What makes one person a success and another a failure?

What makes one person a success and another a failure?

What makes one person a great success and another less successful or even a failure?  There is the theory that some are just born with the ability to be successful and others are not.  There is also the theory that success if born out of the substance of a person.  It can be learned, but the seed of success is already there waiting to be watered.

The first option gives the masses an excuse to avoid success or to explain away their inability to be Success Streetsuccessful, but it is farcical in realty.  Many of the greatest men and women who ever lived were not well educated, from rich families or exceptionally brilliant.  What they did have was desire.  When they coupled their dreams with their desire they became a formidable force for success.

When failure loomed, though their emotions were tested, their backbone was strengthened.  Many of the great business successes in our country paid themselves last, took no time off and slept little on the march to their goal.  That’s uncomfortable to most people.  It’s a level of sacrifice that many, if not most, are incapable of conceiving, or willing to submit to.  Without a time-line of accomplishment and a set of parameters to determine what success looks like when achieved, success alludes many.

With great sacrifice comes great reward.  I would venture to guess that if you asked some of the most successful men and women of our time they would say, “There is so much more to do,” rather than say, “I’ve succeeded.  Now, I can sit back and relax.”

It is rarely money that motivates the successful.  Anybody can make money.  No, it’s about achieving a dream that is in the constant state of evolution.  When a goal is reached, it’s viewed as a mile marker and not an end.  Each success empowers an entrepreneur to see things in a new light, in a bigger way with a bolder goal.

For the person who says, “I could never do that,” to just about any feat of success, I say, “You’re right.”  But, to the person who says, “Why can’t I do that?”  I ask, “I don’t know, why can’t you?”  Success is yours to choose, but you must water the seed that is born in you. God planted it there, how you water it is up to you.



Distressed properties in the Winchester, VA are steady at 17.3%

Distressed properties in the Winchester, VA are steady at 17.3%

Distressed properties in the Winchester, VA area are holding steady at 17.3% of total active listings for the month of October 2012.  The number has barely moved since May 2012.

The biggest difference in the October and January numbers is in the
“what kind of distressed property” category.  The beginning of 2012 was still showing the effects of the REO wave that passed through the community.  As the year has progressed, REOs have declined and short sales have increased.

Winchester, VA currently has 494 active properties.  Of that number, 85 are distressed properties.  The distressed properties break down into 55 short sales and 30 REOs.  The volume of distressed properties has changed less than 1% in 5 months.  That’s a good indication that market has stopped progressing vertically and is starting to show a horizontal movement.

The presence of 17.3% distressed properties provides buying opportunities for bargain shoppers.  It doesn’t matter if it’s an REO or a short sale, bargains are available for every budget.  When you’re ready to jump into the market, give your Cornerstone agent a call, and let’s make something happen.

Distressed properties in the Winchester, VA area are holding steady at 17.3%

Banks, you need to study history. A new day is coming . . .

Banks, you need to study history. A new day is coming . . .

A simple understanding of history can prepare you for events and Bankhappenings because history truly does repeat itself.  It may not be on the exact same time-line or span the same days and years, but it does repeat.  In the current economy, big  banks need to take a history lesson.

The United States has had 39 recessions in its history.  Some of those recessions were mild, and some of them were deep and entered into depressions or panics.  The recession of 1907, and the recession of 1910-1912, led to widespread panics and ultimately resulted in the creation of the Fed.

SafeThe recession of 1920-1921 led into depression and then prosperity and the roaring 20s. The recession of 1929 spawned the Great Depression of 1929-1933.  The recession of 1953 was followed by one of biggest building booms in US history.  The recession of 1973-1975 led to stagflation until a second dip into recession followed in 1980-1982.  Ironically, one of the greatest financial booms in US history followed that recession.

There is a great lesson in the aftermath of these recessions.  For those of us who work with banks on a regular basis we’ve learned a few things through these times.  Banks need to learn the same lessons.

  • No bank is too big to fail, but many are too big to succeed.Down Arrow
  • If you treat your clients poorly during a recession they will remember that during THE NEXT BOOM!  That guy that you harassed and hounded day in and day out will buy another house one day.  He might even be the next Bill Gates.  He will need a place to park his money.  It won’t be you, and he will make sure his friends know how you treated him during the hard times.  He might even be a blogger with a global audience.
  • Every recession is eventually followed by a period of growth and Thumbs downupward mobility.  During those periods of upward mobility people will ask their friends where they bank and how they feel about their bank.  Those who were beat up by their bank during the recession will become your biggest adversaries during the boom years.  It will be their turn to be in the power seat.
  • If you worked well with your clients during the down-times, your clients who struggled during the recession will be your greatest ally during the boom.
  • If you treat people well during all economic cycles, you will always have plenty of business.
  • If you don’t treat people well during all economic cycles, no one will shed a tear if you fail. 
  • The realty is, recessions don’t last forever, and if you want to be in business during the next boom, remember it’s your customers who make you successful.  Without their money you are nothing.

This recession is likely to be behind us in 2013 or 2014.  Will you also be behind us?  It really is your choice.  Banks, you need to study history.  A new day is coming . . .

An overpriced house often brings less than a well priced house.

An overpriced house often brings less than a well priced house.

An overpriced house is a lonely house.  It soon becomes stigmatized and ignored by  Realtors.  If it receives low offers that are countered by an insulted seller it will also acquire a reputation as a house that is not worth the trouble.

I had a seller in 2010 that wanted to list his house just slightly too high.  It was about 10% over market, and we had discussed a system of moving it down over a designated time.  That never happened, of course.  Unfortunately, some sellers see something in their house that prospective buyers can’t see.

It was at the time when the market was just starting to experience a Sad Mannew wave of price weakness.  If I had run comps 45 days after list, the list price would have been lower.  Anyway, I received an offer within the first two weeks at 94% of list.  He countered twice and lost the sale.  It was over $500.

Nearly a year later I still had the listing, and it was still overpriced.  The market had fallen even further.  I negotiated with the seller to lower the price, and I committed to drop my commission 1%.  At that point, I just wanted to get rid of it.

Again, he received an offer within days of the new price, and again he countered with an unrealistic counter.  The buyer walked without a counter.  When the listing came up for renewal, I declined.  It was re-listed 3 months later at $100 less than my previous list.

It finally received a contract that was below my second lower contract.  The point of this blog is this, if you insist on overpricing your property when good comp information shows that properties are not selling at that price you will ultimately get less.

This seller lost $32,000 by continuing to believe that a buyer was Sad Womanwilling to pay 30% more for his house than the current market comps.  An overpriced house that lingers on the market will ultimately cost the seller more than if he had priced it right to begin with. 

It happens everyday in this industry, and yet, good agents still have a hard time convincing a seller that an overpriced house is a lonely house.  The best way to help them, is to not help them.  Walk away and save yourself the frustration of seeing the next agent sell the house for the price you recommended.  An overpriced house often brings less than a well priced house.