Today's Headlines - Realty Times
Posted On Wednesday, 31 March 2021 00:00 Written by

Have you ever noticed the unfairness that is the following statement:

If you do your job, no one has any idea how many times you’ve delivered, sacrifices made, miracles pulled off to make everything go smooth sailing…yet, if you fail to do your job only one time EVERYONE will notice!

How cruel is this life sometimes?

Now, here’s the next level of unfairness – what happens when YOU show up to do your job and SOMEONE ELSE has failed to do their job ahead of you, which leaves you unable to do yours?

That’s some lose-your-mind-craziness going on, if you’ve ever been there – Feel free to comment below and tell us the story that got you in trouble, lost (or nearly lost) your job, chuck a few friends/peers under the proverbial bus (don’t use names), and let’s all have an Empathy Party together!

(cue the Adam Sandler as Happy Gilmore gif angrily slamming a golf club into the sand)

Here’s my Story, which caused me to age 17 years in a span of 36 minutes last weekend…


I volunteer to serve in my church.

No one is paid for doing anything in our church no matter what position you are asked to fill, and some are asked to do more than others.

Even some pretty “unreasonable” duties, such as what I’m about to tell you I get to do.

For the past year I have been assigned to arrive at the church every 2nd Saturday before 6 AM to open the building and fill the baptismal font, which takes a quick 3 hours, prior to the 9 AM arrivals.  I then clean everything up and usually am done around noon.

This is a life-changing commitment of the participants, a promise made to be baptized and follow certain teachings, and a person is baptized only once in their lives.

To be candid, no one realizes I’ve done anything on this day, and people rarely even see me there, as they are focused on the important task at hand – as they should be – this is a big day.

No one calls to remind me to wake up, no one emails me a few days prior to give a heads up that I need to remember the 2nd Saturday ceremonies are happening – it’s an assignment that happens every month, and it’s something I don’t mess around with.

I know many people that wouldn’t do this job for money (as that is the reaction from people I’ve told this is my assignment).  You generally only do “unreasonable” when in service – for the commitment and promise it fulfills.  And it makes me happy.  So, to me, it’s an honor.  

For the last year, things have been different in this COVID-19 world we live in, as very few are allowed to attend these services, and rarely does anyone come in the building except on Sundays.

I arrived dutifully at 5:58 AM, even having fallen asleep well after 2 AM due to a child issue, and unlocked the main foyer doors, walked to the restroom to unlock the baptismal font doors, and after placing the drain plug, reached up for the ever-present faucet key to start the water…

That is when my heart stopped.  Or exploded.  You choose, but I haven’t experienced a real heart attack yet, and don’t want to, but I imagine it feels kind of similar to the feeling you get when the KEY IS MISSING!

And yes, my friends, there is only ONE KEY.  Ever made.  ONLY ONE.  And it was missing from it’s perfect little hiding spot, over 6-feet high on the wall hook where it’s labeled and supposed to always be (hanging along with the stick hook that unplugs the drain at the end of the ceremony).

There is even a label on the wall that says, “WATER CONTROL KEY”, and the accompanying keychain says the same.  It should never not be there.

Location where the all important key goes (the long stick with hook is for unplugging the drain)

Yes, that’s where it’s supposed to always be.  Especially at 6 AM on a Saturday morning.

Key was GONE!?!

I proceeded to go through every drawer and closet I have keys for, throughout the building.


Raced home, ripped apart all drawers, rifled through all jackets, pockets, anywhere this could have accidentally been placed.


Knowing I was the last person to fill the font a month earlier, I knew I was in trouble, and yet couldn’t imagine I hadn’t returned the key to its rightful place on the special hook on the special wall in its special location.

Now it was 6:30 AM.

No progress made, I jumped in my car, driving back to the church, and began calling every leader in the community that might have a clue as to where the key was.

Unfortunately, 6:30 AM on a Saturday in our community is a No-Cell Zone time for every person I reached out to.  It’s called SLEEP.

Except for one person I knew would answer the phone if he saw me calling at 6:30 AM on the 2nd Saturday of the month: The Leader whom I report to in my church, the leader of our congregation, a man I never call for anything unless it’s an emergency.

After the 1st ring he groggily answered, saying, “Hello Jason, is everything ok?”

“President!  I’m sorry to call so early.  But the key to the baptismal font is gone!” I said in a shouting whisper, since by now I was back in the church running to the font to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me.

“You mean, the key that we only have one copy of, is gone?  The one that opens the metal panel that turns on the water?” he asked.

