Archive for December, 2008
Candy won’t toot her own horn, so I guess it’s up to me to do it.
If you’re a VA you are probably familiar with VANA, the Virtual Assistant Networking Association Forum. If not, and you’re serious about this business, you probably should be.
Well, last Wednesday they named Candy their Entrepreneur of the Year for 2008. Yea, it’s a pretty big deal. I hear it came with some nice swag, too 🙂
Check out the official word here and see all the nice things people had to say about Candy.
Are you putting off switching to QuickBooks because you just don’t think you need it yet, and can’t justify the expense?
Well, you can stop stalling now. On Monday, December 22, 2008, Staples and Intuit are teaming up to help small business owners get a mostly free copy of QB 2009.
Mostly free because it involves discounts and rebates, and still paying sales tax, but still, it IS mostly free. The promotion is available in person or online at staples.com.
Check it out here and remember it is ONE DAY only, 12/22/08!
I wasn’t sure what to title this, so you got a mish-mash. Every morning, I have to take a pill. I can’t tell you how many times I forget it. I try to take it with food or milk, but sometimes I’m so busy wrangling the kids out the door or dealing with an early client request or just plain running around like a crazy person that I don’t grab anything to eat/drink… so I have this issue remembering it.
Ah, but see… Shawn, a guy I work with (he’s in MI or somewhere I think – yes, we are virtual) – at Linux Journal has the same problem. His solution is pretty genius actually. He set up a Twitter account and tweets to it once he’s taken his pill for the day. If people see he hasn’t tweeted (that’s twitter-speak for posted), then they will start to bug him about taking it.
Pretty cool, eh? Yeah, so, I can’t remember to take my pill, how the heck am I supposed to remember to remind HIM to take HIS pill, right? So, I decided to piggy back off of his idea…
I added itookmypill (that’s his twitter account) to my devices (I only have like 2 people that come to my phone – I use twhirl for the rest, otherwise the text messages make me crazy). What happens is this… when he takes his pill, it texts me that he did and THAT reminds me to take it. At the same time, if I don’t get a message (he usually takes it by 7:30 central), then it seems to trigger a reminder that “hey, I didn’t get a message from Shawn today” and I remind him.
How awesome is that, folks? Did you follow that? So, basically what happens is that his tweet reminds me. If I don’t see a tweet from him and remember my pill, I can remind him. Or if we both forget, typically someone else will see that he didn’t tweet and someone will remind him that reminds me.
I mean, really, you can’t beat that. THAT is how you make technology work for you, folks!
If you take a morning pill, try it out, you can join twitter and just have that one as someone you follow, add itookmypill to your device list… what a great way to help someone and help yourself at the same time!
I just got this email from a client of mine. This is a great last minute gift idea – her stuff is really cute too. Happy holidays! ~Candy
Dear OffAssist blog readers,
Everywhere I go someone inevitably asks me “How is the real estate market in Austin?”
This guest blog post is an opportunity for me to give everyone a proper, detailed answer, complete with supporting data and charts, so here goes…
The unfortunate truth is that media coverage of the real estate/mortgage mess, particularly in 2008, has really done a number on consumer confidence. Many people are taking a, “wait and see,” attitude towards real estate purchases.
Below is a chart of closings on a month by month basis for the past 5 years. You can see that this year is not as awful as the media makes it out to be; 2008 is tracking with 2004.
The areas with more affordable housing – with average prices less than $200,000– tend to have smaller months of inventories. The inventory in some of the “pricier” areas is growing; as a result, average prices are sliding (buyer’s market).
Consider Area 1B: This are contains some old, established neighborhoods like Tarrytown, Pemberton, Brykerwoods, and Clarksville. If you’ve always wanted to live in one of these neighborhoods, now is a good time to look, especially if you have good equity in your current home. With a 10 month inventory of homes, there will be better opportunities for price negotiation.
On the other end of the spectrum, people with a home to sell in MLS areas N or 10S should be able to sell their home quickly and close to asking price. I say that assuming that a seller in these areas is planning to work with a qualified real estate professional (me!) to prepare and market the home to its best advantage. I am also asuming that the asking price is in line with average home prices for the area.
What else can I tell you about the Austin market? Well, actually, a lot. If you have questions about a particular part of town or property values, please just give me a call and I’ll be happy to discuss your specific questions or concerns. I am constantly looking at the market data and studying the inventory and can easily provide you with a more focused analysis.
In closing, I would like to say that other national real estate markets are fairing far worse than Austin. Some states and cities will probably sustain a much longer term depression in prices. As long as Austin remains affordable folks will continue to migrate this way.
Personally, I believe that this market presents one of the best opportunities to buy a home in the Austin area in quite some time. I think now if the time for investors to scope out rental properties and homeowners should feel privileged to have been able to enter the market at such a good time. Please do not sit to wait for prices to plummet and miss the already closing window we have for good deals in the market. Once Spring rolls around, those that are waiting may realize it is too late.
Thanks for taking the time to read my post. I hope you find the information in it helpful.
By the way, if you or someone you know needs a great realtor to represent them, feel free to contact me at Anne@VioletCrownRealty.com.