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2011-03-21 23:23:40

Are you a ‘Maintenance Manager’ or a Leader?

It’s never been more important to take true leadership actions. But, what are they? Are you implementing leadership actions, or, are you in ‘maintenance’? Take the ‘tests’ here and see.

If you’re in management, you’re probably struggling with the common problems today:

 (Lack of agent motivation (well, I just couldn’t resist the picture above….)

Agents are actually unhopeful and depressed

Agents are increasingly seeking other employment to supplement their income, making it more difficult for managers to coach, train, and just communicate with them!

Challenges Difficult to Address through Traditional ‘Management’

Traditional management hasn’t been working well to address the concerns of today. Maybe we could get away with that in an ‘on fire’ market. But, this market won’t settle for just traditional management.

Maintenance Management

I’ve gone a step further from traditional management’ to term what I see every day as ‘maintenance management’. Here’s what maintenance managers do much more of every day:

Handle crises

Go to or hold meetings

Get educated

Handle paperwork

I could go on and on. If you’re used my start-up plan for new agents, Up and Running in 30 Days, you know I call those kind of activities business support activities.They’re certainly important, but, they won’t move your office into more profitability.

From Maintenance to Leadership

Which activities will move your office toward more production and profits?




Specific leadership actions and strategies

I call that type of activities business producing.  Those are the activities that put a manager into leadership.

Are you in ‘Maintenance’ or ‘Leadership’?

Before you answer whether you’re a maintenance manager or a leader, do a little analysis in where you spend your time. That will give you a handle on the job description you’ve created for yourself. It will tell you whether you have created a ‘maintenance management’ job description, or whether you’ve moved into leadership.  Click here to get my time analysis tool.





How do Does Your Analysis Compare with My Job Description?

I’ve also created a prototype job description with hours allocated to various types of activities. Click here to get it and compare it with your job description analysis. What do you think of my descriptions? What do you think of my hourly allocations?

After your analysis: What do you want to change to move your office forward?



Warning: Leadership as a State of Mind Won’t Cut It

You’ve probably read dozens of books about leadership. You’ve seen the videos. Too often, these consist of platitudes and ‘war stories’ about great leadership. It’s all about what ‘to be’. But, unfortunately, that doesn’t get anything done. Just ‘being’ doesn’t move a group of people anywhere. In fact, it’s confusing to hear some inspiring words—and then not see any action. You know what I mean. For example: Today, Congress’s approval rating with the American public is about 13%! Yet, we hear word after word from them. It’s certainly not the words that make the low approval rating. It’s the lack of meaningful action to solve America’s problems. 

How About some Leadership Actions to Solve your Challenges?

I just got a great little book on leadership, The Art of Leadership, by J. Donald Walters. In it, the author says,

The effective leader knows that an encyclopedia of good ideas is no substitute for even the least of those ideas put into actual practice.


Action creates creativity.

Managers need specific leadership strategies to implement to get those agents off their duffs, back into the field, and getting some wins. After all, we all know that a ‘win’ is the only true motivator.

What Exactly are those Leadership Strategies?

How would you know you’re executing a leadership strategy? They are     Planned, systematized processes

            Involve small groups of agents

            Created and implemented to solve specific problems

            Consist of several actions over a specific period of time

            Create a sense of community, empowerment, and focus

            Not regular repetitive maintenance duties 

We Know We Need to Lead. Why Don’t We?

We’ve identified leadership activities. But, why don’t we do more to implement? We go to meeting after meeting, conference after conference. We get gazillions of ideas. Then, we get back to our offices and do the same old things. Why?

            No time to create the whole operation

            Unclear or not confidence about how to implement

            Afraid to take a risk

            No support to fall back on

            Don’t want to embarrass ourselves in front of our agents!

            Don’t have perceived urgency to implement

Models Make Implementation Faster and Easier

To avoid the issues above, managers need models, encouragement, and some deadlines. From being in management longer than I’d like to admit, I know all the reasons behind failure to implement. So, I’ve just created a 12-part subscription coaching series that takes away the resistance above. Because of the specific concerns today, I’ve picked 12 of the most effective, easy to implement, immediately useful strategies I’ve done to share with those in 365 Leadership. These strategies include:

            Systematizing recruiting to get more done when you have no time (!)

            Teamifying to get right-priced listings

Meetings that take advantage of the talents you and your team have--untapped

Opening up leadership to empower agents and get more on your team—to retain your winners

Lead generation strategies to increase the number of leads your agents get—an effective recruiting tool

Business planning integration to get all your agents effective business plans—and bought into your company culture

These are just some of the strategies included in this all new subscription program.  See more at  


Leaders will be those who empower others. Empowering leadership means bringing out the energy and capabilities people have and getting them to work together in a way they wouldn’t do otherwise. 

—Bill Gates, fellow Washingtonian

Having specific, proven leadership strategies to implement with confidence will move you past fear and maintenance to creative leadership. Recruiting and retention become automatic when you’re creating a dynamic, exciting, creative environment.           


Carla Cross, CRB, MA, is a former master CRB instructor and National Realtor Educator of the Year. She specializes in real estate management, and provides resources, training, and coaching for real estate leadership.  Her newest program is 365 Leadership, launching in the spring of 2011. See www.carlacross.comor contact Carla at 425-392-6914. Join Carla’s newsletter community full of leadership tips and free resources, and receive her complimentary 33-page eBook, Getting to Yes. Click here.

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