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RE/MAX Alliance and American Mortgage Service Co. Donate 400 Canned Goods and $600 to Those In Need

RE/MAX Alliance in Louisville, KY partnered with American Mortgage Service Company this holiday season to gather gift baskets to raffle off during their holiday lunch, as well as collected 400 canned goods for the food pantry at Southwest Christian Ministries. Through the raffle, they were able to raise over $600 for a local needy family.

 

“They didn’t ask for anything crazy when we inquired as to what they needed”, stated Frankie Story, Branch Manager at American Mortgage Service Co .  ”It was truly the basics.  Socks, shoes, underwear, etc.  We were able to take care of the basics and then give them a few items from Santa for the kids.  They don’t have TV so they asked for educational items and puzzles. Here is the message we received from the Mom Rachel:

“Oh my goodness….Thank you so so so much.  Please let the people know how much we appreciate what they have done.  We were brought to tears.  We were worried about how Christmas was going to be.  We know God is watching us and knows our needs.  The people that provided these things are truly a great example of God’s glory and love.  Thank you so much for thinking of us.”  

 

Frankie’s 4-year old nephew also helped out by delivering the canned goods to the Food Pantry and he helped buy toys for the family. “By the end of the day he was tired and hungry, but it’s never too early to learn about the joy of giving,” stated Suzy Watkins of RE/MAX Alliance.

 
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Home Sales Cool Off in November

After two consecutive months of home sales higher than last year, November sales fell 5.2% lower than sales in November 2013. The winter months normally see lower sales than in the summer, but sales this year have mostly been lower than what was seen in 2013.  However, home prices continue to rise, but at a slower rate than last year. The November Median Sales Price was $195,151, which was 6.1% higher than the median price last November. Inventory became slightly tighter in November with a 9.2% reduction from last year. Due to slowing winter sales, the Months Supply of Inventory rose to 5.6 on a scale where 6.0 indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. Click here to see the full report.

 
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RE/MAX Legends Adopts 30 Kiwanis Kids

Buford, GA (December 16, 2014) – Buford, Georgia based real estate company, RE/MAX Legends expressed their holiday spirit by “adopting” 30 children of the Kiwanis Club of Lawrenceville, Georgia. The children received gifts during the annual 2014 Kiwanis Secret Santa Christmas Party hosted by the Kiwanis Club on December 13. This is the fourth year of participation by the organization, which increased their number of adoptions by 4 this December. The entire office staff purchased, gift wrapped and donated toys and other items.

“The opportunity to make 30 children’s Christmas wishes come true is such an amazing experience. If we can pass along the spirit of giving to these children in the process we are gifting them for life,” says RE/MAX Legends Officer Manager Jane Gross.

The Kiwanis Club of Lawrenceville is Gwinnett County’s oldest active civic organization. Established nearly 90 years ago, the club serves the children and teens of Lawrenceville and Greater Gwinnett County. Through their fundraising and volunteer efforts, the Kiwanis Club helps hundreds of young people each year through scholarships, charitable outreach, educational efforts, Christmas presents, book drives and many other hands-on projects.

For information about the Kiwanis Club of Lawrenceville visit www.lawrencevillekiwanis.org.
For information about RE/MAX Legends visit http://www.remax-legends.com.

 
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Ready to Buy A Home? Ask Yourself These Questions First

Making the decision to buy a home can be a daunting one. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself to make sure you’re really ready to make the jump and start the search for your first home. 

How Long Am I Going To Live In The House?
A home is a major investment, and the real estate market can change drastically from year to year. Experts suggest holding off on buying a home until you can plan to stay in the house for at least 5-7 years in an attempt to get the best return on your investment in a resale.

Am I Ready For The REAL Cost
of Buying a Home?

Stable finances are an obvious must-have for a mortgage. But, owning a home costs much more than the down payment and monthly mortgage payments. Take into account property taxes, upkeep, insurance, repairs, and emergency funds for other unforeseen circumstances when determining your budget, then try living off of that budget for a month or two to see how realistic it really is before you take the plunge.

