September 26, 2008

What Are you Waiting For, Mr. Buyer?

It's hard to be a Buyer in the current market because you're not sure if we're at the bottom yet. Most people would love to "time the market" but that's virtually impossible because you won;t know when we actually hit the "bottom" until home prices start going back up.

This could cost you a lot of money and cuase a bit more stress than is necessary.

Check out this article from Rasmussen Reports and see why now might be a great time to buy.

September 17, 2008

Thanks for a Job Well Done

Isn't it nice to hear "Thanks for a job well done" every once in a while? It really doesn't matter who says it, how they say it or when they say it or even why they say it. The sheer fact that someone has taken a moment in today's fast-paced "what's in it for me" world makes your day.

Obviously it means a lot more when you are recognized for your efforts by certain people in your lives - spouses, parents, children, managers, staff and customers. This is such an important key to success in today's world that it is one of our 14 Business Principles:

We seek opportunities to recognize excellence.

"Don't worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.“ This quote comes from Abraham Lincoln and certainly points out the important fact that we should never be doing good work just to earn recognition. We do good work because that is our job. Remember...people don't usually recognize average or poor performance so you must strive to be "excellent. A quote hanging on the wall in my office reminds us that "Doing what's required only prevents customer dissatisfaction. We must do more than is required to truly satisfy a customer."

What type of recognition excites you? Public praise?

"The rewards go to the risk-takers, those who are willing to put their egos on the line and reach out to other people and to a richer, fuller life for themselves.” --Susan Roane

In our company we have started the Gotcha! program where agents, managers and staff can recognize those employees who have gone "above and beyond" the call of duty. Have you been "caught doing something good" yet? Have you observed someone doing something that made you stop and say "wow!"? If so, be sure to recognize them.

If you seek more of the private type of recognition, be sure to be visible in what you do and look for people's praise and recognitions in their reactions and facial expressions. Maybe just someones laughter or smile will be the recognition you need.

Finally, if financial reward is what makes you strive for excellence, never under value yourself. You must believe in your product or service with all your heart and then put a price on it that makes you feel excited to deliver everything you have. It's been said that in the absence of value price will always be a factor so believe in yourself and the value you bring. Aim for a full fee on your next listing presentation. You will be glad you did.

"We will receive not what we idly wish for but what we justly earn. Our rewards will always be in exact proportion to our service.” --Earl Nightingale
Please leave me your comments on this post or the idea of recognizing excellence in general. Who have you seen providing "truly remarkable service" this week? What did you do to recognize their efforts?
Until next relationships...solve problems...and have fun

September 3, 2008

We're All In This Together

As the father of a "tweener" daughter I have been subjected to my share of Hannah Montana, Jonas Brothers, Total Drama Island and High School Musical. These are all shows on The Disney Channel that are aimed at that "tweener" age group - not old enough to be teenagers but older than a toddler. I guess this would officially be 7-12 year olds.

My daughter Riley is a nine-year-old falls right into that group so I am quite familiar with the likes of Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana's alter ego) as well as High School Musical's stars, Zach and Gabriella. They are today's equivalent of Danny Zuko and Sandra Dee from our generation's summer "tweener" classic, Grease.

I know what you're probably saying, "Okay Sean, what the heck does The Disney Channel, pre-acne pop culture or High School Musical have to do with real estate and our continuing look at the company's 14 Business Principles?" Relax...I'm about to get there.

In our day we had songs like "Summer Lovin", "Greased Lightning" and "You're the One That I Want" to sing along to. The main song from the High School Musical soundtrack is a song titled "We're All In This Together" and it talks about how working as a team allows people who may offer different things to come together, do things right and help each other. It sounds quite similar to our Business Principle #11:

To provide the highest level of customer service, we support our
family of companies and strategic partners

The real estate experience has become very intricate and in order to provide the highest level of customer service to our customers and clients, we must continue to focus on the area of the transaction that we are best trained to handle, the real estate portion. In fact, our Code of Ethics demands it. See Code of Ethics, Article 11

Our company has made this easier by creating a "one stop shopping" experience for our customers and clients. Not only does this make sense from a business sense allowing for added revenue sources in a belt-tightening industry but the consumer is demanding it. Today's client doesn't have time to go to a real estate office, financial institution, lawyer, title company, insurance office and inspection location and still try to handle the other aspects of their move try to live their lives. They want to get it all in one spot so let's try to "give the people what they want."

Spend more time prospecting for new clients or developing deeper relationships with your current clients while your mortgage advisor from Coldwell Banker Home Loans assists your clients with their mortgage approval process. Attend to your personal obligations, hobbies or community interests with a peace of mind knowing that our title partners are handling the details that will assure a smooth closing. Take advantage of the relationships that have been built over the years by referring people to our Concierge, Insurance and Home Warranty departments.

When you support your "teammates" you can do so knowing that everyone has the same goal - to get your clients to the finish line in the shortest time, with the least amount of inconvenience while keeping the lines of communication open to all parties.

Give them an opportunity to earn your continued business each and every day just like you would appreciate their continued efforts to build, support and maintain your business. It's an old adage but in this case it certainly applies - T.E.A.M - Together Everyone Achieves More.

How have you leveraged your relationships with our strategic partners and family of companies to grow your business? Add a comment to this blog and share your success stories with me.

Until next time...Build Relationships...Solve Problems and Have Fun

Check out the video from the movie High School Musical of the cast singing "We're All In This Together"