I want to thank Chris Brogan for inspiring me to write this. It was his blog "My 3 Words for 2012" that energized me to think and reflect about what my three words would be. In essence, if you have not read it, every year since 2006 Brogan challenges his readers to forgo the idea of a resolution, and instead, to come up with 3 words that will help you define your goals and experiences for the coming year. The reason being that resolutions are often too vague, or too directed towards one goal such as “quit smoking”. Brogan suggests to "dig deeper, to find three words that could be used as lighthouses to guide you through stormy seas, that can be used as flags on the battlefield of your challenges, words that will bolster you and give you a direction that goes beyond the goals you might attach as a result of these words."
Last year, I commented on Brogan's blog but I do not even remember what my three words were so this year I felt that I needed to go a step further, and "dig deep", and find something I will refer back to throughout the year.
Looking back, I did pretty good without remembering my three words, especially in business! I can only imagine how much better the year would have been if I would have remembered those 3 words!! So jump right in with me on my three words for 2012 and I would love to know your opinion of them:
Foundation Student Visionary
Anything built that is going to hold me up must be built on a strong foundation. For myself, I need to lay a stronger foundation in three main areas in 2012: exercise, health and balance.
- Exercise - I cannot continue to joke about going to the gym 1.5 times a week. It is not funny anymore. Talking about is not strong. In order to improve this, it takes 25 to 30 days to create a habit. My goal will be 3 to 4 times a week for those 25 to 30 days. For an ex top ranked tennis player in the state of Virginia, this should not be difficult!
- Health - My name is Christopher Somers, and I am a Pepsi addict. There, I said it! Instead of paving 2012 with caffeine and stressful moments, I can build a better foundation by reducing both Pepsi and stress! My gracious staff of RE/MAX Access has already paved the path by providing me with a 90 minute Swedish massage for a XMAS gift. And the Pepsi reduction will all be on me!
- Balance - This is one I have been struggling with over the years as I channel so much energy into work being a business owner of REMAX Access and a self-employed entrepreneur / Realtor / CEO of The Somers. My goal is to be more efficient with my time to be able to take more time to spend with my wife, to take more vacations, to be able to concentrate on health and wellness more and the like. I have a feeling that all three of these things will come together, thus creating FOUNDATION!
A student is always open-minded to knowledge, learning and practicing. I always want to be a student of life, a student of real estate, of the world and the things that interest me the most. And ultimately those who know, teach! It is important that I do not rest on my laurels or get lazy or complacent like that kid who rolls into school late or who sits in the back of the class not paying attention. One of the things I am doing right away is attending the Inman Real Estate Conference and I am going to approach that like a student as the leaders in the industry will be at this conference. Student is a humbling word for me and I am going to treat it with the utmost importance in 2012.
A visionary is a person who can see the potential of the future through a clear and focused mind. Visionaries cannot get side-tracked, distracted or have "attention deficit disorder". Being a control freak is not going to work in 2012. As a visionary, there needs to be an aspect of faith and strength. This is not just in business, but in all aspects of life. I can see myself now accomplishing these items. And I believe having a strong foundation, being a student of life and developing vision will set the stage for 2012.
This year I will remember my three words: FOUNDATION, STUDENT and VISIONARY .
I challenge you to dig deep as well. What three words will define you for 2012?
I am not sure about you, but I have found myself feeling very frustrated with the State of the Nation and the direction of our economy. The build-up occurred during the fiasco of Congress trying to figure out what to do with the debt ceiling. That whole process was a disaster and frankly depressed the hell out of me. We even had a few homebuyers put their search on hold due to their uncertainty and fear. To make matters worse, there is also the banking crisis in Europe and fears of a global economic slowdown, thus exacerbating the fears that our country is falling into another recession. Yikes! The most painful and tangible result of this are the losses that many of us have experienced in the stock market. It is a weeklydaily nightmare if you turn on the news each day.
