Archive for the ‘Rich Levin - Real Estate Coach’ Category

It Couldn’t Be More Obvious

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

By Rich Levin

Expert Advice

Two questions dominate the minds of Real Estate Buyers and Sellers. Let’s get them both answered honestly, right now.

The questions are obvious. For Buyers, “Is it a good time to buy?” For Sellers, “Is it a good time to sell?”

The billionaire investor that the brightest watch for advice, Warren Buffett, said, “I buy when people are selling and I sell when people are buying.” In Real Estate, at the moment, there are an abundance of homes for sale (people are selling) and a scarcity of Buyers. That means prices are soft which makes it an excellent time to buy for those who are able to finance the purchase of a home.

The Reporters Are Wrong

‘For those who are able to finance,’ regarding mortgage financing most news reporters have this completely wrong. Down payment requirements are still wonderfully low. Interest rates are ridiculously low.

Steve Wynn, billionaire Las Vegas casino developer recently (July 19, 2011) commented publicly that insecurities in business are causing people to not make buying decisions. This is great news for people who have the courage and good sense to make buying decisions.

Bottom line to Real Estate Buyers is to go talk to a lender or get a lender recommendation from a Real Estate Agent. Find out if you can qualify for a mortgage, if you can buy now. If you can help your son, daughter or someone you love buy now, help them now.

If I Had Only Known Then

When interest rates rise and inflation raises home prices people will look back at this market and say, “If I had only known then what I know now I would have bought then.”

The next obvious conclusion is that it must be a bad time to sell since prices are down. In many areas that is completely true; unless the Seller plans to buy. If a person selling wants to buy another home it is a great time to make that move. They may get a lower price for the home they are selling but they will be able to make up for it on their purchase, particularly if they are selling an area whose Real Estate is healthy and moving to an area where Real Estate prices have declined. We (Chava and I) are putting our house on the market this month to do that very thing.

This is a historically tremendous time to purchase a home that you may have thought you would never be able to afford.

So, is it a good time to sell? No. If a person is not buying and does not have to sell; if they can wait for a few years, wait. Unfortunately, it may be a few more years until most Real Estate markets are healthy again. Then again, as soon as business leaders have the confidence to invest in their businesses and hire again, the market may turn quickly. When that happens, the rise in prices and rates will occur quickly and this ‘moment’ of opportunity will be lost forever.

Some Towns Are Healthier Than Others

The Real Estate in some towns is healthier than others. It is easy to determine. Walk or drive around to discover two things. Are there a lot of homes for sale and are they selling quickly. Look for for-sale signs. Get online or call the Agent and ask if it is still for sale.

In our town (Brighton, New York) most houses are selling very quickly. It is an area with very few foreclosures and short sales. Most of the homeowners do not work at jobs that are transferring them or laying them off. So, in this town most people are not selling. In this town and in some others around the country there are more qualified and motivated Buyers than homes for sale. Houses sell quickly at a very healthy price.

Knowledge is Power

Do you have a Real Estate Agent that you trust? If not, find one. Ask them to do this research for you. Provide you with a list of homes for sale in your area, homes recently under contract and sold. Look for the number of homes sold versus for sale. Be specific. Look in your immediate area. You will discover that, with this information, you can quickly and easily determine the health of your market and make your best decisions accordingly.

For those of you who understand the opportunities described above, you are realizing that it is also a terrific time to be investing in Real Estate. Whenever gold prices are on the rise, Real Estate prices will be suffering. The reason to buy Real Estate instead of gold is that when the economy recovers gold prices will drop and Real Estate values will rise. This is not guesswork. Do your own research and you will find this to be true. As you think about this, the reasons for it become clear.

It couldn’t be more obvious that, if you are in a position to buy a home or sell your present home and buy another or invest in Real Estate, this is the best possible market to make that move.

Rich Levin is Real Estate expert. He is a featured speaker across North America. If you would like to ask Rich a question or make a comment, you can contact him at or 585-244-2700. Rich is President of Rich Levin’s Success Corps Inc.

Buyers and Sellers: All Agents Are Not Created Equal

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

By Rich Levin

Most of my articles are directed to Real Estate Agents.  This one is directed to the Buyers and Sellers.  In fact, if you are an Agent, please stop reading because this may upset you.

How does a Buyer or Seller choose a Real Estate Agent that will do the best job for them?

Don’t do this.  At a picnic this spring someone said this to me, “My Agent didn’t do a very good job but we’ll probably use them again because we don’t know anyone else.”  It shocked me.  My standards for the people I hire to do jobs for me are much higher than that, particularly when large sums of money are involved.

Sellers: When selling your property you want an Agent that will do the following:

The Agent works hard to determine the market value.  Market value is the highest price a Buyer may be willing to pay.  Working hard means that they have done their computer research and then gotten in their car and driven by all the comparable properties, making notes to share with you.

Then the Agent analyzes that information to recommend to an initial asking price to you.

The Agent puts all the information into a form that makes it easy to share with you; so that it is easy for you to understand why the Agent is making their initial asking price recommendation.  The Agent should be confident and persuasive about their recommendation but in the final analysis be clear that the decision of what price to ask is up to you, the Seller.

The Agent will show you a detailed marketing plan for your property that includes regular weekly updates and a face to face meeting within thirty days if the property is not sold by then.  As important as the details of the marketing plan is the Agent’s demonstrating that they are responsive by computer, text, and phone to people inquiring about your property.

The Agent is competent to go through your property from top to bottom, front to back making recommendations of improvements and repairs that will add value and make your home sell more quickly.  This is particularly important in a softer housing market.

The Agent’s marketing plan will include a discussion on how they will represent you through the negotiations, inspections, the Buyer’s mortgage approval process, appraisal, pre-closing walk through and closing.  In other words assurance that once an offer is accepted on your home they stay attentive and involved until the proceeds are in your hands.

Is it important that the Agent live in the area of your property?  Possibly, it is more important that they are competent and hard working as the above items demonstrate.  It is completely appropriate to ask the Agent anything including whether they live in the area.  On the other hand, always choose competence over familiarity.

Buyers: When buying a property you want an Agent that will do the following:

Set up an appointment before you start looking at homes.  In that appointment:

Review with you all the paperwork involved in purchasing a home in your area and provide you a copy of the paperwork.

Review all the options and decisions regarding inspections, attorneys, title companies, lenders, repairs, and completely answer all of your questions.

Review, in detail, the process of house hunting, looking at homes, making an offer, negotiating the initial price and terms, completing inspections and negotiating issues that arise from the inspections; the attorney’s role and the current issues that may arise in the mortgage approval process; final inspections and closing process.  In other words you want to have every question answered by the Agent, even ones you didn’t know to ask until the Agent raised your awareness.

The Agent needs to either review financing options with you or ensure that you have met with a mortgage lender so that you are confident and clear on the type of mortgage, the amount you can borrow, the payments, and the cash needed to complete the purchase.

At this initial meeting the Agent will also provide you the required information on Agency.  The State requires the Agent to provide an explanation regarding their representation of your interests and the Agent’s relationship with you and other parties in the transaction.

The Agent will provide you will a full list of all the homes available in your price range and with the criteria you desire.  They will review the information so that you understand unfamiliar abbreviations and Real Estate language.

They will then send you by e-mail and mobile the newest properties as soon as they hit the market.

They will make appointments for you to see homes that interest you.  While showing you the home they will be there for support, make you comfortable to thoroughly look at the home, answer your questions, and alert you to any issues or problems that come to the Agent’s attention.  I call it watching your back.

When you find a home in which you are interested the Agent will provide information on other homes for sale and sold to give you real data on which to base the price you will offer.  This information becomes less necessary when you have seen many homes in the area, since you already have this data first hand.

The Agent needs to be in close communication with you as they handle your negotiation, the inspections, mortgage and other contingencies up through and after you have the keys to your new home

The Agent must be responsive to you when you need them or have another Agent available to help if and when they are not available.

How does a Buyer or Seller choose an Agent with this level of competence?  Whether they are a friend, referred to you, contacted at an open house, over the internet, or you walk into their office, review the above criteria and ask how the Agent works.  Listen and ask questions to discover whether providing the level of service described here is their normal way of doing business.

Warning: do not simply take another person’s recommendation.  Take the recommendation but still look for the level of service and attention described here.  It is a high standard.  In fact it is an unexpected standard.  So, even your best intentioned friends my not judge by this standard.

When you find that Agent, that measures up to this standard you will have found a professional that will be valuable to you for as long as you live in the community.

Rich Levin is a National coach and featured speaker to Real Estate Agents.  His Clients are often the most productive and most respected because of their high standards of performance.  Rich is President of Rich Levin’s Success Corps Inc.  You can contact him at or 585-244-2700.

Breakdown That Leads to Breakthrough

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

What Separates the Winners From the Others? Your success does not depend on how you respond to the good days. Your success depends on how you respond to the bad days. Winners fail. In fact, winners fail more often than others. That’s how they become winners. They learn and grow from their failures. What separates the winners from the others is how they respond to their failures and setbacks.

Everyone suffers when they fail. After the failure do you get emotional and dwell on it? Of course, we all do that. The key is how long you dwell on it and what you do next to get past it.

Winners suffer deeply but they get objective and refocus quickly. They quickly consider what there is to learn from the failure or setback. They look for patterns and connections to see if there is a systemic problem that can be corrected and lead to a significant improvement. Then they get back into action. They take action on the correction if there is such action to take. Then, quickly, they get on with what has to be done next to move their business forward with little or no residual “drag or delay” from the failure or setback.

