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FLORIDA MORTGAGE EDITION

6 Things All Successful Negotiators Do 3 Tips for Masterful To–Do Lists

If it’s Good for the Soul, it’s good for the business

Lauren Maxwell COVER STORY


FLORIDA MORTGAGE EDITION

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LAUREN MAXWELL

Lauren Maxwell

CONTENTS 4) IF IT’S GOOD FOR THE SOUL, IT’S GOOD FOR THE BUSINESS 6) 7 DEADLY SINS OF PERSONAL BRANDING

19) 3 TIPS FOR MASTERFUL TO–DO LISTS 22) 6 THINGS ALL SUCCESSFUL NEGOTIATORS DO

15) 6 THINGS YOU NEED TO DO TO BE A GREAT MENTOR

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If it’s good for the soul,

IT’S GOOD FOR THE BUSINESS

Visibility, name recognition and knowing you’re supporting the community that makes your success possible are good reasons to take part in community service. But how is it that some people seem to be able to give time to charities while running their own businesses, managing their own families and households, exercising regularly, attending sporting events and concerts, eating well and sleeping seven or eight hours a night? The truth is, not all agents are able to do everything so easily. But more important is the fact that no one needs to do everything all of the time. The trick is to make sure that, whatever you do holds meaning. REALTORS® and mortgage professionals who seem the most gregarious in their community outreach are those whose giving seems to fill their own souls. When their 4

volunteer efforts or donations directly impact causes they or their clients care deeply about, “giving back” becomes energizing. Jason O’Quinn of Prime Lending in Dallas Texas, for instance, says that his family’s ongoing work building homes for some of the poorest families in Honduras fills him immeasurably. “It rejuvenates me,” he says. “There’s quite a dichotomy between the houses we build there and the houses we finance here,” he says. “It refocuses me, going from financing $1 million homes in Dallas to physically laying cinderblock for $10,000 homes in Honduras. Everything has more meaning when we sacrificially give of our time, talent and treasure.” The longtime “big picture” for Colorado REALTOR® and property manager, Linda

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Todd, for instance, has included giving back to the community, whether serving as a lead carpenter for Habitat for Humanity, making deliveries for Meals on Wheels, or pitching in for the sake of baseball. And through her lifelong passion for baseball, she harmoniously blended her personal interests, her work and her community service. For many years, she was so involved Little League the local league named a new field after her. “I cried for 3 days after they told me that!” She and her husband also started a scholarship fund for junior college baseball players and serve as a host family for the rookie league of the Colorado Rockies, putting up newly drafted players in their home. For Florida REALTOR® and property manager, Mario Gonzalez, neither his business nor his primary community outreach would exist without the other. A retired U.S. Navy pilot, Mario formed his brokerage, Navy to Navy Homes, when he saw a need for military personnel to find affordable homes to purchase. “We got into it to help, but that led to a full-blown real estate business.” Besides providing opportunities for investment and homeownership, the company donates 35% of every commission to Homes for Heroes, veterans’ groups, or organizations benefiting fire, police, medical organizations, churches and homeless shelters. “We’re small, but we give so much back that we were the top Homes for Heroes company in Florida and

top-five nationwide.” But he does none of this for the attention. His friends may call him the “Humble Hero of Heroes,” but helping is Mario’s passion. “To be such a small business and be the top Homes for Heroes affiliate is mind boggling!” Like Mario, for many, the best service takes place in simple and quiet ways. Illinois REALTOR®, Susie Scheuber, for example, takes a humble approach to giving back. Although she donates a portion of every commission check to the Children’s Miracle Network, she doesn’t discuss this with clients unless they happen to ask. “I do it because I want to and because, to me, giving back is the right thing to do when you’ve been fortunate in business and life,” says Susie. We all know how inertia works; the more energized we get by certain behaviors, the more likely we are to continue those behaviors. For some top agents, community outreach has become such a natural routine of their daily lives that they never find it burdensome. A good way to add community service into your life, therefore, is through the causes that mean the most to you. For starters, consider giving a small donation after closing to the charity of your client’s choosing. Learning the different causes that they care about just might foster a new mission for you.

