Saturday, January 26, 2019


A Book Review

Written by: Nick Krautter
Reviewed by:  Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown January 26, 2019

I have written a lot of book reviews and I typically ask and answer 4 Questions at the end of each review.  I believe it is important to ask and answer the first of these four questions BEFORE I review the book.

Who should read this book?  This one is easy to answer and it is difficult to answer.  As per the sub-title the book is written with real estate agents in mind yet as I read the book, I could see a great many businesses that the principles laid out in the book could and would apply to.  For example, independent insurance agents, doctors, dentists, just about anyone in sales could benefit from this book.  Therefore let me answer the question again for just real estate agents.

Who should read this book?  EVERY LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT AND ANYONE THININK OF BECOMING LICENSED – PERIOD!  No exceptions.  The book was written looking more towards the experienced successful agents who want to leave the business for any reason and those experienced successful agents that would benefit both agents by accepting the departing agent’s business and sill receive referrals.  Still as I read this book and based upon my 33 years in the real estate business most as a Broker/Team Leader/Teacher I was struck at how valuable this book would be for the brand new licensed agent.  In book The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber, Gerber asks the question “what will your business look like when it is finished?”  That is a great question and for brand new real estate agents I would suggest you read The E-Myth Revisited and more importantly as you read The Golden Handoff you hopefully will understand Rule #1. You begin from Day One to set up your business with the end in mind – The Golden Handoff.  If you wait until you are ready to leave the business and you have not done due diligence in maintaining records and your database, it will be almost impossible to reconstruct your years in the business sufficiently to demonstrate to an agent considering picking up your business that it has value.  So my advice would be START WITH THE END IN MIND BY READING AND TAKING ACTION TO PROPERLY SET UP YOUR BUSINESS RECORDS NOW TO TAKE FULL ADVANGE OF THE GOLDEN HANDOFF!

This is a very interesting book.  A real estate agent’s business “should” have value and if the agent can prove that it has value there is no reason that the agent could not give that business to another agent to work and then receive referral income for years to come.  Krautter provides you with a plan to make that happen.  It is a wonderful and thoughtful book that every real estate agent should read; no exceptions.  There is no reason to just walk away from the business you have created over the years and benefitted from.  Still, if you are going to “handoff” your business to another agent who you hand select, you need to make sure the business you are “handingoff” is well organized and documented so that you both WIN!


·       CONTRACT LANGUAGE: In the “contract” you and the receiving agent sign and you refer to “commissions” it should read “net commissions after any broker/agent split” to avoid any misconceptions about on what number the referral fee is calculated.
· VERIFICATION: I would recommend establishing an email procedure whereby you send to the retiring/departing agent an email stating that you have closed or are about to close a sale and that you need confirmation that they remain in compliance with their home state’s real estate commission’s policy about receiving  real estate referral commissions.  Most states require the agent have an active real estate license.  This will provide you with written verification in the event it becomes a legal issue.
·  TRANSPARENCY: Recommend that you get permission from the parties to a real estate transaction that you represent that you intend to pay the retiring/departing agent a referral fee.  Transparency is always a good thing.
·  100% COMMISSION: Recommend selecting an agent to handoff your business to who is on a 100% commission plan.  If you do the math you will quickly appreciate that you will significantly benefit by higher referral dollar amounts.  While this could be financially important, it is still MORE important to handoff your business to someone who shares your beliefs and values and who will do what they say they are going to do as per the contract you both sign.
·   DATABASE vs WEALTH BUILDERS:  Words mean things.  You can refer to your list of probable buyers and sellers as a “database” like everyone does.  Mentally when you refer to your database as your “Wealth Builders” you are providing your conscious and more importantly your subconscious mind with the probability that a great many people on your Wealth Builder List will eventually provide you and the agent you are handing your business off to with future incomes.
·   KELLER WILLIAMS AGENTS:  This book should definitely be required reading as already stated.  Keller Williams’ agents have the luxury and privilege of participating in the company’s Profit Sharing System.  Therefore it would be my recommendation that when you are looking for an agent to hand your business off to that you use the opportunity to also recruit a top/good producing agent to your Market Center and then that agent would be part of your profit sharing down line.  Why is this important?  Not only will you receive referrals from your handoff agent, you will also participate in the Market Center’s future profit sharing income.  You win TWICE! Plus Profit Sharing goes on for years and years whereas your referrals will eventually lesson or even stop. That means I would hesitate in finding an agent to accept your business who is already with Keller Williams Realty.  If you can convince a producing agent to join your Keller Williams Realty Market Center your Market Center wins, you win, and the new agent wins primarily because now you also know the new Keller Williams agent will be on a 100% commission plan meaning more money for you through the referrals you receive.

