Monday, January 28, 2013

Tom Ferry

Hello all,

"Tom Ferry"

We talk often about having proper systems in place to consistently generate leads. Day to day, week to week, month to month and year to year we need to be doing the activities that are required to build our businesses and feed our children (probably Lisa and I's problem more then yours). All agents are a bit different and all systems are a bit different. Usually agents use a hybrid of several different things they have seen over time and create their own system. The two top trainers in our industry in my opinion are Brian Buffini and Tom Ferry. Ferry is a little more internet based with referral systems built in, Buffini as we know is all referral. When you get an opportunity to see them live and it does not cost anything I believe you should not pass it up, you will come away with something that will help you with your business. All that being said Mr. Ferry will be in Bethesda on 2/5 and Tyson's Corner on 2/6 and it is free! Below is a link where you can sign up. 
I will be going to the Bethesda seminar, I will be leaving the Germantown office around 8 and can some people with me. Please let me know if you would like to join me? If we get a big group we will need more drivers :)

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"The philosophy of the classroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next." 
~ Abraham Lincoln
What do children and government have in common? That depends on which classroom you visit. If you have children and are actively involved in their lives, you are likely to encounter a classroom filled with intelligent, interested, involved and respectful children.
Unfortunately, many teachers today will tell you that's not what they are seeing. In some 1st & 2nd grade settings, children fall asleep because they spent the night in the family car while mom or dad sold drugs. Others are antagonistic and disrespectful, traits also learned from other family members. Still others are raised in a "no rules" family, where parents simply abdicate their parental responsibilities.
Many parents still take their responsibilities seriously. In fact, there appears to be a resurgence of young parents who teach their children the values of honesty, integrity, and service to others. It's about time. If you're one of them, I applaud your commitment to making the world a better place.
There has also been a dearth of honesty, respect and morality over the past 30 years or so. Children brought up during that time often experienced the negative effects of a no rules society. Today those same individuals are beginning to lead companies and be elected to office, yet we are surprised that company CEO's and elected officials could ever lie and mislead as they have been exposed to do recently.
As the children of today's classrooms are disposed to believe and behave, so will they as the adults of tomorrow's generation. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, you can make a difference for the next generation of leaders. Take time to encourage, nurture, and teach the children in your family. Sometimes, a single comment or gesture can give a child the impetus to become great.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Rick Thompson

Hello all,

"Rick Thompson"

I have written this coffee before, about 40 agents ago... however it is something I feel strong about so I wanted to write it again.

It was early 2006, I have had my license for 2 years at this point and Lisa for 1. Our business was starting to do well but still in it's infancy. I was sitting on floor duty one Sunday morning in the Germantown L&F office when a gentleman walked in. 

Joe - "Hello sir, may I help you?"
Response- "Hello my name is Rick Thompson"

In my mind- Holy crap Rick Thompson just walked in.

Joe - "Good to meet you, may I get you a cup of coffee or prepare a conference room for you?"
Rick- "No Sir, I have an appointment down the road in about an hour so I thought I stop in and visit."

Left side of my mind- Holy crap Rick Thompson just walked in and he has an hour to kill.
Right side of my mind- Don't say anything stupid, stupid.    

So Rick sat down in the lobby and we just started talking about Real Estate. Rick did not know me from Adam, I was just a newbie sitting on floor duty. Here is a 25M+ producer who I am sure if he put his mind to it could find better things to do with an hour then spend it with the kid on floor duty in another office. Rick was completely open with me about his business, marketing, thoughts on where the market was heading... I scribbled down every note I could. We started using his news letter after, some other techniques and we stopped doing some things that we were doing because I was told "that's dumb"  and he was right. After Rick left I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. This was not a life changing moment but it was a big "ah ha" moment for me. Many of the agents in our offices were secretive, protective and flat out paranoid, there was no sharing. From the time I went into management then on to being a Broker/Owner the concept of sharing and teaching within the offices has been very important to me. Nothing makes me happier then seeing one agent helping another out, a veteran agent helping a newer one. This business is difficult enough on it's own, having friends in the office to help and teach you is necessary. I will never stop learning or needing help, I am proud to call Rick Thompson my friend.  

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"We're not out to change the world, just the way you talk to it." ~ from a Vonage television commercial "The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate."
Joseph Priestly
How ironic that today’s “inspiration” comes from a marketing campaign for a communications company. It’s touted that technology saves you time and helps you to communicate better. But isn’t it more apparent that technology now leaves us with so little time that we barely have occasion to properly interact with others? 
Anything that “saves time” is simply making more time that you can then devote to some other pursuit. Dishwashers and clothes dryers were supposed to be modern time- and effort-reducing marvels, but did people just sit around and relax after the cleaning was done? No, because all the “extra time” created by technology has only served to increase the hectic pace of our lives, allowing us to do more and more in less and less time. 
What about cell phones and email? Promoted as easy and inexpensive ways to communicate, they have ultimately diminished the personal aspect of communication. Ever gotten a phone call from someone who was killing time in line at the grocery store, or even worse, in traffic? Critical for emergencies and conducting business, cell phones otherwise give us an excuse for quick calls on the run, before the battery dies or the signal drops out (or another calls beeps in). 
Email is another beast altogether, having reduced our language skills to nothing more than “emoticons” and run-on sentences without capitalization. Email has replaced the answering machine as the new way to ignore communication. The sender feels good because at least they made an effort to get in touch, but the recipient is in the privileged position of responding whenever they wish. 
Ideally, we would all be able to sit down at home with undivided attention and give someone an hour of quality time on the phone. Or perhaps sit down with pen and paper and actually handwrite a personal letter to a friend or relative who lives at some distance. But really, who has the time?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Free Company Websites

Hello all,

"Free Company Websites"

As most of you know Remax changed platforms for the company website on December 1st. There have been a few hick ups with it but we are figuring it out. The one really good thing that came about was the upgrade in your free company websites. I would say it is as you good or better then anything you are paying $50 or so a month for and it's free! There are 3 ways you can set this up, do it yourself, learn how to in Ella's Leadstreet 101 & 201 classes or you can schedule a one on one with Ella. If you would like to meet with Ella and have her set up your website you need to schedule a time to meet with her in Potomac. She is available in the mornings to do this and the appointments will only be in Potomac. This is available for all solo agents, partners and Team Leaders. 

Sales meeting today, 11:30-1:00 at That's Amore in Rockville.

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee

"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these." 
~ George Washington Carver 

At a fundraising dinner for a school serving learning-disabled children, the father of one of the students stood up to speak. He began by saying, “I believe that when a child like my Shay comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself.” He went on to tell the following story. 
Shay and his dad were walking past a park where some other boys were playing a game of baseball. Shay excitedly asked, “Do you think they’ll let me play?” Reluctantly, but hopefully, Shay’s father approached the boys. The captain looked at the others for some guidance, but finding none, said, “We’re losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning, but I guess he can play. We’ll try to put him in to bat in the ninth.” 
Still down in the ninth, Shay put on a glove and headed to the outfield. No hits came to him, but he was ecstatic. Then “Shay’s team” came to bat, scored, and got the winning run on base. Now Shay was next at bat. 
Shay’s obvious inexperience inspired the pitcher to move closer and lob the ball in softly enough for Shay to try to make contact. He missed the first toss, but the pitcher moved in even more before his next toss, which Shay ground balled right back to him. 
The pitcher picked up the grounder and threw the ball in a high arc toward right field, over the first baseman. Now the crowd started yelling and cheering for Shay to run, run, run to first base! Understanding his pitcher’s intentions, the right fielder threw the ball high over the third baseman’s head, and Shay made it to second while the winning runs headed home. 
The opposing shortstop directed Shay to third, while the crowd and all the players on the field went nuts. You might guess that Shay eventually made it around to home base, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam. 
“That day,” the father finished, “the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world.” A lovely illustration of the virtue of compassion, and how we all have myriad opportunities to make a huge difference in the lives of those around us. Pay it forward

Monday, January 7, 2013


Hello all,


I can't tell you how excited I am about 2013! In future Coffees I will be talking more about the 2012 numbers and what we can be expecting for the new year. For many of us the last 5-6 years have been a struggle, we have endured setbacks and it has been difficult to know where the market was going. All that is changing and it looks like housing will be leading us out of these difficult economic times. There is no better time to get focused and invest in yourself and your business. Let's get things started off with the sales meeting this month, we will be talking about numbers, goals, office calendars training calendars and giving out production awards for 2012!

Sales Meeting- January 14th, "That's Amore" in Rockville 11:30-1:00. 

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up." 
~ Tom Lehrer 
Much has already been written here about the modern notion of doing more and more in less and less time. This is somehow supposed to improve our lives, when we often simply end up fragmented and shell-shocked. 
Hand-in-hand with the idea of doing more is communicating more. But because of email, cell phones and the like, we are expected to communicate more in less time, and in less space, and ultimately, in less words. Cell phone "texting" is surely the beginning of the end of written language as we know and understand it. 
It's easy to lose sight of the fact that "communication" is not so much about the number of things we say, but how much is actually understood. Think back on instructors and speakers from whom you've enjoyed learning. There is probably at least one thing they all had in common: they spoke slowly, deliberately, and with focus. 
Of course, successfully communicating a single thought can actually be quite a challenge. Often, it's just easier to spit out whatever comes into our heads and quickly hit the "send" button before we have to put any more thought into it. Oscar Wilde once slyly wrote to a friend, "I would have written a shorter letter, but I didn't have the time." Think about it! 
Like trying to write a haiku verse, it can be difficult to distill our thoughts and ideas into a few carefully selected words that truly convey our meaning. But once we abandon such an effort, our communication just becomes so much "static." Be warned, there's a scientific definition coming: "Signal-to-noise ratio" - the power ratio between a signal (meaningful information) and the background noise. Ideally, our signals stand way out from our noise! 
So the next time you are preparing to write or speak about a topic, take the time to choose your words carefully and judiciously, and deliver them in a deliberate manner. Remember that, regardless of what you are conveying, people perceive speakers who talk more slowly as actually being more knowledgeable than those who speak more quickly. And on that note, this column has gone on long enough!