You Might be Surprised...

 
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Did you know that you could be a really successful Realtor and never represent a buyer or seller in a transaction? Or that you could build a real estate business for yourself that includes four distinct sources of revenue? Or mix and match those four elements to create something that's the perfect match for your interests, strengths, goals, etc.? People often think of being a real estate agent as only representing clients in the purchase or sale of a property. That's how I started my career, and may be how you start yours too. But it doesn't have to be the only way you put your skills to work.

I'm a big fan of variety and of diversifying sources of income, including building in some passive income where I can. I thought I'd share with you today some of the ways you can do that as a real estate agent. Keep in mind that my experience has been with Keller Williams exclusively, so the opportunities I discuss below are the ones available with this brokerage. I don't know for sure what other brokerages offer. Okay, caveat out of the way, so here we go.

Option 1: Representing Buyers and Sellers. This is pretty straightforward. As a real estate agent, clients will hire you to represent them in the purchase or sale of a property.

Option 2: "Flipping" Properties. This is where you buy a property, invest in renovating it, and then sell it for a profit (hopefully!). There are several shows on HGTV profiling people who do this. As a licensed real estate agent you can represent yourself as buyer and seller and you'll have access to new properties as they come on the market. Keller Williams has a book to help agents learn how to do this successfully. It's called, appropriately enough, "Flip."

Option 3: Investment Properties. This is where you purchase a property and then rent it out to a third party. Again, Keller Williams has educational materials to help agents do this successfully, maximize their earning potential, and avoid some of the mistakes people commonly make when starting out as landlords. It's called, "Hold."

Option 4: Referrals. I know agents whose entire business is built on Keller Williams' Referral Program. Keller Williams has agents licensed to sell homes anywhere in the world. If someone approaches you wanting to purchase or sell a home outside of the area in which you work, you can refer them to a Keller Williams agent in that region. If that client hires that Keller Williams agent and they purchase or sell a property, you could receive 25% of the commission on that sale. Just for referring that client. Pretty great, right? I've done it several times and it's a win-win-win experience. I know I'm referring someone to an agent who is going to provide them with excellent service; a great KW agent gets to serve someone that may not have otherwise found them; and I get a nice financial thank-you.

Option 5: Profit Sharing. Okay, this one is a unique option within the world of real estate. When you close a transaction, you pay a percentage of your commission to Keller Williams, until you've paid the company dollar CAP in commission in a calendar year. After that commitment is met, then you keep 100% of the commissions you make. Here's where the profit-sharing comes in. The person who "referred" you to Keller Williams gets a thank you for sending you to KW. So, if you go into business with Keller Williams and then you recommend it to a friend or acquaintance and they join as an agent too anywhere in the world), you could get a portion of the commission. You're fully vested after 3 years and the benefit can outlive you and be passed along to your heirs.

Option 6: Salaried Positions. For whatever reason, maybe you want a more predictable 9-5, salaried job. Keller Williams hires licensed real estate agents to provide administrative and transaction support to our Realtors. So, you could use your knowledge and skills in this way as opposed to representing buyers and sellers.  Or maybe you're a great leader and want to take on additional responsibilities on top of your work as an agent. KW has formal curriculum for people who want to pursue a leadership role, and there is additional income associated with those opportunities.

Was any of this news to you? Did one or more of these options make you think about a real estate career in a different way? Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below or contact me here if you want to talk more about real estate or Keller Williams.

Thanks for reading and I'll see you here again soon!

How I Make My Big Dreams Come True in a Day

 
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(This post contains Affiliate Links.)

What do you dream about? A happy life? A peaceful one? A financially successful one? One where you have control over your time and energy? What would your life look like if you achieved all of the things, large and small, that you yearn for in the quiet moments when it's just you and your thoughts. Those moments when you allow yourself to dream as big as you can about what life could be? Would you believe me if I told you that whatever your dream is, you can have it, or at least a piece of it, before the sun sets today?

You can. I swear.

Finding your dream.Have you ever made a dream board that depicts your hopes for your life? I am a very visual person, so I have made many over the years. And it isn't just because I love crafty projects, although I do :-) It's because until I identify what I want, I don't know how to get there. And I need to know what I want--I need to know my big why--because that's what drives me to work as hard as I do. So the pictures and words I paste on to that piece of poster board are the visual representations of my why. And looking at them every day cements that why and motivates me to keep going, even when things are hard. 

But frankly I don't want to wait years to experience the dreams depicted on my dream boards in my real life. I want to bring some of my future in to my present. So, I seek out items or experiences that symbolize the big dream and give me a taste of it while I wait.

 
Joy
Joy
 

My process for identifying my dreams is pretty simple. I ask myself: What do I enjoy most? What brings me joy? When do I feel most at peace? I write my thoughts in a journal and I create dream boards of images and words that line up with those answers. During this process, I don't edit myself at all. If a thought comes into my head I write it down. If a picture grabs my attention, I cut it out and paste it on the board. Even if I'm not sure why I'm having that thought or being drawn to that image, I still document it. As the process goes on, the extraneous things kind of filter out and I'm left with what's really important.

 
Waterfront
Waterfront
 

My big dream of 2015. "I feel most at peace when I'm near in on or around the water. I enjoy music of all kinds. So, surrounding myself with wonderful music, and having a waterfront or water view property would bring nourishment to my soul." That was my takeaway for 2015 and I shared it with my coach. 

Don't wait. My coach had lots of questions for me, urging me to dig a little bit deeper. Why should I wait until I owned a home on the water to get the feelings I imagined waterfront property would give me? Why couldn't I go and meet the need now by getting into a boat or kayak? One afternoon my coach told me my homework was to get on the water over the weekend. I went down to Thea Foss Waterway and rented kayaks with a friend.  At first we were reluctant to go too far out, but eventually we got some confidence and really enjoyed our time. We saw people bringing brand new boats out of the warehouse and into the water.  And I thought to myself how nice it would be some day to own a boat of my own.

I saw a woman unfolding a kayak and I thought to myself, "Wow, she found a way around every excuse I would have come up with (no space at home for one, no roof rack on the car to transport it). And now she has a foldable kayak!" 

After that afternoon it was clear that the water really was my dream. But while I couldn't buy a home on the water that day, I began to surround myself with items that symbolized it. I looked for watercolor paintings. I looked for beach cottage-inspired décor and found the most magnificent burlap lampshade and a driftwood table lamp for my office space. I eventually found a art piece that fit the part perfectly and painted a wall in my house a color that gave me that same feeling of peace I felt that day on the water.

What you focus on expands!2016 brought a new home for us...on the water! And love into my life. Right now you may not have exactly what it is you desire (i.e. house on the water) but if you can identify your dream, you can surround yourself with a piece of it today regardless of how far off that dream might feel. And you get a daily dose of motivation for the work it's going to take to get there.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. A few more of my favorite coastal-themed décor items are below :-) 

Making Money in Maui

 
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"I do it! I do it!" Do you remember when your kids were at this stage of life? Or maybe they are right now... Anyway, I remember my daughter, Bella, saying, "Bella do it. Bella do it. Bella do it," a lot when she was little. That first flash of independence--of wanting to do everything and wanting to do it now--can be such a moment of bittersweet pride for a parent. But that "I can do it all myself," instinct can be destructive as we transition into our professional lives, especially for us business-owners, can't it?

One of the blessings that being a Realtor has given to me is the freedom and flexibility I've needed as a mom. In fact, one of the reasons I chose this career specifically was because I knew I could structure my day in such a way that I could work while my kids were in school and then be at home when they were.

The reality of this business though is that it can take over your world 24/7 if you let it. It will take up the space it's given, which is why we have to be so careful about setting boundaries where and when we can.

You may be asking whether setting boundaries on your business is also limiting what you can achieve. And the answer is that yes, it probably would, but for leverage.

