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Archive for the ‘Recommended Reading’ Category

I love to learn and I read as much as I can. Inspirational and ‘how to’ books take my fancy. This category includes books I’ve read that you can learn from too.

Tiger Woods & The Speed of Trust

Posted by Steve Koerber on December 12, 2009

Words of wisdom for Tiger Woods with thanks to Stephen R. Covey and his excellent book ‘The Speed of Trust’.

Behavior #1: Talk Straight

– Be honest. Tell the truth. Let people know where you stand. Use simple language. Call things what they are. Demonstrate integrity. Don’t manipulate people or distort facts. Don’t spin the truth. Don’t leave false impressions.

Behavior #2: Demonstrate Respect

– Treat everyone with respect. Show kindness in the little things. Behave in ways that demonstrate caring and concern

– A good leader takes nothing for granted and recognizes the contributions made by everyone on the team

– Think about specific things you can do to show others you care about them. Call people. Write thank you notes. Give acknowledgement. Send e-mails of concern. Try to do something each day to put a smile on someone’s face

– Never take existing relationships for granted-particularly relationships with loved ones, family, and friends

Behavior #3: Create Transparency

– Transparency is about being open, real, and genuine and telling the truth in a way that people can verify

– Disclose relationships, interests, and conflicts ahead of time so that everything is always out in the open

Behavior #4: Right Wrongs

– Make things right when you’re wrong. Apologize quickly. Make restitution where possible. Practice service recoveries. Demonstrate personal humility. Don’t cover things up.

Behavior #5: Show Loyalty

– Give credit to others and speak about people as though they were present

– Go out of your way to give credit freely

– Make it a rule to never talk about family members in negative ways

Behavior #6: Deliver Results

– Clarify “results” up front. Make sure you thoroughly understand the expectation

– Before you make a commitment, make sure it’s realistic. To overpromise and underdeliver will make a withdrawal every time

– Try to anticipate needs in advance and deliver before the requests even come

– Establish a track record of results. Get the right things done. Make things happen. Don’t overpromise and underdeliver. Don’t make excuses for not delivering

Behavior #7: Get Better

– In seeking to get better, there are two strategies that are particularly helpful in maximizing your effort: seek feedback, and learn from mistakes (really all experiences)

– Continuously improve. Increase your capabilities. Be a constant learner. Develop feedback systems-both formal and informal. Act on the feedback you receive.

Behavior #8: Confront Reality

– Confronting reality is about taking the tough issues head on. It’s about sharing the bad news as well as the good, naming the “elephant in the room,” addressing the “sacred cows,” and discussing the “undiscussables.”

– Address the tough stuff directly. Acknowledge the unsaid. Lead out courageously in conversation.

Behavior #9: Clarify Expectations

– Create shared vision and agreement about what is to be done up front

– In every interaction-explicitly or implicitly-there are expectations

– Disclose and reveal expectations. Discuss them. Renegotiate them if needed and possible. Don’t assume expectations are clear or shared

– Clarify expectations both at work and at home

– Check for clarity by asking a few simple questions:

  • What have you understood from this conversation?
  • As a result of our interaction, what do you see as your next steps? What do you see as mine?
  • Do you feel that others are clear regarding expectations?
  • What can we do to make things more clear?

Behavior #10: Practice Accountability

– There are two key dimensions to practicing accountability:

  1. Hold yourself accountable
  • When people hold themselves accountable, it encourages others to do the same
  1. Hold others accountable
  • People respond to accountability-particularly the performers. They want to be held accountable

– Hold yourself accountable. Hold others accountable. Take responsibility for results. Be clear on how you’ll communicate how you’re doing-and how others are doing

Behavior #11: Listen First

– Listen before you speak. Understand. Diagnose. Listen with your ears-and your eyes and heart. Don’t assume you know what matters most to others. Don’t presume you have all the answers-or all the questions

Behavior #12: Keep Commitments

– Keeping commitments is the quickest way to build trust in any relationship

– Make commitments carefully and then keep them

– Don’t break confidences

Behavior #13: Extend Trust

– Demonstrate a propensity to trust. Extend trust abundantly to those who have earned your trust. Extend conditionally to those who are earning your trust.

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The Go-Giver Book Review

Posted by Steve Koerber on February 25, 2009

The Go Giver – Bob Burg & John David Mann the-go-giver

This book was given to me by my good friend Anne-Marie Koszegi.  I can’t praise this little book highly enough.  I think it should be compulsory reading for real estate agents…and for everyone on the planet for that matter.  It’s a quirky parable about business success and how to achieve it.  Five Laws of Stratospheric Success are described in this amazing book:

1.  The Law Of Value – Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.  Exceed people’s expectations. You give, give, give.  It’s not a strategy, it’s a way of life.

