Categoriesfinancing, home values, info for buyers, info for home owners, Real Estate, Selling your home, Washington real estate

Buying Your Digs with Domenica Lovaglia

Hi there! Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to consult with you about your move. I hope you are as excited as I am to get started on this journey buying your new digs.

As we move forward, there are a few items I would like to refer you to. It’s totally possible I have already handed a physical packet to you. On the other hand, if our meeting is going to be virtual, or somewhere down the road, this might serve as the best place to “give” you these items.

If you click on the photo on the right, you will find my buyer trifold. This has some information about me and about buying in general. I give it to everyone who has a consultation with me, whether I’ve known them for 10 years or 10 minutes. Take a minute to check it out.

Buyer Infographic

Next is the Buyer Infographic.

This is exactly what it looks like in the picture. It’s a roadmap that will outline the steps from here (our consult) to closing. When you click on it, take note that there are two pages. The second page gives you a brief description of each step.

It would be a great idea to familiarize yourself with each step a little and write down any questions you might have. Most will probably be answered as we go along, but I’m happy to go over anything in advance.

Metropolist Magazine

I may have already said this when we spoke, but in case I didn’t, the Buyer Consult is something I do with all clients. I’ll speak to this more when we sit down but this is an integral part of the process and the process is what drives every transaction from start to finish.

Bonus: So what’s the image on the right? Another thing we do at Metropolist is produce a bi-annual print magazine. In our most recent version you will find statistical information about the current market, broken down by neighborhood as well as an overall look at the King County Metro area. You will also get feature articles about our brokers, and fun anecdotes about life as a real estate agent.

I look forward to sitting with you (virtually or in person), and I’m excited to see how I can help you buy your home. In the meantime, write down any questions you have about the process and we will go over them soon! Buyer Agency

Categoriesinfo for home owners, Seattle, Seattle neigborhoods, Uncategorized, Washington real estate

Selling Your Digs with Domenica Lovaglia

Hi there! Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to consult with you about your move. I hope you are as excited as I am to get started on this journey selling your current digs.

As we move forward, there are a few items I would like to refer you to. It’s totally possible I have already handed a physical packet to you. On the other hand, if our meeting is going to be virtual, or somewhere down the road, this might serve as the best place to “give” you these items.

If you click on the photo on the right, you will find my seller trifold. This has some information about me and about selling in general. I give it to everyone who has a consultation with me, whether I’ve known them for 10 years or 10 minutes. Take a minute to check it out.

Seller Infographic

Next is the Seller Infographic.

This is exactly what it looks like in the picture. It’s a roadmap that will outline the steps from here (our consult) to closing. When you click on it, take note that there are two pages. The second page gives you a brief description of each step.

It would be a great idea to familiarize yourself with each step a little and write down any questions you might have. Most will probably be answered as we go along, but I’m happy to go over anything in advance.

Metropolist Magazine

I may have already said this when we spoke, but in case I didn’t, the Seller Consult is something I do with all clients. I’ll speak to this more when we sit down but this is an integral part of the process and the process is what drives every transaction from start to finish.

Bonus: So what’s the image on the right? Another thing we do at Metropolist is produce a bi-annual print magazine. In our most recent version you will find statistical information about the current market, broken down by neighborhood as well as an overall look at the King County Metro area. You will also get feature articles about our brokers, and fun anecdotes about life as a real estate agent.

I look forward to sitting with you (virtually or in person), and I’m excited to see how I can help you sell your home. In the meantime, write down any questions you have about the process and we will go over them soon!

Best,

Domenica

Categoriescommunity service, economy, info for home owners, Seattle, Washington real estate

Top Skills to Develop During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In these truly unprecedented times, it is easy to lose focus with your business. One of the best ways to combat this is by learning new skills and expanding the products you currently offer your clients.

Whether it be virtual home tours or learning how to utilize your Instagram account more effectively, there are numerous ways you can be a resource for your clients while stuck at home. Here are some useful tips:

Expand Your Digital Offerings
Perhaps nothing is more important right now than expanding what you currently offer your clients online. One of the most popular avenues real estate professionals are going down is providing virtual home tours. However, targeted Facebooks ads and virtual staging are others that are worth looking into or expanding upon if you already offer them. These are important products to be comfortable with as they’re becoming more and more popular.

