Thank you to my uncles, cousins and son; for all you’ve done and continue to do everyday.
Posts Tagged ‘decision making’
Because I am down one marketing rep this week, I get to write a blog. Recently I looked around my garage and shop and thought about how much it needed a good cleaning. This is extremely pertinent to people selling their home. For one the house needs to show well, and also the new owners don’t want your old tennis racquets, or camping set. This particular subject hits home to me, because when we moved into our current house, the previous owners left us a neon green child’s bedroom set and a trunk full of broken toys. I remember telling my wife, “I didn’t realize we could just leave the stuff we didn’t want”. I soon figured out why, the garbage company refused to take it (must have been the color) so for almost a year I had a corner full of “stuff” sitting in the garage. You wouldn’t know it, because I parked a non-running car in front of it and took the wheels off, which in my mind was better. I had every intention of leaving it for the next owners, but as the subdivision was developed I was able to dump small portions of the pile in my future neighbor’s giant trash bins. I was tactical about it, dropping pieces of the bed each week in multiple dumpsters. I imagined the man at the dump anticipating this week’s neon green piece of furniture.
So at this point in the game you have realized the need to clean the garage, now it is time to plan (I wanted to say plan ahead, but that is redundant as there is no other way to plan). You should set aside 12 – 18 hours depending on the severity of the garage. If you’re like me, you wait until it is impossible to actually do work or even start a new project. For those of you that actually park a car in the garage you can skip down a few paragraphs. I generally send my wife away on a “girl’s trip” so that I can actually get this task done. The gulf coast works well, because you get a 2 hour warning call when she is own her way home, so that you know you need to stop admiring the technology of an old carburetor you found and get back to cleaning.
I have seen medically spotless shops that look more like surgical centers than garages. These places are mysteries to me, I am not sure I would be able to find my tools in a place like that, Plus you would miss the surprise when you find something. These people have never used a rusty spring to fix the return on a riding lawn mower, or asked their wife to standby with a fire extinguisher while testing the make shift gravity fed fuel tank on an old motorcycle (I wonder what on earth she is thinking while standing there waiting to see if her husband goes up in a brilliant blue flame as the house gets filled with the smell of un-burnt fuel and screams), But back to the task at hand.
- I have found it is best to work from the top down, first hang the various flags and posters back up. They tend to fly off the walls when the garage door opens.
- Next use a shop vac to suck the cobwebs, and bug bodies out of the corners. Clean the nozzle first or you will leave oil stains on your walls. Be careful around those flags, or you’ll be pulling them out of the shop vac.
- Take down the bicycles hanging off the ceiling hooks and blow them off with compressed air, fill up the tires while the air compressor is out. (No one expects you to ride anytime soon, but flat tires on a hanging bike means you have completely given up on being healthy.)
- Now it is time to focus on the work bench, this becomes time consuming but essential. Don’t get side tracked by anything shiny. This is usually where I lose focus and start cleaning brake calipers, or rewiring an electric winch.
- Be honest about spare car parts, are you really going to need that radio out of a mid 90’s mustang. Go ahead and toss it, and get rid of that VW hubcap you found on the side of the road (unless you actually own/ed a VW, then there is sentimental value there)
- Stack various race tires, and wheels in a corner. These are great conversation starters when the neighbors visit.
- Next I like to rearrange the various vehicles, this does two things, allows access to the piles of dirt and rust that have accumulated under the vehicles, and gives a feeling of accomplishment. Be creative, I tend to sort by fun factor. Atv’s and Motorcycles to the front, lawn mowers and cars to the back.
- This is also a good time to wipe down the motorcycles, unless there is a lot of chrome involved. (polishing can eat up time)
- At this point a neighbor will show up (because the heavy work has been done) use this time to catch your breath, enjoy a beer, and catch up on current events.
- Pick up the fishing tackle and various rods and reels that get stuck in a corner, you can hang up a small amount of fishing equipment (in my opinion this adds a touch of class, especially fly rods) The rest can be stored in the trunk of an unused car.
- Collect all the old motorcycle, and car batteries and place in a cardboard box for recycling (5$ each) keep the dogs away, don’t rub your eyes and try to keep acid burn holes symmetrical on your shirt.
- Sweep up all the dirt, rust, dead bugs etc, if you feel the need you can mop at this point, but that seems snooty to me. I prefer to hose out the garage, with scrub brush and all green detergent.
- Sit back, admire your work and wait for comments from visitors.
“There’s blind luck, dumb luck and then there’s get up every morning at 5:30 and sweat the details luck.
