During your first year of real estate investing, you’re going to make mistakes. There’s a learning curve you have to go through, of course, but if you do your research and learn from other people’s mistakes, you won’t have to suffer the same ones. Whether you’re interested in a fix and flip, investing in an apartment building, or any other kind of real estate investment for profit, read on to learn which mistakes you can avoid during your first year. 

1. Don’t Fail to Keep Records

Get a notebook, or five, and be sure to keep records of everything. Transfer receipt amounts into a spreadsheet immediately. Either scan your receipts to file on your computer or be sure to keep them neatly tucked away in one spot. You will need all this information to determine profit/loss and for your taxes. 

2. Don’t Spend Profit You Haven’t Earned

It’s great to imagine dollar signs coming your way when investing in real estate. You may be so sure of your investment that you start spending your profits before they even materialize. Don’t put repairs on credit cards thinking, “Oh, I’ll just pay it back when the house sells or when the first tenants move in”. That credit card interest will eat away at your upcoming profits from month to month. 

3. Don’t Do all the Work Yourself

If you try to do everything yourself, you’ll wind up burned out. Besides, can you be sure the quality of your work is up to par? Take on only the tasks you know you will finish and excel at and leave the rest up to the professionals. 

4. No Exit Strategy?

First of all, if you need an alternative loan for your investment property, you’ll need to have an exit strategy. There’s a reason for this: things may not go as planned. Most investors have at least one to two exit strategies in place when investing in real estate. 

5. Not Running the Numbers First?

A property comes on the market and you want it. You know it will be scooped up fast so you put in your bid — without crunching the numbers. You may get lucky. You may not. It’s a big gamble and one a first time investor shouldn’t take. 

6. Make Sure You Look Off Market

There are a lot of gems listed off market, and it’s a good idea to for a first time investor to check out these properties too. This is where you can find some of the best deals. Build relationships with real estate agents who will contact you with off market properties for you to scope out. 

7. Don’t Forget to Build a Deal Funnel

When investing in real estate, think momentum and flow. There needs to be more properties looking for you than the other way around. To get this flow, you’ll need to build a business that keeps up momentum by constantly getting leads on new properties to purchase. All in all, it’s a numbers games so the more leads you get, the more deals you will find to keep your bushiness flowing. 

Good news! Rates of foreclosures were the lowest they have been in years in 2016. The article below from Housing Wire goes into great detail of just how low rates dropped across the country. This is a positive thing because it signifies more recovery from the recession. Our economy is still rebuilding, but if the housing market shows this much improvement then other markets must too!

Foreclosure rates dropped more than any year on record in 2016, according to the first look at December 2016 mortgage data report by Black Knight Financial Services, a Fidelity National Financial company and a provider of integrated technology, data and analytics solutions that facilitate and automate many of the business processes across the mortgage lifecycle.

Foreclosures dropped by 30% in 2016, and the inventory of loans in active foreclosure declined by more than 200,000 loans, according to the report.

Another report showed that foreclosure activity dropped significantly in 2016 to its lowest point in 10 years, according to the 2016 U.S. Foreclosure Market report from ATTOM Data Solutions, a fused property database.

For the month, December’s 59,700 foreclosure show a decline of 24% from the same time last year. Delinquencies also decreased by 0.91% monthly and 7.5% from December 2015.

While some states saw delinquency rates much higher than the national average, most still saw significant improvement from the previous year.

Here are the top 5 states with the highest 90+ days delinquency rates:

5. Tennessee – 1.97%

This state dropped 16.33% from 2015


4. Arkansas – 2.12%

This state dropped 11.07% from 2015


3. Alabama – 2.37%

This state dropped 15.86% from 2015


2. Louisiana – 3.25%

Contrary to the downward trend, this state increased 12.27% from 2015


1. Mississippi – 3.44%

This state dropped 15.24% from 2015


Source: http://www.housingwire.com/articles/39011-foreclosures-dropped-more-than-any-year-on-record

It is easy to become caught up in the everyday woes in the workplace where you show up, do your job and leave without feeling hardly any excitement, happiness or passion. Make it your new year’s resolution to find your happiness at work again. After all, if you love what you do it will not even feel like work and you will not be left wondering if the grass is greener on the other side. Make note of the pointers in this article to guide you to happiness at work.

Professional CHANNEL

Recapturing & Reigniting Your Happiness at Work
Ty Howard

“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything.
They just make the best of everything.”

