Today's Headlines - Realty Times
Posted On Wednesday, 26 May 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 25 May 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 25 May 2021 00:00 Written by

“New isn’t always better” many say; however, when it comes to digital technology, that may not be the wisest advice to pass along professionally.

Yet despite warnings, many continue to protect and defend the status quo of systems and processes long outdated for the sake of comfort and cost savings. “It is what we’re used to,” comes the reply, or “The software moved to a subscription model; why pay every month when the old version is just fine?”

We live in a world of exponential technological change, where new developments in software or systems aren’t always just for the sake of something new. From cybercriminals getting smarter to computers and devices operating faster than ever, the cost of using outdated technology will eventually far exceed the amount you’re saving in avoiding an upgrade.

Old Systems Can Be Dangerously Costly

At one point or another, every organization’s knee jerk response to the need to implement an entirely new technology or software is to avoid it, especially one that directly relates to the product or service they offer.

However, putting off that technology upgrade can cost your organization far more than money. Let’s take a look at two completely different examples of legacy technology negatively impacting organizations in ways never thought possible.

Creative Differences

A large-scale printing company I worked with recently is in the business of graphic design, so its go-to software is Adobe Illustrator and, moreover, the Creative Suite. One of the owners, being very conscientious of their bottom line, decided to pass on upgrading to the Adobe Creative Cloud, a cloud-based subscription system that takes care of keeping all design programs updated for the customer without said customer having to go buy the new version each year.

Unfortunately, as Adobe implemented new tools and features in their Creative Cloud software, this large-scale printing business started to struggle to open files sent in by clients, and eventually, Adobe actually discontinued the company’s ability to use the legacy software! Its employees came to work and literally couldn’t do work, which resulted in a loss of clientele as they scrambled to sign up for a corporate Adobe account and install the software on all employee computers.

Government Systems

Even more recently, an article was published that highlighted the fact that government agency systems were actually turning 50 years old! The very government that oversees everything in our free nation is using legacy software, and in the past has actually spent nearly $35 billion to maintain these legacy systems.

If this makes you cringe, it should! But cost aside, a government of any kind trying desperately to protect and defend the status quo of their legacy technology has far more costly risks to it than just a wasted budget in the billions, if you can believe it. These issues include, but are certainly not limited to:

• Data breaches. Legacy technology is extremely susceptible to cybercrime, and as machines get smarter, so do cybercriminals. Not only is vendor support usually completely nonexistent, legacy technology has no improvements to its security measures, and its operating system has gaps that newer technology has fixed, which furthers security risks.
• Compliance issues. Much like the healthcare industry and HIPAA compliance, government agencies must remain compliant in their operating procedures. This certainly includes operating systems of software, especially as it has to do with the sensitive data of every American citizen. Several legacy systems either lack compliance or, worse, are completely non-compliant and open to data breaches.
• Unreliable systems. Many organizations believe that legacy systems still “work.” However, what “works” will eventually misfire, and when it does, it will render certain workflows completely useless.

Legacy Technology and Legacy Thinking

While there is inherent danger in clinging to legacy technology and outdated software, there is actually a direct correlation between legacy technology and legacy thinking.

Legacy thinking goes far beyond just clinging to outdated software and computers from a decade ago. The practice of legacy thinking is rooted heavily in protecting and defending the status quo; a solely agile mindset that is proficient in putting out fires caused by disruption rather than getting in front of it using anticipation.

What I teach in my Anticipatory Organization® Model is to implement my Hard Trend Methodology, where you separate the future certainty of Hard Trends from the future possibility of Soft Trends and use them to become the disruptor of your industry rather than the disrupted.

New technology systems that replace the legacy technology many organizations are so accustomed to is a Hard Trend; it will happen and is happening every day, even more so now with subscription-based software like the Adobe Creative Suite. Moving beyond legacy thinking that takes comfort in complacency is implementing an anticipatory mindset.

Learn to Say “Yes” Instead of “No”

Saying “no” to updating legacy technology or systems can easily be justified due to the possibility that an upgrade can be costly, take time and even run the risk of failing, putting your daily business operation behind.

However, as digital exponential change increases, especially after COVID-19 forced so many of us to change in many ways, having an anticipatory mindset is the best way to move forward and say “yes” to improving your systems and mindsets, moving beyond legacy technology.

Change is the only constant, so understanding what Hard Trends are shaping the world around you using anticipation to change with the times is how you and your organization can move beyond legacy technology, legacy thinking and costly disruptions.

Posted On Tuesday, 25 May 2021 00:00 Written by

Almost every buyer in today’s market has faced the challenge of the seller’s market. Homes selling the moment (or even before) they are listed, homes with multiple offers, and of course, the dreaded multiple offers, sold over asking with appraisal and inspection waivers! Just to name a few! 

Never before has it been so important to set the proper expectations with your buyers and arm them, and their buyer’s agents” with all the strategies at their disposal to make the odds move in their favor. This also includes defining for each buyer all the things they can be doing every day to improve as buyers.

We have talked a great deal about this before, but we are seeing solid results from people who are on the ground and getting deals done because they used one or more of these strategies:

• The quality of the offer is stronger because of the fully documented preapproval.
• The speed at which we can close can make our offer stand out over others.
• Working to bank as much money as we can to make stronger offers. Additional part-time work is available in most of the country.
• Using stimulus money, tax refunds, gifts, retirement funds, and even selling off other items to improve cash position.
• Considering paying off outside debt to improve scores or increase purchasing power.
• Lowering the down payment to free up cash so if the house doesn’t appraise, cash is available if the buyer chooses to do so. Even if that means accepting PMI to make it work.
• Increasing down payment to improve loan program and/or to lower borrowing costs.
• Getting really clear about the child tax credit that starts July 15th 2021 for most families with small children. Up to a $300 payment each month per child from July through December could really help the situation during the looking process, or for those who begin the search soon.

There are many challenges in today’s housing market for buyers. However, everyday people are getting offers accepted and families are winning the home of their dreams! The key for us in helping our clients and referral partners is to be certain we are helping our buyers buy better, by having all the tools and strategies at hand to help them win the deal!

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

Posted On Monday, 24 May 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Monday, 24 May 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Monday, 24 May 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Sunday, 23 May 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Sunday, 23 May 2021 00:00 Written by

In today’s world of dealing with unproductive Internet leads, it is time to cultivate the tried and true methods of yesteryear, the referral. A referral is often a warm lead from a trusted source. But have you ever sent a referral to another broker, and then never heard from that broker again? Join the club. 

What is your conversion rate on getting or giving referrals?  With over 2500 referrals given each day in the US between agents, you may want to focus on building a stream of income from this underserved resource. But when you are actively giving or receiving referrals, keeping track of status might be a challenge.  

The communication of status and updates might be consistent or ,all too often, you never hear what the status is. Did the client have a good experience? Did the referral result in a sale?  With the success or failure of the transaction, would you ever refer to that agent again?

Statistics tell us that people are moving to many different areas, and when they are referred to a professional by another professional, confidence levels raise to a more comfortable level.

However once referred, the referring agent is often not compensated with future referrals.  Losing the contact, or infrequency of prospects wanting to buy or sell in a given area, can block getting a steady stream of future referrals going forward.

Want more referrals?  Here are a few tips to increase the flow of referral income to your bottom line:

1. Have a referral marketing plan in place to intentionally solicit and offer referral reciprocity.  Include in your current marketing messages an offer of specific relocation resources to target groups of prospects that may be in a position to give you referrals.  Tailor your messaging to engage other real estate professionals in neighboring states that you are a resource for anyone coming to your destination area. Follow up with your sphere of influence and update them on migration trends for second home destinations.  Poll your past clients with a non-solicitive checkup/check-in and remind them that you can leverage your services all over the country through your network to help their friends and family. 

2. If you are located in an area with close proximity to other states,  consider contacting top producing agents and companies of your offer to help their agents and their prospects that might be coming your way. Be consistent with updating this group with recent changes in your area that may be a new asset to those considering moving to your area.

3. Check out a new referral platform that organizes the referral process.  Created by a practicing agent from Nevada, Todd Miller saw the need for a more systematized process for giving and getting referrals. He and his partner, Oana Sterlacci, developed  (Note: Not .com-

This system acts as a referral coordinator for any real estate agent client referral and rewards those agents using the platform to more referrals acquired from inbound resources.

They addressed the fragmentation of the referral process by streamlining the online platform that shares real clients, not just a “lead”.  With no monthly fee, includes other strategic partners for referrals like lenders, to promote their services. With their position as a directory, agents who want to increase referral business may want to consider a platform that supports the referral process.

For more information about,visit their website and click here for our video interview with this dynamic team.

Posted On Friday, 21 May 2021 00:00 Written by

Last Friday, May 14th was the 23rd anniversary of Francis Albert Sinatra’s passing. He was 83. It will always be significant to me since it was in May 1985 that I met him. Going back, I was a teenager when he first came on the music scene in the 1940s. His popularity as a teen-idol was phenomenal. Perhaps the G.O.A.T. of singers!

Anyway, in May 1985, I was speaking for Budget Rent a Car at the Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas before it became the Bellagio. I noticed that Frank Sinatra was performing at Caesars Palace that evening.  I called Herb Alpert (TJB) for whom I had worked in the early 1970s to see if he might have a connection to get me a ticket for the Sinatra show. I told him I didn’t want a comp.

He called later with good news. So, after my Budget speech, I walked to Caesars. I picked up my seating ticket at Will Call noticing there was “no charge.” How nice of Herb! I was ushered down to the front of the stage and sat 3 seats from where Sinatra would be standing. I had brought with me my 2-cassette album (“Here’s to the Winners”) that I used to close my presentations with his version of “Winners.” The subject of many of my talks being about “striving” to win.

He did 1:15 hours on stage and was sensational! I gave my album to the back-stage guard. I didn’t want to leave, so, I stayed in the showroom until Mr. Sinatra exited — with my album. As I walked into Caesars casino, I heard. “Jim Tunney – white courtesy phone – you have a call.” A call? No one knows I’m at Caesars! I picked up the phone and a voice said, “Jim, it’s Artie! Stay right there, I’m coming to meet you.” A moment later this little guy – Artie – jumps into my arms with my album in his hand. He says, “I haven’t seen you since I left Green Bay.”

It turns out Artie used to work for Vince Lombardi, head coach of the Green Bay Packers and I hadn’t seen him in years.  I said, “What are you doing here?” He said he now works for Sinatra and follows with “He wants to meet you.” I said no way! Artie said, “Yes he does, come with me.” Artie takes me over to where Sinatra and several (many) of his party were sitting. As we approached, Sinatra stands up and said: “ Mr. Tunney, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”

We shook hands, but I replied, “Mr. Sinatra, you got this backward. It’s my pleasure to meet you.” We talked for about 10-minutes (seemed like 10-seconds) about NFL football as well as he wanted to know about what I did off the field. Artie told me later, Sinatra and they would always watch Monday Night Football on ABC (MNF). Artie said, “He (Frank) would always ask, ‘Is Tunney working tonight?). I had no idea!

