My Blog

Perspective - What's yours?


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What is your perspective? We could ask that question about many things. I am taking a photography course and I am learning about aperture, shutter speed, and composition among other things. In our recent class about composition we talked about perspective. It was explained like this. If you take a photo of a tall building looking straight on you see something very different than you see if you take the photo standing close and looking up at that tall building. Both will give you a good photo but they won’t be the same. That is what I mean by perspective. 

I immediately related this lesson to Real Estate which is what I think about when I am not in class and not thinking about my family. Our experience and perspective leads us to our thoughts about everything including the current Real Estate market. 

Let me give you some examples. If you came into the business in the last few years you may be struggling to find positives about the current state of the market as it slows down. However, if you got into the business several years ago and have been through different cycles you may be thinking that this market brings opportunity. There is less competition for buyers to purchase the home that they want and there is less stress for sellers because they have fewer offers to review. All of this is good for the consumer and also good for you, their REALTOR. I would guess that many of you increased your business in a past slowing market. Just think about it.

Finally, if you are just coming into the market in the Fall of 2022 as a new agent you only know what is occurring now and you are likely thinking, ``Opportunity in my new career abounds!”

This is how perspective relates to Real Estate. 

I am convinced that if you look for the good in something you will find it. Yes, interest rates may be higher than they were before COVID but they are a lot lower than they were when I bought my first home at 13% or in 2000 when they were at 8%. There are many buy down mortgage products today that did not exist in the past. There may be less homes selling than in 2021 but when you put a home on the market there are buyers who want to buy and that are qualified to buy it.  If you were in the market in 2008 it was quite a different story. There were few buyers and houses sat on the market for months without even a showing. It is all in how you look at it.

So I ask you, “Which market would you rather be working in?” You really don’t have a choice about the market. You only can choose to be successful in it.
This market brings much opportunity.
So will you take advantage of it, create opportunities and find success? 
Or will you complain about it and continue to talk about the way things were in 2020 and 2021? 
I know which choice I am making.  I always choose positivity!

How about you? Please share your thoughts with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Agent for Life

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Despite recent improvements, we’re still in a housing supply crunch. According to the latest National Association of REALTORS® member survey, almost 60% of agents cited a lack of inventory as the leading reason limiting potential clients from completing a transaction in 2022. In some cases, you are able to overcome this challenge using creative solutions such as finding off-market homes, considering new construction, looking into empty lots, and more. But what does it mean when you’re working with a client and haven’t yet gotten over the low inventory hurdle … when that client runs out of time or patience, and chooses to stop the search or rent instead? Surely, that means you’ve lost. Your time and theirs has been wasted, right?

In my opinion, you should not look at this business in a purely transactional way. Building relationships with clients and potential clients remains the most important part of your job. It’s clear that the biggest factor holding people back is tight inventory. When you’ve worked hard, educated your clients on the market to set their expectations, and demonstrated that you care about their success, the situation is not a poor reflection on you in their eyes. You’ve built a bond and, if you keep in touch and continue to follow up, they will work with you again. They will even refer you to others. It doesn’t matter that a transaction hasn’t happened yet.

You are now their
real estate agent for life.

That’s how I suggest you look at every new client, potential client, and even past client – as a relationship you’ll maintain throughout their lives and your career. You’re their personal advisor and advocate. You’re there for them, their children, their friends, and anyone who knows they trust you.  

I’m not trying to say that the current lack of inventory isn’t sometimes frustrating or unsatisfying, especially if you became an agent in the last few years and haven’t had to deal with these feelings. You’re not alone. However, don’t forget that the market is cyclical and new opportunities can be uncovered every day. In the meantime, keep trying to overcome the hurdle of low inventory through perseverance and creative solutions. If that fails for the time being, it doesn’t mean
you’ve failed. The win is always in the lifelong relationship. 
Has a client ever called you their agent for life? How would it change your perspective to look at the industry as personal instead of transactional? Share with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Use #joansjots.

Make up your mind to mastermind.

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Have you ever wondered about the best practices and techniques of your fellow real estate sales professionals? Do you think about which solutions might be working for them that could also be helping you? Do you sometimes come up with unique questions or ideas and wish you had a sounding board you could trust? The answer to these questions and more can be found through masterminding. In my experience, you should not look at your colleagues as adversaries, but as valuable resources. 

If you’re a new agent who hasn’t yet experienced the benefits of masterminding or a slightly more experienced agent who may have forgotten the continued value of it, keep reading!

I host quarterly mastermind groups ? called Regional Roundtable sessions ? where I get together with a small group of select sales professionals and their regional manager to have an open discussion about … anything! A mastermind is a group of professionals who meet to share what’s working in their business, what’s not working in their business, encourage one another, share insights, and float ideas. Every member grows in their knowledge and belief of what is possible for themselves and their businesses. 

