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Are You a Desperate Realtor?



I got an e-mail from a dear client (who I absolutely love) saying this:

There’s a story on the ‘Today Show’ this morning about the lengths to which some Realtors are going to sell property.  Crystals, smudge sticks, etc.  Crazy times.  I’m sure you have found more helpful techniques.

The Today Show points out that sellers are using Wacky Tactics to try to sell their homes in this “terrible down market” – but my question to you is:

If a client came up to you and said, “I heard smudging is going to get rid of all the negative and unwanted energy in my house and I want to try it out” – would you say “GET OUT OF TOWN!!!” or would you be open to trying it out.

I have a theory – it has nothing to do with beliefs, religion or energy; it has to do with intent and psychology.  I’ve written about it before and I will not bore you with details, but here’s the jest of it (with regards to burying a St. Joseph statue):

In the case of sellers, we encounter that a lot of the time there are emotional blocks where subconsciously a seller does not really want to sell their home; whether it’s because of priceless memories that the home holds or simply because they dread having to pack and move and to find a new place. (I know this may be a bit far fetched for “the skeptics”).

The actual ritual of buying and burying the statue can help break the emotional block, and ultimately make the house more welcoming to prospective buyers.

So if you have a seller that may have not listened to your requests and advice from the beginning and now wants to bury a voodoo doll in their yard with a St. Joseph statue and Buddha for company, hang crystals, smudge their house, sing Hallelujah, stand upside down in their master bedroom while drinking Mojitos made with imported mint from The Dominican Republic – why not?

I’m not telling you to run out and perform the rituals yourself, I’m asking you to look deeper into the act of performing the ritual and you may discover a door into getting the job done.

Yes I’m crazy at times – it also helps to do your job right – but that wouldn’t be any fun, would it?

Ines is all Miami, all the time. A Miami Beach Realtor® with Majestic properties, Ines authors,, and and is always on communication's leading edge. She goes out of her way to engage and be engaged, often using Mojitos to keep the mood light and give everything she does a Miami flavor. You can find her goofing off or instigating trouble at Twitter, Flickr, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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  1. Ozarksagent

    December 11, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    I have now heard it first here, knew about voodoo dolls, smudging, religious things like St. Judes burials, etc. but now I learn that Mojitos help sell a house! Can’t wait to try that one:) it sure can’t hurt! Great post, good humor, & good selling.

  2. Ines

    December 11, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Thanks Steve!! We all need a bit of humor, don’t we. We take ourselves too seriously.

  3. Jonathan Dalton

    December 11, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    What about installing cupholders in the living room? I’ve heard that can be helpful as well …

  4. Jim Gatos

    December 11, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Although when I “Fung Swayed” a house it sold in a week after I had it on the market for a month a while ago, generally speaking, Ines, usually, ghosts leave the minute they become aware I just listed the house. I happen to be of Greek ancestry, and I believe for the most part, Ghost are petrified and run the hell away from most Greeks!

    Just kidding, Ines, just kidding…

  5. Ines

    December 11, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    Jim, I think a lot of people are misinterpreting my sarcastic humor to mean I don’t believe in this stuff. I actually use Feng Shui in my own house and smudged it last year during Chinese New Year.

    Beliefs are beliefs and I don’t ever knock them, but I do think that if we look beyond those, we can see that doors open in many different ways.

  6. Ines

    December 11, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    @papagrande – only if those cupholders come programmed with Sofia Vergara’s voice! 🙂

  7. Julie Emery

    December 11, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Honey, if I thought standing on my head naked in the living room and chanting would sell a house, I’d likely try it!

    Seriously, we don’t know what we don’t know, right? Who am I to tell someone that their beliefs are silly or won’t make a difference? And, if something in some ritual moves them to a place they need to be, I say go for it!

  8. Ines

    December 11, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    Julie – love it! 🙂 The Media has to even knock people’s beliefs as “desperation” – but what else is new?

  9. Thomas Johnson

    December 11, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    Ines: I will preside over all of the above only if we have your mojitos while we watch the sellers.

    BTW, Does a Mr. Clean Eraser remove the smudges?

  10. Ines

    December 11, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    Thomas – LOL – according to the commercial, The Mr. Clean Eraser removes more than just smudges!! …and yes….any excuse to bring out those mojitos

  11. Vicki Moore

    December 14, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    I completely agree. I just told a seller that: If I have to buy cookie dough and cook it in your oven to get the house to sell, I will. LOL.

  12. Ines

    December 14, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    Vicki – yeah! what’s the difference between a little energy interference and freshly cooked cookies?

