eNewsletter Archive List

August 2018 "R-E-S-P-E-C-T” – Thank you Aretha.
July 2018 A Changing Market
June 2018 The Why?
April 2018 Your Energy!
March 2018 “New Spheres of Influence”
February 2018 Your Energy!
January 2018 “Service versus the Commission”
December 2017 The Eternal TO DO List
November 2017 Gratitude
October 2017 The Crazy 5 Percent
September 2017 Back to Basics and Success!
August 2017 Change Up the Energy (Yours!)
July 2017 Energy Vampires
June 2017 Grandiosity
April 2017 Balance: Are you kidding?
March 2017 To thine own self be true
February 2017 Polar Bears!
January 2017 The Five Minute Journal
November/December 2016 Silent Shoulds
October 2016 “Appalling Behavior”
September 2016 “A Tale of Two Markets”
August 2016 Recovering Perfectionist
July 2016 Consistency
June 2016 Shiny Object
April/May 2016 Creating Culture
March 2016 Playing Small
February 2016 Emotional Intelligence
January 2016 Principle-based Living
December 2015 Random Acts of Kindness
November 2015 Micro-inequities
October 2015 Build the Relationship
September 2015 Tell the Truth
August 2015 Our Responsibility
July 2015 Passive vs. Assertive vs. Aggressive
June 2015 Hell Yes
May 2015 “Clutter”
April 2015 “I’m really busy!”
March 2015 What’s Happening in the Bay Area
February 2015 Belief Systems
July 2014 Bad Manners
May 2014 Resonating
March 2014 Ten Ideas
December 2013 Ten Reminders for the New Year
October 2013 Abundance vs Scarcity
August 2013 Networking
July 2013 Optimism
May 2013 Sphere of Influence
April 2013 So much business
March 2013 Consistency II
October 2012 Trust Bank
July 2012 Gift of Listening
June 2012 Activities
April 2012 The Fatigue Factor
January 2012 Consistency I
December 2011 Calling Sphere

 

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August 2018 eNewsletter

"R-E-S-P-E-C-T” – Thank you Aretha.

The Queen of Soul passed away last week and it triggered an e-newsletter topic. The title of her famous song exemplifies one of the most important values we have in our workplace – respect for our clients and one another.

Sadly, I have heard numerous stories about bad behavior. And it reflects on us as individuals and as an industry.

  • A seller’s agent took her sweet time getting the keys to the buyer’s agent on the day of close. The buyer had to reschedule all appointments set with contractors on the close of escrow. That wasn’t nice and why do that? It hurts the industry.
  • An agent walked into an Open House with his buyers and said to the listing agent (me), while the seller was present, “We are going to write on this today. Talk to you later.” No phone call. He just disappeared. Why do that? He looked like a jackass and he set up expectations for my seller that never materialized. (Whew, Kitty…) I think (I know) he damaged his reputation in the industry.
  • A seller, whose listing is on the market, verbally abused an agent to such an extreme that the agent fired the seller. It is not worth trying to assuage or manage or appease a seller who thinks he knows more than you do.
  • Buyers who worked with an agent for 6 months, suddenly buy a house from an agent they met at an Open House. Were the buyers disloyal or did the Open House agent say or do something inappropriate? Maybe both!
  • A new agent who did her best to write a strong offer was ridiculed by the listing agent, who felt the offer was poorly constructed. Her offer was accepted. Why disparage an agent? She might never write again on your listings. Short sighted thinking.

 

My take? This behavior is coming from low self esteem and a lack of manners. It is inexcusable and unconscionable. There is absolutely no reason to be rude, impatient or belittling to anyone.

I hope this gentle reminder keeps RESPECT in the forefront of your mind.

May the Queen of Soul rest in peace.

Thanks for listening!

 

 

 

July 2018 eNewsletter

A Changing Market

Sellers (script for the fence sitters)

Should I list now or wait until this fall or next spring?

I have been thinking about you and your situation a lot this last week. The market has begun to change (slowly). A small segment of the market has slowed down in several counties around the Bay Area including San Francisco.

  • Inventory and DOM Script: What happens in a slowing market? The indicators are:
  • The number of Active listings rises
  • The “Days on Market” increase
  • Price reductions occur
  • Contingent offers are more common
  • Fewer offers have no contingencies (inspections, appraisal and loan)
  • Some properties are even receiving the unusual “contingent upon the sale” of another property
  • Some buyers are in “wait and see” mode

 

  • Interest rate script: The buyer pool for your property has decreased in the last year because the interest rates have risen more than a full point. For every full percentage point they rise, the buyer’s purchasing power goes down by close to 10%.
  • Ex: Interest rates rose from 3.5% a year ago to 4.5% recently.
    Buyers who could afford a home worth $1M a year ago can now afford $905,000. That alone will significantly impact your buyer pool.

 

  • Projections: CAR and NAR both feels that there will be slowdown in 2019. Their forecast is it will be in the 2nd half of the year. My forecast is that this will happen a bit sooner because a few segments of the market are showing signs of a correction.

 

  • The economy: The economy is healthy (the GDP was 2.0% for the first 3 months and 4.2% for the 2nd quarter) and the unemployment rate is hovering around 4.2%. The Federal Reserve has stated that there are likely to be 2 interest rate hikes this year, and therefore some buyers will be priced out of your price range.
  • There have been 9 + years of recovery in the economy. There have been 5 and half years of recovery in the real estate market. It is normal to expect a correction.

 

  • Your equity: I ran the statistics for the last 13 years in _________. I found that your home’s value is at its highest right now. I would list soon if highest price is most important.

 

If your primary goal is to obtain the highest price, then I recommend that you get the property on MLS no later than September.

 

 

 

 

June 2018 eNewsletter

The Why?

I asked the question Why? While in coaching sessions this month. Why do you think the client did that? Why did the other agent in your transaction say that? Why did you …?

It became clear that we need to look at the why behind these actions that you and others choose. There is really valuable information here.

It will change your business if you discover the “Why” behind these.

Questions about your real estate clients:

  • Why did the client verbally abuse you over an insignificant issue?
  • Why did the wife suddenly become passive and the husband aggressive?
  • Why did that previous buyer work with another agent when she went to list her property?
  • Why did that seller list at a ridiculously high price and then blame you when you had shared the comps and strongly suggested a lower list price?

 

To loan agents:

  • Why did you pay for so many fees? Did you make a mistake and you think you have to? Or is it fear of losing the client?
  • Why do you work with an agent who takes marketing dollars from you and refers you useless leads that don’t pan out?

 

Questions about you:

  • Why do you cut commission so readily?
  • Why do you over schedule yourself every day?
  • Why do you kick in money to make a deal go together?
  • Why do you allow buyers to abuse you verbally?
  • Why do you keep writing offer after offer for a buyer who won’t write high enough?
  • Why do you knowingly take an overpriced listing?
  • Why are you so reluctant to ask for a price adjustment when you know the market has changed? (It has in some segments!)

 

Do you see the common thread?

Are you conscious or unconscious about these choices? It’s time for you to be conscious. Please take a hard look at your own feelings of self worth. Why are you feeling not good enough?

Do you deserve to charge a 6% commission? Yes!

Do you fire clients with no integrity? It is time to do so.

Do you acquiesce too soon when issues arise in a transaction? Sometimes it is necessary to cave and kick in some money. Other times, it is not! Look at your behavior carefully. Why are you doing it?

And don’t say, “I am sorry” constantly. What does it say about you?
We live in fear of disappointing people. Stop! We can’t be perfect.

Learn to say “No, thank you.” Giving time, money and energy to these clients is exhausting mentally and takes a toll on you physically.

We need to get better at looking at the why behind our clients’ behavior and our own. But Kitty, what will happen?

We will begin to set better boundaries and our business increases because the client has more respect for us (because you have more respect for yourself). I have seen it happen many times in 24 years of coaching.

Thank you to all the clients this last month who stimulated this topic! It was eye opening.

 

 

April 2018 eNewsletter

“Are you memorable?”

Every few days I hear a story about a thoughtful deed or conversation that one of my coaching clients had. These meaningful interactions change the course of our relationships. We often have a bigger and better result for the client. Isn’t that what we are here to do?

I delight in hearing about these situations. What happened to you recently? Send me a story.

A few of the special stories:

An agent representing a buyer made an offer on a property and the buyer agreed to adopt the seller’s dog, who could not be taken to the next home. The offer was $50,000 below the asking price and clearly their price was not the highest.

An agent who always sends notes to people who come to her Open Houses stayed in touch with a man for 16 years and then listed his house. She befriends people.

An agent (who was quite pregnant) walked her dog with her husband in a Walnut Creek park and handed out dog biscuits shaped like Valentines. She got a listing! She handed out biscuits again on another holiday and got another one.

I overheard a top Oakland listing agent talk about which agent had their offer accepted in a multiple offer situation. She had 18 offers. The only agent who asked to present was able to bond with the seller and answer all his questions.

 

 

March 2018 eNewsletter

“New Spheres of Influence”

I recently noticed that the conversation I have with many of you every month (Are you staying in touch with your sphere of influence?) moved in a different direction. We expanded the reach and deliberately so.

Every one of your individual spheres needs attention, not just your past clients! Several agents confessed they never mail or email their personal friends, family, and/or neighbors. Why not? Their referrals can be just as numerous as your past clients. We need to wake up and work this part of our database. Frankly, it seems like the most natural thing to do.

My coaching clients are working these spheres:

  • The tennis players in their club
  • The horseback riding friends
  • The pals with whom she walked her dogs
  • Pals at the Daily Method
  • Cooking class buds
  • The spinning class
  • The gym in general
  • The women’s group she organized
  • Bunko pals
  • Bridge group
  • The friends from the Chamber of Commerce
  • The Block Party neighbors
  • The NextDoor.com crowd
  • The Dad’s group
  • The Mom’s group
  • The kid’s swim club parents
  • The pickle ball friends
  • Surfing buddies
  • Golfing partners
  • Former business colleagues
  • Church and temple
  • Yoga class pals
  • Husbands, wives, partners, kids and parents!
  • And endless more…

 

It is time for us to get conscious and systematic about working these groups. I have found that they do want to help us build our business. They are happy to refer us.

By the way – I detest saying “working” these groups. That verb can communicate the sleazy side of our commissioned-based sales business.

I hate that.

Another way of stating it is: Stay in touch, and gently and subtly tell people what you do for a living and be very good at it. People will send clients your way!

Start by reaching out to say hello, have lunch, build a relationship and maybe refer them business. Then watch what happens! Who will you connect to?

 

 

February 2018 eNewsletter

Your Energy!

Some of you have started the year with stress and lots of it! Your energy is low and your clients can read it, see it, feel it and hear it.

Reasons: A few agents have more business than they can manage (one agent took 10 listings in January and another had 16 listing appointments this month) and need help desperately. Others are experiencing a rather slow start. This is normal! It’s that time of year; the business will come. But you have to be open to it. I truly believe it is waiting for you.

Kitty, why do some agents have loads of business and others have yet to open an escrow this year? Part of the reason is due to their activities in the 4th quarter. All of that prospecting, marketing and networking shows up about 3 months later. And these agents power through the slow times, And what else Kitty? See the answer at the bottom of this email. First…

Four true stories:

  1. An agent came to me about 10 days ago, after she wrote a “recently closed” client a “termination of our relationship” email. He had been abusive, demanding and threatening everyone in the transaction. As soon as she said “good riddance”, 5 leads showed up within 7 days. Hmmm…. What changed?
  2. An agent on Monday of this week told me she didn’t have much business and was concerned about the low inventory, once again! We coached how to “change up” her energy – be positive, and exude confidence. And get out of her comfort zone and more... She left and within a day texted me she received 3 referrals.
  3. An agent met with me yesterday after an urgent email: “Help, I am off to a really slow start and will never hit my numbers.” (Her plan is BIG!) We reviewed what she had closed and her coming listings. She was actually ahead of her plan, but didn’t realize it. Her real concern was that her pipeline was devoid of “A” buyers and sellers. We turned around her attitude, energy, and confidence. We also revisited how much she has closed the year before – about $25 M. Then I asked her to text me when she got her first lead, escrow or listing. She texted me today that she is writing up an offer for someone who is getting off the fence. Good mojo!
  4. Five months ago, I had an agent in The Next Level who was not having success at converting buyers at Open Houses. We discussed what he said and how he said it. I realized that his energy seemed low during the role plays. We did the same script over and over until I felt his energy was attractive to potential buyer clients. The next weekend, he held an Open house and picked up a buyer! The following weekend, he picked up a seller. Hmmm…

 

Conclusion:
You must exude confidence, and poise and also demonstrate a relaxed, friendly personality. We are unconscious that the listing we “lost” yesterday is hidden in our rather impatient words today or the fight we had with our spouse shows up in our tone of voice.

