January Newsletter | Productivity and Growth to Kick off 2020

What Am I Doing? 

In January, I've struggled with defining my new roles. A year ago, it was easy. I was a real estate agent, selling real estate mostly in central Austin. But it's not quite that simple anymore, and I'm still trying to find out how to explain myself to people. 

These days, I'm managing a real estate team and working with clients. I'm designing and delivering sales training for Spyglass. I'm doing a small amount of one-on-one business coaching. And I'm doing public speaking around the country.

That's a mouthful when someone asks "What do you do?" The real answer is, I have three jobs. And I'm trying to find one title to capture them all. 

Managing a Team

Real estate sales is still my primary focus and primary income stream. And I have loved watching that evolve in the last few months as I added to my team.

One of the reasons that I could start coaching, training, and speaking is because I freed up time by building a strong team. Running a team has been such a blessing because it forced me to get really clear on what I'm good at and what I'm bad at. I've learned that I'm good at strategy and not so good at executing the details. So I'm grateful every day for having three wonderful women around me who are willing to use their strengths to fill in my weaknesses. 

The more I have learned to delegate well, the more I'm seeing great results for everyone, including you, our clients. When you get the right people in the right roles, and everyone works together toward a common goal, it's truly magical.


For years, I've been interested in coaching. I've benefited from plenty of it myself and had an inkling I might like to do some coaching myself someday. As a person who is wired to love strategy, I love helping people solve problems they're having in their businesses. When you can talk to someone for an hour, and they walk away with a whole new outlook on life, it's awe-inspiring. But until the end of 2019, I didn't really see a path for how I can do that for people on a regular basis and get paid for it. And then one day I decided to just go for it. I signed up for my first few clients, people who came to me with very specific problems to solve, and we were off to the races. 

I've learned that the skill set that I've gained as a real estate agent is helpful for anyone who's in a high value, high emotion, client-facing small business. That includes real estate agents, personal trainers, lenders, attorneys, other coaches and so forth. More info here. I'm specifically enjoying helping people improve their client conversion and client on-boarding processes. If you're wondering what that means, here's an example in the form of a video I put out on Facebook recently, where I used a balloon to illustrate why a good client enrollment process is so important to running a sustainable business. 

Speaking and Training

As I have done the personal work necessary to be a better team leader and coached people to solve their specific problems, I've realized that much of what I work on is also applicable to larger groups. And that's where the speaking and training began. In the last few months, I have delivered my talk "Stress Less, Vacation More: How to be Epically Efficient" twice to professional groups. In February, I will be leading the second sales training program at Spyglass, a 6-week training I designed with input from Ryan, my broker, and the rest of the management team. The training program is called "Dynamic Selling" and it is focused on sales psychology and how to apply basic sales skills to the client enrollment process. In short, how do you enroll a new client in a way that feels so natural to them and to you that they actually thank you for setting the meeting? 

Overall, I think my current pursuits have a few things in common: I like solving problems for people. I like building people up. I like leaving people better than I found them. I enjoy inspiring people to chase their dreams joyfully, and giving them a tool or two to do it with. I'm not sure there's a job title for that. Consultant? Small business strategist? Real estate entrepreneur? Real estate coach? None of them feel quite right. 

I'm 100% open to suggestions. I know lots of smart people (you) and I'm hoping one of you has the answer. 


I started off the new year with the ProductivityCon, a one-day conference in Austin that I attended early this month. It was a great conference where I was able to listen to insights on how today’s top productivity experts run their lives and businesses to conquer their day. 

All of the speakers had a common goal: less busyness, more clear, focused productivity. This is something I have tried to incorporate into my business more and more as we're growing.

Here were the featured speakers at the event: 

Kendra Wright | Hey Kendra

Takeaway: quit more. Kendra sets aside time each Sunday to decide what she will quit that coming week. She looks at her schedule and asks "what can I delete, delegate or delay this week?"  

Charlie Gilkey | Productive Flourishing 

Takeaway: Anything you really care about in your life is a project. Real projects take 3-5 years. Want to know how many major projects you have left on this earth? Pick an age you hope to live to, subtract your current age, divide by five. For example, I'm 31. I'd like to live to, say, 85. I have about 11 projects left in my life, God willing. That puts the fear of God in me to choose wisely.    

I bought Charlie's book, Start Finishing, and I'm starting to finish it. Get it? It's a great mix of philosophy and practical advice on how to start finishing stuff. You can check it out here (paid link).

Mike Vardy | Productivityist 

Takeaway: Having time or not having time is an illusion. Just ask physicist Carlo Rovelli. Saying "I don't have time" is like saying "I don't want to." You cannot manage time. You can only manage yourself and how you relate to time.   

Thanh Pham | Asian Efficiency

Takeaway: Name your company something fun and memorable. Like being Asian and naming your productivity company "Asian Efficiency." Seriously though... The human brain cannot multitask. We can fool ourselves into believing we are multi-tasking, but what we're really doing is switching quickly from one unfinished thing to another. The result is poor focus, stress, and lot of unfinished work. Do one thing at a time. Be relentless in your focus.   

Devin Ambron | Productivity Types 

Takeaway: If traditional productivity advice doesn't work for you, don't beat yourself up. It might be how you're wired. There are, according to Devin, four productivity types. And most productivity advice (time blocking, tasks lists, etc) is directed at one type, the Planner type. I measure extremely high on Strategist and very low on Planner, which means I have to tackle my task lists differently. If you'd like to know yours, take the short, free assessment here: https://productivitytype.com/go/

Factora Wealth Circles

Factora is a women's group in Austin, and I've been attending their free monthly events for some time. Their mission is to help 1 million women get to $1 million in net worth. Something that's been on my list for my personal growth is to be more comfortable with budgeting and financial planning.

I decided to join their circle, starting in February which helps women embrace budgeting, building wealth and planning their financial life. It's structured like a small coaching group for women to help each other become clear on individual financial goals and then figure out the steps to take to achieve them on a granular level.

The circles for this round are full, but they'll open more later this year.

Check them out here: https://factorawealth.com/about


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Market Update

What's going on in Austin? More growth. Inventory is low. Prices are up. It's still a seller's market, which means, sellers, you are in a great negotiating position if you want to sell. Buyers who have been "waiting for prices to drop" are continually disappointed. As they have been for all 5 years I've been selling real estate in Austin, and telling would-be buyers that waiting is a bad idea. And I don't see that changing any time soon. If you have questions, email me!

Referral Thank Yous

In this section we show appreciation and gratitude to all our great clients and friend that spread the word about working with our team. We greatly appreciate the support and it does not go unnoticed. 

Randy Horn

Randy and I had the pleasure of meeting in Chicago when we did the cover shoot together for REALTOR Magazine for the 30 Under 3o edition in 2018. Randy is an agent in Boston and referred someone to me who just moved to Austin and wanted to explore buying here. Thanks, Randy! You know you're my go-to guy in Boston!

Dan and Lauren

Dan and Lauren referred us to another buyer client, who we're now working with. Dan and Lauren are truly prolific at making connections and are one of our best referral sources. Thank you, guys! 

Leah and Ian

Leah and Ian were referred to us by Jennica Lynn, a 30 under 30 agent in Seattle.

Then just recently, they referred us some of their friends, Prisca and Juan. It's like a magical little referral chain! Prisca and Juan are considering moving to Austin from Atlanta, Georgia. Morgan had the pleasure of spending two days with them while they were visiting. They saw close to 15 properties in two days and had a blast doing it. Fingers crossed they end up making the move down here! 

Coming Soon

3033 Silvergrass Cv. 


This is a newer home, built-in 2016 with lots of great upgrades. It's a 3 bed and 2 bath located on a large lot in the Crystal Falls neighborhood in Leander, Texas. Asking around $352K. Email me at isabel@spyglassrealty.com if you are interested. 

Will be listed on MLS soon! 

11008 Twisted Elm


This newer home will be hitting the MLS in late February. It is located in Northwest Austin, off 2222, near the intersection of River Place and Four Points. The neighborhood is composed of detached condos, but you wouldn't know from looking. The homes are fully detached with fenced yards. This particular home has the best lot in the neighborhood and backs to protected green space. 

Pro-photos are coming soon, so if you are interested, follow me on Instagram, were we post coming soon listings among other things, like pictures of my dog. https://www.instagram.com/funkyhomesofaustin/

Recent Closings 

Rachael and Chaz

We have been in contact with Rachael and Chaz for several years as they considered a move to Austin. I'm happy to announce they just closed with Morgan on an off-market home in Lago Vista. Welcome to Austin, guys! 

2020 is off to a great start and I am excited to see what this year will bring. Have a great new year everyone! 

Posted by Isabel Affinito on
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