Open Your Mouth!

Speak Now

Conventional wisdom says “think before you speak.”  The problem I’m finding is that too many people never bother to get around to the speaking part of that statement.  Maybe it’s FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real)?  Maybe it’s shyness?  Maybe it’s embarrassment?  I don’t know.  What I do know is that speaking is what can get things done.

Cases in point:

  1. This morning, the super sweet girl at Race Trac asked if I wanted to buy a candy bar to support Parkinson’s.  Typically, I’ll give people a buck for a cause anytime they ask ask.  The catch today was that my mind immediately remembered the weight loss challenge in my office so I made the decision to pass on the very inviting chocolate, and I said as much to her.  She immediately responded with “You can just donate!”  Ding! Ding! Ding!  I promptly handed her the dollar bill in my pocket and thanked her for her suggestion.  She opened her mouth and got exactly what she wanted – a donation for a great cause.
  2. I have a long distance client fixing up a former rental property to sell.  It really needs to be staged with furniture but that’s a pretty pricey proposition that he’d rather not take on.  So I’ve been trying to come up with creative solutions but was drawing a blank.  I brought it up in my office yesterday to see if anyone had any ideas.  Ding!  Ding!  Ding!  Turns out that my office manager who is trying to sell her house in South Carolina (know anyone looking there?) is loosing her temporary housing here and needs a place to live.  Now we’re working on her moving into the house with her furniture AND taking care of the house while it’s on the market.   My client gets a great short-term tenant and my office manager gets a place to live.  WIN-WIN!

The moral of the story – ask for what you need!  You never know who can help.  So, what do you need today?

Audrey is a REALTOR and Broker/Owner of Audrey Reed Realty with Step Up Realty in McKinney, TX.  Connect with her on Facebook or checkout her website.  This blog represents HER opinions and are not necessarily the opinions of her broker/brokerage … wait … she is the broker … and it’s her brokerage … never mind!  All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
How’s that for a disclaimer???

 

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Halloween hangover … this candy’s gotta GO!

Between parties at school, carnivals at Little Gym & in our neighborhood, & traditional trick-or-treating, there is enough chocolatey chunks, sugary candy, & miscellaneous junk food in our house to last us a few months (or me during a bad week).
So the Halloween hangover doesn’t continue it’s time to make the haul mysteriously disappear.

One of my favorites is Operation Gratitude.  This organization works with dentists all over the country to do a “buy back” of candy. The dentists then ship it to Operation Gratitude and they get it to our troops.  It’s an perfect win-win.  The troops get candy and our kiddos learn what it is to give away something they really would rather keep.  Use the search box in the upper right corner of the page to find a participating dentist in your area.

In case you’re one of those frugal, crafty, or creative types, Mint.com has a great post on all of the fun creative things to do with all that stash of sugar.  Check out their thoughts on making instant mocha or mystery cookies (or cupcakes) or even freezing it – http://www.mint.com/blog/how-to/creative-ways-to-reuse-your-leftover-halloween-candy-1012/.

Oh yeah … it’s NOVEMBER!!!  

Audrey is a REALTOR and Broker/Owner of Audrey Reed Realty with Step Up Realty in McKinney, TX.  Connect with her on Facebook or checkout her website.  This blog represents HER opinions and are not necessarily the opinions of her broker/brokerage … wait … she is the broker … and it’s her brokerage … never mind!  All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
How’s that for a disclaimer???

 

An extra hour of sleep!

This weekend we finally get back that hour of sleep that was stolen from us by Daylight Savings Time back in March.  So, don’t forget to set your clocks BACK an hour when you go to bed Saturday night (11/3).

Besides the obvious ones (like your alarm clock!), here are a few clocks you might not think to change:

  • Sprinkler system  – Don’t forget that most cities are still under some kind of daytime watering restrictions.  That hour can cost you a stiff fine!
  • DVR – Most should update automatically, but make sure so you don’t miss those games on Sunday!
  • Cell phone  – Again, most update automatically, but some don’t.
  • Clock in your car – How annoying is it to drive around for months thinking that you’re early to wherever your heading???

Aside from the fact that I vehemently dislike DST and believe that it’s an antiquated ritual that does nothing more than jack with our natural biorhythms unnecessarily twice a year, the time change is the perfect checkpoint to do a few home safety & efficiency checks:

  1. Change the batteries in your smoke detectors.
  2. While you’re up on that ladder changing batteries in your smoke detectors, replace old conventional light bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs to save money.
  3. Check the batteries in those emergency flashlights so they actually work when you need them to!
  4. Check your first aid & emergency kits.
  5. Make or review your family emergency plan. Parents.com recently posted a great article about family emergency preparedness  – http://www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/advice/emergency-preparedness/.

