Don’t Start Cold

It’s the first month of another new year and many people are full steam ahead on their New Years resolutions, so it seems like a good time to talk about how to actually be successful in accomplishing goals. This isn’t about goal setting, this is about goal achieving. It starts with warm up.

I’ll provide 3 separate examples of how warm up is of the utmost importance. In the spirit of New Years resolutions, I’ll start with warm up in the context of physical exercise or going to the gym. Next, since I have a license to sell real estate, we’ll discuss warming up for successful real estate transactions. Lastly, I’ll discuss how warmup is what I believe to be one of the keys to a successful life in all areas.

To start with the most literal use of the term “warmup”, let’s put ourselves in the doorway of a gym. What I see too many people doing is walking in a straight line from the doorway over to the lat pull machine (or bench press or squat rack) and beginning a set without so much as a single arm circle. I’m all about efficiency, but skipping warm up is not a short cut that should be made. Your body is an intricately designed machine, capable of more than you know, but it needs to be taken care of if you want premium performance. You don’t go from 0-60 without priming the engine first, nor do you ever get to 60 if part of your engine always clicks and isn’t in sync with the rest of the parts. Move your body, work through the muscles groups and for goodness sake give yourself a few minutes to acclimatize to a new environment before you start counting reps.

I have a brother who’s a chiropractor and let me tell you, he’ll always be able to work as much as he wants because people will never stop needing chiropractors. One of the things good chiropractors do is ask their patient if there’s anything else that’s bothering them after their specific problem area has been treated. It’s not uncommon for my brother to get the response “no all good, just the usual back aches and shoulder clicks”. Guess what, your back is not supposed to ache and your shoulder is not supposed to click! Yet for some reason this is accepted as normal. Unlike with real estate, you have to live in your body your whole life so take care of it, get the necessary treatment and prime yourself for exercise before you start cold. Speaking of real estate…

You can’t just sell your house or buy a new one without warming up either. Granted, you don’t have to worry about much of the prep work since it’s done by me, but just like you can’t waltz your way straight to the bench press at the gym, you can’t waltz your way straight to your new living room without warming up. The vast majority of homes I sell have a minimum 6 months of lead up time before a listing actually hits the market or an accepted offer is actually signed. It takes some time to organize things to a point where a successful transaction can actually occur. However, this always seems to come as some sort of surprise to my client. It’s because they don’t realize we have to warm up first.

How many times do you think people buy the first home they view? Hardly ever. How many people do you think have their new mortgage approved before planning an offer? Not many. How many people do you think have a house that’s photo ready before they call me and say they want to sell? Literally none. They envision the end game, which is great, but they forget about the steps it takes to get there. As Stephen Covey preaches, beginning with the end in mind is an ideal way to make plans, so long as the plan is executed. When it comes to real estate transactions, you want to be able to see yourself happily living in your new home, but only if you think through what you’ll have to do to get there. Here are some of the things you have to do before your house is ready to hit the market:

  • Call me. Please make this the first thing you do so we can discuss some of these other things.
  • Declutter and get rid of 99% of your possessions (yes I’m exaggerating, but you get the point).
  • Take a look at the numbers. Market value, sales history, mortgage rates, inventory. Would it even make sense to sell at the current market value?
  • Review required paperwork and understand all disclosures.
  • Book professional marketing (photos, videos, floor plans) and allow time for editing and production.
  • Do some cosmetic updates.
Here are some things you have to do before you’re ready to make an offer on a new house:

  • Call me (see above)
  • Get organized with a mortgage broker so you actually have the funds available to buy
  • Research neighbourhoods
  • Review sales history and understand the current market
  • Go over all required paperwork and disclosures  
Everybody’s warmup items will be different and I never provide all encompassing lists, but the point is that there’s some leg work that needs to be done to avoid frustration, stress and financial blunders. That’s just with real estate, but to me, here’s the key to success in all avenues…

Warming up for each day before it starts. Or, as I like to describe it, starting the day on your own terms. The simplest thing to do if you want to make any meaningful change in your life is to get out of bed 30 minutes earlier than you normally do. If you’re serious, make it an hour. That 30 to 60 minutes to do with what you please is the key to a successful day. It’s your warmup for the day. It’s your time to prepare for what’s to come rather than being hit in the face with it. Some people use the first 2 hours of their work day to wake up and guess what, those aren’t usually the people who get promoted. I won’t be the one who says you have to have a rigid routine with cold showers, breathing exercises and reading, but if you’re up earlier than normal you have to do something, so why not something productive? To let the beginning of your shift or the time of your first meeting influence how your day starts is a lost battle every time. You have no control if your schedule from the moment you wake up is dictated by someone else. Choose how your day starts and make some time in the morning to warm yourself up before the world knocks on your door. You know the world is going to tell you to do something, but if you’re already warmed up at least you’ll be ready for it.  I unapologetically believe that the key to consistently successful days is a controlled start on your own terms. It doesn’t have to mean 4am, but it has to mean you have to be warmed up before the world yells at you.

- Cody