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"I'm in print! Things are going to start happening to me now!" - How ActiveRain helped get me published in Texas Realtor Magazine - 05/27/09 10:50 PM
The line above comes from Steve Martin's character Navin Johnson in the 1979 classic comedy "The Jerk", which is one of my all-time favorite movies, and it pretty well sums up my own feelings when the latest issue of Texas Realtor magazine arrived at my office. If you're not familiar with this scene, Navin gets really excited when the new phone books arrive as the gas station where he works: Navin R. Johnson : The new phone book's here! The new phone book's here! Harry Hartounian : Boy, I wish I could get that excited about nothing. Navin R. Johnson : (58 comments)
More Baby Pictures - I can't believe she is almost 7 weeks old already! - 05/25/09 11:08 PM
figured it was time for some gratuitous baby photos, since it has been a couple of weeks since the last ones that I posted. I also have a cool new video of my kids that I would like to share sometime soon, but frankly I'm a bit tired to get it posted tonight. Genevieve ("Jenny") continues to be the easiest child in history, or at least in OUR family history. :) She smiles a LOT these days, and she is generally charming pretty much all the time. Instead of being jealous of the new baby, our three-year-old daughter, Abby, would probably (33 comments)
What Motivates You? A Quick Look at How I Got into Real Estate - 05/24/09 10:44 AM
Not long ago, I was speaking with a friend of mine, and I explained to him that one of the quickest ways to get me to do something was to utter one of the following phrases: "Jason, you won't be able to do that." OR "I doubt you will be able to get that done." OR EVEN "That seems pretty unlikely, but good luck with it." In 1996, I was working as a retail manager for CompUSA. One of the other managers at our store in north Austin mentioned that he had an idea for a business that "someone should develop". He was (81 comments)
In case you don't normally read my blog, Ken Cook and I have been hosting a one-hour online radio show every Tuesday for the past six months. We recently decided to change the name of the show from "Twitter Tuesday" to "Social Media Edge", since many of our friends thought we were talking exclusively about Twitter.
We broadcast live at 11am Central (noon Eastern, 10am Mountain, 9am Pacific) here: http://budurl.com/jckc We generally have a guest or two each time, and we talk about various social media topics and using them to grow your business. Sometimes, we just riff on each other and use (10 comments)
"Between a Rock and a Weird Place" - Pflugerville, Texas Makes Relocation List - 05/22/09 08:12 PM
With its newest marketing slogan, "Pflugerville: Between a Rock and a Weird Place", my current hometown seems poised for even more growth now that it has been named as one of the "Top 100 Places to Live" according to Relocate America. To briefly explain the saying, Pflugerville is located between Round Rock and Austin, whose city slogan is "Keep Austin Weird". This refers to efforts to support local small businesses as opposed to large chain stores. I have lived in Pflugerville for over 14 years now, so I know firsthand how great the town is for raising kids. It's quiet, safe, (18 comments)
Austin Earns Yet Another Honor - "Top City For a Fresh Start" - 05/22/09 07:45 PM
Relocation.com released an interesting new list a couple of days ago, naming Austin, Texas #1 on its list of "Top Cities for a Fresh Start". This is an interesting study, and one which seems particularly apt considering the rough economic factors facing many parts of the country. The data includes some unique categories: Job Growth (Austin is #1) Home Affordability Volunteerism Rate Popularity for Relocation The volunteerism rate was cited as a measure of the strength of the community. For this particular item, Austin was #5 on the list. With regard to popularity, the article states: We mined our own data (7 comments)
Hello, My Name is Jason, and I am a Book Addict... - 05/20/09 11:11 PM
One of the many reasons that my wife and I get along so well is that we understand each other, and we each tolerate a silent addiction that we share. We love to read. As for me, I am not what one would consider to be a "casual reader", although I guess "voracious reader" sounds a bit violent, as does "heavy user". :) I actually started reading at age two, and I was self-taught. Yes, really. My mom has shared this story dozens of times with me and others. In a nutshell, we have literally 1000's of books in our (31 comments)
Austin Named "America's Best Bargain City" by Forbes.com - 05/20/09 09:28 PM
