Have You Become Afraid of Risk?

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It’s impossible, said pride.  It’s risky, said experience. It’s pointless, said reason.  Give it a try, whispered the Heart. The month of June is traditionally the top month for closed transactions in the real estate industry.  As the school year ends, families are moving into their new homes to fit the lifestyle they are seeking for the next period of their life.  It is also a time where graduates of all ages and school levels are faced with making decisions that will affect their future. In 2016 getting into the school they desire or launch their career will be dramatically affected by the number and the quality of people they are connected to.

As an entrepreneurial agent, how successful you will be in building the business you want will also be determined by the amount of people you are connected with.  How many potential customers are you connecting with that think of you first when they think about real estate?  Unlike a typical individual who is managing a budget, as an entrepreneur you are managing a profit and loss statement.  As an entrepreneur, you must perform daily and your scorecard for year end is whether or not you made more money. Unlike an employee annual performance review, the result is always crystal clear.  You connected with more potential customers and you either made more money or you did not.

Unfortunately, too many people either seek a short cut to achieve their biggest goals and choose a path that takes the least amount of effort, while others never take a risk or fully commit to their business venture. Entrepreneurs make progress a priority. They strive to take action to improve their ability to attract new customers every day. Successful agents know if they don’t act on their idea to reach out to a new FSBO, an expired listing, immediately and continuously follow up on buyer leads, and meet someone new and friend them on Facebook, another agent will and they will lose the customer.  Often sales people will not reach out of their comfort zone because of a fear of failing. The fear of failing becomes too risky and they stay in the status quo. Successful entrepreneurs look at risk with a completely different point of view.

“Entrepreneurs may fear failure, but they are more afraid of what life would be like if they don’t follow through.” – Tony Robbins

The thought of not reaching your goal as an entrepreneur is a more frightening idea to contemplate than failing.  Successful people know they will fail, but they also know they have to make another call, see another potential client. They know each interaction with a potential customer both positive and negative will be a learning experience that will challenge them to improve their skill set to improve their experience for their next potential customers.

When I was 17 years old, I drove across the country with $300 in cash, no cell phone or credit card, to spend two weeks touring the coast of California staying in cheap motels and camping out.  As I retell that story now, I am often told I was crazy and that was too risky.  Granted some youthful risk taking is misguided, however, to be a successful entrepreneur you are going to have to take risks.  If you have the right service or product along with commitment, those risks you take will dramatically change your life for the better.  All you have to do is decide to take that giant action to realize your biggest dreams and get started.

Best wishes for a wonderful summer listening to your heart and taking the risk that will allow it to help build your business!

Peter Giese

President & Co-Founder

United Real Estate

United Real Estate Group to be Featured on CBS’ “Undercover Boss,” Friday May 20th

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CEO Dan Duffy experiences front-line look into 90-year-old brand

United Real Estate Group, a fast-growing real estate franchise company that operates multiple brands nationwide and in select countries internationally, will be featured on the popular CBS reality series, “Undercover Boss.” The show will be broadcast at 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT on Friday, May 20. This will be the first time a real estate franchise has been featured on the popular program.

United®, established in 1925, continues to grow dramatically and be recognized as an innovative leader in unique, specialized real estate marketing. United Real Estate Group operates under two distinct brands, with United Real Estate focusing on urban residential markets and United Country Real Estate focusing on lifestyle and country markets. As United celebrates its 90th anniversary, CEO Dan Duffy was a prime candidate for “Undercover Boss” as he examines company performance, execution and culture at the local office level. The series has perfected the ability to uncover what is really going on inside some of America’s most iconic companies.

In the episode, Duffy worked directly with affiliated real estate agents and auctioneers.

“With 6,000 affiliated real estate and auction professionals across the U.S., Central America, Mexico and Australia, it is often a challenge to know how services are being delivered to our clients in market and to know each of the amazing individuals that make this organization so successful,” Duffy said. “The opportunity presented by ‘Undercover Boss’ was an extraordinary chance to do just that.”

