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Archive for June, 2011

Talking Dog Syndrome

Robert Worthington’s car story reminds me of this.

In 2003, I had an epic run.  A 6 figure 60 day period.

I was happy as hell.  In 2004, I became…

Arrogant.  Thought this was my new life.  Thought I was now a 7 figure agent. Made a 60 thousand month an 80 thousand month (and forgot the famine that sandwiched the months).

We’ve talked about this before.

Anyway, enter a man, Harry.  Harry was a mid 40′s (I was late 20′s) agent.  Looked like Peter Falk with a crew cut.  Harry was a nice guy, a little slow, and kind of a bumpkin.  Harry’s mom used to be in Real Estate as an old time agent.  Harry’s mom could now move to Florida.

People thought Harry was a moron.

People derided Harry for having his momma’s business.

Harry drove a 1993 Geo Prizm everywhere.  He got to the office around 7am and left around 10am.  He got back to the office around 7pm and stayed for a half hour or so.  We didn’t see much of him.  I was in the office to sober up for an hour after being a little too boozy.  We passed as he was coming back.

I can’t resist the urge to brag, and this time was no different.

“4 closings this week.”  I said, counting my $129,000 4% double ender as 2 closings.

“Great.” he said, “You only get about 2 great runs a year, so work hard.”

Whatever, bumpkin.

Slow talking Harry was always enthusiastic, didn’t miss a meeting, and kept to himself.

Later, he referred a client he didn’t have time for to me.  I didn’t close him.  The client was a jerk.  (Note: I probably could have closed him had I not wanted to be right, but that’s a lesson for another time).   Another client, and nothing.  Harry asked to see me, I was too busy, but would welcome his referrals.

I got one more, another closable person that my arrogance kept away (after all, I was driving an Acura RL, what the hell could Harry know.  He drove a Hundai to get here. I never met with Harry  and didn’t hear much from him.

But after our brokerage closed, he was curt with me at a boozy Realtor meeting where we were all informed who our new masters were.  He came into a different brokerage and I learned a few things.

  • Harry made over 650,000 per year.
  • Harry had a vending machine business that brought in another $120k (heh heh tax free heh heh).  He schlepped the quarters, candy bars and laundry soap himself.
  • Harry had something like 9 duplexes, all in an up and coming neighborhood.
  • Harry had ear marked me to be part of his business after I was agent of the month 3 months in a row.

Harry wasn’t a fast talker.  He was, however focused.  He didn’t take bathroom breaks during the day.  He cared about his clients.   I whiffed at what was sure to be a bonafide amazing opportunity.

I learned this second hand, from another old timer.  I had no idea about any of those facts.  When I pondered this, slow talking, Prism driving Harry, it was as if my dog had a secret life teaching Russian to diplomats.  I never saw how this mouth breather was better than me.

But he is, still churning out volume without complaint, drama, rancor facebook twitter or a blog.

Related posts:
  • Bloodhound Blog Radio: Free Falling (But We Keep Hope Alive)
  • Project Bloodhound: How to write a question post that gets answers
  • Glen and Gary and Glen and Ross: Tourette Syndrome in real estate sales . . .

  • 9 comments

    Unchained melodies: Melanie’s Babe Rainbow

    Art is the stuff that sticks with you. Art is the thing that makes a permanent change in who you are. This song has been with me since I was a teenager. It’s never been of me, but it’s something I’ve always understood — even more since I started selling real estate for a living. It might-could have that impact on you, too.

    It’s a waltz, 6/8, cdfc. Couldn’t be simpler. And yet I have this song in my head — in my soul — all the time. This is Melanie exposing the universe through the lens of her own life, and by making her life so real, so raw, so painful and yet in the end still so palpably redeemed — this really works for me. This is what art is for…

    Related posts:
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  • Unchained melodies: Another brick in the wall
  • Unchained melodies: Fight the power

  • 2 comments

    The old luxury creme puff goes bye bye, frustration, and a sedan

    It’s been a nearly 3 weeks since I sold my 99′ Cadillac V8 Luxury problematic SeVille!  The car looked great but like a blonde haired, blue eyed beauty looks can be deceiving.  I got a fair price for the Caddy and I was happy, until I went to the bank after I sold it to find out what slightly used car interest rates are going for.  My credit is good and I was getting quoted 17% +/-.  My problem was, I only wanted to borrow, $5,000 max for a used car, the rest I was going to pay for in cash.

