Agent Spotlight – Debbi Myers

Agent Spotlight – Debbi Myers

Four years ago, I got this email:

Hello Mike,

I received your email with the darling picture of your daughters. It has piqued my interest.

I am looking for changes in the New Year. I have worked from my home office my entire career, because it worked well for my children, but they are now 23 and 26, and I am feeling like I would enjoy working in an office with positive energy.

If you have time, I would love to meet with you and talk about coming to work in your brokerage.

Thank you,

Debbi

I’m not sure if it was fate or luck, but somehow I got the attention of Debbi Myers. I remember thinking, “Wow, if Debbi wants to join Front Street, then we must be doing something right.”

Debbi Myers If you’ve ever taken a class with Debbi (she teaches a number of CE classes including CORE and Post License classes), you can just tell that she is a particularly awesome human being. She has an easy going, fun-to-be-around way about her and she gives a damn about what she does.

Debbi is now the Managing Broker at FSB, a fitting role, as Debbi seems to be a natural teacher.

Not just in the classroom, but with every phone call I hear her take from an agent who is stressed out and unsure of the best course of action. She takes the extra time to help guide the agent to the right answer, rather than just telling them the answer, so they can learn how to solve the same problem on their own.

We all have the ability to continue to learn from each other, and in that regard, we are always learning from Debbi. Thanks Debbi!

Beyond that, I just feel lucky to call Debbi Myers my friend.

Have an awesome day

– Mike Tuner

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My First Steps

My First Steps

The Desk of the Richest Man in the World

The picture above is of Jeff Bezos, now considered the richest man in the world.

This is where he started.

It’s a good reminder to see that you can start with humble beginnings and end up anywhere.

When interviewed last year, Bezos laid out for all the world to see Amazon’s principles and approach, from which they never deviate. This is much like Warren Buffett, who has always been very public about how he invests and never breaks his own rules.

Here are Amazon Principles:

1) Stay customer obsessed. Versus competitor obsessed, profit obsessed, technology obsessed, or product obsessed. They keep focus on what the customer wants. Lower prices, faster delivery, more choices. They keep investing to make that experience better and better for the customer.

2) Willing and eager to invent and pioneer. Not just listen to customers, but to invent on the customers’ behalf and be willing to accept failure, because inventing and failure go hand and hand.

3) Long-term oriented. He pushes his team not to get stuck planning for the next 2-3 years. Thinking in a 5 to 7-year timeframe changes how an organization plans and implements, and forces them to always look at the big picture.

I find all 3 of these principles fascinatingly simple and smart.

In my field of real estate (and likely true for most industries) companies and owners don’t take time to develop their own set of guiding principles (from which they never deviate).

They plan only for the next month, quarter, or season, but don’t consider what they could be doing now to insure what kind of year they will have in 5 years.

What is clear to me from studying the likes of Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos is that having a set of guiding principles, an approach to how your run your organization, a business religion that you never deviate from, creates a solid foundation, a foundation upon which you can grow and accomplish great things.

Which is why you are seeing more emails from me.

I’ve made a commitment to myself to build a foundation, to follow a set of guiding principles with the goal of accomplishing great things.

I intend to pioneer new paths and to innovate on behalf of my clients, my community, my family, and I intend to document my journey. The lessons, the epic failures, the successes, all of it.

This is week 1.

These are my first steps.

Mike Turner
Host:  Idaho Speakeasy
Collaborator: Value Drive Approach
Founder: Front Street Brokers
Co-Founder: Impact Club Boise
Author: Agent Entrepreneurs
Voice: 208-340-8399

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Agents: Forget the TO-DO-LIST, do this instead…

Agents: Forget the TO-DO-LIST, do this instead…

Time is the ultimate equalizer. We all have the same amount of physical time each day. Doesn’t matter who you are, we are all bound by the 24-hour clock.

Managing my daily productivity level is one of my greatest struggles as a business owner, but it is also one of my biggest strengths. I’m not naturally an organized person. My mind tends to want to jump around from one task to another and my day is full of interruptions, which doesn’t help.

I’ve been able overcome a lot of these challenges by making a consistent effort to work on improving my productivity.  I often re-read books on the subject every year and listen to podcasts and audio books in my car around this topic because I can instantly see my daily productivity go up when I take time to learn or remind myself about strategies to get the most out of my day.

If you have seen any kind of training regarding being more productive, I’m confident the advice you received included something about using To-Do-Lists.

If you are not currently making lists of what you want to accomplish during the day, week, month, or year, then I agree with this advice. You need to have some sort of plan.

One lesson I’ve learned is that To-Do-Lists are really depressing…

There is so much going on in business and life that I almost never complete the to-do list for the day or week, which kind of sucks. It often makes me feel like I can’t enjoy personal time with my family and guilty about taking time to exercise because I have important stuff on my list that isn’t finished yet.

This of course, leads to unhealthy habits of not spending enough quality time with loved ones and ultimately poor health.

The Solution:

To-Do lists by themselves are just not the answer. The missing ingredient is pairing your list with your schedule. If it’s scheduled, it has a way better chance of getting done. It also helps you see when your To-Do-lists are too big, which in turn will help you set more realistic expectations for your day and plan better for the week and month.

Designing a schedule that you can stick to is a topic for another day, but I would highly recommend you begin assigning specific times on your calendar for everything on your to-do list. By doing so I’m confident you’ll see an instant uptick in what you can accomplish with your limited time.

Cheers!

Mike Turner

Mike Turner is the founder and CEO of Front Street Brokers Real Estate, host of a weekly radio show and a podcast, author of Value Driven Approach To Sell Real Estate and Agent Entrepreneurs. When not traveling on overseas adventures with his family, Mike lives with his wife and two daughters in Boise, Idaho.

Email Mike

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Finding Success in Uncomfortable Places

Finding Success in Uncomfortable Places

Get comfortable getting uncomfortable

 

One of my first jobs as a kid (like many) was mowing lawns. My Dad was a teacher at the local college and had extra time in the summers. One summer he took over a friend’s landscaping business.  

This was more than just a side job; he had a bunch of equipment and a sizeable list of customers to serve. Naturally, he looked to me to help him out and he paid me well for my help.

It wasn’t long before I found myself mowing the lawns all by myself. I don’t know if that was my dad’s plan all along, but if it was, it was a pretty good plan.  

I lived in a small town and my truck was highly recognizable all summer long as I had two mowers and plenty of grass clippings packed into the back.  

My friends would often stop when they saw me out working to heckle me. Not the mean kind of heckling, more of the typical banter between friends. I knew even then they were just bored or had nothing better to do.

At times I did envy their freedom. Especially on the beautiful days when they were going out on their boats (many teenagers in Sitka, Alaska save up to buy a boat instead of a car), headed out fishing or camping.

If there was a girl that I liked, she and her friends would always seem to pull up when I was green with clippings, covered from head to toe in grass.  

I didn’t love that job. In fact, there were many days when I hated it. However it did pay well, and it taught me skills far beyond how to make your front lawn look amazing.  

That job taught me how to keep a schedule, to track my work, to be accountable to others, that if you’re going to get paid for a job you do it to the best of your abilities every time without exception, how to manage bank accounts, receivables, invoicing, preventative maintenance on equipment, and how to lift a professional mower into the back of my pickup all by myself (that is an art).  

At the time I didn’t think about the fact that I was running my own business. It just kind of fell in my lap and I kept it going the best I could. It’s clear now how great it was learning those business skills at a young age.

One of the biggest lessons or keys to success I have learned throughout the many businesses I have been a part of is the necessity to get uncomfortable. In fact the more uncomfortable I get pushing my business, the more I find it leads me to more success.  

As a parent, I hope to help my daughters have the opportunity to learn the skills of business. I was having trouble articulating this lesson on being uncomfortable, but yesterday we had a breakthrough.

My wife is homeschooling our daughters this semester. We are testing it out to see how it goes.  So far it’s going well. I have started taking my daughters to work with me on Fridays. They still have lessons they have to work on while at my office, but I am trying to include them in different aspects of my business, as well as help them develop their own ideas about business and entrepreneurship.  

Their latest idea for making money is to sell hot chocolate and coffee outside the front door of my office in downtown Boise. We’ve been talking about the costs, the equipment, and steps we need to take before we can start, because of course they want to start immediately.

I explained to them that one of the steps we needed to take was to go over to City Hall and speak with the City Clerk’s office to see if we need to get and pay for a permit to sell coffee and hot chocolate outside my office.  

Emilia and Ivy in front of City Hall after the meeting with the Boise City Clerk

At first they thought this task sounded exciting, so we bundled up in our winter jackets and walked over to City Hall. When we walked in I could see that we needed to take a number and wait our turn. Once I showed them that we were two numbers away from being called on, they got nervous.  

