A duck and a dream

I had the pleasure of watching arguably the world’s best magician David Copperfield live in Melbourne recently. The magic itself was awesome...

17 reasons you should always carry a book with you

1. As someone who used to spend a lot of time waiting for real estate clients to show up – I know that clients / appointments / people in general are often late...

Reality Television your way to Success

I think I’m one of the only “motivational speakers” (not that I call myself that) who will openly admit that I watch television. I watch bad television too… even… dare I say it… reality television.

Where is the love?!

One of my businesses, Elephant Property, works in the notoriously under appreciated category of residential property management. The old adage in property management...

The power of the word

I’m quite distraught. I was eating my personal trainer approved afternoon snack of 12 almonds (my suggestion of 12 Tim Tams: not approved)...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Kiva loan to Tajikistan

Hey guys - just another update on a recent Kiva loan I've just completed. I'm a huge fan of Kiva and highly encourage you to go and check out just how easy it is to make a micro loan to an entrepreneur in the world.

Today I've made a micro loan to a this entrepreneur.

Check out our Kiva group here to see what some friends of our weekly newsletter have been up to: http://www.kiva.org/community/viewTeam?team_id=1756

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Friday, February 20, 2009

What I would look for when choosing a real estate agent

I’ve worked in real estate since I was 15 years old. One of the main reasons I wanted to open my own agency at the age of 21 was that I was aware that not all real estate agents are equal. Some are dreams, some are nightmares and many are in the middle. I get asked all the time – “how do I find a dream agent to sell my home?”, so this is what I’d look for in trying to find my dream agent.

The dream agent shows me the price
An agent who can SHOW me why they’re saying they can sell my home for a certain price. The way they would need to show me would be by showing me what comparable properties had sold within the past 3 – 6 months (I’d want to see addresses, photos and sale prices). Even better if they have personally or at least their company have been responsible for some of these sales.

The nightmare agent tells me the price
I don’t want an agent who:
• Finds out and then tells me the price I want to hear
• Finds out the other agent quoted prices and then quotes a selling price higher to get the business
• Plucks a price out of their head
• Bases their price on properties that are not comparable to mine

The dream agent’s marketing is first rate
I want to look at your website, your property presentations on real estate portals (like realestate.com.au), your brochures, your sign boards, your newspaper advertisements and see:
• Consistency of branding
• Quality
• Readability
• Descriptive eye catching wording

The nightmare agent’s marketing isn’t flexible
I want options and I want to know why you recommend that marketing option for my property, not a one size fits all approach.

The dream agent talks with me
Their presentation is question based and they take time to find out about me and what I’m looking for. They know their stuff, but they find out what areas I’m most concerned about before launching into a recorded message-like presentation.

The nightmare agent talks at me
Their presentation is said at me and they speak more than 80% of the time.

The dream agent is a natural negotiator
I can test this out by asking them to drop their commission (if they don’t negotiate hard for their money, what are they going to do when it comes to negotiating for mine?). I can also test their negotiation skills if I’ve ever bought from them before – did they get top dollar out of me then?

The nightmare agent is a natural regurgitator
The other agent offered you 20% off? Well we can offer you 25%... The other agent said they’d do that? Well I can do better.

The dream agent cares
I can test this out by showing up 10 minutes before one of their scheduled open homes and watching them arrive, set up and conduct the open. I can test it by taking note of any promises they make (they’ll call me Monday, they’ll find that information out by Wednesday) and see if they live up to it.

The nightmare agent talks at me
The nightmare agent screams in at the last minute for an open home, doesn’t tell me their name and doesn’t follow up.

The dream agent has fans
And they’re more than happy to let me know about their fans by showing me testimonials (lots of glowing ones) and by allowing me to contact people they’ve sold houses for in the past month.

The nightmare agent has people fanatically trying to track them down
(to complain)

The dream agent remembers me
Long after the sale.

The nightmare agent develops acute amnesia
As soon as they get paid.

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Finding Mentors

Excerpted from Kirsty’s first book Advance to Go, Collect $1 Million

Be careful when you approach a mentor! Realise that if it is someone very successful they are going to be very busy. Here are some tips for making your approach.

Be serious
Most mentors immediately start suggesting things that will push you past your comfort zone. If you’re not prepared to try everything your mentor suggests, stop now.

Ask permission to approach your mentor, recognise their time constraints and be reasonable with your requests
For example, I frequently get emails from young people entering the real estate industry. Many of them ask me questions like: “Can you tell me what your secrets are? Can you tell me what to do to be fantastic in real estate?” How do you answer such questions without typing back a 100 page email? These people are on the right track but that’s not the sort of question you ask of strangers. What I usually tell them is to find a local agent who they can shadow, emulate and learn from. I can no more tell someone all I know in an email than tell them how to be a great lawyer or hair-dresser.

Put forward options that would make it easier for your mentor to help out
For example, I have only approached a possible mentor very recently and was terrified! She is a superb professional speaker and I thought she wouldn’t have time to assist, so I‑gave her some options.
• Option 1 – Give me her upcoming schedule and where possible I could fly to watch her speak and learn from her.
• Option 2 – I could organise a monthly fee in exchange for assistance over the phone or via email.
• Option 3 – I could fly her down to watch me speak and have her comment if possible.
By giving her these options I was guaranteed a better strike rate than if I’d just gone in with option 3.

Tell them why you want to learn from them
Be honest and tell them why you want them as a mentor. I told my speaker mentor that she was the best I’d ever heard (and I’ve seen some of the best in the world) and I wanted to learn from the best. Don’t go over the top, but this person needs to know why you want to learn from them.

Be careful of who you associate with
Don’t let anyone else bring you down. If they make you feel insecure or less than the fabulous person you know you are, take yourself out of that situation and surround yourself with positive and inspirational people. Don’t let anyone steal your dream away from you. Often the most dangerous are those with “your own best interests at heart.” Sometimes in life, to get what you really want you do have to take risks and this can scare those near and dear to you.

Don’t settle for mediocre company! Surround yourself with brilliant, knowledgeable, motivated, creative and talented people. This is positive for your business, and for your professional and personal growth. When I say surround yourself, I am not just talking about people in your office. Offer to take the most inspirational business person in your town out to lunch. Subscribe to an email list of one of your mentors. Or, take a huge risk and pick up the phone or email one of your heroes – you will be surprised at their responses.

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Friday, February 6, 2009

Melbourne To Cairns - ride for depression awareness

Richard Jansen is embarking on a solo adventure covering all coastal towns along the east coast up north to Cairns. His aim is to raise awareness of depression and to help raise funds for Lifeline.

Help Richard make a difference to this dreadful illness which so many people suffer from in Australia. Follow Richard as he meets and talks to people along the way.


By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Celebrate bad times… come on

(sung to the eternal Kool and the Gang hit tune)

Loving this Seth Godin post I just read on his personal “career ending” failures.

Here’s someone who has achieved so much and is one of my personal role models and yet his failures are equally impressive I have to say!

When I interviewed Seth in 2008 he had this to say about his failures:

My list is way too long for this email. I regret not starting a search engine in 1995. I regret thinking too small in many of the first businesses I started. Small thinking with small goals and small deliverables to the wrong clients. But you know what? I'm not sure I'd change much. The misses are worth at least as much as the hits.

Which just reinforces the fact that it doesn’t matter how much success someone appears to have had. They’ve usually had just as many if not more failures along the way. The successful person just doesn’t give up. They learn, they become better, they move on and up not making those same mistakes again.

What have you failed at lately?

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By Kirsty Dunphey with 1 comment

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