CARELESS, EXPENSIVE MISTAKES


I got a postcard in the mail today from Mr. Yuriy Balko, Sales Representative with Royal LePage Terrequity Realty, Brokerage, telling me that he would like me to sell my house to his client who would love a house on my street.

So I sent Yuriy a note telling him that I wouldn't even consider working with him because “your three-sentence postcard has at least eight spelling and grammar mistakes in it. If you make that many mistakes with a simple postcard, how can I trust you with a multi-million dollar home sale?”

His answer: “I’m an immigrant. Feeding my family is more important than proper spelling and grammar.”

My second response: “spell-check and colleagues that can spell abound. Ask for help. No sale. Bye-bye-now.”    

 

 

LEVERAGING YOUR REAL-ESTATE’S POTENTIAL


Smart-realtor-ad

Here’s a sell-sheet design that I haven’t seen before. The front is typical for the current Toronto market: a small two beroom bungalow on a large lot with an asking price of $840M. While the asking price might look reasonable to some, rest assured these folks are hoping to get a million plus in the ensuing bidding war.

To leverage the lot’s value, the seller and the agent did something interesting that I haven’t seen before; they got city approval to build a larger home on the lot and featured the Toronto permit number and a simple rendering on the back.

Those who buy this home will still have to pay another $4-600M to remove the old home and build their own (dream) home on this lot, but for the seller, it’s a chance to sell their home “as is”, knowing that homes like this, no matter how well dressed they are on the day of sale, they will be torn down by the new owner. 

And for the buyer, it's proof that they can in fact build a larger home on the lot. That's worth much more than a realtor's personal opinion. 

 

 

ARE YOU HAPPY?


Faces

My Life . . .

I started asking my wife if she was happy years ago because, as our relationship matured, I wanted it to keep working and getting better. To make it better I needed a gauge to tell me whether our journey in life was bringing us closer together or not. By asking the same simple question over and over again, for years, and carefully listening to Michelle's answers we've made our marriage + lives better.

My Business . . .

Early on in my career I worked with a few very smart retail clients who understood that to increase sales, you first need to increase customer satisfaction. My professional mantra became: “All we say and all we do helps our customers believe that they have come to the right place. Or the wrong place.”

When I do any kind of communication work, be it an ad, a brochure, a trade-show display, a broadcast, website or social campaign, I ignore my agency peers, I ignore those who contracted me, I ignore the clients who will benefit from my work and I focus on the relationship between the brand’s customers and the brand’s products or services. Everything I do is designed to strengthen that bridge. Each design or copy project I do comes with these two caveats:

  1. If you (consistently) do MORE than this communication promises, your business will grow. Ensure marketing + operations are in sync. Treat those who come to see you professionally, with humility, dignity and respect and your business will thrive for years to come because you customers will refer others to you.
  2. If you (consistently) do LESS than this communication promises you’ll do and your business will wither away in no time.

When you stop looking (at and) after your customers, they’ll stop looking after you. 

 

 

SEO SUCCESS FACTORS


 Peroidic-SEO-Table

This is a great SEO guide written by: Search Engine Land, designed by Column Five and is the copyright property of Third Door Media. Here are the highlights:

THE PERIODIC TABLE OF SEO RANKING FACTORS

Search engine optimization — SEO — seems likes alchemy to the uninitiated. But there's a science to it. Search engines reward pages with the right combination of ranking factors. Some factors influence rankings more than others, which we've weighted 1 (weakest) to 3 (strongest). No single factor guarantees top rankings. Several favorable factors increase odds of success. Negative "Violation" and "Blocking" factors harm your chances. Here are some major signals you should seek to have.

ON PAGE SEO (elements in the publisher's direct control) 

CONTENT

Cq +3

  • QUALITY: are pages well written & have substantial quality content?

Cr +3

  • RESEARCH: have you researched the keywords people may use to find your content?

Cw +2

  • WORDS: do pages use words + phrases you hope they’ll be found for?

