Category Archives for "Goodwill"

Six Video Interviews to Drive More Traffic to Your Website

As I a follow-up to my last post, I wanted to make another suggestion on how you can pay kindness forward…

But I also wanted to share a conviction that I hold firmly, and it’s this: when you do good things to others good things will happen to you.

Call it karma, destiny, aura, fate or kismet–it’s a concept that holds true. Especially if you keep your eyes peeled for it.

But what does that have to do with your real estate career or your website? A lot. Giving to others is a great strategy to attract business. And it’s a great strategy to drive visitors to your website.

What kinds of things am I talking about giving away? Advice. Video advice to be precise. This was an idea that Steven Schweickart shared yesterday. It’s a great idea and I wanted to expand on it.

It’s a pretty simple concept and drop-dead simple. In fact, if you’ve got an iPhone, then you’re pretty much in business.

The idea is this: interview people who are involved in the real estate and home business. Ask them to give advice on a very specific topic. Then pop that video on your website.

Here are six ideas you can use.

Interior Designer

Ask an interior designer to share advice on essential staging tips for people who are trying to sell. Maybe they could tell you how to make a small space look large. Or what to do with problem areas.

Mortgage Broker

The mortgage broker could tell your audience about the different financing options available.


This expert could point out inexpensive ways to create curb appeal for people who are selling. For home owners, he could share tips on lawn care in extreme weather.


Get a hold of someone who buys homes, rehabs them and then sells him to tell you about what you must do to get started rehabbing homes. He could also explain what makes a home a good deal when looking to buy.


Have an investor share his thoughts on buying homes for investment purposes, like what are the best ways to go about doing just that and what are the advantages of renting.

Home Repair

Invite someone who does home repair projects–builds decks, lays wood floors, fixes sinks.–to share cost-cutting ideas to improve an owner’s home.

By the way, keep the interview under four minutes. Anything longer than that and you lose people. This means you’ll need to do a little video editing.

Your Turn

What about you? Do you have anybody you can think of who should be interviewed? What kind of questions could people ask? Looking forward to your thoughts.

In the midst of your daily struggles…will you consider this?

Will you consider paying a kindness forward today?


It all started this morning…a gorgeous spring morning with the sun twinkling through the bedroom shades. A feeling of joy and gratitude just naturally began to flow into me. I felt this kind of tingling sensation of “I really do love life…I’m so blessed!”

From there I walk into my daughter’s room to wake her up for school. I sit on the edge of her bed and gently stoke her hair, as her eyes slowly peek open. She smiles, looks up and says, “Hi, daddy!”

It’s a feeling like no other. If you’ve experienced it you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, I truly wish I could let you climb inside my senses and experience it…I would love to be able to gift that to you.

However, life unfortunately isn’t like that.

It’s filled with mysteries that test your physical, mental, and spiritual capacities for what sometimes feels like absolutely no objective reason why.

And then there are the joys…like the light in my daughter’s eyes. The beautiful blue color and a sweet voice that almost sounds like birds singing, except when she’s yelling at her older brother, of course.

Well, as I leave her room, my wife asks me, “Did you hear about Chloe’s dad?”

“No. What?”

“He committed suicide yesterday.”

Instantly it’s like an electrical impulse shot through me. I went from joy, gratitude, and love…to “WHAT?!”

It’s hard to fathom the mental and spiritual forces that would take a person to such a place. But the story…it’s actually much deeper and far more heart-wrenching.

See, five years ago Chloe was this amazing little girl with a twinkle in her eye that would melt the most cynical soul and turn it to putty.

She was special…very special. Everyone loved Chloe. When she walked in her smile would light up a room. The kids loved her. The other parents thought she was just the ideal child. And then the crushing news was announced…Chloe was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

Worse yet…her disease…this very rare cancer…it was terminal.

Yet, in spite of it she just smiled, loved, and filled everyone who ever met her with a sense of gratitude…something really special.

She and her family were the picture of courage during her fight. The community rallied around this sweet little child. And everyone’s heart was breaking as one…with this family…these lovely people.


It’s one of those great mysteries of life. Why do bad things happen to such nice people?

It’s hard to reconcile. It’s hard to grasp.

Anyway…the fight…they fought it with grace and dignity. But tragically, a little less than 8 months later, Chloe closed her earthly eyes for the last time. The twinkle was gone.

And as a daddy, who gets the extraordinary privilege of getting to see his daughter’s light shine, my heart ached for that poor family. They were mere acquaintances. In fact, I barely knew them.

Yet, every time I looked at my daughter, saw the joy…and life in her eyes…I felt like Chloe’s parents were a part of me. My soul ached at the thought of their loss.

