I don’t have a Listing Presentation or Buyers Presentation.
I also don’t practice scripts or spend time memorizing ways to combat objections.
All of this is Real Estate 101, or so ‘they’ say.
Most major Brokerages have some sort of ‘skill builder’ course they encourage you to take when you first get in the business.
Some even encourage or expect you to take their ‘skill building’ course multiple times per year.
The point of these courses are to teach the new agent the skills needed to be a salesperson in today’s market.
I paid my $500 and sat through my 2 week ‘skill building’ course when I first got into real estate.
Yes, in real estate, you have to pay your employer to teach you the ‘skills’ they want you to practice, but that is a story for another day.
I remember learning such valuable skills such as how to influx my voice at the end of a sentence to get the sale. We actually stood around practicing voice fluctuations with the belief that this was the secret to sales.
Another ‘successful’ agent shared his secret of getting listings, print off a 2-inch thick book of market data to hand the prospect at the listing presentation. “It doesn’t matter what it is in. Most people will never look at it anyway, but it positions you as an expert that did their homework”.
We also learned how to access and use the Listing Presentations ‘they’ created for us and what to say with each turn of the page. This way when we showed up at the door, we would sound exactly like every other agent from that same brokerage who promised they were ‘different’ and would get their house sold.
I remember sitting through those 8 hour days thinking to myself that this is bullshit and that I can’t believe I wasted $500 for this.
Since graduating from that ‘skill building’ course, I have never used a Listing Presentation or memorized sales scripts.
Personally, I believe to do so makes you fake and not authentic.
Instead, I prefer to come over and listen. To have an actual conversation to learn about you, your needs, and expectations.
I want to learn about when you bought your home, why you bought it, why you love it, why are you moving. Tell me about the Christmases and holidays spent in your home, raising a family, and everything in between.
I don’t even have a price prepared for you at this point as to what I think your home should be listed at, and I shouldn’t. I have never set foot in or seen your home. How can anyone truly put a value on something they have never seen before.
Well, I know the secret to that too. The Listing Presentation software ‘they’ designed does that for you based on an algorithm.
Most other agents will disagree with my approach.
Sure they will talk a good game about wanting to learn about your wants and needs, but they all have their scripts all planned out and are just waiting for for the opening to slip them in, only half listening to what you are saying because they came to your home with a preconceived notion of what they have planned.
I prefer to let the conversation go where it flows instead.
I have no preconceived plan. No prepared script. This is as much a job interview for me as it is for you. I don’t work with everyone I meet, and sometimes I find the best service I can do for you is to refer you to someone else that may be better suited to you and your needs.
If, after that first meeting, we mutually decide we are a good fit for each other and want to work together, then it’s time to get to work on getting your home ready for sale, and/or helping you find your next home.
I don’t believe it is good business to put the cart before the horse, yet so many others in this industry do just that being more focused on getting the ‘sale’ instead of really listening to the client.
Buying and selling a home, for most, is a personal and emotional event in one’s life, and I make sure I honor that in how I do business with my clients.
#KJHouseAndHome #BeGenerous #StoryAthlete #theonepercentjourney
I have a fear of lions.
This fear does not stem from an actual encounter with a lion, but rather due to a reoccurring dream I have about lions.
In my dream I am being stalked by a lion.
No matter where I go or hide, he always finds me.
Around every turn, through every door, he is always there waiting for me.
It is impossible to escape the lion that is following me. I try everything imaginable, but the lion is still behind me.
The lion is never aggressive or attacks me, but I always present watching me, knowing he can get me any time he wants.
This dream is so real to me that it manifests this fear in real life.
Whenever I am at Como Zoo, for example, in the back of my mind I am always afraid that the lion will escape, and as I am fleeing the zoo I will round a corner and there he will be, staring at me and waiting for me.
Not many people know about this dream or my fear of lions, but it is a dream that I have had since childhood.
Most dream interpretations say that to dream of being chased by a lion represents that there are aspects of myself that I am running away from. That I want to change my life, but I continue to choose a path of destruction instead.
Another common interpretation of this dream is that being chased by a lion can also indicate feelings of aggression and anger that I may have towards others in my life. If I have been locking up these emotions inside, they will often find their way out through my dreams.
I am the first to admit I do not put much stock in these dream interpretations. They are written so general and vague that the reader can find a way to apply their ‘meaning’ to their life in some way.
At the same time, there may be some truth to this that applies to my life.
In the past I have been very self-destructive, using drugs and alcohol to excess to numb the internal pain I was feeling.
It was easier to numb and run away from my pain, than it was to confront my demons and deal with them.
Throughout most of my life, I have felt inadequate, unwanted, and unloved.
I would find ways to sabotage any success I was having in life to fit the narrative I had created in my mind.
And there lies the problem, what I was feeling inside was not reality. It was a manifestation of my internal fears about myself that I allowed to become real.
I was stuck in a self perpetuating negative feedback loop where through my actions, I would create a reality that fit what I believed about myself.
Like the movie ‘Inception’, I was stuck living within my own dream that I lost the ability to differentiate what was real and what was the dream.
Even though my mind created this fear in the first place, maybe my mind also sent me that lion at night to warn me that I needed to change the path I was on.
My dreams of lions have faded.
As I have grown comfortable and confident with who I am, the lie I had told myself for years has faded also.
No longer do I rely on others for acceptance or approval.
I know who I am, what I believe in and stand for, and I love that person.
My fear of lions still exists, and every once in a while that lion that haunted my dreams for so many years makes an appearance.
But he is never stalking me or chasing me.
28 days ago, I began a Challenge with the goal to examine and challenge my character, and as well as force me to be consistent in my efforts towards becoming a better version of myself.
One of the areas we focused on was the Body.
A strong body is the foundation upon which success in so many other aspects of our life is built upon.
A weak body will leave us lethargic, lacking in motivation, and clouds our mind.
All of which is an antithesis to success.
Whereas a strong body will leave us full of energy, motivation, confidence, and a focused mind.
All of which are the ingredients necessary for success.
We began our Body Work with a benchmark workout consisting of Push-ups, Squats, Sit-ups, and Burpees.
The workout was simple enough. Do as many reps of an exercise that you can in 2 minutes. Rest a minute, then move onto the next exercise. Total time, 12 minutes.
For the next 4 weeks, we were given a body-weight, CrossFit inspired workout to do twice per week called, ‘The 12 Minutes of Death’.
These workouts are designed to leave you on the floor in a puddle of your own sweat and shame for allowing yourself to become weak in body and mind.
More than once during these workouts I thought I was going to vomit, and I loved it.
If you are not pushing yourself to the point of complete exhaustion in a workout, you need to find the focus to bring yourself to a new level of pain.
Only through pain do we achieve growth.
This past week we retested our benchmark workout to chart and track our progress.
Push-ups – Previous: 28 -> Current: 39 = 39% increase
Squats with a Jump – Previous: 50 -> Current: 45 = 10% decrease
Sit-ups – Previous: 47 -> Current: 58 = 23% increase
Burpees with a Hop – Previous: 20 -> Current: 24 = 20% increase
With the exception of the Squats, which I think I may have miscounted in my original Benchmark Test, I saw a 20% or greater increase in my progress in less than 4 weeks.
Too often people think they need to commit to some complicated, time consuming, and lengthy program that requires specialized equipment or a gym, but that is often not the case.
Just getting off your ass and doing something a few days a week can yield tremendous results.
This is not just limited to fitness though.
In whatever challenge you are facing in life, just getting off your ass and doing something will yield positive results.
The hardest part is just getting started.
Today marks the conclusion of the 28 Day Challenge I committed to on March 4th.
Throughout this Challenge, I completed every assignment and challenge laid before me.
While this challenge may be over, my story continues.
We all have squirrels in our lives.
No, I am not talking about those cute fluffy little ninja’s in our backyards that provide hours of entertainment with their crazy antics.
I am talking about distractions.
Those shiny objects that keep us from making progress or getting things done.
Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, emails, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, kids, chores, a messy desk, a cute bird outside the window, a butterfly fluttering by, and on and on and on.
If there is one thing humans are experts in, it is finding excuses for not putting in the needed work to get shit done.
I am no exception.
As I sit here writing this, one of my biggest ‘squirrels’ just walked in the room to “show me something” and ask an endless barrage of questions.
20 minutes later, I am back at my computer to continue writing this after helping Callan with his early morning Lego crisis of putting his Batman airplane together.
I love it though, that was a good ‘squirrel’ moment, but at the same time it took away 20 minutes of my morning that could have been used for continuing to make progress on what I am doing.
All too often, those innocent ‘squirrels’ rob us of our day. 20 minutes here, 10 minutes there, next thing you know it is noon and you are sitting there wondering where did my morning go.
One of the biggest ‘squirrels’ I have been battling lately is myself.
More specifically, my mind.
I have found that more often than not, I am the biggest ‘squirrel’ that gets in my way and prevents me from the success I am working towards.
Too often I am second guessing myself or afraid to move forward with something because it is not ‘perfect yet’.
(note to self: it is never perfect, and it never will be perfect. Life is dynamic and what we think is perfect today is outdated by tomorrow. It’s best just to put it out there and work on improving it as life goes on.)
But I digress…lately I have been working on putting together a monthly newsletter.
Not that canned shit nobody cares about like ‘6 best ways to winterize your pipes’ or ‘Why you are cutting your grass wrong’.
I want to send out something personal that comes from my heart, interview local business owners and influencers in the community, and share other stories that I feel need to be shared.
The problem is that I am standing in my own way.
Is this too large for me to take on and carry out my vision?
Will anyone want to read it or even care?
Self doubt created by my own mind is providing the ‘squirrel’ that is standing in the way of my own progress or success in what I want to do.
Those in my entrepreneurial group keep telling me to ‘stop thinking about it and just do it’.
They keep reminding me that I am the character in my own script and only I get to define who that character is.
So often we are our own worst enemy, sabotaging our success before we even start.
The ‘squirrel’ that is my mind is something I continue to work on as it tries to distract me from achieving what I want to accomplish.
I took the boys to McDonalds the other day.
Not because they have an awesome, healthy menu that I wish to feed to anyone, but because they have a Playplace.
The boys were out running errands with me all morning, they were hungry and needed to run around a bit, expend some energy, and stretch their legs. It’s still too cold and muddy out to pack a lunch and find a park to eat at, so McDonalds it is.
Why more places don’t offer a play area for kids is beyond me. As a parent, I would love to have some other options other than McDonalds or Chick-fil-a to bring my kids for lunch. Sounds to me like a missed opportunity for many other restaurants. Chipotle, are you listening right now?! Hint, hint…
We do the usual…6 piece McNugget Happy Meal for Callan, 4 piece McNugget Happy Meal for Camden, and I get a hamburger Happy Meal for myself.
I read a long time ago that American portion sizes at McDonalds are much too large and can contain your daily allowances of fat, sodium, calories in one sitting. One of the ‘healthier’ items on the menu in terms of portion size, calories, fat, sodium, etc… is the hamburger Happy Meal, so that is what I usually get. Besides, the kids get an extra toy they don’t need this way.
As I am cleaning up and throwing things away while the children play, I woman stops me to tell me, “You are such a good dad”.
I thank her for the compliment and go about my business.
This isn’t the first time random strangers have stopped me to tell me that I am a good dad.
Grocery stores, Ikea, Target, restaurants, you name it. This happens to me more frequently than I would ever expect it to.
This day though, I sat down and took a minute to think about it.
What am I doing different that makes other people feel the need to stop me and say something?
I mean, if I am going to stop and compliment a total stranger, they have to be doing something that really stands out and impacts me.
I don’t feel like I am doing anything special.
As I sat there, I started to look around me.
With the exception of grandparents, every single person was on their phone.
Moms. Dads. Brothers. Sisters. They all had their faces planted in some electronic device. Even some of the younger kids were sitting there watching videos while they were eating.
Now I don’t pretend to perfect when it comes to phone use.
A big part of my job is to be available to clients when they need me or have questions, so I do check my phone when a notification comes in, but when I am with my kids I try to keep my use of technology to a minimum and make sure I am interacting and attentive to them.
I love talking to my kids, I love their questions, I love hearing their random stories and how they view the world around them, and I don’t want to miss a minute of it.
The window of time when they want to talk to me and be around me is small, and before I know it I will be replaced by school, sports, friends, or whatever technology the future holds for us.
So, I will keep my phone in my pocket and live in the moment with my kids.
I don’t know if that makes me a good dad or not, or if that was what that stranger was even referring to, but I’ll take what I observed and fully embrace the compliment nonetheless.
#KJHouseAndHome #BeGenerous #StoryAthlete
The alarm goes off.
It’s 5am and I promptly roll out of bed and start my day.
No snooze alarm. That’s never been my thing. If I wanted an ‘extra’ 15 minutes of sleep, I’ll set my alarm for 5:15am instead. Besides, that ‘extra’ 15 minutes isn’t quality sleep anyway, so why bother.
I get dressed, head downstairs and put on a kettle of water for coffee.
I prefer the pour-over method for making my coffee. I have a hand grinder I use for my coffee. It is an old 1900s grinder that creates the perfect grind. Besides the added flavor of making coffee this way, there is just something about the ritual of actually making my coffee in the morning versus a machine doing it for me that I enjoy.
While I wait for the water to boil, I usually unload the dishwasher and load in any dishes that did not get washed the night before. Why stand around when I can do something productive instead.
Once my coffee is made, it is time to grab a book and read for 30 minutes or so to wake up the mind and get it ready for the day.
Finally it is time to sit down and write.
This is my morning ritual. 5 days a week.
The other 2 days I prefer to ‘sleep in’, waking up next to my wife and enjoying the kids as they crawl into bed with us. They won’t be little forever so I make sure I take the time to cherish those little moments with them as much as possible.
I don’t check my phone.
I don’t look at my email.
I don’t check out Facebook or any other social media.
This is ‘Justin’ time.
There will be plenty of time later to get caught up on what is new in the world.
There was a time when I wouldn’t even consider getting up so early in the morning, but with 2 kids I needed to find some uninterrupted time in my day to be able to focus, and mornings were my best option.
I was a ‘night owl’, I’d tell myself. preferring the dark and quiet of the night, compared to the noise and energy of the morning.
But I have quickly come to learn that growth and progress are not made at night. They are made in the early hours of the morning, while everyone else sleeps.
This early morning investment in myself ultimately sets the tone for my day, as I have become more focused and more productive than I ever was before.
As a result, all aspects of my life have improved across Mind, Body, Business, and Relationships.
All because I made the decision to get up just a little earlier than I normally would.
My wife bought a new car a while back.
Since they say a car sits unused 80-90% of the time, but is one of the most expensive items to own and maintain, we tried being a one care family.
We were able to make it work for a few years, but a growing family, a longer commute to work for my wife, and my needing to meet with clients on short notice made owning one car impractical.
She ended up buying a beautiful black Volkswagon Vetta over her lunch hour one day.
Because she had taken the Jeep to work, and I was at home with the kids, we had no way of getting the car home that day.
Luckily the salesperson offered to drop the car off at our house after his shift.
Several hours later, a shiny black car rolls into the driveway, I am handed the keys, and just like that we have a new car.
Being a guy, I walk around it and look it over like I have any idea what I am doing or looking for.
It looks cool, so that’s good enough for me.
Time to put her in the garage.
I open the garage door, turn the key…nothing.
It won’t start.
I try it again.
Maybe there is a button I have to push while turning the key.
Nope, no button, so I try turning the key again.
No click, no sound from the engine, nothing.
I grab the owner’s manual, go inside and read it. Hoping for some insight to teach me the trick to start this car.
For the next hour I read the manual, go out and try starting the car over and over again with the same result.
I even try calling the dealership back to ask them how this lemon of a car they sold us starts, but they are closed.
My wife finally gets home and is beaming with pride over her new car.
She asks what I think of it and I tell her that I love it, but we have a problem. It won’t start.
She looks at me confused and asks, “What do you mean it won’t start?”
I explain to her the the man from the dealership dove it here, parked it, handed me the keys and when I went to start it back up, nothing. It won’t start.
Concerned she grabs a set of keys, goes over to the car, turns the key, and without missing a beat the car starts.
I’m staring in disbelief. My wife is looking at me like I’m an idiot.
After some bantering back and forth, she asks me, “Did you put your foot on the break?”
Of course I put my foot on the…ummmmm….no, wait…break?
With the Jeep, you don’t need to engage the break in order to start it, so I’ve just gotten used to putting the key in and turning it.
It didn’t even occur to me to put my foot on the break to start the car, even though the light on the dashboard keep blinking ‘BREAK’ at me.
I just had to stand there and laugh at myself.