CNN = Constant Negative News

I don’t know about you, but I have stopped turning on CNN these days.  All you have to do is turn on the news and listen to one of the so-called “Commentators” or “News Anchors” telling us all how bad things are, and you then begin listening more intently to those ads that run for anti-depressants!

Even our new President is causing wide spread panic every time he opens his mouth and tells the world what a crisis we’re in. 😥

First, the media tells us about 15 people being gunned down, then they show us some cute video human interest story, and just keep smiling the whole time.

C’mon here folks! Are we REALLY going to determine the future of our business and families based on what these bozo’s in the media tell us and how we should be acting and thinking? Our government is casting us into a debt situation this country may never get out of with all these billions in bailouts. Layoffs are going through the roof, and everyone is sitting on their hands waiting to see what happens next.

Every time one of these morons starts spewing off about more bad news for the economy, it makes me realize that we’re not really hearing news… we’re hearing carefully orchestrated bits of information designed to achieve a predetermined response. The media tells us what they want to tell us, and we listen, and respond. Right now, we’re being fed negative in huge junks, not just little bits and pieces.

I’m not saying we aren’t in a recession.  Heck, I said the “R” word over a year ago on another blog when no one else was even HINTING that our economy was in trouble. I said then, “Folks, whether you realize it or not, this country is IN A RECESSION.” We’re all feeling the pain, myself included.

But what I’m warning you of is this: If you succumb to all the news reporters telling you about how bad things are, you’ll have a hard time ever recovering from this down time, and depending on what you do with the bad news you’re being fed, you may NEVER climb out of the cellar.

Many fortunes have been made during bad economic times… and I’m here to tell you, this time will be no different. The question is, will you be one of the ones making fortunes, or kissing yours goodbye? The decision is really yours!

I’ve run a business through a recession, and I know what I’m talking about. (I survived two before this one, and I’ll not only survive this one, I’ll thrive.)

The key is to make changes RIGHT NOW in your business strategy. I’m making them in mine, I suggest you do the same!

Here is what I suggest you do:

1 – Shut off the news for 30 days. Stop listening to these morons telling you how bad the economy is. Stop reading the negative in the newspapers. Put your head to the grind and stay focused on your business and your profits.  Who gives a rip about which bank failed this week, or which of the automakers is going to buy out the other one? Does that REALLY affect what you’re doing in your business?

Stop believing the hype!


2 – Increase Your Marketing. I know this does not exactly fall under the category of “Cutting Back during Down Times” like many of us have been brainwashed into thinking we should do, but it’s the absolute BEST MOVE you can make right now. 

While everyone else is shrinking their business because that’s what they’ve been told they should do to survive, you should be growing yours. I’m not saying you should make irresponsible decisions and spend more than you have and hire 3 people that you can’t afford to hire, but this is a HUGE chance for you to grab a sizable chunk of your niche and marketplace by pushing ahead with an aggressive marketing plan. When the dust settles and those news reports FINALLY start telling us “things appear to be turning around” ( and you KNOW they will turn around ) then you’ll be solidly in control of the top spot in your market… everyone else will THEN start to try and claw their way back into the game… you’ll be looking back and smiling. 🙂

For the first time in over 7 years, I am ramping up my own business’ advertising budget – SUBSTANTIALLY. Because I know, when the storm settles, I’m going to be in a better position than I’ve been in since I started in business for myself in 1989. No question in my mind.


3 – Listen to Winners. Let’s face it, most of us have not been through a depression. Many haven’t actually tried to survive a business through a major recession. So knowing what to do, and when, is not always easy. For many, it’s a guessing game. And if you’ve ever tried to “Guess” when the best time to buy a stock is, you already know, it’s usually too late by the time you made up your mind to buy something. It’s already started going up.

So who do you listen to when it seems everything is going from bad to worse? Listen to positive news… not the garbage these idots on the news channels are spitting out every day.

I’m not a big advocate of the “Rah Rah, You Can Do It” tapes and listening to speakers who make you think that everything is in your mind. But there is some merit to turning off the negative and focusing only on the positive.

I made a personal decision when Barrack Obama got elected that I was going to ignore his platform and just build my business in spite of him. Not that I’m against him personally, I just don’t believe what he is doing with all this porkulus spending is good for anyone, and it’s going to take a long time for this country to dig out from the debt he’s putting us in right now. The question is, will you and your business survive it all?

I am reading only positive “how to build my business bigger and better” news these days and have stopped reading the garbage. The old computer saying “Garbage In – Garbage Out” applies to your brain ESPECIALLY in bad economic times like these.

For some, you may not even have a business. You may be thinking of starting one. Trust me when I say, “There is no better time to start a business than during a bad economy…”  I know that doesn’t make sense to some, but to those who understand how and when most fortunes get made, you’re probably looking for more ways to expand your business umbrella right now.

Take a look at this list — do you recognize any of these companies?

  • Hewlett-Packard
  • General Electric
  • Sports Illustrated
  • MTV
  • CNN
  • Federal Express
  • Burger King
  • IHOP

What do these companies have in common? That’s right – they were all STARTED during a recession!
Remember, spending doesn’t just “stop” during economic downturns. People are more selective, and they work harder at getting value for their money — but they’re still spending.

So you want to make sure you’re out there where they can see you, and that you offer a superior value to them.

So let the doom-and-gloomers carry on, but don’t listen to them! Instead of waiting for the politicians to ‘spend’ us out of trouble, focus on how you can make more money! That’s exactly what I’m doing. I hope you’ll be doing the same.

Until next time!



Ed Hudson

P.S.  Are you as fed up as I am with all the negative news? Have any other suggestions for growing a business during these down times? Click the comment link and leave your ideas. Would love to see other view points.


Real Player Vulnerable to Silent Attack

On Jan. 1, the Russian security-research group Immunity Inc. told the world that RealPlayer 11 is vulnerable to a serious attack. The vulnerability could let a bad guy run code of his choice on your computer.

As far as I know, there aren’t any exploits floating around yet, which is a bit of a relief.  However, there also isn’t an update available from Real Networks at this time to address the problem.

I consider this threat to be serious enough that you shouldn’t use RealPlayer until a patch is released.  Your best defense is to completely uninstall the player, using the Add/Remove Software control panel.  Otherwise, you might inadvertently visit a Web site that launches an exploit by simply invoking RealPlayer’s vulnerable code.

I’ve uninstalled the player from all of my machines, simply because it is "NOT WORTH THE RISK" to me… and Windows Media Player is my preferred player over Real Player anyway.  I suggest you do the same… or don’t call me when someone invades your computer thorugh Real Player 😉

If you don’t want to just take my word for it, but prefer to read the technical data on this flaw… here is a link to the analysis by Vnunet.

I’ll have more for you on several other points and subjects in another post coming tomorrow. 





Great News Today!

You all know what an advocate I am against SPAM!


Please join me today as we celebrate the capture of what authorities believe is the “Spam King”. 🙂


Robert Soloway, a 27-year-old Seattle resident dubbed the “Spam King” by federal authorities and exasperated Web users (myself included!), allegedly ran his business from his apartment.


Soloway is accused of violating the federal CAN-SPAM Act, which criminalizes large, commercial e-mail messages sent using an unauthorized computer or with the intent to hide the e-mail’s original source. The allegations could put Soloway in prison for decades.


Federal prosecutors are also seeking $772,998 from Soloway, which represents the proceeds of his activity.


Authorities said Soloway, in an apparent effort to hide his true identity online, constantly shifted domains, including registering with Chinese Internet service providers.


Additionally, he used slave computers, called “botnets,” to send spam that advertised his corporate Web sites, which contained false headers to obscure their true origins.


I’d love to think I had something to do with Soloway’s demise… but no way to be sure.  I have taken a VERY active stance against spammers in the past six months, forwarding  hundreds of identifiable spam messages to federal authorities.  The FBI would neither confirm nor deny that any of my tips led to his arrest.  Oh well… at least they caught the sucker!!!!


Here’s the complete story from CNN if you care to read it:


Have a great week!




Few Ideas

Well.. either most everyone is far too busy working with clients (not the reason I suspect), OR, most everyone is stumped by the question.


My question was:

What is your USP? What makes you different from your competitors — in ten words or less — and gives your customers a powerful, compelling reason to use your service?


Some of the responses were:

  • I have the key to your new home at the price you want to pay.
  • 100% HomeBuyer Representation 100% of the Time!
  • Protecting your bottom line is our business.
  • Exclusive Buyer Agent – Don’t invest in real estate without one!
  • Three important words in real estate: exclusive, buyer, agent.
  • Real estate “no spin zone” – an Exclusive Buyer Agent.
  • Where HomeBuyers Make and $ave Money.
  • Sellers NEVER, Buyers ONLY!
  • The Home Buyer’s team, always on your side.
  • I have a ‘Heart’ to be an Advocate** for HomeBuyers. 
    (** Advocate-to zealously work on your behalf always.


Let’s be brutally honest here for a moment, can we?


If you were an un-educated home buyer just beginning to think about buying a home, and just beginning to research real estate agents online (or off-line for that matter) Do ANY of those above USP’s cause you to say, “Hmmm… now that sounds like an agent (or company) I need to check out..” ?  Do they?


I’m not here to condemn, criticize or complain, just trying to stir some thought process here folks. 


I think, ALL TOO OFTEN, we all get very complacent and stuck in our ruts of thinking that just because we offer a unique and top notch service to home buyers, they are all going to automatically know it, just because I call myself an EBA.


It’s no fluke that EBA’s EVERYWHERE are having bad years.  The terrible press, the constant news about how bad the real estate industry is, the constant bad publicity with the sub-prime mortgage markets, all of these things are lending themselves to everyone (in most markets) seeing their lead flow decrease dramatically over the past few weeks and months.


Add to that, the fact that we (and I say we in general terms) are not exactly screaming our USP’s to the buying public and causing them to come running to see us or sign up at our websites for more information… and it’s no wonder that traffic is down.


Yet, at the same time, some brokers are having their best year ever… and recent news proves that record numbers of people are buying real estate right now in spite of all the bad news about how the home buying sector sucks.


One of the things that continues to amaze me after all these years is the number of brokers who don’t even promote their own blog or website on every single thing they do or send out… including, business cards, email signature lines (a big missed opportunity) letterhead, all print ads, phone on hold messages, and the list goes on and on and on.


I see it everyday… people who put up a website, and think the world will come flocking to their doorstep (their home page)…. and it just doesn’t happen.
“What’s wrong with my site?”  “What am I doing wrong?”  “Why am I not getting any leads?”


All very legitimate questions, but also questions that should be causing you to re-examine how you’re treating your business.


Over the next few weeks, I am going to continue this thread here, trying to instill in everyone a different mindset.  One that will cause you to look at what you’re doing (or not doing) in your business, and make you begin to think more about how you can compete better with today’s Internet, and what you need to be doing next to stay on the cutting edge, and how you need to be marketing today in order to stay competitive.


As EBA’s… we all too often get caught up in the fact that, yes, we know that what we do is best for the consumer, but how can we get that word out there, so the consumer knows?  That’s a question EBA’s have been asking since day one.  And although I don’t claim to all of a sudden have the magical answer… I do believe I have some ideas that, if put to use, will help you turn the rest of 2007 into one of the best years you’ve ever had.


You see, I am a firm believer that when real estate (in general) slows down or hits bottom, THAT is is the time to ramp up, not pull back.


Conventional thinking among most brokers is just the opposite.  Most start pulling back and cutting back when sales or leads are down, and that is the quickest way to sure death in your business you could go!


Keep reading here, and please.. continue to post your ideas and thoughts.  I don’t want this blog to be a one-way conversation of just me.  I appreciate your input, and appreciate your thoughts.   I know we have a lot of very smart individuals as clients, and I appreciate you being out there on a day-to-day basis… battling the battle and struggling to survive in a down market.   Let’s all share that wisdom, and make this blog a very active forum for idea exchange.


I’m also going to be changing this blog in the very near future so that you will be able to subscribe to comments, giving you the ability to receive an email anytime anyone comments on one of your comments.  Stay tuned for that.


In the meantime, as you prepare for this upcoming Memorial Day Holiday weekend… I’d like to personally thank you for your continued support and loyalty… and beg you to put your thinking caps on and be ready to expand your thinking over the coming weeks and months as I share some new stuff with you here. 🙂


Have a great holiday weekend!  Take some time to relax and enjoy!!