Sinatra later invited me to play in Barbara’s (Sinatra) Eisenhower Hospital Charity Golf Tournament in Palm Springs. I played there on three occasions.

As I walked back to the Dunes, I kept humming, “Fly me to the moon, let me play among the stars…” It was a glorious evening. What an honor!

Will you share a time you had with someone you admired from afar?

Posted On Friday, 21 May 2021 00:00 Written by

Jay Niblick JPEGJay Niblick is the founder and CEO of Innermetrix Inc, an international consulting firm with offices on five continents specializing in providing full service consulting solutions to professional business consultants and coaches. He is also co-founder and Chief Science Advisor to the online coaching company InnerTalent.

As one of the world's leading authorities on the application of Formal Axiology in a business environment, Jay is ideally suited to help you understand your own Genius and how to maximize it.

He holds multiple technology patents and copyrights on psychometric instruments and methodologies relating to identifying and maximizing human talent, and is the author of the Attribute Index Profile (300,000 copies sold worldwide). He has been a paid keynote speaker and lecturer throughout North America, Europe, the United Kingdom, Asia, Australia and South Africa in the areas of strategic management, peak performance, executive coaching, leadership development and organizational development.

Jay also sits on the Board of Directors at the Robert S. Hartman Institute (a scholarly project at the University of Tennessee in the United States dedicated to the study of human nature, value and decision-making).

Posted On Friday, 21 May 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 20 May 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 20 May 2021 00:00 Written by

Todd MillerOanaTodd is the owner and broker of Nevada Realty Solutions, with his partner Oana Sterlacci.  In 2009 Todd and Oana sold over 1,100 houses and were the #1 team in the nation as reported by the Wall Street Journal.  Todd lists properties for banks, and regular sellers, including short sales.  Todd also works with investor buyers and regular home buyer with his team of highly talented agents.

Posted On Thursday, 20 May 2021 00:00 Written by

A bit about Tami: 

Tami Bonnell Headshot

EXIT Realty Corp International’s CEO TAMI BONNELL is an internationally renowned leader in the real estate industry and was instrumental in building three major brands. Among her many achievements, she was recognized by Real Estate trend watcher, Stephan Swanepoel, three years consecutively as one of the 200 most Powerful and influential   people in residential real estate, among the top 20 corporate executives and among the top 10 women leaders.

 Ms. Bonnell has been a featured speaker at the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTOR’S® convention to the Top 500 power brokers, The National Women’s Council REALTORS®, Inman News Connect Conference and the RIS Media’s Leadership Conference.  

She was named to the National Association of Women in Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem ( NAWRB) Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council (NDLIC).

Ms. Bonnell was honored by STEM connector as one of it’s 100 Corporate Women Leaders in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

Ms. Bonnell is a 30 plus year veteran of the real estate industry and joined EXIT Realty in 1999. She was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2012.

She is a wife, mother of three and grandmother of three. In her spare time she is a martial artist, coach and referee.

Posted On Wednesday, 19 May 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Wednesday, 19 May 2021 00:00 Written by

Even as I write this article, jobs in industries ranging from entertainment and media to manufacturing and medicine are being transformed by artificial intelligence (AI) and its many iterations. Many people don’t even know they are already in a competition with AI and that several facets of their job are already being accomplished by a digital application or intelligent machine. Workers will not be able to outpace these machines simply by working longer hours or moving faster on the assembly line.

The Science and Art of Every Profession

There is a science and an art to every professionIn school, we learn the science side of our profession. When we graduate, we begin to learn the art side of our profession.

It’s likely that when you see the word “art,” you are used to applying it to business and careers in moviemaking, designing, engineering, marketing and mass media, to name a few. However, there is an art side to everything, encompassing competencies that many refer to as the “soft skills.”

For example, cardiothoracic surgeons spend nearly a decade in college, medical school and beyond absorbing everything they can about the human heart, the human body and how to safely operate on a living person of any age. Every single cardiothoracic surgeon learns those same pieces of information, a veritable how-to process that is heavily regulated and improved upon every year to ensure everyone who earns the qualifications to operate on someone’s heart adheres to a best-practice procedure.

But even amid that educational system of checks and balances, there is an art side to this as well. After graduation, they begin to develop soft skills, such as creative problem-solving and effective collaboration, to name a few. Over time, each and every cardiothoracic surgeon refines their own unique approach to the process, whether it is how they hold their tools during surgery, how they solve problems or their bedside manner in keeping a patient confident in their skills. This is similar for every profession.

AI Will Have Science Covered

Increasingly, the science side of our careers will become increasingly autonomous, and at some point, intelligent automated systems will be able to do the science part of our jobs better than us. The good news is that AI will struggle with the art side: the 12 competencies I’m sharing in this article. For humans to thrive in the future, we need to get much better at doing what humans do best.

12 Competencies for Future Success and Advantage

One major way to learn how to grow your abilities in leveraging the “soft skills” of any career is by understanding my 12 competencies for future success and advantage. While I delve much further into these concepts in my books and teach them in my Anticipatory Leader Learning System, let me give you these competencies now, along with a brief analysis of each:

1. Anticipatory Leadership — Hard Trends provide high levels of certainty and the confidence to make bold moves. Future success and advantage will come from learning to differentiate between the Hard Trends based on Future Facts™ that will happen and the Soft Trends, which are based on assumptions of what might happen. This competency has transformed how individuals and companies plan and innovate.

2. Relationship Building – Good relationships are based on trust, and trust is earned through shared human values such as honesty, integrity and delivering on promises. Future success and advantage will come from elevating your ability to increase trust, helping you to build stronger relationships. Without positive relationships, even the most amazing technology can become irrelevant or — worse yet — damaging.