Few people actually stumble into wealth. It takes persistence, tenacity and a tireless work ethic. In the end, luck has little to do with success. It takes experience and hard work. Pure and simple.” – SmithBarney CitiGroup (from their website)
I was going to take the easy way out and just post a link this week, but then thought better of it. I realized how lucky I was to be employed at a job I enjoy, in a market that was not the pits, among people that have some of the best work ethics I’ve ever witnessed. And being a farmer’s daughter, I’ve seen some pretty good efforts.
I watch you, my friends and colleagues, show up early, work late and weekends. Go out of your way to be kind and generous (with both your time and money) just to make sure folks get in the home they love. That of course, in turn, makes you successful, some might even say lucky. I say you’re determined. Determined to do your best and be your best.
The realtors have had to find creative ways to connect with a public that is more elusive every day. You put yourself out there on FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, Twillow, ActiveRain and heaven only knows what others. You’ve learned to be faster, smarter and more knowledgeable than ever. The lenders have had to endure more rule changes, mortgage mergers and underwriting snags than ever before in your industry. Yet, every day, I see a smile, hear a kind word or a suggestion of another program that might get that young couple into a home. Or a better way for the fella to get his home sold so he can take that new job he just got….that’s somewhere else. Or sell her the perfect home, in a great neighborhood that she had no idea was there because she just got transferred here from out of state.
The changes we’ve seen since Hurricane Katrina, and the boom that followed, I think lulled us into a momentary sense of plenty. It may seem like hell now, in comparison, but remember….
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” - Winston Churchill
We’ll eventually come out the other side and most will be the better for it.
Louisiana is gaining ground on many fronts and our area is gaining more than most. We have plant expansions, NuCor, port expansion and more construction than we’ve seen in a while. Keep up the great work my friends and great success will follow. Aren’t we “lucky”??
|Mortgage servicers bypass foreclosure delays with more short sales|
|Mortgage servicers contending with attorney general investigations and extended foreclosure delays turned more to short sales in the past year. In August 2009, short sales accounted for 8% of all liquidations of distressed properties. That number grew to 25% by the middle of 2011, according to research from Moody’s Investors Service. Meanwhile, the time it took from [...]|
According to Louisiana Realtors Association, those homes that are in some stage of foreclosure sold in the second quarter of this year for approximately 30% less than other homes’ price in the same market. – Mitzi
This article was sourced from www.housingwire.com
Well we’re up to the letter “F”…..but our most active months are ahead of us. I just wanted to remind everyone, especially the agents/lenders, that we need to keep an eye on the Weather Channel so we can make sure our sales go smoothly. The minute you hear there is a storm forming, start checking with your anticipated purchasers, encourage them to get to their insurers and GIVE them the check for their Home Owner/Flood insurance. The insurer must have payment in order to issue the binder, even if the sale is a week or so in the future.
If you wait until the storm is in the Caribbean or the Gulf the insurer will not be able to produce the documents needed to close until after the storm has made landfall. That can take up to a week or more depending on conditions. I know none of you wants that kind of delay on your business.
Are your clients from out of town and can’t get in due to a pending storm? Get them to leave a Power of Attorney with the closing company so the sale can move forward.
I know just about everyone knows this already, but it never hurts to have a reminder…..
Speaking of reminders my friends, have you thought about what you need if a storm is headed our way?
We all know we need flash lights, radios, water, medications…..what about a will before you head out into the insanity of contraflow? Did you send the kids with your brother or mother? Then they’ll need a Mandate of Custody in order to get medical assistance or request post storm assistance. Remember the nightmare after Hurricane Katrina? Did your elderly parents leave the area? Did they leave their Power of Attorney with a family member?
Being prepared for an emergency requires more than just packing up, every emergency kit should contain legal documents for your family’s protection.
Stay safe my friends.
The dreaded Goal Setting Blog and assignment, My marketing reps hate it. They hate trying to be specific, they hate justifying time spent in the office, when they could be out drumming up business, they hate giving themselves rewards for meeting goals, they hate sitting still to be honest. Come to think of it, I’m not fond of it either. I always feel like setting a goal is like selling myself short, what if I can do more. If I write down, “go out and get 10 contracts by Friday”, I could get it done, but what if there were 15 out there and I just left 5 on the table, who’d I help there? I see articles where Goals should be attainable, “Who says?” is there a real negative to not reaching every goal? Don’t tell me to reach for the sky when there are foot steps on the moon, the sky isn’t enough for me (I totally stole that from someone else). The other problem is Goals seem to Fade, looking at last years goals January, and February were strong, in March we waned a little, by April Goals got replaced with mere suggestions and by May we were flying by the seat of our pants. Is it any wonder that by the end of the year we are all just reacting to what is happing around us? If Goals for an entire year are going to work we have to shorten the year to 6 months instead of 12, but I don’t even know who to talk to about that.