If you have a unique story to share about how your community outreach has impacted your life and your business or inspired others, click here for consideration in our magazines: www.topagentmagazine.com/nominate-a-real-estate-agent-to-be-featured Top Agent Magazine

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and they don’t care for sudden changes in procedure or lifestyle. They also like activities they can start and finish. Compliants are thinkers. They’re always wondering how things work. They want practicality, logic, fairness and a systematic approach. When talking to thinkers give facts, documentation and data. They seek accuracy. They’re motivated by standards of high quality, limited social interaction, detailed tasks and logical organization of information.

7 Deadly Sins of Personal Branding

some personality assessment tools can cost thousands of dollars, but at Corcoran Coaching, we’ve opted for a much more affordable offering: a free DIsC assessment. Just visit www.corcorancoaching.com/behavioralstyle. php and you’ll be guided through a quick questionnaire to learn your own What is a style ‘personal Just likeothers com- as sistently dominant andbrand’? how to read well. (across all marketing platforms), pany or product branding, it’s built around a well-defined brand can elevate agent recimaging and messaging that is designed to ognition and help to establish credibility Yes, understanding people, listening to their needs and wants and responding create a feeling. And in the case of personal and authority. However, when executed appropriately all takehow work But because realare estate is a people branding, it influences you and wantattention. others incorrectly, the effects lackluster at best, business, it’s simply a must. And the better at it you become, the to feel about you. From your photos to other and harmful at worst. To help you better avoid living as an or broker. brandyou’ll images,make elements andagent even content, theI promise. pitfalls of personal branding, we’ve there is a lot that goes into creating your compiled a list of what we feel are the 7 unique brand.to Displayed Best of luck you! correctly and con- deadliest sins.

Copyright©, 2015 BubbaNO Mills. All rights reserved. DIFFERENTIATION Branding about being known forvicereal estate agent who expressed to us that Bubba Mills isis not co-owner and executive president of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (www.corcorancoaching.com/programs, 800-957-8353), an in international your profession. It’s about being known she was already well branded her area. consulting coaching that performance coaching and for being and different in yourcompany profession. If specializes She stated,in“When I walk into a restaurant theallimplementation sound systems Real Estate Companies, Mortgage agents were the of same, howbusiness would your in into my community, people already know Companies and Small Businesses. Bubba Mills is a nationally recognized inspirational customers know who to choose? Lack of I’m a real estate agent.” And while that and education speaker, coach and mentor to the top real estate agents and mortgage differentiation is out by more far the #1 personal is a great start, it’s nowhere close to succompanies. To find about Corcoran Consulting & Coaching, call 1-800-957-8353 We love to tell the story of a cessful branding. Let’s assume I walked or branding visit us at sin. www.CorcoranCoaching.com. 6

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into that restaurant and noticed her. But I also noticed two other agents in the same restaurant. Now, who do I choose? Which

‘brand’ stands out to me? What lets me know that one of them is uniquely positioned to serve my needs?

and they don’t care for sudden changes in procedure or lifestyle. They also NO FOCUS like activities they can start and finish. In business, you can’t be all things to all side of your specific focus. That would be people. Many have and failed. In or- always quite difficult. It does mean over work. time Compliants are tried thinkers. They’re wondering howthat, things der to have business and brand, doneacorrectly), you approach. will do moreWhen and They wanta successful practicality, logic, fairness(ifand systematic you must define yourfacts, ideal custommore ofand the data. exact They kind ofseek business you talking toclearly thinkers give documentation accuracy. er and how you will super-serve that cus- want, and conversely, even stop doing They’re motivated by standards of high quality, limited social interaction, tomer. In other words, declare and develop the kind of business you don’t want. And detailed tasks and focused, logical itorganization of information. a specialty. By being does NOT that’s what a great brand is designed to mean that you stop doing all business outaccomplish.

some personality assessment tools can cost thousands of dollars, but at Corcoran Coaching, we’veNO opted for a much more affordable offering: a free AUTHENTICITY DIsC assessment. Just visit www.corcorancoaching.com/behavioralstyle. Recognizable personal brands can be very You should be able to ‘breathe your brand’ php and you’ll be guided through a quick questionnaire to learn your own clever and memorable, but if your brand in everything that you do. This is importdominant andlast. how to read as well. isn’t ‘you’,style it won’t If you try toothers put ant not only for your customers, but perout a persona that is different from your haps most importantly for you. There is Yes, needs and wants responding ownunderstanding and the way you people, live yourlistening life, peo- to their a tremendous amount of and confidence that ple will take notice overwork time. and The attention. most comes knowing youisare who appropriately all take Butwith because realthat estate a people incredible it’s personal brands weaveAnd pro-theyou portray, that become, you have the business, simply a must. better at itandyou thehabits, better fessional and personal intoorone. inspiration, knowledge and expertise to living you’ll make asqualities an agent broker. I promise. Your brand becomes an extension of you. back it up.

Best of luck to you!

NO CONSISTENCY

You can have a2015 recognizable memocards, postcards, brochures, etc. Other peoCopyright©, Bubbaand Mills. All rights reserved.

rable brand, but if you don’t display those ple don’t see them nearly as often, so don’t branding correctly consis- viceapply or compare your own habits and Bubba Millselements is co-owner andand executive president of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (www.corcorancoaching.com/programs, 800-957-8353), an international tently across all of your marketing plat- exposure to theirs. Repetitiveness in marconsulting andyou coaching company in only performance coaching and forms, it does little good. In orderthat to specializes keting is not a good thing, it’s essenthe implementation sound systems Real Estate Companies, Mortgage accomplish this taskofwell, youbusiness must step tialinto for retention. Once you determine the Companies and Small Businesses. Bubba Mills is a nationally recognized inspirational back from your marketing and see it the overall messaging and look of your brand, and education speaker, coach and mentor to the top real estate agents and mortgage way others To do.find Youout seemore yourabout socialCorcoran media Consulting that look should continuecall across literally companies. & Coaching, 1-800-957-8353 every day. You see your business every marketing platform you touch. orchannels visit us at www.CorcoranCoaching.com. Top Agent Magazine

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NO CONTENT The ultimate goal of personal branding is comfortable producing is the key to keeping to become known as an authority in your it simple. No one wants to be bogged down andchosen they niche. don’t That caremeans for sudden or lifestyle. They also withprocedure producing content. But on the flip side, that youchanges must in likedemonstrate activitiesthe they can start and finish. knowledge, expertise and/ no one knows how much you know until or experience to back up your position. you share it. Great content demonstrates your knowledge and how helps your customers Content that are best expresses youThey’re and your always Compliants thinkers. wondering things work. at the same time. In addition, it serves anbrand could be as simple as a series of They want practicality, logic, fairness and a systematic approach. When other purpose with search engine optimizaphotos, quotes, e-books, video shorts, etc. talking to thinkers give facts, documentation and data. They seek accuracy. Choosing the type of content you’re most tion and attracting prospects online.

They’re motivated by standards of high quality, limited social interaction, detailed tasks and logicalNO organization of ACTION information. CALL TO

You’re spending money to market across using other people’s money’. Your call some personality assessment tools can cost thousands of dollars, but at multiple platforms, so why not take the to action may change with different marCorcoran Coaching, opted for more affordable offering: keting channels or purposes, buta free you opportunity to extendwe’ve an invitation fora much DIsC Just with visityou? www.corcorancoaching.com/behavioralstyle. your assessment. prospects to engage It can should always, always have one. If you want people to do something, tell them a simple call be to action, such as ‘call me phpbeand you’ll guided through a quick questionnaire to learn your own you’d like them to do. That’s how you first’ or more ‘contact me others for a aswhat dominant stylespecific, and how to read well. free home staging assessment’ or ‘download my e-book and learn how to invest

move prospects one step closer to becoming customers.