“Undercover Boss,” in its seventh season, is a two-time Emmy Award-winning reality series that follows high-level executives as they slip secretly into the rank-and-file of their own organizations. Each week, a different leader anonymously joins a team member and works with them as they do their job, offering insights into the inner workings of their operation.

“Supporting the needs of the people and communities in which United operates has always been part of our core values at United. This experience reminded me how important it is for companies to not only provide exceptional services to their customers, but also to ensure everyone working with the company is respected and provided the resources to achieve their goals,” said Duffy. ‘Undercover Boss’ provided us a behind-the-scenes view into our 90-year-old brand. The experience was amazing and emotionally powerful.”

About United Real Estate Group

United Real Estate Group, operating the United Country Real Estate and United Real Estate brands, addresses the unique markets they serve, lifestyle, country and urban, with exclusive marketing, technology and training solutions. Together, the United brands support nearly 500 offices and 6,000 real estate professionals across four continents with a unique, comprehensive marketing program that includes one of the largest portfolios of real estate websites, the largest internal real estate marketing services company, an extensive buyer database of more than 650,000 opt-in buyers, and regional, national and international advertising programs for properties. For more information about United Country Real Estate or United Real Estate, please visit www.UnitedCountry.com or www.UnitedRealEstate.com.

Thank you for attending the 2016 United Real Estate Convention!

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We had an amazing time in New Orleans and I want to thank all of our brokers, agents, speakers and exhibitors who helped make this our best convention yet! Not only was the convention fun, fantastic and fast-paced, we also changed lives. “It’s not what we get, but who we become and what we contribute that gives meaning to our lives.” – Tony Robbins

Coming off such a great week I’m already looking forward to seeing everyone at next year’s convention in Austin. And for those of you who weren’t able to attend, you will want to make certain you join us next year! Now, a recap of our time in New Orleans –

First, New Orleans was a great host city! The weather was fantastic which made for a perfect charity golf outing and for walking around the city to enjoy the incredible food that is a “NOLA” staple.

The golf outing held on Thursday was our first tournament as an official Corporate Sponsor of Autism Speaks. It couldn’t have gone better – our participants not only had fun but we also reached our goal of raising $10,000. As a company, we look forward to supporting Autism Speaks throughout the year as they continue to positively impact the lives of countless individuals and their families.

Friday was our first official day of convention and I thank everyone for enthusiastically joining us during the morning session and attending the educational breakout sessions held throughout the day. Also, a special thanks to our keynote speaker, Bernice Ross, who taught us that home sellers typically list with the last agent they have seen. Let’s embrace technology and implement video to connect with potential clients, but also remember we need to be visible, active and known as the source for all consumer real estate needs in the communities we serve.

On the second day of sessions we started the morning with our amazing keynote speaker – a successful author, speaker and entrepreneur, Mel Robbins. Mel was able to personalize her experience to all of us who are also building a business. She not only gave us the motivation to go out and positively change our lives, but also the knowledge. As you look at going out and meeting new clients, remember the 5-second rule or fear will keep you from moving forward. An attendee summed up her presentation the best by describing it as “life changing.”

Convention concluded with our awards banquet, celebration and live auction, where United Real Estate demonstrated that we stand by our guiding principles and are not “benchwarmers” when it comes to living up to them. During the live auction, we were able to raise over $70,000 to support Burnell Cotlon, his family and their commitment to rebuild their community in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans – an area is still in need of basic infrastructure. We, as a United group, made a difference and then concluded the banquet by recognizing our award-winning agents and closing the night on the dance floor with the New Orleans sound of the Royal Dukes Band.

Thanks again for making our company and convention great!

 

Peter Giese

President and Co-Founder, United Real Estate

 

P.S. Browse through our convention photo album on our Facebook page and feel free to tag yourself!

United Real Estate 2016 Convention Feature

One of the most significant benefits of being a member of United Real Estate is the annual convention. After all, there’s no event more important where you can enjoy training, networking, and a beautiful location all packed in just a few days!

This year’s convention is February 18-20, 2016 at the New Orleans Hilton Riverside. And if you haven’t yet registered, the time to do so is now so you don’t miss out on any of the benefits this convention has to offer!

