Monday Morning Motivation Week of July 22nd

I LOVE starting my week with positive words of wisdom. This week’s are:

We have to get back to the beauty of just being alive in this present moment. ~ Mary McDonnell

Last week I started talking about being present, I talked about my trip out to Phoenix and how I was not being present with my wife, Kathy.

My second thought to paying attention is to remember that our time together is limited.

If there are changes you want to make in your personal or business life, start now. There will never be a better day to begin making improvements than today.

Don’t keep putting off the things that you want to do or should be doing. For example:

  • if you want to start eating more healthy foods, go to the grocery store and buy healthy food, buy supplies to start your own garden
  • If you need to exercise more, go for a walk tonight or find a buddy and work out
  • Is your relationship with your spouse wavering? Spend alone time talking tonight
  • Do you want a new job? Start sending out resumes. Tomorrow is promised to no one

You cannot continue to waste time thinking that you’ll take care of your issues at some later date.

Your family, your career, and your whole life are happening right now. If you don’t take any action to maintain or increase your happiness, life will pass you by. It’s okay to plan for the future, and big decisions should not be taken lightly, but you have to live your life daily without creating regrets.

3 Things To Do NOW For Your Car Insurance. Number Two Will Shock You!

You’re driving around with the comfort and knowledge that you’re insured in the event of an accident that damages your car, you, or another person or their property. 

Your car needs occasional maintenance and fine tuning; so does your car insurance.  Here are 3 things you can do right now to fine tune, I mean review, with your Independent Insurance Mechanic, I mean Agent.

Improve the quality of your coverage and possibly lower your premiums NOW! 

  1. Uninsured and UNDER insured motorist coverage. 
    The two “Uns” will get you every time when involved in a motor vehicle accident. You’ll want to add this additional protection to your overall insurance policy.  The additional coverage will give you perfect peace of mind and protection against the incidents involving an uninsured motorist or a motorist with insufficient coverage to compensate you for damage to your vehicle or injury to you.

  2. Your collision deductible based on the year of the vehicle. 
    As your car gets older the value decreases.  Too often you’re carrying insurance coverage based on the original value of the car when you first insured it. When you discuss your insurance with your Independent Agent during your annual insurance review, be sure he reconfigures the  current coverage to reflect the current value of the car.

  3. Personal injury protection, also known as PIP coverage.
    This is a component of auto insurance that covers medical expenses regardless of who’s at fault, and often includes lost wages. Depending on the state in which you live, PIP is either an available option or a required policy add-on. It is often called “no-fault” coverage because its inherent comprehensiveness pays out claims regardless of who is at fault in the accident. Don’t get caught without this insurance because you didn’t know it was OPTIONAL vs. MANDATED by state.

Call us today to learn about these coverages and more. Now is the time: before you need your policy to work for you the most. Your health and financial health depend on it. Call us at 617-298-0655 or text us at 617-409-0329 for a free, no-obligation annual review.

Click here to Visit our Contact Us page.

Monday Morning Motivation Week of July 15th

I LOVE starting my week with positive words of wisdom. This week’s are:

The best way to learn to be present and develop presence is to have the experience of someone you respect and admire being present with and for you. ~ Mark Goulston

As I have mentioned in earlier emails, I was a speaker at IAOA in January. This gathering, our country’s youngest and brightest independent insurance agents, is one of the highlights of my year.

The trip started with our airplane ride to Phoenix. I don’t know what you do on an airplane, but I usually work writing blogs, creating  posts and/or laying out chapters ideas for the book I’m writing.  

Suddenly, I got a look from my wife, Kathy that screamed, “hey, I’m over here, why aren’t we communicating?”  

I put my laptop away, we watched a movie, fell asleep and had a great flight.

The conference is 2 ½ days of presenters and break-out sessions all day. The event is choreographed so that all of the members in attendance get maximum exposure to one another. Kathy spent this time by the pool, visiting the local things to do and working on her hobby.