~ Author Unknown

In today’s work environment it’s become the norm to come across more and more employees who are very unhappy at work. Many will say, it’s due to recent work related changes, coping with difficult leadership, downsizing, working on conflict plagued teams, the economy, the current national unemployment rate, unfavorable changes at home, health issues, personal toxic habits, or they simply do not like their job. These are definitely factors that can zap and plummet a person’s “Happiness” levels over time.

Even in the midst of uncertain and undesired challenges—you can recapture and reignite “Happiness” at work. It will require your positive mental toughness and inspired change of perspective. From this point forward, I want you to shift your thinking from what your organization and everyone else has to do for you to be happy at work to what you will immediately begin doing so you can recapture and enjoy “Happiness” at work.

Now that you’ve shifted your thinking, I find it timely to provide you with my “15 Quick Tips to Recapturing and Reigniting Your Happiness at Work.” Keep in mind that we cannot control one hundred percent of the external factors that can impact our “Happiness” but we do have full control over how we manage ourselves and our internal feelings each day. In turn, giving us the internal power to identify, control and untie the knots® delaying or blocking our “Happiness” at work.

I challenge you to read, consider, and post the complete list of 15 quick tips in your work area for daily recall and guidance. Also practice at least seven to ten of them daily to begin promptly improving your level of “Happiness” at work.

15 Quick Tips to Recapturing and Reigniting Your Happiness at Work

( What not to do so your “Happiness” can shine through at Work! )

1. Do not listen to or side with other unhappy employees.

2. Do not contribute to gossip or participate in the workplace rumor mill.

3. Do not waste time pointing fingers and blaming others.

4. Do not disrespect, bully, belittle or sabotage co-workers.

5. Do not frown or display negative emotions, even in moments of adversity.

6. Do not pass-off or turn-in poorly done work.

7. Do not waste productive work hours doing non-work related tasks.

8. Do not fail to consistently get your work done in a timely fashion.

9. Do not be the team player who is confrontational and difficult to work with.

10. Do not say and do any inappropriate things that will offend other co-workers or
land you in trouble.

11. Do not be the employee who chronically comes in late, calls out, and makes
excuses to leave early.

12. Do not make it your mission to get other happy co-workers to think and perform

13. Do not bring your home or outside of work drama into the workplace.

14. Do not be the employee other employees cannot trust or count on.

15. Do not voice a complaint without ‘professionally’ suggesting with it at least one
researched solution to possibly fix the problem or challenge.

About the Author:  Ty Howard,
President, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of MOTIVATION magazine

Ty Howard is an internationally recognized authority on personal, professional, relationship and habits development. He is the creator and lead facilitator of the trademarked Untie the Knots® Process, and the author of the best-selling book Untie the Knots® That Tie Up Your Life: A Practical Guide to Freeing Yourself from Toxic Habits, Choices, People, and Relationships, as well as dozens of published articles on relationships, healthy habits development, empowerment and peak performance worldwide.

For information on the author click on the following link:  Ty Howard.

The MOTIVATION “Key Takeaways” for this article:

We cannot control one hundred percent of the external factors that can impact our “Happiness” but we do have full control over how we manage ourselves and our internal feelings each day. In turn, giving us the internal power to identify, control and Untie the Knots® delaying or blocking our “Happiness” at work.

Key Takeaways:

1) True Happiness Is—As True Happiness Does!

2) Consistently be the positive and productive employee, co-worker and team player you wish for everyone else to be.

3) Happiness at work, home, or in society starts first within in your mind, and then your self-talk. Strive to love and appreciate yourself more and more each day, through endless positive thoughts and self-talk, and “Happiness” will find and go with you everywhere you go.

Source: http://www.motivationmagazine.com/articles/recapturing-and-reigniting-your-happiness-at-work

Predictions are beginning to be made for the market as 2017 quickly approaches. 2016 has been a year of upswing as we continue to shake off the recession blue, so hopefully that will carry on into the new year. Read Joe Melendez’s predictions on Housing Wire and see if you agree or not. Hopefully the market continues to improve and we carry the buying and selling momentum forward!

At this time last year, I predicted 2016 would be a good year to buy a home. It appears millions of Americans agreed with me. Total home sales were up 5% in the first half of 2016, and the total annual growth is expected to cap off at 4.7%. Most encouraging is the record 34% first-time homebuyers in Q3 2016, up from 29% in 2015.

For 2017, I predict a softening led by the imminent rates hikes – Fed supported or not. But there still could be opportunities for buyers and sellers alike.

1. Price correction, particularly in overheated markets

As interest rates gradually edge up, naturally we will see buyers retreat. Some homeowners with HELOCs will see significant increases in their payments and may be forced to sell – many not afforded the patience to wait for a top offer. We saw some dramatic heating up recently in markets like Denver, Seattle, Portland, Austin and many parts of California where wages cannot keep up with fast-rising home prices. Instead of meeting the record asking prices, some buyers in these areas are looking for deals in the city outskirts.

What’s interesting to me is to see that even when Fed-led rate hikes have not kicked in, an impending correction was starting to get baked in. In our own quarterly Modern Homebuyer Survey, 63% of all homeowners and 8 in 10 Millennial homeowners think the current home prices are inflated and a bubble is looming. There are indications some homeowners are hesitant to sell their current home because they don’t want to pay inflated prices for their next home, then watch prices drop shortly after they buy.

2. Lower housing inventory

One of the biggest housing stories of 2016 was low inventory, down near double digits (– 9.7% for mid-tier and -8.9% for entry level homes). It will take some time for new home construction to close the demand gap. Home refinancing is forecasted to be down 41% in 2017 after a banner year and homeowners tend to stay put for at least a couple years after they refinance, which will keep resale inventory down. But of course, people still have to live their life; everyday people move for jobs or for personal reasons, some even after they refinanced. If you have a desirable home to sell at the right price, you could do very well with less competition in 2017.

3. Higher housing demand among Millennials?

While there was never any doubt the largest generation ever would be a driving force in other product categories, many expert didn’t know if Millennials would eventually embrace homeownership or remain lifelong renters, especially given their mobile lifestyle and job tenures. Our latest research indicates Millennials do have a strong desire to own home, and they are planning to spend big. 4 out of 10 Millennials who plan to buy soon plan to spend $500,000+ on their next home. Now, part of this could be wishful thinking, but Millennials are earning higher wages, and more are moving to top urban areas where home prices are higher. These are all positive trends for the housing market. Affordability is still a top concern, with 62% not confident they can afford a down payment. I expect to see more Millennials take advantage of low down payment mortgages, as they become informed about these new programs.

4. Boomerang homebuyers

It was nine years ago at the height of the housing crisis when millions of Americans filed for foreclosure, bankruptcy and watched their credit severely tarnished. After the seven-year black-mark period, it is estimated 2.5 million former homeowners with delinquent payment history could return to the market in 2017 with near prime credit, eligible for a new mortgage. I predict this group of low-hanging fruit potential buyers fundamentally believe in the virtues of homeownership, however, given their negative experiences and long road back to financial health, they will likely be a highly cautious buyer. I urge the realtor and seller communities to focus on a strong reassurance message when working with this unique and sizeable market.

5. The Trump era

We can’t offer housing predictions for 2017 without addressing the elephant in the room. There were widespread apocalyptic market warnings for a potential Trump win, which now appear to be mostly hype. Equity investors pushed the market higher as they expected increased defense and infrastructure spending, potentially higher wages, a pro-bank administration, which should all bode well for housing. However, the election result did trigger a sell-off in the bond markets, pushing mortgage rates higher past the psychological barrier of 4% for a 30-years fixed mortgage in less than one week.

6. Bonus: A new era for housing professionals

Finally, as we enter a new presidential era, there are other factors I believe will make 2017 a notable year for housing. Many market assumptions we operated on in much of 2015 and 2016 will change in 2017:

  • Interest rates will not stay at historically low levels;
  • We will likely see inflation creep higher;
  • Focus will shift from refis (leaving an estimated $400B+ hole) to new purchase ?homes;
  • Upgrade homebuyers – many of whom have recently refinanced and planned to ?stay put – will decrease;
  • Millennials will start buying amid skyrocketing rents, bringing with them reserved fiscal attitudes, self-reliance, and prolific use of digital and social platforms to buy homes.

All these translate to a crucial need for a paradigm reset and innovation among housing professionals. 2017 could be a wild ride, but one thing I do feel certain about is that those who are most adaptive to change and innovation – those wanting to move beyond points, rates and the typical upgrade offers – will succeed in 2017.

