Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tips For Part Time Financial Consultants Like Me (How I Survived My First Two Years In Pru Life UK)

Looking for a part-time opportunity in Pru Life UK?
Message me at markjosephdelgado@ymail.com.
1. Time management is not enough. Practice strategic timing. 

Strategic timing means deliberately pursuing the market whose schedule fits your time for the business.

As a real estate broker, I may not be locked in a 9 to 5 job but I still have 5pm onwards as my time set aside for Pru Life UK.

Because of this, I am left with the market whose free times only fall after 5pm .-They can be both day or night-shift employees..

I personally like clients from the BPO industry because they are the ones whose free times matches mine.

Because of this I deliberately pursued the BPO market and I made sure that my presentations will appeal to them strongly.


2. Location is king.

Having a full time job during the day shouldn't stop us from meeting as many clients as we can during our free times.

The ideal number of clients to meet every single day is two.

Can a part-timer do this? Why not?

The secret lies in meeting as many clients as you can in a single location.

For example, you have clients in Makati. The best thing to do is to schedule them in a single date and venue.

Through this, you will be able to save a lot of time, energy and money that are usually spent in transferring from one location to another.

We all do know the traffic situation in Metro Manila.

I call this practice "Zoning" wherein every single day I have a pre-assigned location where I will "nest on".

This had been proven to be effective and efficient for me.


3. Be a one-sit closer. 

Being a part-timer, there is no time waste.

This means that every client meeting is an opportunity to close the sale.

There is no more "second meeting". Or time to give the client to "think about it".

These things only make the client "colder" and lowers the rate of the possibility of closing the sale.

So the next time a client says "yes" to you for a meeting, take it as a signal that the client is open to whatever you are offering him/her.

So present your best sales pitch and close the sale as soon as possible!

Need an insurance agent/financial consultant or a speaker in your next event? 

Message me at markjosephdelgado@ymail.com.

*Please feel free to share this blog post to your friends and teammates.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

3 Ways The Pru Power Planner Had Helped Me

1. Simplified monitoring of daily activities 
My plastic-covered business card with photo-labeled
Pru Power Planner says hello!


Any goal must be measurable, and anything measurable must be monitored on a regular basis.

The Pru Power Planner provided me an easy and simplified way of monitoring every single day the every single thing that I do that has a direct impact to the business.

Before the planner, I am simply let alone with myself and my ordinary dated planner that only contains appointments and to-do’s for the day.

It doesn’t give me a detailed list of what I may have missed doing which is why at times I am also left to wonder why I wasn't able to close a sale when I was "half-sure" I have done everything that must be done.

With the Pru Power Planner, I am now able to know which particular step in the selling process I may have missed or needs improvement on so that I can objectively direct myself what to do next time and finally close that much-coveted sale.

2. More insights on how to improve more in each and every step of the sales process 

All closings start with one hello.

Since the Pru Power Planner enumerates all the steps in the sales process – approach, appointments made, fact finding interview/presentation, closed sale and referrals/prospecting – it is now much easier to draw insights on the steps that need improvement.

For example, an agent may have high points in approach, appointments made and fact-finding but is not closing any sale. The problem may be in the way he/she is selling the product itself.

This way, the Unit Manager or the Branch Manager may be able to easily diagnose the problem and provide suggestions for improvement.

3. Proved to me that small daily wins are superior to big wins simply because the former deals with the process more while the latter deals more on the rewards 

Great things start from small beginnings. Not only that, big achievements are simply collections of small ones.

If there is too much focus on the big awards, the tendency is to downplay the importance of the small daily wins that eventually lead to it.

Furthermore, if there is too much focus on the big awards, there will be less focus on the process – the same old boring strokes or the habits – which is what closes the sale.

It keeps me grounded knowing that the big awards are just part of the many sources of motivation while the process is what I have to deal with every single day as long as I am in this profession.

The Pru Power Planner helps me makes sure that I always have my both feet on the ground while I reach for the stars.

Looking for an insurance agent/financial consultant or a speaker in your next event?

Message me at markjosephdelgado@ymail.com.

*Please feel free to share this blog post to your friends and teammates.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Magic Of Thinking Small

Washing the dishes is such an overwhelming task for me. Earlier, I just washed the dishes and
utensils that I used last night -- I'm a work-in-progress, I know.

