Monthly Archives: August 2014

The difference… STANDARDS! Great people make a great office!

teamssmallerI know that I’ve been talking a lot lately about the incredible new office we have under construction in Yorba Linda.  And make no mistake, this office will be amazing in every way.  From the floor plan, the work spaces, amenities, to the overall appearance inside and out, this will be a showplace!  But, it’s important that I acknowledge that it IS the PEOPLE that will make this office so special.  Frankly they already have!

During the past 9+ months the Anaheim Hills and Yorba Linda agents have managed to achieve incredible success in what we have called “temporary space”.  A handful of executive suites, and an office in Tustin with amazing staff people and a great core group of agents there who have been the most welcoming and supportive group of professionals I could have ever asked for.  We have managed to grow to over 85 total agents, with our most recent record sales month in July of 57 total sales and just under $40,000,000 in volume!  We have been growing at a pace of 8-12 independent sales associates per month on average, and the momentum continues with almost daily calls and emails from agents looking to affiliate with us.

The point I want to drive home in this blog post, is that we are NOT growing by numbers just for the sake of growing. We are absolutely focused on affiliating high quality, ethical, growth minded people.  We’ve all seen it before… A new office opens and the manager affiliates anyone and everyone they can and then brags about “agent count”.  The old joke, if they can fog a mirror, sign them up!   I can honestly say that while we have certainly grown very fast and have affiliated very many great people, we have been very selective.  I have graciously and respectfully said “this isn’t a fit” or even referred agents to other firms where I know they would be happier based on the information they shared with me.   Now, I know you are wondering… Why would you turn someone away or refer them to another firm?  Why not just affiliate them and sort them all out later?    Here’s why… After 15+ years in leadership and recruiting, I have learned that it’s not about body count.  When building a team, one of the most important things a leader can do is to bring as many like minded people BlobServertogether as possible.  An office’s “culture” and “energy” can help grow productivity almost as much as anything else.  Below are just some of the things we are looking for when affiliating independent sales associates to the office;

1. Positive mental attitude!  If most of our affiliation meeting/interview is spent complaining or on negative “stuff” then it may not be a match.  I want to hear more about where you’re going than where you’ve been.  I want to hear about how you’ve learned from your mistakes and what you will do differently moving forward positive and energized!

2. Growth minded!  Whether looking to grow your sales, income, or just overall knowledge of any aspect of this business, this is an important component.  We all really should be looking to grow as business people at all times.  So, if someone already knows “everything”, then it’s probably not a match.

3. Coach-able!  If someone is not coach-able, then how can they grow?

4. Ethical!  In the end, it’s all about the clients best interest.  While money is important and I am not ashamed to admit that I’m here to make money, we are looking for people who put their clients needs first and foremost at all times!

5. Respectful!  We are all in this together! There’s no reason for bullying, berating, arrogance, and overall lack of respect for other agents and customers.  If someone believes that they can “do it all on their own” and “don’t need anyone, or care about the feelings of others” then it’s probably not a match.

6. Productive!  If someone has been unproductive for years without good reason, then they likely won’t be comfortable in the environment that we’ve created.  We don’t expect everyone to want to make a million dollars, but we would like our associates to at least close a minimum of 6 transactions per year.  And, NO, we aren’t going to turn away someone with less than that, or disassociate someone who hasn’t achieved that, we just want to see that a concerted effort is being made to get there.  We will work with anyone with a strong desire to succeed who meets the other criteria.

7. Full time!  I’ve done this for over 21 years and have yet to see someone really succeed long term part time.  But most importantly, our customers deserve the truth and great service, and unless a part time agent intends to tell their prospects that “they are their first priority in their second job” then I don’t see it working.  I have affiliated independent sales associates who intend to transition over a short period to full time, and in the mean time partner or team up with a full time associate to ensure the customers receive outstanding service.

8. Abundance mindset!  Too many people come from positions of scarcity and live their lives thinking there isn’t enough to go around.  In real estate there are a lot of independent sales associates out there who suffer from the scarcity mindset.  istock_000018745424smallThey just don’t think there’s enough for everyone and refuse to collaborate, share, and work as a team.  Our office is full of people that realize that there is plenty of business out there for everyone!  This mindset allows for fun, collaboration, sharing, and an overall relishing in each others success!

9. Professionalism!  Should go without saying, but if someone thinks it’s ok to wear shorts and sandals to showing and/or listing appointments then we will have an issue.  NO we don’t have dress codes and as independent contractors we won’t tell you how to dress, but we have a highly respected brand image and simply believe our customers deserve the respect of a professionally dressed agent.  Professionalism goes far beyond just attire of course, and we are looking to affiliate with those who strive for the utmost in professionalism in their business.  Show up on time to appointments, return calls, communicate with clients and agents, etc. etc.

10. Greed is not “good”!  We want to affiliate with independent sales associates who frankly are ok with the company making money too and are looking for a strong customer value proposition.  If commission split is the only thing that really matters to you and the goal is to leave little to nothing on the table for the company, then there are plenty of companies that offer those kinds of deals. We all get those emails 3-4 times a day.   I’ve found that when a fair financial relationship exists between independent sales associate and the company, both parties win, and even more importantly, the customers win as a result of the resources the company can provide such as marketing, advertising, legal support, management, staffing, services, facilities, resources, etc. etc. etc.  With all of that said, we are very competitive with our splits, but our value proposition to our associates and customers is what attracts the best agents to us.

I realize that these 10 things seem pretty simple, and to many, they are completely reasonable and frankly attractive, and to others, they may be a little too much to ask.   One of my associates the other day made the great comment that “it seems like you are on a lot more appointments with agents than you actually hire”.  My response, was “thanks for noticing, I’m holding out for more great agents like you! Their not easy to find!”.  While this could sound like a flippant stroking of the ego, it’s the absolute truth.

So, to sum up this post, it is the standards we have, the people who are attracted to those standards, and the adherence to those standards by all, that makes an office great!  Being more selective may take longer to grow sometimes, but the end result is a phenomenal group of high quality, like minded, happy people who are highly productive!  Not to mention we have A LOT of fun too!

While it is true, we are building an amazing office out of steel, wood, drywall, paint, carpet, etc. etc. etc., it is the PEOPLE that have and will ultimately continue to make this office so amazing to work in!  And, it is because of the PEOPLE that this office is even possible!

As always, if you are not already with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, and would like more information about becoming part of our incredible team, please feel free to email or call/text me at or 714-782-2723.   And if you are already part of our amazing team, I thank you for continuing to uphold such high standards and make our office such a great place to work!

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This weeks update on the new Coldwell Banker Yorba Linda office!

What an exciting week!  I had the pleasure of attending our contractors and all department update  at the new facility on Tuesday morning.  From IT to the general contractor, everyone is confident that we have cleared the way for a September move in.  As they say, “everything happens for a reason”, the few delays that we experienced ended up allowing for enough time to get the new fiber optic lines brought to the building, which will ensure we have the most up to date fastest internet speeds available in the area!  Considering all of the great technology we are integrating into the office, this was a critical component to a successful launch.  This meeting was also THE meeting where we decided on a lot of the technology and amenities for the office.  I’m excited to have the opportunity to share some of this great stuff with you below!

-5 Flat Screen Smart TV’s equipped with computers and Apple TV units for easy mirroring from iPads and iPhones.

-Sonos HiFi 5 speaker sound system covering each separate section of the office allowing for remotely controlled and sonos-familydifferent music selections for each area, or complete connectivity as one from the tap of a button on a simple APP. The energy and atmosphere in the office will be incredible!

-Remotely controlled digital sales and listing boards.  No more old fashioned dry erase boards.  Simply email, Tweet, or, post from your smartphone and the sale or listing will be added to the board.

-We decided to convert an area that was going to be some more desks into an Anti-Stress/Social Networking Loft area where associates can take a break and relax.  There will be Wii, Xbox, to play video tennis, golf, bowling, and even boxing, as well as other fun stress relieving games… Karaoke may even be heard from that area in the afternoons periodically!  An Apple TV equipped with Netflix, Hulu, and iTunes will also be available! Of course there will be some good old fashioned wiiofficeboard games…  Checkers anyone?  Our thought here was that this business can push the limits of our stress and this area will allow our associates to unplug when they need to and then easily go right back to their desk and jump back into the business!  We also think this will be a great way to build and maintain the energy and camaraderie within the office.

-Our large open sales meeting area will also double as a high tech multimedia room and theater, popcorn and all! We might just need to have a movie night once a month after a group prospecting session!

-In Branch Marketing area staffed with our awesome Marketing Coordinator, Sara Araujo!  Find materials, listing presentations, get flyers designed and created, ask questions, review your marketing strategies, place orders for farming, postcards, etc. etc. etc. all right there in the office!

-7 days/week receptionist coverage.  As they say “First impressions are everything!”  Your clients will experience the absolute pinnacle of professionalism in North OC the second they walk through the front doors regardless of the day. Receptionist Just imagine that not only will your clients be offered coffee or water, but they will be handed a professionally printed “Beverage Menu” that will offer 10+ different hot and cold beverages that will be brought to them by our staff member with a smile!  Let the receptionist know before your clients arrive and she can even personalize the beverage menu with their names for that extra special personal touch!

This office will represent the future of traditional real estate.  Every aspect that you can think of will be a little different, an improvement on the existing business model.  Associates can expect to hear a bell ring twice a day for the multiple 15 minute health walks around the huge shopping center where the topic of best real estate practices will be discussed and problems will be solved with the collaboration and passionate input of others.

As the manager of the office, you will notice something very different with me too.  There won’t be the traditional “managers office” that most are used to!  I will be taking advantage of one of the spacious open desk areas.  Of course, there will be a private area available for those meetings that require confidentiality.  The “open door policy” that was so revered in the past, is no longer so revered.  I love Real Estate Agents and I want to be out in IN the open and accessible to help and support productivity!

It is great to be with such a forward thinking and innovative firm like Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage! It is the positive and supportive culture and incredible focus on Work-Life Balance this firm offers that really does create an environment for agents and employees to enjoy what they do and reach their full potential as professionals!

Below I have included a link to my most recent update video as well as the recent Forbes article where Coldwell Banker was recognized for it’s focus on Work-Life Balance.  You’ll see that we definitely have created something special with more great things to come!

As always, if you are not already with Coldwell Banker, and would like more information, feel free to email or call me at or 714-782-2723.

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It’s just the right thing to do…. But why isn’t everyone doing it?

We all know how stressful moving can be.  The strain put on the human mind during the move from one home to another is immense.  Just Google “life’s most stressful events” and you’ll find pages and pages where moving is in the top 5. lists “moving” number 3 following death of a loved one and divorce, and is ahead of major illness, and job loss. (  Anyone who has moved recently can easily relate.  Just the thought of moving sends shivers up my spine, and I’m clearly not alone.  From the emotional stress of leaving a place that was so personal and full of memories, to the overall logistics of the actual move process, the nightmare of planning out the move, interviewing moving companies, packing up, and then worrying about everything making it to the destination in tack, and then the weeks and even months of unpacking.  It never fails that the one thing you need too is always the last thing to get unpacked.

What is so surprising to me, after 21 years in the Real Estate business, is that so little attention is paid to helping our clients with the actual move process.  Of course we all talk about it with our clients, but very few companies actually offer any real support and assistance with the process.  As a matter of fact, short of making a referral to a moving company that may offer a discount, most companies and agents do not offer much more than that.  So here we are, selling homes for people and for the most part, each agent is on their own to decide how much, if any, support they will offer.  Now I realize that there are some agents out there that likely offer more than others, but those would certainly be the exception rather than the norm.

Maybe it’s because of how much I loathe moving, but within a week of joining Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, I was barraged with hundreds of incredible tools for Realtors, and their clients, but one stood out to me more than the others.   Several of the great folks who were helping me get oriented with the company were a little surprised at how I kept going back to this one client offering.   It was the client Concierge Services department within the company and website  The website alone is incredible in it’s easy design and all of it’s offerings, but what really impressed me the most was that this is an actual department within the corporate office of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage staffed by great people dedicated to assisting our clients with the many aspects of the move process, as well as so many other benefits.   The fact that our clients can call this department by phone and talk to an actual move specialist was astounding.  I just kept thinking that this is a huge reason why our firm is so successful, why our agents have such a huge referral base, and why we are #1 in corporate relocation in the US.  The weight that this free service takes off of our clients during such a stressful time in their lives is something that we take seriously and actually invest large financial resources to make available as well as constantly improve upon.  Yet, it is one of the things we talk about the least.  I had the great opportunity to meet Pete Nordstrom several years ago, yes, the Nordstrom departments stores family member, and he said something that I had never thought about.  He made a great point that Nordstrom NEVER makes a big deal about their service.  It’s not in their tagline, or commercials even.  They just “provide great service” and their customers spread that word.  Clearly their strategy has worked!   I have to liken this to how CBRB has positioned this great Concierge Service.  Aside from this blog post, you won’t see it in our commercials, or all over our ads,  it’s just an offering that is available along with so many others to make the experience of selling or buying a home a great one.   And our statistics and rankings as the Number 1 residential real estate company in America confirms that our clients are happy and spreading the word.  We weren’t just Number 1 last year, but for the last 17 years consecutively.  While so many great firms are out there, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is the ONLY firm to offer a service like this.

Click image to visit our exclusive Concierge Service website

Click image to visit our exclusive Concierge Service website

Below are some quotes from just a few of our clients that confirm that it’s more than enough for us to just let our clients spread the word on their experience;
“I am a homeowner and wanted to tell you how much I appreciate Concierge and what a help it has been to me. We are just getting started on a bathroom remodel. What a wonderful help and quite a nice perk from Coldwell Banker to have this type of a thing. I do appreciate how helpful everyone has been!” — J. Tschetter, Satisfied Customer

“Thank you so much for your help. It is especially difficult organizing a complex move from Australia, and I am appreciative of any advice and assistance that you can provide. Again, I very much appreciate your guidance and assistance in organizing this move. It was a great relief to learn of this service provided to Coldwell Banker clients.” — K. Palghat, Satisfied Customer

“I genuinely want to thank you and Coldwell Banker Concierge for your help and for the outstanding list of companies you recommend to new homeowners.” — J. Mandel, Satisfied Customer

“The vendor was very flexible and professional, working with me to give me exactly what I wanted for the best price possible. They worked really hard to get the work done on the schedule I wanted – good job! It looks great.” — F. Reingold, Sherman Oaks, Satisfied Customer

“Your service is exceptionally unique and good. We appreciate it very much and our confidence in Coldwell Banker is #1.” — D. Schneider, Satisfied Customer

“It was a mammoth move and the mover did a very good job! The mover paid attention to detail and close follow ups with supervisors.” — M. Firestone, Satisfied Customer

Just imagine how those customers felt and how different their experience could have been without such a great service!

If you would like more information on this great free service, just visit  If you are a Realtor and interested in learning more about the offerings at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, don’t hesitate to call/text or email me at 714-782-2723 or

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