Intero Cool Apps: Stand Out with Animated Videos

0 Comments

As Realtors, getting your name and services out there is super important to succeeding at your business. In today’s day and age of internet, this task is at your fingertips. That’s right, between your circle of friends on facebook to your twitter followers, your next client could be anywhere. Now the question is: How are you going to make them see you?

In a daily social media stream of thousands of posts, pictures and videos are what catches your eye. Why is that? Less work for you. Why would you want to read text when a picture says a thousand words? Or you can be entertained with a video?

Well we’ve already showed you how to make those impressive, eye catching images using Canva so today we’re going to show you an app that will help you make some stellar entertaining videos.

wideo logo_jpgWideo is an online tool that allows you to easily make animation videos for, well basically anything (presentations, teaching lessons, promotions, for fun, etc). The site is super intuitive which makes it possible for anyone to create cool videos.

The instant I saw this app I thought “what a great way for agents to promote themselves.” Just think about it, everyone has a bio written up but, let’s be honest, who is actually going to read through the whole thing? With Wideo, you can turn your bio into a quick video just by highlighting a few key points about yourself and your business (ie: what you can offer and what makes you so great). Use one of Wideo’s already made templates, plug in the text and you’ll have a nice little promotional video about yourself in minutes.

Use this as an advertisement on facebook or embed it onto your website. It’s so much more interesting than reading a written bio and, I promise, it will help you stand out from the crowd!

Check out the sample video below to see what your next promotion could look like:

wideo video

Click Here To Play


Thursday’s Thoughts On Leadership: Trust Is Vital

0 Comments

Strong leaders understand the essential nature of trust. My recent travels took me to Orlando, Florida and the 2014 Brookfield Forum for relocation professionals, where Stephen M.R. Covey delivered a terrific keynote on the economics of trust and the cores of credibility. It reminded me of Covey’s 2009 book, The Speed of Trust, and his simple formula for how trust impacts transactions between individuals and organizations.

In short:

  • Increased Trust = Increased Speed and Decreased Cost

And, conversely:

  • Decreased Trust = Decreased Speed and Increased Cost

Trust is vital to any relationship and relationships built on trust flourish. A breach of trust will tarnish reputations and cause transactions to fail.

Without question, trustworthiness must be given the highest priority. I was reminded of this just recently while listening to Unbeatable Mind, the brand-new book by former Navy SEAL Commander Mark Divine. In Unbeatable Mind, Divine offers five simple steps to ensure trustworthiness:

  1. Always meet your commitments
  2. Do more than is expected
  3. Do things faster than expected
  4. Achieve better results than expected
  5. Do all of the above with integrity and with little fanfare

Clean and simple … these are great steps for better business and better living.


Monday Morning Mojo: Stay Calm

0 Comments

Living in Silicon Valley is akin to going 200 miles an hour with your hair on fire. It is an exciting, inspiring and amazing place to live and work, but it is also incredibly competitive and intense. In every industry you are going head to head with the best of the best in the world doing whatever it takes to get the edge and win. As a result it can also be an incredibly stressful place if you don’t know how to manage it. So, the question is, how do you manage it and stay calm because your ability to manager your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. I was reading a great article a few weeks back titled How Successful People Stay Calm. After checking it out I knew it was mojo material so today I’m sharing it with you. Here are the ten best strategies to stay calm:

  1. Appreciate What You Have – Take time daily to contemplate what you’re grateful for. Research shows that people who work daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experience improved mood, energy, and physical well-being.
  2. Avoid Asking “What if?” – This statement is like throwing fuel on the fire of stress and worry. Things can go a million different directions and the more time you spend worrying about the possibilities, the less time you’ll spend focusing on taking action. Calm people know that asking “what if?” will only take them to a place they don’t want or need to go.
  3. Stay Positive – Positive thoughts help make stress intermittent by focusing your brain’s attention onto something that is completely stress-free. When things are going poorly, and your mind is flooded with negative thoughts, this can be a challenge. In these moments, think about your day or week and identify one positive thing that happened, no matter how small. You must have something positive that you’re ready to shift your attention to when your thoughts turn negative.
  4. Disconnect – When you make yourself available 24/7 it is extremely difficult to enjoy a stress-free moment…you are exposing yourself to a constant barrage of stressors. Forcing yourself offline and turning off your phone (gulp) gives your body a break and lowers stress levels. This is a super tough one in Silicon Valley and one definitely need to work on myself.
  5. Limit the Caffeine intake – Another brutal one for me. Caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline which is a “fight-or-flight” response. This kind of a response sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but no so great when you’re responding to a curt email.
  6. Sleep – When you sleep your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them so you wake up alert and clear-headed. Not getting a decent night’s sleep is often the one thing keeping you from getting things under control. Snooze!
  7. Squash Negative Self Talk – Don’t be a Debbie Downer. The more you squander in negative thoughts the more power you give them. Remember that most thoughts are just that…thoughts, not facts. When it feels like something always or never happens, this is just your brain’s natural threat tendency inflating the perceived frequency or severity of an event. You can bet that your statements or thought aren’t true any time you use words like “never”, “worst”, “ever”, etc.
  8. Reframe your perspective – You can’t control your circumstances, but you can control how you respond to them. Before you spend too much time dwelling on something negative, take a minute to put the situation in perspective. When you start thinking or saying things like “Everything is going wrong” or “Nothing will work out,” then you need to reframe the situation.
  9. Breathe – This is the easiest way to control your stress. The practice of being in the moment with your breathing will begin to train your brain to focus solely on the task at hand and get the stress monkey off your back. Close the door, put away all other distraction and just sit in a chair and breathe…focus on your breathing.
  10. Use your support system –It’s tempting, but entirely ineffective, to tackling everything yourself. To be calm and productive we need to recognize our weaknesses and ask for help. Everyone has someone at work and/or outside work who is on your team, rooting for you, and ready to help. Most of the time, other people can see a solution that you can’t because they are not as emotionally invested in the situation. Asking for help will not only reduce your stress but it will strengthen your relationships with those you rely on. I always say it shows your strength when you ask for help and shows weakness when you don’t.

I don’t know about you but I know I have some work to do.

Be fired up, but stay calm and CRUSH IT!!!!!


Weekend Wellness: Top 10 Things Taken For Granted

0 Comments

The other day, I heard the list below, read to me by one of my teachers. I don’t know if I was in “that” space to where it hit me hard, or it’s just a beautiful piece. Regardless, I feel compelled to share! I don’t know who wrote it, how this was researched, or even when this was researched; however I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Top 10 things people claim to have taken for granted when they were alive:

10) How important they were to SO many

9) How easy life was when they stopped struggling and fighting

8) That all their prayers and thoughts were heard

7) That there really were no coincidences

6) How far ripples of their kindness actually spread (* my personal favorite!)

5) What really was important…happiness, friends and love

4) That any and all of their dreams could have come true had they wanted it badly enough

3) How good looking and fun they always were if they would have just relaxes

2) How much guidance they received whenever they asked for help

1) That “life” is in everything, everywhere, especially themselves.

Enjoy! Who are you important to? What dreams do you have? Where has your kindness spread? Do you ask for help? Where do you see life?


Intero Cool Apps: A Smarter Sprinkler System

0 Comments

Saving water has been a big concern here in California, as well as other parts of the country, this year. While some people have been holding off on watering anything in their yard to conserve water, others are letting their sprinkles go for hours. Both are hard to watch in this time of water uncertainty so to help with that, today we’re adding one more app to your suite of smart home controls; one specifically designed to monitor your irrigation system.

Greenbox logo

Greenbox is a sprinkler control system that uses your smart phone to program and optimize your watering schedule.

Setting it up is easy. Just install the Greenbox controller right next to your current analog one. Through this controller, you can control up to 8 zones of your yard. Download the app and your irrigation system is at your fingertips. Label each zone and even take a picture of the area so you know exactly where that zone is.

Use your phone to set up your watering schedule and adjust timing as you wish for each zone. The app will optimize your watering programs using a proprietary irrigation algorithm so your grass and plants get exactly the amount of water they need.

greenbox screen shot

Using location-based weather data, Greenbox will send you notifications about upcoming changes in the weather so you can update your watering schedule if needed. You can even set up the app to automatically turn off if there’s any sign of rain. That means no more wasted watering in the middle of a rainstorm!

Be the first in your neighborhood with a smart sprinkler system by ordering your Greenbox today. The devices are $249.00 each and will ship this fall.


Thursday’s Thoughts on Leadership: The Power of Five

0 Comments

A colleague of mine, Melanie Terry, owner of iDesign Spaces and a good friend of Intero’s, just finished reading one of my favorite books, The 5 Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. Talking to her about it reminded me of the clarity I, myself, found after reading it. The book is a powerful code of conduct that can lead to greater happiness and sense of purpose and possibilities.

Remember the agreements?

  1. Be impeccable with your word – In other words, speak with integrity and steep your words in truth and love.
  2. Don’t take anything personally – What others may say about you is a projection of their own reality, not yours. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
  3. Don’t make assumptions – Ask questions and communicate clearly with others to avoid misunderstandings.
  4. Always do your best – By always doing your best you avoid regret and self-judgment.
  5. Be skeptical, but learn to listen – Question everything, listen to the intent behind words and you will understand the real message.