When I stood in front of the sink and looked at the task ahead of me, I already felt spent. Still, I went on and touched the first plate.

"If only there's an easier way to do this," I said to myself. When I was about to touch the first spoon, an Aha! moment came upon me.

We get overwhelmed easily because we think of the task at hand as a whole. To solve this dilemma, we should think about the smaller steps in completing the whole task. We should think small.

When this thought became "complete" in mind, an extra jolt of energy was formed inside me that made the whole task of washing the dishes much easier.

In fact, I am here now in front of my laptop writing about this newly found discovery.

Perhaps you have a task that you continue to procrastinate upon because merely thinking about it already bogs you down. It can be a huge task at work or a new exercise program that you want to start -- but never did.

Or it can be as simple as washing the dishes and any other task at home -- just like what I had earlier.

When you find yourself overwhelmed by a task at hand, stop thinking big. Start thinking small.

It worked for me. It will work for you too!

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." -Lao Tzu

Friday, April 8, 2016

Why Are Insurance Products Not Sexy? (And Why It's Okay)

Insurance products are not yet this sexy. But's alright. :)
Investment-linked life insurance policies are awesome products.

First, they have coverages for death, disability, critical illnesses, personal accidents, hospitalization and etc. Gone are the days that a client need to buy these coverages separately.

Today, you can now choose what coverages you want (except for death and disability insurances which are core benefits in Pru Life UK) and even dictate the amount of each one -- in just a single policy!

Second, the payments per month or per quarter or semi-annually or annually (depending on how frequent you want to pay) do not change. Gone are the days that insurance premiums need increase annually.

Not only that. You can even dictate how much you want to pay per month, per quarter, semi-annually or annually!

Third, it has an investment component which are invested on stocks or bonds -- or both. Again, your call. In here, no investments are "wasted" unlike traditional insurance policies which don't have this component (except for some that offer dividends).

These are just some of the many compelling reasons why I like investment-linked life insurance policies and why I became a seller of it.

However, in my almost two years of being an insurance agent, I still wonder why people my age (and even those who are older than me) won't buy investment-linked life insurance policies.

I mean, everybody needs it right?

Yeah, right.

So why is everyone not as crazy as I am about it?

Why are people not rushing to get it as much as they rush to upgrade their few-month-old gadgets (which they also used to replace their previous ones which are only barely used for a year)?

Why can't life insurance products be sexy?

Why?

I get it.

It can't be sexy.

Life insurance talks about the hard stuffs. It talks about death, disability, critical illnesses, personal accidents and hospitalization. People don't like these "stuffs".

And investing one's money in exchange of the things that can be bought "now" -- no way! I mean, who does that?

Then I realized -- and decided to accept -- that maybe insurance products aren't really just for all. It may be needed by everyone but it's just not for everyone.

The sooner I accepted this, the sooner I felt peace.

I also realized, I don't need to sell to everybody. In fact, it's impossible sell to everybody.

I also don't need to change everybody's mindset about it. If insurances are really good -- they will eventually find out.

So what am I left now?

I am now left with two groups of people -- the ones who believe in it and the ones who are still undecided about it.

The ones who believe in it still needs some talking. First, they need to know why they should buy from you. And second, why they should buy the insurance you sell.

The undecided ones, on the other hand, need to be converted to believers first. First, identify their needs. Second, establish how your insurance products can fill those needs. Then follow the steps you did to the believers.

Thinking of converting the whole world to see insurance as a sexy product? You don't need to.

You only need to identify a few ones who are worth your time, energy and financial resources. Choose your battle.

While there are few unbelievers who can be converted along the way, still, they aren't be your primary market.

Your primary market are the ones who have bigger chances of being won over by you.

Focusing on a primary market produces mastery. Mastery is power. Power yields success.

May you find your sweet spot in the industry and may you continue the endeavor to help others become financially protected.

God be with you always.

Deciding to become a financial consultant under Pru Life UK? Or wanting to get a life insurance quote from Pru Life UK? Just contact me using the details below.

Mark Delgado
Financial Consultant
Pru Life UK
+63 998 367 0545
+63 905 347 4455
markjosephdelgado@ymail.com

Friday, January 1, 2016

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Reserve Your Pre-Selling Condo Unit As Soon As You Can

1. Affordability. Delaying in reserving a pre-selling condo unit incurs more cost because prices increase regularly and payment schemes become much more difficult as time progresses. For example, a condo unit that you can pay for 60 months last quarter may be paid now for only 36 months. From 5 years, the payment scheme is now compressed to 3 years. With higher prices and tighter payment period, delaying in reserving a condo unit does not make it any cheaper.

