Archives for 2011

To-Do Reminder, Email History Tracker, Eliminate Duplicate Records

3 Amazing New Tools for your Work Smart Be Smart System:

Always know your to-do’s for the day with the Agenda Assistant

Email History Tracker

Eliminate Duplicates with the Duplicate Finder

Over 100 Ideas For Realtor Blog Posts

Ideas for Your Real Estate Blog

  1. Metro Area Quarterly Market reports
  2. Neighborhood Market Reports / Sales Data
  3. How’s the Market in XYZ Neighborhood?
  4. Local Adsorption Rates
  5. Most expensive recent sales in XYZ neighborhood or town
  6. “Dream” homes for sale in XYZ neighborhood or city
  7. Celebrity home sales
  8. Home buyer incentives
  9. Interest rate changes (or forecasted changes)
  10. Changes in current legislation (that would be important to home buyers or home owners)
  11. Case Schiller monthly affordability index (i.e. “Is it a good time to buy or invest?”)
  12. Why Buyers and Sellers need a real estate professional
  13. Just Listed home
  14. Just Sold home
  15. Under Contract home
  16. Success Stories (i.e. Toot your own horn!)
  17. Marketing Tips – Promoting your business and listings on Facebook
  18. Marketing Tips – Using new technology to promote your listing… or your business
  19. Deal of the Week (highlight best buys in your area)
  20. Subdivision of the Week (use lots of photos and/or video!)
  21. Neighborhood of the Week
  22. Condominium Complex of the Week
  23. Townhome Community of the Week
  24. Loft of the Week
  25. Thursday (or Tuesday) Townhome Tours
  26. Freebie Friday
  27. Weekend Festivals and Events
  28. Weekend FREE Events & Things to Do
  29. 10 Things to Consider When Buying a Condo
  30. 10 Things to Consider When Buying Your First Home
  31. 10 Things to Consider When Buying a Short Sale
  32. 10 Things to Consider When Buying a Foreclosure Home
  33. For Buyers – 10 Reasons Why to Buy a Home this Year
  34. For Buyers – 5 Mistakes that First-Time Home Buyers Make
  35. For Buyers – What Expenses to Expect When Purchasing your Home or Condo
  36. For Buyers – Tips for Interviewing a REALTOR
  37. For Buyers – The importance of hiring a home inspector
  38. For Buyers – Improving your credit score / preparing for homeownership
  39. For Buyers – Checklist for home ownership
  40. For Buyers – Find the best deal on a home (not just the foreclosed home)
  41. For Buyers – Financing options (Conventional Loans, FHA, 403b Streamline, HomePath, etc)
  42. For Buyers – Minimum credit score requirements for Conventional and FHA Loans
  43. For Buyers – Investing in your first property
  44. For Sellers – Tips for Interviewing a REALTOR
  45. For Sellers – Avoiding foreclosure
  46. For Sellers – Staging your home to sell
  47. For Sellers – Pricing your home to sell
  48. For Sellers – What NOT to do when selling your home
  49. For Sellers – Removing pets and pet supplies when showing your home
  50. For Sellers – Preparing the FRONT of your home for sale (clean windows, doors, lights, etc)
  51. For Sellers – 10 Most important marketing tools when selling your home
  52. For Sellers – De-personalize your home before putting it on the market
  53. For Sellers – Home improvements that will increase the value of your property
  54. For Sellers – The benefit of a pre-inspection
  55. For Sellers – Is this the right time to sell your home?
  56. For Sellers – Why isn’t my home selling?
  57. For Sellers – Before and After Staging Photos
  58. For Sellers / Listing Agents – The importance of using a professional photographer
  59. For Homeowners – Reminders to apply for Homestead Exemption (in Georgia)
  60. For Homeowners – Updates on County or City Property Taxes and Milage Rates
  61. For Homeowners – Going Green
  62. For Homeowners – Rebates on energy-efficient items for the home
  63. For Homeowners – Landscaping tips and tricks
