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Plan Like a Champion Work Like an Olympian

Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster Avalon 0789718


When you hear the word Olympian, what is the first thing that comes to mind?  Do you picture Michael Phelps, Dorothy Hamill or the Dream Team?  Or do you think of those athletes who fought the good fight and missed qualifying for the team?

My first thought is of my son, Matthew O’Donoghue, who fell just short of qualifying for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Lightweight Rowing.  I accepted the challenge to write about the Olympic spirit as I know firsthand the amount of work, dedication and sacrifice required by each and every athlete.

As I reflect upon my business in terms of the Olympics, I know one trait I possess worthy of a gold medal and it is the service I provide to my customers and clients.  I am not the #1 agent in my area but I don’t need to be #1 to an “area”.  I only need to be #1 to the people relying on me in a particular deal.

A few months ago, my business was at a standstill.  I began to question my place in the industry and am I even good at this job?  The basics of phone calls, postcards and open houses weren’t resulting in listings or buyers and my social media was gaining Likes but not Loves.  I took a good look at what I was doing each day and I realized I had moved away from the routine that worked for me.  I am someone who needs the To Do List and a set schedule and plan of attack for the day.

I arrived at work the next day ready to battle my opponent; complacency.  I wrote a daily business plan and dove in head first to work the plan.  A few weeks later, I received a referral from my friend’s brother.  It was the result of stopping by saying hi and reminding my friend I sell real estate.  The deal closed this past Friday and it is the biggest deal of my career so far.  The listing agent happened to be the #1 agent in town and he congratulated me on a job well done.

Real Estate agents don’t get the respect and recognition of other industries.  Whether that is due to our own leadership and education standards is a topic for another day.  The only thing I can control is my own reputation and if I continue to provide better customer service than other agents in my area, my medals will be in the shape of keys.


Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Excellent post!  Overcoming a standstill in this business takes determination and you proved that by reviewing your business and planned accordingly. 

Aug 01, 2016 01:47 PM
Marilyn O'Donoghue
Long & Foster Avalon - Avalon, NJ

Thank you Jan Green. It really does matter doesn't it?

Aug 01, 2016 02:05 PM
Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Good for you, Marilyn. Hard work and determination pays off. I am glad you were able to visit your goals in this business, and set out to get things going.

Nice entry for this challenge!

Aug 03, 2016 10:43 AM
Marilyn O'Donoghue
Long & Foster Avalon - Avalon, NJ

Thank you Jerry Newman!  I hope you have a great day.

Aug 03, 2016 11:32 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

What a nice blog. How do you make your name out there through quality referral service.  If you hide behind a computer screen all day chances that spammers will be in touch with you, 

Thanks for the inspirational contest.

Aug 03, 2016 11:37 PM
Marilyn O'Donoghue
Long & Foster Avalon - Avalon, NJ

Sam Shueh you are absolutely correct.  This is still a meet and greet type of business-thank goodness!

Aug 03, 2016 11:54 PM
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


I love that you took the time to re-examine your business plan.  And using your calendar to remind you about your goals for the day.  Nice post.

Aug 09, 2016 09:23 AM
Marilyn O'Donoghue
Long & Foster Avalon - Avalon, NJ

Thank you Evelyn Kennedy. It was a fun post to write

Aug 10, 2016 12:39 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Marilyn O'Donoghue - sometimes the path to the Olympic Gold has many obstacles to overcome but just like a great Olympian, you were able to refocus and move forward!

Aug 22, 2016 12:11 AM
Marilyn O'Donoghue
Long & Foster Avalon - Avalon, NJ

Thank you Sheri Sperry. It has been a good summer for me because of my rediscovered focus! I hope your summer is going as planned.

Aug 22, 2016 09:04 AM