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Posts tagged ‘how-to’

Sociable! Book Launch in Victoria, BC

This Thursday, April 29th, 2010, Vancouver-based entrepreneur Stephen Jagger and professional sales trainer Shane Gibson will be at the Downtown Victoria Chapters store to launch their new book, Sociable! How Social Media is Turning Sales and Marketing Upside-Down.

The event starts at 5:30 with a networking opportunity for social-media-curious businesspeople, and then a presentation from Steve and Shane about social media and the unique way they wrote the book. Q&A will follow, and Shane and Stephen will sign your copy of the book.

If you’re interested in learning how social media can help your business, I’d highly recommend you attend this event and pick up a copy of the book. Many of the ideas and methods they teach I have used to build my business, and in today’s business world, it’s not acceptable to answer “What’s your social media strategy?” with a blank stare.

The event is free, and you can confirm your attendance here. Invite your friends and business associates – after all, social media is all about “the more, the merrier!”

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Blogging W-5 Wednesday Part 4 – Who?

As one of our real estate board’s most prolific bloggers, and certainly one of the most active bloggers in the region, many people ask me questions about it. In this weekly section, I’m going to answer the W-5 (Who, What, Where, When, and Why) of blogging. I hope you’ll enjoy my commentary.

Q: Who do you read?

lol, nostalgia!

As in, which blogs are on my Google Reader list? I have many. Too many, probably, but my mouse cursor is attracted to that little RSS feed icon like a moth to a flame and I can’t stop subscribing to interesting feeds.

Get ready for some link love, bloggers!

Real estate related, I read the Ubertor blog – all about real estate web technology and their most excellent real estate website software. I also enjoy the Geek Estate Blog (fairly self-explanitory), and the Sellsius Blog. One of the first blogs I got into was The Real Estate Zebra, Daniel Rothamel. And Ian Watt’s video blogs are always entertaining and often provacative (Ozzie Jurock, eh Ian?)

I also love to read tech blogs, TechCrunch being my favourite – keeping me up to date on emerging Web technologies and other goodies. I also follow the Official Google Blog, the Official Gmail Blog, and the WordPress Blog. Reachd.com has a great blog with SEO, adwords, and social media training tips.

CBC has a feed or two, as does the Times Colonist. The best source I’ve found for breaking news so far is Vancouver’s News 1130 radio station‘s feed. BC’s government news feed is also informative.

I love to read Rebecca Bowlitt (aka Miss604). She has a great style and is a big inspiration for the type of blogging I am trying to do here. Other Vancouver blogs I follow include Buzz Bishop’s blog.

Just for fun, I read XKCD – possibly the funniest webcomic ever. Hint: level of hilarity is directly related to the reader’s geekiness. I also laugh to the FAIL blog, Engrish Funny, and Stuff White People Like (although it’s largely disappeared after their book came out 🙁 ). Just for fun I also read the PlayStation Blog – Sony has really hit the nail on the head for interacting with their customers via their blog and their forum.

I also really enjoy Darren Barefoot‘s blog, though I’m not sure how I first stumbled upon it. He has a style I like, and is a bit of a power geek like me.

If your blog isn’t listed here, don’t fret – I probably read it. In fact, if you’re on my Twitter friends list, I can virtually guarantee I read your blog.

What blogs do you read that you’d like to share? Post them in the comments please!

Do you have any questions about blogging? Post them in the comments below, or send me an e-mail.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

Your comments are welcomed and encouraged!
Just use the form or link below this post.

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Blogging W-5 Wednesday Part 3 – When?

As one of our real estate board’s most prolific bloggers, and certainly one of the most active bloggers in the region, many people ask me questions about it. In this weekly section, I’m going to answer the W-5 (Who, What, Where, When, and Why) of blogging. I hope you’ll enjoy my commentary.

Q: When do you find time to blog?

lol, nostalgia!

I thought this would be a timely place to discuss WHEN I blog, since there are only 40 minutes left in Wednesday. Technically, this post is on time as promised!

A common complaint among REALTORS® who want to get into blogging is that “I don’t have time.” Baloney. You do have time, and you need to look at your blog as you do any other part of your business. Find the time. Schedule it. Keep a notepad beside you at all times to jot down those ideas for posts.

Blog about something daily to keep you interested. My Horrible MLS Photo Of The Day was born out of the same need. It gives me something to do and I make sure I do it every day. I think I only missed one or two days in the last 215 or so. If daily is too much, then weekly is a minimum.

