August 23, 2009

Monday Morning Match - Who Are You Listening To Anyway?

The Weatherman, The Stock Market Update and Headline News???

Is anyone else out there tired of the doom and gloom in the news? And if it's not negative, it's a false positive, such as when the headlines scream "Home Sales Rise in Second Quarter." Encouraged, you delve into the article only to find out the main thrust of the article is about growing foreclosures, dropping home prices and growing inventories.

Each morning you have a choice on how your day will be. Each night when you lay down to sleep, you make a conscious choice on whether today was a success or not. Between waking up and laying down, you choose who you will surround yourself with so make good decisions. Don't allow the "Negative Neds" and "Pitty Party Pattys" to determine your day.

What do you hear when you listen to the weather forecast? Do you hear the "partly sunny" part or the "chance of showers" part? you just say, regardless of the weather, it's a great day for a picnic?
Here's a market report that seems to be right on point.

Today's Stock Market Report......

Helium rose up.
Feathers were down.
Paper was stationary.
Fluorescent tubing was dimmed in light trading.
Knives were up sharply.
Cows steered into a bull market.
Pencils lost a few points.
Hiking equipment was trailing.
Elevators rose, while escalators continued their slow decline.
Weights were up in heavy trading.
Light switches were off.
Mining equipment hit rock bottom.
Diapers remained unchanged.
Shipping lines stayed at an even keel.
The market for raisins dried up.
Coca-Cola fizzled.
Caterpillar stock inched up a bit.
Sun peaked at midday.
Balloon prices were inflated.
Scott Tissue touched a new bottom.
And batteries exploded in an attempt to recharge the market.

So how's your personal stock? Up or down? If you were trading on the New York Stock Exchange, would you be bullish on your future? I know I am extremely excited about the opportunities that are in front of me and hope you are too. Have a great week.

August 16, 2009

Monday Morning Match

You Make a Difference One Person at a Time

This crazy world of real estate can really make you second guess yourself at times, can't it?

"Am I good enough?"

"Can I achieve my goals?"

"Will people trust me to assist them with, perhaps, the biggest financial transaction of their lives?"

The answer to those questions is "YES" and you need to continually remind yourself of that. The following story really shows the importance of people believing in someone or something...including yourself and the tremendous value you bring to each and everyone of your clients. Are you willing to try a little harder for the people in your life who have believed in you?

Puppy For Sale
A store owner was tacking a sign above his door that read "Puppies For Sale." Signs like that have a way of attracting small children and sure enough, a little boy appeared by the store owner's sign.

"How much are you going to sell the puppies for?" he asked. The store owner replied, "Anywhere from $30-$50."

The little boy reached in his pocket and pulled out some change. "I have $2.37," he said. "May I please look at them?"

The store owner smiled and whistled. Out of the kennel came Lady, who ran down the aisle of the store followed by five teeny, tiny balls of fur. One puppy was lagging considerably behind. Immediately the little boy singled out the lagging, limping puppy and said, "What's wrong with that little dog?"

The store owner explained that the veterinarian had examined the little puppy and had discovered it didn't have a hip socket. It would always limp. It would always be lame. The little boy became excited. "That is the little puppy that I want to buy."

The store owner said, "No, you don't want to buy that little dog. If you really want him, I'll just give him to you."

The little boy got quite upset. He looked into the store owner's eyes, pointing his finger, and said, "I don't want you to give him to me. That dog is worth every bit as much as all the other dogs and I'll pay full price. In fact, I'll give you $2.37 now, and 50 cents a month until I have him paid for."

The store owner countered, "You really don't want to buy this little dog. He is never going to be able to run and jump and play with you like the other puppies." To this, the little boy reached down and rolled up his pant leg to reveal a badly twisted, crippled left leg supported by a big metal brace. He looked up at the store owner and softly replied, "Well, I don't run so good myself, and the little puppy will need someone who understands!"

August 9, 2009

Monday Morning Match

A few things to think about this for each day of the week.
  • “What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now.”- Buddha
  • "If you are going to be a champion, you must be willing to pay a greater price." - Bud Wilkinson
  • "The difference between failure and success is doing a thing nearly right and doing it exactly right."- Edward C. Simmons
  • "Success isn't something that just happens - success is learned, success is practiced and then it is shared." - Sparky Anderson
  • "Without self-discipline, success is impossible, period." - Lou Holtz
  • "Victory belongs to the most persevering."- Napoleon
  • "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."- John Wooden

Looking At It Through Another's Eyes

You're a busy agent or you're aspiring to be one. You go from appointment to appointment, return phone calls and emails as they occur and you feel like you've been putting out fires from sun up to sun down when you pull in your driveway at the end of the day. In fact, most days, it's almost like you're on auto-pilot.