Source: organizedhome.com (http://organizedhome.com/daylight-savings-time-safety-checklist)

Read more about Daylight Savings Time at Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_savings_time.

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your extra hour!

Audrey is a REALTOR and Broker/Owner of Audrey Reed Realty with Step Up Realty in McKinney, TX.  Connect with her on Facebook or checkout her website.  This blog represents HER opinions and are not necessarily the opinions of her broker/brokerage … wait … she is the broker … and it’s her brokerage … never mind!  All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
How’s that for a disclaimer???

 

Stop Selling Dreams (via Seth Godin)

Going totally real life here today.  I was a straight A student K-12th grade and graduated with a 3.8 GPA in major from Texas A&M University with a degree in Computer Science.  (The only reason I qualify “in major” is because of my freshman year when I thought that all classes should be taught at The Dixie Chicken because that’s where I was.  Needless to say, not my finest academic hour.)  I don’t say any of that to brag.  I only say it to point out that I had the education system I existed in figured out – such as it was.

My journey in the last 7 years (since quitting my corporate J-O-B) and most especially in the last 2 years has been transformational to the way I perceive education & success.  With my 1st child starting Kindergarten next year, I’m becoming hyper aware of our education system after having been out of it for more than a decade.  So when I listened to Seth Godin’s message “Stop Selling Dreams (What is school for?),” it hit home.  Hard.  It’s a long clip (almost 17 minutes), and it’s worth every second.  I’d say enjoy, but I’m not sure that’s really what I’m hoping for you when you watch.  How ‘bout “Ask the Question!”?

Audrey is a REALTOR and Broker/Owner of Audrey Reed Realty with Step Up Realty in McKinney, TX.  Connect with her on Facebook or checkout her website.  This blog represents HER opinions and are not necessarily the opinions of her broker/brokerage … wait … she is the broker … and it’s her brokerage … never mind!  All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
How’s that for a disclaimer???

 

The Value of Loyalty

Loyalty – Faithful adherence; a feeling or attitude of devoted attachment.

I just got off the phone with my photo printer.  I’m not going to be able to get by tonight to pick up my latest set of prints, but I really want them ASAP.  So they are going to put my photos out where I can pick them up before they even open in the morning.  WAAAAH???   They are going above and beyond to help me?  Even asking if I really meant to crop that picture of my son the way I did (it was a pretty weird crop) in case I needed to resend it?  Yup!  Why would they do that?  What do they care?  They care because I’m a loyal customer, and they understand customer service (that’s a whole other post).  My loyalty to them has earned me special privileges like an early morning pick up.  It also means that when I botch an entire order they just pitch it and let me reprint at no cost. Pretty cool, huh?  Are they the cheapest printer around?  Maybe, maybe not.  But I don’t really care because since they provide me with a stellar service at a reasonable price, I’m loyal to them.

What’s the point?  In this day and age of bargain hunting and coupon compulsing, there’s a temptation to be lured away from our service & product providers that have served us well for a long time.  I appreciate the marketing efforts of service providers, retailers and product manufacturers to capture mind share with their promotions, and I wish them luck in luring in people who do not already have a strong relationship with a different provider/retailer/product.  I submit that when we have those established relationships we should not be lured away by tempting offers.  Instead we should be loyal to the people & products that have served us well.

What does this have to do with real estate?  Simple, during almost 7 years in this industry, I’ve worked with some amazing vendors & service providers and some that were much less awesome.  When I am working on a transaction or recommending vendors to clients, I’m always going to try my hardest to remain loyal to my partners that have served me and my clients well in the past because those are the people that I know will answer their cell phone for me day or night when a problem comes up that needs to be fixed.  They are the ones that will go above and beyond to treat my clients with the respect and professionalism that they deserve because I am loyal to them.  I feel that it’s an important piece of the value that I bring to the table as an experienced REALTOR.

Audrey is a REALTOR and Broker/Owner of Audrey Reed Realty with Step Up Realty in McKinney, TX.  Connect with her on Facebook or checkout her website.  This blog represents HER opinions and are not necessarily the opinions of her broker/brokerage … wait … she is the broker … and it’s her brokerage … never mind!  All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
How’s that for a disclaimer???

