Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I am being courted...

A real estate web services provider contacted me yesterday about perhaps changing my sales site provider. I get calls like this occasionally, in fact this particular vendor (Z57) has called me numerous times over the years.

I've agreed to a phone meeting for tomorrow to see what they have in mind as far as improved Internet presence and the like.

If you have any experience with this company feel free to leave a comment for discussion. Maybe offer me some advice as to what to expect.

Currently I am content with my sales site. It is not the best thing since sliced bread or anything like that, but I think it does what I need it to do. I don't feel as any sales sites are all that important any longer. My hits to the my sales site have gone up dramatically since I started blogging. To me the blog offers fresh content and information that visitors can use for their own purposes. The sales site offers up my services, but I've never been under the impression that any visitor to that site will come back again and again like they might on this blog.

I'm just not sure that I'd want to spend probably even more money than I currently am for an 'improved' sales site.

Update dated 3/1/2007

Well I had a nice long phone conversation with the representative from Z57. First my rep was a very good salesperson, he asked me all the proper leading questions and pre-closed throughout the conversation. I told him up front that his product would have to knock my socks off for me to change vendors today. I also told him that every two bit agent has a website this day and age and that I generally don't like (what I call them) 'sales' sites all that much. I let him know about my blog and the success I've had with it as compared to my own sales site.

We went round and round the whole time. But he helped me define what I am looking for that would indeed make my sales site something worth being excited about, but presently he could not offer me such a product.

What I want is this.

I want my website visitors to be able to search for all listings on a map in the manner anyone can do on the linked site above. This is what I will be working to offer as quickly as I can (if I can even afford it).

Monday, February 26, 2007

My Slice of Heaven Returns...

When I last left you I had threatened to head out for a fishing weekend. Well, my good friend fell ill on Friday night and canceled on me. He is going to be alright and there will be other weekends to snag a few fish so no worries.

With my fishing trip canceled it offered me the opportunity to head on down to Lake Havasu City on Saturday for the grand opening of a new facility to enjoy the recreation of hockey. The photos below are of the new digs. Some work still needs to be done but I am a mere few weeks away from returning to play the game that I love so dearly.

You won't find me in any of the pic's, but I did suit up as a goaltender (I was the only such person geared up for the job) and managed a few spurts of effort. I have not played since the last facility was closed down in May of 2005. Since then I've packed on about 20 pounds and barely fit into my equipment.

There were players of all ages that came out on Saturday to enjoy the new rink. There was never an organized effort to play a game because of the wide variance of age and skill, it was mostly just a time to skate around and shoot some pucks. Each time I headed out to hone my craft as a goalie most of the skaters took pleasure in showing off their slap-shots and wanna-be Wayne Gretzky moves. After nearly two years without playing experience many skaters probably felt a lot of confidence. Well once I get back into the swing of things I'll be sure to shut down the opposition like I used to be able to do (I took notes of who was scoring at will while I could barely breathe from exhaustion after about 30 or 40 shots.

I also managed to play goal for a group of kids probably in the 11 to 13 years old age group towards the end of the afternoon. They played a half-rink game and gave me their best shots... and scored some goals.

Adult leagues look to get started up again in a couple of weeks on Wednesday nights. If you are in the area and want a few laughs come out and see me. The rink is located at Sara Park and I hope to see you there.

My good friend Bill Beckman teaching his daughter how to skate.

This is where you'd find me if I wasn't trying to catch my breath on this fine day.

Photo of the floor (still needs to be sealed) and some play action. The kids are pretty good.

More play action, notice the goalie on the other side... he lasted all day but he also was velcro strapped to the pipes. Word is he was tougher to score on than I was.

Friday, February 23, 2007

REALTOR Day at the State Capitol..

Here are a few photo's from my visit to Phoenix yesterday for REALTOR Day at the Capitol.

Random photo of the setting

Our fearless leader of our local Association Rita Zumwalt and our President-Elect Becky Morgan.

Here is a state Senator receiving an award for protecting private property rights.

Photo of state capitol building.

Had lots of fun yesterday, I might have a roundup of events in a couple of days.

Today I'm monitoring a GRI class (all day), and hope to get out on the lake for some fishing this weekend. Hope to see you all well and soon.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

At City Council last night...

