Sunday, February 24, 2013

6 gems you need to sell your home

We have recently sold our house in St Ives after having lived in the area for 20 years.... here are some gems that were given to us when we decided to sell....

1. Price Your Home Right.

Understand the market before you speak to agents. ( get info from RP data from your financial planner or mortgage broker). You get details of every sale in your area over the past 3 years, together with an assessment of the value of your house. Feel free to all or email me, and we will get you that data with pleasure (cal 02 92623333, email

Remember price is everything. Match your price with similar house price sales in area. A quick sale is a good sale.

2.Find the right agent

The right agent can make a massive difference. Selecting
the wrong agent can be very expensive. Do your homework, get referrals, and get them to pitch on selling your home...what price they expect to get etc . Get someone who knows your area..

3. Use all channels For Marketing Your Home.
Internet, advertising, neighbourhood campaign, database plan, signage, best photography, editorial, video, floor plan, open houses, hot buyer preview and the absolute best agent working for you.

Hilary Lazarus was our agent.... She was awesome!

4. Feng Shwi your house

Buyers are looking for a home that they connect with and feel like they want to live there and this connection comes from style and creating a WOW. Do the feng shwi thing.

5. The 30 Day Rule.

Your best buyers will come along in the first 30 days. Our buyer was the first ones that saw our house!
They say "the first offer is usually the best one"

6. Just Relax.
Once you have Feng shwied, found the right agent and worked with her on a marketing campaign - chill! Relax and work closely with your agent and everything will work out just fine.

You only need one buyer to buy your home!

Ps. buy 101 ways you can improve the value of your house by Dolf deroos. Email me on and I will send you a copy for $6.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Notes inspired by "Lessons from Toby" by Ari Gelper

Ari has a Down Syndrome child, Toby. and has written a book on the 52 Lessons he has learned from this amazing child.

Toby is physically healthy, except for low muscle tone, and he learns and does things more slowly than others.

1. Live in the present moment – when you are with Toby, be present. Don’t think of anything besides what you are doing at that time. Focus on Toby and on the task at hand… if you don’t you will lose that connection. When you are in the present moment, you can share in the moment, the delights, the opportunities, the excitement, that feeling of connection. when communicating with someone – be present, stay connected… extract the value from that interaction. Be in the zone. Your goal should be to live in the moment for as much as possible. Living in the moment – only good things can happen… In the moment is the only reality.

2. Treat others the way you and yours would like to be treated. If one can do this, the world would be a better place! Treat everyone like family – show your whole self to people you interact with on a daily basis.

3. Slow Down and Focus - Listen and pay close attention to what Toby says. Don’t speed ahead or you will lose that connection. Don’t multitask when dealing with Toby… Stay focused on the task at hand.

4. Don’t let things get you down – be happy – Toby rarely gets upset and laughs at everything. He takes people at face value.. if they are nice to him, they are rewarded with unconditional love and affection.

5. Don’t Judge – no-one is perfect, everyone has issues. Make the best of what you have got. Be the best you can be. Don’t have preconceived ideas.

6. Look for best Qualities in others and yourself - Everyone is unique with special qualities. Find that uniqueness in each person you meet – let that person know that you are in awe of that special quality. People love to be appreciated and acknowledged. Great inspiration comes from your ability to find the best in others. Everyone views the world in a different way. Listen carefully to their views on how they see the world – listen to understand – don’t listen to respond. When the person you are really listening to feels understood by you, they become open to understanding your perspective.

7. Say only good things about others. People who focus on the good things in people are usually nmore successful in life. If you talk badly of someone , the other person will think “ what will he say about me to others?” Talk nicely of people and rise to another level./

8. Relax your mind – be present – focus on task at hand and people around you. Stop listening to your “self talk” . When feeling out of control, stressed, overwhelmed – take a deep breath, stay present at the task at hand – remember your uniqueness and strengths, and start fixing the problem, one step at a time! Shit happens, its how you deal with it that makes you successful or a better person

9. Listen to yourself – trust your gut – read “Blink” by Mlcolm Gladwell. Your first impressions are invariably right

10. Acknowledge and take care of your “Inner Circle” – Make a list of these people. This is the people who care most about you – and want to see you succeed. Make sure they know that you care and know that they are around and that you appreciate them. Do this regularly! Say hello to your fellow work mates, take your receptionist out to lunch , write a letter congratulating them on a job well done.