  13. Mark Brian

    December 15, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    If it works or if it is just a coincidence-does it matter if it sells?

    We had the good fortune to meet a gentleman who suggested we move a mirror at our front door and replace with flowing water. We changed it not because we believed him, but because we respected his beliefs. The fact that business took off afterwards…hmmm.

  14. Ines Hegedus-Garcia

    December 15, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    Mark, there’s a saying in Spanish that I love and know I’m going to butcher it: “I don’t believe in witches, but they can definitely fly!” 😉

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Business Marketing

Hiring managers keep you on your toes – make them take the 1st step

(MARKETING) If you want to stand out from other job applicants, weird outfits, stunts, and baked goods will only get you so far – or it could backfire.



hiring managers interview

According to research by employment search website Simply Hired, hiring managers get an average of 34 applications per job listing, but they spend time genuinely considering an average of only 12.6% of them – that’s less than 1/3. Some applicants may feel the need to go above and beyond the average application and do something unusual or unexpected to grab the hiring manager’s attention.

Simply Hired conducted a survey to find out whether or not “nontraditional” strategies to stand out are worth the risk, or whether it makes sense to stick to a traditional resume and cover letter. They surveyed over 500 hiring managers and over 500 job applicants to find out what sort of outside-of-the-box approaches applicants are willing to take, and which ones do and don’t pay off.

Most notably, the survey found that over 63% of hiring managers find attention-grabbing gimmicks totally unacceptable, with only 20.2% saying they were acceptable. Hiring managers were also given a list of unusual strategies to rank from most to least acceptable. Unsurprisingly, the least acceptable strategy was offering to sleep with the hiring manager – which should really go without saying.

Interestingly, hiring managers also really disliked when applicants persistently emailed their resumes over and over until they got a response. One or two follow-up emails after your initial application aren’t such a bad idea – but if you don’t get a response after that, continuing to pester the hiring manager isn’t going to help.

While sending baked goods to the office was considered a somewhat acceptable strategy, sending those same cookies to the manager’s home address was a big no-no. Desserts might sweeten your application, but not if you cross a professional boundary by bringing them to someone’s home – that’s just creepy.

Another tactic that hiring managers received fairly positively was “enduring extreme weather to hand-deliver a resume” – but waiting around for inclement weather to apply for a job doesn’t seem very efficient. However, hiring managers did respond well to applicants who went out of their way to demonstrate a skill, for example, by creating a mock product or presentation or completing their interview in a second language. A librarian who was surveyed said she landed her job by making her resume into a book and creating QR codes with links to her portfolio, while a woman applying to work at the hotel hopped behind the counter and started checking customers in.

It’s worth noting that while most hiring managers aren’t into your gimmicks and games, of the 12.9% of applicants who said they have risked an unusual strategy, 67.7% of those actually landed the job.

Still, it’s probably a safer bet to stick to the protocol and not try any theatrics. So then, what can you actually do to improve your chances of landing the job?

Applicants surveyed tended to focus most of their time on their resumes, but according to hiring managers, the interview and cover letter are “the top ways to stand out among the rest.” Sure, brush up your resume, but make sure to give equal time to writing a strong cover letter and practicing potential interview questions.

In the survey, applicants also tended to overestimate the importance of knowing people within the company and having a “unique” cover letter and interview question answers; meanwhile, they underestimated the importance of asking smart questions at the interview and personality. In fact, hiring managers reported that personality was the most impactful factor in their hiring decisions.

It appears that the best way to stand out in a job interview is to wow them with your personality and nail the interview. Weird outfits, stunts, and baked goods will only get you so far – and in fact, may backfire.

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Business Marketing

Use nostalgia as a marketing niche for your business today

(MARKETING) A market that is making waves is found in the form of entertainment nostalgia. Everyone has memories and attachments, why not speak to them?




Is it just me or does it seem like there is something for everything nowadays? Let me clarify, as that is a rather broad question…

With the way communicating through technology has advanced, it’s become much easier to connect with those who have shared interests. This has become especially evident with interests in the entertainment community.

Entertainment nostalgia

It now seems like there is an event for every bit of nostalgia you can imagine. Autograph shows, meet and greets, and memorabilia collections of all kinds are held in convention halls all around the world. (To give you an idea of how deep this thing goes, there was a “Grease 2” reunion convention sometime within the last five years. Being that I’m the only person I’ve ever met who likes that movie, it’s amazing that it found an audience.)

This idea of marketing by use of nostalgia is something that is becoming smartly tapped and there are a variety of directions it can go in.

For example, the new Domino’s ads feature dead-on tributes to “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

What’s your niche?

If you’re a fan of anything, it’s likely that you can find an event to suit your needs.

And, if you want to take it a step further, you can think outside the box and use nostalgia as a marketing tool.

I recently began dabbling in social media gigs that have brought me to a few different fan conventions. One was a throwback 80s and 90s convention that featured everyone from Alan Thicke to the members of N*SYNC. Another is a recurring convention that brings together fans of sci-fi, horror, and everything under that umbrella.

I was amazed by the number of people that came out to these events and the amount of money that was spent on the day’s activities (autographs, photo ops, etc.). I was energized by the fact that you can take something you have a great appreciation for and bring together others who share that feeling. Watching people meet some of their favorite celebrities is something that is priceless.

Hop onboard the nostalgia train

If you’re a fan of something, you don’t have to look too far to find what you’d enjoy – going back to the aforementioned “Ferris Bueller” example, there is a first-ever John Hughes fan event taking place in Chicago next month that will bring fans to their favorite Brat Pack members.

In the same thought, if you have an idea, now is the time to find others who share that interest and execute your vision.

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Business Marketing

5 tips to help you craft consistently high-converting email marketing

(MARKETING) Email may seem too old to be effective but surprisingly it’s not, so how can you get the most out of your email marketing? Try these tips.



Email marketing

Email marketing might seem archaic in comparison to modern mediums like social media, blogging, and podcasting; however, it actually remains one of the highest converting options marketers and small businesses have at their disposal.

But Why Email?

Hopefully, you believe in email as an effective marketing channel, but in case you have doubts, let’s hit the reset button. Here’s why email marketing is worth investing in:

  • Email is one of the few marketing channels that you have total control over. Unlike a social media audience, which can disappear if the platform decides you violate their terms, you own your email list.
  • Email is considered very personal. When someone gives you access to their inbox, they’re telling you that you can send them messages.
  • From a pure analytics perspective, email gives you the ability to track behaviors, study what works, and get familiar with the techniques that don’t.
  • The ROI of email marketing is incredibly high. It can deliver as much as $44 in value for every $1 spent.

5 Tips for High-Converting Emails

If you’ve been using email, but haven’t gotten the results you’d like to, it’s probably because you’re using it ineffectively.

Here are a few very practical tips for high-converting emails that generate results:

  1. Write Better Subject Lines: Think about email marketing from the side of the recipient. (Considering that you probably receive hundreds of emails per week, this isn’t hard to do.) What’s going to make you engage with an email? It’s the subject line, right?If you’re going to focus a large portion of your time and energy on one element of email marketing, subject lines should be it.The best subject lines are the ones that convey a sense of urgency or curiosity, present an offer, personalize to the recipient, are relevant and timely, feature name recognition, or reference cool stories.
  2. Nail the Intro”: Never take for granted the fact that someone will open your email, and read to the second paragraph. Some will – but most will scan the first couple of lines, and then make a decision on how to proceed.It’s critically important that you get the intro right. You have maybe five seconds to hook people in, and get them excited. This is not a time to slowly build up. Give your best stuff away first!
  3. Use Video: Email might be personal, but individual emails aren’t necessarily viewed as special. That’s because people get so many of them on a daily basis.According to Blue Water Marketing, “The average person receives more than 84 emails each day! So how do you separate your emails from everyone else? Embed videos in your emails can increase your conversion rates by over 21 percent!”This speaks to a larger trend of making emails visually stimulating. The more you use compelling visuals, the more engaging and memorable the content will be.
  4. Keep Eyes Moving: The goal is to keep people engaging with your email content throughout. While it’ll inevitably happen with a certain percentage of recipients, you want to prevent people from dropping off as they read.One of the best ways to keep sustained engagement is to keep eyes effortlessly moving down the page with short and succinct copy.One-liners, small paragraphs, and lots of spacing signal a degree of approachability and simplicity. Use this style as much as you can.
  5. Don’t Ask Too Much: It can be difficult to convey everything you want to say in a single email, but it’s important that you stay as focused as possible – particularly when it comes to CTAs and requests.Always stick to one CTA per email. Never ask multiple questions or present different offers. (It’ll just overwhelm and confuse.) You can present the same CTA in multiple places – like at the beginning, middle, and end of the email – but it needs to be the same call. That’s how you keep people focused and on-task.

Give Your Email Marketing Strategy a Makeover

Most businesses have some sort of email lists. Few businesses leverage these lists as well as they should. Hopefully, this article has provided you with some practical and actionable tips that can be used to boost engagement and produce more conversions. Give them a try and see what sticks.

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