This week my travels find me in Northern California, in meetings, on conference calls and in general, preparing for the upcoming holidays and new year. Beyond the joy, cheer and merriment, there’s one underrated theme of the holiday season and that’s leadership. And when it comes to holiday leadership, I can’t think of a more solid leader than St. Nick.
By Gino Blefari
This week my travels find me in Northern California, taking meetings, organizing calls and just this morning, leading a teleconference with Debbie De Grote, founder/CEO of Excelleum Coaching & Consulting all about business planning. For all of us, a business plan is vital because even as an agent we must think of ourselves as a business, and all businesses must have a plan. Remember the wise words of Benjamin Franklin: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
Some may think it’s strange though to have a business-planning call at the end of August but there’s a reason for this exact timing. During my 30+ years in the real estate business—as an agent, a manager and an owner of a company—I’ve always found that there’s a cash flow problem in the months of January and February. This applies to agents as much as it does to owners.
Why? Because real estate operates on a 90-day cycle, so what we do 90 days before gets paid out 90 days later. This means a lag in business during the fall months will show up in Q1 of the new year. The lag is understandable, though avoidable; it’s obvious to notice right after Halloween a great number of agents go into hibernation. There’s Thanksgiving, the holidays … life gets busy and business gets put on the back burner. (Extrapolate those 90 days during this lull and you’ll understand clearly why cash-flow problems plague us in January and February.)
To get you started, access our Business Planning Essentials by clicking HERE.
This week my travels found me in Northern California, working from my home office and preparing for the new year (although as I told you in an earlier post, my business plan has been set for months). Whenever I’m home, I meet my friend and former All-Pro defensive back for the Los Angeles Rams, Johnnie Johnson, for a weekly breakfast; this week was no exception. Fortunately, Johnnie’s sons, Kirk and Collin, were also in town—on break from college at the University of Texas—so they joined us as well.
HSF Affiliates COO Stephen Phillips wrote the following blog post at the end of 2014. We publish it again because we liked it and the messages are as appropriate for the upcoming year as they were two years ago. Happy holidays!
By Stephen Phillips
Like many companies, we have a television in the lobby of our Irvine, California headquarters. At one time it was continuously tuned to a cable news network, but then at some point our receptionist was tired of hearing about nothing but terrorism and pandemics and she switched to HGTV. That makes sense to me. I never watch television news, and I like HGTV.
Recently, I was walking through the lobby when I heard an HGTV promotional spot that stopped me in my tracks. The ad was for a show named Rehab Addict. The star of the show, Nicole Curtis, was talking about what she does in remodeling old houses in the Midwest. She was describing her response to both the successes and the failures, and she said, “I want the good days; I want the bad days.” I was immediately struck by how much wisdom there is in that simple phrase, “I want the good days; I want the bad days.”
Everyone knows there’s not one mold from which great leaders are made. Yet it’s also known that all leaders share common traits: They inspire, they motivate, they bring about joy and cheer to every member of their team.
What leader inspires, motivates and spreads cheer and joy more than jolly, old St. Nick? If you think about it, he’s got a lot on his cookie-filled plate. And we can’t deny he’s one busy guy. Here are three reasons why St. Nick is the epitome of a great leader:
By Phillip MacArthur
This year, while attending the 2016 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Summit Conference in Palm Springs, CA, I heard a reoccurring theme from my colleagues: How do you work with a buyer whose hours aren’t the typical 9-5?
In my experience, these buyers tend to be entrepreneurs, police officers, financiers, small business owners and healthcare professionals, whose jobs mandate they work early in the morning or late into the night. As their trusted real estate agents, we must adjust. But how?
Here are a few tips that have helped me manage these atypical clients. My advice:
By Crescent Seward
On my ninth birthday I received an oddly mature, mid-century architecture coloring book full of 1960s homes and their intricate landscaping. (This was in the late 1980s well before adult coloring books became all the rage.) I poured over those pages with my colored pencils and imagined what it would be like to live in each one, play in those various backyards – and became thankful for my own sprawling front porch – which hosted many nights of capturing fireflies and laughing with my little brother.
Like most Americans approaching the Thanksgiving holiday, I’m reminded of what I’m thankful for and thought back to those simple days of childhood. While my nine-year-old self thought a big front porch to play on was pretty important, today I value a few other things in a home (walk-in closets, anyone?). I started thinking about how many different types of homes there are and how far we’ve come in architecture and technology. From drafty Victorians, electricity and indoor plumbing, tract housing, double-wide trailers, McMansions and quaint Craftsmans, to the future of smart homes – we actually have a lot for which to be thankful.
We’ve also been changing and evolving our homes well before 1989. Here are a few things I’m sure you’re thankful for, in no particular order:
By Gino Blefari
This week my travels find me in Orlando for the National Association of REALTORS® Conference & Expo, a yearly event that brings together real estate professionals from across the country … and the globe. Our HSF Affiliates brands will be proudly represented on the Expo floor—come say hello to our team at Booth No. 1565—as thousands of attendees connect, learn and ultimately build relationships that will help grow their businesses.
In this post, though, I want to focus on the value of connection because I firmly believe it lays the groundwork for all we do, is a major determinant of future success and in many ways, can define who we are. Without real connection we have next to nothing; no authenticity, no substance, no trust and no foundation upon which to build lasting relationships that will propel us forward.
The question often comes up: How do you best connect at large events like the NAR Conference & Expo, when the crowd can sometimes be overwhelming and the opportunities so vast? Here’s my answer (or my five answers), about how to foster meaningful connections at your next meeting—whether it’s at the upcoming NAR convention, an office networking event or holiday party:
By Gino Blefari
This week my travels find me in Irvine, CA at the HSF Affiliates LLC headquarters for a leadership meeting and a Town Hall with the entire Irvine-based staff. During these get-togethers, my team will discuss motivation and inspiration, reflecting on our past year and looking forward to a year of growth and prosperity ahead.
Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, once said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” And in fact, the name of your game this December should be proactivity. If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to think and plan out how to have a breakthrough 2016. To get you started, here are some ways to increase productivity and success in the new year:
By Kim Gellatly
The holiday season can be a wonderful time to reach your clients in fun, memorable and festive ways. Working hard during the fourth quarter to reach out to your clients can also help ensure you’ll have a great start to business in the first quarter of the new year. Here are some of my favorite ways to connect with my network of clients during the holiday season: