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Posted On Sunday, 17 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Sunday, 17 January 2021 00:00 Written by

The advantage of Zero-Based thinking is that you are starting with a clean slate! There should be few pre-conceived notions with your primary focus on how to best go to market and take great care of your customers based on what’s going on today (and the days, weeks and months forthcoming). 

Three opening action items to participate in are recommended:

1. A new SWOT Analysis – SWOT Analyses (An assessment of current Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) can be very revealing. It is suggested that you have several of your smartest people participating in this exercise. Incidentally, if you do one every year, it should look different every year. This speaks well of the concept of constant fine-tuning of your business strategies and actions rather than doing what you have always done!

2. Have in-depth discussions with your top 5 customers. Identify the agendas of the top 2-3 people running those companies if you can get to them. If you can’t, talk to the most senior officers you can. Find out what is critically important to each of them and how you/your company might be able to positively impact them. Get passionate about providing the best and most targeted products the marketplace wants.

3. Put together “Deliverables Meetings” with 4-5 key people in your company to ascertain what you should add to or delete from your current product line or service offerings. Make sure you do Item #1 and Item #2 before you do Item #3 for best results. These can be some of your most important decisions going forward. When you vary your offerings from your competition, you have purposefully differentiated yourself in what is probably a crowded marketplace.

 With a Zero-based thinking approach you can also consider such important areas  as: employee compensation, capital expenditures, advanced marketing plans, and various areas of expansion and contractions.

It is also a good time to do a “Deep-dive” on research. The knowledge mass of the human race is now said to be doubling approximately every 3 ½ years! What’s changing in your industry? To assume not much is changing is usually a serious miscalculation of your current reality. What are some things that might well be changing?

1. Customer Needs

2. Employee’s priorities

3. Latest technologies in your business

4. Latest technology changes in general

5. Special or new applications of products

6. Financial applications

7. Expanded service requirements

8. New windows of opportunities

9. Closing windows of opportunity

10. Compensation in your industry

These are just some of the elements of change in a typical business. Give in-depth thought to others that would apply to your business and stay on top of current issues. It is better to figure out how to capitalize on changes rather than becoming a victim of them!

I suggest that you make a list of actions to cease and actions to take – with timelines. And ask yourself who should be “in the loop” on the various activities mentioned for best results. Be as creative as you can in tapping the collective intellect of your team members for best results.

Posted On Friday, 15 January 2021 00:00 Written by

After further review… If you have followed the trend of  TunneySide of Sports, you have undoubtedly noticed that “conversations” between opponents is not recommended – as my father would advise, sometimes admonish. The tag-along of those conversations often rolled into “trash talk” which would more than often lead to pushing and shoving and soon a fight would break out.

That is what I saw happen at the end of that Armed Forces Bowl game.

Perhaps that game on December 30, 2020, should be called the Armed Forces Brawl since the game between Tulsa University and Mississippi State University ended in a full-blown brawl! It is reported that trash talk between players of both teams started before the game and continued throughout. The Mississippi State Bulldogs defeated the Tulsa Hurricanes  28-26. I guess the names Bulldogs and Golden Hurricanes (formerly Tornadoes) were appropriate monikers in such a brawl. However, it’s been my experience that this is not the way college football was designed.

As I watched the replay of that brawl, I saw, perhaps, 75 – 100 players throwing punches, kicking and pushing their opponents – after the game was over. These combatants were on the field and sidelines. Among that melee were 8-10 shirtless men who had obviously come onto the field from the stands. Coaches and some officials were attempting to stop the fisticuffs but not being very effective. Having refereed games where this occurred, you just have to let it play itself out. Did it ever occur to players how little damage can be done with helmets on?

Trash talk is not uncommon in all sports. The basis, if there is one, is that trash talk diverts the opponents’ focus from their real purpose – thus causing a distraction. Having played the game of golf for some 20 years, I found that some golfers love trash talking. It may surprise you, but it’s fairly common knowledge among professional golfers that Tiger is a big trash-talker.

Yes, that Tiger – as in Tiger Woods. I watched a recent father-son tournament with Tiger and his son Charlie where it was reported on-air that Tiger is teaching Charlie to trash talk as he does. It’s hard to believe that a father would teach his 6-year-old son to do that. Trash talking will not help you drive the ball further down the fairway or sink a 12-foot putt.

Will you maintain some civility and respect for your opponents?