    I searched endlessly for a clean used car in South Florida, boy was the joke on me.  I would arrive at dealers who wanted between $600 to $1,000 dealer fees on top of the price of a car.  I then went looking at private sale cars to get away from the dealer fees.  I found one liar after another, I’m referring to the private party seller.  I had literally given up my car search in complete frustration of FEES, LIES, and INTEREST RATES.

    My wife was going nuts explaining that we need two cars, so I begun my search again.  I found a nice little cream puff (the car).  It’s a 2005 Honda Civic which looks great, and my mechanic gave me the two thumbs to go ahead and buy the car.

    So you might be thinking, how in the world, can I go from Leather seats and spacious to a typical compact car?  The answer is, I frankly don’t care what clients think of me pulling up in a Honda Civic versus a Cadillac.  I wasn’t about to pay outrageous dealer fees, I found  a half way decent and partially lying seller, and I paid cash for the car instead of off the chart interest rates; so that is exactly how I arrived at a 2005 Honda Civic.

    You know what I also learned from this experience since it’s nearly been over 4 years since I bought a car.  Don’t charge hidden fees, Tell the truth, and charge a fair fee or commission.  What are your thoughts from previous real estate or car experiences?

    Related posts:
  • Some listings are extra FUN!
  • Feeling Overwhelmed? Turn To Ayn Rand
  • I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

  • 1 comment

    Lay down with dogs and you wake up with fleas? Worse. If you decide to rape the taxpayers via NAR’s RAPAC scam you get… plague!

    From the Phoenix Realtor Forum, the monthly newsletter of the Phoenix Association of Realtors:

    Alas, the plague is a swarm of vampire-like locust Realtors. These are RAPAC’s objectives, according to the article, with interstitial commentary by me in bold text.

    • Mortgage Interest Deduction: NAR opposes any changes that would limit or undermine current law.

      That is, people who don’t buy homes on credit, including people who own their homes outright, people who rent and working poor people living in mom’s basement or in their cars, should subsidize the incomes of very wealthy people. If this doesn’t make you sick, you’re much too sick already.
       

    • Capital Gains Exemption: NAR opposes any changes to the capital gains exemption on the sale of a home.

      How much does the NAR hate real property? Why isn’t its position to eliminate all taxes, or at least all taxes on real estate?
       

    • Depreciation/Tenant Improvements: NAR supports efforts to establish a permanent rule that more accurately reflects the depreciable lives of buildings and to conform amortization periods for tenant improvements more closely to the term of the lease.

      More tax subsidies for the rich, rather than getting rid of taxes altogether.
       

    • Government-Sponsored Enterprises: NAR is recommending that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac be converted into government-chartered, non-shareholder owned authorities.

      Because it’s harder to hide the corruption if the SEC is pretending to pay attention to FannieMae and FreddieMac.
       

    • Mortgage Loan Limits: NAR supports making the current higher loan limits and formula permanent.

      Rich people need more subsidies!
       

    • FHA/Federal Housing Administration Programs: NAR is a strong supporter of FHA’s single- and multi-family programs.

      Poor people need subsidies, too!
       

    • NAR Credit Policy: NAR is calling on the credit and lending industries and regulators to reassess the entire mortgage lending policy structure and look for ways to increase the availability of credit.

      Because not enough unqualified buyers were rooked into buying homes they couldn’t pay for the last time we pulled these stunts.
       

    • Short Sales: NAR continues to push the lending industry to expedite short sales.

      Criminal penalties if they don’t? Don’t laugh. Government is nothing but force. If we are doing anything other than negotiating by means of the persuasions of the free market, one party is holding a gun — by proxy of government — on the other.
       

    • Natural Disaster Policy: NAR supports a federal program that promotes the availability and affordability of property insurance nationwide and coordinates the mitigation of property against natural disasters, as well as post-disaster assistance.

      Stupid people must be rewarded for living where no one should live, and they must be rewarded a second time for moving back after the predictable disaster ensues.
       

    • Energy Efficiency and Climate Change: NAR supports improving energy efficiency through voluntary incentives in lieu of individual building mandates. Commercially reasonable approaches that advance market and smart-growth principles of protecting private property rights and maintaining real estate affordability and availability. Additionally, NAR supports educating property owners and consumers about the benefits of energy efficiency.

      How about this?: Get rid of the EPA, OSHA and the Department of Energy. Better yet, how about this?: Get government out of real estate altogether.
       

