Google +1

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Marketing Strategies: 7 Ways ‘Perfectionism’ Stops You from Success

Marketing Strategies: 7 Ways ‘Perfectionism’ Stops You from Success

Posted By susanne On November 3, 2011 @ 4:03 pm In Best Practices,Business Development,Business Outlook,Coaching,Marketing,Real Estate Training,Today's Top Story

Are you a perfectionist? Do you know someone who is? Have you ever wondered if perfectionism is a help or hindrance on the road to success?

In my 15+ years of coaching real estate agents to be at the top of their game, I have seen that perfectionism does more harm than good. In fact there are at least seven ways that perfectionism stops you from success.

1. Perfectionism causes procrastination. Have you ever had a project that you really wanted to get done, but never could quite complete it? If you look carefully at what was going on in your mindset, you probably see that you wanted the project to be completed perfectly.

We live in an imperfect world. The idea that perfection is possible is just an illusion. Your desire for perfection can stop you from taking action that is needed. In fact it can even lead to mental paralysis and stop you from listening to your intuition.

Imperfect action is better than no action.

2. You get caught up in the details.
Instead, use your business vision. There is nothing so compelling as a vision for which you have passion. But if you’re busy with the details, and trying to get every little thing perfect, you lose sight of the bigger picture.

Delegate out as many details of your business as you can’t so you can focus on moving your business forward.

3. Perfectionism doesn’t allow you to be yourself. Have you noticed how guarded you feel when you’re trying to put up a front of being perfect? You can’t be yourself, because someone might see that you really aren’t as perfect as you’re trying to be.

How did that get started anyway? In the way that most of us were conditioned, we weren’t allowed to be ourselves. The more our parents had perfectionistic standards for us and the more we tried to achieve those standards, the more of ourselves we had to give away.

We usually do to ourselves what was done to us when we were growing up. Therefore, if you suffer from perfectionism, it is a good bet that it was part of your programming in your early years. Quite likely you picked up the belief, “I have to be perfect to be okay.”

Get to work on discovering your self-limiting beliefs with regard to perfectionism. When you bring those beliefs to the surface, you can release them and replace them with empowering beliefs, such as, “I am perfectly imperfect like everyone else.”

4. Perfectionism sets you up to need others’ approval. Let’s face it, when you’re being a perfectionist, you’re thinking about other people approving of you and your work. You’re being “outer directed”, i.e. trying to get you approval from the outside rather than giving it to yourself.

The truth is; we don’t have to be perfect. All we need to do in any particular moment is to do our best. Our best changes from moment to moment and day-to-day. If you’re feeling healthy, your best will be one-way and if you’re feeling sickly your best will be another way. In either case you just need to remember that your job is only to do your best.

Forget about needing other people’s approval, because what others think of you is really not your business.

5. Perfectionism causes you to be in a constant state of stress, because you’re always trying to meet your perfect standards. According to the law of attraction, the states of consciousness that attract prosperity and success are very positive, such as gratitude, appreciation, and love. When you send out those energies, you are becoming more magnetic for your ideal business. However, when you are trying to be perfect, you are sending out signals of stress, anxiety and fear.

Notice the feelings you are sending out and make yourself as magnetic as possible by projecting gratitude and tolerance.

6. Perfectionism stops you from taking a risk. Any seasoned real estate agent knows how important it is to take educated risks to move forward. Staying stuck in the status quo never benefited anyone.

However, when you demand of yourself that you need to be perfect, you’ll be very hesitant to take the risk.

When it comes to taking risks, follow your intuition. Your gut knows better what you need than your “I must be perfect” beliefs. Remember, perfection doesn’t exist, it’s a trap.

7. Perfectionism stops you from picking up the phone. The consequences of this are HUGE for your business. In today’s marketplace the old methods of marketing aren’t nearly as effective as you simply picking up the phone and prospecting. Prospective clients are less likely to notice you through a flyer or e-mail. However when they hear the sound of your voice, you’re making personal contact.

So many people I’ve worked with over the years avoid this method of lead generation and their business suffers tremendously.

When I explore with them why they are so avoidant of picking up the phone, it usually comes down to the same thing: they want to be seen as perfect. This is another way of saying that they are afraid of being seen as “pushy” and afraid of rejection.

When you are marketing yourself to prospective clients, there is no such thing as rejection. It’s simply a match or it’s not a match. Your job is to prospect, present your services and keep on the lookout for someone who needs what you have to offer. If they don’t need it, it simply isn’t a match.

Follow these tips listed above and allow yourself to be “perfectly imperfect.” Your business will thank you for it.

