New Technology is great but it seems to be advancing so fast that the average person can’t keep up!! What good is all this “good” stuff if we don’t have the training, time or energy to learn what it’s all about?! We don’t really! Relax! We just need to do our best to keep up with what our own particular needs and environment request! Some of us need to know more than others and some of don’t need to know any at all. That is, we don’t all have to know the latest and the greatest but just those things that can keep “our” everyday business, life and families up-to-date and current with the technological world. The more I learn the more I see how it can benefit almost anyone in any profession. It does seem a little overwhelming with everything from: I-phone, X Box, Wii, W 7, QR codes, GPS, Blackberry, Droid, Web, Blog, Bluetooth, MP3 and things I can’t even imagine or comprehend! Windermere just updated all the personal agent websites last week! A majority of us don’t like change and the websites are a little more difficult than they were presented to be but we are figuring them out! Of course, at first we like to whine and complain a little but in the long run, these new sites are going to be great! Next Windermere will change their main Home Page and search Website to be more user friendly and combine some of the most popular attributes from other sites that clients are demanding. The best of all worlds! Before the end of the year our franchise Windermere/CIR for Camano Island and Stanwood will hopefully be reorganized with a type of “cloud” web sharing for our agents which will be another change! A lot of changes coming before the end of the year to get up and running for a great start to 2012! It seems like a lot of things all at once but we just have to take them as they come, do what we can, learn as much as we can in the time we have, move on and keep going. In addition to last week’s blog of staying positive, it is much easier to embrace the new ideas, technology and changes coming our way. Real Estate has and is changing as well. We can now be at home or any hot spot on our computers and look at every entire property For Sale in any State or City, we can use our I-phones, Blackberry’s or Droids and the QR codes to go to any listed property and shop for exactly what we want. We can drive around and use our GPS on our phones or handhelds and know where all the listings are located, then use the QR codes again to get either agent information and/or home information. We can get our I-Pads or Notebooks to go “On Line” as well and get all the information we are looking for from almost anywhere. Another reason why we as agents need to keep up with as much technology as possible to keep up with our technologically driven clients and the world!
Persistent Perseverance! The act of persisting, tenacity, The state or quality of being persistent; persistency, Continuance of an effect after the cause is removed; Steady persistence in adhering to a course of action, a belief, or a purpose; steadfastness, continued steady belief or efforts, withstanding discouragement or difficulty; persistence. These are the two dictionary definitions of the first two words. In life, work, school, love these could be two of the most important words! Sort of like “Try, try again”, we have all heard this and this very historic statement culminates in persistence! As in “Where there is a will, there is a way” and “Survival of the fittest”, these two even older phrases could be summed up in the one word of perseverance! Put them together and you have an unstoppable, undeniable will and spirit to overcome all obstacles and roadblocks. “Hang in there”, “don’t give up”, “never say die”, are all very highly used sayings of encouragement and support. As one of my clients and I found out this week! We had started our listing nearly one year ago on October 22, 2010. I scrutinized the price and the Sold Comparables and came up with a great list price(or so I thought). I had done the usual and more advertising with the office tour, Brokers Open House, Public Open House, NWMLS, Windermere website listing, Google, Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com and more. We had wonderful showings and quite interested buyers but no offers. We started to lower the price. We did two large price reductions after the first six months. We had a few more showings but they were slowing tremendously. Most of the other comparables had already sold. We were experiencing one showing every 3-4 weeks. Finally, coming up on nearly a year we were due to expire at the end of September 2011. I thought I had no chance to convince my client to continue the listing. They called that day and surprisingly wanted to keep the listing going for a few more months. The very next week; an offer!!! This just goes to show me that even in the overall down economy, the Stanwood and Camano Island Real Estate markets are still healthy. Clients are buying and homes are selling. There are currently 38 Pending Sales on Camano alone. We are still getting new inventory and new buyers! It doesn’t matter how long a property has been on the market, don’t discount it. Don’t wait until the home you wants is Pending with another buyer. A property is worth how much a buyer is willing to pay! We can do it!!
