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!
Time flies! Isn’t that what we all say? It sure does! This weekend I celebrated my 30th High School Reunion! It certainly does not seem like that long. Where does it go? Most of us, as children don’t focus on work or a talent or the future paths we need to prepare for. Most kids just go to school, socialize, play and don’t think about much of anything until we reach high school. Most of us procrastinate; say we will do it tomorrow, etc. As we get older, week after week goes by and one day we turn around and 30 years have gone by. What have we done? What do we have to show for our work, our efforts for the past years? Do we have a plan? Do we have goals? Do we have time to do the things we want or need to get done? Time management may be one our most important skill sets. Carpe Diem! Seize the day! Being that “Type A” personality, I always want to work smarter and get more done. I feel like I am constantly working and never spending the time I want with my growing and aging family. I get a little frustrated with myself when it feels like I am constantly working and not getting any of my personal goals accomplished. As with life, families, personal, we especially need to time manage work. We need to work more efficiently in the fast paced world. Take assessment of those actions that we do each day and analyze if those actions are productive and contributing to our goals for the days, weeks, and months. There is no waiting as we need to make urgent, deliberate decisions to affect our work lives to give us more personal lives. Time is not waiting for us. We as Real Estate agents are also trying to communicate the urgency to our clients about their Real Estate decisions. We have clients every day that we feel or know like a particular property and then say things like “I need to think about it”, or “It has been on the market for a long time, I can wait”. Uncannily it seems every time we hear this, suddenly there are two or more others interested in the same property and it sells! Indecision and procrastination changes our clients and our choices, our direction. None of us knows what will happen a few months from now, next year or the year after. With the home prices low and the interest rates low, we need to communicate to our clients that it is a good time to buy. A property is only worth what someone is willing to pay. Of course, we all understand that the market has been in a huge decline but we hope that we are at the bottom of the downward trend and in a “leveling” out period before we start our recovery. We hope our fourth quarter for 2011 will be a good end to this year and in 2012 start our incline to a healthy housing market. Another reason to urge our clients to continue to purchase and not wait is to stimulate that recovery. Without continued sales there can be no turn around. We can’t wait! We can’t afford to think about it! We need to seize the day! We need to buy now! With our local expert Brokers, if you want to purchase any property, we can find it for you. Come in today and let us show you the inventory! Talk to our preferred lenders and see how and what you can do! Carpe Domus?
For the most part, a majority of us are feeling that summer in the Northwest has just begun the last few weeks with little or no rain, temperatures in the 70’s and sometimes 80’s. However, this week brings the start of the 2011/12 Stanwood/Camano School year and what is usually a sign of the end of summer! It is a little hard to believe that although the weather is here, summer is over and fall will soon begin. Hopefully we will experience another 30-45 days of this “Indian Summer” that will extend into October. This next weekend also brings Labor Day which is another tradition sign of the end of summer! Non-traditional is the late surge of Real Estate activities and Pending sales up even higher than last week now at 57 for Camano Island!! The influx of buyers is a welcome business trend for us and a slightly slow year. If the current rate of Pending sales continues we are hopeful to finish ahead of last years’ yearend sales!! Specifically for News from the Windermere Club Office, last week’s “Club Friday” Community Open House was another success with our sponsor Westside Pizza! Rising temperatures well into the 70’s made for a perfectly lovely afternoon in the sun. Due to everything happening this week starting out Monday and Tuesday with catch up from the weekend; Wednesday with the traditional Brokers Open Houses of new listings; Thursday the start of September and the new school year, Friday there will be no Club this week with a long three day Holiday weekend! Family and friends come together for traditional Labor Day BBQ’s and outdoor activities and the “last hooray” for the summer! We still experience low housing prices, low interest rates and improved sales. Even those homes that have been on the market for months, sometimes years which have been reduced to the “right” price have been getting offers and in most case multiple offers!! Smart and savvy buyers know that it is the right time to purchase and are doing most or all their research on the internet with visible increased website traffic and direct communications. It would serve well for agents to make sure that their photos are true and realistic representation of their listings and that their prices are sharp and thoroughly competitive. Whether by internet or any other means, we welcome all buyers and new clients to the Camano and Stanwood area and continue to be ready to help in one of what may be your biggest purchases and life changing events. Good luck for those returning to school, watch out for the children in the morning and Happy Labor Day!!!