Today's Headlines - Realty Times
As the pandemic winds down it has certainly changed the way we live life and do business. A majority have spent an entire year from home, buying, working, and surfing the web. Certain trends have emerged during this time that show no signs of slowing down. Concerning us in the sales and marketing space, we’ve seen that more prospects than not, currently prefer digital self-serve & remote human engagement over face-to-face selling.
Although it began as a way to ensure safety from COVID-19, this affinity for online selling and purchasing is based primarily on buyer convenience, ease of exploration, and speed of ordering. In fact, I’ve identified three major shifts in our field that are now on the rise.

1. Carvana experience: In 2017, Carvana went public with its car vending machine idea. This marked the beginning of a new wave of self-service selling. Most seller interactions have moved to remote or digital platforms utilizing what companies now refer to as “The Carvana Experience”.

2. Customer Journey: Businesses in every field have had a common thread. As the customer progresses from prospect to customer to client, the use of digital communication increases respectively. Additionally, video calls are preferred to phone calls in everything from internal team meetings to customer or vendor connections. This will change the selling dynamic in most sales organizations either to total adoption or to a blended strategy going forward.

2. High-End ECommerce: The final major trend in the selling and marketing space is the propensity for prospects to make digital purchases at ever-rising price points. I’m talking ($50k+)! As referenced by Carvana, even the large purchases made by the middle-class across the globe, like cars, houses, etc., are being made online, without meeting in person.
The facts speak for themselves… the companies that adapt their processes to meet these new trends will, without a doubt, thrive. Those that don’t will likely be phased out of the mainstream. It’s that simple.
But not everything is subject to change. At U. S. Learning we are striving for excellence in every arena, with a large focus on finding the newest ways to stay ahead of the pack. However, the bar is being continually raised on us in sales as we see the standards of operation in customer contact are constantly changing. 
We must study newly created principles, not just methods and old habits to provide a solid foundation for our team to build on. Despite what's been shouting at you in Facebook and YouTube ads, there are things you can learn to build your business without re-defining your entire infrastructure every week. This means you can devote your time, resources, and money to strategic fine-tuning, evolving processes that improve on your status quo of recent years and improve your bottom line in the process.
We will need to adopt a constantly sharpened eye for new opportunities to make thoughtful changes or solidify some time-honored principles that are still working.
Since we are all in the business of solving people’s problems, those who can do this most efficiently will beat out their competitors time and time again. This will require some creativity in the way you get your message out there but, in order to do that, we must be better than ever at understanding our customer and their needs.
One such area is in defining VALUE. As you’ve read in this newsletter before, the best definition of value is not from the dictionary, or from your CEO or your marketing department. It is from your customer. And if you have six hot prospects you may have six different definitions of value in play. We can successfully strategize for positive results only when we know what they value and how we can go about solving their problem. 

We can best utilize this information during our needs analysis. This needs the human touch, when possible, but can be facilitated with technology. The growing popularity of digital selling makes the need for sound and personalized needs analysis more vital than ever. Think about it for a second. If you aren’t there to ask them, then how do you find out? This has a myriad of potential solutions, but one of the simplest is by implementing surveys. This can work in synch with your personal needs analysis. Only when we have gathered sufficient information and crafted a solid solution will we be in a position to win their business.
Our survival needs have not changed, although our interests and expectations have. The amazing thing about selling today is that YOUR innovations can impact THEIR expectations. We know that people change when the pain not to change exceeds the pain to change. People also buy when you remove all doubt that they will be better off with your product/service and worse off without it. A company that is more well-known, more efficient, and more creative will win out over those who are simply trying to keep up.
What are you doing to ensure your sales success in our ever-changing marketplace? There will always be new ways to do business, and, like it or not, that determination IS a popularity contest. Be known for the innovations you have embraced and the problems you solve and you will stand out from the crowd!

Sales is not only about our deliverables. It's about the service model in which you deliver them. Make it personal. Don’t overlook the “human element” to selling, even in a digital world. And lastly, make it purposeful. Get out there on the bleeding edge and leave the following edge for those who hope to emulate you!

Posted On Friday, 25 June 2021 00:00 Written by

While Jon Rahm was listed as the favorite for the 121st U.S. Open that concluded at  Torrey Pines in La Jolla (San Diego) California yesterday, this column went to press before that tournament was concluded.

Rahm is a professional golfer who was leading the 2021 Memorial Golf tournament earlier this month by 6 strokes. However, as he walked off the 18th green – he lost! How did that happen? Rahm had tied the 54-hole scoring record and could have tied Tiger Woods as the only repeating champion, but the tournament committee disqualified him. Did he record a score on his card incorrectly? Had his ball moved as he approached it? Did he ground his club in the bunker prior to hitting? Nope, he couldn’t even get as far as tournament HQ. The disqualification happened right on the 18th.