Your assembly-line protocols may involve buyer packets used at Buyer Counseling Sessions, pre-listing packets that you drop off prior to Marketing Presentations, open house handouts or even FSBO and Expired packets. The information contained in these packets is detailed, thorough and designed to be impressive to the consumer. Ideally these materials are informative and educational, helping deliver a message in your absence.

So when was the last time you really looked at what you are putting into those packets or presentations? When was the last time yours were updated?

Today's post is to encourage you to schedule a time with yourself - ideally once a quarter for those closing 24 or more transactions each year (semi-annually below that level of production) - and look at your materials through the eyes of a buyer, seller or customer.

Here are some things to look for:

Has your photo been updated? Customers who see your materials should recognize you when they meet you for the first time and past clients shouldn't think you have been a guest on a Maury Povich makeover special.

Is your company logo sized correctly and in the correct colors? Brands spend a lot of money and work hard to established a recognizable logo. You should never use a logo in a different color scheme. Can you even imagine seeing a big green M outside a McDonald's?

Keep things in properly sized proportions. There's nothing worse than seeing someone who doesn't know how to format a photo correctly. You can tell because their head is either extra tall or extra fat. (If your head is naturally extra tall or extra fat, no offense was intended)

Due ewe half spell Czech? Dew U yooz it? People love to catch spelling and other typographical errors in marketing materials. Jay Leno has made a funny segment out of advertising bloopers and blunders in his Headlines segment. Double or triple check your copy to make sure there are no errors in spelling, punctuation or proper names. It's sometimes prudent to have a proof-reader review the materials.

Is your information correct? Facts are great...if they're true. Has anything changed since your original creation of the document? Sales figures or rankings? Titles or positions? Personal information such as children's ages, designations or office location? Has your team (buyers agents, mortgage providers, title reps) changed?

How many fonts do you really need? - Keep it simple by selecting a common font such as Times New Roman, Arial or Bookman Old Style. Stay away from the script fonts as they can be very difficult to read.

White space isn't bad - Every square inch of your fliers or materials doesn't have to be filled with text, photos or graphs. Allow some things to be more prominent, others more subtle.

Make a Resolution - That your photos used in your marketing materials and handouts will be of a high quality. Head shot photos and any property photos should be of the highest pixel quality available. Nothing shows less effort than choosing poor photos.

Laser-like Focus? Was the last edition of your handout packet created on a black and white printer? Have you upgraded to a color laser printer? Use clean, high quality paper but only use glossy paper or lamination when necessary.

Tell me if you agree with this statement - "Buyers buy homes...Sellers buy image."

If you think that's true, spend one hour this week looking at all of your "stuff" from a different view. See how many aspects of your materials you can make better. Trust me, your image and your bottom line will thank you for it.

Until next time, keep building relationships...solving problems and having fun.

August 3, 2009

Monday Morning Match

What Does "Motivation" Mean To You?

Let's review a few synonyms for the word "motivation." Which one lights your fire today?

Action? What will you do today to take action to be better tomorrow?

Angle? How can you look at your routine and see a new or better outcome?

Catalyst? What has spurred you into action before? What can you do for someone else to inspire them to new heights?

Desire? How much do you want to succeed?

Disposition? Are you seeing your world the way you need to see it?

Drive? If you get knocked down today, will you get up and keep going?

Encouragement? Are you in need of it or do you have extra to give to someone else?

Fire? The 212 Degree Theory - at 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees water boils and boiling water creates steam and steam can power a locomotive.

Get up and go? What gives you that extra step? Caffeine, exercise, you loved ones?

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.

Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.

The moral: It doesn't matter if you are a lion or a gazelle. When the sun comes up, you better be running.

Impulse? Does your success happen involuntarily? If not, what will trigger the impulses needed to achieve greatness today?

Incentive? Goals are great but identifying the REWARDS that you will earn may be even greater. What are you in it for?

Inclination? Take it easy when no one is looking and things will only get harder. Work hard when no one is looking and things will get easier. What are you inclined to do today?

Interest? Doing what you need to do today is in who's best interest?

Kick? Channel your inner Emeril today and "Kick it Up a Notch!"

Motive? As my good buddy Bryan Dodge always says, "Those that ask the "how" in life always end up working for those that ask the "why" in life."

Persuasion? How good are you at talking to the voice in your head and getting it on the same page?

Push? When the door to success marked Pull won't open, try Pushing.

Spur? Cowboys figured out how to get their horse going in the same direction. Do I have to put my boots on and kick you?

Wish? "When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are..."