Keeping the circle going

How many people do you spend money with that spend money with you?

How often do you CHOOSE to spend locally when an Internet or national chain option are available?

Now I am by no means perfect but I take the fact that I am a local business very seriously.  I have a massive amount of gratitude for those people that choose to spend money with me and therefore enhance the lives of my family.  So what else can I do?  Well for me it comes down to a couple of basic things;

  • If you have resources why wouldn’t you share them?
  • I can make my “network” stronger by introducing the various members than I can by making it bigger just to be bigger. BTW if your network is stronger so will be your business, your relationships and your bank account.
  • maxing out the effectiveness of my dollars and time
  • Because you never know

Now I really try not to over think it, not much different than “What does your agent do for you” .  It took a while to develop but once it does it is just so easy and feels really good so why not *it is really good for business as well*  Here are two things I did this week;

Months ago, a good client introduced me to a new client of hers(see it is easy and good for everyone).  Fortunately they trusted me to set up some insurance for their new business.  This week their company, Georgie Porgie went live!  So you could find out and do nothing or you can give them 10 minutes and post their link on your Facebook and Twitter and buy something from them.  Not a lot of effort but compound that and the results can be massive. Seriously Why Wouldn’t you do this? They chose to spend money with you, they are nice people, they are local, etc.  What else do you need?  By the way, the person that made the intro is a friend and is really good at what she does, yes I make introductions of friends to her whenever possible.  Easy, right?

Another instance, same idea; I was having a contractor do some work at a little rental my family owns.  Yes, I happen to provide his insurance so again; why wouldn’t you spend money with the people that spend money with you?  He is also really good.  So he was coming over so I was going to be home anyhow, figured I would call on an HVAC/Plumber I also insure.  Now it gets good.

How do you maximize what your dollars can do?

Well I was having my pipes cleaned out anyhow and I was having some work done at the rental anyhow(they are across the street) so I figured let’s try and max this out.  I like them both, I trust them both and they both spend money with me so why not introduce them to each other?  Now two skilled tradesman who never new each other  know each other, my tub drains way better 🙂 and some windows have molding.  Not bad.  What happens now is up to them.

How many opportunities like this can you create for your customers?

Start from a genuine place of wanting to share, apply some effort and watch what happens.  Why not?

Again, just some thoughts.  Do with them what you want?


Real estate, the internet and some random ideas to use

Random thoughts that are resulting from watching a friend try and sell her  home.

Started off good, Realtor helped them buy this home around 8 years ago and kept in touch.  Then, when approached gave some solid ideas on little things to improve the home.  So you have a homeowner doing the right things and now the house is on the market.  Now you also have 5 houses for sale in your neighborhood and yours only shows up when specifically searching for your address.

So your first listing that shows up only has one bad photo, FIX THIS.

Your Realtor has no on-line presence or contacts outside of his/her office.  If she does she seems to only want to invite Realtors from his/her office.  FIX THIS

**Folks, whether you like it or not you are always competing.  Why would you hire a Realtor with no digital plan.  Why would you hire someone who is unwilling to spend $200 to make $3000.

Pardon what some would think is a lack of knowledge; Aren’t open houses all about getting people to see your home?  I would say yes.  Now a Realtor would argue you want qualified buyers.  That Realtor also likely bought themselves a home in fantasy land.  Most Realtors realize an open house can be a heck of a two pronged marketing approach;  promote the listing and promote the agent.    So if most of them realize this why wouldn’t they do more to make these awesome?

So a few nights back the friend I mentioned above and I were talking in front of the computer.  We looked at all the listings near her and just thought out loud here is some of our “brainstorm” and some from a great cup of coffee I am drinking as I write this;

