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What Can You Learn On Active Rain??? - 10/31/07 08:23 PM
What Can You Learn On Active Rain??? Well it's been a little over three months since I entered my first post! What have I learned here on Active Rain? *It took me 13 days to get up enough nerve to enter my first post! *On one early post because of improper grammar I had 'my wife' sleeping with Daniel Boone! *It's easy to make friends on AR! *If you're 'committed' you can learn a lot here! *You can get 'addicted' here! *Most people here have a sense of humor! *I can now enter 'graphics' in my posts! *I can enter a 'hotlink' (URL), but don't add a period or comma (30 comments)
What's Sam Got To Do With Real Estate...Play It Again? - 10/31/07 08:51 AM
Recently on another site, there was a debate ensuing wherein a suggestion was made that 'one stop shops' in our real estate industry merely derived their business model from one made popular by the one and only...Sam Walton...founder of WalMart! I like Sam and I like WalMart... Now, my thrifty wife (I say this as a compliment) shops at WalMart frequently...she tells me that she gets some great buys there on various food items and other essentials for the home and family...I trust her implicitely...and she can make a penny spend like a nickel! Which in this economy has real value! Sam Walton's (14 comments)
A Quick Blog For Mom On Her 89th!!! - 10/30/07 01:20 PM
Mom, I haven't had time to run out and get you a card yet...been too busy blogging...! However, I do want you to know that my best wishes for your happiness go out to you. I'll be over in a little while to give you a big 'birthday hug'! I just wanted to tell my friends here at Active Rain about you turning 89 today. Knowing you were born on 'mischief night' should answer a lot of questions these friends may have had about me. Another thing I've always wanted to do is say 'Hi Mom' like those athletes on TV!!! Soooo: Happy Birthday!!! Your (12 comments)
Real Estate From A Three Bears Perspective...Once Upon A Time... - 10/30/07 08:43 AM
Once upon a time there were three bears, Papa Bear, Momma Bear, and Baby Bear... How many times do you remember hearing this as a little child...and if you were like me, it was one of your favorites! The actual story doesn't start out like that at all...We forgot 'Goldilocks'! Goldilocks, as you remember was a typical consumer...She consumed porridge, tried out chairs, and selected a comfortable bed...In my story, then, she will be our 'Consumer'! Papa Bear is 'the real estate agent', Momma Bear is the 'Mortgage Man', and Baby Bear is the 'Title Guy'! Now remember the object of the whole story is (17 comments)
A Special Thanks To Patsy Ittner...I Think! - 10/29/07 02:57 PM
I am writing this post as a special 'thank you' to Patsy Ittner...who I thought was a good friend on Active Rain! Let me explain...a couple of months ago Patsy initiated a contest revolving around definitions for 'the graphics' we see when posting our blogs and comments. It was truly a fun contest and brought a lot of laughs to many including me! The entire exercise was a sort of 'oasis' for AR members to visit while surfing around the 'blogs'. Long story short, I was selected as the winner and as promised just received my prize...a great and fun looking book entitled (16 comments)
What Should A 100th Post Say? - 10/28/07 07:40 PM
What Should A 100th Post Say? I'm very big on milestones. Not for superstitious reasons but for sentimental reasons. Many of you here on AR have already been exposed to my very opinionated blogging and commenting style! I can almost predict those of you whom I've alienated and those of you whom I've impressed! You've got to really get to 'know me' to appreciate my usual 'dry wit'! Regardless, I love and respect all of you! I love you because we are part of the same AR family...and as 'family' I'm committed to love you...no matter how greatly your opinion differs from mine. I (24 comments)
A Short...And Probably Unpopular History! - 10/28/07 09:55 AM
In the early 1990's, as CBA's, controlled business arrangements, were taking hold, it became apparent to me that the only real estate business that was available to 'solicit' was the small independent real estate broker and the individual consumer! Of course I'm speaking as a title agent in the middle of a 6 year 'title sabbatical' under a 'non-compete' agreement after the sale in 1990 of my prior title agency. One of the reasons my partner and I sold the agency is that we could already see the 'handwriting on the wall' when it came to 'controlled business'! Larger real estate offices (5 comments)
A Post For No Points...But Not A Pointless Post! - 10/27/07 10:45 AM
This is my eleventh post this week, so I don't get the usual 200 points...but I don't blog for points anyway so... A left leaning coworker of mine recently sent me by email a questionnaire that when responded to was supposed to help identify the particular candidate(s) running for president that best espouse my own political views. Answering the questions and then rating the priority level of each question enabled the person taking the quiz to better align themselves with the candidate which most closely shared the views of the respondent. All questions dealt with issues of current concern and were supposedly presented (22 comments)
Are There Dumb Questions?.....Or Only Dumb Answers? - 10/26/07 03:09 PM
When it comes to real estate there are 'No Dumb Questions...Only Dumb Answers'! In trying to encourage particularly first time home buyers at the settlement table to understand the whole homebuying process by asking questions, the above 'mantra' has been offered on many occasions. And, it is true...there are no dumb questions...only dumb answers! Shouldn't an occurance of such importance as a real estate closing warrant the time and availability of someone to answer such concerns that the parties to a transaction might have? That's the minimum level of service necessary. Shouldn't the parties to such a closing process understand the who's and what's and (10 comments)
Political Correctness!.......Not My Style! - 10/25/07 05:48 PM
First, let us define political correctness. How about simply: acting as, and/or saying what, most people believe or agree with! If you came to this post expecting political correctness...PC...as I refer to it, you may be disappointed. Don't leave though. You just may be surprised. Did you ever hear the expression, 'there's a fine line between love and hate'? Well I believe that could be true. There's also not much difference between what most people think and what they 'ought to' think. There IS a difference! I shoot for 'ought'!!! In any case, this blog and this blogger will never write anything just because it (20 comments)
An Apple For The Teacher!!! - 10/25/07 08:13 AM
I remember how nervous I was preparing for my 'first blog'! I had barely figured out how to fill out my profile. Uploading a picture was beyond my comprehension. In fact for weeks I used the 'office sign' in place of a picture! Fast forward about 3 or 4 months and now I'm behaving like I invented the blog! How does one gain so much confidence in so little a time? GOOD TEACHERS! Did you ever see the movie 'The Nuns Of Navarone'? Or was it the 'Guns Of Active Rain'? In any event, what I'm simply trying to say is THANK YOU! To (21 comments)
High School Muse...ical!!! - 10/24/07 08:39 AM
Remember our 'good old high school days'? It was last period...'Problems of Democracy', P...O...D, as we called it! Everybody watching the clock, waiting for the bell to ring signalling the end of another school day! The topic was 'labor unions'. I was dozing off, half awake, half asleep. And our teacher noticed my inattentive eye lids drooping. Posing a question very softly, he called out my name very loudly! Waking, I jumped to my feet and realized quickly that I had been asked a question. Having not a clue what the question was, I gathered myself boldly and assertively and retorted, "Could you (7 comments)
Green Eggs and Ham?...No...Green.......Tires!!! - 10/23/07 01:26 PM
Green.......Tires??? I was driving by my favorite local tire and automobile service store, CJ's Tire and Auto, and saw a sign they had out front. It said: "Got Nitrogen"! For those of us who are 'chemically challenged', Nitrogen comprises 78% of our atmosphere and is one of the most 'inert' gases. I remembered back about a year and a half ago when replacing the four tires on my wife's van, the service advisor suggested I try using 'Nitrogen' instead of the customary 'air' to inflate the tires. At a cost of $2.00 per tire I asked him 'what are the benefits'? With (31 comments)
Some Of My Best Friends Are.......Realty Agents!!! - 10/23/07 08:27 AM
Some of my best friends are 'Realty Agents'! I'm always suspect when I hear that phrase used...'Some of my best friends are___________'! It usually is an indication of denial of some 'bias'! Perhaps racial, perhaps ethnic, perhaps religious, perhaps social! Whatever! In some of my posts, I have been very critical of certain practices within the realty industry. My intention is to 'level the playing field' and to raise the standard of ethics in our industry! Why? Because this industry has been very good to me. Not only financially but socially and educationally as well. Being involved in tens of thousands of real estate transactions (5 comments)
Realty Agents.......'Loss Leader' Facilitators??? - 10/22/07 09:15 AM
There seems to be a lively debate going on once more about the use of 'CBA's' in our industry. New light has been shed on the 'fiduciary' aspect of our consumer relationships and how they affect our ability to enter into certain 'affiliated' agreements. Are these alliances RESPA compliant! I urge my readers to visit 'Title-opoly', Ed Rybzcynski's web site to follow this debate and comment thread! Many of you know Ed from his respected presence here on AR! It seems that certain realty offices have been paying commissions to agents in excess of budgetary allowances causing the 'office real estate sales commission' (12 comments)
Six Pack...Drink Heartily!!! - 10/21/07 08:57 AM
I'm not much for six packs! I'd much prefer cases!!! But here goes! Remember, these are six that I think are good...not necessarily popular! I've already opened one...go ahead, have one on me!!!
*The Lost Art Of The Cold Call! *Once Upon A FSBO Who Sold Real Estate! *To Advise Or Not To Advise.......That Is The Question??? *Can Laughter Add Eight Years To Your Life? *A Tribute.......To The Good Sisters!!! *Please, Please, No More New Rules *Setting Priorities Oops! I'm sorry! I see there are seven! Must have been a sale...buy one get one free or something! Enjoy!!! Thanks, from.......
