Your First 30 Days in Real Estate – Think Like a Business

think like a business

Think Like a Business:

Part 3 of the series “Your First 30 Days in Real Estate”

In your first 30 days as a real estate agent, you need to begin every day and operate like a startup business. In other words, acquire the business mindset.  Now that you believe in yourself (part 1) and now you’ve got a goal in how much money you want to make or how many houses you want to sell (part 2), the third step is to say “I’m a business.” Let’s say that again. “I’m a business.” Don’t most of you get into real estate for a lot of different reasons, but some of them are “I don’t want to work for anybody anymore. I don’t want to clock in and clock out. I want to have the freedom to operate the way I want.” Well, that sounds like a business owner or entrepreneur. Step number three is you need to begin to understand what it means to run a

Most of you get into real estate for a lot of different reasons, but some of them typically sound like this:  “I don’t want to work for anybody anymore. I don’t want to clock in and clock out. I want to have the freedom to operate the way I want.” Well, that sounds an awful lot like a business owner or entrepreneur. Step number three is you need to begin to understand what it means to run a business because you’re a business. It’s time to think like a business and act like a business owner.

“I’m a business.”

The Awesome Thing About Real Estate

What’s awesome about real estate is there’s no ceiling to how much money you can make in any given year. There’s no cap. You can make as much money as you’ll go out there and earn, but technically there is a basement, isn’t there? If I don’t do anything, it’s going to be hard for me to make money. If you’ve ever run a business before, you already know the mindset. This is what it takes to think like a business.

As a business owner, I get paid last. All the bills get paid. All of our employees get paid. All of our vendors get paid. Every single bit of that gets paid before I do. If and only if there’s money left over, then I get paid. That’s the business mindset. I know I get paid last. I’ve got to produce, to make sure there’s money left over after paying expenses.

You’re a real estate agent. You need to establish the idea that every single day you have a routine, a schedule, and you need to get into the routine of what a business owner that owns a real estate business is going to do every single day. Now, don’t say, “Oh, good, I got into real estate, so I don’t have to work anymore.” No, work like crazy your first 30 days! Set up a schedule where you’re working five days a week. Then, the important thing is what is my routine going to look like?

as a business owner is that you need to learn the difference between being busy for the sake of being busy and being productive


So What Should You Be Doing?

You might say, “Work? What do I do?” What you want to understand as a business owner is that you need to learn the difference between being busy for the sake of being busy and being productive. Think like a business. At some point, you may reach the point in your career where you’re almost on autopilot to a degree, where you’re not going to have to work crazy hours because you’ve got a system in place and productivity at an all-time high to where you won’t have to work like that. But you’re a startup business. Your first 30 days, work as hard as you possibly can. Every waking hour that you have available for real estate, wo

You might say, “Work? What do I do?” What you want to understand as a business owner is that you need to learn the difference between being busy for the sake of being busy and being productive. Think like a business. At some point, you may reach the point in your career where you’re almost on autopilot to a degree, where you’re not going to have to work crazy hours because you’ve got a system in place and productivity at an all-time high to where you won’t have to work like that. But you’re a startup business. Your first 30 days, work as hard as you possibly can. Every waking hour that you have available for real estate, work on it. Then, when you’re working, do things that are productive, not things that are keeping you busy.

Do These Three Things in Real Estate – All The Time


real estate sales

If you want to understand the business of real estate, it’s three things. Real estate is all about prospecting, presenting, and closing. It’s really that simple. If you want to be productive, you better be prospecting, you better be presenting, or you better be closing, or else, you’re just being busy. Prospecting is the hard part. That’s the part you’ve got to really work on as a new agent, but if you’re not prospecting for new business, you’re presenting. You’re showing houses to somebody that may by or you’re sitting at a listing presentation with a seller that may hire you. Then, closing is getting transactions signed, getting your listing agreements signed, getting purchase agreements signed. Those are the three things you should be doing. If you’re not doing something related to prospecting, presenting, or closing, you’re just being busy. You’re not being productive.

Business owners understand the importance of making sure they’re productive. Do you have any idea how many emails and phone calls and messages we get in this office every day? What I want you guys to know is if I did just sit there, I could just answer emails all day long, but at some point, we’re going to have no more customers to answer, because I’m not doing the things that are productive to bring in new business. You’ve got to have the business owner’s mindset, to think like a business means to think about moving the company forward every day.

I would wake up in the morning and go, “Man, I just started a new business.” All the pressure and the fear that comes with that is good. It’s natural. Pretend you have investors. If you don’t get this business going, you’re going to have investors knocking on your door wondering when am I getting my money back. You’re a startup business. Operate that way every single day.

Hopefully, you like what we’ve got so far in this series. Look, I’ve been a full-time real estate agent. I’ve sold millions in real estate. I loved the business, and I still have clients that I work with, but what really gets me up in the morning, my why is helping share with you how you can build your real estate business.

If you saw something here you can use, please make sure to reach out and let me know. Hit me up on Twitter, I love seeing you there @christalksdaily. Hit us up on Facebook, @chrisdonaldsonHQ.

If you’ve got questions or curiosities, reach out. A specific question that you’d like to ask? –  that’s the fun! Email your question, I’d love to hear from you. There’s nothing like being able to give you the value you deserve by answering questions, burning questions that you have. Also, let me know you’re finding these articles helpful by liking them and sharing them on social media! Also, if you are looking to get started in the real estate business click here for information on Donaldson Real Estate School and all of our courses and exam prep programs.

Your First 30 Days in Real Estate (Part 2) – Defined Goals

defined goals

The Importance of Setting Defined Goals

The following blog was taken from episode 03 of #OfficeHours.


defined goalsStep #2: Set Defined Goals

In the first blog in this series, I shared my thoughts on the importance of mindset. Once you have the space between your ears working in your favor, the next thing you need to do is set defined goals. Because if you don’t set defined goals, what exactly is it that you’re chasing every day? If am training to run in the Olympics I should have a very defined goal. “I want to win the 100-meter dash”, not, “eh, I just want to go run.” Who’s more likely to be successful, the guy that says, “I’m going to win, and I’m going to run this time,” or the guy that says, “Eh, I’m just going to go run.” Understand that you’ve got to have a defined objective. This is all about discovering your “Why.” Everybody here got into real estate for a reason. Remember that every day. “It’s because you need to make more money.” That’s okay. The one thing that people don’t seem to openly admit is that “I’m getting into this business because I want more earning potential.” You can say it. That’s okay. This is a safe space. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Is it a Dream or a Goal?

If you set a defined objective that says I’m going to sell 12 houses this year, just one a month. A very modest goal to some, but now, it’s staring you in the face. Everything that you do this year is going to be building towards 12 houses. You’ll be amazed how much that matters relative to, “Eh, I just want to sell some houses.” It’s really hard to, “eh, sell some houses.” You’ve got to have a defined goal. Talk to a top agent. They’ll tell you, “My goal is to do this.” It’s either to become a top agent, or is it to gross this much in commission, “I want to beat Susie across the hall because she beat me for a top award last year.” As a top agent, they’ve got a goal. A goal is a dream with a time limit. You’re saying, “I’ve always wanted to make $100,000 a year. Now I’m saying I have to do it this year. I better put a business plan into action.”

