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Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009 - 12/31/08 07:21 PM
2008 has been another great year for me personally. While describing some of my personal achievements, I'd like to share with you some lessons I have learnt along the way and if you wish, you could apply them in your life too. In my business, 2008 is my best year yet, in terms of profits and number of transactions although I still didn't meet my goals when I had set them before we rolled in 2008. Most of my 2008 income came from blogging on Active Rain and it was something I did not expect. So, it is a sweet surprise. (13 comments)
My Top 10 Bloggers for Lemonade Award in 2008 - 12/30/08 11:22 PM
When I realized that I made the Lemonade Award on Paula Swayne's list, I was ecstatic. I feel so special because this is indeed a very special award. The word is that there is a Lemonade Award going around. Serious consideration must be given to talents, wisdom and knowledge (I'm still trying) of your favorite bloggers. I will add this as a requirement of my list, to post great blogs and blog often. So, all I had to do was to go to my Subscribed list and pick 10! (I'm hoping that these 10 of my selection will carry this (15 comments)
The Rise and Fall of a Successful Dallas TX Real Estate agent. Lessons we ALL can learn from. - 12/29/08 11:00 PM
This is a story of a successful real estate agent in Dallas TX which was recently published in the January 2009 issue of the D Magazine. To read the article in its entirety, read The Rise and Fall of Eleanor Mowery Sheets. Here is my summarized version of her on-going story, about her empire and her fall. Lessons we all can learn from. (Note: I do not know her personally, so all that is said here is read within the context of the D Magazine article written by Gretel Kovach.) Eleanor Mowery Sheets started her real estate career in (20 comments)
Too Much Work But Too Little Time. Try Prioritizing From Your Death Bed for 2009. - 12/29/08 08:20 AM
First of all, I'm not sure what else I could name this post. So, if I was too blunt, please forgive me. I think, I talk and I type right out of my head. So many times when I write ranting blogs, it was just meant for that. I did that again recently when I felt absolutely overwhelmed and buried with work. But as you read along, you will find out how I found myself at a lightbulb moment. First of all, thank you to all the Active Rainers out there that supported my original Overwhelmed post (Member's Only). You don't (9 comments)
Have we forgotten about good values? - 12/28/08 12:05 PM
Paul Henderson's blog about Only in America inspired this weekend spark of mine. I figured that this is between Christmas and New Year's Day, that I share some of my views on some issues that are dear to my heart. This is one of them: the values of hard-work. (Note: As I write this, I have experience as a mother only for about 15-months. I can't say that I know it all, but it is in my heart to teach my son some important life lessons). When I first came to the country 12 years ago, I was excited because I'd (50 comments)
Be The Message of Hope in 2009 - 12/28/08 11:51 AM
This is the last Sunday of 2008 thus, this post marks my last God First message for 2008 also. I have been enjoying sharing these God First posts with you. My hope is that some of them had spoken to your heart. If you have not been following my God First posts, may I encourage you to Subscribe to my blog? My promise to you is that the messages will be day-to-day related, often times related to real estate and it wont be hard core scriptures. I spend my first blog of every week quiet and focused on 1 topic that (6 comments)
Come On Y'all, Please Let Me Show Off My Christmas Gift - 12/25/08 08:21 AM
I really wasn't planning on posting a blog on Christmas Day. I really thought I will sincerely take a 3-day Active Rain break. Since this addiction got the better of me, you are reading my blog today. But I have a really good reason. Read on. You see, I just need to show off my Christmas present - given to my husband and I by our 14 1/2 month old son. We are smiling from ear to ear. As first time parents, please forgive our enthusiasm if you don't quite understand our excitement. Raising our son, little Boomer as we call (28 comments)
Merry Christmas 2008 & Make it a Prosperous 2009! - 12/24/08 09:42 AM
Wishing you & yours A Very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Joyous New Year. I'll be heading to the malls to observe the last-minute shoppers after little Boomer gets up from his morning nap. I just love the looks of frantic shoppers and people hurriedly making their last-minute purchases. It will be our first Christmas together as a family, away from the extended ones. I've been looking towards these 3 days. Don't forget to take some quiet time for yourself. To Unwind & Recharge for 2009. I know I'll be doing some of that next week. It's truly is my (18 comments)
Dallas TX Homes for Sale Smiles To Housing Appreciation while The Rest of the Country Lingers On - 12/23/08 08:20 PM
Dallas Fox 4 News reported that Dallas is seeing appreciating real estate housing prices at 2.43% this past October when compared to last October. Great news for Dallas residents and those who are considering relocation to the metropolitan. I am often asked "How the real estate market is doing? The doom and gloom was really wearing me down", said many of my friends during casual conversations they have with me. "The news media are really discouraging me. With all the foreclosure rates they are discussing, it feels like the world is coming to an end". Well, at least I have something (7 comments)
1. Property taxes - If you qualify and can itemize your deductions on Schedule A of your 2008 Income taxes, by paying your property taxes on or before December 31 2008, you could count that payment towards your 2008 taxes. If you make your payment on or after January 1 2009, you will use this property tax payment for your 2009 taxes. 2. School taxes - Same as property taxes above. 3. (5 comments)
Don't Spend It All Away Thinking It's The Only Way For More Business - 12/22/08 11:23 AM
I love tools, technology, systems, plans and everything that makes my life easier when running my business. At the same time, money is a limited resource. (I would say that it's true in most of our cases). Before you go out there to purchase one more thing that simplifies your life, understand its significance and what it really does to your bottom-line and your time (yet another limited resource). This blog was inspired by Mimi Samuel in her recent post about whether or not to obtain her GRI certification. Later she also explained she considered if she should spend her money (17 comments)
A Open Christmas Message To My Son - 12/21/08 02:56 PM
This week, the focus of my God First post is an Open Christmas Message to my young son at the tender age of 14 1/2 months old. Though he may not understand the significance of Christmas just yet, I intend to nurture him this Christmas Message all the days of my life. That God gave His most treasured gift to us on Christmas Day. It is my deepest hope that I would be able to create teachable moments of these lessons. Jesus - the son of Almighty, the Savior of the world and the answer to mankind came into this world, (8 comments)
I Don't Get Paid Until You Close - 12/18/08 10:31 PM
Brian & Rita Burke's recent post about Can A Staging Company Charge a Success Fee? inspired this blog. I went to think really hard after reading their blog about what other industry/ professions would not charge a fee until success is seen and known? When I walk into my doctor's office, I see a sign at the check-in window, "Payment is required at time of service rendered". Then, there was one time I remembered my vet fee was over $300 only to hear my vet said that he didn't know what was wrong with Maxx's limping front paw. I paid the (18 comments)
Open Minds & Open Hearts - 12/18/08 11:57 AM
There are several styles of blogging - Most of which bloggers publish and produce informative articles to share on their blogs. In the past, I've read from (perhaps) Ardell DellaLoggia (I'm really hoping it's her. Otherwise, I would be giving credit to the wrong person.) that a real blogger could even post blogs about the questions they have. I have witnessed so many Question-style blogs and they are very interesting. The feedbacks and comments that I follow are even much more interesting. People that ask Questions in their blog posts have an Open Mind about the comments and feedbacks they receive. (2 comments)
Your Personality Affects Your Salesmanship - 12/17/08 08:51 AM
Salesmanship is defined as an art of selling. Thus, your success for selling depends alot on your ability to sell. As I was preparing for this blog, I found the perfect description of Salesmanship: The art of Showmanship. Wikipedia says that Showmanship is the skill or making a performance distinctive, effective and appealing to an audience. I cannot help but to relate this back to real estate. After all, what is it that we sell? Houses? Nope. We sell ourselves everyday. We sell ourselves the minute we answer our phone, we sell ourselves when we reply those emails and we (9 comments)
