Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How Many is Too Many Resolutions?

My publisher asked if I had any real estate New Year's Resolutions…she should know better by now than to ask a Type E such a question! Ask for a solution and the Type E brain answers with a jumble of possibilities as if to say, "Here! Try these!"Happy new Year

Here's what came out of mine. Yes, I know they are not all strictly real estate-related, but they all have an effect on how I do business:

  • Contact my listings for review and price adjustments.
  • Get taxes ready for my CPA.
  • Be available to Lee and Erica.
  • Call past clients to wish them a Happy New Year.
  • Get some new signs made.Healthy food
  • Get up to speed on Twitter and other social/business networking sites.
  • Get my car washed BEFORE it needs it and I am embarrassed.
  • Continue with my gym program.
  • Make healthy eating choices.
  • Go to bed early at least one night a week.
  • Clean my desk.
  • Fill my bird feeders – even the one that the squirrels have taken over.
  • Offer sellers and agents the option of Auction.
  • Get on the top 10 book list. Oh yes, I already did that with Trulia.Squirrel
  • Attend more Active Rain gatherings.
  • Call all the sellers who I recommended they wait to list thier homes.
  • Stay in touch with the CyberStars through the listserve.
  • Stay in touch with the CyberProfessionals.
  • Being an ACRE ambassador, help share this group's philosophy.Loaded Desk
  • When I choose to have chocolate....really enjoy it!
  • Mentor newer agents like Steve Warrene.
  • Find out what I can do to promote Silloway Press.
  • Speak more about Realtor-friendly auctions.
  • Get more publicity for Real Estate the Rome Way.
  • Take no more unsaleable listings.
  • Accept no more kindness-impaired clients.
  • Stay in touch special people
  • FireworksCall and encourage new Active Rainers.

I think the more the merrier when it comes to positive thoughts for the new year. What about you? Do you have one or two or a score of resolutions?


Saturday, December 27, 2008

It's Not Lockboxes...It's How Agents Use Them!

There's been a lot of discussion lately about the use of lockboxes, and whether it's a good thing or not. The back and forth among agents illustrates exactly why I wrote Real Estate the Rome Way. Two people - one an agent, one a trainer - approached the subject of lockboxes and showings from different perspectives and came to different conclusions about whether we should use them or not.

I am not at all opposed to the lockbox, in fact many of my listings have them. However, that does not mean there is a blanket invitation at ANY and ALL times to have access. You will not see "lockbox, show anytime" on any of my listings. That is NOT how you represent your seller.

Margaret Rome Showing HomeI make my own appointments – I've written about this before (Appointments or Disappointments?), more than once (Appointments...Part 2).

As a listing agent, I need to do what is best for my clients. There are so many special situations that require me to be at a showing: the elderly, the frail, those with young children, family illness, special pet situations, caretakers, sellers who works and sleeps irregular shifts and many more.

TreoSure if all my homes were vacant, were short sales, or the owners were touring Europe for the year, it would be easy to slap a lockbox on and keep on going. But I list with real live people not properties. Buyer's agents call and speak to me. I answer my phone, I make appointments, I represent my sellers!

Why are expensive homes treated with listing agent's showings? Do only the wealthy get the "right" representation? Why not a lock box on these so-called exclusive listings, too? Sorry, but all my sellers are very special, and deserve the The Rome Way.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, December 26, 2008

There's Gold in "Them Thar" Years! Happy 50th Anniversary!

There still are golden love stories in the world…here is one of them.

Anne HrubyGolden AnniversaryAnne and Milo were high school sweethearts, stars of their own classic love story. They wed on December 27, and have now been married for 18,264 days. (That's 50 years if you don't have a calculator handy!) They had five children in seven years and now enjoy 15 grandchildren, ages two through 19. Family has always come first with Anne, and after all this time, Anne still glows when she mentions Milo's name.

Anne Hruby was my first real estate instructor and has been a friend and a mentor for the past 18 years. Anne is one the most generous and knowledgeable people in life and in real estate. She readily shares her wealth of real estate information, and would do absolutely anything for anyone.

She has special relationships with all her family, especially her grand kids, but also all the gazillion students who have been fortunate to be in her classes. Their oldest granddaughter Julia was with us in the WCBM studio when Anne and I hosted the radio program All About Real Estate. Julia was poised and professional making her grandmother very proud.

A natural teacher, Anne leads courses for GRI, Fast Start to SRES, ABR, and many more. The Hrubys also council engaged couples prior to marriage. Everywhere you go you find someone - a student, an agent, a child, a colleague - who has been touched by Anne and Milo.

Ask these two about 10 year olds ~ you will find out that each grandchild, on their decade birthday, is treated with a week long trip with Milo and Anne. What a commitment and what a treat for everyone!

Joeann and Anne

Anne and I have traveled together over the years; being with her always makes the time special. We went together to Washington, DC for the NAR convention, we have gone to Detroit to be with Floyd Wickman, and to Ocean City for the MarylandAssociation of Realtor s convention.Margaret, Anne, at MAR

Anne was there when I received the Carolyn Howd Award in Atlantic City, a high point of my career. In fact, many of the best times of my years in real estate have been with Anne.

Anne and Milo

So to Anne and Milo, congratulations on your 18,264 days of marriage. May you have many thousand more, all of them golden.

With love and admiration,

Margaret & Lee

Labels: , , ,

Monday, December 22, 2008

Alice's Pretty Party

Some people just have the knack to create a magical party; Alice is one of those people.

Crystal Tree Crystal StockingThe house was perfect, warm, and inviting, and everywhere you looked were tasteful Christmas decorations. The flowers were perfect, long stem white roses, poinsettias and five very different Christmas trees.

One tree is all Waterford glass. You could spend hours looking at each of the sparkling ornaments, like the stocking that glitters like crystal...just so special.

BeliniI did not want to spend too much time with the camera because then I would have missed the good friends and conversation. Did I say mention this was perfection? The "belinis," luscious drinks (cranberry, pomegranate, Champaign) and topped with a sprig of mint and a cranberry were pretty and delish! The bounty of superb hors d'oevres: brie and mushroom, bountiful cheeses, gargantuan shrimp, and crab cakes were more than enough to satisfy. But then there was a beautiful dinner of tenderloin, gourmet potatoes creations, yummy salmon with an olive tampenade, crisp green beans, and a beautiful salad. All of this was elegantly served and catered in Alice's magnificent new kitchen with flowing "white diamond" granite countertops. Deserts were plentiful, and Marie's always-popular cream desert was no disappointment.Tree reflected in Granite

Jeannie and Alice The guys came up from the football game (Ravens won) to make sure they did not miss dessert. A beautiful party, lots of beautiful people, lots of good conversation. Some people just have the knack to create magic. Alice had a pretty party!

Labels: , , ,

Friday, December 12, 2008

Books and Brownies

They arrived! Cartons of beautiful books – my book! Fresh from the printer, everything I hoped for and more. Can't help it – I'm very proud of the end result of all those months of planning and writing and revising.

Of course, we had to celebrate with a signing/packing/shipping session. And what's a celebration without chocolate? I was prepared with Baltimore's famous Berger cookies, but my publisher, Peg Silloway, did that one better with homemade fudgey brownies. Yum!

Books and brownies – there's no better way to celebrate.

Labels: , ,