Finding the Uncontested Market Niche

Achieving top-of-mind status is the ultimate aim for those luxury real estate marketing professionals who are bent on gaining or sustaining market leadership. One route to get there is identifying an uncontested market niche that you can dominate. But, uncontested niches are usually not obvious. If they were obvious, your competitors would be all over them.

Our focus, as brand strategists is helping our clients to out-think not out-spend their competition. By helping them identify an uncontested market niche they do not need to spend as much in marketing to reach their target market. Why? You can get to top-of-mind status relatively quickly because you are the first mover in a new category and your story becomes newsworthy.  Publicity is much less expensive than advertising.

The mega-hit Broadway Musical, Hamilton, is breaking box office records. It is the hottest ticket in town! Some weeks they rake in over $3 million dollars in ticket sales. 

Recently, Spamilton, a parody of the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, reached its 300th performance.  Now, they are moving to a larger theatre to accommodate the demand for tickets.  This show launched with just a $130,000 investment and is now opening in other cities as well.

Spamilton is produced by the same people, who introduced the new category (niche) of shows referred to as revue-style spoofs, when they launched   “Forbidden Broadway” years ago.

So look for the uncontested market niche in your luxury real estate marketplace, a niche that you can dominate as a first mover. Think more, spend less when it comes to marketing!

How To Create Buzz: Buzzing With Bananas And Snow Plows!

Buzz marketing is a way of getting media attention by orchestrating an event that is unusual in nature and results in people talking. It often is less expensive than traditional advertising.  Buzz generates word-of-mouth advertising.  Here is an example:

A Community Banana Stand outside the Amazon headquarters in downtown Seattle is the brainchild of Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.  He decided at the end of 2015, that Amazon should offer everyone the public and its employees a free healthy snack.  Bananas fit the bill perfectly.  They don’t need to be washed, and all one has to do is peel and eat.  Recently, they added another cart.  To date they have given away more that 1,7million free bananas.

In real estate, they are many opportunities to create a buzz.  One agent we met had planned an open house in her New England marketplace.  An overnight snowstorm threatened the cancellation of her open house, because the city plows would not reach the neighborhood until the next day. 

She hired plows to clear the roads to the open house, and had an announcement broadcast over the local radio station.  This caught the attention of the local media, as well as the New York Times.  Her business grew exponentially as a result of this action.  And yes, she sold the house as a result of the open house.

How can you generate buzz with your marketing?

Are You “In The Know” When It Comes To Luxury? Can You Speak Goat?

Himalayan Tahr Goat

Himalayan Tahr Goat

We recently were asked by a friend to recommend an agent.  They wanted to make sure that we would recommend someone who can relate to a luxury buyer whose budget is $8 million dollars. Our friend specifically wanted an agent “in the know” when it comes to all things luxury.

There is so much that can be gleaned by luxury real estate marketing professionals in studying the finest products and services that money can buy. The more you know, the more you will have in common with your target market, the wealth of the world.

The more you have in common the faster potential clients or referral sources trust and recommend you. Being known as a luxury real estate professional who is “in the know” is one way to distinguish your personal brand of doing business.

Cashmere is a fabric that is associated with luxury. Although many assume that cashmere in a winter fabric, it can also be worn in the summer when woven with silk.

The finest cashmere wool in the world comes from the far regions of Mongolia and the Himalaya Mountains. Another type of prized cashmere is baby cashmere. Baby cashmere wool comes from a special breed of goat,(Himalayan Tahr Goats). The softest fibers are gathered by combing the kid goats.

To fully appreciate luxury, look at the variance in pricing if you were to purchase a kid cashmere shawl from a local merchant close to the source of the fiber.  To get to the Himalayas, where these prized goats are raised would take several days using primitive transportation modes-ox led carts, and the final leg of the journey would be made by walking for several hours. The shawl would seem to be a bargain, if you discount the price and the time it takes to make the trek.

A similar shawl at a Loro Piana boutique, (Loro Piana is an Italian clothing company that specializes in high-end luxury cashmere and wool products) in New York, Beverly Hills or Milan, Italy, would be priced considerably higher. The price would reflect the journey and the exquisite craftsmanship.  

Not all luxury buyers appreciate cashmere.  However, many appreciate the finest in products and experiences.   One gentleman we spoke to mentioned the ABC’s of luxuries, A for airplanes, B for boats, and C for Cars.  If you aspire to sell to those in the luxury arena, educate yourself to be “in the know”, on many subjects including being able to speak goat.

Branding Moments: How To Tell A Great Story in One Minute And Ten Seconds!

Photo courtesy of Aplle

Photo courtesy of Aplle

We usually push the mute button when commercials are on. We look away from the television set and resume reading our book, until the basketball game is back on. Even on mute, this commercial captured our attention.  It focused on the unique function of the portrait mode dual lens system on the iPhone 7Plus.

This ad tells shows people at a barbershop getting haircuts.  After their haircuts, their portrait picture is taken and displayed in the store windows and on the walls inside the shop. The video description is precise: “In Portrait Mode on iPhone 7Plus, you don’t just look good! You look fantastic!”

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, remarked that phone has been the most popular model plus model the company has released.  Apple released more than three-dozen how to videos tips for iPhone 7Plus owners.  

In our opinion, this was one of the best commercials we have ever seen.  It told a story about the brand and left an indelible impression. It took only one minute and ten seconds!

Real Estate Life: Class Versus Crass

Regardless of where your focus is in your real estate practice, developing class is of paramount importance if you intend to be a market leader or the first to come to mind in your marketplace.  Being friendly, generous and considerate will reap big benefits in that you will be known as someone with class: decent, gracious, respectable, and noble.   Just being focused on getting what you want will label you as crass: lacking sensitivity, mindless, ignorant, coarse, and tactless.  Here are examples of both class and crass:

When the brother of our client passed away, we took a half a day off to attend the memorial service and the reception thereafter.  Our assistant was instructed to tell our clients who called in where we were and at what time to expect the return call.  Everyone understood and respected our choice. Here is a contrasting example:

One of our friends had a different experience. His mother had passed away and he took the first flight out to be with his family.  His partner was left in charge. When their mutual client called in, the client could not understand why the mother was more important than she was.  The client proceeded to insult and belittle the firm. 

On a recent trip, we met with a luxury residential developer.  He went on a five-minute tirade about agents who called him on Sundays, leaving him 8 messages, when he was in the pool playing with his children.  He labeled them as crass, and as someone he would not ever do business again.

How do we define class in terms of real estate?

It is the agent who sits down with their clients and asks them: “how and when would you like me to communicate with you?  And then, follows through.  

It is the agent who kindly tells their competitor that they have a spelling mistake on their site, or their listing brochure, or a listing photo is out of whack.

It is the agent that returns calls, and shows up on time.  

It is the agent that listens and understands their clients’ woes and stories, and does not repeat them. 

It is the agent that other agents respect and go out of their way to work with them.

Class is not limited to real estate only.  It encompasses life and how you treat everyone around you. Class is being kind to everyone you meet, regardless of their stature in life.  It is also having the courage to drop out of your life and business those who enjoy berating others and acting crass.

Brand Design: Is Your Brand A Foghorn in A Sea of Sameness?

“Design is a funny word.  Some people think design means how it looks.  But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.”  Steve Jobs

We are in the process of creating a logo.  Everything about that logo has to work for our client.  The fonts, the colors, the spacing between letters have to attract the target market.

It has to stand out and be the foghorn in the sea of sameness.  It has to resonate with our client and fit them perfectly, or as we like to say, “it has to be a hell, yes!”

We travel to each marketplace in order to identify the psycho-graphic of the people who live and work there. We take time to get to know our client’s core values, personality, preferences and goals. 

We come home and begin to distill what we learned into a strategy. That strategy defines the brand.  A definition is a concise form of communication.  It is concise because it is easy to understand and to communicate it to someone else. This brings about the best marketing results known as “word of mouth and referrals.”

For us, designing each brand is a labor of love. Our clients have to love it, and their marketplace has to love it.  Is your brand a foghorn in a sea of sameness?

Branding Moments: How To Be An Original In Your Marketplace!

Photo from Wikipedia in public domain.  Maria Callas as Violetta in La Traviata

Photo from Wikipedia in public domain.  Maria Callas as Violetta in La Traviata

In order to attract the dominant share of the luxury real estate or other segments of the real estate constellation you have to stand out to attract and maintain an ideal client base.

In the late nineties playwright, Terrence McNally, wrote a award winning Broadway play  called Master Class.  It was based on the master classes that Maria Callas, one of the most famous and influential opera stars in the 20th Century, gave at Julliard School of Music. 

A master class is an opportunity for accomplished students in a certain discipline to attend a class given by a true expert. In the play, Maria Callas tells her students, "If you want to be an opera star, your voice may not be enough. You have to have a 'look'. Get a look!"

We say, as a luxury real estate marketing professional, you not only need a look, you need a brand.  The brand conveys who you are, what you stand for, and the extraordinary value you have to offer.  Your personal brand must be impactfull, and it must enable you to sharply stand out from your competition.

We also have said that it is important to study luxury brands.  Notice which brands speak to you and which do not.  Model your brand after the ones you like, but do not copy

Imitation is not the best form of flattery, it just shows your lack of imagination. Copying may result in a lawsuit by the brand.  Many luxury brands are vigilant when it comes to protecting their trademarks and logos, and they do not hesitate to come after you with all guns blazing.

Get a look!  Most importantly, be original!  

Branding Moments: A Brilliant Logo/Brand Design!

If you followed our blog posts, you are no doubt aware that we are constantly noticing logos that tell the brand's story.  Pictured above is a great example.  This morning we were looking for the perfect pot for our new plant.  As we meandered through the nursery's selection, we noticed the sign indicating a grouping of plants that are been friendly.

The circle has a watermark of the inside of a beehive pattern.  The bee's body is is a stylized letter "B"!  The color within the circle is a gradient of orange to a warm yellow giving it depth and dimension.

This illustrates our favorite quote:  "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"--Leonardo da Vinci

Friday Fun Fashion Fact: Eco Lux Or Wearing Orange Peels!

Sustainable and earth friendly luxury has been one of the primary items of focus for the luxury industry for several years now.  Many luxury companies like Kering (an aggregate of luxury brands) have had sustainability targets as part of their business plans since 2012.

In honor of WorldEarth Day 2017,  Ferragamo, one of Italy's premier luxury leather goods and high fashion brands has teamed up with Orange Fiber to create a line of clothing made from sustainable materials.  Orange fiber is the brainchild of two ladies from Catania, Sicily who observed that Italy was throwing out over 700,000 tons of peel from squeezed citrus fruits.

Adriana Santanocito and Enrica Arena teamed up with the Polytechnic University of Milan to create a fiber made from the cellulose of the orange peel. They perfected and patented a high quality fiber.  It has been described as resembling "twill with a silky feel"

The Ferragamo orange collection of shirts, dresses, trousers and scarves was designed by architect Mario Trimarchi.  You can view it on line using this link.  And depending on your geographical location, you may be able to see it in person at your nearest Ferragamo store.

Branding Moments: What Makes A Brand Attractive?

What makes a brand attractive? There are many reasons we make choices.  Here is an example of how we were attracted to a restaurant, based on our love of Italy.  It was the association with a fond memory that influenced our choice.

Two weeks ago we were in Westport, Connecticut, looking for a place to dine.  We consulted the local dining recommendations and were drawn to this little Italian trattoria.  We were attracted to the name "Finalmente", which means finally, or at last we have the result!" 

Seeing the name reminded us of dining in an out of the way restaurant in Sienna, Italy, that was recommended by an Italian friend.  The restaurant staff was very friendly and loved that we were doing our best to converse with them in Italian.

Our delightful server taught us the word "Finalmente!"  It is an expression to emphasize having reached perfection in food, wine and pleasurable moments in life.  It started with the Chianti he recommended and ended with the ricotta pear tart at the end.

The Connecticut version was delightful, and because it was Tuesday all wines were soldat a 20%, discount.  We would venture back if we find ourselves in Westport again. 

What makes a Brand Attractive for you?

Discovering The Uncontested Market Niche: A Wild Goose Chase!

Niche is the name of the game in luxury real estate marketing and branding today.   Identifying and dominating an uncontested market niche is the fastest route to market leadership and top-of-mind status.

