How Do You Keep Your Passion and Creativity Alive?

The mortgage and Real Estate business can often feel like a grind. We do the same things day in and day out which can lead to burn out. Many people then feel trapped because of the high earnings potential this industry provides. Most of us cannot simply quit and decide to be a heart surgeon so we lose the freedom to choose what we are doing. The job will get heavier and heavier UNLESS you find passion again. So, how can we overcome these cycles? We can find things both inside and outside our jobs to keep our purpose and passion alive. My purpose in life is to share wisdom with others that can lead them to more joy and less suffering. I have found that I get to do that in my leadership job but I also have found a way to do this outside of work. In addition to my Foundation to Sustainable Success book and platform, I am also the founder of Big Voices and author of the recent best seller Big Voices. Writing before work helps me wake up excited and feeds my creative hunger. I saw a quote the other day that said purpose is your best alarm clock and I firmly believe this is true. If you are feeling off or need some renewed energy, I would encourage you to explore something creative to do. Whether it is recording a video, writing a blog, sharing your music, painting, or anything creative to help you feel alive.

I want to share my recent interview on The American Dream Show. Not only does it explain the Big Voices Movement but also shows you what someone within this industry can do with their creativity. The founder, Craig Sewing, was in mortgage when we met years ago. He had a burning desire to also share more of his creative side and started first with radio while originating loans. Over time, he moved to television where he now brings his show to millions of people nationwide weekly. He is always looking for industry professionals to collaborate with as well, so if this is something that interests you reach out to them at Ignite Media. I am not suggesting you quit your day job like Craig did in mortgage, but I am certain you will be more likely to live an extraordinary life if you find more passion and creativity!

If you are feeling sluggish, have some compassion for yourself and simply make the decision that you are not trapped and you have freedom to write a new story today. Take some time to invest in yourself and add finding creative ways to build your business to your plan!

 

Own It!

I had the opportunity to spend the day recently at a Women’s Council of Realtors® event. I was supporting my friend Cheryl Keller who was being installed as President for California. I also had the privilege to speak on a leadership panel with some amazing women. It is important to note that all of these women were on their time, not getting paid. They wanted more than just a real estate career; they wanted to be together and joined to connect. Being installed at the President level takes years of commitment and selfless dedication. These women are either business owners or 100% commissioned Realtors®, so when they take time from real estate to be a part of Women’s Council of Realtors® one would think they would lose revenue. That it turns out is not true.

I loved the connection and collaboration happening in that room. Women from all over California and a few from out of state were there. Each of them exceeds the average income from real estate by more than double. Women’s Council of Realtors® offers more than just connection, it also offers leadership and education designed to help a Realtor® grow as a professional. The average age of a member is around 53.

I couldn’t help thinking about how many professions don’t offer support like this. Women are expected to find industry professionals on their own to connect with. They have to seek out their own leadership training unless they work at a unique company that offers it. I wish that more organizations that supported women advancing in leadership positions existed. But since there aren’t, we as women need to spend more time on ourselves. There are so many ways we can develop our leadership skills.

The National Association of Realtors® President Elizabeth Mendenhall’s campaign is called, “Own It.” Her intention behind the campaign is that we need to take personal responsibility for our careers and own our power. Her inspirational message that day really made me reflect on what I could own more of. I have always had a Big Voice mindset that I share in my book of the same name, but I have added some things here that Elizabeth inspired.

Own Your Success

We can no longer use excuses as to why we don’t have the time or will wait for tomorrow to start living our best life. The time is now and we either need to admit something is not a priority or start moving towards it.

Own Your Tribe

We must surround ourselves with like-minded women who push us to be our best. If one doesn’t come with your profession, find one, or create one. We must seek out what we need or loneliness or complacency will set in.

