Monday, March 26, 2012

Trivia Time

Hello all,

"Trivia Time"

I do this every so often to make sure everyone knows how to find and are using some of the great statistics that are available to us for free. The first 3 people to answer these questions correctly will receive a $10 gift card to Starbucks. Please remember to hit "reply" and not "reply to all". For both 20874 and 20854 please answer the following questions about February 2012.

What was the average days on market?

What was the percentage of sales price to original list price?

What was the year over year increase in all pending sales?

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee


"It is of immense importance to learn to laugh at ourselves."

- Katherine Mansfield


Feel like you're losing touch with your children? Wish you understood your spouse better? Want to enjoy closer family ties without the background noise of X-Box games or loud music?  Does everyone seem to scatter the moment their last bite of food is swallowed? Introduce them to "the family game!"

It's a fun way to bring your family together at the dinner table and keep them there - without complaints.  Furthermore, you'll soon have them willingly sharing their dreams, disappointments, likes & dislikes, interests, successes, and innermost thoughts.  Finally, you will have created a new family tradition your children will delight in passing on to their own families.

Introduce your version of the family game at the end of a dinnertime meal when everyone is present.  Don't make a big production of it, just ask everyone to remain at the table.  Tell them you've heard of a fun game and would like to play it with them.  Explain that each person at the table gets one turn (and only one turn).  You begin by asking a question that everyone, including yourself, has to answer.  For instance, your question might be, "What's the most embarrassing moment you've ever had?"  Go around the table and let each family member contribute.

Once everyone answers, let the person at your left ask the next question.  It might be, "What's the worst birthday present you've ever received?" or maybe, "If you could go back in the past and live in a different time, when would it be and why?"  You'll be amazed at the sharing your family will suddenly experience.

Once the "family game" becomes a regular part of meals, add this twist:  Before being seated, tell family members that they may sit in any seat at the table except their normal seat.  The catch is that they must also "act" like the person normally seated in the chair they choose.  This can produce hilarious results.

If your family seems fragmented and scattered, play "the family game."  It's a natural for bringing joy, depth, communication and understanding back to your loved ones.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Hello all,


I am a big fan of going to the annual RE/MAX convention. You always come away with a couple of things that will make your business stronger and the amount of energy you come away with is amazing. There is nothing like being around 4,000 of your peers to get you going. We did not push convention hard this year for a couple of reasons. First, we understand there is a cost involved and the last couple of years we have not necessarily been saving a lot of money. Second, the 2012 convention had the feel of the 2011 convention. Most of the classes were the same, same venue... However I am planting the seed early for 2013! Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of RE/MAX and the convention should be over the top. From what we are told they are moving it to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, this will also be the last year in Vegas for a while. It should alternate between Orlando and Toronto after that for a while. Anyway, it is always in early March so if you can take a couple of pennies from each settlement for the cookie jar we would love to have as many of you as possible join us next year.

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee

"A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle."
- Father James Keller (1900-1977)

We all love a compliment.  Your manager says to you, "I noticed that your last sale was handled very smoothly.  Thanks for offering your customer such excellent service!"  Your wife or husband tells you, "I'm so proud of the way you encourage our children!"  Your grown child returns home for a visit and says, "Thanks for making it possible for me to get my degree!"  Those are "feel good" times, aren't they?
If you live a more or less normal day-to-day sort of life, compliments are always welcome, but aren't absolutely critical to your sense of well-being.  You don't have to get them to make it through the day.  If you are fortunate enough to enjoy high self-esteem, why not consider becoming a "candle" to others?
There are many around us each day, both children and adults, who suffer from mild to extreme "compliment" deficiencies.  They may have never been told that they are good, or attractive, or intelligent.  As children, they may have never experienced the exhilaration of getting a base hit, or making an "A" on a test, or receiving an "Honorable Mention" in art class. As adults, they may have lost a job, a spouse, or their health.  In short, many around us have never even had their "candle" lighted once.
You can become the greatest philanthropist of all time without giving away a dime.  All it takes to make a life-changing difference in someone's life is to share the light from your candle.  Each day, look for opportunities to encourage, compliment, or offer your knowledge to those who are "candle deprived."  Think back to when you were a child.  Was there some special person who took that time with you - someone you've never forgotten?
Sharing your candle by lighting many others can warm both hearts and souls.  Make a difference - starting today!