The “easier” buyers moved in 2016, but there are plenty more ready to make the jump. We just need to hunker down, focus and really address buyers’ needs in order to continue our progress in helping restore the American Dream for everyone.

Source: http://www.housingwire.com/blogs/1-rewired/post/38599-here-are-6-predictions-for-housing-will-perform-in-2017

We all know that when you group individuals of varying personalities and skill levels together in a work environment it is not always going to be smooth sailing. Conflict does happen, but it is how it is dealt with that matters. If you oversee other staff and want your workplace to be stress free as much as possible this article will help you a lot! It explains how to manage conflict and reciprocal affects if it arises so professionalism is maintained.

Professional CHANNEL

Managing Challenging Behaviors at Work: Before They Manage You
Guest Contributors

With the current economic downturn, work level stress is climbing, often manifesting itself in those particularly delightful, difficult behaviors at work — withholding, arguing, blocking, withdrawal, among others. Before we chastise those enacting these behaviors, let’s remember we are all culpable of enacting these same behaviors from time to time! No matter, here are some takeaways for managing these challenging behaviors with aplomb.

Feelings then Facts
My scientist clients ask me why their employees can’t leave their feelings at home. The irony is that the scientists too bring their feelings to work, sometimes hiding them temporarily under the proverbial carpet (putting them in shadow where they ironically loom larger). The reality is that feelings, as long as we remain humans, are here to stay. The key is ever so simple. LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN. When you listen, do so without judgment and interpretation. Ask questions to show curiosity and to learn.

Remember that what you resist, simply persists. So if you discard or ignore someone’s concerns, they are not going to go away anytime soon. Paradoxically, they just multiply!

Empathize – Get in Their Shoes
We all know that when we tell our significant others that their perspective makes no sense, our relationship doesn’t seem to improve. Imagine that! Remember the old adage: “Would you rather be right or happy?” Rather than arguing with others’ perspectives (Yes, even when they seem irrational), consider the differing perspectives an opportunity to learn more about others. Ask questions to help you understand where they are coming from; the goal is to understand – not to be right. The goal is to imagine what it is like to live in their shoes.

Identify their Interests
Fisher and Ury, from the Harvard Negotiation Program discern between interests and positions. Your position is the end product – that which you most want. Perhaps you want a raise of “X” amount or to work on a different team – these are positions. Your interests are the underlying reasons you want what you want. Find out what is really important to the person by being curious. Your listening does not commit you to meeting their needs but begins the conversation and builds the relationship. It also provides opportunities for identifying options that meet both of your interests.

Give Feedback
If a colleague doesn’t answer any of your email requests, you need to address his/her lack of response. If a boss criticizes you in front of others, feedback is the way to go. Here are the key steps for giving effective feedback:
A. Ask to set a time to talk
B. Ask for permission to give feedback
C. Very concretely, describe the behavior (“You are rude” doesn’t work, that’s an
interpretation. Describe what the person did that makes you experience them as rude).
D. Describe the impact of their behavior (“When you didn’t answer my requests, I had to
stay late.”).
E. Share how you made sense of someone’s behavior (“I assumed you were angry with
me.”). This is important because we often make assumptions that are completely 
untrue and go unchecked.
F. Ask for what you need. (“I need you to answer my emails within a 24 hour period.”).

Set Limits
There are times when neither discussion nor feedback is the answer. If someone yells at you, you need to clearly and firmly ask him or her to stop. You need to be prepared to know what you will do if she or he won’t (I am asking you to sit down and talk quietly with me. If you can’t do that now, let’s talk tomorrow). And yes, you can even say this respectfully to your boss.

Name What is Going On in the Moment
There will be times when you give someone feedback and the person insists she or he never did what you said. Quite often, if you carefully observe, she or he will perform that very behavior during your meeting. For example, if Sue said she never told you were wrong last week, chances are she will do so in your meeting now. (Sue, while you said you never told me I am wrong last week, you just did.) That’s a hard one to refute!

Reframe and Redirect
If a chronic complainer works for you and you want the complaints to stop, tell him or her that you will hear concerns only if she/he is prepared with 3 possible solutions. If you have a constant arguer in a meeting you facilitate, ask him or her to take the opposite side – what about the idea would be beneficial?

Apply Consequences
When there is a constant and consistent pattern of repeated behavior and you have tried the seven key strategies above and little has changed, you need to apply consequences and know your bottom line. You are much less likely to be curious and empathize with your children the third time they come home late than the first (especially if you gave them feedback the first time). So too, if you asked a colleague to stop yelling a week ago and listened to her or his concerns once calm, if the yelling resumes, you need to have a bottom line. You may choose to walk out or speak with her or his boss since you already addressed it directly with her or him.

It is very important to follow through on consequences once you set them or people will not take your word seriously. Harriet Lerner, in Dance of Anger, notes the propensity for people to test if the person setting consequences really means business. If Larry indicates that he will no longer respond to last minute requests, often the last minute requestor will test to see if he will “change back” and collude with these requests. If Larry is prepared for the other to test him to get him to “change back” and does not collude, the testing will end. But if he gives up in frustration, the last minute requests will unfortunately continue.

Tailoring Your Strategies
Lastly, you will need to tailor your approach to several factors: your relationship with the challenging person, his or her role in the organization and the specific type of challenging behavior. If you need to talk with a subordinate, you have legitimate power and can expect that she or he adhere to your bottom line. However, if you are confronting a peer in a different department, your requests may not be met. You may need to handle the situation organizationally by involving both your and her or his boss.

Listening, empathizing, giving feedback, setting limits, naming what is going on in the moment, reframing and redirecting and applying consequences when necessary, help address many challenging behaviors. It’s important to remember too, that even the most skillful people at managing challenging behaviors need to responsibly manage their own too!

About the Author:

Dr. Liz Berney (B.A., Yale, Ph.D., University of Maryland) consults, trains and coaches senior leaders in: Change Management, Conflict Management, Interests-based Negotiation, Influencing Skills, Customer Service, Team and Leadership Development, and Emotional Intelligence, including managing challenging personalities. She is considered an expert in the areas of team development, conflict management and the application of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator to leaders and teams. For more information on Dr. Liz Berney, visit: http://www.berneyassoc.com

The MOTIVATION “Key Takeaways” for this article:

With the current economic downturn, work level stress is climbing, often manifesting itself in those particularly delightful, difficult behaviors at work — withholding, arguing, blocking, withdrawal, among others. Learn how to manage these challenging behaviors in the moment with finesse, and more importantly, without getting drained by them. Learn how to manage negativity, passive aggression and hostility with aplomb. Listening to feelings, meeting people where they are, setting limits, reframing, going to the balcony, being curious and giving feedback, help address even the most challenging behaviors. Even the most skilled of us at managing challenging behaviors won’t be successful without managing our own negative behaviors. 

Key Takeaways:

1 – Feelings before Facts
2 – What you resist persists
3 – Be curious and listen for underlying interests
4 – Self management is key
5 – Take a helicopter view
6 – Observe patterns
7 – Take a systems approach

Source: http://www.motivationmagazine.com/articles/managing-challenging-behaviors

The house flipping industry is still booming! Statistics have been released for the second quarter of the year and they show a 14% growth from the first quarter and a 3% growth from 2015. If you recently branched out into the industry, you’re not alone. Read about the latest industry stats in the article below.

Home flipping just reached its highest level since 2010 as more investors entered the market in the second quarter, according to the U.S. Home Flipping Report by ATTOM Data Solutions, a source for comprehensive housing data and the new parent company of RealtyTrac.

Home flipping increased to 51,434 single-family homes and condos in the second quarter this year. That’s up 14% just from last quarter, and 3% from last year, according to the report.

Click to Enlarge


(Source: ATTOM Data Solutions)

A home flip is defined as a property that is sold in an arms-length sale for the second time in a 12-month period based on publicly recorded sales and deed data. The data is collected from over 950 counties and accounts for more than 80% of the U.S. population.

“Home flipping is becoming more accessible for smaller operators thanks to an increasingly competitive lending environment with more loan options for real estate investors, who are also benefitting from the historically low mortgage interest rates,” said Daren Blomquist, ATTOM Data Solutions senior vice president.

“That favorable lending environment for flippers has helped to fuel the recent flipping frenzy we’ve seen over the past five quarters,” Blomquist said.

Homes flipped in the second quarter made up 5.5% of total home sales. This is down from 6.7% of total home sales last quarter, but up from 5.4% in the second quarter of 2015.

The total number of investors that completed at least one home flip increased to 39,775, the highest number of home flippers since 2007.

