If You Want To Change Your Life, You Must Change Your Expectations.

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Twenty percent of all sales people earn eighty percent of the income. Why? The biggest difference between being successful in sales and struggling to earn a living is how you decide to spend your time. The top twenty percent spend their time working on what they need to do to become the person who is a top wage earner. Who do you need to be to produce the sales results you desire?

The real estate environment continues to change, as it has for the past 10 years, and in order to succeed you must be aware of the current and future needs of the market that must be met through the services you provide your clients. We have gone from an industrial revolution to a technological revolution to an informational revolution. Everyone has access to the same information that real estate brokerages once held exclusively. However, information is not knowledge or the power to make the best decisions. Your ability to deliver useful results better than any other brokerage or agent to your homebuying and selling clients  will determine your success. While the method in which people gather information has changed, the one aspect that has never changed in the sale of non-commodity assets, such as real estate, is that consumers still have to interact with people. The real estate brokerage community will always need people who possess certain traditional characteristics and skills of personal self-led leadership.

Success has always left clues. Business leaders, corporate boards and human resource directors in every field have discovered a need for people with not only technical expertise but also self-management skills.

While real estate agents need to change their technical approach on how they will better assist their clients, they also must manage a newly developed set of emotions that stem from the uncertainty of the current market and the potential of not easily finding their clients’ first home or next home. Agents who excel in all market conditions do so because they have developed habits that are built on a successful foundation of how they approach each day. They refuse to let the market, changing technology or competition dictate their outcome. They have not only a Why to succeed but also a recognition of Who they need to be to reach meaningful goals. Our latest United training, Amplified Selling, will teach who you need to be as the preferred local agent of homebuyers and sellers.

If you justify your current lifestyle, then you will earn the same in sales year after year. Learn how to amplify your thoughts about your future in order to change your expectations and results!

Upcoming Amplified Selling Dates: June 20 in Richmond and June 22 in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

To your success,

 

United Real Estate

The Limit on Your Dreams Does Not Exist, but the Number of Homes For Sale Does.

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As we enter the summer months, the busiest time for purchasing a home, a common problem across the United States is facing the next generation of potential homebuyers. Although many Millennials have delayed marriage and children, they are reaching the age where it is “getting real” and they are wanting to purchase their first home.

We should all have an image of our dream house but then acknowledge the actual home we are able to afford. While many in Generation X may have missed the opportunity to purchase their top choice during their search for their first home, they knew there was always going to be another home to purchase. Historically, the housing market has had a 6-month availability of housing inventory that was actively available for sale on the market at any given time. Today, with less than 60 days of housing inventory available and multi-bid situations becoming the norm, if first-time homebuyers miss an opportunity to purchase a home they like and are able to afford, they may be waiting a very long time before they can be in a position to submit the winning offer on a home they want.

What does 10 years of record lows in new home construction look like? What does it mean for the future of first-time homebuyers?  Take a look at the chart below from the Commerce Department.

As a nation we are building too few single family homes. The nation has not seen an extended timeframe with a low level of new home sales activity per adult population like this since prior to 1965. A generation of 4 million people are continuing to turn 31 every year across the nation and we are only building around 800K new homes annually. The cycle we are in of historic low levels of new construction is not bent, it’s broken. Correcting this long-term challenge will require alignment of local and national government agencies and private equity to target a solution that requires all of them to be involved in solving this problem.

How is this going to affect your real estate business and your income? Goal orientated individuals realize that it’s not only the market that determines their future, but how they approach the market. For instance, 30% of homes in Southern California markets sold in Q1 without being entered into the MLS system. The amount of pocket listings held out of the MLS by brokerages and agents are growing and will be coming to your market.

My plan is to help you develop the mindset you need and the activities to perform in order to succeed as a top-performing real estate agent in this market. Homebuyers and sellers need local market expertise, and to be a successful real estate agent you must own that position in the mind of your consumers.

Join me at Amplified Selling in Richmond and Fredericksburg, Virginia June 20 and 22 and learn how to tune up your activity to amplify your results.

