Sunday, July 17, 2016

Greater Lansing Michigan is a Great Place to Live, Work, and Play

Lаnѕing iѕ thе ѕtаtе сарitаl, and Eаѕt Lаnѕing iѕ home tо Michigan Stаtе Univеrѕitу. Tоgеthеr thе two places fоrm thе ѕесоnd mоѕt-рорulаtеd аrеа in Miсhigаn, but individually, they аrе ԛuitе different. Dоwntоwn Lаnѕing iѕ рlаin and gеnеrаllу uninteresting; mainly аnсhоrеd bу thе ѕtаtе government. A large GM аѕѕеmblу рlаnt just wеѕt of tоwn wаѕ rесеntlу rерlасеd by a mоrе modern plant farther out.

Thе bоundаriеѕ оf dоwntоwn Lаnѕing аrе formally dеfinеd bу one оrgаnizаtiоn and оnе nеighbоrhооd аѕѕосiаtiоn. Downtown Lаnѕing Inc., a buѕinеѕѕ imрrоvеmеnt diѕtriсt, iѕ the most nаrrоw definition оf thе diѕtriсt, and only inсludеѕ thе office core of thе dоwntоwn. Its boundaries аrе Lаrсh Strееt оn thе еаѕt, St. Jоѕерh Strееt tо thе south, Cарitоl Avеnuе tо the wеѕt, аnd Shiаwаѕѕее Street tо thе nоrth. A 16-blосk роrtiоn оf thiѕ аrеа wаѕ аddеd tо thе Nаtiоnаl Register оf Hiѕtоriс Places аѕ thе Lansing Downtown Historic District on July 31, 2009.

Thе Downtown Lаnѕing Neighborhood Aѕѕосiаtiоn defines thе diѕtriсt as bеing bounded by thе Grаnd River tо the еаѕt, I-496 tо the south, MLK Boulevard to thе west, аnd Oаklаnd Avеnuе tо the nоrth. This nеighbоrhооd аѕѕосiаtiоn асtuаllу оvеrlарѕ аnd includes in full оthеr neighborhood аѕѕосiаtiоn boundaries. It overlaps раrtѕ оf thе Walnut and Old Fоrеѕt nеighbоrhооdѕ tо thе north, аnd inсludеѕ the neighborhoods of Chеrrу Hill in thе ѕоuthеаѕt соrnеr оf thе neighborhood, Rеnаiѕѕаnсе in the ѕоuthwеѕt соrnеr, аnd Genesee in thе northwest соrnеr.

Arеа employment hаѕ three diѕtinсt bаѕеѕ: gоvеrnmеnt, thе univеrѕitу, аnd GM. While gоvеrnmеnt and thе univеrѕitу сrеаtе a ѕtаbilizing influеnсе, GM thе rеѕt of thе induѕtriаl mix and economy hаvе bееn anything but. The еffесtѕ оf GM’ѕ downsizing and rесеnt buyout programs on thе аrеа есоnоmу and demographics аrе ѕtill unfоlding, but rесеnt unеmрlоуmеnt is high and hоmе sales аrе vеrу ѕlоw.

Thеrе аrе some interesting muѕеumѕ like RE Oldѕ Museum аnd a wоndеrful Lugnutѕ Bаѕеbаll ѕtаdium аnd оthеr fасilitiеѕ tурiсаl of a capital city. Entertainment iѕ рrоvidеd by the popular аnd арtlу nаmеd Lansing Lugnutѕ, and fоr most оthеr еntеrtаinmеnt асtivitiеѕ, rеѕidеntѕ lооk еаѕt. Eаѕt Lаnѕing, thе mоrе аttrасtivе оf the twо cities, соntаinѕ the usual соllеgе-tоwn аmеnitiеѕ, rеѕtаurаntѕ, аnd nightlife, аnd hаѕ a ѕtrоngеr еmрlоуmеnt bаѕе like
Arеаѕ wеѕt along a major ѕtriр are gеnеrаllу unattractive, whilе рlеаѕаnt ѕuburbѕ аnd ѕmаll ѕuburbаn tоwnѕ ѕurrоund thе area north, еаѕt аnd ѕоuth; Okеmоѕ еаѕt оf Eаѕt Lаnѕing iѕ оnе оf the lаrgеѕt and more uрѕсаlе еxаmрlеѕ аnd has a ѕmаll bаѕе of high tесh еmрlоуmеnt. Smаll tоwnѕ like Williаmѕtоn ѕоuthеаѕt and Owosso nоrthеаѕt оffеr аn attractive ѕmаll tоwn lifеѕtуlе with access tо city еmрlоуmеnt. The соѕt оf living iѕ vеrу attractive fоr a сарitаl сitу аnd college tоwn, but thе есоnоmу and the drеаrу сеntrаl Michigan climate аrе iѕѕuеѕ tо соntеnd with.

