By Dave Robison
How many times have you heard it? You are your very own business owner in real estate. You are an independent contractor, you incur and write off expenses, you spend your own marketing dollars and you work your own hours. You own a business.
It definitely sounds like a business.
Years ago, I was convinced I had a business, but what I realized was my business was really a job — it was unprofitable and I couldn’t sell it. It was unprofitable because I was paying myself all the money it made. I couldn’t sell it because if someone bought it they would have to hope my friends and family would use them as a REALTOR®. Also, who was going to buy my business when what they’d really be buying is a job. Who wants to buy a job?
Why is it not a business? Because it was missing 3 things.
Here’s the difference between a job and a business: A job is when you have to do the work yourself to get paid. A business pays the employees market wages while giving owners a 10-15 percent profit off of gross revenues. A business allows the business owners to be able to go on vacation and not have to answer sales calls. A business should be able to be bought or sold. It would be nice to sell your company and retire, right? Or maybe you want to stay involved after retirement but pay someone else to run your business operations. How many agents do you know who truly have a business or can sell their business? I would say it is extremely rare in our market.
So, you want to own a business? Here are the three things that will transform your career/job into a saleable business.
1. In order to sell a business you have to pay yourself a market wage and make a profit. Continue reading »
By Anand Patel
We can’t help it.
As real estate professionals we sometimes are trapped within an industry bubble. We attend conferences, meetings, seminars, mastermind groups all related to the real estate industry. We spend most of our time with fellow real estate professionals (our whole business is based on cooperating with our competition). The topic of many of our conversations inevitably revolves around buying and selling real property. It’s easy to get stuck doing and thinking the same…day in and day out.
Because of this, it’s no surprise that a majority of the disruption and innovation happening in the real estate industry today is coming from individuals and companies outside the field. Why? They provide a fresh perspective as an “outsider” peering into a profession that, in their eyes, appears broken. Many of those taking on the challenge personally went through a real estate transaction and realized a need that wasn’t being met.
There is no reason why more solutions can’t come from within the real estate industry.
Imagine the innovation that can take place if more professionals within the industry adapted a broad-minded perspective to challenge our everyday thinking. It doesn’t have to be a major disruption to change the whole industry – it can be something as small as going paperless in our offices, changing how we communicate MLS listings with our buyers, or perhaps considering unconventional marketing techniques.
Here are some ways to help start thinking “outside the house”: Continue reading »
By Peter N. Lamandre
No Apple event would be complete without a post from me, the self-proclaimed “Über Apple Fan-boy.” iOS 6 is finally here and the new features are aplenty…
I will rundown a few of the super cool new things iPhone/iPad users can now do.
Let’s start with the new maps app replacing the previous map application, which was a Google product. It’s clear that Google was holding back some of the cool features in the iOS version of their product as the Android version had far superior features. Can you really blame Google though? Would you really provide your competitor with a “great product” or a “just okay” one? So Apple took the bull by the horns and created a new map app from the ground up, and I must say, so far this is a killer app. With all the iOS users out there, I can not see how the GPS companies will stay in business. The turn by turn is smooth, and so far it is accurate — hopefully it won’t send me into a corn field as I test in in some rural areas in the next few days. I took a spin on the highway and the anonymous crowd-sourced data to determine traffic patterns seems to be spot-on.
Mail received a facelift with the ability to now directly insert pictures and movies from the mail screen. Seems like a simple idea, but the insertion of videos and pictures was previously a cumbersome task, now it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy. I frequently read messages then mark them as “unread” in order to remind me to go back and do something with the email… I know I can flag them but I prefer to mark as unread so I was a bit scared when I could not find the “Mark as unread” link where it normally is. You can now find it in the lower left hand corner of your screen under the flag icon.
In the camera and photo features, there is now a built in panorama shooting mode in the iPhone, but not the iPad. I have used many panoramic apps over the years, and this one is fast, easy, and the sticking works very well. The photo app has noticeably faster loading, which I’m sure all the users can appreciate. The addition of a multiple photo stream will allow users to quickly share specific photos either publicly or privately by invitation only. I can think of numerous real estate-related uses for this feature.
As REALTORS®, we are always in meetings with clients, or in committee meetings where phones can be a distraction. Continue reading »
By Anand Patel
Now that I have your attention, let me explain!
Last month my wife and I took our three-year-old daughter to the Disney On-Ice show that came to our town (Tampa, Fla.). It wasn’t until the day of the event that my wife decided to tell me this show, which was called Disney on Ice: “Dare to Dream,” was going to feature various Disney princesses and their stories. I wasn’t too excited, but anything for your little pipsqueak, right?
As we were walking up to the arena entrance I saw a swarm of little girls seemingly attack a Disney vendor hawking all sorts of princess paraphernalia. I thought to myself – ok, this is strange. Once inside the arena as we were escorted to our seats, I again was confused and shocked as to why all these girls were dressed up from head to toe in princess clothing. Halloween wasn’t for another five months! Throughout the show, as the arena filled with screams of little kids cheering for their favorite princess, I sat there looking around in awe at the powerful business machine that is simply Disney. They had come up with a way to create a very profitable revenue stream from their old characters!
An Idea is Born
Being the business nerd that I am, when I got home I googled the Disney Princess franchise and discovered that the idea of the Disney Princess line came from a man named Andy Mooney. Disney hired Mooney in 1999 to help their consumer products division improve their dropping sales. At that time, while attending his first Disney on Ice show, he found himself surrounded by young girls dressed as princesses in generic, non-Disney costumes. That’s when the idea of capitalizing on Disney’s existing cast of princess characters hit him. The Disney Princess franchise was born. In my opinion, this was genius!
What’s the point?
What does any of this have to do with real estate? As I thought about it some more, I realized how many times I find myself (and many others fall into this trap as well) looking for an outside “shiny object” to help with our business. Continue reading »