A duck and a dream

I had the pleasure of watching arguably the world’s best magician David Copperfield live in Melbourne recently. The magic itself was awesome...

17 reasons you should always carry a book with you

1. As someone who used to spend a lot of time waiting for real estate clients to show up – I know that clients / appointments / people in general are often late...

Reality Television your way to Success

I think I’m one of the only “motivational speakers” (not that I call myself that) who will openly admit that I watch television. I watch bad television too… even… dare I say it… reality television.

Where is the love?!

One of my businesses, Elephant Property, works in the notoriously under appreciated category of residential property management. The old adage in property management...

The power of the word

I’m quite distraught. I was eating my personal trainer approved afternoon snack of 12 almonds (my suggestion of 12 Tim Tams: not approved)...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Real Estate Copywriting: The Lighter Side.

(WILL and GRACE are eating lunch, while reading the apartment ads.)

WILL: $2,900 for a loft in Noho. $2,300 for a loft in Soho.

GRACE: It's too much to pay for any... 'ho.

WILL: Ok, here: "Charming one bedroom, Chelsea adjacent, well-maintained, $1,500." Sounds great.

GRACE: Ok, let me decode: "Charming"? Tiny. "Chelsea adjacent"? New Jersey. "Well-maintained"? Super washes blood off sidewalk daily.

I giggled to myself as I watched this scene from television’s Will and Grace last night.

What does the public really think we mean when we write our advertisements?

Check out this “decoding” from: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/340482_listing20.html
Very quiet interior: You can barely hear the freeway with the windows shut.
Convenient to shopping: Next to a strip mall.
Convenient to freeway: Next to the on ramp.
2+ bedrooms: The room in the basement isn't a legal bedroom but, well, you know.
Seller has left you to your own imagination: Hasn't been updated since 1940.
Great bones: You'll need to tear it down to the studs.
Build some sweat equity: See "great bones."
Charming: Small.
Cozy: Tiny.
Cute: Small and fussy.
Dollhouse, adorable: Nauseatingly cute.
Turnkey: Just overhauled, complete with granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances.
Unique: Remodeled by someone on acid.
Handyman special: Bring boots.
Walk to Fremont: Fremont's 20 blocks away.
Motivated seller: They need to sell before they default on their mortgage.
Dirty, ugly, smelly: Dirty, ugly, smelly.
And Barbara Corcoran has her say here about the most misleading words in real estate (and what they really mean)
1. Cozy (too small)
2. Charming (too old)
3. Original condition (appliances are 50 years old)
4. Needs TLC (it’s a dump)
5. Conveniently located (noisy)
6. Desirable neighborhood (this little house has been way overpriced because the neighborhood has some snob appeal)
7. Efficient kitchen (too small to fit two adults)
8. One-car garage (you can drive your Chevy in, but can’t get out)
9. Peek at the park/river/mountains (if you angle your mirror just so)
10. Useable land (no trees)
11. Beachfront steal (no hurricane insurance available at any price)
12. Country living (too far from anywhere to drive to work)
13. Must see inside (outside is ugly)
14. Unique (hard to sell)
15. Just available (previous owner just died on the premises, hope you don’t mind)
(read the full article here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20215090/)

New real estate copywriting website www.reallysold.com has some interesting alternatives to over-used clichés with heading suggestions such as:

• A better position than you’ll find in the karma sutra
• Dress Circle Locale (but with a mini skirt price!)
• Penguins love the cold – but you don’t have to!
• Grand Old Dame (the house, not the real estate agent)
• Yesterday, let me introduce you to today
• Very Viewtiful!
• Nature is your Neighbour
• Calling Winona Ryder (‘cos this one’s a steal!)

(To try out www.reallysold.com for yourself – head to the website, take the 3 minute tour and sign up for a free trial.)

The next time you go to put pen to paper, I invite you to take a moment to chuckle about what the public might think you really mean! Life’s too short to write bad advertisements!

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Can You Remove The Sticker?

Buying yet another pair of pink shoes this weekend (my name is Kirsty and I have a shoe problem) I was delighted to see something so simple and yet so nice.

As the young male salesperson packed up my shoes, he made sure he removed the price and sale stickers from underneath each one.

It took him less than 15 seconds and yet it was pure gold to me. He didn’t just remove a sticker, he removed potential embarrassment for me. If you’re anything like me – you’re more excited at wearing the shoes than thinking about the underside of them. I know I’ve walked out of the house numerous times with the price showing on my shoe (only marginally less embarrassing than leaving the price on a birthday gift!).

Well done gentleman from Betts, Hobart CBD. If it’s a company policy of Betts – even better.

I’ve bought (sadly, literally) hundreds of pairs of shoes (this week – ok not quite) but I can’t remember ever having this done for me in the past. How simple and easy was it for them to make my day just by anticipating a need I didn’t even know I had?

Before your business runs out and spends the big bucks on that new billboard, the new marketing campaign or on that new software system – take a little look at the basics and see if you can find a way to “remove the sticker” in your business.

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Take A Stand

Name your top 3 favourite movies of all time.

My list changes all the time, but right now I’d probably name The Princess Bride, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and ohhh… 50 First Dates. Are our lists the same? I doubt it.

With your list though, I want you to try and picture the very first scene, picture, opening in one of your favourite movies. I have a vague idea for the Princess Bride and no idea for 50 First Dates.

What about my other movie favourite – one of the Star Wars series. Like most people I instantly know what any of the Star Wars movies starts with. Black screen, scrolling text “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. . . . and oh that music.

It’s iconic. It’s memorable.

It’s the pottery scene in Ghost. It’s Baby saying “I carried a watermelon” in Dirty Dancing. It’s “Hello my name is Inigo Montoya…” in the Princess Bride. It’s Arnold saying “I’ll be back”. It’s the “I’ll have what she’s having” moment in When Harry Met Sally. It’s Judd Nelson’s “Eat my shorts” in the Breakfast club (What? You thought that was Bart’s? Think again!) It’s LOTR’s Gollum wanting “the precious”. It’s the Sixth Senses “I see dead people”. It’s Mel’s cry of “Freedom” in Braveheart. And of course, it’s the hair gel in There’s Something About Mary.

Shall I go on? No need really, other than for me to relive some of my favourite Hollywood moments. (To experience more head to: http://www.filmsite.org/tvguidemoments1.html)

My point (and I’m sure I have one) is that the opening credits on Star Wars didn’t “make” the movies. I like millions of others would still love them regardless. But they sure as heck make the movies more memorable.

Did you know however that Star Wars creator George Lucas ended up resigning from the Directors Guild of America over his decision to run this scene instead of opening credits?

He took a stand. It paid off. What makes you or your business memorable? You may need to take a stand to maintain it – but if the payoff is like the Star Wars opening credits, it’ll be worth it.

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Are You Already Blogging And You Just Don’t Know It?

I recently returned from speaking at a huge real estate conference in Las Vegas. One of my favourite parts of speaking at big conferences like that is listening to the other speakers. The highlights of this conference for me included Seth Godin (one of my favourite bloggers and authors – www.sethgodin.com) and Lou Holtz (famed American college football coach at Notre Dame).

There was another speaker though, Dustin Luther, founder of www.raincityguide.com who said one thing that was an absolute gem for me. He spoke about blogging and some people’s reticence to start, thinking they don’t have time or don’t have anything to say!

The one main message that came through to me from his session was that most of us are already blogging (or at least doing the hard work, we just don’t know it yet!)

Every time a client asks you a question… be it about your industry, your company, your area… the answer you provide could usually be pretty easily tidied up and made a bit more generic and posted as a blog!

For example, a real estate agent who gets asked what are the best schools in a certain area or what a certain part of a contract means might as well blog the answer rather than just repeating it over and over again!

The accountant who emails a link to a specific website enabling a business name registration and some tips on how to fill the form out may as well just copy that email into a blog.

The public are becoming not only more accepting of corporate blogs, but are in some cases even demanding them!

Take this comment: “Well what else would you expect from a company where the CEO (Keith Teare), did not update his blog since September 6th.” posted about the demise of tech start up www.edgio.com who recently made the decision to shut down after exhausting $5 million worth of funding. (See more: http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/12/06/edgeio-to-shut-down-in-the-deadpool#comments)

So what are you waiting for? To set up your blog head to:
http://blogger.com – a very simple site owned by Google which I use, others include: http://MuseCrafters.com , http://Livejournal.com , http://JournalHome.com , http://WordPress.com , http://TheDiary.org , http://Mindsay.com , http://Blog.com , http://Blogagotchi.com , http://Diaryland.com , http://Blogdrive.com , or http://Xanga.com

To check out some other corporate blogs for inspiration head to:

http://www.bloggerschoiceawards.com/categories/3 - Best Corporate Blogs Nominees
http://kirstydunphey.com/blog/ - my blog
http://activerain.com/ - insanely well supported real estate blogging site in the states
http://csr.blogs.mcdonalds.com/ - McDonalds
http://zoodango.com/ - corporate social networking site with blogging
http://thatnametagguy.com/ - great blogging site from a guy who wears a name tag 24/7
http://www.myspace.com/kirstydunphey - my myspace page (another place I blog) which links to my “friends” with some amazing corporate blogs (people like Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, Brian Tracy, Jack Canfield and more)

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ferrari or Ford?

I just overheard yet another phone conversation where my fabulous project director was specifying my car to a disappointed sounding journalist.

My first experience of this disappointment was a few years ago being interviewed for a prominent Australian television show. Their master plan was to have background footage of me zipping around in my Ferrari. Sadly, no Ferrari was to be found in my garage. No Porsche. Certainly no Bugatti Veyron (much to my husband’s disappointment).

Sitting in pride of place in my driveway is a 2001 Ford Escape in the sunglasses-inducing colour of bright yellow. I bought it in 2002 and I have in fact never owned a new car. (insert shocked gasps from journalists everywhere!)

The journalist on the phone also admitted with regret that another one of his interviewees for the story was worth 7 million and drove a 2002 Ford Fairlane!

It appears this trend of not needing to splurge on a vehicle extends way up to the upper reaches of the Forbes billionaires list as well.

Sergey Brin and Larry Page (google co-founders/billionaires) both drive the modestly priced yet environmentally friendly Toyota Prius (also the latest must have celebrity accessory).

Warren Buffet conservatively worth around $52 billion has the license plate “thrifty”!

Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft has a Porsche in his garage but spends much of his time in his 1988 Mazda pickup.

Ingvar Kamprad the little Swedish boy who turned into the giant behind IKEA (named cutely after his own initials and those of two towns he grew up in) roams the streets in a 1993 Volvo 240 GL (that’s what over $20 billion buys these days!).

For me, I learnt long ago in my real estate career not to judge a book by its cover, a client by their car or a person by their clothes. Some of my wealthiest clients drove to their properties in 20 year old cars because having their money in a depreciating asset like a car wasn’t important to them.

If I adored cars and was absolutely passionate about them – I’d probably have something a little more flash. But for now, I’ll stick with spending my money on things I actually adore (travel and shoes) rather than the trappings that some others think are associated with wealth.

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

What does your business card say about you?

Last year I spoke at a real estate convention in Las Vegas (baby) where I had the opportunity to network with 30,000 real estate professionals (I said opportunity – not ability!)

As per usual at these events the business cards were a-flyin’. I got quite a few comments on my card – which I usually do because it’s a little different. It’s half the size of a normal card and has a large rhinoceros beetle (our company logo) on one side. Just the mere fact that it’s smaller and a little different makes people comment (and as you’ll see below we still have a way to go towards making ours really memorable).



While in Vegas I received a business card from a lovely chap from the UK. I looked at it and thought, classy, half fold out style, matt finish – nice. But then when I opened it up, there was a printed message that said “In case Las Vegas was all a blur, we met at NAR 2007”.



How bloody clever I thought! A small print run of cards for an event like this completely made him stand out in my mind.

Does your business card do that for you?

What about these cards – who do you think the recipient is more likely to remember – you from your card, or one of these?