  64. For Homeowners – Household repair tips, tricks and reminders
  65. For Homeowners – Resources for home owners in distress (i.e. short sales, foreclosure, deed in lieu of foreclosure, etc)
  66. Popular Atlanta Real Estate BlogGoing Green – 10 Ways to green your home interior
  67. Going Green – 10 Ways to be green at the office
  68. Going Green – 10 ways to green your home’s exteriors
  69. Going Green – 10 ways to save energy
  70. Going Green – Local green companies
  71. Going Green – Area green events (i.e. document shredding, fundrasing)
  72. Going Green – Places you can recycle electronics, computers, light bulbs in your community
  73. Going Green – Where to get the best green stuff for your home
  74. Personal Finance – New credit card rules
  75. Personal Finance – Check your credit score for free!
  76. Personal Finance – 529 College Plans
  77. Personal Finance – Tips to Improve your credit score
  78. Hyper-Local – 101 Reasons Why I Love My Town or Neighborhood
  79. Hyper-Local – Neighborhood of the Week
  80. Hyper-Local – Suburb of the Week
  81. Hyper-Local – Things to do in your neighborhood (parks, playgrounds, etc)\
  82. Hyper-Local -Highlight a local business in your neighborhood
  83. Hyper-Local -Promote a special event in your neighborhood
  84. Hyper-Local -Promote a special person in your neighborhood who is committed to helping others
  85. Hyper-Local – A tour of your neighborhood (using photos or video)
  86. Hyper-Local – Restaurant Reviews (with food photos)
  87. Hyper-Local – New locally-owned restaurants or shops
  88. Hyper-Local – Local farmer’s markets
  89. Hyper-Local – New companies moving to your town / employment opportunities
  90. Hyper-Local – Animal Shelters & Rescues (highlight a special pup!)
  91. Hyper-Local – Heliports and small landing fields for jets (great for the luxury market!)
  92. Hyper-Local – Consignment / Yard Sales
  93. Hyper-Local – Get outside!  Hiking trails, bike paths, and parks
  94. Hyper-Local – Volunteer opportunities
  95. Hyper-Local – Offerings at the local library
  96. Hyper-Local – Best Happy Hour
  97. Hyper-Local – Best Golf Courses (and rates!)
  98. Hyper-Local – Best BBQ / Ice Cream / Steaks / Margaritas
  99. Hyper-Local – Local Businesses I Love – feature one a week (i.e. favorite parks, charities, city leaders, restaurants, etc)
  100. Schools – Sporting eventsAtlanta top schools
  101. Schools – Sports – Game Scores
  102. Schools – School supply lists
  103. Schools – Accolades (top schools, recent awards)
  104. Schools – Top Elementary Schools in XYZ
  105. Schools – Top Middle Schools in XYZ
  106. Schools – Top High Schools in XYZ County
  107. Schools – Top Private Schools in XYZ
  108. About Me – Interesting Real Estate Experiences (i.e. whining, complaining, ranting – LOL)
  109. About Me – Personal hobby updates
  110. About Me – 10 Things that set me apart from the competition
  111. About Me – 10 Things about me that most people don’t know
  112. About Me – Book recommendations
  113. About Me – Family updates (birth announcements, 50th Birthday, new puppy, etc)
  114. About Me / Personal — Tribute after loss of a co-worker, client or colleague
  115. Contests – Monthly photo contests
  116. Contests – Best garden or yard in XYZ neighborhood or subdivision
  117. Contests – Partner with a local restaurant and offer monthly coupons on your blog post
  118. Seniors – Things to do
  119. Seniors – Local Resources
  120. Seniors – Popular communities, condos, townhomes
  121. Coupons / Discounts – Offer a weekly or monthly coupon to a local business
  122. New in town?  10 things you MUST do in your first 30 days
  123. New in town?  Important phone numbers and service providers
  124. New in town?  Popular neighborhoods and/or schools
  125. New in town?  Hot spots for dining and night life

Getting More YouTube Video Views

Increase exposure with these 7 tips. 

The value of video in real estate marketing is well-established.  From introducing yourself to clients online to providing in-depth tours of your premium listings, video is one of the best ways to leverage your marketing efforts online.  They’re shareable, they’re engaging, and they’re also reported to help with your overall visibility in search engines.

Shooting a video isn’t enough to get it viewed, though.  There’s no “build it and they will come” magic at work here. In order to make sure the videos you post get the exposure you’re looking for, you need to place them in a way which gives you the best shot at earning additional traffic.

This article by SocialTimes, “7 Little Known Tricks That Will Get You More YouTube Views” provides actionable, tactical tips. The ideas include:

1. Annotations across videos (the habit of linking one video to other videos with clickable, in-video notes)

2. Playlists (videos chained together… imagine, all of your listings in a playlist)

3. Subscribers (getting people to subscribe to your YouTube channel)

4. Bulletins (updates pushed through YouTube to your subscribers’ YouTube home page)

5. Video responses (posting a video in response to a video)

6. Community (commenting and subscribing to others’ channels)

7. Topical content (a video about what’s going on right now)

For a closer look at each of these tips (as well as examples of how they work), read the original article on SocialTimes:

Getting More YouTube Video Views

What Are You Waiting For?  Get Your Business To The Next Level In 2012!

Welcome Business Planning 2012 participants! Watch the video below now.

Adding Short Sale Campaign

Exciting times here at Work Smart Be Smart as we release our 16 email drip campaign to help you cultivate people who are in a distressed situation and at some point may need help with a short sale.  This drip was developed by a short sale expert who has taught thousands how to best deal with their situation and has written a book to help homeowners who are in the distressed situation.


Email Timing
Short Sale # 1 = 0 days
Short Sale # 2 = 1 week
Short Sale # 3 = 3 weeks
Short Sale # 4 = 5 weeks
Short Sale # 5 = 8 weeks
Short Sale # 6 = 3 months
Short Sale # 7 = 4 months
Short Sale # 8 = 5 months
Short Sale # 9 = 6 months
Short Sale 10 = 7 months
Short Sale 11 = 8 months
Short Sale 12 = 9 months
Short Sale 13 = 10 months
Short Sale 14 = 11 months
Short Sale 15 = 12 months
Short Sale 16 = 13 months

What a Nutrition Expert Can Teach You About Business

A few weeks ago I went to see a nutritionist–Dr. Philip Goglia, who has been a featured expert on shows such as The Doctors and Dr. Phil–for several reasons. First, I liked the results I was seeing in a tennis partner in terms of fat loss, fitness and overall performance. Second, I wasn’t entirely happy with my own physique or performance. I felt like I should be in better shape, be faster and have more energy—especially considering I wasn’t eating much and exercised like a maniac.

What I learned, and what has happened over the course of two short weeks, is not only amazing, but contradictory to what I thought I knew about both personal and professional performance. And I believe that lesson has a parallel in business.

The first thing I discovered was that I was starving myself, and getting slower and bloated in the wrong places because of it. In an effort to get leaner and faster, and thus better, I was barely consuming one thousand calories a day. And the way I was consuming them in what and how and when I ate, was entirely wrong for my specific metabolism. Through a body composition measurement, blood test and lipid profile, my nutritionist was able to tell me my exact eating patterns without even asking me. And through the same test, he showed me how my specific metabolic type fell into the 3% of the population that is equally efficient at burning fat, carbohydrate, and protein. (74% of the population is fat and protein efficient, and 23% are carbohydrate efficient.) It didn’t take much for me to see why simply cutting calories and one-size-fits-all diets don’t work.

I was essentially shutting my metabolism down, making myself “run cold.” Here’s what happened.

