Posts Tagged ‘Real Estate’

Monday Mojo: Finding Your Meaning and Purpose in Life

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Last Wednesday I had the privilege of attending the 17th Annual Silicon Valley Prayer Breakfast in Palo Alto.  The theme was “Finding Meaning and Purpose in Life”.  There were two incredibly powerful speakers.  I walked out humbled and inspired. I walked out determined to find my meaning and purpose in life.

First was Tim Borland – in 2007 he ran 63 Marathons in 63 days.  Why you ask?  Tim’s life mission is to advocate for children in need by using his gift in endurance running.  Click on the link below and watch this video – this is Tim’s meaning. This is his purpose:

Tim’s four keys to finding meaning and purpose in life:

  1. Focus on the needs of others before ourselves.
  2. Develop an accurate view and understanding of fear.  He said fear of failure is a dream crusher.
  3. Be willing to risk it all.
  4. Pray for a God inspired vision.

Second was Joe Ehrmann. He played football for the Colts for 13 year and was named Colts’ Man of the Year.  In the same year Ehrmann played in the Pro Bowl he watched his brother Billy loose his fight with cancer.  This experience caused Ehrmann to rethink and reorder his priorities in life. Ehrmann spearheaded the construction of a Ronald McDonald House in Baltimore in memory of Billy. In the off-season, Ehrmann attended classes at Dallas Theological Seminary and, following his football career, he graduated from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, specializing in urban ministry. He was ordained in 1985. Parade Magazine name Joe the “Most Important Coach in America” due to his tireless efforts to change the culture of sports.  Joe and his wife Paula co-founded Building Men and Women for Others to help every man, woman and child reach his or her potential.  He was also the recipient of the National Fatherhood Initiative’s Man of the Year Award.

This is his meaning. This is his purpose:

As a Pastor for more than 25 years of his life he has been with many people as their life on earth ends.  He said – all people care about at the end of their life is who did I love and who loved me, and did I make a difference.  Nothing else matters – not money, not fame, not power – nothing else.

Two ordinary men doing extraordinary things.  So, what is your meaning and purpose in life? If you don’t know – find it!


Monday Mojo: The Four Addictions

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Did you know there are four addictions which stop us from living an extraordinary life?

  1. Our addiction to the opinions of other people
  2. Our addiction to the past
  3. Our addiction to food
  4. Our addiction to drugs and alcohol

The real interesting thing is our addiction to the past, our addiction to food, and our addiction to drugs & alcohol are all caused because of our addiction to the opinions of others. So, the key to having an extraordinary life is simply eliminating our addiction to the opinions of others. It’s what holds us back from really going for it. Because when we are addicted to the opinion of others we are afraid of failure and making a fool of ourselves, which in turn stops us from taking risks and doing the things necessary in order to have the kick ass life we want. So, screw it. Who cares what they think? Go for it!

To beat this addiction I tell myself over and over every day “What you think of me is none of my business.” That way I am not holding back and worrying about it. The more we tell ourselves this, the less we will be held captive by the four addictions which stop us from having the kick ass life we deserve.

Screw what other people think – it is none of our business. Go for it and have an EXTRAORDINARY life!


Thursday Thoughts On Leadership: March Madness

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March Madness begins today. No, I’m not talking about your latest short sale. I’m talking about the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament. The top 64 teams in the country begin a single-elimination tournament today to crown a National Champion. If you win, you keep playing. If you lose … you go home. Anyone can win. In theory the worst team has the same chance as the top team to win it all. Of course in reality only the top teams win. The best coaches, with the best players and the best preparation win. In fact the “lowest” seed to ever win was the eight seeded Villanova Wildcats in 1985. In fact, in the 71 year history of the tournament, four universities have won the tournament a total of 28 times, almost half. Even more telling, 33 coaches have one championship while the remaining 48 championships have been one by just 13 coaches. Is this starting to sound like top producers in the top real estate companies? It should. Like the tournament, in theory anyone with a real estate license can finish as a top producer. In reality, the best prepared, hardest working agent finishes at the top.

