Real Estate Agents

Are You Asking Great Sales Questions?

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It is with certainty I can state that the top sales professionals in any industry all have learned to become excellent at asking questions.  There is both an art and a science to asking questions.  The art of asking questions comes in the timing, delivery and all around presence the sales person has in communicating with their potential client. The science is about the type of questions they ask that are known to stimulate a different type of thinking in the person they are communicating with. Done correctly, a potential client can go from feeling satisfied with their current service or product to being curious about a new product or service to feeling that change is a must or they will be missing out on a new level of satisfaction.

When the product or new service delivers on the promise to the client, a true win/win scenario is experienced. The client gains something they were missing, and the company and sales person benefit by increasing their revenue and earnings. What many people fail to realize is that we are all in sales. It does not matter whether it is for a new job, a new business venture or dating that special someone; I have discovered that asking great questions will be the first step to place you on the right path to success. Asking yourself the right questions is a sales function that works equally as well for growing your business, building your career and achieving personal goals.

A vision of success is personal in nature and not everyone’s will look the same. The underlying truth is we were created to grow, and if we don’t grow then we are missing a basic human need.  The need for growth is built in us as much as our need for companionship and community.  We were never made to live on an island alone. We need relationships to survive and thrive and we also need to grow or we become stagnant. People will often become complacent because they claim they are satisfied when what they really are is uncomfortable with change. The world is always going to change and as we press forward with new technology and adapt to demographic shifts, the change will become more rapid. Satisfaction and dissatisfaction are states of mind that are influenced by the types of questions we are willing to open ourselves up to.

Are you asking great questions about your own business or life to reach your true potential and new levels of success? Top sales people don’t use any gimmicks or sales tactics to achieve success. They ask quality questions because they care about the businesses and individuals they seek to help. They enjoy selling because what they sell and how they sell is congruent with their values.

“If you ask quality questions, they will help you create a high-quality life” – John Maxwell

Where might you start with asking yourself quality questions? I like the question that sums up where you have been spending your dollars and time.

How much have you invested this year to grow your business and grow as an individual?

That investment is in both dollars and time.  Most people have already given up on their 2017 New Year’s resolutions. They did not invest the time and money to see them through. The most successful people significantly invest in themselves every year to grow their knowledge, grow their skills and grow their network. You are going to be around a long time, your success is worth more than an expensive watch, handbag or pair of shoes.

I am proud to announce that each year we have a wonderful opportunity for United Real Estate agents to make an investment in themselves that will pay for itself 10 times over. Early registration is now open to our agents for the 2018 United convention, Viva United!  For only $199, all United agents have the opportunity to be at an industry-leading event. The three day event will give our agents the knowledge they need for immediate growth and create a mindset that will motivate them to keep those growth commitments alive throughout the year.  Click here to register and learn more about United’s convention that will be held February 22-24, 2018, in Miami, Florida VivaUnitedRealEstate.com.

Viva United!

Peter

Light It Up Blue On April 2, 2017

  • Light It Up Blue - April 2, 2017

    Light It Up Blue - April 2, 2017

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One of the most difficult things to do in our modern connected world is find examples of an idea or a mission to unite individuals for a common purpose. It is much easier to find examples online and across traditional media outlets that highlight our differences as a society. In today’s world, we have the freedom to easily access more information than we have at any point in time. On a daily basis, we witness published ideas that match our own view of the world, but also ideas that might discount the opinions of others. There are very few social campaigns that people around the globe are willing to participate in while placing their differences aside to take action together to promote social awareness, tolerance, acceptance and hope.

One day a year through the work of Autism Speaks®, a charitable organization dedicated to autism advocacy, research, awareness and outreach programs, people across the world come together for a common goal. Nations, individuals and businesses across the globe unite to Light It Up Blue on April 2 to help raise awareness of the support to the cause that Autism Speaks provides, while providing a platform to contribute funding for future research. Last year over 11,000 buildings* across the globe participated in Light It Up Blue to show support for the tens of millions of people worldwide affected by autism.

The Light It Up Blue campaign kicks off April’s National Autism Awareness Month. This month represents the opportunity to promote autism awareness, acceptance and to draw attention to the tens of thousands facing an autism diagnosis each year. The Light It Up Blue campaign is a commitment to help raise funds for research and support to aid families throughout a child’s life after being diagnosed with autism.

  • According to the CDC, around 1 in 68 American children are diagnosed on the autism spectrum.*
  • Studies have shown that autism is four to five times more common among boys than girls. An estimated 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States.*
  • Autism costs a family $60,000 per year on average*
  • There is no medical test to diagnose autism or cure for autism*

When a child is diagnosed with autism, it means not only life-long challenges for them but also challenges for the parents and other family members to provide the care, therapies, educational needs and requirements that can assist with reducing symptoms and increasing skills and abilities. I am proud United® Real Estate has chosen Autism Speaks as its charity and contributes not only as a corporate sponsor but on an individual agent level as well. I have personally seen the life-changing difference that early intervention can make for someone diagnosed with autism. I am also proud of our offices and the thousands of United agents who donate a portion of each commission they earn to Autism Speaks. The voluntary donation from our agents makes an enormous difference and we are united in helping individuals in the autism community reach their full potential.

To find out how you can participate on April 2, visit AutismSpeaks.org/LIUB.  To learn more about United Real Estate’s ongoing support of Autism Speaks, contact your nearest United office by visiting UnitedRealEstate.com.

Let’s press on, united together, and Light It Up Blue!

Peter

*Source: AutismSpeaks.org

Unitedpalooza was an Epic Event!

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If you were at the 2017 United Real Estate Convention in Austin, Texas, you know the event lived up to its name! Unitedpalooza was an epic event that brought together like-minded individuals for entertainment, education, information, fun and life changing messages.

The late Jim Valvano, who rose to fame coaching North Carolina State to an NCAA National Men’s Basketball Championship and later as a broadcaster and proponent for cancer research, famously stated in one of his last speeches: “If you laugh, think and cry, that’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.” 

I’m always excited to witness our convention produce those types of emotions in our attendees. It is emotions that move us to take action to improve our businesses, improve our lives and improve our communities.  If you missed the convention, you missed a lot of great days filled with emotions that remind us why we do what we do. Starting with our charity golf tournament, the opening networking session featuring local Austin musicians, two full days of education sessions, and a high energy awards session and dance party, the convention had nonstop positive energy that created something special each day.

I personally wish to thank all of our staff, brokers, agents and sponsors who attended Unitedpalooza. I stated that this convention would be an industry leading event and our best convention yet and the feedback we received from attendees confirmed it was just that! Take some time to look through the photos and tag yourself, friends and office.

Charity Golf Event

https://www.facebook.com/pg/UnitedRE/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1758602047499977

Opening Night

https://www.facebook.com/pg/UnitedRE/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1758588364168012

Day 1

https://www.facebook.com/pg/UnitedRE/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1758571620836353

Day 2

https://www.facebook.com/pg/UnitedRE/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1758558964170952

Awards Celebration

https://www.facebook.com/pg/UnitedRE/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1752480961445419

You will not want to miss next year’s convention in Miami as we again raise the energy level of the event and the growth opportunities available to our brokers and agents. Be on the lookout for our 2018 convention theme and dates!

All the best,

Peter

5-4-3-2-1…Go!

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Writing unique weekly blogs is not always an easy task. You need a compelling topic with enough content to be meaningful to your audience. Recapping the United Real Estate convention held in Austin last week is difficult – it was not just a conference, but an event built around the idea that we are all different, but have the same growth needs. We can all find information online and through education courses. What we can’t find online is a human connection. If you miss an event like our convention, you miss out on the stories that move us as people to be more and do more.

The convention was designed to have the energy of a rock concert, with the comradery of family alongside you to ensure that you not only have fun, but are open to learning. Most real estate brands speak about expertise in selling some definition of lifestyle real estate. At United Real Estate, we have agents that excel and specialize in selling all types of properties and represent all segments of buyers. Our guiding values ensure that we have the interest of our clients at the forefront, to make certain we are the trusted advisors they desire and need to have on their side.

