Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Online Newsletter for the Week Ending February 3

QUOTE:  "Time is the coin of your life.  It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent.  Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you."  Carl Sandburg  Also consider this from Eric Hoffer:  "In times of change, the learners will inherit the Earth."  Gymbeaux note:  “Times” are changing faster than ever before, therefore the question is, Are you a learner?

WORDS OF WISDOM FROM MICHAEL DUNN:  Ever wonder why things you think should be happening in your life aren't.  The man in this video is totally lost as to why he can't do a simple thing like lift a chair that a small child can.  What is really holding us back?  Go here to see this funny video.  www.michaelpdunn.org

NEW CPR METHOD:  This brief video could save someone’s life including your own.  Recommend you show this video to your family and friends:  http://medicine.arizona.edu/spotlight/learn-sarver-heart-centers-continuous-chest-compression-cpr
HUD RE-REGISTRATION.  If you have registered to work HUD sales, your Louisiana license has expired at December 31, 2011 and if you want to continue to work HUD sales, you MUST go on line to www.hudstore.com and updated your personal profile to indicate your license will expire on December 31, 2012; otherwise you will be unable to work the HUD sales.

FREE WEBINAR:  VOICE MAIL STRATEGIES.  The key word here is FREE.  And the subject says it all, Do you have one?  Do you know what you are going to say when the VOICE MAIL STRATEGIES.  person you called does not answer the phone and you get their voice mail?  You should and this FREE webinar should help you develop a strategy:  http://www.salesbuzz.com/free-demo/voicemail-strategies.aspx
OBJECTIONS ARE NOT THE ISSUE; YOU ARE!  If you read nothing else in regards to sales, read Jeffrey Gitomer.  Here is another example of how he thinks and would like for you to think.  If you are happy with your sales results, keep doing what you have always done and you will continue to get what you have always gotten.  Change the way you think and the results are endless.  http://www.gitomer.com/articles/ViewPublicArticle.html?key=ajcdMibak3MuGpV5JKGYFg%3D%3D

SCAM ALERT/ILLEGAL ACTIVITY - Reported by a Member sent by NOMAR:
I personally came in contact with this in two areas, one is Slidell and the other is the West bank. Individuals are placing signs on poles and staked into the ground that state something like "House for $55,000 and a phone number".  These individuals go to vacant houses and strip the house of anything that would indicate the property is listed.  REALTOR signs are removed, if it is a HUD home the Property Managers sticker that is in the window is removed, the sign sheet in the house is removed.  How they gain access is not confirmed however in two cases they represented themselves as agents and called for lockbox codes.

The consumers who call from the posted signs are taken to these houses and are told by the individual who answers those phones that they own the house. That they have two offers but if the consumer brings a cash down payment right away they can buy the house and they request $2000.00.
The HUD attorney's are aware of this and I have personally reported two incidents to the Sheriff in Jefferson Parish.  I understand from the LREC that one individual was brazen enough to remove the yard sign of a Broker and replace it with his own.  In this instance a consumer gave them cash and then reported them and I understand the Attorney General is handling this.

It is unknown if these individuals are licensees or not.  I have handed over the names and phone numbers that I received from consumers to the Sheriff and to HUD.  It is my thought that the real estate community needs to be aware of what is going on so they can be extra vigilant.
GYMBEAUX NOTE:  My wife and I saw a similar sign at the I-12 Exit at Airport Road.  $55,000 and a phone number, yellow background.

PROFIT SHARING 1099.  Remember you have to go to www.kw.com to retrieve your 1099 for profit sharing.  Go to www.KW.com, click on the Resource Tab and then scroll down until you see 1099.  When you click on the 1099 link it will tell you to highlight above, you need to highly the MISC 1099 in the line with your name on it. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Online Newsletter for the Week Ending January 27, 2012

QUOTE:  Man alone is born crying, lives complaining, and dies disappointed. “  Samuel Johnson.    Gymbeaux Note:  Why not ask the question: "Am I complaining more or less?"  If you find yourself complaining at all, what are you doing to correct whatever it is you are complaining about.  Are you part of the solution, or are you part of the problem?  Hmmmmmmmmmmm, just asking…….

