Know Thyself

Gagliano & Company is a small business. A boutique firm, if you will. There are only three of us: Miss Sophia, Office Administrator, bookkeeper, preparer of paperwork and utility fielder; Miss Kim, Researcher extraordinaire, datakeeper, spreadsheeter and report ninja; and Yours Truly, the Wearer of the Turban. As a result, our capacity is limited. We [...]

Safe House

I was recently engaged for an assignment in a local beach town. A former resident is suing, well, everybody, for damage done to his home during Superstorm Sandy. It seems a boat rear-ended his house. Or failed to yield, or something like that. Let's call it a moving violation. My client requested that I analyze [...]

By |2015-03-12T09:52:22-04:00March 12th, 2015|Humor, Market, Real Estate, Value|Comments Off on Safe House

But Is It Meaningful?

Since the banking crisis reared its ugly head at the end of 2007, a raft of new legislation and regulation has been approved to prevent the darn thing from ever happening again. Among these efforts was, yet again, a crackdown on real estate appraisers. First an attempt was made to weed out the bad actors, [...]

By |2015-02-19T10:07:14-05:00February 19th, 2015|Business, Customers, Economics, Humor, Productivity, Service, Skills, Small Business, Success, Value|Comments Off on But Is It Meaningful?

Dear Friend and Colleague

Dear Friend and Colleague, We addressed your initial comments and questions quickly, with all due respect for your professionalism, uncomplaining, with equanimity and poise. We even ignored the thinly-veiled digs in your correspondence, all of which was carefully cc.'d to our mutual client. And now you come to us with your second list of criticisms, [...]

By |2015-02-12T09:17:20-05:00February 12th, 2015|Business, Humor|Comments Off on Dear Friend and Colleague

Don’t Panic

There are times in every business when the ol' backlog gets a little, um, thin. Many business people at this juncture do one of two things: (a) panic or (b) slow down. Both responses are perfectly natural. Panic is simply our fight or flight response at work. Our ancestors would panic when they saw a [...]

Reflections on Santa Claus

When we were kids in the 1970s our dad brought us out to lunch at the Rum Runner restaurant in Sea Bright on Christmas Eve Day. The Gagliano Family hosted the big Christmas Eve Dinner, so dad took us out to give mom a respite. We were a bit of a handful in those days. [...]

By |2014-12-18T09:11:40-05:00December 18th, 2014|Future, History, Humor, Real Estate, Redevelopment|Comments Off on Reflections on Santa Claus

Unbiased. And Unappreciated.

It all starts innocently enough. Telephone Call Number 1 is a pleasant exchange inquiring about our services. " I am thinking about selling my building and I am interested in getting an unbiased value before I list the property," says my prospective client. The proposal goes out, is executed, and comes back. I do an [...]

By |2014-12-11T10:53:23-05:00December 11th, 2014|Business, Communication, Customers, Fiction, Financing, Humor, Real Estate, Service, Skills, Small Business, Value|Comments Off on Unbiased. And Unappreciated.

History Schmistory

It is sometimes astonishing how often human beings fail to learn from history. For example: This Monday's Wall Street Journal featured an article entitled, Dodgy Home Appraisals Are Making a Comeback. The article by Annamaria Andriotis opens, "Home appraisers are inflating the value of some properties they assess, often at the behest of loan officers [...]

By |2014-12-04T09:06:41-05:00December 4th, 2014|Bubbles, Business, Economics, Financing, History, Humor, Residential, Risk|Comments Off on History Schmistory


[ˈhīdˌbound / adjective - unwilling or unable to change because of tradition or convention] My industry is hidebound. Stuck. Full of rules. 50% to 70% of my reports are standard boilerplate that has to be there. That's a lot of senseless murder of trees. After the real estate crash in the early 1990s, the Federal Government decided [...]

By |2014-11-13T08:56:08-05:00November 13th, 2014|Creativity, Freedom, Future, Humor, Personal Development, Professional Development, Professional Growth, Risk, Service, Skills, Success, Value|Comments Off on Hidebound

I’m Thinking….

A friend recently mentioned that she is reading John Maxwell's How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life. She was a little puzzled. What does thinking look like (as opposed to reading, web surfing or sitting like a lump)? Her question brought a quote from Wallace D. Wattles to mind: "Thinking is the hardest [...]

By |2014-10-23T07:45:27-04:00October 23rd, 2014|Books, Creativity, Health & Wellness, Humor, Personal Development, The Human Condition|Comments Off on I’m Thinking….

Stay Classy

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a terrible thing. A viral marketing campaign that raised awareness and a pile of money for the ALS Association is a good thing. But things are getting a little, well, silly. Celebrities and politicians, anxious to demonstrate their sensitivity, are jamming YouTube like the Three Stooges trying to get through a door. But [...]

By |2014-08-28T08:36:38-04:00August 28th, 2014|Charity, Creativity, Humor, Marketing, Social Media|Comments Off on Stay Classy

Signs of Wealth

In my profession I have had the pleasure of touring some fabulous homes. Putting aside stunning views, Versaille-esque landscaping and simply massive structures, many of these homes also have incredible amenities. But what was once uber-luxurious has now become relatively commonplace in high end homes. Here some examples: Gourmet kitchens Bathrooms with every bedroom His [...]