3. Technology Savvy – Humans don’t all need to be technologists; you don’t have to know the physics of smartphones or AI in order to use them. Future success and advantage will come from being willing to learn new things and becoming aware of what the new tools are in a variety of fields in order to creatively apply them to build a better tomorrow. 

4. Strategic Listening – Passive listening is when someone follows along with what is being said. Active listening involves paying focused attention to words and phrases that uncover strategic and innovative insights. Future success and advantage will come from increasing your ability to be an active, strategic listener and learning to ask better questions — the type that draw out better answers.  

5. Emotional Intelligence and Empathy – The ability to recognize our own emotions and to understand and share the feelings of another in real time (empathy), as well as the ability to discern the different feelings people have and label them appropriately, is a competency that can be learned. Future success and advantage will come from elevating our ability to both identify and use emotional insights to guide constructive behavior to help people better adapt to changing environments. Empathy is also a critical component for drawing audiences into a personal or business story.

6. Cultural Intelligence & Diversity – Different cultures have different ways of thinking and acting, and different ways of communicating that go beyond language, including very different meanings for the same physical and verbal expression. Future success and advantage will come from elevating our awareness and understanding of the differences and embracing them so that we can maximize the innovative and competitive advantage that comes from different ways of viewing a process, product, service, problem or situation. 

7. Effective Communication – When you consider the varied ways we communicate — be it verbally, in written form and even in facial expression and body language — it’s easy to see how humans can be far better than AI at accurately and holistically capturing and interpreting the subtlety and varied meanings that communication can carry. Future success and advantage will come from getting better at applying the context and expression of both visual and verbal communication by applying a wide array of multisensory subjective elements that make up good communication. These are the components of communication that humans do best.

8. Effective Collaboration – Cooperation is based on scarcity: You cooperate with a person, a team or a company because you have to, and you only share what you need to in order to protect your part of the economic pie. Collaboration is based on abundance: You collaborate because you want to, and you openly share because the goal is to increase the economic pie for all. Future success and advantage will come from elevating your ability to form collaborative relationships that operate at high levels of trust and the idea that working together builds something better for us all. 

9. Adaptability & Agility – You cannot accurately anticipate everything; there will be changes that no one could have seen coming. Future success and advantage will come from improving your ability to adapt to change as well as your agility by learning to react to disruptions and problems as quickly as possible. Adaptability requires someone to be open-minded and nonjudgmental — attitudes that all humans can improve and leverage.

10. Creative Problem-Solving and Tenacity – The creative application of technology unlocks innovation and growth, and innovation at its core is applied creativity. Once a creative solution is identified, tenacity is often needed to see a solution through to a successful application. Future success and advantage will come from improving your ability to identify the real problem, and to creatively apply technology by using creative principles such as The Law of Opposites and Problem Skipping and by learning to identify Hard Trends that will happen and their related opportunities.

11. Service Delivery – A major component of the overall customer experience is the level of service delivery they receive. Future success and advantage will come from elevating your ability to not only fully interpret the subtle nuances in voice and facial expression, but also what the person is thinking and feeling but not saying. In addition, working with a customer over time creates a trusting relationship, and over time a good customer service representative develops an anticipatory sense of what a customer may want or need at a deep emotional level — often before the customer is aware of it. 

12. Selling, Persuasion & Influence – Selling, persuading and influencing represent one core competency because they are all focused on one thing: changing a behavior to create a desired result. We are all selling or persuading or influencing someone to do something multiple times a day, often without even knowing it. Future success and advantage will come from elevating your ability to sell, persuade and influence at ever higher levelsWhen combined with some of the other competencies in this article, humans can outperform machines every time.  

After reading through the list, you may have thought to yourself: Some people are naturally better than others at some of these competencies; for example, some are naturally better at sales or naturally more creative. This is true of all 12 competencies. However, I have found that when people start getting better at one, they also get better at the others because they are all connected. 

The only way humans can beat the exponential growth of advanced AI-enabled automation in the future and have meaningful, good-paying employment or self-employment is to become increasingly more valuable than machines. Time is growing short — now is the time to be an opportunity manager and start getting better at all of them. If you don’t, you will soon be a crisis manager falling behind exponentially faster.

To discover how to apply these 12 competencies and, better yet, learn how to use future certainties to transform disruption and change into opportunity and advantage, consider signing up for my Anticipatory Leader Membership today!



Posted On Wednesday, 19 May 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Wednesday, 19 May 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 18 May 2021 05:53 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 18 May 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 18 May 2021 00:00 Written by

Bring it Home® Communities accelerated its national rollout with the introduction of a patent-pending mobile app for brokers and agents.

The innovative app, appropriately named “Before they list,” acts as a catalyst to receive specific information on a property. This social tool is used to gauge interest from other agents in an office, to determine market viability, which can be used by the agent or broker to help generate a listing agreement.

“We know that inventory is at an all-time low, and we want to provide the latest technology to assist in generating new listings,” explains John Giaimo, President and CEO of Bring it Home® Communities. “Creating feedback for homeowners on the fence is a great way to provide valuable information to help them reach an informed decision, while following the rules of the local MLS,” Giaimo continues.

In a recent homeowner survey by, 76% of respondents are considering placing their home on the market but are reluctant to do so. In response to the question, “What would motivate them to sell?” 60.2% of respondents stated that “securing their next home before selling would play a factor,” and 16.2% would make the move if they knew their current home could sell for asking price or top market price.

This trend could change should the homeowner receive specific feedback about their property from a network of real estate practitioners.