I think part of the problem is we have complicated Goal Setting, Heck there is an entire goal setting industry out there, if you google “Goal Setting 2011” the first 3 pages are companies who want to charge you to set your own goals. What if one of your goals was to save money, the first thing you would have to do is fire you newly hired official goal setter, and now you’re back to square one. I had an employee a few years back who had to set a goal AND reward for everything. He would write it down the day before for the next day, “January 3, 2011 Goal # 1 – Get out of bed; Reward – say nice things to yourself in the mirror “, Geesh, I can only imagine the look on my Grandfather’s face if you even suggested something like that.
A quick search through the World Wide Web shows that to reach your Goals you need to be S.M.A.R.T (Because goals should be Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Something that starts with R, and Trackable) also you need a M.A.P. to reach your goals (I couldn’t find what MAP stands for, It cost $299). It would seem to me that in today’s feel good, P.C. , need to be Fluffy and Happy Right Now society, goals are as individual as each of us, just like lovely little snow flakes, unique, special and wonderful. Blah Blah, gag me. Look, it takes work, it takes planning, and to be successful at anything you need be able to say, “Get up stupid, you picked the wrong Lotto numbers again, let’s make something happen… today”. Unless of course you picked the right lotto numbers, then stay in bed, and think about what color your Maserati is going to be. And remember I saved you $299, I am partial to Red.
So we figured out Goals don’t work, they’re too complicated and even if we write them down, in 4 months we will have covered them in bills, and Calvin and Hobbs Comic strips about setting goals. On the other hand, we can’t just do nothing, and wait for NBC to announce that everyone gets to be successful this year. So what DOES work? What if we break down Goals? What if we allow them to change throughout the year? What if we don’t focus on getting to an end result but focus on the stops it takes to get there?
Don’t take this the wrong way I do know people who make goals, write them down, and reach them, but for the most part these people are already driven, already organized and have experienced success with Goal Setting in the past. So if it works, by all means continue, this Blog is for the rest of us. The ones who dream more than execute. The ones who think a pile of papers on the corner of the desk is organized as long as it is stacked in according to the color of the paper. You know, NORMAL PEOPLE.
For the most part I feel Goals tend to 1: Limit, 2: Set people up for failure, 3: They tend to be what a person thinks they want, not what they want to be. Let’s take for an example the most obtuse goal possible. “GOAL: To be a good person” alright now how do you do that? Well good people do good things so in theory you would set yourself an attainable amount of goodness and a measurable amount of time to do it. So this week I will do 7 good things (one per day on average, don’t want to reach too high) and will schedule a time each day (3 hours should be plenty) to find people in need of a good person. That seems like an awful lot of work to be good, why not “JUST BE” a good person. Someone needs help, help them (without expecting something in return). Even worse, what if you don’t find 7 people who need a dose of your Goodness, you just failed your first goal of 2011, and you’re not even a good person. How depressing is that? Hang it up fella, how long before 2012?
Let’s not use the term Goal, besides if we go back to the road map they wanted $299 for, isn’t a map just a series of stops and intersections that form a route and get you (in theory) from where you are to where you think you want to be. So let’s break each route down into stops or objectives. Objectives are easily changed, If your Goal is head to Best Buy to get that 50” Samsumg LED HD TV for $1099 that you didn’t get on Christmas day, but on the way the radio says that same TV is at Cohn’s for $999, I would think you would make a U-turn and save the $100, but in turn would be failing your goal. (Just an example, I’m not sure how much the TV is at either store). Or another one, and more specific, “ I want to lose 22 pounds by February 2, 2011 so I can be skinny in Cozumel”, Is this a SMART Goal?(Ignore the health issues of attempting to shed the equivalent of a 18 month old in 37 days) It seems to be specific enough, it is measureable, some might think it is attainable, I am sure it is whatever the R stands for in SMART, and tracking comes to .5945945 pounds lost each day which is 4.1621215 pounds in a week. Well what if I only lose 3 pounds this week, and then only 3 pounds next week, well at that point I only have 2 weeks left and still far from my goal weight loss. Forget it, give me a Quarter Pound hamburger with ice cream on top, and a Budweiser. How about my Objective for January is to stop drinking soft drinks, or to walk the neighborhood 4 time a week, or to actually imitate Tony Horton on the P90X dvd’s and not just using them as coasters. I have no idea if I will lose 20 pounds, but I will be healthier, I won’t have failed my goal and I may even be third of the way to “That EXTREME body I always wanted” (according to Tony Horton anyway).
