VanDyk Mortgage - February 2020


Letters From the Hart Give us a call! 239-437-4278 Or visit ALWAYS ON CAMERA What Would Facebook Have Looked Like in the ‘90s? Corporate NMLS #3035

What’s the dumbest thing you ever did as a teenager?

We all have that story we never told our parents until we were too old for them to ground us. Those experiences are part of being a teenager. My oldest is 12 and I’ve been thinking about how his teenage experiences will be different from mine. A big thing that comes to mind is the ever-present force of social media. Can you imagine what life would have been like if your friends posted about your teenage antics online for the world to see? I grew up in the 80s–90s, when the Sega Genesis and Nintendo were cutting edge. Today, everyone has a supercomputer in their pocket. My kids have to worry about someone taking a picture of them at any moment. I can’t imagine what would have happened if someone posted a video of me at 17 partying in the woods after I told my parents I was going to a movie — not that I ever did that, of course. The point is that being a teenager would have been totally different if I had to worry about someone pulling out their phone and livestreaming me. Smartphones would have made my life way worse when I was a teenager, and not just because my family would have clamped down on everything I ever did until I was 30. I see the kind of things kids today have to deal with when it comes to social media and it’s rough. Being a teenager is hard enough without the eyes of the entire internet on you. You can’t help but wonder the kind of impact this attention will have on this generation. “Smartphones would have made my life way worse when I was a teenager …”

When I was a teenager, I could make a fool of myself and totally fail, and only two of my friends were around. Today, kids have the entire world watching. One silly mistake can be livestreamed and suddenly it goes viral. They’re surrounded by live mics and cameras ready to catch every mistake. We can be recorded at a drop of the hat and never know it. How does that impact a kid when making mistakes is part of growing up? None of this is to say I’m anti-modern technology. A lot of it is pretty great. I would have loved to play video games online with my friends and cousins when I was a kid! I see my son get on his Xbox to play with his friends and they’re always laughing and having a great time. There are a lot of things about modern technology that makes being a kid look pretty fun. Social media just isn’t one of those things.

All I can say is thank God I didn’t grow up with smartphones!

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Mythical Adventures Await in the Mediterranean

Gozo, Malta

In a 2008 survey conducted by the National Trust in Britain, children were more likely to correctly identify a Dalek from “Doctor Who” than a barn owl. Likewise, a 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study of 8–18-year-olds in the U.S. found that the average youth spends more than 53 hours a week engaged with entertainment media. These statistics, coupled with growing concerns that children are spending less time outdoors, are leading to terms like “nature deficit disorder” and global initiatives to get kids outside. Why is contact with the outdoors so important? Researchers are answering this question by studying the benefits of time One of the oldest stories in Western literature is Homer’s “The Odyssey.” This epic poem tells the story of Odysseus and his long journey home after the Trojan War. While Odysseus’ travels were fraught with mythical monsters and magic, many of the places he visited are said to be inspired by real islands in the Mediterranean. Even today, travelers flock to these islands looking for peace, adventure, and epic stories of their own. One of the most popular stories in “The Odyssey” is the tale of Odysseus rescuing his crew from Polyphemus, a man-eating Cyclops. It’s said that Polyphemus made his home on what is now modern-day Sicily. Fortunately, there are no Cyclopes in Sicily today; there are only cultural festivals, world-class golf courses, and delicious food. Sicily, Italy

While Odysseus’ journey was perilous, he did enjoy one peaceful stop. Odysseus spent seven years on the mythical island of Ogygia, home of the nymph Calypso. Historians suspect that Ogygia was Gaudos, now modern- day Gozo, Malta. Gozo is home to the Ġgantija temples, which are older than the Egyptian pyramids. In addition to exploring its archaeological marvels, Gozo’s visitors can also enjoy snorkeling, horseback riding, and other memorable adventures.

your trip. Visitors can enjoy their morning coffee by a seaside cafe before lounging on a secluded beach for the rest of the day. It’s no wonder why Odysseus fought so hard to get back to Ithaca! With dozens of other islands to explore, the Mediterranean is the perfect place to plan your own odyssey — minus the mythical monsters, of course.

Ithaca, Greece

If you want to chart your own odyssey, make your final stop Odysseus’ home, the island of Ithaca. Covered in lush greenery and quaint villages, Ithaca is a wonderful place to relax at the end of

Science Wants You to Stop and Smell the Roses


matters. Visits to nature centers and watching “Planet Earth” are two ways to experience the outdoors. But research points specifically to the importance of free play in the natural world: unstructured outdoor time when children can explore and engage with their natural surroundings with no curriculum, lesson, or activity to complete. Ever notice how kids are fascinated by the simplest things? A child visits a rose garden, but before they even get to the flowers, they become captivated by a leaf on the ground or an ant crawling on their shoe. Children are born naturalists. These are the moments we need to recapture. Take a page out of that kid’s book, and as the saying goes, stop and smell the roses — or leaves or ants — with no checklist and no plan, just time spent playing outside.

spent in nature. One benefit is that outdoor time helps kids understand boundaries and learn how to assess risk. As naturalist, author, and broadcaster Stephen Moss puts it, “Falling out of a tree is a very good lesson in risk-reward.” Not to mention, time in nature may help improve focus for hyperactive kids. In one national study of youths by the University of Illinois, participants’ attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms were reduced after spending time in a green setting versus a more urban one. This may be due to the fact that natural environments call upon our “soft fascination,” a less exhausting type of focus than what is required by urban environments. Emotional benefits were discovered too, including reduced aggression, increased happiness, and improved self-esteem.

