Today's Headlines - Realty Times
Posted On Friday, 17 September 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Friday, 17 September 2021 00:00 Written by

I want to introduce you to Kate. Kate was just about the sweetest person you could meet. Hard working sales agent, often working long hours and barely making ends meet. 

There were serious reasons for her lack of profitability… 

First there were the personal issues:  Kate was nice, so nice, she let everyone take advantage of her. Her sister-in-law lived in the basement of the home she shared with her husband. He worked, but hours completely opposite of hers. They rarely connected. 

Her small house was also home for her son, his girlfriend, his dog and soon-to-be-born baby. Her son didn’t have a job at the time we worked together, and neither did his girlfriend. They spent their days enjoying video games and watching television while Kate was out making sales. 

Kate often missed dinner due to working long hours. I know this because when we would be in our online session she’d be scraping cold leftovers from the dinner she had made for the family earlier because, as usual, she got home too late to enjoy time relaxing from a full day and enjoying a hot meal. 

I became concerned when she was conducting our zoom sessions in her parked car, even in winter. I asked why and that’s when the flags started shooting up. “I have to be out here because my sister-in-law is on the internet and there is not enough bandwidth for me to handle this call with you.”  Did I mention this family member paid no rent to contribute to the household, and neither did the son, his girlfriend, and their dog? 

I saw a serious problem. 

Kate might as well have had the word “MAT” stamped across her forehead. She just could not stop pleasing everyone else, no matter what the cost to her: her health, cash flow, time, energy, and quality of life.   

Unfortunately, what’s true at home is also true at work. Her staff underperformed but still got paid. She fed leads to others, but never kept track of the status of the leads and their conversions. She had zero operational systems to help track, support, monitor or measure her business. Hundreds of dollars were going out the window for lead generation systems of which she never followed up. She was on full alert for reaction to the latest hiccup with no team or process in place. These “emergencies” took her off dollar productive activities and constantly put her in a high stress, fast reactive mode. 

Her life was a series of putting out fires, grasping for any sales and literally hemorrhaging all the critical resources:  money, time, energy, relationships and joy.  

The clincher was when she told me that her family was planning a short vacation at a beach condominium she owned. Her son and his girlfriend had secretly planned to announce they were getting married, so they took it upon themselves to invite the girlfriend’s parents to join them without asking Kate if that would be okay.  She, of course, had to fund the event, including meals and entertainment, for the entire “vacation.”   

The son’s plan was to announce this upcoming wedding event at this “family reunion,” which would have been a good thing, however,  the couple told her they planned to get married at her house (she would be paying for the wedding, as they had no money, thus why they were living with her).  She soon learned that the fiancé’s parents, the soon to be in-laws, weren’t going to help in any way, but did not hesitate to order lavish catering, flowers and more for the upcoming event. 

Can you spell burnout? 

Burn out was inevitable, both physically and mentally, and clearly financially. 

Now, as a master coach, I know that her mindset was to tough it out, hope it would get better, and hope her family would someday value her love for them, but between you and I, that was never going to happen. 

She had taught them how to treat her. 

She had resigned herself to carrying the entire load herself, bearing the full responsibility for the living of her family, his girlfriend, now a new family- where was this going to end? 

I knew from experience that it would not end well. 

Her pedal to the metal pace was not sustainable long term. At some point she’d either burn out in her business or burn out her body, but either way, burnout was going to happen. 

I also understand her loyalty to her son, but for how long was she going to enable him?

So, help me with this: 

Why is it that women will tough it out and suffer every step of the way instead of taking control of their lives and business? 

• Maybe they avoid confrontation 

• Perhaps they don’t want to release the “disease to please” or risk not being “liked’” 

• They won’t stop long enough to make the changes, fix the issues, create the systems that can correct the course to be in charge instead of out of control. 

Little do they know that the freebie people disappear when the beer is gone. Without loyalty and boundaries and KPI’s, they will stick around ‘til the party's over. 

It’s not about doing for others, it is about building a business to fund your LIFE!

No matter what your business: 

• Systems are the only way to operational excellence 

• Accountability is key to measure and monitor outcomes 

• Strategic plans set the course 

  • Breaking it down to the minutes in a  day can take you to the profit zone. 

Here’s what you can learn from this very true and real situation: 

• You can outwork your tail off and not make the money you want 

• You need systems to keep all the pillars profitable 

• You must hire the right people with the right core values to make the team productive and profitable 

And it all starts with a strategic plan that coordinates with action plans that get plugged into every day, so we are here to share! For your complimentary copy of a Daily Success Plan, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Posted On Wednesday, 15 September 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Monday, 13 September 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 14 September 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 14 September 2021 00:00 Written by

“The first step in getting what you want from life is deciding what you want.” Ben Stein 

Your mortgage is usually the biggest debt you have. It is usually the one debt you keep the longest too.   Getting the right terms on your mortgage will impact your financial struggles and successes through life.  

