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Archive for January, 2015

Want to Make More Money? Go Back to Basics!

Make Money in Real Estate at Maximum One RealtyWant to Make More Money? Go Back to Basics! – by Dana Sparks


If you want to make more money in real estate and bless more people, then go back to the basics!  Regardless if you are an experienced / veteran agent, an agent returning to the field, or a brand new licensee.  There are different levels of “basic” depending upon where you are in your career. Throughout the month, I have taught a 2015 GAR Contract Dissection Class & a class  on License Law for Real Estate Agents and Brokers.  The majority of the agents in BOTH classes had been in practice an average of 8 years and 99% of them learned something NEW that they stated would assist them in their career.  Below are some basic “To Do’s” for you if you want to make more money this year than you made last year!


Read Your Contract Forms– The contract forms are the tools of your craft so you should know them thoroughly.  Just like any professional violinist knows a Stradivarius from a del Gesu from a Yamaha, you should thoroughly know your contracts (BOTH GAR & RE Forms) Special Stipulations, Exhibits, and Amendments.  All agents should read through them & take as many different Contract Classes as you can!


Take Classes at FMLS & GAMLS – If you are new to real estate, you should take every “101” class they offer.  The listing services are the crux of our business and you need to know how to navigate through both these services.  If you are an EXPERIENCED Agent, have you learned how Matrix works?  Are you using it?  Do you use the Market Trends? Know how to access them?  Do you know how to search through the LISTING Services anywhere in the country through FMLS & GAMLS?  No!??!?!?!  Hmm??  You should think about taking classes at FMLS & GAMLS as well!  Their training is basic for new agents and advanced for experienced agents!


Take Classes in Lead Generation / Listing Systems / Buyer Systems – Is the majority of your business from one source?  What happens when you have exhausted your entire database & past clients – learn how to find a new source of people to help!  Are you primarily a Buyer’s agent?  Go learn how the listing side of the business works! All agents should have a variety of lead sources and marketing tactics.


Find a Mentor / Coach – If you are a newly licensed agent, connect with a mentor now!!!  There is so very much to this business, that you will do yourself AND your clients a favor by having a mentor for your first 3 – 5 transactions.  It is well worth the money to learn how to excel at your profession, make a good living and make it a career!  If you are an experienced agent and know how to make a living, get a coach and learn how to create a career with an income of $250000 and more!  It is easily do-able and several agents in Maximum One have made that amount in 2014 and more.  Is this what your 1099 says you earned?  Get a coach so that next year’s 1099 will show a high 6 figure income for you! There are several  National real estate coaches – Mike Ferry, Tom Ferry, Craig Proctor, Floyd Wickman, Brian Buffini, etc. and you should also find an agent in your area to shadow!


Create some Accountability / Mastermind – Regardless of your experience level in real estate, we all need accountability to keep us on track.  Find an accountability partner or group.  Attend a Mastermind group or create one for synergy, ideas, accountability and support.  Join Nationwide programs as well – for example, Active Rain.


Learn to Manage your TimeEveryone has the same 24 hours in a day – how is it that some people are more productive with their time than others?  Find out!  😉  Here is a hint: routines, time blocking, generating business every morning before doing anything else, delegating administrative responsibilities.

Inspiration from Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK 2015Inspiration from Martin Luther King, Jr.*

MLK Day is celebrated this year on Monday, January 19, 2015.  Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Pastor, humanitarian and leader of the Civil Rights Movement.  He is best known for using nonviolent civil disobedience in his protests for the advancement of civil rights.  In 1963, he led the “March on Washington” where he gave the famous speech now known as the “I Have a Dream” speech.  King was not only a great orator but an inspirational leader as well. Born in Atlanta, there are many local resources where you may learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr. and his beliefs and legacy.  Part of that legacy includes his inspiring words which can be applied not only to our lives but to our real estate business:

