Weekly Planning That Makes A Difference

One of the most requested topics we hear about from you all is time management. This is something that we almost universally struggle with because our brains are focused on survival (expelling the least amount of energy possible) while our ambition is focused on success. The two competing forces often lead to the frustrating feeling of not enough hours in a day.

When I first began my study of time management, I focused heavily on daily planning. Winning the day by waking up early and making the most of the morning hours and staying efficient through regimented habits. What really made the biggest difference is when I added an element of weekly planning. For me, I tackle weekly planning on Sunday afternoons/evenings. It serves to wind down my weekend and allow me to hit the ground running on Monday morning.

Just imagine how much more productive you could be if you kicked off Monday morning by getting straight to work on tasks you know you needed to accomplish instead of making a list of those tasks! But weekly planning is a bit different than daily planning because it takes the big picture into account.

Step One: Define Your Goals

Proper planning starts by defining what your goals are. Often times, we make ambiguous goals and struggle to make plans to accomplish them because the goals are so loosely defined that a plan is next to impossible. Instead, focus on your top 3 goals. Don’t limit yourself just to business either. What are your goals for your personal life too?

Step Two: What Impacts Your Goals

The next step requires you to complete a sort of objective analysis of what is happening in your life. You need to be really honest with yourself and define - what things have a big impact on these goals? These could be activities, habits, or even plans. Most importantly, they have to have an impact on your level of success. Take care to be honest about both positively and negatively impacting things. Remember, your success is in your hands but we understand that there are always outside influences at play.

Step Three: Time Block For Your Goals

The difference between planning and calendar management is a key distinction to understand. Planning is about strategically reviewing your actions and your schedule to see how you can give yourself the best chances of success. Calendar management is simply a supply/demand exercise. Yet, together - the two are one of the most beneficial ways to develop great habits. During both Step One & Two, you’re able to objectively review the actions you need to take. You have no excuse of time constraints and don’t even need to answer the question “when?” until now. The final piece of the planning puzzle gets you to not only say what you need to commit to do, but when you will commit to do it. It establishes personal accountability, which can be a powerful factor in getting things done.

Whether you’re just getting started with planning or this is a practice you have long held, these tips can help you quickly become a better planner. You’ll begin to see things objectively and really benefit from only a few minutes each week and each day seeing the impact almost immediately.

Happy planning!



How to Stop Avoiding Things

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There is no greater place to start that right now, wherever you are. So often, we spend a huge amount of time justifying why we shouldn’t give something a try when we could spend that time in action making a difference. But avoiding is a natural human reaction to discomfort. Our brains go into survival mode and work to expel the least amount of energy and stress. If you’re feeling stuck, these helpful tips can help you start doing and stop avoiding.

Figure out the next step. The first step is often the most difficult. Chances are that if you’re avoiding something - you’re doing so with good reason (i.e., because it is uncomfortable, difficult, new, etc.). But once you take that first step, you can build off the momentum it will inevitably create. Marathon runners train for months before they run a race - starting with smaller, easier runs and building up to be able to handle a full race. Any task you’re avoiding for should be the same. Start small and build in increments.

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Start when you have the most energy. Most people are the most energetic in the mornings. Let me clarify…you don’t have to leap out of bed with the excitement of a kid on Christmas morning to be energetic. I’m talking about brain energy. Your mind is freshest in the morning before the world has distracted you and pulled you in a million different directions. When you find a task undesirable, go ahead and get it on your scheduled for the first thing on Monday morning. Work to time block time needed to make a dent and go ahead and get it done. You will likely even enjoy the added bonus of having an even more productive day the rest of the day building of your early productivity.

Treat Yo’self!  I routinely reward the small wins in my day/life. This is how I keep showing up for the difficult tasks and build strong habits. Too often, we think of rewards as high-dollar rewards. Instead, focus on small rewards. Did you get an hour of prospecting done? Reward yourself with lunch with a friend. Crushed your week? Schedule a date night!

