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Archives of real estate blog entries for January 16, 2008
Featured blog posts
Doing the Same Thing and Expecting Different Results - 08:49 AM
I see many new agents come and go in our industry. As the market changed in the last two years many inexperienced and weak agents began to find themselves lost. On Oahu our market is much stronger than most in the country, yet we have seen a decrease in the number of closings. I have lost count of how many struggling agents have spoken to me in the last year asking advice. Most were not willing to follow the advice. Several of them have either left the industry or have stopped doing business all together. Here is my advice to struggling agents. If what (67 comments)
LongTail Keywords For Blogging, Fishing With The Right Bait On Your Active Rain Blog. - 05:36 PM
Are you fishing with the right bait? Active Rain is a great platform that the search engine spiders like to come and check out to see if there is any good content they can feast upon. In order for you to get calls from sellers who want to list their properties with you and buyers who want to buy a property with you as their agent you must go fishing but just as the fish won't bite if you do not use the right bait so the consumers will not bite if they can not find you or you do not (347 comments)
Beware of Duplicate Content Penalties on Your Blog - 11:51 PM
I write for two separate blogs in addition to Active Rain: San Diego Previews (a real estate blogsite) and Luxury Home Digest (blog). Both are run on the open source WordPress platform with custom tweaking from the gurus at the Real Estate Tomato. I participated in an Advanced SEO class with blogging coach Justin Smith last week and picked up a very important tip: Beware of garnering duplicate content penalties from Google by placing your blog articles into too many categories. Immediately after class, I checked both blogs and cringed. Hundreds of entries were placed into multiple categories on my blogs. If I wrote (78 comments)
HOW BANKS CAN FIX THE BROKEN SHORT-SALE PROCESS TO PREVENT FORECLOSURES - 05:32 PM
I recently found myself in an unexpected short sale. Without boring you with all the details, essentially the bank decided to foreclose on the day of closing even after having our file approved for sale. After the foreclosure department and the attorney was assigned, there was a mysterious $6,000 charge that appeared on the HUD-1. That's $6,000 the seller doesn't have and the buyer refuses to pay. So we now going through the process of requesting a short sale from Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. I'm sharing the name of the mortgage company because I know that they are all alike in this (54 comments)
Bank of America, Countrywide, & A Mortgage Broker's Perspective. - 12:48 PM
MSN Money had an interesting and relevent article today speculating on how Bank of America will handle the buy-out of Countrywide. Click here to read the article. I'd like to focus on a few key points that were made in the article: - First off, the relationship between BOA & Countrywide is not new, it's been going on for 40 years. In my mind, this should give you some perspective on whether it was an intelligent decision on BOA's part and the fact that this news wasn't a 'shocker' to a lot of us in the Mortgage Profession. There is familiarity between the two (57 comments)
The most underreported, shocking news I've seen in a while. From "Editor & Publisher", a pub which covers the newspaper industry:"In the most radical move from print to digital advertising by a major newspaper, the Chicago Tribune announced Monday it is eliminating help-wanted ads from the newspaper on weekdays." Article is here. Clearly the migration of advertising budgets online is happening faster than ever. (28 comments)
Where is that Staging Waldo? - 10:03 AM
Many of you have emailed wondering just where the heck I have been for the last month. Well, I really have no better explanation than to say that I have been busy "working" on many things I needed to do to succeed in a market that has thrust upon us all new challenges. While there have been quite a few changes around here... I thought I would share some of the bigger things that have been keeping me busy. Soon after my trip in December to Sacramento and the Stage It Forward Round Table discussion held there... the holidays were upon us. And typical, for that (77 comments)
300,000 Points on Active Rain is That Too Much Blogging? - 06:34 PM
Is that too much? Have I spent way too much time in front of the computer? That is a good question. I have spent many long hours writing blog posts and responding to others blogs. We had or regional REALTOR® meeting this morning. I spoke to three different agent this morning that are not doing well in their business. My best guess is that just Active Rain alone is bring my more clients and referrals than they are getting in total. For that reason alone I feel I can justify my time here. But there are several other benefits I am gaining (116 comments)
75th Active Rain Post Makes My Phone Ring - 11:59 PM
I didn't recognize the area code--thought it was probably a telemarketing call. I nearly went into screening mode and let it go to voicemail, but instead I answered the after hours call. You guessed it--my first customer call directly related to Active Rain. A family from New Mexico will be moving to the Palos Verdes area very soon. They will rent until their property in New Mexico sells, then purchase a home in the Palos Verdes School District. Wow! This really works. After two and a half months of almost daily commenting and posting the first caller made it all worthwhile. I (84 comments)
Give it to me straight - 03:52 PM
Can you give it to me straight? What are the benefits from blogging. Is it to get better Internet ranking? Or is it a social thing that fills a need? I have to think that the ultimate reason is to get more business, but as I read a lot of posts I am not sure if people are trying to attract business or attract other people to comment on their posts? What am I missing here. I have to confess that I am new to blogging and I certainly do not understand all the benefits, this is why I am asking this question. Please do not (48 comments)