“YES! I must have lost it! I believe I was the last one to fill the font, but I’ve been home and gone through every place it could be, and it’s…it’s…gone!!!” I did my best not to sound desperate, but it was too late (I was starting to act like the uncle on “It’s a Wonderful Life” after he’s misplaced the money).

“Can you get behind the metal plate on the wall to reach the faucet without the key?  Or would you have a screw driver to break it open?” he suggested.

Well, I hadn’t thought about breaking it open!  I mean, this is a church for heck’s sake! Who’s breaking locks to do church stuff?

I thought we could just call the people and tell them it’s not going to happen today, and then leave everyone disappointed, but that’s no good, so there must be a solution…and when the leader said it was ok to break the lock to make this work today my eyes starting zipping back and forth like the bad guy who suddenly gets a good idea – although, I wasn’t smiling in a wiley way, just in a stunned way.

“No, I hadn’t considered it.  Are you giving me the go-ahead to break it?” I questioned.

“Well, if anyone’s going to break it, it should probably be me.  I have a crowbar and some tools, I’ll be right over”, he said, as he hung up.

Within 2 minutes, another leader I had left a message for, the keeper of all keys in the building, showed up with 3 tackle boxes of labeled keys for all three churches in our community.  We went through every key that could fit.  Nothing worked.  The missing key was a one-of-a-kind!

Suddenly, at the door stood our Leader, President Price.

We had only seen him before in a full suit and tie, but not in a moment’s notice on an early Saturday morning.  Nope, instead today as we donned our COVID masks in an attempt to break into the church font, there he stood: Jeans, Leather Jacket, Indiana Jones hat, wielding a crowbar, 2 different screw drivers, and a hammer.

The Man had arrived!

Quickly he assessed what could be done with the crowbar and screw driver.  Yes, it will definitely ruin the wall.

Instead, he assertively grabbed the metal plate, after cramming and fishing both hands around the top and bottom corners, and let out a grunt as he RIPPED the whole door open!

We looked at each other wide-eyed as the faucet handle looked back in shock!  No damage done!  The lock had even stayed in place and wasn’t broken!

I hurriedly turned on the faucet – it seemed to let out a sigh of joyous relief, having burdened so much pressure – and began to fill the all-important font.

Blood on the metal door!?  We then realized President Price had cut open his hand.

Indiana Jones style!

He washed it off, assigned our building leader to submit an email for multiple copies of the key to be made and kept throughout the building, both men left as I prepared the building for the day’s activities – setting chairs, cleaning and sanitizing, vacuuming, and making the restrooms hospitable for the many who would be changing clothing for their special day.

All went as planned and…

The End!



So that’s the story.

Here’s the point.  Well, there’s a few points if you’re willing to read this much further.


Had I slept in and the first group of people showed up at 9 AM to see the church not ready for this important day, then I’d be the Promise Breaker and everyone would blame me.

And yet, I’ve never slept in for this responsibility, to me it is SO important, one night I stayed up the whole night to make sure I didn’t sleep in.


Had the font never been filled, key never found, metal plate not broken into, and people showed up at 9 AM with me sitting there with my head in my hands, I would have been the Promise Breaker for not having done whatever it took to get things ready.

Had I not called the Leader and him given us permission to do what had to be done to get things ready, I would have chosen the option of calling everyone after doing all I could, one person at a time, and saying we have to reschedule…which really isn’t an option for the people that are committing to this most important covenant of their lives.


Had the KEY just been where it was…well, there wouldn’t be a story…there wouldn’t be a point.  It would just be me showing up to do something no one knows I do unless I don’t show up!

So, then the POINT would be: Keep Your Promise, Do Your Job and ALWAYS REMEMBER TO Return The Key!


Did you notice that every Leader I was able to get in contact with did all they could to come to my rescue?  Even if inconvenient, or not sure what to do, they came to create a solution!

That is the sign of Promise Leadership. 


Sometimes the key is missing and there is no solution.

Usually the HULK doesn’t show up and rip open metal doors.

USUALLY you have to reschedule, apologize, and either get reprimanded, fired, or in my case, be released from the assignment and asked to step down from the position (which, as I’m writing this, may have been a great blessing to avoid having to wake up so early and have mishaps as such that others could deal with instead of me!).

But truth is: I love this responsibility.  Whether anyone knows I do it or not, and most people don’t even think about who does it, because it’s always done right and just miraculously happens without fail!

This monthly service opportunity allows me to really keep a great Promise every month, which I feel is significant, life-changing for participants, and beautiful that I get to be a part of.

