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MASSACHUSETTS EDITION

Creative Meditation for the Real Estate Professional

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Fresh New Approaches to Content Marketing

How to Create a Business-Winning Plan in One Hour COVER STORY

The MacLean Springer Group Marsha MacLean & Laura Springer


MASSACHUSETTS EDITION

9 The MacLean Springer Group MARSHA MACLEAN & LAURA SPRINGER

Marsha MacLean & Laura Springer

CONTENTS 4) CREATIVE MEDITATION FOR THE REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL 6) 5 FRESH NEW APPROACHES TO CONTENT MARKETING

15) FROM CHAOS TO CONTROL 21) HOW TO CREATE A BUSINESS-WINNING PLAN IN ONE HOUR

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Creative Meditation

for the Real Estate Professional The real estate world can be an industry of intense emotional and psychological pressure. Deadlines, meetings, employee needs, client needs and a hundred other items on which one needs to focus on a daily basis can create an environment that is not only not conducive to mental well-being, but can be outright detrimental. Learning to quiet the mind has been the focus of meditation for millennia. While those not familiar with the concept of meditation may instinctively think of yoga mats, incense, and chanting when the word “meditation” arises, there are in fact, many forms of meditation that can integrate quite 4

easily into the daily hustle & bustle world of the busy real estate agent. First, think about when you are alone each day. Here are some possible times to practice mediation during the work day: • When driving to the office in the morning • When driving to a showing or to meet a client • Before your open house begins • After the open house • Driving home in the evening Top Agent Magazine


Repeating a mantra can be very calming, particularly when you are trying to rid yourself of negative, self-defeating thoughts. These are just five examples of times when you can take advantage of meditation techniques to quiet your mind and, by extension, increase productivity. A calm mind is a more thoughtful, better tuned instrument. Here are some examples of meditations you can try:

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For when you’re driving, download and listen to any number of audio Guided Meditations available on the internet. YouTube has a generous selection of these, many of which are geared towards success in business.

2 Repeating a mantra can be very calm-

ing, particularly when you are trying to rid yourself of negative, self-defeating thoughts. It doesn’t matter what words you choose, as long as you feel good about your choice. “I am a success” or “I will approach all of my clients with love today” are two examples. Whatever works for you and gets you into the desired mindset.

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3 Something as simple as listening to pleasant music in your car can be considered meditation, provided it brings you to a place of comfort as opposed to one of spiritual discordance.

4 The most important thing, however, is to take time to find gratitude in everything you do. Count your blessings, be grateful the exciting career in real estate you have built for yourself.

Once you’ve mastered some of these techniques at quieting your mind, you can attempt to find some that work even better for you. Walking, plain silence, or even exercise can have meditative qualities and benefits if practiced on a regular basis. When you’re truly feeling calm, your clients can sense this. And with this comes the feeling that you can be relied upon to stay focused and calm in any unforeseen circumstances. And in the world of real estate, that’s a highly prized commodity. 5


5 Fresh New Approaches to Content Marketing A couple of weeks ago we were conducting a workshop when we were asked two excellent questions about content marketing:

• People

don’t want to hear from a roofing company every day. So how do you produce fresh and interesting content for social media that goes beyond your core services and yet ties back to your business?

• Can

you extend your social media presence and content to include personal things (like your hobbies) and how does that affect your overall business image?

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The workshop attendee who asked the first question was right. Almost no one wants to hear from any company every day… especially if all the content is about products and services…and yes, even if they’re giving helpful tips and information. Does that mean you should stop producing excellent daily content related to your business? No, of course not! Content is created for two reasons. First, to provide knowledge, expertise and even entertainment to your ideal customers in order to achieve top of mind awareness as an authority in your industry. And second, to produce SEO-rich results that keep you at the top of search engines. You must strike a

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balance between the two, and try to include content that draws people in by being super interesting and entertaining….and yes, sometimes personal. To help answer those content questions above, here are five different types of content (beyond the traditional stuff) that can give your brand a fresh, unique and balanced approach:

1. PHILANTHROPIC Your community efforts say a lot about who you are, and people will make an extra effort to do business with you as a result of this connection. We’ve consulted business owners who are very hesitant to promote these efforts because they don’t want it to seem as though they are exploiting the charities and organizations—and most especially because they don’t do it for the promotional aspects. They do it to give back. I ask you to keep this in mind. Nonprofit and charitable organizations very often have small marketing budgets. Not only do they rely on outside marketing forces to promote their initiatives, they would likely be forced to close their doors without that support. That means that when someone with a strong brand and presence promotes them, it’s a highly trusted and personal connection, and you can’t buy that kind of support. In other words, they not only need you to promote them, they want you to promote them. But your instincts are correct. It’s not about you. So just make sure your entire content focuses on the organization you’re helping, what they do for the community and how Top Agent Magazine

others can join in the cause. Then it becomes a huge win for all.

