a product message image
{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade

Page 1
















Phone 310-734-1440 | Fax 310-734-1440 mag@topagentmagazine.com | www.topagentmagazine.com No portion of this issue may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior consent of the publisher. Top Agent Magazine is published by Feature Publications GA, Inc. Although precautions are taken to ensure the accuracy of published materials, Top Agent Magazine cannot be held responsible for opinions expressed or facts supplied by its authors. To subscribe or change address, send inquiry to mag@topagentmagazine.com. Published in the U.S.


Top Agent Magazine


Top Agent Magazine


3 Surefire Methods that Make for a Productive Meeting Sometimes a business meeting can achieve exactly what it sets out to do: communicate, assess actions, set goals, or otherwise. Other times, meetings can feel like a drain on your time and energy, and only advance your agenda in marginal ways. While meetings are an integral form of communication in the professional world, how can you ensure that they are both productive and worthwhile? 4

The truth is, it takes intentioned planning to make a meeting a success. A well-curated meeting makes partners and employees feel unified as a team, excited about what’s to come, and motivated to achieve a collective goal. With that in mind, consider a few approaches below to maximize your next meeting and ensure that all parties involved leave with a renewed sense of direction and inspiration.

Top Agent Magazine ÂŽ

Top Agent Magazine

1. Create a detailed agenda in advance Oftentimes meetings are scheduled with a loose goal in mind—to hash out the terms of a contract or to strategize a new marketing campaign, for example. To ensure your meeting is productive, time-efficient, and achieves its end, create a detailed agenda in advance. This means breaking down your overarching goal into pieces and outlining what’s required to complete each component. You might also consider making time blocks for each respective component, so there is a clear structure and hierarchy in place. Not only does this ensure that time is used wisely and evenly, but it also creates order and momentum for the greater task at hand. What’s more, you’ll want to distribute this detailed agenda in advance of your meeting, so that all attendees will be familiar with the format and delineated goals of your gathering. This will set a professional tone, while keeping team members and conversation on task.

2. Reserve off-topics ideas and comments for later Too many meetings are derailed when an off-topic question or comment is made and hijacks the attentions of attendees. While it’s natural that outlying issues may arise when all team members are gathered, you can ward off distractions by creating a so-called holding area for off-topic talking points. This holding area will serve as the receptacle for any off-topic or lower priority addendum, and you can create a chunk of time towards the end of your meeting to readdress those Top Agent Magazine

points separately. Once you’ve achieved the highest priority goals of your meeting, you can then return to the items in your holding area. Note: be sure to familiarize your staff with this approach so that the expectation is already in place and interruptions won’t distract from your meeting’s true intent.

3. Conclude every meeting with a brief summary and action items The very last thing you should do before concluding your meeting is to reemphasize the main takeaways of your gathering and outline a specific list of action items. Again, successful meetings are clear and give attendees a sense of direction. That’s why reiterating action items—or next steps in need of completion—to each respective employee is an essential component of a productive meeting. Likewise, summarizing main takeaways unifies a team’s understanding of what’s important and why the meeting was called in the first place. Ending on a concrete yet proactive note helps launch team members toward the next event in their day and gives them a sense of confidence as they tackle their duties. Meetings don’t have to be a formality or a bore. When planned and executed with incisiveness, they can inspire your talent roster and streamline productivity in your office. Especially in the world of real estate, ensuring everyone is on the same page and doing their jobs effectively is key to success and longevity. Put a little planning into your next meeting, and you’ll save yourself valuable time and energy as you move forward.

Top Agent Magazine ®


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

Top Agent Magazine

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!


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


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

Top Agent Magazine

BILL CLAYTON Top Agent Magazine


BILL CLAYTON, BENCHMARK MORTGAGE As a branch manager with Benchmark Mortgage in Columbus, Georgia, Bill concentrates on the Columbus metropolitan area which includes Phenix City, Auburn, and Opelika – all in Alabama. Although Bill Clayton has been in the mortgage business for almost 27 years, one could say that he’s been in the real estate world his entire life. That’s what happens when you grow up with parents in the business. “My parents still have an office crosstown, although we’re different companies and so that can be interesting sometimes,” he says. 10Copyright Top Agent Magazine