I WANT to be the person the whole community relies on for this important moment, regardless of who knows I helped or not.

Thus my level of freaking out when the key was missing;

Thus my effort to find a solution to have the day go forward without a hitch;

Thus my doing whatever it took to get it done.

Thus the ultimate need of everyone to Keep The Promise and do the job right, in good order, to avoid this kind of mess…

Your Promise Prompt This Week:

What are you responsible for that goes unnoticed, but if you didn’t do it, would be noticed immediately?

What level of recognition do you need to keep this Promise to those relying on you?

Or are you comfortable being the servant leader when all goes right, and the fall guy when all goes wrong?

(even when it’s not your fault!)

(keep reading to see who we get to blame!) 

In other words: What is your Level of Promise?


And now, for the end of the story:

  • The KEY was located a day later, and no, it wasn’t in my possession as I had assumed it must be…as it had been accidentally kept by someone who didn’t know where it was supposed to go.  However, I’m not quite sure how that’s possible, due to the label on the wall and the keychain being as sized in the photo below.

  • The day was perfect and everyone was happy, while they were able to make great promises themselves for a lifetime of memories
  • Confession: President Price was actually wearing a baseball cap, and not the Indiana Jones hat, but I thought I should take a Hollywood liberty for the sake of storytelling.  That happens once in a while.  Just makes for a better story.  You’re welcome!


Posted On Wednesday, 31 March 2021 00:00 Written by

A bit about Cyndi: 

CyndiGarzaCyndi Garza is a leader, owner of multiple businesses, speaker, trainer, and executive coach. Cyndi’s coaching career began when she joined a national mortgage firm to build a sales team in Michigan, which at the time was non-existent. She strategically recruited and trained a sales force of over 130 people, which — through her coaching — became the highest grossing team nationally for seven straight years by averaging just under a billion dollars in sales each fiscal year.

Since 2001, Cyndi has held leadership positions where she has had the opportunity to identify strengths within her team, and develop those strengths to push people to grow and achieve more than they had imagined possible for themselves.

Cyndi is the founder of Optimized Success — a coaching and training company with a focus on helping women find success in business ownership and leadership. Her personal motto is “You are entirely up to you”, and with his motto at the forefront of her coaching approach, Cyndi has helped countless clients to rapidly grow in their business and mindset. In fact, while utilizing her own 12-step coaching model, Optimized Success became profitable within the first 30 days of its founding and continues to experience significant monthly growth.

If you desire to see a significant increase in your income, revive your passion for your business, increase the productivity and enthusiasm from your team, or define a long-term vision for your business, do not hesitate to contact Cyndi Garza at Optimized Success. Cyndi’s team has the tools you need to succeed and the track record to support them!

Posted On Wednesday, 31 March 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 30 March 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 30 March 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 30 March 2021 00:00 Written by

Consumers have choices, so how do you stand out as the logical choice in your market? As always, differentiation often wins the day. My friend and longtime real estate expert Steve Harney would always say, “10% different is 100% better!” Since Steve helped build a hugely successful real estate company and then founded the highly regarded “Keeping Current Matters” platform for real estate professionals, I think he was on to something! 

So how do we create that 10% difference? How do we win more opportunities for ourselves, our clients, and our referral partners? I think in today’s market we can do this by helping set the stage for our clients and referral partners, as well as improving the quality of the experience for everyone by doing a great job upfront.

When a prospect calls, do we remember to ask them how they came to call us and to take a few minutes to explain to us exactly what they are trying to accomplish? Allowing the client to speak first and share their desires will help you respond to the issues that are important to them! Once they feel like you understand them, they are much more likely to accept your strategy for them to succeed! When you explain the benefits behind your strategy, the client and the agent representing them are armed to make the strongest possible offer and close in the shortest period of time.

By working with your clients and their selected real estate professional be prepared as best they can, the buyer and that agent can set the stage for the seller and that listing agent why your offer is a strong one, and one that will close quickly! In today’s market, it isn’t always about the most money, but speed and confidence in the deal closing and closing quickly can often win deals, even against higher offers that are lesser known or less reliable because you have set the stage by explaining the detail behind your preapproval process and your ability to close fast!

In this market it isn’t all about rates or money. Many deals are won because of confidence and speed! As I always say, “The rate isn’t great if the closing is late!” So look at your systems and your process. Take your time and help your people to an exceptional experience by setting the stage with a powerful success strategy! 