MARK YOUR CALENDARS, 2012 TEE OFF FOR SCHOLARSHIPS:  Friday April 13, 2012.  Third Annual Golf Tournament created to provide college scholarships for local high school graduates.  This event cannot happen without the support of people reading this newsletter.  We need players, sponsors, door prizes, and/or cash donations.  We also could use the personal help in organizing and conducting the event.  It will be held at Oak Harbor Golf Club starting at 12:00, tee off at 1:00.  The event includes lunch, dinner, golf fees, cart fees and lots of prizes including a $10,000 hole-in-one price, flat panel TV, new clubs and a cruise as additional hole-in-one prizes.  There will also be a 50/50 putting contents but the winner will have one shot at some 'REAL' cash.  Go to www.TeeOffForScholarships.com for more information.  Call Mike Bentson or Jim Brown at 985-649-6333 for more information, sponsorship information or a tournament application.

WISDOM FROM MICHAEL P. DUNN:  "WHAT IF it is as easy to be successful as it is to fail?"  What if we could reverse the downward spiral that sometimes happens in our lives?  What if we could reverse the flow and create an upward spiral?   http://michaelpdunn.org/Success.html
Please consider following Michael P. Dunn, on www.Twitter.com author of What’s The BIG Secret.  Go to www.Twitter.com and enter @michaelpdunn777.

Also please considering following Wes Hopper author of the daily gratitude ezine, at @DailyGratitude_ Arizona on www.Twitter.com
VALENTINE’S DAY MAILOUT:  Valentine Day is fast approaching.  One of the best cards you will ever mail or email is very simple:  “Happy Valentine’s Day.  Send referrals; not flowers!”

BIRTHDAY MAILOUT:  When it is your birthday, send a post card or email that reads:  “February 28, a GREAT American was born!”  On the back or in the text, “ME!  Send referrals not gifts!”
ICE:  In case you don’t know or haven’t done it, you should take your Number 1 person to contact in the event of an emergency and list him or her in your cell phone directory as ICE (and then the person’s name).  To emergency responders, they look for ICE in the directory for ICE - In Case of Emergency. That is who they call should you need help and can’t call on your own.  You can also enter ICE1, ICE2, etc.  Think ahead.

TAX FORMS:  Your 1099 has been distributed by the MCA.  Your 1099 for your Profit Sharing has not as yet been posted to www.kw.com where you will receive it.  The web site indicates the information will be available on or before January 31, 2012.  To obtain your Profit Sharing 1099, go to www.KW.com select the TECHNOLOGY TAB and scroll down your choices, look for the Profit Sharing 1099 towards the bottom.  It should be available on or after January 31, 2012.
WHO'S AFRAID OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND SOCIAL NETWORKING?   YOU ARE!  Jeffrey Gitomer.  Highly recommend reading "Social Boom" by Jeffrey Gitomer.  He gives you the "how to" in creating your social media presence.  http://www.gitomer.com/articles/ViewPublicArticle.html?key=ajcdMibak3O22ofrk%2FKXOA%3D%3D

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Online Newsletter for the Week Ending January 20, 2012

QUOTE:  "No matter how much time you've wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow. (So you think you do, so some believe you can wait until tomorrow)  Success depends upon using it wisely--by planning and setting priorities."  Denis Waitley (Motivational speaker/author)  (Gymbeaux Note:  I added the extra part in parens because on February 17, 2011 I thought I had a lot of tomorrows to do the things I wanted to do and then in just a very short minute my world changed when I had a heart attack.  My tomorrow turned out to be lucky; some others did not.  You can never be guaranteed a tomorrow so use what you have wisely today)

MEAT FROM JEFFREY GITOMER:  “Results from networking don't happen in a short space of time. Your best results will come from consistently showing up and giving value.”   Jeffrey Gitomer The Little Red Book of Sales Answers!  WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR?  AND WHAT THE GOAL FOR NEXT (THIS) YEAR? http://www.gitomer.com/articles/ViewPublicArticle.html?key=ajcdMibak3OvEPP5Jx2c%2Bg%3D%3D    It's okay to celebrate achievement and revel in victory, but that's just a reflection of where you are at this moment. The wisdom you gained and the associated lessons learned are what will get you to tomorrow.” Jeffrey Gitomer

2012 TEE OFF FOR SCHOLARSHIPS is underway!  We need help in the form of committee volunteers, sponsorships, door prize doners, cash donations and players for the 2012 Tee Off For Scholarships Golf Tourney from which we hope to fund at least 5 College Scholarships, one each from the 5 Slidell area High Schools.  Don’t wait, jump in.  Need all the help we can get.  www.TeeOffForScholarships.com.

READ FOR A CHANGE NUGGET:  Here is the deal.  I want you to take whatever is bothering you, great or small, put it in your right hand and make a fist and hold on to it as hard as you can.  Really, give this a try.  When you are thinking of nothing but your problem, click on this link and watch it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZ46Ot4_lLo&feature=related.  Now open your hand.  Quite possibly, actually probably, your problem does not seem as great as it once was.  We tend to spend most of our lives in and out of thoughts that someone is out to hurt us, the world is against us, or we just find ourselves complaining about anything and everything.  Do we really have it that bad?  Are our lives really in that bad of shape?  Pretty amazing video.

PUTTING THINGS INTO PERSPECTIVE:  Unless you live under a rock or in a cave, you must have heard about excessive government spending.  This video takes a look at it from a slightly different perspective but does it make a point:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Li0no7O9zmE

MICHAEL DUNN WEEKLY WISDOM:  What you focus on expands.  You reap what you sow.  You sow with your thoughts and that creates your future.  Think of negative thinking as an attack on your dreams, your family and your finances.  Then make a decision not to do it, but to focus on the good you want to reap in your life.    http://michaelpdunn.blogspot.com/

FROM ANDY ROONEY:  I've  learned.... That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

CALENDAR EVENT:  Mark it now!  The 2012 NABOR Awards Luncheon will be held at the Tchfuncte Country Club in Covington on March 29, at 11:30.  Watch for details on how to make your reservations.

SOUNDING DELIBERATE OR DESPERATE?  Telephone techniques; sound familiar?  From www.SalesDog.com    http://www.salesdog.com/newsletter/2012/sales_training_nl0560.htm#newsletter

2012 MANDATORY CE COURSE:  Advertising Rules and Regulations – How They Relate To Social Media And Teams In General. This 4-hour course must be completed by December 31, 2012, as part of the 12-hour continuing education requirement for license renewal.  If you are a new licensee, remember that completion of the 45-hour post license curriculum does not relieve you from completing the mandatory topic course.

NEW MARKET CENTER SITE.  Our Slidell Calendar site is/has been changing to the new site created by Keller Williams Realty International.  You will if you have not already receive a daily email listing important dates, times, posts, via an email.  This will come automatically from the site.  When you receive it play around with it; see what it can do.  There is a section, the primary section that will appear to be like Facebook where people can enter posts that others will see.  You will be able to see not only our Market Center Calendar but also the Regional and International Calendar of coming events.  You can access the site directly through your KW eEdge Dashboard once the link has been made operational. Check it out when available.  At some point we will convert www.SlidellCalendar.com to the new site or we may create a different URL for that purpose and keep the old site open for as long as we can.  The link will currently take you to the present site.