And if you’d like to see some more of the best and most bizarre business cards in the world, check out the following sites and get some inspiration:

http://www.davidairey.com/cool-business-card-designs/

http://creativebits.org/cool_business_card_designs

http://www.allgraphicdesign.com/graphicsblog/2007/11/11/the-coolest-business-cards-use-of-cool-shapes-textures-creativity-talent/

http://humorpix.com/images/2843-Cool-business-cards.html

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dailypoetics/sets/72057594104389710/detail/

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By Kirsty Dunphey with 1 comment

Narrowing down what you REALLY want in a property

Bright eyed and bushy tailed I arrived at work my first day as a real estate sales consultant aged 19 and full of all the confidence in the world. The other more experienced agents were so nice and handed me scores of buyer leads to chase up on my first day. I was over the moon and so I glued that phone to my ear and got to work.

It didn’t take me too long to twig onto why the other agents were so keen to offload some of these buyer leads. These were people, in some cases, who had looked at HUNDREDS of homes over the space of, again in some case, years.

Naively I set off thinking I would be the one to convert them to a real fair dinkum buyer, not a time-waster which they currently were! I must admit that in my early days I didn’t succeed all that well with that plan! I ran up a lot of mileage in my car and I made some great friends, but didn’t convert too many of these long term lookers into buyers.

In looking back know I feel like one of the main things holding me back as an agent then, was that I’d ask what the buyers were looking for in a property, get a huge list of requirements and then head off blindly into the fray without figuring out what was REALLY important to them.

In a session a few years ago a fabulous trainer – Deb MacQueen – showed me this simple little method. You might want to use it if you’re a sales or rental agent suggesting properties to prospective buyers or tenants. Or maybe you’d like to use it if you’re looking to buy or rent and can’t seem to narrow your requirements down! Strangely you can even use it to narrow down the features you really desire in a prospective partner, employee, job and more!

Step 1.

Write down the features you think you want in a property in no particular order (just as they come to you):

No. Feature
1 - Location of North Melbourne
2 - Bath
3 - Views of the water
4 - 4 bedrooms
5 - 2 car garage
6 - a pool
7 - 2 bathrooms
8 - Victorian / Edwardian style
9 - Floorboards
10 - Sunny aspect

Step 2.

Choice 1 or 2?
Answer 2
Choice 2 or 3?
Answer 2
Choice 3 or 4?
Answer 4
Choice 4 or 5?
Answer 5
Choice 5 or 6?
Answer 5

Then go through and select a preference for each of the questions. Select your preference by saying which of these is more important to me, 1 or 2?, 7 or 6? etc.

Step 3.

Number Total Number Total sorted
3's - 0 - least important
10's - 4 - through to
2's - 10 - most important

Tally up the number of times 1 was your preference, 2, 3 and so forth. From there can rank each feature from least to most important.

To download this a handy little form to assist you, head to:
www.kirstydunphey.com/gfx/resources/property_preference_finder_form


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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Friday, February 15, 2008

The secret weapons to success could be right at your fingertips Part V

My desk is a veritable treasure trove of weaponry… weapons of success that is. Having spent much of my working life at a desk in front of a computer I decided a few years ago that what I had with me at my desk was going to be vital in assisting me towards achieving my definition of success.

See previous weapons in previous blogs Weapon 1, Weapon 2, Weapon 3, Weapon 4

Weapon 5. Instant Memories


Sometimes I have a phone call that doesn’t go the way I want it to, or I receive an email that gets me a bit cranky. Bad moments happen to all of us at times, but I feel it’s what we do to get ourselves out of them that is really important. My secret weapons to get me back on track at my desk are what I like to call my Instant Memories.

There’s my baseball that transports me instantly to an amazing trip my husband and I took to Disneyland. There’s a goofy gift given to make me smile. There’s the framed quote I bought myself while celebrating a huge business success.

Each of these items are just simple little things but they have the power to be able to produce a dramatic shift in my mental state when I need them to do so.

"Everything that is past is either a learning experience to grow on, a beautiful memory to reflect on, or a motivating factor to act upon." Denis Waitley

This is the final in our five part series of desk weaponry. If you’ve got any suggestions for what you consider to be weapons of success at your desk feel free to contact me and let me know!

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

The secret weapons to success could be right at your fingertips Part IV

My desk is a veritable treasure trove of weaponry… weapons of success that is. Having spent much of my working life at a desk in front of a computer I decided a few years ago that what I had with me at my desk was going to be vital in assisting me towards achieving my definition of success.

See previous weapons in previous blogs Weapon 1, Weapon 2, Weapon 3.

Weapon 4. The book of knowledge

Ever been to a seminar, read a book, heard someone speak and been introduced to a great idea – only to realise that you’ve heard it before, thought it was great and then deleted it from your brain almost as quickly as it arrived!

My book of knowledge is what I use to avoid as many of those moments (which used to happen to me A LOT!) Any time I read, hear or learn something that triggers that light bulb moment for me – I write in my book of knowledge.



It’s a pretty simple concept and one which has greatly assisted not only in using one of my many groovy notebooks (I think I may have an addiction to them) – but also in tracking the best ideas that come into my brain (before they head out again!). While I truly think the human brain is an amazing thing, mine certainly doesn’t remember everything it needs to. By reading back over this book which contains ideas, business strategies, quotes, stories, articles I get an instant rush of inspiration. And if you’re someone (like myself) who can’t bear to deface a book by highlighting or writing in it – it just make work as a solution for you too.

"Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours." John Locke

The last weapon to come soon!

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Book Review - Living History by Hilary Rodham Clinton


Lots of Al Gore, very little Gory gossip

I can’t tell you why I bought this book 3 years ago. In fact I didn’t even remember I had it until its dust gathering spine peeked at me about a week ago. Due to my gathering interest in the US presidential primaries (I’m Australian) I thought – why not. What I found was a compelling read. I must admit I was even a little teary at times. Yes, it’s unashamedly one sided (what with the many references to Republican plots!), no it doesn’t go into anywhere near the type of vicarious gory detail I wanted about the Monika and why she stayed with Bill (but c’mon it’s a serious book not tmz.com!) and yes, I quite enjoyed it.

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Friday, February 8, 2008

The secret weapons to success could be right at your fingertips Part III

My desk is a veritable treasure trove of weaponry… weapons of success that is. Having spent much of my working life at a desk in front of a computer I decided a few years ago that what I had with me at my desk was going to be vital in assisting me towards achieving my definition of success.

Over the years my walls have been covered with many things, but to illustrate what’s currently taking pride of place I’ve taken this very artsy photo (not!) to show 4 important parts.

1. Shake it Off and Step Up
Simply google “shake it off and step up” to read this great little piece and I’m sure you’ll understand why I have it at my desk. Special thanks to Debbie MacQueen for introducing me to it!

2. My Burnie Ten Running Number
My running number from my first ten kilometre race (ran in October this year in under my goal time) is a great visual reminder of an important goal achieved this year.

3. Retired at 27 stats
We launched a new book this year and I keep a visual track of how sales are going. Our team gets to be excited when we add more sales to the list (as do I!)

4. My Personal Mission Statement
I wrote this mission statement for myself and my personal life when I sold my business last year. Without it I knew I’d run the risk of not heading in a direction of my choice.

Alice in Wonderland: …I was just wondering if you could help me find my way.
Cheshire Cat: Well that depends on where you want to get to.
Alice: Oh, it really doesn't matter, as long as...
Cheshire Cat: Then it really doesn't matter which way you go.


My mission statement includes things like:

My lifestyle
• Is supported by passive income
• Allows me to see the world
• Allows me to spend a lot of quality time with my husband
• Allows me time to be fit and healthy
• Allows me to proud of and excel in my achievements

Developing your own mission statement is dead simple because there’s no right or wrong, no correct format and no need for it to work for anyone other than you!

If however you can’t seem to get a start, feel free to contact us for a template.

More weapons to come.

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Need Help Finding A Property Manager To Look After Your Investment Property?

So you’re looking for a property manager for your rental portfolio? To follow is a guide to assist. If you’ve got any suggestions as to ways we can make it better, simply contact us: www.kirstydunphey.com/contact.html

Questions to ask yourself:
• How many property managers do I want to interview? While the attached form allows you to compare 3, I recently interviewed 5 for my new property. A little exhausting to say the least!
• How will I find out who to interview? I find personal referrals from other property managers to be the best method.
• What are the most important areas to me in finding a property manager. Do you want the cheapest fees or the highest rent or is the service provided more important?

To follow is quite a long list of questions you may wish to ask a potential property manager. Have a read through it before you go to interview an agent and identify which questions are most important to you. After the questions is a form you can fill in while interviewing the agents. It’s best to start from the far right column so that you can fold that over out of sight when you start interviewing the next agent.

Structure:
• How is the property management department structured?
• Who will be your point of contact?
• How many people will you have to deal with on an ongoing basis?
• What is their contingency plan for when your point of contact is ill or on leave?
• What is the ratio of staff to properties managed?

Maintenance:
• What is their procedure?
• Do they contact the property own for all maintenance?
• Do they charge a fee to conduct maintenance?
• What percentages of their tradespeople are licensed?
• Can the owner nominate their own tradespeople?
• How are large bills paid (directly by the owner or through the rental receipts)?

Lease renewals:
It is very important to choose a company that handles their lease renewals promptly and efficiently ensuring your tenant always remains on a current lease.
• What is their procedure?
• Do they perform rental increases only upon lease renewal or during the period as well?
• Does the company charge to renew an existing lease (ie: where they don’t need to find a new tenant)

Rental arrears (tenants who are behind in rental payments):
• What is their procedure? (ie: how often do they check arrears, how many days behind does a tenant have to be before their procedure starts and what does that procedure consist of)
• At what point does the owner of the property get contacted to notify them their tenants are in arrears?

Inspections:
• How often is the property routinely inspected?
• Who conducts these inspections? (ie: is it your point of contact or someone else?)
• What points are noted on the inspection report to the owner?
• It is appropriate to view or request a sample of one of these reports.

Fees:
• What are all of the costs they charge (get written confirmation).
• Charges typically include: management fee (usually a percentage charged against all rent received), letting fee (usually a percentage or number of week’s rent charged up front when a new tenant is found), advertising (internet, newspaper etc), sundry or postage (usually a nominal fee per month), lease renewal (often charged when a lease is renewed as opposed to a new tenant being found).
• Will the owner be charged more than one letting fee in a year if there are more than one set of tenants (if the letting fee is based on a percentage of annual rent this can be costly).
• Are these fees negotiable (ie: for management of more than one property).
• It is appropriate to view or request a sample of the authority you would sign if you were to give them your property to manage.

Payments:
• By what method does the landlord get paid (direct debit to a bank account is the most common and convenient method).
• How often does the property owner get paid (weekly, fortnightly, monthly).
• What payment methods are available to tenants.

Statements:
• Does the statement get emailed, mailed or both to the owner
• It is appropriate to view or request a sample of one of these statements

Tenant screening:
• How is this performed and what does the tenant need to provide
• It is appropriate to view or request a sample of one of these statements

Advertising
• How are vacant properties marketed to the public (commonly – internet including large property portals and the real estate agent’s own website, newspaper, window display, in house database of tenants currently looking)

Estimated rental projection:
• What does the agent think the property is worth?
• What other comparable rentals on their books can they show you so that you know that their figure is realistic and achievable?

Other:
• Any other questions you think to ask
• Comments on their presentation materials etc
• Did they provide testimonials? Can they give you contact details for 5 of their current landlords who you could query about their service.

Preparation / Follow Up:
• What did the agent do before and after the presentation to stand out.

Overall rating:
• A section to rank a number of property managers

To download a free checklist to help you find the right Property Manager head to www.kirstydunphey.com/downloadme.html

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By Kirsty Dunphey with 1 comment

The secret weapons to success could be right at your fingertips Part II

My desk is a veritable treasure trove of weaponry… weapons of success that is. Having spent much of my working life at a desk in front of a computer I decided a few years ago that what I had with me at my desk was going to be vital in assisting me towards achieving my definition of success.

See weapon 1 in previous blog

Weapon 2. The Low-Tech Goal Box

I’ve always been pretty goal oriented even from as early as age 7 or 8 when I decided the best way to make my first million (one of my first goals) was in peddling pirated video tapes to my school mates (see my first book Advance to Go for some of my other childhood escapades)!

Obviously I’ve progressed into more legitimate means of achieving my goals these days. I used to keep lists upon lists of goals taking my cues from my mentors like John McGrath who laminates his list and has it in the shower and then mine was in my car under the sun visor (until I realised that I live in Tasmania and don’t need to use my sun visor all that often!) I’ve had lists taped up at my desk, lists in my wallet, lists by my bed, lists in my head. Until I realised that I didn’t love the idea of having a list at all for two main reasons:

1. Because I’m a pretty visual person – so I wanted to be able to incorporate pictures to really make my goals seem real
2. Because each time I updated my goal list and got rid of those things that I achieved, I lost that information. My “done” goals were done but also gone which meant I had no way of looking back and seeing what I’d achieved.

And then one day it came to me. I was sitting with a very special sales consultant, Jeff, from our real estate company and we were discussing the fact that although we had all this amazing technology and software for databasing his clients, if the best system for him was a file box with each client on a card then that’s what he should use.

It hit me that I could use an online goal program like www.joesgoals.com (which is very cool and I highly recommend it) – but maybe I just needed to get very low tech and invest in some file cards and a box myself.


These days in my funky little low tech box of goals I have everything categorised:

P for those goals already Planned and waiting to happen (like my trip to Cambodia in January)
G for Goals that don’t fit into any other category (my dream wardrobe, the world’s largest shoe collection, a Bugatti Veyron for my husband)
B for Business goals (subscribers to my weekly email, income goals etc)
T my favourite, Travel goals (this category has by far the most cards)
E Experiences I want to have (seeing a volcano erupt, going zorbing)
L Things I want to learn (waterskiing, dancing, piano, sign language, reading 52 books this financial year)
A Affirmations, these aren’t so much goals as just things I like to remind myself of – seeing as I check through my goal box at least weekly I thought this would be a good place to put them!
D DONE! The best section! (includes completed goals like indoor skydiving, speaking in Las Vegas, launching my new book Retired at 27)
U this is my Undone section. Goals I thought I once wanted but have now decided aren’t a priority for me (being flexible is good – I just kept them here as a reminder in case I change my mind again!)


This system works really well for me because I’ve got room to write in detail where I need to, I can add pictures (which gets me much more excited than words) and I also have room to write when and how I achieved the goal.

Checking back through my Done section gives me reasons to celebrate, moments to remember and a great record of what I’ve achieved for the past year.


Now of course, good things don’t come cheap! I think you can pick up your very own goal box in any office supplies store for the princely sum of less than $10. And if the low-tech goal box isn’t for you, write a list, paint your goals on a wall, tattoo them on your leg – do whatever you need to do to make it work for you!

"The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting goals and achieving them. Even the most tedious chore will become endurable as you parade through each day convinced that every task, no matter how menial or boring, brings you closer to achieving your dreams." Og Mandino

More weapons to come.

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By Kirsty Dunphey with 1 comment

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Book Review - Small Is The New Big by Seth Godin



Full Of Mini Mind Jolts

Argh - 'Why did I get a book just full of blog postings?' I lamented about 20 pages into Small Is The New Big. At 40 pages I realised however that no matter how much of a Seth fan I am (and I'm a big one) it would be unlikely that I would wade through 8 years of blogs postings online to find these gems, And gems many of them were indeed. Read it if you want a book full of mini mind jolts.

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Book Review - How To Create An Income For Life by Margaret Lomas


Investing In Property In Australia?

I would rate this book as highly as I do Jan Somers - Building Wealth Through Property for anyone considering property investment in Australia. While the copy I just read was the 2003 edition and as such interest reates and purchase prices are a little low the content is rock solid and an easy read. Margaret lays out the information honestly - without scare mongering and even the experienced investor will get a lot out of it.

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Book Review - Passion At Work by Shivani


Real, Honest & Emotional

I met Shivani some years ago now through the Telstra Business Women's Awards. To say I was impressed with Shivani was an understatement, my lasting memory of her is a friendly, intelligent woman who I was sure could change the world if she set her mind to it. Step #2465 on that journey is her new book whihc is both as real and honest as it is unashamedly emotional and yet practical! It was a pleasure to read and learn more about Shivani - business butterfly!

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