  • Would there be an open house?  Well the homeowner wants one so we said why wouldn’t the five homes for sale within a short walk of each other all have an open house and create some sort of a caravan/prize if you see all the homes?
  • Why wouldn’t she run a garage sale the day before to draw more traffic and hand out flyers?
  • Maybe she would have her driveway sealed by a company that does a good job promoting there work?
  • Why wouldn’t she bring in a Home Stager for a quick consult, maybe there is a little something she can do to help?
  • Bring in the landscaper to blow out the property, mow the lawn, etc. Clean homes sell  right?
  • Bring in a window washer for that extra pop?  Can a home be to clean?
  • Plan an awesome lunch/desert/gimicky food choice and have that person promote it **more local companies than you can imagine;Janes, Brother Bobby’s, Chocolate Mousse, Ice crea, Truck guy, Nilda’s cookies, etc
  • Get some neighborhood kids to blanket the neighborhood in flyers; stuff them in mailboxes, knock on doors, attach to mailboxes.  Maybe your neighbors would like their friends/family to live there.  Can these flyers go up on a neighborhood announcement board?
  • Throw a party for your neighbors, call it a thanks for being good neighbors party.  More traffic increases your odds of a sale right
  • PHOTOS; my gosh this is so easy yet always overlooked.  Now if you looked at the 5 listings we mentioned earlier my friends home and one other have solid photos.  The other three were awful.  Why chance it when you can have this;  video 1 or this even better one  Here is an awesome recommendation; Vivian Selling Real Estate, like photography, is better when done by a professional
  • *****1 more thing on Photography; first impressions are always important so maybe you can turn off the T.V., put away the cleaning supplies, make sure you are not in the mirror, put down the toilet seat, avoid photos of the not so good rooms, clean out your collections BEFORE you take the photos.  My gosh, take a day and watch HGTV or something.  If you apply 1/3 of what you learn you will help more people and therefore earn more money
  • BE PREPARED; my wife and I will not leave our home unless we feel; really good about a listing.  She found one she liked.  I said I will go after you call the Realtor and confirm the ceiling height in the unfinished attic and basement.  Realtor did not know the height and took two days to call back PATHETIC.  Now when I show up, to be a good husband, you are not a Realtor but instead a house sitter who knows nothing about a home you have been trusted to sell.  Think ahead about things the buyer may want to know.  Maybe you get a home inspection or an appraisal
  • Oh yeah, not much on the internet in this post because this is already long enough.

The world is a really busy place, getting attention for your customer actually takes a little work.  Pardon the length, just some suggestions.

Ongoing battle against mediocrity

Yes, it is on going and no I am not perfect.  The thing is I keep trying and will continue to keep trying to stay far above that line.  Once a week or so an experience or lack there of sets me off and just makes me wonder.  This is not to say I expect to change the world it is instead to say I will not sit idle while mediocrity tries to infiltrate my world.

So on to this week.  I chose to visit a local doctors office for a second opinion. **I am perfectly healthy** an event in my family had me see a cardiologist.  This was an excellent experience from top to bottom.  Then I was referred to another doctor, not as good an experience but still  satisfactory.  Doctor number 2’s office can certainly learn from Doctor 1’s office.  IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO JUST BE A GOOD DOCTOR  I want an overall good experience.  So Doctor 2 wants me to see a third doctor, ok I said and we agreed on one doctor in the practice.  Now this Doctor had previously helped my wife so I said fine, made the appointment.  Fast forward to Friday the 15th, yes needed two days to decompress, and the fun begins.

Both previous doctors called to confirm appointments this one did not.  Yes, I should have double checked but I still ended up at the wrong office.  While at the wrong office I stood at the window for 5 minutes before approached than 5 more minutes while waiting for an answer.  On to the right office.  Now this firm happens to serve many cancer patients, my thought is you should be catering to these people the best you can.  Instead they were waiting in a drab, boring, waiting room.  Bad paint, bad, uninspiring art work, no magazines, bad wi-fi.   Just terrible.  Than I come to realize, after talking with three older women, that waiting an hour or more is common.  Bull****!  You make an appointment you keep an appointment.  Life happens, I get it but you need to explain what happened.  YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO WASTE MY TIME.  See although I may have been the only healthy person in the waiting room I am exactly the same as the people there, we all do not know how much time we have left and nobody has a right to take any of this time from us.

This is PATHETIC, from a business standpoint and on a human level makes me want to vomit.  Instead of vomiting I went and stood up for myself and the others and tried to validate what was causing the wait.  The staff offered to change my appointment to another doctor.  Even changing to another doctor kept me waiting for over an hour.  As far as that doctor, just another example of an educated person with no education on how to treat people.  As he walked out on me in the middle of our conversation.  Apparently he was done.

Bottom line, I can get over running a bad business but you and I have no right to waste anybody’s time.  But, letting people treat you this way is also part of the problem.  PLEASE stop accepting mediocrity.

Just some thoughts.