Can I Boost My Credit?
Again, it may seem like an obvious starting point. But, since credit scores and interest rates are inversely correlated, getting that number as high as possible before applying for a mortgage is necessary.

 
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2015 Chattanooga St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway groundbreaking

WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather

 

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - Even though it’s cold outside, the ground breaking for the 2015 St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway took place Tuesday.

The St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway is one of the largest single-event fundraisers for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and generates more than $290 million for the research and treatment of childhood cancer.

The proceeds from fundraisers like the Dream Home allow families to never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food, so they can focus on helping their child live.

Construction will start soon on the home, which will be located in the Castlegate Subdivision off Givens Road in Chattanooga.

Local sponsors WRCB Channel 3, G.T. Issa Construction, WUSY US-101, Castlegate Subdivision, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Geoff Ramsey of RE/MAX Properties, Regions Bank and national sponsors Brizo, Shaw Floors, and Trane and many others.

Tickets will go on sale at the end of March, and the drawing for the The St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway will be end of June.

This article originally appeared at WRCBtv.com.

 
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Using your CRM to reach out personally

Grow your business by emphasizing your one-on-one relationships

One important thing I try to do every day is to engage. That means I engage in my job; I engage in tasks within my real estate business; and I also engage with people. Recently, I have noticed that in both my business and personal life I sometimes need to put the phone and digital world down and reach out and “get personable” with other people — particularly at this time of year.

It is so easy in this day and age to respond exclusively via text and email. There even is technology that lets you send video email! I have to wonder, why not just call people and speak to them one on one like we used to?

But I have learned a better way to both touch my past clients and add some value to my relationships with them using my customer relationship management (CRM) system.

1. The Referral Maker CRM is simply one of the best I have ever used. Each month, it provides me with “items of value” that I mail to my past clients. It also generates monthly e-reports that I can send along midmonth to follow up and reinforce the message of the mailing. I’ve noticed that my clients see this as something that helps them. It’s not about me, it’s information to help them and reinforces that I am a good source for information and knowledge about real estate matters in our community.

2. Handwritten notes are my nemesis! I admit that I haven’t written anything with a pen in years, so my penmanship has needed some work. But even if no one can read your handwriting, you can always put a business card in the envelope so your clients know who sent it. Your CRM can help you keep track of who has been sent what.

The results have been amazing! I had a new client who said the handwritten note I sent him in a simple white envelope with no business logo on it was like “something a friend would have sent me.” I have received so many calls of thanks from people who just appreciate the fact that I took the time to sit down and write them a note. Nobody has ever called me to say “thank you” for an email I sent them!

Does it set me apart? I believe it does. Writing notes by hand to my clients has even encouraged me to periodically send handwritten notes to my family members! If clients feel this positive and special because of a handwritten note, then I certainly want my wife and kids to feel equally as special.

3. Take a social network and truly make it social? Do you use Facebook? You can link your Facebook profile to the Referral Maker CRM and your friends’ and clients’ recent activity feeds will appear right before your eyes! Sure, this may be a pleasant way to “stalk” your friends and clients (as my wife noted), but let’s be honest: There is a little bit of stalking happening on Facebook anyway! But how convenient is it for your CRM to show you what your clients did last night, how the recent holiday trip home went or that their kids won a soccer tournament, all before you make that call?  You’ll know what to talk about before you call them because your CRM showed you what recently happened in their lives! That is priceless in business.

The thing I think I like most, however, is that this CRM helps me with my time. How much of your day is spent with customers or clients who are time-consumers without offering much in return? After the initial setup, my CRM makes sure that I am spending most of my time with the clients who are the best referral sources, and it also gives me tasks, such as calls, “pop-bys,” coffee dates with clients, and other ideas to keep me in front of the people who have displayed a willingness and a desire to help me grow my business.