Austin has been honored on yet another national list this week, having been named the #1 city on Forbes' latest list of "Best Bargain Cities". I took a close look at the data they used in calculating the top rankings. As always, they analyzed the 50 largest U.S. metro statistical areas for the study. Here are the primary data points used: Average salary for workers with a bachelor's degree or higher (from PayScale.com) Annual unemployment statistics (Bureau of Labor Statistics) Cost of living (Moody's Economy.com) Housing Opportunity Index (from NAHB & Wells Fargo) - measures affordability at median income Not surprisingly, (28 comments)
Austin, Texas Named #2 on New List - "5 Cities Where Americans are Relocating" - 05/20/09 08:50 PM
For a long time, I have considered myself blessed to be selling homes in the Austin, Texas area. It seems like our town gets a fair amount of positive media exposure these days from the national press. Once again, Austin was recognized with optimistic economic news this week by Forbes.com. Citing the fact that migration in the U.S. remains down overall, Forbes points out that five cities are still experiencing reasonable growth in 2009: Raleigh, Austin, Charlotte, Phoenix, and Dallas. This dovetails nicely with a previous story I mentioned on this blog, which indicated that Austin may actually experience a housing (1 comments)
Stone Hill Town Center - VIDEO UPDATE - 05/14/09 10:56 PM
Earlier today, I met with my friend Debbie Ates at Wilshire Homes (Commons at Rowe Lane) and she requested that I update my previous video about Stone Hill Town Center. This new shopping center is located less than two miles from my home in the Blackhawk area. There are plenty of other neighborhoods in the area, including Falcon Pointe, Highland Park North, Commons at Rowe Lane, Villages at Hidden Lake, Avalon, and more. This video turned out a bit longer than I was planning at almost 4 minutes, but I hope you find it to be helpful. Thanks!
Lessons from the trenches - Strong Week of Sales Makes Me Reflective - 05/11/09 08:59 AM
This was one of my strongest sales weeks in quite awhile, since I managed to get three new contracts in place with three separate buyer clients. I remember when I was starting out in real estate back in 1997, and one of the owners of the company I worked for mentioned that he had spoken with a top producer who said: "Keep working at this business. Over time, the clients will begin to fall in your lap from various places - friends, past clients, your current marketing. It all pays off at some point." These were (and remain) wise words. Obviously, (65 comments)
A Humble Plan to Fix Starbucks and Their Financial Woes - 05/09/09 10:24 PM
Before I begin, let me express that I am not necessarily a Starbucks fan, nor do I avoid their coffee. It's kinda pricey, but it tastes okay. If I were to boycott Starbucks altogether, they would earn approximately $4.00 less each month, which is hardly "make or break" material. I have read recently that Starbucks is experiencing some measure of difficulty, and they've closed a lot of stores across the country. I have a plan which just might help to turn the tide. 1. Taking a page from the McDonald's playbook, why not create a "Happy Funtime Coffee" for kiddos? From (33 comments)
Trip to Round Rock Donuts! (Video Journal) - 05/09/09 12:12 AM
For weeks on our BlogTalkRadio show (http://blogtalkradio.com/jckc), we have been joking about the famed "Two Pound Donut" at Round Rock Donuts, which is located about 15 minutes from my house. I have always enjoyed the donuts there, but until recently I had no idea that they produced such a gargantuan product. It's apparently the equivalent of eating ONE DOZEN donuts at a sitting. Mellanie Stewart is the supremely helpful lady in the video. I managed to leave without getting the name of the other employee who appears here. And yes, it is spelled correctly - she wrote it down for me. (33 comments)
How to Leverage Your Social Media Time to Benefit Your Google Placement - A Couple of Basic Tips - 05/02/09 08:56 PM
I have owned and maintained a real estate website since 1998. My site has been responsible for generating well over half of our company business during that period of time. Needless to say, I feel that search engine optimization (SEO) is important for all of us. One of the items that Google and other search engines use to determine whether a site has value or not is that site's incoming links. What is an incoming link? Basically, it's any link which points directly to your site (e.g. Austin Texas real estate links to my website). In essence, Google views incoming links as "votes" (85 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.