Now, fast forward four years. You’ll see a monument to her outside her elementary school and she’s a quiet sad memory for us. Yet the pain and anguish obviously had raged on for all that time. No peace. No joy. Dark painful memories and the never-ending question…WHY?!

Until finally, it was all he could take.

Now, round two of unimaginable pain and anguish for that poor mother and Chloe’s older brother.

But rather than ask why…I’d like to ask a small favor of you. Close you eyes and send loving thoughts to this poor battered family. Then…TODAY…pay a kindness forward in honor of them.

Today choose to make the world a little bit better place for your being here.

It doesn’t have to be anything huge…a simple smile, with a genuine “How are you today?”

Simply pay a kindness forward and offer that up as you prayer for this grieving family.

In loving memory of Chloe and her dad.

(Out of respect the names and family relationships have been changed for privacy reasons.)

An Appropriate Story for Easter

Normally I don’t do stuff like this. But…

It’s Easter, Russell Shaw’s post on confronting death got me thinking and the Randy Pausch Last Lecture video that Russel Shaw shared really messed me up. So it’s kind of inevitable that I’m feeling this way. And wanting to share a little good cheer. And hope.

You might have heard the following story. I believe it’s been circulating the Internet. Somebody sent it to me and I found it a staggeringly good story. Let me know what you think. Hold conclusions until you are finished.

An Appropriate Story for Easter

She jumped up as soon as she saw the surgeon come out of the operating room. She said: ‘How is my little boy? Is he going to be all right? When can I see him?’

The surgeon said, “I’m sorry. We did all we could, but your boy didn’t make it.”

Sally said, “Why do little children get cancer? Doesn’t God care any more? Where were you, God, when my son needed you?”

he surgeon asked, “Would you like some time alone with your son? One of the nurses will be out in a few minutes, before he’s transported to the university.”

Sally asked the nurse to stay with her while she said good bye to son. Sally ran her fingers lovingly through his thick red curly hair.

“Would you like a lock of his hair?” the nurse asked. Sally nodded yes. The nurse cut a lock of the boy’s hair, put it in a plastic bag and handed it to Sally.

Sally said, “It was Jimmy’s idea to donate his body to the University for study. He said it might help somebody else. I said no at first, but Jimmy said, ‘Mom, I won’t be using it after I die. Maybe it will help some other little boy spend one more day with his Mom.'”

Sally went on, ‘My Jimmy had a heart of gold. Always thinking of someone else. Always wanting to help others if he could.”

Sally walked out of Children’s Mercy Hospital for the last time, after spending most of the last six months there. She put the bag with Jimmy’s belongings on the seat beside her in the car.

The drive home was difficult. It was even harder to enter the empty house. She carried Jimmy’s belongings, and the plastic bag with the lock of his hair to her son’s room.

She started placing the model cars and other personal things back in his room exactly where he had always kept them. She lay down across his bed and, hugging his pillow, cried herself to sleep.

It was around midnight when Sally awoke. Lying beside her on the bed was a folded letter. The letter said :

Dear Mom, I know you’re going to miss me; but don’t think that I will ever forget you, or stop loving you, just ’cause I’m not around to say ‘I Love You’.

I will always love you, Mom, even more with each day. Someday we will see each other again.

Until then, if you want to adopt a little boy so you won’t be so lonely, that’s okay with me. He can have my room and old stuff to play with. But, if you decide to get a girl instead, she probably wouldn’t like the same things us boys do. You’ll have to buy her dolls and stuff girls like, you know.Don’t be sad thinking about me.

This really is a neat place. Grandma and Grandpa met me as soon as I got here and showed me around some, but it will take a long time to see everything.

The angels are so cool. I love to watch them fly. And, you know what? Jesus doesn’t look like any of his pictures. Yet, when I saw Him, I knew it was Him.

Jesus himself took me to see GOD! And guess what, Mom? I got to sit on God’s knee and talk to Him, like I was somebody important. That’s when I told Him that I wanted to write you a letter, to tell you good bye and everything. But I already knew that wasn’t allowed.

Well, you know what Mom? God handed me some paper and His own personal pen to write you this letter. I think Gabriel is the name of the angel who is going to drop this letter off to you.

God said for me to give you the answer to one of the questions you asked Him ‘Where was He when I needed him?’

‘God said He was in the same place with me, as when His son Jesus was on the cross. He was right there, as He always is with all His children.’

Oh, by the way, Mom, no one else can see what I’ve written except you. To everyone else this is just a blank piece of paper. Isn’t that cool? I have to give God His pen back now He needs it to write some more names in the Book of Life.

Tonight I get to sit at the table with Jesus for supper. I’m sure the food will be great.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I don’t hurt anymore the cancer is all gone. I’m glad because I couldn’t stand that pain anymore and God couldn’t stand to see me hurt so much, either. That’s when He sent The Angel of Mercy to come get me.

The Angel said I was a Special Delivery! How about that?

Signed with Love from God, Jesus & Me.


Fundamentally the story males some leaps–like God having a knee–but the core of the story remains: death is not the end of the world as we know it. Resurrection. Life after death. This is the Easter Story as we know it.

I’d also like to share some videos of Easter messages from some of my favorite pastors.

I hope you enjoy. And feel free to share your thoughts with me. I’m open to any comments. Honestly.

The Lost Child: Advertising and the Human Condition

A little girl strays from a party of sight-seers and becomes lost on a mountain, and immediately the whole mental perspective of the members of the party is changed.

Rapt admiration for the grandeur of nature gives way to acute distress for the lost child.

The group spreads out over the mountainside anxiously calling the child’s name and searching eagerly every secluded spot where the little one might chance to be hidden.

What brought about this sudden change?

The tree-clad mountain is still there towering into the clouds in breath-taking beauty…but no one notices it now.

All attention is focused upon the search for a curly-haired little girl not yet three years old and weighing less than thirty pounds.

Though so new and so small, she is precious to parents and friends than all the huge bulk of the vast and ancient mountain they had been admiring a few minutes before.

And in their judgement the whole civilized world concurs, for the little girl can love and laugh and speak and pray, and the mountain cannot.

It is the child’s quality of being that gives her worth. And it’s your client’s quality of being that give her worth.

It gives her worth over a Mercedes Benz, 35-foot yacht, snorkeling in Belize. It gives her worth even over a mortgage payment, a retirement fund or college savings.

Because she has her own mortgage to pay, her own savings to worry about. But it’s more than that. Deeper.

She’s got her host of fears, worries, anxieties. Personal failures to overcome, day-to-day battles to combat and a host of dreams she nurtures.

Just like a three year old girl. Which in some ways she still is. She just doesn’t trust nearly as many people she did before.

But there’s something more.

Hugh McLeod, in his Hughtrain Manifesto, said this:

We are here to find meaning. We are here to help other people do the same. Everything else is secondary.

Last Sunday he went on to say this:

We humans want to believe in our own species. And we want people, companies and products in our lives that make it easier to do so. That is human nature. Some people find the whole “Marketing as Religion” angle a bit squeamish. Some people much prefer the straight-talking “This is what you get, this is how much it costs” way of doing business. I don’t see anything wrong with that, if it’s working for them.

But one thing I’ve noticed over time is, the search for personal meaning is a never-ending journey. It’s something that all normal, healthy people share. And the way said meaning is found is mostly through Love. And Love is found not just in the intoxicating blur of romantic, sexual love, but in an endless myriad of ways. Most of them pretty ordinary and everyday.

That search for meaning I call the “human condition.”

Religion and philosophy have been its main sources for an answer for thousands of years. 300 years ago philosophy dominated. Mid 18th Century, psychology emerged and peaked and now advertising reigns supreme at the 21st Century.

Advertising is the “new humanism”: The discipline to quiet that inner groaning.

We don’t turn out theologians or philosophers any more. Even psychologists are having a hard time. In fact psychologists are turning into advertisers.

We say “It’s all about you. How can we crack your code?”

Because it wants to be cracked, coddled and acknowledged.

We are here to find meaning. To help other people to do the same.

Can you change your vision so you no longer see the mountain but the little girl? No longer see wealth and power, but the customer?

Recognize the deeper need you can satisfy for someone–like trust or companionship or meaning–and you will become a well liked person. And business will be easy for you.

You have potential. I believe in you.

Give the Poor Tools to Lift Themselves Out of Poverty

Okay, this has absolutely nothing to do with real estate…but it does have to do with helping another person. So bear with me.

Recently I’ve been following the Grameen Foundation, and have had a profound interest in the organization and what they are doing to help the poor–especially woman: providing microloans to help these people defeat poverty and make better lives for their families.

Are you familiar with microloans or microfinance?

Muhammed Yunnus, the man behind Grameen, is called “the banker of the poor” and a “micro lending pioneer,” which earned him a Nobel Peace Prize last year. He basically came up with the concept of microloans.

And he has a goal to reach 5 million new clients in 5 years.

The way I see it, that’s literally 5 million men or women who could provide appropriate food, shelter and clothing for their children.

And to me that is very exciting. And immensely rewarding to stay informed, spread the word and donate.

If you are interested in learning more about this effective poverty reduction strategy, visit the Grameen site.

And let me know what you think. I really am excited about this and would like to hear from you.