There was an informal presentation made by the owners of about 200 acres of property right smack dab on the spot where the proposed Kingman Crossing interchange along Interstate 40 might go (hopefully in the very near future). Representatives from Vestar Development and Vanderbilt Farms introduced themselves to the council at 5:00pm before the scheduled city council meeting starting at 6:00pm.

Neither representative offered any specific developed plans to the public or the council, it was more of an introductory affair. The guests stated what their vision is for their property if the city manages to get the go ahead to build the new interchange. It would be a large commercial project for retail, business, dining and entertainment complex to the eventual tune of nearly 900,000 square feet of space.

David Larcher of Vestar did most of the presentation and answered a some questions from the council. The firms own about 200 acres on the north side of Interstate 40 and plan a multi-phase commercial development that could include retail offerings such as Costco or Sam's, a Target and Lowes type of store, plenty of dining, business office suites, and maybe even a multi-plex theater. <---- OH NELLY!!

I was mildly surprised by the anti-growth council members, including the mayor, for some of the things they shared. Surprised in a good way. I think they must see the value of a project like this coming our way. Of course they made sure to let these firms know that the city was dead broke and wouldn't be able to add one cent to the project and other things along those lines.

Councilman Deering tried to get a gauge on how long Vestar and Vanderbilt Farms would be willing to wait before they could get a start on this project, hoping (I'm sure) to hear them say that if the city didn't get the interchange done in some amount of time then the project would be kaput. Councilwoman Watson asked how big of an undertaking this particular situation would be as compared to the many other projects these firms have dealt with in the past. I don't know her real reaction when Mr. Larcher said (paraphrasing) that he has never been involved in an easy deal where a municipality fronts all the money and otherwise rolls out all the red carpet they could... but he is always looking for such a project (I laughed). Larcher also implied that the challenges that lie ahead for this project are not any more difficult than in most other project he has been involved in.

Once the presentation was complete, Beverly Liles from the Kingman Chamber of Commerce reported findings from a poll taken of chamber members to the council. There were four questions posed to the members that basically asked the opinion on such a project coming to the Kingman area. She reported that the solid majority of other business owners in the Kingman area that responded to the survey were in support of the entire undertaking. I think that 99% of the respondents wished to have the city see to it that the interchange be built. I'm hoping that some of this comes out in the media over the next few days and I'll link back to it (if they bother with these pro-growth facts at all).

I will be offering more information on the Kingman Crossing Interchange as it becomes available. This is simply the highest priority that faces the growing city today. The interchange will bring all kinds of opportunity to Kingman (and it will even create tax revenue for our dead beat broke city).

Monday, February 19, 2007

What a few Members are saying about WARDEX

All right boys and girls, how about a little insight into what is on the minds of the Members of WARDEX -- the newly formed regional data exchange (formerly known as MLS). I'm about to let you in on what the outside world cannot see. The new program that manages the data exchange has a small bulletin board where brokers and agents can post such information as price reductions, open house info, wants and needs related to clients... and as you will see is also being used to disparage the system itself. I'm removing the names of agents that may be included and any other product name mentioned... but I'm leaving the spelling and grammar.

Here we go...

We need to do something we as agents pay for the MLS and we are the ones loosing money. Someone start a petition and fax to all offices for signatures. I HATE WARDEX!!!!! Post a bullition if you agree!

Personally, I have had my own trial and tribulations with the new system. However I'm finding more and more of the time the troubles I experience are user error. When I've had the chance to sit down and mess with the system (one that allows for plenty of customization), I've come out actually impressed with the features.

Has anyone mentioned lately how much they hate this lousy system? How about loading pictures 43 trillion times before it works?

I'll admit that the way the system manages photo uploading is less than desirable. If I upload a photo right now, it is likely not to appear for at least 15 minutes to an hour. Some Members have told me that it is impossible to upload multiple photos at the same time. I haven't had the same problem but I suspect it is a real problem and the vendor needs to fix it.

If you hate Wardex TELL YOUR BOARD!!! Post a I hate wardex bulletin!!!

Tell the Board?? That would be a first. Every month there is an open meeting and last month was the first time we had attendance by any other Member than those who make up the Board of Directors. How about getting involved yourselves?? There are nine of us on the Board that are doing the heavy lifting... on a volunteer basis. You really want to know who is losing money?? Show up at a meeting and let your voices be heard, quit playing tough guy from behind your keyboard.

This program is NOT user frienly. Kicks you out in the middle of the continious listing input and ask you to log in again!!!There is no such thing as "Quick" anything when you are in a hurry to help a client.

Haven't seen this one myself. But when the program was logging me off back in late October I came to find out that my browser wasn't 'optimized' -- whatever that means. Since that time I ran the diagnostics that optimized the browser and since haven't been logged off. Just sayin'.

Quit being SILENT if you hate Wardex. There must be SOMETHING we can do..... COMPLAIN, KICK & BITE - WE WANT THE (old vendor) MLS WE USED TO HAVE!!!!

Kick and bite?? Are we being physically threatened?? It has been said that I've shown that I have thick skin over the past year and a half since I've been working on this project... looks like I may actually need that thick skin.

I agree with _______'s and ________'s remarks concerning (the new vendor) and I totally agree with them. Is there any interest out there to call a membership meeting and take a vote to cancel it? We never realized how good we had it with (the old vendor).

I'll say it again, there are some challenges that remain with our new system. Some of it is on the new vendor, some of it is on what the Board of Directors settled on for the new data fields... and plenty of it is on each and every Member that puts in crappy data that is rendered practically unusable by the new system. Also keep in mind that we merged three different sets of data with three different set of rules into one new system. Many that I've talked to in data management said that conversions like this are never pretty, and from what I've seen nothing that we've done would appear in a sports magazine swimsuit edition.

I agree! Lets go back to the old MLS. Worked just fine for me. Worked great in the car. WE PAY WE SHOULD HAVE A SAY!!! Or just email out your buyers and details (to agents)and who ever has matching properties can respond until this is fixed. nOt

Who says you do not have a say?? And you are right -- you do pay. For this I can be sure, for what you have to say you surely will pay a much higher cost in order to cancel our existing contract and go back or settle on any other system. It also will likely cost some other Member plenty of business as well (as I know all too well), since it won't be me freely giving of my time to head back to the drawing board.

And also to be totally factual here, none of the Members of my local Association have paid one cent towards the cost of the new system. The annual bill does not get sent out until some time in April and is not due until the end of May of this year. This fact may not apply to Members of the other local Boards.

Now all I can offer to the wise and most humble of Members (sarcasm here) that took the time to utilize the bulletin board to complain about WARDEX is that much of what is written is already known and fellow Members are making every effort to correct the inefficiencies of the system... on a purely voluntary basis. Any offer to help by any other Member would gladly be appreciated by those that have been working to produce a reliable program for over a year now.

Keep in mind that while the three local Associations own WARDEX, it is actually controlled by the broker-Members. An agent that is having difficulty may want to see his or her broker and ask that the broker do something about the problems they may be facing.

As stated earlier, each time I use the new system I get a little better with it, it becomes more comfortable. I believe that I'll be checking out the next offering of training just to get some more tips to help my progress along.

To my clients and any potential clients... I know the new system well enough and am capable of correctly listing your property on the data exchange in a manner that is easily search able, even for these other Members that haven't quite grasped basic computer skills. You may want to ask your prospective agent or broker how well they utilize the new system before signing that six-month listing agreement.

Mohave County gets 'A' rating...

See the article here from the Mohave Daily News.

This is good news and should help pave the way toward more prosperity county wide.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Follow up to last week...

Last week I asked for help with a situation that I encountered for the first time in this business. Read here.

I just want to say thanks for all those that commented on the post or emailed. Thanks for all the heart felt feelings and great advice.

I'm not going to divulge details of everything out of respect for the family, but the situation is being handled in a proper fashion and I feel as positive as I can about all of this. I still miss the client that passed as he was great to work with and I'm going to see to it that everything possible will be done to finish what I started for him.

Thanks again to all.

Todd Tarson.... you're fired!!

It happens occasionally, and I expect it to happen a bit more perhaps with the slowing local housing market. I was 'fired' or replaced as a listing agent yesterday for a property I have been marketing since last summer.

Last year I had many other out of the normal activities that caused me to lose some focus on my business at hand (helping buyers and sellers transfer property from one party to another). It is not a valid excuse for some of the business that I took on, but my decision making wasn't the very best at times last year.

I took on a client that happened to walk in during my assigned 'floor duty' (floor duty is where I cover the office for any walk in or call in unrepresented potential clients). They had an older home on the side of a hill overlooking the city and an incredible view of the Hualapai Mountains. They came to me with about a week before they were to head to another state for the summer months. Their home was listed with another broker and their agreement had expired.