Human interaction is often complicated yet The Five Agreements reduce it to very simple terms. The agreements remind us of who we are, how to behave, how to accept ourselves, and what is possible. By stressing respect of everything around us, they become a roadmap to joy, personal satisfaction and fulfillment.

As Don Miguel writes, “By practicing the Five Agreements, what you are really doing is respecting everything in creation. You are respecting your dream; you are respecting everybody else’s dream. [Through The Five Agreements] your effort is really for everyone, because your joy, your happiness, your peace, and your heaven are contagious. When you are happy, the people around you are happy too, and it inspires them to change their own world.”

Perspectives aligned on the road to happiness …


Monday Morning Mojo: Amy’s Inspiration

0 Comments

This past Saturday, August 9th, it was 8 years since my cousin Amy passed away from breast cancer at the age of 41. In the final year of her life she received Monday Morning MOJO every week and loved it. We shared thoughts back and forth via e-mail many times after I would send it. This is the MOJO I wrote after she passed away on my flight back home from her memorial service. I have made a commitment to send this out as a Monday Morning MOJO every year at this time as a tribute to Amy and her life. I think there are great thoughts in this MOJO that one can never hear too often.

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 4.42.16 PM


I walked into my home on Saturday night from one of the most emotionally draining experiences of my life.

Attending and presenting a reading at the funeral of my 41 year-old cousin, Amy.

Amy was beautiful, healthy and living the American dream. She had a storybook marriage and two beautiful daughters (12 and 14) when tragedy struck sixteen months ago.

In the words of her daughter, “It was a clear blue spring day – well, at least it was outside, because inside it was raining. We felt sadness and disbelief from the bad news. Not just regular bad news – but the kind where your life seems to fall apart in just two simple minutes. We listened closely to mother as she whispered, ‘It’s cancer,’ and immediately feelings of shock, anger, and fear rushed through us all.”

Under her tears her daughter said faintly “Just never lose faith. Nobody knows what it’s like until it happens to them. And when it’s YOUR Mom how you view the world begins to change. You look at the mountains and now see their magnificence, just as seeing my Mom smile became everything to me. I started to appreciate life so much more. During those final months we would spend time gazing at the night sky, and I treasure every day that she would say, ‘I love you more than all of the stars in the sky.’ Looking back at how it used to be, and how it would have been, and how it’s going to be without her by my side – truly it will never be the same.”

Her words I repeated over and over in my mind. It felt as though someone had shook me – forcing my eyes open to see the world for what it really it was. Forcing me to take a hard look at the ultimate truth, the truth that has the power to wake us up and make us live before it’s too late.

“Amy is gone,” the truth told me quietly, “and someday you will be, and so will all the people you love – it’s just a matter of time.”

So I ask you – are you doing what you want to do right now with your life, or are you putting off living your hopes and dreams because you think there will always be a tomorrow? If my cousin were here, she’d tell you differently, she’d say, “there will come a time when tomorrow doesn’t come, and you are wasting your time if you are not loving and laughing and enjoying your days now, while you can.”

This leaves us with a choice – we can delete this message because we find it too depressing, or we can let this message be a force that pushes us over the tipping point into the life we dream of. That is most often what it takes, something so strong it carries us past our fears and doubts and the terrors that come when we think about finally doing the things we’ve been dreaming about for so long.

Let Amy be your inspiration this morning. And realize she had a great life, doing the things she loved, with the people she loved – and she would want you to do the same.

I’ve heard it all; it’s just not possible, I’ve got obligations, responsibilities, and don’t forget the economy, and of course the – I can’t just DO what I want – I’ve got a job, bills, yada yada yada…

All those excuses mean nothing when your time comes, and who knows when that might be. All I know is the days are passing quickly and now is the time to do what YOU KNOW you need to do. Don’t put if off, or you may just be too late.

We will miss you Amy.


Weekend Wellness: Functional Training

0 Comments

Functional training…what does that mean? In my career, I see that if someone doesn’t “function” well with their body’s actions and reactions, they are going to have a difficult time functioning in general; especially as they (we) age. I know personally, if I can do full body movements which mimic real life (lifting my ipad from behind my car seat when in a hurry, carrying groceries up stairs, hopping over sidewalk cracks, catching myself from tripping over my dog’s tennis balls, etc), I will save myself from “out of the blue” aches and pains. This is “function”. However, I thought it might be nice to recruit a few of the experts I work with and get their opinion of why functional training is not only necessary, but something everyone should seriously consider as a part of their daily training.

Here we go…

“Functional training is something that, in my opinion, as a Chiropractor of 15 years, everyone should be incorporating into their fitness routine. In essence, it is a very effective type of exercise that involves training the body to be capable of doing real-life activities in real-life positions. You train several muscle groups at once, which can improve balance, core stabilization, strength, and flexibility. Functional training is a key part of the pyramid for optimal health which includes not only training, but entire body and mind care.”

Dr. Steve Nandkeshwar D.C.,C.P.T
Chiropractor/Personal Trainer
www.losgatosbackdoctor.com

 

“Functional Training allows us to perform life’s tasks more efficiently. This includes: balance, stability, core training, and dynamic training. The result is performing daily activities more easily without injury. Functional training makes every other activity in life that much easier.”

Saul Cervantes, CPT
Body Firm Personal Training

 

“As a sports therapist, people tell me daily about their “training.” Whether it be cycling, running, crossfit or any other athletic of choice, our options are limitless in our training. But what are we training for? Barring the small percentage of people training for a milestone or in a competitive capacity, the rest of us are always just “training.” I will briefly pick on cycling- I love cycling. It is an amazing display of athleticism, great for the cardiovascular system, generally easy on the joints, but for what part of our daily lifestyle does the movement itself create benefit? Discrimination aside, the answer I have received the most for my question “what are you training for?” is “Life, I guess.” Enter Functional Training. “Life” as a movement pattern is a complex, multi-planar, ever-changing demand from our body’s joint health, muscular strength and endurance, fascial integration and cardiovascular capacity. If we aren’t spending time each week to train with these purposes in mind, then we’re not only not training for life, but we’re missing out on a HUGE resource of physical capability within our bodies. To quote Gray Cook, the master of functional movement, “first move well, then move often.”

Cody Fowler D.C. CPT
Symmetry Sports Therapy and Performance Care
Body Firm Wellness Center
Los Gatos, CA

I hope this takes some of the mystery out of the word “function” and might help you train a little differently…or shall I say mindfully!


Intero Cool Apps: Paying Friends Has Never Been Easier

0 Comments

You’re going out to the movies with a friend and are running late. You’re friend gets the tickets and when you arrive tells you the price was $11.50. You don’t have any cash on you, because, come on, who carries cash these days.

Never fear! Venmo is here! You pull out your phone, open the app, choose your friend, type in the amount and click Send Payment. Done, in the clear. $11.50 off you IOY list. Best part: you can enjoy the movie in peace knowing you and your good friend are square.

venmo logoThat’s really how simple Venmo, the peer-to-peer payment system, really is. I’m telling you, this little app is pretty ingenious and as long as you don’t use a credit card to make payments, it’s free. The free forms of payment include direct bank transfer and venmo account transfer. Don’t worry. Venmo uses bank-grade security systems and data encryption to protect you and prevent unauthorized transactions so it’s totally secure.

With your mind at easy about the security, just think of all the uses this little app can help with: dinners out with friends, pitching in for baseball tickets, paying rent, anything that you would have previously had to use cash or a Venmo screen shotcheck for, all free of fees. Oh and it’s simple to use. The app pulls your contact list from your phone or facebook so anyone with the app will automatically be added to your list of potential payees. Just select who you would like to pay, put in the amount and press send payment. The payment will go into the payees Venmo account until they decide to transfer it out or use it for their next Venmo purchase.

Try it out today! You will be amazed at how your payment life changes.


Thursday’s Thoughts on Leadership: Eight Minutes to Sort your Day

0 Comments

How well do you master distraction? How efficient are you at focusing on top-priority tasks and ensuring that the most important work gets done in any given day?

The relationship between success and responsibility is almost always proportional. As you achieve more in business, you also become more in demand, held accountable for managing more projects and making the tough decisions. Suddenly, your schedule is booked before you even step into the office, consumed by unanswered emails, dangling meeting requests and missed calls.

So, how can you manage a business and yourself? Well, here’s my advice: Take a minute. Set your phone or your computer alarm to sound every hour during the day. Allow yourself eight of these one-minute check-ins to pause, reflect, recharge, recalibrate and refocus.

I was inspired to try this simple but effective idea after reading Peter Bregman’s book, 18 Minutes: Find your Focus, Master Distraction and Get the Right Things Done. Named business book of the year on NPR, 18 Minutes has enjoyed tremendous success because it distills the complex problem of time management into an easy-to-implement solution that really works. By taking just one minute out of each hour daily, you’ll be able to reprioritize your tasks and focus on what is truly important: running a successful business, as any great leader should.