Walnut Grove Secondary Teacher Flash Mob!

This blew my mind! My son's high school teachers rock the Glee version of "Don't Stop Believing" with a flash mob dance!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!


Holiday Chutzpah!! (pronounced Hootspa! ;)

Every 3rd Thursday of the month I host the Fraser Valley Social Media Meetup where we invite high level presenters to speak about all things Social Media/Media, Marketing and Business.  We've seen some phenomenal growth probably because of the level of speakers and because we leave the 'sales speak' at the door.  We encourage networking and building your relationships but discourage pushing your products. 

This month we thought it would be nice to get together and practice the "Social" part of Social Media...so I invite you all to come out to share some holiday spirit (and possibly a margarita ;) !!
Also we're asking everyone to bring an unwrapped gift to donate to the Langley Christmas Bureau: Take a look at my TLC Rants and Raves blog post Langley Christmas Bureau Ho Ho Ho where we went to interview my good friend (and ex Langley Fire Chief; current Director of Membership at Langley Chamber of Commerce) Jim McGregor!

Everyone is welcome and we'd love to take the online offline and meet In Real Life!

Christmas Spirit Super Highway with Coldplay!


Langley City Mayor Says Healthy Debate is Good!

Few municipalities are as fortunate to have such a forward minded, honest, authentic and driven leader as we in Langley City.  Mayor Peter Fassbender has been involved with City Council since 2002 and Mayor of Langley since November, 2005.  He holds a very strong vision for the future of Langley and is passionate and committed to making our city flourish and grow.

Mayor Fassbender welcomes healthy debate in any area. He has no problem with different points of view, but he operates on fact and his good judgment.  We love his 'open door' policy and as he says - he answers his own phone!  If you have any questions, you won't find a more approachable or genuinely interested listener.  Reach Mayor Fassbender by visiting his website : City of Langley or calling his direct line: (604) 514-2801.

With an election approaching next fall - what issues would you like to see on the table?  We'd love to hear your comments!


Langley Christmas Bureau Ho Ho Ho!!

The spirit of Christmas is alive and well and you can experience it early when you visit the Langley Christmas Bureau where we went for a tour and a visit with my very good friend and Langley "Staple" Jim McGregor who can always be found contributing his time to a worthy cause!  Leigh Castron has been with Langley Chrismas Bureau for 11 years and there are many "Elves" working tirelessly to serve families in need.
Please register online at www.langleychristmasbureau to be matched with a family or bring an unwrapped toy or item (special need for 'cool things' for the teenagers ie: hoodies) to our December Fraser Valley Social Media Meetup. We'll be collecting toys for the Christmas Bureau (December 16th at Agave Grill 7 pm) and we'll deliver it on your behalf!

Donalda Whaites,Leigh Castron and Jim McGregor show off 1 of the boys toy rooms. Coast Capital generously provides the much needed space!

Energizer Canada donates the batteries so the toys can keep going and going and going :)

Little tykes room!

Langley Literacy Association provides 1600 new books!


Current Featured Listing

Check out this beauty in Murrayville.... in a very popular cul-de-sac with your own private park..... also has a 2nd kitchen downstairs off a daylight, ground-level basement ......groovin with a little Jack Johnson!

"Leading with Servant Spirit"

Author/Speaker Jason Barger is quickly becoming someone I greatly respect. In fact this week I compiled a list of people who I think are "Game Changers". All are people who I see as visionaries and are changing the way in which we do business and even live our lives.

Watch this video and let's talk!


T-Mobile NAILS it!

I absolutely LOVE this ad!  You want to talk about creating an emotional experience??  I dare you to watch this and NOT smile from Ear to Ear!!


RedBarn Group Had a BUSY Weekend!

(post by my partner Ken Hunter)

Was a busy weekend this past .....

we were able to secure 2 new listings. One in the Salmon River/Poppy area. A very nice basement entry home on 1 acre. Includes a pool and hot tub overlooking a huge spacious, private backyard.

The other a 4 bedroom basement entry in Murrayville. This great family home has been well looked after and is tucked away in a hidden cul-de-sac in Murrayville.... has its own park as well.
Pictures and videos are to come.....

Also, a few offers were written. It seems the market is 'heating' up a bit here in our piece of the world.

Of course the Canucks played a very entertaining game vs Detroit. I was there and will say was a helluva lot of fun to be at ..... and our Lions were able to squeek into the playoffs .....

4730 203st, Langley BC

A great family home close to Simonds Elementary.

This 4 bedroom, 3 bath basement entry home has been well looked after and is perfect for the first time buyer.
With lots of room to spare this home boasts new flooring and paint throughout, a new room and new(ish) furnace and hot water.

Within walking distance of Simonds and HD Stafford Middle School, parks and trails and transit. A very family friendly neighbourhood a perfect home for the growing family.
Shows very nicely.
4521 Saddlehorn Cres, Langley

Country living with an opportunity for the car/shop buff in the Strawberry Hills area, Langley

Sitting on a nice 1.14AC corner, this 4 bed, 3 bath, split level home is perfect for the growing family who are looking for a hot location (to schools and transit).
Offered @ $850,000


Interview with Mary Reeves ~ Executive Director Big Brothers Big Sisters Langley

We had the fabulous opportunity to meet with Mary Reeves, Executive Director of Big Brothers and Big Sisters in Langley this week to discuss many of the ongoing programs.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is very focused on offering mentoring programs to kids in need of some guidance and some friendship.

Their Mission Statement:
We commit to Langley's young people that we will be leaders in providing them with the highest quality, volunteer based mentoring programs.

