Monday, September 24, 2012

Excellence is a moving target

Hello all,

"Excellence is a moving target"

This one of my favorite sayings in life and in business. What it means is no matter how good we get at our craft things around us are always changing so we need to be constantly seeking knowledge and making changes in the way we do things to stay on top. I just spent three days at a commercial real estate symposium and I will be the first to tell you that 50% of the time it was a painful experience but very necessary. The other 50% was either a great learning experience or was spent networking with other agents which can be a great energy booster. We need to do theses things to be the best that we can be. The reason I bring this up is I would like to talk about the two training's we have coming up.
Fall Training Series- The full series is intended for newer agents and or agents who are looking to get a little jump start to there business. Combine this with the Peak Producers class after the first of the year whoever takes both should be well on there way to bigger and better things. However I would like everyone to take a look at the individual classes and see if there is a training that would help them out.

Verl Workman Seminar- This is a one day event and I fully expect as many of you to be there as possible. If you have a closing, something already scheduled... I understand that you can't make it. However if you have nothing going on and you just don't want to go you will be missing out. Verl is a very high energy high knowledge person and I guarantee you will come away with some items that will help you with your business, no matter what level agent you are. There will also be 100+ agents there from our offices and others, a great networking opportunity and energy booster. For our Mortgage and Title affiliates please feel free to invite as many of your people as you like.

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore."
~ Unattributed
It was refreshing to read the article entitled "Thirty Under Thirty" in the REALTOR(r) magazine. Thirty agents under the age of thirty talked about their approach to real estate, and most seemed to "think outside the box." They didn't appear to be bound by conventional rules of marketing conduct.
Think back to when you were a young child. You were totally uninhibited by rules, so you weren't afraid to try new things. Back then, there wasn't even a "box" to confine your thinking or actions. You did whatever worked for you.
Then, you began to grow up and your parents, then your teachers, began building a box for you. "Stay in line, be quiet, don't touch this or that," they admonished. "Good little girls and boys don't talk back, eat snacks between meals, or chew with their mouths open."
The rules got more sophisticated as you got older, and you began to conform. Now you're all grown up, comfortable in the box the world built for you, and it's not so easy anymore to "think outside the box".
Not so for the newcomers - the youth of the real estate industry. They are enthusiastic, energetic, and with their "no rules" thinking, they're going to mop up on those competitors who are too comfortable in their box.
If you've been in the business for more than ten years, you have one powerful advantage over the newbies - real estate wisdom. You're a survivor and know your way around the business. Now it's just a question of combining that base of knowledge with some of the unfettered new thinking of the under 30 crowd. Old dogs CAN learn new tricks, after all!

Monday, September 17, 2012


Hello all,


As I always say we need to keep politics or debatable issues out of our business, however when it affects our business we need to know about it and have a talk track. Quantitative Easing is when the Federal Reserve brings liquidity to the market by printing money and buying financial assets from banks. With QE1 & QE2 the Federal Reserve did their thing and brought the money to the market by buying bonds. With QE3 the Federal Reserve plans to buy 40 billion in Mortgage Backed Securities every month until they feel that the economy is stabilized and the unemployment drops to where they are comfortable. Mortgage backed securities are bundles of mortgages that the banks sell in the secondary market to investors. The idea is that if the Federal Reserve buys the securities interest rates will stay low and the banks will have capacity to issue more mortgages. These two points are where QE3 will have an affect on the Real Estate market. One of the biggest problems after the mortgage crisis was that credit was frozen and the banks lost their capacity to lend, people who should have gotten a mortgage were now having a difficult time getting one. So over the next couple of years people who should get a mortgage will receive one and interest rates will remain low courtesy of the Federal Reserve. This may not be a savoir for the Real Estate market but it won't hurt either. Again, not trying to start an argument with anyone on whether or not QE3 should have happened. I just wanted to make sure you could explain it's affects on the Real Estate market with your clients if necessary.

Please remember sales meeting is this Wednesday 11:30 at That's Amore. 

Enjoy the coffee,

  Monday Morning Coffee
"We need to learn to set our course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship."
~ General Omar Bradley 
Do you find yourself drifting on an ocean of indecision, misdirection, unfulfilled aspirations? Feel like you're not getting as far along as your colleagues, or as far along as they say you should? It's probably time to throw out your compass!
While it can be helpful to look to others for inspiration, don't make the mistake of believing that you can or even should try to achieve the same accomplishments. Using a map of your own making, set your individual course according to where you want to go and how quickly you want to get there.
Indeed, you can set your sights much higher than the "landmarks" or "passing ships" of those people around you who tell you what you should do or what you shouldn't do. You'll lose your valuable perspective of the Big Picture if you pay too much attention to the advice or achievements of others.
Whether you are passing them or they are passing you, don't lose sight of what is guiding you and where. Your dreams and ambitions are the unmoving and constant "North Star" in your life. While everything else around you can change so quickly from day to day, it's your own beliefs and convictions that give you the steady course you need to successfully navigate those changes.
You'll never get anywhere by trying to determine the success or even the path of your journey by the "passing ships" around you. Stay focused solely on what you believe and know to be true, and ignore the nay-sayers! They may be gone tomorrow, but your dreams will be the stars in your sky forever.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Deja Vu All Over Again

Hello all,

"Deja Vu All Over Again"

There has been a lot of talk lately about jobs and the economy, jobs are always the lagging indicator of an economic recovery. The housing market moves in cycles just like the economy and the lagging indicator in the housing market is transactions. All of the right things are starting to happen, percentage of distressed properties are going down, buyer confidence is back, inventory is low, prices are going up and the basic rules supply and demand are taking over. However where are the transactions? Let's take a look at the history of transactions in 2 zip codes, this is over a time period of January 1st - August 31st of each year in 5 year increments.

