Finding Your Inner Princess


Now that I have your attention, let me explain! Last month my wife and I took our three-year-old daughter to the Disney On-Ice show that came to our town (Tampa, Fla.). It wasn’t until the day of the event that Read more

One More Pushup!


  In an attempt to jumpstart the fitness routine I once followed, I decided to sign up for a three week boot camp. As we are now entering the third and final week I am wondering how am I possibly Read more

Why Didn't I Say That??


We’ve all been there before: You’re at an important meeting and asked a question that you just can’t seem to formulate the perfect answer to on the spot. But, 30 minutes later, on your way home as you replay Read more

How to Enter a Room


This is a humorous yet informative video on the appropriate etiquette when entering a room. Read more

Why I'm Headed to RETSO!


I am really looking forward to the RETSO (www.retso.com) conference coming up next week in Duluth, GA. I watched alot of what was happening at the conference last year via Twitter and Ustream and decided then and there, I Read more

Take Note!


  One of the most helpful pieces of advice I received several years ago that I continually advise my agents to do today is to recap, in writing, your conversations with clients, attorneys, title companies, appraisers, fellow agents – any Read more

Finding Your Inner Princess

Posted on by Anand Patel in Agent Tips, Living Real Estate | Leave a comment

Now that I have your attention, let me explain!

Last month my wife and I took our three-year-old daughter to the Disney On-Ice show that came to our town (Tampa, Fla.). It wasn’t until the day of the event that my wife decided to tell me this show, which was called Disney on Ice: “Dare to Dream,” was going to feature various Disney princesses and their stories. I wasn’t too excited, but anything for your little pipsqueak, right?

As we were walking up to the arena entrance I saw a swarm of little girls seemingly attack a Disney vendor hawking all sorts of princess paraphernalia. I thought to myself – ok, this is strange.  Once inside the arena as we were escorted to our seats, I again was confused and shocked as to why all these girls were dressed up from head to toe in princess clothing. Halloween wasn’t for another five months! Throughout the show, as the arena filled with screams of little kids cheering for their favorite princess, I sat there looking around in awe at the powerful business machine that is simply Disney. They had come up with a way to create a very profitable revenue stream from their old characters!

An Idea is Born

Being the business nerd that I am, when I got home I googled the Disney Princess franchise and discovered that the idea of the Disney Princess line came from a man named Andy Mooney. Disney hired Mooney in 1999 to help their consumer products division improve their dropping sales. At that time, while attending his first Disney on Ice show, he found himself surrounded by young girls dressed as princesses in generic, non-Disney costumes. That’s when the idea of capitalizing on Disney’s existing cast of princess characters hit him. The Disney Princess franchise was born. In my opinion, this was genius!

What’s the point?

What does any of this have to do with real estate? As I thought about it some more, I realized how many times I find myself (and many others fall into this trap as well) looking for an outside “shiny object” to help with our business. We sometimes get wrapped up in the next big thing – a new widget, tech gadget, or marketing tool in an attempt to search outside of ourselves for ways to improve. The truth of the matter is, as illustrated above, we usually already have what we need within us. Just as Disney discovered the gem in their existing cast of characters, we also have our own strengths which we should be capitalizing on. Over time and as we “grow up,” we tend to forget our natural talents, instead opting for some other crutch to “help” us.

What is your talent? What is your gift? We each are naturally gifted at something – our “inner princess”, if you will (OK, a desperate attempt at an analogy but you get the point!), that we should truly be focusing on. Are you great with internet marketing? Do you have a way with people? Maybe you are a gifted writer; have a knack for analyzing data and conveying it in a simplistic manner; a natural with video or photography; a great speaker…whatever your natural gift, find out what it is (or in many cases, search back to your past and rediscover it – as Andy Mooney did) and focus your business on exploiting that talent. Don’t get caught up in the marketing hype that we are bombarded with daily as there is no need to search outside for the “next best thing” when all we ever really needed was within us all along. Now go find your“inner princess,” harness it, and use it help your business flourish!

 

P.S. That night I vowed to my wife I will not have our daughter succumb to this crazy Disney princess nonsense when she gets older. But I have a strange feeling I will be shopping for a princess costume very soon…

 

[I originally wrote this post for the National Association of Realtor's Young Professional's Network "YPN Lounge" on 6/5/12.]

One More Pushup!

Posted on by Anand Patel in Agent Tips, Living Real Estate | Leave a comment

 

In an attempt to jumpstart the fitness routine I once followed, I decided to sign up for a three week boot camp. As we are now entering the third and final week I am wondering how am I possibly going to work-out with the same intensity and discipline at the gym on my own once the week is over. There is something about exercising in a group environment (or even with a partner), having each other and a trainer to encourage and push you beyond what you mentally thought you can achieve that
makes boot camps so successful. Come on! One more pushup!

It got me thinking about a truth that also applies to our personal and professional lives – who do we surround ourselves with? Just as the boot camp environment works by having your peers challenge you to continually improve; we also need similar peers around us in other aspects of our lives. Sit back for a moment and think about the people who you surround yourself with in your life. Would you consider them a person who encourages you? Or do they bring you down?  Do they push you to think bigger and strive for more? Or do they cloud your judgment with fear and negativity?