If you’re serious about working on your business, I believe that participating in a transparent, engaged mastermind is a must. When you surround yourself with other growth-focused people, your business can’t help but continue to flourish. 

If you’re a Fox & Roach sales professional, talk to your sales office leader about recommending you for a Regional Roundtable session. You could also search for mastermind opportunities through your affiliations. Otherwise, you could start your own group. The key is to have a clear vision of the expectations and benefits for others who may want to join. Depending on your goals, you may want to invite other sales professionals from your own region or surrounding areas. You could choose to invite those with similar production levels or keep it somewhat varied. If you don’t have an office environment and aren’t sure how to build your mastermind group, consider posting invites in an existing agent Facebook group or even starting your own Facebook group. 

Masterminds can have specific themes or be wide open ? anything from new prospecting ideas … to what you’ve heard in listing appointments … to social media strategies. The best part is that it’s up to you and your fellow sales professionals to take the topic at hand anywhere that may be beneficial. 

So, although you can always turn to your managers and brokerage executives for advice, don’t ignore another valuable resource right in front of you: your peers. Make up your mind to mastermind! Your business will surely thank you. 

Do you participate in a mastermind group? If so, what are the benefits? Share with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Use #joansjots.

Perspective - how does it matter in sales?

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At our latest Fox & Roach Friday Forum, we welcomed Heather Hansen — an accomplished keynote speaker, attorney, author, and podcaster. She talked about how we, as real estate sales professionals, can use the tools of a trial attorney to “make the case” for our buyers, our sellers, and ourselves. It’s all a matter of credibility and perspective. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the latter, especially as it relates to how we engage with clients. How does your choice of language show that you’re on a client’s side? What role does curiosity play in your interactions? When you meet for the first time, who does most of the talking? Here are some of my thoughts and suggestions when it comes to perspective. 

Avoid jargon.

When you meet with your clients, you may be tempted to use technical jargon to sound like an experienced professional. Resist the temptation. When trial attorneys like Heather Hansen argue to a jury, they are sure to use words that everyone can understand in order to make their case. The same applies to you. Because you’re around a lot of sales professionals every day, it’s easy to slip into “agent speak” without even realizing it. This can be alienating. Make a conscious effort to talk to your clients on their level, whatever it may be. This shows that you are viewing the situation through their lens, not your own. 

Show curiosity. 

Unlike when a trial attorney speaks to a jury, you have the added advantage of being able to ask questions. You get to be curious! Asking a lot of questions does not make you appear less credible. It actually helps you see the sale from their point of view. Once you put yourself in their metaphorical shoes, you can work to prove you are on their side. 

Listen more. 

You can and should be asking your clients what they need, what you’re missing, and what makes them happy. And then comes the part that can be surprisingly easy to forget: listen to their answers! Especially in a first meeting, you may be eager to impress a potential client with your own thoughts, stories, and ideas. Yes, of course, you have to talk — informing them of the state of the market and setting expectations. Otherwise, active listening will not only help you see things from their perspective, but also make them feel special. This is important both in the beginning and throughout the process.

 In today’s frenzied market, I can see how it might be easy to forget about perspective. You may have fallen into the habit of being purely transactional: getting it done and keeping it moving. However, as I’ve said often in this blog, real estate is still a relationship business. For a long and successful career, how you engage with your clients really matters. Just like with trial attorneys, people get to choose who represents them in the buying and selling of their homes. Unlike with trial attorneys, it’s a very good thing when people need us to represent them or their families again and again and again! 

How do you engage with your clients to try to see things from their perspective? Share with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Use #joansjots.

Have you found your niche?


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Becoming a successful real estate sales professional can be challenging, especially in the beginning. You may be out there feverishly hustling for business anywhere and everywhere … while forgetting that one, well-defined segment could be the key to your success. While there’s no shortcut to a long-term career in real estate, a niche focus can free you of the short-term game of haphazardly chasing commissions. You’ll actually maximize your efforts, reduce competition, and make it easier to network strategically for higher-quality leads. 

Sometimes, your niche will identify itself based on initial deals. In other words, your past deals may reveal something in common that points to a particular expertise. However, some agents take a more proactive approach by either identifying an underserved market or by zeroing in on an existing personal interest. Once you’ve determined your niche, you need to make it the center of your marketing efforts while continuing to prove yourself as an expert.

There are so many niches from which to choose. In this blog, I’m going to focus on a few of the most common: location, buyer/seller types, property types, and personal interest groups.


The location-based real estate niche is the most popular and is specific to a neighborhood, city, or county. Choosing this niche will maximize your lead generation potential and clients will gain a deeper trust of your value. Plus, choosing one area enables you to do more showings and make more appointments without having to travel back and forth. Your niche location must be one with which you’re very familiar and have also researched thoroughly. Ideally, you’ll also live in the community.


