I’ll let you in on a little secret. You could take the title of this blog and replace “Real Estate Agents” with your profession and you would increase your productivity! But Real Estate is my business and time management is a real challenge that I want to address from the perspective of being a Real Estate Agent.
With so many distractions, it is a wonder that real estate agents are productive at all. Working to become a highly productive real estate agent is an ongoing process. Creating habits that produce consistent results allows you to achieve your maximum potential. Between phone calls, emails, listing presentations, prospecting calls and buyer appointments, how do I stay productive?
I keep myself focused, alert and on tract with these five habits:
Here’s a bonus. Break out of the norm. Don’t be afraid to branch out and try something that makes you a little uncomfortable. Stepping outside of your comfort zone can be an amazing place that offers growth potential you never believed possible. Whatever your profession, these habits will contribute to your productivity.
Until next time, Irene
There seems to be a shift in several key housing market indicators, according to Fannie Mae’s March 2012 consumer attitudinal National Housing Survey. More Americans now expect both home rental and home purchase prices to increase over the next year. In addition, confidence in consumers’ views of their own finances is stabilizing. Are these trends providing Americans with an increased sense of urgency to buy a home?
73% of Americans now believe it is a good time to buy a home. This is up from 70% in February. “Conditions are coming together to encourage people to want to buy homes,” says Doug Duncan, Vice President and Chief Economist of Fannie Mae. “With an increasing share of consumers expecting higher mortgage rates and home prices over the next 12 months, some may feel that renting is becoming more costly and that homeownership is a more compelling housing choice.”
A number of factors seem to be contributing to Americans’ Expectations:
There appears to be good news about the economy in general and Americans’ household finances. There was a rise in confidence in the overall economy this month. 35% of respondents think the economy is on the right track. A very low (12%) of respondents think their personal financial situation will worsen in the next 12 months. This is good news for everyone.
For more information, visit http://www.fanniemae.com.
Until next time, Irene
Real Estate Agent – or – Expert Advisor
Spring is a great time to look at the business landscape. My business is Real Estate so naturally, I’m interested in what’s happening in my industry – and the real estate industry is changing. Anthony Robbins says, “Success leaves clues”. Well, I am determined to follow those clues and remain successful in this business I love – and navigate this changing environment!
Remember when you used a travel agent to book your vacation? Or walked into your neighborhood Hardware Store and said hello to the owner by name? How about your local coffee shop? Okay, I still have a local coffee shop but you see where I’m going. Expedia, Travelocity and Priceline are your “travel agents”! There are 2,248 Home Depot big-box format stores that have become your neighborhood Hardware Store. The same thing that happened in these industries is happening in the real estate industry and it requires all of us to look for the clues to remain successful. That is good for our industry, good for us and very good for our clients and customers.
A Real Estate sale is more than putting a sign in someone’s front lawn, loading the listing onto the MLS and running an ad. I was a very early adapter of using the internet to market myself and communicate with others and I continue to use these tools for the common good. Many traditional real estate agents don’t want to share their best practices, but as an “expert advisor” sharing knowledge and information helps everyone grow. Sharing best practices, leadership and standards helps build consistency in our industry. You can be committed to your own success and also to the success of others.
In addition to being committed to sharing and helping others as they help themselves, expert advisors are what their name implies – experts who give good counsel to clients and colleagues alike. Being an expert doesn’t come easily but being an expert in real estate – understanding people, business, marketing, sales and relationship building is the only true way to create rock-solid and long lasting success. Expert advisors are 100% committed to doing whatever it takes to get their sellers’ homes the exposure they need to drive up the demand on the home, which will ultimately result in a top-dollar offer.
Expert advisors look to foster strong personal and professional relationships with the agents in their area. Well-managed relationships help expert advisors collaborate and cooperate with other agents in such a way that they’re able to drive demand up on their listings. It makes sense that if agents like and want to work with you, more agents will show your listings to potential buyers.
So I encourage you to find someone who has grown beyond the “traditional” real estate agent role and has become the Expert Advisor. That person is open to sharing the best and brightest ideas – and has a network of others just like them – and that is good for selling or buying a home. I will leave you with one last thought:
Compare buying or selling a home with booking a hotel room in Boston. One decision can be made with a few key-strokes, and one is a significant life decision. Which one requires an Expert Advisor?
Until next time, Irene
Well, spring has descended upon us! I am trying to enjoy the 70 degree weather here in Vermont in March – and trying not to think about how this over-the-top spring like weather is affecting the local economy.
While the weather patterns dictate our local travel and tourism based economy, there are some general economic factors that support a healthy real estate forecast for 2012 and beyond. Recently, Warren Buffett – the so called “Oracle of Omaha” was interviewed on CNBC. He recommends buying real estate over investing in a diversified group of leading companies.
It has been a long time since buyers and sellers heard that kind of good news!