The key? We have to pay strict attention to how we communicate - verbally, nonverbally and the words we choose. Can you control this? Can you be so self aware that you

I wrote about this in a recent newsletter. Here it is again because it is vital to us building a healthy and sustainable business.

  • Check your energy every day.
  • Do the lead generation work.
  • Market consistently to sphere and farm.
  • Stay positive. Your roller coaster emotions kills your business.

 

 

January 2018 eNewsletter

“Service versus the Commission”

I have noticed that agents are either focused on the “service” they provide or on the commission they will earn. There seems to be no middle ground. Bizarrely, I can tell which camp you are in by the way you speak about clients, escrows and negotiations. If you count up your income by the client’s price in your pipeline, then you are focused on the money. And the clients pick that up too.

Think about how you speak to the clients – do you try to push them into making decisions (because you want to get paid for the many hours)?

Or have you ever said, “I have at least $10 million in business in my pipeline. Now I just need them all the pull the trigger – hmmm… who can I get into escrow this weekend?” (A client said this to me.)

Or have you ever told a white lie to a client to get them to act a certain way?

I hope none of the above is true.

Being focused on the service is so much more than doing a good job marketing a listing or being available for showings for the buyers.

What does “service-oriented” look like?

It is being sensitive when the client is emotional about leaving their home of 35 years.

It is listening when the client needs to vent about a frustrating part of their process.

It is agreeing with the client when he/she complains about a part of the process (You have a right to be upset. I would be too.) And then redirecting him/her gently back to the issue at hand.

It is doing what is best for the client while keeping your boundaries clear.

It is also being a resource for everything related to real estate.

I notice the best agents have mastered these communication arts:

Listening, probing, reflecting, deflecting, conflict and negotiation. Whew Kitty … is that all?

No, there is more.

The best agents write a kind note (not an email) to the client about the death of a parent or the illness of a child or the surgery of a loved one.

The best agents also realize that everyone is under stress and acknowledges it frequently and takes care of much of it.

The best agents also solve problems before the client ever hears about the issue (and sometimes the client never knows!)

I know it is unrealistic, but wouldn’t it be an amazing industry if everyone was service-oriented? I hope this triggers some more thoughtful gestures with your clients.

Thanks for listening!

 

 

December 2017 eNewsletter

The Eternal TO DO List

I am attempting something very challenging for me! That is to get everything done on my TO DO list by January 2, 2018 when I go back to work.

Why am I attempting this feat? Because I can’t stand the endless, nagging feeling of that TO DO List. It feels like a weight, an annoyance, a headache. It haunts me. Many of the items are not critical day to day but they all have to be done at some point. I would rather go to the movies any day.

I have been wondering how it would feel to do ALL of them and start the year off fresh with nothing on the list. (I love checking off the tasks! Do you?) I can only imagine the blank list, but I ASSUME that it will feel freeing and rewarding.

At the moment, that list includes:

  • 47 little things (I counted!) for my coaching and training business such as typing up business plans, rewriting scripts for clients, getting to all the old emails, fine tuning the 10-week training called The Next Level, get the new outlines to the printers, make 36 binders for new trainings, write a new speech, and more.
  • For the new marketing company called Off Your Plate - edit the last 5 e-newsletters, do invoicing, prepare the launch, etc.
  • Personal list – pay bills, pay taxes, hunt down a lost check, take curtains to the cleaners, perform the annual closet cleanout (clothes closets), write Yelp reviews for a couple of people, put holiday décor away, take down the tree, write 8 thank you notes and more.

 

This looks pretty impossible to do as it nears midnight on New Year’s Eve.

But, hey! I have 14 hours tomorrow that I can spend doing this, minus a couple of hours for an event. So wish me luck! I hope to report that I finished the list or at least whittled it down to 10 things or less. That would be an AMAZING result. I like the idea of living that way every day. Less pressure, a better life!

Happy 2018 to you!

Thanks!

Kitty

 

 

November 2017 eNewsletter

Gratitude

I received a small packet of cards with great questions about gratitude when I ordered a 2018 calendar recently. I had dinner with friends on Thanksgiving Day and we took turns answering the questions. I found it fascinating how different our answers were.


The questions:

  1. How do you remind yourself about what matters most?
  2. Where do you find courage?
  3. What inspires you?
  4. What is the best advice you’ve been given this year?
  5. What was your favorite lesson you learned this year?
  6. What moment of kindness do you remember from this year?
  7. What risks did you take this year?
  8. What are you proud to have let go of this year?


We (and I in particular) have so much to be thankful for.

I am grateful for:

  1. Where we live – a democratic country with protection for our freedom.
  2. That my nonprofit work makes me a better person.
  3. And last… I’m grateful for you, my coaching and training clients. You make my life richer.

 

What are you grateful for?

Have a terrific holiday!

 

 

October 2017 eNewsletter

The Crazy 5 Percent

How many of you have taken on a client who seemed a little weird, dominating or full of fear?

You kept “wishing and hoping” that his/her odd behavior would disappear.

This has been the hottest topic in the last month! At least 20 coaching clients have talked to me this month about challenging buyers and sellers.
The buyers used you to learn the market then chose a different agent.

The seller added 10 percent to the price you suggested and therefore makes his listing unsalable. You received a ridiculous amount of emails and texts at all hours of the day and night from a seller.

Am I supposed to return all of them? What do I do Kitty?

Why do we continue to work with these clients?

Because:

  • We are unconscious we are doing it.
  • We are new so we take everyone who comes along, even though our gut tells us there is something wrong.
  • We are desperate because we had a slow period.
  • We operate from scarcity!

I think that we should acknowledge that about 5% of the clients are crazy, angry, abusive or unprincipled human beings. (I am absolutely serious!)

(Some of you have corrected me and said it was 10%.)

My coaching:

  1. Recognize that you are choosing to work with someone who is unhealthy for you. (You are not in alignment with your goals.)
  2. When you see one coming, let him/her go right away.
  3. Or if you are feeling strong, have a frank discussion about how you work. See if the person straightens up.

 

Sample script:

“You and I clearly have different ways of communicating and operating. It is fine that our styles are different. But I only work with clients who want to work exclusively with me. Are you willing to commit to that? If you are unable or unwilling to communicate in this way, then we will need to part ways. What would you like to do?”

Think about this as you plan next year’s business. It should be part of your vision statement. Isn’t it worth having this clear in your mind and also in writing so you avoid the crazy 5%? I think so!

Thanks for listening.

Kitty

 

 

September 2017 eNewsletter

Back to Basics and Success!

I am determined to discover the magic potion to get you - my clients, to prospect regularly.

What I hear every week: (I just hate the calls, Kitty! OR I just won’t do them! OR I don’t want to call past clients because they will want to get together!).

Many of you dread the weekly prospecting – calling sphere of influence, calling past clients, having lunches and coffees, reaching out to those you never see by text and email, and even door knocking for those ambitious souls. The tactic? You have to text me Monday through Friday at 5 PM your activities for the day. Open to this idea?

Here are some amazing results:

  1. An agent in the Walnut Creek is a little off her plan so we agreed that she would text me 5 days a week. She began the accountability to me about 10 days ago. Her activities included calls, lunches, dinners, networking events, notes and more. Five days ago, she texted me that she opened 2 escrows in 1 day! And… 3 days later she opened another!
  2. A man in my 10-week class is calling SOI, past clients and door knocking fearlessly. He texted me daily at 5 pm 7 days in a row and completed 6.5 hours of prospecting that week. He got a listing lead from the door knocking. Good job!
  3. A newer agent in the city has been making calls, following up frequently with leads from Open Houses and Zillow. She has earned $60,000 from one Open House and earned $100,000 from Zillow this year! She consistently followed up. They were all buyer leads.

 

My coaching (If you are tired of not having enough new business flow your way):

  • Please block an hour a day in your calendar to make calls, text, or schedule a lunch (if you don’t want to take up your evenings) – it is that simple!
  • Text a colleague or a friend so you are accountable to someone. (Ask him/her to respond to each text. The cheerleader response is key. I text back: Great day, Excellent result or Breakthrough!
  • This relates directly to the e-newsletter of a month ago – Change your energy! It is working for many real estate agents and loan agents.
  • Is it your turn?

 

 

August 2017 eNewsletter

Change Up the Energy (Yours!)

Many of you in recent months experienced a slump or an annoying string of “bad” events that didn’t work for you. Business was “off” or downright absent. We discussed what to do differently and that included telling the universe what you want to have happen every day. I believe in this 100 percent because I describe what I want to happen daily and I expect it to happen. Years ago, while in Africa on safari, I asked the tracker if we could find a pack of painted dogs and then we found one 15 minutes later. Another day, I said I haven’t seen a leopard; can we find one today? We located one stalking a honey badger. The guide told me I was spooky and asked if I was a witch. Funny!

This approach has worked for me in business too and for many of my clients!

 

Here are some examples:

  1. Christine’s business was off. We talked about her telling the universe what she needed. She happened to be very specific – she affirmed her activities such as number of offers to be written, she affirmed the new clients that appeared and the number of showings with her buyers. Christine even made the affirmations to her boyfriend. She had 3 (opened escrows or listings signed) in 6 weeks!
  2. A team (T and B), whose business was “off plan” earlier in the year, affirmed that they wanted 4 listings signed in 4 weeks. They accomplished that and opened 5 escrows in addition! Total was 9 deals in 8 weeks between taking listings and opening escrows. The two of them talk to the universe often.
  3. Jean was very frustrated earlier this year. Nothing was working and she was doing everything we discussed in coaching – the calls to sphere every week, mailing, the handwritten notes, lunches, dinners, etc. “When will it change?” she asked me. I said, “Keep doing what you are doing and all of a sudden, you will have a lot show up in a short period of time.” She affirmed that she wanted 2 escrows. Poof! She had a listing and 2 new escrows within a week. Dang, Kitty, I want that.

 

My coaching: We don’t always recognize that we are putting out low energy vibes - “I am not feeling confident today” or “I just lost a buyer” or “I didn’t get the listing”. All of these make us feel blue but when several occur in a short period of time, it hits us hard and our communication, body language and tone are altered.

Get back on the horse and exude that confidence that is so appealing to the client. (Yes, you might have to fake it.) It makes a huge difference in how you are perceived. Who wants to work with an agent with low energy?

Remember that body language is 55% of our communication; it is picked up subconsciously and unconsciously. You don’t even know that the client read your self esteem and negativity.

Change it up! Process what didn’t work and move on!

Thanks for listening.

 

 

July 2017 eNewsletter

Energy Vampires

Many of us have attracted energy vampires over the years. They might be clients, friends (or even significant others!) who drain us dry of energy and motivation. Some are incessant talkers, some are very opinionated, some have no boundaries (because you didn’t set any up front) and some are just high maintenance in all aspects. They are generally not very healthy emotionally.

In the last 3 months, there has been an increase on this topic in my coaching practice. Who knows why they show up, but if you have more than one in your pipeline in any one quarter, let’s take a hard look at why.

 

Why do we work with those types of personalities?

  1. Because we feel they might be real?
  2. Because we need every lead we can get?
  3. Because someone else may bet the deal away from us?
  4. Because we regularly lie to ourselves about our clients potential to act.

 

And why do we attract them in the first place?

  1. They think you are going to ‘save” them. (Sometimes we think we can save them too!)
  2. You appear to be needy and they love “needy”.
  3. You are patient and take all the time needed to answer their questions until you realize what kind of client you have on your hands.
  4. The big reason? We have no boundaries with people! (And we never educated them up front about how we work.)

 

The damage an energy vampire does to our business, our personal life (and our soul!) is not worth the time and energy we expend to work with them.

Please take a hard look at your pipeline of business. Do you really want that big listing when the seller is a nightmare? He/she never listens about the prep, the staging, the pricing, or the price reduction?

Do you really need to keep that annoying buyer who texts you every day many times a day? No! Fire them!

Enough said? You will feel great and relieved after you fire him/her.

I can remember the first real estate client I fired. He owned an overpriced house in Orinda (it was an expired listing) and he was ridiculously picky about the staging, the marketing – everything. I put up with him for a month, fired him and took the lock box off. I felt terrific and had quite the epiphany. He continued to jump from agent to agent for at least 2 more years. He wasn’t REAL! I had been “wishing and hoping.”

 

Thanks for listening.

 

 

June 2017 eNewsletter

Grandiosity

Grandiosity is an unpleasant behavior that occurs in every industry and of course, in our personal lives as well. It can be very detrimental to our business and we have no clue that we are exhibiting this ugly trait.

Grandiosity by definition:

Grandiosity refers to an unrealistic sense of superiority—a sustained view of oneself as better than others that causes the narcissist to view others with disdain or as inferior—as well as to a sense of uniqueness.