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644

Friday, December 30, 2011

Yearly Planning Pays Off – What’s Your Plan?

Yearly Planning Pays Off – What’s Your Plan?
by Carrie Gable

December 28, 2011

By the time most of you will be reading this, we’ll all be stuffed from the holidays, rested and relaxed. It just happens to be the end of the year and the beginning of a new one.

Are you thinking about 2012?
What is your plan?
What does your business look like in 2012?

As a fellow business owner, I know that while making plans for the New Year should be exciting and energizing, it can also be quite daunting. I put together a few ideas for your 2012 planning and strategizing session. Hopefully these tips and online tools will help you plan and make 2012 an awesome year!

Get Back To Basics – Create a Business Plan

Click her for your Free 5 minute business plan!

Think Proactively Rather Than Reactively – Create your Marketing Plan Now

One of the things I’ve noticed when assisting my real estate clients is that the marketing we do for them today pays off in no less than 3-6 months. This means that those people we hit with a postcard or connect with on Facebook today probably won’t actually become a client and buy a home for at least 3-6 months. What I see happen far too often is that the agent gets busy so the marketing stops. Then, after dealing with the 2-3 immediate closings, the agent is left scratching his or her head wondering where the next closing is going to come from. As a result, we are urgently called upon to get some marketing out the door. It doesn’t have to be this way if you plan ahead and think proactively rather than reactively.

Create your marketing plan now for the entire year.

You can always add or tweak as the year goes by, but having it on paper and planned out will help you stay focused. We’ve helped many agents come up with a yearly marketing plan. We’ve even been able to put some of our clients’ plans on “auto-pilot” by adding them to a marketing drip. If you happen to work with a real estate virtual assistant, ask them to be part of your planning session, too! They can handle the creation and implementation, making this task even easier and more enjoyable for you.

Here’s My Recommendations
•I would start with a plan for your past clients and spending the most money and time here.
•Next, figure out what you will be doing with your online leads. Do you have some type of drip system? If not, get one quick!
•In addition to the obvious plans, think outside of the box with your marketing. How will you draw in the savvy buyer or seller? How about hosting a monthly seller seminar at the local library?
•Send out a postcard for an “online webinar” for homeowners with expired listings, letting them know you’ll teach them why their home didn’t sell all from the comfort of their homes.

In business today, we need to think on our toes and be more innovative than the next guy or gal. This takes careful thought and planning. Make sure you’re allowing yourself – this is an important time to reflect upon what didn’t work in 2011, and what you’ll do differently in 2012.

What are you planning to do in 2012? We should all take a moment to share a thought/idea on how you’ll stay ahead (or get ahead) in 2012. Let us know in the comments below.

Happy New Year!!!

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

18 hot real estate marketing tips from REALTORS® conference

18 hot real estate marketing tips from REALTORS® conference
Part 1: Your goal is to go for the 'Gosh!'
By Bernice Ross
Inman News™

Editor's note: This is the first of a three-part series.

Do you need to kick up your marketing efforts in 2012? If so, the 40 marketing tips that Peter Knight delivered at this year's annual National Association of REALTORS® conference may be exactly what you need to kick off a stellar year in 2012.

What does it take to create an outstanding marketing program for your business? Peter Knight of the Property Academy answered that question with 40 different suggestions drawn from some of the world's most successful marketers.

1. Go for the "Gosh, that's amazing!" reaction
How often have you heard the claim, "You should hire me because I'm No. 1"? Have you ever made the claim that "I'm the top agent in this area," or "I'm an expert in real estate"? When REALTORS® constantly make the same claims and offer essentially the same services, there's no market differentiation.

Knight argues that expertise, professionalism and excellent customer service should be givens. In order to differentiate your services, you must identify your personal "separators of value." In fact, Knight argues that if you really want your marketing to succeed, it must be so different and unique that people say, "Gosh, that's amazing!"

2. Getting to "Gosh!"
To arrive at "Gosh, that's amazing!" Knight suggests that you start with the fundamentals. Agents often become caught up in the technology connected to selling the home. For example, we're focused on the photos, the brochures, how the property appears online, where to advertise the home, the type of postcards to use, etc.

Agents get off track when they lose sight of the fact that a home is really about the memories you create. For example, your child's first steps, the garden you built over the years, or holidays spent with family. Your home is the frame in which you weave the events of your life.

3. People move for life-stage reasons
Knight cited a survey that showed that 61 percent of the moves in 2011 were for life-stage reasons. To capitalize on this trend, target market people who are experiencing a life-stage change.