 

Top 5 Reasons to Take a Walk

Being self-directed and having a little more control over my schedule definitely has its perks and its challenges.  In the last month or so, I’ve been making a more concerted effort to take care of this one and only body the good Lord blessed me with.  Part of that is getting it moving more again after foot surgery this summer, which as you can guess, made mobility at bit of an issue.  On a suggestion from my coach, I began starting my day off with a walk almost 2 weeks ago.  The difference it has made for my body, mind, & soul is simply stunning.  During my last walk, I started ticking off all the great things my 30-minute morning jaunts are doing for me.  In no particular order …

  1. It gets my blood pumping!  Let’s face it … some nights we get more/better sleep than others and not matter how much or what kind of sleep I get, my alarm still buzzes at 5:00am.  Ouch!  Instead of dragging a** through the day, getting my walk in gets my blood pumping & endorphins flowing and helps me shake off any residual sluggishness.  Truth time – some mornings it pumps a little faster than others.  I usually shoot for a 15 minute mile (I know lightening, right???), and some mornings it’s not quite that brisk.  It doesn’t matter!  The effect is the same.  Beautiful, isn’t it?
  2. It clears my mind!  I admit that I’m a recovering Type A, High D, whatever-you-want-to-call-it personality.  That means there’s usually a lot of J-U-N-K floating around in my brain.  I have no idea what it is about morning air, but it has an incredible clearing effect.  BREATHE – In with the good, out with the bad.  This is the time that I can finally start to get clarity for my day.  Ahhhhh.

    Top 5 Reasons to Take a Walk

    Reward for an early morning walk – a gorgeous sunrise!

  3. It calms my soul.  I’m a full time REALTOR, wife, and mother to a 2 & 4 year old.  I joyfully embrace all that God has blessed me with.  What I could do without is the chaos that clutters my soul sometimes.  The time I spend bipedaling through my neighborhood allows me an uninterrupted opportunity to reevaluate & re-center on what’s important in my life and in my business.  For me, clear priorities = calm soul.
  4. It reminds me to see & appreciate the small things!  Too often, we spend our lives … okay, I spend my life … on the go-go-go.  Go here … go there … fast, fast, fast!  How on earth can you possibly notice the small things – a bird chirping, your neighbor’s new Halloween decorations, the small signs of progress on the neighborhood school being built – if you’re driving by at Mach 2 with your hair on fire???   You just can’t.  A far slower form of locomotion allows us to really experience what’s happening around us.
  5. It improves my health!  Being 2 kids and 17 years past 20, my body is telling me in some less than subtle ways that it’s time to start making my health a priority (see #3).  One day, I’ll do more than a 30-minute walk.  I even have aspirations of doing a triathlon.  And for today, this is enough.  My body & my health appreciate that I’m doing more now that I was a month ago.  Woo hoo!

For those reasons and so many more, do yourself a favor – get moving!  It doesn’t matter if it’s 30 minutes first thing in the morning or 10 minutes at lunch (what a great mid-day pick me up!).  Just move!

Audrey is a REALTOR and Broker/Owner of Audrey Reed Realty with Step Up Realty in McKinney, TX.  Connect with her on Facebook or checkout her website.  This blog represents HER opinions and are not necessarily the opinions of her broker/brokerage … wait … she is the broker … and it’s her brokerage … never mind!  All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
How’s that for a disclaimer???

 

October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

Today we’ll be taking a break from my real estate related ramblings to talk about something near & dear to my heart.  And I’ll be lucky if I make it through this post without crying.  Here goes …

This beautiful puppy is Jester.

Jester

He is an Australian Cattle Dog/Shepherd mix.  We adopted him when he was 4 years old, and he spent his remaining 10 years being a loving & devoted member of our family.  He had a few quirks that we can only guess came from some kind of mistreatment with his previous owners, but they never kept him from always waiting at the door for us with a wagging tail to welcome us home.  We were so lucky to have found this amazing dog at a shelter.

October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.  If you’re considering adding a new member to your family of barking, 4-legged variety, please consider adopting one of the sweet & wonderful dogs that are anxiously waiting at a shelter for someone to take them to their forever home.

For the record, I cried the entire time I was writing this.  It’s been over a year and a half since we lost Jester, and we still miss him terribly.  We aren’t ready to love another one like that just yet, but when we do we’ll be heading right back to the shelter to find that next furry & fabulous member of our family.

Audrey is a REALTOR and Broker/Owner of Audrey Reed Realty with Step Up Realty in McKinney, TX.  Connect with her on Facebook or checkout her website.  This blog represents HER opinions and are not necessarily the opinions of her broker/brokerage … wait … she is the broker … and it’s her brokerage … never mind!  All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
How’s that for a disclaimer???