Monday, June 29, 2009

Blogging Update + Lunch

Blogging Update + Lunch

With almost 300,000 points, you would guess that I've been blogging for a while. So why would I go to a session on blogging that was aimed at beginning bloggers? Because I always learn something.

NAWBO LogoLeah MessinaThis was the third in a series of Lunch and Learn sessions on social media presented by Leah Messina of Sinuate Media for our Baltimore Regional Chapter of NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners.) Leah did a great job on the Facebook and Twitter sessions, and I wasn't disappointed with her presentation on blogging.

Blogger LogoShe covered the basics, of course – why you would want to blog for your business, choosing a blogging platform, figuring out what to say, and so forth. Leah showed us how to work with outside sources to improve our blog content, and also how to follow what's happening in our focus area with tools like Google Alerts, Digg, Technorati, and others. TypePadShe reminded us WordPress Logo that search engines love blogs for their frequent updates and new content. Since I started blogging just a few years ago, so much has changed. More options of platforms, specialized blog platforms like Active Rain, and the ability to embed audio and video.

As usual for these sessions, it was a full house. Kudos to NAWBO for creating this series of seminars. With so much to do every day in running our businesses, it's a great help to have well organized and informative sessions that give us tips we can put to work right away. And we get to network and eat lunch at the same time – multitasking!

Here's your bonus – Leah's presentation, which includes using Facebook in your business, is here:

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Special Connections in Baltimore, MD - From Internet to Inter-Personal...and More!

Map British Virgin Island

6210 Park Heights CondosThere was a wonderful out town buyer who found me through the Internet, all the way from the British Virgin Islands! She has been looking for several months for a home, a condo in Baltimore, Maryland, for her 18-year-old daughter who will be attending the University of Baltimore. She loved one of my condos at 6210 Park Heights and wanted to put in an offer sight unseen. Nope, I could not do that - sometimes photos look better than the real thing.

So a couple of Fridays ago she flew in.... we spent hours getting to know each other, the condo unit she thought she wanted, and also another in the same building. There were similarities in both units but also a price difference - one in original condition, the other in move-in condition with updated baths, kitchen, carpet, appliances, etc.

We found there was a tremendous connection between all of us...the mother, the daughter, the uncle who lives in Maryland and wants to make sure his niece is "taken care of," and me. There was so much to talk about - where will she shop, what are the bus routes, what about safety, the security of the building, and the neighborhood? They had done lots of research and had lots of questions, but I could answer some of those questions before they were even asked – another benefit of knowing the area for years.

And when we were done, yes, they decided to make an offer, but not on the unit they came to see, but the second one instead. Strathmore Towers 6210 Park Heights Ave #701 Baltimore, Maryland 21215

Brown PurseAs we parted later in the evening, I told her I had a gift for her…my book already in a gift bag. Then she said, "I have a present for you." She bought it in the islands, did not know why, but felt she “had” to get it, and it was for me. She seemed almost embarrassed as she presented me with the absolute perfect gift. Remember, we had never met. And out comes a BROWN pocketbook made of coconut SQUARES! How would she have known how to pick the perfect object, perfect shape, perfect color? All the things I love - it's brown, it has squares, it is made of natural material (coconut shells), and it is the same size as my book. It was made for me!

In such a short time... with the help of the Internet, email, phone, and finally face-to-face, we made a very very special connection.

.............Wait.....there's more........

When I wrote to this wonderful lady and asked permission to post her story, she not only approved but added her own wonderful comments:

This is her email that I am going to share in it's entirety:


You have me blushing all over .... the map of the BVI, the Strathmore Building, the beautiful brown purse and the amazing story!!!! Well, look how things were unfolding. It is just amazing to meet you, a powerful lady with lots of charm. You have my permission to post this amazing story.

There are just a few little details that you can propably insert in the story. It is written in third person. The buyer for #701 said that she was first attracted to my website because I, Margaret Rome took the time to carefully showcase the properties and she thought that my website was done professionally. She also said that was what really singled out the HomeRome Website from the others! She also stated that she felt that I was appealing to her as a buyer with lots of information about the properties and plenty of pictures to help narrow down her search. She confirmed that I was the only realtor that she contacted from among the many, many websites that she researched.

