Toys & Trees for Kids is a Big Success

When December rolls around, it’s time for The Real Estate Group’s biggest annual event: Toys and Trees for Kids…

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The Social Web

We live in a remarkable age. Images and information can circle the globe with lightning speed.

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Happy Thanksgiving from TREG

Thanksgiving is a special time of year, and it marks the beginning of a wonderful (and busy) Holiday Season.

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How Fit is Your Real Estate Practice?

You may have noticed that one of our contributors to the TREG Insider Blog is Lee Brinn. Lee is a personal trainer and dear friend of mine.

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The Meaning of “TREG”

Recently, in the middle of a training session for SEO Principles & Online Marketing, I looked around the room and realized I was witnessing something pretty remarkable.

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Syndicators: Love Them or Hate Them, They’re Here to Stay

The conversation over listing syndicators has been non-stop over the past year as agents and brokers debate whether syndicators are friend or foe.

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Thanksgiving Day Message From Gary Lundholm


Happy Thanksgiving!


Economic Factors with Pam Ermen!

 If you heard the saying, “There’s No Crystal Ball”, then you haven’t been to TREG’s Economic Factors update session! This session will help you read the signs of the times and determine how best to educate your buyers and sellers in today’s market to take action.

If you have never attended this session…THIS IS A “DON’T MISS”! You will walk away with tools, dialogue and strategies to get your buyers off the fence and your sellers back in the race! If you have attended it in the past, then come for the most recent update on the top 6 economic factors in Hampton Roads and get a refresher on how to best use this information in your daily business!

“If you haven’t attended one of Pam Ermen’s Economic Factors update sessions, you are missing out on fantastic information that is both real time relevant and market specific.

This knowledge can and does put us out in front of people who don’t know the vital economic facts that can help get buyers off the, “I’m going to wait and see what the market does,” sticking point.

In addition the information Pam shares with us is invaluable in helping us to assist our sellers to make the right, informed decision when pricing their home for sale, and controlling their expectations once it’s listed.”

-Debbie Donour

Looking Out For The Guy Next Door

The real estate downturn brought a lot of things with it, but none more heartbreaking than the victimization of distressed homeowners. It seems that every crisis brings a new group of scoundrels. Complete with their custom made schemes, readymade to take advantage of those who can least afford it.
I am glad to see action on the state and federal level to begin dealing with this issue. The Commonwealth magazine reported that Virginia is targeting mortgage-modification scammers, Click the following link to read the full article from the November/December, 2010 issue.
On the federal front, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has published the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services final rule (“MARS rule”). The MARS rule requires certain Short Sale disclosures from real estate practitioners. The rule also applies to individuals and companies that offer loan modification services to consumers.
Real estate practitioners are now required to comply with the MARS rule in their communications that are not directed at a specific consumer, i.e. print ads, web sites, anywhere they might advertise their short sale services.
In addition, agents are required to make a consumer specific disclosure when they represent a seller in a short sale situation in which they will be negotiating with the seller’s lender or referring the seller to a 3rd party loan modification service. The MARS rule also requires a disclosure when providing an offer of mortgage relief.
Under the MARS rule agents are not allowed to accept upfront fees in connection with short sales. In fact, broker models that depend on upfront fees may find themselves running afoul of the FTC if the transaction morphs into a short sale.
Short sales will be with us for quite some time. They present an extreme opportunity to come to the aid of sellers like never before. REALTORS® everywhere are contributing towards the rebuilding of our economy, one sale at a time. Nowhere can we demonstrate our value and professionalism better than by helping our neighbors through one of the toughest events they may ever face.

Running the Race

I am a sucker for the “come from behind, root for the underdog” movies, and I am married to a woman who absolutely loves horses and horse movies.  Well those two thoughts shared common ground when I found myself watching the new Disney movie “Secretariat”…. for the second time in recent weeks!

It is an inspiring story that gives new meaning to “going the distance”.  Both the owner Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) and the horse, affectionately known as “Big Red”, showed tremendous tenacity and stamina in the face of overwhelming odds.

Secretariat came from a line of horses known for great speed.  However, they were also well known for their lack of endurance.  Following her instincts, Penny Chenery literally bet the farm on her horse, unwilling to give up on her dream when all good sense should have led her in the opposite direction.

Well, as most good “underdog” stories end, Secretariat won the Triple Crown, setting records all along the way.  In particular, while running in the Belmont Stakes to cinch the Triple Crown, Secretariat silenced his critics and naysayers alike, winning the race by an incredible 31 lengths and breaking the track record that stands unbeaten to this day!

It strikes me that Real Estate and horse racing have a lot in common.  Secretariat possessed hidden reserves of endurance and stamina that were only revealed when he was put to the test.  In like manner, today’s market is putting many agents to the test. The champions in our business are showing great endurance and stamina…rising to the occasion, bucking the odds and building careers that will go the distance.

History has provided us with many inspiring stories of adversity, experiences that compel some to be stubbornly determined while the rest shrink from the challenge.  In our case, the same market produces both winners and losers. If that is true, then the determining factor lies within each one of us.

For more information about the film, please visit the website: