Can’t Stay Silent

Can’t Stay Silent

The world goes on, yes. Business continues, yes. People still need to buy and sell houses and I am still helping make that happen. But for some, the world stopped or their business is gone. Innocent people are dying. Families are torn apart. I can’t stay silent. I, naively believe that love conquers all but where is the love? Where is the respect for others? For humanity? For your family? For yourself? What did you think would happen? What would you do if your brother, father, or son was murdered by a public servant paid to “protect our community” while others stood by and watched it happen? When a group of people feel they aren’t being heard, aren’t being respected, what are they supposed to do? This isn’t new. The world is broken. People are broken. And unless we start with ourselves, it won’t ever change. Look inside yourself. If there is hatred or anger, fix it. Passing it onto the next person isn’t going to do you or them any good. I saw a social media post from a friend. A mutual friend disagreed and very respectfully gave his point of view and some reasons why he believed differently. Someone this mutual friend didn’t even know started backlash against his comment and the way he responded to this random person was beautiful. He thanked her for her comments – and without a bit of sarcasm! He gave her a little background on his life that shaped his beliefs – experiences that she will likely never encounter. He complimented her and respected her opinion even though he disagreed. Get it? It’s that “simple.” I wish that didn’t make such an impact on me because I wish that was the norm, but it’s not. Celebrate diversity. Life would be boring, otherwise, and I learn so much from people that believe differently and aren’t just like me. I love my family, my friends, my clients, my fellow agents, my bandmates. I don’t care what color you are, what sex you are, what religion you are, how much money you make, if you have an accent, how much you weigh, who you sleep with or what your familial status is. If you’re a jerk, you’re a jerk. If you’re not, you’re not. I’m in disbelief, I’m saddened, and I’m not sure I truly know how to personally respond. But I do know I can’t stay silent. Real estate will continue and we’ll talk about it next week, but for now, I hope you will look in the mirror, be honest with yourself and make the necessary changes for...

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5 Similarities Between Musicians and Realtors

5 Similarities Between Musicians and Realtors

What does music and real estate have in common? I’m glad you asked. There are so many skills both must possess to be successful. Here are just 5 similarities between musicians and Realtors: Listen. Performing musicians have to listen. If we don’t listen to each other, we’re out of sync, out of tune, and it is not cohesive at all. If we listen, we blend, we sound great and everyone feels good about the result. As a Realtor, I have to listen. I listen to my client first and foremost but I also have to listen to the opposite agent, feedback on showings, vendors, and the market. Be ready! In live music, anything can happen. Batteries go dead, power goes out, people forget songs, I’ve even had my pants split in two on stage (I’m not easily embarrassed anymore). In real estate, anything can happen and it’s always an adventure. Deals can go sideways at any given moment. Inspection reports can come back less favorable than expected, Buyers can lose a job, 15 Buyers can compete for the same house, and Sellers can be delayed due to health issues. Be flexible. As in the example above, anything can happen and we have to be flexible. Singers and guitarists may need to do a few acoustic tunes while the PA is getting fixed. The crowd may clearly not be liking the set original songs a band has chosen and a quick change of set list is required to keep the audience engaged. A Realtor has to be flexible and constantly have a Plan B ready to go in case Plan A doesn’t work out so well, all while having a great attitude. Every song is not everyone’s favorite. Don’t take it personally. Just because you LOVE “Jessie’s Girl” doesn’t mean the crowd wants to hear it. Likewise, even if the last song was a flop, it doesn’t mean the night is a bust. The next song may bring everyone to their feet and the party may go on until the wee hours with only the occasional lull. A musician hears “no” way more than they hear, “yes.” They have to develop thick skin to survive in the business. When buying or selling, we must remember that not every house is going to fit the needs of every buyer. If you’re selling, feature what you appreciate most about your home, chances are someone else will too. Don’t get your feelings hurt when they talk about your home negatively. Also, listen to your Realtor if they suggest making a change to help sell. It’s not personal, it’s the business and psychology of real estate with the objective to sell. And if buying,...