When it came time to discuss the asking price I did manage to get the clients to reduce their already high asking price to a different level of a high asking price. The clients were nice people and I did show them all the available comparisons of recently sold homes in the price range they demanded. All of those comparisons were for newer homes with many upgrades and more modern features. I showed the clients what they would be competing against at the price they wanted for the home and it was much the same as the sold comparison list.

Looking back I had no business taking on these clients, but they seemed in a rush to simply have their property on the market before they headed out of town. All of their belongings were packed up and they were going to leave shortly after signing all the listing docs. I did track the showings that were made, and there were probably about 4 a month. When I followed up with the other agents that showed the property the feedback was always the price was way too high according to their buying clients and that those clients settled on a newer property with more modern features at lower prices even.

To make matters worse, when the winter season came my clients left the state they lived in for the summer and headed to a warmer climate... and never gave me any contact information so I had no way to get in touch with them.

Yesterday, finally, they showed up at my office and demanded the keys to their home and let me know that they would be hiring another broker that would support an even higher asking price.

It finally felt good to be fired for a change.

These sellers have unrealistic expectations even with all the factual data that I had shared with them while I was in contact with them.

Allen Butler over at Bloodhound has a funny article about some of today's sellers. I thought the timing of his article was dandy with my recent events with my former clients. Mr. Butlers article should be a Carnival of Real Estate winner next week.

Monday, February 12, 2007

More for sellers...

I'm linking to Greg from BloodhoundBlog for his article that is seller-centric. It's good stuff.

Read right here.

I think this goes well with my sales report for January posted earlier.

Internet Marketing...

Since I started reading real estate blogs I've become interested in marketing my listings on the Internet. It is a harder task that I originally thought it would be. I still believe in the value of such attempts yet continue to run into some road blocks.

I'm simply not technically savvy enough at this point to make sure everything is done properly.

Please check out this discussion going on over at the Rain City Guide. Robbie is one of the contributors that I like to read because of his technical angle. He loses me sometimes, but when I get a few moments I check out what he has linked to in an effort to figure things out. Enjoy.

January Sales Report (2007)

Oh boy, the numbers for the Kingman market this last month are sobering. I hope it is just a hiccup. As always please read the disclaimer...

Disclaimer... all data compiled for this report comes from the WARDEX Data Exchange and does not include any sales activity from outside that resource. All research is done only on single family homes and there is no inclusion of modular homes, commercial properties, or vacant land. The geographical area researched includes; all areas within the boundaries of the city of Kingman, north Kingman, the Hualapai Mountain area, and the Valle Vista subdivisions. Click here to see maps of the included area's.

The only good news for a couple of my charts is that now I have compiled enough monthly data to use the last thirteen months of records to look back on for these reports. That means next month the first two charts you will see posted here will go back to February of 2006.

January was a very soft month for sales of single family homes (SFR's) in Kingman. However it was a very busy month for new listings as you will see. January looks very much like the months of June, July, and August of 2006. Perhaps the one saving grace is that there were more homes that entered contract in January than closed (but not by much 43 entered contract, while 40 units closed).

Click on chart for larger view...

112 more new listings than closed transactions is not a healthy indicator at all, but here is an even crazier set of stats... the average asking price rose a little over $9,000 while the closed transaction dropped over $12,000 from the previous month. In other words sellers continue to speak a different language than buyers.

The buyers I have been working with recently still do not feel any pressure to make an offer today. Instead they continue to search for the best priced property. Buyer can normally find up to five acceptable homes (minimum) on the current market and negotiate against each seller for the most favorable deal for the buyer. If the trends in these charts continues I see buyers with even more power and less chance for a balanced market.

Click on chart for larger view...

The following charts simply show where 2007 starts compared to the last three years. No need for further explanation and I will keep the data from the last three years on these charts until next year where I will drop 2004.

Click on charts for larger views...

Potential buyers, feel free to use these charts in your negotiations for this local market.

Potential sellers, pay particular attention to the average sale price in the coming months and adjust accordingly.

See you next month.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Night on the Red Carpet...

Our Association held the annual awards banquet last night at the River Palms Hotel/Casino in Laughlin Nevada. Our Association has outgrown any one place in Kingman to hold such an event so the last two years we've been heading to Laughlin for these events. Bright lights, blackjack tables, and cocktail waitresses... oh my!!

It is tradition that this event is hosted by the outgoing Association president, which just happened to be me. I never knew how much time and effort went into planning such an event and now that it is all over I can tell you with a straight face that this is not something I'll be doing again anytime in the near to distant future.

I think it was a smashing time highlighted by a couple of events. First for the awards, I made it very apparent to everyone that the featured awards were going to those Members that gave of their time and effort to the Association at the expense of possible production of business. Of those awarded winners two really stood out from the rest and they were Sofia White and Wayne Wissenger.

Sofia was awarded the Affiliate Appreciation Award by the local Affiliated Members of the Association (think lenders, title companies, etc.). She was visibly moved by the recognition. I also awarded her with the first Rising Star award given to a newer Member that has always been willing to step up and be involved in Association matters. I think Sofia is in her second year of real estate and she has already Chaired the education committee, organized the Realtor picnic last year, and now has been elected to the Board of Directors. She also managed to qualify for a production award even with all the extra time she has given of herself to better the Membership.

Wayne was awarded with two awards. The first was the Presidents Award, another award that I basically created for our Association. I awarded it to him and it was an easy decision because of the high hundreds and perhaps thousands of hours he has put in helping Members throughout last year with our old MLS system and our new Data Exchange program that is hardly a finished product. Wayne runs a firm full of agents and could have easily just helped his own agents, but he stepped up and offered the same kinds of help to any agent and office. Frankly this was an easy decision and I doubt that anyone in our Association would argue that no one was more deserving of such recognition.

We also awarded a REALTOR of the Year for the first time in many years. I received 4 nominees for this one. I privately showed the nomination letters to some 20 plus brokers, agents, and affiliates. All four nominees were deserving but it became apparent towards the end of my search for counsel that the winner would again be Wayne Wissenger for this award.

The other highlight was our special 'guest star' that we had perform right before the awards were to be handed out. It is a shame that there is no video record of the performance. The property manager at my office has an alter ego named 'Irma Goldstien'. You'd really have to see it to appreciate it, but Irma had her chance to have some fun at many Members expense. Off color humor for sure at times, but all in good fun. It had been a few years since the last time the Association invited Irma to speak so she did have plenty to say. She brought the house down on many occasions. I will be 'efforting' to find some pictures of Irma to share with you.

I was basically stressed the entire day getting everything set up. So stressed that I realized I forgot things like my dress shoes, belt, and tie that was in my overnight bag that I left at home. With no time to head back to Kingman I had to power-shop in fast fashion at the local mall for those items. I managed to get my act together just in time for the beginning of the event. Now that everything is all over and I reflect on the event it was a great time. If you asked me what I thought last night I wouldn't have said so. The stress level is back to normal though.

In some weird and sad way, hosting that event was my last official duty as president of the Association. I've promised our new president that I would write some memoirs to share with her so she has a better understanding of what to expect throughout this year.

I'd also like to thank the Association for the gifts I was presented as a token of appreciation. The gifts were golf related and Crown Royal related, two things that I can enjoy more now that I'm not the man in charge.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Bad news today...

In my young career I've dealt with many unique situations when representing buyers and sellers. Today I was informed that one of my listing clients passed away suddenly. This is the first time I'm dealing with this type of situation, so any advice you might want to pass along could be helpful.

My client owns a truly nice home in an exclusive part of the area. He and his wife have been separated and to this point the only dealings I've had with my clients wife were on the phone. I am meeting with her for the first time tomorrow.

Again, if any of you have had to deal with this kind of thing before, please comment... I'd appreciate it.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Annual Sales Report (2006)

Gee, I'm finally getting to this in the second week of the second month of 2007. I have a series of three charts that I'm going to share with you with comments on each.

First the disclaimer...

Disclaimer... all data compiled for this report comes from the WARDEX Data Exchange and does not include any sales activity from outside that resource. All research is done only on single family homes and there is no inclusion of modular homes, commercial properties, or vacant land. The geographical area researched includes; all areas within the boundaries of the city of Kingman, north Kingman, the Hualapai Mountain area, and the Valle Vista subdivisions. Click here to see maps of the included area's.

As you will see below, a lesser number of SFR's sold in my research area than in the previous two years... yet sellers still managed to squeeze out a better average sale than in those years. The gain slowed somewhat but I was still surprised at the final number.