Beef Up Your Social Media Presence
It is crucial that you’re at your clients’ disposal for most of the day. Being more diligent about answering texts, phone calls and emails is very important, but perhaps just as important is keeping up with engagement on your social media accounts. During this pandemic, your current and prospective clients will have a lot of questions. Many people may message you via Instagram or comment on your Facebook posts with inquiries. Get in the habit now of responding to these folks daily, as this is a skill that will be valuable to your business even after this moment is well past us.

Look to the Future
Take some time this weekend to really reflect on how you and your business reacted to the coronavirus outbreak. Very few people were ready for what happened (and what continues to impact our businesses), but that doesn’t mean you can’t be ready should this ever occur again. Additionally, take advantage of some of the numerous free webinars that are currently being offered online which speak to this topic. The goal is to come out of this period with more skills that’ll leave you better prepared for the future.
Agents, in what other ways are you learning and developing new skills during this pandemic?

Jameson Doris is RISMedia’s social media/blog editor. Email him your real estate news ideas at [email protected].

Photo by Jonatan Pie on Unsplash

Categoriescommunity service, emergency preparedness, info for buyers, info for home owners, Seattle, Seattle neigborhoods, Washington real estate

How to Maintain a Positive Mindset During a Pandemic

My business partner and Designated Broker at Metropolist, Chad Zinda,  takes a deeper look positivity in these trying times:

When the quarantine first started, I was determined to be available to the whole Metropolist team; from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., I was making sure everyone else was okay and had what they needed to succeed. But then the stay-at-home order was issued, stretching us into unknown territory, and my routine was no longer sustainable. Flight attendants tell us the same thing before every flight. Put on your own oxygen mask first. I was struggling to find a new routine because I was too busy making sure everyone else could breathe.

You know those rumble strips on the road for truckers that wake them up if they begin to drift off? I was hitting those every day, earlier and earlier. Something had to change.

I turned to the most valuable activity, my trusted companion, exercise–of the body and of the mind–and I turned off the news. In the beginning, I was watching the news constantly. My screen time notification told me I was looking at my phone 30% more. And that time was spent consuming all bad news. I needed to reset if I was going to achieve a positive mindset.

Best Practices

  1. Notice how you are feeling. Identify your emotions.
  2. Ask your family and friends how they are doing. Listen. Ask how you can help. The state of our collective mental health deserves our attention.
  3. Learn something new. Remind yourself of your purpose.
  4. Be a good neighbor. Help your community thrive.

Resources & Activities

    • Brian Buffini is a Broker Coach and he has a great podcast.
    • Brené Brown leads with vulnerability and courage, and she can help you do the same.
    • I create and share weekly videos with my team via Mailchimp
    • I attend weekly classes to garner new business ideas and refine my skills to assist my productivity and keep me accountable.

In her podcast, Brené Brown says that when we are in crisis mode we either over- or under-function. I over-function. The key is self-care; to start with yourself. This pandemic is scary, and sad. We are experiencing a loss. We are all grieving “the way it was” and we are all dealing with it differently. It is okay to mourn. But I also have to remind myself that we won’t always be isolated and we won’t always feel this level of disconnection.

If you need a reminder of your purpose and new connections to motivate you, you are welcome to join us for our weekly production meeting every Wednesday at 10 am. We have tools and support to offer you to help you survive and thrive during COVID19 and beyond. Email me at [email protected] and I will send you an invitation so we can get back to business together.

By Chad Zinda

Photo by http://www.diwasphotography.com/

Categorieseconomy, financing, home values, info for buyers, info for home owners, Seattle, Seattle neigborhoods, taxes, Washington real estate

Recession? Yes. Housing Crash? No.

With over 90% of Americans now under a shelter-in-place order, many experts are warning that the American economy is heading toward a recession, if it’s not in one already. What does that mean to the residential real estate market?

What is a recession?

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research:

“A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.”

COVID-19 hit the pause button on the American economy in the middle of March. Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Morgan Stanley are all calling for a deep dive in the economy in the second quarter of this year. Though we may not yet be in a recession by the technical definition of the word today, most believe history will show we were in one from April to June.

Does that mean we’re headed for another housing crash?

