Technology And Real Estate

The place to keep up to date with what's new and interesting in technology in real estate

Does Your Garage Door Work As Well As You?

As life goes, things wear out. About a month ago my Garage door started to stick. So I did what any weekend warrior  would do, I pulled out my ladder and lubricant and went to town. That worked for about one day until I realized it was my motor that needed replacing.

I called Champlain Door, who I have used a number of times, and have been very happy with. They came the next day and not only replace the motor, but also installed new sensors as well.

 This is a useful article about how to keep your garage door and tip top shape


Setting up Conference Calls

I do a lot of conference calls. It used to be that I would have to remember the telephone number to call in on and then the code to punch in before I could enter into the conference call. When I realized that my phone was already equipped to automate this process for me my life was improved dramatically.

I created contacts for each of my conference call numbers and by this simple process, was able to tap once and everything else was done for me.

I don't know if any of you will find this helpful, but I thought I'd post this anyway.

I do hope it helps.

Principle #14


This idea has been credited to Socrates who was famous for asking questions rather than making statements in his dealing with people. This allowed him to understand them in a deeper way.

Unfortunately over the years  sales people have been taught this as a “sales technique“ in order to coerce a customer to buy something. Having been associated with the sales industry for most of my adult life, I find the idea of manipulation detestable. 

What Socrates and Dale Carnegie meant by this method was, to find areas in which you agree with someone.  There will be places where we disagree, but looking for where we agree does a couple of things. It causes us to think in terms of the other person’s interests and it takes our focus off of where we disagree. We are more likely to find common ground where we agree.  We are more open to someone else’s views when we feel they understand ours. We feel validated.

 “In talking with people, don’t begin by discussing the things On which you differ. Begin by emphasizing – and keep on emphasizing – the things on which you agree. Keep emphasizing – if possible – that you were both striving for the same end and you’re only difference is one of method and not purpose.“
  - Dale Carnegie; How To Win Friends and Influence People

So, get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately, and do it sincerely.

Principle #13


Years ago, when Carnegie was a barefoot boy walking through the woods to a country school in northwest Missouri, he read a fable about the sun and the wind. It serves as a vivid reminder of the power of this principle of earning others’ trust. The sun and wind debated about which was the stronger, and the wind said, “I’ll prove I am. See the old man down there with a coat? I bet I can get his coat off him quicker than you can.” So the sun went behind a cloud, and the wind blew until it was almost a tornado, but the harder it blew, the tighter the old man clutched his coat to him. Finally the wind calmed down and gave up, and then the sun came out from behind the clouds and smiled kindly on the old man. Presently, the man mopped his brow and pulled off his coat. The sun then reminded the wind that gentleness and friendliness were always stronger than fury and force. - quoted from How To Win Friends And Influence People In The Digital Age


And Gary Vanerchuk says “Engagement has to be heartfelt, or it won’t work. . . . You cannot underestimate people’s ability to spot a soulless, bureaucratic tactic a million miles away. It’s a big reason why so many companies that have dipped a toe in social media waters have failed miserably.”


Remember to always begin in a friendly way.

Principle #12


A long time ago I learned this lesson extremely well.

I was driving my car up to an intersection that I did not have the right-of-way at. As I pulled up, I looked to the right, then to the left and having seen nothing I started to pull across the intersection. As I did, I glanced again to my right  and saw large man on a large motorcycle seemingly inches away from my right fender. I slammed on my brakes and he swerved out-of-the-way and completing his left turn without incident. Shaken, I continued on my way and glanced in my rearview mirror only to see the motorcycle turning around and coming after me.

I was wrong, and I knew it.  The man on a motorcycle was wearing a black leather jacket, black helmet, and was sitting on top of a black motorcycle. It was somewhat understandable that I didn’t see him, But it was still my fault.

What I did next,   might seem a little risky and counterintuitive. I pulled over onto the shoulder and got out of my car, just as the biker pulled up. He would clearly angry. He also probably thought I was going to give him a hard time. What I did there was throw up my hands up and say how very sorry I was, that it was clearly my fault, and was he all right?

He was totally caught off guard. He stammered a little and then said “you just better be more careful in the future“, then turned his bike around and went on his way.

I have no way of knowing what would have transpired had I not stopped, but it turned a potentially bad situation into a very valuable life lesson.

When you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.

