Investor Services conference

From: Mike .


Hi Folks,

Once again it is time for us to put our collective heads together and decide on a new Conference idea. Your feedback and comments will decide the fate of this idea communicated to me recently by Ian Somers in an exchange of e-mails which I have reproduced below.

..............................................................................

Hi Mike,

How is London or where ever it is that you are these days? I see that you
are still as active as ever on the forum and I must say that I was really
impressed with your hall of fame stuff. Those investors on the forum that
have been prepared to contribute to the collective wisdom for the benefit
of others deserve all the recognition they can get.

I was thinking that such posts as yours which recognise these individuals
should not be buried as time passes. What do you think about a "Hall of
Fame" conference? One that like the Apprentice Millionaire, was a read
only and only you and I had write privileges. To make it somewhat
"democratic", maybe you should allow existing hall of famers to help you
choose new ones. I think the bio's make it that much more interesting and
credible, and if any of them have a commercial interest/service as part of
their motivation for contributing in the first place, I have no problem
with that being mentioned as well.

What do you think?

Regards, Ian
..............................................................................

Hi Ian,

Thanks for the encouraging words re the Forum Hall of Fame. However, I've started 3 projects on the Forum so far and haven't completed one!

1) 'The Week That Was' - interrupted by the
2) Apprentice Millionaire Guide - which was, in turn, interrupted by the
3) Propert Investor Archive - interrupted by my move to London.

I understand that some people want changes to the Apprentice Millionaire Guide, however, I think that once the Archive is complete and the AMG developed to access the Archive by hyperlink and people start using it, then it can be developed further from new ideas.

The beauty of this system is that a post can be created in AGM with the post title suggesting a PI theme. The post is then filled with hyperlinks to threads within the forum which are related by that theme or topic. Here are the topics which I've managed to sort the Archive posts into:

<table border="0" cellspacing="1">
<tr>
<td>100% Finance</td>
<td>Insurance</td>
<td>Property Selection</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>221D</td>
<td>Interest Only Loan</td>
<td>Purchasing Issues</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Accountants</td>
<td>Investor Clubs</td>
<td>Quantity Survey</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Books</td>
<td>John Burley</td>
<td>Real Estate Agent</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Building</td>
<td>John T Reed</td>
<td>Renovating</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Cashflow Game</td>
<td>Kyosaki</td>
<td>Retirement</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Deduction</td>
<td>Lease Option</td>
<td>Seminars</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Defence Housing</td>
<td>Line of Credit Loan</td>
<td>Spam</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Deposit Bond</td>
<td>Loan Calculators</td>
<td>Stamp Duty</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>First Home Owners Grant</td>
<td>Market Conditions</td>
<td>Statistics &amp; Data</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Finance</td>
<td>Marketing Companies</td>
<td>Structures</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Fixed Interest</td>
<td>Mortgage Broker</td>
<td>Syndicate</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Flip</td>
<td>Networking</td>
<td>Taxation</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Forums</td>
<td>Off The Plan</td>
<td>Valuation</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Getting Started</td>
<td>Peter Spann</td>
<td>Websites</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Henry Kaye</td>
<td>Positive Geared</td>
<td>Where to Buy</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Home Issues</td>
<td>Property Analysis</td>
<td>Wrap</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>Increasing Portfolio</td>
<td>Property Management</td>
<td></td>
</tr>
</table>

So the AGM will have a post created for each topic which will contain hyperlinks to common threads.

Another advantage of this system is that if someone has a good idea and wishes to group certain posts or threads eg all Forum Hall of Fame posts and Biog Posts.

One idea I have is to group all the Classic Posts together so they can be found easily.

If people are willing to browse the Forum and give me the thread or post addresses of a theme related group of posts I can create a post in AMG and insert the hyperlink addresses.

The downside of all this is that it consumes a lot of time. I am in a position right now where I have some time to devote to this project. But this may not last forever. We have already seen Andrew Gray and Geoff Doidge drop out due to other projects such as seminars, book writing and website management.

The answer to this is to establish a Conference for each Topic so that if someone has a taxation question they post to the Taxation Conference. If it's a structures question then they post to the Strucures Conference and so on. This way the sorting is self managed.

The idea of a Forum Hall of Fame seems to have struck a chord and, at the moment, is based on reading every post and giving some posts Classic Post status based on certain criteria. The theory being that it is a way of quantifying which people have contributed the most to the collective wisdom for the benefit of others. And giving them some recognition for it.

All this stuff is time consuming and people need to volunteer their time to do it. I think suggestions are great but people need to back that up with their own input. To make the FHoF more democratic a panel of, say six people, could take a day of the week each with one person taking the weekend. Each person reads that day's posts and nominates some posts for Classic Posts. After six months the posts are tallied by author and through discussion amongst the panel someone is elected into the FHoF.

I think the best judges would be the people on the Forum who benefit the most from the advice of the experienced contributors, rather than the major contributors themselves. It would be a way that the "learners" could show their appreciation to the "teachers".

Well, Ian, I hope the Forum goes from strength to strength and that someday we can have some good banter about it over a warm beer after a hearty English pub lunch in London. I'll look forward to that.

As the Poms are fond of saying...Cheers,

Mike
....................................................................................

Hi Mike,

Thank you once again for your efforts to date. Everyone that I have spoken to re the forum thinks that you do a fantastic job and that you must be on the Somersoft payroll! Nobody but you thought that your projects were incomplete as these things are never completed. They have been serving a very useful purpose in whatever form you had left them. But I do agree that such projects as this and the proposed Forum Hall of Fame are not sustainable in the longer term if someone like yourself is going to be solely responsible for making them happen. On the other hand, having a committee is not always the most efficient way ahead either. I will be lead by what way you would like to see it progress. There are a number of people who have been regular contributors and even these have come and gone in cycles, depending on their changing circumstances. Even if you can suggest or solicit one or two assistant moderators, I still think it works best if one person (preferably yourself) takes responsibility for the final posts. The assistants add that degree of democracy which would take that bit of pressure off.

The idea of having a separate conference for each topic area would be a good one if we could identify a small number of areas of interest. The problem becomes one of overlap and the number of conferences becoming too unwieldy for the limited interface. My own preference would be that recording the history of the forum (i.e. The Week That Was) is of less interest to a larger number of people in the longer term than building up a conference of FAQ's (AMG). I think it is becoming more and more valuable as time goes by. Newbies are looking for a short cut to knowledge and I can't think of a more efficient way of providing that short cut. To actually devote web pages to each of the topics is akin to writing a book, which of course is not only a formidable amount of work, in the end, it is just one person's viewpoint. The AMG represents the collective wisdom of many experienced investors.

The Forum Hall of Fame is a way of giving recognition to those who have contributed most. It is also a way for those with professional expertise (accountants, renovators, buyer-agents, investment specialists, etc) to become famous and credible (they will have had to earn that credibility through assisting others in the forum) and, by putting in some sort of a biography, it allows other investors to evaluate their motives etc a little easier.

I think that the biography is the key! One option that I have been toying with is to provide an "Investor Services" conference. How do we accommodate those forumites who have services that they are trying to promote and who have expertise to offer investors. If they come in too heavy, they are labelled spammers, ridiculed and leave. Others have learned how to promote what they do in a more subtle manner and are largely welcomed for the help that they freely offer. The difference is that they are seen to have "earned their stripes". People have got to know them because they have contributed in a meaningful way. I would be interested in your thoughts as I do not want the forum to become a facility whereby someone can "buy" advertising. At the same time, most investors want to know where they can go for various services (e.g. rental insurance, good accountants, buyer agents, etc).

Gotta go! Talk more later.

Regards, Ian
......................................................................................

Hi Ian,

You're e-mail surprised me because I had no idea you were following the Forum that closely. Your analysis is spot on.

Let me air some of my thoughts now.

This is the way the Forum Hall of Fame concept evolved:

1. When the new Forum began I sensed that some people were feeling a little uncomfortable with the new format and may drop out. Contributions from some of the old regulars had dried up. So I thought it would boost their morale by doing a series of commentaries about the original forum which I dubbed The Week That Was.

2. Wondering what content to put in the posts I came up with the idea of Classic Posts. To do that I formulated some criteria to make the selections.

3. Weeks later the idea of recognising the best contributor occurred to me because I realized that without regular, good quality contributions the Forum would probably die.

The Wife, in one of her first posts, said: "Hi all, What a terrific forum, last time I checked there wasnt much happening here (quite a while ago now)." The message I got from that was most people wont stay with a non-active, uninspiring forum. When The Wife did come back for another look the forum had picked up some momentum. Consequently, she stayed.

The lifeblood of the Forum is momentum, and regular, good quality posts aid momentum. That's what the FHoF recognises and encourages.

4. While I was creating the post to announce Les as the first inductee to the FHoF, I remembered that many people had wanted to know some biographical details about Les because his posting style was so inspiring. So began the Biogs.

The point I'm trying to make here, Ian, is that all this evolved. And some ideas have struck a chord with people more than others. I hope the Forum evolves this way with ideas given a chance to work. If the original idea isn't the best it may still generate even better ideas.

This discussion of ideas leads me to your idea of an "Investor Services" conference. It is a very thought-provoking idea and, in contemplating it, I started by asking myself, "What do I like best about this Forum?" "What is its heart and soul?" The answer for me is "giving". Your expression is "freely offering help".

The gratitude of many learners over the years for those who freely pass on their knowledge speaks volumes that this should not be undermined. Hence, the threat of spamming to the wellness of the Forum.

I've always hoped that interested professionals would join in the spirit of the Forum and we are seeing signs of that occurring with some mortgage brokers, accountants, and developers becoming regulars. Yes, these people probably are creating interest in their services but they are giving valuable advice that will remain a permanent record to help hundreds of future forumites. They deserve support and recognition. I don't want competitors to steal that from them or undermine their support.

May I suggest we take your idea to the Forum members for some feedback. I suggest we post this series of e-mails to the Forum because there's a lot of thought-provoking stuff in them and may inspire plenty of useful comment. How about it, Ian?

Regards, Mike
...................................................................................

Hi Michael,

You are most welcome to broaden this discussion via the forum and to post whatever I have sent you if you think it will help.

Regards, Ian
......................................................................................

Okay everone, please put your 2.2 cents worth in. Is it "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" for the "Investor Services" conference?

Regards, Mike
 
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Reply: 1
From: Michael Croft


Hi Mike,

How do you/we propose to differentiate between caveat emptor type "services" eg. HK and the more benign forms?

Michael Croft
 
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Reply: 2
From: Chris Legg


I think thumbs up

It is not all that different from Caveat Emptor and I presume Ian can always delete items that are over the top.

I have found a huge amount to interest me
even though some of the strategies discussed are not for me.

I would think that any Investor Service Provider who did not do the right thing would quickly become known on the Forum
and regulars could request Ian to remove their postings.

Thank you Mike and Ian for all the time you give

Lifes a beach at Caves

Chris
 
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Reply: 2.1
From: Webmaster (Somersoft)


In reply to Mike's comment re Caveat Emptor, it is a conference that was set up with a view to investors sharing buying opportunities. It was hope that anyone posting such information would have provided the accompanying figures and information necessary for evaluating the proposed investment. Because of its transient nature, the conference in archived every two months. The concept of an Investor Services conference is to have a more permanent home/directory of contacts for services that many/most investors are looking for at some time or another. "Advertising that is earned, not purchased"!
 
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Reply: 2.1.1
From: Michael Croft


Hi Ian,

Thanks for that, and in that case Caveat Emptor as it now stands seems to have lost the plot a bit. I think the Investor Services Conference is a great idea and I am glad it's you and not me administering it. Thanks for all the great work behind the scenes.

Michael Croft
 
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Sim

Administrator
Topic specific forums

Reply: 3
From: Sim' Hampel


Just a quick aside on the briefly raised suggestion of topic specific forums... StockCentral (http://www.stockcentral.com.au/) has a set of discussion forums which have been divided up in this way... they have 17 different forums with specific topics for discussion such as:

- Topic Finder (similar to the AMG concept I think)
- FAQs
- Taxation Matters
- Software & Data
- Books & Publications
- Stock Brokers
- Computers

and other share investing/trading specific forums.

