Your Last Post Was 2012?

True story!

Blogging takes a lot of time?

I post a few things over on http://www.century21.ca/patrick.galesloot/blog

I could repost, but does that help or hurt?

That’s about the extent of an excuse / reason I can give you.  Unless you want me to tell you I’ve been focused on other areas of my business which take up a lot of time, energy and focus.  Still a lame excuse.  I know.

 

MLS® System review

The Central Alberta REALTORS® Association recently changed MLS® systems.  More specifically the software that enables us to share listings among members and publish them to websites such as www.realtor.ca was changed.

Big Deal?

Well actually it is a big deal.  We’ve been using the same software for the past 10 years.  As a result our members were very comfortable and familiar with the program and now have moved into learning mode again, and a state of new and uncomfortable.  Not surprisingly many members have expressed their frustration and annoyance with this change.  Like any system there are pros and cons.

The Old system called “Interface” was a traditional software platform like a Microsoft Office.  The software is downloaded and installed on your computer.  Then it connects upon log in and down loads the new listings and photos and stores this information on your computer.  Over time the file size grows, and like many other similar they can become unstable as pieces of data get moved around.  In addition to this program in order to accomplish our daily and weekly real estate tasks we were required to use two other programs.  One for uploading new listings, and one for booking appointments and other listing enhancements.

The advantage of this system was that it is a distributed database.  You did not need an active internet connection to use it.  A real estate agent could down load and update the database prior to leaving the office and use it as is in various capacities.  With remote dial-up or limited internet access this is a plus.  The reality is once we book our viewings and print our list of properties to view, the need to bring the listings with buyers on a lap top can be limited.

Personally I found that the program would have increasing instability and I would have the “not responding” message appear before th software crashed.  It seemed to do this more with no internet connection than with.  It is also the type of software that only works on a PC.  In today’s world having software designed for independent mobile real estate agents this is a barrier to them doing business.

Over the past 10 years the company behind Interface have been quite responsive and helpful in addressing our needs, but in the end the inability to be cross browser compatible and operating system compatible is an issue.  More and More agents want to use a Mac, and iPad or other tablet devices.

Enter The Matrix.

The Matrix is a MLS® system or software program that is completely web-based.  That’s right we’re moving into the cloud.  The immediate con that comes to mind is “I have to always have an internet connection?”  Yes, yes you do.  Is this really a barrier?  Not so much today.  With a smart phone we have internet almost anywhere.  This is a huge leap forward from 10 years ago when in 2000 or 2002 dial-up was still widely used.  Now we have wi-fi connections all over the place and in most of the homes we go to and offices we work at.  So definitely a declining barrier in my opinion.

One of the key benefits I appreciate is the multi operating system, cross browser compatibility of the system.  The Matrix® system works on a Mac a PC an iPad, an Android, on internet explorer, on Chrome, Safari and Firefox.  Basically it is a system for what ever tool I choose to work with.  That multi platform ability allows me to begin entering a listing on my iPad, and then later at pC at the office complete the entry if I want.  Both experiences are basically the same.  In addition to that I no longer need to down load one program to load my listing and another to view and print.  I can do all that in one spot.

While there is no doubt that the change requires some learning and patience once you get the hang of it, the Matrix® is quite robust and easy to use.

Other key factors with the Association (CARA) making the switch is the gradual move to a provincial system on the same platform.  If the provincial association AREA is moving towards providing an MLS® database  for the province using Matrix® then it makes sense to be there as well.

What does this mean to you the buyer or seller?

Not a whole lot really.  the websites your familiar with searching on remain the same.  Your home still gets listed, and you can still write and offer.  If you have an agent sending you listings via email or through a client email system that will look different but you’ll still be able to get the info.  Sellers, well you may have a tech minded agent that will pull out their iPad to input your listing while at your home.  Most probably wont do that.

It might be interesting to ask your real estate agent what they think of the change.  Are they resistant to change or are they open to learning and trying new things.

 

Community Photos

I’ve been adding community photos to our Century 21 site and using some time to time in blog posts.  I’m a casual photographer and by no means a professional photo taker.  I do have a Nikon D40 which I enjoy.  It takes great pictures and I enjoy learning the features and settings.

Recently I found my photos on another real estate agents web site.  That’s kind of flattering that he would publish a competing realtors photos (mine) on his web page.  It was also annoying in that I wasn’t asked.  I’m not sure how often a photographers photo gets used without permission, their knowledge or offer of compensation but don’t.  Those folks deserve the credit, acknowledgement and compensation, especially if like the guy who took my photos you’re using them to build your business.

The photos were of Penhold, these are them.
Welcome to Penhold
and
Summer Skies
I’m glad you liked my photos, but please don’t steal them.  I’ve asked this real estate agent to remove them seeing as he didn’t ask me.  Supposedly it wasn’t him it was “the web company”.  Maybe he didn’t realize the photo by “pgalesloot” was me.  Anyway next step contact the web company to have them removed from their “asset library“.
I’ve been asked by others to use the following and I’ve said yes.
The Atlantic Hotel
Which was published here
St. Mary's Church, Red Deer, AB
Which was published here, and they’ve since redone their web.
This one was requested for one of the yellow pages promotions:
Red Deer Rainbow
This one was requested as part of some fishing website. I said sure. It’s not one of my best shots but I guess they liked it. I didn’t hear if they used it though 🙁
Red Deer River at the Joffre Bridge 3

Maybe I should take more photos or start putting watermarks on them?

I take photos for fun and to help in my real estate business.  Hope you like them.

 

 

Reasons why you should buy Red Deer real estate now

Sales are up!  Is that the only reason why you should be buying a home now?

Reasons why you should buy Red Deer real estate now.

  • Sales are UP.  You’re not buying in a declining market but while the market is growing.  This is good for your investment and sets you on the right track to equity growth (a.k.a Wealth).
  • Listing Inventory is Down.  While a lot of real estate listings to choose form is a good thing when your shopping, the fact that inventory has steadily been declining and the sales to listing ration improving means that the market is more balanced and moving towards conditions favourable to a sellers market and stronger price growth.  We may not have consistent price growth now, but we’re definitely heading that way.
  • Interest rates are low.  I think this is a broken r4ecord statement as we’ve been telling people that rates are low for a few years now.  If you think rates between 5% and 7% are extremely high then you don’t really know how fortunate you are that you can get a mortgage in that 3%-4% range.  Wow! is all I can say.  that is low, but be careful to not extend your self to tight because if they do rise we could get pinched.
  • Economic Conditions May Change.  Not a scare tactic but a reality ion today’s market and government.  The Feds just recently changed the amortization and refinancing requirements and gave the banks a short 3 week notice compared to months previously.  No more 30 year amortizations.  Will they decrease from 25 to 20?  Will they eliminate 5% down?  Who knows.  Anybody out there predict the changes in the last few months?

I’m not an economist nor a banker so contact one of those people for insights on those things.  I can tell you about the real estate market.  Here is the market info to solidify your real estate decisions.

Sales volume is up for Red Deer MLS® residential.

red deer june stats-2

The peak for sales reported was actually April this year.  A little earlier than what we would have expected.  May would usually be the month where most of the contracts are written.  It’s important to note this is when sales are reported “unconditional”, not necessarily when people move in.

Sales by price range, is a great thing to look at.  What price range is your home or your purchase happening in and how does that piece of the market look.  It looks like this:

2012 Market Watch

The bulk of activity happens in the middle ranges $250-$350,000.

As mentioned listing inventory or the supply of homes to choose from has been declining in Red Deer.

red deer june stats-3

Today there are approximately 527 Active residential MLS® listings in Red Deer compared to 657 a year ago.  Not a massive decline or shortage but that gradual decline has improved the balance and strengthed the prices.

From the earlier chart showing the sales by price range you can get a sense that the more sales in the higher end can influence price and it certainly does.

Average Price Comparison to Number Sold
2012 100& Under 100-150 150-200 200-250 250-300 300-350 350-400 400-450 450-500 500-550 550-600 600-700 700+ Total Avg. Pr.
JAN 2 1 6 21 15 15 9 10 4 1 1 1 0 86 $301,272
FEB 3 7 17 16 22 27 21 8 5 5 2 1 2 136 $304,937
MAR 5 10 20 21 29 28 25 9 4 2 2 0 0 155 $281,202
APR 6 4 13 28 42 37 33 20 5 4 4 0 4 200 $314,179
MAY 4 5 13 29 33 48 22 19 9 8 1 6 1 198 $320,442
JUN 2 12 18 32 42 32 23 11 6 2 2 2 4 188 $298,941
TOTAL 22 39 87 147 183 187 133 77 33 22 12 10 11 963 $303,496
Information based on Red Deer Real Estate Board MLS Stats 2012 only.

The impact on price looks like:

red deer june stats-1

What do you think?  Are we in a “safe buying” period where your equity is more likely to grow?

Have real estate questions, let us know.

 

Patrick.

Real Estate Questions?

Each week I’ve been responding to various questions on our Century 21 Blog. The following are some of the posts:

  • What time frame do most buyers want to move in?

I get that question quite often.  We see a whole variety of dates and requests for a possession date for buyers.  Probably the most common phrase you will see on a MLS listing or marketing piece for a home for sale is a 30 day/negotiable possession date offering.

Sometimes buyers will get all worked up on the number.  “They said 30 days so offer them exactly 30 days!”  only to be perturbed later when the seller counters their offer to a different date.  In reality, how fast a selelr can move out and provide vacant possession varies and differs with each seller.  To move out within 30 days is quite reasonable and doable.  However sometimes buyers forget that they are asking for a week or two weeks for conditions to be met by them.  Conditions such as subject to financing and a home inspection most likely.  If this is the case that first week or two weeks the sellers has  a “maybe” and left with 2 or 3 weeks to plan their move after the buyer removes conditions.

The best advice on a possession date is be reasonable and flexible.  All the terms on the offer to purchase can be negotiable and really you should have a conversation with your real estate agent about your schedule and how the request to move out by a certain date works for you.

For marketing purposes the most common is 30 days, and I would recommend that to open your listing up to as many buyers as possible.  However if 60 days or 90 days or a specific date are a must, chances are those requests can all be accommodated.  Sometimes time maybe more important to the buyer or seller than settling on a specific end price.

  • Sometimes homeowners have questions or concerns about who is accessing their home and when.

These are normal concerns, and it’s ok to ask them of your REALTOR.  Our home is our castle and you have the right to know who is coming and going and when they are to be accessing your home.

The real estate agents that belong to the Central Alberta REALTORS Association all use what is called a Supra i-Box to hold the key that will access your home.  The protocol that typically gets followed is an request from an agent to show your home is made to the listing agent/brokerage.  Once that consent or “ok to show” is given the buyers agent then accesses your home using the key in the lock box.  The lock box can only be open with a specific “e-Key” that is registered with our association.  The e-Key user has a unique registered key and pin number to them to open the box.  Furthermore it can only be accessed during the hours of 9 am and 9 pm and can be further restricted as needed by the listing agent.

These i-Boxes also also have the ability to store the information of the last 100 accesses, and provide a log indicating which key was used to open.  This combined with the association registration and active user information we can then identify who accessed your home and the time.  This is a great peace of mind from the old days of lock boxes that required a old metal key to access, and certainly more secure than leaving the key in the mailbox.

Today real estate agents are not the only users of the e-key that can ipen those i-Boxes.  Appraisal companies and Home Inspection companies may also be registered with our association and pay for the use of a key as well.  Again these users are registered with the association and their access can be logged as well.

So to summarize, the key is held in a secure i-Box with the ability to track which user has access. Only registered users have access and you with your listing agent have the final say as to access.

  • Foreclosures:

With the change in the economy and employment we’ve unfortunately have seen an increase in the number of foreclosed properties on the market.  While foreclosures are not new, the increase in the number of foreclosed homes has made them more and more common place.  Due to this increase we’ve had a number of questions pertaining to foreclosures and the process such as:

  • Can I still negotiate price?
  • Can I get an home inspection?
  • Who looks after the property?
  • What can I expect on closing?

With respect to price and inspecting a property the answer is a definitive “YES”.

There is always an opportunity to inspect the property and negotiate price and terms of the offer to purchase contract.  The owner is a foreclosed property is either the bank or the mortgage insurance company CMHC or Genworth.  While they will not offer warranties or make representations tot he property you can negotiate other aspects of the offer to purchase such as price and of course inspect the property prior to proceeding.

Who looks after the property?

The owner of the property is still responsible for the property.  So if the bank owns the house now, then yes they are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep as required by the area or municipality.  To do this they typically hire a property management company to assist them with the properties and to “winterize the property”.  The water is turned off, sometimes utilities are turned off and they make arrangements to mow the lawn to meet the minimum standard for the municipality.

What can I expect on closing?

The best answer is you never know.  The bank will cross out on the offer to purchase phrases such as:

6.1 The Seller represents and warrants to the Buyer that:

  • (b) the Attached Goods and included Unattached Goods are in normal working order and are free and clear of all encumbrances;

 

  • (d) the current use of the Land and Buildings complies with the existing municipal land use bylaw;
  • (e) the Buildings and other improvements on the Land are not placed partly or wholly on any easement or utility right-of-way and are entirely on the Land and do not encroach on neighbouring lands, except where an encroachment agreement is registered on title, or in the case of an encroachment into municipal lands or a right-of-way, the municipality has endorsed encroachment approval directly on the real property report;
  • (f) the location of Buildings and other improvements on the Land complies with all relevant municipal bylaws, regulations or relaxations granted by the appropriate municipality prior to the Completion Day, or the Buildings and other improvements on the Land are “non-conforming buildings” as that term is defined in the Municipal Government Act (Alberta);
  • (g) the current use of the Land and Buildings and the location of the Buildings and other improvements on the Land comply with any restrictive covenant on title;
  • (h) except as otherwise disclosed, the Seller is not aware of any defects that are not visible and that may render the Property dangerous or potentially dangerous to occupants or unfit for habitation.
  • 6.2 All of the warranties contained in this Contract and any attached Schedules are made as of and will be true at the Completion Day, unless otherwise agreed in writing.

While often the house you saw, and made an offer on will be exactly as you saw it, it is possible that the home can be further damaged or even the occupancy changed.  It is best to consult with your re4al estate agent and lawyer about what can happen on possession day and whether or not that day is actually a moving target.  You may not be able to move in on closing day if the previous owner hasn’t moved out.  If that is the case then you will need to involve your lawyer and a Sheriff to remove them.

While foreclosures can appear to be a great deal financially they are not without risks.  Those risks could involve great expense and that deal is no longer as great as you thought.  Remember the phrase “Buyer Beware” it is always true and you should act accordingly.

Make sure that you read the clauses that are being stricken from the contract as they could impact your financing, the ability to obtain title insurance or the extent of insurance coverage.

Lastly, court ordered sales are similar but the process and procedures are vastly different.  You should have a detailed consultation with your real estate agent on the proceedings and the possible outcomes when buying a property that is a “Court Ordered Sale”.

 

The Broker,

Patrick Galesloot.

@pgalesloot

Market Temperature On The Rise

Real Estate Sales reporting by agents is often based on their personal experiences, and “feelings”.  It’s quite common that you’ll talk to a real estate agent and they will say things like “It feels like it;s getting busier out there”.

I’m sure I can fine anecdotal evidence and quotes from several real estate agents to support “busier market” statements.  The question is are these factual statements or subjective ones?

The Numbers:

2012 Red Deer real estate MLS® weekly sales v.s listings

 

Single Family Sales reported in February 2012 are up 35% in sales volume, up 52% in reported sales dollars, up 12% in the reported sale price and the days on market decreased 31%.

The short answer to the question is the market better would be… Yes.

I know you hear all the time “You Should buy NOW!!!” from real estate agents.  Based on current conditions, that statement is probably more true that it has been in quite some time.  Obviously if your personal financial situation is such that you can’t and it doesn’t make sense then don’t.  However what is the criteria for  “Now is a good time to buy?”

  • Sales Volume increasing
  • Price is no longer declining but looks like it has bottomed out or in initial stages of a climb
  • Interest rates maintain affordability
  • Economic and Employment Stability.

I’m no banker, and not an economist but I do believe that the economy in Central Alberta, Alberta and Canada is fairing quite well and our future is bright.  As for the interest rates, I can speak from personal experience and tell yo I’m much more happy with my new mortgage at 3.5% than I was when I first bought my home at 7.75%.  I’m seriously thinking locking in for 10 years is a smart thing to do if you plan on being there for that long.

How about price?

Well averages are a funny thing but they do show you where we’re at and where we are trending.  It appears to have bottomed out and trending up.

Sales Volume:

Volume is trending up as well.

What about reports of “multiple offers” and sales above list price?

Those are also true.  While there are actually not a lot of offers going above list price, we are seeing a list price to sale price ratio that is improving or moving closer together than we have in the past.  You can see in the above picture that in the last 30 days we only have 3 listings reporting a sale price above list price at (1.01, 1.02 and 1.03).

If you’ve been waiting for things to settle down and bottom out.  It looks like that’s happened and it is true the market is warming up from the cold depths of 2010 and 2011.

What more do you need to know?  Is the time right now to buy?

Patrick

@pgalesloot

Please note all stats are taken from the Central Alberta REALTORS® Association MLS® residential numbers only.

Does Your Business Need A Boot Camp?

In order to be succesful with my fitness goals I need to have

  • Have a goal.
  • It has to be meaningful, and attainable as well as all the other aspects of a “SMART” goal.
  • I also have to have a set schedule because life gets in my way.

The same is true with business goals and my success.  Have you ever had one of those days, weeks or perhaps years where you feel like your working but deep down you know that you’re not fully invested and striving?  Not for a lack of “wanting” but more of missing the execution with meaning.  Often this can happen after achieving success and you end up with “do it again?” or “now what?”.

I hit that zone in the fall with my fitness progress.  Due in part to an injury from completing a major goal of mine which was completing a half marathon.  It’s not like I wanted to or planned to gain weight and become slower, less agile and well fatter.  Those are just byproducts of not really driving for results but coasting.

Well you can only coast one way, and that is to a stop.  Once you take the foot off the gas you eventually slow down and grind to a halt.

I was persuaded by a friend to join SHRED at JDFT.  I can tell you at first I didn’t really want to.  However deep down I knew I had to kick my ass into gear because no one can do it for me.  So I signed up.  Did the initial weigh in, body measurements, fitness assessment test and committed to showing up 3 days a week, tracking my food consumption in a journal and being mindful of the caloric intake.  Sounds like fun doesn’t it “counting calories”.  It’s pretty simple thanks to an app on my iPhone.

We’re at the halfway of SHRED tonight and the results:

weight:  -5lbs

inches:  -5.25 inches

Crunches/minute:  +26%

Pushups:  + 13%

3 laps running: time decreased by 4 seconds.

So yes it is working.  If you need a proverbial kick in the ass to your fitness and well-being perhaps a SHRED or boot camp style program is for you.

Does your business need the same program?

When was the last time you looked in the mirror and said:  “Ok enough of this same old same old crap, I’m kicking it into gear and it starts now”

What are those keys to success we can apply to our business from a fitness boot camp or SHRED?

  1. Commit to change
  2. Invest in the program and trust that the actions will produce results
  3. Track the details. (track your calls, count the leads, the hits, the contacts today and week)
  4. Push yourself a bit further each day.  Instead of calling 3 clients today call 4.
  5. Change up your routine.  The same old same old is where you are today, how’s that working for you?  Start at 9 am instead of 8:30.  Email instead of direct mail.
  6. Do the tasks you don’t like to do but you know they work.  Kind of like eating salad.  You know its good for you but you’d rather have fries.  For results you’d eat the salad right?  Think the same in your business.
  7. Ask for help and feedback.  Bootcamps have a coach pushing you and encouraging you as well as checking your homework.  Get a business coach.
  8. Go back to the basics, they always work.  Zumba may be the new fun exercise, but a skipping rope and pushups still work.  So does picking up the phone versus building your “facebook page”.
  9. Don’t dwell on the set backs, but celebrate the successes and improvements.

In need of a real estate sales boot camp?  Now is the time to put that into action.

 

Patrick,

@pgalesloot

Broker/Owner, and real estate/business trainer and coach.

 

Easy Step To Growing Your Business

Running your business often creates plenty of opportunity to sit at your desk and review emails, financials, market trends, and engage in social media.  However all that screen time could be hurting your business.  Here is one simple step to improving your business regardless if it is real estate or not….

Walk Around.

Managing your business by walking around is not new.  If you’ve picked up the The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard you may be familiar with the concept but never really thought of it as simply “walking around”.

