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Don't Overlook This Step For 2020 Planning

(Published on - 12/10/2019 4:54:11 PM)

The holidays are in full swing! Have you taken time to go over your business plan for 2020 yet? While you prepare for the next calendar year, real estate coaches also recommend reflecting on the past one, and adjusting strategies accordingly. You’ll take stock of what went well, where your time and energy was spent, and what you can change moving forward.

There’s another important piece of the reflection process that real estate coaches want you to include. It’s critical for ongoing success, yet agents are quick to overlook it and exclude it altogether from their reflection. That element? Celebration.

“When acknowledged, our wins—even very small ones—create positive energy,” Theresa Vavrek, a real estate coach at Buffini & Company, explains. “They make us feel accomplished and ready to do more and get even better next time.”

Celebrating achievements is one of the most productive activities real estate agents can do for their business at the end of the year; however, busy schedules make it the easiest step to skip, according to Rachael Yeaman, also a Buffini & Company Certified Coach.

“It takes time, and a lot of people don’t give themselves that luxury,” says Yeaman.

There are a few other reasons why people are so hesitant to celebrate achievement. Yeaman says many of us have a natural tendency to undermine our own achievements when we feel like we should be doing those things anyway—think going to the gym, delivering client gifts, reading more books, etc. Furthermore, many agents worry about showboating or being perceived as egotistical for drawing attention to their accomplishments.

In reality, says Yeaman, celebrating our own achievements actually means celebrating others.

“Nobody performs anything in isolation,” she says. “Every single accomplishment we have is representative of everybody that helped us achieve that goal.”

The Buffini & Company real estate coaches encourage agents at the beginning of the year to start a journal. This way, when it’s time to reflect, agents have an ongoing list of wins and the people who helped, so nothing slips through the cracks. Vavrek recommends scheduling some quiet time to go over that list in order to identify big accomplishments and develop a strategy moving forward.

“Give reflection the time it deserves, and make it intentional,” advises Vavrek. “Otherwise, we are looking at doing things the same and expecting a different result.”

Once you’ve spent time reflecting and you’ve taken note of your accomplishments, Yeaman says it’s time to have some fun. There are a handful of fun and stress-free ways to celebrate with your database, like throwing a small party for your strongest supporters.

“Many of my clients host gratitude gatherings where they honor the people who are there and acknowledge how they’ve helped them,” says Yeaman.

She also encourages agents to spend time with those closest to them. After all, she says, achievement is a collective effort.

“Go out with your spouse, significant other, family, parents or kids to celebrate, honor, acknowledge and thank them for the role they played in the year’s accomplishments.”

As you navigate the busy end-of-year time, remember the advice of the top real estate coaches. Reflect on the past year, but don’t forget to celebrate your wins and achievements.

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Converting A Storage Place Into So Much More

(Published on - 12/3/2019 10:17:17 PM)

When you’re dealing with a smaller apartment, one thing is certain – you’ll have to be innovative if you want to get the most out of your space. There are plenty of situations where you’d want to have an additional room. For example, if you’ve got two kids, them sharing a single room during adolescence is sure to cause frustration all around. With that in mind, we’ve decided to give you a couple of tips on how to convert a storage space into a bedroom. Read on and enjoy! 

The Right Color

So, you’ve decided to convert a storage space into a bedroom. Sure, if you’ve got a walk-in closet that you can do without; making a bedroom out of it is certainly possible. It won’t be a spacious one, obviously; let’s just say you won’t be able to transport your piano safely inside. However, you can still utilize the space you have to the best of your abilities. And by using some interior designing tricks, you can make it seem bigger than it really is. 

For starters – you should choose the right color. We definitely recommend avoiding any darker hues. If you use lighter colors, you’ll undeniably make the room seem bigger and airy. In comparison, using darker colors will make the space look smaller.

Think Vertically

When you want to convert a storage space into a bedroom, you’ll still need some storage space inside. After all, even a tiny bedroom has more stuff in it than just the bed. Obviously, you don’t have a lot of width to run with; but you still have the height. That’s why you’ll need to think vertically in order to make the most of the cramped spaced. If it’s a kid’s bedroom you’re making, put up as much shelving as you can for toys. 

