Holy Moly! I take back anything bad I've said about Klout, LOL! Apparently, Klout (The Standard For Influence) included li'l ol' me in their list of Top 100 Individuals in Real Estate. I know it's just 'another list' but I can't help but think of some people early on in my career who warned me I wouldn't get very far because I'm too out (there). I'm thrilled to see so many of my friends on this list & I noticed we all share something in common. We are all authentic. You CAN be yourself and achieve success!
I reveal my successes & failures in an exclusive chat with RealEstate.com. In what is probably the most thorough interview I have given to the press, we cover a wide swath of topics from my not-so-glamorous career before real estate, why agents are insecure, how web/tech trends have shifted in the past 3 yrs, and most importantly what I would tell a younger Herman. Thank You to writer Shannon O'Brien (I now know who is writing my biography! Lol!).
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Spring is around the corner, and you are itching to redecorate your place. Problem is, you’ve got a dead-end job, your sugar daddy just cut off your AMEX or you’re just plain cheap! Decorating ain't cheap. No problem. If you’re low on cash but want a home makeover, you do what any resourceful Millennial does—you upcycle!
For those of you living under a rock, upcycling is turning something old into something new. Before you Restoration Hardware snobs start dissing me, I'll have you know that upcycling is the hottest design trend now. Not only does it save you money, but it is great for Mother Nature. We need to be mindful of the stuff we consume. We are such a wasteful society, living in a throwaway culture. How many times have you bought a sequened off-the-shoulder top you just had
to have, but only wore the darn thing once—and it was for a 1980sFlashdance
Halloween party. I know I have! What a waste of $50! Before you toss it out like yesterday's trash, try to upcycle it! It is uncanny how many old, tattered things you own that can be repurposed for some fantabulous new home décor pieces.
Here is what I did recently to update my living room via upcycling. I was getting sick of my drab sofa. It needed to pop. It would be too expensive to buy a new one. (And have you seen the cost of shipping and handling recently?!) So I decided on a more affordable way to revive my sofa—pillow accents! I went into the closet and reached deep in the back trenches where I store clothes I rarely wear. I shut my eyes, grabbed some random pieces, and out popped a tube top, mu'umu'u and a knit miniskirt. (Guess I never threw away my old drag outfits. I’m such a hoarder!)
Being flat-chested, the tube top was too small. Not enough fabric to make a pillow/cushion cover. The mu'umu'u was too big. (Although I might save it for a mattress cover upcycling project!) That left the mini-skirt. It was perfect! I stole an extra pillow insert I had lying around the guest room closet, found a yard of double-sided sticky-back Velcro in the kitchen junk drawer and twirled into the living room to start my project. It literally took me 10 minutes. I placed the Velcro on the front and back waistline of the skirt, flipped it inside out to hide the Velcro seams, stuffed the pillow insert into the skirt, then sealed up the front and back hem with Velcro. After transforming my mini-skirt into a pillow, I thought, “Damn, Herman, this is too cute for my busted-up sofa. I’m gonna sell it on Etsy! For real!”
The fabulous thing about this skirt-turned-pillow is that it’s Velcro’d. You don’t need to mess up your Lee Press-Ons with any sewing! You can assemble and disassemble easily. This is especially handy when you get a last-minute date and all your clothes are dirty. All you have to do is waltz into your living room, grab the pillow, rip off the Velcro and toss it on. It’s a skirt again! Sigh, the joys of upcycling! Bottom line: Don’t be so quick to trash your junk clothes. You can always make a cute décor piece to brighten up your home.
Drop by my place HabitatForHermanity.com
and I'll show you how to upcycle your old jockstraps into a macramé plant holder!Herman Chan is a real estate and design expert whose blog Habitat for Hermanity offers a glimpse beyond the glitz and glam of real estate and design. (And it ain’t always pretty!) You’ve seen his trademark helpful, hilarious flair on HGTV
House Hunters, Logo and Huffington Post. His new webseries,
Real Estate Real Simple for the
San Francisco Chronicle, debuted this year. He was also once a
Frontiers cover model.
I got my fabulous buyers a free renovation on a new HGTV show called Power Brokers. It stars Mike Aubrey (Real Estate Intervention) & Juan Barbieri (The Bachelorette). I have a small appearance too in the pilot, so stay tuned for more details!
Tune into my friend Jeff Barrett's Live weekly Twitter Chat #BareItAll (love the pun on his name!). Yours truly is this week's Guest Tweeter! This is great for all you PR professionals, marketing gurus and anyone with a brand (and if you don't have one, find one ASAP). We are a brand-centric culture and consumers expect it. Join the conversation tomorrow Wednesday Feb 13, 2013 11am PST. #BareItAll . See you in the twitter-verse!
Bankrate.com asked me how to vet realtors in a web 2.0 world. Read the full article How to Size Up a Real Estate Agent Online by Michael Estrin for some great tips! Some of my more memorable quotes:
- "All of my clients, especially the younger ones, are very plugged in," says Herman Chan, a second-generation real estate professional in San Francisco. "That's just how the business works today. It's not like when my mom was an agent, and all you really had was advertising and word of mouth."
- "If they don't have a strong online presence, they're dinosaurs," Chan says.
- "Facebook and Twitter give you a sense of someone's personality," Chan says. "I don't think my clients pick me because of what they see on Facebook or Twitter, but I do think they use those sites to figure out if I'm someone they want to spend a lot of time with."
I shoulda wore a blue tie to pop the background
news anchor Anne Makovec was so nice!
"I didnt cause the housing crash, I swear!"
Adds real estate personality Herman Chan, “Don’t believe everything you see on the Internet – half of it is wrong or outdated. Milllenials want to do all the research on their own online, but the business is still about who you know. Work with a plugged-in, full-time real estate agent.”