Business todayInteresting stuffLivingWindermere Real Estate January 26, 2012

Fun ice breakers at our Windermere RMS class with @nik_nik

Well the last few days was awesome. Windermere’s 40th Anniversary Symposium was heald at the Seattle Sheraton.

There many great classes to chose from. I have to say however that there was one class that really shined. This class had really great agents attending and one particular instructor that started one of the mornings off with a row row row your boat rap. This was one of the better ice breakers that I have seen.

Thanks Nicole Nicolay for generating so much positive energy.

Interesting stuffLiving April 29, 2011

2011 25th Annual Windermere Cup May 7th.

Well it is that time of year again but this year it is special. 25 years ago John Jacobi was wanting to get more involved in the local community. He new of this race put on by the UW and wanted to know if it was sponsored. Hear what John had to say about it.

The University of Washington and Windermere Real Estate Company are excited to host the crews of Cambridge University, Stanford University and the University of Oklahoma for the 25th annual Windermere Cup races to be held on Saturday, May 7, on Lake Washington.

The races are held as part of the celebration of Seattle’s Opening Day of Boating Season and are followed by the Seattle Yacht Club’s Opening Day Boat Parade. More than 700 rowers compete in this prestigious event, which culminates with the women’s and men’s Windermere Cup races.

Following the races, fans are invited to join the regatta champions for an awards ceremony and presentation of the Windermere Cup Trophy at the Conibear Shellhouse.

Admission to the event is free. Viewing is available on the shores of the Montlake Cut, or by boats anchored to a log boom in Lake Washington. Please see the information on the relevant pages.

Click here for more details.

Real Estate RelatedUncategorized December 1, 2010

The value of a great real estate broker!

Being in the house buying arena again I’m very much aware of the need for the expertise of the real estate broker. In saying that, the type of services that I need today vs 11 years ago has not really changed. What has changed are the tools that a broker can use today to enrich the home buying experience. I’m often asked, what do I see as the value of the broker today?  I though I would break it down for you .

My Broker has a great grasp on the inventory. Many times the house you end up buying isn’t one that is currently listed but a home that the Broker has knowledge about prior to coming on the market. You can think your 12 Automatic E-mail notifications are giving you all the information, but I have news for you. THEY AREN’T!

A in depth understanding on home value.  Sure Zillow can give you a zestimate but it hasn’t been in the home and it hasn’t toured this neighborhood for the last 10 years. It isn’t totally up do date on the schools and the amenities. Technology can only take you so far. I’m amazed at the amount of over pricing that takes place. My Broker has an insight as to the values. Although we may love a house, you still need to know your paying a fair price. My Broker advises us on house values for each neighborhood.

(Zillow is a great site I visit it often but bottom line, my Broker has more info that is specific to our needs.)

My Broker listens to what is important to us and applies that filter when new homes come on that they know are not what we really want.

My Broker has a great grasp on tools to access data. While driving around in the car we are offered an I pad to see photos of a home before we go in, making sure it’s what  we want to see.  Instantly finding info on homes not on our list using an IPad or a smart phone.

Communicating via text, e-mail, and twitter. Our time is valuable so communicating in our comfort zone is very important.

Knowing my broker has similar interest as we do. Not just being all about business but being real and building a good relationship.

I understand that Real Estate isn’t rocket science but there is a wide gap between a Broker that is Great and a Broker  that is just Good. Today I demand Great!

Buying a home is a huge undertaking today and you should never under estimate the ability of a Great Broker. They are worth their weight in gold in my opinion.

Real Estate RelatedUncategorized March 22, 2010

What I learned at RE Bar Camp in Seattle last Friday!

It is always interesting what you are going to learn when you attend a BARcamp. Social Media was a very hot topic this year. I attended A few facebook classes and I also attended a few video blogging classes.

In the facebook class it was very obvious that agents are still a bit unsure of how to interact in this world. We are so ingrained to want to sell that we forget that Social Media doesn’t have the word sell  in it. It was very clear that tools like Postlet’s auto facebook program is very frowned upon by facebook users.  Just really posting listings in general is not something that anyone felt was a good idea. They went as far to even say that on Business pages it wasn’t a good idea.

If your going to use social media then here are some good things to think about.

  • Be relevant: Reading that you just had breakfast, or your tired, doesn’t really count
  • Add value in your post. If you do post a listing on the rare occasion then tell us what is great about that home or why do you find it so unique.
  • Be a facilitator: People everyday on face book have questions and needs. Identify them then facilitate answers or resources for those individuals.
  • Engage: A single sided relationship is just that. It will never be successful.
  • Listen to what people are saying: My dad told me we have two ears and one mouth for a reason.
  • Use Lists to sort your friends: Facebook has a great sorting tool with creating lists. This way you can better focus your attention on the people you want to interact with daily.
  • Be a real Person: Remember these are your friends you are interacting with and they want the real you, not the stuffy sales person always talking business.
There is so much more I could say but this is a blog post, and I attended that class as well, and posts need to be short and to the point so there you go.  Remember this quote from Seth Godin.
“Finding new ways, more clever ways to interrupt people doesn’t work,”
Real Estate Related October 16, 2009

The word MARKETING does not exist in SOCIAL NETWORKING!

Ok, this is more of a rant; I’ll admit it.

I just read a great article courtesy of a Facebook post by  Rich Jacobsen.

“How to Take Your Social Networking to the next level”

The article was about social networking and had five really great points that we can all benefit from.  No where in the article did it say take your listings and post them to your friend’s list and advertise. This really drives me crazy that agents continue to do this. Ask yourself this question: If every time you were invited to a cocktail party you showed up with an A-board, a card table and flyers for all your listings, how many times do you think your friends would invite you back to their party? You know the answer.

We know you are in real estate, and we know that you have homes listed. If we want to see your listings we will go to a real estate website and look at them. Stop putting them on Facebook. There is one exception; if you happen to bring on a great listing that is unique or has something about it that people would find interesting then point that out, but don’t just take your craigslist link or your flyer page and paste it to your wall.  Please read the article I referenced above, be engaging, get connected with your network and stop selling.

Thanks for taking the time.