2.  The Law of Compensation – Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.  You determine your level of compensation.  If you want more success, find a way to serve more people.  There are no limitations on what you can earn, because you can always find more people to serve.

The Go-Giver explains the three universal reasons for working.  SURVIVE – to meet your basic needs.  SAVE – to go beyond your basic needs and expand your life.  SERVE – to make a contribution to the world around you.  Most people spend their lives focusing on the first.  However, genuinely successful people in ALL aspects of their lives keep their focus on the third.

3.  The Law Of Influence – Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.  If you place other people’s interests first, your interests will always be taken care of.  Watch out for what other people need, with the faith that when you do, you will get what you need.  Giver’s attract.

4.  The Law of Authenticity – The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.  This law is an easy one: BE REAL. Dynamic people talk with and to you, not AT you.  It says in the book that if you want people skills, then BE a person.

5.  The Law of Receptivity – The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.  Receiving is the natural result of giving.  Every giving can only happen because it is also receiving.  The Go-Giver says that all the giving in the world won’t bring you success, won’t create the results you want, unless you make yourself willing and able to receive in like measure.

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The Four Hour Work Week in real estate

Posted by Steve Koerber on November 15, 2008

My holiday reading this year was so inspiring I just have to share it with you.  I highly recommend you buy a copy of The Four Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris.  

 

Step 1 – Process of Elimination

 

Pareto Principle

§  Quantify 20% of the activities that produce 80% of your desired outcomes

§  Determine the 20% of activities & people that are consuming 80% of your time

§  Apply 80/20 rule to customers, work tasks, personal chores, friends etc

§  The goal is to:

1.       Find your inefficiencies in order to eliminate them, and

2.       Find your strengths; those critical few tasks in order to multiply them

 

Working every minute of every hour between 9 to 5pm isn’t the goal.  That’s simply a structure that has become a habit for most In the knowledge economy.  It’s important to shift from presence to performance, cut out static (all the things that consume time and income without return on investment).  You’ll find that very few things matter.

 

Step 2 – Cultivating Selective Ignorance

 

·         Shift to a low information diet.  As an example I cleaned out my internet “favourites” that were increasingly eating my time.

·         Avoid “all input” and “no output”.

·         A more effective approach is to catch up with “news & data” when required, instead of constantly keeping up.

·         Let things wait – especially email!  Nothing is really that urgent.

·         Be more efficient using an email auto-response system.  Send an email to s.koerber@barfoot.co.nz to see mine.

·         Give yourself room to single task and focus on the mission-critical tasks (or as we know it, Dollar Productive Activity) without interruptions.

 

Step 3 – Outsourcing your life

 

·         Avoid doing $20 per hour tasks if you’re worth $120 or more per hour.  Get a PA or VA.

·         If you earn $100,000p.a in real estate and on average work 3 “effective dollar productive” hours per working day, assuming 1 day off per week and 5 weeks holiday, you would “work” a total of 831 hours per year.  This equates to $120 per hour.

·         Most honest hard-working salespeople create a false reality and believe they “work” 8 or 10 hour days.  It’s bollocks!

·         If you think you “work” an 8 hour day and you’re actually above average and do 3 hours dollar-productive activity per day, then you’re desecrating 5 hours per day of your life.  How would your family or spouse feel about you “going to work” if they knew the truth?

·         Assuming you earn $100,000 per year, and today, between 1pm and 2pm you wrote an ad, stuffed some envelopes, read some emails, and talked to your manager – those activities earned you $0.  The 3 “dollar productive” hours you hopefully achieved are the ones that gave you your $360 today.

·         Resolve not to work for no reward.  At the very least, resolve to spend your unproductive hours with friends/family or relaxing on the beach – not in the office pretending to work.

 

In Summary

 

It’s smart to focus on getting things done, but it’s only possible when you set your “not to-do list”.  Remove the constant distractions and static and focus on the critical few dollar productive activities (DPA) – there really aren’t that many! 

 

Real Estate DPA is simple.  Ask yourself how many of the following activities are you scheduling and performing.  More importantly, ask yourself how many $20 per hour activities fill your days – outside the following key activities in order of priority:

 

·         Prospecting

·         Listing

·         Negotiating

·         Selling and keeping deals together

 

Remember, all of the rules we follow (outside of the rules of science) are rules we set ourselves.  So set yourself up to win and choose your own rules.

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Property Nut’s Paradise

Posted by Steve Koerber on July 31, 2008

If you’re a property nut you’ll love this website www.globalpropertyguide.com.  It provides great data and graphs on house price trends throughout the world.  It rates individual country’s investment potential etc etc.  Check it out!