Their Vision Statement:
Every child in the Langleys who needs a mentor, has a mentor.

Join Big Brothers Big Sisters at their annual Charity Auction







EMAIL: bbslang@telus.net

My Social Media Prezi Presentation

This summer I was invited to speak at a couple of Real Estate conventions in Seattle and Portland to discuss how I use Social Media to build my business.

I am often asked about it which is why I started the Fraser Valley Social Media Meetups where I bring in fabulous speakers to talk about all things Social Media, Marketing and Business.  We were recently featured in this Fuel Radio Inspired article too which was a really great surprise! 

Here is my prezi presentation that I delivered to my fellow Realtors:

If you have any questions about Social Media Strategy or tools, or Real Estate needs, please don't hesitate to ask!


Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake Break It DOWN!

For no other reason except its darn good entertainment!
Sharing the smiles!


Just Keep Going!

My friend Scott Stratten (Mr. UnMarketing himself ~ who I met at Social Media Camp in Victoria in October) gave this amazingly powerful talk at TEDx in Oakville.  There seems to be a movement brewing and this 'idea worth spreading' is incredibly familiar to my last post: Step Back From the Baggage Claim

I had a workaholic father who I never saw ~ and I remember telling myself I will never put work ahead of my family which is why I was a stay-at-home mom for many years.  It was less than ideal...because I was at home, we had far less money, and so fewer opportunities and had to say 'no' to our kids quite regularly, but I always believed that being 'available' was far more important than anything money could buy.

As a divorcee I of course had no choice but to get to work....my children were older and I felt like I had sacrificed a great deal to be there for them when they were young and that the foundation had been set....and so I ventured off into the world of career.

Jump ahead to today and I have fallen prey to the lure of 'being a big deal' and the pursuit of more and more and more money - always trying to build something bigger and better ...BUT ~ I regularly

Step Back
Turn off
Tune In

Its so important to remind myself that None of it means a thing without the people I care about and who care about me.

That's the way I see it.  Thanks Scott for the deeply personal reminder....and by the way ~ I think you ARE a big deal!


The "Step Back from the Baggage Claim" Movement

I discovered Jason Barger this week and HAD to share this 'Step Back from the Baggage Claim' Movement!
Put some "loving vibrations in motion in the world"! Step back and gain some perspective.
Visit http://www.stepbackfromthebaggageclaim.com/

Where Everyone Knows Your Name

Hey there, hi there, ho there! 

I want to take this opportunity to invite you to join our Fraser Valley Social Media Meetup that is taking the Valley by storm!  I founded this group with the intention to build our business relationships in the valley and offer truly valuable high level learning in all realms including Social Media, Business and Marketing.  We also focus strongly on the 'Social' side of things and encourage the networking and enjoying each other's company!!

We only just launched in April of this year but we've already had so many fabulous meetups and we've grown to over 200 members (or Socialites ;)

Guest presenters have included:
1. Stephen Jagger - owner of Ubertor/Reached/ and OutsourcingThings.com
2. Kye Grace - partner at Debruyn Design
3. Rich Patterson - owner of Big Coast Brands
4. Roy Osing - Author of Be Different or Be Dead
and this month I'm happy to announce that Shane Gibson - Co-author of Sociable and his newest book with Jay Conrad Levinson Guerrilla Social Media Marketing

We hold monthly meetings every 3rd Thursday at 7pm at Agave Grill in Langley on 200th Street. (this month is the exception - we'll be meeting on Wednesday, October 20th to accomodate our presenter who has to jet set off for some out of town meetings on our usual meetup date). 

May I offer some tips on how to get the most out of our meetups?

1.  Sign up!
2.  Post a picture and a brief profile!!  This allows us all to know who you are and give us the chance to recognize you in person.  Additionally I may notice that you work in an industry that I may require - who knows where the business will potentially come from!
3. Leave your sales speak at the door!  This group is meant to form relationships organically...that means you'll probably have to come back for more than one meetup because it takes a little time to build genuine relationships!
4. You can add the Meetup app on your iphone and check in to let your social network know where you are and you can even upload pictures on site to our meetup group with Snapup!
4. Stick around AFTER the presentations!  There is HUGE value in the networking and socializing!  

As we grow we may offer more events in between - that will all depend on what YOU want!  I love hosting these meetups - we've met so many fabulous people!  I just KNEW there were great people in the Valley - we just needed a way to connect! 

So join up and please spread the word to anyone you think may be appreciate this opportunity!



The Realize Movie

Enjoy life...NOW!

Spread Awesome!

This past weekend I skipped across the pond to Victoria to partake and moderate a panel in  the 1st 
(I hope will be an annual event) Social Media Camp ~the creation of Chris Burdge Founder of BWest 
 and Paul Holmes President of IdeaZone.  
(Thanks guys - was such an awesome experience! Smooth!) 

Spreading Awesome was my takeaway~ That's exactly what these two do!  Meet Scott Stratten and Julien Smith ~ our keynote speakers at Social Media Camp Victoria 2010.  I had the fabulous priveldge of partying like a rock star with these two amazing guys! (yes I'm a bit of a groupie :)
Scott Stratten has written the book Unmarketing and is now UN-touring all over North America preaching his message of "Stop Marketing and Start Engaging"!  Spread Awesome - in other words Awesome Content!  I got a real kick out of this:

"Social Media has been around for decades....it's called TALKING!"~ Scott Stratten

Hahaha!  I am a true believer of everything Scott preaches - in fact, you'll likely hear me preaching many of the same things in my presentations! (For fun I live U-streamed a portion of his session! You can view here: TLC TV
Scott, me and Julien at tweetup post Social Media Camp!  Fun Day!

Julien Smith co-authored Trust Agents with Chris Brogan (again ~you'll hear me reference in my presentations - yes I did feel like I was meeting my heros!)

Julien spoke about 'The Social Forge' ~ in other words Forge Ahead! He said:

 "I'm a fan of adaptability....How can I try and do that in a new and natural way?" 

He presented the image of an old tree that when enough pressure is applied will now break.  He suggests that as we age we all get far more 'breakable' and so the key is to keep bending - keep pushing ourselves so that when that pressure is applied we can adapt and not break!  "If you just screw around ~ sometimes you can find cool shit." Ain't that the truth!?

" Vulnerable is the new Cool!" ~ Julien Smith

  Love that!  There's hope for us all!  So get out there and go spread some awesome!!  Scott and Julien certainly are!!

PS- Scott Stratten will be in Vancouver on his Untour December 1 - Make sure to get your tix early!!  Thanks to Amuse Consulting; Jordan Consulting and CK Golf Solutions for bringing this great event to our town!!


Meet Darin Persinger - Coach to the Realtor Stars!

I signed up to attend Agent Reboot Seattle long before I was asked to speak there, and one of the major reasons was so I could meet this guy! Darin Persinger is someone I follow religiously online because he is such a wealth of knowledge - not to mention charisma! He offers valuable content to Realtors previously known as "Productivity Nuggets" and now "Productivity Pearls" - mystery to be revealed in the video! ;)

He mentions a couple of key concepts in building your online presence:
1. Amplify and
2. Echo

He also references a couple of other guys I deeply respect: Mr. Michael McClure of Professional One Brokerage out of Detroit (my co-presenter at Agent Reboot) and Mr. Dale Chumbley - Realtor Extraordinaire from the OTHER Vancouver (Washington) who is becoming quite famous for his "365 things to do in Vancouver WA" FaceBook page! Check them all out and learn from the Masters!

If you have any burning questions for Darin about how to build your presence online - post them here and we'll make sure Darin responds!

(And for fun I've added my fave video of Darin's!  I must admit - I've been guilty of 'no flyers in the flyer box'! I'm a work in progress Darin. :)


Awesome Experience At Agent Reboot

This past week I was given the great honor of being asked to speak at Inmann News' Agent Reboot Conference in Seattle by the one and only Nicole Nicolay. It was such a thrill to finally meet Nicole in person  (and you'll see me gush in this video interview!)

I was nervous as hell but super excited to be presenting with the incomparable Michael McClure founder of Professional One brokerage out of Detroit named #1 brokerage of the future!  They really get it and Michael is a fabulous speaker! 

We were so well matched with identical philosophies and shared gurus that we try to emmulate and who inspire us!  Were were excited to discover that we're both huge fans of Simon Sinek whom we've both blogged about before and who my partner in RedBarn Group Ken Hunter and I founded our entire concept around.
My new best friend Nicole! @nik_nik
Sharing thoughts about Social Media for Real Estate
Me, Nicole Nicolay, Michael McClure and Tom Everitt

One of the main themes of the day was about building relationships and taking the 'online - offline'. 

I cannot emphasize enough how meaningful the connections have become once we have met in person.  Michael said: "It's like meeting old friends
for the 1st time".  So true!

I also had the fabulous good fortune to meet Dale Chumbley who is an amazing Realtor from the other Vancouver - in Washington!  He's doing some amazing creative things down there with his 365 things to do in Vancouver WA.  We took some great ideas away from Dale's presentation!

Chris Smith - Founder of Tech Savvy Agent was another killer speaker who shared all kinds of fabulous tech tools for the savvy Realtor!  Totally super guy and was thrilled to meet!

I actually referenced in my presentation and was REALLY excited to meet Darin Persinger founder of Productivity Junkies who is a Realtor coach who offers amazing content and tips and tools on a daily basis!  He has an amazing grasp on the future of Real Estate!

Dan Keller is a morgage broker who is out of this world!  I LOVE what he's doing!  He sooooo gets it!

The long and short of it is I had the time of my life!  If I never make another dime in this industry I have been so fortunate to meet and learn from some of the most amazing people!  Thanks all!

(special thanks to my personal cheering squad who joined me in Seattle - my hubby Tod @AvionicsMan; my RedBarn Group partner Ken Hunter; Calgary Realtor Kelley Skar and Tom Everitt affectionately known as ThinkTomDotCom)


Hitting the Big Time!

Marianne Williamson, spiritual leader and author of "A Return to Love" and "Age of Miracles" to name a few has said:

"Our Greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure."

I would debate that and say that my greatest fear is actually becoming so self serving in my pursuit for success that I forget who I am!

I have recently been asked to speak at an Inman Conference called Agent Reboot in Seattle this month about my"journey towards a progressive Web strategy using social media" along side some very prominent speakers. 

My ongoing internal battle is being able to discern the difference between feeding my ego (its fun to be popular!) and building something truly valuable.  It seems that when you're on the 'right track' towards success, doors start opening and your opportunity to push your boundaries and challenge yourself and grow can often be shadowed with the glow of admiration and really .... 

There is nothing worse than someone who thinks TOO HIGHLY of themselves!

And therein lies my fear but my family and friends continue to be my grounding force and help me stay focused and on task.  They encourage me to pursue more, and remind me that the opportunities lie with all the amazing people I meet and all that I may learn from them!  Reaching higher so that I may surround myself with those who are more knowledgeable than I.

