There’s a lot of change going on out here!

So!

What else is new?

If things weren’t changing, we’d be bored, stagnant . . . dead.

Not all of us like change.

Fall is one of those seasons that I notice a substantially variable opinion of change . . . Some folks LOVE the cooler weather and relish the notion that snow may come this year (in Middle TN, snow in the winter is not a given) . . . Others bemoan the absence of the Summer heat.

Good thing we’re all different.

Other changes happen in Fall . . . Obvious things like leaves falling off trees . . . and I notice a significant number of people seizing this seasonal change as an opportunity for their career to shift in a different direction.

Why in Fall?

Well in my neck of the woods, the general business climate always faces a relatively large disruption as we all stand here looking at the upcoming holiday season(s) beginning with Halloween in just a few weeks – followed closely by Thanksgiving – Then Christmas and Winter Break – New Years – and then those 2 “quiet months” January and February.

Done right, most REALTORS could easily justify a hiatus from work from November 1 til mid March – 4 1/2 months.

REALLY?

Don’t be one of those people ūüôā

2 Quick thoughts.

If you’re hankering for a change, DO IT NOW! Quit procrastinating because odds are good that if you’re thinking about it, you’ve already mentally left the room (the old way) with at least one foot squarely planted in the other.

If this is you, you’re not likely performing in either place very well. Go ahead and eat that frog and just DO IT!

Thought 2 . . . Think of any unexpected down time as a gift. That is time for you to focus on theoretical business development. What can you do differently going forward?

Where are the gaps in your current way of doing things/serving people?

With Whom can you align yourself to leverage your goal for exceptional performance?

There are those 2 words again:

EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMANCE

In life . . . What I wish for you is just that.

If you’re not feeling great about your personal level of performance in all aspects of your life¬†(Home, Work, Play),¬†perhaps it’s time for a change.

My recent, new friend Bud just jumped back into Real Estate Sales – a very scary change that is going to supercharge his performance in life . . . and I am seeing people all around me like popcorn changing real estate firms or mortgage companies . . . jobs . . . etc.

It’s ALL good, and the best thing we can do for each other is offer unconditional support and love all the while constructively devil’s advocating.

Change happens whether you want it or not.

I’m just sayin’

Best,

b

Who’s the packrat in your family?

I’m betting you know a packrat or 2!

If you ask a true packrat why he keeps EVERYTHING, he’ll tell you because it’s worth SOMETHING and he might need it again one day.

I’m a natural born¬†packrat. I hate to throw ANYTHING away (just ask my wife). In fact when I do throw something away, I’m almost obsessive about thinking things through churning “Will I EVER need this thing again?” through my head.

Sometimes, I’ll¬†throw it away and then fish it back out of the trash a few days later and squirrel it away.

Really good packrats¬†are really good at hiding all of this stuff. That’s how attics and basements and closets get so FULL . . . and that’s why when packrats move, it always takes a larger truck than they expected.

So, is it bad to be a packrat?

Invariably, I’ll save that “thing” for ages . . . FINALLY decide to toss it . . . and 2 days after garbage pick-up day, I NEED IT!

There’s reason enough (reminder) NEVER to throw away ANYTHING.

OK! For those of you who are anti-packrat, I have a question?

Do you have a reserve . . . more than you need today of anything?

How ’bout a money¬†savings account in the event of a surprise financial event like a blown air conditioner . . . or a dead car?

How ’bout a reserve fun account for a rainy day . . . or a long week-end get-away?

What about a retirement account, so you don’t have to work to pay the bills for¬†every remaining day of your life?

Do you shop at Costco for those bales of toilet paper? I’m a believer in the notion that no house could ever have too much reserve toilet paper . . . or beer . . . or bottled water :-0

I used to jump out of perfectly good airplanes because I thought it was a fun thing to do . . . I never did it without my reserve parachute (carefully packed by ME) by my side.

In business, I lead generate every day to sustain my RESERVE of prospects because I learned (the hard way) that if I only pay attention to today’s clients without continuing to fill the pipeline, the business flow dwindles to a drip.

For those of you (REALTORS) who have just HAD it with this market . . . as we approach the end of the year . . . and E & O is due this year . . . and association dues . . . and no (or very little) business in your pipeline . . . are you considering retiring your real estate license?

DON”T!

