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Winter Newsletter  Excalibur’s Holiday Gift to the Associates  In lieu of a big holiday soirée, it was determined that it would be more appropriate for RE/MAX Excalibur to provide tools and information to the associates that will generate leads and more business. So, while the annual holiday party was cancelled, an end of the year sales rally focusing on lead generation was born. At the December Sales Rally, Howard Lein announced the purchase of a mobile information service for MLS listings called VoicePad®. VoicePad® empowers mobile buyers to acquire information on the entire MLS inventory from any phone in either English or Spanish. “Eve,” VoicePad®’s automated Sales Assistant, delivers significantly more inquiries on property inventory 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Inquiries are tracked by name, phone number, media source, language preference and general level of interest on each specific property. Eve can even transfer a live call to the agent when a potential buyer is holding and instantly provide email and text notification upon each inquiry.

VoicePad founder and CEO, Randy Standard shows off some of the features of the VoicePad system at the December Sales Rally

Unlike other “Hotline” technologies, VoicePad® does not require presentation recording or charge for service “by the minute.” In fact, this service is completely FREE to Excalibur associates and will be exclusive to the company for as long as possible. Simply put, VoicePad® is the premier mobile search technology for the Real Estate industry. By obtaining this service, RE/MAX Excalibur has provided an incredible tool to the associates that creates a significant competitive advantage over other real estate companies. In addition to the VoicePad® service, InvestorLoft.com was on-hand and presented their lead generation services to the associates. InvestorLoft.com is a real estate portal that caters to primarily the investment minded buyer by presenting properties in a format that uses special formulas to generate specific information that investors desire, like cap rate, cash on cash return and others. Through a special arrangement with InvestorLoft.com, ALL Excalibur listings are automatically loaded and displayed on the website with no fee to the associate. In addition to the display of company listings, Excalibur associates can direct their buyers to a special web address that is unique to each associate that allows their client to search out properties on their own using their own investment criteria. Each time a client logs in and searches for a property, the associate is notified of the details of the search and the properties of interest. This gives the associate the ability to further dissect the needs and desires of the client, therefore enhancing the ability to service the client and create a transaction. With the extra exposure of Excalibur listings to groups such as 1031 exchange participants looking for replacement properties, self-directed IRA investors looking for real estate investments and many other investor minded groups, the chances of generating a sale only increases. Excalibur associates have yet another tool that distinguishes themselves from the competition by providing greater exposure for listings and a easy way to motivate current or potential buyers. With these two incredible tools, RE/MAX Excalibur agents now have some of the most powerful lead generation technologies available at their disposal at no additional cost. We can’t think of a better way to thank our associates for all of their hard work and commitment.


Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009!  CONGRATULATIONS, you’ve made it through 2008. A very challenging year to say the least. We have all learned a great deal about sub prime loans, short sales, foreclosures, REO’s, government bailouts, etc. and the list goes on.

Rol Johnson Broker RE/MAX Excalibur

2009 will present new challenges to all of us. The key to meeting those challenges is to try and anticipate them and prepare for them, EDUCATION is a must. Everyday more short sales and foreclosures are coming on the market. These not only present opportunities, but they are also our competition. There is no substitute for being knowledgeable about your product and processes, consider getting the Certified Distressed Property Specialist designation. If you have more knowledge, understanding and expertise than your competitors you’ll win the battle 9 out of 10 times. Now is the time to prepare. Once prepared, hard work, hustle and a can do attitude will make you a true PRO and a survivor. Wishing all of you a Healthy, Successful and Prosperous 2009.

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The Market Isn’t As Bad As You Think  Are you doing the “basics”? Or are you answering your phone today? I was having a cup of coffee with Andrew Bloom a few months ago, when his Howard Lein Owner phone rang. He interrupted our conversation, said, “excuse me…my cash register RE/MAX Excalibur is ringing”, and took the call from a client. Some people might have been offended to be brushed off in the middle of a conversation. Rather, I found it to be yet one more reason why Andrew continues to do great business at a time when some agents are struggling. Simply using a great tool like the cell phone to keep you “in the market” seems to be a skill that has also escaped several agents. Case in point: The last time you were setting showing appointments, how many times were you actually able to speak with the agent who could set an appointment for you? My guess would be that well over half of the agents would not, could not or chose not to answer their phone when you called. Amazing! All you were trying to do was sell their listing. We hold events at Excalibur designed to help our associates succeed in this crazy, difficult market. Recently we announced our 2nd Sales Rally and the lead generation tools to be given to our associates. I asked Bonnie at Shea to call all of the Shea agents and find out who would be attending the Sales Rally. In one day, 66 said “yes”, 16 said “no…not interested or they had a conflict. 12 could not even find enough time to call her back after 3 days! Incredible! I am wondering if those who could not respond to our invitation are clairvoyant and know in advance what the content of our Sales Rally will be…… If so…maybe they should be working on their act for the MGM in Vegas instead of trying to sell real estate in Phoenix. I find it incredibly rude to not return our calls. Am just waiting for one of the 16 or one of the 12 to come to me and complain about how “RE/MAX doesn’t do much for my business”. I have some choice words to share. The point to be made is this: We talk about the importance of “getting back to the basics” of our business. One of the basics could easily be something as simple as responding to phone calls…..quickly. Take a look at how your competitors are handling their calls and do a better job. I think your clients will appreciate the fact that you are there for them. It also sends a message that you are “in business” today. The new Excalibur Home Hotline is designed to help you raise your level of response. Take this opportunity to prove to the community and prospective clients that you are anxious to sell real estate. Best wishes,

