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

Solitary Confinement

It is when I am in a flow state, a time of effortless focus, like a shortstop turning a double play or Arthur Rubinstein performing  Chopin's Mazurkas, that I am the most valuable. I can create something of value for my clients. But during these times I am considerably less valuable in a human sense. [...]

By |2018-09-03T08:33:11-04:00September 3rd, 2018|Creativity, Relationships, Skills, Value|Comments Off on Solitary Confinement

The Opening Band

The Opening Band doesn't usually get the audience's attention. The audience is not really and audience yet, just a bunch of people milling around, tailgating. The Opening Band works hard to put on a good show, just as hard as the Headliner. Writing, arranging and recording songs takes a lot of time and is financially [...]

By |2018-08-19T08:42:56-04:00August 19th, 2018|Professional Development, Skills|Comments Off on The Opening Band


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

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

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

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 [...]

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

The Safest Place

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 [...]

By |2017-10-02T10:07:09-04:00October 2nd, 2017|Art, Humor, Skills|Comments Off on The Safest Place

Totally Worth It

He is old school. His partners are old. They don't use email. Those kind of guys. I sent my proposal. He pushed back on the fee. I stood my ground, and he agreed, but he had to convince his partners that I was totally worth it. I did my research and analysis and wrote up [...]

By |2017-08-22T09:13:55-04:00August 22nd, 2017|Humor, Service, Skills, Value, Wealth|Comments Off on Totally Worth It


How exactly does one market professional services? I mean, we are not creating the iPhone here, some brand new gadget with intriguing design and features. Sometimes professionals feel like they are doing the same, or similar work, day in and day out. We are bound by sets of rules, accepted methods and client expectations. Stifling, right? Not [...]

By |2017-07-31T10:09:53-04:00July 31st, 2017|Art, Marketing, Music, Service, Skills, Success|Comments Off on Limitations

Puzzles, meh

I really don't care for board games. I have no idea how to play Backgammon, Cribbage, Yahtzee or dominoes. I don't know how to play Spades, Rummy or Bridge and I am fuzzy about the rules of Poker. I kinda sorta understand Blackjack, but when it comes time to split hands I get lost. I have [...]

By |2017-07-27T10:20:30-04:00July 27th, 2017|Creativity, Hobby, Real Estate, Skills|Comments Off on Puzzles, meh

Embracing Criticism

At my worst I get peevish and snappy and I lash out at the critic. Why? Sometimes it is just a bad day. Under other pressures I lose patience. Sometimes I just feel like the critic does not understand what I am trying to do. Sometimes I feel like the critic is embracing a bureaucratic [...]

By |2017-07-14T07:28:05-04:00July 14th, 2017|Criticism, Gratitude, Humility, Personal Development, Professional Development, Professional Growth, Skills|Comments Off on Embracing Criticism

Morning Is Too Precious

My mom never let us watch television in the morning when we were growing up. At the time it probably had to do more with getting us out the door on time than anything else, but as always, there was wisdom behind my mother's many rules. In the past few months, sucked into politics like [...]

By |2017-07-03T09:07:50-04:00July 3rd, 2017|Art, Blog, Books, Creativity, News, Personal Development, Skills, Social Media, Success|Comments Off on Morning Is Too Precious

Kick Start

I have not been blogging lately. Instinctively I know this is wrong. I am resting on my laurels, as it were - today's business is due to yesterday's marketing. Which begs the question, what about tomorrow's business? And you know what else? I missed the creative side of it. But life is funny. As I [...]

By |2017-05-04T08:44:13-04:00May 4th, 2017|Blog, Business, Creativity, Future, Marketing, Personal Development, Skills, Small Business, Social Media|Comments Off on Kick Start

Smile ‘Em to Death

My first full time job after college was with the late, great Ben Danskin. Ben was a long-time Monmouth County politician, and one of his favorite sayings was, "Smile 'em to death." Ben, of course, was talking about real or potential political enemies, inside and outside his party. There is never any shortage of these [...]

By |2016-08-01T12:53:18-04:00August 1st, 2016|Expert Witness, Politics, Skills, Tactics|Comments Off on Smile ‘Em to Death

Question Your Way to Success

I am on the Superprimo plan on Audible, so I am always pleasantly surprised that I some credits for "free" audio books waiting for me when I log in. On a lark, I downloaded The Magic Question: How To Get What You Want in Half the Time by Bart A. Baggett. The concept of affirmation has [...]

By |2016-01-14T14:43:11-05:00January 14th, 2016|Books, Business, Creativity, Health & Wellness, Personal Development, Skills, Success|Comments Off on Question Your Way to Success

The Appraiser Prosperity Coalition is seeking to level the playing field. I think they should just change fields.

I recently received an email request for a donation to the Appraiser Prosperity Coalition. I was not familiar with the organization, but I took some time to read up on who they are and what they are trying to accomplish. What I found was a group of well meaning residential mortgage appraisers fighting their latest [...]

By |2016-01-07T10:46:29-05:00January 7th, 2016|Bubbles, Business, Creativity, Economics, Financing, Freedom, History, Professional Development, Professional Growth, Profitability, Real Estate, Residential, Risk, Skills, Small Business, Success, Value|Comments Off on The Appraiser Prosperity Coalition is seeking to level the playing field. I think they should just change fields.

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

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.


[ˈhīdˌbound / adjective - unwilling or unable to change because of tradition or convention] My industry is hidebound. Stuck. Full of rules. 50% to 70% of my reports are standard boilerplate that has to be there. That's a lot of senseless murder of trees. After the real estate crash in the early 1990s, the Federal Government decided [...]