However, as a company we want to do more than that. We want to help all agents stop viewing real estate as a job and start thinking of the lifestyle they can create for their family by focusing on being an entrepreneur instead. Real estate agents, on average, are already working over 40 hours a week. Those hours should be viewed as owning and building your own business, not having a job!  As an entrepreneur, your top task is to grow your revenue. In real estate, this means generating and following up with potential new clients.

While there is not a singular way to be successful in real estate, there is only one way to ensure success – that is to start taking action. United Real Estate and our partners can teach you to generate leads and be a market expert in real estate. You have to believe you deserve a new level of success and invest in yourself and your business!

If you missed the convention this year, you not only missed the valuable opportunity of connecting with peers, but also great educational opportunities. To quote Mel Robbins, a leading expert on personal development and one of our convention presenters this year – “There’s only one thing standing between you and the life you have always wanted – and that’s YOU.”

Take the next step to being a successful entrepreneur and buy her new bestselling book, “The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work and Confidence with Everyday Courage.” In doing so, you will be armed with the skills to live your life with courage as a true entrepreneur. You can accomplish things most people won’t try and spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.

5-4-3-2-1…Go! See you all at our next convention in Miami, Florida!

All the best,

Peter

How To Gain The Most From The United Real Estate Convention

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During my career, I have had the great privilege of attending and actively participating in many sales conferences and real estate conventions.  However, the greatest privilege of all has been being part of the team at United Real Estate that plans and executes on a continuous mission to raise the quality of our annual event.  The team and I do this with the goal of maintaining an intimate feel that displays the enthusiasm that our staff and fast growing network of franchise owners and agents have for our company and its culture.

United Real Estate was created to build a modern, sophisticated real estate brokerage that not only places the real estate agent in the forefront of the consumer, but equips them with the tools, compensation model and backing of a company to win more business. Our motto of Find Your Freedom® governs our philosophy to treat our agents as entrepreneurs. Being a successful entrepreneur in the real estate industry requires doing things most agents won’t do so you can build a lifestyle that most won’t ever achieve. Find Your Freedom® means doing what you are supposed to do, not just what you want to do.  During this year’s Convention, you will be given the insight into what investments you need to make in your business in order to do what you are supposed to do – grow the numbers of clients you serve.

As a company, we have a “come as you are” spirit. We welcome and are proud of our diverse population of agents, which truly reflects the population of our great country. Come as you are also means to let others see your cracks. At conventions and awards celebrations there is often a shortage of humility and hardly ever a shortage of overconfidence on display. We each have strengths and weaknesses. If you are open about your “cracks”, you will find the speakers, staff and other attendees that will be willing to help you.

My convention advice to you is to be open, be positive, extend your hand in kindness and offer help to those who need it. They just might extend their hand back to help you get where you want to go.

Look forward to seeing you in Austin!

Peter

My 7 Essential Personality Traits for Success in Selling Anything

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Companies and individuals spend a lot of money on sales training in order to increase revenue, or in the case of individuals, to grow their incomes.  Entry level sales training teaches sales people what to say or present. More advanced training teaches salespeople what to ask.  Learning to ask questions to potential clients is a better way to gain more sales than just learning what to present.  However, there is still a large gap between sales people’s incomes who participate and complete the exact same question based sales training program.  Some of this can be explained by work ethic, more successful sales people typically prepare more and work harder.  However, while you can learn how to effectively ask questions to prospective clients, there are also certain personality traits I have learned that you will need to develop in order to be in the top 1% of wage earners in your profession.

In sales, asking questions is critical to your success. You have to ask questions to identify and qualify potential clients and then ask more specific questions to help uncover their real needs. In order to provide more value to the potential client than your competitors, you must ask better questions. If you become better at asking questions and develop the following seven traits, you will outsell everyone!

Empathy – People do business with individuals they like, but they are more likely to buy from sales people who demonstrate empathy towards them.  Empathy is not sympathy.  Empathy is the ability to understand another’s situation, feelings, and motives. It is one thing to be liked, it is another to be seen as someone who can relates to a client’s specific situation and offer guidance.

