Monday, April 29, 2013

Sign Up Genius

Hello all,

"Sign Up Genius" 

Just some small office news this week... starting this afternoon then every Monday afternoon moving forward you will be receiving an email from Ella about our upcoming events. Office parties, trainings the next two weeks and any other functions we have going on will be included in the email. There will be links to Sign Up Genius for each event in the email, we would like for everyone to use this as the main source of signing up for events so we can track how many of you will be attending.

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"Cause change and lead; accept change and survive; resist change and die."
~ Ray Norda 

Today's inspiring quote puts a spin on the Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. The question is, how do you handle change? Which of the above categories do you fit into? 
Some people choose to handle change by creating it. These are the proactive visionaries who aren't afraid of change, who aren't afraid of the challenges that leaders face. Not everyone can participate in this category, and that's alright. Where would the leaders be without followers? 
Followers are the survivors in the category of "accept change and survive." There may not be as much glory in just surviving, but those who can work with change exhibit a strength of their own. These are the positive reactionaries, people who make changes within to help them cope with the outside turmoil that they understand they cannot alter. 
Finally, there are those who choose to participate in the final category - the negative reactionaries who suffer from ulcers, chronic fatigue, and headaches that result from banging their heads against the wall. While there is value in questioning the changes around you, there is little value in resisting the inevitable. There is little value in having short-sighted vision. There is little value in stagnation. 
Some of us have the courage to cause change. Most of us find a way to accept change. A few of us always fight it, ultimately finding ourselves on the short end of the stick. Ally yourself with those successful people in the first two groups. Change is hard, change is challenging, change is the only thing that you always count on to build your strengths and improve your understanding. 
Take control of change and convince yourself that nothing grows without it. Repeat Ray Norda's words like a mantra every morning to remind yourself just how much power you have.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Cost is only an issue in the absence of value

Hello all,

"Cost is only an issue in the absence of value"

When is the last time you saw a "Help You Sell" or "Assist To Sell" sign in someones yard? What percentage of listing appointments are you fighting the FSBO logic on? When everything crashed the professional real estate agents prospered, our "value" increased naturally because selling real estate was not easy.  Well... we are not there yet but since everything in this country runs in cycles we will be heading back there at some point, fighting FSBO'S and discount Brokers from time to time. The data and the media drive this. When sellers hear that their is no inventory and houses are flying off the market over list price our perceived "value" deteriorates. It might be a good time to check our systems, presentations, work habits... to make sure we are properly relaying our "value" as professional real estate agents. It is an easy fight to win, we just need to make sure we are armed with the right tools then charm them with our experience and knowledge.

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee

"Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?"  
~ Charlie McCarthy (Edgar Bergen, 1903-1978) 

Today's quote is funny, but also sobering in light of recent studies of hard-working Americans. You see, as it turns out, hard work could actually kill you. Well, it's not actually the work that does it, but the amount of work and the time spent at it. 
Today's quote is funny, but also sobering in light of recent studies of hard-working Americans. You see, as it turns out, hard work could actually kill you. Well, it's not actually the work that does it, but the amount of work and the time spent at it. 
Most of us consider a full time job to involve forty hours per week. Obviously, for those in the real estate industry, emergency services, and any other number of professions, that number can range much higher. Now a University of California (Irvine) study of nearly 25,000 people reveals that workers who clocked more than 51 hours at the office each week were 29% more likely to have high blood pressure than those who worked 39 hours or less. The likelihood of elevated blood pressure increases tandem to the number of hours worked. 
Maybe that figure doesn't surprise you, and maybe high blood pressure doesn't worry you as much as it should. This whole work-stress study was inspired by an interesting phenomenon in Japan. They have a word for it - "Karoshi" - and it means "sudden death from overwork." (!) 
As highly charged as the work ethic is in Japan, Americans today actually clock more hours than the Japanese. Then consider that most of the developed world legislates laws to limit work hours - except the United States. What we have so endearingly termed the "rat race" seems to hold no great prize on the other side of the finish line. Like Lily Tomlin once observed, "The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win you're still a rat." 
There is a positive note here, and that is that the highest hypertension was more common among clerical and unskilled workers than among professionals. That figure, too, might not surprise you, but it's comforting to know that more mentally challenging work seems to protect us from other potentially negative effects. Just remember that your body and your mind work their best when you rest your best! 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Mark Strosnider

Hello all,

"Mark Strosnider"

It is with great pleasure that we are announcing Mark has been promoted to General Manager overseeing the three offices. Since coming on board Mark has done a great job in recruiting and developing agents. Marks main focus will be working with the Branch Managers in regards to the needs of the agents. You all will have great resources in Mark and your Branch Manager to help with your Real Estate careers. I will continue to focus on the operations of the three offices. At todays sales meeting we will be distributing a "Who's Who" in the company and their job description so you know who to turn to when situations arise.

Sales Meeting Today - Please remember we have a guest speaker starting at 10:30. Would love to see as many of you there as possible.

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee

"Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it, you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known."  
~ Garrison Keillor
The next time your hope or ambition is thwarted, and you believe that you didn't get what you wanted, think about the quote above. The problem so many of us have is that we're not happy with what we've already got. We believe that there is something or someone else out there, outside of ourselves, that will make us happier than we are now. 
It's really so much easier to simply find a way to appreciate what we've got. That's not to say that we should all become complacent. Doing things to make other people happy is a wonderful diversion from trying to do so for ourselves. Just remember that you are the one who is ultimately responsible for your happiness, not the "something or someone" that is outside of you. 
While trying to make others happy, also remember that they are ultimately responsible for their happiness as well. Don't blame yourself if you don't think you did enough to cheer up a friend, or you weren't able to give them that gift they really wanted. The greatest gift you can give is to help someone realize that they already have everything they really need. Sometimes this is the gift you need to give yourself. 
Sit down today and try counting your blessings - list things like family, friends, pets, mobility, a satisfying job, shelter, financial independence, food in the fridge - any and all things great and small. Stand back and take a look at the "Big Picture." No matter what you think you want, you'll realize that you've got it pretty darn good right here, right now. Anything else is just icing on the cake! Enjoy the sweetness! 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Nobody in the room is smarter than everybody in the room

Hello all,

"Nobody in the room is smarter than everybody in the room"

This is another one of my favorite sayings courtesy of Walt Disney. Pretty straight forward but in a nutshell Walt believed if you got a group of intelligent people together it was a lot easier to figure things out then trying it alone, I agree. In that fashion we will be introducing two new trainings/get togethers starting this next month. They will be held on the first Wednesday of each month (excluding July & December) from 10:30-12:00. 

Newer Agent Group- This is intended for anyone who has been in the business 2-3 years or less and has done 10 transactions or less. I will lead this group, it will be a round table discussion to talk about the issues that newer agents face. If we can learn from each other's victories or mistakes it makes us all better. I will alternate this training between Germantown and Aspen Hill. 

Experienced Agent Group- This is for everyone else. Mark will lead this group and it will be held in the Potomac office each month. Same concept, open conversation and information sharing to help make everyone better.

We will have a flyer out soon with the dates. 

Our next week long new agent fundamentals series starts 4/22. Dates and times are below. This intended to get our new agents up and running but anyone can attend if they would like to get a refresher on something. Please send me an email if you would like to sit in on one of the classes.

MRISJoeMonday 4/22 10:00-11:30Germantown
Working with BuyersJoeMonday 4/22 12:30-2:00Germantown
Contracts 1AlTuesday 4/23 10:00-11:30Germantown
Contracts 2AlTuesday 4/23 12:30-2:00Germantown
FinancingMortgage/JoeWednesday 4/24 10:00-11:30Germantown
Settlement ProcessJoeWednesday 4/24 12:30-2:00Germantown
Zip FormsPauletteThursday 4/25 10:00-11:30Germantown
Open Houses & Floor DutyPauletteThursday 4/25 12:30-2:00Germantown
Building a business 101JoeFriday 4/26 10:30-12:00Germantown
Contract To CloseJoeFriday 4/26 12:30- 2:00Germantown
 Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"For fast-acting relief, try slowing down."  
~ Lily Tomlin
You've heard it a million times, "Less is more!" If less really is better, then maybe it's time to start giving yourself, and even your family, an "allowance." This isn't about money, per se, but more about the other things that either drain our resources or over-complicate our lives. 
This “allowance” idea got rolling in light of rising fuel prices. Instead of a monetary gas allowance for the family vehicle(s), consider enforcing a weekly "mileage" allowance. By combining trips and walking or biking whenever possible, there could be enough miles "left over" for the extra trip to the mall or concert hall. 
This works with a host of activities, and improves life by simplifying it. How about a television budget? Are there really three hours of television worth viewing every night? One hour a night during the week would leave oodles of time to watch a favorite movie or sports event on the weekend. Or just hit the "Record" button, and watch when there's a better time. 
The same could go for time spent surfing the net or sending funny emails. It's easy to convince ourselves that we're "working" when we're on the computer, but often we're just passing time that could be spent more industriously. Leave as much "real" computer work as possible at the office, and try to limit the time spent in front of the screen at home. There is such a thing as becoming too wired! 
Likewise, if you're trying to lose weight, you've probably encountered the concept of the "food allowance," or calorie budget. Like everything else, you have to keep track of how much you're consuming, how much is left, and when to stop. Many of us are moving so fast these days that we neglect to tally our activities against our need for "down time." We don't realize that we've maxed out our time and need to stop. 
Whether it's driving, watching tv, or net surfing, we could likely benefit from a reduction in any or all. We forget to put "Relax!" on our list of things to do. Work it into your "budget" by using less of your time "allowance" on other things. You don't have to stop completely; you just need to come into balance. 
Enlighten yourself this week by keeping a journal of how much time you spend on all your various activities, and look for somewhere to make a cut. By next Monday, you'll be glad you did!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Toes In The Sand

Hello all,

"Toes In The Sand"

Spent a good part of last week with my toes in the sand drinking a cold one. The only inspiration I could come up with for my Monday Morning Coffee this week was to have my toes in the sand drinking a cold one.

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"The only people to get even with are those who have helped you." 
~ Anonymous
Most of us can probably look back over our lives and careers and recall people who have either helped or hindered us along the way. Which group do you think is more worthy of your consideration? 
Unfortunately, many people spend too much time worrying about how they’ve been wronged. The bad stuff tends to stick in our minds, and we’re less inclined to recall the positive deeds and actions. While we may LEARN from our negative experiences, we can actually TEACH by demonstrating our positive attitude. 
Instead of focusing on those around you who make decisions that set you back, or whose incompetence is driving you nuts, try to take some inspiration and guidance from those who have mentored you or shown an exceptional level of performance. Fight back against those negative influences by raising yourself to the next level. 
The most successful and inspirational people around us generally achieve their accomplishments for a greater good. They’re unselfish in their success. They work hard to promote the strength of their company, not just themselves. They volunteer by helping to feed the hungry, visit the lonely, and support those in need. One is not selfish for pursuing one’s own good – selfishness comes from neglecting the good of others. 
John Andrew Holmes said, "The entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." No matter how much you focus on your own goals and achievements, you’re not a fully developed individual until concern for others starts to become more important than concern for yourself. 
So don’t worry about “getting even” when you’ve been wronged – it’s a waste of your time, and can’t produce any positive results. Think more about getting even when you’ve been done right! Then you’ll find more and more good things coming your way