IMPORTANT COMPLIANCE ISSUES:  We received our first and hopefully our last “Cite & Fine” notice from the Real Estate Commission.  The Commission was on CraigsList looking at a listing and then linked back to the listing agent’s web site.  The site failed to include “Each Office Independently Owned & Operated”.  This oversite cost the agent $75.00 OR the agent can fight it out with the Commission.  The reason they call it “cite & fine” is that it is almost impossible to fight against the facts as in this case, the words were simply not there.  Everyone’s site was visited over the past weekend and it is believed that all sites are in compliance.  It is still each agent’s responsibility to insure that their site(s), emails, faxes, blogs, anything electronically transmitted are in compliance with Louisiana Rules & Regulations.  In this regard, everyone is strongly encouraged to take the REQUIRED 2012 Mandatory Continuing Education Course SOONER RATHER THAN LATER at the first opportunity it is given to help insure your compliance with advertising.

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN RIPPED OFF?  Cool site, www.RipOffReport.com.  You can enter a company you have done business with or are looking to do business with.  Hopefully YOUR name is not in the list of reports submitted.  You might be surprised.  I work with a company that I absolutely love and have had nothing but great rapport and service from yet there were two reports on file in regards to their customer service.  Just goes to show you that you can’t please everyone all the time.  There are over 600,000 Rip Off Reports on file.

5 WAYS PEOPLE WILL MISREAD YOUR BODY LANGUAGE:  From www.SalesDog.com.  If there is one thing I can personally attest to it is that the people you communicate with (1) do not always hear what you say; (2) read far more into what you said than what you actually said; and (3) mis-read your body language when you communicate.  For example, I am personally very comfortable when my arms are folded but to a body language expert that means that I am in disagreement with what is being said.  In my case, just not true.  But does that matter if you are working with a customer?  Absolutely, you must be aware of how people perceive you and especially your body language.  This article is spot on.  You must be aware of these things when working with your buyers and sellers both in THEIR body language and especially in your own body language.  Good stuff!  http://www.salesdog.com/newsletter/2012/sales_training_nl0559.htm#newsletter

REAL ESTATE COMMISSION CHANGE TO FIRST TIME LICENSEES.  Effective January 1, 2012, every applicant for a new real estate license will have to have a background investigation taken.  This is a significant change so in case you are questioned, now you know.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Online Newsletter for the Week Ending January 13, 2012

It may be a NEW year... but it's a very OLD principle:
Thoughts become things....and attract more of the same.
It’s The Law of Attraction! 
You Attract Into Your Life More Of What You Think Of MOST!

QUOTE:  “There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded." Mark Twain

FOR DAYS OF AULD LANG SYNE BY SISSEL:  Beautiful way to start the new year!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x91rBzNKvlc

ATTITUDE STARTS WITH YOU.  What would happen if you started every day as this young girl does.  This video is actually quite old.  They have additional videos of interviews conducted when she was about to turn 13.  Paulena started last weeks’ Partners Meeting with this video which is provided especially for anyone who did not get a chance to see it last week.  Pretty special stuff!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR3rK0kZFkg

7 RULES THAT TURN HOLDING OPENS INTO A DEPENDABLE FLOW OF BUSINESS, by Rich Levin.  Good article.  http://www.brokeragentsocial.com/article/1415/7-rules-that-turn-holding-opens-into-a-dependable-flow-of-business

WHOSE'S HAPPY NEWS YEAR IS IT - YOURS OR THEIRS? Jeffrey Gitomer has hit the nail on the head with this one. He gives you just SEVEN descriptions and asks you to grade yourself. You don't have to great each one, just grade how many you can say YES! to. As much as I work on myself, I would be hard pressed to answer more than 3 or 4 YES!; how about you? http://www.gitomer.com/articles/ViewPublicArticle.html?key=ajcdMibak3MCa62B0smSQA%3D%3D

WELCOME TO LOUISIANA’S I-12 RETIREMENT DISTRICT:  Who knew?  Did you know that St. Tammany Parish has been designated a Louisiana Retirement District?  It has.  Should we not be linking this on our web sites, including it on our property flyers and who knows where else?  Check it out at:  http://www.lai-12retirement.org/

WAKE UP TO A POSITIVE SHORT EMAIL INSPIRATIONAL/MOTIVATIONAL MESSAGE FROM WES HOPPER:  I have been collecting the emails Wes sends out for almost two years and I have saved them all.  Wes sends out an email each weekday.  You can subscribe by going to http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=Kx6ZW&m=IjvEZQ2rRsR9M1&b=3MgBUfHvS2S3lQ4BpRgQ1A

NOTE TO SELF:  This is a really educational & motivational email program that sends you a Note To (Your)Self every day.  The Food for Thought quote at the end of this newsletter came from Note to Self.  Quick to read, easy to digest.  Highly recommended.  http://mail.google.com/mail/#inbox/134c25d5709c5a6c

THE POWER OF STAGING HOME STAGING COURSE.  Homes that have been properly “staged” have been proven to sell faster and for higher prices.  Here is a course that teaches you how to stage homes.  http://www.retrainingcenter.com/showOTDetails.asp?TCID=1003256

Posted by Staff Writer in Weekly Editorial
Tuesday, January 3. 2012
The News-Banner
The following is from Michael Hyatt's blog - thought it was worth sharing - great words of wisdom - don't let your ego get in.

Here are five principles for owning your own mistakes and failures:

Respond immediately. When you realize you've made a mistake, "own it" with those involved as soon as possible. Delaying only tempts you to put it off and rationalize why it's not that big of a deal to share. If your teammates don't see you owning your mistakes when they come to light, they will question your credibility—and rightly so.

Be crystal clear. Be direct and clear about the mistakes you make. If avoiding accountability is bad, half-owning a mistake wrapped in excuses is pathetic. Don't beat around the bush or sugar coat the issue. Clearly identify the mistake and its implications. This will help bring people up to speed on the issue and enlist their support in what should be done next.

Share the lesson learned. Failure is a wasted experience if nothing is learned. Learning a personal lesson is good, but teaching others from your mistakes is even better. It will take some humility on your part, but great leaders know that it's much more effective to lead out of vulnerability with all of our imperfections than seeking to manage a fa├žade of leadership perfection.

Be ready for feedback. Just because you've taken responsibility doesn't mean that people will not want to further process what has transpired. Be prepared for people to share their feedback. Resist the urge to be defensive. A wonderful proverb states that "a soft answer turns away wrath." It is difficult for people to pour out their wrath on someone that takes feedback with humility. Remember: if you're committed to "owning it," this is part of the process.

Move forward. If you lead, you're going to fail, period. It's part of the job description. Pick yourself up and move on. Earlier in my leadership I would be paralyzed by my mistakes. It would take me forty-eight hours or so to find my leadership equilibrium. High capacity leaders don't have that kind of time to be wasting by kicking themselves. Keep in mind you're modeling that you can fail, learn, and move forward.

The sad reality is that many leaders run from owning their mistakes because they don't want to look weak. The irony is that this very avoidance of accountability screams weakness. Strength in leadership comes from integrated character at every level. Make owning mistakes part of your leadership toolbox and you and your team will be the better for it.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:  "Don't be fooled by the calendar.   There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week's value out of a year while another man gets a full year's value out of a week."   Charles Richards (Canadian Chief Justice, 1879-1956)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Online Newsletter for the Week ending January 6, 2012


It doesn't matter whether you call them resolutions, goals, desires or dreams...
what matters is that you don't choose ones based on your present circumstances.
Stretch yourself but not too far. 
Make your goals “just out of reach.”
Then you are not discouraged that you did not reach them but came close.
Set your annual goals to match up with your BIG WHY in life.
 What do you have to achieve THIS MONTH to achieve THIS YEAR?
Then set in motion what you have to achieve THIS WEEK, TODAY
to achieve what you want in your life and future.

