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March 2009

Learn to Blog...Real Estate Blogging 101 Class set for April 17 in Las Vegas

Real Estate Blogging 101 - How the Internet is Changing Business

Approved by the Nevada Real Estate Commission
3 Hours Continuing Education (PD) CE.3706000-RE

Date:                  Friday, April 17, 2009
Class Time:        1:00 - 4:00 pm

Location:      MetLife Home Loans

1401 N. Green Valley Pkwy #250, Henderson 89074
From I-215, north on Green Valley Pkwy to 1401

Cost:  $45 in advance; $55 at the door
Register online at 

Jan O’Brien     858-9191,
Kathryn Bovard 348-7191,

Three hour (CE Approved) training seminar covering…
o    The State of the Internet – How Blogging can Generate Business
o    Blogging 101
o    What is a Blog? Who Is Blogging? Why should You Blog?
o    How to get started blogging. How & Where to Find Blogs
o    Lead Generation and Business Applications; Legal issues, Disclosures
o     How does Web 2.0/social networking impact the real estate industry?

Bonus Materials: Receive a copy of:
o Tutorial ($20 value) A step-by-step guide to launch your FREE blog
o    Real Estate Agents Internet Resource Guide ($10 value)
A comprehensive guide to online Listing Tools, Blogging and other Web 2.0 services, tools and technologies

Seating is Limited.  Register & reserve your seat online:

Download BlogClassFlyer2009

La Vita Italiana!... Enjoying the Italian Life for 10 Wonderful Days

Just returned from a relaxing and rejuvenating vacation visiting Verna, Florence and Venice Italy.  Below are some videos my sister, Loreen (visit her website and I put together from the over 500 photos we took.

If you are interested - you can view our Italy pics at Flickr

Observations on the life Italian... well-dressed, you can spot the tourists (mainly Americans) by the jeans (also the younger Italian generation); walking, bicycles, mopeds, smaller "Smart" cars; more smokers; don't see many overweight Italians!; really know how to enjoy a meal; things close down between 12:30 and 3:30 in most towns so people can enjoy their lunch, be with family if they so choose; slower pace; in the moment; not a fast-food nation; meals prepared with fresh foods picked up from the shops or "supermercato' that day; cafes ("bars") and gelato (ice cream) shops on every corner; great coffee, espresso, wine and gelato!

This Video "La Vita Italiana" is a montage of our observations on the Italian Life...

Beautiful Verona - my favorite city on the trip...You will see the Verona Arena, built by the Romans around 30 AD (1st century). It was used for jousting tournaments, gladiator fights, and saints were even martyred here.  L'Arena is now used for the popular Opera season. It stands in the center of the town in Piazza Bra where you can sit and have coffee at the numerous cafes (or "bars" as they call them).  We visited another 1st century structure, a Roman Amphitheater , where plays were performed. Above the amphitheater is the church that held the very first Mass in Verona. Outside in the courtyard is a cemetery with places to sit and meditate on the awesome views overlooking Verona.  Other photos include Cathedral San Zeno, Castelvecchio, Juliette's Tomb and the famous balcony of Romeo & Juliette fame, bridges and the river Adige...tranquility, serenity, history, picturesque

The uniqueness of Venice....gondoliers, shops, murano glass, water, cobblestone streets, narrow alleyways...

President's Plan "Making Home Affordable" Loan Refinance and Modification Options Explained at

On Wednesday, March 4, 2009 - The White House released the details of who is eligible and how the loan refinancing and loan modification programs will work.  The program dubbed "Making Home Affordable is detailed at see below for a re-posting of the information added to the site yesterday.

Learn About the Making Home Affordable Refinance and Modification Options

America's Making Home Affordable Program Logo

The President's plan was created to help millions of homeowners refinance or modify their mortgages.

Refinancing: Many homeowners pay their mortgages on time but are not able to refinance to take advantage of today’s lower mortgage rates perhaps due to a decrease in the value of their home. A Home Affordable Refinance will help borrowers whose loans are held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac refinance into a more affordable mortgage.

