Like Football

Two of the most basic tenets in football are keep your head on a swivel and keep your feet moving. These are not simply bromides: they apply both to the gridiron and the pressure cooker that is business today. Keep your head on a swivel reminds us to be situationally aware, constantly scanning the field for [...]

By |2018-09-10T07:27:47-04:00September 10th, 2018|Communication, Customers, Skills, Small Business, Tactics|Comments Off on Like Football

The Work You Want

After the startupworkgrab, you know, the first months or years when a new business will take any paying work, there has to be a time of self reflection. You now have some data and you need to ask yourself some questions. I suggest that you pose these questions as negatives: What work is the least [...]

By |2018-08-30T08:04:28-04:00August 30th, 2018|Customers, Profitability, Small Business, Success, Tactics, Tips and Tricks|Comments Off on The Work You Want

Phone Books

I am not old enough to remember party lines (I am not sure they were ever used in the densely populated New York Metropolitan area) but I do remember phone books. Now a relic ignored by all and probably threat to the environment, phone books were at one time revolutionary. Before the invention of the telegraph [...]

By |2018-08-09T07:00:25-04:00August 9th, 2018|Change, Customers, Humor, Marketing, Relationships, Small Business, Social Networking, Technology, Trends|Comments Off on Phone Books

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

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

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

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

Delivery Counts

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. [...]

By |2017-09-20T09:10:48-04:00September 20th, 2017|Business, Communication, Criticism, Customers, Service|Comments Off on Delivery Counts

Gimmicks

Marketing is simply a way to get attention for your business, charity or organization. A way to stand out from the crowd, to create a story that attracts customers to your door (or website). Some gimmicks are personal in nature: Slash's top hat, Angus Young's schoolboy outfit, Richard Simmons' striped short-shorts, Steven Tyler's scarves. Some [...]

By |2017-08-29T10:32:18-04:00August 29th, 2017|Art, Brand, Communication, Creativity, Customers, Humor, Marketing, Small Business, Social Media, Sport, Stories, Tactics|Comments Off on Gimmicks

Tito’s

I was giving some thought to recent marketing successes and Tito's Handmade Vodka came to mind. Tito's is the fastest growing brand in a very crowded field, full of well-known incumbents like Smirnoff, Grey Goose, Absolut and Svedka. I hate to burst people's bubble, but vodka is ethanol. It is what comes out of the end [...]

By |2017-08-18T09:59:27-04:00August 18th, 2017|Brand, Business, Customers, Marketing, Social Networking|Comments Off on Tito’s

When Was the Last Time?

When was the last time you: Updated your curriculum vitae? Updated your website? Checked in with your best customers? Sent a thank you note? Got new photos taken? Asked for a testimonial? Increased your prices? Really challenged yourself? Made some art? Today would be a good time. Pick one.

By |2017-08-17T08:46:06-04:00August 17th, 2017|Art, Brand, Business, Creativity, Customers, Marketing, Personal Development, Professional Development, Small Business|Comments Off on When Was the Last Time?

No, That’s Not What I was Talking About

I don't want to name the item or the company, it is a brand I respect. It is not Delta Airlines for goodness sake. I bought eight of the item three years ago and recently bought two more. But the new ones were different, flimsier, cheaper. I rarely post reviews on Amazon, but this time I [...]

By |2017-08-06T08:44:58-04:00August 6th, 2017|Brand, Business, Communication, Criticism, Customers, Humor, Management|Comments Off on No, That’s Not What I was Talking About

The A-hole Factor

Go on, admit it. You increased your fee because you think the client is or will be a pain in the patoot. In my experience, the relationship starts off badly and goes downhill. The client has a chip on her shoulder, demands a specific outcome, or complains about your terms of service. No matter how [...]

By |2017-07-30T08:59:58-04:00July 30th, 2017|Business, Creativity, Criticism, Customers, Marketing, Small Business, Trust|Comments Off on The A-hole Factor

What’s It Like?

What's it like when someone calls? What's it like when someone enters your place of business? What's it like when they speak to your staff? What's it like when they speak to you? What's it like when they buy from you? What's it like when they receive your product or service? What's it like later, [...]