We saw this van (depicted above) as we were heading to our hotel in Newark, New Jersey.  This company found a way to humanely discourage the Canada geese from taking up residence on homeowners lawns and public parks.   They are considered a nuisance by many because of their droppings and the bacteria within, the noise of they call and their confrontational behavior. 

The need was obvious.  And thus a niche was born without competitors!

Geese Chasers have trained border collies that will herd and chase all the geese away.   They are a professional geese management company with great accolades from the Discovery Channel, the major media outlets, and Animal Planet.  According to their website, they have a great track record in having worked "with commercial, residential, corporate, municipal, city and state clients."

Can you find your wild goose chase?

Branding With A Story of A Pig In Boots, Holding A Hammer & Cleaver !

The majority of established, global luxury brands have simple logos. Most simply use a serif font for the brand name without a symbol. It is the name itself and the company’s reputation that differentiate one luxury brand from the other.  But, for new brands, using a symbol along with the company name or using a clever font treatment can help you tell the brand story. It can also accelerate brand recognition and retention.

While it is true that there are some exquisite serif fonts that have subtle differences, most consumers cannot distinguish one serif font from the other. Test your own recognition of luxury brand fonts that are incorporated in the company logos.

Which version is the real Tiffany Logo?  One of them is simulated using Times New Roman, a common font found on most computers.  But, once you add the famous robin’s egg blue bag or box the brand is unmistakable.

Brand symbols, like pictures, are worth 1000 words. They help people remember you and recognize your logo at a glance.

Pig3.JPG

The image at the top of this post captured our attention as we were enjoying lunch at Sides Hardware & Shoes (yes a restaurant name) in the wine country near our home in Santa Barbara.  The shadow was cast on a photo on the wall by a cutout of the symbol used in their logo. The cutout is used as the “Open/Shut” sign to alert customers of restaurant hours.

The pig, wearing boots, holds a cleaver in one paw and a hammer in the other to tell the story of the brand.  They kept the original name of the business that was housed in the building but added the pig because many of the recipes on their menu includes their famous, delicious hammered pork (bacon) that they cure themselves.

Once you make the connection between the symbol and the brand story distilled to its essence, it makes it hard to forget and easy for customers to pass the story along to others.

If you are re-branding, refreshing your current brand, or starting fresh, consider the use of a symbol along with your company or personal brand name. It can help you trigger word-of-mouth advertising.

P.S. If you guessed that the second Tiffany & Co. logo was the real one you would be correct.

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International specializes in the art of local niche marketing in affluent communities and they are the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  Working exclusively with entrepreneurs and professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership, they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

Sealing Your Energy Leaks in Real Estate & Life

In our last two articles series, “Avoiding the High Cost of Mindlessness” and “The Inner Game of Real Estate” we explored the advantages of achieving a state of relaxed focused concentration in your real estate practice.  The primary advantage, besides how great it makes you feel, is increasing the probability of manifesting your intentions.  Here is another piece of the puzzle that may be of help to you.  It certainly has been impactful for us:  Sealing Energy Leaks!

One of the components of our strategic branding consulting practice is advising real estate companies on recruiting agents.  The central idea here is to become so certain of your firm’s “brand signal” that you attract more like minded agents that are naturally on your brand’s wavelength.

Hiring agents based on their track record of high sales volume alone or recognizing them as rising stars does not necessarily insure that they are on your company’s brand signal.  The right fit is someone who shares the same core values as you.  If they act like prima donnas or cut corners on ethical matters, for example, they can suck the energy right out of your company. 

That is why it is of paramount importance that you clearly articulate and broadcast your brand signal to potential recruits. That way you can prevent energy leaks.

Your current roster of agents must also get the message about your brand signal. It must be made loud and clear to them as well, because you may need to let go of some agents to seal an energy leak.

On a personal level, you must seal you own energy leaks. Otherwise, they will weaken your personal power to realize your intentions.  Sometimes the best thing you can do to expand your real estate practice is to “fire” energy draining clients.

We recently sealed two energy leaks once we recognized how they were diluting the power of our own intentionality. One was cutting our cable TV, which freed up quite a bit of our time and energy. Now, we are much more deliberate about what we select as entertainment and also about how frequently we watch. 

