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Greening Your Real Estate Practice

We’re right at the tip of the iceberg with the Green movement. Greening our real estate practice is not just about being Green ourselves but also understanding where the consumer is coming from so we can better help them. Most home buyers I work with are concerned about some element of Green to some degree or another, but all agree with being more energy efficient.

At Startpoint Realty we are becoming a more eco minded firm — receiving our Green designations, working in virtual offices, sending green trees as closing gifts -– while at the same time going Green can mean looking at new ways of saving money, which we are all doing already in this weakened economy.

Any level of education we as Realtors can add to our profession gives us a competitive edge when working with buyers and sellers. We don’t have to be experts on Green building or everything Green, but we can certainly be ambassadors and become resources of Green.

I prepared a “Greening Your Real Estate Practice” PowerPoint webinar for HomeGain, which has simple but effective tips on what we can do as professionals, getting more involved in our communities and inexpensive ways we can be more of what consumers are expecting from us.

Listen to the GREEN WEBINAR and hear about what you can do (and why) for making your business more Green.

Visit StartPoint Realty website to see how we use virtual offices and transaction platforms and my personal site as a Green resource and Green marketing ideas.

Also visit the HomeGain Green Real Estate site to get more tips.

Jeffrey Bastress, GREEN certified NAR instructor


Posted by: Jeffrey Bastress on May 26th, 2009 under Green Real Estate


Massachusetts Real Estate Market Update

Massachusetts is glutted with homes for sale that are either over priced or simply not “desirable” to be kind here. These Single Family Homes for Sale in Massachusetts, especially in suburban areas outside of Boston such as Worcester County, Essex County, Middlesex County, Norfolk County and Plymouth County make up 80% of single family homes for sale and increase the overall marketing time to 8-10 months on average.

However, there is no shortage of qualified buyers as evidenced by multi offers on well priced nice homes. These homes will have 2 or 3 offers in just a few days from entering the market.

There are 2 types of home buyers in the Massachusetts market right now. Investors looking for cheap foreclosed distressed rehabs and buyers that want well priced, great location, and meticulously maintained homes. Any home for sale that falls in the middle, which is 80% of all homes in Massachusetts for sale right now, will sit on the market.

It seems that home sellers that can afford to wait and buyers that are in no hurry are both just sitting on the fence and waiting in general. This indicates that when the market does turn finally in Massachusetts, that it will come back quickly and in full force.

Condominiums are another story, as there are many gorgeous and well priced condo’s throughout Massachusetts for sale. New construction included. However, condominiums are scrutinized for Continue reading this post


Posted by: Jeffrey Bastress on July 15th, 2008 under Regional


Mortgage Rate Truth

Is the media correct in their assessment on the Fed rate moves and how that relates to mortgage rates and the lowest mortgage rates ever? Are we as real estate professionals thinking this to be the case also?

Just so you know, fixed mortgage rates directly correlate to the 10 year treasury bond, which is an investors haven of choice when other markets such as the stock market are tanking.

With a flush of investors money into mortgage backed bonds, rates drop as supply and demand dictates.

However, when the Fed lowers the short term discount rate, this is designed for consumer spending on short term credit and therefore investors may see the stock market as the better investment as profits pour into retailers etc. They bail out of bonds, and interest rates are on the rise to enhance back the now elusive bond investor.

This all happens with lightening speed, and in many cases it happens prior to any Fed move as investors hedge on the expected or react to the unexpected.

Here is what occurred over the last wild 10-day period: Continue reading this post


Posted by: Jeffrey Bastress on February 8th, 2008 under Market Trends


A Whole Lot More (Part 2)

Part 2 – Your Sphere of Influence (Part 1: Back to Basics)

FSBO’s are home Sellers and Buyers and need a mortgage. (FSBO stands for ‘For Sale By Owner’) 70% of all FSBO’s list with a real estate agent that asks for their business.

If nothing else, they may need other assistance if they find a buyer, like escrowing, contracts, mortgage needs. I would walk up and meet in person as many FSBO’s as you can.

It will open doors and if will open our minds to opportunities otherwise missed. Make 2008 the year to personally meet and talk to 6 FSBO’s a week.

After all, they are easy to find, they are selling a home, and they are eager to hear what you have to offer, and if of benefit to them….new business.

What could be easier? I know, I know….doing nothing is much easier.

Your Sphere of Influence is every one you know or have known. It also can grow by introducing yourself to every one you meet during a day. The cashier, the hair stylist, the UPS man, the Teller, every one.

Why not carry your business cards and hand it to…every one.

Better yet, why not Continue reading this post


Posted by: Jeffrey Bastress on January 28th, 2008 under Best Practices

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A Whole Lot More

Part 1 – Back to Basics

2008 has come full circle to taking the time to build personal relationships with our leads, customers, past clients and new contacts we make.

We have had the luxury of the information highway in all our clients hands and all we had to do was wait for them to call us for help.

We still have the information highway, but reaching out and building relationships once again is the key to our success in real estate in 2008.

I strongly urge you to regularly contact all past clients and simply tell them what your doing and you are there for them. Surprisingly as it seems, they will not refer friends and family if you do not ask them to do so.

In fact, in most cases, they will over look us also if we are not asking for their new business and referrals.

Just letting them know you’re still alive and well is good, and letting them know of your new services is better, and letting them know how they or their friends would benefit greatly from one of your services right now or the near future is the very best.

Past clients are by far the very best source of new real estate business. If you are not contacting them on a regular basis, you are missing the Continue reading this post


Posted by: Jeffrey Bastress on January 25th, 2008 under Best Practices

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MLS Compensation; The Ugly Truth Today

House and Money

“Real estate compensation structures are wrought with problems, which could be effectively eliminated if the MLS-mandated offer of compensation were done away with.

Agent compensation is set by office policies that support a specific company’s fee philosophy and income. But the system doesn’t take into account how it affects consumers’ opinion of value received or how it can clash with other companies’ compensation policies.

These policies also contribute to uneducated agents blacklisting certain properties—either intentionally or unintentionally.

One major contributing factor to the compensation problem is that a buyer’s agent is paid according to the selling agent’s office policy. This totally disregards the buy-side agent’s office policy on compensation, the buyer’s contract with his agent and the seller’s best interests, which are to remove any barriers that may keep potential buyers from seeing their home.

One problematic result of the mandatory unilateral offer of compensation is the belief that the seller and his agent are the ones paying for the buyer agent’s fee. In reality, both the seller and buyer agents’ fees come from the negotiated sale price, and are deducted from the proceeds Continue reading this post


Posted by: Jeffrey Bastress on October 24th, 2007 under MLS


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