How potty training can double your production

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In the majority of my adult life, I'm realizing that I've historically been a pretty negative thinker.  I always thought we, "the human race", in our quest for excellence are supposed to never be happy with the status quo.  To me, being content was a death sentence... because if you're content, you will never have enough reasons to force change and improvement and you're just existing and becoming more "blah".  So it's always been hard for me to celebrate successes without following them up with some sort of qualifier when they happen, because I felt like it just lead to a contented doom of no growth, no joy, no life improvement... until I had my daughter. 

Potty training life lessons:

My baby girl is 19 months now, and we're just starting to potty train.  Being a mommy has been quite the education that has greatly improved my perspective both personally and in business. Some of the more valuable lessons I'm learning right now during our potty training endeavors: 

  1. How important it is to get back to basics and focus on each step... in order.  (Like pull your pants down BEFORE sitting). 
  2. It's equally important to celebrate the "tries" as well as the actual moments of glory (like seeing little drops in the toilet). 
  3. Happiness breeds future success.  The more comfortable and celebrated you are, the more you won't shy away from new challenges

Me, the perpetual student: As a real estate technology trainer, I'm a constant student of what separates those agents that see great success in their business, and those that are either scraping by, or are doing well despite significantly unbalanced work/life schedules. 

I recently hosted an interview with Bobby Dean*, a successful agent out of Dothan, Alabama who came out of retirement to do what he loved... serve others.  Since joining Market Leader tools (by Trulia), Bobby has doubled his transactions every year... previously averaging around 12-15, and now is expecting over 40 for this last year.  So what's his secret?  From my seat, looks like he's following the potty training recipe!

Bobby's tips to double your production every year

  1.  He gets back to the basics to build his business.  He earns over $3 Million in transactions just from passing out business cards (aims to hand out about 3,000/year).
  2. He follows a very consistent routine to follow-up with any leads/new business opportunities, puts them on automated campaigns, listing alerts, etc and supplements with lots of personal touches.  He doesn't focus on the attempts.  He celebrates what's in his control: his consistency in reaching out to leads as well as his work ethic.  When leads do pan out into real, live clients, he doesn't react with an exasperated sigh thinking "finally!".  Instead, he expects these results and celebrates them as the natural outcome of his efforts.
  3. He values the relationships with the clients he builds and puts them and their desires above his own.  His happiness and their happiness with his services breeds more referrals, more success.

Be like Bobby: watch his interview and download class notes.

Bobby and my daughter are two very special people.  And while it's probably not a good idea for me to share my daughter's potty training journey on video with step-by-step instruction... you will get a LOT out of hearing directly from Bobby Dean and downloading the class notes that includes tips and examples of how he's consistently doubling his production every year in a way anyone can replicate.

Enjoy everyone-- and have a wonderful, prosperous holiday season and new year getting back to the basics.  Take this time to reflect on all the things you've done right... you deserve a pat on the back for all your hard work!  I'll try to do the same :)


*A big thank you to Mr. Bobby Dean for his time and generosity in sharing his best practices with his fellow real estate professionals.  Bobby is a full time agent for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Showcase Properties, based out of Dothan, Alabama.  Connect with Bobby here: or here:


Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Praful Thakkar 12/04/2014 01:49 PM
  2. John DL Arendsen 12/05/2014 09:11 AM
  3. Michele Bass 12/06/2014 10:35 AM
  4. Winston Heverly 08/08/2015 12:40 PM
  5. Winston Heverly 08/08/2015 12:40 PM
Real Estate Best Practices
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shannon shimabukuro

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Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Anyone that thinks they can jump steps just because they have done it a few times is not being as through as they should be. That's how accidents/lost opportunities happen

Dec 05, 2014 04:10 AM #46
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

What a refreshing read - your title is what caught my interest, but your follow through examples were well thought out and appreciated.   Great pictures too!

I never thought about handing out business cards as a goal - but if you meet 3,000 new people every year and follow up well, sounds like a receipe for success to me.

Dec 05, 2014 08:05 AM #47
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

Very good analogy Shannon, thanks for the tip.

Dec 05, 2014 08:26 AM #48
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

Shannon Shimabukuro ~ too funny! I just saw on shark tank the "squatty potty" and now it is selling on Amazon like hot cakes.... Awesome post and fantastic tips

Dec 05, 2014 08:56 AM #49
Dan Pittsenbarger
Keller Williams Western Realty - Bellingham, WA
Improving Conditions

I actually don't believe you're a negative thinker - perhaps some kind of game to motivate yourself but your post is much too fun and creative and could not possibly be written by a true hard core negative thinker - have a fantastic rest of the year.

Dec 05, 2014 09:05 AM #50
John DL Arendsen
Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & Contractor

Shannon Shimabukuro Ha! Gotta kick out of this one. It kinda hit a nerve. Fortunately 2 of my 5 kids were boys and Poppy teaching Potty Training 101 was as easy as sword fighting over the toilet. With the seat up of course. LOL! Can't wait to pass this one along.

Dec 05, 2014 09:06 AM #51
walter White

Dang it, Shannon, your comments right on target. Trulia stock now up 50% in my book.

Dec 05, 2014 11:11 PM #52
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Your title drew me in but the content kept me reading, til the end, and thinking about how I could make some changes in my behavior

Dec 06, 2014 01:13 PM #53
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

I like the idea of celebrating the tries. Very wise and it's so true when we encourage our children, but we don't do it for ourselves. 

Dec 07, 2014 12:20 AM #54
Trent Dalrymple (248) 854-0625
Texana Bank - Bloomfield Hills, MI
Allowing Mortgage Professionals to Lend Nationwide

Good post, back to basics, celebrating our successes and as always, expect failure, without that how can we appreciate our achievements?  Try, try again.

Dec 07, 2014 01:19 AM #55
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hi, Shannon!  You can find this post on today's "Last Week's Favorites".

Dec 07, 2014 10:33 AM #56
Barbara Altieri
Kinard Realty Group Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Shannon -- Good read. Listened to the presentation. Some good ideas I already have in motion, some I have in my plan for 2015 and other thoughtful approaches. Thank you.

Dec 08, 2014 10:18 AM #57
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Enjoyed your post ... great analogy ... I'll be listening to the video shortly as well as printing out the notes ... You picked a good time to write this blog.  End of the year -- perfect for getting back to basics and seeing our business soar in 2015.

Dec 09, 2014 04:26 PM #58
Cassandra Vickers
RE/MAX Pioneers - Cypress, TX

Very catchy title, I will definetly incorporate some of Bobby's tips into my 2015 marketing plan.

Dec 09, 2014 11:48 PM #59
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

If you do anything with consistency, even hand out business cards, you will get something from it.

Dec 10, 2014 05:51 AM #60
Wayne Johnson
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS® - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale

Shannon Shimabukuro thanks for this post. The video with Bobby was great too.

Dec 10, 2014 10:46 AM #61
Liane Thomas -Top Listing Agent
Professional Realty Services® International - Corona, CA
Bringing you Home!

Cute post, the name grabbed me, the message kept me.

Thank you for reminder and blessings to you in 2015.

Dec 19, 2014 02:50 AM #62
Shannon Shimabukuro
PipelineDeals - Kirkland, WA
Smart Selling Made Simple for Brokers

Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan -- absolutely!  thanks for reading.

Claude Labbe and Janis Borgueta -- yes- she will!  but i'm sure I'll continue to give her more and more to be embarrassed about than I'd like to admit! :)

Frank Castaldini - thanks so much, Frank.  That means a lot-- glad you liked it

Dec 24, 2014 01:11 AM #63
Shannon Shimabukuro
PipelineDeals - Kirkland, WA
Smart Selling Made Simple for Brokers

Patricia Kennedy - wow-- what an honor.  thanks for the heads up!

And to everyone-- thanks for taking the time to read this blog!  I know it was a bit of a stretch to connect potty training to real estate- but glad you found the humor and Bobby's tactics worth your time to read!  Cheers to a great 2015!!

Dec 24, 2014 01:13 AM #64
Winston Heverly
Winston Realty, Inc. - Atlantis, FL

I think Active Rain has done a great job in bringing out the best potential in all of their members blogs like this one.

Mar 22, 2015 01:02 PM #65
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Shannon Shimabukuro

Smart Selling Made Simple for Brokers
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