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NEW YORK EDITION

6 Habits of HIGHLY PRODUCTIVE AGENTS Developing Your PRICING PHILOSOPHY

COVER STORY

MORGAN TURKEWITZ

3 Beyondthe-Office Activities to INSPIRE A CREATIVE BUSINESS BOOM What the First Thing You Do After Work SAYS ABOUT YOU


NEW YORK EDITION

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MORGAN TURKEWITZ

CONTENTS 4) 6 HABITS OF HIGHLY PRODUCTIVE AGENTS

18) DEVELOPING YOUR PRICING PHILOSOPHY

13) 3 BEYOND-THE-OFFICE ACTIVITIES TO INSPIRE A CREATIVE BUSINESS BOOM

22) WHAT THE FIRST THING YOU DO AFTER WORK SAYS ABOUT YOU

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6 Habits of Highly Productive Agents In a business that can be constant chaos, you’re constantly on the go and dealing with things as they hit you. It can be difficult to take a second and regroup. But there is a better and smarter way to work. If you take the time to create some better habits, in the end, you may end up being more productive. If you want to make better use of your time, as well as have more focus, here’s some habits that you’re going to want to pick up - all common to top-producing agents.

1. Learn how to prioritize Although it might be your instinct to get some of the boring work out of the way first, things 4

that actually generate income (or are time-sensitive!) should be the first thing you focus on when you start your day. Lists are your friend! Make a list of things you want to accomplish for the day, the week, and even the month. Always list them in the order of priority. If things get cut off when you run out of time at the end of the day, at least it’ll be the things that are not as important or time sensitive. As with anyone, your time is your most valuable commodity and should be used wisely. When you make your list, you can even schedule tasks as if they were a meeting, giving yourself a little time goal to beat, as Top Agent Magazine


well. Treat your time with the same respect you would a colleague’s or client’s and don’t ever waste it. As with anyone, your time is your most valuable commodity and should be used wisely. When you make your list you can even schedule tasks as if they were a meeting, giving yourself a little time goal to beat, as well. Treat your time with the same respect you would a colleague’s or client’s, and don’t ever waste it.

to accomplish it? Write it out and then incorporate that into your prioritized ‘to do’ list. You’ll be amazed at how driven you become to reach that goal when you actually write it out with clarity. And, the sense of accomplishment you get upon completing it will carry over to the next day. It’s important to remember to be specific. Once you get into the habit of meeting your goals, exceeding them won’t be far behind.

2. Remove distractions

when you need to focus This is especially hard when you’re a Realtor®. Most are constantly connected to their phones. But, unnecessary distractions can get you off schedule and make you lose your focus instantly. If you can, turn your phone off for the half hour it takes to do a task. Interruptions make everything take twice as long, especially when you take that text and then decide to check Facebook for a second. We all do it! Complete your task, then take ten minutes to respond to all texts and messages before you start up the next thing on your list. You can even schedule those ‘text backs’ into your schedule. A concentrated effort is always more effective than going back and forth between things.

3. Set daily goals This is so key. What do you want to accomplish for the day and what do you need to do Top Agent Magazine

4. Don’t make excuses There’s that old saying, “The buck stops here”. Well, take it to heart. This is your business and you are responsible for doing everything you can to make it successful. Sure, there are reasons for why you didn’t get a listing or why your business is slow, but what are you doing to change things and make them better? Successful Realtors® work harder and come up with innova5


tive ways to stand out when times are tough. They don’t look for excuses, they look for solutions.

5. Be deliberate

about everything you do When you’re making your list, it helps to have a goal in mind for even the smallest task. If you’re calling past clients to touch base, have a specific reason why you’re calling. Are you letting them know some market news? Thanking them for a referral? When you’re meeting a referral partner for lunch, have a goal in mind for what the outcome of that meeting will be as well. Yes it’s good to socialize and build relationships, but if you have a reason, make sure it isn’t put off until the final moments, when things are wrapping up. Always having a purpose in mind will also help you prioritize your list better.