By |2014-08-21T11:28:06-04:00August 21st, 2014|Humor, luxury, Real Estate, Value, Wealth|Comments Off on Signs of Wealth

Deconstructing Depreciation Part II

Last week we discussed physical depreciation. This week we will focus on the other components of depreciation: functional and external. Functional depreciation, sometimes called functional obsolescence, addresses inadequacies or superadequacies within the property. Here's an easy example. Compare a house built in 1914 to a house built in 2014. Here are some of the differences [...]

By |2014-08-14T11:50:32-04:00August 14th, 2014|Depreciation, Humor, Land, Real Estate, Terminology, Value|Comments Off on Deconstructing Depreciation Part II

Bound by an Idea

We Americans sometimes take our high level of personal freedom for granted. Only when a story from outside our borders rattles our sensibilities do we even notice how very different we are. Here are some recent examples: A 15-year-old girl in Iceland is suing to use her real name - Blaer - which means "light breeze". [...]

By |2014-07-03T10:40:54-04:00July 3rd, 2014|Freedom, Humor, Law, Politics|Comments Off on Bound by an Idea

Just Don’t Call It Free

Summer is here and the season wouldn't be complete without loud and strident calls to make New Jersey's beaches "free." First, let's be clear in our definitions. "Free" is not the same as, "managed by a larger, less visible entity." In this instance, the State of New Jersey. Most beaches in New Jersey are managed [...]

By |2014-06-03T10:32:58-04:00June 3rd, 2014|Art, Economics, Environment, Financing, Humor, Service, Taxation|Comments Off on Just Don’t Call It Free

An Open Letter to Real Estate Brokers

Hey Guys, I hope is well. Everybody had it tough during the Recession, but you guys had it tougher than most. Nobody was growing their business, so there weren't many new buyers or renters. People who needed to sell didn't want to sell at a loss. Or were just too stubborn to admit they made [...]

By |2014-05-27T12:52:41-04:00May 27th, 2014|Business, Communication, Financing, Humor, Real Estate, Service, Skills, Social Networking, Success, Trust|Comments Off on An Open Letter to Real Estate Brokers

Something Fishy This Way Comes

We were engaged to appraise small retail strip center. On the date of inspection the buyer (and our client), an ebullient young woman with an entourage of friends and family in tow, chattered about "all the possibilities." We were instructed to discuss the particulars of the property with the seller (a.k.a., not our client) who [...]

By |2014-10-10T18:23:23-04:00May 13th, 2014|Business, Customers, Humor, Negotiation, Real Estate, Value|1 Comment

Nutrition Advice

Gathered around the dinner table Sunday evening, our daughters were having a lively conversation about their friends in school, comparing quirks. At one point our older daughter said, "I have a friend who is a vegetarian." The younger one piped in, "That's nothing. I have a friend who's whole family is vegan. They don't eat [...]

By |2014-05-06T18:57:40-04:00May 6th, 2014|Humor|Comments Off on Nutrition Advice

No Pollyanna

For the record, I am no Pollyanna. Every day I post news items on LinkedIn and Twitter that I think are important. I am objective in my choice of articles. Cross my heart. But I can't ignore the cold, hard  facts: Sign of Spring on Pay: Real Wage Growth Spring Thaw Has Companies Hiring Again [...]

By |2014-04-08T12:26:14-04:00April 8th, 2014|Business, Economics, Future, Humor, News, Planning, Profitability, Real Estate, REITs, Success, Tech, Value|Comments Off on No Pollyanna

From Panama to Princeton

You have probably heard that the Panama Canal is being expanded. What you may not know is what that means to New Jersey. The Panama Canal now handles Panamax ships, meaning ships equal to the maximum capacity of the existing Panama Canal. After the expansion, the Canal will be able to handle Post Panamax ships [...]

By |2014-03-25T15:12:57-04:00March 25th, 2014|Business, Distribution, Humor, Industrial, News, Planning, Real Estate, Success, Transporation, Value, Waterfront|Comments Off on From Panama to Princeton

The Epistemic Certainty Gambit

Being an expert witness can be exasperating. My friend Tony Graziano, a giant in New Jersey Real Estate once said (and I am paraphrasing), “Trials are very simple. We try to make you look stupid, you try to make us look stupid.” And this is how justice gets done. Seems like there should be a [...]

By |2014-02-25T09:49:57-05:00February 25th, 2014|Expert Witness, Humor, Skills|Comments Off on The Epistemic Certainty Gambit

Looking for a Place to Live? Think Like a 17th Century Farmer.

The housing market is making a comeback. Hard to miss after seven straight years of grinding losses. Perhaps you have noticed a pattern. Certain areas come back first, and often don’t lose as much value as other areas. The answer is often in the land itself. The first settled and built areas were first settled [...]