Modification: Many homeowners are struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments either because their interest rate has increased or they have less income. A Home Affordable Modification will provide them with mortgage payments they can afford.

Who is Eligible?

Please use the self-assessment tools provided on this website to see if you are among the 7 to 9 million homeowners who can benefit from Making Home Affordable. Based on your results, we will provide suggestions about what you can do next.


Borrower Q&A Icon: PDF Document

Beware of Foreclosure Rescue Scams - Help Is Free!

  • There is never a fee to get assistance or information about Making Home Affordable from your lender or a HUD-approved housing counselor.
  • Beware of any person or organization that asks you to pay a fee in exchange for housing counseling services or modification of a delinquent loan. Do not pay – walk away!
  • Beware of anyone who says they can “save” your home if you sign or transfer over the deed to your house. Do not sign over the deed to your property to any organization or individual unless you are working directly with your mortgage company to forgive your debt.
  • Never make your mortgage payments to anyone other than your mortgage company without their approval.

Making Home Affordable - Downloads

Fact Sheet Icon: PDF Document

Summary of Guidelines Icon: PDF Document

Modification Program Guidelines Icon: PDF Document

Counselor Q&A Icon: PDF Document

Additional Resources:

Need urgent help? Contact the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline: (888) 995-HOPE

Creating a Saleable Asset & Designing Your Real Estate Career Exit Strategy

The primary focus of much of the coaching I conduct with real estate agents is how to set-up, operate and ultimately exit from their successful real estate business.  In this multi-part series I want to discuss some of the key points and strategies for making that happen.  In my experience as a broker-manager and coach for the last 16 years, it amazes me how many top-producing agents are unbelievable rainmakers and not always the best at managing their finances or their team, setting up and utilizing effective systems and running the business like a business.

As an industry, training is primarily focused on basic sales skills, prospecting and how to generate and convert those leads or build referral business.  Of course, all these skills are critical to a successful real estate career.  In my opinion, what's missing is effective training and coaching on the basic and advanced business and financial structure and systems that any successful business uses on a daily basis. 

Here are the main areas of consideration for designing your exit strategy:

  • Determining the value of your real estate business
  • The Essential Real Estate Business Systems
  • Real Estate Team Building Systems - an overview
  • Establishing metrics to measure your business health
  • Exit Strategy - from training your replacement to buyout considerations

In this article, let's cover the factors in determining the value of your real estate business.

Without a strategic action plan and clear exit strategy, an agent desiring to leave the real estate business generally has this as an option:  Find another agent to takeover their client database and give them a referral on any business generated.  Some agents have negotiated a "purchase price" for their database.  But here's the issue - how do you determine the value of your database?  Does the agent who's "taking over your business" have the rapport and relationship with your database?  Later in this series I'll share some ideas for finding and training your replacement as an exit strategy which if leveraged with other strategies can result in a much higher purchase price or residual income agreement.

Here are some considerations to help determine the value of your real estate business:

  • The quality and size of your database. 

    What kind of historical data do you have on your clients?  Is it more than just their names, addresses, phone numbers and email? 

    Do you know....
  • Favorite Restaurants?
  • Favorite free time activities?
  • Children's favorite activities?
  • Children's schools/grade levels/ages?
  • Where did they move from?
  • Do they have plans to relocate to another city in the future?
  • Place of worship?
  • Favorite charities?
  • Investment wants?
  • On-going information requests?
  • Where they like to shop for clothes and food?
  • Their passions? Hobbies?
  • Where they vacation?
  • Marital status?
  • Place of employment?
  • What software program do you use to maintain your database?

    A better question may be...Do you use a system to maintain your database?  And if the answer is no, then this is a critical first step to handle ASAP.  Stop procrastinating already!  Make a decision on the software and/or system and hire someone to get all the contact data loaded.

