A trip through Kris’ brain – Thursday Potpourri

First, some bloggy talk. You will notice a slightly new look here. In this, Phase 2 of Operation 21st Century, we (with a whole lot of help from the folks at Virtual Results) married our home-grown, do-it-myself blog with our shiny new-ish website. The result? Hopefully a cleaner look, a less hack-prone environment, and some logical one-stop integration.

This is admittedly minimalist compared to our old theme. A really bad pack rat, I had to put some of my old side bar widgets to sleep – like the “Who’s Among Us?” map that showed the approximate whereabouts of anyone currently on the site. As much as I liked that one, losing it is probably a good thing. Most days, only San Diego was lit up on the map — since that is where I happen to live.

The promotional button for my Vook, the one that at last count had sold 14 copies? Gone, along with the really hideous cover photo. Ditto my Twitter stream, meaning it will now take you a few extra keystrokes to see my 140-character conversations with my daughters.

I have been hesitant to post anything in the past week or so lest I blow something up during the migration, but all appears in order now, so I am back with a vengeance. OK, not so much a vengeance, but here are some of the random things on my mind this morning. Don’t bother looking for a nexus; there is none.

Looking for something to do in Scripps Ranch this weekend? It’s that time again, and we will be there armed with an arsenal of swag – balloons, beach balls and, this year in a stroke of Kris-genius, an air mattress pump which the nice man at Sport Mart assured me would inflate those puppies and add several years to my life span.

Look for us in the Platinum Sponsor booth. The fun starts at 11:00 AM, Sunday, May 15th and wraps with a free concert at 6:00 PM by the fabulous “Igniters.” The fair is held at the Scripps Ranch Community Park, at the corner of Blue Cypress Drive and Cypress Canyon Road. Be there – or buy your own beach ball.

Wallpaper is not an upgrade. It had to be said, and Doug Francis said it well. “In twenty years of helping home buyers, I have never heard one say, ‘Doug, we love this wallpaper!’”

For once, I have nothing to add.

How’s the market? The very smart people at 1000WattConsulting will be Beta-testing an app to answer just that question. (Pick me!)

“Street-level real estate knowledge is irreplaceable. No matter how many charts and graphs you can get online, there’s nothing more valuable than a well-informed opinion from a professional with experience in your neighborhood or on your street….”

Or, as I wrote in my most recent column on Inman News, “I’ll trade you three reams of Ivy League spreadsheets for one agent having to buy more lock boxes for the first time in ten years, every day of the week, if what you want is a reliable economic indicator.”

Yes, we had to buy more lock boxes this week. That’s how our market is.

We all do the same thing.

These words were overheard uttered by another local agent. First, I would offer that if one truly thinks they offer no added value, then there is big ol’ flaw in the business plan. And they are probably neither unique nor are they staying up nights worrying about how they might bring something better to their clients.

Without distinction, you’ve got a day job. Stand for something, consistently demonstrate it, and continually strive to improve – then you’ve got a career.

From Seth Godin:

If the marketing and product development team do a great job, selling is a lot easier… so easy it might be called inviting. The guy at the counter of the Apple store selling the iPad2 isn’t really selling them at all. Hey, there’s a line out the door of people with money in their pockets. I’m inviting you to buy this, if you don’t want it, next!

The real estate broker who says that the house would sell if only he could get below market pricing and a pre-approved mortgage is avoiding his job… The goal of a marketer ought to be to make it so easy to be a salesperson, you’re merely an inviter. The new marketing is largely about this–creating a scenario where you don’t even need salespeople. (Until you do.)

This might not mean much to our three civilian readers, but real estate agents get it – or should. If your brand means something, and if you never, ever filch on that promise, the phone will ring. It’s that simple. Oh, and something about working hard.

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