 Year    20874      20850                                  
1997      409           242
2002     1,181         414
2007      697           374
2012      460           326

Both zip codes peeked in transactions in 2005. The up county zip code is a little more sobering but both show the same trend. It was in the late 90's that the housing market started coming out of it's slump and as things started to improve the transactions started to increase. Obviously after the bubble busted the transactions started to decrease. In my opinion we are in 1997 and it is "Deja Vu All Over Again" however with some mechanics put in place that will limit how far the market can run. For the most part only people who should get a mortgage will receive one. Prices going up should be gradual but the number of transactions coming to the market should go up significantly each year for the foreseeable future. So my question to you is and since we don't get paid unless we close a transaction... what are you doing in your business today to capture as many of these future transactions as you can?

Enjoy the coffee,

 Monday Morning Coffee
"It is best to act with confidence, no matter how little right you have to it."
~ Lillian Hellman
So, when was the last test or exam that you took? Or have you experienced a recent evaluation of your work? Many of us, even if we're "the boss," have to go through a periodic appraisal of how well we carry out our jobs. Often, this assessment comes from outside - a supervisor "objectively" examines our performance. But what if you yourself could take the responsibility for your own evaluation?
The trouble with some people is that they give themselves poor grades, sometimes in spite of the fact that others may highly regard their work. Those who lack confidence in their own ability to lead and to succeed often dismiss evidence that clearly illustrates their potential. If you're not happy with your own work, it simply won't matter how others feel about it.
Remember that feelings don't depend on the facts. Feelings actually create the truth. Think of it this way: your feeling of confidence begins with the feeling, and it's that feeling that then creates the confidence! You become self-assured by first believing in yourself. You don't break out of the starting gate, dash first across the finish line, and then begin to believe you're a winner. That's putting the cart before the horse!
Beginning with the belief that you will succeed is the first and necessary step toward achieving your goal. Sometimes you will win and sometimes you will not, that's a fact of life. But as long as you carry your faith in yourself, you'll always possess that potential to win that some people simply lack. They haven't yet realized that improving their performance begins with improving their feelings about themselves.
Roy L. Smith said, "The man who cannot believe in himself cannot believe in anything else." So choose whatever goal your heart desires, but first choose to believe in your ability to reach it! 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Training Schedule

Hello all,

"Training Schedule"

But first... So about 2 years ago the state of Maryland decided that the Broker could no longer be on a team. My wife and her team had a little party and I was gone. However having the five children and other things that keep us busy inevitably I am going to be called on from time to time just to fill in when a body is needed. Last week I was covering a home inspection for the team, everything was going great and the place was in good condition. I had the buyers doing some things so I set off for the water meter read, looked everywhere and could not find the meter. So I went back upstairs and asked the buyers to take a look at something downstairs while I took a look around outside. This was a diversion so I could go outside and call Lisa, so I got my wife on the phone.

Joe- "Need help, looked everywhere and could not find the water meter"
 Joe- "This isn't funny, I need it before settlement"
Lisa" Laughter and You won't be able to find it"
Joe- "Please stop playing with me they are coming outside"
Lisa "It is on a well big guy"

So maybe the state was right...

Save the dates:

We are very pleased to announce that we are rolling out a 12 week training series starting on 9/27 and finishing on 12/20. Subjects include Social Media, Prospecting, Contracts, Time Management.... The entire series is intended for our newer and mid level agents but there might be one or two that will catch the attention of everyone. We could all use a little refresher course from time to time. We are going to back this up with Buffini's Peak Producers after the first of the year. Anyone who takes the 12 week training in the fall gets the Buffini training for free, we are of the mindset that if you take both courses you will be well on your way to improving your Real Estate career so we will cover the $400 for Buffini. More to come.

 9/17- Sales meeting will be at 11:30, venue to be announced soon.

10/18- Also very pleased to announce we have booked Verl Workman to come in for an all day training. It will be held on the main stage at the Black Rock Center. Much more on this to come soon but please mark your calendars and save the date.

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"Wise sayings often fall on barren ground,but a kind word is never thrown away."
~ Sir Arthur Helps
EASY AS 1-2-3!
Remember the old "Dirty Harry" movies? Clint Eastwood delivered the scowling expression and threatening phrase "Go ahead, make my day." The implication was that Harry's day would be complete if only the criminal facing the end of his gun barrel would just flinch and give Harry the excuse he needed to blow him away.
Okay, that doesn't sound like good fodder for an inspiring Coffee column, but it is a good pop culture reference to beg the question "What does it take to make YOUR day?" Or, even better, "What does it take to make someone else's day?"
You might think it challenging to find a way to really pick someone up, but remember that you don't necessarily have to be "down" to be lifted up. The truth is that we have absolutely no idea when we could be making a life-altering impact on somebody, with just a simple word or act of kindness.
Let someone you work with, out of the clear blue, how much you appreciate their contributions. Or tell them how much confidence you have in their work or their ability to complete an upcoming project with flying colors. You'll be amazed how their expression brightens, their pace suddenly picks up, and everything about them says, "You just made my day!"
We live in an increasingly fast-paced society, where more and better work - completed in less time - is simply expected. Make it clear at work and at home that while performance is expected, it is also nurtured and rewarded, if only with kind words and fair treatment. Soon you'll find everyone around you meeting and exceeding those expectations.
We know the old real estate adage: the three most important features of a property are "location, location, and location." In light of this week's topic, consider that Henry James said, "Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind."