estate: I FELL NOT ONCE, BUT TWICE...DELIVERING KEN'S WHEATLAND SOUTH, CRESTVIEW KNOLLS, AND HIGH MEADOW VIEW. - 12/17/08 10:09 PM
Do I intentionally choose the cold days to deliver my newsletters?
The thermometer never peeked above 16 degrees this week as I was making my deliveries.
And it wasn't the cold, but the ice that presented a hazard.
Last weekend the temps were in the 50s. Lots of rain. Sunday night, as the temps plunged into the teens, a layer of ice was created over Chicagoland.
Tuesday was the real scary day.
Several times I was forced to walk like baby horse taking his first steps...
Twice I fell flat on my back.
Panic really kicks in as one is about to fall on a sidewalk.
estate: THINKING OF QUITTING? TRY AN OFFICE WITH LOWER FEES. - 12/15/08 03:42 PM
The other day I wrote a post suggesting agents take a part time job before giving up on the real estate business. I have worked part time as a limo driver during this year to keep my dream alive. I am proud of that...
Another cost cutting move I made this summer was switching real estate offices.
Had I stayed at my old office, I don't think I would still be in the business.
The stress was great. Both financial and emotional.
Despite my efforts, I was never appreciated by my last broker...
And because of the monthly office fees, I was always behind
estate: IF YOU LOVE BEING A REALTOR, DON'T QUIT! - 12/13/08 03:58 PM
I recently read an interesting post by Jennifer Allan.
Jennifer writes how many of her friends in real estate are considering leaving the business due to the hard times in today's real estate market.
She writes how giving up the real estate dream is the option for some:
"I'm not saying that giving up is the only option; of course it isn't. But it IS an option. Don't let your pride, ego or fantasies get in the way of making the right decision for you."
While I agree with Jennifer that there is no shame in quitting, they don't give
estate: WHY DO I DO IT? DELIVERING KEN'S LAKEWOOD CROSSING VIEW. - 12/06/08 07:20 PM
The thermometer read 16 degrees as I pulled up in my Jeep Liberty to Lakewood Crossing, a subdivision of moderately priced homes in Naperville Illinois.
Overcast. Occasional flurries. Cold.
There was snow on the ground. Not deep. Just enough to make walking treachorous...
I had 365 of my newsletters stuffed inside of my Keller Williams bag.
It would be a long day.
Why do I do it?
I must say the thought has crossed my mind several times. Especially this week.
Maybe I could wait until it gets warmer?
I don't do much business in Lakewood Crossing anyway...
What a silly business plan!
These were my thoughts as
estate: HOW DO YOU MOTIVATE PEOPLE TO MOVE? STOP TRYING!! - 12/04/08 06:28 PM
I just read a post by a local Chicago agent Chuck Heaver. In it, he voiced some of the challenges facing home sellers in todays market.
He finished his post with a question: "Any thoughts/tips to motivate people to move?"
My answer. STOP TRYING!
Look, I know many Realtors pride themselves on their sales skills. But...
Moving is a personal decision. A big decision. A decision that should not be taken lightly.
The last thing someone needs is a Realtor trying to "motivate" them.
I just don't think it works. It meets with resistance.
Be available. Be helpful. Be a source of information...
Be the agent a client can trust.
estate: WHY DID I LEAVE FINANCIAL SALES? - 11/21/08 06:50 PM
After graduating from the University of Illinois in 1990 with a degree in finance, I followed my two brothers into a job as a stock broker.
It was fun at first....
Even as a $5 per hour "caller", it was exciting to put on a tie, take the train down to Chicago, and walk into the financial sector working for Lehman Brothers, sack lunch in hand.
Just being down in the Loop, you felt like a "player"...
The hours were long and painful. Dialing number after number. Our goal was to get a wealthy prospect on the phone. When we did, we would hand off the
estate: HAVE YOU HUGGED YOUR BANKER TODAY???DELIVERING KEN'S SPRINGHILL VIEW...PRICE REDUCTION ON ALAN ROAD - 11/20/08 04:36 PM
I recently made a new contact with a mortgage broker at Chase Bank here in Naperville. New contacts are always good.
He was having his first child this November. He was excited.
He had called me from one of my newsletters. I had been marketing his neighborhood. Anyway...
He was excited to hook up with a Realtor. He wanted us to host "open houses" together at his branch.
Sounded cool for me. Me in a branch on Saturday morning serving donuts and coffee? The Realtor of choice? Endorsed by the bank?
Yesterday I found out my mortgage broker had been laid off...
estate: CATHOLIC GUILT - 11/16/08 02:20 PM
Despite a fair amount of Irish blood pumping through my veins, I wasn't raised as a Catholic.
Do I have to be Catholic to suffer from Catholic Guilt?
I have always felt "bad" for things, even when I haven't done anything wrong. I sometimes feel guilty when I am just doing my job.
I feel that way today.
I wrote up an offer for a home in Naperville this morning. The listing agent had told me the sellers were "extremely motivated" before I had even showed the home to the buyers. The home was vacant. Nice, but vacant.
The sellers were already offering a nice payout for me,
estate: FIRST TIME HOME BUYER? FOUR PROFESSIONALS TO HELP THROUGH THE PROCESS. - 11/14/08 04:04 PM
First time home buyers are a growing portion of my business.
As that number grows, I am always learning.
Radon, mold, closing, attorney, inspection, mortgage, down payment, property tax...These words can scare first time home buyers.
Buyers should not be scared. Buying a home should be great experience. Not terrifying.
Four professionals will usually be needed during the home buying process:
1. The Realtor
The Realtor will fill many roles during the home buying process. They will coordinate the transaction. They can also narrow down home choices, educate on neighborhoods, assist with negotiations, and even provide a shoulder to cry on. A Realtor can show any home listed on their local Multiple Listing System (MLS). The
estate: KEN'S 6 MONTH BUSINESS PLAN...THE UPDATE...I AM HALF WAY THERE - 11/11/08 01:24 PM
At the end of August, I wrote down and posted my 6 month business plan.
When I first wrote my plan, I had a solid database of prospects collected over my first three years in the business, but zero listings and no real hot buyer prospects.
I had just joined my new office, Keller Williams in Naperville, after more than two and a half years at a RE/MAX office in Lisle.
Back in August, I was drowning in all the new systems that I would be using at Keller Williams. They were very different than the ones I was using at RE/MAX. Certainly new to me.
estate: "WHEN DO YOU THINK THE REAL ESTATE MARKET WILL TURN AROUND?" - 11/07/08 07:48 AM
I was at Starbucks.
I was meeting with a client and his mother. We would be writing up an offer on a nice one bedroom condo in Carol Stream.
"When do you think the real estate market will turn around?" the mother asked me.
"Well," I replied, "we are starting to see it. This is the second offer I have written up today."
Yesterday was a good day...
"Sellers are beginning to lower their prices. Homes are just starting to become affordable. With that, we are seeing an increase in activity."
The credit market has tightened up. There are more sellers than buyers.
Econ 101. Supply and Demand. Simple.
estate: WHY DOES MY PHONE KEEP RINGING? - 11/03/08 02:11 PM
What is going on here?
Why does my phone keep ringing?
This isn't the way I work.
Most of my time I spend keeping busy. You know...
Marketing. Blogging. Farming. Reading. Emailing. Learning. Networking. Calling. Smiling...
But honestly, very little qualified customer activity.
Actually working with real live buyers and selllers of homes. The type of work Realtors get paid for.
But now, its November 3rd, 2008, and I have been on the run for 3 weeks. My schedule is filling up with actual client appointments. How strange? What is going on?
I'm freaked out. If I am not careful, I will actually get paid. I
estate: facebook IS A MUST... - 10/24/08 09:23 PM
All agents should have a facebook profile.
It's that important.
It is the most powerful networking tool I have ever seen.
So easy. If you are reading this post, you can have your own profile within 5 minutes.
So fun. So powerful. A very good combination.
First introduced to by Active Rainer Carl Ostenson in mid September, I certainly was reluctant.
"It's for kids!" I thought.
That sounds old. Real old.
I was, however, in the mood for something different. I had been blogging for 8 months, and was just starting to see some returns. I was starting to want more...
So I let
estate: BUYING A ONE BEDROOM CONDO. IS IT SMART? WILL IT BE A TOUGH SELL IN THE FUTURE? - 10/24/08 10:58 AM
I will be showing some condos to a new client tomorrow. The client is excited to enter the real estate market as a first time buyer.
He has done everything right. Great credit. Been saving for a downpayment for a few years. He has spoken with a mortgage broker and gotten preapproved...
The real estate market is perfect for him. Huge selection. Motivated sellers. Great time for him indeed.
His budget puts him in a position to purchase either an awesome one bedroom condo or a fairly basic two bedroom.
He asked me this morning how I felt about buying a one bedroom place. Would it be
estate: KEN'S DAY OFF...GOLFING AT BOLINGBROOK GOLF CLUB...MINUTES FROM NAPERVILLE - 10/23/08 03:34 PM
I took the day off yesterday. Very nice.
I never truly get the day off. I always have some work to do. But this was close.
Kevin Schoeck, Rich Bianco (two lifelong friends) and I decided to enjoy a day of golf as the 2008 season winds down.
We decided to play at Bolingbrook Golf Club, one of my favorite courses in the western suburbs. The club is located only minutes from my home in south Naperville.
The temperatures were in the low 50's and very windy. Cold.
The golf course is beautiful. Links style with very tricky greens.
A Realtor you can trust.
estate: KEN'S WISH LIST FOR 2009 - 10/19/08 06:28 PM
We all hope for global peace, clean air, lower crime, etc..
It's OK to have some material wants, too.
So here is what I would like to purchase in 2009.
A Realtor you can trust.
Ken's Wish List for 2009
1. Portable Hard Drive.
Price approximately $100. I need to back up my laptop's hard drive. Soon.
2. Global Positioning System.
Price approximately $200. I never want to ask for directions again. I would think a must for any agent.
3. Audi A6.
Price approximately $50,000. Style and class. Not too pretentious. Big enough for work. Sporty
estate: ARE YOU INTERESTED, OR JUST INTERESTING? - 10/19/08 11:06 AM
I was reading posts this morning from my growing list of subscriptions.
As I was reading several posts, I came across a post from a writer that describes himself as a career development coach.
In this particular post, the author asked us to join his "tribes" on facebook, twitter, linkedin, etc.
I paused. I am stepping up my own social networking, so I am always interested in connecting with other people.
Before I joined his "tribe", I decided to do a little background work. I looked at the authors points summary here on Active Rain...
I was shocked at what I found.
estate: CAN YOU CARE TOO MUCH ABOUT A CLIENT? - 10/18/08 02:12 PM
I was just reading a post from one of my favorite new writers here on Active Rain, Andrew Olson. The post was written about ways to impact those around you and make your message be heard.
One of his suggestions was to truly, deeply care...
Made me wonder, can you care too much about your clients?
I say yes.
But I know I have cared too much about clients. I may have freaked them out a bit. I think I got too involved.
I don't think that's what Andrew was suggesting, but I think it is very important
estate: DELIVERING THE CRESTVIEW KNOLLS VIEW - 10/16/08 01:21 PM
I had a partner this morning. My daughter Erin and I set out a little after 10:00 AM with 100 newsletters to deliver.
Our target this morning was the Crestview Knolls subdivision in south Naperville.
It was another gorgeous day. Probably high 50's. Sunny. A gentle breeze.
Crestview Knolls is a subdivision of middle priced homes (for Naperville). In today's market, a typical home will sell in the low to mid 400's.
I selected this neighborhood because my family walks through it several times a week. There is a park where my daughter likes to play on the
estate: ARE YOU CAPITALIZING ON THE CHALLENGING REAL ESTATE MARKET? - 10/15/08 10:28 AM
The real estate market is challenging today.
People have been delaying their housing decisions. Decisions that would have been made in a truly "normal" market.
Many are making due with homes they have as opposed to upgrading.
Buyers are cautious.
Sellers are hesitant to put their homes on the market, and if they do, they are in no hurry to price their homes to sell.
The people that are moving are those that must move.
This market is challenging for many in the real estate business. Yours truly included.
We can either moan about our lot in life, or we can figure