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Funded Rehabilitation with FHA 203K  One of the most exciting programs to be offered to buyers for the upcoming year is FHA 203K Streamline financing. As you know, the FHA down payment goes to 3 1/2% on January 1, 2009. The loan limit on FHA loans has been reduced to $270,050 at the same time.

David Johnson Sales Manager/Coach RE/MAX Excalibur

The 203K program makes REO's very attractive to buyers of personal residences. All requirements for an FHA loan are in place with this program and your buyer with a 580 FICO score will qualify. The seller may contribute up to 6% to cover closing costs, prepaids and impounds so that the total cash needed for this program is 3 1/2%.

The best way to do this program is to (1) identify the property that your client would like to buy. (2) Have a General Contractor visit the home with your buyer to begin the process of estimating the repairs. The minimum is $5,000 and the maximum is $35,000. (3) Through your lender, ask that the FHA appraiser to take a preliminary look at the home for value and to see if the repairs (bid) are in line with what the home will appraise for. The appraisal in a 203K has two values, the "AS IS" value and the "Repaired" value. (4) Execute the contract, set your closing date for 45 days. (5) Escrow will close when the buyer is approved. (6) The contractor will receive an advance of one half of the repair amount less a 10% holdback on the total amount. If the repairs are completed promptly, the second draw of 50% plus the 10% holdback will be paid the contractor upon satisfactory completion of the work We have taken two extra trips to the home, to meet the contractor for the bid and to meet the appraiser for a preliminary opinion. Escrow closes in 45 days and we are paid. The contractor then completes the work and is paid from escrow. How easy is this? Imagine a drop of several hundred fliers at apartment houses and a steady stream of buyers contacting you to buy homes. Imagine a listing presentation on a home where the seller cannot afford to make the repairs to make the home market ready. Picture your less than attractive listing with a sign rider that says "203K rehabilitation financing available on this home." Perhaps you might like to sponsor a "First Time Homebuyer" seminar for the occupants of an apartment building. The ideas for producing buyers who want to buy with 3 1/2 % down and a 580 FICO score are endless. Please contact me at 602-290-0336 if you have questions on this program.

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Your Excalibur Business Plan for 2009  There are four hot markets for RE/MAX Excalibur associates to attack aided by our lead generation tools. At RE/MAX Excalibur, we have implemented systems and services that address the HOTTEST markets for 2009, REO properties, short sales, investors and traditional residential resale. Here is what we have done and what is available to YOU in an effort to help you succeed. 1. REO (Bank Owned) Properties The REO market is huge and experiencing many changes. As asset managers are looking for more reliable effective agents and companies to represent their properties, Excalibur is leading the way. We offer: • Unlimited capacity to fund the expenses incurred by the property management prior to sale or refund by the asset manager • National Branding….results in more sales • Professional staff tracking and maintaining the expenses and the necessary sales efforts • Property marketed on the TOP 2 most searched real estate websites (REALTOR.com & REMAX.com) • VoicePad / Excalibur Home Hotline • InvestorLoft.com 2. Short Sales By now, you should know about the CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert) designation. The courses that accompany this designation provide the real estate professional with everything they need to assist homeowners in a short sale situation. This is not just a Short Sales Training -- you will learn everything there is to know about short sales and you will also learn about every other solution you can use to work with your clients that are in distress. In many cases you are the last hope, you need to be armed with every option there is. To get a jump on this designation, RE/MAX International is offering the designation training at the upcoming 2009 RE/MAX International Convention. The courses are held on March 1st and 2nd, right before the start of the convention, and the fee is $399. This is an incredible opportunity to acquire career changing sales skills and also build a referral business. Updates are available on remax.net and ExcaliburResourceCenter.com. 3. Investors At our sales rally, we announced our working relationship with InvestorLoft.com. InvestorLoft.com is a real estate portal that caters to primarily the investment minded buyer by presenting properties in a format that uses special formulas to generate specific information that investors desire, like cap rate, cash on cash return and others. Because of our relationship, Excalibur listings are automatically loaded and displayed on the website with no fee to the associate. In addition to the display of company listings, Excalibur associates can direct their investor buyers to a special web address that is unique to each associate that allows their client to search out properties on their own using their own investment criteria. This is a fantastic, low-pressure, way to entice your buyers to start searching out property on their own and still keep yourself close to them and the potential for a transaction. 4. Traditional Resale Transactions In addition to special arrangements with REALTOR.com and the VoicePad® technology, we also have our EXCLUSIVE Properties Magazine. This is a high quality real estate resource that provides listings of high-end properties, homes, condos and land. In addition to the listings, community information, maps, industry trends and much more information is provided for the consumers benefit. With these tools, RE/MAX Excalibur associates are ready to do business in today’s marketplace and for the foreseeable future. No other Phoenix real estate company offers so many services to you or your clients! Lets go make 2009 the very best!

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JANUARY Steve Siverson   Paula Solomon   Stacy Sundin    Nancy Dawson   Sindy Ready    Bill Radke    Kate Ward    Sondra Marks    Danny Walker   Dick Horne    Roland Sharer    Dan Damato    Angelica Leyland  Renee Behinfar  Dani Frappiea    Dana Neal    Nancy Eris    Bobby Ruben    Derek Habbeshaw  MJ Jones    Lillian Horne    Jay Haugen   

1/5 1/7  1/7  1/8  1/10  1/10  1/11  1/15  1/15  1/15  1/16  1/16  1/18  1/19  1/19  1/20  1/22  1/22  1/23  1/26  1/30  1/30 

FEBRUARY Kim Baranyos    Steve Robinson  Karen Grobman  Ray Milliman    Frank Nix    Shari Peck    Leone Flynn    Doug King    Bonnie Taxier    Marty Lehman   Tom Pelliteri    Lori O’Keefe    Gary Greenacre  Don Mills    Anne Boyd    Francisco Hernandez  David Johnson   Ruth Wachs    Terry Robinson  David Blobaum   

2/1 2/1  2/4  2/9  2/10  2/13  2/13  2/17  2/17  2/21  2/23  2/25  2/25  2/25  2/25  2/26  2/26  2/27  2/27  2/27 

MARCH Brad Sundin    Dorothy Hill    Bill Rudd    Janice Christensen  Cathy Patty    Berney Streed    Gail Martin    Warren Neal    Polly Reed    Holly Henbest   Joe DeMarco    Tom Tischer    Ron Cacini    Sara Nickels    Judy Houston   

3/1 3/6  3/12  3/13  3/12  3/14  3/15  3/22  3/24  3/25  3/26  3/29  3/29  3/30  3/31 

Note: Each person with a birthday will be invited to our monthly Birthday Luncheon held on the second Wednesday of the month, 11:30 AM. Location to be announced.

Meet Our Newest Agents!  Jeni Agha - Shea Michael Austin - Shea Gina Burton - Ridge Liza Deer - Ridge Mike Domer - Ridge Vickie Grimes - Shea Philip Grosso - Ridge Griffin Hall - Shea P6

Francisco Hernandez - Troon Frances Iobst - Shea DJ Jenkins - Ridge Stephanie Kacheroski - Ridge Susan Mierau - Ridge Mark Needham - Ridge Greg Remmers - Ridge Matt Shields - Ridge


JANUARY Bill Rudd    Doug daCosta    Richard Conner  Tyler Lein    Marilynn Carberry  Jan Green    Bill Duffey    Roland Sharer    Chirs Wyatt    Brian Nix    Lori O’Keefe    Nancy Dawson   Stuart Epstein    Marty Lehman   Gladys Lopatofsky  Don Mills    Sara Nickels    Sue Pade    Joey Platts       

FEBRUARY

15 years  14 years  13 years  9 years  6 years  6 years  5 years  5 years  5 years  4 years  3 years  1 year  1 year  1 year  1 year  1 year  1 year  1 year  1 year 

Barbara London  Jim Lankes    Trish Strong    Bonnie Burke    Dorothy Hill    Bud Carey    Theresa Atkinson  Julie Berry    Rick Berry    Steve Siverson   Alexander Chawen  Joe Sisneros    Diane Bearden   Jennifer Berk    Brenda Tucker   Linda McClendon  Dan Mullarkey   Connie White    Karen Barnes    Cheryl Boisjoli‐Mills  Daleena Popham 

17 years  12 years  11 years  10 years  9 years  6 years  4 years  4 years  4 years  4 years  3 years  3 years  2 years  2 years  2 years  2 years  2 years  2 years  1 year  1 year  1 year 

MARCH Doug King    Mandy King    Leone Flynn    Cindy Shelton    Bruce Brokke    Ron Cacini    Aryn Knuckey    Brian Uren    Jeane Springrose  Donna Stevens   Adam Tarr    Alice Barton    Rick Jacobs    Jackie Perez‐Wilson   

14 years  14 years  12 years  9 years  5 years  5 years  5 years  5 years  4 years  4 years  4 years  3 years  3 years  3 years 

RE/MAX on Top for 'Commercial Real Estate' Searches on Google  RE/MAX continues to be the highest-ranked real estate organization in Google searches for "commercial real estate." The network's Web presence drives an average of 2,000 consumers to the commercial listing portion of remax.com every day. You can find these valuable statistics and more by downloading the flyer "Why Use A RE/MAX Commercial Practitioner?" from the RE/MAX Commercial Resource Center on Mainstreet.