Buffett said that along with stocks, single-family homes are cheap and attractive investments. In contrast, investments in Treasury bills, gold or simply keeping money in cash are not as attractive. He also said that if he had a way to buy “a couple hundred thousand single-family homes” and easily manage them, he would “load up on them” and “take mortgages out at very, very low rates”.
In reality, managing “a couple of hundred thousand single-family homes” is an impossibly Herculean logistical task. In my last blog I mentioned several reasons for the real estate market improvement:
Let’s face it – it is much easier to buy stocks with a few keystrokes and mouse-clicks.
So while this news is good for investors and Warren Buffett followers – who really will benefit? When asked if a young individual should buy stocks or his first single-family home, Buffett recommended buying a single-family home with a 30-year mortgage. “It’s a terrific deal,” he said. “It’s a leveraged way of owning a very cheap asset now and I think that’s probably as an attractive an investment as you can make right now.”
Are you looking to complete the “American Dream” and own your own home? Are you interested in the second-home market? There are great buys to be had out there and interest rates make an attractive investment. As I’ve mentioned before – if you are thinking about buying property in this area – now is the time to do so!
Until next time, Irene
After several months blogging about the Vermont towns that I know and love and after a reminder about how important your own life should be as we enter 2012 – well, it’s time to get back to business! Let’s talk about real estate.
It will come as no surprise to anyone that it wasn’t a breakout year in 2011 for residential real estate sales. In my opinion however, there was slight improvement. While the percentage increase in residential home, condo sales and second home buyers vary from county to county and town to town, the real estate market has been positively affected by the following:
This does not mean that we will all enjoy easy and quick real estate transactions. Clients will be cautious, as they should be. Many home prices remain depressed and are well below their replacement value that it would take to build a new home – which is not necessarily good for builders – but good for qualified home buyers. There are great buys to be had out there and with interest rates where they are right now, the average person still has a great opportunity to own the “American Dream”.
Due to the financial hardships that many of the American people have endured in recent history and the country’s Financial Institution’s past lending policies – in my opinion a good credit score and adequate down payment are most important for your future real estate transactions. There are programs out there for first-time home buyers who qualify so if you are in the market to buy a home, it would be foolish not to look into it now.
I’m happy to live in Vermont in a 4-season resort area. I believe we will remain a strong second-home market and also a destination supported by our local tourism based partners who continue to focus on that economy and add to their year-round amenities. If you’ve been thinking about buying property in this area – well, now is the time to do so!
Until next time, Irene
For all your real estate needs in South Central Vermont, contact me at:
The Bellows Falls Union High School girls’ basketball team recently
hosted Mill River and looking for their second win of the year,
but Mill River had other ieas, taking an early first quarter
lead and never looking back in an easy but low-scoring, 39-17 win over
the Lady Terriers.
However, this one was close early, as the Bellows Falls played a
solid 2-3 zone defense that helped keep the much bigger Mill River front line
out of the paint. Lady Minutemen senior guard Chelsea Bagly scored two
early baskets on drives to the hoop and junior forward Alyssa Turgeon
scored on a put-back for an early 8-point lead, before Bellows Falls
sophomore Enny Mustapha scored two baskets of her own on the inside, one
on a post-up move and the other off an offensive rebound.
Because of good inside defense by BF, the Minutemen started swinging
the ball back outside for 3-pointers from senior captain Amanda Ley and
Bagley to extend the lead to 14-6 after a lay up from up-and-coming BF freshman
Emily Dufault halfway through the quarter.
When Dufault had to sit down with her second foul and then
Mustapha with her second infraction, Mill River started hitting their free throws
and Bellows Falls started to lose the battle in the paint. “Emily
and Enny having to sit down with foul trouble early really hurt us
under the boards,” Bellows Falls coach Justin Aube would later say after
the game. “We started losing the rebound battle after we got in foul
The Lady Minutemen continued to move the ball around well, taking jumpers
when they were there, and dumping it inside when the Terriers stretched their
defense. But after a Kya Coursen lay up with a minute left, the Lady
Terriers were alive going into the second quarter trailing 12.
I am pleased to announce that my friend Joe Milliken will be contributing to my blog weekly about local sports and happenings in Vermont…A bit about Joe; Joe Milliken is a freelance writer, music journalist and local sports writer, living in Bellows Falls, Vt with his wife Kelly, son Nate and daughter Erin. Visit Joe at http://www.jemwriting.com.
Nearby properties for sale
Right between Killington and Okemo ski resorts. Located just off VAST (Snowmobile Trails) there are possibilities for direct access to the trails the building features a heated garage which would be a perfect place to store and work on your sleds. It is also equidistant to echo lake and Woodard reservoir and just down the road from the Coolidge historical sites, Long Trail brewery, and the village of Woodstock this is the perfect location for year round vacation or daily life! There are 4 bedrooms, 4 large bathrooms, and an updated kitchen. Each room has individually controlled thermostat, and a propane fireplace. The building is very energy efficient! Owner financing available – this is not a drive-by – Priced to sell! $229,900.00