By Dolores Esanu
It’s 2013 and we’re revamping our lives and even our closets. Some things fit, some things don’t, and some we hope will fit again. In business, the thinly veiled line of what’s acceptable is becoming even more transparent. One hundred years ago, for a businessman, nothing less was expected than a tailored three-piece suit. Post-war American, working women wore sweater sets and full skirts, always past the knee. The 1980s brought the “linebacker suits,” fully accompanied with the ever so flattering shoulder pads.
So what about today? In real estate, we can receive a call to show property only find ourselves trekking through 40 acres of muddy land. Business functions can even be challenging. A recent banquet invitation specifically stated “Business Formal,” and I went on to witness long formal gowns, pant suits, and even blue jeans!
Wondering If I’ve been guilty of these business fashion crimes, I begun to research. What is the definition of the main types of business attire? The list below confirmed my curiosity:
Business Casual – Men you can disregard the suit with this one, but you can’t put on jeans either. Polo, collared shirt, tucked in with khakis fit under this category. Ladies, you can sport anything from skirts, to dresses to dress pants with a button down or countless blouses.
Business Professional – Consider it one step above Business Casual. Real estate may not see this as a norm very often. But careers involving finance or law may have this stricter dress code. Blazer and skirt or suit pants for women and suit with any color/print tie for the guys.
Business Formal – Guys, you can bring out the cuff links with this one, but a tux is not necessary. A dark colored suit and tie would be more than acceptable. Ladies can adorn a suit and skirt with heels, preferably closed or a conservative dress.
Smart Casual – Ah, the one us REALTORS® can relate to. Men can wear crewneck tees, sweaters, dark colored jeans and loafers. Ladies have an advantage as the options are greater. Tailored jeans, fun colored blouses; anything that is harmonious and pulled together would suffice.
Each office is different, each agent is different, and each day is different. Our attire can change drastically in a day due to the unpredictability. But isn’t this what makes our industry so exciting?
By Melissa Krchnak
Jim Rohn asks, “What does the word ‘no’ mean to a child? Almost nothing.” He’s so right, too. I have two nieces under the age of 6 that I just spent last week with and they couldn’t understand “no” any less. No candy. No soda. No dessert until after dinner. No playing with your Happy Meal toy until you finish your nuggets. And yet, they still push. They’re relentless. They don’t give up until I give in. And, they always win. Not because I’m the cool, fun aunt. Because I get worn down to a place of exhaustion. It’s so energy-draining that it’s not worth the fight.
I’m not saying you should wear your clients down the way these two adorable rug rats do me, yet, why do we announce defeat at the first “no?”
I have a challenge for you: If you set out to make a certain number of calls today (say 100), set out to get 100 “nos” rather than make 100 calls. It’ll take a few more calls, and yet, that extra call might mean extra business.
Here’s to getting nos!
Melissa Krchnak is the assistant team leader for Keller Williams Realty in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Connect with her at kwrancho.com.
By Rob Reuter, YPN Manager
Since taking off in 2009, YPN posted a third consecutive year of increased membership numbers in 2012 adding 45 new networks and an estimated 10,000 new members for a total of 272 networks and 30,000+ members.
Here are more highlights from the past year:
YPN recognized three Networks of the Year in 2012: Seattle-King County for small/medium association, MetroTex for large association, and Illinois for state association. Seattle put on several very successful networking events including their “Death of Networking” event which drew major industry leaders to attend and serve on a panel. MetroTex has shown its ability to grow and sustain starting with 15 founding members in December 2009 to 42 YPN committee members and nearly 250 at large members. Aside from their monthly meetings, MetroTex hosts an annual phone-a-thon during which they raised over $6,000 in less than two hours for TREPAC in 2012. Illinois took home the state award for their “Border-to-Border” program during which the 2012 chair and vice chair literally travelled border-to-border across Illinois encouraging all local associations to create a network. The annual deadline to apply for the awards is August 31st.
For the third straight year, YPN chairs were invited to Chicago for NAR’s annual Leadership Summit in August, an event that’s generally attended by incoming association presidents and association executives. This year, about 150 YPN chairs made the trip and were asked to facilitate one of NAR’s Strategic Planning Committee’s REThink workshops for more than 1,600 attendees. They delivered in a big way and were praised by several members of NAR’s Leadership Team. We hope to be invited back to the Summit in August ‘13.
Moving into 2013, we’re pleased to announce that nearly 100 NAR committee positions have been given to YPN members this year, the highest it has ever been since NAR CEO Dale Stinton created the initiative in 2010 to appoint two YPN members to each NAR committee. The recommendation process for 2014 NAR Committees opens March 12th and closes May 23rd.
