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Using Technology to Your Advantage


Using Technology to Your Advantage

By Paige Tepping

RISMEDIA, May 11, 2010--"Technology is a crucial component toward any real estate agents success, especially in todays market, says Carlina Boji, broker/owner, RE/MAX Classic in Farmington Hills, Michigan. As technology continues to dominate the real estate landscape, it is maintaining its position as the pathway to an agents sphere of influence as well as prospective buyers and sellers as the industry is no longer dealing with a local client. While an increasing number of agents are experiencing working with clients who are spread across the world, it is important to stay on top of the technology trends as they are the quickest and easiest way to reach out to clients, adds Boji.

As new technologies continue to change the way in which agents communicate with their clients, it is important that agents take the time to understand these new technologies in order to successfully communicate with their clients. The technology that is available to our consumers today has dramatically changed the way in which our customers prefer to be communicated with, says Boji. Email communication has taken over that of direct mail and the Internet has become the new go-to place when prospective buyers are seeking homes. With the changing technology landscape, agents have to be willing to change along with it in order to connect with customers through the means in which they wish to be contacted.

Since technology is continually changing the way in which agents interact with their customers, keeping up with the latest technology trendswhether that be social networking or texting, only serves as a greater benefit. With all of the technology that is available to agents today, having devices such as a Blackberry is a great tool to help keep up with your customers in a timely manner. In addition, being knowledgeable about your own personal website as well as your companys is important in providing your customers with the information they are seeking.

Technology allows agents to remain consistent with their marketing materials as well. Any correspondence that you send to your clients should contain your contact information as well as your Web address and how to find you on the social networking sites you belong to. All of your technology must be consistent so that your message is clear and deliverable. Having the technology in your office is the first step to creating a consistent message that can be delivered in a timely manner. In order to keep consistency across the board, you have to make sure all of your technology is turned on and you know how to use it so that at the end of the day, it benefits you and your company.

"Problematic" Homes Can Turn Into GREAT Properties!

CDPE Turns Marijuana House into Smoking Deal 

REDEMPTION: This home two years ago was raided by the FBI for drugs, and today it's one of Jeff Rockett's most memorable listings.

BEFORE: The kitchen was missing appliances and needed a few upgrades.

AFTER: Granite countertops and stainless steel appliances give the kitchen a much-needed lift.

By Amanda Okker, RE/MAX Times Online Editor

For two years, Jeff Rockett's children were afraid to wait for the school bus in front of a former marijuana grow house after they witnessed an FBI raid there. But the distressed property specialist took matters into his own hands, and today the home is refurbished and under contract.

The Sales Associate with RE/MAX of Reading in Reading, Pa., established a corporation to purchase the home late last year. He partnered with local contractors on the rehab. At an open house April 19, the public was allowed in for the first time.

Read two local news stories about Rockett's neighborhood project and the open house:
Former Drug House Ready for the Market
Former Drug House Given New Life

"I stopped counting at 100 guests," Rockett says. "Many were there to consider a purchase, but curiosity brought in a lot of neighbors, too. It was good for putting people's minds at ease about the future of the house and the neighborhood."

The Friday after the open house, Rockett (CDPE, SFR) received an offer. As of the next Monday, the home was under contract. The buyer's only concern was air quality. Rockett provided the results of a test he ordered himself when the property was first purchased.

The 100 Percent Club member says profit was never a motive for getting involved in this project  in fact, he's donating the proceeds to help combat drugs. The plan for marketing the property, however, was all business.

Here are Rockett's strategies for overcoming a property's checkered history:

1. Understand distressed properties. Originally, we were supposed to settle in December, but that got delayed until February. I was able to be patient, because I understand the process and am trained in handling distressed properties.

2. Stay ahead of the rumors. I communicated with the media early on to stay ahead of rumors of the home's condition. Stories swirled that it was full of mold and had to be gutted. That couldn't have been further from the truth. The growing operation took place in the basement. You would never have known anything happened in that house if you hadn't heard it on the news. Every bit of evidence had been removed, and I wanted to set the record straight.

