The Truth the Photos Told About My Year

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The photos didn’t lie.

I flipped through pictures on my iPad, and a grin spread across my face as I watched the story they told.

Not that long ago I felt like I would never have a life, and I would work until I was a hundred and my feet were worn down to nubs.

But the proof stared right back at me – I did indeed have a life.

And it’s an awesome one!

The year began with my mom’s life-changing hip replacement surgery. It’s given her incredible pain relief and she could finally go out and about again.  I can hardly describe what an immense blessing that was – to all of us!

Then there was the mansion tour. While attending a negotiation class in Minneapolis, I was able to tour the James Hill House.  

(Want to see how a $63 million man lived back in the day? You can take the video tour of his home right here! He was impressively ahead of his time.)

In February I celebrated 12 years as a non-smoker! (Aaah, I love breathing…)

The biggest change to my business this year was partnering up with Eniko Crozier.

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I remember the first days and weeks we spent our mornings together with coffees and our various techno gadgets, training so we were both familiar with the same apps and web programs. Our communication is now seamless as a result – from shared schedules to shared virtual file cabinets, we’re in sync.

In May I celebrated being in real estate for five years. Yay me! *clink*

Mom turned seventy this June. Seventy! Even now, she still enjoys my sarcastic sense of humor, and I still enjoy kicking her butt at rummy. (Love you Mom) My Mom and I spent a weekend in a cabin by moose lake making memories.

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I scrolled through a few more pictures, and came upon some from the week that Wendell and I spent at a cottage in Grand Beach .  Aah, it was so refreshing.

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We walked the shoreline at the beach, enjoying the sand push up between our toes and feeling the breeze in our hair. Sharing coffee every morning with my man (who just happens to look like Sam Elliott, only handsomer) is always a treat, but somehow it’s a double treat when we’re away from everything.

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Did you know I officiated a wedding?

I did!

This summer I officiated for none other than my partner Eniko Crozier and her husband Chris Petrychen.

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At Hecla Island, right there on a rocky plateau by the shore, with the background sound of water lapping, they were married. (After everyone left, Wendell and I got our own little romantic moment by the water…

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There was the time I got in a plane with my girlfriend Randine. We flew over the Lake of the Woods just for the heck of it. We just had to know what it looks like from the sky.

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I really enjoyed attending a nine-week sales class where I got to build relationships with other agents.

Okay, I also really enjoyed winning the award for the most listings during those nine weeks.  *smirk*

Oh – and check out this sweetheart in my arm!

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We just added her to our life this summer. I LOVE having another dog! She is so affectionate. I get so many hugs. No wonder they’re considered a form of therapy!

And you remember the conference where I hobbled around with my zebra-striped cane? Well, one of the sights we saw during our touristy evenings was the Coronado Beach.  It was a shore I wanted to walk whether I was exhausted and in pain and hobbling around with a cane or not.

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… and I did. It was awesome, and totally worth it.

I highly recommend you do it sometime! (Minus the pain and cane if possible)

 

I laid the iPad down, surprised at the truth it told.

My life is rich and full. Not only had my business grown to such a point that I can take a vacation (!!), but my life outside of work is brimming with people I love and experiences I treasure.

I’ve spent countless hours preparing for the new year, and I know it’s going to be great. I can feel it. And I can hardly wait.

As you reflect on your past year, what has surprised you about it?
What’s going to be awesome about next year for you?

Why Old School Players will Lose (and Why I Love Gen Y-ers)

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Times are still changing.

And some people really need to get on board.

It used to be that being a professional was about being anonymous, and keeping one’s personal and professional life absolutely, unequivocally separate.

It also used to be that if one wanted information about buying or selling a home, they had to appeal to a real estate agent for such insider details.

Those days are gone, and old-schoolers need to jolt awake to what’s really happening. How people shop – for houses or agents – has changed drastically. Signage and anonymity don’t cut it.

Now, with the vast availability of information, it’s not about hiding anymore. It’s about transparency. Authenticity. Being yourself is what wins people over, not some tin-can sales pitch and flashy signage.

It’s scary to be all ‘out there’ being yourself, but to be effective with marketing and to attract readers or clients, it needs to be done. People don’t care what you know until they know you care, you know?

Besides, buyers can get information anywhere.

They don’t need to come to agents to compare DIY selling to selling with an agent. They can research the sales prices and properties on their own, and read about the top ten mistakes people make when selling. They don’t need agents to tell them that.

They can even find out about the owners of a home they want to buy.

The volume and intimacy of information available for anyone to read is staggering.

Gen Y-ers are a major segment of the home buying population, and they’re avid researchers. They do their own research. They don’t need agents for research anymore.

This scares some agents.

And if you’re not willing to change with the times and adapt, then it should scare you.

If you’re clinging to old-school thinking, believing that personality and transparency have no place in the realm of your business, you are clinging to extinct methods.

Gen Y-ers are on the hunt, not for the agent with the shiniest car or the biggest brokerage, but for a real person they want to work with. They are a researched, thoughtful bunch who can smell a sales pitch three miles away, and will have none of it.

They want transparency.

“If I could show you this, would you commit to that?” is a dead tactic. They won’t put up with carrots strung from sticks. There’s too much information out there for that.

I love that about Gen Y-ers. I feel similarly turned off by sales scripts and pressure tactics.

I love it when buyers take the initiative and inform themselves. In fact, I respect the daylights out of them. That’s why I blog! I hope to help people who are searching for information, help, insight, and to avoid some of the pitfalls that come with buying and selling.

I admire thoughtfulness. And anyone who is researching the elements of the home they want to buy, or the various aspects of where they’re going to live, is definitely thoughtful. Those are the kinds of people I adore working with.

So, colleagues, friends, don’t be afraid of informed buyers.

Don’t be afraid of people who research, initiate self education, and who are highly aware of what they want.

If you’re going to fear anything, fear the dusty sales tactics taught by too many people. Fear relying on pressure, manipulation, and all things shiny to win a client.

Run from those things.

Raise your opinion of people a bit – they’re smarter than you think, and that’s a good thing.

What sales tactics drive you bonkers?