    Read my post:  7 Action Steps to Creating Your SOI/Past Client Referral System for some guidance and suggestions on software programs and implementing your SOI system.
  • Have you categorized and sorted your client database? 
    I recommend the Brian Buffini system for maintaining and building referrals.  This is the category description from Buffini:

    A+    Have given you multiple referrals and you love working with them
    A      Have given you a referral and you want to receive more referrals from them
    B      People who would refer you, if they were asked and shown how
    C      People who might refer to you in the future
    D      People to be deleted from your database

  • Do you have lead generation systems in place that can easily be transferred and taught to a replacement?
  • Have you implemented effective and duplicatable real estate systems?  Listings, Buyers, Escrows, Lead Generation & tracking, Business Plan, Personal Branding & Promotion, Advertising & Marketing, Referrals

  • Do you know your numbers? Can you clearly show your track record for production currently and in the past to include income, expenses, sources of transactions, return on various marketing venues and target markets? 

  •  Do you have a real estate team in place? Do you know what the team members contribute to your bottom line?Do you have accountability systems and production tracking set-up?

Some Short-Sale Listing Agents May be Misusing Nevada Forms

Steve_kitnick Guest Blogger - Steve Kitnick of

Steve presents an interesting situation he has come across in his training and a true misuse of the intent of the Nevda Real Estate Division forms 636 and 637.  Read the full post below for all the details.

Download the forms discussed in this post:

Download 636WaiverForm

Download 637AuthtoNegotiate withSeller

Download 525DutiesOwed

Some short-sale listing agents may be circumventing the intent of NRED Form 636 and 637 which went into effect under SB69.  They are presenting offers directly to the seller's lienholders.  Their intent appears to be avoiding having an offer presented and accepted by their seller's subject to  lienholder(s) approval, thus, requiring them to place the listing in a contingent status, according to local MLS rules. 

Consider the following:  Nevada Real Estate Division (NRED) Form 636 Waiver Form states, "In representing any client in an agency relationship, a real estate licensee has specific statutory duties to the client.  Under Nevada law only one of these duties can be waived.  NRS 645.254 requires a licensee to "present all offers made to or by the client as soon as practicable."  This duty made be waived by the client.  Last May 2008, it came to my attention that some Nevada real estate licensees were using Form 636 so they could submit offers directly to the Seller's lienholder(s). According to Mr. Jan Holle, Compliance/Audit Investigator/Nevada Real Estate Division, "The intent of Form 636 was to allow limited service brokerages to be in compliance with NRS 645 that states 'All Offers Must Be Presented.' 

The intent of Form 637 was to allow a mechanism for a buyer's agent to deal directly with a seller if this was in agreement with the seller and the seller's agent." The question was posed, "so the seller signs NRED Form 636 which allows the listing agent not to present all offers.  Who presents the offer to the seller?  Mr. Holle stated, "It could be the buyer's agent or an unrepresented buyer.  In the case of a buyer's agent presenting the offer - Form 637 Authorization To Negotiate Directly With Seller would need to be in place along with Form 636.  If a buyer was unrepresented, Form 637 would not be required... there could be many scenarios depending upon whether or not there are licensees involved on the buyer side, seller side, or both, and what type of services are provided by the brokerage(s). 

NRED Compliance/Audit Investigator was asked about this scenario: The seller is represented by a full service brokerage.  The listing agent has the seller sign Form 636 only! The listing agent places the listing in the MLS and then advertises it various media. Agent receives offer from buyer's agent to purchase the property.  How does the seller know of the offer, receive the offer, or respond to the offer, since they waived a duty owed to them to have offers presented to them?  The buyer's agent can not talk to the seller without written permission from the seller and their broker.  Mr. Holle's reply to this scenario was, "Using the form [636] in this manner and having the seller's agent receiving the offers was not the intent of the waiver.  Using this form in this way could place the seller's agent in violation of NAC 645.632 as he/she for whatever reason is receiving the offers.  If the seller's agent is receiving offers then it is his/her duty to have the seller respond to the offer and provide the buyer or buyer's agent with written notice of acceptance or rejection per NAC 645.632.  If the seller has waived the right for the seller's agent to present all offers than the seller's agent should not be receiving the offers.  If the seller has waived the right for the seller's agent to present offers than the MLS should state that buyer's agent is to present offers to the seller. 

If the form [636] is not being utilized correctly, then the Division should be notified via a complaint form.

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