How can an agent, a manager, or the CEO ensure that they finish at the top in an open competition, in a tournament of sorts? Is every listing up for grabs? Do all new agents or recruits spread out evenly to all of the companies? Success is not distributed evenly. Although it can seem chaotic, when you peel back the layers you find that the leaders in our industry are the hardest working, best trained, most dedicated individuals. Consider again the basket ball tournament for an example.

The University of California, Los Angeles holds the record with the most championships with a total of 11. Of those eleven one coach, John Wooden, led them to the top ten times. Far from the Madness we talk about today, for a time the tournament was very predictable. From 1964 to 1975, UCLA won the championship 10 times. As with so many examples of extreme success, it is easy to try and justify why he won so much. He had the best players. The truth is that only two of his players made it to the NBA Hall of Fame.

His secret was that his leadership attracted top players because he was always able to draw the best out of each and every one of them. He inspired his players to always achieve their greatest according to their abilities. This is evident in his sayings, “Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming,” and “Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.” He was a great recruiter, he was a great teacher, and he was a great coach. He didn’t wait for the championship game to put it all together. He put it all together on the journey. He always emphasized that practice and preparation was the most important thing, so that when the championship game arrived, his team was always better prepared and inspired to win. And they did.

Finally, he built his teams on a Pyramid of Success based on principles such as enthusiasm, condition, skill, confidence, poise, team spirit with the top of the pyramid being competitive greatness that was applicable to not only basketball but to any endeavor. He explained competitive greatness by simply saying, “Perform at your best when your best is required. Your best is required each day.”


Monday Mojo: Ponds vs. River – What Type of Water are You?

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Do you know what percent of our body is water? We BEGIN life as a fetus at 99%. When we are born, it drops to about 90%. Then the average human body settles in around 70%. So, from a simple physical perspective, we are all made up for the most part of water!

Let me ask you a simple question – if you had a choice to drink from a body of water, which would you prefer – a river or a pond? Why?

Water in a river remains pure because it is moving, and it is generally agreed that the quicker it is moving, the more pure it is. When water is stagnating, trapped, or immobile, what happens? It collects a lot of crap and becomes polluted. Right?

So, what is the message we all can learn from water?

That it is critical for us to continue moving fast and forward if we are interested in improving. Otherwise we could be in danger of becoming idle, polluted, and turn into crap. It is interesting to note that as children, we are expected to grow and improve every year mentally, physically and emotionally. That is why we have different grades in school. And each year you must improve to continue on.

Then we graduate and what happens? Most people’s growth process stops or slows down drastically. And the unfortunate thing is when we stop growing, we don’t stay the same. We actually start to move backwards year after year. What are you doing to improve every year mentally, physically and emotionally? Are you reacting to life or are you attacking and taking from it?

Let’s all make a commitment to keep in action, keep moving, changing, flowing – mentally, physically, and emotionally. It is going to help purify who we are. Let’s choose to not turn into crap. Let’s choose to continue to become more pure!

Side Note:

Be sure and drink lots of water since 70% of our body is made up of it and we don’t want it just sitting in our bodies stagnant like a dirty pond – purge the old and replenish with new fresh clean water every day.

Like most of you, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to eat healthier. There is a group of about 20 people I am doing a food log with. Every day we send everyone in the group an e-mail with everything we ate/drank for the day, everything!  It is amazing how much of an impact this little exercise has on your daily eating habits. One of the most important things we do in our group is keep each other accountable for drinking lots of water. I have been drinking about 100 ounces a day.


Monday Morning Mojo: The Circle of Success

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The key to achieving your dreams is making the choice to. The most common difference between those who have an AWESOME life and those who don’t are simply the choices they make every day.  It’s not their circumstances, the way they were raised, or their education.  Most people who are not accomplishing their dreams in life are those that have chosen not to. These people just aren’t willing to do what is necessary to have a life that good.