If you want to target buyers, work to create personas for different types of buyers. Your understanding of the needs of the buyer types will determine your approach when it comes to lead generation and conversion. Some buyer-side client types include luxury buyers, commercial buyers, investors, first-time homebuyers, and rent-to-own. 

Conversely, your real estate niche can center on representing sellers. Some seller types include home flippers, single-family investors, multi-family building owners, FSBOs, and life event sellers. If sellers are your chosen niche, you need to market yourself as a specialist in home valuation reports, marketing strategies for specific types of properties, and negotiating skills during the offer process.

niches cont'd



You can choose to market yourself as an expert on the structure, process, and details of certain property types. Some of the property types you could choose for this niche include historic homes, co-ops, condominiums, single-family homes, multi-family complexes, and many more. Researching the home purchase statistics for your area will help direct you in deciding which property type is best for your real estate niche.


You might find it both lucrative and fun to align your niche with your personal interests. Let’s say, for example, that you’re an avid mountain climber and are a member of several enthusiast groups. Because you’re part of this specific community, you can market yourself as the real estate expert within and among those enthusiast groups. The level of comfortability and trust already exists because these are people who you know personally. You are a friend and can be a valuable advisor. In addition to marketing, you can also regularly ensure that the community remembers that you’re a Realtor without it feeling like an aggressive sales push. Saying things like, “I’m sorry I’m late, I was at a showing” or “the other day at my open house …” help keep your profession top of mind so that they will immediately think of you when they have a real estate need. Personal interest groups can be a built-in sphere of influence that will reap great rewards.


Location, buyer/seller types, property types, and personal interest groups are just a few of the many real estate niches you can consider. But remember, it’s not good enough to just say that you’re the best at your niche; you have to prove it. Show your niche how you are better able to produce the results they need through a thoughtful, focused media strategy. Over time, you’ll also find that success breeds success. As clients see that you’ve closed multiple deals within a particular niche through your marketing or online listing platforms, they are more likely to retain you as their representative.

The bottom line is that niches help maximize your efforts, reduce competition, and even create a better client experience. So, why not embrace a niche and start working smarter now? 

Are you currently having success working in a real estate niche? Tell me all about it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Use #joansjots.

Market Outlook 2022

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What does this year hold for the housing market? Here’s what experts project for 2022 along with my thoughts. (Hint: It isn’t wildly different from 2021 and, if you work hard, the outlook is bright.)


Dr. Lawrence Yun - chief economist and senior VP of Research at the National Association of REALTORS® - has predicted that there will be a 2% reduction in sales in 2022 as mortgage rates increase. However, the increase will be modest, with rates remaining at historic lows under 4%. Increased mortgage rates, when coupled with inflation impinging on savings, will affect lower and median-priced home purchases.

While we won't see the double-digit gains that were made in the past year, home prices are expected to keep rising in 2022 at a slightly more moderate pace. A group of twenty top economic and housing experts brought together by NAR projected that median home prices will increase by 5.7% this year. 

How’s it possible that home prices could still continue posting solid growth despite a jump in mortgage rates? The answer is an ongoing mismatch between supply and demand. We're currently in the middle of the five-year window when millennials will hit the important first-time average homebuying age of 30. At the same time, those potential buyers are plunging into a market in which active homes for sale are at the lowest level in more than four decades. In total, Freddie Mac estimates the nation is four million homes short of current buyer demand. That dynamic, even in the face of higher mortgage rates, will likely keep this a sellers’ market throughout the year.


While there will still be a shortage of inventory, the industry will begin to turn the corner on the dire shortage of housing supply, according to Dr. Yun. New construction of single-family homes has been moving steadily higher. People are likely to list their homes now that federal support and mortgage forbearance programs are either ended or are slated to end soon. predicts a growth of 0.3%. Buyers will become accustomed to the lack of choices and will want to aggressively compete, causing the aforementioned continued rise in home prices.


According to Buffini & Company, this year, there will be a surge in the growth of REALTORS®— now at 1.52 million members. “We have more agents in NAR than ever before and almost that same number of people with a license not affiliated with NAR,” says Chairman Brian Buffini. He’s also noted that experience among agents has dropped from nine years in 2019 to eight in 2020.

Both Dr. Yun and Mr. Buffini have issued a warning to agents, particularly new agents, of another challenge ahead in the coming year: If you look at the total number of home sales and the total number of agents, you’ll see that not everyone will succeed.


This year is going to require patience and strategy. People will be looking for experienced negotiators and allies in their quest to own their dream home. Some of the challenges will be similar to 2021, but it’s best to look at this new year as a fresh opportunity to meet those challenges head on. And for you hard-working sales professionals out there, I am very optimistic that you will be successful in making dreams come true in 2022. 