Years ago, I was coaching an extremely intelligent and witty woman who frequently said and did things that communicated a haughty disdain for others. It was quite apparent in her every day conversation, her tone, her emails to me and even the toss of her head. (She was always playing with her hair.)

She hired me as her coach and we worked for a solid year, meeting almost every week, which is more frequent than most.

 

We started with the usual coaching practices – setting goals, discussing her desired income, her prospecting, marketing, etc. I made a list of things we needed to address - her accountability, her poor follow up, long response time, etc. She wanted to jump her income, but there was no chance of that with the arrogance I experienced.

After a few weeks, I realized that I needed to bring up the grandiose behavior that was prevalent in every session. I had never discussed this with a coaching client before. So I thought about it long and hard before mentioning this very delicate subject.

Frankly I think she was shocked when I told her about her superior attitude and how it was hurting her business. She didn’t like it (I think she was mad at me) and didn’t “own” it for several sessions.

Suddenly she took responsibility for her behavior, worked on it with me in role plays and what happened? Her referral business jumped. We tracked what was happening. I recall her saying that she received 5 referrals in 1 week. It was a dramatic shift in her attitude, her business and her reputation.

Her colleagues, who had previously said she was “snooty”, and was always “talking like she was better than everyone else” noticed the change. Her manager noticed too and called me to say that he saw a major shift.

Why am I writing about this? Because I see it every so often. It shocks me that the Realtor or Loan Agent doesn’t realize how his/her “I am special” attitude instead communicates “I have really low self esteem”.

My coaching:

  1. Pay close attention to how you are perceived
  2. Watch your body language and tone of voice
  3. Were you authentic? (Or did you say or do anything that smacked of arrogance?)
  4. If so, please apologize immediately for it and you will be forgiven.
  5. And last, please say “please” and “thank you” often. And be grateful. That squashes the arrogance.

 

As always, thanks for listening!

 

 

April 2017 eNewsletter

Balance: Are you kidding?

The issue of the balancing act between our personal and business lives affects all of us. It will always be challenging.

At least 30% of my coaching clients are working ridiculously long hours; they feel that they have no alternative. Are you exhausted? Are you fighting with your partner? Yelling at your kids?

The agent that triggered this topic told me a week ago that she works about 96 hours a week. She is flipping houses besides working as an agent full time. Whew…. That is an extreme case.

So how do we obtain the balance that we need… to live happy and fulfilled lives? (I have touched on these topics in other newsletters but I feel they need to be revisited as I have the issue myself.)

How can we manage the balancing act? Are we doomed to doing both badly? Is it just impossible, Kitty? No! We can do it all but maybe not perfectly. How?

By setting boundaries!

By saying no!

By prioritizing!

By letting go of the type “A” perfectionism (and personality) that hurts us!

By time blocking!

Is the answer just simply setting up a weekly schedule with balance and then committing to it? Yes, I think it is the largest component.

My suggestions:

  1. Block out your exercise times in your calendar and commit to that. (Anyone put on 5 pounds recently? I have! I am pretending that some of it is muscle.) I recommend 5 times a week for 45 minutes each. You burn 15 percent more calories than normal if you work out every day.
  2. Block the time off (one and a half days minimum) with your spouse, kids, partner or friends. If I don’t, I feel annoyed that I work so much. And who am I frustrated with? Myself! (Look in the mirror, Kitty. You caused this.)
  3. Block the prospecting time in your calendar in the morning so you don’t skip it. (Do 3 to 5 hours a week of staying in touch with your database. Keep nurturing those relationships and see what happens.)
  4. Block the dates with your significant other and the kids.
  5. Block time just for you. Massage? Pedi? Mani? All of the above?
  6. Move to being a listing agent versus a buyer’s agent. Your work hours decrease. You can learn to love sellers. I did.
  7. Stop taking the overpriced listings. Why spend so much money marketing something that isn’t saleable?
  8. Get price reductions or give the listings back to the sellers.
  9. Stop working with the “time and energy-draining buyers”
  10. Stop working with the looky-loo buyers.
  11. Stop lying to yourself about who is real. “Wishing and hoping” won’t make a client “real”.
  12. And the key? Move into a committed state.

I think that most human beings don’t stop what they are doing (that is hurting their lives and their relationships) until they are so sick of their own behavior that they make a change. Most people have to hit bottom.

Is this true for you? Is it Time for a COMMITMENT? Start now!
Thanks for listening.

 

 

March 2017 eNewsletter

To thine own self be true

Many of us put aside our feelings, our beliefs and values as we practice real estate. This can be a terrible mistake. The client can sense it when we are not authentic and I (Kitty, your coach) can sense it often from the way that you speak. You caved on your principles.

The client doesn’t always know why she doesn’t like us, but she doesn’t choose us. Something feels off when she interviews us for a listing or as a possible buyer’s agent. We think we came off as sincere and transparent. What you don’t know is that you are not that good of an actor! You were not your true self.

This came up several times in recent coaching. One agent was a little curt. One agent was a little salesy. Another was willing to cut commission (while not sticking by his principles). That is not authentic. You were not your true self.

(I will use the first person point of view below to make this simple.)

When am I not true to my self?

  1. I am not true to my self when I think I will lose the listing over holding firm on the commission.
  2. I am not true to my self when I pretend to be knowledgeable about a particular topic with a client.
  3. I am not true to my self when I don’t set my boundaries with late clients, abusive clients, and clients with different values than mine. (And continue to work with them.)
  4. I am not true to my self when I say yes to every appointment or request even when my schedule is packed. (This is true for me! J)
  5. I am not true to my self when I am afraid.

 

Why am I not true to my self?

  1. FEAR
  2. FEAR
  3. FEAR
  4. FEAR
  5. FEAR

 

Get it?
My coaching:
Please take an hour to write:

  • how you work
  • your values
  • your hours
  • your policies
  • etc.

 

When was the last time you wrote a vision statement? You need one immediately so that you may articulate your vision accurately, set your boundaries and to thine own self be true.

Thank you for your brilliance, Shakespeare! (Hamlet)

 

 

 

February 2017 eNewsletter

Polar Bears!

Clients have been talking to me about working their Sphere of Influence in a different and more meaningful way. As most of you know, I believe it is the most important thing you do to build a sustainable, healthy and long term business.

Story #1: One agent (Chad) called 25 people in his Sphere per week up until August of 2016, when he increased the number to 50. He has lots of new business suddenly. He earned $150,000 in January alone. Ninety-five percent of his business last year was from his Sphere!

Story #2: Another agent called 60 people in one month. She got 3 leads from the 60.

Story #3: A third (a loan agent) called 2 Realtors that he met at my Business Planning Retreat 3 months ago and got 2 leads for loans. I made him make the calls in front of me. (What a mean Business Coach I am!) Two for two!

Why I am writing about this?

Because those who call and “dial for dollars” in a routine, rote manner get very little business from it. Those brief, uninterested conversations are a waste of time. People know what you are up to. I personally detest those calls.
If you call everyone you know 3 to 4 times per year to say hello and are genuinely interested in what they have to say, then you will get business. I am not a fan of asking for business more than once a year. And with most of our sphere, we never really acknowledge who they are as people and hear what is important in their lives.

One of the most important things we can do on this earth is to “see and hear another human being accurately”. There is nothing more gratifying than being truly understood and accepted for who we are. It seems to be a rare occurrence to me. Are you thrilled when you are talking to someone who “gets you”? I am.

Suggestions:

Demonstrate that you are listening. Respond to what was said instead of bringing the conversation back to you. This is the most important thing I say in this newsletter.

Are you taking notes on the conversations you have if you have little ability to recall what was said?

Are you thinking about people in your SOI and calling for no reason? I am.

Are you asking about the trip to Thailand or the mother who was ill or the partner that had a new job offer?

Or are you treating everyone like a number? Baaaddd…

Find out about everyone’s “polar bear”. (Their interests!) See my explanation below!

All of this above will change the way you are perceived.

Polar Bears!

A previous client (who used to be my coach) heard me say years ago that I wanted to see the polar bears in the wild. She noticed an article in the newspaper about the polar bear adventure trips to Churchill, Canada, cut it out and mailed it to me. I will never forget that kindness. She is also truly one of the best listeners I have ever met. I have no idea how she remembers so much of what I say. (I can’t remember squat.) She reminds me of things I said to her 10 years ago. She is an exceptional human being.

By the way - I referred her business over the years!

So… I am suggesting that we all start listening to each other on a deeper more intimate level. You might find out that you have something unusual in common or you might just find a lovely new friend who is rather extraordinary, but you never noticed because you never knew about her “polar bear”.

 

 

 

January 2017 eNewsletter

The Five Minute Journal

How many of you committed to one or more New Year’s Resolutions? I committed to one and only one after a friend gave me a book as a gift.

My commitment is to journal every day for 5 minutes for a year. The results and subsequent change to my attitude has been monumental. The book is titled the Five Minute Journal. It can be purchased on Amazon.

My friend Susan gave me this book on a recent vacation and I started the process. The first few days were hard. I missed an entry one morning. I missed two entries at night.

My inner voice blabbed: “I am so undisciplined! What is wrong with me? Why can’t I get started on this? The journal is on my bedside table. Why is it invisible to me?”

Suddenly the commitment took hold. I have been journaling for 3 weeks now and the time commitment is miniscule. I look at the journal every morning and night; I feel compelled to write. Every day is different! Whatever is pressing rises to the top of my mind and that is what I ponder about. The journaling has turned into a life lesson every day. The best result? How I feel every day.

I feel:

  • Present much more of the day
  • Happier
  • Extremely focused
  • Calmer and more patient
  • Like a new woman
  • That it will affect my business and personal way in so many positive ways
  • Epiphanies show up almost daily
  • Grateful beyond measure

 

I urge you to buy this book and start journaling. The questions are simple yet challenging to answer daily. There is an affirmation section and a gratitude section. Combined, this little exercise is stimulating my mind – to identify what is important, what I feel grateful for and more. I have mentioned it to 6 or 7 clients in the last 2 weeks. Half had heard of it and are making the daily entries. Their experiences were similar to mine.

Please consider it! I believe it will be life changing.

 

 

November/December 2016 eNewsletter

Silent Shoulds

What topic is better than the emotions we are feeling at the end of “crazy December”? Many of you mentioned how relieved you were that it was almost over. Most of us are emotionally spent and not all are taking some time off. Whew… We need to change that.

I heard this in the last few weeks:

  • I can’t shake this cough; I have had it for 4 weeks!
  • I am so mad at my client; they are abusive.
  • My seller wants me to kick in $5,000 and I felt I had to!
  • I am so exhausted. I have horrible insomnia.
  • My memory is shot.
  • Do you have any Advil? I have such a headache.

 

And a few questions:
Did you buy the tree and get all the decorations up by Dec. 1st or the 21st?

Did you have 25 people for dinner on Christmas Eve?

How many holiday parties did you get invited to this year? I was invited to 6. I went to 1. Why? Partly feeling under the weather for 2 weeks but also more importantly, I needed to detox from the intense year we all had. I didn’t want to have another drink or eat any more sugar!

How many holiday lunches did you attend? (All of them, Kitty.)

How many holiday cards did you mail? (Not enough, Kitty.)

Did you hear all the silent “shoulds” in here? Let’s move away from doing what other people think we should be doing.

Here are ways to mitigate your stress next year:

  1. Plan in advance – way in advance for the things you can early. Ex: buy the holiday cards in October and write the personal notes inside in November – 15 per week.
  2. Schedule a few activities each week in your calendar instead of slamming them altogether in 1 week. Was anyone shopping on the 24th? I might have seen you!
  3. Book some “treats” for yourself (manicure, pedicure, Warriors game, playing with your pet or sitting and doing nothing.)
  4. Surround yourself with positive people. Consider firing the challenging personalities.
  5. Take some time to breathe! A daily meditation practice is working for me. A recent article stated that silence actually helps your brain grow and regenerate new cells. (Good news for those of us over 60!)
  6. Exercise at least 4 to 5 times per week. Studies show that exercise can relieve depression.
  7. Plan your vacation and go somewhere! Your clients can wait. They have more respect for us when we have respect for ourselves. Ever notice that? (How do you re-energize if you don’t rest?)
  8. And last… No longer feel you need to say yes to everything. I am focused more on asking myself, “Does this work for me?” Learn to say “No thank you” graciously!

 

Happy 2017!

 

 

 

October 2016 eNewsletter

“Appalling Behavior”

Every few days, I hear another story about clients who are misbehaving. The stories include: 1. the buyer acts like a child and expects you to make the decisions (a real danger signal); 2. A seller who won’t do the repair work when the contract requires it to be completed before the close; 3. a client who won’t listen to anything you say and then blames you for the decision he or she made; and the best one lately? …. 4. A client who tells you to prepare the home for sale and then says she never approved the expenditures. (Thankfully you still have the texts on your phone proving she told you to proceed.)