"Our aim should be SERVICE not Success"  - anonymous
 So here's to humility and providing valuable service to my clients and my peers by utilizing my own personal power and the opportunities that are presented to me.  I hope to help you as I've been helped by so many others!


Nurturing Your Inner Entrepreneur!

I'm a big fan of local entrepreneur/businessman Cameron Herold, of 1-800GOTJUNK and now BackPocket COO (a Business Mentor/Coach for growing companies).  I first heard him speak live at my Real Estate Board Education Week where he left me both inspired and driven to work hard to build my dreams into reality and to seek opportunity.

He recently spoke at TEDx Edmonton (TED Talks are conferences meant to share ideas and has become one of my favorite discoveries!) about the need to nurture entrepreneurial traits in our children.

I'm dedicating this blog post to my three children Jesse, Devon and Ellen and encourage you to See It Big and Keep It Simple (SIBKIS as my own entrepreneurial father would encourage!) and remember that I believe each of you has the ability to achieve greatness - whatever that looks like to you!


There's something going on that has been nagging at me...a sort of little tug here and there.  Sometimes its's so subtle that I hardly notice it....sometimes its glaringly obvious...but inevitably, especially in the Real Estate business, you're going to have to deal with the ugly truth.  People can be so greedy!

I often speak about the next generation's 'entitlement issues' but I have to say - I see it quite a bit in this generation as well. 

All too often when working on a deal we see greed creep to the surface, where the Seller wants the most possible money and the Buyer wants to pay the least amount.  There's this false sense of 'I must get a deal'.  I'm sure there's a whole psychology behind the need to 'beat' the other party and feel like you won.

In this Realtor's opinion there is room for both parties to get fair value for their dealings without having to 'screw' the other guy. 

Fair Value.  Just a thought.


Transform Your Home with New Floors!

Today's post is from Rob Jones, chief blogger and social media marketer at online flooring and building supplies company, BuildDirect.  Speaking to homeowners who are thinking of selling, or who plan on sprucing up a current home for the long haul, Rob lists 11 building materials that will get them there.  Take a look!

One of the things which makes our work so rewarding at BuildDirect is the part we're able to play in bringing about a transformation for homeowners.  Because this is what you want to do, whether you're selling your home, or whether you want to stay in it for the long term; you want to transform it, and make it the best possible space you can.

Luckily, the flooring, tile, and exterior building materials industries have continued to put effort into making products that look great, last a long time, and are increasingly easy to install.   Here are a 11 flooring and other building materials products you may wish to consider in order to get the long-term durability, the look, and the return on investment you're looking for when it comes to home improvements.
Natural strand-woven bamboo
1. Strand-woven bamboo floors.  Green building materials continue to be important to modern homeowners.  Made from the parings of regular bamboo, strand-woven bamboo is one of the hardest bamboo floors there is as well as being one of the greenest.  They are eco-friendly, long lasting, and are available in several different looks including natural, carbonized, and tiger strand.  You can also invest in what's called a direct print strand-woven bamboo floor, which imprints the grain patterns on colors of traditional hardwoods.

2. Laminate flooring with attached underlay. Laminate floors were designed to be versatile and relatively easy to install when compared to a solid hardwood.  Now, with new lines of laminate floors with attached underlay, you can get those floors installed even faster, and without having to buy rolls of underlayment separately, and without having to lay them down separately either.

3. Interlocking deck tiles. Also in the realm of easy installation is interlocking deck tile. This is perfect if you've got a flat outdoor surface that you'd like to spruce up, whether its a concrete patio, balcony, or rooftop.  You can lay interlocking deck tiles by clicking them together; you don't need special tools, or experience.

4. Wood grain patterned porcelain tile. As great as solid wood flooring is, sometimes you want that surface in a place that is known for moisture - an ill-advised locale for solid wood. That's where porcelain tile that looks like wood flooring comes in.  Porcelain tile is entirely moisture proof, making it the perfect, easy-to-maintain substitute.  Only a trained eye will be able to tell the difference, too.

Engineered flooring: veneer of real hardwood, with a core layer like a laminate.

5. Engineered Hardwood Flooring. Many homeowners are looking to add of real hardwood floors to their spaces, but want them installed more quickly and more easily than solid hardwoods.  This is the perfect application for engineered hardwood floors, which utilizes a real hardwood layer, but with a core and backing layer in each board which allows it to be floated like a laminate floor. With engineered, you're getting the best of both worlds.

6. Stylized Laminate flooring. This trend has been a long arc, as laminate flooring has managed to smash the idea that laminate is second best.  Basically, the industry has put tremendous effort into manufacturing technology and has continued to evolve laminate floors into a premium choice. Laminate flooring has become highly stylized, with narrow board effects, hand-scraped effects, beveled edges, and everything you'd expect in a real hardwood floor.

7. '3-D' Ceramic Wall Tile. Where mosaic patterning is often difficult to 'de-personalize' if you're thinking of staging your home, another choice is using ceramic tiles with uneven profiles for interior wall cladding, creating a textural addition to your walls.  The former trend had this practice demonstrated in bathrooms. But, a more current trend shows that designers and homeowners are using wall tile to replace wallpaper in all kinds of locations - bedrooms, dining rooms, living rooms, and more.

8. Vinyl Tile.  A particularly popular trend with DIYers who are looking to get an immediate aesthetic pop in a space, vinyl tile installs very easily, and renders a convincing look in either stone or in wood patterning.

