Change

Change

People change – well some do. I believe we are meant to be constantly learning, growing, and, ultimately, being better every day. And I am one of those perpetual learners. I’ve had a business coach for the past four years and I’m in a weekly Mastermind group that helps me evaluate myself and my business. My real estate team sends out surveys requesting feedback from our clients periodically. The last time these were sent out all of them came back with glowing reviews. They wouldn’t have changed anything about the experience and they would refer us to all their friends and family. Well, all except one. One survey revealed that we had missed the mark. We had helped this client purchase several properties in the past and he had been very pleased, but we messed up on the latest one. We did not meet his expectations and he was disappointed. He gave us examples of what he felt we could have done differently. I was upset but so happy at the same time. I was upset that we didn’t do our best and that a client was less than impressed. I was happy that he was honest and gave us the opportunity to make it right and do better next time. I called him and asked to take him to lunch to discuss his experience and the survey. He was so gracious. He gave me very constructive criticism and, ultimately another chance. Our Mastermind group does peer evaluations each year. We say what each member of the group is great at and where each member needs improvement. This year, the group affirmed that I can juggle and wear a lot of hats. They also pointed out that I need to be more open and ask for help more often. Dang it, they know me so well. The greatest thing about both of those scenarios is that it gives our team and me, personally, the chance to improve and make changes. The two worst things that could happen is if we don’t receive feedback on how we can improve, or we don’t take action on it. Sometimes we don’t get a second chance and that’s OK. As long as we learn from it, make the necessary changes and do better next time, we don’t have anything to be ashamed of. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone needs to improve. Don’t get stuck. Don’t be that person that never changes, that just stays in that dead-end job that you hate, that doesn’t get out and do more, experience more, BE more. Be a person that is open to hearing how you can improve. It’s not always the easiest thing to hear, but you and others...

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What Are You Thankful For?

What Are You Thankful For?

  This is the time of year that a lot of us reflect on our lives and count our blessings. This time of year, also, typically makes us more aware of those in need and those less fortunate. What are you thankful for? How are you making a difference for someone else? Take time to reach out to friends or family and let them know you are thinking of them. Let them know you are thankful for them. Maybe you don’t love your job or your kids are being rebellious. Think of those that need a job or desperately want children of their own. Maybe you’re not where you want to be in life. Me neither! Hopefully we are always growing, learning, and becoming better human beings every day. Be thankful for how far you’ve come. Haven’t got that project completed? If you worked on it today, you are one step closer. Haven’t lost all the weight? If you’re eating right and exercising, good for you. You’re not where you were last month. I am thankful that I get to have a career that helps make so many dreams come true. Every day I get to see new beginnings – and new chapters being opened. I am thankful for the clients that trust me to help them with what is typically the biggest investment of their life. I am also thankful for the agents in my company that are in our family. They make me proud to work with them. I think it’s easy for some of us to watch tv or movies and compare our lives to the stars we see. Or flip through social media and wonder why you can’t have what they have. Most of it’s not real, first of all, and secondly, right now there is someone looking at you wishing they could live in your shoes. So be thankful and keep growing. Keep being grateful. Happy Thanksgiving....

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The American Dream

The American Dream

  What is the American Dream? Most of us know it as home ownership. Not giving up your money each month, in rent, only to have nothing to show for it at the end of your lease. It’s having something that is all your own, something that you can paint the colors you want, landscape how you want, hang wind chimes in the tree, and rock out to your favorite tunes without Aunt Edna banging on her ceiling with a broom (I’m speaking from experience). Still, for others, the American Dream is simply to have a roof over their head, no matter if they own it or not. It’s to not be cold when there is frost on the ground. It’s to have a hot meal in the evening or food in their belly when their school is out for Winter Break. No matter what your American Dream is, hold on to it, work for it, and it can happen. There are countless stories of overcoming in our world. No one has to be stuck where they are. If you are stuck, I’m sorry, but that’s your fault. We all have it within us to make change. We all have it in us to make a difference. It begins with the way we think and grows into action. Use the energy in our Universe to make the changes happen. Set your mind to it and move steadfast in that direction. You will be surprised what will happen. I am pleased to be part of a television program called The American Dream. Each month, I will be talking about different topics, real estate and community related. We will laugh, we will educate, and most importantly, we will give back. The American Dream, whatever that looks like for you, would be far less meaningful if we didn’t give something back. I am blessed. I look around and realize there are so many people in my country, in my state, in my city, that need a little help. That’s what I strive to do through this program. My team and I not only want to help people with their real estate needs, but help people through giving back. So, tune in, tune the negativity out, and make a difference with us.  ...

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Are You Too Big For Your Britches?

Are You Too Big For Your Britches?

  Did your mom ever tell you not to get “too big for your britches?” Maybe she said you already were. If she didn’t, you’re better than me! I think my mom probably still says that about me sometimes. And that is why I think this is a good reminder for those of us that have been warned against it. We see it everywhere. Entertainers who think they can get by with anything say something from stage and the country retaliates by boycotting their shows. Athletes getting in brawls at nightclubs because they don’t think anyone will turn them in. Local politicians who weave in and out of traffic in their brand new sports car because they think they won’t get a ticket. CEO’s using the company plane for personal vacations because “they can.” Some people have so many “yes” men/women around them that they feel they are invincible. They are constantly photographed and told how great they are that they can forget who they were when they put their pants on one leg at a time. What about us? How do we treat those around us? In our world of social media, we can all be celebrities. We can all have people telling us we’re wonderful and we can feel like we hung the moon. But is it real or is it just like a great Instagram filter? Do we respect others – even when we don’t agree with them? Or do we make a point to tell them they’re wrong because we feel we’re right? It can be as simple as a “thank you” to a restaurant server or making eye contact with the person who held the door open as you walked up. When we are working with a service professional, do we think we know how to do their job better than they do? We may, but we shouldn’t act like it. Communication goes a long way in understanding the other person’s point of view. Most of the time, I have found that people have definite reasons for doing things the way they do. When I have thought I knew better, I have often understood that their reasoning was sound and that had it been done differently, the outcome may have not been a good one. This is just a little reminder to check ourselves. Stress runs at high levels and if we find that we are acting a little too big for our britches, take a step back and breathe. We are human. We ALL make mistakes and we ALL deserve...

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Too Little, Too Late: 7 Steps to a Great Professional Experience

Too Little, Too Late: 7 Steps to a Great Professional Experience

Have you ever been in a restaurant and had mediocre to poor service and when it came time for the server to bring the check they all of a sudden changed their attitude and cared about your experience? Or how about the contractor who is working on your house that doesn’t care, tries to cover up issues instead of solve them, then follows up to “make sure you were happy with their service” and ask for referrals. Too little, too late. I see this in home buying, home selling and home building. A Buyer will write a lowball offer and then be very upset when a Seller accepts another offer before theirs is worked out. Too little, too late. If they really wanted the house, they should have offered a fair price to begin with and the Seller would be more negotiable and feel more a sense of urgency to come to agreement. Sellers will play hard ball when it comes to inspection results and items buyers are asking for. Then when the Buyer backs out of the contract because their requests aren’t being fulfilled, the Seller tries to throw money at it. Too little, too late. Home builders will take short cuts, leave things undone, not use proper materials, do the bare minimum and ignore requests to make it right, then come groveling when you mention you are speaking with your attorney. Too little, too late. As a consumer, listen to the experts. Your Realtor or representative does this every day. They see what Buyers and Sellers are doing, how the market is responding to certain situations and can advise you on the best way to handle it. We are all busy and so many of us have too much but we need to be conscience of not taking things on if we can’t do the job or not do it right. We all have reputations. We all have people we can refer and ask for referrals for business. Here are some tips on ways to make sure you and your client/customer have a great experience: Set expectations at the beginning. Ask how they like to be communicated with and how often. Let them know your process and how you manage it. Ask what would make this a great experience for them. Review contracts, quotes, etc. together before starting the job. Tell them you expect feedback before, during, and after the job is complete. When an issue arises, handle it immediately. Don’t make the mistake of giving someone too little, too late. Your reputation and possibly your income can depend on...

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Music, the Universal Language

Music, the Universal Language

  This past weekend I went to the Pilgrimage Festival. It is a 2-day music festival, right here in the city of Franklin, Tennessee. There were 25,000 people, in over 90-degree humid heat with very little breeze, Ubers were expensive, there were long lines for food and drinks, and it was awesome! The whole weekend, I saw two police officers besides those directing traffic and they looked very bored. I didn’t see one of the 25,000 attendees causing a scene, getting upset, or being arrested. The crowd was diverse.  Straight, gay, singles, couples, all nationalities, all races, all religions (even a guy dressed like Jesus). The bands ranged from those playing children’s tunes to Southern pop/rock, to alternative, to classic R&B, to new independent bands making their own genre. Everyone had a great time and everyone was there for one thing – MUSIC. A friend recently told me a story about traveling with a band playing in a country that was war torn, where the language was not English and the crowd could barely understand anything they were saying. The people were oppressed but when the band played a classic Eagles tune, the entire audience sang the words in one voice. Music is a tremendous a language that causes political lines to be crossed, makes people color blind and brings masses together in a spiritual way that has nothing to do with religion. I typically write about the real estate market but our world needs more good news. Our world needs more music. Whatever you like to listen to, there are others just like you. Whatever transcends time and space for you and takes you back to a simpler time in your life, others will join you. Whether you’re turning on the radio, performing it, meditating to it, or are sitting out under the stars at a farm in the middle of Franklin, Tennessee watching some of the most skilled of their time, music can be the glue that holds us together when nothing else can. Next time you pull up next to a car and the driver is obviously singing the same song that’s coming out your speakers, sing along and wave. Play something soothing when the baby won’t sleep – it may not help the baby but it probably will you! If we can embrace each other’s taste in music, maybe we can learn to embrace each other, no matter our differences. And, come to think of it, having music on while you’re trying to sell your house can be helpful too. Sorry, had to do...

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