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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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. [...]
I have discussed this before, but I still marvel at the phenomenon. I blog daily. I love it. It makes my heart sing. Work gushes in. I mean gushes in. Like a fire hose. There is no cause and effect I can identify, but I end up tempted to give up blogging. The pressure to [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
Trust is built on vulnerability and honesty, on generosity and sincerity, and through consistent and repeated acts of kindness and courtesy.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
I created an email inbox in Outlook to park Blog ideas called Idea Bank. [I know, I am some creative guy]. The concept is simple: when I am in a conference or a meeting or driving and I get an idea, I send myself an email, and later drag and drop. It works well sometimes. Other [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
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 [...]
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.
My golf game improved after a friend (and single digit handicapper) advised me to relax my grip. "On a scale of one to ten, one being the club slides out of your hand and ten being a white knuckle death grip," he said, "you should be at a three." Not only has my game improved, [...]
Being a man means you do what has to be done, no matter the cost. Your life is the most you can give, your pride is the least.
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: [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
I assumed fulfilling my request was not a problem. Mostly because it is your job.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
In my defense, the wreath seemed secure.
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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
Winning isn't the only thing, but it is the only thing that gets archived.
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 [...]
Give away money. Want to grow? Take a risk. Want to get better? Make a mistake. Want to make art? Risk embarrassment. Want gratitude? Visit a children's hospital.
An homage, a celebration, a shout out, a gesture of respect, admiration and appreciation is now potentially cultural appropriation? Isn't this how art, music, film, food and culture evolves?
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
I take issue with modern psychology. Sure we want to uncover repressed issues and deal with them, but discussing a problem ad nauseam hardly seems like the path to peace of mind. After all, nothing makes a wound fester like scratching at the scab. Let's say you bought a baby cobra (yes, a cobra, stick [...]
My extended (including boyfriends) family is planning a pre-Halloween outing this Saturday in Sleepy Hollow, New York. Last year Miss Kelly and her friends stumbled upon The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze, where volunteers create sea serpents, dinosaurs, a train and yes, the Headless Horseman Himself using hundreds of carved pumpkins. Unbeknownst to us, the Blaze [...]
This past Saturday was my 56th birthday. Not a particularly special birthday, but I had a lot of fun training to volunteer for the upcoming President's Cup at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City. It was a golf nerd's dream. During the course of the day, my Inbox swelled with well-wishes from well-wishers, which [...]
I am cancelling my subscription to the Wall Street Journal, which saddens me. I once gave up the Journal because the delivery of the physical newspaper became unreliable. So I started reading it on my iPad. But the app sometimes locks me out of stories for no reason. It takes forever to download today's news. [...]
Drew University last week announced that it was slashing its tuition by 20% from $48,336 this year to $38,668 next year. So what prompted this act of altruism? Economic reality. Drew, like many small private universities, has struggled to maintain enrollment while charging a higher-than-average tuition. So how can Drew increase enrollment and maximize revenue? [...]