Photo Conundrum

For those of you that do not know, in 2011 I competed in the Miss Bermuda Pageant. It was one of the best experiences I have ever had, let me tell you, and no I am not just saying that. One of the most exciting parts was getting all dolled up for appearances and photo shoots. We all know I am a girly girl so yes, I was most definitely in my glory. What is also great about all those photo shoots is the fact that I ended up with a ton of gorgeous pictures! I’m really quite proud of some. I look at them and think, is that me?! Well anywoo… how does all of that tie into real estate do you ask? Well I’ll tell you…

When I started in the real estate world it was early April. However, the photos for my cards, press releases and the like were taken in March on what must have been the coldest day EVER… And of course as luck would have it the photographer wanted to do the shoot outside. Just great. It was bad enough that I had to remove my jacket (I was wearing this cute little short-sleeved dress), so taking off the bright red scarf I also had wrapped around my neck wasn’t even an option that crossed my mind. That is where the photo conundrum, as this post is entitled, started.

The photo came out and all I got in response from my Mother and Father was grief. “Well why didn’t you take that scarf off?“. “Now it always looks like winter when you’re handing out your cards!” “I really do not like this picture!” etc etc etc. It was endless. Every time I passed out a card or forwarded on a flyer of some sort the questions and complaints began. Until one day my Mother thought she had the most marvelous plan. She said, and very seriously I might add, “well why don’t you use one of the pictures you took for the Miss Bermuda Pageant?“. Now this was a Pageant people. So in all my pictures I am heavily made up AND (worse still) sporting a bikini! So when my mother made this totally random and terrible suggestion I realized that it was definitely time to request a new photograph. Clearly my Mother had become desperate. And so here we are in 2013 and I have a brand new photo for print ads, press releases and the like and BRAND NEW cards. My Mother is well pleased. 

Offending photo can be seen below (on the left) new photo (on the right).

Please note: I did consider posting the photograph from my pageant days that my Mother suggested I use but quickly decided that may have been inappropriate considering this is a professional blog!

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The Importance of Becoming an Authority

I really enjoy working with my colleagues. Not only are they down right hilarious, but they are extremely helpful as well. There is definitely a “team effort” view of success that I find very refreshing. Anywoo…  that was my preamble statement to this next post. Disclaimer! I didn’t actually write this post. I just received it from my co-worker Jack Kripl, which is why I said the things that I said because they all do this sort of thing. Not sure if he found the article somewhere and decided to share or if it’s his own work but it is definitely worth a read. For any industry professional.

Becoming an authority in your industry can be a great way to promote your business and help you better serve your clients. It takes a consistent dose of education and risk, but the rewards can be well worth the effort.

Why? Becoming a go-to person for industry leadership should incentivize potential clients to seek out your wealth of knowledge. The bottom line is that authority can lead to profitability.

Here are seven steps that can allow anyone to develop a reputation as an industry leader:

1. Think like a leader. For entrepreneurs, this might go without saying, but your life and business will change the moment you begin to think like a leader. Leaders aren’t focused on trying to maintain the status quo. They’re focused on doing what must be done to ensure growth and profitability in the future, which is not an easy road to take.

2. Innovate. New things get noticed. This means you can’t be afraid to present something new to your market, even if it’s just a variation or an addition to an already-existing product or service. Simply innovating doesn’t guarantee success, but you’ll learn far more from the risks you take than by maintaining the status quo.

3. Keep the lines of communication open. Your clients are critical to your business. Don’t lose touch with who they are and why they’ve chosen to do business with you. That means call or send a friendly email every couple weeks to stay in contact. This also means you keep up with key employees who interact with your clients on a day-to-day basis. The moment you lose touch with your market, you’re done.

4. Publicly address industry changes. Every industry has changes that affect the way business is done. Strive to address these changes through an online platform such as a company blog. Detail your opinion, along with tangible ways to make the most of it. This can allow you to be seen as an industry leader and potentially increase traffic to your site as people begin to search out information and answers about these changes.

5. Respect your time. Being an authority doesn’t mean you must solve everyone’s problems. Your main responsibility is to continue growing, innovating and sharing your knowledge. Don’t allow people to suck up all your time with their questions or problems. Learn to say “no” more often. Yes, you want to assist people, but not at the expense of losing your edge or slowing down your innovation.

6. Develop your intuition. The most successful leaders I know have learned to “trust their gut.” But this doesn’t happen overnight. It takes practice to learn when it’s your gut talking or when it’s just fear or pride. Your business life requires you to make difficult decision and sacrifices. Just remember that your intuition should get a vote, too. It’s not always about numbers and statistics.

7. Keep learning. Industry leaders are students of their craft. Study the great success and failures of your industry. Also learn from people outside of your industry to see which principles are transferable to what you’re doing. I know the phrase “never stop learning” is nothing new, but are you really practicing it?