11. Out of every negative a positive comes. Toby has brought so much joy to us and to so many other people. Businesses that have failed – they failed because of a factor or a number of factors… people learned from these failures and built better businesses with more solid foundations. For every ying there is a yang! When you come across a problem, accept it, focus on it and solve it. keep a positive attitude and outlook.

12. Be thankful – don’t take life or other people for granted. Acknowledge the things that you should be thankful for on a daily basis.

13. Be a role model for those you care about – “the law of the picture.” People will follow what you do.

14. Keep a diary of all the appreciation/ acknowledgements good things that people have had to say about you… this will give you inspiration from how others appreciate you. Be able to tap into that good feeling

15. Make your world a better place to live in – stand by what you think is right

16. Be empathetic, truthful and authentic – be your true self. Be genuine to others – this will draw good people around you. Lower your mask…. Your true self will always be revealed anyway! The key to any relationship is trust.

17. Find meaning in your work – your work is an extension to yourself. If you can’t connect with it, or find meaning in it , change it

18. Find role models and mentors who exemplify your values

19. Focus on what means most to you… you will probably find that this is not what you are spending most of your time on.

20. Let go of the past – don’t hold grudges .. they are like a cancer. Focus on the future and how you can build from your lessons. Learn to forgive, it will free your mind to be positive.

21. Choose the people you want to work with – get rid of negative energy. Create a positive and productive life from people around you

22. Know that there will always be someone worse off than you and better off than you…. He who is wealthy is “happy with his lot”

23. Always keep an open mind and be willing to learn, At any moment wo only know what we know: there is also much more to know

24. Embrace your uniqueness – don’t be afraid to be different . Most f us want to be accepted – that is how one connects. Don’t give up our uniqueness to fit in. Stay true to yourself. Be proud of what makes you different, because that makes you unique

25. Things take care of themselves. Don’t worry about things that haven’t happened that you have no control over. Focussing on the present will prevent us from anxious thoughts.;

26. Measure success by how you have impacted others not necessarily by the money you make.

27. Have quiet time -Balance your life

28. Have time to unwind

29. Reward yourself on a job well done.

30. Business deals may fail but relationships last forever!


Acknowledge, appreciation, balance, choose, focus, focus, focus, good, grudges, happy, happy, judge, meaning, measure, open, present, positive, qualities, rolemodel, reward, relationships, treat, thankful, things trust,unique, unwind, world, ying

Why are you an entrepreneur? My 8 whys of being an entrepreneur

What makes an entrepreneur tick... Some say money, but that is usually pretty well low on the list.
Being a successful entrepreneur should create significant wealth, but I have found that is usually a by product...

So what drives us entrepreneurs? As my friend Mark Falzon says.... What is the why? Why are you doing what you are doing?

These are some of my why's .... Would be great to hear what yours are....

1. Sense of autonomy,control and freedom. It's a great feeling to be able to do what I do, in my time, call my own shots, be in control of my own destiny. ( the reality of this is its bullshit, as you probably have less freedom and time, autonomy, control and freedom as your venture grows.
2. Maybe no-one wanted to employ me , as I am different and a bit quirky. I don't fit well in a corporate culture.... However have developed our own, as the business has grown
3. Maybe being an entrepreneur and mercurial is in my DNA.... Is being an entrepreneur nurture or nature?
4. The adrenalin of taking a risk.... That fear of failure! Overcoming the odds... Are you an entrepreneur.... If so, welcome to the exclusive club..."club fear!" Will the innovation work? Will you get support? How are you going to meet the wage bill? Will the customer buy? How are you king to replace that key person who has just resigned? Etc etc
5. Having a sense of purpose...making a difference .. Where the thing that ignites you and inspires you - the thing that you do intersects with improving " your world" - by doing what you are doing , you are doing for something bigger than yourself. Improving society.
6. Leaving a legacy . Knowing you have left this earth, or the people around you, a better place
7. Family , sport and social - having the ability ( perceived!) to spend with your family , friends and play more sport
8. Sense of accomplishment and being acknowledged .... There is nothing better than achieving and being acknowledged for is also a great feeling acknowledging others.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

10X Leadership Insights - 13 February 2013

An awesome Insight from the founder of 10X Leadership on his way to the "John Maxwell Live Training"

Best of luck Ivan Ang (interesection between preparation and opportunity) ....
Looking forward to a major debrief!!
You are amazing!!

Ivan Ang - Wednesday, 13 February 2013, 02:16 PM
I'm writing this in the lounge inside Sydney International airport, awaiting my flight to the USA to attend the John Maxwell Team Live Training. I am so excited about this trip and have no doubt that I will once again learn lots from the highly experienced faculty members, not to mention from John Maxwell himself.

He mentioned that he will be speaking on Transformational Leadership. I haven't done much research into this topic so can't wait to hear what he has to say.

This trip certainly has been a stretch financially for me at a time when 10X Leadership is still relatively young. Some have questioned why I would spend money at a time like now on going to the US to attend another training workshop when I could be more focused on building my business. Those people do not understand that if I am not prepared to invest in myself, in my own personal and professional growth, how can I expect to ask my clients to do likewise?

I had a coaching client that told me this week that she has a new job interview and in her email, she asked me to wish her luck. I told her, "Luck is the intersection of Preparation and Opportunity". I really believe that.

What are you doing today that is going to prepare you for when that next big opportunity comes around? What are you doing about your personal and professional growth? When was the last time you attended a seminar that really challenged you? Do you have a coach that will push you and encourage you to climb the next mountain and reach even greater heights?

The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people, I believe, is that successful people are already prepared when presented with an opportunity. However, for unsuccessful people, when opportunity comes, it's too late and they find themselves complaining that others seem to be more "lucky". Don't let that be you.

If you are not sure what you can do to develop yourself and those around you, please email me at It would be my pleasure to point you in the right direction.

Have an awesome week. I will see if I can write my next insights from the JMT Live Training and share some highlights.

Yours in Success,

Ivan Ang

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

10 Things you need to know about sales

I read an article in Smart Company by Yolanda Redrup - which spurred me to write this :-

 1.  Know your customer - Experts agree it’s fundamentally important in sales for the salesperson to know their customer. DO your research . Do a DISC profile, based on personality, work out your game planto close the sale! You need to be able to read people 

2.   Don’t sell a Product – sell a solution or a dream. Identify the persons pain and provide a pain killer – not a vitamin! People don’t buy products they buy you, or your company or the Brand which they trust!
3.   Connect with your customer  – show them value, show them that you care. Identify ways that you can connect with them.  Relate to them. Create a relationship. What do you have in common with them
4.   Build trust – lower resistance to increase acceptance – relate to the customer.  Liz Atkinson, founder of marketing company Zest Possibilities, told SmartCompany building trust is important not only between a customer and the salesperson, but trust in the brand. This, she believes, can be achieved through creating a consistent company image.
5.  Look like a winner  “The person I look for is fun, confident and driven with a goal to succeed. I understand this, so we project this type of image across the company in every way possible to sell it! From the music we play, the magazines we have sat in reception to how our administrators meet and greet people, we keep the message consistent. “This allows the company to build a relationship immediately with anyone that comes into contact with us, and this message never changes which keeps trust and builds loyalty,” she says.
6.   Have a plan,  a process and a System – A Roadmap/ A sytems Kit  its“all about systems and strategies”. The process needs to be able to be replicated. Hire for attitude and personality – skill can be trained if you have a great system. “ A good person in a great system makes a person great!” An average person in a great system makes a person good!” Sales processes should be simple and they need the right development and training. The strategy also needs to be measurable… what can be measured can be managed!
7.   Preparation – sharpen the saw!! Know your customer – have a plan of attack, go through scenarios – know your outcome. Do a rifle shot not a machine gun – be targeted not scattered. 
8.   Get your customer to say Yes
9.    Be online – be all over social media – this is where your customers are or will be!
10.   “Leads proposals and sales” If you want to have $1m in sales , have $4m in proposals and $20m in Leads!

Monday, February 11, 2013

8 Steps to FInancial Freedom

Financial freedom may mean different things to different people, but we all agree that to be truly financially free is to know that should your world crumble around you, that the last of your worries would involve money. 
Very simply, is more money coming in than going out - are you living within your means?

Step 1: Set financial goals
Any trip requires a map with directions – a start and an end point. The road to financial freedom starts with a map and it’s important to understand the journey you are undertaking and why you are doing it. 

Step 2: Get out of debt
Shit happens - if you fall off the rails one month, it doesn’t mean that you should give up. But, the best way to pre-empt such problems is by having a plan in place. Speaking to a financial adviser will also assist you if you are unsure of where to start.

This has to be a conscious decision and one made in the planning phase. Your plan should outline the ‘bad’ debt you plan on paying off first i.e. clothing accounts, credit cards, overdrafts, etc.

Your plan should also include the order in which debt will take longer than other debt to settle, and when you will start and complete paying off each sum.

Start paying smaller amounts off first as those can be allocated at a later stage to pay off bigger debts. Pay the debts which have a higher interest rate first and whatever extra money you have left over after paying off these amounts, use towards decreasing the longer term debts you may have e.g. car or home mortgages.

Step 3: Start saving

Doing this will benefit you in the long run.  (In fact you should look at consolidating your debts with lower interest rates. see

If you are tired of having more month than money, it’s time to re-evaluate your spending habits. Yes, we all know how easy it is to overspend one month, stop living beyond your means with the inability to pay back what was spent.

Therefore, if you have paid up all your ‘bad’ debt, then work towards paying extra on your longer term debts which have investment assets against them (Investment Properties or Portfolios).

No matter what your debt is standing at, start paying yourself first. An easy way to ensure that you keep to this self-promise is by opening a savings account that you don’t have immediate access to and save monthly – even if it is $100 for now. 

Step 4: Track every cent you are spending
Place a stop order on the account into which your salary gets paid. This means that the savings amount that you have allocated will go straight into your savings account without you having access to that money. This way, while you are paying off your debt, you are saving and as the debt becomes less, you are able to save more.  

Keep track of every cent that comes and goes. Tracking your spending habits helps you understand exactly how much money comes and goes, as opposed to what you think comes and goes. There are various tools available on the web that can help you do this.

You could also keep a cash log book. This would require you to keep every slip that you get and track it against what you have budgeted. Make this a habit.

Step 5: Draw up a budget
Tracking every cent you spend works hand-in-hand with your budget. Draw up a monthly budget of your income versus your expenditure to track your budget. What you want to accomplish in the long run is to spend less than what you earn especially when debt is involved.

Once your debt is paid up, continue tracking your spending habits and budgeting as they will remain fundamental tools to manage your money.

Step 6: Before investing – do your homework

Before you invest your money in any investment that promises you an unrealistic and quick return – be wary. Good things come to those who wait. There are convincing sales people and con-artists out there. Instead, speak to a registered and accredited financial adviser regarding possible investment options and portfolios available on the market. 
Step 7: Protect your wealth
It’s vitally important to protect the wealth you create from events that might destroy it, for example, premature death, illness, relationship breakdowns and taxes. Good estate and tax planning will help preserve your wealth and speaking to your financial adviser is key in getting insurance that protects your wealth. 
Step 8: Set aside for retirement - Build up your Superannuation
If you are young, the last thing on your mind is retirement. However the power of compound interest lies in the secret of your youth – the younger you are the more compound interest favours you. This as opposed to an older person starting to save for retirement at an older stage in their life.

Retirement is an important aspect as you would like to be self-dependent when you retire. A realistic figure that you should be saving is 15% of your salary.

Achieving financial freedom is not rocket science; it just requires determination, focus and a little commitment.

Friday, February 08, 2013

7 Steps for SEO Success

By Norann Oleson   •  02/07/2013

It might be true that some sites are “winning” the search engines simply by existing and being well-known reputable sources, like the New York Times or Wall Street Journal.
But it’s even more true that most of us have to work at it.
Don calls SEO “the new direct mail.” Keyword research and implementation are perhaps the most complex, yet effective ways to drive  more search traffic to your website.

The basic strategy of good SEO is that you can research your keywords, optimize your content, track your progress, and then repeat the whole process.

SEO success isn’t entirely dependent on keyword research though. It also involves good content (the stuff people want to read), and link-building through social media and reputable sites. The days of blog comment link-building have gotten tough, but thankfully we have social media on our side!