To your success,

 

United Real Estate

Am I Supposed To Take This On Myself?

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Part of the American dream, and who we are as a culture of diverse people, is our desire to enjoy freedom and have the ability to express that freedom by owning our own home. We live in a very fortunate time in history. The idea of liberty, that founded our country, was defined as individuals being free from oppressive restrictions. As we have grown as a nation, we have broadened our idea of liberty by relating it towards freedom. Today, we seldom speak of liberty but daily speak of freedom.

As we grow as individuals, how we look at liberty/freedom has shifted to focus on the ability to pursue our own interests and preferences. Freedom for the growing population is not about owning only a home, but also includes operating their own business. This ability to dream big is reinforced by the abundant stories of entrepreneurial success. As more individuals look at expanding their freedom through self-employment, they enter the business world with abundant hope. In doing so, they move from being an employee where their wages are determined by someone else and have someone tell them where to be and what to do, to having the opportunity to coordinate all aspects of their business, including income.

Everyone who has started their own business took a leap. However, most who took that leap either failed or were disappointed by the results of their new venture. According to the Small Business Administration over 50% of businesses fail during the first five years. Most fail not because they don’t have a business plan, they fail because they cannot execute the number one component of that plan – acquiring customers. That success ratio can be daunting, but you do not have to take that leap by yourself.

In all industries, acquiring enough customers to become a successful entity long-term requires a focus on sales. You must effectively sell your product, your service and yourself. Selling is a difficult venture because it is accompanied with a lot of no’s. Hearing no every day can be very discouraging. Of all the details that you have to master to develop your business, selling is the most important task but also the loneliest one.

If you work in commission-based sales, such as real estate, where customers don’t frequently transact, you have to work daily on attracting new customers who will be in the market to sell or buy a home sooner rather than later. To be successful to the point where you are making more money than you would in an employee/employer arrangement, you must have a plan you will work toward each day to prospect for new clients. In real estate, the ability to earn a large income is tremendous. The daily activity you have to accomplish to achieve that success can also be overwhelming. If you are doing it alone or are frustrated with your results, there are reasons. Those reasons are real to you, but they can be overcome if you have a foundation of success to rely upon.

Individuals who have huge positive breakthroughs in their lives did so by taking massive action. Life or career changing results take place from either inspiration or desperation. In Amplified Selling, I will be teaching you how to obtain a new level of success from inspiration. Individuals who achieve a high-levels of success long-term do it in two parts — 80% having compelling reasons to succeed, 20% tactically knowing how to perform client building activities. The latest training we are offering, Amplified Selling, will cover both the compelling and the tactical components of becoming a successful entrepreneur with an ever-increasing customer base. Taking a big leap forward requires getting big help. That process and help is available to you.

The first sessions will be held May 16 in Louisville, KY followed by May 17 in Lexington, KY with more locations to be announced.

To your success,

 

United Real Estate

Leadership Is Action – Not Position

  • Leadership Is Action

    Leadership Is Action

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For anyone who is self-employed or is aspiring to be an entrepreneur, and is willing to do the work, I will continually coach you on the great opportunity ahead. When a business idea or the opportunity to go into a sales career matches a market opportunity along with your genuine enthusiasm, you have the unique ability not to just create a thriving business, but also to create the lifestyle you desire.

Combining work with a great lifestyle would seem to be a desire in life everyone would want.  However, along the path to change comes the realization that change is difficult and the business world is much more competitive than you first imagined. Newly anointed entrepreneurs will typically begin to focus on what they want, only to find the prolonged wait of receiving that prize takes longer than they expected, and thus soon quit. Others may start off on a better track by knowing the reason they want to reach an end economic result, but knowing why you want something doesn’t necessarily translate into what you need to do or how to develop yourself to reach your goal.

A better method is to add another step to your development process. Absolutely discover your why, know what you specifically want and need to achieve, realize your goal and purpose, but then add the next step to help guarantee your success. It is not enough to know what and why you want to accomplish a goal, you must also answer the question who do you want to be? 