QUOTE:  "If at first you don't succeed, you're running about average."  M. H. Alderson (writer)
QUOTE 2:  "To be happy, drop the words 'if only' and substitute instead the words 'next time'."             Smiley Blanton (Psychiatrist, 1882-1966)  “If only I had done this…”; to “Next time I will do…”

GYMBEAUX NOTE ON QUOTE 2:  Quote 2 also reminded me that you should drop the word “but.”  Think about all the times you use the word BUT in your sentences.  Try this in sales:  “The offer we received is great BUT you may consider the price a little low.”  What does the word “BUT” accomplish in this sentence?  It builds a wall between where you are (not having an accepted contract) and where you want to go (having an accepted contract); just that one word BUT accomplishes.  You most likely have at times thought that as well, “Here comes the BUT!”  Admit it.  What could you have said instead?  “The offer we received is great AND I think you and I can work with it.”  No BUTS any more!
FROM MICHAEL DUNN:  Ever notice that people who are successful share the same belief system.  It seems that I can never get enough of people's stories of how they became successful.  Arnold Schwarzenegger's story is one to hear.  Listen to his 6 Rules for Success that he gave at the USC Graduation Commencement as:  www.michaelpdunn.org

WHAT’S THE BIG SECRET, by Michael P. Dunn.  For those of you reading the book, check out page 59.  According to Dunn there are three types of people.  Which type are you?  Are you sure?  Absolutely sure?  Oftentimes you are NOT the person you think you are.  That is one of the HUGE values of having a personal coach.  A coach will tell you, a friend probably will not.  I think everyone of us would like to be a Type 3.  According to studies and Dunn’s book, 3 out of every 100 people are a Type 3.  Whoops!  There are approximately 80 people in our Market Center – that’s when it becomes scary!
20 TIPS FOR A POSITIVE NEW YEAR FOR 2012:  By Jon Gordon.  These should be obvious but given the track record of so many people like you-know-who, they need to be revisited:  http://www.jongordon.com/newsletter-010212-20tips.html

7 GREAT WAYS TO MAKE 2012 A GREAT YEAR!  By Joe Tye.  All seven of these are great and highly recommended; I like #3 the best; talk about thinking outside the box:  http://tinyurl.com/7ozmmut
7.5 Things To Think About In The New Year by Jeffrey Gitomer.  I particularly like #7.5; seems like I have heard that before someonewere.  I wonder where?  http://www.gitomer.com/articles/ViewPublicArticle.html?key=ajcdMibak3PR3vBnNEyzlQ%3D%3D

FIND OUT WHAT KIND OF ANIMAL YOU ARE.  Surviving Your Serengeti by Stefan Swanepoel is a great inspirational novel, very easy to read yet very instructional at the same time.  Take the 3-minute quiz to find out what kind of animal you are.  Personally, I am an Enterprising Crocodile; you will be amazed at just how well that fits me.  You?  Go to http://www.whatanimalami.com/ to find out!
SUPER EFFECTIVE SPEED LIMIT REDUCTION; it pays to complain to the government.  http://zanylol.com/speed_sign.html

NO FEAR IN THE NEW YEAR, fabulous article by Jon Gordon.  If you want to change the results for 2012, read this short article:  http://www.jongordon.com/newsletter-122611-no-fear-in-the-new-year.html
GREAT MESSAGE FROM DEBBIE BEAUMONT; OUTREAGOUS BUSINESS GROWTH:  This is an a copy of an email I received on December 31 in regards to how to give you a better chance of achieving your desired business growth in 2012.  Give it a minute to read, that is all it will take.  It WILL make a significant difference for you in 2012.  It has been posted on www.SlidellCalendar.com in the Document section in the Motivation File Folder.

