The Quality of Life Series…Faith

Faith. I am not talking religion for this post. I mean it. This isn’t the post about believing in a superior being, a tree or anything else for that matter. That’s up to you to work on. This is the other faith. Do you know about that faith? Well sit down in a comfortable chair, get your reading glasses if you need them, like me, kick back and read on.

Patti and I went to Cayucos, California this past weekend. We needed a break and this is our favorite place on the coast — a little north of Pismo Beach which is where most people go. They have great shops, restaurants and other things people enjoy doing. Cayucos is laid back and to be honest, perfect for us and I would love to move there.

So my faith in finding the perfect spot is complete. I have faith in Cayucos as a place to visit that it will soothe me and help me get back on track. I know a day or more there makes me feel good inside again. It gives me faith to work again and faith in my healing process. Do you have a place that does that for you? Could be a place in the woods, the desert, or anyplace that helps you heal.

I find the healing process for me isn’t just about quiet time. It’s about fitting in. We spent two day talking, walking, and just enjoying ourselves. We talked to store owners, restaurant owners, all types of people walking around, and I kept asking them question about their quality of life. Most people who were visitors to Cayucos said it was charming and a perfect place to veg out. Can’t argue with that. The thing is I wanted more from them. On Sunday night, I finally hit pay-day with a gentleman who came into the same restaurant we were at called The Shanty to get a drink and watch the NCAA game. We were at the bar waiting for our dinner to go and he sat down next to Patti and couldn’t believe he had a center seat right in front of the TV. He was so happy. We started talking and he heard my accent and wanted to know what part of Boston I was from. I told him and he said he had family in Buzzards Bay on Cape Cod and had just been there last year

Well we talked and laughed for a few and then I asked him what made him feel good about Cayucos. He said it was his first time there and he felt like he had lived there all of his life. The people everywhere were friendly, even the tourists. When he said those words “like he had lived there all of his life” those hit me hard because that’s how Patti and I feel whenever we go there. I never want to leave because I have faith in Cayucos settling everything inside.

Faith in the people, the sea, the tourists walking around and the strangers/owners of the store that are getting to know us. They actually remember us from the last time. Although it was because I talked about clam cakes at the restaurant “Duckies” who by the way has the best chowder there or if you’re from Boston like me, Chowdah…..

So do you have a place you have faith in? Let’s hear about the place. If it’s people let’s hear about the people. Maybe take a few pics to add to this collection?

Be Well, More to come.

Mark

Dream Big Dreams

Envisioning the future is dangerous work – it’s all risk and there’s no immediate reward for it.

It requires more of your heart and soul than skills, income, and business strategy. It has the potential to offend providing nothing more than a sliver of justification beyond “Because…” for which you may very well be crucified for (or at least vilified).

But it’s necessary in our line of work in the technology world because what we want to do hasn’t always been done before and it’s impact is a literal unknown (but we know it’s going to be good).

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Pressgram For Real Estate

michael-j-fox-before-after

real-estate

My name is Matt Quanstrom, and I am a real estate agent in the Walnut Creek, CA area. That is 20 minutes east of San Francisco. Currently I blog about real estate at SteveQuanstromGroup.com and my thoughts on marketing at MattQ.com (both of which have Pressgram set up). The Pressgram feeds can be found here for Steve Q Group, and here for MattQ.com.

I manage the online presence and marketing for my real estate team, and Pressgram is very beneficial for us. Any real estate professional would benefit from incorporating the app into their strategy. The industry is currently hyped on Instagram right now, but as we all know that doesn’t lead traffic to our blogs. That is huge for real estate agents because we want visitors using our sites to search properties and learn about their local market. Plus content ownership is an issue with networks like Instagram and Facebook.

We are loving the increase in blog traffic and being able to post more engaging social updates. I hope to see the app gain more traction with real estate agents soon!

Our Set Up

Our blog is on WordPress, so we use the app with the wordpress plugin to make sure our photos are posted the way we want. The plugin let’s us keep the photos out of our main blog stream, which is very convenient. Then we set up a “Q Photo Stream,” navigation item to guide people to all of our Pressgram photos.

Our Process

Being in real estate, there are constantly opportunities to take and share photos. In addition to showing home-buying clients homes, we tour new listings every week. So I am frequently taking photos of great features that homes have to offer and blogging them.

We are constantly out in the community as well. Walnut Creek has a beautiful downtown area, as well as a lot of beautiful rural settings. There is no end to what we can snap and share!

With Pressgram we also have more opportunities to blog content about our listings. Clients have given us very positive feedback to our marketing strategy, and that includes what we’ve done with Pressgram. They are appreciative that we are doing something that markets their home, and drives more people back to details about their property. I am very excited to try out more ideas I have for marketing listings with Pressgram.

I like to snap a photo, and get it shared as soon as I can. A lot of times I will use Snapseed to make some adjustments first. But now with version 2.0 and the year-long premium pack, I have all the tools I need in one app.

With version 2.0 supporting multiple accounts of various platforms, social sharing is now more streamlined. It is quicker and easier to get the photo shared on social with links driving visitors back to our blog. One of the big benefits of doing this in the real estate field, is that we are blogging more often with local keywords. Google is seeing consistent local, shareable content on a regular basis from us.

After the photo is posted and shared, I will later revisit the post in wordpress. I might add more content, a call-to-action, or a link to more details if it is a photo of a property. I will then schedule another round or two of sharing the post on social media (I love using Buffer for this). I will also “pin” the photo of the blog post with the link on Pinterest. Real estate is a visual field, so thank you Pressgram for helping us generate so much visual content!

Wrap Up

I believe every real estate professional that takes their online presence seriously will benefit from using Pressgram. It can be a challenge to create compelling content on a real estate blog. Market updates and mortgage rates aren’t too exciting…

Pressgram can help real estate agents be social on social media. Visual content is much more compelling and engaging than advertising an open house. Like I mentioned above, sharing photos with a link back to your blog is extremely beneficial!

There are other real estate related professions that can benefit from Pressgram. Stagers, flip or remodel contractors, or even landscapers can use the app in their online strategy.

I am looking forward to continue developing how I utilize Pressgram in my business. Is there anyone else taking advantage of this app in a similar way? I would love to know about it!

I’ve been Acquihired by Facebook

godfather

I’ll keep this short and sweet: The parent company of both my apps, Pressgram and DeskPM has been acquihired by Facebook and I’ll be shutting both operations down permanently at the end of this month.

It’s tough to admit, but they had a price that I couldn’t refuse (hey, I’ve talked about this before, so get over it) and the idea that I would never have to work another day in my life was just too good to be true.

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If You’re Good At Something…

the-joker

If you’re good at something never do it for free. – The Joker, via The Dark Night

I can think of many applications to this (besides chaos, murder, and mayhem a’la Mr. Joker), especially in the technology sphere.

On occasion I’m still asked to do consulting here and there and 99 out of 100 times it’s an easy “No” as I simply do not have time but once in a while there’s a project or client that presents a very different and unique challenge.

And those clients and projects always pay.

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Chief Support Officer

My title at The Iron Yard, at least publicly, is Chief Strategy Officer. If you know me at all then you’re already aware that I am not terribly fond of titles to begin with and I oftentimes find myself doing everything but that of simply “strategizing” – every person on this team kicks serious ass and works incredibly hard doing work that is pragmatic and sensible.

And, to be honest, the internal title that I’ve given myself is simply “Asian” and is a much better title I think (organizational culture that allows fun and a bit of light and healthy mischief is always the best!) than my more official one but I understand the need of one to help facilitate general understanding for the outside world.

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