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 I stated that ERA could not survive long term because the system they use is outdated, broken and will not work in this NEW realty market we are in.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


And What Did The Banks Do With The Money?

broken house

So the government spent ONE TRILLION to bail out the banks!  I found myself thinking today, why did they not bail out the real estate market instead?  It is estimated that it would take less than 800 Billion to bring all “upside down” property owners “right-side up” and that was a better route to go.  By bailing out the real estate market, it would have bailed out the banks to a degree at the same time.  It would have been a long term, win-win for America. The economy would have been rolling by now. After all, when President Bill Clinton pressed the banks to lower lending standards, it allowed way too many unqualified buyers to buy real estate.  Suddenly there were too many buyers and not enough houses.  Did they learn nothing from the savings and loan scandal? The banks were to blame for what happened to a larger degree.  You can make a case for others as well, but the banks should carry the bulk of the blame for the meltdown.

I believe President Obama made one of the biggest blunders in America’s history by not righting the upside down real estate market and this is the reason: China, the main buyer of our U.S. mortgages is no longer going to purchase those notes effective mid 2010.  At that point, the banks will have no choice but to raise interest rates to offset the monetary loss from China and to pay for the risk of holding those once fashionable loans.

The last quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010 WAS looking pretty good….. until the China announcement.   What was a recovering, but still unstable realty market could take another downturn in 2010.

Quite simply, about 10% of homeowners (those upside down) may just take a walk and send in their keys.  After all, they can RENT the same caliber home now for much less.  Those investors who buy those foreclosures are the ones winning.  Mr. Obama wanted to protect “main street” but it looks like he took care of the banks who caused this mess with the Secretary of State’s husband.  His loan modification program? Nothing.  Refinancing adjustable rate loans for borrowers? Nothing.  The government was better off letting the banks fail and doing nothing that bailing them out.  They are back to the old ways of GREED, GREED, GREED.

I’m not really certain at this point of Senator McCain would have been any different if he would have been elected.  What the country really needed was a TRUE right wing conservative that would have allowed the system to correct itself.  I really can’t see what all of this mounting debt will ever be helpful.  We have given our keys to China, and they really own the USA right now.  The banks have done NOTHING to bail out the average American yet took the bailout money to fix their own mess.  One that they created.

We were promised “Change”….. what we needed was REAL Change.  This is not a short-term fix. The President seems like he is already running for re-election and taking the short-term steps to ensure a small boost in the economy.  Not the long-term stability of our great nation.

America needs to reevaluate.


The clock is ticking Mr. Next President

O.K., so we now have the bailout! This seems odd, that millions of Americans who are in trouble are passed over and $700 Billion goes right to the people who caused this mess to begin with. Now Wallstreet will breathe a sigh of relief, hold on to the money for a while before they are pressured to lend again in 2009.

HERE IS THE PROBLEM AMERICA IS OVERLOOKING: The banks are still not aiding those in need. They are “Short Selling” homes to investors, but not the home owners. Many homeowners are filing bankruptcy to force lenders to renegotiate loans that the lender should be doing by their own free will. Now here is the clincher and the trigger that will drain our economy for the next 5-7 years if something is not done:

As you may know, President Bush passed legislation in 2008 to waive any IRS taxes on the shortfall for those who sell via short Sale or are foreclosure victims. Everyone seems to think that EVERYONE is included and they could not be further from the truth. That law ONLY applies to those who did not pull equity or refinance their home. In other words, if you paid $300,000 for your home in 2003 and in 2005 you pulled $100,000 out to pay off bills, etc. (you owe $410,000) and the home is now worth $290,000 and you sell for that number (Short Sale), you will NOT be exempt from the $110,000 shortage and you WILL receive a 1099 for this amount.

This law needs to be revised and updated for the NOW situation facing this country. No, it’s not fair to the ones who are paying on time, but this law must change and all of those IRS penalties must be waived across the board……… and I’ll take a beating for saying this, but it should apply to ALL properties including investors.Wallstreet was bailed out, now (as Obama and McCain put it) Mainstreet will need a bailout as well. Otherwise, one in six Americans will face another financial disaster and the economy will be impacted again in another way because those people will not be able to SPEND and BUY things. And that is the medicine for the economy to recover.

This will be another disaster if the legislation is not changed again. America needs the bailout worse than Wallstreet ever did. The clock is ticking Mr. Next President

For more information, go to http://www.headofrealestate.com

Don’t Vote IF……………

The first Tuesday in November is just a month away! The T.V. ads are everywhere! We are definitely as Bill O’Riley would say are in “The Spin Zone” of the big blue and red political machine. What I can’t believe, is that apparently, 50% of America is drinking tainted Kool-Aid from one of the candidates.

I was raised by my Italian family (my grandparents came to Tampa on a boat from Italy in the early 1900’s. One phrase I hard over and over growing up was this:

“Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who YOU are”

Think about that before you vote for our next commander in chief and if you don’t know the facts, please DO NOT VOTE!



Everybody is American

The big vote is just a few weeks away. What bothers me the most about the American political machine is that everyone attacks the others candidate and tries to destroy the other person. Obama and McCain are supposed to be THE BEST America has to offer. It appears that they hate each other. Maybe if the top of the Republican ticket and the top of the Democrat ticket presented like the actually liked each other? What if the Democrat and Republicans in the Senate, Congress and State and Local governments did not take the other persons political agenda so personally? I don’t remember Richard Nixon attacking McGovern, Ford attacking Carter, Regan attacking Carter. In the past 20 years, it has gotten to the point that it makes me sick. No wonder 50% of the country is going to be pissed off after the election. One party has the other thinking it is the end of the world if the other guy comes out.

Why can’t everybody get along? If my kids (WHEN MY KIDS) act like Obama and McCain, they get spanked. Who is spanking them? They are being encouraged to attack and those fences will be very, very hard to mend after this election.

Don’t we all have first Amendment rights? Do we have to hate each other over it? What if:

Obama and McCain were respectful to one another? What is they BOTH stopped those stupid TV commercials attacking one another? What if everyone stopped distorting the TRUTH and simply told the American public what their position is on the issues?

What if Obama said “John McCain is a great American and a great Senator. He has given the ultimate sacrifice for our country and is a wonderful public servant. But Senator McCain and I differ on the issues. Here is how my position is different from Senator McCain………….”

No wonder there is so much HATE in America. It starts with our LEADERS.

Hey America…………….. quit “hate’in”


Please Visit my website at http://www.headofrealestate.com

Florida Voting Machines!

Florida At It's Best!

Florida At It

I voted in the preliminary election in Tampa a few weeks ago! WHAT A STEP BACKWARD! We had the BEST, easy to understand machines I had ever seen! Hanging chads were a thing of the past! Slide your card in, touch the screen, a confirmation of your vote appears, touch the confirm button and you are done!

That WAS 2007.

In 2008, Florida is back in the stone age! Come to find out, those new, state of the art voting machines are now in use at our Florida landfills! What we have now is the old “fill in the bubble with a #2 pencil” gig going again! WOW, I feel like I’m taking the final highschool exam at Chamberlain High, circa 1981.

WHY you ask did Florida ditch the new machine? Simple they tell me. With all of the computer electronics, they were afraid somebody could tamper with the results! I started thinking about it. I noticed AFTER I vote, I slide my “1981 card” into a slot……. a computer slot! The COMPUTER calculates the vote from that polling station and they take the cards to ANOTHER machine at the tally all of the polling station for the final vote!

I want a recount on who voted to eliminate the new machine and go back to the caveman days! The GEICO Caveman is rejoicing. I am not. Shame on Florida for allowing a few politicians intimidate you into wasting MILLIONS of tax dollars on this project.