9. Carpet Tile.  Likewise, Carpet tile allows an easier installation and less fuss than standard wall-to-wall carpeting.
The natural look in hardwood, with color variation, knots, and lots of character
10. Natural stone for exteriors. There is something about natural stone used as an exterior which not only brings something of the old world to a property, but also lends it a sense of permanence and strength.  Plus, stone is naturally decorative.  Some go for real stone siding, some for manufactured stone vaneer.  And there's even faux stone, that is a sort of lightweight alternative that gives it the appearance of real stone, and is also designed to be easy to install.

11. Wood Floors with pronounced color variation.  A few years ago, dark floors ruled the roost.  But, we're finding that some of our most popular choices in wood floors, including laminates, have been the ones which demonstrate a range of light and dark across the surface, from heartwood white, to reddish tones, to caramel, to black.  Basically, to get this kind of look, ask your seller about 'natural', 'folk', or 'rustic' grades.

Many of these types of building materials can be integrated into current decor, to help you achieve a subtle transformation.  Or maybe, you're looking to start from scratch with a space you're remodeling completely.  Either way, or somewhere in between, there are plenty of options to either make your property more saleable, or more comfortable and beautiful if you're planning on staying a long time.

Rob Jones is the prime author of the BuildDirect blog, and the BuildDirect green building blog.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BuildDirect.  And you can also Like the BuildDirect Facebook page, too.


Love this new tool!

Great opportunity here for us to engage in a real conversation!  Any issues you'd like me to address make sure to email me at teri@tlchome.ca AND/OR get yourself a TokBox account (free) and we can send video messages to eachother!


New Vision, New Approach, New Company

In an attempt to build a successful, meaningful, engaging, transparent Real Estate business, my partner Ken Hunter and I have spent approximately a year laying the foundation for our new company that we plan to launch in July. 

We've determined that consumers are NOT PLEASED with the way Real Estate has been handled in the past and are calling for change.  We're here to answer that call.

We believe our clients are bright, capable individuals who want to be empowered to make their own best decisions and not be held hostage by the Real Estate industry.

We too believe in the new transparent and open model of doing business and know that consumers are tired of hearing how great Realtors® are.  At our core essence is the belief that ego must exit our business and that leadership and sharing of information, and connecting with/and giving back to our community, as well as our committment to excellence, is where you will find our value.  We believe that Collaboration, NOT Competition is how we will strategically position ourselves for growth.  We endeavor to build trust, authenticity and relevance.

What are your frustrations with the Real Estate industry?  Have you worked with a Realtor® before?  Do you see the benefits of working with a Realtor®? What changes would you like to see?


Tod Maffin ~ Taking Crazy Back!

Tod you ARE CRAZY!  But so sane too!  Don't work yourself into the ground people!  Life is meant to be enjoyed!  (Try not to cringe that your video is living on a Blogger site! ;)

Tod Maffin is a Strategist, Consultant, Author and Speaker.  Tod was keynote speaker at F5Expo April 2010.  To learn more about Tod visit his site at http://todmaffin.com/


How Deep Is Social Media Love?

Today's post is by Rob Jones, blogger and social media marketer at BuildDirect.  In reaction to author and journalist Malcolm Gladwell's assertion that social networks are 'a mile-wide, but an inch deep', and ultimately disposable, Rob's post is about the robust nature of social media, if the approach is right ...

Respected author and journalist Malcolm Gladwell recently stated to a Vancouver  audience that social media is not a platform for social change, nor is it a revolutionary means of generating lasting networks. This is because, according to him, social networks are easy to build and therefore easy to dismantle, too.  To punctuate his statements, Gladwell asserted that just because one has 3000 friends on Facebook, it doesn't mean that one has 3000 friends.

This last point is curious.  I mean, of course 3000 Facebook friends don't equal 3000 actual friends.   Maybe it was just meant to be a punchline for his speech.  But, I think  that the act of making a statement like that as some kind of revelation to an audience points to a flaw in thinking about what social networks and social media as a tool actually are.

The fact is social networks are not easy to build, if they're done right.  I think that there are ways and means to build up numbers, without too much effort.  Auto-follows, auto DMS, follow-churning, impersonally tweeting RSS feeds, and plain old following/friending everyone in sight just for the sake of it, are all (unfortunately) common practices.  But, that's where Gladwell and I agree; numbers do not equal connections. It takes time to foster connections.  It takes honesty.  It takes work.

Here's another place where Gladwell and I agree; solid, hard-won trust is where it's at.  But, his dismissal of social media to me on this score is extremely perplexing.  Because it is solid, hard-won connections that the savvy social media enthusiast, marketer, proponent, whatever, is after, and what so many actually achieve.  Just as traditional networking is a long-view strategy, so is social media networking and networks.

The means of making connections,whether via Twitter or by Rolodex , is entirely secondary if the intent isn't right. The communication abilities, intentions, goals are still down to those people who hold them.  It's still down to one person talking to another, expecting some kind of interaction on equal ground.  Without that, it doesn't matter which means that person chooses to attempt to build up a network.  It will fail, whether you're a President, or a mommy blogger.

To the person who's in it for the long-term, looking to create dialogue as opposed to bolstering an ego, or broadcasting a controlled, non-interactive and impersonal message, then this is the key to a robust network.  I believe that's the kind of network that will have the deep roots that Gladwell is talking about.  And when it is coming from a place of honesty and authenticity, and from someone who intentionally offers useful content and cooperation, any hint of anonymity is banished.