The story does not end with what you wrote. The other amazing part just seems to blow my buyer away by the very thought of it is that the owner for the first condo she visited heard me talk about how my buyer and I met. Did you know that he is proposing to pass on his beautiful furniture that is used to stage his condo to my new friend although he had never met my buyer. How amazing!

Margaret, this is a compelling story to show how rewarding your profession can be. You meet all types of people, other linger around you for a reason or for a season, and others are just amazing people.

Continue to shine.


Connections can start on the internet...become special and so much more!

Special Connections in Baltimore,Md...From Internet to Inter-Personal ...And More!

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Best Part of My Job

Now I am really happy! Two very special people..both my friends... what pleasure getting you together. Think it was better than a matchmaker. I adore you both!

Tim, I was honored to be one to preview your future best seller, Create a Great Deal. Can't wait to get my hands on the finished masterpiece. Love your writing, you wisdom, your message, your manner of teaching, your kindness...and a fabulous book for all of us to read!

Congratulations to you both.

I remember the day 12/18/2008 when my books were delivered..your smile says it all.

Via Peg Silloway (The Silloway Press):

Tim Burrell's Books ArriveIt's the phone call – "They're perfect!" – when an author receives the first shipment of books. It's the photographs of the justifiably proud author holding the first copy out of the carton. Writing a book is hard work and takes longer than anyone thinks it will. To complete that, and then to actually publish the book, that's something to be very proud of.

First Book from the CartonToday I'm celebrating Tim Burrell's accomplishment. His book, Create a Great Deal: The Art of Real Estate Negotiating, is one of the best I've seen on the subject. It's well written and has an eye-catching cover thanks to the design skill of his wife, Judy Burrell. It's already received a very good review by Bernice Ross in Inman News on June 1, and endorsements from many of the top names in the business.

Proud Author Tim BurrellTim knows a thing or two about marketing in addition to his formidable negotiation skills, and I expect this book will be a great success.

Yep, it's my favorite part.


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Friday, June 12, 2009

Palm Pre...Definitely Worth the Wait - Baltimore, MD

Palm Pre...Definitely Worth the Wait in Baltimore,Md.

Michael and the early rush Sprint Store Any one who knows me knows that I am a Palm person, starting way back with the Palm V. Loved learning how to use that first PDA. I have moved up to the Palm 700P but knew my time was limited, hoping that my trusty Treo could hold up until the Palm Pre arrived. It did!

I was standing in line at the Sprint store that Saturday morning before 7:30AM with Dick Betts; the only difference was that he was in Florida and I was in Maryland. This little bit of distance did not stop either one of us from texting and updating about the phone. I was number 14 in line in Baltimore and he was number 16 in Ocala. Michael and Yvonne at the Sprint store helped with that early morning rush. I found out that the Palm Pre...Definitely Worth the Wait-Baltimore,Md.

New Pre PhoneWhen I first touched the display phone I texted Dick saying it was going to take some time to get used to using the QWERTY keyboard because the keys were even smaller than my Treo. But as soon as I got my hands on this sweet little beauty I found I could use my nails for the keys - yeah, I do love that. (I've always used my fingernails and never the stylus, and the the Pre does not use a stylus so I didn't have to unlearn that.)

I am envious that Dick had the luxury of spending unlimited time with his new Pre. I had to show properties and sell a couple of condos, attend an all day class, meet with my publisher, write an offer, attend a funeral, set up home inspections, etc. I need to spend lots more time on my new toy, but I love it so far. Can't wait to read Dick's website with Tips and Tricks for this new tool - hope he will hurry up so I can have the benefit of all this learning!

Yvonne helped at the Sprint storeWith over 7000 contacts it took awhile to transfer the data to the new Pre. We did this in the Sprint store, or so I thought, but found out later that only my facebook contacts transferred over. And in the process I discovered a neat feature of the new Pre - the usb cable is part of the wall charger! Charger with USB

Using this cable is how we finally transferred the data.... we used the old hot sync from the TREO then placed the data on a newer computer and then transferring to the new phone.

Still have a lot to learn, but I'm loving this new Palm Pre. I'm also sold on the quality and sound.... the reception is so much better. No "dead" spots in my home or neighborhood.

