Monday, September 28, 2009

Visiting Maureen in Indiana

Maureen invited me to come to visit over this weekend at the end of September. The leaves were all turning brilliant colors and deer roamed everywhere in Maureen's neighborhood.

The Lotus World Music Festival is an annual event that takes place in venue throughout the city of Bloomington, Indiana. Maureen gathered a number of her friends and we roamed from one venue to another. We loved Saffire; the Uppity Blues Women!

We went to the Saturday Market in town with her daughter, Emily. I love markets and the way they are different in every town.
The town of Nashville is a colorful quaint art colony. The stores were full of folk art!

Brunch in Story which is an historical village over 160 years old. There is a quaint restaurant and some cottages along with gardens.

We also visited one of the local wineries. What a fun weekend!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Real Estate Conference on Social Marketing

Here I am standing in front of the schedule for the day. The speakers come from the attendees.

Lynne Bradley and Rich Golze shared information about my school at my sponsor table!

I gave a session on "Google Yourself." Have you googled yourself lately? What comes up?

This is David Gibbons from He was the main instigator and organizer of the event.

Over 425 real estate agents gathered in the Lake Union Armory on Tuesday Sept 8th to participate in probably the largest FREE conference on Social Marketing for agents ever in Seattle! There was NO marketing budget. All the attendees came because of Facebook, Twitter, Emails, and blogs! I was so fortunate to have been on the committee to make it happen, to speak at a break out session, and to be a contributing sponsor. I didn't have to worry about parking, because I came to the conference by boat! Ed Bisquera, Mitch Canton, Lynne Bradley and Diana Hoven (my great friend and #1 crew!) all cruised with me at the crack of dawn over to Lake Union.

It was an opportunity for me to connect with a large number of agents, lenders and title reps, to learn more about this web world, and to teach others what I know. I learned about putting together a conference of that magnitude and the power of the marketing on the internet.
Because of what I learned from our fascinating keynote speaker, Ian Watts, from Canada, I started a video blog for my school. I have done video interviews with over a half dozen people that I will post on under "clockhours." They will also be featured on my website at (a link from there) and on facebook! Instead of me just talking to a camera, I am asking and listening to others about how they are using these internet tools.

I hope everyone picked up at least a few ideas of how to grow their real estate business using the web. The world is changing so fast and it is important that we try to keep learning new tricks!

Two funny stories I have to share with you. As we were setting up over 700 chairs, unfolding dozen of tables, putting up posters, we found that the projection screen was not there and the conference was soon to begin. So I hear across the room... "Natalie, do you have a white sheet on your boat?" Well, the only one is on my bed so I grabbed it off the boat and with my bright pink (of course) duct tape we taped it hanging from the overhang to use as a makeshift projector screen. Then the speaker, who has a great sense of humor says, "Good thing Natalie didnt'get lucky last night as this is from her bed."... or something like that! Everyone laughed. Then, at the after party with about 50 people left, we auctioned off the sheet to Solid Ground a charity we were sponsoring. It was so funny.. maybe the winner will get lucky with that sheet?!

A few of the organizers of the conference were standing outside taking a break and noticed that my boat was docked next to the Virginia V Steamship. They wonder if I know the owner/captain. One guy says... "Either she has dated him, has done real estate classes with him or they are fellow boaters!" Later in the day at the after party I introduce Captain Dale of the Virginia V to a group and they all start laughing... and told me that they had a feeling I had to KNOW who ran that boat!
Now I need to post more photos and follow up with the agents that came. About a dozen people were there that teach under my school. Hopefully, I can encourage them to start teaching agents classes on how to use social marketing better!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My visit to the San Juan Islands

It was such an impulsive trip. My friend, Doug, called and asked me if I'd like to come visit him on his boat in the San Juan Islands. So the next day I was on a Kenmore Air Floatplane floating above Puget Sound on the way up to the Islands. I found I was holding my breath during most of the flight because the view was so spectacular. The plane landed first at Roche Harbor to drop off a few passengers and then it took off for Friday Harbor. It was like a scenic tour of the islands!

Friday Harbor is such a picturesque town greeting boaters in the harbor with music on the waterfront, the Whale Museum Sign painted on the building over looking the docks, the smell of the salty sea air, and the long toot of the ferry horn.

We took off and cruised all the way around San Juan Island stopping for shots of lighthouses and whales. Right off our bow a whale greeted us. They are so quiet and we see so little of them but imagine their huge mass gliding through the cold water.

There was a sweet wedding at Roche Harbor. We wandered around to the gift shops and gardens. Then off to cruise the islands to spend the night at Deer Harbor, a quiet bay with a dock and small store. Doug made these huge shrimp cooked in Margarita mix, butter and garlic. They were probably the best shrimp I have ever had!

It was cloudy and beautiful in the morning so we ha a late start to go cruising to Rosario Resort. It was build by Robert Moran as his retirement home and is now a museum after going on the auction block last fall. The mansion is such a treasure.

Christopher Peacock was scheduled to play the organ that night. I have listened to his piano CD's for years and it was quite a shock to see him behind the counter at the resort. He has been the manager for almost 30 years. I had to have him autograph my cd's and get a photo with him.

Off to Friday Harbor to spend the next night. It was a bit chilly and Foggy, but it was clear enough for me to take off on the floatplane for a beautiful ride back home.