While in college, Bill studied mechanical engineering. “I realized in my senior year that engineering was not what I wanted to do,” he says. “I had been moonlighting in the mortgage space and processing loans and helping my parents. And I liked it, I was good at it, and so I decided that’s what I wanted to do.” He subsequently reopened a failed office in Top Agent Magazine

Dothan, Alabama in 1999. “I moved down there, turned the lights back on, and I’ve been running ever since.” As a branch manager with Benchmark Mortgage in Columbus, Georgia, Bill concentrates on the Columbus metropolitan area which includes Phenix City, Auburn, and Top Agent Magazine

Opelika – all in Alabama. He also works with clients in Atlanta as well as Florida. And while that’s quite a large coverage area, Bill believes strongly in taking the time to meet with clients face-to-face, being thoughtful, and not rushing through a deal. “Who in their right minds is going to spend less time on the most important financial decision to this point in their lives than Copyright Top Agent Magazine11

Last year, Bill closed $27 million worth in his loan volume, working with 120 families, while his office closed nearly $76 million, serving 365 families. The average transaction price range came out about $230,000. “Frankly, I’m quite proud of that little number!”

they do going and ordering McDonald’s chicken nuggets? That just doesn’t make sense,” he says. “I meet with every one of my clients face-to-face. If they’re not available to meet with me at my office, then we do a Zoom call. And so we’re right there in front of them.” Bill’s explanation gives you a sense of his passion and honesty when it comes to supporting his clients. Last year, Bill closed $27 million worth in his loan volume, working with 120 families, while his office closed nearly $76 million, serving 365 families. The average transaction price range came out about $230,000. “Frankly, I’m quite proud of that little number. I didn’t have an assistant, so that was interesting. But I do now, and she is amazing! We’re going to shoot the moon together this year,” he says. 12Copyright Top Agent Magazine

Top Agent Magazine

Working and supporting veterans is both a personal and professional passion for Bill. “We are active with helping with anything and everything that has anything to do with veterans and we’re looking for opportunities to get more involved,” he says. This year, he started out by buying 100 plates of food for a VFW event. He plans on doing it again. “I’ll pay for as many plates as they’ll let me buy.” Top Agent Magazine

Bill estimates that 40% of his business comes from repeat clients and referrals. And he’s working to improve on that number. “One of the things that I’m really strongly looking at is bringing in speakers that have a more veteran-centric message and inviting referral partners and influencers in the area to those and also having potentially a tandem event and bringing my clients to that,” he says. Copyright Top Agent Magazine13

After two years working with Benchmark Mortgage, Bill believes that he is able to work more closely with clients who he’s worked with in the past. “I call them legacy clients. I don’t like the term prior clients,” he says. And although he’s grown and developed in his long career, he

believes in the core concept of making sure his clients are making smart fiscal choices. “As a Dave Ramsey Coach, I bring those tools of financial responsibility into what we do every day with our clients,” he says. “I mean, they literally have their financial chest open on my desk.”

To learn more about Bill Clayton, email bill.clayton@benchmark.us Visit  billclayton.com, or call (706) 576-2451 www.

14Copyright Top Agent Magazine

Top Agent Magazine

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.

Top Agent Magazine


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-

Top Agent Magazine

Top Agent Magazine

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.

Top Agent Magazine


5 Things You Can Do To Achieve Your Biggest Goals If there’s one thing successful people can agree on, it’s that setting goals has been key to their success. Whether you’re creating a five year plan or just settling on what you want to achieve by the end of the day, setting goals gives you the focus and direction you need to complete even the biggest tasks. But there is a method to setting them. It’s a process that takes careful thought and consideration up front, which is then combined with the hard work necessary to implement your plan. Luckily there are proven methods to goal setting that you can start using immediately. 1. MAKE YOUR GOALS SPECIFIC Yes, it’s fun to think in grand terms of where you want to end up in life and in your career, but it’s better to have a specific goal like “Increase my sales by 25%”, than “Get rich.” When a goal is clear and specific, it allows you to figure out the exact steps you need to take to accomplish it. The more general it is, the more paralyzed you might be when it comes to figuring out what to do since, the choices may be overwhelming. 2. MAKE IT ATTAINABLE Making attainable goals might seem boring, I mean afterall, you want to dream big! But you don’t want to suffer through the disappointment of not reaching your goal, something that may not even be possible at this stage in your life to begin with. One solution to that is creating goal levels. You can have the dream goal, but underneath that you have the realistic goals that are setting up a foundation for achieving the big one. Things that are attainable still take work and effort to achieve. Those small victories will keep you motivated and encouraged to go for the bigger dreams. And don’t forget, those 18

