Money Money Money – What about Loyalty?

A fool and his money are soon parted!

“The simple but hard to follow rule is this: Only borrow money to buy things that go up in value.”

Seth Godin NAILS it with this post – The tyranny of small debts, compounded

We seem to be in a world in which “making money” trumps morals and values.

The desire for more money (and things) clouds judgement, and many folks end up in deep tapioca (debt). Seth’s comment that debt which compounds is the real killer . . . when you’re paying interest on the interest owed, you’re losing the game.

Simple things like loyalty and integrity and simply doing the “right” thing become scarce, as “we” participate in the “BIG GRAB” with little concern for long term ramifications.

Of course, our leaders at every level (County, city, State, National, Organizational, Parental (?) are modeling this magnificently . . . Why wouldn’t we all play along. As affordability decreases, consumer debt increases . . . because we’ve all gotta eat, right?

Let’s decide now to put the creditors out of business.

Let’s deploy the element of surprise . . . and start doing that thing that we’ve forgotten . . . Live within our means.

I say lots more about this in this morning’s Drive Time video.

Feedback welcome!

Sometimes Being Called a Fool is a compliment

When you’re a believer, quitting or selling out is not an option.

Vision is clear, Purpose is resolute, and mission accomplishment is a foregone conclusion.

This is not for the faint of heart.

Entrepreneurs (REALTORS) know this all too well.

I’m not sure that we “became” Entrepreneurs . . . We were born this way.

Through the years, we’ve been labeled “Dreamers with delusions of grandeur”, drifters, and maybe even FOOLS by the people who witness our dogged determination to make something out of nothing.

Maybe they’re right. We gamble everything and lose . . . frequently.

They marvel at our resilience as we jump back on our feet, brush ourselves off, renew our vows to the mission and dive back into the fray with reckless abandon.

We are quintessentially indefatigable in our burning desire to get “THERE”!

We can Taste, hear, smell, see and feel the fruits of sweet success, and NO ONE can stop us.

and “they” tell us we “can’t” . . .

I’m here to tell ya that we CAN and we WILL even in the face of ridicule and critique.

Being called a fool is a badge of Honor that many of the most successful people on the planet wear proudly on their Lapels.

I know what “Mission Accomplishment” means to me . . .

What does it mean to you?

Let’s do this!

Real Estate Brokerage Trends are myriad

Like a box of chocolates

June 12, 2019 was the 1st #TNBroker19 Broker Summit offered by TNREALTORS, the Tennessee Association of REALTORS. This was a full day of great information, and the production was top notch.

We heard from the TN Secretary of State Tre Hargett who got things rolling on a good note. His key points centered around why TN is drawing so many businesses to relocate here from other states and countries . . . Low taxes & Low Debt were the big draws – An interesting take on Colleges – Measure colleges based on output rather than enrollment, and that we need to “hold the line on accessibility to college” – and validation that “Trade School education” is important for people who are not inclined to attend college who can benefit with a career that provides solid income and quality of life.

I’ve promised a few folks that I would blog a bit about the Real Estate Brokerage Trends panel.


I heard lots of good stuff from this panel. My notes say: “Disruption – Transition – Recruiting – Retention – Focus on today’s environment – Deliver training consistently and “keep score of who (agents) participate.”

This was a good group of Brokers/Owners with lots of knowledge, but I must note that all of them were Brokers/Owners of large Regional or National Brands, so we did not hear the perspective of the “Small Firm Broker/owners”. This was unfortunate because there are MANY small brokerages who have different issues/concerns from all of these 1000+ member firms.

For sure, the most daunting topic revolves around the many new Real Estate Brokerage business models showing up with “deep pockets” literally buying their way into having significant market share. Some dismissed these concepts as not being sustainable . . . That they would likely disappear with the next recession (I heard that “R” word many times).

There are many companies buying LOTS of houses and keeping as rentals. Between rising prices and these house being sucked out of the market by these investor groups, affordable housing is the new unicorn . . . It doesn’t exist.

Other concerns are “Virtual Real Estate Firms” with agents all over the state with no apparent direct “Broker Supervision”. This door was opened when TREC (TN Real Estate Commission) removed the “50 mile rule” which required agents to live within 50 miles of their Brokerage.

Agent Recruiting and retention is also a huge topic. Many agents have little (if any) loyalty to their company brand and are choosing to go where their costs are lowest (Commission Splits and fees). This applies to “Mega-agents, Large Teams, and Individual Affiliates”. I have heard this as being the #1 issue for every company of any size. The problem being that, for a brokerage to survive, there must be revenue (True for all businesses, right?) . . . so the only way a “low cost to the agent” business model can survive is to have a huge membership and/or very low overhead. There are only so many of those companies that can survive, and they’re sucking agents out of the market for more “traditional” models (Just as the deep pocket investors are sucking the affordable houses out of the market.)