The Peace Of God and The God Of Peace...A Meditation! - 10/21/07 01:23 AM
Many of you I'm sure share with me a favorite set of scripture passages from St. Paul's letter to the Philippians, Chapter 4 beginning with verse 4 to verse 19! But for this meditation I will highlight the particular passages on which I wish to focus! I encourage the reading of the entire chapter, paying particular attention to the boldened words. Philippians 4 (ASV) 4 Rejoice in the Lord always: again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your forbearance be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your (6 comments)
40,000 Thanks To My AR Family!!! - 10/19/07 10:40 AM
Most people get excited about the number '50'. For anniversaries, birthdays, jubilees, and other milestones. For me I have always appreciated the number '40'. Maybe because it is easier to reach or something! The number forty has much biblical significance. It rained for '40' days and nights while Noah and his family were secure inside the Ark! The Jews spent '40' years wandering in the desert before they entered the 'Promised Land'! And Jesus fasted for '40' days and nights in the desert before being tempted by Satan! Well some time today, I will have passed '40' thousand points here on Active Rain! (7 comments)
SERVICE...Sells, Sustains, & Survives! - 10/18/07 01:35 PM
Do many of you, like me, have that weekly routine carved out for yourself? You know, at the office at precisely the same time everyday, first cup of coffee the same time, check email same time, delete email same time, reply email the same time, check AR, etc. How about lunch selections---Macky D's, Wendy's, Burger King, Taco Bell, KFC, etc. What's the point here? Well all throughout our daily routine we make 'quality' judgements---about radio stations, gasoline stations, coffee brand, office supplies store, and yes lunch selections. If you're anything like me you have these nicely prioritized---even though you like variety and spread business (10 comments)
A Tribute To A Thirteen Year Old! - 10/17/07 10:10 AM
Today my son Joshua is thirteen! From 'tween' to 'teen' overnight! Josh is a great kid, as are all his brothers and sisters. A big kid with a huge heart! A real 'teddy bear' also! A seventh grader at Daniel Boone Middle School, an offensive lineman and kicker for his Blazer midget football team, a human 'root extractor' for dead trees around the house, and an all around 'Mr. Nice Guy' (takes after his mother)! Josh is the son that taught me how to introduce graphics into my posts, and assists me with ongoing computer challenges! If he smiled more he would be a (25 comments)
Unity...A House unDivided!!! - 10/16/07 01:18 PM
I generally don't think discussing 'politics' these days is very productive! Why? Because when our nation is as evenly split down the middle in our political preferences, we play right into the hands of the 'career politicians'! Washington deep down loves to see the pendulum swinging, as long as it remains close to the middle! Maybe I'm naive but I still think the American people are best governed when they're 'governed least', and I remain convinced that they know a phony when they see one---just look at Congress's current approval rating if you're unsure! Getting back to the pendulum---If one particular party or interest group (6 comments)
Green...Our Obligational Duty!!! - 10/15/07 02:45 PM
It just struck me! Today is 'Blog Action Day'! It struck me further that the acronym for this is B-A-D! I really wasn't considering entering a post for this occasion especially after reading Stephanie Edwards-Musa's post 'Green Is Not Just Smart, It's Really Common Sense'. Her post says about everything I espouse on the subject! It struck me again, maybe with this acronym we're getting off on the wrong foot. Perhaps we should start with a more positive outlook for Blog Action Day by using a different and more upbeat acronym---G-O-O-D! What would this stand for? Good Old Ozone Day! Too trite! How about (19 comments)
To Advise Or Not To Advise---Part II - 10/15/07 09:09 AM
Thanks for making my part 1 of this continuing saga a feature! Are you ready for the next chapter in the search of my nephew and his wife for their new property? And the obstacles they face! Remember as we left them, they passed up on the property with the drainage basin and the high tension electric wires in the rear. They could not come to an agreement on price with that seller. So now they find another home, a FSBO, no less, and without the services of any real estate professionals submit an 'email offer'. 'Surprisingly' the offer was turned down--- by (10 comments)
Why Do I Do This? Answer Inside!!! - 10/14/07 09:01 AM
For years I have read articles, attended seminars, and been advised by people I respect advocating maintaining a 'journal'. Knowing that journal keeping would be very advantageous to me personally, spiritually, and practically, I still resisted because of my dislike for 'writing'. Now I am a persistent 'thinker', and many who know me well have often 'accused' me of 'thinking too much'. One of my hidden lifelong desires has been to someday write a book! I never put much hope in attaining this goal because of my innate distaste for 'writing'. Then along comes 'The Blog'! Don't ask me why, but posting on AR (9 comments)
Real Estate Or Virtual Estate! - 10/13/07 05:01 PM
I've read a lot of posts and comments recently discussing 'credibility'! Now credibility doesn't mean 'seeing' before 'believing'---credibility carries with it an element of 'faith'! If something's credible it's believable. The 'wind' is credible, believable, and real yet unexplainable. To the left is the picture of a playing field game---it is not real, it is just a picture! We are in the Real Estate Business. Not the 'Virtual' Estate Business. What we survey, list, sell, inspect, appraise, stage, mortgage, close on, and insure really and actually exists. You can feel it, touch it, stand on it, grow things on it, even destroy it, (8 comments)
What's That Awful Smell?---Quick, Get Out The 'Fresh Air'!!! - 10/08/07 09:38 PM
A few weeks ago I praised in a post the geothermal system which heats and cools our 2800 sq. ft. home! I love products that work as advertised and I abhor products which are gimmicky and do not produce as promised. Today, I would like to extol another unique product that definitely performs as advertised. The product is called 'Fresh Air' by Ecoquest. Before I tell you a little something about this wonderful product, you should know that I don't sell these units nor do I necessarily endorse any particular manufacturer or product. Having said that, I would first like to begin (30 comments)
Columbus Discovered.......Really!!! - 10/08/07 09:41 AM
Today we celebrate Columbus Day! My children have the day off from school, but I noticed some schools are just letting the day pass by, business as usual! This is a shame. We should be teaching our children to be proud of their country and its heritage! After all Columbus and his group were probably the first teachers of a 'foreign' language in the new land. We owe something to Chris---He was probably the first 'non native' to see a FSBO sign! He also was probably the first in the 'New World' to find it necessary to use 'maps'. So not only (7 comments)
Ever On Sunday!!! - 10/07/07 12:17 AM
This Sunday will be an unusually busy one for my family. We normally reserve Sundays for a day of rest from everyday family and work projects. We will begin this Sunday by participating at Mass! Then we must travel to an away football game for my midget footballer son. Then back to church to substitute teach a Sunday night 7th grade religious education class! A full menu for us!!! So I am preparing this post late Saturday evening. Scripture tells us that God rested on Sunday after His work of creation! Whatever that means, I don't think He forgot about or 'took a (21 comments)
Thanks For The Continued Support.......In Advance!!! - 10/06/07 12:32 PM
Business must be getting slow out there! This week, it seems there have been more posts telling people how to post than any week in my two months at AR! Isn't this what happens when business falls off and we have 'too much' time to think? I'm guilty of this myself! Times like these, I can fix the world and all its problems! Don't I wish!!! After 60+ blogs it seems I have covered every subject I know at least once---I'm not an exciting guy! Now I'll try to go back and improve on what I have already written and spoken about. And (24 comments)
Stuff You 'ALTA' Know...A Title Update! - 10/04/07 04:14 PM
When I first saw the recently created 'Code of Ethics' of The American Land Title Association (ALTA) I had mixed feelings. On one hand, I felt that it was too little, too late. Where was ALTA when all the problems in the title industry were brewing? On the other hand, I've always felt that the healthiest industries are those capable of 'Policing' themselves. I've never been an advocate of placing blame. I'd much rather devote my energies to solving problems, rather than trying to figure on whose shoulders to place the blame. With that principle in mind I would like to thank ALTA and (2 comments)
Warning! Religious: Do Not Read.......Unless Curious!!! - 10/04/07 10:01 AM
In 1976. I made a deal with God! He was to lead my life and direct me, my family, and my business, and in return I would acknowledge His preeminence in all things! When you make such a bargain, does the road become easier---No Way. Does it become Worth It? You bet!!! You see, I believe that within each human being is a question longing to be answered---'Who Am I'? All our efforts, secular and religious, are directed to answering that question! I have read some comments lately that suggest that blogs on AR should not be the forum for 'God subjects' or (17 comments)
The Grinch Who Stole .......Halloween? - 10/02/07 05:09 PM
I am the grinch who stole Halloween!!! Halloween and its perennial celebratory signs and symbols are abhorring! In other words, I Hate Halloween. At least what it has become! The original celebration of this last day of October was to celebrate the fact that it was the Hallowed (meaning holy) Evening before All Saints Day---The day the Church commemmorates its Saints---Those heroes of faith who have believed before us! Now this is why I dislike the holiday and its collateral decorations. What is so beautiful about witches, goblins, ghosts, spooky faces, bats, werewolves, monsters, skeletons, haunted houses, and other demonstrably ugly symbols adorning one's property? We (19 comments)
The Good, The Bad, And The Humble! - 10/02/07 10:59 AM
Having recently attended a title seminar at which many old friendships were renewed and many new challenges were presented, (not that this present market warrants new challenges), I had time to reflect on the 'State of The Industry' as I presently see it! I have decided to divide my views and simplify them into two categories: Things I like about my industry and things I don't like! *Helping people *Fixing Title Problems *Meeting new friends and customers *Being respected in the industry *Mentoring those interested in learning more about the industry *Earning a living while at the same time being constructive *Playing a key role in the (11 comments)
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