August 2017 Real Estate Trends

Here is a snapshot of the real estate trends for Cleveland County and Oklahoma County:

Median Sales Price in the Month of August:

August Median Sales Price

Median Days on Market in the Month of August:

Days on Market - August

Percentage of Last List Price in the Month of August:

August - Percentage of Last List Price

# of Homes for Sale in the Month of August:

August Homes for Sale

Now is a great time to consider listing your home and take advantage of the market!  If you would like more information, please give me a call at (405) 537-3395 or email me at tom4yournewhome@gmail.com.

 

Advertisements

What Will Your Tombstone Say?

I know.  Death is such a morbid conversation.  To even think about death, your funeral, your tombstone…I think it makes us all shudder a bit.

Stephen Covey writes in his perpetual top-of-the-must-read list of books, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, that we must begin with the end in mind.  In other words, we need to first visualize what we want to see at the end of any particular time frame.  Whether your dream, your goal, is to achieve something significant or to simply buy a new home, you need to begin with what that end solution looks like.  You need to clearly and articulate what your new home is going to look like and what it will provide you.

So if we are to take Stephen Covey’s guidance and truly apply this, let’s look ahead — far ahead for you and me — and look at our end.  Here are some questions to consider:

  • Who do you want at your funeral?
  • How will you be remembered?
    • By your family?
    • By your co-workers?
    • By your community?
  • What 10 or 11 words will be etched on your tombstone?

This is a great exercise to do.  Why?  Because if we climb the tree and gaze upon the horizon, we’ll discover if we are, in fact, heading in the right direction.  If what we want for our future and where are actually headed don’t intersect, we’re going to have a hard time arriving at our destination.

And perhaps that’s intentional.

Huh?

Sometimes we are scared of fulfilling the future.  Sometimes we worry that, “What if I can’t make that happen?” Or we’re scared of the sacrifice it will require, the things we may need to let go of, in order to make our dream a reality.

They say we’re the sum total of the five people we spend the most time with.  Maybe you’re freaking out because that gang of five is who you need to leave behind and it terrifies you.  I get it!

But if we want to leave a legacy, if we want to make a difference, an impact, we need to do the little things and the hard things.  Without sacrifice there is no reward.

I challenge you to give this some thought.  What is one thing you can do today to make your “tomorrow” count?  What or who should you let go, so you can change the trajectory of your life?

Dream big!

8 Easy Hacks to Get Your Home Ready for Fall

I don’t knofall-home-frontw about you, but the Fall season is my most favorite season of the year.  The cooler temperatures, football, pumpkins, the crunching sounds of leaves underfoot.  It’s just a great time of year!

As we make our final approach into Fall, it’s important to prepare properly.  In the online article, 8 Easy Hacks to Get Your Home Ready for Fall, there are some great reminders for us all.

Weather stripping, for example, is something we all need to check on.  Are your home’s doors and windows properly prepared for the cooler temps?

Another that I hadn’t considered but it brings to mind the cold temps in my garage every winter — protecting your garage door threshold from the cold Oklahoma winds.  The article points out M-D Building Products’ Threshold Kit as an example of something to help with this.  (Of course, it doesn’t hurt that M-D is based here in Oklahoma City!)

M-D Building Products 10-foot Single Door Garage Door Threshold Kit
This durable vinyl seal prevents drafts, dirt, insects and rain from entering under the garage door. It’s a smart way to save energy and comes with a lifetime warranty.

To see all 8 of the hacks, just click here.

 

Are Your Dreams Still Dreams?

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer.  Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” — Harriet Tubman

What are your dreams, your aspirations?  Is it to become the very best in your field?  The top salesperson in your company?  To have a $1 million in the bank?  Or, maybe it’s a dream to change the world.

Regardless your dream, it remains a dream.  You wake up each day dreaming great dreams and, yet, here you remain.

It’s not possible, you think.

It’s outside your ability.  Outside your comfort zone.  So you dream day after day.

But, as Harriet Tubman explains, you DO have within you “the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach the stars.” So what can you do?

J.J. Watt, defensive end for the Houston Texans, dreamed of raising $1 million for victims of Hurricane Harvey.  He wants to make a difference in his home of Houston, Texas.  Great, we all thought.  Then his actions toward making his dream a reality turned into $5 million, then $10 million.  We all thought, “Can he reach $15 million?”

As of yesterday, prior to the start of the Jacksonville vs Houston football game and the continued comments about J.J. Watts’ work, he had already surpassed $31 million.  I haven’t checked today, but frankly I wouldn’t be surprised if it has topped $40 million.

What’s the difference between J.J. Watts’ dream and yours?  J.J. Watts has taken consistent, daily action toward his dream.  What about you?

Do you know what the steps are toward achieving your dream?  Well, that’s the first step – identify what it will take.  What’s the next step?  And the next?

Each day, awake to the promise of a new day and look at what next step you can take, no matter how big or how small, and take it.  Keep on taking your steps.

One final note:  You may not actually achieve your dream; that’s okay.  In the end, it’s about WHO you become as a result of your efforts that really makes the most meaningful impact.

Go ahead; take that first step!

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

–Walt Disney

 

My Next Chapter

In 1981, I began working in the office equipment business making deliveries of supplies to area businesses in Shawnee, Oklahoma.  The following year, I chose to pursue what would become a three-decade long career in sales in the office technology industry.  Except for a few years as Pastor of Spiritual Development at a successful North Carolina church and a short run in the insurance business, I’ve spent the better part of the past 36 years focused on helping businesses become more successful and more productive.  I’ve trained and developed sales professionals in the business technology industry.  I’ve had a very successful career.

Today I am proud to announce the next chapter in my life.  I have successfully completed the required licensing requirements and have earned license to sell real estate in Oklahoma.

While this new career presents new challenges, I am excited about the opportunity to help families and individuals achieve their dreams of home ownership.  One of the cornerstones of the American dream, the opportunity to own a home and create a stable, strong future is one which I look forward to helping Oklahomans achieve.

I have placed my license with Coldwell Banker Select – a prestigious company with a nationwide reputation for excellence.  One of the great benefits in working with Coldwell Banker is the in-depth training all their agents receive in real estate transactions of all types and sizes.  With the training behind me, I feel confident that I can provide the professional advice and service that my friends and colleagues in Oklahoma.

If you or any of your friends are interested in buying or selling a home, please get in touch with me.  My mobile phone is (405) 537-3395 and my email address is Tom4YourNewHome@gmail.com.  You can also visit my website at www.Tom4YourNewHome.net.

Mastery or Mediocrity?

mediocrity

Mastery:

  • Comprehensive knowledge or skill in a subject or accomplishment.

“she played with some mastery”

  • control or superiority over someone or something.

“man’s mastery over nature”

Mediocrity:

  • The quality or state of being mediocre
  • Of only moderate quality; not very good.

“a mediocre actor”

In the field of sales, either you are striving for sales mastery or you’re simply performing with mediocrity.  A rep focused on becoming a master in his or her profession will always be distinctive from those that have a mediocre approach to their profession.

The question is:  Which are you?

Rather than elaborate on what a mediocre sales professional (can you really call that person a “professional?”), let’s look at some of the key characteristics of a sales professional who is striving to master his or her profession and bring the greatest value to their clients, their company and their career.

  • A Clear Focus on and Understanding of Their Ratios

Mastery means understanding how many touches it takes to identify a prospect.  It means knowing how many contacts it takes to get a meeting set with a decision maker.  It also includes appointment to proposal ratios as well as closing ratio.   In other words, a true sales professional understands the art of predictability.

Regardless of what you’ve read or have been told, sales can be quite predictive.  If you understand your ratios, you can lay out a clear path for consistent sales success.  The absence of such, well, let’s just leave that for the mediocre rep.

  • No White Space

Take a moment and look at your calendar for this week.  Go ahead and look at last week while you’re at it.  Of the hours available to be in front of a prospect, a decision maker, someone who can say, “Yes!”, what does the white space reflect?  Is it 20%?  40%?

If the white space in your calendar is greater than 20%, you have an issue.  In fact, a true master of selling has zero white space on their calendar.   In fact any professional in any profession should have zero white space in their calendar if they are maximizing their time.

A master sales professional has time blocked out to leverage social media. It’s limited and well defined, but it’s accounted for.  How much time do you devote to leverage LinkedIn to nurture relationships and develop new contacts?

A master has time blocked out every day to prospect on the phone. Is it a priority or are you just giving it lip service?

A master professional has appointments blocked out throughout the day

A master sales pro accounts for their time when they will respond to email, follow up phone calls, writing proposals, creating order paperwork, etc. This time isn’t left to chance.  Instead it is set aside in a specific time slot, preferably after peak selling hours.

  • A Real Commitment to Growing in Knowledge

A sales professional committed to mastering his or her craft is constantly seeking new opportunities to learn and grow.  They listen to sales training information while they drive.  They read books or listen to audio-books constantly.  They are attending sales seminars or webinars to seek out ideas that will strengthen their skills.

The mediocre rep complains they don’t like to read.  They don’t have time.  They’ll do it if and only if the company pays for it.  Welcome to mediocrity hell!

  • A Sales Master Looks and Acts like a Sales Master

You can pick the sales masters out in a crowded room of other sales professionals.  They are dressed for success and stand tall, shoulders back.  Yes, your mamma said that a lot while you were growing up.  You didn’t listen then, but perhaps you should now.

A sales master is seeking out individuals he or she can help.  Rather than asking for leads or introductions, they simply, honestly and clearly ask, “How can I help you?”  They understand the age-old Zig Ziglar mantra, “If you help enough other people get what they want, you’ll get everything you want.”  It has to happen in that order…period.

Let me ask you, “Which one are you?”  Are you a sales professional who is actively seeking ways to become a true master of your craft or are you just trying to get by on good looks and charm?  Are you more focused on what you can get than about how you can help others?  Are you sold out on your profession or are you just winging it until a better gig comes along?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and how you are striving to become a real master of the art of selling.

Let Us All Repair the Breach

With all the divisiveness in our nation, let us never forget what we are spiritually called to do, who we are called to be and what is promised in return..

“6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:

to loose the chains of injustice

    and untie the cords of the yoke,

to set the oppressed free

    and break every yoke?

7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry

    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—

when you see the naked, to clothe them,

    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,

    and your healing will quickly appear;

then your righteousness[a] will go before you,

    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;

    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,

    with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry

    and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,

then your light will rise in the darkness,

    and your night will become like the noonday.

11 The Lord will guide you always;

    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land

    and will strengthen your frame.

You will be like a well-watered garden,

    like a spring whose waters never fail.

12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins

    and will raise up the age-old foundations;

you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,

    Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”

Isaiah 58:6-12

Life’s Cloudy Skies

cloudy skies

Over the past few days, as I watch the Oklahoma weather do what it famously does, I’m reminded of an eternal truth.  Even on the cloudiest, stormiest days, the sky remains above as blue as ever.  Even when our human sight can’t see the promise of blue sky and sunshine, nothing can change the fact that it remains there.

Too often we allow the clouds and storms of life to affect us.  That’s normal.  But what we can’t let loose of is that the clouds will part, the sun will break through and the slightest hint of a magnificent rainbow is seen on the horizon.

Lest we ever forget, we’re provided these eternal words:

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)

Clouds are temporary; the blue skies are forever!

What Are You Thinking About?

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…

–Proverbs 23:7

We are what we think about most of the time.

–Napoleon Hill

Seeds of GreatnessPierre Teilhard de Chardin writes, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”  We are full of potential and have been, as Zig Ziglar famously has said, “endowed with the seeds of greatness.”  To live and operate at any level less than this is to forfeit our birthright.

So what are you thinking?  What are you focusing on?  If you find yourself consistently focusing on perceived limitations, perceived lack of knowledge or lack of experience, you diminish the greatness within you.  If you focus on perceived lack, lack is what you will continue to create.

If, on the other hand, we recognize the greatness within us and begin to focus on the enormous potential we each have, our lives will begin to take on the vision we see within our minds.

Solomon, the wisest of men throughout history, writes, “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”  What we think about most of the time is what we will become, what will begin to transform into reality.  If we have thoughts of lack, of weakness, of insufficiency, we plant the seeds that will blossom into what we’ve been thinking.  Seeds of lack grow into greater lack.  Seeds of unconfidence sprout into fear.  Seeds of weakness grow into intimidation and more weakness.

Change what you’re focusing on and, instead, focus on the greatness within you.  Faith is believing in what you can’t see, believing in what your five senses don’t experience in the moment.  It’s belief that you already have what you desire, you have what you are focusing on.  You may not be able to see it yet; you may not be able to experience yet, but that doesn’t diminish the simple fact that you already have it deep down within you.

Let the seeds of greatness begin to take root and grow within you.  You are destined to achieve great things.  You have been implanted with the ability to transform the world around you.  You just need to let go of your doubt, have faith and let the seeds of greatness germinate.