As soon as Rahm had putted out, he was informed that he tested positive for COVID-19 and thereby was disqualified!  Rahm had evidently come in contact with someone who either had the virus or was asymptomatic, which sent many to their Funk and Wagnalls to find out what that is. Rahm had tested negative in previous Covid-19 exams, but his latest test came back positive.

What to do now? Some suggested he should be allowed to play his final round in a foursome with masks. Others suggested letting him play this final round by himself. Neither of these were acceptable in the game of golf. This COVID-19 rule, as unnatural as it may seem, was a policy that was understood by all and, thus, was the only course to follow. Rahm was exasperated. He then had to spend 10 days in quarantine.

The monetary reward for this Memorial Golf Tournament, played at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, was $9,300,00 with the winner earning $1,675,000. What did Rahm get? Unfortunately, zip-nothing. Being disqualified doesn’t entitle one to any compensation. No wonder Rahm was seen doubled over on the 18th green after hearing the news.

Jon, a 26-year-old Spaniard, born in the Basque Country, Spain, now lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with his wife Kelley Cahill. He states that growing up he held golfers Sergio Garcia and Seve Ballesteros is high esteem. With a 10-day quarantine at home, Jon spent time practicing on a golf simulator even though he had shot 16-under at Memorial and played some of the best golf of his life. That’s a good remedy and an important lesson following a tragic mishap.  Got back to work!

What is your best remedy when a setback, expected or not, occurs in your life?

Posted On Friday, 25 June 2021 00:00 Written by

39F63F3B 096B 4B2B 8D14 41F6E0CD21B0Occupi is a real estate technology company

That designed Fully integrated, self-showings technology inside your Listing and Brokerage  platforms

 Occupi enhances clients’ ability to attract, retain and convert prospects for residential rentals and sales.

We do this through: Startup firm that is the that aims to fundamentally disrupt the global residential real estate rental market. We are the B2B-B2C PropTech.

Fully integrated, self-guided tours under your brand
Empowerment of your technology and platforms
Guiding prospects seamlessly through your digital marketplace

Posted On Friday, 25 June 2021 00:00 Written by

AustinAllisonAustin Allison is the founder and CEO of dotloop, the fastest growing real estate software. After studying Real Estate Development at the University of Cincinnati and Corporate Law at The University of Cincinnati College of Law, Austin co-founded dotloop in 2009. He describes what he does as "surrounding the company with great people and keeping us aligned around our vision and goals." What little free time Austin has is spent with his wife Angela and their Yorkshire terrier Paris. He is an avid endurance sport fanatic, which includes: marathons, triathlons, and wakeboarding. Austin was named to the 2012 Forbes 30 Under 30 class, Inman News Top 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders, and was 1 of 10 CEOs featured as "Ohio's Most Talented Entrepreneurs" by CEOMagazine. Most recently, Austin made the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine and was named Inman News' 2012 Innovator of the Year.

Posted On Thursday, 24 June 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 24 June 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 24 June 2021 00:00 Written by

Heidi Kuhn As the Shelby County Criminal Court Clerk, I understand that public service has never faced as stern a test as it does today. People are watching our government, and with this challenge comes opportunity. They want to be reminded of that distinctly American feeling that theirs is a government of the people, by the people and for the people, a government that works for them and it is my goal to serve the public by standing up for them and making the Criminal Court Clerk’s Office stand out by being effective and efficient in our service.”

Heidi Kuhn started her career with Shelby County Government in January 2001 as the Executive Director of the Crime Victims Center, advocating for victims and fighting for their rights. She was then appointed as the Deputy Director of Community Services, where she was responsible for all victim and offender services, as well community support divisions, such as the Aging Commission, the Community Services Agency and Veterans Affairs. Ms. Kuhn then became the Director of Training where she developed a Training Center for the County from concept to fully operational status. Prior to being elected Criminal Court Clerk in August 2018, she served as the Special Assistant and Lead Strategist to Sheriff Bill Oldham, researching, strategizing and implementing innovative policies to enhance law enforcement and jail operations.

Ms. Kuhn believes in giving back to the community and thus has served and continues to serve on several boards and is active within the community. She is a member of Leadership Memphis, an Adjunct Professor for Christian Brothers University, she held a position on the Advisory Board for COMEC (Commission on Missing and Exploited Children), a Foundation Board Member for the Shelby County Drug Court, Past Vice-Chairman of the Lakeland City Economic Development Commission and the Lakeland City Design and Review Commission, Past President of the Domestic Violence Council, a Board Member of Greater Memphis Media, Inc., an active member of the County Officials Association of Tennessee (COAT), and a member of the International Association of Government Officials.

Ms. Kuhn holds a Master’s degree from Christian Brothers University Business School and a Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of New Mexico. She also holds certifications in Leadership, Management and Ethics.

Clerk Kuhn is committed to serving the people of Shelby County to the best of her ability and she is dedicated to making sure the Criminal Court Clerk’s office strives towards effective and efficient government operations. 