Consider Failures and Setbacks as Breakdowns: People have far more control over some breakdowns than others. A Real Estate Agent works hard to put a deal together and the Buyer is unexpectedly laid off from their job. You have less control over that than if the Agent had never asked about the Buyer’s employment and there was a problem that could have and should have been identified earlier. Either way, it’s a breakdown.

Some setbacks are much harder to get past than others.  My elderly neighbor’s teenage granddaughter was visiting.  When the teenager got up at night to use the bathroom she turned out all the lights, not knowing her grandma always left one on so she could see. The grandma fell down the stairs and will be recovering and rehabilitating from her injuries for many months. Think of the grandma in recovery; the granddaughter’s guilt, and her parents struggle to help the young woman get past it. Some setbacks are much harder to get past.

Creating Breakthrough Out of Breakdown: Like all successful strategies this is a system. It is a simple system. Do not confuse simple with easy.  It is difficult to put into practice. It is difficult to practice consistently. However, once it is mastered it becomes a path to a life of greater courage, filled with breakthroughs and less fear of breakdowns. When you have setback, a failure, a breakdown there is a five step process that turns that breakdown into breakthrough.

Acknowledge the error. Simply recognize and admit that, yes this happened or is happening. This may mean also recognizing and admitting the (sometimes dire) consequences of the error.

Take responsibility for it. This means that you accept that you caused it. You do this even if it is unreasonable; even if it seems completely inaccurate. You do not have to tell anyone else that you take responsibility.  You take this step for the purpose of taking control of your life and seeking the breakthrough.

Forgive yourself and/or anyone else for the error. Forgiveness is an act and a sign of strength and confidence. In this system it communicates that sense of strength and confidence to you. It builds and expands your self esteem.

Recommit to the goal…or not. In whatever endeavor the error occurred. Recommit to the effort. Or choose to end the effort. But, if the latter, make it a conscious choice. If you choose to recommit and in most cases you will, then if it is a lost Real Estate deal, recommit to your goals and career. If it is a habit or addiction recommit to your health and vision. As earlier if it is a tragedy, recommit to love and a life of purpose. As part of your re-commitment choose a deadline, a new deadline or timeframe.

Get immediately back into action. You may get immediately into action toward the goal. Follow the famous advice, “Never leave the site of setting a goal without first taking some form of positive action toward its attainment.” And once you have taken that action toward your goal get back into action in your life, whatever there is to do next.

The Real Estate business is one that can cause several areas of breakdown sometimes daily. A truly successful Agent can get past these opportunities for breakdown and learn from them to minimize the effect next time.

Print this article, now. Highlight or circle the parts that you want to remember.  Stick it on a wall or somewhere that you can find it so that when you have your next breakdown and you know it is inevitable. You can see whether there is a way to turn that difficult moment into the path to your next breakthrough.

Rich Levin is a Real Estate coach and teacher whose focus is teaching Agents to understand and control their business.Through that understanding Agents achieve satisfying, successful careers and lives.  For more information on Rich’s work; go to Rich is President of Rich Levin’s Success Corps Inc. Contact him at 585-244-2700 or From The Success Corps’ ‘Attitude and Psychology’ Series

Money Making Open Houses

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

First Things First

The majority of open house Guests are Buyers. There are some neighbors and others. Those open house Guests that are Buyers come in the door already loyal to another Agent..or not. We completely respect those that are committed to another Agent.

A listing Agent has a fiduciary responsibility to the Seller. An Agent holding an open house that is not their listing does not have the same fiduciary responsibility. Either way, to be fair to the Seller, the Agent must determine whether the Guest is interested in the house. This is as simple as asking, “Does this house interest you?” Or, “I promised the Sellers to ask each Guest whether you are interested in the house.  Are you?”

Give Them What They Want

The Guests want to be comfortable and they want information. Greet each Guest with a gracious smile. Welcome them to the house. Offer to answer all their questions. Provide them with more information than they were expecting. On the dining room or kitchen table provide information on the community, and the neighborhood, a fully filled out sample purchase offer and addendums, financing recommendations with advantages of each, and detailed closing cost estimates.Have printouts or preselected switch properties on your laptop that are in the same geographic area, same price range, same size or same style. These are properties that the Guests are likely to be interested in if they showed up at this open.

Ask Questions That Interest Them

As Buyers there are only a few reasons they chose that open house; location, price, size, or a particular feature. So, ask, “This house is in Brighton. Are you looking exclusively in Brighton or also in Penfield, Pittsford and the other eastern suburbs?” Or, “This one is $279,900 is that your price range or are you looking higher or lower than that?” Or, “This one is 2,500 square feet with four bedrooms and three baths may I ask is that the size home you were looking for or did you want something larger or smaller than that? Or, “This one is adjacent to the golf course. Were you looking for a property on a golf course or did you just like this location?”

You will immediately discover those Guests that are loyal to other Agents because they will identify themselves as such. The unattached or loosely attached Buyers will answer you.  They will immediately begin to like you and trust you; because you are asking questions that interest them. These questions demonstrate that you know about other properties that have similar characteristics which mean you can help them. If they answer one of the above questions, follow with the others, taking time to listen, and ask more details if appropriate.

Show Sincere Interest

Then ask, “Why don’t you tell me all the things you would like in a house and I’ll make a note.” Once they have answered the questions above about location, price, and size they will answer this question.  Their trust toward you deepens. Loyalty is yours as long as you continue to show truly, sincere interest in them and what they want to accomplish.

Offer Education and Information

Ask if they have reviewed the current paperwork that is used to buy a home in the area. “Has anyone given you a copy of the contract that you will sign to purchase a home so that you can become familiar with it? I like for people to be familiar with it before you are in the middle of making a $200,000 decision.”

“Are you familiar with the variety of inspections you might want to choose for homes in this area and the roles of the attorneys and other professionals involved in making sure things go well?”

“May I suggest that we get together? I don’t bite. I promise. I’ll go over all of that with you. Give you copies and other information that will protect your interests and make the process enjoyable. No obligation, if we hit it off, and it looks like we will, I’ll help you find a great house. If we don’t, you’ll just be better prepared. Would it be best to meet this afternoon after the open house or early next week?”   The words contract, sign, and decision are used purposely in a way that may make the Buyers realize that they need someone that they can trust to protect them.

Go All the Way or Don’t Go At All

Harold is one of hundreds of Agents who have said to me, “Rich, I do something similar to that and it doesn’t work.” Similar doesn’t work. Part of this language and approach will not work. Go all the way. Work with it until you have it all. Be like Jennifer who builds loyalty through the use of this approach and this language exactly the way it is described above. Jennifer said to me, “That is so easy. It is so comfortable for me and for them. It makes so much sense to them that they answer the questions and just naturally evolve into Clients.”

A True Story

One more reason this approach works is because the experience of most Buyers is being abused or ignored in open houses.  A house was open on my street.  The door was open. I walked in. I walked into the living room, the dining room and in the kitchen the Agent holding it open was reading something on the counter with her back to me. I purposely didn’t say anything and headed into the basement.  Came up, she was still reading with her back to me. I walked past her up the stairs, through the bedrooms, came down, and walked out the door. This is such an unprofessional disservice to the Owners, the Guests, and a clear example of why professionalism and good service will make you stand out.

The approach in this article is proven. It works for many reasons. The main reason is that serious Buyers want to work with an Agent that thinks and acts in the way described. Be different simply by being attentive, sincerely interested, and committed to the success of each Guest.

Rich Levin is a Master Coach and Real Agent Productivity Expert.  He resides in the Rochester area and works with Real Estate Professional across North America.  You can hear him live every weekday on his free Daily webinars.  Register at  For coaching information you can contact him at 585-244-2700 or  If you live in the Rochester area or are willing to travel he will meet with you in person.

Rich Levin and The Housing Council on PSR – Listen NOW

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

House and Coyne have a full plate on Property Source Radio this Saturday with 2 guests. Rich Levin, a real estate “success” coach, and Joel Kunkler from the Rochester Housing Council.

Rich Levin is a nationally recognized real estate coach and shares some of his insights on both the Real Estate profession and the local real estate market. Even if you are not a real estate agent, you can apply a lot of his teachings to your own profession. If you would like more information about Rich Levin Success Corp – visit his website:

Joel Kunkler from The Housing Council talks about the upcoming Landlord Expo on May 7th at MCC Conference Center. The expo is filled with useful info for the Seasoned landlord to those looking to get into the business.

• Attend workshops with experts in their fields.
• Explore the exposition hall filled with a wide variety of products and services for your business.
• Meet Scott Mcgillivray from Home & Garden Television’s “Income Property”.
• Get the latest news to help you do business.

For more information and to pre-register for the expo – visit their website.

Listen to this show now!

This is Property Source Nation!

Branding: Subtle Secret to Explosive Marketing

Friday, January 28th, 2011

When I hear the word software I think of Microsoft.  The mention of soft drink means Coke or Pepsi to me.  Mention search engine and Google pops into my mind.  So how do you make your name pop into people’s minds when they hear the mention of Real Estate?

It’s Called Branding

Branding is the immediate association of a business name with its product type.  In Canandaigua, New York Cathy McWilliams means a successful Real Estate Experience.  In Springfield, Illinois Kyle Killebrew brings successful Real Estate to mind.  In Lahabra Heights, California it is Jan Fiore.  These Agent brands are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe more.  Can you establish a brand in your market in the same way?  Yes, you can.

