What Are You Eating?

Top Producer Cartoon by Kelsey Sarles
"Top Producer" is by Kelsey Sarles for Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R).

Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Roanoke, and Salem, Virginia real estate and homes Coldwell Banker Townside specializes in in Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Roanoke, and Salem, Virginia real estate and homes and national and global relocation services to the Blacksburg, Virginia and Roanoke, Virginia areas. You're invited to check out the CBT blog, Keepin' It Real Estate, visit Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R) on Facebook, and see more of Coldwell Banker Townside on Handshake 2.0.

Download the Coldwell Banker Townside App in the iTunes App Store or in the Android Market.

Read more from Margaret Galecki on Handshake 2.0 and view more from Kelsey Sarles on Handshake 2.0.

Coldwell Banker Townside REALTORS is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

(After) Thoughts on Public Speaking

Every week I stand up in front of 20 or more real estate agents and share my insights about the market, detail updates about changes in real estate law or contracts, and give pep talks about being the best you can be in the real estate profession.  I would consider myself a “mini” public speaker.

As a sales manager, I have chosen not to sell real estate so that I am not competing with my agents.  Though I don't do a personal "pitch," I frequently have opportunities to promote the company and the agents in small, casual groups and when meeting with prospective agents.  I get to talk about our agents, the Coldwell Banker Townside reputation, the value of our full-time marketing department, our mobile app, and our company video. I usually get several minutes, sometimes longer, to develop rapport and tell (sell) the whole story.

Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, Virginia, Business After Hours at Smithfield Plantation As one of the sponsors of a recent evening's Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, Virginia, Business After Hours event, I had the opportunity to speak to the members for a brief moment about our sponsorship.  Thankfully, I did manage to say my name, Margaret Galecki, and that I was the general manager of Coldwell Banker Townside. I smiled when I spoke of the rain clouds subsiding and the food being wonderful. I even managed to give a momentary tribute to the agents (thanks to the Go Blue! Team), who helped sponsor the event by serving adult beverages to members.  However, as I lay in bed the next morning waiting for the alarm to ring, I rewrote my speech…

At the very least, I should have mentioned that we are a full service real estate firm with offices in Blacksburg and Roanoke, Virginia. I should have introduced the fine agents who helped serve: Susanna LillyAllen Cowley, and Dennis Smith. I should have at least mentioned the availability of top real estate professionals and their willingness and desire to help with all real estate needs.  I should have invited members to call or to visit our website and I could have done all that in under 30 seconds.

At the risk of giving unsolicited advice, as a representative of a business, may I suggest you NOT wait until the morning after to have your 30-second pitch ready to deliver.

You're invited to read more from Margaret Galecki on Handshake 2.0 and to download the Coldwell Banker Townside App for the iPhone in the iTunes App Store or in the Android Market.

Margaret Galecki is a client columnist for Handshake 2.0. Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R) is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.  The Coldwell Banker Townside App is a Handshake(R) mobile application from Handshake Media.

Alien Babies: Watch What You Read

From Margaret Galecki:

Years ago, I was standing in the line at the gas station waiting to pay for my gas.  The line wasn’t very long so I was avidly reading the headlines of the tabloids to make sure I could finish them before it was my turn to pay.  The line moved quickly and I joked with the cashier that she was too fast – I didn’t have time to find out what was really going on in the world.  She nodded in agreement and we had a “moment” sharing the outrageousness of the “what people will publish.”  I read one headline out to her: “Alien Baby Raised by Chimps.”  Her smile disappeared, her eyes narrowed, she leaned towards me earnestly and said, “Oh, but that one is TRUE!”

Margaret Galecki compiles real estate data for buyers and sellers Also in the real estate world, we have to be careful of what we publish knowing that the information we share may be read and believed!  With the voluminous amount of real estate statistics available, I would caution a seller or potential seller to beware of national or aggregate local data and statistics. 

Real estate data is most often represented by statistics dealing with what has been already been sold. Whereas "sold" statistics may help in some respects in understanding the market in the immediate past, an agent can help a seller wade through all of the information to understand the current market conditions and competition even more. 

Average sale prices for the last six months in Blacksburg, Christiansburg and Radford, Virginia vary by as much as $70,000 for a single family home, so it is very important to be specific in analyzing a particular market. Unlike tabloid-like information available to the masses, your agent has exclusive access to data that can tell you at what price most properties in your neighborhood or community are being offered, what price most buyers are likely to offer, and how long it will take before you are likely to get an offer.

You're invited to read more from Margaret Galecki on Handshake 2.0 and to download the Coldwell Banker Townside App for the iPhone in the iTunes App Store or in the Android Market.

Margaret Galecki is a client columnist for Handshake 2.0.  Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R) is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

Hey, Mom, I’m on TV!

From Margaret Galecki, Coldwell Banker, Townside, REALTORS(R):

But it’s even better than that… Hey, Mom, I’m on YouTube!