Yes, understanding people, listening to their needs and wants and responding appropriately all take work attention. But because real estate is a people NOand FOLLOW-THROUGH business, it’s simply a must. And the better at it you become, the better with hundreds of agents, folWhyyou’ll is this included in branding, living make as an agentyou or may broker.munication I promise. ask? Because your brand is your bond. It’s low-through is at the top of the list when it comes to customer complaints. You don’t your handshake. When you say you’ll do Best of luck how to you! something, can people trust you if want to be that person. Putting an incredible you don’t follow through with your prom- message and image out there isn’t enough. must live up to those standards with ise? This is often elementMills. that people Copyright©, 2015theBubba All rightsYou reserved. forget altogether. And in fact, in our com- every customer, every transaction

Bubba Mills is co-owner and executive vice president of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (www.corcorancoaching.com/programs, 800-957-8353), international ® Tonya Eberhart is the Branding Agent to Business Stars and founder ofan BrandFace , LLC. ® consulting andMichael coaching company that specializes in performance coaching Carr is America’s Top Selling Real Estate Auctioneer & BrandFace partner. and the implementation of they sound systems into Real Estatedesigned Companies, Mortgage Together, focusbusiness on personal branding and marketing to help real estate ® professionals become theBubba face of their & a star in their market. BrandFace Companies and Small Businesses. Millsbusiness is a nationally recognized inspirational Real Estate Professionals is a book, speaking and and an exclusive and educationfor speaker, coach and mentor toprofessional the top real estateseries agents mortgage workshop for agents, and is currently active in 18 U.S. states, Canada and New Zealand. companies. To find out more about Corcoran Consulting & Coaching, call 1-800-957-8353 For more information, visit www.BrandFaceRealEstate.com. or visit us at www.CorcoranCoaching.com. 8

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Lauren Maxwell Top Agent Magazine

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Lauren and her husband Dan

The day after she graduated from college, Lauren Maxwell sat down to interview for a position in the mortgage industry, encouraged by her mother’s friend who had long thrived in the business. That was back in 1987 and ever since, Lauren has built her own legacy in lending, complete with a reputation for creative problem-solving, diligence, and a personal touch. 10 Copyright Top Agent Magazine

Today, Lauren applies her more than three decades of experience in a leading team comprised of loan officers, in-house processors, underwriters, and closers. Together, they serve clients across the Southwest Florida region, under the banner THE MAXWELL MORTGAGE TEAM of CrossCountry Mortgage, Inc. As a direct lender, Lauren and her team have access to a full range of loan options, Top Agent Magazine


Lauren and her son Hunter

from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae products to FHA, USDA, Conventional and VA. Likewise, Lauren uses her years of experience to help those who may have credit challenges find options to home ownership. Over the course of her lengthy industry tenure, she has managed to amass the vast majority of her business through repeat and referral clientele, driven by real estate agents, attorneys, Top Agent Magazine

accountants, builders, and past clients. To account for her steady success thus far, Lauren cites responsiveness, a can-do attitude, and an authentic commitment to her clients’ best interests as the defining attributes of her working style. What’s more, her thorough professionalism and follow-through ensures a dependable lending process, which makes for a valuable asset amidst the competitive home11 Copyright Top Agent Magazine


buying landscape. “I answer everybody’s calls and I never go home until every call and email is answered,” Lauren says. “When I tell someone they’re approved, they can take that to the bank. I really analyze a client’s credit and income so that we’ll have a clear understanding of expectations. I know people count on me, and I’m able to tell realtors that if their clients are pre-approved, they won’t have problems with financing down the line.” Having spent more than three decades in the industry, Lauren has assembled a winning Copyright Top Agent Magazine 12

team of professionals who efficiently execute their roles with confidence. With 80% of her team bilingual in English and Spanish, and Lauren offering free credit coaching for aspiring buyers— clients can rely on Lauren’s understanding of the lending process and its demands. “Everyone on our team is committed to helping people close loans,” she explains. “We want everyone to come in and feel welcome and feel positive about their experience. We also make sure we’re available to communicate in whatever way Top Agent Magazine


works for a client—from email and online applications, to working by phone or faceto-face. We have an attitude of Can Do, Will Do.” Accordingly, when presented with potentially problematic files that other lenders have yet to find solutions for, Lauren has earned a 95% turnaround rate. She even serves as the preferred lender for a major area builder and has proven herself time and again as a professional who can problem-solve and deliver when others may have given up on the client.

