The Winner's Circle Blog

What Were You Thinking

That phrase often comes at us in the form of a criticism of an action or deed we might have been involved in. But I want to explore it in a different way today. What if we had the ability to look back at every action we have taken in life without bias or prejudice? I think it would reveal so much that it would immediately shake us into action to do more of the good things and less of the not so good going forward. The real question is why don’t we have those insights beforehand and not just in hindsight?

We are all “wired” differently. We could argue for hours as to why that is the case, childhood upbringing, environment, genetics, education, nature versus nurture on and on. All those factors have an influence but ultimately, it becomes our choice as to how we go on about life and about our business. In particular, after studying many top performers in this business, I have come to the conclusion that they operate at a different level of “frequency” than the average real estate agent in the marketplace. Read the rest of this entry »

Dennis Curtin

Havin’ Fun

Watching the hometown Royals over these past few weeks, something struck me as I observed these young, professional athletes. These guys are having fun. And lots of it.

Sure, people will say, it’s easy having fun when you are winning. And that is certainly true, but if you watch closely you will notice a childlike atmosphere in the dugout as well as on the field even when the game looks out of reach. To me, that is precisely the right attitude to have. It sure seems the more they laugh and giggle to themselves the better they do on the field.

So how does that apply to our business? We know what we do is probably a little more serious in the lives of our clients than the outcome of the ballgame. (Well, that probably could be debatable given the current World Series fever sweeping the city and the country as a wholeJ) But you get my gist. Yet how many times do we allow the transaction we are currently involved in get the better of us and take “the fun” out of the business? Probably more times than we would like to remember. Read the rest of this entry »

Dennis Curtin

Promise Keeper

There was a day not too long ago that a person’s word was his/her bond. While that is still true today with many people, it seems to me that society has morphed away from that concept to a certain degree. If it is convenient then they will do it, if it is not, they won’t.

This came home to me recently when I heard a young child at the grocery store proclaim to his mother that “she had promised” he could have whatever it was he was throwing a tantrum about. While I do not know the details of that exchange, I did hear her response, “I don’t care what I promised”.  Now I am not one to second guess someone’s parental skills, but I did find it a bit unsettling that she seemed to care less about the huge disappointment she gave to that little guy. I was wondering to myself, is he learning that your “word” to someone really doesn’t matter. Read the rest of this entry »

Dennis Curtin

Profit VS Cash Flow

Real estate brokers and agents go through a lot of money in their careers. Whether you are looking at it annually or over the lifetime of one’s career, it all adds up to a great deal of coin compared to the average person on the street.

Yet, I constantly hear stories of good, productive agents taking part time jobs to supplement their incomes and lifestyle, especially when the market goes a little soft. I have often wondered why that would happen when I know that these folks have good prospecting and sales skills and should have been able to weather the temporary downturn in market activity.

After watching this happen over and over again, I asked some who I knew what happened along the way to make them go outside this incredible business and take on other income producing activities. Obviously, there were a million different reasons and stories but I have distilled it down to one simple reason.  They did not have a clear understanding of the difference between profit and cash flow. Read the rest of this entry »

Dennis Curtin


We operate in a very stressful business from time to time.  It is easy to get caught up in the “emotion” of the deal. When a Seller or Buyer becomes irrational or even belligerent, we must fight the urge to get drawn into their drama.

I have observed over the years that the real pros in this business somehow keep their emotions in check throughout the transaction. I remember vividly as a young agent in the business an elderly gentleman once called me a “cool cucumber”. Not sure whether he was complimenting me or taking a back handed shot at me, so I smiled and said “Thank You.”

He went on to explain that he had been impressed with my demeanor when everyone else, including himself, was losing it because the transaction was starting to go sideways. That experience had a huge impact on my career and I’ve never forgotten that lesson. Read the rest of this entry »

Dennis Curtin

Seasons Change

As we are in the midst of Summer and approaching the hottest part of the year, the real estate markets in most areas are on fire as well. Brokers and agents are reporting record months last seen in 2005-2006, nearly a decade ago. The industry as a whole has grown with new practitioners to the trade representing over 40% of that growth.

While all this has been going, we have also seen a huge shift in the way consumers look for real estate. As I write this blog today, consumers now use their mobile devices to search for homes more than they do by any other method. Even just this past week, news broke that the web portal giant Zillow is purchasing Dotloop, one of the largest transaction management systems in the industry. Questions abound about how that will affect us in our business in the long run. Read the rest of this entry »

Dennis Curtin

Believe & Achieve

“What you GET by achieving your goals is not as important as what you BECOME by achieving your goals”   Henry David Thoreau.

I have always loved setting goals for myself and my business. It was drilled into my head at an early age – the importance of doing just that and I have been a strong believer ever since.

Looking back on my business career, goal setting has served me very well. Like so many others, I have come to realize the wisdom in the quote above. It is not just the getting that comes from goal setting, but setting goals and seeing them become your reality is what defines you as a person on this planet. Read the rest of this entry »

Dennis Curtin

A Great Compliment

In the real estate business one of the most important “things” we do is listen to people’s stories and situations. Early in my career, I realized a strange and unusual phenomenon. The less I talked and the more I listened, the more the clients would tell me how helpful I had been to them.

At first, I didn’t really understand why this was constantly happening, I really hadn’t given them much advice or local insights but it seemed they felt I had really connected with them and was on the same page with them. Read the rest of this entry »

Dennis Curtin

Learning & Growing

“In all Nature, to cease to grow is to perish”. — Robert Collier (1926)

No truer words have been spoken. I am always surprised when I meet people who haven’t seen me for a long time and they say something like “oh, I figured you’d be retired by now”. Not sure what they were expecting but I still have way too much to learn in this business to quit now :-)

It has never occurred to me that retirement, from anything, was the goal. I certainly think it is fine for others to have that as their goal in life. For me, life is about living and living is about learning and growing. Read the rest of this entry »

Dennis Curtin

A Complete Sentence

Today we are bombarded with text messages, tweets, posts, and emails loaded with what is now the shorthand version of our language.  We even have little symbols made from characters on the keyboard that send multiple subtle messages to the recipient. My favorite is when I am trying to convey a joke or a little humor :-)

I must admit my parochial schooling makes me a bit uncomfortable seeing the English language butchered up the way it is today and I often wonder what it will look like in another 100 years.

But there is a one word sentence that is necessary to learn to say if you want to stay productive in the fast paced world we live in today… That full sentence is NO. Read the rest of this entry »

Dennis Curtin

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