Think about your life for a moment, what do you want and what does it take to get it?  So, why haven’t you been doing what it takes to get it?

Before you start with all of the excuses, ask yourself – if you really had to do it, could you?  Let me make it clear how this is a choice – I don’t even like to think these thoughts, but it will help you understand that you can do it, if you want it bad enough.  If the person or people you care about the most lives depended upon it, could you do it? We both know the answer. Of course you could and would.  Life is a series of choices – I call them the Y’s in the road.  In most cases if you take the easy path – the one most people take – you will experience short term gain and long term pain. On the other hand if you have the courage to take the other path – the one most will not take – you will have some short term pain, but long term gain. So, make the right choice and have a life of pure magic!

Start by making the choice everyday to FEEL GOOD.  Because when you FEEL GOOD you are ATTRACTIVE. When you are ATTRACTIVE, you have AMAZING PRODUCTIVITY. When you have AMAZING PRODUCTIVITY, you have EXTRAORDINARY RESULTS. And when you have EXTRAORDINARY RESULT, you feel even better! It is the circle of success.

Make it a GREAT week and make the right choices.


Cool Apps: Get Smart With Smart Draw!

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Let’s face it. VerSmartDraw logoy few of us are good at everything. Oh, sure … there’s that guy with whom you went to college who was great-looking, and the quarterback of the football team, and graduated summa cum laude just after rescuing a troupe of old ladies with puppies while on his way to donate blood to an orphanage, but most of us have to face the fact that we’re just … not that guy.

This means that while we might be great salespeople and that we might be great at taking care of our customers, we mightn’t also be great at blogging, or math, or <gulp> creating presentations.

That last one is something over which I stew all the time.

I have great information to share but I just don’t have that certain … something … that allows me to turn that information into moving, powerful visuals. And for most people, visual representations of information are much more striking than any other form.

So, what’s there to do?

I could hire a graphic designer, but that takes a lot of time, and can also run into a lot of money. Drawing something by hand is out of the question (I can make a mean stick figure, but that’s about it). Even using my mouse to create images on my computer can get frustrating, because as much as I nudge things around, the graphics never look as clean as I’d like.

But there is a solution. And a darned good one, at that.

For the software gods have given us SmartDraw. Unlike most of the applications about which we write, SmartDraw isn’t free. However, it’s less than $200 for the full version, and that’s less than one hour’s time from most graphic designers (the math here should be pretty obvious).

So, what does it do?

Put simply, with just a few clicks, SmartDraw can create more than 70 different sorts of diagrams and presentations, including maps, flowcharts, organizational charts, calendars, graphs … you name it. If it’s a graphic that you need, odds are that SmartDraw can make it. And there’s no dragging and dropping. Just click and type. That’s it. The graphics come out professional-looking each and every time. I don’t know many people who can turn out quality like that without losing lots of sleep, or without ripping out the bulk of their hair.

Want to hear something else that’s really, really cool? SmartDraw works seamlessly with Microsoft Office, so once you create your graphics, you can click once, and have all of them transferred directly into PowerPoint and have your presentation ready to go, and, more importantly, ready to knock the socks off of your clients.

You can check SmartDraw out with their free trial download. Unless you’re a graphic designing, quarterbacking, honors grabbing puppy saver, I promise that you won’t be disappointed.


Cool Apps: Know the Real Deal with StatCounter!

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Congratulations! You’re in the game! You’ve got a website (maybe several), you’ve got a blog. A Facebook fan page. You name it, you’ve got it.

Sooo, now what?

You update your website. You write blog posts. You post links to Twitter, to your Facebook page, to ActiveRain, not to mention every other place you can think of. Heck, you might even be paying to run an ad or two. How do you know what’s working? How do you know where to focus your attention?

