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Are We Having Fun Yet?

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squirrel eating peanut

Last time I had a few minutes to come up for air, I posted on Agent Genius about Working IN your Business or Working ON your business.

Time Management

Time Management is one of the hardest things to get under control as an agent. One of the most important things we can do as busy Realtors is focus on Leads, Listings and Leverage.Prospecting to keep that tunnel full. But, in the midst of setting your goals and time blocking life sometimes happens.

Get Help

I have an assistant who manages all of my teams transactions and paper work. Most of the time this works great. But, hey assistants need  vacations too, and just like us when we are gone or planning a vacation… all heck breaks loose. New listings come in, Short Sales are approved we have been working on for months, offers come in on homes that have been sitting for months. I am sure we can all identify.

Last week I had to grab another Realtors assistant to help me after hours to get all the work done.

Hire it Out

I signed up for one of Pat Katino’s Breaking News sites early in June. I just didn’t have the time to get it set up. I knew and was told to plan on 5 hours of time. Yikes…I wish I had 5 hours of time. So after realizing this was not going to happen anytime in the future. I called Kevin and said, “Do you have anyone who can help me set up my site?” “I just don’t have the time to do it?” He did and my A2BreakingNews site is now up and running.

Same thing with the Fan Pages on Facebook, no time to set it up. So Mike Mueller posted he would set them up for a small fee. So I contacted Mike and he set up my FaceBook Page.

Leverage

Time can be leveraged too. Time=Money. It was easier for me to spend a little money and get these two things done, than to be stressed about finding the time to do them. (Now if I could just find a mini me to attend the ReBar Camps I signed up to go to and couldn’t. Now if I just had a ghost writer to get those local posts out.) So spending the $250.00 to get these sites up and running was a no brainer. I think I leveraged myself about 10 hours of time.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is don’t be afraid to spend the money to leverage your time and be more productive. Squirrels gather up their food in the summer and store it for the winter months so they will have plenty to eat in the winter.

Living in a seasonal real estate market area, I try to keep this in mind as the work I am doing now, is storing up food for the months we are knee deep in snow and no one wants to go house hunting.

Am I having fun yet? Well….no but I am coming up for air.

Photo Credit

Written by Missy Caulk, Associate Broker at Keller Williams Ann Arbor. Missy is the author of Ann Arbor Real Estate Talk and Blog Ann Arbor, and is also the Director for the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors and Member of MLS and Grievance Committee's.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Ken Brand

    August 21, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    I’d comment but I don’t have time either. Seriously, this is spot on. There are more great ideas that need implementing, when we don’t have the time, hire someone to launch it for you. Smart stuff, easy to think about, harder to do. Cheers to you.

  2. Paula Henry

    August 22, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Breathe in – breathe out – then again! I, too, have been delegating more and still, trying to breathe. I feel blessed to have business and working hard. It’s certainly a mixed bag!

    I signed up for a breaking news site a week ago and just today finished the first two steps.

    I may have to call on help there and for Facebook. I have one line on my fan page 🙂

  3. Joe Loomer

    August 23, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Just as I came up for air this morning after a six-day work week, I make the mistake of clicking on your breaking news site to see if I need to be getting in that too.

    Time to break out the ‘ole checkbook and have someone else do it! Great post Missy!

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  4. Brandie Young

    August 23, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Hi Missy! Great post. Thanks.

    Lately I’m in the same boat – just slammed and no time to come up for air. These are the times I need to remind myself to be grateful since the hours I’m working are billable.

    That said, thanks for the reminder to outsource the things that aren’t the best use of my time. Not so easy to let go, but the best choice in the long run!

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Business Marketing

Bite-sized retail: Macy’s plans to move out of malls

(BUSINESS MARKETING) While Macy’s shares have recently climbed, the department store chain is making a change in regards to big retail shopping malls.

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Macy's retail storefront, which may look different as they scale to smaller stores.

I was recently listening to a podcast on Barstool Sports, and was surprised to hear that their presenting sponsor was Macy’s. This struck me as odd considering the demographic for the show is women in their twenties to thirties, and Macy’s typically doesn’t cater to that crowd. Furthermore, department retail stores are becoming a bit antiquated as is.

The sponsorship made more sense once I learned that Macy’s is restructuring their operation, and now allowing their brand to go the way of the ghost. They feel that while malls will remain in operation, only the best (AKA the malls with the most foot traffic) will stand the test of changes in the shopping experience.

As we’ve seen a gigantic rise this year in online shopping, stores like Macy’s and JC Penney are working hard to keep themselves afloat. There is so much changing in brick and mortar retail that major shifts need to be made.

So, what is Macy’s proposing to do?

The upscale department store chain is going to be testing smaller stores in locations outside of major shopping malls. Bloomingdale’s stores will be doing the same. “We continue to believe that the best malls in the country will thrive,” CEO Jeff Gennette told CNBC analysts. “However, we also know that Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have high potential [off]-mall and in smaller formats.”

While the pandemic assuredly plays a role in this, the need for change came even before the hit in March. Macy’s had announced in February their plans to close 125 stores in the next three years. This is in conjunction with Macy’s expansion of Macy’s Backstage, which offers more affordable options.

Gennette also stated that while those original plans are still in place, Macy’s has been closely monitoring the competition in the event that they need to adjust the store closure timeline. At the end of the second quarter, Macy’s had 771 stores, including Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury.

Last week, Macy’s shares climbed 3 percent, after the retailer reported a more narrow loss than originally expected, along with stronger sales due to an uptick in their online business. So they’re already doing well in that regard. But will smaller stores be the change they need to survive?

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Business Marketing

Why you must nix MLM experience from your resume

(BUSINESS MARKETING) MLMs prey on people without much choice, but once you try to switch to something more stable, don’t use the MLM as experience.

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Discussing including MLM experience on a resume.

MLM experience… Is it worth keeping on your resume?

Are you or someone you know looking for a job after a stint in an MLM? Well, first off, congratulations for pursuing a real job that will provide a steady salary! But I also know that transition can be hard. The job market is already tight and if you don’t have much other work experience on your resume, is it worth trying to leverage your MLM experience?

The short answer? Heck no.

As Ask the Manager puts it, there’s a “strong stigma against [MLMs],” meaning your work experience might very well put a bad taste in the mouth of anyone looking through resumes. And looking past the sketchy products many offer, when nearly half of people in MLMs lose money and another quarter barely break even, it sure doesn’t paint you in a good light to be involved.

(Not to mention, many who do turn a profit only do so by recruiting more people, not actually by selling many products.)

“But I wouldn’t say I worked for an MLM,” you or your friend might say, “I was a small business owner!”

It’s a common selling point for MLMs, that often throw around pseudo-feminist feel good slang like “Boss Babe” or a “Momtrepreneur,” to tell women joining that they’re now business women! Except, as you might have guessed, that’s not actually the case, unless by “Boss Babe” you mean “Babe Who Goes Bankrupt or Tries to Bankrupt Her Friends.”

A more accurate title for the job you did at an MLM would be Sales Rep, because you have no stake in the creation of the product, or setting the prices, or any of the myriad of tasks that a real entrepreneur has to face.

Okay, that doesn’t sound nearly as impressive as “small business owner.” And I know it’s tempting to talk up your experience on a resume, but that can fall apart pretty quickly if you can’t actually speak to actual entrepreneur experience. It makes you look like you don’t know what you’re talking about…which is also not a good look for the job hunt.

That said… Depending on your situation, it might be difficult to leave any potential work experience off your resume. I get it. MLMs often target people who don’t have options for other work opportunities – and it’s possible you’re one of the unlucky ones who doesn’t have much else to put on paper.

In this case, you’ll want to do it carefully. Use the sales representative title (or something similar) and, if you’re like the roughly 50% of people who lose money from MLMs, highlight your soft skills. Did you do cold calls? Tailor events to the people who would be attending? Get creative, just make sure to do it within reason.

It’s not ideal to use your MLM experience on a resume, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. Still, congratulations to you, or anyone you know, who has decided to pursue something that will actually help pay the bills.

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Business Marketing

This smart card manages employee spending with ease

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Clever credit cards make it easier for companies to set spending policies and help alleviate expense problems for both them and their employees.

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Spendesk showing off its company credit cards.

Company credit cards are a wonderful solution to managing business expenses. They work almost exactly like debit cards, which we all know how to use, am I right? It is the twenty-first century after all. Simply swipe, dip, or tap, and a transaction is complete.

However, keeping up with invoices and receipts is a nightmare. I know I’ve had my fair share of hunting down wrinkled pieces of paper after organizing work events. Filling out endless expense reports is tedious. Plus, the back and forth communication with the finance team to justify purchases can cause a headache on both ends.

Company credit cards make it easier for companies to keep track of who’s spending money and how much. However, they aren’t able to see final numbers until expense reports are submitted. This makes monitoring spending a challenge. Also, reviewing all the paperwork to reimburse employees is time-consuming.

But Spendesk is here to combat those downsides! This all-in-one corporate expense and spend management service provides a promising alternative to internal management. The French startup “combines spend approvals, company cards, and automated accounting into one refreshingly easy spend management solution.”

Their clever company cards are what companies and employees have all been waiting for! With increasing remote workforces, this new form of payment comes at just the right moment to help companies simplify their expenditures.

These smart cards remove limitations regular company cards have today. Spendesk’s employee debit cards offer companies options to monitor budgets, customize settings, and set specific authorizations. For instance, companies can set predefined budgets and spending category limitations on flights, hotels, restaurants, etc. Then they don’t have to worry about an employee taking advantage of their card by booking a first-class flight or eating at a high-end steakhouse.

All transactions are tracked in real time so finance and accounting can see purchases right as they happen. Increasing visibility is important, especially when your employee is working remotely.

And for employees, this new form of payment is more convenient and easier on the pocket. “These are smart employee company cards with built-in spending policies. Employees can pay for business expenses when they need to without ever having to spend their own money,” the company demonstrated in a company video.

Not having to dip into your checking account is a plus in my book! And for remote employees who just need to make a single purchase, Spendesk has single-use virtual debit cards, too.

Now, that’s a smart card!

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