Seek and keep accountability. The months following hiring our Project Manager, my business thrived. I hear the same from our clients once they start working with us. It isn’t any big secret that causes this. In fact, it is simple accountability. As humans, there is one thing that we like less than an unpleasant or uncomfortable action, and that is letting other down. When you not only fail to do what you said you would do, but you also have to tell someone you didn’t do it - it just plain sucks. Keep in mind, it doesn’t matter how it gets done. It matters that it gets done. You don’t need a coach or a trainer to help with this. Set up accountability practices in your daily life and you will drastically impact your likelihood of getting things done! Just watch.

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Stay curious. Sometimes we put things off for a good reason but sometimes - we just put things off. Did you ever wonder why kids learn so much so quickly? Because they are constantly curious. They’re constantly asking questions and learning new information. Steve Jobs once said “Curiosity is the fuel that makes people think at a tangent and come up with new ideas, in an attempt to work differently and come up with better results.” This point has always resonated with me. If you stay curious, you’ll continue to refine and improve on your processes and more importantly, yourself.




 

How to Delegate Like a Champ

Delegating is one of the most important keys to scaling your success but time and time again - it is something that professionals share as a struggle. I get it. Really, I do. When I began scaling my business, delegating was difficult for me too. It helped to think of delegation as part of the process of eliminating things from my daily task list.

Letting control go of the things that have helped build your business can undoubtedly be uncomfortable and even stressful, but here are a few tips we have for easing the process.

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Establish firm priorities. During the delegation process, it is important to keep your eye on what is most important. What are the things that you must continue to do? What can someone do almost as well as you? Understand that when you delegate something, it may not be done exactly the way you have always done it - but it is freeing your time up to handle the more important things that only you can handle. At the end of the day, the result is more important than the process when it comes to delegation.

Play to your team’s strengths. Delegating is about winning back your time to focus on more pressing matters, which means that delegation is not just a professional undertaking, but a personal one too. If you have specific tasks you need to delegate, hire for those roles. But often where delegation goes off track is that we start with the task versus the person. Focus on what the people in your life do well, enjoy, and are capable of then see where you can leverage those strengths.

Take the time to train. Delegating is the first step in a larger process to remove these tasks from your daily agenda. The biggest mistake I see people make is skipping delegation and moving straight to elimination. They are not the same thing. Delegating is an active process that you as the delgater still must be involved in both through training and follow up. Elimination (the goal) is not concerning yourself with the task at all. It is not enough to take the time to train once and move on. Training may take a few times of you explaining the process, letting them attempt the process, and over time - letting go of the process. Don’t skip the training!

Trust, but verify. Many times, people become reluctant to delegate as a result of previous negative experiences. When delegating, you must be willing to trust the ability of the person taking on the new tasks. Without this trust, you defeat the purpose of delegation in the first place (which is how so many fail at delegating) because you actually spend double the time on the tasks as you originally did - first through trying to delegating then by handling the task yourself anyway. Resist this urge! One great way to build your trust for the person taking on these tasks is to trust their ability and their work while ensure you’re available for questions, yet verifying that the tasks were done to your satisfaction. A few times of verifying their stellar work will build your trust that they are not only capable, but exceeding expectations. Or, verifying that they aren’t capable will save you time of keeping someone tasked with work they cannot handle.

It’s a journey, not a destination. As I have said so many times, delegation is a process. It will require you to be involved in training, support, verification, and so much more. Be patient with yourself and with those you task with the work. They are learning and it can be helpful to remember how you felt when you were first learning these tasks. If you devote the proper level of attention to delegation, you will undoubtedly begin to see the success you were hoping for!


The Recipe For Great Leaders

In a rapidly evolving industry, leadership has never been more important. Leadership is one of the most discussed topic in today’s society, it is far more than a trendy term or practice. The right to be a leader is earned, not bought or won. We believe that the best leaders share certain qualities that set them apart.

They take full responsibility. Great leaders know that the performance of their team is 100% a result of their leadership. While they cannot force action or inaction - they can inspire it and great leaders know that when something goes awry - it is due to how they steered the ship. No one likes to be peppered with directives, but great leaders take responsibility for their team’s actions/inactions alike and knows that ultimately, the buck stops with them.

They motivate through fun. As I explained, great leaders don’t force action or inaction - they motivate it. And great leaders know exactly how to get their team’s motivated where much of the work doesn’t have to feel burdensome but enjoyable and some may even say, fun. Whether it is culturally feeling part of something bigger than themselves or simply not wanting to let others down - the teams of great leaders are always ready to show up for one another.

They connect with their teams emotionally. Fun is all well and good, but real connection happens on an emotional level. Great leaders work to connect with their teams emotionally. To make a difference in someone’s work, you often must make a difference in their lives. By taking the time to connect with their team on a personal level - to know their families, their hopes/dreams, and even their struggles. This characteristic of great leaders cannot be emphasized enough.

They train new leaders. Great leaders understand that their leadership undoubtedly will have an expiration date. They know the importance of leadership being in tune with the team’s they’re leading, the trends of the industry, and even the style they work in. This is one of the biggest differences between management and leadership. Leaders care more about how the team will be led for years to come than just managing the right now. As a result, they invest heavily in their teams now to ensure they are grooming the next generation of leaders too.

They are always learning. Above all else, great leaders know one thing - that they don’t know it all. This is one of the best qualities of great leaders because it also allows them to lead by example. To show the vulnerability of not having all the answers and doing the hard work of lifelong learning. Whether it is new ideas, new strategies, or even just a new way of saying something old - great leaders are invested in learning.

Being a leader requires a lot of skills and characteristics - but these, above all else, define great leaders to me. I hope as you have read through this, you have been able to have someone on your team or within your organization come to mind. If not, starting looking. Great leaders are the best indicator of an organization’s success.

#FunFriday - March 29, 2019 - Brian Holt

It's Friday and today we're throwing it back this #FunFriday with an agent that we have known since the beginning of his real estate career - Brian Holt!

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Brian comes from the hospitality industry and he brings that personalized attention to every task in his business. Whether you're speaking to him as a client or just as a friend - he always gives you his complete focus and a first-class experience.

But what makes Brian a #FunFriday feature is that this business is about far more than him. He embodies what it means to be an active part of your community and every first Friday he hosts a #KarmaKeg event to quite literally, pour back into the community he loves so much. 

Working with sponsors, Brian hosts these special events featuring a special local brew, and uses all the proceeds (and donations) from the event to benefit a local charity. We love that! 

If you're a Raleigh local, come on out to his next event on Friday, April 5th starting at 5 pm at one of my favorite local spots - Vita Vite Midtown. This Karma Keg event will also feature a silent auction with some incredible items and a wine pull featuring a variety of high-end bottles to enjoy - all of it to benefit Make-A-Wish America.

Y'all - this is WHY we do what we do. To make the world a better place and Brian is so committed to doing that each and every day that we think it would simply be a crime to not feature him. Keep doing you, Brian! We love ya! 

#FunFriday - March 22, 2019 - Scott Oyler

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It is #FunFriday and that means it is time for another feature and today - we're headed to Cincinnati to feature the one and only Scott Oyler

Scott was introduced to us by our dear friend Sean Carpenter years ago and from the moment we met him - we knew Scott had "it." 

Scott is the founder of the Oyler Group where his production speaks for itself. Having over 10 years of experience netting over $300 million in sales and recently named by the Wall Street Journal as the #88 agent national for number of units sold - Scott knows the ins and outs of great representation. But what we believe sets Scott apart is his refusal to be complacent. He has grown a successful team and led them to great success as well. 

Through it all - Scott hasn't lost his personable nature, desire to learn, and insatiable need to innovate. He brings his contagious energy, unmatched professionalism, and commitment to his customers to every task he tackles and we think the industry is lucky to have someone like him leading the way. 

Keep on rockin' Scott! We're always cheering you on!

Struggling to Get Things Done? Try These 5 Things

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Even the most productive people have their days or even weeks where their productivity struggles or even declines. We’re human, right? But rather that letting your productivity steadily decline into oblivion - focus on curbing your behavior to get back on task. Whenever I find myself struggling with being productive, I implement these five things.

Find the Quiet

Distractions have a funny way of finding us and worse than that, roping us in. Even if you love what you do (which you absolutely should), you likely have certain tasks about your work that you don’t love. These are the tasks that often make us particularly prone to distraction which snowballs into lost productivity. Instead of relying on willpower, which often wains during certain times of the day, focus on eliminating the distractions by finding a quiet space where you can hammer through your task at hand. Reserve a conference room or even consider working elsewhere to find yourself the solitude needed to regain your focus.

