November 28, 2010

C'mon Get Happy

Monday Morning Match is a short post - maybe a quote, inspirational story or idea - intended to spark some motivation inside each of you so your week gets off to a fantastic start on Monday morning.

How do you define "Happiness"?

If you had to write a definition for that word, what words would you use? You could be very dictionary-like in your definition and use words like "a state of tranquility free from anxiety and emotional disturbance" or perhaps "a feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, please or joy."

What if you had to describe what happiness means to you? No clinical definition, just a sentence or word story? What would you say? What makes you smile just thinking about how you would describe happiness to someone?

Is it....

  • Warm chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven?
  • Reading a good book on a rainy Saturday morning?
  • Having the first tee time on a warm summer day?
    • Someone else picking up the tab at happy hour?
    • A phone call from a co-op agent saying they've accepted your written?
    • A quiet lake and a full cooler of bait?
    • Walking hand in hand with someone special down a moonlit beach?
    • Hearing your children giggle?

    Yeah - those are all good definitions of happiness in my mind.

    What about for you? What images come to mind? What emotions are stirred thinking about what makes you happy?

    Here's your challenge. Write down ten things that you think of when you think of happiness. (I invite you to add a few in the comments section below.)

    Now, instead of just thinking about what creates happiness for you in your mind, go out this week and make it happen with your actions.

    Have a great week building relationships, solving problems and having fun.

    November 26, 2010

    I'm Sorry. They Don't Work Here Anymore...

    Wouldn't that be a horrible thing for one of your clients or customers to hear? We work so hard to get clients in today's fast paced world, why would we want to send them away?

    Can the people you want to find you actually find you?

    Are you sure that if someone came across a profile of you on-line somewhere you would actually be at the end of the "Contact Me" link or phone number suggested

    I was just spending some time today on LinkedIn and was looking through my contact list. I was absolutely amazed at the number of Realtors who I am "linked in" with who don't even have their correct brokerage listed! Many people who are in a non-sales position also had their incorrect companies listed. I wonder if they even remember creating a LinkedIn profile? The sad thing is I bet this is true for some people on sites like Twitter and Facebook too.

    "The Phone Books Are Here!!!"

    Back in the old days (a.k.a. The 90's) you just needed to make sure your name showed up correctly in one place - the phone book. Remember how happy Navin R. Johnson was when he saw his name in the phone book in the classic movie, The Jerk ?

    Well today you'll need more than the phone book...and this thermos. (if you don't laugh at that reference, order The Jerk on Netflix)

    Have you checked your "on-line" profiles recently? It might be a great time of the year to log in to any site you think people (i.e. potential clients) might find you and update your contact information and personal profile.

    You could add in a recent photo and you should also update your family info, office locations, mobile contacts and social media links. In real estate, we never know where our next good lead will come from so let's do what we can to insure it does,'t get sent to the competition by default.

    Not only might you be missing good opportunities with clients, you could also be violating state license law when it comes to clearly representing your brokerage and role.

    What are you waiting for? Get out there and check your social media profiles. While you're there, make sure we're connected. I'd love to stay in touch with you...assuming your contact information is correct.

    November 25, 2010

    Live & Learn

    Another Thanksgiving has passed us by and there's just 5 weeks left in the year. Before we worry about what we can do over the next month and a week, let's look back at one of my favorite blog posts from two years ago which still rings true today.

    What Realtor's Can Learn from Black Friday

    Maybe some of you will be reading this while you're in line waiting to pay for your early morning haul. Others will have avoided the hustle and bustle and stayed at home on your butts (and laptops).

    Either way, shop hard and get ready for the holiday season.

    November 21, 2010

    Give Thanks

    Monday Morning Match is a short post - maybe a quote, inspirational story or idea - intended to spark some motivation inside of each of you so your week gets off to a fantastic start on Monday morning.

    A Season for Thanks

    Last year at this time of year, I wrote a blog post about my personal "thanks" and recognized some of the influential people in my life who helped me get to where I am today. You can find the first of the three-part post here.

    This year, I turn the attention to you, my reader. Or should I say I challenge you to read this post to yourself and take it personally?

    "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."

    ~ John F. Kennedy

    What are you thankful for? It's been a challenging year for those of us involved in real estate but there have certainly been some wonderful opportunities. Have you taken advantage of them? Will you make more opportunities in the new year and overcome the obstacles in front of you?

    Have you been lucky enough to make some mistakes in 2010 that you'll learn from and be better in 2011? Just think - some people never make any mistakes but that is not because they are perfect, it's because they never do anything. Be sure to be thankful for the learning experiences that life has provided.

    Have you been lucky enough to assist some families with their real estate needs in 2010? Perhaps you helped some buyers find a new home or maybe you assisted some Sellers and helped them get on to their next chapter in life? Have you thanked them for their trust in you and also thanked them for the opportunity to help solve their problems?

    Maybe you're a manager or broker? Have you been lucky enough to challenge, encourage or inspire any of your associates, staff members or peers? Be sure to give thanks for them allowing you to be a part of their careers.

    You probably sat in a class, workshop or training event where the speaker, instructor or teacher made you see or hear things differently. Maybe something confusing became clear? Did your hearing advance to listening which became understanding inspiring you into action that will eventually lead to mastery? Be sure to thank that person (or those people) for giving you the key to opening your mind. Be sure not to close that open mind in the coming year.