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What I’m Reading

Posted by Steve Koerber on November 13, 2007

How to give your kids a million dollars (and it won’t cost you a cent) – Ashley Ormond  – Absolutely brilliant!  The best advice is to avoid high fee mutual funds & other high fee investments.  The management fees on index funds such as Australia Foundation Investments Ltd (AFI) and Argo (ARG) are less than 0.2%.  I set up accounts in early 2007 for me and my kids using high yielding bank accounts (one of the big four banks).  Each child saves $1 a day.  We transfer accumulated savings into low fee investments periodically.  We’re very happy with the returns so far and the system we’re following teaches the whole family how to invest wisely and regularly.

The Secret – Rhonda Byrne – Drums home the amazing power of the law of attraction.  I’m into this stuff and enjoy the benefits of the focus it gives me.

Fat, Forty and Fired – Nigel Marsh – Brilliant funny read about a Brit living in Sydney with his young family.  He takes a year out from corporate life, finds himself, looks after the kids more, does a harbour swim.  If you’ve ever thought of a major career change or just taking a break from working, this is a must read.  I laughed a lot reading this.

Maximum Achievement – Brian Tracy – This outstanding book is like my success bible.  If anyone wants to succeed in any endeavour this is one of the best books you could read.  It’s a step-by-step guide to success and has a great chapter on how to set goals, properly.

You Inc! – John McGrath – A great read for motivated real estate salespeople and for anyone interested in getting ahead in life and business.  John is a real systems man and is the creator and owner of, to coin a phrase cleverly ingrained in his company’s psyche, one of the best [if not ‘the’ best] real estate businesses on the planet.

One Million Dollars for Life – Ashley Ormond – A great follow up to Ashley’s first book mentioned above.  The best piece of advice in this book is about developing money sense.  Every dollar that comes into your life should be allocated in this manner:  First Invest, then Save, then Spend.  If you have any money invested in mutual funds or managed funds, you really should read this book.  Only a handful of funds ever beat the major sharemarket indexes.  It’s always a punt to try to pick the best ones.  To eliminate the risk of picking a poor performing fund Ashley recommends long term investing in low fee alternatives that track the indexes.  For example, the ASX composite index has returned better than 14%pa over the past 20 or so years.  Long term investors who’ve chosen these cheaper index funds have done very well.  And over the long term using the magic of compounding, the fee savings can be into the realm of hundreds of thousands of dollars.  He demonstrates how $1 a day or $500, $1000 or $2000 a month invested wisely, will result in healthy set-and-forget retirement incomes.  The key is “long term”, so invest sooner rather than later.

The Power of Now – Ekhardt Tolle – While reading this excellent book I realised that I have spent much of life living in the future.  Always searching for the next event or circumstance that would make me happier.  Always feeling that the future was going to be better than now.  I’m now living more in the present.  Not always, but more and more.  If you’re like me, this book will give you plenty of inspriration to make some positive changes in your life.  One concept that I particularly liked was ‘listening to the silences’ between people’s words.  Doing this helps me to listen with so much more clarity.

The Go Giver – Bob Burg & John David Mann – I can’t praise this book highly enough.  I think it should be compulsory reading for real estate agents…and for everyone on the planet for that matter.  It’s a quirky parable about business success and how to achieve it.  Five Laws of Stratospheric Success are described in this amazing book:

1.  The Law Of Value – Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.
Exceed people’s expectations. You give, give, give. It’s not a strategy, it’s a way of life.

2.  The Law of Compensation – Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.  You determine your level of compensation.  If you want more success, find a way to serve more people.  There are no limitations on what you can earn, because you can always find more people to serve.

In the Go- Giver it explains the three universal reasons for working.  SURVIVE – to meet your basic needs.  SAVE – to go beyond your basic needs and expand your life.  SERVE – to make a contribution to the world around you.
Most people spend their lives focusing on the first.  However, genuinely successful people in ALL aspects of their lives keep their focus on the third.

3.  The Law Of Influence – Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.  If you place other people’s interests first, your interests will always be taken care of.  Watch out for what other people need, with the faith that when you do, you will get what you need.  Giver’s attract.

4.  The Law of Authenticity – The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.  This law is an easy one: BE REAL. Dynamic people talk with and to you, not AT you.  It says in the book that if you want people skills, then BE a person.

5.  The Law of Receptivity – The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.  Receiving is the natural result of giving.  Every giving can only happen because it is also receiving.  The Go-Giver says that all the giving in the world won’t bring you success, won’t create the results you want, unless you make yourself willing and able to receive in like measure.

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