Today's Headlines - Realty Times
Posted On Wednesday, 24 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, Realtor.com 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

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
Posted On Saturday, 20 March 2021 11:43 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
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
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


 Kathy_Schmalen.jpgKathy Schmalen is the owner of Che Sguardo in Chicago, IL and has extensive experience as an expert in both the professional image and beauty industries.  A Miss Illinois winner and Miss USA semi-finalist, her career accomplishments include international modeling for top fashion and beauty industry icons such as Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, commercial styling/beauty consultations, national esthetic trainer for many international companies, and prominent activism in the Chicago area non-profit and philanthropic communities.  Kathy established Che Sguardo/makeupstudio in 1984 with a focus on serving the commercial beauty industry, but also anyone who is passionate about healthy and vibrant living. 

Posted On Thursday, 18 March 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Wednesday, 17 March 2021 13:12 Written by

California doctor has court hearing for traffic violation;

Logs into Zoom to appear for meeting with Judge;

Appears to be wearing operating room gear;

Appears to be in operating room;

Appears to be operating and performing surgery!

The court clerk asks, “Are you available for trial?  It kind of looks like you’re in an operating room right now?”

Doctor: “I’m in an operating room.  Yes, I’m available for trial.  Go right ahead!”

Medical equipment, beeping in background, doc handling surgical tools…

On a court appearance Zoom call!!!

Response from the wise Judge:

“So unless I’m mistaken, I’m seeing a defendant that’s in the middle of an operating room appearing to be actively engaged in providing services to a patient,” Judge Gary Link said during the virtual hearing.

“I do not feel comfortable for the welfare of a patient if you’re in the process of operating that I would put on a trial.”

Ok, Time-Out.

Ladies & Gentlemen of the Jury, I would like to present my first case:

The Doctor in Surgery –

1. The Promise to show up for court is one level of keeping the promise.
2. The Promise to be fully present and focused only on the task at hand – meaning: your court appearance – is the next level.
3. The Promise to keep your client safe during surgery, and rescheduling your surgeries and court appearances, is another level entirely (that would seem obvious).

If I may, I’d like to present my second case:

The Judge –

1. The Promise to show up for court is one level of keeping the promise.
2. The Promise to be fully present and focused only on the task at hand – meaning: judging with all of your judging powers a doctor who has already missed a court appearance and is now on screen appearing distracted – is the next level.
3. The Promise to stop the trial mid-court time in order to ensure the safety of the patient, who is not your responsibility, while the surgeon acts recklessly, in defiance, to appear for court, is another level entirely. 

The Jury finds the defendant, Doctor Surgery While On Zoom Guy, GUILTY of every crime against Zoomanity and sentenced to having a quick, un-announced surgery to be performed on him by a blindfolded surgeon while filmed before a live studio audience.

The Jury also finds the Judge, The Honorable Gary Link, the highest level of Promise Culture Leaders in the Universe and thanks him on behalf of all Humanity, as well as on behalf of the patient, who was about to lose potentially more than was scheduled.

Ladies & Gentlemen of the Jury, and this Blog, are you the Doc or the Judge?

Keep The Promise.

(* Note: This is a REAL STORY, link HERE, as reported by CNN)

 

Source: JasonHewlett.com

Posted On Wednesday, 17 March 2021 00:00 Written by
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