By |2014-01-28T09:51:47-05:00January 28th, 2014|Future, History, Humor, Residential, Taxation, Value, Waterfront|Comments Off on Looking for a Place to Live? Think Like a 17th Century Farmer.

Looking for Something to Do This Weekend?

I recently took up two new hobbies: golf and sport shooting (i.e., Skeet and Trap shooting). On a metaphysical note, both the golf hole and the clay pigeon are about four inches in diameter. Hmmm. A real Freud beard scratcher. Best I can tell, I have no natural talent for either sport. Yet I keep [...]

Yes I Wrote This. Here’s How You Can Tell.

I have received a lot of great feedback about the Property Prophet blog. Thanks to all of you for your support and kind words. And thanks to those who have disagreed with me. At least I know you are reading! And with adequate therapy, my doctor says that the facial tick will stop. Or be [...]

By |2013-12-21T08:04:15-05:00December 21st, 2013|Art, Blog, Humor, Skills, Social Media|Comments Off on Yes I Wrote This. Here’s How You Can Tell.

Rethinking Computing with a Chromebook

Working from home can be great. I roll out of bed, grab a cup of coffee and get to work. Two or three hours later I have the equivalent of a day’s worth of work done, and the rest of the day available to talk to clients and prospects. Years ago I discovered GoToMyPC and found that [...]

By |2013-12-12T13:27:40-05:00December 12th, 2013|Blog, Business, Creativity, Humor, Productivity, Profitability, Real Estate, Small Business, Time Management|Comments Off on Rethinking Computing with a Chromebook

Bruce Almighty

In the great film Bruce Almighty, Morgan Freeman's God character says to Jim Carrey's Bruce Nolan, "Bruce, you always made me laugh." The film is, of course, meant for us to rethink our relationship with God. But can we make God laugh? Can we amaze Him with our creativity? Does God take delight in what [...]

By |2013-09-25T09:29:51-04:00September 25th, 2013|Art, Children, Creativity, Humor, Personal Development|Comments Off on Bruce Almighty

Dispatch From Las Vegas

Miss Karen and I just got back from Las Vegas, where we celebrated the Golden Anniversary of Karen's brother's birth. It was our first time in Sin City and the first time I have traveled by air in a while. Some observations: Whatever charm was at one time associated with air travel has been stuffed [...]

By |2013-09-17T09:14:50-04:00September 17th, 2013|Humor, Travel|Comments Off on Dispatch From Las Vegas

The Amazon of Pants

Online retailer Bonobos, not to be confused with the eponymous simian, wants to be the Amazon of Pants. Men's pants, specifically. [I perused the Bonobos website. They indeed have a wide variety of men's pants. If you live in the West Village. Of if you are built like Adam Scott. The actor or the golfer, take your [...]

By |2013-07-31T09:18:32-04:00July 31st, 2013|Business, Creativity, Customers, Humor, News, Retail, Success, Tech, Time Management|Comments Off on The Amazon of Pants

Like Sally O’Malley

The great Molly Shannon used to do a character on Saturday Night Live, the sassy Sally O'Malley. Sally was usually auditioning for a dance gig of some sort. She would hike up her bright red stretch pants and declare, "I like to kick, stretch, annnnnnnd kick. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII’m 50! Fifty years old." Like Sally O'Malley, I'm [...]

By |2013-07-09T12:24:10-04:00July 9th, 2013|Art, Blog, Christianity, Humor, Personal Development, Social Media|Comments Off on Like Sally O’Malley

Tech Buzzwords Defined

I have been keeping up with tech news lately and it occurred to me that there is a whole new language that many of us over 40 really don't understand. So in the interest of bringing the generations together, I have developed the following lexicon of tech buzzwords for easy reference: New Word: Consume Content [...]

By |2014-10-02T09:27:40-04:00June 27th, 2013|Buzzwords, Humor, Social Media, Social Networking, Tech|Comments Off on Tech Buzzwords Defined

I Am Not Making This Up

Per the New York Times, an elephant in the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus named Carol was injured in a drive-by shooting outside the BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo Mississippi last week. Carol is expected to fully recover. A spokesperson for the Tupelo police department stated that the investigation is ongoing but preliminary evidence indicates [...]

By |2013-04-22T10:00:49-04:00April 22nd, 2013|Humor, News|Comments Off on I Am Not Making This Up

It’s Just Hysterical

Not wanting to waste a good crisis in the wake of the Boston bombings, legislatures everywhere are pivoting from gun control to pressure cooker, nail and ball bearing control.  

By |2013-04-18T06:13:54-04:00April 18th, 2013|Humor, Politics|Comments Off on It’s Just Hysterical

LinkedIn Tips

I am a big fan of LinkedIn. It is a great source for news, business and personal improvement tips, marketing, networking and job seeking. But I can't help notice that some people just don't seem to get it. Here are some examples: If you are serious about your business or profession, let me suggest that photos [...]

By |2014-07-24T11:47:11-04:00January 28th, 2013|Business, Communication, Customers, Humor, Marketing, Professional Development, Skills, Social Media, Social Networking, Success|Comments Off on LinkedIn Tips
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