chris alston: How to create urgency with your buyers... - 01/04/11 12:57 PM
As real estate agents, we spend so much time looking for the perfect 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home for our clients, that we may be missing the point.  They call us, tell us what they are looking for, then we become a computer in trying to find exactly what they are asking us to find.  Or we put them on some auto search, and forget about them completely.
They day that buyers bought homes out of impulse, or because someone else would steal their home, or because their friends are, or because the news is telling them to buy has long since passed...  … (158 comments)

chris alston: My iPhone forgot to wake me up yesterday! - 01/04/11 11:51 AM
Okay okay...
When someone wakes up late, it could be due to many reasons...  It could be due to going to bed late, maybe hitting the snooze button to many times...  Or just ignoring the alarm all together...  Or forgetting to actually set your alarm.  Or maybe turning down the volume so low, that even the dogs wouldn't hear it.
So yesterday, after a week off on vacation...  I woke up late.  Instead of waking up at 6am, I woke up at 7am.  I popped up, and looked at my iPhone to see the time...  Since my alarm hadn't gone off, piercing the … (10 comments)

chris alston: Motivational Monday - Founding Father - James Otis - 01/03/11 12:26 AM
"One of the most essential branches of English liberty is the freedom of one's house. A man's house is his castle."
James Otis, On the Writs of Assistance, 1761
I thought that this qoute was a great one, since we are in the art of real estate. The sales of real estate.  If one of the basic foundations of liberty to to have a home, since it is his castle...  Then we are doing the right thing in helping others obtain home ownership.
It always seems that the most basic things that Americans want is life, liberty and the persuit of happiness...  … (17 comments)

chris alston: Speechless Sunday - New use for the iPad - 01/02/11 02:00 PM
Well, almost speechless...
I had the last week off, and my 3 1/2 year old son seems to know and understand technology better then many!  He can turn on my iPhone, start videos, look at pictures and start up many apps...  So now that I have an iPad, he now loves that too... And is just as good with that as you can see from all the finger prints on the screen.  And to tell you the truth, I am not bothered one bit, that he uses it.

One morning, he wanted my iPhone, and but I needed it so I offered … (17 comments)

chris alston: Wordless Wednesday (okay, some words) My son caught SANTA CLAUS on Christmas!!!! - 12/29/10 04:07 PM
My son Ryan woke up to sleigh bells, and a commotion in the living room.  He woke straight up in the darkness, and ran down the hallway to see Santa placing presents under the the Christmas Tree.  The fist thing he did is thank Santa for his presents.  After eating some cookies and drinking some milk, he put his finger to his nose, and away he went to visit other good boys and girls!
My son had a permanent smile the rest of the morning, and was amazed that he was able to see Santa.  He was saying that he wanted to … (35 comments)

chris alston: What it took to break the top #100 in California on ActiveRain - 12/28/10 01:46 PM
Wow, now that was a journey!    I started blogging in March of this year. I did a few in 2009, but got discouraged when I recieved only a few comments on the blogs that I wrote. I learned over the last year, that consistency helps create exposure which then creates comments.  I also learned, that the more you comment on other bloggers blogs, the more they will then comment on yours.   So in the last year, 10 or so months, I have posted 224 blogs.
In reading other blogs during that time, I have suggested many blogs, and 130 have went on to be be called shots.  I … (34 comments)

chris alston: Sunrise on a new day in Real Estate - 12/28/10 12:23 AM

With the shorter days, it seems that getting up early to see the sunrise means you are up early to start the day.  It is usually getting light mid 6am here on the west coast.  So if I miss the sunrise, I feel I am getting off to a late start.
So on days where it is cloudy, we get a great sunrise over the mountains that shines up the sky.  This picture was taken from my back window.
Getting up early is sometimes the key to starting off a great day.  When we get into the habit of waking … (27 comments)

chris alston: It's almost a new year, are you ready for 2011? - 12/27/10 05:16 PM
It's almost a new year, and are you ready?  I mean ARE YOU READY??  You have been putting off what you need to do for a week...  Then the week extends to several weeks...  Then the weeks turn in to months, and then finally you say I will start doing ______ next year...
Well, next year is here.  So what is it that you want to do?  And most importantly, what is it that you are going to do to be sure that you DO IT?
Some of us need checklists that we need to follow every day.  Lists that make … (16 comments)

chris alston: Motivational Monday - Ronald Reagan (on limits to ourselves) - 12/27/10 02:58 PM
"There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect."
   Ronald Reagan
Sometimes we ourselves are the ones that limit our own success.  We THINK we cannot do something, so we don't try.  Or we assume before we even try to do something, that we will suck at it, so we never even attempt to make an effort to do it.
Back in High School, I remember taking an art class.  One day, the teacher told us to draw comic book style...  I thought I would be … (3 comments)

chris alston: The inquisitive eyes of our kids, captured in a perfect Kodak moment! - 12/14/10 01:08 PM
At the park with me... 
When you are a kid, the only thing you seem to worry about, is if there is time to throw more rocks in the river, and can we stay longer?

There is a park near where I live ((Lake Vasona Park, Los Gatos, CA), that has what every boy loves.  Dirt, rocks, river, bridges, a train that you can ride, a carousel, a snack shack with sno cones, a big field, and me...
Parks are also wonderful, as you can just pack a few things in a bag, grab some snacks and drinks and your … (32 comments)

chris alston: Motivational Monday - President Eisenhower Quote - 12/13/10 11:48 PM
Motivational Monday with our 34th President, Dwight D. Eisenhower.
 
Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it. Dwight Eisenhower
Did you know that Hawaii and Alaska entered the Union during his two-term presidency?  Along with the Interstate highway system (Currently, the Interstate System is 46,876 miles long), and the end of the Korean War? Also Brown v Board of Education, Little Rock integration, and the Eisenhower Doctrine.
Oh yeah, and my elementary school was named after him!
But what a great quote on motivation...  on motivation!  Have a great … (25 comments)

chris alston: Unlock the Barista Badge, on Foursquare. - 12/08/10 06:35 PM
There are now 5 million users on foursquare, so chances are you know weveral people that are using the social site.  It is what I call a location based-micro-social media site.  When you start using it, you start to want to know how to earn badges.
The Starbucks badge is pretty easy to earn.  Just check in using foursquare to 5 different starbucks, and you will be awarded this flashy badge.
Check out foursquare at www.foursquare.com if you want to sign up for it.
I'm up to 55 badges, you can see me here:  http://foursquare.com/chris_alston
Just like any other form of social … (17 comments)

chris alston: Wordless Wednesday - Daddy and Me - 12/08/10 11:42 AM
In Monterey a few weeks ago.  We were in town for a few days to go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and to spend some time with Grandma.  The trip was amazing, and you know me...  I take pictures of everything.  Not very often do I get pics of myself doing anything, so this one was a keeper! 

I hope everyone is having a great holiday season!  Merry Christmas everyone!  :)
-Chris
(38 comments)

chris alston: He said, "I did 65 transactions BACK in 2006, so yeah I'm a top producer" - 12/08/10 12:23 AM
So tell me, what is strange about this statement? 
Too often we talk about our current levels of production on what we did in the past.  Even though at one time we did 65 deals, now we are closer to 10. 
So, tell me what is wrong about this statement?  I'll give ya three...
Well, for starters...  If your business has suffered in last few years, be honest with yourself...  Be realistic and take the bull by the horns.  Once you start to be honest with yourself, you can start to get into productive action again.  The RIGHT type of … (90 comments)

chris alston: This guy asked me, "how's the market?"... Is that a trick question? - 12/07/10 01:13 PM

So many ways to get the news nowadays...  The internet, twitter, facebook, foursquare, LinkedIn, ActiveRain, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, Apple & Droid apps, newsmags, etc...  The list can go on and on and on...  Seems like everyone is an expert these days.
We can search Google for anything we want, and get instant gratification to our endeavors.  Maybe even read incorrect news, but from what we thought was legitimate...  Thus leading to a skewed understanding of the real stuff that is actually out there.
Economists interpret national stuff, and our clients view this as local stuff...
So, if someone asks … (18 comments)

chris alston: Your business sucks... Why do you blame everything else but yourself? - 12/07/10 01:06 AM
Your business sucks right now.  You took 20 listings last year (40 the year before) and through the end of this year, you listed 12.  12...  Yes, only 12.
You blame the copier, I mean it always jams.  Sometimes it is out of toner, or paper or something...  So you can't go into the office today, since it will be just a waste of your time.  And you have sooooo many things to do today.  You got to the office at the last minute to print your fliers, and left mad...
You blame the phone system in the office.  It keeps … (94 comments)

chris alston: Motivational Monday - Martin Luther King, Jr. - 12/06/10 01:01 PM
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Reminds me of the fable our parents always told us growing up...  They seem to be coming to the same conclusion. 
Scorpion and the Frog.
A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, "How do I know you won't sting me?" The scorpion says, "Because if I do, I will … (12 comments)

chris alston: How to unlock the American Red Cross badge on Foursquare. - 12/03/10 01:19 PM
  Looking to earn some more badges, to make your list longer?
Foursquare Badges everywhere!
Here here is an easy one.  The American Red Cross Badge.
To get the American Red Cross badge, all you have to do is shout, "donation Red Cross" and will recieve the words, "Congratulations! Your blood donation may have just helped to save a life."
Hope this helps you on your journey to badge stardom!
www.foursquare.com if you are new, just download the app to your iPhone, blackberry, Driod or whatever...
http://foursquare.com/chris_alston <-- Here is me.
I have unlocked 54 so far!!!!  :)
-Chris

 
 
(6 comments)

chris alston: Friday Foto - Yeah, I had to lift my son up to get the star on this Christmas Tree... - 12/03/10 12:39 PM
Yup...  A 9 or so foot tree.  Same cost as the rest of them up there on the hill when we went to cut it down.  So we decided to cut down the largest one we could find.  I had to wire it to the beam to be sure that it wouldn't fall over, since the stand said that I could have a max tree of 6 feet, and this was about 9 feet tall.
Here my son is getting ready for me to have him help put the star on the tree.   
 
I thought I could have him … (23 comments)

chris alston: Listing presentation at 2pm... Finally putting one together at noon? Priceless... - 12/02/10 01:01 AM
How many of us have seen an agent in this predicament...
  Running around the office, asking where this is, and where that is...  How to find that "pricing triangle thingie", or the "time on the market graph", or maybe the "in the market-out of the market pricing walk through"...  Asking you how to head bind, or spiral bind or just plain bind all the junk that they had compiled...  Or worse, asking you how to use the MLS !!!  How to come up with comps, how to do a CMA, how to actually log in!  And then they come up … (72 comments)