And that's when "friends" can become friends - or at least allies working toward the common good in business, politics, quality of life, and all-around success however that is determined by the people involved.

Read more about Malcolm Gladwell's 'Devil's Advocate' position on social media on Kirk LePointe's mediamanager.com.  LePointe of course is a local voice in Vancouver, and on a national scale too when it comes to the relationships between traditional and emerging  media.

For more information right from the source, visit Malcolm Gladwell's blog.

Rob is based in Vancouver, and blogs an awful lot.  You can follow Rob at @BuildDirect, and read the BuildDirect blog, and the BuildDirect Green Blog


Today I Witnessed Grace

Today's post is very somber. You've been warned upfront. However it holds an important message.

This morning I attended a funeral for a very special young man. Chris Friesen was the son of my good friend Randy Friesen, Marketing Director of BCIT. I didn't know Chris, but I feel I do now and I really believe the world is worse off without him.

Chris was 17 years old; an amazingly dedicated, hardworking, disciplined student and athlete. He was the captain of his lacrosse team, leader, friend, brother and son. He had a tremendous amount of passion and was working towards a very clear goal of embracing the college life. He had the most beautiful contagious smile and a good heart. There were over 1500 people in attendance this morning to pay tribute, celebrate his life, and grieve together.

His dad Randy, mom Ingrid and brother Max showed amazing grace throughout the service. There were video montages and his Aunt Cathy (Randy's sister) played beautiful music in tribute. When Randy spoke with Max and Ingrid at his side, he offered their gratitude for the support and love they have experienced this week. Their entire focus has been on celebrating all the good memories and cherishing the time they had with Chris.  It was incredibly moving, emotional and inspirational.

The Friesen family offered this:

"Chris’ amazing energy and passion were combined with his desire to be perfect and when he could not achieve perfection, he would be mad at himself.  The good thing about that is it drove him to always be better.  On March 25th, Chris was not planning to leave us, but rather was mad at himself about a minor incident with the family car.  We don’t know all his thoughts at that moment, but he made a decision he could not reverse.  He was cared for in the loving arms of his Mother and Father followed by the tremendous efforts of the rescue personnel and hospital staff for which we will be eternally thankful.
Chris, we will use your passion to fuel us. 
Chris, we will use your pursuit of perfection to feed us.
Chris, we will never forget you.  Never.
The family urges everyone, but young people especially, to understand that all problems have solutions.  There is never a problem too big.  If you can’t talk to your parents, please talk to your friends, teachers, relatives and God is also there 24-7!  Simply take a moment before any action.  You are all loved.  Chris loved all of you."

No person should ever feel that any problem is too big. Reach out. There is ALWAYS someone to talk to and nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes. Please talk to your kids and share this message.

You can hear and view the full story at christianfriesen.com

 * * * * * * *

(This post is a week old because I wanted to give the family an opportunity to read it before I posted it.  The service was last Thursday, April 1, 2010)


Big Change Is a Comin!!

Well things in the Real Estate industry were never boring before...BUT NOW - Good drama brewing!

We've got CMHC making changes to your qualifications for mortgage insurance coming as of April 19, 2010 where you used to be loaned to up to 95% of the purchase, you'll now have to qualify on 90%.  (Means less purchase power) Add to that the sudden rate increases.  If you can lock in today - DO IT!

Add to that the HST coming as of July 1st of this year.  Now true you'll only pay HST on new development BUT you're also paying on services now - and guess what?  As a Realtor I'm providing a service and so yes on top of my commission you will be paying HST.  No one is really quite sure how exactly it's all going to play out, but if you write a deal that completes before July 1st, you're in the clear.  You may even be in the clear if the bulk of the deal is done before then but completes after the dead line and there may be a division of how much provincial tax vs federal tax you'll pay.  It's all very complicated. Everyone in the industry have been left with very vague guidelines.  

The really exciting news is the Competition Bureau has taken the Canadian Real Estate Association to Tribunal on charges that we as an industry are a monopoly because of our trademarked MLS system. The new Commissioner seems hell bent on making a name for herself at our industry's expense and making quite ignorant accusations which suggests to me, she doesn't even understand what a Realtor does.

Let me lay it out for you:  You as a consumer has every right to sell your own home.  (Right there I think the case is lost) However, if you want your listing to show up on the MLS (which is Realtor owned/ operated /paid for and controlled through Board data sharing) then you must work with a Realtor as is only right and fair. What's being suggested is that we open up MLS for everyone to freely use.  As it stands, you as the consumer have access to most of our MLS data through our realtor.ca website.  And the Canadian MLS system is the system most envied because all of the Boards across Canada share their information whereas in the American model they each operate independently.  There are something like 900 different boards - imagine trying to sort through it all!  (listen to interesting podcast with Bill Good from CKNW on the subject here: http://www.reincanada.com/Video/TabId/74/VideoId/115/Competition-Bureau-Chall...

Point is  - you've had the luxury of shopping for your properties online with the most accurate data at our expense.  We wanted you to have that because that's the most effective marketing tool we have to bring buyers to our listings.  So essentially we're being scrutinized because our system is so effective.

Here's where I think we're going:  Imagine customizing the different services you would like from a Realtor from a simple upload a listing to the MLS, to marketing properties in different ways (Ie professional photography, floor plans, staging) to negotiating offers and different levels in between. What's really interesting is I think you'll finally understand all the work that Realtors do in earning their commissions.

My partner Ken Hunter and I will be looking closely at possible new business models as we move forward.  Any questions or feedback you have about all the big changes coming up, please leave your comments.  We're very interested in what you have to say!


