Let’s Talk About The Zestimate®

There are two truths* about the The Zestimate®:

1     It is always higher than market value – always.

2     Sellers believe The Zestimate® is an accurate measure of home value – always.

 Zillow’s Definition: “The Zestimate® home valuation is Zillow’s estimated market value, computed using a proprietary formula.”

Few read the rest of the definition:

Zillow says, “It is not an appraisal. It is a starting point in determining a home’s value. The Zestimate® is calculated from public and user-submitted data, taking into account special features, location, and market conditions. We encourage buyers, sellers, and homeowners to supplement Zillow’s information by doing other research such as:

  • Getting a comparative market analysis (CMA) from a real estate agent

  • Getting an appraisal from a professional appraiser

  • Visiting the house (whenever possible)”,

It’s a starting point and not the end point

of a conversation on market value


* a non-factual and unscientific observation loosely based on conversations with home owners and agents
From http://www.zillow.com/zestimate/



5 Bad Habits in Business and in Life

Don’t let that Don Draper – Mad Men image influence you. These five habits are simply courteous, whether for a  job interview or a sales call. 


Arrive on time, not early and not late. Be respectful and find out what they want and need; not what you want and need. Be yourself, but use some discretion. No one wants to know the details of your personal life. Be appreciative by saying a heartfelt thank you. 

Seriously, this should come naturally. If it does not, practice, practice and practice some more and then think about why this does not come naturally to you.

5 habits that can turn interviewers against you.


Job hunting is a tough job. Even for someone thick skinned, seasoned, positive, rational, realistic, open-minded and understanding that not every job is perfect for them.

Rejection 1

I have never received a rejection like I did today – just 21 minutes after submitting my resume on the major online job search website I received this message.  “DOES NOT MEET ZIP Code Proximity CRITERIA”  for a job just 22 miles away from my home – via interstate highway.

I am wondering if this digital communications company is not savvy enough to post a job and select the appropriate geography or if they really want employees who live around the corner from their office.

Either way. Do I want to work here?

Shit Sandwich

I have missed my usual writings, rants, comments, queries, thoughts, questions … in my blog posts. It is time to get back to writing.

During my blog absence, it has been an eventful many months – a change in my business, transition to a new owner and me looking for the next thing, which brings me to the

S H I T    S A N D W I C H 

Read about it here and let me know what your Shit Sandwich is.


7 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose.

Drip Marketing

Drip Marketing is the buzz word for a kind of marketing activity that keeps a product or company top of mind. Like a dripping faucet, once in a while, whether daily, weekly or monthly, a communication is sent. The recipient may or may not act on it but for a split second before deleting it, scrolling on or pitching it in the trash, someone sees all or part of it – maybe a logo, maybe an offer, maybe a call to action. But they usually do not act.

It’s a way to stay in touch, to remind someone that your company or product still exists. It can include email marketing campaigns (which is what most people think it is) or it can include direct mail, public relations, advertising, social media, direct emails. It’s multi-channel. Maybe a billboard, maybe a newsletter. Drip 2

I consider it the lazy man’s cheap marketing technique. But it works. Not at snaring customers and getting prospects converted into customers but it keeps the message, the product or company top of mind.

Case study:

A major US retailer sends me at least one email daily. A special offer, a new item, something they think I would be interested in. Mostly I scroll by, ignoring the email. If I am not terribly busy I might open it and take a look and maybe even purchase something. Every day I am reminded that I am their customer and that I love many of their products.

Another case study: An organization I am involved in is hosting an event and wants to ensure great attendance. For the last two weeks I have seen daily reminders, communication about the event dripping into my brain. They have sent mass emails, a first class snail mailed invitation with RSVP card, LinkedIn discussions, Facebook event notifications, Facebook posts from the organization and from many others who are attending the event, an announcement in their printed newsletter and a phone call. After two weeks of this dripped message I am almost ready to RSVP. I want to attend; it looks like fun and many of my friends and customers will be there.

  Next time: Drip marketing done poorly, down the drain. Drain

5 Typography Tips for Every Presenter


Use type faces that match your brand. Use two typestyles. Differentiate with type sizes and use of bold text. Make it readable.


Sometimes, three or more type styles make sense. Use a serif and a non serif for headings and text, but use another for impact for important words or messages.

Or use color to   focus   the eye.

Do not use all caps and do not underline. This is very old style, from back in the day when people used typewriters that did not allow for multiple typefaces and color.

Click here for the expanded version:  5 Typography Tips for Every Presenter.

This Is The Most Epic Brand Meltdown On Facebook Ever

I happened to have watched this episode of Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsey and watched these restaurant owners, Samy and Amy fail to listen and learn – with arrogance and ignorance. It made good television. I forgot about it until I saw the Facebook posts of the owners. Gordon Ramsey

How not to respond to issues with your business using social media. Click for the tutorial:

Facebook 1This Is The Most Epic Brand Meltdown On Facebook Ever!