ActiveRain is like being back in High School…..rebutal!

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

 If it makes you feel any better, I didn't finish High School. That's right folks. I was "uneducated". I was poor. I've been on my own since I was 16. I EARNED every bit of my success by fighting and clawing my way through life. BUT that's not what this post is about. I added this at the last second because I felt it pouring out of me. I guess anytime my success is contributed to being "popular" or "lucky" it just hits a nerve with me. Anyway…..here's my post for today.  

OK folks, here's something I don't do that often, a blog post about blogging. I know…I know….booooring. Sorry about that but I was leaving a comment on Bob Mitchell's post and it was getting way to long. Bob's posting, AGAIN, is about ActiveRain being like "being back in High School" and used me as an example of folks that get "featured" too often. So I feel inclined to respond.

First, maybe I do get featured too much. I've had 135 featured posts out of the 278 that I've written. To make the ratio even better AR didn't even have featured posts until I had already written about 45 of them. So lets figure I've had 135 features out of 233 or so posts!! That and $6 will buy me a really good cappuccino at Starbucks. BUT I have no control over what gets featured. That's up to the moderators. And I appreciate every single one of them. You could not pay me to do what they choose to do for free. I don't solicit features, comments, subscriptions or readers. I just write and post.

Now having said that, there are several things that contribute to having a successful well read blog on AR. First and foremost is providing good content that folks will want to read. I've found that in order to achieve this, a blog post has to be educational, informative, eye appealing AND entertaining. You can put out the best informative post possible, but if it is lacking in the other areas, it will get passed by. Folks like an easy read and they like to be entertained. The key to writing is to try and find a balance in these areas. You also have to be consistent. Folks have to know what to expect when they click on your blog.

It also helps to post at the same time and on the same days of the week. And don't post too often. I post 3 or 4 times a week. This builds anticipation.

You also have to be consistent in the "personality" of your posts. It has to be real, not fake. Folks can tell the difference.

Our personal lives, our business and AR are ALL built more successfully by being likeable. It's human nature for people to gravitate towards people or things that make them feel good about themselves. This is where the social side of ActiveRain comes in. Interacting with our peers by commenting is imperative if you want to be noticed. And not just commenting but commenting well. Well thought out comments that add to the post AND comments that make the writer feel good about themselves.

You don't have to agree with what they wrote. You can certainly have strong opinions and debates BUT debate the topic and respect the person. Good communication skills mean you can disagree with some one without being negative. No one likes negative people. If you have a reputation for being negative you are dead in the water. Negative is: whining, moaning, constantly complaining and belittling others. If you do these things you will fail in life, business and on AR.

Folks, when I read posts, talking about "cliques", the "popular" people and blah blah blah, I truly don't know how to respond. Am I supposed to be ashamed of being popular? Should I try harder to be not likeable? Should I change my writing style? Should I defend myself? Or should I just consider the source and ignore it? Should a moderator have to dread featuring one of my posts because "I have too many"? I just don't know.

One thing I do know, is that the real measure of a good blog is how many subscriptions you have. To me, this is the real indicator, because folks subscribe individually to your blog. There are no points given and we don't know who has subscribed. It's anonymous. If folks like reading what you write they will subscribe to your blog. I know that I have subscribed to about 150 blogs. These are people I enjoy reading. They educate me, they keep me informed, their post are easy to read, they entertain me AND most importantly…I like them. To me they are "popular" whether they get featured posts or not. They are my friends. And I value each and everyone of them, including Bob Mitchell.

And that's all I have to say about that. For now.

All content copyright © 2007 – Broker Bryant Real Estate Ramblings

What’s all the drama about?

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

While doing my daily MLS research, this morning, I noticed a new listing, that was priced very, very well. In fact it was priced "to good to be true". So I thought I best do a little more investigating on it. Well it turns out the list price was actually nothing more than a teaser. I think it's called "Drama pricing".

This is a one year old 2200 sq ft home that has a true market value of around $235,000. The listing price is $160,000! The REALTOR® only remarks disclose that this is NOT the real price but is being used to "catch your attention". Isn't that interesting? This is the first time I have seen this in my market, so I'm wondering if anyone has used this technique before?

It certainly "caught my attention" so it was effective in getting me to research the listing. I wonder how much it will sell for? Now as you may know, I use Range Pricing on my listings, so I too am looking to sell my listings for higher than the list price. But the "list price" is normally only about $10,000 less than what my properties comp out at.

I'm not sure how pricing a property 35% less than market value would work. Would it create a bidding war even though the market is so slow and Buyers are few and far between? Would it create havoc and bad will with my peers? Or would it work?

I don't know if you would get market value for it but I wonder how close you could get? One thing I do know is it did "catch my attention". I might just have to give this a try. Maybe I'll just price all my listings at $100,000 and throw them out there to see what happens. That would make a pretty good advertisement: "Come on down to Tutas Towne where ALL properties are priced at $100,000. Make us your best offer!"

I guess if nothing else it would create a buzz. And I like a good buzz. Oops…that didn't sound right. How about…I like excitement? That's better.

So what do you think? Should I give it a try? Have any of you guys used "Drama pricing" before? Inquiring minds need to know.

***Image compliments of Sally "WooHoo" Cheeseman.

All content copyright © 2007 – Broker Bryant Real Estate Ramblings

The ‘Gateway" to success or failure?

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Today, while reading through my new Real Trends magazine I came across an article on NAR's new proposed "Gateway" National MLS project. Have you heard of this? According to an article on realtor.org this will be "a repository containing detailed current and historical information on all real property in the United States."

Holy moly!!!!!! Sounds like what Zillow.com is trying to achieve doesn't it? Could it be that our Association is on the ball for a change? Or not? From what little I've read about this the "Gateway" would not be limited to just REALTORS® but would be open to all licensees and would include FSBOs.

Folks, this has the potential to be HUGE! I guess one of the biggest questions, I have, would be, HUGE as in good or HUGE as in major screw up. Remember Homestore? Can NAR avoid this same kind of costly mistake on a project this size?

What will happen to our local MLSs? Will they merge into the "Gateway" or will they become obsolete? Will the "Gateway" be able to compete with Google, Yahoo and Zillow?

Now folks, I do not know the answers to any of these questions. In fact, I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to the "Gateway" and what this is all about. BUT, I certainly plan on doing some extensive studying over the next few weeks to bring myself up to speed.

For now, I'm throwing this short post out here to see first, if you have heard about this and second, what are your thoughts? I did a Google search and here are a couple links I've found related to this. Not much information out there on this stuff. Almost like it's top secret. That can't be good. Let me know what you think. I'm clueless. So someone please clue me in.

http://realtytimes.com/rtapages/20070522_midyear.htm

http://www.flexmls.com/blog/?cat=17

All content copyright © 2007 – Broker Bryant Real Estate Ramblings

Fraud Compliance Department……Training Video!

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Wow! I can’t believe it’s Friday already. It’s been a very busy week at Tutas Towne Realty. We’ve had new listings coming on, a closing and several offers that came in. Also, our new “Fraud Compliance Department” was created. We believe this new department is really going to come in handy this year. Mortgage fraud is rampant in Poinciana Fl and Tutas Towne Realty doesn’t play that game.

Anyway, what better way to show you how this new “Fraud Compliance Department” operates than to make a little video for your viewing pleasure. So with out any further ado……here it is. Don’t forget to cut your speakers on!!!

Related posts:

The ActiveRain….Bull….Shhh!!!…..Bag. By TLW

You want my Sellers to do what? By Broker Bryant

All content copyright © 2007 – Broker Bryant Real Estate Ramblings

 

You want my Sellers to do what?

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Hi folks! Well, today, I received another of those fraudulent offers for one of my listings. Do you get as tired as I do of getting these things? It really leaves a bad taste in my mouth for our profession. When folks hire a REALTOR® they should be assured that they will not be participating in mortgage fraud. Mortgage fraud is a disgrace to our industry and it makes me mad.

A REALTOR®, called me yesterday, to let me know she was sending over an offer. She gave me a heads up that the offer was written with the Buyer needing a "gift of equity" from the Seller. Gift of equity? What the hell is that? Anyway, I told her to send it on over and I would take a look at it. My curiosity always gets the best of me and I get excited about seeing the new "fraud du jour" technique. I figure, if nothing else, it's good blog fodder. So keep them coming!

Well this one was a doozie!!! Here are the details: My listing is priced at $149,000. The offer was for $165,000 on a FHA loan with the Seller "gifting" through a non profit "church" $30,000 to the Buyer to be used for down payment, closing costs and to pay off some credit judgments. There was an added addendum stating that the "real" purchase price was $135,000 and the commission would be paid on that amount. Is that beautiful or what?

The Mortgage Broker called me to explain all this to me and to let me know I also needed to go into the MLS and raise the list price to $165,000 so it would not affect the appraisal. BUT this is no big deal because they do this ALL the time. Well being the good little Broker that I am, I told the MB and the REALTOR® that I had submitted the offer to my "Fraud Compliance Company" for review and as soon as I heard back from them I would get back with them. You think they were getting nervous yet?

If that wasn't enough, I sent this Email over a little later:

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The offer that you have presented for XXX Bluewood Dr has been rejected out right.

As mentioned to you earlier, this offer was presented to my Fraud Compliance Department for review and has been rejected as an attempt at committing Mortgage Fraud as per the HUD and FHA guidelines. I will assume that you are not aware of this and I will not report it to the proper authorities, this time. However, if I see any offers of this sort in the future from your office I will report it to the Attorney General, FREC and the FBI. Mortgage Fraud is a federal offense. By participating in this you are jeopardizing your license and your freedom.

There are numerous red flags in this purchase offer and as a licensed professional you should know that. If you are doing deals like this you need to stop. Mortgage Fraud is a disease in our industry and it destroys lives. This contract is not in a "grey" area. It is an attempt at fraud, whether knowingly or unknowingly. My Fraud Compliance Officer is one of the leading experts on Mortgage Fraud in the country. At a minimum:

  • The FHA does allow down payment assistance from a 3rd party entity. BUT they will not allow an exorbitant amount of $30,000(18%) This is fraud.

 

  • Requiring me to change the MLS list price for appraisal purposes, is fraud.

 

  • Having an addendum to the contract with a different purchase price on it, is fraud.

Here is a link to the FHA guidelines for you.

FHA Guidelines Sec. 3 relates to this.

My suggestion is you distance yourself from this lender. You also need to get education related to fraud and learn how to recognize it. Please accept this email as a professional courtesy and a wake up call. I have forwarded this to the lender but have not forwarded it to your Broker, yet. This is a serious matter and should be handled accordingly.

******************************************************************************************

Man, I LOVE my job!!!! How did I do?

All content copyright © 2007 – Broker Bryant Real Estate Ramblings

Hey! Don’t "take away" my rock!

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

This morning, while sitting in my office doing my daily MLS Hot Sheet study, I noticed a new listing. In the first line of the remarks section it read "Front screen door does not convey". Now what the heck is that all about? You mean I can buy your house but you won't leave the screen door? Well OK then, I think I'll go look at one of the other 300 similar homes instead. Can you picture a Buyer or their REALTOR® reacting like that? I can.

As a listing Broker, I firmly believe placing "take away" remarks, in a listing, is a huge error on the part of the REALTOR®. It's my opinion that this is "taking away" something of value, from the Buyer, before they even have a chance to look at the property. Buyers do not like the "take away". It starts the entire home buying process off in a negative way. If the Seller does not want to leave the front screen door or anything else in or on the property, then they need to remove it, PRIOR to placing the property on the market. Remove it, replace it and get it out of sight.

The remarks in a listing should be completely positive…not false…but positive. No "take aways".

I met with a potential Seller, last year, who had a beautifully landscaped yard with many large rocks. I'm talking LARGE rocks. He and his wife collected these rocks from their travels in the mountains. They had emotional value to the Sellers but also added a great touch to their landscaping. The rocks really made the yard stand out. A potential Buyer would have been put off by the fact that the Seller was not going to leave them.

When I met with these Sellers, they spent about an hour with me, going through the yard, telling me which rocks they would leave and which rocks they wanted to "take away". Then they proceeded to tell me which trees they were taking with them. By the time they were finished "taking away" their beautiful yard would have looked like a land mine field. One of their biggest value adders of the property was the landscaping. Even though in their minds, they were figuring this beautiful landscaping into the value of their property, they were "taking away" what they had already added in. You just can't do that.

Well, I had to pass on that listing. I had no clue how to write all this up in the MLS. I guess I could have placed little red flags everywhere with signs attached that read "this doesn't convey with the house" but this would have certainly turned a Buyer off. Not to mention all the confusion at the final walk through trying to figure out if the right rocks and trees were left. What a potential mess this would be. So, I did the smart thing and took my services elsewhere.

Now, this was obviously an extreme case but I'm sure y'all run into these "take aways" frequently.

  •  "The chandelier doesn't stay."
  • "The ceiling fans don't stay."
  • "Oh no, the drapes don't stay."
  •  "The garage door opener doesn't stay."
  •  "The wife stays" Well….OK maybe not this one!

Folks, Sellers need to remove and/or replace "take aways" PRIOR to placing their property on the market. If the Buyer sees these things they will want them. These are attachments and are a part of the property. You can't start taking the house apart to sell it. If you do, your potential Buyer may very well take his offer away.

As listing Brokers, it's our job to make sure our Sellers know this. Don't just agree with them and add a "take away" remark in the MLS. By doing this you could be costing your Seller a sale. Or maybe I'm wrong. What do you think?

***Picture compliments of geekphilosopher.com.

All content copyright © 2007 – Broker Bryant Real Estate Ramblings

A Broker Bryant Mini Rant!!!!

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Have you been over to the Q&A recently? If not, let me clue you in, it is possibly the most unprofessional place I have ever seen on the Internet. We now have so called "professionals" bickering back and forth in the answer area. I guess most of this comes from folks who just can't seem to understand that if you don't know the answer then DON"T answer the question!!! Man oh man that place is getting real scary.

If someone is asking a question about a contract or an issue in Canada they DO NOT CARE what the law is in TX, FL, OH, MN or anywhere else is. Do we really have to try and show everyone how smart we are?

The Q&A section of ActiveRain in my humble opinion needs to be shut down. And that to me is a real sad situation. It could be an awesome resource for the consumer. But all I see is bickering, wrong answers, soliciting for referrals fees, call me, look at me and blah blah blah. It's embarrassing.

OK I'm done.

Carnival? Who me?

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

 OK, the Carnival of Real Estate (CORE) is up over at Marty Van Diest's ValleyMarket.com blog. Folks, if you have never entered the CORE before, it's a great way to drive traffic to your blog. This is a weekly event and is hosted by a different blogger every week. The founders of the CORE are the guys at Zillow and they have done a great job of giving bloggers a fun and educational event every week. So check it out!!! By the way you do NOT have to have another blog to enter, you can enter a post from your ActiveRain blog. So the only thing stopping you from entering is you!

Folks, Marty is now my favorite judge since he decided that my post was good enough to take the top spot this week. Way to go Marty!! This just shows that you don't have to be a rocket scientist, excellent writer or a Real Estate Guru to win a Carnival. Just be yourself and write about what you know. This is actually my 2nd win and TLW, also, won one a while back. Anyone can do it! Here's the link to enter next week.

So here's my post. I'm not crazy about teaser links so I've copy and pasted from my brokerbryant.com blog. If you do want to check out my blogsite just click on the title and it will take you over. Enjoy!!!

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                                                                                        Lead or prospect? Are you buying?

Hi folks! One of the issues, that REALTORS(R) face, is weeding through all the companies that are trying to sell us leads. Most of these companies are doing nothing more than stealing our MLS listings, placing them on a website and then requiring consumers to register in order to view properties. Once they register the companies sell their names and contact information to REALTORS(R). Now most experienced REALTORS(R) know that these so called "leads" are basically worthless and in many cases the same names are sold over and over again.

Unfortunately, this is big business, and in my opinion, it is a thorn in the side of our industry. Newer and inexperienced REALTORS(R) are enticed by the promise of big bucks and instant success from purchasing these "leads", when in fact, all they are doing is throwing their hard earned money down the drain. There is NO quick fix for success in Real Estate. Building a business in Real Estate requires many years of hard work and focused advertising and farming directed at our chosen market areas be it a demographic or a geographic niche. Experienced, successful REALTORS(R) know this. We generate our own leads by spending time and money on effective advertising to our markets.

A lead, to me, is someone who has been referred to me from one of my past satisfied customer/clients or someone who is responding to my marketing efforts. They have found me from my web site, my blogsite or are responding to a direct mail out or print ad in their area. They are contacting me, to hire me, not interview me. They know who I am and they know what I offer. They know these things because I have spent years getting my name out there and building my reputation as the "go to guy" in my area. That is a lead.

The "leads", these "lead mills" are selling, are NOT leads they are prospects. A prospect, is someone who may or may not sell or purchase a home, sometime in the future. Usually when Venus aligns with Mars. A lead is ready to buy or sell today. They are calling to work with me now, not later.

Now, having said all that, the market in my area is very difficult right now. I am exploring alternative ways to generate income. So I, Broker Bryant, have decided to get into the "lead" selling business. I figure a lot of REALTORS(R) are suffering in their business right now and it would be the right time for me to try and help them out. My leads are good and they're cheap. Don't believe me? Watch the video below. It will explain, in further detail, my new lead generating program. Select areas are still available. I'll be looking forward to your phone call.

                                                                                                               

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My previous CORE winner:

"The proof is in the puddin'" Range Pricing Part 1,275!

TLW's CORE winner:

If They Don't….They Won't Get Paid…Meow….Roar!!

***Graphic compliments of Ali Payne. Thanks Ali!!!

All content copyright © 2007 – Broker Bryant Real Estate Ramblings

Broker Bryant’s Bodacious Leads!

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Ok Folks, you’re going to like this one. Brian Brady wrote a post earlier about getting ripped off by a lead generator. I left a comment on his post and at TLW’s request it inspired this little video today. So folks, cut your speakers on and enjoy!!!

 

Please send you cash or money order to:

Broker Bryant’s Marlin Fund

123 SunRay Marina

Costa Rica 336666

1-800-555-9999

***Shipping and handling fee of $29.95 may apply.

 

All content copyright © 2007 – Broker Bryant Real Estate Ramblings

 

Blogging. Push me…pull me?

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

 Howdy fellow Rainers. I read an article in this month's Realtor magazine titled "E-mail or Blog?" written by Jim Kimmons. Jim touched down a little about e-mail being "push" marketing and a Blog being "pull" marketing. I certainly agree with this. It was a good article even though he mentioned the Typepad Blogging platform but neglected to mention ActiveRain. Now, since Jim is a member of ActiveRain, I'll cut him a little slack and assume he just forgot about us. Anyway, his conclusion was…why choose? Use both. Well, to that, I totally agree.

Below is an actual E-mail that I sent out earlier today showing how I incorporate my Blogging into my E-mails. I've been doing this for quite a while now and usually the next response I get from the consumer is…"How soon can you place my property on the market?"

This will show how effective Blogging and ActiveRain can be for your business. Blogging IS "pull" marketing but it pays to "push" it out there.

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Hi Mr. NeedMeBad,

Thank you for your email received. I just pulled up the details on your house located at 123 MustSell Dr. and it certainly looks like it's priced OK. As you may know, the market in Poinciana is very difficult right now but I'm still surprised it hasn't sold at that price. The listing looks good. I can't see any thing that your current REALTOR(R) is doing wrong. However, some times a change can be a good thing. I have been selling houses in Poinciana exclusively for 13 years and personally do not work with Buyers. But I do have an agent that works for me that handles all of our Buyers. I do this on purpose. My job is to negotiate the best deal for you, not to try and appease Buyers. I keep myself separated from that side of the transaction. It helps me avoid having a conflict in interest. (He asked me if I work with Buyers)

Below are several links that will give you a good idea of how I conduct my business.

Please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to look at the property and see what we need to do to get it sold.

Poinciana market reports:

Additional information:

Also, I have attached a copy of my print ad for the free home guides. I hope this information will help you with your decision. I will look forward to hearing back from you.

*******************************************************************************************

Now folks, this is a pretty basic and simple E-mail. I do that on purpose because I want him to check out the links. All of his questions will be answered in the links that I have provided. No need to expand upon my services in the Email. That's the beauty of having a Blog. If you are actively writing about Real Estate then you already have a complete library of marketing materials ready to use. And the best thing is you wrote it! That makes you the expert. No need to link to anything but your own stuff. So if you're not already, give it a try. I can assure you it works.

So that's it for "Broker Bryant's Real Estate Ramblings" today. How did I do?

Image used with permission of Mount Lehman Llamas. Thanks Brian!

All content copyright © 2007 – Broker Bryant Real Estate Ramblings

About us

I am a licensed real estate Broker in the state of Florida. My opinions on real estate have been formed from my experiences and 15 years of working in the business. My opinions are in line with Florida Real Estate laws and the REALTOR(R) Code of Ethics. Your State’s laws may differ. So do your own homework before implementing any of my business practices into your business.