ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Take A Penny - 07/16/19 04:59 PM
No disrespect to Mr. Lincoln, but I don't carry around a pocket of change like my grandfather or dad.  Any change I get either goes into the car's center console or into a container at home that gets Coinstarred for an Amazon gift card every couple of years (it adds up!).
I think if you go into any convenience store, you'll probably find a little "Take A Penny" display at the register for those times where a penny is the difference between breaking a dollar bill and getting 99 cents back. 
That penny isn't technically "free", since another customer put a penny … (18 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Let's Blow Stuff UP!!!!! - 07/09/19 03:39 PM
Keeping with the July 4th theme, isn't it tempting to use our blogs to blow some stuff up??
Let's go full nuclear!!
Raise hell about a slight!
Go nuts about the latest stupid/rude/irresponsible thing some agent has done!
Blame Zillow! (c'mon, you know you want to!).
Frankly the list of potential triggers is pretty much endless isn't it?
And it can be sorely tempting to let those fingers fly across the keyboard.  It's EASY to write a post when we're irritated or downright furious.
I get tempted sometimes just like anyone else. (yes, even engineers can be pushed to the limit)
I've been having an issue with our local … (14 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Rules Written & Unwritten - 06/18/19 02:31 PM
Any time you get a group of people together, you're going to find personality differences. 
Now let's form a group composed of real estate agents and the differences get magnified. 
You've got a bunch of strong willed individuals because real estate isn't for pansies is it?  You've got to work hard to get what's coming to you!  And sometimes that might mean stepping on some toes so get outta my way!!! (you've seen and met some of those type agents haven't you?).
Do I personally believe you have to be a (fill in derogatory description of your choice) to be successful?  Nope, … (16 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: I'm Too Bzzzy To Blog! - 06/11/19 03:22 PM
Maybe you don't have time to blog.
Your life is jam packed with stuff you HAVE to do versus WANT to do.
Maybe you've got no shortage of business so blogging is never going to be a necessity.  That sphere of influence and referral business is rocking it! 
Great for you!
But as for the rest of us who haven't gotten to a sphere based business model (yet) we've to find other ways of generating business.
We can pay people to send us leads.  Z,,  and a host of other companies are more than willing to take significant dollars on the promise that they'll … (16 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Comments Today Or Calls Tomorrow? - 06/04/19 07:26 PM

Every day there's a bit of a battle going on in my brain.
There's the part of me that craves the attention a good blog post can bring.  Write something that gets the community to respond!  Comments, Likes, Upvotes....yeah....doesn't that feel good??
But the pragmatic engineer comes out KNOW that won't bring you customers, right???  That little dopamine rush, is it worth it?
Why not write another subdivision post?
Another market report?
But they're boooooorrrrrriiiiinnnnggggg!!
And they can be, and often are, except for that home buyer or seller that is looking for JUST that information.
Information you provided and no other agent did!
Now the "downside" of … (24 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: How Do I Know My Blogging Is Working? - 05/28/19 08:02 PM

Let's say you've just started blogging. 
Let's assume you understand that blogging is a marathon and not a sprint.
How do you know that your blogging is working?
There are different signs, some are signs of success in this community, others are signs of successful blogging that leads to business opportunities.
There are two main avenues for how you gain business here in the Rain:
1.  Referrals from other members of the community
2.  Consumer contacts.
For the first category, social engagement is an indicator that you're heading in the right direction.  You get comments on your posts, you get followers, you develop relationships with other members, … (22 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Are You Ready For A Real Estate Disaster? - 05/21/19 07:06 AM

I've been through a few natural disasters in my life.  Mother Nature has her moments where the wind blows, the earth shakes, and we're just along for the ride.
There are things you can do to prepare (we have water, food and a stove in our basement and don't ask me how many months worth of cat and dog food we have!).
But disasters aren't limited to the natural variety.  Are you a prepper of the real estate variety?  Do you have a Plan B & C?  Things happen, so are you ready?
Let's say that Ben decides tomorrow to close the doors on … (44 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: There Is No Rescue Party - 05/14/19 02:47 PM