Ego Drive – Top sales people learn to develop internal motivation which allows them to work hard and be seen as confident. They also know there is a line between having the ego drive necessary to succeed, and being seen as someone who is egotistical.  Egotistical is not a personality trait that is attractive. Being ego driven is a trait that lets clients know with certainty that you’re an individual who is determined to succeed and one who has enthusiasm and confidence in what they are selling. Ego drive is the motor inside every great sales person.

Customer Service Focused – No longer can a sales person take the attitude of ‘sell them and leave them’. The entire world is connected 24 hours a day, and this ease of access to information has given rise to an abundance of customer service ranking websites.  If you mishandle a client, there is a very good chance they won’t just tell their close friends, they may also tell everyone on the Internet.

Resilience – Sales is one of the top earning professions in the world.  The rewards are great, but many enter the sales profession with great hope, only to find out that you hear a lot of no’s. Resilience is the ability to overcome obstacles for a long period of time to achieve a big goal. The top performers have developed the grit necessary to keep going past the no’s and start again with the same enthusiasm on display for each client meeting.

Seek Knowledge – People fall into two different decision making styles. They either make decisions first, and then seek affirmations, or they seek knowledge and expertise and then make a decision. If you want to break out of the decision making that has led you to fall short of your sales goals, you have to be in the latter of these two decision making styles. The people who are thriving in sales are always seeking knowledge to become better.

Process Driven – Successful companies all have a process for maximizing business systems and capabilities. The same is true of top sales people. They are process driven and build a sales process for attracting new clients.  They take each candidate through the same process that mirrors their client’s decision making cycle. What can be repeated, can be improved.

Adaptable – Successful sales people are able to work in the present and have a plan to get better tomorrow. They have managed to navigate the ever-changing business climate by acquiring the skills that allow them to adapt and grow. It’s not good enough to say you had a decent sales meeting, the top sales people document what went well and what could be improved upon after each client meeting.

No one is born having all of these traits, great sales people work to create them. Which of these traits do you have to work on to reach the top of your profession?

All the best!

Peter

The Why, What and How of the Entrepreneur’s Business Plan

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Over the past three weeks, with the aid of technology, I had the privilege to kick off the annual United Real Estate business planning workshops with hundreds of real estate agents from across the U.S. in attendance.  It is very satisfying to aid so many entrepreneurial individuals in understanding that freedom in business and in life is having the ability to do what you are supposed to do.  The essence of a successful plan goes beyond spreadsheets and a mission statement.  Everyone is familiar with the celebrated success stories of the start-up entrepreneur’s technology business that quickly made them rich.  We are also aware that most businesses don’t succeed past 5 years and the odds are stacked against the individual start-up. A lot of factors make up the difference between succeeding and failing in business. However, all successful entrepreneurs have a common theme to their planning process. They recognize they are not just building a business, they are creating a lifestyle.

While the projected sales numbers and profits that make up the forecast and budget of a business plan are in everyone’s game plan for success, the individuals who breakout from their competition have more than just a strategy and spreadsheets.  What successful entrepreneurs recognize is that when you open a business, particularly a real estate business, you can’t easily separate the business from you, the individual. The Why, What and How of building a plan is not just about your business, it’s also about your life story and it all starts with answering with definitive knowledge and having very specific answers to these three questions. The answers combine passion with knowledge and precise action plans that justify the hours you work, and put to ease the initial uncertainty that is part of owning your own business.

The Why – To grow a business you have to do things that are at first uncomfortable. To build new success habits you must know what you have to look forward to in the future in order to stay motivated in the present.  You have to ask yourself not only why potential customers should do business with you, but why you are personally in business. If you are like most entrepreneurs you left the certainty of a paycheck for the freedom of being your own boss.  The freedom of working for yourself also brings with it uncertainty. Your Why to take on this risk and then insure your success has to be really big. You are not just looking at what your life is today but what it can be in 5 years and also in 20 years. Done correctly, answering your Why will set the goals for your business.

The What – After you understand your true Why, then, and only then, are you ready to move to the What. Following this path greatly increases the likelihood that you will succeed. You must have a rock solid reason as to why you are going to keep striving and pushing past the setbacks that are inherently part of building a business. Goals tell us what to get, not what to do. The best sales people set goals that are not just about the outcome, but the process to get to the outcome. It is here you answer the universal equation of success for all entrepreneurs. What is the market opportunity for your business?

Total number of potential clients * conversion rate + past customers + referrals = Income

The How – The dream is known, the goal is set. It’s time to lay out your strategy on what methods you are going to deploy to reach your potential clients. The key to executing this part of your plan is knowledge and commitment.  You need to know how to reach your customers, how to communicate with them, how to stay in touch with them, and how to sell to them. To be successful as an entrepreneur you will have to commit to performing these activities for a very long time.  This requires you to continually invest in building your potential client list and also developing your personal skills. The business environment will always be changing and you have to adapt to utilize new technologies and adapt to new trends to modernize your business. Becoming a market expert will not be enough, you will also have to learn how to develop the invisible traits of determination, persistence, grit and personal accountability.

Building a business that will support the lifestyle you desire is a skill to be mastered, not just pursued. A great question to ask yourself is, have you spent more money on Starbucks this year or on your personal development? After all, true freedom is reached when you realize you are empowered to do what you are supposed to do to create your ideal life, not just what you want to do. To learn more about how to implement a plan to raise your income in real estate and improve your lifestyle, join us at the 2017 United Real Estate Convention.

All the best!

Peter

How the Three C’s of Selling Will Boost Your Income

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The sales profession is one of the largest occupational groups in the United States. It is estimated that over 15 million people work in sales related jobs.  In the real estate industry there are currently over 1.2 million Realtors. Across all industries, sales is a very competitive occupation, and one that allows the top performers to be highly compensated.

Being in sales is very similar to running your own business and in commission based sales occupations, such as working as a real estate agent, you are in-fact running your own business.  In any entrepreneurial role you must have daily habits that will ensure you manage your time effectively.  Moving past the general sales training that is made available to all individuals in a selling occupation, there are certain skills that top performers have developed that have made them excel. Here are the three “C’s” that are not taught in sales training courses and make up the intrinsic skills that separate the top 5% of sales performers from their counterparts.

Caring – All successful sales people have come to understand that they should listen to their potential clients more and speak less when they are meeting with them.  This becomes the formula for any successful sales person in both Business to Business sales and Business to Consumer sales. It is the basis for being a highly paid advisor as opposed to a sales rep. Not only do the top sales people ask more questions of their potential clients, they listen better.  Their listening skills are superior to others who just hear but don’t really understand the needs of their buyers. The top sales people have empathy for their potential clients and are able to understand the buyer’s problems or their unmet goals.  They relate to their feelings in a way that allows them to become trusted with helping the buyer reach a new level of satisfaction by guiding them to solve their problems with the solutions they have to offer.

Candor – A top sales person will focus initially on the buyers needs and not on the services they are offering. When the buyer realizes the seller cares about their problems and why those problems matter, the sales person becomes a trusted advisor.  A trusted advisor, in comparison to someone who is just selling a product, earns the right to be straight forward and honest with the potential buyer. Top sales professionals not only ask more questions than their counterparts, they also ask better questions. More developed questions stimulate thought by the buyer of what their unmet needs or desires truly are. The top sales pros do not worry about losing rapport with a buyer, as they have established trust. When you care about your profession and develop a trusted relationship with your buyer, the ability to ask them difficult questions about why they are doing things in a certain way is earned. This honest dialogue is respected by the buyer.  The odds that the buyer will choose your services or product over a competitors greatly favors the sales person who has the ability to have candid conversations with potential buyers.

Competence – Most sales professionals know how their products or services function and how they can fit a buyer’s needs.  The difference between top sales people and others is the top performers know how their services or products solve the specific problems of the buyer they are working with today. Top sales people are not generalists, they are experts in their field. This means they know more about the future of an individual buyer’s business or investments than their client does. In order to gain this expertise, the top sales professionals spend the time necessary to study their industry and work on developing their own personal skills. This gives them more experience, which allows the top sales person to express that knowledge using a question based methodology, therefore putting the buyer’s needs at the forefront.

To boost your income and separate yourself from your competition, it is not enough to commit to only completing your company’s standard sales training or your industries continuing education requirements. The key to long lasting sales success is mastering the three C’s of selling. Be certain to commit yourself to continued learning opportunities. To learn more about boosting your income in real estate to a new level, join us at the 2017 Unitedpalooza.

All the best!

Peter

How the Happiness Advantage Can Break the 80/20 Rule and Lead You to Success

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Across the United States, entrepreneurs are planning for the New Year.  2017 will be upon us in less than 60 days, and we know there will be changes in elected officials with different agendas on the national and local level. The economy may get better, it may not. We can take the predictions from the experts with a grain of salt and arrive at the safe conclusion that they are all right, and they are all wrong. Large nations and large corporations are complicated. The people who run these institutions were created as complex beings, but ones who were designed to succeed.

What everyone should have learned over the past twenty years is that industries will change, careers will change, technology will change, and to have success in life and business, you will have to make changes along the way to grow. Very few predicted the extent of the Internet boom in the late 1990’s and subsequent crash in 2001, which was then followed by the attacks on 9/11.  The steady housing growth post the dot.com crash, followed by the housing boom that defied historical growth patterns ended up turning into a severe recession by year end 2007. Regardless of the changes, there will be companies and individuals who will thrive.

As individuals, we have control over how our lives and careers will turn out. Accepting these truths is good progress. Having a process to follow for success will turn progress into a great life. Having success in your personal and professional life in 2017, just like past economic times, will be a matter of choice. You decide that it is important to have a dream and take the right action to achieve the dream. This requires performing the tasks of proper goal setting, planning, and developing certain personal traits including faith and determination. You also must decide to have personal accountability be a part of your daily life.

We are at a critical time right now where many young people are discouraged about their prospects for long-term success. With all that we have learned about success, most of us need a new map to help us stay on the correct path to succeeding. Take for instance, the tested 80-20 rule that originated in economics after an observation by an Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto who correctly correlated in 1906 the fact that 20% percent of the population controlled 80% of the wealth. This theory became known as the “Pareto Principle” and was later observed to hold true in other aspects of life, starting in the business world where companies noticed that 20% of their customers accounted for 80% of their profits. It was later taken into further detail with the notion that 20% of sales people accounted for 80% of the sales for any given company. This 80-20 rule in sales has proven to be occurring despite the decades of research and significant investment companies made in time and money for general sales and personal development training to make their sales people productive. When you currently speak to businesses and economic leaders about this basic principle they all overwhelmingly point to the 80-20 rule moving to a 90-10 rule when it comes to the percentage of people who make the majority of the income, have the majority of the wealth, and in breaking it down further the smaller percentage of people who now in their everyday life are succeeding. It has always been difficult to break out of the 80-20 rule, and in the new connected economy, it has gotten even harder. We are at a point in time where half the people working are dissatisfied with their careers, and also at a time where half the businesses which open, end up failing. These statistics don’t include living an abundant and full life.

The question is, how do you find the most relevant information that will help you break out of the patterns that are keeping you from reaching a new level of success? The world is a crowded place with a lot of messaging. However, science and the understanding of the specific human needs we all have to meet to obtain fulfillment have come a long way. You just have to fight through the noise and the distractions to find the correct path.

One breakthrough study demonstrating how work performance can be increased came from a Harvard Psychologist who specializes in Positive Psychology and developing positive mindsets.  In his book The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor changed traditional thinking. We believe we should work hard in order to be happy, but he postulated that we are thinking about it backwards.  In a fast-moving and very funny Ted talk, he argues that, actually, happiness inspires us to be more productive. Take a few minutes to unwind from the election and enjoy the motivating, empowering truth behind the science that proves we are in control of our future. Click Here! 

