Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Direction you want to goBy Roberta Ross, National Real Estate SpeakerOn my regular commutes from Pittsburgh to Maryland, I try to keep my mind open to new experiences, opportunities and people that cross my path. I was inspired and grateful this week when I again was seated next to “Doug,” a fellow frequent flyer on my morning flight.

Doug travels each week from his home in Pittsburgh to his job in the Baltimore area. People are often amazed when they learn how often I fly into Maryland and that, as a practical matter, I bought a car on eBay and leave it at the Baltimore airport to use when I’m in town.

I, however, am far more impressed with Doug, who doesn’t allow obstacles to get in the way of what he wants or needs to do. I may keep an extra car in Baltimore, but Doug has an entire house there for when he is in town for work. This is a commitment that most would be terrified to make.

My admiration for his can-do attitude is compounded by the fact that Doug is blind. Rather than using his disability as an excuse or reason for what he can’t do, Doug finds solutions that move him in the direction he wants to go. Doug is blind but, in many ways, I’ve discovered that he sees much more clearly than most.

I am always anxious to hear stories of his journeys and the perspective that he offers. He recently shared the story of a trip to Pittsburgh’s West Mifflin Mall with his wife, who also is blind. They boarded the local bus, as they had many times before, and got off at what they believed to be their usual stop—unaware that the bus service had changed its route. Instead of dropping passengers directly in front of the mall entrance, Doug and his wife were let off on the main drag, a very busy four-lane road about seven city blocks from the mall entrance.

In a somewhat frightened and nervous voice, Doug’s wife said, “What are we going to do now?” Doug promptly responded with, “Well, the mall is uphill from here, so let’s just start walking uphill, and eventually we’ll get there!” When I asked him how he could’ve been that composed in such an obviously stressful situation, he simply replied, “Well, the way I see it, you can either stand there and do nothing, or you can move in the direction you want to go.” Now that’s perspective!

How extraordinary would it be for all of us to learn from Doug’s point of view! So many people I’ve met, especially given our current economy, have become so focused on the obstacles they believe are in front of them that they simply cannot let go; they behave as though moving in the direction of their dreams is almost impossible.

If you catch yourself whining about all that is not right in your life, think about Doug. Be wary of the obstacles you THINK are in your way. This market provides an enormous opportunity for you to take charge, grab market share and, while everyone else is moaning, place yourself among the 10% of agents who are doing 90% of the business.

Take a page from “the book of Doug,” and unlock these three keys to moving your life from ordinary to extraordinary:

1. Choose a direction. Know where you want to go! How can you point yourself in the right direction if you are not clear as to where you want to go? Ask yourself: § How much do I want to earn this year? § What market or markets do I want to specialize in? Niche players are developing faster than non-niche players.§ How can I create a laser focus on that specialty? 2. Make a plan. How can you get there if you don’t know what road to take? Once you’ve decided on your dollar goal, your niche market or specialty and your laser focus, you must build a plan that can translate all of that into daily/weekly/monthly activities. The easiest way to do that is to plug everything into a “formula” for success.The National Association of REALTORS recently released new data that shows 74% of top agents’ business comes from their sphere of influence—up from the previous figure of 66%. That same study shows that you can expect a transaction from one out of every 12 people in your sphere, as long as you consistently stay in contact with them each month.

A handy calculator at allows you to plug in the amount you want to make each year and your average commission, then calculates the number you need in your sphere to realize your goals!Another effective way to stay in touch and build that valuable, SALABLE book of business is with BusinessBASE™, shared free with brokers and agents across the nation. Using a proven send-call-see approach, you learn who should be in your SOI and get answers to the how, why and what questions around reaching those VIPs. Visit to download this terrific tool today.3. Start today. It would be easy to put off all those things you want to do, need to do and should do for another day, month or year. Imagine if you were in Doug’s shoes, faced with enormous challenges and obstacles each and every day. It’s a funny thing about people like Doug: They teach us more about what’s possible and the value and blessing in each day than most of us learn in a lifetime. We have no idea what tomorrow holds; the time to cultivate the seeds of success and abundance is now.So what is it that you would like to accomplish? What direction do you want to go? What goals inspire you, ignite your spirit and bring you strength? Don’t “just stand there and do nothing;” move in the direction of your dreams. Push past those obstacles and roadblocks you believe are holding you back, and create the life that you’ve imagined.

Roberta Ross is a national real estate speaker and trainer who has been in the real estate business for more than 12 years. She is the author of two inspirational courses, Seven Keys to Six Figures and Tough Markets Make Tough Agents, and has been featured in the Pittsburgh Business Times and Tribune Review for her accomplishments in real estate investment. She is noted for her energized, meaningful speaking style and travels nationwide speaking to real estate professionals on marketing and prospecting. Her unique blend of business and public speaking experience enables her to educate, entertain and motivate real estate professionals to achieve their goals. She believes in working smart and structuring a plan that is effective, efficient and enjoyable!To invite Roberta to teach your associates how to play at the next level or to sharpen your company’s competitive edge, contact her today at 800.287.5710 or, or visit


PostcardsPLUS! kicks off pre-season with a new series of football postcards to help REALTORS® get into the marketing game by mailing team schedules to the legions of fans nationwide gearing up to answer the call, “Are you ready for some football?” 

This simple web-to-print platform allows agents to choose their team, upload their list and within just minutes place their order.  This year’s jumbo postcards are ready to score big for agents, and at just $80 per hundred, these full-color cards are printed, addressed, laminated and mailed first class within 48 hours, to make staying ‘top-of-mind’ all season simple, fast and cost effective! 

Agents who need a targeted, geographic list for their mailings will find that option available as well with the company’s product.  With just a few quick clicks of the mouse and a few moments of time, agents can customize a specialized mailing list with the variables and demographics that best work for them!  “With football season fast approaching, we wanted to be sure our clients had the opportunity to be first in the door for their prospects with this seasonal favorite.” says Julie Escobar, Director of Corporate Marketing for the group.

“Our football postcards are just another way we stay forward of our goal for both ProspectsPLUS! and which is to offer innovative solutions each month to help agents stay in touch with their sphere of influence and geographic farm areas,” continued Escobar.   “This is a challenging market for many agents, one that finds people leaving the business, shutting down or drastically cutting back on their marketing and promotion.  Savvy agents look to our postcard campaigns to help them maintain their top producer status by providing the tools they need to consistently stay in touch with their client base, while effectively capturing the market share abandoned by former or inactive associates.”

Agents can access the football series today by visiting For the non-sports fans in the crowd, offers a wide variety of postcard options such as Inspiration, Recipes, Holiday Series, Animal Series and even Recruiting postcards for the brokers in the crowd.  The site also boasts customized postcards for every major real estate franchise as well as the larger independent organizations across North America. 

Want to learn exactly how monthly marketing to your sphere-of-influence can mean more than $100,000 to you per client over the course of your career?  Call Julie Escobar at 866.405.3641 to schedule a FREE Webinar for your office which will walk you and your fellow associates through how to determine how many prospects you need in your SOI, how to measure your return on investment, how to effectively stay in touch and more. 

Need more marketing ideas?  Sign up for our FREE Monthly Master Marketing Newsletter™.  This timely tool will deliver fresh ideas, innovative tools and smart solutions to your “in-box” each and every month!  Visit today and click on Master Marketing Newsletter™., the premier resource for both business and consumer data powered by industry leader ProspectsPLUS,! has become the “go-to” site for real estate agents nationwide looking to capture high-quality, targeted lists when developing new niche markets.

The system is fast, simple and cost effective at just eight cents per record. Add to that no sign-up fee, user-friendly functionality, easy online ordering platforms and a base of more than 120 million consumer records and over 17 million businesses, and entrepreneurs have a powerful tool for pulling the highly specified data they need to find their niche.

