Archive for December, 2008

The Future of Real Estate Communication

Yesterday I was perusing online through my cell phone bill. I took note that my two teenagers ages 15 and 17 had sent and received over 10,000 text messages – in December.

The two adults in the home sent and received approximately 400 text messages this month -– mostly between the aforementioned teenaged children. Sometimes it seems like I text them more often than I talk to them.

This got me to wondering about the future of communicating in the real estate industry.

As I write this, I’m looking at an email inbox containing 5,586 messages. Lousy email management skills aside, this is an indication of how often I send and receive emails. As I look into my sent mail folder, I see that I have sent an average of 11.33 emails each day this month. These are emails sent from Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Jay Thompson on December 31st, 2008 under Guest Bloggers, Technology

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Introducing Russell Shaw, Our Next Guest Blogger

We are proud to introduce our next guest blogger, Russell Shaw.

Mr. Shaw, who hails from Phoenix,  generally needs no introduction as he has been recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top 200 Real Estate Agents in the United States for numbers of units sold. (Mr. Shawn clocked in at number 25.)

Russell has a love for imparting his wisdom to fellow agents and is a contributor to the Agent Genius Blog.

We are delighted to welcome Russell to the list of HomeGain Guest Bloggers and look forward to his contributions here.

Stay tuned for Russell’s first post early in the new year.

Louis Cammarosano

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Posted by: Louis Cammarosano on December 30th, 2008 under Guest Bloggers

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The Obama Effect & D.C. Neighborhood Attraction

I’d like to start out by saying that I’m honored to be here.  This is the first of what I hope will be many contributions to this great community. 

Apologies for beginning my stint here with a D.C.-centric theme but with January 20th rapidly approaching, we do feel like we’re the center of the universe.

I have a family friend, a young lawyer, who is now six months pregnant with her second child, who recently lost her job in New York City when her law firm folded.  She had very little warning and no severance pay.  Her husband works for Goldman Sachs.  I imagine that there are sleepless nights in that family.

Another friend worked for Lehman Brothers.  Before you picture her out on the street, it turns out that her entire division at Lehman was acquired by Barclays, so she is still gainfully employed.  But many of her closest friends lost their jobs and she reports that New York City has changed dramatically over the past few months.

Perhaps New York’s loss will be a gain for Washington D.C. and for the health of the D.C. real estate market.  According to The Washington Posts’ Steven Pearlstein, “The region should leverage the enthusiasm of the new generation of bright, young, ambitious people who will seek to come here. Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Kevin Koitz on December 30th, 2008 under Guest Bloggers, Regional

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Mortgage Broker or Direct Lender?

Happy New Year, HomeGainers! 

One of my resolutions this year is to be more active on the HomeGain Blog.  While I love to talk about marketing ideas, my self-appointed “title” here, if you will, is resident mortgage guru.  I hope to expand my offering to you with a weekly column, more focused on mortgage financing issues that you, the professional real estate agents, face.

I asked my LinkedIn network if they believed that better loan terms were secured by independent mortgage brokerages or direct lending institutions.  Here are some of the answers:

Supporting Direct Lenders:

Bill Powell:

As a direct lender (portfolio lender for most of our offering with a few loans being sold to the secondary market for FHA and VA loans) I have seen changes in the common offerings. You might expect me to say “go with a banker” but read on, especially the the advice in last paragraph. We play fair at this company.   

At one point the brokers had most everything the banks had with very similar rates. Now it seems the brokers have more speciality type products but with higher rates and fees.

My advice to borrowers is to… Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Brian Brady on December 29th, 2008 under Financing, Mortgage and Home Loans, Guest Bloggers

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It’s Knocking SO Hard It’s Almost Busting Down The Door … 3 Steps To Take NOW

While walking the dog around the lake near our home, a friend went busting by me and didn’t even say hi. I have to admit I don’t look my best in the early morning hours. Maybe it was the hat covering my “bed” hair. Or the new facial fuzz.

She flat out didn’t recognize me.

I wasn’t going to let it slide, so I hollered at her. After the obligatory “Omigosh, Omigosh” and “Didn’t recognize you,” came hug hug, talk talk …you know the drill. Walking away, I was reminded me of a very important fact of life.

Like me, opportunity is out there walking the streets every day.

UNLIKE ME, opportunity will not call you out by name.

I’ve encountered so many Realtors who are crying in their soup and wringing their hands. “The market is in the tank and we don’t know what to do,” they say. Meanwhile, home prices are down, sales are up, loan rates are dipping and there are deals to be made out there on every corner. I’m confused.

The old saying, “Opportunity is knocking,” has never been truer than right now. Trouble is, you’ve got to find the door opportunity is banging on! That requires action.

While some sit around and complain, plenty of other Realtors are finding the door and going on through. The ones making it right now are the ones that have a game plan and are working it hard.

As an example, “Think you don’t work with home buyers?” You do now. Buyers turn into listings down the road.

Here are 3 things to do NOW to capitalize on the current opportunities in the market: Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Carl Medford on December 26th, 2008 under Best Practices, Motivation

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What’s Your Plan?

Moving into 2009 I was thinking that the Realtors who plan are going to be the ones who survive and thrive. How many transactions do you want to do in 2009?

Most Realtors will answer quickly that they want as many as they can get. This is true but I personally think you will get the number you plan to get.

What seems to work for many top producers is to set a goal of how many transactions they want to have and then plan there activities based on those goals. There are industry standards that will tell you how many met contacts you need in your database to get a certain number of transactions for the year. How many website visitors you need to get a certain number of transactions from the web? It is the same for your farm and listings.

OK so how can this work for me?  I know that is the question you are asking.

So let’s take an example. Mr. Real Estate Agent would like to do 40 transactions next year. Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Wayne Long on December 22nd, 2008 under Motivation

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