If you are an internet shopper and have waited till the last minute for your Christmas/Hanukkah shopping, you are in luck! Today is “Free Shipping Day”! Check out FreeShippingDay.com.
What a great idea! Last year I waited till the last minute to ship my sister’s gifts and spent a whopping $40 at the UPS Store!
With over 250 retailers participating, you’re likely to find the gifts you need! All the traditional stores like Macys, Bloomingdales, Target and Kohls, and all the familiar specialty stores, as well. Gardeners Supply, Wine Enthusiast, 1-800 Flowers.com, Crate & Barrel and Harry and David.
In looking through the store logos on the website, I couldn’t resist clicking on some of the brands that were unfamiliar or “interesting”. Talk about specialty stores or finding something for those “hard to shop for” folks on your list – check these out! Jakes Dog House, BigFoot (snow shoes!), Havaianas (fancy flip flops), Bigger Bras, Choice Hangers (luxury hangers), Pacific Pillows and Swell (for surfers!). Who knew?!?
Happy Shopping everyone! And Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwannza and Season’s Greetings!
The holidays are almost here! What a great time to “Pop By” your A-list clients and prospects in your database with some holiday cheer and good tidings! According to Brian Buffini, a small token of appreciation or “item of value” can go a long way in building strong relationships and generating referrals. Just remember – appreciation wins out over self promotion every time!
Here are some simple, cost effective gift ideas:
- Holiday Ornaments: you can purchase plain glass balls in bulk at CostCo or Sam’s Club, tie it up with some lovely ribbon add a simple card and you have a great gift!
- Something that will last all year long – A household tool or measuring tape is useful and most people keep them in the “catch all drawer” in the kitchen where it’s handy.
- Small magnetic calendars that you can personalize with your business card. These are very inexpensive and everyone can use a 2009 calendar!
- What about a set of holiday return address labels for your client. A sheet of printed labels costs about 50 cents. (And we can help you format, design and print them! Yes, it’s a shameless plug for our services)
- Coupons. Negotiate with a neighborhood store or restaurant for a free appetizer or dessert or a 10% discount on certain items. Most businesses are agreeable to offering joint coupons, because you are giving them free advertising!
- Candles are always a great idea – as a decoration or when/if the power goes out! Check out the deals at the Dollar Store and stock up.
- If you are somewhat capable in the kitchen, there are some great recipes for homemade Spiced Tea, Hot Chocolate and easy Candy recipes! Just wrap them up in some green or red plastic wrap or a small mason jar with a pretty bow! (I have all of those recipes if you need them!)
And don’t forget to include a simple note with your name and number.
No matter what “item of value” you choose for your “Pop By” this season, remember the purpose – to build and cultivate client relationships that will last throughout the year!
As a real estate professional, did you realize you are operating a small business? There are many tax deductions that small business owners overlook – it’s the little things that can add up and save you MONEY!
Here are some ideas for items used for business purposes only:
- Advertising and printing
- Entertainment and gifts, provided they meet IRS criteria
- Equipment and furnishings: Depreciation on equipment; Office supplies; Software costs; Telephone (cell phones), Internet, television and other communication tools
- Insurance premiums
- Costs of business books, periodicals or newspapers
- Dues or membership costs to professional organizations
- Education costs for self or employees
- Office moving expenses
- Fees and penalties–Relating to CDs, business checking, savings or money-market accounts; Associated with retirement accounts for self and employees; For credit bureaus, Better Business Bureaus, local associations, etc.; Paid to employment agencies
- Interest payments on business loans
- Janitorial, landscaping and maintenance costs
- Losses due to fire, windstorm, hail, flood or other natural disasters; also losses due to theft may be deductible
- Self-employed tax deductions. Individuals can deduct a percentage of their health insurance premiums paid during the year for themselves and their dependents; May deduct one-half of their self-employment tax
- Tax preparation fees as well as accounting, attorney, insurance, consultation fees, etc.
- Travel expenses
- Utilities for business facilities
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.
It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.
As a real estate professional, you know that during the holiday season, your business begins to taper off while the stress of your personal life builds up.
Have you done your holiday shopping yet? What about wrapping all the presents? Which parties, company get-togethers, school functions and family gatherings will you attend? And of course, you’ve got to send your holiday cards, calendars and gift items to clients and prospects, as well as your family and friends.