I have noticed that when the market shifts out of a buyer’s or seller’s favor, they often turn on their agents and blame us for their decisions versus blaming the market. If the seller chose too high of a price, it will become your fault shortly. The lack of accountability is appalling to me. (You can’t say, “You chose the price, you idiot.” OR “You wouldn’t listen.”) How good that would feel.

My advice:

  1. I would interview potential clients carefully and screen them for these odd behaviors. How do I do that, Kitty?
  2.  

  3. Ask questions such as: “Do you want me to manage the updates and repairs or do you prefer to do that yourself?” OR state: “The most effective way I have found to work is for you to give me the key and a budget, and I will manage the process for you.”
  4.  

  5. The first time you experience bad behavior, make a ‘note to self’ - “Do I want to work with this person if he continues to do this?” Then if there is a second bad experience, have the chat below:
  6. Sometimes I find that I am not the best representative for my client. I notice that our communication styles (or values) (or personality styles) are different. I think that you would be better served by working with someone who is a better match to your style. Therefore I would like to refer you to ________, an agent in our office who has excellent references and I think that you would like working with.”

     

  7. If there a hint of the seller starting too high with the price, be willing to walk away and say, “I am happy to list at any price with supporting comparables.” (Overpriced listings hurt your reputation.)
  8.  

  9. If the client isn’t taking responsibility for his/her behavior, say this immediately, “My job is to educate and advise you about the market, the trends, and what is normal in this community so that you may make fully informed and sound financial decisions. You are the decision maker.”
  10.  

  11. And if none of this works, fire the client. It is soooo freeing. I remember my first one and it was such a relief! He was an entitled single man with an attitude of ‘my house is better than anyone else’s’, therefore it should be $100,000 higher than the last comp. He was absurd. No wonder his listing had expired 3 times! Never be so hungry for a listing that you forget you ever had standards.

 

Happy Halloween!

 

 

September 2016 eNewsletter

“A Tale of Two Markets” 

 

I have noticed that there are two distinct markets in the Bay Area and many of them are side by side.

Some of the market (still a seller’s market) is hot, with low DOM’s, high Sales Price to List Price ratios, low inventory, no contingencies, multiple offers, and buyers aplenty. This market is going on in Oakland, Berkeley, and surrounding cities. It looks similar to the last 4 and a half years. The only thing that is quite different is the number of offers that was 10 to 25 a few months ago and now it is 2 to 6 and occasionally higher. This market requires savvy pricing and negotiating to get your seller the highest price.

The other part of the market (a buyer’s market) has slowed with these factors in place: price reductions (up to 10% and sometimes 2 before it brings an offer), contingent offers (contingent upon the sale of another property), high DOM’s, few offers, expired listings, cranky sellers, and demanding buyers (because they can be!). In the city, I have one client whose specialty of high rise condos literally slowed overnight and now the DOM’s for her listings is 30 plus for most listings. Another San Francisco agent has had 3 listings expire in the last 3 months. One in the East Bay is stymied by her listings that sold within 7 days are now sitting for weeks. Many newer agents are not prepared to have the “I need a price adjustment to sell your property.”

Key points:

Remember that you almost never underprice a listing, but you can easily overprice it. In this slower market you can offer less, ask for repairs, and truly negotiate, etc.

Notice that investors are appearing again and looking for bargains.

Pricing your listings has become a guessing game for some agents as you decide which strategy is the best.

Isn’t this challenging business of ours both a huge headache at times and also why we’re in it!? It forces us to grow.

 

August 2016 eNewsletter

Recovering Perfectionist

Perfectionism! This is the latest habit to show up in my coaching practice. Actually it is a life-long trait for most of us. Perfectionism is both a blessing and a curse.

The Benefits:
You are on time for your appointments.
You get back to clients and agents with prompt calls, email and texts.
You write and design beautiful marketing pieces.
You are thoughtful, and careful about what you say and how it will affect others.
You prepare for negotiation.

The Downsides:
You get mired in the minutiae. You rewrite emails 3 times “to get it right.”
Your marketing doesn’t get out on a consistent basis because it isn’t “good enough”.
You beat yourself up after a “less than perfect” meeting or phone call with a client or colleague.
You over analyze what you did yesterday and this morning, always assessing what you could have done better.
You don’t finish projects that you begin. Or you don’t start because you don’t know “how”.
You don’t trust anyone to help you do things because you know “best”.
You can get “frozen”.

Before I give you advice how to stop this behavior (or at least lessen its effect on your business) I have to admit that I have it too. My perfectionism used to annoy me. I now call myself a recovering perfectionist as I have worked on reducing its hold on me for decades.

The Truth? My “B” quality work is most people’s “A” quality work. So I let go of the paralysis and tell myself – “Get it done! It is fine!”

Kitty, what can we do to break the cycle? Here is what I suggest:

 

  1. Start small, as with all things. Choose one thing to finish or let go of.
  2. Set deadlines with yourself and make a rule that you cannot go to the next task without finishing (and sending out) the first one.
  3. Set monthly deadlines too. This E-newsletter has to go out by the end of each month so I start it by the 20th of the month.
  4. Address what went well in a phone call or meeting and what you could do differently next time. Spend only 10 minutes analyzing it! Just learn from it and then let go.
  5. Make a list of the “unfinished” projects yu have and set deadlines for each one:
  6. Example:
            Edit Buyer’s Handbook by Sept. 15
          Update Listing Presentation by Sept. 30
            Find new CRM by October 15.
  7. Delegate when you can! Train someone else to do that task and let go of the “I have to do this myself” attitude.
  8. Let go of the fear of making a mistake – in writing, in speaking and in public. No one cares that much about you! Learn to laugh about it. I have been doing that for years - In trainings, where I am telling a story, sometimes I cannot remember why I am telling the story! I make fun of it and move on!
  9. And last… Realize that perfectionism has been holding you back from being your most capable self and relax. It is wonderfully calming to lessen this character trait!

 

 

July 2016 eNewsletter

Consistency

The simple concept of consistency has been coming up in coaching and training lately. Why would that be? Because when we get busy, we get off track! We don’t call clients, don’t do the weekly Social Media post, don’t mail the farm piece and don’t call sphere of influence to schedule the social events that may bring us business. The worst one is that we let our follow up slip and we don’t get the listing or the referred buyer finds another agent who cares enough to call back. Sound familiar?

It goes deeper than that – we lose consistency in ALL areas of our lives – our dates with our significant other (when was the last time you went away for a long weekend?), playing with our kids, seeing our parents, and even taking good care of ourselves. Have you had a massage or a pedicure or a quiet meditative half hour in the last month?

An unknown result is that we don’t get the next referral because the referring agent (or sphere) gets the message that we are “too busy” or don’t care or have bad habits. We never hear about the ones that got away. No one says anything to us. Our sphere and Realtor database just stops sending referrals our way. How will you know if you are guilty of this? I may hear about it and will tell you!

An example: In the last month I have heard 3 things about a former coaching client, who happens to be very busy. She is in the middle of a transaction with a client of mine who said she never responds. Another said she avoids tough conversations. A third said she is flaky.

None of this is good.

How do we remedy this when we are working 60 to 70 hours a week?

It is frankly one of the “critical to success” habits that we must get in place. I find it challenging too. Two weeks were quiet in July for me and now it is mayhem.

I suggest the following:

  1. Block 4 to 5 10-minute periods in your calendar to respond to calls, texts and emails throughout the day. That way you can stay on top of them.
  2. When you are about to drive to an appointment, dial a phone number of a past client or Sphere of Influence and drive while you chat. Multi-tasking!
  3. Consider hiring an assistant if you really need more help. Ten hours a week X $20 per hour is only $10,000 per year. You can afford it! Think abundance!
  4. If you are horribly behind, do what I did last Friday night – I sat at my computer until I had only 25 emails to deal with and very little on my To Do List. It took hours, but I cleared my emails, my desk and the clutter in my mind. It was haunting me.

Enjoy the summer!

 

June 2016 eNewsletter

Shiny Object

Hi everyone,

Shiny Object - I love this phrase; it makes me smile every time I hear it. Why? Because I can get engrossed, engaged and distracted by a new toy or a new anything very easily. I call my list of shiny objects My Really Good Ideas.com List. It is endless. Alas… if only I had the time to implement every good idea or play with every new toy or read every book or try every new kitchen gadget that people recommend. I can get so distracted and lose focus on the foundation of my business.

Somewhere in the last few years I woke up and stopped pretending that everything on my list was going to get done. I can’t write a new script every week, I don’t have the time to start another branch of my business called Marketing Help for Agents and I cannot be “everything to everyone”. I bought two more books this week. Enough! Does this sound familiar?

Many of you have used this phrase (shiny object) with me this last 6 months. It is time to bring it to your attention and urge you to act with reason, caution and balance in mind.

That new Social Media platform is not going to give you 5 deals per year – only if you spend 20 hours a week pursuing leads. That lead generation company that has a “remarkable” new model will not produce much either. That new phone or computer or Fit Bit or CRM software will not make an enormous difference in your production. YOUR ACTIONS WILL DO THAT.

Please think about the following:

If we used all that energy that we expend on trying new ideas and toys, and instead directed it towards very productive activities such as marketing, farming, prospecting and staying in touch with sphere, wouldn’t we get more business?

Yes we would! Please pay more attention to the simple building of relationships and you will thrive. That is and always will be the key element that will sustain your business.

Thank you!

 

April/May 2016 eNewsletter

Creating Culture

In several conversations with Realtors and loan agents recently, I have been talking about "culture" or the environment in which they work and how they want to change it. I view your businesses as having 2 cultures. The first is the one that your company created where you may have little influence as to the development of the culture.  The second is the one that you create for yourself and your team (which might include an assistant, a buyer's agent, a listing coordinator, your affiliates and sub-contractors).  I think both are worth discussing here.

The environment in your office may be one of professionalism, collaboration and learning. Or you may notice that the environment in your office has a low level of accountability or the marketing standards seems low or inconsistent or that the receptionist is not doing his or her job welcoming clients who call or come into the office. I have noticed that some office have an atmosphere of non-collaboration - meaning I am afraid of sharing good ideas as the colleague sitting next to me may copy my best ideas.

It may not be appropriate for you to give the manager or broker feedback, even though it is for the betterment of the office.  This is challenging!

Here is how to affect the company culture without providing feedback:

1. Behave in a way that exudes the desired change - always in the affirmative.

2. Speak about improving the office as a whole, not the individual issues. I call this speaking from the office or company vision - not your own point of view or vision.

Example: "I think that we should be supporting and seeing each other's listings. I think it helps all of us if we go on tour and see all of the office listings. It communicates to the sellers that we are a team and that we support one another."

3.    Offer to help other agents when they need coverage at an Open House due to illness.

4.    Speak about volunteering at your non-profit to encourage others to do the same.

5.    Be responsive (within 2 hours) to your colleagues in the office and see how it affects others.

6.    Compliment agents when they do something well.

7.    Be accountable and turn in ad copy on time, etc.

8.    Solve conflict masterfully and within 24 hours (that is my own rule!) if possible.

Creating your own culture is much easier but takes some planning and consistent behavior. If you have several people on your team, have a meeting to discuss your vision of yourself and the team, and how you work together. Think about the service you provide and your reputation. What will you be known for?  Who are you?

Revisit this with the team at least once a year to see how you are performing against the desired goals and culture.  Remember that you are the keeper of the vision and the leader in creation of the culture. You set the standard, you raise it and you need to address it when the culture is shifting in the wrong direction.

Some character traits to address when creating your culture:

Will Power, Fortitude, Integrity, Humility, Compassion, Generosity, Kindness, Empathy, Sympathy, Collaborative, Patient, Good Listener, Open, Curious about Life and Others, Flexibility, Optimism, Loyalty, Determination, Service-oriented, Supportive, Accountability, and more.

Have fun with it. Make it a priority. It takes time to build a culture!

Thanks for listening!

Kitty


March 2016 eNewsletter

Playing Small

All of us at some time in our lives have "played small". I am referring to Marianne Williamson's quote: "Your playing small does not serve the world."

A block, a barrier, a negative thought or an intimidating person throw us back a few steps. We set a low goal instead of reaching for the stars because we are "not enough". We never go after something we say we want because we have a fear of failure or a fear of success. Or we lower our standards, or never set any standards because that would mean we had to "try" to achieve them.

One agent said to me, "I don't want to go after that farm; too many big producers work that area."

Another revealed, "I have never sold anything over a million dollars. I can't really work in that market. I didn't come from money."

A third: "I would rather plan my goal really low so I make it."

All of this "stuff" above comes into our thoughts because we are operating from fear. It doesn't serve you, your family, your clients or the world. Why not play fully?

What would it look like? To go through the negative belief systems. To operate in abundance? Can you imagine not dealing with this negative thinking?

Can you imagine only seeing what is possible?

Can you imagine reaching something that you thought you didn't deserve? That you thought was out of your reach?

I have been talking to many coaching and training clients in the last few months about "playing fully". Isn't time we shut off that tape in our head that is full of lies?

I intend to play fully by:

* Surrounding myself with positive people who love and support one another.

* Living my life with happiness, joy, serenity and success.

* Being kind, loving, generous, sympathetic and empathetic.

* Demonstrating courage, tenacity and independence.

* Living my life with great abandon and freedom (my most important value).

I expect success. Isn't time we all did?

Thanks for listening!

Kitty


February 2016 eNewsletter

Emotional Intelligence

This term was coined by Daniel Goleman. "Emotional intelligence (EI) or emotional quotient (EQ) is the capacity of individuals to recognize their own, and other people's emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior."

It has been a nifty term to describe when we have the ability to recognize what is going on with us and others, and then knowing what to do with those emotions. I love observing Emotional Intelligence (and the lack thereof). Some people come by it naturally. Others have no idea what this concept is all about.

I recently spent some time with 3 people in 3 different situations that had vastly different levels of "EI." It was fascinating to watch.  I felt like I was in the middle of a huge case study. I was the researcher. They were the "rats".

The first was a man I met at an Open House for a Masters' Program on Saturday. (I am considering a master's' degree). We were all gathered in the lobby waiting for the presentation to begin. This man introduced himself to me, "Hi, my name is John." His confidence was noticeable. He had great eye contact, then strong handshake, then kind words and a hello to the new Program Chair that I was standing next to. Instead of the typical questions, he asked her what she was experiencing being part of the program.  I was shocked. I think she was too. Everyone else was asking questions that were focused on themselves, their needs and what they were going to get out of the program, including me. He was thoughtful, gently provocative and a truly superb listener.

Two hours later, he and I were seated in a room, waiting to listen to a presentation on Skype. I shared with him what I thought of his wonderful and generous questions. He smiled shyly and said thank you for noticing. I felt connected to him immediately and deeply.  (Too bad he wasn't single.)

The second person was a woman I talked to briefly at a training. She wanted my opinion on a rather complicated situation. She talked incessantly for 5 minutes, without taking a breath it seemed, and was clueless that I had only a 10 minute break and just might need to use the restroom. Or that I might need a break from standing for several hours in the training. I studied her intently as she talked. What caused her to be this very self-focused person who had no awareness of me, my emotions or anyone around her? Was this narcissism, unconscious, or just a challenging problem?  Who knows? The key - her behavior was annoying. I caught myself not listening. (I hate admitting that.)

The third person was a guest at a birthday party on Saturday night. There were over 30 people talking, drinking and celebrating the 60th birthday of a friend. I observed a friend of mine for about 45 minutes. She asked questions of others that she had just met. She was patient, kind, listened with a terrific ear and responded with more questions, then she finally moved the conversation to herself. I felt honored to know her.

Obviously, this highly developed ability to read others and oneself comes partly from our familial environment, the many different work cultures we have experienced and exposure to friends, family, etc. Society also has to play a role in how we develop this skill. Therapy would affect it too.

It is simply much more interesting to spend time with people of high Emotional Intelligence.  Please take a look at your own abilities. Is it innate or do you have to work at it?

Please choose consciously.

Thanks for listening!

Kitty


January 2016 eNewsletter

Principle-based Living

I have noticed something recently about the way we are doing business that is inconsistent with our values. We are not being true to ourselves. Many of you have heard me say this before - is your behavior in alignment with your goals? Go one step further - is your behavior in alignment with your principles? That is the heart of the issue.

Let me explain.

The Stories:

1. A coaching client asked me how to approach someone whose mother had died because the house would be sold. He explained to me what he intended to write in the letter to the son and I realized the agent I knew was not coming across accurately in the letter. His kindness and big heart was not obvious. I suggested edits to the letter demonstrating his compassion (his own father died 2 years ago and we mentioned that and how he could take care of all the details). He got the appointment and then signed the listing.  He was true to his character and values. (Of course there is more to this, but not room to tell the entire story.)

2. Another agent asked me how to get an elderly woman to clean out her house. He had the listing signed, but she had accumulated "stuff" for decades and was moving very slowly in the de-cluttering process. He was afraid that he had said some things to her that caused her to go even more slowly. He asked me for help. How could he repair the relationship?

I coached him to call her (or better yet - meet with her in person), apologize for not listening, and let her know that he was there to support her. He told her that she could take all the time she needed and he understood that it was a big task and very emotional. She then cleaned out the property very quickly! Obviously he did a terrific job of saying sorry.

3. A client of mine asked how to deal with a potential client in his 80's, whose male friend had listed the property originally and the listing had expired. The agent/friend was selling real estate in the same old fashioned manner as he did 20 years ago. He did not have the seller update the property, nor stage it. My coaching client could see exactly why it didn't sell. No updating, no staging and overpriced! My advice was to approach the seller, be compassionate, talk about what needed to be done to sell the property in this market, and offer to pay the original listing agent a referral fee. I will hear shortly about the result.

(The stories have been changed slightly to protect the innocent.)

Summary:

Please take a hard look - Are you operating your business based on the principles you live by? Are you demonstrating that you understand each client's particular needs? Have you put yourself in the client's shoes and felt what he/she is experiencing? Are you looking at the reason for the move?  Birth, divorce, death, down sizing, job transfer, promotion or loss of a job?  Are you listening and responding appropriately or are you treating all the clients the same?

I believe that we forget sometimes that we are dealing with a very emotional transition. It doesn't matter whether it is a happy or sad occasion. Moves can be devastating and we neglect to express our sympathy about the reason for the move. Every one of your clients is under stress. Remember that and you will do more business.

It is time we returned to operating our business from our core principles. What are yours?

Some of mine: Integrity, listening, compassion, patience, gratitude, accountability, and fun!

Thanks for listening!

Kitty


December 2015 eNewsletter

Random Acts of Kindness

We have all heard and appreciated this phrase since the book, Random Acts of Kindness, was written. These random acts are small gestures that warm the heart, sweeten the soul, and help us remember the best in each other. They also build intimate connections with strangers without expectation, or reward.

On December 21st, I met two pals in the city for lunch. That day it was pouring buckets, coming in and out of the city. I walked to my car solo and noticed a guy without a coat or umbrella approaching the crosswalk. He was soaking wet. I stood next to him, holding my umbrella over the two of us.  He glanced my way, pulled away slightly, assessing me for signs of lunacy and decided that I was acceptable, and laughed a bit. I said I was happy to share for a minute. We walked across the street together and parted ways. He smiled and said thank you.

The day before Christmas, I was back in the city for client appointments. I noticed a man that I presumed to be homeless on the steps of a Sacramento Street church. He was rummaging through a back pack as I stopped to talk to him.

"Hi, how are you?" I said. (I felt a bit awkward.)  I asked gently, "Are you homeless?" He said, "Yes I am."

I asked, "Where do you sleep?" He said, "Around the corner."

He was no more than 50 and looked like he just had been down on his luck.

"Are you hungry?" I asked. "Could you use a meal?"  He said, "Yes I am."

I responded, "Here, this can help towards some food." I handed him $5. (Now it seems so small.)
His eyes filled up a bit and he said very enthusiastically, "Merry Christmas!" to me with a lovely smile on his face. My eyes filled up too. I thought I am going to do this again.

A few days ago, I was on my way to meet a client in Nordstrom Pleasanton for lunch. A Pepsi can blew off the overflowing garbage can outside the store entrance in front of me. I picked it up and pushed it down on top of the trash. I hadn't noticed a man walking behind me, who said, "I can't believe you did that." I was quite dressed up in a dress with a long coat, scarf and boots. I smiled and told him I had been doing small things like that for a couple of days and that it just made me feel good and grateful. He held the door for me and we parted ways with grins on our faces.

These three gestures were so small and so wonderful - to observe people's reactions, to feel the warmth of strangers and to give to others. My message this month is to reach out and touch someone's life and see what happens. These random acts changed me and I will continue to do one every day if I can.

Happy 2016 to all of you!

Thanks, Kitty


November 2015 eNewsletter

Micro-inequities

I read this phrase several years ago in an article and thought it was time to share it as I experienced it recently four times.

From the internet - A Micro-inequity is a theory that refers to hypothesized ways in which individuals are either singled out, overlooked, ignored, or otherwise discounted based on an unchangeable characteristic such as race or gender.

In 1973 Mary Rowe(link is external), while working for the President and Chancellor at MIT, coined the notion of micro-inequities, which she defined as "apparently small events which are often ephemeral and hard-to-prove, events which are covert, often unintentional, frequently unrecognized by the perpetrator, which occur wherever people are perceived to be 'different.' "  Examples of micro-inequities include:

checking emails or texting during a face-to-face conversationconsistently mispronouncing a person's nameinterrupting a person mid-sentencemaking eye-contact only with males while talking to a group containing both males and femalestaking more questions from men than womenconfusing a person of a certain ethnicity with another person of the same ethnicityraising your voice, even though the other person has no difficulties hearing youmentioning the achievements of some people at a meeting but not others whose achievements are equally relevantconsistently ignoring a person's emails for no good reason

These are my recent encounters with it.

1. I recently attended a party at a girlfriend's house where I knew almost no one. A few people arrived and literally the first 5 people that walked by me didn't say hello, hi, or even look at me. I was standing so close to them it was odd and awkward. It would have been the most natural and normal thing in the world to acknowledge me in some way.

2.  I walked into a real estate office in early October and stood at the front desk while the receptionist kept talking to a colleague. This went on for a few minutes; she did not look up. I knew she saw me. I waited patiently (honestly I wanted to report her to her manager whom I know well) and was ticked by the time she said, "How can I help you?"

3.  A few months ago, a cashier in a store scanned my items and then placed the receipt in front of me to sign and dropped the pen on the counter instead of handing it to me. The pen bounced on the counter.

4.  I emailed the president of a company about asking her for advice in coaching an employee of hers. I have been hired by this company many times to coach and train. No response whatsoever. What is that?!

All of these are slights and they may be unconscious but it doesn't matter. They are all rude in my mind. I was appalled to experience it.   Please pay attention to this and don't be part of it. It hurts your business and hurts all of mankind.

Thanks, Kitty


October 2015 eNewsletter

Build the Relationship

Hi everyone,

A new coaching client asked me recently to explain how I knew I got a listing in the initial appointment of 20 minutes. I always did 2-stop listings. I explained how I spoke to the woman, and bonded with her. I asked her about the blueberry and raspberry vinegar on her kitchen counter. I was truly interested as I had never seen them before. (OK... I am up there in age! This was 23 years ago.) He said he then understood why I was a successful listing agent. I showed interest in her and her life.

That conversation taught me something  - that perhaps I am not explaining enough about how to build a deep, solid and exceptional relationship with a client (and everyone) that provides repeat business and referrals for years.

So here is that explanation - I will use the pronoun "she" to make it less cumbersome than "he/she".

1.   Are you listening at a deep level?  Did you hear what she said and what she didn't say?

2.   Did you read her body language while she talked and when she didn't?

3.   Did you make a note about her tone? Was it happy, nervous, sad, emotional?

4.   Did your heart tell you something about her as well as your mind?

5.   Did your intuition speak and tell you about her?

6.   Did you keep the conversation on her or did you bring it back to you because you think that builds rapport. (If you do that too often, it communicates that "it's all about you!"   THIS IS CRITICAL!

7.   Are you asking open ended questions? (Tell me more... How does that make you feel...  Why is that important...)

8.   Are you conscious of the delivery? Speedy, too slow or just right? Are you racing through the questions or statements to get it done?

9.   Is your tone warm, friendly and medium in volume?

10.               Are you having eye contact? Or do you look away because you are uncomfortable?

Learning how to communicate in this way is a gift. It makes the client feel valued and validated. I know I appreciate it when I am treated this way.

Practice with your friends, spouse, partner or kids until the approach becomes second nature. It can change your business and all relationships forever!

Thanks!

Kitty

A caveat - you have to "custom build the relationship".  Your communication and listening skills with one client will be vastly different than the next.


September 2015 eNewsletter

Tell the Truth

Coaching clients often tell me stories about over priced listings (or a potential seller who wants to list well above Fair Market Value).

We have this conversation with sellers without redirecting the seller to the critical issue -  That what the seller wants has nothing to do with its value. They are unrelated.

None of these has anything to do with the value:

What the seller paid for itWhat the seller needsWhat the seller wantsWhat the property down the street sold for 6 months ago.

Why are we afraid to have this conversation? Because we are afraid to lose the listing by being direct? Because we are afraid to damage the relationship?

Do you have a problem making such direct statements?

I would urge you to practice your script a few times to get comfortable telling the seller the truth. If you fail to do so, it will come back to haunt you and cause more problems in the relationship than if you told the truth up front. You just get fired later or receive no referrals because the seller can see that you were afraid to address the issue up front. Respect is lost.

By the way:  I am not saying that a seller can't wait until spring to "get their price". That is fine. I am saying we need to educate, advise, and be very clear about how a buyer and his/her agent (and the appraiser) determines their offer price. By the comparable sales.

Tell the truth. Tell the clients what they need to hear - not what they want to hear. I have found that speaking the truth in every situation works to develop meaningful, long lasting relationships. Clients recognize that we have to say some challenging things and they respect us more, not less.

Thanks, Kitty


August 2015 eNewsletter

Our Responsibility

I think we have an enormous responsibility in this lifetime to do the right thing with the power and influence we have as leaders in our community. The older I get, the more I think this.

I think we should be committed to learning, to growing, and using our assets (intellect, energy, and our physical being), and our skills to help our brothers and sisters come along for the ride.  What does this mean?

What we do with that responsibility and influence can be wonderfully positive or negative. We can impact others in a destructive way so easily - A slight when we run into them, a lack of response, or a comment about their pricing on a listing.

We need to demonstrate by example through our interactions. I call it "training others" by how we treat them.  Our colleagues don't know that we trained them. They just experience an accepting, collegial and warm way of interacting.  How hard can it be to always be kind, patient and forgiving?

The result:  Others (clients and colleagues) want to be around you because you were without judgment. It is a rare interaction or relationship in business today that feels truly accepting.

Questions to ponder:

Have you gossiped about a colleague because you thought he/she was not bright? Perhaps he/she was just having a bad day due to an upsetting event in his/her personal life.

Did you judge someone in your mind because they have less experience in the business and he/she didn't know how to manage the huge pile of paperwork for a condo transaction?

Do you show patience and acceptance of new Realtors or loan agents in the community? Or did you act like a know-it-all?

Were you rude for no reason?

Have you ever said something snippy to another person? These were said to me: "What... don't you have any client control?" and "Just how long have you been in the business?"  (You can guess the tone of voice - belittling!)

Results of being conscious of your influence as a leader in the community:

You are asked for advice.People notice your compassion.Your patience makes for a more balanced life.Your kind, forgiving nature forges long term healthy relationships.Your reputation is enhanced.You are respected by the brokerage community.

Think about this. I recommend it.

Thanks, Kitty


July 2015 eNewsletter 

Passive vs. Assertive vs. Aggressive

Every client is in at least three high stress situations while buying or selling real estate; the reason for the move (birth, marriage, death, divorce, job promotion, etc.), the process of obtaining a mortgage, the moving, and the transaction itself.

Many times during the last month I have had a conversation with a coaching client about how and when to be assertive, without being pushy and tarnishing one’s reputation. Conversely, how can we be patient, gentle, and a good listener, yet not appear soft or indecisive?

This is truly a balancing act. Some situations demand that you be stronger in tone, words and style. Others need the softer, kinder style. It is critical to be attentive to customizing your communication style depending on the client’s communication style and their style.

What does aggressive look like? (I believe this one should be rarely used.)

  • You begin a sentence with, “YOU should, YOU need to, YOU ought to or Look, you need to…”
  • You try to “push” clients into a decision that you think is the best one.
  • You don’t listen to your clients’ needs and wants; you’re focused on your own – which is to get paid.
  • You get impatient.
  • You demonstrate judgment through your words, body language and tone.
  • You feel incensed that they aren’t listening to you. (Did you put yourself in their shoes?)
  • The clientspush back because they have gleaned from your communication style that they are merely a number to you.(You have calculated the commission and it is obvious).

 

What does passive look like?

  • You are afraid to be direct and say what you think.
  • You won’t speak up when they choose the worst of the 3 options you gave them.
  • You avoid conflict regularly.
  • You take too long to have the challenging conversation about commission, a price reduction or the low offer they want to write.
  • You simply are afraid of losing the client or not being liked.

 

What does assertive look like?

  • You are clear, direct and you exude confidence.
  • You say what you think in a neutral manner.
  • You have expressed your concerns for their unwise decisions.
  • You never use the words: “Look, you need to” OR the others from the Aggressive section above.
  • You have set clear boundaries with the client about how you work, the hours you are available, and what is expected of them to buy or sell a property.
  • You always educate clients up front about the process.
  • You are comfortable telling clients what can go wrong in this particular market.

 

Summary: It is very challenging for some of us to be assertive with everyone all day long, especially with strong personalities and dominant types. It is so important that you learn this trait because you cannot build trust and respect, two essential components of your relationship building.

Please take the time to think through the above. What are you doing that is hurting the development of strong, long term relationships with clients and colleagues?

Thanks, Kitty

 

June 2015 eNewsletter 

If it’s not a hell yes it’s a no.

I was talking to a girlfriend the other day about a date that I’d had, and after a long conversation, she said, “If he’s not a hell yes, he’s a no.

I love that statement because it’s so simple. It’s honest, it’s true and it’s powerful. And the best part of the statement – it gives you a high standard to follow and it keeps your boundaries clear. That same principle applies to your real estate or loan agent business. How many of you have worked with a client who tested your patience, was chronically late, did not return a phone call, or never took your advice (and then complained afterwards)?

Wouldn’t it be novel to only work with clients who workthe same way you do?If the client is a “hell yes,” she listens to your advice, she closes the transaction, and she refers you business for years. If the client is a “no,”thenrefer her, terminate the relationship, or have what I call “the blunt discussion.” (This is how I work… do you want to work in this way or shall we part ways?)

How do we set the boundaries in the initial appointment? We ask the client how he/she would like to work:

- What is your ideal method of communication and ideal frequency?
- Do you prefer succinct emails or would you prefer all the details?
- Do you make decisions quickly or do you need time to process over night?
- Are you willing to take my advice???
- For sellers: If you are willing to spend the time, money and energy to prepare the home for sale and stage it?That is what it will take to get top dollar.
- It takes planning and strategy to achieve the highest possible sales price in this market.
- For buyers: If you are willing to write a significant amount over the asking price and non-contingent upon a loan, appraisal, and inspection, then you will be successful in this market.
- It takes courage to buy in this market.

So, back to dating ☺, if the date is cheap, is chronically late, lies, or is evasive, it’s a hell no. If the date is kind, generous, has integrity, is fun, and curious about others, it’s a hell yes.

So, back to the internet. I’m still looking.

 

May 2015 eNewsletter 

“Clutter”

I took a week off to do a “stay-cation” in early May and get caught up on life, work, the garage, the garden, the many old documents in 3 file cabinets, etc. The list was overwhelming.

Did I finish? No, but it was quite satisfying to check off the ridiculously long list. I had help from my assistant. We easily spent 15 hours together. I spend another 15 hours on my own.

I had a handyman come in and build some shelves. I took many things to charities. I fixed sprinklers (I didn’t – the handyman did). I replaced the dead plants in the garden.

What did I learn??? That the clutter in my life was cluttering up my head, my work life and my personal life. I used to write down every good idea and think irrationally that I would be able to get to it within a few days. One of you would ask me for a script and I said,“Yes I have time to write it.”That is a lie. I don’t. Not in this state of mind.

I have not been in planning mode. I have been in reactive mode. I only get done what is critical each week. What am I thinking? I am the business coach.

For those of you who know me, I look very organized on the surface. Truthfully, I feel scattered and way out of control. The list is still long, but I had an epiphany. It was emotional. It was physical. It was even spiritual to figure this out.

I identified what keeps me from being truly productive and living life to the fullest and that is that TO DO LIST.

It haunts me. It keeps me up at night. It keeps me from being in the present. I am always thinking about how to get in 3 more errands before I go home. Every day is focused on that list. I feel like it strangles me. So… what was my lesson?

I am making time to get all the important things on the list completed within 2 weeks and then my agreement with myself is that:

The list stays current.

I say no to any more than I can complete that week.

I play more. I try to date. Hah!

I live my life without the nagging feeling that I don’t do enough for others. I do.

I am enough.

 

April 2015 eNewsletter 

“I’m really busy!”

In the last month, I have heard two familiar comments that are very telling.

1. “I am really busy” (and grateful that I am).” “I am slammed.”

OR

2. “I am thinking about changing brokerages.” Or “I am thinking about leaving real estate.” Or “I am so upset with that agent who stole that client from me." Or “I hate the business.”

What’s really going on with all of the statements in number 2?

You are not busy! And why? Because you are not willing to do what it takes. Secondly, you are so focused what isn’t working that you don’t take ownership of your own behavior. It is time you did. I say this with great compassion.

The market is hot. And it is very challenging. It is the toughest Seller’s Market I have ever seen. There is good movement everywhere. Twenty percent of the agents are on fire. Sixty percent are doing well. And the last twenty percent are crying the blues.

Which pool are you in?

I urge you to take advantage of this hot market and get going. Some great ideas (all have been tested):

  1. Have you called your past clients from your first few years in business? One agent got 3 listings this way.
  2. Have you sent out multiple sales postcards to sphere and your farm? One agent took 5 listings in the last year.
  3. If your SOI is not producing 70 to 80 percent of your business, then finds ways to add 10 new people per month. (Your sphere might be literally or figuratively dead.) Such events are:
  4. Have you been to a networking event to meet new people?
  5. Have you sent CMAs to past clients from your first few years?
  6. Did you send birthday cards out? Valentine’s Day cards? One agent took a listing from Valentine’s Day cards.
  7. Send a mailing about the possibility of interest rates going up. The buyer pool will decrease. It is a great time to sell to maximize your proceeds!

Back to the comment “I am so busy.” Be very careful about saying that out loud. Your clients will be concerned that you don’t have time for them or you don’t have time for their referrals.

So here is a better way to answer the question, “How are you doing in real estate?”

“I am so fortunate to have had a very good year last year and a great first part of this year, however I will always have time for you, your family and your friends.”

Happy spring!

Kitty

 

March 2015 eNewsletter 

I. What’s Happening in the Bay Area:

  1. Buyers are less loyal and less trusting than 4 years ago.
  2. Some are taking a break (some permanently). And when they do, sometimes they can no longer afford the price range they were looking in.
  3. Some sellers have gotten greedy (one got 4 offers over asking and didn’t accept any!).
  4. There is no inventory. In the city – it is 33% down over last year and every year has been lower!
  5. Why? Sellers are afraid to go on the market because they have no place to go.
  6. Some sellers cannot qualify for a new loan so they can’t sell.
  7. A good sign: Inventory doubled in last week’s tour in Berkeley from the week before.
  8. Interest rates will very likely go up sometime in the next few months. (The Fed Reserve will raise the discount rate.)
  9. Days on Market is below 14 for most properties.
  10. Many properties are selling “off market”. One client recently double ended two of her own listings.
  11. The Sales Price to List Price percentage is climbing. Everywhere! Estimate: 106% of list and many cities have a higher average.
  12. The farther away you are from San Francisco, the slower the market. (Translation: fewer offers, longer DOM and lower SP to LP percentage).
  13. Previous clients don’t always use us again. Dang!
  14. Most properties are updated and staged because they sell more quickly.
  15. The Buyers’ biggest concern – they can’t compete if they have a loan. They have to write higher to offset that fact. Then they have a possible appraisal problem.
  16. Cash is 25 to 35% of all the offers.
  17. The Paredo Rule is still in effect: 20% of the agents are doing 80% of the business. That 20% is who is getting the listings.
  18. The first 2 months of 2015 were off to a slow start for 80% of the agents.
  19. Open houses are a great way to pick up buyers if you don’t pounce on them. And meet sellers!
  20. Being a listing agent is always “king”. (Nothing new there)
  21. I have about a dozen clients who are super busy:

One has 11 transactions (active, pending or sold.)

One had 15 transactions (active, pending or sold.)

One has 22 transactions (active, pending or sold.)

One has 5 at an average of $1.7 M.

One opened 14 escrows in the last 2 months and signed 10 listings.

II. My Advice

  1. Be a listing agent
  2. Maintain a positive attitude – clients are reading your negativity and frustration.
  3. Market consistently – it will haunt you later if you don’t.
  4. Stay in touch with past clients and SOI. Or they will shop you when it comes time to buy or sell. Your database is critical.
  5. Add to that database until it gets above 300. You need it to be refreshed monthly because it gets stale. Referrals can dry up.
  6. Be a listing agent.
  7. Try new marketing – humor, quirky, creative and very direct is working!
  8. Provide extra services to be memorable.
  9. Attend networking events 4 times per month. It works!
  10. Do an Open House on the Saturday before the Sunday Open House for the neighbors alone. You meet SELLERS!
  11. Be a listing agent.
  12. Fix your personality. It’s still a relationshipbusiness!
  13. Do all of the above. ☺

 

February 2015 eNewsletter 

Belief Systems

I would like to share with you somestories about personal breakthroughs that changed the clients’ outlook and mind set about their business and themselves. And their incomes jumped.

The main reason for the “breakthroughs”?A change in the way that the client “framed” his or her story.In other words, telling yourself the truth.

Let me explain:

Story #1: A client recently described her very first listing (it was over $1M). The seller, who was a friend, was quite obstinate about spending money on an inspection to find out the condition of a raised area in her floor. She chose not to obtain the report. The house went into escrow very close to the asking price. The “raised floor” problem was noted on the buyer’s inspection report and the transaction fell apart. The buyer was frightened off by the inspector’s comments. Another buyer appears and the seller doesn’t take the offer, although again it was very close to the asking price. The seller lost the property 2 years later through foreclosure.

The agent knew intellectually that she did not do anything wrong. Emotionally she hung onto this “mistake”for 4 years. She considered it her fault. We uncovered it in coaching and she let go once she realized that it had nothing to do with her. She did nothing wrong.

The truth? The seller chose not to take her advice. She increased her income by nearly $200,000 in one year.

Story #2: Several years ago, I was coaching an agent for whom English was a second language. She didn’t speak it perfectly. (But who among us, who were born here, speak it correctly?)

She often asked me to correct her emails, notes and her speech. I refused to, stating that it was okay to make a mistake. That became a major breakthrough for her and her business doubled in the 1st year of working together. Now she earns 5 times that amount.

Story #3: This story is shocking. I noticed that a client was exhausted. She kept taking on more and more. Every minute of her schedule was filled. She was a Realtor, had taken a part time job, was in school getting her masters degree, had just had her second baby, and had a husband! I asked her why she filled up every minute of her schedule as full as she could, and what was she trying to prove? And to whom?

She had an epiphany about an ugly (and very inappropriate) comment from a teacher when she was 16 years old. The teacher said something to the effect that that she would never amount to anything because she was stupid.

The lesson from these stories? Tell yourself the truth. The facts, not the emotional story. Most of the time, you didn’t make a mistake. And move on. You don’t have time to dwell on the upsets. Just learn the lesson and don’t repeat it!

 

July 2014 eNewsletter 

Bad Manners

Good manners are to be treasured and savored. They seem to be getting scarcer these days as etiquette and courtesy have disappeared.

I have noticed that many people do not write thank you notes at all anymore. This is a gentle reminder that you should write a note for all dinners, lunches, and other events to which you were invited and attended. Also a note should be written for gifts or thoughtful actions towards you. These actions are rare today and always appreciated.

Example: I held an event last year for clients and I tracked the “thank you” notes and calls. Approximately 25% of the attendees sent an email, a note or called me afterward. I find that appalling.

Want more referrals? Clean up your manners in all areas.

How?

Say hello to everyone in your office every day.
Learn the staff’s names and be polite always.
Always begin and end appointments with a thank you.
Give undivided attention with clients, colleagues (everyone!)
Use “Please”, “Thank you”, “You are welcome” and “Nice to meet you” often.
Do not repeat gossip; it should end with you.
Never complain in public; it is boring.
Demonstrate the same courtesy to subordinates as superiors
Be respectful with very experienced coworkers and clients (they worked in a different era)
Do not ever use sexist or racial terms
Be aware of people’s special needs – hearing problem, a bad back, absenteeism for a religious holiday
When receiving recognition, mention the contributions of others
Take the role of host when the host of an event is busy
Learn people’s names and titles, especially the receptionist at any company
Introduce yourself if joining a meeting late; do not interrupt the conversation
Introduce yourself to new colleagues
Listen, have eye contact and be attentive when others are speaking

Remember – you are building a reputation for good manners by everything that you do!

 

May 2014 eNewsletter 

Resonating

I think one of the most important factors that make us successful in any sales business is “resonating”.
My definition: Resonating is when you are “in the zone”, on top of your game, getting referrals on a regular basis, and when you just notice that you feel relaxed, confident and in general are very successful.
What percentage of the last 12 months were you resonating?
Most people tell me 25%. A few say 50%. I would like you to recognize that you are in charge of this and it can be 90% every week, month or year.
It is a conscious choice to resonate.
So… how do we resonate when we are in a bad mood or some business we expected just vanished? 
Here are ways that make you resonate:

  1. Greet everyone you meet at the office and elsewhere. People will find you warm and friendly, and want to do business with you.
  2. If you are in a bad mood, go to the door and check your attitude like a coat. Leave it there. You don’t have time. Everyone can read you; you are not that good of an actor.
  3. Pretend to be in a good mood if you have to. I have noticed repeatedly that suddenly my bad mood lifted if I “faked” it.
  4. Frame everything in a positive light if possible.  You are perceived as a pessimist if you use these phrases often: “I can’t do that… I am not willing to do …  That won’t work….”  Most people have no idea how negative they sound.
  5. Smile a lot more. Exude confidence, relax, and move and speak a little slower if you are a fast thinker and mover.
  6. And last: Stay in the present. Most people can read through your body language that your mind left the conversation. Clients feel invalidated easily by our behavior as they are in high stress mode.  Slow down, pay attention, listen and respond to what was said.

Choose to resonate every day. It will dramatically change your business.
Thank you.

March 2014 eNewsletter 

Ten Ideas 

Hi everyone,
Instead of a single topic this month, I decided to share some of the key things I learned this quarter that were breakthroughs for clients or me!

  1. You all know how I harp on this:   Three clients I met with recently got business from calls to Sphere of Influence: 1. One woman made one call in a 2-week period, picked up a buyer, put it in escrow in a few days and it is closing soon!  Just think what would happen if she made the 10 calls per week that she had agreed to!

    Another called 3 people and the middle call was turned into an “A” buyer, meaning ready to buy in the next 3 months. 
    A third admitted that he had been lying about making the calls, felt guilty, made the 10 calls and got a buyer and a seller out of one phone call to a past client!  

    The lesson: 80% of your business this year is inside your database – you just don’t know which ones are buying or selling or referring!Call 5 today!And every day.

  2. I have been very focused on how to help those who will NOT stay in touch with sphere and past clients. Two revelations – 1. Don’t ask for business. (That seems to be the key – issues of rejection.) Just be positive when speaking about how well you are doing.  2. Those who have to text me Monday through Friday with the number of calls they made are having breakthroughs!  They have been too embarrassed to say they didn’t make the calls.  
  3. Send your past clients a CMA at least twice a year. It keeps them in touch with you and keeps them in touch with their property’s value.
  4. Please be creative with your marketing. Doing the same old things doesn’t grab attention.  One postcard idea: “Your equity is back above 2007 levels” is working!
  5. One client is doing well with sending letters versus postcards. It gets the recipients to open them. She gets about 2 to 3 listing leads per month.
  6. Another is using the Open House script (that I wrote years ago) with great success. The key question: “How did you find the Open House today?” It tells you who is a buyer, a seller or a neighbor.
  7. Consider a new farm and mail 7 times in 7 weeks. It works to break in quickly versus in 18 months, which is the average!
  8. As always - Check your behavior daily. Is your behavior in alignment with your goals?  I know the answer is no!
Happy Spring!

 

December 2013 eNewsletter 

Ten reminders for the new year:

  1. Send your clients their HUD 1’s from your closed transactions with a cover letter. They will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
  2. Start the year off with a Business Plan with all of your activities planned out. You will make more by writing it down!
  3. Track your income and activities. You will make more by tracking it because you correct the mistakes and omissions.
  4. PROSPECT weekly and preferable daily. Is it part of your weekly activities? It should be.
  5. Get rid of the negative thoughts; you don’t have time for them. Only the positive. 
  6. Be generous; it will come back to you.
  7. Focus on the service you provide, not the amount of the check you will receive. PLEASE.
  8. Take time to smell the roses weekly – I am and it makes such a difference in the way I feel every day.
  9. Take some time off this year – I suggest 3 weeks of vacation. Please don’t laugh when you read this. You need it to rejuvenate. You know the old adage – plan a vacation and you will get busy.
  10. Check your behavior daily – Is your behavior in alignment with your goals?

Happy new year to all!

 

October 2013 eNewsletter 

Abundance versus Scarcity

Once again, this is a commonly recurring theme in our business. I have noticed that I can glean from the way people frame their sentences whether or not they are focused on the clients’ needs or their own.

Here are a few questions to determine which way you operate:

  • Are you thinking about the client as a number? ("That buyer is at least a $15,000 commission.")
  • Are you actually figuring out the exact amount of commission with each client? (Ex: $8,754)
  • Are you counting the number of hours you spent with a client? (“That client was a complete waste of my time. I never got paid on all those hours.”)

Scarcity looks like:

I don't have anything in escrow.

I would be happy if I met last year's numbers.

I have 6 buyers at the moment. Who can I push into writing an offer?

Abundance looks like:  FIX

I just closed 3 transactions. What do I have in my pipeline? Who should I contact today?

I want to earn $50,000 more this year.

I will manage the process for the client.

August 2013 eNewsletter 

Networking
In the last month, I have been speaking about networking more than normal with Realtors and Loan Agents. I found the conversations fascinating - most of us don’t plan this as part of our business. I think it should be a regularly monthly item on our TO DO list. Networking should also be an awareness that we have at all times. Opportunities arise and we frequently miss them due to lack of preparation and forethought.
Examples:
1. Fifteen years ago, I spoke at a Rotary Club meeting and met the president of an Architectural/Engineering firm in Danville. He asked for my credentials. I handed him a 6-page piece including how I work and client testimonials. The firm became a regular client of mine for 10 years. I was prepared.  

2. I attended a networking event for a non-profit a year ago and met a web site designer who has designed sites for 6 of my clients. Shewas prepared. She also had her “sales manager” scouting the room for her.

3. A client recently attended a birthday party where she met numerous new “Sphere of Influence” and followed up with a possible lead and has a listing appointment.

My point: The leads are everywhere. If we take the time to:  1. Prepare a credentials piece (what I call a Business Portfolio); 2. Put them in the car when attending an event along with our business cards;  3. Gently and professionally ask for business without ever using the word “refer” or “recommend” then we will get leads.  The Portfolio can be PDFed to people as well.

I suggest the “ask” be executed in a simple straightforward manner:

 

  • “How can I be of service?”
  • “How can I help you?”
  • “I would love to help you with that.”
  • “I would be honored to assist with that.”
  • I would be happy to be your real estate (or lending) resource. Just let me know when you are ready.”

One more point:  I am having a very good year. Someone asked me recently about how I got the business. I had to think about it - I realized that it all came from networking or calls I made months ago. None came from anything I did last month.  This is long term Business Development and we need to do it regularly.

By the way, I have to admit (sheepishly) that I did a speech for a company recently and did not have enough business cards to hand out to the 70 people in the room. I am my own best source for e-newsletter content!

Thank you!

July 2013 eNewsletter 

Optimism
    Having an optimist attitude is one of the most powerful   components of our success. 

    Optimists:

  • live longer
  • earn more money
  • are healthier
  • are happier
  • have healthier children
  • have less depression
  • exceed the predictions of aptitude tests
  • more likely to win when elected to office

Martin Seligman, who wrote Learned Optimism, discovered that “both animals and humans can learn helplessness.  When faced with situations where they were powerless to change an annoying element, two out of three (both animals and humans) would cease trying to affect the situation.”

“And one in three would shrug off situations and continue acting to improve their lot regardless.”  

This has been a powerful tool to me in my coaching and training practice. Every day, I can sense whether someone is an optimist or a pessimist. It comes through in his/her words, tone and body language. What does it look like? The words include “struggle, obstacle, hurdle, and I am afraid” when describing a situation with a client. The tonecommunicates worry, anxiety and fear. The body language may include poor posture, a down turned mouth, a lack of eye contact and/or lack of a smile.

You can change this dramatically just by choosing positive words, avoiding the word “not”, and checking your tone every day - does it sound cheerful and confident? And last, think about sitting up straight, shaking hands in a business-like manner and smiling slightly. All of this communicates confidence.   

Let’s be part of the 33% of the population that moves “improves their lot”. 

 

May 2013 eNewsletter 

This topic came up 4 times this week so I felt that it was extremely important to share with you. We need to pay attention to our Sphere of Influence!

Many of you have focused on marketing your listings around the listing but not to your Sphere of Influence. You market to your geographical farm but again not to your Sphere with important market information and your successes.

Why not? Several of you have said you feel like you are exhibiting that "sleazy" or "salesy" behavior that is so distasteful. The client or friend will let you know if they don't want your marketing pieces. Just design them tastefully and watch the frequency!

Here is what some of my coaching clients have been doing that has resulted in fantastic new business and more referrals.