2. HOBBIES You bungee jumped from four of the tallest bridges in the U.S. In your spare time, you go fly fishing. You love playing chef and use only locally grown, organic foods. Your friends are always begging you to go to Vegas with your card shark talents. You’ve done mission work in Africa and would like to start your own group. You almost played professional baseball. You have an insane talent for gardening design or bass guitar. Your family works at a soup kitchen once a month. Ok…you get the picture. And two more words. Reality TV. People are interesting…and people are interested in interesting people. We remember others based on these unique traits. And most of all, people love the story behind the face. Don’t be afraid to share your hobbies. Quite often, it’s the first thing that will personally connect you to a prospect.

3. CREATIVE CONNECTION This one is perhaps our favorite. While we can’t imagine seeing something come across our news feed from a landscaping company every day, imagine this for a moment. What are we always told to remember in this hectic world? Stop and smell the roses, right? So what if…a landscaping company posted a beautiful flower each day, just to remind you to ‘stop and smell the roses’. And at the bottom of that photo (small print), you included

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the type of flower and type of environment needed to make it flourish (moist soil, full sun, etc.). And then, of course, watermarked it with your logo….and a title like, “Sam’s Daily Reminder: It’s Time to Stop & Smell the Roses”. You could even include some great, thought-provoking quotes. It has the personal connection (Sam), the business connection (flowers & logo watermark) and a cool creative connector (pause the meetings and paperwork to take a moment and appreciate life by noticing this beautiful flower). This is a great idea for staying ‘top of mind’ and connecting business with the kind of creative messaging people wouldn’t mind seeing every day.

4. EXPERIENCES This one is similar to hobbies from the personal aspect, but instead of something that identifies us like our hobbies, our experiences are random happenings that can have great interest and meaning to our audience. Whether you have a unique experience buying a new car or a fateful conversation with a stranger in the airport, if you feel it ties into a life lesson or business lesson you’d like to share, by all means do. The lesson is to keep your radar up 24/7. Any experiences you have which relate to your

ideal customer are an opportunity to connect beyond the business world. And when we do that, we become a part of the family.

5. INFLUENCERS “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future”. You’ve probably heard that saying, and the same is true whether you are a teenager or a business owner. Maybe you’ve learned a lot of your business knowledge from Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Warren Buffet…or you like to quote Benjamin Franklin. Perhaps you have some mentors you’d like to recognize and tell why they’re important to you. Sharing the people and things that influence us is what makes us human. No matter how successful your business, you didn’t get there alone. People and circumstances shaped you along the way. Recognizing others for their contribution in our lives, large or small, is important in staying connected and grounded. We hope these five types of content help you to put a fresh spin on what you share with your audience, whether personal or professional. We believe you must have the combination of both to build an incredible brand.

Tonya Eberhart is the Branding Agent to Business Stars and founder of BrandFace®, LLC. Michael Carr is America’s Top Selling Real Estate Auctioneer & BrandFace® partner. Together, they focus on personal branding and marketing designed to help real estate professionals become the face of their business & a star in their market. BrandFace® for Real Estate Professionals is a book, professional speaking series and an exclusive workshop for agents, and is currently active in 18 U.S. states, Canada and New Zealand. For more information, visit www.BrandFaceRealEstate.com. 8

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The MacLean Springer Group Marsha MacLean & Laura Springer

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“The main reason for our success is that we truly care about our clients. Having been in the business for so long, we’re really able to determine what our clients are looking for.” one priority, resulting in their stellar reputations as agents who truly care.