In Tennessee (and likely most other states) if you retire your license, you cannot legally receive commission from the sale of real estate. What happens to your database if you retire your license?

Are you going to abandon all of those people and leave them to the “wolves” (anyone other than you). or will you be a good shepherd and protect them . . . AND get paid for it?

My point . . . If you are thinking of retiring your license,

Gather your database and find an agent who you know and respect to whom you can refer your “peeps” and take a referral fee for each transaction. Make it a requirement that your database be held “pure” such that if/when you decide to get back into the business, you can take it back and it will be preserved.

At Pareto Realty, we have a solution . . . a sister company where you can place your license and your database . . . We’ll coddle your peeps and serve them well and pay you a referral fee for each transaction.

All you’ve gotta do is awaken the packrat within you and KEEP your license active . . . AND your database . . . and contact us.

PACKRATS UNITE!

I’m just sayin’

Best,

b

Monday Morning Coffee – Raising the bar

Good Morning!

Hoping you’re off to a good start for the week.

(Long post this AM)

I think most all of us are aware of the phrase “raising the bar” and most of us think of it from the¬†perspective of performance – as in, we continually over time¬†strive to do more, jump higher, excel . . . On a perpetual quest to make this one better than the one before.

I googled it and found only a few references mostly to a TV series that did not survive long . . . and then this one  http://everything2.com/title/Raising+the+bar

During the “high economic times” when virtually anyone could make money simply by breathing and taking action, “raising the bar” seemed to apply more to volume (quantity) than substance (quality). A “generalist” could do quite well without the need for highly specialized knowledge or expertise.

Average was good enough!

Quality, Service, and Cleanliness were relegated to lip service. Organizations continued to spew the scripts and dialogs of offering the best, but my experience was that as they got bigger and bigger, the bar they were raising was all about the money.

“How can we sell more and decrease our cost of sales so that we can make MORE PROFIT?”

The HUGE operators were winning a disproportionate share of the sales and were literally starving the medium and small companies to death . . . and then cannibalising whatever was left of them.

The small, local businesses became an endangered species.

I think they were raising the wrong bar.

Things changed!

The economy imploded and suddenly sales dropped exponentially. The big corps’ ships were too big to maneuver around . . . attempted to go through . . . and were swallowed by their own largess. those machines were so big, they could not downsize fast enough to save their hides.

The whole world watched with dismay as one behemoth after another fell into the abyss.

This event liberated a LOT of VERY talented people with the initial shock of losing their comfortable jobs and the understandable fear of losing their income source.

For many, this event became a blessing in disguise . . . suddenly free from the encumbrances of “working for the man”¬†. . . Sharp folks¬†started playing with entrepreneurial ideas. Many of the corporations who downsized still had the need for the talents of the people they were releasing . . . and were willing to hire “contract talent” giving rise to a whole new and interesting layer of businesses. “Consultants” started showing up in every conceivable industry.

Additionally, there has been a veritable groundswell of new Small businesses popping into view.

People were noticing that “Average is no longer good enough” and began developing smaller businesses¬†with lower overhead and more agility . . . These businesses¬†can “turn on a dime” when the environment changes and are running circles around the larger lethargic companies.

I love it (now)!

We ALL ultimately stand to benefit from this as the bar that is being raised now is the bar of exceptional Quality and Service.

I¬†found myself “suddenly available” in March of this year . . . and rekindled my real estate sales business . . . and worked at that as I considered all of the above. The writing on¬†my wall clearly instructed me to SHOW UP in the form of creating a company that models this raising of the bar of excellence.

We are well under way with Pareto Realty, and we know that we have a LONG way to go.

The collective commitment of everyone who joins our firm is to a level of performance in life that is continually improving . . . We are raising the bar of Excellence in the Nashville, TN Real Estate market daily and are inviting other firms to adopt this same mentality such that we can ALL work together to do our part to ensure that each real estate transaction we do is better and smoother than the one before.

What opportunities are out there NOW for YOU to show up and take responsibility for raising the bar of excellence in your industry? 

This stuff ain’t for the feint of heart!

I’m just sayin’

Best,

b

Scarcity creates value.

“Scarcity creates value.”

These 3 words were the final words in Seth Godin’s post this morning.

The unique houses with surprising features often sell faster for more money than the rest of the herd.

When you’re selling something (ANYTHING), consider scarcity.

What is it about this thing that’s scarce relative to other things that generally meet the same need the Buyer seeks?

To know this, you must first know what else is out there. For the REALTOR, this means that previewing houses is actually a service to her clients . . . The better she knows the other houses on the competition, the better she will be able to identify any scarcity that exists.

What if they’re all the same?

Can we CREATE scarcity?

Sure! We can add a fence or a screened in porch . . . or leave a car in the garage for the new Buyer . . . or price it below market . . . or offer incentives no-one else has thought of like a year membership to the local health club . . . or a 5 day cruise in Alaska.

The magic pill for selling anything in this market is scarcity.

If it ain’t there, CREATE it . . . and know that until it’s there, you’re going to sit dead in the water just like the others and watch the “scarce” houses flash in – then quickly out of the market (SOLD)/

2 follow up thoughts – We created Pareto Realty based in large part on this¬†scarcity mentality. What we offer to our agents is refreshingly different from the herd of other options even to the extent that we have made a conscious decision not to “Hawk” at all the REALTORS in an attempt to coerce them into joining us.

Interestingly in the 2 weeks we have been open we have not made any “recruiting calls” yet we are gaining agent commitments daily – People who have heard hints of our¬†model and have shown up out of curiosity . . . Looking for scarcity.

Home Sellers . . . Let’s talk about finding or creating scarcity for YOUR home such that IT flashes through the market.

I’m just sayin’

Best,

b

Round up your posse and save the damsel in distress.

Yep!

I’m goin’ “Cowboys and Indians on ya today!

As I develop Pareto Realty, i often stop myself and think about WHO to invite to the party and WHY each person would be a good fit. What does each person bring to the table that will help all of us achieve our goals?

That then tumbles into thoughts of what the “end game” – The true mission of a real estate firm (or ANY organization for that matter) is?

Why are we in business in the first place?

Is it all about the money and personal success?

If I create a company that churns out lots of profit and makes tons of money for all of the employees, does that in and of itself make the venture a successful venture?

Maybe so in some folk’s minds, but that’s not good enough in my book. Without question, we do need to make money. We also would like our organization to be sustainable .¬†. .

Sustainability comes from building a reputation of authenticity to something that is perceived by the end customer/client as being desirable and worthy of their investment (the money they pay for your widget or service).

So . . . the organization (that “Gets” this) FIRST builds a strong staff (Posse)¬†that understands that their real job is to administer the firm in¬† such a way that THEIR primary customers (The Sales Force – REALTORS) can make a great living and develop a healthy balance of live, work, and play.

Each member of the sales force in turn develops his/her own posse of support outside the firm . . . The “right people” who can fill in all of the gaps (Lenders, Inspectors, Appraisers, Insurance, Title etc).

Posse comitatus (common law), a group of men assembled to assist in law enforcement (From wiki)

The posse’s job is to serve and protect the end client, the home Buyer and/or Seller, from all of the dangers and pitfalls lurking in the shadows of the real estate transaction.

I believe that all posses are not necessarily created equal and that the firm can sometimes¬†do things that inhibit the agent’s ability to build his own posse. This issue arises when the firm makes what I believe to be an “addicted to cash flow” decision to align themselves with “affinity relationships” or “Joint ventures” and subsequently coerces the sales force to encourage their clients to use THESE “in-house” vendors instead of others (just to bring more dollars to the bottom line of the firm).

My issue with this is that it creates a friction for the Agent that can actually be inhibiting to personal performance . . . That friction comes from the nuance that the agent loses the power of having his OWN posse . . . a group of professionals who can support him unconditionally – work with him as sponsors for his business and who will refer him business . . . sort of his own personal “Chamber of Commerce”.

So we made a decision with Pareto Realty. A big part of our mission includes serving our associates in such a way that we educate them on the power of the posse and stay out of their way such that they can turn all of their energies towards their CLIENTS.

We think of Leverage through others . . . and this blog post comes from thoughts stemming from a few tough questions¬†about why hire a¬†Pareto Realty agent¬†instead one of those other better known, larger, more “established” firms?

the answer gets easier when the agent can simply say that his firm provides appropriate administrative support, training and coaching, and collective depth of experience to enable him serve his clients at the highest level . . . and his POSSE has his back if anything goes awry.

I’m just sayin’

Best,

b