Suddenly they were back peddling on their idea. I don’t think they fully understood the situation or what would happen next, so they became uncomfortable. The easy thing for them to do would have been to change their minds about their business idea, to walk out of the room so they didn’t have to speak to some grown up about their business plan.

I would have let them leave, too. This was their idea; I didn’t want to force them into seeing it through. I did gently remind them about the business lesson of being uncomfortable. I told them that the fact that they were nervous or unsure about the meeting might just mean they were on the right track for great success.  

I could see the lightbulb going on in their minds. They got the lesson, and they rocked their meeting with the City Clerk employee who, by the way, was super supportive and great with the girls.  

Comfort is stagnation.
Growth requires pushing into a state of discomfort.  

This important business lesson I’ve learned may be why I’m am always looking for ways to push and elevate my business. It is a habit now. But this year I’m really doubling down and making myself extremely uncomfortable.  

One of the biggest drivers of this is my new goal of writing and teaching CE courses for Real Estate Agents. I’ve been drawn to this goal for quite some time now. I first got the itch for it by coaching and mentoring agents in my Brokerage, which helped me realize that I have a true passion for building businesses, and not just mine, but for anyone who has got the drive, determination, and guts to pursue theirs.  

Then I pushed myself and accomplished a lifelong goal of writing a book, called Agent Entrepreneurs – Every Agents Guide To What They Don’t Teach You In Real Estate School.  

Writing that book was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But it has given me the confidence to move forward with creating courses that don’t really exist in our profession (and if they do, they are expensive or hard to come by).  

I’ve never been a great public speaker. When I was in grade school I took speech therapy lessons because no one could understand what I was saying. However, in business and in life I’ve understood the necessity to put myself in uncomfortable situations to move forward. Which was why, when I was offered a radio show 7 years ago, I didn’t hesitate. I said “yes, please.” Of course, after I said ‘yes’ I felt my stomach twist into knots, as I was worried that I would sound awful, make embarrassing grammar mistakes, or my mind would go totally blank on live radio.  

That first radio show, I was a mess. Sitting outside the station in my car I recorded a couple of minutes of speaking and played it back. I hated the way I sounded and I was sure others would, too. But I got through that day, and 7 years later I am still doing radio and podcasts. Once I got comfortable being uncomfortable, I gained a sense of fearlessness in business.  

I learned that I can do just about anything I choose to put my mind to. I realize I won’t be the best at my pursuits, and I don’t need to be. I just need to show up and keep moving forward.

At least these days, getting uncomfortable in business doesn’t mean smelling of moss and being covered in grass clippings.  

Here’s to finding success in uncomfortable places,  
Cheers!

Mike Turner

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Sharpening My Axe

Sharpening My Axe

Last week was the first class I’ve officially taught to real estate agents for CE credits and it was first time teaching the Real Estate Firefighting course.

The class was packed with a mix of veteran agents to the newly licensed. I personally thought the class went great, but of course I couldn’t help to be nervous about how the students valued the course.

I wanted everyone to get as much value as I could squeeze into the 2 hours, and I knew that is a tricky thing to do because everyone is in different stages of their career, and has different experiences and lessons they have learned in their career.

My goal was that everyone, even the veteran agents, would walk out of there with a sharper axe.

As the class wrapped up I asked the agents in attendance to please give their honest feedback of the course and my presentation so that we could we could learn where we need to make adjustments to improve the course and make it more valuable to agents.

Well… there was one overriding recommendation in the responses we got back and it wasn’t anything I was anticipating… They wanted the course to be longer.

Here is a sample of the feedback we got:

  • Great course with local scenarios. Wish was it was an hour longer.
  • Awesome! So original and fresh, with a lot of experience to back it up.  I really wish this had been a 3-hour course. Would definitely take another class from him.
  • Excellent, recommend pushing it to 3 hours.
  • Great Information. This type of class is what we need more of.
  • Good class, but needs to be a little longer.
  • Awesome class!
  • Enjoyed all the examples shared of real life situations.
  • Wish we could have had more time.

I have to tell you this feedback of wanting the class to be longer really made me feel good, because it confirmed that we are on the right track. To create real estate CE courses with information that often not taught, that is extremely valuable for real estate agents.

For everyone who attended last week’s class, I want to say “thank you.” Thank you for being willing and active participants, you made the class fun and we all got to walk out of there with a sharper axe.

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