Realtor Resources; Real Help

Realtor Resource

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My husband has a tool in his tool belt that he swears he can’t live without called the multi-tool.  It has as wide a variety of uses as a Swiss Knife without all the bulky attachments and in his field as a handyman it has become invaluable in saving him time and getting things done just the way he wants them.  Real Estate Agents and busy Professionals have a tool like that available to them, which harnesses the power of technology allowing them to leverage time and get things done the way they want and need them.

The Virtual Assistant industry does away with the need to maintain offices and the attendant overhead associated while offering the best of both worlds.  Factor in technology and these services don’t necessarily need to be locally offered.  Outsourcing can be done quite successfully right here in the States without state boundaries being a limitation.  GhostbloggerMarie caught up with Michelle Anatasio, owner of  CT Virtual Assistance LLC  for an open discussion about the many benefits a Virtual Assistant provides the savvy Professional.

My company specializes in offering a range of virtual assistant, marketing consulting and concierge solutions to busy professionals, entrepreneurs and small businesses.  Our administrative, creative and technical services can be ongoing or per project basis.    I believe that we are offering affordable solutions and customized alternatives to the need to hire and fund in-house administrative, creative or technical staff.  Our services can be packaged or available a la carte.  We maintain some flexibility in order to meet the need of the client” Michelle shared.

As a value addition to most business models there are three main courses an offsite Virtual Assistant brings to the table:

1)     Relieving clients of tedious administration tasks so they can focus their attention on growing their business

2)     Substantial financial savings

  1. eliminating the costs of onsite staffing
  2. minimizing the need for equipment including repair/maintenance costs
  3. minimizing or even eliminating acquisition and storage of office supplies

3)     Clients receive greater flexibility and reliability for increased productivity when working with  a Virtual Assistant service company

Thought you couldn’t afford the help you need?  You may be very pleasantly surprised to discover that you can indeed afford and receive the help that will free you to pursue greater business growth with a Virtual Assistant corralling those administrative tasks that steal so much of your time.

Your comments and thoughts on this subject are welcome!  

Follow this link for more  information about Virtual Assistance and Michelle Anastasio.

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1 Very good reason all Real Estate Agents should be blogging

Real estate is all about RELATIONSHIPS.  One on one getting to know all about you relating to another human being on an intimate level kind of relationship.  How do you build relationships in a world that’s all about technology?  When everything is online even if you are online how do you make that personal?  How do you share enough with online connections that will turn into personal face to face connections?  Social Media is the general answer, but isn’t there something more specific?  Sure, you can build a following one status update, one tweet at a time, but that is going to take you as long as it used to take agents who made the rounds door to door in their “farm” areas back in the day.

So what is the answer?  Is there a way to engage your audience that isn’t limited to 140 characters, that allows interaction based on meaningful dialog you’ve initiated?  CIO makes an interesting observation in a recent article they wrote about content concerning a magazine John Deere started back in the 1800’s to engage their potential customers and ultimately brand themselves as the supplier of Tractors and farm equipment.   I think they did a pretty good job of it, and I believe the blog as platform on Social Media sites does that same good job for Realtors.

By including a Blog on your website, clients can not only access your site to search for homes, which they can also get on plenty of other sites, but through the blog they can also get personal information, interact with you for questions and answers and by your posts, get to know you personally.  The blog also serves as an excellent SEO tool, as search engines LOVE fresh content and new information.

If you are like most Realtors the majority of your time is best spent out in the market place rather than behind a computer screen.  Although you certainly should contribute personally to your Social Media, a blog about things your potential clients will be interested in doesn’t have to be written by you personally to engage visitors to your site. There are content providers available who provide this service for the busy professionals who haven’t the time themselves.

GhostbloggerMarie provides fresh and relevant blog content, ghost written by this former Realtor and posted to your site under your byline.  Contact me today and start posting fresh, dynamic blog content in as little as one week regularly to your Social Media sites.

CIO article about content

Wending my way through Windows 8

Even with all the talk of Windows 8 being so difficult I wasn’t concerned. After all, I had a perfectly wonderful laptop that came stuffed to the gills with software, a fabulous 17.3 inch screen, plenty of bells and whistles and was just barely 4 years old, so I had nothing to be worried about, right?  WRONG!  Who could have foreseen my darling husband deciding to store his guitar in the cupboard over the couch where I’d been working? Or it slipping out of his hands just as he lifted that heavy case above my open laptop sitting innocently on those cushions?
It put up a good fight, I’ll give it that. The screen blinked a few times before the picture went squewershed and a sound kind of like kineftdmgh came forth from it. A trip to every computer store in town soon revealed that the cost to repair outweighed the cost to replace. And then the fun really started.

* NONE  OF  THE  NEW  COMPUTERS  SEEM  TO  COME  WITH  SOFTWARE  ANYMORE
*ALL  OF  THE  NEW  LAPTOPS  ARE  WINDOWS  8 (unless you buy a Mac, but I can’t afford that until a lot more of you HIRE ME to write blogs for you!)

Now I must ask the all important question:
HAVE  ANY  OF  YOU  SEEN  THE  NEW  WINDOWS  8  OPERATING  SYSTEM?

There is a good reason many of the advance reviews have been less than glowing.  It’s more than just trying to get used to a new look.  This baby is a whole different Starship to navigate!  On a PC, those icons are a little harder to work with than the touch tablets, trust me when I tell you this.  The slightest wind, just breathing too close to them and they swoosh to a place far far away in windows land and you may never see them again.  There is no “back” button, no “undo” button, and there are no real directions to follow, either!windows 8

I will admit this much and no more.  In the first day of trying to work with it, it brought me to tears.  Twice.  And I like change, I like trying new things and I  LOVE challenges!  This was beyond a challenge – this was all out war!  My husband kept offering to take it back to the store and pay whatever it cost to repair my poor guitar abused laptop.  How sweet of him, but all that did was make me even more determined not to be beaten but to triumph over this.

Fellow new computer purchasers, TAKE  HEART!

I persevered for three full days, and now I can honestly say I am finding an appreciation for this new operating system.  The keyboard is still a bit too responsive, but I’ve discovered the escape button brings me right back.  In fact though, I do hope Microsoft makes some user friendly changes I can download.  Like eliminating the extra steps it now takes to accomplish what were quick and simple tasks in the 7 incantation.  And for goodness sake Microsoft, would it really hurt you to give us access to all our windows without our having to search for them?

Windows 8 – not easy to use, but easy to conquer if you’re determined!

Pitch to engage or strike out!

engagedSocial Media interaction with an engaged audience often leads to business opportunities we might otherwise have missed.  For this reason an awful lot of professionals turn every tweet, update, blog or comment into a sales pitch. Is that working out well for them? No more than the pushy sales person tactics of old ever did. Most people really only want to know “what’s in it for ME?” A business and sales professional who started selling at the age of 6 years young and still going strong now that I’m called Grandma, I suggest sticking with the basic premise in the art of salesmanship.

TELL THE CONSUMER WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM!

 Engage in educating and even entertaining potential clients to the benefits of your product, your service, your business. Tell them what you do in a manner that tells them how it helps THEM. Human nature remains the same – just the method of engaging is different! You don’t think entertaining them can work? Take a look at this post. The Gecko educates and entertains without offending. One may not be a Geico customer now, but when the need arises, guess what NAME is stuck in their head?

Whether it’s a smart phone, a brilliant PC, Tablet or a super intelligent something else – people are still people! If you capture their interest or entertain them in some manner they will give you their attention. And if it’s interesting or entertaining enough, they will tell others about it!  Whether hitting a share button, tweeting, liking or even actually talking to others, they will pass on information that tickles them in some way.

If you offer a product or service worth consideration, then they will consider it. You have to find the way to be “personal” in this technologically impersonal atmosphere. You might even want to consider letting the consumer be the content or advertisement through short video interviews or comments. Allow their choices to rule your campaign and see where it takes your brand. (Perhaps with a few cautionary controls in place, of course!)

Nowadays, they don’t slam the door in your face, but it’s the same effect when they “delete” your information or email or text message or…..

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We all have our favorite way to engage others in conversation.  Share yours here and let me know what you liked or didn’t like about this article.  Appreciate you chiming in! Press the Comment and share your thoughts! (or press any of the share buttons to tell the world!)

by the way, GhostbloggerMarie writes blogs for Realtors and other busy professionals, helping them leverage the hours in their day for greater productivity.  Be informed on how this might enhance your online social presence! 

WOIDS WOIK!

Whatever the incantation, however formulated in every language including the silent ones, words deeply affect every human heart and especially those who try so hard to pretend that they don’t! I am just guessing here, but I sincerely believe that it was a well-meaning but hurting heart that began the little children’s rhyme we each had repeated to us at some point in our childhood when someone spoke harshly to us or made terrible fun of us:

cartoon sticks and stones

Were there ever more false words spoken! Even as we repeated that little falsehood to ourselves when the neighborhood tough guy threatened and taunted, in our heart of hearts we knew they were wrong then, and we know they are wrong now. Words work! (Try it with this accent – woids woik, it’s really a lot of fun that way!)

Words can work for us – encouraging, building up, inspiring, motivating and causing us to feel better about ourselves and everything around us. And words can work against us – tearing us down, discouraging, disheartening, destroying us in ways we can’t even explain. A kind word can change a life! A harsh word can also change a life.

Remember the BeeGee’s? (Okay, I’m dating myself here, but surely some of you have been around since the late 70’s and early 80’s? For you youngin’s, consider this a history lesson) They wrote a great song with the title WORDS.

“It’s only words and words are all I have to take your heart away.”

A baby speaks for the first time, “mama” and a heart is melted in a way nothing else could ever do! A young lady gives her heart away then holds her breath until the only thing that will make her breathe again; three little words from him.

I LOVE YOU!

With nothing but those three little words, men have risen to great heights and done extraordinary things in order to be worthy of hearing those words from her lips again and again.

Every one of us has stories of the words in our lives that have brought us to our highest mountain tops or laid us flat in the lowest of valleys.  In my life, words my great-grandmother Florence Proctor spoke to me greatly affected my life.  My most memorable was the day she emptied her china closet and began giving me expensive, beautiful things she’d collected since the day she began filling her Hope Chest.   “Marie,” she told me,” I want you to promise to use every one of these things until they are all used up.  In 95 years I’ve learned this:  Things are to be used and people are to be loved.  Don’t get that backwards and you’ll do alright in life!”

Have you ever wondered why advertising is so powerful?  WORDS! They influence us in our thoughts, our feelings and our decisions daily!  Commercials may be annoying but they are also effective, so they will never go away!  Words across the side of the bus we’re passing, words on our license plates making a statement about us, words texted, tweeted, written, spoken, signed, pantomimed, drawn and uttered for all the world to hear!

So speak, articulate, pontificate, orate, communicate, indicate, address, affirm, inform, remark, reply, represent, talk and SHOUT.

After all, THEY’RE ONLY WORDS!

Ready for some exciting words to start working in your favor?  GhostbloggerMarie offers dynamic blog content on a regular basis at very reasonable rates. One email gets you started.  smmsceo@gmail.com

Real Estate RUINED by internet?

I read the most disturbing news the other day.  It declared that the internet was RUINING REAL ESTATE!

We hear over and over how the internet connects us and expands our reach and makes it easier to do business – so how come this idea that the internet is ruining the Real Estate industry in particular?

One of the points made in the article is precisely why I started the Ghostblogger business.  It also reiterates and agrees with a comment I made on LinkedIn recently.  Just how indicative of actual “business value” is a Facebook “Like”?  Does hundreds or even thousands of Twitter followers really mean something significant?  Do LinkedIn connections translate into actual business referrals?

Although there are many who can and will point to Social Media connections that HAVE led directly to actual business, just how prevalent is it, really?  2000 “Likes” does NOT mean you now have 2000 actual customers!  Hitting that “Like” button is not a committment of any kind!  It’s just a nice social gesture in most cases.

Too many professionals are spending far too much time socializing on Social Media, and putting far too much emphasis on “likes” and “fans” that bring them NO PRODUCTIVE BUSINESS RETURN WHATSOEVER.

Social Media is here to stay, and business practitioners absolutely MUST discover how BEST to utilize this medium for the GROWTH of their business!  And yet, you also need to be certain you are not wasting time on activity that isn’t going to help you reach your business goals.

Being a presence is a necessity.  The internet and Social Media are here to stay.  And if you want your business to be a presence that will be here to stay you really do need to utilize EVERY AVENUE available, which definitely includes Social Media platforms.  It isn’t a question of IF you should be on Social Media, it’s more a question of HOW to utilize and how much of YOUR TIME you should be investing in it overall.

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and all the rest are all good avenues to get and keep your name and face out there in the community.  However, spending too much of your valuable time in those mediums may not be the best use of your business day!