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Golden Rule

Hello all,

"The Golden Rule"

Apologies to my Mother, Carol in Germantown and Margaret in Potomac. I will not be talking about "THE GOLDEN RULE" but the one that applies to Real Estate. For the last 5-6 years we have been dealing with many challenges representing our sellers, pricing, price reductions, condition, days on market... it was a price war and a beauty contest. When we finally got a contract in that was acceptable to both parties the real work began, negotiations, appraisal issues, home inspection items... We did everything in our power to keep the deal alive. Convincing a seller that we could not lose the contract was no easy task, because if and when we got another one it would not be as good. Many of us left a lot of money on the table because we gave some of our commissions away to close the deal. We have talked about this a great deal, the market has and is changing right in front of us. We are shifting from a buyers market to a sellers market quickly because of the tremendous lack of inventory. When the time is right we should consider sticking up for our sellers and ourselves more in negotiations. If it takes 90 days to get a contract you might not be there yet, however if you were on for 7 days and got full price it might be time to suggest to your sellers to dig their heels in a bit on the home inspection or other negotiable items.  More then likely you will get another contract in quickly if you have to go back on the market. So the golden rule of real estate is coming back into play, "Whoever has the gold makes the rules". 

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee

"First of all, you must find the right track, so you can start right away and not be held back.  But which track is yours? Well, that all depends on which way it's going, and where it might end."
- Craig Dorfman in "I Knew I Could!"

Regardless of your age, you were probably introduced as a child to a wonderful book entitled "The Little Engine That Could."  If you will recall, it was the story of a small red locomotive personality who believed it was possible to pull a very heavy load uphill - a task that was shunned by other larger locomotives.  The little engine huffed and puffed up the hill, all the while repeating the mantra, "I think I can!  I think I can!  I think I can!"
It was a cute story that contained a very powerful message about persistence and the ability to overcome adversity.  Now there's a sequel entitled "I Knew I Could!"  A quick ten-minute read, it clearly outlines our ability to make our own choices in life.  Using illustrations of train tracks and those cute little locomotives, you are easily led to the understanding that we choose the life "tracks" upon which we travel.
The book suggests that before picking one of those tracks, we should determine the direction it might take us, and the destination we might reach by so choosing.  Sounds like real life, doesn't it?  How many times, and in how many ways, must we be taught this lesson?  If we fail to make our choices wisely, we have consciously made the choice to live at the mercy of happenstance - as did Alice in the following excerpt from "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland":
"Cheshire-Puss...," said Alice, "Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.  "I don't much care where -" said Alice.  "Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.  "... so long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation.  "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
Life - it's your choice.  Toot! Toot!

Monday, March 5, 2012


Hello all,


Quick coffee this week. Lisa and I are in Vegas for the convention, we will be picking up some good information about the market, technology... that we will be talking about at the sales meetings. Also, we will be giving out the 2011 awards for the agents at the meetings as well.

Enjoy the coffee,

Monday Morning Coffee

"If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend seven sharpening my axe."
- Abraham Lincoln

OK, OK, - you've heard all the New Year Resolution stuff before.  I'll try to steer clear of that topic today.
Going back to "Honest Abe's" quote, how many trees do you plan to chop down in 2012?  24? 48? 96? 300?  The higher you plan to go, the sharper your axe had better be.  What's more, most axe blades lose their edge after only a few trees.  That means it will be necessary to step back from the hard work of chopping, and hone the blade numerous times throughout the year.  Here are a few suggestions to keep your "edge" in 2012:
Planning is a necessary first step.  If you don't know how many trees you want to chop, how will you know when you're finished?  Will you be chopping small, medium or large trees?  Apple, maple or pine?  Will you take long powerful swings, or just hack away 'till they fall?  Make some important chopping decisions before you begin.
Education is the next step.  It comes in many forms, like books, recordings, videos, seminars, professional courses, and so on.  Vary your approach to education to avoid boredom.  Seminars and courses are an excellent way to boost your attitude by sharing ideas and strategies with colleagues and associates.
A positive attitude is critical too.  It is the magnet that brings trees to your doorstep.  Recreation is vital to maintaining that attitude.  When you find yourself working 60 and 70-hour weeks, you'll also notice your energy level and attitude begin to dull very quickly.  Learn to schedule time off for yourself and family members.  Choose activities that leave no room for thoughts about work.  You'll notice an immediate improvement in your tree chopping.  Soon you'll be off to a flying start with a very sharp axe!  Best wishes for the New Year!