Monday, January 30, 2012


Hello all,

“Inventory Levels”

A couple times a year I take a  look absorption rates  so we can talk about them at the sales meeting. In preparing the one thing that stood out is how low the inventory levels are compared to this time last year. In the outer areas they are down 10%-15% but from Gaithersburg in it is more in the 25%-35% range. This time last year there were 332 active properties in Gaithersburg as of today there are 242. As we head into the spring market we should keep these numbers in mind when we are doing a market analysis. Without competition we might want to test the higher range of our pricing suggestions with our sellers, never overprice but higher range. When there is nothing else on the market in a desirable area we are starting to see multiple offers all too often again. I have heard several stories from agents who’s clients have lost out on more than one occasion. On the national level we are hearing about shadow inventory and the flood of foreclosures due to hit the market. This will have a minimal effect on our area especially closer in. So after my small rant the point I am getting to is in some areas we are back in a “sellers” market, the media just does not know it yet.

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"Fear knocked at the door, faith answered. No one was there."
- Unattributed

Ever received one of those emails that contains a touching message, then suggests that if you forward it to ten more people you'll receive a "special blessing" or "ten million dollars in three days"?  It usually also warns that the last person who didn't forward it met some terrible fate at the hands of unknown evil-doers.  Remember how that last part - the veiled threat - made you feel?  You didn't think something awful would really happen, but you resented being put in the position of wondering.
We've been told many times that our worst fears are of the "unknown."  An unidentified fear sends our imagination into high gear, conjuring up vivid mental pictures of dastardly plots against us.  We ruminate endlessly over the possibilities.  Such fear is disruptive to our well-being, and leaves us tired and wrung-out.
So, how do you handle fear?  One method is to identify the fear, so that once you do, it is no longer "unknown." That also means it is measurable, and can be logically quantified.  Once you know what it is, your imagination can no longer dream up worse things that it is not.  Once identified, it is possible to determine possible outcomes.
Most fears will never come to fruition.  Those that do are divided into two categories: those we can control, and those we can't.  If we have control, we also have the ability to survive our fears, and change their outcomes.  Most fall into that category.
One mother's lifelong advice to her daughter who worried too much was to replace the worry thought with another more pleasant thought.  The opposite of fear is hope, which also gives us courage.  The next time you experience fear of the unknown, try replacement therapy.  Think positive, hopeful thoughts when fear knocks at the door.  Then, when you open the door - no one is there!

Monday, January 23, 2012


Hello all,


Spending some time in Florida with my Sweetie.

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"When you come to the edge of all the light you have known, and are about to step out into darkness, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen - there will be something to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly."
- "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" by Richard Bach

In the 1930's and 1940's, there were numerous women's magazines.  Ladies' Home Journal and Good Housekeeping were two of them.  They showed women in the role of the day - housekeeping.  They suggested the number of times per week the home should be dusted, scrubbed, organized, and otherwise kept spotless.  They suggested ways to look good when the "man of the house" arrived home from a tough day at the office.  In short, those magazines and their publishers set up an impossible regimen of expectations for their readers.
Many of us know women who have spent much of their lives trying to live up to the model housewife role prescribed by those magazines.  The trouble is, many of them have (or had) dreams of their own, like wanting to write, or to travel, or to participate in the freedoms only men then enjoyed.
Today, any of us can achieve our dreams.  All too often, however, we are still denied our destiny by the expectations set by others.  We are bombarded by radio, TV, CD, DVD, and WWW messages that insist we follow their example, their guidelines, or their models.  We allow our dreams to wither and die - waiting in line for their turn to blossom - never receiving the water of encouragement needed to grow and bloom.
What about your dreams?  Need some encouragement to help you "think outside the box?"  Begin by spending time with others who have already achieved their dreams. Leave your nay-sayer acquaintances behind.  Read inspiring biographies.  Pick up a copy of "Think & Grow Rich" or "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People."  If you haven't yet learned to "fly," pick up "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" or "Illusions" by Richard Bach.
As Jonathan says in the book, "Don't believe what your eyes are telling you.  All they show is limitation.  Look with your understanding, find out what you already know, and you'll see the way to fly!"  

Monday, January 16, 2012

Written Goals

Hello all,

“Written Goals”

This came up at the Germantown sales meeting this week and I wanted talk about it a bit further. Mark very eloquently stated that the difference between a dream and a goal is that the goal is in writing. If you are staring at your computer on January 16th hoping that you will do between 6M-8M this year that is a dream. However if you have written down that you will do 18 transactions for 7.2M and also written down the actions you will take to achieve it, that is a goal. I would like to challenge each and every one of you take this step in your business. Previewing a training this weekend it was stated that only 3% of Realtors have written goals, you can see below this is the same number for Harvard MBAs. Seeing your goals in writing everyday is purposeful and keeps you focused, so please pick up a pen, think hard, be realistic, challenge yourself and write down your goals for the year. You need to place them in a place where you see them every day, I suggest you place them in a place where your family and or co-workers can see as well. I will start and they will be placed on the white boards for each office for the year.

