Economist.com City Liveability Rankings: Vancouver, British Columbia #1

The well respected, if not sometimes controversial, economist.com came out with their Liveability rankings or what they describe as ” world’s most liveable city.” The findings provided by the “Economists Intelligence unit” rank 140 cities worldwide. The winner and #1 most liveable city in the world this year is Vancouver, British Columbia. Not one American city appeared in the top ten cities. It is interesting to note that three Canadian cities, Vancouver-Toronto-Calgary, were all ranked in the top 10 most liveable cities in the world.

Methodology

First the economist “quantifies the challenges” that might be presented to an individual’s lifestyle in 140 cities worldwide.They then score each city on 30 qualitative and quantitative factors over these 5 broad categories:

1. Stability

2. Health care

3. Culture and environment

4. Education

5. Infrastructure.

The Intelligence unit then assigned scores based on a 100 point system with a score of 100 being the most ideal, liveable city in the world and a 1 being the worst. The following are the rankings of the Best and Worst cities:

Courtesy of the economist.com Intelligence unit:

Realtor’s Virtual Sales Force: Leadvine-”The Community Is Your Sales Force”

LeadVine - The community is your sales force.

Courtesy Leadvine.com

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 11-14-08

Crowdsourcing according to the wiki by the same name is a term that “has become popular with business authors and journalists as shorthand for the trend of leveraging the mass collaboration enabled by Web 2.0 technologies to achieve business goals.” A new service, based on crowdsourcing principles, Leadvine is the first service designed to make “the community your sales force.”

Realtors Create A New Lead Generator

1. Post Sales Leads on Leadvine: You post the sales leads your are searching for, list your referral fee that you will pay, and then “have the community act as your sales force.” The benefits:

  • Increase Sales
  • Outsource your Sales Process
  • Lower your Marketing, Recruiting, and Advertising costs
  • Leadvine is Free

This begins the process of helping Realtor’s find new customers

2. Search Sales Leads on Leadvine: ” Do you come across information that is not valuable to you but valuable to someone else? Get paid for information that is at your finger tips.”

  • Earn easy money
  • Leverage your existing network to help companies increase sales
  • Make money for information you have at your fingertips
  • Spend a minimal amount of time earning extra cash

Resources for Realtors

1. Leadvine’s Top 10 Ways to Use Leadvine

2. FAQ Section: Everything from What is Leadvine to How was Leadvine Started?

3. Leadvine’s Blog: Many strategies and tips to help find business and make more revenue

Realtor’s Hyper Local Investigation Tool: Local Perspective Through Experience

Placeblogger.com is a fantastic local and hyper local site that lists local blogs for the express purpose of creating news and information about places that may be ignored by the local media due to their tiny size or stature. To further understand the site, you must consider their definition of a placeblog:

Placeblogs: are sometimes called “hyperlocal sites” because some of them focus on news events and items that cover a particular neighborhood in great detail — and in particular, places that might be too physically small or sparsely populated to attract much traditional media coverage. Because of this, many people have associated them with the term “citizen journalism,” or journalism done by non-journalists.”

Placeblogger’s Differentiating Factor

Without a doubt this site takes on a hyper hyper local flavor and one that is built on the experiences of people who have lived in the places they write posts for and about:

According to placeblogger: “They’re about the lived experience of a place. That experience may be news, or it may simply be about that part of our lives that isn’t news but creates the texture of our daily lives. . . “

Find a Location: This is a search engine for placeblogs

Add Places: This is a method to add your blog to the directory and gain more exposure

Founder-Editor and Advisors: A solid list of bright people in which to entrust your research with confidence

Placeblogger’s Value

This site is supported and produced by the Center for Citizen Media a grassroots organization that promotes and sustains citizen journalism at every level possible. This is the type of organization that provides the help and guidance for bloggers to continue to propagate hyper local messages, prosper as self contained journalistic entities, and create community amongst the masses.

Principles of Citizen Journalists

1. Principles of Citizen Journalism

2. Accuracy

3. Throughness

4. Fairness

5. Transparency

6. Independence

7. Resources

The Peak Email Device: Slow, Expensive, Limited Functionality

Disclaimer: KXLY’s Johnny the Tech Guy in the above video claims that the Peak email device requires 5 minutes to send and roughly 5 minutes to receive email. We have not tested this device but rather are accepting the testing of the device by KXLY’s reviewer.

Sometimes simplicity has it’s place as our tech world spins at warp speeds with iPhones, blackberry’s, mobile computing, Wifi, and other gadgets that keep us connected. Many people do not like contracts, do not want to learn yet another operating system, and become Web 2.0 “fatigued” with all of the choices.

If you are not tech savvy, if you do not like technology curves that seem to always place you at the bottom looking up, maybe the following product is something to consider for your mobile email purposes: the peak

The Peak

Peak bills itself as “a super thin and stylish device that lets you take your email with you and stay connected.”

Analysis: This little pitch seems to be more concerned with the device’s compatibility with your wardrobe rather than the use it was designed to fulfill. But that’s the fun, or sometimes what’s wrong, with our sound bite Hollywood world of today.

Peak’s Benefits

1. No contracts-ever

2. Inexpensive costs at $99.95 per Peak

3. Nationwide coverage take it anywhere

4. Easy set up enter your email, register and go!

5. Available everywhere at Target stores

Peak’s Big Two

Peak’s big two benefits may just be enough

1. Stay in touch

2. Simplify your life

Hidden Benefit

1. Peak will save your cellphone battery

The Ugly?

1. Peak charges a $19.95 monthly service fee

2. Very limited functions, no bold, no underlines, no linking. Very dead if you want to write a blog post while on the road

3. Limited keyboard options

The Really Ugly: Why I Can Not Recommend Peak

According to the review video, the lag time for emails can be 5+ minutes to send and then another 5+ minutes to receive. This fact alone should motivate you to become just tech savvy enough to learn how to utilize a pda or cellphone with email capabilities!

Realtor’s Floor Duty Tip #1: Stop Hard Selling-Start Engaging

This morning I called an agent to find out the listing price of a condo in my condo complex. The longtime resident is a good guy and I wanted to compare prices with some of the other properties as a measure for our market. When I called the agent I asked the question: “Hi, Tom can you tell me the list price on 123 Main St?”

The answer I received made me think of a few things I want to share with you since I am a consumer and NOT an agent.

Questions Are Not Buying Signals

1. Asking a question about a property is NOT a buying signal. Check out Mark Dembo’s article on buying signals for practical advice. When I asked for the price, I followed up that question with “What is the square footage of this condo?”  Tom the agent answered the square footage is “1,408″ but then.  .  .

Hard Sell Launch

1. Agent Tom, thinking he had permission to slam me with a sales pitch launched into the following ramble:

Tom: “This is one of the biggest units in the complex (that’s not true-I know for a fact it is avg); this unit has one of the biggest garages in the complex (that is also false); you have private use of your own boat dock (that’s true); you have plenty of parking; two bedrooms 2 1/2 baths; community pool” and the list of features continued.

Note: During this Features “Puke” Tom was on a roll, never stopped to measure my interest, and continued at a speed where I could not ask another question. His attitude was just sit back and listen to how great this property is and how great it would be for you.

My Reaction

1. Run, run fast, run away immediately. So that is what I did to Tom. I told him: “Thank you I appreciate the information have a good day.” I hung up before Tom could react with ANOTHER DOZEN FEATURES I COULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT.

2. My perception of Tom:

a.) Tom knows the Hard Sell

b.) Tom does not know how to engage on a personal level and create a connection

c.) Tom is desperate, he is selfish

d.) Tom is unprofessional

e.) Tom did not attempt to brand himself

f.) Tom did not give me a feel for the buyer’s situation

g.) Tom did not ask one probing question

h.) Tom did not care for anything but puking his information all over me.

i.) Tom does not know how to give value in order to connect

If I Were a Betting Man: Tom’s Reaction To My Call

1. I was just another tire kicking clown

2. I was not serious

3. That call was a waste of time

4. That guy was rude as he did not let me continue my mindless info puke

5. Floor duty sucks!

Opportunities Tom Missed and Things He will Never Understand

1. I could be somebody who could help his career- I would write about him and help him with Web 2.0 transition or sales transition if he had just engaged with me

2. He doesn’t know who I know- I know lots of friendly people here on Active Rain. He needs to be here and I will bet (sorry I would make this bet) my house he is not aware of Active Rain or the power here

3. He did not try to befriend, engage, or create a personal relationship-again I do know the county as I grew up in Marin County when the market for starter homes was $19,500-I know lots of people even today

4. He did not ask permission to provide more information- this would have shown respect and I would have gladly accepted his info puke

5. He did not brand himself and offer a glimpse of his differentiating factor

6. He did not offer any value give, any value information, any value advice

The Secret That Is NO Secret

Every call is an opportunity to show why a person should be interested in you. The method to gaining access to people, their confidence, and their group of friends is to provide free information that people value.

