It’s all about referrals.

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. 

Posted on June 30, 2014 at 11:46 pm
Michael Fanning | Posted in Business today, Real Estate Related, Uncategorized |

Are you in it for the long haul?

I recently read a blog post from Seth Godin called. Tribal organizing (right and wrong, slow and fast)  He talked about the decisions we make and what motivates us. Are we living in the world of instant gratification and basing our decisions from that point of view? He suggest that maybe we slow down and look more long term. If we did that how would that impact or decision process? He pulls in the idea of building relationships and how that approach has s much more stable outcome. "Connection—We are here for the members of the tribe and the change they seek to make. Are people in this for the long haul, the destination as well as the journey? What do we stand for? Are relationships being built, or is this merely an ATM?"

IF you are not thinking long term and understanding that you need to be in it for the long haul then don't be surprised when your short term decisions only  give you short term results. Just a thought!

Posted on May 28, 2014 at 7:08 pm
Michael Fanning | Posted in Business today, Living |

Success starts with you!


As an instructor for our Windermere Ninja Installation I’ve come to learn that everyone can have success. It does not matter your upbringing, your education, your income or lack thereof. I have heard amazing stories from all walks of life. Hardships, life struggles, yet these individuals find a way to dig deep and become what they always knew they could be.

There are 3 main ingredients that I see in these types of individuals.

1. Self Esteem. They have an internal voice that says ‘I am” it says ” I can” and ‘I will”  That voice inside does not doubt itself. That voice is loud with positive reinforcement and does not let negativity disrupt it’s forward momentum. This doesn’t mean there isn’t negativity, all of us have bad days and bad months and sometimes bad years, but they have learned to deal with negativity with positive self-talk and continue moving forward and spiraling up and not down.

2. They lack blame and are humble. They don’t point fingers. If they have a problem they first look inside to see what they have done to create this problem. In life it is easier to blame others for our misfortunes and much harder to point a finger back at ourselves. They seek to do more for others then they do for themselves. They have  fully  embraced the law of value. “You can’t get what you want until you have given others what they want” They always try to see the good in people. In the world we live in today it is so easy to seek out the bad and mistrust in people. When you lack blame you tend to see more good and less bad. Yet today we are surrounded with negativity.  The News sources, TV, and Politics, all seem to want to uncover the bad in individuals when in reality on any given day there is so much more good happening in our world,  yet the positive news doesn’t get us eyeballs or ratings so let’s ignore it. They have a great filter to take in good and filter out bad.

3.They create attraction. We are attracted to these individuals because of the positive energy they have. They are not self-serving and always look to prop up others. They have success yet rarely take the credit for it. They do not objectify other individuals. They see themselves on the same level. They teach and share their knowledge and are not protective of it. They spend more time listening and less time talking. When they do talk you very rarely hear the word “I”. They understand that getting things accomplished happens more often when we understand compromise and how to work together. They know that working in a vacuum will get them nowhere. They are great at solving your problems, because they care. They know how to be a player and avoid the victim mind set.

Every day we all have the ability to make a choice. Do I go out today and seek out someone I can help, or do I help myself? Do I walk knowing that I have all the answers and I’m not willing to share, or do I look to others for help and knowledge, and when I find it I want to pass it on?  Do I tell myself I can or I can’t? In my mind’s eye am I better than everyone else or are we the same?

Everyone can be what they want to be, but in order for this to happen you have to look inside first and see how you are showing up every day. It has a profound effect on others, negative or positive.

Posted on June 14, 2013 at 7:37 pm
Michael Fanning | Posted in Business today, Interesting stuff, Living, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

Keeping your data on your Iphone and Ipad safe if stolen.

As I teach classes on using  Iphones and Ipads I’m always get some pushback when I suggest that everyone set a password on their device. They say it is a hassle and inconvenient.  You know what is more inconvenient? Having a thief get access to all your personal information, not to mention your clanedar, financial, and contact informatin. Here is a recent article from Citeworld on theft of cell phones. How protected is all your information if someone was to steal your devices? Read Article


Below are some easy things you can do to be safe.

1. make sure you have a passcode on your phone

2. Make sure you have I cloud set up

3. Make sure you have an account with find my Iphone/Ipad

4. Don’t leave your device in the passenger seat of your car or out some place where someone may be tempted to steal it.

You can also set your phone up so Thieves can’t disable find my iphone by following the steps on this blog article. Read Article.

If you have any good phone recovery stories I would love to hear them.

Posted on May 15, 2013 at 7:06 pm
Michael Fanning | Posted in Business today, Technology | Tagged , ,

In the box or out of the box?

