Don't Read This

Sucka- I knew you'd read this...

Did you know that you can convert all of your Blogger articles over to Word Press with a simple mouse click? It's ture! If you're looking for any article from this page in the past, head over to the new site where you'll find ALL articles.
I've been surprised at the continued traffic over here- Chris, why are you coming here? :) I see you guys...


Realtor Wives Has Moved

I've had a couple of emails asking what happened to Realtor Wives... we've just changed to Word Press and are under a new domain...


Chick Clues- Car Detailing

Today debuts what *should* be a pretty sweet addition to Realtor Wives. I have OCD. Ask anyone- I constantly push agents' chairs in, frequently clean my home's baseboards, I have a need for 90 degree angles with all papers on desks, and brake dust on rims bugs me.

Therfore, today begins "Chick Clues"- my way of sharing my OCD with you, the loyal readers! Recently, I was detailing my car. That means that I was going back over the car after it had been professionally detailed- getting the tracks clean under the seats, dusting out the glove compartment, etc. and I couldn't quite get to the little dust in the door locks or window buttons. When I marched back inside for the swiffer, I realized that the can of compressed air would do fabulously! Ah the power of compressed air- I blew out dust in little crevices that I didn't know could even collect dust!

So today's Chick Clue- use a can of compressed air to detail crevices of your car that detailers don't quite reach. Realtors, you know you live in your car and have clients in it every day... don't neglect it!
What are your car cleaning clues?


Going On A Comment Sabbaticle

So I have this neighbor who just has to keep up with the Joneses. At some point, my husband and I became the target:

1. They have had their landscape redone to be a tad better than ours, but they keep mowing int he rain leaving trenches. We like to do our own because no one is as obsessive compulsive as we are.

2. They bought a new gianto SUV this summer. We bought a Jeep this spring.

We painted our door and trim a glossy black this spring. They painted their door and trim a glossy black this summer.

We threw a 2006 Celebrity Princess Party for our then 9 year old. They threw a 2007 Celebrity Emmy Party for their now 10 year old.

And the list goes on. I don't mind them playing the game, but why play? I'm not even attempting to be on the game field! So then, why would they go beyond keeping up with the Joneses and decide to actually hate the Joneses!?!? In what seems to be frustration that we don't want to play in their sandbox but we still somehow "beat" them in their minds, they have decided to hate us. Last night at fireworks, instead of coming over where we were shooting (sweet, huh?), they stood on their front porch with their arms crossed and wouldn't let their daughters (my daughter's best friends) come over because it was a "family affair." Whatever, sourpuss.

So what does this have to do with a comment sabbaticle?
Well, the same thing has begun happening to me in the blogosphere. Look, I'm not a Realtor so I can't possibly compete with you. Nor am I in the mortgage industry. After a few bloggers have either pirated my comments, held on to my comments because their buddy was in the process of making a similar comment (and posting it after the fact, making me look like a repetitive idiot), actually editing my comments (wth?), or simply not publishing them. Therefore, I am tired and I will be on sabbaticle.

In the past, when I've needed backup, I've emailed a few friends (Realtor Genius, Bawld Guy and Kris Berg) asking them to jump in either here or on Bloodhound. If you need me to do the same, or you simply miss my voice, please email me directly. Otherwise, I will be drinking a Mojito as I enjoy my comment-free sabbaticle!


What's A Bawldy?

So, this week, Realtor Wives achieved a highly sought after milestone- earning a Bawldy! What's a Bawldy? Well, Jeff Brown at BawldGuy.com links daily to his choice of the best Real Estate articles of the day, and "How Not To Screw Up" was named in his list of the bestest blogs. We all know that he had to name others in his daily awards show, but he'll tell you that we take the cake.

In honor of this award, we decided to give Jeff an equally impressive award- the Realtor Wives Hairy Award! Jeff, I know you've dreamt of having the Ashton Kutcher 'do, so we had a fabulous local graphic artist (also known as my dad) create a wonderful image of Bawldy with Hair. Please enjoy!

We are accepting nominations for other bald or balding Realtors that deserve hair- we can (and will) award Hair but only on a need-basis; submit your nominations today!


How Not To Screw Up...

I came across an article recently about 10 dating disasters and immediately thought of what so many Realtors do incorrectly (or "do wrong" if you're here in the South). I thought I would modify the typical dating lists to read "What Not To Do Before or On The First Meeting With a Client" or in short "How Not To Screw Up..."

1. Do not have someone Photoshop your picture to smooth your skin, remove your double chin or give you hair. When your client meets you, they will be very uncomfortable because their insides will shake with laughter. If you're ugly, so what? It's a misconception that people hire Realtors based on their most recent mission to Plasticsurgeryville.

2. Do not wear a Hawaiian shirt on a first meeting, no matter how Rico Suave you are. Remember, Hawaiian shirt wearing is for the exclusive few that are (a) Hawaiian, (b) on vacation, (c) are fat and middle aged, or (d) my father.

3. When a local broadcaster or someone of local fame calls you, don't rent an ultra-luxurious car and claim yours is in the shop! If you're sportin' an Escort, just give it a bath and let your client know you intend to roll the Escort until the wheels fall off (oh and make sure it smells nice, no one likes day old catfish leftover smell).

4. Don't let your cell phone get in the way of your Realtor mojo. If you can't have a first meeting without gabbing on your phone (and everyone is SO guilty of this), turn the dang thing to silent. Have a general VM that says "I am currently meeting with a valued client, but I have a great habit of checking my voicemail the moment I get into my car, so don't worry- you'll hear from me soon!" If you appear to love your Star Trek bluetooth more than the precious time with your client, you may never hear from them again.

5. Don't be late. Period. You are not the only one who values time and if you are late to a first meeting (or well, to any) it is a great sign of disrespect. Plan on being 15 minutes early, finish phone calls in the car and approach the door of your meeting destination right on time. When you are late, you explicitly tell your client that you are the center of the universe, they should bow because you have entered a room, and you believe that their time and business is of no consequence to you (unless that's how you see it).

6. Don't over promise. This is the cardinal sin in Real Estate, especially during listing presentations. If you don't have a guarantee (see Russell Shaw's website), don't promise a home will sell in 6.34 days. Don't promise to be "available at all times" when you know you don't answer the phone when it's dark, the game is on, you're napping or you're at your "day job" (which should be #7, but I'll be nice).

7. You are not Oprah. Keep your bragging to a minimum. Bragging and presenting yourself in a factual manner are different matters. For example, "I'm Austin's best Realtor" is lame, try "In this subdivision, I sold one out of every two listings last year." At a first meeting, you are likely applying for a job with that client, so don't bog down the "interview" with inflating or stroking your own ego. Don't be bragadocious.

8. Don't badmouth the competition. Dogging on other Realtors (typically local competitors) online can get you in deep dookie here in Texas, but doing it in person is just low. When someone talks about their past Realtor (operative word being "past" aka non-threatening, so shut up), refocus the conversation casually to you or their current home situation rather than noting "yeah, he's an a-hole, he spilled a drink on me at this massive party just after admitting that he doesn't work weekends and he dresses in drag when he's alone." Muy mal.

9. Don't be inappropriate. This includes the joke about the dumb Aggie (they probably went to A&M, poor guy), the racist joke (their absent spouse is likely of that race), the Pope joke (I'm probably Catholic), or the handicap joke (their mom is probably paralyzed). It's not the time or place. Making dirty jokes, using crude language, any physically inappropriate gestures or otherwise can actually put your career at risk and there's nothing funny I can say about that. Don't be an idiot- you're probably not as funny as you think anyhow.

10. My favorite- don't be cute. This applies mostly to you guys out there aged 40-55 who are clinging to that last hope that you are as cute as you were when you were president of your frat way back when. If your kids are in their 20s, I'm begging you- don't flirt with your 25 year old female client- she's not interested. Trying to bring sexy back during a first meeting can ultimately screw things up.

Now it's your turn- start adding to the list beginning with #11...


Why Redfin Will Succeed

Kevin Boer at 3 Oceans Realty poses the question, "If You Were Designing The Real Estate Industry From Scratch, Would It Look More Like Coldwell Banker Or Redfin?"

The consensus so far is that if we started from scratch, the industry would still resemble the 1.3 million contractors that make up the NAR. I made a comment that could be interpreted as harsh against the demographic that Redfin is seeking to court, but I meant what I said- we all know (or are) someone who is glued to a computer and would love to never ever leave. I have a family member (no, not my husband) who is literally addicted to the internet and would never leave his chair if he didn't have to go to the bathroom. Seriously.

Redfin would be great for him because he's scared to death of getting out of the house. He wouldn't care how Web 2.0 the Redfin site is, he would love the idea that he doesn't have to interact with a human. The problem is that before he says "I do" and marries his home, he'll want to personally (ideally without a sales person present) hold its hand and commence to a little heavy petting before committing. This is why video open houses are so important for this tiny demographic. BUT, buyers will never purchase a home sight unseen, because humans inherently rely on tangibility and emotions regarding major purchases regardless of whatever "business model" a Realtor uses. Look, I personally don't like big crowds and sales people make me nervous, but I have to see the house/car/skirt in person before I let a salesperson into my personal business. I understand.

Therefore, I maintain that Redfin is courting the hipster/WoW nerds and I believe (as my husband notes below) that they will survive (and succeed) in their niche because they've quietly found a tiny demo that was not publicly being courted, and the only reason they need a website is for PR, not necessarily sales. RealtorGenius says it better than I can in a comment at 3Oceans:


To Capthca or NOT To Captcha

Many of us (myself included) opt to include the captcha so that the spambots can't infiltrate our beautiful blogs. I'm on Google's Blogger, and I've learned that Blogger sometimes cops an attitude and insults its users... seriously.

Check it out here and consider if you still want to feature captchas on your site...


The Realtor Wives Feed Reader Hits 100!

Well, it had to come sometime- the obstacle is now here... how do I keep this feed reader under 100? As I asked this week, who should be the 100th blog to read every day?

Realtor Wives added Rebekah Herzog out of Kansas who is a budding new blogger. I encourage you all to visit her site, email her encouragement (we all need it when getting started) or suggestions and add her to your feed reader. Congrats on being #100!

Sidenote: I'm using Bloglines and I hate it- any suggestions or reviews of your own readers?