Beyond just getting outside, the type of contact we have with nature also

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itself. But it just doesn’t work with how we use social media. It’s fun and cool, but you need to scroll through and when the video pops up, it's usually paused in some funky freeze-frame face. You only have two seconds to catch someone’s attention on Facebook. Make sure the image they see is going to resonate with them.” 3. Change Your Profile Picture “This one is probably going to be a strike against everybody,” Christina began. “Your profile picture should not be a logo. It should not be your business card picture or whatever professional headshot you use. It should not be a house. It needs to be a selfie of you.” This sounds like it goes against every marketing rule out there. With branding, it’s all about continuity, right? But Christina made some really good points. “Take an actual selfie of yourself and update that picture every quarter. Most Realtors are out there using a picture from 10 years ago! But the goal with your page is to be able to walk into a local grocery store and have someone come around the corner and say, ‘Oh! You’re the real estate person for the area. Hold on, my brother is looking for a house. Can you help him?’ “This is a true story that happened to a Realtor I know. She updates her profile

with a new selfie every three months so she’s always recognizable. She wouldn’t be recognizable if she was using a 10-year-old glamour photo. When people are engaging with your page and see your current picture, then they see you at a coffee shop, they know you. Even if your business professional picture is current, it’s not approachable. This is social; we’re trying to get people to approach us like real people. We don’t want them to feel like we’re going to sell them. “My degree is in marketing. But after all these years, I’m going to tell you that you don’t need a logo, you don't need pretty colors or the same photo everywhere — that’s too much noise. That’s not how people interact now, it’s unfeeling ... There’s a psychological barrier when people are in a professional business concept versus an ‘I’m just like you’ concept … You have to make an impression, a feeling impression. They have to recognize your face with someone they actually connect with.” This whole conversation was a real wake- up call about using social media as a Realtor. Christina’s advice goes against a lot of the traditional marketing practices that work for brick-and-mortar, but it really taps into the way people use social media. Get more advice from Christina, including understanding what your social media presence is for, by listening to the full episode at .

If they’ve already done business with you, then they’re already connected with you. They’re already in your database and coming to your appreciation events. Your page is a conduit between people you don’t know and your database. It’s got to have a connection with people.” 2. Change Your Header Photo Christina hit me again with this one, calling out header photos with collages and houses. “That header photo needs to be about the lifestyle,” Christina said. “It should not be a house, and it should not be you or your team. Go take some great pictures of your area! Sculptures, boating, whatever your areas stand out for, get some pictures of them. No. 2, do not use a collage. They don’t work on mobile. You can’t see them on mobile, and your whole point is to stop the scrolling. If you’re putting up ads and your collage header photo pops up on someone’s feed, nothing will stand out to them, which means they aren’t going to stop scrolling.” “What about a video?” I asked, with great hesitation. “Yeah, no video,” Christina replied. “Everyone loves videos because they seem so fancy. And yeah, it looks really great, if you’re looking at it as a Realtor on the page


We got this text from one of our preferred Realtors. Love when we can help them land the deal!

Trivia Question: What gaming station did Tim Hart grow up with?

Solution on Pg. 4

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Inside This Issue Tim Hart, NMLS #354676 8280 College Parkway Suite #101 Fort Myers, FL 33919 The Real Problem With Kids These Days PAGE 1

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Your Epic Adventure Awaits

Stop and Smell the Roses PAGE 2 Testimonial from the Hart PAGE 3

Why Realtors Fail on Social Media PAGE 4

3 Things to Change on Your Facebook Page Right Now DON’T LET SOCIAL MEDIA RUIN YOUR REPUTATION

Digital marketing seems like something everyone should be able to do. We can all send an email and start a social media account, right? As it turns out, a lot of people, especially those in real estate, are pretty bad at it. That’s why I invited Christina Ethridge of Leads and Leverage to come on my podcast and talk about the big mistakes Realtors make on social media. Christina has been in the real estate industry since 1995, and she helped launched one of the very first real estate websites in the world. Based on her experience, Christina founded Leads and Leverage, a recourse for real estate agents to grow their Facebook presence to generate more leads. Christina joined me on “The HartBeat Show” to talk about three things Realtors need to change on their Facebook page. Warning: Some of these might be a bit painful. 1. Change Your Page Name Here’s what you DON’T want in your page name: • Your name • Your brokerage name • Your team name • The words “Realtor,” “realty,” “real estate,” or “homes for sale”

“Your business page is not about you,” Christina said. “Your page is about them .” This one really stung for me. My Facebook business page is “Tim Hart Jr.” Fortunately, I’m not a Realtor. I asked Christina what Facebook page names works for Realtors and she suggested names that highlight the lifestyle of the area your prospects live in, like “Key West Lifestyle” or “Fort Myers Living.” “Nobody knows you,” Christina said, not pulling any punches. “But they live in Fort Myers. Between ‘Tim Hart Jr.’ or ‘Fort Myers Living’, which are they going to click? They don’t know who Tim Hart Jr. is, but they’ll see Fort Myers and think, ‘Oh, that’s me!’ They’re looking for a connection to where they live. “Your business page is not there for you to draw in people that already know, like, and trust you. That’s not the goal of your page.


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