REALLY??!! October??!! Yikes!! To me this all means the end of summer and start of the real Fall/Winter Holiday season. Although one of my most favorite times of the year, the slow and moderate Spring/Summer we had makes the transition a little less than historically exciting. Not the summer has been lazy by any means but now it is time to pick up the pace with ourselves and our families and gear up to get involved with all the exciting events and year-end. We have already noticed the change in scenery; the maple leaves falling, the chill in the night air and the gorgeous, cool sunrises over the Cascades. The fall colors of lemon, mustard, pumpkin, burnt sienna, hunter, oak and mahogany are all my favorites! Of course, first we have Halloween this month with decorating, baking, making costumes and the culmination of the “Big Night”!! The children’s treasure trove usually last until they can restock at Christmas! The smells of those outdoors fires, fall stews, hot ovens, pumpkin pie spice, apple cider, cobblers and wood burning fireplaces bring childhood memories as well as more recent. Then after Halloween, gratefully, Thanksgiving has not become as commercial as the previous and post holidays to it, so it brings a family togetherness and a time to relax, enjoy, prepare and actually plan the big doings of December. I love Thanksgiving for that very reason; it has stayed less retail and I can enjoy cozy weekends watching movies, playing board games and just spending time with my family! No sooner do you get that Turkey out of the oven it seems as if overnight, “tis the season,” so to speak with the countdown to Christmas!! With kids it’s kind of hard not to get caught up in it all; more decorating, baking, parties, shopping, friends and family!! Christmas Day and the week following is the last breather prior to another New Year! Hopefully it will be a good year to come! As for the Real Estate market in Stanwood and Camano Island as well as the rest of the country, this all means the start of our fourth and final quarter for the year. For our own sakes and the down economy, we need to continue and increase our Pending sales and finish out the sales year strong. We need to set up and prepare those coming listings for the start of the New Year as well! We have been on an upward trend in the third quarter and if we can continue strong, we should have a year-end result better than that of 2010! Continued low-interest rates and low home prices give hope to the finish of a great year!
It never ceases to amaze me what a small world it is and how much smaller it gets all the time! Obviously with the increase in technology, the cyber world and “air space” is most definitely smaller, quicker and easier! But our actual physical connection to people and places is also seemingly smaller. Is it really or is that only what adults say? Do children in today’s world feel it too? Is it only because I am bigger, older? In any case, our lives are connected in ways we don’t even realize or always see. Any person, at any time either walking next to you or past you could have known someone you’ve known or may know currently. There may be a previous or future connection with someone within arm’s reach. As in my favorite movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life” you will never know how many lives you will affect everyday and what would happen if you never touched them. So a man drove past the office with a new landscape business and came by to introduce himself. He starts saying how he got a wonderful owner contract on a property on the Island and on and on. Come to find out that the previous owner is a very good friend of mine! Another client called my phone number from a sign and came by later to chat about Real Estate and remembered that he chatted with my husband over the phone a few weeks previous! What are the odds that he would call my number from a random sign? A conversation while a couple was waiting in a line hundreds of miles away brings them to Camano; they stop by the office just to get a recommendation and information on a Bed and Breakfast. The conversation in the line was with a Camano Island resident who said how wonderful she loved her new home up here and that they should definitely visit. The resident I sold a home to several months earlier!! Real Estate activities and Pending sales have and continue to stay up now at 44 from 50 last week for Camano Island!! Those missing 6 Pending, went to closed sales which is still nearly one a day!! Strange, fascinating and such coincidental meetings and connections! I love my job! I meet so many interesting and unique people and most have become not only clients but friends for years. The continued stream of buyers in the current market continues not only on Camano but as well in Snohomish! With more and more people coming to the area, I am anxious to see what new connections will come and who I will meet next!! We will only be having our Club Friday for the next three weeks. This week the 23rd, I will be open without a sponsor due to some other engagements and next week, September 30th with a double Open House between Windermere and the Country Club Fire Station 4033 Local Fire Fighters!! We will end our season with Greenworks of Washington on October 7th. Come in Friday or any day of the week to see who you might meet!!