3. Keep the community updated. To overcome the stigma of the property, I let the public know what was being done. I attended a township public meeting and explained the plans, assuring everyone that the best professionals were working on it.

4. Make an immediate impression. On the outside, the entire house was overgrown. Architectural and ornamental elements were completely concealed. Within two weeks of purchase, we had everything ripped out so that the neighborhood could see the home in a different light.

5. Create something of value. Being the managing partner, I didn't want to just repair the problems, I wanted to create a product that has more amenities for the price. I updated the kitchen and bathrooms with tile floors, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and custom cabinetry. We realized the home's potential.

2010 RE/MAX, LLC. RE/MAX Affiliates may share this article, provided they do not charge for it and this notice is included. All other rights reserved.

REMAX.COM First to add Foreclosures



Homebuyers Can Search Over a Million Foreclosed

Properties, Find Foreclosure Experts in One Site


(Denver, CO - November 30, 2009) Homebuyers looking for the right home at a great price will now be able to search through more than a million foreclosed properties and access agents specializing in short sales and foreclosures, all in one location. RE/MAX International, Inc. is the first national real estate franchise to offer U.S. foreclosure listings on its highly-trafficked web site, visitors can now access more than 1.3 million Real Estate Owned (REO) properties in the U.S. through RealtyTrac.

    We strive to provide consumers with the most information, properties, videos, articles and resources to help them navigate todays market, said Kristi Graning, Senior Vice President, Information Technology and eBusiness for RE/MAX International. is now the perfect combination of resources on one web site, where visitors can search for foreclosures and connect with a uniquely trained RE/MAX agent who specializes in short sales, REOs and foreclosures.

    Homebuyers across the country, including those looking to take advantage of the recently enhanced Homebuyer Tax Credit, can search foreclosures by accessing the foreclosure tab in the featured property search box on

Sourced by government agencies and national news media, RealtyTrac is the No. 1 foreclosure listing service. It collects extensive foreclosure data from more than 2,200 counties, covering more than 90 percent of U.S. households. As part of the partnership, RE/MAX agents also have access to an advanced subscription of RealtyTracs service and foreclosure information which allows them to better serve clients. The comprehensive subscription offers agents more detailed information including properties in default and properties scheduled for public foreclosure auction, along with tax assessment information, comprehensive lien and loan history and neighborhood home sale trends.

We are very pleased to be working with RE/MAX, one of the worlds leading real estate brands, and were excited to give consumers another way to access foreclosure data, said Rick Sharga, Senior Vice President for RealtyTrac. We believe we can have a positive impact on the national housing market by providing consumers with vital foreclosure information and giving homebuyers an opportunity to find the perfect home with the right agent.

RE/MAX agents are uniquely qualified to manage foreclosures and distressed property. More RE/MAX Associates have earned the Certified Distressed Property Expert® (CDPE) designation than agents from any other national real estate network. The CDPE training, through the Distressed Property Institute, gives RE/MAX agents the expertise to assist buyers and sellers of REO and distressed properties.

November - Project UpLift


Happy November!!

Can you believe it's already November? I can't. And right now I am REALLY enjoying the weather.....though I know it's going to get cold in just a few days.

I can't believe it's been so long since I blogged last. I guess I just couldn't think of things to write about - so if you ever have ideas...send them my way!!

A few weeks ago (Oct 22-26 to be exact) I went to Longboat Key, Florida to celebrate the wedding of my college roommate and friend Erin to Todd. It was a beautiful wedding and an AMAZING place! Longboat is about 20miles from Sarasota. My best friend Emily from St Louis went with me and we had a great and relaxing time. I highly recommend Longboat Key! You MUST stay on at the Longboat Key Club&Resort. It's just amazing!

