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Friday, August 27, 2010

HELP! I really need you all to give me a little boost for the Alzheimer's walk tomorrow. I'm begging - just $5 please!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I'm on the move for Alsheimer's this Saturday: Please lend your support, if only the next $5 you were going to spend on coffee

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

July 2010 Real Estate Market Update

July 2010 Real Estate Market Update:

It is not surprising that the market has continued to slow compared to the pre tax-credit days of this past spring as well as this time last year. All in all, the sales pace still remains surprisingly strong, post tax credit. Buyers are getting more confident each day (the talk of year-end bonuses from the Big Three has helped) and with a reduced inventory of homes, we are seeing more examples of price wars for the hot properties. Reduced bank owned inventories continue to cause Median prices to rise as Buyers switch to higher priced retail or short sale properties. We will not be able to truly judge the strength of the market until October, when the total effect of the tax credit has cleared the market.

Our current business mix is as follows, with Traditional Retail moving up from 15% in prior months.

Leases 20%
Bank Owned 18%
Short Sale 40%
Traditional 22%

For many price ranges, this is the best time in the past three years to have your home on the market, particularly if it is occupied, updated and in great condition. The hottest price points continue to be under $100,000, but the $200,000 to $350,000 price range in most markets seems to be getting stronger as well.

There are a number of homes on the market, but many have been on the market for many months to even years, hampered by condition and/or price. A home, well priced, updated and in good condition will attract multiple offers in a short period of time. But the market is a bit finicky, if you are off just a bit on the right price and the condition is average, the market will be very silent.

Before a Seller is willing to adjust their price, they need to be confident their home has been exposed to enough buyers to truly test the market. Since we market our properties to the broadest buyer audience of any broker in the state, we are able to effectively use buyer inquires as our ultimate judge of whether our homes have the right price point to match their features, location and condition. If we are not getting web inquires or showing requests each week, it is pretty certain the price point needs to be changed.

We have a number of good news stories this past month. Bloomberg/Business Week ran an article that projected that the Metro Detroit Area will be one of the fastest turnaround markets in the country (Bloomberg/Business Week ). Also, Real Trends did a study comparing productivity per sales associate in 2000 vs. 2009 (comparable years in terms of homes sold). We were one of only five companies in the top 500 nationally that showed an improvement in sales associate productivity!! Your hard work shows, across the entire country!

Be sure to have your clients try out your new personal Mobile Web Site. They simply type in your personal WebOne URL into their smart phone browser and they will get a specialized search site customized for their smart phone. Also, so far, in the first two months we have generated 3,064 client inquires from our new First to Know Voice and Phone programs!
Great job in July!
(See the total market summary below)
Dan Elsea

Total Market Summary – All Price Ranges
Number of Homes Pending Available Homes for Sale
Area July 09 July 10 % Change July 09 July 10 % Change
Oakland County 2,198 1,872 -14.8% 14,530 10,794 -25.7%
Macomb County 1,184 1,092 -7.8% 6,111 4,948 -19.0%
Livingston County 220 209 -5.0% 2,153 1,705 -20.8%
Washtenaw County 283 270 -4.6% 2,172 1,786 -17.8%
Wayne County 3,157 2,455 -22.2% 13,950 11,475 -17.7%
Northwest Michigan* 204 118 -42.2% 4,502 4,405 -2.2%
Total 7,246 6,016 -17.0% 43,418 35,113 -19.1%

Median Sale Price Ave Chance of Selling (in 30 days)
Area July 09 July 10 % Change July 09 July 10 % Change
Oakland County $100,000 $111,725 11.7% 15% 17% 14.6%
Macomb County $72,800 $77,000 5.8% 19% 22% 13.9%
Livingston County $124,950 $140,000 12.0% 10% 12% 20.0%
Washtenaw County $160,000 $162,000 1.3% 13% 15% 16.0%
Wayne County $29,000 $42,000 44.8% 23% 21% -5.5%
Northwest Michigan*$143,000 $140,000 -2.1% 5% 3% -40.9%
Total 68,933 80,762 17.2% 16.7% 17.1% 2.7%

Residential and Condominiums
Data Source: MIRealsource, Realcomp, TAAR, Ann Arbor and BrokerMetrics
Ave Chance reflects the % chance the average home will sell in the next 30 days under the current rate of sales
* Includes Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Antrim, Leelanau and Benzie counties

Friday, August 20, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Posting to You Tube:

Would you like to know how to share this with everyone on Facebook and Twitter in 2 clicks?

