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Posts Tagged ‘Business’

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Creating business connections is one of the best ways to build your business. For years business owners and sales people have looked for ways to make business connections that turn into lead generators. The Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce came into existence as a way to create business connection. Even fraternal groups offer a means for business to connect with one another to generate sales. More recently, lead generation groups have become popular. Meeting once a month or once a week, these groups are interested in sharing leads with each other to stimulate commerce.

Times are changing and the pace of business is faster than ever. People hardly have time to get to client meetings, much less Rotary Club or Chamber meetings. We are attached by cellphones and are using Social Media in ways that are changing the way business is done and introduces a new way for creating business connections. Ellen Stebbins and Glenn Sojourner are re-imagining how to use Social Media in creating business connections with The Lowcountry Business Network (LBN). LBN is an adaptation of the old business connections model using the meeting places of today, those Social Media sites on the internet, in place of the conference rooms and diners of the past.

Ellen and Glenn started LBN in September, 2010. The network is growing and developing new strategies for the benefit of its members. Once monthly gatherings serve in place of weekly meetings. These gatherings include training and social networking, so they offer a bridge between the old model and what is evolving as the new model. Rather than focus on lead generation, members are encouraged to promote their fellow member’s businesses to their own social network. A tweet, a few well placed words on Facebook, or a connection in LinkedIn can go a long way to generate interest that turns into sales.

My business is being helped through affiliation with LBN. Exposing Dunes Properties Vacation Rental on IOP and Folly Beach to a wider audience will increase the number of vacation rentals at a very small cost to Dunes Properties. It can do the same for your business. Check out their new website http://www.thelowcountrybusinessnetwork.com/idevaffiliate/index.php to get more information about memberships an getting started with LBN. You might create the business connection that will move you to a new plateau!

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Writer's block

I think I have writer’s block. I haven’t written much in the past week. Oh, I’m writing now as you can see. But I really don’t know if I have a reason to write. It just seemed like I should, so I am.

Have you ever hit a block of some kind? Most of us have in some area are another. It could be that I just ran out of things to say that I thought would be interesting. No, that can’t be it. I’ve written plenty of things that weren’t interesting. I wrote about bike riding and who really finds that very interesting. I wrote about my childhood memories of Jefferson Playground without much concern for whether or not others would be interested. So I’m confounded by this writer’s block thing.

Is it the same as when I’m hesitant about calling someone to make an appointment with them to sell them something. Or is it like when I was timid about giving feedback to a fellow employee about why something they did didn’t work as plan. Or putting off something I don’t like to do. I don’t know.

Maybe it’s really just procrastination. There are lots of things that are interesting that I could write about. I could tell you about some of the great people I’ve met in the past week. I could write about the beautiful sunrise I saw last week on one of my bike rides (didn’t mean to bring that up again!) I could write about how great Patricia has been in dealing with her clients on a couple of real estate transactions. I could write about the stack of business books I have to read, or the educational videos I need to watch. I could write about any of those things, but I’m not doing it. Am I procrastinating?

I think I have writer’s block!

PS: I have no idea about why that picture is in this post. Although, I did put it here. What does that mean?

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The scene of the world is changing! How we engage people in conversations has seen tremendous change within my generation. When I started with the telephone company, switching technology was moving from Step-by-Step to Panel to Crossbar to #1 ESS, and I am sure that most reading this have no idea about what that meant in the world of telecommunications.

As significant as those changes seemed, it can’t compare with what has happened in the last 20 years. The cell phone has almost replace landlines. The internet has changed personal communications and is doing the same with marketing, advertising, sales and public relations. In real estate, almost 90% of buyers start their search online before they begin working with a real estate professional. LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are providing access to audiences that were difficult to reach 20 years ago. And if you could reach that audience, it was expensive and took a long time to produce results as we look at things today. While these changes have been profound and have opened new ways of PR and marketing, there is something fleeting about this digital age. Nothing tangible, just fleeting. When companies engaged in professional direct mail campaigns, they could create some degree of intimacy with their target group. I don’t think that happens online.

Patricia and I have a joint approach to marketing in which we blend high quality brochures, business cards and letters, with our online presence at www.MarkandPatriciaFuchs.com, blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You never know how a relationship will come about, or from where a client will develop. We use a direct mail campaign in a number of targeted areas as a compliment to our online marketing. Last night we were surprised at the reach of our direct mail campaign.

I joined Patricia and our daughter, Heather, at Neil Jordan’s Steakhouse after I attended a meeting. Neil Jordan’s was celebrating its second anniversary and the place was crowded. We were seated in the bar area at a long table with several other patrons. Somehow a conversation started with the two women on the other side of the table. Turns out, they live in one of our target markets and receive our direct mail. So Tracey DeLong, VP at Resource Financial Services, had recognized us from our mail campaign. We had never met before, but Tracey and her friend Dawn Smith felt that they knew us from our brochure and mailings. Tracey said that she kept our material because it was so well done. I suppose that could have happened on our website, or through Facebook. But our direct mail made a difference to them.

Recently, we also obtained a client as a result of our targeted direct mail. They told us that when they found themselves ready to sell their home, they thought of us right away. What sealed their decision were recommendations they received from their neighbors. The neighbors knew us from our high quality direct mail. We had top of mind recognition from our direct mail campaign.