Regular updates keep you readers interested and coming back for more, and keeps the content on your blog fresh, which Google and the other search engines love.

Your posts don’t need to be long; in fact, they say shorter is better. Consider splitting a long topic into several parts. Not a writer? Get a camera, some online video training, and do a video blog. Ian Watt does his from his car as he drives around downtown Vancouver (see, you have time!)

Me, I blog usually in the early part of the morning. I just find I’m more creative at that time of the day, and I’m able to sit and write for awhile without being distracted by the phone, co-workers, or e-mail (or Digg, Twitter, Facebook, etc… 😉 )

Or, sometimes, after a long and busy day, I write at night, just 34 minutes before W-5 Wednesday becomes Tardy Thursday.

Do you have any questions about blogging? Post them in the comments below, or send me an e-mail.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

Your comments are welcomed and encouraged!
Just use the form or link below this post.

You can bookmark this post using the button below,
or get free updates using the big buttons on the sidebar!

Blogging W-5 Wednesday Part 2 – What?

As one of our real estate board’s most prolific bloggers, and certainly one of the most active bloggers in the region, many people ask me questions about it. In this weekly section, I’m going to answer the W-5 (Who, What, Where, When, and Why) of blogging. I hope you’ll enjoy my commentary.

Q: What do you blog about?

lol, nostalgia!

This is an easy one. I blog about many different things. When I first started, it was pretty random – a post about real estate here, a personal musing there. Obviously, being a REALTOR®, I do like to blog about real estate, to provide a 2-way conversation about real estate for consumers and my clients to participate in and learn from.

But more than that, I’m focusing on local content as much as I can. I want to tell the world about Sooke, and why it’s such a great place to live. I moved here just over three years ago, I don’t think I’d live anywhere else. I was particularly inspired by Rebecca Bollwitt, also known as Miss 604, who is arguably Vancouver’s most recognized internet personality. Her blog is absolutely huge, and she focuses on hyper-local content for the Vancouver area.

I also use my blog as a forum to express my frustration with certain aspects of the real estate profession. There is no excuse for horrible MLS photography! Show your clients’ properties off to the world with stunning images, don’t have people like me poke fun at them!

Do you have any questions about blogging? Post them in the comments below, or send me an e-mail.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

Your comments are welcomed and encouraged!
Just use the form or link below this post.

You can bookmark this post using the button below,
or get free updates using the big buttons on the sidebar!

Blogging W-5 Wednesday Part 1 – Why?

As one of our real estate board’s most prolific bloggers, and certainly one of the most active bloggers in the region, many people ask me questions about it. In this weekly section, I’m going to answer the W-5 (Who, What, Where, When, and Why) of blogging. I hope you’ll enjoy my commentary.

Q: Why do you blog?

lol, nostalgia!

lol, nostalgia!

This is an extremely common question. In fact, I’m sure I asked it of a few bloggers (both REALTORS® and other types) before I got into it.

I blog for many reasons. Blogs are a great way to draw traffic to your brand. And for those in small business, this can’t be underscored enough. I would say that there isn’t any other more cost-effective and efficient way to draw attention to your services and your expertise by writing a good blog. Search engines love blogs, especially those that are updated regularly. Why? Search engines like Google love content; and a blog is all content when it’s done properly. Search engines also love recent information and sites that are constantly being updated. Again, a blog by definition is constantly being updated with current information and stories. Seach engines also love links. A good blog will have lots of links to related information on the Internet.

That being said, it’s not at all about gaming the search engines. Google didn’t get to be Google by being easily fooled. Search engines know when they’re being gamed. Try and manipulate the search engines and you’ll get penalized.

A blog is also a great way to have a two-way communication with your audience. In my case, I want my current and future potential clients to read my blog and comment on what I have to say. Most blogs have a comment function which allows a conversation or discussion to occur. I have my opinions, you have yours. Let’s talk about it in the comments section. Beneath each post is a link to comments. Use it. Engage your audience. Ask for feedback. Write something controversial and see what happens.

Lastly, I blog because I like to blog. I love to write and I have opinions – what a deadly combination for a blogger! If you decide to start a blog solely for reasons one and two above, it will suck. Guaranteed. You’ll come off as cheesy and fake. You have to like to write and you must practice. It takes a while to find your voice. My number one tip if you want to start blogging for your business or anything else? Read lots of other blogs for a few months. It will help you define your voice. You’ll learn what to say and what not to do, and get a few ideas for posts.