A goal is a dream with a time limit

If you don’t have goals, it’s really just a dream. It’s very difficult, as somebody that’s running your own business in real estate, to just get up every day and say, “Well, I hope my phone rings today,” or, “Man, it’d be really cool if I just sold a house.” It’s going to be hard for you to reach the success that you may want, and the reason is that you’ve got to have a defined goal. So take pen to paper and write down how much money you want to make this year or how many houses you want to sell. Nobody has to know what you write. You look at that. I cannot help you succeed unless you have a defined

So take pen to paper and write down how much money you want to make this year or how many houses you want to sell. Nobody has to know what you write. You look at that. I cannot help you succeed unless you have a defined target because without a target, it’s very difficult to make it in sales. You know why? Because people need to be driven by a goal. What is it? So you need to decide what is the why. Why did I get into real estate? How much money do I want or need to make? That’s the ultimate end game here.

Monetary Goals are O.K.

It’s okay for that defined goal to be monetary. You’ve got bills to pay. If you’re going to be a full-time real estate agent and you’re leaving a job where you made a defined salary, well, at least you’ve got to replace that, right? Write it down. Then, you can start to build your plan. How many houses do I have to sell to at least make that amount? Step number two in your first 30 days is you have got to establish clear goals. One, get your mind right. Get the attitude of a successful real estate agent. We’re talking about your professional goals because that’s going to drive you day after day. Why did I get into real estate? That’s incredibly important.

So let me say it again, it is o.k. to have defined goals based on money. It doesn’t, and shouldn’t, be your only motivation necessarily but it is just fine to be part of the formula. Remember, at the end of the day this is your career. You want and need to make money to survive, support your family, enjoy your life. Therefore stop being shy about your money and start getting real. And there’s nothing that makes it more real than defining that number and putting it down on paper.

Watch the Full Episode on YouTube

What to Do in Your First 30 Days in Real Estate (Part 1)

first 30 days in real estate

Your First 30 Days in Real Estate: Part 1

This series of articles is for those that really want to succeed in the crazy business of real estate. Because I’m here to tell you, there’s not necessarily going to be that fast, easy money like some people think comes in real estate. It’s going to take some work. It’s going to take some time. It’s going to take some patience.

What I do have here for you go-getters is a five-step plan, just five things you need to do in your first 30 days in real estate if you want to make it. Please take out pen and paper, pull out your laptop and work a little split-screen action, or however the heck you choose to take notes –  because I’m giving you real stuff that you can put into place right away. This is actionable advice on what to do as a new real estate agent or somebody that wants to restart their career, in your first 30 days in real estate.

Step 1: Check Your Mindsetmindset real estate success

The first thing that you’re going to want to do, literally as soon as you get your real estate license, is you need to work on your mindset. You need to get your mind right! What I mean by that is you’ve got to understand that it’s a certain set of skills, but also personality traits, that most successful real estate agents share. You want to learn what those traits are and start to cultivate them right away. Because I’m going to tell you: your attitude, your mindset, your drive is going to matter as much, if not more, than if I gave you some magic three steps. You know, just do this, this, and this, and you’re going to make a million dollars. Well, obviously, we would all be very successful millionaires if it was that simple. So, you’ve got to understand that when you first start in the business, you have got to get your mindset right to tackle the real thing.

It’s all about your attitude. What you need to understand is attitude and how you approach the business, how you treat yourself, how you are ultimately entering your new career in real estate matters more than anything. Let’s say, for instance, is that if you’re a new agent let’s say right out of real estate school. What we’re talking about is your business plan for your first 30 days after passing the real estate exam. It’s your first 30 days, let’s make it count!

You’re New – So What?!

You’re new, and I’m going to tell you, it doesn’t matter. One of the things I want you to understand is getting the type of phrasing out of your system now, “I don’t know what I’m doing because I’m new.” “I’m too new.” “This other agent knows more than me.” “I don’t deserve this listing because I’m really just too new.” At what point are you going to decide, okay, I’m not new anymore? Because if you keep telling yourself, “I’m new. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m new, I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m new, I don’t know what I’m doing,” the problem is, at some point, that’s going to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

What I want you guys to understand is part of getting your mind right is having the confidence and believing, from day one, that you can succeed and that you are 100% capable of serving your client as their real estate agent. What I want you guys to understand is don’t assume that these other agents in the marketplace know more than you. Don’t assume that you don’t have enough information to be able to serve your client. You can kind of fake it till you make it at first, but your mindset is key. You’ve got to have the confidence to understand that you can do this.

At what point are you going to decide, okay, I’m not new anymore?


I’m Going to Fail…Wait Am I?

Think about your license exam. If you’re reading this, it’s likely you just passed your exam or you might be enrolled in a real estate class. What happens if you go into the testing center and you’re going, “I’m going to fail. I’m going to fail. I’m going to fail. I’m going to fail. I’m going to fail.” What are you going to do? You’re going to fail miserably because you’ve convinced yourself that you were going to fail!  It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You are going to literally make yourself fail that exam. It’s the type of thing that I want you guys to understand, that what you believe about yourself is what you become.

You Have to Believewear your real estate dreams

You have got to get your mind right because you work for yourself now. You’re in sales now. You just started a real estate business. If you don’t believe in you, how is anybody else going to believe in you?! Sure it’s your first 30 days in real estate but that should not be stopping you from having the confidence to get out there and do it.

How am I going to hire you to represent me if you don’t even believe that you can do it? Therefore, it is critical that you start from day one, “I can do this.” You’ve got to have the mindset that “I deserve success, I belong in this industry, and that I can do this.” What I want you to understand is if you’re new, this is your first 30 days, it’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to not know what to do. It’s okay if you mess up. The idea of trying to avoid messing up or making mistakes by just hiding from it, what you guys need to understand is you’ll never get anywhere. Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody screws up. Don’t have this mindset like “I’m new, so I’m going to make mistakes and I’m going to screw up.” It’s okay if you do (legal and ethical matters aside). What you do is you learn. You either win in a particular situation, like you get that listing, or you learn from it. You never lose. You either win or you learn.

Please say it with me –  it’s okay to be new. Everybody must have their first listing appointment. You’ve got to have your first contract negotiation. You’ve got to have the first client that tells you to get lost! You’ve got to have the first deal that you thought you had clear to close –  only as it falls apart at the last minute. Your first commission check. Your first million dollars. Whatever it is, everybody’s got to have their first one, so don’t worry about it. You’ve got to start somewhere, so make sure you get your mindset right and you are confident and prepared for what’s coming.

You either win or you learn

I’ll say it one more time –  it’s okay to be new. Ask your broker, ask your trainer, ask your coach if you don’t know what to do. Let them help you out. It’s also important that you start to remember that you are a real estate professional, you have a real estate license. Respect yourself as a professional and others will respect you, too.