2. Availability. The unit that you like now may not be available tomorrow. Most of the time, the good ones are the ones being sold first. Delaying in reserving your preferred condo unit by thinking that there are tons of options to choose from in the future is wrong.

3. You May Spend The Money Meant For Reservation Fee. One of the top 3 reasons why I urge my clients to reserve their units as early as they can is because money is very liquid that they may spend the one meant for Reservation Fee for other things. Raising the fund again in the future may be a difficult thing to do and thus forfeiting altogether the benefits that you can get in having your own condo unit in your chosen location.

Monday, July 6, 2015

A Guide To Understanding Your Pru Life UK Policy

I. GENERAL INFORMATION
Page 1

  • Regular Annual Premium. This is the amount to be paid by the insured. This can be paid monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually through bank autodebit or credit card.

FUNDS
The allocation of your funds is for your investment (Page 4). This is based on your personality as an investor -- Cautious, Moderately Cautious, Moderately Adventurous and Adventurous. To know your personality as an investor, please take our Suitability Test. Click here.
  • PruLink Bond Fund. 100% Bonds.
  • PruLink Managed Fund. 80% Bonds. 20% Equities.
  • PruLink Growth Fund. 20% Bonds. 80% Equities.
  • PruLink Equity Fund. 100% Equities.
  • PruLink ProActive Fund. 50% Bonds. 50% Equities.

II. YOUR INSURANCE COVERAGE 
Page 3

NON-REMOVABLE ITEMS

  • Basic Cover (Sum Assured). Provides cash benefit to the beneficiary of the insured in case of the latter's death.
  • Accelerated Total and Permanent Disability. Provides cash benefit to the insured in case of his/her disability. "Accelerated" means it advances a certain percentage of the Basic Cover (Sum Assured).

RECOMMENDED RIDERS
  • Accelerated Life Care Benefit. Provides cash benefit to the insured upon diagnosis of any of the 36 critical illnesses being covered by Pru Life UK. For the complete list, please see below.
  • Waiver of Premium on TPD. Upon Total and Permanent Disability of the insured, Pru Life UK shall pay for his/her policy premiums.
  • Hospital Income Rider Benefit(s) 
    • Daily Hospital Income. Provides daily cash benefits to help cover the cost of hospitalization due to injury or illnesses.


OTHER RIDERS

  • Accidental Death and Disablement. Provides cash benefit to the insured in case he/she meets an accident that resulted to his/her death or disability.

III. YOUR INVESTMENT 

Page 4

1Why are we projecting the growth of my withdrawal value only at a maximum 10% per year?

Life insurance companies in the Philippines are mandated by the Insurance Commission to       project only at a maximum of 10% growth per year. This is because these amounts are based on the movement of bonds and equities -- and are therefore changing. The Insurance Commission then set 10% as the maximum annual growth projection of your policy's withdrawal value.

However, in reality, Pru Life UK's funds, managed by Asia's leading asset management company called Eastspring Investments, are actually doing so much better than the 10% growth projection. For more information, please take a look at page 6 of your policy.

2. Are these amounts withdrawable?

Yes, these amounts are withdrawable however I highly recommend that you only withdraw an amount that will leave at least PhP20,000 in the policy. This will allow the insurance coverage to stay in force up to a certain extent.

3. How can I avail of the Loyalty Bonus?

You may avail of the Loyalty Bonus if during the first 10 years of your policy, you did not miss any payment nor withdraw any amount. The Loyalty Bonus adds an additional 10% to your monthly premium -- courtesy of Pru Life UK.

Got more questions?

Please feel free to contact me using the details below.

Mark Delgado
+63 998 367 0545
+63 905 347 4455
markjosephdelgado@ymail.com

*Please feel free to share this blog post to your friends and teammates.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Your Ultimate Guide To Securing Your PRC Exam Permit (For Real Estate Board Exam)

Photo 1 -- This blog is dedicated to Mommy Marilou who
warmly assisted us during our "exam permit day" at PRC.
For your notarization, photocopying and ID picture needs,
just  look for her. Their stall is located on leftmost side
facing PRC -- the one on the side of FEU.

TIP: Notary Public fee at her stall is Php50.
This is an ultra-detailed step-by-step guide complete with photos and tips -- to getting your Real Estate Board Exam Permit at PRC. Have fun!

And yes -- you're welcome. :)

I -- BEFORE PRC
1. Register online -- www.prc.gov.ph/online/application/apply.aspx

TIP: You might wanna do this early in the morning or late in the night. When there are too many people accessing this link -- tendency is for the remaining users not to be able to load the site.

2. Complete ALL the requirements:
  • NBI Clearance - For PRC Purposes
  • NSO Birth Certificate
    • TIP: Some people say Passport ID is being allowed. For verification.
  • Review Center Certificate - With Doc Stamp bought at PRC Coop, Notarized
  • Transcript of Records (TOR) - For Board Examination Purposes, With photo
    • TIP: Some people say Diploma is not allowed anymore. For verification.
  • FOR MARRIED FEMALE ONLY - NSO Marriage Certificate
    Photo 2 -- This is the window selling doc stamps at the
    ground floor. Do not buy doc stamps elsewhere! On the other side
    is the window selling PRC envelope.
  • Community Tax Certificate or Cedula
  • ID Picture - White background, With your full name below (Surname, First Name, Middle Initial), 2 pcs.
3. Photocopy EVERYTHING above except the photos.

4. I also suggest that you bring the following before going to PRC.
  • Php900 -- Exact amount for payment -- just to avoid hassle in getting change
  • Others -- Plastic envelope for the requirements above, black ballpen, glue stick, blue stamp pad, alcohol, tissue, fan, snacks, cold drinks, business cards and reviewers
  • Group mates -- It's better together --especially in times like this! What more if you have a gang of 4 awesome men like us? Just kidding. But seriously, I am not sure if I will be able to make it without the help of these awesome guys -- Ryan, Tristan and Sugus. (Guys, thank you!) If you need to go to the comfort room, you can have someone to save your seat. If you need to clarify something, you can ask someone among you who readily has the answer. The list of benefits goes on and on. Just come with a friend -- don't be a loner. This business is about helping each other right?
  • PRESENCE OF MIND & LEGIBLE HANDWRITING -- Lots of this! 
  • Photo 3 -- This is how the fourth floor at PRC looks like -- at 9:00am.
    As the day unfolds, more and more people start to come in and
    the temperature starts to rise too. Better wisely pick your time
    of going to PRC.
  • DO NOT BRING HEAVY BAGS. WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHES -- There's a lot of moving around that's gonna happen inside a crowded room! You have been warned. :)
===============================

PROFESSIONAL REGULATION COMMISSION
Address: P. Paredes St. corner N. Reyes St., Sampaloc, Manila

TIP: The whole process below took me around 3 hours -- from 9:00am to 12:00pm.

===============================
Photo 4 -- If you don't like how this looks like, better bring
 your own glue stick and blue stamp pad --
along with your alcohol and tissue to clean your
fingertips afterwards.
II -- AT PRC COOP - GROUND FLOOR

1. Buy 2 pcs. Doc Stamps and 1 pc. PRC envelope.

WARNING: Do not buy doc stamps and envelope outside PRC. These are considered fake ones.

2. Glue 1 pc. Doc Stamp on your Review Center Certificate.

3. Proceed to PRC FOURTH FLOOR. 

III -- AT PRC FOURTH FLOOR  

A. STEP 1 -- SCANNING
1. Drop 1 pc. ID Picture inside one of the open boxes. That's it!

2. Proceed to STEP 2 -- PROCESSING.

B. STEP 2 -- PROCESSING
1. Line up and prepare all the original copies and photocopies of all the requirements listed above.

TIP: This process is the one that will take most of your time. I say, grab your sandwich and bottled drink -- and then start munching. If you feel like talking to the one next to you, take out your business card. If you are in the zone for reviewing, that would be awesome too! 


Photo 5 -- This is my information sheet with doc stamp.
2. Once you are in front of one of the windows, hand all your papers to the attendant. Once done, the attendant will give you your INFORMATION SHEET (with photocopy of requirements) & PERMANENT EXAMINATION AND REGISTRATION RECORD CARD. 

At the window, there's also a separate sheet -- a control sheet -- for all the issued record cards. The attendant will ask you to register on it using the control number on your record card.

TIP: Accomplish the control sheet first -- before the information sheet & record card.

3. Accomplish your INFORMATION SHEET & RECORD CARD. Using the tips below.

ON THE INFORMATION SHEET:
a. Glue 1 pc. Doc Stamp on the left hand side of the sheet. See Photo 5.
b. Affix your signature and then write the date.
c. Place your right thumb mark on the space provided.
Photo 6 -- This is my record card with my thumbmark
and signature.

ON THE RECORD CARD:
a. Fill out the information needed. See Photo 6.
b. Affix your signature on the space provided.
c. Place your right thumb mark on the space provided.

TIPS: Accomplish the thumbmarks last -- as the ink may smear on the papers. 

Also, have your Cedula ready with you as the details therein shall be needed for the record card.

Lastly, if you have corrections on the information sheet & record card, just correct it neatly. No need for your initials/signatures.

4. Once done, proceed to STEP 3 -- PAYMENT.

C. STEP 3 -- PAYMENT
Photo 7 -- This is my Notice of Admission (NOA).
This is your goal for the day.
1. Prepare the exact amount -- Php900 -- to avoid the hassle.

2. Once you get your receipt, proceed to STEP 4 - ISSUANCE.

D. STEP 4 -- ISSUANCE
1. Present your accomplished information sheet, record card, receipt and PRC envelope to the attendant at the window.

2. Wait for your name to be called and your NOTICE OF ADMISSION (NOA) shall be given to you.

3. Congratulations! You are done! See you on May 24, 2015 -- to my fellow real estate board examinees this year. :) God bless you!

Need website design or digital marketing strategy for your business? Call me at 0998-367-0545 or at 0905-347-4455.



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The 5 Senses Memory Enhancement Project

Are you preparing for an exam that involves a lot of memorization of new terms, dates, concepts and
mathematical formulas? Let me guess. You are a fellow reviewee for the LAST Real Estate Board Exam this May 24, 2015? Well, if you are, then you might want to check this brief article below which I curated from all over the internet.

When I first searched for tips in enhancing memory and concentration on the internet, I saw that there are memory-enhancing music, memory-enhancing smells, memory-enhancing foods and etc. I thought, why not put all these scientifically proven memory-enhancing goodies altogether and target all the five senses? This moved me to create my very own 5 Senses Memory Enhancement Project – which I am sharing to you now.

Enjoy!

STEP 1 - HEARING

Remember the Mozart Effect? According to research, music composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart enhances mental activity. Others say that songs with 60 beats per minute work for them while they are studying. Others prefer “nature music” to relax their senses. I say, go with your own flow. As for me, I prefer the binaural beats. There are claims that binaural beats not only help people memorize, it also help in dieting and improving athletic performance. Some people mix binaural beats with some classical music, but I like it as is. This sample binaural beat from YouTube is my favorite.

STEP 2 - SIGHT

In 2009, The New York Times published an article about a study of the colors red and blue and their effects on the mental activities of humans. The study showed that those who were exposed to color red scored higher than those who were exposed to color blue in a series of tests that involved details such as remembering words and checking spelling and punctuation. On the other hand, those who were exposed to color blue scored higher in tests that involved creativity and thinking outside the box.

So, then, how much of color red do you need? Not much. Any small red-colored object will do.

Get this 100% natural Rosemary Oil from Human 
Nature for only PhP295. 
STEP 3 - SMELL

The Huffington Post published an article last 2013 about the findings of some researchers from the University of Northumbria. The researchers placed a group of 66 people in either a rosemary-scented room or another room with no scent. The participants were then given various tests to assess their memory functions. The results? The participants from the rosemary-scented room performed so much better.

Great to know that 100% natural Rosemary Oil is available in the Philippines through Human Nature!

STEP 4 - TOUCH

There are acupressure points all over our body that, when pressed, can enhance memory and concentration. Using the same Rosemary Oil that you smelled, apply a little amount on those acupressure points and then start pressing. Please check out the links below for references and instructions.


STEP 5 - TASTE

Did you know that chewing gum can enhance your mental performance? Well, choose the sugar-free ones. Consuming pure sugar can cause your blood sugar to drop suddenly which can hurt your concentration. Find out more from an article here by NBC News.
Nutrilite M Boost is exclusively distributed by
Amway Philippines. For more information,
please visit www.amway.com.ph.


Furthermore, there are foods to take and foods to avoid.

EAT MORE
  • Oily fish - sardines, salmon, tilapia and bangus
  • Peanut -1 hand scoop per day only
  • Egg - thrice a week only
  • Avocado
  • Coffee - 1 to 2 cups per day only
  • Coconut Oil
  • Beans and Legumes
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Red Cabbage
  • Rosemary
  • Spinach
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Tomatoes
  • Whole Grains

AVOID
  • White flour

FOOD SUPPLEMENT

Because of our busy schedules, I know that setting aside time for shopping for all these memory-boosting items, let alone preparing and cooking these, is almost impossible to do. Good thing I was able to get hold of Nutrilite's M Boost, which is made of exclusive Cistanche tubulosa extract which helps improve memory, focus and recall. So if you have a busy schedule like mine and don't have time to shop and prepare these memory-boosting items, you will surely love this product by Nutrilite. Nutrilite's M Boost is exclusively distributed by Amway Philippines. For more information, please visit www.amway.com.ph.


RESULTS

I am very happy to announce that I was able to pass the 2015 licensure examination for Real Estate Brokers. Aside from that, I also ranked first during the mock exam in my section at Urban Institute of Real Estate in Asian Institute of Management, Makati City.

Sources
1. http://www.helpguide.org/articles/memory/how-to-improve-your-memory.htm
2. http://www.sunwarrior.com/news/brain-foods/
3. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/04/24/memory-improvement-tricks.aspx
4. http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/10-foods-boost-your-brainpower

Thursday, April 9, 2015

4 Business Principles That May Help Startups

A few days back I had the awesome privilege to talk to two amazing people named Nap Garcia and John Martin Figuracion, founders of a startup called ProTEES Project. The project offers high quality shirts for groups and individuals with advocacy -- at no cost. I fell in love with the idea the first time I really get to know about it because I really believe in the genius of mirroring other causes using one's own business.

Because of that extended talk with Nap and John, I realized that there a lot of ideas a marketing professional like me can offer to those who are contemplating or currently putting up a startup business. I myself am a startup founder and my business called #BOTV is still on the works. I will definitely work on this project right after I am done will all these present commitments -- isa-isa lang.

Anyhoo, below are the 4 business principles that are stuck inside my head and ready to be shared anytime to any startup founder who may need it.

1. Business Model Canvas

What I really like about this tool created by Alexander Osterwalder is that it outlays in a single sheet of paper everything that you need to know about your business. It allows you to enumerate your Key Partners, Key Activities, Key Resources, Value Propositions, Customer Relationships, Channels, Customer Segments, Cost Structure and Revenue Streams in one place. Looking at them in one place gives you a sense of unity and oneness that should be present in all the elements of your business. Without this "solid feel" about your business, it's almost very difficult to describe it in a few words -- let alone starting it. By looking at everything that you need to see about your business, you must be quick in recognizing patterns and even roadblocks that shall allow you to strategically improve on things before you finally run your business idea. The Business Model Canvas is a wonderful creation and it's free! Download it here.

2. Positioning

What often startup founders forget because, sometimes, they become too enamored with their ideas is the importance of the "positioning" of their brand. Positioning (in my own word) is simply how your customers view your brand. It must be simple, single and solid. Before you launch your business to the market, make sure that your co-founders can explain the brand using just a few words. In fact, allow other people (in a mini-FGD, perhaps, during the conceptualization of the business) to describe to you your brand. If they find it hard it to describe your brand using just a few words, you have a problem. Tweak everything that can be tweaked -- your brand name, your logo, your tagline, your Business Model Canvas, your ads and etc. -- until you arrive at a satisfactory description of your own brand rendered by other people.

3. Blue Ocean Strategy

I learned about the Business Ocean Strategy way back in 2007 and I still believe that it is one of the greatest business principles ever invented. The book basically argues that to win in a market competition, a business need not compete. Instead, it must create its own "niche" away from the bloody ocean of competition where everyone is killing everyone. To be able to create one's own "niche", it must be able to differentiate itself from the competition. BOS suggests a practical way of doing this. Having the competition as the basis, a business must be able to Eliminate, Reduce, Raise and Create certain elements of it. For example, Ton Ton Thai Massage was able to create its own niche for itself by eliminating massage oils in its services. It then raised the use of garments in lieu of massage oils. Because of this, a certain segment of the market which dislikes massage oils during massage is being catered. Also, some market segments prefer stretching than rubbing which makes them a perfect target market for Ton Ton Thai Massage. Do not forget though that the end of BOS is encapsulated in two words -- value innovation. The result of BOS-ing your business must drive down the cost and drive up the innovation.

