Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Online Newsletter for the Week Ending May 21

QUOTE: "Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I shall have the belief that I can do it. I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it, even if I may not have it at the beginning." Mahatma Gandhi. 1869-1948, Indian Nationalist Leader

LATEST NUGGET: “But It Did Not Happen” at



NOTE CARDS, CLOSING GIFTS: Area specific gifts are always nice. At one point in my career I used the pen & ink drawings of a local artist of local Slidell Scenes for note cards and more importantly a closing gift. Another local art company would frame, matt and glass three of the note cards into one picture that I would use for closing gifts. It satisfied my biggest need, it had indefinite shelf life as it never went out of style, did not expire and for the most part did not break and served a decorative purpose in the homes I sold. They are still hanging in those homes 20 or more years later. I met Connie of Connie’s Sketches who has note cards and frames her prints for Picayune scenes; they can be purchased by calling Connie at 225-695-3828. Connie asked if there would be any interest in having the same for Slidell area drawings. I posted samples of her work on the closet door in the resource room and included a place to sign up if you are interested. I told Connie I would report to her on our interest. Connie’s prices are fantastic!

RULES OF CIVILITY: George Washington was amazing when you look at what he accomplished. But what most people do NOT know is that he worked on what he referred to as the Rules of Civility every day of his life, first thing in the morning and last thing at night. There are 110 such rules that he focused on. You can check them out on in the Document section under Motivation and then Rules of Civility. When you read them you will realize that your mother was right all along.

SPHERE OF INFLUENCE POST CARDS: Uploaded a two sided post card created on Microsoft Publisher to in the Document Folder under Productivity. It promotes the successful Tee Off For Scholarship golf tourney just completed. It is highly recommended you send it out to your sphere of influence to demonstrate the Market Center’s and your commitment to the local community.

MP3 RECORDING OF JON GORDON TELESEMINAR ON HIS NEW BOOK “SOUP”. He relates to leadership and teamwork as making a bowl of soup completely with many ingredients. In this 30 minute teleseminar he discussed 5 such ingredients.


MUSIC SOOTHES THE SOULS, LIFTS THE SPIRITS AND FILLS THE WALLET, article by Jeffrey Gitomer, as usual, great reading:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Online Newsletter for the Week of May 14

QUOTE: “If you are all alone at the top, you are not a leader. You are a hiker.” Dr. John Maxwell.

PAPERLESS UPDATE: As of 5/10/10, 55 folders (less than 30 days) require attention; 22 folders (more than 30 days) require attention. Some are unavoidable as the transaction is awaiting a form or two but others simply require correction.

HIGH PERFORMERS HAVE AN INTENSE INTERNAL FOCUS, article by Lew Smallwood, At this writing it will be the featured article but as Smallwood adds additional articles the most recent will appear first, you may have to scroll down to see this one. But while you are there, all of Smallwood’s articles are excellent.


BOOKLETS/BROCHURES: I have updated the Buyer Orientation, Seller Orientation and the For Sale By Owner booklets and uploaded them to They are located in the Document section under Booklets and Brochures.

WINNING BY BREAKING THE RULES, TELESEMINAR: Check it out for yourself:   May 18th.

NEW LEAD BASE PAINT REGULATIONS: Resource guide provides information for real estate professionals on EPA's new Renovation, Repair and Painting rule. The information describes the new lead paint safety practices established by the rule and what steps contractors, renovators, real estate professionals and property managers may need to take to comply with the rule. The information includes a one-page summary of the rule, two video FAQs - one for real estate brokers and one for property managers, webinar recordings, printable PowerPoint presentations and information on additional resources for lead paint disclosure and compliance.

OUT OF TOUCH OR OUT OF MIND; MAYBE BOTH. Great article by Jeffrey Gitomer as to what makes a great salesperson.

SEAT BELT USE: This is the new "wear your seatbelt" ad the UK is doing - started by some guy not hired to do it, but because the cause is important to him, he came up with this idea, and now it's being hailed across the world as a beautiful' commercial. ...And now the video has become so popular with the general public that people are forwarding it to friends/family on their own so quickly that it has spread all over the world in a very short time. By the way, when you put customers in your car you should not move one inch without first making certain everyone is buckled in. If the customer has small children they should take their own car complete with proper child protection type seats.

NO PHONE ZONES: There are numerous studies that show cell phone use while driving has caused an excessive number of accidents and some of been fatal. The company policy is that you do not use your cell phone while driving; pull off the road to conduct your business. Unless you are on a long trip how much time would it add to your travels to simply stop to use your phone. Text messaging while driving is ridiculous and should never be done. Join Ophra Winfrey and take a personal VOLUNTARY no cell phone pledge while driving. The life you save may be your own not to mention mine.

DUAL AGENCY DISCUSSION: Attended a four hour CE Class on Agency in Picayune, MS and it was an extremely good course. Since this newsletter is written for both Louisiana agents and Mississippi agents it is important to point out the differences in addition to having a general discussion.

Louisiana. Louisiana is a Designated Agent state meaning the broker can designate one agent to represent a buyer and another to represent a seller. In that regard dual agency would not exist. If a listing agent also works with a buyer as a client or with representation, dual agency is created and agents must adhere to dual agency regulations.

Mississippi. Mississippi is NOT a Designated Agent state and as such when a Mississippi Market Center agent lists a property representing the seller, not only does a dual agency relationship exist with a buyer that the listing agent works with a dual agency relationship exists for ALL agents in the Market Center who represents a buyer for a Market Center listing in Mississippi. Since we have agents licensed in both states, it is very important to understand the difference and insure compliance.

Two Buyers; Same Property: Is it possible to be a dual agent when you represent two different buyers who want to buy the same property? It was suggested that it might be legally possible but as Broker I do not agree. How can you get the lowest possible price for one buyer at the consequence of the other buyer you represent? You simply cannot represent two or more buyers on the same property without also incurring a conflict of interest.

Seller Is A Related: There is no question that you cannot create a dual agency if YOU are the owner and seller of a property. You can only represent yourself and no others. But what happens if the owner of a property is a spouse, child, brother, sister, mother, father, uncle, aunt, etc. Or in other words a relationship to you? In all honesty I have never heard this before but the certified instructor said that you cannot enter a dual agency relationship when one party is a relationship of any kind. This also would apply if one spouse was a builder, designated representative of a bank, trustee for a property and the other spouse was NOT a legal owner of the company, bank, etc. In such a case, the agent could not also be a dual agent for a buyer of those properties. The buyer should be treated as a “customer” in Mississippi or in Louisiana the agent could perform ad ministerial duties for the buyer but not represent the buyer.

2011 TEE OFF FOR SCHOLARSHIPS TOURNAMENT: The date has been set. Friday, April 8, 2011 at Oak Harbor Golf Club. We will be looking for committee members for the next tournament but in the mean time EVERY associate in the Market Center can help. Start collecting local business cards from ALL types of businesses from which a Tournament Database will be created. We hope to sent out announcements before September in order that businesses desiring to offer financial assistance can get the even on their company budgets. Please put the business cards in Gymbeaux’s mailbox but make sure you put your name on the riverside side. Whenever possible any correspondence will also include the recommending agent’s name as well.,  it will soon be updated to include the results and comments about the 2010 event.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Online Newsletter for the Week Ending May 7, 2010

QUOTE:   "If things are not going well with you, begin your effort at correcting the situation by carefully examining the service you are rendering, and especially the spirit in which you are rendering it." Roger Babson, 1875-1967, Statistician and Columnist

LATEST NUGGET: Using Simple Logic by yours truly.

PAPERLESS UPDATE: Getting better and it would be outstanding if everyone just focused on insuring there are NO blank spaces on any contract or form. At the moment there are 58 folders needing work that have been pending for less than 30 days, a lot of them only just submitted. However there are 22 folders that have been awaiting corrective action for MORE than 30 days. Everyone needs to check their Paperless Dashboard to insure that they do not have any folders pending correction.


9 FREE GOOGLE TOOLS FOR REAL ESTATE: Check out this article:

“THE GOVERNMENT CAN’T DO ANYTHING RIGHT!” Oh yea? Check out my favorite youtube and you will think differently, only 3:38 minutes long: humor me.

FIVE RULES FOR READABILITY: Thanks to Verne Harnish for sharing these tidbits: Five Rules for Readability -- Tom Sant, author of Persuasive Business Proposals, shared five rules for making anything you write more readable -- and Microsoft Word can automatically tell you if you've met four of the rules: short sentences (ave. 17 words or less); short words (average 5 characters or less); 10th grade reading level or lower; and less than 10% passive voice. I've been writing for years and never knew about the "Readability Statistics" tool in Word. The fifth rule is no fluff, guff, geek, or weasel words in your writing.

Readability Statistics -- Press F1 while in Word to pull up the Help/Search menu and search for Readability Statistics. Follow the instructions to turn on the feature. The only confusing part of the instructions is the "Word Options" choice is at the bottom of the right hand column of the main Word pull down menu. Once the feature is activated, you have to actually manually check the Spelling and Grammar of your document once (under the Review menu) and at the end of the process the summary pops up. Cool feature -- I'm at a 9.7th grade reading level, 4.7 characters per word, 20 words per sentence, and 2% passive voice for this insight. I was higher on all these statistics and made adjustments.

SOCIAL MEDIA TIP OF THE WEEK FROM THE INSIGHTS GROUP: In the world of social media, remember to keep your message simple. We recommend crafting the message as if presenting it to a fifth grader. Just because we know everything there is to know about our product/service, it doesn't mean that our prospects need to know all of it. Keep your ideal client in mind. Craft the message in a style that they would like to receive it, not the way you would like to receive it. Be sure to entice them into checking out your website or blog. Never deliberately sell in social media, just tease people. Finally, be sure that your website has an email capture form above the fold on the home page. Make it easy for people to get your future information. Happy Tweeting! Allan Curtis email

CERTIFIED CHINESE DRYALL TESTING: Interesting site where you can schedule a test for Chinese Drywall. Not what you would call “inexpensive” but good information nonetheless.

REAL PRO SYSTEMS:  There have been numerous comments on real estate agents Facebooks that talk about their success by using products provided by Real Pro Systems. They apparently provide a one-stop type service for real estate agents in their Silver and Gold programs. They also provide a Webinar every Thursday at 1:00 Central Time. You can register by going to their site to see if these programs may apply to your business. You can also call Lisa at 541-633-7507. It is my understanding that their program also includes a contact management program; certainly worth check out. I am not endorsing it only sending along the information.

TOMATO UNIVERSITY: Believe it or not this is about real estate. Go to and register. It is boast that the site is especially valuable to newer agents.

TIRED OF SPAM EMAILS: Spam Arrest costs $5.95 a month once you are past the 30 day free trial. There are varying degrees of commitment up to 2 years at $89.95. The way it works is that when you receive an email for the first time from someone they will be asked to verify their email address and insert a code. When this happens you receive the email and any future emails (without troubling the sender). But if it is a spam, the spammer typically will not take the time to verify a spammed email and you not only will not receive the email the sender will be blocked from future submissions.