6. Always look for ways to

get out of your comfort zone Yes, you are prioritizing what is most important or urgent to your business, but it’s also important to make an effort to break out 6

of your routine as much as you’re comfortable doing. Trying out new things or taking some time to learn about new and innovative real estate techniques and technology, can have an energizing effect on your business. Not only might they lead to things that make you more productive, but it keeps you sharp and engaged. And, ultimately keeping yourself at the top of your game is what it’s all about. Top Agent Magazine


MORGAN TURKEWITZ Top Agent Magazine

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MORGAN TURKEWITZ Serving all of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, Morgan Turkewitz leads The Turkewitz Team at Compass. Morgan Turkewitz got her start in the real estate business nine years ago. Fresh from her Semester at Sea study abroad program, Morgan and a friend decided to move to Nashville. There, Morgan hit the ground running in the world of 8Copyright Top Agent Magazine

sales, selling office supplies business-to-business and ultimately earning the number two salesperson rank in the nation for her company. Meanwhile, her brother was working in the mortgage field in New York City, and sugTop Agent Magazine


gested that Morgan could transition her proven sales skills to a career in real estate. Eager for her next challenge, Morgan made the leap. Now, almost a decade later, she’s carved out an intrepid reputation as an agent with a personal touch who delivers results. Serving all of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, Morgan leads The Turkewitz Team at Compass. Today, the majority of her business is built on repeat and referral clientele—a proven testament to the memorable service she provides. What are the driving forces behind her success to date? She personalizes her service for each and every transaction, applying Top Agent Magazine

sharpened listening skills, attention to detail, and follow-through to deliver on her clients’ goals. “Every client has different wants and needs,” Morgan explains. “That’s why listening is so important to me. At the end of the day, I don’t want to waste their time, so if they give me a boundary in terms of what they’re looking for, I respect it. When they’re ready to make a decision, there’s often a lot of emotion involved in the process, so I’m there to give them the information they need to make the right call.” What’s more, Morgan’s commitment to customizing her working style for each client goes Copyright Top Agent Magazine9


beyond the transactional level. She takes a personal approach to building lasting relationships with clients, whether she’s catching up through text message or social media, or hanging out face-to-face and developing friendships organically. “I stay connected with my clients every step of the way—from the initial search to the closing table and after,” she says. “I keep them informed of any relevant market news, or what’s going on with the sales activity in their building. Just because the transaction is over, it doesn’t mean my relationship with them is over. I do my best to make the process as easy, stress-free, and uncomplicated as possible. I have a lot of dedicated systems in place so Copyright Top Agent Magazine Copyright 10

that nothing gets overlooked and no questions go unanswered. It keeps things organized and systematic in a transactional process that can otherwise be very complex.” When it comes to marketing listings, Morgan’s strategy accounts for all variables and market opportunities. All properties headed to market enjoy top-to-bottom exposure, from professional photos, floorplans, professionally drafted descriptions, custom designed showing sheets, custom videos, and more. Likewise, Morgan’s banner office offers various in-house marketing tools that powerfully boost listings’ visibility. This includes an exclusive network Top Agent Magazine


tool that allows agents to connect with other agents that are representing or have represented comparable apartments in just a few clicks. Another exclusive tool called Collections is seen by many as the Pinterest of real estate, and easily allows Morgan to keep her sellers up-to-date on the current market as it relates to their apartment. To give back to her community, Morgan, her brother, and two of their friends founded a non-profit called Kid Care, which treats homeless kids to experiences they might otherwise miss out on. From baseball games or a trip to the movies, to participation in a local LitTop Agent Magazine

tle League—Kid Cares gives underprivileged children the chance to take part in the charity’s motto: “Let Kids be Kids.” In her remaining free hours, Morgan most enjoys staying active at the gym, spending quality time with her friends and loved ones, cooking, and traveling. Looking ahead, Morgan has plans to continue mindfully growing her business, with hopes to further develop her team in the years to come. All the while, she’ll continue to bring her patented brand of personalized care to New York’s aspiring buyers, sellers, and renters. Finally, considering what she loves most about her chosen field, Morgan Turkewitz has this to Copyright Top Agent Magazine 11


say: “Every day is different and I love the chance to help people achieve their dreams—whether that’s selling their place to move on to something new, or helping someone buy an apartment

as a first-time purchase or investment. At the end of the day, it’s all about helping people get what they want in a way that’s stress-free, effective, and fun.”

To learn more about Morgan Turkewitz, email Morgan.Turkewitz@compass.com, call (516) 314 - 6309, visit her website here, or visit her Facebook here.

https://www.compass.com/agents/nyc/morgan-turkewitz

https://www.facebook.com/TheTurkewitzTeam/

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3 Beyond-the-Office Activities to Inspire a Creative Business Boom Maintaining motivation year-round is a challenge, especially for those who are several years into a demanding real estate career. It’s easy to burn out, get stuck in a rut, or cycle blindly through a well-worn routine. But those that leave an impact on their industry understand that creativity holds the key to innovation and longevity. To stay ahead of Top Agent Magazine

the curve and build your brand, you’ve got to take the time to breathe new life into your practice and see things from a new angle. But where to begin? To invite change, you’ve got to look outside the box—or in this case, beyond the office. If you’re in need of a professional creative make-

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To stay ahead of the curve and build your brand, you’ve got to take the time to breathe new life into your practice and see things from a new angle. over, or at least want to experience a burst of inventive energy, consider some of the activities below. You may just shake up your routine, bend your brain in new ways, and inject some inspiration into your professional path.

Expand your mind through meditation. You’ve likely heard all about the supposed powers of meditation, and perhaps you’ve long considered it an over-hyped New Age invention. But did you know that some of the foremost entrepreneurs of our era practice this cost-free, mentally restorative routine? From Oprah Winfrey to Steve Jobs, practitioners of meditation cite its stress-relieving principles, in addition to improvements in concentration, energy, self-awareness, and overall health.

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Even mainstream medicine is beginning to understand the preventative and restorative health benefits that meditation affords. As professional fields go, the mortgage and real estate industries require their fair share of emotional labor—you’re tasked with guiding clients through the investment of a lifetime. Meditation promotes peace and perspective, while reducing stress, adding a new level of self-awareness, and helping you mentally declutter. When it comes down to it, it only makes sense that taking time to go quiet and center your mind helps professionals find wherewithal amidst a hectic industry. Next time you’re feeling drained, out of ideas, or at your wit’s end—consider just fifteen minutes of meditation to get you started. Like most things, it takes some practice. But, if you commit the time, you’ll be thanking yourself later.

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Learn something new. If you’re facing burnout, then adding a new responsibility to your plate may seem like the least appetizing self-help solution there is. However, learning a new skill can reinvigorate your understanding of familiar tasks and dilemmas. Plus, learning a new skill doesn’t have to mean formal classes or time-draining homework. Select something that can even kill two birds with one stone. Want to let off some steam, too? Try a kickboxing class that meets just once-a-week. You’ll have something new to look forward to, meet new people, challenge yourself, and earn some feel-good endorphins, Top Agent Magazine

too. Want to cut loose and have some fun? Join a board game meet-up group, take a cooking class, or try rock-climbing for the first time. A stimulating new activity will light up long-dormant parts of your brain, and your clients and colleagues will surely notice the influx of energy to your outlook. Still don’t think you have enough time to add something new to the mix? Blend your morning commute with an audio language learning service. The point is to shake-up your habits and introduce a new challenge that’s unrelated to work. Doing so can make you look at things in a new light and boost your mood along the way.

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See new sights. If you can, there’s no better way to break from routine than to physically separate yourself from your surroundings. There’s nothing more inspiring than traveling to new destinations, experiencing new cultures, and getting a sense of the world’s true vastness. If a trip abroad isn’t in the cards, don’t fret. There are bound to be plenty of places relatively close by that you’ve never seen. And these trips don’t have to break the bank, either. Devote just one or two days to visiting a place you’ve never gone before, like a state park, protected forest, or a small seaside village. Perhaps you’re only a few hours from a National Park you’ve been meaning to visit but have never made time for. Or, there’s a lively city one state over that you’ve always wanted to try. Whatever the destination, near or far, you’ll refresh

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your perspective entirely when removed from all your usual routines. New restaurants, traffic patterns, storefronts, weather—whatever the change may be, you’ll be experiencing everything brand new all around you. Taking the time for trips like these isn’t easy. In fact, making yourself devote those free days may be a difficult task itself. But it’s the most direct way to get a breath of truly fresh air, and when you return home you’ll be able to assess familiar surroundings in a totally new light. However you decide to add creativity to your professional life, don’t wait. Once you take the plunge, you’ll be regretting you hadn’t done it sooner. After all, the key to longevity is regular maintenance, so do your part and break the mold today.

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Developing Your Pricing Philosophy By Dirk Zeller

Ask a dozen agents to explain their home pricing philosophy, and you’ll

hear a dozen different approaches. And if the talk reveals frank responses, you’ll also learn that the most common pricing strategy is no strategy at all. Here’s my advice: Break out of the ranks by establishing and following a specific strategy for arriving at the ideal selling price for each home. Adopt the philosophy that, in real estate sales, price is king. Price trumps all other factors—including marketing approaches, home condition, market competitiveness, and sales approach. I believe that, in the end, marketing and condition of the property are controlled by the price. The alternative, advocated by many agents, most sellers, and even some sales trainers, is to emphasize marketing over pricing. Rather than working to set the ideal price, they believe success will come from optimizing the home’s condition and presentation and then marketing it with skill and savvy.

I take the opposite belief, based on years of experience working with sellers who wanted unrealistic prices for their homes and who experienced firsttime sales failures as a result. Over my sales career, I resurrected and re-listed more than 600 expired listings—nearly 75 a year. Among all those transactions, I never met an owner with an expired listing who thought that an unreasonable price had anything to do with the home’s failure to sell. They all blamed the previous 18 Copyright Top Agent Magazine

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agent and that person’s approach to marketing. Each sought some magic marketing strategy to change the reality of the law of supply and demand. There is a magic strategy: Price the home correctly. Price is the only factor that can overcome sales obstacles, compensate for a home’s deficiencies, and motivate a purchaser even if the condition of the property and your marketing approach is less than perfect. Getting the listing at any cost Does this scenario sound familiar? An agent (usually a newer agent) is short on business or maybe even desperate for the chance to stake a sign in someone’s yard. The agent wants a listing at any price – even if the chance Top Agent Magazine

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to seal a deal erodes the likelihood of selling the property. To gain a seller’s nod of approval, the agent makes a flatteringly high pricing recommendation, throwing out a number the client wants to hear and then hoping something good will result from the bad situation. I can think of few examples, if any, where this philosophy works. Hope isn’t a successful pricing strategy. Worse, the please-the-client mindset is a hard one to abandon. Agents who achieve listings with unrealistic prices find it hard to later counsel their clients honestly.

If you take and price a good listing competitively, it will sell. You can’t keep a good price a secret! The pitfalls of a “please the buyer” approach are many and significant. By overpricing, you can practically count on a reduction in your productivity, profitability, and salability, and here’s why: It’s impossible to keep your productivity high when your time is spent in conversations with an unsuccessful seller who lacks motivation to take corrective action. The seller’s negativity, concerns, and phone calls will only increase with each week or month the house remains on the market. 20

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As time goes on, you’ll devote more and more time unsuccessfully trying to create a sale not only for your seller but also for yourself. This will pull you away from activities that are more likely to deliver income. The ensuing frustration will de-motivate you and stunt your ability to secure better appointments that create other income opportunities. An unsold, overpriced listing negatively impacts your profitability because it costs you time and money to service while it delivers no revenue to your business. And the situation only gets worse the longer the listing languishes on the market. You’ll end up deducting the expenses of this in-limbo listing from the proceeds generated by any revenue-producing deals you manage to close in the meantime, reducing your net profit and business success. Unsold homes that linger on the market seriously diminish your salability, which is the term that describes your sales success track. Your salability is based on such key statistics as your average ratio of listing price compared to sale price and the average number of days your listings are on the market. Obviously, these statistics, which prospects rely on when choosing one agent over another, can be crushed by a “get the listings at any cost” philosophy. They’re also harmed by the “start high and reduce later” tactic. If you take and price a good listing competitively, it will sell. You can’t keep a good price a secret! Dirk Zeller is an Agent, an Investor, and the President and CEO of Real Estate Champions. Copyright© 2014, Dirk Zeller. All rights reserved.

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What the First Thing You Do After Work Says About You We all have our routines. From that morning cup of coffee to a jog at the gym, it’s common to establish touchstones for our daily lives. But have you ever considered what these habits tell us about ourselves? Our actions reveal much about our motivations and emotional life, so taking a second look at your first move at the end of the day can be telling. With that in mind, see how you fare when it comes to post-workday habits... 22

Break a Sweat After a long day of work, is your first instinct to strap on your sneakers and take off on a run? Do you stop off at the local yoga studio for an extended stretch? Maybe you head to the weight room to pump some iron. Whatever your exercise pick, if you’re inclined to sweat it out at the end of a long day, you’re likely a routine-oriented profes-

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sional who internalizes work-related stress. Of course, you’ve chosen a healthy release for all that pent-up tension, and you’ve discovered the power of endorphins. Once work hours are over, not everyone finds the motivation to stay active. This means you’re driven by routine, conscious of your emotional and physical health, and prefer to leave your cares at the gym, rather than bring them into your home oasis. However, it’s important to give your body a rest now and again, as recuperation time is not only beneficial for physical health, but can help prevent burnout for the long haul. Flexibility is a skill, and one just as important to cultivate as rigid commitment. If you find yourself out of sorts if you miss just one day of working out, you might want to pay some attention to your routines and motivations, and rebalance your commitments and fitness routine accordingly.

Round-the-Clock Hustle If you’re the type to bring work home with you, you aren’t alone. While your motivation to work nonstop is admirable, it’s also important to make the mental transition from workplace to home, establishing the time to hustle and the time to relax. Just like those that hit the gym without fail after a long day, sometimes you’ll need to practice saying no. If your work life is indistinguishable from your personal life, it’ll be hard to catch a break and recharge. This means burnout, frayed nerves, and missed details will soon be on the horizon. Of course, round-the-clock hustle is a strength, too. You’re passionate about your work, care deeply about doing things right, and failure is not an option. Just make sure that you establish some foundational boundaries so that you maintain an Top Agent Magazine

appropriate, healthy balance between your time at work and your time at home with the loved ones and hobbies you cherish. If making way for downtime isn’t easy, try penciling it in the way you would a work engagement. Dinner with a friend, a date night with a significant other, or a solo movie fest can be readily added to your calendar, and thus built in to your regimented schedule.

Turn to Food If your first instinct after work is to eat, it can say a few different things about your routine. Perhaps you’ve been so on-the-go all the day that you haven’t had time for lunch. In this case, you might need to regiment your schedule with more purpose aimed towards downtime and self-care; food is fuel, after all. If you head home and gorge after an average day, you may be turning to food as a way to relieve stress. In this case, you may need to reassess some of your post-work habits and find a healthier balance and outlet for your tension. Taking a walk, grabbing fresh ingredients for dinner, hitting the gym, or decompressing by catching up with a friend or a good book—all are healthier, more balanced ways of executing the transition from the office to the home. Pay attention to your consumption post-work. Determine how hungry or satiated you really are before making a grab for the nearest sustenance. People decompress in all different ways after getting home from the office, but always remember that routines are telling. Don’t take your daily actions and impulses for granted. Examine the root behind your well-worn practices, and you may detect nuances at play beneath the surface that can you help you recalibrate for the better.

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