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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Realtors ask me all the time, “Do I really need to have a Blog?” I always envision the realtor in 1983 who said, “Do I really need a cell phone?” or the realtor in 1990 who said, “Do I really need to have a computer?” or the realtor in 1997 who said, “Do I really need to have a website?”   It’s easier to see in hindsight how important each of these innovations has proved to be in the business of real estate.  Can you imagine doing business with out a cell phone in today’s market?  Of course not, it is a valuable tool that saves you time and money.  It helps you to close a deal in a quicker more efficient way than how business was performed before the cell phone age. 

 

Blogs are also an efficient tool that can save you time and money, and they can be instrumental in helping you to attract new clients.

 

Blogs perform three major functions for realtors if they are done correctly.  Blogs can:

 

  1. Raise your name and your business ranking on Google and other search engines.
  2. Position you as an expert in your area of interest.
  3. Provide prospective clients with the ability to “interview” you on a 24/7 basis.

                                                                                                                               

The next generation of home buyers and sellers rely on the internet as their number one tool for research about subjects ranging from bubble gum to real estate.  If you aren’t harnessing this tool to direct traffic to your door you are literally missing out on one of the greatest business revolutions of our lifetime.  Don’t miss out on this incredibly power and inexpensive tool.   

Blog!  It does a business good.

 

 

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Overwhelmed

Just so we are clear, I love words.  The word overwhelmed has come up so much in the last few days that I found myself wondering if it is possible to be simply whelmed, without being overwhelmed.  Which brought up the question, Is whelmed even a word?  I’ve never heard anyone say, “I’m feeling whelmed.”  So I looked it up in the online dictionary, and it turns out whelmed is a word.  It means submerged or covered with water. Ah, well that makes sense.

As a Mom who works I often feel whelmed and lets face it once you are whelmed it’s a very short putt to overwhelmed.  A client needs something 48 hours sooner than they thought they needed it.  I start to feel whelmed, and before I can even acknowledge that I’m whelmed, my 4 year old decides that he is absolutely starving despite the fact that dinner is only an hour away. The phone rings as he pulls an entire bag of pears out of the refrigerator dumping them all over the floor and ladies and gentleman we have overwhelmed!

I have to admit that I am ashamed at how often and how easily I feel overwhelmed as a Mom.  Overwhelmed wasn’t even part of my vocabulary before I was a Mom, it was something I associated with being incompetent.  I always thought “What is the use of being overwhelmed?  It only slows you from doing the thing you need to do – focus and forge ahead!”  Ahh, silly naive thoughts, before motherhood.

I’ve decided I need a new association for the word overwhelmed, more fitting to its actual meaning.  From now on when I am overwhelmed I’m going to picture myself underwater.  Nice cool, quiet, blissful water, where it’s serene, no phones ring, no emails appear, I am light and buoyant and my breasts defy gravity.  It turns out overwhelmed isn’t so bad after all!

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A virtual assistant is someone who helps you with office and life tasks – from a remote site.  We’ve all been using virtual assistants for years, but with the recent upgrades in technology we have now perfected it. 

 

Have you ever wished that you could split into two people so you could get more done?  Virtual assistants are great for tasks that you don’t want to do, don’t know how to do of don’t have time to do.

 

Look around your office and ask yourself, “Is there anything I wish I didn’t have to do?”  Imagine being able to hand that job off and knowing that it was going to be done and you weren’t going to have to talk someone through it.  What could you do with the time you could free up just by having someone else complete this task?

 

 That’s what having virtual assistants is all about. They free you up to do the tasks you want to devote your time and energies to, while still getting necessary work completed on schedule.

 

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This is a great question, unfortunately there is no easy answer because blogs do so many different things.  Each blog has its own purpose. 

 

Let’s take the High School Senior who has a blog. In his blog he commemorates all of the things that he and his friends do through out their Senior year.  The blog does many things for this young man.  It creates a record of his thoughts and feelings which will be great to look back on in 20 years.  It helps his grandmother who lives across the country to know what is going on in his world.  It helps him to communicate and connect with his friends and peers – his friends like reading the blog and seeing pictures of themselves posted on the web.  AND the college of his choice took the blog into consideration when accepting him to their university.  Not a bad work load for a little blog.

 

Let’s take the case of the Realtor in San Francisco.  She writes a blog three times a week, sometimes showcasing property other times talking about the current market or even highlighting an area neighborhood.  This blog serves as an ongoing advertisement for the realtor’s business.  The blog helps to create an atmosphere of knowledge and expertise, drawing clients in.  It also advertises property and brings in prospective buyers.  On top of these other great benefits the blog continually helps the realtor with search engine optimization by reminding the search engines that she is there and writing on a specific subject.

 

On a very basic level a blog sends a message to the world, what the message is will depend on the writer, who reads the message and what they do with the message is another topic all together.

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People ask me all the time “What is a Blog?” Blog is short for Web log.  A log is like a professional diary or journal.  Remember on Star Trek when the voice over would say Captain’s Log Star Date….and then the Captain would fill us in on important information?  The idea was that in the future a person’s diary would be kept on a computer with sound and picture instead of written in a book.  Welcome to the future.  Although most people are still choosing to write their blogs  a large number of people are already choosing to video tape their blogs.

In any case a blog is diary or journal.

 

Because blogging is relatively new there really aren’t any rules.  You can blog about your day or you can write poems and post them to your blog.  Your blog can be about a very specific topic (such as a book or favorite television show) or it can be just rantings and musings on your everyday life, it can even be about a specific product or company.

 

Blogs can be written by individuals or groups.  A blog is meant to be written on a consistent basis over a period of time, so perhaps the only true guideline is that your blog be about a subject that you are passionate about.  What do you have to say to the world?

 

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By Shannon Penrod
I am a storyteller.  It took me almost half a century to be able to say with conviction that this is truly my calling.  Saying I was a writer never quite covered the entire picture.  In the years that I was an actress and a stand up comic I was never quite comfortable with those labels either.  No title I was given fit like a glove, it always felt as though there was a finger overlooked.  Now I understand that while I wear many hats in my professional life they all fit comfortably under the heading STORYTELLER.  

Currently there are many stories I am telling.  When I write for clients I am telling their story as it relates to their professional lives.  When I write for Moms who want to work from there homes in order to be with their families while still earning a living – I am weaving a story of women who are capable and triumphant despite challenge.  When I speak to Mothers of children with autism, I tell the story of my journey with my son – a tale of hope and recovery. 

I remember being a young girl and my grandmother telling me the story of my great- great- great grandmother who placed her ten children into a wagon after her husband’s death and traveled with them from Arkansas to Wisconsin where the safely settled.  I am sure that I don’t have the details exactly right, but I remember the gist of the story.  Triumph in the face of insurmountable obstacles.  My grandmother hugged me when she was done telling me the story and said, “Now you are the keeper of this story to share and to pass down to your children and grandchildren.”  Being the keeper of the story resonates with me.  It is a role that feels fitting and right. 

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