The Oz Principle & Living Above The Line

I love listening to some of my agents responses in meetings or coaching sessions.  But every once in a while, I’ll see or hear a comment and I can’t help but shake my head. “But what if I’m a new agent?” Or “Great info but how do I use this if I live in ________?” Or “That’s not the way that we do it around here.” I wonder if these people are truly seeking solutions, or… Are they looking for excuses? “Well , I’m new, this doesn’t really apply to me.” Yes it does!
“Well , my market’s different. I’m not sure that would work here.” Yes it will! Use your ingenuity!

There is a great book called  The Oz Principle by Paul J Kelly that  talks about living above the line and living below the line. The Top 20% of real estate agents wake up every day and choose to live above the line. They take 100% responsibility for themselves, they value and love themselves, they choose and own their choices and seize the opportunities they are given. The other 80% of agents live below the line and deny anything they do wrong, they blame others, create and make problems even bigger than they are and respond dramatically to everything they come face to face with. I always ask myself and my kids when we are tested, are we living above the line? Or living below the line today?

You’re in the Big Leagues Now.

News flash #1: There are no “minor leagues” in real estate. You’re in the big leagues now. If you’re new, that just means you have to work much harder and maintain your focus that much stronger. You have a lot of legwork ahead of you — systems to put in place, your business plan to create, marketing plans to develop, sales skills to refine, training to attend, books to read, etc.

News flash #2: Your market isn’t that different from everyone else’s market. Even if your market has some unique characteristics, you can always adapt what you’ve learned or what others are doing to fit your market and/or clientele. But whatever you do, you cannot allow yourself to make excuses for underperforming. Don’t Regret Your Inactivity If you allow yourself to make excuses, you’re only setting yourself up for mediocrity. Instead, commit yourself to training, learning, doing. Five years from now, you’re going to look back on the next two years of your life and say one of two things: “Wow, I really kicked ass and gave my business the jump start it needed.” Or “Ughhh! I wish I’d done more to put myself in position to succeed in this business.” Doing Something Is Always Better Than Nothing. Agents who succeed are the types who put their thinking caps on and are willing to adapt. They hear about a successful strategy and adjust it to fit their market, their business model, their level of experience in the industry. Nobody ever said you have to copy a strategy in its entirety. Pick and choose what works best for you. The point is to DO SOMETHING. The next time you catch yourself coming up with a reason why an idea won’t work, flip the script and instead focus on how you can adapt it to make it work best for you.

Don’t make excuses. Find solutions. Live above the line!

Power Planning for Success in 2018

When the year begins to wind down you should not wait until the very end to start planning for next year. This means having a crystal clear understanding of the successes and challenges of your current year, how it impacts your upcoming year, and developing a vision of what you want to accomplish, and how.

I believe you should always start working on your next year strategy months in advance of the new year. This awards you enough time to make an impact on your final quarter, and lay the groundwork for making sure your next fiscal year starts off on a solid footing.

For agents who want to achieve greatness, push the envelope, and grow their business through market share, market penetration, paying down debt, increasing sales, profits and cash flow, I urge you to get going now! If your business isn’t growing, pushing the envelope, thriving, and maximizing profit, then all you’re really doing is suffering a slow death. Believe me, your competition is fighting the fight every day, and they didn’t wake up in the morning and say “Gosh, golly, I hope I stay even in 2018.” They want to eat your lunch, take your business, absorb your market share and steal your customers away.

Some people might ask if they should start planning by looking at their competition, the answer is NO. Why focus on the competition, instead of focusing on yourself? When it comes to my business, you should care what others do, Care about what you do. Recognize your competition for what and who they are, and then put your best foot forward by pushing the envelope in your business. You should approach the new year as if you are going to battle, and for that you should develop a strategic plan.

Business Plan – a written document that describes in detail how a business, usually a new one, is going to achieve its goals. A business plan lays out a written plan from a marketing, financial and operational viewpoint.



“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Writing a business plan may seem a daunting task as there are so many moving parts and concepts to address. Take it one step at a time and be sure to schedule regular review (quarterly, semi-annually, or annually) of your plan to be sure you are on track to meet your goals. It is that time of year again when we begin to build our plan for 2018 so let’s look at the key areas of the agent’s solid business plan.

Business Plan for the Successful REALTOR©

Step 1) “Success and history always leaves us clues.”  Began by looking back to identify the clues that have been left for us and the business.   Look at the real estate market first and search for the following clues.

What have the number of sales been doing the last year? 2-5 years? Up? Down?
What have the number of listings been doing the last year? 2-5 years? Up? Down?
What have the average and median prices been doing?
What price ranges are experiencing more activity? Less activity?
What neighborhoods or areas are experiencing more activity? Less Activity?
What property types are selling more? Less?
What buyer types are buying more?
Where are the buyers coming from? Local? Next state or province? Over Seas?

Imagine the targeted and strategic plan you would be able to build for you and your real estate business with this kind of information?
Now you are not just winging it. You really know where and what to focus on.

Step 2) Looking At The Present State of Your Real Estate Business
What have my sales been doing? Up? Down?
What have my listings been doing? Up? Down?
What is my average price? Can I raise my average selling price?
What is my Gross Commission Income doing?
What is my average deal worth?
Where are my listings and sales coming from? Sources of business?
What types of buyers do I represent?
Where are the buyers coming from? Local? Out of area?
What are my pending sales?
What do I have for potential buyers and sellers?

Strategic Business Planning for Your Real Estate Business
What if you took the time to really track and measure and reflect on your business at a deeper level and see your strengths, weaknesses and opportunities?

Step 3) Activity Plans – Take the time to lay out your activity plan calendar a year in advance. Focus on the activities you know you are good at and you see a return on your invested time and money. I am guessing for most agents it would be your sphere of influence, referrals and face to face or voice to voice activities.

Step 4) Budgeting – Profit is the goal in business. Knowing what your personal life and your business world cost you monthly is so important. Expense management is just as important as your income and earnings. Have a clear picture of your expenses and measure all of them for their return on investment or if they can be reduced in any way.

Step 5) Goals – If your “Why” is big enough the “how” will take care of itself. What is your purpose? Vision? Values? Mission Statement? Taking the time to know what it is you want and why you want it is a game changer for us all. Nothing gives me more joy than impacting and improving people’s lives personally and professionally every day.

In my own real estate business, taking the time to create a business plan has been so incredibly beneficial for me and I know it will for you as well.

In today’s post I have given you a brief business plan overview. To help you get going with your own plan we put together a step by step Income Generator Business Plan you can download by clicking the link below.

Click here to download new Income Generator Business Plan….


The Art of Negotiation

It is amazing how little negotiation training most real estate agents have and most of the training they do have comes from battle scars and previous negotiations. When it comes to negotiation in all sales there are two schools of thought.



Real estate is a zero-sum business. There are a fixed number of transactions every year in every market. Personal marketing and prospecting is a hunting expedition for those buyers and sellers. Every listing taken and every home sold reduces the balance available. That is why it is impossible mathematically for every agent in every market to become a high producer. It is simply a consequence of supply and demand. This should be a reality check and a warning to every agent. Become great at the skills essential for your success.

The Win/lose negotiation is, by its very nature, adversarial. There rarely are any long-term winners. If you want your business to be referral-based then beware… there will be none here.

The goal of win/win negotiation, on the other hand, is to reach an agreement that satisfies both parties. This includes the buyer/seller and the listing agent/buyer agent. In other words, everybody is happy and each side feels the other was fair. This is the holy grail of negotiation. Negotiation gets messy when trust becomes diminished.

A lack of trust does not necessarily infer dishonesty. More often it can come from a lack of preparation and a thorough understanding of the needs of the other parties. There is always a loss of authenticity when one appears incompetent or lucidly incoherent. So how can you improve your chances of achieving a win/win outcome? The answer is by knowing the type of person you are negotiating with. Knowing, or at least considering, his or her personality type can give you an honorable edge in negotiating. Let’s look at the four personality types we face in negotiating and understand their natural tendencies in negotiations.

1.) The Dominant or Driver

These are extroverted people who need to direct traffic, need constant challenges and love to win. They believe winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. These people are direct and oriented toward the bottom line. They typically are win/lose style negotiators, but won’t usually acknowledge it. The best way to negotiate with this type of person is to go to the bottom line and work backward. Offer alternative choices and let them make their own decisions. Never attack their position, give facts in a logical flow and give them the perception of winning.

2.) The Social Butterfly or Expressive

These people love to talk and interact. They are personable, want to be liked and make quick, impulsive decisions. They usually have a great sense of humor and are good team players. Third-party endorsements work best with this type of person. Quick tips for negotiation: Don’t bother them with the bottom line or facts and figures. Keep negotiations good-natured and light-hearted.

3.) The Compliant or Amiable

Keeping the peace and avoiding conflict is most important to these people. They are amiable, patient and relaxed. They usually are unemotional during negotiations, slow to decide and will look for a long-term relationship. The best negotiation approach here is to show genuine interest in them personally. Listen, be patient and take your time. Don’t do hard sells! COMPLIANTS need to know you will deliver on what you promise.

4.) The Analyst or Analytical

These are the perfectionists of the world. They are cautious, detailed, accurate and analytical with high standards. They want proof, facts, data and more data. Follow the rules with these people and avoid too much creativity. Be prepared with data and be direct with that data. To be successful with this type of person, it’s important for you to be organized and provide lots of detail. Go to the point and avoid small talk. They will tend to get stuck on a single point (usually price) and will want to win on that one issue only.

How can we spot each style? 

First, it is important you know what personality type you are. Then keep your eyes and ears open.

  • If you are dealing with an outgoing person with a neat freak aura then most likely he or she is a DOMINANT personality. Dominant personalities also tend to like cutting-edge technology and acquiring that technology.
  • Someone who is talkative with a relaxed, lived-in look and casual appearance will probably be a SOCIAL BUTTERFLY. They also like to be on the cutting edge of technology and like to buy things.
  • COMPLIANTS just want to do what’s right for everybody. They sometimes appear a little insecure. They are the clients who want to do the right thing and are generally slow to decide. But they are very loyal and will be a consistent referral resource.
  • ANALYSTS always will ask for more detail. They also will want to know how you arrived at your CMA for example. They are fact based.



The main point to remember during negotiations is it’s about the client, and their wants and needs. Do your prep work, recognize the types of people you’re dealing with, and have these tips in mind to keep negotiations positive and smooth (win/win!):

  • Ask a lot of questions
  • Don’t become emotionally involved
  • Be totally prepared with clear factual details
  • Treat people with friendship just as you would want to be treated