“Today’s savvy real estate professional is keeping a keen eye on their marketing dollars. It’s no longer an option to take that old ‘shotgun’ approach to prospecting. If they are going to send out a marketing piece, they understand that they need to match the right message to the right prospect to create relevance, and better still, a higher response rate,” shared Julie Escobar, Director of Corporate Marketing. “Niche marketing has never been more popular or necessary. We help agents every day successfully marry marketing material to marketing segment for a real ‘perfect storm’ approach to building momentum. It’s tough to be number one in an entire market but it’s realistic to brand yourself as the ‘agent to ask’ for a targeted niche such as First Time Home Buyers, FSBOs, Investors or prospective Move-Up Consumers. We are also seeing a real trend with our customers breaking into Corporate Marketing using our unique ProspectsPLUS! system, and data mining for corporations that have 25 or more employees. It’s a great way to differentiate yourself, quickly build your sphere of influence, and tap into a terrific solution for turning the National Do Not Call Registry situation around!”

“It’s wonderful to be able to walk agents through the process of searching for area renters for those interested in the First Time Home Buyer market, or search by age and income for the Senior and Luxury Home demographics,” added Ramona Williams, Director of Business Development. “We’re also seeing a lot of REALTORS® searching our business records and building strong, successful referral networks with area builders, CPAs, attorneys and doctors. With, the process is streamlined for them, making it manageable. When you see that light bulb go off for an agent and they really start to see their business grow from this type of targeted marketing, it truly makes us proud to be the resource that helped to get them there.”

Three search options are available: Residential Radial, Residential Neighborhood, and Business search. Residential radial uses a starting address to search for homeowners closest to that location. Residential Neighborhood allows searches by homeowner or dwelling type, age, income level and more. The Business search enables agents to find businesses by type, size, industry type, SIC Code and more.

Ready to bring new data mining and corporate marketing strategies to your team of agents? Call Julie Escobar at 866.405.3641 or visit and click on Master Marketing Meeting™ to schedule your FREE workshop today!

high roadSeven characteristics that can put you in the fast lane—and keep you there!

By Gay Jones, National Speaker and Regional Director, ProspectsPLUS!“What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

That classic Napoleon Hill concept certainly has withstood the test of time, hasn’t it? Think about the high achievers you know, and take a look at the commonalities that have led those talented sales professionals to travel the high road they’re on. Are you ready to join them in the fast lane? Or do you simply want to achieve the sense of balance and peace of mind that emanate from those top producers? Whatever your aspirations, consider these seven elements that you’ll always find at the very core of the very best:1. They are believers. It’s more than self confidence; successful people embody the belief that anything is possible. They think expansively rather than seek the closed door of failure.

One of the greatest gifts we have is the ability to open our minds, hearts and lives up to all of the resources within our reach. Mega-producers shift from “I think I can” to “I know I can” each and every day. As the amazing Walt Disney once said: “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” Believe that you can; it’s a tremendous place to start.

2. They live in the present. Of course they do. Doesn’t everyone? Sadly, no. How many people do you know who wallow in the past or are paralyzed by fear of the future—what could or might happen tomorrow?

Top achievers recognize that today is what they have. This minute, this hour is what they can control. They become masters of the moment. They embrace the day, the conversation, the relationship, the business and sometimes even the silence.

It’s amazing how these people with so much to do and so much to accomplish each day seem to do it with ease and joy. Consider how much lighter your load would be if you left the past firmly behind you and the future out in front of you. Don’t you think that would make today much easier to walk through?

3. They work hard. I’m stating the obvious here as a reminder that success doesn’t happen by accident.

Top producers get up earlier, stay later, go the extra mile for their customers and strike the best balance in life—all while counting their blessings rather than complaining. They consider their career part of who they are and what they love—making work a lot less like, well, work.

In today’s market, the “pie” is smaller, which makes the competition for each “piece” tougher. Know that it takes more prospecting, preparation, time management, skill building and closing to stay ahead of the competition. If you want to travel on the high road, you have to be willing to go the extra mile.

4. They consider themselves “works in progress.” Anthony Robbins calls it CANI (Constant and Never-ending Improvement). The great Og Mandino tells us: “Take the attitude of a student: Never be too big to ask questions; never know too much to learn something new.”

