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 I stated that ERA could not survive long term because the system they use is outdated, broken and will not work in this NEW realty market we are in.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?


Sellers, USE A LOCKBOX if You Want To Sell

I find it 100% crazy that Sellers don’t want to use a lockbox in this day and age.  What REALLY blows my mind are agents who actually propose the idea of not using a lockbox.  Instead, they, or a member of their staff attend the showing. HOW STUPID.  I don’t even show listings that don’t have a lockbox.  Those are the FIRST “X” I put on a property, the one that says “Listing Agent Must Accompany.”  AS IF they have control over my buyer.

How about this, your buyer is behind schedule (sound familiar Realtors?).  Now this other agent is blowing up my phone asking “where are you? You said between 1 and 1:30, I have another showing after this.”  Now the buyer shows up and they have 100% attitude and rush the buyer out. Maybe the buyer liked the house, but now he is mad at the other agent and the innocent Seller, who was miss-advised by the listing agent is the victim.

Ego and control issues. An electronic lockbox is safe and effective.  The ingress and egress is documented and e-mailed to the listing agent so they can call and ask for feedback.  The are made for this scenario, for selling houses.  They can be set to not be functional for a period of time (after 8:00 P.M. and active again at 10:00 A.M. for example.  There is an additional code they can add for even more security…… but those listings with a “CBS” code are the SECOND ones to get an “X” off the showing list.

Lockboxes are to make houses easy to show so they are easy to sell.  If the listing agent is trying to control the buyer, MY BUYER, how difficult are they going to be to work with. A lockbox is a MUST if you want as many qualified buyers in your home as possible. This will result in a faster sale and for more money.  It is a proven FACT.

For more information on Tampa Real Estate, go to http://www.headofrealestate.com

Thank you EXIT Realty!


Been in EXIT for three weeks now. THREE WEEKS! My partner Jason Garcia and I have gotten THREE referrals through the EXIT system. That is THREE more referrals I have gotten from ERA in the past 14 years! I get calls DAILY from brokers, agents and even the President of EXIT in North America, Tami Bonnell. I NEVER received a call from Brenda Caserly (President & CEO of ERA) ever. Not when I finished #4 worldwide with ERA, not when I finished #1 Worldwide with ERA. Forget the fact that I have paid about $100,000 in franchise fees the past 3-4 years. When I look at the support I am getting from EXIT, from my Broker, the LEGENDARY Wayne Furlong (who sold 365 houses in 365 days in 2005, a guy who was HOMELESS and living out of his car) to Scott Forbes (regional owner of EXIT) and his entire family. I’m riding on cloud EXIT. It feels good and I am so jacked up again about this business.

I feel like I have been in jail for ten years and now I am FREE again. While I was writing this blog, I got a call from an EXIT broker in Texas. Referral # 4. UNREAL. Without a doubt, EXIT will take my business to another level, ESPECIALLY when this market turns and I get about 100 agents to join in. THAT is when my EXIT plan will be in full force. Join now while the market is slow because when it turns, you will be as prepared as I am!

The guy pictured above is the only person from EXIT I have not heard from YET. This is Steve Morris, Founder & CEO of EXIT. I’m not a gambling man, but I’d bet everything I have in this world that I will hear from him as well in the next 30 days! I’ll keep you posted. All I know is EXIT Realty is as FIRST CLASS of an organization that I have ever seen, known or been affiliated with. I wake up everyday excited to go to work again. The feeling I get in my HEART is that EXIT REALLY and TRULY CARES about me and my family.

Care to join me? For more information on EXIT, go to http://www.headofrealestate.com

Another Year, 2009 is the New 2008

We start the year hopeful of a turnaround, but this disaster has to run the course!  I see a better January of 09 compared to 08, but this is due to foreclosure activity.  The cash investors are everywhere!  Like always, the pros are out buying….. in front of the curve.  The pretenders (followers afraid to take chances who follow other investors) will be too late as always.  All of those “flippers” on new home construction are looking down the double barrel of foreclosure and lost equity.  They were too late again (back then, 2005 and early 2006) as the REAL investors had already flipped a few new construction deals before the common layman knew what it was.  By the time it was a frenzy, those veteran investors had moved on!  By the time the rest of the world knows what is going on, the money has already been made.

The time to buy is NOW.  We have 8 deals pending in January…… EVERY ONE OF THEM ARE INVESTORS!  For more information, go to http://www.headofrealestate.com

Market Crash

The Stock Market is down 700 points already today! So much for the 700 BILLION dollar bailout plan. Consumer confidence is circling the drain! I got to thinking about this and I came to a conclusion that I bet will be the next trend in America. PAY OFF YOUR HOUSE!

If you have the cash, look at it this way. If your $100 a share stock crashes, you end up with a worthless piece of paper. If the real estate market keeps going down, you can live in your house forever! Investment? The value of the house goes down, but it WILL come back up. You have the structure, the land and the income from your rent rolls. With stocks, you have an egg if you are in this market. I still think real estate is a better investment…… now more than ever.

for more information, visit my website at: http://www.headofrealestate.com

Kids And Moving

They tell me that next to divorce and death, that buying and selling a home can be one of the most stressful things we can do in our life! When moving, it is always difficult to leave family and friends behind. Sometimes it simply must be done…..its’ life. Career changes, promotions, lateral moves to a different city or state (Tampa Florida is great but the way). We as adults can take it in stride! The Internet has made it a little easier, text messages, picture messages, the modern era of communication! Recently, my stepson Todd, a lifetime resident of Tampa moved cross country to Montana! I hardly know he is gone as he can communicate with his mother daily!

Kids & Moving.  I can kill this entire “easy move”scenario here and I’m about to be Mr. Joykill in one simple word. TEENAGER. Oh the drama! Although we as adults can recognize “puppy love” and all things drama, it is as real as real can be to those teenagers who have established “clicks” and worked hard to gain the acceptance of others at school and in social circles. To move to a strange town and start from scratch is definitely more traumatic for them than the parent. To the parent, it is a positive move in a better direction (90% of the time) to the teenager, it is the opposite (10%).

So how can you make the transition as smooth as possible? I see couples moving to Tampa and they don’t bring the kids when they come to town to search for homes, excluding the kids from this important decision making process! Then, when I stop by after closing, I can usually see the disgust in the teenagers as the trucks are unloading! The biggest mistake you can make when moving is not making the kids part of the decision making process when selecting a home. They get an opportunity to get familiar with the area, meet a few kids their own age if they are lucky and maybe, just maybe, become a little less resentful and a bit more accepting of such a move. By making them part of the process, it softens the blow and makes it more of a family move as opposed to Dad and Mom ramming it down their throats.

Be sympathetic to them. Don’t dismiss their heartache! Remember what it was like for us? Can you imagine being relocated to another city at 15 or 16 years old? The trauma is real. By allowing them to participate in the process, they will be better understanding to your situation as well. Don’t forget to remind them that you also have to leave friends and loved ones behind! Remember, you are all in this together and if handled correctly, your family will grow closer together as a result of the move.