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Seasonal Comfort and Invisibility or 13 Simple Steps To Omnipresence and 2010 Comeback.

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Crown_of_Thorns_by_rkudryashov2009 Completely Sucked.  It’s Not OVER.  Don’t Fret.

Did your business grow up or shrivel in 2009?  Did you earn more or less?  Were sales easier to close or harder?  Were people stressed or blissful?

You made it this far anyway, right?  Congrats!  You made it through the first 9 months of the worst year EVER.

You and I are apparently survivors – Yea!

What’s 2010 Next?

If you’ve been around awhile, you know seasonality in the real estate business will shrink the opportunity pie through January 2010.  Doesn’t mean there’s NO business for you and I, just a smaller pie.

Some will decide to bask in the seductive glow of the Holiday Season.

We Have Some Choices..

Most will slow to smell the pine-cones and sip eggnog.  The cozy-comfort crowd will hibernate till January 7th, then Spring forward, blah, blah?  That’s what most will do.  Because it’s the easy thing to do. It’s a cozy-comfort zone and common.

Can I ask You A Semi-Personal Question?

How’d you work your way from  bloody-back-there to hopeful here?  How did you scratch, bite, claw and hard-work-navigate through the Wall Street Melt Down, the Rip-Snort-Recession and Housing-Bubble-Blow-Up?  By doing what’s easy and comfortable?

Hell NO!  I didn’t think so.

What’s Next?

Here’s what might happen…

  1. Job losses begin slowing – less people lose their houses, more people can afford stuff, the economy turns.
  2. Corporations begin reporting profits – people feel confident, companies hire more people, people spend more money.
  3. Retirement portfolios are slowly re-inflating – people feel safer.
  4. Interest rates will most likely remain low the 1st half of 2010;  but talking bobble heads warn double digit interest rates loom – this creates a sense of urgency and fear of loss (loss of flea sized interest rates).
  5. Case Schiller reports home prices are on the rise – previously cautious buyers begin to feel homes have bottomed.  6 month and 1 year leases begin to expire; the flood of families who chose to rent consider taking advantage of supremely low rates and bottomed home prices.
  6. People who have the ability to up-size, downsize, rightsize, etc., have postponed needs and desires; this is called pent up demand.  Desire and need doesn’t go away, it smolders and sparks to eventual satisfaction. When it’s safe, these able buyers and sellers will leap. This is called pent-up demand and a screaming opportunity for the prepared (you and me).
  7. Instead of my Pollyanna perspective, imagine your worst nightmare scenario unfolding in FUBAR slow-motion.

Pick your recovery mode; V, U, W or FUBAR; relaxing into the Holiday Season will kill your chances to explode into the 2010 New Year.

Knowing the “slow season” will seduce most into a cozy-comfort zone of inactivity and invisibility, you can choose the same and hope for the best in 2010 or you can choose…

Hyper Visibility and 2010 Majesty.

You Can Do It...If You FOCUS.

The plan is simple, but not easy.  Sprint for the next 91 days. Take your visibility, remarkability and relevancy to new heights.  While others become invisible, become omnipresent.  When the snow melts, you’ll be a shiny Top Of Mind Awareness North Star!

  1. Make time to hug, love, celebrate, smell pine-cones, sip eggnog and position yourself for 2010 majesty.
  2. Engage in On-Purpose, In-Person Conversation and Contact.
  3. Schedule some Open Houses – Meet new people and promote like P.T. Barnum.
  4. Send handwritten Note-Cards after talking to people on the phone.
  5. Take some friends to the movies.
  6. Set up some neighborhood auto-notifications.
  7. Flood your blog with relevant content.
  8. Recontact all those renters you placed in the last 12 months.
  9. Call everyone and wish them happy holidays – no need to mention Real Estate, just say “Hi, blessings”.  Then send a note card.
  10. Find out where the local Holiday festival, Lighting Of The Doves, etc. are being held, send the information to everyone, post on your blog, post links in FB.
  11. Daily, check the Facebook Status of your friends, clients, suspects, prospects and past clients.  Comment.  Engage.
  12. Use the Add-Friends-Feature of Facebook to scan your email accounts for friends – add them.  Send invitations to everyone else.
  13. You know what to do.  Do what you did to survive this mess, just do it harder, deeper, longer….for 91 days.
  14. Please share any bright, simple, effective, proven, remarkable, easy actions and activities you might recommend, in the comments.  Thanks.

What say you?  Cozy Comfort, In-Activity and Invisibility or Counter-Comfort, Hyper Visibility and 2010 Majesty?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Cheers.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Credit

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and BrandCandid.com. On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Duke Long

    October 5, 2009 at 8:42 am

    NICE !!!

  2. Atlanta Real Estate

    October 5, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Ken-

    Great advice, entertainingly written.

    Smell the pine cones baby,

    RM

  3. Missy Caulk

    October 5, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Great idea’s not just for the 4th quarter but all the time.

  4. Ken Brand

    October 5, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    Thanks friends. Cheers.

  5. Lee Taylor

    October 6, 2009 at 5:24 am

    That was a fun read. Everybody just pick up the banner and keep marching!

  6. Matt Stigliano

    October 6, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    #7 Flood your blog with relevant content.

    Take it from a guy who had absolutely no visibility one year ago – this is huge. And it doesn’t have to be 100% real estate either. Write every day if you can manage it. If you can’t, find a way to.

  7. Jeffrey Douglass

    October 6, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    I am with Matt, blogging is so important in real estate.

  8. Paula Henry

    October 6, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Ken – I’m sending this to my team. Thanks!

  9. Joe Loomer

    October 7, 2009 at 7:10 am

    Gotta state another “ditto” on #7 – I too was invisible on the web last February – not so anymore…. Lots of that has to do with the link love I get here and on other relevant sites.

    The Facebook tips are also top-notch, I would add that it’s important to remember it’s Social Media – not your person listing selling site. When you say “engage” – I’m sure you’re intent is to remind us to use Social Media for what it’s intended – and to keep the sales push gentle and if at all possible – somewhat covert…. People are on there to communicate with friends/associates from current and past lives – it’s ok to make sure they know you’re a Realtor – but they won’t go to your listing links if you don’t make it fun or creative!

    Thanks Ken!

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  10. Ken Brand

    October 9, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Lee – Amen brother, hup-2-3-4.

    Matt & Jeffery – Ditto squared.

    Paula – Thanks, grace and good fortune.

    Joe – Boo-Ya Joe, engage as in conversation, listening and sharing ~vs~ muscle monologue, shouting, chasing, capturing and chasing.

  11. Gloria Singer

    November 1, 2009 at 8:33 am

    The most effective and affordable marketing we can do is to regularly communicate with our “A” list. That is the core of my business plan and it really makes a difference!

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Business Marketing

Amazon attracts advertisers from Facebook after Apple privacy alterations

(MARKETING) After Apple’s privacy features unveil, Amazon adapts by taking a unique approach to targeting, disrupting revenue for the ad giant Facebook.

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Two African American women work at their desks, one viewing Amazon's advertising landing page.

As a de facto search engine of its own persuasion, Amazon has been poaching ad revenue from Google for some time. However, disrupting the revenue stream from their most recent victim – Facebook – is going to turn some heads.

According to Bloomberg, Apple’s recent privacy additions to products such as iPhones are largely responsible for the shift in ad spending. While platforms like Facebook and Instagram were originally goldmines for advertisers, these privacy features prevent tracking for targeting – a crucial aspect in any marketing campaign.

Internet privacy has been featured heavily in tech conversations for the last several years, and with Chrome phasing out third-party cookies, along with Safari and Firefox introducing roughly analogous policies, social media advertising is bound to become less useful as tracking strategies struggle to keep up with the aforementioned changes.

However, Amazon’s wide user base and separate categorization from social media companies makes it a clear alternative to the Facebook family, which is perhaps why Facebook advertisers are starting to jump ship in an effort to preserve their profits.

This is the premise behind the decision to reduce the Facebook ad spending of Vanity Planet by 22%, a home spa vendor, while facilitating a transition to Amazon. “We have inventory…and the biggest place we are growing is Amazon,” says Alex Dastmalchi, the entrepreneur who runs Vanity Planet.

That gap will only widen with Apple’s new privacy features. Bloomberg reports that when asked in June if they would consent to having their internet activity tracked, only one in four iPhone users did so; this makes it substantially harder for the ad campaigns unique to Facebook to target prospective buyers.

It also means that Amazon, having demonstrated a profound effectiveness in targeting individuals both pre- and post-purchase, stands to gain more than its fair share of sellers flocking to promote their products.

Jens Nicolaysen, co-founder of Shinesty (an eccentric underwear company), affirms the value that Amazon holds for sellers while acknowledging that it isn’t a perfect substitute for social media. While Nicolaysen laments the loss of the somewhat random introduction charm inherent on Instagram, he also believes in the power of brand loyalty, especially on a platform as high-profile as Amazon. “The bigger you are, the more you lose by not having any presence on Amazon,” he explains.

As privacy restrictions continue to ramp up in the coming months, it will be interesting to see how social media advertising evolves to keep up with this trend; it seems naive to assume that Amazon will replace Facebook’s ads entirely, tracking or no tracking.

Apple's privacy landing page showing iPhone users ability to shut off location services and a desktop image of a user's ability to control how their data is managed.

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Business Marketing

How many hours of the work week are actually efficient?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Working more for that paycheck, more hours each week, on the weekends, on holidays can actually hurt productivity. So don’t do that, stay efficient.

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Clock pointed to 5:50 on a plain white wall, well tracked during the week.

Social media is always flooded with promises to get in shape, eat healthier and… hustle?

In hustle culture, it seems as though there’s no such thing as too much work. Nights, weekends and holidays are really just more time to be pushing towards your dreams and hobbies are just side hustles waiting to be monetized. Plus, with freelancing on the rise, there really is nothing stopping someone from making the most out of their 24 hours.

Hustle culture will have you believe that a full-time job isn’t enough. Is that true?

Although it’s a bit outdated, Gallup’s 2014 report on full-time US workers gives us an alarming glimpse into the effects of the hustle. For starters, 50% of full-time workers reported working over 40 hours a week – in fact, the average weekly hours for salaried employees was up to 49 hours.

So, what’s the deal with 40 hours anyway? The 40 hour work-week actually started with labor rights activists in the 1800s pushing for an 8 hour workday. In 1817, Robert Owen, a Welsh activist, reasoned this workday provided: “eight hours labor, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest.”

If you do the math, that’s a whopping 66% of the day devoted to personal needs, rather than labor!

Of course, it’s only natural to be skeptical of logic from two centuries ago coloring the way we do business in the 21st century. For starters, there’s plenty of labor to be done outside of the labor you’re paid to do. Meal prep, house cleaning, child care… that’s all work that needs to be done. It’s also all work that some of your favorite influencers are paying to get done while they pursue the “hustle.” For the average human, that would all be additional work to fall in the ‘recreation’ category.

But I digress. Is 40 hours a week really enough in the modern age? After all, average hours in the United States have increased.

Well… probably not. In fact, when hours are reduced (France, for instance, limited maximum hours to 35 hours a week, instead of 40), workers are not only more likely to be healthier and happier, but more efficient and less likely to miss work!

So, instead of following through with the goal to work more this year, maybe consider slowing the hustle. It might actually be more effective in the long run!

This story was first published in January 2020.

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Business Marketing

Jack of all trades vs. specialized expert – which are you?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) It may feel tough to decide if you want to be a jack of all trades or have an area of expertise at work. There are reasons to decide either route.

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jack of all trades learning

When mulling over your career trajectory, you might ask yourself if you should be a jack of all trades or a specific expert. Well, it’s important to think about where you started. When you were eight years old, what did you want to be when you grew up? Teacher? Doctor? Lawyer? Video Game Developer? Those are common answers when you are eight years old as they are based on professionals that you probably interact with regularly (ok, maybe not lawyers but you may have watched LA Law, Law & Order or Suits and maybe played some video games – nod to Atari, Nintendo and Sega).

We eventually chose what areas of work to gain skills in and/or what major to pursue in college. To shed some light on what has changed in the last couple of decades:

Business, Engineering, Healthcare and Technology job titles have grown immensely in the last 20 years. For example, here are 9 job titles that didn’t exist 20 years ago in Business:

  1. Online Community Manager
  2. Virtual Assistant
  3. Digital Marketing Expert
  4. SEO Specialist
  5. App Developer
  6. Web Analyst
  7. Blogger
  8. Social Media Manager
  9. UX Designer

We know that job opportunities have grown to include new technologies, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, consumer-generated content, instant gratification, gig economy and freelance, as well as many super-secret products and services that may be focused on the B2B market, government and/or military that we average consumers may not know about.

According to the 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics after doing a survey of baby boomers, the average number of jobs in a lifetime is 12. That number is likely on the rise with generations after the Baby Boomers. Many people are moving away from hometowns and cousins they have grown up with.

The Balance Careers suggests that our careers and number of jobs we hold also vary throughout our lifetimes and our race is even a factor. “A worker’s age impacted the number of jobs that they held in any period. Workers held an average of 5.7 jobs during the six-year period when they were 18 to 24 years old. However, the number of jobs held declined with age. Workers had an average of 4.5 jobs when they were 25 to 34 years old, and 2.9 jobs when they were 35 to 44 years old. During the most established phase of many workers’ careers, ages 45 to 52, they held only an average of 1.9 jobs.”

In order to decide what you want to be, may we suggest asking yourself these questions:

  • Should you work to be an expert or a jack of all trades?
  • Where are you are at in your career and how have your skills progressed?
  • Are you happy focusing in on one area or do you find yourself bored easily?
  • What are your largest priorities today (Work? Family? Health? Caring for an aging parent or young children?)

If you take the Gallup CliftonStrengths test and are able to read the details about your top five strengths, Gallup suggests that it’s better to double down and grown your strengths versus trying to overcompensate on your weaknesses.

The thing is, usually if you work at a startup, small business or new division, you are often wearing many hats and it can force you to be a jack of all trades. If you are at a larger organization which equals more resources, there may be clearer lines of your job roles and responsibilities versus “the other departments”. This is where it seems there are skills that none of us can avoid. According to LinkedIn Learning, the top five soft skills in demand from 2020 are:

  1. Creativity
  2. Persuasion
  3. Collaboration
  4. Adaptability
  5. Emotional Intelligence

The top 10 hard skills are:

  1. Blockchain
  2. Cloud Computing
  3. Analytical Reasoning
  4. Artificial Intelligence
  5. UX Design
  6. Business Analysis
  7. Affiliate Marketing
  8. Sales
  9. Scientific Computing
  10. Video Production

There will be some folks that dive deep into certain areas that are super fascinating to them and they want to know everything about – as well as the excitement of becoming an “expert”. There are some folks that like to constantly evolve and try new things but not dig too deep and have a brief awareness of more areas. It looks safe to say that we all need to be flexible and adaptable.

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