Plus, the shelves do more than provide a practical storage solution. They also work to make the room feel taller than it really is; because they draw anyone’s eyes to look upward as they enter the room. 

Built-in Furniture

When you’re looking to convert a storage space into a bedroom, you need to make use of every single inch of space. But with such a specific space, any furniture you may want to fit inside might not fit. Or conversely, it could leave precious space unused if it’s too small. You could find a standard bed that somewhat fits inside, but only while leaving inches upon inches of unused room. Instead of wasting that area, think about making a built-in bed that fits the specifications of the room precisely. 


Unfortunately, most storage areas will lack natural lighting, if we’re talking about large closets or attic spaces. That’s just one of the compromises you’ll have to make if you want to turn it into a room. But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to settle for a dark bedroom. Instead, look to install as many different light sources as possible. That way, you’ll not only be able to have the room as bright as you want it to be; you’ll also be free to adjust the lighting in degrees. 

Remember when doing any renovation that it will take time and patience to get the space exactly how you want. Create a budget, stick to it and be creative with the unused space in your home.

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Customer Service: Why It Matters

(Published on - 11/21/2019 4:32:40 PM)

Providing good customer service. Such a simple concept and a necessity in today’s customer centric on-demand world. Yet it seems to be somewhat of a unique and sometimes hard-to-find skill in business.  It is both art and science. Customer service plays an essential role in basically every industry, which is why companies holistically need to embrace customer service in an integrated way for it impacts their bottom line. In the real estate industry, the quality and value of customer service – from real estate agents, brokers, brokerages, teams and companies alike – must be strong, concise, authentic, integrated and memorable in order to be successful and market aligned.

In a recent survey by American Express, “seven in 10 U.S. consumers say they’ve spent more money to do business with a company that delivers great service.” To succeed, businesses will need to coach their customer service representatives to use a personal touch, maintain a positive tone, be proactive about resolving concerns and respond promptly to questions. As a benchmark standard, at Realty Executives, 91% of customer service chats are answered in less than a minute – an unparalleled comparison to competing real estate brands. This performance, highlights the Realty Executives value proposition of delivering quality customer service to its agents who in turn, deliver superb customer service to their clients.  

The most successful agents come from real estate firms that prioritize the customer service experience both within and external to the organization. Much like Amazon, who is a  gold standard of superior service, Realty Executives strives to put the customer at the center of everything it does. While customers can range from franchisees to brokers, agents, home buyers and sellers, the Realty Executives customer service model remains a pillar of their business model and is an integral piece to the company’s continued success. Real Estate agents and brokers can adopt best practices – like Amazon’s – to apply to their own business model. Here are five of Amazon’s best practices to consider for a customer service centric business:

1. Start everything with a core commitment to the customer. 

Customer service is in the DNA of a successful business. 

2Build a corporate culture that knows how to listen

When you listen, you understand. By understanding, you can take the appropriate steps to meet the needs of your customers. 

 3. Make personal interactions easy.

Human interaction is an important role to ensure quality customer service.

4. Help your buyer stay connected. 

Always keep mobile in mind.

5. Make your customer needs the driver of innovation.

Create your own tools that meet the demands of your customers. Customer preferences are always evolving so let their needs drive your innovation.

Overall, customer service is about going the extra mile to make sure your clients are satisfied. It is delivering on a promise that is beyond what the expectation is.  Making the effort creates the intrinsic value that will keep your customers coming back for your service time and time again. Whether it’s being there as a listening ear when they’re worried about finding the perfect home or taking the time to go through home staging tips, being available, in the present, and supporting your clients is the key to creating long-lasting and valuable business relationships. Take care of your customers and your customers will take care of you. 

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Different Ways You Can Save For A Down Payment

(Published on - 11/12/2019 6:19:56 PM)

Everyone wants to save money but it’s usually easier said than done. And let’s face it, you’re only human! When there’s so many tempting things to purchase related to home buying, it’s essential to set yourself up for success early on. If you’re wary about where to start, try some of these helpful tips for how to save for a down payment.

