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“Strategy” Spits In The Left-Eye of “Superstition”. 11 Times.

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spit____by_korn13blindSuperstition

It has it’s place.  It’s a comfort and a crutch.

Superstitions can twist entire careers into endless loops of Friday the 13th’s.

I’m not talking about the good ones, like burying St Joseph.

I’m talking about the Black Cat Bad ones.

Here’s how Wikipedia.org defines it:

Superstition (Latin superstitio, literally “standing over”; derived perhaps from standing in awe;[1] used in Latin as an unreasonable or excessive belief in fear or magic, especially foreign or fantastical ideas, and thus came to mean a “cult” in the Roman empire)[2][3] is a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge.  It is also commonly applied to beliefs and practices surrounding luckprophecy and spiritual beings, particularly the irrational belief that future events can be influenced or foretold by specific unrelated prior events.

Is This You or Someone You Know?

Yesterday I was chatting with one of our Top Performers.  She’s busy as hell, has 3 salable listings, 4 sales in escrow and a brow raising track record.   But, she’s feels her wheels spinning and she’s anxious about where the next surge of business will come from.

We talked about how she could create a sense of control, amplify her energies and streamline her efforts.

We talked about the origin of her business, where’d it come from?  We discovered that 90% of it was referrals and recommendations from her sphere of 247.

We talked about which activities and actions created her referrals and recommendations.  What activities, actions and marketing methods she’s embracing NOW.  And we talked about what was feeling right, but wasn’t yielding right?

We figured out that she was feeling overly stressed because her plan was to be fluid, flexible and loosey-goosey,  which is code for CHAOS.   She was engaged in activities that blood-sucked her joy, time, cash and attention.

We concluded she was doing plenty right, but she was blunting her potential and essential structure with superstitious misdirections.  I blurted, “Strategy is more important than superstition!”.

She said, “You should write that down and blog about it.”  So I did.

But first, I thought the title “Strategy Is More Important Than Superstition” was as sexy as grandma’s underpants.  So, I Go-Commando’d it and word played it a new title, “Strategery Spits In The Left-Eye Of Superstition.  11 Times”.

Here’s a polariod of our conversation.

Strategery Spits In The Eye Of Superstition. 11 Times

SUPERSTITION =  To feel successful, get up every day, work hard, skip briskly from task to task to next – until you collapse.  AKA – Chaos.
STRATEGERY = Know specifically what success is for YOU.  If it’s production related,  know how many sales and listings you need per month to reach your personal success goal.  Don’t compare yourself to others.  You won’t know when you’ve arrived if you don’t know where you’re going. Cliche’ but true, that’s why it’s a cliche’. Snap.  AKA – Strategic Chaos.

SUPERSTITION = When my listing sells, I don’t put up a pending or sold sign until I know the deal is solid or shortly before closing.
STRATEGERY = In this market, sold listings are remarkable.  Put the pending/sold sign up immediately upon contract execution. Neighbors thinking of selling are attracted to SOLD listings and their agents, they are bored by UN-SOLD listings and unimpressed with their agents.  Shine your success high-beams!

SUPERSTITION = Direct mail to my sphere doesn’t seem to work and it kills trees, so I cut back to once a quarter.
STRATEGERY =  Savvy agents are hustling to seduce and impress your clients.  Top Of Mind Awareness is created by the 3 R’s.  Repetition, Relevance and Remarkability.  Sending a monthly personalized and interesting direct mail piece, plus an evocative eMail, are important element in a well rounded marketing campaign.  I know.  Don’t SPAM.  After sending whatever you send, follow-up with a personal phone call to confirm they got it and if it’s OK to continue – that’s permission marketing + On-Purpose and In-Person contact.

SUPERSTITION =  I’m on Facebook, but I mostly look and lurk.  I don’t think I have anything interesting to say or post, so I usually don’t.
STRATEGERY = A Sense Of Significance is a powerful human need.  Put your real core/important friends in a list for easy viewing.  Status Update daily!  If you can’t think of clever things to say, so what, say something unclever.  You’ll find that some of the most inane things are wildly popular – go figure, don’t slug it out, hug it out.  It’s considered good form and generous to share other peoples links, do it.  It’s OK and appreciated to simply click the LIKE button on comments.  Sharing and status updates and clicking the “LIKE” link is like smiling online, do it daily.

SUPERSTITION =  I have a humid hot-house of budding suspects and prospects.  I tend/call them occasionally.  Because they aren’t foaming at the mouth to buy or sell, I’m not certain their urgency, their hot buttons or qualifications.
STRATEGERY = Compress time, vaporize stress and deliver more by uncovering their urgencies; timing, needs, desires, finances, etc., by asking key conversational questions.  Figure out a strategic service strategy for each.  Move the motivated and qualified into your personal direct-sunlight. Make things happen, do good work.

SUPERSTITION = I do make a lot of phone calls, I don’t follow up with a handwritten note cards because I just talked to them.  It seems redundant and takes too much time.
STRATEGERY =  Keeping the 3R’s in mind.  Sending a handwritten note with 2 business cards amps your frequency and is remarkable. Do it.

SUPERSTITION =  I know I have to make time to prospect, but the day fills up with other important stuff and I have to be ready to help someone on a moments notice.  I have to stay flexible and fluid. (AKA: Chaos)
STRATEGERY =  If you don’t sleep you’ll go insane.  If you don’t eat you’ll starve to death.  If you don’t drink water you’ll spaz out.  Same thing with prospecting (In-Person and On-Purpose contact).  You MUST block out scheduled time to perform these life-essential and important tasks.

SUPERSTITION =  I can never take a full day off.  My phone rings constantly.  I can’t trust anyone to handle my business.
STRATEGERY =  Get over it.  Pick a working partner you can trust.  When you take a day(s) off, bring your working partner completely up to speed.  Trust and release.  Enjoy your time off, it essential to a healthy mind, body, soul, business and relationships.

SUPERSTITION = I don’t seem to have time to workout, play with the kids, go cow tipping, bar hopping or get into trouble.
STRATEGERY =  Yes you do.  Book your personal time like you would a listing or showing appointment, you’d never cancel one of those. Treat yourself and the people you love at least as importatnly as your clients. Do it.  Book it.  Besides, social activites are On-Purpose and In-Person.

SUPERSTITION =  I’m spending money on newspaper, magazine and print because the sellers like it and I see other Top Producers do it.
STRATEGERY =  Don’t burn your money. Invest in your cheerleader friends who refer and recommend you.

SUPERSTITION =  I’m busier than a one legged woman in an ass-kicking contest, but I’m not getting anywhere except sore-feed.
STRATEGERY = Streamline and redirect time.  There’s a chasm between busy and productive.  Lose the superstitions, plan your work, work your strategic plan.   Then go do other fun things that are personally rewarding and refreshing.

Begin Butt Kicking Now

My friends, in conclusion, Strategery Kicks Superstition’s Buttocks.

I bet you have a few a handful of butt kicking strategeries you could share.  Leave’m in the comments and I’ll rub my “rare” lucky rabbit’s foot in your honor, it’ll bring you good luck.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks for reading.  Clink-Cheers.

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and BrandCandid.com. On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Becky Boomsma

    July 20, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Ken, you are so on target with this post! If anyone has been struggling with their production this year, your recommendations should be the business plan to implement for the remaining months and certainly much to learn from for those that have little planning or action with what they should be doing to develop and nurture an everflowing stream of inquiries, leads, and relationships. You always have such great perspective…thank you for this gift today!

  2. Barbara Robin

    July 20, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Great post. Will copy and paste for our new agents!

  3. BawldGuy

    July 20, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    If this post doesn’t go viral I’ll be more than a little surprised and disappointed.

  4. Ken Brand

    July 20, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Becky & Barbara – Thank you.

    BawldGuy – Thanks, for you lips to God’s ears and the WWW.

    Cheers friends.

  5. Joe Loomer

    July 21, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Great post Ken!

    We preach time-blocking for lead generation daily. You have to book appointments for YOURSELF just as you do for your clients. If you don’t, it’s burn-out city.

    It’s amazing how folks think they are generating leads doing things that don’t pay off. If you don’t know where your business is coming from, you don’t know what to focus on. It’s liberating to focus on what pays and not on what doesn’t. In my experience, it allows MORE personal time rather than less.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

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Business Marketing

Buffer’s four-day workweek experiment: Boost or bust?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) After trying out a four-day workweek last year, Buffer is moving forward with the format going into 2021, citing increase in productivity and work-life balance.

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Man working in office with headphones on, making use of flexible four-day workweek.

The typical five-day workweek is a thing of the past for Buffer, at least for now. The company has decided to implement a four-day workweek for the “foreseeable future.”

Last year, the company surveyed its employees to see how they are dealing with the ever-changing landscape of the pandemic and the anxiety and stress that came along with it. They soon learned employees didn’t always feel comfortable or like they could take time off.

Employees felt guilty for taking PTO while trying to meet deadlines. Juggling work and suddenly becoming a daycare worker and teacher for their children at the same time was stressful. So, Buffer looked for a solution to help give employees more time and flexibility to get adjusted to their new routines.

Four-Day Workweek Trials

In May, Buffer started the four-day workweek one-month trial to focus on teammates’ well-being. “This four-day workweek period is about well-being, mental health, and placing us as humans and our families first,” said Buffer CEO and co-founder Joel Gascoigne in a company blog post.

“It’s about being able to pick a good time to go and do the groceries, now that it’s a significantly larger task. It’s about parents having more time with kids now that they’re having to take on their education. This isn’t about us trying to get the same productivity in fewer days,” Gascoigne said.

Buffer’s one-month trial proved to be successful. Survey data from before and after the trial showed higher autonomy and lower stress levels. In addition, employee anecdotal stories showed an increase in worker happiness.

With positive results, Buffer turned the trial into a long-term pilot through the end of 2020. This time, the trial would focus on Buffer’s long-term success.

“In order to truly evaluate whether a four-day workweek can be a success long-term, we need to measure productivity as well as individual well-being,” wrote Director of People Courtney Seiter. “Teammate well-being was our end goal for May. Whether that continues, and equally importantly, whether it translates into customer and company results, will be an exciting hypothesis to test.”

Trial Results

Company Productivity
Buffer’s shorter workweek trials showed employees felt they had a better work-life balance without compromising work productivity. According to the company’s survey data, almost 34% of employees felt more productive, about 60% felt equally as productive, and only less than 7% of employees felt less productive.

However, just saying productivity is higher isn’t proof. To make sure the numbers added up, managers were asked about their team’s productivity. Engineering managers reported that a decrease in total coding days didn’t show a decrease in output. Instead, there was a significant output increase for product teams, and Infrastructure and Mobile saw their output double.

The Customer Advocacy team, however, did see a decline in output. Customer service is dependent on customer unpredictability so this makes sense. Still, the survey showed about 85% to 90% of employees felt as productive as they would have been in a five-day workweek. Customers just had to wait slightly longer to receive replies to their inquiries.

Employee Well-Being
With more time and control of their schedules, Buffer’s survey shows an increase in individual autonomy and decreased stress levels reported by employees. And, the general work happiness for the entire company has been consistent throughout 2020.

What’s in store for 2021?

Based on positive employee feedback and promising company results, Buffer decided it will continue the company-wide four-day workweek this year.

“The four-day work week resulted in sustained productivity levels and a better sense of work-life balance. These were the exact results we’d hoped to see, and they helped us challenge the notion that we need to work the typical ‘nine-to-five,’ five days a week,” wrote Team Engagement Manager Nicole Miller.

The four-day workweek will continue in 2021, but the company will also be implementing adjustments based on the pilot results.

For most teams, Fridays will be the default day off. For teams that aren’t project-based, their workweek will look slightly different. As an example, the Customer Advocacy team will follow a different schedule to avoid customer reply delays and ticket overflow. Each team member will still have a four-day workweek and need to meet their specific targets. They will just have a more flexible schedule.

Companies who follow this format understand that output expectations will be further defined by area and department level. Employees who aren’t meeting their performance objectives will have the option to choose a five-day workweek or might be asked to do so.

If needed, Fridays will also serve as an overflow workday to finish up a project. Of course, schedules will be evaluated quarterly to make sure productivity is continuing to thrive and employees are still satisfied.

But, Miller says Buffer is “establishing ambitious goals” that might “push the limits” of a four-day work week in 2021. With the world slowly starting to normalize, who knows when a four-day workweek might reach its conclusion.

“We aren’t sure that we’ll continue with the four-day workweeks forever, but for now, we’re going to stick with it as long as we are still able to hit our ambitious goals,” wrote Miller.

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Business Marketing

Should your content management system go headless?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) You may be familiar with your typical content management system, but had you heard of a ‘headless’ model? Let’s dig into it together.

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Person using content management system with hands on keyboard and small bit of desktop visible.

At some point, you have probably worked with a content management system (CMS) like WordPress or Drupal. If you haven’t already, you at least know that this computer software is used to manage website content.

But, have you ever heard of a headless content management system before? We didn’t. So, we set out to find out what it’s all about and how beneficial, or not, it can be for your company.

What is headless CMS?

Unlike your classic CMS, headless CMS is a back-end only content management system. It decouples where your content is stored and authored (body) from the front-end where your content is displayed (head).

This CMS isn’t tied to a particular output like a web page. Content is transmitted as data over an application programming interface (API). It’s a content repository that delivers content seamlessly to any device.

Benefits of Headless CMS

More versatile
Headless CMS isn’t your classic “monolithic” CMS so you aren’t constrained to an all-in-one system that might work for websites but not mobile devices.

Content is consumed by customers in more than one place now. Headless CMS provides a more versatile way to deliver multi-channel content to websites, Android and iOS apps, and even IoT (internet of things), like a smartwatch or in-store kiosk.

Businesses will benefit from this because only one back-end is needed to manage and publish content for different services and products.

No need for specialized developers
Developers aren’t tied to a specific programming language or framework. A developer can choose between using Javascript, PHP, Ruby, or any language they prefer.

If you already have a talented developer, you don’t have to scramble to find someone else who specializes in a specific system or language you are moving to. Your current developer can do the job for you in the best way they know-how.

Better Security
Security is important. Not being married to the front-end, headless CMS has a security advantage a regular CMS doesn’t. Usually, content provided to a headless CMS is read-only, and the admin portion lives on a different server and domain.

With the back-end detached from the presentation layer, there is a smaller target area to attack. Also, layers of code can be used to hide the content-delivering API making it safer than a traditional CMS.

Real-time collaboration
With two separate systems, content editors and web developers can work concurrently. This shortens a project’s timeline and helps get your product and services to market quicker. Also, content editors don’t have to spend more time creating the same content for each system. Designers and developers can take care of that.
Downsides of Headless CMS

As with anything, headless CMS isn’t perfect and isn’t for everyone. It has its disadvantages.

More technical
Little technical involvement is called for in a traditional CMS. As a result, the tool can be picked up quickly by almost anyone.

A deeper understanding of CMS, coding languages, and front-end technologies is needed when using headless CMS. You must have a developer that can build the web or app just for you.

Increased maintenance
With the body separated from the head, there are two systems to maintain. Implementation and maintenance could potentially become complex.

Bigger price tag
Building a system from scratch costs time and money. With a traditional CMS, there is one account, and, most likely, one payment. With headless CMS, you’ll have multiple payments for the CMS, a developer, and the infrastructure running your website or app.

Your custom CMS also isn’t coming from a pre-built content management system. All that hard work takes time (and patience) to get it done right.

Conclusion

Headless CMS lets you create a unique user experience and allow for cross-platform publishing, but it isn’t a one-size-fits-all content management system.

Before you jump ships, take inventory of all your content needs. Does your content need to be published on different platforms? Will a simple stand-alone website work for you? Only you can decide what works best with your business, but we hope this information helps.

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Business Marketing

Spice up your remote team building with a fully virtual escape room

(BUSINESS MARKETING) As part of a remote team, team building has become even more of a groan. But this virtual escape room seeks to make a fun and unique challenge for remote teams.

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Woman waving at laptop in living room, on team building activity.

Team building events aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. While some enjoy getting to know coworkers they don’t normally socialize with, others dread the day before it arrives. Plus, there’s always work that needs to be taken care of, and using some of that time to mingle might seem like a waste of time.

Love it or hate it, working remotely has made team building slightly better, maybe? You don’t have to worry about physically being present in a place you don’t want to be. You’re not awkwardly talking to a co-worker whose name you can’t quite remember.

Nonetheless, it also has its downsides. We don’t see each other anymore so it’s easier to not be on the same page, and this makes learning how to work together much harder.

We’re almost a year into the pandemic and happy hour Zoom calls no longer hold the glamour they once did. So, what else is there to do in this virtual world?

Skyrocket Your Team has just the answer for you. This company provides virtual team building experiences through collaborative online escape rooms. The escape rooms are designed with remote teams in mind and can be tailored to accommodate different sized groups.

“If you’re working remotely, Skyrocket Your Team will help your team feel closer together and improve your internal communication,” wrote Co-Founder Jorge Sánchez Hernández. “Our puzzles are designed for teams by adult educators to trigger a set of emotions, feelings, and situations. Everyone sees a different screen and you need to communicate in order to get through the challenges. There is no way to continue without teamwork!”

From the comfort of your office or couch, each team member joins from their own computer and location. The escape room consists of an immersive story about astronauts trapped in a damaged spaceship. By solving puzzles and challenges, the team must work together to repair the spaceship and return to earth.

After hopefully, safely landing your rocket, there is a debriefing session. During this time, teams can share their experiences and discuss what they learned.

Skyrocket Your Team says their new form of team building will bring your company several benefits like:

  • Bringing your team closer together
  • Fostering collaboration instead of internal competition
  • Improving communication across your company

The end goal of the experience is to learn how to communicate effectively by solving the different sets of problems together. And, I think we can all agree that’s a good thing.

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