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Op/Ed

34 reasons why I love real estate

(EDITORIAL) Practicing real estate can be brutal, but it is also tremendously rewarding – here are my 34 reasons for loving what I do!

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This current real estate market is _________________. But, regardless of how you finished that sentence I still love being a Realtor. Here are 34 reasons WHY.

  1. I love waking up each morning knowing that no matter HOW much planning I do, my schedule will change at a moments notice. Apparently I like living on the edge.
  2. Being ill does not mean I will not make money. Enough of what I do can be finagled from the comfort of my own home … at least for a couple days.
  3. Real Estate makes me cry. I cry when homeowners, who have been religiously on time with their payments cannot re-negotiate their loans when they have been simultaneously laid off and their rate adjusts … even when their unemployment more than covers the original payment. I like being in a business that brings out passion in me.
  4. I love real estate agents. Yes, some of them are complete imbeciles – but they just make me look good. The good agents make the business fun.
  5. I love marketing. Real estate marketing is constantly changing and I love learning all the cutting edge tips and tricks.
  6. Real estate will never die. I don’t care WHAT the market is doing, there is business to be had. Land cannot go away and people will want to buy and sell it.
  7. I hold a HUGE chunk of people’s financial life in my hands. Scary as all heck, but it keeps me honest! … and I like being honest.
  8. Real estate is what brought me into the world of blogging and social media. Now I have even MORE friends who think I am odd. I love you all.
  9. Those months when I made nada zip zilch sure made me thankful for the months that I made more than some people do in a year. Learning to be thankful and learning how to stretch a dollar are one of the BEST lessons.
  10. Real estate has created monsters out of my kids. My youngest one, at the age of 4, came back from a friends house and said, “Billy has a 4 bed 3 bath home with a finished basement!” and my oldest son wants to grow up to be a real estate agent so he can “play” on the computer and go to lunch with people every day. My kids amuse me in the name of real estate.
  11. I create my own schedule and can be there for my kids, friends and family when they need me.
  12. The dynamic nature of this business keeps me on my toes. Shifting markets fling me from my comfort zone and into a place where I HAVE to be more effective for both my team and my clients.
  13. Even though I do not want to LIVE in one, I like old homes. The Colorado Springs real estate market does not have a lot of old homes – but the ones that they DO are way cool. I never cared about houses until I became an agent.
  14. I like roof lines. Again, I never cared about architecture until I became an agent.
  15. I like solving problems and real estate is an all-you-can-eat-buffet of problems to be solved.
  16. I LOVE teaching. I used to be in the Special Education field and although I LOVED it, it was not where I was meant to be. Now I am a real estate trainer, and I LOVE IT. Teaching other real estate agents how to be better at what they do is probably my FAVORITE part of my business.
  17. Real estate gives me the opportunity to excel in my business without the fear of being outsourced, downsized or fired.
  18. All your base R belong to us.
  19. I love the business building, goal setting, high-5 accomplishment camaraderie that real estate brings out in agents.
  20. I love that real estate CAN BE a low-cost, high revenue business… If you are smart with your business budget.
  21. Derek really, really likes team-building and mentoring other agents. I like that about Derek, and therefore like that about real estate.
  22. Real estate gives me the opportunity to make a HUGE impact on someones life. We have been to baby dedications, surprise weddings … and all because we were the people who helped them buy/sell their home.
  23. I know more about humanity than I EVER thought I could know. Thanks to real estate, NOTHING surprises me anymore.
  24. Real estate is the ONE thing that I can relate ANYTHING to. It is kind of amusing, actually.
  25. I love Seller’s-Markets as it challenges me to figure out ways to stand out among the masses of other mirror-foggers that have a license.
  26. I love Buyer’s-Markets because it challenges me to me one of the ONLY people in my market who can actually SELL my listings.
  27. Real estate has given me the insight and respect for other professions that are commission-based. I always make a point of purchasing a service or product through the person who helped me make my decision, if that person is paid on commission. This applies to restaurant staff too (although my time waiting tables helped with that as well…)
  28. It has brought out a love of photography in me. I look at the world in a whole new way.
  29. I am not an organized person, by nature. Real estate has taught me the importance of being organized … at least sometimes.
  30. Law. I have never been more in tune with legal tidbits than I have been since becoming an agent. I have a whole new respect for the reams of paper that stipulate what can and cannot happen in real estate.
  31. Law … again. I was taught that as a real estate agent, it was not IF you would be sued … it was WHEN. Dotting my “i”‘s and crossing my “t”‘s and keeping great notes has been the shield and sword against many a whacko. I SO appreciate the foreknowledge of keeping great notes in a situation that could be potentially sticky … real estate or not.
  32. Real estate gives great income and business growth opportunities to people who are not traditionally, scholastically refined. You do not need to go thousands of dollars in educational debt to be an agent. Some of the BEST agents I have ever met only have a HS diploma.
  33. Choose your own adventure. Real estate is an endless series of entertaining choices. Should I show the home that has 4 stoned teenagers in the basement and a random passed out adult in the living room? Or, should I bypass THAT house for the one that has 4 shrines to Elvis? Should I take the condo listing that smells like a parakeet factory? Or should I take the listing where each room painted a different hue of florescent pink?
  34. I could write a book about my life prior to real estate. Now that I have been an agent for 8 years, I can now write the sequel.