I suggest that you take the approach to market up to 5 times for each new listing.
1.    Coming Soon Postcards
2.    Just Listed Postcards
3.    Pending Postcards (I did this and it worked to increase the listings I took!)
4.    Sold Postcards
5.    And last, send a "Multiple" postcard with 4 to 6 of your Recent Sales.
Combine an Active, Pending and 2 Solds on 1 postcard.  Add a 1-line seller or testimonial.  Add the DOM if they were short and the sales price to List Price percentage.

One new agent mailed the Multiple Sales postcard with several of her recent sales and now her personal Sphere sees her quite differently! She is getting referrals. She has 10 deals closed or in escrow in the first 5 months of 2013.

Two agents mailed a Multiple Sales Postcard with a list all of last year's sales on it and said "Thank you for your referrals!"  It got a lot of good press.

Other great results:
One agent took the time to call over 40 past clients/Sphere in one month and got 10 "A" clients from it. This is the HIGHEST result I have ever seen. She took 3 listings last month.

Another just called previous clients from her first 4 years (she has been in the business 9 years). She 3 closed transactions from those calls.

Our clients who loved working with us will do so again and will send referrals our way.  We need to recognize that our personal Sphere of Influence wants to help us equally as much, but we have to communicate that we are doing well. Your personal Sphere is not comfortable recommending you unless they know you are successful. So... TELL THEM.

This is also true for the loan agents I coach and everyone in commission based businesses. Keep the Sphere of Influence informed about your successes!

Thank you!


Kitty

 

April 2013 eNewsletter 

Why do some Realtors and Loan Agents do so much business and  so seamlessly?

The key question: How do we go through the drama of this challenging market and not get mired in it?

Coaching clients who are "on fire".
•    AD picked up over $200K in income in 2012 vs. 2011.
•    NS sold 50% more in 2012 than 2011. (Closed 40 last year)
•    MM planned 17 closings this year; she has 14 in escrow or closed so far. We will increase her plan to 25.
•    DC does 25 to 30 loans per month.
The challenges:
1.   How do you hang onto a buyer if he/she has lost out on 5 homes in multiple offer situations?
2.   How do you handle a seller whose property is not selling when everything around it has sold in 14 days?
3.   How do you get the loyalty of the borrower when your rate is 1/8% to ¼% higher?  The buyers are shopping the loans!

How to Emotionally Detach from the Drama:
1.    Never ever compare yourself to others - only to your own potential. Comparison breeds insecurity.
2.   Change all negative "self talk" to positive statements. One agent tripled his income when he stopped saying "I can't ..., I won't ..., etc.

3.   Stay in the present. If you do, you aren't thinking about what you should have done (living in the past) or worrying about what you will do (living in the future).

4. Set your boundaries with everyone. Learn how to say "no" gracefully. Fire those who drain you.
•    Say no to sellers who are not realistic!
•    Say no to buyers who won't write high enough!
5.   Address your fears: love them, thank them and let them go. They were never real. You made them up.

6.   Insulate yourself against negative people.  Or fire them.

7.   Get comfortable telling the client what they need to hear, not want they want to hear.  Educate up front and thoroughly!

NEW Script:   Let's talk about what to expect in this hot market.
•    Inventory is low; buyers are plentiful
•    Rates are excellent
•    Multiple offers are common on almost every property if well priced and well presented
•    The real estate market is in recovery mode.
You may encounter some or all of this: You may write 5 to 10 offers before getting your offer accepted. You may have to do  "pre-inspections" so that you can buy a property "As Is".  The seller may not credit anything that you ask for because he/she can put it right back on the market and sell it again.  The escrow can be delayed from 30 days to 45 because of the challenging loan conditions. If you have to get a loan, the buyers with all cash may kick you out of the game.  You will need to write a higher offer to get accepted. You may decide to  write your offer without a loan and appraisal contingency. I will explain it and you will make that decision. 

It simply takes some additional courage to buy in this market. It can be frustrating, annoying and possibly overwhelming. Now that I have given you the good news, are you ready to move forward? (Smile when you say this.) Great!  Let's go  find you a house.  

8.   Detach emotionally from the daily upsets. Remind yourself that there are more coming and expect a few per year!  

The top 20% (who do 80% of the business) are able to see failure as an opportunity for growth. Their attitude: I can do this!

Have the attitude, "This is business." (It is not personal.)
Don't take feedback as personal criticism.  Move from "overly sensitive" to sympathetic and empathetic.  This was me!

Thank you very much!
Kitty

 

March 2013 eNewsletter 

Consistency II

October 2012 eNewsletter 

The Trust Bank

Think about creating and building your relationships in a Trust Bank.  This will crystallize what we need to do in our working relationships with clients, colleagues and others. When you manage this well, your relationships stay intact even in the wake of conflict. Everyone assumes that you are on top of "it" (business) and you are.

The Trust Bank is where each of your relationships develops (and / or deteriorates).

Example #1: You promise that you will email a client a document and you do it on Tuesday versus the day you said you would get it done (Thursday). You made a Deposit into the Trust Bank by exceeding expectations.  

Example #2: You call back a client with more information than she requested. That is a Deposit into the Trust Bank.

Example #3: You take 3 days to return an email from a colleague. A Withdrawal takes place. You hurt your relationship. She will not trust you to get it done next time. She may tell others you are a flake!

Example #4: You send an incomplete document to someone. A Withdrawal takes place. Your action damaged your relationship.

Key: If you stay attentive to making deposits (being accountable), then when a conflict arises, the person involved looks at the situation instead of blaming you.  

It works!

Kitty

 

July 2012 eNewsletter


The Gift of Listening

If someone were to ask you to rate your listening skills, I believe that most of us would say "good" or "high."  I think we aren't telling ourselves the truth. 
An agent recently asked me, "How are you?" Then she started talking over me in the middle of my response. What did it convey? Several things - She doesn't really care, she is stressed or is a narcissistic person? I have been talking about listening skills with coaching clients so much that it cried out to be the next newsletter topic. Here are the "results" of my observations.

We don't really listen!

A client shared this with me last week: Most of us think, "The opposite of not talking is listening." For many, the opposite of not talking is "waiting to talk"!

If you want to be in the top 20% in the industry, you have to learn to listen carefully to buyers and sellers. That means we have to ask more questions and listen to the answers, then respond to what was said. Moving the conversation to us looks "like we are sharing". Taking notes on a questionnaire form can stop us from listening because we just write down what was said. We have to listen between the lines and hear what is not said!  

Listening styles that block our listening:

1.    Mind reader - when we assume that we know what the person is going to say
2.    Rehearser - when we plan what we will say (the most common)
3.    Filterer - when we sift through their comments
4.    Dreamer - when we think about something else
5.    Identifier - when we have something in common with the
6.    person
7.    Comparer - when we judge what the person is saying
8.    Derailer  - when we disagree with the person in our minds
9.    Placater - when we are ready to soothe the person versus hearing them out

How many of the above are you guilty of?

Exercise:  Practice listening to someone in your personal life for 15 minutes. Every question should be about the person and his/her experience. Use open ended questions and respond when you need to clarify. Watch the relationship change. The person feels "heard". Your spouse or partner may think something is up! A client in Marin told me it changed his marriage of 26 years. Listening is a gift.

Kitty

 

June 2012 eNewsletter

Activities


April 2012 eNewsletter 

The Fatigue Factor

The excitement and energy of this current market is refreshing yet brings new stress to the clients and to us. For 4 years the sellers felt the enormous stress of the economic downturn. Now the buyers feel the impact of the returning hot market.

Our job is to alleviate that stress to the best of our ability.

One factor that is very important as we navigate the "multiple offer" waters is the fatigue factor of your client and that of the cooperating agent and client. To help understand the concept - think of it this way:

Example #1: If you represent a buyer, think about how many rounds of negotiation can your client take without losing interest in the property?  On the opposite side, how many rounds can the seller (and agent) endure?  Some negotiations are taking 5 to 10 rounds to iron out the terms, especially contingencies, and the price.

Think about the personality of the listing agent. Is he/she a patient person?  Does he/she tend to get angry when things don't go perfectly? Does he/she speak in a way that communicates he/she needs the paycheck?  Why is the seller selling? Is it a financial burden or a "happy" reason the sell (birth, buying down, etc.) All of these will indicate if you have a fatigue factor that could be short - as in 2 to 3 rounds of negotiation. Keep this is your mind and your clients won't walk away. The key - write clean offers!    

Example #2: You may have buyers who are already exhausted from the "multiple offer" situation. The fatigue factor applies here too!  They state that it is time to take a break from looking, that they can wait out this crazy market. The bad news is that they may pay more if prices increase and their loan may be more expensive.  

Your job is to educate the clients about all of this. I would even consider asking a client about their patience, courage and willingness to compromise. That is exactly what it takes to compete successfully in this market! 

Kitty

 

January 2012 eNewsletter

Consistency I


The concern that I am hearing most often from both new and seasoned agents is, "I am not consistent in anything that I do." I think it is a significant issue and worth talking about as we begin a new year, a year that I feel has great economic potential. The entire Bay Area is experiencing productive Open Houses, numerous calls for listing appointments and good momentum in general. Are you taking advantage of the shift in energy?  
All of us get tired, are bored, or feel downtrodden at times.  I do too. But... what I have noticed is when I am in the "zone", meaning doing what I should be doing and doing it weekly (marketing and prospecting), I get excellent results and feel happier. We are in charge of our success. Think about where you have been inconsistent:  Prospecting? Creating a marketing piece monthly? Farming? Holding Open Houses? If you do these occasionally, you will get a check... occasionally!

I have 3 suggestions for you - to keep the schedule fairly consistent and fun!
One: I have a few pals that I speak to regularly and we cheer each other on with our successes; this support keeps us going. Do you have a fan club?  I would create one with your like-minded colleagues who need a boost and respond well to holding each other accountable weekly. I am speaking to my coach once a month about my commitments. She has them too! Another client has to email me 5 days a week that she made her SOI calls. She is making 3 to 7 per day. I will report on her success in a future newsletter.
Two: Schedule the appointment with yourself in the morning (calling Sphere of Influence, marketing, prospecting calls, exercise!). I am suggesting that you enter the appointment in your calendar as if you had a client. The client is YOU.
Three: Start small!  Remember that from the retreat? Make 3 calls this week, 6 next week and get it going. I think if we start with small doses of the "disliked" activity we can come to love it as long as there are results!    

It takes 21 days to break a habit. If you start this immediately, you will have a very productive year and won't be wishing you had changed this behavior 6 months from now.

RESULTS: As a follow up to last month's topic, one client began making 2 to 3 sphere calls per day. "Allison" had one terrific result within days; a previous client took 5 of her business cards to an event. The client called "Allison" back and had a referral for a listing ($1.0M) and a sale ($1.5M) with the same client. This all took place with 3 weeks of the SOI call!

Happy new year!

Kitty

 

December 2011 eNewsletter

Calling Sphere of Influence

I just read a long article from a consultancy group giving advice how to get more Internet leads. It bored me. Trying to convert cold Internet leads (over many months) takes a lot more time and effort than just working with people who love and adore you. I may be alone on this philosophy, but I feel that most agents can find great success through staying in touch with, and properly working a database of 250 to 300 people. What I am about to suggest will save you time, money and frustration.

Several weeks ago, I committed to calling 25 managers in my Sphere of Influence - the equivalent of you calling your past clients and personal database. I got 2/3s of the way through it (I made 17 calls in 4 days and booked some new business) and then I realized I wasn't going to keep my commitment. What was I thinking?!  Twenty-five calls is a lot! I feel more compassion for all of you; your mean ol' coach (me) is a hard driver.

So, I just finished off the last 8 and emailed over 25 more. Here's my question and push for 2012 - Would you like to actually make your income plan for this year? I imagine that you would! Here's an excellent strategy for the new year. It is working beautifully with about 20 of my clients.

Start the new year with a new schedule.

Plan an hour a day of calling (or 2 2- hour sessions) every week. Make it in the morning! You know you will never get to it if it is an afternoon task. I have three women emailing every day that they made the calls and I have one is clearly having a major breakthrough! She has made 4 to 7 calls every day except on the holidays. It does get easier.

What would happen if you kept in touch with everyone you know 3 to 4 times per year? They would never consider anyone else as a real estate agent. You would be the one and only one they think of. One agent told me 3 months ago that she saw her previous client's house go on the market for $2.1 M. She never called the client in 10 years. Another told me that their previous buyer re-listed after 2 years. The client received mailings but not one call from the agent.

A huge result: An agent from Empire Real estate called many clients during the 10 week class I offer. In 1 week and the end of the class, she had 6 listing appointments and got all 6!  Not one seller mentioned they were considering selling when she called!

Another huge result: Emily B. closed 19 deals in 8 months after calling everyone in her several sphere's over and over.

PLEASE start calling your SOI. Make it an agreement with yourself - "I can't go home until I make the 4 calls." It works.

Happy new year to that new beginning!

Kitty

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