Also new in 2013 will be a third YPN session at the Midyear and Annual Meetings, in addition to the YPN Advisory Board meeting and YPN reception. We will be adding a 90-minute YPN roundtable session for the YPN attendees to get together in a business-type atmosphere and discuss various YPN and business-building topics. This session will be offered shortly after the YPN Advisory Board meets at each meeting.
During the 2012 NAR Conference & Expo, NAR’s Board of Directors approved several changes to NAR’s Committee Structure including the addition of a Data Strategies Committee, Consumer Communications Committee, and a Social Media Advisory Board. We hope to get YPN members involved with these groups moving forward. Also approved at this meeting was a Student Membership for the association in an attempt to reach a younger demographic. Many members of YPN have shown an interest in reaching out to this group, so YPN should play a major role in this initiative.
Finally, there are several other initiatives YPN hopes to be a part of in 2013, including growing the network globally, working with Second Century Ventures and their Tech Incubator Program REach, the REALTORS Property Resource® (RPR), and many others.
As you plan your network’s goals for the year, feel free to express interest in participating in any of the initiatives listed above. Have a great and successful 2013 and let’s keep riding the YPN wave into the New Year!
By Melissa Krchnak
‘Tis the Season…
To…Prep for Next Year. While I love to evaluate what I’ve done, I’m also ambitiously looking at 2013! I started planning for next year months ago and am putting the finishing touches on it these last few days of the year. I feel waiting until January to do business planning is missing the boat a bit. Am I the only one?
To…Be Grateful. I live in gratitude. It’s funny how often I simply say “thank you” and it seems to make someone do a double-take. When you express thankfulness and appreciation, you’ll see it continue to find you.
To…Take the Extra Step. I always love asking someone with a great idea what it looks like three steps in. I’m not suggesting that as much as I’m saying that most people don’t think one step in. What if you took one extra step? Tipped $1 more? Hugged one more person?
To…Deck the Halls. Celebrate your successes because 2012 has been an amazing year! We’ve seen family and friends get married, have babies, survive health scares, and we’re still here to welcome 2013. Relish the high points of your amazing year and welcome 2013 with open arms!
Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays! However your family celebrates, may this find you healthy and happy!
Melissa Krchnak is the assistant team leader for Keller Williams Realty in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Connect with her at kwrancho.com.
By Anand Patel
The word “role model” gets a lot of lip service. We live in a society that loves to point fingers at our teachers, musicians, athletes, and actors when our kids behave badly. Personally, I never deeply considered the importance of being a role model until recently.
As you may know, I reference my 3 1/2-year-old daughter every now and then in my posts. The fact is, she has inadvertently taught me many life lessons since her birth that I continue to learn. Well, she is now at the age where she will copy what we say and do — from her mimicking a recent conversation I had on the phone with another real estate agent to her skipping through the living room on an imaginary horse as we watch Psy’s Gangnam Style video. This has really caused me to reconsider many behaviors — things as simple as eating a piece of chocolate in the evening when she asks me, “Why are you allowed to eat sweets before bed but I can’t?” She was right. I had two choices, either I changed my behavior, or I let her do what I was doing. The choice was mine.
Have you considered that we are also role models for those we interact with on a daily basis? If you are a broker, you act as a role model for your agents. If you run a team, your teammates look to you for guidance. Even your customers to an extent look to you as a role model:
- How do you dress when you meet with your buyer or seller?
- Do you show up on time?
- Do you show up prepared?
- How quickly do you respond to their requests?
- Do you listen?
Our behavior gives others permission to do the same with us. We set the example. As you look to define or redefine yourself in 2013, keep this in mind: What you give is what you get. What kind of role model will you choose to be?
Anand Patel is broker and president of Pangea Realty Group based in Tampa, Fla. You can connect with Anand on Twitter: @anand_tampa; Facebook: www.facebook.com/prgtampa; LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/anandpatel1; or on the Web at www.anandsblog.com.
By Jared James
We have come to that time of the year again, when you need to focus on your B.U.T. Not your butt – I am talking about your B.U.T., or Best Use of Time. It is amazing to me how many people will track their marketing dollars from the previous 12 months to see what actually worked and what didn’t, but won’t invest the energy to track their most invaluable resource of all… their time.
Time is your most valuable resource because it is the only thing that you can’t get back. If I lose money, I can gain it back. If I lose time, it is gone forever. We only get a certain amount of it within the totality of our lives. Think about that for a second – but not too long because you don’t want to waste any time.