Ce +2

  • ENGAGE: do visitors spend time reading or "bounce" away quickly?

Cf +2

  • FRESH: are pages fresh & about "hot" topics?

HTML

Ht +3

  • TITLES: do HTML title tags contain keywords relevant to page topics?

Hd +2

  • DESCRIPTION:  do meta description tags describe what pages are about?

Hh +1

  • HEADERS: do headlines and subheads use header tags with relevant keywords?

ARCHITECTURE

Ac +3

  • CRAWL: can search engines easily "crawl" pages on site?

As +1

  • SPEED: soes site load quickly?

Au +1

  • URLS: are URLs short & contain meaningful keywords to page topics?

OFF PAGE RANKING FACTORS (influenced by readers, visitors & other publishers)

INBOUND LINKS

Lq +3

  • QUALITY: are links from trusted, quality or respected web sites?

Lt +3

  • TEXT: do links pointing at pages use words you hope they’ll be found for?

Ln +1

  • NUMBER: do many links point at your web pages?

SOCIAL LINKS

Sr +2 

  • REPUTATION: do those respected on social networks share your content?

SS +1

  • SHARES: do many share your content on social networks?

TRUST

Ta +3

  • AUTHORITY: do links, shares & other factors make site a trusted authority?

Th +1

  • HISTORY: has site or its domain been around a long time, operating in same way?

PERSONAL

Pc +3

  • COUNTRY: what country is someone located in?

Pl +3

  • LOCALITY: what city or local area is someone located in?

Ph +2

  • HISTORY: does someone regularly visit the site? Or "liked" it?

PS +1

  • SOCIAL: what do your friends think of the site?

VIOLATIONS (that cause ranking penalties or bans)

Vp - 3

  • PAID LINKS: have you purchased links in hopes of better rankings?

Vc - 3

  • CLOAKING: do you show search engines different pages than humans?

Vt - 2

  • THIN: is content "thin" or "shallow" & lacking substance?

Vl - 1

  • LINK SPAM: have you created many links by spamming blogs, forums or other places?

Vh - 1

  • HIDDEN: do colors or design "hide" words you want pages to be found for?

Vs - 1

  • STUFFING: do you excessively use words you want pages to be found for?

BLOCKING (hurts both trust & personalization)

Bt - 1

  • BLOCKING: have many people blocked your site from search results?

Bp - 3

  • BLOCKING: has someone blocked your site from their search results - causing a ranking penalty or ban.

 

HOLISTIC (BUSINESS) THINKING


When I graduated from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, now Ryerson University, in my early 20’s I thought I knew it all. My teachers had taught me how to spot a problem and solve it and I thought I was ready to solve the world’s worst dilemmas. Especially those cause by poor advertising design and copy.  

I soon found out that I, like most others, could spot a problem but found it daunting to solve it – especially with simple cause – effect solutions.

In my 40’s my Veterinarian introduced me to the concept of Holistic Health for Charlie, my constant companion + creative muse. It changed how I look at life – and business.

Last night I took my client to dinner at a restaurant I really like and that he liked as well. Here are a few reasons why.

  • The menu is unique, carefully + thoughtfully prepared.
  • The food is predictably good.
  • The service is unique and predictably good.
  • Lighting is soft but good enough to read the menu with.
  • The layout enables you to have a good conversation with your tablemates. You don’t hear much ambient noise or the conversations at other tables.
  • Prices are reasonable.
  • Ample street parking!

Can you see where I’m going with this? I give this restaurant my repeat business and refer others to it for a variety of reasons that together conspire to make this a great evening. Not just a great meal.

I now take into account as many direct and oblique variables as possible when I look at what went right – or wrong.

Gatekeepers who believe that they, or their team, did their job, or their share are not seeing the forest, the trees or the eco-system that enabled them to germinate and thrive here. 

This lesson is directly applicable to any other business.

If you don’t believe me, e-me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

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