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 webinars

It’s here now, and it’s here to stay. Why not take this time to refine your online training skills?

Do you need to go online with your presentations and courses’?  In real estate, we’re not doing any ‘live’ teaching. So, this is a great time, to adjust your communication and training strategy to reach out.

I’ve been doing webinars for years, and, I learned so much working with pros like Amy Chorew while I presented through National Association of Realtors doing business planning webinars. I really worked on my technique, and was always rated in the top three presenters.

Unfortunately, many of the Zoom training and presentations have been–shall I say it–boring! Here is what I learned from the best, the mistakes I’ve made as I’ve learned, and the strategies that will help you create effective online communications and training as we go forward.    

Today, you need to take your training courses online if you’re a

  • Trainer
  • Coach
  • Manager
  • Team leader
  • Salesperson

and in today’s world, we HAVE to communicate digitally–at least for awhile. The good news is that it forces us to get really good at this type of communication so we can reach more people more effectively. I hate it when I ask people what they think of webinars and they say that last PowerPoint presentation was

boring/dull/repetitive/ill-organized/no fun……..

But, if you’re skilled at presenting online, you can

  • Inform
  • Introduce
  • Sell
  • Increase your image

Webinars: An Easy Solution to Training

What can a webinar do? First, what it can’t do. Don’t expect it to  

Change people’s behavior (it’s not training. It’s education). Webinars are not the magic training bullet we’ve wished for. There are limited objectives you can accomplish by doing a webinar. But, I’ve discovered some methods to help ‘attendees’ internalize and apply what they’re learning (see my Train the Trainer sneak preview below).

Of course, the upside of a online training/webinar is that

  • People don’t have to travel to get to the an event
  • It’s very cost-effective
  • It puts you in front of new audiences
  • You can make it evergreen (record it and share it)

Some Basic Choices to Make Before You Start

  1. Your vehicle

Which company will you use to deliver your webinar? There are over 100 companies today offering some type of screen sharing. They range from free to $100+ a month. The free versions companies tout are for a limited number of viewers (usually 5-10). After that, figure on paying for the services. Among the most popular services are Zoom, GoTo Meeting, WebEx, and BrightTalk. Whatever you choose, pick a service that will be easy for you! Getting caught in the technicalities while you are trying to be a sparkling presenter is death by webinar.

  1. What’s your message?

Boy, this one seems so easy, and yet, it’s where most of us go way off the rails. Why? We try to do too much in too little time with too little organization! (Just like we do in ‘live’ classes). But, it’s more fatal digitally, because it is more challenging to hold people’s attention. So, the next few tips are critical to the success  of your training.

Decide on your topic. Is it something that would lend itself to a webinar? To find out, study webinars you’ve attended. Do some seem too wishy-washy to have been worth your time? Are some so full of facts and figures you snooze off?

Decide on your objectives. In other words, start with the end in mind.  What do you see, hear, and feel the attendees doing at the end of your presentation?

To write your objectives, start with this sentence,

As a result of this webinar, attendees will____________________________. Examples of objectives for a business planning webinar could be:

  • Understand the flow of the strategic business planning process
  • Be able to differentiate between a vision and a mission statement
  • Be able to pinpoint 3 areas of concern about their business from the previous year

After I’ve written my objectives, I know the basic structure of my webinar. I can prioritize those objectives and start arranging my webinar in the right presentation order.

Your Topic: Overview or Detailed?

Is your topic an overview, or is it more detailed? Decide on the scope of your topic, and your objectives, before going further.

Common webinar mistake: Either being so global there is little information, or being so detailed you lose the audience in facts and figures.

Sound Familiar?

If you’ve taken my Instructor Development Workshop or my online learning version, Train the Trainer, you’ve learned what objectives are and how to write and apply them in creating your training/presentation/digital class. 

After deciding on your desired delivery company, and drafting your topic and objectives, you’re ready for the next step. In the next blog, we’ll discuss best presentation methods–and common presentation mistakes.

See What a Digital Course Looks Like and How it’s Organized

Necessity is the mother of invention!!!! Oh, boy, have I learned that. I decided to put my distance learning program in new course software. In doing so, I’ve found out how to help people internalize important concepts and apply them to great, concrete, immediately-usable results. Here’s a sneak preview of my Train the Trainer program. It fulfills the requirement for attendees to teach clock hour approved courses in Washington state, and is accredited for 15 clock hours.

Train the Trainer Sneak Preview

In later posts, I’ll share some strategies I’ve found work really well in creating online presentations and courses that involve, inform, and entertain.

teacher at boardTrainers: Are you after better performance–or just giving them more knowledge?

Are you standing in front of your students to create better performance, or more knowledge?

I learned this the hard way. After graduating with a degree in piano performance, I applied to and had been awarded a scholarship to UCLA as a graduate assistant in the music department. But, after I was at UCLA a few weeks, I became disillusioned, for I found out that the UCLA music department was all about ‘knowledge’, not performance. Professors earned tenure by publishing papers about sixteenth century Elizabethan madrigals–but they didn’t have to be able to play the madrigals…My interest and experience in music had been performance.

Are You After Better Performance or More Knowledge?

I’ve never forgotten that lesson about the difference in the knowledge about something–and the performance of it. Which is more important in what you are teaching? What do you want your students to be able to do as a result of your presentation/training? Sure, just like musical performance, you must have some technique to perform. But, also like musical performance, lots of knowledge doesn’t make you a good performer.

If You Want Better Performance…

Here are five areas to look at to assure you’re creating performers, not just know-it alls.

1. What percent of your program is instructor focused? That is, the instructor performs. If it’s more than 50%, you have a knowledge-heavy program. Model your program like the piano teacher teaches piano. He talks very little, demonstrates some, and listens to the student play and gives positive reinforcement and re-direction.

The teacher knows he taught because the student can play.

2. Do you choose your instructors based on their knowledge and their ability to deliver the message attractively? Start choosing your instructors, instead, on their ability to facilitate performance. They should be able to demonstrate a role play, set up a role play, and draw conclusions. Like great piano teachers create increasingly difficult programs for their students, your instructors should be able to craft ever-increasing difficult rule plays.

Think of them as creators of ‘virtual reality’.

3. Who is held accountable for the program–the instructors or the students? In most programs, we ‘relieve’ the instructor if he doesn’t get good reviews from the students. The instructor’s the only one accountable. Turn it around. 75% of the accountability should be on the students to demonstrate they have learned the skill. Why? Because, without student accountability, managers get your ‘graduates’ who can’t perform.

4. Is your focus on curriculum? Are you attempting to create value for the program to management or owners by providing more information than the other school? Most training programs could cut 50% of their curriculum and graduate better performers. Instead of focusing on curriculum, create your program as ‘virtual reality’. Have a system that provides a series of “performance building blocks”. Don’t tell them all about playing a concerto. Just tell them enough to let them ‘get their fingers on the keys’.

5. Are the objectives of your program knowledge-based? How do the students graduate from your program? Do they pass a written exam? Managers want a graduate who can perform the activities of a real estate salesperson to reasonably high performance standards. A good training program should identify, teach, observe, and coach performance in several critical performance areas until the student can perform well enough to graduate.

The Right Performance Test

As a piano performance major, each term, I had to play a ‘mini-recital’ in the music auditorium for an audience of four–all piano professors. I couldn’t just talk about music theory, or answer a multiple choice exam. I had to play. And, to pass the ‘course’, I had to play to certain set performance standards. The more your training program resembles the ‘virtual reality’ of your specific performance, the more valuable your program to the people who hired your students –and you.

Raise Your Trainers’ Level of Performance

Carla is helping trainers everywhere become even better at what they do. Why not invite her to work with your association or company? Here are some of the areas Carla addresses:

  • How to put more participation into your courses (so you quit boring them to tears)
  • How to give students a much different experience, by using creative, effective training methods
  • How to arrange your course so it has a natural ‘flow’ and students are really competent by the end of the course
  • Invest in your faculty. They will go out and recruit more great faculty members and your training program with grow with purpose!

