By Anand Patel
Regardless of your preference in music it’s hard to turn on the radio today and not hear a song featuring the musician known as Pitbull. The Miami-born 31 year old artist is also a successful businessman who endorses (and in some cases holds equity ownership) Kodak, Bud Light, Voli Vodka, Sheets energy strips, Dr. Pepper and Zumba Fitness. It’s probably safe to assume today that Pitbull is on the top of his game. But how did he get there?
Listening to any of Pitbull’s songs, one underlying theme you will notice quickly are his many references to himself as “Mr. 305” and “Mr. Worldwide”. The interesting thing to note is that he has always referenced himself this way, even before becoming an international hit. Pitbull visualized himself becoming what he is today and now he is living it out. The lyrics of some of his early music spell out his intentions to “take it to the world.” Yes, it took a lot of hard work mixed with luck, but a key ingredient for his success, in my opinion, was knowing (and believing) early on what it is he was setting out to achieve. As one of the world’s foremost leadership authorities, Stephen Covey (who sadly just passed away the other day) stated in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “Begin With the End in Mind.”
As half of 2012 is almost behind us, we all find ourselves reassessing our goals to date and formulating our plans for the next six months. But how do we see ourselves three, five and 10 years down the road? Sometimes we get caught up in our monthly goals that we forget the big picture—or we don’t have a big picture in mind at all. I’m personally in the midst of launching a new independent brokerage in Tampa, Fla., and am finding myself having to adapt this mindset to the plans for the new company as well:
What kind of market share am I looking to attain long term?
How many and what type of agents do I want to bring into the company?
Where do I see the company to be in five to ten years?
What are our long-term core values? Continue reading »
By Chris Nichols
There’s a story about a group of students that goes a little something like this:
A Harvard professor was fielding questions from his class regarding the upcoming midterm exam. The questions were varied, but all seemed to carry a similar theme. Upon realizing this, the professor stopped the questioning and said, “Even though your questions sound different, they are essentially all the same; ‘What is the minimum I have to do to pass this test?’”
As of writing of this blog post, the London 2012 Olympics are just two weeks away. Athletes from around the world will be gathering to compete in various events. I can guarantee you, without a doubt, that none of these world-class athletes are asking themselves, “What is the minimum I have to do to get a gold medal?”
There is no question that the real estate business can be viewed as a “test” at times. But are you falling into the trap of finding ways to do the minimum necessary to just pass this test? If you are, I’d recommend you find a way to adjust your thinking and instead “GO FOR THE GOLD!”
By Veronica Barragan
Some REALTORS® conceived 2012 as “The Year of Volume Transactions” because lower home prices created the need to increase transactions to keep up with personal career goals while maintaining life styles and income. In actuality, 2012 has quickly become “The Year of the Professional.”
We’re in an environment where REALTORS® celebrate authentic, professional standards, and embrace all markets as a visionaries. They can stand back and understand the big picture, while in turn, offering excellent client service with integrity.
For example, in states such as Arizona where I currently practice, many REALTORS® have shifted their business dramatically and quickly from the dwindling REO niche back to buyers and sellers. REALTORS® are going back to basics, which should have never been ignored if they planned on making real estate a long term career. “The basics” encompass key fundamental characteristics that never ever disappear and easily transcend time. The basics include the utmost professional attention to each and every client’s needs, appreciating every phone call as the gateway to referrals because of the agent’s attention to detail, and, more importantly, having the ability to be fully present and aware of the intentions, desires, and needs of every individual who comes to you, as an agent, for your real estate expertise.
Today’s market is diverse and includes first-time home buyers, the tech-savvy newest generation, the growing and underserved Hispanic community, investors, second home buyers, and sellers in a hardship situation. To be able to serve this new and diverse clientele effectively as a professional, you must be able to adapt the basics into your business plan and into your soul.
There is no more sitting back and waiting for the bank to assign you that distressed property, because you will not survive — Continue reading »
By Jared James
As many of you know, I make my living as a speaker/trainer and have had the opportunity to speak to tens of thousands of REALTORS® and entrepreneurs over the last 12 months. My job is not just to communicate effectively, but to entertain and make the audience feel something. As Maya Angelo put it, “People will not remember what you do or say, but they will remember how you made them feel.”