Consistency is the key; consistency of your graphics and consistency of the experience of you.

It’s More Than a Name

To Xerox something means to make a copy of it.  You also believe that you can depend on a Xerox machine.  A Kleenex means a facial tissue.  You expect Kleenex to be decent quality.  When you Google (which is now a commonly used verb) you are confident that you will find what you want.  These brands are both recognizable by their name, their logo, and they are associated with dependable quality and service.  All of that, the name, the look, and the quality of service are all part of their brand.  A Real Estate Agent’s goal is to have the people in their market (which in most cases is simply their Spheres of Influence and farm areas) associate the mention of the Agent’s name, or seeing the Agent’s “brand” with a positive and successful Real Estate experience.

It takes more than a name, a slogan, or a logo.  A successful brand is also the promise of something verifiable by the consumer as they work with the Agent.  And to distinguish the Agent, the promise must be above the minimum expectation of quality.  For a Real Estate Agent, that means more than a basic level of service, attentiveness, and expertise.  So, how do you both create a recognizable brand and raise your quality of service above the basic levels?

Brand Graphics

Creating a successful look or visual brand is called Brand Graphics. It is not as intimidating as it sounds. Think of a Coke or Pepsi logo. It is a combination of a design, font, and colors.  And the Brand Graphic does not change for years or even decades. A Real Estate Agent’s Brand Graphics are also a simple combination of design, consistent font, colors, and use of their picture.  (View Agent branding samples.)

Brand Experience

Creating a successful Brand Experience is also easier than it sounds.  Many Agents have already done this and don’t realize it.  Think of your favorite store, restaurant, hair stylist, website, etc.  The way they greet you, speak to you, interact with you or in the case of a website, the navigation; there is consistency that you recognize and depend on.  When you call the Real Estate Agent, Thomas Howe in Lawrence, Kansas, you’ll hear some variation of “And a grand good day to you?” or “Hello and a glorious good morning.”  The way an Agent answers the phone, conducts their listing or Buyer presentation; the speed and frequency of communication, giving of gifts, how they report progress, use video or social media, all contribute to the experience of the Agent.  Consistency of that experience establishes their Brand Experience.

Be careful.  An Agent wants to choose the most positive experiences to construct their Brand Experience.  The way to discover which experiences to make consistent is to ask.  Call your Clients from the past year or two and ask the following questions.

In addition to learning the best experiences to build your brand around; you are making a strong professional impression and you will likely generate some referrals.

Ask, what they had heard about the way you do business? What do they remember most? What did they like and appreciate?

If they were to refer you, what would they say are the best things about the way you do business? Why did they choose to work with you? What do they think would be important for you to keep on doing, do more of, do differently, or stop doing?

Consistency is the Key

There is an important principle in marketing that says, ‘the time when you are getting bored with your brand is about the time when it is just beginning to work.’  Remember how long Coke, Pepsi, Kodak, Godiva, Google, and other extremely successful brands maintain their Brand Graphics and Brand Experience.  It is measured in decades.  Choose your brand characteristics and, unless there is a very compelling reason to change; keep your brand characteristics for at least two more years after you are feeling bored with them.

You Don’t Have to…

Finally, whenever I teach or coach marketing I ask Agents to write this down.  “You don’t have to get it perfect.  Just get it going.  And keep improving it.”  The way you do that is to choose deadlines.  By when will you have your web design chosen?  By when will you have your postcard designed?  By when will you choose the photo you will use?  Then, stick to those deadlines and move on to the next decision.  Keep it moving and you will realize that getting it going and then improving it, is a key to success in your marketing.

Rich Levin is a Real Estate productivity expert. His marketing expertise has transformed many average Agents into top Agents.  Rich conducts a free live 15 minute webinar every weekday morning to help Agents instill successful habits into their business.  Every Wednesday the webinar topic is marketing and branding.  You can register at  For coaching or speaking opportunities contact Rich at 585-244-2700 or

December’s Dangerous Decisions

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Three Decisions and Actions Determine Your Strong Start to 2011

The year is ending. You can decide to coast through December or take a few simple actions that ensure a strong start and continued success throughout 2011.

The Actions: Complete a simple business plan. It is very important that it is both simple and completed quickly.

Take immediate action on the first workday of 2011 to ensure that you begin your plan within the first week of the New Year.

Begin to embed the actions of your 2011 plan as habits that ensure you stick with your plan for the entire year.

Your Simple Business Plan: Time Required -Approximately 1 Hour.

As you begin this plan it may seem familiar.  As you get to the last steps and beyond you will see why it is likely to be the plan that actually makes your goals happen.

Important: Complete these steps quickly. Do not dwell on or labor over them.

Your Motivation and Attitude: Write down why you want to sell Real Estate in 2011; and what you want your Real Estate results to do for your life and your loved ones in 2011.

Write down the minimum amount of income or sales production that would make you feel that you are achieving those things for you and your loved ones.  Review your past three year’s income or production so that your goal is based on facts.

Write down (or type on a document) the 12 months of the year one under the other.  Write down a production by contract date for each month.  Example: Jan: $300,000 under contract.  This is the total sale price of the homes you will put under contract in January.  (Note: contract not closing month)

Determine how many sales for the year that will require. Simply divide the annual goal by a conservative estimate of your average price. Example: Annual Goal is $3,000,000.  Divided by Average Price of $150,000. Total sales are 20.

Determine how many new Clients you will need for the year to achieve this. Double the number of sales. Example: 20 sales require 40 new Clients. (We have proven this statistic with thousands of Agents coast to coast.)

Determine how many new Clients you need each week. Divide by 40. We use 40 instead of 52 weeks for the year to be conservative and realistic. Example: 40 new Clients needed divided by 40 weeks is 1 new Client per week.

Decide what 2 or 3 activities are most likely to get you that small number of appointments per week. Base this on where your past business has come from.  Actually list where your sales have come from for the past one or two years so you are completely accurate about sources. The most common activities are: Follow up on current and past leads, Internet leads, ad and sign calls, open houses, calling or networking with your Past Clients and Spheres of Influence, personal marketing, hyperlocal marketing (farming), and if necessary expireds.

Take Action Immediately in 2011 to Begin Your Plan

Print the simple seven step business plan above. Right now, put an hour on your calendar to back through it and actually take each step. Then do this step (B.) and put the last step (C.) into your calendar for January. You will increase your chances of success next year by tenfold. In fact, it will guarantee your success in 2011.

Using the 2 or 3 activities you chose in number 7 above make a list of what actions will you take on January 3rd through 7, 2010 (Monday through Friday) to put your simple plan into motion?

These actions may include making calls, reconnecting with all or last year’s leads, web site work, e-mail blasts, preparing and sending your Sphere of Influence mailing, previewing homes in your farm, preparing and sending your farm mailing, communicating with your pending Clients and listed Sellers.

Begin to Embed The Actions as Habits

Embedding a habit turns single or random actions into consistent and dependable systems. A habit is an action that you take at the same time, on the same day, in the same place, and in the same way every day or every week. As you perform the action consistently day after day or week after week you become better at it. You learn how to continually improve it.

Following is the most effective way to turn your plans into results by creating the habits for those activities that ensure consistent results all year.

Choose one type of activity for each day of the week. And first thing in the morning before you open your e-mail (same time), on the same day of week, in the same place, schedule just a half hour to do each of the following. (You can expand the time later. A half hour helps establish the habit.)

Monday – Call Leads and Make Initial AppointmentsTuesday – Advance Your TechnologyWednesday – Traditional Sphere of Influence and Hyperlocal Marketing

Thursday – Communications with Pending Clients and Listed SellersAlso Thursday: Rehearse and Improve Presentations

Friday: Strategize by looking at results for the past week and plans for the following week

Important: As you begin each day review and remind yourself of A1 above, your motivation and reasons for succeeding with your Real Estate career in 2011.

There are many other activities in an Agent’s business that are hard or impossible to turn into daily habits; for examples, showings, writing offers, listing presentations, and negotiating,.  You will always find time for these because they demand your time.

Reaching your goals in 2011 depends on your commitment to make those “Daily Habits” a part of your business.  Your success or disappointment in 2011 depend on it.

It’s that simple; not easy but simple. The key to a strong start to 2011 and guaranteeing your success throughout 2011 is dependent on the simple planning and habits you establish as this year ends and the New Year begins.

The Success of Your Business Plan. You control it every day with your decisions. You have the power to make it happen for you each day.

If you want to schedule time with me to set your strategic plan for the year call our office. I have severely limited time but I love to coach. My Assistant will talk to you about fees and schedule time for you.

Rich Levin speaks to Real Estate audiences and coaches Real Estate Agents coast to coast raising their production. He motivates Agents into action and teaches them the most productive possible actions. He conducts a free live webinar every day to help Agents instill these habits. You can register at  Contact Rich at 585-244-2700 or

Real Estate Honesty in a Less Than Honest World

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

We are surrounded by dishonesty.  The media sloughs off our legislators’ dishonesty as, “that’s what politicians do.”  Sports stars infidelity and drug use seems commonplace.  Do we trust the media or the “news” people?  Do people lie to support their political and personal agendas?  Does this extend from our own personal spheres of influence right up to national and world figures?  For most, the answer to all of this is yes.  And we have evidence of it every day in the media, if not in our personal experiences.

Yet, we trust each other.  We trust our Clients and most of our Clients trust us.  Why?