  • “I have a dream that one day my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
  • “No person has the right to rain on your dreams”
  • “We must accept finite disappointment but never give up infinite hope.”
  • “If you lose hope, somehow you use the vitality that keeps you moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go in spite of it all.  And so today, i still have a dream.”
  • “The time is always right to do what is right.”
  • “Whatever your life’s work is, do it well.  A man should do his job so well, that the living, the dead and the unborn could do no better.”
  • “If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”
  • “Love is the only force capable of turning an enemy into a friend.”
  • “A genuine leader is not a searcher of consensus but a molder of consensus.”
  • “We may have all come on different ships, but we are all in the same boat now.”
  • “Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”
  • “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”
  • “Not everyone can be famous but everyone can be great, because greatness is determined by service.”
  • “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”
  • “Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”
  • “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be.  This is the interrelated structure of reality.”
  • “The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.”
  • “Nonviolence means not only avoiding external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit.  You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.”
  • “Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”
  • “The art of acceptance is the art of making someone who has just done you a small favor wish that he might have done you a greater one.”
  • “Free at last, Free at last, Great God a-mighty, We are free at last.

* Quotes collected from several sources including,,


Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket for Real Estate

Eggs in One Basket for Real EstateDon’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket for Real Estate – by Dana Sparks

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!” We have all heard this phrase.  It is said to have first been used in Don Quixote “It is part of a wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow, and not venture all his eggs in one basket.”  The obvious meaning of this piece of advice is don’t rely on only one resource for your real estate business. In other words make sure you have a myriad of sources for your business and marketing.

Now is the time of year to analyze your business to make sure that your “eggs” are spread around!  Look at your sources of business and calculate the percentage of this source in relation to your total business. Likewise, look at your marketing efforts and determine the variety of methods you are using to market your inventory and your services.  By varying your sources of business and marketing efforts, you will never be caught off guard by any changes in the market or inventory and you will not constantly be tapping into your friends and acquaintances for referrals!

Below are some different “baskets” to consider for your real estate sales business.


  • Expired Listings
  • Withdrawn Listings
  • Past Clients
  • Referrals
  • Sphere of Influence
  • Farming
  • Just-Sold Marketing
  • Just Listed Marketing
  • Website
  • VisualTour


  • Sign Calls
  • Past Clients
  • Referrals
  • Craigslist
  • Postcard Marketing
  • HomeBuyer Seminars
  • Sphere of Influence
  • Open Houses
  • VoicePad
  • Agent Website
  • Lender Referral


  • Phone Prospecting
  • Agent Website
  • Postcards
  • Direct Mail
  • VoicePad
  • Open Houses
  • Flyers
  • Newsletters
  • Presentations at schools or HOA Meetings
  • Seminars & Workshops
  • Leads Groups
  • Network Marketing
  • Business Cards

M aximum One Realty hosts several CE Classes to assist you with all of these ideas: click “Calendar.”

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Real Estate Business Success

Prosperous 2015 at Maximum OneTop 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Business Success* – by Susan Ward with Additional Real Estate Specific Ideas from Dana Sparks

The end of the year is a good time to reflect on your business’s progress over the past year and plan how you want your business to develop. Do you want increased success in the coming year or the chance to enjoy the success you’ve achieved more? These top 10 New Year’s resolutions are designed to help you strike a better work-life balance, so you can achieve a truly satisfying success in the New Year.

1) Learn how to delegate and do more of it.

There are so many things to do when you’re running a small business, it’s easy to delude ourselves that we need to do all of them. Then we wonder why we’re so tired and frazzled and have no time to do anything else! Determine Your Personal Return on Investment, and decide to let someone else do some of the tasks for a change. Delegation is the key to a healthy work-life balance.

  • Hire an Assistant
  • Use a Virtual Assistant
  • Use a Project-Based Assistant
  • Go in with another agent to hire an administrative assistant
  • Schedule your administrative work AFTER your prospecting and appointments are finished

2) Promote your business regularly and consistently.

Too often the task of promoting a small business slips to the bottom of the to-do list in the press of urgent tasks. If you want to attract new customers, you have to make promotion a priority. Make a New Year’s resolution to hire a marketing expert, or take the time to create a marketing plan on your own and follow through. Try some of these Low-Cost Ways to Promote Your Business to get started.

  • Voice Pad
  • VisualTour
  • Lead-Generating Websites
  • Top Producer Automated Plans

3) Make business planning a weekly event.

Planning is vital if you want a healthy, growing business. Business planning lets you take stock of what worked and what didn’t work, and helps you set new directions or adjust old goals. So why do it just once a year or once a quarter? Set aside time each week to review, adjust, and look forward – or even better, make business planning a part of each day. Not only will this help you avoid costly mistakes and stay on track, but you’ll feel more focused and relaxed.

  • Time Blocking
  • Business-Planning
  • Hire a Coach / Mentor
  • Get an Accountability Partner

 4) Learn something new.

What you choose to learn may be directly related to your business or completely unrelated. Learning something new will add to your skills and add a new dimension of interest to your life – another important part of achieving a healthy work-life balance. Depending on how you choose to learn, you may meet new and interesting people, who may become customers, colleagues, or friends. How will you find the time to learn something new? By delegating, remember?

5) Join a new business organization or networking group.

There’s nothing like talking to other business people for sparking new ideas, refining old ones, and making contacts. Whether it’s a group specifically designed for networking or an organization dedicated to a particular type of business, in person or over the ‘Net, making the effort to be a part of a group will revitalize you and your business.

  • Join a Board of Realtors
  • Attend LaunchPad through Maximum One
  • Join a Leads Management Group
  • Join a Chamber of Commerce
  • Form a Mastermind Group

6) Give something back to your community.

There are all kinds of worthy organizations that make a difference in your community. Make a New Year’s resolution to find a cause that matters to you, and give what you can. Make this the year that you serve on a committee, be a mentor, volunteer, or make regular donations to the groups in your community that try to make the place you live a better place. And those that give get. As I say in Top 10 Ways to Get Known, nothing will seed and grow goodwill for you and your business better.

  • Volunteer at your HOA
  • Get active within your child’s school / after-school activities
  • Join a club devoted to your hobby
  • Build a house through Habitat for Humanity
  • Join a civic organization
  • Volunteer

7) Put time for you on your calendar.

In Schedule Time for You, I point out how important it is to take the time to recharge and refresh yourself; a healthy work-life balance demands time out. All work and no play is a recipe for mental and physical disaster. So if you have trouble freeing up time to do the things you enjoy, write time regularly into your schedule to “meet with yourself” and stick to that commitment. If you won’t invest in yourself, who will?

  • Get a 2015 calendar and schedule your vacations & time-off for the year
  • Time block your day
  • Create and adhere to a daily routine
  • Schedule time for continuing education

8) Set realistic goals.

Goal setting is a valuable habit – if the goals lead to success rather than distress. Make a New Year’s resolution that the goals you set will be goals that are achievable, rather than unrealistic pipe dreams that are so far out of reach they only lead to frustration. If you have trouble setting realistic goals, see Goal Setting Is the First Step to Achievement for a formula to help.

  • Attend a business-planning class
  • Analyze last year’s business & project a 10% increase in all areas
  • Re-evaluate each quarter
  • Get an accountability partner
  • Hire a coach
  • Set a 1 year, 5 year & 10 year plan for your business

9) Don’t make do; get a new one.

Is there a piece of equipment in your office that’s interfering with your success or something that you lack that’s making your working life harder? Whether it’s an old fax machine that’s a pain to use, or the need for a new employee to lighten your work load, make a New Year’s resolution to stop putting off getting what you need. The irritation of making do just isn’t worth it.

  • Find out what agents producing more do
  • Learn new technology
  • Rent a desk at the office to readily use the business equipment there
  • Learn your NEW contracts!!!!!

10) Drop what’s not working for you and move on.

All products aren’t going to be super sellers, all sales methods aren’t going to work for everyone, and all suppliers or contractors aren’t going to be ideally suited to your business. If a technique or a product or a business relationship isn’t working for you, stop using it. Don’t invest a lot of energy into trying to make the unworkable workable. Move on. Something better will turn up.

  • Are your current prospect / lead generation techniques effective?
  • Solicit Sellers rather than Buyers
  • Prospect through your database
  • Use direct mail or email or text or seminars for the public, etc.
  • Take a class through Maximum One – Lead Generation, Ultimate Listing System, Ultimate Buyer System, etc.
  • Shadow a top-producing agent

Achieving a healthy work-life balance is like maintaining a good relationship; you have to keep working on it. But if you apply these New Year’s resolutions throughout the year, your success is guaranteed!

*Originally Published:

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