Would I recommend it to a friend?  ABSOLUTELY! 

Will I read it again?  I am oftentimes called by agents to discuss leaving the business and what would I do if it were me.  I would now suggest that they follow the principles in The Golden Handoff. I would certainly use the book as guide in any counseling I provide to agents wanting to leave the business for any reason, not just retiring.

Would I buy it as a gift?  ABSOLUTELY and probably will!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Book Review of Fake News by Mark Dice

A Book Review

Written by: Mark Dice
Reviewed by:  Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown January 23,2019

So you think the stations/networks you get your news from are above board and are NOT playing games with the truth.  Think again!

Some may choose NOT to read this book because they do not want to know what the real truth is about the news media and social media actually is.  They want what they believe to be true to actually be true.  To those folks, I am suggesting that you have your heads firmly buried in the sand.  Some will read the book and still criticize it as not being truthful about the news media and social media sights.  Still others and I am in this category, will find the book shocking beyond belief.

Let’s take the argument that only 25% of what Dice writes about is true.  Just 25% is enough to scare the Hell out of you!  What if 100% is true?  What then?  For me I just shook my head in total disgust and then began to check how I can better insulate myself from what I see, read and hear.  Is there a solution to the problems identified?  Read the book and you decide.

I knew there was bias amongst the major news and social media organizations but that was more of an opinion than a factual statement.  No amount of denials by the owners of these companies who have testified before Congress regarding published falsehoods (fancy word for lies) and organizational non-biases made any sense at least to me.

EVERYONE should read this book!  No exceptions!  If you read it and still deny that there are organized biases amongst the main stream media, you simply refuse to believe the obvious.  I was shocked to realize my ignorance of how severe the problem of “fake news” has actually gotten.  When you read the book you realize that the news media and even social media sites are being manipulated by “editors” behind the scenes of whom we do not know, who are putting forth on their programs and Internet sites ONLY the news and information THEY want US to know.  Even when you do a Google search the resulting suggested links have been scrubbed so that ONLY those links these “editors” want you to see appear on the first and second pages of your search.  They know that few if anyone ever goes beyond the second page of their search.

As a result, we are all being manipulated either by fake news stories, news stories carefully edited to eliminate important facts to advance someone’s agenda and/or even outright lies.  But since they appear on the Internet or on our news programs, we therefore believe they must be true and accurate and we all would be wrong if that is what we all believe. 

My advice would be to test it yourself.  Enter a search using Google on any subject you wish.  Then carefully review the list of suggested sites that Google generates.  Here is one I have repeatedly tried.  I entered “The First Family” and was shocked that photographs of President Obama’s family appeared and you have to search for any links to current President Trump’s family.  I also did a search using the words/phrases suggested by the author like “What if…” and “Christianity” and “Islam” to see what the suggested links would be. The one for Christianity was probably the worse when the first thing that appeared suggested that Christianity was a religion of racists and for Islam, a religion of peace.  Do you own search and watch what happens.

Who should read this book?  EVERYONE, NO EXCEPTIONS, at least know who, what, and how the news and social media posts are being manipulated to help you to develop your opinions and beliefs even though the information provided is probably tainted if not outright deceptions!

Would I recommend it to a friend?  ABSOLUTELY!

Will I read it again?  Not sure.  Some sections, definitely but you get the idea rather quickly just how corrupt the members and leaders of the various organizations have been and most likely continue to be.

Would I buy it as a gift?  ABSOLUTELY!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Looks Like I Was Right; Who Knew?
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, January 16, 2019
Note: Words appearing in Blue and Underlined are links to their respective web sites

“Reduce your decisions to no more than two alternatives!”