Palm Pre...Definitely Worth the Wait in Baltimore,Md.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ice on the Pool in June - Baltimore, Maryland

It was late on Tuesday after a wonderfully long day, one of those very hot and humid Baltimore days. I had an appointment to show my listing at 3408 Terrapin Rd, parked my car in the driveway and went to open the house. You know - open the shades, turn on all the lights - all that typical stuff we agents do to ready a home for visitors. Suddenly I heard the wind kick up and watched as the sky turned that threatening dark that means a serious storm is brewing. I ran back out to the driveway to move my car under the carport - you remember that special car? – I did not want any dents!

Hail Storm Hail Storm 2

Hail on Pool CoverRan back in the house just in time before the noise and excitement began. Have you ever heard hail in a storm on a skylight?

Looking out the big windows of this contemporary home I watched as heavy hail pelted the ground. Grabbed my camera just in time to see this quick quirk of nature cover the in-ground pool cover with ice balls. These photos are of the actual rain/hail/wind storm – they are blurry not because I was shaking, but because it was coming down so fast and hard!

A few minutes later all was calm and quiet. The ice melted in the afternoon heat, and a beautiful cool breeze came up for the drive home. A nice reward after a long and (briefly) exciting day.

Yes there really was Ice on the June -Baltimore, Maryland

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

An Exciting Day in Class - Baltimore, Maryland

It wasn't the subject matter. It wasn't even the results of the quiz. As usual, what made the day exciting was the people. An Exciting Day in Class-Baltimore,Maryland

Anna with Kindle A few days ago I wrote about Anna in my broker class, and how she's a great fan of the Kindle, Amazon's e-book reader. Well yesterday she had it with her and was showing us all how it works. It is so thin, so neat!


But it got better. She pulled up the cover of my book, showed how to turn the pages, and how to put the curser before a word and voilá...the definition.

Kindle definition

Book on Amazon KindleBut she wasn’t done yet – there was one more special feature. The Kindle reads to you. There in front of about 15 other brokers/agents... my book was been read aloud! As one person commented "It sure doesn't sound like you." Nope, it didn't - it was a male voice. Hmm….wonder if you could change that to a female voice with a bit of a southern accent?

It was An Exciting Day in Class-Baltimore,Maryland

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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Tweeting or Blogging or Meeting Face-to-Face? Baltimore,Maryland

BEA LogoIn the last week I've spent a lunch meeting learning about Twitter, I've been online for hours reading and communicating, and I've visited the annual publishing show in New York to find that most of the buzz was about the growth in ebooks and the influence of the Kindle on the world of books. Everywhere you go, people are texting and tweeting and blogging, often all sitting together and not actually talking to each other! Is this the future?

NAWBO TwitterNAWBO Twitter PresentationI don't believe so. Personal connections still make a difference whether you're talking about real estate or any other profession. During that Twitter class, everyone was focused on learning how to make the best use of this 140-character message tool. It was a lunch-and-learn session, but I got so into it that I forgot to eat my lunch.

Sponsored by our local NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) chapter, there was a good crowd. And because I was there in person, and could talk face-to-face with people, one of them also bought a copy of my book.

Book on Kindle And again a couple of days ago I was in my broker's class and met Anna Privalova. She told me that she had been in one of Anne Hruby's GRI classes and heard me speak. One of my favorite things is talking with new agents.... Speaking, Networking, Making Connections!!

Anna said that she has been following me on Active Rain and knew about the book. When she asked how to get a copy, I mentioned all the usual options – Barnes & Noble, Amazon, my site, the publisher's site, and the Kindle version. Her eyes lit up, and she said that if it's about real estate she owns it, but not all books are available on Kindle.

Right there in class she pulled up the Kindle site and ordered the book. Would she have done that if we hadn't met and talked in person? I doubt it.

The world of communication is changing. We can reach many more people faster than ever before. But for true communication I still believe that we need the human element for our complete message to get through. I love the way technology makes my business work better and smarter, but I will NOT stop answering my phone , making my own appointments Yes, I DO! , showing my properties(when necessary) and meeting appraisers and inspectors.

Because that's where the best communication takes place.

Tweeting or Blogging or Meeting Face-to-Face? Baltimore,Maryland

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Monday, June 01, 2009

The Big Apple - a Four Day Whirlwing

On Sunday evening we are sitting on the Acela train after a whirlwind four days in the Big Apple.