As many of you know, I love to volunteer. I enjoy it - such a good feeling...and honestly, I have a hard time saying no! I haven't done much volunteering lately, I think I was a little burnt out. Well, my co-worker Paula has done some volunteering with Project UpLift in the past. Project Uplift goes out to the homeless to provide them food and supplies. Last night, Paula & I along with a co-worker's mom, Trisha all went to volunteer with a nightly delivery. (they deliver Monday, Wednesday & Saturday nights). We got to the warehouse around 430pm to start preparing for the nights ride. Our job was to sort and individually package bread and sweets. We loaded up the car with dinner (last night was friend fish, pasta & soup along with hot chocolate, bread, treats and chips) and supplies. Each truck is stocked with necessities including clothes, toiletries, pet food and water. We went to about 7 different locations. It was great getting out there and helping. Everyone was so friendly and grateful. It was amazing how many homeless have pets...and they wanted to make sure they also got food! At one of our last locations (with only one bag of dog chow left) we met some guys that have an extensive camp set up. They have a dog and cat - who they make sure ALWAYS get fed. Thankfully we had a bag left (or I might be under bridges today trying to find them and get the dog food!!!). They brought this beautiful (and healthy looking) black lab out to meet us - Hobo! (I'm not kidding, that was his name!) They also took us back to see their camp (no worries, we had a guy with us who has done this for seven years and knew we'd be safe!!). It was amazing what they'd done. They'd put together barriers to stop the wind, had a tent, picnic table, etc. It was amazing to see what they had done with what little they had. It seemed to me that many of these people actually enjoy their life. It was also amazing how many younger (closer to my age) people were out there! And how many of these people have been homeless for years.

It was such an eye-opening experience. It sure makes me thankful for EVERYTHING that I have. I came home to my house, my bed, my dogs and my heat. I had trouble sleeping just thinking about all of these great people. I will definitely volunteer again....and I think I'll bring along some dog treats! 

#1 Recession Buy


According to Forbes Magazine, buying a house is the #1 thing to buy in the recession!! I think that's great news for the housing market. Things are definitely starting to pick up for me and others in my office!  

I found a site that will put a smile on your face. These kids are great!!

First-Time Home Buyers Tax Credit

Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, on Tuesday said that the Federal Housing Administration is going to permit its lenders to allow home buyers to use the $8,000 tax credit as a down payment.

Previously, most buyers wouldn't receive the funds until after they filed their tax return, and that deterred some people from using the credit. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® has been calling for the change.

"We all want to enable FHA consumers to access the home buyer tax credit funds when they close on their home loans so that the cash can be used as a down payment," Donovan says. His remarks came in an address to several thousand REALTORS® gathered Tuesday morning at "The Real Estate Summit: Advancing the U.S. Economy," at the 2009 REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings&Trade Expo in Washington, D.C..

He says FHA's approved lenders will be permitted to "monetize" the tax credit through short-term bridge loans. This will allow eligible home buyers to access the funds immediately at the closing table.

Other Solutions for Today's Market

During his address at the summit, Donovan went on to say that the Obama administration plans to further stabilize the housing market. "I do think we have some early signs that the market overall is stabilizing," Donovan says. "Since January we've seen both home sales moving up and down around a relatively stable number and we are seeing the first signs that the rapid decline in home prices is starting to abate."

The morning session included a panel discussion that was moderated by CNBC's Ron Insana. Panelists examined cutting-edge solutions necessary to promote and preserve homeownership and real estate development, stimulate the economy, and protect the nation's taxpayers. They also shared their ideas on what the role and responsibility of the federal government is in the revitalization effort.

"Right now the Federal Reserve is the market," said panelist Jay Brinkman, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association. "What will be the effect when the Fed stops buying?" Brinkman explained that an exit strategy must be planned for the long-term; the federal government cannot continue to support the mortgage markets indefinitely.

"We are thrilled that so many high-caliber individuals were able to join us today at this important meeting to promote stability in the housing market and the U.S. economy," said NAR President Charles McMillan. "We look forward to an ongoing dialogue and action toward this goal, during our midyear meetings this week and beyond."

The real estate summit is part of the 2009 REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo. During the week ending May 16, more than 8,500 REALTORS® will attend meetings, visit lawmakers and inspire action on Capitol Hill.
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