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A Welcomed Reminder



It had been one of those weeks. The phone call came at just the right time.

“Hello, Rich? This is Bill, the guy from California? We had emailed back and forth a few weeks ago? My family and I are considering a move to your area.”

The Light Bulb

The light bulb immediately clicked on. Bill was a retired policeman from Santa Rosa CA. He had also served in the Navy, and had found me through an ActiveRain post I had written almost 2 years ago. Bill and his wife, an adult daughter with twins, 16 Akitas, and two horses, were looking for a little more room to roam, and a slower pace of life. Kitsap County WA would make a perfect home!

Bill and I exchange some pleasantries, and as it turns out, he has driven up from CA to check out the area. In fact, he’s in Silverdale at this very minute and wants to know if there are any houses he can check out.

Viewing Vacants

Well, unfortunately, I have another pending obligation, but I pull up a half dozen vacant listings off the MLS that fit his search criteria. I give him directions to the house, and he arrives a few minutes later. We meet, shake hands, and in short order, we’re sharing Navy stories like we’re long lost buddies. I give him a map and directions to the listings, and then we make plans to hook-up the following day, for an expanded personal tour of the scenic Kitsap Peninsula.

Your Friendly Local Tour Guide

So today, I picked Bill up at his hotel in Port Orchard, and we spend a good part of the day cruising around the countryside, looking at properties, and just becoming better acquainted.

Later, after I dropped him back off, and I was driving home, I was reminded of why I enjoy this career so much. Connecting personally with people, helping them to work through the challenges of transition and relocation, to find that perfect place for them to call home. Fewer things I’ve done in my career have been so enjoyable or satisfying.

Our time together today was well spent and confirmed to Bill that a move to our area was possible. We found several potential properties that would fit their needs/budget well. And interestingly enough, the very first house that my wife and I bought was in Santa Rosa. Our daughter was born there. I will be referring Bill to the agent we used for the sale of their current residence.

Why We Blog

We can have a tendency to become overly absorbed with our discussions here, and lose the focus on the much bigger picture of why we blog in the first place; or why we invest time in various Web 2.0 apps or social networking platforms.

Thanks, Bill. It was a welcomed reminder, and helped me to put things back into proper perspective.

Writer for national real estate opinion column, focusing on the improvement of the real estate industry by educating peers about technology, real estate legislation, ethics, practices and brokerage with the end result being that consumers have a better experience.

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  1. Vance Shutes

    July 12, 2008 at 7:14 am


    Thank you. After the week I’ve had, your post here has renewed my energy about why I do what I do. A phone call or e-mail like the one you got from Bill usually comes at the time it is most needed, once again confirming the “Law of Attraction”. How we handle those phone calls can make or break a relationship, and hence, can be the building block for a thriving referral relationship. Congratulations on your success with Bill, and many more to follow!

  2. Paula Henry

    July 12, 2008 at 7:23 am

    Rich –

    This is a great sory and a perfect example of why we do blog. What stands out for me in your story, is how the two of you connected. That is the beauty of blogging – we usally end up working with cients who we connect with and they with us.

  3. Eric Blackwell

    July 12, 2008 at 7:50 am

    Amen. Nice job.

  4. Bill Lublin

    July 12, 2008 at 7:58 am

    Now that’s what I’m talking about right there – !
    Wonderful post in a tiring time to remind us of the “wins” that make it wall worth while

  5. Elaine Reese

    July 12, 2008 at 8:53 am

    I’m certain that after the week you probably had, this extreme positive had to be especially meaningful to you.

    I get so tickled when I meet people at open houses who say they enjoy reading my blog, or when new clients call and say they’re impressed with my photos of other listings, or as I watch commenters on my WP blog “loosen up” and eventually reveal their identity as they develop their trust of me. It’s a wonderful feeling!

    Our blogs reveal so much of our personality (good or bad), that it’s not surprising that there’s an instant connection when we meet in person, as you found out. And we all know that you’re a really nice guy … because we’ve come to know you through your blogging. I’m so glad you had such a positive event – you deserve it!

  6. Vicki Moore

    July 12, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    The human connection, the mutual appreciation and friendship make it all better. It’s a welcomed reminder – for me too – after a rough week.

  7. Curtis Reddehase

    July 12, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    You know your blogs work when people feel connected to you from the posts. We are working on this with more of our agents

  8. Jennifer in Louisville

    July 12, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Blogging definitely works. How well it works is really up to the person doing it. If you HATE doing it, it will translate to your writings – and persons will sense that you don’t like it.

    If you however don’t mind, or enjoy doing it – it can attract persons that share your interests and enthusiasm in whatever topic that you may be blogging about.

  9. Mariana

    July 12, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    Right on Rich!

    I have often said … First I am a Mother, then a Wife, then a daughter, then a Sister, then a friend, then a real estate agent, then a trainer/coach and then … and only then am I a blogger. Yes, blogging is a tool to help give us opportunities to meet and communicate, but nothing is more important than the human touch/interaction.

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Business Marketing

Pay employees for their time, not only their work

(MARKETING) Yes, you still must pay employees for their time even if they aren’t able to complete their work due to restrictions. Time = Money.



pay employees for their time

The COVID-19 pandemic has inspired a lot of insightful questions about things like our healthcare system, worldwide containment procedures, and about a billion other things that all deserve well-thought answers.

Unfortunately, it has also led to some of the dumbest questions of all time.

One such question comes courtesy of Comstock Mag, with the inquiry asking whether or not employees who show up on time can be deducted an hour’s pay if the manager shows up an hour later.

From a legal standpoint, Comstock Mag points out that employees participating in such activities are “engaged to wait”, meaning that – while they aren’t necessarily “working” – they are still on the clock and waiting for work to appear; in this case, the aforementioned “work” comes in the form of the manager or supervisor showing up.

In short: if the reason your employees aren’t working is that the precursor to completing the work for which you pay them is inaccessible, you still have to pay them for their time.

Morally, of course, the answer is much simpler: pay your employees for their time, especially if the reason they are unable to complete work is because you (or a subordinate) didn’t make it to work at the right time.

Certainly, you might be able to justify sending all of your employees home early if you run into something like a technology snag or a hiccup in the processes which make it possible for them to do their jobs – that would mean your employees were no longer engaged to wait, thus removing your legal obligation to continue paying them.

Then again, the moral question of whether or not cutting your employees’ hours comes into play here. It’s understandable that funds would be tight for the time being, but docking employees an hour of their work here or there due to problems that no one can control may cause them to resent you down the line when you need their support in return.

The real problem with this question is that, despite most people knowing that the answer should always be “pay them”, the sheer number of people working from home in the wake of worldwide closures and social distancing could muddy the water in terms of what constitutes the difference between being engaged to wait and simply burning time.

For example, an employee who is waiting for a meeting to start still fits the bill of “engaged to wait” even if the meeting software takes an extra half hour to kick in (or, worse yet, the meeting never happens), and docking them pay for timecard issues or other extenuating factors that keep them from their work is similarly disingenuous – and illegal.

There are a lot of unknowns these days, but basic human decency should never be up for debate – especially now.

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Business Marketing

Cooler temps mean restaurants have to get creative to survive

(MARKETING) With winter approaching, restaurants are starting to find creative and sustainable ways to keep customers coming in… and warm.



Outdoor eating at restaurants grows in popularity.

Over the last decade we have seen a change in the approach to clientele experiences in the restaurant business. It’s no longer just about how good your food is, although that is still key. Now you have to give your customers an experience to remember. There are now restaurants that feed you in the dark, and others who require you to check all your clothes at the door. Each of these provides an experience to remember alongside food that ranges from good to exquisite, depending on your taste.

Now, however, the global pandemic has rearranged how we think about dining. We can no longer just shove people into a building and create a delectable meal. If you’ve relied mostly on people coming into your restaurant, you may struggle to survive now.

The new rules of keeping clients safe means setting things up outside is the easiest means of keeping large numbers of them from crowding inside. Because of this, weather has become a key influence in a company’s daily income. Tents that were a gimmick before, only needed by presumptuous millennials, are now a requirement to keep afloat. People are rushing to make their yards into lawns that bring some in some fancy feeling.

The ties to the sun in some areas are so strong that cloudy days have been shown to drop attendance as much as 14% for the day. This will become the more apparent the colder it gets. For me, I always mention hibernation weight in the winter, when all I want to do is curl up and eat at home. Down here in Texas we are already finding cooler weather, drops into the 70s even in August and September. We are all assuming a cold winter ahead. So, a bit of foresight is finding a means of keeping your guests warm for the winter ahead.

San Francisco restaurants have started with heat lamps during their cooler evenings. Fiberglass igloos have also been added to outdoor seating as a means of temperature control. A few places down in the Lonestar state keep roaring fires going for their outdoor activities. While others actually keep you running in between beverages by encouraging volleyball matches. This is the new future ahead of us, and being memorable is the way to go.

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Business Marketing

Canva is catching on to content trends, launches in-app video editor

(MARKETING) Canva launches an in-platform video editor, allowing access to their extensive library of assets and animations to create high-quality videos



African American woman working on Canva Video Editor Desktop in office setting.

Video content consumption is on the rise, and the graphic design platform, Canva, took note of it. The $40 billion Australian startup has entered the video business and announced the launch of its video editor, Canva Video Suite.

The end-to-end video editor is an easy-to-use platform that anyone, no matter the skill level, can create, edit, and record high-quality videos. Best of all, it’s free, and it’s available on both desktop and mobile platforms.

The tool has hundreds of editable templates that you can use to create videos for several online platforms like TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. Some templates can be used to create workplace and business videos, while other templates are perfect for personal videos. There are playful themes you can use to create that spooky video just in time for Halloween or make a laugh-out-loud video to send to your best friend! With a wide range of selections, in no time you’ll start creating your very own video masterpiece with Canva.

Caucasian man holding iPhone showing Canva video editor on mobile.

What else does the video software offer and what can you do with it? Well, let me tell you:

Collaborate in real-time

Having everyone on the same page is important and Canva’s video suite takes that into account. To collaborate with others, you simply send them an invite, and together you can edit videos, manage assets, and leave comments to give your input.

Video timeline editing and in-app recording

Similar to building presentation slides, Canva’s scene-based editor simplifies video editing by using a timeline approach. With it, you can quickly reorder, crop, trim, and splice your videos. Also, users don’t need to leave the platform to record that last-minute shot; within the app, you can shoot and record yourself from a camera or a screen.

Library of assets

The video editor is filled with an array of watermark-free stock footage, icons, images, illustrations, and even audio tracks that you can choose from – but if you really need something that is not on their platform – you can upload your own image, video, or audio track.

Animate with ease

Although still in the process of being released, soon you will be able to add animations of both text and visual elements in just a few simple clicks. Among others, animation presets that fade, pan, and tumble will help you transform your video and take it to a whole other level.

Overall, Canva Video Suite is very intuitive and has all the essential things you need to create a video. And by streamlining the video creation process, Canva is ensuring it enters the video marketplace with a bang.

“One of Canva’s guiding principles is to make complex things simple, and our new Video Suite will allow everyone to unlock the power of video, whether that’s to market their business, make engaging social posts, or express their creativity,” said Rob Kawalsky, Head of Product at Canva.

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