Real winners are successful students; they never stop learning. They’re passionate about absorbing everything there is to know about work, life, relationships, balance, etc. They recognize that our world is abundant in resources that can help them learn, master their crafts and expand their horizons. You’ll find many are both mentors and protégés, as ongoing teaching and learning are necessary not only to make it to the top, but also to stay there.

5. They take responsibility. It’s amazing how much we can accomplish when we take personal responsibility for our actions, successes and failures. Too many people try to look busy, place blame or find reasons why something won’t work rather than doing what it takes to make it to the top.

Leaders accept the challenges before them, step up and learn from their mistakes and don’t wait for success to come knocking at their door.

6. They are resourceful. Top producers think ahead and actively acquire the skills, strategies, tools and techniques they need to keep their edge in any market. They not only create new ways to “build a better mousetrap,” but they also set out to build a better “self.”

They think ahead of the trends and seek out the lessons they need to thrive. Rather than saying, “I don’t know,” winners add the words “but I will find out.”

Get creative. Explore the resources that are available to you—from libraries and the internet to mentors and mega-producers.

7. They put people first. Successful people think outside of themselves. They understand that their customers are the lifeblood of their business and that the care and keeping of those customers is a top priority.

They also realize that living an exceptional life requires a delicate balance among work, family and self. All work and no play usually makes for someone who ends up alone. They cherish and guard family time with as much fervor as they use in cultivating business relationships.

How do they do this? By using prospecting systems that ensure they stay in touch with their customers every month and putting time-management systems in place to ensure their family time is uninterrupted.
I challenge you to take the road less traveled all the way to the top. Incorporate these elements into your own life and business, and realize that you, too, can conceive, believe and achieve greatness. I wish you every success and hope to see you on that “high road.”

To download a FREE copy of our time-tested system for staying in touch with the VIPs in your customer base, visit and click on BusinessBASE™. While you’re there, take advantage of our free monthly newsletter, as well. We hope that by providing these valuable tools to help grow your business, we can become one of the “resources” mentioned above.

Gay Jones, National Real Estate Speaker and Regional Director for ProspectsPLUS!, has educated, entertained and motivated thousands of audiences across the United States and Canada. She helps associates nationwide realize their full potential by utilizing the tools and techniques she provides in her unique workshops and seminars.

To invite Gay to teach your associates how to play at the next level, to learn more about her CE-accredited course or to sharpen your company’s competitive edge, call her today at 800.287.5710.

Summer ParentRight about now for many of you, the summer season is taking its toll.  Your child has that look.  You know the one that stops you in your tracks and makes parochial school guilt look like amateur hour.  Susie’s mom is making homemade fruit sorbet or watermelon boats, has daily activities schedules and prepared from here until Labor Day and you are trying desperately to keep your head above water in a changing market with way more low tides than high.  Makes a day at the beach is sound pretty appealing to you to given the circumstances – right? First of all, know that you are not alone.  As our economy continues to shift, the percentage of families with two parents working full time grows each year.  So, shake off the Cleaver & Brady Bunch mindset, ours is a different world, and with a few deep breaths, a lot of patience and some very effective time management techniques you can make the most your time at work at home.   Pass on the guilt and prepare a plan to make sure your summer and theirs is all it can be.

1.  Get creative with that calendar!  Now is the time for true focus, whether you are working or playing, you have to be committed to the task at hand.  As independent contractors you have the ability to maximize or minimize your daily work hours when necessary.  Take a look at your summer calendar, plan the weeks you are devoting to family time.  As for your weekly schedule, get creative.  Lengthen some work days so that you feel comfortable shortening others.  Add an hour or two to three of your days and with a little time budgeting, you can eke out another day off!  Change things up a bit, as well.  Swap a Monday or Wednesday workday for a Saturday or Sunday.  This will help when family activities find you at attractions where the lines are longer on the weekend. 

