Yeah, yeah; I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover. But we all do it to some extent; if we didn’t, publishers would save some money and all book covers would look the same.
And I’m going to confess something to you all: Whenever I see diminutive descriptors used in the title of a book, I tend to adopt a dismissive attitude. The “Little Books of __” and pocket guides to this or that seem to promise easy results without the “work” of actually committing to a full book. And authors: Don’t even come to me with 101 anythings.
So, when The Leader’s Pocket Guide: 101 Indispensable Tools, Tips, and Techniques for Any Situation crossed my desk, I was skeptical. Honestly, the phrase that crossed my mind was “junk food.”
However, while this collection is certainly not analogous to a five-course meal, it’s not a single-serving bag of Cheetos either. I’d venture to say author John Baldoni has taken the many ingredients from his long coaching career and assembled them in sandwich form.
And I swear I’ve just had lunch. Bear with me here. Continue reading »
Ever walked into a private moment during a showing? Been tormented by a seller’s serpent? You’re not alone.
Confessions of an Estate Agent, by Rosalind Russell, is a collection of funny, embarrassing and entirely true stories from real estate professionals across the pond. Originally published in a week-day column in The London Evening Standard, Russell used her eight years of experience publishing the column to curate a hilarious, yet touching volume, illustrated with cartoons by Merrily Harpur.
Because each entry is just a paragraph, this is the perfect little book to throw in a bag for when you’re waiting in line at the post office. It would also serve as a great pick-me-up at the end of a difficult or strange day out in the field. Just knowing that you’re not the only one who’s been put out by a seller’s crazy requests or had their new suit ruined by a flying can of house paint can help ease the blow. And thanks to the subject-specific chapters, you can choose your salve to match the offense.
Of course there are some cultural differences; even the mere title of the book hints that they handle the particulars of a real estate transaction a bit differently in Great Britain. But the same frustrations regarding bureaucracy, unrealistic clients, and showing surprises are common over here too. And sometimes the differences are enlightening, or even encouraging.
Overall, one gets the impression of a dedicated workforce willing to go above and beyond the norm to make buying, selling, renting, and just plain living as easy as possible for their clients. Even when those clients happen to be totally crazy.
Though I loved reading it for the laughs, it also made me a bit nostalgic for our old column, In the Trenches (for those who aren’t acquainted, here’s an example). What do you think: Is this the sort of feature you’d like to read more of? Or do you hear enough of these stories around the office? Let me know in the comment section below.
The recent hurricane on the East Coast may be over, but the cleanup process is just now beginning. Beyond debris pickup, property managers and owners across the area are learning what preparations worked well, and what they can do better next time.
Regardless of your location, this is a good time to ask yourself if you would have been ready to handle Sandy. While those of us who were just temporarily inconvenienced may be ready to thank our lucky stars and move on, disasters such as these should move us to preventative action.
Thankfully, the fourth edition of Before and After Disaster Strikes: Developing an Emergency Procedures Manual from the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) has arrived on the scene just in time to help property managers and other owners get started on this vital, yet daunting process.
Far from just counting fire extinguishers and first aid kits, this book offers checklists of the more obvious risk management activities (broken out by both disaster and building types), and a comprehensive look at the more esoteric, easily forgotten elements of disaster planning. Are you storing the right types of information backups, so you can get back to normal business operations ASAP? Do you have the right kind of insurance? How will you get the word out to tenants, as well as outsiders and the media? Continue reading »