This can include getting married, having children, relocating, retiring, or a host of other issues. These are times when people need the services of a REALTOR®. As Knight put it, "We are people serving people."

4. Overcome the objection, "We're waiting for the market to improve."
When you focus on the home as the frame in which people create their lives, the way you overcome buyer or seller reluctance shifts dramatically. Many agents attempt to close buyers by describing the logical opportunity -- i.e., that prices are low and interest rates are the best in our lifetimes.

In contrast, Knight suggests that you ask a simple question that touches the heart of the family: "Are you going to deprive your kids of living in a better home for an extra three years?"

5. Show off the property's potential
While the staging of homes -- or virtual staging online -- can make properties more appealing, Knight suggested a completely different approach: going to a warehouse department store and getting bids to update a kitchen or add on an extra bedroom and bath. When you advertise the property, point out the price differential.

For example: "Equity builder! This three-bedroom, one-bath home is priced at $400,000. A four-bedroom, two-bath home in the same area on the same size lot recently sold for $520,000. Two bids to build a bedroom and bathroom addition place the estimated remodeling cost at $58,000-$60,000. Build the addition and create instant equity."

6. Extol the virtues, describe the blemishes
REALTORS® normally do a great job in extolling the virtues of a property. Almost no one, however, describes the blemishes. If your sellers are realistic about their pricing, they can actually use a defect to make their property more attractive.

For example: "This property is located on a busy street but is priced $35,000 less than the same floor plan a block away."

An even better approach is to have some fun. Here's what Knight suggested: "This property is priced $40,000 less. The reason? The small second bedroom is the perfect size for an office. Besides, how often do you have someone stay the night, anyway?"

7. Competition, not comparables
Many agents fail to draw a distinction between comparable sales and competing properties. A comparable sale has closed. A competing property is still on the market. Knight suggests that agents include the competing properties in the agent's ads.

Let buyers and sellers see the differences by comparing the major rooms in each of the houses, especially if the home is competitively priced. This is an excellent way to help both buyers and sellers be more realistic about prices.

Need more marketing tips? Don't miss Part 2.

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644

Monday, December 19, 2011

Be The Intel Inside of Real Estate

Be the Intel Inside of Real Estate

Posted By susanne On November 10, 2011 @ 4:03 pm In Best Practices,Business Development,Coaching,Finance and Economy,Today's Marketplace |

I’m not talking about a computer chip. “Intel” in this case means market intelligence; a higher degree of product knowledge, competence and resourcefulness when servicing the asset class of American housing.

Today’s consumer is thirsting for a better understanding of Main Street. Our industry has made some serious progress in providing the raw tools needed to understand the asset class, but without naming names, the providers of those tools fall into one of two categories:

The first group is creating noise. Housing databases have gotten so complete in the past few years, and integration with other databases has provided the basis for an incredible leap forward in our understanding of housing as an investment. There are now tons of great data, scores of charts and not much guidance on what they mean. The emphasis has been placed on economic indicators, which are rear-facing and cold. A great starting point, but not intelligence.

The second group is drawing conclusions. They’ve developed algorithms that purport to tell you, “This is a great investment property.” Their systems are designed to comb through the vast data sets and bring back recommendations to investors and home buyers. But how do you make a recommendation like that without even knowing the client’s goals and situation? It’s like walking into an investment advisor’s office and hearing, “Hi, I’m Greg, and do I have a great investment for you!” before he asks your name, age, number of kids and dreams.

Our industry needs to understand the investment value of residential real estate, and so does our customer. How powerful would it be to truly grasp how a house creates wealth? What are all the moving parts and how do they work together so harmoniously for so many people?

Yes. I said it. Owning houses works for most people.

I understand why the conversation has been dominated in recent years by cases where real estate ownership was done wrong and led to disastrous results, but that is still the minority of instances in the aggregate. Notwithstanding a proliferation of underwater mortgages and foreclosures, owners of residential real estate have, on the whole, enjoyed more financial success than in any other asset class on the planet. But do they (and we) understand how it happened?

Intuitively, we all get it. Buy a home you like in a place you like. Live in it or rent it out for a long time. Pay the mortgage off and live mortgage free or on rental income later in life. Pass the wealth on to your kids.

Just writing this down makes my head spin. Do you realize what we have here? The greatest wealth-creation device known to mankind! Let’s decide to learn and teach how and why it works.

Go to and check out the “Case Study Calculator.” This is a device created to enable all of us to plug in our real estate assumptions and see how they play out over 30 years in terms of building equity, cash flow and return on investment (aka wealth). It’s like a video game for real estate junkies. It’s free. Try it out, have fun and let us know what you learned.

