Is your voice mail or email making or costing you money?

You’ve heard it before in order to grow your real estate business you need to focus on those 20% of activities that produce 80% of your results. For example, following up with your past clients, cultivating new and existing referral partners, implementing marketing systems that work while you’re not working. If all that stuff is so important why aren’t you doing it consistently?

The chances are it’s because you allow yourself to get distracted, interrupted and derailed by a steady stream of inbound interruptions like phone calls, emails, text messages, faxes, tweets, instant messages and walk-ins. Well it’s no wonder you have such a hard time getting things done, just look at all the distractions. The truth is most of these urgent distractions could be easily delayed, delegated or deleted because at the end of the day they’re not really that earth shatteringly important that they have to be addressed immediately.

Most realtors can’t even have a five-minute conversation without being interrupted by an inbound phone call or text message. That’s why most realtors are working more and more hours and making the same amount of money. They have made the mistake of confusing activity with productivity. Two totally different things. It’s not like they don’t have any answers either… in fact there are more books on time management and productivity than any other time in history.

At the time of creating this post there are 41,100,000 results in Google for time management tips. Anthony Robbins says we’re drowning in information yet we’re starving for wisdom. So what’s the solution that can allow you to regain control of your time and actually start focusing on the things that really matter? Like working on your business not just in your business? As mentioned before there is no shortage of solutions. What we really need more than anything else is a real gut level commitment to stop allowing all these distractions and to take back the focus of control and to start doing business on our terms. Here is a great tool that can help you make this happen.

A real time voicemail script and auto email responder. Yeah you heard it right,  a voicemail script and auto responder… if done right will allow you to turn off your phone and stop reacting to emails for 2 to 3 hours without losing any business. They will help you schedule more time for implementing your marketing, it will train your clients on the specific times you reply to phone calls and emails and position yourself as an expert who is successful and highly sought after.

It also attracts more referrals and repeat business. Your voicemail and auto responder might go something like this. “Thank you for calling/emailing the office of John Smith, your realtor for life, I’m currently out of the office serving a client right now, rest assured my commitment is to provide you with exceptional service that inspires you to refer your friends and family. Due to high workload I am currently checking and responding to my voicemails and emails twice per day at 12 noon and 5 PM so please leave me your name phone number and a detailed message on how we can serve you.

If you’ve been referred to me, please leave the name of the person who recommended my services to you so I can thank them immediately for their endorsement. Thanks again and have a wonderful day.” So there you have it. We have just given you a killer voicemail email response script that you can implement as early as today to see an immediate boost in your productivity. Now it’s time to take action and be proactive and not reactive!!

 

Are You in Control of your Money or is your Money in Control of You?

At a seminar presented by T. Harv Eker on the Secrets Of The Millionaire Mind a crowd of nearly a thousand people were all asked to bring with them a $100 cash bill to the evening session of the seminar for an exercise to teach about mindset and the blueprint we all have about money. Everyone was asked to hold up their $100 bill and if you were unable to bring that bill with you then you were politely asked to leave this part of the seminar and demonstration.

A few of the seminar staff lined up in front of the stage with burning candles for the crowd to begin to line up and prepare to burn your $100 cash bill to prove to yourself you are in control of your money and money is not in control of you. A wave of emotion come over the crowd as some people were getting angry and others are started to cry and others were showing no sign of emotion of what they have been asked to do.

They slowly asked the crowd to stand and begin to line up in front of each of the staff members holding the open burning flame and let the emotions and energy build and build in the room. Then at the very last second they said “ok, everyone sit down and put your $100 bill away and start journaling what you experienced and what you felt through that exercise.”

So how would you feel about doing that? Would the money control you or would you be in control of the money? Would it make you mad, sad or feel nothing? Here are seven powerful tips from Clason’s novel “The Richest Man In Bablyon” and strategies for you to implement and be in control of your money in real estate and not the money in control of you.

  1. A Part of all you earn is yours to keep.
    The most powerful and most important message you read and hear from all experts in financial prosperity. “PAY YOURSELF FIRST.” Clason refers to this as “Starting thy purse to fattening” He uses the story of the humble egg merchant. If the egg merchant put ten eggs in his basket each morning and take out only nine by evening. Eventually what will happen? It will in time become overflowing. Or how about every ten coins you place in your purse you take out and use only nine. Your purse will fatten and soon will build increasing weight and bring you great satisfaction. Create a second account that is difficult to access and take that one egg, take that one coin and let it build and overflow over time. Just like this merchant you too create an account at a different bank and set up automated withdraw into this account, that can’t be readily accessed to build up your purse.
  2. Control your expenditures
    “BUDGETING” – All men are burdened with more desires than they can gratify. We have this false idea we can gratify our every desire. Clason states there are limits to your strength, limits to the distance you may travel, limits to what you may eat and limits to the zest you may enjoy. The key to controlling your expenses is taking the time to really identify your fixed expenses and eliminate or minimize your non fixed expenses. Discipline yourself to live lean and mean. Pay yourself your fixed expense amount at beginning of the month. Review Constantly – identify habits; implement cost savings i.e. basic cable or even no cable. Apply the same principle to your business accounts.
  3. Make your gold multiply
    “INVEST” – The greatest opportunity and wealth building strategy we all have is buying what we know… Stocks, Bonds, Mutual, Commodities, Mortgages, Rentals, Loans etc. Clason states a man’s wealth is not the coins he carries in his purse but it is the income he buildeth, the golden stream that continually flows into his purse and keeping it bulging. Amortization in wealth building is key… Example: Only $5,000 per year or $416 / month Invested. Over 10 years – at 5% becomes 66K at 15% becomes 116K… Over 20 years at 5% becomes 173K at 15% becomes 589K.
  4. Guard your treasures from loss
    “INVEST WISELY, CONSERVATIVELY” – Start by investing small amounts and learn to protect and grow those first. Clason said every man is tempted by opportunities where it would seem he could make large sums by its investment in the most plausible projects. So often we are urged by friends or family to eagerly enter these high return investments. Remember the risk or penalty is probable loss. TIP – borrowing to invest. Ask your advisor for their personal net worth statement. WORDS OF WISDOM – Invest only where the principal is safe and where the principle may be reclaimed if needed and where you will not fail to collect a fair return. Consult with wise men. Secure their advice and let their wisdom protect your treasures.
  5. Make of Thy Dwelling a Profitable Investment
    “OWN A HOME” – To a man’s heart it brings gladness to eat the figs from his own trees and the grapes of his own vines. To own his own domicile and to have a place he is proud to care of and put confidence in his heart and reward behind his endeavors. Discipline yourself to pay this home off. Blessings to the man who owneth his own home. Greatly reduces his cost of living and making available more of his earnings to build his wealth.
  6. Insure a Future Income
    “SAVINGS” – It behooves a man to make preparation for a suitable income in the days to come, when he is no longer young and to make preparations for his family should he be no longer with them to comfort and support them. It is important you maintain savings and have funds put away for many different reasons. Health, emergency expenses, major financial setbacks or economic down turn. You will get old. You may get sick. You will die one day and you should be prepared. TIP – wills, insurance life & disability.
  7. Cultivate, Study & Learn
    “BECOME A STUDENT” – Constantly improve yourself and become more skillful. Act on these principles and have the discipline to learn and implement them. Then begin to teach them to others including your own children. Clason reminds us “There is more gold in Babylon my students than you could dream of. There is abundance for us all.”

So there you have it, 7 powerful financial laws that made a difference with my control over money vs. the money having control over me. I challenge you to implement these strategies into your personal and professional lives and take control over the finances and win the money game.

 

Real Estate Financial Strategies 2016

After more than two decades in real estate I can honestly say the most important thing I learned in real estate was treating the financial side of the business better than any other area in real estate. It amazes me how many agents don’t have the financial end of real estate in order. Here are some of the most important strategies for your real estate business and the financial side that you should definitely put into place!

Separate business account from personal account. Agents must have their personal finances and their real estate finances separated. If yHow-To-Grow-Your-Savings-Account-2-e1427123042515ou own any business or franchise you cannot have your personal money and your business money flowing together in the same accounts. I have found having my personal finances going through one lending institution and my business finances going through another completely different lending institution allows me to keep them organized and identified on all of their different statements and paper work. Put your home finances and business finances in two separate banks.

1. Your Personal accounts and your business bank accounts should have separate chequing and saving accounts, separate line of credits preferably unsecured, separate overdrafts, separate physical cheques, separate credit cards preferably with air miles connected to them.
2. Take the time to write out all your monthly non-negotiable expenses for your personal expenses and your business expenses. Knowing what your monthly net is for your personal and business lives is so important when you need to determine what you need to make for your annual income each year. So many agents set their income goals each year and they are not even high enough to cover their personal and business expenses for the year. Another great tip if you can pay it off every month is to put all business and personal expenses through a travel credit card and build up travel points for an annual holiday flight each year.
3. At the beginning of each month sit down and write cheques for your personal expenses and business expenses and live the golden rule of paying yourself first. Imagine if you had cheques coming to you each month in real estate to pay for your personal and business expenses. The cheques will have a positive effect on you mentally and allow you to just focus on the important things now that the bills are met at the beginning of the month.
4. When you take any money personally always remit the tax owing on that amount to the government at the time the money is paid to you. I always paid the tax on the income I wrote myself personally so that come tax time the following year the taxes were paid and not having to play catch up or pay the penalties because the money was already spent
5. When your commission income comes into your business accounts try to build up monies in your business account and not tempt yourself with it in your personal accounts and spend your monies from business because you see it all the time and think it is there and you can spend it. I always left the funds in the business account and had control on my personal and business spending by having it sit in a separate account.
6. Choose a good and affordable accountant for your personal and business accounts that will do a good job on your reporting and filing each year. I have an amazing relationship with 2 outstanding accountants that I can just reach personally on their direct lines for quick advice and not have to pay an arm and a leg for quick simple advice
7. Take the time to find yourself a simple work at home bookkeeper as well to be able to take your receipts quarterly so it doesn’t get overwhelming dealing with one whole year. It is so tedious and time consuming doing the receipts and expense reporting when you could be out listing or selling a house. They put expenses into an excel or quick books report every three months for me and balance them with my bank statements and even pull out the HST for quarterly filing as well. It should be fairly inexpensive and quicker to do just a batch of 3 months’ worth of receipts and not the whole entire years’ worth.
8. The final strategy is to set a goal to live on 70% of your business income and save 10%, invest 10% and donate 10% ( just start with like 85% and 5%-5%-5% and create the habit. Have your bank auto withdraw the 5%-5%-5% into three other separate accounts within your business account to start building up your wealth within your business accounts. You then can use the savings for emergencies, invest in real estate or the markets and be able to give away a portion to make a difference in the world each year.
9. Be sure to check your tax rates for your state or province.  Here is a sample tax rate for the province of Ontario to help me determine what to submit to the government each month when taking money personally each month

5.05% on the first $41,536 of taxable income,
+9.15% on the next $41,539,
+11.16% on the next $66,925,
+12.16% on the next $70,000,
+13.16 % on the amount over $220,000

I trust that the financial officer role in your real estate business improves and this information helps you as much as it helped me in the past 2 decades in real estate. Make 2016 the year of profit and take control of your personal and business finances!