With shared feedback based on their known and current experience of the local market, agents and brokers have always shared their insights with one another, most notably during office and staff meetings, and through mentoring. The COVID-19 pandemic has made much of this in-person gathering less likely.

“Clearly, many homeowners are on the fence, according to Scott O’Connor of RE/MAX Advantage of Colorado Springs, Colorado.  The Before They ListTM App will allow them to gain timely insight to the sales potential of their property in the current market, and make an informed decision of whether to sell...and at what price".

About Bring it Home Communities

Bring it Home Communities is creating the digital portal of the future for real estate, combining local listings, and integrating brokers, agents, consumers and advertisers in a safe and secure communication environment featuring Veea’s secure, virtual private network (VPN). The Bring it Home solution will support new capabilities such as virtual meetings for brokers, agents, and clients, virtual tours, and virtual open houses with augmented reality capabilities.  Bring it Home’s ad network powered by Ad Persistence™ and Veea's AdEdge advertising platform provides rich media advertising by companies and marketing partners that want to reach home buyers, and Veea’s VPN provides support for online learning and certification for agents and brokers.

Posted On Monday, 17 May 2021 08:27 Written by

While some are struggling to get deals to go together, those focusing on what it takes to win the deal keep on winning. As I spoke to the issues in the past about “winning vs. whining”, you can make a choice every day about your approach to the market in which you work. You can whine about the issues and the challenges, or you can identify the solutions and the strategies necessary to help your clients win!

Record numbers of homes being sold tell us that there is an opportunity. Greater numbers of buyers wanting these homes creates the challenge of how to navigate the market to put your client in the best position to win. However, the plan is not a one and done solution or strategy that will make it all come together for you, it takes a series of strategies to optimize results and secure the win. Remember, more than one strategy at a time to make the win a reality, and the process of winning incorporates the possibilities that there are losses along the way. The good news is; your client only needs to win once!

A few things to keep in mind are:

1. Get your client in the best possible position to buy.
2. Give them a buyer improvement plan to follow each week so they become stronger and more flexible in their options.
3. Set the stage by setting expectations about their specific market.
4. Use all the tools available to be sure your clients and referral partners can make their best offer possible and be sure to include the power of speed to the closing table.
5. Be sure you, the client, and your referral partners are on the same page and working toward the same solution! 

As originators you need to use your experience about what people are doing to win their offers and help your current clients benefit from your experience. Yes, it is a challenging market, but it also a market ripe with opportunities. Use your winning strategies to keep on winning!

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

Posted On Monday, 17 May 2021 00:00 Written by

“I don’t regret the things I’ve done. I regret the things I didn’t do when I had the chance.”

We have seen lots of moving and shaking going on this week in the home financing market.  The inflation data ran hot, sending the 10-year bond yield into a spike.  When the bond yields spike, it typically bumps up the price of mortgage rates. Rates were up about an eighth of a point.   This Richter scale blip could spell higher bumps in the mortgage rates later.  When the financial markets move around, you may want to put yourself in a solid place. 

Several mortgage clients put themselves in a stable place and are enjoying some bragging rights right now.  The Smiths refinanced and lowered their interest rate and freed up a few hundred dollars per month by lowering their mortgage payment.  They plan to take part of the extra money and pay off debt. The other part of their savings is to take some memorable vacations. 

The Millers have ratcheted down their mortgage rate and eliminated ten years off their mortgage term. Now they can retire without being tied down to a mortgage payment. 

I have celebrated with the Garcia’s who took this opportunity to refinance, pull cash out to upgrade, or modify their home.  John and Jane Doe bought an additional house.    

The Johnsons bought their first home and locked in a fixed-rate mortgage in the high 2’s that will help them build wealth and keep their budget on track.  They don’t have to worry about the landlord raising their rent every year. 

The opportunity is there now but will be gone one day, and we don’t know when.   Do something today, and don’t regret missing the opportunity. 

Home prices are steadily rising. The National Association of Realtors announced that the median home price rose 16.2% year-over-year to $319,200. That means the houses selling in the neighborhood where you want to live selling at $200,000 last year are now selling for about $232,000.  That is a $32,000 difference over 12 months or a $2666 per month increase. 

The Millennial generation leads the home buying market, with Generation Z making their entrance into the real estate market.  Demand is predicted to remain strong for home buyers.  The lack of homes available to buy is currently continuing to push prices up.

As mortgage professionals, we can win trust and appreciation from our mortgage clients when we listen carefully to what the customer wants to accomplish from the new mortgage. Ask good questions like, “What do you want to accomplish with this mortgage?” “What is the maximum house payment that is personally comfortable for you?”   Asking open-ended customer questions like these can move you to the customer’s side of the table. You will be in a better position to help them choose the very best mortgage terms to meet their goals. 

Posted On Monday, 17 May 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Monday, 17 May 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Sunday, 16 May 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Sunday, 16 May 2021 00:00 Written by

It is clear that in business, many leaders and entrepreneurs alike chase and strive for stability. Whether it be in your bottom line or a product your organization is working to perfect, the concept of stability brings the comfort and illusion that you’ve finally “made it.” You and your organization have achieved success, and now it’s time to kick your feet up and savor the sweet satisfaction of a job well done.

However, the reality is that this mindset is more detrimental than anyone realizes. First and foremost, the concept of stability is often confused very easily with the dangers of complacency. If I were to ask a business reveling in stability if they think they are actually being complacent, many would disagree.

However, the world we find ourselves in today is dominated by exponential, digital transformation of all sorts. Therefore, actively seeking a plateau to progress where you can rest on your laurels and coast is tremendously detrimental and will ultimately set you far behind the competition.

After all, you can only coast uphill so far before gravity takes over, right?