My Best Blogging Day Ever! - 05:34 PM
I've only been here in the Rain since August, 2007. Not a newbie anymore, but certainly not an expert in SEO, SERP or any of the other cyber terms I've learned about. My goal when I joined was to learn - learn about how to blog, how to improve my website, how to connect with those virtual consumers who don't have a REALTOR® yet. I kept reading the success stories that counseled me to "be myself", "post to localism", "show that you are the expert in your market"...all great advice from some great people that are willing to share their success (108 comments)
Business Solicitations Disguished as Referrals - 12:54 PM
O.K. This is getting to be one of my pet peeves on Active Rain. This morning I got n email notification of a new referral in my area and so I immediately looked it up and responded. What I received back was a sales pitch from an ancillary provider out of my area telling me all the merits of using him. On another occassion the referral turned out to be someone advertising their subdivision that they were marketing and which is already listed in the MLS. I don't know about you but this manuever would make me far less likely to (47 comments)
Zillow offers neighborhood boundary data - for free - 10:27 PM
Drew Meyers just announced that Zillow will be offering up all of their neighborhood boundary data through a Creative Commons license. From a technology provider this is pretty swanky cool news. Don't be surprised if the new Localism redesign taps into some of this data. (19 comments)
When I think of Brio Realty my thoughts always go back to the actual definition of the word "brio". It is a noun and is a quality of being alive, active, spirited and vigorous. This is how we live in the Real Estate World. If you are not active you are not going to go anywhere or do anything. Knowledge is Power! We believe that knowledge should be spread fluidly and should be readily available to everyone. Jonathon Washburn started Brio Realty in 2003. He first started "WhyNotOwn.com" in the early 90s. He created one of the very first web-based real estate sites on the Internet. He also started ActiveRain and (7 comments)
Snohomish County Washington Real Estate area market statistics - 06:27 PM
Snohomish County WA Real Estate and homes for sale. The Real Estate Market is not a national market, but a local one. Each area is different depending on job growth and housing supply.In some areas, it's a seller's market. In other areas, it's a buyer's market. Some areas are neutral.The fact remains that while there are more homes on the market and they are taking slightly longer to sell, the market is not nearly as bad as the media would like you to believe.I personally believe what we are seeing is a NORMAL market for Snohomish County real estate. Snohomish County (1 comments)
Marysville WA Real Estate and homes for sale area market statistics - 06:35 PM
Marysville WA Real Estate and homes for sale. The Real Estate Market is not a national market, but a local one. Each area is different depending on job growth and housing supply.In some areas, it's a seller's market. In other areas, it's a buyer's market. Some areas are neutral.The fact remains that while there are more homes on the market and they are taking slightly longer to sell, the market is not nearly as bad as the media would like you to believe.I personally believe what we are seeing is a NORMAL market for Marysville Washington real estate. Marysville area homes (0 comments)
Saving and investing money is one of my favorite subjects--I was not aware that starting on January 1, 2008, there was a change in the tax law, whereby, individuals may contribute an extra $1,000 a year in traditional and Roth IRAs. Therefore, the annual limits go to $5,000 for anyone under age 50 and $6,000 for those 50 and over. When you consider the value of money over time principal, this is very good news. The SEP IRA contribution has also had an increase in the contribution level. “The maximum employer's contribution to a SEP -- used primarily by self-employed individuals (6 comments)
CondoDomain.com Steps into Online Traffic: - 12:58 PM
CondoDomain.com Steps into Online Traffic: Online Condominium Lead Generation Company Takes Real Estate Brokerage Head On BOSTON, MA— CondoDomain.com, the top-ranked urban condominium portal knownfor generating real estate leads in more than 30 U.S. markets, is now an exclusive buyers’brokerage firm for downtown Boston real estate. As of January 9, 2008, instead of passing Boston real estate leads to respective advertisers, CondoDomain will establish relationships with perspective buyers themselves. Founder and CEO Anthony Longobelieves that serving the online buyer is the future of real estate brokerage. More so, he believes in focusing in on a niche and creating efficiencies in (1 comments)
For the past week I have been working diligently on finalizing my business plan for 2008 - My MAP to success for working with buyers in New Hampshire! I took a break yesterday to attend a class presented by technology and marketing guru, Amy Chorew, who recently joined Active Rain! I go to a lot of educational seminars and most of the time, I am lucky if I learn something new! This time I was blown away by Amy's presentation. If you are like me (one of those real estate professionals who is not up (25 comments)
Finding sustainable and affordable ways to power the world is clearly a substantial and increasingly urgent challenge. And according to Springwise, Dutch startup Qurrent is taking the notion a step further with technology to enable neighborhood-wide energy networks. Because of fluctuating patterns of consumption, homes with wind and solar energy generators can find themselves with surplus energy at some times of the day but not enough at others. Surplus energy typically gets sold back to the main grid, but as much as 30 percent of it gets lost along the way, according to EcoGeek. When a group of homes work together to (1 comments)
College Station Home on Acreage - 02:51 AM
