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I Must Give Up Something

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Saying it Out Loud

This is not news, only a self realization. I can’t be all things to all people; not alone, anyway. There, I said it, out loud and for the world to read. I should feel better now, but I am still left with the task of sorting out the “I must do’s” from the “someone else can do”, so I can concentrate on the dollar producing activities.

In theory, this should be a simple task, requiring little effort. Ha! Another realization is, I don’t let go of tasks easily. It seems easier to keep doing, rather than delegating. But, I must give up to accomplish my goals. If I repeat this phrase several times an hour, will it make it easier? It hasn’t yet ?

The busier I get, the further behind I fall aptly describes many of my days. Except for staying up until midnight every day, I have to find a better way. I know the better way requires an assistant to handle the “tasks” I don’t need to do. Why is that so difficult?

In Search of a Perfect Fit

Finding the perfect fit in another person requires due diligence and a bit of trial and error. This person must be totally opposite of me; loves being in the office, filing; all the detail work. I have thought about a Virtual Assistant, but, I need someone local who can do more than files and marketing for me and my team. I prefer to have one person who can handle many different tasks.

While I am sorting my “to do” lists for my future admin person, I would love your input. If you have an administrative assistant, what tasks do they do for you? Are they licensed? What programs do you use to keep everyone organized and on the same page? Any ideas are welcomed.

Paula is team leader for The “Home to Indy” Team in Indianapolis . She is passionate about education and client care and believes an empowered client is better prepared to make good decisions for themselves. You’ll find her online at Agent Genius,Twitter and sharing her insights about her local real estate market at Home To Indy.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Matt Thomson

    August 14, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    You may want to pick up Gary Keller’s “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent.” He’s got an entire section in there on how to make hires, when to make them, etc. There’s even a detailed task list of about 192 real estate tasks that can be a great guide.
    It’s really a very valuable book for anybody looking to make a hire. You can get it from Amazon.

  2. Mariana Wagner

    August 14, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    OMG … We are doing this too. We just hired a listing coordinator and an “official” admin assistant, in addition to our licensed transaction coordinator. If you know about the DISC test, you probably need someone who is a high S-C to be your admin asst.

    Our Admin asst is not licensed, but has a great background in admin. and LOVES being a supportive member of our team. She helps up maintain contact with all our leads/clients, hounds both our short sale clients and their banks to assure all ppw is in to avoid foreclosure, keeps us accountable with the phone calls that we need to make each day, manages our schedules, keeps in contact with our agents and helps with all our team marketing (like newsletters, etc.).

    She needs a definitive job description, but will do whatever she needs to to get the job done. And she is very friendly – yet, very professional.

  3. Mariana Wagner

    August 14, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    … and what Matt said. Here is the link: MREA

  4. Jennifer in Louisville

    August 15, 2008 at 5:02 am

    We recently hired an assistant after looking for someone for quite a while. You need someone that can be “somewhat” of a pain in the ass thats always following up making sure that everything that is supposed to be happening – is. We use Top Producer, and Treo phones to communicate back and forth. [Any changes to my schedule, appointments, or even customer base, etc – the assistant makes the changes as appropriate throughout the day – and I just get home and sync up my phone and poof, I’ve got my schedule updated.] Any appointments I get a notice on 2 days prior so that I can prepare for whatever it is that I’m needing to do. She’s currently not licensed, but I see her eventually getting licensed.

  5. Paula Henry

    August 15, 2008 at 6:34 am

    Matt – Thanks – I recently bought a new copy. Couldn’t find my original.

    Mariana – Congratulations on finding a right fit for you. It sounds like you have exactly what I need – the one person who does a little of everything. Thanks for the list – It will help me define my list and think of activities I may not have thought of.

    Jennifer – Another great list of assigned tasks to add to my list. The biggest obstacle I am finding is assigning specific activities and defining an assistants job description. It can’t be too much, but enough to allow me to do what I do best,

    I find it interesting neither you or Mariana have a licensed asssitant. I thought I wanted someone who was licensed, but have found some agents only want a “filler” job until the market returns or they want the big checks and go back on their own. I’ve seen it happen with other agents. Painful!

    A pain in the ass is exactly what I need 🙂 Someone who keeps me on task behind the scenes.

  6. Ginger Wilcox

    August 15, 2008 at 8:08 am

    I have 2 part time assistants. Both are licensed. One handles mailings (yes I still do them!), general errands and occasional open houses. The other handles all my escrows, listing paperwork, etc. I really like having licensed assistants personally. Neither of them in enough of a pain to keep me in line, however.

  7. Paula Henry

    August 15, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Ginger – Maybe you don’t need to be kept in line 🙂 Sounds like you have the perfect combination. Those are all tasks I have to give up. Little details!

    Thanks everyone – this has been difficult for me and am glad to see I am not alone in taking more time than I thought it would take to find the right person.

  8. Matthew Rathbun

    August 16, 2008 at 8:16 am

    I have a hard time with this, as I am always looking for something new to try that might make me money, or enhance / replace those things that are making just a little money. It’s more complicated when I realize that some things that I do today may not work for 12 months from now…

  9. Paula Henry

    August 20, 2008 at 4:50 am

    Matthew – I have really taken a slow approach to hiring an assistant. In line with your thoughts, I, too, am a bit more creative at times – trying new things, without tracking their success; sometimes not giving new ideas enough time.

    I feel like an assistant to handle the office tasks, paperwork and tasks I don’t like may free me to analyze my marketing, new ideas and hone in on those which are most important. My thought is, a good assistant should free me to do the money making activities.

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Business Marketing

TINA.org is helping the FTC crack down on Kardashian-esque influencers

(MARKETING NEWS) The Kardashians are just five of the seemingly endless amounts of influencers companies are using for marketing but TINA.org is over their tactics.

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A brand could find no better influencers than the Kardashians – the family who proved that you can get famous just for, well, being famous. Each Kardashian sister has an astronomical number of followers, making them obvious trendsetters.

That’s why brands pay the Kardashian sisters – Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, Kendall, and Kylie — tens of thousands of dollars a pop to post pictures of themselves on social media using their products.

Perhaps you find it hard to believe that the Kardashians stop by Popeye’s Chicken to grab a to-go meal before boarding their private jet. Regardless, the Kardashians, and the brands who pay them to pump their products, would prefer that you believe that these endorsements reflect the Kardashian’s actual preferences, rather than the paychecks they receive for posting them.

The Kardashians have been attempting to make their endorsements seem more “authentic” by totally disregarding Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules that require influencers to disclose when their posts are paid endorsements.

In August of 2016, Truth in Advertising (TINA.org) filed a complaint about the Kardashians to the FTC, saying that the (in)famous sisters had “failed to clearly and conspicuously disclose material connections to brands or the fact that the posts were paid ads, as required by federal law.”

After receiving a finger-wagging from the FTC, the Kardashian sisters corrected less than half of the posts, generally by adding #ad to the post. The remaining posts, according to a recent TINA.org follow-up investigation, either have not been edited at all, or contain “insufficient disclosures.”

For example, some posts now read #sp to indicated “sponsored” – as if anyone knows that reference. In another tactic that also got Warner Brothers and YouTube influencer PewDiePie in trouble with the FTC, the Kardashians are posting their disclosure information at the bottom of a long post so that users will only see it if they click “see more.”

The Kardashians have also been posting disclosures, but only days after the original post. Considering that the vast majority of viewers comment on or like posts within the first ten hours after it’s published, most of them will never see the disclosure when it’s tacked on days later.

Some of the “repeat offender” brands, who came up both in last year’s complaint and in the recent review, include Puma, Manuka Doctor, Jet Lux, Fit Tea, and Sugar Bear Hair. This time around, the Kardashians have also failed to disclose sponsorship on posts promoting Adidas, Lyft, Diff Eyewear, and Alexander Wang.

TINA.org found over 200 posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat where products are promoted without the Kardashians letting on that their raking in big bucks in exchange. The organization has notified the Kardashians, the brands they represent, and the FTC.

The FTC has recently been cracking down on deceptive influencer marketing, targeting not only the brands, but the influencers themselves.

In April, the FTC sent letters to 46 social media stars reminding them of their legal obligations to disclose, and followed up with 21 letters in September warning the influencers that they had until the end of the month to disclose sponsorships, or face legal consequences.

“The Kardashian/Jenner sisters are masterful marketers who are making millions of dollars from companies willing to turn a blind eye to the women’s misleading and deceptive social media marketing practices,” says TINA.org’s Executive Director Bonnie Patten. “It’s time the Kardashians were held accountable for their misdeeds.”