Let’s put into action Walking Around for Real Estate Sales Associates:

  • Go see your clients in person has more impact than an email or phone call.  Remember they gain rapport and comfort in you by spending time with you looking at houses.  Often lengthy conversations and fun chats.  Reconnecting in person and reminding them you were their “real estate agent” and still are, will go a long way at building your referral business
  • Get off your butt at an Open House.  The agents that never sell the house at the open house or get a new client even though a dozen people came through are probably the ones sitting at the kitchen table staring at the lap top.  Make the most of your Open House and walk through the house with clients while allowing them the freedom to explore without feeling pestered (Biggest objection from agents). If you don’t ask questions how will you know what they like and don’t like about the house?  Key to finding them the right match.
  • You’re mobile as an agent.  Go to places where people you know work.  Say “Hi”, drop off some coffee have a brief conversation.  Model what some of the mortgage agents do.  Do you think it’s annoying when they come to the real estate office and drop off a basket of fruit or box of donuts?  No, if you’re like the people at our office you appreciate the kind gesture and the opportunity for a small friendly chat.  Go talk to the people you know where they work and leave a small gift not just your business card.

As a manager of any business the walking around and talking to your employees and providing feedback both constructive and positive is vital to the growth of your staff and your bottom line.  Make a point of getting up from behind your desk and walking around and talking to everyone in your organization at least once a day.  Talk to one person at least every hour.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised how this will keep you connected to your fine hard working staff.

Have you noticed that this works very effectively at restaurants?  Think back at your last great meal or service experience at your favourite restaurant or memorable dining experience.  If it was a positive one I’m certain that the dining experience had elements of the following:

  • Timely friendly greeting
  • Order taken with personality. They asked questions, were fun and passionate about the food or drink, or asked in a way that made you smile.
  • The manager came by at least once and asked how they were doing, is there anything that he/she could get you.  The great ones say more than “How is everything?” and mean it.
  • They didn’t forget about you.

It’s quite possible that the meal itself was not to your liking and they responded quickly to fix it and did so with genuine concern.  Funny how we will then accept the not so tasty steak as “it was alright” when an effort is made to ensure that is was better than that.

Some times it is easier to point out what not to do or don’t be like as those negative experience really stick.  Remember that bad meal you had or poor service?  What didn’t they do?  The response is probably … no one came by asked if I need something or cared to follow-up on how the service or product was.  The experience felt like a “transaction”.

Don’t let your clients feel like “customers in a  transaction”.  Don’t let your employees feel like you don’t care and that their input is not valued.  Walk around and talk to your clients, and employees regularly and you business will benefit.

 

Patrick Galesloot

On Twitter:  @pgalesloot

Re-calibrating Your Goals

With 2012 approaching November and December is the time to reflect on the current year and finalize your plans for 2012.  For real estate agents planning for their business is a challenging exercise for many.  Sitting down and mapping out future activity and plans is not as common as it should be.  For some reason it’s an area that gets neglected.    Typical response from those that do not plan are:

  • “I don’t want to be a pushy real estate agent, my business will come when it comes”
  • “I know what I have to do and when, I don’t need to set a goal, they don’t work”

Bah Humbug.

I’m a believer of setting out goals, and plans.  While it’s true we may not achieve all of them or reach them as high as we thought we would but at least we have a direction.  Not having a goal is like leaving on your family vacation with no determined direction of travel.  That doesn’t appeal to me at all, how about you?

Top recommendations for success in 2012? …Plan for it.

I think a business plan is similar to a weight loss or fitness plan in many respects.  The goal “I want to lose weight” is as specific as “I want to make more money”.  Ask your self which has more impact:

  • “I want to lose weight” or “I want to lose 10 lbs by June 1st”?
  • “I want to make more money” or “I want to increase my income from $75,000 to $80,000 (a 6.6% increase)”
  • I want to sell more houses this year or “instead of selling 12 houses I will seem 15 houses in 2012”
  • “I’d like to start running” or “i will run a 5 km road race in September”

The more specific you can be the greater the odds are in your favor that you will achieve the desired results.  The critic may say “I’ve done that and it doesn’t work”.  So what didn’t work?  You didn’t achieve the goal because why?  Was it to big? was it to new of an area? You weren’t committed?

Many of you know that I’m a pretty big guy weight wise, and I have been actively increasing my fitness level to achieve a weight loss goal.  Well I’m disappointed with my weight loss for 2011.  I had a follow-up visit with my doctor this week and a year later I actually gained a pound.  Yes I gained a pound.  Total failure, anger, disappointment and annoyance combined with frustration were my initial response and I’m sure you could sympathize especially if you have been following my activities.

I set a goal and I didn’t achieve it.  Oh woe is me?

That wasn’t the only goal I set.

  • Run 5km… check did that, until 2011 I never did that before
  • Run a 10 km race.  Yup, check that as completed.  I ran 5 km during training and the day of my 5 km race I said, heck I can run 5km lets see how 10 km goes.  Check
  • Bike 200 km.  Another first.  I signed up for the 2011 Ride to Conquer Cancer.  It is actually more than 200 km over two days.  Check that as done
  • Run a half marathon.  I must have been hoped up on endorphin or something when I signed up.  Any way I followed through and did it.

I increased my fitness level through out the 2011 year.  I’ve been more physically active than I ever have in the last 20 years I think.  Not a bad accomplishment.  Yet I gained a pound?

While I have much going in my favor towards my goal when I analyze what i have and haven’t done the answer is painfully obvious…

  • Following the Half marathon I was essentially in 2 months of rehab because that 21 km run did a number on my body and then some.  My activity level plummeted while my eating level remained the same or similar to the pre-race training eating levels.  Problem was I wasn’t burning calories like I was previously.
  • My food intake choices lack consistency.  I like to eat.  Unfortunately I like food that is not as “healthy” as it should be and I like it a lot

Bottom line is I didn’t modify my eating behavior as much as I should have consistently throughout the year.  The easy goal was to go to the gym today and work out for me.  The hard goal is to pack a lunch filled with vegetables, healthy snacks and limit my sugar intake.  I know I was a lot lighter in August and September, and I can see where I got off track.

How often do we in business work on the tasks and goals that are the easier ones?  We do them, we do them really well, we see bench marks that are great and commendable, but we ignore some of the tougher ones.  In real estate the tough ones are prospecting for business.  Going out and initiating conversations about real estate and nurturing those relationships.  The stereotypical real estate professional is one that dabbles in prospecting, dabbles in marketing campaigns, and has a sporadic business to match.  They may do well financially for them but they don’t leap to that next level.  How often do we get off track with our business plans.  We all do from time to time so it’s important to check in and re-calibrate once in a while.

If you want to leap to that next level you have to do the stuff that you don’t want to do, and often in business that means you have to be willing and able to do the stuff that others don’t want to do.  That is key.  No one wants to pick up the phone and call 100 people and ask for business, but the person that does will get some.  On the weight loss side of things… No One wants to count calories and set a daily or weekly meal plan, but the person that does will build a habit that leads to healthy choices and weight loss.

So what’s your plan or goal for 2012.  Remember to set them in all areas of your life.  This week grab a pen and paper and write down goals for 2012 in the following categories and you’re sure to have a bountiful and successful 2012.

  • Personal
  • Family
  • Business

Happy Holidays and all the best in 2012.  I’m presently working on being able to complete 42 chin ups, 42 pulls ups and 42 one arm push ups (21 per side).  Building a new house for the family in 2012, and saving for a new office space by 2014.  I have goals for all aspects of my life.  Some I need to add more to and be more specific.  Like 2011, if I don’t achieve them all that’s not the end of the world but an opportunity top refine and do better and leverage the positive successes I have had in other areas along the way.  I may not have dropped the pounds this year but I do know my pants are smaller, the clothes fit looser, and I can walk up a flight of stairs with ease rather than feeling winded.  Not bad.

 

Enjoy,

Patrick

on Twitter @pgalesloot

 

Mobile Real Estate

Android App for Century 21 Canada Real Estate SearchOur Century 21 Canada technology gurus rolled out our latest search App on the Android platform to complement the already popular iPhone App.

It’s pretty slick, in my humble biased opinion. 😉

I have tried both as I have a Goggle Nexus One Android phone (now relegated to occasional use) and the latest iPhone 4S.  Yes I’m one of “those” tech junkies (please Santa bring me the just released Galaxy Nexus).  Regardless of which phone you do use our website www.century21advantage.ca and all of the sites at www.century21.ca are optimized for mobile.

Rather than go on and on about the latest gadget, I’m curious to know how many of you have used your phone or mobile device (tablet) to search for real estate.  Then if you have you used an app such as ours?

Have You used your phone or tablet to search for real estate?

 

Patrick

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