Labor Day has come and gone. Now we remember 911! It never struck me before but did they plan the attack the same week as one of the biggest “American” Holidays? Was it supposed to be the week prior? It is a somber and inspirational day! Somber for the obvious reasons, yet inspirational that our people, our government however, clumsily or haphazardly pulled through strong and sound from the greatest homeland attack in our nation’s history from another country! Remembering 911 is different for everyone. My daughter asked me “What it meant to me to be an American” and I couldn’t answer! I was dumbfounded. I never thought of it. Always took it for granted. Even with having the privilege and experience of traveling to many different countries and seeing the differences. Every time I returned home realizing how fortunate I was with just the everyday enjoyments, I still could not put in words, what it actually meant! In some ways 10 years seems like such a long time and others like yesterday. What if cars were luxury and we had to walk or ride a bicycle every where? What if we could not travel on paved roads to get the items we needed or go to school and work? What if we could not choose the person we were to marry and have a life with? What if there were no major medical facilities or any way to pay for them? Think about the smallest every day event and think if you couldn’t do it? What if we could not buy and sell our own homes? I believe there are over 15,000 Realtors in the State of Washington alone. We complain about the market and the economy that has been depressed for the last few years. What would we do if there were no option at all? Real Estate activities and Pending sales have and continue to stay up even now at 50 for Camano Island!! The actual number is down from two weeks ago at 57 but we have also had 15 closed sales which is more than one a day!! Most agents in our Windermere offices have at least two or three current active buyers yet to have purchased as well! We are all grateful and thankful to have what we have and enjoy the little things, even if they don’t appear to be as good as they were before. I think we would all like to say “Thank You” to all our past, current and future clients for choosing Windermere for your Real Estate needs. Thank you also to all the other Brokers from other Firms for your continued professionalism and perseverance. As a small part of our Thanks, don’t forget Club Friday this week on 9/16 from 12-2 pm with Wells Fargo with the traditional and always FREE BBQ Lunch!! Hope to see you soon.
The end of a super fantastic week and the start of another!! The Camano Island Real Estate market has been so “Hot” along with our gorgeous weather that I didn’t even have time for an update last week!! Perhaps it is the weather and perhaps it is the volatile stock market but desire has been high and interest rates continue to be low; low 4%’s and under 3% for some types of financing! Real Estate prices are continuing to stay low and be reduced and a lot of savvy buyers appear to be walking through the doors and calling their agents to purchase now. Some buyers have been relocating for work. Some are smart first time home buyers or those move up buyers that have equity. There are also a lot of investors; tired of the fluctuating stock market and looking for that long term investment proven to eventually pay off. Whatever the reason, we are grateful and excited. With 52 current Pending Sales on Camano Island alone we are seeing an amazing upward trend. All of our Windermere agents have been gearing up with current information, trends, competition and comparable sold statistics to help their clients and everyone make informed and wise choices. We have a wide variety of inventory and there is something for everyone! We are also continuing our goal of improving the Windermere Club office with better access, more information and our welcoming “Open House” type of atmosphere so our entire community can feel comfortable coming in whether they are buying, selling or simply needing advise. The prior week’s Club Friday Community Open House was a huge success sponsored by WAVE Broadband and Randy’s famous pulled pork BBQ, ribs, coleslaw and the works! Wow, follow up that with last week’s Club sponsored by Network Mortgage and Premier Designs Jewelry and near 80 degree weather. Every indication and premonition is that the busy, hot trend will continue in the weather and Real Estate! Come on down on Fridays or any day because we are “Cookin’ at the Club”!!!