NEWSLETTER | SPRING/SUMMER 2011
Trumansburg Area CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
TRUMANSBURG • INTERLAKEN • LODI • JACKSONVILLE • SHELDRAKE
Traditional Vs. Online Networking: What’s Best For You And Your Business? By Sue Henninger, Finger Lakes Writer
With all of the networking options currently available to business owners, it’s no wonder that many of us aren’t sure what tools we should choose, how much time we should be putting into networking, and what types of connections with others will ultimately result in more clients and increased profits for our businesses. In this article, three local entrepreneurs offer some tips on how they use different types of networking strategies to their benefit. Taughannock Falls On Taughannock Creek, Trumansburg. Thirty-Three Feet Higher Than Niagara Falls.
IN THIS ISSUE: • Traditional vs. Online Networking: What’s Best For You And Your Business? • Real Stats on Real Estate • Member Announcements • New Members • Upcoming TACC Meetings & Events
UPCOMING CHAMBER EVENTS: 5/10...... Chamber Business After Hours Americana Vineyards & Winery 6/15...... Chamber Lunch Meeting at Dorothy’s Music Room 11/9...... Annual Chamber Dinner Taughannock Farms Inn
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Darlynne Overbaugh is the head chocolatier and owner of Life’s So Sweet Chocolates (www. lifessosweet.com). Her business marketing strategy relies on both social media tools and person-to-person networking. She currently uses FaceBook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, along with maintaining an active website where she displays a partial product line and takes online orders for her candies. Darlynne has chosen to link her three social media tools so that when she sends a message/update out on one, it simultaneously appears on the other two. “That way I don’t have to spend as much time on updates or worry about sending my customers a consistent message,” she explains. “That’s mostly why I think people avoid social media, they’re afraid of the time commitment. I try to update once or twice a day, maybe a little more when I’m promoting a fresh or brand-new product.”
Darlynne Overbaugh sees the low cost of social marketing as one of its biggest benefits noting that it’s basically free. She adds, “And I can instantly track an increase in the demographics and the number of people that are interested in my product.”
She also varies the time that she posts because she’s discovered that different types of people are online at different times of day. “You’d be surprised at how much time people spend on FaceBook, even when they’re at work,” she adds. Darlynne shares an example of how she knows what she’s doing with her social media accounts is working. “One day I had just finished making salt caramels so I promoted them on Twitter. Before the candy had even dried, two people had showed up at the shop wanting to try them! It’s amazing how fast information gets out virally.” However, she adds a word of warning for business owners, “Because social media is so timely you better make sure you can deliver on what you promised when your customers show up expecting it!” Continued on next page...
“As much as we may accomplish with new forms of social media, a lot of valuable business happens when you meet person-to-person too.” She adds that Life’s So Sweet is a proud member of the Trumansburg Chamber of Commerce, the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce, and the Rotary Club as well as a regular participant in community events. Darlynne Overbaugh Life’s So Sweet Chocolates
Darlynne also uses her FaceBook account to offer incentives that will promote her business to prospective new customers. “At one point I had about 300 FaceBook fans and I wanted more,” she explains. “I offered the chance to win a free pound of chocolate to everyone who recommended Life’s So Sweet’s FaceBook page to anywhere from five to twenty people. Then I drew five lucky winners from that pool. By the time the contest was over my number of FaceBook fan had doubled to around 663!” Darlynne sees the low cost of social marketing as one of its biggest benefits noting that it’s basically free. She adds, “And I can instantly track an increase in the demographics and the number of people that are interested in my product.” She also uses her various online accounts to keep an eye on what new tactics her competitors are using as well as to identify trends in the candy business. One of the few drawbacks of FaceBook for her as a sole proprietor is that it’s constantly evolving so the rules, permissions, and policies keep changing. “You need to pay attention and be mindful of their notifications,” Darlynne notes.” If you’re an active user (at least once a week) you should be fine.” Though she’s well aware of the benefits of social media, Darlynne doesn’t see it as the answer for all her networking needs. “You have to know how to converse as well as connect!” she emphasizes.
One of Darlynne’s major networking business goals for 2011 is to evaluate and modify her online store and website so she can turn site visitors who are currently looking at her products into regular buyers, thus increasing her online sales and overall profits. Trumansburg resident Nicole Maguire is an associate broker with Audrey Edelman Realty USA and a partner in the Magden and Maguire Team. Like Darlynne, she uses a combination of social media and face-to facenetworking to keep her business image active and engaging. Nicole’s social media “tool of choice” is FaceBook. “I do have a LinkedIn account, profile, and connections,” she explains. “But FaceBook is more fun!” Her loyalty to FaceBook as a professional networking tool stems primarily from the fact that her return investment has been great. “It doesn’t cost a thing,” Nicole explains. “For real estate one of the best ways to make money is through word-of-mouth referrals from friends, past clients, and co-workers.” Since 80% of Nicole’s business is repeat referrals, keeping in touch with all of these groups is key, By posting regularly on FaceBook her “friends” get pop-ups with Nicole’s name on them and her hope is that they think to themselves, “Oh there’s Nicolelook what she’s up to!” She believes that this type of “constant contact” keeps her on others radar, resulting in more referrals for her business. Through FaceBook, she’s also met new friends and been able to reconnect with people from her past, thus expanding her area of influence. Another benefit of FaceBook for Nicole is that, by keeping a significant percentage of her postings
business-related, her image as a “goto” real estate professional is constantly being reinforced. “FaceBook has really helped me in that many of my personal friends like high school and college classmates now see a different side of me,” she notes. One thing Nicole doesn’t do is use her FaceBook account indiscriminately. She’s selective in who she “friends” and she tends to quickly get rid of people that aren’t positive or those who make inappropriate comments on her page. Her biggest challenge as a FaceBook marketer is trying to maintain an active presence which can be timeconsuming. She tries to post daily but sometimes weekly updates are the best she can manage. “You have to update and post consistently or it doesn’t benefit you,” she says. “But I don’t really have a schedule. Whenever I have a free moment or if I come across something inspirational, like a good industry article, I’ll put something on.” Though she’s come to rely on FaceBook, Nicole doesn’t discount traditional marketing and sees lots of value in continuing to connect with past, current, and potential clients in person. “I’m a past member of Business Networking International, I go to Chamber of Commerce after Hours’, and community events like the Tompkins Cortland Home Builder Show on a regular basis,” she says. Bruce Digenti and David Kurland have been the hosts at Juniper Hill Mansion and American Impressionist Art Gallery (http://www.atjuniperhill. com) in Trumansburg and TACC members for almost four years. Bruce says that they rely mostly on their website for business, though he does have a FaceBook account with two followers! “If I had more time, I’d do it,” he admits. “It’s what the world is doing now but we tend to serve a crowd that’s less connected than a younger group might be.” Continued on next page...
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In Bruce’s opinion, business owners need to discover, and then concentrate on, what networking tools work best for them in terms of generating business. The reality is that you can probably only do five out of the fifty things you want to, he says, so pick the five you think will help you grow your business the most and do them well. Bruce and David rely on search engine optimization for much of their business and use lots of Internet marketing sites like bedandbreakfast.com and Finger Lakes Bed and Breakfast Association. He claims that Juniper Hill is “so spidered” at this point that they come up on the first page of many searches, including profitable places like “Cornell graduation lodging/accommodations”. Bruce reveals that Trip Advisor is the online tool that’s done the most for their business. “When we bought Juniper Hill it was the first thing I joined, because I’ve used it myself for years and found it really effective. It never steers me wrong on my personal vacations.” he explains,
noting that they get more clients from Trip Advisor than from any of the other online groups they belong to. However, like Darlynne, he adds a word of caution. “You have to really work at it to stay on top of their list. It’s crucial that you provide the quality experience that you’ve promised people so you don’t get bad reviews.” For Bruce, having “as good a website as you can afford” is key for those in the tourism industry. “Nothing throws a prospective visitor off worse than arriving at a website that looks like your grandson made it in the basement!” he asserts. He also believes that business owners should avoid putting lots of distracting “extras” on their sites such as loud music or constantly shifting graphics. Instead he recommends that they focus on making the site easy to navigate, with appealing pictures and accurate,
compelling descriptions of what’s being offered. Juniper Hill also belongs to several business networking organizations, all of which hold regular meetings and networking events, including the Finger Lakes Bed and Breakfast Association, TACC, and both the Cayuga and Seneca Lake Wine Trails, Overall Bruce feels that his business is doing as well or even better than most lodging/accommodation businesses in the area but he continues to be open to trying new things. “People have to come into this century if they want to be successful!” he concludes.