Posted On Wednesday, 23 June 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Wednesday, 23 June 2021 00:00 Written by

Whether we swipe our finger or ask Siri using our voice, smartphones have become a window to the world of information and knowledge sitting in our front pockets and purses. Nearly all of us and our customers have access to this miraculous device that allows for constant connection to and communication with the rest of the world, and in the rare case that we are not with these smartphones or other digital devices, we are probably asking the person next to us to use theirs to check something for you, as commonplace as we used to ask someone to check their wristwatch for the time.

A Paradigm Shift

As soon as businesspeople and consumers alike moved away from using devices like the BlackBerry and instead picked up a Samsung or iPhone, a behavioral paradigm shift occurred.

We can now send a text or make a call with flawless precision, send high-resolution photos and videos, use an Internet browser to search for whatever we may need, and listen to an unlimited collection of music on Spotify or even stream television via YouTube TV, which caused us to become obsessed with using our time as efficiently as possible. This limits our patience for arduous or mundane tasks, making us frustrated with people who cannot move as quickly as our devices.

Does this make technology good or evil? To tell you the truth, it is neither. A smartphone is a tool, much like a hammer to a carpenter. It’s not the tool; it’s how we make use of it. So how can we use it to shape a better future for the world?

Thinking Exponentially About Smartphones

A smartphone’s ability to reach into the cloud and give you access to these aforementioned virtual products and services is only one piece of the puzzle. As I teach c-suite executives and business leaders with my Anticipatory Organization® Model, we must think exponentially about both software and hardware to stay ahead of disruption.

For example, the ability for our smartphones to function as a supercomputer has begun to facilitate unlimited business possibilities. Think about the location services of a smartphone for a moment. How often do you consider what goes into the functionality and reliability of Google Maps? I’ll bet you think of the mechanics of GPS navigation on your smartphone as frequently as you consider how you’d go somewhere without it: almost never.

With voice commands on smartphones and comparable features in our vehicles, many of us even skip typing an address altogether and simply say where we want to go. The app gives us the best route and even an ETA using AI and in a matter of seconds, you are on your way.

As a consumer, this feature does its job perfectly; the point is for us as consumers to take it for granted. But to bring exponential thinking to this, as entrepreneurs and business leaders, understanding the functionality behind GPS and location services you so easily have access to, we can see an amazing abundance of new opportunities.

A small component in your phone facilitates the access you have to a large network of Global Positioning System Satellites, which provide the device coordinates of where the phone or tablet is located at any given time. This is a pretty large-scale usage of both software and hardware, combined with geographic information systems (GIS) in the cloud to instantly capture and present spatial data that provides users with the ability to not only locate themselves, but their surroundings as well.

So understanding this process, how can we look at this technology exponentially and as business leaders or entrepreneurs, start to solve a problem? Likewise, what industry has a problem needing to be solved by a smaller-scale version of a smartphone GPS app? 

GPS-Powered Grocery Stores

Grocery shopping transformed dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, where not only were customers required to plan ahead a little better when making their weekly trip for groceries, but just as many opted to use curbside pickup or grocery delivery where possible.

Following COVID-19, how will grocery shopping transform? For those customers returning to in-person shopping after using pickup or delivery, which was easily facilitated by using an online shopping cart and searching for a specific brand of product, it is likely that their patience for walking the aisles will be paper-thin.

Organizations are already harnessing our obsession with instant gratification delivered by our usage of smartphones and tablets in many other ways, especially online shopping. But how do we get customers back in the door of brick-and-mortar locations and, better yet, combat the negatives of instant gratification and make it a desirable experience for them?

With this information, coupled with an understanding of GPS at play in our phones, it should be easy to find a way for a grocery store to both tap into the location setting industry and combine it with the inventory technology already at play on their online store. Essentially, create a real-world user experience similar to an online store, where the shopper creates their list, and perhaps as they walk through the store, has the grocery store’s app active where it pings when you get close to a specific product you’re looking for, helping you find its exact location.

This Is a Both/And World

Individual consumers’ desire for instant gratification increasing as a Hard Trend does not mean grocery stores, necessity stores, and in-person retailers are going to abandon all of their past operations. The level of connectivity this world boasts and the exponential increase in virtualization thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic has also created a desire in many to get out of their homes and physically shop.

Implementing an enhanced location awareness app in a grocery store merely improves the part of the grocery shopping equation that, prior to COVID-19, many found frustrating. Another exponential opportunity with this app idea is to build in a feature where it suggests to said customer another brand that may be more health conscious, perhaps tied in with stats from an individual’s wearable like an Apple Watch.

Enhanced location awareness provided by in-building systems allows customers to take their time and enjoy something as tedious as in-person grocery shopping with the arduous part having been solved for them. It also brings the inventory of an online grocery store to the in-person shopping experience, as the app could also let the customer know if something is out of stock and that another brand is available.

Using Anticipation to Expand

Remember, the Hard Trend is people’s desire for instant gratification in all situations of life, spurred about by the instant gratification of our smartphones. Knowing this, your opportunity antenna should be up as an entrepreneur.

