Friday, May 20, 2016

Defining "Accidental Real Estate Agent"

I've been calling myself an accidental real estate agent for quite awhile. It's well past time to explain what I mean.

Most real estate agents I've met made a deliberate choice to enter this field. For many, it was money. Others I know are in this for the flexible hours, to be their own boss, and so forth. The specifics are less important though. They made a deliberate choice. Very few people in the industry stumble in.

Just over five years ago, after a firey end to my last stint at Microsoft (if you want to hear the story, let's meet for coffee sometime), and I was burned out on the Fortune 500. My focus for the ensuing job search was Snohomish county. I stumbled upon a Craigslist ad for an office manager and was hired.

A few months in I got my license and things changed a bit further. Now I've coordinated sales for hundreds of transactions, created marketing for even more, and developed great relationships with amazing, dedicated and talented folks. My career ride to this point has been lots of fun.

It's really a fascinating industry. We move people into their HOMES! Really, how amazing is that! It's where lives are lived, kids raised, and where most people capture their wealth. It's one of the most stressful events in anyone's life. And influential. And we agents are right there, lowering stress and making lives better. It's very satisfying, indeed.

Things are changing for me more as the business evolves. But I'm still here for you, and to answer your questions! Drop a comment and let me know.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Real Estate Update - Good Mortgage News

Was just reading about a few really nice changes coming up with two key loan types: USDA and FHA.

The USDA has been directed to shift to a direct endorsement model. Right now, my understanding is that a representative from the USDA reviews every USDA loan. They take significantly longer than other loan types to close, which makes them less desirable than others. This change will speed up the process and make it more aligned with VA and FHA loans.

And the FHA is looking at their condo approval process. Right now only 10% of condos are approved for FHA loans. One thing they're doing to tackle this is streamline the approval process. It's pretty onerous for any condo that doesn't have professional management. The other thing they're exploring is the owner occupant threshold. Currently at 50%, they're looking at dropping that to 35% of unit owners. This will also open up the number of units available to FHA financing.

So, TLDR: more loans will be available. This should help keep housing affordable for the more modest incomes. Like most of us.

To really understand the different loan types, talk to a lender. I've developed solid relationships with several and can put you in contact with an excellent one. Let me know!

Friday, May 06, 2016

Video Featuring Me: C&K Real Estate - How We List Houses

I'm part of a real estate team. We recently created this video showcasing our team and our philosophies. You can see me at the very beginning, then again at 1:38, then at 2:45. 

A bit egocentric, perhaps, but I'm fond of it. 



Sunday, May 01, 2016

Bloody Small Screens

If you know anything about me, I LOVE the mobile revolution. However, I'm noticing that posting on the small screens increases the rate of small errors. Little autocorrect word substitutions, mainly. Ones small enough, and having enough of the right letters in a similar sequence as the desired word that they go live wrong.

Had such this morning. Posted an update to a Facebook page I manage with "create" in place of "great". I read the post several times before hitting publish. Ugh!

I take my writing seriously, so even small grammatical errors bother me. So, with that, I have been trying to post more from a computer, something with a monitor. I notice that my erorr rate is much smaller that way. Plus, I feel more focused.

And I need to recognize I'm human and mistakes will happen. But I never intend to like it, and will be satisfied with any mistakes. Ever.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Online Advertising and the Mobile Revolution

As I've focused the past few years on marketing, I have no issue with web ads. Currently, they're the way many web personalities and other sites pay their bills. Family feeding is a fun, fantastic feeling.

However, web designers need to build advertising around mobile. Too often advertising either destroys the user experience, or critically hampers it. Pop ups that can't be cleared are big issues. Several times this week I've struggled with sites where the "close" button was off the screen, AND clicking on the ad took you to a new website. (Sidenote: web devs and designers, use the target attribute on anchor tags. Don't build ads that push your readers away from your site!)

These things make your site unusable on mobile. And, let me reiterate what's been stated myriad times: the web's future is mobile. If your mobile experience sucks, you're are already behind. Perhaps you're ahead of the curve on being an anachronism. It's hardly ideal.

Last year's whole Google mobile-gedon thing should have pivoted sites over, but, well, nope. But then folks still build auto-play videos on their sites. Thought that went out with MySpace. Since I'm simply griping now, let me add popups asking me to subscribe upon page load. Let them learn what you're about first. I've neverr subscribed to a site BEFORE I'VE READ ANYTHING! NEVER!!!! Build the pop-up to launch towards the end, if you must use them at all. I'd put the ask in the post body, personally.

Developers, build sites for positive USER experiences. Delight your readers, inspire them to come back again. Don't give in to greed or desperation. They're ugly.

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