1.) Go to and set up a free account
2.) Upload the video you would like to share
3.) View the video you have uploaded
4.) below the video, you will be asked if you would like to share.
5.) Click on the Icon of the network you would like to share it on (Facebook, etc.)
6.) Follow the prompts to authenticate your account and you are there!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

For your customers: Top 10 Tips to be successful in Real Estate Investing

Top 10 Tips to be successful in Real Estate Investing:

1.)Identify your financial resources and determine purchase power

2.)Based on your purchase power, decide how many properties you will buy, at what pace, and whether you will hold and lease them or flip them for profit. (Most investors do both)

3.)Select areas to purchase in that you are very familiar with.

4.)Use multiple resources to identify values like the web and professional realtors.

5.)Create a checklist of costs associated with repairs that may be required or you can use mine Click here.

6.)If you are going to be holding some properties for a long-term gain, decide if you will manage them yourself or hire a professional property management company. (The cost of property management varies between 8-12% of monthly rent)

7.)Know the market! Two years ago you could present low offers and get them accepted – now that the banks are pricing so aggressively and the investor market is flooded, you Will have to bid over asking price in many cases to secure a property.

8.)Know your margins! Based on the work required and your cheat sheet of estimated repair costs (see item 5), you should be able to calculated what the cost of fixing up any property will be.

9.)Decide if the property is one that qualifies to bid on: Here’s the formula –
Resale Value after repairs – Cost of repairs – Your Profit (You determine this value) = Offer price.

10.) If your offer price is less than asking price and the property already has multiple bids, you may not want to bother. If your offer price is higher than asking, and there are multiple bids, offer your calculated price. If your offer price is higher than asking and there are no other offers, you may want to bid full price to secure the purchase.

***** The unwritten rule: Don’t get greedy
If you lose a property that was going to net you $10,000 because you were trying to save $2,000, you’ve lost $10,000. In fact, if you never secure a purchase, you’re not an investor at all. Good luck!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Are You Managing Your Time Correctly?

Are You Managing Your Time Correctly?
By Stephanie Andre

RISMEDIA, May 28, 2010—Do you have a million things to do, but don’t know where to start? Time management is key to an effective and success business.

Here’s some advice on how you can begin to manage your time better and leave yourself with more time in the long run:

Be prepared to make drastic changes. Be creative to find and introduce different ways of doing things. If you need a starting point see the 80:20 Rule, to assess what efforts and activities are most productive, and which are not.

Manage your emails and phone calls - don't let them manage you. Ideally check at planned times, and avoid continuous notification of incoming emails.

The more senior you are the more selective you need to be about when to be available to receive phone calls.

Try to minimize the time that you are available to take unplanned phone calls, unless you are in a customer-facing, reactive role (customers can be internal too), and even if you are customer-facing, you must plan some time-slots when you are not available, or you'll never get anything important and pro-active done.

Challenge your own tendency to say 'yes' without scrutinizing the request - start asking and probing what's involved - find out what the real expectations and needs are.

Really think about how you currently spend your time. If you don't know, keep a time log for a few days to find out there's a free time management time-log template tool here. Knowing exactly what's wrong is the first step to improving it.

Challenge anything that could be wasting time and effort, particularly habitual tasks, meetings and reports where responsibility is inherited or handed down from above. Don't be a slave to a daft process or system.

Review your activities in terms of your own personal short-term and long-term life and career goals, and prioritise your activities accordingly.

Plan preparation and creative thinking time in your diary for the long-term jobs, because they need it. The short-term urgent tasks will always use up all your time unless you plan to spend it otherwise.

Use a diary, and an activity planner to schedule when to do things, and time-slots for things you know will need doing or responding to.

Re-condition the expectations of others as to your availability and their claim on your time - use an activity planner to help you justify why you and not others should be prioritising your activities and time.

Manage your environment as a whole - especially at the proposed or actual introduction of new systems, tools, technology, people, or processes, which might threaten to generate new demands on your time. If you accept changes without question - particularly new technology that helps others but not you - then you will open the way for new increasing demands on your time, or new interruptions, or new tasks and obligations. Instead consider new technology and other changes from the point of view of your time and efficiency. Ask yourself - is this going to save my time or add to my burden? Managing your environment - which includes managing, redefining, or reconditioning the expectations of others - is a critical aspect of effective time management.