It all started on Thursday with a trip to our New York oncologist where we got the best news of all - no change - Lee can come back in one year!

Carnegie Deli PieBefore the doctor's appointment we stopped at THE Carnegie Deli. (I noticed that Margaret Woda wrote about Rip's Reuben) but let me tell you I think the Carnegie's Reuben might be better.

And look at the size of the we didn't have any until later that day.

Thursday night we had tickets to "South Pacific" 3 rows from the doesn't get any better! No need for my opera glasses.

Lee's birthday cakeFriday started with a call from Carolyn Tann-Starr who met us at the Milford Plaza and drove us to the Meridien where we had the most decadent and delicious brunch celebrating Lee's birthday and our Anniversary the following day. As many of you know, we count the days we've been married....and May 30th was 14,975 days.

We had a wonderful time including a photo shoot, the two of us taking shots of the hotel, the food, everything. Take a look at her post which I re-blogged and I will try not to duplicate our photos. An Incredible Brunch At Norma's (The Wordy C Margaret Rome Interview.

Eggs Benedict at Norma's

Carolyn at Norma'sBar at the MeridienMeridien Lobby

Book only have eyes for youBook at BEABook How Full is your bucket

After lunch, we taxied Lee back to the hotel and went on to the Javits Center for the Book Expo America (BEA), one of the main reasons for this trip.

Books, books everywhere, and we even found mine, Real Estate the Rome Way,and then lots of neat neat titles, and a book with ROME + on a black and white and ROME+ on a white and black.

And the entire time C Tann and I talked about ourselves, our careers, our dreams, our families, our books, our blogs and anything else that came up. There was no shortage of conversation, and the day flew by.Other Rome Book

Bike Taxi One of the highlights was taking a bike taxi. Imagine the two of us, free to talk to each other, free to photograph, free to speak to people on the street – cab drivers, doormen, tourists – it was like being in a parade. I even did the Miss America WAVE, you know with the palm going side to side.

I have decided that in New York City you can close your eyes, turn 360 degrees, and point the camera - there is not a bad shot to be had!

Before I knew it, it was 6:30 pm and Lee was calling. "Don't forget we have to pick up tickets for our 8:00 pm show." And then another wonderful show, this time we saw "Billy Elliott." My day continued with more walking and seeing the sights of Manhattan, but there was no time to blog about the wonderful day with C Tann.

Then it was Saturday...hey, wait was afternoon...we forgot to get up. There is not much sleeping time in NYC. Lee and I did more walking, more sightseeing and just happened to stop at the "Lion King" box office. Yeah, right, just get tickets on the same day and a Saturday night to boot? They had "Lion King" tickets for us, row M on the aisle. It was our lucky weekend - how could we not take them? A fabulous production with all those characters coming down the isles - we were in the perfect seats.

(Did you know that Michelle and Barack were in the same block having dinner and a show just like us?) Afterward we had a snack at Juniors right next to the theater. There were hoards of people waiting in a line that went for blocks and blocks – we had to find out why - a concert "Black Star."

Sunday morning Josef Katz called to say he was going to be in Manhattan; I said, "Great! Meet us at the hotel." Together we walked a few blocks on 8th Avenue to 49th or 50th and had a beautiful brunch at Thalia's, recommended by our friend Sandie Nagel.

Thalia's Josef Katz

We took the Acela home and I could have been singing I've Been Workin' On the Railroad... where the train stopped somewhere near Baltimore. There was a disabled train on the tracks, they had to switch passengers, clear the tracks of the broken train. before we could move again. And I was blogging all the way.

Got a call from Carolyn and there was more chatting about the day and then.... my tablet turned off and for a moment... there was a bit of panic ( because I Don't Do Upset! ) thinking this entire post was lost.

Just a wonderful four day whirlwind in the Big Apple. Had to go to the gym this morning, just to slow my pace down..

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Incredible Brunch at Norma's (The Wordy C Margaret Rome Interview)

OMG.....each and every paragraph is worthy of a separate blog. My only fear is that it will be missed by many because there is so much good stuff crammed into one post...just like our incredible time much important stuff crammed into a few hours. You are an amazing wonderful friend with unlimited kindness, sharing and boundless energy.

...And you have a PHD in this Type E personality thing!

Via C Tann-Starr ( REMAX People Realty):

Carolyn Tann-Starr 2009

When social media divas take time out of their busy schedules to share several of their business secrets one should never squander the rare moment that is the gift of shared time. Trendsetters, movers and shakers are fascinating people. You never know what nuggets of wisdom you're going to receive from them. On the flip side, you may find yourself in the position to help them out on a project when you least expect it simply because they need something that you do. You may not know how important your past life's work is, or a hobby you love, until you actually share a bit of yourself with another person.

In the blogosphere, just like in mathematics, the whole is equal to the sum of its parts. Start with little pieces that you feel comfortable with. As your relationships grow, the rest will follow. What you decide to do or share is completely up to you.

Whether a relationship, vendor or consumer, everyone is always looking for something that they need. Being present is half the battle. Sharing something of yourself another part. Letting people know who you are and what you do and what you want is how the dialog gets started. Your likes and dislikes will attract and repel people towards and away from you. What you do with your talents, attitudes and resources create your moments of opportunity. Each window of opportunity will determine what doors open and close regarding your future. Your interpersonal communication skills do not have to be perfect, they just have to be put to good use so you do not miss your moment when it arrives.

Social media is about being social. Most people want to like who they are spending time and doing business with. It doesn't matter if they find you on AR, Twitter, Facebook, Trulia, LinkedIn... What matters is that you pick your platform and run with your virtual ball. You have to create a court to play in. The more you write, the more readers comment, the more you evolve, the more people come back to read you and continue the conversations. They watch how you respond to others with your comments and they make decisions about whether they want to associate with someone who thinks and reacts like you do. You have to brand your blog. You have to brand your projects. You have to brand you...

You can not divorce your brand from you and your art. Writing is an art form where you get to express yourself in many variables or nuances of persuasion. Every time you debate a point you are trying to influence someone. If you don't believe that then get out while you can. Social media requires a skill set based upon information packaged to engage the readers' imagination so they can picture what it is that you see, feel and hear and take a virtual journey with you to a targeted destination. It doesn't matter if you are chatting between Mafia Wars or Sorority, writing in the comment sections, direct messaging or tweeting your comments. What matters is that you are engaged in a dialog, period.

Original content is the key. You will be known by your body of work so arguing one platform is better or worse than another is a moot point. Search engine optimization is also a moot point if you have nothing to say. Micro-blogging is still blogging so don't think your twitter conversations are not being indexed and compiled. Something as simple as sharing a link can say a lot about you...

If you do decide to say something, know your audience. If you try to please everyone you will actually please less people. Be honest with your voice. People will respect you more in the end if you are consistent. I always say I am not here for everyone, but I can be here for someone. Social media has enabled a lot of people to be there for me. If you write about what interests you, you will always have something to share and you will meet people who like and dislike what you do. Sometimes you can create a niche for yourself without realizing your body of work has inadvertently brought you there because you constantly talk about certain subjects. In social media, perception is reality, so if you do not pay attention to, or fail to manage your digital identity, you may find yourself going down roads you never intended to travel. The road less traveled may or may not be a good thing... It depends upon your intent. What do you intend when you write for someone else to read? Are you trying to learn something? Are you trying to share what you have learned? Are you trying to open a door to the next level or gain something intangible to enhance your life?

Savvy media branding is the name of the game and if you do not embrace social media you are doing your firm and personal projects a huge disservice because social media can open doors. Social media introduced me to Margaret Rome and a host of other stellar writers like Elizabeth Weintraub, Chris Elizabeth Griffith, Andrew J Lenza, Paul Slaybaugh, Gary Woltal, Laraine Shape, Lenn Harley, Broker Bryant, TLW, Poppy Dinsey, Richard Weisser, Sheldon Neal, Paddy Pizappi, Susan Mangigian, Jason Crouch, Jeremy Blanton, Jesse Clifton and Josef Katz.