Lauren and her daughter

Beyond the office, Lauren gives back to a variety of causes, including Homes for Heroes, Wounded Warrior Project, PACE Center for Girls, and Friends of Foster Children of Naples. She and her husband also launched their own charity, 2DAMAX, where they directed friends and family in lieu of wedding gifts. Likewise, Lauren’s husband is a Sheriff’s Deputy and she coordinates credits for the Collier County Sheriff’s Department when they’re hunting for their mortgages. In the office, Lauren and her team also give back through local backpack and Halloween costume drives, Toys for Tots at Christmas time, donating Thanksgiving feasts to those in need, causes supporting Muscular Dystrophy, church causes, and more. In her free hours, Lauren most enjoys time spent with her family and loved ones, staying active, catching the latest movie, and hosting Sunday dinners for her extended family. As for the future of her business, Lauren plans to continue growing her team and expanding her MAXWELL MORTGAGE TEAM brand, with hopes to help more aspiring buyers and up-and-coming industry professionals. Soon, Top Agent Magazine

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Lauren and her family

her team will be licensed in all fifty states, with immediate expansions planned for New Jersey, Pennsylvania, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, and Ohio. Now, with more than thirty years of experience and insights to her name, Lauren Maxwell considers what she has come to value most about her career thus far. “I love coming to work every day,” she says. “I’ve been doing

this for a very long time, and I still can’t wait to come to work every morning—it’s part of who I am. I love the challenge and I love being there for the borrower who needs my help, who has been turned down before and they’re coming to me. There’s nothing more satisfying than using my experience to make that dream of owning a home happen for someone. My mantra is Financing the world one loan at a time.”

To learn more about Lauren Maxwell email Lauren@MaxwellMortgageLoans.com, visit MaxwellMortgageLoans.com, or call (239) 596 – 0500 www.

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6 Things You Need to Do to Be a Great Mentor

Everyone reaches the point in their career where they feel they have gained enough experience and wisdom about business and what it takes to succeed, to actually help someone else achieve the same. Although you may have trained or given advice over the years, taking on the official status as a mentor to someone is a whole new ball game. Top Agent Magazine

Although mentorship is an unpaid endeavor, you’ll be surprised to find out how much you’ll gain from the experience. You’ll also grow as a business person through the process of teaching someone else. It’s also an endeavor that many will pay forward one day, creating a business atmosphere that is based more on mutual success than competition, which is better for everyone.

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If you were mentored, you may already have an idea of what it entails, and what you liked or didn’t like in your mentor/mentee relationship. Although it is a personal relationship that will need an individual approach, there are certain things that are key when it comes to being a great mentor: 1. Be a good listener

est about your own failures. It can be a huge relief to find out someone they look up to has gone through similar experiences and still managed to come out on top. As we all know, oftentimes the greatest lessons come from failures, which can be times when our character is truly tested. Building trust through mutual respect and honesty will make every aspect of your mentorship more effective.

You’re basically a sounding board who needs to hear your mentee’s ideas, plans and goals in order to advise them. Strong, constant and clear communication is key to any successful mentoring relationship. Sometimes just letting them talk things out with you, will lead to them to discovering the solution they were looking for. 2. Set expectations and goals at the start When listening to your mentee in your first meeting about the potential relationship, it’s important to establish the parameters of what that relationship will be: What can you give them? What do they need or expect from you? Once the terms are agreed upon, you may want to set specific goals you’ll be working on together so that there’s a defined plan of action, timeline and result you can both expect. 3. Be honest This is important when it comes to offering them constructive criticism or tough love, but more importantly, you need to be hon16