To fully illustrate the whole SEO process, we came up with the above diagram, but here’s the breakdown:

for full article click here

Laundry List For Small Business

Dear Julia/Tony/Father Christmas

Here is a list of some of the things that would assist the SME's (small business)  that is driving your economy. It would be great if you could take note!!

By the way, we know that you are trying, and have done awesome things for us in the past, and for this may I say on behalf of the SME's thank you!!!

(It would  be great if other small businesses could also add to the list!!)

SME's (business that emply less than 200 people represent (source:- Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS))

  • 99% of business
  • 65% of workforce
  • employs 2.8m people
Here it goes
  1. cut red tape - compliance, BAS's etc
  2. reduce company tax from 30% to 25%
  3. get rid of payroll tax - why punish us for employing more people (rather reward us!)
  4. stop stuffing around with superannuation changes - we need certainty so we can plan for our retirement
  5. stop cutting support of great programmes like EMDG - export incentives bring $12 for every $ spent. Support unconditionally SME's looking to export their products and services
  6. continue with support of innovation through R&D tax rebates and Commercialisation Australia
  7. take note of Victoria's Innovation Voucher Programme - supporting Innovation, Productivity and collaboration with Universities and Research Institutions with grants of up to $35k
  8. support continual training and upskilling - (check out 10X Growthpac ( ) for example
  9. encourage and support collaboration and connection
  10. no need to support industries that are not internationally competitive - we (the SME) needs to focus on how we can compete and thrive in international markets.... if we can compete here, we can compete anywhere!! Allocate those incentives to supporting exporters!
  11. be a facilitator of business
  12. Continue with training initiatives, but enable this to flow through to SME owners, not only their staff
I encourage others to continue.....

Support again for Australian Innovation?

I love elections!!

A time when Government focuses on the important stuff - like supporting innovation!!

Looking forward to the Industry and Innovation Statement aimed at manufacturing, likely to provide more support for the sector, perhaps disguised as “innovation” incentives, or more government procurement, or marketing programs (inevitably led by “ambassadors”).

Need to be addresssed

  • ongoing flatness of residential construction - lack of housing spply
  • support of manufacturing - (hurt by high A$)
  • reduction of support for exporters - EMDG should be increased 

Things going well!

  • R&D and Commercialisation Australia - seems to be working
  • Training Incentives - seem to be working 
  • The Vic Government have launched a brilliant programme called the "Innovation Vouchers Programme" Supporting Innovative Companies to help their business grow through initiatives being supported by $10k vouchers, and $25k support to collaborate with universities. (Other states - take note (NSW!!!))
Being addressed - but why?

Support for specific industries that are not competitive with global markets - such as clothing industry and motor vehicle industry

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Purchasing Property in your Super Seminar

Ark is hosting its first educational seminar for 2013.
To kickstart the year, we have decided to re-visit one of the most popular strategies from last year - Purchasing Property in your Super.
If implemented correctly for the right people, this strategy has the ability to transform your super and wealth creation. If used incorrectly, it has the ability to cripple your super balance and retirement funds.
In this seminar, we will cover off the following;
- The benefits and risks of the strategy
- The correct structure and common mistakes
- The different ways in which you can structure the loan
- How it can fit into your overall strategy
- The costs of the strategy - Upfront and Ongoing
We will allow plenty of time at the end for questions and to chat with our qualified Financial Advisors. This is one area you need to understand before you make a commitment.

Click here to register for Wed 20th Feb @ 6pm
Click here to register for Thurs 21st Feb @12:30pm

Level 7 , 14 Martin Place, Sydney 2000 

If you are unable to  make the seminar, just 'Click here and order your complimentary ebook on 'SMSF Essentials' and 'The Process of Purchasing Property in Super' , and we will send it to you after the seminar.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Westpac cuts two year fixed rate home loan to 4.99%

 If you want to review your loan call Danny on 02 9290 2777, or email him on

Westpac announced it will reduce its two year fixed rate mortgage to 4.99% (with Premier Advantage Package).  The new offer represents a cut of 0.4% on the current two year fixed interest rate.  The new rate takes effect from Thursday 7 February 2013 and will be available for both new and existing customers.

This places Westpac as a market leader among the major banks and is Westpac's lowest offer on two year fixed rates since April 2009.
Effective Thursday 7 February 2013, the fixed rates will be as follows:
Current Rate (Stand Alone) 
% p.a.
New Rate 
(Stand Alone)
% p.a.
New Rate 
(Premier Advantage Package) 
% p.a.
Change %
1 year
2 year
- 0.40%
3 year
4 year
5 year
6 year (IPL only)
7 year
9 year (IPL only)
10 year
12 year (IPL only)

Note:  Fixed Rate SMSF Investment Property Loans have changed by the same amount, and remain at
a premium of 0.35% above the standard carded fixed rates.

The comparison table below shows Westpac as the market leader with the lowest fixed rates amongst the majors for 2 and 5 year fixed loan terms:
1 year fixed rate (packaged)
2 year fixed rate (packaged)
3 year fixed rate (packaged)
4 year fixed rate (packaged)
5 year fixed rate (packaged)

Property vs Shares over 10 Years

Summarised from SMH

Bricks and mortar might be the popular choice for investors, but how does it stack up in the long term? John Collett discovers which asset classes gave more bang for your buck in the past 10 years.
  •          Residential real estate is a much-loved investment and everyone seems to know someone who has doubled their money playing property.
  •         Shares have their legions of fans,
  •          while others prefer the security of cash.

But to settle the question of where has been best to invest over the long term, Money asked AMP Capital Investors and SuperRatings to supply the 10-year returns for six asset classes, plus superannuation.
The results will disappoint the bricks-and-mortar brigade, because they show Australian shares win hands down. Not only have domestic shares outpaced overseas shares, they have done much better than residential real estate.

1.             Australian shares produced an average annual return of 9.1 per cent over the past 10 years to Dec 31, 2012.

2.            Superannuation and Australian bonds were the next best performers, returning 6.4 per cent.

3.             Bricks and mortar even struggled to keep up with the 5.4 per cent return on cash. Australian residential property produced a return of only 5.3 per cent.

4.             Property price performance is even worse than it seems, because all returns given in the accompanying table (above, right) are ''total'' returns. Estimates of the gross rental yield coming from rents have been added to the growth in house and unit prices. With shares, the dividends are included in the returns so the asset classes are compared like-for-like.

On a growth rate of 5.3% on property, (assume a  marginal tax rate of 39% and a 5% gross rental yield) your post tax IRR is 19.03%
(if you want my detailed workings , please contact me and I will gladly send this to you!

Timing is a factor
But the start and end points used to measure performance are crucial to the outcome. The chief economist at AMP Capital Investors, Shane Oliver, points out that 10 years ago was a low point for shares with the end of the ''tech wreck'', and the start of the strong period of returns that ran until late 2007 with the onset of the global financial crisis (GFC),  and the 9.1 per cent 10-year return on Australian shares has been lifted by shares returning more than 20 per cent in 2012.

Just as the 10-year return on shares starts from a low point, a decade ago growth in property prices was peaking. Oliver says the poor 10-year return on houses and units is influenced by the price boom between the mid-1990s and 2003. But since then, particularly in the key market of Sydney, prices have been treading water, he says.

Advantage of Real Estate -
it is tangible and investors can touch  and feel it, Harder to sell than other assets… which is why it is safer to leverage agaijnst!
 You can buy a $500k investment with $100k deposit and borrow the rest. Just make sure you can afford the possible “negative gearing” – would not do this with shares because of margin calls etc. 

It would be interesting to do a comparison of $100k invested in shares with Divs reinvested and $100k invested in a $500k property with rents offsetting mortgages and taking into account negative gearing tax benefits!!

I will ask my gurus to prepare...
Let me know if you are interested in the comparison!!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Liquidity Finance - Mortgage brokers that deliver

Liquidity Finance - Mortgage brokers that deliver

Interesting article on mortgages and investing... keep loans variable or fix? Competition has heated up and banks are trying to grow their market share from a relatively small pool of business.
As a result, they’re prepared to ‘sharpen their pencil’ and offer an extremely competitive rate to secure a new customer.
If you want a better home loan deal, it might be time to consider becoming a new bank customer with another lender, or asking your existing lender for the type of deal they’re offering new customers. Call Danny or Sandra on 02 92902777 for an obligation free consult!!  Interesting times!!