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Turn Off Your Phone

I know, the mere suggestion probably gave you goosebumps, but turning off your phone for the sake of productivity can be an extremely powerful practice to regain your productivity. With notifications flying in from every direction, your phone is a constant form of distraction. Just like a quiet space will boost your productivity, so will the solitude of a notification free environment. If the idea of being completely unreachable makes you uncomfortable, that’s okay. You can also utilize the Do Not Disturb feature only allowing calls from certain contacts in the case of emergency (i.e., your child’s school or your spouse). Remember, we aren’t implying that you should go dark for days at a time (although that could be admittedly nice), we’re just suggesting an hour or two at a time.

Organize Your Calendar

I’m a creature of habit, but more than that - I’m a creature of routine and schedule. Why? Because these routines and schedules have helped build positive habits in my life. Put important deadlines on your calendar to remind you to focus on certain tasks at certain times. I strongly suggest using a planner for this, not just your calendar.

Organize Your Space

A messy workspace can be the demise of efficiency and effectiveness. The less time you spend navigating your workspace to find items you need, the more time you can spend on actual productive tasks. I spend time every Friday evening organizing my workspace for the week ahead. It doesn’t take a particularly long time, but the impact it has when I sit down to be productive is exponential.

Build In Brain Breaks

As I said earlier, we’re all human and that means that we all have a limited brain capacity for any task - even our favorite ones. Scheduling through this capacity is a recipe for distraction and disaster. Instead of making large timeblocks, focus on more frequent, shorter time blocks. For example, I have four thirty-minute time blocks for emails each day that allow me to spend two full hours focused on emails but not fall victim to my inbox (the to-do list someone else creates for me) all day long!

Shake It Up A Little

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Routine can be a powerful asset when it comes to building not only great habits but momentum. When we talk about what sets you apart from the pack - it is all about consistency and routine helps establish consistency. But just like I spoke about a few months ago - sometimes routines can cause us to simply mark things off our list and we lose the impact of the actions themselves, plateauing or even declining.

When this happens, it can be beneficial to shake things up a bit. Interrupting your routine allows life to not get stale and keep you in the mode of wanting to stay consistent. By mixing it up and challenging yourself in new ways you can freshen your entire experience and even re-energize your passion!

The other thing shaking things up can do is offer new perspectives or opportunities. For example, my daughter would live off pizza, mac n’ cheese, or hot dogs if we allowed her. She resists trying new foods and loves to stay in her comfort zone. More recently, we have started cooking from HelloFresh and it has forced her from her normal routine. What has happened has been a much more enjoyable dinner time for everyone in the family because we’re cooking together, eating different meals - healthier meals, and she is discovering things that she actually likes but would never select off a menu herself. I mean, my child now loves Pesto Chicken! Who would’ve thought?

The same logic applies for professionals. When we stick to our same routine of prospecting in the same way, working out in the same routine, or even a routine with our loved ones - things get stale. Sure, they become predictable, but they also get boring and basic human nature is to avoid boring. And what happens once avoidance begins? Inconsistency rears its’ ugly head and we begin losing effectiveness.

This week, look at your routines. What feels like it is just same old, same old? What isn’t producing results? What doesn’t get you excited? Don’t abandon the practices all together, but tweak them. Add in a new set of weight training to your work out, try a different form of prospecting, or plan a spontaneous date night. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results.

#FunFriday - March 15, 2019 - Be Home Realty

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This #FunFriday is near and dear to our hearts because we’re featuring three of our favorite hometown girls - Jill Booth, Jane Ball, and Jenn Cole. Together, these women founded Be Home Realty out of Garner, NC. Not only are they great friends, but as business partners - they built their company from the ground up as agents who still do the hard work of real estate each and every day.

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To these women, real estate is all about a few things - having fun, extraordinary customer service, and being memorable. They know what it takes to be successful, and together - they are. One of the ways they have mastered bringing these three things together is with their client events that they regularly host. Whether it is Cookies with Santa over the holidays or their annual Thumbprint Party where past clients come put their mark on “The Hive” - they are all about making Be Home not just a real estate company but a central part of the community.