Do we as Real Estate Agents and Brokers adhere to our Code of Ethics, License Laws, and personal integrity to a higher degree, a higher standard?  Yes, in fact we do.  Does that mean that we are better?  No.  The fact is that we are in a profession that has many close checks and balances to our behavior.  The result is that in Real Estate honesty works and honesty wins.

We need to be very proud of that.

Real Estate Agents and Brokers were not named as major players in the housing crises we are still suffering through.

Of course there were Agents who behaved unscrupulously in collusion with other unscrupulous “professionals.”  Instead of their behavior attracting more of the same, they are ostracized by the rest of us.  We need to be proud of that, too.

Each sale contract is scrutinized by one or more attorneys, lenders, title companies, managers, Brokers and more.  Buyers have to meet lender requirements.  Inspectors check the physical properties.  Appraisers confirm values.  Referral business is based on an Agent’s integrity as much or more than their results.

By need or by choice, the fact is that we live and work in a profession in which honesty and integrity are at a higher standard; despite the world around us being fraught with evidence of a much lower standard.

We don’t talk about it and we should not.  We don’t advertise it, promote it, or use it as a marketing slogan and we should not.  In our society, it would not be believed, anyway.  It is unfortunately too common that those that declare the loudest are the guiltiest.

But we know that in our business integrity and honesty work; and that our greatest path to permanent and growing success includes our commitment and behavior at high levels of integrity and honesty.

Real Estate is an honest business in what often seems like a dishonest world.  Let’s all, privately, to ourselves and among ourselves smile, be very proud of that, and work to continue to maintain and raise that standard.

Rich Levin is a Real Estate coach and teacher whose focus is teaching Agents to understand and control their business. Through that understanding Agents achieve satisfying, successful careers and lives. For more info on Rich’s work; go to Rich is President of Rich Levin’s Success Corps Inc.  Contact him at 585-244-2700 or

How to Prevent Burnout for Real Estate Agents: 8 Causes and the 7 Preventative Strategies

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

What is burnout? In brief, it is a prolonged period with less energy, less enthusiasm and less motivation. You continuously feel exhausted both physically and emotionally. You are inexplicably impatient, moody, frustrated, angry, and frightened; and/or you feel increasingly hopeless, helpless, cynical, and resentful.  Procrastination and/or inactivity are common.

What causes burnout in Real Estate Agents? You lose your sense of purpose. You lose your sense of why you chose Real Estate and what you want your Real Estate career to do for you.

You feel that your environment is disorganized, chaotic, and full of pressure with many expectations from a variety of sources and little or no help; so you are on your own. You are not clear on how to succeed or whether you are succeeding. Your job requirements seem to be constantly changing and impossible to achieve. You are criticized, not recognized, and not rewarded for effort. You feel that you have little control over the results of your efforts. You have a stream of disappointments, particularly ones that are out of your control. You have or take little, if any down time.

For many Agents this describes the daily experience of their Real Estate career.  They frequently feel and fight burnout.

I am often asked how to deal with it and how to prevent it. It’s the worry not the work. First is important to understand that it is not the work that causes burnout.  It is the worry. It is not working seven days a week. It is worrying seven days a week. The following preventative measures reduce worry by giving you the mindset, structure, and energy to deal with burnout and permanently prevent it so that it is a thing of your past.

As you go through these preventative measures be careful. Take them on one at a time. Progress equals happiness. Do the first one for a week or more before you do the second. And so on. Set a low standard. Do just a little bit of each one to start and then keep doing more until it becomes a part of your normal business and life habits.

How do you prevent burnout in a Real Estate career? Personal: Start each day with a positive, relaxing ritual. Before you open your e-mail or make a call, even for a short time, walk, stretch, exercise, or just breathe deeply. Read something that inspires you; put it in your bathroom. Focus on the things you are grateful for. You can do this without leaving home.  tart with as little as five minutes.

Evaluate your diet, rest, and health habits. Eat three meals at mealtimes. Cut down on junk food, smoking, caffeine, alcohol, and recreational drugs. Keep yourself hydrated with water. Take walking and breathing breaks frequently during the day; when you do breathe deeply at least five times.  Get to bed earlier, if possible.

Business: Clearly identify and write down the answer to these two questions and read them every morning as you begin your work day. Carry them with you and read them frequently until they are second nature to you, part of your psyche.

What do I want my Real Estate Career to do for my life? Why is that important to me? Reduce those answers into the following number. In the next twelve months what is a realistic amount of income or production that would be a clear indication that you are on your way to achieving what you want? It probably will not get you there in one year.  Instead, it is a realistic number for the next twelve months that is a clear indication that you are making progress. (Progress equals happiness.) There is always a realistic number that is a clear indication. Your psyche may fight it. Fight back and choose that number.