, the external factors for home buying cannot be more promising. Inventory is at its all time high with attractive prices. This means you have plenty to choose from with Sellers understanding that contracts are hard to come by. However, I remain true to my advice about the purchase. I am often asked if Now is a good time to purchase? My answer will always be, Make your purchase when you are ready financially and emotionally. Not what the news media tells you. Read also, Business Decisions of Short Sales & Foreclosures Create Artificial Real Estate Market Values. (If you (7 comments)
No More Meme(s) Please. Let's U-Ewe Instead! - 12/16/08 04:46 PM
U-Ewe??? What is that? Can you even order it at a restaurant? I'm not sure I would even if it was on the menu. I've never heard of this word much less how to pronounce it. What on earth is it anyways? Heather Goodwin u-ewed me recently in her post, From Meme to U-Ewe... Baa! I feel so honored that Heather had thought about me in those words as she described me. So, in an instant, from not knowing what the word means, I am a lover of this new trend Steve Kappre started here on Active Rain in his blog, (9 comments)
If Short Sales & Foreclosures Are Driving Real Estate Prices, Which Sellers Are Growing Equity in the greater Frisco TX Homes Market? - 12/16/08 03:55 PM
Short sales and foreclosures hit the greater Frisco TXHomes market just like most of America. In the short sale transactions, homeowners are selling their properties for less than what were owed. Banks are flooding the markets at reduced prices to move their inventories off their books. I am often asked by Home Sellers in the Frisco TX area. "Should I sell now, or should I wait?" My answer is always going to be, "Depending on what you want to get out of the process". Sometimes, it also depends on whether you are happy with the appreciation and equity you (2 comments)
Business Decisions of Short Sales & Foreclosures Create Artificial Real Estate Values - 12/15/08 04:49 PM
Foreclosure rates are on the rise. It is not news anymore. In fact, it's no longer funny to banks and sellers. Both are taking large financial hits. One of Dallas Morning News Real Estate reported that 1 in 10 owners are delinquent on their mortgages and some recent data supported the fact that 50% of the work-out programs offered by banks in these delinquencies move on to foreclose on their properties. An ALTERNATIVE to FORECLOSURE Short sale is an alternative option for some homeowners prior to foreclosure. Short sale is a process where the mortgage lender agrees to accept a lesser (22 comments)
Are You Still or Busy as a Bumble Bee? - 12/14/08 12:07 PM
This week, the focus of my God First post is about knowing when to be busy and choosing some times to be still. As I study this, I pray it over my life, my thoughts and my business. I hope you would do the same. Scripture of the week: Be Still and Know That I am GodPsalms 46:10 There are times where it warrants that we be busy. Work, work, work and go, go, go. Then, there are times we are called to be quiet. To everything there is a season,a time for every purpose under the sun.A time to be (12 comments)
Some Tidbits Information about President Bush's New Community - Preston Hollow of Dallas TX Homes for Sale - 12/13/08 07:35 AM
When I found out that President Bush and his family plan to call Dallas home after the presidency, I was super-excited. It truly does mean something to us here - of all the beautiful places this country has to offer and call home, the Bush family chose Dallas TX. Please read about my previous blog I wrote back April 2008, Bush To Call Dallas Home After Presidency. It was just a bummer that President Bush and the First Lady didn't google Preston Hollow, or found me on Active Rain to serve them - like the rest of my clients did. I (6 comments)
How Active Rain Gain Me Local Presence. You Can TOO! - 12/12/08 09:00 AM
I love Fridays. Today is no different, except it's better and sweeter. As I read my Google Alerts on my name this morning, I found this article written by Frisco Enterprise - our local Frisco TX newspaper with my INTERVIEW on it. About 10 days ago, Ann Marie Shambaugh with our local newspaper interviewed me about my thoughts and personal client experiences in the Frisco TX real estate market. She had asked if I saw the trend of Californians moving back to where they came from because the cost of living are decreasing over there.