Posted On Friday, 15 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 14 January 2021 00:00 Written by

As an executive or leader in your organization, you’re managing many things: the company’s image, numerous projects, and a talented group of people. 

But you’re also managing many other important things, including disruptions from both inside and outside of your industry, how others perceive your company as you manage or even leverage those disruptions, and several other things you may not even be aware of. For many people, these “other” things are just part of the job, how things have always been done, and the expected stressors of business. 

But do they have to be that way?

Disruptions Are Distractions to Manage

To start, executives and leaders at organizations must become better at managing disruptions. In today’s marketplace, change is coming at us fast, and it is only getting faster every day.

One thing we know for sure is that most disruptions come from the outside in—external factors impact the organization, like we saw in March 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic and global lockdown, which affected many nonessential businesses. This caused people to react, crisis manage, and continually put out fires.

But to be a strategic asset to your company, you can’t simply be a crisis manager; you also have to become an opportunity manager. You accomplish this by becoming an Anticipatory Leader in order to transform your organization into an Anticipatory Organization.

To be an opportunity manager and strategic asset for your organization, distraction is the enemy, and, unfortunately, we have never been more distracted than we have become in this past year, preoccupied with the effects of the global pandemic. Not only is everyone in your organization likely distracted thanks to disruptions, but everyone in your competitors’ organizations is as well.

In a way, this is actually good news, because it means there’s a huge competitive advantage in pulling out of that mess of distraction by way of looking at disruptions much differently than your competitors with an eye of anticipation!

The Switch to Anticipation

Transitioning your and your organization’s mindsets from one of reaction to one of anticipation takes work, but is not as difficult as you may feel.

What an Anticipatory Leader must do is help their staff learn to look at these disruptions and learn to see them beforethey disrupt. I know that might sound a bit like fortune-telling, but trust me when I say it is very plausible!

How we do this is by implementing what I refer to as my Hard Trend Methodology. In this, we look at what I refer to as Hard Trends and Soft Trends. Hard Trends are future certainties that you cannot change, such as the positive reality that this pandemic will end when we have a vaccine. Soft Trends are trends we can influence, such as the “new normal” that came with this pandemic and what that means for each of our organizations.

When you know how to differentiate between Hard Trends and Soft Trends, your organization now knows what disruptions will come with those and how to leverage them for opportunity and advantage. Likewise, this gives you and your organization a chance to innovate in an effort to pre-solve any problems that come with these disruptions beforethey occur.

For example, during the pandemic, nonessential businesses were closed; however, many found innovative ways to continue to operate and serve their customer base in order to stay afloat and become essential in their own way. This allowed their organization to also become a positive disruptor, taking the wheel of disruption and effectively managing it.

Manage Perceptions

Another thing that executives and leaders must consider is others’ perceptions of us, especially as we rebuild our economy after COVID-19 and manage disruptions.

You may be wondering why managing perception is important; shouldn’t you focus on your customers you do have during times of crisis and worry less about how others perceive what you are doing? You can’t please everyone after all, right?

Absolutely not! You should always consider what others’ perceptions are of your organization because perception is often more important than reality, especially today. Given our access to social media and apps like Yelp or customer review features on Google, word travels fast. New normal means new customers for many of us.

In a past blog, I referenced how convenience stores transformed to necessity stores in the wake of people not buying gas as much as we locked down to slow the spread of COVID-19, discovering new customers in those who were unable to find their necessities at the grocery store due to panic buying. This is an example of an Anticipatory Organization managing disruptions, as referenced above; however, they’re also managing others’ perceptions of their operation at the same time.

How do you think the world would react if a convenience store owner shut down during the pandemic and spent more time turning people away, bitter that they were losing money they ordinarily make on gas sales and wallowing about their struggles to a mother trying desperately to find Tylenol for their child’s fever? I doubt that customer would ever return.

We’re always looking for new customers, so always be conscientious of the image you project to the world. A good way to gauge and thus manage your perception is to ask yourself,  “How do I perceive myself?” Do you perceive yourself as trying to keep up or protect and defend the status quo? Or are you trying to integrate the new in order to discover new customers in times of peril?

Manage Perceptions

At the end of the day, being able to manage perceptions and disruptions is just as important as being able to manage people and projects. When you focus on managing what’s important, you’ll open yourself up to a whole new world of possibilities.

How you perceive yourself is going to reflect how others perceive you. Likewise, how well you handle disruption says a lot about your organization to customers both old and new, interlocking perception and disruption management in ways never before witnessed.

COVID-19 disrupted everyone; not a single industry was untouched by this unbelievable pandemic. However, how organizations managed this disruption spoke volumes about how they do business. What kind of perception did you and your organization give your customers?



Posted On Wednesday, 13 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Wednesday, 13 January 2021 00:00 Written by

How do you build a team from one to 28? Christy Buck, super star producer from Pearland, Texas, shares how hiring the right Administrator to advance to Operations Manager enabled her to jump from a dining room table agent to a thriving team of 28 team members. Get your life back and get the scoop from this dynamic duo!

Posted On Wednesday, 13 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 12 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 12 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 12 January 2021 00:00 Written by

If 2020 was a challenging year for all of us, 2021 is certainly starting out with a lot of activity. Purchase activity, refinance activity, COVID activity, vaccination activity, political activity, and quite a bit of activity in the bond market!

The purchase and refinance activity is pretty much following the numbers we saw going into the holidays and a pretty good size surge of new preapprovals entering the market to look into what is usually a very busy listing month for resales!

Unfortunately, spikes in COVID cases are raising concerns as vaccines are being sped to market each day, but not as fast as many would like. We have challenges on the political front that won’t likely go away any time soon, but will definitely impact all of us in some way yet to be determined. Then there is the bond market losing almost 50bps in the past two days as the 10 year climbs over 1%.

All of these are issues for sure. My advice for all of you is that there is no guessing required here! Nobody need to predict or pontificate about what may or may not happen in the days and weeks ahead; at least not in the capacity as a mortgage professional. I don’t care who you are, you don’t have a crystal ball. Nobody can be certain what we will see in the short term or what the consequences of any or all of these will have on the mortgage and real estate markets until we see what actually happens. So NO GUESSING! What is today is today. What is tomorrow is tomorrow. It has been my experience that in peak turmoil, it is better to deal from a factual base, than to try and predict the outcome and impact of that outcome on our industry.

So please, be aware of the facts. Understand the fear. Above all, don’t feed into the panic or create any drama. As a professional, deal from the facts and share the truth!

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

Posted On Monday, 11 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Monday, 11 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Monday, 11 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Sunday, 10 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Sunday, 10 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Sunday, 10 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Friday, 08 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Friday, 08 January 2021 00:00 Written by

Pamela Headshot 2019Pamela Banks earned her real estate license in 2000 and immediately immersed herself in the profession. She specializes in residential lifestyle real estate, working with buyers, sellers and investors. Along with her 20 years of experience, Pamela is deeply involved in the profession, serving on local, state and national real estate committees. This year, along with her committee work, she is also serving as a Board of Director for both Florida Realtors and the National Association of Realtors, as well as a RPAC President Circle Sterling R contributor. Pamela joined the Women’s Council of Realtors Greater Palm Beach in 2004, served as the President in 2006 and Florida State President in 2015. This year she is honored to be the Women’s Council of REALTORS National President Elect.

Pamela is addicted to orchids with over 70 plants in her yard. She is married to her high school sweetheart, has three grown sons and three granddaughters.

With a passion for real estate, cutting edge technology and a knowledge of the market, she delivers Excellence You Can ​Bank​ On!

Posted On Thursday, 07 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 07 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 07 January 2021 00:00 Written by

A bit about Verl: 

Verl WorkmanVerl makes it his personal mission to develop amazing coaches. It takes thorough vetting and intense training. But it all starts with being a master coach himself, who leads by example.

Verl brings deep real-estate, leadership and coaching experience to every business relationship. His coaching clients represent the elite agents, teams and brokers in the world. But they didn’t necessarily start out that way. By identifying the “why” behind each goal, he is able to help his clients achieve greatness.

Verl is also an accomplished speaker and presenter—one of just a handful of presenters to earn the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation from the National Speakers Association. His experience and expertise in all aspects of sales, marketing, promotion, management and technology have enlightened and empowered helped thousands of professionals to expand their knowledge and achieve their goals.

Verl’s contagious style and sales and management mastery make him not just an ideal coach, but the consummate coach’s coach.

Verl's credentials and accomplishments include:

• Founder & CEO of Workman Success Systems
• Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation from NSA
• President of RIS Media's Top 5 in Real Estate Network
• Co-founder of Pinnacle Quest Consulting and Verl Workman Seminars
• Co-founder of Automation Quest (acquired by in 1999)
• DISC Training Certified
• Successful, active real estate agent & business owner

Posted On Wednesday, 06 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Wednesday, 06 January 2021 00:00 Written by

It is no secret that children are attracted to video games like moths to light. From Minecraft to Roblox, children of today spend hours in front of screens both large and small, oftentimes much to the dismay of their parents and teachers.