You must plan time slots for unplanned activities - you may not know exactly what you'll need to do, but if you plan the time to do it, then other important things will not get pushed out of the way when the demand arises.

Use the 'urgent-important' system of assessing activities and deciding priorities. See more at the new time management section.

When you're faced with a pile of things to do, go through them quickly and make a list of what needs doing and when. After this handle each piece of paper only once. Do not under any circumstances pick up a job, do a bit of it, then put it back on the pile.

Do not start lots of jobs at the same time - even if you can handle different tasks at the same time it's not the most efficient way of dealing with them, so don't kid yourself that this sort of multi-tasking is good - it's not.

Be firm and diplomatic in dealing with time allocated for meetings, paperwork, telephone, and visitors, etc. When you keep your time log you will see how much time is wasted. Take control. Provided you explain why you are managing your time in this way, people will generally understand and respect you for it.

Keep a clean desk and well-organized systems. Don't be obsessive about tidiness - busy people often make a mess - but ensure your mess doesn't undermine your effectiveness.

Delegate as much as possible to others. If you have one, give 25% of your responsibility to your successor.

Report: 'Cautiously Optimistic' Generation of Spenders Demand Value

Report: 'Cautiously Optimistic' Generation of Spenders Demand Value
RISMEDIA, August 10, 2010--Despite signs of economic recovery, value is here to stay. According to a recent consumer survey* conducted by Valpak, one of the leading direct marketing companies in North America, 75 percent surveyed say searching for coupons and discounts will remain routine after the recession. Even more - 79 percent - planned to spend about the same or less this summer versus last summer. Consumers are emerging from the economic downturn cautiously optimistic and expecting more for their money.

Couponing Goes Digital
While print coupons continue to provide strong ROI for local advertisers and are expected to grow in use, digital couponing is also gaining popularity. Ninety-one percent of survey respondents claim to have redeemed an Internet coupon, compared to only 65 percent two years ago. Seventy seven percent say they have used the Internet to access coupon savings in the past 6 months, up from 62 percent in 2009. A recent survey by Borrell Associates confirms this trend, noting online coupon redemption is expected to increase by more than 160 percent by 2014.

Also growing at a fast pace, mobile coupon redemption saw a 250 percent increase in just one year. With Valpak's new apps for iPhone, Blackberry, Palm Pre and Android smartphones, consumers can access local coupons for restaurants, retailers and service providers no matter where they are.

"Saving money is easier than ever before with mobile coupons," said Deanna Willsey, director of corporate communications at Valpak. "With the Valpak app installed on your phone, you can use coupons on a whim because they're accessible 24/7. For example, say you're out running errands and decide to grab dinner, you can quickly look up which area restaurants are offering a great deal. There's no need to print, clip or run home to grab the coupon. Simply display the offer on your phone and you save money."

The Valucation
The staycation trend is waning and consumers are ready to hit the road, the seas and the air. Sixty-five percent of survey respondents plan to make purchases on travel, including international and domestic vacations and cruises, in the next six months. While consumers may have the travel bug this year, they don't want to spend a lot of money. Today's traveler is looking for the valucation - shopping for the best rates and discounts. When they're not on the road, other top planned expenditures include home improvement, auto and home entertainment technology purchases.

Everyone's Doing It
Sixty-six percent of survey respondents claim to search for coupons and discounts more than they have in the past, and that trend is anticipated to grow. Couponing is expected to increase more than 150 percent between 2009 and 2014, according to Borrell Associates. In addition to couponing, consumers across all demographics are doing more research, comparing prices, using ratings and reviews and actively searching for savings opportunities. As consumers are seeking ways to stretch their budget, businesses and advertisers are looking to make the most of their marketing budgets.

"Using all types of coupons - print, digital and mobile - consumers have embraced couponing and are much savvier in their search for value," said Willsey. "Likewise, businesses are seeking ways to reach those consumers with proven, results-oriented marketing. Value from all parties has and will continue to be the norm," said Willsey.

Networking: How to Work a Room

Networking: How to Work a Room
By Stephanie Andre

RISMEDIA, May 28, 2010--Networking can serve as a valuable strategy for getting to know your local community leaders, potential buyers and sellers and people who could refer you down the road.

Networking isn't easy for many and can even be awkward at times, so here are some tips to get you started.

Check your attitude
Many of us are shy or reluctant to approach strangers in new social situations, so understandably it's not always easy to muster the energy to try and connect with people at networking events. That's why it's key to get mentally geared up before you even show up. Because your attitude often guides your behavior, you must overcome any negative self-talk that could hinder you from reaching out to others. Do these outlooks sound familiar?

• "Why should I bother trying to impress this person? I'm only one of a hundred students this recruiter is going to see today."
• "I don't think I know enough to engage the company reps in an intelligent conversation."
• "I've never really been good at meeting people. That's just my personality."

Such negative thoughts prevent you from pushing past any social roadblocks standing in your way. The truth is that many, if not most, people have similar thoughts in group situations and are just as hesitant to initiate conversations. But if you change your attitude from negative to positive, you can instead take the lead. Remember:

• People enjoy talking about themselves. Ask them questions to get them started.
• People feel flattered when you show an interest in them and their work/organization. And they will reciprocate your demonstrations of sincere interest.
• You have more to offer others than you might think; just believe it.

Redefine what it means to interact with "strangers"
When you join a new student organization or club, you share certain interests with the members. When you go to a party, you run into people you've seen in class or around your dorm. A networking event is not really all that different if you view it as an occasion to find what you have in common with other people there. Commonalities help "strangers" connect more easily.

• Take the initiative to approach others, introduce yourself, and share a piece of information that could reveal the common thread you share with them.
• During conversations, listen carefully to discover shared interests or goals.
• Use your shared background or interests as the basis for sustaining conversations.

Prepare and practice your self-introduction
To avoid being tongue-tied when you try to start a conversation with someone you don't know, prepare a self-introduction that is clear, interesting, and well delivered. What you say about yourself will depend on the nature of the event, but in any case, it shouldn't take longer than 8-10 seconds. Although practicing your introduction might at first seem silly and artificial, it will eventually help you make an introduction that sounds natural, confident, and smooth. Here are a few examples:

• "Hi, my name is Catherine Lee. I'm glad to have this chance to meet you and learn how a psychology major can break into the pharmaceutical industry." [Employer Information Session]
• "Good morning, I'm Bryan Sampson, a former summer intern at your Los Angeles branch." [Career Fair]
• "Hello, my name is Jessica Garcia. I'm a junior rhetoric major looking to find out what it's like working in public relations and marketing." [Career Speed Dating Event]

Risk rejection - it's not the end of the world
It happens. Some individuals may not respond to your introduction in the way you would like. If that takes place, don't take it personally and just move on. As long as you maintain an outgoing and friendly attitude, you can plan for continued networking success by:

• Identifying the goals you want to achieve at the networking event before you go (e.g., to learn more about a career, to develop internship leads, etc.)
• Keeping a healthy sense of humor.
• Treating everyone as you would want to be treated. Aside from being the courteous thing to do, you don't know who might be helpful to you in the future.
People who spend too much time worrying about their station in life will often be told where to get off :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

8 Ways You Should Be Using Twitter for Your Business

8 Ways You Should Be Using Twitter for Your Business
By Stephanie Andre

RISMEDIA, August 7, 2010—By now, we all know that Twitter is one of the most-trafficked and used social media platforms…for both consumers and business professionals. But what’s the secret to getting more consumers to follow you…transitioning them from just followers to clients.

From the simple to the complex, there are a number of methods that real estate professionals should consider to improve their following on Twitter. Here are eight tips to consider, courtesy of

Tip 1
Include in your Bio and/or custom background the names (or @usernames) of the people twittering from your company account. It’s also a good idea to include additional contact info, like email addresses.

Tip 2
Listen regularly for comments about your company, brand and products—and be prepared to address concerns, offer customer service or thank people for praise.

Tip 3
Use a casual, friendly tone in your messages.

Tip 4
While you shouldn’t feel compelled to follow everyone who follows you, do respond to some questions or comments addressed to you.

Tip 5
If you like a particular message, retweet it. People often appreciate the sharing and amplification of their ideas, so look to retweet cool stuff.

Tip 6
Post links to articles and sites you think folks would find interesting—even if they’re not your sites or about your company.

Tip 7
Make sure your tweets provide some real value. Here are few examples to spark ideas:

Offer Twitter exclusive coupons or deals
Take people behind the scenes of your company
Post pictures from your offices, stores, warehouses, etc.
Share sneak peeks of projects or events in development
Tip 8
Don’t spam people. Twitter’s following model means that you have to respect the interests and desires of other people here or they’ll unfollow you. The most common way to run afoul of that understanding—and to thus look like a spammer—is to send unsolicited @messages or DMs, particularly when you include a promotional link.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tips to Reduce Stress and Improve Productivity

Tips to Reduce Stress and Improve Productivity

RISMEDIA, May 24, 2010--Do you find yourself overwhelmed by the number and complexity of projects you have that need to be completed at work each day? Do you often feel the day flies by without your devoting the necessary attention to each assignment because other tasks keep landing on your desk, co-workers interrupt you with questions or you can't get it all organized?

You probably know that effective time management will help you get more done each day. It has important health benefits, too. By managing your time more wisely, you can minimize stress and improve your quality of life.

But how do you get back on track when organizational skills don't come naturally? To get started, follow these tips from the Mayo Clinic:

• Plan each day. Planning your day can help you accomplish more and feel more in control of your life. Write a to-do list, putting the most important tasks at the top. Keep a schedule of your daily activities to minimize conflicts and last-minute rushes.

• Prioritize your tasks. Time-consuming but relatively unimportant tasks can consume a lot of your day. Prioritizing tasks will ensure that you spend your time and energy on those that are truly important to you.

• Say no to nonessential tasks. Consider your goals and schedule before agreeing to take on additional work.

• Delegate. Take a look at your to-do list and consider what you can pass on to someone else.

• Take the time you need to do a quality job. Doing work right the first time may take more time upfront, but errors usually result in time spent making corrections, which takes more time overall.

• Break large, time-consuming tasks into smaller tasks. Work on them a few minutes at a time until you get them all done.

• Practice the 10-minute rule. Work on a dreaded task for 10 minutes each day. Once you get started, you may find you can finish it.

• Evaluate how you're spending your time. Keep a diary of everything you do for three days to determine how you're spending your time. Look for time that can be used more wisely. For example, could you take a bus or train to work and use the commute to catch up on reading? If so, you could free up some time to exercise or spend with family or friends.

• Limit distractions. Block out time on your calendar for big projects. During that time, close your door and turn off your phone, pager and e-mail.

• Get plenty of sleep, have a healthy diet and exercise regularly. A healthy lifestyle can improve your focus and concentration, which will help improve your efficiency so that you can complete your work in less time.

• Take a time management course. If your employer offers continuing education, take a time management class. If your workplace doesn't have one, find out if a local community college, university or community education program does.

• Take a break when needed. Too much stress can derail your attempts at getting organized. When you need a break, take one. Take a walk. Do some quick stretches at your workstation. Take a day of vacation to rest and re-energize.

Rise Media

Friday, August 6, 2010

Getting to the heart of it!

Ask yourself if any of your listings are overpriced and I bet the answer will be yes. Why would sellers really wanting to sell, stand in their own way by pricing themselves out of the market? It was proposed in our seminar yesterday by David Knox, that sellers would overprice for only two reasons: Motivation or Education. They either lack a true motivation to sell right now or we have failed at educating them about the proper price for the market conditions. Since I know we all know what we're doing, I think the former is true. We just aren't used to asking questions like a five year old to get to what is really most important to them. The only way to allow a seller's true motivation to reveal itself is to ask good questions and put the seller in a future scenario that keeps them in the house asking, what then? It is difficult to do this because we just hate to be the bearers of bad news.

However, if you believe our job is really to help buyers and sellers achieve their goals, how can we continue to allow them to believe that the methods they are taking will get them there?

Imagine the doctor who has to deliver news of terminal cancer, but decides to allow the person to believe that the treatment will cure them because having that conversation would be too difficult. Not having that difficult conversation is the equivalent of malpractice in both professions. We need to have the heart to heart with ours sellers and let them go graciously if they aren’t really motivated. People move for reasons; not money. You will salvage a relationship and future client and save yourself a lot of frustration.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Special Announcement! Real Estate One has just secured a partnership with David Knox, one of the countries leading trainers: To kick of our partnership David will be speaking this Thursday Live - & you're invited! "Prospering in a changing market" is the topic and it counts for 3 Hrs of FREE con-ed! Click here to register:

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