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 [...]
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. [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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: [...]
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 [...]
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.
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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
I am a commercial real estate appraiser, but I offer much more than just a point-in-time value and a 100 page report. So how do I let my clients know that I have a variety of other skills that may be helpful? Here's something you may want to try: We send written proposals for many [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
You loved the work I did for you. You wanted to let other people know. But I didn't ask for a referral or a testimonial. I'm sorry I let you down, Client I never met.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
...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 [...]
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 [...]
[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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
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 [...]
“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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Be kind Be generous Be thoughtful Be grateful Be peaceful Be calm Be faithful Be forgiving Be sincere Be creative Do one thing at a time Do each thing well Finish each thing Being excellent is simple. But not easy.
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 [...]
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 [...]
Inbox Zero is a concept developed by Merlin Mann, the creator of 43folders.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 [...]
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 [...]
"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 [...]
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 [...]
Do you think that your income as a [insert profession here] is limited in some way? If you think so, you are absolutely correct. You will never exceed that number. Except by accident.
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 [...]