Rarely does a week go by that I don't see some agents posting about some perceived threat and wanting to know what NAR is going to do about it.
Save us from iBuyers!
Save us from Zillow!
Save us Brokerage Model X that doesn't charge as much as we do!
Save us from the brokerage that wants to do away with buyer's agents!
Save us from the lawsuits against (fill in the blank)!
Save us from ourselves and having VERY public hissy fits over who will be speaking at midyear NAR in DC!  (warning, you try to go political in the comment thread and my finger is … (36 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Remember The Mission, What's In It For Them? - 05/07/19 09:49 AM
Liz has been volunteering with an organization for the past 6 years, but recently it appears that the organization has forgotten its mission.  Instead of making it easier for volunteers to help, they're making it more difficult.  In this case, perhaps so difficult that Liz will have to seek out another organization to do similar volunteer work.  And fortunately, there ARE other options that offer equivalent opportunities.
Sound familiar?  A business that has LOTS of equivalent options but sometimes makes things difficult?  Pick pretty much any real estate affiliated business and we'll find the same:  agents, inspectors, loan officers. 
For most consumers, … (14 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Their Words Are Worth More Than Yours - 04/30/19 05:00 PM

If I'm shopping for something, I have trouble giving a lot of credibility to anything related to advertising.  I expect facts to be stretched, supposed benefits and results overglorified.  Yeah, I'm basically a hardcore skeptic.  It's the engineer in me, I lean towards facts and ideally the removal of bias.
The irony?  For the most part I'm an advertiser most every day.  I blog, and if I didn't expect there was some chance of gaining business I'd find other ways of spending my time.  Time is short and I really can't afford to be wasting it.
But there's an opportunity for all of … (17 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Knowing What I Don't Do Well - 04/23/19 04:37 PM

I can blog every day for years on end.
I can know Cincinnati patio homes inside and out.
I can shuffle schedules and prioritize my have to do list and my want to do tasks with anyone.
I know where my business comes from.
I wear a lot of different hats on any given day, and they're not all real estate related.
But to succeed I have to also know what I don't do well.  If I fail to recognize what I don't do well, I may get a bit frayed.
As a dual career engineer/agent, the biggest constraint I have in my day is time, … (18 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Get Specific To Get Found - 04/16/19 09:50 AM
A picture is worth a thousand words, so here's one probably worth more words than that.  A Chrome incognito search result for our home office city:
You see an ad, and then the big boys, and a big local brokerage, then more big boys.  Not an individual agent in sight.  In fact, you've got to go halfway down page 2 before you find a site that's not a portal or major brokerage, and even then, it's an 18 member mega-team that has that spot.  And realistically, when's the last time you went to page 2 to find ANYTHING unless it was a … (24 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Just Ask - 04/09/19 11:55 AM

We've been members of this community since August 30, 2006.  Now we promptly went AWOL after joining and didn't come back for 3 years. 
After that, it took a bit to fully buy in, but once we did a commitment was made.
Why did it take so long?
There's a host of the usual reasons/excuses.  Too busy (and this was before Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social media outlet was sucking up our time).  Knew we should blog, but just didn't make the time.  We had other irons in the fire.  You know the drill!
But ultimately what got us to engage?  The … (20 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: How To Use Google Maps To Build Your Business - 04/02/19 04:30 PM
 Personally, I'm one that has always liked maps.  Historical maps.  Current maps.  And yes, when I travel I've got my Rand Mcnally on the seat beside me.  GPS is nice, but paper never loses a satellite signal or has a computer glitch.
This month ActiveRain and Hannah Williams are hosting a local report challenge and one of the requirements is to use a Google map within the report.  Hannah has linked to a year old tutorial I provided last year on how to create custom Google Maps.
Google Maps has a every real estate agent's favorite cost:  FREE!  All it takes is your … (27 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Relax, The Water's Fine! - 03/26/19 01:03 PM

There's a story about a frog and water.  The story goes, throw a frog in boiling water and it'll jump out immediately.  It recognizes the danger and flees.
Now take the same frog and put it in some warm (but not hot) water.  The frog will stay, it's a safe place to be.  Now slowly but steadily raise the heat.  The frog will stay because it will get used to the new temperature.  Gradual change is okay.  Keep applying heat until eventually it's RIP Kermit.  The frog never sensed the danger because of the slight changes all the way to boiling.
Soooo....what does … (16 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Spring Cleaning - 03/19/19 11:42 AM
The calendar says tomorrow is the start of Spring!  In our corner of Ohio we've been roller coastering the last few weeks with warm temps and then a little snow, with even a few flakes falling Sunday afternoon.
And with Spring comes the chance to finally start catching up on some tasks that we don't do during Winter.  All those fallen branches are off the lawn.  The flower gardens will need massive attention and we'll need to reload the deck flower boxes.  We've got a few blooms here and there, but much is still asleep.
And with Spring's arrival comes spring cleaning for … (15 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Congrats On The New Listing! - 03/12/19 06:10 AM

Warning:  this post MAY be perceived as a rant :)
It happened again, and it's happened MANY times over the years with many different commenters.  A "Congratulations on the new listing!" comment left on another post.  Overall a long enough comment to garner the commenter 25 points, which was apparently the only real purpose of the comment. 
How do I know this?
Because the post WASN'T about a new listing.  Sure there was a picture of a house in the post, but it was a post about helping a buyer purchase that new home. 
So that leads me to believe:
1.  The commenter couldn't … (35 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: What Makes Your Blog Valuable? - 03/04/19 04:18 PM

Obviously we're in a competitive industry.  There are literally over 6000 agents in the Cincinnati MLS, so obviously consumers have no shortage of choice when it comes to real estate agents.
I'm not from Cincinnati (although I have been here since 1991), so I don't have a pipeline of high school buddies and their families to fill my business pipeline.
There are other ways we can gain business:  paying for leads, direct mail, door knocking, getting heavily involved in the community, etc.
Or we could choose to blog.  Perhaps a niche that we want to work is the ticket to attracting business.
But just grabbing … (6 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Watch For Suckers - 02/26/19 11:38 AM
"We've ALWAYS done it this way!"
"It's not how much you make, but how much you keep."
Most of us have certain ways of doing things.  The tried and true, methods that have worked for us for years, so we keep doing them.
But sometimes we need to reevaluate.
For the last decade we've paid for a certain program with that allowed us to enhance our listings.  Add extra pictures, customizing the marketing remarks, etc.  When we started it made sense and it was a good listing tool. 
Would you rather have 6 photos of your home for sale or 25? 
And as part … (25 comments)

ask an ambassador: Ask An Ambassador: Features Or Phone Calls? - 02/19/19 05:40 PM
I lied the other day.
I didn't mean to, but I misrepresented what I thought was a fact.
As this community is prone to do periodically, someone asked "How do you get a featured post?".
But I said I'd never gotten a consumer phone call due to a Featured post (and I've received a LOT of featured posts during my current 8.5 year run of posting daily).
I actually have.  Below are my most viewed Featured posts and the ones with the arrows next to them?  Those have all caused me to receive home buyer calls, and in some cases even led to a closing.
Now … (26 comments)

Liz and Bill Spear,  RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 Ambassador large

Liz and Bill Spear

RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Mason, OH

More about me…

RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305

Address: 5720 Gateway Blvd, Suite 203, Mason, OH, 45040

Mobile: 513-520-5305

Email Me

REALTORS(R) serving Warren County Ohio and surrounding areas. Observing and reporting on real estate and related topics to help your quality of life! And if you're asking where is Warren County Ohio? We fill the space between Cincinnati and Dayton. Perfect for enjoying the bigger cities without living in them. Places like Mason, Lebanon, Springboro, Waynesville, Franklin and more. Plus lots of rural properties available too. We work with both residential home buyers and sellers.




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