Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dubai…a far cry from Sedona, AZ

Dubai.  United Arab Emerites.

Many places have intrigued me over the years, and Dubai is one of them; so, when an email came through inviting ARELLO members to attend the District 6 meeting in Dubai, I filled out the registration and tomorrow I leave for a week in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Real Estate regulators from all over the world will be attending and discussing licensing laws.  I represent Arizona’s Real Estate Advisory Board and the Arizona Department of Real Estate (at my own expense).  I’ll also be representing REEA, the national Real Estate Educators Association, in my capacity of President-Elect.

Look for pictures, videos, and information from around the world…

Kathy Howe

Kathy Howe

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My Friend and Tax Man, Marc Sterling…

There are people who make a difference in Sedona and then there are others.  We Sedonans are lucky to have Marc living in our community and bringing his sense of “pitching-in” to us when we need help.

Marc Sterling is an educator, a concerned citizen, and a wonderful person who leads by doing.

His most recent endeavor has left many of us wondering just how he will help us next.  Can he top this one?!

Sedona recently had rains that flooded the area via overflowing washes (we need a “real” storm drainage system).  Marc and a fellow Sedonan from Sedona Red Rock High School organized these young people to help with clean-up within the flooded Sedona community.  Education is not just about reading books, but by putting skills to the test.  Learning to be a good citizen can only be taught by following a genuine leader.

Enjoy reading about the project (Marc is the middle person in background in the white shirt with the big round blue logo):

http://socusd.wordpress.com/2009/09/18/srrhs-students-volunteer-for-the-community/

Kudos, Marc…from all of us.

Kathy Howe

Kathy Howe

Kathy Howe

PS.  Yes, Marc also served a partial term as a Sedona City Councilperson.

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Ugh! Summer is still here!

Yesterday I had to drive to Phoenix for a meeting from 10-12 at the Arizona Department of Real Estate and knew it would be hot!

Well, hot is defined by a Phoenician as a “dry heat”.  Translated:  an oven.

Is there anyone out there listening?  We need rain!  Clouds!  Where are the gods of the Universe when we need them?  Mother Nature, are you listening?

Okay, another day in the office.

If you think I’m just PMSing, go to AccuWeather’s site for the chart!

Date

Actuals (° F)

Normals (° F)

Records (° F)

High

Low

Avg

High

Low

Avg

Dpt

High/Year

Low/Year

1

110

85

98

105

81

93

5

116 / 1972

68 / 1950

2

113

87

100

105

81

93

7

113 / 2009*

70 / 1946

3

114

89

102

105

81

93

9

114 / 2009*

66 / 1956

4

112

90

101

105

81

93

8

116 / 1975

68 / 1962

5

113

95

104

105

81

93

11

114 / 1969

69 / 1965

6

110

91

100

105

81

93

7

114 / 1995

69 / 1963

7

102

82

92

105

81

93

-1

112 / 1905

66 / 1928

8

102

75

88

105

81

93

-5

113 / 1991*

67 / 1903

9

104

77

90

104

81

93

-3

112 / 2003*

70 / 1930

10

106

79

92

104

81

93

-1

116 / 2003

68 / 1949

11

103

86

94

104

81

93

1

113 / 1962

65 / 1949

12

110

87

98

104

81

93

5

114 / 2007

64 / 1900

13

95

74

84

104

81

93

-9

113 / 2003*

69 / 1949

14

105

80

92

104

81

93

-1

113 / 1988

69 / 1925

15

106

80

93

104

81

93

0

112 / 1992

66 / 1968

16

106

81

94

104

81

92

2

113 / 1992

64 / 1918

17

108

80

94

104

81

92

2

113 / 1992

64 / 1918

18

109

80

94

104

81

92

2

111 / 2007*

62 / 1918

19

106

84

95

104

80

92

3

113 / 1986

63 / 1918

20

109

87

98

103

80

92

6

112 / 1986*

58 / 1917

21

107

79

93

103

80

92

1

110 / 2007

62 / 1916

22

96

76

86

103

80

91

-5

111 / 1999*

65 / 1917

23

103

82

92

103

80

91

1

112 / 1985

61 / 1968

24

104

83

94

103

79

91

3

115 / 1985

61 / 1965

25

104

85

94

103

79

91

3

112 / 2001*

65 / 1965

26

107

82

94

102

79

91

3

114 / 2001

65 / 1928

27

113

84

98

102

79

91

7

113 / 2009*

64 / 1920

28

M

M

M

102

79

90

M

113 / 2005*

64 / 2008*

29

M

M

M

102

78

90

M

113 / 2007

64 / 1920

30

M

M

M

102

78

90

M

112 / 1984

64 / 1920

31

M

M

M

102

78

90

M

113 / 1950

62 / 1962

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Sir Richard…What’s With Virgin Mobile?

When I think of Sir Richard Branson aka @SirDickBranson, I think of “The King of Customer Care”.

Love Virgin Atlantic Airlines and all your personal touches with the website.  VA makes you feel like you are entering the First Class cabin if only you are traveling in the last row of coach.  I pull up my page and in the upper right hand corner it says:  “hello, gorgeous”.  Now that’s customer service!

So why is Virgin Mobile such a departure from your mystique?

Several months ago I changed from AT&T to Virgin Mobile – it took 4 days, 2 without any phone service (I have only one phone), and the courage by me to call the Investor Relations department of Virgin Mobile in order to get it switched to VM.  AT&T had released it right away, but VM and Sprint allowed it to fall into that virtual abyss where the black hole seems like a warm fuzzy place.

My origial plan of changing carriers was to save money from AT&T.  My contract was up and I thought I would go with Sprint and purchase the Palm Pre as soon as it came out.  I won’t bore you with the facts that one of Sprint’s resellers, Let’s Talk, gave me misinformation about transporting my phone number and cancelled my order because I wouldn’t accept another number.   So I called Sprint who checked with “porting” and said the information was incorrect in that I only had to accept another number till the phone arrived then call Sprint and Voila!  The transport of my old number would take place.

Thinking I would take this event as “someone was trying to tell me something”, I called a friend in Hawaii and we discussed all the geeky things about the phones and the networks.  My experience with Sprint and Sprint’s reseller made me think not to take another chance with Sprint.

On Saturday, 8-15-09, with my normal, unbridled enthusiasm, I went into the AT&T phone store and said, “I want the 3Gs iPhone in white”.  I even put my password (vKey) into the store’s computer, so I know it was correct.  Gorgeous in an orange and black case, I sparkled.

By Wednesday I was still using your VM phone and the iPhone.  So, lacking the same unbridled enthusiasm, I called AT&T who told me that according to VM there was no password.  We were given the run around by 3 different people.  Excuses that the system was going through an upgrade, to we are missing the password, to a request AT&T to change my street address abreviation from “Ln” to “Lane” and an equally inane request to remove the initials from my name .  Do these people know how to program “globally”?

Day 6:  This AM I got a call from AT&T, doing their follow-up.  We started the conference call with VM.  I’m not sure who we started with, but we asked for a supervisor and we got a “team leader” by the name of Mata.  She wouldn’t give us her last name and when we asked to speak with her supervisor, she flatly refused to give us her supervisor’s name.  I lost my normally cheerful demeanor and demanded to speak with her supervisor and explained that I had already filled out a complaint with the FTC (true – done night before), so I had nothing to lose at this point.  I just wanted my new iPhone to be the recipient of calls in and out.  Finally Mata told us the name of her supervisor, “Jennifer” but refused to connect us with Jennifer because Jennifer does not accept phone calls from the consumers.  We were then given an “IVR” number of 888-322-1122 which was the phone number we had called in the first place.

Now my cheery disposition took on “total resolve”, the “squeeky wheel”, you know…  And taking the ball and running with it was AT&T’s very able agent who asked that Mata at least ask Jennifer if she would call the porting department and find out what the status was with transporting my number.  We waited for over 20 minutes to find out that the “updating” of the system had started on the “14th”.  We had been previously told the “15th and 16th” by another agent.  Mata cheerfully said it was just as she had been telling us about the system updating and that my phone number would probably be transported within the “normal” 24 to 72 hours”.

Yikes!!!!  I lost it.  6 days plus another 24-72 hours!  Is this 1892?

I thanked my new friend with AT&T who I convinced to try Twitter while we were whiling away the many, many minutes waiting to hear the “script” again.  She was so cute when she said, “My mother would be saying and doing the same things you are…”  I told her that her mother and I had earned the right to go to the top and work down, which was what I intended to do next:  put in a call to Investor Relations.

Did it work?  You betcha, Kimosabe!  I made my day, Clint!  Probably didn’t make your staff’s day, Sir Richard, but by this time I was high on adrenalin and as most men know, that is just steps from hormonal infusing and PMS-ing.  Luckily I don’t own a gun…

Thanks to the lady who answered the phone at 908-607-4000, and Jose’ at “porting”, I had full iPhone transport within about 30 minutes.

Now I’m a happy camper.

Could you make me happier?  Well, a trip to your Island to spend the weekend with you and your wife, but since that’s not going to happen, maybe a refund of this last month’s charges… ??  I’d go for that to cover a discounted cost of my time today.

Necker Island purchased by Sir Richard Branson over 25 years ago.

Have a great day.

Kathy Howe

PS.  Get rid of that blight on your reputation.  They don’t deserve you.

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Don’t Post Your Business Stuff on My Facebook Page…PLEASE!

How did something I enjoyed so much become a place that I no longer want to go?

Facebook is for my family and friends.  If I “connect” with you, I hope you will respect my page and only post to me things that are about you personally…maybe an occasional post about what you’ve been doing in business, or where you are going in business, BUT, please do not try to solicit me to buy your books, your training programs, or your children!

LinkedIn, I allow people to try to solicit me.  I figure it’s all about business.  But, not my Facebook page.