Own Your Mindset

Although I reviewed what I believed to be my positive mindset every day, I didn’t realize that I had some internal conflict brewing. When my editor returned the first draft of my book with suggestions for revision, she pointed out that I had written living an extraordinary life and being mindful was not easy eight times, the word “difficult” 51 times, and used the word “hard” 90 times. I was absolutely shocked because I hadn’t realized that my perception internally was that my life and journey were hard. I absolutely feel blessed on a daily basis and lead a good life. I reflected on why I thought it was hard and here is what I came up with:

  1. It is hard being a mom that works and tries to balance it all.
  2. It is hard having a sister that is struggling.
  3. It is hard to live without a mom and an older dad that has a hard time staying happy.
  4. It is hard being single and not having anyone to share life with.
  5. It is hard not having an abundance of like-minded friends in my industry who support one another.
  6. It is hard to accept who I was before.

As I reviewed the six things I realized I had choices that I was missing. I set intentions to change. Obviously, I can’t change my parents or my sister, but there is a lot more I can do. I had secretly been feeling sorry for myself when I had all the power to overcome these things. Needless to say, I have shifted my mindset as a result of being with these women at Women’s Council of Realtors®. Here are the things I am doing to truly “own it” going forward:

  1. Getting super clear on ensuring my time is in alignment with my priorities. I am evaluating every aspect of my businesses and making sure they are turnkey and streamlined. I am devoting more time in learning about something before I delegate or hire someone to do it. The underlying fear of “is this right?” is diminishing as I trust my intuition more.
  2. I am spending more time on what I am grateful about with my family. I am accepting of my sadness and grief, but will transcend it into deeper connections with others. I am blessed to have other women in my life that mother me. I also have friends who are like sisters that support me.
  3. I am so appreciative of my alone time, but haven’t spent enough time appreciating it. I accept God’s divine timing for whenever someone comes into my life. I am also opening myself up to the truth that I can’t spend too much time at home and I need to be more adventurous.
  4. I am seeking out organizations like Women’s Council of Realtors® to join that support my purpose and leadership development. Ironically, at the event I connected with the speaker who has already impacted my life. I know that this has been missing for me and that rather than do anything, I was being passive.

I encourage you to look at your life and find out what you can “own” more. These are things within our control that with intention and a mindset shift we can change. And if you happen to be a real estate professional, join Women’s Council of Realtors® and start growing today!

Goal Setting

“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” Napoleon Hill

It’s still the beginning of a new year – you have a new book with about 300 blank pages that you’re going to fill. But fill with what? Are you simply going to scribble your way, jotting a few notes here and there, or recording just the highlights as your parents may have done in your baby book? Or are you going to strive to fill every page, every day with extraordinary, sustainable success stories?

I like to believe that everyone’s ultimate vision is to lead an extraordinary life. By that I mean doing what you love and loving how you do it. The best tool I’ve found for helping you get to an extraordinary life, to have joy in your work, and of course to make the money you want to make is to set goals. Goal setting propels your vision forward. They are the things that allow you to maximize your resources: time, skills, knowledge, passion, etc. Goals are what help you make the most of your life and feel fulfilled with what you are doing.

 

Goals Need to be Written

When you write out your goals, you’re creating an external representation of your internal desires and reinforcing their value. Setting tangible goals allows you to break the big dreams of your vision into bite-size, achievable steps. But more importantly, goals hold you accountable. They get you out of that “if only” rut that so many of us fall into: if only I had this or if only I had that, I’d be happy. You can’t allow “shoulds” into your vision and you can’t allow “if onlys” into your goals.

Part of goal planning is becoming that person who is joyful and happy today even though you haven’t yet achieved your total vision. Goals allow you to celebrate your successes along the way. Celebrating is important. Celebrating reinforces your commitment. And more importantly, it re-patterns your brain to strive for more successes. To be effective goals should be S.M.A.R.T.

Specific – get exceptionally clear about what you are going to accomplish. The more specific you are the easier it is to accomplish a goal and celebrate it. So rather than saying I’m going to make $200,000 this year, you could say I’m going to contact 30 people in my database each week.

