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Opinion Editorials

And Another Thing – Busted

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Lani busted me. I put this post on my site and then pulled it when I thought it might be a little much for my public. I thought only John G had seen but obviously not. I spoke to my dearest friend yesterday who thought I should repost it minus the foul language. (My mother’s a truck driver.) After talking with Lani it seems she agreed. I’m new to this blogging thing and haven’t yet determined what posts go where.

If I haven’t said this enough, I think I’m funny. After getting flogged for my sarcastic humor, I went ballistic in black and white. So here’s the cleaner, more professional version.

queen.jpgWarning: If you’re easily offended change the channel. My posts are a monarchy and I’m the queen.

I enjoy a good debate. Several times I’ve been reprimanded online for that passion. You gotta be passionate about something otherwise why bother? If you have a good argument, let’s get it on. If you’re going to personally attack me, you’ll be hanged at the gallows.

Facts: I’m a single woman living in one of the most expensive economies in the country. I support myself in every way. There’s no boyfriend (looking though), no sugar daddy, no family, no trust fund. I pay for every paperclip.

I work my butt (bad word removed) off. If you have any doubt of that, read the comments my clients have posted – in their own words. I’ve worked 7 days straight for the past two weeks (now I’m up to 17 days) to provide my clients with the best real estate services they’ll ever find and myself a roof over my head. My goal is referrals, not the one time deal, slam them into a house and never see them again. Nobody’s going to refer me anything if I’m an idiot with no knowledge or opinion. I have to go out on the line. That’s one of the most valuable services I provide; an educated, knowledgeable and honest opinion with no meaningless rhetoric (bad word removed).

Recently I closed escrow with a great guy. He listened to what I had to say, appreciated and trusted my input. I gained that trust. I didn’t tell him I’m trustworthy, honest. I proved it. During the offer period, we had a conversation about the appliances. He had his own and did not need the ones provided for in the purchase. I suggested that he include them in the contract so that the elderly, ill seller did not have to deal with the inconvenience of having them removed. I further suggested that if he got the property at a good price, it would be worth his time to handle it. I didn’t leave him to deal with it. I found happy takers for the fridge, washer and dryer, and arranged the pickup.

A client I sold a house to six years ago called the other day. I’ve kept in contact with them with phone calls and congratulations on every family milestone. What’s important to them is important to me. I told them that I didn’t have the best of news. They were going to have to work hard to sell their house, price it precisely right, it was going to take time and they would have to exercise a great deal of patience. She said: That’s why I called. I knew you’d be honest with us.

That’s the point. I am honest. You may not want to hear what I have to say but I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t believe it with every fiber. Sure, I’ve been fired by buyers who didn’t hear what they wanted to. I wished them the best. I hope they found a beautiful house in a beautiful neighborhood and had a wonderful experience with their realtor.

Do you want fabrication (bad word removed) or do you want the truth?

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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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Benn Rosales

    October 24, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    It’s so hard not to oversell to a seller and just be brutally honest backed up with solutions. I fear the crunch will be felt worse by those suckered into the so-called easy do it yourself way. It’s going to take a closer to close in this market, not a pretty avm or a sexy new website. Realtors like you Vicki are the value added- you are the product, god help those looking for a generic version that promises pie in the sky. Way to tell it like it is…

  2. Lani Anglin

    October 24, 2007 at 10:13 pm

    Now THAT’S what I call a commission defense! I love how you’ve shown your worth and (as Benn put it) your value added.

    Great article, Vicki- your community is lucky to have you (as is *duh* Agent Genius)!

  3. ines

    October 25, 2007 at 2:50 am

    I did not see anything offensive in that post at all. Honesty is key Vicki and it may not get us the job right away, but it does in the long run.

    Good for you and keep sticking to your guns.

  4. Mariana

    October 25, 2007 at 4:34 am

    Here is a question that I have learned to ask…

    “Do I have permission to tell you the truth?”

    No one ever says “no” and then they are actually more apt to listen to what I have to say.

  5. Vicki Moore

    October 25, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    I bet when you ask permission to tell the truth the client leans in. That’s powerful.

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Opinion Editorials

3 things to do if you *really* want to be an ally to women in tech

(EDITORIAL) Diversity is known to strengthen the overall performance of a company and its teams, and there are a number of ways you can be an ally to the talented women already on your workforce.

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More and more women are leaving their positions with tech companies, citing lack of opportunity for advancement, wage gaps and even hostile working conditions as some of the reasons why.

What’s better for the tech industry and its employees than cultivating inclusive and diverse departments? Diversity is known to strengthen the overall performance of a company and its teams, and there are a number of ways you can be an ally to the talented women already on your workforce. To name a few:

1. Be open to listening to different perspectives.

It can be awkward to hear so many reports of workplace politics stacking against women, especially if you’re not a woman!

Instead of getting uncomfortable or defensive – ask open ended questions and be interested in a perspective that isn’t yours and may be unfamiliar.

Don’t seek to rationalize or explain the experiences you’re hearing about, as that can come off as condescending. It’s common for women to be interrupted or spoken over in team gatherings. If you notice this happening, bring the conversation back to where the interruption began. Offering your ear and counting yourself as responsible for making space will improve the overall quality of communication in your company.

Listening to and validating what women have to say about the quality of their employment with a company is an important step in the right direction.

Expressing something as simple as “I was interested in what you had to say – could you elaborate on your thought?” can help.

2. Develop an Employee Resource Group (ERG) program.

An ERG is a volunteer-based, employee-led group that acts as a resource for a particular group of employees. An ERG can help to foster inclusiveness through discussion, team-building activities and events. It’s common for a department to have only one or two women on the roster.