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You may be wondering why they call the office “The Hive”…well, that is because they are not only broker/owners but amateur beekeepers hosting a true beehive in the office. They have a beekeeper that comes and helps tend to the hive, but it is one of their trademark features and has easily carved out their spot in the minds of locals. They even cultivate the honey on occasion to offer as client gifts! How cool is that?!

These women know what it means to embrace all that #FunFriday is about and we’ll keep our eye on them as they accomplish new fun goals this year!

#FunFriday - March 8, 2019 - Michelle Humes

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Today, we're featuring a true boss lady, Michelle Witmer Humes - founder/team leader of The Humes Group.

Michelle caught our eye  the moment we saw her on stage at Curaytor#Excellence last year in Boston. She shared a story that while attending #Excellence in 2017, she was so motivated to be on stage and share her story the next year that she drew her picture in the book as a 2018 speaker. Michelle LITERALLY drew her dreams into existence!

Not only has Michelle crushed goals like speaking at Curaytor Excellence, but she has built a wildly successful business - first on her own growing her production from $8M to $18M with just her and an assistant and now with 15 people on The Humes Group. Want the blueprint of creating successful teams? Michelle has it. 

But what makes Michelle especially fitting for a #FunFriday feature is that she has stayed her fun loving self the whole way through. Living in a golf cart community, she has a video series that she films from her golf cart showcasing all of the wonderful things about her local community. Her love for what she does and where she lives is front and center and keeps you coming back for more.

**Want to hear from Michelle about her business and the growth of her team? She'll be our April #MCC guest, too! Register for April’s episode or become a member!

Say It Out Loud

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One of the guiding principles of my life has always been to lead with heart. It has led me to make some pretty audacious decisions like leaving a thriving business to try something I believed in, moving to places where I’ve known no one all for the chance to make an impact, or even becoming a mom. I never want to look back and think “I wonder what would have happened if I’d bet on myself,” so I’ve made it a practice of always betting on myself. Luckily, it has normally ended up pretty well.

But lately, I have been thinking about all the chances we don’t take because we’re too afraid to say them out loud. Did you know that you become 42% more likely to achieve your goals by simply writing them down? This is a practice I have often used for myself and with our clients and genuinely believe in. And while there are plenty of studies that show the power of keeping those goals to yourself, I believe saying them out loud brings power to the goals themselves. Once you share the goal out into the universe, you can’t take it back and you establish an accountability unlike being able to keep it pent up inside where you’re the only one that has to face potential failure.

Some people call it courageous for living out loud the way I do - never too afraid to take the leap. But I’ve found that even if you bury the truth, it has a sneaky way of following you anyway. The things you want are etched in your heart and your mind, you just have to take action to make them a reality. And the decisions you make with your just the right mix of head and heart - well the power of those decisions can’t be underestimated!

#FunFriday - March 1, 2019 - Peter Lorimer

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Today's Fun Friday feature is the one and only Peter Lorimer. If you haven't had the distinct pleasure of coming into contact with Peter, you're missing out. Most days, you can find him with a camera attached to his hand as he has been documenting before documenting was trendy. 

Before real estate, Peter was a successful music producer and he has brought his creative genius to the real estate space where he not only has had a successful career but now runs one of the top brokerages in L.A., PLG Estates which is self-described as a "SWAT team of the best of the best of creative minds in Los Angeles real estate." 

Peter's creativity coupled with his magnetic personality and boundless energy is undoubtedly the secret to his success. He is obsessed with delivering value to his agents, clients, and audiences around the county through his daily vlogs, and even landed a hit show on Netflix that debuted in the fall of 2018 called Stay Here where he helped owners of short-term rental properties launch, market, and book tenants for their properties. 

What makes Peter a natural choice as a feature isn't that he is our guest on the  #MCC next week (although he is) but it is that he lives his creed. Atop the PLG Estates website - it states: "Real estate doesn't have to be boring" and with Peter involved, it is anything but boring! 

Give him a follow on Instagram 👉@peterlorimer or on Facebook at 👉Peter Lorimer official. Thanks for bringing so much fun into everything you do Peter! You inspire us all!

Oh, and if you'd like to join us for Peter's episode of the #MCC, you can register in the ticket link at 👉 MCC with Peter Lorimer!