About six months ago, I had the opportunity to keynote a large event in Texas, and it was one of those times when you feel completely connected with the audience and everything was going well. At the end of the event I had a younger guy come up to me and tell me how he loved my speech so much that he was ready to run through a brick wall. (Not a practice I recommend or condone.) He said that he loved everything I had to say, but there was just no business in his area. He said it didn’t matter what he did, there just weren’t any transactions.
I don’t usually have the time to do this, but on this day I did, so asked him to grab his computer and pull up for me every transaction that had happened over the last 30 days in his area according to his MLS. He did this and it turned out that there were 337 transactions! So much for NO transactions…
I looked him dead in the eye and I said that it seems that the problem was not a lack of transactions, the problem was that his name is not on those transactions! *friendly smile*
I am not mentioning this agent by name because he is not the point of the story. I bring up this point because I think this mindset is running rampant among many REALTORS® today. Continue reading »
By Crystal Webster
DISCLAIMER: Please read this as a challenge; a challenge to use our predecessors as a spring board to do bigger and better.
In case you aren’t aware, we’re in a heat wave – it’s REALLY hot. My car thermostat has said at least 100 degrees for the past 2 weeks straight, and that’s not even with the heat index or adding the Kansas City humidity. But, I have to ‘TCB’ for my clients (take care of business). I suck it up, take eight showers a day, and wear as few clothes as possible without getting arrested.
I recently had to request the same addendum from a “more seasoned” agent eight days straight. She wasn’t able to get me the paperwork because she was afraid she had heat stroke. Once I finally received the information it was dated 12 days prior (as well as the email she forwarded it from). REALLY lady?!? Your heat stroke kept you from forwarding an email in the comfort of your own air conditioned home; even after I bothered you every day for over a week?
Later that same week I received a resolution from unacceptable conditions from a buyer’s agent. Items needing to be fixed? “Anything that the Kansas City Dream Program wants.” REALLY!?! Can you please be a little more specific? After calls to the buyer’s loan officer, the city, county, state, both brokers and BEGGING a city inspector to come out (in the thousand degree heat) I finally finished up her job and found out exactly what needed to be completed for the home to qualify for the program. Continue reading »
By Brooke Wolford
I have had the opportunity over the past couple of months to take a real look at myself and my business. I dug deep and picked at myself. I knew I could do better. I can tell you that taking that close of a look at my past wasn’t pretty.
I can honestly admit I made a ton of mistakes. I let my business decline and I lost the will to make it better. I let the current market conditions get the best of me. I was scared to take the necessary risks in order to improve my business. It was all on me. I caused this but I was more than ready to what I needed to in order to make it better.
In business in general, people tend to look at their mistakes and think that it’s temporary. You get in a rut and sometimes it’s tough to get out. It’s often a lot harder than most would assume. It’s important to look closely at your failures and decide whether or not you have truly learned from them. From there you can take the proper steps to improve and create some new energy to move forward.
In my case, I learned my lesson. I am moving on and taking a fresh look at my future. I have set goals and know how I can achieve them. I have the inspiration I need and it’s not something I will let slip away. I can not go back in time and change what I have done before. All I can do is move forward and know that if I stay focused, I will have the redemption I am looking for.
Brooke Wolford is a real estate practitioner with Coldwell Banker Burnet in Woodbury, Minn. Follow her blog at adventuresinrookierealestate.com.
By Toby Boyce
It was a hot summer day in late July 2006 as I slipped down U.S. 23 to the Ohio Division of Real Estate testing center. I had made the jump into real estate without a safety net – quitting my job in higher education public relations and knowing that if I failed this test it would be a very-very bad sign.
Well, I passed the test. Actually, I scored a perfect 100 percent on the state portion of the test, a feat that none of the folks working that day had ever seen achieved. So I entered into the world of real estate with a swagger and confidence. “I got this.”
We got through two years when 2-out-of-3 licensed agents aren’t even using their license. And now about to hit the five-year milestone and the only thing I’m certain of is how little I really knew when I said, “I got this.”
While the last five years have been an emotional and financial roller coaster, I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. I honestly – even if naively – believe that I’ve learned more during this period than I could have in any other venture.
“I wish you’d made the jump a few years ago,” said a former agent. “It was so easy, the phone just rang and buyers were there.” That sounds like being an order taker to me, so why not work at a local fast food restaurant?