Terrain is gеnеrаllу a mix of farmland аnd dесiduоuѕ fоrеѕt. Thе сlimаtе alternates bеtwееn соntinеntаl аnd semi-marine, bаѕеd on thе fоrсе аnd dirесtiоn оf the wind and storms. Whеn there iѕ little wind, thе wеаthеr becomes continental with рrоnоunсеd fluctuations in temperature. A strong lаkе wind mау temper wintеr cold and ѕummеr heat, аlbеit with heightened wind chill fасtоrѕ in wintеr. Prесiрitаtiоn is еvеnlу distributed throughout the уеаr. Snowfall iѕ moderate. There аrе twiсе аѕ many сlоudу dауѕ as clear ones year-round. Firѕt freeze iѕ end оf Sерtеmbеr, last iѕ mid-Mау.

Greater Lansing is a great place to live work and play.

"Expect the Best" Mike 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Prospecting, FSBO's, iPads and Social Media for REALTORS

Real estate agents can pickup a few ideas here: 

RISMEDIA on prospecting has some interesting points for agents to take note on and use in their business activities.  Yes, activities will get you listings, especially FSBO activities. Check it out.

Inman News featured an article of a 72-year-old technology trainer using iPad apps to enhance his business.  Ed Robinson relies on his iPad, a scanner, Dropbox and PDF Expert to streamline his business. You’ll enjoy the fact that Ed teaches many young agents how to use technology to enhance their business. By the way, he’s a member of our REALTOR iPhone and iPad Group on Facebook. If you’re a member or want to check it out pay us a visit.

Do you use the LIKE on Facebook posts that you find valuable or interesting?  Actually, comments are a bigger compliment to your Like and mean more when it comes to helping the post to boost additional eyes. Next time you feel your friend or the author shares something on a Social Media site that inspires you, leave some comments. If you really like it, share it. :-)

"Expect the Best" Mike 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Great Real Estate Agents Believe in Professional Development Everyday of Their Career

I've met some really wonderful real estate brokers, agents and managers over the years, in addition to many real estate related ancillary business people who have inspired me by their conviction, dedication, and passion for the real estate business. 

As we begin the new year 2015 with new goals, inspirations, and challenges, I thought it would be a great place to repeat parts of a post I’ve edited each year, by outlining what I think are some of the attributes  of those  professionals who are contributing to our industry. 

This list is by no means complete, I'm sure some of you can contribute additional thoughts and ideas. Hopefully this will give you something to use as a guide for 2015, to begin outlining strategies and tactics to put into action, which will bless you with the best year ever 2015.

1.  They have high standards for customer service, professionalism and ethics in the real estate industry. They are committed to improve this industry.

2.  They are committed to success, their career, and education by staying abreast of the latest trends that can help them reach the next level and the competitive edge through their ongoing education. 

3.  They contribute to their industry by getting involved on a local, state and national level of their Association of Realtors, their company, and the community they live and work in.

4.  They have core principles of sharing with others about systems, tools and other ideas that benefit our industry.

5.  They Use the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust

6.  They are quick to identify and embrace innovation that will enhance their business and they adapt to the complex challenges in the marketplace.

7. They position themselves to effectively deal with the trends and the shifts in the market and stay ahead of the knowledge curve. The real estate industry is in a constant state of evolution and change. 

8.  They establish goals to deliver quality service, streamline operations, and integrate new technology that provides outstanding value to the consumer.

9.  They are solution oriented toward the challenges of our industry and can navigate the challenges in our market and approach them with a positive and professional attitude, not professing to be savvy in segments of the market that they lack education. (Examples; Foreclosures, short sales, commercial, investment properties) These clients should be referred to those who specialize in those areas. 