Lower your Current Mortgage Rate with Refinancing

Purchasing a home is a huge expense. If you already own a home and are looking to relocate, consider refinancing your current mortgage to save for a down payment. 

Refinancing pays off and replaces your current loan with a new one that has different terms and conditions. These terms and conditions may include your interest rate, the balance itself and the length of your loan. 

In turn, the benefits of refinancing can lower your monthly payment or rate, change your loan type, get rid of mortgage insurance (PMI), provide funds for repairs or home improvements, consolidate debt and, most importantly, give your savings a boost!

Practice More Mindful Spending

Avoid the constant urge to frivolously spend by steering clear of stores that are your Achilles heel. Prioritize your needs first and then ask yourself if what you’re purchasing will improve your way of life.

A good way to do this is by taking a personal inventory of your goals and aspirations. If saving for a down payment is your prime concern, it may be helpful to ask yourself if what you’re buying is actually necessary. Spend smarter by being more mindful. In the end, your savings account will thank you!

Invest Any Extra Savings

Investing is a great way to save money for any upcoming plans such as securing a down payment. The easiest way to begin investing is by enrolling in your employers retirement plan. Many companies offer contribution matching up to a certain percentage which means free money for you! If this is not an option available to you, consider contacting a financial investment firm to help manage your money for a profitable future.

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Honoring a Generation, a Gentleman and a Peer

(Published on - 11/7/2019 6:56:32 PM)


On November 9th, two of our Realty Executives Family Members will embark on the final Honor Flight of the season to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials and experience a day of honor and thanks. Dave Delahunt and Dana Keegan are on the BRAVO flight, arriving back to Milwaukee at 9 pm Saturday night! 

A message from Dana:

Honoring a Generation, a Gentleman and a Peer.

This month, I have been gifted an incredible opportunity to accompany one of our family members on his Honor Flight. It humbles me to the core to be able to share his story of courage, profound respect and honor of his country and tireless commitment to the men and woman in uniform each and every day.

On November 9, Dave Delahunt and I will embark on a journey to pay tribute to the countless men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in preservation of the freedoms we enjoy each day. The Honor Flight Network is an organization dedicated to providing veterans with honor and closure.  Over 200,000 veterans have been flown since 2005, representing WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

Dave’s history with service to his country began in 1960 with the United States Air Force. An interesting fact during his service time, was that he served under three Presidents. Having entered the intelligence branch of the USAF during an election year, Dwight D. Eisenhower, was just leaving office as the newly elected Commander in Chief, John F. Kennedy took office. Sadly, just 3 years into his term, JFK was tragically assassinated, which prompted Lyndon B. Johnson to become the 36th President of the United States of America.

As a member of the intelligence branch of the USAF, Dave was stationed at a “listening post" in a defunct Nazi bunker off a remote airstrip in Turkey.  One of his most memorable moments came while flying an RB-47 (known as a reconnaissance bomber) on a Cold War mission over the USSR, when the craft took cannon fire over the Caspian Sea. Dave said it sounded like “kids banging on metal garbage cans.”

After his honorable discharge in 1964, Dave’s passion for his country and brothers-in-arms didn’t stop there. Actively involved with the American Legion post in Mequon, as the Salute Editor, he tirelessly champions for Veteran’s organizations such as the Wisconsin Homeless Veteran’s Initiative. One of his biggest successes for first responders was his pivotal role in bringing a K-9 unit to the Mequon Police Department. He and his wife Luan, endlessly fundraised to be able to provide officers with a K-9 cop to assist in narcotics detection, handler protection and area searches.

These flights are possible because of the generous donations made by people like you. Interested in giving? You can visit to make a donation and pay tribute to a service hero. I would like to personally invite you to welcome home these most deserving heroes and join us at the airport the evening of November 9th. Our veterans have earned that honor and deserve our respect.

November 2019 will forever be a life changing month and a personal journey for us both. This is a flight for Dave and for my Dad, a Vietnam vet who will be with us in spirit. Dave, you’ve given me a gift that I would have never gotten to experience with my dad…I’m honored to be your guardian for the day.

Dana Keegan  

Dave & Dana - we are grateful everyday to have you both apart of our #RealtyExecutivesFamily and we cannot wait to see you when you land! 




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