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All I Really Need to Know for Sales Success I Learned in Grade School! Part 3 of 3

  Continuing on from Part 1 of 3 and Part 2 of 3,  now for the final lessons!   Lessons I learned from my 1st-8th grade teachers set me up for sales success, albeit indirectly, sometimes hilariously (and embarrassingly....)!  7th grade: Mrs. Cline  Lesson: Know what you are talking about!   This story isn't specifically about my 7th grade teacher, but a 7th grade boy I had a huge crush on, Aaron.  Mrs. Cline had chosen Aaron and I to each lead a trivia team in a contest to help us prep for an upcoming test.  I was excited because this meant we would be at the front of the class together, side by side. He had to notice me!  And as we were competing against each other, I wanted to try to impress him with my brilliance! This backfired spectacularly!  We each wrote our team name on the board.  I wrote, "NKOTB" (New Kids on the Block for those not as familiar with 1989's hottest boy band!).  He wrote, "Cavs".  I snickered and erased that and "corrected" it to be "Calves" because he clearly spelled it wrong!  Well, for anyone familiar with SPORTS AT ALL, "Cavs" are the Cleveland Cavaliers, an NBA basketball team. He took the eraser and chalk back and re-wrote, "Cavs", while giving me a look that indicated he definitely noticed me but NOT in a good way. In the sales world, you never want your prospect's to notice you in that not-so-good way. So know what......
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All I Really Need to Know for Sales Success I Learned in Grade School! Part 2 of 3

Continuing on from Part 1 of 3,   Lessons I learned from my 1st-8th grade teachers set me up for sales success, albeit indirectly, sometimes hilariously (and embarrassingly....)!  4th grade: Miss Rock. Lesson:  Sometimes people lie. This is possibly one of the most difficult lessons I learned in grade school, but one of the most important.  My family did not have extra money. So when my mom bought me nice new markers, this was a wonderful and extravagant gift for me.  I made the mistake of showing them off to a few classmates in art class.  Basically, I was bragging. Later in class, I went up to the teacher's desk to turn in my project.  On the way back to my desk, I heard some snickering and giggling. Once I returned, I noticed my markers were gone.  A girl I was not friends with held up my markers and told the class to "check out her new markers".  Outraged, I told her to give them back to me.  She refused and I became increasingly agitated.  The teacher came over to see what was going on with us. After I explained what happened, the teacher asked the other girl who the markers belonged to and she said they were hers.  All the kids just nodded in agreement.  No one backed up my story.  I had no recourse, so the teacher allowed the other girl to keep my markers. I was devastated and scared to tell my mom. I spoke with Miss Rock......
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Guest — Brittany Lozano Stasko
Growing up i was always told by teachers, friends and family to NEVER change, to always keep my positive personality, to always be... Read More
Tuesday, 30 October 2018 11:40
Stephanie Oehler
Amazing! So glad your “you-ness” was embraced and nurtured, Brittany! Thanks for sharing.
Tuesday, 30 October 2018 17:57
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All I Really Need to Know for Sales Success I learned in Grade School! Part 1 of 3

Author Robert Fulghum's bestseller, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, encapsulated lessons for success in life from lessons we learned in Kindergarten.  Some of this wisdom included: "clean up your own mess" and "don't take things that aren't yours".  He helped simplify the complexity of being a successful adult. Remember these lessons, act accordingly, and ideally live a more successful life!   After giving this some thought, I realized that my entire grade school journey did something similar for me.  Lessons I learned from my 1st-8th grade teachers set me up for sales success, albeit indirectly, sometimes hilariously (and embarrassingly....)!  1st grade: Mrs. Kidd. Lesson: Show pride in your work!  Mrs. Kidd chose me as the first student of the month in 1st grade!  I wasn't exactly sure what that meant but I knew it meant I had to bring in a poster board with photos of me and my family and fill in a questionnaire about what I wanted to be when I grew up. Since I was the first one, I didn't have any reference points on how this poster board should look. I waited until the last possible minute to bring in my board and kept it in a trash bag until Mrs. Kidd finally took me and my board in a bag to the hall to talk.  She asked me why I waited so long to bring in the board.  I told her I wasn't sure if I did the work correctly and......
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Brent Williams
This is great! For me, I think the lesson I learned, although maybe didn't really sink in until later, was to always keep pushing... Read More
Friday, 19 October 2018 11:34
Stephanie Oehler
Great insight, Brent! That's an important lesson to learn. I've had the conversation with my daughters many times that talent is... Read More
Friday, 19 October 2018 16:42
Mindy Sharp
When I was in fifth grade we studied American Civics (haha, they called it civics back in the day!) As a lesson in elections, beca... Read More
Sunday, 21 October 2018 15:32
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The Boston Marathon, and Why You Shouldn't Pit Your Leasing Agents Against Each Other

This year's Boston Marathon was no joke.

It was cold. It was rainy. It was windy. It was in Boston! ("Boo Boston! Hiss!" said the Yankee fans.)

Professional runners dropped out of the prestigious race because of hypothermia symptoms. In April!

Desiree Linden, the winner of the women's title (and the first American woman to win the race in 33 years, which is neither here nor there in regards to this post, but is definitely awesome, and therefore worth a mention), almost quit herself. According to reports, she wasn't feeling well at the beginning. So when her teammate Shalane Flanagan had to make a porta potty stop in the middle of the race, Linden waited for her so she could help her get back to the front. (Because women always have to go to the bathroom in groups, right? I'm allowed to say it because I'm a woman.) She figured she might as well help her teammate if she couldn't help herself.

Despite that delay, Linden won. And, with her help, Flanagan secured seventh place. Not too shabby.

Look at that teamwork! Linden could have easily left her friend in the dust. Would she still have won? Maybe.

But maybe not.

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Leasing is a Sales Role

My first sales job was leasing apartments near Cleveland, Oh.  I was bright eyed and bushy tailed and truly believed in my product so much that I thought every person that walked in the door should lease an apartment.  That enthusiasm (and naivety) propelled me to some initial successes in leasing.   Eventually, the enthusiasm tapered off a bit and my rose colored glasses broke and I found myself underperforming.  Luckily, I worked for a phenomenal management company who believed in ongoing training via their training academy.  They trained from the get go that leasing is a sales role.  It wasn't until my leasing % went down, that I fully embraced what this meant.  And eventually returned to Top Performer status! What did this mean? 1.  Leasing is the front line.  Beyond "online curb appeal" or true physical curb appeal, leasing representatives are the first impression a prospect receives as they walk in your door or call you on the phone.  Good sales people are always prepared to make a good first impression.  Although it is possible to recover from a poor first impression, great sales people know to start off strong and get stronger from there. 2. Leasing isn't telling.  I was so impressed with my apartments that I couldn't wait to tell each and every prospect every amazing thing.  But good sales people don't talk, they listen.  It doesn't matter if I LOVE the apartments, it matters if the apartments meet the NEEDS and WANTS of the prospect.  Great sales people know that if they listen and learn from the prospect, they......
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No Need For a Ring: Employee Engagement

Here’s the thing about employee turnover. It is directly correlated to employee engagement. So, let me tell you about Lauren. She does not work in our multifamily real estate industry. Instead, this bright young lady graduated #2 in her class at a prestigious university on the east coast. She is working at a pharmaceuticals company, coming in as a basic Claims Processor. She did work hard learning all the new formulas and processes and policies for her position. When others left at noon on Fridays that first summer, she worked until 5:00 PM, sometimes past – most of the time. Her immediate supervisor took notice of how precise her work was and how high the volume output was. He reported to his boss how impressed he was with her work. Soon they offered her the opportunity to join their company’s Leadership Class where she would be paired very often with the highest ranking officer of their division (pretty high up!) Her annual review went well with some positive feedback and a couple of needs improvement areas. She worked on those improvement areas, overcame them and was soon promoted to a leadership role supervising a couple of others. Then they noticed how well her group completed assignments and they promoted her to “boss” position. They gave her an Award (including money bonus) and sent her to the national corporate headquarters where she lead a team to assume management of a couple of their responsibilities. She delivered feedback on new hires, trained them, all while......
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Mindy Sharp
Since each person is in a different situation and in a different place in his life, I advise carefully! It depends on what the end... Read More
Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:00
Penny
Yikes! Are you describing your company?
Saturday, 13 February 2016 00:17
Mindy Sharp
Absolutely not. Penny, after many years of managing and consulting, this is an observation(s) on what has happened based on emails... Read More
Saturday, 13 February 2016 08:49
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5 Four Letter Words For An Awesome 2016

5 Four Letter Words For An Awesome 2016
I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions.  Somewhere around March those resolutions have been kicked to the curb and barely thought about for the remaining 9 months.  So, this year, I’ve elected to forego them and create a plan I can actually stick to. Here’s my list of 5 four letter words, no, not those four letter words.  While not necessarily work-related, these words are simple reminders of what I can do to be better me and have an awesome 2016. 1. HELP – “How can I help you?”  “What can I do to help?” “Hey, can you help me?”  This action word is so powerful as it’s both an offer and a request.  I will make myself more available to others, lend my talents and gifts wherever needed and be more open to ask for assistance – the latter of which has been most difficult for me. 2. CALL – In an earlier blog post, I mentioned a friend who consistently called others for nothing more than just to say hello.  Emails and social media posts are great but nothing is better than hearing a warm voice and sharing a laugh or two.  I will personally connect and laugh more in 2016. 3. HOLD – Becoming a better version of myself this year begins with imagining what that actually looks like.  Hoping to create a positive outcome for the year, I am creating a vision board to bring about clarity and maintain my focus when things start to go off track.  I will silence t......
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Brent Williams
So when do I get my call from you?
Friday, 08 January 2016 12:34
Lia Nichole Smith
You my friend, are definitely on my list!
Friday, 08 January 2016 19:16
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Motivating People Hallmark Style

Motivating People Hallmark Style
How many of you love watching the Christmas Movies on Hallmark Channel?    While I may need to turn in my “man card” by saying this, (not that anyone would have ever accused me of having one in the first place) I have no problem admitting that I am a huge fan of movies such as The Christmas Card, Matchmaker Santa, Naughty and Nice, and The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.    In one of the beginning scenes of The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Ralph (a retired police office from New York portrayed by Henry Winkler) is in an airport and doesn't quite know where to go to catch his flight. As he stands, lost and confused, in the middle of the airport, a person runs into him with a baggage cart.    Indignant, Frank yells (in his New Yawker accent), "Hey, I'm standing here!" The airport baggage handler simply ignores him and continues on his way. (I won't spoil the rest of the plot, but it is a great Holiday movie.)   Have you ever felt like no one seems to see you standing there? Have you ever felt as if no one noticed you, or your skills, talents, or accomplishments? Have you ever felt like another face in the crowd of faces? I think we all have at one time or another.    “Just a Leasing Consultant”   Early in my career it was clear to me that many of the higher-ups thought of me as “just a leasing c......
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Mindy Sharp
Great post! When our residents do not feel valued, they move. When team members look upon themselves as employees who are "only" t... Read More
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 06:03
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Motivate Your Leasing Team with These 7 Simple Tips

Motivate Your Leasing Team with These 7 Simple Tips
Your leasing staff plays a huge role in your community meeting its occupancy goals. After all, they’re the ones out on the front lines every day taking calls, giving tours and getting new leases signed. But a leasing consultant’s job isn’t always an easy one. Read on for six things you can start doing in your office today to help motivate your leasing team. Create a Pleasant AtmosphereIt seems simple, but something as simple as greeting your employees in the morning and wishing them a good evening at the end of the day can go a long way in making your office a place your leasing staff looks forward to coming to each day. Go the extra mile by taking a genuine interest in your employees’ lives. Did Lisa the Leasing Consultant just get back from a Caribbean cruise? Ask her how it was, and then stop to actually listen to her answer. Don’t Skimp on PraiseIs one of your leasing consultants a rock star on the phones? Don’t assume she knows it. Employees want to hear they’re doing a good job. So tell her in person or mention it during your next staff meeting! After all, there are few things more motivating than being told you’re great at what you do. Offer IncentivesJust about everyone enjoys some friendly competition. So consider organizing a contest to see who brings in the most leases during a given week or month. The reward doesn’t have to be big – it can be as simple as a gift card to a local res......
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Are You a Paycheck Player?

Are You a Paycheck Player?
Jerry Maguire is one of my favorite movies.  I love it because it’s a chick flick dressed up as a sports movie, and some of the dialogue is wickedly inspiring.  One of my absolute favorite scenes is when Jerry and Rod are in the parking lot and Rod is complaining about all the things that are going wrong in his job and about how he’s not getting any love, how no one is showing him the “kwan.” Jerry’s response is something I revisit from time to time: All right, I’ll tell you why you don’t have your ten million dollars. Right now, you are a paycheck player. You play with your head, not your heart. In your personal life, heart. But when you get on the field it’s all about what you didn’t get. Who’s to blame. Who under-threw the pass. Who’s got the contract you don’t. Who’s not giving you your love. You know what, that is not what inspires people. That is not what inspires people! Shut up! Play the game, play it from your heart. And you know what, I’ll show you the kwan. And that’s the truth, man! That’s the truth. Can you handle it? So, I ask you the same question – Can you handle it? Sometimes, even the best of us lose track of the big picture important things in life.  It’s easy to do – Someone else gets the promotion you wanted, someone else gets the recognition for a group effort, someone who’s less qualified than you gets ahead of you pr......
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