Saturday, May 26, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
So, OK, I've got to tie real estate and NASCAR together, right? Here goes... My older (and only) brother is a Catholic priest - "Father Tom," as they all call him. He and I both inherited our father's unusual sense of humor... ( "How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?" "Gosh, I don't have any idea. How much?" "Two cords." "Two cords? Why?" "Well, it's just something you've got to know." ) We'll observe something and both start to laugh, while others stare vacantly, waiting to "get it." Back in the 198o's, a famous (or, perhaps infamous) bumper sticker popped up. It read: "Sh** Happens" Well, my brother, the Father, went nuts. After he saw it the first time, he could not stop being amazed by its simple, yet profound message. Surely, it must be of biblical derivation. We'd say it... then laugh for ten minutes... then say it again. We tried to clean it up, by substitution, but "Stuff Happens" just wasn't funny. To this day, some twenty years later, when anything goes awry... we know what to say.
So the buzz in NASCAR this week has been all about Junior (No, he hasn't gotten his real estate license, that we know of). All season it's been about his squabble with Dale Senior's wife - and how he wants at least a 51% interest in DEI Racing. Then he goes and announces he's leaving after the season's done. And does icing make the cake better? Yes. Yesterday revealed that Dale will be docked 100 points and his crew chief will be fined $100,000... for fiddlin' with the rear wing mounts on their Car of Tomorrow. Wow. Sh** Really Does Happen.
As the years have unfolded, I've taken that standing joke and done some fiddlin' of my own. I've changed it to: "Sh** Happens. So What? Now What?" It's my way of acknowledging life's randomness... and then dealing with it. Try it - it works. Junior's crew was like that this week. The team president, Max Siegel, met with them and observed that "Nobody was freaking out. Everyone went into a "What do we do now" mode. It is what it is. It's unfortunate, but we'll move on." I guess DEI read my mind and simply paraphrased, "Sh** happens... So what?... Now what?" Hope it works for them.
Real estate is just like that... whether it's Palm Coast real estate, Flagler Beach real estate, Ski resort property, California, Virginia, or New York... Sh** happens. I've studied this, and on average, markets have cycled about every seven years in the sixty years since WWII. Now we're in a race to the bottom, price wise. Positive spin? The sooner we get there, the sooner we start the climb back up. So we should all do just like Dale Jr. and his crew: Don't freak out. It is what it is. It's unfortunate (if you're a seller) but we should move on...
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
Here's what's coming: Several Hundred Thousand Foreclosures in 2007/2008. That's the "Wild Card." Why is this important to you as a seller? Because this inventory surge is going to push prices even lower. Industry economists (not just one or two crackpots) are predicting a dip of another 5-7% in prices, because of this reality. Just one foreclosure can lower prices in a given neighborhood another 1-2%. Don't let your agent get away with just saying, "We've got to lower the price." Make them prove it. Position yourself wisely. If there are 50 houses like yours for sale, look at the actual "selling prices" of the last 5 to have sold. That's where you want to be. Don't get into the vulnerable mindset of, "They can always make an offer," or, "There's a buyer for every house," or, "If it's meant to be, it will happen." For a ship to reach its port, it first has to pull away from the pier... and sail an accurate course. Ask that your Realtor provide professionally researched data to support their argument. It's what you'll need to make an informed decision.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
That was way before the Powers That Be came up with that mysterious slogan: "An Army of One." But that's what I had become. Where was my Executive Officer and Sergeant Major and Admin Staff to help me? This is embellished a bit, for effect, but the broker walks in and says, "Hi, new guy. Here's your desk and here's your phone... Good luck, pal, you're on your own!" Ouch! Well, I jumped in with a vengeance... out to prove I could make good at this civilian thing. And I did. I grew my business quickly and by my second year, I had become overwhelmed and, de facto, had become my own assistant. The years that ensued were highly productive, yet chaotic. I'd be at the office by 7:00 AM and often sitting with clients at 7:00 PM. It got crazy. Then I started hiring assistants. And things got crazier. They were usually young and smart and aggressive... and, yes, restless and mobile. I'd train them - we'd get in a groove - they'd move to California. If I'd just seen this book sooner... but then again, if I had, it probably wouldn't have impacted me like it has now.
So what's the fuss? If you're one of the many Palm Coasters and Flagler Beachies who rise early and head out to Daytona, St. Augustine, Orlando, or Jacksonville each day, pumping $90 into your SUV twice a week, and working loyally for a company who will forget you at pink slip time... You've got to read this book: "The Obsolete Employee", by Michael J. Russer... see: www.TheObsoleteEmployee.com to read the review and to purchase it. If you are an employer, read this and jump on the train. Employee? Read it and then maybe jump off! Heck, start your own train... or Limo... or whatever your imagination can stir up! My guess is this book could very well start a revolution. It's all about "Virtual Outsourcing." Remember, less than ten years ago, the concept of "Telecommuting?" Nah, that could never work... right? Well, virtual outsourcing is the new telecommuting. It's a way for bosses not to have traditional employee headaches. And for employees not to have traditional bosses.
Want a mind-popping endorsement? How about this, from Michael Gerber, the author of "The E-Myth:" "Some books are timeless. Others are exactly the opposite; they come at exactly the right time, for exactly the right reason, and perform exactly the right job in exactly the right way. (No, you skeptic, this is not his brother...) He goes on to say, "This book is a brilliant resource... Read it. I did. And it changed the way I think about hiring forever." How about this, from Chris Durst, CEO of Staffcentrix, LLC: "...It shows employees a way to escape the rat race and live their dream working on their terms - when, where, and how they want to." And Dan Burrus, author of Technotrends: "Russer has identified a tremendous shift in the way small business works. This is a leading-edge trend that will eventually dictate who thrives and who struggles in the small business arena." Wow! I'm listening. How about you?
Walking the talk is always risky, isn't it? So here's the deal. Instead of pursuing the traditional assistant model, my partner Maritssa and I, over at RE/MAX Oceanside, are going to swim in the "Virtual Assistant Pool." It will be the shallow end of the pool at first, yet the pool it will be. We will start researching this week and "give it a go." I'll report back to you during the month of July... to let you know how we're doing. I've got a good feeling about this... I'm whistling, as I walk away:-)