    Is there a group of friends and family who have stood beside you and behind you throughout 2010? Have you felt their hands helping you? Sometimes that hand has been pushing you squarely in the back and other times it's just been touching you on the shoulders, providing simple guidance to keep you on your path to your goals. They want nothing more for you than to see you achieve the levels of success you aspire to and deserve.

    We can get occupied spending so much of our time looking over one fence, wishing we had the things others possess, yet never realize that the neighbor on the other side of the yard may be looking at us and admiring what it is that we have. As Sheryl Crow sings, "It's not having what you want. It's wanting what you've got."

    Please take a moment this week to be thankful for all the things you have.

    Thank you for being a loyal reader of The Realtor's Toolbox. I hope you've been able to build relationships, solve problems and have fun so far in 2010 and will continue the journey in 2011.

    Happy Thanksgiving to All

    November 19, 2010

    Who Is In Your Audience?

    Knowing the audience you are speaking to is important. So is understanding where the people you're looking for might be hiding.

    I'm not much of a fisherman but I hear it's usually easier to catch fish if you use bait. What are you using to get more clients on your line?

    Famous bank robber Willie Sutton, when asked why he robs banks replied, "That's where the money is."

    Here's a neat chart of information that shows the demographics for some of today's top social media sites. It might be valuable information for you to better serve your customers and clients.

    Social Media Demographics: Who's Using Which Sites?

    November 9, 2010

    Live Long and Prosper?

    I love looking for opportunities to make other people feel good. I love it when it happens to me as well, especially when it is completely out of the blue. I know how powerful a positive statement or show of support can be.

    I subscribe to lots of e-newsletters and blogs and follow numerous people on Twitter and Facebook that are sharing good words of wisdom, neat ideas or things that might help me now or later. One of those weekly e-newsletters I look forward to receiving is Tuesday Tactics from a guy named Scott Levitt. Scott is the President of Oakley Sign & Graphics, Inc. and also the founder of, a free website to help you improve your marketing skills and generate more leads.

    I don't know Scott, but from reading his newsletters for the last few months, we think alike when it comes to taking care of the customer and having fun while doing it.

    Scott recently released a free e-Book called The Prosperity Habit. I would highly encourage the readers of The Realtor's Toolbox blog to download this short "manifesto of sorts" here. Print it out and read it at your next open house or after you put your kids to bed. I believe the writing is big enough it could even be read while on the treadmill. Just please don't read it in the car.

    The "goal of “The Prosperity Habit” system is to get you in the habit of externalizing positive energy so that it benefits others (and in turn benefit you, too!). While it does rely on reminders, inspirational scripts, templates, and tactical advice, the end goal is to train you to do these things effortlessly."

    The Prosperity Habit is broken down into 5 simple sections:

  • Be observant

  • Be honest

  • Be natural

  • Be mindful of your intentions

  • Be professional

  • What have you got to lose? Download this simple message today and start finding ways to develop your own "prosperity habit." I can assure you it just might help you find more ways to...

    Build relationships...solve problems...and have fun.

    November 7, 2010

    Which One Will You Talk About?

    Monday Morning Match is a short post - maybe a quote, inspirational story or idea - intended to spark some motivation inside of each of you so your week gets off to a fantastic start on Monday morning.

    Here's your challenge this week. Will you be focusing on delivering great service or creating a memorable experience?

    There's a big difference. Usually the former is expected while the latter, because it's more rare, is talked about longer.

    Think about it. You could receive "great service" from your waitress while out to eat but if the valet drove your car over the curb, the hostess didn't seat you for thirty five minutes after saying it would be a ten-minute wait, the restaurant was so noisy you had to yell to hear your dining partners, the food was horrible and they declined your credit card, are you really telling people about the great service?

    On the other hand, think of the last "memorable experience" you had that involved you spending either time, money or personal effort? Whether it was an inexpensive visit to a ice cream parlor, a walk through a neighborhood park or a vacation to a 4-star resort, everything from start to finish would need bring a smile to your face just thinking about it. Only then would it be worth talking about.

    What can you focus on this week to create memorable experiences for your clients and customers?

    "Fall Back" into Action

    Did you reset your clocks? Did you wake up a bit earlier than usual today because you couldn't adjust your internal time clock like you can your Timex or microwave? Are you excited for an earlier sunrise or maybe depressed about it getting dark earlier?

    The time change is what it is. We all need to get over the change and adjust to the new time. The video below a humorous view on the topic from comedian Paul F. Tompkins...
    Paul F. Tompkins - Daylight Saving Time
    Funny JokesFunny VideosDaniel Tosh Stand-Up

    So now that Daylight Savings is here, what will you do next?

    Things still need to get done at work; Calls need to be made. Appointments need to be set and attended. Contracts will be written, negotiated and signed. Deals will be closed.

    Things still need to get done at home; Physical exercise. Spending time with loved ones. Balancing the checkbook. Cleaning the gutters and raking the lawn.

    Sure, your clock may have changed.

    Your goals shouldn't have.

    And now you've got an extra hour to work with. What are you waiting for?

    get out there and start building relationships...solving problems...and having fun.