Measurable – set goals that you can measure. If you can’t measure it, then it isn’t specific enough. You can’t celebrate what you can’t measure and you are trying to generate feelings of success. Don’t assume because one of your goals is a feeling, i.e. I want to feel more gratitude, that it can’t be measured. It can. All you have to do is assign your feelings a scale where maybe 1 is I feel no gratitude and 5 is I feel gratitude for everything around me. Each day give yourself a number based on how you feel.

Action Oriented and Realistic – nothing gets done if you can’t take action. Make sure your goals are realistic and within your control. If you have to wait on someone else to do something before you can accomplish your goal then you’re back to relying on “if only.”

Time Sensitive – if something is going to get accomplished it must have a non-negotiable deadline. Set it and hold yourself accountable to it.

 

Goal Setting Process

Your vision encompasses your entire life, so your goals need to do so as well. You’ll need to balance your goals in four categories: Business, Financial, Health, and Family/Relationships. Make sure that the goals in one category are not in conflict with the goals in another.

So create a couple of short-term (3 months) and long-term (12 months) goals in each category. Next identify the top action steps you’re going to take to accomplish them. Then finally, you need to identify what you want to avoid the most – these are your away values.

Away values are the things that will cause you to self-sabotage and not achieve your goals. Examples of away values might be passivity, perfectionism, or judgement. Write these down next to your goals so you don’t lose sight of them.

I use a simple 4 step process for setting goals in each category.

  1. Make a commitment. No matter what you are committed to these goals.
  2. Identify what you really want. Not what your wife or your boss wants – what do you want?
  3. Recognize why you want it. Let’s say you want to make $20,000 a month – okay why? What difference does this number make in your life? Do you need to pay for a child’s college? Do you need to take care of sick parents? What is the why behind the goal?
  4. Create a plan in order to achieve it. Nothing gets done without an actionable plan. Writing your goals down but not taking action to accomplish them is a waste of time.

Every day I recommend that you review your goals so that they are set deep into your subconscious and conscious mind. At the same time review your away values. Were you able to keep them from interfering in the action steps you needed to take today to achieve your goal? If not, how will you keep them from interfering in the future? It is only when we are vigilant that we are able to re-pattern our brains to lead an extraordinary life and to find sustainable success.

Run Your Business Like A Business

How many of you entered this business, either as a real estate agent or a mortgage originator, because you liked the freedom it afforded you? My guess is that most of you did. It’s wonderful to be able to set your own hours, develop your own method of doing things, not have a limit on how much you can earn, and generally work without anyone staring over your shoulder. But that freedom you desire so much doesn’t come free.

What most people don’t realize is that when they choose to become an agent or originator they are also choosing to become a business owner. Unfortunately, not many of us understand what that entails. We’ve come from a corporate environment or maybe we’re fresh out of college. Either way, we’ve grown accustom to having other people tell us what to do – we have an employee not an owner mentality.

 

Develop a Business Model

If sustainability is your goal then you must begin to think like a business owner. You need a business model that defines goals and activities. You need to have the metrics in place to measure the efficiency of what you are doing. You need to understand the return on investment (ROI) of your time and money.

For example, most people in this industry don’t know where their referrals come from. Is that marketing plan you spent hundreds on bringing you referrals? Or is working your database consistently the main generator? You need to be able to answer these questions if you hope to build a sustainable business. You need a predictable model.

Predictability comes in measuring activities and efficiency rates for getting referrals – the lifeblood of this business. What happens far too often is that we get lazy when times are good. We become reactive order takers; too busy to maintain the activities that will keep business coming to us when things slow down. And when business does slow down, we quickly fall into a scarcity mindset.

It takes discipline to keep the scarcity mindset at bay. It takes having a plan that you work the same way regardless of how busy you are. It takes doing activities that you know will generate business consistently no matter what. If you stop working your plan, your plan will stop working. It’s really that simple. This business is all risk, all the time. You must be actively focused on earning partner referrals from the very beginning. If you build a predictable referral model, and you keep the discipline to work it even when you are busy, you can create sustainability.