4. Get them to think, don’t make decisions for them Sometimes being a mentor is being a bit like a psychologist. By asking certain ques-

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tions you can lead your mentee to their own conclusions about their business dilemmas and strategies to reach their goals. Being a mentor is all about guidance. Build confidence by drawing out the best in your mentee rather than just presenting them with solutions. 5. Look at the situation objectively One of the key strengths you offer your mentee is a complete emotional detachment to their business. You have no sentimental attachment to doing things a certain way or working with an incompetent vendor because you ‘go way back’. Your only motive is what’s best for your mentee and their business. Although emotions cans still get in the way sometimes, having a detached perspective on hand to guide you is invaluable. 6. Don’t just offer constructive criticism, be supportive Yes, being a mentor is sometimes advising your mentee that he’s doing something ineffectively, but your main purpose is to alway approach everything like cheerleader. You need to let them know that through it Top Agent Magazine

all, you are a reliable support to them and have a complete belief in their abilities. Make sure to always praise their accomplishments. Remember: your job as a mentor is more about guidance than constant feedback. Your goal is to help someone become the best they can be, not someone who just does everything the way you do it. You’re helping them build confidence in their own intuition, which will hopefully lead to a lifetime of success, and one day, they too might be a valuable resource to another mentee down the road.

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3 Tips For Masterful To-Do Lists by Rob Flitton

Here are three masterful tips to easyto-prepare and easy-to-perform todo lists. 1-Important v. Urgent. Always prepare your lists based on what is important, not what is urgent. Why? Let’s define our terms. “Important” in this context is about what matters to you. “Urgent” in this context is about what matters to others. People have a tendency to not only assemble their lists based on the needs of other people, they get derailed by interruptions and distractions from the pressing needs of others—they get on phone calls, discussions, text-threads, or emailexchanges that take away their focus.

The corollary tricks here are to (i) negotiate for time and space in advance, and (ii) learn to say “no.” Since you want to focus on what’s important and not on what’s urgent, it causes you much less friction to negotiate ahead of time with those who matter to you for the time and space you need to be able to focus. This keeps you from worrying about family matters when at work, and work matters when enjoying your family or leisure time. When we are afraid in life to politely say “no” to the wrong thing, we makes ourselves unavailable to say “yes” to the right things. Those who appreciate and understand you will cooperate—those who do not will simply have to adjust.

2-Obey The Crow. Sometimes these urgency-intruders There should never be more than 7 can be close to you and hard to say items on your to-do list. No one no to—your spouse, boss, children, can concentrate on too many things at once. customers, or strangers.

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To be able to focus, a person needs to be able to discern which activities or ideas are most important to him at that moment, and at any given moment a person is only able to hold, focus on, or visualize perhaps somewhere between 4 and 7. This limitation was understood from an experiment observing a flock of crows gathered in a clearing. When various groups of men would cross the clearing and then enter the nearby woods, the crows would flee to the 20

treetops only to return when the full number of men could be accounted for—i.e., when they felt safe. If one man went in and then came back they would return to the clearing. If three men went into the woods and only two returned, they wouldn’t. If five men went into the woods and only four returned, they felt safe to return to the clearing. This means that the crows could only hold 3 or 4 units of the men in their focus. Top Agent Magazine


Focusing on where the money comes from strips away all of the non-essentials. For humans, the same is true but may be slightly higher. Look at a forest—you can perceive and focus on and count about 6 or 7 trees at one time, but you can never focus on or count an entire forest.

being the most important, and 1 dollar sign being the least important—like movie, book or restaurant ratings. At the end of the to-do list period— whether it is a daily, weekly, monthly or annual list—you need not have completed every item, but you need to have entirely completed or accomplished the 4- and 5-star items. You would rather fully complete three 5star items than partially complete all seven items on your list.