Principle #11


I know that if you are like me, you have found yourself in a discussion where you know the other person is so wrong it is laughable. The urge is to quickly and emphatically set them straight with the “facts”.  

Here is my favorite example from Dale Caaregie as to why that may not be the most prudent thing to do... 

"Carnegie was attending a banquet one night given in Sir Ross’s honor, and during the dinner, the man sitting next to him told a humorous story that hinged on the quotation “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will.” The raconteur mentioned that the quotation was from the Bible. He was wrong, and Carnegie knew it positively. By his own admission, he appointed himself as an unsolicited and unwelcome committee of one to correct the storyteller. The other man stuck to his guns. From Shakespeare? Absurd! That quotation was from the Bible. And the man knew it. Frank Gammond, an old friend of Carnegie’s, was seated to his left. Gammond had devoted years to the study of Shakespeare. So the storyteller and Carnegie agreed to submit the question to the expert. Mr. Gammond listened, kicked Carnegie under the table, and then said, “Dale, you are wrong. The gentleman is right. It is from the Bible.” On their way home that night, Carnegie said to Mr. Gammond, “Frank, you knew that quotation was from Shakespeare.” “Yes, of course,” he replied, “Hamlet, act five, scene two. But we were guests at a festive occasion, my dear Dale. Why prove to a man he is wrong? Is that going to make him like you? Why not let him save his face? He didn’t ask for your opinion. He didn’t want it. Always avoid the acute angle.” It taught Carnegie a lesson he never forgot."
from "How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age" by Dale Caarnegie

Principle #10


Think about the last time you argued with someone... You didn't agree with their position on a matter. You let them know where you stood and backed it up with why you thought they didn't understand. Then they saw the error in their ways and changed their opinion, right?

Not likely. More likely is that you both left more convinced you were right.

Arguments almost never change opinions. They cement opinions we already hold. 

Opinions do change. On many topics, my opinions are opposite from those I had when I was in my twenties, but they are different because of my experiences and observations. Not one was changed as a result of an argument...

Principle #8


The last principal was about listening instead of talking. Dale Carnegie said that listening to someone is enlivening to them. Yet if you must talk, talk about something that they are interested in.

 I admit it, I Would talk about gadgets and technology and Apple computer all day nonstop, without interruption, if I could.  It’s actually embarrassing to admit,  but it’s true. Anyone who really knows me, knows that.  If you want my attention, talk to me about the iPhone, or iPad.  Sometimes people stop me in the store and ask me how I like my Apple Watch. I have to be careful not to take up a half hour of their time in the store lauding The Dick Tracy gadget on my wrist. 

 We are all like that with regard to some topic. So really, our job is to find that topic for other people.  

 Theater Roosevelt is purported to have made a habit of staying up late reading up on topics that the people he was meeting the next day, were interested in so he could have meaningful conversations with them about something that was of great interest to them.   People were always impressed with his extent of his knowledge on many subjects.

Let’s all take the time to learn and talk about what other people are interested in. We will all be richer for it. 

Principle #7


I was in my office there other day and overheard an interesting conversation...

Mary was telling Kim (not their real names) about what her boy friend said to her that hurt her feelings. Kim said that she knew just how she felt because her boy friend had done something similar to her just last week. Kim then went on for a good 15 minutes describing in detail her incident. I'm sure her intent was to help Mary feel she wasn't alone. Yet I'm not sure that's what Mary felt. 

I confess that I do the same thing sometimes. I have to catch myself and remember that they didn't ask for my advice or my commiseration. They simply wanted someone to listen to them. They don't want me to fix anything, they want me to hear them. Hear how they are feeling and what they think. 

We all yearn to be 'gotten'.

More upsets are solved by listening than by offering advice.

Let's all focus on being better listeners. We have two ears and one mouth for good reason... We should listen twice was much as we talk.

Principle #5


Nothing I can say can capture the essence of this principle better than this quote...

"A smile, someone once said, costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he cannot get along without it and none is so poor that he cannot be made rich by it. Yet a smile cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give. 15 Smile. It increases your face value." from "How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age" by Dale Carnegie, Associates 

Principle #4


I am busy. Everyday I think about what I have to do and how I am going to get it all done. I am sure that sounds familiar. It is normal to think of ourselves. It is a good thing, because we are ultimately helping other people.....our kids, customers, civic groups, church groups......

Yet how often do we really take an interest in the people we interact with every day?

