Change

Change

People change – well some do. I believe we are meant to be constantly learning, growing, and, ultimately, being better every day. And I am one of those perpetual learners. I’ve had a business coach for the past four years and I’m in a weekly Mastermind group that helps me evaluate myself and my business. My real estate team sends out surveys requesting feedback from our clients periodically. The last time these were sent out all of them came back with glowing reviews. They wouldn’t have changed anything about the experience and they would refer us to all their friends and family. Well, all except one. One survey revealed that we had missed the mark. We had helped this client purchase several properties in the past and he had been very pleased, but we messed up on the latest one. We did not meet his expectations and he was disappointed. He gave us examples of what he felt we could have done differently. I was upset but so happy at the same time. I was upset that we didn’t do our best and that a client was less than impressed. I was happy that he was honest and gave us the opportunity to make it right and do better next time. I called him and asked to take him to lunch to discuss his experience and the survey. He was so gracious. He gave me very constructive criticism and, ultimately another chance. Our Mastermind group does peer evaluations each year. We say what each member of the group is great at and where each member needs improvement. This year, the group affirmed that I can juggle and wear a lot of hats. They also pointed out that I need to be more open and ask for help more often. Dang it, they know me so well. The greatest thing about both of those scenarios is that it gives our team and me, personally, the chance to improve and make changes. The two worst things that could happen is if we don’t receive feedback on how we can improve, or we don’t take action on it. Sometimes we don’t get a second chance and that’s OK. As long as we learn from it, make the necessary changes and do better next time, we don’t have anything to be ashamed of. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone needs to improve. Don’t get stuck. Don’t be that person that never changes, that just stays in that dead-end job that you hate, that doesn’t get out and do more, experience more, BE more. Be a person that is open to hearing how you can improve. It’s not always the easiest thing to hear, but you and others...

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What Are You Thankful For?

What Are You Thankful For?

  This is the time of year that a lot of us reflect on our lives and count our blessings. This time of year, also, typically makes us more aware of those in need and those less fortunate. What are you thankful for? How are you making a difference for someone else? Take time to reach out to friends or family and let them know you are thinking of them. Let them know you are thankful for them. Maybe you don’t love your job or your kids are being rebellious. Think of those that need a job or desperately want children of their own. Maybe you’re not where you want to be in life. Me neither! Hopefully we are always growing, learning, and becoming better human beings every day. Be thankful for how far you’ve come. Haven’t got that project completed? If you worked on it today, you are one step closer. Haven’t lost all the weight? If you’re eating right and exercising, good for you. You’re not where you were last month. I am thankful that I get to have a career that helps make so many dreams come true. Every day I get to see new beginnings – and new chapters being opened. I am thankful for the clients that trust me to help them with what is typically the biggest investment of their life. I am also thankful for the agents in my company that are in our family. They make me proud to work with them. I think it’s easy for some of us to watch tv or movies and compare our lives to the stars we see. Or flip through social media and wonder why you can’t have what they have. Most of it’s not real, first of all, and secondly, right now there is someone looking at you wishing they could live in your shoes. So be thankful and keep growing. Keep being grateful. Happy Thanksgiving....

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What is a real estate closing?

What is a real estate closing?

  Ok, you have signed the Purchase & Sale Agreement, all contingencies are satisfied and now it’s time for closing. But what is a real estate closing? Well, your real estate market may do it differently, but I will give you an idea of how most closings happen in the Greater Nashville area. A title company gets all the contract documents from the two parties. If you are using a Realtor, they will handle this for you. The title company works behind the scenes to handle all of the legal work, but, in a nutshell, they make sure all the liens are paid off and that the contract is followed as it is written. In our area, it is very common for the Buyer and Seller to have different title companies and they perform their “closing” at different offices, at different times. A lot of clients will ask me if the buyer or seller will be in the same room. Most of the time, the parties never even meet. The Buyer is entitled to do a final walk-through of the property before closing. This is done to check for any repairs that were to be done and to make sure there has been no damage to the property. Basically, the house needs to be in as good or better shape than when the contract was signed. Typically, the final walk-through is done 1-2 days prior to closing. In a perfect world, the Seller would have everything out of the property so the Buyer can see everything. The world is not always perfect, however. A lot of times, the Seller will still be packing up to move when the Buyer walks through. This can cause stress for both the Seller and the Buyer. The Seller feels the pressure of getting everything out of the house and the Buyer feels anxiety about the Seller having everything out of the house and it being ready for them to move in. Unfortunately, I have had one too many experiences where the moving out doesn’t go quite as planned. I say this as a caution, because if at all possible, it is always best to have everything out of the house the day before closing. Moves almost always take longer than anticipated. The movers were supposed to send four men and two trucks and someone doesn’t show up for work and a truck breaks down. Yep, this stuff happens. I have seen people moving out until midnight, people having to get hotel rooms at the last minute, pay for extra storage days, have to do repairs at the 11th hour, and experienced the myriad of emotions that go along with all of those issues. The actual closing...

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DIY or Hire a Professional?

DIY or Hire a Professional?

  In the world of real estate there are a lot of things that can be done on your own. Whether you are buying or selling, many of the items on the to-do list can be handled by the most inexperienced weekend warrior. On the other hand, there are some tasks and projects that are best left to the professional. Here are some examples: DIY: Clean and De-clutter It may not be fun, but there’s probably not anyone else who can do a better job at this than you. You know what you are willing to get rid of, donate, and things that just need to be packed up and stored. When it comes to cleaning, enlist the help of a friend or family member and make it fun. Turn up the music and get scrubbing! Paint This is one that you may need a professional to help with but for the most basic paint projects, a fresh coat can make all the difference. If you are short on cash, you can definitely handle this one on your own. Minor handyman projects (patch small drywall holes, adjust door hinges) Big box often have free classes on how to do small projects to save money and hardware stores are typically more than willing to explain how to do something and make sure you have the right supplies. Change light bulbs The only exception to this one would be if the bulbs are too high to safely reach with a ladder – or you are deathly afraid of heights. Changing door and cabinet hardware This can really change the look of a room and be fairly inexpensive depending on the product choice. Tip: To make it easy, get the exact same size and make sure the hole sizes are the same, otherwise, it will be a much more involved project than it needs to be.   PRO: Home Inspection You would think this would be common knowledge, but DO NOT try to save money by performing your own inspections or forego them completely. Even if you are a builder or contractor yourself, you may not know enough about all the systems and codes to make a good judgement on your personal property. It is wise to pay a professional who has insurance and leave the worry to them. Mold remediation In humid climates, there are a lot of mold spores that fly around and often times, it turns into some organisms in the crawl space. Even if you read online about how it can be cleaned I recommend a company that deals with this one a daily basis. They use chemicals that are meant to destroy the organism and use techniques...

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The American Dream

The American Dream

  What is the American Dream? Most of us know it as home ownership. Not giving up your money each month, in rent, only to have nothing to show for it at the end of your lease. It’s having something that is all your own, something that you can paint the colors you want, landscape how you want, hang wind chimes in the tree, and rock out to your favorite tunes without Aunt Edna banging on her ceiling with a broom (I’m speaking from experience). Still, for others, the American Dream is simply to have a roof over their head, no matter if they own it or not. It’s to not be cold when there is frost on the ground. It’s to have a hot meal in the evening or food in their belly when their school is out for Winter Break. No matter what your American Dream is, hold on to it, work for it, and it can happen. There are countless stories of overcoming in our world. No one has to be stuck where they are. If you are stuck, I’m sorry, but that’s your fault. We all have it within us to make change. We all have it in us to make a difference. It begins with the way we think and grows into action. Use the energy in our Universe to make the changes happen. Set your mind to it and move steadfast in that direction. You will be surprised what will happen. I am pleased to be part of a television program called The American Dream. Each month, I will be talking about different topics, real estate and community related. We will laugh, we will educate, and most importantly, we will give back. The American Dream, whatever that looks like for you, would be far less meaningful if we didn’t give something back. I am blessed. I look around and realize there are so many people in my country, in my state, in my city, that need a little help. That’s what I strive to do through this program. My team and I not only want to help people with their real estate needs, but help people through giving back. So, tune in, tune the negativity out, and make a difference with us.  ...

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