Tag Archives: Self-Improvement

Resolutions: Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em?

baby-new-year1Well folks, it looks like another year is in the books. And as we await the arrival of baby new year, we all tend to ask ourselves: are we going to resolve anything from 2015 for the prospect of a fantastic 2016? Chances are, that answer is yes. There is always room for improvement and it’s this time of year that brings to light all the changes we feel need to be addressed. Health, personal relations, and money are generally at the tops of said changes.

We all know that business for us in the real estate industry slows down in the colder winter months, so this is a perfect time to take stock in what we currently have, and what we need in order to fine tune our business practices to ensure continued success. As a real estate agent, this isn’t your typical 9 to 5 career. There are three arenas that we use in everyday business: an office, the field and an online presence. We can’t let one of these areas slip through the proverbial cracks or our production will suffer. So why not take a moment to re-evaluate what resolutions need to be put into place to make sure you will begin into the new year ready for anything.

First, let’s look at your office. Does your office project a confident, well-organized agent? Is finding necessary documents on your desk simple or more like a game of Marco Polo? Every professional needs to have a clean, organized office to conduct business in. Start with your desk and move outwards. There are literally tons of organizational equipment at your disposal. A desktop organizer, file cabinet and a little shelving will not only present your skills in a professional light, but a good filing system will also make you seem ready for any situation. So take advantage of the newest technologies available to give your office a bit of a makeover. Streamlining your equipment will only improve the daunting task of keeping up with client paperwork.

Speaking of clients, the next area to consider streamlining is how you conduct yourself out in the field. An agent’s on-the-go lifestyle makes running back to the office for forgotten necessities an impossibility. You need to have everything you need within arm’s reach at the drop of a hat, and before technology, it meant lugging around lots of lots of paperwork in the trunk of your car. Today, this isn’t the case. Now everything can be in the palm of your hand if you have the latest equipment. But it isn’t just about a smartphone and a lightweight electronic notebook. You will always need brochures & flyers, a digital camera and who knows? You may even enjoy writing your notes down with a pen & paper. What you need is a fantastic case to carry along with you to showings and client meetings. It should be roomy enough for all of your basic needs, but organized enough that it doesn’t end up looking like a child’s backpack at the end of the day. Having all of your specific tools with you at all times will make any meeting go smoother and will present you as a capable real estate agent ready to help your client any way you can.

Lastly, consider where you’re storing your business. These days, it seems as though everyone is working off of the internet, in something called the “cloud”. What is this cloud everyone speaks of? Well, it’s basically a more efficient way of keeping all of your records electronic and at your fingertips. Having contracts, forms and digital signatures electronic takes all of the thumbs out of flash drives, misplaced emails and backup storage devices. Everything is online and easily accessible, thereby making any document you need ready at a moment’s notice. And when your business revolves around always being on the go, considering these online tools really is a choice worth considering. It isn’t as complex and scary as it looks. So as we are days from the beginnings of a new year, consider stepping out of your comfort zone if it means a stress-free prosperous 2016.


Funny Business

realtor-sign-doritoWe all know that there is a lot of competition when it comes to the real estate game. There are always new homes going up for sale, buyers looking to find themselves a new place to live and plenty of agents working hard to land some of that business. As a buyer/seller, where do you even begin? All of these decisions make the process not only overwhelming, but extremely stressful. As an agent, it is your job to help alleviate these worries. So ask yourself…what do you do to stand out from the sea of agents ready to help? And once you get the business, what do you do to help your clients rest at ease during this tumultuous time? Lots of agents use their arsenal of knowledge to navigate thru these stormy seas. Sure, it’s incredibly helpful; everyone needs information and knowing what you’re doing is always necessary. But is it really the most ideal approach? Studies have said not quite.

There is an age-old adage: laughter is the best medicine. Apparently, this doesn’t just pertain to doctors. According to a study conducted by Baylor University’s Keller Center, when asked to choose a real estate agent, clients were more likely to choose the agent with a sense of humor. You heard it right…in a day and age where society is looking for humor in their news (ala Jon Stewart & Steven Colbert), people are asking for someone to lighten up stressful situations with a bit of humor, not just facts and statistics. And the benefits are two-fold; not only do you help your client calm their nerves, but you also build a reputation for being a well-rounded agent, thus bringing in more business. It’s a win-win!