    • Commercial Real Estate Lending: NAR supports protecting and enhancing the flow of capital to commercial real estate. NAR believes Congress should consider legislation aimed at improving commercial real estate markets. These include increasing the cap on credit union member business lending (MBL) and improving lending access through the passage of the Small Business Lending Fund.

      Rich people cannot possibly ever get enough subsidies!

    Obviously, none of this is actually about the people who seem to be affected. It’s about nothing but churning the real estate markets with otherwise unwarranted transactions, this to gin up business for agents and brokers who, in the undisguised opinion of RAPAC, have nothing of value to bring to the marketplace without the imposition of criminal force by government.

    And that, doubt it never, is the real plague…

    Related posts:
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  • A Zillified real estate brokerage: If you lay down with dogs, you wake up with fleas . . .
  • Core Beliefs and The Middle of the Road

  • 3 comments

    My life as a dog: Five years of BloodhoundBlog.

    Tomorrow is the fifth anniversary of BloodhoundBlog. Here is where we started, with a question that haunts me to this very day:

    If almost-as-good is free or nearly free, what is the market value of slightly-better?

    At the time that we launched, Zillow, Trulia and Redfin were new kids on the block, and traditional Realtors were casting a wary eye over their shoulders. It was an interesting time to write about real estate, even though some of what I wrote in those days seems comically stoopid to me by now.

    (Caveat lector: Our archives always repay effort. I could wish that someone would comb through them and pull out the true gems — the category Enduring Interest is crying out for such a treatment. But even without that helpful handiwork, if you haven’t learned everything we have taught here, you could do worse than giving our posts over the past five years your regular attention.)

    I love this place, and I love the work we have done here, but I can’t revisit the history of BloodhoundBlog without some sadness — and sadness is an emotion I’ve wanted for my whole life to know nothing about. But it remains that my most important goal for this weblog — unchained Realtors — remains unfulfilled.

    Too much the contrary. Most of the people who were writing in the RE.net when BloodhoundBlog was young are on the slave-master side of the table by now, either as vendorsluts, Judas goats — or both. It’s not hard for me to deplore this outcome, but none of it would be possible without the active participation of the slaves, who line up to be yoked with an ox-like complacency. Despite all the opportunities technology affords us to break free of the brokers, the NAR, the Inmannequins, et infinitely cetera, there is something about most Realtors that seems to crave dependency, subordination and the attendant exploitation.

    In response to this outcome, I must admonish myself with the words I have deployed on so many other people over the years: Cultivate indifference. For five years and more, we have been just that close to smashing all the icons, ridding ourselves forevermore of the vampires who have fed on us since 1910, at the least. But: The only mind I can change is my own. The only life I can make better is my own. The only business I can rightfully attend to is my own.

    And this I have been doing. I sell a lot. I list now and then. I’m building the property management business. I’m writing software when I have time, and the software I’m writing does subtle and interesting things that slide right under the radar of my competition — assuming they’re paying attention to anything, anyway. I have new things coming, and I have so many ideas that I have had to resign myself to the fact that I will probably die before I can implement even half of them. What I don’t have much of, right now, is sympathy for my fellow oxen, stolidly traipsing around in circles, grinding flour for other people’s bread.

    I would that things were different, but they’re not. There is no catcher in the rye, and it is not my purpose in life to incite the fury of lemmings for committing the awful crime of rescuing them from their chosen fate. The uniquely human life is never about zero, no matter how tragic and unnecessary zero might be.

    Here is what I have: I am 51 years old, and yet I have never been a day over 19 in my mind. I caught myself last week feeling particularly young, and I had to remind myself consciously of how many birthdays I have seen. I live in a home I love, and despite repeated attempts over the past three years, I haven’t managed to lose it to foreclosure. I am in love with the sexiest GILF in the world, and our marriage has never been stronger than it is right now. I’m making money, and I’m on the bleeding edge of making a lot of money. My life is not without sorrow, sad to say, but my life has always been a thing of Splendor, and that just gets better year by year.

    So here’s to BloodhoundBlog at five. Here’s to dogs without chains, to oxen without yokes and to minds free to map the illimitable everything of the uniquely human life. If you are not free, I’m sorry for you. But I am as free as I can make myself, and that matters to me more than anything.

    Old Bushmills, three fingers, over ice. Cheers!

