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Oakley Signs & Graphics
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Nationally Recognized North American Real Estate Sign Supplier Since 1972
Nationally Recognized North American Real Estate Sign Supplier Since 1972

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Scott's Thoughts: Keep the Fire Going

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”
William Butler Yeats, writer, Nobel laureate (1865 - 1939)

Tuitions are up. Student loan debt is a big bubble floating over our heads, casting an ominous shadow on the financial futures of millions (and many first-time home buyers). Universities are cutting corners with adjunct professors, watching their margins, and marketing themselves like any other consumer product. Ask your average high school senior why they want to go to college and they'll say "to get a good job."

There's a real sense of the "transactional" at hand when it comes to education. Students chasing Ivy League and state school "brands" are losing sight of the true why behind a higher education. As Yeats cautions us, an education isn't something you pour into a bucket or buy by the pound.

This week's Tuesday Tactics is heavy on education. We'll look at a few ways we can continue to kindle the fire of learning as we make our way through the everyday jungle of building a successful business. Be a model for continuing education. Explore your interests, advocate for lifelong learning.

Life is process over product, and if you don't get busy learning, you may as well get busy dying. Keep the fire going.

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[ Originally featured in the TuesdayTactics.com newsletter by Oakley Signs & Graphics. Enjoy this article? Supporting us by making your next sign purchase with Oakley: http://bit.ly/ZlZDSg ]

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You're never too old to master a new skill. From #realestate to playing the violin, here are six steps to help you get there:

http://www.oakleysign.com/blog/?p=187

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Have clients helping their kids buy a home? Think you might soon? Reach out to them with this handy guide.

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A few handy tips to help agents keep their expenses low while maintaining the essentials of marketing and client relationship building.

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Coffee Break Video: The Antidote to Apathy

Can community apathy can be overcome? Have you ever wondered why people are willing to argue national politics until they're blue (or red!) in the face, but won't take 30 minutes out of their day to participate in local community issues? Do people simply not care?

If you're looking to have an impact in your community and encourage others to do the same, be sure to check out this excellent TED Talk video featuring Canadian Dave Meslin:

"Local politics -- schools, zoning, council elections -- hit us where we live. So why don't more of us actually get involved? Is it apathy? Dave Meslin says no. He identifies 7 barriers that keep us from taking part in our communities, even when we truly care."

This video will help you see apathy and the origin of apathy in a new way. Better yet, it will inspire you on ways you might make a change in your local community.

Watch the free video here (under 8 minutes... perfect for a coffee break!):
http://www.ted.com/talks/dave_meslin_the_antidote_to_apathy.html

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Scott's Thoughts: Make them Say "Wow!"

“Customer service is just a day-in, day-out ongoing, never-ending, unremitting, persevering, compassionate, type of activity. ”
-Leon Gorman, former Chairman of L.L. Bean

In a recent interview journalist and educator Hanson Hosein asked Jeff Bezos how he keeps Amazon "nimble" even though it's a massive company. Bezos had this to say:

"If you have a customer-centric culture, that cures a lot of ills. Let's say you're the leader in a particular arena, if you're competitor-focused and you're already the leader, then where does your energy come from? Whereas, if you're customer focused, and you're already the leader, customers are never satisfied. If you're customer-focused, you're always waking up wondering, how can we make that customer say, wow? We want to impress our customers -- we want them to say, wow. That kind of divine discontent comes from observing customers and noticing that things can always be better."

(Source: GeekWire)

Competitor-focus can be a kind of disease in a company. When you begin to take direction the majority of your direction from competitors, you lose sight of where your money comes from. Are your competitors coming to you to list their home? No. (Do our competitors buy their signs from us? No.)

You may be saying: "Well, I get ideas from my competitors!" I would say you probably get envy and panic from your competitors, not great ideas. You don't know what's really going on behind the scenes. You fall prey to grass-is-always-greener thinking and an abstract fear of being left behind.

Meanwhile, your customers give you the best ideas! Every unhappy customer is giving you the gift of something you can look at making better. Every hour you spend trying to decode your competitors' strategy is an hour you could have passed wowing a customer. Even a casual examination of where you're doing "OK" can be an opportunity for transformation.

"Focus on the customer" or "customer service-oriented" is a popular marketing phrase, but what many miss is the real potential to transform their business by embracing it as a philosophy.

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Oakley Signs & Graphics clients often come to us seeking advice about yard signs and display marketing techniques. Here are a few tips we thought you might find helpful:

http://www.tuesdaytactics.com/3-practical-real-estate-sign-tips/

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Scott Levitt, president of Oakley Signs & Graphics, hitting the road this month on Florida's "Horrible Hundred" ride (www.horrible-hundred.com). It was a great time to put some saddle time in and show off the new Oakley kits!
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What goes through your mind when someone says, "I want it done yesterday!"? Some perspective on this from the Tuesday Tactics newsletter: http://www.tuesdaytactics.com/scotts-thoughts-wait-see/
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