Realtor’s Hyperlocal Sales Tool #1: Unigo.com Highlights Universities In Your Area

Location, location, location is the old adage. In today’s Web 2.0 world a Realtor’s marketing campaign should be hyperlocal, hyperlocal, hyperlocal content. One of the hot buttons for parents when purchasing a home is the educational opportunities in the city, county, and region you represent.

Long Ignored

Most Realtors cover all of the bases when understanding an elementary school district, middle schools, and high schools in their area. The next step is to cover and highlight the junior colleges, colleges, and universities in your region. Unigo.com is a great tool that you can suggest to potential buyers as a form of research. It is also a great source for the Realtor to stay current on the schools in their area.

Unigo.com is a brilliant yet simple concept: poll thousands of college students on their universities. Have these students provide reviews and reports about everything the University has to offer. Describe academic and living conditions. Create audio and video resources; and package it all together so parents, students, and entrepreneurs can learn more about the institutions

Realtor’s Tool

If you have a great University or a concentration of great Universities within the region you sell, San Francisco Bay Area is a prime example with Stanford, Cal, Santa Clara, and the California State University system as well as a huge Junior College system,  you must consider this a strong selling point in real estate.

Unigo.com: Find, Review, Explore

Find: this is a rich search system that can pinpoint nearly every major university in the land

Review: this allows you to rate your university adding information for others to consider

Explore: this section aggregates all the information for your investigation. Sections include College Reviews; Video; Photos; Documents; and student Profiles

Unconvinced? About Us Document:

“Unigo is the world’s largest platform for college students to share reviews, photos, videos, documents, and more with students on their campus and across the country.

It’s also the best place for high school students to find out what life is really like at America’s colleges, and to make friends to help them find the school that’s right for them.

Unigo is the result of a nationwide grassroots movement to get the truth out about college life, and it’s growing bigger every day. Want to join?”

The New Sales “Paradigm” In Real Estate: “The Hard Sell Is Dead”

The era of real estate hard sell tactics, cold calls, badgering email spam campaigns, and endless (Non-targeted) advertising is coming to a painfully slow end as many Realtors are beginning to painfully understand. The new paradigm shift and strategies, not tactics, are best described in Pat Kitano’s “The Hard Sell is Dead-Slideshow.”

The “Old Way”

1. Call to Action- Realtor attempts to force prospect to make decisions that require a definite action

2. Endless Ads- Always having an advertisement, usually the exact same ad, in as many places as possible

3. Spam- Everyone is a potential client actions of email spam, twitter spam, any unwanted unqualified sales pitch

4. Lead Generation- agents purchase unqualified leads then spam or cold call in attempts to “convert”

5. Unsubstantiated Claims- agents cold call and claim expertise without substantiating, proving, or providing evidence of such stature

The “New Way”

1. Blog- share your knowledge continuously for free proving your knowledge and analysis of your market

2. Social Media- leverage your knowledge by providing “real time” commentary and analysis via social media networks

3. Clients- unknowingly clients follow your blog writing and social media commentary eventually RSS subscribing to your blog

4. Let Them Come to You- clients will contact you without you attempting to reach out to them first

5. Law of Attraction- prospects are attracted to your writing, honesty, personality, and analysis. They will seek you out

Misguided Referral Strategies

1. Brokers- teach the “sphere of influence” friends and family plan of networking but that has limited scaleability

2. Spamming and Hunting- once you have gone through your friends, family, and sphere of influence where do you go for your next lead?

3. Bufini, By Referral Only, and Mike Ferry- they work in the old world but all three of these expensive coaching systems lack “one key component”: They have NO social networking strategy

Buffini Lead Gen Kit: 100 items of value; 50 custom personal notes; 100 Ch By The Way foil stickers; Dry erase board; tracking website setup assistance; Daily activity tracker; Laminated dialog poster

Keys To Understand

1. Online vs Offline Referrals- It’s easier to make an online referral if you write articles and commentary explaining your analysis and take on the market than it is to attempt to cold call an unqualified “prospect” who is not expecting your contact via email or phone

2. Social Media Key to Referral Strategy- Physical networks, like Rotaries or Chamber of Commerce, are moving onto social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Plaxo

3. Information Free Era- transparency in business and free information blogs and site are changing our business environment. What has not changed is the fact that a real estate transaction is often complicated and Realtors are necessary within this transaction

4. Expert Interpretation- leverage your writing platform (blog-freelance articles-newsletter-social commentary) and public speaking platform as methods to “make money selling your expertise”

5. Establish Your Online Expertise- your “network” of people considering hiring you and past clients follow your blog writing, your social commentary, and your bookmarks (digg etc.) which establishes your credentials as an expert in the online world