What have I learned in five years in real estate: Continue reading »
By James Dunn
Having been in the business for the last six years has been quite an experience. Beginning as a temp and working my way up to being a full-fledged REALTOR® is something I take much pride in (especially in this economy). I have prospered. I should point out that I define prosperity in my life as experiencing balanced growth in personal, professional, and financial arenas. Although money always helps with prosperity, I do not weigh success and prosperity entirely on the amount of money I make (or others, for that matter). I believe growth within one’s self reflects in all areas of life. So as I grow, so do my finances, my career, and my relationships. So congratulations to all of us who have prospered in this time, and here’s to future growth and prosperity.
I have had the luxury of starting from the bottom as a temp and working my way up the real estate ladder. I’ve done my best to remain humble and reserved most of the way. Most of my life I’ve felt a bit awkward talking about myself, so I kept most of my thoughts to myself. Unfortunately that tactic doesn’t get me very far in real estate sales. In the beginning of my career as a self promoting real estate agent, I wasn’t very vocal about who I was and what I did. Obviously that made it a bit harder to generate leads and sales. These days, I get out of my comfort zone and express my opinion in and discuss my career without feeling like a ridiculous infomercial.
I haven’t changed my personality or my character. In fact, nothing about how I present myself has changed. Every part of my exterior pretty much stayed the same. What did change was my mindset. The thoughts I have about my business have changed. I used to worry that if I discussed my company and services that it would be a burden on the conversation. Now I have a much higher value for what I do. I believe I am an asset to anyone I work with. It’s so simple, but that idea eludes so many of us. So my message today is value yourself. Know you’ve got something great to offer, then share it passionately with those around you. When they see your conviction, they’ll know you mean business. Then you’ll do business.
By Dave Robison
More than five years ago, I had agents take a test before they worked with me, which tested their sales skills and emotional resilience. I had a couple agents making over $80,000-$120,000 a year who had tested in the “Find a new career; you shouldn’t be in real estate” category. Where are they today? Not in real estate. What seemed like success years ago, today seems like it was all just a pipe dream. A rough economy weeds out those who shouldn’t be in the business and makes the others stronger.
The test showed that agents that had strong emotional resilience have what it takes and they would stay in the business and make the most money. So what is emotional resilience and what does it take to have emotional resilience?
An example of weak emotional resilience, an actual story of one of the agents above who tested poorly:
One day, Agent X came into the office and had just found out that their client/buyer ended up writing an offer on a home that Agent X had shown them the day before, however, the client wrote it up with a different REALTOR®. It literally ruined Agent X’s week. So Agent X called up the other agent, chewing them out, saying they stole the client when it was Agent X who took them through the home. The result was just a bunch of bitter feelings toward each other and an unproductive week for Agent X.
An example of strong emotional resilience:
Just this past month, an agent of mine had almost the same thing happen. My agent had been working with a client for a long time but apparently others had too. An agent from another brokerage called my agent up mad, stating we stole their client when they took the client to and through a home. (There were no agencies on either side.) My agent responded, “there is plenty of business out there for all of us so let’s do what the client wants. If the client wants to use me, I’m happy to pay you a referral fee for your work and effort. If the client uses you, I would expect the same.” The other agent perked up and agreed. The two agents communicated during the entire transaction, our agent closed the deal and the other agent got a referral fee. It was a win-win for all. Continue reading »
By Toby Boyce
Football season is on us and in Ohio that means a lot of cheering on Friday and Saturday and praying for our NFL teams on Sunday. Football is a passion and as I’ve matured and grown older and – hopefully – wiser, I see the wisdom in those screams and rants from my childhood coaches.
“Football is the game of life,” I remember Mike Billow screaming as we worked over-and-over to perfect a task. And the older I get, the more I realize that his statement was right on the mark – and it can even double when taken into application with a real estate career.
I thought I’d share a few of Coach Billow’s favorite “sayings.” I know many of them weren’t original to him, however, on those hot-August days in Danville, Ohio, he made them his.
- Look Down, You Go Down. How often do we see it in this market? The “naysayers” start talking about how the sky is falling and it isn’t going to last. Well, they are exactly right. For as soon as they put their head down to avoid the falling sky, their business fell. Doesn’t matter how beaten, weathered, or challenged you feel – keep those eyes up and looking at the prize.
- Did you get better today? You never stay the same. We practice our craft, hopefully every single day, to improve those listing presentations, get more buyers, convert more short sales, etc. The reason is simple. If you don’t practice it and make a conscience effort to get better, you will by default be getting worse – because you never will stay the same. Life – and real estate – is about eternalizing responses (i.e. scripts) so that they become a spontaneous response. If you aren’t role playing and practicing, is that possible? Continue reading »