The CFPB and You
What’s in store for 2013?
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is here to stay. And with that comes an avalanche of proposed changes that has the title and settlement industry scrambling to adapt.
What To Do When ”What If” Happens
How to create a successful scenario-plan
Imagine a future where a super computer virus forced everyone to return to typewriters. Or CEOs could only make 30% more than their company’s lowest wage earner.
Lies lies and Statistics.
What do the economic numbers really tell us?
The recovery is real. It’s all a mirage. The future looks bright. The fiscal cliff looms.
With all the conflicting reports about the state of the US economy, we’re reminded of the old joke about the three economists who went out hunting and came across a large deer.
Everyone loves progress, but nobody likes change.
Especially when the change is forced upon us, as has been the case in the economy in general, and the real estate industry in particular.
Saying “No” To Better Customer Relationships.
Being in a service business, we’ve all been trained that a can-do attitude will gain us greater customer loyalty and help build better relationships. Need that escrow closed in five days? You bet! Don’t want to pay for that extra paperwork? Sure thing.
Making Customer Relationships Work...Without the Work.
“Business would be great if it weren’t for my clients.”
It’s an old joke that disguises a fundamental truth: we work and invest and compete to win customers, and once we’ve got them, they change from people we desire to people we deal with.
It’s You Time
How to Make Every Minute Count.
It’s a funny thing about time. You can save it. You can spend it. If you’re bad (and unlucky), you may even wind up doing it. But you can’t make any more of it.
Let The Games Begin
What We Can Learn From The Olympics
July 27th marks the opening of the 30th Summer Olympics Games in London, where for two action-packed weeks the best athletes in the world will compete for the right to be called Olympic champions. And while the vast majority of us will never run 100 meters in under ten seconds...
Back in the Day
How Technology Has Changed Real Estate...For Better and Worse
You’re reading this post on your computer, hooked to the Internet over high-speed broadband lines that transmit data via pulses of light
Whose On First?
Good Grammar Makes A Retreat
Imagine for a moment you’re a real estate agent showing a prospective client some available properties. “There’s some really nice homes in this neighborhood”, you say, feeling confident that all is going well. Yet you never hear back, even though the buyer showed real interest. What could have possibly gone wrong?
Smart or Slimy?
Whether or not you think the drop is housing inventory is a good sign (lower supply=price stabilization) or bad (seller fatigue), one thing is certain: the stock of available housing has declined dramatically in the last 12-24 months.
We’re Going Where?
The world’s worst summer vacation destinations
Demanding clients. Cutthroat competition. And a market more volatile than a homemade pipe bomb. Yup, it sure is great being a real estate agent these days.
Is The Like Over?
Facebook faces an uncertain future
It may be hard to imagine, but Facebook, just yesterday the center of the social media universe, may suddenly be...(gasp)...uncool!
Boosting Property Values—One Foot At A Time
Walkable Neighborhoods Now The Priciest
The suburbs, long the epitome of the American Dream, may be officially on their way out. Ironically, because they’re too far out.
The Drive for 55
Age-restricted communities seeing new life
One of the hardest hit segments of the housing market, the 55+ (or age-restricted) community, is making a surprising comeback. It had a long way to come.
Most Creative Ad Placements of 2012
Real estate agents are well known for being active marketers. You see their smiling faces on everything from shopping carts to bus benches to kitchen magnets distributed door-to-door.
Under Review...part two
The Pros and Cons of Agent Rankings
A few posts ago we covered the pros and cons of agent rankings. OK, mostly the cons. It seems we’re not the only ones who’ve had our eye on this ball.
Is No Moves Good News?
Fed decides on business as usual.
In a statement released on April 25th, The Federal Reserve Board slightly increased its projections for the rest of 2012, but lowered it economic forecast for 2013 and 2014.
Former Celebrities Making a Name for Themselves
As Real Estate Agents
We recently ran across a fascinating article in the NY Times about former celebrities now making a name for themselves as real estate agents.
The Pros and Cons of Agent Rankings
It seems that we want everything ranked these days. Hotels, restaurants, hair salons, movies, and yes, real estate agents.
What Baseball and Real Estate Have In Common
Well, it’s that time of year again. Spring has officially sprung and baseball is officially back. Which got us thinking about how much America’s Pastime and the real estate business have in common. Beyond the fact that people love to talk about them.
Making Networking Work: Part 2
Networking is like fishing. You’re not going to hook something (one) every time you throw out a line. In fact, most times you’ll come up empty.
Making Networking Work
If you're at all interested in growing your real estate business, it's a good idea to attend a convention or trade show of some kind.
Inventories Down, Optimism Up?
Looking for a positive vibe in the positive numbers.
Just as there was no single reason for the housing bust, there appears to be no single indicator of its recovery.
Everyone Back In the Pool?
Big Spike In Mortgage-Backed Securities
Of all the signs that the housing market may finally be clawing its way back, one is perhaps most heartening of all: big-time investors are jumping back into mortgage-backed securities at a rate not seen since the boom that went bust.
The Affordability Irony
Why the Worst of Times is the Best of Times for Buyers
“You can’t afford not to buy.” It’s one of the oldest maxims in the real estate industry. But as we look ahead to 2012, it may also be one of the truest.