Not familiar with the benefits? Here are just 5 of the countless reasons to join us in February!

 Ongoing Training

 As an agent or broker, investing time into skill development and learning new things is essential to your success. At the URE Convention, you can do just that!

Our days are packed with training sessions and speakers with expertise in a wide variety of relevant topic areas from technology to motivational speakers and beyond. There’s something for everyone to learn and by joining us, you can enjoy a weekend packed with the information you need for success.

 Notable Keynote Speakers

 From powerful motivational speaker Mel Robbins to technology strategist Andrew Dorn and United CEO Dan Duffy, the URE Convention is packed with keynote speakers designed to deliver actionable advice and support to attendees.

Just some of the many speakers you have to look forward to aside from Mel, Andrew, and Dan include:

  • Bernice Ross – Bernice Ross is a Professor of Psychology and Master Certified Coach with over 30 years of experience in real estate. The founder and CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, Bernice is a coach and trainer you won’t want to miss!
  • Joeann Fossland – Known for her personal coaching skills and expertise, Joeann Fossland has over two decades of experience helping professionals uncover and follow their passion.
  • Brenda Thompson – With over 15 years of experience in real estate sales, marketing, and management, Brenda offers a diverse array of experience to agents everywhere. At the conference, this named Best Realtor in Dallas by D Magazine is ready to show other agents how to achieve the same level of success.

 Strategic Partners, Vendors, and Sponsors

 Want to learn how to win more listings, find new buyers and increase commission rates, all while lowering your costs? If so, a visit with our strategic partners, vendors, and sponsors will help you do just that!

Just some of the companies that will be present at this year’s convention include:

  • eMerge
  • Supreme Lending
  • Enhanced Marketing Solutions
  • Rekey Locksmith
  • American Home Shield
  • Zip Falcon
  • Dee Sign
  • Logo Spectrum
  • realtor.com

 Networking Opportunities

Today, networking often dictates who succeeds and who doesn’t. And at the URE Convention, you can join with hundreds of other agents to expand your network and collaborate with professionals that you will grow to know both in and out of the workplace.

Ready to Register for Your Spot at This Year’s Convention?

 The convention is months away but registration is open now! So are you ready to claim your spot amongst hundreds of new friends you’ll make?

If so, register now or visit www.UREConvention.com to learn more about what to expect at this year’s event! We look forward to seeing you there!

Did You Make a New Year’s Resolution or Did You Make a Commitment?

Each January as I head out to my gym, and like all other gyms experience, I see the same trend that begins each year as they all have one thing in common. They are all filled with new members trying to fulfill a New Year’s resolution of becoming healthier, losing weight, or getting back into shape. In many areas you don’t have to go to the gym to see this, you can just look out the window and see the influx of new joggers, walkers or cyclists. All the health clubs and gyms will also have something in common once March comes around. There aren’t as many people in them anymore. If you wait until summer and revisit again you will find that gyms are populated with what is known as the “regulars.” The same individuals at the same time of the day, month after month, year after year. The “regulars” like it when the year progresses as more exercise equipment is available without a wait. Unfortunately for most people their bad habits quickly overtake their New Year’s ambition and the status quo reasserts itself and they stop their exercise plan. Clearly the time honored tradition of making a New Year’s resolution is not a process for fulfilling a goal. The New Year’s resolution by itself lacks personal accountability, which is essential to achieve a goal.

“In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.” ~ Tony Robbins

When I speak about accountability, I am really talking about commitment. Instead of following the tradition of making a onetime resolution, why not follow a proven pattern of success and instead turn an annual resolution into a commitment day. One personal belief I like to share with people is, “tell me what you are committed to and I’ll tell you what you have a chance to accomplish.” The commitment is the starting point, not the guarantee of success as you will need to continue to grow and evolve as you mature and the world changes. Now this is where the accountability becomes real.  That commitment day is not a onetime event.  That commitment day is with you each day of the week all year! That commitment to take action becomes who you actually are as an individual, who you are as a contributor to your community and who you are as a business professional.

Taking one big action of joining a gym, taking professional or personal development classes, or signing up to volunteer to support a cause you believe in is not a bad thing.  However, to change your future and reach your goals of better health, financial freedom or even achieving happiness takes an understanding that every decision you make to do something or not do something will affect your future.  Now I am a firm believer that it is never too late to change and to make a positive difference in this world we are all part of, but why wait and put off living life to its fullest. The reality is the longer you wait the harder it will be, simply because you have built daily habits for an extended period of time and habits are hard to change. The good news is good habits can replace bad habits with commitment.

At United Real Estate we have a passion and commitment to make a difference and help all of our agents and brokers change their future. Needing more insight into how to make those changes so you can enjoy an abundant life and rewarding real estate career? Then I highly recommend you take one big action, and register for our annual convention in New Orleans. Take a look at our agenda atwww.ureconvention.com and I am certain you will find it has the right amount of motivation and quality education seminars that will get you committed to grow your business and grow personally.

Thanks again! I hope to see all of you in New Orleans.

Peter Giese

Prepare Your Home for Winter

Now that the weather is only turning colder, it’s undeniable that winter is upon us. And just like you take steps once spring arrives to prepare your home for warmer months ahead, you should do the same now for the cold winter that’s about to set in.

But, what steps should you take as you prepare for cold weather? There are important measures for both your home and lawn to ensure everything is in top condition once warm weather returns, all of which we’re going to reveal below. Let’s get started!

Get Your Home Ready: 5 Important Tips

Curious what steps are most important to take as it begins to get cold outside? These 5 are a great place to get started:

  1. Inspect Your Heating System – Heating systems tend to break down on the coldest days of the year! You should pay a technician to inspect your furnace or heat pump well ahead of the cold weather. This can identify any preexisting issues and ensure your system is in tip-top shape.
  2. Inspect the Roof – Missing or damaged shingles can leak and cause issues as snow accumulates or melts. Be sure to check your roof before it begins to snow to ensure you’re prepared!
  3. Inspect the Chimney – If you live in a home with a fireplace, an inspection is in order! Get the chimney and vents cleaned to prevent fires or carbon monoxide poisoning in the home.
  4. Caulk Around Windows and Doors – If there are any gaps in caulking wider than the width of a nickel, you should reapply caulk. Use silicone caulk for exterior use because it won’t shrink and cause future gaps (or be affected by the elements).
  5. Clean Gutters – Leaves or other debris in your gutters can block water and cause damage to your roof or siding, not to mention cause ice dams. Clean them yourself or pay a professional to clean and inspect them to ensure they’re functioning properly.

Get Your Lawn Ready: 5 Important Tips

Now that you’ve handled preparation inside your home, it’s important to turn your attention to the lawn! Here are 5 additional tips to follow to ensure it’s healthy when the snow melts:

  1. Mulch Leaves Instead of Raking – Drop the rake! Mulching dry leaves in your yard is better than ranking because the small pieces will fall amidst grass blades and nourish your yard over the winter.
  2. Mulch – Mulch protects plants against cold temperatures. Use it around trees and shrubs after the first freeze by piling it between two and four inches deep around important plants in your yard.
  3. Clear Decaying/Dead Branches – Do any of your bushes or trees have decaying or dead branches? It’s important to remove them to keep all of your plants healthy.
  4. Remove Annuals and Mulch Perennials – Annuals will die as temperatures drop but perennials won’t! As such you should remove annuals but mulch perennials after the first freeze as they will often survive and regrow in the spring.
  5. Turn Off Exterior Faucets and Drain Sprinklers – Exterior faucets should be turned off and drained to prevent water in the pipes from freezing and bursting. You should also call a professional to drain your sprinkler system if you have one.

Are You Getting Ready to Sell Your Home?

If you’re currently preparing to sell your home, taking the steps above to winterize your home is a great selling feature for buyers!

If you want to take advantage of a professional team and decades of experience in home selling across the country, the team at United Real Estate can help! Contact a member of our team today to discuss your unique buying or selling needs!

8 Tips for Top Holiday Safety

The holidays are upon us and while the holidays are full of decorating, fun, and cheer, there’s one thing that you must be mindful of: Holiday safety.