Our other sealed leak is abstaining from energy-draining discussions or news articles about politics. It is not that we have buried our heads in the sand. We do want to know what is going on.  But, as soon as current events begin to distract us from our primary purpose of growing our business and enjoying our lives we practice the art of sealing the energy leak simply by changing the subject to energy-giving topics.

What energy leaks have you identified?  What actions have you taken to seal them?

Branding Moments: The Curse Of The Cursive Font Illustrated!

Script or Cursive fonts are often thought to be fonts that express luxury.  However, less that 20%  of the premier luxury brands logos have cursive fonts.  If they do, they are usually simple, easy to read on a business card, a billboard, or in mobile form.

Recently when we drove by a shopping center monument sign depicted below,  both Ron and I read it as "Swille", and we wondered at the choice of the name.  The definition of "swill" is a large mouthful of a drink, or kitchen refuse and scraps of waste food mixed with water for feeding pigs.

The next day on our lunch break, we pulled in and parked so we could take a closer look.  The "ev" of the sign transformed into a "w" in certain light!  No doubt this font was chosen with luxury in mind, as there are several high end retailers in this shopping center.
 
When choosing a font, we pay close attention to every letter of the alphabet (caps and lower case) to make sure it can easily be read on a sign, card, letterhead and all the brand iterations,  It also has to be aesthetically pleasing and in harmony with the brand.  Character spacing can make or break a brand name in a logo. In this case the spacing was too close between the "e" and the "v".

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International specializes in the art of local niche marketing in affluent communities and they are the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  Working exclusively with entrepreneurs and professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership, they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.

The Inner Game of Real Estate – Part 3 Powered by Passion & the Joy of Mastery

We often hear that a goal of top real estate agents is to earn the trust of their clients so they become “clients for life”. These agents are in it to win it, the inner game of real estate that is!  They have a mindset for professional longevity that can only be powered by passion and the joy of mastery.

To truly appreciate this mindset, one needs to look outside the real estate industry and learn about others who have achieved mastery in their lives.  Chef Jiro Ono, now 91 years old, is the owner of a three-Michelin starred Japanese sushi restaurant. With an average check of $350 per person and only 10 seats he is perennially booked at least one month in advance.

Jiro started working at a local restaurant at the age of seven before moving to Tokyo to study as an apprentice and eventually open up his own restaurant. His peers regard him as the greatest sushi craftsman alive.

World famous Italian education innovator, Maria Montessori, was a 20th century master. She observed an important behavioral phenomenon about the way kids learn. While in the state of relaxed focused concentration that we refer to throughout this article series they will repeat a learning task over and over again until they have an “explosion”- a sudden joyful burst of insight.

This explosion is the key to mastering a task. Once they have “cracked the code” and can effortlessly repeat the action, they experience a gain in self-confidence and then move on to master another skill.  For a very young child this can be something as simple as pouring colored water from one vessel to another without spilling.  The learning environment is purposely set up to provide opportunities for these “learning explosions”, the stepping-stones to mastery.

Someone who approaches their real estate practice as if it was a playground where they can continuously experience “learning explosions” is playing the inner game of real estate.  They create the games conditions in their minds so they can constantly win at something. They deliberately seek out ways to better serve their clients and to better market themselves.

Personally, Maria Montessori has provided us with tremendous inspiration for lifelong learning and mastery as we pursue our own inner game of brand strategy in the luxury real estate realm. As a touchstone we keep an old 1000 Lire note in our wallets on which she is depicted. Like us, the Italians truly value education and the pursuit of mastery.

Is your real estate practice powered by passion and the joy of mastery? If so, you are playing the inner game of real estate. May you live long and prosper in your profession!

The Inner Game of Real Estate – Part 2 Start Monkeying Around!

One who plays the inner game of real estate approaches one’s profession not only as a means to earn a living, but also as a vehicle for achieving mastery as a way of life.  Mastery in this context is more than just gaining a proficiency in the skills of listing, marketing and selling homes. Reaching for mastery is an attitude towards one’s practice that transforms the entire enterprise into an art form through which one can achieve self-realization.

