John Lusink – What are the Keys to a Successful Career as a Realtor?

Key to Success #2: Setting realistic goals

It literally cannot be said enough that goal setting is critical to success in business, just as it is in life. Sure, we’ve all heard it before, and many of us are tired of hearing it, aren’t we? I know I was. Yes, I was tired of hearing about how setting goals was critical to my success. In fact, I was downright weary of the advice. I’m not tired of hearing about the importance of goal setting any more, though.

What changed my mind about the focus on goal setting?

The answer to what changed my mind on the subject is quite simple; I became the owner of my own real estate office, as well as the Broker of Record and Managing Partner. As a result, I very quickly learned that it was impossible to lead my team toward success without a destination in mind. I was forced through circumstance to realize the importance of setting goals, realistic goals, for everyone in the office – including myself.

In addition to this responsibility, I have also accepted the challenge of becoming a FocalPoint Business Coach, because I also enjoy sharing knowledge and teaching. Being a business coach has only reinforced my commitment to realistic goal setting for my clients, people who come to me seeking direction and focus, two qualities that are critical to purposeful action.

Of course, the key to realistic goal setting is an objective appreciation of reality; clear knowledge of one’s situation, and one’s ability to deal with that situation. If you’re the newbie in your office, it benefits no one for you to behave as if you are a manger. If you are a manager, it behooves you to lead and encourage your team.

Whatever your position in your office, set goals for yourself first, then make sure they conform to the needs of your team. Adapt and adopt the goals of your leader, keeping them clearly in mind on a daily basis, and you will achieve the success you are seeking.

Here is to an ongoing and successful online relationship…
John Lusink, CCIM, Broker of Record & Managing Partner of Royal LePage York North Realty

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from John Lusink

Oh No! Christmas is just days away, with a brand New Year right around the corner! Are you ready?

It occurs to me, as I consider that Christmas is just a weekend away, that many of my realtor friends may not be ready for the end of 2012, or the beginning of 2013.

The past year has been a difficult one for many of us in Canadian real estate but, as always, it helps to remember that a new year is always a time of great potential and new opportunity. I have found that a positive mindset is one of the greatest keys to success that we possess, but it must be nurtured on a regular basis to be effective.

Happy Holidays from John Lusink

For me, the first step in maintaining a positive point of view, regardless of any problems in the moment, is to be appreciative of the success and abundance I am already lucky enough to enjoy. Beyond my successful business endeavors, I have a wonderful wife and four beautiful, healthy children, as well as supportive friends and associates. How can I not be positive about the future with these things in my life?

Next, I know that every day offers opportunity, as well as obstacles. I simply choose to focus on the chances for positive outcomes that will come my way, rather than potentially negative outcomes. After all, road blocks are merely momentary obstructions to overcome; they need not be permanent, while opportunities have almost limitless potential for improving my life, and the lives of my family.

Simply by focusing on the good things in life, we can improve our attitudes on a daily basis, making it easier to overcome obstacles and set them aside quickly and effectively.

To make this new year a Happy New Year, resolve to maintain a positive mindset in all you do, and you will make 2013 one of the best years of your life.

Here is to an ongoing and successful online relationship…
John Lusink, CCIM, Broker of Record & Managing Partner of Royal LePage York North Realty

John Lusink – What are the Keys to a Successful Career as a Realtor?

Key to Success #1: Accepting advice on your vocation

As with any human endeavor, there is a vast array of ideas about what one should do to become successful in their chosen field. Beyond this, there are as many ideas of what one may do, or could do, or must do to achieve success. Unfortunately, many of these ideas are espoused by people with little or no experience in the field for which they offer their advice. On reflection, I find it impossible to place an accurate number on quantity of advice I have received from folks who may have bought, or even rented, a property, thinking this made them expert on what it takes to be a professional realtor.

As a further example, I also happen to be a youth soccer coach, and have been one for years and the teams I’ve coached have been quite successful. Yet, it is a given that after nearly every game, a spectator or parent will approach me with advice on how to better coach our team. Of course, these tend to be people who have never coached a sports team, people who may never even have played an organized sport and yet, because they have watched sports for many years, they believe they have the right to offer me advice on coaching.

It is, needless to say, quite frustrating yet, by giving them the benefit of the doubt that they have approached me with the best of intentions, I am able to overcome my deep-seated desire to tell them to “sod off.”