Know your progress. (Progress equals happiness.) Reduce your twelve month goal to monthly goals, starting this month.  Be sure they are realistic.  To get past burnout it is far better to exceed than to fall short.

Choose a daily or weekly measure that is an honest indicator of your progress. Measuring initial appointments with new Clients per week is the best measure.

Record and review those measures daily at first, then weekly.

Create a simple set of daily habits that accomplish the basic necessities of your career.

Schedule just 30 minutes each day at the same time, on the same day, and in the same place for each habit.  E.g. Mondays at 9 a.m. prospect to make appointments; Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m. Marketing; Wednesdays at 9 a.m. Service Contacts: etc.

Start with a minimum number you can handle. Take time off.  If necessary, start gradually. Start with a block of two, three or four hours doing something personal; sleeping, walking, reading, gardening, exercising.  It is best if this is not on your computer or on the phone unless you turn off call waiting, texting, or any other feature that will trigger the stress of work.

Find someone to check your voicemail to let you know if there is a priority and extend your time blocks until you are taking whole days off on a weekly basis.

Yes you can. Your burnout is no fun; for you, your Clients, your co-workers, and your loved ones.  These strategies can eliminate burnout.  You can have a successful business (and life) without burnout by implementing these strategies into your own business.

Rich Levin is a Real Estate coach and teacher whose focus is teaching Agents to understand and control their business. Through that understanding Agents achieve satisfying, successful careers and lives.   For more information on Rich’s work; go to   Rich is President of Rich Levin’s Success Corps Inc.  Contact him at 585-244-2700 or

More Important Than Your Business Plan

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Question: What could be more important than your business plan?

Answer: Your habits.

An Agent’s daily and weekly habits are more important than the quality of their business plan. Both, plan and habits are best. But of the two, habits rule.

Consider these two Agents. Which would you rather be?

Amy Agent has a great plan and lousy habits. She is really excited about her plan. But… her lack of habits means that she does not consistently take action. Her lead generation and follow up are mediocre. Her marketing is random. Her service and communication with her Clients is hit or miss. It is easy to imagine how these lousy habits limit Amy’s success and add to her frustration.

In contrast Annie Agent actually has no formal plan but she has great habits. She always feels like a better plan would help her. But… on the same days of the week, at the same times, in the same place, in the same way she consistently follows up her leads; sends direct mail, e-mail blasts, and blogs. She communicates with her Clients on schedule. It is easy to imagine how Annie’s habits feed her success, create personal satisfaction and a better quality of life.

Habits Work. Consistency Works. Consistency Wins. It’s universal.

Habits ensure success in every endeavor. The athlete and the team with the better habits win. The marriage with the better habits thrives.

It’s Not Time Management. It is Priority Management.

Time management seldom works. Priority management always works.

In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey wrote, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

There are eight priorities that guarantee success in a Real Estate career. Scheduling them is remarkably easy. Developing the tiniest bit of discipline around them, one at a time, turns them into habits.

The Priorities of a Successful Real Estate Career Are:

Look at and Update Your Measurable Results Daily

Make Appointments with new Clients

Conduct Your Technology Marketing

Implement Your Traditional Marketing

Provide Quality Service to Your Listed Sellers and Pending Clients

Think and Strategize

Improve Your Presentations (as necessary)

Learn Inventory by Previewing Property (as necessary)

Presentations, handling pending transactions, showing, offers, negotiating, etc are also priorities but they are dependent on other people’s schedules. Therefore they are difficult to build as habits. Turning the above eight priorities into habits guarantee the presentations, showings, offers, etc that result in your success.

Four Critical Keys to Turning the Eight Priorities into Habits

Schedule the priorities, for 30 minutes (at the beginning); first thing in the morning as soon as you sit down at your desk. That’s not the real key. This is; complete the priorities for that day before you open your e-mail!

Schedule each priority on the same day of the week, at the same time, in the same place, and get started in the same way.

Start with one priority at a time. Once you experience the value of having one habit. You will be motivated to add the next.

Start with 30 minutes or less. This feels less burdensome. It motivates efficiency. And the fact is that you can accomplish a lot when you are really focused for 30 minutes on one priority.

In all of my workshops, on every topic, I teach Agents to create habits. I teach Agents to implement the topic of the workshop through better habits.

Let me be clear. Business planning is very important. In fact planning is a main focus of my coaching and teaching. But I know that your habits, not your plan, dictate your success. And it is your habits that will guarantee the implementation of your plan and the success of your business and your life.

Rich Levin speaks to Real Estate audiences coast to coast on raising Agent production.  He customizes a coaching plan and business strategy for each of his Clients. His planning tools are simple and extraordinarily effective. People immediately recognize his sincere desire and commitment to improve the business and the life of everyone he encounters. Contact Rich at 585-244-2700