I have been with Exit Realty THREE YEARS NOW! Often you hear people in Exit talk about is the, residual income we all get from sponsoring agents into Exit. Everyone wants to bring agents into our company for the single level residual money, but as wonderful as Single Level Residuals are…….I think we lose focus on why our company as a whole is so much BETTER than the other brands.

After 18 years with ERA, I finished my last year with ERA, #1 worldwide for them. I realized then that I had spent 18 years climbing a ladder that was on the wrong building. I wanted to come to Exit so bad that I skipped the ERA Convention and did no get my award because I wanted to leave ASAP and start this new chapter in my career. Looking back, I spent close to $100,000 in franchise fees my last three years with ERA. What did I get for that? Access to a VIP tent at the ERA convention where I could get free coffee that lesser producers did not have access to. Management did not know my name despite consistently being in the top ten for them worldwide, year after year after year? I often wonder what kept me there so long? Why do agents not see the light? Why are we so loyal to people who clearly benefit from having us, but we don’t get anything in return? In Exit………. E V E R Y B O D Y WINS!

I wrote a blog in 2009 that if you go back and read it here on WordPress came 100% true (so far) for Tampa. I stated that ERA could not survive long term because the system they use is outdated, broken and will not work in this NEW realty market we are in. Well, in 2011, there are ZERO ERA franchises left in Tampa. One, ERA The Polo Group, was one of the most successful in ERA and the broker, Mario Polo is one of the finest real estate minds you will ever know. He did not fail ERA, ERA failed him by not changing with the times. Most of the major badges fail to look at the overall picture. THE AGENTS ARE THE COMPANY AND YOU BETTER TAKE CARE OF THEM.

With Exit, and this is the point of this blog, you get STATE OF THE ART MARKETING TOOLS, you get the best trainers in the industry and the level of support is so much better than I could have imagined. EXIT REALTY is the Rolls Royce of realty brands. Steve Morris is THE MIND of real estate and has been the leader of our badge since he gave birth to her over 12 years ago. With ERA, I thought CEO stood for “Career Ending Opportunity” because every time they announce a new CEO, they were gone before I could remember their name. At Exit, we have a solid foundation, solid leadership, solid marketing materials, leaders that DO HAVE A CLUE and are in front of the curve instead of always chasing it. Exit e-Listings, Exit Promo Shop are the best marketing tools in the industry bar none. Jeff Lobb is 100% on time with what is happening in the word of technology and we all know that changes hourly, Valerie Reyes can teach you how to bring in more agents and secure your and your family’s future, Bob McKinnen, Tami Bonell, Joyce, Steve Morris and on and on! Hands on management that truly cares about the brand, the agents and the image of what they are building.

I landed on real estate paradise when I landed on Exit. Yes, we have the residuals…………… but we have much, much more to offer than “just” residual income. I’m proud to be here! EXiT OWNS THE NEXT DECADE and beyond!



A Word to My Friends in The Print Media

Here it comes! The doom and gloom! Sales this September, October and November are going to be WAY down from the same time period as last year! Before you report that the market is CRASHING and that real estate is getting worse, PLEASE consider the following!

The ORIGINAL end to the first time home buyer tax credit (that was also being used by non-first time buyers, thank you Mr. President) was originally supposed to end on November 30th, 2009. Needless to say, everyone was in the hunt to get the “free money” our government has been giving away to people who don’t really need it the past two years.

The bottom line is this. THE TOTAL NUMBER OF HOUSES SELLING IS ALMOST EXACTLY ON PAR WITH 2009. The volume of sales was just spread out more evenly as opposed to peaking every time the government established another extension of the tax credit. Further, prices, at least in Tampa, have remained very steady over the past year and I only see the luxury market poised to take another hit in values at some point in the future if the economy does not get any legs to her SOON.

To report a bottoming out real estate market, even though the wires will be full of such information, it will pay to do the homework and look at the entire number of sales, YEAR TO DATE from 2009 when making such comparisons. Although I love stories on real estate, sometimes all that negative press scares away the buyers and that has a huge impact on our economy nationwide.

Why should the investors make a killing while the average Joe is apprehensive to buy those great deals. I have not seen so many investors buying up real estate since the early 90’s. THEY are not impacted by the national media and are making a killing. Realtors that represent those investors are also along for the ride. But the average American needs to know, that over the course of history, buying a home is one of the best investments you can make!

A house in Tampa that was built in the 1970’s for $20,000 in now worth over $200,000 (and was worth $400,000 in 2005). A person RENTING that home paid almost the same payment except the buyer has long since paid this home off and received a great tax break while he had a mortgage. The rate was fixed for 30 years (so the payment never changed) while the renter got price hikes at every renewal. Look at that house value over time. Even with today’s value, that homeowner would tell you that buying a home in the 1970 was one of the smartest financial moves he made in his life. The SAME THING that buyers who bought in 2009 and 2010 are going to be saying in the future.

Will somebody PLEASE run a story on the long term value of real estate and the trends in has run over the last 100 years? THAT would be a great story, a feel good story that would actually HELP the situation out. After all, the media was certainly fanning the flames in 2004, 2005 and 2006 giving consumers the confidence to all walk off that cliff together. Now we need that type of reporting going the other way to ease concerns of those who bought and got burned.

To those investors who bought in 2005 for example and own a home in a community worth 50% less than what you paid for yours…… go buy two or three more of the same model NOW at 50% off and put your renters in their. Those values will rise in the future and the huge profit you make will more than offset the loss on the one you bought. Just like the stock market! You bought stock in a company you have confidence in too early and it is down 50%……. if you believe in the product, go buy more at the discount to offset your loss. THAT make perfect sense to me………..

What say you?


Listing Agent Must Accompany?

The dumbest thing I see in MLS today is “Listing Agent Must Accompany Showings” in MLS. If you are a Seller, here is a message from Vincent Arcuri: I will NOT be showing your house to my potential Buyers.

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Seller: You are asking why your Realtor attending the showings is not a good idea? I can give you a truck load of reasons why they SHOULD NOT be there but I will keep it short. #1) Nobody in real estate is ever on time. Either I will be running late because the buyer took longer than expected to look at each house or the agent meeting us there is running late so all the showings get pushed back. #2) Your Realtor wants to tell my buyer about every little detail of the house “here is the master bedroom” and “look at that chair rail” and drags what should be a regular showing into this 45 minute DRAMA of an agent trying to show off their real estate knowledge. #3) NOTE TO THOSE REALTORS: Buyers are emotional. They will not buy a house over another because yours is better built and the trusses are commercial grade. They like the pool, they like the location, they think this is the coolest house for the money? SOLD. You being there is not making one ounce of difference in the sale price or if my buyer is going to purchase the house or not. #4) When my buyer is late and you throw attitude around, it further puts your listing in the doghouse.

Locboxes today are safe, effective can be set for showings during certain hours and have the security needed to protect sellers. I set mine from 9:00AM to 8:00PM and deactivate the box at night. After each Agent that opens the box, I will get all the data on-line from MLS. I leave as much information as possible about the home IN THE HOME for any interested buyers to take with them. My listings are EASY to SHOW. That makes them SHOW MORE and the chances of a higher sales price and a faster time to sell are much better.

EGO should be left out of the process and that is what some agents are trying to do when showing up for every showing. Some top producers not have their assistants show up for them! AS IF! Who do WE as AGENTS make the home selling process so difficult on each other! We talk about the banks and how horrible they handle the short sales and REO’s and we do no better as a group.

Making listing difficult to show is a mistake and is not the best representation for your seller or buyers in the marketplace. We can do better.


Why Not Buy Now?

Interest rates are at an ALL TIME LOW. Prices are at a 10 year low. Inventory is being bought by investors who are not flipping, but HOLDING. You can buy a home as an investment, put 20% down and rent it for far more than the mortgage payment.

What is always comical to me is when all of those “sheep investors” come out to play “big shot” like in the Stock Market boom 12-14 years ago when all of those lose “Day traders” came out of the woodwork. They were the big shots one day, then begging to dump the houses they bought when the stock market bubble broke. The slithered over to the real estate side……. 2004-2006 boom in real estate and everyone became a big shot again buying new construction to flip. The bubble broke in real estate and 2009 to today, the “Short Sale” guru’s (same guys) are trying to buy those “Short Sales” and not disclose to the lender that there is a higher offer on the table and they think they are NOT going to go to JAIL? (a few of those guys doing it in Tampa, driving a Lamborgini one day, behind bars now).

REALTORS: Out of the woodwork new agents in 2005 became overnight stars! The market crashed and they did not know how to sell real estate for real, so now they are out of the business. Here come the new group……. the ones that know more than all of us!

What the general consumer needs to understand is that a VETERAN BROKER and VETERAN AGENTS, the ones that are here for the long run are the most stable source of information and guidance from the jungle of this real estate mess! Check the resume’ of your agent before you follow them off the cliff. the real estate cliff that so many sheep have fallen off of since the beginning of time. There is money to be made, slow and steady if you follow the lead of an experienced agent!

Well, Well, Well (my opinion Blog)

For the record, this Blog is the OPINION of Vince Arcuri and does not necessarily reflect the OPINION of Exit Realty other Agents or Firms affiliated with Exit.


Early this year (2009) I wrote a Blog about Exit Realty and franchise fees.  I was with ERA at the time and boy did it cause a stink in the (ERA) real estate community.  An ERA broker from SC wrote to my old Broker complaining that Exit Brokers were sending this to ERA Agents in the area.  If you read the Blog (http://headofrealestate.com/wordpress/?paged=4 titled The Real Estate World Will Change), I predicted that some major franchise brands that have become household names across the USA would be out of business soon because those business models are antiquated and can’t survive the economic downturn with such high franchise fees being charged to the Brokers and Agents.  I felt like collecting franchise fees WITHOUT A CAP was wrong and those firms were being greedy and they would not survive.

I was crucified by many for posting the Blog.  Now, eight short months later, not one, but TWO of Tampa’s oldest ERA Franchises are no longer affiliated with ERA, including my old firm that I left when I joined Exit Realty.  ERA Russell Adams Realty is now just Russell Adams Realty and ERA Gulfcoast Realty is simply Gulfcoast Realty.  Now if the owners of those firms,  two VERY smart businessmen thought the 6%, 7%, 8% franchise fee was worth what they were getting in return why did they not renew / drop the brand badge?  If you read the original Blog, I said that IF those unnecessary,  franchise fees (my opinion)were worth what you were getting in return, why would you complain?  I know what I got for my franchise fees (all $56,000 or so of them Team Arcuri paid in 2008)…………… a trip to Exitville, Exit Realty.

After 19 years in this business I have seen all kinds of ideas, discount brokerages, independents and the like.  Exit might be 11 years old, but the idea behind the company is as fresh today as it was in 1998.  Everyone took a little hiccup when the market fell, however I think in another ten years, Exit will be the largest real estate brand in the world.  They take care of the agents, they train them right, they don’t kill you on franchise fees and it is a WIN / WIN / WIN for the parent company, the broker and most importantly, the AGENT.

I still believe that there is time for those large brands to change the way they do business and start (my opinion again) taking care of the Agents again, but time is running out.  Like the old USFL spring football league, a good idea sometimes take too long and before the right changes can be made, it is too late. An 8% franchise fee would go a long way in an Agent’s marketing budget and would help them sell more real estate. That would help listings sell, the franchise can offset the loss in revenue and Brokers make more money by the increase in sales.  Is that not what owning a franchise is all about?  Making money!

To learn more about the Exit system or Exit Formula, check out this video http://headofrealestate.com/videos_sponsoring.html.

A Light At The End of The Tunnel

Right now, in Tampa, you can buy a 3500 square foot home (heated and cooled) with a caged pool, three car garage, 5 bedrooms, four baths, an oversized media room in a gated and guarded community for about $300,000 to $375,000 depending on the area.

How long do you think it is going to last? NOT LONG. As real estate suffered this 2008, everyone was sitting on their hands. Now, with the bailout, investors are eating up inventory. What are other waiting for? Where should investors buy?

Look at who was hot when the market was on fire:

Las Vegas



Naturally, those areas fell the farthest when the market collapsed! Who is set on that big “V” curve or rebound? Those same areas (stay away from condo’s). Tomorrow’s millionaires are buying property today in Florida, Nevada and Arizona.

Jump on the bandwagon now before it gets filled up again. For more information, go to http://www.headofrealestate.com

Trump Towers Tampa

Shame on Donald Trump! For a guy who wants his name associated with QUALITY, he certainly left buyers of Trump Towers Tampa holding the bag. Although he only sold his name to the project, BUYERS who purchased those units felt safe because the Trump name was affiliated with it. The developer required hundreds of thousands of dollars in deposit money from EACH buyer or EACH unit. Now the project failed and buyers are being told that MAYBE they will get 50% of their money back.

I’m thankful that I advised my investors to stay away from the project and they did, except for one. He was featured with me on ABC Action News in Tampa. You can click this link to see the story: http://headofrealestate.com/newsroom_wfts004.html . This was one of my clients who regrets going against my advice and he tells the story better than I could. Look at the news clip and make your own decision.

To learn more about Tampa Real Estate, go to http://www.headofrealestate.com

Vince Arcuri

ERA Gulfcoast Realty