It is important to remember that Objectives should turn into a way of life, if an objective is to always end the week by clearing off my desk on Fridays, after some time it will just be habit to clean off the desk, and no longer an Objective. Also I believe Objectives should be quarterly, that way you are forced to update them, by definition Objectives are short term anyway. And while a list of 15 Annual Goals will look daunting, 15 small objectives will be much easier to accomplish and you will be surprised at the positive effects of just changing a few small objectives. There is even an app for it (crazy right), for the droid and Iphone. Search Objective Tapper and put it into play.
Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize
I am the biggest proponent of priorities (Now a lot of times, what is important to me is not important to anyone else). But because you can’t fail an Objective they don’t expire either. So if something important comes up. Move it to the top of the list. I have a day planner that I carry wherever I go. And it is completely empty, not a stitch of wording in the entire thing. Not even a doodle, what is in it is a sticky pad. And whenever I have something to do I write it on a sticky and stick it to the inside cover. Then at various times I re-evaluate the importance of the sticky. Some get tossed because they are done, some get moved to the top of the stack. I am looking at the bottom one now, apparently get references for daycare wasn’t that important because my kids have been in that daycare for over a year. The Top Sticky now says write Blog and clean out day planner.
As we approach 2011 with every tick of the clock, pundits, experts, and laymen’s (like myself) try to look into crystal balls and forecast what next year will bring in the Real Estate Industry. Guess what? No one knows. We can look at trends, but with so many variables why try, why not wait 2 weeks get the actual numbers for this year and be a bit more certain? So that is what I will do, my prediction for 2011’s outlook will be … I will tell you in 2011. There now that’s out the way; let’s talk about what we know. People will buy and sell houses next year, maybe more than this year maybe less but I know people will move from one house into another. More importantly they will need expert services from professionals who know the market and there will be less of those professionals than in the past. (Wait, was that a forecast)
Between 2007 and 2008 LAR membership showed a 10% reduction in membership, between 2008 and 2009 a 7% reduction in membership was recorded, and as of October LAR membership has seen a 2% loss in it’s rank and file*. So what does that mean, well if you’re a realtor who is just waiting around for the market “To Turn”, absolutely nothing. But if you’re a Professional Expert Realtor who is willing to take the time to gain knowledge, who isn’t afraid to get back to basics while still looking toward new ways to give better service, than you must be feeling pretty good about 2011, because there is less competition and more opportunity this year than in the last few years. For Lenders the challenge is different, how to stay competitive with unknown changes come April (or maybe not), and for the rest of us in the real estate industry the goal looks like doing more with less. The good news is Louisiana is showing growth (gradual, but growth still the same) in employment, consumer confidence is increasing and if I was one of those people who tried to forecast where to work in the real estate industry, Louisiana would be one of those places that showed the most promise.
So you ask, “If I work in the real estate industry, how do I take advantage of 2011?”, Well over the next few weeks we will outline what to do, where to go, who to know and how to make it all work together to make 2011 a successful year for all of us. Welcome to the second decade of the new Millennium, one thing is for sure it will be different than the last.
*Sourced from National Association of Realtors
Recently I found myself in a Fast Food Establishment, This particular restaurant (I know it was technically one because it said so on the sign) has 12 pre-established meals. It has been the same 12 meals since I was in High School some Twenty years ago, minus the occasional rib burger thingy or kids movie character sandwich. So you can imagine my frustration when the couple in front of me couldn’t decide between a # 3 and # 6, to say they where undecided would be an insult to people who have no cognitive activity at all. Apart from my general aggravation at this particular chain a # 3 and # 6 are no where near similar at all, “I can’t decide between buying a hamburger or a Parakeet”. So I started thinking how these people make it through a day, we all have to make choices, some lead to prosperity and some don’t”. But if you are one of these non-decision makers, think of the opportunities that you didn’t get (or actually never had a chance of getting). Whether it’s a hiring issue, or a customer service issue or one of the hundred other decisions you have to make each day, your ability to move forward will impact your short term business more than anything else.
To be honest, your ability to make these decisions have already impacted the business you currently have. These decisions you have made (or more importantly avoided making) have consequences. Are you missing out on opportunities, or advantages over competitors by simply NOT.