So . . . everything is moving and nothing is certain – The volume of home sales is at record numbers every month – Prices are rising – There are more real estate licensees than ever . . . so what’s a Broker/owner to do in order to survive?

Go back to the basics. Define your niche and attract the “right agents” who want what you deliver and are willing to pay for it. Focus on the market environment but don’t let it define you. I heard many references to the fact that “Relationships Matter”. I walked away from this session more committed than ever to build Pareto Realty’s presence in the Middle Tennessee market, and I am more certain that we will succeed in the long run, because we know what we stand for – We are “The Vital Few” and we know our worth to the agents in our family and the Home Buyers and Sellers we serve and protect.

Convenience Trumps – Well – EVERYTHING

We are not addicted to Amazon.com!

We are addicted to the convenience Amazon.com provides.

My daughter’s laptop was stolen from her car on her way to Nashville for a visit.

BUMMER, eh?

She will only be here for a few days, so I wanted to get a new one for her before her departure.

I remembered that I had bought the computer from Amazon about a year ago. Yesterday morning @ 6:30, I logged in and quickly found record of the purchase under the “orders” tab . . . clicked the “buy again” button, selected the home address for delivery and confirmed the payment source, selected the “Free with Prime Same Day Delivery” and confirmed the order.

Last night @ 6:15, a little red car drove up the driveway in #OwenHollow (The dogs alerted me) and the driver left a box on my rear stoop . . . The car retreated, and I retrieved the box with Jessica’s computer 11 hours and 45 minutes after I placed the order.

My time investment in this transaction was no longer than 2 minutes.

I didn’t have to research what kind of computer to buy because Amazon remembered that for me.

I didn’t have to enter payment information or where to deliver it, because Amazon already knew.

I didn’t have to drive to a store, because Amazon delivered it precisely as promised.

Mission accomplished . . . conveniently!

As the story continues, I noticed Jessica’s cell phone screen has a spider web of cracks and asked her if it was usable . . . She said it was, so she just kept using it instead of asking for a new one. Yesterday morning, I called #T-Mobile (I LOVE T-Mobile) and by-passed the AI “conversation” because I knew that would be less convenient than talking to a real person. The Lady asked my passcode . . . which phone line was affected . . . Was the phone damaged by water (No!) and what was the damage to the phone (Accidental screen cracks) . . . verified that the phone was covered by insurance, updated my address on file, and transferred me to the insurance rep who confirmed that it was covered and where to deliver the new phone . . . That whole exchange was less than 5 minutes, and the phone will be delivered today. CONVENIENCE!

Tuesday 6/11/19, I attended #NARTechEdge here in Nashville. One of the presenters was Shay Hata. This was a day full of useful ways to leverage technology, and there was a poignant undertone of discomfort because there are many “disruptors” in the real estate industry these days . . . HUGE companies which seem to be formidable forces that are challenging the livelihood of the “traditional” REALTORS and firms. Shay’s talk was just the salve we needed to hear, because her focus was on this idea that we can all win by being the “convenience” alternative by having dialed in processes and delivering consistent PERSONAL services to Home Buyers, Sellers, & Renters. Shay is thriving in the Chicago Real Estate market with her small team of experts who all understand the importance of making this process as convenient as possible . . . This convenience happens through consistent, simple and effective communication which keeps the client informed. Informed clients make better/faster decisions with confidence.

THAT – my friends – is convenience . . . for everyone involved.

Quit worrying about what the competition is doing. If you’re the most consistently convenient choice, you’ll have no viable competition for the right people.

Seth Godin’s “Learning/Doing Gap”

Seth Godin’s timeliness is uncanny!

Here’s a link to today’s blog post

The Learning/Doing Gap

This morning, I am heading to a full day class – NAR TECH EDGE

Will it be worth the time invested?

What will I learn?

Will what I learn be relevant and how might it enhance my doing?

Seth suggests this: “The thing we usually seek to label as ‘learning’ is actually more about ‘education’. It revolves around compliance, rankings and “will this be on the test?””

and

“What happens if the learning we do is accomplished by always engaging in it in conjunction with our doing?”

“And what happens if we take a hard look at our doing and spend the time to actually learn something from it?”

None of us enjoy squandering time, energy, or money.

I’m a believer that the most important thing we can do is to be very intentional about every learning and doing opportunity . . . and this begins with showing up with an open mind.

Expect to be surprised!

Engage with curiosity!

Challenge yourself to decide to learn something useful regardless of the quality of the presentation and pledge to take action on any “Doing” nuggets that emerge.

Or . . . You could take the path of taking the course “because it’s required for continuing education” in which case you’ll be mentally absent and will be depriving yourself of some great learning.

More about this here: