Monday Morning Coffee – “Working” IN or ON your business or Life?

Most of us spend most of our time “working” IN our life and/or business.

What I mean by this is that we tend to let “what needs to be done” control our every waking hour.

“What needs to be done” is what’s on the ToDo list . . . It’s our routine of waking up, feeding the dog and kids and getting everyone out the door to school or work . . . then 8 hours of school and work followed by car-pools and soccer and clubs . . . Then supper – Get ready for bed . . . Pass out!

“What needs to be done” can very well keep people so busy that they have to wait for the week-end before they can actually have any form of intelligent conversation between husband and wife (or among staff at the office).

So . . . Is this OK?

Do we chalk this up as something that just is what it is?

OR . . .

Might we consider that there could be a more “balanced” approach to life?

What if we were to spend an intentional period of time each week with the sole purpose of working ON our Personal & Professional lives?

What could THAT do for us?

Once a week, we stop the madness for a few hours for a meeting of the minds just to connect . . . and compare calendars . . . and talk about issues of the day . . . and look for creative solutions to make this getting “What needs to be done” less all consuming?

What efficiencies might appear if we intentionally committed to working on finding new ways and routines?

I believe that life is coming at all of us FAST these days. There’s just SO much to do. Technology has not served us well with respect to easing our work loads . . . In fact, what it seems to have done is ACCELERATE our lives . . . We can do everything FASTER now . . . so we therefore try to do MORE . . . ALL THE TIME!

Well, I think it’d be a good practice to stop and smell the flowers occasionally . . . and FOCUS . . . and pay attention to what MATTERS in your Personal and Business lives.

and simply ask the question:

“Am I being authentic by paying attention to what REALLY MATTERS (Your 20%), or am I in the rut of What Needs to be done?”

If you cannot look yourself in the eye and solemnly swear that you’re “in your 20%”, then I think it might be time to work some “ON” your life and business time into your busy schedule.

I’m just sayin’

Best,

b

REALTOR Open House – Skunkworks – Developing your Business

Inviting you to a multi-purpose EVENT at Debbie Owen’s listing @ 1027 Holly Tree Farms Road – Brentwood – Tuesday 9/21

Stop by Amy Wyatt’s listing @ 1108 Holly Tree Farms Road on your way to Debbie’s

This is SO exciting . . .

You just MUST come 🙂

  • You’ll preview 2 great houses
  • Debbie & Amy will provide food
  • We are going to have our weekly Skunkworks meeting starting at noon @ 1027 Holly Tree Farms (Topic and info below)

About Skunkworks – Our topic is “Developing your business in weird times”

I think what we all need more than anything in this market is depth of perspective.

What that means to me is that we need to talk to more REALTORS like us who are in this market working through all of the trials and tribulations we face every day.

I also believe there is great benefit to talking with people from different firms . . . Sometimes we allow ourselves to limit our depth by only hanging with the same folks in our offices without going “out there” to hear new and interesting ideas.

Some folks accomplish this by attending conventions and/or motivational seminars.

Why not just show up at a skunkworks or 2?

They’re free and convenient and informal, and I’ve never walked away from one regretting my time investment.

Because Debbie’s listing has no furniture, we are doing a BYOC (Bring Your Own Chair) for Skunkworks

Skunkworks are by nature somewhat clandestine, so wear something appropriate (Dark sunglasses?) 🙂

Hope you’ll join us!

The Open house begins @ 11 AM – Skunkworks starts @ Noon on Tuesday 9/21 (or whenever you show up).

PS- I’d love to share what we’re doing @ Pareto Realty with anyone who is interested in learning. Just contact me 🙂

Hope to see you Tuesday,

best,

b

Don’t forget to ask the question . . .

For most all of us, our days are filled with meetings and conversations with family, friends, work associates, and clients.

That’s what we humans do. We communicate with each other to figure things out . . . to work with others to coordinate things, for advice and counsel, or to gain their support or business to help us accomplish our personal mission.

Am I right when I conjecture that most every communication we have has the potential for a disired result for one (or both) parties?

that is . . . most folks enter dialog with some notion in their mind of a desired outcome. Success of the conversation (for me) comes when I feel the objective is met . . . and that objective is simply that all participants have the opportunity to recieve or share something of value and are more fulfilled at the end than they were going into it.

I know this may seem to be going in an obscure direction, but I do have a point . . .

The burden is on the individual (YOU) to participate fully in any conversation and to take responsibility for getting what you want/need from the conversation . . . and to move elsewhere at that point when “it’s over” meaning that the mission is accomplished or it becomes clear that you’re not getting anywhere with it.

A big part of this taking responsibility piece is sticking your neck out there and ASKING DIRECTLY for what it is that you want/need.

“I came to meet with you because I want to be your REALTOR.  I feel that I am the best Real estate professional for YOU. Can we agree to work together to find your new home?”

Occasionally, I’ll have a conversation with a person and walk away from it wondering why we had the conversation. When that happens, I understand that I certainly could have been the one to ask the question: “Where are we going with this conversation? How can I help you? What do you need?”

How often do you have a meeting that you think is about a particular scenario only to discover as the conversation unfolds that the other person has a different agenda?

I had a hilarious meeting a couple of months ago. I went into it thinking the other other Broker was meeting with me to try to recruit me . . . He was actually there to get me to recruit HIM. We figured that out 1/2 way through the conversation, had a good laugh, and shifted our focus.

So . . . as with anything done well, I believe there’s an art to communication that begins with clarity of purpose. I’m not suggesting that you’ve gotta go through life pushing your own agenda in every human encounter because this flows both ways.

What I am saying is that when there is uncertainty as to the purpose . . . ASK THE QUESTION!

There’s NOTHING worse than walking away from a great conversation “empty handed” because you couldn’t screw up the courage to ask.

I’m just sayin’

Best,

b

As I meet daily with Real Estate Professionals to discover if they are a good fit for Pareto Realty here in nashville . . . or Home Buyers and Sellers to discover if I can help them with their Real estate needs, I have to pinch myself constantly to remind myself (a guy who loves to talk and tell stories) to get to the point and ask the question.

Fear based lending?

I think I’ve decided that I like MY role in a real estate transaction better than the role of the Loan Originator.

Why?

Of course, there are frustrations and delays and unpleasant surprises along the way in most transactions these days . . . and the burden is on me to “handle”/manage all of the sundry personalities and quirks of Buyers, sellers, other REALTORS, Lenders, Title Companies, Appraisers, Inspectors, repair companies, underwriters . . . as many as 42 different people involved in each transaction. Somehow, I feel fortunate to be the one orchestrating 42 people and all of the juggling it sometimes takes to keep things moving forward.

My relationships (as REALTOR) tend to be deeper with the “end Client” – The Buyer and/or Seller than all of those other 41 people because I am on the front line with them . . . The Quarterback.

The Loan Originator is standing in a fire of uncertainty these days. The complexity of her job begins with the fact that she needs to have a higher volume of customers to make a living and therefore seldom has the time to foster deep relationships. Her client relationship is more (by definition) transactional.

I met with one of my favorite Loan Originators a few days ago towards the end of the day. He had taken 23 (TWENTY THREE) loan applications that day. Do you think he forged any deep relationships that day?

So Lenders begin with the “handicap” of the need for higher volume with less time to build rapport and trust dealing with the largest financial event of most client’s lives . . . and then, WHAMMO!

NOW . . . The entire transaction seems to always hinge on the financing. Even the most simple and clean deals can become quagmires these days.

Why?

Federal Regulations are changing (it seems) every hour on the hour. They are either changing or they are still being interpreted in different ways on different days.

Were you aware that the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” signed into law in July is 2,300 pages of written obscurity? Yes! TWO THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED pages of government regulations for “oversight of Financial Institutions”.

WOW!

Good luck sifting through that mess and feeling good about being able to stay in compliance.

The Lenders are operating in a Fear Based environment, and that is wreaking havoc in virtually every real estate transaction.

Heard recently . . . a loan originator commented that Mortgage Lenders are now becoming hesitant to write “Loan Commitment Letters” because in this fluid environment even the best looking loan can come unglued by some random anomaly that could show up day before closing. These Lenders and underwriters are so scared they’ll misstep that they are “erring on the side of caution” and turning most loans into mini “Federal Investigations”.

