Monday, December 10, 2012

Shut Down Time

Hello all,

"Shut Down Time"

For anyone new to the company this is my semi annual shut down email. I believe there are two times a year we need to step back a bit and take a break. July when everyone heads out on vacations and now through the end of the year. The holidays are a special time of year and need to be spent with family and friends. We never stop working because we would stop making money, in fact the office has been jumping the last couple of weeks. This will be my last coffee until the beginning of the year, thank you all for a great 2012 and let's get pumped for an even better 2013!

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"A penny saved is a penny earned." 
- Ben Franklin
Waiting for your ship to come in? Think you need to win the lottery to become a millionaire? Waiting for your inheritance to come through? Dream on - but don't hold your breath. The truth is that "steady as she goes" is the watchword for accumulating real wealth. In baseball terms, the method would be to hit plenty of "singles" and "doubles" and forget about the "home runs."
Consider this method for becoming a millionaire: At age 25, begin setting aside just $100 each month. Invest the money at 12% - yes that is do-able! At age 65, you would have accumulated $1,176,477. In other words, if you never increased the $100 per month, regardless of all the raises and increases in income you experienced over your lifetime, you would have over $1,000,000 in your investment account.
Now let's say you received a very modest $1,000 per year increase in pay over your 40 year working life. By putting aside an additional $250 each year (just 25% of your yearly raise), an additional $191,772 would be added to your million-plus nest egg.
Better yet, here's the easiest method. Beginning at age 20, put $2,000 per year into an IRA for just three years. Never add another nickel to the account. At age 65, the account would be worth $1,153,180.
What if you're already 45 years old (the average age at which Americans begin saving)? You would need to put aside $1,100 each month for 20 years at 12% - giving you $1,187,106 at age 65.
Financial security requires patience, persistence, and self-discipline (sort of like real-life). Spend less than you earn, and put the rest to work for you. It's a simple formula that few ever attempt, yet it yields unfailing results!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Peak Producers Training

Hello all,

"Peak Producers Training"

We have been very delighted with the turn out at the fall training series! I believe this is a great lead into the Peak Producers training that will start in January. If you have been to all of the fall series and qualify for the Buffini training please get with your manager about how to sign up. We will be getting things set on the Buffini website for everyone to sign up this week but I wanted get the dates out to everyone so they can prepare. The training's will be held in Aspen Hill from 9:30-11:30 starting on January 7th. The first week the training's are every day and after that it will be every Wednesday from 9:30-11:30 ending on March 20th. Lunch will not be provided the first week however on the subsequent weeks it will be provided. I will be cooking the lunches and facilitating the training's.

I had a great time on Saturday night, it was wonderful to see everyone together. A very special thank you to Counselors and Hutton & Patt for sponsoring the event!  

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"Repentance is another name for aspiration."
~ Henry Ward Beecher
“To forgive is divine.” That’s wonderful for the one who forgives, but what about the one who is apologizing? How do you say you’re sorry without making things worse? What’s the best way to make reparation and regain your integrity?
None of us are saints. For any number of reasons, we’ve committed any variety of offenses. Maybe we did or said something unkind, or made a mistake that cost someone time or money. The question isn’t about making mistakes, because we all do that. The question is how to apologize after the fact. It has become a lost art.
First and foremost in regard to saying “I’m sorry” is to do it as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more it sounds like “I’m sorry . . . I got caught.” Next comes the explanation of what you did wrong and why it happened. Just be careful not to put more emphasis on the “why” than the “what,” because apologizing is not the same as justifying.
You don’t necessarily have to go whole hog, either. “I regret what happened” sounds a little weak, but “Everything was my fault” can be downright dangerous! Hopefully there is a middle ground where you can simply express how badly you feel about what you did or said.
Now that you’ve shown your repentance, your “victim” can relax, you can relax, and now you can take the opportunity to do something especially nice for the wronged party. Just be sure to say you’re sorry and THEN do something nice – otherwise, you might just arouse suspicion! Oh, and don’t forget – don’t make the same mistake twice!