Contact Carla at carla@carlacross.com or 425-392-6914. She’ll find out your needs and customize a program just for you.

bus plan 7 team

Is your business plan missing the vision component?A�Below is an explanation of why having a vision is so important to the success of your business plan. In fact, I believe the lack of vision in a plan leads to a demotivating and certainly uninspiring plan.

For you managers: I think helping your agents create an inspiring and motivating plan will remove their reticence at doing a plan.

Why Vision is Important

A few years ago, business professors, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, studied very successful companies to find out the differences between a�?stunninga�� (high profits and highly regarded), and other like companies who were almost as profitable, but not so successful). They published the results in the best business book Ia��ve ever read,A�Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies.

What did they find was the common difference between the highly profitable and merely very successful?

A common vision and values shared by every person in the company.A�

Porras and Collins’ conclusion was that the desire for profits isna��t the main driver for profits. The focused and tenacious vision, shared by all in the company, was the biggest determinant for profits.A�

Components of VisionA�

Your vision is made up of yourA�core ideologyA�and yourA�envisioned future.A�A�

As you can see from the chart on the right, excerpted from myA�online business planning resource, Beyond the Basics of Business Planning,A�yourA�core ideologyA�is made up of your core values and core purpose. If you look at your life, youa��ll see that the things that inspire and motivate you are the things that adhere to your belief system. Thata��s what this part of the vision statement says about you.

Your envisioned futureA�is made from a vivid description of this future, and BHAGsa��big hairy, audacious goals. Those are goals five years out, that you really dona��t think you can attain.

The Power of BHAGs

Surprisingly, as Porras and Collins found, when companies stated these goals, they actually attained them in three years! (Inspirational goals that are congruent with your core values and core ideology are powerful motivators!).

What Vision Does for Companies

Herea��s Porras and Collinsa��s function of a vision statement:

Provides guidance about what core to preserve and what future to progress toward.A� Made up of core ideology and envisioned future.

Here’s an example of a vision of one of the book’s stand-out companies:

Our basic principles have endured intact since our founders conceived them.A� We distinguish between core values and practices; the core values dona��t change, but the practices might.A� Wea��ve also remained clear that profit a�� as important as it is a�� is not why the Hewlett-Packard Company exists; it exists for more fundamental reasons.a�?

A� A� A� John Young, former CEO, Hewlett-Packard

A�How to Construct your Vision

How do you want to see yourself in this business? How do you want people to talk about you and your business after you retire? What values are most important to you? What ideology do you follow in your business?

Managersa�� exercise.A�A�To figure out what your core values are, imagine that you are opening an office on Mars. You can only take three agents with you on your spaceship. Name those three agents. What are the core values of these agents? Who in your office doesn’t exhibit those values? Why is he/she still with you?

Looking back:A�Imagine you are at your own memorial, watching from above. What are others saying about you? Whata��s most memorable about you?

Voicing those BHAGs

What is a great goal you would love to accomplish in your business, but really dona��t feel ita��s possible for you within five years? Write it right now.

Note: In the complimentary business planning webinar, we’ll be exploring vision and agents will actually write some BHAGS!

Why We Dona��t Reach Those Lofty Goals

Is that goal thata��s been eluding you congruent with your core values? What I mean by that is, does that goal feel comfortable to you? For instance, if that goal is that youa��ll make two million dollars, and you dona��t like the feeling of that much money, because your values are aligned differently, you just arena��t going to reach that goal. That, I believe is the reason many of us dona��t reach some of our goals. Those goals arena��t in alignment with our core values.

Herea��s what great motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said about goal-value alignment:

You cana��t consistently perform in a manner that is inconsistent with the way you see yourself.

Finding your Alive, Powerful Motivation

In my business planning system, I also provide another method to check your motivation.

Click hereA�to get this document.

Ia��m convinced that we reach or dona��t reach our goals based on the intensity of our desire, driven not by cold numbers, but by the warm emotion of aligned values and inspiring goals. Yogi Berra said it well:

Life is like baseball; ita��s 95% mental and the other half is physical.

Plan_Act_Celebrate

bus plan 6Do 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!

This month, I’m featuring tips on business planning in both my blogs (see also my blog for agents Up and Running in 30 Days.)