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Business Marketing

Dove dropped the olive branch with new ad campaign

(MARKETING NEWS) With any ad campaign there will be misses but take a note from Dove’s playbook and learn how to not repeat mistakes.

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Dove’s latest Facebook ad really hit the mark for whitewashing in advertising. The ad, since removed, essentially implied their soap could turn a black woman into a clean white woman.

In a three-second video on the company’s Facebook page, three women transformed into the next when they removed their shirts. The first transition caused an uproar: a woman of color lifting a brown top over her head to reveal a different woman, who is very, very white.

Although the white woman then lifts her shirt to reveal another woman with darker hair and a darker skin tone, the initial transformation is problematic in its implications of whiteness as cleanliness.

Dove has since removed the ad and issued an apology, stating in a tweet “In an image we posted this week, we missed the mark in thoughtfully representing women of color and we deeply regret the offense that it has caused. The feedback that has been shared is important to us and we’ll use it to guide us in the future.”

Wait, haven’t we been here before? At this point you’d think skin care companies would have realized a little more delicacy is required when rolling out ad campaigns. Remember Nivea’s disastrous, short-lived “White is Purity” mishap? How about Dove’s other blunder in their 2011 VisibleCare ad?

These featured another series of three women standing in front of close-ups of skin, with the darker skinned woman in front of the “before” label, and the woman with the lightest skin by the “after” picture. Although Dove didn’t intend to imply white skin is cleaner, oops, that’s what happened anyways.

While Dove has gotten many things right in terms of inclusivity and featuring models of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, there have also been several instances of intentional racist missteps. Let’s use this as a teachable moment for handling marketing mishaps.

Whenever an ad campaign offends people, the company’s response can make or break the business. If you find yourself in the midst of a marketing crisis, you can take some mindful steps to manage the situation and begin repairing your public image.

First, acknowledge the problem and issue a genuine apology that gets to the core of what your audience is saying. Dove recognized they upset people, and instead of taking a defensive “sorry you felt offended” stance, took responsibility for their actions. Once an apology is issued, explain the original intent to provide context for the situation.

Dove meant to create an inclusive campaign featuring a diverse cast of women. Lola Ogunyemi, the first model featured in the now controversial shirt ad, has even defended the ad. She stated, “I can see how the snapshots that are circulating the web have been misinterpreted, considering the fact that Dove has faced a backlash in the past for the exact same issue. There is a lack of trust here, and I feel the public was justified in their initial outrage.”

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Business Marketing

Aori helps you pack a punch with AdWords

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Aori is the newest tool designed to help anyone using AdWords to kick more butt.

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Search ad campaign managers constantly wrestle with the best way to organize their keywords into campaigns. Most of these decisions strive to balance the time needed to manage the campaign with efficiency of campaign expenditures.

Take the SKAGs strategy, for example. The SKAGs (Single Keyword Ad Group) system is setup to trigger a unique ad for every single keyword by placing each keyword in its own group.

There’s lots of literature touting the benefits of the SKAG system. Generally, the hyper-specific match between ads and keywords improves click-through rates.

This leads to higher quality scores, which leads to lower costs for click, which leads to lower costs per conversion. The tradeoff with this system is the setup. You could be looking at hundreds of keyword groups to set up and maintain, and that’s a lot of work for a small business or startup.

This is where Aori comes in.

Their system helps to automate the process of setting up a SKAG system for your AdWords campaigns.

According to the website, the tool’s primary function is to automate keyword generation. Users enter a set of “root keywords” and common keyword extensions, and Aori will automatically generate all possible combinations of those keywords for your campaigns.

Additionally, through Aori, users can create ad templates using a “dynamic keyword insertion tool,” to enable you to utilize the strongest ad copy across multiple phrases.

In what is the least clear value point of the whole pitch, Aori also uses what they call a “unique bid-optimization algorithm.”

There is almost no detail to be found on how the algorithm works. If the tool handles all bid management for you, this could be a handy tool for PPC novices who are less familiar with the process and lack the time to learn it.

Aori appears to run cheaper than the others we know of, but that may be due to the level of automation available. For example, Aori requires the user to feed it keyword inputs, both root and extension words.

It’s also important to understand where a SKAG system can and can’t work. It is likely a better system for smaller campaigns where ad testing wouldn’t yield statistically meaningful results.

Because every keyword group targets one phrase, you can’t readily say that improvements in ad copy will translate to other campaigns.

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