The powerful piece of knowledge here is that by using unit economy— by limiting your ideas and activities into manageable groups—you can greatly overcome these limitations and leverage your means to tackle more and more work. By breaking lists down into groups of 4 to 7 Money is a measuring stick for how units, you can accomplish hundreds, effective you are at conducting your if not thousands, of important jobs business—it is really the only objective means of measuring your and tasks annually. effectiveness. Yes, there are plenty of non-monetary goals and outcomes 3-Dollar Signs. The matter of deciding what should we all want to achieve, but I assert be at the top of your list should that being profitable matters the come down to the money. Money is most, and your to-do lists need to best barometer of what you should establish the mental attitude required spend your time on. Bookkeeping is to achieve maximum profitability. an important task in business, but Focusing on where the money comes closing sales is significantly more from strips away all of the nonimportant—no sales adds up to no essentials. need for bookkeeping. Rob Flitton is a Seattle Real Estate MarAssign everything on your to do list a number of dollar signs, 5 dollar signs Top Agent Magazine

keting specialist helping independent agents to increase their income. Email Rob robflitton@gmail.com at any time or call/ text him at 206-612-2314.

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6 Things All Successful Negotiators Do If you think about it, you’ve been negotiating your whole life. As a kid you negotiated constantly with your family, your teachers, and your classmates. If you’re a parent, you’re negotiating probably more than you ever have in your life. But it’s one thing to negotiate staying up late on a school night, people oftentimes have trouble translating those real world negotiation skills into the business world. But the truth is there are a lot similarities. Expert negotiators all have skills and techniques they bring to the table. It’s quite possible you also have them, and don’t even realize 22

it. Here’s a look at some traits that are common among expert negotiators.

1. They keep emotion out of the process It’s very easy to feel frustrated, angry and defensive during a negotiation process. But when emotions run high, it’s often difficult to respond with logic and reason. This can be especially difficult if the person you’re negotiating with tries to escalate the situation. As the saying goes, keep calm and carry on. You

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have an end goal in mind, and getting heated won’t help you meet it. If things don’t go your way, remember it’s not personal. Best to leave the table with no hard feelings. Hopefully even though you may not have gotten what you’ve wanted this time around, you’ve established a foundation for success at your next try.

2. They’re reasonable If you don’t ask for what you want you’ll never get it, but at the same time, you need to be reasonable about what you’re asking for. Yes, ask for a little more than you want, so you have some wiggle room to compromise. But if you ask for too much too soon, you might shut down the person you’re negotiating with from the start, or even worse offend them. No one wants to feel like they’re being taken advantage of. Ask for what you deserve and you’ll never go wrong. At the very least you might start the conversation on how that might be possible down the line, if it isn’t just yet.

3. They’re well-prepared Part of being reasonable is being well-prepared. One of the biggest mistakes novice negotiators make is showing up over-confident and under prepared. Have the research and facts to back up what you’re asking for. Show your negotiation partner evidence of why what you’re asking for is not only fair, but necessary. Facts are hard to shoot down. This will also give you the confidence to really push for what you want. It’s not just something you think, it’s something that’s undeniable true. If you go in unprepared you’re more likely to flounder, which will damage your credibility going into future negotiations. Top Agent Magazine

4. They always strive for a win/win solution for everyone Yes, negotiations are about getting what you want, but as the old saying goes, you get more flies with honey than vinegar. Your negotiation partner might also have reasonable requests that you need to consider. Ultimately, successful negotiations are about compromise on both sides, and ending up with an outcome that benefits everyone.

5. They’re creative Problems and conflict are a natural part of any negotiation. One surefire way to impress, is to head off any impending roadblocks, by coming up with creative solutions. It’s easy to point out problems and be negative. Truly expert negotiators think outside the box, and dazzle with innovative concepts and ideas that leave everyone excited about the process.

6. They’re good listeners Listening in order to really understand where your negotiation partner is coming from is important for two reasons: you not only want to make them feel heard, but knowing what they want is invaluable information you can use to get what you want. At the start, you’re gathering information by asking questions and really hearing what they say, which includes picking up on body language and nonverbal cues as well. This is part of being well-prepared, using every possible thing you can to have an advantage. Being in control of the situation, and then leading everyone to a successful conclusion all around is what great negotiation is all about.

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