Your Business and Social Media

Posted by Doug on May 08, 2013
Business, Education / No Comments

Facebook is by far one of the fastest growing sites on the web today.  And sites like Twitter and LinkedIn are not far behind.  But social media is not just for individuals looking to reconnect with old friends and make new ones, it is a great opportunity for businesses to advertise and increase their exposure.

socialAn important part of maintaining a successful business in today’s modern society is building a strong online presence.  With millions of people globally that utilize social media on a daily basis, it is a great place to start and an important part of your overall online reputation management plan.

Advertising on popular social media sites may seem like an obvious way to start, and it can be a great way to draw business, but it is even more important and beneficial to create a business account.  By creating an account your customers can stay up-to-date about changes and make recommendations for your business.  They can also pass your pass your page along to their friends.  In addition this is a great way to advertise special sales and coupons.

Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and iSpot are a large part of everyday life for millions of people, as a result it should be a large part of your business’ overall online reputation management strategy.

photo by: striatic

Receivership and Commercial Properties

Posted by Doug on April 16, 2013
Business, Financial, Legal / 6 Comments

A receivership is type of bankruptcy and is often initiated by the party that is owed rather than the debtor.  In a receivership, a person is appointed to manage the business to avoid bankruptcy.  This is often called restructuring and the person who is managing the company is usually appointed by the court if the government gains control of the company.  If the receivership is initiated by a creditor, they will appoint the person to be in control.  The creditor is the one with the authority to make all of the decisions and the manager will act as a representative to handle the daily business or to prepare the company for liquidation.

A receiver usually has three goals that they need to accomplish:

  • They secure the assets of the company
  • They realize the assets of the company
  • They manage the company with the goal of payment of debt

What Happens in a Receivership?

When a creditor appoints a receiver, it basically means the business has no other option to pay its bills and the owner or board has lost control of all decisions regarding the business.  The receiver could decide to liquidate the business to receive the amount owed to them.  However, they can also choose to keep the business open and just take the proceeds to pay off the debts.

If the receiver chooses to liquidate, that will probably be the end of the company.  If they choose to manage the company, they can often get it back on track to being a profitable enterprise again.  Once the receivership ends, the business owner can often go on with their business in better financial shape than it was before.

How Receivership Affects Commercial Properties

When a business goes into receivership, the receiver has the right to accept or reject any lease that is currently valid.  If they choose to accept it, nothing changes.  However, if they choose to reject the lease, the contract is technically terminated.  The tenant does have the right to finish the lease at the location.  At the same time, the landlord does not have any obligation to make improvements, pay utilities, or maintain the property.

The receiver may decide to hire a real estate agent to market the property if it has empty spaces for rent.  They can determine price of rent and negotiate the lease as if they were the owner.  They also have the power to raise the rent or change other terms for current tenants.

A receivership is something most businesses avoid.  However, it can have positive effects for the business.  If the receiver has the ability to turn the business around, it can be successful once it is back in the owner’s hands after all debts have been discharged.

For tenants of a commercial property that has been put in a receivership, this can be an unsettling time.  They do not know what changes will happen or who will be their landlord in the future.  But they do not need to panic since the terms of their lease may now be void, giving them more options.

To learn more about receivership and the receivership services offered by consultants, click here.

Tags: ,

The Importance of Software For Realtors

Posted by Doug on April 07, 2013
Business, Management / No Comments

managersMost businesses these days have to deal with customer complaints.  This is true for realtors too!  These complaints come in many forms and from many different types of customers. How your business handles these customer complaints can seriously impact your success.  Should you rely on your lead management software?

Many companies now actively seek proactive customer complaints usually by automating with complaint handling software.  They do not wait for the customer to complain, but actively ask for customer feedback.  Companies that are pro active using complaints management software usually try to identify the type of customer that is complaining.  This helps them to respond in an appropriate way to each category of customer.

computerHow do you actively seek customer complaints?  There is in fact one official complaint for every 25 that have never been received into the business.  These customers deal with their dissatisfaction in their own way – usually by taking their business elsewhere.Customer focused quality using a complaint management system makes every effort to ensure that each every customer has the opportunity to communicate their complaints.No complaints is not necessarily good….it can mean that customers do not have an opportunity to complain.

photos by: jurvetson & jurvetson

Tags: , , ,

Real Estate Leads

Posted by Doug on December 04, 2012
Business / 6 Comments

The real estate market is finally bouncing back from some low points in the last few years, and with it, buyers and sellers alike are making the market grow once again, with prices rising and home values going up and up. That’s good news, but for a real estate agent, it can mean big time business and big time stress with prospects and leads when done properly and carefully, too.