“We’re starting to see home flipping hit some milestones not seen since prior to the financial crisis, which is somewhat concerning, but there are a couple of important differences in the home flipping of 2016 compared to 2006 when home flipping peaked during the last housing boom,” Blomquist said.

“First, home flippers are realizing a much bigger gross ROI in 2016, averaging 49% in the first two quarters compared to an average gross ROI of just 27% in 2006,” he said. “Second, while an increasing number of flippers are financing their purchases, more than two-thirds are still using cash to purchase compared to about one-third using cash to purchase back in 2006.”

That being said, those who are using cash is decreasing. In the second quarter, investors who used cash to purchase the home decreased to 68.3%, down from 71.1% last quarter and 69.6% last year. This marks the lowest level of those using cash for their investment since 2008.

“The single family real estate sector is becoming more institutional, which means that more financing is available and more attractive,” said Varun Pathria, CEO at Asset Avenue, a company that provides investor rehab, bridge and rental loans.

“The entrepreneurs are also becoming savvier and as a result are looking to leverage their capital more,” Pathria said. “There continues to be a fringe group of people who enter and exit the sector based upon opportunity and those people are hard to predict but generally look to take maximum leverage.”

Source: http://www.housingwire.com/articles/38041-home-flipping-reaches-6-year-high

No matter what your profession is, if you have been doing it for one year or twenty years, it is possible to get caught up in the everyday woes of going to work. It is important to love what you do so work does not feel like work! Read this helpful piece on how to fall back in love with your career and make the most of your time.

Professional CHANNEL

Five Ways to Rekindle Passion for Your Career
Sarita Maybin

The ability to stay positive and productive in the face of change, challenges and uncertainty is essential for career success. In this article, you’ll learn how to boost your workplace motivation by using five ways to rekindle passion for your career.

1. Set a worthy goal… and achieve it

Having something significant and meaningful to work toward is a great motivator. Accomplishing that goal is an even bigger “shot in the arm.”

When I share this strategy in my presentations, I help the audience members come up with a goal that might be a worthy one by asking them to complete the phrase: “Someday I will…”

A wide range of responses result from completing this phrase. Someday I will…go back to school, write a book, take a trip, start a business, apply for a promotion, learn a new skill, and so on. Asking yourself this question can shed light on what might boost your motivation and re-ignite your excitement about your career…and life in general.

On a personal note, I had proclaimed for at least five years “Someday I will write a book… and it’s going to be called “If You Can’t Say Something Nice, What DO You Say?” I even had a specific title in mind, but still took no action. My speaking colleagues grew weary of me whining about the book I was supposedly going to write. They finally challenged me to either write the book or stop talking about writing the book. Long story short, I wrote the book in 2006.

2. Teach. Learn.

This two-sided coin-teach and learn-can help you feel more positive about your work.

Have you ever noticed that when you have the opportunity to show a newcomer the ropes at your company, it reminds you of what drew you to that business in the first place? Or, perhaps you’re involved in presenting at a conference or meeting on the latest developments in your department. Or, you’re serving as a mentor to young professionals or youth in your community. All of those “teaching” opportunities serve to give you that spark that you may have lost along the way.

On the other side of the coin, “learning” opportunities can also be motivating. Working on a new project as part of your company’s cross-training efforts can inject new energy. Learning a new computer system-after the initial frustration wears off-can be empowering. Learning new skills or taking your current ones to the next level as part of a certification process, for example, can also jump start your commitment and interest in what you do.

3. Serve

Put simply, helping others helps us feel better about ourselves. The service doesn’t necessarily have to be related to a company project. Sometimes people get involved in volunteer efforts that fill the gap of what they’re not getting in your job.

For example, as a motivational speaker and author I work independently. While I enjoy that, I was also starting to miss the leadership roles and teambuilding opportunities I had in my previous university administration career. So, a few years ago I got involved on the Board of Directors of my local YMCA which allowed me to serve the community and pursue leadership roles, such as this year’s stint as the Annual Support Campaign Chair.

By the way, serving doesn’t have to be in the form of joining an organization or volunteer group. There are many small ways that service can be rendered.volunteering once a month at a soup kitchen, tutoring kids after school and supporting the local Girl Scouts by buying their cookies.

I ran across a wonderful website www.payitforward.org based on one of my favorite movies. This website shares ideas, large and small, on ways to serve.