Dangerous Comfort in Complacency

Aside from its likeness to the concept of stability, complacency is dangerous because it is so appealing and comforting. When you are climbing a hill on your bicycle, the thought of finishing at the top and then coasting downhill thereafter is naturally attractive because you are exhausted and need a break. 

That state of mind occurs in business as well, materializing when you have experienced a long history of success and are in the wake of positive news, such as goals reached, benchmarks achieved and other means of measuring success that may have given you a bit of burn out. But much like the bicyclist example, you know there’s going to be another hill!

Rest, if you must, but do not stagnate. That next hill is metaphoric to disruptions in the status quo of your business. Celebrating success is fantastic but knowing and respecting the reality that the other hill is on the horizon is your way of implementing my Hard Trend Methodology, where you identify future certainties that will happen and pre-solve problems associated with them in an anticipatory way.

The Competition Pulls Ahead

Assuming you can just coast the rest of your career or through the existence of your organization sounds preposterous, doesn’t it? That’s because it is; you know you can’t do that, because as you take your precious time in the pits of a race, patting yourself on the back for leading so far, you’re giving your competitors the opportunity to pass you.

What you and your organization have accomplished so far may have allowed you to leap far ahead of others in the products and services you offer, but change is the only constant, and we are always moving forward into the future. Viewing your organization as a living entity with no “end point” helps restructure your mindset to one of anticipation, whereas celebrating a win as being good enough places you in a finite mindset while both your customers and the competition continue on the journey.

Celebrating the small wins is certainly vital for morale, but do not view your career or your organization’s legacy as an “end product” but rather a dynamic, living entity. 

The Ripple of an Aligned Futureview

So how do you work to counter the dangers of complacency as a business leader? As I just mentioned, we are always moving forward in time, spending the rest of our lives in the future. Therefore, by returning your attention to tomorrow, you shift your mindset to one of anticipation.

Consider this: An agile and reactionary mindset is one implemented when responding to something unexpected. Imagine waking up every day, genuinely shocked that tomorrow came. That is strange to even write! We are certain that tomorrow will arrive, as are both your customers and competitors. Now imagine reacting to that concept every single morning in a panic because you were sure yesterday was the last day of existence. That should sound exhausting and unrealistic, because it is.

This is why implementing my Anticipatory Organization Model makes the most sense; there is a future after today that is ripe with opportunity. Because of this, a key concept of my Anticipatory Organization Model is a principle I refer to as Futureview®. In essence, this is how you and your organization see the future. Is it a positive one ripe with opportunities or a future merely characterized by disruption and frustrating missteps you must react to? Is it one that’s likely to occur or one that is teetering on extinction?

More importantly, does your organization have an aligned Futureview? A positive Futureview can be very pervasive. If an organization’s leaders have a positive Futureview, that naturally spreads to others around them, opening their eyes to the bright future and prompting them to want to come along for the ride. They’re more excited and, as a result, less complacent in their mindsets and behaviors.

Your positive Futureview impacts clients and customers with whom you work outside of your organization as well. Their view of doing business with you now and in the future is positive, and all of this positivity spurs innovations at all levels.

Incentivize Having a Positive Futureview 

In my travels, too often I see companies and organizations rewarding legacy behavior and mindsets, cementing themselves in the past. This type of disconnect from the exponentially disruptive world around them can lead to complacency within its staff and a disjointed Futureview.

For example, you may wish to encourage employees to implement my Hard Trend Methodology, prompting them to actively watch for predictable problems and solve them before they arise. Is there an interactive way to incentivize them, where there is a reward for those who not only identify a future problem but create a solution to it as well? By offering attractive rewards and benefits for efforts that combat complacency—in this case, pre-solving predictable problems—you’re naturally boosting your company’s ability to resist complacency. Invest in the people within your organization and help them grow with you in the future—they’ll want to keep themselves and your organization moving forward.

Complacency is a very real danger for businesses in all industries. Developing and fostering an anticipatory mindset helps not only align your organization’s Futureview but educates your organization in understanding that business and life are ever-evolving entities, impossible to solely react to. The future is filled with boundless opportunity and the ability to pre-solve problems before they become problems, so be sure to shift your mindset to an anticipatory one to leverage that opportunity like never before.

Posted On Friday, 14 May 2021 00:00 Written by

Golf courses report that there has been a resurgence in golf attendance as the pandemic slowly diminishes. Golf courses seem to be the perfect venue for the family, especially Par-3 courses or even the pitch-and-putt places. The community in which I live is a golf haven and recently upgraded its Par-3 course changing its name from Peter Hay, who was the first professional, to “The Hay.” The upgrading was done with excellent style and class.

I recently read in Golfweek that the PGA (Professional Golf Association) is planning on a  program to dispense $40 million in bonuses to some 10 stars deemed to have an impact in drawing the most fans to PGA tour events. Some of the star players mentioned were Tiger Woods  who is in long-term recovery), Bryson DeChambeau, Ricky Fowler, Rory McIlroy among others. It seems here that money could be of more help elsewhere. First and foremost, golf tournaments are and have been very generous in giving monies to local and national charities. Further, the prize money awarded to winning golfers today is greater than ever before.

As the PGA tour unfolds, it seems that many unknown names are atop the leader board each week. As an example, where did Hideki Matsuyama, who won this 2021 Masters, appear from? If you follow golf you know he is well respected on the tour, but his name value hasn’t matched up with Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, or other names in that realm. However, please mark Matsuyama in your book as it is likely he’ll be atop the leaderboard quite often.