Many fear a recession will mean a repeat of the housing crash that occurred during the Great Recession of 2006-2008. The past, however, shows us that most recessions do not adversely impact home values. Doug Brien, CEO of Mynd Property Management, explains:

“With the exception of two recessions, the Great Recession from 2007-2009, & the Gulf War recession from 1990-1991, no other recessions have impacted the U.S. housing market, according to Freddie Mac Home Price Index data collected from 1975 to 2018.”

CoreLogic, in a second study of the last five recessions, found the same. Here’s a graph of their findings:Recession? Yes. Housing Crash? No. | MyKCM

What are the experts saying this time?

This is what three economic leaders are saying about the housing connection to this recession:

Robert Dietz, Chief Economist with NAHB

“The housing sector enters this recession underbuilt rather than overbuilt…That means as the economy rebounds – which it will at some stage – housing is set to help lead the way out.”

Ali Wolf, Chief Economist with Meyers Research

“Last time housing led the recession…This time it’s poised to bring us out. This is the Great Recession for leisure, hospitality, trade and transportation in that this recession will feel as bad as the Great Recession did to housing.”

John Burns, founder of John Burns Consulting, also revealed that his firm’s research concluded that recessions caused by a pandemic usually do not significantly impact home values:

“Historical analysis showed us that pandemics are usually V-shaped (sharp recessions that recover quickly enough to provide little damage to home prices).”

Bottom Line

If we’re not in a recession yet, we’re about to be in one. This time, however, housing will be the sector that leads the economic recovery.

Categoriescommunity service, emergency preparedness, info for buyers, info for home owners, Seattle neigborhoods, Seattle schools, Washington real estate

How to Help Home-Bound Teenagers Cope

Stay-at-home restrictions are challenging for everyone, especially teenagers.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, teens – who would normally just be starting to enjoy life as independent beings in the world – are suddenly back under the purview of mom and dad. To make matters worse, many teens have had something extremely important to them suddenly ripped away: a lead in the school play, a varsity spot on the team, prom, graduation, a part-time job, etc. On top of that, their all-important social life is now off limits as well.

What’s a parent to do? While nothing will come close to replacing the life your teenager had been living, here are a few strategies to help your teen cope:

Make sure they’re informed. Teens are masters of disguising their true feelings, so don’t misread their cool demeanor as apathy. They might be getting the bulk of their information through social media, which is not always accurate and may be causing undue alarm. Be sure to calmly keep them apprised of the developments surrounding the coronavirus, explaining why the restrictions are important. Don’t withhold information out of fear of worrying them. Listen to a trusted news source together so that the information is coming directly from the experts, not their “overreacting” parents.

Give them a social outlet. It’s critical that your teenager is still able to connect with friends during this time. Encourage social distancing activities they can do with a friend, such as hiking, running or biking. Let them take the car to a nearby scenic spot and hang out side-by-side with a friend in another car. Give them privacy to use the family computer to host a Zoom “meeting” or Google hangout with multiple friends. At all costs, make sure your wifi is up to snuff so that your teens can easily text, use social media and Facetime to stay connected.

Help them earn money. Your teenager may be depressed about losing a job, but you can easily come up with some jobs around the house for your teen to take on to earn some money. Have them help you with some small tasks related to your job while you’re working from home, or a project that will get them outside, such as spring yard clean-up. While the financial incentive is a big plus, the real benefit is getting their minds focused on something other than the situation at hand.

Keep student athletes in shape. While staying active is essential for all teens in this situation, it’s particularly important for your student athlete who is used to a rigorous work-out schedule, and could respond negatively to suddenly being sedentary. Check in with coaches to see if they’ve put a work-out schedule in place or are perhaps hosting online group workouts. Remind your athlete that keeping their fitness level up is essential so that they can return to sports without missing a beat.

Embrace family time. While the hectic pace of life before the pandemic might have made you and your teenager ships that pass in the night, you’ve now got lots of time together, so make the most of it. Eat meals together, binge watch a series together, play cards, get the old photo albums out, etc. The idea is to make sure your teenager doesn’t stay holed up all day in his or her room. So make some interactive time mandatory.

