Saturday, October 24, 2009


Over the past few weeks my Monday Morning Mojo has focused on the evolution occurring at Keller Williams Coastal Properties.  Questions posed have offered a reader the opportunity to reflect upon the potential message in context of their own business.  This week I am taking a more personal path; thus as I reflect upon a few defining success principles, hopefully, you will resonate with how certain data points are interrelated.

This week a friend shared a book with me entitled ‘The Go-Giver’ written by Bob Burg and John David Mann.  A national bestseller (so I might be the last person on the planet to read the book) that seems to crystallize the mojos of the past several weeks into ‘five laws of stratospheric success.’

Sharing these mojos with you is a personal journey.  Oftentimes, these incomplete tangents are threads that I need to resolve within to create the business, the life and journey that I desire for myself and those I love.  So between the paragraphs of the book, I reflected upon people who have crossed my path for the past five decades.  Hang in there with me for a few moments … developing business models, business plans, business strategies, marketing channels and service platforms are but fancy terms with no heart, unless we understand (beyond saying the words, but is all about ‘walking the talk’) the why behind everything they suggest.  The why reflects the soul of what we do by reflecting the heart that gives meaning to the experience of all those we touch.  The main points in the book are oddly well timed and relevant when considering my past several blogs – some might explain a bit of synchronicity is at work.  That is a topic for another time though!

In summary, Burg’sfive laws of stratospheric success’ are:

1.     The Law of Value:  “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.”  The real question is what I do … does it really serve other people?  Does it add value to others?  In a world consisting of ‘what is in it for me’; and ‘what is mine is mine, and what is yours is mine’ speaks to contrary values.  If you listen closely you will hear this value at the core of what most businesses and individuals say.  Last week I had a meeting with a key service provider to Keller Williams.  The goal of the meeting in my mind was to discuss the concept of ‘strategic partnership’ and collaboration.  After nearly three hours I asked this rather dynamic person sitting across the table, how often do brokerage companies or realtors come to him from the place of true partnership?  His response was ‘never’.  Why?  Even with our meeting’s goal being collaboration, the participants struggled with this notion because the under current was still prevalent – ‘what’s in it for me or my company’?  

2.     The Law of Compensation:  “Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.”  Relishing the opportunity to “survive, save and serve” – and the greatest of these attributes is to ‘serve’ crystallizes the personal mantra that I must integrate into my spirit.  My compensation is directly proportional to how many lives I touch – ‘value’ merges with ‘impact’.  As I read these words, I thought of my father who toiled without a hint of resentment looking for simple ways to just be of service, to be a servant of those who crossed his path and to lighten the load of all.  This gracious gift was reflected by dozens of people at my dad’s funeral … a lesson I am only beginning to understand – thanks dad, maybe someday soon!  Be watchful … compensation is not restricted to only money … rewards of the soul are more meaningful and lasting than those wrapped in paper bearing a dead president’s picture. 

3.     The Law of Influence:  “Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.”  Contained in Keller Williams’ mission statement is the term “win-win or no deal.”  If you listen, negotiators, marketers and sales people often deliver this message; and for most this message resonates as being a worthy value.  Yet think about it … ‘win – win’ infers each person getting some fraction of a 50-50 deal that creates a winning compromise.  Is that demonstrative of real ‘value’ and beyond that this sentiment of ‘win-win’ is not unique – nay but a snappy catch phrase often over used and rarely understood.  The book summarizes (and I immediately connected with) “watch out for the other guy.  Watch out for his interests.  Watch his back.  Forget about fifty-fifty … it’s a losing proposition.  The only winning proposition is one hundred percent.  Make your win about the other person, go after what he wants.  Forget win-win – focus on the other person’s win.”  How many of us have that all backwards – mega companies have as their mantra delivering less than total satisfaction and have us believing that this is something special?  What would happen if we really created one hundred percent wins?  How about setting our sights on delivering what another person needs in total? 

4.     The Law of Authenticity:  “The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.”  In a world of commodity all we have to offer that is unique is ourselves.  Reaching our goals is about ten percent knowledge and technical skills, and ninety percent is about people skills.  At the core of people skills is who we are as individuals.  Ah, all that coaching and after billions of dollars spent on self improvement, and it really boils down to delivering an authentic and real you in service to others – delivering to other people what they want, when they want it, and how they want it.  A message packaged thousands of different ways, but each of us at our core already knows it.  How often and at what cost must I be reminded of that one simple reality – just be authentic while engaging with other people (for me – be ‘interested’ not ‘interesting’)? 

