Archive for March, 2010

Smartphones, Revisited

March 24, 2010

“The only constant is change.”  It’s a quote you’ve likely heard, but your interpretation of it will vary based on context. When Heraclitus of Ephesus said it around 500 BC, he was referring to the universe and everything in it.  To me, it is a perfect one sentence definition for technology, even though it precedes our modern perception of technology by a couple thousand years.

The smartphone industry thrives on change. Unless manufacturers can fabricate new reasons for consumers to buy new phones every couple of years, the industry would stagnate and most of those companies would go belly up in a matter of months.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While I hate spending a couple hundred bucks on an imminently obsolete device, I’m sure glad I’m not still using that old Motorola flip phone I had back in 2001.

When I wrote my first post on smartphones about 11 months ago, the buzz about Google’s open source mobile operating system Android was just beginning to build, and the Palm Pre was being called an iPhone Killer.  Now, the Droid and Nexus One are hot, and we know the iPhone is safe from the Palm threat.

Just like last time, this post focuses on features for real estate agents.

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First Aid for Transferring Buyers

March 22, 2010

After working in corporate relocation for more than 20 years, I’ve seen thousands of home purchases with perfectly content buyers. One of the keys to success in the relocation industry is preparation.

My advice for budding relocation agents is to be like boy or girl scouts. You MUST be prepared for contingencies when you are working with buyers from outside your service area. By taking just a few steps, you can ensure that transferees make a smooth transition from their old hometown to our area and they will be eternally grateful.

Here are some examples of things agents can have or keep on hand to save the life of a move.

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Alarming News for Short Sale Negotiations

March 15, 2010

I’ve been peppered with questions about a rather alarming article being circulated over the past couple of weeks, written by a well-respected real estate attorney in the Atlanta market area. The thesis of the article is that real estate agents may be committing a felony when assisting sellers seeking short sales by participating in any negotiations with the sellers’ lien holders. This is supposedly because the Georgia Residential Mortgage Act of 2007 requires any person who negotiates mortgage loans to have a mortgage license (which 99% of real estate licensees lack) and that working with the sellers’ lien holders is “negotiating a mortgage”. 

Why raise this alarm now, in 2010? It’s being whispered that some (not all) mortgage brokers and lenders are angry at being required to become licensed in Georgia and are looking to make examples of real estate practitioners who they see as encroaching into lender territory.

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