2.  Prioritize.  To do lists are essential to your sanity.  Before each week, and certainly every evening make a list of the top 6-10 priorities for the day. When you are traveling at what seems like the speed of sound instead of experiencing those lazy days of summer, your planner and priority list quickly become your best friend.  You will find that much of the busy work that you encounter each day is truly filler, and if you concentrate on the top income producing activities, you can make the most of your days and free yourself up to spend quality time with your family.  Some top producers even work on a point system.  They divide their goals into monthly activities so that they knew how many contacts they need to make to attend the appointments they need to have to list and sell the property they need to move to close on the desired amount of income.  They numbers are up to you, but break them down in daily increments and strive to hit your number early in the day!  Ready, set…go!

3.  Take the tag team approach.  Yours is not a unique situation.  As you look around your office, neighborhood, school year car-pool candidates, understand that many of your friends in this sphere are in the same boat.  They too need viable alternatives to keep kids occupied.  Create alliances which allow you to share the load and keep the balance.  Find out who has the most time in the mornings to take the morning shift.  For the early birds who are up and at it before the rest of the world wakes and have breezed through the bulk of their workload by 3:00pm may be up for some afternoon game days.  As with anything else in life, two heads are better than one, and when it comes to working parents, many heads, hands and hearts to help each other out equals a network of incredible people all caring for what for most of  us is our TOP priority, our children. 

4.  Delegate.  I don’t know about your house, but summertime at mine means a lot less quiet and a lot more mess.  Just by virtue of eight plus additional hours at home, things can run amok relatively quickly.  While the focus can still be on fun, make sure you are not double or tripling your work load trying to keep up with the clutter alone while balancing work and family.  A weekly chore chart which delegates household responsibilities to spread the wealth, or rather the work, amongst your family members is a great way to keep things under control and keep kids occupied.  Even little ones can pitch in with age appropriate tasks.  Some parents prefer an allowance stipend for helping hands; others prefer rewards such as a trip to the local zoo or amusement park at the end of the week’s accomplishments, or a combination of the two.  Fun markers or beach stickers are a great way to mark off each completed responsibility.  For older teens not yet working, make some days a take your kid to work day and let them help out with filing, mailings or cleaning out desk drawers.  I know agents that have employed their teens to do simple phone surveys which help gather needed data and give young adults a chance to shine as they touch their toes into the world of business.

5.  Homework.  Not for them, for you!  If you do not already have a home office, set up a niche for yourself so that you have a place to organize, create, work on your business plan, make calls, set appointments and generally keep the business wheels spinning in those early morning hours before the sleepyheads in your home wake up.  Take a look at our Master Marketing ScheduleTM for effective marketing ideas for the remainder of the year and set a plan in motion to put systems in place that will work for you, even when you are taking the day off. 

6.  Take it with you.  We are a plugged-in, all-access society.  You are a salesperson with a phone, a laptop, a planner and hopefully a plan.  Double up your days when and where necessary.  So you can’t be in the office today?  You promised your kids a trip to the beach?  What can you do then?  Trade the romance novel for a book on sales skill building or motivational CD.  Bring your BusinessBASETM of clients and weed through your contact sheets to cull the ones you no longer work with and add new facts and touchpoints to the ones you need to contact.  Heck, make your beach trip work for you by having a custom beach umbrella or beach chair made with your logo and contact information.  (Putting the sold sign on the sand castle may be taking it just a BIT too far, but you get the picture!) 

All in all, keep everything in perspective.  Your business provides the foundation for you to take good care of your family, provide for what they need and build a better life.  Make finding the balance so that everyone feels comfortable a family affair.  You will teach your children the importance of hard work, of compromise and the power of a team.  Now, go work a little, play a little, and make some memories along the way this summer.  Enjoy!

Would you like to bring effective, NOW market sales strategies and skill building techniques to your office?  Find out more about our FREE Master Marketing MeetingTM! This fast-paced presentation provides agents with data-mining strategies, how-tos for finding ready, willing and able buyers, corporate marketing solutions, objection-handling techniques, FSBO tools and more. In just 30 short minutes, your agents will discover easy-to-implement tools designed to quickly boost their productivity-and their sales!

Call Julie Escobar at 800.287.5710 or visit and click on Master Marketing MeetingTM to schedule your FREE workshop today!