Archive for August, 2011

Buying A Home – It’s A Family Affair
August 28, 2011

These days, pets and children of all ages are wielding their influence when it comes to shopping for a home.  Of course, mom and dad still have the final say but kids’ opinions do matter.  That’s why smart real estate agents are tuned into helping kids feel like they are a  part of the process.  Depending upon their age, kids have many ideas about what the ideal home looks like.  It’s not uncommon for them to offer valuable insight into what’s important in the family’s next home.   It’s no surprise that kids of all ages have ideas about what they are looking for in a home.  Some times these ideas are grandiose but often they are very thoughtful and should not be dismissed.  Pets, on the other hand, don’t get a vote nor do they have a voice, but they sure have advocates in their owners.  Most would-be home owners are very concerned about how their pets will live in each home they look at.  Just like kids, pets play a major role in our lives and we look at them as one of the family so the pet’s point of view does count.  Whether it’s kids, pets, or both, real estate agents who listen closely to their client’s needs as they relate to children and pets can play a valuable role in finding the right home for their client.  For real estate agents, it all comes down to Delivering Remarkable Service and keeping in mind that kids and pets are a very important part of the home buying experience!

Do you know great service when you see it?
August 15, 2011

You deserve REMARKABLE service, but these days it seems as if good service has become defined as the absence of bad service.  I don’t know why this is but if people don’t know how to spot good service when it’s delivered or they’re content with bad or even mediocre service, very few businesses will step up to the plate and deliver anything more than what is expected.  As a result, if consumers don’t demand better service, they will certainly have to learn to live with less simply because it costs more for a business to deliver great service.  Some times we as consumers sacrifice service to get something at a bargain price or to get something quickly.  In this case, sacrificing service may make sense.  However, sacrificing service and/or quality and getting nothing in return is a losing proposition.  Look around at the businesses you visit frequently.  Are they offering you something in return for their lack of service?  Maybe they are and you’re okay with the trade-off.  If so, keep giving them your hard earned money.  On the other hand, you might also find that the stores you’ve been shopping at are not that concerned about serving you in the first place and give you nothing in return for the lack of service.  In this case, you may want to reconsider.  For instance, you should expect your bank to know your name; after all, they use your money to make money.  Also, you should expect to get the same great deals offered to new customers for things like phone service.  Did you?  If not, look for another option.  Your loyalty should be rewarded, not discouraged.  Vote with your wallet by shopping at those stores and service providers that provide you with remarkable service.  Seriously, when was the last time your insurance provider gave you a call just to check in and say thanks for the business without trying to sell you something you didn’t want or need?  Can’t remember – maybe it’s time for a change of venue.  A good example of a bad example of service are the self-service check-out lanes at your local grocery store.  You get less service but what do you really gain in return.  Much of the time the machine doesn’t work and it takes longer than had you simply waited for an employee to check you out.  Don’t let the absence of bad service become your definition of good service.  Identify great service and reward it by being a loyal customer.

Seize the Day
August 9, 2011

Setting goals is important in every profession, but goal-setting is especially important, even crucial, for small business owners.  Each week, a small business owner must set short-term goals that, once accomplished, will result in them being farther down the path toward accomplishing their long-term goals and vision.  This is why it’s so important for small business owners to seize each day.  In the movie Dead Poet’s Society, Robin Williams challenges his students to live life according to the motto ‘carpe diem!’  It is good advice for students and business owners alike.  Take a look at the you tube video below from Dead Poet’s where students are admonished to seize the day:

Carpe diem!

Seizing the day, however, gets you nowhere unless you become an expert goal setter.  When it comes to setting goals, set ones that are SMART:

Specific    Measurable    Attainable    Realistic    Timely

Setting goals that are SMART will compel you to be accountable to your long-term vision.  Setting SMART goals regularly will also lead to extraordinary accomplishments over time.  Remember, life is more of a marathon than a sprint!  Set SMART goals and you will finish the race well.  Blog post inspired by a  first-class friend of mine, Kelli Kilpatrick – a real life marathoner.  Hope you’re back on the trail very soon Mrs. K.

Falling Down Is Okay As Long As…
August 7, 2011

Falling down is okay as long as you get back up.  Learning to cherish failure as much as you do success is a very intriguing idea.  I’ll admit it’s not a very widely embraced one and it’s a little hard on your ego, but think about how much you learn when you experience failure.  Some people mistakenly equate failure with giving up.  They are not the same.  For some, failure results in giving up.  For others, however, failure rarely leads to quitting.  Most often, those who succeed view failure as a stepping stone to success.  If you are contemplating giving up because of failure, even repeated failure, consider following in the footsteps of these well-known figures:

Famous People Who Persevered

Many in America our fond of saying that failure is not an option.  A better way to think about this idea can be summed up by saying that failure is always an option but giving up never is.

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can achieve greatly.”
~ Robert F. Kennedy