There are some services out there that can give you some basic information, but to get really in-depth, most analytics companies demand a handsome fee. But there is an option.

Welcome to StatCounter.

If your web page has fewer than 250,000 page views per month (and that’s a pretty significant figure), the service is 100% free. FREE! That’s a good thing. But what does it do? The answer is a lot.

Once you include StatCounter’s code in your webpage, it records valuable information about your site’s visitors and records it in a log for you. It tracks information about the sites from which your visitors came, the keywords they used to find you, how long they spent looking at your site, if they’d visited before, where (geographically) they are located, what kind of browser they’re using … and lots more. Once it collects the data, it organizes it and compiles it into charts and lists, so that your analysis is made easier.

If you’ve got more than one site, StatCounter can be used to track those, as well. Oh, yeah! And it’s still free.

You work hard. You spend lots of time making sure that your websites and blogs give just the right impression. Making sure that the sites are doing their jobs and also knowing where to focus your energies is important. If your site’s visitors come mostly from Google, then you don’t want to channel your efforts somewhere else.

In today’s marketplace, a tool like StatCounter is indispensable. If you want to hang tough with the big boys, StatCounter can help you do it!


Thursday Thoughts on Leadership: Creating a Company of Leaders

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As we head into the New Year; full of promise despite these challenging times, I look forward to sharing with you, each Thursday some weekly leadership thoughts. Ralph Nader once said, “I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” At Intero, we strive to embrace this concept. It is always with great pride that we share with all of you, the remarkable growth and pre-eminent position Intero has achieved since it was established in 2002. Central to that success has been our principal of empowering people, more specifically, our agents, employees and customers.

A quick peek at our website to read the bios of our Executive Leadership demonstrates a well rounded and dynamic class of leaders from the Chairman to our Managing Officers. Just because these men and women hold titles that are associated with leadership, that does not prevent each member of the Intero family from becoming a strong and effective leader in their own right.

At Intero, we are blessed with incredible leaders, recognized around the country and in fact the world, for their expertise and accomplishments in the Real Estate industry, but our true strength is in the leadership exhibited by each of our agents.

The truth is that at each client visit, as you sit across the table from your prospective client, you are the face of the organization. You are in charge. The success of the organization lies in the result of those individual meetings. Our market share is an impressive number but it is only impressive because it is built on the very real victories realized by each one of you one client at a time.

Your presence and participation at conferences and training events locally, regionally and even nationally allow each of you the opportunity to represent Intero. It brings to life the ideals of continual forward thought, always investing in the future, and always looking for innovative opportunities that make it possible for Intero to grow.

Thousands of times over each year, you are leading Intero.

If you embrace this principal, that each of you can be a leader, you will find within yourself a greater desire to succeed and to perform at a higher level because you represent something larger than yourself. My hope is that each of you has your most successful year ever in 2010. Strive to make it so and recognize yourself as a leader in this company; a company of leaders.


Spiff up your files (and save a ton)

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PrimoRDFSometimes the coolest stuff is the simplest stuff. A little thing that does something truly useful.

That’s what Primo PDF is all about.

Let me explain:

You probably send a lot of documents – usually Microsoft Word files – to clients during the course of a transaction. Sometimes, you don’t want the client editing the document, or perhaps the formatting breaks when viewed on a different screen.

With Primo PDF you can convert almost any type of file – over 300 in all – to a clean, largely un-editable PDF.

A PDF file will always look cleaner and more professional. And for most people, they are un-editable. And while you can buy expensive software (Adobe Acrobat costs $299!) for creating and managing PDF files, Primo PDF is completely free.

How’s that for a Cool App?

How to use Primo PDF in your business -

Never send sloppily formatted Word docs to your clients again – send them a professional-looking PDF. Want to send a PowerPoint listing presentation to a seller, but don’t want them to edit it? Convert it to a PDF before sending.

Primo PDF can be downloaded, for free, here.

Good luck!