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Teacher's Pet - 01/30/07 08:01 AM
A first grade teacher explains to her class that sheis a Chicago Bears fan. She asks her students to raise their hands if they areBears fans too. Not really knowing what a Bears fan was, but wanting tobe liked by their teacher, their hands fly into the air. There is, however, with one exception. Susie has notgone along with the crowd. The teacher asks Susie why she has decided to bedifferent. "Because I'm not a Bears fan" she reports."Then the teacher asks the girl, "What are you?" "I'm an Indianapolis Colts fan" boasts the little girl.The teacher asks Susie why she (6 comments)
Briefly - 5 things to mull and consider this week - 01/25/07 06:21 PM
I've been doing a little weekly survey of blogs and ideas, looking for creative and "out of the box" ideas and philosophies that can challenge me to grow: Cold Calling Philosophy V. Real Estate is not a numbers Game - I think rookies have to cold call, even though a long term business plan should phase it out in favor of Sphere of Influence selling. You mean I have to work again? Great list that helped me get my priorities straight right off. Do I schedule to do things that matter, or just stay busy? I got People - Social networking - I have actually used that (4 comments)
Top 25 Marketing Blogs - 01/25/07 08:44 AM
Found this at Viral Garden - They are at week 40 now. Not sure how they rank, but a similar list of real estate blogs would be mighty handy. Anyone have one? I'll post comments on each site, if I have time, over at Synergy Thoughts. The Viral Garden's Top 25 Marketing Blogs - Week 40 Here's the standings for Week 40:1 - Seth's Blog - 5,012 (-38)(LW - 1)2 - Creating Passionate Users - 14,889 (-45)(LW - 2)3 - Gaping Void - 16,469 (+233)(LW - 3)4 - Duct Tape Marketing - 17,090 (-229)(LW - 4)5 - Marketing Shift - 31,507 (+102)(LW - (1 comments)
All about Portage Indiana from Wikipedia - 01/22/07 09:41 PM
Portage, Indiana From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (used by permission) Portage (IPA: [ˈpɔɹ.tɪdʒ]) is a city in Porter County, Indiana, United States. The population was 36,789 at the 2005 census. It is the largest city in Porter County, Indiana, and third largest in Northwest Indiana behind Hammond and Gary. Geography Portage is located at 41°34′55″N, 87°11′12″W (41.581850, -87.186553)GR1. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 71.0 km² (27.4 mi²). 65.9 km² (25.5 mi²) of it is land and 5.1 km² (2.0 mi²) of it (7.18%) is water. Homes along Airport Rd. in Portage, Indiana Demographics As of the censusGR2 (10 comments)
All About Valparaiso Indiana from Wikipedia - 01/22/07 09:35 PM
Valparaiso, Indiana From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Valparaiso (IPA: [ˌvɑl.pə.ˈɹeɪ.zoʊ]) is a city in Porter County, Indiana, USA, and is part of the Chicago Metropolitan Area. It is the county seat of Porter CountyGR6. The city's nickname is Valpo. History Established in 1836 as the county seat of Portersville, it was renamed to Valparaiso in 1837 after Valparaíso, Chile, near which the county's namesake David Porter battled in the War of 1812. Until 1991 it was the terminal of Amtrak's Calumet commuter service. Geography It is situated at the critical junctions of U.S. Route 30, State Road 2, and State Road 49. According to the United (1 comments)
Colts v Bears in Super Bowl! - 01/22/07 07:52 AM
I got a dream come true last nite, we live in Northwest Indiana perched basically halfway in-between Indianapolis and Chicago. For the last 20 years I could cheer for both teams every Sunday. But I always wanted this Super Bowl. Now what? Oh man, a crazy two weeks will not ensue. Who to cheer for? Who will win the biggest Super Bowl for Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana? Here's my first prediction: The Latest Line will favor the Colts, which will merely give the Bears something to get angry about. Sports commentators will favor the Colts, saying things like "it's Peyton's year" ... which again (7 comments)
Valparaiso Home Builder - Porter County - Northwest Indiana - 01/20/07 06:08 PM
Synergy Homes spends an inordinate amount of time looking for homesites and lots and new developments for our new home buyers here in Northwest Indiana, predominantly Porter County. I thought for once I would post a list of those sites ... most are featured on our website http://www.synergyhomes.com/ with the map below specifically linked at Synergy Home Map of Communities. Doubletree Lake Estates - West: In Lake County's fastest growing town of Winfield. Homes are priced from the $200's Dornoch at Aberdeen: Garden Condominiums in a golf course neo-traditional community and affordably priced from $129 Rivinia Townhomes: Valparaiso schools featuring 3 bedrooms and 2 car (3 comments)
Sad saga in Northwest Indiana - Bigger Questions - 01/20/07 02:50 PM
Here's how the story goes: "With her attorney at her side, Mary Ann Winslow, 50, spoke to The Times on Friday about how sending fliers to her north-side neighbors resulted in her being fired by McColly Real Estate from a job she loved" exerpted from www.nwi.com (by the way Northwest Indiana's best community information site with a brand new look) A little geography lesson. In Northwest Indiana, Lake County to be specific, the 1960's and 1970's were dominated by people leaving Gary, Indiana and moving south and east. Some moved for jobs, some moved for open spaces, and yes indeed some moved due (13 comments)
Is your real estate blog going to be federally "registered" - 01/19/07 08:04 AM