Consumers want what they want, when they want it, and enhanced location awareness is increasingly being utilized by retailers large and small to fit these desires. By embracing this powerful tool and using it in an anticipatory way to pre-solve problems before they become problems, businesses can meet the needs of their customers in new and powerful ways.

Posted On Wednesday, 23 June 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 22 June 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 22 June 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Monday, 21 June 2021 00:00 Written by

We have talked about inflation and the fact you can’t fight the FED. More and more information show prices climbing, and the FED keeps buying and buying keeping rates low. They called it “transitory.” It was a supply chain issue and once everyone goes back to work, prices will return to “normal”. But today the FED had to acknowledge that indeed, inflation is real, and much hotter than they would like despite all their efforts. So, as it would be today, they admitted inflation is real but still clung to the “transitory” argument, at least for now.

Prior to the FED announcement, the 30yr MBS 2.5% coupon stood at 103.38 and up .02 on the day. Right after the word came out, that coupon was down 44bps at 102.92; and we closed down 59bps at 102.77. The 10yr was also on the move; before the announcement it was down .01 on the day at 1.4870. After, it moved higher to +6bps to 1.56; and closed at +8 for the day and 1.510. Some saw repricing quickly and expect those that did not, will certainly see it today. It is certainly worth watching, but before you panic, remember these numbers are the same levels we saw in early April, and we all survived, and there is a strong floor of support at 102.65. In any case, none of you should have been surprised or stuck with loans floating.

The good news is, and there is good news, mortgage applications were up last week by more than 4%, with purchases up by 2% and refinances up by 6%. Despite higher home prices, people are still hunting for a home and see ownership as a great value. The main reason could be rents are up 5.3% year over year; but 2% in May alone! Rents on SF detached properties were up by more than 7%! Which could be the reason that in places like my state of Florida, home ownership rates are at 68%!

Keep focused on the markets and your mission! The cost to shelter yourself and your family is going up, and many people are still seeing the value in BUYING that shelter. Rates are still great, and refinances still make sense for many people.

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

Posted On Monday, 21 June 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Monday, 21 June 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Sunday, 20 June 2021 00:00 Written by

JacArbourHeadshotJac Arbour graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, where he was initially tracked for a career in dentistry. By the end of his sophomore year, Jac understood that his true passion was firmly rooted in the financial industry. Jac followed this calling and soon became nationally recognized as a top investment and insurance advisor. 

Jac qualified for the Million Dollar Round Table his first year in the industry and has done so each year since. Jac continues to win accolades for his acumen in financial planning, estate planning, fee-only investment advisory, insurance, and is now in demand as a professional speaker. 

CEO of Proceeds Press and the author of two books — May You Drink from the Saucer: Timeless Truths for an Extraordinary Life (Fall 2013) and This Little Piggy; The Tale of an Extraordinary Piggy Bank (2021),

Jac makes numerous speaking appearances each year. His clients include high schools and colleges who are interested in giving their students a powerful message about personal development, financial advisors who are looking to enhance their businesses and increase their flow of prospects, and the public, who comes to hear Jac speak about a array of personal finance topics.

As a speaker, Jac has been mentored by some of the best in the industry and credits much of his development to his attendance at National Speaker’s Association and the people NSA has introduced. The voice Jac brings to the podium is a refreshing one and as Don Hutson says, "Jac's words of wisdom belie his years." Jac is a graduate of the Bill Gove Speech Workshop and looks forward to his next talk with your team.

Posted On Friday, 18 June 2021 00:00 Written by

Even before the National Football League established the Rooney Rule, the Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB) was hiring players from diverse backgrounds. In 1969 the Pirates employed a player from Panama named Renaldo Antonio Stennett Porte. His teammates called him Rennie.  He was born in Colon, Panama, played second base, stood about 5-foot-11 at 160 pounds.

The NFL’s Rooney Rule was created from the influence of Dan Rooney, owner of the Steelers and chairman of NFL’s diversity committee. It was also the result of the firings of Tony Dungy, head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dennis Green of the Minnesota Vikings. The Rooney Rule’s purpose was to ensure that minority coaches, especially African Americans, would be considered for high-level coaching positions. It has been expanded to apply to jobs for all NFL senior football operations. Incidentally, both Dungy and Green worked for Steelers head coach Chuck Noll. Further, despite what some may think, Eugene Chung, New England’s 1st round draft choice in 1992, qualifies under the Rooney Rule.

That’s not to say that Stennett’s employment was ensured by the Rooney Rule (or such equivalent MLB rule). The “barrier” for African Americans had been broken on April 15, 1947 when Jackie Robinson was put on the field by Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers. But what made Stennett so special was that he was the leadoff hitter in MLBs first all-Black and Latino starting lineup. That day came on  September 1, 1971, 24 years after Robinson’s debut.