4. Simplicity 

One of the most prized possessions that I have as a marketing professional is the book called "Simplicty: The Secret To Effective Marketing" by Sunny Goh. The book basically guns for a single principle and that is, without suprise, simplicity. In everything that you do, never deviate from this principle. Some startup founders commit the error of spending time, energy and money on some things that can be acquired in the future because they become too excited. I say, if your business requires you to spend so much money on the onset, you are in for some hard business. Remember that you have to work as fast as you can to gain the ROI. So, as much as you can, spend and focus on things that really matter for the business.

*Please feel free to share this blog post to your friends and teammates.

Notes and Thoughts on How To Start A Realty Office Lecture by Mr. Christian Narito

These are my notes and personal thoughts on Mr. Christian Narito's lecture on "How To Start A Realty Office" at AIM Conference Office last April 6, 2015.

4 Questions You Should Ask Yourself

I personally believe in the power of asking one's self. When the going gets tough, it will certainly help us to get going when we remember why we are going after a goal. Asking one's self uncovers a lot of things about our motives and beliefs which are most of the time the basis of our decisions. Embarking on a journey in real estate is not a small feat. It is a decision that affects not only you but also the people around you - your family, your clients, the government and the society as a whole. It is important that we ask ourselves the following questions to help us "keep our feet on the ground while reaching for the stars."

1. What drives me? What do I want?
2. What do I know?
3. Am I ready? Is my network ready?
4. What are my needs and targets?

3 Questions to Self-Inventory

Similar to the 4 questions above are these 3 questions to self-inventory. What I noticed though is that these questions are digging deeper and are far more personal. I believe that the cross-section of the answers to these 3 questions is the "sweet spot" or the "gold mine" that every aspiring real estate brokers should pursue.

1. What am I good at?
2. What makes me happy?
3. Who will help me?

4 Types of Real Estate Brokers According To Networks

If there is one thing that really stood out during Sir Christian's lecture that is the importance of having a solid network that will help you in your practice. Without him directly saying it, I am under the impression that one cannot be successful in this practice if he is working alone. Working with people is the best way to go. The soonest that you do it, the bigger the possibility of success.

1. Walk Alone - As their name implies, they prefer to work alone. They do not recruit.
2. Local Broker - They have established networks but are limited only in a particular location.
3. Recruiter - They proactively recruit salespeople to work with them.
4. Networker - They have multiple networks of clients and recruits. They have fully realized the importance of working with people as real estate practitioners.

3 Types of Brokers According to Niche

These are types of brokers according to niche or focus.

1. Geography - These are brokers who focus on a particular location.
2. Market - These are brokers who focus on a particular market segment (e.g. low-end, high-end and etc.)
3. Product - These are brokers who focus on particular projects or brands.

Additional Tips

1. Train your people on how to listen, not just talk.

We used to believe that salespeople should be great talkers. I believe that. However, there is a far greater skill that must be developed and that is the skill of listening. Without great listening there is no great talking. If we don't know how to listen well to our clients, how will we know the right words to say and when to say it? Aspiring to become great listeners allows us to understand that the sale is not about us but, first and foremost, about the need of our clients. Without their willingness to purchase, we don't have a sale. And most of the time, their willingness to buy is dependent on how we were able to cater to their needs. So, listen.

2. Money is a deficient motivator.

Money is good motivator but only to a certain extent. Managers shouldn't fall into the trap of motivating people through money alone. Truth is, if we only motivate our people through money, time will come that our best people will have a lot of it, that they won't be as motivated to do the tasks as they were before. Learn how to mix and match the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards and offer them to your people.

3. Never ignore the gatekeepers.

Why do we always gun for the decision-makers when we can't even get through the gatekeepers? Most of the time, the decision-makers are the husbands. It then follows that the wives are the gatekeepers. If we only intend to talk to the husbands because we have no use for the wives, we are certainly losing the battle. If we will be able to talk to the wives well, they will might as well do our job for us by convincing their husbands to purchase the property that we are offering them.