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FEATURED AGENTS 

What is your outlook on the Phoenix real estate market for 2009? I feel the downward slope of the market in 2009 will steadily flatten. Prices will start to stabilize toward the latter part of 2009. Since the government is working toward assisting homeowners facing foreclosure, there may be more options for those about to lose their homes and the foreclosure market may slow down a bit. More and more investors will recognize that this is the time to buy. I also see more awareness of green homes and recycling techniques.

Jan Green

Ridge Office Cell : 602-620-2699

How does your business plan for 2009 differ from your plan in 2008? My business plan for 2009 will remain basically the same - focus on increasing the number of contacts, prospects, and sales. I am also going to work heavily on existing clients, referral agents as that is where most of business comes from. I am also building more business relationships with green businesses for my clients.

Do you see any emerging trends that you want to learn more about and implement into your business? Future trends for 2009 will reflect more first time homebuyers getting into homes. Since FHA limits will drop to $271,000, more homeowners will be seeking conventional financing. And, banks will have to start lending to each other. I also see homeowners becoming more aware of green homes and all that they offer. The news media is filled with "green" ideas, but there is also a lot of green washing going on that is confusing to consumers. There are products and services out there that are authentic and my goal is to refer those businesses and services, which is why I've started a 2nd networking group whose membership is strictly green companies with a long history in their respective businesses. If you were to describe yourself with one word, what would it be and why? The one word that would describe me is energetic. My focus has always been on service and gaining a client's respect, trust and loyalty. Being energetic to me means reacting quickly to any issue and being proactive in my marketing efforts, searching for new avenues to list and sell homes, including green ones. What is your outlook on the Phoenix real estate market for 2009? I feel the Phoenix/AZ. markets will continue to be a buyers market. The markets will be challenged by foreclosures and short sales. While interest rates and prices will be favorable for buyers, sellers will be hard pressed to lower their prices to stay ahead of the foreclosure flood. However the foreclosures and bank owned properties will provide excellent opportunities for buyers and sellers that are looking to upgrade their homes.

Teresa Atkinson

Shea Office Cell : 480-235-7522

How does your business plan for 2009 differ from your plan in 2008? My business plan for 2009 will concentrate mainly on referrals, short sales and REOs. The Internet will play a vital role in capturing buyers and sellers. More people will be searching for good deals via the internet and I plan to capitalize on our ability to utilize the Internet to our advantage. We will change our approaches as the times have changed. It seems that many Realtors are waiting for the markets to “correct.” We must realize that the times of 2005 are gone for now and we must adapt to our current market conditions or many Realtors will have a very difficult year.

Do you see any emerging trends that you want to learn more about and implement into your business? The biggest trend is that banks will own a lot of properties. This will create challenges when working with cash strapped banks to sell properties that will require cosmetic and structural fixes. Banks and other investors will be trying to unload properties with minimum expense throughout 2009 and 2010. They will also be looking to team up with professional Realtors that possess professional designations, so I will be gaining additional training and designations to keep up with the trends. If you were to describe yourself with one word, what would it be and why? Resolute – there is always an answer. What is your outlook on the Phoenix real estate market for 2009? Bank owned properties will continue to have a significant impact on all aspect of our business. The impact will affect listing strategies and buyers attitudes. How does your business plan for 2009 differ from your plan in 2008? The focus from 2008 through 2009 remains principally the same strategy. The later part of 2008 demonstrated that bank owned properties dominated my sales strategies. As a result of my current success, in 2009 I plan to expand my REO listing strategy to service a broader range of lenders. The REO business in only a short term gain. To continue to grow my business I also plan to focus upon developing my referral based business.

Joe Sisneros

Troon Office Cell : 480-570-3465

Do you see any emerging trends that you want to learn more about and implement into your business? Leveraging the Internet to better serve existing clients, and create new business opportunities.

If you were to describe yourself with one word, what would it be and why? Motivated. The real estate market is a diverse and challenging environment. Even in the best of markets our success is dependent on our ability to stay motivated and maintain that positive attitude that is needed to execute our business plan ….. one transaction at a time.