Questions or comments: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Posted On Monday, 29 March 2021 00:00 Written by

“It’s simple arithmetic: Your income can grow only to the extent that you do.” T Harv Eker

The pandemic year of 2020 caused some business people to prosper, and others have had to struggle to survive.  As a mortgage officer, I have heard customer stories as they describe their trek to keep home and business lights burning.  Mortgage rates are low and expected to stay relatively low through the year. However, the price of those rates has been rising over the last couple of months by about a half-point since January 2021. 

Business owners and workers who have experienced a gap in income during the lockdown period last year have been trying to recover as the marketplace opens again. For these beleaguered borrowers, we, as lenders, need to spend some time finding ways to get them enough income to qualify for the home loan they need to move forward with the life they want.   

Here are some solutions we have found for borrowers who were off work for a few months but returned to work.  


If you are an employee on a salary or paid by the hour, you still may be able to qualify if you are back to working in the same line of business where you have the experience, and you have guaranteed income from your employer. 

Search for other income sources such as investment income or pension income.  Consider adding a co-borrower or cosigner to the loan if the borrower has additional resources to make the mortgage payments easily. Explore ways to restructure other debts or pay off some debt to reduce the amount of income needed to qualify for the mortgage. 


If your business suffered last year, but you still show enough net income after expenses on your 2020 tax return, you may still be able to qualify to buy a home or refinance your existing loan to better terms. Your lender can go over your tax return to find expenses that are sheltering you from taxes but can still be added back to your income for loan qualifying purposes.  

Some of the expenses that can typically be added back to qualifying income are depreciation or depletion write-offs, depreciable business miles, deductions for business use of your home, and once-in-a-lifetime expenses.  

Other solutions for getting self-employed borrowers approved for a mortgage are to document debts paid by the business for the last 12 consecutive months that are already deducted from business income.  Suppose the car payments and other debt appear on the borrower’s credit report but are paid by the business, and the  payments on those debts have already been deducted from business income. In that case, the chances are good those debt payments can be omitted from the total income-to-debt ratio.

As real estate and mortgage professionals, taking the extra time to explore the best solutions for our customers gives us trusted advisor status with the people we serve.  The solutions we help them find gives our customer hero status with their loved ones.  

Posted On Monday, 29 March 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Monday, 29 March 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Sunday, 28 March 2021 00:00 Written by

In the 16 years I have been writing these “On the TunneySide of Sports” weekly columns, I have often used the word T*E*A*M, meaning “Together Everyone Accomplishes More.”

I learned that as a youth growing-up (do you always grow “up” not “down”?) with parents who helped me develop and practice that philosophy. I was lucky to be born with that heritage – a father who was a teacher as well as a coach and a mother who practiced at home what my father was teaching/coaching at school.

While others may not have been as fortunate, that philosophy encouraged me to select my life’s goal – at 12 years of age – to become a coach. That early-on decision has served me well, but with challenges at each level of progress. As I moved through those “gates,” to utilize that philosophy, I was intent upon including everyone as part of the T*E*A*M thus, inclusion was first and foremost in my mind.

I can certainly sympathize with President Joe Biden who has accepted the challenge of bringing a severely divided country into one United States of America. I will leave that issue with those much more capable than I. However, I must add a comment that of those two challenges — political and ethnic — I faced the latter in my coaching. Again, my father gave me a head start since the star player on his football team was an African American named Kenny Washington, who not only led Lincoln High School (Los Angeles) to that school’s only football Los Angeles City Championship but was the first African-American to be drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in 1947 when they moved from Cleveland to Los Angeles.

As a teacher, coach, school principal, and district superintendent it was similar to my basketball coaching experience that if the player could shoot, pass, dribble, and work with the team better than any other he played. I was never concerned with the color of his skin – only his qualities, i.e., his character, personality, and capabilities being first and foremost.

The other characteristic I learned at home and carried forward was the avoidance of derogatory language in bringing people together. One has to be careful in kidding/teasing others. Treating others with respect can carry you forward in a significant way.

Will you include others by focusing on their character, personality, and capabilities?

Posted On Friday, 26 March 2021 00:00 Written by

Reef KarimReef Karim, a transformational neuroscientist, medical physician and creative artist, believes we are in an epidemic of conformity, where visibility is emphasized over credibility, where the chaos and noise of digital stress has diminished our creativity and originality, where self sabotage has risen.

And our business, our relationships and our world have suffered as a result.