When I reduced my calorie intake, my body perceived it as a starvation threat, sensed weight loss, and cooled its metabolic rate down in an effort to become more efficient. As I kept cutting calories, my body perceived it as trauma and further cooled (slowed) down, causing my body to hoard fat to survive. My metabolism then looked to a new source of fuel for energy, consuming muscle tissue that had no caloric support for repair. As it used muscle tissue for energy, my lean muscle mass declined while fat stores remained constant, or even elevated. Then I began to get sluggish and tired, craving sweets and fats. The release and utilization of insulin and blood sugar became inefficient. Psychologically, I become emotionally distraught as my body fat and weight began to rise. I started binging, so my blood sugar utilization got sporadic, creating an inability to utilize nutrients effectively. The increased inconsistent calorie intake lead to further weight gain since my metabolism had cooled to compensate for the original lack of fuel in my diet.

I see the same kind of thing in business. A startup in its infancy grows like crazy, progresses through adolescence and young adulthood, all the while maturing in structure and performance until finally full maturity sets in. The founding group is not necessarily complacent, but comfortable. But growth slows, and at some point performance just isn’t what it used to be. Layers have been added, walls and silos erected, and the vim and vigor that once characterized the company is somehow missing. Innovation wanes. Competitors start nibbling at market space. Costs swell in proportion to growth, and senior management puts the squeeze on to stem the tide. In other words, they go on a diet. They cut and cut and cut, and eventually begin burning the equivalent of lean muscle tissue. Speedbumps get put in place and all of a sudden good ideas–the essential creative nutrients–don’t get implemented. But the bad ones do, the ones that run along the lines of what else can be cut. Opportunities don’t get fed properly. Company metabolism and performance slows even further. Management begins looking for silver bullet “diet” programs, aka the latest management fad. The company, with all good intention, starves itself, just like I was doing, unable to figure out why it keeps slowing down.

My nutritionist immediately wanted to reverse my downward spiraling metabolic rate. “We need to rekindle the fire,” he said. “Turn up the heat.” He bumped my caloric intake 50%. But how I got that 50% was the secret. It was through six meals–three larger and three smaller–each one strategically arranged in a specific mix of carbs, protein and fat to play to my metabolic profile, each one meant to simply get me to the next meal. And all healthy stuff, essentially single ingredient items. I loved the simplicity of that. And I felt like I was constantly eating!

But that’s not all. He ordered me to drink five liters of water everyday. I didn’t know how important water is to metabolism. Inactive people should drink half an ounce of water per pound of body weight, active people twice that. Water is a catalyst for the transport of nutrients, a thermostat, and a key protective insulator against environmental temperature swings. If your water level is low, your body perceives it as trauma, and stores fat under your skin to insulate and protect the body. Water is even more important than food in a way. “Miss a meal, but do NOT miss irrigation,” he said.

In business, you can not only starve your company of the creative fuel it needs, you can dehydrate it. The equivalent of water in an organization is information. Information must be massive and flow freely, to promote transparency and visibility. Otherwise, people will hoard knowledge rather than share it, to protect themselves and their jobs. Innovation cannot happen without sharing knowledge. Lack of free flowing, clear information will eventually wreak havoc on performance.

In two weeks of eating correctly and 50% more, and drinking water constantly, my body fat dropped three percent. I lost five pounds on the scale, which because of the change in my body fat to muscle ratio really meant I had lost about six pounds of fat and added one back in muscle. I was amazed. Based on the shift, he then laid out an adjusted plan for the next week. We set a long term goal of 8 percent body fat, down from the original 18 percent. It’ll take a while, but I’m now a believer. I’m never hungry, I have no cravings, and it’s actually quite a lot of fun creating meals. The options seem endless.

The health of a company, I believe, works much the way it does with the human body. Both need proper care and feeding to maintain performance. Are you inadvertently starving and dehydrating your company? It’s easy enough to reverse.


No Copyright Infringement intended.  Source: What a Nutrition Expert Can Teach You About Business

9 tips for better real estate video

Corner your market, win clients

If you’re not promoting your listings using video, you’re missing a huge opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition, provide a higher level of service to your clients, and reach the hot Gen X and Gen Y markets.