    Related posts:
  • Saying goodbye to Shyly…
  • Unchained Melody at Heaven’s Gate
  • From Man Alive! – “The love of Splendor is the life divine.”

  • 20 comments

    David Brooks of the New York Times on FannieMae: “Washington is home to a vertiginous tangle of industry associations, activist groups, think tanks and communications shops. These forces have overwhelmed the government that was originally conceived by the founders.”

    Wow

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  • 5 comments

    Nice going, unnamed Idaho agent

    “Sessions said they trusted their real estate agent, who, she claimed, told them the snake problem was “made up” by the previous owners so that they could leave their mortgage behind. He assured them that every precaution was made to keep the snakes away, she said.

    The Sessions’ signed paperwork acknowledging the stories about snakes when they bought the house, based upon the assurances the stories were false, The Associated Press reported.”

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/snake-house-family-home-idaho-turns-satans-lair/story?id=13851600&fb_ref=abc-fb-recs

     

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  • 28 comments

    Book To Buy: The War of Art

    Today, you will need to buy this book.

    Because it has been the one thing that’s been key to the run I’ve been on.  To understanding who I am.

    To go pro.

    Every idea I’ve implimented has come from this book – or from the Meditations (hays translation).

    Anyway, even if you’re broke and mad at the world, go get this book.  I’ve read it 5 times, I think.  I could stand to read it 50 more.

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  • 6 comments

    Caption Obama — before his face freezes like that.

    My vote: “I don’t get it. This stunt always used to work with my Gammy.”

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  • 9 comments

    A quick request

    Liberty – PLunder on Youtube

    The above video is getting thousands of views – best we can tell it’s at 2500 but as is their norm, youtube stops it at key points and it catches up later.  Anyway, we’re in the top 50 for nonprofit today.

    If you guys can – and we hope you can – it would be truly great if you’d visit that and comment on it.  Comments are a currency yotubue loves.

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  • 2 comments

    What We’ve Been Doing.

    Howdy Bloodhounds. Not a lot to say in the real estate world because I’be been working on the After Effects Demo Shop, Simplifilm.Com.

    The Foundation for a Free Society commissioned us to make a video. So, obviously, we did. This one owes an homage to the clear thinking of Greg Swann (along, of course with Bastiat)

    We make demo videos and we’re priced in the lower five figures per finished, written, voiced and rendered minute. This piece isn’t really representative of what we’re doing, but it fits the conversations that we’ve had here. It’s probably the last political thing we’ll do for a great long while. We’re immensely proud of it.

    I can say for certain if Greg hadn’t provided some of the vocabulary it wouldn’t have been as good as it it is. Help the Foundation for a Free Society and give them some money. They are locked in and loaded, competent and winning. (Disclosure: some of their money might come back to us in the form of a video, but we assure you: we charged them less per minute – by 1/3 -than anyone else will ever pay).

    Related posts:
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  • Who pays the buyer’s agent? Once we’ve divorced the commissions, we can stop worrying about it
  • “But we’ve got to have some regulation!” How else are insiders going to get their mitts onto sweetheart mortgage deals?

  • 4 comments

    MSNBC calling, and a new website design

    MSNBC is planning to run a story next week on me, as part of a story about how lawyers are coping with a bad economy.

    And I’ve been able to grow: I added my wife in January, who has been able to expand the firm’s business. We hired a new lawyer, a former prosecutor, who started in early May and is adding to our ability to expand into neighboring counties, as well as traffic law and bankruptcy law.

    I’ve also started a redesign of my website. I’d appreciate your feedback. I recognize your time is valuable. In exchange for your feedback, I will randomly select someone to receive a $100 gift certificate to Amazon.com.

    It’s entirely anonymous – you’ll have to trust me that someone got the gift certificate – and confidential. No one but me will know you sent me feedback. And no one will know if you win the gift certificate.

    My new front page is at www.chetson.com/home. Please only review that page. Don’t worry about clicking through to the rest of the site which has not yet been redesigned.

    Because the prettiest designs don’t always work on every browser, or are confusing, I’d like your frank feedback:

    1. Does the page display properly
    2. What is your impression based on the page?
    3. Are you able to see the various slides, functions, etc?
    4. Do you understand what kind of law we practice and what kind of things we do?
    5. Would you pick up the phone and call?

    Feel free to email me your feedback to dchetson@gmail.com. Anyone who emails me by Wednesday, June 15, is eligible for the $100 gift certificate.