As a business person, I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to launch our new video. Aren’t the rules of social media to give something of value without asking for business in return? Am I supposed to be subtle and hope you embrace the charm of the video and not remind you that we are trying to engage you with our personality so that ultimately when you need a real estate agency, you’ll think of Coldwell Banker Townside? Or do I pummel you with the obvious and remind you how important video is on the Internet today (over 40% of the content online is now video) and that the use of video in the real estate market is important to consumers (73% of homeowners are more likely to list with a REALTOR offering to do a video)?  Will I miss the best impact of the video if I Ieave out the national Coldwell Banker tagline, “We never stop moving,” to help remind you we’re “moving” with technology in real time? (We’ve got a mobile app, too!)

I’ll just say I’m proud of our agents, and our marketing team, Kelsey Sarles and Caroline Laski, for putting together this video. We have updated our website and I’m hoping this video will entice you to take a look to see what we’re about.  We do have a more streamlined look to our website and we’ve put a home search feature on the home page that quickly accesses real estate listings in the New River Valley and Roanoke, Virginia.  You can also see our new listings, price changes, and weekly open houses with one click.

But again, the fun stuff is our new Coldwell Banker Townside video featuring owners Bill Gearhart and Anne Lee Stevens, yours truly, and many of the agents in our Blacksburg and Roanoke offices. Hope you enjoy.



You’re invited to read more from Margaret Galecki on Handshake 2.0 and to download the Coldwell Banker Townside App for the iPhone in the iTunes App Store or in the Android Market.

Margaret Galecki is a client columnist for Handshake 2.0.  Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R) is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

Who’s in FRONT? Margaret Galecki

Margaret Galecki Margaret Galecki, General Manager of the Blacksburg, Virginia office of Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS, was featured in "The Real Estate App" by Rachel Garrity in the March, 2011 issue of Valley Business FRONT.

Photo credit: Rachel Garrity

Valley Business FRONT is the monthly magazine for in-depth business news in the Roanoke Valley and the New River Valley of Virginia. You're invited to read moreFRONT and to follow Valley Business FRONT on Twitter, @vbFRONT.

Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS is a sponsor of the first meeting of the Network of Women Mobile Application Developers in Blacksburg, Virginia.

You can read posts by Margaret Galecki on Handshake 2.0.

The Coldwell Banker Townside App is a Your Handshake(R) App, a Handshake(R) brand mobile application from Handshake Media, Incorporated.

Download the Coldwell Banker Townside App for the iPhone in the iTunes App Store

Download the Coldwell Banker Townside App for the Android in the Android Market

Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R) is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

Mobile App from Coldwell Banker Townside Realtors in FRONT

In Valley Business FRONT, that is.  Margaret Galecki, General Manager of the Blacksburg, Virginia office of Coldwell Banker Townside REALTORS, is featured in "The Real Estate App" by Rachel Garrity in the March, 2011 issue of Valley Business FRONT.  You can "turn" to page 30 and read the story online.

Coldwell Banker Townside App is featured in Valley Business FRONT

The Coldwell Banker Townside App is a Your Handshake(TM) App, a Handshake(TM) brand mobile application from Handshake Media, Incorporated. 

Download the Coldwell Banker Townside App for the iPhone in the iTunes App Store
Download the Coldwell Banker Townside App for the Android in the Android Market

Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R), is a full service real estate agency specializing in Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Roanoke, and Salem, Virginia real estate and homes.  You're invited to check out the CBTownside blog, Keepin' It Real Estate, visit Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R) on Facebook, follow Coldwell Banker Townside on Twitter, and learn more about Coldwell Banker Townside on Handshake 2.0

You're invited to read posts by Margaret Galecki on Handshake 2.0.

Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R) is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

The Coldwell Banker Townside App is a Your Handshake(TM) App from the line of Handshake(TM) mobile applications developed by Handshake Media, Incorporated

The Things We Do for Love (Love of the Business)

A group of agents from Coldwell Banker Townside attended a Hobbs-Herder marketing seminar in Charlotte, North Carolina a few weeks ago to learn ideas on how to enhance their personal marketing. As a company, we also chose to send our marketing department staff members Kelsey Sarles and Caroline Laski because we wanted to support the promotion techniques the agents were learning. 

I really like real estate seminars, even when they are a little “cheesy,” because I always feel like I am better at my job for having attended.  I always gain knowledge; I am always inspired; I am sometimes a little embarrassed; but almost always I get just plain fun from doing something new and sharing with other real estate professionals. 

When I saw the exercise in the video, I knew that the agents and our marketing team had experienced all.  The participants were asked to write their five-year plans on a wooden board, write obstacles to the success of those plans, and then in a moment of power and abandonment, break through their obstacles.  Pretty cool. They confronted knowledge of self, were inspired by goals and truth, and had fun purely from laughing and sharing the moment.

I am inspired by agents when they “give it up” for their talent. Trying new things is hard for all, but I really appreciate when an agent, or any professional, is willing to enhance, educate, and enlighten purely for the love of, and the desire to be better in, their business. 