It is much the same in business, any type of business, but particularly the real estate business. After all, nearly every adult you meet has at one time rented or purchased a property in which to live. The fact that this in no way makes them a real estate expert is lost on them; likewise, the fact that you have spent years training and practicing your vocation means even less to them. You must accept the fact that you will never overcome their intention to educate you or you will drive yourself crazy with frustration and stress.

The key then, based on my experience, is to grant them the benefit of the doubt. In their minds, they are trying to help you, and you should take their advice at face value. I learned a very long time ago that it is possible to learn something from nearly anyone and I have opened myself to that possibility daily. Now, when knowledge or advice is offered to me, from any source, I simply take what I can use and discard the rest.

I have found that this is the only way to maintain my sanity – and many valued friendships, as well.

Here is to an ongoing and successful online relationship…
John Lusink, CCIM, Broker of Record & Managing Partner of Royal LePage York North Realty

John Lusink – Realtor and Soccer Coach

Why would I mention that I am a youth soccer coach on a realtor’s blog? Quite simply, because I believe there are lessons to be learned from all areas of life, including my work with children. What sorts of lessons can we, as adult real estate professionals, learn from kids? Let me try to explain…

The first thing I must do as a soccer coach, and also as the Broker of Record & Managing Partner of my team of realtors, is to make an assessment of the talents, experience, and personality traits of my team. Once I understand the capabilities of my players, not only am I better able to determine the best position for them on our team, I can also tailor my coaching to focus on improving their strengths while mitigating their weaknesses. I do the same for my team of realtors, helping them to focus on areas that need improvement, while using their talents to greatest effect.

As a coach, and as a businessman, I have found that setting goals is critical to success. After all, you must first determine your destination before you can decide which road to take to get there. Of course, deciding on a single goal, “To Win,” presupposes progressive goals to achieve it. Period by period and game by game, we establish a list of intermittent goals which will naturally lead us to our ultimate goal of winning a Championship. The same is true of my sales team, where weekly, monthly, and yearly goals are clearly outlined for each team member.

Next, we practice, establishing routines and muscle memory to help us achieve our goals. This also holds true for business. If the old sports adage is true, that you play the way you practice, then why would it not be true in business as well? Discipline is always required for success and, while learning from failure certainly has it merits, one can also learn from success. By practicing the things we do well, we will find the discipline to continue doing them, bringing our goals closer to fruition with each passing day.

I do not think it is a stretch to equate sports with business. Sports are fun and, if we employ the same sports-based strategies to achieving success in business , we can also have fun becoming equally successful in our professional lives.

Here is to an ongoing and successful online relationship…
John Lusink, CCIM, Broker of Record & Managing Partner of Royal LePage York North Realty

John Lusink – Realtor and Business Coach

In addition to being a realtor with nearly three decades of commercial and private experience in the Toronto and Newmarket areas, as well as the Broker of Record & Managing Partner of Royal LePage York North Realty, I am also a Certified FocalPoint Business Coach. Why do I mention this on a realtor’s blog? Because I believe my experience as a business coach and realtor can be helpful to all visitors to this blog.

Working with business owners and entrepreneurs, whether in the real estate marketplace or in other areas, has taught me many things, not least of which is the importance of self-evaluation; that is, understanding one’s own strengths and weaknesses. Once this has been accomplished, setting goals – and reaching them – becomes much simpler and easier to accomplish.

I have found this skill, the ability to examine oneself clearly, to be especially helpful to realtors who have found success in our highly competitive marketplace. The most successful among us seem to truly know who they are, what their strongest traits may be, and use them to their advantage. They also seem to understand their weaknesses, and either work to improve them, or avoid the disadvantages inherent in those areas.

In other words, once you understand your strengths, it is a relatively simple matter to build upon them, making them even stronger. Likewise, once you understand your weaker traits, you can improve upon them. Knowing the tools you bring to any job will allow you to perform that job more effectively and we, as sales people, largely bring only ourselves to the task at hand. Therefore, we must know ourselves clearly and completely in order to be successful.

I mention this because it has also become clear to me that many of us resist an objective evaluation of our talents. Our egos tend to get in the way of taking a clear look at what we have to offer, to others and ourselves. Overcoming this can be difficult, to say the least, and that is where a business coach or mentor can be so very helpful. It is their job to help you overcome the natural resistance to finding flaws in ourselves that we all seem to possess. A good mentor or business coach will help you overcome this tendency, and will help you see yourself as others do; with all your positives – and your negatives.