Germantown- 368 Transactions for 125M

Park Potomac- 210 Transactions for 105M

Enjoy the coffee,

So, Why Do 3% of Harvard MBAs Make Ten Times as Much as the Other 97% Combined ?
The answer is a simple question: “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” In 1979, interviewers asked new graduates from the Harvard’s MBA Program and found that :
  • 84% had no specific goals at all
  • 13% had goals but they were not committed to paper
  • 3% had clear, written goals and plans to accomplish them

Monday Morning Coffee
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
and that has made all the difference."
- Robert Frost

On the playground of any school, and on any day, you can witness examples of children playing "follow the leader."  One hops, skips, or jumps, and all the others follow.  As adults, however, many of those children play a variation of that game - called "follow the follower."
On the job, they look around, see how someone else is doing their work, and duplicate the effort.  What they don't realize is that their fellow employee is also watching someone else.  A circular game of "follow the follower" evolves, resulting in a mediocre work force.  The same can be true in marriages, education, hobbies, and sports.
Consider the story of a telephone operator in a small town.  Every day she received a call from a gentleman asking for the correct time.  Finally, one day, she asked the mystery caller who he was and why he called every day.  His answer?  "I'm the one who blows the whistle at the factory each day at noon.  I like to be right on time!"  The operator laughed and then responded, "Here at the telephone company, we set our watches and clocks by the noon whistle at the factory!"
Tired of playing follow the follower?  Want to rejuvenate your life?  Begin acting like the unique person you already are.  See what everyone else is doing . . . and do something different.  Strike out in the direction of your own imagination instead of theirs. 
In the words of Henry David Thoreau, "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you've imagined."

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tech Fair

Hello all,

“Tech Fair”

There are several reasons why we do the Tech Fair each year. First, from the full disclosure category… it is somewhat of a recruiting event. It gives us an opportunity to invite others into our culture, it puts them around our Realtors and lets us show off our stuff. Second, we have presentations by individuals or companies that we truly believe will help you grow your business. Third, the energy it creates. Getting 60-70 Realtors together in one spot this time of year, learning, networking… fills the energy tank and gets us fired up for the new year! I would love to see as many of you there as possible and I promise you will take some of that energy away with you. If you have not signed up on Facebook or through Wolf Connect please RSVP to Carol or Michelle in your office. The event is January 18th from 9:30-2:30 at Montgomery Country Club, lunch is provided.

Germantown Sales Meeting 1/10, 9:30 Black Rock Center

Potomac Sales Meeting 1/17, 9:30 Founding Farmers

Enjoy the coffee,
Monday Morning Coffee
"The man who dies rich, dies disgraced."
- Andrew Carnegie
A colleague passed this delightful story along:
One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how much poverty exists in the world. They spent several days and nights on the farm of a very poor family.
Upon their return from their trip, the father asked his son, "How was the trip?" The son's answer? "It was great, Dad!" "Did you see how poor people can be?" the father asked. "Oh yeah," said the son.
"So, what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father. The son continued, "I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden, and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden, and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard, and they have the whole horizon."
His son added, "We have a small piece of land to live on, and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who work for us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, and they have friends to protect them."
With this the boy's father was speechless. Then his son finally said, "Thanks Dad, for showing me how poor we are."
Too many times we forget what we have and concentrate on what we don't have. What is one person's worthless object is another's prize possession. It is all based on one's perspective. It makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for the bounty we have, instead of worrying about wanting more. Take joy in all you have, especially your friends.


Monday, January 2, 2012

New Beginnings

Hello all,

“New Beginnings”

Happy New Year to everyone! Thank you so much for being a part of our offices, 2011 was a great year and 2012 is shaping up to be a breakout year. It is the time of year we catch ourselves reflecting on the past as well as looking to the future. The last 5-6 years of real estate has been difficult to say the least. Many agents did not have the motivation or talent to make it through, they are gone. The rest of us standing could discuss all day at what point in a real estate recovery we are in for our area, the beginning, 6 months, 12 months…  However I believe we can all agree we have seen the bottom, inventories levels are very low, demand is picking up and confidence is rising. All factors pointing towards a new beginning in the local real estate market. When looking towards a brighter future I believe it is important for all of us to take one last look at the past and then let it go. We never want to forget what happened in our industry because these are the lessons that help us get wiser as we grow older. But it is very important to forgive what happened in our industry. If we hang on to things it ends up sucking energy out of us that should be used working towards the future. We should all be very proud that we made it through the difficult time, it shows that there is no quit in any of you. As much as we need to embrace the new beginning in our market I believe we must also embrace that this is the beginning of “Our Time” in the industry. Thanks again for all of your hard work and let’s have a great 2012.

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"We shall do much in the years to come, but what have we done today?
We shall give our gold in a princely sum, but what did we give today?
We shall lift the heart and dry the tear,
We shall plant a hope in the place of fear,
we shall speak the words of love and cheer, but what did we speak today?"

- Nixon Waterman

So . . . we're into the second day of our new year.  How are your new year's resolutions holding up?  You've added some new ones, and rejuvenated the one from last year about losing weight.  You've got some big plans for this year.
Having major goals like increasing sales, saving for a big trip, or buying a new vehicle is admirable. They'll require considerable time and effort to pull off, but think how good you'll feel when you achieve them.  Now, why not add a few small ones to your list - the ones that require no effort.
First, add praise to your list. Praise comes in small packages.  A simple "thank you" to a clerk or friend is praise for their help.  A simple pat on the back accompanied by "You're the best!" will brighten someone's entire day.
Next, give something away every day. That something might only be a spare 25¢ dropped in a jar at the convenience store for a local burn victim.  It might be an item of clothing rescued from the back corner of your closet.  It might be two hours of your time at a local soup kitchen.  No matter what the gift, add this habit to your daily activities.  At the end of the year, you will have affected many lives.
Send a smile toward those who frown. Talk positively to those who would rain on your parade.  Say "Yes!" when asked for a favor.  Kiss your loved ones like you mean it.  Ask a friend, "Is there anything I can do for you?" or "How can I help?"
Keep it simple, but do it often - and keep it to yourself.  A year from now it will be impossible to tally the impact you have had on your world.  Isn't it about time we all made this resolution?