You can see all of the Coldwell Banker Townside participants on Keepin’ it Real and read a little about their experience first-hand.

Margaret Galecki is the General Manager of Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS in Blacksburg, Virginia. You’re invited to read more by Margaret Galecki on Handshake 2.0.

Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R), is a full service real estate agency specializing in Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Roanoke, and Salem, Virginia real estate and homes.  You’re invited to learn all about the Coldwell Banker Townside App, check out the CBTownside blog, Keepin’ It Real Estate, visit Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R) on Facebook, follow Coldwell Banker Townside on Twitter, and learn more about Coldwell Banker Townside on Handshake 2.0

Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R) is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

Nothing Works Until You Do

When I first came to work at Coldwell Banker Townside in 2002, Mike Eggleston shared some of his best advice for a real estate agent or any business person:  "Nothing works until you do."

I admired that work ethic so much and didn't want to forget the wording, so I wrote it down on a scrap of paper and pinned it to my bulletin board for inspiration.  That same scrap has traveled with me as I've changed offices and still hangs, eight years later, on my bulletin board to inspire and guide me in the real estate business.

Nothing works until you do.

Margaret Galecki is the General Manager of Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS in Blacksburg, Virginia. You're invited to read more by Margaret Galecki on Handshake 2.0.

Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R), is a full service real estate agency specializing in Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Roanoke, and Salem, Virginia real estate and homes.  You're invited to learn all about the Coldwell Banker Townside App, check out the CBTownside blog, Keepin' It Real Estate, visit Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R) on Facebook, follow Coldwell Banker Townside on Twitter, and learn more about Coldwell Banker Townside on Handshake 2.0

Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R) is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

On Being Average

If you want to be average, be average. But be happy about it.After one particularly lazy quarter in 1981 at Virginia Tech, I sat on the edge of the bed in my room and burst into tears when I opened my grades.  My mother came in and found me boo-hooing, and asked quite simply whether I had done work that warranted any higher grades.  "Truthfully," I answered through the tears, "No."  In one of her most brilliant mother moments, she relieved me of the responsibility to please only her:  "Margaret, if you want to be average, be average. But be happy about it."

What relief!  I felt instantaneous pleasure at the loss of that parental performance burden.  The next feeling, however, and equally as strong, was a flash of anger. "I'm not average!  How could anyone assume that I am average, or be happy with being average? Harumph."  Needless to say, when I took responsibility for my own success, my grades and my pride in performance improved significantly and I learned so much more because somehow it really was finally up to me.

I've told this story to the agents at Coldwell Banker Townside at the beginning of each year to help them understand that their financial success is a personal choice.  Being an ethical, resourceful, responsive real estate agent is a necessity, required by their clients and by the company.  But choosing how much work to do to have more business is a personal decision.  Year-end reviews of production and the bottom line show how much "work" was done by each agent.  As they prepare their business plans for the coming year, I remind them to ask themselves if they are "average" and "happy" and to adjust accordingly.

Margaret Galecki is the General Manager of Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS in Blacksburg, Virginia. You're invited to read more by Margaret Galecki on Handshake 2.0.

Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R), is a full service real estate agency specializing in Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Roanoke, and Salem, Virginia real estate and homes.  You're invited to learn all about the Coldwell Banker Townside App, check out the CBTownside blog, Keepin' It Real Estate, visit Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R) on Facebook, follow Coldwell Banker Townside on Twitter, and learn more about Coldwell Banker Townside on Handshake 2.0

Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R) is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

Keeping it Real at Coldwell Banker, Townside REALTORS

This post by Margaret Galecki originally appeared on the Coldwell Banker, Townside REALTORS blog, Keepin' It Real Estate.

Baby-handshake Though I know that searching for a new home is not always as fun as it may seem, such as when the perfect property is not available and both client and agent become frustrated, one recent home-viewing journey provided me with a little insight into how personally enriching a real estate career can be. As a non-competing manager, I rarely show property, but last week I had the opportunity to ride along with our principal broker, Bill Gearhart, while showing property to a family relocating from California.

Their four year-old daughter was quite charming and told me stories about Disneyland, her favorite blanket, and her Chow, “Max,” who was getting very, very old.  She explained that her parents both worked out of town sometimes and that when one was away, the other parent took care of her. I asked if they were ever both gone, and her mother joked that “Max” could take care of her if that ever happened. The little girl immediately responded and said, “That would be impossible.” She continued saying, “He doesn’t have hands.” Seemed like a simple and reasonable point, but I was intrigued by her answer. “And why does that matter?” I said. She looked at me with surprised wide eyes and replied, “No hugs!”

via www.cbtownside.com

Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R), is a full service real estate agency specializing in Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Roanoke, and Salem, Virginia real estate and homes.  You're invited to learn all about the Coldwell Banker Townside App, check out the CBTownside blog, Keepin' It Real Estate, visit Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R) on Facebook, follow Coldwell Banker Townside on Twitter, and learn more about Coldwell Banker Townside on Handshake 2.0

Coldwell Banker Townside, REALTORS (R) is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.