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

October 2011 Real Estate Market Update

October 2011 Real Estate Market Update

So far this year we have had a classic economic struggle of Good vs. Evil

On the Good side:
Values are stable to rising (even Case-Shiller shows metro Detroit values are up!)
We are creating jobs in Michigan
Consumer Confidence moved up a bit
Strong pent up buyer and seller demand
Record low combination of prices and interest rates

For the Evil team:
Lack of saleable home inventories
Larger percentage of homes with little to no equity
Slow Job Growth
Stock market volatility

To date, good has won out over the evil, but the market did pause a bit in the last 45 days, with the pace of buyer demand sliding (but still ahead of last year at this time). There are a couple of potential causes; the stock market/European "noise" has been distracting (3q 401K statements came out in Oct, which may have scared some), but the main cause may be that we simply do not have enough saleable homes. If you don't have enough logs for the fire, it will eventually die down. We could be in for a strange stair step real estate recovery cycle: sales rise, depleting inventories, then falling from fewer homes to sell which causes values to rise (fewer listing=feeding frenzy), bringing more homes back into the market (more Sellers can now sell), starting the cycle over again. It is a scenario that occurs with every recovery but exaggerated today because lower home equity levels are keeping a lid on inventories.

Price per square foot has continued to rise compared to last year, with available homes for sale up slightly as well (mainly over $250,000). The available home levels feel lower, because it has actually fallen over the past 90 days (as it did last year as well). The seasonal shifts make it difficult to judge the true market momentum without comparing to the same time last year. Pending home sales are at a faster pace than last year as well, causing the Months Supply of Inventory to fall over the past 90 days, which is putting positive pressure on values.

Our best leading market indicators are open house and website visits and the number of showings on our listings. As you can see from the chart, compared to the same time last year, all three have positive trends, with the showing count showing some mixed signals (confirming the October slowing).
A couple of really great bragging points about our organization. We had a successful Chevy Cruze give away, raising over $22,000 on behalf of Special Olympics (the first ticket sold won!) and we have been named one of Michigan's Top Work Places by the Detroit Free Press and Work Place Dynamics! A special thank you to our entire Family for your support of our community and each other.


If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644

Monday, December 12, 2011

Engage Your Prospect’s Learning Style

Engage Your Prospect’s Learning Style

Posted By susanne On November 21, 2011 @ 5:05 pm In Best Practices,Business Development,Coaching,Marketing,Real Estate Training,Today's Top Story

The successful outcome of your next sales presentation will be determined largely by your ability to do two things very well; develop rapport with your prospect and adapt your sales message to engage his or her preferred “learning style.” The “learning style” theory was developed back in the early 1970s and has proven to be an extremely powerful communication model that every school teacher, parent, manager, and sales rep should have in his or her toolbox.

Simply stated, the “learning style” theory promotes the concept that people have a natural preference, based upon their dominate sense, in how they choose to learn and process information; visual/seeing, auditory/hearing, or kinesthetic/touching.

Unfortunately, far too many sales reps unknowingly undercut their sales effectiveness by failing to recognize the need to engage their prospects’ learning styles. For example, if a sales rep determines that his or her prospect is a visually-based learner, it’s up to the sales rep to make the adjustment and incorporate more colorful graphs/charts, brochures, and other visual aids throughout the presentation.

It’s easy to quickly and accurately determine your prospect’s preferred learning style by simply paying attention to his or her most commonly used words and phrases.

Visual-based learners might say:

“I can certainly see your point.”

“That looks good to me.”

“Do I make my point clear to you?”

Visual-based learners like pictures and prefer to get their information in writing. Use colorful charts, graphs, and other visual learning tools to help them make a buying decision.

Auditory-based learners might say:

“That sounds good to me.”

“I hear what you’re saying.”

“That rings true to me.”

Auditory-based learners tend to hang on every word that you say. This type of prospect learns best through group discussion and tends to talk things out when making a buying decision.

Kinesthetic-based learners might say:

“I can get my arms around that concept.”

“This point really grabbed my attention.”

“Let me get a grip on what you’re saying.”

Kinesthetic-based learners prefer to learn by physically touching and doing. Keep this type of prospect actively evolved throughout the selling process by using demonstrations and other “hands-on” learning tools whenever possible.

If you want your prospects to get the most benefit from your website information, sales presentations, brochures, and related marketing materials, you need to present the information in the most engaging way possible. Multiple forms of information delivery will give you the best possible chance of appealing to each of these different learning styles.

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What if you could reduce the balance of your mortgage to today's market value, but had to share the future gain in equity with your lender?

