And you thought you were only our Realtor!

One of the biggest challenges I have as broker is that I’m real.  That means, in the process of working together you will likely get to know me and snippets of my life.  I can’t seem to help it.  It just leaks out in the process of doing business.

It’s rare when I keep everything strictly business with no personal interaction.  We’re social creatures.  We love social media.  We are involved in social events.  Why would our jobs as real estate professionals be any different?

Today, I received this nice email from a client.  This particular couple has been through the ringer, and when they dropped their last agent to come work with me, I promised we would make something happen, and it is.

Date: July 26, 2012 8:36:41 AM EDT

To: Mike Cooper <>

Subject: Impact


Someone may never know the impact they have on another’s life, unless we tell them.  When you shared your story about your friend Rhonda, it helped me make the final decision to focus on health issues.  Your dedication to physical fitness is a silent witness to others–without lecturing.  About a week and a half ago, Rick and I began a program I obtained from my chiropractor–it is a food cleansing program and so far, Rick has lost 17 pounds!  Me, not as much, but that is to be expected because of the demands of his job.

So glad your influence is in our lives–YOU make a difference, and I just thought you should know.

And you thought you were only our Realtor!


Susan said it well, “Someone may never know the impact they have on another’s life, unless you tell them.”  She is so right.  We touch people everyday in one way or another.  Make it a positive impact.


Oakdale Crossing – Winchester, VA – Market Report Mid-2012

Oakdale Crossing in Winchester, VA is an 18 year old subdivision of beautiful and spacious homes.  The home styles range from two-story colonials to single story ranchers.  All of the homes have spacious floor plans with a lot of room for growing families.

There are currently four available listings in Oakdale Crossing.  The price range of these listings range from $349900 – $479900.  The price alone does not necessarily signify large changes in what you get for the money.

The lowest price listing and the highest price listing are within 71 square feet of livable space.  None of the current available properties are distressed properties. Oakdale Crossing did see a wave of foreclosures and short sales over the past 4 years, but the neighborhood seems to stabilizing to fair market listings.

The current pending sales are following a similar pricing pattern. The prices range from $349900 – $393900.  Of the three pending sales, two are fair market sales and one is a short sale.

Oakdale Crossing has had four closings in past 90 days as of 7/24/2012.  Of those four, one was a short sale and three were fair market sales. This is a good trend.  There have been 8 closing this year.  Two of the initial four were foreclosures.  In the beginning of the second half of the year, foreclosures are down and fair market sales are up.

If you’re thinking about selling your Oakdale Crossing home, give our real estate pros a call and we can help you price it right, prepare it right, market it right and kiss it goodbye.


When technology gets an attitude . . .

I recently wrote a blog about my relationship with Apple’s iPhone personal assistant, Siri.  Siri has become a crucial part of my business life, and I lean on her a lot.  There is, however, another female voice in my life that I’m thinking of divorcing.  Her name is Mandy.

No, Mandy is not my wife.  Mandy is my GPS voice.  She has a lovely British GPSaccent, and she says things like “take the motorway” rather than “highway” and at first, I found that amusing and cute.  But, as with all relationships, there is the opportunity for tension and conflict.  Mandy and I have that kind of on again off again relationship.

When I program in a destination I expect simple directions and direct route.  Mandy often seems to think I want to take the scenic route. Sometimes she seems to think I know where I’m going.  In that case, why would I use her?  More than once she had dropped me off at the end of a road that was never completed.  My destination is a mile on the other side of a forest.

She does seem to get a bit testy when I miss a turn.  I can hear her now,

  • Turn right in 500 feet.
  • Turn right in 250 feet.
  • Turn right in 100 feet.
  • Turn right in 50 feet.
  • Hhhhhh, turn around as soon as possible.
  • Now, turn left in 100 feet.
  • Turn left in 50 feet.
  • Turn left.
  • I said turn left.  Turn left, turn left!
  • What is wrong with you?
  • Don’t you know your right from your left?
  • Fine. Find it on your own.

iPhone GPSMy GPS is a great part of my business life, but my iPhone “Maps” app is starting to give Mandy a run for her money.  I’m expecting Mandy to straighten up any time.  Or . . .


Siri doesn’t make coffee.

I’m a big fan of technology, and at the same time, I tend to review new devices forever because I just don’t want too much new stuff to deal with at one time.  It took me two years to upgrade my Palm to a new iPhone.  So, I’m a bit slow on some decisions. Siri Reminder

Ironically, I’ve been kicking myself for the past 5 months because I didn’t upgrade to the iPhone sooner.  It has become an indispensable partner in my work.  Today, my wife put it all in perspective for me.

My wife has been out of town for a week.  I always depend on her to be my “hey, did you remember this” person.  I have a lot going on with two very busy businesses.  So, I need a lot of reminders.  This week, I was on my own so I put Siri to work as my “phone wife.”  Whenever I remembered something I needed to be reminded of, I would just say, “Siri, remind me to . . . ”  Of course she was always faithful.

So, I was telling Buffy about my new found assistant and how wonderful it was to have this great reminder service readily available.  To which she said, “Siri doesn’t make coffee.”  In perspective, she’s right.  Siri is awesome, and I will use her service whenever needed, but in the end, she doesn’t make coffee.  The human touch is still important.