25 Things My Clients Know

50 Things Your Customers Wish You Knew | Remarkable Communication One of my favorite posts floating around online about customer service is from Sonia Simone titled "50 things your customers wish you knew".

It is quite the opposite of what many business books teach and tout about mission statement, features and benefits etc.

The full list of 50 can be found here.  I left 25 or so that I know my commercial investment real estate clients certainly represent.  No insults intended; just a bit of psychotherapy.

Client speaking/thinking:

1.  I don’t need you to be perfect, but I do need to know I can rely on you.

2.  Telling me what you don’t know makes me trust you.

4.  You don’t need to do all that much to be a superhero. Just do exactly what you say you will do.

7.  I don’t mind spending the money, as long as I feel I’m getting real value.

8.  My life is really stressful. If you can reduce that stress, you become immensely valuable to me.

11.  My life is very complicated. If you make it easy for me to just buy a simple all-in-one package that I can use without learning anything, I’ll take it and be grateful. (I’ll even pay a premium for it.)

12.  I want to trust you, but it’s hard for me to trust anyone.

13.  Once you’ve won my trust and loyalty, the truth is you can screw up once in awhile and I will forgive you. If I don’t think you’re taking me for granted, that is.

15.  I spend an awful lot of time being scared to death.

16.  The wealthier I get, the more I like free stuff.

18.  I’m lousy at admitting I was wrong, but I respect you when you do it.

22.  Our relationship isn’t equal and it never will be.

24.  I don’t have any interest in your excuses. In fact, I usually don’t notice them at all, and if I do, they annoy me.

27.  I only like to communicate over the phone/Web/mail and I hate when you try to make me communicate with you over the mail/phone/Web.

28.  I want to buy your product, but I need you to help me justify it to myself.

29.  There’s something in my life I’m afraid of losing. If you can make me feel like you’ve protected it for me, my gratitude will be intense and eternal.

31.  I want you to do the hard work for me. Even better if I can get all the credit.

34.  I have the attention span of a goldfish. Go too long without contacting me and I’ll simply forget you exist.

35.  Money is no object when it comes to my obsessions.

38.  It infuriates me when you answer the phone while I’m talking with you face-to-face.

39.  Embarrassment scares me more than death.

46.  I want to tell you everything you need to know in order to sell to me, but I’m lazy. Make it easy enough and I will. (Especially if you flatter me a little.)

47.  I don’t know what I want most of the time. You need to figure it out for me.

48.  I mostly daydream about making life better for myself, but I’ll take action to keep from losing what’s mine.

49.  I believe that most of what’s wrong in my life is someone else’s fault. Let me keep that cozy illusion and I’ll believe anything you say.

50.  It really is all about me.

Yes, we are trained in business school to pitch ourselves and sell us and our product/service.   Really it is not about the product service, it is about the customer/client.

Change the perspective from me to you; or maybe keep it on me (meaning you).  Right?  Got it?

credit:  50 Things Your Customers Wish You Knew | Remarkable Communication.

Things I am enjoying


Having two dogs, both pretty much puppies, has been challenging but also a lot of fun. Besides all the love and laughter they bring, they also provide me the opportunity to walk more. The multiple exercise sessions a day along with two young kids has forced me (in a good way) to get more efficient with my work and life. As a result, I have been listening to a lot of podcasts and playing with some cool software. I am loving the following and thought they are worth sharing:

Hittal: Killer Keyword Suggestions (link)

HitTail tells you, in real-time, the most promising search terms you should target based on your existing traffic. We do this using a sophisticated algorithm tuned by analyzing over 1.2 billion keywords.

HitTail analyzes your visitor stream in real-time and provides you with a simple, actionable list of precisely which keywords you should be targeting to dramatically grow your organic search traffic.

Trello (link)

Whether you're planning a surprise birthday party for your best friend, writing an epic screenplay, tracking million-dollar sales leads, or just making a list of stuff to get done this weekend, Trello makes sure you're organized and on top of it all. Like a whiteboard with super powers, Trello is simple to use and infinitely flexible. You'll know exactly what needs to get done, who's going to do it, and what's coming up next. And, everything you do is synced and saved instantly to Trello.com. Use the web site to stay organized while you're at your desk, and the app to stay up to date while you're out and about.

Contactually (link)

an assistant that helps you automatically prioritize and stay in touch with your most important contacts, including potential business leads, colleagues, and friends. Regularly reconnecting with your network can improve your relationships and create opportunities in the future. It pulls in all of your email, social, and CRM contacts, so it always knows who you're talking to.

Bootstrapped With Kids Podcast (link)

Two dudes with kids talking about software, marketing, making money and other Sh!t.

Bigger Pockets Podcast (link)

Real Estate Investing & Wealth Building without the hype.

Start-ups for the Rest of Us (link)

Mike Taber and Rob Walling come together to share their insights and experience from the perspective of developers who built their respective companies without Angel or Venture Capital funding. Together, they share the things they've learned and are still learning as independent developers.

What are you enjoying?

The six best books for Commercial Real Estate Brokers


I get emails all the time from people looking to get into the commercial real estate brokerage business. They ask:

  • How do I go from residential to commercial real estate?
  • How do I get commercial real estate clients?
  • How do I market and sell commercial property?
  • How much money can I make in commercial real estate?

  • I give them as many tips as I can after 10+ years in the business and almost $200M in volume but experience and time are the best teachers. There are also several good books on the commercial real estate business.

    Here are my top six commercial real estate broker books:

    If that is not good enough, here are some recommendations on:

    Real Estate Investment Books and Real Estate Development Books

    Also check out: How to succeed in Commercial Real Estate

"Ignore the Recession" - More reasons to buy a Net Leased TSC


TSC is one of my favorite NNN tenants. Nice buildings, great locations, solid financials, long leases, low management for owners; the list goes on and on. ABC News Nightline did a segment this week of why TSC is a "Recession Proof Retailer". TSC's internal strategy has been to "ignore the recession". It appears to have worked.


[Buy a NNN TSC Property]

Here is a link to TSC's (TSCO) five year stock price.

Buy a Tractor Supply NNN Property

"We Buy and Sell the Earth"


Everyday on the way to drop my daughter off at school, I drive by this sign. I have a soft spot for vintage signs and typography. And this one, being real estate related, made me pull over to snap a shot:


"Easy terms, free lists", not much has changed, it is just missing the "www" and 800 #.

Is Baker Land co still around? I wonder how the sign made it from Doniphan MO to Carbondale CO?

Yes, I guess at the core that is what I do "Buy and Sell the Earth" but more specifically:

How do you count your money?

In today's tech age people are using online banking, balance by text or mobile apps to check their balances or make payments. Does anyone still use an actual calculator? I mostly use my iphone but when doing some serious math use my HP-10bii or spreadsheets.

A client and friend told me he has a simple system for counting his money.  The guy is worth probably $80M and I expected a series of controls and systems to keep checks and balances.  However, this is what he told me about knowing if he is running his business efficiently as well as "the secret to building wealth".

I have a simple thing I do each month.  I check the bank statements.  If the ending balance is higher than it was last month, then perfect.  If the ending balance is lower than it was last month I know I have some hell to raise.  In terms of building wealth, the best thing I think a person can do is watch their lifestyle and not let it grow with the amount of money they are making.  I always kept my lifestyle pretty much the same.  Sure, I splurged and have toys and cars and houses.  But over the years, even when I had a big year, I kept our lifestyle the same and never got over extended.  I also only pay cash and do not borrow.  Banks are your friend when you don't need money and run the other way when you do need it.

I think that is some of the best advice I have ever received about money.  What about you?  Any good money tips to share?

When talking to another client the other day about writing up an LOI on a net leased property, I asked what he wanted to offer.  He said "hang on a second" and all a sudden I heard an adding machine in the background.  Seriously.  You know the electric kind with the paper tape.  He was doing a quick cap rate calculation to figure his offer price.  After we got the serious details out of the way, I almost asked "Do you save or file the paper tapes?" But I didn't.  It is his system and it works for him.

Here are a few photos of an antique Victor adding machine I bought at a rummage sale for $27.  And, no, I don't save the tapes each day.

I was interested to see if I got a deal at $27.  This is what I found:

Company History Victor Adding Machine Co. was a fledgling company in 1918 when the operator of a successful chain of meat markets gave a Victor salesman $100 for what he thought would buy an adding machine. Instead, he got 10 shares of the company’s stock. In an effort to protect his investment, that man – Carl Buehler – became a director of Victor in September 1918 and was elected president of the company three months later. The first Victor adding machine, Model 110, was introduced in 1919.

Usage his machine was widely used in offices for doing fast additions and calculations. The results were printed. Input from a ten digits keyboard in a 9x10 matrix. Extra function-keys to the right.

Cost The first Victor adding machine, the Model 110 , was introduced in 1919 and proved to be an extremely successful device. The Victor 110 was a full-keyboard non-printing machine with a front-mounted register, with only repeat and zeroing keys. The company sold 100000 of its Model 110 by 1926. The early nonprinting model cost $85, the model without carriage cost $100, the model with carriage $125. In 1921 the machine was extended at the rear to include a printing mechanism and was released as the 200 series. At a retail price of $100, 2000 units sell in the first year.

Current Value

  •     Antique Victor Adding Machine Brown Bakelite with Green keys circa 1940 It WORKS (Price: $75)
  •     A 1920s Victor Adding Machine. Fair condition. (Price: $100)

Source: ebay

So yes, it looks like I did OK.  If I sold it, which I'm not, I would stand to make a few bucks.

Do you think the Victor can calculate the IRR?

So.... you want to be a real estate investor? Read this first

Experience is the best teacher but these real estate books are cheaper.

Here are some of my favorite real estate books. I happily recommend these to anyone who is thinking about getting into owning their own properties and even if you already own properties. If I can answer any questions about why I like which ones, please fire away in the comments section below.

My favorite real estate books:

Am I missing any real estate books, real estate investing books, real estate investment books and/or real estate development books?

Best real estate calculator


Some may argue but I think the best real estate calculator and finance calculator is the HP 10BII. HP 10bII Financial Calculator

The old standby is the 12c but I cant stand RPN. HP 12C Financial Calculator

The solution here is the 12C platinum which has 'normal' algebraic entry. The platinum looks great, feels cool and sits nicely on the desk. HP 12C Platinum Financial Calculator


For ease of use and price the 10BII is the way to go for a real estate calculator. What do you use for your real estate calculator?

Relax..... Luxury Surf Yoga Retreat


Needing to take things down a notch but want to do it in style? Check out this Luxury Surf and Yoga Retreat by Three Jewels. (my bro/sis in-law's company)

Three Jewels Yoga and Surf Retreats from Three Jewels Retreats on Vimeo.

Three Jewels Retreats, A day in paradise at a Yoga and Surf Retreat

Music: Xavier Rudd "Come Let Go"

Who pays Closing Costs? State by State Guide


Closing costs differ around the United States.

closing costs title insurance

Closing costs including title insurance are usually based on local custom where the property is located.  Yes, this is negotiable but in most cases, even if the Buyer and Seller are in different states, the parties pay closing costs based on the customs and traditions in the county where the property is located.

Here is a great State by State guide to real estate closing costs and who pays title insurance.  Again, this differs in every transaction and is usually negotiated by the Buyer and Seller in the deal unless it is mandated by state law.  The following list is via Closing costs around the United States www.miadomo.com.  Photo credit Doug Francis Virgina Realtor.

Closing costs around the United States

This is a general reference guide. Contact a local title company, real estate attorney, lenders or private escrow companies who handle closing in your state for specific information.


Buyers and sellers negotiate who's going to pay the closing costs and usually equally split them.


Buyers and sellers negotiate who's going to pay the closing costs and usually equally split them.


The seller customarily pays for the owner's policy, and the buyer pays for the lender's policy. They split escrow costs otherwise.


The seller customarily pays for the owner's policy, and the buyer pays for the lender's policy. They split escrow costs otherwise.


Not only do escrow procedures differ between Northern and Southern California, they also vary from county to county. Contact local title company for a specific information.


Closing costs are generally paid by real estate agent. Sellers pay the title insurance premium and the documentary transfer tax.


Buyers pay for examination and title insurance, while sellers pay the documentary and conveyance taxes.


Buyers pay closing costs and the owner's title insurance premiums. Buyers and sellers share the state transfer tax.

District of Columbia

Buyers pay closing costs, title insurance premiums, and recording taxes. Sellers pay the transfer tax.


Buyers pay the escrow and closing costs, while county custom determines who pays for the title insurance. Sellers pay the documentary tax.


Buyers pay title insurance premiums and also closing costs usually. Sellers pay transfer taxes.


Buyers and sellers split escrow fees. Sellers pay the title search costs and the conveyance tax. Buyers pay title insurance premiums for the owner's and lender's policies.


Buyers and sellers split escrow costs in general and negotiate who's going to pay the title insurance premiums.


Buyers usually pay the closing costs and the lender's title insurance premiums and the state and county transfer taxes.


Buyers pay closing costs and the lender's title insurance costs, while sellers pay for the owner's policy.


Buyers and sellers share the closing costs; sellers pay the documentary taxes.


Buyers pay the lender's policy costs and the state mortgage taxes, sellers pay for the owner's policy.


Sellers pay closing costs; buyers pay recording fees, responsibility for payment of title insurance premiums varies from county to county.


Buyers pay the title insurance and closing costs.


Buyers pay the title insurance and closing costs, buyers and sellers share the documentary transfer fees.


Buyers pay the title insurance, closing costs and transfer taxes.


Buyers pay the title insurance, closing costs, except in Worcester where sellers pay.


Buyers pay the lenders title insurance premiums and, closing costs, and sellers pay the state transfer tax and the owner's title insurance premiums.


Buyers pay the lender's and owner's title insurance premiums and the mortgage tax/ Sellers pay the closing fees and the transfer taxes.


Buyers and sellers negotiate the payment of title insurance premiums and closing costs. There are no documentary, mortgage or transfer taxes.


Buyers and sellers generally split the closing costs. Sellers in western Missouri usually pay for the title insurance policies, while elsewhere the buyers pay.


Buyers and sellers split the escrow and closing costs, sellers usually pay for the title insurance policies.


Buyers and sellers split escrow and closing costs, sellers pay the state's documentary taxes.


Buyers pay the lender's title insurance premiums, sellers pay the owner's and the state's transfer tax.

New Hampshire

Buyers pay all closing costs and title fees except for the documentary tax, that's shared with the sellers.

New Jersey

Both buyer and seller pay the escrow and closing costs. The buyer pays the title insurance fees, and the seller pays the transfer tax.

New Mexico

Both buyer and seller pay the escrow and closing costs, sellers pay for the insurance premium.

New York

Buyers generally pay most closing costs, including all title insurance fees and mortgage taxes. Sellers pay the state and city transfer taxes.

North Carolina

Buyers and sellers negotiate the closing costs, except that buyers pay the recording costs and sellers pay the document preparation and transfer tax costs.

North Dakota

Buyers pay for the closing, the attorney's opinion, and the title insurance, sellers pay for the abstract.


Buyers and sellers negotiate closing costs, but sellers pay the transfer taxes.


Buyers and sellers share the closing costs, except that the buyer pays the lender's policy premium, the seller pays the documentary transfer tax, and the lender pays the mortgage tax.


Buyers and sellers split escrow costs and transfer taxes, the buyer pays for the lender's title insurance policy and the seller pays for the owner's policy.


Buyers pay closing costs and title insurance fees, buyers and sellers split the transfer taxes.

Rhode Island

Buyers pay title insurance premiums and closing costs, sellers pay documentary taxes.

South Carolina

Buyers pay closing costs, title insurance premiums, and state mortgage taxes, sellers pay the transfer taxes.

South Dakota

Sellers pay the transfer taxes and split the other closing costs, fees and premiums with the buyers.


The payment of title insurance premiums, closing costs, mortgage taxes, and transfer taxes varies according to local practice.


Buyers and sellers negotiate closing costs.


Buyers and sellers split escrow fees, and sellers pay the title insurance premiums.


Buyers pay recording fees, title insurance premiums, and transfer taxes.


Buyers pay the title insurance premiums and the various taxes.


Sellers pay the title insurance premiums and the "revenue" tax, buyers and sellers split everything else.

West Virginia

Buyers pay the title insurance premiums and sellers pay the documentary taxes and the divide the other closing costs.


Buyers pay closing costs and the lender's policy fees, sellers pay the owner's policy fees and the transfer taxes.


Buyers and sellers negotiate who's going to pay the various closing costs and title insurance fees.

To buy real estate forms, please look at MiaDomo's legal forms section or our real estate forms links.

JUST CLOSED: $2.6M Trailer Park in Colorado

I was going to create my own press release but the Steamboat Springs newspaper beat me to it (see below).  TMO represented the buyer KTH Enterprises LLC who purchased the trailer park as a long term income producing investment.  The park produces an annual yield of about 8.5%.


Five months after it was listed for sale for $3.2 million, the Sleepy Bear Mobile Home Park on Steamboat Springs’ far west side has sold to a Carbondale couple for $2.6 million. Cheri Chartier, a representative of buyers Tom and Karen Hill, said their intent is to continue operating Sleepy Bear as a mobile home park.

The 6.6-acre, 54-lot park is immediately west of Ski Town Campground and directly across from what would have been the primary entrance to the Steamboat 700 development had Steamboat voters not rejected it in March 2010.

via Steamboat Today: Sleepy Bear Mobile Home Park sells for $2.6 million.

It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.


"It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference." -Tom Brokaw

In lieu of closing gifts, I have been asking clients to choose a charity of their choice.  I was a little hesitant to begin this program but it has been well received.  My clients and myself are very fortunate people and are grateful for the opportunity to be able to share our blessings.

The most recent "closing donation" was $500 on behalf of KTH Enterprises LLC who selected Architecture for Humanity:

Architecture for Humanity builds a more sustainable future using the power of design. Through a global network of building professionals, Architecture for Humanity brings design, construction and development services to communities in need.

Sponsor a Day of Design | Architecture for Humanity. A $500 donation supports a designer for a week so they can solve humanitarian crises through implementation of smart design.

Special thanks to KTH Enterprises for their generosity!

"It is ever man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it." -Albert Einstein

image credit: afnizarmohd.wordpress.com

TMO sells $2.24M net leased Tractor Supply


NNN Net Leased Property TMO is pleased to have represented a private investor in the purchase of a NNN leased Tractor Supply property in Sweetwater, TX.  The all cash transaction closed in under 30 days for $2,242,500 at a cap rate of 8%.

Buy a Tractor Supply NNN Property

"Tractor Supply (TSCO) is a great reliable tenant with a solid business model which provides my client with peace of mind for years to come." says Thomas Morgan, CCIM.  "TSC's may be in smaller markets but that is where their customers are and they serve the rural farming towns perfectly.  Compared to a NNN Walgreens or fast food NNN investment, TSC's have a lot of residual value in the real estate as they are on large lots, usually 4-5 acres and have decent size buildings of around 20,000 sf built of block."

Lior Regenstreif of Marcus Millichap represented the Seller.

Whitewater - African Style


This video has been on my computer(s) since 2002 and finally got around to posting it a few weeks ago.  This is from our trip to paddle the Zambezi River on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe below Victoria Falls.  My friends Simon and Doug shot most of the footage.  Hope you enjoy (rated PG for music lyrics):

Two Creeks Snowmass World Class


Two Creeks Skiing with Family "If you are lucky enough to be in the mountains, then you are lucky enough" my friend says.

Yes, I am lucky, not only to be in the mountains but also be there with my beautiful wife and daughters (4 & 2).

This week we had the opportunity to ski Two Creeks in Snowmass on an awesome 40 degree day (in February, yikes!).  Skiing through the old growth aspen trees on the top of West Fork, reminded me of floating through the grand canyon.  Skiing through the beautiful forest with my family on a bluebird day reminded me of how good life can be and is.

As we skied by the amazing ski in ski out Two Creeks Homes, in total opposites, I recalled our wonderful trip to Wailea, Maui this past fall.  There is no feeling on earth like being with people you love in amazing natural places complimented by man-made works of art like the homes of Wailea and Two Creeks Snowmass.

Life is good!

Customize your Two Creeks Snowmass Real Estate search here.

See all Snowmass real estate here.

Will you outlive your money?


What do you fear most? Death or outliving your money? As one of their daily snapshots this week, USA Today published the results of a survey by Allianz Life Insurance Co asking 44-75 year olds "What do you fear more?  Death or outliving my money?

And the results are in….

61% - Outliving my money

39% - Death

fear of outliving money

Death may be frightening, but to a majority of older Americans, the possibility of outliving their savings is even worse.

Maybe it's me, but that seems crazy:  Fear running out of money more than death? To believe that you need what you don’t have is a definition of insanity.

My grandpa used to always say "it's just money, you can always make more" ….but he developed pancreatic cancer as a result of stress from a large business transaction gone south. So, maybe the survey is right. But fear is subjective and we are all entitled to our opinions.

I would rather plan.  As the saying goes, if there is a monster chasing you in your dream, stop, turn around and ask it "what do you want?".  Facing fears is the best way to eliminate them. In this case retirement fears.

Fear of running out of money is #1 in Sydney Lagier's  Three Retirement Fears to Conquer.  Regular savings combined with investments into secure low risk investments will help conquer this fear and alleviate worry.  It is better to plan and prepare rather than regret and repair.

Objective Retirement Planning: use a retirement calculator.  The purpose of every retirement calculator is to tell you one or both of these two pieces of information:Time Is Money

  1. how much you need to save (usually per month) to be able to retire or
  2. how big of a nest egg you must have in order to retire

So.... How much income do you need in retirement? Try this retirement income calculator

Also, try these other retirement calculators which include calculators to figure out Retirement Income, Retirement Planning, Fixed Annuities, Immediate Annuities, Long-Term Care and Social Security Benefits.

Here are Four Steps to a Healthy and Prosperous Retirement

  1. Develop sources of reliable, lifetime retirement income
  2. Manage your living expenses
  3. Protect against things going wrong
  4. Plan for a good life.

At the end of the day, happiness is cheaper in retirement especially when you have planned and have passive income from various investments. The majority of retirees surveyed by Ameriprise Financial say that after a few years of retirement, money worries fade into the background as long as you have planned.