In our world of business and life we have a big decision to make. Are we in our box or out of it? This is the premise to the book I just finished called. Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box

As we engage with other individuals we can be perceived in two different ways. “In the box” meaning we objectify those we interact with. We feel that we are smarter, more deserving and on a higher plane then other individuals. “Out of the box” meaning we see others as humans with needs just like ours. We are on the same level and want to better understand how we can help others achieve what they want in life. We do this by caring, listening and understanding that we have a desire to help.
A good leader has humility. A good leader listens far more then they speak, and allows the student to realize their true potential.

This book uses an entertaining story about an executive facing challenges at work and at home to expose the precise psychological processes that conceal his true motivations and intentions from himself and trap him in a “box” of endless self-justification.
You get back exactly what you place out in the world. As humans we tend to rationalize everything. When we rationalize over time it creates true self-deception. After a while we completely believe our self-deception as the norm. We then tend to wonder why individuals don’t work as hard as we do, or don’t seem to understand us? CEO’s that can’t get their team to work with them. If they would step out of their box and really see what they are putting out to the world they would then have true perception of what others really see in them.

No matter your profession, your personal relationships, or relationship with kids. This is a great book that will open your eyes to learning how to get out of your own box!

Posted on April 18, 2013 at 4:03 pm
Michael Fanning | Posted in Business today, Education, Interesting stuff, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

Leaders all have something in common!

So if you’re a college football fan then you most likely have heard of Nick Saban. He is the head coach for the Alabama Crimson Tide. He has been said to be one of the most powerful head coaches in college football today, and his record stands for itself.

My reason for talking about him is based on his 5 leadership lessons. Much of his philosophy applies directly to business owners today.

1. Surround yourself with talent. When you are building a business you want to have strong successful individuals that are good at what they do. It happens all the time when there is an owner who fully believes he knows it all. Remember you don’t have to know everything you just have to hire smart people that know and understand the concept of team.

2. Create a process. When you have a system that creates consistency then positive outcome is the end result. My son plays baseball. He is 9 and during the game all they want to know is what is the score. My response is focus on hitting, fielding, and throwing and the score will take care of itself. Too many times we just want to focus on the outcome but don’t put the process in place to learn and master the fundamentals.

3. Manage your message! Do you have a message that can be spoken in one voice by all? This starts with your vision. Your team players share in the vision which will produce a consistent message to your customers. Have you created this vision? If not, then you may be a ship with out a rudder.

4.Keep it simple. Don’t over think stuff. Many times if you listen to your gut it is the right decision. I have often seen business owners always getting ready to get ready. I sometimes believe in fire read aim method. If your a bit off the mark then re aim.

5. Make wise investments in the future. Many times if you’re thinking about what is happening now and you’re basing investment decisions on now time then you are way behind the 8 ball. In order to be in front of momentum you need to take off your now blinders and look up ahead of you. What is coming? Often the signs of where we are going is just in front of us be we are so focused on the now that we don’t look up.

Here is the link to the Forbes article about Nick Saban. Football coaches are much like the CEO of any company. They have a job to unite, and direct talent to work together to share a common goal and vision. The outcome will vary based on your success of the 5 lessons above.

Posted on March 19, 2013 at 9:29 pm
Michael Fanning | Posted in Business today, Interesting stuff, Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

Are you a Victim or a Player?


I don't know about you but I'm not one to want to hang out with the type of individual who blames everything that happens to them on everyone else. Sure we all know someone like this don't we? They tend to see the negative in most everything, they always have something going wrong in their life and none of it ever seems to be the fault of their own! They tend to focus on the negative news of the day then they will manifest that news and weave it into their own failure in some way. This pattern is a spiral down mentality and a mindset from scarcity. They have little trust and most of the time they think that everyone is out to get them. This is a very difficult way to go through life. It also does not help in attraction. When you live in this space the energy you put off is highly negative and repealing. Most victims usually attract other victims.

The opposite way of thinking is that of a player. This individual takes full responsibility for their situation and is always open minded to others to help he or she to become a better individual. They usually measure their success not by what they get but how much they can give. Their mentality is that of abundance. They try to focus on the positive 90% of the time and normally have trust of most others.

A great example of thinking as a victim or a player as it pertains to Real Estate is our Inventory today which is a big deal. Every where I go I hear this. "We have an inventory problem!" Would you say that is an Victim or a Player statement? Things will get better when we have more inventory. What are we blaming for our lack of business?
I would suggest a different approach! If inventory is the issue then that would tell me, as a player, that we need to go out and create some Sellers! The biggest generation of today is the Boomer generation. The individuals were born between 1946-1963.

This generation in mostly in transition. They are prime for moving to the retirement world or are already there but are still living in homes that they raised their families in. They want to make the move to a warmer climate or get that smaller condo but no one has helped them understand how to make that happen. Well you're a Real Estate trusted adviser that has this knowledge. Instead of complaining about low inventory get creative and go seek out sellers and help them make the move!

When you create a seller you generate inventory and bingo problem solved!

The image at the top of my post is that of Tom Solcum in the 1991 Boston Marathon at the 20 mile mark. He started 24 hours before the other runners. Tom has a player mentality. Next time you are blaming someone else for where you are in life think about Tom and what he faces on a daily basis.

Posted on January 30, 2013 at 2:35 pm
Michael Fanning | Posted in Business today, customer services, Living, Real Estate Related, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

Living in the past can stop forward movement!


From the book the Slight Edge.

"Are there things that are incomplete in your life? any unpaid bills? Have you done your taxes? Did you borrow a book or tool you have yet to return? Is there someone who needs to hear you say, "I love you," or, "I'm sorry," or, "Thank you- I appreciate you"? Do you have any unfinished projects? Any unkept promises- taking a weekend away with your spouse, or taking your kids somewhere special? Are there any agreements or commitments you left hanging?

Each and every incomplete thing in your life or work exerts a draining force on you, sucking the energy of accomplishment and success out of you and leaving you in less then a positive mental state.

Here is the unfortunate and powerfully destructive truth of being incomplete: it keeps the past alive. Remember, people who live on the success curve are pulled by the future, while those who dwell on the failure curve are pulled by the past. And a surefire way to be forced to live as a prisoner of your past is to not complete things."

The book the slight edge is a powerful and thought provoking book that I guarantee will help you to look at your life differently. It has helped me to better understand how every decision I make in life has a negative or positive impact on my future.

Posted on November 30, 2012 at 11:41 am
Michael Fanning | Posted in Business today, customer services, Living | Tagged , ,

How often are you face to face with your customers?

I'd like you to meet Joie Gowan. Joie as been in the real estate business for over 25 years. I walk past her office daily on the way to my office. Today I walked by and noticed over 100 of these on her floor.

I asked Joie what they were? She told me they are shopping bags wrapped up nicely with a hand written note and a small gift. She explained that they are hand delivered.

You might be saying, "really a shopping bag.?" It's not any old shopping bag, it is a very well maid great designed shopping bag.
I happen to know some of Joie's customers and they tell me that every time they grab this bag out of their car they think about Joie. BINGO!

She does this every year for her customers. I want you to know that Joie understands value and relevance. She also knows that faceless relationships don't last. Maybe this year some of you might take a page out of Joie's book and ask how you are doing something special to be face to face with your customers?

Posted on November 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm
Michael Fanning | Posted in Business today, customer services, Living, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

Real Estate as a Career.

There are 3 serious questions you need to ask yourself.

1. Am I committed to having Real Estate be my career?

2. Do I believe in the company I work for?

3. Do I believe in myself?


I read a recent blog form 1000watt and there was one part of the post that stuck with me and made me want to expound on this statement.

Strive to be able to one day proudly say, “100% of our agents attend our company meetings, use our tools and get five-star reviews. And 100% of our past clients return to do business with us.”

This article talks about how many real estate agents today are creating a perception in the eyes of our customers that as a whole we lack professionalism, integrity, and accountability.

This is why the 3 questions are so important. If you see Real Estate as a career then there are things you are going to do.

Show up every day ready to exceed customers’ expectations. Understand and have a process for working with customers that gives predictable outcomes. Running your business like a business. Being proactive and not reactive. Seeking to solve problems for your customers regardless of the net dollar outcome. Selfless and humble. It is these traits that have proven to create the most rewarding business in real estate.

Do you believe in your company? Does your company provide you with tools that help you to differentiate the value proposition to your customers? Is there an environment that enhances your drive to be better? Are your surrounded by others with similar drive and professionalism? You would be surprised the impact being around other successful people will do to your own business.

The most important question of all however is "Do you believe in yourself?"
If you don't believe in yourself then the rest really doesn't matter. How are you getting your mind in a place on a daily basis to show up with a can do attitude? Looking past the hurdles and only seeing a path of success. It isn’t easy, but needed. Life can be brutal and create obstacles that at times can look like an un-passable mountain. If you question yourself then these mountains can stop you in your tracks. Often we underestimate the power of the mind. It controls our path 100%.

I would ask you to think about each of these questions and then listen to that little voice in your head. Really listen hard to what it says. If there is a negative thought that comes out then that will be the starting point for you to know where your work needs to begin.

Posted on October 19, 2012 at 8:29 pm
Michael Fanning | Posted in Business today, customer services, Real Estate Related | Tagged , ,