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Sometimes what you are seeking is closer than you think. - 10/30/11 09:00 AM
First and foremost, I must categorically state that I am an Autumn leaf lover. As soon as the first leaf is tinged with gold, I get the gear ready and head out in search of fall leaf pictures. Over the years I have assembled a collection of tens of thousands of fall photographs. I travel to the mountains of North Georgia, East Tennessee andWestern North Carolina every year in an annual quest to capture fleeting autumn color in order to commit it to a permanent record. This year I went as far as New England seeking Fall foliage but a combination (19 comments)
Is it all really about being in the right place at the right time? - 10/29/11 09:14 AM
There is a pervasive underlying conviction that most successful people were fortunate enough to be in the “right place at the right time.” And while it’s true that kismet occasionally delivers an unexpected boon, the reality is that success is attainable for anyone that is willing to work for it. Consistent and focused effort is the catalyst that fuels the engines that drive business to your door. Nobody has ever succeeded by sitting and hoping that something will happen. Some wait for fate to intervene. Others direct their own destiny. (20 comments)
“The chief ideal of the American people is idealism.” (Calvin Coolidge 1925) - 10/28/11 09:15 AM
Commissioned salespersons often face the dichotomy of whether true motivation comes from the pursuit of money or a genuine desire to help people. The 30th President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, eloquently stated in a January 1925 speech that: “We make no concealment of the fact that we want wealth, but there are many other things that we want very much more. We want peace and honor, and that charity which is so strong an element of all civilization. The chief ideal of the American people is idealism. I cannot repeat too often that America is a nation of idealists. (6 comments)
My plan for addressing the current housing crisis. It won’t make me popular but please consider my very humble opinion! - 10/27/11 08:17 AM
Someone needs to say it. It will not be popular. It is an extreme position. We need to ban short sales on federally backed loans. There, I’ve said it. In my opinion, the biggest negative force applied against housing stability is the short-sale option. It offers an “easy way out” for both the borrower and the lender. As a result, there are probably a lot more distressed property sales that continue to suck prices into the vortex of the downward spiral. One cannot overlook the fact that short-sales hurt those that paid cash, made large down-payments, or did not buy more (37 comments)
HUD’s attitude towards home buyers and their real estate agents: No respect. - 10/26/11 09:09 AM
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development has a problem. They have tens of thousands of government owned properties that they need to liquidate. The problem is, they don’t know how to do it. For whatever reason, they prefer to have the process dictated by bureaucrats that only understand excessive paperwork, redundant tasks, and deadlines. In Government parlance, this is standard operating procedure. Rather than accept input from the real estate brokerage community that KNOWS how to sell properties as fast as reasonable and at the best price possible, HUD persists with its archaic forms and ridiculous procedures. Buying (14 comments)
Good houses that are priced right still sell very quickly. - 10/25/11 08:51 AM
Despite what is depicted on television or proffered online, there is an incredible demand for good houses that are priced right. Just about every buyer is looking for a bargain, but most still seek a move-in ready house in a good location. The problem is, those houses are few and far between. So when one pops up on the market, there is a mad dash to see it and to put something on paper with the thought that even if the offer is not immediately accepted, a “highest and best” scenario will occur. It’s frustrating for both buyers and their agents, (13 comments)
Taking positive steps to “learn from experience.” - 10/24/11 08:39 AM
We all know the old cliché that “experience is the best teacher.” Perhaps that doesn’t tell the whole story. More appropriately it should be “bad experiences are the best teachers.” We tend too take missteps much more seriously and reserve special places in our gray matter to avoid satisfying Einstein’s definition of insanity. But do we assign as much weight to our experiences when the results are positive? I often find myself wondering why I no longer do some things that were very productive in the past. Why did I stop? Who knows? If we only change our behavior as the (16 comments)
Autumn and the cycle of life! - 10/23/11 09:35 AM
In flocks aloft and spinning madDescend to drifts of fragrant frondsThat dim and wane, then fade awayTransformed to earth in carpets laid. (R Weisser 2011) As Autumn quietly retreats and yields to the certainty of Winter, I often reflect on the Falls of years past. For some reason, my natural clock rhythm seems to be benchmarked by Autumn, and I have a special fondness for the “closing” of each yearly cycle. By historical standards, this year has NOT lived up to expectations. And although there were some extreme highlights, the (47 comments)
Airport security and the naïve traveler. I expected the worst but… - 10/22/11 08:48 AM
I’m pretty much a stay at home guy, so I don’t travel very often. And when I do I prefer to travel in my own automobile for a plethora of reasons: I can pack as much as the car can hold. I can come and go as I please. I can make detours along the way whenever I choose to do so and most of all I don’t have to go through airport security. But there are times when driving is just not practical. So when I flew to New England last week I experienced all of the latest security systems (17 comments)
Furnace on? Check. Ready for Winter? Are you kidding? - 10/21/11 08:57 AM
As the first chill of the season stealthily descended into Newnan Georgia last night, I turned on the furnace for the first time this year. It served as an unpleasant reminder that the cold, dark days of Winter are just around the corner. And although I can’t do anything about it, it is a bit depressing to say the least. One of the reasons that I moved to Georgia so many years ago was to escape the frigid Winters of Western Pennsylvania. By contrast,Georgia enjoys a relatively temperate climate. But with each passing year of living in the South, it FEELS (17 comments)
We have all been there. Something has been said and we just want to “go off” and shoot from both barrels. And while spewing a barrage of aspersions may be cathartic or therapeutic, it rarely provides anything constructive or positive. It is much more likely to raise hackles and trigger every defense mechanism inherent in the human psyche. Exercising self-control first, rational thought second, and conciliatory speech third will go a long ways towards achieving a resolution. Knowing when NOT to talk is one of the hardest behaviors to learn and practice. But it is the primary difference between a (68 comments)
“Going it alone” is not heroic. Knowing how to “let go” is the mark of the true champion. - 10/19/11 08:27 AM
Real estate brokers are nearly always “Type A” personalities. It takes a driven go-getter to succeed in a business that requires you to not only find new business each and every day, but to also facilitate transactions that are often troublesome. When you are used to going it alone, it is very difficult to relinquish control to another team member or an assistant. The urge to micro-manage each and every minute detail is overwhelming. Delegation is the key to growing a business. Having the right people and systems in place can take any team to the next level. Knowing how to (26 comments)
What kind of loan should I get? Well. It depends on… - 10/18/11 08:50 AM
As a real estate agent, I often get asked the question: “What type of loan should I get?” In my area, there are many options inkling 100% USDA loans for qualified purchasers and properties. But there are many times more individual variables than there are types of loans. And it takes of thorough analysis of a borrower’s personal situation to determine which loan is best under the circumstances. Only a licensed loan officer or direct lender can properly assist a borrower through the process of selecting the best loan based on a borrower’s credit scores, income to debt ratio, necessity for (5 comments)
When your “to-do” list becomes your “should have done” list! - 10/17/11 09:06 AM
It happens to the best of us. Despite the best of intentions, sometimes the pressures of deadlines and last minute interruptions force us into task triage, in which we must allocate precious time to the most pressing issues at hand. After these intense episodes, it is often easy to forget about some of the more mundane items that were passed over. As time passes, these tasks tend to be relegated to the “one of these days” category. It’s human nature to procrastinate. But there are times when indifference comes back to bite us. When the name in the caller ID instantly (18 comments)
Fair warning: Winter is just around the corner. - 10/16/11 08:50 AM
As Fall’s last tongues to ember wane On mountains once awash in green A flash, a flicker, extinguished ‘til Cold, ashen cinders deck the hills. (R Weisser 2011) As the leaves change they serve fair warning that Winter will soon be here. It’s a time to prepare for the cold dark days that lie ahead. It’s pretty easy to become complacent as the days slip away and even more so as the holiday’s approach. Our desire to “settle in: for the winter is an ingrained instinct that evolved from years of an (14 comments)
A line drawn in the sand is often washed away by failure. - 10/15/11 10:12 AM
In every negotiation, there has to be some give and take. There is little room for stubbornness or ego. Drawing a line in the sand rarely compels an adversary to capitulate. And it often raises defense mechanisms that might hinder further attempts at reconciliation. Sometimes even the smallest compromises can keep the lines of communication open. It demonstrates a willingness to keep the process moving forward. And in many cases, it’s not all about money. More often than not a simple accommodation can lead to a “done deal.” It’s not about ego or winning. It is about achieving your intended purpose. (65 comments)
So you need more confidence? There’s one sure-fire way to become more self assured! - 10/14/11 08:11 AM
We all know the feeling. You are on the way to an important sales presentation, and all of a sudden that queasy feeling in your stomach morphs into a major panic attack. Most episodes of “stage-fright” are due solely to a lack of confidence. Many people feel that confidence is a built-in trait, but in reality it is an acquired attribute. True confidence is the direct result of both preparation and practice. Most of us are fine in the preparation department. We have access to tons of information that can serve us well. However, you can research all of the facts (12 comments)
Not all of the paths we take in life lead us in the right direction. Some are merely dead-ends but others take us to places that we don’t want to go. Often our intrepid spirits press us on to move forward despite less than satisfactory consequences. Our desire to “never give up” might actually be taking us more and more off course every day. There is no shame in retreating and starting anew. And while we might find back-tracking somewhat distasteful at first, it may be the FASTEST route to arrive at our intended destination. It might be less challenging, (16 comments)
If you are going to pack up and move, please inform your clients ahead of time. - 10/12/11 08:23 AM
I am working on a deal that has been under contract over three months now. Last week, I attempted to inform my buyer’s Loan officer about the critical nature of the situation. Yesterday the buyer went by the LO’s office to and found it closed. Signs down and furniture gone. After a few calls to corporate headquarters and several hours of investigation, we finally discovered that the office had been closed and that the operations had be merged into another existing branch. Now call me silly, but if I am going to be changing offices and will be unavailable for a (25 comments)