You probably heard of a couple of others in that lineup that Stennett led off -– Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell, both in the MLB Hall of Fame.  On September 15, 1975, Stennett went 7 for 7 at the plate in nine innings. No player has matched that since. In 1977 Stennett’s batting average of .336 helped the Pirates win the World Series. And he followed that in 1979 helping the Pirates win another World Series.

All three have passed away with Stennett dying just last month at the age of 72. Pirates President, Travis Williams, eulogized Stennett saying “Rennie symbolized what it meant to be a Pittsburgh Pirate.”

While the present Rooney Rule does not quantify characteristics of integrity and work ethic, it would be prudent to use Stennett as a good example of both.

Will you choose wisely in hiring others to shape and grow your organization?

Posted On Friday, 18 June 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 17 June 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 17 June 2021 00:00 Written by

JulieJulie Timms began her real estate career in 1979 in Hilton Head Island, SC and in 1985 opened her first brokerage, a Coldwell Banker franchise. In 1998, Julie and her husband, Bernie Timms, decided to downsize and open a small independent brokerage. In all those years Julie’s has focused on one thing – the success of each individual client. Julie’s desire for excellence in her business has led her to achieve the following real estate designations and certifications: ABR, CRS, CCIM, CLHMS, e-Pro, GRI, RSPS, TRC.

Posted On Thursday, 17 June 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Wednesday, 16 June 2021 00:00 Written by

I am seated backstage this very moment with enough time to write a complete blog while I am on call and at an event.

That is rare.

In 12 hours today, and 5 tomorrow, I will take the stage at least 30 times over this day and a half, totaling less than 15 minutes of total “on stage work”.

This is my first HUGE production event back to “normal” (besides the temp checks, masks, social distance signs on chairs, and having to take a COVID test and passing as negative to get in), and there are nearly 1,000 people here in this massive ballroom with almost 3,000 chairs set up.

The Client booked me half a year ago to be Emcee.  Thrilled with the work (even though, as of this date, I’m not accepting Emcee jobs anymore and just doing Keynotes), I jumped at the opportunity, booked the contract, and the date was moved a few times until it landed on this moment, Spring 2021.

On our first conference call, the getting-to-know-you, after signing contracts, I had a most unique experience.

Usually, the Client is excited to integrate my many talents throughout their event and want to talk through when and where I will sing, do impressions, have a comedy segment (or 10), share some or all of The Promise Keynote, as well as act as Emcee in the traditional ways: bringing people to stage, being the common thread of the event, and running awards.

Being Emcee usually entails me almost working myself to exhaustion over 3 days of running around from 6am-midnight, creating bits, saving the day with things the client forgets, and filling in as Keynote and Entertainment show (having done so many times through the years for celebrities who didn’t show up, airplanes that couldn’t get out of bad weather, even once when a band member of a headlining act had a heart attack from a near drug overdose backstage – “Jason!  Kill some time.  Drummer needs to be revived!”  True story.).

I used to LOVE doing Emcee work, as clients would have me back year after year as a kind of “Event Insurance”, since they knew I could handle pretty much anything, and would eventually not even bother hiring a Keynote or evening Entertainment, and just have me do it, on top of Emcee work.

Now, in the Emcee role, whenever hired for a new Client, I expect the same, since that is my Signature Move, being known and solely hired because I am a Triple-Threat: Emcee, Speaker, Entertainer (and thus my reason to not take these jobs anymore, except once in a blue moon – or at least, every pandemic or so).

As the call began, I just listened to what they needed me to do, expecting us to craft and create the show-flow together while integrating my performance pieces.

Having written their script out, they asked if I preferred bullet points to teleprompter, to which I answered either is fine, but usually I just ad-lib a ton because I have so much freedom and time to fill, between singing, audience interaction pieces, motivational stories, etc, it leaves things free-flowing.

I asked, “So, do you want to give me 5-minutes to open with a few great music numbers, and then like 10-minutes later with some comedy, and then I can do some of The Promise message and a powerful story for 7-minutes…”  

I saw the furrowed eyebrows of the client and production team staring back at me.

“What do you mean by ‘doing music and singing’?  Why would you do that?” they asked.

I was surprised, because usually that’s one of the only reasons I’m hired.  It’s what I’m known for.  It’s what makes me different.

I responded, “Oh, well, if there’s not time for that then we can just mix in some of my comedy, impressions, and the funny stuff to keep things light throughout the day whenever you need…” (as I did my rabbit nose wiggle – to no laughs).

I could feel the tension through the Zoom call screen.

They replied, “To be honest, this scripting we have is pretty much exactly as we need it, to the second, and there’s not any time to have you do comedy, or music, and that’s actually not what we want or need.  We just need you to Emcee and introduce our people and keep things on time.  Does that make sense?”

Deer in the headlights on my end.

I don’t EVER recall in my career being hired to NOT:

1. Be Funny
2. Sing
3. Do Impressions
4. Do Parodies
5. Share a Message

They just wanted me to bring people to stage, introduce their needs clearly, and keep it all on time.

