Check Engine

Ever have one of those days, when there is  suddenly an unplanned, unscheduled event injected into your life?  Like the "Check Engine" light on your car's dashboard? 

I don't know about you, but the Check Engine light cause me a lot of uncertainty and frustration.  Like, okay, how do I go about checking the engine, anyway.  I know it's still up there cause I can hear it running and the RPM gauge is registering and the car is still moving along the interstate, but beyond that, who knows?  And besides, I really don't have time for this today.  I've got appointments and things to do, but in the back of my mind there's the "Check Engine" situation.  So I did one appointment and then whipped into my trusty Volvo repair shop and begged for them to take a look.  Sure, they said, no problem, just be a few minutes, they said.  Which dragged into an hour, then two hours, then two and a half hours, which was not built into my day.  But, they finally got around to my car (I have to say, they were really busy, and I appreciate them working me in) and got the light turned off, ordered a new part that will, hopefully, keep it off and I was back on the road.

But for 2 and a half hours, I had an opportunity to assess and reassess some of my plans and activities and make some changes in the way I do things.  And a chance to reflect on a lot of issues.  So, sometimes, a forced break in the routine can be a good thing.  Check Engine!

It's Almost Time

That's right, March Madness is almost here, the most wonderful, magical and thrilling of all sporting events, from conference tournaments through the final four.

Now, I'm a big fan of University of Kentucky basketball and I hope they win it all.  That said, I live in wonderful basketball country near Duke, UNC and NC State and also have all the sports channels so I get to see a lot of great round ball.  I could name a some games, but that would take more time than I have.  Suffice it to say, in the next six weeks, there will be great thrills and, unfortunately, great sadness as the bubbles burst, but at the end of the day, we will have seen some great games, some dramatic performances and some unpredictable results.  Whatever happens, it will be "awesome, baby!"  Go Big Blue!

What Day Is It?

One of my "trademarks," so to speak, is to look up on Google if there is a particular, strange, significance for the day and to post that on my Face Book page.  Along the way, I've discovered there a lot of days that are dedicated to, well, unusual, ideas.  For instance, today is National Hoody Hoo Day!  Now, I was surprised to learn that this is a day in which participants are asked to go outside at 12 noon, local time, and yell "Hoody Hoo" a few times in order to drive away the winter blahs.  Don't know if I'll participate, but I may wander outside and listen.  Who knows?

Go Gives Back!

One reason I love Go Realty is the Go Gives Back program.  Go Realty requires that each agent donate $100 from each real estate transaction to a local charity selected by the agent.  Go Realty then gives a matching donation to that charity.  I wholeheartedly support this program and appreciate the dedication of Go Realty to the communities in which we live and work.

The charity that I selected is Antioch Builds Communities (ABC) which provides housing assistance to persons re-entering society from incarceration, provides a youth camp opportunity in the summer for under privileged children, and provides a free Christmas Dinner to homeless people and underprivileged people in the community.  All of this activity takes place in East Durham which has been severely affected in the recent economic downturn.  And all of these activities require funding in order to be viable.

In the photo above, I was pleased to present a check to Michael Page, the Chairman of the Board of  Directors of ABC representing the donation for the last quarter from me and Go Realty to ABC.  Oh, by the way, I'm also on the ABC Board of Directors and love being involved with all the activities and services provided.

Hard to Believe

We knew there was supposed to be snow yesterday, all of the weather prognosticators and other doomsayers had been warning us for days.  And with each pronouncement, the predictions were modified, it' not going to be so bad, it's going to be worse, the next Ice Age is going to fall out of the sky, and so on.

So, I had an appointment with a client at 9:00 AM, no problem, right?  Appointment went well, signed a listing agreement on a fabulous, lakefront home, next steps, get some keys made and a lock box on the front door.  Okay, mission accomplished, but now it's 12:00 PM, still no snow, but looking more ominous minute by minute.  No problem, there's time to stop at Burger King for a quick bite, then drop by the office and see what's shaking there (read, Go90x activity for the day.)  

When I get out of the car at Burger King, I notice an extremely sparse flurry, like a flake here, a flake there of that snow that's been predicted.  By the time I get my Whopper, it's snowing like crazy, then all of a sudden, it's sticking to the ground, more importantly the street.

Leaving Burger King at 12:20 PM I forgo the planned stop at the office and head for home, but now everyone in Durham has the same idea.  And now there's about a 1/2 inch of snow on the street and it's coming down fast.  Since the temperature is 29 degrees (according to the enormously accurate thermometer in my car) everything falling on the street is freezing so the streets are like, well...., ice!

Now, it occurs to most driver that this is a good time to slow down, and, indeed, most people do.  It' just those one or two that don't know how do deal with this kind of stuff that make it hard for everyone.  Sooooo, 1.5 hours later, I arrived at home, 3 miles from Burger King.  Hard to believe.

I May Have Said This Before...

I may have said this before, but I love my job!  I love working with people that need to either sell or buy a home.  In particular, I love helping young couples or families find their first home and guiding them through the labyrinth of paperwork and activity that results in a successful closing.

Let me tell you about one set of clients, a young couple that I met about eighteen months ago who needed to purchase a home.  They hadn't been married long, had a baby on the way, and needed to find a place in which a young family might live and grow.

We began with me explaining all of the paperwork and processes that we would go through, scheduling meetings with lenders and then began to select homes for them to view that might meet their needs.

They were wonderful to work with.  It became apparent that they trusted my expertise and judgement which only made me work harder to make sure that their trust was justified.  We found the right home for them, successfully negotiated a deal that was fair to all parties and managed the process through closing.  I'll never forget the expressions of delight when I delivered the keys to their new home.

Over the months we've stayed in contact and I realize that not only did I have great clients, now I have great friends that I treasure immensely.  I love my job!

I Love It!

I'm in real estate for 2 reasons.

Several years ago, I was running by own little business in Florida, doing okay, but not spectacular.  I received a call from my daughter, who had just gotten into real estate in North Carolina, who said, "Hey dad, why don't you come and do real estate with me?"  After getting that call (a couple of times) and discussing it with my wife (my daughter's mother) we decided, why not?

A second reason is the incredible feeling of satisfaction when you help a young couple purchase their first home or helping a family find just that right place for them, or helping those who need to move because of any number of reasons market their home successfully.

The bottom line is this:  I love real estate because I love working with my daughter who is the consummate professional and I love working with people and helping them accomplish important goals in their lives.  And I love being affiliated with Go Realty because of the commitment to excellence displayed by all of the Go people all the time.