MARSHA MACLEAN Dynamic, energetic and knowledgeable, the powerhouse team of Top Agents Marsha MacLean and Laura Springer bring to the real estate game more than twenty-five years of combined experience. As leaders in the Boston market, and operating under the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage banner, this pair of dedicated professionals has made customer satisfaction their number 10 Copyright Top Agent Magazine

Nearly eighty percent of Marsha and Laura’s business is based on repeat and referred customers, one of the surest signs that they are providing top-notch customer service. “I think the main reason for our success is that we truly care about our clients,” says Marsha. “Having been in the business for so long, we’re really able to determine what our clients are looking for.” Laura agrees, and also believes that their personalities go a long way towards inspiring loyalty. “I think we’re both fairly social people, and we Top Agent Magazine


“The process can be much more stressful than the client may anticipate it will be. So I like being able to take some of that stress off of their shoulders, and help them get to where they want to be.” thrive on relationships, whether personal or professional. We don’t pressure people to do anything they’re not comfortable with,” she says. “We’re pretty good at reading people and our main objective is to help them realize their goals. Just being able to hear them and understand what they’re looking for has really helped us, and contributed to our success.” If there is one through-line to the experience of working with Marsha and Laura, it would be consummate professionalism, including their approach to marketing their listings. “We do a comprehensive marketing plan for Top Agent Magazine

LAURA SPRINGER every listing,” says Marsha, “which includes professional photography, floor plans, and videos. We create an individual website for each listing, and we do an email blast to our entire database. We send out postcards to the neighborhood where the listing is, and to our own personal sphere of influence.” The pair also advertise in local publications, and avail themselves of Coldwell Banker’s vast 11 Copyright Top Agent Magazine


resources to make sure their listings are seen by as many potential buyers as possible. Despite their financial rewards that accompany their success, when asked what they Copyright Top Agent Magazine Copyright 12

enjoy most about what they do, both Marsha and Laura point to the more personal side of their profession. “I enjoy meeting new people,” says Marsha, her sincerity obvious. “I love getting to know them. I look at each Top Agent Magazine


relationship as solving a problem. When someone comes to you, you need to learn and understand exactly what they’re looking for, and at the end, when you’ve helped them find exactly what they want, that’s a great Top Agent Magazine

feeling.” Similarly, Laura enjoys making the entire process easier for each buyer or seller. “I think it can be much more stressful than the client may anticipate it will be. So I like being able to take some of that stress off of Copyright Top Agent Magazine 13


their shoulders, and help them get to where they want to be.” Both Laura and Marsha are extremely active within their community, and both are involved with the Max Warburg Courage Curriculum, a non-profit program designed to strengthen literacy skills of students and to invite educators and participating schools to explore the idea of courage in literature, in their own lives, and within the broader community. Laura works with Room to Grow, which offers structured

coaching, material goods and community connections to support parents for the first three years of their children’s lives. Looking to the future, Marsha and Laura’s plan is fairly simple: to grow their business while sacrificing none of the amazing customer service that has become their calling card. “We want to stay true to ourselves, and at the same time we want to make sure that our clients are represented properly and ethically,” says Marsha.

For more information about Marsha MacLean, call 617 - 697 - 4378 or email marsha.maclean@nemoves.com. For more information about Laura Springer, call 617 - 947 - 9448 or email laura.springer@nemoves.com Copyright Top Agent Magazine 14

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From Chaos to Control By Barry Eisen

Below are 24 great ideas designed to give you back your time and life. Managing time, rather than letting it manage you is an art form. Little changes can make huge differences. Look at what is offered below and incorporate 1 or 2 ideas that make sense to do. You can always come back to the list for more when you’re ready for more. 1. Get Ready the Night Before. Get it out of your head. Plan

out your next day by writing a “killer” To-Do list and prioritize A, B and C business and personal priorities. You’ll sleep better too. Top Agent Magazine

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2. Focus on the Important Things. Less is more. Commit to

doing the A things on your To-Do list. Stop randomly playing games and surfing social media. Focus on what’s important. Here’s the procrastinationbe-gone formula: Do the important stuff first. No “ifs,” “ands,” or “buts” do it. 3. Remove the Clutter. Much of our “visual noise” is caused by

stuff. Practice a three-part clutter rating system that will help you prevent and remove clutter: • It’s important now. Use it and then put it in its home (where it’s supposed to be). • It will be important. Put it in its home (where it’s supposed to be). • It’s not important. Get rid of it: Toss it or if possible, consider donating it.

4. Get Organized and Stay That Way. Pick an organizational

system, execute it, and stick to it. Your new system may feel foreign at first, but it will eventually form into a habit. If you slip or feel like you’re ready to give up, recall the benefits of being organized and pick up where you left off. When necessary, make adjustments, but avoid switching to new organizational systems or you’ll lose the benefits.

5. Keep One Calendar. Whether it’s a Week/Month at a Glance

appointment book, wall calendar, smartphone app, etc. - keep ONE calendar. First, keep track of the usual calendar events: birthdays, and appointments. Second, use your weekly calendar to keep track of bills, plan menus, make appointments with yourself to write or read, etc. This will help prevent the scenario of sifting through bills, notes, and multiple calendars. 6. Focus on What’s in Front of You. Of course, not all tasks

require 100% focus, but for tasks like prospecting or writing, never multitask. Lots of studies have shown the inefficiency of juggling tasks. If you refocus your attention on another task, it can take more time to refocus on your original task. Don’t do it. Stay focused. Turn off your phone and disconnect from the internet during tasks, like writing or studying, to focus. Don’t drop what you’re currently doing to address something you just thought of or remembered. If you think of something completely unrelated to what you’re 16

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working on, jot down a few quick notes (a word or two to jog your memory will suffice). Keep up momentum: FOCUS. 7. Execute Decisions Faster. If you find

yourself hemming and hawing over a decision, make a decision then and there. If the task Sometimes a has a lot hanging on the outcome, fresh set of eyes is seek/ask for more information if you need it, but the key all you need to get is: make a decision now. back on track. 8. Delegate and Learn to Love It.

We can be greedy with our workloads. Drop the, “if you want things done right, you have to do it yourself” mentality. If it can be done by someone else (more effectively) and it’s not an important task, delegate it. 9. Just Say “No.” Stop agreeing to take on things for which you don’t

have time. If you don’t have time for it or it will take your focus away from other priorities, say no.

10. HELP Is not a Dirty 4 Letter Word. Ask for help. Sometimes

a fresh set of eyes is all you need to get back on track, but be sure your plea is directed at the right person and is respectful of their own priorities. 11. Time Activities. We all can get swept away by television, social

media, internet browsing, article reading, and games. Allot yourself an amount of time for online activities and playing games. Set an alarm. When the time is up, stop the activity. 12. Time Your Conversations and Meetings. I’m not

recommending that you don’t socialize or be rude. I’m recommending that you don’t allow conversations or meetings to completely disrupt your day. Allot yourself time. For “water cooler” talks, give yourself 5 minutes and keep them infrequent. For meetings, estimate how much time you’ll need to address the needs of those involved, come prepared, and if there isn’t

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already an agenda, propose talking points to squeeze more value out of the meeting. 13. Call, Don’t Text. Text messaging is supposed to be quick and to

the point... not long, drawn out conversations. For anything beyond a quick yes or no question, call. For example, call for emergencies and all of those “how are you?” and “what ‘cha doin’?” questions. If it goes to voicemail, don’t worry. Most people have access to visual voicemail anyway, so it will be like a text. Either way, trust that they will get the message.

14. Turn Aimless Browsing Into Growth Opportunities.

Create an ongoing list of questions, curiosities, or things you’ve always wanted to find out more about. When you sit down to browse the internet, start looking for answers. You might surprise yourself with what you find. 15. Do Your Errands at the Same Time. Schedule time to

do errands and plan a route ahead of time to ensure you’re not wasting time bouncing back and forth across town.

16. Filter Your Email. How much time do you waste in your inbox?

Filter your email: • Create rules for recurring emails that don’t require an action to be archived in a particular folder. • Set rigorous anti-spam settings to block unwanted email from reaching your inbox. • Form a habit of touching an email once: If you open it, you have to address it (e.g., respond and file). 17. Automate Responses. If you find yourself replying with the

same or nearly identical responses for clients keep a template to quickly copy/paste the response and tweak it as necessary to personalize the message. 18. Automate Bill Payments. For any recurring bills that you

have: AUTOMATE. Not only will this save you time, it may even save you money and raise your credit score if you’re the forgetful type. 18

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19. Sort the Mail in Your Hand. When you get your mail, don’t

let it sit in a pile. Sort out the junk right away and then prioritize other items respectively (see weekly calendar). If possible, go green by electing not to receive the hard copy. 20. Avoid Rush Hour. Do you commute to work? Negotiate a work

schedule to travel during non-traffic delayed times. You can easily turn a 60-minute, traffic-jammed commute into 25 minutes by getting ahead of the traffic or waiting it out. Online apps, like Waze, do a good job informing of traffic problems so you can adjust accordingly.

21. Keep a Running Shopping List. Create a policy that for

whoever squeezes the last bit of toothpaste out of the tube, kills the mustard bottle, etc., they are responsible to write it down on the shopping list. In doing so, this will save time from taking inventory as well as keep your shopping trip quick - get into the store, grab what you need, and go (rather than meandering down aisles). 22. Cook for Tomorrow. Double the amount of what your cooking

and refrigerate/freeze the leftovers. It may take you a small amount of time to double what you’re already making, but it will save you much more time making your next meal by not having to start from scratch. 23. Learn While You Workout. When on a treadmill, elliptical

machine etc., listen to news, pod casts, and audiobooks rather than music to keep up with trends in your niche, current events, books, and learning at large.

24. Exercise More Effectively. Exchange moderation for higher

intensity. You can have a more effective and efficient workout by putting more effort into a 30-minute high-intensity workout than 90 minutes of lowto-medium effort.

Copyright©, 2016 Barry Eisen. All rights reserved.

Barry Eisen teaches personal development seminars and coaches Southern California top producing REALTORS®. “Your business will never grow more than you do” is the theme; self hypnosis and behavior modification are the tools for playing a bigger game. barryeisen.com, barryeisen@LA.twcbc.com 818-769-4300 Top Agent Magazine

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How to Create a Business-Winning Plan in One Hour by Bubba Mills

Baloney! That’s what I say to those who think building a business plan should take days, weeks, even months. And I say baloney again to those who think a plan has to have a bunch of pages with graphs and charts. I know for a fact REALTORS® don’t have that kind of time. But I also know every serious REALTOR® needs a good plan. That means if you’re reading this, you’re in the right place. Stick with me and you’ll end up with a plan that can make your year much better. A comprehensive business plan (two pages max) can help you: • Account for what you accomplish • Clarify your life • Keep track of each of your goals • Manage your time Top Agent Magazine

• Determine if you’re heading in the right direction So let’s get right to it. Here are the steps to take to get your plan in place and your year (and rear) in gear: Create a mission statement. This gets right to the heart of your life and addresses why you’re in real estate. It answers why you’re here, what your purpose is and what your business is truly about. Use positive, present tense statements such as “I am,” “I provide,” “I strive” as you define who you are and what you provide your clients. Take 10 minutes now to brainstorm some possible mission statements. Perform a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). For strengths, maybe you’re tech savvy. For weaknesses perhaps you’re unorganized. With opportunities, it could be that a large firm is relocating to your city. And for threats, maybe 21


Every serious REALTOR® needs a good plan. the mid-term, one year; and the long-term, five years. Also, in this same section, write your personal objectives. We can’t be balanced in life if all we focus on is business. So consider what your ideal sitWrite your business objectives. In uation would look like with your this section I’d like you to consider family, your spiritual life and your what you want your business to look social life. Spend 10 minutes now like in the short-term, six months; in on these topics. interest rates are rising. Take 10 minutes now and fill in a few items for each category. If you get stuck, ask a co-worker or friend, who knows you well enough, for suggestions.

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Create a mission statement. This gets right to the heart of your life and addresses why you’re in real estate. It answers why you’re here, what your purpose is and what your business is truly about. Create your sales goals. Here’s where I don’t want you to be afraid to think bigger. Take 15 minutes for this section. As part of this segment here at Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc., we include what’s called a goal achievement system that helps you stay on track with your goals. So for each goal, we include a why, excuses for failure, resolve and action items. I believe this is a vital step because it allows you to examine why you might hesitate in completing parts of your business plan. Email me at Article@CorcoranCoaching.com, and I’ll send you a free worksheet on this system. Develop action items. To wrap up your plan, you need to get specific about how you’ll achieve your goals. So for each goal you should have action items, due dates, who will Top Agent Magazine

complete the items and a step-by-step daily and hourly plan with what has to be done. Take 15 minutes and do it. Tell me what you’re thinking. Do you have a plan? If not, why not? What’s preventing you from creating one? What successes or failures have you had with plans in the past? Bubba Mills is co-owner and executive vice president of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (www.corcorancoaching. com/programs, 800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into Real Estate Companies, Mortgage Companies and Small Businesses. Bubba Mills is a nationally recognized inspirational and education speaker, coach and mentor to the top real estate agents and mortgage companies. To find out more about Corcoran Consulting & Coaching, call 1800-957-8353 or visit us at www.Corcoran Coaching.com. 23


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