If your goal is to succeed in real estate sales, you must first know yourself intimately. Find a mentor or business coach who can help with this, then you will be on your way to the success you seek.

Here is to an ongoing and successful online relationship…
John Lusink, CCIM, Broker of Record & Managing Partner of Royal LePage York North Realty

John Lusink – Active Supporter, Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, Women’s Shelter Program

In this wonderful Holiday Season of generosity and love for all, I would like to make an appeal to all of my fellow realtors to pledge a gift to the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, a Women’s Shelter Program for abused and battered women and their children. Especially at this time of year, when our own families draw to together to share love and the joy of the season, women who seek shelter with their children need our help more than ever; they need to know they are not forgotten.

The Shelter Foundation has become a cause that is near and dear to my heart, providing a safe place for 30,000 abused women and children across our great nation each year. It is the only Charitable Foundation in the country supported by a real estate company, and the Royal LePage Foundation handles all administrative costs, allowing 100% of your donation to reach women and children in need. That is 100%!

Not only does the Foundation provide a safe, sheltered environment for victims of family violence, they also promote violence prevention and education programs to reduce the incidence of domestic violence across Canada.

While the Foundation holds a nationwide Garage Sale to raise awareness and funding each spring, it is the real estate agents and clients of Royal LePage who make the program so successful. These generous folks contribute in excess of $14 million each year through the donation of a portion of their commissions to the Foundation. Not only do these agents and brokers contribute cash to the cause, these generous people also give freely of their time, goods, and services, as well as sponsoring local fund-raising events to promote awareness and education to end domestic violence.

If cash is tight for you this Holiday Season, please contribute time and energy. Remember, by helping others, we also help ourselves. For inspiration, you may wish to visit www.shelterfoundation.ca, where you can read stories of hope and bravery contributed by families who’ve been helped by the Foundation, and who have overcome the cycle of family violence.

Here is to an ongoing and successful online relationship…

John Lusink, CCIM, Broker of Record & Managing Partner of Royal LePage York North Realty

John Lusink – Trustee, Awesome Foundation Newmarket Chapter

I take great pride in being a Trustee of, and contributor to, the Awesome Foundation Newmarket Chapter, as it is just one more way for me to give back to my neighbors and my community. The relatively modest awards we grant our applicants have a direct effect on the school-aged children of Newmarket, which makes the work we do even more rewarding.

The Awesome Foundation is a grass-roots community improvement campaign founded by Mr. Tim Hwang in 2009. Unlike registered charities and foundations, Awesome is structured along the lines of a casual association of grass-roots community groups to allow for complete autonomy of local organizations. At present, the community improvement groups affiliated with the Awesome Foundation range from Canada and the United states to Great Britain, Europe, and Australia, and number about three dozen. The affiliation has been described in the past as “micro-genius grants for flashes of micro-brilliance.”

The Newmarket Chapter of the Awesome Foundation was established in the spring of 2012. With our most recent award to Ms. Lee-Ann Smalley of the Healthy Schools Committee at Armitage Village Public School, we have now awarded six Awesome Grants to local groups and individuals. We believe wholeheartedly that no idea is too small to be awarded and have bestowed our micro-grants for community improvement ideas from a youth-focused “Spinal Cord Injury Youth Awareness Project,” a prevention program for youngsters at risk of spinal injury, to the “Food For Thought Club,” which encourages high school students to volunteer to make lunches for at-risk elementary school children.

The award is a monthly grant of $1000, contributed by the trustees, to promote prosperity, education, community involvement and education to the youth of Newmarket.

Trustees of the Awesome Foundation, Newmarket Chapter include, Mr. John Lusink, Royal LePage York North Realty; Mr. Gerry Anthony, Gerry Anthony Private Equity Lending; Ms. Maureen Burleson, The Montana Group; Mr. Rob Chaggares, Chaggares & Bonhomme Chartered Accountants; Ms. Kirsten Eastwood, Women’s Centre of York Region; Mr. Stephen Jones, BDO Canada Limited; Ms. Debra Scott, Newmarket Chamber of Commerce; Mr. Neil Stratton, Scotia McLeod; Ms. Veronica Williams, SNAP Newmarket; Ms. Jackie Playter.

Here is to an ongoing and successful online relationship…

John Lusink, CCIM, Broker of Record & Managing Partner of Royal LePage York North Realty