Dr Reef guides companies, and the people in them, to overcome conscious and unconscious blocks and build a more effective and powerful leadership style of originality, creative vision, authenticity and vulnerability. He is an advisor, thought leader and content creator - providing the wisdom of how to lead a better life.

In addition to advising and consulting high impact corporate executives and high performing entrepreneurs, Forbes writes...

“Reef Karim has treated a who’s who list of celebrities, royalty and politicians”.

Reef has truly mastered the art and skill of connecting our minds - left brain/right brain or simply, a more integrated neural network for high performance and innovation. The content is transformative. The delivery is entertaining.

As a scientist, philosopher and creative, he’s developed a unique framework for seeing the world. He helps leaders become better leaders. He helps companies become higher performing, differentiated and connected.

Dr. Reef is a double board certified psychiatrist, addiction medicine physician and relationship expert who served as an Assistant Clinical Professor at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience for over a decade and was the founder and director of The Control Center in Beverly Hills, a Mental Health treatment center centered on overcoming mental health issues, the Opioid Epidemic, Self Sabotage and Escapism Behavior.

Reef is a highly sought after speaker and is well known in the media with appearances on: Oprah, Dr. Oz, Larry King Live, Dr Phil, Anderson Cooper 360, Nightline, The Today Show and Chelsea Lately in addition to hosting the shows: Broken Minds (Discovery) and House of Clues (Court TV/Tru)

His work has been profiled in Time, Business Insider, Forbes and He guest hosted the popular radio show “Loveline” with Adam Corolla and guest hosted KFI news in Los Angeles.

For his work in neuroscience, mindset and media, Dr. Reef was voted one of People Magazine's "Sexiest Men Alive” and “One of LA’s Most Fascinating People”.

Posted On Friday, 26 March 2021 00:00 Written by
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Posted On Thursday, 25 March 2021 00:00 Written by

 A bit about Summer: 

SummerGoralikSummer Goralik is a Real Estate Compliance Consultant and licensed California Real Estate Broker (#02022805). Summer offers real estate brokers a variety of consulting services including assistance with California Department of Real Estate (DRE) audit preparation, mock audits, advertising review, and training. She helps licensees evaluate their regulatory compliance and correct any non-compliant activities. Summer has an extensive background in real estate which includes private sector, regulatory and law enforcement experience. Most recently, she worked for the Orange County District Attorney's Office as a Civilian Economic Crimes Investigator in their Real Estate Fraud Unit. Prior to that, Summer worked for the DRE for six years as an Investigator. Among many achievements, she wrote several articles for DRE, four of which were co-authored with former Commissioner Wayne Bell. Before she embarked on her career in government and law enforcement, Summer also worked in the escrow industry for nearly five years, for both an independent escrow company and broker-controlled escrow division. Aside from her consulting business, Summer is also an Instructor for The Escrow Training Institute.

Posted On Thursday, 25 March 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 25 March 2021 00:00 Written by
Do you believe that in romance there is a “happily ever after?” Meet Jennifer Youngblood, a highly successful “clean romance” author of over 60 books who has enjoyed outstanding success while raising 2 boys and enjoying an active life!  Hear her now and get a FREE eBook as her gift to WWN! 
Posted On Wednesday, 24 March 2021 21:18 Written by
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Posted On Tuesday, 23 March 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 23 March 2021 00:00 Written by

Undoubtedly, you have heard of smartphones. More likely than not, you have one in your pocket as you read this. Additionally, smart homes and smart home features are likely part of your vocabulary in today’s world, including the likes of Ring Doorbells, Nest to remotely handle things like your thermostat, or any number of artificial intelligence (A.I.)-based devices, such as Amazon’s Alexa. But have you yet heard of a “Smart City?”

Despite having the aforementioned technologies, does the concept of Smart City still sound like something out of a sci-fi movie or Netflix series? It shouldn’t, as the technology that encompasses a Smart City is fast becoming a reality, and it is already applied in many ways.

What Is A Smart City?

You may already have a rough understanding of what a Smart City may include, given the frequency of smart home applications and devices on the market today. Because we have fully embraced the concept of smart devices in our pockets, our cars and our homes, it’s only natural that we now look to make our cities much smarter as well.

However, a Smart City being a much larger scale application means larger solutions to much more widespread problems the residents and working professionals of a city face. In simpler terms, a Smart City technology can address issues with transportation, public safety, waste disposal and processing, urban planning, economic development, and more.

Those are the issues that need solving, and digital technology is what solves them, much like you having an App to change your home thermostat from a beach in Jamaica. So, what exactly are some of the prominent technologies at play in the development of a Smart City?

5G Connectivity and Transportation

Between Verizon, AT&T, and our own personal connectivity, 5G is applicable in far greater situations, integral especially in the functionality of a Smart City.

The traffic in every major city across the world is probably our biggest concern, both because of pollution and the inevitable gridlock many face in cities like Los Angeles and Chicago. Verizon Wireless is one of the biggest 5G traffic management system providers in the United States, boasting the ability to cut down vehicle idle time by nearly half of what it has been by way of implementing Internet of Things (IoT) devices in the pavement and streetlights to better alert local authorities of patterns in traffic.

In addition to driving, let’s also consider the issue of parking. If you did not grow up in a city, you know exactly how frustrating it is to do laps around a downtown area looking for an available spot. Smart parking systems coupled with low latency connectivity of 5G can likely provide an out-of-towner the ability to be alerted when a parking spot is upon them.

Safety And Security In The City

Small-town individuals who travel to a bigger city for work or, as work becomes more remote, entertainment and enrichment are the prime target for muggers and physical crimes. Is this something that the more advanced technology of a Smart City can remedy?

Yes, it can and absolutely will! 5G connectivity facilitates what is called Edge Computing: a lightning-fast capturing and processing of data unlike ever before, updating over-the-air and data management platforms quickly. This level of video surveillance facilitates real-time analysis of video recordings of high-crime areas in the city to quickly identify and thwart something as small as a mugging or as large as a citywide terror threat.

Because our smart devices give us the ability to be so connected, greatly increasing the volume of data that is generated every second of every day, 5G connectivity can and will be put to great use in the way of safety and security. However, there is also the double-edged sword many authority figures and politicians must deal with. Will the public be okay being on camera every step of the way for their safety?

All This Technology, What About Hacking?

While on the subject of safety, when it comes to connectivity, the fear of hacking or destructive cybercrime is always prevalent. How do you have such a digital city, with so many critically used technologies, and keep it digitally safe for everyone?

In this case, blockchain technology is the answer.

Blockchain is a decentralized ledger system that cryptocurrencies are built on, storing data across a series of computers rather than one solid hub. This, coupled with its level of encryption, makes hacking nearly impossible, as the second a breach occurs, it would take the hacker an absurd amount of time to reconstruct the data, giving cybersecurity professionals and software the ability to respond long before the damage is done.

Smart Cities Are A Hard Trend

In many cases, Smart Cities are already under way, as is 5G connectivity for our personal devices and smart homes.

According to my Anticipatory Organization Model, in order to stay ahead of digital disruptions in your industry, you must pay attention to the Hard Trends, or future certainties that we cannot change, shaping the world.

I already identified 5G connectivity as a Hard Trend many years ago, and, likewise, 6G and beyond will materialize as well. And because of that, the applications of Smart City technology are truly limitless; a Soft Trend that is open to influence, which you can then leverage to your advantage.

Smart Cities are digital, but human beings are the ones that give them a reason to exist at all. Therefore, it is important to become an Anticipatory Leader today, so can you use my Hard Trend Methodology to pre-solve problems that we as humankind will face as cities become more digitally connected?



Posted On Tuesday, 23 March 2021 00:00 Written by

Strong buyer activity and the rate at which listed properties are flying off the market make it important to recognize opportunities when others miss them. Right now a real untapped market for opportunities is investors! Let’s take a look at a few reasons investors are now great targets:

• COVID 19 has allowed people not to be evicted for non-payment of rent. No rent, no cash flow!
• Colleges and Universities are limited or empty, leaving student housing units to remain vacant. No rent, no cash flow!
• Property values in many areas have risen significantly in the past few years, making properties far more valuable than thought.
• Potential changes in investment property financing may make it less attractive to continue purchasing investment properties and creating the possibility for the search for other investments.
• Potential changes to the tax code may also make it less attractive to hold investment property long term and open the door to other potential investments or allocation of assets.

So why not have the conversation with our investors about selling now?

Why not have conversations with our real estate partners to discuss the situation with their investors?

 Isn’t this a good time to speak with our accountants and financial planners about this subject?

Wouldn’t this be a great time for a video or videos with your other professionals about this topic to share with your people, their people, and social media?

It’s easy for people to complain about the market; why not create useful strategies for your clients and referral partners on how there are opportunities to be had if you only look for them! 

Questions or comments: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Posted On Monday, 22 March 2021 00:00 Written by

John Capozzi- “Dig where the gold is unless you just want some exercise.”

“Location, location, location,” experts say is the most important real estate facet.  If you are a homeowner, a home seller, or a homebuyer, the timing element determines the amount of gold you mine from your home or your financing. “Is there still gold in them there hills?”  Watch out for the effects of inflation.  

Inflation is pushing onto the scene, and inflation is the archenemy of low interest rates.  This week the Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome Powell, announced that the Fed would continue keeping their rate low, even in the face of rising inflation. The Fed vowed they would continue to buy mortgage-backed securities to keep mortgage rates affordable.  However, the bond markets have been running against the Fed's efforts like a game of chicken.  “Is there gold in them there hills?”  When it comes to your real estate and your mortgage financing terms, better look at laying claim to it now, before the economic landscape changes. 

We still see a hot real estate market for both buyers and sellers from the mortgage office.  High demand and the short supply of homes for sale are bolstering home values on the high side.  High home values are golden for home sellers.  Buyers see the still low fixed mortgage rates as a goldmine for them also.  Buyers can lock in fixed rates that are still giving them a house payment much less than what they would be paying to a landlord for rent on a similar home.   

Ways to mine gold from your home and mortgage

1. First-time homebuyers feel a lot more secure knowing the principal and interest payment on their new fixed-rate mortgage will not be increasing year after year, like when their landlord would knock on the door and raise the rent.  

Johnny and his family had been paying about $1,000/month in rent in a crime-ridden area. They wanted to move to a safer neighborhood with a larger house to accommodate their expanding family size.  Johnny was short on funds for a down payment, but he did have a lot of patience and persistence, and with a little bit of help with the down payment from a local agency, Johnny’s family bought the home they wanted with less than $1,000 down and a total payment under $800 per month. 

2. Home sellers are bragging about the profits they are pocketing selling their homes.   For example, for March 2021, shows the national median home price was $353,000, an increase of 13.7% from  $310,000 in February 2020.  

3. Refinancing and restructuring finances are still happening for homeowners.  Today the pace is more frantic since mortgage rates have been climbing steadily over the last month. It is hard to find mortgage rates in the twos with no extra costs, but there are still rates to enjoy in the threes for many borrowers.

A. Refinancing to lower your rate and lower your mortgage payment
B. Refinancing to lower your rate and shorten the term on your mortgage
C. Refinancing to lower your rate and combine other debt to improve your home or reduce overall payments per month. 

Posted On Monday, 22 March 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Monday, 22 March 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Sunday, 21 March 2021 00:00 Written by
It’s March Madness time again and, indeed, the prominent word is “Madness!” With our country’s pandemic still in place as we try to safely open schools, indoor- dining, and with sports opportunities becoming more prevalent, will this year’s March Madness operate as it did in 2020? It probably won’t. Of course, there is a plan in place, but the real question is will they be able to make it happen? Stay tuned!
The present NCAA plan is to hold this tournament in Indianapolis, Indiana with all 64 schools in or about that location. The plan that has been in operation in “normal” times is that selected teams would play their first game in the higher-seeded T*E*A*M's home team arena. As the tournament progresses the winning teams would play in divisional tournaments with the winners moving on the next round and ultimately going on to the “Final Four” usually played on Saturday with the two winners playing for the NCAA Championship the following Monday night.
At this writing, all 64 teams will be in or about Indianapolis with Lucas Stadium (home of the NFL Colts) being the site of the final four. Those Saturday semi-final games would split Lucas in half. The question is what is the process of even getting to Lucas? Like the guy asking: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall (in NYC) ?” The answer is “Practice! Practice! Practice!” The question here is, ”How do you get to Lucas?” The answer is: “Win! Win! WIN! In past years it was easily determined with the higher seed being at their home arena. But for 2021, various arenas in and around the Indianapolis complex had to be secured. Incidentally, ALL players, coaches, 96 officials, and media will be housed in and about the city of Indianapolis.
Let’s look at those playing locations.

1. Indiana University in Bloomington is some 54 miles (1 hour + driving).
2. Purdue University is 65 miles (1 hour+ driving).
3. Butler University near downtown Indy.
4. Bankers Life Fieldhouse is just minutes away from Central Indianapolis.
5. Indianapolis State Fairgrounds is near the city.
6. And Lucas Stadium will have 2 courts available, but will only use one at a time.

