Monday, February 27, 2012

Compound Interest

Hello all,

"Compound Interest"

When we were growing up we were taught the importance of saving our money because of the effect of compound interest. In it's simplest form the definition of compound interest is "earning interest on your interest". Getting out of the box for a moment if we really think about it building a real estate business is very similar to building a bank account for the long term so we can earn compound interest. When we we first got our license and started our business we made the initial deposit into the bank. Then we started doing money making activities, open houses, floor duty, client meetings, marketing, newsletters... Each activity was like putting a small deposit into the bank to help build our account. The activities led to clients, clients led to referrals then the cycle started. Activities (deposits) led to more clients which led to more referrals... our businesses started to grow and we were "earning interest on our interest", our business started growing exponentially.  The reason I bring this up and make the analogy is because of what we have seen happen with agents through this challenging market. On one end we have seen agents who have completely stopped doing activities (making deposits) to the point where their business have dried up. Metaphorically and in realistic terms they have gone to the bank to take all of their interest back out, they have been and will be leaving the business. Most agents let their activities (deposits) slip a little or maintain the level they were at, they kept working and their money stayed in the bank. The upper end and a good portion of you saw the need to make more deposits (activities) to keep your business going through the bad times. Coming into a new market it is so wonderful to see those of you on the upper end who have kept working through everything reap the rewards of your efforts, you are "earning interest on your interest" and your businesses are going to new heights. Everyday we wake up we have one simple decision to make, do we want to make a deposit or be forced to take a withdraw.

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee

"Every conquered temptation represents a new fund of moral energy. Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before."
- James Buckham

Ever noticed how great leaders often come from humble beginnings?  From the devastating depths of silence and inability to speak, Helen Keller inspired the world once she had overcome great adversity. 
Diagnosed with amyontrophic lateral sclerosis and standing before a full-house crowd in Yankee Stadium on July 4th 1939, Lou Gehrig proclaimed, "I am the luckiest man on the face of the earth!  I might have been given a bad break, but I 've got an awful lot to live for."  He spent the last two years of his life as Parole Commissioner for New York City, hoping to make a difference in the lives of young people in trouble.
Today, we use more contemporary quotes to explain the same concept.  We say, "No pain - no gain!" or, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."  No matter how we verbalize it, it is true that through adversity comes strength. 
Think back to the toughest times you've faced during your life.  Chances are you'll have to agree that you grew and became a better person for the experience.  As for temptations, they are more easily given in to than conquered.  Nevertheless, the value system to which you subscribe today probably evolved from temptations overcome.
As Richard Bach put it in his wonderful book "Illusions," "There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands.  You seek problems because you need their gifts."  Whether it be a physical or moral challenge you face, suffer if you must, but look also for its gift.  And remember another Richard Bach quote, "Here is a test to find out whether your mission here on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't."

Monday, February 20, 2012

Golf Tournament

Hello all,

"Golf Tournament"

As many of you know Childrens Miracle Network is the main charitable organization that RE/MAX supports. Offices are asked to participate in a variety of ways if they can, since 1992 the Company as a whole has raised over 100 Million Dollars for the cause. We do one big event a year that I ask everyone to participate in one way or another. It is our annual golf tournament which will be held this year on June 4th at Montgomery Country Club. For all of you that just gasped "Oh no but I don't golf" have no worries there are several different ways to participate. You can golf, get a foursome together or just join us for dinner after. This year we are also adding a party bus day for all of the non golfers who need a day to relax and blow off some Realtor steam. To make all of this happen smoothly while raising as much money as we can we need to form the committee for this year. We will meet 3-4 times before the tournament to discuss details, golfers, sponsors, raffle prizes... The first meeting will be March 11th at 11:00 in Germantown. Need as much participation in the tournament as possible but only looking for about four people from each office to be on the committee. Email me directly if you would like to participate on the committee and please save the June 4th date for a nice day away from the office with your colleagues. 

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"You will be what you will to be."
- James Allen

You say to yourself, "I think I'll go shopping," - and you do.  You say, "I think I'll buy that new CD," - and you do.  You say, "I think I'll put it on my credit card," - and you do.
James Allen lived from 1864 until 1912.  As was popular in the early 1900's, he wrote a series of short essays known as pamphlets.  The best known, "As A Man
Thinketh," was his most famous work.  In it, he provided timeless inspiration on the value of thought as it motivates us to action.
In his pamphlet, Allen states that, "All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts."  Speaking of mankind, he continues with, "They themselves are makers of themselves."  Thought precedes all action; thus, he reasons that by controlling our thoughts, we also control our destiny.
Notice in the first paragraph above that the "I think" part always seems to lead to the action of "doing."  Rarely do we hop in the car, drive aimlessly around, accidentally arrive at a music store, plunk down our credit card, and then say to yourself, "I think I'll go shopping."
If we are the sole controller of our thoughts, it stands to reason that we can also control our actions - and our outcomes in life.    Our mind and our thoughts are the seedbed of our futures.  What a novel thought.  Plant some great thoughts in your mind.  Do it today!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Good Story

Hello all,

"Good Story"

