Tag Archives: Sustainable Culture

Sustainable Power and Influence: When are You Powerful?

Power Comes from Within...

Here is a powerful quote from The Power Principle by Blaine Lee  (1997), “Power is not a new phenomenon. It can be intriguing, because power can be surprisingly complex. It can be enticing, because power can be seductive. But it can also inspire and uplift and exalt, because power can be used to help people accomplish marvelous things” (p. 7). Blaine Lee, The Power Principle.”

A Word from the Field: Trust vs. Adversarialism in Real Estate (or Life in general)

trust in real estate

In my experience, I have dealt with listing agents who did a super job of representing their sellers without taking an adversarial position with the party on the other side of the transaction. However, as with anything, there are those who do make adversarialism a part of their business practice. Some call it “posturing,” others might call it “positioning.” Either way, this approach to business infuses negativity into the transaction and it adds a dimension of distrust, which slows the process down or kills it and becomes a draining experience for all involved. If you have ever read the book The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey, then you can understand the point I am making.

There should be a meeting of the minds. A seller wants to sell, a buyer wants to buy, and in the case where there is financing, a lender wants to lend. Sometimes, negotiations break down when the representatives for each of these parties cannot work together in order to identify and resolve the core issues that prevent the transaction from moving forward, or perhaps a representative is just “following orders” and does not consider ways to keep a transaction moving forward in a way that does not cause adversarialism to enter into the transaction. It is possible to accomplish this while keeping their parties’ interests protected. In this new age of real estate, mutual trust, respect, and transparency rule the day.

Hard ball tactics are a thing of the past, and to excel in these changing times, buyers and sellers would do well to find their own representatives that understand how to approach negotiations in an honorable way for the best win/win outcome. Otherwise, no one wins and everyone loses…time, money, energy. The way to accomplish this is to consider applying the 13 Behaviors of a High Trust Leader (Covey 2006):

1. Straight Talk

“Be honest. Tell the truth. Let people know where you stand. Use simple language. Call things what they are. Demonstrate integrity. Don‘t manipulate people nor distort facts. Don‘t spin the truth. Don‘t leave false impressions.”

2. Demonstrate Respect

“Genuinely care for others. Show you care. Respect the dignity of every person and every role. Treat everyone with respect, especially those who can‘t do anything for you. Show kindness in the little things. Don‘t fake caring. Don‘t attempt to be ‘efficient’ with people.”

3. Create Transparency

“Tell the truth in a way people can verify. Get real and genuine. Be open and authentic. Err on the side of disclosure. Operate on the premise of, “What you see is what you get.” Don‘t have hidden agendas. Don‘t hide information.”

4. Right Wrongs

“Make things right when you‘re wrong. Apologize quickly. Make restitution where possible. Practice “service recoveries.” Demonstrate personal humility. Don‘t cover things up. Don‘t let personal pride get in the way of doing the right thing.”

5. Show Loyalty

“Give credit to others. Speak about people as if they were present. Represent others who aren‘t there to speak for themselves. Don‘t badmouth others behind their backs. Don‘t disclose others‘ private information.”

6. Get Results

“Establish a track record of results. Get the right things done. Make things happen. Accomplish what you‘re hired to do. Be on time and within budget. Don‘t over-promise and under-deliver. Don‘t make excuses for not delivering.”

7. Get Better

“Continuously improve. Increase your capabilities. Be a constant learner. Develop feedback systems–both formal and informal. Act upon the feedback you receive. Thank people for feedback. Don‘t consider yourself above feedback. Don‘t assume your knowledge and skills will be sufficient for tomorrow‘s challenges.”

8. Confront Reality

“Take issues head on, even the ‘undiscussables.’ Address the tough stuff directly. Acknowledge the unsaid. Lead out courageously in conversation. Remove the ‘sword from their hands.’ Don‘t skirt the real issues. Don‘t bury your head in the sand.”

9. Discuss Expectations

“Disclose and reveal expectations. Discuss them. Validate them. Renegotiate them if needed and possible. Don‘t violate expectations. Don‘t assume that expectations are clear or shared.”

10. Practice Accountability

“Hold yourself accountable. Hold others accountable. Take responsibility for results. Be clear on how you‘ll communicate how you‘re doing–and how others are doing. Don‘t avoid or shirk responsibility. Don‘t blame others or point fingers when things go wrong.”

11. Listen First

“Listen before you speak. Understand. Diagnose. Listen with your ears…and your eyes and heart. Find out what the most important behaviors are to the people you‘re working with. Don‘t assume you know what matters most to others. Don‘t presume you have all the answers–or all the questions.”

12. Keep Commitments

“Say what you‘re going to do. Then do what you say you‘re going to do. Make commitments carefully and keep them at all costs. Make keeping commitments the symbol of your honor. Don‘t break confidences. Don‘t attempt to ‘PR’ your way out of a commitment you‘ve broken.”