4. Nourish

What are you doing on a regular basis to nourish yourself?

It’s hard to be passionate about our work – or personal life -when we’re run-down and exhausted.

I love the variety, and even contradictory responses, I receive when I ask audience members what they do to rejuvenate themselves. One person said “spending time with my family makes me feel good”, while the very next person said “I enjoy spending time alone, away from my family.”

The important thing is coming up with a list of activities that give you that all-is-well-in-my-universe feeling and then making sure you engage in at least one or two of them every week!

5. Gratitude

Last but not least, being grateful for what we have helps us stay positive and motivated. Some of us Type A, achievement oriented people spend so much energy in pursuit, that we forgot to take a deep breath and appreciate what we have.

In one edition of my monthly email Communique’, I included the A,B,C’s of Gratitude. An abbreviated version of this activity has become a great icebreaker for networking events and meetings.

I listed something I’m grateful for that starts with each letter of the alphabet: A for Awesome Audiences, B for Bargains, C for Clients… all the way to Z for Zest for life.

What are you grateful for?

About the Author:

Sarita Maybin is a high energy speaker and communication expert whose audiences have fun learning how to stay positive, constructively confront tough communication challenges and work together better.

Her client list includes Hewlett Packard, Kaiser Permanente, WD-40, Los Angeles County, Department of Navy and the Las Vegas Convention Center among others.

Since 1993, Sarita has spoken in 48 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, England, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Mexico and Iceland. She has been interviewed by Fox News, ABC News and numerous radio shows about her book If You Can’t Say Something Nice, What DO You Say?

Click the following link to learn more about: Sarita Maybin

The MOTIVATION “Key Takeaways” for this article:

“Five Ways to Rekindle Passion for Your Career”

The ability to stay positive and productive in the face of change, challenges and uncertainty is essential for career success. In this article, you’ll learn how to boost your workplace motivation by using five ways to rekindle passion for your career.

Key Takeaways:

1 – Set a worthy goal… and achieve it. Having something significant and meaningful to work toward is a great motivator. Accomplishing that goal is an even bigger “shot in the arm.”

2 – Teach. Learn. Teaching and learning opportunities can give your the spark that you need to reconnect yourself to your commitment and interest in what you do as a career.

3 – Serve. Helping others will help you feel better about yourself.

4 – Nourish. Come up with a list of activities that give you that all-is-well-in-my-universe feeling and then making sure you engage in at least one or two of them every week.

5 – Gratitude. Being grateful for what we have helps us stay positive and motivated.

Source: http://www.motivationmagazine.com/articles/five-ways-to-rekindle-passion-for-your-career

If you have been thinking about investing in some properties abroad either for personal use or to flip, a great market to consider is Britain. Although Brexit is sure to be a catalyst for some interesting changes in the state of the European Union and Europe as a whole, the housing market for now could be a hot bed for wise investment.

After the U.K.’s shocking vote to leave the European Union, many experts speculated on what it would do to the economy, however now Britain’s housing market seems to be business as usual, according to an article by Tara Evans and Richard Dyson for The Telegraph.

The Brexit vote caused some buyers to pull out, however the majority of the contracts went through, according to the article.

From the article:

Many housing commentators are surprisingly upbeat.

Jeremy Leaf, a former chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and north London estate agent, said the “Brexit bombshell” came when prices were already slowing, especially in London, following the increase in stamp duty at the beginning of April.

This perception of an existing slowdown meant the market was “more resilient than we might have expected”, he said.

There was “a determination on the part of most customers to get back as close to normality as possible.”

Paul Smith, chief executive officer of Haart estate agents, said that the vast majority of buyers were now continuing with their purchases.

He said: “About a week after the decision, we’re starting to see the market settle and confidence returning.”

“The result has had no impact on website traffic or applicant figures, in fact the outcome may be resulting in opportunist buyers taking advantage of the situation by snapping up bargains caused by the uncertainty.”

This seems to support the argument that the Brexit vote may not cause as dramatic of an effect as some people think, and will even take years before going into effect, as Andrew Kenningham Capital Economics senior global economist stated.

The economy may even see benefits such as loosening monetary conditions.

However, as Bloomberg reports, all is not well in the UK property market as four funds are now freezing withdrawals.

