The Truth about Nashville Alarm Systems (And how to pick the right company)

The Truth about Nashville Alarm Systems  (And how to pick the right company)

Occasionally, I will have guest bloggers write about topics I think will be of interest or helpful to my readers. I personally use this company and can highly recommend them for their customer service and variety of services offered. Justin’s information is at the bottom of this blog if you are looking for a company to keep you, your family, and your belongings safe (or you want some really cool audio/video toys). Firstly, It should be noted that I may be considered biased by some readers as I own and operate a local Nashville alarm company.  But it’s a quick read, so check it out and make the call for yourself.  This is truly the Nashville alarm scene as I see it. With an unbelievably vast pool of companies offering Nashville alarm systems and Nashville Alarm monitoring, how do you, as the consumer pick the right company for you?  Hopefully through reading this, we can clear things up for you.  Though is seems like there are a million choices, in reality there are only a few business models in the entire industry.  Let’s have a look into each and see which model fits you best.   1st Model:  The Contract Companies Typically, this is what the big national outfits do.  They have very large advertising budgets and seasonal sales forces that roll out every summer.  You know them best as the “Door-Knockers.”  They will offer equipment for “free” or at a “discount” so long as you sign a three or five year term contract.  This allows consumers to sometimes get an alarm system at a lower initial cost, but usually it will cost them much more over the life of the system.  That’s where the contract comes in.  We’ve all heard the “no such thing as a free lunch” saying.  That applies to all industries, but especially the alarm industry.  Your monitoring rate suddenly begins to rise $5 here and $4 dollars there and when you call to complain to the person who sold you the contract, they are no longer available and you’re stuck in the vicious cycle of the call center. Another pitfall, aside from the contract, is that they will use proprietary monitoring equipment that other alarm companies cannot use.  Why you ask?  You guessed it!  Just another way to make it harder for you to leave.  They figure that if they have you in a contract AND you would have to buy new equipment if you wanted to switch to another monitoring company, they’ve got you right where they want you.  I’m not saying that this is the wrong way to go, some people like this model and never have an issue.  I’m just saying...

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Oh Sole Mio – An Italian Vacation

Oh Sole Mio – An Italian Vacation

    When I started my blog, I didn’t want it all to be about real estate. I mean, I have a life beyond selling houses (though at first glance, you may not believe that). Today I was in my weekly BNI meeting and Dorothy Faggello with Another Day in Paradise, Honeymoons and Vacations was one of our presenters. In 10 minutes she took us to Mexico, St. Lucia, on a river cruise to Europe, Asia, Fiji, and Italy. Talk about daydreaming. I immediately thought of the most amazing trip I have ever taken. It was just last year – Italy.   Probably more than 10 years ago, I bought “Italy for Dummies”. I would dream and romanticize about it. At the end of 2013, I finally put it on my Vision Board. In May of 2014, I made my dream come true. We traveled to Rome, Florence and Venice. We toured the Vatican, saw art pieces that only select groups of tourists are able to see, stood in the same spot as Hitler, on the Ponte Vecchio, overlooking the Arno River, and imagined the barbarians at the Colosseum. We sampled olive oil, wine, and food of all types. We re-learned stories from history books that I only learned well enough the first time to pass a test. It was the most exciting, fulfilling, exhilarating, and delicious trip I have ever taken.   There were so many highlights, you would get bored of reading this if I attempted to pen them all so, I will tell you one that will be hard to forget. We were taking a gondola ride in Venice, complete with a guitarist and a singer. As we made small talk before the gondola left the dock, they asked where we were from. When our French guitarist heard we are from Nashville, I thought he was going to jump out of the boat with excitement. He assumed we were musicians since we live in Music City. Eventually, the word got out that I sing. We were relaxing, enjoying the beautiful scenery of the canals and the guitarist insists that I sing something. I thought I had an easy out. What in the world is a French guitarist, playing Italian songs, going to know how to play that I can sing? Not so fast. The first artist out of his mouth was Sheryl Crow. I was in trouble. The very first song I ever sang in a cover band was, “All I Wanna Do”. I know Sheryl Crow’s music. I love Sheryl Crow’s music. But still, I thought, I don’t know every song she has done, certainly he won’t choose one that I know the lyrics to. Wrong again....

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Is Zillow Accurate?

Is Zillow Accurate?

Why isn’t my listing on Zillow? Why is old information showing up? Why doesn’t it have all our photos? Why is another real estate agent’s information listed as if they are the listing agent? When I find houses on Zillow and send them to my agent, a lot of them are under contract and some of them have already sold.  All of these scenarios can be confusing and frustrating for a Buyer or Seller. Here’s the answer. In order to pull listing information to the site, Zillow has to have an agreement with the local MLS. When big dogs start to get too big for the britches, little dogs can show them that they don’t make all the rules.   If your local market does not have an agreement with Zillow, the listings may not automatically pull through and, therefore, not show up on the website. If they do pull through, the information may not be accurate and/or your actual listing agent may not be the one listed. Zillow is a business. They don’t set it up as a service to the public out of the goodness of their hearts. They have to make money somehow. They make money by selling advertising. They sell advertising to real estate agents and put their information on pages advertising other real estate agent’s listings. Sound wrong? Yeah, some local MLS’s thought so too, so they decided not to allow Zillow to take the listings any longer. If this is the case in your market, your real estate agent needs to manually upload your listing to Zillow. There still may be other agents being advertised on the page, but your agent can “claim” the listing and make sure that consumers have their contact information in case they have questions or would like to schedule a showing.   Now, how about those “Make Me Move” listings? Have you ever heard the expression, “Everything is for sale, for a price”? That is basically what that is. That homeowner is letting the public know that if someone is willing to pay “x” for their house, they will move. Otherwise, it’s not really for sale. And, finally, the Zestimate. It does not claim to be an appraisal or an accurate account of value. It is simply a starting point, based on various factors found in public records or uploaded by homeowners. I don’t know about you, but I have found many missing pieces in tax records while researching properties and we all think our house is the best, so if they are taking their information from those sources, you be the judge. They do encourage you to do your own research and even consult a real estate agent. As far...

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The American Dream

The American Dream

On the eve of our Nation’s birthday, I am reflecting on the freedoms we enjoy. We have gone through a lot of changes through the centuries, and even recently. Whether or not you agree with the decisions, laws, or rulings, these are freedoms. Most of us don’t worry about what we will eat, where we will sleep, or how we are going to get from one place to another. We think about things like, what movie should we see, which flavor of ice cream do we want, and how many days we have until the weekend. Another great freedom we have is that of home ownership. As a Realtor, this is my favorite! What a joy it is to hand keys to a first-time home buyer. The smile on their face says it all. It says, “I did it!” “I worked hard and saved enough money to have a down payment to call this place my own. I can paint it the colors I want, play my music as loud as I want, and plant a garden.” There are financial advantages as well. In a lot of markets across our nation, rents are higher than a mortgage payment. Interest rates are still low which makes home loans more affordable. Interest is still deductible on our taxes, something that renters can’t take advantage of. When you decide to move on, up, or down, you may also have equity in your home that you can use to put toward your next home. You may also decide that you’d like to keep your home as an investment and gain wealth through real estate. There are many options in home ownership and I am just glad we have the right to them. As you are grilling out, spending time with friends or family, and watching fireworks, think back to the day you bought your first home and how exciting it was for you. If you are not a homeowner, maybe it’s time to consider the possibility of the American Dream. Enjoy the independence we have been given. Thank someone who serves or has served our country to keep these freedoms protected. God Bless America.   Images courtesy of satit_srihin, nixxphotography, and David Castillo Dominici at...

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