agents: Can You Say Ethics Violation? Learnings about Agency – Article 1 of the Code of Ethics - 10/09/11 11:32 AM
Can You Say Ethics Violation? Learnings about Agency – Article 1 of the Code of Ethics  I serve on the Professional Standards Committee at my local real estate board, North San Diego County Association of REALTORS, and have for several years. I’ve found it to be a tremendous learning experience, as panel after panel we discover the myriad ways that agents can misbehave, knowingly or not. It may be something done to another agent, or perhaps they mistreat a member of the public.
 

 
Certain violations appear to be more common, and in some cases easier to identify, Agency (Article … (25 comments)

agents: Uh, Did You Know Your Voice Mail is Full? - 10/01/11 05:58 AM
Uh, Did You Know Your Voice Mail is Full?  
This is one of my pet peeves, in addition to being irked at phone calls that never get returned.
 
It’s adding insult to injury in a sense.
 
You call to leave a message about getting some important information, perhaps even following the directions in the MLS to “leave a message then go show,” and you get “This voice mail box is full and is not accepting any messages.”
 
Really?
 
It’s even more of a slap in the face after listening to the person you are trying … (21 comments)

agents: Proof of Funds Needed in Order to Show Home - 09/29/11 02:17 PM
 
Proof of Funds Needed in Order to Show Home Well this is a first…a note in the MLS that proof of funds (POF) was required before a buyer could be shown a home (a short sale).
Now granted a proof of funds is important. We see requests for them all the time on REOs and short sales, and itmakes sense to provide them upfront rather than waiting to be asked IMO.
It’s also certainly important in a cash transaction to know that the buyer does have the financial wherewithal to purchase the property and to demonstrate this to the seller … (17 comments)

agents: ActiveRain is Like a Kick in the Pants - 09/28/11 05:09 PM
ActiveRain is Like a Kick in the Pants  
Some times some of us need a kick in the pants.
 
Perhaps it’s procrastinating or avoiding doing something, or we simply need some sort of jump start to get with the program.
 
It might be using a new gadget or application, trying out new marketing strategies, saying goodbye to a particular client when things are just not working, focusing more efforts on SEO, updating our profiles, blogging more regularly…you get the idea.
 
ActiveRain is that kick in the pants to get us moving.
 

 
There are … (42 comments)

agents: Do You HONK or MOO? Standing Out in the Crowd - 08/29/11 02:45 AM
Do You Honk or Moo?
Are you standing out in the crowd?

 
It's a crowded real estate world out there. There's lots of competition.
So are you one of the crowd or are you able to stand out?

Most of us no doubt want to stand out, and for the right reasons, not because we do a lousy job, are incompetent, provide crummy service or other negatives that make consumers to want to steer clear.
And with the market being what it is, and the not-so-stellar- rep our industry has, it may not be easy to stand out. … (16 comments)

agents: Showing Offenses? Or Offensive Showings?! - 08/19/11 01:47 PM
Showing Offenses? Or Offensive Showings?!  
In keeping with a recent post on showing instructions, and inspired by some notable comments, my thoughts turned to showing offenses we see in our business.
 
Some may be purely accidental.
 
Others are clearly carelessness, and lack of caring about the role agents should be playing when showing property.
 
Most agents bring their clients through homes and leave with no evidence of having visited, save for a business card perhaps. That’s the way it ought to be.
 
Others, however, leave noticeable proof they were there, or their clients do. Damage, security … (41 comments)

agents: What Message is "Price Reduced" Sending to Buyers? - 06/25/11 02:47 PM
What Message is "Price Reduced" Sending to Buyers?  So, what message does "price reduced" send to buyers? 
And perhaps the question also is...what message do you WANT to send? 
Is it... 
We really need to sell...REALLY!
We know we were greedy and now have adjusted our thinking... a little
We are chasing the market in hopes of catching it
We are repositioning our home so it fits better with the competition
Our agent mislead us and told us we could get $X but we found out s/he was wrong
We refused to listen to our agent and price it appropriately, but … (33 comments)

agents: Watch out for Fellow Bloggers - 06/10/11 02:57 AM
Watch out for Fellow Bloggers  The title has a double meaning. I mean it in the sense of being helpful toward other writers here on AR. 
Looking out for each other is an important aspect of being a member of a community. We see it in our neighborhoods. Why not in our on-line networks?

 
So here are some thoughts on how YOU can watch out for your fellow bloggers: 
 
TYPOS
Let others know about major typos, especially in a title, which are such a smack-you-in-the-face mistake. I'm not suggesting we critique each others' spelling and point out every … (73 comments)

agents: Let The Sunshine In - 06/05/11 07:13 AM
Let The Sunshine In  Is this walk back in time? To the musical HAIR (Video clip - a pretty powerful message from that era)?
A reminder of The Fifth Dimension, who made the song famous? 
I may be dating myself a bit, but the point is that if you are a seller you NEED to let the sunshine in. 
I can't tell you how many homes I have shown where homeowners are living in the dark. 
Of course it saves electricity, and not having the sun streaming in, especially in hot summer months, saves on energy and helps keep the home cooler. … (12 comments)

agents: Are You Taking Time and Care with That New Listing? - 05/09/11 04:47 PM
Are You Taking Time and Care with That New Listing? Having a new listing is always exciting...filled with anticipation, and perhaps a sense of urgency from sellers as well as ourselves 
While many sellers, and agents, want to get moving right away, putting a listing on the market prematurely may backfire and hurt more than the presumed advantages, whatever those might be, of getting the home listed right away. 

Are YOU taking time and care with that new listing? 
 
Here are some reasons you may need to. And definitely why you should.
*       *       *       *       *
GETTING THE HOME … (35 comments)

agents: I’m Watching Out for Sellers - 05/08/11 09:59 AM
I’m Watching Out for Sellers I’m keeping an eye on things for my sellers, and seller prospects, in a number of ways.
Why? Because I should, and it makes me more effective when listing property and assisting sellers in their transactions.
Here’s what I do.
 
I check the MLS daily, to look for new properties in the areas where I have listings, and follow status changes – price reductions, homes going into escrow, and properties rejected by the market
 
I set up automated searches for the neighborhoods where I have listings including individual streets so I can track … (61 comments)

agents: Things We Should Say, But Don't - 03/27/11 05:34 AM
Things We Should Say, But Don't  I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about the things we probably shouldn't say but do. It garnered a lot of attention and comments. It was fun to write, but there was a very definite serious side to my thinking. 
It occurred to me, upon reflecting on some recent experiences, that there are probably things we should say, but we don't. And not just in business. 
For example:
"No."
This is a big one. Whether we are fearful of annoying someone, want to please them, or just don't have it in our gut … (59 comments)

agents: Do You Learn From Your Mistakes? And Others, Too?! - 03/15/11 05:11 AM
Do You Learn From Your Mistakes? And Others, Too?!  We all make mistakes. In our business, and our personal lives 
It's inevitable. You kinda hate to admit it, but it happens. 
So do you learn from your mistakes? 
And those that others make as well?
First, you have to be willing to admit you made a mistake.
Your mistake might be pointed out to you, even if you don't recognize it.  But if you can't, or won't, admit you've made a mistake, there won't likely be much learning.
Certainly you remember being told by your parents or teachers that "it's important to … (40 comments)

agents: Things We Probably Shouldn't Say, But Do - 03/04/11 04:45 PM
Things We Probably Shouldn't Say, But Do  There are often times we say things we probably shouldn't.
Perhaps it's simply without thinking. You know, "open mouth insert foot?" Sometimes it's less significant, perhaps a minor faux pas. 
Whatever the reason, it happens to us all, including in our real estate business. Sometimes it's verbal, and sometimes it's what we put in writing, too - in our listings, on-line marketing and flyers. 
Some of this is on a serious note, some not. You may not agree. Whatever. 
"Won't last" - seems to me that often listings where this is said DO last...forever
 
"Great … (181 comments)

agents: Do You Think in Billboards or Spreadsheets? - 02/27/11 05:44 AM
Do You Think in Billboards or Spreadsheets?  Some of us are better at looking at the big picture. 
Others are much more adept at details. 
While lots of people claim to be a "detail person," the reality is not everyone is really good at thinking about and focusing on details. And some people's natural tendency is to look at the overall picture and be more comfortable with that focus, rather than minutiae. 
So, do you think in Billboards?
Or in Spreadsheets?
One approach is not necessarily better than the other, but there may be circumstances when it can make a … (22 comments)

agents: Are You Listening? REALLY Listening? - 02/22/11 11:32 AM
Are You Listening? REALLY Listening?  Sometime you hear such a profound talk by someone you respect that you feel compelled to share. 
Such was the keynote given by Jeff Turner at the CRS Sell-a-Bration at the Peabody Hotel in Orlando this past week. 
Jeff's comments were not directed just at real estate, but "listening as a strategy" in general, and in the social media world.
I won't try to convey all that he said. And what you are about to read is, well, what I heard and took in. I hope you find it helpful and take it to heart. Hopefully … (50 comments)

agents: Where is this Windmill? - 01/09/11 03:32 PM
Where is this windmill? Can you guess where this is?

I've been to the Netherlands but it wasn't taken there. Amsterdam is very cool, by the way, if you ever get to go.
Sorry there are no prizes for guessing correctly. I would be happy to share some points but I don't know how that could be accomplished.  I'll share the answer tomorrow.
(19 comments)

agents: Hi Mom!! - 01/08/11 03:56 PM
Hi Mom!!  Your Mom is watching, you know. 
Come on...admit it. You know she is AND you are concerned about it. Or maybe you should be. You probably at least think about it from time to time. 
Many have talked about being careful about what you put out there in the Internet world, since you never know who might see it. Mom, for example. 
Mom, for some of us, is part of the Angel/Devil duo on our shoulders...our conscience, our inner voice...watching our every move and whispering in our ear when we go astray. Some pay attention. Some don't, but should. 
(26 comments)

agents: Are You Checking on Your Vacant listings? You Should! - 12/21/10 03:04 PM
I wonder - Are You Checking on Your Vacant listings?  I think you should. 
As a Listing Agent, we have some responsibility to our clients to protect their interests as their fiduciary, and that could mean making sure their vacant home remains in the condition it was when we took the listing. 
OK, here's that disclaimer thing that I am not an attorney (you know that), so there could be legal implications or matters I'm not thinking about. 
But as part of my role as LA I take the time each week at a minimum to check on my vacant listings … (49 comments)

agents: Meep Meep!! - 10/27/10 05:21 PM
Meep Meep!!  You all likely remember the famous Road Runner cartoon character.
And certainly Wile E. Coyote. 
No matter what Wile E. Coyote did, The Road Runner triumphed, seemingly with little effort other than speed. And a bit of bravado. "Meep Meep I beat you." Sort of thumbing his nose, ah, beak, at the beaten, temporarily, Wile E. Coyote. 
I recall wishing, at times, that Wile E. would triumph, but knowing at some level that would never happen. 
There are lots of Wile E. Coyotes out there. Not necessarily people but situations and problems that arise to try and knock us … (20 comments)

 
Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) Ambassador large

Jeff Dowler, CRS

The Southern California Relocation Dude

Carlsbad, CA

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Solutions Real Estate

Address: 2055 Corte Del Nogal, Carlsbad, CA, 92011

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