So what is one to do ? Here are 5 Cures for the Economic Blues:
1. Take a Vacation - Heck, Congress went on vacation until September! And our President is on vacation right now too! So perhaps we should as well. Take a break, smile and relax. Looking back, this will be another blip on the radar screen as the United States is still the best country in the land. As Jon Gordon says "We are the driver of our bus." Take the time to reflect and set goals, challenge yourself to move forward, have fun and prosper. In times like this, it provides the most opportunity for an individual to grow as well as businesses to take market share from their competitors. And most importantly, in the real estate world, the golden rule is that as soon as you take a vacation, offers come in for your listings, other sellers want to list properties and the buyers you are working with are ready to write offers! It is an immediate stimulus for your business.
2. Read - Take the time to read some inspiring books in your field to better yourself and continue to make this a habit. This will provide the opportunity to motivate yourself, set goals and to refine your goals. Or just read to relax to take your mind off of things that are bothering you to clear your head so when you are back in the work mode, you are sharp, clear and focused.
3. Exercise - This is a no-brainer. As our minds need to rejuvenate, so do our bodies. I just saw a news report that for those folks that exercise 30 minutes a day, they potentially add 3 years to their life. In difficult times, it is important to have stress relief to achieve that clear head so when you do make decisions, they are made of a sound mind.
4. Set goals - When you have a clear head and can reflect and learn from the past, you begin to create a vision of what you want your future to be, in both your business and personal life. Write your vision down, and set goals. Post them on your refrigerator. Read them out loud in the morning. It is great for reinforcement.
5. Jump Into It - Have fun. No excuses. No need to pressure yourself, but also no need to hold back. At the end of the day, it really does not matter what the economy is doing or what the stock market is doing. That is out of your or my control. But what is in our control is what we do that day to accomplish our goals for that day and for the future. Remember "We are the driver of our bus".
And while you are at, please subscribe to the blog! Let's work on this together.
Sometimes When You Lose, You Win !
Several months ago I went on a listing appointment in the Graduate Hospital / Rittenhouse Square area. I thought for sure that I was going to be doing business with this seller, but she informed me that she decided to go with another Realtor. It was a little disappointing in that my presentation was crisp, the communication was great and the rapport between us was excellent. But when someone meets with 4 or 5 Realtors, your chances are obviously 20 to 25 percent. In this case, she went with the last Realtor she met with so maybe she was just worn down from meeting with so many folks.
In our business, this happens. You cannot let it get it to you for more than an hour or so. You just have to keep moving forward and do your best. In this case, she met with the top agents with the top offices in Philadelphia. Not that is any consolation, but sometimes I feel better that a seller chose to go with a top agent versus a newbie who probably overpromised and underdelivered. Although I do know some of our seasoned competition will also way overstate the listing price on their listing presentations and get longer term listing timeframes only to do price reductions in the coming weeks and months.
So not to get off track, I wished this seller well and told her that her condo would sell relatively quickly as it showed very well and was in a sweet-spot price point. I told her to feel free to contact me anytime in case something were to go wrong. And something did. In about 3 to 4 weeks after it was listed, she contacted me about being extremely unhappy with the Realtor she choose and stating that she should have listed with The Somers Team from the very beginning. Her current Realtor promised her that if she was unhappy that she could withdraw the listing anytime. They honored that request and we came in and listed the property, got it under a contract a few weeks later and it settled about a month after that. She was extremely happy !!!
She told me the reasons why she was unhappy with the prior Realtor, which there is no need to go into detail here with that. Bottom line is that client communication and paying attention to every detail really matters.
The moral of this story is that putting your best foot forward is what really matters. Sometimes when you lose, you win as the client will come back to you. Or that does not happen and a property will sell with someone else. But if you did your absolute best in your meeting, you were prepared, your pricing was spot-on, your marketing plan was flawless and so forth, that is what really matters. Folks will remember that.
Be proud with what you do !! Be passionate with how you do it !! You will not get every person that meets with you to do business with you. But chances are you will get most of them. And often times, you may not do business with them the first time around, but such as this case, the second time. And when their property closes with you, they are your client for life, as long as you treat them that way !
Please share your thoughts and experiences in a comment below.