Banks & Credit Unions & Real Estate by David Guerra

This past weekend, I saw a commercial from a local Credit Union. There was nothing unique about the commercial, it was your regular run of the mill here we are and come shop with us. The commercial was talking about the convenience of doing business with  the Credit Union. The commercial mentioned the many locations in the general area and then they went in for the kill. They introduced their new service and new location for that service: REAL ESTATE.
 
While it makes sense that a business expand into the sensible extension of the services they are already offering. For the organization, this is GREAT business. Generating revenue from many sources. Heck, I wish I was generating revenue like that.
 
Yet, is this good business for the customer? Yes and No!
 
Credit Unions have their depositors believing they are part owners of the Credit Union. They do this by offering token “dividends”, special “members only” services and other contributions. The truth is this is a business and with or without your approval. Business is done based on what the business and its board members agree must be done. Remember, the board members are usually the ones with the most at stake with the Credit Union than the average depositor.
 
Before I continue I should in full disclosure say the following: I AM NOT A MEMBER OF ANY CREDIT UNION. I was in the past but I am NOT a member now. Reason I left the Credit Union is that I moved to another state and needed the services of a local banking institution.
 
Moving on.
 
While it is great for the organization to expand its services, the problem that when a member of the Credit Union buys a home they use the new REAL ESTATE SERVICE to broker the deal from finding a home to the initial offer to the financing and finally to the closing. While it may be convenient for the member of the Credit Union it is also too convenient.
 
It makes no sense why any individual would want to have their home mortgage where they do their banking.  This applies to the automobile dealerships, why would anyone want to finance their new car at the dealership. Of course, the salesman will tell you they will get you a “good deal” because they work with their financiers “all the time”. It is no lie, but, they also fail to admit something else, the reward or incentives (paid to the dealership and trickle down to the salesman) for using the service to finance customers.
 
When someone arrives pre-approved (from the bank or credit union) the salesman will service you enough to the pre-approved limit. When a customer walks in cold, the entire interaction becomes a shark feeding frenzy. Things like “undercoating”, “rustproofing”, other accessories and services added to the final price. As the price increases, the amount financed increases, thus the reward or incentive to the dealership increases.
 
When it comes to other transactions like the real estate service offered by a credit union how does it compare? It does not! It does not compare because they are using the same transaction model as the auto dealership. This model works for them and it will work for about any other situation that calls for a financing situation (think home furnishings).
 
Still not convinced? Do you go to your Pastor to ask for their advice on how to repair a faulty O2 sensor? No! You go to your Pastor for spiritual advice. Do you go to your Dentist for advice on which roofing shingles are best for your Mid-Century Modern. NO!
 
So, why go and have the Credit Union to act as your Real Estate Agent?

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What did you think of this blog entry / post?
Let me know by email dave@daveguerra.com on on Twitter @daveguerra

Journaling Your Leadership by David Guerra

When it comes to journaling and leadership the two have to go together like peanut butter and jelly. Writing down the actions of the day and recalling them at a later time is the main reason biographies of great military, political and business leaders are written. It is the exact same reason for you to journal your daily events.  Document activities as they happen. Obviously, there are times you cannot go into specifics (to protect the privacy of all parties) however you can present enough information that when you need it, there it is. However, all of this is not possible if you do not have the right materials to do the right job.

• Always have writing materials.

Any leader that has been a great follower knows to always carry something to write with and something to write on is vital to your existence. Typically, that means carrying paper and pen. Unless you like remembering names, dates, and other information it is best that you carry that paper and pen(s) at all times. However, I have recently seen a disturbing trend: People writing important (critical) information on the palm of their hand.

I cannot understand why people would take such a chance. Yet, they seem to have no problem writing names on the palm of their hand and hoping they don’t sweat it away. Folks, don’t take a chance and smudge a name or a word, don’t take a chance of misspelling a word or running out of room to write. Make it part of your everyday carry (EDC) kit, have paper (notepad, note cards, journal) and pen or pens or pencil.

Having this will allow you to keep important information handy and within arm’s reach.

• Document Everything especially names, times, places, and events.

Now that you have something to write with and something to write on what do you do? You start writing, of course. Now you ask, but what do you write? Great question. If you have never written in a journal you start slow.

At first, just give the highlights. However, the highlights should include names, times, places, and events. Then as you get more comfortable with your writing you start including things like time of day, weather, and actual dialogue.

As leader, now it becomes even more important to document, chronicle, or whatever you want to call it, all your daily interactions no matter how mundane or important. Treat every interaction as the same. As anyone who has spent anytime managing people you have to document or it didn’t happen.

The ability to efficiently and effectively document your day will increase as you do it every day. Once you are effective and efficient, you will be able to describe and document situations with the best of them.  That documentation will come in handy as you move along in your career or time as a leader.

• Refer to the past to create a new future.

Once you are well on your way to journaling or documenting your day-to-day adventures as a leader something unique starts to happen, you are building a library. A library of events, situations, and how you handled them. This library built from your daily journaling not only shows you what happened in the past but helps guide you in the present and the future.

When a situation arises and it is similar to something that happened in your past, you can quickly refer to your journal(s) and instantly you have a point of reference not only to help you figure out what to do but to ensure that as a manager you remain consistent.

Keep journaling, even when you think that life is boring. It is a great tool to show your kids or those you mentor that life is mostly boring but when it isn’t life can be a challenge. Future challenges will be in good company as you will have a resource, a recollection that allows you to use the past to address the present.

Keep writing.

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What did you think of this blog entry / post?
Let me know by email dave@daveguerra.com on on Twitter @daveguerra

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The Hustle. The Grind. And Words of Motivation by David Guerra

Hustle. Grind. Those two words have recently got so much play. So much play in that they are now common place.
 
It seems that Hustling and Grinding has become the norm. Everyone is saying it and everyone believes it. They not only believe it but they are living it, as well.
 
So what’s the problem?
 
The only problem I see is sooner rather than later, as is in most cases, words like Hustle and Grind will lose their punch. They will fade into the background and join the words and phrases like; “go for it”, “kick it up a notch”, “awesome” and so on.
 
Once they fade away, what will replace them? What will be the new “Hustle” and “Grind”? Does it matter?
 
Does it matter?
 
Of course, it matters. I need motivation, you need motivation, we all need motivation. So long as people need motivation, there will be words to motivate them. There will be people to say those words to motivate others (and themselves).
 
As leaders, we have to do and say what it takes to motivate those we are responsible for and lead. Those that follow need to feel inspired, especially from those that voluntarily follow. When those words of motivation start to become commonplace, leaders must remain vigilant to not become someone spouting words that have become tired and old. Any leader that values his followers will ensure that what he or she has to say is fresh and most of all; relevant.
 
After all, that’s all that followers want.
 
A leader that is not only motivated but relevant 100% of the time and that’s non-negotiable.

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What did you think of this blog entry / post?
Let me know by email dave@daveguerra.com on on Twitter @daveguerra