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Crush self-resistance, struggle less, soar more- a “do the work” book review



What’s The Biggest Barrier To Our Success?

It’s not due to a bad childhood, crappy real estate markets, the-low-bar, your slow-to-grow broker, a grid-locked government or anyone else. It’s US. It’s our own Self-Resistance to success. We’re smart – we know what we should do.  We’re talented – we have ability and potential coming out of our ears.  Yet, we’re stuck and struggling.

How can we RISE-UP, once and for all?  How do we reach escape velocity and leave soul sucking mediocrity and struggle behind? I suggest you read the book: Do The Work, by Steven Pressfield.  It’s a fast, no bullshit, powerful and easy read.  Really fast.  Really powerful. No BS.

Here’s my book review.

Overcome Resistance and Get Out Of Your Own Way

The book begins by sharing why smart people struggle with success by revealing who Our Enemies (Resistance, Rational Thought, Friends and Family) and who Our Allies (Stupidity, Stubbornness, Blind Faith, Passions, Friends and Families) are.

The easy to understand explanations and examples wide-open our eyes, making us hyper-aware of what holds us back.  Awareness is a monster advantage, once we understand the problems and challenges, we can overcome them.   In the beginning chapters, the big take away for me was the searing reminder that we create sustained success when we consciously overcome our subconscious Self-Resistance to success.

CLICK On The Master's Head To Hear The Grasshopper Lesson.

The book helps us to see which shadow-forces hold us back and which sunlit-actions whoosh us forward.  If you want uncommon results and tangible advantages, read this book.

Don’t Think.  Act.

I bet we have this in common.  Our minds whir and purr constantly; dreaming up plans, ideas, projects, reinventions and new adventures.  Then we over think it, begin to doubt it, talk ourselves out of it and bury it — along with our spirit, soul and future.  The book shines a light on how to hit the big GREEN GO button.

Start Before You’re Ready – Don’t Prepare.  Begin.

Com’on man.  How much is lost by perpetual, Getting Ready To Get Ready?

If you suffer, as I do, from over preparation, research, planning and under execution – read the book.

The Three-Act Structure

Amateurs structure their strategies by working their way from the beginning to the end, usually never crossing the end line.

World class types do it backwards.  They structure their strategies by Beginning At The End, working backwards, and Ending At The Beginning.  To learn how to structure successful strategies and why structuring backwards works, don’t even finish reading this blog post, instead Click > Download > and Read the book now.

Ideas Do Not Come Linearly – Act, reflect.  Act, reflect.

Our bodies sleep, our brains don’t.  Because you’re bright, I bet great ideas routinely flash into your imagination, but you promptly forget and lose more than you can remember and act on.  What a precious waste of brilliance.  If we capture our great ideas when they bubble up, before they float away, we can move from ordinary to extraordinary.  Pressfield goes into detail on how to understand, capture, process and share your inspired and freshest ideas.

Coincidentally the same day I read the book, I ran across this great Subconscious Information Processing article from Fred Wilson, in which he shares an example of this The Brain Never Sleeps reality. This is a valuable lesson for us as well as our kids and friends.

Read Fred’s article, then download the book and read it.  Don’t Think.  Act.

The Seven Principles of Resistance

The book wraps up by delineating the Seven Principles of Resistance and How To Overcome Them.  Here’s a couple of examples:

Principle Number Four: The Enemy Is Inside You, But It Is Not You

Principle Number Six: Resistance Arises Second (“It means that before the dragon of Resistance reared its ugly head and breathed fire into our faces, there existed within us a force so potent and life-affirming that it summoned this beast into being.” ~ Steven Pressfield)

Welcome To Getting More Done, Felling Better About Yourself and Realizing The Potential You Deserve.

It’s a crazy world, nothing comes easy and our worst enemy isn’t other people or circumstances outside us. Our worst enemy is own Self Resistance to success.  If you want to move forward faster – Act Now.  Read the book – Do The Work.

Thanks for reading.  Cheers.

AGBeat is not affiliated with any aforementioned company or author.

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 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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  1. Stacie

    June 20, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Thank you for this post!

    • Ken Brand

      June 21, 2011 at 4:05 pm

      Thanks Stacie. All the best.

  2. Kris

    June 22, 2011 at 6:38 am

    Crush self-resistance, I'm looking forward to reading this one.

  3. BawldGuy

    June 22, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Really good stuff, Ken.

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Disputing a property’s value in a short sale: turn a no into a go

During a short sale, there may be various obstacles, with misaligned property values ranking near the top, but it doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker!



magic eight ball

magic eight ball

It’s about getting your way

Were you on the debate team in high school? Were you really effective at convincing your parent or guardian to let you do things that you shouldn’t have been doing? How are your objection-handling skills? Can you flip a no into a go?

When working on short sales, there is one aspect of the process that may require those excellent negotiation or debate skills: disputing the property value. In a short sale, the short sale lender sends an appraiser or broker to the property and this individual conducts a Broker Price Opinion or an appraisal, using special forms provided by the short sale lender.

After this individual completes the Broker Price Opinion or the appraisal, he or she will return it to the short sale lender. Shortly thereafter, the short sale lender will be ready to talk about the purchase price. Will the lender accept the offer on the table or is the lender looking for more? If the lender is seeking an offer for a lot more than the one on the table, mentally prepare for the fact that you will need to conduct a value dispute.

Value Dispute Process

While each of the different short sale lenders (including Fannie Mae) has their own policies and procedures for value dispute, all these procedures have some things in common. Follow the steps below in order to conduct an effective value dispute.