These six courts will be available throughout the tournament with play scheduled morning, afternoon, and evening. All of the above is tentative at this writing. It will be an interesting tournament.
Will you be watching CBS, TBS, TNT, truTV throughout the tournament from March 22nd – April 4th?
Posted On Friday, 19 March 2021 00:00 Written by
We have all heard that world does not stand still! Neither do our industry or our individual endeavors. Experts say the “Knowledge Mass” is now doubling approximately every 3 years. In the past year our world has changed dramatically. Have you and your company changed with it? Your BRAND is your identity which is created through your name, symbol, design and reputation. A known brand is customarily a symbol of trust; an unknown brand is no brand at all.
And we must all realize that the world and, more specifically, your market, have no need for another “Me too” brand. The degree to which your brand tells a differentiated story, will often be the degree which enables your success to come about.
Let’s talk about how you might re-energize your brand and image. I suggest you get 6-8 of your best and brightest team members together for a “Brand Brainstorm Session”. This is a platform where you can take advantage of the collective intellect of this group by seeking the input of each of them on multiple brand-related topics. Remember, all of us is smarter than one of us!
Start with an in-depth discussion of what your brand has stood for over the past ten years. What’s good about it? What’s outdated about it? What needs to be updated in the message you want to send to your marketplace?
Next create a mechanism for surveying your current client base to find out what they want and need in your space at this time. Perhaps it is done with your key people making phone calls or personal visits. Perhaps an e-survey would work for you. Endeavor in your meeting to define your current target market. How has it changed in recent years? What identifiable trends have you discovered? Is it advisable to expand your target market at this time? Careful - Don’t try to be all things to all people. If you do you may well end up being nothing to anybody! It’s normally best to make changes in your target market reservedly with well-thought-out reasons and precision strategies.
One way to advance your brand and reputation is to become known for the problems you solve. Now that we have identified what our target market wants and needs, we can fine-tune our solutions to create more value. Then we are tasked with selling our brand value to our target market.
Advertising guru, David Ogilvie once defined brand identity as The intangible sum of an organization’s known attributes. As you increase your capabilities and deliverables, the word will spread and your brand and image in the eyes of your customer will be enhanced.
Also, what do people think when they see your logo?  Does it stand for excellence? Is it tired and in need of rejuvenation? The GM logo has been consistent for almost a century – they simply have no resounding reason to change it! And I’ll bet you can picture it right now. Instagram recently created a new and improved logo to rave reviews. BB & T Bank and SunTrust recently merged and are now Truist Bank with a new logo. With good reason, it is sometimes time to step out and update your brand.
This writer believes that your goal should be to gain brand loyalty from those in your target market. If there are some who really don’t know about you and your brand, they are indifferent; from there we need to create awareness; then we want to earn preference status; then we go for brand insistence, and, ultimately, they become advocates of our brand.
The image of a company, product, or employee is never a constant, it’s an ever-changing variable. We are only as good as the last transaction we had with a given customer. Brand insistence is achieved by performing knock-your-socks-off service and a reputation for customer centric behavior! (Which is a discussion for another day)

We are in extraordinary times that call for extraordinary performance! Think hard about your brand, logo and market presence. Reinforce it as is, or tweak it, or change it altogether if need be, but carefully work through what you are saying to your marketplace and the way it will be received.

Posted On Friday, 19 March 2021 00:00 Written by

Rick DeLucaRick began his career as a part-time agent in 1976, quickly becoming full-time and eventually buying the company in his fifth year.  He grew it from 34 to 193 agents and lead the U.S. in agent productivity.  His personal sales production saw him sell 200+ homes per year during his sales career.  He was honored to be both Renos Salesperson of the Year, as well as the Nevadas Realtor of the Year.  Upon selling his company, Rick has shared his successful strategies worldwide ever since.  He has spoken in all 50 states, for every real estate franchise and has been recognized as one of the most popular trainers within the real estate industry. In 2014 Rick became the Regional Director for an Australian based franchise and grew it to 7 offices with 125 agents in Oregon and Washington.

With over 40 years of experience Ive seen every real estate model offered to this industry.  When I was first introduced to Exit Realty, I was intrigued with a business model I had never seen.  The culture of we help our people grow immediately impressed me. While providing state of the art technology, Exit Realty continues to emphasize the importance of relationships.  The combination of providing incredible tools, exceptional service to owners, agents and staff, a strong emphasis on strengthening relationships and a compensation plan that rewards growth has created a culture that is truly unique in this industry.  I believe my 40+ years in this business has prepared me for this journey and by joining the Exit Realty family I will create a legacy I will be proud to claim.

Posted On Friday, 19 March 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 18 March 2021 00:00 Written by
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