The big difference between agents who embark upon the inner game of real estate vs. the opposite- “the outer game”- is that they aim to attain a level of self-reliance and mental self-sufficiency that factors out the need for approval and admiration from outside sources. They delight in their own accomplishments, but only momentarily, because they know the real “high” occurs in the process of getting there itself, not arriving at a final destination.

That process involves discovering the winning formula that produces desired results. An example of one component of the formula might be regularly staying in touch with your clients and potential referral sources.

Then, in comes down to repeating the formula over and over again, refining it along the way.  The routines become automatic and even somewhat boring at times.  Yet, it is through the consistent repetition of the winning formula, with relaxed concentration, that one encounters the nuances that make the inner game artful and playful. 

If you want to get a greater sense of this effortless state of mind required to play the inner game of real estate check out this 3-minute video of, Wang Yani, the Chinese child protégé who is now world renown for painting pictures of monkeys? Sir David Attenborough narrates it. Then, start monkeying around yourself as you transcend the outer game of real estate and dive into the inner game.

The Inner Game of Real Estate--Part 1

This article series was inspired by a comment on our previous series (“Avoiding the High Cost of Mindlessness”) about the benefits of consistently reaching for a state of relaxed concentration in your real estate practice. One of our commenters said::

“If I understand you correctly, that mindful state is one that results after I do a heavy focused workout.... my head is totally cleared and when I'm finished I'm relaxed and can focus on my work...”

Yes, it is correct. A relaxed, quiet mind sets the stage for achieving peak performance. Certainly, a heavy focused workout is one way of getting there.

However, there is more to the story that we wanted to amplify.  That is, if you practice getting into this state in ordinary tasks, it makes it easier to attain and sustain over a longer period of time.

Simple tasks done with relaxed focused concentration can get you in that state in no time and with virtually ZERO EFFORT. Suddenly, cleaning a drawer, sweeping out a garage, changing a light bulb on the front porch that you been putting off, can become opportunities to achieve this state of mind, INSTANTLY!

What we love the most about this state of relaxed focused concentration is that it has two extreme dimensions: It can be achieved while tending to the most mundane, routine, unexciting tasks. AND, it can be achieved in the most sophisticated rituals like the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Either can transport you into a deep lasting calmness. It is at once ordinary and profound and neither is better or lesser.

The application of this practice in sports and in business is nothing short of astonishing!  The book, The Inner Game of Tennis, by Tim Gallaway, inspired our title of this series.  We had the privilege of meeting Tim in L.A. when the book first came out years ago. This notion of the “inner game” has stayed with us ever since and we would love to share it with you as it applies to practicing real estate.

Stay tuned for Part 2…

Avoiding The High Cost of Mindlessness: Part 3

As a real estate professional you spend roughly half of your waking hours working at or thinking about your business, which often carries over into the weekend.  How much of that time would you say you spend in relaxed, focused concentration-the quiet state of mind of the archer we referred to in Part 2 of this article series

Be honest with your answer. Do not be judgmental because there is no contest here! You are not competing with anyone to get an award for “most time in the zone”. In fact, one of the greatest sources of distraction in life is looking outside of your self for approval or feeling that you are not living up to some standard imposed by others.

Being in the state of Mindfulness while you are working is immensely pleasurable and life-giving because present time, the here & now, IS LIFE! It is where life happens, not in your head. Relaxed, focused concentration in the present is the “pre-condition” for mastering the skills required for being an effective real estate professional and also for enjoying frequent moments of peak performance. 

In this state, fresh inspired ideas flow. Opportunities present themselves that you heretofore would miss for lack of relaxed, focused concentration.

The alternative, Mindlessness, IS A DEGREE OF DEATH because you are not present to live your life.  Most people traipse through their lives in a somnambulant state that Rodney Dangerfield referred to in one of his movies as “the dance of the living dead”.

But, once you acknowledge that there is a high price to be paid (in wasted time, wasted money and wasted life) for being Mindless FOR ANY REASON, you can regain more control of your life. It is matter of training your attention to be focused more often in the present moment. 

Yes, it takes practice. But, it is a lot easier than you think because the answer is literally right under your nose! It is quite simple and can really be fun, if you make a game out of it and do not take yourself too seriously. Do not think of this as a discipline. It is a matter of LIFE OR DEATH! What more motivation do you need?

