The Defintion of Success: Tina Caul's Story

Tina Caul’s first day in real estate was September 11th, 2001. She was driving to the office when the towers were hit. “I was so excited to begin my new life at the exact moment when so many had lost theirs. It was a very, very emotional start,” she says.

Tina was 21 years old, studying psychology and social work at Oakland University in Michigan, and had just purchased her first home with her husband when their real estate agent convinced her to get her real estate license. “She was impressed with my knowledge of the area and my ability to find houses before she could,” says Tina. “She even paid for the classes, so I could join her brokerage.”

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Colby Ray
The Revenge Game

In sports, when a player is traded, there is a phrase used to label the game in which that player is up against his former team. That phrase is, “The Revenge Game”. The concept is that an ordinary player gets extra inspiration and vigor to play against his former team. He wants to show them that they made a mistake in trading him, almost to say, “I could have put up these stats for you!”

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Colby Ray
Suzanne Cowden is Embracing Life and Finding Joy

Novelist E. M. Forster once wrote, “We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

This simple quote perfectly reflects Allen Tate real estate agent Suzanne Cowden’s personal story. Cowden, a Charlotte native, was first introduced to real estate at UNC-Chapel Hill, where she enrolled in a real estate elective course on a whim. This last-minute decision not only allowed her to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business but also a North Carolina real estate license.

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Colby Ray
8 Closing Gifts for Every Client

Your buyer just closed on her dream home (sigh of relief). Next step: the perfect closing gift.

A closing gift is more than just a nice gesture. It’s a way to improve loyalty and drive referrals. However, pinpointing the perfect gift for your client isn’t always easy. To help, our team came up with several creative ideas to spur your inner gift-giver:

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Grace Sanderson
Are You The Greater Fool?

“The greater fool is actually an economic term. It’s a patsy. For the rest of us to profit, we need a greater fool— someone who will buy long and sell short. Most people spend their life trying not to be the greater fool; we toss him the hot potato, we dive for his seat when the music stops. The greater fool is someone with the perfect blend of self-delusion and ego to think that he can succeed where others have failed. This whole country was made by greater fools.

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Grace Sanderson
Does the Tiny Home Trend Fit Your Lifestyle?

The phenomenon that's sweeping across Pinterest and HGTV: Tiny Homes.

The idea of downsizing, living environmentally friendly, lowering the cost of living, and simplifying your home has widespread appeal -- but are you cut out for the tiny house lifestyle? 

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Colby Ray
Service With A Steill

Service with a smile ... uh, er – Steill. Sure, it is a play on words (made you grin just a little, right?), but really it is the only way to capture the heartbeat and worldview of Justin Steill. Even a casual conversation with him reveals his commitment to making things happen for others, and along the way, great things happen – even selling houses.

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Colby Ray
Fall Trends For Home Staging

It’s officially fall -- the smell of fresh school supplies lingers in classrooms, coffee shops are rolling out their pumpkin spice lattes, and wreaths of orange, red, and gold are on display.

Fall is also a popular time to list a home. Beyond a deep clean, throwing up a fresh coat of paint, and taking down personal photos, here are six easy and economic tips for staging a home in the fall:

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Grace Sanderson
Presence Without Sacrifice

A wood carver, a musician, a father of six, and a successful Real Producers Publisher: Mark Menezes can’t remember the last day he woke up dreading work.

A Publisher going on two years, Mark has learned a lot along the way. With a large family, he wanted a career that would allow flexibility without sacrificing success, and Real Producers allowed him to do exactly that.

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How to Make Crazy Pet-Buyers Happy

Pet owners are a special breed of buyer: they want an open concept floor-plan, granite counter-tops, high ceilings, along with a home that accommodates their best friend, Sparky. When getting to know your client, make sure to factor in their pet’s needs as the home search begins.

Topics to consider when selling to pet-owners:

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Grace Sanderson
Hurricane Harvey: How to Detect for Water Damage

The most common offender of weakening a home’s foundation? Water damage.

Water damage is an expensive and inconvenient issue that can affect any home, even if it is not in a coastal region or a flood zone. It doesn't matter if  you’re a buyer, seller, or owner, it’s important to check for water damage and take preventative measures.

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Grace Sanderson
Infograph: What is a Home Inspection?

Home Inspections, a necessity that often causes stress or worry for home-buyers, home-owners, and realtors alike. Phil Thornberry, from Security Home Inspections, provides information on what is THOUGHT to be on a Home Inspection report, versus the information actually provided.

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Grace Sanderson
Colonel Sanders

One of the most popular tales of perseverance is that of Colonel Sanders. You may have heard it. At the age of 65, Colonel Sanders found himself broke and living on social security checks. He decided to hit the road and sell his recipe for chicken to restaurants. Legend has it that he was turned down 1009 times before he sold anything. The 1010th became KFC.

Yes, you did read that correctly… one thousand and nine “no’s” before a “yes”.

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Colby Ray
Play-Doh and Property Management

This article is one of those that is not fun to write or read, for that matter, unless you've been there and done that. Then you'll immediately appreciate it. If you play the landlord / rental / property manager game long enough, it will happen -- a tenant trashes your property. You have a flooded basement. You have a fire. It's easy to panic. It's easy to lose sleep or to not think clearly. It is tough to regain your sense of control in situations like these, but it can be done. With some advanced thinking and planning, you can and will survive. 

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Grace Sanderson
Making the Most of a Location

Potential buyers generally consider the neighborhood and the surrounding community where
they may want to live. One of the principles of feng shui is that everything is interconnected. The quality of a home is connected to the quality of the neighborhood and the quality of the larger community, like a pebble in a pond surrounded by concentric circles. Obviously, you cannot change an entire neighbhood or community, but you can take steps to make the best
of the location of a home for sale.

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Grace Sanderson
Why Is It Considered a Defect?

Many of the defects inspectors note in reports are accepted, negotiated and repaired, sometimes without a true understanding why. Phil Thornberry, President of Security Home Inspections, answers some of those defects below:

  • Double keyed dead bolts
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Grace Sanderson
Using Social Media to Build Your Brand

The nature of social media is connectivity-- a practice real estate agents know well. 

But are you building your brand effectively using social media channels?

Today, we've linked several carefully curated articles featuring both agents and marketing experts to share their tips and tricks. 

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Grace Sanderson