Here are the average sales price figures for the last three years...

As you can see the average sales price jumped up 17.4% from the previous year. If you compare the average value in 2004 to 2006 you will see a 52.6% gain. Wow...

Here is a look at the units sold...

Whoopsie... we lost 32% of the buyers we had in 2005 over the course of 2006. Gone are the great many of investor class buyers that we saw in 2004 and 2005. Gone also are the ultra liberal lending practices and the record low interest rates. Unfortunately I think the local buyers are now feeling the price pressure enough to stay out of the buying market until either prices start to come down to their level or until they can earn more money to afford a home at these prices.

Plenty of new residents move into the area all the time, but not enough to equal the kind of pressure on the market that we saw during the hot sellers market of 2004 and 2005. Clearly this is a buyers market and seller must do more to attract whatever buyers there may be out there lurking to buy a home. It is almost a broken record at this point since I've been saying much of the same things in my monthly sales reports.

Here is a look at the total dollar volume comparison...

In 2006 the total dollar volume dropped approximately 20% from the year before. I can confidently say that there are more SFR's in my research area today than there were in previous years because of many newly constructed homes. There are simply less sales and I believe that the current price point is the main culprit.

Storm clouds on the horizon unless some improvements are made to infrastructure around these parts. Making Kingman a convenient community would certainly help weather this storm that I am thinking of. I believe that people would rather pass on a home in a certain area of town because of the time it takes today to get to and from the neighborhood they would like to live in. This is one reason I believe the Kingman Crossing Interchange is vital to this community. It would open up different areas that would lead to more demand for property because of convenience.

Right now there aren't that many places in Kingman where someone would say, "I have to live there," where ever there is. We are not giving buyers an incentive to make a move on property and homes, so the buyers are responding by either not buying or settling on the lowest possible price. Settling on low prices or not buying bodes ill on a growing community like Kingman.

I don't like to make predictions but if I was pressed on a guess, if prices continue to go up less homes will sell. And if there are no real improvements made by the city then values will drop.

I'd prefer to see values hold steady and the sold units in 2007 gain on the 2005 number.

See you next year!!

Now for something completely different...

I'll admit it, I channel surf when I'm in front of the TV. This last week my darling wife was visiting the kids in New Mexico and left me behind. The remote was totally mine.

Honestly, the remote is mine most of the time but when the lovely wife is at home with me I usually will forfeit the remote to her. Why?? Because if I watched what I wanted all the time I'd never see her at home. Our TV viewing tastes are different, in my case I give up the remote because I know another sporting event will be on the next day... it has become no big deal. NFL football on Sunday's are the exception though and she does not even challenge me, but this is why I'm willing to yield the remote to her on nights when we are both home.

While my better half was gone I ran into a program on one of the movie channels. I just absolutely love this particular series of films. I even DVR'ed one about two months back that I'll check on when I can't find anything else on to waste my time. The films?? Warren Millers ski and snow board movies.

I lived in Sparks Nevada in my school years and into my early 20's before moving south to Las Vegas. During this time I did take full advantage of what was in my backyard, in every Truckee Meadows citizens backyard... Lake Tahoe in the winter. Specifically the endless slopes with plenty of the soft white frozen water on them. Now I was never a 'ski bum', nor could I be considered a great skier ever once in my life. Oh... but the freedom on those hills that one feels is not just for the extreme skier, the ski patrol, or the snow bunnies... it is there for everyone.

I didn't realize how much I missed that feeling until I started coming across these Warren Miller films on some movie channel.

Way back in the day I did attend original showings of these films when Warren Miller came to Reno as part of his tour. I can still hear the ooooo's and the ahhh's, the laughs, and the applause for those skiers featured in the show. Not only that, but the locations were always marvelous. When I watched these films I've felt as if I was on the mountain myself in far away locations. It is easy to get lost in the moment while taking in these movies. The locations are amazing, the skiers do things I'd never try, and the music helps tie it all together... as well as Mr. Millers narration.

Because of my renewed interest in his films, I started to do some searching on the Internet about Warren Miller. I've come to find out that he is no longer associated with the films since 2004. Apparently the rights to the films were sold, which he had every right to do. I have not come across the 2005 or 2006 show as of yet but it is my understanding that the new filmmakers still use Mr. Millers narration, but they take the narration from past films.

