Archive for the ‘Motivation’ Category

Are You Stressed Out?

This week I produced a new Sales Meeting for my www.RealEstateSalesMeetings.com Members entitled, “Stress Management.”  The Meeting Objective is to help agents learn effective ways to deal with stress on a daily basis.

Did You Know?

•Over 1 Million Americans have heart attacks each year

•Some 13 billion dozes of tranquilizers, barbiturates, and amphetamines are prescribed yearly

•8 Million Americans have stomach ulcers

•There are estimates of 50,000 attempted suicides each year.  Only one in eight are successful

•There are over 12 Million alcoholics in the United States

Finally, 80% of all people treated for some type of sickness is caused by Emotionally Induced Illnesses,”  (EII).  Learning to deal with stress is important for everyone, especially real estate professionals.  If you’re a broker and need help with your weekly sales meetings, check out www.RealEstateSalesMeetings.com.  I’d love to have you as a member.  You’ll receive this meeting and nearly 100 more in our database of meetings to choose from. 

Remember what Leo Buscaglia said:  “When you get to the end of your rope, tie a know, hang on, and swing.”   

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If it’s not broken, leave it alone!

Recently my wife and I ate at a chain restaurant which serves Pasta that we truly enjoy. It’s a small restaurant that seats around 100 +/- customers, and several years ago would always be full of guests. This week the crowd was only a handful of people during a normal dinner time. I commented to my wife that their business had been off the last several times we had visited. Could it be the downturn in our economy that was keeping people away we thought? I don’t think so; because if I gave the name of the restaurant, many of you would know the establishment, and would agree that you can get a nice pasta dish there without spending a lot of money. One thing we did notice was that during the restaurant’s hay-day, they always sent someone around with a basket of warm breadsticks, offering additional bread to their guests at no additional charge. Now, the “free” breadsticks are no longer willfully available, unless you go to the counter and ask for them. Seems like a small thing, but I must admit it does seem burdensome to have to get up and go up to the counter to ask for another breadstick, compared to when they would come to your table and offer the same service. Ironically, their business has not been the same since this new procedure went into place.

A number of years ago a popular restaurant in my area was sold, and the first thing the new owner did was completely change the way the smorgasbord was set-up. When my dad and I ate there, he commented to me that the new owner would not last a year under his new concept. I can still remember my father (who was in retail business all his life) say to me that you don’t change something that is working right. If it’s not broken son, just leave it alone! Guess what? My dad was right, unfortunately the new owner didn’t last long, and the business was taken back over by the family, who by the way put the smorgasbord back to their father’s original (successful) concept.

This same principal holds true to our businesses today. If it’s not broken, leave it alone! Unfortunately many companies are changing things and cutting back in areas that really don’t cost a lot, but for the sake of slashing expenses, like, breadsticks will no longer be given to the guests unless they ask. If your team members like something you offer them and it doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg, but it offers a value added service back to them, then continue to provide it. Don’t cut something out just for the sake of removing it. Remember, if it’s not broken, leave it alone!

Good Intentions

Most brokers, managers and owners have good intentions of accomplishing certain tasks; unfortunately “time” is the culprit of many of our ideas. If only we could somehow squeeze another three or four hours into our fully packed 14 hour work days we could get a little more done. It seems as though I have so many good ideas, yet many of the plans and tasks are never executed because of two reasons:

  1. They slowly slip to the back burner
  2. I failed to write my good ideas down and forgot about them

Recently I listened to a wonderful audio book by Jim Rohn, where he discussed the need to keep a journal of your plans, ideas, thoughts and goals. I started doing that, and I’m hoping that I can begin a new direction in my life of “following through” with my good ideas. Stanford University did a research project about goals several years ago and determined that those people who write their goals down and read them daily, achieve those goals! Wow, what an amazing statistic, if, we just take the time to write down our goals and read them daily, we’ve elevated our chances of winning 80%. You can also read the book “What they don’t teach you at the Harvard Business School,” to find out more about why goals are important and the success of the 1979 graduating class who wrote their goals down prior to graduation. Writing and reading your plans, goals, tasks and ideas will be profitable to you in the long run!

I’m writing this blog because I know how busy and difficult a real estate broker, manager and owner’s job can be. I wear the same shoes, and I know that there are a zillion balls to juggle throughout the week. I also know that our sales associates are watching us to see how we execute those ideas that are pitched at us during sales meetings, across the desk or at the coffee pot week in and week out. Those ideas and suggestions that will help improve the office and make things better for everyone including the increase productivity and profitability for the company as a whole. When we fail to execute on those plans and goals we lose a little steam, feel a bit discouraged and question whether or not we’re making a difference. However, the total opposite takes place when we follow through on our ideas, suggestions and tasks at hand. Bottom line to all of this madness, I believe, is to keep a journal, and refer to it every day! Remember, if it’s good enough for consideration, it’s good enough to write down.

Your Most Important Commodity

In my business, the real estate industry, we are reminded that nearly half of our customers are from the recommendations of friends, family members or co-workers. Wow, what a mind boggling statistic! Yet many in the sales profession take for granted and fail to realize how important this source of referral business is. As business professionals you must remind yourself on a daily basis the importance of close acquaintances or as we like to refer to in the real estate business, “sphere of influence”.

The challenge for you today is to ask yourself three questions:

  1. Do I have a database of contacts that can refer me business on a daily basis?
  2. Am I contacting this sphere of influence list regularly?
  3. If you answered yes to the above two questions, when was the last time you contacted your sphere of influence group?

 

If you are not communicating on a regular basis with a group of people who can send you referrals then you need to begin doing so today! If you are set up and have a sphere of influence in place that you are contacting on a regular basis then complement yourself on being ahead of the game and remind yourself to communicate with this group both by phone and mail. Making sure you stay in touch with this group regularly is important and can be a gold mine for current and future business.

Regardless of the business or profession you’re in, having others refer business to you is an important aspect to succeed. If you have already made it to the top of your game, or, you’re a successful doctor, manager, attorney or other professional, I am sure if you think back on how you reached your current position, you would admit word of mouth or others recommending you played a key role. If you inherited business or took over the reins from someone you know or purchased that cliental, more than likely it was developed out of trust, customer service and hard work. Everyone needs to develop relationships with business friends, associates, relatives and others to build their identity. I hope you will make today a day of contacting and communicating with your sphere of influence. Remember, it’s your most important commodity!

The concept is a part of my sales meeting CD-ROM, www.RealEstateSalesMeetings.com and www.GoToSalesMeeting.com.

Frustration!

I’m paying close attention to real estate professionals in my marketplace and in my office, and I am beginning to notice a bit of frustration as the economy continues to linger on in this sluggish environment. People seem to be frustrated with the company, frustrated with the media, frustrated with buyers and sellers, and the list could go on and on. It only seems natural that we, as human beings begin to blame or point our fingers at something else being the problem, and to take our frustration out on a third party. However, now is not the time to become defensive at your broker, boss or loved ones. This is just a “weird” time in our economy, and a place in history that will soon pass.

What are we to do in the meantime? First, begin by putting the right stuff in your head. I downloaded three audio books this week from iTunes, (As a Man Thinkith by James Allen, How to Live and Exceptional Life by Jim Rohn, and The Greatest Salesman in the World, by Og Mandino). Yes, instead of listening to the media and the gang at Fox and Friends via my XM Radio, I opted to go with motivation and encouragement. Wow, what a difference! If we want to follow Zig Ziglar’s advice, “stop the stinking thinking,” then we have to quit putting the wrong, rotten stuff in our head. Most of the audio books I downloaded were less than $4.00, and for the price of a Starbucks Latte’, I went from gloom and doom to what giant can I tackle and defeat this week! It’s amazing what a little positive motivation can do for a person, and yet we somehow tend to spend the majority of our time wading through muck, gloom and despair, instead of encouraging, uplifting, glimmer of hope words.

Here’s my challenge to you this week, try putting positive motivation in your CD-Player instead of your normal radio station. Opt in for reading a good book tonight instead of watching television, or surfing the Web. Recite a few positive affirmations about your future and career versus reminding yourself of past failures and the uncertainty of the remaining month. I believe if you’ll follow this advice, your frustration will slowly disappear.

So what are you going to discuss this week at your regular sales meeting? How about using some of the items I described above? Encourage your team to come up with ways and ideas to shift from the negative to the positive, helping them discover how to eliminate frustration from their mind and vocabulary. Trust me, when you ask them to provide ways to generate optimism, they’ll come up with a long list of ideas. The exercise will do everyone a world of good during these chaotic economic times.

I Made the Move!

After using TypePad for several months to post and host my current blog, I kept noticing a large number of posts coming from WordPress. What’s the deal? I questioned. Finally, I thought it was silly to be paying $14.50 a month for a place to host my blog when there was a place I could do the same thing for “free.” Yesterday I finally made the switch, and I must admit the new format I am using for WordPress is “GREAT!” I was able to export all of my posts from TypePad, then import into WordPress seamlessly, change my banner, add some widgets and in no time I was up and running. I need to give a big “thanks” out to my friend Mike Blaney in Canada, a.k.a. www.TheMarketingGuy.WordPress.com for his assistance. Mike was gracious enough to show me a few short-cuts and tips to get me going in the right direction. Thanks Mike! Please don’t get me wrong, TypePad is a “wonderful” product, and it served me well for the short time I used it. However, in today’s economic environment every penny counts, and thanks to WordPress I can now continue to blog, (and show others www.RealEstateTechGuy.com) without the added expense.

Value – The Key to Long-Term Survival

I believe as our economy continues to struggle, and as more people feel the financial burdens placed upon them, value will be a key piece of the puzzle in whether businesses fail or succeed. Last week while attending our quarterly membership meetings for the Missouri Association of REALTORS®, I commented to one of our staff that our association needed to step up ways to create value for our membership. Trust me, our association in Missouri does a lot for our members, however, people will analyze and magnifying everything our association does in trying to determine whether their membership dues are worth (or outweigh) the cost. After all, most people who belong to an organization ask the question at some point; (especially at dues renewal time) what am I getting for this membership? Real estate brokers need to be reminded that your agents will ask this question, especially when sales are down and times become tough. Remember, it’s your fault that their sales numbers are lower than the previous year, not the economy.

Last night my wife and I took our youngest daughter out for dinner and the food, service and everything else that accompanied our evening was just “okay.” As we stared at the receipt, we both commented that the expense we were getting ready to pay for did not equate to its value. Trust me, two years ago we would not have thought twice about the cost, but today, right now when economic times require more scrutinizing on every financial decision, value becomes key. All three of us commented, “We won’t be coming back here again!”

Here’s my thought process or point for this blog, begin thinking about the value you provide to your customers and clients. Do your services outweigh the cost a consumer is spending with you? If you’re a real estate broker, are you helping your team in different ways today than you did last year? If you’re an association, are you reminding your group of the benefits they have by belonging to your organization? I believe that we need to remind ourselves everyday of how important value is in relation to our products and services we provide. As the economy continues to wavier at low points, people will be more conscience about how and where they spend their money, and everything will be measured back to value. If you feel your products, services or benefits do not measure up or exceed the cost, then changes need to be made. Value must always outweigh expenses, especially now.

The ultimate question you will be judged on; “did the customer, client, agent or member receive more value than the expense they incurred?” I believe those who can figure this out, will also figure out the way to survival through these challenging times.