Source: http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37469-one-housing-market-that-is-not-feeling-the-impact-of-brexit-britain

Although it has been a long and arduous road out of the housing crash of 2008, there seems to be some hope that this market is recovering as there are more home sales being completed and quicker than we’ve seen in a long time. This data is a good indication that this is a wise time to invest as the market may be on an upswing.

The housing market increased to its fastest pace on record in May, according to Redfin, a real estate brokerage.

The average home went under contract after 42 days, a decrease of one week from last year, and the lowest median days on market since Redfin began tracking them in 2009.

“After almost a decade of undersupplied housing stock, competition is fierce,” Redfin Chief Economist Nela Richardson said. “What’s new in 2016 is that we’re seeing the intensity of fast sales and bidding wars even in affordable markets like Grand Rapids and Omaha, where the typical home sold within two weeks last month.”

Sales also increased by 7% while inventory decreased by 6.6% annually. Sales increased by double digits in almost one third of the markets Redfin tracks. Affordable markets in the Midwest and the South had the most surge in sales.

In fact, Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan saw increases of more than 50% annually in number of homes sold.

“We’re seeing an influx of buyers from places like San Francisco, Southern California, Seattle and Washington, D.C.,” local Redfin agent Kent Selders said. “Most new residents are lured by tech jobs and opportunities to work remotely.”

“Locals are watching prices rise, and many realize if they don’t buy soon, they’ll miss out while homes are still affordable,” Selders said. “The result is incredible demand and rapid sales. Nothing like this has ever happened in Grand Rapids.”

Mortgage rates, which reached three-year lows this spring, and continue to decrease, are also making an impact on buyers.

“Move-up buyers have specifically noted they are buying now to take advantage of still-low mortgage rates,” said William Porterfield, a Redfin agent in Little Rock, Arkansas, where sales increased 33 percent from a year ago. “They’re focused on buying as much house as possible while interest rates are so low.”

Americans are even starting to lose faith that the housing crises that began almost a decade ago is over, according to a survey released by the MacArthur Foundation, which supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. A vast majority of those surveyed, about 81%, still believe that affordability is a problem.


For the second week in a row, the average fixed-mortgage rates dropped due to both the Fed’s decision on Wednesday not to raise rates, and the international insecurity revolving around the UK’s decision with the regards to the European Union.

“Wednesday’s Fed decision to once again stand pat on rates, as well as growing anticipation of the U.K.’s upcoming European Union referendum will make it difficult for Treasury yields and, more importantly, mortgage rates to substantially rise in the upcoming weeks,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti said.

Click to Enlarge

Freddie Mac

(Source: Freddie Mac)

The 30-year fixed-mortgage decreased to 3.54% for the week ending June 16, 2016. This is down from last week’s 3.6%. This time last year, it averaged 4%.

The 15-year FRM also decreased to 2.81% from last week’s 2.87%. Annually, the rate decreased from 3.23%.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.74% this week, a decrease from 2.82% last week. It also decreased from 3% last year.

“The 10-year Treasury yield continued its free fall this week as global risks and expectations for the Fed’s June meeting drove investors to the safety of government bonds,” Becketti said.

Source: http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37292-redfin-homes-now-selling-faster-than-ever

If you are communicating with clients on a regular basis through text and email, you can often find that it is hard to find the time to do so, making emojis your best friend. The emoji selection however, has been extremely limited for the real estate community, but that’s all changed now. Check this out.

Right up there with KIMOJI and Fitmoji by Shaun T, Realtors now get their own emojis to call home.

If the moving boxes and two house options on Apple’s emoji list weren’t enough, you’re in luck.

The California Association Of Realtors launched an emoji keyboard specifically for Realtors, containing more than 30 Emojis.

Here is a screen shot of the Realtor-centric emojis Realtors, and not only CAR Realtors, can choose from.

But first, feel free to download it on your own by searching CARmojis. 

Click to enlarge


(Source: CAR)

“With the vast number of Realtors communicating with their clients via text messaging and email, it only made sense to add a little fun and excitement to some of these messages,” said CAR President Pat “Ziggy” Zicarelli.

CARmojis is available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play store.

Here are a few other fun emoji article as the tiny pictures that evict all the fun emotions Realtors, buyers and sellers want gain popularity.

Can you decipher this emoji listing for The White House?

Here are the answers to the emoji homebuyer challenge

Top 5 tips for homebuyers and sellers ’emoji style’

Source: http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37016-good-news-realtors-all-your-emoji-dreams-just-came-true