According to NAR, only 1 percent of all agents used video in their businesses in 2010. This year, the number is 8 percent. If you want to edge out your 92 percent of your competition, creating fun and engaging videos is a great way to do it. Below are nine simple tips that can help you to shoot great videos for your business.

1. Perfect quality not required
If you were shooting a video five years ago, most people expected commercial quality. With the advent of YouTube, this is no longer the case. YouTube has made amateur videos shot with a cell phone or a Flip camera acceptable. While there are definitely times when you will want to use a professional videographer (e.g., when you have an expensive listing or are shooting a video about the area that is expected to have a long shelf life), shooting your own videos can be a great way to attract more business.

The key point to keep in mind is that people today expect your video to inform, entertain or to provide value for the time they spent watching it.

2. Play and learn
Perhaps the most challenging question is where to begin and how much to spend. If you own a smartphone or a computer with a built-in video cam, these are great tools to begin your learning process. In most cases, all you have to do is point and click and you’re shooting video. Rather than worrying about being perfect, look at it as an opportunity to play and learn.

3. Length
In terms of the length, 60-90 seconds is optimal. The research from YouTube shows that their users are much more likely to open a short video that is under 90 seconds in length. Videos that are two minutes or longer have significantly lower open rates. While people are willing to commit to a minute or so to watch a video, most won’t even open the video if it’s more than a couple of minutes long.

4. Purchase a tripod
To make sure that your video isn’t too shaky, purchase a tripod. My personal favorite is one that looks like a three-legged octopus that allows you to mount your video camera on a variety of surfaces.

5. Wear a microphone for better sound quality
To provide the best visuals and the best sound quality possible, it’s smart to shoot closer in to your subjects rather than too far away. While the sound quality on your camera or phone may be acceptable, it will be significantly better if you use a second microphone when you record.

While people tend to be forgiving of the visual quality being less than perfect, the sound quality must be good for two reasons. First, your viewers will go elsewhere if they can’t understand the sound track. Second, Google now has technology that converts audio into searchable text. If the sound is not clear, you may fail to generate the search engine optimization (SEO) benefits that video can provide.

6. Visuals do matter
Whenever you shoot a video, you must constantly be aware of light sources. While the natural sunlight may look wonderful to the naked eye, it can create washed-out areas on your video. If you’re shooting a video outside, overcast skies are often better because the light is more even. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about shooting into the sun or how harsh shadows may obscure the picture.

7. Check the background
It’s also important to pay attention to the background where you’re shooting. For example, we recently shot a video of a live role-play during one of my speaking engagements. Because of the room setup, the only place we could conduct the role-play was in front of the projector screen. The woman that I role-played with has blond hair just like me.

The result was our blond hair completely disappeared into the white background. While the result looked pretty funny, it was a great reminder to always check the background. Additional guidelines include avoiding sparkly jewelry or fabrics. These items may cause strange light reflections on the video.

8. Where are the windows?
When you’re shooting indoors, windows (even when they are covered) can cause major issues. For example, you may have the Roman shades closed in a room, yet the direct sunlight shines through the sides of the windows. Again, small rays of direct sunlight can wash out part of your video. The challenge is that you won’t notice the issue until you play the video back.

9. Green-screen challenges
Many professional videographers use what is known as a “green screen.” This technology allows the videographer/editor to add almost any type of background. If you’re in front of the camera and are using a green screen, avoid wearing red. The camera will read it as green. The result is anything that is green or red disappears on camera.

Also avoid wearing patterns. The checks on your shirt or jacket can create clownish-looking results. As a rule of thumb, solid dark colors or jewel colors (with the exception of red or green), usually work best.

Most of these issues can be avoided simply by shooting a short sample video to check for light, sound and other issues. This allows you to spot the problems and to correct them before they ruin your work.

By Bernice Ross    Inman News™

Success Summit

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