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TEXAS EDITION

8 THINGS SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE NEVER DO

Embracing Smart Homes

Does New Technology Really Increase Home Value? 3 Ways Joining A Professional Organization Can Make Your Business Better

COVER STORY

CASON CARAWAY

GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME!


TEXAS EDITION

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CASON CARAWAY

CONTENTS 4) 8 THINGS SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE NEVER DO 6) EMBRACING SMART HOMES DOES NEW TECHNOLOGY REALLY INCREASE HOME VALUE?

18) GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME! 22) 3 WAYS JOINING A PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION CAN MAKE YOUR BUSINESS BETTER

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8

Things Successful People Never Do

There always seems to be people around you who find success with ease, but trust me, that is NOT the case. Although luck can often times play a role in someone’s success, most of the time it’s due to hard work and avoiding bad habits. The best way to find your own success is to implement some of qualities you see in people you admire into your own life. The hard work part is still up to you, but by shifting your perspective a bit, and NOT doing some of the following

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things, that success might happen a little quicker.

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DON’T JUST WING IT

Successful people plan everything. Not only do they have yearly goals, but weekly and sometimes daily ones as well. By giving your time a purpose, and a clearly defined goal, you’ll eliminate the time you spend haphazardly doing things that might not be a priority. It will also make you feel less scattered, which is always a good thing.

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THEY DON’T TAKE ON MORE THAN THEY CAN ACHIEVE

Successful people take on what they can do well, and no more. That all starts with a daily ‘do to’ list. They always make sure their list is manageable and then they don’t sleep until that list is completed. If you find yourself not finishing your list, assess whether it was too much or if you slacked off. You’ll be surprised at the feeling of accomplishment you feel when you finish your list. Not finishing will bring you down, so make sure you aren’t biting off more than you can chew.

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THEY DON’T WORK HARDER, THEY WORK SMARTER

Yes, having a strong work ethic is key, but that doesn’t mean you should waste time on things that will have less of an impact on your success. Focus on the things that will give you the most bang for your buck. Better to spend the majority of your time there, than spread yourself thin on numerous tasks.

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THEY DON’T TRY TO PLEASE EVERYONE

This might seem like a bad call in business, but successful people know when to cut your loses and move forward. Anything or anyone, that frustration into your life, is never a good thing.

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REPEAT THE SAME MISTAKES

Similar to not trying to please everyone, successful people are also diligent about accepting when something isn’t working Top Agent Magazine

and moving on from mistakes. Yes, you learn from them, but don’t repeat them. Part of being innovative is trying new things, that will keep you fresh and energized, but learning how to let go is an equally important part of the equation.

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GO FOR THE SHORT RUN SOLUTION

Successful people are in it for the long haul and therefore thinking long term. When you have a plan for success and the patience to see it through, while you might have a slow start, you’re establishing a foundation for long term success. Going for the easy fix, usually doesn’t pay off.

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PAY ATTENTION TO THE NAYSAYERS

Lets face it, we all have people in our lives who might be a little more pessimistic than is healthy to be around. You can’t change them, all you can do is not let them drag you down into their ‘glass half full’ mentality. Have your plans and goals, be confident about them. When you’re insecure, that’s when you’re most vulnerable to those types of people.

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THEY NEVER QUIT

That doesn’t mean letting go of things that aren’t working. It means having an end goal. Whatever obstacles or challenges come up, you take them on, always with that end goal in sight. Successful people know that adversity and overcoming those challenges, is how you grow, and will ultimately make you a better business person.

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Embracing Smart Homes:

Does New Technology Really Increase Home Value? Technology and innovation move at a lightning-fast clip, so it can be hard to keep up with all the smart-home trends sweeping the market at a given time. From smart thermostats to security systems accessed through an app on your phone—there are endless options to customize and update your home for the modern era. But which, if any, of these smart home products add 6

value to property in a significant, worthwhile capacity? Especially with new generations of the same products released in quick succession, it can be hard to determine whether it’s worth it to take the plunge. With that in mind, we’ve conducted a deep-dive into the smart home options out there that make the most sense for your bottom line and real estate investments.

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Smart home amenities range in price and return. There are certain smart home products that won’t break the bank while still adding lovely touches and time-saving features to your space. For instance, a smart thermostat may not run more than a few hundred dollars, but it can take so much of the guesswork and analog nuisance out of programming your home’s internal environment. That said, buyers selling properties with mid-range amenities like this can’t expect a windfall in return. While smart home features can certainly lure buyers and give the sense that a home is attractively modern (and thus move-in ready), it doesn’t mean that you’ll be reaping a sizable monetary reward for your foresight. Conversely, this reality doesn’t mean those smart options

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are without value entirely; it just means that the value of smart home options may be apparent in a different capacity, like luring a particular buyer or creating a desirable, sleek image for a property headed to market. On the other hand, larger scale smart home amenities that are being left behind for the buyer—like a smart refrigerator or wired sound throughout the property—may be able to lure particular buyers who value high-end details. While it can be difficult to state definitively the value of smart home options, the rule tends to be that the more you put in, the higher the likelihood you’ll reap the investment you sow. Focus your smart home options on home appliances first, then work your way toward security, thermostat, and entertainment options.

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Smart home amenities capture the attention of buyers

Agents must know how to pitch the value of smart home options

Even if you have mostly opted for small or mid-range smart home options, you can still benefit from their presence in a property—even if they don’t inflate your bottom line as a result. Smart home amenities have the power to focus the attention of buyers, sending a clear signal that the previous owners were tech-forward and made an effort to upgrade the property for the contemporary era. Millennial or Gen Z buyers especially value these up-to-date modifications, and the presence of these desirable gadgets can create added interest and drive up value naturally. Likewise, featuring these options in listing photography can also drive interest from younger or high-end buyers looking for move-in ready spaces.

Remember that smart home features are relatively fresh to the market. While some new construction properties are equipped with these smart amenities, just as many homes on the market don’t offer these upgrades and modern flairs. This means that many buyers, of all ages even, aren’t familiar with the benefits and perks of these options, let alone how they’re operated. Before you can derive value from a smart home or smart home features, you’ll need to understand a product’s proper usage, cost, and benefits. Do your homework regarding what smart home features can offer in terms time or cost savings, and be able to show prospective buyers how easy these objects are to use, as well. Do both, and you’ll be in proper command of what smart home features can offer buyers and pitch them accordingly.

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CASON CARAWAY Top Agent Magazine

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Cason Caraway

How did Cason Caraway become one of the most trusted and knowledgeable realtors in Wise County, Texas? For Cason, Wise County real estate is literally in his blood. His mother, Lisa Caraway, has been a top agent in the county for over 30 years. His grandmother was also a Realtor in the county for many years. Though Cason longed to dive into the business just out of high school, Lisa encouraged him to go to college, warning him a career in real estate would involve 10 Copyright Top Agent Magazine

long hours and working seven days a week. After graduating from the University of North Texas, Cason worked in healthcare marketing and sales. “My heart wasn’t in it. I wanted to get back into the community where I was born and raised and be able to sell real estate,” he says. Lisa’s real estate business was booming, and she finally encouraged Cason to come back to Wise County, where his family first put down Top Agent Magazine


roots in 1878, and join her in the business. He studied for his license while learning the ropes and helping Lisa with the social media and marketing for her business. “A few days after I got my license, I had my first transaction,” Cason says with a smile. “That bug hit me, and I was just completely consumed with my passion for the work. I love a challenge, and I’m very much a go-getter. When I do something, I want to be the best at it.” Cason gave real estate his all, and within a year he Top Agent Magazine

was in the top five agents in his brokerage. Now a year and a half into his new career, he and his mother are full partners, and he is ranked in the top 3 real estate agents in the county. “Whether it was a $30,000 lot or a $600,000 house, I was all in. I had the skills and the confidence to take on any challenge,” Cason says. Cason serves all of Wise County. His lifelong knowledge of the area has been an enormous 11 Copyright Top Agent Magazine


purchase, it takes him little time to formulate possibilities that will be a match. He’s also working with Lisa on several land development projects.

asset. Being born and raised in the community, Cason soon had referrals from people he’s known all his life, and already over 75% of his business comes from referrals. When a prospective buyer lets Cason know what type of home or property they want to Copyright Top Agent Magazine Copyright 12

To market listings, Cason uses the MLS and all the significant real estate listing websites. He also conducts a thorough, tailored social media campaign. Cason has a full array of high-quality photos taken of each listing and has drone footage to accompany the more extensive properties. Before putTop Agent Magazine


ting a property on the market, he ensures he knows it inside and out, so he has full knowledge and expertise to share with interested buyers. “I strive to have the prettiest, most informative listings on the market,” he says. Top Agent Magazine

Cason is a member of the Decatur Chamber of Commerce and serves on its board. He is also a part of the effort to restore, revitalize, and protect much of the city’s older and historic homes and buildings. Cason’s favorite part of his work is serving residents of the Copyright Top Agent Magazine 13


area he’s loved all his life. “It’s not about the money. It’s really about helping people and helping this community,” he says. How does Cason spend his cherished free time? “Being raised on a farm and ranch, it’s all about being outdoors and enjoying my family outdoors. I’m so thankful for my wife

Emma and my daughters Rosie and Lucy.” For the future, Cason plans to continue working in partnership with his mother Lisa to grow and lead a thriving team. With his dedication to his work and his community, he’s sure to make that dream a reality in the near future!

To find out more about Cason Caraway, you can contact him via email at casoncaraway@yahoo.com or by phone at 940 - 399 - 9277

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Guardian Title Company is proud to Congratulate

Cason Caraway

on being featured for the State of Texas in Top Agent Magazine!

www.guardiantitleco.com

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Wise County Title Company is proud to congratulate

Cason Caraway

on being featured for the state of Texas in Top Agent Magazine!

940 - 627 -3581 | wisetitle.com www.

405 Park West Court, P.O. Box 516, Decatur, Texas 76234

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PrimeWest Mortgage is proud to Congratulate

Cason Caraway

on being featured for the State of Texas in Top Agent Magazine!

jsicking@primewestcorp.com

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Get Your Head in the Game! By Barry Eisen

Can you think of any top athlete in any sport who is inconsistent in prepara­ tion, has little focus, has no defined game plan, and has low confidence and self-esteem? If you can, you’re not thinking of a top athlete, you’re thinking of a wanna-be poser. There are lots of gifted and talented people in sports, but the world doesn’t care as much about the talent unless it shows up, demonstrates focus, shows a dedicated plan of action and acts like success is the natural by product of all the previous preparation. The same scenario is true about successful entrepreneurs. You’d be hard pressed to think of a winner who wasn’t prepared, focused, strategized and confident. 18

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The stories about Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Billie Jean King, John McEnroe, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Michael Phelps, Lionel Messi, Amanda Beard, and thousands of other sports greats share many When you hear negative basic success principles. Think of the Captains of Commerce in your business and chances are the success principles are much the same.

messages in your mind... take a deep breath and replace them with supportive words.

I’ve been privileged to have worked with some of the very best in sport and business over many years and this is some of what I’ve learned from them. 5 ideas for stepping up your game.

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Preparation is what creates confidence. Don’t work on confidence. Practice more. Whether it’s practicing getting out of the starting blocks quickly in the 100 meter dash, efficient flip turns in the pool, chipping onto the green from 30 yards away or rehearsing business presentation scripts, introducing yourself while knocking on doors, or closing assertively after a strong presentation...you can’t get around practice/preparation. Check out “the 10,000 Hour Rule,” in Gladwell’s, Outliers. Ya gotta do the work! Mental practice in a relaxed state of mind (self-hypnosis) can speed up the success process from 2-5 times. Read almost any autobiography of a successful athlete or business personality and recognize this common trait; almost all successful people saw and savored the end result in their quiet, meditative states first.

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The quality of Self-Talk is a big reason for the separation between superstars and the herd that follows. It’s easy to be positive and use positive words when things are going great and your attitude is up. One way of getting and keeping an “up” attitude is to silently tell yourself what the outcome of the next event will be...where the ball will land, your time for the 100 butterfly, the height of the high jump you’ll clear, the room you’ll mesmerize with your speech, the powerful listing presentation you’ll Top Agent Magazine

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give today, etc. The result of negative self-talk (self fulfilling prophesy) is obvious...poor posture, unfocused, procrastination, fear. Self sabotage! When you hear negative messages in your mind...take a deep breath and replace them with supportive words. This will get easier and more automatic with practice and so will your successes. (If you don’t achieve what you set out for...it doesn’t matter...keep doing this.) The difference in how the ultimately successful get to where they are and where everyone one else gets, is how soon you pull the plug and quit. Raise your game by staying in it. As you shift your mind your game will improve/your business will improve.

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Visualize the self-talk. Pictures make more and deeper neurological impressions. A picture IS worth a thousand words. The greats in every sport played the game, walked the course, saw the 100 mph fastball come in, saw the touch at the pool’s wall, broke the beam at the finish line well before their bodies were involved. Your actions are based on your thoughts. Don’t be random. Choose successful pictures that move you forward.

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Feel the satisfaction of success for just a moment. How would it feel hitting that perfect dive, making the 20 foot putt, running your personal best in a 10k, nailing that listing presentation, passing that test? Allowing the neurotransmitter dopamine to flash through the pleasure centers of your brain, reinforces the positive goal towhich you are moving. We do things to maximize pleasure or to minimize discomfort. As you associate the task or goal with a positive feeling, you’ll approach the task/ goal with a more open, “CAN DO,” attitude. It’s attitude not aptitude that usually matters more. Like a pep talk before a game, like a supportive hand on a child’s shoulder before a test in school, like a smile from a prospect that says, “I’m open to what you have to say,” feel good about what you’re here to do. You’ll make changes, not because you need to or want to, but because it feels good. Take the kicking and screaming out of your life to experience a more centered and focused energy.

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Relax before you compete/take care of that piece of business. Some use music, some meditate, some create physical rituals (eat a certain food, do push ups, clap hands, stretch, a couple of breathes (and a whole lot of other crazy things you’ve seen. It ain’t crazy if it works.) Create a small ritual that focuses you in the last moment before the event/business presentation/prospecting/public speaking... Some sport psychology is about emotional, social and or physical issues, more to be addressed by qualified coaches, counselors or therapists, trained to deal with psychological baggage and physical scars. Some business leaders sit in with therapists and coaches to sort out individual blocks. But after all the analysis is said and done, the smart ones go back to the basics. See the ball, hit the ball. 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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3 Ways Joining a Professional Organization Can

Make Your Business Better Any real estate professional worth his or her salt knows that relationships are everything in this industry. Of course, it’s essential to cultivate connections with your in-office colleagues and your clientele—but there’s even more to be done when it comes to building meaningful professional relationships on a larger scale. How can you make the most of your sphere of influence? The answer lies in professional organizations.

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These institutions vary in breadth and scope— from the local chamber of commerce and state-level organizations geared toward young professionals, to nationwide groups like the National Association of Realtors. No matter which avenue you pursue, these organizations and the professionals therein can add tremendous value to your business and professional repertoire. Not quite convinced? Consider a few of the benefits below to understand how just how influential a professional organization can be when doing business in the modern marketplace.

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1. Expand your skillset. It’s hard to argue that continuing education and professional development aren’t worthwhile causes. One of the little-known values of joining a professional organization is that there are countless opportunities to boost your talent through free or subsidized skill-building events, workshops, and speaker series. Seminars, coaching events, opportunities to volunteer, and conferences are just a few more ways that professional organizations put you in the right position to learn from others, or advance your understanding of the industry. In real estate, staying ahead of the curve is crucial to the longevity of your business. By joining a professional organization, you’ll not only have the chance to learn from industry veterans, but to also take advantage of indispensable resources that set you apart from the real estate pack.

2. Simplify your networking experience The obvious benefit of joining a professional organization is the chance to meet and network with fellow agents and industry pros. But, have you ever considered how commonly networking comes into play in the real world? On the local and state level, the real estate scene isn’t as big as one might imagine. This means you’ll cross paths with all sorts of agents, lenders, home inspectors, title company representatives, contractors, developers, investors, and more. Positioning yourself within a professional organization not only fortifies your reputation to the outside world and to those in your industry, but it also makes it easier to strike up conversations or navigate deals. How so? A professional organization Top Agent Magazine

creates a baseline of common knowledge and trust when doing business with those inside or aware of your organization. Likewise, when reaching out to an agent or lender who you’re not familiar with, you can mine your professional organization for related contacts that give you a sense of who you’re doing business with or how to make the transition progress smoothly.

3. Utilize a support system While advancing your career is a worthwhile motive when joining a real estate professional organization, also consider the mental benefits of fellowship with industry colleagues and local entrepreneurs. Rather than carting your anxieties home at the end of the day, you can lean on professionals moving through the same ranks. What’s more, you can turn to others in your industry for advice, commiseration with frustrations, or help sourcing a solution for a particular problem they may have experienced and overcome in the past. Even talking shop with likeminded pros can relieve stress and refresh your perspective—perks that are just as valuable as an updated contact sheet. The old saying stands true: if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to far, go together. In that vein, professional organizations can make all the difference when it comes to a career that doesn’t burn out. Try connecting with a professional organization that you find inspiring—whether its mission is focused on volunteer work, industry developments, or peer mentorship. No matter which path you pursue, remember that no man is an island and the benefits of joining a professional organization can transform you and your enterprise for the better.

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