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 isA�time management.A�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 youA�prioritizeA�all the things you’re supposed to do. It helps you decide whatA�notA�to do. Most important, it helps you figure out

how to put YOU into your management and sales business successfully

Want more business planning help?A�I’ll be doing a webinar Dec. 6 at 4 PM Pacific Time. It’s complimentary, and I’ll even give you ‘assignments’ to get you going on a great 2018 plan.

Plan_Act_CelebrateMore from Carla Cross on Business Planninga��free Webinar

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

Managers: I’ll get your agents started on their plans with 4 assignments, and give you tips on how to assure all your agents get great plans!

shaking hands over computer

Presenters: Is there a webinar in your future?

This month, I featuring training.

Is a webinar in your future? Everybody and their brother are doing webinars. I am doing a a�?livea��A�Instructor Development Workshop, and there isA�interest in webinars each time I do this course. So, I thought Ia��d write a blog

about them. Here goes. Enjoy!

Should you become a webinar a�?mavena��? If youa��re a

  • Trainer
  • Coach
  • Manager
  • Team leader
  • Salesperson

you may want to consider the a�?delivery methoda�� of a webinar. What can a webinar do for you? It can

  • Inform
  • Introduce
  • Sell
  • Increase your image

WhatA�cana��tA�a webinar do? It cana��t

Change peoplea��s behaviorA�(ita��s not training. Ita��s education). Webinars are not the magic training bullet wea��ve wished for. There are limited objectives you can accomplish by doing a webinar. (Wea��ll investigate this more later).

Of course, the upside of a webinar is that

  • People dona��t have to travel to get to the a�?eventa��
  • Ita��s very cost-effective
  • It puts you in front of new audiences
  • You can make it a�?evergreena�� (record it and share it)

Some Basic Choices to Make Before You Start

  1. Your vehicle

Which company will you use to deliver your webinar? There are over 100 companies today offering some type of a�?screen sharinga��. They range from free to $100+ a month. The free versions companies tout are for a limited number of viewers (usually 5-10). After that, figure on paying for the services. Among the most popular services are GoTo Meeting, WebEx, and BrightTalk. Whatever you choose, pick a service that will be easy for you! Getting caught in the technicalities while you are trying to be a sparkling presenter is death by webinar.

  1. Whata��s your message?

Decide on your topic. Is it something that would lend itself to a webinar? To find out, study webinars you’ve attended. Do some seem too wishy-washy to have been worth your time? Are some so full of facts and figures you snooze off?

Now, decide on your objectives. In other words, start with the end in mind. To write your objectives, start with this sentence,

As a result of this webinar, attendeesA�will____________________________. Examples of objectives for a business planning webinar could be:

  • Understand the a�?flowa�� of the strategic business planning process
  • Be able to differentiate between a vision and a mission statement
  • Be able to pinpoint 3 areas of concern about their business from the previous year

After Ia��ve written my objectives, I know the basic structure of my webinar. I can prioritize those objectives and start arranging my webinar in the right presentation order.

Your Topic: Overview or Detailed?

Is your topic an overview, or is it more detailed? Decide on the scope of your topic, and your objectives, before going further.

Common webinar mistake: Either being so a�?globala�� there is little information, or being so detailed you lose the audience in facts and figures.

After deciding on your desired delivery company, and drafting your topic and objectives, you’re ready for the next step. In the next blog, we’ll discuss best presentation methods–and common presentation mistakes.

A Resource for You

To get more information on creating courses with objectives, seeA�The Ultimate Real Estate Trainera��s Guide.A�Not only for real estate presenters, this guide provides a step-by-step process for putting together a presentation (not just webinars), and dozens of presentation tips.

audience sleeping

When you’re presenting: Are they awake AND interested?

I’m featuring training this month.

If you’re presenting in front of 2 or hundreds, you must wonder at times whether your delivery is interesting. Too often, we drone through the subject, stop to tell a joke or two, and just trudge through the trenches of information until the clock tells us to stop!