Today I “disconnected” someone I “connected” with recently.  His first post to me was an out and out solicitation.  Flush!

Using someone’s Facebook page to advertise your wares is like pinning a note on someone’s child and sending them home to Mom.  Mom does not like that.

We’re all looking for ways to “connect” and I am glad to “connect” with strangers as long as they don’t abuse their welcome.  My page has become so cluttered with videos that I will never watch, business news and comments from people I don’t know, and information I don’t need.  Can I be the only person who is getting p—-d off?

You may “tweet” me with business news, or post on my LinkedIn page, but PLEASE, discontinue posting to me on Facebook.  Give it to me on Twitter.  It goes away and does not go to everyone who views my page.  I’m about quality, not quantity.

It’s called Social Networking for a reason… Facebook is for my chosen friends or people I think I would like to have as friends.

Kathy

Kathy Howe

Kathy Howe

Tweet your news to me at:  http://twitter.com/sedonakathy

LinkedIn: http://linkedIn.com/sedonakathy

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What does the NSA and AMY CHOREW have in common?

They both made my week!

NSA is the National Speakers Association.  It’s members include people you have only heard about or seen on TV.  They are the creme de la creme of the speaking industry.  I only wish I were a member.

Through twitter one day I received a “tweet” from someone who did a twitter search and found my name.  Michael Benidt introduced himself and we “tweeted” about our worlds.  He asked if I knew that the NSA was meeting the week of July 12-17 in Phoenix…I replied “no”…he asked if I had time to attend… I said I would find the time.  Why did he go this far with someone who was not a member of NSA.  As the President Elect of the Real Estate Educators Association (REEA) he thought his organization and our organization had common ground.  Now, friends, this is the ultimate in Social Networking!

I’m not sure what NSA got out of meeting me, but I can tell you what I got out of the National Speakers Association:

  • They are competent, dedicated, professional, and in a class by themselves
  • They put on one dy-n0-mite conference – thanks Sarah Michel
  • Their speakers push you to the max with ideas that don’t quit

I had the privilege of being invited to attend a CSP-only session presented by Michael Benidt and Sheryl Kay, Hidden Treasures of the Internet:

“New Online Survival Strategies:  How to Find Real Value in an Overloaded World”, at which, in the Twitter portion, I was introduced as a way in which Twitter can expand your SOI.

My privileged day then included sitting with them at the Conference Chair’s table and sharing the excitement of the speakers, holding the “windbag” with Steve Spangler‘s wife, and making new friends.

…as well as seeing those already in my SOI:  Amy Chorew, Rhonda Hamilton, Doug Devitre.  All are both NSA affiliates and REEA members.

Is there an ROI for Social Networking?  What do you think?

The next day I was in a real estate CE class presented by AAR with Amy Chorew as the presenter.  No disappointment there.  She rocks!  And her passion for what technology can do for your business is her gift to the classroom.

So what do these two have in common?  Me.

Oh no!  I’m not trying to be arrogant.  They both gave me such get-up-and-go that I’m afraid my to-do list will be perpetual.  Keeping up with change is almost a full time job, but to be good, you have to stretch.  I’m feeling like a 300 lb woman trying to get into a pair of Chico size O tights… there’s going to be a lot of stretching going on.

Ciao…

Oh, I might add that the day was probably an expensive one as I will now have to have an iPhone so I can “bump”, apply to the NSA for membership, and plan on adding 3 more conferences to my already committed 8 conference dates over the next year.  Anyone want to adopt and fund one slightly aged, inquisitive, passionate, often outspoken blonde?

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I-17 Closed 7-15 Due To Brush Fire

Going to Phoenix in the summer is always iffy!  During the monsoons we have lightening (the dry type as well as storm lightening) which ignites the now-dry spring plant growth like a match to cotton.  The car is always packed with water (or coffee – can’t do the AM without it!) both directions.  Toolbox…well, actually mine is a toolcase with flags, bungee cords, a sledge hammer, and open house signs.

Yesterday’s fire had been phoned in to me after meeting a friend for lunch.  So what did I do?  I called DPS and asked how long they anticipated the fire to burn and the roads to be closed.  They said 1-2 hours, so I planned my shopping accordingly!  An extra stop at Marshall’s at 18th St & Camelback cost me a bit more than I had planned…

Headed up the Hwy and screached to a halt just south of Black Canyon City.  Turned off the engine, grabbed an Open House sign to block the sun on the drivers side and made a few calls.  Got bored…got out of the car…4″ heels get the attention of others and other drivers came over to talk.  They weren’t aware of the fire, so with them standing there I recalled DPS who said the northbound lanes were opened 5 minutes earlier but it might take another 10 minutes to move traffic.

Can you even remember life without a cell phone?

I carried that Motorola “brick with an antenna” starting 1988 and paid $.32 per minute.

Oh, the fire was started by a car fire this time, but as I speeded across I-17 to Copper Canyon, the lightening was vicious and at one point I thought it had hit very near me.  Mother Nature having a snit.

Have a great day!

Kathy Howe

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