I recently asked an expert in our field, when it came time for the Q and A, what is the biggest change he plans on making to his business plan for next year...I loved his answer: cutting out everything that does not align with my goals. I know I need to adopt this into my own plan, and a clear sign was that at the moment I asked our Coach the question, I had a garbage bag full of office junk that was on the way to the landfill. Here is the tricky part though, knowing your goals clearly enough that you can cut excess AND not miss an opportunity to improve. Being too eager to dismiss an app or a class or a strategy could cost you time and money...being too eager to adopt all flashy apps or classes or strategies could also cost you time and money. Whatever shall we do? Well, let’s break this down and simplify.
First and foremost is THE goal, this is the one thing that you want to earn for the 2020 year, sell two cars a month, get a raise of 3%, move out of the desk job, whatever is your focus. Of course you can have a business growth goal and a personal goal, but we will keep those two lists separate. Next, we will take that one goal and under it three activities that you will do to earn your one goal: make cold calls, host events, be active on social media - whatever you believe will get you the one goal. One goal, three activities, let’s keep this simple and doable!
At the top of our chart is the one goal, under the three activities, and finally the six specific tasks that you can do on a weekly/monthly basis to ensure you are taking action towards your goal. For example, two Instagram posts that focus on being positive a day, send a message to a different friend once a week to grab lunch, attend a monthly educational meeting, just to name a few. You have to hold yourself accountable to complete these tasks, I use a loud, dinging checklist app that has the tasks on them and I can not go to bed until they are checked off...so words to the wise, keep the tasks simple and easy--do not make them lengthy or exhaustive or you will give up by January 5th. When your task list is to get lunch with a different friend every month or send someone a card, you are rewarding yourself with a good deed and taking the action you need towards your goal.
Tying this all back into a neat little package, we have the One goal, the Three activities, and then the Six time sensitive actions...AND anything outside of this list needs cut. Find a fun app that helps you track leads, but does not have the capability of follow ups - CUT. A booklet that goes over how to double your income through cold calling, but you want to move towards warm leads only - CUT. A person in your life that is fun to grab a drink or two, but keeps you from getting your activities done and mocks your work ethic - CUT. It feels good, believe me, to make your life simpler, cut the extras, and only focus on the things that are supporting your goal.
Our Coach is right, it should be a priority to align your life with your goal and let everything else go. It seems like there is a growing barrage of distractions in our lives, it is easy to become overwhelmed, to not be sure if our actions are supporting what we want in life, and to glare over with all the shiny new objects. So the solution, aside from reading this blog, is to simplify which will help you focus, and then allow you to cut all the junk from your life. Hard work, Have Fun!
It is time to put this English degree to good use...by...being a...realtor? No, I have wanted to publish this blog page on a more consistent basis, to cover topics that can both help an audience and myself grow. Not so coincidentally, my weekly mailer has diminished in both open rates and personal motivation, so the natural course of action is to transition the weekly mailer into the weekly blog. So as I get the blog started back up, it is an ideal chance to review the purpose of the weekly mailer, which is now becoming the weekly blog: To provide weekly motivational tips, reminders, and strategies to help my audience continually learn and keep our mindset strong.
So in honor of the renovated blog page, let’s review THREE keys to our morning routine that are proven to help us start successfully. Number one is to wake up to physical activity of any sort, but be sure it is something you enjoy or it will not become a habit. Go for a walk, do some push-ups, run the house stairs, or the traditional method such as hit the gym. Research shows that getting the blood flowing has a positive effect on the brain and helps get the day started the right way. For more information, try Kirsten Nunez’s 13 Benefits of Working Out in the Morning, or check into a slew of articles just like it. Make it a positive habit, and there are a plethora of strategies to help motivate you to establish habit - but those will be for a different time and blog.
Second strategy is to have morning calendar ticks to create consistency and productivity in the morning routine. Now, if you have not been following the mailer, a calendar tick is an activity set up on your digital calendar that makes a notification sound at a set time in the morning. Establish one-two activities in the morning that you need to complete, for example I have to check on my friends/family birthdays, and then each day has another activity such as Instagram post, or send a friend an appreciation note, or to make a video, et cetera. This tick is set so you don’t have to think about it, they notify you automatically, and the sound reminds you to do it - start the day being productive.
Finally, now that we got some physical activity done, a few productive activities to get us moving, the third morning routine tip is review your daily task list - take on the toughest item first. If you do not have a daily task list...step back, use any method you want: physical calendar, note cards, PLENTY of apps for the phone (click to see a few), be sure it is something easy that you can add to the list if necessary even while busy. Once you have a calendar and/or task list to keep track of what NEEDS to be done everyday, rank them toughest to easiest - you want to make the best use of your time. You have to decide on what NEEDS to be done, what could be done, and what can be done later - have set time that you can be distracted from the list, but also have a set time that the task list must be done (those other phone calls can wait until later). Sounds easy? Good.
That’s it, that’s the list--simple, straightforward way to get your morning started successfully and consistently. I appreciate you taking the time to read up on the blog, we will spend more time breaking down specific skills, mindset techniques, and methods for you to be and stay successful. And as always, feel free to leave constructive comments and topics that you would like to cover.
We are less than two weeks into the New Year and I am already excited, not like going to the gym - New Year resolution for a week excited, about the direction the Sammons Team is growing. As we add two more members to the team, which I feel is just a start, we are finding our niches, already bouncing new and creative ideas off of each other, expanding our ability to market, and new ways to help our clients-friends-loved ones. I keep saying this to everyone I talk to...2019 is going to be a big year, I can feel it.