There is only one Mandycap. Melodious rocks. I can not imagine life without Amanda Hall and Melody Botting somewhere in there. The ActiveRain Group Club Chaos has over 600 active members that are all connected by six degrees of separation. There are no strangers in our virtual family. That's a lot of bay-bays converting to brick and mortar friendships who are LinkedIn, Facebooked up, Tweet-peeps and addicted to the Rain. We travel to hang out and have a beer, raise money for cancer, blog for causes, talk about Autism and PDD-NOS while joking about staplers and restraining orders. We laugh and we cry together. We drop F-bombs and atta-boys. We are journalists writing in an international forum who in a blink of an eye become jesters blogging about handcuffs, spandex and virtual par-tays. We are a bunch of licensed professionals who do our own laundry, wash our own toilets between negotiating million dollar transactions and $500 dollar rentals. Sometimes we make movies. Sometimes we write books. Sometimes we appear on national television. Sometimes we go bankrupt. Sometimes we remember our fallen heroes and friends. Sometimes a newspaper or magazine will link back to us and if we are really blessed we'll get a request for an interview. The one thing that we all have in common is we are real people who embrace social media and are not afraid to use it. We write from the heart and people listen because there is a quirky sense of truth to what we have to say, even when others don't agree with the premise that started the post. Social media brings comments to the table. The dialog is what's valuable. Don't ever underestimate your readers. Readers can open doors just as fast as your friends do...

Social media can be the ultimate end game if you only have thirty seconds to make a first brick and mortar impression. You may think you have more time, but truth is, you don't. Smart people tend to make up their mind fairly quickly. Can it be changed? Of course a mind can, but what if you never get another opportunity to meet with the person again? If someone is important to you, you should say what needs to be said while you have them before you each opportunity you get. If you always act as if this meeting may be the last time you'll find the conversations will be rich, diverse, animated and ultimately more meaningful to both sides of the table. You may even discover that the other person is really looking forward to spending some more time with you because they have no idea where the next conversation will take them. People look forward to networking with people who engage their creativity and make them feel that anything is possible if we work together.

Networking only works if you are sincere. People can tell if you really want to be there and if you read their blog. Bullcrap will only get you so far. Fans are fans for a reason. Never lie and say you are a fan of someone you do not read. You will be found out by something as simple as not knowing the name of their spouse, kids or their dog, especially if they always talk about them. I am a huge fan of Margaret Rome's blog and highly recommend her book. We clicked with our very first conversation, I also have her on speed dial so the series of invitations I recently received and the opportunity to spend some quality time with a very talented Realtor turned author was a tremendous treat.

My favorite two M Rome conversations of the day, in sum and substance:

[1] You have to believe in your product. You have to believe in yourself. You have to believe that what you bring to the table has value and you have to know its okay to walk away if people do not want to associate with you or you discover the target audience is not what you believed it to be. Sometimes you have to call a spade a spade and keep on trucking when people do not value you or your time. However, if you do find that gem of a relationship, cultivate and respect it. Treasure it. Savor it. Guard and protect it. Third party introductions are priceless but if you can't get one, then the only one who can open or close a door to forge a new personal and/or business relationship is you. "Hindsight is when you wake up one day and realize it was this unassuming relationship that changed your life and career choices for the best that was yet to come."

[2] One of the beautiful things about the ActiveRain Real Estate Network is the relationships forged between writers who become friends. "When people write honestly, you learn a lot about them and have an opportunity to decide at what level you would like to interact with a person. Sometimes, when you follow a person's blog, you discover you know more about your favorite writer than you do about some of your own relatives..."

In my case with Margaret, I discovered that if you stick around long enough in a relationship you may wake up one day to discover that your friend is famous, you missed the transition and were clueless because you were too busy just hanging out and having fun. It's a very nice feeling, a wee bit shocking at times, yet has the added bonus of making you feel as if you can do anything you want because the only one stopping you from moving forward and doing well is you. Successful people who share insights often inspire others to strive towards success. When they are struggling with the little things in life too and make it plain that the hard work doesn't end because something good is happening at this moment, you may realize you can never afford sit back and rest upon your past works and momentary satisfaction. You have to keep moving forward towards the small goals that are important to you.

Life is precious, life is unpredictable so enjoy your life while you can. When you write you need to always remember that your words may live on long after you are gone. That includes your brilliant moments, your pithy remarks and your stupidity. :-)

What do you want to do with your life? You can change it today if you try. Start with something small and just go do it. Marget was waiting for someone else to write about Type E personalities. When the person she expected to write the book never got around to it, she decided she'd write about what she knew from her perspective. It turned out to be a very good read. I like being entertained when I read and I like it even better when the voice between the pages is so natural and casual that I'm surprised the book is over and I've completed 200 pages with ease. Margaret Rome has a way of connecting with people as a Realtor that overflows into the pages of her writing.

