What a great blog! In case you missed it, here it is again. Very inspiring and it really maked me stop and think about my life and my business. Hope it does the same for you.
After many successful but stressful years of real estate success working way too many hours and sweating all the stuff, I was diagnosed with cancer and from August to November of that year I was in surgeries and treatment. I was given an all clear in 2009 so it was now time to reconnect with my business. The problem was, I could not push and as much as I tried to summon the will I was just to psychologically spent to do it and afraid of any stress. Out of gratitude to my at the time girlfriend who I just married in July, I decided that I could repay the debt of her sacrifice for me by helping her in short sales which was driving her crazy. I also had empathy for those who suffered and if I couldn't push I would at least do good work and gain satisfaction from rescuing people from foreclosure to give them a better future. What happened two years later changed my business model forever and I will try to keep the story as short as possible, but the success we now have is immense, the lifestyle satisfying and low stress, and the volume immense without ever setting volume goals.
Short Sale Epiphany: After two years I told Charlene you know for not setting volume goals and only doing blogs and videos we are closing 40 to 50 short sales a year. Not only are we making a good living we are feeling a sense of accomplishment. We decided to base our business on a positive culture, written core values, and never setting volume goals, but concentrating on quality goals. I am not saying there is anything wrong about setting volume goals or doing volume, this is just what we decided to do.
Conceptual versus transnational real estate: As REALTORS® we often chase transactions and sometimes live from one to the other. Charlene and I decided to go a different direction. We would use positive visualization to imagine what our business would look like. This is a process of looking into the future and saying, this is how we want to connect the dots so now lets figure out how to do it. If we can see the success then we can make it happen. One thing I wanted to do is get my investment business back on track which is my first love. We did that and started to engage a marketing plan that wasn't marketing, it was giving content a context through blogging anf video and being as authentic as possible.
Time Blocking versus time management: To us time management is wishful thinking. Too often in this high tech world we get distracted by every email and every call or text. We decided to block out time. This required planning and it also required that we would not check email or answer the phone unless it was an emergency we sensed, and often we could direct the call to each other. We would also make sure that we blocked out the week for certain activities so if we needed to do six hours of research, then we would make sure that by the end of the week we reached our time goal.
Outsourcing and efficiency with our time: I have used elance.com for years for just about everything you can think of. One example I will share is I have over 500 investors in a database that currently hold investment property in the Oklahoma City area. I use Mail Chimp for permission based email but if i was going to block 50% of our time to long term planning ( your heard me correctly) I had to be efficient. Now I write the articles and I have someone I outsource to who puts it into a newsletter beautifully and then has the database to email to. i do this 4 times a year because positive cash flow every month makes them remember me, and I update them on the market. Whatever task you may control freak about, please learn to let go because you can't be conceptual and grow your business without breaking free of transnational gridlock.
Where are we now? Not only married but I am 5 years cancer free. Without setting volume goals and focusing on being exceptional, still gaining satisfaction from rescuing families from foreclosure, and building long term wealth for investors we will close around 125 homes this year, and next year it looks like that might double. We are still a two person team, with outsourcing doing the rest. We take 3 weeks off on vacation, and I still have the time to be President of the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® and on the NAR MLS committee. Don't tell yourself it can't be done because I hope i am living proof that quality brings quantity.
How do you start? I suggest about learning how to lose control in order to gain mastery. We are business people and entrepreneurs even more than REALTORS®. Get up every morning and not only set your day, but discuss where you want to go, how are you doing on your exit strategy when you are out of real estate and what you need to do to insure the future. Charlene and i are planning for 2015 as well as 2018 when i will be 70 years old. You heard me right and another thing, never think you are too old to learn or change.