    Thanks for your help!

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  • 3 comments

    The Difference Maker

    I’ve been having periodic, kinda sorta regular conversations with a young real estate agent in the southwest. It’s been goin’ on for maybe a year or more. He thinks he has a very bright future, but from where I sit, he hasn’t yet grasped just how really good he’s destined to be.

    He’s a goal setter, yet he’s not hit his goals the last few years. Don’t get me wrong, he’s done very well. But missin’ his goals consistently isn’t from poor work ethic, he’s like a Nebraskan corn farmer at harvest time. The guy’s relatively tech savvy as he maintains his own websites, which are designed to be lead generators. He has an IDX etc. Still, goals not met.

    He works his ass off, gets referrals up the ying-yang, follows up, crosses his T’s, dots his I’s, loves his mom, and eats his veggies. So what’s the hold up for Heaven’s sake? What’s been missing?

    95% (Pulled out of the clean, breezy San Diego blue sky.) of real estate agents who don’t make it, fail for this reason.

    Promise you won’t roll your eyes.

    Bottom line? He stopped spending so much time with websites, and other various marketing tasks, and began spending most of his time either prospecting or, you know, being belly to belly with folks who could tell him to go to hell. Turns out a buncha folks attached to said bellies haven’t been giving him directions to Satan’s abode.

    Go figure.

    His income this year will most likely eclipse last year’s goal by about 30% or more — a goal he failed to reach. Puttin’ it another way, If he reaches this year’s goal, and he’s ‘this close’ to being on target, he’ll have exceeded last year’s actual income by approximately 55-70%. All this by simply parkin’ his belly in front of more stranger’s bellies than ever before.

    Who’d a thunk?

    Oh, and for the record, so far this year his ‘high tech’ lead generators have produced a tad less than 20% of his income. The dominating majority of what he’s accomplished has been using methods available when Truman was in office.

    Regardless of all this success, he needs to completely retool what he’s offering — a completely different value proposition.

    I’ve advised him to quit, as he so concisely put it, competing with all those agents out there who couldn’t carry his jock on their best days. To be accurate, I added the jock part. :)

    See, he’s been doin’ what I do, only at a level I did back when I was his age. One of my mentors gave me the same advice. Don’t compete with amateurs. Instead, pick their fields clean. And when it comes to specializing in investment property as a real estate agent/broker, purposefully competing on a regular basis with home agents is silly on its face, and a colossal waste of time.

    No need to go into the nuts ‘n bolts of my advice, but if he follows through, and I’m convinced he will, I predict his income will triple in the next couple years. He’s been selling things as opposed to results.

    It matters not that 99% of those reading this won’t be specializing in investment property. Just don’t lose sight of the sea change he embraced like a lost child newly found:

    Focus like a laser beam on being belly to belly with more folks per week than your used to in six weeks. Do that, and as night follows day, your professional life will never be the same.

    Caveat: The discipline required to constantly market and putz around with websites etc., isn’t nearly the soul cleansing discipline it takes to constantly, consistently be belly to belly with those who can crush your spirit.

    It’s called being in the arena — and when it comes right down to it, most simply don’t have the stomach for it. It’s why they spend so much time and money doing other things.

    Spending as much time as possible in the arena — goin’ belly to belly – IS the difference maker. It’s what sets the talkers apart from the doers.

    Talkers spend most of their time doin’ whatever it takes to avoid the arena.

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  • 21 comments

    Peering into Apple’s new iCloud service, to be rolled out tomorrow, to see how much closer we might get to virtuoso virtuality.

    Steve Jobs is going to do the keynote presentation at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference tomorrow. Surely part of his motivation is to show Apple’s shareholders that he is still in charge. But Jobs wouldn’t be doing this if Apple didn’t have some cool new toys to show off.

    Systems designer Kevin Fix speculates about what might be on the agenda:

    I get the feeling that the announcements at next week’s Apple WWDC are going to represent the same kind of fundamental shift in Apple’s offering that the iPod did in 2001.

    I don’t have any inside info, and I make a point of not trying to pry secrets from my friends who work at Apple, but the rumblings are huge. ‘iCloud’ could mean anything, but given the complete failure of MobileMe over the last decade there’s no way Apple would introduce it on such a pedestal unless it’s incredible. My guess is that iCloud is to MobileMe as iPhone was to Newton: a complete, deep, polished solution after an underwhelming market failure.