MARKETING SOURCE:  I have been using www.Queensboro.com to purchase clothing items with EMBROIDERED company logo including www.NuggetsForTheNoggin.com  The minimum order is usually 4 items and in most cases the 4 items do not have to be the same item 4 times.  Once you get your logo approved and established there is typically no additional logo charge to customize your logo.  The best part you can include not only your company logo but also include your personal embroidered name on your items.  For an additional $5.00 per item you can have your web site embroidered on the back of your item.  The prices are exceptionally good but I would strongly suggest you sign up for Queensboro’s email sales emails – the prices there are fantastic.  Comment:  Wearing Neat, Attractive Logo Clothing is like wearing a uniform and is accepted as proper working attire by most customers.  Remember, you only have one chance to make a favorable first impression.
SLIDELL CARJACKINGS:  Reports indicate a third incident of carjacking in Slidell.  This time it was two girls in a parking lot.  When you leave a store, please pay attention to your surroundings.  Set your cell phone for speed dialing to someone you know.  Stay off your phone when leaving stores.  Using your phone while walking to your car only distracts you.

MUGGING NEAR ROUSES:  Last night I was at Rouse's near I-10, and there were two of Slidell PD's finest, and they said a woman was mugged in the area moments before. PLEASE NOTE, this happened in a *crowded area*. Whoever is behind the recent string of crimes is apparently not afraid of acting in daylight or even when there are other people around. It is imperative that you BE AWARE of your surroundings. You determine your own level safety. This means more than taking a quick glance around as you leave the store with your phone to your ear.  Stop the phone call, take out your ear phones so you can hear, notice people as you walk, etc.  Also, have your keys out so they're ready for when you get to your car. There's plenty of other safety tips out there.  From David McLaughlin.

Steeling Yourself for Sales Survival in 2012

By Tom Hopkins, author of the award-winning book:
Selling in Tough Times

In order to survive any challenge that negatively impacts your selling career, you need to follow the Boy Scout motto of "being prepared." So, how do you prepare yourself for some unknown event that may pop up on the horizon?

You begin with a commitment to personal growth. Personal growth is a process of increasing your knowledge and effectiveness so you can serve more, earn more and contribute more to the betterment of yourself, your family and all of humankind. It demands an investment of time, effort and money. Keep in mind that if you're not moving ahead, you're falling behind. 

Surround yourself with winners.  (Gymbeaux Note:  There is no better place to do this than attending the 2012 Family Reunion in Orlando) Find other, like-minded, individuals and feed each other strategies for selling in these times, positive news, creative ideas and referral business. Be careful not to involve anyone in this process who doesn't contribute. And don't you be the one wanting the gain but not giving your own positive input to the others. (Gymbeaux Note:  This is what makes Keller Williams Realty so great and so different.  Most agents are so willing to share with other agents what is working and helping them.) 

To keep yourself moving ahead, I recommend that you allocate five percent of your time to personal improvement. (Gymbeaux Note:  I did the math for you. 5% of an 8-hour days equals just 24 minutes, 24 Minutes.  If you dedicated 24 minutes every workday, that would equate to 104 hours a year.  What could you make of yourself and your business if you dedicated 104 hours a year to improve them?  It is mindboggling to me.)  If you work a 40-hour week that's two hours each week. It needn't be a two-hour block of time, although many of my students find that extremely helpful. You could commit to half an hour each day. (Go ahead and do the math, it does add up to a little more than two hours a week that way but you do want to achieve long-term greatness, don't you?)  

What do you work on? That depends on you. (On a Scale of 1 (do nothing) to 10 (do as much as you could) rate your skill level in the following areas that are critical to success:

·       Time management
·       Computer skills
·       Writing, composition
·       Ability to Focus
·       Self-discipline
·       Verbal communication skills
·       Dress and grooming
·       Business etiquette
·       Body language - reading and relaying
·       Reading skills
·       Math
·       Product knowledge
·       Paperwork/ data entry knowledge
·       Networking
·       Prospecting
·       Handling your personal finances
·       (Gymbeaux:  Working on your presence on Social Media)
·       (Gymbeaux:  Creating and updating your personal Blog)
·       (Gymbeaux:  Reading and studying The Millionaire Real Estate Agent)
·       (Gymbeaux:  Working on and maintaining your Personal Business Plan based on the MREA)
·       (Gymbeaux:  Teaching others
·       (Gymbeaux:  Giving back to the community
·       (Gymbeaux:  Attending weekly Partners Meetings and Monthly ALC Meetings 