Real Stats on Real Estate By Kate Seaman, Warren Real Estate
As a real estate agent, the first question that most people ask me is, “How is the market?” To address this query here, I will provide you with some statistics, from which you can judge. Each month the local Ithaca Board of REALTORS® releases statistics for the real estate market in Tompkins and surrounding counties. For perspective on the state of the current market we will compare the first quarter of 2011 with the same time period in 2010. This year there were 119 home sales in the first quarter, compared to 129 in 2010. This 8% dip in sales could be largely attributed to the first time home buyers credit that motivated buyers in 2010. The average selling price from year to year is extremely close: $191,752 in 2010 and $191,661 in 2011 - a difference of only $91. Most of these home sales have transpired over a similar period
of time: the average number of days on the market during the first quarter of 2010 was 73, while for 2011 it was 78. Essentially, it is taking about 2.5 months for a house to sell. One more curious statistic is the percentage of the original list price that the home is then actually sold for. In the time periods assessed this ratio was the same, 94% - meaning that the average home sold for a price that was just 6% below the original list price. Now, more relevant to you, is the same information for the Trumansburg Central School District. This year there were 12 sales in Trumansburg during the first quarter, as compared to 14 last year. In 2010 the average selling price was $178,828, whereas in 2011 it was $221,211 – an increase of 19%. These selling prices were 96% of the list price in 2010 and 98% of the list price in 2011. It is, however, taking longer for
homes to sell in this area. The average number of days on the market for 2010 was 148 (about 5 months) and in 2011 it was 167 days, about three weeks longer. Currently there are 44 homes for sale in Trumansburg, with an average list price of $256,617, and an average of 105 days, or 3.5 months, on the market. There are also 19 homes that are under contract in Trumansburg. Their average list price is $223,339 and length of time on the market is 137 days. For further information, please feel free to contact me. I have plenty of experience in the Trumansburg market and I would be pleased to share my expertise with you. email@example.com 607.280.3339
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MEMBER ANNOUNCEMENTS Sue Henninger, proprietor of Finger Lakes Writer, will be participating in the Community Arts Partnership’s 2011 “Spring Writes” Finger Lakes Literary Festival. Henninger will be part of a panel discussion, “Publishing Pointers for Essayists and Journalists” on Saturday, May 8th from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the Borg Warner Room in the Tompkins County Public Library, Green Street, Ithaca. The forum will cover best practices and current trends for aspiring journalists, essayists, and freelance writers. For further information visit www.SpringWrites.org
Spruce Row Campground & RV Park will open May 1st for the season and will be open through Columbus Day in October. This season they are offering their biggest event and activity schedule ever! There will be a women’s mini spa and pancake breakfast the weekend of Mother’s Day and games, crafts, a pancake breakfast, and the local Kenny T & Wildfire band on Father’s Day weekend. June 25th there will be a big bash to honor/benefit firefighters and EMT’s. Check out the full details at www.sprucerow.com, call 607-387-9225, or find them on FaceBook! Trumansburg Farmers Market opens June 1st! The Market will run each Wednesday from 4pm - 7pm until October 26th in the Village Park. There will be food and craft vendors (including High Point Farms and several other TACC members) and live music performed in the gazebo from 5:00 p.m.to 7:00 p.m. Get the 2011 schedule at http://www.trumansburg-ny.gov/farmersmarket.htm The annual “Live Like Liz” walk to promote Ovarian Cancer Awareness will be held at Spruce Row Campground and RV Park on Saturday, May 28th at 10:00 a.m. Although camping is sold out, the walk is open to the public and all are invited to attend! Walkers are asked to contribute at least $1, all of which will be donated to the Live Like Liz foundation (www.livelikeliz.org). For more information visit www.sprucerow.com. Interlaken Olde Home Day will be held from 9:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 11th with music, food and a great time for all! The parade will begin at the South Seneca Central School at 1:00 p.m. If you are interested in being in the parade (music, automobiles, organizations, floats) we would like to hear from you! We are also in need of a few more vendors.
