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It’s All About Me – Again

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Aaron Dickinson reminded me of something that always leaves me a little let down. The end of the transaction.

We work extremely closely with our clients, spending a great deal of time with them. We learn about their families, jobs, finances, personal preferences, even their favorite tv shows. We’re creating a relationship, a bond, a trust.

In order to find just the right house, we need to know if they like to garden. Do they have a dog? Big dog? Inside or outside dog? What do they do for a living? How far will they be commuting? Or do they need a home/office? Maybe they bring home a work vehicle. Do they cook and have a lot of gadgets? Do they prefer a gas or electric stove? Do they have one car or two? Have they purchased/sold a home before? Do they enjoy the negotiation process or is it going to keep them up all night? The questions go on and on. Why?

Realtors always have a dilemma: are we providing to much information or not enough? It’s important for the client to be educated, not overwhelmed. They should be comfortable in making decisions, know they’re in control of the process and understand what’s happening and why, know what’s normal for a purchase or sale, and know what the options are in each situation.

We’ve got the criteria. The next challenge begins. Now we have to put it into a tangible property in the right price range, location and condition. That house isn’t always available. We’ve gotten to know the client and now it becomes a concern of them becoming disappointed. We want them to not only be happy with our services but be happy with the process. If they see too many houses they don’t like, it becomes discouraging and frustrating.

We find the one. We review the disclosures and there’s something unappealing about them. Nope, it’s not the one. The process starts all over. By now I know them even better. We’re a team. We’re working toward a common goal. The stakes are really high. If I make a blooper now, it could ruin all the trust I’ve worked so hard to build. And the client is out all of the time and commitment they’ve invested believing that I could do the job for them.

Right from the beginning, I’m fighting an uphill battle. I have to prove that I’m not the same as Aunt Patty’s realtor in Florida who cheated her out of her life savings.

So back to shopping we go. We find the right home. It’s the one they’ve always wanted. The inspections and disclosures are great. Friends and family come by to give their approval. Now I’ll really be a jerk if I screw it up.

We get the appraisal. No problem. Loan documents arrive at the title company. We sit at the table together while they sign them. A few days later, they’re proud, happy home owners holding the keys to their dream. Their new life is off and running.

What about me? I don’t get to see or talk to them several times a week. I lose track of their every day life. Yes, I call to catch up, but it’s not the same. So I’ve gotten quite sneaky. I make them my friends. That way I can call whenever I want, drag them to dinner or a movie, go to the dog park, birthday parties, baseball games. I have to say, it’s worked out quite well.

As a lifelong resident and local Realtor, Vicki has established herself as a respected member of the San Mateo County real estate community. She’s known for her wit, sarcasm, and her personality that shows through in her posts. You can find her spouting off at Twitter, here at ag, and her personal blog, San Mateo Real Estate Blog.com.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Mariana Wagner

    October 23, 2007 at 4:57 am

    Nice one! We DO work so hard to build a relationship with our clients. We become an intricate part of their lives … until closing. I hate breaking up as much as the next guy. So, I love to make my clients my friends as well, because you never need an excuse to call a friend.

  2. Benn Rosales

    October 23, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    As a guy I can say it is no different for me. My clients are everything to me, it’s personal, it’s not about a commission, it’s about winning for them. They see this, know this, live this for the life of a transaction and suddenly it’s over- they’re moved in and the need for you is very small. So you have two choices, 1 get dumped and it’s over, or 2, you do exactly what you described- you make friends. Golf, football, bbqs, whatever- I can honestly say some of my clients have become by greatest friends, many others have become friends of my wife, but one thing is for sure, my life is richer because of them, our relationships go far beyond that of a commission.

  3. Jeremy Hart

    October 23, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    I agree, I’ve been so fortunate to see customers become clients, and clients become friends. Just this week I’ve had lunch with one client-become-friend, golf with another, and then some weekend fun with another. One of the benefits that CAN’T be valued in this business is the opportunity to influence lives, and have yours influenced, by these relationships. Great job Vicki!

  4. Vicki Moore

    October 23, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    It’s one of the best parts of the job. I was calling them client-friends, but I’ve dropped the client part. Somehow the people I don’t like know it and they fire me.

  5. Athol Kay

    October 24, 2007 at 4:44 am

    >>Somehow the people I don’t like know it and they fire me.

    That’s a whole post right there.

  6. Vicki Moore

    October 24, 2007 at 5:59 pm

    Ooooo Athol! Thanks for the direction. I’ll put that together!

  7. Athol Kay

    October 24, 2007 at 6:01 pm

    I do what I can. 🙂

  8. Vicki Moore

    October 24, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    You’re the best!

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Business Marketing

Tired of “link in bio”? Here is a solution for Instagram linking

(MARKETING) The days of only one link in your Instagram bio are over. Alls.Link not only lets you link more, it gives you options for marketing and analytics too.

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Woman checking Instagram on phone

If you’re like me, you’ve probably swapped out the link in your Instagram bio 100 times. Do I share my website? A link to a product? A recent publication? Well, now you don’t have to choose!

Alls.Link is a subscription-based program that allows you to, among other things, have multiple links in your bio. I’m obsessed with the Instagram add-ons that are helping business owners to expand the platform to further engage their audiences – and this is NEEDED one.

With the basic membership ($8/month), you get up to 10 customizable Biolink Pages with shortened links (and you’ll be able to choose your own backend). You also get access to Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel for your pages. With the basic membership, you will have Alls.Link advertising on your Biolink Page. Plus, you’ll be allotted a total of 10 projects, and Biolink Pages with 20 customizable domains.

With the premium membership ($15/month), you get link scheduling for product drops and article releases, SEO and UTM parameters, and you’ll have the ability to link more socials on the Biolink Page. With this membership, you’re allotted 20 projects and Biolink Pages with 60 customizable domains.

If you’re unsure about whether or not Alls.Link is worth it (or which membership is best for you), there is a free trial option in which you’ll be granted all the premium membership capabilities.

Overall – premium membership or not – I have to say, the background colors and font choices are really fun and will take your Biolink Page to the next level. Alls.Link is definitely a program to consider if your business has a substantial Insta following and you have a lot of external material you want to share with your followers.

The day-by-day statistics are a great tool for knowing what your audience is interested in and what links are getting the most clicks. Also, the ability to incorporate Google Analytics into the mix is a big plus, especially if you’re serious about metrics.

If you have a big team (or manage multiple pages), I would suggest going premium just for the sheer quantity of domains you can customize and link, though there are various other reasons I’d also suggest to do so. Take a look and see what works for you!

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Business Marketing

Use the ‘Blemish Effect’ to skyrocket your sales

(MARKETING) The Blemish Effect dictates that small, adjacent flaws in a product can make it that much more interesting—is perfection out?

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blemish effect

Presenting a product or service in its most immaculate, polished state has been the strategy for virtually all organizations, and overselling items with known flaws is a practice as old as time. According to marketing researchers, however, this approach may not be the only way to achieve optimal results due to something known as the “Blemish Effect.”

The Blemish Effect isn’t quite the inverse of the perfectionist product pitch; rather, it builds on the theory that small problems with a product or service can actually throw into relief its good qualities. For example, a small scratch on the back of an otherwise pristine iPhone might draw one’s eye to the glossy finish, while an objectively perfect housing might not be appreciated in the same way.

The same goes for mildly bad press or a customer’s pros and cons list. If someone has absolutely no complaints or desires for whatever you’re marketing, the end result can look flat and lacking in nuance. Having the slightest bit of longing associated with an aspect (or lack thereof) of your business means that you have room to grow, which can be tantalizing for the eager consumer.

A Stanford study indicates that small doses of mildly negative information may actually strengthen a consumer’s positive impression of a product or service. Interesting.

Another beneficial aspect of the Blemish Effect is that it helps consumers focus their negativity. “Too good to be true” often means exactly that, and we’re eager to criticize where possible. If your product or service has a noticeable flaw which doesn’t harm the item’s use, your audience might settle for lamenting the minor flaw and favoring the rest of the product rather than looking for problems which don’t exist.

This concept also applies to expectation management. Absent an obvious blemish, it can be all to easy for consumers to envision your product or service on an unattainable level.

When they’re invariably disappointed that their unrealistic expectations weren’t fulfilled, your reputation might take a hit, or consumers might lose interest after the initial wave.

The takeaway is that consumers trust transparency, so in describing your offering, tossing in a negative boosts the perception that you’re being honest and transparent, so a graphic artist could note that while their skills are superior and their pricing reasonable, they take their time with intricate projects. The time expectation is a potentially negative aspect of their service, but expressing anything negative improves sales as it builds trust.

It should be noted that the Blemish Effect applies to minor impairments in cosmetic or adjacent qualities, not in the product or service itself. Delivering an item which is inherently flawed won’t make anyone happy.

In an age where less truly is more, the Blemish Effect stands to dictate a new wave of honesty in marketing.

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Business Marketing

Google Chrome will no longer allow premium extensions

(MARKETING) In banning extension payments through their own platform, Google addresses a compelling, if self-created, issue on Chrome.

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Google Chrome open on a laptop on a organized desk.

Google has cracked down on various practices over the past couple of years, but their most recent target—the Google Chrome extensions store—has a few folks scratching their heads.
Over the span of the next few months, Google will phase out paid extensions completely, thus ending a bizarre and relatively negligible corner of internet economy.

This decision comes on the heels of a “temporary” ban on the publication of new premium extensions back in March. According to Engadget, all aspects of paid extension use—including free trials and in-app purchases—will be gone come February 2021.

To be clear, Google’s decision won’t prohibit extension developers from charging customers to use their products; instead, extension developers will be required to find alternative methods of requesting payment. We’ve seen this model work on a donation basis with extensions like AdBlock. But shifting to something similar on a comprehensive scale will be something else entirely.

Interestingly, Google’s angle appears to be in increasing user safety. The Verge reports that their initial suspension of paid extensions was put into place as a response to products that included “fraudulent transactions”, and Google’s subsequent responses since then have comprised more user-facing actions such as removing extensions published by different parties that accomplish replica tasks.

Review manipulation, use of hefty notifications as a part of an extension’s operation, and generally spammy techniques were also eyeballed by Google as problem points in their ongoing suspension leading up to the ban.

In banning extension payments through their own platform, Google addresses a compelling, if self-created, issue. The extension store was a relatively free market in a sense—something that, given the number of parameters being enforced as of now, is less true for the time being.

Similarly, one can only wonder about which avenues vendors will choose when seeking payment for their services in the future. It’s entirely possible that, after Google Chrome shuts down payments in February, the paid section of the extension market will crumble into oblivion, the side effects of which we can’t necessarily picture.

For now, it’s probably best to hold off on buying any premium extensions; after all, there’s at least a fighting chance that they’ll all be free come February—if we make it that far.

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