Tell Yourself the Right Things

An important piece of your mental mindset is that you’ve really got to start working on your daily self-talk. How you talk to yourself is going to really matter in how you’re going to work in this business. I strongly suggest that you begin the practice of daily affirmations. Write down on a piece of paper, pen, and a pad, write down, “I am an awesome real estate agent. I can do this. I’m going to make money in real estate.” You write it down and you sell it to yourself. You repeat it. “I can do this.” Every morning, first thing in the morning. Go in the mirror. Lock the door, nobody can hear you no matter how strange you think it sounds. Read your affirmation out loud, because you are going to believe it the more you say it. Your self-talk is big. I mean, how many times do you see somebody make a mistake and they say something like, “I’m an idiot.” No, you’re not an idiot. You made a mistake. You’re a human being.

Start monitoring your attitude and your self-talk. It’s really going to matter, because real estate is sales. You’re going to get told no more than you’re going to get told yes. You can’t let that kind of stuff bother you. If I send out a marketing piece to 1,000 people and only five people call me, but it’s five lock-solid clients, that’s not necessarily a failure.  I wouldn’t focus on the 995 people that didn’t respond to my mail. I’m thinking about the five that did. Really concentrate on how you talk to yourself.

You write it down and you sell it to yourself. You repeat it. “I can do this.”

Remember: Being New is O.K.

It’s okay to be new. Remember, we are talking about your first 30 days in real estate here! Get your mind right. Understand that this business is not supposed to be easy, but the first 30, 60, 90 days are the hardest part. It gets better. It gets easier in some ways. Once you start swimming in clients, you’ll have a whole mess of new problems that come along with success. Good problems, bad problems, really just different problems. More importantly, you’ll experience more success and more of the good stuff if you take the advice here and apply it to your life. You’ve got to remember this real estate thing is new to you. Don’t expect to be an overnight success. It might take a little bit of time. Be patient, be confident, and be prepared to work hard.

By the way, if you would like to watch the full video where Chris explains all of this just click right here!

Why a Real Estate Career Is Still a Good Idea

real estate career 1

On a recent episode of my real estate talk show #OfficeHours, we dove into the “State of the Union in Real Estate.” Obviously,  I am asked all the time whether or not real estate is a good career since I do own and operate a real estate school as its CEO. In this post, I’d like to rehash some of the statistical data to show you why now is a fantastic time to consider a real estate career.

real estate career 1

Key Takeaways from The Show:

  • The way consumers shop for real estate is dramatically different

  • People deciding to sell their home on their own (FSBO) is near all-time lows

  • Statistics show more people are using real estate agents than in past generations

  • A career in real estate is here to stay

The Evolution of Real Estate Search

In recent research reports by both The National Association of Realtors® and Zillow®, statistical data was compiled by experts WAY smarter than me and with WAY more access to resources to find out who was buying and selling homes, and whether or not they chose to use a real estate agent. As technology has taken over our daily lives, mainly by way of the cell phone, the way consumers are shopping for homes is much different now than say 10 years ago. Since almost everyone in our great country has some sort of a smartphone, they are picking up and looking at real estate sites and apps almost all the time. But depending on who you ask, you might get a whole bunch of varying opinions and thoughts on whether this is helping or hurting professionals who maintain a real estate career.

For YEARS, the real estate industry did everything possible to put a digital blockade in front of the consumer keeping them from being able to access real estate listings and real estate data. The concern by the persons making those tough decisions was that if the consumer had access to the listings and to the data, that they wouldn’t need a real estate agent near as much. Taking a step back, you could see why they would be concerned. Many of the powerful agents and brokerages at the time (circa 2007) built their businesses with MLS books, private MLS website access – and therefore one of the most important value propositions of the real estate agent was to be able to show you houses for sale on the market. That doesn’t make them bad people or poor professionals, although it has shown to have made them very, very wrong.

real estate career 2Along comes 2007 and some guy named Steve Jobs at a little ol’ company named Apple Computers invented something called the iPhone. I remember the opening presentation like it was yesterday as he said: “it’s an iPod, a phone, and an internet device – get it?.” Little did we all know what sort of impact that was really going to have on the world, but specifically the real estate industry.

Along with being able to easily access the web more effectively from a mobile device, text your friends and use this whole “SMS” thing, the real game changer was the ability for a whole new industry to develop around mobile-ready platforms and apps. So as consumers became almost immediately attached to their iPhones, one of the immediate desires was easily finding and searching for real estate listings. The consumers wanted it, the world was probably ready for it, but as an industry, we basically said “no!” Not even a “not yet,” just NO to the consumer.

Enter Zillow.

While the big boys in the real estate industry were building walls, others in the tech community were working to break them down. Spencer Rascoff, the co-founder and current CEO of Zillow, first showed his pension for consumer access to information by helping to found As you may be familiar, Hotwire was one of the earliest companies that intended to take the visibility of booking travel out of the hands of travel agents and into the transparent new internet universe. Like all companies in a capitalist world, Zillow was born out of answering the need for consumers to provide easy to use and beautiful access to real estate listings and information when and how they wanted it. Turns out, over the past ten years Zillow was more on the right side and the big real estate industry was on the wrong side.

The difference? One was listening to what the consumer wanted, the other was trying to keep the consumer away from what they wanted. Well, it’s easy to help you understand how THAT is going to go.

All the while, the real estate industry has continued to chug along. There are more people pursuing a real estate career than ever, and the industry is still going very strong. So did companies like Zillow hurt real estate careers, help them, or something else?

Real Estate by the Numbers

real estate career 3

Considering what we have looked at so far, I think it is now important to look at the numbers. If you are considering a real estate career, it’s important to look at a snapshot of the industry you are about to enter. Here are a few important real estate statistics that might help bring home the point:

  1. 89% of home-sellers worked with a real estate agent to sell their home
  2. 88% of home-buyers purchased through a real estate agent
  3. Only 8% of sales nationwide in 2016 were FSBO (For Sale by Owner)
  4. The number of consumers working with an agent has grown comparatively than in 1981
  5. 98% of buyers used an online tool or resource at some point during the process

In a nutshell, after looking at the numbers a professional real estate career is looking better than before the iPhone, or heck even the internet on the scale we know it today. More people are choosing to work with real estate agents, and the technological access of listings and information is enhancing the industry it isn’t exactly harming it.

Why a Real Estate Career is Still a Good Idea

The reason is simple, as hopefully, the statistics were able to display above. MORE people are using real estate professionals when choosing to buy or sell, not less. MORE real estate transactions involve at least one real estate professional, not less. The MORE access to listings and real estate information provided to consumers, the more the consumer needs assistance from a real estate professional to assist in breaking down this wealth of information, analyzing it, and assisting with the best moves forward.

Just as the website WebMD did not put doctors out of business, no real estate website at this time is taking away the need in a real estate career. In fact, in my opinion, this open and transparent state of the economy is helping us prove our worth and perform exactly as the consumer needs us to. So if someone were to tell you “I don’t think a real estate career is a good idea anymore,” why not send them a link to this post and show them the numbers.

Until next time! You can watch the full #OfficeHours episode mentioned above by clicking below.