Check out the 2011 TACC brochure... in print and online at www.TrumansburgChamber.com
Contact the Interlaken Community Action Group chairman Keith Jay at 532-9375 or http://www. villageofinterlaken.org/OHD11. html for more information.
TACC member Susan Henninger (www.fingerlakeswriter.com) was recently awarded a scholarship from the American Society of Journalists and Authors to attend ASJA’s 40th Annual Writer’s Conference in New York City. Henninger writes both news and feature articles that frequently highlight Finger Lakes residents’ accomplishments, regional issues, or tourism opportunities. She was chosen from a number of applicants to represent the “Nonfiction Articles” writing category at the conference. Henninger, along with other professional writers from all over the country, will spend two days attending workshops facilitated by over 100 established authors, journalists, editors, and social media experts.
The Interlaken Historical Society Museums will be open Saturday, June 11th during Olde Home Day and then each Saturday in July and August from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. or by appointment. Contact 532-8899, 532-9227, museum@ interlakenhistory.org, or visit www.interlakenhistory.org The Village of Trumansburg’s Community Beautification grant recipient, Takin’ Care of T’burg, got a great start on Main St. clean-up with the help of many Charles O. Dickerson High School students during the Trumansburg Earth Day activities at the end of April. Takin’ Care of T’burg is a great way to spend time outdoors, work alongside your friends and neighbors, and help beautify our Village! Contact Karen Powers at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. Once again, the TACC brochure rack at Taughannock State Park will be located at the swimming pavilion during the summer months. All Chamber members are encouraged to put their brochures, menus, or event announcements there as the rack gets lots of visitors, both local and out-of-state!
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NEW MEMBERS Judy Cone Ulysses Square 1891 Trumansburg Road Ulysses Square is a professional office building, with several common areas, that rents to “carefully screened” tenants including a software company, an acupuncturist, an architecture firm, and a landscaping business. Judy explains that her objective in renovating the area was to “turn a bunch of buildings into something nice that will improve the Jacksonville area”. She says that she joined TACC because she thought her membership would benefit her tenants and perhaps motivate them to join as well. She also feels strongly about supporting business development and increasing employment in the Trumansburg/Ulysses area and sees her Chamber membership as a good way to do this.
Peggy Haine Cash and Caring Fundraising Auctions 5785 Rumsey Road Cash and Caring Fundraising Auctions organize auctions for not-for-profit organizations in the community and Peggy’s goal is to educate local agencies about her business. “I’m happy to have the opportunity to spread the word on how to use these auctions effectively and about the many benefits that they can offer not-for-profits,” she says. Peggy adds that many local business owners volunteer for, or serve on, the boards of these not-for-profits so she’s also looking forward to meeting and networking with TACC members so she can explain more about how her business can help them in their capacity as volunteers.
Evie Reville Bella Stone 15 East Main Street, Suite #4
David Martin Eagle Envelope 6011 Sirrine Road
Bella Stone offers hot and cold massage to people of all ages using LaStone therapy, a “combination of ancient wisdom and modern science”.
Eagle Envelope is a commercial printing business, specializing in letterheads, envelopes, and shortrun color brochures. David joined TACC after being approached by a Board member and he says that the reasonable annual dues and the Chamber locale in the Trumansburg area convinced him that it would be a good idea.
Evie joined TACC at the urging of other members and because she saw it as a “cohesive, mutually supportive organization”. She believes her new membership will be a way to let others become aware of what she does best and to learn more about what other business owners in the community have to offer.
David believes that he can offer being “a good business partner” to other TACC members and adds, “If we get any new customers through meeting other members; that would be great too!”
Shelia Mesick Prestige Boarding Kennel 5309 Heverly Road Prestige Boarding Kennel is a familyrun business with modern indoor/ outdoor kennels for pets whose owners are out-of-town. Prestige also has over twenty years of pet grooming experience. Shelia explains that she joined TACC both to gain more exposure for her business and to have the opportunity to network with other members. She adds that they’ve already supplied a free grooming session to Dorothy’s Music Room’s recent benefit for pets and that Prestige is willing to donate certificates to other local businesses’ events, especially those that support animal rescue. Sarah Adams V. Romanoff and Associates 4 Falls Street V. Romanoff and Associates Is a historic restoration design firm that has over thirty years of experience in working on public buildings, private residences, commercial facades, and storefronts. Sarah and her partner, Vicky Romanoff, joined TACC because they’re invested in participating in the community they live in and they were encouraged by others to become members. “We hope to meet new people, make new connections, and learn more about the Trumansburg community’s projects and services,” Sarah says. Continued on next page...
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UPCOMING MEETINGS & EVENTS
Kate Seaman Warren Real Estate 830 Hanshaw Road, Ithaca
The May 10th Chamber Business After Hours will be at Americana Vineyards from 5-7 p.m. Cost is $7.00 per person, payable at the door. Dave Makar from the Referral Institute (www.referralinstituteithaca.com) will briefly offer examples of how networking and referrals can benefit your business.
Kate provides professional real estate advice and services for residential property, including preparation for selling, setting the listing price and positioning property to obtain the highest price in the least amount of time. She also helps buyers find property that meets their needs within an acceptable price range and often recommends other professionals to assist them during the process. She joined the Chamber to meet and work with other professionals in the Trumansburg area which she believes will enhance the service that she provides to her clients in the Trumansburg community.
Tompkins Trust Company will be celebrating it’s 175th Birthday on Friday, May 13th. All the branches will be serving birthday cake all day long and we invite everyone to come help us celebrate this huge milestone!
Emily Thompson, Manager Gimme! Coffee 7 East Main Street Gimme! Coffee is an artisan coffee roaster and espresso bar that serves a variety of coffee drinks in a friendly community atmosphere. Emily has a number of reasons why she chose to join TACC this year, including the 2011 brochure which she says is “gorgeous”. She explains that she noticed her sales numbers are steadily rising which she attributes to Main Street being a “hopping place!” Wanting to be part of the action as well as to make a statement to other business owners and Gimme! customers were also incentives for her to sign on as a new member. “There’s a sense of community, rather than competition, among the business leaders in Trumansburg that’s uplifting that those of us at Gimme! want to be a part of,” she notes.
At Sheldrake Point Winery: Rieslings of Cayuga Lake - A Tasting & Learning Experience: Sunday, May 15, 2pm — 3:30pm: May is Riesling Month in Finger Lakes Wine Country! Winemaker Dave Breeden is celebrating the grape by leading a blind horizontal tasting of Rieslings — wines from the same vintage and grape but made by various Cayuga Lake wineries whose labels will be revealed at the end. You will taste and be guided through 6-8 Cayuga Lake Rieslings. $25 per person/$10 per Wine Club Member. Very limited seating. Reserve by May 6th. Email email@example.com or call Antoinette at (607) 532-9401, ext. 106.
Interlaken Olde Home Day is Saturday, June 11th. We are still looking for vendors, please contact the Interlaken Community Action Group chairman Keith Jay at 532-9375 or http://www.villageofinterlaken.org/OHD11.html Music, food and a great time all day and into the evening, The Interlaken Historical Society Museums will be open Saturday June 11th during Olde Home Day and on Saturdays in July and August 10 to 2, or by appointment, contact 532-8899, 532-9227 or museum@interlakenhistory. org, www.interlakenhistory.org Community Yard Sale, 6/12, The yard sale sign up takes place at the Village office. You may call 387-6501 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org,Tammy Morse will take the information and a $5 charge for advertising cost and any amount left will be donated to a local concern (too be determined). A map will be generated from the info received. No drop offs! Most people will have their sales at their homes, others may sign up to use one of the famers market pavilion spaces on a first come first served basis. Any questions or concerns can be directed to Nottke@ trumansburg-ny.gov. On 6/15, Chamber Business Luncheon hosted by Dorothy’s Music Room at noon... details will be emailed by second week of May. At Sheldrake Point Winery: Father’s Day Lunch @ Simply Red Bistro: Sunday, June 19, Simply Red Bistro: 11am — 3pm: Father’s of all ages will love Chef Samantha Izzo’s special menu of grilled food and other specialties. Always a popular event, make sure Dad has his spot at the table reserved! Menu posted at www.simplyredbistro.com Reservations Required. Contact the Bistro at (607) 532-9401 ext. 103. February Chamber Luncheon at Glenwood Pines Topic: Keeping Your Resolutions Left to right: Dorothy Ginn, Dorothy’s Music Room; Bridgid Beames, Namaste Montessori School; Lucia Tyler, Tyler Admission Consultants
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