The scene of the world is changing, but some old things still work. Patricia and I work closely with our clients to team up for success. You don’t have to wait until you are ready to buy or sell to team up with us though. We want to help you find answers to your real estate questions. No obligation. To prove it to yourself, try our FREE Market Snapshot and find out what is happening in your real estate market.

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I’ve read a lot about the real estate market overall and got to thinking about the business of real estate. While the reports in the news are national trends and may highlight a few locations that prove the report, the seldom, if ever, report on the real estate market in Mt. Pleasant, SC. The real estate market in Mt. Pleasant is not the same as the real estate market in Charleston, or North Charleston. So I thought I’d take a snapshot of the last three months using homes above 2500sf, with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. I selected that size because many sections in the north part of Mt. Pleasant have covenants that set the minimum square footage that can be built. So this report is skewed to the north part of Mt. Pleasant. Here are the numbers:

  Total Highest Lowest Median
Sold Homes 61 $803,000 $155,000 $375,990
Homes For Sale 157 $2,499,000 $229,000 $375,000

The average selling price was 96% of the listing price at the time of sale. Of course, that is an important point…at the time of sales! The real estate industry looks at the age of a listing  and represent this by the number of days a property has been listed for sale. That is important because it may show that a property was listed at a higher price when it was first listed. Some may have had several price reductions before finally selling. The 61 homes sold during the last three months had an average number of days on the market of 492! How likely would you be to accept and offer of 96% of your listed price if your home had been on the market for 492 days?

Which of these products would you buy?

There are a couple of things that we can take from this information. We are emotionally tied to our homes,  ascribe value to that emotion and price our homes accordingly. I’ve done it and so have many other real estate professionals. It is a hard lesson to learn, but what was our home becomes a commodity when we list it for sale. It is a product at that point and needs to be priced to compete with comparable products. The 61 houses that sold were competing with the 157 that are also listed.

Listing your home is a business transaction. If you take the emotional part out of it, you have a product. Regardless of why you are selling your home, when you list it, it has the best opportunity to sell quickly if it is priced at or below the market, within the first month. After that first month it begins to age on the market. We know how to get homes sold and work as a team with our clients.

Email us for our free Market Snapshot. Patricia@MarkandPatriciaFuchs.com, or Mark@MarkandPatriciaFuchs.com. You can also visit our website and sign-up for our Market Snapshot. www.MarkandPatriciaFuchs.com It is the most comprehensive Market Snapshot available.

It is FREE! No obligation and no strings attached. Sign-up today!

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As a real estate professional it is very easy to allow your time to be consumed by your work. Especially when working short sales…now there is an oxymoron! Short sales are a fact of life these days and for the foreseeable future. They can take an enormous amount of time to get done whether you are representing the buyer or the seller.
It can also be emotionally draining for everyone involved. It is difficult to keep in mind that it is simply business. On the sellers side, there can be the emotion of failure and with the banks asking for more and more documentation, it can feel as though someone believes you are withholding information.
On the buyers side there can be a different set of emotions. Families want to be settled in their home. As they started the process, they heard 45-60 days at least, but wanted 30-45 days. The agent has to keep in constant communications with them to help them to see that there is light at the tunnel.
Dealing with clients and banks in short sales make controlling your schedule a challenge.  This week we are taking a time-out on the IOP at Palm Seasons. Great weather! Great friends! And an absolutely great family!

Sometimes you just need a time-out!

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French Quarter, 2002

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I remember when I was a child in New Orleans. My family lived in Jefferson Parish, but Mom’s family lived in the Irish Channel (OK, technically it wasn’t the Irish Channel). Dad’s family had lived above the French Quarter and moved to various sections of the city. We spent a lot of time with mom’s family. We would go to movies at the Happy Hour theater a few blocks away across from Berman’s Dry Goods Store.

We got our school clothes from Berman’s and when we were old enough, our parents let us pick our own clothes. That’s what we thought! What really happened was that dad and mom call Mr. Berman and told him what we needed. Being a good business man, Mr. Berman gently guide us to the selections we needed to make. It was really a village back then. Mr. Berman’s business benefitted from the network of families in the area. He had cultivated a relationship with some of them and depended on word of mouth advertising to build his business. He was building a network.

Businesses have benefited from this model for years. Become part of the community. Find a few good customers and build a network to increase business. The Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce refined the networking idea. Business men would become members to connect with other business men in affiliated businesses in the hopes of developing leads that would become customers seeking their goods and services. There are also leads groups meeting weekly, or monthly with the specific purpose of finding leads for the members of the group.

Then things changed and the village spread out. Along comes social media, a new type of village.  Soon, businesses saw the potential of social media to expand their markets. People will buy products and use services recommended by friends before those advertised on TV, radio, or in print media. What I saw in the Irish Channel as a boy, is being repeated on the web.

As social media has grown, it has also changed the way business is transacted. Such fast growth has not come without challenges as can be seen in the issues with Craig’s List’s and the privacy discussions on Facebook. Recently, in Charleston, SC, changes is taking place again. The Lowcountry Business Network  (TLBN) is combining the best of the old school, with the best of social media. TLBN is shrinking the village and making it more like what I experienced in the Irish Channel. Local businesses doing business locally building local networks to increase business opportunities.

Mr. Berman would be so proud!

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