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Pocketbook Friendly Technologies for Your Business  In a time where it seems like everyone is limiting their spending and cutting business expenses, it is important to remember that as an independent contractor you must continue to promote yourself and your business as much as you can in order to survive. It is also important to streamline your business and improve efficiency so you are able to better allocate your time to building your business. While many REALTORS are simply leaving the business, this is your opportunity to pick up business left behind by Tyler Lein others. This can be accomplished many different ways, but I would like to share with you some of the Manager/”Techie” best ways you can use technology to better market yourself and help streamline your business without RE/MAX Excalibur breaking your bank accounts. Simply put, the VoicePad® service which we have invested in is likely to be the single largest generator of business that we have ever introduced to Excalibur associates. You are able to effectively and efficiently track all of your sign calls and provide your buyers with a tool to let them shop for homes while keeping them close to your chest. By being able to track sign calls, you can determine the activity level on the home and take that information to your sellers when re-evaluating the list price. Additionally, each one of those phone calls is likely a buyer lead. It would be absurd to not follow up with that caller, and with the VoicePad® system you have the caller’s number and in many cases even their name, even if you don’t talk to the caller. If you don't have or don’t want listings, that is fine, just register your buyers into the system, give them the “Excalibur Home Hotline” phone number, 480-374-1710, and let them drive around and call the number for information on ANY LISTING. You are then notified of their inquiry and you are able to track the homes and the areas they are looking and see if what they are telling you is really what they want. What a great way to save time driving your clients around! You will still spend some time in the car with them, but since they have the number and will eventually explore without you, you now don’t have to worry about the client calling other agents and potentially letting that deal slip through your fingers. Another cost effective service is the RE/MAX Design Center. Don’t want to spend money on a virtual tour but still want to have some sort of multimedia show for your listings? Don’t want to pay someone to design and print flyers for your properties or postcards to mail to your clients? Go to www.remax.net and click on the “Design Center” link. Here you can create your own multimedia tours, postcards, brochures, flyers and more. All without paying someone else to do all of the work. Create your own professional flyer and print it on your own printer or take it to a print shop. Are you nervous about doing this yourself? No problem! Just click on the “Guided Tour” for step by step assistance. Still not comfortable? Once you are signed into www.remax.net, click on the “University” tab and then on the “Technology Training” link. Here you will find user guides and pre-recorded instructional videos that will guide you through the different options step by step. If you have international clients, friends or family, I’m sure you have noticed how expensive calling those people can be. Thanks to technology and increased throughput speed of internet networks, you can now use the internet to make phone calls anywhere in the WORLD for a fraction of the cost you would pay with traditional phone companies. Oh yeah, and if you are calling long-distance, your calls are free (standard with most plans). Companies like Skype and Vonage have made it incredibly easy to utilize this technology which is commonly known as VoIP (voice over internet protocol). All you need is an internet connection and a VoIP enabled phone and you’re set. Equipment costs and plans are similar to that of a normal phone and set up is a breeze. Thanks to the savings from the VoIP technology, you can now spend more time on the phone networking with agents in other parts of the country and the world with the hope of generating some agent to agent referral business. And since email is such an informal way to communicate, especially with someone you haven’t met face to face or someone you haven’t seen in a while, you can now justify picking up the phone to talk to these individuals. It is also a lot harder for someone to hang up the phone than it is for them to delete an e-mail. We all get bombarded with e-mail solicitations and the “1-click salute” solves the problem. So pick up the phone and start “dialing for dollars”! The economy is in a funk and we are all paying for it, but don’t let it stop you from building your business. There are still many ways to work and save money at the same time, you just have to change your thought process and open yourself up to new ideas and new technologies. Not all technologies are expensive, some even save you money!

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Mortgage Lending in 2009  What a year! In 2008, mortgage lending literally turned upside down. While borrowers taking Jumbo mortgages have been treated as if they were subprime borrowers, with some lenders quoting as high as 8%; a first time FHA borrower can get a sub-5% interest Dan White rate if their timing is right. Loans that make very little sense are funded (rural housing Vice President loans at 100% LTV), while rational “make sense” transactions are often not funded (90% jumbo loans for professionals). So the question is, what will 2009 look like and Homeowners Financial Group why? Will common sense lending make a comeback and favorable rates remain? The interest rate outlook for 2009 is excellent. The Federal Reserve’s decision to buy up debt and mortgage backed securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should lead to lower lending costs at each institution. The savings should then be passed along to consumers in the form of lower rates. In addition, other actions the Fed has taken along with the lower price of oil and the current recession will allow for lower inflation. Lower inflation under these conditions should translate to lower mortgage interest rates and they should remain lower through the first 2 quarters of 2009. Recently, we have seen historic lows on conventional 30 year fixed rates at the 5% mark. While mortgage rates may not stay that low, many experts believe that we will end 2009 in the 6 – 6.25% range. The prospects for better lending programs are not nearly as clear. With the collapse and contraction of nearly all alternative and sub-prime lending programs in 2008, qualifying buyers is still the biggest hurdle to lending. Jumbo loans are stuck in neutral with some very good interest rates and programs at the lower end of the jumbo market, but very thin air when you get to the higher end, higher dollar loan amounts. The possibilities for new, more friendly lending programs exist, but may not come from sources that you would expect. Many of the bigger players in the mortgage business, Countrywide and First Horizon for example, have stepped away. Newer sources, including some insurance companies and money market funds, such as Met Life and ING are grabbing market share. Other funding sources like local community banks and credit unions are also increasing market share while the market is in turmoil. The common thread among these institutions is a solid balance sheet with available funds to lend. The need for additional programs, especially in the jumbo market is likely to come from these sources. 2009 could prove to be quite a year in the mortgage lending industry. When interest rates are kept at historically low levels in a depreciated market with high inventory levels, the environment for a small rebound exists. The Federal Reserve has put an enormous amount of liquidity into the system and more is on the way. Eventually, those funds will find their way to homebuyers and sellers. Major problems will persist for sure, but with the extended outlook for interest rates remaining favorable and newer funding sources becoming available, opportunities also exist. In my 15 years of experience in mortgage lending, 2008 was the most tumultuous year by far. With interest rates remaining attractive and more lending programs becoming available, 2009 might be the most surprising year we have seen. If you have any questions or scenarios you would like help with, please contact me at: Dan White (602) 339-4341 dwhite@homeownersfg.com Or, you can find me at the Shea and Ridge offices throughout the week.

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ATTITUDE So the market has us down these days…People are losing their homes every day, buying and selling homes is harder then is has been for a decade! The NAR has lost 25% of licensed agents in 2008 and the Valley has had a drastic drop in license renewals as well.

Rick Berry Director of Career Development

President Bush has finally declared our economy in a state of recession and over ½ million people are currently unemployed… Enough with the bad news!! What is currently going on with our economy is part of a cycle, and we may be at the ‘low’ of the valley now. However, that leaves only one direction to go, UP! In order to succeed in the cut-throat business of Real Estate you must have the right ATTITUDE. As cliché as it sounds, ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING! With our economy in turmoil, each day in the life of an agent is a challenge. With each challenge comes a choice and each choice will directly affect the outcome of the next choice we make. There are many things I can talk about with Attitude, there are many different slogans I can throw at you, but there is only one ‘slogan,’ that may be the best advice I have ever received. I hope that by passing it along to all of you, however you may take it, that it will help you in some way. ATTITUDE IS A CHOICE There you have it, a choice. Which means every morning, when you wake up, that loud alarm that sends an instant frown to your face, you will open your eyes and choose to be happy. YOU are in control of your own destiny, YOU are responsible for the way you feel and only YOU can make the changes that need to be made. This business is about finding clients the biggest investment they will ever make. Some transactions may not go as smoothly as you may have hoped, BUT character is built on how you re-act. How you re-act is based on the attitude you have going in. Attitude is a CHOICE, I hope you continue to make the right one.

My First RE/MAX Lead  By Melanie Sanders, Associate Broker, CDPE After starting with RE/MAX Excalibur towards the end of July, I went on our RE/MAX site and registered so I could receive leads. I received my first lead from LeadStreet, which happened to be an out of state lead, on Aug 2. I sent an email the first day to this person but did not hear anything from him so I followed up with a phone call two days later. When I called the lead, another person answered that stated she was his cousin and had borrowed his phone. I struck up a conversation with her and found out that she was going to move here from Montana relatively shortly and was actually interviewing for a job here at this time. I built rapport with her by asking lots of questions about what she was looking for and the area. After a few minutes she asked if I would work with her. She stated she had been working with another agent but didn't feel the agent was really listening to what she wanted and felt like I had given her more information than her current Realtor had. All she wanted was for someone to make her comfortable about what and where she was thinking of buying. Long story short, I sent her lots of emails and MLS listings and we narrowed a large list down to a manageable few. I spent a day and a half showing her homes and we wrote a contract on a home that closed in September, a 5% commission mind you. Had I not accepted and worked this lead, I would not have had my first closing so shortly after joining RE/MAX Excalibur. It was pretty simple, I just had to take the time to make the contact and then do what I said I would do after that.

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Staging Tips Can Help You Create the Best House on the Block  By Anne Ross, RE/MAX Times Associate Editor Every agent knows how important it is for a home to look its best anytime it's on the market. Vanessa Pollock makes sure that each home she lists appeals to the widest range of potential buyers by trying to make every room in the house feel like you're looking at a home design magazine. Pollock, a Sales Associate with RE/MAX Village Square in Maplewood, N.J., offers her staging services to all of her clients, and the extent of staging is always negotiable. Pollock who was a cast member of HGTV's 'Bought and Sold,' stages listings herself and has several items ready that she can use making it easy for the client. "I have four complete bedrooms - comforters, pillows, and blankets - along with artwork, towels, pillows," says the 100 Percent Club member. "I like to make each home look unique and tailored to that seller." Pollock has always loved design and makes it a priority to preview any new listing in her area. She makes mental notes of what does and doesn't work, and then applies that to her staging. She doesn't offer specific staging or service packages for her clients, because she doesn't see her service as something that is that formulaic. Instead, Pollock creates a specific staging and marketing package for each listing, depending on the needs of the client and the house. Her main goal is for buyers to be attracted to a home by making it look warm and inviting, yet generic enough that buyers can picture themselves living there. During the staging process, clients pay for materials that will stay with the home, such as new carpet, cabinet hardware and paint. They also cover the cost for painters if the homeowners don't want to paint themselves. Pollock pays to have certain items installed, like lighting and window treatments, and will occasionally pay for all the staging needs. She tries to make the process as easy for the seller as possible by giving them the option to pay for certain work themselves, or just increase their fees for Pollock to take care of it all - painting, lighting, hardware, windows, furniture, art, bedding and more. "Sellers notice when you go above and beyond," she says. "They really appreciate that extra effort that you put in." Pollock's Tips to Stage a Listing to Perfection: Less is more - pare down to the important pieces of furniture with a few accessories. Have one photo only of the homeowners and one photo of their children. Clear everything off the kitchen countertops. Make the kitchen feel as open as possible. Have the windows washed to let in more light, making the home feel cleaner and well-maintained. Put money into things that buyers will touch, such as doorknobs, cabinet handles, rugs, curtains and carpet. Plant fresh flowers in a pot next to the front door Ensure that the lawn is well-maintained and trees and bushes are trimmed. Don't use scented candles or air fresheners - you never know if someone is allergic to a particular scent or if they might find it offensive. • Overall, try to appeal to the broadest range of buyers and you'll have a successful listing. • • • • • • • •