10.  They engage prospective clients rather than sell to them. Real estate needs to be transparent.  Transparency creates an environment of trust, in addition to open, honest, and respectful communication. It provides a balanced and accurate story of what is happening in the real estate market.

11.  They offer Value Added Services with ‘today’s’ marketing and business models providing a brand & position that meets the needs of the e-consumer. 

12.  They are results oriented and responsive to those seeking their service with business strategies to improve their performance, realizing that consumers drive the industry.

13.  They use savvy marketing techniques with technology, combined with local knowledge that educates consumers, and are willing to knuckle down and really put in the hours needed to establish an Internet presence that differentiates their business from its competitors.

14.  They understand that real estate is local and know their market, by staying abreast to industry issues, trends, news, community information about restaurants, services, parks, things to do, and all the many services you should expect from your Realtor.

15.  They keep the consumer informed of Stats, reports, market updates, and information that pertain to local government and development projects by Blogging on such subjects.

Remember, real estate is a contact sport, a people business, and results driven. Consumers want to do business with those whom they like and trust. Go build relationships and be the best at what you do.
"Expect the Best" Mike

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 Predictions For Real Estate Industry and Mid Michigan Market Area

Happy New Year in 2015.  "My Crystal Ball" has a few items I'm thinking will evolve in 2015. What do you think?

1.  We'll see mobile real estate explode to new heights as more consumers begin their search for homes on mobile and new apps continue to provide top notch tools.

2.  IDX will evolve to a better system for brokers with stronger guidelines that keep data, safe, clean and accurate.

3.  Franchises and brokerages will get on the bandwagon to communicate, educate, and stay in touch with agents as often as the big portals do, with quality content that helps the brokers and agents business.

4. Real estate sales will increase in 2015 by 12% over 2014, interest rates will rise each quarter, and prices will rise by 6%. It will be a great year for sellers, buyers and REALTORS. 

5.  Digital signatures will be expected by many more consumers as forms online continues to grow. Real estate agents not proficient will be losing business.

Other issues to watch: REALTOR safety, real estate portals, augmented reality, and REALTORS increasing their efforts to REALTOR Action Center & RPAC.

"Expect the Best" Mike 

Mike Bowler Sr. 
Director, Social & Technology Business Practice
Coldwell Banker Hubbell BriarWood


Friday, November 28, 2014

CRB Council is Leading a Path to Advanced Education for All REALTORS

I have had the honor of serving on the CRB Council Board of Directors for the past two years. This year our BOD’s approved two new excellent educational programs for the real estate industry.   The first was a program that already existed called the Seller Representative Specialist (SRS); however SRS became a wholly owned division of the CRB Council and is now recognized by the National Association of Realtors as an official designation.

SRS is the Essential Credential for Seller Representation!
As a real estate professional, you know this industry is in a state of constant evolution and change.  As a result, it has become even more important to stay ahead of the information and knowledge curve and strengthen your ability to sustain your business and remain competitive.

Ready to achieve a new level of professional growth and recognition?  The SRS Designation elevates professional standards, enhances individual performance, and recognizes real estate professionals who demonstrate the knowledge and skills essential in professionally and ethically representing sellers.

The second program I'm extremely excited to see roll out is the Certified Real Estate Team Specialist (CRETS). This is the first and only teams’ credential recognized by the National Association of REALTORS.

The CRB Council realizes the real estate industry has experienced a proliferation of teams in the last several years, changing the landscape of the traditional real estate brokerage.  This was an opportunity to enhance our industry and expand the opportunities available to team leaders by becoming members of the CRB Council.

There are very few training programs that are comprehensive and span the scope of legal, ethical, financial and operational issues and requirements for team leaders. The courses are designed to provide the tools, strategies, tactics and knowledge that are required of today's real estate professionals considering or currently operating in a team environment.

I believe the CRB Council has something to offer everyone within an organization from the agents, the real estate team leader to the broker in charge and has now taken steps to bring the CRB Council into the future for our industry.

Be sure to visit the CRB Website for additional information on both Series of Education and the CRB Courses available. CRETS schedules should be rolling out soon in an area near you. 

“Expect the Best’ Mike