Every success story is backed by an individual taking appropriate daily actions to improve their results. This is true for businesses, individual sales professionals and those who want to improve their personal relationships or health. They learned to develop the right habits that became a part of their success routine in business and in life. From how they start their day, to how they present themselves, to what they read and who they associate with. They learned to eliminate the tricks our minds attempt to play on us to get us to accept or justify why we haven’t reached a goal. They received help learning how to develop accountability, and you can as well!

Accountability. How did such a great concept get such a negative reputation? Inefficient leaders, managers, and excuse makers have wrapped it into a veil of negativity and used it as the enforcer of responsibility. When you decide to create your own success, accountability becomes a central part of the equation. In order to master the component of accountability, you need first a system to hold yourself accountable but also a confidant, coach, mentor or someone you trust who has interest in your success.

I believe in coaching and accountability so much that at United Real Estate we offer 12 months of coaching through our JumpStart training program. It is a part of our franchise ownership culture that allows us to exponentially grow each year as our operators commit to bi-annual conferences, bi-weekly accountability and coaching sessions known as our Broker Amplified series.

I am proud to announce that I will be adding a new program for experienced agents entitled “Amplified Selling”. I will be personally conducting regional sessions across the United States sharing proven methods to help agents increase their incomes and show them how to build the lifestyle they desired when they made the decision to enter into real estate. Freedom is realized when you have the ability to do what you are supposed to do. Everyone who achieved great success had help. During Amplified Selling, I will review what you need to know to raise the level of your success, the energy in your daily life and how to enhance all of your relationships to develop a very productive real estate business.

The first sessions will be held May 16 in Louisville, KY followed by May 17 in Lexington, KY with more locations to be announced.

 

All the best,

United Real Estate

Leading In or Through A Desert

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Recently, I attended a real estate leadership conference hosted by Brad Inman and his Inman organization. The conference was by invitation only for real estate leaders across the United States and was branded Inman Disconnect in the Desert as there were no name badges or noted hierarchy, and was held in the desert of Palm Springs. To begin, Brad Inman did a tremendous job of setting the tone so the egos of executives whose organizations compete with each other would be set aside, and attendees could have an open discussion on topics that are of importance to, not only the real estate industry, but also the socio-economic future of our country.

The premise of the conference was to gather industry thought leaders and have them openly discuss concerns that many have with the transparency of the real estate transaction, appropriate standards for REALTOR® members, commitments to improving local communities and the lack of available affordable housing, to name 4 of the 12 issues discussed. I personally have not been to a conference that I was not responsible for putting on or speaking at in some time, so the ability to just attend and participate as a guest, along with great weather in March, made it enjoyable. As an observer and ongoing student of not only business principles but of human nature, it was easy to see that there were two types of disconnects that were occurring. One being the verb usage – where you “disengage”, isolate or separate yourself from an activity or a thought process. The other, disconnect the noun, which we hear too often from large companies about their customers or a government and its citizens who are “disconnected” from the realities of their individual needs and desires.

I witnessed both, but it is the disconnect from what customers and clients want from their leaders in real estate, and what the leaders take a stand on, that I’ll briefly write about. Prior to the event, Inman polled its large online audience to ask them questions about what their concerns are for the housing industry and what they have witnessed their leadership get involved with. Here are two example questions and the answers:

What are the biggest social and economic issues affecting the real estate industry right now?

Out of 22 possible answers; affordable housing received the largest percentage of votes with 38.98%

However, when asked What social and economic issues has your leadership taken a stand on?

Again with the same 22 possible answers only 8.87% of respondents responded with the answer of affordable housing.

That disconnect is troubling as there are not enough meaningful conversations happening about the construction of new affordable housing. As per realtor.com, in March of 2018, the median listing price is up 8%, number of days on the market is down 7% and active listings for sale are down 8% over the year. It’s even worse when you look behind the data and discover that it is mostly homes priced over $350,000 that are being newly listed for sale. The price of homes for entry level housing is increasing at a faster pace and continues to outpace wage growth. It is beginning to look like a desert of doubt for many individuals wanting to own part of their American dream and purchase their first home.

