Monday, October 27, 2014

2015 Business Plan

Hello all,

"2015 Business Plan"

It is that time of year to focus on finishing 2014 as strong as we can while preparing to kick some %#@ in 2015. Having a solid business plan is a necessity you can't do without, what is your budget, marketing plan and where will your leads come? Some questions that need to be answered in order to prepare for the new year. This year the office will like to offer it's help in two ways, feel free to pick the one you will be comfortable with.

1- On November 5th Mark will be having a training on business planning in Potomac at 10:30 during his agent round table. He will be covering the basics everyone should know. You can also schedule with Mark to have a one on one to review your business plan for the upcoming year. We are calling this a softer approach to looking at business planning.

2- For those of you who would like to take it a step further I have attached the Tom Ferry business plan work sheet. This will be a harder look at not just your business plan but your overall business. I will be having one on ones with anyone who wants to go down this road, you will need to be honest filling out the sheets and have an open mind.

Get with Mark or I individually to schedule your one on one, the sooner the better.

Enjoy your coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"You've failed many times, although you may not remember. You fell down the first time you tried to walk. You almost drowned the first time you tried to swim, didn't you? Did you hit the ball the first time you swung a bat? Heavy hitters, the ones who hit the most home runs, also strike out a lot. R.H. Macy failed seven times before his store in New York caught on. English novelist John Creasey got 753 rejection slips before he published 564 books. Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times, but he also hit 714 home runs. Don't worry about failure. Worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try." 
~ Full-page ad published in the Wall Street Journal by United Technologies
There's a wonderful story in "Chicken Soup For The Soul" about a 4th grade teacher and a funeral. The teacher had her students fill a sheet of notebook paper with all the things they couldn't do. They wrote furiously for quite a while filling their paper with "I can't do ten push-ups," or "I can't kick the soccer ball past second base," or "I can't get Debbie to like me."
The students were then instructed to fold their papers and place them into a shoe-box at the front of the room. The teacher then tucked the box under her arm, and invited the students to follow her out into the playground. There, they each took a turn at the shovel and dug a hole four feet deep. The box was placed in the hole and quickly covered with dirt.
The students then held hands while the instructor delivered a eulogy in memory of "I can't." In it, she noted that "I can't" was survived by his brothers and sister, "I can," "I will," and "I'm going to right away."
"I can't" is a close relative to most of us, yet maybe with a little extra effort we can finally let him go. It won't be easy since he's been such a close relation, yet maybe by dwelling on his brothers and sister and their importance to us - we can!
Remember the unforgettable line from "The Little Engine That Could"? "I think I can - I THINK I can! I THINK I CAN!" Don't forget the last line of our quote for the day. "Worry about the chances you'll miss when you don't even try!"

Monday, October 20, 2014


Hello all,


We have been talking about the 2014 Real Estate Market, disappointments, changes and problems it has brought. This will be the last I will be talking about it in my coffee and moving forward we will be focusing on the future and preparing for 2015. Lisa and I have had the pleasure of being coached by Tom Ferry personally (she won a contest) for a couple of sessions in September. What he is hearing from all of the top agents and prognosticators is the 2013 Real Estate Market was an "Anomaly". Not so much that 2014 was so bad but 2013 was a lot better then it should have been which led everyone to believe that 2014 was going to be that much better. So the bottom line is the market is taking a step backwards to 2012 and this market appears to be the new normal for the foreseeable future. Are focus really needs to be how to succeed in this market, not worry about what we can't control and work harder then our  competition.

Speaking of working hard and it is a pet peeve... It is difficult for me to see open house requests go unanswered when some of you are not having the year you were hoping for. Buyers are Gold right now and if you need them you should be doing 2 open houses per month.   

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"Your imagination is the preview to life's coming attractions." 
~ Albert Einstein
Do you believe Orville & Wilbur were first to fly because they had a hammer, nails and a free weekend? Think the television was created by accident? Did Bill Gates just stumble upon the software code that has changed the world? Not a chance!
The Wright brothers created the previews of their first flight in the theatre of their minds. Naturally, there were no limitations to their imaginings as they dreamed of flying. Who knows how the dream of television became reality . . . how it was transformed from a mere visualization into vacuum tubes, knobs, and channels?
What went through Bill Gates' mind prior to his early experiments? Surely his first visions were not of a colorful package entitled "Windows 2000." Nevertheless, his vivid imagination took us all from the concept of "1's" and "0's" to today's monumentally complex world of computer software and internet browsers.
What about you? What goes on in your mind's eye while no one is looking? What do you see yourself doing in one, three, or five years? Do you hear a special future beckoning you to create an action thriller from the previews running through your imagination? Is there a stirring inside you that begs to be brought to fruition?
Why not grab some popcorn, a soft drink, and settle quietly into your favorite chair to enjoy the previews of your own imagination? Then, with a clear picture fresh in your mind, create the main attraction - your life!