Do you have any questions about blogging? Post them in the comments below, or send me an e-mail.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

Your comments are welcomed and encouraged!
Just use the form or link below this post.

You can bookmark this post using the button below,
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Royal LePage TV Launches – Canadian Real Estate 2.0

Free online videos offer buying and selling tips, staging advice, and more.

Canada’s premier source for real estate information, Royal LePage, has launched a brand new website, www.royallepagetv.ca, where you can view a series of informative videos on how to sell or how to buy real estate. Specifically, the videos point out how the use of a Royal LePage Agent makes selling or buying your greatest financial asset a lot easier.

This is a first for a Canadian real estate company. Many companies in the U.S. have already embraced the idea of Web 2.0 and real estate while we have not gone so far. Royal LePage has always been an industry leader in providing top-quality high tech selling and marketing tools for its agents. I have uploaded the videos to YouTube for embedding into web pages and blogs.

Here is the first episode of the selling series:

<a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=in4dc9dr43k">http://youtube.com/watch?v=in4dc9dr43k</a>

See my YouTube Channel for the rest of the videos.

Tim Ayres

Decorating Tips

In the sea of media out there about decorating and re-decorating, designing, construction and destruction, everyone in a household has their own opinion. Here’s how to avoid trouble:

Stick with your redecorating vision
If you have a clear concept, bolt the door to outside opinions

Lynda Reeves, Times Colonist
Saturday, August 25, 2007

Design by committee never works. You need one person — you –with a clear vision of what you want and strong ideas on how to get there. It’s fine to ask for opinions from people whose taste you trust, but even then you have to be willing to make the final decision all by yourself.

Usually, your first impulse is your best test. It might take courage to stick with it, especially when you’re challenged.

I remember the time a girlfriend redid the principal bedroom in her Westmount house. She was so determined to avoid unwanted input that she bolted the door to all but her carpenters and painters. Eventually, months later it was “unveiled” for an astonished husband.

Throughout the process, she had insisted that they camp in the guestroom. At the time I thought she was being overly strict. Now I think she was just plain wise.

It took me months to get a clear decorating concept for the TV room on my main floor. When it came, it was a zinger. Key to the scheme are two amazing Moooi black leather Smoke lounge chairs that are a play on Victorian carved armchairs. They are absolutely perfect for the look I am after, and unique among armchairs. Witty, fun and clearly not authentic Victorian, they add a graceful silhouette and make an edgy fashion statement.

Along the way, I made the fatal mistake of trying the odd piece of furniture under consideration, including one of the Moooi chairs, in front of both family and houseguests.

“Just about the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen,” was one kind remark. “You must be kidding,” was another.

One houseguest, a regular who happens to hate change, remarked that the chair was fine, but not if you wanted to be comfortable. Not a good recommendation for chair, is it?

I got so desperate for affirmation that I invited our dog to give it a try. He jumped up on the seat and right off again, casting a clear “nay” vote with his body language.

But then, just as I was getting really upset, another houseguest (an Englishman with impeccable taste) was found spontaneously sitting in the chair, happy as can be. So there.

The truth is, the chairs are great and perfectly comfortable. They just are not the huge, overstuffed, boat-like chairs that family members never want to part with, no matter how worn and tattered.

Besides, I have a vision for that room and the chairs are part of it. I should never have invited opinion, or exposed bits and pieces, until the room was entirely finished.

The same thing goes for when you try to paint a room a strong colour. Without the new drapes hung to block harsh sun, the proper lighting in place, and the art on the walls, it’s impossible to understand how successful the colour you have chosen will be as a backdrop. For the moment, it’s just a screaming swath of colour, there to be criticized.

This reminds me of the time that a friend was installing a new custom hand-painted kitchen in her home. Her husband remarked — part way through — that it looked like it was made of plastic and came from Wal-Mart. No offence to Wal-Mart. Great store, but not known for hand- painted, custom wood kitchens, I don’t think.

In the end, the kitchen was gorgeous and everyone loved it. Moral of the story: Keep the faith, stay true to your vision and bolt the door.

Lynda Reeves is the host of House and Home Television with Lynda Reeves. which airs weekdays on Global Television.

© Times Colonist (Victoria) 2007