I also have found a website for the Warren Miller Company. On it he has set up a foundation that promotes entrepreneurship to young people. I don't like to opine about too many things outside of real estate related issues, but this foundation I support 100%. I've become an even bigger fan of Warren Miller since reading up on his site.

If you have the time, rent or buy his movies titled 'Journey' and 'Impact' as they are truly amazing works. If you watch 'Journey' pay particular attention towards the end of the man that jumps out of a helicopter... I've seen it some 100 times plus... and I'm still in awe.

Thank you Warren Miller for all of your films. You have become an inspiration to me and I hope your foundation inspires many younger people to follow in your footsteps in some form.

Hey Todd, you have a blog.... use it

I realize I've been lax lately keeping this thing going.

I've been spending extra time with clients and there was this little football game last weekend to watch. I'm also in the final days of putting together the annual awards banquet for the Association (never again, and I mean never!!).

I did buy a new digital camera over the weekend for photos of listings. This is the camera I bought. I love the wide angle effect, especially when I'm taking interior photos. I'll post some of the photos in a later post. I'll be heading back out to current my current listings to redo interior photos. I highly recommend a wide angle view. The camera I bought cost $200 (plus $20 for a memory card).

Below is a comparison photo of my office to the one on the previous post. This camera makes my office look a bit bigger. (Notice that I've cleared off some debris from my desk, a small miracle)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Blogger is difficult today...

I think the fine folks at Google are having issues with their Blogger arm of the company today. That is alright because as you can see...

My desk is a mess and there is more than enough for me to stay busy with. Just a note, the desk was clean and organized on Monday of this week. This is what happens when you are in the middle of working with clients, planning the annual Association banquet, blogging, and getting ready for an arbitration hearing panel today in Lake Havasu City.

I'll probably be out most of the day, but as long as Blogger allows you access to this site feel free to add to the conversation.

See you soon.

January listings report (2007)

Wow, that first month of the year really flew by. I blame my perception of how quickly January came and went on the NFL football playoffs, especially while my team was in it (the first two weeks). Now it is time for the Big Game this Sunday (I have no dog in the hunt, but I'd like to see the Colts win so that their QB gets the proverbial monkey off his back, man I'm fed up with all kinds of media these days... including the sports media) .

Now is also the time for the monthly listings report. Let us see what lessons the sellers have learned from last year.

Disclaimer: All data is compiled from the Data Exchange that I am a paying member of (WARDEX). All data is considered reliable but not guaranteed.


Today total listings available for single family residence equals 679 (up from 634 on January 1). Looks like some extra sellers were waiting for the new year to hit so they could enter the market, I wish the number didn't climb as high as it did.

There were 152 new listings for the month of January (105 in December 2006). 11 homes have entered contract of these new listings, but none of these have closed yet. The average asking price for these new listings is $236,404 (that's up from $227,322 last month). The median asking price is $216,400 (not much change from $215,000 the previous month). Well I'll have some comments about this in the conclusion section below.

Units under contract:

43 homes entered into contracts in the month of January (up from 30 the previous month). The average asking price for homes that received contracts was $195,985 (down from $202,373 last month) and the median asking price for January was $189,900 (up from last months $180,500 figure).


As far as new listing go, I was seeing some nice positives in the last quarter of last year. Total numbers of listings were falling and the number of new listings was also falling. I was hoping that trend would continue into the new year. Well that didn't happen.

Let's take a look at the 11 new listings from January that already are under contract in less than 30 days. The average price of those listings is $184,216 and the median is $189,900. Compare these numbers to the average and median prices for the all of the new listings last month.

There were 28 new listings that hit the market between $300k and $479k last month and 13 of them are priced at $160 a square foot or lower. To me that is the sweet spot based on all of the pending information I have looked at. Which tells me that just a little more than half of the new listings are overpriced for this market. Folks, it is simply not a sellers market.

I'm not saying that everyone should lower their prices, but I think sellers need to be more aware of the price point that is actually attracting buyers in today's market.

The total amount of pending transactions are up from last month, but I'm not tracking any significant closed transaction increases (report on that later this month). I fear that those sellers in the market may be heading for some of the same mistakes as last year. I guess we will have to stay tuned in the coming months to see if this was just a hiccup because of the new year.

Overall, bad news for new sellers on the market unless they are priced in the sweet spot of $120 to $160 a square foot in general.

See you all again next month...