Are your students nodding off as the day goes on? Do you frantically wonder how to keep their attentiona��all day? The answer is not what you think it is. Last week, I taught my Instructor Development course to real estate professionals and affiliates. Ia��ve taught this course for about fifteen years. Herea��s the biggest mis-conception students come in with:

If Ia��m just learn how to be a more captivating speaker, I can keep the studentsa�� attention for hours on end.

NOT! In todaya��s frantic world, the person in front of everyone cannot hope to hold studentsa�� attention for more than 10 minutes at a time! If you think Ia��m wrong, just count the number of commercials in a TV break. These commercials are down to about 15 seconds apiece. The images go by so fast you can scarcely count them. In fact, wea��ve become a society of easily distracted, multi-tasking, not very focused beings (watch pedestriansa��or driversa��in action with a cell phonea��..).

The Focus Doesna��t Have to Be On You at All Times

So, what are you going to do to a�?holda�� studentsa�� attention? You are going to implement some teaching methods called

alternative delivery methods

Alternative delivery methods: all those methods used to teach that are NOT lecture. Examples: Town hall, task force, case study, role play, action plan.

Give your Students some Credit

People who lecture their way through a day (or days!) either

  1. Just dona��t have any repertoire of alternative teaching methods

or

2. Just dona��t think the students can be involved with theirs and othersa�� learning

How to Teach through Student Involvement

Instead of talking through each point you have on your PowerPoint slide or in our outline (boy, is that riveting!), use town hall, task force, case study, and role play to teach. To do that, youa��ll need to take an Instructor Development course to learn those methods, and practice using them in class.

Note: My next ‘live’ Instructor Development Workshop will be in Bellevue, Washington, Oct. 5-6, 2017. Click here for more information and registration. This course satisfies the requirement to teach clock hour courses in Washington State, and carries 15 clock hours.

Youa��ll find your students know much more than you think they do about what youa��re teaching. Youa��ll be able to clarify points of concern, use the talents in your class, and actually provide a stimulating, active learning environment. The result: your students will be energized all day.

References:A�Here are two training tools for those who want to present and train more effectively:A�Knock Their Socks Off: Tips to Make your Presentation the Best Ever,A�andA�The Ultimate Real Estate Trainer’s Guide.A�Find them atA�www.carlacross.com.

bus-plan-10

Do you haveA�systems needs built into your business plan?

In December, I’m doing business planning in this blog and my blog for agents, Up and Running in 30 Days. Check back for free processes, checklists, and guidance.

From training, coaching, and teaching for many years, I’ve discovered the importance of systems and processes to back up what’s taught. It’s the difference between having the music for a 30-page Beethoven sonata–and trying to learn it by ear! (you musicians know what I mean….)

I know you have the same concerns as a broker. So, you need aA�systems plan in your business plan, just as I put a technology and social media planner in my 4th edition of Up and Running in 30 DaysA� and in Up and Running in Real Estate, my online training/coaching/accountability program.

People Systems are as Important as Software Systems

One of the mistakes we brokers make is to think all our problems will be solved if we just get everything ‘automated’ with technology. Well, let meA�tell you, it’s hard to automate people! Yet, we needA� people systems so we can be sure no one falls through the cracks. We need to assess our systems to assure each agent, at each stage of his/her development, is worked with. Otherwise, we fail toA�meet our segmented agents’ needs.

For example: We may have wonderful seasoned agent training. But, we hire new agents with no orientation and no detailed, high accountability training and coaching. So, we have a huge failure rate with our new agents. Sound familiar?

Click here to get your copy of my systems survey and planner.

Use the planner to access your needs and then create an action plan for those needs in your 2012 business plan. Now, you’re on your way to saving time, money, and having systems you can delegate to free up your time.

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.

bus-plan-strat-8Your business plan: have you created your training calendar?

Through December, I’m focusing my blogs on business planning. Look for ready to use checklists, processes and systems to help you and your agents plan for a successful next year.

Youa��re putting together your business plan. How do you know what training to provide your agents? One method is to look at your profit and loss. Herea��s the other way to do it. Simply provide your agents an a�?internal review a��of their sales performance mastery (or not) as part of their business planning process.

Click here to see the internal sales performance review, excerpted from my comprehensive online business planning program, Beyond the Basics of Business Planning.