5.     The Law of Receptivity:  “The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.”  The yin and yang of life … we can’t give until we are open to receiving; and we can’t receive until we are open to serving others.  How often do I dismiss a compliment or a gift shared by another?  That is all about me and not the other person … in that moment I’m not open to receiving, and I cut off the other person’s opportunity to give or serve.  Ugh … I am so uncomfortable with accepting another person’s reflection that involves me.  I would much rather give than receive – so much easier!

So as I sat down to write this blog, I reminded myself that in articulating a new vision at Keller Williams Coastal Properties and while developing my own business plan for 2010 that really … I need to deliver a tangible service that embodies these principles at all times!  Sounds simple doesn’t it … well maybe it just might be … if I listen and remain open to other people’s journey and stories.  And you, how do you deliver a product or service that encapsulates these principles?  Or are you part of the majority who believes that this ‘mumbo jumbo’ has a place only around Christmas or in your family, AND not in business?  Most of us would agree, if we stopped for a moment; however, our language contradicts all or most of these principles, and most of all ‘our walk’ oftentimes is in conflict with these values.  Ah, now that is the rub … ‘how do I walk the talk’?

I hope you enjoyed the reflection, and take the time to consider how these questions may present opportunities for you today and in 2010.  Most importantly, I hope you make it a GREAT day and week!!  If you wish to read all the other Monday Morning Mojos written for you, then visit:  As always, I welcome and encourage your feedback and your reflections (please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with me).  If I can be of service to you or your friends, please let me know or visit us at  And, thank you for your continued support and inspiration … each of you are a cherished gift that enriches my life in ways you will never understand … Thank you!!  Jim Peys

Monday, October 19, 2009


So a group of realtors got together last week at Keller Williams Coastal Properties for a business development meeting.  Afterwards, the group gathered informally over pizza and wine to discuss other business related matters.  A friend asked each of us their production numbers to date for 2009; and if we had started developing our business plans for 2010.  One by one each person (with one exception) admitted that they had not started their 2010 planning.  Reluctantly I was one of those who acknowledged not having put any thought into next year’s business plan.  Ugh I shutter at the thought!!

The following day I was retelling the story to another peer who is putting together a budget for Keller Williams Coastal Properties for 2010.  I asked how she was going to do that without any input from the realtors regarding numbers and goals.  That got me thinking as to the real value of these budgets, business plans and goal setting exercises.  Logically I would think that a business would gather information from its sales and marketing arm, discount the projected sales numbers, and then develop the budget for the next year accordingly.  Yes, but that is when you run straight into the problems with the brokerage business model … the sales team consist of all independent contractors who typically don’t bother projecting sales goals or writing annual business plans (save those few or those in coaching; but even then it might just be a meaningless activity or another ‘homework assignment’).  So is there any value in these budgets and business plans?  Or are we just putting numbers together that makes us feel good or so we have completed a task that others say is important?  Is there a real value; and if so what is that value?  I wonder how many people after writing their business plans for the next year actually go back and read the plans on a regular basis (daily, weekly, monthly)?

How about you … have you written your 2010 business plan yet?  If not, are you resisting writing your plan?  Why?  You might even be asking yourself why do I even need to write a business plan every year?

Intellectually I understand that without a plan of action I basically have no ‘blue print’ for success in my business.  Beyond the notion of a blue print though the exercise of writing my business plan forces me to evaluate the market, identify my resources, determine my budget, and prioritize my efforts so that I don’t waiver with every shift in the winds.  If I truly go through the exercise, I can see the value of the plan given how this business (real estate) moves from one strategy to another depending upon what other people say is a trend.  So after some thought I am committing to write my plan over the next thirty days.  But saying I’m going to write my plan, albeit a good decision, involves me first identifying my resistance.  Part of my why?