Your best use of time has been the activities that you have done that have brought you the greatest return. Not just from a profit standpoint, but also from the perspective of what has brought you the most joy and peace in the last twelve months. I think we all can agree that we operate more often at our peak potential when everything seems to be in order in our personal lives as well. That is why it is important to understand that just like our cars need to stop and fill up on gas and have the occasional tune up, we need the same kind of maintenance if we expect to get the most out of ourselves. That may mean more time with your children or spouse, a renewed commitment to exercise, or just time alone to read or pray on a regular basis. For each person it may be different.
Having said this, I recommend that you write down your top four B.U.T.s for the last year. And instead of trying to implement 10 new strategies or tools into your business, just get better at what you already do well and scale those!
Last week, I wrote an article on my site about how your sphere of influence doesn’t make you money. It is actually all of the things that you did or continue to do to build your sphere of influence that make you money. The key is not to reinvent the wheel or completely change your business model. The key is to figure out what you are already doing well, what your top four B.U.T.s are, and increase your efforts in those areas in the coming year – and at least one of your B.U.T.s should have nothing to do with your profits in business at all!
Jared James is the CEO and founder of Jared James Enterprises (JJE) and travels around North America speaking to and coaching REALTORS®. Connect with Jared at www.jaredjamestoday.com, on facebook.com/jaredjamestoday, or follow him on Twitter @jaredjamestoday.
By Jason O’Neil
I believe that we as a country, a world, and a species are suffering a crisis of confidence. I know, that’s a bold statement. But the magnitude in which our world has changed over the past 25 years is nothing short of overwhelming.
Confidence used to be something that was a part of our fiber, woven into everything we did. People not only had confidence, but they instilled confidence in others. Confidence was derived from neighborhoods, communities, religions, political parties, long standing jobs, and pensions. But many of these have been derailed and forced, even the most ardent of supporters, to question some very core tenets. Rightfully so, skepticism tends to be the norm.
I have heard it said, and I believe, that confidence is the single greatest asset one can have. Do not confuse my use of confidence with overconfidence, arrogance, conceitedness, or big-headedness, because it is not. Confidence is what gives us the ability to do what it is we are good at. Without a bit of confidence the world would never have heard The Beatles., we would not know the name Bill Gates, and Phil Mickelson would be a really good country club player. It is scary to raise your hand, to stick your head out and make progress. It is confidence that moves us forward step by step.
But confidence, the type of confidence I am talking about, isn’t just results and dollar signs, or awards and progress. It is the way we make people feel. I’ll go further, it is what we bring — our passion. It is the value that we, as REALTORS®, add to a transaction, a deal, a negotiation. Jim Collins wrote, “Genuine confidence is what launches you out of bed in the morning, and through your day with a spring in your step.” We are, in fact, handling the transfer of a exceptionally large assets. While easy to forget, it’s important to remember that the average person will move every six to nine years. Extrapolated over a lifetime, the average person will sell maybe seven homes. Many of you reading this sell that many homes in a given month. The last time that the average seller in 2012 sold a home, nine years ago, the real estate market was drastically different than it is today. Zillow, Trulia, REALTOR.com and Red Fin did not exist, computer-based forms were in their infancy, and not everyone e-mailed. Continue reading »
By Jared James
At almost every event where I speak, I try to include the topic of environment whenever possible. Some would probably question why I would do that when I am primarily talking to REALTORS®, salespeople, and entrepreneurs, but I always wonder why it is not discussed more.
A few years ago, a study was conducted to try and find common denominators among the top 100 salespeople in the world. They were expecting to get results like customer service, systems, or drive. Those are definitely important, but do you know what the No. 1 was commonality among the top 100 salespeople in the world? It was something called “the ability to manage or ability to control one’s state of mind.”
For any of you who have attended an event I have spoken at live, you know that I could talk about “state of mind” all day long, but that is not the specific point of this article. The common denominator found among the top 100 salespeople is interesting though. When was the last time that you saw a breakout session or keynote dedicated to this topic at your company or state convention? (Cue the cricket sounds in the background.)
So how do you do this? Let’s get practical about it.
Scenario No. 1 – Let’s say you went to a closing where you were representing the seller. At the closing, your seller decides that he/she is going to back out of the deal because they don’t like what the buyer is wearing that day. I would imagine that you would be pretty ticked off about this. While you are in this ticked off state, imagine that you receive a phone call from another one of your clients…
Scenario No. 2 – You are now at a closing where you represent the seller and the seller decides at the closing that you have done such an amazing job that they are doubling your commission. You leave that closing in a jubilant state and receive the exact same phone call as scenario No. 1, only this time you are overjoyed and happy.
Here is the question… Continue reading »