Many agents function in real estate solo. They've structured their business in such a way that if they themselves are not actively doing something, money is not being made. This is just as limiting as setting boundaries, if you think about it. There's only so much one person can do with the hours in a day. And there's only so much you can do before you burnout.

The shift comes when we embrace the idea of hiring people and establishing systems that allow you to leverage other means of productivity to run your business. In a practical sense, leverage means you could be on the beach in Maui while still making money for your business at home.

Do I have your attention now?

Thought so :-)

When we shift from I do it, to we do it to THEY do it, then you know you've arrived. I took a 2-week honeymoon last year. Two weeks of almost no wi-fi or cell reception and my team had sold 4 homes by the time I got back. It's so important to surround yourself with trustworthy individuals who can cover you when you need it, and systems that would allow anyone to come in and keep things thriving, regardless of your presence.

Here are examples of how to leverage your time and effort, taken from specific things I did in almost exactly the order in which I did them.

Pay for transaction coordination as-needed. Once a sale was under contract, I turned the paperwork over to people in my office who would act as a transaction coordinator for a fee. That freed me up to generate leads and meet with prospective clients.

Hire a part-time (or full-time), licensed executive assistant. Give anything that doesn't require your active involvement to someone else. Scheduling, maintaining your website, ordering office supplies, dealing with vendors, marketing tasks, etc. can all go to a skilled and trained assistant. They can get you involved in a task when you're needed.

Take advantage of automated systems. Keller Williams has tons of systems in place for agents to use, including email campaigns. I enroll everyone in my sphere of influence into one campaign or another. The campaign sends out regular communication to my contacts and reminds me of important follow-up activities. My team and I also create systems, customized to our business. We make everything as simple as we can and follow the procedures we establish. We have procedures for responding to client leads, for developing CMA's, for hosting open houses--you name it, we've probably got a system for it.

Hire other team members as dictated by your business. This may mean brokers, listing coordinators or contractors to help on specific projects that you don't have the expertise to complete efficiently. It doesn't help my business if I spend 100 hours designing a website, when a professional would have done it in 10. Those 100 hours are hours I'm not meeting new business leads, so it's not the highest and best use of my time. Speaking of which...

Find your highest and best use. This will be different for everyone, but for me, my highest and best use is generating client leads. Almost everything else can be delegated to someone else on my team.

 
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iPhone Laptop
 

Maybe you're a mom like I was, looking for extra income. Or maybe you're not a parent, but are ready for a career change and love the idea of having your own business. Real estate could be the answer! Contact me and let's chat. I'm happy to share my experience with you.

Mega Mom Event!

 
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Are you a Realtor,  balancing your business with your role as a mom? I am too! If you're in the Greater Seattle area, consider joining me and other mom-agents for my Mega Mom Mastermind event.

I'm hosting this opportunity for collaboration and support on Monday, October 2nd from 12-1:30PM. Lunch will be provided by my friends at Eagle Home Mortgage, Stephen Wright and Sunny Wilson. Just bring yourself, your ideas and your questions and we'll have a great conversation.

The event is free, but seating is limited. To reserve your spot, RSVP to Kate Roussell Favaloro at k.roussellfav@kw.com today. Contact me with any questions.

Hope to see you there!

 

Who Do We Want to Be?

 
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This week is the week of sharing, apparently, because I'm popping back onto the blog to share another article with you. Click the link below to read it. It's a quick read, but an amazing story. Keller Williams Realty Greater Des Moines RISES ABOVE Unethical Business Practices.

This story represents who Keller Williams is as a company, in more ways than one, so I wanted to make sure as many people read it as possible. Companies draft mission statements and belief systems all the time. But when faced with a choice between living those principles and making a profit--well, there are plenty of stories about companies who choose the latter. I love this story because it's a great example of trusting that by doing the right thing, good things will come to you.

And if you read it and say, "that is the kind of company I want to work for," call or email me today.