Archive for May, 2009

No Internet Marketing – Is this a nightmare?

May 29, 2009

nightmareHave you ever been consciously aware of passing over a “continental divide”? You know, a spot where you cease traveling up one side of a mountain and begin descending into the next valley? And right at the tip top of the mountain you’re actually aware that no water will run toward you; it will only run downhill? Well, according to Georgia Association of Realtors we’re there with regard to posting information about our listings on the internet. Apparently the GAR believes that we’ve reached the “saturation point” of internet marketing. Phooey!

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Listing and Selling Businesses – Now or Never?

May 28, 2009

now-or-laterIs it a good time to list and sell a business?

Yes, if you follow a few simple steps. First, you need to have an understanding of the business industry. If you want to list a dry cleaning business, take time to really familiarize yourself with the business culture and language. I’d recommend selecting an industry that you’ve worked in or have an interest in. If it’s an area you don’t know much about, again, do your homework. If you don’t prepare for a listing appointment adequately, you will appear less than confident and have trouble earning the business owner’s respect.

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Stay Positive – You’re on Stage

May 27, 2009

stageAt this moment in time, we have a lot of negative elements in our life, perhaps more than in the previous decades. Politics, world harmony, pandemic disease threats, shortages, real estate and bankruptcies seem to dominate our headlines. So the big question is: How do you keep a positive attitude, with all the negative energy in society today? It’s almost unavoidable. 

Many other positive developments about our business are masked in a sea of gloom. This is where I separate myself from the rest. I will not give in to negative energy or people because it’s the cancer of positive emotion and it’s a roadblock to success.

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Happy Anniversary to Us!

May 26, 2009

anniversaryToday marks the one month anniversary of the Metro Brokers blog, so I thought I’d find out from you (our readers) just how you think we’re fairing.

I want this blog to remain interesting, educational and more importantly – informative. My hope is that everyone who reads this blog will share it with others (friends, family, clients, and colleagues). I also want visitors to feel compelled to leave comments – send us a question, expand upon the topic with your own experiences, give advice others may be able to use or let us know you’d like to see more written on a particular topic. You may even disagree with us from time-to-time, but we welcome constructive criticism.

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Top 5 Mistakes in Advertising Listings

May 22, 2009

Oops!If you’re on Facebook, no doubt you’ve seen (or even done) a “Top 5” list. Your Top 5 Favorite Movies, Top 5 Things You Want to Do Before You Die, Top 5 Places on Earth…you get the picture.

This has inspired me to create a Top 5 of my own — the Top 5 Mistakes Agents Make When Advertising Listings. I’ll do it David Letterman style, and count them down.

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You’re Just Giving Me $14,000?

May 21, 2009

GeorgiaDream“This is the best time to buy a house.” If I’ve heard that once, I’ve heard it a thousand times but maybe there’s a reason why people keeping saying this. Let me introduce you to the newest loan program: The Georgia Dream Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

This program is strictly for buyers purchasing foreclosures to help reduce the number of foreclosures on the market. In a nut shell, this program gives you $14,000 to use for repairs to the home or for the down payment, and here’s the best part: You aren’t required to pay it back!

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New NAR Code of Ethics Affect Social Media

May 20, 2009

cancelIn case you haven’t heard, the National Association of Realtors® made a big change during their mid-year meeting last week. If any of you are bloggers or participate on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn…you’ve got to read this.

Apparently, Realtors are now responsible for not only what they say, but what others say/comment on their social media sites about other Realtors. Here is the wording from a Special Report on NAR’s site this week:

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Saving Money Can Cost You Money

May 19, 2009

save-moneyIn today’s economy, people are scrambling more than ever to save a buck or two on everything from toothpaste to the cars they drive. The insurance industry is in no way immune to people shopping for the better rate. Watch any TV program and you’ll see 5 commercials from insurance companies talking about how inexpensive their rates are, and, 3 of the 5 commercials are from the same company.

Each day I have customers that come to us from another insurance company for a quote. Many times we’re able to beat their current rates with the same or better coverage. 

However, there are a couple of things you should consider if you decide to shop for better rates on your insurance.

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Twitter Apps to Make Your Life Easier

May 18, 2009

twitter appAre you on Twitter yet?

I am (@marketingRE), along with millions of other twitterers.

I try to tweet at least twice a day, but some days are busier than others and it becomes more challenging. If you’re like me, you’re always looking for tips and apps to save time.

I’ve come across hundreds of Twitter Apps – some of which I use, others, not so much. In this post, you’ll find links to apps you may find interesting or useful. In case you’re wondering why I’m linking to an article from March, I thought it was very interesting and figured, at least it’s not 6 months old and really out of date.

Keep in mind, neither are complete lists, but these should keep you busy for awhile…at least until I can compile more tips, links, apps, etc. that you can use.

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Foreclosures – Are they right for you?

May 14, 2009

real-estate-foreclosureUntil now, foreclosures were hard to find and even more difficult to buy. Most of the great deals were purchased early in the pre-foreclosure stage by investors before they ever made it to a public foreclosure list.

However, there are still a lot of foreclosures on the market and nowadays, they’re a lot easier to find online. Foreclosures aren’t just a good buy for investors. Many seasoned homebuyers (transplants to Georgia included) are looking at foreclosures because they are a good deal and are often their ideal property.

And if you’re a first-time homebuyer, you should definitely consider a foreclosure. These properties are priced right and unlike the past, many are in good condition. Plus, you may qualify for up to $14,000 in grant money in most counties in Georgia through the Georgia Dream NSP Program, which was created to encourage the purchase of foreclosed properties. Funds utilized are an allocation of federal dollars received by the Department of Community Affairs from the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.

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Setting the Listing Price

May 14, 2009

reduced sign“You want how much for this house?”

Okay, it’s not the reaction you were hoping for when you put your home on the market. But if the price of your home is set too high, then you’re probably turning off buyers (probably before they even walk through the door). Plus, you’re increasing the time on the market and may still need to reduce the price.

The price, location and photos are the most important factors buyers consider before they ever call for more information. For now, I’ll focus on the price.

Several factors should be considered when trying to set your price.

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$8,000 Tax Credit as Down Payment?

May 13, 2009

chicken or eggOh yeah….the rumors are flying about the “real” possibility of being able to use the $8,000 Federal Tax Credit for a down payment! But as we all know, the devil is in the details and as of yet those details have not been worked out by HUD or their FHA approved investors.

This will be HUGE! This is the piece that has been missing for those buyers who are qualified in all aspects except for actually having money or the down payment!

The $8,000 tax credit is great, but it’s the old “Chicken or the Egg” challenge. At this moment, buyers must close on a home in order to apply for the $8,000 tax credit. But, in order to close on a home, those buyers must have acceptable down payment funds.

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New $1,800 Tax Credit for Georgia Home Buyers

May 12, 2009

TaxCreditGood news if you’re thinking of buying real estate in Georgia…Governor Sonny Perdue signed House Bill 261 yesterday (May 11) providing an $1,800 tax credit on home purchases during the next six months.

The state tax credit, which would be taken over three years, takes effect on June 1, 2009 and is available on single family residences including condos and foreclosures. The amount of the credit is $1,800 or 1.2 percent of the purchase price, whichever is less. You can claim one-third of the credit available in each taxable year, and may carry forward unclaimed amounts.

Plus, there are no income restrictions and you don’t have to be a first time home buyer to receive the new $1,800 tax credit. It’s available to all buyers who close by Nov. 30, 2009. Find out more.

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Soaring with the Eagles

May 11, 2009

Every once in a while, you get a rare opportunity to share your passion with a receptive group of like-minded peers. Kevin and I recently found ourselves in that position at the latest RealTrends conference, Gathering of Eagles. After a guided company tour of Metro Brokers in April, Steve Murray, CEO of RealTrends, was impressed enough to ask us to speak to 200 broker/owners of large real estate businesses across the US.

While we were in Dallas, we heard from the top industry experts about where this market is headed. There is good news on the way. Keep reading for more.

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How to Get Started on Twitter

May 8, 2009

twitterbirdTwitter. Everyone’s talking about it – celebrities, talk show hosts, corporations and friends. They’re tweeting away about everything and nothing all at once.

Twitter is a social networking site and a micro-blogging site. What does that mean? According to Wikipedia (love this site), Twitter is a service that enables its users to send and read other users’ updates (known as tweets). Tweets are posts of up to 140 characters in length which can be seen on a user’s profile page and delivered to other users who subscribe to them (known as followers).

So what’s the big deal? Well, it’s another way to connect to your sphere of influence and their friends plus all of their friends a hundred times removed. This is a long one, but has answers to lots of questions I’ve been fielding lately about Twitter. Here is how to get started.

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