Copyright © 2008 RE/MAX International Inc. 6/17/08

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RE/MAX Excalibur Welcomes Dave Liniger  On December 22nd, David Liniger, CEO and Co-Founder of RE/MAX International, visited the Scottsdale Ridge office and spent a few hours in a strategy meeting with Howard and the rest of the Excalibur management team discussing everything from current and future market conditions to lead generation techniques and technologies. We are truly grateful for the time Dave took out of his hectic schedule to share some of his wisdom with us in an effort to help Excalibur and our associates

Howard and Dave Liniger discussing the RE/MAX Collection luxury home marketing campaign.

RE/MAX Tour Update  The weekly RE/MAX Home Tour is undergoing some changes for 2009. The tour will now take place on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month and will meet at the DC Ranch Country Club at 9290 East Thompson Peak Parkway. There will be new guest speakers, a new request form and much more! Please check the Excalibur Resource Center (www.ExcaliburResourceCenter.com) for the latest news and updates.

ExcaliburResourceCenter Updates  We are constantly adding useful materials and information to the www.ExcaliburResourceCenter.com website. Here are a few of the most recent enhancements: • • • • • • • •

VoicePad links and resources - a direct link to the VoicePad agent page is on the home page and the user guide and other materials are available in the “Documents” section REALTOR.com links and resources - a direct link to the realtor.com agent page is on the home page and the user guide is available in the ‘Documents” section InvestorLoft.com links and resources - a direct link to the investorloft.com agent page is on the home page and the user guide is available in the “Documents” section Foreclosure Information link - under the “Resources” menu, searches and general information about foreclosures around the nation National Housing Sales Data - under the “Resources” menu, multiple website links that report housing trends and sales data nationwide Phoenix RE/MAX office map - under the “Resources” menu, a map of all RE/MAX offices in Phoenix Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation information - under the “Resources” menu under “Designations” Mortgage Data - under the “Resources” menu, links to current rates and trends in the mortgage industry P 13


LeadStreet and DesignCenter Training Videos  Did you know that you can watch training videos for both the RE/MAX LeadStreet system and Design Center? It is easy! Just sign into www.remax.net, click on the “University” tab and then click on “RE/MAX Technology Training”. Here you will find multiple instructional videos on how to perform common tasks within the LeadStreet and Design Center systems. So if you don’t like reading instruction manuals, this is for you! Want more “hands-on” training? You can also register for LIVE on-line training sessions for both systems from within the LeadStreet homepage. Just sign into www.remax.net, then click on the “Technology” tab, and then click on “LeadStreet”. On the homepage, towards the bottom, you will find the information on the available classes and times.

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Certified Distressed Property Expert Designation  The founders of the Distressed Property Institute believe that in almost all cases the best person for a homeowner in distress to speak with is a well informed Licensed Realtor® that has the tools needed to help that homeowner find the best solution for their situation. Foreclosure is a devastating financial and emotional process for a homeowner to go through, and in many cases they do so alone and without help of any kind. It is the goal of the Distressed Property Institute to give agents the tools and information they need to avoid foreclosure and move forward with their lives. The Certified Distressed Property Expert Designation (CDPE) is the course that provides agent with everything they need to assist these homeowners. The course is delivered in easy to understand modules that will give the future CDPE agent everything they need to understand and assist with the needs of distressed homeowners. The course covers the following: Background: • Entering the Distressed Property Market • Foreclosure • Short Sales Explained • Short Sale Process • Selling Against and Working with Investors • Building your Business • Putting It All Together Along with the course, you receive the following bonuses: • The 175 Page CDPE© Field Manual to guide you through any deal you have. • CDPE© Checklists - of exactly what to do in each situation (right down to don't forget your business cards) ($299 value) • CDPE© Forms - each document you need to get your from the listing appointment to the closing table. ($99 value) • CDPE© Flow Charts ($99 value) - of each foreclosure situation so you can quickly see exactly what you need to do. • A complete sample short sale package that you walk out with and can reference forever. ($99 value) • A CDPE Resources Disk so you can reprint the forms and checklists as many times as you need. ($129 Value) • Use of the CDPE© Logo and Designation. (Priceless!)

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT: WWW.CDPENOW.COM

The fall has presented some opportunities and challenges to our Sentinel, Navy SEAL Ryan Job. In October, Ryan was invited by another charitable organization called Camp Patriot to be a part of an elk hunt in Idaho and fishing in Montana. It was quite an exciting event for Ryan who has always been an avid outdoorsman. This was his first time hunting or fishing since being injured in Iraq. Unbelievably, even without sight, Ryan was able to bring home a very large bull elk. It was quite an experience. Ryan loved camping and the thrill of the hunt. It was truly an event to remember. Over the past few months Ryan has encountered increasing discomfort and constant infections in one of his eyes which will require a quite difficult surgery. The surgery was originally scheduled in March, but scheduling complications required that the surgery be rescheduled. Ryan is now scheduled to go in for the surgery in January. We are all very hopeful that the surgery goes well and that Ryan has a speedy recovery.