From his course, Optimizing Brain Fitness
Note:  I took the on line course offered through The Great Course Company

NOTE:  This Nugget applies to ALL REALTORS® and to anyone buying a home.

Over three decades ago I created a course and wrote a handbook on Working With Buyers; of course I mean buyers of real estate.  I also wrote one Working With Sellers. The course described how most REALTORS® show homes.  They would select hopefully no more than 5 homes to show on any one day.  Showing more than 5 only serves to confuse the probable buyers.  Once you have selected the homes you intend to show this is what I taught them to do:

1.   Try to arrange them where you show an occupied home first, an unoccupied home second, then an occupied home, etc.  If for some reason you and your probable buyers take more time looking at an occupied home or you run into traffic issues, you can then skip the next UNOCCUPIED home and go directly to the next occupied home on your list.  If all of the homes are occupied you obviously cannot do this but if you can, you will avoid difficulties with sellers by not showing up on time.

2.    DO NOT give to the probable buyers any information on the homes you plan to show.  Repeat, DO NOT give them any materials to review before you enter the home.  If you do, they will bury their heads in the materials you give them and pay little attention to what you say or what you show them.  Give them materials on the home you just showed as you leave the home.  Give them a folder in which to store the materials you give to them.  Tip:  If your probable buyers bring teenagers with them, treat them individually as you would two adults.  In other words ask them questions, give them copies of the materials on the home, etc.  Get them involved in the process.  It is very important to explain to them that none of the homes they are about to see are owned by you.  Therefore they cannot hurt your feelings if the homes being shown do not match what they are looking for and the ONLY way you will be able to better serve them is if they are honest in discussing their likes and dislikes regarding the homes you have shown them.  And…”Mr. & Mrs. Buyer, I hope you don’t mind if I ask you if you want to buy this home.  If I forget would you remind me?”  You might be surprised when you know they are obviously interested in a home being shown and you do not ask them if they want to buy it.  They WILL remind you.  A definite buying sign. 

3.     Follow the above procedure for the first home you show your probable buyers.  Give them a positive expectation of what they are about to see but DON’T UNWRAP THE GIFT until you actually get into the home. 

4.     As you enter the home, announce your presence even though the home may be unoccupied.  It is just a courtesy to the sellers should they be in the home.  Once inside, tell your probable buyers that they should experience the home as they tour it and to ask any questions they wish.  You should point out to the probable buyers the features and facts about the home that are NOT OBVIOUS.  I remember the very first home I showed and the first thing I said was, “This is the living room!”  As if they couldn’t tell.  As they go through the home this is your opportunity to dig deeper into what the probable buyers are looking for in their next home.  Ask them to compare their current rooms to the rooms in the home you are showing.  Listen for words that will help identify if they are visionary, auditory or kinesthetic (feelings) type of people.  Once you identify them you can modify your language to adjust to their styles.  For example if they are visionary, you use words like see or imagine.  Auditory, “can you hear your family’s joy during Thanksgiving dinner in this spacious dining room?”  Etc.

5.      You then move on to the second home you have selected and you repeat what you have done above.

Now is the time to revisit Dr. Restak’s quote from the beginning of the Nugget:

“Reduce your decisions to no more than two alternatives!”
Dr. Richard Restak

Dr. Restak validated what I had taught so many REALTORS® over the years.  Home buyers are no different than anyone else; it is hard to keep them focused on what is important when you give them too many alternatives to choose from.  This is where both buyers and REALTORS® can take a lesson from Dr. Restak. 

The next step.

6.     You now have the buyers in your car after seeing the first two homes you have selected when you say, “Mr. & Mrs. Buyer, bear with me; I would like to play a little game.  Imagine that the two homes you just viewed were the last two homes on the planet.  With that said, if you had to buy one, which one would you buy?”  Then say nothing.  Let them discuss what they like and dislike about the two homes you showed them.  You will learn a great deal about their needs, wants, desires and preferences in the event you do not show them something that they would ultimately buy.  They will however select one whether it meets their needs or not and then you take the papers from the home they rejected, crumple them up, and literally throw them on the floor of your car.  You have just reduced the number of homes being considered to just one and in keeping with Dr. Restak’s quote above.