I just got caught up on a provision in a Senate Bill that would have required any political blogger with more than 500 visitors a day to be registered with the FEC. This would have opened up lots of possible problems, like would you be allowed to make advertising dollars on such a site? I guess that provision was removed last night, or at least this post on Slash Dot suggests so, I'll do a little more searching around to make sure the post is correct. Anyone have better info? I may be a day to two behind, so hit me (6 comments)
Delta Airlines - 01/18/07 03:35 PM
A reprint from MY OTHER BLOG (Synergy Thoughts) I was able to post a mini-rant by way of email the other day, but tonite I have a bit of time to finish that thought.On New Years Eve, my wife and kids and I went to South Bend Regional Airport. We were pretty excited to pick up a puppy that we ordered for the kids as a Christmas present. We had the dog shipped by airliner from the Texas breeder by way of Dela Airlines. When the breeder showed up at the airport at 5:30 a.m. they were told that the flight they (0 comments)
Action Plan - Active Rain Ideas - 01/15/07 08:35 AM
Last Monday I skimmed through AR and picked up five ideas to implement or brainstorm. I thought it might be a good idea to keep that rolling again today. This kinda functions like my own little Carnival of Ideas for the day or week. Off with their Heads - I think I'll review all my listings today. We have probably 16 specs listed right now and I have a funny feeling I won't be happy to see what our listings are saying to the outside world. Can't believe I didn't think of this until I read this post.Lots of site updates on (6 comments)
Northwest Indiana - New Homes Starting to get Hot - 01/14/07 03:16 PM
This is totally a post about our local area. I'm not much of a statistician, so I'll leave the Days on Market and Number of Pends and Average Listing Price type numbers to your favorite REALTOR, and there are some great ones right here on http://www.activerain.com/ for Porter County. I can comment though on my speciality. New Homes. There is a definite change in New Homes activity since the beginning of December. We've had more traffic through our sales center since December 1st than we had all of October and November combined. Now, the big reason for my surprise is that (1 comments)
Northwest Indiana Home Builder - Diary of a Mad Home Builder - 01/11/07 11:05 PM
Diary of a Mad Home BuilderOrThe Perils of Do-It-Yourself Home Building Written by A. William Carson (former Executive Director of the Indiana Builders Association) and published as a public service by the Indiana Builders Association, the following "Diary of a Mad Home Builder" is a dramatized example of how Murphy's Law can and too often does come into play in do-it-yourself home building. April 1 (Fool's Day) - My banker was very friendly. Said he wished I would get a builder because I didn't know what I was doing. Best rate I could get was four points above prime because I was too (4 comments)
Porter County Indiana Home Builders - 01/10/07 03:19 PM
As the President-elect of the Porter County Builders Association I have the opportunity to see a glimpse of what's going on countywide. I got an email late last week asking for my interpretations of the market for new homes here locally. This is a reprint of the response I sent. I believe that 2007 will be a very solid home building year for Porter County. I know that I'm expected to say that, but I can honestly report my projections. I was also honest in 2005 in my feeling that new homes would decline, I did not expect 25%, that was a (6 comments)
A couple things to do today - 01/10/07 07:32 AM
I decided to jump on AR this morning and find a couple things I could do in between my lunch meeting and my 3:00 meeting this afternoon. I figured with 13,000 members I could grab some good ideas to work on during my "creative" time today. Romance Your Clients .... Sending Email Notes was a great reminder that I need to be emailing my clients and network weekly at least with "things I thought you'd be interested in" Sent out 125. Wow that felt good. The Value of Vacation reminded me that during staff meeting I got sidetracked and didn't nail down new (3 comments)
Appearances Really Matter - 01/09/07 06:37 PM
I wrote this for an internal blog for one of our companies earlier this morning, it has been modified a little but I thought the issues still resound. 2006 was not a great home building year, many communities actually saw declines. On the market side, oil went up by 100% and copper went up by 150%. Interest rates moved up a little into the high 6's and the media made it worse by routinely telling everyone that the market was sluggish and that it was a "buyers" market. This gave REALTORs and buyers alike the chance to lowball and gouge. Wnat a recipe (5 comments)
Indiana - Best Ideas for the New Year - 01/08/07 01:38 PM
I did my own little "Carnival" here for my own sake, some of the best stuff I've seen this year so far from our great state of Indiana. Keep em coming. Brett Mumaw is our newest active blogger here in the state, great post You May Think you Know, But you have no Idea. Chad Blessinger has posted a Jasper, Indiana community information page. I'm pretty excited about the potential for http://www.localism.com/ and it will be posts like this that actually help the consumer. Step by Step: the Staging Process is the beginning to a series by Kimberly Wester right here in Valparaiso. You'll (3 comments)
More Community Information about Valparaiso Indiana - 01/05/07 07:43 PM
A great site for local businesses is http://www.valparaiso.com/ Valparaiso Parks and Recreation Site On Valparaiso's City Website they've done a great job of showcasing photos from "then" and "now"
Try the City of Valparaiso History Site all created by city employees. The Historic Preservation Commission was created by the City Council in 2000 after several community leaders spoke of concerns for preservation of Valparaiso's historic structures. The Commission has since established procedures for creating a local historic district, created a brochure to guide the process, and conducted several successful walking tours. Historic preservation helps to protect historic homes, commercial buildings, and entire districts hroughout the community (2 comments)
Controversial - Does a mobile home really offer homeownership? - 01/04/07 04:01 PM
A very well written post on Affordable Housing Institute asks the question: Does a mobile home really give the owner any homeownership benefit? I'd love to rip the whole post, but I guess those of you interested will head there and read it. I'm torn on this issue truthfully. I really, really, really want to support any type of development that offers affordable housing to families in the United States. But ... does a mobile home really do that? "Judy Lawrence likes blues music and dancing. But the retired bartender and waitress isn't doing much of either these days. She can't afford it. (1 comments)
Valparaiso Indiana Real Estate and Community Part One - 01/03/07 10:21 PM
City of Valparaiso Website "History of the City" The State of Indiana was known as Indian territory because it was a rendezvous point for many Indian Tribes. The first pioneers ventured through this area about 1670. The first settler in the area was a French-Canadian named Joseph Bailley, who in 1822 established a thriving fur post on the shore of Lake Michigan about 12 miles north of now Valparaiso. The site of the present City of Valparaiso was included in purchase of the land from the Potawatomi Indians by the U.S. Government in October 1832. Located on a glacial moraine (now known (0 comments)
The Tofflers Tell it like it will be - 01/03/07 12:10 PM
Many of you probably read avidly, so reading Alvin and Heidi Toffler's new work "Revolutionary Wealth" was a must for you like it was for me. Some highlights and thought provoking possibilities: The third wave (in prior books) wealth system is increasingly bsed on serving, thinking, knowing and experiencing ... Sound like Active Rain to you?We are moving toward a future in which ... more people "work" but fewer hold "jobs"Narrowly focused specialists may be good at incremental innovation. But breakthrough innovation is often the product of temporary teams whose members cross disciplinary boundaries - at a time when breakthroughs in every field (9 comments)
Redfin Hiring Bloggers - 01/03/07 08:21 AM
Report on Inman News Blog quotes Redfin as hiring bloggers to write on specific neighborhoods. Here's what I think this means: An end run around REALTORs who are farming this neighborhoodMicro-market specific should yield good search resultsThey get paid $100-$200 a week and are not in the real estate business, so who gets to make money off this client? "The goal is to create an insanely addictive blog about everything that moves in Seattle real estate. We're hiring for neighborhoods all over Seattle, from Tacoma to Issaquah to Bainbridge Island. For your neighborhood, Redfin would send you all sorts of data on (1 comments)
Home Building Links - 01/02/07 05:15 PM
I was asked this afternoon for a set of links to the home building companies and sites that I watch regularly. Here it is: UBuild it is a company that equips people to build their own homes using some consulting and advice from a professional. Great systems and support. Does this portend a move toward outsourcing the building? Or, will people begin wanting to build their own homes, as long as they have help? Builder Online If you want statistics and data on home building go here. Ask the Builder A great home improvement and remodeling site. Great blog too. National Association of Home Builders Research (1 comments)
Tom Peters Thought for the Day - 01/02/07 11:19 AM
I'm a huge Tom Peters reader. I like how easily he shakes the very core of our foundational theories and says "break it and start over." Some January 1st ideas that I'll be incorporating: Number 35 of Solutions 50: Musical Chairs - Don't let the (TURF) grass grow ... between toes. DO NOT ... allow people to become wedded to a job/function. Move them into their Arch Enemy's job. And vice versa. 17 Habits of Highly Design-Driven Companies: Number 10 - Have a formal design board that includes internal as well as external members .... Wanna give it some push? Go to http://www.synergyhomes.com/ and (1 comments)
Even at Christmas ... New Homes - 01/02/07 10:45 AM
This article ran in the Northwest Indiana Times last week, meant to post and forgot or got busy. Synergy Homes is happy to build for some of the best first time buyers and move-up buyers in the whole market. We've really been blessed to meet and build for some great people. I've been working to post pictures on www.localism.com of Valparaiso and Portage and Chesterton and Hebron and Kouts features in Porter County. Here's the link directly to the Porter County portal. If you have any great links to photos, send them my way, and I'll post to the site so our neighbors or (0 comments)
The Year of Surprises - 01/02/07 09:54 AM
My predictions for Porter County, Indiana in 2007: Due to an abundance of 2005 and 2006 specs still in the market, builder will be vary wary to start specs in the first quarter. This will cause "starts" to continue to be very low. Though, spec sales will actually pick up with the existing market and builders will have a pretty good closing quarteer.Prices on new housing have increased roughly 10% per year for the last five years. This will be sustained again in 2007 with prices continuing their advance.The County leadership and politicians will continue their grip on growth with the new (0 comments)
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