    Apple took a long time to get the Internet. Geeks were still installing FTP clients and web browsers for years after Apple belatedly included TCP/IP and PPP to their OS and, when Apple finally did integrate the Internet into Mac OS, it was in a very tacked on kind of way. A browser, an app for making web pages, eventually a few vertical online stores. I think that’s all about to change.

    The scene has been building for a long time: The iPhone blurred the line between using a local device and being online. Chromebooks propose to eliminate the line completely by using an OS that expects to be online all the time (though still has limited functionality when the wireless cord is cut). Dropbox is a huge hit because it provides the most seamless way to use native apps while still writing to the cloud. Google and Amazon are tripping over each other (and the music labels) trying to roll out virtual music lockers.

    My guess though is that these vertical solutions will seem pretty thin by the end of next week.

    What, specifically, might we expect?

    • Seamless remote access to any data kept in your Documents folder, and synchronization across machines
    • Universal login using your Apple account: Walk up to any Mac, sign in as a guest using your Apple account credentials and you’ll be brought to the same desktop you get on your personal machine. Files will be downloaded from the cloud (or your home network) on demand, and you’ll have access to all the apps you’ve purchased via the Mac App Store, downloaded and installed on-demand, and removed securely, along with your data, upon logout.
    • Apple will announce that by early 2012 every screen they make will be touch-enabled, including the entire Mac line, and while it will be several years before OS X apps require touch, there will be universal gestures that will be useful in today’s apps from day one, and more gestures that tomorrows apps can choose to support to augment the pointer-and-keyboard model.
    • Realtime, continuous syncing of iOS devices will mean never having to plug your iPhone or iPad in to your computer again, or even the need for a computer for syncing at all.
    • iOS runtime within Mac OS to allow iPhone apps to run as Dashboard widgets and iPad apps as first-class desktop apps.
    • Task-level integration between iOS and Mac OS. If you have a spreadsheet open in Numbers on your Mac and you open Numbers on your iPad, the document you were working on will open up. Realtime synchronization will be integrated as an OS-level service available to developers.
    • Built-in screen sharing of Mac OS to the iPad, to do lightweight actions on your Mac from your iPad.
    • Your canonical music library exists in the cloud. Your Mac, Windows, or iOS device can sync with all or part of it in the same way that your iOS devices sync with your computer’s iTunes library today.
    • Unification of the App Store to encompass Mac, iPhone, iPod, AppleTV and iPad apps. Ability to make a single purchase for all the environments the app supports.
    • Stripping out the App store from iTunes. iTunes will be the media storefront and the App Store will be the resource storefront.
    • Continuous media play across devices: Play music on your mac, then with a tap shift the music to your iPhone when you’re on the go. A sizable portion of the playlist will quickly transfer over so there’s no reliance on continued wi-fi access or 3G streaming.
    • A major theme will be the concept that a task doesn’t reside with any particular device, but instead with the person, so shifting devices doesn’t mean you have to shift or restart tasks. Devices will simply be windows into what tasks you’re currently doing.
    • The only new devices announced at WWDC will be updates to facilitate the new software functionality. Some have speculated on new Airport base stations built around iOS to make VPN easy and mainstream. This seems very likely. It will be important to have one device that is always on and available, and Airport is a sensical bet.
    • AppleTV + App Store updates probably aren’t there yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear announcements in order to get developers building apps.

    A lot of this is obvious once you start thinking in a cloudly way. I’ve been whining for years that I want my identity and my files to be that same across all my Apple computers — iPhone, MacBook Pro, iMac and now iPad. If you’ve been working with Gmail, Google Docs or DropBox, you’ve seen the alpha versions of these ideas. If Fox is right that Apple will extend the cloud down to your own individual hardware and software, this will be a complete game-changer. Sell your Microsoft stock, at least, and maybe also your Google shares.

    Why does this matter? Because your computers exist to leverage and amplify your intelligence, not to anchor it to particular locations. If you can work on any one of your files from any one of your computers (or anyone else’s) from any location, your office is now wherever you are.

    There’s more: Teamwork becomes that much easier. There’s a lot to hate about Gmail, but one of its best benefits is that you and your assistant can both work on your email from wherever either of you happen to be.

    Think of having your CRM database in a state of constant synchronicity for every member of your team. The same principles would hold for any other databases you use.