Maybe more importantly, is this PIP plan a proper way to attract patrons to the PGA golf tournaments? As the restrictions for the pandemic ease, most golf followers will be flocking to courses. This idea of rewarding some players, regardless of how they perform, is antithetical to the golf industry. If you attend NFL, NBA, NHL games, those players already have their paychecks deposited. Not so in golf! PGA golfers have upfront costs that are not compensated until they perform well enough to earn prize money. Moreover, while golf is not a T*E*A*M sport like others, there is a “golfing family” attached to the professional game. Will this bonus pool create a division?

Will you log-in your thoughts about this bonus pool for “stars”?

Posted On Friday, 14 May 2021 00:00 Written by
Charles T. Jones, a great speaker and writer and lover of books proclaimed that “You will be the same 5 years from now as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read!” He influenced me to begin building a robust library some forty years ago, and it has been one of the most rewarding activities I have ever been involved in.
An interesting phenomenon has taken place in the last century. In the eighteen hundreds and early nineteen hundreds, people relied on books to learn and gain sophistication through being “well-read”. Today we have so much information inundating us that we hardly have time to sort and process it. Technology has changed our world substantially in that regard. The learners of 150 years ago simply did not have the choices we had. Books were sacrosanct in the lives of many.
Today lots of people, this writer included, still carve out reading time and enthusiastically forge ahead devouring 100 to 200 books a year. I keep a to-read stack of books in my library that is usually 15-20 books high. That’s ok, as I like my reading habits just fine and I continue to learn and grow from both new and old books alike.
When recently going through my library I came across a 1st edition copy of The Place of Books in the Life We Live by William L. Stidger (copyright 1923), which I have been reading. In his foreword, he said “Books are like the windows of a tower. They let light in. Every life is a growing tower. It is put stone by stone. The higher it grows, the darker it gets if we do not put in a window here and there to give light. That is what a book does to a life. It lets light into that life.” Well said, indeed.
Stidger believed that a book could frequently be the turning point in the life of a boy or girl, or man or woman. It can change the course of a human life, awakening the soul like nothing else. He believed that a well-read teacher could add fifty percent to his or her efficiency adding greatly to their usefulness to the human lives they touched. He further believed that books would keep the soul and the world alive, and raise people to greater heights.
One of the greatest things we can do is to encourage others to be eager readers. We can give books for gifts and urge others to expand their horizons through the creation of excellent reading habits.
The previously mentioned Charlie Jones paid his kids a modest sum as they were growing up for each book they read. They had to give him a short written book report and he also challenged them orally with questions about the content and what they learned. He was convinced until his death that he helped all of his kids enjoy a better life through exceptional reading habits.
Arnold Bennett (1867-1931) once declared “The aim of literary study is not to amuse the hours of leisure; it is to awake oneself, it is to be alive, to intensify one’s capacity for pleasure, for sympathy, and for comprehension. It is to change utterly one’s relation with the world.” It is obvious with statements of this sort that reading was deemed critical to one’s growth and quality of life. I believe it still is, and my hope is that we as responsible adults will continue to offer encouragement to others to experience the life-changing activity of reading books.

Near the end of Stidger’s book I was inspired to read a quote from Bishop William Quayle (1860-1925)… “Ah, my soul, hast thou learned the lure of the book, and hast thou learned what a book is as a delight, and hast thou learned, not as a scholar reads, to get to be great, or to read as the egotist reads, to be thought wise, but hast thou read as God would read, to catch good and to see far, and, to learn to live, and to blazon thy scutcheon with the radiance of the morning light?” Read on, friends, and inspire others to do the same!

Posted On Friday, 14 May 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Wednesday, 12 May 2021 00:00 Written by

This past week I pulled up at the FORD Dealership and calmed my nerves.

Knowing I was walking in the door in the next minute, I was the equivalent of a wiry wildebeest going for a swim in a lake full of crocodiles.  

You know the feeling if you’ve ever been interested in a certain car and had specific questions, entering the sales floor with any intention to buy, you may as well skip down the street with wads of cash and jewelry hanging out of your pockets.

Determined to be strong and not taken advantage of, I put my checkbook in my pocket, cracked my knuckles, kinked my neck, and decided to go for a swim with the piranhas.

Upon entering a sales man came up to me, “How can I help you today?”

Here it goes.  I felt like the kid on “A Christmas Story” about to tell Santa my greatest desire…

“Yeah, so I’ve never bought a Ford before, but I’m very interested in the F-150 trucks I’ve been seeing everywhere and was hoping to check out what they look like inside,” I began.

He started shaking his head, “Nope.  No, sorry man, we are OUT!” 

(In my mind I could hear Santa, as his foot closed in on my forehead to shove me down the slide, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!  Ho! Ho! Ho!”)

“You’re out of F-150’s?  The lot is full of them,” I gestured.

“Well, those are all used, to be leased, not brand new, and the chips have all run out,” he confirmed.

“Chips?” I asked.  “You guys aren’t selling policemen on motorcycles in tight pants from the 70’s?”  (My joke went right over his head)

“Not here.  So there’s a chip in the truck that makes them run and they’re not being produced fast enough, so the supply is low,” he said.

Eric Estrada references wouldn’t work at this location, so I kept trying to get a door open.

“Well, I’m happy to just see what one F-150 looks like inside.  I’m really most interested in the Hybrid ones I heard about that saved lives in Texas during the power outages, those F-150’s with the built-in generator.  I imagine those are going pretty fast,” I stated.

“Nope.  Not even an option, man!  We have holds on those 16 weeks out.  They’re not available nationwide, I’m just telling you, that’s not even an option for you to get one or even consider,” he said.