If you find yourself getting nervous about your current level of expertise in any of these areas, don't worry. The purpose of investing five percent of your time improving is to waylay those fears through education.  (Gymbeaux Note:  The best way to become a master in any subject is to teach it.  Volunteer and learn to teach to give back to our industry.) 

This educational experience need not be expensive or traditional (in case you're like me and hated school). Many resources can be found at your local library (Gymbeaux:  and online). Forget the ads for credit cards. Having a library card is the single most powerful card you can carry in your wallet or purse.  

Can there be any better investment than in your own personal growth? Think about it. Anything else you might invest in can lose market value, be stolen or seized. The time you invest in bettering yourself will remain with you for life, contributing throughout your career to your self-confidence and your ability to defeat whatever life sends against you.  (Gymbeaux Note:  You can sit back and complain about the unprofessional qualities of the people in our business OR you can help improve the real estate industry one person at-a-time by becoming a teacher; you choose.) 

Create an educational fund for yourself. Set aside five percent of all of your net earnings into a savings account for education. Then, when an opportunity for education above and beyond what you can find for free comes along, you'll never have to say, "I can't afford it."  (Gymbeaux Note:  I would suggest that when the opportunity avails itself like the Family Reunion, YOU CAN’T AFFORD NOT TO ATTEND!)  You want to be able to take advantage of courses at your local community college or university  (Gymbeaux Note:  HELLO; what about the courses offered in our own Market Center and on Keller Connects?) Some private technical schools offer excellent programs, for a fee, that can help your career immensely. Just like concerts, many excellent teachers bring seminars to your local area on topics specific to your industry or field. Watch for them. Schedule them into your calendar. Go and learn!  

Psychotherapist Alan Loy McGinnis addresses this well. He said, "All of us have weaknesses. The trick is to determine which ones are improvable. Then get to work on those and forget about the rest."   (Gymbeaux Note:  Dr. John Maxwell suggests that we concentrate on brining the areas in our business and lives that are in the 7 to 10 ranges to make them better and get people to work with you on those areas where you are weak to do those activities.  It makes sense.  Why try to raise a 3 or 4 to a 5 or possibly a 6 when you could very easily raise an 8 or 9 to a 10 and then get someone to do the 3 or 4’s for you.) 

In analyzing your strengths and weaknesses in the categories listed above, there are bound to be some things that you find easier than others. Those that you find difficult or uncomfortable will likely make the biggest difference in your career once you educate yourself on them. Initially, you may feel some hesitation to begin work on these areas. That's quite normal. We hesitate most to do that which we fear most. And fear is nothing more than a lack of knowledge.   (Gymbeaux Note:  Golf Analogy:  Golfers spend millions of dollars and practice time to hit longer drives.  But if they can’t get on the green in regulation and if they can’t make the putts when they get there, the long drives go for naught.  In golf there is the tee-shot, the approach shot, the short game, the bunker game and the putting game.  A weakness in any area will destroy your score just like a weakness in the selling game will cause you to lose money.  Where are you weak?  What should you or someone else be doing right now to fix the gap?  Do you know?)

Tom Hopkins is the author of 14 books including the best-selling How to Master the Art of Selling and the award-winning, Selling in Tough Times. These books, Tom's audios, videos and seminars contain no fluff, no hype, no theory. They're simple, how-to sales methods that work! Learn how to become a better you. Then, use Tom's proven-effective communication strategies and closing techniques to serve more clients, generating more revenue for your company and a higher income for yourself. Stop settling for the same sales income you've had for years. Give yourself a raise with Tom's easy-to-use approaches that will quickly get you the results you desire.