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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

What entreprenuers can learn about branding from trendy startups

(BUSINESS MARKETING) What’s the secret of focused startup branding, and how can you apply it to large enterprises?



A set of wine from Craft Hugo, showing off pleasing branding in labels.

Think of your favorite brand. Is it the product they offer or the branding that you love? Exactly – brand ethos reigns supreme, especially with those trendy, aesthetically-pleasing startups (I never thought Glossier had good makeup, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t visit their website once or twice a month).

So let’s break it down.

Co-founder of Red Antler – a company that assists startups in creating successful branding – Emily Heyward believes in a few branding truths.

Firstly, you have to make sure not to market your brand as a single product or experience. Doing so, she says, will pigeonhole you and thus truncate your ability to expand and offer new products and services (she gives MailChimp, known almost exclusively for email marketing, as an example).

What Heyward does say to do is instead market an idea. For example, the brand Casper (one of Antler’s clients) markets itself as a sleep company instead of a mattress company. By doing this, they kept the door open to eventually offer other products, like pillows and bedding.

Heyward states that this “power of focus” is a way to survive – with countless other startups offering the same product or service, you have to position your company as offering something beyond the product. Provide a problem your customer didn’t know they had and offer an innovative solution through your product.

Ever used Slack, the app-based messenger? There were other messengers out there, so focus of Slack’s branding is that regular messaging is boring and that their app makes it more fun. And customers eat it up.

How can this logic apply to mid-to-large enterprises? How can you focus on one specific thing?

Again, placing emphasis on brand over products is essential – what is it about what you offer that makes your customers’ lives better? It’s more cerebral than material. You’re selling a better life.

Another thing to remember is that customers are intrigued by the idea of new experiences, even if the product or service being offered is itself not new. Try not to use dated language that’s colored by a customers’ preexisting feelings. Instead, find an exciting alternative – chat solutions are desperately trying move away from the word “chat”, which can bring to mind an annoying, tedious process, even though that is in fact what they offer.

Broadening the idea of focused brand ethos to a large company can be difficult. By following these tips and tricks from startups, your company can develop a successful brand ethos that extends beyond your best product or service.

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Business Marketing

Spruce up your product images with Glorify (just in time for Black Friday!)

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Want professional, customizable product images for your company? Consider Glorify’s hot Black Friday deal.



Glorify app lets you create beautiful designs for your products.

Glorify, the app that creates high converting, customizable product images for your business, is offering a lifetime deal for $97 this Black Friday. In just a few clicks, you can transform one of Glorify’s sleek templates into personalized, professional-looking content – and now, you don’t have to pay that monthly fee.

Whether your business is in electronics, beauty, or food & drink, Glorify offers a range of looks that will instantly bring your product images to the next level. With countless font styles and the ability to alter icon styles, shadows and other elements, you can access all the perks of having your own designer without the steep price.

In 2019, Glorify was launched – the app was soon voted #2 Product of the Day and nominated for Best Design Tool by Product Hunt. Since then, they have cultivated a 20k+ user base!

Glorify 2.0, which was launched last week, upgrades the experience. The new and improved version of the app is complete overhaul of intuitive UI improvements and extra features, such as:

  • background remover tool
  • templates based on popular product niches and themes
  • design bundles for your website/store, social media
  • annotation tool
  • upload your brand kits and organize your projects under different brands
  • 1 click brand application
  • & much more!

“But the most important aspect of Glorify 2.0, is that it comes with a UI that sets us up for future scalability for all our roadmap features”, said CEO of Glorify Omar Farook, who himself was a professional graphic designer.

Farook’s dream was to provide a low-cost design service for the smaller businesses that couldn’t otherwise afford design services. Looking through reviews of the app, it’s evident that Glorify does just that – it saves the user time and money while helping them to produce top-notch product images for their brand on their own.

Glorify is one of the many new design-based apps that make producing content a breeze for entrepreneurs, such as Canva. As someone who loves design but doesn’t have the patience for Creative Cloud, I personally love this technology. However, Glorify is unique in that it is the only product-driven design app. All you have to do is upload your photo!

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Business Marketing

This new Chipotle location will be fully digital

(BUSINESS NEWS) In the wake of the pandemic and popularity of online delivery, Chipotle is joining the jump to online-only locations, at least to test drive.



Chipotle exterior, possibly moving to a fully digital restaurant space soon.

A lot of industries have switched to an online-only model in the wake of the pandemic. Most of them have made sense; between abundant delivery options and increased restrictions on workers, moving away from the traditional storefront paradigm isn’t exactly a radical choice. Chipotle making that same decision, however, is a plot twist of a different kind—yet that’s exactly what they’re doing with their first online store.

To be clear, the chain isn’t doing away with their existing locations; they’re just test-driving a “digital” location for the time being. That said, the move to an online platform raises interesting questions about the future of the restaurant industry—if not just Chipotle itself.

The move to an online platform actually makes a lot of sense for businesses like Chipotle. Since the classic Chipotle experience is much less centered on the “dining” aspect than it is on the customizability of food options, putting those same options online and giving folks some room to deliver both decreases Chipotle’s physical footprint and, ostensibly, opens up their services to more people.

It’s also a timely move given the sheer number of people who are sheltering in place. A hands-on burrito assembly line is not the optimal place to be in a pandemic, but there’s no denying the utilitarian appeal of Chipotle’s products. To that end, having another restaurant wherein you have the option to order a hearty meal with everything you like—which is also tailored to your dietary needs—is a crucial step for consumers.

Chipotle’s CTO, Curt Garner, says he is hoping this online alternative will offer a “frictionless” experience for diners.

As a part of that frictionless experience, consumers will be able to order in several different mediums. Chipotle’s website and their mobile app are the preferred choices, while services like GrubHub will also be available should you choose to order through a third-party. The idea is simple: To bring Chipotle to you with as little fuss as possible.

For now, Chipotle is committing to the single digital location to see how consumer demand pans out. Should the model prove successful, they plan to move forward with implementing additional digital locations nationwide.

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