December 12 2008 - My (13 comments)
Email Template for Your Customized Newsletters - 12/11/08 06:17 PM
I wrote a blog about recycling and re-using your blogs as quality, un-canned newsletter contents for your drip campaigns. Please read about tips and ideas for some contents on Use Your Blog Content as Touch Points. One of the feedbacks and questions was How Do I Integrate My Blog Contents to my newsletter? This blog is solely dedicated on what I plan to do for 2009. In the past, I have used MailChimp or even my own Outlook emails to send them. I was never super-impressed with the branding. They did not produce the look and feel I sought after. My (25 comments)
It Takes More Than Head Knowledge to Sell in Today's Frisco or AnyTown Real Estate Market - 12/10/08 06:27 PM
You have decided to put your house up for sale in today's (Frisco) challenging market. You heard that Pricing, pricing and pricing leads to a successful sale. You saw the charts on how pricing affects everything. Market stats, charts bar graphs and such, comparative market analysis (CMA), days on market (DOM), absorption rates of your community, etc. All these information are great and IMPORTANT for a Seller to understand prior to listing his/ her house. Having these HEAD KNOWLEDGE may set you apart from your competitors. However, in my experiences assisting home sellers, there are more to head knowledge to a (6 comments)
Use Your Blog Content As Touch Points - 12/10/08 01:02 PM
You find that canned newsletters are too general and nothing specific for your market and your clients. You said that there are too cheesy. You wanted something more relevant for your clients. As your clients and leads read them, they know that you probably didn't prepare them. Your drip marketing campaigns lose their effectiveness because of their quality. On the other hand, you have produced great quality content on your blogs. Have you ever considered assigning these blogs for your clients and leads as quality touch points instead of the canned, often repeated ones also used by competitors in your area? (45 comments)
Are You TOO Good Looking For Your Phone? - 12/08/08 04:59 PM
In one of my recent post, Disappearing Acts of Real Estate Agents. Do You Perform? I realize that I was not the only one whose had "phone problems" with other real estate agents. Looking back, it is quite true that most real estate agents prefer to not pick up their phone calls for whatever reason. One of my bad habits in my previous life was just that. I was afraid to pick up the phone. In my past and personal life, I've had someone yelled on the phone, went on and on and chewed me out many years ago. Hence, (26 comments)
Making Christmas Special For Someone Else Instead - 12/08/08 12:19 PM
Please continue to join me for my weekly God First post at the beginning of each week. As I study God's word, I hope that you will find it fruitful also. 1 John 3:16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. Last week's scripture was about John 3:16. We studied what God had done for us, sacrificially. I blogged about Not Joining The Buying Frenzy that everyone else expects us to this Christmas. The news and the media are (6 comments)
Celebrating Christmas Frisco TX style - Merry Main Street 2008 - 12/06/08 10:16 PM
Frisco Texas celebrated its 18th Annual Christmas Celebration - Merry Main Street 2008 on Saturday, December 6th at the Frisco Square. It was a fun and exciting evening for its residents, especially the children. Best of all, it is FREE! The food is free and the games are free. Many volunteers helped to make this event possible. Let my photos tell you how much fun it was for all those who were there.
Horse-drawn Carriage rides
The event officially at 5pm but people started pouring in around 4pm. Even Frisco Fire Clowns - Skwert, Flash and Smokey joined the (8 comments)
New Homes Are Sprouting all over Frisco Texas! - 12/06/08 11:51 AM
I am proud to announce that new homes in Frisco TX has continued to boom despite the economic conditions. Even though the Frisco Texas new home construction permits has declined this past couple of years (2007 and 2008), new communities and neighborhoods are developed everyday. Below are some of the new communities coming to Frisco Texas: Sorano Frisco Located between Main Street, Frisco and Eldorado Parkway off Independence, Sorano Frisco has just started its community development. Lots seem to have been divided but as of early December 2008, there are no official builder signs on the location. Newcastle Homes - the builder (2 comments)
Disappearing Acts of Real Estate Agents. Do You Perform? - 12/05/08 06:08 PM
Now you see it. Now you dont. Once you were there, now I can't get a hold of you. How many of us have seen or known agents who are pretty good at these disappearing acts? They are your best friend before and during the transaction but after the sale, it's just impossible to even catch a shadow.