In real estate, we all know agents who are complaining how bad the market is and blaming the economy for their lack of sales. We also know agents who, in spite of the market, are optimistic and making the best of the situation. These agents are doing extremely well. Which ones do you surround yourself with? Which ones do you allow to influence your thoughts and mood?

Now, keep in mind, this goes both ways. Are YOU a person who uplifts others, encourages them, and pushes them to do more and grow personally and professionally? Or do you bring them down, discouraging their goals, dreams, ideas and ambitions? Which person do you want to be?

Just some food for thought as you start off your week. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a couple of more push-ups I need to knock out.

Have a great week!

 

This post was originally published on May 7, 2012 for the Young Professional’s Network YPN Lounge

Why Didn’t I Say That??

Posted on by Anand Patel in Agent Tips, Living Real Estate | Leave a comment

We’ve all been there before: You’re at an important meeting and asked a question that you just can’t seem to formulate the perfect answer to on the spot. But, 30 minutes later, on your way home as you replay the meeting in your mind you come up with numerous things you wish you had said earlier. Now you are kicking yourself thinking, “Why didn’t I say that!?”

What if I told you there is a very inexpensive way to help you develop the skill to think on your feet along with improving your overall communication and leadership skills?

One of the single most important organizations I got involved with a few years ago is my local Toastmasters club. Toastmasters provides a friendly, encouraging environment that helps individuals improve their speaking and leadership skills regardless of their current level – amateur speaker to orator, mail-room clerk to CEO (my club consists of entrepreneurs, professors, artists, IT professionals, military personnel, students and many others). It is a workshop type setting where you learn-by-DOING. If you want to learn more about the history of Toastmasters or how to join, you can visit www.toastmasters.org; but in this post, I want to briefly share with you four ways you will immensely benefit from joining and participating in a local club.

 

Learning to speak “off the cuff”
One of the most beneficial parts of a Toastmasters meeting is the “Table Topics” section. This is where you are called upon to speak for 1-2 minutes on a topic that someone has just told you about. You have to quickly formulate your ideas in your head and speak “off the cuff.” There are numerous benefits in developing this skill for real estate professionals – from improving your negotiating skills to handling seller objections on a listing presentation.

 

Developing leadership skills
There are several leadership roles one participates in while attending a Toastmasters meeting. Each one helps you develop various skills which can be applied to your professional and personal lives. I had the privilege of serving as our club’s President a couple of years ago and the role was very rewarding in terms of the skills it taught. As president, you end up having to speak at EVERY meeting; you are continually challenged to ensure each meeting is an invaluable resource for current and potential members; and you learn teamwork while working with your fellow club officers in meeting the needs of the club. These skills and many others will help you with such goals as getting involved and taking on leadership roles within your REALTOR® associations or deciding to build a team of agents around you as you grow your business.

 

Becoming a better overall speaker
Working through the various speaking assignments you will not only help you develop more confidence, you will also become a better, well-organized speaker. The tools you learn will help you if you plan to hold first-time home buyer workshops, present webinars, speak at your association…really, the sky is the limit. Even if you are already doing these types of presentations, Toastmasters will help you do it even better!

 

Networking and Self-improvement
An added benefit to belonging to a Toastmasters club is that you will be surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals all seeking to better themselves. You will meet people from vast cultural and professional backgrounds, which will only serve to help you in your pursuit of continual growth and improvement. This also becomes a great networking opportunity where you can even incorporate your real estate expertise within your speeches.

I believe so strongly in the Toastmasters program that I virtually guarantee you will see profound improvements (regardless of your current skill level and background) if you find the right club and commit to participating at the meetings. By going to the Toastmasters website you can locate a club and meeting time that works for you. I encourage you to visit a few of them in your area and find the one that is the “perfect fit” for you. There is so much more I could share with you about the benefits of Toastmasters, so please feel free to email or call me if I can answer any questions or help in any way. In the end, the goal is for each of us to continually improve ourselves, our businesses, and to never have to leave another meeting thinking, “Why didn’t I say that!?”

____

I originally wrote this blog post for the NAR YPN Lounge. You can find it here.

How to Enter a Room

Posted on by Anand Patel in Agent Tips, Living Real Estate | Leave a comment

This is a humorous yet informative video on the appropriate etiquette when entering a room. Enjoy!

 

 

Why I’m Headed to RETSO!

Posted on by Anand Patel in Living Real Estate, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I am really looking forward to the RETSO (www.retso.com) conference coming up next week in Duluth, GA. I watched alot of what was happening at the conference last year via Twitter and Ustream and decided then and there, I needed to be there this year.

Why am I going? As a real estate broker with agents scattered throughout four states (FL, GA, TN and MS), I made a commitment to my team to be a strong resource, coach and mentor to each of them. Attending a conference like RETSO will help me stay on top of what is going on in terms of real estate technology and the future of the real estate industry. As I go back and share all I learn (probably information overload!), it will help my agents stay ahead of the pack; and in turn help them be better resources for their clients.

I have followed many of the speakers on Twitter and other social media outlets and am excited to finally meet many of them for the first time.

Georgia YPN is also hosting a networking event on April 12th which is going to be a great opportunity to connect with fellow YPN’ers from around the country!

If you are attending RETSO next week, I’d love to connect! You can find me on twitter at @anand_tampa or comment below.

See you next week!

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