It's monday and I'm back from our annual Windermere Owners Retreat. This year it was in Maui at the Grand Wailea Hotel. We had amazing attendance and had Matthew Ferrara as our keynote, "what a great individual". If Maui, and Matthew wasn't enought we also had some amazing bonding experiences. When I look back on my 18 years with Windermere I have so many fond memories, and what sticks with me the most is how amazing the people are that I have the pleasure of working with day in and day out. They say a picture is worth a 1000 words so I'll just let these photos taken by York Baur, our CTO speak for themselves. Click the photo to see all of them.
This was the question I found myself asking over and over as I laid in bed this morning and learned that my friend Kyle Warnick had died after being struck by a car as he walked his dog in the late afternoon on September 15. 2014.
One thing people knew about Kyle was that he was an amazing story teller amongst many other talents. It was summer of 2013 in lake Chelan as Kyle and I sat on a dock drinking beers. "Ones that he had handpicked." As we contemplated life, I asked him if he had thought about teaching Real Estate agents how to tell a good story? His face lit up and the big smile we all love came over him and he said "Well Mike! Funny you ask that, I was thinking the same thing, so yes when?" Kyle had put the finishing touches on the class and we set the date Oct 9, 2014. He had mastered what he was going to teach and had taken time to build it around the world of real estate. I remember after Kyle had meet with a few of our Windermere Owners and Brokers he came to me and said. "Wow your business is a bit different." He meant it with the best of intentions. I always looked forward to our meetings to discuss the class and every time we met it always started off with his big smile and usually a funny story, or the two of us laughing about a recent Facebook post, then talking about our kids and family and what we had done over the weekend, by the way his outings were always more colorful than mine. We would eventually get to business. So as I laid there and asked why? I realized that as tragic as this is we have to somehow someway find meaning behind it because Kyle would want that.
What I know about Kyle is that he had zest for life, he was very much in love with Pam and his two sons. He was a super dad to Josh and Jackson. He loved music, and art, and food, good beers, and his ability to tell a story was amazing. Disneyland was his happy place. Actually the list can go on and on. I always looked forward to doing things with Kyle and Pam because the fun factor was off the charts, and I would have a great story to attempt to tell even though it was never as good as the way Kyle told it. I was so looking forward to his class and hoping to get the secret of storytelling from the master. He had an energy that you felt as soon as he walked in the room. So back to WHY! I have so many emotions but if I stop and think about who Kyle was, this is where I land.
The most important part about him was that he cared. He cared about people and he was so much more about them then he was about himself. Both he and Pam are so genuine, and you could see that they had taught Josh and Jackson to carry on the same way. He was a giver and an all-around wonderful guy. He was always thinking who can I help next. Yes his death was tragic and the why part we will never know. God said it was time is pretty much what I came up with. What we can do however is honor the spirit of Kyle by allowing ourselves to stop and laugh a bit more, Love harder, embrace others, and ask yourself the next time you're with a love one, your child or a friend. How are you making them feel? Do you make them laugh, do they know that you are there for them and do they look forward to the next time? Take time today and tell the people in your life what they mean to you. We don't always know what may come.
My thoughts are with Pam, and Josh, and Jackson in this difficult time, and for those of you who knew Kyle take what you loved about him and weave it into you own worlds and tell the story of Kyle Warnick. The world will be a better place because the Kyle that I know would of wanted it that way.
Neighbors of Laurelhurst, Wedgewood, Bryant, and Windermere lets let the police know that it's time to deal with this guy. I saw him again yesterday on 35th. This blog has numerious complaints, He is highly unstable and erratic. He has threatened runners, walkers, and walks into businesses and goes off yelling about nothing. My son is aware of this guy and knows to stay clear. I don't understand why the police allow him to wander around when there is so many eye witnesses to his crazy behavior. If you have been approached by this man please report it so we can get him off the streets.
Windermere Real Estate Expanding its Brand to Colorado
Eric Thompson, former president of The Group, Inc. will spearhead growth starting in Fort Collins
Seattle – OB Jacobi, second-generation leader and president of Seattle-based Windermere Real Estate has announced the company’s plans to expand the Windermere brand into Colorado, starting in Fort Collins. This growth will further Windermere’s position as the largest independent real estate company in the Western U.S. with more than 300 offices in 11 states and Mexico. Windermere’s expansion into Colorado will be spearheaded by Colorado native and former president of The Group, Inc., Eric Thompson.
“Everyone at Windermere is very excited about our first venture into Colorado and could think of no one better to partner with than Eric given his experience and track record,” said Jacobi. “We have so much respect for The Group and truly value the close relationship we’ve built with their founder, Larry Kendall, through our involvement with his Ninja Selling program. Because of this, bringing Eric on board is a natural fit for all of us,” he added.
Thompson served as president of The Group from 2009 through 2014, where he was responsible for the vision, strategy, culture, and success of the organization. During that time, the Group’s company dollar volume grew from $868,875,540 to $1,334,725,420, for an increase of 53 percent. Thompson says that one of The Group’s proudest accomplishments during his time there was the launching of a non-profit program called Group Gives, which donated more than $40,000 to local charities. Prior to being at The Group, Thompson was Managing Broker for the Summit County Colorado division of Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate.
“I am thrilled about the opportunity to work with Windermere. They are a world-class company led by world-class people who align with my values,” Thompson said. “We each believe in hiring the best people, giving them the best tools, and creating thriving communities.”
Thompson’s long-term plans are to expand the Windermere brand throughout Colorado. His first goal is to open the Fort Collins office location by December 1, 2014.
“The vision is to set the standard for how clients and communities are served throughout Colorado,” said Thompson. “I’ve seen many real estate companies in my career and Windermere clearly stands out in their community service, their cutting-edge technology, their differentiated marketing, and most importantly, their commitment to putting relationships above everything.” Thompson added.
To speak to Eric Thompson please call (970) 232-4364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Windermere Real Estate
Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 7,000 agents serving communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Mexico, and soon Colorado. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 26 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.windermere.com.
When you think about the power of a smart phone it is quite amazing. What this device can do for you. I'm going to share with you my top 10 apps that I use weekly.
1. Starbucks app. Coffee is key. Love this app. Become a gold card member. After that download the app. Now you can pay for your drinks with your phone. Get a gift card from someone, quickly add it to your app. Your Birthday you get a free drink and after 12 stars you get a free drink.
2. Easily Do. This app interacts with all my social media. Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter. It tells me everyday who has a birthday, when someone gets a new job and it will analyze my social streams for the items that I should be paying close attention too. Plus it's free. Click here to download. It is your virtual personal assistant.
3. This is two in one. I need a great navigation app. I use two. The first is Telnav. This app allows me to punch in the address and it takes into consideration traffic, and various optimal routes and gives me turn by turn navigation. The second one is WAZE. Get the best route, every day, with real–time help from other drivers.This nav app uses crowd sourcing for reports on where traffic police are, to intersection cameras, and speed limits. You can become a source of information for the program and report when you see a accident or bad traffic and help to keep the information accurate.
4. Packpoint. I hate to pack and often I forget stuff. With packpoint I can pick the type of trip i'm going on. Example business or pleasure or a combination, the duration of my trip, and it will generate a list of items I may need. Love this app.
5. Weather Channel app. This is everything you need to know about the weather where ever you are. 10 day forecasts and so much more.
6. Keeper Vault app. How many long in and passwords do you have. Well the app keeps track of them all and syncs with your PC, and other devices.
7. Find my Car. Can't remember where you parked your car, your Iphone will automatically.
8. Uber Cab App. Need a cab now in the cities where they have services this company is awesome.
9. pay by phone. No more sticky on the window and feeding coins. Just pay using your phone and feed the meter from your phone.
10. Seven Work out. If you travel and can't always find a gym, Seven gives you tabata work outs that are great.
I have provided links to all the apps above. I have more but I'll save that for my next post. Tell me what your favorite apps are!
"Hey enough about me, why don't you tell me what you like about me!" Do you know someone like this. I refer to them as the Me Monster. The person that has such low confidence inside that they have to make sure you are aware of just how great they are. This type of person drives others away. I bring this up because I was on a break during a class and I overheard a conversation and I had to bite my tongue holding back what I really wanted to say.
This individual was talking the entire time and they were trying to make a point, but the point they were trying to make was by propping up their experience, their knowledge and how well educated they were. You could just watch as they didn't listen at all and would just fire back a response that started with words like "Well I know", and "if it were me", and "I happen to". You could see the other person slowly just checking out of the conversation until all they wanted to do was to just get away from this person as quickly as possible.
Conversation happens when two people converse about a topic and do it by listening and opening up the mind to what the other person has to say. Not necessarily agreeing with them but at least listening. A me monster on the other hand doesn't really listen but instead they tell grand stories about themselves to substantiate their belief that they are going to shove down your throat like it or not. I watched this unfold and as the Me Monster kept talking…ME, me, me, me, me…. the other person just got quiet. The Me Monster felt that they were victorious yet in reality they added another person to the list of many that will avoid them the next time they are in the same room together.
The next time you are in a conversation check in and think. Am I making statements or asking questions? Have I listened and been thoughtful in my response? Guess what! It's ok to agree to disagree!
Have you ever wondered why there are people in this world that are given everything yet they still struggle to succeed? Then there are people who have huge life struggles, emotionally, physically, abuse, and yet they overcome it all and succeed and go beyond.
It boils down to some very basic ways in which they choose to think. When you ask someone why they failed many times they will list a lack of resources. Such as, money, time, help, ideas, and the list goes on and on. The person that actually was successful they too will tell you that they had a lack of resources but the difference is they did not lack resourcefulness. If a resource was scarce then they were resourceful and found a way to either get it or work around it. They also have drive, and they achieve this drive by being laser focused on their destiny which points them to being resourceful.
Many people believe that history commands their destiny when in reality we command our destiny by what we choose to focus on.
To be able to achieve you first must decide what you are going to focus on. Is it positive or negative. Either way you have to decide. Is this the beginning or the end? We all have a choice no matter the situation.
When my Mother was diagnosed with cancer, she had to decide is this the beginning or the end? What we choose to focus on generates emotions, good or bad and that emotion will dictate our actions. Because she chose the beginning her actions became that of fighting and surviving and to overcome this hurdle in her life. It wasn't easy and took 4 big operations and lots of patients and setbacks but her focus kept her moving forward. I'm happy to say she is cancer free and enjoying her life today. I’m sure she had images of what she wanted and the reasons she needed to fight. Family, my Dad, her kids and grandkids. It all creates emotion that in turn dictates her actions.
After you have determined what you are going to focus on then you have to give it meaning. That meaning will generate emotion and emotion will propel you to action. Why is it important? What will be the outcome? When will I have this outcome, Where will my life be then? Last but not least How will I get there? This is the action step.
I know people who choose the end and their emotions lead them to no action. They never even try because they see the list of resources that they don't have. Remember that success comes with hard work and drive. Emotion controls your drive. What do you choose, the Beginning or the End?
The questions asked over and over again such as. How do I achieve success? How can I be better? How can I reach my goals? All of these questions are great but if this is what you are looking to accomplish then you need to focus on something different!
"Don't strive for success, strive for giving value" When you become a person of value the success naturally follows. There are two areas where value comes into play. Solve someone's pain or provide pleasure.
When you shift your mind to seek out opportunities to solve a problem for someone, or help them to achieve their goals your success will flourish.
Too many time we focus on I, Me, and Mine, and we are blind to the opportunities in front of us to create value for someone else. Besides becoming successful by helping others is a very fulfilling accomplishment.
So make it a goal daily to go out and help someone.
Yes this business is all about referrals. Jimmy Dunlap the original Ninja, a Real Estate agent with the Group in Ft. Collins CO, says that if you want to just do one thing to amp up your business it is making sure you focus on the individuals that send you referrals.
If you look at the math it makes sence. If you have a database of 100 individuals lets say and we know that the mobility rate is 15% a year, then you have about 15 deals to mine from the data base this year. That said everyone in your database if properly kept in touch with will have between 2-4 referrals for you each year. Lets be conservative and say your database of 100 would potentially have 200 referrals and being a good Real Estate agent you close just 40% of them which would be 80 deals. So 80 deals plus 15 is 95 real estate transactions a year. The referral side is almost 80% of the business. Here is the big question you have to ask yourself. Are you visible to your database or invisible? How much communicating do you do when one of your friends and or family send you a referral? Do you thank them? Do you follow up with them as the transaction unfolds? Do you reach out after and offer up thanks or appreciation? If your referral source is calling you asking "hey what ever happened with that friend I sent over?" Chances are not good that they will ever refer again.
Keep in mind referrals only come to you if the person referring knows you will make them look good and that they are not left in the dark as to the outcome of that referral. This business is about having good communication and building relationships that last. Just think back about the last referral you had. If they sent you more than one this year then you must be acting accordingly. Food for thought.
I recently read a great book called The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. It talks about the power of a check list and how using checklists allow us to stay on track and have far less mistakes. A quote from Atul. "The modern world has given us stupendous know-how. Yet avoidable failures continue to plague us in health care, government, the law, the financial industry—in almost every realm of organized activity. And the reason is simple: the volume and complexity of knowledge today has exceeded our ability as individuals to properly deliver it to people—consistently, correctly, safely. We train longer, specialize more, use ever-advancing technologies, and still we fail."
By using a check list you become consistent in your process and are able to be highly effective. If you really stop and think about all the moving parts of your business and how that needs to be delivered to your customers on a consistent basis, how are you getting that accomplished with out a check list?
When you step on a plane how confident are you that the pilot is going to successful take off and land safely? The pilot knows this will happen because they have a preflight and post flight check list. I would love to hear your ideas on how you are using checklist to deliver higher quality services to your customers?