Archive for August, 2008

Lives of The Realtors: Ryan Ward

I consider myself very fortunate. I’m happily married with a very successful real estate career that is growing rapidly in a tough market.

Prior to beginning my real estate career, I was a restaurant manager looking to find a career where I could actually pursue something that I cared about and had passion for. I was already buying, rehabbing and selling homes so it was a natural transition to move into the listing and sales side of the business. Furthermore, working on those houses helped to provide a foundation that was more beneficial to selling real estate than any class that I ever took in college.

In October of 2003, my wife, Samantha, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Three days after the diagnoses, my wife looked at me and said “let’s buy a house”. It was the spirit that “not even cancer can stop us from realizing our dream” that still inspires me today to dream, work, strive and believe that nothing can stop the human spirit that has the strength to believe in themselves in the face of what can be the worst possible set of circumstances anyone can face – their own death.

Three years later, our daughter was born – the beauty and miracle that many take for granted was to us, almost a miracle. The chances that we could have a child were slim and many thought not possible. But the cancer battle and newborn child left us in less than great shape financially and the time I had spent caring for my wife emptied my pipeline of business and I was wondering if real estate was going to be a viable option for me and my family.

That’s when I made a fundamental paradigm shift into the online world – the “new” way of real estate, so to speak. Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Ryan Ward on August 30th, 2008 under Lives of The Realtors, Motivation, Realtor

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FrogPond.com Interviews Louis Cammarosano In Launch of FrogPond TV

Last week FrogPond.com launched FrogPond TV, a marketing tool (great for real estate professionals) that keeps the viewer informed on current business topics in a concise and enjoyable format.

Susie Hale, founder of FrogPond.com and wife of Bob Hale of the innovative Houston MLS caught up with Louis Cammarosano at Inman Real Estate Connect San Francisco last month for an interview that would accompany their kick off announcement of their new product, FrogPond TV. During the interview, Louis talks about the pre-launch of Homegain’s AgentView that was released earlier this week.

Here’s the FrogPond TV interview with Louis Cammarosano:

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Posted by: Jessica Gopalakrishnan on August 28th, 2008 under HomeGain, Leads, Regional

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VA Home Loan Basics For Realtors

Are you asking your buyers if they’re veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces? There are 25 million veterans in the U.S. today, 2 million of which are women. While more than two-thirds of them are over 40, a substantial number could benefit from the Veteran’s Administration (VA) Home Loan Program.

The VA Home Loan Program is the only national 100% financing loan program. Veterans can purchase a home with no down payment and the seller can contribute up to 4% of the home price for their non-recurring closing costs and impounds.

Often referred to as the VA No-No program, combining the max sellers’ closing cost contribution with a VA home loan affords buyers the chance to “get into a home”, for no money, at a below market rate.

There are no “stated income” options nor “interest-only” options for a VA home loan. Veterans must qualify on full income documentation. Their total monthly obligations (including the proposed mortgage payment) must be under 43% of their monthly income unless they Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Brian Brady on August 28th, 2008 under Financing, Mortgage and Home Loans, Guest Bloggers

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HomeGain Office Olympics 2008

On Monday, August 18th, 2008 HomeGain.com kicked off its 2nd Annual Office Olympics. Coincidentally it was also the official Summer Olympics this year!

The kick off meeting was held in HomeGain’s Emeryville Employee Lounge, and we had numerous events throughout the week, including:

  • “How Many Pieces of Candy are in the Jar” – each team had to guess how many pieces of candy were in the jar and the closest without going over was the winner.
  • “Word Find” – the contestants were read a question with the answer being the word they needed to find. These questions were based on HomeGain facts or people.
  • “Max needs a Roommate”- each team turned in their Roommate applications as well as a Model Roommate for Max. All teams was giving a bag of supplies and the Ad that Max placed in the paper for a Roommate. Each team then needed to “create” a roommate for Max. As you can see from the picture, Max had a lot of great options!
  • “Paper basketball” – the goal was to get the paper basketballs into the waste paper basket. Each team had one person holding the basket with the others tossing ten paper basketballs into the basket – or at least attempting to get them in the basket! This is an event we also did last year. Since this is an outdoor event sometimes there are issues with the wind, but this year we had nice weather so the wind was not a factor. Continue reading this post
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Posted by: Angie Kerkman on August 27th, 2008 under HomeGain, Max

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Lives of The Realtors: Mitch Ribak Before Real Estate

It’s been an interesting road I have had so far in my life. My goal was always to be successful and I have been. I have also lost just a little more than I have made in my lifetime. I was thinking about that today.

Then I started thinking about the past 8 years in Real Estate and how it has all come to where I am currently. I started thinking about when I decided to get my license and really had no idea what to expect. I know it seemed like one of the easiest things in the world. Yeah right!

There was no way it was more difficult than running an Internet Company, flying 25 days a month to some hotel or conference and speaking about how radio groups needed to learn how to use the Internet to grow their business.

One thing most of you don’t know about me as my first Internet business was a Dating Service. Not only did I have the dating service, I had an advice column called AskMitch.com. Oh and there was the radio show, Ask Mitch The Date Doctor, that played on 45 radio stations around the country.

So, yes, my venture into the Internet back in 1996 came from my imagination that there has to be a better way to do business.

I worked for Great Expectations Video Dating Service as their Director from 1993 to mid 1996. It was the only time since I was 23 that I hadn’t worked for myself. I spent half of 1996 trying to find a company that would build a dating software for me that I could use over the Internet.

Funny thing was that at that time they all told me it wasn’t possible to do data integration over the Internet. I didn’t believe them of course so for a half a year I searched and talked to tons of companies Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Mitch Ribak on August 26th, 2008 under Lives of The Realtors, Success Stories

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Max Returns From Paris – Signs Up For AgentView

HomeGain Gorilla Snags Emeryville AgentView Zip Code

It is a tradition at HomeGain to send Max away when we release new products. Prior to the release of AgentView we sent Max to Paris.

Max, not only took the product launch in stride, he even signed up to be the feature Realtor in his hometown of Emeryville.

Max also enrolled in the HomeGain Blogging School that comes with his AgentView subscription.

As you can see, by Max’s listings, his specialty is tree houses!

Louis Cammarosano

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Posted by: Louis Cammarosano on August 26th, 2008 under Max

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