That’s it!

Once I realized my place, and that they’d clearly made up their minds, I said, “Of course, happy to do whatever you need!”

I then tried to salvage anything of my talents for them to possibly partake of my promise to the world to bring all that I have to offer – at least it might help me win over the audience to enjoying my time on their stage:

“So, I have an idea.  What if we at least have my iPod set up in case something happens last minute and you need me to fill in for someone, say your Keynote Speaker falls ill, I can fill in for them,” I suggested.

“Why would the Keynote not be there?  We have everything planned out perfectly and all of our shows are timed to the minute.  It will go exactly as we have it planned.  And what do you mean that you can be the Speaker?” they asked, as if I were trying to hijack the event.

Clearly, they know very little about me, my innocent yet helpful intentions, my capabilities, my…normal.

I lobbed a little accolade about myself, “Well, I’m one of the youngest in the Speaker Hall of Fame, and have performed in every Casino in Las Vegas, usually I am asked to Emcee and do more than introductions only…”

They searched for what to say.  I could SEE IT!

“Ok, if you want to have your iPod plugged in…we guess that’s fine, but…why again, for what purpose?” they asked quizzically.

I said, “Well, one time, the Keynote Speaker’s helicopter didn’t land in time, and while I was introducing him on stage the stage manager needed me to stretch the time…I did 45-minutes of my Keynote before their celebrity Speaker, Chuck Norris, showed up.” 

The client looked back at me, blinked, and said, “Our Keynotes will be on site, we are good, but if you want to set up your iPod that’s fine.”


Ladies & Gentlemen – This has NEVER happened to me before.

No music.

No comedy.

No impressions.

No dancing.

No ad-libbing.

No winging it.

They didn’t event want one bit of it.

Not one Jason Hewlett Signature Move.

REALLY glad I didn’t accidentally throw a Raptor face at them or I’d have been fired on the spot.

“Stick to the Script & Keep us on Time” were my full orders.

I finally accepted, acknowledged, and allowed myself to step fully into my needed roll.

I said, “I know exactly what you need me to do.  Happy to serve any way you want to utilize me.”  

And here I am…

Backstage at an event where perhaps my 75th talent down the list of my Top 100:


is the only talent this client wants or needs from me.

Hey!  It’s a gig and a chance to get back on stage and be a part of a cool event!

And let me tell you: This Client is dialed in!  They have it all covered.  In fact, I felt foolish setting up my iPod the first day as I knew it would never be needed.

But – to their credit, and without belittling me – they acknowledged that it seemed important to me, so if I needed the iPod near the stage and plugged in, then that’s fine…

All I could hear in my head was:

“Is this good, little emcee fella?  Do you like your iPod here?  Anything else?  

How about a clicker?  Want to touch a clicker?  That’s a neat thing our real speakers get to do….how about a green room?  Have you seen a green room before, young man?  It’s not actually green, we just call it that because that’s important to people backstage.  THIS is a backstage!  Have you ever seen a backstage before, little buddy?”   


The Client didn’t say that, I just felt that way because well –

I’ve NEVER done a gig without music, singing, comedy, voices, stories, any bits, my routines, or my iPod, and just like Gene Wilder in the original movie version of The Producers, “Gimme my Blue BLANKEEEEE!”.

So it was a weird thing to not have my usual level of being needed at this one.

Now I have finally done a gig without my iPod, without doing one voice, one song, one story, one moment that was special to win over the crowd with my uniqueness.

The equivalent of my blue blanket.

And yes, they are paying me handsomely to do my 75th best talent, sans iPod.


Some might argue – “You’ve broken a Promise to Yourself in taking that gig!”

To which I would retort – “I am THRILLED to do anything that is not unethical for a client who needs whatever services they feel I can provide!  Even if, when, and most certainly, this isn’t the best use of my gifts, as long as they get what they feel is worth paying for and contracting, and I know I can deliver, then let’s do it!” 


Have you ever been in a situation like this?

Have you ever been completely under-utilized in your work?  On the team?  I mean, the only time I would love to be under-utilized might be sometimes at church and a lot of times at home!  LOL.

I believe everyone has felt to some extent or another, whether it’s a new project, an old system/process, or an opportunity to serve, that we have ideas, talents, intelligence to do more, and heavens to betsy we are being under-utilized!

The Promise is to:

1. Do what is needed for the role as determined by the Leader/Client
2. Make sure they know you have more talents, gifts, ideas, skills that are available to be utilized
3. Be ok, and confident enough, in said role, to be quiet and do the job you are asked to do, at your highest level of ability

Truth is this:

I am in NO WAY a GREAT Emcee without all those other things I can do in my back pocket.

I am good, capable, and what is needed to fill a role in this capacity.  Good enough to be paid to do it, as most people are not comfortable on a stage with 1,000 eyeballs on you.