Whether you have children of your own or not, you may believe these kids are using their time idly; however, it is actually quite the contrary. Believe it or not, they are likely learning while playing their favorite game, and furthermore, we as adults can learn a lot about these intuitive young individuals based on what they play.

This concept is part of a trend I first identified in the 1980s that I call gamification. Believe it or not, gamification is an increasing part of all of our lives in this new technological frontier, and is poised to educate adults just as much as video games educate children.

The Psychology of Play in Human Development

Many of the greatest technological advances in business and what motivates adults stem from the concept of open-ended play. Children have a boundless imagination and curiosity for the world around them, which they discover by playing.

To tie in gamification, whether it be a board game or a video game, play that involves working toward an end goal ties critical thinking skills to that discovery during play. Therefore, when young children use a computer to play a video game, there is a lot more going on than wrongfully perceived “wasted time.”

Outside of the game itself, they are using technology in a tactile sense, whether it be a controller, a touch screen, a mouse, you name it. Within the game, they are navigating a user interface, something we encounter every day in the personal and professional world, be it with our iPhones or a virtual teller at our bank.

Finally, there is the objective of the game. Take, for example, the popular video game Minecraft. The purpose of this game is to explore the virtual world, construct buildings and, yes, survive. It is an open-ended game, just as the Sims was for Millennials now navigating the adult world.

Gamification in Recreation

The concepts of gamification do not stop at children; they are massively evident in adult lives, both personally and, more importantly, professionally.

In the personal lives of adults, we see it everywhere in the fitness industry. FitBit is wearable technology that tracks your steps throughout the day, can sense when your heart rate is elevated while you work out, can even identify what workout you are doing, and maps out stats around your health in the corresponding smartphone app, allowing you to compete against yourself in your fitness journey.

Outside of wearable technology, interactive exercise equipment has gained traction, such as the Peloton, which gives you a virtual spin class trainer, personalized to encourage you to push yourself harder and defeat the “yesterday you.”

Professional Development and Gamification

It is easy to pinpoint gamification in recreation; however, what about in the professional world? Aside from the go-to thought of employees taking a quiz to learn about something they might already know, can elements of video games be integrated in adult learners?

Of course! Anticipatory leaders, take note: gamification and its benefit are a Hard Trend in training that will only accelerate as technology increases.

Here are five core elements of gamification that can be applied to the business world. 

1. Self-Diagnostics: How much time have you wasted sitting through business training that mostly covered things you already knew, just to learn those few key items you didn’t? Why not give your business training a self-diagnostic component, like advanced video games in which the more feats you accomplish, the greater challenges the game gives you?

2. Interactivity: Education and training are traditionally passive experiences: someone stands in front of the group and talks while you listen. But learning is far more effective when one interacts with the material, such as your ability to manipulate items in advanced video games. Create an interactive module for your business training instead!

3. Immersion: Virtual Reality (VR) is by no means a “fad” that will fade with time. 3D is now interspatial: instead of images popping out at you, you enter them and become immersed in the information. In training customer service representatives on how to use a device you manufacture, it would be highly beneficial to immerse them in a VR experience of the product instead of having them memorize a spec sheet.

4. Competition: The term “gamification” is mutually exclusive with competition, and it is why consumers are drawn to products like the aforementioned Peloton; they are naturally competitive. Passive training is too much of a level playing field, whereas training from competition fosters an adrenaline rush that keeps employees engaged, making everyone better.

5. Focus: When you play a game, you’re forced to focus. You have to do A before B can occur. If you don’t focus on doing A, you don’t get very far. Focus is enhanced by interactivity, competition, immersion, and self-diagnosis.

A Gamified Anticipatory Organization

Having a competitive advantage in business is crucial in this technologically disruptive world.

In order to help your organization have an anticipatory mindset, which encourages employees and leaders alike to pay attention to the Hard Trends that will happen and leverage disruption and change as opportunity and advantage, building an interactive training system that is as thrilling as racing cars or playing a sport will teach them how to think critically when staying on top of their game.

So the next time you think video games are just “child’s play,” think again. Consider how even the most entertaining games labeled as being “just for fun” can be applicable in business training as well.



Posted On Wednesday, 06 January 2021 00:00 Written by
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