I think this works quite well, and it is relatively easy to work out where to post. Most, but not all of the forums are open for all to post in (for example the FAQs and Topic Finder are read only).

The sheer volume of posts in the Property Investor Forum does get difficult to manage at times I think - adding a few more generally accessible forums would possibly help I feel.

Some suggested new forums (names taken from StockCentral - may wish to invent new ones):

- Taxation Matters (obviously about tax - I suggest we chain Dale up in here !)
- Finance (finance, how it works and where to find it - some bars on the doors and windows might keep Rolf in !)
- What Makes News (stuff found in the media or the internet or on the grapevine)
- Beginner's Heaven (free-run area for test posts and asking newbie questions without fear of recriminations)
- Software (investment tracking software)
- Books & Publications (book & mag reviews / comments / questions)
- Computers (techo geek-dom... where people like me hang out and ease the pain of the techno-bewildered !)

These would be in addition to the existing forums, which I think all serve their purpose well.

What do you think ?

 
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Reply: 2.1.2
From: Jas


> The concept of an Investor Services conference is to have a more
> permanent home/directory of contacts for services that many/most
investors
> are looking for at some time or another. "Advertising that is earned,
not
> purchased"!
>

I think the solution could be in the last sentence. Make it read only
for most, and only give write privileges to those who do (or have)
regularly contributed to the forum.

Jas
 
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RE: Topic specific forums

Reply: 3.1
From: Jas


>
> From: "Sim' Hampel" <sim@hampel.com.au>
> Some suggested new forums (names taken from StockCentral - may wish to
> invent new ones):
>
> - Taxation Matters (obviously about tax - I suggest we chain Dale up
in
> here !)
> - Finance (finance, how it works and where to find it - some bars on
the
> doors and windows might keep Rolf in !)
> - What Makes News (stuff found in the media or the internet or on the
> grapevine)
> - Beginner's Heaven (free-run area for test posts and asking newbie
> questions without fear of recriminations)
> - Software (investment tracking software)
> - Books & Publications (book & mag reviews / comments / questions)
> - Computers (techo geek-dom... where people like me hang out and ease
the
> pain of the techno-bewildered !)
>
> These would be in addition to the existing forums, which I think all
serve
> their purpose well.

Ok, based on Mike's Archived topics - how bout these?

*Tax
*Finance & mortgages
*Exotics (lease options, flips & wraps)
*Reno & build
*Books, Games & software
*Investing clubs, seminars & people
*Beginner's heaven
*News & Views


That leaves these bits & pieces for the main forum.

Defence Housing
First Home Owners Grant
Home Issues
Increasing Portfolio
Insurance
Marketing Companies
Networking
Off The Plan
Property Management
Purchasing Issues
Real Estate Agent
Retirement
Spam
Statistics & Data
Syndicate
Valuation


One thing I'd like to make note of comes from a design POV. There
shouldn't be more than 5-9 options for people. Usability experts say
more than that and you just confuse people with all the options.

Jas
 
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RE: Topic specific forums

Reply: 3.1.1
From: Dale Gatherum-Goss


I shouldn't give too much away, but, I'm usually the one doing the tieing. And where I know how to place those knots just leaves the mind boggling.

Ooops, i thought that we were still talking about Michael Croft's dungeon again . . .

Sorry

Dale
 
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RE: Topic specific forums

Reply: 3.1.1.1
From: Michael Croft


It wasn't my dungeon Dale! But I do have a small wine cellar which might tempt you ;-)

Michael Croft
 
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RE: Topic specific forums

Reply: 3.1.1.1.1
From: Dale Gatherum-Goss


I love temptation. Mmmmm, wine AND bondage, Michael, you could become one of my new best friends!

Dale
 
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Reply: 4
From: Simon St John


As a newie I am very interested in this topic.

Two things strike me about this forum:

(1) The incredible amount of advice that comes from professionals on the forum who spend hours answering questions from folks like me; and

(2) The missed opportunities for people like me of "past greats"? who now do not frequent the forum as much for whatever reason (eg Geoff D and I am sure many others)

In a way this thread is like an earlier one dealing with spamming.