This editorial was featured here nearly a decade ago by Realtor Mariana Wagner.

The American Genius' real estate section is honest, up to the minute real estate industry news crafted for industry practitioners - we cut through the pay-to-play news fluff to bring you what's happening behind closed doors, what's meaningful to your practice, and what to expect in the future. Consider us your competitive advantage.

Op/Ed

Amazon kills HQ2 in NY, Austin and Toronto should gloat

(EDITORIAL) Amazon is breaking up with NY, and Toronto and Austin are in a position to say “told you so.”

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Amazon has decided to abandon its plans for its much hyped and much maligned second headquarters in New York City. The location had been chosen after a lengthy (and embarrassing at times) bidding war between cities across the country after local politicians like Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio offered the $1 trillion company over $3 billion in economic incentives.

Amazon’s flip decision comes after increasing frustration and resistance from existing residents in the Long Island City and Brooklyn neighborhoods where the campus was supposed to be built. Many believed that the influx of tech workers from Amazon would drive rent prices higher, crowd an already at-capacity public transportation system, and lead to gentrification of the area.

Reactions to the reversal are mixed. Some see this as a David-versus-Goliath story where communities were able to rally and scare off arguably the biggest corporate monster possible; others lamented the loss of economic opportunity, particularly the 25,000 jobs that Amazon said the HQ would bring to the area.

Amazon itself blamed these small groups in its statement, stating, “[A] number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City.”

It will be interesting to watch and see what the fallout (if any) of this is for New York City. As Tech Crunch reports, it’s all a bit complicated.

According to Amazon’s announcement they will not be reopening the search for a second headquarters. Instead, they say that they will focus their efforts on expanding their existing operations in Virginia and Tennessee. They have not said whether they plan on expanding either campus by the 25k employees that NYC was supposed to offer.

Despite this proclamation, many cities are already reaching out to Amazon to try and entice investments.

Cities across America initially fell over each other, begging (I mean propositioning) Amazon to grace them with their HQ2, offering free land, massive tax breaks, bootcamps at major colleges and new schools to spinoff talent specifically for Amazon, interest-free home loans for employees, massive grants for hitting employment targets, employment relocation reimbursements, and employee tax incentives.

But two cities openly stood above the fray – Toronto basically said, “come here if you want to,” without offering incentives, while Austin said in a friendly Texas voice, “y’all come here if you want to, everyone else in tech does!”

While everyone else fawned over Amazon, it turns out that HQ2 is dead in the water, and Austin plus Toronto are likely patting themselves on the back right now.

Among all of these dizzying revelations, it’s important to note that rather than try to work out a solution with the local residents Amazon thought would be so eager to have them, the tech giant simply pulled its resources and left.  One wonders whether the next city can reasonably expect to have any sort of sway in negotiations with the company at all. 

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Op/Ed

Morning rituals of highly successful people – do you have one?

(EDITORIAL) From start to finish, the daily life of each successful person is very much dictated by their family and job. But there are definitely some patterns that we can all incorporate into our own morning rituals to achieve higher success and order.

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Fleximize took a look at the morning habits of 26 of the country’s most successful individuals to include the President of the United States Barrack Obama, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Jobs and even Oprah Winfrey.

What was discovered? Well, each of the men and women on their chart start their day early with time blocked out for exercise and meditation, breakfast and family. In short, things that are important!

Someone, somewhere coined it best: “If it has to happen, then it has to happen first!” Everyone has an “it.” Anyone who has managed to find professional success is surely embracing this philosophy. The first hour(s) of the day are used doing whatever is one’s top-priority activity. And no sooner do you start you risk the priorities of everyone else creeping in.

Interestingly enough, exercising in the morning is one of the group’s top priorities. It’s been said many times that exercise helps keep productivity and energy levels up and better prepares us for the everyday challenge of achieving all we can.

From start to finish, the daily life of each successful person is very much dictated by their family and job. But there are definitely some patterns that we can all incorporate into our own lives to achieve higher success and order.

An Insider article found that “the most productive people understand how important the first meal of the day is in determining their energy levels for the rest of the day. Most stick to the same light, daily breakfast because it works, it’s healthy for them and they know how the meal will make their mind and body feel.”

The Fleximize chart demonstrates that successful people consider the quiet hours of the morning an ideal time to focus on any number of things: important work projects, checking email, meditation. And what’s more, spending time on it at the beginning of the day ensures that it gets complete attention before others chime in.

So check the chart and find someone you can relate to.

BI points out that planning the day, week, or month ahead is a crucial time management tool designed to keep you on track when you’re in the thick of it. Using the mornings to do big-picture thinking helps you prioritize and set the trajectory of the day!

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Op/Ed

5 ‘lies’ HGTV tells viewers that impact the housing market

(HOMEOWNERSHIP NEWS) HGTV has long been a fan favorite for renovations and home searches, but is the information they portray accurate? What influence does this really have on consumers?