Posted via email from tlchome's posterous


Laptop sticker space goes for $2,500 a pop

If you think online ads are the only way to make money on your computer, Cameron Herold has a deal for you.

A $2,500 deal to be exact, which is the price he charges companies for sticker space on the lid of his Mac-Book Pro.

The former chief operating officer of Vancouver-based 1-800-GOT-JUNK, who helped that company grow from $2 million to $120 million in six years, got the idea after realizing he and his MacBook were being projected onto giant screens in huge conference rooms during speaking engagements three to five times a month.

He put the idea out and five companies snapped up the opportunity to put their logo stickers on his laptop. Another spot Herold reserved for Kiva, the online micro-lending non-profit organization that he supports.

"I approached their CEO and asked if they would like a spot and he loved it," Herold said.

When his laptop sold out, Herold sold a single space on his iPhone to another company.

"I sit in front of all these business people doing speaking events all over the world," he said. "The companies want to be in front of those audiences," he said. "They like the uniqueness of this opportunity."

Most recently, Herold spoke at a Young Presidents' Organization global leadership conference in Barcelona, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Entrepreneurial Masters Program in Boston and at a TEDx (Technology, Entertainment Design) conference in Edmonton.

At each stop, Herold's MacBook sported stickers carrying the logos of Kiva and the five companies that are paying $2,500 a year for their little piece of laptop real estate.

With his laptop and iPhone space sold out, Herold is adding another mobile device: He'll soon be carrying a new Apple iPad, courtesy of a company that is giving it to him in exchange for having its logo on the device.

"They were all sold out within a week," he said. "I will only sell five spots on my laptop; I guaranteed there would only be five spots.

"I wanted it to be a little bit more of an exclusive club."

The companies all paid in cash for the service, except for the iPhone advertiser, Cutco, which gave Herold, who loves to cook, $2,500 worth of high-end knives for his kitchen.

Putting the brand in front of audiences prompts questions, Herold said. And both Herold and the advertising companies have been building a buzz about laptop ads on social media sites such as Twitter and in their blogs.

"I was sitting the other day in the Air Canada business lounge and a guy asked me about one of the brands. I told him all about it," he said.

Along with Kiva and Cutco, the brands you'll see on Herold's laptop include Grasshopper, a virtual phone system for entrepreneurs; Media Temple Web hosting; Outsourcing Things Done; Hire Better Solutions and Maverick Business Adventures.


Read Gillian Shaw's blog at www.vancouversun.com/digitallife

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

Love it!

Posted via web from tlchome's posterous


Inaugural Social Media Meetup!

Last night was our very first Frawer Valley Social Media Meetup! We had a blast and Kemp Edmonds was our very first guest presenter! Kemp is a Social Media Evangelist who believes strongly in how social media can enhance your life and business.  He also teaches Social Media at BCIT!  We had fabulous feedback and everyone walked away with some great knowledge! 

 Kemp is offering a Social Media course at BCIT this spring and if you're interested in learning more please check out it out: http://j.mp/MDIA1045

The goal of our meetups are two fold!

1: Social Media is such a hot topic and although there are tons of opportunities in Vancouver, there is very little learning in the Fraser Valley, so we wanted to make sure that you have the opportunity to access some of the Social Media gurus!

2: Always looking to build my network, these meetups will serve as another way to cement our business relationships in the Valley, in a very fun, social and valuable way!

We'll be hosting our meetups once a month - likely on the second Thursday of every month.  We'll also be open to suggestions and we'll likely try out a few venues before we settle somewhere that works for everyone. If you can think of somewhere that you think would be good, please let me know!

Something to consider - we'd prefer to have wireless internet for computer powered presentations. I'd also like to evolve into streaming live video and/or perhaps live blog; better photography (no offense to my adorable husband who took last nights pics - thanks honey!) If you'd like to volunteer, please let me know!

Thanks again to everyone who came out last night!  Make sure to check the meetup site (link above) for pictures and feedback and to anyone who wants to join us next time, be sure to sign up so you can receive updates about future events!


Want To Get Your Hands On Some Cold Hard Cash????

Well it sucks that we're going to lose an hour of sleep with daylight savings around the corner so who wouldn't love a little extra cash??? Check out our new spring promotion!!

 Please help support the growth of our business and we'll happily pay cash!



You have GOT to see this Gorgeous Acreage South Langley!

This is my partner Ken Hunter's fabulous listing in South Langley, Otter/Cambell Valley area.  (BC)

Fabulous Stunning South Langley Acreage!!

Private rural living in peaceful setting with sweeping views! Vast 7 bedroom, 6 bathrooms and oversized rec plus family room. Flowing layout and separate wings. Absolutely gorgeous hard wood floors; a chef's kitchen with gas range and stainless steel appliances and granite counters of course. Master has its own gas fireplace, spa like ensuite and own private deck with french doors. You must see to fully appreciate all the details. Girls room is like own suite - teenager's dream! Room for the equestrian!

(24230 26th Ave, Langley.)

View website for details! www.kenwhunter.com or www.tlchome.ca Call Ken Hunter/ Teri Conrad 604.530.0231 Royal LePage Wolstencroft

Equestrian friendly too!


Social Media is NOT Tree Hugging!

 Thanks to Jason Keath of Social Fresh for sharing this video of Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer

SoFresh Nashville - Jason Falls Recap from jason keath on Vimeo.

So I love how Jason Falls refers to the Social Media Purists as "tree huggers who hold hands and sing Kumbaya! Too funny, but he makes such a valid point!  If you aren't making money then Social Media is just a hobby!

The ever lasting question always comes back to ROI and monetizing.  If you aren't generating business then what the heck are you doing?

There are sooooo many social media evangalists out there right now - how the heck do you weed through all the information and hype?

I say find some local experts that you trust who you can engage in conversations with you who have a background in marketing and understand the fundamentals of tracking and hitting target audience; sociology and behaviour marketing as well as conversational marketing strategy.

The GREAT thing about Social Media is it attracts experts and newbies together to share information but bottom line is building relationships/brand awareness and generating business!  Stop huggin those trees!



I've stumbled upon an online network that 'connects homeowners with house experts'. A collection of everything to do with owning a home from buying to staging to renovating!

The site claims to prescreen all of their experts and after you fill out a few questions, they will match you to your qualified expert in your area - a sort of online dating if you will.


Very curious to see if this becomes a useful tool for my clients and for me...yet to be determined...let me know what you think!


Social Media Guru Guy Kawasaki and ME!

Originally uploaded by kempedmonds
Guy is a hero for most of us in the social media community He's most known for being one of the original employees working for Apple who marketed the MAC! He's also cheif aggregator at ALLTOP (a collection of all the top stories on line where I spend a lot of time) :http://alltop.com/

He is in town for the Olympics and was generous enough with his time to come give us a quick visit at our Hockey Tweetup! What a treat!
(This photo is where I'm explaining how incredibly important I am in this town - hehe)

The Power of Personality

One thing I've learned about being a blogger on a building materials site:  I'm not really writing about building materials.
Well, I sort of am.
In the spirit of creating themed content for a building materials site, I actually do write about wood flooring, for instance.  I talk about the different kinds of wood floors there are, and about how to install them, and take care of them.  I talk about color ranges, and grain patterns, too.  I talk about durability and longevity.

But, beneath that surface, what I'm really talking about is personality.  That's what people really care about. 
All of those other things are just a means to that end.  The means is the kind of building materials I'm talking about within a blog post, or an article, or even a tweet on Twitter.  But, the end is all about taking a space, and taking material objects within that space, and turning it into something that isn't material - home.

This dovetails quite nicely into the world of selling a home, or buying one.  It's not the flooring, the framing, the natural stone tile in the bathroom, the granite or marble countertops that you're looking for in a new home. Those things aren't even the point when you're renovating your current home with an eye to sell it.
It's about taking that space and transforming it, making it into a place that has the mark of - that word again -  personality.  And when you're looking for a new place to live, it's that personality that you're really attracted to.  The surfaces, the colors, the overall look of a place is just the way that personality is expressed, through the eye, and with the care, of a homeowner who is like you or somehow complements the way you feel most comfortable in a space.
So, when writing about building materials, and when our company sells them, it's understood that what we're actually dealing in is opportunities for people to express their personalities, their taste, their sense of what comfort is, to other people.  And when they have a handle on what it is that they're really buying, then building materials become more than just commodities.
They become a means to create art with their own personalities at the very center of it.  That's what makes a home.  And that's what helps you sell one, too.
Rob Jones is a blogger and social media enthusiast who works for online building materials innovators BuildDirect in the marketing department.  Apart from writing the BuildDirect building materials blog and green blog, he is a dad of a 4 year old, and is a fan of pop music and jazz about which he also blogs.  He lives in New Westminster, B.C.


Olympic Fever Sweeping Over Me!

If this doesn't get you in the mood....well you must be dead!

I'm SO excited about the opening day of Vancouver 2010!  If you follow me on Twitter you may want to follow my Canadian Athletes Olympic list for updates straight from the athletes themselves!

I'll be downtown tonight directly across the street from the opening ceremonies looking down on BC Place!  And of course hitting the streets with my fellow Canadians, Visitors and Olympians!



The Doctrine of Stephen Jagger

How could I have known when I met him how completely he would change my life but Stephen Jagger is my Redeemer!

Struggling to establish myself on my path in Real Estate, Stephen Jagger became my beacon and in the process introduced me to my new passion:  All things Social Media!

Stephen is the most laid back, humble, and generous business savvy entrepreneur that I have ever met.  At the ripe old age of 32 he already is owner/principle of 3 successful companies Ubertor.com, Reachd.com and Outsourcingthingsdone.com.

Achieving his successes have come, I believe, from his uncanny ability to stay ahead of the curve and anticipate the new styles of business and foreseeing opportunities!

His ability to keep his finger on the pulse of future trends is why he became my Social Media Guru.  He introduced me to GaryVaynerchuk and Chris Brogan and Seth Godin and now he's co-written his own book with Shane Gibson on the subject called Sociable.

I'm now entering the consulting world of Social Media (a fabulous compliment to my Real Estate Career) and feel reborn in my new found passion! I'm proud to say Stephen is my friend and I will continue to look to him for future trends and business best practices.

sidebar: I've written this post as an entry to win a free trip to Chicago for #SOBCon2010 (the Successful and Outstanding Bloggers Conference) so please SHARE cause lord knows I can use all the help I can get!!

Thanks Steve and cheers!

Electric Olympic Vibe Sinking In!

Talk about getting you in the mood! The official Vancouver Olympic Song - if it doesn't move you there's something wrong with you!


Not the "Same Old, Same Old"

Watching the news has gotten pretty boring...its always the same old thing - UNTIL Jimmy Fallon decided to "Slow Jam the News" with Brian Williams of NBC....
you ain't never seen the news this way!!! Enjoy!