 

Key Components of a Good Business Model

A business model for sustainability starts with an effective business plan. Research states that only about 5% of people in the mortgage and real estate industries have any kind of business plan, let alone one that is effective. There are 3 major reasons why you need a business plan.

First, it allows you to share your strategy, priorities, and specific action steps with your spouse, significant other, management team, and partners. You want others to support your business plan so you need to share it with them so they can align their actions with yours or at least understand when you might have to put in that 60 hour week.

Second, it helps you to deal with displacement. When you consciously decide to spend your time or other resources doing a particular thing to move your business plan forward, you’ve also consciously decided not to do something else. That is displacement. Being aware that you’ve already made these decisions keeps you from falling into distraction traps.

Third, it is the primary vehicle by which you grow your business and in turn develop new business alliances and referral partners. Here is where the metrics start to pay off. They give you the data for what you should be doing every day and help you understand the levers that control the desired output you want.

A solid business plan includes the following:

  • Business vision
  • Production and activity goals
  • Levers (where you get business and how you plan on increasing those resources)
  • Non-negotiable activity plan
  • Marketing plan

I also include my I AM Statements for business as a reminder to focus on mindset as well.

Triggers and Reactions

It’s no secret that the real estate and mortgage business are filled with problems. It can be frustrating because the majority of problems you face are outside your control, i.e. low appraisals, repair issues, buyers who get cold feet. These are what I refer to as “triggers.” A trigger is an event or thing that causes an emotional disturbance within you – fear, envy, scarcity, anger, frustration, etc. Triggers may also cause joyful reactions but most people don’t need help dealing with the good stuff.

Respond vs React

Triggers that cause negative emotions tend to cause us to react, usually in a negative way. This can come in the form of distraction, anger, projection or anything else that doesn’t serve us long term. What we need to learn is to identify our triggers upfront and then have a plan or an approach in place so that we choose to respond rather than react. Reacting is allowing the emotion to guide your actions or behavior. You might yell, shut down, or send a nasty email. Responding, on the other hand, is waiting until you have assessed the situation and calmed down before you take any action.

A Plan for Response

In all cases, except those that actually threaten our lives or the lives of others, we want to be responding not reacting. A person who gives considered responses rather than flying off the handle when something goes awry is a person who is well-respected, easy to work with, and easy to refer. When something triggers you, use this four step process for calming your reaction and giving yourself space to respond.

Step 1 – Become aware you are triggered.

Acknowledge that you are emotionally disturbed, i.e. you are angry, you are frustrated, you are sad, you are depressed, you feel hopeless, and have a choice to either react or respond. Keep the emotion from becoming a long-term feeling. Getting aware that you are not your thoughts, you are not your emotions, will help you remain detached from what your body has been patterned to do based on your past experiences. Having space between your emotional reactions and how you handle them will allow you to be more in control.

Step 2 – Identify what preference is not being net.

Triggers only occur when your preferences aren’t being met. Most preferences are created by our ego and really aren’t as important as they seem. It is an ongoing journey to manage our preferences and triggers. The fewer preferences we have based on other people’s actions or behaviors, the more joy we’ll have in life and our business. That’s not to say we can’t have standards and boundaries. They simply need to be clear and agreed to by the people we do business with. Then everyone knows what to expect.

Step 3 – Recognize your hallucination.

If you figure out what your hallucination is when your trigger isn’t met, you will understand why it is bothering you so much. Your hallucination is the worst-case scenario that you are worried about. The goal again is to have a plan that enables you to respond, not react and to admit you are hallucinating. Figuring it out helps make it more predictable. So many of us immediately go to the worst-case scenario as soon as something doesn’t go as planned. We start thinking we’re going to lose the client forever, or worse yet, we’re going to be a total failure and not be able to provide for our family, even when the situation had nothing to do with us and was totally outside of our control. What I encourage you to do when a trigger causes you to hallucinate about all the bad things that are going to happen is to state the trigger out loud. Say, “My trigger is X because my preference of Y isn’t being met, so I’m hallucinating that Z is going to happen.” Just the act of saying it out loud is often enough to see the ridiculousness of what your trigger is causing you to feel.