  1. Inquire about forms. Ask your short sale lender if there are specific forms that you need to complete in order to conduct a value dispute. Obtain those forms if necessary.
  2. Gather information. Your goal is to convince the lender to accept the buyer’s offer, so you need to demonstrate that your offer is in line with the value of the property. Collect data that proves this point, such as reports from the MLS, Trulia, Zillow, or your local title company.
  3. Take photos. If there are parts of the property that are substandard and possibly were not revealed to the lender by the individual conducting the BPO, take photos of those items. Perhaps the kitchen has no flooring, or there is a 40-year old roof. Take photos to demonstrate these defects.
  4. Obtain bids. For any defects on the property, obtain a minimum of two bids from licensed contractors. For example, obtain two bids from roofers or structural engineers if necessary
  5. Write a report. Think back to high school English class if necessary. Write a short essay that references your information, photos, and bids, and explains how these items support your buyer’s value. This is not something that you whip up in five minutes. Spend time preparing a compelling appeal.

It is entirely possible that some lenders will not be particularly open-minded when it comes to valuation dispute. However, more times than not, an effective value dispute leads to short sale approval.

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Short sale standoffs: how to avoid getting hit

The short sale process can feel a lot like a wild west standoff, but there are ways to come out victorious, so let’s talk about those methods:



short sales standoff

short sales standoff

What is a short sale standoff?

If you are a short sale listing agent, a short sale processor, or a short sale negotiator then you probably already know about the short sale standoff. That’s when you are processing a short sale with more than one lien holder and neither will agree to the terms offered by the other. Or… better yet, each one will not move any further in the short sale process until they see the short sale approval letter from the other lien holder.

Scenario #1 – You are processing a short sale with two different mortgage-servicing companies. Bank 1 employees tell you that they will proceed with the short sale, and they will offer Bank 2 a certain amount to release their lien. You call Bank 2 and tell them the good news. Unfortunately, the folks at Bank 2 want more money. If Bank 1 and Bank 2 do not agree, then you are in a standoff.

Scenario #2 – You are processing a short sale with two different mortgage-servicing companies. Bank 1 employees tell you that they cannot generate your approval letter until you present them with the approval letter from Bank 2. Bank 2 employees tell you the exact same thing. Clearly, in this situation, you are in a standoff.

How to Avoid the Standoff

If you are in the middle of a standoff, then you are likely very frustrated. You’ve gotten pretty far in the short sale process and you are likely receiving lots of pressure from all of the parties to the transaction. And, the lenders are not helping much by creating the standoff.

Here are some ideas for how to get out of the situation:

  • Go back to the first lien holder and ask them if they are willing to give the second lien holder more money.
  • Go to the second lien holder and tell them that the first lien holder has insisted on a maximum amount and see if they will budge.
  • If no one will budge, find out why. Is this a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan? If so, they have a maximum that they allow the second. And, if you alert the second of that information, they may become more compliant.
  • Worst case: someone will have to pay the difference. Depending on the laws in your state, it could be the buyer, the seller, or the agents (yuck). No matter what, make sure that this contribution is disclosed to all parties and appears on the short sale settlement statement at closing.
  • In Scenario #2, someone’s got to give in. Try explaining to both sides where you are and see if one will agree to generate their approval letter. If not, follow the tips provided in this Agent Genius article and take your complaint to the streets.

One thing about short sales is that the problems that arise can be difficult to resolve merely because of the number of parties involved—and all from remote locations. Imagine how much easier this would be if all parties sat at the same table and broke bread? If we all sat at the same table, then we wouldn’t need armor in order to avoid the flying bullets from the short sale standoff.

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Short sale approval letters don’t arrive in the blink of an eye

Short sale approval letters may look like they’ve been obtained simply by experts, but it takes time and doesn’t just happen with luck.



short sales

short sale approval

Short sale approval: getting prepared, making it happen

People always ask me how it is that I obtain short sale approval letters with such ease. The truth is, that while I have more short sale processing and negotiating experience than most agents and brokers, I don’t just blink my eyes like Jeannie and make those short sale approval letters appear. I often sweat it, just like everyone else.

Despite the fact that I do not have magical powers, I do have something else on my side—education. One of the most important things than can lead to short sale success for any and all agents is education.

Experience dictates that agents that learn about the short sale process
have increased short sale closings.

Short sale education opportunities abound

There are many ways to become educated about the short sale process and make getting short sale approval letters look easy to obtain. These include:

  • Classes at your local board of Realtors®
  • Free short sale webinars and workshops
  • The short sale or foreclosure specialist designations

As the distressed property arena grows and changes, it is important to always stay abreast of policy changes that may impact how you do your job and how you process any short sale that lands on your plate.

The most important thing to do is to read, read, read. Follow short sale specialists and those who blog about short sales on AGBeat, Google+, facebook, and twitter. Set up a Google Alert for the term ‘short sale’ and you will receive Google’s top short sale picks daily in your email inbox. Visit mortgagor websites to read up on their specific policies and procedures.

Don’t take on too much

And, when you get a call from a prospective short sale seller, make sure that you don’t bit off more than you can chew. Agents in most of America right now are clamoring for listings since we are in the midst of a listing shortage. But, if you are going to take on a short sale, be sure that it is a deal that you can close. And, if you have your doubts, why not partner up with a local agent that can mentor your and assist you in getting the job done? After all, half a commission check is better than none!

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