By |2017-07-13T07:42:01-04:00July 13th, 2017|Business, Communication, Customers, Marketing, Small Business, Trust|Comments Off on What’s It Like?

Modern Marketing

The days of mass marketing are dead. Ok, maybe not for Proctor and Gamble or Ford, but it is dead for any business whose customer cannot be defined as, "a breathing human being." Which is, if we are honest, most of us. There could be no larger waste of money for a small business with [...]

By |2017-07-10T07:21:39-04:00July 10th, 2017|Customers, Marketing, Service, Small Business, Success|Comments Off on Modern Marketing

Our New Logo

We have several clients that send us a constant flow of small projects. They send the address of the property, some details about the assignment and a contact name and telephone number by email. Usually I reply, "We will take care of it, thank you." But from now on I am sending this guy:

By |2017-05-18T11:22:48-04:00May 18th, 2017|Business, Customers, Humor, Trust|Comments Off on Our New Logo

Etsy and Irrationality

An example of my personal irrational decision making: I recently ordered several handmade and vintage golf ball markers on Etsy. Some have cool skull and crossbone logos and some are made of unique materials with a motto, my initials, etc. I love these silly things. Do I "need" them in any way, shape or form? Heck [...]

By |2017-05-17T13:18:19-04:00May 17th, 2017|Art, Business, Creativity, Customers, Marketing, Profitability, Small Business|Comments Off on Etsy and Irrationality

Semi-Random Thoughts on Success and Happiness

Want success and happiness? Do these things: Smile. Say thank you. Be responsive. Be friendly. Take a personal interest in your coworkers and clients. Stick to your knitting. Not all work is right for you. Develop a list of professionals you trust and refer, refer, refer. The client you refer will be impressed with your [...]

By |2015-05-07T10:08:45-04:00May 7th, 2015|Business, Customers, Gratitude, Health & Wellness, Hobby, Humor, Marketing, News, Personal Development, Professional Development, Professional Growth, Profitability, Service, Skills, Small Business, Success, Wealth|Comments Off on Semi-Random Thoughts on Success and Happiness

Know Thyself

Gagliano & Company is a small business. A boutique firm, if you will. There are only three of us: Miss Sophia, Office Administrator, bookkeeper, preparer of paperwork and utility fielder; Miss Kim, Researcher extraordinaire, datakeeper, spreadsheeter and report ninja; and Yours Truly, the Wearer of the Turban. As a result, our capacity is limited. We [...]

But Is It Meaningful?

Since the banking crisis reared its ugly head at the end of 2007, a raft of new legislation and regulation has been approved to prevent the darn thing from ever happening again. Among these efforts was, yet again, a crackdown on real estate appraisers. First an attempt was made to weed out the bad actors, [...]

By |2015-02-19T10:07:14-05:00February 19th, 2015|Business, Customers, Economics, Humor, Productivity, Service, Skills, Small Business, Success, Value|Comments Off on But Is It Meaningful?

You’re Good…

...but are you damn good? Are you a  trusted adviser? Do you give your clients what they ask for, or better yet, what they need? Do you deliver good work, on time? Of course you do. So don't apologize for your fees, or your payment terms. This is your business. Your family and your employees [...]

By |2015-01-29T09:27:39-05:00January 29th, 2015|Business, Creativity, Customers, Professional Development, Profitability, Service, Skills, Small Business, Success, Value|Comments Off on You’re Good…

Unbiased. And Unappreciated.

It all starts innocently enough. Telephone Call Number 1 is a pleasant exchange inquiring about our services. " I am thinking about selling my building and I am interested in getting an unbiased value before I list the property," says my prospective client. The proposal goes out, is executed, and comes back. I do an [...]

By |2014-12-11T10:53:23-05:00December 11th, 2014|Business, Communication, Customers, Fiction, Financing, Humor, Real Estate, Service, Skills, Small Business, Value|Comments Off on Unbiased. And Unappreciated.

