Musings of a Career Consultant

SoCal Texan in Bmore Leading Rock Stars

The Big Why November 12, 2012

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When your ‘why’ is big enough, the ‘how’ won’t be an issue. I sincerely believe that. My Big Why is my family. Past, present and future. Seeing them as often as possible, sharing in the great adventures of life with them and relishing in all those simple, silly moments. From watching The Bachelorette with my mom to going with my cousin to get her car fixed to going to church with my godparents. They are my reason for doing what I do.

My father is also a guiding influence in my life. He had an incredible work ethic. And demanded nothing less of me.

Also important to me is my future family; husband and child. I intend to make myself available while also proving that hard work and dedication to your craft doesn’t mean sacrificing your existence and time with them.

See, with those being my reasons ‘why’, it really doesn’t matter how I do it. I’ll fail forward and embarrass myself, trip along the way and get into trouble for being too aggressive. And yet, I wouldn’t take one step differently.

I may be the most domineering person you’ll meet and I don’t apologize for it. Because my family depends on that. Time with my family is directly related to how well I’m doing in work so I will continue to push forward which might mean I frustrate people and rub someone the wrong way and get under your skin. And I don’t care.

Because all I want to do is see my beautiful nieces as soon possible, laugh with my sisters as often as I can and eat as much of my momma’s home cooking as my stomach allows.

Here’s to my Big Why… What’s yours?





How’s the Market (From an Agent’s POV)? October 19, 2012


  • Debt soars into danger zone. Canadians have entered the debt danger zone that helped trigger real estate crashes in the U.S. and Britain.
  • May Dodge Housing Hard Landing. Pressures in the Toronto and Vancouver housing markets are moderating with neither a bubble nor a hard landing in sight for the country’s property market.

The Last Time I Worked Alone & What 200 Means to Me September 13, 2012

When I started in this business I was filled with the excitement of “Being my own Boss”. We all were, weren’t we? We ventured out on our own and had all the hope and naivety that infects any small business owner… then the reality set in. It’s ALL up to ME! Talk about a scary thought! Fear pushed me further than desire ever could. After months of working 60+ hour weeks, I decided to bring in some help and had a Buyer’s Agent help me with showings and writing offers. The title really should’ve been Showing Assistant (with the pay to match) and yet that’s another lesson I learned. We had a good thing going and as my investors took a back seat in my business he was no longer necessary so I went back to a solo act.

It always felt like I was on a lonely island (not a nod to the band) and I thought that’s how I was supposed to feel. We’re independent contractors, remember? It wasn’t until I was introduced to Keller Williams that I realized that might not HAVE to be the way that I worked. While I was skeptical of this company and it’s crazy cult-like followers, it didn’t take me long to realize why they loved it so much. They love it because it loves them. They don’t leave because we don’t leave them. We love our Agents so dang much (and they feel it!) that they don’t WANT to be anywhere else. What a great AHA!

Yesterday, KW Rancho celebrated all of its 200 Agents and how great it’s been all these years. It was so fun and we loved every second and yet, we’ve barely tipped the iceberg. We’re looking toward our next goal and the one after that and the one after that and so on and so forth. So, here’s to our 200:


We Believe… August 16, 2012

At the core of Keller Williams Realty is a conviction that who you are in business with matters. We believe that the company we keep can contribute to our lives in untold ways.

Today I found out we were awarded the 2012 J.D. Power and Associates‘ Awards in Home Seller and Home Buyer Ratings. Our rankings are pretty amazing and worth bragging about.

I love who I’m in Business with, do you?!


10 Expenses You Can Deduct When Renting Out A Room August 7, 2012

Stephen Fishman wrote this great article for Inman News and wanted to share. I’ve rented a room from people and I don’t think they’ve ever taken advantage of these write-offs. I’m giving you money *and* making you money… that’s what I would call a Win-Win 🙂

Lots of people are trying to earn a few extra bucks by renting out a room in their home. This can not only be a good source of income, but result in tax deductions.

If you rent out a room in your home, the tax rules apply to you in the same way as they do for landlords who rent out entire properties. This means you get to deduct the expenses arising from your rental activity.

There is one big difference, however: You must divide certain expenses between the part of the property you rent out and the part you live in, just as though you actually had two separate pieces of property.

You can fully deduct (or, where applicable, depreciate) any expenses just for the room you rent; for example, repairing a window in the room, installing carpet or drapes, painting the room, or providing your tenant with furniture (such as a bed).

In addition, if you pay extra homeowners insurance premiums because you’re renting out a room, the full cost is a deductible operating expense.

If you install a second phone line just for your tenant’s use, the full cost is deductible as a rental expense. However, you cannot deduct any part of the cost of the first phone line even if your tenant has unlimited use of it.

Expenses for your entire home must be divided between the part you rent and the part you live in. This includes your payments for:

  • mortgage interest.
  • repairs for your entire home; for example, repairing the roof or furnace, or painting the entire home.
  • improvements for your entire home; for example, replacing the roof.
  • homeowners insurance.
  • utilities such as electricity, gas and heating oil.
  • housecleaning or gardening services for your whole home.
  • trash removal.
  • snow removal costs.
  • security system costs.
  • condominium association fees.

You can also deduct depreciation on the part of your home you rent.

You can use any reasonable method for dividing these expenses. It may be reasonable to divide the cost of some items (for example, water) based on the number of people using them. However, the two most common methods for dividing an expense are either based on the number of rooms in your home or based on the square footage of your home.

Example 1: Jane rents a room in her house to a college student. The room is 10 by 20 feet, or 200 square feet. Her entire house has 1,200 square feet of floor space. Thus, one-sixth, or 16.67 percent, of her home is rented out. She can deduct as a rental expense one-sixth of any expense that must be divided between rental use and personal use.

Example 2: Instead of using the square footage of her house, Jane figures that her home has five rooms of about equal size, and she is renting out one of them. She determines that one-fifth, or 20 percent, of her home is being rented. She deducts 20 percent of her expenses that must be divided between rental and personal use.

As the examples show, you can often get a larger deduction by using the room method instead of the square footage of your home.

Stephen Fishman is a tax expert, attorney and author who has published 18 books, including “Working for Yourself: Law & Taxes for Contractors, Freelancers and Consultants,” “Deduct It,” “Working as an Independent Contractor,” and “Working with Independent Contractors.” He welcomes your questions for this weekly column.


“Bad, bad,” says the buyer but when he goes away, then he boasts -Proverbs 20:14 August 2, 2012

Every morning I get emailed Bible verses (not pushing my religion, just saying) and this one came through a couple of days ago. I couldn’t help seeing how it was such a reminder of how hard our Clients can be on us even when they know they’re getting the very best from us and/or the market.

See, we don’t make the market or the conditions, we just interpret the market and navigate the conditions. When it’s presented to your Clients like that at the beginning of every relationship, they’re expectations are in line with what you can actually do for them. I would most preferably have this conversation when I do a Listing Appointment or a Buyer’s Consultation (which is when I get the Buyer Broker signed – and get one of those suckers Every. Single. Time.).

Do ya’ll preface ya’ll’s relationships like this? Or are you letting your Clients scream “BAD” in your face?


We’re All Mad Here. -Cheshire Cat / Melissa in Kellerland June 14, 2012

I saw the below picture and it reminded me of something my Regional Operating Principle said once in a training. The class is called Recruit/Select and is all about seeking out and hiring talented individuals and when talking about KW she said, “we need people who are a bit wacky.” I laughed when she said it (not just because of her adorable British accent) because, as I often say, it’s funny because it’s true. Here at KW and KW Rancho, we thrive on our mad, wacky, funny family. We feed off of each other’s energy and reinvigorate ourselves daily. We’re very protective of that Culture and often reference acts or statements as being “in” or “not in” Culture. Isn’t that funny? The 1st time someone used that on me, I scrunched my nose a bit and now I use it regularly.

The other part of this particular picture that popped out at me was the bottle labeled “Drink me”. For those of you that don’t know, they often refer to coming to KW as “drinking the Kool-Aid”. When I was 1st introduced to these wild people who I now call family, I thought they all were, well, mad. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was mad too… I was just shrouded in skepticism. I will forever be grateful to the man who hounded me for months to join this company. He changed my life for the better and even though I was one tough nut to crack, he kept at it. If you’re ready to believe in a company that you weren’t sure existed, let me know. I’d be happy to share my story of skepticism and discovery. It was quite a journey and hasn’t ceased yet. Every day I add to the wonderfulness that is my special world: Melissa in Kellerland.


I Love my Family (my KWRI one, too)! May 21, 2012

Last night I got back from a 10-day trip to Texas. It was all family, all the time and 5 days of it was work… how’s that make sense? Stick with me, now.

The 1st weekend was my cousin’s graduation from Texas State. She’s actually my 2nd cousin but since we’re closer in age than her dad and I, we’ve never called each other anything other than ‘cousin’. I’m so stinkin’ proud of her and can’t wait to go to her next graduation since she’s not done impressing us yet!

The 2nd weekend I stayed with my uncle who lost his home in the Texas wildfires last year. They finished his home in January but he had the Housewarming Party this weekend. After that awful experience, they’re finally getting settled into their new life. I can’t imagine losing my whole life… I guess it’s a good thing so much of mine’s on facebook!

Now onto my KW family! They were the reason for the trip and I loved every second of my training in Austin. They say learning anything in our company is like drinking from a fire-hose and after walking out of 5 days of training with almost 1000 pages in material, I’d say “yea,” that’s pretty accurate. I’m so grateful that this company is all about Culture and making sure you’re acclimated before throwing you out into the world. I felt like my 1st 90 days in this position were almost nothing but training… I was VERY nervous walking into my 90-day Review. Good thing it was all positive 🙂

I’m blessed and fortunate that I’ve found a company that takes such good care of me. I can’t go to Texas everyday to see my family but every single day I get to feel at home. That is more of a blessing than I could’ve ever imagined for myself. I’m one lucky little lady.


RED DAY & Why I love KW! May 10, 2012

First off, RED DAY is today! It’s every May 10th, in celebration of our Culture-keeper birthday, Mrs. Mo Anderson! This wonderful woman turns 75 today which is cause for celebration on its own. RED DAY is an opportunity for us to Give Where We Live.

This year, KW Rancho chose Steven’s Hope as it’s charity of choice and we brought the pain! We raised funds for gift cards for kids, donated TONS of clothes, sorted, priced and helped sell in their boutique and most important, we brought awareness to their boutique. This amazing organization is doing wonderful things and I’m so glad we were able to give back and help them today!

When I start telling my story of finding KW (or it finding me), I start by saying there are 2 reasons I came over and 1 I didn’t understand till I got here but now LOVE! So, why did I come over?

  1. Culture – I love these kool-aid drinkin’, head-to-toe red wearin’, bell ringin’, bear huggin’, Texas-born-and-bred, crazy people! My Regional OP said it best when I was in Recruit Select and she said that “we need people who are a bit wacky” and boy howdy! But we also need givers. We need people who care. People that want to make a difference. That want to help others and are ready to jump in. We thrive in the crazy and we know it but, gosh darned, we’re pretty amazing in the not-crazy, too!
  2. Capping – This is simple dollars and cents. All KW’s cap the royalty (franchise or marketing fee for other companies) at $3,000 and cap your commission (every Market Center’s different on this part). What does this ultimately mean? When you Cap, you’re 100% till your Anniversary! That’s pretty cool and running the numbers made this company make sense quite quickly.

Now for the thing that keeps me here: Profit Share! On the 21st of every month, my owner writes me a check based on the production of the awesome agents I introduce to this fabulous company. How great is that? My last owner wasn’t writing me any checks just the other way around!

If this sounds like a company you’d like to call home, I’d love to chat. Cuz they’re all that and a glass of kool-aid!


How to Structure a Team in 8 Minutes by @BenKinney April 5, 2012

Ben Kinney says: If you don’t have a team, real estate is just a job. Your income can stop immediately when the bad things in life happen. Learn how to build a business that will earn you income when you aren’t even at work.

If you want to learn more about building a team and taking your business to the 7th Level of Success, check out the Millionaire Real Estate Agent book or give me a call (909) 945-0607.

Ben has two webinars coming up that you might be interested in: RainCamp: More Social, Less Media and The Photo Economy.  Make today a Productive Day!