7.      Then show them the third home on your scheduled tour of homes.  After they view the third home you repeat step 6.  You have seen three homes and they have rejected two and are back to considering only one home.  Keep in mind what Dr. Restak said; “Reduce your decisions to no more than two alternatives.”  At this moment they are considering only one.  You may at this time ask them if they would like to buy the one home they have accepted; why not?  Remember you prepared them for this question earlier.

After you follow the above procedure for all the homes you have selected for them to see, you should be down to just the two to select from and you again ask them which one would they buy?  You may have just sold them a home, if not, do the same thing the next time you show them homes.  But the next time you should be armed with far more information than when you started because they are discussing what they like and dislike after each two homes shown that they toured and that is a very good thing to know.

When I heard Dr. Restak say what he did during the course I was taking on line, the light bulbs in my head immediately lit very brightly as I remembered the above tips on showing homes to buyers.  If you are a buyer reading this and you do not have a REALTOR® it still applies, keep your decisions to just two homes; which one would you buy?  If you ARE a buyer who is reading this my advice would be to sign on with a reputable REALTOR® otherwise you are like someone walking a high wire without a net.  A REALTOR® can find you the right home and help get the best possible price and avoid the myriad of pitfalls you could find yourself in without the help of a professional.  This is especially true if you are considering new construction.

One more hint for REALTORS® and this is a tip from Jeffrey Gitomer The Sales Bible (you should read all of his books, they are great).  I used the phrase “probable buyers” throughout this Nugget.  Most agents say “possible buyers” or “potential buyers.”  Can you see and understand the difference?  You treat people differently if you first assume they ARE going to BUY and buy from YOU!  So why not think and talk like you believe it?

Thursday, January 3, 2019

UNDAUNTED, a book review

A Book Review

UNDAUNTED, Surviving Jonestown, Summing Courage, Fighting Back
Written by:    Jackie Speir
Reviewed by:  Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown January 3, 2019

Personal Note:  I am old enough to remember the massacre at Jonestown where over 900 people were murdered and Congressman Ryan was murdered.  Congresswoman Speir was a staffer for Congressman Ryan and she was shot multiple times and as she struggled to survive, Congressman Ryan’s lifeless body lay only feet away.

This is one of the more interesting books I have ever read.  Everyone goes through life and experiences its ups and downs but Congresswoman Speir has certainly had more than her fair share of downs followed by significant ups.  In my opinion she is a remarkable woman and her story needs to be heard.

This book is about facing life’s challenges and staring them down.  It’s about in her words, “getting over it!”  The book is a lesson for everyone as to what personal focus and raw determination will accomplish for you provided you learn how to use both as Congresswoman Speir has and continues to use.

A word of caution:  If you consider yourself anywhere right of the political center, you may find portions of this book objectionable.  In the early part of the book Congresswoman Speir lays out what her personal beliefs and principles are and they are without fault.  But I found several contradictions between her principles and her actions.  For example, she is for women’s rights and sexual abuse victims’ rights yet she supported Hillary Clinton who in my opinion was one of the biggest enablers who permitted her husband to not only abuse women, she attacked the women he abused.  Not what I would call consistent.  Of a larger concern, at least for me, is that she aligns herself with the Democratic Party and expounds on her Catholic upbringing and faith.  I find that a contraction of the highest order.  The Democratic Party (including Clinton and Obama) supports Planned Parenthood who through abortions have killed more people (and yes babies are people) than the number killed during WWII. 

As great and as admirable as her story is, such contradictions take away from the overall story because they do contradict her principles and beliefs. 

Still, the book is a very compelling read.  I hate to use the overused phrase that it is a book that I couldn’t put down but it IS a book I couldn’t put down.  In spite of the contradictions, I admire her work ethic, her tenacity and her vision.  She IS to be admired!

Who should read this book?  Anyone who wants to read a real life story that should motivate anyone who might be facing obstacles in their life and isn’t that everyone?

Would I recommend it to a friend?  ABSOLUTELY and already have!

Would I buy it as a gift?  ABSOLUTELY!

Will I read it again?  Probably not because once you read it you understand what she writes about and how she reacted to serious adversities in her life.