little goals may have been things you wouldn’t have gotten done if you didn’t set out to achieve them, so be proud! 3. PUT A PLAN OF ACTION IN WRITING Your plan of action should include daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. There is something about seeing things in writing and crossing them off the list that is oddly satisfying.The daily goals are especially important in regards to building up those good habits. The first few weeks of your plan of action are critical when it comes to your long term success. Reaching a goal is something you are doing every day, all throughout the day, in numerous ways. Achieving goals is all about creating good new habits. 4. MAKE IT MEASURABLE This is key, since you definitely want to reward yourself for a job well done, and having a goal that is measurable in some way is a sure way to know. Maybe it’s to increase your lead generation or to cut expenses, whatever the case, have a measurable test you need to meet, as well as a time frame. Then calculate what you have to do to reach that goal. Not only should your goal be specific, but the plan and the measure of success should also be set in stone. 5. ADJUST AS YOU GO You can have all the best laid plans, and you still might quickly realize that what you thought would help you reach your goal, might not be cutting it. Commitment to reaching your goals is good, but commitment to a plan you know isn’t going to work is not only a waste of time, but will be a devastating blow to your motivation. Sticking to a plan everyday means adjusting it accordingly.

Top Agent Magazine

Top Agent Magazine

AMY GARMON Top Agent Magazine


AMY GARMON When Amy Garmon entered the mortgage industry in 1994 as a receptionist, she had no idea it would turn into a dream career. Today she is a branch manager with VanDyk Mortgage Corporation in Griffin, Georgia, with a small team that includes two loan officers, a transaction coordinator, a processor and a marketing assistant. As a direct lender, VanDyk Mortgage is able to offer a wide variety of products with fast closing times. By providing outstanding customer service, guidance throughout the transaction and constant communication, around 95 percent of her business has consisted of repeat clients and referrals. “More than anything, it’s transparency and knowledge that keeps my clients coming back,” Amy explains. “They know when we offer a preapproval letter, it’s real. We’re very transparent and communicate well throughout the entire process. I have referral partners who have been with me for over 20 years.” Mainly, her referral sources are real estate agents, as they trust Amy will do everything possible to not only get their clients pre-approved, but to take the loan to closing. “We make it an easier process. Because of my knowledge and the knowledge my entire team has, we rarely ever have any surprises. We don’t miss closing dates. We’re not going to let them down.” After the transaction, clients love to spread the word about her work. One recently said, “Amy Garmon and the team at VanDyk Mortgage got my refinance loan closed within 30 days. A local bank, that had given me the construction loan, couldn’t get the final mortgage closed after the house was finished. This was the fastest closing I have ever been to. Thank you Amy, Nicole, John, and the closing attorney Beck, Owen, and Murray! You guys rock!” Another wrote, 20

“Amy helped me get a few things straightened out with my credit, and helped me get pre-approved for a home loan and even helped a Realtor© show me the house we bought! This lady has the answers to all your mortgage questions.” When Amy isn’t working, she’s staying involved in the community through the local dog rescues. She also hosts lunch & learns where she teaches other loan officers in the area about ways to improve their business. During any free time, she’s hanging out with family, including her 17-month-old granddaughter, husband, and dogs. As she looks towards the future, she is eager to continue building her team and eventually become a non-producing branch manager many years down the line. “We have one goal in mind, which is to be a knowledgeable and trustworthy team.” No matter how much she grows, she will love every minute of her work. “I love helping people obtain their dream of homeownership. I really enjoy it.”

For more information about Amy Garmon, please call 678-898-9476 or email agarmon@vandykmortgage.com Copyright Top Top Agent Agent Magazine Magazine

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.

Top Agent Magazine


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 22

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.



Graham Harrop Graham Harrop Cartoons Cartoons

Putting the power of humour to work for you!

Putting the power of humour to work for you! grahamharrop.com 

grahamharrop.com  24

Top Agent Magazine

mailto:mag@topagentmagazine.com http://www.topagentmagazine.com

Top Agent Magazine


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 26

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

Top Agent Magazine

Top Agent Magazine

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.

Top Agent Magazine




Top Agent Magazine