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Jan. 28, 2020

Should you Rent vs Buy a Home when Moving to Texas?

The age-old question, rent or buy? I give my insight into the broader debate and more specific information regarding moving to Dallas, Texas that could help you figure out what is right for you, your family, and your finances. Let me know in the comments if this is helpful. I truly want to hear what people think so I can make better content for you.

Jan. 23, 2020

First thing you need to do before moving to Texas

So you're thinking about moving to Texas. What should you do next? Start looking at houses? What areas should you start looking at? Texas is massive but don't worry I'll give you some quick tips on how to tackle the Lone Star State.

Jan. 14, 2020

4 seasons in 1 day?! Your guide to Texas weather before moving to Texas

Jan. 8, 2020

How to Get a Listing a Week: Make the most of the "slow seasons."

There are stretches in your business where you will have a little bit more margin because transactions are eating up less of your time. When you look back over your numbers for 2019, you will inevitably notice that there were ebbs and flows in your production. You closed more deals in some months than others. There is a chance those variations were a byproduct of your input; you may have made the mistake of dialing back your input and it negatively impacted your business at different points in the year.


Another less disappointing reality is that your business dealt with a bit of seasonality. You were consistent in your effort, but some months made a smaller dent in your annual goal. Only you can answer whether or not it was seasonality or effort.


The truth is you should be looking back in recent years to determine what percentage of your annual production will come from each month. Armed with that info, months with fewer closings become far less alarming.


If you know when you will have a little bit more margin in your business, you can plan to build your calendar accordingly and hammer away at some tasks, projects, and training that you may not normally be able to throw yourself at full force when transaction eat up a huge chunk of your day.


How can you most effectively fill the time when you find yourself with a slow day, week or month? Here are some valuable tasks to focus on.


Prospect more

This is so obvious that it almost doesn’t feel like it needs to be mentioned. If you don’t have a ton of face time scheduled on your calendar with clients and prospects, then pick up the phone and get some extra sessions of prospecting in. Stockpile your appointments and fill up your calendar a couple of weeks ahead of time. Load up on long-term nurtures to drop into drip campaigns.


Refine your skills

One of the first things to fall by the wayside when calendars get chaotic is training. We assume that if we are using something every day, like a prospecting script or an initial consultation, then we don’t actually need to practice it. That mindset allows for bad habits to creep in. You slowly drift away from the right way of doing things if you’re not consistently revisiting scripts and systems.


There is no better way to invest your time than to invest it in yourself. Consider the return on investment if you improve your conversion rate on the phone and in-person because you committed to training diligently.


We tell our agents who are going through onboarding that they will never have another opportunity in their career to focus on personal growth, prospecting and scripting to the degree that they can during that season. However, these months that are slowed by seasonality allow you to sharpen your ax before you start chopping at trees in the busier seasons.


There are so many great resources at your fingertips that you can dive into with a little bit of margin in your schedule. Consider what you want to get better at, then soak up books, podcasts, and videos from authorities on those topics. Be a sponge while you have the wiggle room.


Maybe you need a season where you double down on role play. Find a partner and work through the scripts and objections that are causing you headaches. Get reps on your initial consultation so that you’re ready the next time you get in front of your prospects.


Evaluate processes

When you have the chance to take a breath, it can provide an opportunity for you to take a close look at your various systems and processes. There are a ton of moving parts in your business that we often trust to be performing well in the background. Even if they are, responsible business owners will take time to do some internal examination to keep things running smoothly. 


Where are there inefficiencies? Where are there missed opportunities? How is your client’s experience lacking? What is working and what isn’t? Is there anything that can be automated or delegated?


You have to work on your business as well as in your business. Eliminating inefficiencies will give you the peace of mind and clarity that you need to continue to produce at a high level, on top of having systems that can carry the load.


Build out new campaigns

With some additional wiggle room in your calendar, you can take time to develop new campaigns. You may choose to build out new campaigns for prospects or past clients that run in the background, providing long-term value to your business that will keep prospects engaged and clients coming back in the future.


You may instead choose to go all-in on a one-off campaign of some kind. Perhaps you want to crank up your farming efforts in a given neighborhood. Maybe you plan a few touches around some sort of seasonal content or a pertinent topic for homeowners. You might crank out a traditional postcard campaign with your own spin on it.


Whatever direction you choose to go, you have the opportunity to build out something that will continue to fill up your pipeline for future months. 


Tackle major projects

What is that big idea that has been hanging around in the back of your head for months that you think will dramatically improve your business? It’s probably something that you think is relatively important but far from urgent. It isn’t necessary, but it would certainly be valuable.


Do that. Make that thing happen.


On our team, we have a number of projects that are a staple on our to-do list because it seems we can never get to them. The day-to-day gets in the way, or another more pressing project gets pushed to the forefront. So we find ourselves chipping away at the project a little at a time.


Eventually, though, they make their way to the top of the list. It starts to snowball. They may take months to see through to completion, and they may go through multiple versions before they ever see the light of day, but eventually, we get to them and see that all that effort was worth it. We just needed a little margin to throw ourselves at it full-force.

Jan. 8, 2020

5 reasons why you should AVOID moving to Texas

We've explored why someone WOULD want to move to Texas, but why would you NOT move to Texas? Texas may not be right for you, and Todd gives 5 reasons why you should look for someplace other than the lone star state.

Jan. 8, 2020

4 reasons why people are moving to Texas from California, New York, and more!

People from all over the country including, California, New York, and the Midwest are flocking to Texas. Why is Texas their destination of choice and what makes it a great place to live?

Dec. 16, 2019

Top Reasons to Move to Richardson, TX: Santa's Village

Santa's Village, a tiny town of 16-holiday dwellings on the north side of Richardson, TX City Hall, is a holiday tradition for families from Richardson and beyond. Each colorful building offers children a fun activity and even a visit with Santa Claus! Attendees can also enjoy live performances, holiday photo ops and warm up with a cup of hot chocolate or a snack.

 

Dec. 2, 2019

How to get a listing a week: Plan to have a great 2020

You don’t have great years of production (or anything) if you don’t plan to have great years of production. You won’t set goals you are passionate about and committed to if you just throw a dart at a number and call it your transactional goal. It’s a great way to fail, whether you fall short of that goal or fail to push yourself enough to hit a number you could actually achieve with more diligence.

 

We recently devoted an entire day as a team to get off-site to work through and discuss our strategic plan for 2020. With the constant chaos presented by clients and transactions, it’s difficult to block off an extensive amount of time to clear your mind and sort through your thoughts, ideas, and goals. But it is imperative that we do so.

 

We break our strategic plan down to a number of sections that start at a high level to focus on our personal values and then work our way down to specific tasks necessary to achieve our goals. Here is how we break it down:

 

Core Values

Your core values are your non-negotiables. These are more than just business principles. They’re extremely personal convictions that permeate every aspect of your life, including your business. Our team has our core values emblazoned over the desks in our agent room to help our team members remember the principles upon which our team has been built.

 

We tend to write our core values as statements where are others will go with single words. Because it is important to our team to be viewed as excellent, we have a core value to “Differentiate with excellence.” Because we value people and relationships, we have a core value to “Build relationships you will be proud to tell your grandchildren about.” There is no amount of opportunity, transactions or money that should lead you to compromise on your core values.

 

If you haven’t taken time to do the inner work necessary to understand the values that mark your life and should in turn mark your business, there is no better time than now. It may be challenging, but it is crucial to understand your personal core values as you build your plans for 2020.

 

Why are you in the business?

No, it’s not just for the money. You can make money a bazillion different ways. Why have you chosen to do so through the avenue of residential real estate? If you step back and consider your personality, your calendar, and your responsibilities, you will pick out specific aspects of each of those things that will get you excited. You are likely to start to see some common threads that run through them.

 

Many of our team members shared some version of their passion for helping care for clients through a huge life event. Some acknowledged that they feel at home in their role because of their gifting. It may take some time to ask yourself “What about that is important to me?” repeatedly until you’re a few layers deep in your motives and desires. Don’t settle for the surface answer. Keep digging.

 

Target Market

You may go through seasons, namely early in your career where you’d say your target market is anyone looking to buy or sell. That is neither sustainable nor enjoyable.

 

Like the first two sections, it may help to start broad. On our team, we tend to focus more on people who have nice homes to sell and desire to buy nicer homes. So for us, we don’t target first-time home buyers. We historically haven’t sought out families relocating to DFW for the same reason, but the success of our YouTube Channel has led to more and more clients from other markets working with us.

 

As you get more specific, consider thinking about a couple of different groups of people. First, think long and hard about your favorite clients and what it is about them that made them your favorites. Do they listen and follow well? Are they friendly and sociable? Do they like to refer?

 

Second, consider your community. What about your friends do you love and appreciate? What makes you gravitate towards them? Odds are you’d like the same attributes in your clients.

 

The more time you spend in the industry, the more specific this ideal client can become. Perhaps you find certain personalities to be a delight to work with while others are a total nightmare for you. Maybe people with certain careers display certain attributes and character traits that attract you to working with them or deter you from working with them. Get really specific. Not everyone will fit the mold, but you will hit the mark more regularly if you know what the mark is.

 

Remember, not everyone will fit your mold as an ideal client. You should still strive to provide world-class value and customer service to each and every client you sign while treating each and every customer and prospect with the kindness and respect they deserve.

 

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis is a method of evaluating your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal. They look at your character, habits, and tendencies that prove to be either valuable or destructive. You will want to consider what you do and don’t do well, but some strengths and weaknesses will be more intangible.

 

If you’re a gifted communicator, that would obviously fall in your strengths. If you manage your time poorly, that would be a weakness. It gets more complex when you consider those intangibles. Things like empathy might be considered an intangible strength, while struggles with anxiety would fall in the category of an intangible weakness.

 

Opportunities and threats are external. They are outside factors that will have an effect on you. Learning to leverage a new lead source, implementing new systems or adding new team members can all provide tons of opportunity. A slow market, disruptive innovation in the industry or negative governmental factors will cause you headaches as threats you may encounter. These are pretty general examples that we may all deal with, but what are those opportunities and threats for you personally or your market locally?

 

Long-Term Vision

Now it starts to get more specific to your business. You will still want to give yourself room to dream a little bit by looking five-to-ten years down the road. That time frame is far enough away that you can take off the training wheels and try to determine what your big, hairy, audacious goal is for the future.

 

Consider what you want your role to look like. What will your day-to-day look like when you get to that point? Think about how you want to be viewed in your life and industry. What will people know you professionally? What is one thing you want people to identify you with most? You can’t live and die on people’s opinions, but you can consider how you want to be viewed and work towards that.

 

Then start to consider numbers. At this point, I would recommend looking at just three-to-five years down the road instead of five-to-ten. It’s much easier to predict total sales, average price point and other specific data if you put those training wheels back on in this time frame.

 

One-Year Goals

Once you have allowed yourself to dream about the long-term vision, you can zero in on what the next step is to getting there. What sort of numbers do you need to put up in 2020 to make strides towards those goals you threw out for 22, 23, 24 and beyond?

 

Again, don’t just throw a dart at this. Don’t set a goal just because it sounds cool. Take a sober-minded look at where your production was this year, then look at the data to determine how much you can really move the needle. Identify the areas where you can improve to close more deals or raise your average price point. Were you faithful to prospect as much as you said you would? If so, were you converting at a high enough level on the phone or in-person? Did you give each pillar of your business the time it needs to produce consistent business? The data will tell the story.

 

Quarterly Plan

Now how are you going to get to that goal? You have to put in the work, and this is where you’re going to hold yourself accountable to that. Take some time to determine what key tasks need to be completed in the first quarter to keep you on track with your annual goal. Breaking that annual goal down to actionable items will set you on the right track for 2020.

 

Consider if anyone else needs to be involved in the task. If it falls squarely on your shoulders, bring someone else in to hold you accountable. Set a due date for yourself. Take away the opportunity to put it off.

Nov. 7, 2019

Top Reasons to Move to Carrollton, TX: Downtown Carrolton

Making our way downtown, talking fast, and checking out the Historic Downtown Carrollton which has a wide variety of shops, services, and restaurants. Great place to check out on the west side of Dallas if you are looking at moving to or relocating to Carrollton, TX.

Nov. 6, 2019

Top Reasons to Move to Allen, TX: Allen Outlet Mall

The Allen, TX Outlet Mall has a bunch of awesome shops that are really easy to walk all around. It's located right of off 75 and is really accessible and is a great place to take the family to get some shopping done!