After all, it’s important to keep your home free from fire and injury as you deck the halls! So from the family at United Real Estate to your own, here are 8 tips you should be mindful of to keep your home safe (and happy) for the holidays.

  1. Inspect the Lights – The lights you use around your home have likely been in your family for years. But you need to inspect them annually for frayed cords, cracks in lamps, or loose connections. This will help you keep the lights safe and functional for years to come.
  1. Turn Off Lights – It can be tempting to leave decorations plugged in when you leave your home or go to sleep, but you shouldn’t. Always switch them off to prevent fire.
  1. Choose a Fresh Tree (and take care of it properly) – If you buy a fresh tree each year for your home, choose a tree that’s fresh. This will help prevent ignition should a fire occur. Likewise, you should keep the tree watered and away from candles for additional protection.
  1. Check Lighting Certification – When you purchase any lighting fixtures or extension cords, check the certification. It should have the accreditation of an organization like CSA International, UL, or ELT to ensure the products are both safe and efficient.

 

  1. Use Only One Extension Cord – Plugging extension cords into each other can be a hazard. Use only one cord at a time and ensure it has plenty of room to reach the outlet without stretching (this will prevent tripping hazards).

 

  1. Hang Outdoor Lights With Care – Outdoor lights are exposed to the elements so you must use additional precautions. Use insulated tape or plastic clips to hold lights in place and keep electrical connectors away from metal gutters and the ground.

 

  1. Always Use the Correct Ladder – It can be tempting to use a chair or any old ladder if you’re decorating in a hurry, but you shouldn’t! Use a safe, certified ladder for all jobs to prevent injury.

 

  1. Clear Your Clutter – With so many decorations going up, it’s common to accumulate clutter around your home. But you should keep everything out of the way to prevent injury and to keep your home beautiful for the holidays!

 

Wishing You a Joyful Holiday Season

On behalf of the entire team at United Real Estate, we wish you a joyful (and safe) beginning to your holiday season!

 

If you’re planning to purchase or sell a home, the team at United can help! Contact us today to take advantage of decades of expertise and a nationwide network of professionals!

What Does a United Real Estate Franchise Look Like?

If you’ve thought about joining United Real Estate, you might be wondering what a typical United Real Estate franchise looks like. Many of the offices have quickly risen in their local real estate markets as a centralized resource for agent training and development.

By focusing exclusively on agent recruiting, training, and development, our franchises focus on helping each professional maximize income while receiving support to develop branding, training, technology, marketing, and lead generation to sustain growth over time.

 

Providing Guidance for Success-Driven Agents

If you’re looking to boost your real estate earnings and prestige in the industry, United Real Estate can help. The franchise is headed by a powerful team of brokers, giving you the support necessary to promote success.

Just some of the key figures you’ll receive support from include:

  • Dan Duffy – As CEO, Dan has worked with the United team since 2006 to offer an innovative approach and strategies to agents. This creates a competitive advantage designed to help agents at a local level.
  • Peter Giese – The President of URE, Peter offers both national and local expertise in the real estate industry that furthers the capabilities of United Real Estate Premier.
  • Dave Dickey – The Chief Technology Officer, Dave provides the newest office technology solutions to our offices around the world.

While there are other key management figures, these three individuals form a strong foundation for the organization.

 

How Training at United Real Estate Works

United invests millions into helping agents grow and develop. As such, you can count on receiving the resources necessary to succeed, including:

  • Strategic planning sessions
  • Membership access to RealEstateCoach.com, a platform with articles, radio shows, a training library, and other resources for your success
  • Live and recorded webinars
  • An invitation to the United Real Estate Annual Convention, a prime event to network and receive further education
  • Technology training to utilize the powerful technological innovations United offers to agents

 

Contact Us to Get Started

If you’ve been looking to join United Real Estate either as an office or as an agent, now is the time.  With live and web-based training, advanced support and no fees, this is the perfect resource for your future development and needs.

To learn more about opportunities available with United Real Estate, visit GrowWithUnited.com.

Partner Feature: American Home Shield

When you purchase your home, homeowners insurance is a must. But, what about a home warranty?American Home Shield

A home warranty is a great choice for most homeowners as it covers the repair or replacement of major home systems including HVAC, electrical, plumbing, large appliances, and pools, amongst others. This will give you peace of mind (often for a one-year period before you must renew) that your home is covered should anything break down.

If you’re currently considering a home warranty, American Home Shield is a leader in home warranties and a valued partner of United Real Estate. Check out just some of the major benefits of choosing them for your own warranty below!

 

A Brief History of American Home Shield

Since 1971, American Home Shield (AHS) has been providing home warranties to homeowners just like you. The company serves the needs of homeowners through their network of qualified repair professionals that are ready to help whenever necessary.

Most AHS customers use their plan twice per year, giving them the support and flexibility necessary to keep their homes running. Through their relationship with the ServiceMaster company, AHS offers premier services from well-known names like Terminix, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic, and Amerispec (amongst others) to homes across the nation.

 

Major Benefits of Using American Home Shield

There are major benefits of trusting your home to AHS over other potential organizations, including:

  • 24/7 Service – Home repairs don’t happen on a predictable schedule. Open 24/7, AHS is always there when you need them.
  • 90% Responsive – 90% of the time AHS assigns contractors to homes within just 15 minutes, meaning you receive the service you need (and quickly)!
  • 93% Effective – AHS has fulfilled 93% of customer service requests in the past three years. This guarantees they’ll provide the service promised when you need it most.

 

Learn More About American Home Shield for Your Needs

If you’ve been considering a home warranty, American Home Shield is a great resource.

Learn more about their services and pricing today to see if this is the right option to protect your important investment!

Improve Your Credit, Avoid These Things

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When you’re purchasing a home, your credit score matters. After all, your score will play a major role in whether or not you will get approved for a mortgage at a rate you can afford.

But, what if you need to improve your credit prior to applying for a mortgage? Many potential homeowners find themselves in this position and as such, need to know what to do (and what not to do) to boost their credit. And in this article, we discuss the top five mistakes to avoid when you’re looking to boost your credit. Let’s get started!

 

  1. Cancel Old Credit Cards/Request Limit Reductions

Did you know that 15% of your credit score is determined from the length of your credit history? It is and as such, cancelling old cards will make it seem as if you have more debt than you actually do (because your amount of available credit will decrease).

Relatedly, you shouldn’t request to decrease your limits either. Doing so will also make it appear as if you have more debt than you do, having the same impact as cancelling old cards.

 

  1. Staying Current on Only Some of Your Cards

We all have months where we must prioritize where we spend our money to pay off debts but you can’t fall behind on your cards! Approximately one third of your score is determined by whether or not you pay your cards on time and as such, it’s vital to stay current on every card.

 

  1. Having Too Much Credit

Was there a point in your life where you had to open credit cards to balance all of your purchases? Doing so may not seem like a big deal at the time but unfortunately it will influence your overall credit score.

If you have too much credit, you may be viewed as a risk because you could accumulate a significant amount of debt rather quickly. As such, you should avoid signing up for new cards (particularly impulse decisions at stores for discounts) since doing so will further jeopardize your chances of receiving an attractive mortgage.

 

  1. Maxing Out Credit Cards

You never want to reach your credit limits when managing your debt. After all, maxing out cards will negatively affect your credit, even if you’re staying current on your payments.

Don’t buy what you don’t need. Doing so will help you pay down the cards and manage your debt more effectively (especially when you’re looking to improve your credit score.

 

  1. Never Avoid Opening Cards or Securing Loans

Some individuals have the opposite problem than many others: They don’t have enough credit to build up their score. As such, it’s important to not fear cards or loans and instead, open and use them effectively.

For example, you may want to open one credit card for a store you shop at regularly. By using it on a frequent basis and paying it off each month, you’ll build credit that will give you a much better deal once you’re ready to purchase your home.

 

United Real Estate Can Help You Purchase Your Home

If you’re building credit in the hopes of purchasing your first or next home, the team at United Real Estate can help!

Since 1925, our team has worked across the United States to provide guidance, support, and expertise to homeowners just like you. Contact us to begin the search for your home, today!