Monday, January 05, 2009

The Choices We Make

A new year another new start!

January always brings an opportunity to review our previous year and make some changes (if necessary) to do it better this new year.

What choices would you make in your life and in your business if you knew you could not fail?

I have heard allot of real estate agents in Houston complaining just how bad the real estate market is/was thanks to the downturn of the economy and the mortgage meltdown of last year. I am sure you will all agree, that Hurricane Ike’s visit to our community in September did not help any.

If the majority of your business was dependent on first time home buyers or buyers with credit challenges (certainly the life blood of our industry) who are having trouble qualifying for a loan, maybe it is time for you to find a new specialty. Have you considered getting your Luxury Home Specialist designation? How about specializing in the senior market? Maybe it is time to hire a bi-lingual assistant to start cultivating an emerging market?

Champions School of Real Estate has a number of classes available to help you change up your business. We are indeed fortunate to have Rita and her campuses there to help us switch gears. The more you know, the further you will go! Make it a point to take advantage of the classes, books and on-line programs available to you from a variety of industry sources.

Maybe it is time to go global! How many of you have had a taste of doing business on an international level? The internet can be a powerful tool to reach out to those in other parts of the world. But with all of the technology, sometimes we are so busy with the “high tech” we lose the “soft touch.”

Can a real estate agent using the Internet give the personalized service that has been the backbone of the industry for so many years? “Absolutely,” declares this month’s cover honoree, Veronica Mullenix of Coldwell Banker United, Realtors®. “We can have high-tech and soft-touch!” Veronica uses her own webpage and the tailor-made webpages she creates specifically for each of her clients to show “She’s here to help!” You will enjoy her story!

In our “Developer Profile” this month, we shine the spotlight on Ken Haney of the K.D. Haney Group, LLC. Ken is a custom builder, developer and United Airlines pilot taking “Green” building to new heights in a luxury rental community he is developing. Bayou Green, which will be situated on almost three acres bordering Brays Bayou, and will comprise a ten thousand square foot clubhouse and 258 luxury, multi-family homes. It will be an environmentally conscientious and energy efficient community with numerous cutting-edge technologies.

Ken’s goal is to achieve platinum or gold LEED certification status. According to Brian Malarky, AIA, Executive Vice-president and Director of Kirksey EcoServices and one of Ken’s partners in his vision, there are only two gold projects in Houston and no platinum certifications yet. LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a third-party certification system that rates buildings on their design and construction practices.

As always, good reading and good sales!

Success to you!

Steve Levine

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