Many have advocated meditation to achieve the state of relaxed, focused concentration more often. We do practice meditation and deep breathing, but that is part of our yoga practice for overall health and vitality.  The real breakthrough that Alexandra and I discovered is the astonishing ABUNDANCE OF OPPORTUNITIES throughout the entire day to practice relaxed focused concentration in everyday tasks. 

Everything from washing dishes, to taking out the trash, to brushing our teeth, walking our cat, Quincy, on and on, has become an opportunity to practice relaxed, focused concentration.  Practicing while we are not working and reminding each other to do so has been a blast!  Suddenly, we discovered SO MUCH MORE LIFE AND MORE QUALiTY TIME, time that was always available to us had we understood the magnificent freedom that results from hanging out more often in present time!

We encourage you to try this and even find a buddy with whom you can practice.  Whenever you find yourself distracted, or get sucked into the soap operas, the counterfeit lives in which so many people participate, just find something that you can do with relaxed focused concentration and that will bring you right back into the here and now.  If you find that one thing does not do the trick, keep looking for more items, until you break the spell of mindlessness.

In the movie, Auntie Mame, Mame says, “Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!”  We sincerely hope you discover, as we have, the abundance of opportunities to enjoy more of your life in a state of relaxed, focused concentration and avoid the high cost of Mindlessness.

Develop Mindful Eyes: Look Beyond The Obvious!

My (A) art professor took the class out to the grasslands that surrounded the campus for a plein air class (painting outdoors).  It was spring time and everything was green.  As we were getting ready to paint, he asked us, "What color is the grass?"  "Green" everyone answered.  "Look again," he said.  "Are you sure it is just green?  We sampled this succulent plant photo for the range of greens, and this is the result.

From that point on, I have been inspired to look beyond the obvious. In the color spectrum of light the color green is between yellow and blue. As you look closer at any green object or plant, you may see dark green, or a yellow green, a pale white green, or even a blue green.  The same green may look different depending on the light, or the background.

Develop mindful eyes by looking beyond the obvious!

Avoiding The High Cost of Mindlessness: Part 2

To avoid the high cost of Mindlessness in your real estate practice here is the place to start:  1) Deliberately set up the conditions of your “game” so that the odds are in favor of your winning, and; 2) Consistently reach for a state of relaxed concentration in your daily activities and stay focused. That state is also known as Mindfulness.

Stack The Odds In Your Favor

Our primary job as strategic branding consultants in the luxury real estate arena is helping our clients stack the odds in their favor to consistently win at their game. We use the word game here on purpose because we believe that you should have fun doing what you love most.

We help our clients to identify under served or uncontested niches that they can dominate and do so with passion. Selecting a particular niche that has the potential to realize their financial goals also stacks the odds in their favor.

The exciting thing about stacking the odds in your favor is that it allows you to concentrate all of your attention and energy on a singular goal and not feel like you are being torn in many directions. This is how you set the stage for mindfulness.

Consistently Reach For A State of Relaxed Concentration

Once you are CERTAIN that your game conditions are stacked in your favor the key is to TRUST YOURSELF and not to second-guess yourself, which is one of the primary sources of mindlessness.  Then, all you need is the right message to reach your target market, a message that communicates your unique promise of value.

Imagine that you are an archer. You place an arrow in your bow, aim at your target and you pull back the string. Suddenly, you wonder if you forgot to lock your car door. Your attention then drifts off to a conversation that you had with a client that did not go well. You think of all of the things you need to do before your return home.  What are your chances now of achieving a bulls eye with this degree of mindlessness?

It is the same with any sport. You need a quiet mind; you need relaxed concentration to win.  The same applies to your real estate practice. 

In Part 3 of this article series we will cover some techniques that you can practice to quiet your mind and achieve this state of relaxed concentration more frequently.  That way you can avoid the high cost of mindlessness-the waste of time, the waste of money, the waste of life-your life!

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-

ABOUT:  Napa Consultants, International specializes in the art of local niche marketing in affluent communities and they are the leader in brand strategy for the luxury real estate industry.  Working exclusively with entrepreneurs and professionals who are passionate about gaining or sustaining market leadership, they help their clients become the breakaway brand in their marketplace.