By |2014-11-13T08:56:08-05:00November 13th, 2014|Creativity, Freedom, Future, Humor, Personal Development, Professional Development, Professional Growth, Risk, Service, Skills, Success, Value|Comments Off on Hidebound

Becoming a Master

There are four stages to learning any skill and ultimately becoming a master: Unconscious Incompetence Sometimes called "beginner's luck", at this stage the person doesn't know how little they know. The stimulus to go on depends on the person's perceived value of the skill. Conscious Incompetence In this stage, the person becomes aware of how [...]

By |2014-10-09T09:43:20-04:00October 8th, 2014|Art, Creativity, Education, Personal Development, Professional Development, Professional Growth, Skills, Success, Value|Comments Off on Becoming a Master

An Open Letter to Real Estate Brokers

Hey Guys, I hope is well. Everybody had it tough during the Recession, but you guys had it tougher than most. Nobody was growing their business, so there weren't many new buyers or renters. People who needed to sell didn't want to sell at a loss. Or were just too stubborn to admit they made [...]

By |2014-05-27T12:52:41-04:00May 27th, 2014|Business, Communication, Financing, Humor, Real Estate, Service, Skills, Social Networking, Success, Trust|Comments Off on An Open Letter to Real Estate Brokers

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, [...]

The Epistemic Certainty Gambit

Being an expert witness can be exasperating. My friend Tony Graziano, a giant in New Jersey Real Estate once said (and I am paraphrasing), “Trials are very simple. We try to make you look stupid, you try to make us look stupid.” And this is how justice gets done. Seems like there should be a [...]

By |2014-02-25T09:49:57-05:00February 25th, 2014|Expert Witness, Humor, Skills|Comments Off on The Epistemic Certainty Gambit

There is No Shortcut to Greatness

“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God how you learn.” - C.S. Lewis. Older practitioners often have a calm, self-assured air. One can only wonder, how did they get there? The answer is simple: by making mistakes, screwing up, losing sleep. And later realizing that making a mistake is not the [...]

By |2014-01-14T16:59:11-05:00January 14th, 2014|Professional Growth, Skills, Success, The Human Condition|Comments Off on There is No Shortcut to Greatness

Doing the Hard Work

Writing is hard. It requires work. And discipline. And a freakin’ idea. But writing it is the best thing I can do with my time. Here’s why: “Thinking is the hardest and most exhausting of all labor; and hence many people shrink from it….Thinking is growth; you cannot think without growing. Every thought engenders another [...]

By |2014-01-03T14:00:35-05:00January 3rd, 2014|Art, Blog, Personal Development, Skills, Success|Comments Off on Doing the Hard Work

Yes I Wrote This. Here’s How You Can Tell.

I have received a lot of great feedback about the Property Prophet blog. Thanks to all of you for your support and kind words. And thanks to those who have disagreed with me. At least I know you are reading! And with adequate therapy, my doctor says that the facial tick will stop. Or be [...]

By |2013-12-21T08:04:15-05:00December 21st, 2013|Art, Blog, Humor, Skills, Social Media|Comments Off on Yes I Wrote This. Here’s How You Can Tell.

Feeling Anxious?

Feeling anxious? Do something. Move. First, try working directly on the problem. Make some telephone calls, draft that e-mail, confront that person. Nothing you can do about the problem right now? Write it down in a journal. Nothing formal, just a pencil and a scrap of paper. Or take a walk around the block. Read a [...]

By |2014-10-08T15:27:21-04:00December 15th, 2013|Health & Wellness, Personal Development, Skills, The Human Condition|Comments Off on Feeling Anxious?

Guns and Roses

Birthday Girl and Good Sport Miss Karen and I had an opportunity to get some formal (and fun) firearms and self defense training at Brick Armory, which is located in Lakewood (?). I guess "Lakewood Armory" didn't have the same ring to it. The proprietors, Milton and Jaime Rivera, both NRA-certified instructors were thorough, thoughtful [...]

By |2013-10-01T06:41:36-04:00October 1st, 2013|Education, One New Thing, Personal Development, Skills|Comments Off on Guns and Roses

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

Getting Things Done and Inbox Zero

Inbox Zero is a concept developed by Merlin Mann, the cre­ator of 43fold​ers​.com. Mann took some of the ideas expressed in David Allen's famous book Getting Things Done and brought them into the digital age. I just finished reading Getting Things Done and it is a great book. The only problem is it was written in 2003 and [...]

By |2013-06-06T09:48:57-04:00June 6th, 2013|Productivity, Skills, Time Management|Comments Off on Getting Things Done and Inbox Zero

Are You a Real Pro?

It is a sad state of affairs in professional services. Many are real pros that use their ingenuity and creativity to serve their clients. Sadly, some professionals fall short. Here are some reasons why: They don't stretch themselves. If they haven't done it before, they don't want to do it. Or even hear about it. The [...]

By |2013-06-03T06:46:42-04:00June 4th, 2013|Business, Marketing, Personal Development, Professional Development, Professional Growth, Skills, Small Business, Success|Comments Off on Are You a Real Pro?

A Little Bit Different

"If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail," according to Abraham Maslow. I think my appraiser brethren tend to look at things in this one-size-fits-all way. Not all, but sadly, most. Now, don't get me wrong, appraisal reports have their place and are the solution to many problems. Need [...]

By |2013-04-27T10:24:36-04:00April 27th, 2013|Business, Real Estate, Skills|Comments Off on A Little Bit Different

What Everyone Needs

Everyone needs oxygen. Everyone needs water. Not everyone needs your product or service. That's a good thing. You can't reach the whole world anyway - it is way too expensive. Leave that to Coca-Cola. It is far better to find your niche and master it. Hone your skills until you are the "go to" person in your field. Have [...]

By |2013-04-09T13:46:40-04:00April 9th, 2013|Marketing, Niche, Profitability, Skills, Small Business|Comments Off on What Everyone Needs

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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