Real estate agents need to actively follow up on every lead, whether properties for sale or potential buyers, and work to leave no stone unturned so that their business grows and their reputation builds. By following up on leads and tracking down potential buyers, agents can improve their brand awareness and recognition, and lead their businesses to the next level. Here are a few ways to do it.

Social Media

Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are the perfect place to start when it comes to tracking down and following up on leads. These sites allow agents to talk directly to potential buyers and sellers, and ask and answer questions about the property, buying conditions, sale prices, foreclosures and short sales, and more.

Social media sites allow you to “follow” or “like” people and accounts, giving you a ready made database of leads that you can track, and conversations you can follow to be aware of what is going on around you and how to follow up properly.

Email Marketing

Email lists and email marketing are great ways to follow up on leads in today’s digital age. Email lists provide you with a database of potential clients who you can keep up to date on your successes, the homes you are selling, and what you are offering potential clients through your agency or in selling particular homes.

Capturing a lead’s information via registration form of some kind, whether on your website or elsewhere, is critical to capture and follow up with leads here; once you have their email address willingly, you can connect with them easily and find the best home or sale situation that will adequately fill their needs.

Networking and Good Ol’ Fashioned Hustle

The Internet is great, but there’s nothing quite like hustling for that lead! Networking still remains the best way to follow up on and track down new leads in the real estate game, and it really comes down to having your ear on the ground and being aware of your community, surroundings, and what is happening on the block.

Meet key stakeholders in your community. Meet the people they know. Connect yourself with the third group of people that they know. Make it so that you have an army of friends and colleagues around you, and when somebody needs something in the real estate market, they immediately know to turn to you, the expert in the field and the agent who will be able to help with their buying or selling needs.

For more information about tracking and managing sales leads of any kind, check out

Tags: ,

Investment Income for a California Lifestyle

Posted by Doug on September 13, 2011
Business, Financial / 1 Comment

Many people have enjoyed the fantasy of moving to the west coast as either part of their retirement plans or to begin a new life and career change. And while the state of California tends to figure prominently into the majority of these plans, the specific area and features involved can vary drastically. Of course, the ocean and a beautiful view will almost always figure into the fantasy somewhere. And regardless of whether you’re attracted to the Napa Valley or the charm and low-key atmosphere of San Diego, California definitely has something to offer everyone. And it takes a bit of money to ensure that you are going to enjoy it to its fullest. So, do you have to be a doctor or incredibly successful lawyer to move to California? No, of course not, many careers in the computer industry also pay a healthy living salary. But really, all kidding aside, various forms of investment are the key to many families’ stability and lifestyle. And there are numerous options and investment plans that will work for you, your income and the life needs of your family. and other great sites and information sources exist to guide you in your various financial options.

A lot of people rely on retirement funds from work, such as the 401k and similar others, to assist them in their post career years. However, for the working family, who wants to enjoy a great lifestyle and live comfortably now, there are some great investment plans that contribute to your annual income. There are essentially three different types of investment income possibilities and they are variable, guaranteed or predictable. And all of your options will fall into one of these three. You can have income from different interest payments, capital gains and dividends or investments of any kind. For instance, if your best friend from college talked you into sinking a few thousand dollars into his restaurant, which turned out to be the latest hit seafood place, you will either receive your investment back with interest or can continue to collect income on its growth and success by leaving your money in the restaurant. And of course if you’re thinking of opening a restaurant or any other small business, is just one option available to you. Regardless of your career choice, developing some kind of investment portfolio is generally acknowledged as a financial stability, or increased income, provider. Whether you choose to live in Northern or Southern California, you’ll want to enjoy all this beautiful state has to offer.

Tags: , ,

Fionn Downhill, A Featured Expert on Online Marketing Summit 23-City Tour, Speaking about Search Engine Optimization.

Posted by Doug on June 01, 2010
Business, Education, News, Uncategorized / No Comments

Fionn Downhill is an experienced speaker and the CEO of SEO and online reputation management company Elixir Interactive. Fionn’s impressive presenter bio includes over 23 renowned search marketing events including Search Engine Strategies as well as the Online Marketing Summit (OMS) — which kicked-off its 23-City tour May 20th in Phoenix, Arizona.

OMS isn’t the typical summit. With its focus on education,speakers must adhere to strict guidelines aimed at closely limiting the self-promotion and advertising typically seen at many search marketing events.

Fionn Downhill’s presentation at OMS Phoenix this May offered interesting insight into digital asset optimization for search in 2010. To find out more about Fionn or other OMS speakers visit visit

Tags: , , ,

Understanding Search Engines & SEO

Posted by Doug on May 28, 2010
Business / No Comments

Most of us use search engines on a daily basis. We search for the latest news and information, research locations for an affordable summer vacation, and dig up the latest gossip on celebrities. Search engines play an important role in our Internet immersed lives. Without them we would surely be lost. However, as much as we use them, most of us don’t really understand how they work or how they sort all of the information and websites available in cyberspace.

To begin search engines use automated programs with ‘spiders’ that ‘crawl’ over all of the websites, pages, and documents that exist on the Web. It is through this process that all of the information is stored and indexed in giant databases. The result is that when someone makes a query the search engine sorts through the database and displays the results that match. Using an algorithm , the search engine sorts the results and ranks them according to the calculation.

With this knowledge we can begin to understand how search engine optimization (SEO) works. In broad terms, SEO is understanding and influencing the ranking for a given site or search term; however, there is much more to it than that. When the spiders are crawling through the many hyperlinks and pages on the web, there are certain things that make it easier, or more difficult, to index. When you understand what slows down or blocks the spiders, you can work on using hyperlinks that the spiders can easily traverse; thus increasing the ranking. There are some SEO tool s now available that can provide reports on a websites ranking and visibility as well as identify problems and provide possible solutions.

As much as we use the Internet these days, it is important that we understand how it works. For it is then that we can use it to our greatest advantage.


Content vs. Location

Posted by Doug on March 25, 2010
Business / No Comments

It’s interesting how everyone buzzes about Facebook and Twitter these days. The services are touted as the only way to reach consumers under the age of 30. If a company doesn’t have a Fan Page and at least one centralized Twitter account like, they are being left behind.

The reality is a bit more complicated than that. It’s not so much about where you go as what you have to offer. If your tweets are simply stock quotes and links to your official press releases, no one is going to care. If your Fan Page only has official company announcements and more press release language, you’re not going to get many fans. People , over or under 30, want content — and they want it in as many formats as possible.

A Fan Page that includes insider photos, sneak peeks at new ad campaigns, games, contests and opportunities for the fans to generate their own content won’t just sell widgets, it will create widget advocates. Tweets that make people smile, laugh, or even get them worked up about a shared enemy will build a following that can be translated into a community of loyal customers.

And it should start with Facebook and Twitter — not stop there. You don’t have to be a company targeting 18-25 year olds to create a YouTube channel, or have great photos on Flickr. You’ll want to integrate everything with your blog and main website. Just make sure that the content that you’re spreading around is something people want to see — and to share with others.

Tags: , ,

James Giffen and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Posted by Doug on July 24, 2009
Business, History / No Comments

In the 1990s, according to the Justice Department, American businessman James Giffen had the title of counselor to the president of Kazakhstan. His job was to help with “priority investment projects relating to the exploration, development, production, transportation, and processing of oil and gas.” That made him hugely important in Kazakhstan and far beyond.  The last of the republics declaring their independence of the Soviet Union was Kazakhstan, this occurred in 1991.

The gas and oil reserves were abundant and, due to Kazakhstan’s independence,  these resources were now on the market for energy companies in the United States.  Four American companies acquired deals with the government between the years of 1996 and 1998, Texaco, Amaco, Phillips Petroleum and Mobil Oil.

In 2003, Giffen was indicted by the United States grand jury in the state of New York, for breaking the laws of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  He was charged crimes that would include bribery, conspiracies that were intended to violate the laws of the FCPA, wire and mail fraud, failure in disclosing the bank accounts in foreign countries, and conspiracy to and participating in money laundering.  A list crimes that would send him to prison for eighty years.

Six years later he still has not gone to trial.  It seems that the oil and the gas interests in Kazakhstan may be too important to risk the implications.  Further investigation reveals that he had the full support of the U.S. government.

Much of the evidence surrounding his case is classified. Giffen is charged with 62 accounts of criminal indictment, however most of the information regarding his case is now top secret.  The details of the case are even hidden from Giffen, off limits to even himself.  This is a modern case of ‘who dunit’ and will continue throughout the months, perhaps the years ahead.

Tags: ,