But is real estate a funny business? From the surface, one would say no. There’s nothing all that hilarious about the process required to turn structures into homes. The key is to look deeper into the industry and process itself. It’s not about turning into a clown. It’s all about the subtlety of the delivery. Throw a pun or two into your marketing tactics and listings. Add some funny cartoons or YouTube videos to your social media pages. Make light of a tough situation by spinning a whopper of a tale to relax a stressed out client. Keeping things short and sweet for a quick chuckle is always going to bring a positive result. It’s all about building a rapport and making yourself relatable. You don’t need to be a comedic genius, you just need to be able to make a client feel comfortable in your hands. Keeping a smile on your clients’ faces will not only help the homebuying/homeselling process, but chances are, you will have a client for life.

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Getting Your Ducks in a Row


One thing we know for sure…being a real estate agent means having MOUNTAINS of paperwork at any given moment. And no one likes dealing with paperwork so it is generally just piling up as each stage of the selling/buying process continues. We know we have to keep paperwork around in case of a dispute or audit, but sometimes it almost seems impossible to keep up with it. Everyone has a different way to organize their office but here is a quick and easy way to stay on top of your desktop mountain, while making every client easy to reference.

Invest in binders and organization tabs in bulk. Not only are they tax-deductible (save that receipt), but they will keep each client separate and easy to access at a moment’s notice. Simply put a label on each binder spine with the client’s name and date. The tabs will break down each step of the selling/listing agreement, so break each category down to make finding a certain piece of paperwork really easy. Tab labels that are handy to have around? Client profile, listing details, notes, loan or escrow documents, and closing paperwork are just a few of the tabs that would be useful in each client binder.

Now that you have your system in place, it is time to put it to use. This is where it gets tricky. Because the way to best utilize this system is to keep on top of it all. Yeah, I know…that’s easier said than done. I get it. But it is absolutely necessary in order to keep your ducks in a row. Create a binder as soon as you sign a contract and keep the binder with you whenever you are working with that client. As you complete a stage in the process, add the paperwork to the binder directly. The sooner you add it to their binder, the less chance you have of misplacing said paperwork. Once the transaction closes, go through the entire binder to make sure you have included everything you need in it, then store it away. Doing this right away will ensure everything is all together and not lost in your paperwork abyss.

Storage is the final decision to make your new-found system complete. This generally depends on your office situation. If you work in an office, maybe there’s a spot available for storage. Fire-resistant cabinets or storage units are other options. If you have gone paperless, make sure you have a proven backup system in place to save all your transactions. The experts in the industry suggest that at any given time you should have a backup of all essential information on three types of media. It can be a jump drive, an external hard drive, and ‘the cloud’, such as Dropbox. Nothing is worse than losing your clients’ database because you missed scheduled backup and proper storage wasn’t considered.

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Make Your Optimism Come True

One of the greatest aspects of a new year is the fact that we can start the next 365 days fresh. Sure, there are things in life that carry over, but the worst thing we can carry over is a negative attitude. Negativity is one of the worst killers of progress; it’s a proven fact. So, instead of dragging your feet into the new year, let’s try a different approach…

Let go of the proverbial “haters”. Yes, I know it sounds cliché, but it’s true. Now, I’m not just talking about naysayers in your immediate social circle. For reasons we don’t really understand, WE are our own worst critics. We dislike ourselves so much that we talk ourselves out of praising our amazing qualities! We dislike our appearance, our station in life, our material possessions. Think about it… We will always agree with the negative comments we receive, and scoff at the compliments. How does that make any sense?

What we need to learn is to program ourselves to agree with the good we receive from the universe. Cut out all of the negativity in your world. Quit getting down on yourself about the little things. You’ll be much happier, and that will transpire to positive vibes. This is YOUR life. Stop living as though mediocrity is the norm. In the end, the many aspects of your life will thank you for it.

Disappointment, frustration, dependency, mediocrity… These are all evil words we have in our lexicon that prevent us from progressing. It’s time we forget the meanings of these words and replace them with new ones: excitement, encouragement, independence, success.

After all, attitudes are contagious. Are yours worth catching?

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