Growing your business in 2015 is still about getting your face in front of your past clients and friends and asking them to remember you when they run across people looking to buy or sell real estate. In this digital world we live in, nothing replaces that personal touch to enhance your business and your life!

Hank Bailey is an associate broker with RE/MAX Legends and a Realtor for more than a decade who provides buyer’s agent representation and seller listing services related to residential real estate.

This article originally appeared in Inman News.

 
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RE/MAX Top 100

Congratulations to everybody mentioned in the RE/MAX Top 100 lists! These results are based on year-to-date residential commissions reported. Click here to see the full list.

 
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Can You Decorate for the Holidays, Even If You’re Showing Your House?

The holiday season is fast approaching, and it’s probably the busiest time of the year even when you’re not listing your home. For many people, decorating your home to create that warm, comforting feel is one of the best rewards for what is otherwise a rushed and busy time of the year. But, if you’re trying to sell your home this winter, do you need to cross ‘Deck The Halls’ off of your Holiday To Do List? Not Necessarily. Here are a few Dos and Don’ts for bringing the Holiday Spirit into your home, and selling it at the same time!

 

DO Pack Away Anything Really Personal
Personal holiday decorations are a very big part of most family celebrations. But, this year, keep homemade and family specific decorations to a minimum. Your goal should be to allow the potential buyer to envision spending the Holidays in this house, not in your family’s home.

 

DON’T Turn Your Home Into a Theme Park
It may be tempting to go all out with a theme, and while an over the top snowman theme may make your home stand out in the buyer’s mind, it definitely won’t be for the right reasons. Instead, aim to add a few touches of décor that enhance your home’s existing qualities.

 

DO Play Up Your Curb Appeal
Now is the time to take advantage of outdoor lighting, in moderation. Whether it’s simple floodlights to highlight your home’s façade, or tasteful twinkle lights to play up your landscaping, nice lighting will attract attention any time of day.

 
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Dane Ellison discusses the importance of technology in 2015

Dane Ellison discusses the importance of technology in 2015
Agents must master relationship-building to survive

 

Are you optimistic about the economy?
I believe we are going to be flat from 2014 to 2015 in the U.S. Not bad, but not necessarily outstanding.

The housing market?
Small increase. It is going to take a part of 2015 for builders to catch up to demand.

Your success?
Our company has done well over the last few years and we are looking for more of the same in 2015!

What are you worried about?
We have to figure out the right balance of regulations versus capitalism.

How much do you fret about global events?

Somewhat. While I understand we have global responsibilities, I think we may spread ourselves a bit thin, and that leads to issues at home.

Will mortgage rates go up or down next year?

I think they will trend up slightly.

Will home prices appreciate next year? 

We are anticipating around a 2-4 percent increase.

Will agents be more productive next year?

In terms of transactions, probably not by a large amount; in terms of commissions earned, probably slightly.

Why? Or why not?
While the volumes and commissions have trended up year over year, the transactions are only slightly up. The impact of home prices will raise average commissions a bit.

Will the portals play a bigger role in real estate next year?
I definitely think it is the start of a change in how business is done. They are innovating and making things easier for the consumer, and we, as an industry, have to recognize that and use it to our advantage. The industry is much more consumer-facing now with all the available information, so we have to continue to leverage our expertise.

What will be the biggest source of real estate leads next year?

Referrals and networking! While Internet leads are very important, we have not shifted to online leads surpassing the relationship piece of what we do!

Are you making plans to expand, contract or maintain your business this year?
We are expecting about the same growth as 2013 and 2014: around 6-7 percent.

What is the biggest challenge for the industry in the coming year?
I think it is continuing to understand how technology and relationships become more integrated. Networking is no longer just going to your BNI group, being part of the Chamber (of Commerce) and knowing your community. The world of relationship-building is much bigger now with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. So we have to be poised to position ourselves as the relationship-builder across all mediums.

 

This article originally appeared in Inman News.

 
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People on the Move

Congratulations to our latest Associates who were highlighted in Biz Journal’s People on the Move

 

 

 
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