Archive for March, 2009


These are the dog days of real estate

March 31, 2009










According to a recent report, a celebrity dog had the last “bark” on which real estate agent was granted permission to list a multi-million dollar property. The owner asked all agents to first meet her dog and if the dog liked them…they were then allowed to present their market analysis to the owner.

Don’t know if this is true or not but somehow it smells RIGHT! Besides, who knows people better than most dogs? I know I would trust my dog’s opinion on someone’s worthiness – ok, maybe not but it sounds like a good idea.

In the future, I will forget the techno gadgets and remember the snausages!

PS: and yes – that’s my dog in the photo.


Every Man A King – Perception in the Real Estate Market

March 28, 2009

As a student of history, one of my favorite research topics was the legendary politician, Huey Long from the great State of Louisiana. He was basically not the most politically correct man on the planet and yet he accomplished great things for Louisiana. It’s a case of a leader who accomplished good deeds while remaining corrupt. Mr. Long is still remembered and revered in many parts of Louisiana – he’s a loveable train wreck. For added effect, Huey Long ran on the concept that “Every Man a King” and he had his loyal “subjects” believing this. Huey Long KNEW ABOUT THE VALUE OF PERCEPTION.

So it goes with our current economic and real estate markets where, like a textbook history lesson, PERCEPTION is King.  Everyone thinks THEY are special.

We can tell Sellers the truth about market conditions and we can also share with buyers that every home is NOT depressed or in foreclosure but they have a different perception based on news media and print publications.

Sadly, no matter how much you educate the listing client, they still cannot grasp the severity of our current real estate market and the concept of declining values. After all, their home is the ONE home that is different and worth more than all the others regardless of what statistics and facts we present.

The buyers on the other hand treat all homes the same – as a foreclosure or short sale. While sales executives know that every home is different and unique, many buyers have the misguided notion that every home is a “steal”.

To educate the sellers is an absolute necessity. The same can be said for buyers. Sadly, it does not always work. However, in the immortal words of Winston Churchill, “If you are going through hell, keep going.”


Give people hope

March 23, 2009

I rarely post someone else’s thoughts but today…I loved this one.

It is written by  John C. Maxwell.

A reporter asked Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who led Britain during the dark moments of the Second World War, what was the greatest weapon his country possessed again the Nazi regime of Hitler. Without pausing for a moment, Churchill said, “It was what England’s greatest weapon has always been—hope.”

Hope is one of the most powerful and energizing words in the English language. It is something that gives us power to keep going in the toughest of times. And its power energizes us with excitement and anticipation as we look toward the future.

It’s been said that a person can live forty days without food, four days without water, four minutes without air, but only four seconds without hope. If you want to help people win, then become a purveyor of hope.


Real Estate is about communication

March 18, 2009

Successful real estate careers are all about one’s ability to communicate; because in the course of a real estate transaction…you talk to countless people about countless things. If you are not a good communicator, you just won’t make it.

I recently had a client share with me about a prior experience and how frustrating he felt about not knowing what was happening with the progress of the sale of his home. As I spoke with him, I made a mental note to NOT say anything negative about his agent but to use his words to spur me on to better communicate with my clients.

People who know me have heard me say that “email is the devil” and I still believe this. It’s a necessary form of communication with our clients but it cannot possibly pick out the tone and intent of our message. Something gets lost in the translation. There is still something personal about picking up the phone and talking person to person with someone. It carries so much more validity to what you have to say.

Lack of communication on ALL SIDES leads to a stress-filled real estate career. Pastor Isaac Hunter recently wrote “find people who aren’t malcontents to do life with. Find people who will be encouraging whenever possible and whenever possible, be a person who encourages others”.

I couldn’t agree more. Encouraging one another by communicating our hopes and dreams is important to the business of real estate.

Let’s agree to communicate what is important to us. Let’s be verbal warriors (the good kind) with our lenders, our clients and brokers. Most importantly, let’s not lose touch.


Real Estate Problem Solving

March 17, 2009

Market conditions seem to be getting dicey to say the least. What do I see on the streets? Here’s a summary of Orlando real estate sales (from my personal observations):

  1. If you are priced at $200,000 to $250,000 you should get a buyer. Why? Because most loans being written are FHA backed and accessible.
  2. Which brings me to my second point – WE NEED RESPONSIBLE MORTGAGE LENDING TO RESUME. Not really a strange concept but banks appear to be retreating from the real estate battlefield and have gone AWOL. Without loans, you can’t sell houses – it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this one out.
  3. Buyers need to realize current market conditions (buyer’s market) are not going to last FOREVER. If I had a nickel for every time I have heard someone say “I’m waiting for the bottom” then I would be Trump-style rich.
  4. High end market is seeing some backlash with the main focus being on declining home values.
  5. We need to quit giving money to AIG for bonuses to their lame executives and give it to people who want to buy a home. Did I mention that it is ridiculously difficult to get a home loan right now?
  6. Buyers are unreasonable, Sellers are frustrated and REALTORS are trying to hold it all together for the better good of the public. Really!

Will our market improve? Absolutely. When? When the banks and Congress come together to loosen the control on the mortgage loan markets.



It’s time to quit retreating and advance the cause of home ownership.


Are you a winer? Wine trends in 09

March 8, 2009










Wine trends continue to dominate the design of high end luxury homes. Not only do most estate homes come with a built-in wine cellar but now…wine tasting rooms are de rigueur. A recent estate home in Orlando comes complete with a 1,000 square foot room dedicated to the art of wine tasting.

Wine is gaining in popularity in the United States as more people are stretching their palates to discover different types, styles and wine flavors. It is anticipated that this love affair with wines will make American’s the largest consumers of wine (even more than the French) by the year 2015.

Therefore, it is not going to be unusual to find, in today’s luxury home, the presence of not only a wine cellar, but a place to entertain and share your favorite drink with friends.

To quote Shakespeare, “Good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used.”