Step 4 – Avoid or grow.

The last step, and certainly the most important, is to decide to grow through the trigger or strive to avoid it. Let’s take for example a preference for not getting stuck in traffic. When it happens you could choose to grow through it. You could use the time to raise your energy and do a mini meditation, you could be more grateful, be more present, listen to a podcast, or do something else that allows you to grow and become more patient. You could even make calls to prospects and referral partners.

Or you could avoid it. You could say I’m just not going to drive at this time of day, or I’m just not going to take this route because you don’t think there’s any way that you could grow through it. That’s okay. My hope would be that you would always try to grow through it first. But we all need to give ourselves permission to draw the line when we simply can’t.

Importance of Trigger Management

It’s important to manage triggers because triggers are what derail people every day. Triggers cause individuals to become ineffective and produce negative energy. No one likes to work with or be around someone who has negative energy. It causes a domino effect. Maybe you get a couple of triggers strung together. Now you’ve had a bad day. Then you bring it home and you’re not present with your family because you’re still dwelling on those triggers and negative feelings. You don’t exercise and you don’t take care of yourself. Without the ability to manage your triggers you end up creating a whirlwind of chaos.

The goal is to bring joyful energy into every situation. I love this quote by Brendon Burchard from The Power of Personal Responsibility:

“The power plant doesn’t have energy, it generates energy. Similarly, we don’t have an attitude, we generate one.”

Our energy and attitudes have to be generated every single day. Allowing our triggers to drain our positive energy and replace it with negativity and self-doubt does not serve us.

Business Systems

A system can be defined as a procedure, process, or method, or course of action. Systems are put in place to achieve a specific result. They are the critical building blocks of your business. When effective, they work together to provide results that are consistent, measurable, benefit your client, and validate and enhance your value proposition.

For your business to be successful you need to have a processing flow that is documented from start to finish. You can create massive opportunity but if you don’t have a solid plan to handle it you will not convert well or create the experience needed to ensure your clients come back and refer you to other people.

Regardless of whether you are in mortgage or real estate, your business system should be made up of three parts: opportunity – which is how you prospect and nurture leads, pipeline management – which is how you handle deals in progress, and database management – which is how you keep in contact with your past clients and mine them for referrals. Within each of these sections you have what I call blueprints or recipes. These are the written step-by-step formulas that you use to accomplish the things you do.

Unless you work for a really unique company, it is unlikely that these written systems will exist in your company. I’m constantly amazed that our industry lacks this level of professionalism and the technology required to succeed. In most cases it will be up to you to determine how you like to work and what is effective. If you aren’t by nature a person who has a lot of discipline and structure in your business, writing out these blueprints or recipes – how do I handle leads referred, how and when do I communicate during the process, and how do I stay in touch with my database after closing – will give you a consistent method of performing these tasks.

Once you have documented systems in place then if you have a support team, you must communicate with them exactly how they supposed to work. Then if things don’t work as planned you’ll know if the system needs to be tweaked or if clearer communication and teaching of what is expected is required. The beauty of a blueprint is that you can modify or change it.

 

Opportunity

An important aspect of prospecting is creating an experience and process flow for how you handle any lead or referral. Whether on the phone or in person you should decide ahead of time what discussion flow and tools you’re going to use. You will also share this with anyone that refers business to you so they know what to expect as well. This business system is all about how you handle new leads. It is a blueprint or recipe that contains everything about what to do when you receive a lead. It should ensure that every time you are presented with an opportunity you go through the same ritual. This should include an incubation plan based on where the prospect is in the buying cycle. If your CRM or customer relationship manager, doesn’t have call, email or text campaigns built you should invest in one that does or create your own.

 

Pipeline

You need to create a process flow and communication system that you can use once a deal enters pipeline. You know exactly what it is you are supposed to be doing every step of the way. You know what your role and responsibilities are as well as the roles and responsibilities of others. You know the deadlines you need to stick with based on contingency removal dates and close of escrow dates. Managing your pipeline with consistency is the key to ensuring your database will come back to you for future loan or real estate needs and refer clients to you. All communication should be layered with your Referral Efficiency Script (request for 2 referrals per year) and allow them to provide feedback.

