Working with Millennials: Q&A with Benjamin S. Blakley

Working with MillennialsBenjamin S. Blakley is a licensed Virginia real estate agent serving the Northern Virginia region—including Leesburg, Ashburn, Sterling, Herndon, Reston, McLean, Alexandria, and Arlington. Before getting into the real estate business, Benjamin spent 16 years in the telecommunications industry. But he was always intrigued by construction, architecture, and spaces. This lead him to begin his real estate career 10 years ago, as an investor in Richmond, Virginia and Baltimore, Maryland. Three years ago, he earned his real estate license and became an active agent. Today, as a full-time agent and a member of Dulles Area Association of REALTORS®, his objective remains to be an advocate for his clients and provide them the guidance and expertise needed to provide value and positively affect their bottom line. Whether working with Millennials or other generations, his goal is to service and educate his real estate clients, and ensure their transactions close smoothly.

How does Benjamin find success with his Millennial real estate clients? We went one-on-one with him to find out. Continue reading

Jack Cotton: Author and Life-Long Real Estate Agent

Jack Cotton: author and life-long real estate agentWith the wide range of career paths available to real estate professionals, each real estate agent has a different story to tell. In this series, we bring you the stories of successful individuals who’ve taken their real estate careers in various directions. We sat down with each of them to talk about how they got started in the industry and the twists and turns they’ve taken along the way. Keep reading to learn about Jack Cotton’s path to success and find out what insights and advice he has to offer new agents.

Jack Cotton, of Osterville, Massachusetts, founded Cotton Real Estate in 1974 (in his dorm room at Babson College in Babson Park, Massachusetts) and has overseen, since then, some thousands of purchases and sales of Cape Cod luxury residential properties. He’s the author of three books on real estate (Selling Luxury Homes; 12 Secrets Luxury Home Sellers Know; 12 Secrets Luxury Home Buyers Know) and a children’s book: A Dog’s Guide to Life. He funded the creation of the Cotton Center for Real Estate Studies at Cape Cod Community College in 2006. Continue reading

homeowners associations

Understanding Homeowners Associations

The function of a homeowners association (HOA) is to protect and enhance the common areas of that association. Homeowners associations can consist of anything from 10 to 3,000 homes, which could be single-family, townhomes, condos, or a mix. The HOA might be responsible for common walls, roofs, driveways, landscaping, decks, balconies, HVAC, and plumbing. They maintain pools, clubhouses, tennis courts, fitness centers, charging centers for electric cars, and sometimes even streets. An HOA’s budget, and its legal exposure, can be huge. Jim Laumann, president of HOA-USA.com, explains that beginning agents should learn how homeowners associations operate, and should get acquainted with HOAs in their territory. Continue reading

how to work with real estate appraisers

How to Work with Real Estate Appraisers

Real estate appraisers are crucial players in many home sales. Ordinarily, the mortgage provider hires the appraiser, after a purchase has been agreed on and a home loan has been applied for, to determine the value of the home and whether it makes sense for the lender to provide as much money as the buyer is asking for. As an agent, you need to know what real estate appraisers look for when determining a home’s value. In many cases, you should hire an appraiser before the home goes on the market to help determine the asking price.

Pre-listing appraisals are becoming more common

Pre-listing appraisals give the seller a realistic idea of where their property should appraise at the time of listing. They also point out any areas of concern which may be found during an appraisal so the seller can address these issues upfront. Continue reading

Blair Myers: A Southern Contrarian Real Estate Broker

Blair MyersWith the wide range of career paths available to real estate professionals, each agent has a different story to tell. In this series, we bring you the stories of successful individuals who’ve taken their real estate careers in various directions. We sat down with each of them to talk about how they got started in the industry and the twists and turns they’ve taken along the way. Keep reading to learn about Blair Myers and his individual path to success. Plus, find out what insights and advice he has to offer new agents.

Blair Myers, of Exit Success Realty (Macon, Georgia), is not just a broker: he’s a breaker—of rules. Myers glories in his larger-than-life, unconventional personality; he uses his style as a marketing tool. You can’t help noticing him, and that’s just the way he likes it. Central Georgia is his real estate market, and he got to his position as that market’s perennial number-one performer by his own route—which often goes far off the beaten path. Continue reading