What opportunities and challenges in our industry do you anticipate for this year? Share with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Use #joansjots.

If you’re not writing, you’re wrong.


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It’s that time of year when you reflect on what you’ve achieved and think about how you want to improve your business moving forward. The plan for next year is all in your head, so there’s really no need to write it down. Right? 

Well … did you know that a written business plan creates a 30% greater chance of sales growth? If you didn’t know, it’s not too late to get yours on paper.

All real estate sales professionals are essentially small business owners. You have support from your brokerage, but are ultimately responsible for your own production and financial success. So, creating a plan to achieve your goals is imperative. 

A business plan is a written blueprint that captures the future of your business. It details what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. How extensive your business plan should be, whether a multi-page electronic document using a template or a handwritten simple plan, is up to you. Just get it on paper.

To get started, I suggest looking at all of the business you’ve done this year and evaluating what worked best. Focus your plan for the coming year (or the coming quarter, if short-term goals motivate you) on the things you’ve done well and discard what hasn’t worked. This will be different for everyone, as we all have different strengths. I also recommend keeping whatever you create on your desk or any place where you’ll see it every day. Don’t put it in a drawer. Just having it visible will help you reach your goals. 

You owe it to yourself to complete a business plan that will set you up for greater success in the new year. If you haven’t already, write one right now. Wishing you and your business a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2022!

Do you have a business plan? How have past business plans contributed to your growth? Share with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Use #joansjots.

Astound yourself.

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This month, our Fox & Roach Friday Forum featured Brian P. Moran, author of the New York Times best-selling book The 12 Week Year. Brian talked about his groundbreaking time-management principles, which teach people how to accomplish more in far less time. During his presentation, he mentioned a quotation from Thomas Edison  one of the most well-known, prolific inventors of all time  that I’ve been thinking about ever since: 

“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”

Do you feel regret when you read those words, thinking maybe you haven’t been fulfilling your true potential? I believe it’s natural to feel like you always could have done more. I find it helpful to remember that you can’t change the past. It’s history. You can, however, change your next decision. While we may not always feel remarkable, our potential to accomplish remarkable things is always present. Acknowledge that the potential is there and your goals will feel reachable. Barriers usually have more to do with thinking than anything else. 

Once you’ve acknowledged your potential, what else will help you accomplish more? Think about action steps to achieve your goals. Maybe you want to read a book like The 12 Week Year or take a class to learn how to maximize your time. Maybe you want to identify a list of steps that will get you closer to your goal  actually write them down or print them out to stay motivated. Or, you could work with an accountability partner. This means forming a partnership in which you mutually agree to coach each other on a regular basis. You speak daily or weekly through feedback sessions, where you share wins and talk about your current challenges. Your action steps are up to you, but should be specific efforts that you see as the best path to your goals. 

Even if you haven’t astounded yourself lately, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t capable of astounding things in the future, starting today. Okay, so I don’t recommend that anyone directly compare their accomplishments to those of Thomas Edison … but I can assure you that you have potential and you can be truly remarkable. 

How do you feel when you read Edison’s words? What steps have you found helpful in working to reach your potential? Share with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Use #joansjots.

Control how you react to change.

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The art of life is constant readjustment in the face of change. Shifts in the market … pandemic protocols and how they affect your family, your health, and your business … changes in the political landscape … life transitions … to be frank, the list is endless. It can be easy to feel like you’re in over your head. While we have no control over any change itself, there is one thing you can control. 

I’ve been reflecting on this topic lately, since I returned from a Bright MLS retreat where I heard Colonol Gregory Dimitri Gadson speak. He is a West Point graduate, motivational speaker, and retired colonel in the United States Army. He is also a bilateral above-the-knee amputee. In 2007, while returning from a memorial service for two soldiers from his brigade, he lost both his legs and severely injured his right arm in a roadside bombing in Baghdad. Colonel Gadson went on to join the Giants as a captain, helping lead the team to two Super Bowl rings. He is now an avid skiier and sky diver.

Despite major changes in his life, Colonel Gadson said that he is able to continue to thrive because his leadership and strength come from his mind and heart. He also made a conscious decision to have a positive attitude. I know that each of you out there may be struggling with different challenges, but Colonel Gadson’s main message is applicable to all of us. It’s this:

Be in control of how you react to change because that is the only thing you can control.

It’s essential to accept the fact that you can’t control that endless list of changes life will throw your way. The good news is that you will always have a choice of how you react. Your attitude will determine the quality of your life, just like it has for Colonel Gadson. 

I hope this message brings a little hope and inspiration to your day. And to those of you currently confronting changes — whether they be internal or external — I wish you strength and resiliency. 

Do you think it’s good advice to focus on how you react to change rather than dwelling on the change itself? Share with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Use #joansjots.
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