Are Short-Term Rentals Good for Real Estate?

market reports on

Important Keys to Take from This Article:

  • Short-Term Rentals (STRs) are here to stay, it is now just a matter of where this market fits in the overall real estate economy
  • In regards to the legality of short-term rentals, it is important to take a market-by-market approach. In many places this type of rental is legal, while in others it is either prevented or contains extreme restrictions.
  • Professional real estate agents should pay close attention to the short-term rental trend and make sure to monitor any regulatory changes
  • This is the first in a series of articles about Short-Term Rentals


When asked about the success of his company, Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky likes to say that “it was the worst idea that ever worked.” There is no disputing the success of Airbnb as the newly dubbed “sharing economy” is absolutely booming. Consider not only the impact of a company like Airbnb in real estate but also Uber in transportation and sites like Kickstarter for raising money. From its humble beginnings which involved literally renting out a bedroom in their San Francisco apartment and placing guests on air mattresses, Airbnb has exploded into a juggernaut in the online rental ecosystem.

Today Airbnb is a $25.5 billion business. There are over 1.5 million properties listed on the platform in 190 countries. By collecting a small fee on rentals booked through the platform, Airbnb has made it basically as easy as a click of a button to get a rental property in front of millions. The impact is real, and as real estate professionals, we need to pay attention and stay ahead of the curve.

Is Airbnb the symptom or the disease?

airbnb short-term rentals

Asking whether or not Airbnb is the disease of the short-term rental explosion is sort of like asking whether Google is the reason we use search engines online. Of course, that is ridiculous! There were several search engines around before Google came around (Yahoo anyone?), but Google became the dominant force in the space that we all know today. Therefore, rather than only discuss Airbnb (the market leader) let’s take a brief look at the short term rental economy as a whole.

In many metro areas, property investors are choosing to convert traditional income properties into short-term rental only propositions. Take for instance the McMillan Court in Nashville, a modest 16-unit apartment complex which recently decided to go all in on the short term rental market. Rather than renting each of the 16 units under traditional residential lease terms, the only way the units can be rented now is through sites like VRBO or the aforementioned Airbnb.  This is just one of over 3000 units in that particular market which have chosen to abandon the traditional lease model and go straight short term rental in recent months.

Then there is my home market of New Orleans. Actually, New Orleans finds itself as one of the real estate markets at the epicenter of the short-term rental conundrum. Only recently has the New Orleans City Council even voted on a proposal to establish a permitting and regulatory process for short term rental housing operating within the city. Despite the strong opposition to these short term rentals in New Orleans, the City Council simply could not ignore the economics.

According to a recent economic impact study, Airbnb rentals alone accounted for a staggering $169,017,209 money flow into the city. The economic impact not only considers how much rental income the landlords are making but also the effect Airbnb rentals have on local businesses such as restaurants and shopping. In addition, it has been estimated that Airbnb alone accounted for over 4,000 jobs in New Orleans!

According to a recent economic impact study, Airbnb rentals alone accounted for a staggering $169,017,209 money flow into the city and over 4,000 jobs

Are Short-Term Rentals Even Legal?

Oh, baby! Now we get into more complicated parts of understanding short term rentals. The answer is simple: it depends on your market. There are some municipalities where short term rentals are perfectly legal, assuming the landlord goes through the proper permitting process. In addition, legal markets usually have other regulations which must be followed. Alternatively, there are some cities which are still bucking the trend and refusing to technically allow short-term rentals in their marketplaces. And then others are allowing the practice, with serious or extremely limiting conditions in place.

Case Study: New York City

As an example, in New York City residential property located in a multi-residential dwelling property, such as an apartment building, must be used for “permanent resident purposes.” As defined this means it must be occupied by the same person or family for over 30 consecutive days. Therefore, you would have to have a license as a hotel or bed & breakfast to legally rent out your unit for less than 30 days in New York City. However, there is an important exception: It’s not illegal to rent out a room in New York City if you also occupy the property at the same time and all parts of the dwelling are available to the paying guest. So the “sharing” part of the sharing economy is still alive and well, it is simply the non-resident investor looking to employ short-term rentals who may find legal trouble in a market like New York City.

Case Study: Nashville

In other markets such as the aforementioned Nashville, there is a special ordinance which regulates short-term rental properties. In that case, property owners will generally need to obtain a proper permit and comply with the appropriate regulations. Therefore the short term rental practice is legal, but property owners must maintain a certain level of compliance. There are many other markets which have similar structures in place, and actually, Airbnb has published an excellent guide for their potential hosts on their website.

Some Markets are Still Struggling with the Regulation Issue

And then, there are complicated markets like my beloved New Orleans. Remember the economic impact study I cited about the amazing amount of money flowing into New Orleans as a result of Airbnb? What is truly amazing about this impact is that technically many of the properties cited in the study would probably violnew orleans ordinance short-term rentalsate, at least in part, city ordinances in New Orleans.

However, there is a proposal on the table to take on short-term rentals market as a legal and regulated industry in the within the city. But, it’s complicated. The proposed regulations break down short-term rentals into three categories and contain different rules depending on the type of rental. Of particular concern in New Orleans’ new ordinance proposal would be “accessory” rentals – which are owner-occupied, and “temporary” rentals – which are not occupied by the owner at all. See the chart to the right for information on the current city proposal.

Are Short-Term Rentals Helping or Hurting Real Estate Professionals?

If you’ve ever read anything from me or seen me speak in person, you know that I have strong convictions when it comes to listening to the consumer. In other words, I think any industry harms itself by ignoring the wants of the consumer or trying to keep them out. Just look at the impact of Uber on the Taxi industry, where the consumer simply wanted a faster and more tech-savvy option to get around. The more the taxi industry fought against the ride-sharing service, the more the consumer pushed back. In my opinion, the same will likely happen in this case.

As a real estate professional myself, I can already tell you that I have an increasing number of calls from potential investor clients mentioning Airbnb as one of their primary reasons for looking to purchase. It would make no sense for me not to stay right on top of the trend and make sure I understand the market as a professional so that I can properly advise my clients. Certainly, if you are a real estate professional who works with investors, you know that pricing is improving in many markets and some of this value can be attributed to an investor’s willingness to buy knowing they can recoup their investment by integrating short-term rental services like Airbnb.

Then, there is the property management aspect. If you are a licensed property manager, I can see plenty of opportunity in this marketplace where investors will be turning over the professional management of their Airbnb properties to appropriately licensed professionals. In some areas where short term rentals are legal and investors have booming portfolios, turning to a more traditional management structure of these properties by real estate professionals seems likely.

Where many people would be concerned, I see tremendous opportunity. However, this trend is worth watching closely.  My suggestion is to stay right on top of it in your local market and be the expert.


Persist Until You Succeed – Your Story Begins

Persist until you succeed.

One of my favorite stories of how to persist involves the former President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt. You might know him as the tough, strong, versatile outdoorsman who was admired as much for his active lifestyle as he was for his leadership of the free world. The man was vigorous and he was enthusiastic, known for hunting bears and hosting boxing matches in the White House. He rode horses, lifted weights, skated on ice, rowed, and even gave a campaign speech after getting shot by a would-be assassin! When you look up “tough” in the dictionary you should expect to see his picture right there.