I wish there was time and desire for me to do more, which would help me win the crowd over with music or comedy, and I really feel would make this a more fun event for the attendees…but it is literally not needed, wanted, or thought of as an asset in this situation.

To me, that’s as disturbing as choosing to go on a joyride on a tricycle when you have a Lamborghini in the garage…but also, oddly…refreshing.

When was the last time I just got to be completely dialed in to exactly what the client needs, and provided, and desired, nothing more of my improv, creativity, personality, or capability?

I have added a few touches here and there, a quick quip, a cliff-notes story that was 15-seconds, instead of some of my more laborious and long-winded moments on stage when introducing a theme, segment or person.

Instead, today it’s: ENTER * Read what’s there with flair! * EXIT

There will always be times we have more to offer, something to say in the meeting, a moment or engagement that left us saying to our colleagues, “Man, if they only knew how many great ideas I have…”

The secrets of The Promise, when we find ourselves in this position, are as follows:

1. Know Your Role
2. Be 100% Dialed In and Focused to Be Awesome
3. Buy-In to The Vision of The Leader/Team/Client
4. Be Incredibly Prepared
5. Offer Any Insights to the Role that will Enhance your Delivery
6. Be Ready at Any Moment to Offer More if it’s Needed
7. Don’t Complain
8. Be Grateful for The Work
9. Don’t Promote All They’re Missing Within the Organization or Experience
10. Write in Your Journal Your Thoughts & Feelings

This has been a powerful experience for me and I’m very grateful for it.

From what I understand, the client, and next to no one in the audience have ever seen my web site, know my history, read my book, or know anything about me other than that I am a person who is good on stage.

What this has proven to me is that there is a place for all of our talents, even when we don’t place them at the top of our list of what we offer, it very well may be the TOP of the list of what your Client needs!

“One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure!”  (Ok, maybe that’s not the best quote for this post, but it kind of dementedly fits, too. )

Funny enough, I did receive a message on TWITTER in the middle of the first of my 2 days on stage.  I guess I have a “fan” here – or, see: had!  He tagged me and, as if he were yelling in a TWEET, wrote the following, along with my best reply to at least acknowledge his question and still honor the client:

And for those of you that are reading this entire article and completely confused as to why it’s an article at all – meaning: you are ALWAYS under-utilized and FINE with it!

Well, I’m curious about your process and frame of mind in doing your work consistently in this realm, as for me it’s been difficult, and I’m sure there are many sides to the coin.

I really PREFER to share as many gifts & talents, skills & Signature Moves as I possibly can in every performance…and I’m bummed when that’s not needed or wanted!

But, since it’s not, I am doing what has been instructed.

Most importantly, we need to always Keep the Promise in every role we find ourselves in!

Posted On Wednesday, 16 June 2021 00:00 Written by

JG2John Giaimo is CEO of Bring it Home Communities, Inc, Rewards Call Center, LLC and the real estate news organization Realty Times, Inc.

In the early 1990s, as founder and CEO of publicly traded Inc., John was the first to place an entire multiple listing service home listing database on the web as he pioneered and implemented the infrastructure still used in today's online real estate marketplace. This included MLS, broker, and agent website development.

John pioneered the technology platform and interface to display listing walk- throughs of real property through the use of video. He produced the weekend cable and satellite TV shows The Real Estate Home Show, Search Homes on TV and Realty Times TV.

Drawing on his 30 years of real estate and technology expertise, John’s unique understanding of how technology can meet the needs of consumers continues to drive change in the Real Estate Market; he will continue to write the rules and set the pace for years to come.

Posted On Wednesday, 16 June 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 15 June 2021 00:00 Written by

While many have solely thought of Bitcoin when the term “cryptocurrency” is referenced, today it is the system they are built on that is disrupting many entities in the financial industry and beyond. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency are programmed on a system called blockchain. This system facilitates a peer-to-peer transaction network that operates directly between users without an intermediary. And even though Bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrency are a Soft Trend—one whose future is open to influence—the existence of the blockchain and the concept of cryptocurrency is definitely a Hard Trend. It is here to stay with abundant applications.

The rapidly evolving technology of blockchain holds enormous promise for game-changing disruption across any number of industries and fields; it just takes some understanding to figure out how you and your organization can use my Anticipatory Organization Model to leverage this disruptive Hard Trend to your advantage.

Blockchain Broken Down

For those who may be unfamiliar with the term, the blockchain is made up of a system of decentralized transaction records called blocks used to create a transaction without any input from any sort of controlling entity.

Banks and financial institutions are the most known examples of said controlling entities, especially given the common application of blockchain in the financial world. Currently, most people store their savings in a bank account at a bank, and said bank makes money by charging overdraft fees if need be and interest on loans.

The blockchain effectively eliminates the need for the bank in this example by using peer-to-peer connectivity for a secure, direct connection between all involved parties.