At this same time, I dove into Ray Dalio’s book, Principles, and have come to realize that I need to put our core ideas into writing. Honestly, I have been living these beliefs for the past twelve years of real estate, but moreso my whole life -- all my experience (and patience) as a teacher, an adjunct professor, realtor, and basketball coach have taught me the value of teamwork, clear communication, honesty, and most importantly stubborn persistence. For my blog this week- let’s get my Principle list started (first four), it is one thing to live it and another to put it in writing and hold us accountable:
A) It is amazing what can be accomplished when no one is keeping track of who gets the credit. Anytime there is collaboration, there is a meeting of creative and influential minds, and I for one will be the first to step aside with a mindful ear when a brilliant idea is being presented. I don’t need awards, I don’t need accolades, I need the people around me to be successful, and if an idea can benefit our Team then it will be utilized. We don’t have raises or pecking orders, we hold equal positions in the team and work together on our ideas to help them build our team.
B) Work hard, have fun. When I coached my son’s tee-ball team last season, this was our mantra before we started each game. It holds true for sports, it holds true for business, it holds true for life...and there is a reason that the words hard work come before have fun though. The Team has to put the work in or there is no growth or success, hard work is not an option. However hard work comes when you enjoy what you are doing, it is an interdependent relationship that needs one in order to grow the other.
C) Education - at no point will we know enough, therefore we focus on mental growth, working smarter to compliment working harder. We can learn on our own with an unlimited amount of information at our fingertips, but group learning is another level of growth. To learn is to grow, but to teach is to master -- and the Sammons Team is constantly focusing on what we need to learn to grow individually, as well as within a Team. We learn how to better serve our friends and clients, how to be better people, better serve our families, community and local businesses around us as well.
D) Serve the community around you, when you help it grow it will make your world a better place. We will do as much community service, support of local business, and community growth activities as we can. With constant feedback from the local people that we work with, there will always be a better way to live local and serve those around us.
And for the sake of our blog, these first few principles should do nicely - they sum up the core of what drives us, what helps us grow, and what makes our life fulfilling. The interesting part, as I look back on the list, is that there is not a lot of mentioning of Real Estate itself, nor profits, but instead of personal and team growth. In this industry, it starts with the self and if someone does not have themselves together, if one does not have their life in order and heading in a positive direction, then it is nearly impossible for them to find success. And this is what I truly enjoy about real estate, it has pushed me to be a better person first and foremost and as I become a better person, I am seeing more success in my business. So as I continue to work on the principles to help our Team grow and succeed, my goal is to make these ideologies a part of their life, a part of their daily habits, to ingrain personal success strategies that help them move their life in a positive direction that can help them grow their business as a beautiful side effect.
I spend a considerable amount of time in my car as a realtor and of course during that time, I always notice home for sale signs. This summer, and every year that the housing market is strong, there is always a surplus of new names on the for sale signs, new faces working to get those homes sold. And as I see the new faces on the new signs, I constantly challenge myself with one thought: what makes me different than other agents? Being unique, providing value that other realtors do not is more than the topic of our Sammons Team blog this week, it is a thought that is always on my mind as we work to improve our Team.
Perhaps it is Experience that defines uniqueness? Sure, but plenty of agents have been showing homes in Southern Maryland even before you and I were born -- so that’s not it. Knowledge of the market? Every agent has Bright and Google, so if they can read or even follow a chart then they know the trends and available homes in Maryland--putting that one in the common pile. Customer Service? Actually, this one is getting a bit closer, in order to be effective a realtor has to do what is best for their client and not chase the commission checks -- but again there are plenty of realtors that do the right thing for their clients. Use of technology? The nerdy side of me would really enjoy it if technology made our Team totally unique; the use of websites, videos, photography, social media marketing that other agents have not even heard of is always an enjoyable challenge for me -- but alas, I am not the only nerd out there. Trust? Now here is one that I hear often from friends/clients, in fact I would say that this is one of the top three reasons anyone hires someone to help them with anything, not just real estate --however, many people trust their realtor so although vital, not necessarily unique.
Actually, as I talk myself through this blog, look over all the client testimonials, reviews, and interviews I have done over the years...the answer is quite simple really. To be unique, to do something that few others in our field can provide, our Team needs to be able to reflect ALL of those traits. Some agents have experience, but not so tech savvy; whereas, others have great customer service, but lack the experience, et cetera. And from your perspective, making the largest purchase in your life, you should find someone that has it all, someone that can serve you at all levels. Ready for some humble advise? When searching for your realtor, interview multiple people, be sure that they are a good fit for you, do not just go with your second cousin or the agent your parents used back in 1989, but someone that has an array of teaching skills to offer you as your guide through the housing process and (here is the tougher part) for the years AFTER the home sale as well. You are the one buying/selling a home, you are the one that has to live with the decisions, so be picky on who you invite along the journey.
And as we close out the blog this week, let’s also get one thing straight that this is in no way a boasting session about the Sammons Team, we too have continual growing to do. The list of characteristics of an unique realtor is something that we work to develop through training, meetings, reviewing, classes, but I believe we have and hold true all the key elements. This post is meant to help you think about who you want as your guide through the process, and it could very well be Aunt May or your friend Bob Bobsmith, but we want you to truly feel good about such a life changing decision and genuinely wish you the best of success. So as you sit down and interview candidates to help you with your housing needs, keep the list of key characteristics close at hand, be sure you ask the right questions, that your future realtor has free and accurate information to guide you. Finally, good luck and make the best decision for your growth, it is an important investment when talking housing and we want you to make the right choices for you whether that means working with us or not.
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