Pre-Listing Packages are important, but in this episode of Power Tools, we talk about two big reasons why.
I’ve been on something of a documentary/video course/non-fiction kick lately. If you’ve read this blog long enough, you know that I love to read, but I like to have something on in the background when I am working at night. These are some of the titles, in no particular order, that have caught my attention recently. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I did.
1) The Crown
I’ll be the first to tell you that as a red-blooded, bacon-eating, gun-toting, Texan, I was surprised to like this series because let’s be honest, who needs a silly bunch of entitled, British figureheads? Not only is this series very well done from almost every perspective, but it also teaches a very valuable lesson about patience and endurance. While the rest of the world, at times, crumbled around her, Queen Elizabeth plays the long game better than most. Likewise, serious Realtors should be looking years into the future, not to next week’s closing or yesterday’s short appraisal.
2) Chef’s Table and Abstract
These are both outstanding series that highlight amazing artists. Chef’s Table follows a groundbreaking chef in each episode and tells their story. Abstract does similarly for artists, from illustrators to shoe designers. I am inspired by and love learning from creatives, specifically those whose lessons can translate to business. For agents, I love these to stimulate creativity and take your train of thought down an unconventional path. Think about the way these artists and chefs challenge traditional thinking.
3) Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates
If nothing else, it’s cool as shit to see the daily routine of one of the world’s smartest and wealthiest men. What I liked about this limited series, though, was the controlled scheduling by which Bill Gates lives his life. I tend to get off-task very quickly. I try to make up for it by being very strict with my schedule, but nothing like Bill. I also am inspired by how much he reads and his drive to impact the world and leave it a better place.
4) Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Subtitle warning. You better be ready to read a movie. If you invest the time, however, you won’t be disappointed. Jiro Dreams of Sushi tells the tale of Jiro Ono, possibly the most renowned Sushi chef ever. This show is an ode to discipline, practice, and persistence. When Brokers and coaches tell agents that it’s the little things done repeatedly, every day, that build a successful business, they should just tell people to watch this documentary.
5) The Black Godfather
Never heard of Clarence Avant? You’re probably not alone. Uncensored, unabashed, and relentless, Clarence might be one of the most influential black men in America that nobody knows. Just watch the list of Hollywood stars, politicians, and musicians that agree to go on camera to celebrate the life Avant. There are a host of lessons here, but these are my favorites: always be yourself, know & demand your value, we are better together than apart, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, and each one, teach one.
6) Brene Brown: The Call to Courage
Ok, I admit it. I was late to the Brene Brown party. Just watch this. It’s all about being vulnerable and how that creates strength in a person. In real estate, there is something of a funny dichotomy. If you’re male, you are supposed to conform to traditional norms. If you’re female, you are expected to put on a mask and hide any vulnerability. Nonsense, says Brene Brown. Go watch this and think about how you can use this to help grow your business.
7) Self Made: Inpired by the Life of Madam CJ Walker
I wrote about this story on Facebook from a web video I saw a couple of years ago. It’s the story of America’s first, self-made female millionaire. Born a slave, Madam CJ Walker eventually lived next door to the Rockefellers after building a hair care empire. Wonderfully acted by Octavia Spencer, this series won’t disappoint. It’s an inspiring story of overcoming incredible obstacles, never taking no for an answer, focusing on quality, and caring about people being their best selves.
8) The Battered Bastards of Baseball
Heartwarming, hilarious, and heartbreaking at the same time, this tale of the Portland Mavericks is a seriously fun watch. Established by Kurt Russel’s father, Bing, the ragtag team of independent players challenged the establishment, broke all of the rules, and had a hell of a good time doing it. In the meantime, they laid the foundation, at a time when there were none, for future independent baseball teams. Agents should watch with an eye towards breaking tradition and challenging the status quo.
9) Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things
Last summer, I made two tragic mistakes. The first was spending a weekend in a tiny house with my family. The second was taking an RV trip with the aforementioned family. Never again. I need more space. That said, this is a story about getting rid of the unnecessary and focusing on the important. I know A LOT of Realtors who could benefit from that advice. If you like this show, give Essentialism a read. You won’t be disappointed.
10) Hip-Hop Evolution
If you grew up in the last 30 years or just like hip hop, watch it. I don’t know how many business lessons can be drawn from it, but all work and no play make Chance a dull boy. This is pure awesomeness.
What are you watching?
It’s been just over two years since I wrote in this blog. My last blog post, “Overwhelmed”, was about my experience in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. A lot has happened since then, but I’m glad to come back with this post because it is all about something great that rose from the storm.
In The Beginning…
As I sat there, overwhelmed, watching the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, it became abundantly clear that, in my brokerage, we were very good at deploying human resources, but we lacked in processes & systems to deploy financial resources in time of need. We were fortunate that we only had a few agents seriously affected by the storm, but it was definitely a wake-up call. Something needed to be done, quickly.
Through a few text messages with my attorney, it was decided that we would start a charity, the CB&A Foundation.
What The Hell Are We Doing?
So, we started a charity. Now what? I had no idea what to do & it wasn’t like we were messing with something being scrutinized heavily by the IRS or anything! So, we created a Board of Directors. That would solve everything, right?
So there we sat, at a conference table, not having a clue what we were doing. Strength in numbers, or something like that. We started with the basics. Coming out of Harvey’s wake, we wanted to primarily make sure we had funds set aside to help our agents in times of emergency needs. In a brilliant move, one of the Board members completely made up a formula. As such, we now had a baseline for reserves.
From there, we decided that any funds raised in excess of that completely made up reserve amount would be put back into the community. Again, we had no idea what that looked like, but…
Our Agents Came Through, Again
Just like during the Harvey recovery, a simple mention to our agents resulted in an overwhelming number of suggestions for who to support. We went from not very sure to having a very real problem, there were so many options we didn’t know how to choose one. If you read the follow-up to this post tomorrow, remember this point. A seed was planted, but we needed time.
Based on multiple suggestions, the proximity to our office at the time, & its reputation in the community, we decided that if we had any money left over after filling the reserves, we would support Cy-Hope. Specifically, we would try to raise enough money, $15,000, to underwrite their summer camp. At this point, I honestly didn’t know if we would raise $15, much less $15,000.
In the following year, we left our franchise & went independent then moved our main office. It was something of a whirlwind, but we did it. We raised not only the amount for our reserves, but we raised enough to send 125 kids to summer camp, sponsor a calf in the calf scramble at Rodeo Houston, start a scholarship for entrepreneurs at Sam Houston State University, & match donations of 100 wreaths to Wreaths Across America.
Overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed by the generosity of our agents. Overwhelmed by the power to create change in our community when people of the same mind come together. Overwhelmed.
That’s it for now because I don’t want to ruin the surprise. I’ll be back on Thursday for the 2nd chapter of this post & the life-changing impact we will have in 2020 & beyond in the communities we serve. I am incredibly excited for it.
Thanks for reading. It feels good to write again. In 2020, I plan to post more often, include interviews with important (to me) people in the industry, & whatever feels good. Hope you’ll stick around for the ride.