Harry Potter real estate, Roast Duck Shanghai-style, and Texting
If country living is your thing, we have the perfect piece of Harry Potter real estate for you to check out–Ron Weasley’s home. How much could the Weasleys make if they put their Devon house on the market? A whole lot of galleons.
People in Hong Kong loved Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s floating Rubber Duck when it arrived in town last May. It seems, however, Shanghai was a bit envious, so they made their own…but well, made it partially roasted. Most of the city was not amused. Click through to the story for a finger-licking picture of the boat.
New research shows expansive posture and larger workspaces promote power but may lead to cheating.
Do you resist making phone calls? Is texting the only way you communicate these days? For millennials, the answer is yes. They are so phone-shy that phone consultants are brought in to explain how and why to use the phones, including an explanation of the dial tone. Personal conversation is still important to create rapport and avoid text communications.
And speaking of texting: Sleep walking, sleep eating, and now Sleep texting, really? Sleep experts are now reporting texting while sleeping is an “alarming trend”. Sleepy people are texting inappropriate messages, losing needed sleep and waking up exhausted. Just turn off your phone and get some restful and restorative sleep!
National Dog Day was earlier this week (didn’t you know?). So of course there’s a collection of funny dog pics and gifs.
This sounds like a great idea for a horror movie: One million cockroaches escape from a farm in China, spreading out through the countryside. YIKES!
Airport libraries, sprayable energy, and (one of) the world’s oldest professions
A real estate broker sounds like a modern profession, right? Not really, according to a new exhibit at Chicago’s Oriental Institute. “This stone I was photographed with has these beautiful carvings that represent real estate transactions,” said real estate broker Margie Smigel. “To think that 5,000 years ago in Mesopotamia, they were keeping track of who got what — it’s such an interesting concept.”
In order to save the local independent bookseller, Quebec is considering regulating the price of new books. Who thinks that is a bad idea: independent booksellers, among others. Studies predict it will only hasten the decline in spending on books in the province.
Summer travel season is winding down, but did you happen to stop by any airport libraries recently? Books – either physical or electronic – are making a comeback at airports. It’s a natural location. You have time to kill, and most other options aren’t cheap. Local libraries are partnering up with airport authorities to offer some low-cost options.
Echoing a story from earlier this summer, some homeowners in Connecticut are raising their homes to avoid future flooding to save on flood insurance. The amount of damages to flooded houses required that the home be built higher. “The Ekvalls in Old Greenwich are a typical example. Sandy’s tidal surge sent water up to the kitchen countertops of their 1930s cottage, which was 6.5 feet above sea level. They decided to raise the first level to 15.5 feet, higher than the 14 feet required by the town under the federal maps. Now the roof is 43 feet high, so tall that the family needed a variance on a different Greenwich ordinance: one restricting roof heights to 35 feet.”
Don’t have time for that morning cup of Joe? Tired of the caffeine withdrawal headaches when you skip a day or two? Does Red Bull give you heartburn? Well, coming soon: sprayable energy. An odorless, colorless, topical caffeine spray that promises all the benefits and none of the pitfalls of other energy products.
Now breaking: Double Stuff Oreos only have 1.86 times the stuff.
And in other sad food news, scientists are testing a beer that doesn’t cause a hangover. I thought that’s what O’Doul’s already was for…?
Fly to your showings, Hyperloop, and what’s your opinion on Open Concept Kitchens?
How do you distinguish yourself from the competition? How about by doing showings by private plane? One Hamptons agent takes clients up in his plane to view properties (which also allows the lookie-loos to peek in some palatial estates).
A recent United States federal court case involving Google revealed some surprising information about the company’s privacy practices with regards to Gmail. The UK’s Guardian provides the details and offers a link to the court case filing. Let this serve as a solemn reminder that in the digital world, all private information is at risk of public exposure. If you want to protect your privacy, be wary of what you put online and transmit electronically as it may not be as secure as you think.
Hooray for a drink! Now research shows moderate drinkers gain less wight over time than teetotalers.
Raising a child is expensive: $241,080.
And speaking of money: whatever happened to those new technologically advanced $100 bills? Snafus galore!
If you are fascinated by cartography, check out these 40 compelling maps (plus one odd “bonus” map) covering topics such as number of alcoholic beverages consumed by country, global population density, and highest paid public employee by state.
“Hyperloop” was the buzzword this week, with Paypal’s creator proposing a superfast tube transport system to wizz you from LA to SFO in 30 minutes.
It’s no surprise that financial gain can be a powerful motivator, but a variety of groups are using that knowledge in innovative ways to help people get healthier.
Open concept kitchens are all the rage, but some people see them as more trouble than they’re worth. While having one giant room to cook, entertain, keep an eye on the kids, and chat with friends and family sounds nice, it also can be a pain. Once the babes are grown, do you really want to be forced to listen to your children’s music? And if you drop that roast all your guests will know.
Cotton-candy flavored grapes – your time has come at last!
If you have always wanted to see Brian Williams rap “ Bust a Move”, here is your chance (courtesy of Jimmy Fallon).
Recently a member asked us about lead generation. Is any one program better than the other? How do I get started? And what was our advice in general? Well, as we didn’t have any first-hand experience, we researched the field a bit. Please note that our review is not a thorough vetting of the market nor a decisive answer for all, but anecdotally it gives some ideas. While various players tout different software programs or software-as-a-service (think online CRM tools), several experts seem to concur that a great website and managing one’s online presence is just as good if not better.
For a more traditional software approach, Chicago Agent Magazine is a great resource for tips, tools, and tricks from active practitioners. This article suggests a few lead generation tools, “The Best in Tech for Real Estate” dated July 2013 (scroll down to section “Best Lead Generation Software”). Other options to consider can be found at Texas A & M’s Real Estate Center’s Real Estate Software Directory. While the online tools mentioned in the above article don’t appear, you can find some software options under the section called “Contact Management“. Play around with some of the other categories to find software and tools for advertising, farming management, etc.
However, not everyone is on the software bandwagon:
Be your own AdWords manager. Learning the in and outs of paid search is a tough road, but a very rewarding one. Very similar to renting a home versus owning a home. One requires payment with not equity in the end, whereas the other requires payment, hard work, but equity in the end.
If you decide software isn’t the solution, here are some ideas on alternative methods for lead generation. It seems almost as if there is a consensus amongst the experts on using alternative methods (other than traditional software or pay-per-click tools). As per NAR’s 2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 90% of home buyers use the Internet in their home search process, and 96% of buyers under the age of 44 use the Internet in the home search process, so buyers are definitely online. The articles below give a good lay-of-the-land and offer some good ideas as to how to connect with these buyers when they are online.
Move: Leads to Real Estate Pros Up 50%, Inman, Aug. 2013
Use the Internet to Your Advantage, Chicago Agent Magazine, July 2013
3 Keys to Personalizing Your Marketing, REALTOR® Magazine, April 2013
4 Tips for Online Lead Generation, REALTOR® Magazine, Apr. 2013
Real Geeks vs Tiger Leads by Sarasota Real Estate Broker, Real Geeks, Feb. 2012
[Agent Profile] Blogging is KEY to Generating More Leads, Inman, Aug. 2011
Keep the leads flowing, REALTOR® Magazine, Mar. 2010
Rethinking lead generation, REALTOR® Magazine, Oct. 2009
Capture the leads, REALTOR® Magazine, July 2009
You may think you’re spending less, but the data says otherwise
If you missed President Obama’s town hall speech on housing, the Washington Post has a nice recap. Main points: Wind down Fannie and Freddie, protect 30-year mortgage, re-jiggle regulation a bit, but not too much, and help blighted communities and the poor.
American consumers claim that they’re not spending as much money this year on restaurants, bar tabs, home purchases, and other key categories. The actual consumer spending data tells a different story. Spending is up across the board and across income levels. Researchers think part of the answer lies in consumers only buying when things are ‘on sale’. They think they’re saving off the full retail price, when actually they are just buying more than in the past.
Post-Superstorm Sandy, many north Atlantic communities are re-evaluating their level of flood and tide vulnerability. Maybe none more so than Highlands, NJ, which is considering raising its entire waterfront downtown by 11 feet. If the $200-million cost can be funded, the town will rise in sections with residents temporarily relocated. The Army Corps of Engineers is currently studying the feasibility of the scheme.
Admit it, you are addicted to Candy Crush Saga. You play it at stoplights, on the couch and in the doctor’s waiting room. But don’t feel too bad. Playing Candy Crush can teach you some financial lessons, says Money Q and A. Like how to learn to think ahead, cultivate patience, ask for help when you need it, and much more. And I would add: that those Facebook credits can add up fast!
Million-dollar Agent, are you ready for your close up? The public can’t get enough of you, but some firms say ‘no thanks’.
Can realty TV make you a real estate star? It has happened to some agents on Bravo and HGTV. Some agents crave the attention, some are embarrassed, and some companies forbid their agents to appear on those reality shows. But demand seems to be growing, with new shows launching each season. These shows can lead to agents opening their own firms, side businesses such as selling fragranced candles, and move them up in the real estate world. Would you go to a casting call?
Learn how to make money from your old cell phone. According to The Wall Street Journal, you may be able to get $130 dollars through a company like Gazelle. Phone carriers have a trade in service, charging a fee.
Marketing and advertising necessitates constant reinvention. While some brands remain classic and unchanging, the vast majority go through periodic refreshes touting ‘new and improved’. Time recently looked at how a few familiar brands are refreshing themselves to appeal to finicky Millennials. Soup in a pouch, cheaper luxury model cars, and an embrace of social media all have rolls.
The Wall Street Journal also came out with an interactive wireless plan chooser. I think it’s too basic, limiting the variables to phone minutes, pay-as-you-go or unlimited texts, and data, but it may give you some ideas.
While most dog owners will recognize their pet’s wagging tail as a sign of joy, they may also want to pay more attention to their animal’s face the next time they walk in through the front door.
Field Guides are one-stop resource packages on dozens of subjects of interest to REALTORS®. On each page you’ll find links to articles, books, web sites, statistics, and other material on each subject. The list of the most-used field guides from Information Central for the month of July 2013 was released today:
- Field Guide to Quick Real Estate Statistics
- Field Guide to Being a New REALTOR®
- Field Guide to Preparing & Staging a House for Sale
- Field Guide to Marketing Tips for REALTORS®
- Field Guide to Listing & Selling Luxury Properties
- Field Guide to 1031 Exchanges
- Field Guide to Opening a Real Estate Brokerage
- Field Guide to Real Estate Office Policy Manuals
- Field Guide to Personal Assistants
- Field Guide to Farming & Prospecting
Have an idea for a new field guide? Let us know!