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Craigslist Scams Bite Hard on Potential Renters Looking For Deals

You’ve heard it said before, “South Florida is the mecca of fraud” and this time scammers are targeting potential renters looking for deals. After reading a few articles on the topic, I thought I needed to post this on the HomeGain Blog. I work with renters coming from around the country looking for seasonal rentals, short terms rentals, and annual rentals. Naturally everybody wants the deal of a lifetime.

When potential renters arrive in Florida they are shocked to see that most homes and condos for rent require a first month, last month, and security deposit; also a great place for a potential tenant to be scammed by shelling out that kind of money all at once, but I’ll save that blog post for another time. Upon arrival to Florida often times the renters are shocked when I tell them the list of properties they wanted to see have all already been rented. What I do is provide a list of rentals that matches their criteria and we go check them out. Most of the time, the client will take my word for it and understand just how hot the rental market is.

Here is where the scammer comes in. Since the client has only worked with me for a day, they will go online themselves to various websites, possibly even Craigslist, not knowing if I am telling them the truth that the rentals they wanted were taken. The scared client calls the telephone # of an ad they seen on Craigslist. The client sees this beautiful 2,000 sq/ft homes with a pool listed at $1,200 a month when actually that same home is listed at $2,400 a month in the MLS. The scammer will use the exact same photos of the house and even make a fake email address. For example, if the name on the deed is Alex Bentley, the scammer will make up an email like Continue reading this post


Posted by: Robert Worthington on July 27th, 2011 under Best Practices


Moving Your Real Estate Business (1600 miles away) – Part 2

When we arrived in Florida, Boca Raton was our destination which soon changed. We realized Boynton Beach, Florida, only 10 miles north, was for us. My family moved in our 2 bedroom apartment and within a week I was studying for the Florida real estate brokers exam.

After two months I was able to read the state exam prep book front to back three times. I memorized the book so well, I’m thinking of taking the instructors exam to teach real estate courses. What I’ve learned in Florida (along with many other states) is you’ve got to be different and smarter than the rest of the other 11,438 licensees in Palm Beach County; or you’ll be out of the business faster than water can hit you sitting on a toilet seat.

Upon passing the state Brokers exam, Florida requires new Brokers to read two other 450 page novels, one on broker management and the other on investment analysis. (I still have one book to read).

By this time I had been in Florida for ten weeks, I then set out to form an LLC and obtain a tax id # from the IRS. I was then able to open up business checking accounts. I was nearing where I wanted to be minus a real estate website. I then contacted Real Estate Webmasters and bought the LEC 5 (limited edition custom). You can check it out at

Continue reading this post


Posted by: Robert Worthington on January 6th, 2011 under HomeGain, Lives of The Realtors

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Moving Your Real Estate Business

Part 1: Starting Over

The decision was made to move my business from Wisconsin to Florida.  I’ll leave all the reasons behind this decision in this post, however it’s my goal for you to take a new look at your business from another angle.

So often we’ve heard the 3 L’s (Location, Location, Location), yet I should point out that as Realtors® we don’t choose our own location.  Instead we sell where we live — after all it’s where we live right?  I must say that the most valuable lesson I learned in business so far is that “you have to give, in order to get.” (That’s another post.)

My family and I chose to give up our Real Estate business and lives as we knew it, and move to Florida.  Currently I am negotiating a deal at liquidation value with another firm to take over for Worthington Realty.  (Worthington Realty has been in business since 1954 in Manitowoc in case you’re wondering how hard this decision was.)

We said goodbye to our family and friends and days later were gone.  Hello, Florida!  Hello great weather, palm trees and expensive homes.  My wife and I have been craving year round nice weather for so many years.  Finally we did something about it. Continue reading this post


Posted by: Robert Worthington on September 30th, 2010 under Lives of The Realtors


Why Force Registration and Not Follow Up?

I’ve personally taken the time to register around the country for the sole purpose of having a great email drip campaign to convert leads into appointments and appointments into pay checks. Ironically, I’ve accidentally noticed that many of the websites I have registered on were not calling my personal cell phone, let alone sending me an email of properties or even a thank you for registering.

So I ask the question, “why force registration and not follow up?” My data gathered around the country over a period of about six months has astonished me, and possibly even you. Experience clearly shows the importance following up and having great systems in place in the way to grow your business and dominate as opposed to drowning in today’s market.

I’ll get to the statistics in a moment. First off, I was amazed that this project took me so long. After starting this project, I realized how many people do not force registration. I also realized how many people do not have websites. Sorry, I did not collect data on the number of websites I had to visit in order to register, however the number was at least 2 out of 3 who did not force registration. Continue reading this post


Posted by: Robert Worthington on July 13th, 2010 under Best Practices, HomeGain


Real Estate Signs Standing Tall

This blog post is an informative blog post for people who purchase their own real estate signs; others need not read any further.  For years, Worthington Realty have put up with under engineered, cheaply made real estate signs.  Looking high and low, nothing was on the market which needed to meet the following requirements.for-sale-signs

1)    Guaranteed not the lean, tilt, or fall over
2)    Built to last
3)    Fashionable looking
4)    Easy to install
5)    Light in weight
6)    Reasonable cost

Fast forward two years and dozens of experiments, Worthington Realty has finally got it!

The first real estate sign guaranteed to stand straight up tall just like the day you put in the ground.   Worthington Realty consulted with visionary fabrication guru’s to create the ultimate in real estate sign technology.  We’ve perfected the anchor which attaches the post to the ground.  The anchor weighs approximately 20lbs which is extremely light compared to what was originally engineered.

Worthington Realty is looking for the industry public opinion.  Is there a demand for a real estate sign guaranteed to stand tall like the day you put it in the ground?  What would you pay for an item like this?  Can you imagine putting a sign in the ground and knowing you’ll come back to it standing tall?  What are your thoughts?  Worthington Realty would greatly appreciate your input.

In our office we are not perfectionist or genius by any means, however we shoot for the stars making every single day count, do you?


Posted by: Robert Worthington on March 18th, 2010 under Best Practices


6.25% Conversion – Expired Mailing to Listing!

Russell Shaw of The Russell Shaw Group with John & Hall Associates once said, “To really grow your business, become a listing agent”.

If the great Captain Russell said so, that was all I needed to refinmailboxe my old expired program with a 2% mailing to listing conversion, and revamp my entire expired program with adrenaline, steroids, and total domination in mind. Simply put, I was willing to accept nothing less than being the king of listings, no matter what it took.

First, let’s touch on what I was doing to understand why I thought I was doing OK when really, I was just another expired real estate chump.

This was me in a nutshell:  Print the letter, stuff it in an envelope with a business card and pray!  My conversion ratio was 2% mailing to home listing.

Now let’s fast forward to the Russell Shaw way of 2010; stomp the competition so low they fear your name.

First, let me share my current statistics for 2010, and then I will mention what I am doing to achieve those numbers.  Since January 1, 2010 I have selectively sent 80 mailings.  I have received 7 call backs, in which 5 of the 7 call backs have resulted in listings.  One of the 5 home listings is in the pipeline. Continue reading this post


Posted by: Robert Worthington on March 5th, 2010 under Leads


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