Photo Courtsey of Ben Just Ben
Not For Me!!!
“Hey Rock, how are you today?” I was often asked when I first entered real estate in 2002. I would follow up with, “I’m ok for a Monday Morning.” After a couple of seconds of silence the person I was speaking with would ponder the date and time. After they realized I was in the wrong, I would get “Rocky, its 6:30 p.m. Friday!?!?!?!?” After these exchanges of banter I’d come back with, “Not for me, it’s ALWAYS Monday, I am a REALTOR!”
After the chuckles subside, I am talking real estate and how I work 24/7, a virtual all night drive through for your real estate needs. This always ended with me handing out a business card with office number, direct line, pager, cell phone, fax, email address, web site, shoe size, and eye color. I was begging to receive phone calls at 2 a.m., and of course, I did. There were nights at the office until 4 a.m. finishing listings, writing offers, and organizing paperwork. I would go on vacation and would be tied to my cell phone and laptop.
That was back in the summer of 2005. I had been an agent for 3 years, and married for 7 months. My new bride had had enough. She hated the fact I was missing dinners, dates, and working, when we should have been visiting her family in Kansas. In a very stern tone she told me “it’s either real estate, or me!” So I took a 9-5 job, Monday through Friday, as an Onsite Representative for a title company.
I was flying along and doing well, my wife was happy, and I had vacation time, sick time, a boss that was over 200 miles away that I saw twice a year, and HEALTH INSURANCE! All was well in the VanBrimmer Land. Suddenly, it all came to a screeching halt. The mortgage meltdown started, and I was let go August 2007. I was on the beginning of a “state sponsored” sabbatical. What was I going to do?
It Dawned On Me
Then it dawned on me, REAL ESTATE. But there was a catch…I had to have SET hours per the boss. I thought to myself, “That’s it? That is all it takes for me to get back in to real estate? SWEET!
Due to my wife’s request, I now share my hours with my clients right off the bat. I have a sheet of paper with my hours of operation:
Monday, Tuesday 8am – 9pm
Wed, Thurs 8am – 6pm (I have obligations in the evening)
Sunday, I take selective phone calls. Everyone deserves a day of rest.
At the end of that statement, I let them know I have 2 phone numbers (local to my service areas) on my card that does it all. Call one number and it will find me at my office, home, or on the road. It bounces all around until it finds me. If for some reason I do not pick up, leave a message. I promise you, I will call back as soon as humanly possible. Of course, I include my email address on my card, and even debated adding my twitter ID.
The surprising thing is…it WORKS! My clients respect and appreciate the fact that I have communicated when I am available and how to reach me. I have instilled trust in them that I am available to them when they need me. Even better, they do not expect me to have my flashing neon light on saying “ALWAYS OPEN!”
A good night’s rest and harmony in my home makes me a better agent for my clients.
“So Rocky, how are you doing today?” “I’m ok, for a Monday morning!” It is still a great line to let people know I am in real estate. I guess I still need to work on that!
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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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