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Rock N Roll & Real Estate

Rock N Roll & Real Estate

Music is such a universal language. Thousands of Chinese speaking fans crowd a stadium, singing Taylor Swift songs at the top of their lungs. A diverse group of musicians gather together to raise money for a charitable cause. Children of different colors from families of varied socio-economic status dance in a park, listening to a silly song about a hippopotamus. Music creates a bridge for those that would, otherwise, never be in the same place at the same time and may think there would be nothing they have in common. No matter what kind you enjoy, you are not alone. Me, I like rock n roll. I like all genres, really. But my go-to is rock n roll. Good old classic rock is my favorite – I have my sister to thank for that. I put the top down on my convertible and turn up Classic Rewind on Sirius XM. Then my phone rings and I have to pull over to take a call from a client. Sorry, Boston, real estate has to take priority right now. How do these things go together, you ask? Let me give you a little background. I have been so fortunate to have music in my life since before I can remember being alive. I started dancing. Then I was singing and dancing in front of the mirror in my bedroom. I took piano lessons and worked with various vocal coaches. I sang in church, did musical theater, and performed in groups, ensembles, and bands. Then something I could have only imagined, happened. I began to share the stage and perform with some of the artists I had grown up listening to. I was able to tell Eddie Money that his was the first rock n roll concert I attended – he said he liked my hair (it was pink, purple and blonde at the time) and that our vocals sounded great. Rick Springfield appreciated that we took the time to learn the French lyrics in “Don’t Talk to Strangers.” I got to sing opposite Mike Reno on “Almost Paradise,” a duet that I used to belt out in my room back in the day. And though I was singing, too, I was in awe of Paul Rodgers the entire time. The list goes on and I can say, now, that I can even call some of them friends. It’s quite surreal being “recognized” in an airport by a rock star – isn’t it supposed to be the other way around??? So, that’s the CliffNotes version – if you’d like to hear more, I’m HAPPY to tell you about my close encounters with Aerosmith and the time Steven Tyler kissed me!! Anyway, I...

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Ignore it – It Will Go Away

Ignore it – It Will Go Away

I remember a clever advertisement from a dentist who was reminding people to get their regular check-ups and teeth cleaning. I don’t remember if it was a photo with a smile or a drawing of a tooth, or what, but the caption was something like, “Ignore them, they’ll go away.” I always thought it was just funny but now I think it’s quite profound when you put it in other contexts. Relationships, serious illness, jobs. Most of us don’t like confrontation. Most would rather not deal with challenges and struggles. We don’t want the work it may take to “fix” the issue. If we suspect we are ill, we don’t want to take the time to go to the doctor – afraid of what he might say. When we are unfulfilled in our job, we just retreat, do as little as possible and go home at 5:00, skating by, hoping the boss doesn’t notice. It’s easier than meeting with her or going on the job hunt. If we have a disagreement with our partner, the conversation to try to see their side and find out how we can make it better is exhausting so it’s just easier to not discuss it and hope it doesn’t happen again. Alas, when people, things, or issues are ignored, they WILL go away but they will never be “fixed” and you may lose more than you realize at first. Same with real estate. I see it in my job all the time. You have a leak in the roof. There is a crack in the foundation. What is that dark spot on the bathroom wall? Why is the floor under the carpet so soft? These are all issues that can be fixed – and most won’t be a huge inconvenience or expense if addressed quickly. But what happens if they are ignored? The leak in the roof ends up getting worse. More damage is done. You have a more costly roof repair and what was once a superficial stain on the ceiling is now an entire wall of drywall replacement, carpet, and subfloor, not to mention the rotting feet of your grandmother’s antique desk that has been sitting in water every time it rains. The small crack in the foundation that would have been one support beam is now an entire lift system, support beams under the entire house and extensive drywall repair inside due to the shifting that happens when the house is put back on the foundation correctly. You get the picture. So what happens if you just sell your house instead of fixing it? Well, you must disclose any known issues. Most buyers are not going to want to purchase...

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Crystal Ball

Crystal Ball

Don’t you wish you had a crystal ball? That crystal ball would tell you what the weather is going to be 6 months from now when we’re planning an outside event. We would know that this “phase” our kids are in is just temporary. The sphere would help us not make relationship mistakes. It would enlighten us to a path to success and reveal our future in such a way that we wouldn’t sweat the small stuff. As a Realtor, I wish I had a crystal ball for all sorts of reasons. In real estate you have to take risks. Unfortunately, I don’t have a crystal ball to tell you which house will appreciate the most, what the economy will do in 3 years, or what the new, hot area will be in 5 years. Yes, it can be risky, however, they need to be calculated risks. There is no reason to throw caution to the wind when you’re making what will likely be the most expensive purchase of your lifetime. Trends, predictions, and history are all things we need to look at. However, as we are currently experiencing, we can’t predict when the world will come to a crawl because of a pandemic or a national disaster. Here are some things to consider when taking the risk of becoming a homeowner. Job security. Don’t just look at your job as a minimum. Evaluate your industry, your career. Is your industry volatile? Who would have thought you would be an out-of-work food server? If you are in an industry that could be affected easily, consider getting a side-gig or simply save more money before you make that leap.Your savings account. Do you have enough savings to allow you to pay your mortgage and other monthly expenses for at least 6 months? This is a great rule of thumb. I never want to see my clients be “house poor”. You do not want to be in a position to lose your house when a little patience and frugality could make all the difference.Goals. If your plan is to buy a house for just a short period of time, you want to stay on the lower end of your budget and choose a type of property and area that traditionally sells very quickly. Do not buy a unique property if you have short term goals. On the other hand, you can take a bit more of a risk and get into something that may fit your specific needs a little more freely if you plan to stay in the home longer than 5 years. Don’t worry too much about the neighbors. Within reason, don’t cross a great opportunity off your list...

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Room with a View

Room with a View

Not everyone is able to live at the beach, or the lake, or in the mountains. Some live near busy highways, power lines, or trash dumps. So, what do you do if the view from your room is not exactly a room with a view? Be creative and give it a view of its own! Of course you can use window coverings, and they can be useful and do a great job of hiding what is outside. However, if you want natural light, you may want to find another solution. You’ll want to draw the eye into the room. Attention should be on one or two focal points. There are so many products that can help give a space the beauty you envision without breaking the bank. You can do things that range from adding accessories to a complete renovation. Here are some ideas in both categories: Simple Wallpaper – Today’s wallpaper is not the velvet textured paper your aunt had in the guest bath (although retro is making a comeback). There are a plethora of designs, colors, textures, and applications on the market. From a basic paper that mimics wainscoting to the most intricate colorful designs, you can let your imagination run wild. I have even seen vendors that will make a wallpaper from your design. So, if you want black & white profiles of your pets in your breakfast room or a replication of your grandmother’s wedding dress in your closet, it can be done.Accessories – Pillows, floral arrangements, candles, fruit-filled bowls, wall hangings, mirrors, art books, bedding, the list goes on. Pretty much anything can be used as an accessory. The key is, make it interesting. It may be a bright color, an intricate shape, or an oversized piece. I had a client that had a giraffe in their living room (yes, a life-sized giraffe from a taxidermy.) Talk about eye-catching! Once inside, you would have never known what was beyond those walls because you were mesmerized by what was inside. I caution from going over the top with items, however. Too much of a good thing is no longer a good thing. A space that seems cluttered may have the opposite effect and have people wanting to look out the window to clear their mind.Paint – Paint is quite possibly the most economical way to have the most impact on a room. Don’t play it safe, either. Be bold with the color. Paint the ceiling. Accent one wall. There are many ways to “try before you buy” so you don’t regret your decision. Sample size cans are typically available for purchase so you can try the color on the wall. There are also adhesive squares...

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