I returned with my own pitch, “So, can I see what the inside of an F-150 looks like to at least get an idea of what it feels like?  I’m hoping to get the one that seats a family of 6 with the console that flips into a seat that I read about?” 

“Yeah, that’s a great feature.  Not available with the backorder.  I have the bench kind, but those are something you don’t even need to see.  No need to see that vehicle,” he nodded.

I was baffled.  A bit taken aback.  Not only was he not interested in my business, he was unselling me what I wanted to buy!

It was like going into the party with arms full of pizza and treats, where you know everyone is going to be thrilled to see you, and next thing you know they’re showing you the door because they have enough food.

I felt like the uneaten wildebeest at the crocodile swimming hole, having a self-confidence crisis while asking himself, “Why are they eating all of my cousins?  What, don’t I look appetizing enough for you crocodiles!?  What do I need to wear in this lake to get some attention around here!?” 

“So, that’s it.  You’ve got nothing for me,” I said.  “Even if I have a checkbook in my pocket, and am ready to buy whatever you’d be able to sell me, there is nothing you can do for me to get closer to buying the vehicle my wife and I talked about me coming and looking at today?”

“I mean, we have vehicles but the one you’re after is a crazy wait, it’s not worth it, I wouldn’t even bother,” he smiled.

With furrowed eyebrows I thanked him for his time (which was about 2 minutes) and walked out the door.

This was the oddest “sales” situation I have ever experienced.  

I understand having low or backordered inventory;

Makes sense there’s a wait;

Brand new Hybrid F-150 is preferred, no question;

But he didn’t ask my name, get my card, ask if I was serious about the vehicle and maybe stick me on a list in case something comes up and he wants to make an easy sell, or even a “let’s get things rolling if you’re willing to wait for it…”

Didn’t drop everything to run me out to the lot to show me at least anything close to an F-150.  I saw F-250’s and F-350’s lining the lot.  Maybe he could have convinced me to buy a bigger vehicle?  Learn about me a little bit…

“Did you say you have a generator at home?  Oh cool, well with this F-350 you just throw it in the truck bed and can use the generator whenever you need it!” he could have creatively offered.

I probably would have bought it that moment!

He truly could have taken me to a Prius and said, “So, you wanted to see inside a vehicle today.  The Ford Brand has a special interior, and I wanted to just brag on this incredible little itty bitty zippity doo dah car every actor in Hollywood used to drive.  What kind of cars do you have right now?  Let me show you why this Prius is cool…” and I very well may have driven away in a Prius that I could park in the back of my F-350 I didn’t come to buy, but purchased both anyway!

(Not really, but you get the idea.  He didn’t even try!)

And yet, the transaction was over the second he made up his mind that mine was made up.  

My mind is never made up about a vehicle, or about most purchases.  I know what I want, but I also can be persuaded to consider a new and possibly immediate idea leading to the right solution if a salesperson can create a great solution with me.

Instead, I strolled out the door and said aloud to myself, “Well, that’s a Blog!”  

The Promise of Sales is to create solutions. 

Inventory low?  No problem, let’s figure out a work-around.  If you’re interested in buying something ASAP and have a checkbook in your pocket I know I can lead you to consider a few other options.

Budget an issue?  No worries, we have this happen a lot, let’s talk through what will work.

To me, this was a tragic conversation that Henry Ford would probably slap himself in the forehead looking down from his Model T in the sky.

In the last year, essentially every single request I have received in my inbox has been the opposite of what I can do for the client.  And yet, we form a friendship in the process of figuring out what I can do for them and what they need.

Sales are very simple: 

  1. Listen (“We are interested in the following…”)
  2. State the Truth of the Situation (“Date not open”; “budget won’t work”, “that’s not something I offer anymore”, etc)
  3. Create a Solution (“Is your date firm?  Can we do your event earlier in the day so I can serve my other client that is already confirmed?”; “Let’s find a common ground for budget discrepancy in other benefits to both of us”; “I no longer offer a Show of entertainment, but I have friends that I can refer you to whom I have coached and are vetted with my standard of performance”, etc)

Often I spend quite a bit of time figuring out where to send the client, getting them a great deal, and they come back to me when they are in need of what I offer and have a better budget, while working around my dates.

But to me, the sales process is fun, it’s engaging, it’s problem solving, it’s getting the client what they really need even if it’s not what they originally came to buy.

And that’s what blows my mind about what I just experienced.

I would think a car salesman would be well versed in the Promise of Sales, which is:

Never let the person ready to buy leave without an armful of options, holding their hand until they’ve had an engagement experience of such care and service that they are grateful to have come by, even if they didn’t do business with you directly, but you led them to the right place, and thus find your business is worthy of returning as often as possible for solutions. 

Truth is: I have clients that I have NEVER done a transaction with, and yet they return annually in search of my help.

Someday perhaps we shall work together when the time is right!

“Working for Free” an issue?  Well, that’s not how I view it.  I’m just thrilled I can be a resource to finding what they need, and if that means I can lead clients to match up with Speakers, Entertainers, Caterers, Event and Meeting Spaces, AV Teams, Production solutions, Virtual Emcees, and so forth – then that is my Promise to the Community and makes me feel fulfilled.

Your Promise Prompt this week is: The Promise of Sales ~

Consider your Promise of problem solving/creating solutions and helpfulness in the sales process.

Comment if you’ve had an experience like I just outlined at the dealership.

Comment as well if you’ve had the opposite, where they couldn’t do business with you directly but they led you to a solution.

And hey – if you see an F-150 Hybrid with generator in the back come up for sale, I’m interested, just don’t tell the dealership, as I don’t want them to talk me out of buying.

Posted On Wednesday, 12 May 2021 00:00 Written by
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