Why Exit Realty OWNS THE NEXT DECADE

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 I stated that ERA could not survive long term because the system they use is outdated, broken and will not work in this NEW realty market we are in.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

http://www.headofrealestate.com

#1 On Google? A Waste of Time of worth the Time?

OK, here we go again. Three new e-mails today with the promise to get me on the first page of Google. I saw another seminar invite with the subject the same. I know the Internet is now the #1 place most BUYERS start to search for listings……. but do they REALLY search Google looking for an AGENT? I would say 100% NO.

I understand that this Internet Google “guru” is touting numbers like “95% of buyers today start their home search on the Internet” and so fourth. But the fact is, MOST of that 95% starts on the Internet alright, but that traffic and “hit number” is driven by sites like Realtor.com and homes.com for example. The buyer finds the house and calls the agent that has the listing. Investing on the enhanced listings on Realtor.com for example and having a good amount of listings to input is MY #1 source of buyers leads.

Don’t be misled. Most of those touting this Google deal have never sold real estate before. I drive traffic to my own website with my own marketing. In 2010, in Tampa Florida, one of the worst realty markets in the USA where unemployment is around 18% and over 60% of homeowners are upside down, I had 115 sales sides. NONE of that business came from Google.

I’m not saying a good position on Google will not look good on a listing presentation, but I can easily overcome such a minor obstacle in my interview process.

To learn more, visit my website at http://www.headofrealestate.com

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?

http://www.headofrealestate.com

A Case For Real Estate / The Great Depression

This is not the first real estate bubble we have had “burst” and it will not be the last. It is my opinion that the government got us all into this mess and it is their obligation to get us out….NOW.

The government is constantly meddling in the real estate business. “First time home buyer tax credit” of this year was just one in a long history of our political “leaders” trying to drum up business for the real estate industry.

In 1919 The National Association of Real Estate Boards (Now NAR or National Association of Realtors) was promoting real estate via the “Own Your Own Home” campaign. This was a industry based program run by Realtors. Herbert Hoover (the then secretary of commerce) encourage the United States government to take over this program to increase home ownership. And the cycle of real estate was forever altered. Since then, it seems like the government has had a hand in real estate, trying to make it more and more affordable so “every American” can live the dream and own a home. This of course so the banking industry could stretch loans out over 30 years and rake in insane revenue on those 30 year loans!

After our country went into the “Great Depression” in the 20’s, how did the country get out of that mess? 25% of Americans were out of work and most of those jobs were construction related! Reigniting the real estate market back then was a great way to create jobs and get the economy rolling again! Talk about a “Stimulus Package” on steroids!!!

So what does America do in 2008 and 2009? We repeat what history taught us and get the real estate industry back on track, getting value back up, getting those construction workers, surveyors, roofers, plumbers, electricians, lawn service companies, painters, Realtors, lenders and everyone related to our field! WOW, what a TRILLION DOLLAR BAILOUT could do for the economy………….. except Obama flushed that toilet when he blew the trillion on HIS ego driven Stimulus package that has clearly and unequivocally FAILED the American people.

The government dug the hole. Now the CAN’T get out of the real estate game…. can they? I say YES they can…… eventually. If they eliminate the capital gains tax on real estate across the board, no matter how short of a time a person has owned the property, we would clear out of this mess sooner rather than later. Further, property taxes like we have in Florida are BULL _ _ _ _!!! Every state that has property taxes could raise the sales tax .02 per dollar and the revenue created would more than offset the income generated by the loss of property taxes. Now (in Florida for example) the tourists can pay some of that money to rebuild our roads, etc. (since they help destroy and use those roads now) This will reduce the overall cost of home ownership (total payment) by 1/3 in many cases. Buyers who can’t afford to buy, now will be able to and as they buy those starter homes, everyone can move back up the food chain!

After the market gets healthy again, we can only hope that the government can stay out of the business of trying to get every American to own a home. (How did that work out for you President Clinton?). The TRUTH IS, some people will NEVER own a home and will be lifetime renters. America, there is nothing wrong with that! Everyone does not need to buy or own a home for America to be great! We just need responsible leadership that understands economics and how the system works. 2012 seems really far off to me, but November 2010 is just a few weeks away! I can FEEL the market recovering now!

http://www.headofrealestate.com

Time For Property Taxes in Florida to Re-Boot

The Florida realty market is showing very strong signs of recovery. The last quarter of 2009 was very brisk, the first quarter of 2010 was very brisk. Two strong quarters or six straight months equals a recovering market. With the first time home buyers tax credit set to expire soon, why can’t the local and state governments do something very smart to get the market booming again.

Why not raise the sales tax in Florida 2% and eliminate property taxes altogether? This will stimulate the realty market, creating huge sums of revenue for Florida from the Doc Stamps on the Deed tax at every closing (Florida charges .70 for every $100 of the sale price to Sellers at closing). The sales tax increase will also make all the tourist pay their share for road wear and tear and it would lower the monthly payment on houses by as much as 25%, making housing more affordable than ever. It would certainly increase non-Florida resident sales for cash paying investors who will only need to pay insurance on those investments.

This will not happen because this type of legislation makes too much sense and our political leaders are stuck in old ways that will not change.

http://www.headofrealestate.com

Exit Convention in Washington D.C.

Just got back from a week of fun and learning at the Exit Realty Convention in Washington D.C. and I am just blown away by the entire organization. From the regional owners to the trainers to the Brokers and agents to management and staff.  I spent about 18 years with ERA and went to many a convention, but never have I experienced the overwhelming SUPPORT the Exit organization gives to its membership!

I learned more in 6 days than I have in the past 6 YEARS! Exit Realty really cares about US and my move to Exit was the best decision I could have made for my family…… for my retirement!

I am just blown away by the Forbes family, by the support I get from them, all the way to the top of the food chain in Exit.  I feel part of the family, like I belong.  That is how Exit treats their agents

That was before they rolled out the red carpet for ALL of us in Washington D.C.  Steve Morris is a first class of a man and a GREAT leader and a great motivator.  I could not believe the access we all had at the convention.  The breakout sessions were the best I have ever been to and a special call out to Valerie Reyes who just blew the crowd away with her “Summit” session.

If you are burned out with the same old same old, give Exit a look!  My Team was #1 worldwide with ERA in 2008, like #4 or 5 the year before.  I was never treated like anything other than another number, another fool that paid them $30,000 to $40,000 a year in franchise fees and nobody knows your name!

Moving to Exit was the best decision I have EVER made and as I watched Steve Morris hand out a $100,000 check (like they do every year) to the lucky guy whose name was randomly pulled out of a barrel, I thought to myself, “wow, it’s nice to belong to a company that actually gives something back to the agents that made the company what it is.”

To learn more about Exit Realty, visit my website at http://www.headofrealestate.com

The HOA in YOUR Community?

As the real estate industry in Florida (and the country) is in the process of trying to find it’s way to their feet again, there is an issue that hinders property values in many communities. The HOA or Homeowners Associations that regulate the rules and regulations (and deed restrictions) of PUD’s (Planned Unit Developments, a.k.a.: subdivisions). These organizations are run by property owners in those communities. You know, the guys who send you all the hate mail that you have a spot on your driveway, or that your home needs to be painted, or your grass is too high and needs to be cut. In most cases, there is a Property Management firm that HOA dues are paid to. The problem with many, and in my almost 20 years experience in this business, MOST of the HOA’s is that they DO NOT operate as designed. You have people serving on those Associations who have regular jobs, usually not at the top of the food chain at their company or who have a spouse who they are afraid of at home, or they are frustrated by life. Who do they take it out on? YOU, the person they are supposed to be representing.

The delivery of the message is key. As in ANY REPUTABLE BUSINESS, the first message received by one person sets the tone for the exchange. In most cases, the HOA sends a very strong letter to the homeowner, who in most cases are not even aware there is an issue until they get the letter from the HOA. Instead of a friendly reminder, they immediately go on the “attack” and threaten litigation, liens and sometimes foreclosure! They have WAY too much power. They are unregulated, there is way too much EGO involved.

As in many communities, it’s all about who you know. I usually “farm” or market the community that I live in heavily. The members of the HOA are constantly getting my “Just Listed” and my “Just Sold” postcards. I know it must irritate many of them. But it always seems that top Realtors are targets of the HOA. The more outspoken you become of their negative tactics, the more “hate letters” you will receive.

My next door neighbor cuts his own grass and maintains his own yard. The is a M.D. so his time is limited. His yard shows it. The grass gets very high, the bugs eat sections of his yard, he never edges the common areas. He SHOULD be getting letters weekly. He does not. Has never received one as far as I know. I purchased one of the biggest eyesores in the community. I had the home professionally renovated and updated. My yard is cut by the finest landscape company in Tampa Bay (Rusty’s Lawn 813-404-1114). I try to make certain my home is better maintained than all my neighbors because of my “target” status. I still get letters more often than I can open my mailbox! It’s like an HOA member’s wife kicks his ass for not taking out the trash, he goes to the office and his boss kicks his ass for doing a poor job. He gets mad, comes home and wants to get the HOA to kick somebody’s ass in the community so they can feel better. Why else would they do the job (unpaid?). NOT because they care about the community or their neighbors, because if they did, they would use better bedside manor to deliver their message. They deliver the message with too much Mojo, Macho authority in my opinion.

The problem is, they create more problems than they solve. Potentials Buyers get wind of these cantankerous Associations and avoid these communities. They hear that a community dues check was lost, or the property owner forgot to pay that month for whatever reason. They get a foreclosure threat by the association’s attorney. Again, those attorneys’s LOVE those HOA’s because they get instructions to send the hate mail to property owners and THEY GET PAID! And guess who pays them? You guessed it, the property owners!

So who is a fault? Those HOA mamebers usually go up for re-election on a yearly basis. The problem is, the most capable, knowledgeable individuals available, don’t want the job (who wants the unpaid position). Nobody good wants the job! I for one would rather keep fielding the letters and washing the one inch speck of discoloration off my mailbox. Who gets burned the most for their immature actions? The homeowners in that community because their homes become more difficult to sell.

When I get a Buyer who calls my office and says “don’t show me any homes in subdivisions that have an HOA”, I completely understand. That needs to change. It seems like the IRS is teaching the class on bedside manor and the biggest client they have is your HOA!