Photo by Steinar Engeland on Unsplash

Categoriescommunity service, economy, emergency preparedness, info for buyers, info for home owners, Seattle neigborhoods, Washington real estate

These Days We’re All Staying In – But We Can Still Show Up

By April Critchfield

I interact with a lot of real estate teams and their coaches on a daily basis. I see what they’re doing to stand out in their respective markets, and I see how they are always coming up with new and exciting ways to implement the working basics of real estate into their businesses.

That’s why, when our country recently started dealing with the most unprecedented changes due to COVID-19, I was anxious to see what they would do to keep their momentum, while staying safe and practicing social distancing.

It was no surprise to me that it was almost an effortless shift. The team leaders, coaches and clients of Workman Success Systems have always had the ability to work remotely, and for the most part, do work remotely. So, when offices started to close and people were starting to keep their distance, the social connection and client communication never stopped.

New “best practices” for virtual open houses and listing appointments started to emerge, and it wasn’t lost on me that the people I have been working with put immense thoughtfulness into every action they took, from hosting virtual walk-throughs to putting their own clients at ease and genuinely listening to their concerns about the next steps to take with their own real estate decisions.

At a time where communication could be so easily lost, I have heard about more tips, tools and opportunities to connect than ever before. We live in a digital world, and it’s sometimes so easy to just send a text message or “like” someone’s status update, but today, and especially now, it’s not enough. Adding the “extra touch,” sending a handwritten note to dropping off some toilet paper and hand sanitizer on someone’s doorstep, is showing that you’re actually thinking of that person.

The common theme so far has been to keep moving forward—keep working, and keep your focus. Have compassion and empathy for those whose opinions differ from yours. (We are still all entitled to our own opinions, after all.) With the shifting world around us, we just need to be creative to keep our communication lines open.

If you’re wondering how to move forward with your own real estate business, or you have questions about coaching, I invite you to connect with us! We’re all in this together. What has been working for you? Please don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments below.

Please stay safe and here’s to your health!

April Critchfield works with real estate team leaders and coaches and is a team member of Workman Success Systems in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is also a REALTOR® in Utah. Contact her at [email protected]. For more information about real estate teams, or real estate coaching, please visit www.WorkmanSuccess.com.

Categoriesfinancing, info for buyers, info for home owners, Seattle, Seattle neigborhoods, Washington real estate

Three Reasons Why This Is Not a Housing Crisis

In times of uncertainty, one of the best things we can do to ease our fears is to educate ourselves with research, facts, and data. Digging into past experiences by reviewing historical trends and understanding the peaks and valleys of what’s come before us is one of the many ways we can confidently evaluate any situation. With concerns of a global recession on everyone’s minds today, it’s important to take an objective look at what has transpired over the years and how the housing market has successfully weathered these storms.

1. The Market Today Is Vastly Different from 2008
We all remember 2008. This is not 2008. Today’s market conditions are far from the time when housing was a key factor that triggered a recession. From easy-to-access mortgages to skyrocketing home price appreciation, a surplus of inventory, excessive equity-tapping, and more – we’re not where we were 12 years ago. None of those factors are in play today. Rest assured, housing is not a catalyst that could spiral us back to that time or place.

According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at Realtor.com, if there is a recession:

“It will be different than the Great Recession. Things unraveled pretty quickly, and then the recovery was pretty slow. I would expect this to be milder. There’s no dysfunction in the banking system, we don’t have many households who are overleveraged with their mortgage payments and are potentially in trouble.”

In addition, the Goldman Sachs GDP Forecast released this week indicates that although there is no growth anticipated immediately, gains are forecasted heading into the second half of this year and getting even stronger in early 2021.Three Reasons Why This Is Not a Housing Crisis | MyKCMBoth of these expert sources indicate this is a momentary event in time, not a collapse of the financial industry. It is a drop that will rebound quickly, a stark difference to the crash of 2008 that failed to get back to a sense of normal for almost four years. Although it poses plenty of near-term financial challenges, a potential recession this year is not a repeat of the long-term housing market crash we remember all too well.

2. A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis
Next, take a look at the past five recessions in U.S. history. Home values actually appreciated in three of them. It is true that they sank by almost 20% during the last recession, but as we’ve identified above, 2008 presented different circumstances. In the four previous recessions, home values depreciated only once (by less than 2%). In the other three, residential real estate values increased by 3.5%, 6.1%, and 6.6% (see below):Three Reasons Why This Is Not a Housing Crisis | MyKCM

3. We Can Be Confident About What We Know
Concerns about the global impact COVID-19 will have on the economy are real. And they’re scary, as the health and wellness of our friends, families, and loved ones are high on everyone’s emotional radar.

According to Bloomberg,

“Several economists made clear that the extent of the economic wreckage will depend on factors such as how long the virus lasts, whether governments will loosen fiscal policy enough and can markets avoid freezing up.”

That said, we can be confident that, while we don’t know the exact impact the virus will have on the housing market, we do know that housing isn’t the driver.

The reasons we move – marriage, children, job changes, retirement, etc. – are steadfast parts of life. As noted in a recent piece in the New York Times, “Everyone needs someplace to live.” That won’t change.

Bottom Line
Concerns about a recession are real, but housing isn’t the driver. If you have questions about what it means for your family’s homebuying or selling plans, let’s connect to discuss your needs.

Categoriesemergency preparedness, info for buyers, info for home owners, Seattle, Seattle neigborhoods, Washington real estate

Productivity Tips for Working From Home

Whether you’ve been working remotely for years or are new to a work-from-home scenario, there are important strategies for doing it successfully.

Many have the misconception that working from home is easy and will automatically lead to increased productivity. In reality, the opposite is usually true. There are often more distractions at home, and not having the office resources you rely on readily available can hamper your ability to do your job.

If you want to improve your chances of being productive while working from home, do the following:

Create designated space. Don’t try to do your job from the sofa, or worse, your bed. If you don’t already have a designated office space in your home, create one. Set up a table and comfortable chair in a room—or corner of a room—where you’re likely to have the most privacy. Use a decorative screen to help section off your workspace if need be. Take over a guest room, if you have one, or claim the dining room as your new office, relegating meals to the kitchen instead. The idea is to have a space that’s as private as possible, where you can leave your work materials out at the end of the day.

Get up on time. Working from home doesn’t mean it’s time to sleep in. Be sure to maintain the morning schedule you had when going into the office, and if you now have more time due to not having to commute, use it for exercise or to have breakfast with the family. Giving in to sleeping longer may reduce your energy level and make it harder to focus.

Establish a communication system. Working from home can often leave you feeling cut-off from your coworkers and managers, which can quickly stymie productivity. Make sure you have a system for effectively connecting, using both chat programs and video conferencing to stay in regular contact. Don’t just rely on email, which can lack details and intent. The idea is to avoid isolating yourself, even though you’re not physically present at the office.

Work during work hours. When working from home, it can be tempting to try and sneak in some domestic tasks or social engagements. Try to avoid this during designated work hours, as the distraction factor will quickly mount, and you’ll find it hard to keep switching between work and home life. Take a lunch hour and a couple of breaks for your personal tasks, then focus on work during the times you would while at the office.

Honor quitting time. One of the dangers of working from home is that your work is always right there with you. Be as productive as possible during work hours, then end your day as you normally would when at the office. Shut your computer down, organize your papers, turn off the light in your home office space and call it a day. Taking the necessary time to detach from work every day will ultimately make you more productive.

Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash

Categorieseconomy, financing, home values, info for buyers, info for home owners, Seattle, Washington real estate

How Your Tax Refund Can Move You Toward Homeownership This Year

According to programs from the Federal Housing Authority, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae, many first-time buyers can purchase a home with as little as 3% down. Truth be told, a 20% down payment is not always required to buy a home, even though that’s a common misconception about homebuying. Veterans Affairs Loans allow many veterans to purchase a home with 0% down.

How can my tax refund help?
If you’re a first-time buyer, your tax refund may cover more of a down payment than you ever thought possible.

If you take into account the median home sale price by state, the map below shows the percentage of a 3% down payment that’s covered by the average tax refund:How Your Tax Refund Can Move You Toward Homeownership This Year | MyKCMThe darker the blue, the closer your tax refund gets you to homeownership in one of these programs. Maybe this is the year to plan ahead and put your tax refund toward a down payment on a home.

Bottom Line
Saving for a down payment can seem like a daunting task, but the more you know about what’s required, the more prepared you’ll be to make the best decision for you and your family. This tax season, your refund could be your key to homeownership.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash