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Archive for September, 2014

Raising a Puppy and Your Real Estate Career





Raising a Puppy and Your Real Estate Career – by Dana Sparks


So I got a new puppy two weeks ago…. a 7 month old Doberman!  I have always had dogs my entire life but I have not had a puppy in a while and I forgot how much hard work AND intense joy are involved to raise a puppy!  I started thinking about the similarities between raising a puppy and having a successful real estate career and realized they are exactly the same!  (Well may except for the “teething” part!)


Your career and your new puppy require:

  • Lots of attention
  • Patience
  • Discipline
  • Education
  • Nutrition, Exercise & Rest
  • Love and Kindness
  • & of course, a Camera!

Lots of Attention:  You cannot ignore your career.  There are many aspects of real estate to which you need to pay attention… just like you cannot leave a 7 month old 45 pound pup alone in your house without paying attention to her!  You need to attend to lead generation, lead conversion, client servicing, your marketing, your contracts, understanding the inventory, your Broker, your paperwork, etc.!  Each of these aspects need your consistent attention to learn your craft and serve your clients so that you may close more transactions and make more money!  How do you constantly pay attention to all of these issues when there are only 24 hours in a day?  The answer is organization, time blocking, routine and scheduling.

Patience:  So you teach the puppy how to sit and she’s housebroken – hallelujah!  No accidents and she sits upon command beautifully. On to the next trick – down and stay!  All of a sudden she has an accident and you’d think she never heard the word “sit” in her life! Arrgghhhh!!!  I KNOW she knew how to sit… what happened?!?!  You ran out of patience is what happened!  The puppy has started focusing on new things in her surroundings and new commands you are teaching. Just like the myriad aspects of real estate, there is a lot to learn and sharpen.  Patience in this profession will serve you well!  You need to be patient with yourself, your clients, the market and your co-op agents.

Discipline: When you raise a puppy, you feel like “no” gains an inordinate amount of prevalence in your vocabulary!  The discipline required to have a well-trained, happy dog with polite manners requires a lot of discipline (of the dog and your temper! … remember the patience thing?!?!)  To begin to experience success in real estate and sustain a professional career to help a lot of people & make a lot of money, you need a lot of discipline to achieve your goals!  Many enter this field due to the “freedom” you have over your time and schedule.  To be a successful entrepreneur, you work for yourself and must be extremely disciplined to do your job everyday!  Without having to answer to a “boss,” it is really easy to not “go to work” one day, two days…. which turns into one week, a month, and more!  The answers are easy: Have a business plan as a blueprint for your achievements for the year, a schedule to support this plan, an accountability partner to remind you of your goals, dreams and aspirations, and the self-discipline to generate new business EVERY WORK DAY – even when you don’t feel like it!

Education:  There is so much to learn!  The market continually changes, the mortgage industry continually changes, your clientele continually changes, the procedures and systems you use continually change, the contracts continually change, your marketing techniques continually change, and so on and so on!  A puppy has an entire world about which to learn and relies on YOU to teach her what is expected of her, what is safe, what is forbidden and what to do to please you.  A dog only wants to please her owner – and get rewarded with food, play and affection.  When you stay in curiosity and continually stay on top of your field and learn what is expected of you to help your clients, you too will be rewarded with clients, closings, ease of business, familiarity with your industry, lots of commission checks and more ways to bless more people and make more money!

Nutrition, Exercise & Rest:  For a healthy, happy, prosperous and growing career, you must nourish your mind, body and spirit.  Being a successful real estate entrepreneur takes a lot of work, time and persistence.  You must keep your body healthy and strong with proper nutrition and exercise.  Plan your meals, pack a healthy lunch at home and bring it with you to the office – chances are it will be healthier than what you would grab on the go (& cheaper!)  East a good breakfast every day so that you will have the energy every morning to solicit new business – that is what you should do every morning you go to work!  Throughout the day and at the end of the day, take some time for yourself to rest and relax.  You must keep yourself strong in order to be strong for others.  Schedule a deadline each night for working – in other words, after 7:30pm, my time belongs to myself and my family – no calls and no emails.  My new pup goes FULL OUT from the time I take her out of her crate and feed her breakfast until she collapses with exhaustion for a nap! (Oh how I treasure those nap times!)  When you step away from work for an hour lunch break and in the evenings and throughout the weekend, it gives you a chance to re-charge your energy and re-new your enthusiasm and vitality towards your profession and your current clients.

Love and Kindness: Any animal, or anything for that matter, entrusted to your care deserves your love and kindness.  All that a new puppy wants to do is please you in order to seek your love, appreciation & approval… and perhaps some food!  Your approach to your career should be one of love and to all of those involved in any transactions you should be kind.  At the beginning of every transaction, this is typically not an issue; as time goes on and the parties move towards closing, issues tend to arise that make you a bit hard-pressed to continue this kindness.  Remember that the practice of real estate is unlike any other profession.  There are two separate parties represented by two separate firms yet all are working towards the same ultimate goal.  We use terms such as negotiate and counter offer which seemingly imply opposition, yet the end result is always the same goal!  Unlike other professions that use these same tactics and terms (i.e. representing parties in a lawsuit where the goals are very opposed) it will serve you well to show kindness to your own client (especially when they are being difficult) and the co-op agent so that you may actually get to the closing table!  Being kind and professional does not mean you have to like the person.

And of course a Camera:  Besides the obvious use of a camera in real estate, you should metaphorically document your real estate career to recognize how much you have learned and how far you have come!  It is also important to document your initial reasons for choosing real estate over any other career path you could have chosen.  Write down what got you excited about getting into this profession and remind yourself of these reasons when you are having a bad day!  Would you really rather go get a “job” or put some energy, discipline and training and focus on becoming a more successful agent?  If you do NOW what others Won’t, in 5 years you can do what others CAN’T!

Now speaking of cameras…….

 20140913_205234 (2)

Look at that face!!

Powerful Headlines to Make You Money

Effective Headlines to Make Money in Real Estate at Maximum One

Powerful Headlines to Make You Money – by Dana Sparks


When you market your listings, be sure to use powerful headlines & titles to catch the Buyer’s (& Co-Op Agent’s) attention!  People want to know more than the “bricks & sticks” information…. number of bedrooms, bathrooms, location, price.  Buying and selling homes is emotional so use some emotionally-charged words in your flyers and descriptions.

If you want the reader of your real estate home advertisement to actually read it, you need to elicit that desired response from their reading of your headline. Though I don’t think it’s the end-all of answers, a tool I’ve found useful is located at the Advanced Marketing Institute website. Check it out to assess the Emotional Value of Headline Text Tool  You type in the headline you’re thinking of using, and the site gives it a score for how effective it is in using words with Intellectual, Spiritual and Empathetic impact on readers.

The score is a percentage representing what they call the EMV, or Emotional Marketing Value of the text. According to the site, good professional copywriters use headlines that consistently score between 30% and 40%, with the most gifted scoring between 50% and 75%. I can tell you that it’s very hard to hit that level in our business. However, you can definitely keep most of your headlines between 25% and 35%.

Additionally, here are some ideas to help you:


YIKES! I just sold your neighbor’s home at: _____(address)_____ in 5 days with multiple offers, and we still have buyers!

There is a High Demand for properties in the _________ community.  If you have any thoughts of selling please call us.  We had over 6 offers on this property and I have the inside scoop on 5 other buyers who are dead set on owning a home in this neighborhood.

Please consider:

  • Prices in ________ are rising and interest rates are still low.
  • Save money and time by using us to sell and purchase your next home.
  • Need time to decide where you’re going to move? No problem- We can negotiate a comfortable time frame, and we can put a plan together to help you find your next home!

Call ____________ and let’s talk about it. or visit us online at: ____________
Headlines for Listing Flyers:


  • Tucked Away
  • Accent on Views
  • Sell Your Lawnmower
  • Go Jump in a Lake
  • The Sounds of Silence
  • Urban Cowboy
  • Gone Fishing

Price & Value

  • One for the Money
  • Big Home, Little Budget
  • The Price is Right
  • The Price is Startling
  • A Price to Brag About
  • More for Your Money
  • Econo-miser
  • Thrifty Thinking
  • Dollars and Sense
  • Do a Little & Save a Lot
  • Try to Beat It
  • Terms of Endearment

Charm & Beauty

  • Hey, Look Me Over
  • One of a Kind
  • Ageless Beauty
  • Antique-Lover’s Delight
  • Put a Smile on Your Face
  • A Touch of Class
  • Quality from the Past
  • Once in a Lifetime
  • Looks Like a Million


  • Tennis Anyone?
  • Stop Stairing
  • No Steps
  • Tender Loving Care
  • Change Your Life
  • Buy a Lifestyle
  • No Hassles
  • Pampered
  • Refreshed and Rejuvenated
  • Brand New Smile


  • Bring Your Tape Measure
  • Small Wonder
  • Growing Pains
  • Soooooo Big
  • Room to Romp
  • Petite Retreat


  • Solid as a Rock
  • Look No Further
  • Honey, Stop the Car
  • Paint Brush Special
  • The Right Stuff
  • Born Yesterday
  • Sweet as Honey
  • Walk Right In
  • How Fast Can You Move
  • Privacy Plus

Key Words to Use in Headlines

  • Announcing – “Now Announcing…”
  • Secrets Of – “See it Now & Discover the Secrets of Peace”
  • Now – “The Time to Buy is Now.”
  • Amazing – “See it Now for an Amazing Floorplan”
  • Facts Your Should Know – “Fact You Should Know About This Home”
  • Amazing – “This Amazing Home has ….”
  • At Last – “At Lat – The Home You Deserve”
  • Discover – “Discover the Secrets of a Happy Life in Your New Home”
  • Yes – “Yes, At Last Your Search is Over”
  • Bargain – “Looking for a Bargain?  Look No Further”
  • Do You – “Do You Want to Buy a Bargain?”
  • Love – :”Looking for Quality? You’ll Love this Home”
  • How Much – “How Much Would You Like to Lower Your Mortgage Payment?”
  • Only – “Only You Can Decide to Change Your Life”
  • You – “You Must Act Now”


9 Ways to Simplify Anything

Simplify Your Real Estate Life at Maximum One Realtors9 Ways to Simplify Anything* – by Kevin Daum

So much in life is complicated. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just make it simple? You can with these tips.


Life sure isn’t simple, especially in business. Technology is supposed to make things easier and in many ways it does, but at the same time change comes so fast and goals are so lofty that many people don’t have the skills and knowledge necessary to tackle even everyday projects.


Well, the world is not going to stop turning so you can get off. You need to figure out how to take a complex project or complicated task and simplify it so you can get it done and move on to the next important opportunity. Here are 9 tips you can apply in almost any situation to simplify the task. Master them all and never let complexity block your path to success.

  1. Translate it into 12-year-old language.

Language is constantly changing and new generations and experts add new words and phrases weekly. Trying to understand complex theories or technical jargon can be a huge pain. Then trying to actually explain all of this to someone else without completely confusing them can be even more of a challenge. Take a minute or two to think about what the underlying theme or message is and translate the language into something that any adolescent can understand. Use a thesaurus or dictionary if you have to.

  1. Break it into small chunks.

As they grow, projects, problems, and companies can become so complex that you don’t even know where to start when trying to accomplish something. Sometimes, all you need to do in order to simplify things is to break them down into small parts so that you can look at each facet one at a time. Once divided, you can prioritize and create a plan and calendar for efficiently tackling the issue.

  1. List the parts you don’t understand.

There may be parts of a problem that are beyond your direct knowledge or skillset. Identify these issues so you can resolve the needs before you get in knee deep. Solve them first, one at a time, and then you’ll be ready to take the entire project easily from beginning to end.

  1. Engage an expert.

There is no glory for your ego in failing by yourself. If you don’t understand how something is supposed to work, go get someone who does. You may only need a question answered, or a small adjustment made. But an expert can let you focus your efforts where you are strong and speed your process. These days you can find an expert for nearly everything on LinkedIn.

  1. Look at the big picture.

When you are deep in a complicated problem, it’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae. Take a moment to step back and look at it from a bird’s eye view. The larger perspective may reveal that the small problems are merely symptoms and can be easily solved with a bigger, simplersystemic solution. For example, maybe sales people keep saying the wrong things because there is no scripted sales process trained weekly.

  1. Create a map.

Visuals can be very useful in problem solving and project management. Set a plan and create a visual path for getting to the finish line. The map makes it easier for you and members of the team to track progress and apply appropriate energy. With a little luck, you may find that someone else has solved this problem or mastered some of the process. You can use their experience as a map for your own.

  1. Find the right tool.

For all the complexity that new technology and innovation creates today, much of it actually helps as well. Check online to see if there is an app, technique, or book that may get you to the finish line easier and faster. Not all are going to work for you so choose carefully. But you can always try a few, combine them, or just create your own tool that makes your project easier to finish.

  1. Eat it like an elephant.

When you are staring at a huge complex problem you may be tempted to attack it on may fronts or you may not even know where to start. The only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Start with a small step and learn as you go. It will seem slow and nearly insurmountable at first. But before long, you’ll gain understanding and proficiency that will carry you through to the end with increased momentum.

  1. Delegate to a team.

You don’t have to do it alone. Sometimes the best way to master a complex problem or project is for you not to complete it at all. Recruit a team and just manage them to the end. Or better yet, outsource to a knowledgeable third party. Nothing is simpler than just writing a check.


* Original Article Printed – The Only URL You Need to Know at MaximumOne

 eAGENTweb – The Only URL You Need to Know at Maximum One – by Dana Sparks    is the ONLY URL you need to remember for all your real estate needs at Maximum One!  This “one-stop      shop” will simplify your agent experience!
Below is a description of each tile.

     Paperless Pipeline: This is the MX1 Transaction Management System.  All Contracts / Agreements must be uploaded to this      system within 72 hours of obtaining signatures

     Extranet / WolfConnect: This system houses the extensive digital library for your real estate needs.  This is also where you go      to message other agents / Branches within MX1.

     Calendar: This is the Training Calendar with CE Courses, Monthly Sales Meetings, Webinars, Workshops & More! MX1 Classes      are open to all agents regardless of Brokerage!

     COMM 100-Live Chat: Click here to chat with a Live Branch Manager to assist you with your needs.

Live & Recorded Webinars: Check this site out for many pre-recorded training sessions relevant to today’s Real Estate Business including sessions on MX1 systems & procedures.

Blog: The MX1 blog is replete with information-coaching articles, contract tips, who’s who, Company & Industry Announcements, Local Real Estate Board Membership & more!

FMLS & GAMLS: Links to the Listing Services.

Support: Email link to over 30 Associate Brokers ready to answer your contract questions 24/7.

Agent on Duty: Link to the AOD sign-up Calendar.

SWIFT: Link to system where you may enter your listings into FMLS & GAMLS simultaneously.

Vendors: Link to Maximum One preferred vendors.

YouTube: Link to Maximum One YouTube site.

eBay Store: Link to order your MX1 supplies online.

Corporate Discounts: MX1 is able to offer deep discounts for a variety of services.

Pay Your Bill Online: Link to pay your monthly bill by credit card

VoicePad: This Call Capture System (IVR) is the complete mobile platform for Real Estate-with call capture for your Listings & Buyers & a Mobile Agent Website. $4.95/mo for IVR & Text or $11.95/mo for IVR & Text & Mobile Agent Website

VisualTour: This active virtual tour program includes automatic tours, uploads to YouTube & Facebook, automated Social Media App & More! Designed to get you more business & get your business more automated! – $10/mo

RealValuator: Access to compls not available in FMLS or GAMLS. Also get advance info on potential short sales & more! – $9.95/mo

Company Website: Link to MX1 Corporate website.

Staff & Brokers Contact: Emails & Phone Contact information for the Brokers & Staff.  Includes a list of whom to call for assistance with the various MX1 systems.

Join Us Now: Information about our various Commission Plans-Share with other agents with whom you want to work!

Twitter & Facebook: Links to the Maximum One pages on these Social Media sites


Login & Password List: Go to Paperless Pipeline, click on “Office” Tab & download “MX1 Logins & Passwords” to keep track of how to access these systems. Also on Extranet.

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