The February Funk

Don't Let it Kill Your 2017 Plan

Summary: The February Funk is real. Doing the work comes after the grand vision of December’s plan. Here’s three things you can do to make sure you stay on track: 1) Review your plan every Monday, 2) Focus on the small stuff and 3) Toss the stuff that doesn’t fit.
 

December found my newsfeed littered with business planning inspiration and exuberant sales managers encouraging you to kill it in 2017.  If you are like most entrepreneurs, the end of January results in a reality check. It comes in the form of the daily grind and habits decades in the making. Your big plans for 2017 seem just a bit grandiose, and your business plan lies beneath a stack of far more significant paper.

The Business Plan Replacement

Summary: Year after year, when I take time to reflect, react and redirect, I learn and integrate lessons that would have been lost otherwise. Because it’s the end of the year, I’m sharing my three step process that represents the foundation of my business plan replacement.

The holiday season is a wild mix of celebration, regret and overindulgence. Meanwhile, every business owner is working on a plan for next year. The smart asses amongst you will point out that planning for next year should have happened in October (which is correct but if you pulled that off you wouldn’t be reading this). Alas, this is real life and most real estate pros think about planning the Monday following Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Building Champions advocates a planning process that includes the “Core Four” which are a Life Plan, Business Vision, Business Plan and Priority Management. I have transitioned from student to advocate for their methodology although the act of planning is the key. This blog post is about what you do BEFORE all of that. Before you sit with your team and declare what 2017 looks like, take some time to let last year settle in. The business plan replacement is a three step pre-planning process that includes the following: 1) Reflect, 2) React and 3) Redirect.

One Habit: How No Lead Left Behind Can Double Your Production [Repost]

Summary: One habit can double your production in the next 12 months.  A defined No Lead Left Behind process forces you to prioritize, increases your conversion rate, builds future pipeline and gives you a real value proposition.  

The keystone holds the arch up. Without it, the entire structure is compromised. With it, you can build the production team of your dreams. Running a successful business is an art and science: the science is discovering the right thing, and the art is making a habit of doing it every day. 

Charles Duhigg said that “there’s nothing you can’t do if you get the habits right.” Establishing one habit creates a trickle down effect. It creates systematic improvement in your entire business. What if I told you there’s one habit that when turned into a business discipline will double your business in the next 12 months? The No Lead Left Behind habit can do exactly that. 

Not Just Another Gratitude Post

Summary: Gratitude is more than a seasonal phenomena. It’s medicine. Even when your personal gratitude meter bottoms out, there are three simple things you can do to keep the medicine flowing. 1) Say it out loud, 2) Be specific instead of courteous, 3) See rather than look.

Here we are, smack in the middle of gratitude season, and it seems fitting that I write a post about gratitude. The issue is, I just had a horrible day.  Frankly, it has been a stressful few months.  So I thought I would forgo the “I am super grateful” post and give you some idea of how my gratitude practice has survived the onslaught of personal and business stress. If you are in your Christmas sweater, humming carols and feeling overwhelming joy at the prospects of 5 weeks of holiday, maybe skip this one. But if you’re secretly dreading having to put on your “happy face” at the next 10 parties, step into my office.   

The Number One Reason You’ve Been Avoiding Online Leads

Summary: Have you been avoiding online leads? Relationship based mortgage pros often think that online leads don’t work because they lack the systems and capabilities to properly nurture home buyers from exploring to transacting.

I am in my fourth year of working with relationship based mortgage pros on online leads and wrapping up my tenth year leading consumer direct mortgage teams. It is with a tinge of embarrassment that I admit it took me a long time to really understand how hard it is for the traditional MLO to integrate the buying cycle into their workflow.  

4 Reasons to Pick Up the Penny

Mastering your destiny can start with something simple. While jogging the other day, I saw  a penny. It reminded me of a book by Stuart Wilde, The Trick To Money Is Having Some. One takeaway was to never, under any circumstances walk by a penny.  I still pick them up. I want to tell you why.

I grabbed the penny, 1989, the year of the Loma Prieta Earthquake. I put it in my pocket and kept running. Later that week, the same penny got my attention as it rattled in my dryer.  At that moment, I decided I should write down the reasons I still pick up pennies.

Personal Responsibility: From Lip Service To Lasting Change

Strengthening our business starts with extending our influence to excuse mitigation. Personal responsibility is a term thrown around on the regular.  In fact, it is one of the core values of Nextview Group. Our simple direction is to “Take responsibility for your actions, reactions and maximizing your influence.” How do we know if we’re getting it right?

My work, both paying and philanthropic, exposes me to the best of the best in mortgage and cycling. As I struggled to define “Personal Responsibility”, examples not explanations keep popping up. Below are four of the most recent ones.   

Automation: The Great Lie

Automation done right frees you up to spend time on the things that matter. Most of us real estate and mortgage folks are obsessed with the idea of automation. We are told automation is a magical gateway to more time, more money and greater recruiting prowess. Consider the last five sales pitches you have seen about automation. There is a good chance it was similar to “We can automate that thing you don’t like doing!” Are you on FB? Every add is “guaranteed to convert” and is basically a promise to generate more money without work. Seems like a good idea, right?

I was squarely on ”team automation” for a long time. The CTO of the F250 company I worked for looked me right in the eyes at an especially intense meeting and said, “I don’t do automagic, you shouldn’t make technology do what humans are getting paid to do.” He was right.  I was wrong, (although I didn’t admit it at the time and I continued to make John’s life hell… sorry John).

“When it can and should be done by a human, use a human.” -Gary Vaynerchuck @garyvee #automation #automagic

One Habit: How No Lead Left Behind Can Double Your Production [Repost]

Summary: One habit can double your production in the next 12 months.  A defined No Lead Left Behind process forces you to prioritize, increases your conversion rate, builds future pipeline and gives you a real value proposition.  

The keystone holds the arch up. Without it, the entire structure is compromised. With it, you can build the production team of your dreams. Running a successful business is an art and science: the science is discovering the right thing, and the art is making a habit of doing it every day. 

Charles Duhigg said that “there’s nothing you can’t do if you get the habits right.” Establishing one habit creates a trickle down effect. It creates systematic improvement in your entire business. What if I told you there’s one habit that when turned into a business discipline will double your business in the next 12 months? The No Lead Left Behind habit can do exactly that.