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Without much effort, I found good news in the real estate industry.

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We have a client that has had great success in 2008 selling real estate in Boone, NC. Usually people are suspect of the numbers and think that Echota must be doing something like huge discounts or some secret incentive program. The reality is that their secret is staying positive, having a good product for the right market and continuing to spend marketing dollars. And when I asked Mark Harrill, the developer of Echota, how he became the most successful community in North Carolina in 2008 he told me "2008 success started in 2001 by listening to what the market wanted." You see Mark never set out to build a monument to himself or make gazillions to have the lavish lifestyle of his developer peers. He wanted to create a special place for the largest segment in the market. A place that people would love, want to own and want to keep coming back to. Have they seen a slowdown, yes, but who wouldn't settle for only 92 closings in 2008 at higher prices than his 107 in 2007 or 187 in 2006. And oh yeah, he did 2 contracts in the first 8 days of 2009. A few of Mark's beliefs in this market:
  • A prospect today is not a "sheep" and needs attention immediately and their bravery needs to be openly recognized. He often asks people why they want to buy when the world tells them not to and then congratulates them on their independence and intelligence.
  • No bad news in the office. He and his sales VP, Will Sears, set a policy that stated sharing bad new was only allowed between 10-11 am. Get your day started, if you have bad news get it out at 10 and by lunch be over it and recover positive for a strong afternoon.
  • What is he doing personally to cope with the market? Mark says, "When times are tough, do what you know. All I know is real estate so I am fortunately in a position to look for great buys. So that is what I am doing." I also recall Mark telling me that with his success his belief is that he "...I feel like I could have anything but I desire nothing more."
I think we could all learn some lessons from Mark, his pragmatic insights, and others like him. And I knew that there had to be other people that would want to hear his success and share theirs so I posted a question on this week on LinkedIn.com and sure enough, good news came pooring in. Here are some answers to "Is there any good news in real estate?" (you can view it here on LinkedIn) Karen Goodman wrote: I had a great year in 2008. My best year ever since I got into real estate in 2001. Homes are selling in St. Louis. This week 2 homes that my buyers were considering sold before they wrote contracts and one of my homes just got 3 contracts on it in the last few days. Liz Schultz wrote: We are also seeing an increase in calls, showings, sales, etc. in Boston and Rhode Island. So, despite the media I think people are finally realizing that now is the time to buy and there are many deals out there. If anyone has any money to invest, they should do it now. We all know real estate is cyclical and the only way is UP! So anyone who invests now will make money in the long run. All the agents in my area are expecting a very active spring market despite media reports! Daphene Norwood wrote: I am a relatively new Realtor in the North Atlanta Metro area. Since the 1st of the year, I have 3 pending deals. People are receiving financing, contrary to everything broadcasted in the media and great deals are available. Remember, real estate markets are extremely localized. Location is key! Craig Grove wrote: Well relative to my region (South Texas), there was some encouraging news in the "Brownsville Herald" today regarding the state of housing down here. It seems our home values have decreased only about .95% compared to 10% nationally (I am quoting the paper's stats), and they seem to be holding. Cynthia Watson wrote: As a residential Real Estate sales agent in the St. Louis, Mo. area, I have been having success with an increase in showings to Buyer clients looking to make a move within the first quarter of 09! I'm constantly reminding Buyers that this is their time for awesome opportunities like no other! Roger Johnson wrote: As to successes, here in Hickory, NC and surrounding, business has picked up, too, though we didn't have a big drop-off either (at least not by the numbers). Of course, we benefit from both Boone and Asheville, as we have several sells that come from people that looked at those markets, then visited us where they can buy much cheaper compared, but still with mountain views. Frederick Elix Brown wrote: I've got three clients under contract within a week......and i've started servicing section 8 and other NYS housing programs Sally Outlaw wrote: I'm a broker in both North Carolina (south of Asheville) and Jupiter, Florida and I see increased activity too - in both markets...more showings & sales - which is odd over the winter. A lot of investors looking & buying here in Florida as the deals are pretty amazing...properties selling well below original developer pricing when product was new so this is finally bringing people back to the table. Heather Lord wrote: Spoke with a new home construction site agent who wrote 5 contracts this past weekend... Also a home builder who wrote 7 contracts for brand new semi custom homes in December... Not everyone is waiting for the tempting - 4.5% loan rate we keep reading about... First time homebuyers this is your hour - should be a daily chant. Thanks for all the great answers and let's keep sharing the Good News, post yours on LinkedIn here. Oh yeah, another great reason for Echota's success is the views are phenominal from everywhere. Check them out at http://www.echotanc.com Morning view from Echota on the Ridge looking north over Valle Crusis A morning view north over Valle Crusis, NC as we were driving through Echota to breakfast.
The Trumm Team Omaha Homes for Sale, Real Estate
Keller Williams Greater Omaha - Omaha, NE

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Troy Trumm

Jan 13, 2009 11:50 PM