Why God Invented Realtors

Realtors have different roles in different states.  In New York State they are not allowed to write contracts – that is for the lawyers.  In other states, like California, Florida, Realtors do write contracts and money goes into escrow.  Regardless of which state you are in Realtors help people buy and sell real estate but they do so much more.  They help in a crisis, make people happy and sad, and they protect a home like its their own.

On the right path

On the right path

Realtors help people choose a home that maybe just a season, such as a summer rental but they can hold fond memories for a lifetime.  They hold peoples hands and allay their fears of choosing wrong.  They listen to sad financial or family tales that have affected the buyer, renter, seller in setting their choices.  Realtors become friends.

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Their dream home can be small, large or some where in between.  Everyone has a different dream home.  Sometimes it’s a first home, sometimes it’s a second home.  Sometimes it’s a retirement home.  Some people choose quickly, Realtors like those people best.  Some people take years to decide on a particular home, Realtors like those people least.

Confidante, business person, friend, one who helps fulfills the dream of buying a home -All these terms apply to Realtors.  Some clients are repeaters and others you never see again.  They all have meaning, not just financial, because each deal is a learning experience.

Dream Home

Dream Home

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Teaching an Old Dog New Tweets

Twitter logo twitterpic

Social media has been a craze now for several years.  I first opened my Twitter account in 2009 against my will.  I thought “Oh No, here’s another tech trend that may or may not last.” When I saw journalists using it for story ideas and reaching out to contacts that’s when I thought it was legit.  Then I liked it. I realized I could follow all the news outlets, entertainment, corporate entities, C level execs and friends and get the overall news of the morning in five minutes. For a news junkie like myself this was great!  I used to read the front page of the Wall Street Journal to get an overview of the news but now, I can online.  Two years ago I felt compelled to write an article on Twitter for Newsday’s Part 2 section which is published on Saturday’s and was geared toward seniors.  So I wrote why it’s a good idea to use Twitter – To #Twitter or Not to Twitter that was the question.  I got some positive responses from seniors in my own town about how they now understood it a bit better. So, why not present to a room of seniors and others on the merits of using Twitter for communication, information sharing and helping you in a crisis?

Having been a substitute teacher for elementary kids, I know I like teaching. Having an M.A. in Marketing Communication and over twenty years of practice I know I create strategies and have ideas for messaging that have helped companies, C level executives and the entrepreneur move their businesses forward and get them publicity.  So why not teach adults and seniors?

I created a program via the old Powerpoint and have presented at half a dozen libraries thus far.  I have more scheduled. Having had close to 100 audience members I’ve gotten a thrill of helping mostly seniors who attend understand the tech social media phenomenon and why it’s good for them to use.  It is another form of communication.  140 characters make it SMS text or Short Message Service. This is important to know as the old Beeper’s used 160 characters or less and allowed mostly doctors, executives get messages when other forms of communication were not possible.  In fact, texting, or tweeting can get your message out even when you don’t have a signal – it will hold the message and send when you do have a signal.  I teach them to keep important numbers, emails, people’s addresses on a piece of paper too.  Paper doesn’t lose internet connections.  Paper doesn’t lose electricity.  Technology has greatly advanced our way of communicating but only when the wireless or electric is working.

In 140 characters you can share information, connect with like minded people, companies, around the world.  Every minute brings new tweets, information and connections with family and friends. And, if you are without electricity and limited signal on your cell or tablet, you can actually tweet out to targeted people add a  # to make sure your words or emphasized and trend to get attention.  Who said old dogs can’t learn new tricks? I’ve learned that I can take my marketing and communications skills and teach what I know to willing and interested adults who in turn have learned more about communicating.  I’ve discovered I can create new avenues for my career and in turn help others.

Taking Care of YOUR Expectations

ImageEveryone wants to get paid what they are worth. The problem is, many people don’t know what their work is valued at. They may have ideas and surveys and studies may help shape those ideas.  But, when it comes down to it, working for someone else or yourself, fees are accessed and expectations are created.  Here’s a timely look at managing your client’s expectations.  I wrote this a couple of years back.

Managing a client’s expectations upfront has always been key in the public relations and marketing service field (I will now add any service industry, Real estate, healthcare, automotive, etc.). Having worked on the client side, the agency side and consulting side I’ve seen the 360 degree view from all sides. When you clash with a client, or agency, over goals and expectations within the first two weeks  of working with them somebody missed the boat.  When writing proposals most goals are clearly written and agreed to before any work takes place.  This is necessary before any contract is even written.  But, when clients blatantly can’t see the value in your work (they hired you because you know more than they do) what do you do?  Sometimes the best thing is to walk away.

Goal Setting is Key for any Proposal.  Almost every client I’ve worked with or talked to initially wants to be on the Today Show and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.  Some clients have shied away from that saying “they only want trades.”  I have had clients who in the past would want me to seek out media opportunities, as many as I could, just to approve or disapprove the opportunity – and nine times out of ten they turned them down. You know the scary ones where you get millions of media impressions in one minute like CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg radio or TV.  You know the really easy placements to get that take no time at all securing. The funny thing is that it is within their target audience and on message. What do they know that you don’t know?  I had one client say after turning down a media placement on a national broadcast television news show that they didn’t want the world to see their soft underbelly.  What?  Having worked with them for three months I didn’t realize they had a soft underbelly – and no amount of Pilates and or, yoga would help firm that up.  In retrospect the client wasn’t allowing us – the agency – full disclosure.  About a year after that media opp the company filed for bankruptcy protection and was later bought out. Goal setting needs to be objective, attainable and on message, but if the client isn’t disclosing to you their real self at the beginning, you may achieve the initial goals only to have them deflate before seeing them executed.