Last week we shared the first five of our Ammie Awards, given to the Top 10 Real Estate Movies of All Time. So this week, without further ado, we humbly submit our remaining selections.
The Ammie Awards
First American’s Top 10 Real Estate Movies of All Time
Sure, the Academy Awards are a big deal. But they pale in comparison to the Ammie Awards—presented to our Favorite Top 10 Real Estate Movies of all time. So, without further ado (and with our sincerest apologies to Oscar) here are the first five in no particular order:
Home Down Payment Insurance
An Idea Whose Time Has Come?
It seems like everyone has a plan for reviving the housing market these days, ranging from the ridiculous to the downright scary. However, we recently came across an idea so simple, yet possibly so powerful, that we thought
we ‘d share it.
Paying to Be Popular
Social Media’s Dirty Little Secret.
Who says you can’t buy friends? In fact, it’s a trend—that while not widely publicized—is more popular than ever, as more and more small businesses are paying outside firms to provide them with ready-made Facebook fans...
Are We Really Ready For A Recovery?
Most analysts predict the housing market will remain relatively flat in 2012. But everyone agrees that eventually, the market will come back strong. And that could be the bad news.
Taming The Email Monster
Tips for living outside your inbox
We’ve all done it. Eager and ready for the workday, we grab our first cup of coffee, fire up the computer, and thinking we’ll just clear the decks, check our email. Hours later we’re still at it...slogging our way through hundreds of “important” messages and neglecting the truly important tasks that could build our business.
They Said What???
Protecting Your Online Reputation
We’ve all heard the old saying: happy clients tell 3 friends, angry clients tell 3,000. But those days are over. In our hyper-connected world an angry comment or post about you is more likely to reach 3 million people, not 3,000.
Learning from Jobs
In our last post we talked about how Steve Jobs helped change the world. But he didn’t just wake up one day and do it. He had a plan; a set of principles he used every day to provide the vision, focus and fuel he needed to be “insanely different.” The first three principles are: Do What You Love, Put a Dent in the Universe, and Kick Start Your Brain.
Learning from Jobs
What it takes to be insanely great
Steve Jobs was a true American original— a driven, dynamic visionary whose hard work, talent and ability to motivate helped turn a company he co-founded in his parents’ garage into the most valuable company in the world.
Faint Light At The End Of A Long Tunnel?
Improving Market Index up for 3rd straight month.
OK, so it may not be the broad rebound we’ve all been waiting and working for. But still, there is some good news on the housing front.
Read the entire article...
Yes Virginia, There Really Is A Santa Claus
(it’s just not in Virginia)
Well, it’s officially the holidays—that one time a year we gather together to exchange gifts, drink eggnog, and roast chestnuts on an open fire.
How being thankful year-round can really pay off.
Thanksgiving, that one day a year we gather with friends and family to count our blessings and stuff our faces has come and gone. And while it’s a great tradition...
The Importance of Becoming a Brand.
Nike. Budweiser. Apple. You.
What do all they all have in common? They’re all brands. Or at least they should be.
Dude, What Happened To The Market?
Young buyers more “freaked out” by housing crash
A new paper by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston reports that today’s younger generation is...
Size isn't the only factor - Quality is another
In our last post we discussed the effect of builders and buyers alike making the move from McMansions toward smaller, more sustainable homes. And how that move signals not only a cultural and economic shift, but...
What will it take for the housing market to truly recover?
Traditional wisdom serves up the standard answers: create jobs, stem the tide of foreclosures, keep mortgage rates low and credit available.
But maybe we’re looking in the wrong direction.
Maybe the way to fix the housing market is to...
The Great Real Estate Singalong
Sure, there are great songs about love, and cars, and guys named Billie Joe McCallister. But what about real estate? After all, most of us don’t know anyone who jumped of the Tallahatchie Bridge, but we all gotta live somewhere.
So, without further ado, here’s our entirely random, non-scientific list of all-time great Songs About Real Estate in no particular order.
Take a moment to look around
Take a moment to look around your office/workspace. Chances are you’re surrounded by storage. Desks, file cabinets, closets and more holding your accumulated receipts, contracts, client folders, forms...the list is truly endless.
Why Now Is The Best Time Ever To Be A Real Estate Pro
No, this is not a misprint. Because even though the housing industry is going through one of worst periods in its history, those that have been good (or lucky) enough to stay afloat are...
The Right Way to Use Social Media
So you’ve hooked your Twitterfeeds to your LinkedIn profile and synched it all to your Facebook accounts where your “friends” can link directly to your online blog where you dispense pearls of...
Want to accomplish more? Do less.
OK, the market’s tough. Every transaction is critical. So the way to succeed is to get out there and outwork everyone, right? Wrong. In the words of coaching legend John Wooden,“Never confuse activity with achievement”.
The key to winning isn’t to work harder, but smarter. Define your strategy. Focus on...
No More Gold Watches.
The new world of work.
As if we in the real estate industry need to be reminded, the work world has changed. Security is out, flexibility is in. Instead of having a single career, we need to embrace...