13. Extend Trust (smart trust)

“Demonstrate a propensity to trust. Extend trust abundantly to those who have earned your trust. Extend trust conditionally to those who are earning your trust. Learn how to appropriately extend trust to others based on the situation, risk, and character/competence of the people involved. But have a propensity to trust. Don‘t withhold trust because there is risk involved.”

I have come to recognize the 13 Behaviors as a benchmark of character and competence that equates to a high degree of trustworthiness in all areas of life–business or personal. These 13 Behaviors can be used to measure any situation to clearly see where shortfalls are occurring not only with others, but also within ourselves, and when we take the necessary steps to change and make it better–great things happen.

Real Estate Investing and Improving Cash Flow: Be Careful not to Over-Improve

Smart Repairs = Profitable Business

Since real estate investors are in the business of real estate, it makes sense that investors would desire to have a profitable business instead of an expensive hobby. However, an important component to accomplishing this successfully is to avoid overspending and over improving investment properties.

An article on Invesdoor.com gives some helpful tips on what to do to maximize profit on real estate investments. Breaking even or losing money defeats the purpose of investing in real estate. Therefore, it is well worth the investment of time to gain insight into the strategies that are designed to curb over-spending and maximize profit potential from each and every real estate investment project.

The article points out three practical tips to prevent the over-improvement of real estate investments:

1. Consider the street that the property is on, and what kind of repairs should be made in order for the property to be in a comparable condition to neighboring houses on the same street.

2. Consider cost-effective improvements that attract the most attention; for example, kitchens and bathrooms.

3. Repair what is broken, but think twice before replacing anything unless cost of repairs exceeds the cost replacement.

Journey to Sustainable Wealth: Breaking through mindset barriers

Think and grow sustainably wealthy--body, mind, spirit, community, and planet!

I just posted a new episode to my podcast Sagely Reflections. It is about breaking through the old ways of thinking to achieve the kind of mindset that will support personal and financial growth. The mind is the very first place to start when it comes to finding direction and purpose. How we think affects how we feel and how we behave as a result. Building sustainable wealth whether through real estate or any other venture requires that we first believe in our own abilities to find learning resources that will enable us to learn, grow, and evolve confidently.

I hope you enjoy this episode!

Removing the Barrier to Breaking Through

Change and Transition: Managing Mindset for Maximum Breakthroughs

Have you ever heard the saying that you can’t see the forest through the trees? It is a universal truth that we can easily forget when we find ourselves in the middle of making a change in our lives. However, I have come to understand that how we manage transition will affect the outcome of the change we experience after all is said and done–good or bad.

Often times, we must move forward with only faith and knowing that–although the future is uncertain–we are doing everything we can to move forward in a positive direction.

No matter how many times we lose our way, the dream in our heart will guide us back to our intended path, as long as we stay receptive and we can hear it calling to us from within.

With gratitude we can stay receptive and connected to our inner-voice. With bitterness, we lose that precious connection and we no longer can hear the song living in our heart because negativity jams the line.

Building a sustainable life requires that we listen to the heart, and follow what feels right–for if we always strive to do the right thing, we will never go wrong. We will find and fulfill our destined place in this world, and beyond.

Class Discussion: Worldviews and Dilemmas – We are the same, yet we are not the same

How we think affects our experiences in life--for better or for worse.

In my Personal Ethics in Organizations class this week, we are discussing worldviews and dilemmas using the characters of the play “Doubt: A Parable” by John Patrick Shanley. We had to read the play, and then respond to thought-provoking questions presented by our instructor.

The part of the question that I thought was most interesting:

Each of the characters in Shanley‘s play, DOUBT, a parable, is involved in a moral dilemma. Presumably, each of these characters shares a Christian worldview . Do they define their dilemmas differently? Do they choose different relevant facts based on their Worldviews? What is a “Worldview?” Describe some key aspects of your own Worldview.”

My response:

One of the first classes I took was about inter-cultural communication, and how values and norms affect an individuals’ perception of the world; otherwise known as their, “worldview.” Even when two individuals share the same religious backgrounds, there can still be cultural clashes because every family has their own unique traditions and beliefs that come from more than just their spiritual background. The worldviews of each character in the play were very different and evident in the way they behaved, and responded to circumstances.

What kind of person would create lies to support their assumption of the truth without making certain that what they are assuming is true? What kind of person would stand there knowing full well that the other person was lying to justify their suspicion and assumptions. How does a man respond to one who blatantly slanders him? How people respond comes from their sense of right and wrong, which comes from their belief of how things should be. This perception of life comes from experiential conditioning since birth. We are all products of familiy traditions and beliefs passed down through the generations, as well as the good and bad we experience in life. It would make sense that a dilemma occurs when a person encounters a situation that does not align with their established worldviews, values, and norms. Therefore, there is a moment of not knowing what to think. Some may begin to doubt and question their beliefs; perhaps use critical thinking to take the situation apart and make sense of each element within the situation.