Monday, October 13, 2014

One More

Hello all,

"One More"

So I have been talking about how to handle sellers in a changing inventory market and I have ended in a each with a way to approach your sellers in a different way, "You see Mr. and Mrs. Seller...". Well I have one more, it is my favorite however I need to caution you to only use it at the right time and with sellers you are comfortable with. Friends and Family usually. Ever have a seller who is also buying who thinks their home is worth substantially more then what the market dictates? They also believe they are crafty enough to get a deal on the buy side? You can show them all day long if they lose it on one side they should get a bit of a break on they other but they just don't get it because they think they can get it on both sides. Frustrating but if you are comfortable... "You see Mr. and Mrs. Seller the sun does not shine on your face and your ass at the same time".

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"To have a friend, you must first be a friend." 
- Unknown
In the long distant past, all generations of a family lived in the same town, if not just across the road or down the lane. Each member of the family knew all the good - and the bad - about every other member (as well as all the neighbors). They worked together, played, and prayed together.
Today, families are scattered throughout the country. What we call relationships now are often only acquaintances introduced through business situations or chance meetings. They may be casual and based only on a single shared interest, i.e. golf, fitness, children's school activities, etc. These relationships may lack depth and rarely go beyond that single shared interest.
Even with family relations more scattered and unavailable to us on a day-to-day basis, our human side still has a need and desire for deeper relationships. The good news is that they are not only possible but also available to us with just a little effort.
A single common interest through school-aged children may result in having lunch together. The lunch may reveal that both individuals appreciate the arts, with one being an amateur photographer and the other a proficient watercolor artist. Further conversation may find that both are caring for aging parents, have endured similar life challenges, or witnessed brilliant successes.
In short, deep relationships, akin to those shared by families in the past, are still possible. Yes, they must be cultivated. They don't just passively occur as in the daily activities of a family. The result is the same, however, as these relationships can provide a richness to life that is missing in their absence. Try to find some missing relations today!

Monday, October 6, 2014

It's a price war and a beauty contest

Hello all,

"It's a price war and a beauty contest"

Continuing the conversation on handling sellers in a changing market... Let me reiterate that the change is going to be healthy with a good amount of inventory hopefully matching buyer demand over time. However when market shifts from selling everything in 10 days to excess inventory and 30-45 days on market we need to handle our sellers differently. Marketing is great to gain listings and market share but we all know at the end of the day there are three factors that sell a house, price, location and condition. Many sellers are more emotional then logical, telling them it is price, location and condition appeals to the logical side. Sometimes saying the same thing in a different way can hit on the emotional side of things. "You see Mr. and Mrs. Seller in the market we are in it is a price war and a beauty contest, in order to be the next house to come off of the market we need to beat the competition at both".  We did not address the location because, well, you can't move the house but we hit the other two points in a way that hopefully they can relate to emotionally. 

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee
"A man will find that as he alters his thoughts toward things and other people, things and other people will alter towards him.... Let a man radically alter his thoughts, and he will be astonished at the rapid transformation it will effect in the material conditions of his life. Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.... The divinity that shapes our ends is in ourselves. It is our very self.... All that a man achieves is the direct result of his own thoughts.... A man can only rise, conquer and achieve by lifting up his thoughts. He can only remain weak and abject and miserable by refusing to lift up his thoughts." 
~ James Allen, "As A Man Thinketh"
It's so simple . . . the advice given in the above quote . . . and so true. Each of us has the power to elevate the value and quality of our life, simply by "lifting up" our thoughts, by placing our hands firmly on the wheel of positive thinking. Earl Nightingale gave an example in one of his taped programs. He said imagine that you are the operator of a huge piece of earth-moving equipment. You are perched in a small cab, hands on the wheel, and have the ability to move vast amounts of earth. Would you take your hands off the wheel and let it run itself into a ditch?
Your mind, and hence your thoughts, mirror that steering wheel. Through positive thoughts, you guide your life in a direction that produces positive actions, resulting in positive re-actions from others. Refusing to keep your hands on the wheel will quickly deliver you into life's ditches.
Life today is complex. It brings with it many opportunities for negative thinking. They range from the personal early morning "Hurry up, we're going to be late!" to the mid-day business crisis of "The deal isn't going to close!" Another quote goes like this: "Think you can, think you can't, either way you're right!" Again, it's your choice, isn't it?
The next time you feel frustration and doubt creeping into your vocabulary, think of a time when you felt really good about a similar situation . . . then replace the negative thought with a positive statement. As another wise individual once said, "Our lives are what our thoughts make of it."