Bryan and College Station are filled with both city lots and wide open spaces. Moving here you will need to make a decision about how you want to live. Is a small city lot for you? Would an acre or more be right? What about a property you can have horses on? Easily found in certain price ranges here (typically 250K and up, but sometimes lower, pricing will go up to over 1 million). Things to consider are land upkeep, and costs associated as well as garbage pickup, septic system costs (a contract with a reputable maintenance company is required by (4 comments)
Allstate banned from writing insurance in Florida - 11:36 AM
The latest round of back and forth between the State of Florida and Allstate has culminated with the insurance company being banned from writing all business in the State - effective immediately! This took place after just two hours of a scheduled two day meeting between Allstate executives and Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty. Insurance regulators had required Allstate to submit documents related to the company's reinsurance program and use of risk-modeling companies to set homeowners-insurance rates. Allstate had requested property-insurance rate increases of more than an average 40 percent throughout the state. In January of 2007, the State passed a law requiring insurance companies (20 comments)
Fort Myers Beach " OPEN HOUSE" Thursday Jan 16, 2008 9 AM Reduced $100k - 03:37 PM
Fort Myers Beach " OPEN HOUSE " Thursday Jan 16, 2008 9 AM Reduced $100k Wouldn't this put a smile on her face ! Gorgeous 3/2 direct Gulf front home. Totally decorator furnished home. I will be hosting this Thursday starting at 9 AM . If you have been looking for a move-in ready beach front this is it. If you are on Fort Myers Beach Thursday morning stop in and and say " HI". This beautiful home is a real charmer with light. bright beachy colors and decorator upgrades. Furnished and ready for you to move in ! Just reduced $100k to $1,695,000 . Call me direct for (0 comments)
Fletcher Heights - Home Sales Information - 02:20 PM
Yes, the housing market is struggling. I'm happy to report that the average selling price in Fletcher Heights has stayed relatively even. In September 2007 two homes were sold in Fletcher Heights at an average sales price of $280,000. In October five were sold at an average sales price of $287,300. The average sales price in November slid back to $282,000 with seven homes sold. December remained even at an average sale price of $283,000 with five homes sold. If you want to find more information about Fletcher Heights, please view my website at Fletcher Heights or call me at (623) 640-0937.
Tatum Ranch - Home Sales Information - 02:30 PM
Yes, the housing market is struggling. I'm happy to report that the average selling price in Tatum Ranch has stayed relatively even. In September 2007 thirteen homes were sold in Tatum Ranch at an average sales price of $357,231. In October eleven were sold at an average sales price of $356,636. The average sales price in November stayed in the same ballpark at $358,200 with five homes sold. December remained even at an average sale price of $357,241 with eleven homes sold. If you want to find more information about Tatum Ranch, please view my website at Tatum Ranch or call me at (623) 640-0937. (0 comments)
Stuff That Hides In Plain Sight: Hacking A WordPress Theme - 08:02 AM
While this blog post tells of solving a very specific problem, the issue of Stuff Hiding In Plain Sight is certainly not unique to WordPress code. R. Bhavesh recently release a very elegant, professional style, free WordPress theme called WP Premium. I really like it and have installed it on two WordPress blogs, (with a few minor hacks). It is available in three color schemes, and changing out the color scheme is quite easy.... except it took me about 5 hours to see it. Duh. In case anyone else needs a hand, here are my notes: Download and install WP Premium. Here's how to install a theme, (2 comments)
Closing Costs You Can Expect To Pay When Purchasing A Home - 08:58 AM
There are quite a number of expenses that you will incur when purchasing a home that make up your closing costs. Closing costs typically range anywhere from 3%-6% of the purchase price, depending on the loan you're getting. The fees vary from one company to the next, so it's best to actually get a a copy of a Good Faith Estimate from your lender. Typically, the lender will allow the seller to contribute 3%-6% of the purchase price towards your closing costs. Make sure you're working with an agent that will negotiate on your behalf to have most of or all of these expenses paid for by the seller, depending on (1 comments)
A Lesson In Focus and Persistence From J.D. the Heeler - 02:45 PM
We have two dogs here at the ranch. One, Joey, is a Great Pyrenees/Lab/something (we think hound of some sort) mix. Very, very, VERY laid back and all about the food. (I blogged about him some months ago in Joey Doesn't Share Food!) J.D., on the other hand, our Heeler, is all about Kick the BALL!!!!!! If there's any possibility that we might kick his partially deflated basketball, that's all he's interested in. Food? Not interested. Cat running past under his nose? Couldn't care less. If anyone goes outside, J.D. immediately grabs The Ball, or goes and finds The Ball and (6 comments)
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National Survey Ranks RE/MAX Among Top Ten in Four Categories - 05:41 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE RE/MAX Ranked the Top Real Estate Franchise National Survey Ranks RE/MAX Among Top Ten in Four Categories (Denver, CO -- January 16, 2007) RE/MAX International is the nation's number one real estate franchise, and the number ten franchise overall, according to Entrepreneur Magazine's 29th Annual "Franchise 500 Survey." RE/MAX has held the honor of the top real estate franchisor for eight of the past ten years. The survey, which appears in this month's edition of Entrepreneur Magazine ranks RE/MAX among the top ten in four different franchise categories. In addition to being the tenth best of all franchises, the Denver-based real (0 comments)
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