Monday, April 30, 2012

The Little Guy

Hello all,

"The Little Guy"

Everyone will agree that this Real Estate cycle was long and deep, but it is a cycle. At this point good things are happening, good agents are prospering, the higher end is moving again, prices have leveled off and increasing in some areas. But putting our forward thinking hat on the next really cool thing to happen is going to be the return of the move up buyer. We are seeing trickles of it here and there but at some point it will be a wave. We have serious inventory issues in all price ranges but most prevalent in the lower end. Basic economics will take over and this price range will increase at a higher percentage then the upper end in the cycle, less supply and more demand. So naturally as the lower end increases in value owners will be gaining equity in their homes to use as down payments on higher priced houses. So.... and my point is in looking at your marketing budget and where you are allocating your funds let's not forget about the "Little Guy". If you are up north you might want to consider farming an area of townhouses in the 225K-275K range, down south you might want to look at a neighborhood with older and smaller houses. It is a long term commitment but nothing is better then getting 2 deals out of 1.

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee

"Gardner's Law: Eighty-seven percent of all people in all professions are incompetent." 

~ John Gardner

Let's hope today's "inspiration" isn't actually true, although we've all probably felt that way at one time or another. Regardless of the percentage, however, it cannot be denied that incompetence really does exist in every profession, even those like physicians, attorneys, school bus drivers and stock brokers.

Some people do a great job no matter what it is they do, while others can't seem to succeed even after trying several careers. Sometimes it's not really a matter of competence so much as matching a job to specific abilities, interests and personality. An introvert who enjoys working alone probably shouldn't pursue a career in communications, while a creative person who enjoys the outdoors likely wouldn't be happy in accounting. No matter how hard you try, you just can't force yourself to love brussels sprouts!

How much of the "incompetence" that we encounter is simply the result of a person who is mismatched for their job? We all have certain skills and personality traits that better suit certain types of careers, but we often start down that path before we've ever gotten to really develop and know ourselves. We believe our parents, guidance counselors, and spouses more than we do ourselves sometimes.

Realizing your true personality is challenging. Applying that knowledge to your choice of career is even more difficult, but absolutely necessary if you want to be happy in your choice. If you're feeling dissatisfied, try to find at least some small aspect of your job that you find enjoyable, and aggressively apply your personality to it to produce more satisfying results.

If that's not working for you, perhaps it's time to take a long hard look at where you've been and where you are and why you don't like it there. Matthew Arnold said, "Resolve to be thyself; and know that he who finds himself, loses his misery." You've probably learned a lot about other people in your lifetime. Aren't you ready to know yourself?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Got A Good Feeling

Hello all,

"Got A Good Feeling"

I am not sure about the rest of you but I have a really good feeling about The Montgomery County Maryland Real Estate market. We gained some momentum last spring kept it up through the summer, fall and winter. Now that we are squarely in the spring market this thing really feels like it has some legs, the beginning of a solid run with year over year gains.  I can't speak to the Potomac office because of the lack of data from last year. However for the Germantown office we finished 2011 with total volume of just shy of 100M, this year we are tracking 130M, an obvious increase of 30%. Mark, Teri and I keep a close eye on the competition and their numbers. The interesting thing about the numbers and contrary to a Washington Post article in the Saturday Real Estate section is the disparity between the haves and the have not's. There is an office belonging to this company that is exactly 1 mile from our Potomac office. This office has 83 MRIS ID's but only 28 of them have sold ONE thing in the last year, that means 67% of their workforce blanked the last 12 months. In our Potomac office we have 44 MRIS ID's and at least 37 of the agents have sold something in the last year, only 16%. The old rule was 80/20, 20% of the agents did 80% of the business. I believe that number has gone to 90/10 with the 10% doing 90% of the business. Thanks to each of you for being in the 10%

Enjoy the coffee,

  Monday Morning Coffee


"Opportunities are seldom labeled."
- John A. Shedd

From "Wellsprings of Wisdom" by Ralph Woods comes this story:
A successful businessman was invited to address a group of young executives on the subject of opportunities. He began his talk by tacking to the wall a big sheet of white paper and placing a black dot in the middle of the sheet. "What do you see?" he asked, pointing to the paper on the wall. "A black spot," called out everyone in the audience. "Yes, I see a black dot too," replied the speaker, "but none of you saw the much greater expanse of white. This is the point of my talk on opportunities."
While it is so easy to focus on the "black dots" - the immediate tasks that face us each day - how often do you grasp the opportunities that no one else notices in the white space? Don't answer that you haven't the time to notice the white space. Do you ever find yourself daydreaming? When you do, you're visiting that white space. The question is: Do you recognize your ability to bring those daydreams to fruition?
Look around you. Do you find yourself envying what others accomplish? Perhaps you can learn from their example. All they have done is to act on their dreams - to recognize the value of their white space and put it into motion.
So - what's missing in your life? Why not try filling in the blanks - the white spaces - with the achievement of your dreams? Maybe a legal pad and pencil can help. Try making a list of every dream you've ever had. Write them all down, all of them. When you finish, place an asterisk next to the five you would most like to accomplish or experience.
Finally, make those five items the "black dots" upon which you will focus until completed. Once identified, it becomes much easier to concentrate your attention on them. Opportunity knocks!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Success Story