When the conference was over, we hung out for a couple of days to enjoy the weather, but so did many of the other independent agency owners. And everywhere that we went at the hotel, we ran into each other and started chatting about how we’re doing, what we’re doing and our “secret sauces”. 

One of the agents asked me if I was afraid of sharing my secret sauce.  I replied, “you may already know the sauce, but you still have to cook it.” I borrowed that from a chef friend of mine!

Here are a few of the most common barriers that keep us from being present and mindful:

  • Thinking about the past and the future
  • Multitasking
  • Being in denial
  • Obsessing on thoughts or observations
  • Pushing away thoughts or observations
  • A lack of intention
  • A lack of compassion
  • Judging, analyzing, criticizing or evaluating

Judgment is one of the most common ways that keeps you from being mindful. Whether you are judging your experience as good, bad or ugly, it’s an obstacle to being fully present in the moment. We do this all the time. Everyone does. The way to do it less is to notice it and move your thoughts on and not let judging interfere with your ability to be mindful. It’s ironic isn’t it? You have to be mindful about being mindful.

Try spending a few days noticing all the judgments you make throughout the day: 

  • “What is that lady wearing?” 
  • “Yuck, this food is gross!” 
  • “I should not be the one handling this!” 

Any time you catch yourself playing Judge Judy, notice it, label it as a judgment, and resist the temptation to judge yourself for being judgmental. More irony, right?

Pay Attention!

When I came to this realization, my first thought was paying more attention to Kathy. I know how I feel when people don’t listen to me or pretend like they’re listening to me, so I have to apply the Golden Rule:
Treat her as I want to be treated.

This one is easy because I want to treat my wife better than I want to be treated. There’s an episode of the Cosby show (sorry), “The Dead End Kids Meet Dr. Lotus” when Theo is given great advice from his father. He’s told to repeat these words: “I will pay more attention to my partner.” 

Remember  “Tomorrow isn’t promised, all we have is today.'”
~ Sylvia Solomon

My second thought? Next week!

Annual Insurance Review: On the Beach?

Get crazy at the beach this Summer.  I mean really, really crazy. 
How crazy am I suggesting? Hang on to your beach hat.

You won’t believe it.

Think about how you’ll be killing two birds with one stone if you consider reviewing your insurance policies with your Independent Insurance Agent while you sift your toes through the warm sand with a cold beverage in hand.

No, I’m not kidding!

Your Agent has all your policies available to review with you. They are waiting to review with you. The majority of people do not take advantage of a FREE annual review with their agent.

You are ahead of the game especially if you consider blocking out 30 minutes to an hour while you lounge in your beach chair.  You will hear the calming sound of lapping waves while your Agent discusses money-saving, better quality insurance coverages for you.

I warned you that you may think I’m crazy for suggesting this, but we think it’s a sensible idea.  The key point to understand is this is an all around relaxing moment: your afternoon on the beach and your conversation with your Independent Agent. 

Reviewing your insurance policies to:
1. Maximize the quality of your coverage
2. Lower your overall premiums, and
3. Ensure adequate coverage for unexpected and planned changing life events shouldn’t be stressful at all. 

It is a calming, relaxing moment.  Let your Agent do all the heavy lifting while you bask in the glory of your sun-filled beach day.

Be sure to schedule your appointment with your Agent in advance of your afternoon on the beach so they’re prepared with all the information you’ll need to save money and improve coverage. If you like, take a moment before you leave for your vacation to glance over your policies to prepare any questions you may have for your Agent about specific lines of coverage and/or premium costs.

Then setup your lounge chair, apply your sunscreen, crack open that cold beverage and make the call.  You won’t feel crazy when you’re done and you know you’ve just spent a few relaxing minutes improving your insurance protections and saving money on your annual premiums. 

When was the last time you reviewed your insurance? Now is the time! Even if you’re leaving for vacation. Call now at 617-298-0655 or text us at 617-409-0329 for a free, no-obligation annual review. Click here to Visit our Contact Us page.

Monday Morning Motivation Week of July 8

I LOVE starting my week with positive words of wisdom. This week’s are:

“Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected.” ~ Mark Zuckerberg

Last week, I talked about the responsibility of small business owners. Facebook is a good example because it’s where many people spend their day (and nights) scrolling.

There are two primary features:

● Personal Profile (Get over the fact that we, as marketers, need to share with the world ourselves and our families, warts and all! People want to do business with you and not a sanitized version of you.

● Posts 

Profile 

  • What is the One Job of your profile?
  • What is the One Measurement of your profile?

Posts

  • What is the One Job of a specific post?
  • What is the One Measurement of a specific post?

There are of course a variety of post types. You could have a picture, a video and/or a story (includes a picture or a video). You can now add polls and all sorts of things.

But isn’t it easier to think about One Post at a time? A few thoughts:

  • Gathering friends and followers is not the NUMBER ONE job of your profile.
  • Gathering followers is not the job of EVERY post.

For example: A post may have the specific job of featuring a video about the newsletter topic you are writing about tomorrow. You may want to point people to your “link in the profile” where they can sign up to your newsletter.

  1. The post points to the profile.
  2. The profile has the link that points to the page.
  3. The job of the page is to get people to engage with us and sign up for our newsletter.
  4. The job of the newsletter welcome email is to set the stage for what’s to come and on and on.

The real beauty of One Number (and One Job, One Measurement, One Source) is the simplicity. It narrows our focus and aligns our efforts, making it easier to know you’re on the right path (or not).

That’s it for this series! I would LOVE to know what you think of my messages over these last few weeks. Send me an email or connect with me on social media.

4 Reasons to Purchase Insurance on a Car Rental

If you’ve ever been on vacation and had to rent a car, you’ve been confronted with the standard protocol of the rental agent asking you if you’d like to purchase (or waive) the optional car insurance.  

Most people are caught unawares and don’t give this simple request the full consideration it needs before they leave on holiday.

You won’t be caught unawares with this simple recommendation: always purchase the additional coverage.

When you purchase that coverage you will acquire some awesome features (you’re going to love Number 4!)

  1. Protection from a collision surcharge on your existing policy.
  2. You don’t have to worry about “loss of use” or paying for the days a rental car is out of commission and unavailable for rental for repairs due to damage you caused.
  3. Your policy deductible is waived!
  4. You get to walk away.

Technically speaking, if you already have PHYSICAL DAMAGE COVERAGE on your own auto policy, then you’re actually covered for property & liability on the rental vehicle.  That doesn’t stop us from recommending the purchase of the additional insurance even to our customers who have physical damage coverage in place.

I promised the recommendation would be simple.  Now when you’re at the car rental counter at the start of your vacation, worrying about getting to your hotel on time, hungry from a long flight, and stressed from the airport commotion, you won’t be a deer in the headlights at the rental counter.  You won’t have to stop and call your agent to inquire if you should take the coverage. You won’t have to text your neighbor if they purchase the coverage or not.

Just say, “Yes, I’ll take the coverage.”

One last piece of vacation driving advice: when driving on long winding roads in the dark, take extra caution for critters who might dodge out onto the road.  Like a deer in the headlights.

When was the last time you reviewed your insurance to ENSURE you’re INSURED properly? Don’t wait until it’s too late. Call now at 617-298-0655 or text us at 617-409-0329 for a free, no-obligation annual review. Click here to Visit our Contact Us page.

Monday Morning Motivation

I LOVE starting my week with positive words of wisdom. This week’s are:

People are in such a hurry to launch their product or business that they seldom look at marketing from a bird’s eye view and they don’t create a systematic plan~ Dave Ramsey

Last week I finished with applying your NUMBER ONE to marketing.

