Go ahead and clear the slate

How long will you jerry-rig that contraption before you lose patience?

It’s that thing that’s not working as it should, and we tolerate the necessary work-arounds under the heading of: “It still works even if not well or consistently.”

Some folks take great pride in keeping that thing alive rather then replacing it with another, newer model. The rationalization is that it still “works” . . . and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

This is denial, and the cost is real in frustration, anxiety (will it work this time?), lost time and efficiency, distraction . . . yet we’re hell bent on using it til the wheels fall off.

For others, jerry-rigging is a hobby. I’m one of those people. I love a good challenge.

Knowing that I enjoy this, I decided to entertain that hobby by buying a 30 year old Mercedes Benz 560SEL. Owning this car makes zero sense to most rational people. It’s expensive to maintain, and there are potentially several $1000s of improvement “projects” on that MB560SEL to do list.

Over time, I have come to the realization that jerry-rigging does NOT belong in a professional setting. We don’t need those kinds of inefficiencies in our work flow.

So when it comes to the tools of our trade (Computers, Scanners, Telephones, Automobiles) a mindset of low tolerance for things not working as they should must be instilled.

Replace . . . or clear the slate and build new.

This post was prompted because I fell into a month long struggle with my primary computer at the office . . . It would randomly decide not to allow me to log in, and just as I was about to throw it out the window, it would WORK . . . Such an emotional roller-coaster that was . . . until I got fed up with it and cleared the slate by reformatting the drive and returning all settings to the “default” . . . Worked like a charm, and I lost nothing but frustration because all of my files were residing safely in the cloud.

OMG! I didn’t bring my phone to the Celebration

In today’s all pervasive digital environment, it’s common knowledge that if there aren’t any pictures or video, it didn’t happen.

We are expected to document each and every experience and publish this “proof” that it happened in all of our myriad social media in real time . . . even better if we do a “Watch Party” or FB LIVE broadcast.

We dutifully oblige our peeps by being prepared (Cell phone fully charged and ready to shoot) . . . If we’re really on our game, we’ll pre-announce our to be attendance at said event with a promise to share the experience with anyone and everyone who cares to “be there.” (digitally)

At what cost?

How much of the the experience do we miss as we scramble to capture that perfect shot.

Where, really, is our attention?

Are we at this event to entertain ourselves . . . or for bragging rights for having been there . . . event though we weren’t really fully there because we were too busy with our photo-journalistic pursuits?

Yesterday, daughter Allison had a very special ceremony in a very special place The St Cecilia Motherhouse.

I was a tad late arriving, so I was in a hurry . . . accidentally left my phone mounted in the truck and started the hike to the door . . . 1/2 way there, I realized I was phoneless . . . Stopped . . . thought it through, and decided not to go back to fetch it . . . better not to be later than I already was.

As it happened, I arrived in the sanctuary at EXACTLY the PERFECT time – The procession was just commencing . . . and it was awe inspiring . . . I reached for my phone to take a picture and realized that I would have to make the best of being fully present throughout the ceremony 🙂

The ceremony was a Catholic Mass followed by a “Blessing of the School rings” of the graduating class of 2020. This was a fabulous experience that was SO much richer for me sans the digital distraction.

Indubitably, had I had my phone, I would have checked messages and been way less present throughout the ceremony.

I know this might be scary for you, but give it a try!

Abandon your cell phone occasionally, so you can authentically enjoy real life experiences.

I talked more about this in my Drive time video this morning!

Don’t feed the Monsters

No matter how nice and cute they seem when they’re young, they’re gonna grow up and do harm.

Go catch a little bear cub – or a mountain lion – Feed it and give it a great environment to thrive, and inevitably it’ll grow and become a full-fledged adult that could turn on you in a heart-beat and eat you alive.

Nonsensical, RIGHT?

Well . . . how ’bout Monsters of a different kind that you naively feed day in and day out?

Monopolistic organizations who suck you into their complex webs may seem to be convenient and easy, but are they interested in your well being?

Probably NOT!

Everything has a price even if you “think” you’re getting a great deal. Marketers are great at making the sharp reality invisible.

Zillow – Google – Comcast – Home Depot/Lowes – Amazon . . . and the list goes on.

Big fish eat smaller fish and the real winners (often) are the “owners” . . . Investors who always crave more and will never be satisfied.

So . . . Now tell me again . . . Why are so many sales people (REALTORS) feeding (paying) the digital marketers big money for leads they believe to be horrible?

That beast is gonna bite you!

I hereby invite you to consider the antidote . . . Good old-fashioned Sphere of Influence relationship building lead generation which costs far less and is only more “expensive” in terms of time invested . . . and oh-so-much more rewarding.

Don’t be monster food!

Let’s make hay while the sun is shining

Good Morning!
Very little (if any) rain is in the forecast this week in Middle TN . . .