Back to your business… With the phone not ringing quite as much, this is the best time of the year to take on all those administrative tasks you’ve been meaning to do; like working on your 2009 marketing plan, updating your contact database (crucial for holiday cards), revising your listing presentation, updating your buyers’ packet. Are your Listing and Closing checklists up to date? Do you have a “New Client Information” form? Now’s the time to create one! (this is a great way to gather birthdays and email addresses) Or perhaps get to work on that email campaign you’ve been putting off.
The holidays are for family and fun… and the perfect time to delegate those administrative tasks so that you can enjoy the season and all the special occasions. It’s a good time to start working with a Virtual Assistant who can handle all the above-mentioned tasks, plus mailing cards and calendars. If you’ve hesitated in the past, why not prepare for the New Year by calling AnotherME and “Delegate so you can Celebrate!”
Let AnotherME help you put the “Happy” back in “Happy Holidays.”
And just like that ….the busy real estate professional hires a VA and lives happily ever after!
We all know the scenario – the week before you go on vacation everything hits the fan. You have 2 closings, the phone is ringing off the hook with showings, you get a new listing and 3 referrals! Sometimes you just don’t realize you’re in over your head until it is too late.
That’s when you call AnotherME. We’ll jump right in and get to work. You’ll find our experienced closing coordinators and listing coordinators are the best! However, wouldn’t it be nice to already have a VA during that time? You eliminate the added stress of scrambling to find your checklists, gathering all the necessary user names and passwords, getting phone numbers and website addresses – in addition to everything else you are doing! Packing for your trip, arranging for doggie daycare, stopping the paper or the mail, the list goes on and on!
Before you head out of town this holiday season – call us! We can set up your checklists, user names/pass words; you can even spend a few minutes chatting with your new VA about your process and your preferences! There’s no retainer fee to pay upfront, just the initial set up fee, and from there clients pay by the hour or by the project!
Ring, Ring… let’s get started!
Today, there’s a lot of ‘buzz’ about Virtual Assistants …Is it Hype or is it Hip? Well, just ask one of your peers how much time and energy (not to mention frustration) they’re saving by using the services of an experienced Virtual Assistant!
Paperwork, computer work, updating databases, mailings….these are the big issues for real estate professionals! Not to mention developing efficient systems and getting organized. But that’s exactly what a virtual assistant focuses on!
VA’s can take on the tasks that either you don’t like to do or don’t know how to do! This frees up your time (and your brain power) so you can focus on getting more buyers and sellers working with you. After all, isn’t THAT the most important thing for real estate professionals. It’s not creating flyers, chasing down loan packages, mailing newsletters or making price changes on your website for your listings!
Focus on your revenue producing tasks and leave the paperwork and processing to your VA. If you have any questions about virtual assistants, or want to know how other professionals are using Virtual Assistant services with AnotherME, call or email Patty Keller at AnotherME! We have 16 specialists who are trained in all facets of real estate support and who can start assisting you today!
Finally, I am starting my first blog! Let me introduce myself – I am Patty Keller, founder of AnotherME, a real estate virtual assistant company offering Listing Coordination, Closing Coordination, Marketing Services, and Real Estate Administration. My company of 14 talented and experienced Closing Coordinators, Virtual Assistants, and Marketing Assistants has been supporting real estate professionals for more than six years. Now that we are an established business, we are establishing our “voice.” So naturally, I decided to start blogging.
Everyone should aspire to have an assistant, someone to take care of administrative tasks so you can have more time. This time could be more profitably spent finding new clients, selling property, and other tasks that increase productivity, resulting in a more successful business.
I know what you are thinking, “I can’t afford to hire someone now.” AnotherME saves you money because you only pay for the services you need when you need them, without the obligation of full-time employees. My virtual team is dedicated to customer service and making you look great. Each “AnotherME” has at least three years experience in supporting real estate professionals and has closed hundred of contracts. We work with clients from Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Keller Williams, and RE/MAX, to boutique real estate companies.
Thanks for reading my first blog. Stay tuned for more. I’ll be staying away from political and religious topics and focusing more on how to help out the real estate agent. Check out our website between blogs at www.AnotherME.com.