If you’re a small business owner, marketing is your responsibility. You may be of a size where you can outsource to a consultant or delegate the tasks in-house, but ownership of the plan is your responsibility.

We know that you are not a full-time marketing person; you have clients to serve.

Marketing is not your job description. So, we must find a reasonable balance and develop a simple plan so you can consistently take action to keep the marketing ball bouncing.

How much time is reasonable for you to devote to your digital marketing each week?

The only wrong answer is zero.

The right answer will vary. Of course, your expectations for what you can accomplish with marketing need to be in line with the amount of time you’re willing to spend.

BUT…

You don’t need to post every minute of every day to have an impact.

One Job

The concept behind One Job is to help you to narrow your focus to the most important next step. This applies for your website and social media channels.

Each element should have One Job. The job should be simple, and it shouldn’t try to do more than that.

If everything is set to focus on One Job, you can build an entire connected ecosystem focused on serving people at each point along the way.

For example: The primary job of our homepage is to get possible new customers to click on the button to get more information about some of the insurance products that we sell.

There are several elements, but it’s all geared to having them contact us.

The picture of families, cars or homes is professional. The message is that we want you to know what products we insure.

One Measurement

The beauty of One Job is that it narrows what you measure for success. If the message is doing its job well, then my measurement will be based on how many people click through and contact our agency.

Now, there are lots of things to measure, and installing Google Analytics is a must, but let’s be clear on one thing, if Google Analytics tells me that I don’t have very many visitors to our site, specifically our home page, it’s a failing page and effort on my part.

One Source (at a time) – Effort

As you know, you have a ton of different sources for driving traffic to your site. The most often thought of, are your social media platforms and SEO. Let’s pick one.

Facebook. Next week.

3 Reasons You Need Condo Insurance

Whether you live in a condo year round or you own one that you vacation in from time to time, it’s important to protect it with condo insurance. Owning a condo is much different from owning your own home. Chances are, your condo is connected to other condos owned by other people. When something happens to a piece of the property that is connected to someone else’s condo, this makes things very confusing. Here at Vargas & Vargas Insurance serving the Dorchester, MA area, we’d like to share with you the top three reasons you need condo insurance.

It Might Be Mandatory

The first reason you may need to get a condo insurance policy is that it might be mandatory. If you have a mortgage on your condo, then your lender likely requires that you have condo insurance. You should check with the lender to determine the exact type of insurance policy that you need. Just like a regular home with a mortgage has to have homeowners insurance, a condo with a mortgage needs condo insurance. This protects both you and the lender.

Protect the Inside of Your Condo

Much of the time, the exterior of a condo receives protection through a condo association’s insurance policy, also known as a master insurance policy. This type of policy protects the exterior and any common areas, but it doesn’t protect the inside of your condo. You will need a condo insurance policy to protect your condo’s walls, ceiling, floors, fixtures, plumbing, and electrical wiring.

Protect Yourself From Lawsuits

If someone is injured inside of your condo, a master policy won’t provide coverage. The master policy only provides coverage if someone is injured in a common area. To protect yourself if someone is injured inside your property, you need your own condo insurance policy.

Different condo policies vary in the types of coverage they provide. It’s important to speak with an agent at Vargas & Vargas Insurance serving the Dorchester, MA area to learn about the different types of coverage you can gain through a condo insurance policy.

Summer Preparedness Part 3: Driving

Happy days driving around on a golden Summer afternoon, or touring quaint villages, maybe driving town to town on a meandering route.  School’s out and it’s vacation time! Chances are pretty good you’ll be using your car, or a rental car to enjoy your holidays. 

You’ll want to bring an extra degree of caution to your Summer vacation driving experience.  First, you’ll be in a holiday mood.  It’s natural that your usual driving vigilance might be relaxed.  So your first challenge when you’re driving on vacation is to keep your driving mindset sharp and focused.

Your extra focus is going to come in handy with the other vacation drivers on the road too.  Many of those drivers may be as fuzzy in their holiday driving modes as you…before you sharpened your focus.  

Other drivers are looking at the sights, distracted by backseat or front seat passengers, or maybe just trying to figure out how to turn left into that parking lot for the Gift Shop.  Your extra care and attention is going to come in handy to avoid mishaps that could be caused by other distracted vacation drivers.   And, be especially careful while driving through parking lots.  The distractions are probably at their highest point when a driver is quickly backing a car out of a parking spot and another driver is zipping through the parking lot.  Bang.

You’ll want to sharpen your vacation mind for the protection of your valuables in the car too.  How often do you pull your car into a beachside parking lot or a scenic overlook highway stop off, then jump out of your car and forget to lock it behind you?  Probably quite often.  After all, you’re on vacation.  

Your cares and worries were left at home.  But your valuables are still sitting on the front seat or in the trunk of your car.  And a thief only needs a quick moment or two to open an unlocked door, rummage around and grab and run away with your valuables.

Last but not least, be extra careful with your rental car while away on vacation.  When you pick up the car, temper your eagerness to zip away to enjoy the kick off of your holiday. While the Rental Car Attendant is inspecting the condition of the car before transferring possession, grab your smartphone and snap photos of the exterior of the car.

Make a note of your mileage to be sure it matches the rental paperwork, and check the gas gauge too.  Double check that doors and trunks lock properly and that any remote locking or alarm systems actually work.

This may sound like a lot of work to do while you’re on a vacation.  But a few minutes of careful attention and a sense of normal driving focus will actually help you to have an even better vacation experience. 

When was the last time you reviewed your auto insurance? Don’t wait until it’s too late. Call now at 617-298-0655 or text us at 617-409-0329 for a free, no-obligation annual review. Click here to Visit our Contact Us page.

Monday Morning Motivation

As you know, I LOVE to start my week with positive words of wisdom. This week’s are:

“With hard work and effort, you can achieve anything.”
~ Antoine Griezmann

Last week I finished with creating a NUMBER ONE for you! To do this, you’ll want to clearly list your goal and your approach.

The approach is where we’ll find the ONE NUMBER.

If your goal is $120,000 a year in revenue, then your average monthly goal is $10,000 a month.

The number 10,000 the goal broken down to a more achievable number. 10,000 is not your ONE NUMBER.

Let’s break it down further.

If you sell houses or mortgages and on average, your commission is $2,500 per sale. That’s 4 houses or mortgages a month to hit your goal.

Note, 4 is not your ONE NUMBER either because this is a goal, not the approach.

  • How much effort does it take to get to the closing table?
  • What effort are you applying now to get to the closing table?

The answer to these questions is your ONE NUMBER.

If you know that face-to-face meetings will help to get to 4 sales per month, then the number of face-to-face meetings could be your ONE NUMBER.

Your Turn!

* What’s your goal?
* What’s your approach?
* What kind of effort will it take you to get there?

Write it down.

● Goal

● Approach ← this is where you derive your ONE NUMBER

● Effort Troubleshooting Your ONE NUMBER

There’s a huge likelihood that you won’t pick your ONE NUMBER correctly the first time.

Often times, we accidentally pick the goal number and mistake it for the approach number.

The Goal is the finish line. The approach is how we get there.

Goals include:

  1. Revenue is a goal
  2. The number of homes sold in a set period of time
  3. Making 150 calls to get referral partners is the goal.
  4. Getting face to face with houses or mortgages buyers is the goal.
  5. Getting to the top of the mountain
  6. Learning the best path to the top of the mountain

The ONE NUMBER is how you get there.

This may take a little work, but this is important as you set out to achieve your goal.

The secret of priority management is working on the tasks that move the goal forward.

It’s not about getting stuff done. It’s about getting the RIGHT stuff done.

Pick your ONE NUMBER, even if you change it in a week or two later. It’s important.

One Job

Let’s apply this to marketing. Next week!