#FunFriday - February 22, 2019 - Kyle Malnati

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This week’s feature is Kyle Malnati. Kyle is the CEO/Broker of Calibrate Real Estate in Denver, Colorado. What we love about Kyle isn’t just his positivity (which he’s got in spades), it is that despite his tremendous personal successes such as a past Realtor Magazine 30 Under 30 honoree - he is always committed to others and helping them succeed.

Whether it is helping to mentor new real estate professionals at his brokerage or spreading value through the Calibrate Real Estate Podcast featuring past guests like Raj Qsar, Rogers Healy, and yes - yours truly...Kyle is always pouring into others.

I’m lucky to call Kyle a friend and know that the moment you get to know him, you’ll feel the same way. Go ahead! Give him a follow @kylemalnati, you won’t regret it.

Creating A Culture of High Performers

High performance is difficult to attain, but even harder to maintain. In a world where performance is a metric for success - people are reaching new heights, but can they sustain this level of performance? We think with strong leadership and the right environment and focus - high performance is sustainable. Here’s how:

Lead By Example

Someone once told me that an organization’s culture is only as strong as the weakest link. Within our organizations, everyone has the responsibility of upholding the values and core components of the culture. And if performance is one of them - you as the leader have to be bought in. I often tell my clients “I’m not asking you to do anything I’m unwilling to do myself” and that’s true. I believe in order to expect things from others, I must model that behavior. The same goes for leadership. You have to embody the things you want to see from your team in order to expect their best work. Chances are, you will.

Up Your Training Game

Many of our clients come to us looking to solve their training problems. A big focus of ours is implementing more experiential training, which is where agents take a more active role in the training rather than reading from a book or listening to a lecture. Creating simulations or real-life scenarios is a proven tactic for helping people retain that training and is even linked to them remembering to apply that training when the situation presents itself in real life.

Focus on Building Confidence and Production Will Follow

A lot of people miss the mark when they focus on just building production immediately. To us, that has always been a short-term solution. If you want people to succeed long term, and more importantly, sustain that success - they have to build confidence. This means that you have to get comfortable asking why something happened and what you could have done better. When you start focusing on how you can build your skills, it will translate into confidence and ultimately, into production.

Build Strengths, Acknowledge Weaknesses

We spend a ton of time chasing perfection and as we know - it is all in vain. No matter how much we time or money we invest in ourselves, we’ll never be perfect. Now, while I don’t think that means we should stop trying, I do think it means we should leverage what we’re great at and simply acknowledge what we struggle with. For example, if you’re great at networking events but awful at online lead follow up - don’t just hemorrhage money on Zillow or Realtor.com hoping to finally convert. Double-down on what you’re great at and focus on that.

#FunFriday - February 15, 2019 - Melanie Piche and Brendan Powell

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It is another installment of #FunFriday and today, we’re heading up north to feature some of our favorite real estate professionals out of Toronto, Melanie Piche and Brendan Powell. Together, Mel & Brendan own The BREL Real Estate Team, one of the most productive real estate teams we have come across.

Recently, they joined forced with two other high producing teams in Toronto to create “Canada’s Team of Teams” founding Union Realty - an independent brokerage.

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What makes this team so impressive isn’t just their production, which as you can see is undoubtedly impressive, but their knack for cranking out highly valuable and relevant content on their website which in turn generates them tons of business.

There is clearly a BREL difference in how they conduct their business where production is highly valued (and expected), yet they haven’t lost the personal touch required to run a sustainable and thriving business. Their clients rave about them boasting over 400 reviews from past clients on a variety of sites. (If you’re interested you can see some here.)

What we love most about them though is how they have firmly established themselves as the neighborhood experts with their expansive neighborhood guides that cover all of Toronto’s many neighborhoods. These guides cover everything from pricing data to school information and even demographics and honest reviews of the neighborhood. What they’re capitalizing on is helping consumers understand exactly what it will be like to live in a neighborhood versus just showing them a neighborhood like so many real estate professionals do.

It is this and so many other reasons why Melanie and Brendan were natural choices for this week’s #FunFriday feature. Check them out using the links above. You won’t regret it!