Ryan Job takes aim with the assistance of a Camp Patriot volunteer.

Ryan’s wife, Kelly, who is studying at Midwestern University to be a CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist) started her clinical courses in June. In September she traveled to San Jose, California for six weeks as a requirement for her degree. Ryan handled the time apart from Kelly quite well by spending a lot of time with his dog, Trey, studying for his degree in business, and visiting with local Sentinels volunteers. Kelly is now back in Arizona and is studying at the Arizona Heart Institute, but will be traveling again in March, this time to Globe, Arizona. The Sentinels of Freedom is a non-profit organization with the mission to provide life-changing opportunities for men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who have recently suffered severe injuries and now need the support of grateful communities to realize their dreams. Through local donations of time, money, goods and services, scholarship recipients receive housing, transportation, employment and education assistance, and are connected to a team of caring volunteers who provide guidance, mentoring and friendship during the four-year program. For more information on the Sentinels of Freedom, AZ, visit www.SentinelsOfFreedomAZ.org

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RE/MAX EXCALIBUR HOME HOTLINE    

TESTIMONIAL By  Mike Domer, Associate Broker  RE/MAX EXCALIBUR   

ABOUT MIKE DOMER:  Mike Domer has been a licensed agent since 1974 and a real estate broker since 1976.  His overwhelming success as a top producing  agent led to speaking engagements with local real estate boards and firms throughout the United States and Canada. Mike has  personally trained nearly a million real estate agents in over 250 different cities and has been a repeat featured speaker at the  National Association of REALTORS Annual Conventions. His seminars and workshops have been sponsored by the leading US and  Canadian lending institutions.    

MIKE’S COMMENTS ON THE VOICEPAD SYSTEM:  “I think the VoicePad system is stellar. I have put riders on several properties and gotten responses.  However, I think its greatest  benefit would be to use it as a buyer loyalty tool.  For over 20 years I have had buyers sign a buyer loyalty agreement that I created  and never had any refuse.  I taught nearly a million real estate agents to do the same.  Unfortunately most don’t because most  agents only do what most agents do.  That’s why buyers never resist working with an agent who is a cut above and different from the  rest.  If I was still doing seminars I would incorporate this into my buyers listing presentation which taught agents how to get 100%  buyer loyalty and get them to sign an exclusive buyers agency agreement.  This tool would make it easier for them to get the  agreement signed.”    Imagine the dialogue:  “One of the benefits in working with me as your agent is that I will register you as a preferred user to our exclusive VoicePad system.   This allows you to get the asking price and virtually any information you want, on any property in the MLS system, without having to  call an agent or even me.   All you need to do is dial the VoicePad number with your cell phone, enter the address and the system will  give you the asking price and features on the property you are curious about.   No calling an agent and getting a voice mail message  or getting one who asks you million questions and does nothing.   No selling whatsoever.   Once you get the information you can  hang up or you can choose to be connected to me if you would like to view the property or have additional questions….  Would you  like me to set you up on the system?”    Personally as I have always taught, I would go the extra step and have them an exclusive Buyer‐Broke Employment Agreement as I  believe in listing buyers! The dialogue would continue something like this:    “This is our Buyer‐Broker Employment Agreement (or if talking with them on the phone: “I will email over to you my Buyer Broker  Employment Agreement”). By agreeing and signing this agreement, I will register you for use on our exclusive VoicePad system.  This  form is a requirement to establish an agency relationship with you.   I become your agent and as such am duty bound to look out for  your best interest.  I have approximately the same fiduciary duties to you as an attorney would.  However, even though I work for  you, the seller pays me, so it cost you nothing.  And just like you can fire an attorney the agreement allows you to fire me if at any  time you don’t think the relationship is a benefit to you – for any reason!  So you have nothing to pay and nothing at risk to get the  benefit of my service.  Simply approve the form write here (or if by phone: “Simply approve the form where indicated and email or fax  it back to me.”) and I will immediately get you set up on the VoicePad system. You will be able to begin using it today!”    Mike has taught thousands of successful real estate associates and we thank him for his help.  Try his using his ideas when visiting  with your next clients.  You'll be glad you did!    ‐ Howard 


WITH THREE LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU! TROON 10458 E Jomax Rd #100 Scottsdale, AZ 85262

Phone: 480-344-4400 Fax: 480-344-4500 Toll Free: 800-451-2811

SCOTTSDALE RIDGE 21803 N Scottsdale Rd #100 Scottsdale, AZ 85255

Phone: 480-850-5000 Fax: 480-850-5005 Toll Free: 800-736-2974

SHEA 8510 E Shea Blvd #100 Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Phone: 480-355-3500 Fax: 480-355-3505 Toll Free: 888-899-0496

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Winter 2008 Newsletter  

REMAX Excalibur Newsletter - Winter 2008

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