This can mean that the day to day feels disconnected from concerns commonly shared by women. disjointed it might feel to be on a high performing team, without access to relatable conversations.

3. Be responsible for your company’s culture.

Chances are, your company already has some amazing cultural values in place. That said, how often are you checking your own performance and your co-workers performances against those high standards? Strong company culture and values sound great, but whether or not they’re adhered to can make or break the mood of a work environment.

Many women say they’ve experienced extremely damaging and toxic cultural environments, which lead to hostility, frustration, and even harassment. Take action when you see the new woman uncomfortable with being hit on at team drinks.

Call out those who make unfriendly and uncouth comments about how women perform, look, or behave.

Setting a personal threshold for these kinds of microaggressions can help you lead by example, and will help build a trustworthy allyship.

(This article was first published here in November, 2016.)

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Opinion Editorials

Serial procrastinator? Your issue isn’t time management

(EDITORIAL) Need a hack for your time management? Try focusing on your energy management.

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Your author has a confession to make; as a “type B” personality who has always struggled with procrastination, I am endlessly fascinated by the topic of productivity and “hacking your time.”

I’ve tried most of the tricks you’ve read about, with varying degrees of success.

Recently, publishers like BBC have begun to approach productivity from a different perspective; rather than packing days full of to-do items as a way to maximize time, the key is to maximize your mental energy through a different brand of time management.

So, why doesn’t time management work?

For starters, not all work time is quality time by nature. According to a study published at ScienceDirect, your average worker is interrupted 87 times a day on the job. For an 8-hour day, that’s almost 11 times per hour. No wonder it’s so hard to stay focused!

Second, time management implies a need to fill time in order to maximize it.

It’s the difference between “being busy” and “being productive.”

It also doesn’t impress your boss; a Boston University study concluded that “managers could not tell the difference between employees who actually worked 80 hours a week and those who just pretended to.” By contrast, managing your energy lets you maximize your time based on how it fits with your mental state.

Now, how do you manage your energy?

First, understand and protect the time that should actually go into deep, focused work. Studies continually show that just a few hours of focused worked yield the greatest results; try to put in longer hours behind that, and you’ll see diminishing returns. There’s a couple ways you can accomplish this.

You can block off time in your day dedicated to focused work, and guard the time as if it were a meeting. You could also physically retreat to a private space in order to work on a task.

Building in flexibility is another key to managing your energy. The BBC article references a 1980s study that divided students into two groups; one group planned out monthly goals, while the other group planned out daily goals and activities. The study found the monthly planners accomplished more of their goals, because the students focusing on detailed daily plans often found them foiled by the unexpected.

Moral of the story?

Don’t lock in your schedule too tightly; leave space for the unexpected.

Finally, you should consider making time for rest, a fact reiterated often by the BBC article. You’ve probably heard the advice before that taking 17 minute breaks for every 52 minutes worked is important, and studies continue to show that it is. However, rest also includes taking the time to turn your brain off of work mode entirely.

The BBC article quotes associated professor of psychiatry Srini Pillay as saying that, “[people] need to use both the focus ad unfocus circuits in the brain,” in order to be fully productive. High achievers like Serena Williams, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates build this into their mentality and their practice.

Embracing rest and unfocused thinking may be key to “embracing the slumps,” as the BBC article puts it.

In conclusion, by leaving some flexibility in your schedule and listening to your body and mind, you can better tailor your day to your mental state and match your brainpower to the appropriate task. As someone who is tempted to keep a busy to-do list myself, I am excited to reevaluate and improve my own approach. Maybe you should revisit your own systems as well.

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Opinion Editorials

How the Bullet Journal method has been hijacked and twisted

(EDITORIAL) I’m a big fan of the Bullet Journal method, but sticker-loving tweens have hijacked the movement. Worry not, I’m still using black and white bullet points with work tasks (not “pet cat,” or “smile more”).

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It’s taken me some time to come around to the Bullet Journal method, because it took me some time to fully understand it (I have a tendency to overthink simplicity). Now that I understand the use, I find it very beneficial for my life and my appreciation for pen-to-paper.

In short, it’s a quick and simple system for organization tasks and staying focused with everything you have going on. All you need to employ this method is a journal with graph or dotted paper, and a pen. Easy.

However, there seems to be this odd truth that: we find ways to simplify complicated things, and we find ways to complicate simple things. The latter is exactly what’s happened with the Bullet Journal method, thanks to creative people who show the rest of us up.

To understand what I’m talking about, open up Instagram (or Pinterest, or even Google) and just search “bullet journal.” You’ll soon find post after post of frilly, sticker-filled, calligraphy-laden journal pages.

The simple method of writing down bullets of tasks has been hijacked to become a competitive art form.

Don’t get me wrong, I like looking at this stuff because I dig the creativity. But, do I have time to do that myself? No! For honesty’s sake, I’ve tried just for fun and it takes too much damn time.

With this is mind, this new-found method of Bullet Journaling as an art is something that: a) defeats the purpose of accomplishing tasks quickly as you’re setting yourself back with the nifty art, and b) entrepreneurs, freelancers, executives, or anyone busy would not have time for.

Most of these people posting artistic Bullet Journal pages on Instagram are younger and have more time on their hands (and if you want to spend your time doing that, do you, man).

But, it goes against the simplistic method of Bullet Journaling. The intent of the method.

And, beneath the washi tape, stickers, and different colored pens, usually lies a list of: put away laundry, feed cat, post on Insta. So, this is being done more for the sake of art than for employing the method.

Again, I’m all for art and for people following their passions and creativities, but it stands to reason that this should be something separate from the concept of Bullet Journaling, as it has become a caricature of the original method.

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