We heard this story at the Germantown sales meeting this week and it is such a good story to the state of the market I wanted to pass it along to everyone. Al & Mary Cardany got a listing in Potomac not to far from the office, brick rambler in the low 600's. Being good agents they did all of the proper marketing but also took an extra step for the first open house. They took the time to print invitations for 60 of the neighbors to a private showing between 12-1, hand wrote the addresses and sent them out. So the property hit the market Friday morning at 10, they had 5 showings by the end of the day. Saturday more showings with a couple of second showings. On Sunday between the neighbors private showing and the open house they had over 120 people come through. On Monday they received 3 offers and ratified that evening. As a result of their efforts and where the market is they also got 2 listing appointments and one future buyer from the transaction. They say every sign in the ground should replace itself with another sign in the ground through proper marketing. It looks like those days are coming back.

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"There's nothing as constant as change."
- Unknown

Feel on edge?  Not sure what to expect next? Nerves frayed?  Feeling overwhelmed by today's complex world situation?  How is it that some people are calm, fearless, and content, while others are frightful, worried, overwhelmed, and uncertain about the future? 
In the 1950's there were only three models of Chevrolet, about four dry cereals, two or three types of soap, etc.  Mom went grocery shopping weekly. There were no shopping malls, computers, cell phones, portable CD players (or CD's), 401(k)s, Internet, or co-ed dorms.  Life was simple and calm - and revolved around the family.  Technology didn't dominate daily life. 
Today, our choices have expanded exponentially.  There are hundreds of vehicle models, 50 different cereals on the shelf, software for every occasion, hundreds of cable channels, and millions of pages on the World Wide Web.  Think that might clog your thinking just a little?  Want to get back to simplicity, peace, and security?
Try a few of the following suggestions. Begin limiting your choices.  Spend less than you earn. Limit trips to the store. Spend the evening at home - with your family - with the television OFF.  Go directly home after work. Identify your principles - and live them. Count your blessings daily by entering them in a journal. Read. Treat yourself to a hot bath.
Think of your life as an extension cord with too many appliances plugged-in.  Each vies for the limited energy you have available until a short-circuit or fire occurs.  Start unplugging all those peripherals now, and you'll notice your life-light begin to shine.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Hello all,


On the strong encouragement of my better half I recently converted everything from Outlook to Google. I went kicking and screaming, cried like a baby but she was correct. The obvious cool things gmail and shared calendars is what I expected. However the really cool thing and the pleasant surprise was Google Docs. Verl Workman had touched upon this at the tech fair so I decided to jump in. If you live in any kind of world where you need to share documents with another person this is a must and it is so easy, a couple of examples. Business- Mark, Teri & I had a recruiting hit list in an excel spread sheet, we would meet every so often, talk about the agents... Mark would then need to redo the spread sheet, send it back out to us, we would have to delete our current one the upload the new one. I converted the spread sheet to google docs and invited Mark & Teri to share. Now the spread sheet sits on the cloud, we can view it at any time, make changes, notes... and no one else sees it but us. Real Estate Team- Lisa and her team have a client party coming up, Lisa started a guest list in google docs then invited Diane to join, they can both add the guests as they come in with out passing the doc back and forth. They have also started uploading their contract to close check sheets in google docs so everyone who is involved in the transaction can have access to it. If you have a team, are on a team or work with someone else the things you can do with this is endless. Family- are second oldest just got her drivers license and she drives some of the other children around for us. There are certain expenses she incurs doing this, gas food... that we need to reimburse her for. Mom, Dad and child can track everything through the spread sheet. 

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"It is of immense importance to learn to laugh at ourselves."
- Katherine Mansfield

Feel like you're losing touch with your children? Wish you understood your spouse better? Want to enjoy closer family ties without the background noise of X-Box games or loud music?  Does everyone seem to scatter the moment their last bite of food is swallowed? Introduce them to "the family game!"
It's a fun way to bring your family together at the dinner table and keep them there - without complaints.  Furthermore, you'll soon have them willingly sharing their dreams, disappointments, likes & dislikes, interests, successes, and innermost thoughts.  Finally, you will have created a new family tradition your children will delight in passing on to their own families.
Introduce your version of the family game at the end of a dinnertime meal when everyone is present.  Don't make a big production of it, just ask everyone to remain at the table.  Tell them you've heard of a fun game and would like to play it with them.  Explain that each person at the table gets one turn (and only one turn).  You begin by asking a question that everyone, including yourself, has to answer.  For instance, your question might be, "What's the most embarrassing moment you've ever had?"  Go around the table and let each family member contribute.
Once everyone answers, let the person at your left ask the next question.  It might be, "What's the worst birthday present you've ever received?" or maybe, "If you could go back in the past and live in a different time, when would it be and why?"  You'll be amazed at the sharing your family will suddenly experience. 
Once the "family game" becomes a regular part of meals, add this twist:  Before being seated, tell family members that they may sit in any seat at the table except their normal seat.  The catch is that they must also "act" like the person normally seated in the chair they choose.  This can produce hilarious results.
If your family seems fragmented and scattered, play "the family game."  It's a natural for bringing joy, depth, communication and understanding back to your loved ones.