We live in an age of instant delivery of syndicated information. The ability of any content to go “viral” when properly promulgated leads to an important query: Has the day of the MLS run its course? Is it really necessary for the propriety broker-to-broker exchange of listing data and offers of compensation to cooperating brokers? After all, that information is immediately dispersed via IDX to the general public anyway. It has become increasingly apparent over the last few years that the cooperative compensation model is disintegrating due to an ever increasing trend towards consumerism. It’s time to simplify the process. (19 comments)
Fall is fleeting. Take time to enjoy it! - 10/09/11 09:17 AM
O’ take me to my mountainsWhere crystal rivers flowAnd tumble past electric leavesThat emit October’s glow. Sweet smells of Fall’s disrobingAwaiting Winter’s blasts'Tis nature's hued full gloryThat merely weeks will last. (R Weisser 2011) The fall leaf season is my favorite time of year. There is something exquisitely exciting about the finite nature of the season. One cannot put off leaf-gazing as every day more and more tie-dyed tree feathers are dislodged by the first wafts of Winter’s onset and flitter to the earth. So there is a sense of urgency that compels one to (17 comments)
The non-paying society. Have we moved from “grace” to “mandated?” - 10/08/11 08:59 AM
One of the more interesting offshoots of the current housing debacle is the notion that forbearance is no longer extended as a courtesy, but it is now mandated under new local, state, and federal laws. And like any other well-intended legislation, while the short term effect may act as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding, it is only a stop-gap measure that must be dealt with in the very near future. What it worse, as a society we are losing respect for the oath, and a promise to pay no longer is regarded as sacrosanct. And thanks to new rules and (13 comments)
Will social media displace search engines as the number one source of Internet visitors? - 10/07/11 08:35 AM
When Google unleashed Google Plus earlier this year. my first thought was that they were trying to get into the social media business as a way to diversify and expand their business holdings. But after integrating MORE social medial code into my websites over the last few weeks, I have arrived at a completely different conclusion about WHY a search company would want to get into the social networking arena. It goes directly to the heart of user behavior on the Internet. Users are now as likely or even MORE likely to use social media DIRECTLY as a way of seeking (21 comments)
The passing of an era. It was the greatest time in the history of technology. - 10/06/11 08:41 AM
I read with much sadness about the passing of Steve Jobs yesterday. He was an amazing innovator and one of the giants in the world of technology. To me it seems like only yesterday we were all introduced to the world of personal computing. It was a relatively new concept that an individual would have access to a computer at HOME, and that information could be manipulated and stored. Using a personal computer wasn’t so easy back in those days. Most did NOT even have a hard drive and required the cumbersome use of tape drives and then floppy disks. In (12 comments)
The time of year when working until “dark-thirty” isn’t so bad! - 10/05/11 08:32 AM
You can really sense the hours of daylight waning now. It’s a little harder to get out of bed before sunrise, and the entire world seems to be moving at a slower pace. In the real estate business, we often work until it gets dark. As a matter of fact, in the Summer time the majority of property showings occur after 6:00 P.M. Now we have to squeeze as much in to the limited hours of daylight as possible. And it won’t be long before we revert back to Standard Time which really slams the door on evening showings. But I (17 comments)
What do you have to offer? Are you willing to share it? - 10/04/11 08:44 AM
Yesterday I was asked by the office team leader to share some helpful tips with the other agents in the office at this morning’s bi-weekly business meeting. I quickly agreed. Over the years, I have become one of those “go-to” people that is ready to help or offer my humble opinion on all aspects of the real estate business. Even though it doesn’t add one cent to my bottom line, I derive a lot of personal satisfaction from sharing my experience and knowledge with others. And due to my age I don’t see it as “paying it forward,” but more like (10 comments)
How would you define the “Spirit of Cooperation?” - 10/03/11 09:04 AM
There has recently been a huge buzz in the real estate world over a minor player with a really stupid name that has chosen to extrapolate agent production data from MLS IDX services and use it as a MARKETING tool for their own underused services, Many say it is illegal while others say it is unethical. Whether or not either of those accusations holds up under scrutiny in the different jurisdictions across North America is up to the courts and arbitration panels to decide. But it certainly violates the spirit of MLS cooperation. Multiple listing services were founded on the principle (22 comments)
Finding a permanent home in a national forest … for a PHOTO! - 10/02/11 09:16 AM
As a long-time outdoor photographer, I have been blessed with having my photos appear in numerous magazine and books, on commercial products, and even as backdrops for a speech by the President of the United States. There is something very satisfying in seeing your art recognized and appreciated in a very tangible way. It is validation that the time and effort spent goes beyond the esoteric immediacy of imagery and is transformed into a permanent portfolio of your work. So when I was asked to provide a photo for an information kiosk on the banks of the Chattooga River (yes that (11 comments)
Social Networks and travel security. The two do NOT go hand in hand. - 10/01/11 09:01 AM
I have just returned from a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As always, I had a great time and even though I still had work to do every day I was able to get in quite a bit of hiking and relaxation. As a rule, I never mention my travel arrangements online. Even though the Internet has become interwoven into the fabric of our everyday life, it also possesses a dark side. Information can be used for many purposes, and a lot of them are not good. So when I travel I continue to maintain all of my (28 comments)
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