The problem with the Commitment Letters is that if the loan does fail . . . the SELLERS are now beginning to take legal action on the lenders saying: “YOU said this loan was solid, so I am going to hold you personally accountable for its failure and the damage that has been done.”

RIDICULOUS!

What can we do about all of this?

Here’s what i know to do . . . continue to do business diligently. Put on a set of “blinders” such that all of that peripheral garbage noise doesn’t pollute my resolute determination to do what i am here to do . . . Best serve the needs of my Sellers and Buyers of homes.

Oh!

and I love and appreciate the loan originators with whom I work because I understand their discomfort and pressure.

so . . .

Go out there and hug a loan originator today and seek to understand when things go weird with a loan. Don’t be just another REALTOR or client screaming at them for something over which they couldn’t possibly have any measure of control.

I think I rambled today . . .

I’m just sayin’

Best,

b

PS: Pareto Realty continues to build – a cornerstone of our strength as an excellent Real Estate Sales firm is our relationships with vendors (including Lenders) in our local Nashville community. They are our business partners, and we understand the value of treating them as such.

Logo Design – Branding yourself

Businesses put a LOT of effort into what they do (how they serve their customers), and I would say that all businesses began with a vision of what the Business should look like.

I believe that when it comes to marketing, the LOOK and FEEL of the businesses (as a first impression) is almost as important as the quality of the services it provides.

This look and feel begins (IMHO) with the NAME of the company. think of some of the brands you see every day – Coke, Nike, Chevy, Ford . . . Odds are good that as you read those, you visualized the look of their logo.

But . . . What do those words mean, and how does that meaning relate to the product (if at all)? Do they need to?

I considered this when naming Pareto Realty. I could have called it “Barry Owen and Associates Real Estate services” . . . too long . . . Boring . . . and loses a lot of the meaning if/when Barry Owen dies.

I’d like to think that Pareto Realty will outlive me. It IS a Corporation and certainly CAN survive my passing, so should the name.

Therefore, the “Brand” is Pareto – the Vital Few. there’s not a person who has heard this name and PAUSED and asked: Why “Pareto”? That sure gives me a great opportunity to tell the story of the origin of the company.

People love to do business with companies that have interesting stories 🙂

What about the actual image of the brand – the logo?

Consistency: Companies build their following with consistency. Once the logo and COLORS of the company are decided, they should NEVER change. I saw a BEAUTIFULLY restored Limo at the Greek Festival this past weekend . . . Had a crowd of people around it . . . EVERYONE there knew it was a Cadillac. Why? Because of the Emblem on the hub caps and the Hood ornament – It was a 1962 Model – Cadillac still has that same logo 48 years later.

Simplicity – Just like a billboard . . . the less clutter, the more effective . . . the average person has @ 6 seconds to take in what it says/means . . . and a person has to see it at least 3 times before they remember (so says my wife Debbie whose background is full of marketing)

Inspire curiosity – The logo must have meaning beyond the surface. Perhaps it says something about the origin or roots of the concept of the company (Pareto – 20/80 Principle – The vital few) . . . or something as simple as the name of the founding family’s dog . . . or a mascot (Titan). When people see your logo, the best thing that could happen is that they ask . . .

POPs from 1/4 mile away – Recognizable and READABLE . . . consistent LOOK and it should POP 3 dimensionally such that anyone who sees it anywhere knows what it is and what it stands for.

Uniform Colors – I’ve seen some local real estate firms who have uniform color guidelines but very little consistency of signage out there . . . Some are Black, some red, a few green . . . and the only consistent look of it is a scripted logo that’s sometimes difficult to read within 25 feet . . . but it’s a very pretty script. Pareto Realty’s colors are Green and Blue . . . and very specific shades of green and blue.

Our logo is still in design stages. We are already open for business and don’t feel like we have the perfect logo yet, so here’s what we’re doing . . . We begin with this:

 

and are playing around in the sand box. Our Son tyler did this last night

a bit blurry – I stretched it

Deb has done several . . . and yes, we have hired a professional.

Bottom line for me . . . Every business has a unique look and feel and story . . . and the logo is your first opportunity to tell that story. This is ONE thing that merits doing RIGHT on the front end.

OBTW – If you’re an independent contractor, this also applies to YOUR business . . . Just be sure that whatever you do is acceptable to your firm.

I’m just sayin’

Best,

b