However, there are those who never learn from their mistakes and who are not open to questioning the “way things should be.” For me, doubt is the beginning of new knowledge because without doubt, there would be no inclination to search for the truth.”

Now, here are a couple of questions for you–my valued readers:

What worldviews do you have that are holding you back from achieving the transformation you so desire and deserve in your life?

What do you intend to do in order to close the gap that keeps you from realizing your full potential and personal fulfillment?

Things do not happen by themselves. It takes a dedicated and determined effort to figure out and take the necessary steps towards your desired destination in life. Someone will not deliver it to you on a silver platter. However, you can find people who will support you in your quest. Your vision of life will not happen until you first know what you want, figure out what it will take to get there, take that very first step, and then follow through all the way.

Take destiny into your hands and be the co-creator of your own future and vision of life. Go to the grave knowing that you did all you could do to detect and accomplish your mission and purpose in life–for when you do, you will have lived your life to its fullest potential with NO regrets.

Sustainable wealth is not just about money

The Chain of Sustainable Wealth!

What do I mean by sustainable wealth? Sustainable wealth means more than having healthy finances. It also means having a healthy body, mind, spirit, and positive outlook towards the future, and supportive community.

Sustainability is not only about preserving our planet’s natural resources, but it also includes the all-encompassing experience of living life with an abundant mind-set as oppose to living with a mind-set that focuses on scarcity.

A mind that focuses on abundant thinking attracts more good things to themselves, and to the lives of the people that surround them. I continue to see this happening around me every day. Some friends are a ball of positive energy and they get things done. While on the other end of the spectrum, I see skeptic negativity prevent other friends from recognizing opportunities and possibilities.

A mind that focuses on scarcity attracts more struggle, depression, stress, and other negative affects that rob many people of their energy, physical health, and the personal initiative to pursue and achieve their dreams.

Sustainable wealth does not happen by itself. It is a lifelong process and it requires a personal commitment to making mindful choices and decisions.

Thoughts from a Seattle Exclusive Buyers Agent (EBA): The High Cost of Low Trust

For the past six months, I have been reading a lot about the importance of trust and the profound affect it has on daily life–personally and professionally.

In one article featured on StephenCovey.com, it explains how low trust “has a huge tax associated with it." Some of the main compelling points in the article include that trust is very important in business, and that one cannot conduct business effectively without mutual trust. In fact, the article asserts that trust is vital:

“There are just so many elements to the simplest transaction that require trust. But we are like fish that discover water last and are sometimes unaware of those implicit elements. Trust is the lifeblood of all relationships, of all transactions, and is so foundational and fundamental to everything in life.” (stephencovey.com)

I discovered that I prefer working in an environment where there is genuine trust, mutual respect, and a collaborative team spirit. This also extends to personal life and relationships. With this kind of synergy, people can build meaningful connections and bring the experience of life to a completely new level. Without it, distrust, adversarial interactions, and the speed of accomplishing goals dramatically decreases to the detriment of all involved.

For real estate buyers, working within a culture of high trust can make the difference between working with what Robert Hahn of Inman News calls a "House Hawker," or a "Trusted Advisor." It means the difference between working with a human door opener and a dedicated real estate advocate.

Real estate buyers working with a highly trustworthy agent will benefit greatly from the resulting synergy that develops through dynamic collaboration. Good things can happen faster. When combined with a highly trustworthy mortgage broker, the result is a profoundly effective team and support system for real estate buyers. Such teams can make excellent progress and realize outstanding results over and above what buyers could achieve on their own or in an environment where everyone is in it for himself or herself.

It takes high trust, active listening, mutual respect and understanding, as well as open communication and being receptive to new ideas to realize unparallel results. This is the vision I have for my life personally and in business. I aspire to bringing out the best in others and in every situation. It means being accountable, responsible, caring, while adding value to the lives of others. It also means focusing on relationship building and mutually beneficial partnerships based in the spirit of good character, hard work, and goodwill.

With awareness comes the truth, and with the truth, the right thing to do becomes clear. Trust in ANY relationship whether client, referral partner, friend, or family member, is essential to the health and happiness of the human experience. Therefore, I am committed to building trust with all the relationships in my life. I will not settle for anything less, and I wish the same for you.

Here are some resources and articles on trust and trust building:

What is trust? ( from changingminds.com)

The Speed of Trust: The one thing that changes everything (Stephen M.R. Covey)

More resources, perspectives, books, and articles about Trust

Trust Agents by Chris Brogan (Thanks George !)