Spring has sprung in Owen Hollow – Looks like Imma gonna hafta cut some grass next weekend.
In today’s Http://BarrysDriveTime.com, I talked about “deciding to start” . . .

That’s my theme for this week.

With the seemingly never-ending rain through February and continuing the 1st week of March, we’ve all had plenty of reasons not to do lots of things we know we “should” be doing.

That “ToDo List” isn’t going to complete itself, so let’s focus on deciding to start a whole lot of intentional forward motion . . . NOW!

Just in the past week, flowers are blooming, grass is GREEN, trees are budding, the toads have emerged (an annual trek from the creek bed to the ridge), seasonal birds are returning from their Southerly vacations . . . Let’s decide now to join the awakening and decide to get something started.

It is now time to make hay . . . Whatever “it” is – a new habit, Spring cleaning, that project you’ve been contemplating (procrastinating) . . . or . . .

Maybe THIS is the year for you to decide to make a REALLY big move to that neighborhood you’ve been watching . . . or to “down-size” or find that perfect house to grow into.

The real estate market has “cooled” to a much more palatable temperature. The pace is more comfortable. Values continue to rise but not nearly as explosively as the past few years.

Will 2019 be that year you decide to do that which you’ve been thinking you “should” do?

If so, let’s get together to explore the possibilities

I hope you have a fabulously fulfilling week.

Happy Spring!


Don’t be confused about your role in the RE Transaction

I had to “FIRE” my favorite lender @ 20 years ago.

This loan originator was ON THE BALL!

She was uber responsive to the client AND to me (the Client’s REALTOR).

At the time, I was working almost exclusive with first time home buyers . . . LOTS of 1st time buyers, so I really needed a lender that I could consistently trust to get loans CLOSED and ON TIME.

She was masterful at creating financial scenarios which could get otherwise seemingly impossible loans to the closing table.

She “participated” financially in my marketing efforts.

She’s still in the business, and I am certain that she’s still working that magic with/for other agents daily.

Why, then, would I FIRE her?

What could she have done that was SO egregious that I would sever such an important relationship?

In search of more knowledge and a desire to learn how to be more efficient as a Real Estate Sales Professional (Hoping to reclaim a sliver of my personal life), I hired a Business Coach. The first step of his process was to assess my existing work habits, leverage (Processes, Tools, People), and “Allied Resources” (Lenders, Title Companies, Home Inspectors, Contractors, & etc).

He asked me 3 questions about each of these Allied Resource People:

  • How many Home Buyers/Sellers have each of these folks referred to you in the past 2 years?
  • Other than “Doing their jobs”, how do each of these people enhance/improve your processes?
  • What, if anything, do you NOT like about what they do that may hinder the process?

That was my first “Homework Assignment” . . . I had a week to answers these 3 questions for each.

Because I felt SO supported by all these folks (Because they were all good at what they do), I couldn’t imagine what about them I wouldn’t like UNTIL I read the 1st question. Over time, I had referred nearly 100 clients to each of them resulting in LOTS of work (and income) that they would not have otherwise had. Heck, I remember one of them saying that my referrals paid their Kids’ tuition at school.

Guess what?

I could not tie a SINGLE transaction to ANY of these folks who had my allegiance.

Coach told me it was MY fault, because I had not asked (or required) them to refer business to me. I had not “trained them” how to refer business.

Shame on me!

My next assignment was to approach each one of them to ASK for referrals and developed a PROCESS around teaching them WHO to refer and HOW! My “instructions” were to fire any of them who would not play that game. This fabulous lender was the ONLY one who said that she would not promise any referrals to me “because she works with LOTS of REALTORS and didn’t think it would be fair to send me referrals.”

According to coach, that was reason enough to fire her, but that’s NOT why I fired her.

Why I fired this Mortgage lender . . .

My coach did a great service for me with these 3 questions. It caused me to look carefully at all of my business relationships more carefully. To some degree, I had maintained the relationships because they were more convenient . . . comfortable.

As I thought of this lender, I very quickly identified something that had been bugging me for a long time, but I had not acknowledged it as being a “problem.” For sure, it was irritating, but to do anything about would require upsetting the apple cart that seemed to be moving along just fine.

The “problem” was that I resented the fact that lender was crossing the line between Lender advice and Real Estate advice. She was giving my clients real estate advice that was unsolicited and sometimes contrary to advice I was giving. This is wrong on so many levels not the least of which was that she undermining my professional relationship with MY client whom I had referred to HER for the SOLE purpose of arranging the financing. Little did I know for those 2 years that many of the complications I had with various clients were a direct result of conflicting advice given by this lender.

Rather than fire her immediately, I decided to have a conversation with her on the chance that this was all a big misunderstanding.

That conversation didn’t go well . . . She was adamant that what she was doing was “for the protection of the (her) client” and that she would continue to do so.

3 strikes . . . She was OUT!