Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Want to gain followers for your blog or facebook?

Some people come up with the greatest ideas. They're great not necessarily because they're unique but because they're simple and they work.

I ran across a tweet about a blog called My Life, Such as it is.... In a specific blogpost the author, Elizabeth, is running a contest to give away a Thomas the Tank Engine. In order to enter the contest Elizabeth gives several options:

1 Post a comment on her blog
2 Tweet a link to her blog
3 Blog about her contest
4 Follow her blog

For those of us trying not only to post great content but to gain followers, Elizabeth has a remarkably simple idea. I hope she is successful in gaining readers this way. Think about the opportunities available to us to gain authentic followers within our community. Great job, Elizabeth!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

You Can't Manage Time

We all complain about not having enough time to work, play, work on a project or have a family life.
4 Things You Already Know – Now Commit to Them
Time wasters to watch:

TURN OFF THE TV – if you love sports, have a favorite show, enjoy a news program – watch THAT one, then TURN OFF THE TOOB. This is one of the all-time time wasters – we know it – yet we listen to the same news over and over, same weather forecast, even get caught up on classic movies we’ve seen 5 times and get sucked in to professional poker. You know how to use the remote – now commit to it.

INTERRUPT THE INTERNET– I’ll just check my emails, oooh- there’s a link to a YouTube clip, hey- I wonder if that comedian made any other clips…next thing you know you’re surfing the hours away. Don’t get distracted – allow yourself some recreation, set a timer, then LOG OFF.

SCHEDULE YOUR FAMILY TIME – and reading time, creative thinking time, and keep it like you would any other appointment. Otherwise you’ll look back on your month and notice you’ve given your business the attention it needs, but not your other desires. Your job will always compete for your time – you get to choose when to say yes (TURN OFF THE INSTANT MESSAGE CHIME ON YOUR PHONE).

IMPORTANT OR URGENT– When I’m working on a report and someone comes into my office to ask me an urgent question, I get to determine whether it’s important or urgent, not them. I learned early, and well, in real estate, people can portray an item to be urgent, when they are really kicking tires, or don’t intend to turn that offer in until they come back from a two vacation. Buyers and sellers can do the same thing. Ask a lot of questions so you can assess, be firm, and redirect others from demanding your attention.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Brand vs. Logo

Recently, I was making a presentation to new real estate agents. A man in the audience made a comment about our company’s logo. He said that the logo was all wrong; the color was too bright and “hideous” was the word he used, and the font was old. He said if he had the chance he’d change the logo color to sandstone for one area of the country and other colors for other different areas. He thought it would be best to make the logo fit more into the local environment than to recognize the brand as a national leader.
Hmmm… Brand vs. Logo?
Without much need for reflection I responded with, “I WANT a nationally recognized logo or even a regionally recognized one! It isn’t the logo though that makes the brand. It’s the quality of the relationships that make the brand. The logo helps you find it.” And the great debate was on!
I think he missed the point. It’s worth repeating: “It isn’t the log that makes the brand.”
Leave the logo alone and work on the service given. It isn’t the brand that makes a successful agent. It’s the service the brand and individuals that perform the services of the company that truly define the brand. Chris Brogan in his blog post “When You Are the Brand” makes several excellent points about being community minded. The brand is created because of the quality of service the company or individuals of the company provide. Chris goes further by saying that you can never rest on your reputation. The reputation of your company rests nearly solely on your next relationship not the last one.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mighty Casey has struck out!

In real estate, or in sales for that matter, we only get so many chances to exceed the expectations of our clients. Are you recognizing and acting on your opportunities?
Recently, I received a Mission Control email from Jimmy Vee (Five Foot High Marketing Guy) and Travis Miller (The Big Idea Guy) of Gravitational Marketing. Have you ever heard of them? I always read their emails even if I have to leave them in my inbox for several days until I have the opportunity to pour through their reflections, thoughts, and ideas. Like many, this too sat for a few days until I could give it the attention it deserved. I wasn’t disappointed. Here is what it said:
“A few years ago the transmission went out on my Acura TL. No bueno. Thankfully it was under warranty. I only had a few months left on my lease anyway.

I was going to be without my car for about 2 weeks. Last time this happened, Acura paid for a rental (that's part of the deal). But I ended up with a Dodge Neon or something. No bueno #2. You feel a little silly driving a Neon and making an Acura payment.

Anyway, I fully expected to get the same deal this time - and was not looking forward to it.

I called the dealership and let them know I was coming down - they said they would have a car waiting when I got there.

Sure enough, I meet the guy right at the curb and he says the car is waiting - and he has it started with the AC on so it's nice and cool when I get in.

The only difference was this time it was not a Neon - but a brand new Acura TL. Yeah!!
He explains that they felt bad about the problem and wanted to take care of me. Whatever. I was just mucho happy that I didn't have to drive the Neon again.

Then it occurred to me. I'm not sure if they did this on purpose or not, but this was a brilliant marketing ploy.

First of all, they get to look like heroes by taking good care of me.

Second, I get a 2 week test drive of the brand new model. Since my lease was up in a few months, "what to get next" was on my mind.

I didn't foresee any other dealership giving me a 2 week demo. So if the product had proven to be exceptional I would have been that much closer to closed when I turn it back in.

If they're really smart, they would have called me in a week or so, and ask how I like the car. Maybe suggest that I just leave my old car with them, they'll take care of the remaining few payments, and I just keep the car I've got. "We'll mail you the paperwork, Mr. Miller." I wasn't expecting that, but it would have been pretty clever.
Didn't happen.

Anyway, it's a great example of thinking a few steps ahead, turning adversity into pleasure, and using any customer interaction as a chance to build value.”
My first thought after reading this article was of Earnest Thayer's "Casey at the Bat"
"Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville - mighty Casey has struck out."