What Youa��ll Find When They Rate Themselves

Have your agents rate themselves on their performance skills. You will see that they rate themselves lower than you would rate them. Why? Because we’re harder on ourselves than we are on others.

Commonalities

What do you think the agents rate themselves lowest in? Youa��re right. Prospecting/lead generation. So, youa��ll want to create a�� with thema��a dynamic lead generating plan for next yeara��and coach them to it.A� See the lead generating plans for seasoned agents in Beyond the Basics of Business Planning,A�and, for new agents, in Up and Running in Real Estate.

Planning your Training Calendar

Your training plan should be a part of your business plan. Your training plan should tackle the challenges you have noted as a part of your own business reviewa��and of the agentsa�� business review. By the way, be sure those challenges you noted can be handled through training.

For example: Youa��ve noted an ethics problem in your office. You want your agents to a�?be more ethicala��. Thata��s not a training problem. It is a selection problem. You cana��t train your way out of the ethics we grasped when we were 5! But, you certainly can solve a listings sold problem with training. Be careful when youa��re creating your training, and tackle the problems that you can solve with training.

Put That Training on a Calendar

You’ve done your own analysis of your profit and loss statement. You’ve done your analysis with your agents. You’ve made your training plan. Now, you’re going to put it on a training calendar–and use it to guide your agents, your staff–and to recruit. Not only that, you have an integrated training system that you can delegate. Good work.

Recruiting tip: Include your training calendar in your recruiting handout, in your faxes, in your emails, and in your social media. Let prospective agents know you are organized, and you are committed to their success.

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.

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.

bus-plan-11Need strategies to get your agents to create great business plans? Here they are!

In November and December, I’m focusing on business planning, to help you and your agents get a great business plan for next year. Look forA� checklists, processes, and systems ready to use, too.

I know ita��s a lot of work to get your agents to commit to paper on anything. And, from working with thousands of agents on business planning over the years, I know the challenges. But, for us managers, the huge pay-off comes not from whata��s on paper, what, whata��s in the head. When we use a good business planning process we literally teach agents how to think through their businesses.

Three Huge Stealth Strategies

1. Take Away Commitment Phobia

Ita��s estimated we are told a�?noa�� 148,000 times prior to age eighteen. No wonder we dona��t want to commit to try anything! I know from teaching adults to play the piano, that adults are conditioned not to try anything new for fear of not being perfect. To many, writing a business plan means planning to faila��and then getting punished for it.

So, the first time you introduce business planning, take away the old downside of goal setting (not reaching it and getting punished),A� and help your agents move in incremental steps forwarda��a step at a time, with lots of positive reinforcement along the way. You have to create a safe haven for first-time planners.

2. Eat the Elephant a Bite at a Time

One of the agents in an office where I just did a small group coaching series told me he put a picture of an elephant on the wall, and then literally divided the elephant into bite-sized pieces, with an action step listed on each bite. What a wonderful visual! For many of your agents, planning is just the most overwhelming process they could envision. So, simply start with one or two areas. Personally, I start with 2-3 areas in the Review. See my next blog for an example of this.

3. Make it Really Easy to Start

Have a great business planning system to provide your agents. (Never just ask them to make a business plan without a system to follow, because youa��ll get all kinds of formats). Dona��t overwhelm your agents with too many planning pages to start. Customize your package with each agent. If you can get each agent to look at 1-3 areas of his business, and plan change strategies for a better year in that area, youa��ll have started the processa��a process that will continue, grow, and reap big benefits by year three.

We Do What We See, Not What We are Told

Do you have a business plan? If not, why should your agents be interested ? Making your a�?stealtha�� approach work means you must lead by example. Doing so creates a synergy between your plan and all the agentsa�� plans, and builds a strength that perseveres even in the toughest market.

What should be in an agent’s business planning system? Click here to see a ‘flow chart’.

Watch my Recorded 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_CelebrateHow Good is Your Business Planning System?

Need a comprehensive business planning system that is designed ONLY for leadership? Most planning systems don’t cover the specific areas you need to address.

Check out Beyond the Basics of Business Planning.