However, what many people do not know about Teddy Roosevelt is that he was not born that way. Not even close. His toughness, his active lifestyle, his strong body and will was earned with persistent effort over a long period of time. You see, Theodore Roosevelt was born to a prominent family but was a puny and sickly young boy. He suffered from terrible asthma, poor eyesight, and possessed such a thin body that he was picked on at school by his classmates. Although he certainly was smart and displayed signs of having a tough mind, his body was that of a weakling that was destined for a tough life of failures.

Around the age of 12, Roosevelt’s father gave him a very stern lesson. His father told him “you have the mind but not the body, and without the body the mind cannot go as far as it should.” So what did future PreTeddy Roosevelt persistsident Roosevelt do? He persisted. He worked on his body every single day for years, and continued that habit for the rest of his life. He worked on himself until he became the man that so many saw in the public eye, as strong and enthusiastic as ever. He lifted weights. He boxed. He learned to ride horses and he learned to row. Day in and day out his was on a mission to change his body so that it could take him where his mind wanted to go. He wasn’t born the strong and intimidating leader of which he became, but he persisted until he succeeded in ultimately becoming the leader of the free world.

Persistence is a Key to Unlocking the Success Formula

Surely you have heard phrases such as “nothing worth doing is easy,” or “fail forward.” There is a reason these quotes and phrases become cliches which are repeated over and over again. It is because they are true!

If you are beginning a new business, especially an entrepreneurial venture or a sales career in real estate then you should already understand that big success is probably not going to come easy. Sure, some of you have either been sold on or convinced yourself that the path you chose is for “easy money” or to “get rich quick.” However most of you know those things are not true in most cases (unless you win the lottery, of course!).

You will need to persist in order to succeed, and you will need to push harder and harder each day to reach the success you desire and deserve. Some days it might be easy, some days it might be hard. But every day you must remind yourself that you will persist until you succeed. You must tell yourself that a failure is only a lesson, and next time you will be the winner.

If at First You Do Not Succeed, Get Up and Try Again

Let me use the example of learning to ride a bicycle, for example. Unless you are truly some sort of prodigy, most of us were not born with the natural ability to hop on such a mechanical device with two thin wheels and just ride off into the sunset. First of all, if we sit on that bike without moving we are going to fall over! Secondly, we need to learn (many times the hard way) that it takes speed in order to balance that bicycle. Speed creates the physics which creates the balance which creates the confidence. However, I bet most of us had to fall off that bicycle a few times before we finally got it right.

But let’s think for a moment, what if you hadn’t tried again after your very first fall? What if when you were first learning to ride a bicycle that you fell and decided to never try again? Think of all the things you might have missed! The joys of riding around the neighborhood with your friends, or maybe taking a long ride with your parents and exploring a new part of town, or possibly even the joys of racing or participating in competitive biking down the road. None of that would have been possible if you would have given up after that very first fall.

You must persist. If at first you do not succeed, get up and try again!

The Reality of  a Sales Business

You are going to be told no, shrugged off, ignored, among many other things more often than you are going to make the sale. You will get more no’s than yesses, in all of their various forms. But I ask you – so what? Who cares about the no’s?  Who cares about the business you didn’t get? What I care about is the business that I DO get, and I understand how precious it is and how important each and every sale is to the promotion of a long and successful sales career.

But that is why you are going to persist until you succeed. You have a different path, the path of a great salesman and the path of a true success. You are not going to give up, you are not going to back down.

Let’s use real estate sales as an example. There are many ways you can generate leads for your real estate business. I mean tons! I literally teach you more than 10 in my Superstars 2.0 training class alone! So let’s say you are sticking your neck out and trying a new one – For Sale by Owners (FSBOs). The tried and true process of prospecting to those in your community who decided it was right for them to try and sell their house without a real estate agent.persist when calling FSBOs

There are many ways you can organize a prospecting plan to try and turn FSBOs into clients for your real estate business. Let’s say one of them is to pick up the phone once per week and call all of the FSBOs in your market area. OH NO! Not the phone! (that’s a subject for another day) And let’s say on this particular day you have 10 on your list, and you are going to sit down and use your training and call each of them to try and set an appointment to turn them from a FSBO to your client.

You call person #1 on the list and they don’t answer, so you decide to leave a detailed voicemail. Ok, onto #2. The second person on your list answers the phone and screams “you darn real estate agents, you need to stop calling me!” and hangs up. Ouch. Deep breath. On to #3. Even worse. The third person doesn’t stop there, they even decide to call you choice words that would make even the country club golfer blush! Double ouch.

Ok, you tell yourself, I made three phone calls. Each one is getting worse than the one before, so I am just going to stop. Obviously this list of FSBOs is not for me, and therefore I’ll just move on to something else. I can’t take things getting even worse here!

Later on in the afternoon, you run into a fellow new agent in your office named Mary. You exchange small talk, and then ask what Mary is up to. She is excited to tell you that she has two appointments with FSBOs later this evening that she is getting ready for and she is so excited! You might be happy for her, but you also want to find out how in the world she did it?! So you ask, “Mary how did you do it?”

Mary then explains that she had a list of 10 FSBOs from her market area, and she sat down and decided to call each one. “Man, the first few were ROUGH I tell ya” Mary says. “But I didn’t let it bother me, and sure enough #8 and #9 were very pleased to hear from me and asked if I could come over and speak with them tonight!” Hmmm. You ask to see Mary’s list. Of course, it is the same list you were working on! What’s the obvious difference? You decided to quit after person #3 was rude and cursed at you, and Mary just kept on and made sure to make every call on the list. Mary persisted until she succeeded, and you should always do the same.

Persist Until You Succeed

Repeat those words, repeat them daily. I promise you, with consistent effort and the positive spirit of persistence you will make it in whatever endeavor you choose. This is your life, persist until you succeed!!


Building Your Real Estate Brand with

Are you getting the most out of Or how about a better question, are you even aware of all of the absolutely FREE and amazing features the site offers that can help you grow your real estate business? On last week’s episode of my weekly real estate talk show #OfficeHours, we welcomed Rhett Damon of onto the show and we got down in the dirt and really unmasked some of the features that every Realtor should not only understand but should be taking full advantage of right now!

If you subscribe to your local MLS, then you need to know that you have a profile ready to go for you on Think about it, when you list a property for sale and place it in the MLS – it is automatically syndicated to This is one of the many advantages to your client wisely choosing to list their home with a Realtor. However, it is amazing to me how many Realtors have not even claimed their profile where their very own properties are being marketed all over the world! In this post, we are going to break down some of the important – and free – features of that you should be using right now in your real estate business.

(Full disclosure – for all features included in this blog post you must be a member of your local, state, or national Realtor Association to have them free)

Watch the Full #OfficeHours on with Rhett Damon Here

Claim Your Profile

First and foremost, let’s make sure you have claimed your profile! If you are a member of the Realtor Association, then it is important to know that you already have a profile setup (or saved) on as a member. However, it is just a shell that sits there blank and empty unless you decide to do something with it!

Remember, you don’t want possible clients or customers to Google your name and find an empty profile on It just plain looks bad, and a potential lead or potential client might think you went out of business or are not really in the real estate business in the first place!