Many wonder just how secure peer-to-peer transactions could be, as I’m sure many are remembering the peer-to-peer networks of music sharing in the very early 2000s and the warnings of how it could make your computer susceptible to hacking. However, the blockchain is far more secure in that it utilizes cryptography to keep exchanges secure and a decentralized database of transactions, known as a “digital ledger,” that everyone on the network can see.

Essentially, if someone tries to tamper with a ledger entry, the rest of the network will disagree on the integrity of that particular transaction and will not incorporate it into the larger blockchain. In and of itself, that’s a genuinely revolutionary form of security.

Multiple Uses of Blockchain

I have spoken at length about blockchain technology and how disruptive it can be in the financial industry; however, other applications of blockchain technology are ready and waiting to be leveraged by the right Anticipatory Organization or entrepreneur.

Most are stuck in the current paradigm of cryptocurrency and even the future potential of digital currency implemented by the Federal Reserve. This is likely because, in their minds, a physical, tangible thing that blockchain facilitates is currency exchange, which they are already used to in some capacity with their banking apps or even Venmo.

However, here are some new applications of blockchain technology that can and will significantly disrupt the associated industries:

1. Communication – In early 2020, the world’s first blockchain-powered smartphone was debuted by a company called Pundi X. The beauty of this device is that all of the apps and services involved are decentralized on the blockchain, allowing users to switch to “blockchain mode” to control their own data usage. 
2. Food  During CES 2020, the IBM Food Trust was introduced by IBM to the food industry. This system was built to facilitate authentic records in the food supply chain, allowing companies to accurately trace the specific origin of ingredients. Imagine how this can scale to help those with very specific dietary needs and maybe even help identify areas where cross-contamination of allergens potentially occur.
3. Healthcare – Whether it has to do with processing insurance or admitting patients to a hospital, blockchain technology can greatly improve antiquated processes in the healthcare industry. HIPAA laws are strict, so decentralizing data that only the patient and doctor can access is tremendously secure. 
4. Personal Identification – This goes hand in hand with voting and even paying taxes. If we have our height, weight, Social Security number, voter ID, or any other information on a decentralized network, imagine how easily we can authenticate who an individual is in any case and, likewise, prevent identity theft more quickly. This may even expedite the long process of legal immigration.

Our Digital Footprint 

Given the fact that up until this point, the most notable use of blockchain technology has been in the financial industry with cryptocurrency and now digital currency specific to a country, one must use an Anticipatory mindset when considering other valuable applications of the software.

Essentially, blockchain technology creates a virtually unhackable ledger of transactions; an undisturbed digital footprint in place for accountability. The debut of the Internet was similar to the Wild West; right away, parents and educators pleaded with children and young adults to “not believe everything they read on the Internet,” as it could so easily be altered and fabricated. The blockchain is what the Internet should be, and applied to the antiquated and dangerously unreliable systems of yesterday corrects much of society for the better.

Understanding this simple concept, we can keep our disruptive opportunity antennas up while we look into how blockchain can positively disrupt a multitude of industries beyond the four previously mentioned.

The blockchain is a definite Hard Trend; it is here to stay and will continue to disrupt. The question is, how will you or your organization leverage this profound Hard Trend while it is still in its infancy stage and either pre-solve any problems it will cause your industry or determine how it can fix problems your industry faces.

Undoubtedly, the phrase “check it on the blockchain” will eventually be as commonplace as “let me Google that.”

Posted On Tuesday, 15 June 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 15 June 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Monday, 14 June 2021 00:00 Written by

I spoke last week about important economic information that was coming out in the last six days. Jobs report last Friday, and the inflation data today for May. Neither report was very encouraging, but the markets are taking the information in stride and buying into the theory of “Don’t fight the FED!”

The Federal Reserve has dismissed higher inflation as “transitory” and that prices will fall as the economy recovers and people go back to work. Their statements indicate that everything is related to the supply chain being restricted and that once all the workers go back to work, supply will return and that prices will fall. I’m not so sure everyone believes that, but we all know you can’t fight the FED!

Today the key number was that year over year inflation was 5%. That is the highest year over year number since January 1992. Certainly, well over the FED target of 2% to 2.5%. The market reaction was that it barely moved the needle at all. The 10yr treasury moved a few basis points higher following a really solid bond auction yesterday; and the UMBS 30yr 2.5% coupon fell from 103.67 to 103.58. A move lower, but not all that much for now. Keep in mind if you follow the charts, resistance on improving rates is about 103.75; and declining rates sits where we currently sit at 103.58. A significant push below that level could see a sharp increase in mortgage rates, but I believe the key will be the market believing the FED and the FED continued purchasing on a grand scale.

It might be good to watch the 30yr treasury auction this afternoon and the market response to it; but for now, nobody wants to fight the FED and the Kool-Aid continues to flow until otherwise noted. So as always, if you like it, lock it; if the client wants to gamble, be sure they know it’s all on them.

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

Posted On Monday, 14 June 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Monday, 14 June 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Sunday, 13 June 2021 00:00 Written by
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