Some might say the line is fine between a professional who gains from exposure who gives freely of their time to answer many questions from people like me (!) and a spammer.

I actually think the line is not so fine.

It's pretty obvious who is here for the long haul and puts in the work answering question after question (TW, Michael Croft, Rolf and others) and who is here for the hit and run.

The idea of an Investor Services forum is a great one - part of the battle of getting started is amassing a list of people who you can talk to, in order to build a team of professionals you are comfortable working with.

On the other hand, I would not like to see the 'professionals' pushed off the PIF forum and being told to limit their involvement to an Investor Services arena.

Let's have both and let the very vigilant regulars police the spammers and encourage the professionals to keep contributing.

The concept of advertising that is earned, not purchased is pure gold and where it is at for me. How and who determined the earned bit is a tricky one though! Perhaps the concept of FHOF is the key and the method of having a panel of individuals select daily posts is a great one.

This feeds into recognising the real contributors (amongst the professionals) and perhaps then (if relevant) a listing in the Investor Services forum. Regular contribution could then be required for maintenance of the listing.

After all, we might see some greats leave after a period of time, but let?s hope they leave only because other commitments dictate and not because they were not able to contribute for fear of being labelled ?self promoting?.

Just my 2 cents worth as a greedy consumer of the most wonderful resource I have found!

Cheers, Simon

PS: Thank you Ian for such a great forum. It appears you are always there in the background even though we don?t hear from you every day?.
 
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RE: Topic specific forums

Reply: 3.1.1.1.1.1
From: Mark Laszczuk


That reminds me Michael - when am I going to get my whips and chains back? You said you only wanted them for a few weeks. My bum's getting real itchy, you know...

Mark
'no hat, some cattle'
 
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Subject: Investor Services conference

Reply: 4.1
From: Ross Sondergeld


Hi Simon,


Subject: Investor Services conference

Simon said, "Two things strike me about this forum:
(1) The incredible amount of advice that comes from professionals on the
forum who spend hours answering questions from folks like me; and
(2) The missed opportunities for people like me of "past greats"? who now do
not frequent the forum as much for whatever reason (eg Geoff D and I am sure
many others)."


* Very true. Most professionals work a little during the day. And i can
certainly say, that it does take a long time to compose and send a "hall of
fame" message.



Simon says, "It's pretty obvious who is here for the long haul and puts in
the work answering question after question (TW, Michael Croft, Rolf and
others) and who is here for the hit and run."

* Hmmm.... I think everyone has an agenda and/or motivation for
contributing. For example, people gain contacts, generate business, and
build a reputation, make more money, etc.

But we shoud always promote pproperty related professionals to contribute.
So that we get a few "expert" opinions on a few topis.

Everyone wants... proven and tested ideas... but at the same time it's
always good to discuss.


P.S. We should also promote "email signatures". I was in various US real
estate related forums on the internet 5/6 years ago. And the email signature
was the basic benchmark that allowed people to promote their services.

(* It was teh norm to attach a 10 line signature to every message.)



Ross Sondergeld ~ Buyer Agent

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
" Imagine buying real estate the easy way...
...with a Buyer Agent on your side!!! "

Buyerside Real Estate Mobile 0412 289 464
Office 9b, 34 Glenferrie Drive Office (07) 5562 1555
East Quay Corporate Park Fax (07) 5562 1248
Robina QLD 4226, Gold Coast Buyerside@hotmail.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


_________________________________________________________________
Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp.
 
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Subject: Investor Services conference

Reply: 4.1.1
From: Simon St John


Hi Ross

Thanks for the feedback and comments.

I was certainly not denying that professionals have an interest in promoting their business.

It's the manner in which it is done I guess and my point was that this is soon regulated by forum members.

People who make a real contribution (as opposed to advertising) stand to gain more clients too!

I know I have met with one of the forum professionals already (thanks Rolf) and am doing a course with another. This is only because their contribution (both in spirit and content).

We must embrace their contribution and try to create an environment where they stay around.

Simon

Cheers, Simon
 
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