There was no shortage of quality leaders attending the conference as it pertains to the active role they have towards their company’s goals. Good leadership is about influencing individuals to move and take action on the way people think about what is achievable, desirable and also necessary. Those leadership traits tied together determine the direction of a business, an association, government entity or society. We need more leaders taking an active role to influence change on how we are addressing affordable housing for a growing population. Please view one of the previous posts on this topic.

To read more about the topics of discussion at the Inman Disconnect Conference visit here

All the best,

United Real Estate

Will The Lack of Inventory Be the Real Estate Agent’s Downfall?

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Sales, like many high income potential careers, has always been competitive. In the residential real estate industry, where the value of homes sold is expected to exceed $2.5 trillion in 2018, market conditions are going to contribute to competitiveness for both real estate agents and homebuyers alike to reach their goals. For the first time, that I am aware of, there are more active Realtors than there are active listings to begin a new year. (See graph below. Data from realtor.com and NAR monthly membership report.)

The number of Realtors is slightly down from the peak of real estate market in 2006, but the inventory levels continue to decrease. We are now entering the 11th straight year of single family home construction being at historically low levels. (See graph – info from Census Bureau)

This decade of low activity in single family home construction is now affecting the 4+ million millennials who will continue to turn 31 (current average age of first time homebuyer) every year for the next 10 years. Prices will continue to rise and increase at a higher annual rate than wages. The good news is that unemployment is down, but wages are not growing at the same pace as housing prices. The projection for an 8% increase in 2018 of single family construction still leaves a big shortage and is lower than the actual building that occurred during the 1980 recession when unemployment was at 7.5% and would grow to 10%.

While financial advisors debate whether a home is a good investment, I’ll end the argument for them – it is. The median net worth of 65 year olds in this country is $194K, if you take out the equity in their home that drops to $43K. More importantly, the house is not a commodity, it’s a home that gives people freedom and is a part of the majority of American’s idea of living the dream. New business entrants need to enter the discussion with local and national government agencies on how to get more single family entry level homes built. That is currently not happening.

Knowing the competitive landscape, what should you do as a real estate professional who wants to grow their income in 2018? A massive amount of money has been invested in companies looking to change the dynamics of the real estate relationships between consumers and agents, and brokerages and agents. The quality and sources for accurate housing data for consumers continues to improve and is becoming easier to access. The consumer with the iPhone is in charge. But who will own the relationship to assist them with the biggest and most complicated investment in their life? It should remain the local, micro market expert. Potential homebuyers and sellers will do a lot of research, however, research doesn’t equate to knowledge and taking action to buy or sell.

What agents need to do immediately is have an aggressive plan to market themselves on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter), as well as through traditional online sources, and take massive action to build their local brand. If they wait, others will take advantage of their lethargy and position themselves as the go-to source for navigating the home purchase, and in the best scenario they charge the agent a 35+% referral fee. The worst case scenario is the new entrants keep them as their real estate customer. Forget the noisy discussions amongst the largest brands about who is going to own the real estate data. The reality is that agents who have owned the real estate consumer relationships have up to three years to make a commitment to establish themselves as the micro market expert and own their database. Who is going to succeed in the low inventory/high tech world? The agents who build, own and invest in building their brand reputation, will remain the trusted source.

This is your road map. The question for agents to ask themselves knowing this to be the true path is: Who Do You Want to Be in Real Estate?

5-4-3-2-1, Go!

All the best in investing in yourself!

 

Viva United

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I want to personally thank all of our coast-to-coast attendees, our sponsors, brokers and agents from our host city, the great speakers and the United corporate staff who made the 2018 United Real Estate Convention a high-energy, impactful event! There is no question that United is a company filled with passionate, driven individuals who are willing to take action to improve their business, improve the lives of our families and the communities we serve.

We strive as a company to be different – and that starts with the relationship we have with our agents. We partner with our agents to not only sell real estate, but to help them create a lifestyle that is based on who they want to be. Other companies have focused their training by asking “What do you want to do (in sales)?”  This question revolves entirely around a financial number. A better way to ask this question is to say, “Who do you want to be?” and then build a business and plan around the answer.

Determining who you want to be and developing yourself will put you on the one true path to long-term success. In the 24/7-connected world of iPhones and social media, the entrepreneurs who will prosper are those who are sincere, trusted and liked. Being authentic and true is an important part of that equation. So, start taking action towards who you want to be, be genuine, and the rest will fall into place.

To quote Mel Robbins, our Viva United Keynote Speaker: “If I have a problem that can be solved with action, I don’t have a problem.”

Next year’s convention is in Nashville, Tennessee – and it’s one you won’t want to miss. We will continue to raise the energy level of the event and the growth opportunities for our brokers and agents. Look for pictures and videos to be posted soon to recapture the fun!

All the best,

United Real Estate

Tax Changes and How to Increase Your Sales in 2018!

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While attending the National Association of REALTORS® (N.A.R.) conference this past November in Chicago, there was an air of uncertainty about housing that I have not seen since 2007 when it became evident that the housing crisis was real.  By the end of 2008, the Case-Shillar housing price index reported its largest price drop in its history. Housing prices in most urban and suburban areas struggled to recapture their value before starting to rebound in 2013.

The theme of the 2017 N.A.R. conference, “The Sky’s the Limit”, focused on raising attendees’ real estate careers to higher levels.  With a pending massive tax legislation being proposed, the idea of raising your income in 2018 was an immediate challenge to envision. This time, the uncertainty at the major real estate conference of the year was not about the financial stability of households, the economy, or the quality of mortgage underwriting.  It was legislation proposing the elimination of mortgage interest and property tax deductions. These deductions have helped to promote and incentivize homeownership, helping millions of families realize the American dream of owning their own home. Eliminating those deductions completely would have a major negative impact on housing markets across the United States.

Credit is certainly due to the N.A.R., as their efforts helped impact the decisions of congress. The deductions stayed in the tax reform that passed into law. However, there are now limitations that affect certain areas more than others. Specifically, high tax states such as California, New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, where it is estimated that 30% of homeowners pay more than $10,000 annually in property taxes. The limitation for interest deductions on mortgages above $750,000 will give pause to buyers in the luxury market, and the elimination of the interest deduction on home equity lines combined with the maximum mortgage deductions will also affect individuals who are considering buying a second home. If you are already close to the $750,000 mortgage cap on your primary residence, buying a second home will not have the same benefit of ownership, as the additional interest and property deductions would be eliminated and not tax deductible on that new residence. You also are less likely to take out an equity loan for a down payment on a vacation home.

How local real estate markets will be affected by the new law remains to be seen. What is clear for 2018 is a universal agreement amongst economists that there will be a modest, at best, increase in the number of home sales. This means more competition for real estate buyers trying to purchase an affordable home and an increase in competition amongst REALTORS to build their client base.

What will it take to grow your income in 2018? First, you will need to become an expert. Not an expert in your entire city, but an expert in a micro-market. Real estate consumers will do their research and will want to work with someone they like and trust. That trust will be gained in 2018 by agents who position themselves as micro-market experts, not generalists. Second, develop the thinking of an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur in real estate is not only a business model, it is a mindset. You need a mindset of positivity, growth, and personal accountability in 2018 to raise your income.

To learn more about the 2018 market, micro-markets, and developing a mindset of growth, please view my Facebook live interview with RealTrends at the N.A.R. conference.

https://www.facebook.com/realtrends/videos/10154962768797927/

Best wishes for growth in 2018!

The ABC’s of Having a Great Start to Your New Year!

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The chance to start anew makes the New Year’s holiday unique for almost everyone. New Year’s is not centered on a historical event, a memorial occasion or a religious remembrance. It is about the beginning of a new calendar. The fresh new calendar and end of year celebrations, spurs millions to rethink their opportunities in life. If you are one of the millions of people who made a New Year’s resolution and want to start off right to achieve your goals this year, here are the ABC’s of simplifying the process to crush 2018!

A – Acceptance.  In order to get where you want to go, you have to accept the realities of your current situation. If you do not start with your current truth, the odds are against you achieving your future goals. It is important to have a bold and exciting vision for the New Year so you are continuously reminded that success is worth the journey.  However without accepting the complete truth of your current status, the New Year goals will soon be replaced with the realization of the difficulty in change. If you want to lose weight, then you must step on the scale to see your starting point. If you are in sales and your goal is to double your income, then you must look to see the potential clients you should reach out to in the New Year. Eliminate a potential downfall by recognizing the facts and accepting your starting point, whether positive or negative.

B – Belief.  It is very seldom in life that we accomplish anything more than what we believe we can achieve or deserve. Belief is the foundation of all religious faiths.  It is central to our accomplishments that we believe that regardless of the difficulties ahead, there are in fact better days ahead. If you create goals and accept your starting point, then you must develop a process that reminds you each day to move forward and reach your goal. Forget the naysayers, the biggest critic you have is you. In order to reach your true potential and crush your goals, you must stop your own negative thinking and believe in yourself.  Start each day with the affirmation, “I deserve this success.” Follow up with a visual image of what you are striving for in 2018 that is printed out and in front of you each day as a meaningful reminder of why it’s important to believe in yourself.

C – Comfortable. If you are comfortable in your current situation, you will continue to justify your actions and be part of the 90+% of the population that does not achieve their New Year goals. If you allow yourself to be comfortable with the status quo, you will prevent yourself from taking the necessary actions to achieve your goal and become okay with your past self. You will justify your actions and rationalize why you didn’t reach your goal. Life should be lived with an attitude of abundance to wake up each day working towards achieving a big dream. We become who we desire, by taking action every day until those positive actions become habits. Whatever you want to accomplish that is new in 2018 will require change. Change is difficult because doing new things is uncomfortable. The key to success is committing to new action items.  You will reach success when you transform actions that were once uncomfortable into actions that are now comfortable. No one is immediately comfortable getting up early to go to the gym or in a sales position is eager to call on new prospects.

The key to crushing your goals this year is to take action. Perform those new activities for 90 days and you will discover what was once uncomfortable will become comfortable and you now have built a habit to reach your goals.

Happy New Year!

Determine Who You Want To Be And Grow Your Business Exponentially

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We recently completed our annual business planning workshops where over 1,000 United® Real Estate agents participated and I am extremely enthusiastic about their future. Those in attendance ranged from recent graduates to experienced individuals switching careers to long-term real estate professional. Each attendee was introduced to the first component of successful planning – knowing your why and who you want to become.

It does not matter where you are in your professional career. Every day we see images on social media and read about people who accomplish what we classify as “incredible achievements.” It’s important to note that before they achieved success, every one of them took the same initial step – they decided who they wanted to be, what they wanted to do and that they were going to create their success.

Choosing to create your success today is a deciding moment that will change the course of your life. The path you take and the decisions you make will have an effect on those you meet along the way and, most importantly, be the architecture that drives your end result. Write down today’s date; take a picture of yourself as a reminder and memento that you can show others when your deciding moment happened. Despite the changes in technology, the global economy or your own local real estate community, concentrating on becoming who you want to be will allow you to achieve what you need to be successful. With that stable foundation, the changes you encounter in life will not affect who you are or who you will be.

Recently, United Real Estate was highlighted in a documentary series by trusted real estate source, Real Trends, on How to Grow Your Business. What began as a technology testimonial turned into a more in-depth overview of United. The shift in focus of the documentary occurred because of a common theme evident in our office owners’ and agents’ testimonials which demonstrated that United is more about the culture and the people of a growing company, rather than just the company objectives and strategies. Motivation comes from being empowered to become who you want to be. Once you discover who that is, what you need to accomplish your goals will become evident and you will look forward to the progress you make each week.

Click Here to enjoy the brief video documentary that is also available to view on our United Real Estate YouTube channel.

Thank you to all our local brokers and managers that helped make these successful, life-changing workshops a reality. When your dream is bigger than you are, you can either give up or seek help.  At United Real Estate, we are here to help!

Best wishes that you may always dream big!