You Are Not Selling Your Time

Repeat after me, "I [state your name] will never again refer to my delivery of professional services as 'selling my time'". You know who sells their time?  Day laborers. The going rate for a pair of hands and a strong back is $40 to $50 per day, plus maybe half of a hoagie. Most of [...]

By |2014-07-31T13:40:32-04:00July 31st, 2014|Business, Communication, Creativity, Customers, Education, Expert Witness, Personal Development, Professional Development, Professional Growth|Comments Off on You Are Not Selling Your Time

Mistakes I Have Made

Most of my worst professional mistakes have been the result of one of two bad habits: haste, or wanting to please the client. By pleasing the client I don't mean simply doing good work in a timely manner with a pleasant disposition, I mean the ugly side of this coin, people pleasing. My business can [...]

By |2014-07-11T09:06:46-04:00July 10th, 2014|Business, Communication, Customers, Professional Development, Professional Growth, Service, Small Business, Success, The Human Condition, Trust|Comments Off on Mistakes I Have Made

Something Fishy This Way Comes

We were engaged to appraise small retail strip center. On the date of inspection the buyer (and our client), an ebullient young woman with an entourage of friends and family in tow, chattered about "all the possibilities." We were instructed to discuss the particulars of the property with the seller (a.k.a., not our client) who [...]

By |2014-10-10T18:23:23-04:00May 13th, 2014|Business, Customers, Humor, Negotiation, Real Estate, Value|1 Comment

Cognitive Dissonance

They spent billions building the place. They bought huge tracts of land and hired artisans from all over the world to make fantasy come alive. They took two dimensional images from comic books and moving pictures and breathed life into them. They spend a fortune marketing, selling, booking, maintaining, and staffing the place. Not counting [...]

By |2014-04-22T10:23:11-04:00April 22nd, 2014|Customers, Marketing, Small Business, Social Media, Success, Trust, Value|Comments Off on Cognitive Dissonance

Trust

Nicholas Harary is a Chef, Sommelier, Restaurateur and Entrepreneur.  His Restaurant Nicholas, located in Red Bank, is one of top eateries in the state, if not the country.  Restaurant Nicholas is truly a fine dining experience, with a kitchen that has been described as a "laboratory," it has been our go-to special occasion restaurant for [...]

By |2014-04-01T09:36:59-04:00April 1st, 2014|Business, Creativity, Customers, Service, Success, Trust, Value|Comments Off on Trust

What’s Your Story?

Last fall I received an email from my Alma mater, Vanderbilt University, asking if I would be interested in interviewing prospective students from the area. Vandy had never asked me to do anything before, so I agreed. Nothing happened for months. Then, in the middle of January, the emails came fast and furious. In all, [...]

Pitfalls

Go to any diner in New Jersey and order a salad. Odds are the salad will come with olives. Odds are those olives will have pits. Olives with pits are not a bad thing. In fact, I enjoy them. The issue is more of a social one. To eat the delicious olive, I must first [...]

By |2013-08-29T06:19:17-04:00August 29th, 2013|Business, Customers, Marketing, Real Estate, Service, Success|Comments Off on Pitfalls

The Art and Science of Making People Feel Special

I am endlessly fascinated by creativity in the real estate world. I had the opportunity to spend some time recently with John Sims, Chairman and CEO of Marketlogics, a firm that provides creative real estate market advisory services for residential home builders. John's personal philosophy is simple, "People want to feel special. We figure out how [...]

By |2013-12-02T14:07:45-05:00August 23rd, 2013|Art, Creativity, Customers, Demographics, Marketing, Niche, Real Estate, Residential, Skills, Success|Comments Off on The Art and Science of Making People Feel Special

The Importance of Craft

Seth Godin has been saying for years that scaling and mass-production are things of the past, for the simple reason that we have gotten so good at it. We can take any methodology or process and make it more and more efficient. What matters today, according to Godin, is art, honest expressions of individuality and [...]

By |2013-08-19T09:47:10-04:00August 19th, 2013|Art, Business, Creativity, Customers, Niche, Profitability, Risk, Small Business, Success|Comments Off on The Importance of Craft

The Amazon of Pants

Online retailer Bonobos, not to be confused with the eponymous simian, wants to be the Amazon of Pants. Men's pants, specifically. [I perused the Bonobos website. They indeed have a wide variety of men's pants. If you live in the West Village. Of if you are built like Adam Scott. The actor or the golfer, take your [...]

By |2013-07-31T09:18:32-04:00July 31st, 2013|Business, Creativity, Customers, Humor, News, Retail, Success, Tech, Time Management|Comments Off on The Amazon of Pants

Bob’s Business Axioms*

Now Pay Attention: Axiom 1: The person who brings in the business is king and should be fêted daily. Axiom 2: If you return telephone calls and e-mails, you will be successful. Axiom 3: About one in ten employees work out. This sucks for everyone involved. Axiom 4: Creativity is much more important than you [...]

By |2013-06-10T06:41:05-04:00June 9th, 2013|Business, Creativity, Customers, Professional Growth, Profitability, Small Business|Comments Off on Bob’s Business Axioms*

Go Google Yourself

I got a call from a friend. My physician, actually. One of his employees was trying to buy a house and was getting into fine physical condition from all the hoops the lender was making her jump through. Her legs were never firmer. The latest vault? The bank needed a certification that a fuel oil [...]

By |2013-06-03T06:47:28-04:00June 3rd, 2013|Business, Customers, Social Media, Success|Comments Off on Go Google Yourself

Things Are Going to Get Interesting

I have been following a number of tech blogs lately. Let me sum up the first adopter zeitgeist: Google/Android Good (meaning hip and "really getting their customers") Apple Bad (meaning old/behind the times). Yes, Google just had their Googlepalooza a.k.a. the Google I/O Developer's Conference in San Francisco where they rolled out their fabulous new features including maps (with clouds!), Google Wallet (e-mail money [...]

By |2013-05-16T06:17:13-04:00May 16th, 2013|Creativity, Customers, Niche|Comments Off on Things Are Going to Get Interesting

You Gotta Look Sharp

Don't like wearing neckties, but my collar tends to droop below my jacket collar. Not a classy look. The solution: Wurkin' Stiffs. Wurkin's Stiffs are metal collar stays with powerful little magnets to hold your collar in place. They work great. The Wurkin Stiffs product has evolved over the years. Originally the magnets were fairly large [...]

By |2013-05-08T08:58:41-04:00May 8th, 2013|Creativity, Customers, Personal Development|Comments Off on You Gotta Look Sharp

Housing Prophecy

As more and more people are working from home, the effects on existing office space and office development are well-known: vacancy has increased and stayed stubbornly high and the rural corporate campus design has fallen out of favor. Desk- and job-sharing are now commonplace. But if all of these people are working from home, what are home [...]

By |2013-07-19T11:37:43-04:00April 12th, 2013|Creativity, Customers, Demographics, Office, Real Estate, Residential|Comments Off on Housing Prophecy

At a Recent Press Conference

[At the request of Miss Karen and in honor of Jersey Central Power and Light's request to increase electric rates by $600 million, I am reprising this tongue-in-cheek vignette originally published last November] PR Staffer: Ladies and Gentlemen, our CEO, Jamie Dimon, has an important announcement: Dimon: Good morning everyone, thank you for coming to [...]

By |2013-04-08T08:55:37-04:00April 8th, 2013|Business, Customers|Comments Off on At a Recent Press Conference

Why We Are Here

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer recently announced that Yahoo was no longer going to allow employees to work from home. Ms. Mayer's reasoning? Here is her statement, "To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. hat is why it is critical that we [...]

By |2013-03-21T10:24:42-04:00March 21st, 2013|Business, Creativity, Customers|Comments Off on Why We Are Here

LinkedIn Tips

I am a big fan of LinkedIn. It is a great source for news, business and personal improvement tips, marketing, networking and job seeking. But I can't help notice that some people just don't seem to get it. Here are some examples: If you are serious about your business or profession, let me suggest that photos [...]

By |2014-07-24T11:47:11-04:00January 28th, 2013|Business, Communication, Customers, Humor, Marketing, Professional Development, Skills, Social Media, Social Networking, Success|Comments Off on LinkedIn Tips
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