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The Problem With Going Through the Motions

There is an old saying that “activity breeds activity” and while I buy into that saying, there is more to it. It has to be the right activity. It has to be pushing you to grow and evolve.

As many of you know, I have been a consistent Peloton rider for just over two years. The bike that goes nowhere has famously taken me so many places moving me to my very core. When I first got the bike, I jumped in and followed every coaching tip the instructors gave - pushing myself to the limits. It worked. I lost almost 30 pounds in 2017 and felt better than I ever had.

But sometime last year between the travel, the exhaustion, and the demands of everyday life, I began to slip. I started gaining back some of the weight I lost and it had a damaging impact on my motivation. Yes, coaches struggle too y’all! I blamed everything from the poor food options in airports (true) to the early wake up calls. And the problem was - I was still going through the motions. I was still getting on the bike every day. I was still riding for the same amount of time. I found myself scratching my head trying to figure out why the workouts weren’t having the same impact.

Feeling extra defeated, I solicited the help of one of my favorite “coaches” - my wife. What happened next was completely unexpected. She looked me dead in the eye and said - “Do you feel like you’ve been pushing yourself or just working out to check it off your list?” In that moment, I immediately realized she was right. For the past few months, I was simply checking my workouts off my list and not pushing myself to grow and challenging myself to reach new milestones.

Coaching isn’t about being perfect, it is about learning how to be the best version of yourself and sometimes that means hearing the tough stuff. I want that in my life. More importantly, I need that in my life to be the person I want to be. Do you?

#FunFriday - February 8, 2019 - Nisha Dua

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This week, we’re swooning over our #FunFriday feature - Nisha Dua.

Nisha is the Co-Founder and Partner at BBG Ventures - a woman led venture capital firm that is committed to “investing in visionary entrepreneurs building the next generation of market-defining consumer products and services.” But the reason why Nisha is an obvious selection for our #FunFriday feature is that they focus exclusively on companies that have at least one female founder. It is a gating factor!

We met Nisha when she presented at Inman Connect’s Capital Connect event where she shared her thoughts on why investing in women is smart business - a core principle of her work at BBG Ventures. She made the case that while women are driving the adoption of mobile commerce and make or influence 85% of consumer purchases, women-owned business are still an after-thought; sharing that women currently get less that 10% of venture funding and less than 3% if a woman is the CEO. I mean, what?!

But we believe that this is about far more than supporting women. What Nisha does so impressively is that she is fiercely committed to not only helping our generation, but ensuring that future generations understand how to get a seat at the table or build their own table to start with - with her newest passion project, #BUILTBYGIRLS that partners current female professionals with students looking to build the future.

If Nisha is part of building the future, we feel really good about what is to come. Catch her on Instagram @nish67

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5 Ways to Up Your Mood and Up Your Game

Mindset is a powerful thing. Perhaps, the most powerful thing in fact. By and large, the distinguishing factor of top producers in any field is their ability to harness their mindset and stay positive. It makes sense really…when you’re in a great mood, you’re productive, happy, spread joy to others. However, when you’re in a bad mood - often you are the pain no one wants to be around. That’s never good for business!

But staying positive all the time is a lot easier than it sounds, right? Life happens, things go wrong, and our mood inevitably is impacted. So, I want to help by giving you five tips to up your mood and in turn - your game!

Be mindful of your environment

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Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Now, take a moment to think about who those five people are. Does the mental image bring you joy? Being mindful of your environment causes you to pause to think about your circumstances as fluid versus permanent. You can change where you decide to work or who you decide to spend time with. Heck, you can even change how they make you feel. All you have to do is create the spaces you wish existed and you’ll be on the right track.

Seek out feedback.

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Sure, we all love when we’re being cheered on by our supporters but how do you react when you receive negative feedback? Now let me be clear, there is a big difference between negative feedback and constructive criticism, but I’m also a firm believer that we need both to really achieve the growth we’re after. Growth requires feedback and more importantly, it requires being responsive to feedback. In order to be effective and efficient, it is incredibly important to not only harness our mindset but to harness our energy and have a deep understanding of how we are being perceived by others. This allows you to communicate effectively and get more done with less - a trademark of great business.

Slow and steady wins the race.