To borrow from United Real Estate’s convention keynote speaker Mel Robbins, “What consumes your mind, controls your life.” As you put your plan together for 2017, know that you have within you the ability to create the business, career and life you want.  Starting with the right mindset is a good place to begin. To learn more about how attending the United convention can help you achieve your goals in 2017 please visit our Convention page.

All the best!

Peter

If You Give, You Begin To Live

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One of the founding values of United Real Estate is to be a positive contributor to the communities we live in. In order to do so, we must give back. United Real Estate is a company that has been rapidly expanding through franchising across the United States for only three years, while obtaining more than triple digit growth in agent count and transactions each year.  It would be easy to say we are “too busy” to make certain that important cultural aspects of giving back are occurring inside the company, but that is not the case.  I am always proud to see United Real Estate offices and agents volunteering to make the world a better place.  I am always happy to give a like on Facebook or shout-out to any and all who make the time to improve a community or make an individual’s life better.

Individuals search for personal fulfillment in a variety of different ways. Some are positive, but some actions unfortunately lead to negative habits that instead work to the detriment of what the individuals are searching for – happiness. There are plenty of articles, graphs, quotes and lists that can be easily searched and found on the Internet of how successful people behave to reach fulfillment. However, even with an abundance of information available at our finger tips, a recent Harris Poll concluded only 1 in 3 Americans consider themselves to be “very happy”.  I truly believe we were created to do good, and in order to reach our full potential and be happy; we need to address and fill two advanced human needs. The first is our need to grow.  In order to reach the state of being happy, we need to continuously develop and expand our dreams. Second, is the need to contribute. Understanding the world is not just “about me”, it’s “about we” which allows us to contribute to something bigger than ourselves, something worthwhile. It produces a true, visible change of things being better because we gave beyond ourselves.

Through the dedication of our employees, we have reached a new milestone in supporting our corporate charity, Autism Speaks. By redesigning our internal processes, every United agent can now voluntarily contribute to Autism Speaks at each closing, either a specific amount or a percentage of commission earned!  Together, as a United family and community, we can help a charitable organization that is making massive positive changes to the individuals diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum. To learn more read our press release.

I also believe there is a greater chance, than just a hope, that more than 1 in 3 Americans will become very happy. While millennials are known as being experts in digital communication, they are also unknowingly geared to do well by positively contributing to their communities. In the book Meet the Millennials, the author noted giving back and being civically engaged are the millennials highest priorities. This is a great step towards fulfillment when you realize it is tough to feel bad about yourself when doing good for others. It’s also an important factor for prospective employers and businesses that are wanting to sell to this generation. Millennials absolutely expect their employer to give back and contribute. As a customer, they expect the company will live up to those same set of values, as well.

One prime successful example of the power of donating a portion per transaction is seen through the generous contributions by the Dave Mathews Band. Through its Bama Works Fund charitable foundation, the band has raised and donated over $40 million to benefit the people living in the Central Virginia area, as well as internationally.  The band was able to generate this by setting up a per ticket sale, per album sale, per download sale and directing a portion of each sale to charity, as well as from fans who wholeheartedly support these causes making direct online donations. This has undoubtedly made a huge impact.

It is with great enthusiasm that I look forward to the major positive impact our fast growing network at United Real Estate will make to the individuals and families who are living with Autism.  It is estimated that it takes $60,000 a year to effectively support someone diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum Disorder.  At United Real Estate, we are now closing over 12,000 transactions a year, and that number is about to double!  Our collective contributions at each closing will do more than just fulfill a guiding principle. It will change lives.

Let me also give a shout out to the Dave Mathews Band and pay respect to them for giving back. It’s a verse from a complex song, and I see the positive in the lyrics, “If you give, you begin to live. You get the world, you get the world.” The path to fulfillment will include growth and contribution. May this inspire you to start or continue your journey!

On behalf of everyone at United Real Estate, thank you, for not just being part of our company, but for being active in supporting the communities we all live in. Happiness is not guaranteed, and giving should not be mandated, but should be heartfelt.  The reward is waiting for you.

All the best!

Peter Giese

President & Co-Founder

United Real Estate