 

Database

How you manage your database long-term will determine how successful you are in creating a sustainable business. If you receive 2 referrals from every person you do business with and convert 50%  into closed sales, you will already have built a predictable flow of business that will stay consistent. Building a system that you commit to upfront will ensure that in any market you follow through on obtaining as much business as possible.

An effective and efficient way to manage your database is to choose the right Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) that does the follow-up and tracking for you. It takes into consideration your marketing plan and holds you accountable. Having a CRM that sends emails, tracks interest rates, market values and includes direct mail will make it easier to stay in touch. It should also tell you when clients have birthdays and transaction anniversaries so you have an opportunity to call them.

If you don’t commit to having business systems, your business will run you and you will not have replicable results. Customers want to work with people who are methodical and yet relational. You need to build a business where you offer both!

I AM Statements

One of the things that works for me in maintaining a positive and successful mindset is to focus on a series of I AM statements every morning. These are statements that describe who I need to be in order to run a sustainable business and cultivate the energy I need to keep me disciplined and undistracted. For example, I AM patient, I AM clear, I AM smart, I AM grateful, and I AM courageous.

 

Our Brains are Not Hardwired

Scientists used to believe that our brains were hard-wired. That once we reached adulthood we were stuck with what we had. But then, after many more studies and testing, they discovered that the brain is more “soft-wired.” It is possible for it to evolve and change as the information and sensory data we feed to it changes.

The most remarkable thing is that it will evolve and relearn even when we are giving it information that may not yet be reality. It seems the brain can’t actually distinguish between an actual event and an imagined one. That’s why our dreams often seem so real. So by learning to control our thoughts we can deliberately rewire our brains to make ourselves more successful and fulfilled. We can learn to have success mindsets. Simply seeing ourselves as successful is the first step to eventually making success a reality. That’s also why so many athletes use visualization to help them perform at a much higher level.

 

The Power of I AM

The brain’s ability to learn and respond to imagery is exactly what makes I AM statements so powerful. Start by taking a hard look at your mindset. What areas do you need to change or improve in order to have a mindset that is geared for sustainable success? These are the areas that you want to build “I AM” statements around.

For example, if you have a mindset that says I can’t be successful because there is always too much to do, I’m constantly overwhelmed, then you may need I AM statements like these: I AM organized. I AM prioritizing my business daily. I AM not distracted easily. Or if you have a scarcity mindset, you may want I AM statements like: I AM prospering. I AM confident. I AM surrounded by abundance.

I encourage you to spend a few moments reviewing your I AM statements every day so that you internalize them. This is the quickest way of reprogramming your brain to build, and believe in, a mindset that has you focused on becoming the person you want to become. Then include daily non-negotiable activities in your business plan. They should remind you of the new you and what this new person can do, not what the old you with the old mindset would done.

To help get you started, here’s a series of I AM statements geared toward business:

I am ready for this day. I am equipped and empowered. I am not going to let anyone steal my joy. I am focused on things that are in alignment with my goals or mission. I am focused and clear on what I need to accomplish today. I will not allow triggers to disrupt my plan.

Nurturing and Creating REALTOR® Relationships

Nurturing and Creating REALTOR® Relationships

As you probably learned in Marketing 101, it costs less and takes less time to retain the customers you have than to go out and get new customers. The same holds true with your REALTOR® relationships. The more REALTOR® relationships you can retain as referral sources the more successful your business will be.

REALTORS® are humans and like all humans, they want to know that you value them. Keep in mind that other lenders are targeting them as well. The most important way you can show that you value them is by staying in touch, especially after they have given you a referral. Staying in touch doesn’t mean simply a “how ya doin’” phone call or email. You should schedule regular meetings with them where the sole purpose is to discuss how you can help support their business. I know it sounds counter-intuitive that you’d want the meeting to be about supporting their business when you really want them to support yours. There is a saying that givers get. So start by giving. The business will follow.

 

Lunch and Learns

A great way to stay in front of your referring REALTORS® is by hosting regular lunch and learns. To be successful, make sure you select a topic that is relevant to their business and that you practice your presentation before you arrive. REALTORS® refer to people they can trust. If you don’t come off in your presentation as a professional who understands the business and the challenges they face, then they aren’t likely to trust you or refer to you.

Here’s an easy recipe I use for organizing and presenting a lunch and learn.

  1. Choose and research a subject
  2. Create your guest list
  3. Choose a venue (your conference room or a meeting room at a restaurant)
  4. Create and send an invitation, evite, or Facebook event
  5. Follow up with phone calls for RSVPs
  6. Prepare your PowerPoint and handouts
  7. Order lunch and drinks
  8. Hold the event
  9. Follow up after to obtain feedback and ideas for the next one

 

New REALTORS®

 

My guess would be that you currently don’t have enough referring REALTORS® to reach your goals. Don’t worry – you’re not alone. I break REALTORS® I want to add into two categories: Prospective REALTORS® and Targeted REALTORS®.

Prospective REALTORS® are either listing agents you had a successful transaction with or agents that you have just met. Targeted ones are those that you haven’t done business with or met yet. You have either heard good things about them or were referred to them by someone else. You can also target REALTORS® by their production as well.

The first step in deciding which agents to go after is to identify your ideal agent. Look at your existing list. Which agents refer most often to you? What markets do they specialize in? How many years of experience do they have? Identifying your ideal REALTORS® will ensure that you only pursue those that you will enjoy working with.

Listing Agents – by the far the easiest to convert since they’ve already worked with you on the sale of a home. When you make your welcome call to them, tell them if you meet close or escrow date you’ll be asking them to commit to meeting you for coffee or lunch.

REALTORS® who are personally referred – also easier to book meetings with since you have credibility as a result of the referral. I always ask the person who referred me to email an introduction explaining why they are recommending me.

REALTORS® at open houses – this can be a great way to add Prospective REALTORS®. It’s easier than cold calling. Just be respectful if there are potential buyers or sellers in the home.

REALTOR® office meetings – are a good way to meet multiple agents at the same time. Not all offices are closed.

There are many ways to approach new agents but coming up with your own unique recipe will make it easier and replicable. I recommend letting them talk about 90% of the time at your first meeting. Encourage them to share their goals and how they typically do business. Ask what is important to them in a lender. Knowing this information will allow you to formulate the unique value proposition that you bring to the relationship.

 

Goals

I like to believe that everyone’s ultimate vision is to lead an extraordinary life. By that I mean doing what you love and loving how you do it. And I’m not talking about just what you do for a living but what you do in every aspect of your life. You give your vision and yourself a roadmap to achieve the life you want when you write goals. These are the things that will propel your vision forward. These are the things that will let you be heard. As you achieve them you will create more joy and ensure you are living in alignment with your life vision. Only about 5% of all loan officers and real estate professionals write their goals down so it is no surprise why average productivity is so low.

When you write out your goals, you’re creating an external representation of your internal desires and reinforcing their value. Setting tangible goals allows you to break the big dreams of your vision into bite-size, achievable steps. But more importantly, goals hold you accountable. They get you out of that “if only” rut that so many of us fall into: if only I had this or if only I had that, I’d be happy. You can’t allow “shoulds” into your vision and you can’t allow “if onlys” into your goals.

Part of goal planning is becoming that person who is joyful and happy today even though you haven’t yet achieved your total vision. Goals allow you to celebrate your successes along the way. Celebrating is important. Celebrating reinforces your commitment. And more importantly, it re-patterns your brain to strive for more successes. To be effective goals should be S.M.A.R.T.

Specific – get exceptionally clear about what you are going to accomplish. The more specific you are the easier it is to accomplish a goal and celebrate it. So rather than saying I’m going to lose 20 lbs. this year, you could say I’m going to stop drinking soda today.