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It’s no secret that reality television very often does not, in fact, depict reality. One of the most frequently viewed “reality” television networks is HGTV, which features a wide range of home renovation and DIY shows that cater to a variety of home improvement enthusiasts.

While HGTV wants you to get lost in the latest episode of House Hunters, you may be surprised to know that these episodes are in fact, at least partially scripted.

Although there is nothing wrong with enjoying a good home improvement show, especially those ever-addicting home flipping shows like Fixer Uppers, there are a few things HGTV portrays that are less than accurate. Here are five of those things you may want to consider, or have your clients consider before embarking in the home ownership process yourself (or with a client).

Consider the following…

1. Realtors work a lot harder/longer than people think

Unfortunately, HGTV often portrays real estate agents as people who do the bare minimum for their clients, when in fact most Realtors® go above and beyond for their clients.

According to CheatSheet, Sissy Lapin, author and co-founder of ListingDoor, stated shows like House Hunters “make the agent look like they’re just these lazy people who show two houses and negotiate $1,000 off the asking price,” rather than showing the whole host of duties a good agent performs for their clients.

Good agents tackle the whole home buying process; informing clients about what they should consider when selecting a home, negotiating a better deal, and making sure that they do their very best to ensure nothing goes wrong throughout the entire process from start to close.

This is not the impression a potential homebuyer would get from HGTV alone. Realtors® are an amazing asset to have on your team when you’re considering buying or selling a home, and they do a lot more than HGTV portrays.

2. Over-emphasizing the importance of new features

HGTV shows make a production out of showing homeowners frantically searching for the “perfect home” with all the “must have” features. In all fairness, sponsorship from the latest and greatest in home innovations is how they make some of their money. While it’s certainly understandable that most homeowners have a list of things they want in a new home, worrying sellers into thinking they won’t be able to sell their home unless they have these highly coveted features is an entirely different thing.

Lapin commented, “I can’t tell you how many times that I go into a house and they’re like, do you think it would add more value, or do you think it would sell faster if I put in granite countertops?” In fact, like many other trends in homes, consumers are moving away from granite to other sustainable materials. But you would never guess this if you believe everything HGTV is promoting on their shows. Again, the key is to do your own research. Consult a professional and inquire as to what would increase your home’s value.

3. Downplaying the expense of renovations

If you took what HGTV shows to heart, you’d be inclined to believe that major home renovations can be completed in mere hours for a few hundred dollars. If you’ve ever seen Property Brothers, you know the brothers function on extremely fast renovations schedules and very low budgets. This is likely not the situation you’ll encounter if you decide to renovate your own home (or a project home). Even contractors have complained that these types of shows are giving people an inaccurate picture about renovation expectations.

“Remodelers say that shows such as Love It or List It and Property Brothers, which often cram whole-house remodeling projects into too-small budgets, give clients the wrong impression regarding pricing and time constraints,” notes Tim Regan, writer for Remodeling.com. Also, according to CheatSheet, some renovations may not even be up to code.

One couple who appeared on Love It or List It are suing the show’s production company stating their home was “irreparably damaged” and a that a licensed architect was not hired.

To ensure your next project goes smoothly the best thing you can do is consult with a licensed, bonded, and insured contractor. They will be able to give you a time table and price range that is more realistic than what you see on HGTV.

4. Location, location, location

While not as important as the other factors on this list, in my opinion, it is certainly something to be considered. HGTV shows like House Hunters very rarely focus on the importance of location with the home buyer.

Lapin stated in one episode, she watched as a couple chose a home because of its stylish features even though it meant they would have to make a 45 minute commute to work. While everyone is entitled to make their own choices, Lapin makes a good point in stating that she would have “made [her] client make that drive to work three days in a row” to see if they would still enjoy the location of their new home.

This is one of the many benefits to having a Realtor® on your side: they know the ins and outs of home values, location, and more. Getting your information from a Realtor® will take you a lot further (and very likely save you money) than the information you can get from HGTV programming.

5. Buyers know more than some think

Contrary to what HGTV would like you to believe, buyers are not naïve. For the most part, buyers are real-world savvy and have a good idea about what they need and the price range they can afford. This is the age of digital technology, and most buyers are putting that technology to use, researching before they set out to buy something.

Sites like Zillow give buyers an idea of what’s available for how much, and they can even see what the home looks like without getting out and driving to the location.

HGTV tends to show buyers that don’t know what they want or how much they can spend.

This is likely done to make their professionals seem more knowledgeable, but in reality, as Lapin states, “the buyer, the consumer, is very savvy and I feel like that’s not portrayed. Buyers have a lot of confidence now.” This isn’t to say most buyers don’t still welcome guidance from a professional, but they do have a general idea of what they want and what they can spend, by and large.

Instead of viewing HGTV as an example to follow, or representative of the market as a whole, it should be treated as entertainment.

While there are some aspects of the show that may be useful to some viewers, such as window replacement and selecting new flooring, it definitely shouldn’t be held as the gold standard for service or the home buying experience.

Consumers’ best bet is to consult an industry professional who can give you a more realistic picture of cost and time.

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