If you are an agent, just remember that this is not the way you treat people. Forget about whether you will be in the business tomorrow or next month, but these clients that you help build homes for, are people too. We (17 comments)
Tax Withholdings for New Homeowners - 12/05/08 11:04 AM
There are many tax benefits to homeownership. One of them is to reduce our income taxes paid to Uncle Sam at the end of the year. A common mistake that new homeowners forget to do is to adjust their withholding exemptions adjustments on their paychecks. Since mortgage interests are now a tax-deductible line item on your Form 1040 Income Taxes, you may be a candidate for Itemized Deductions on Schedule A instead of taking the Standard Deduction. If you had not made adjustments to your withholdings to anticipate for these additional benefits, you would more than likely have a tax refund (18 comments)
Systems, Programs and Tools. When Enough is Enough? - 12/03/08 09:29 PM
Education is a huge part of learning and growing in this business. We attend seminars, we buy books, we employ systems and we use tools. After a few short weeks, we feel that these items that we spend a few good dollars on aren't quite working out. We push it aside and head back to where we started: Ground Zero. We feel that we just wasted our time and money in these items. Hmmmm..... squander, squander, squander some more for the next few months. Repeat Step 1 again.
How many of us feel this way? We buy alot of stuff to (10 comments)
Simple Tips for Your Maximum Blog Exposure - 12/03/08 03:46 PM
If you have not read Sharon Paxson's blog titled Blogging for Points - What's the Point? She mentioned many of her views on blogging - of which I completely agree with. If you have not read her blog, you don't know what you are missing. I am just surprised it has yet to make FEATURE and deservingly so. I'd like to expand my views on this subject, particularly on my take on How to Increase Your Blogs for maximum exposure. Maximum exposure means more interests, more points, more friends/ associates for you. All in all, it is a good thing. The (15 comments)
Should Your Short Sale Debt Be Forgiven? - 12/02/08 07:13 PM
Yes, a controversial question: Should banks forgive your short sale debt? By that I mean, your credit gets hurt a little, but you walk away with tens of thousands of dollars forgiven? How fair is it to your neighbor who purchased his home at or around the same time, perhaps paid around the same price. The difference is that he could continue to pay his mortgage, did not displayed economic hardship and will continue to make his payments he promised to pay back when he signed the mortgage note? His home value fell just as much as his "short-sale" neighbor did. (19 comments)
Blogging as Your Passive Powerful Prospecting Tool - Revisited - 12/02/08 11:20 AM
When I wrote a blog about Your Blog as an EFFECTIVE prospecting tool, I think I couldn't say it quite well enough as my dear friend and past coach did - the queen of SOI (Sphere of Influence) herself, Ms. Jennifer Allan. If you had missed her recent FEATURED POST, Phooey On Prospecting... I just wanna do my job, you ought to read it. Her opinions were articulated well in her blog about what she enjoys best: facilitating real estate transactions. I'd love to share a little transparency with you about my past and from there, how I made the (11 comments)
The Commitment That Goes Both Ways - 12/01/08 05:37 PM
Question: I am beginning my house-hunting process. What type of real estate agent should I work with to ensure my interest is protected in this transaction? Answer: Congratulations to your first step in home ownership. There are many financial, tax and emotional benefits to owning your own home. Something you call your own. I remembered when I first became a home owner, the first thing I did was to paint the walls - simply because I can! I remembered that feeling as if it was yesterday. Your question/ concern is valid and justifiable so because: ALL real estate agents represented (7 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.