There are just a handful of people in my neighborhood that I know a lot about.
What do I really know about all the people in my office?

Take a quick tour of Facebook and Instagram and see how many photos are selfies?
It's not wrong, but it is instructive.

Dale Carnegie says that if we want people to be interested in us, we need to be interested in them. The most interesting people are the ones who are most interested.

My favorite story about Dale Carnegie is when he was a guest at a friends party and met a woman who had recently returned from Africa. He had always wanted to travel to Africa and spent the next few hours asking her question after question about her experience.  After he left the party the woman he was speaking to made a point of mentioning to the host the Dale Carnegie was the most wonderful conversationalist. Dale confessed that he only spoke a few sentences while asking questions. She was the one that spoke the entire time.

She thought he was an interesting because he was genuinely interested.

I vividly remember my grandfather in his final years admitted himself into a nursing home because he knew he needed the help. He spent his entire adult life as a surgeon so that didn't seem odd. The most wonderful thing though was when I went to visit, the very first thing he did was introduced me to one of his nurses. He told me all about her family and children and how she liked horses just like I did. He probably knew more about her then many of her friends did. And that wasn't all, he knew as much about all of the doctors and other nurses taking care of him... And he was the patient.

After my visit, on the way out, the nurses at the desk made a point of saying what a wonderful man my grandfather was. It's true he was. And I have a better understanding as to why.

Become genuinely interested in other people.

Principle #3


I remember when I first read this principle I didn’t really understand it. Then I read an example Dale Carnegie wrote in his book... 

"One day the famous philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson and his son were trying to get a calf into the barn. It was going rather poorly. They pushed and the calf pulled. They pulled and the calf pushed. Meanwhile, their housemaid noticed their predicament, and though she couldn’t write brilliant essays or books, she possessed an insight she thought might solve the problem. She walked over to the calf and put her finger in its mouth. While the calf suckled, she gently led it into the barn. What did the maid know that the luminous philosopher had forgotten? She knew that one of the calf’s core desires was food. Once she tapped into that desire, the calf willingly followed. Emerson and his son merely thought about what they desired—the calf in the barn so they could eat their lunch." from "How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age" by Dale Carnegie, Associates

It is not about manipulating someone to do something. It is about paying attention to what is important to them and giving it to them. 

What I like most about this example is that the desired result didn’t come from the smartest person in the room, nor the most came from the person who paid attention to what is most important to others and was willing to give it to them.

Principle #2


We all want to know we make a difference to someone or to many someones. Remember the last time someone appreciated you? and how enlivened you felt? Why wouldn’t you want to make someone else feel that way?  

I’m like you. I get busy and don’t take the time to let others know what they mean to me and how they have contributed to my life. I also know what a difference it would make for them to hear it.

Just yesterday my wife invited 10 people over for a belated birthday celebration and after all the food was eaten and gifts opened up, everyone took a turn telling me three things they appreciate about me. It’s always a bit awkward to give and receive appreciation, but it was worth more than all the gifts people brought. To know that I make a difference, even in a small way, stokes the ‘fire in my belly’ to give more.    

Join me in taking more time to honestly appreciate those around you. 

Life Review

I'm turning 64 this labor day. I find that staying upbeat is becoming more of a challenge these days. I have a great life by anyone's standards and I still get mired in the muck sometimes. I know better...I can do better. 

I got to thinking about a previous life when I was a Dale Carnegie instructor for ten years. How would I have coached myself then? 

So I have decided to read Dale Carnegie's signature work again... How To Win Friends And Influence People, a chapter a day and post the principle focused in the chapter. There are 30 in all, so not a bad way to spend September. 

So here is principle #1:



Let Your iPhone Be Your Magnifying Glass

If you are like me, there are times when you just can't read the fine print. It may  be because the light is too low or that the print is way too small. Let your phone come to your rescue.

You can set your phone up to respond to a triple tap on the home button with becoming a magnifying glass with a built in light source.

Here's how:

Go to settings-general-accessibility-magnifyer and slide the toggle to on.


Please Apple Please!

I just read a review written by Serenity caldwell about the iPad pro and Apple pencil. An absolute must read. 

She is amazing and quite an artist too!  I am not really a fan of the larger format of the iPad pro and am excited at the possibility that Apple is going to unveil a 10" iPad pro on the 21st. 

I just bought an iPad air 2 but will sell it in a heartbeat if that happens.