scheduling for business planning and on-going coaching to a business plan. You’ll see the dates in the schedule below are in January, because this is from a live webinar series I did for a real estate company. It would be better for you to start the process sooner.A� I’ll address on-going coaching in my next blog.

First, what doesn’t work:

Hand out the planning pages and say ‘have a nice day’.

Instead, you must have a schedule to assure the agent gets that plan written.

Scheduling an interview: When I’m teaching this as a course, or doing a webinar, I give the agents questions to interview their managers–questions that reveal what the managers foresee as strengths and challenges and trends in the marketplace and in their offices. See that interview scheduled below.

Here’s the schedule I’m giving to the leadership to use for their business planning process:

PDF how to get each of your agents a great business plan 1

 

This is just the first schedule. After the initial ‘help’, you must schedule individual appointments for the agent to finish his/her plan:

coaching appointment

 

Now, you’ve educated the agents about business planning. You’ve team ified and created confidence with your meeting. Finally, you’ve set appointments for individual coaching for the plan. In my next blog, we’ll discuss how to use the business plan for coaching all year, so you’re fully imbued in the success with each of your agents.

Plan_Act_CelebrateWant Some Support to Get Your Agents Business Plans?

 

Webinar coming up: Join Carla as she shows you how to make business planning fun, exciting, and creative–and get a GREAT 2016 plan.

When: Dec. 4, 1-2 PM Pacific Time (that’s 4 Eastern, 3 Central, and 2 Mountain)

Included:
The 3 critical components of a successful plan usually left out
How to make your plan truly YOURS, not someone else’s (that won’t work!)
What to STOP doing in 2016

What one thing will assure your plan works

And, much more!

If you’re a pro, if you want to create a fun, successful, fulfilling career, you need the right kind of business plan. Don’t wait to step up to the next level now. Join us!

Space is limited, so sign up now. This is a complimentary session, from Carla Cross, CRB, MA, who wrote the internationally published book on business planning, along with business planning courses for most of the major franchises. She’s tested her system ‘in the trenches’ with real agents–so she knows what works.

Click here for more information and to register. Get inspired to make a great 2016 plan!

____________________________________________________

Want Help in Getting your Agents to Plan? Why not contact me to find out how I can educate your agents on business planning and support and coach you as a leader. Give me a call at 425.392-6914 or email me at carla@carlacross.com. I can do a webinar series for you, supply you will all the planning documents, and help your leadership coach your agents–at a very affordable cost with big pay-off for you.

 

 

I just did a business planning webinar for a large southern franchise group. Now, I’m going to do a webinar for the management team on how to introduce business planning and use it all year to coach. So, I thought I would share some tips with you on initial scheduling for business planning and on-going coaching to a business plan. I’ll address on-going coaching in my next blog.

First, what doesn’t work:

Hand out the planning pages and say ‘have a nice day’.

Instead, you must have a schedule assure the agent gets that plan written.When I’m teaching this as a course, or doing a webinar, I give the agents questions to interview their managers–questions that reveal what the managers foresee as strengths and challenges and trends in the marketplace and in their offices. See that interview scheduled below.

Here’s the schedule I’m giving to the leadership during the webinar:

PDF how to get each of your agents a great business plan 1

 

This is just the first schedule. After the initial ‘help’, you must schedule individual appointments for the agent to finish his/her plan:

coaching appointment

 

Now, you’ve educated the agents about business planning. You’ve teamified and created confidence with your meeting. Finally, you’ve set appointments for individual coaching for the plan. In my next blog, we’ll discuss how to use the business plan for coaching all year, so you’re fully imbued in the success with each of your agents.

Plan_Act_CelebrateWant Some Support to Get Your Agents Business Plans?

Why not contact me to find out how I can educate your agents on business planning and support and coach you as a leader. Give me a call at 425.392-6914 or email me at carla@carlacross.com. I can do a webinar series for you, supply you will all the planning documents, and help your leadership coach your agents–at a very affordable cost with big pay-off for you.

 

 

 

 

clockThrough December, I’m focusing on business planning in my blogs. Look for checklists, processes, and systems–ready to use.

Business Planning: Is Time Management One of your Agents’ Biggest Challenges?

If youa��re like most of us, (and your agents), you have much more on your a�?to doa�� list than you get to during your business day. What does that have to do with business planning? At this time of year, we need to analyze how we spent our time. Then, we can make adjustments for next year. All of us have the same amount of time, yet, some people seem to know how to optimize it.

We Dona��t Manage Time

The notion that we manage time is actually a mis-nomer. We manage activities. Have you ever known an agent who comes into the office every day, seems to work hard, yet makes little money? That person would tell you he manages his time. Yet, his time is spent doing the wrong activities. (Or, maybe, he intends to spend his time in non-productive activitiesa��a��.).

As managers, you can be very influential in helping agents better manage those activities through their business plan.

A Major Principle for Great Time/Activity Management

In Up and Running in 30 Days, (use this program if you’re under a year in the business for business planning) I introduced the principle of categorizing activities so that you can tell whether you are spending your time in activities that will make you moneya��or not. All real estate activities can be categorized as either

Business producing or

Business supporting

Which are which: Those activities that have you meeting people directly (lead generation), working with people, and selling houses are business producing. All the rest are business supporting. Do your agents know the difference? Use the following analysis tool to help your agents see how they are spending their time. It will literally tell them (and you) why they are making the money they are making!