So why do I resist writing my plan?  Well there are several reasons.  First, I resist structure on several levels.  I generally give considerable thought to where I’m headed and the implementation strategy to get to my goals.  However, when I write down my production goals it gives me this instant accountability barometer with little or no wiggle room.  Many people gravitate towards building accountability into their daily routine; however, I feel a sense of being trapped.  Finally, in the past when I have written my business plan I never seem to read it again (after its finalization) – therefore it takes on this air of being a senseless exercise.  In many ways it probably is why I never set New Years resolutions.  I almost take this attitude that writing a business plan is analogous to completing a ‘homework assignment’.  When I finish, then I’m done.  Well that thought process misses the mark – the business plan should be my individual road map that is a living and breathing document.  And, I should take it upon myself to review my plan daily, or at least weekly; and track my numbers each month.  Furthermore, I should make it a habit to revise my business plan every quarter – at that time I will need to re-access the market, my production and my plan accordingly. 

Okay, I have admitted the reasons for my resistance … furthermore, I will admit that my resistance really does amount to being total garbage!  So here I am exposing one of my achilles heels (one of many).  So now what?

Well I have three different, but similar, realtor business plan templates.  So that takes the mystery and mundane issues of development off the table.  And yes, I do understand the process for realtors beginning with the numbers – look at last year’s numbers and understand them.  Then begin with how much money one wants to make next year (GCI [‘gross commission income’] or in other business parlance gross income), and work backwards to determine how many transactions it will take to earn the GCI numbers.  Once you have the total number of transactions, then determine how many of each type of transactions (listings and buyers); how many days I plan on working; how many listings; the number of listing appointments it will take to close the number of listings required to reach your numbers; and finally how many calls it will take each day to reach my goals.  This process is fairly easy to understand; but really what does that get you … it seems like an analytical justification of how much money you want to make over the next year (oftentimes not based upon any reality but your own mental wish list).  So really what is the value in that exercise … well the heavy lifting is not in the numbers … but what the numbers suggest in combination to some additional factors.  Factors that few coaches and advisors really focus on (they give it little if any consideration when evaluating the plan).  Previous coaches spent all their time in the production numbers giving no consideration to the market trends, resources and business models. 

What would a few of these other factors be?  Whether you are in real estate or another business these factors are relevant.  Such factors as:
·      What is your business model?
·      What is the current market doing?
·      What are the market drivers for each micro-market you are selling into?
·      Where is each market headed over the next year for the services you are providing?
·      What are the agents of change that will cause each micro-market to expand or contract? 
·      What are the agents of change inherent in your business plan itself?
·      What resources do you need to be successful given each micro-market?
·      Evaluate the costs, market potential and whether these individual micro-markets or strategies fit your skill sets, your business model, goals and long-term business vision?

So going through the mere exercise of putting production numbers down (i.e., revenue, costs and number of transactions) may be of little value taken by its self.  But the process of developing the road map and understanding the playing field is the critical path that creates and sustains a world-class business.  So as John Wooden once said “failure to prepare is preparing to fail” is sage and timeless advice for all of us – even for me as reluctant as I am at times.

I hope you enjoyed the reflection, and take the time to consider how these questions may present opportunities for you today and in 2010.  Most importantly, I hope you make it a GREAT day and week!!  If you wish to read all the other Monday Morning Mojos written for you, then visit:  As always, I welcome and encourage your feedback and your reflections (please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with me).  If I can be of service to you or your friends, please let me know or visit us at  And, thank you for your continued support and inspiration … each of you are a cherished gift that enriches my life in ways you will never understand … Thank you!!  Jim Peys

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Have you ever had a conversation with someone who in the moment was truly interesting?  If you are like most, then you probably were captivated with what they said, how intelligent they seemed, or their story telling ability, etc.  We all love being around ‘interesting’ people at least for a moment.  If you think of people like that ask yourself, how often do you develop a REAL relationship with that person?  Why is that?

Let me help you out … contrast that experience with another person who seems to take a genuine interest in you and what is important to you.  I would venture that it is a noticeably different experience.  Ultimately, we develop relationships with people who take a genuine interest in us.  So at this moment you might be asking yourself … so what … nothing new in that … I agree.  But sometimes the most sage advice is but a repackaging of an established truism.  I would rather be ‘interested’ than ‘interesting’, if my desire is to engage in a conversation and develop a relationship with someone (to bring it down to a business level – no sale until you become ‘interested’ NOT ‘interesting’).

I struggle, at times, with balancing these concepts.  Recently a friend reminded me of this when I was on one of my verbose tangents (no surprise there eh).  Since that gentle nudge, I have been reminding myself to pay attention to the difference.  Maybe someday it will be second nature for me, until then I’m good with my friends ‘busting’ me every once and while.   

But for everyone else, why even bother wasting time and space blogging about this simple concept.  Well for the past several weeks I have been reviewing blogs, websites, advertising, newsletters, web posts, Facebook, Tweets, etc., and the one constant principle seems to be a focus on being ‘interesting’ rather than ‘interested’.  The greatest violator of this basic principle seems to be realtors – they have cornered the market on being ‘interesting’ (although for some that is even a stretch).  If you look close enough it quickly bleeds through everything we put out in the market whether in writing or verbal communications.

Another friend sent me a link to an author and public speaker who is writing a book (scheduled for publication in 2010) on Leadership.  He is writing his book in a collaborative fashion (interesting development in writing – thanks to the Internet and blogs) – meaning as he writes a chapter he posts it on his blog and refines the chapter based upon reader feedback and comments.  While reading Chapter 2, the author touches upon a similar theme.  So I thought it might be interesting (here I go) to share his comments with you.

John Maxwell on Leadership:

“When I began my career as a minister, I was not about others. When I counseled people who were experiencing difficulties, my attitude was, “Hurry up and finish telling me your problem so I can give you my solution.” When I was leading any kind of initiative, I constantly asked myself, “How can I get people to buy into my vision so that they’ll help me with my dreams?” When I spoke to an audience, I was focused on myself and not them. I lived for positive feedback. And my goal was always to be impressive. Much of what I did was all about me, yet I still wasn’t succeeding.

When I was twenty-nine years old, my dad invited me and my brother-in-law, Steve Throckmorton, to attend a Success Seminar in Dayton, Ohio, where I heard a speaker who understood how to connect with people. I sat there mesmerized.

I remember thinking, This is someone who understands success. I like him. But there’s more to it than that—he really understands me. He knows what I believe. He understands what I’m thinking. He knows what I feel. He can help me. I would love to be his friend. I already feel like he’s my friend.

That speaker was Zig Ziglar. And that day he said something that changed my life: “If you will first help people get what they want, they will help you get what you want.” Finally, I understood what had been missing from my own communication—and from my interaction with other people. I saw how selfish and self-centered I’d been. I realized that I was trying to get ahead by correcting others when I should have been trying to connect with others.

What I learned was that connecting is never about me. It’s about the person with whom I’m communicating. Similarly, when you are trying to connect with people, it’s not about you—it’s about them. If you want to connect with others, you have to get over yourself. You have to change the focus from inward to outward, off of yourself and onto others.

And I know you can do this, because I did! You can connect with others if you’re willing to get off your own agenda, think about others, and try to understand who they are and what they want. If you’re willing to learn how to connect, you will be amazed at the doors that will open to you and the people you will be able to work with. All you have to do is keep reminding yourself that connecting is all about others.”

Whether you are an attorney, an accountant, mechanic, contractor, realtor or a financial advisor we all need to communicate effectively to engage in any type of relationship – whether that relationship is personal or professional in nature.  How we navigate building rapport with people and demonstrate genuine ‘interest’ in another person will ultimately drive that relationship.  So how are you choosing to be ‘interested’ today with the people in your life?  Or are you going to be more like me sometimes, and put your head down and head to your office as you close the door to move through your day?

I hope you enjoyed the reflection, and take the time to consider how these questions may present other opportunities for you today.  Most importantly, I hope you make it a GREAT day and week!!  If you wish to read all the other Monday Morning Mojos written for you, then visit:  As always, I welcome and encourage your feedback and your reflections (please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with me).  If I can be of service to you or your friends, please let me know or visit us at  And, thank you for your continued support and inspiration … each of you are a cherished gift that enriches my life in ways you will never understand … Thank you!!  Jim Peys

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Surprise … the splash of cold water … my wake up call came this past week.  We had our second KWCP video demonstration on the customer relationship management (‘CRM’) platform through KnewVantage and  A few of us are trying to move KWCP into the 21st century and build a bridge between the antiquated realtor model into the ‘new’ economic model which for most other industries is just standard operating procedure.  Unfortunately, the current realtor model is at least a decade behind the technology and business systems curve regardless of whether you consider C21, Prudential, Keller Williams, Remax, Coldwell Banker or another real estate brokerage company.  Recent prominent blog posts have the audacity to argue that the current realtor models can’t survive the Internet onslaught (see The Notorious R.O.B. or BuzzMachine).  For those who know me, guess what … I agree … it is just a matter of time … these models are headed to the graveyard (or will morph into a different model) along side with travel agents, newspapers (as we know them), book publishing, music stores, etc. 

Are you a middleman in your business … if you are … beware ... it is only a matter of time when the efficiencies of the Internet and Google will expose your underbelly.  No time better than today to ask yourself … what business am I in?  Who is my real customer?  And, what is my value proposition (or alternatively, what is my unique sales proposition)?  For a more complete discussion of these questions see previous Monday Mojos (September 7th post).  

Those are but a few of the questions we are asking at KWCP.  And, we have come up with some interesting answers, along with a few incredible systemic strategies.  Strategies that overtime, with the proper resources and mindset shifts will modify the existing realtor axis.  Ah, that is both their strength and weakness … because they represent fundamental change … and for most of us we resist change at our core.  Ergo the splash of cold water!

So as I engaged with those who participated in the webinar demonstration, they greeted me with cordial pleasantries.  But when questioned, I was quickly confronted with the resistance we will need to over come, if we are ultimately successful in our quest.  The questions and opinions that persisted included:

  • Who is going to pay for this transition?  How much will it cost?  Even though these questions were answered several times, which leads me to ask myself, what is the real objection?
  • How is this CRM application any different that other contact management systems available? 
  • How does cloud computing benefit me?
  • Why should I join the company CRM platform or its cloud when there are free resources out there through the local MLS?
  • I just want things to remain as they are today?
  • Collaboration sounds great, but really, I am not going to expose my business to other realtors in the office.  But if they want to share their systems, contacts and marketing strategies then great.
  • The broker is not really going to change and dedicate the resources necessary to make this paradigm shift successful.
  • This is all good, but all we need to do is increase our agent count by eight new agents a month.
  • We tried other systems and applications previously and they bombed, so how is this going to be any different?

These were just a few of the comments and questions hanging like the ‘elephant in the room’ following the presentation.  Significant enough that I had to gather myself and avoid the obvious judgments that … really they didn’t grasp the quantum potential in the solutions being outlined.  That this CRM solution and the proposed ‘cloud’ is nothing they have encountered before in its depth, scalability and potential.  The technology platform outlined will provide the backbone for individual agents and KWCP to provide a level of service to their customers that no other brokerage company will be able compete against on a consistent basis – at least until other brokerage companies get on board.  Clearly the old paradigm continues to be at the heart of the issue or fear – the agent as an independent contractor model. 

After a few moments of reflection, I summarized that it was not a problem with the agents and attendees at the webinar … but really I failed!!  We will need to do a better job as we move forward with this initiative.  Servant leadership, consensus management and collaboration (interesting leadership styles) are powerful models that ultimately out perform other management styles; however, it takes more effort to build than other autocratic decision-making models.  Oh well, these bumps in the road just means that we need to make a few tactical modifications, and articulate the ‘value proposition’ in a way that is clearer for every agent and the Company – the ‘value proposition’ must be so overwhelming to build consensus, and phased in to minimize natural resistance points.  Even then, we must prepare ourselves that not everyone will jump on board.

The question that continues to gnaw at me though is … When is a ‘value proposition’ for an organization and its customers enough to motivate comprehensive buy-in and adoption?  Is that enough to achieve the lofty goals and vision outlined?  The only answer I have been able to muster through the doubts is ‘I hope so’ …  What do you think?  When does a ‘value proposition’ become so complete that the target audience is moved, even at the risk of change and in light of its alter ego – fear?  Let me know your thoughts.  I am interested in how these hurdles exist in your business or in your company?

I hope you enjoyed the reflection, and take the time to consider how these questions and evolving business models present significant opportunity for all of us.  Most importantly, I hope you make it a GREAT day and week!!  If you wish to read all the other Monday Morning Mojos written for you, then visit:  As always, I welcome and encourage your feedback and your reflections (please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with me).  If I can be of service to you or your friends, please let me know or visit us at  And, thank you for your continued support and inspiration … each of you are a cherished gift that enriches my life in ways you will never understand … Thank you!!  Jim Peys