Claiming your profile is quick and easy, and will instantly add huge credibility and visibility to your real estate brand. If you have already done so, make sure you have the profile completely filled out with a professional picture, backdrop, contact information, and other essentials so that your profile looks as serious about real estate as you are.

Click here to see how to claim your profile on #OfficeHours.

Build Your Brand with Client Testimonials on

According to a recent study, about 88% of people admit that they trust online reviews as much as they trust reviews of any other source. 88%! Which means potential clients and customers client testimonials feature on Realtor.comare definitely considering what others say about you before they decide if you are the right real estate agent for them.

Think about yourself as a consumer, think about the last time you were about to make a big purchase or possibly hire a professional like a contractor or a doctor – I’ll bet reviews and testimonials played into the equation. Whether you saw them on Yelp, Facebook, Amazon, or even the Better Business Bureau’s website – if you see reviews from others (good or bad) it absolutely factors into the consumer’s decision. Therefore, another great feature included within your profile is a testimonials feature built right in that you can use immediately to add instant “internet cred” to yourself and your real estate business.

Make sure that you follow our advice and get clients and customers to submit reviews about their experience with you! If you treated a client well, and they are happy and satisfied, you might need to prompt them to leave a review for you in order for that to get done. We all know how easy it is for someone to find the time and energy to post a BAD review, but let’s make sure the good ones are making their way onto your profile.

Click here to learn about the testimonials feature on

Your Secret Weapon – The Content Sharing Hub

If you have a website, blog, Facebook page, or any other web presence already then you probably already know the importance of producing and presenting content to the world as a way of generating leads and building brand presence. (If you don’t have a website, please watch this episode of #OfficeHours). This is what we call “content marketing,” and it really is king in this day and age of the mobile device and social media. Heck, what you are reading right now is a type of content marketing! It is key, and it should be employed by any real estate agent looking to build their brand and become a presence in their local marketplace.

But what about content? I have heard it all before. “I am not a writer Chris!” “I can’t shoot professional videos and make my own commercials Chris!” “How in the world do you expect little old me, the local real estate agent, to compete with these content giants?” Exactly. That is why you need to check out a really cool feature from which is called the Content Sharing Hub. Again, it is FREE and could be employed by you right away.

What is the Content Sharing Hub? Well, to give you an idea there are a series of videos and commercials featuring Elizabeth Banks which aired on television or were produced specifically for social media. And the Content Sharing Hub is built and designed so that you, the Realtor member, can take this content absolutely free and employ it on your personal sites. You can literally copy and paste from the site and have a professionally shot video about new home buyers and it will show up on your Facebook page. How easy is that?! Want videos that you can include in a listing presentation or possibly include in an interview with new home buyers? Done! Again, there is no additional membership fee it is included with your membership to your local Association of Realtors.

How’d I Do That? See Below

Click here to see us discuss the sharing hub on #OfficeHours

Integrating the .REALTOR Domain with Your Profile on

Another fantastic way that the National Association of Realtors is working to help its members is by the creation of the .realtor domain. Just as it looks, rather than having a .com or a .net – if you are a real estate professional you can establish a unique presence on the web as a real estate professional by using a .realtor as your domain. Pretty cool, huh? Now the .realtor domain does come at a cost, as all domain names do, and you can find out more information about this topic specifically here.

So with one last shameless plug for #OfficeHours here, one of the reasons I enjoy the show is that we do live Q&A to finish off each show. In this episode discussing, we had a question from the live internet audience about integrating your profile with a .realtor domain. Of course, Rhett had a great answer for this and obviously the two are designed to work beautifully together. Without saying too much on the topic, I think it is best if you just watch this short clip on how it all works.

Market Reports and Research for Realtors

If you have ever been in a training session with me, you know one of the big questions I like to pose to you as a real estate audience is “what makes YOU an expert?” It’s a fun discussion because if you have never been in a session with me before, the simple proposition makes some people uncomfortable. However, most real estate agents get it and what I am trying to remind us all is that we must become actual experts in the field of real estate if we intend to continue having clients pay us for our service!

market reports on Realtor.comOne great way to display your expertise is by knowing your market. Think about it, if you sit down with a seller to discuss the possibility of listing their home what do they want to know most from you? They want to know how much their home is worth, they want to know about the market, and they will probably want to know if the Zestimate they pulled down from Zillow is right! So we already understand the importance of the CMA, and knowing our market, is one of the important displays of expertise that our seller is depending on.

Therefore, as a company which caters to real estate professionals has a unique page built just for you which is run by their team of Economists and Researchers. This fantastic site provides data, research reports, trends, graphs – you name it all in the name of providing YOU the real estate professional with free information that you can use to help build your expertise or stay on top of the market. Heck, you can even pull local market data and graphs and use that as a part of your listing presentation! See what I mean? The possibilities are endless. Make sure to take advantage of this research and data, and make sure that the next time you are discussing the market with a potential client that you actually have the data to back up what you are telling them.

Here is the section of #OfficeHours where we talked about the research page

As you can see, without payment of your hard earned dime to your local Association or the MLS you have a ton of features that you can take advantage of to help build your real estate brand. Your web presence can get an instant shot of juice simply by ensuring you do the basics that we discuss here in this post. If you are a Realtor, make sure you claim your page and fill it with testimonials! Use the Content Sharing Hub to help produce content for your personal website, and of course don’t forget about the research reports page which was built for you to keep up on the marketplace and display your real estate expertise.

My goal is to see you all succeed, and I will help you in any way that I can. Please share, like, and engage with me and this post and let me know that you are reading! You can also email me anytime at and I would love to here from you. Until next time, go get em!!

I do not work for any Realtor Association nor am I officially endorsing any product or service with this post. Any information here is simply for informational purposes in our mission to help real estate agents succeed. There are absolutely no paid product advertisements in this post whatsoever. 

The Success Formula as a Pie Chart

The Success Formula is something that I have been working on for a very long time. It is a collection of the true attributes, habits, and personality traits of those who truly find success in business. In this post, I am going to show you the basic breakdown of the main pieces of the formula itself. We are going to look at the asset allocation of a successful mind, so to speak.


Strategy + Psychology = Success

Everyone seems to be looking for the secret formula to success. I have had this conversation about a million times, “what do I need to do to be successful?” I have given seminar after seminar and taught workshop after workshop, and above all of the business strategies and techniques that I can offer — this formula alone is going to be your guiding light.  I am so pumped that I can sit down and put pen to paper and actually write it out for you so that hopefully we can scale and affect more of you out there who are looking to know what it takes to succeed.

When I talk about success, it could really be about any business or any aspect of life. From selling real estate, to insurance, or selling nutritional products or even makeup – it doesn’t matter your product or service it is the same guiding principles that will help you in all businesses. Actually, we can even take it a step further. Even if you aren’t selling anything but you just want to be happy and fulfilled – this “secret sauce” of success can help you too.