I think that is also my favorite part of ActiveRain. The platform and community members create the ability for the public and professionals to gain access to people they would otherwise find impossible to connect with.

I took 88 pictures while running amuck in Manhattan with Margaret. She loves books just as much as I do so we have a lot of eye candy from the BookExpo to sort through and eventually share with you. What was even more fun was getting to watch her do well in the publishing forum and realize she is such a genuinely sweet and humble person that fame didn't change her a single bit. It just made life a little more interesting when she travels on her book tour (LOL).

If not for ActiveRain and other social media platforms I would not know so many lovely people exist. I would not have made friends with some of them, much less have had the ability to carry on daily conversations with people from all over the globe. The cool thing is when we are not meeting in real life I still get to play with my friends from the comfort of my home. Two years ago I wouldn't have touched social media with a ten foot pole. Now look at me. I'm being read in 24 countries, relocating clients entering the United States and translating my e-mail through Babel Fish. Who knew? I certainly did not see that one coming (LOL). Are you making the most of your social media relationships? Wanna know how?

Make friends first. The business will follow. Social media is a tool, just like your telephone. Don't abuse it or take it for granted... Respect the community rules of the platforms you are on. There's so much you do not know about the people you are reading, you may want to think twice before you leave that nasty comment on a competitor's blog. They may be a lot more influential than you think... including the people who admire and follow them.

Carolyn Tann-Starr 2009

Publisher: The Silloway Press * Pub. Date: November 2008 * ISBN-13: 9780980205794 * 200pp

If you haven't read "Real Estate The Rome Way," you may want to float on over to The Silloway Press, or Barnes and Nobles to get yourself a copy.

Elizabeth Weintraub ( did a wonderful book review. I really enjoyed reading her perspective on Margaret's book so of course I have to link back to it especially since I went on-line and got my hands on two copies (pre-ordered and hot off the press). We have little minions, so we need back-ups of the important stuff (LOL). This is an interesting work because it talks about so many different aspects of Real Estate from a first person, Type E witness point of view. ;-)

Didn't you know? Margaret Rome is an industry authority with a compelling Type E personality (LOL). She was kind enough to autograph both of my copies, so if you have a chance to meet her at a book signing, please do. You will not be disappointed plus one does not have to be a real estate professional to read and enjoy this book. You just have to be someone interested in real estate. If you are a first time home-buyer or a seller about to place a home on the market this is definitely the book to explain the process to you. If you've been in the industry for 30 years, you should still check this title out. I bet she may be able to surprise you (LOL). There are a few sum and substance recaps regarding cases you may enjoy discovering. It's not a heavy read, but it's a good read, very direct and to the point. I have my paperbacks sitting on the bookshelf with my Trump University collection of titles. Not too many books get mixed in with the Trump mix. They have their own special little spot in my real estate heart (LOL).

Peg Silloway of Silloway Press has a LinkedIn page and was a Platinum Exhibitor at BookExpo America. I shall have to blog about our BookExpo jaunt at the Javit's Center as well. Can't waste 88 photographs (LOL). It was an honor and privilege to be a guest of Margaret's publisher at this event. We spent quite a bit of time brainstorming on my two books in progress and if not for blogging on ActiveRain none of this would have happened.

Here's a little eye candy from Norma's (located within the confines of the Meridien Hotel). The food is absolutely fabulous. Le Parker-Meridien, New York, is an awesome place for a fine dining experience, indeed. BTW, they actually have a $5,000 dish on the brick and mortar menu. Seriously!!! It's something Presidential and I can only imagine what kind of delightful foodie paradise yummies goes with that kind of spread... :-)

Carolyn Tann-Starr 2009

Margaret and Lee Rome at Norma's

Waz Za!

I love atrium's lighting effects...

56 Le Rue, indeed... Lobby of Le Parker-Meridien

There's a lovely bit of eye candy everywhere you turn en-route to Norma's in the hotel...

Carolyn Tann-Starr 2009

Margaret is great to have on an eye candy hunt... We're going to meet at Norma's again. :-

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