Month: September 2010

Who Is Going to Grow & Profit TODAY?

Rather than focusing on projections and forecasts for a moment, let’s just focus on what we know to be true and remind ourselves what can create a winner in the real estate industry in the most immediate future. Truthfully, a brokerage firm or a sales professional that wants to grow will have to increase their productivity and take share from others. There may be no other way to grow in the market of the next year or two. For a brokerage, adding more sales professionals and increasing the productivity of all sales professionals is likely the only way to achieve sustainable growth.  For a Realtor, they must control their costs by relying on more personal lead generation through the phone & e-mail, while increasing their productivity and gaining market share.  Each day, agents & brokers alike must know and understand what is selling right now, what listings went pending and the profile of the active buyer.

At the REAL Trends Leadership Institute, they visited with market leaders who were successfully gaining market share, either as brokerage owners or as real estate agents. Among the things they had in common were that a) they had a written objective and plan for growth, b) they felt hugely accountable to themselves and to their firms to achieve these objectives and c) they still had an enormous enthusiasm for the residential brokerage business as a place where opportunity knocks and there are no limits.

Opportunity is Knocking is actually the name of the new e-book available to all KW agents and KW clients that contains valuable information about winning with distressed properties.  So are you mastering the Market of the Moment?  Is your firm providing you tools and information for TODAY’S market?

Opportunity is Knocking!


Easy (& Cheap) Home Updates

Updating your home for your own enjoyment, or in preparation for selling, doesn’t have to take a lot of time or a lot of money.  You know to clean until is sparkles and that you must de-clutter…..if you are asking whether you should get rid of it or not, then you should get rid of it.  Here are a dozen additional ideas that are tried & true – now it’s up to you to try them and see what works for you!

 Add warm, earth tones, updated colors, to your rooms with pillows and throws. 

  1. Try positioning your bed opposite the entry to the room.  When you walk in the room it creates an atmosphere of spaciousness to see the foot of the bed, rather than the side of the bed.  Make sure your bedspread and pillows are updated earth colors and use great throw pillows.
  2. Create depth on shelves.  Put a small painting behind a stack of books laying on their sides.  Use candlesticks, book ends, etc. that are wood, iron, ceramic or aged metallics – bright brass & silver are not considered current.
  3. Buy a cool uplight.  Light up a corner, or wash one wall in light and your room will appear larger and the ceilings taller.
  4. Remove dated window treatments.  You are better off with just the blinds, or an open view if privacy is not a problem, than ruffles, old colors, etc.  Make sure the trim around the windows,  that is now open to view,  is clean and scratch-free. 
  5. Install or replace the 20 (or so) tiles in front of and around your fireplace.  Updated tile work here can make the living space feel completely new.
  6. Change cabinet and drawer hardware.  Updated pulls and handles will give your kitchen and bathrooms a fresh look with very little effort.
  7. Get a couple of large pots for plants for your front entry and your back patio.  If you don’t have a green thumb, just plan to buy new flowers for them every couple of months for less than $20.
  8. Move, replace or add area rugs.  Try moving the rugs you have into different spaces.  Purchase a rug in today’s colors.  Rugs are a great way to add color to a neutral room.
  9. Decide on a space for a centerpiece.  This can be a breakfast bar, a dining room table, an entry table, even a bathroom counter.  Choose a really great bowl – and then keep it filled with fresh items that you can change regularly.  Great fruits & veggies in the summer, pumpkins and gourds for fall, pine cones in the winter, fresh lemons amidst a bit of potpourri, mixed stones……you get the idea.  Keep it fresh and keep it clean – not a dust-gatherer.
  10. Consider changing light bulbs.  Remember there are clear, frosted, dimmable, yellow, lower voltage, flickering, LED, spotlights or floodlights.  etc.  Consider changes that could brighten or soften your space.
  11. Paint is your friend.  If you are already neutral, paint one wall a warmer color.  If you are not neutral,  choose a warm but neutral color and get started.  Fresh updated paint is easy and inexpensive, but is an immediate value added, both in dollars and enjoyment.

Luxury Homes – Bargains?

As you are considering your investment moves, please do not forget the luxury home market.  It was a fact, in our not-too-distant past, that foreclosures of homes valued at over $1,000,000 were very rare.  Certainly few luxury homeowners were faced with the possibility of a short sale because of the large downpayments that were typical of these luxury buyers.  However, in today’s economy and today’s world, luxury foreclosures or luxury short sales can be a wonderful option for investors.  There is a robust luxury rental market, with many companies encouraging employees to rent rather than own if their assignment is expected to last 3 years or less.  And while most professionals would never recommend “flipping” at this price point, it is certainly possible to find a home that needs improvements.  As with all price ranges, some properties have fallen into disrepair or have not been updated due to the financial woes of the owners – and certainly this is true in the luxury market.  While many luxury homeowners are well-entrenched and stable, there are many whose family situation, employment situation or general outlook have changed…and that can mean opportunity for you if you are considering luxury home investments.  Remember, luxury foreclosures aren’t just the “McMansions” that proliferated in many upscale suburban communities, which many people believe were overpriced anyway. These luxury foreclosures now can be waterfront, in exclusive gated communities, or historically significant properties.  Open your mind to the possibilities!

Wealth Building

So often, we as agents, fail to view our real estate license as a true wealth building tool….and it really should be!  Investment property, commercial interests – there are so many pathways to success.  At Keller Williams, the possibility of profit share, “mailbox money,” and truly passive income can be very exciting.  It is unique to our company, and most importantly, nurtures our culture of sharing and caring – we all succeed together!  On Friday, Sept. 10th at 10:00am, Keller Williams’ own Dick Dillingham will be in our market center to share with us how Profit Sharing has changed his life and how it can be an important factor in your own life, too.  No pyramid scheme, no gimmick – just an honest presentation from an industry icon who has made it work.  You will not want to miss it!