The Most Common Mistake

Do you want to know what the most common mistake most people make when considering becoming successful at anything? Let’s take real estate for example, and someone is starting out their career in real estate sales and wants to make it big. What do you think is the question they ask most often? Why do you think a real estate agent who wants to make $100,000 a year or more goes to a course from a guy like me or engages in coaching or training with a company like mine? More often than not, they want the silver bullet. That one simple idea or task I can give them that will help them close more sales and make more money. The problem is that there is no one silver bullet that will get you to success. There are many tools you will need in the arsenal, and anyone who sells you on or makes you believe that you just need to do “this one thing” is probably full of it. Sure, we have tons of really good ideas that can help your business grow tremendously. However, if you are looking for that one quick thing to get you over the top you just might be missing the point way sign

There is no one simple task you can perform to be instantly successful. If you truly want a career, a business, a life worth living that will last – it is going to take time and it is going to take much more than just a 3 hour seminar and a list of things to do. Is a list of things to do or a proper business strategy important? Of course! However, it is not the only piece of the puzzle. In fact, I am going to argue that it is not even the most important piece of the success formula. There is so much more to it than that.

Your Success Asset Allocation

If you have invested any money in your lifetime, such as in an IRA or a 401k – you probably have heard the term “asset allocation.” If you are still too new to the world or just starting out, maybe this is something you have heard in passing but never really given it much thought because you are not quite there with your finances just yet. To keep it simple for those of you that might need to know, in investing asset allocation is the idea of taking your money and allocating it to various different types of investments. Therefore, rather than having all of your eggs in one basket (such as the stock market) you may also allocate some of your money to other investment vehicles such as bonds, real estate, or even just plain old cash such as a savings account.

So if we are going to think about the success formula, you need to understand that you have a limited amount of assets as well. Allocating your own personal resources to the proper channels is going to be critical to succeeding in business as well as in anything else. For instance, think about your daily routine now. You only have so much time, right? You only have so much energy, right? You only have so much effort and intensity you can give to something daily right? Good! That means you are human. What I want you to understand about the success formula is that allocating your resources in the proper percentages from one bucket or another are going to be massively important in your track to being successful in real estate or any other business.

In fact, we discussed this very thing recently on my weekly YouTube show #OfficeHours. Click below to see the discussion!

The Secret Success Formula of a Champion

If you truly want to succeed in business, any business, such as real estate then you need to allocate yourself appropriately. Therefore, I am going to reveal for you the most important part of the formula that almost everyone leaves out. I will say it again, this is the most important piece of the formula and most people just plain don’t consider it as a part of their plan at all!

Having the right mindset, the right attitude, the right emotion towards your life and your career is the most important part of the success formula. I have written about mindset before, such as in this post where I talk about the winner’s mindset. In other words, the strategy doesn’t matter if you don’t have the right psychology. As I mentioned earlier in this post, if you only want the silver bullet to success (strategy) it is much more like a “get rich quick” mindset rather than the type that is truly going to set you up for success. Without the right mindset, the strategy may not matter at all. Let me give you an example:

Let’s say that I take a salesman (let’s call him Bob) and give him the golden sales playbook for success. You got it, the ultimate strategy. I show him exactly what he needs to do, every single day, lay it out for him on a silver platter. However, there is just one problem and that is Salesman Bob is a self-absorbed jerk. Bob wants to make lots of money, drive fast cars, have fancy watches and have everyone in town marvel at how rich and successful he has become. Bob wants it all, and he wants it now which is how he came upon this golden playbook for success.

However, when it comes down to the critical sales appointments he continues to fail. During many appointments, Bob gets frustrated and cuts potential clients off mid-sentence. He tries to “set them straight” because obviously they don’t understand. He is the expert, after all, they need to be listening to him! Appointment after appointment he fails to close the sale, and even leaves on bad terms with these potential clients whom he expertly sought out and nurtured using the playbook. But what Bob is missing is the right mindset, and Bob lacks the emotional intelligence in order to deal with people properly. He is quickly hated by the community and gains a reputation as a sleazy salesman, and soon is back in school changing his degree and amassing more student loans so that he can get into an industry where he may not have to sell to anyone ever again.

success formula good and bad

Now let’s contrast Bob with Salesman Suzy. When it comes to business skills and strategy, let’s just say that Suzy is new to the game. She is fresh out of school and is still learning the ropes. However, when it comes to dealing with people Suzy is just the best. Always thinking of others first, she is the type of person that asks a lot of questions. She listens carefully to the other person’s answer. She understands problems that people are having and likes to help people solve them. Everybody loves Suzy, and she wakes up every day happy and fresh and looking forward to the day ahead. Suzy is killing it as a new sales associate at her firm, even though she really doesn’t know much about sales. But within just a few short months, each of her new clients is referring her to more and more of their friends and family because of the experience they had in doing business with Suzy. In other words, her meetings were so pleasant and enjoyable that her clients were becoming advocates and marketing her services for her! After the first year in sales, Suzy was given a raise and a bonus while Bob ended up leaving the firm.

The lesson here? Without the right psychology, the mindset, the understanding of how to deal with people and yourself the strategy just doesn’t matter. It doesn’t! Unless you are selling stocks or something else in a faceless computerized environment, eventually it is all going to catch up with you.

What Bob needed was to take the playbook, implement the strategy, but then begin working on the most important part of the formula – himself. If Bob only cares about Bob, if Bob only cares about money, and if Bob has that distinct aura of arrogance that comes with someone who thinks they know it all – he is not going to make it. Suzy was either born with or truly understands the success formula as it needs to be implemented. It is truly about how you treat other people, listen to their needs, and react to the world around you as if it is happening for you and not to you!

Remember this, if you want to success in real estate or any other business you need the right formula. The secret formula to success looks like this:

The success formula as a pie chart:

Mindset and Emotional Intelligence (Psychology) – 85%
Business Plan and Tactics (Strategy) – 15%


 success formula pie chart


Time Management – It Takes Goals and It Takes Guts

Time management, something we all sincerely crave to do better. As I sit here and think about the success formula another big piece that comes in to the overall picture for me is not just the concept of having goals, but also how you’re going to need the guts to get them accomplished. I’ve said before that the idea of goal setting is something that every business person, every entrepreneur, every real estate agent – you hear that constantly – like you gotta set some goals you gotta set some goals you gotta set some goals – however having the guts to follow through I think is what really differentiates those that make it and those that don’t.

Time Management Starts with Goals

It starts with the simple idea of controlling your time. Most importantly what I mean by that is setting goals on a timeline and knowing what you want and need to accomplish on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly basis is absolutely critical. It’s essential. It’s the only thing that matters.  In other words, if you don’t know where you’re trying to go it’s going to be really difficult to get there. As your business grows and your time becomes more in demand, you’ve then got to have the guts to do things like saying no and put things off including the pleasurable things you really want to do. The difference between you and everybody else is that you know what needs to get done first because you know what’s most important. I call it guts because a lot of people can sit down and set goals, but having the guts to follow through is what’s really going to make it happen.Goals

Let’s use this as an opportunity to dive a little bit deeper into time management, or at least the idea of managing your time. Let’s first understand that there’s actually no such thing as time management, it really is a myth, in fact when it comes to time if you understand how precious it is as a resource you will respect it more and then you would use it better. So when it comes to “time” all you can really do is use it more effectively or less effectively – but it is absolutely a finite resource as we only have so many hours in the day and so many years on this earth. Therefore, when it comes to using your time better as an entrepreneur or as a real estate agent, you have to know what’s most important and then you have to do those things first and put off everything else.

