Monday, August 27, 2012

The most wonderful time of the yrar

Hello all,

"The most wonderful time of the year"

My yearly note of appreciation for all of the hard working parents in the office! Please click on the link below.

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for." ~ William Shedd
"He that will not sail till all dangers are over must never put to sea." ~ Thomas Fuller
Taken any chances lately? Have you a had a strong desire or some sense of wanderlust, but feared the consequences, or simply thought better of it? Just remember the old adage, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."
Of course we all desire a sense of security, and we don't relish the idea of courting danger. But look back on some of your most satisfying accomplishments - didn't they result from taking action that you or others first thought might be risky?
If we always stick to the path most travelled, we'll never discover anything new about our world or ourselves. Fearing the unknown will never allow us to understand it. Only by coming to understand the risks we might take can we develop the confidence and the courage necessary to overcome the dangers associated with trying to achieve our imaginative goals.
Don't allow yourself to be numbered among those who look back and wonder, "What if . . ." A well developed plan of action and some caution in its execution are advisable, but by all means move forward! Staying where you are and following the status quo is easy and safe, but it's likely that your dreams go way beyond where you are now. Don't let those dreams remain unrealized because you're afraid of the hazards involved in making them come true.
Like the ship in the harbor, you were built for greater things. It is the very meaning of life to struggle for what we most want and push the boundaries of our understanding, thereby improving the quality of our life and even of those around us.
Finally, consider the words of Brooks Atkinson, who said, "This nation was built by men who took risks - pioneers who were not afraid of the wilderness, business men who were not afraid of failure, scientists who were not afraid of the truth, thinkers who were not afraid of progress, dreamers who were not afraid of action."

Monday, August 20, 2012

Michelle Ladas

Hello all,

"Michelle Ladas"

I am very pleased to announce that Michelle Ladas will be starting with our company today and will have a dual role. I often tell people the biggest challenge of running the company so far has been the speed at which we have grown, trying to stay in front of it. Without a doubt our biggest weakness with this has been our intake system. When an agent transfers from one company to another the first 30 days can become cumbersome, learning 5-6 new systems at once is not fun. We also run into problems when we roll out things like Paperless Pipeline, Wolfconect... So Michelle's first roll is going to be "New Agent Coordinator" over the next 45-60 days Michelle will be learning our systems inside and out. After that she will be working with the new agents when they come aboard but she will also be YOUR one stop shop for help on any of our systems including:

Paperless Pipeline
Remax Mainstreet Design Center & Leadstreet
Children s Miracle Network (program being rolled out soon)
Video Training, we are setting up video in Aspen Hill and she will be training the agents on how to create and edit video.  
Office Events, Golf Tournament...

Michelle's second roll will be accounting assistant working with Doty. We are starting to grow in this area as well and Doty could use a little help (by the way we have 52 scheduled closings the next two weeks so you might want to put an apple on Doty's desk). Michelle will be working with Doty in the afternoons in Germantown. Lastly and for the sanity of Al Cardany Michelle will be covering Carol's lunch break in Germantown everyday. Let's be patient will Michelle gets her feet wet but please welcome her aboard when you see her.

Enjoy the coffee,

 Monday Morning Coffee
“All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten.”
~ American book title (Robert Fulghum, author)
“The children are watching us.”
~ Italian film title (Vittorio De Sica, director)
Turns out the children are listening, too. The question is, what are they learning and what are we teaching?
No matter whom we interact with, we should all take some time to reflect upon how our practices are matching up to our ethics and beliefs. We all have the potential to produce a profound effect on the people in our lives, both directly and indirectly. How we choose to act in our encounters helps define who we are: are we good stewards, good managers, good parents?
Consider the language we use when we deal with other people. Those who value power over action will use the language of judgment and superiority: “That idea is doomed..." or "You will never succeed..." or "That project is a waste of time.” Such language only serves to predict its own end and unfortunately, that end is often failure.
Now consider language that recognizes individuality while setting us up as collaborators: “I understand what you want..." or "I can only imagine how hard this is for you..." or "I'd like to help.” As we acknowledge the needs and feelings of others, we have better opportunities to show the same respect we’d expect in return. The encounter becomes a win-win situation.
As we interact with others, a good yardstick by which to measure our actions is to imagine how children would perceive them. Do we play by the rules? Are we being fair? Do we share? Are we doing unto others as we would have done to ourselves? During your next meeting, imagine a seven year old is watching the proceedings. Would you conduct yourself any differently?
Before children start to learn the later lessons of failure and success associated with competition, they first learn to “play well with others.” The politics of the playground still hold some powerful lessons for us, too!

Monday, August 13, 2012

"There, I said it"

Hello all,

"There, I said it"

Donna Pfeiffer on Lisa's team recently had a listing go on the market in Germantown. It was gorgeous, priced right and received 6 offers in the first 2 days. There were 2 offers that were very similar and the winner was chosen on Friday evening. Saturday morning while driving in the car Lisa received a phone call directly from the client of the contract that did not win. She was very disappointed and was trying to see if there was anyway the seller would reconsider. After the call I asked Lisa what had happened, she told me about the two offers and said the deciding factor was the call to the loan officer. The loan officer for the losing contract told Lisa that he had pulled credit but had not verified any of the information, income, assets... The loan officer for the winning contract had a full approval with all of the verification. My comment back to Lisa was "Shame on the agent for putting their client in that position in this competitive market". My first thought after I said it was that I could not believe how easily the words "competitive market" flowed out of my mouth with what we have been through. The second thought was I should probably say something to the agents in the offices. Folks, the bottom line is there is a serious lack of inventory and we are drifting back into a sellers market. If the house is in the right location, priced right and looks great there will be multiple offers. We need to start prepping and preparing our buyers for this. Any listing agent worth their salt is not going to accept a contract in a multiple offer situation without speaking to the loan officer first. It is imperative that you have your buyers go through the FULL mortgage application process before they are writing offers, if not they will be behind the 8 ball. This should be covered in the initial buyer consolation and we have loan officers in the offices at your ready to help you with this :)

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee

"If you take too long in deciding what to do with your life, you'll find you've done it."
-George Bernard Shaw

"Before enlightenment - chopping wood, carrying water. After enlightenment - chopping wood, carrying water." 
- Buddha


Oh - the frustration of it all. The first quote for today deals with the importance of having direction - goals - in your life. You know - we've all heard it for years - our life will be happier, more prosperous, more meaningful if we have a plan, know where we're going, and work systematically at getting there.

If you've tried to do that, you've undoubtedly met with a great deal of frustration along the way. It's like the expression "Life is what happens to you while you're planning other things." No matter how hard you work at your plan, there are those constant interruptions that get in the way, and make it seem so difficult. You are not alone.

As important as the first quote is, think about the second one. A modern paraphrase might go like this: "Before setting and achieving your goals, and having control over your life, your days are filled with trivia, interruptions, hassles, disappointments, family responsibilities, etc. After working your plan and achieving all your dreams and goals - your life is filled with trivia, interruptions, hassles, disappointments, family responsibilities, etc."

Taking control of your life can result in great personal satisfaction, provided you understand it does not bring you to perfection. Intertwined in our desire to achieve peace, success, and enlightenment, there is still plenty of wood to chop and water to carry. The day-to-day responsibilities of life do not disappear. We simply gain the strength to bear them more readily - and with a smile.

So - carry on with your plans and your dreams. They are vital to a great life. Yet remember the words of Jules Renard, who said, "There are moments when everything goes well; don't be frightened, it won't last."

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sales Meeting/Training

Hello all,

"Sales meeting/Training"

Tomorrow we will be holding a joint office sales meeting at Montgomery Country Club starting at 9:30, breakfast will be served. We have not gotten together for a bit so I would love to see as many of you there as possible. It is time to start getting ramped up for the second half of the year. Lisa and I will be doing a listing presentation training in the Potomac office August 29th at 11am. This will be helpful to anyone (both offices are invited) new to listing presentations, is feeling a little rusty or if you would like to pick up a tip or two. Veterans who attend please come prepared to share. We will cover the steps you go through while you are there, pricing and Lisa will show her presentation from her IPAD. Please RSVP to Michelle, we will get pizza delivered after so we need a head count. 

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come." 
~ Victor Hugo
There seems to be a lot of anger in the world today. Forget the national and global squabbles, and just take a look closer to home - on your TV, in the schools, among fellow employees - right in your own backyard
There's another attitude issue that could stand some help - disrespect. It seems like the days are gone when youngsters (even 20-somethings) value their elders, social customs, even the laws of the land. Common courtesy and politeness, even among adults, seems non-existent at times.
Want to be a changing force in your personal world? It's easy, costs nothing, and goes a long way towards making a meaningful contribution for the better. It's accomplished with an electrical impulse. Really. Consider your brain. Everything you think of, each idea you have, each action you take begins with an electrical impulse - a single thought. The thought required to cause change is called an "expectation."
Teachers use this thought daily in their classrooms. They EXPECT students to listen, to observe silence, to walk single-file, to not cut in line, and to learn. They EXPECT not to be challenged, disrespected, or ignored when they speak. The best among them EXPECT nothing less than excellence. Know what? Their students respond positively to those expectations.
The electrical impulse called "expectation" is simple to enact, yet more difficult to enforce. You have to really mean it. As a country, a people, even families, we've grown soft on expectations - and it shows. Fear of offending someone seems the rule. Why not be "impulsive" for the next 30 days with those you love by setting a new, higher standard of expectations. The results will both amaze and delight!