Hello all,

"Success Story"

Nothing makes me happier then when I see good things happen to our agents and when I see your businesses go to another level. Dave Goldberg came to us from Allied Realty about a year ago. At Allied Dave was a successful Real Estate agent and oversaw their property management division, a portfolio of 150+ houses built up over 20 years. Dave was comfortable but wanted more, as all of you know taking the plunge can be a scary decision. Dave walked away from Allied and their property management, transferred his Real Estate business to RE/MAX Town Center and opened "Goldberg Property Management Group". Last week Dave was in stiff competition for a 14 home portfolio in Potomac, our boy came out on top! Including the 14 from last week Dave's total portfolio stands right at 90 in just over a year, simply amazing. Big congratulations to Dave and Joyce! The American dream is alive and well.

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"Men are disturbed not by things that happen, but by their opinions of the things that happen."

~ Epictetus

A well-known motivational speaker once said, "No one knows enough to be a pessimist."  He also quoted statistics showing that a very high percentage of the things we worry about are either A) things that never happen, or B)
things over which we have no control anyway.  His point?  Not only do we not have enough information to justify our worries, we also are virtually unable to alter the outcome of most situations.

Our worst fears are generally of the unknown (not enough information).  Our imagination runs wild, conjuring up worst-case scenarios.  We become fearful, anxious, and even overwhelmed - yet the source of our fear is
non-existent (except in our minds). Consider these oft-quoted phrases:

"Think you can - think you can't - either way you're right."
"As a man thinketh, so is he."
"Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they're yours."

In other words, by your thoughts alone, you control the outcome.  Although there exist many risks to our peace-of-mind during uncertain times, we still have the ability to pursue our very best hopes and dreams.  We may find that
their achievement requires more effort than usual.  Doubt may creep in. Nevertheless, as you have heard many times, "It's all in your head."

Monday, April 9, 2012

Back in the swing

Hello all,

"Back in the Swing"

Just getting back into the swing of things so a light coffee this week. Wanted to remind everyone that the Germantown sales meeting is tomorrow 9:30 at the Black Rock Center and Potomac is next Tuesday at Founding Farmers.

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee

"I keep waitin' for my ship to come in, but all that comes in is the tide."

- Lyrics from "Hard Time Losin' Man" by Jim Croce


The well-known Nike commercials have hammered into our heads the phrase "Just do it!"  Regardless of how you view their advertising, there is magic in the words "just do it."  The real key to the message is "doing it," a.k.a. taking action.  Anything you have ever desired is available to you if you will it.

Now, consider those who are constantly washed over by the "tide."  Note that the lyrics in Jim Croce's song say, "I'm WAITING for my ship to come in . . ."  and then, "but all that comes in is the tide."  That sounds like a victim's lament, as in, "Oh poor me, here I am ready and excited, waiting for my ship to come in, and I get dumped on by the sorry tide.  Bummer.  How unfair."  Duhh!  Helloooo!

It's easy to see that "action" is the opposite of "waiting."  Yet, it's so easy to do nothing - waiting passively.  Action requires energy, enthusiasm, movement, and objectives, while waiting requires not even a thought.

Whether your desire (your "ship") is a relationship, wealth, a healthy body, or a new car, you must be the captain, not the port - the "master of your fate," not a tide-washed, sand-covered beach ball.  Life is great!  On your next trip to the beach, buy a boat, a map, and a compass, and then choose your own port of call.  You'll dine at the Captain's Table every day!

Monday, April 2, 2012


Hello all,


Enjoying some R&R with the family this week on spring break. Listings and contracts are rolling in at a great pace in both offices. Keep it up and thanks for all of your hard work!

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee

"Whoever gossips to you will gossip of you."

- Spanish Proverb


You know the type - there's a gossip in everyone's life.  It may be a friend, an acquaintance, or a total stranger.  Regardless, it is the person who shares with you any amount of information about another, either about what they have accomplished, or more often, what they have not.

Why does a gossip perform his or her service so readily?  Self-aggrandizement is often the culprit.  Knowing such valuable information about another as to be able to share it, reasons the gossip, reflects favorably on the provider of such knowledge.  In fact, however, gossiping is nothing more than the act of judging others.

When a friend passes judgment on another, might it be that, in your absence, they also pass judgment on you?  In most cases that is true.  Thus, one measure of another's character might be the presence or absence of such a tendency.

Steven Covey (of "Seven Habits..." fame) offers a solution when he says, "If you do not judge others, they will not judge you."  In other words, if you are of such character as to never discuss the merits or actions of others, unless they are favorable, it is highly likely that others will reciprocate in kind.  If someone makes a negative comment about another, Covey suggests that your reply might be, "That's interesting.  He has always spoken very highly of YOU."

Many wise men, in many languages, over many centuries, have repeated and paraphrased the maxim "Judge not, that ye be not judged."  It's easy to neutralize the gossip's sting by practicing such clear advice!