    I don’t know that Fox is right, but I hope he is. In the iPad world, we can already see the alt.media idea mashing up with the social graph. A hugely robust cloud-based computing metaphor gets us that much closer to open-source-style media mash-ups.

    As with everything else Apple does, this could be a complete game-changer.

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    Washington Scott and the Temple of Jobs

    Initial observations about the iPad

    Admittedly, I am a fan of electronic gadgets that promise to either make my life easier or make my life more fun. That being said I was very skeptical about the iPad when it was announced. I had made up my mind that the Microsoft Courier was going to be the device that was going to rock my world. Well Apple shipped and Microsoft slipped and I was left clutching at the vapor.

    Flash forward to May 2011 since I live in the shadow of Redmond I had to make sure that the Great Eye of Gates did not see me enter the Temple of Jobs. I put on my disguise and I slipped into the Apple Store in the Tacoma Mall. I was greeted by a freshly scrubbed face wearing white tennis shoes. I was so surprised by the neat, clean and very well stocked store that almost dropped the Dixie Cup of Kool Aid that was offered to me.

    I was allowed to quietly browse the products offered and was quite impressed with the offerings. I was looking for a 16 gig Wi-Fi iPad and I was politely told that they were out of that model. The salesperson offered to take my name and contact information and would notify me when they received one in stock. Terrified that my contact information would somehow slip into the wrong hands I quickly made my exit from the store. Two days later the draw was too strong. I slipped back into the store and quickly exited with a 16-gig 3g model. That moment might just be the transcendent moment in my real estate career.

    Taking the iPad home closing the blinds and turning off all computers running any Microsoft products so that my actions could not be traced to the mother ship in Redmond I opened the box and removed the glowing (ok the screen glows not the actual device) iPad. We have been inseparable since.

    Currently I am using my iPad for the following real estate activities:

    Email: my Exchange email account was quickly and efficiently configured and setup on the iPad. While not, as powerful as Outlook which was the application that I lived most of my professional life using the mail app is effective and allows me to respond to emails much easier than on my Samsung Epic.

    Sign My Pad: this application is simply amazing. For a whopping $3.99 + tax I am able to have my clients sign contracts, addendums etc on my iPad. I had forgotten to bring an addendum with me for my buyers the other night. Fire up Sign My Pad and I was able to cover my backside and impress my clients.

    Dropbox: I keep my contracts in the cloud now. This is a 180-degree change for me. I will write more about this later. Suffice it to say iPad + Dropbox = productive agent.

    Remember The Milk: one thing I have been hoping to find is a cross platform task list. RTM appears to be a solution. I am still setting up and configuring to work with me and the way I work. RTM looks to be a very strong candidate to be my solution to sticky notes, writing on my hand, and trying to remember to print out my task list from Outlook every morning.

    NWMLS: here in Washington we use Matrix as our MLS software. Lets just say Matrix is not mobile device friendly. Trying to look at houses on my phone was causing me aggravation when a client would be able to perform searches faster and more accurate on one of the many consumer search sites. I have been able to use Matrix in Safari on the iPad with mostly positive results. Definitely a step in the right direction. I hope that the developer of Matrix will develop a mobile friendly version of the site.

    Initially I did not want the 3g version. I did not want to spend the extra money for functionality that I thought I did not need. My plan was to turn my phone into a mobile hotspot and to connect the iPad to the hotspot. Sprint offers this functionality on my phone for $29.95 a month or $1.00 a day if you only want to turn it on for the day. AT&T offers a 250 Meg package on a month-to-month basis for $14.50. I decided to try this for the first month to see how it works. So far, I have only had one area that the 3g service did not work in. My phone also does not have coverage in this location so both options failed. I activated the hotspot on my phone and while it works and does have 4g connectivity, it drains the battery on my phone almost as fast as a Ferrari guzzles gas. This solution would require me to have my phone connected to a power source if I want to use it for any extended periods of time. Not a viable solution. I am now very happy to have the 3g solution. I know that future iPads and other tablets will have 4g options but if they consume battery power at the rate my phone does then I will be skipping in favor of longer productivity.

    Perfect solutions to my desires for mobile connectivity and productivity? No, but a quantum leap forward. I look forward to spending more time learning how to pull more and more of the loose ends of my business and personal life into one device. That device can help me do what I love to do, sell homes.

    Oh, and Angry Birds is a great way to spend a few minutes while waiting for your car to get an oil change.

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