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Look, I get it. Life feels like it is moving faster than ever before and it is easy to get caught up in the hype of speed wins. But me? I don’t buy that. Sure, we need to be able to perform in a fast-paced environment, but did you know that the people that perform in the most fast-paced environments swear by their mindfulness in order to be effective? Taking the time to focus on what you need to do your best work is not only necessary, but critical. Think about it like this…if you take off in a sprint, you can only maintain that speed for a set amount of time. If you jog or walk, you’re often able to endure a longer timeframe and/or distance. You mind is a muscle that must be exercised and stretched, but also must be cared for and given the appropriate amount of time to recharge. Failure to slow down enough to do so will result in a certain burnout.

Exercise your mind, body, and soul.

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The best things in life are free and so are the best things for your mind. Self care is extremely important to prevent other health impacts and burnout like I mentioned above, but they’re also important to help you play the long game. You must take care of your health and while that normally implies your physical health, your mental health is equally important. Good health leads to good performance in every area of our lives so while that extra helping may bring you short-term joy - the negative impact it has on our mindset and body can be more than you might think. As we mentioned above, taking the time to slow down enough to take care of yourself is critical. Remember, there is only one you.

Gratitude should be shown and felt.

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There are few things more enjoyable than genuine appreciation whether it is being felt by you or shown to others. As humans we love to feel wanted and appreciated and work is no exception to that. Take the time to show the people in your life (both personally and professionally) how appreciative you are of the role they have in your lives. Go the extra mile to make someone smile or surprise them with a note or a gift. In all my years, I have never once regretted making someone feel good and gratitude is one of the few things that guarantees to deliver such a feeling.

#FunFriday - January 25, 2019 - Zach Lucas

This #FunFriday we’re featuring one of our favorite beach boys, Zach Lucas of Wilmington, NC.

From the moment we started following Zach, we knew he was a no-brainer for a feature because he embodies what #FunFriday is all about - having fun, providing value, and doing what you love. Zach’s social presence does exactly what it is intended to do - giving you a feel for who he is, what he’s about and what it feels like to live in his beach town.

From leveraging the tools of his brokerage, Nest Realty with their very own in-house marketing team to embracing Gary V’s “document, don’t create” approach - Zach does it right so each of his followers get a first-class experience and guaranteed smiles.

Follow Zach on Instagram and you’ll see everything from his DIY projects to him staying in touch with his clients during Nest Realty’s #ShareTheJoy campaign over the holidays, right down to seeing exactly why he loves where he lives and how he uses his influence for good helping his community recover from the devastation of Hurricane Florence.

The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up...Your Mind

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Like most of us, I recently got hooked on the new Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo with grand ambitions of sifting through what I soon realized was an embarrassing collection of meaningless items that I kept just for the sake of keeping. I wouldn’t have qualified as a hoarder, but I certainly found myself questioning why in the world did I hold onto this?

As I sifted through my closet determined to understand the KonMari method, I began to feel actual weight lifted off my shoulders. Not only was the clearing out of unnecessary belongings freeing up space around my house, but it was freeing up space in my heart, soul, and even mind. This has far less to do with a ratty t-shirt you’ve been holding onto since college that barely has enough fabric to qualify as a t-shirt and far more to do with the mental and emotional impact things can have on us when our surroundings are in disarray.

This got me thinking, if this is how much tangible stuff that I hold onto - what things am I holding onto that can’t be seen. In a different context, some may refer to this as emotional baggage, which it undoubtedly is - but this baggage extends into our professional lives as well. We hold onto professional accomplishments, failures, and events and assign weight to them as though they were objects vs. experiences. This isn’t always a negative thing, much like Kondo acknowledges that things are not inherently negative. Rather, we should hold onto only those items that spark joy and let go of the ones that no longer do, thanking them for the service in the process. Think about the impact it would have on your mindset if you did this. Can you imagine?

What if you made the conscious effort to only hold onto the thoughts that brought you joy and tossed away negative experiences, first thanking them for what you learned? What if you let go of the rejection, the hurt, the comparison? What if you embraced the positivity, the accomplishments, and the growth? What if instead of looking at how far you have left to go, you took a moment to acknowledge just how far you have come?Don’t you feel lighter just thinking about the impact that could have on your mental state?

Joy. Pure joy.

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