Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Hello all,

"Happy Thanksgiving"

Wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have the opportunity to spend some time with family and friends. The offices close Wednesday at Noon so staff can start the holiday a bit early. I will have my cell phone with me if anyone has an emergency. Always remember... "You can't pick your sister-in-law" so have fun with everyone else.

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes." 
- William Shakespeare
Remember when you were a teenager leaving the house on a date? Your parents' last words as you went out the door were, "We'll leave the light on for you". Think about that. So what if they did or didn't leave the light on? Their words were really more of a verbal hug. They cared about you - wanted you to know it - and applied the hug with kind words.
With Thanksgiving in just a few days, why not take the time to "leave the light on" for someone who may not get many hugs? There's still time, and it's easy.
First, learn who needs hugs. Check with your local fire, police, or sheriff's department. Ask whether they know of three or four families or individuals who could use a hug. Ask also whether they would consider delivering your hugs at the appropriate time. Two groups stand out as needy - the elderly and families with small children. Of course, we're talking about individuals who are experiencing difficult circumstances in their lives, be they physical or financial.
Next, consider what type of hugs you have to offer. Perhaps you might prepare three or four Thanksgiving turkeys with all the trimmings. Live in the country where people heat their homes with a wood stove? Deliver firewood. Live in a cold climate? Add some warm socks or a sweater to your dinner box. It's really not that difficult to come up with ideas that would make a difference to your chosen recipients. If you aren't able to provide "things," consider visiting with some nursing home residents. Brighten their day by listening for a while.
It goes without saying that our country is truly blessed. Although practically invisible to most of us, however, there are some individuals who are being challenged. They need a hug, and we can brighten their lives by way of simple gestures. Make a family project out of it - involve your kids. Do it anonymously. Afterwards, when you get home, we'll leave the light on for you!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Contract Coordinator

Hello all,

"Contract Coordinator"

When I was 16 and got my first car my Father taught me how to change the oil. It needed to be done every 3,000 miles or 6 months whichever came first. I found it to be a very unpleasant chore... however Dad was looking over me so it got done. When I turned 18 I moved out of my house and, well, Dad was not looking over me any longer. 3,000 miles past, 6 months past, 5,000 miles past, 9 months past. I knew I needed to do it but I had such a bad taste for the chore that I put it off and off. One day I got an ad in the mail for getting an oil change at the gas station down the street, it also happened to be by a restaurant I liked. So I scheduled to get my oil changed while I went to lunch, it became my system for getting it done and it only cost me a little bit of money. Something unpleasant for me became a pleasant experience. Unnecessary little story but I look back to it when I speak with agents that are "Paperwork Challenged". Some of you look at paperwork as such an unpleasant chore that you put it off and off then spend way to much time agonizing over it.

 We are pleased to announce that we are expanding our contract to close department in the offices. Michelle Gray will be joining Michelle Thrasher to help provide the expanded services. Michelle Gray will be taking over the day to day operations, Michelle Thrasher will be overseeing the process and jumping in to help out when needed. Michelle Gray will be splitting her time between Potomac & Germantown, this is a great opportunity for our Germantown agents to get some help. Megan will continue to handle contract to close in Aspen Hill. Please contact me with any questions and find out how to get started!

Look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow for Thankful Tuesday. There will be a short 10 minute meeting before we eat so please be on time.

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"He was a self-made man who owed his lack of success to nobody." 
~ Joseph Heller 
Who ever heard of an unsuccessful "self-made" man? Does anybody set out to become a failure? Well, of course not, but a lot of people who end up that way often end up finding fault with their circumstances or the people that surround them. 
What is so honorable about Joseph Heller's man is that he doesn't blame anyone for his admitted lack of success. And just because he hasn't reached the summit, it doesn't stop him from feeling like a self-made man or taking full responsibility. He's still confident in himself and accepting of his situation. 
We should be careful, however, not to confuse acceptance with apathy. Accepting the way things are does not make us weak, because acceptance acknowledges the difference between the things we can change and those over which we have no control. Blame and apathy are the benchmarks of someone who has relinquished their control. 
Part of the secret of taking the sour with the sweet is applying your own perspective and coming to grips with your control or lack of control over the circumstances and the results. If you screwed up, well, so be it, as long as you personally accept your responsibility before someone else tries to make you feel incompetent. And if it wasn't your fault, why in the world would you let someone try to convince you otherwise? 
Eleanor Roosevelt has been attributed with wisely observing, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." This explains the implied confidence of the gentleman in today's quote. He's not "successful," yet by blaming no one but himself, he avoids the contempt and derision of his peers. In other words, as long as you are comfortable with yourself and your decisions, no one can touch you. Follow your bliss! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thankful Tuesday & GCAAR

Hello all,

"Thankful Tuesday & GCAAR"

Little housekeeping this week... I will be the first to tell you I cringe a bit when I see the GCAAR dues notice come across. It can be a tough pill to swallow this time of year however we must take it. It is the policy of the office that you must be a member in good standing with GCAAR or another area association. If you have not paid by December 31st I am on the hook as the Broker for your dues. So at the end of December if you have not paid I have to send you license in. Don't kill the messenger...

Thankful Tuesday- This is one of my favorite office events of the year so I would love to see a great showing. We all work hard, we all have things in our life to be thankful for and we should all get together to celebrate our successes for the year! Don't worry if you do not bring anything, happy just to see your smiling faces. Click on the link below to sign up.

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"Set your purse to fattening." 
- George S. Clason ("The Richest Man in Babylon")
In 1926, George Clason introduced a series of pamphlets on thrift and financial success which were widely distributed by banks and insurance companies. He used fables, set in ancient Babylon, to make his points. The most famous of them, "The Richest Man in Babylon," is familiar to millions.
In the story was a very rich man named Arkad. Arkad was generous with all and spent liberally, yet he grew wealthier with each passing year. A group of friends from his youth approached him, asking how he had amassed such wealth while they lived a lifestyle of mere subsistence. His answer was, "If you have not acquired more than a bare existence in the years since we were youths, it is because you have either failed to learn the laws that govern the building of wealth, or else you do not observe them." The pamphlet then goes on to explain the "Seven Cures For a Lean Purse."
So, who are you most like - Arkad . . . or his friends? If you know and practice Arkad's teachings, your primary obligation now is to teach your children, and their children. If you have not been so fortunate as to learn the "laws" and practice them, take heart. It is not too late.
In simple terms, "spend less than you earn" is the critical element that produces wealth. It also requires self-discipline, learned behavior, persistence, wisdom, knowledge, integrity, and more. But, hey, why rewrite the book here when you can just order the paperback online? It's an easy read packed with simple to follow steps to financial independence. If you're tired of the stress, worry, and frustration of never having enough, try giving this book a read!

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Most Important Quarter

Hello all,

"The Most Important Quarter"

Buffini, Ferry, Deluca, Strosnider... they are all reminding us that the 4th quarter is the most important quarter in Real Estate. It is also the reason I push hard this time of year with things like a challenge group, bringing in a speaker, remind you Real Estate is a contact sport... The tone for our entire 2014 will be set in the 4th quarter of this year and, well, time is running out. Here is what happens every year. Around December 15th everything/everyone shuts down for the holidays, around January 5th everyone comes back to work , about a week later the phone starts ringing and your 2014 has begun. The leads keep coming in, the feeling of being overwhelmed starts to creep in. Then all we are doing is working in our business not on our business. After that I usually get some visits in my other office from agents.  

Inline image 2

So we have six weeks until the December 15th shut down time, take out Thanksgiving week and that leaves five. This is the most important time to be working on your business. Need to revamp the listing presentation? Buyer presentation? 2014 budget? Business plan? Marketing plan? Systems? The time is now. Mark and I make ourselves available the first two weeks of December to meet with agents one on one to review these items if you would like a second set of eyes on them. Feel free to email either one of us to set up an appointment. Having the proper foundation and systems helps fight the overwhelming feeling of being busy down the road. 

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"What isn't tried won't work." 
~ Claude McDonald 
We're all familiar with the idea that the things we really regret are the things that we never did. Our mistakes are easier to live with because at least we dared to achieve something, even if we failed. So when we fear to try, and fear to succeed or fail, what do we do? We complain. 
But have you noticed that folks only complain about things that can actually be changed? How useless is it to complain about the weather, after all? A violent thunderstorm may wreck our plans, but we ultimately just accept it and adjust our plans to accommodate Mother Nature. But our real complaints are based on the belief that there is something better out there. 
Believing in something better is different from achieving something better. The difference is risk. We may believe there's a better job out there, but we may risk being unemployed to find it. We may believe there is a better partner for us, but we may risk being alone while we search. We may believe there is a better solution to a problem at work, but we risk ridicule when we share our ideas. 
How could it be better to just complain about something, when you can actually risk having everything you desire? Charles Dubois wrote that "the important thing is this. To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become." Why have a problem letting go of mediocrity? Why fear accomplishing your dreams and becoming the person you want to be? 
Stop complaining to colleagues about your personal life, stop complaining to your spouse about work! Stop complaining to anyone who cannot help you make a change. Go straight to the source of your unhappiness and start working toward your vision. If you know it can better, make it so, or simply remain where you are. Doing nothing risks nothing, but risking something could give you everything!