Imagine 

Describe what you want in your home.  What are the amenities in the house that are a necessity? Describe the surrounding area where you want to live. Do you want to be in the city, the suburbs, or out in the country?   

How long do you plan to keep the home and the mortgage? What other activities will be a part of your lifestyle?  Will your home be located near those events and activities? What other financial events do you expect over the next five years?

Assess

How much can you comfortably afford to pay each month on your house payment? The usual advice you can find on financial posts and podcasts suggests keeping your total house payment under 33% of your gross income.  The total house payment includes taxes and insurance, mortgage insurance, and association fees.  These same financial gurus suggest keeping total debt under 43% of your gross income, including the new house payment.  Think about other activities where you spend money.  Your comfort level may be different than the standard recommendations. 

How much can you comfortably pay down to buy that house that is calling your name?   Remember to keep a healthy amount of emergency funds ready in the bank.  If you are short on funds to close, check out www.downpaymentresource.com for down payment assistance programs in your area.  If you have a house to sell and will have a windfall profit coming to you within a few weeks of buying the new home, you may want to look at a temporary bridge loan to help until you sell the other house and pay off the bridge funding. 

Consult with a trusted financial advisor.   Other great resources to help you gather the information you need are reputable realtors, a knowledgeable and trustworthy lender, home inspector, real estate attorney and insurance professional. 

Decide

If you need down payment assistance, the geographic location of your home will be key on which programs are available. If you plan to keep this home longer than five years, a general rule of thumb is to stay with a stable, fixed-rate mortgage program.  The lower the interest on this loan, the better. If you are paying extra money to buy down the mortgage rate, make sure the difference you are enjoying in the lower payment will more than pay you back for the extra buy-down funds you paid for the lower rate. 

If you are not planning to keep the home for more than five years, the general rule of thumb is to minimize your costs to buy the house. The down payment you can get back if values continue to rise over time, but the closing costs to third parties is a cost to do the transaction and eats into your profit when you sell shortly down the road. 

Compare mortgage terms with other lenders.  If you are shopping mortgage terms with different mortgage lenders over a two-week period, you can risk getting a few credit pulls from mortgage companies. Those mortgage inquiries score as one inquiry to give you a chance to shop for the best terms without being penalized on your credit score.  

Remember, the lowest rate is rarely ever the best deal.   Look at the details on the estimate of closing costs. Some lenders quote an extremely low rate but have higher fees than a different lender quoting a little higher rate.  


Get your copy of Jo Garner’s new book “Choosing the Best Mortgage-The Quickest Way to the Life You Want.”  An essential mortgage guide with stories of people finding the right loan and overcoming common barriers.  

Buy on Amazon and Barnes and Noble or www.JoGarner.com/best-mortgage-book 

Posted On Monday, 13 September 2021 00:00 Written by

I often get asked, “How long does it take to be successful in this business?” The next most common question is “How many hours do I have to work to be successful?” Both questions are the opening to a discussion that is different for almost everyone who asks it. The first question leads to my return question, “How do you define success?” Success is different for everyone. It means different things to different people. To me, you must have a target to aim for and measure against. While time frame is important, does it really matter how long it takes as long as you get there? It also matters that once you reach what you consider to be successful, that you can stay there! Longevity matters! But to be specific, I have always maintained that a successful originator be able to average 8 to 10 units per month consistently year in and year out by themselves. Other than that, you decide. How long should it take to get there? Those that commit to the process and do the work can generally make that happen in the first 6 to 12 months in the business.

As far as the number of hours required to be successful. That becomes more of a challenge because there are significant differences in markets, types of loans, clients, availability of loan products, and how you choose to work your business. Clearly it takes a significant investment of time and energy to get started. You have much to learn, many things to master, and schedules that will constantly be refined. However, once you have become established and mastered the skills and schedules surrounding your business, you should find it easy to work a 50-hour week, taking one long vacation (two weeks) and three short vacations, one week, and a series of long weekends (three or four days) a year.

There will be times when you will work longer hours based on seasonal or situational opportunities, but you will see how your market tends to flow quickly and go from there. But again, how you work your business and with whom you work with has a lot to do with the time you commit. Some people work longer hours because they want to. Some choose to hire assistants to take some of the work off their plates and work less. It’s a choice you make for yourself. But yes, you can also work 80 hours a week and close 3 loans a month or work 35 hours a week and close 15 loans a month. It is YOUR choice!

Questions or comments: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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