Click here to get my time/activity analysis, excerpted from my online business planning resources for agents and managers, Beyond the Basics of Business Planning.

Let me know what you found out from your time/activity analysis, and the changes youa��re making for next yeara��s business plan.

Plan_Act_CelebrateGrab the Business Planning System Internationally Published Exclusively for Real Estate Pros

If you’re tired of filling in the blanks with numbers that mean little to you, it’s time to step up to a real strategic planning system–a system made exclusively for real estate pros. Check it out at Beyond the Basics of Business Planning.

Man-Walking-Up-Stairs-to-GlobeDo your agents know their purpose?During December, I’m blogging about business plans. Why not review all these blogs (including my blog for agents, Up and Running in 30 Days, and get inspired to help your agents grab great plans for 2015.

Do your agents have mission statements as part of their business plans?A�Why is having a mission important? How should it guide agents? You’ve heard the talks about finding your passion. But, you see your agents being over-whelmed in their careers. It’s just too much to think big when they’re A�just trying to find that house or convince a buyer to work with them!

The Importance of Your Mission

This time of year, we’re encouraging everyone to create their business plans. One of the first things you’ll do in creating your own business plan is to define your mission. Why? Because, otherwise, you don’t know whether or not the actions you decide to take will fulfill your mission. This is also true of your agents.

Tackling and Bringing Down your Time Management Challenges

If agents have been in the sales business a little while,A�they’ve already discovered thatA�their biggest challenge is time management.A� HowA�can theyA�get done in a business day everything that needs getting done? That’s where your mission comes in. Creating your mission helps you prioritizeA�all the things you’re supposed to do. It helps you decide what not to do. Most important, it helps you figure out

how to put YOU into your management and sales business successfully

Plan_Act_CelebrateGrab the Most Popular Planning Resources Exclusively for Real Estate Pros

Tired of dragging your agents kicking and screaming to a business plan? Take advantage of Carla Cross’s 2 decades of expertise. Carla teaches your agents how to plan AND you get all the planning pages. Piece of cake–and you’ll be more profitable in 2015! Check out Beyond the Basics of Business Planning here.

 

A�

man with hair in airAre you driving yourself crazy interviewing new agents? Do you feel like a broken record–telling them the same things over and over again? Having interviewed hundreds of would-be and new licensees, I’ve always marveled how little they knew about the practical aspects of real estate. And, how much they rely on us managers to educate them in the interview. Yet, it can take many hours per candidate to do just that. Those candidates have questions like

  • Am I really cut out to sell real estate successfully? (not all are!)
  • How should I choose the right office?
  • What are managers looking for?
  • How will you get me started to make money before my savings are gone?
  • What are the secrets to succeeding?

 

Those pre-license courses just isna��t designed to provide a road map to real estate sales success.

Why Most of the Advice They Get Isn’t Enough

Sometimes these candidates think they’ll learn everything from talking to other agents. But, they dona��t have a wide enough perspective. They could even give some bad advice–not because they mean to hurt the candidate, but they dona��t have that a�?global viewa�� of real estate needed to get perspective.

Where to Get Unbiased Guidance

Carla Cross, a Realtor Educator of the Year, and author of 6 internationally published books on real estate, has interviewed hundreds of would-be agents. Shea��s coached and trained hundreds, too. Shea��s learned the questions would-be and new agents aska��and shea��s learned the answers they receivea��answers that may not be in their best interests. In her new eBook, What They Dona��t Teach You in Pre-License School, Carla lays it all out in a clear, entertaining and no-holds-barred manner. A�

Here are some of the things would-be and new agents learn in this fast-paced eBook:

  • Whether you have the behavioral a�?profilea�� of a successful real estate agenta��and whether youa��re going to lovea��or hatea��selling real estate
  • How to get ready to sell lots of real estate while youa��re still taking your pre-license course
  • How to absolutely match your goals with the right office for you so you dona��t make the wrong choice
  • The 10 secrets brokers wona��t tell you in the interviewa��and the questions that reveal them
  • 5 attributes of the manager youa��ll lovea��and get the most from
  • What a successful real estate agent does in a business day (so you can check your a�?guta�� and see if youa��ll like this job)
  • The most important technology youa��ll need on the first day of your new career (and how not to waste money on tech you dona��t need now)
  • What to do the first and second weeks youa��re in real estate to assure you launch a successful career
  • What company training programs willa��and wona��ta��do for you
  • The start-up business plan that puts you far ahead of the pack
  • How to handle those personality clashes as a new agent
  • The 4 fatal mistakes new agents make that doom their careers

As a manager, you’ll save so many precious hours of time by providing this eBook to good candidates. You’ll also show you aren’t afraid of giving them the whole picture–not just a ‘sales job’. And, you’ll know the questions they are going to ask you, so you can be prepared!

A Tool from the Ebook to Help Them Hit the Ground Running

Why should candidates wait until they are licensed to really get ready to sell real estate? I’ve made a checklist to help save time so they can make money fast once you’re licensed. Click here to get my 30-point checklist, 30 Things to Do in Pre-LIcense to Hit the Ground Running. You can use this list to give your great new hires a distinct advantage over others–a great recruiting tool!

what-they-dont-3d_coverSave time by informing candidates of all the practical aspects of real estate sales (including 10 things all agents should do for their managers!). Click here to find out more.

 

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