Here’s the Good News

Do you feel like you are not getting anywhere? Like you are spinning your wheels? Like you keep revisiting the same problems over and over? We, the self-employed, the creatives, the freelancers, the sales people, have all been there. It can be discouraging. Here's the good news: You know more. You are generally better than you [...]

By |2018-08-07T06:42:51-04:00August 7th, 2018|Attitude, Grit, Professional Development, Small Business, Success|Comments Off on Here’s the Good News

The Divide

There is a divide, nay, a gaping chasm between free and $1.00. Does $1.00 mean that much? Not really, if a gallon of milk is $1.00 more this week than it was last week I doubt any of us would give it a thought. But paying $1.00 online requires time and effort. You have to [...]

By |2018-08-06T07:17:57-04:00August 6th, 2018|Business, Profitability, Risk, Trust, Value|Comments Off on The Divide

Some Predictions

The United States Gross Domestic Product will exceed 5% several times in the next six quarters. Health insurance regulations will be rewritten and national association offerings will lower costs and transform the industry. Wages will rise sharply. The Murphy Brown reboot will be a spectacular failure. Robert Pastorelli cannot be replaced. We will still be [...]

By |2018-08-05T06:31:03-04:00August 5th, 2018|Future, Humor, Prediction|Comments Off on Some Predictions

Passwords

A little known fact: simple phrases are the most effective passwords. They tend to be longer and the spaces are a real headache for hackers. So it turns out that I love my dog, shep! is a better password than j7{-sd5+#gs6. Plus it is a lot easier to remember. According to one online source my [...]

By |2018-08-04T08:29:08-04:00August 4th, 2018|Tips and Tricks|Comments Off on Passwords

Timesheets

Timesheets are used to track one's time accurately, and if the billing is hourly they are an absolute necessity. I am not a big fan. We have two catchall timesheet categories that are not directly related to billable work: Administrative and Marketing. These are not only poor descriptors but I feel neglectful, even lazy or wasteful when [...]

By |2018-08-03T07:03:21-04:00August 3rd, 2018|Relationships, Time|Comments Off on Timesheets

The Three E’s

My goal of The Property Prophet blog is threefold. I wish to: Edify. To instruct, uplift. Encourage. To inspire, promote, foster. Entertain. To hold attention agreeably, divert, amuse. I have not and will not "sell" anything. The Property Prophet is my gift to anyone who wishes to accept it. I have no idea where this [...]

By |2018-08-02T07:36:40-04:00August 2nd, 2018|Blog|Comments Off on The Three E’s

Autodidact

Our Word of the Day is autodidact. It means, "a self-taught person." We are all autodidacts. Everything we learned in school, and even in classes directly related to our careers, was general and theoretical in nature. No class I ever took taught me how build a spreadsheet in Excel or format a Word document. Or [...]

By |2018-08-01T08:36:25-04:00August 1st, 2018|Creativity, Grit, Professional Development, Skills, Technology|Comments Off on Autodidact

Hum a Few Bars and I Will Fake It

If you are not familiar with the phrase, Hum a Few Bars and I Will Fake It, you are probably under 40 years old. I am not sure of its origins, but it was uttered by a deeply experienced musician who, with just a hint as to the melody of a song, could play the song [...]

By |2018-07-31T06:28:01-04:00July 31st, 2018|Brand, Business, Creativity, Music, Professional Development, Skills, Small Business, Stories, Success|Comments Off on Hum a Few Bars and I Will Fake It

Some Business Advice

It is a tough business, real estate appraisal, especially the kind of work that I do. The data can be scattered and imperfect. All I can do is be reasonable, logical and credible. It would seem, for example, that it is not credible to be above or below the price range expressed in the data. [...]

By |2018-07-30T07:28:32-04:00July 30th, 2018|Business, Criticism, Customers, Humor, Stress|Comments Off on Some Business Advice

On Getting Better

To date I have published almost 300 blog posts. Recently, I started publishing a blog  every day, seven days a week. And I love it. Writing is deeply fulfilling and I hope I can offer some encouragement, wisdom and insight. And maybe bring a smile. Maybe. It bothers me that my writing is often not [...]

By |2018-07-25T10:41:18-04:00July 26th, 2018|Art, Creativity, Habit, Humility, Humor, Personal Development, Skills|Comments Off on On Getting Better

Productivity (or the lack thereof)

A five-minute interruption is not five minutes. It is at least 10 minutes and can be as long as 30 minutes. Why? Because once you off task it takes a few minutes to remember what you were doing and refocus. People do favors for me all the time, for which I am grateful. I like to [...]

By |2018-07-25T10:27:38-04:00July 25th, 2018|Habit, Productivity, Profitability, Service, Small Business, Tactics|Comments Off on Productivity (or the lack thereof)

My Peeps

I got thinking about who I want to reach with this blog. Through the process of elimination I decided that it was not "entrepreneurs" or "steadies." If an entrepreneur is someone who makes money while they sleep, whose goal is to scale and sell an asset, I don't think I know one personally. I know [...]

By |2018-07-24T05:10:32-04:00July 24th, 2018|Business, Grit, Marketing, Service, Small Business, Success|Comments Off on My Peeps

If It Makes You Happy

What makes you happy and gives you peace? Interesting, engaging work? A parade of new clients? Several months backlog? Money in the bank? (Maybe not a lot, but enough). Decide. And then do everything in your power to make the most important thing happen. Being self-employed is tough. You deserve it.

By |2018-07-23T10:28:34-04:00July 23rd, 2018|Uncategorized|Comments Off on If It Makes You Happy

Building Trust

Trust is built on vulnerability and honesty, on generosity and sincerity, and through consistent and repeated acts of kindness and courtesy.

By |2018-07-22T09:06:33-04:00July 22nd, 2018|Trust|Comments Off on Building Trust

So Choose

Life is unfair. If you expect fairness you will deeply disappointed. You will never be satisfied or content. You will be miserable, and miserable to be around. You will find yourself broken, brittle, like a ship in a gale, shattered on ragged rock. Or you can choose to accept all this unfairness. And take setbacks with [...]

By |2018-07-21T12:23:43-04:00July 21st, 2018|Attitude, Future|Comments Off on So Choose

A Happy Problem

I have a happy problem. I usually get more calls for work than I can physically handle. When a call comes in, I listen carefully to the prospective client to make sure that I fully understand their needs. Once I understand the issue, if the project is something we can do we email a Proposal [...]

By |2018-07-20T07:27:36-04:00July 20th, 2018|Customers, Expert Witness|Comments Off on A Happy Problem

You Can’t Force It

In his book, Willpower Doesn't Work, Benjamin Hardy argues that creating environment, not the will to succeed, is the way to create new and positive habits. Let's say that you want to write every day, which is, not coincidentally, a goal of mine. In the past I tried to force myself to write. I left [...]

By |2018-07-19T08:01:08-04:00July 19th, 2018|Art, Blog, Change, Creativity, Future, Habit, Personal Development, Planning, Success, The Human Condition|Comments Off on You Can’t Force It

Making Art

As an English major in college I did a lot of writing, but I found it difficult to sit in a room, alone, and write. The blank page was just too much. I found that the ideas flowed better when I found a comfortable seat in a busy public place. I needed the stimulation. If [...]

By |2018-07-18T09:28:37-04:00July 18th, 2018|Art, Blog, Books, Creativity, Personal Development|Comments Off on Making Art

Jeeves Was Probably Underpaid

I know it is a little odd, but as a youngster I had a fantasy of being a Gentleman's Gentleman. Of serving and helping a great man, well, be great. Maybe this fantasy wasn't so odd. After all, who wants the burden of being great themselves? Isn't it better, safer and easier to bask in [...]

By |2018-07-16T13:26:02-04:00July 16th, 2018|Business, Personal Development, Professional Growth, Risk, Small Business, Success, Value|Comments Off on Jeeves Was Probably Underpaid

How To Be Happy

Want to be happy every day for the rest of your life? Never think about yourself. Spend all your time thinking about what you can do to please and delight others. Your family, your friends, your coworkers, your clients, total strangers. Start by greeting everyone with a smile and a hearty hello, and think to yourself, [...]

By |2018-07-15T08:28:31-04:00July 15th, 2018|Attitude|Comments Off on How To Be Happy

Stark Raving Fans

It is not enough to service your clients, or even to service them well. Whenever possible, go above and beyond. Make suggestions, deliver something extra, spend time, empathise, care. Put the proverbial bow on the box or the cherry on top of the sundae. Someone might be offended, but it is worth the risk. You may [...]

By |2018-07-14T07:18:54-04:00July 14th, 2018|Creativity, Customers, Future, Gratitude, Small Business, Success|Comments Off on Stark Raving Fans

To Be Free

To be free means to be unsafe, at least on some level. Striving for perfect safety is voluntary subjugation. Stand in a TSA line as a law-abiding American citizen. How does it feel? We gave up a lot because we were afraid. I think we should reconsider.

By |2018-07-13T08:53:57-04:00July 13th, 2018|Freedom|Comments Off on To Be Free

On Unemployment

That the national unemployment rate has hit a 17 year low and that minorities have made big employment gains is laudable and important. But there is a bigger issue. We need to dramatically improve our labor participation rate. A good first step would be a simple and sincere request. The President should make a national plea: [...]

By |2018-07-10T09:12:08-04:00July 10th, 2018|Health & Wellness, Labor, News, Productivity, Skills|Comments Off on On Unemployment

Don’t Kill Yourself

Journaling, and its outgoing cousin, blogging, is one of the most helpful therapeutic devices available to the average person. I am a big fan. I use an online journal called Penzu because it works on all of my devices and I can even dictate on it when I am in the car. Plus it has [...]

By |2018-05-19T08:32:50-04:00May 19th, 2018|Blog, Creativity, Habit, Personal Development|Comments Off on Don’t Kill Yourself

What Is Wrong With This Picture?

Inside this little box are fresh, delicious, locally handmade candies and caramels. This box is a gift. And the recipient has no idea why they are special. Or who made them. Or how passionate they are about their craft. Or where to get more, for that matter. I guess the candy people just want to [...]

By |2018-05-09T09:22:52-04:00May 9th, 2018|Brand, Marketing|Comments Off on What Is Wrong With This Picture?

Meeting for a Living

We have all seen them. Perhaps you worked at one. Or work at one currently. My condolences. Huge, bureaucratic companies where no actual work gets done, unless you consider attending meetings to be work. Or preparing packages and presentations for meetings to be work. How did things get this way? How do they make any [...]

By |2018-04-05T11:51:22-04:00April 5th, 2018|Business, Communication, Humor|Comments Off on Meeting for a Living

A Little Time Off

Miss Karen and I are taking a little well-deserved R and R to visit some friends who recently bought a second home in Florida. My goal: enjoy it. Enjoy the quiet, enjoy the company, enjoy the scenery. The joke in the appraisal profession is that there is either not enough work (so we are up nights [...]

By |2018-02-22T14:28:26-05:00February 22nd, 2018|Gratitude, Productivity, Stress, Travel|Comments Off on A Little Time Off

In Praise of the Garden State

Wow, a lot of people grouse about New Jersey. Constantly. It's too congested. The taxes are too high. Everything is so expensive. All of these statements are true. But there is one distinct advantage to living in New Jersey: we are dead center in the Northeast megalopolis. That giant, connected city that runs from Boston to [...]

By |2018-02-16T10:12:48-05:00February 16th, 2018|Art, Business, Capital, Criticism, Economics, Education, Gratitude, History, Service, Social Networking, Success, Taxation, Wealth|Comments Off on In Praise of the Garden State

We’ve Got Just the Thing for That

Miss Karen and I visited the Morgan Museum to see Drawn to Greatness, Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection. The exhibit had sketches from some great masters, but the work that intrigued me most was this one: It is called Fantastic Castle at Twilight. The artist, I was surprised to find, is Victor Hugo, author [...]

By |2018-01-26T11:49:14-05:00January 26th, 2018|Art, Books, Creativity, Humor|Comments Off on We’ve Got Just the Thing for That

Do the Impossible

I got a call from a gentlemen who owns a vacation home on the Jersey Shore. It seems that an undersized lot adjacent to his home is coming up for sale and he wanted to know what he should offer.* I was his second call. The first call to a residential appraiser who did a [...]

By |2017-12-27T11:33:10-05:00December 27th, 2017|Attitude, Service, Success|Comments Off on Do the Impossible

When is a Mistake Not a Mistake?

McDonald's recently reintroduced Chicken Tenders, a crispy fried chicken breast treat. And promptly ran out of them. For an entire month. Because they were too popular. To make Chicken Tenders one must have chicken breast meat, batter (which is mostly flour, eggs and spices) and a deep fryer. None of these ingredients are in short supply and every [...]

By |2017-12-19T10:46:05-05:00December 19th, 2017|Business, Humor, Management, Marketing, News|Comments Off on When is a Mistake Not a Mistake?

We Are Not Rational Creatures

This week I spent several hours making telephone calls and sending messages to get automatic subscription charges removed from my company debit card. At my hourly rate this made absolutely no sense. I should have just let Pandora charge me $4.00 per month ad infinitum. We are not rational creatures.

By |2017-12-14T10:57:38-05:00December 14th, 2017|Humor, Productivity|Comments Off on We Are Not Rational Creatures

How Unique?

Answer Yes or No to the following: Is the work you do every day repetitive? Do you know the answer before you start? Can someone be trained to do what you do in a month or less? Is what you do something that any healthy adult can do? Does your work involve forms of any [...]

It’s Like Magic

When I regularly post blogs, the traffic on my website goes up. Dramatically. Calls for proposals also go up. Dramatically. The complexity and challenge of the work also goes up. Dramatically. Did the calls come from the same people that came to my website? I don't think so. A desire to encourage, inform or entertain [...]

By |2017-12-12T08:56:38-05:00December 12th, 2017|Art, Blog, Business, Change, Communication, Creativity, Marketing, Small Business, Social Media, Success|Comments Off on It’s Like Magic

Plus or Minus

Real estate appraisers use the term "plus or minus" and symbols like +/- a lot. It's not that we don't have confidence in what we are doing. It's because we are reporting on and analyzing a market. A market in which every item is unique. It's artscience.

By |2017-12-11T09:43:09-05:00December 11th, 2017|Art, Creativity, Economics, Market, Real Estate, Skills, Value|Comments Off on Plus or Minus

A Blessing

She can't walk like other people. She has to throw her upper body back, and her gait is rocking, unsteady and tentative. It is awkward. And painful sometimes. Sometimes she is self conscious. But not today. He was a little fussy, but he stopped and stared at the kindly priest, dazzled by the lights and [...]

By |2017-12-08T09:27:20-05:00December 8th, 2017|The Human Condition|Comments Off on A Blessing

On Winning

Winning isn't the only thing, but it is the only thing that gets archived.

By |2017-11-16T08:11:45-05:00November 16th, 2017|Humor|Comments Off on On Winning

A Dread Disease

I have an affliction. It is incurable. It was first identified by The Buddha, who called it Kapicitta. Today we call it monkey mind. The incessant chattering of internal monologue. Monkey Mind sufferers are easy to spot. They can't sit still. They can't finish a task. They walk into rooms and forget why they went there [...]

By |2017-11-02T09:58:01-04:00November 2nd, 2017|Books, Health & Wellness, Humor, Personal Development, Productivity, Social Media, Stress|Comments Off on A Dread Disease

Reframing Neighborhood

The real estate appraisal industry, like most industries, is stuck in old thinking. Perhaps the worst of this thinking is the term and concept of Neighborhood. Most people correctly understand neighborhood as a collection of homes and perhaps businesses near their homes. Google images of neighborhood and you get what most people imagine a neighborhood [...]

By |2017-10-24T09:12:21-04:00October 24th, 2017|Change, Industrial, Market, Office, Real Estate, Residential, Retail|Comments Off on Reframing Neighborhood

Where Is the Modern Coffeehouse Scene?

Where is the modern Algonquin Round Table where artists and thinkers from a variety of disciplines come together to discuss big ideas? Where are the coffeehouses of Vienna where the likes of Jung, Freud, Zweig, Klimt, Loos and Adler would get together and toss about some bon mots? Where are the non-fiction Central Perk, Cheers or [...]

By |2017-10-23T09:53:44-04:00October 23rd, 2017|Art, Books, Business, Change, Communication, Creativity, Future, History, Hotel, Humor, Marketing, Social Media, Technology, Travel, Trends|Comments Off on Where Is the Modern Coffeehouse Scene?

A Welcome Change

Last week President Trump signed an Executive Order allowing the sale of health insurance across state lines. This is all well and good, I thought, but how would it work mechanically? So I did some research and realized that this is change could be very exciting, especially for people who own small business or are otherwise [...]

By |2017-10-16T10:16:54-04:00October 16th, 2017|Change, Customers, Economics, Freedom, Health & Wellness, Risk, Small Business|Comments Off on A Welcome Change
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