New approach to helping underwater homeowners
Loan servicer writes down mortgages, gets share of future price appreciation
By Steve Bergsman
Inman News™

The shared-appreciation mortgage, also known as the shared-equity mortgage, or SAM, has been around since the 1970s but has gained little traction here in the United States.

So, when I noticed Ocwen Financial Corp., one of the country's larger independent mortgage servicers, adopting SAMs for use in its loan modification program, it caught my attention.

A SAM is a type of mortgage where the homeowner agrees to pay a stated percentage of property appreciation at the sale to the lender. In return, the lender agrees to charge a rate of interest on the loan that is below prevailing market share.

That's the basic formula, but for a SAM to be effective in dealing with underwater homes, the lender has to first drive down the mortgage to, or below, current value. The Ocwen program, which has been in a pilot run for more than a year, can change the interest rate, for example, but it leans more heavily on principal reduction.

Specifically, the principal of a delinquent loan is written down to 95 percent of the current market value of the home. The written-down portion is forgiven in one-third increments over the next three years, provided borrowers stay current on their mortgage. When the house is later sold or refinanced, the borrower must share 25 percent of the appreciation with the investors who own the loan.

"We had a very high rate of borrower acceptance into the program during our pilot test," said David Koches, Ocwen's executive vice president and general counsel. "We were able to achieve close to 80 percent acceptance by the borrowers, while at the same time (achieving) a very low redefault rate of around 3 percent."

Ocwen has gained regulatory clearance in 34 states for its SAM program and is working on the remainder of the states.

"This is an important weapon to combat the negative equity problem that is causing high rates of delinquency around the country," said Koches. "Something on the order of 10 million mortgages in the United States are underwater."

Homeowners with a loan-to-value ratio above 100 percent are, by definition, underwater and stand a 150 percent to 200 percent greater chance of going into delinquency than homeowners who have some positive equity. The overriding concept of SAM is to create a situation where the homeowner is net-present-value positive.

If a home is valued at $200,000 and the mortgage is $250,000, that's a home that will probably end up in delinquency.

Under the Ocwen program, the company will write-down that particular mortgage to $190,000 and probably make an interest-rate reduction as well. The combined effect would be to create a NPV-positive situation.

To provide an incentive for the homeowner to stay current over the long term, Ocwen forgives in one-third increments the written-down portion over three years as long as the homeowner stays current on the mortgage.

Now, it's five years later and the homeowner decides to sell. The sale price ends up to be $210,000, or a $10,000 gain over value at the time the SAM was implemented. $2,500 of the sales proceeds will be paid to the loan holder. The homeowner keeps $7,500.

"That's a way of returning some of the loss that the loan holder otherwise would sustain if there wasn't a sharing feature," said Koches.

I always liked the concept of the SAM, but as I noted, it has never attracted much interest in the United States. Partly, that was because of the buoyant home market and subsequent bubble that made the concept somewhat irrelevant.

Home prices were appreciating so quickly even a bad investment could be made whole by selling a house just a few years later at a price greater than the buy-in. Once the housing bubble burst and foreclosures soared, it should have been a good time to re-look at SAMs, but few did.

Andrew Caplin, professor of economics at New York University, has been bullish on SAMs, often writing provocative papers on the subject.

Caplin said SAMs offer consumers the option, long available to corporations, of providing some of the funding in exchange for sharing in the financial risk and rewards. Homebuyers would gain access to a new source of mortgage funding with no concomitant increase in monthly mortgage payments, thereby enhancing housing affordability.

But Caplin has been dismayed by the lack of SAM implementation.

"We are not seeing any traction," he said. "The occasional company does something, but SAM generally falls like a tree in the forest. It is a good idea and it works in this crisis. It worked before the crisis and it will work after the crisis. It is just not something people seem to have an incentive to think about."

The roadblocks are endemic.

First, the government doesn't have its eye on SAM, because it doesn't see it as a winner. Secondly, there might be tax issues that could easily be solved with government regulatory implementation.

"What we need is for Congress to clear out the regulatory structures so that the shared-appreciation mortgage has a simple treatment and everyone can use them easily," Caplin said. "Instead what we can expect is for SAMs to be taxed bizarrely, declared illegal in five states, and regulators will sue the implementers."

Koches is more optimistic. "We think our program can make a real impact on curing the negative-equity problems, and we are working hard to obtain approvals for SAMs in all jurisdictions."

At the time of the Ocwen rollout of its SAM program, in a prepared statement, John Taylor, president and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, said, "We hope this innovation inspires other mortgage services to follow suit."

So do I.

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644