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Baby You Can Drive My Car



Does the car you drive really make a difference to your business? I guess it depends on who you ask.

When I first started, I drove a Mustang 5.0. It was hot! I still recognize the sound of them rumbling down the street.

Warren’s girlfriend, one of my first buyer clients, hated it. She had to sit in the back – he was too tall to smash himself back there – besides he was the client.

Later I traded the Mustang for a more practical 2000 Explorer – AKA the lumbering beast – which I still drive. When drivers ride up on me while I’m maneuvering a tight turn, I shout out to them: This is a truck! It doesn’t grab the turns, it rolls to the outside of them.

During my best year ever, I leased a convertible BMW 325. Another hot car. It really only fit two people but it’s a beautiful machine. A few months ago, I had a listing in a hoity-toity neighborhood. Because the Explorer is more practical, I drive it more frequently. I had met the buyer’s agent several times while driving it. For some reason, she was really rude and condescending to me. It really bugged me. She wore velvet pants and drove a Land Rover. I decided to test her. I pulled up to the property inspection in the Beemer, top down and all. Not so amazingly, she changed her tune.

Well, the beast is running out of time. I’ve been looking around. 07_ext_durango_thumb_06.jpg

The Charger is really cool, but I need an SUV. I haven’t driven the Durango but that’s a nice looking vehicle too. I think about the hybrids. I have clients who drive them. But I love the sound of flow masters. Can you get those on a hybrid?

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

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  1. Benn Rosales

    October 18, 2007 at 4:54 am

    I’ve seen folks in bmws, caddys, and the like. It’s true what they say, it’s all about the shoes. If you’re sporting a nice car, crappy shoes, a bic pen, a target timex, then the writing is on the wall- you aren’t what you drive. To me, it really is the total package. If someone drives a practical car, but they are well tailored, I’ll believe them more to be successful and good at what they do. I really do think tho that the bmw probably gave you a certain confidence she could not deny. I say hey, if it works. Have you thought about the murano? They corner well, look savvy, and ride like a dream… not to shabby on the gas either.

  2. Vicki Moore

    October 18, 2007 at 6:34 am

    You are a wise one, Obi-Wan Kenobi.

    I tried the Murano. It’s super. Only one problem- the seat pan is too long. Or I guess you could say the problem is my legs are too short.

  3. Benn Rosales

    October 18, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    There’s always a mini-cooper =]

  4. Eric W. Gage

    October 18, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    I think this is so true and a conversation just recently had with another realtor friend. I have a PR background and believe presentation is what it’s all about. That is why I bought a Mercedes last year. It’s all about presentation and how you want to be portrayed. I wanted it, earned and love it! Though, I am always asked since I drive a Mercedes if I am a trust fund baby since I am only 29yo! That really irks me…NO…I spend my money on real estate and not in the bars like most of my peers. I did it all on my own with a government salary! So, get what you want and what makes you feel good. Make sure your bank account can afford it, you look good and put your foot to the pedal and drive like nobody’s business! Great post!!! Oh..if you want a Dodge, Chrysler or Jeep and don’t mind driving to Dallas let me know–I can get you a good deal there!

  5. Chris Lengquist

    October 18, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    Ah, how I love the shallowness of it all. It’s not performance that matters. It’s style. Always has been…sadly.

  6. Vicki Moore

    October 18, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    After all the serious talk about NAR and blogging, I decided to take it down a notch. We all need mindless chit-chat once in a while.

    I love the Mini, btw. But I treat my car like a second apartment. I don’t think both me and my dog could fit at the same time.

    Hey Eric – My family lives in Dallas. I might fly out and drive back! What I get concerned about with the Mercedes is that when people get envious – like you described – they get mean.

  7. Ken Smith

    October 18, 2007 at 11:17 pm

    I opted for the Durango when we had my daughter (less then 2 years ago) and have only had issues. Worse the dealers (have tried 3) can never seem to figure out what is wrong with the truck without keeping it for days on end and then needing us to bring it back after the parts come in. I can’t figure out why I went with a Dodge…will not make that mistake again.

  8. Benn Rosales

    October 18, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    You can say that for almost any car maker. I have a friend with a lemon bmw.

  9. Athol Kay

    October 19, 2007 at 12:19 am

    Saturn Ion here.

    “Nothing but car.”

  10. Daniel Rothamel

    October 19, 2007 at 2:23 am

    I wrote about BMW for my Blog Action Post. You should love whatever you drive. While I don’t think that you can define someone by their car, it does say something about them, just like clothing.

  11. Benn Rosales

    October 20, 2007 at 2:20 am

    Okay, I’ve got the car for you, practical, yet sporty, yet, sexy when it’s loaded- how about the volvo xc90?

  12. Vicki Moore

    October 20, 2007 at 4:48 am

    I agree. And safe too.

  13. Sandy

    October 22, 2007 at 4:15 pm

    Acura MDX. Best real estate car ever. Nice, but not flashy. Performs well. Is an SUV but gets decent mileage (mine averages 18 mpg) and is an ultra-low-emissions-vehicle (ULEV). Has a great, non-truck-like ride and Honda quality. Very cheap on the maintenance.

    You can pull up in front of any house and drive around with any client in the MDX. I think they make it in a hybrid now too. Volvo XC90 would have been my second choice but the ULEV thing was a the clincher for me. I wanted something that didn’t make me feel like an ecoterrorist.

  14. Vicki Moore

    October 22, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    MDX is definitely high on the list. I like the ecoterrorist point. It’s not easy to be pc all the time. 🙂

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Opinion Editorials

Job listings are popping up left and right, so what exactly *is* UX writing?

(EDITORIAL) While UX writing is not technically new, it is seemingly becoming more and more prevalent. The job titles are everywhere, so what is it?



UX writing

The work of a UX writer is something you come across every day. Whether you’re hailing an Uber or browsing Spotify for that one Drake song, your overall user experience is affected by the words you read at each touchpoint.

A UX writer facilitates a smooth interaction between user and product at each of these touchpoints through carefully chosen words.

Some of the most common touchpoints these writers work on are interface copy, emails, and notifications. It doesn’t sound like the most thrilling stuff, but imagine using your favorite apps without all the thoughtful confirmation messages we take for granted. Take Eat24’s food delivery app, instead of a boring loading visual, users get a witty message like “smoking salmon” or “slurping noodles.”

Eat24’s app has UX writing that works because it’s engaging.

Xfinity’s mobile app provides a pleasant user experience by being intuitive. Shows that are available on your phone are clearly labeled under “Available Out of Home.” I’m bummed that Law & Order: SVU isn’t available, but thanks to thoughtful UX writing at least I knew that sad fact ahead of time.

Regardless of where you find these writer’s work, there are three traits an effective UX writer must-have. Excellent communication skills are a must. The ability to empathize with the user is on almost every job post. But from my own experience working with UX teams, I’d argue for the ability to advocate as the most important skill.

UX writers may have a very specialized mission, but they typically work within a greater user experience design team. In larger companies, some UX writers even work with a smaller team of fellow writers. Decisions aren’t made in isolation. You can be the wittiest writer, with a design decision based on obsessive user research, but if you can’t advocate for those decisions then what’s the point?

I mentioned several soft skills, but that doesn’t mean aspiring UX writers can’t benefit from developing a few specific tech skills. While the field doesn’t require a background in web development, UX writers often collaborate with engineering teams. Learning some basic web development principles such as responsive design can help writers create a better user experience across all devices. In a world of rapid prototyping, I’d also suggest learning a few prototyping apps. Several are free to try and super intuitive.

Now that the UX in front of the writer no longer intimidates you, go check out ADJ, The American Genius’ Facebook Group for Austin digital job seekers and employers. User-centric design isn’t going anywhere and with everyone getting into the automation game, you can expect even more opportunities in UX writing.

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Opinion Editorials

Have an in-person job interview? 7 tips to crush the competition

EDITORIAL) While we all know the usual interview schtick, take some time to really study for your next face-to-face job interview.



Job interview between two women.

So, you’re all scheduled for an in-person interview for a job you’d kill for. It’s exciting that you’ve made it to this step, but the question is, are you ready? Especially with remote interviews being the new norm, your nerves may feel shaken up a bit to interview in person – but you’ve got this! And many of these tips can be applied no matter the interview setting.

We all know the basics of a job interview: dress nice, get there early, come prepared, firm handshake, yada, yada, yada… However, it’s good to really sit and think about all of the requirements of a successful interview.

There are seven steps for crushing a face-to-face interview. Do your homework upside down and inside out in order to walk into that room.

Which brings us to the first step: know everything you need to know backwards and forwards.

This can be done in two steps: getting to know the company and getting to know yourself. By doing website, social media, and LinkedIn research, you can get a feel of the company culture as well as the position you’re interviewing for.

By getting to know yourself, have a friend ask you some interview questions so you can practice. Also, take a look at your resume through the eyes of someone who doesn’t know you. Make sure everything is clear and can compete with other candidates.

The next step is to anticipate solving future problems. Have some insight on the department that you are interviewing for and come prepared with ideas of how to better this department. (i.e. if it’s marketing, give examples of campaigns you’ve done in the past that have proven to have been successful.)

Step number three requires you to go back to the research board and get some information on the employer. Find out who you’re meeting with (head of HR, head of the department, etc.) and make your self-presentation appropriate for the given person.

Next, work on making the interview conversation a meaningful one. This can be done by asking questions as people like to see you take an interest in them. Also, be sure to never answer the questions as if it’s your regular spiel. Treat each job interview as if this is the first time you’re presenting your employability information.

With this, your next step is to have stories prepared for the job interview. Anecdotes and examples of previous jobs or volunteer/organization experiences can help bring life to an otherwise run-of-the-mill resume.

After this, you’ll want to make sure that you’re showing enthusiasm for the position you’re interviewing for. Don’t jump on the couch in the lobby like you’re Tom Cruise on Oprah, but definitely portray that you’re excited and up for the challenge.

Lastly, make a good impression by being impressive. Be professional and in control of your body language. Put yourself in the mindset of whatever position you’re interviewing for and show them that you have what it takes.

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Opinion Editorials

The benefits of remote work are just too good to overlook

(EDITORIAL) Employees scream it from the rooftops and businesses don’t want to admit it: Remote work is just too beneficial to pass up- and here’s why.



Work from home written with scrabble letters.

Remote work has been rising in popularity in the past several years. Especially following the COVID-19 global pandemic, more companies saw significant benefits for both their business and their staff that went beyond the realm of finances by allowing remote labor.

Less happily, many people lost their job during the pandemic, but they ended up having more time to put toward their passions or were compelled to get creative with their remote business ideas to ensure a consistent stream of income.

If you remain on the fence about allowing your employees to work remotely, or are considering a career shift yourself, take a look at the top four benefits of working remotely, which may sway your decision.

Better Overall Quality of Life

Allowing your employees to work remotely doesn’t necessarily mean they work from home full time. There are benefits to having your employees work in an office part of the time – say, two or three days – and working from home, in more familiar surroundings, the rest of the week.

In this way, your workers enjoy some freedom and independence while retaining the ability to interact face-to-face with their peers. That provides human interaction, which can play a substantial role in terms of improved mental health for your staff.

Happy employees means healthier employees, which can save your outfit money in the form of healthcare costs and lost productivity. But we will get further into the cost-saving benefits a little further on.

If you’re a remote worker, you should see yourself becoming significantly more productive. But why would this be the case if you don’t have a manager over your shoulder watching your every move?

It’s true that when employees have a greater sense of independence, they also experience a significant sense of trust on the part of their employers and managers. This is one of the huge benefits of working remotely because it has a trickle-down effect on the quality and overall production of people’s work.

Can Work Anywhere with Internet

Whether you are a small business owner or have crafted your work to tailor toward a life of remote labor, this is an opportunity for someone who has dreamed of being a digital nomad. You have the ability to work anywhere in the world as long as you have access to the Internet. If you love to travel, this is a chance to spend time in various places around the globe while continuing to meet your deadlines.

Multi-member Zoom call on a Apple Mac laptop with a blue mug of black coffee next to it.

Set Your Own Hours

In some cases with remote businesses, you have the freedom to set your own hours. Content writers, for instance, tend to enjoy more flexibility with regard to when they work because a lot of what they produce is project-based rather than tied to a nine-to-five schedule.

When you’re a business owner, this can be incredibly useful when you outsource tasks to save money. You can find a higher quality of performance by searching for contractors anywhere in the world and it doesn’t limit you to workers who live near to your office.

Saves Everyone Time and Money

 In the end, remote work typically saves money for every person and entity involved. Businesses save costs in terms of not having to pay for a physical space, utilities, Internet, and other expenses. This allows you, as the owner, to spend more of your income on providing quality software and benefits for your employees so your operation runs more smoothly and efficiently.

According to FlexJobs, employees or remote business owners may save around $4,000 on average every year for expenses such as car maintenance, transportation, professional clothing in the office, or even money spent dining out for lunch with coworkers. Eventually, the costs add up, which means extra money in your pocket to take that much-needed vacation or save up for a down payment on your first home.

These benefits of working remotely only skim the surface. There are also sustainability factors such as removing cars from the roads and streets, because people don’t have to travel to and from an office; or employees missing fewer workdays since they have the ability and freedom to clock in from home.

Weigh the pros and cons as to whether remote work is right for you as a business owner or online professional. You might be surprised to find that working from home for more than the duration of the pandemic is worthwhile and could have long-lasting benefits.

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