Monday, November 26, 2012

2013 Commission Plan

Hello all,

"2013 Commission Plan"

It is that time of year that we offer an opportunity to sit down with you to discuss your commission options for 2013. This is also a great time to have a one on one with myself, Mark or your manager to talk about your current business plan and to get some thoughts on how to be better next year. In order to have the opportunity to change plans for next year you need to sit down with Mark or myself, the cut off date for this is 12/21. I hope everyone had a great time over Thanksgiving and we are looking forward to the holiday party on Saturday!

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes." 
- William Shakespeare
Remember when you were a teenager leaving the house on a date? Your parents' last words as you went out the door were, "We'll leave the light on for you". Think about that. So what if they did or didn't leave the light on? Their words were really more of a verbal hug. They cared about you - wanted you to know it - and applied the hug with kind words.
This Thanksgiving, why not take the time to "leave the light on" for someone who may not get many hugs? There's still time, and it's easy.
First, learn who needs hugs. Check with your local fire, police, or sheriff's department. Ask whether they know of three or four families or individuals who could use a hug. Ask also whether they would consider delivering your hugs at the appropriate time. Two groups stand out as needy - the elderly and families with small children. Of course, we're talking about individuals who are experiencing difficult circumstances in their lives, be they physical or financial.
Next, consider what type of hugs you have to offer. Perhaps you might prepare three or four Thanksgiving turkeys with all the trimmings. Live in the country where people heat their homes with a wood stove? Deliver firewood. Live in a cold climate? Add some warm socks or a sweater to your dinner box. It's really not that difficult to come up with ideas that would make a difference to your chosen recipients. If you aren't able to provide "things," consider visiting with some nursing home residents. Brighten their day by listening for a while.
It goes without saying that our country is truly blessed. Although practically invisible to most of us, however, there are some individuals who are being challenged. They need a hug, and we can brighten their lives by way of simple gestures. Make a family project out of it - involve your kids. Do it anonymously. Afterwards, when you get home, we'll leave the light on for you!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Hello all,

"Happy Thanksgiving"

I wanted to thank everyone again who attended Thankful Tuesday last week. It was a very nice event and thanks also to everyone who helped out! It is going to be a short week in the office, we will be closing Wednesday at Noon and reopening Monday morning. Poor me... I have to fly out Wednesday evening to Boca Raton to attend a field hockey tournament with one of the children until Sunday. I hope you and your families have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Cut off date is Tuesday afternoon for our holiday dinner on 12/1. This too will be a very nice event sponsored by Counselors and Hutton & Patt. Please RSVP to me directly.

Germantown office- With the opening of the Aspen Hill office and the expansion in Potomac we have been focusing on getting those spaces looking nice. We are very proud in the way that they have turned out. I will now be turning my attention to the Germantown office to give it a bit of a face lift. Nothing major but we will be moving things around to add a 3rd conference room, pictures, touching up the paint... After that we will be set in all 3 offices and ready to kick some serious real estate ass in 2013!

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."
~ Robert Frost 
Have you lost sight of The Big Picture? Has every little detail, every little brush stroke, taken on such importance and worry that you no longer remember what it was that you set out to create?
Here's some news for you - it's going to be okay, even if today's troubles seem overwhelming and insurmountable. Even if you feel that it will be the end of the world if your project goes beyond deadline, if your daughter's costume isn't ready for the school play, if you forgot to call your mother on her birthday. More news for you - the sun will still rise tomorrow. 
And you'll still be here to try to fix anything that seems irreparable today. Everything that life pitches at you is only meant to improve your hitting skills. Three strikes and you're out, but remember that you'll be up to bat again. And your team mates are there to take their best swings, too. Together you may find victory. And if you lose the game today, you're still together to take on the next challenge tomorrow. 
Don't ever lose sight of tomorrow - today and its cares will be over soon enough. No matter how it feels sometimes, there really are only twenty four hours in any given day and they always pass sixty minutes at a time. Time and fear are easily overcome by your faith in the ultimate outcome.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave these words of inspiration - try to follow them: "The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith."

Monday, November 12, 2012


Hello all,


It is always a good idea to keep an eye on the builders to help us foresee where the market is heading, they have some of the best brains in the business working for them. Below is a graph with the yearly housing starts, note that from 1978-2007 we had some ups & downs but we averaged around 1.5M units per year. In the last three years we have only averaged around 575K units per year, that is 3M units below the average! This year the prediction is for around 875K units and we should be above 1M for 2013. So what can we get from all of this? First is the housing starts are trending back up which means the builders have confidence in the recovering market. Second, over the last three years the population did not stop growing so when we here the term "pent up demand" it is for real. As you all know there has been a severe problem with inventory in are region for some time and it does not look like it is going to get better anytime soon. The good news with that is supply and demand will continue to take over and we will be seeing sustained upwards pricing pressures.

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur."
~ Vince Lombardi
Good old Vince Lombardi - always a great source for motivating words! Success on the football field was the result of the spirit he had and developed within himself, not the other way around! Sometimes we have a tendency to put the cart before the horse, thinking that we become better people through achieving success. What an egocentric and near-sighted notion! We really achieve success by becoming better people!
Achieving your goals is like finally arriving at your destination after a long journey. How many times have you heard that it's not the destination that's so important - it's the steps that you take along the path? It's not so much what you do, but how you do it. Regardless of success or failure, it's your efforts that are remembered and define who you are.
Even the most menial jobs and tasks can be elevated simply by caring enough about doing them well. You can learn to respect any job when it is performed by someone who respects himself. Again, it is not the "events that occur" so much as it is the "will to excel" that impresses us. We shouldn't worry so much about getting a better job so much as simply doing our job better!
It's also that "will to win" that drives us to keep trying, even when we do not achieve our goals. As long as you have that drive and ambition, you WILL succeed! As a matter of fact, you've already succeeded right there. Big or small, you have dreams, you have goals, and you have the spirit and confidence to carry you. Along the way, chances are that you'll also inspire others with the will to succeed. That's what gains the respect of your colleagues. It's not what rung of the ladder you're on, it's that you simply have the will to climb.
Successes can be fleeting, but the will to succeed is timeless. What will you be remembered for?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Agent Services Training

Hello all,

"Agent Services Training"

As our little Brokerage was going through some growing pains we realized that our biggest weakness was getting new agents acclimated to RE/MAX and our systems in a timely manner. We decided we needed to have one person dedicated to helping the agents learn these systems and all of the wonderful things that they can do. We were very fortunate to bring Ella Ladas in as our "Agent Services Coordinator" about three months ago. Since then Ella has been working very hard to come up to speed on the systems and we are ready to let her loose on you all! The ultimate goal is that Ella will be helping the new agents as they come in but she needs to spend some time with the current agents in bulk trainings to catch you up. The first 2 trainings will be on Leadstreet (New version coming out 12/1) and Wolfconnect which is our backend operating system. Attached is a flyer for the trainings, we will add more trainings as needed and as we roll additional items out. I strongly encourage everyone to participate and you can attend no matter which office they are in. Ella will be our go to resource for our systems moving forward so please utilize her knowledge.

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late." 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 
Remember when, as a kid, you took the wishbone from the Thanksgiving turkey, set it aside, and let it dry for several days? You probably argued with brothers or sisters about who would get to make the wish. Then, finally, you took one end, made your wish, got the bigger piece and . . . nothing happened.

On a recent news interview, someone made the statement that "Hope is not a method." Neither is wishing. On a cold autumn day, you can hope or wish you were warm all day long, but until you turn up the thermostat or build a fire, nothing will change. Action always produces results.

So we just “gave thanks” last week for all our blessings. Chances are good that what you call "blessings" did not occur as a result of wishes and hopes. You probably reached out and worked hard - you took action - to allow them to come into your life. If you did - good for you.

Not everyone can do that. Unfortunately, a great percentage of the population lives only on hope and wishes. They just do not have the ability to comprehend the concept of cause and effect. Nor do they possess the motivation or skills to act on their circumstances. The result? Their blessings are fewer than most.

Since you are blessed with the ability to make things happen, why not reach out this holiday season to those who aren't. Don't expect anything in return, and whatever you do - do it anonymously. You'll be twice blessed!

Monday, October 29, 2012


Hello all,


There is never a good time for a storm like this to come in. Being it is during the last couple of days of the month makes it especially difficult in our business. We have several settlements for today and tomorrow, I hope everything goes well. However you might want to prep your buyers and sellers that logistics will be a little more difficult for the Lenders, Title Companies, Movers... Things could get delayed a bit. Also, Doty had a family emergency and will be out of the office for the next week or two, Ella and I will do the best we can while she is away. Wednesday when everything blows through do not forget to get out and check on your yard signs and especially on vacant properties.

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"People fail forward to success." 
~ Mary Kay Ash 
It's been observed that although experience can be the best teacher, you get it by taking the exam before you've actually taken the course! 
Quite expectedly, many of us don't perform well initially when attempting something new. While there is such a thing as a "natural talent" in just about any field of endeavor, it's probably safe to assume that most people working (or playing) at anything, from the practice of law to the game of tennis, have a long road behind them paved with what they considered (at the time) to be failures. 
Every experience we have, however, should be a learning process. And our so-called "failures" are in fact the “experiences” from which we learn the most. Early on in life, the way we gain our sense of balance is from falling down when we first attempt to walk. Every fall, every "failure," eventually led to success. 
It's a rare individual who does well in his or her first attempt at anything. Despite Yoda's philosophy in the Star Wars saga that "there is no try; there is only do," most of us ending up "doing" after repeated attempts at "trying." Eventually, we “do” manage to succeed. 
So perhaps what Yoda was saying, after all, is that when we finally achieve our goals, it's only the end result that matters - because of everything we previously considered, failure simply becomes part of the process of success. Then we have indeed "failed forward!"

Monday, October 22, 2012

Thankful Tuesday

Hello all,

"Thankful Tuesday"

Our next big office event will be our second annual Thankful Tuesday, It will be held on November 13th in the Potomac office. There will be a short sales meeting from 10:45-11:30 then the party will be from 11:30 to 1:00. I will try to show off some culinary skills by preparing 4 Turkeys, 2 smoked and 2 fried. We do not need everyone to step up but we do need volunteers to bring in salads, appetizers,  side dishes, desserts... Our ever reliable Carol Newcomb will be keeping the master list of what everyone will be bringing so please email her at the address below to let her know how you can help out.

This event is intended for our agents but if there is an agent you like or did a deal with from the outside that you would like to invite for the party feel free! Please park in the garage and we will have validation stickers for everyone when they leave.
Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."
~ Unattributed
With the arrival of the fall season, life’s pace picks up a bit. With the dog days of summer behind us, we look toward the seasonal shifts in business and the approaching holidays. Our “To Do” lists start to get longer, and our enthusiasm sometimes wanes.
So as the days get shorter, how do we increase our productivity? The short answer is “a little bit at a time.” Specifically, just fifteen minutes at a time, according to REALTOR Magazine “Sales Coach” John D. Mayfield.
The argument is simple: you get more done by organizing your day into small chunks of time, instead of devoting three hour blocks to a project. It’s only when we’ve fallen too far behind that we force ourselves to spend so much time and effort on an unfinished task. Then we burn out and can’t seem to get anything done at all.
Take something as routine and unexciting as catching up on phone calls or email messages. Put it off all week, and suddenly you’ve got thirty calls to return and ninety messages in your Inbox. But just fifteen minutes a day spent on each of these two tasks adds up to two and half hours of quality work during the week. Extend that concept to other things like exercise and reading, both of which improve the rest of your day and your labor.
Devoting fifteen minutes isn’t difficult, and once you’ve begun, you might find yourself working even longer. Maybe you’ll feel that the project at hand isn’t so overwhelming after all, and once it’s behind you, you’ll feel renewed enthusiasm for the next item on the “To Do” list.
Ultimately, just remember that fifteen minutes a day is better than nothing at all, and in one hour you can begin to attack up to four different responsibilities. John Mayfield reminds us of the old Chinese proverb: “A minute of time is an inch of gold.” Invest just a few minutes and discover your reward!