Friday, May 23, 2008

The Art of Marketing You and Me

I have to share the amazing experience I had working with Marti Garaughty to design the cover for my new book, Real Estate the Rome Way. The book cover really is the art of marketing you – it's one of the most important parts of making your book something people want to pick up and read. It had to be special – my first book (there will be more!) and the first book for The Silloway Press. And with Marti's first book cover design it is a winning combination that I hope will be a tremendous success for all of us.

It was absolutely beautiful how the artist, author, and publisher all worked together. The author brought the vision of something very different from the standard "business book" type cover. The artist translated her vision into reality. And the publisher provided the technical requirements on size and color coding. Within only a few days from concept to reality we had a master page for the cover. I feel so fortunate that I was able to pick up the phone, talk to Marti and that he was so receptive to doing this. We were both excited with this new project - a first for all of us. Sound like Type E? You bet...big time!

You can see how all this relates to real estate. It was a long time ago when I first saw Marti's art and admired it on Active Rain (the online community for real estate professionals,) before I actually contacted him to do something for me. How long do you think people need to see your signs, ads, logos, your face before they contact you? Could be years until they are ready.

Everything with Marti has been very much like real estate and advertising. When I first saw Marti's work on Active Rain, one of the pieces that I liked so much was the violin with the ball in it. I thought, "What a creative and unusual piece that is!" I thought about ordering a piece for my grandson (he plays the viola), but since it was a violin it wasn't really appropriate for him. So the year went by, I still looked at Marti's art work, and then when I was doing the book, it clicked.

I had tried to design the cover with my publisher. I knew the look I wanted but couldn't get it out, and then it hit me to call Marti Garaughty and tell him, "I have a project - would you be interested?" He asked, "How soon do you need it?" I said, "Day before yesterday!" That was on a Friday, and by Sunday we were close to a finished book cover.

When I created custom ceramics for people, I would have them look at my work to see which of my pieces they liked and which of my textures, shapes, sizes, and colors they were geared towards. Then I would go to their homes to see where they wanted to place my pieces. The ideas flowed from there. Marti followed the same method with me – he asked what I liked so I wrote a long email telling him I like squares, I like the color brown, I like textures, I like angles, and included a full page of what I like about his work. Then when he sent two designs to me I was able to pick up the phone and say, "I really love this, I really love that, but could we darken this cube can, can we lighten this, could we make this more texture, could I change that color, could we change this circle?" I gave him the opportunity make something fabulous and he flew with it. He understood what I meant…just like when we really listen to clients and understand their needs. Every step of working with Marti was fast, clear, and a great example of the best communication using email and phone conversations.

How long do you think buyers and sellers need to see your name, hear your name, look at your website, your yard sign, your ads? They don't call the first time they see it or the second time or the third or the fourth or the fifth. It is long term that your name and your face and what you're doing in the community need to be out there. People don't even remember when they first saw you, how they first saw you, but you have to keep in front of people and that's what Marti has done.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

OPEN HOUSE TONIGHT! $3,000 for Buying Into Baltimore

Live Baltimore's "Buying Into Baltimore" program offers a $3,000 grant toward settlement costs for buying a home in Baltimore City. There are two homebuying fairs, one for the West side in May and another for the East side in September, and both offer tours of homes available for purchase. The event is produced by the Live Baltimore Home Center and the $3,000 grant is provided by the City of Baltimore. The fairs provide homebuying education opportunities and introduce participants to the variety of Baltimore's neighborhoods and housing styles.

The tours are normally held on Saturdays, and for some buyers that is not a day they can participate. Today, CHAI (Comprehensive Housing Assistance Inc.,) of Baltimore is conducting its annual open house tour of the CHAI neighborhood for prospective homebuyers. This is the only opportunity in 2008 to be eligible by attending a non-Saturday event.

One of the homes on the tour is at 3806 Clarks Lane in Upper Park Heights; it's one of my listings that will be open this evening at 6:15. Please do stop by!

CHAI invites all Prospective Homebuyers to attend its annual OPEN HOUSE TOUR

Monday, May 12, 2008
5:00 - 8:00 PM
at the
Jewish Community Center
5700 Park Heights Ave.

  • Come to learn how you can qualify for other loan and grant programs
  • Meet with realtors, lenders and other housing professionals
  • (Please provide your own transportation)

Click here to see the flyer ( for this event.
Call 410-466-1990 x-0 to register or Email:

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