Goals Come in Order of Priority

Personally my list of goals is in a prioritized order, in other words if I don’t get my most important thing done today nothing else matters. It doesn’t matter if I set up a task list and it’s got 50 things on it, just doing that alone is a productive habit for sure. However, the old task list concept is also where a lot of people fall short because a “to do list” is usually written in the order the items pop into your head and not necessarily in the relative order of their importance. time management priorityIn order to be most effective you need to take your goals and you’ve always got to make a matrix and connect your goals to your task list. Then you’ve got to decide which items on your to do list are most important in terms of what the goals are that you’re trying to accomplish. You’ve really got to prioritize every single day – every single minute – what is the most important thing I should be doing right this second? In other words, it’s having the guts to follow through even when there are many other things vying for your attention. That’s the true art of time management, sticking to your guns and knowing what you should be doing in order to grow your business.

Handling Email – A True Example of Guts in Action

Let me give you one specific example that I use all the time that I think for some comes as a little bit of a shock. In my life as a CEO and entrepreneur I operate several different companies and what I want you to understand about running multiple companies is its fun, it’s a challenge and it’s what I want to do. However, what it also means is that I better be damn sure that I am prioritizing my time and doing what’s most important on a regular basis. As a specific example, I do not check my email all day long. I don’t sit there and stare at my Outlook or my Gmail or have a loud sound every time that an email comes in on my cell phone!handling email (time management) The reason is what I want you to understand – just like you as a business person or really just a citizen of the modern world I get hundreds or even thousands of emails, text messages, and social requests on any given day and that’s not an exaggeration. Most of that email is not even spam because I have a pretty good spam filter, it’s just the reality of how many people email and ask questions or need things or clarification or operational matters. Believe me, hundreds of those emails are things that are important that I need to get to t on a daily basis. However, I would drive myself nuts if I sat there and stared at my email box all day long. I would go absolutely insane trying to answer emails as they come in.  It’s not that the emails aren’t important, but typically they aren’t the most important thing that I need to do at that time.

Take this blog post as an example, personally I would set this as a priority over email first thing in the morning. In other words, I would complete this post before checking email not the other way around! Usually when I’m writing a blog post like this let’s say 7 a.m. – that comes as a priority. I have to get this finished then I will check email because as a principle I make sure that all of my emails get answered every single day. That means that unless it’s an absolute emergency, where someone would likely have my cell phone number and then be able to call and let me know it’s an emergency, every email gets answered that needs to be answered every single day. That’s a pretty darn reasonable solution! However, I also want you to understand I set my companies up this way to where the critical things are not coming through email because they might get lost in the wash or be saved for later. For instance, my office manager at Donaldson Educational Services obviously will text me or she will come into my office personally if there’s an actual emergency which is extremely rare. She’s not going to email it to me, because she knows that I’m not sitting there staring at my email all day. If she or the company needs something right now, that is time sensitive, she’s not going to email it to me that’s not the way I have it set up and it’s not how we’re going to get things done. My goals are set, and I wouldn’t get those accomplished if I’m didn’t have the guts to not give in to the temptation of staring at my email all day long.time management headaches

Here’s why I do it that way…. the reason I handle emails that way is because what’s in my email box is actually everybody else’s problems or a list of things that others need based on their timeline. Everybody else’s priorities! What everybody else needs from me! So what is very important to understand about having goals and guts is that it takes real guts to stick to my guns and to chase those goals that are most important and put everything in its prioritized place. That means if I have a student that has sent me an e-mail and is totally confused about a concept in one of our courses, it’s not that that isn’t important, but if I don’t do the important things to keep our company growing and running smoothly, spending time to answer that email before I get into the things that the company needs is not an effective use of my time. However, if you or someone you know has come through one of our programs, you know if you email me you are getting an answer in thoughtful detail every single day. I love student email, actually! It’s a part of my day, it’s on the schedule every day, but I can’t do them as they come in because truthfully they come in all day long. I don’t even think people realize the hundreds of emails I get from students on a daily basis and so it’s not that it isn’t important, but it’s not growing the business. I can sit there and do that all day long and the business will eventually shrink to where we will have no customers! I will have no more emails to answer!! Therefore, I have to remember my goals and what we’re trying to accomplish as an organization, and have the guts to put those first then I will get to everything else.

Be Productive Not Just Busyproductive and successful

What I really want everybody to understand is that especially if you the leader of your business; if you are a real estate agent you are the leader of your real estate business, if you’re an entrepreneur and you started that company you are the leader of that company – what I want to tell you is it’s ok put certain things first which includes yourself. This is the very essence of time management! What I mean by that is not the money, not the selfish personal satisfaction, not the selfish nature of some people in this game – you have to put the most important priorities for the business first and know what those are by setting goals and then have the guts to follow those on a daily basis! It takes goals and it takes guts, that’s how you’re going to get where you want to go!

In essence a task list on a daily basis is a great move – but a prioritized task list is really the way to go. There are plenty of people who make lists but they’re not in a prioritized order. For instance, in preparing a list the first three things that may come to my mind are things like dry cleaning and the grocery store and calling the movers – okay all of that might be important –  but it’s not more important than growing my business! If our companies don’t grow and produce income, I won’t be able to afford those groceries and I will be moving that darn furniture all by myself!

Specifically to you real estate agents, because I always want to make time to talk to you, what I want you to understand is you need to know the difference between being busy and being productive. Any one of us in the real estate industry, if you’ve been in the business for any length of time and have multiple customers and clients, you know you can be busy all day long. Those clients they are going to call – they’re going to text – they’re going to email – they’re going to just drive you up the wall trying to set up appointments and in need of instant gratification 24/7! But specifically in real estate that’s part of the fun, and it is part of the game we play.

However, in running your real estate company you need to prevent the types of days where you work and work for 12 hours straight and feel like you went backwards. Ever had a day like that? Of course you have! You just work and work and work and work and work and you feel like you went backwards instead of forwards. Usually that’s because you’re being busy and not necessarily productive. When it comes to the real estate business my goals have to be I’m going to reach out to 15 past clients today and ask them for business, or I am going reach out to all the expired listings in my farm because it’s Monday –  and I’m going to offer my services to those expired listings! You see, that is what’s being productive. I’m thinking about the next client then the next one after that, growing my business has to be the priority! OF COURSE servicing my current business is extremely important, and I’ll set up systems and manners where that’s going to happen in the most efficient way possible. BUT I’m not going to let other people take over my day, I am not going to let other people take over my business, and I am not going to spend my time being busy and not being productive! That’s the quickest way to ending up out of business and I have to have the guts to tell myself that that is not an option. Not today, because I have goals and I have guts.

I have so much more to say about this topic, so stay tuned. And please, let me know your thoughts. If you want to test me and see if I will respond to your email – please email me your thoughts on this article at Have an awesome day!