Measurable – set goals that you can measure. If you can’t measure it, then it isn’t specific enough. You can’t celebrate what you can’t measure. Don’t assume because one of your goals is a feeling, i.e. I want to feel more gratitude, that it can’t be measured. It can. All you have to do is assign your feelings a scale where maybe 1 is I feel no gratitude and 5 is I feel gratitude for everything around me. Each day you give yourself  a number based on how you feel.

Action Oriented and Realistic – nothing gets done if you can’t take action. Make sure your goals are realistic and within your control. If you have to wait on someone else to do something before you can accomplish your goal then you’re back to relying on “if only.”

Time Sensitive – is something is going to get accomplished is must have a non-negotiable deadline. Set it and hold yourself accountable to it.

Your vision encompasses your entire life, so your goals need to do so as well. You’ll need to balance your goals in four categories: Business, Financial, Health, and Family/Relationships. Make sure that the goals in one category are not in conflict with the goals in another.

So create a couple of short-term (3 months) and long-term (12 months) goals in each category. Next identify the top action steps you’re going to take to accomplish them. Then finally, you need to identify what you want to avoid the most – these are your away values. To make it easy for you I’ve included a goal worksheet that you can use here (insert link here.).

Away values are the things you are patterned to do that no longer serve you. They are the things that will cause you to self-sabotage and not achieve your goals. Examples of away values might be passivity, perfectionism, or judgement. Write these down next to your goals so you don’t lose sight of them. It seems like it would be easy as figuring out what we want but we also need to keep sight of what stands in our way.

Every day I recommend that you review your goals so that they are set deep into your subconscious and conscious mind. At the same time review your away values. Were you able to keep them from interfering in the action steps you needed to take today to achieve your goal? If not, how will you keep them from interfering in the future? It is only when we are vigilant that we are able to re-pattern our brains to lead an extraordinary life and actualize our full potential.

 

Vision

Before you can fully develop your goals and plan, it’s important to discover what you really want. What is it that would truly make you happy? What is it that would allow you to live an extraordinary life and have a successful business? The dictionary describes a vision as an aspirational description of what you would like to achieve or accomplish. I would add to that definition a description also of what you would like to feel. The clearer your vision the easier it is to choose the right things to do now and in the future.

The key in this definition is YOU.  Your vision must be a reflection of what you desire for your life. It is okay to be self-centered when defining your vision. It cannot be made up of “shoulds.” You know, I should do this, or I should do that. Shoulds are things that others want you to want. They may or may not be what you desire for yourself.

Your vision must be in alignment with your core values. This too may take some self-examination. Often the values we hold are the values that have been instilled in us by others. We may have outgrown them, they may no longer serve us, and we might just have to let them go.

So before deciding on your personal vision, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who do YOU want to be?
  • How do YOU want to feel?
  • What are YOUR core values?
  • What do YOU want your legacy to be?

Then:

  • Understand deeply why you want these things
  • Make a commitment to achieving them

The keys to creating a compelling vision statement are to dream big and use concise language. It is a living, breathing testament to how you will live your life so it should be written in present tense. There is no right or wrong way to write a vision statement. It just has to be in alignment with the overall life you want to lead. It must resonate with you. If you don’t get excited every time you read it, then it isn’t truly your vision.

Don’t short-change the process when it comes to describing your vision. Take your time. You may need to revisit old triggers, traumas, or disappointments before you will know exactly what your new life-purpose will be. My suggestion is to write the first draft of your vision then put it in a drawer. Let the words percolate around for a few days. Then bring it back out and read it again. Does it still resonate or has your subconscious brain shown you some new enlightenment? Revise it if needed, then put it away again. Do this as many times as required until you get that feeling of excitement when you take it out again to read.

I have a form that I use when I am working on my vision statement. You can find it HERE. Once your vision statement excites you, once you can clearly see yourself living this extraordinary life, it is time to commit to making it happen. It is so important to take control of your own business destiny or years will pass and you will regret it later.