Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Learned; Not Too Late

Thanksgiving is here, and I wanted to share something I had on my computer for some time since 2003. It is a letter I wrote about a life lesson.

In short it was part of Brian Buffini's Referral by Design program, a letter from the heart. It is a way for clients and potential clients to see character as well as professionalism from their current or would be agent. I had items of value that I created both professional and personal sent once a month to my database. What you are about to read is one of several, and I adapted some of it to read better in the past tense. This is what I wrote.

The Regret Of A Lifetime

October 2nd, 2003

This months’ Item of Value is more valuable than all of the others combined. Two months ago in August's Item of Value, I wrote about time, and some tips on how to manage it. Whether you took the test or not, the emphasis I wanted to convey was that spending quality time with friends and family or making new relationships mattered the most, and like a great deal of my life’s lessons, it took 40 years for me to learn. I would like to share how I learned this lesson, and perhaps provide someone with an opportunity to reflect and take a shortcut—not waiting as long as I did. Most of this letter is setting the stage. So, I ask you to invest a moment.

Perhaps with most boys, as was certainly the case with me, being able to explore the world freely was a vital part of growing up. Making tree forts and exploring the areas of a mountain or beach where no man has gone before has shaped my independence and built confidence in my performance as a professional. It was my parents who gave my brothers and I this landscape of learning and the freedom to explore them to our hearts content, as long as we were back by a reasonable hour of course. It was very common during an exploration mission if there was ever a signpost that said “Danger, Keep Out” it was considered an invitation for more learning and personal growth. As a result, my brothers and I now have great tales of our explorations to last for some time. Stumbling onto live munitions left by the National Guard and detonating some for fun, fighting off thousands of bees after disturbing a hive, and being attacked point blank by a rabid skunk are still fond memories to name a few. Ironically, those experiences contributed a lot to my brother’s and my success in life.

My brothers and I are probably no different than you are; we learned our independence from being dependent on our parents. They were always there if we needed to be bailed out of trouble. But, as we grew older and left the house to be on our own, there was a tendency to drift from the parents and only feel the need to see them on certain holidays or special functions.

It was more than ten years ago in 1992 when I was sitting down talking with my older brother Mark. Mark had long since visited the parents for Sunday dinners. Part of the lure was the free meal and the big screen TV, but during a conversation between him and I one afternoon, I commended Mark for spending time with the folks. Mark then spoke a string of pearls that I will always remember—“They’re not getting any younger, ya know.” That was on a Saturday. Sunday morning I went to Starbucks, bought 4 lattes and 4 bearclaw pastries and started over a decade long tradition together with my wife that involved Sunday morning coffee with the parents. Since then I have become a master at making our own espressos from my hand press La Pavoni machine, and mom has always been the master at making cakes and pastries of all sorts since day one and was happy to do so for our Sunday coffee and cake. We talked about anything and forgot about everything else; you know, daily troubles of your own. Doug, my other brother soon after visited Sunday afternoons after church with his wife and daughter. It became pretty busy at mom and dads, and they loved every minute of it.

In the first week of August of 2003, my mom, Ina had been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer that has spread into much of her body. The family has since been in great pain, frustration, anger and shock. I couldn’t imagine what she must have been going through. During my worst moments, in tears, I fumbled with feelings often and couldn’t think of anything significant enough to do or say. We were about to lose the center of our family. Counseling helped, but I was still helpless and stumbling to grasp for the right words, I felt that she would never know how much I loved her. No matter what words I used, all came up short. Growing in my soul was a regret of not being able to tell her how much she meant to me. It was truly a place of deep distress. That, I do not wish on anyone to carry for one minute, let alone a lifetime.

My wife Jenni was there to remind me that if there has ever been a group of sons who have shown love and appreciation for their parents over the years it would be my brothers and me. The key phrase that hit me was “over the years.” She was right. Had I remained distant from the parents and not invested the time with them, it would have been, for me, the regret of a lifetime. In retrospect, we invested the time. It was the time invested with family over the years that said what I was trying to say but kept coming up short. What needed to be said and could not be said with words was simply stated by the fact that I was there, over the years. And—suddenly I realized that there were actually no regrets at all. My mother simply knew.

Maybe detonating the stolen munitions and fighting the rabid skunk were not some of the better moments she would be proud of today. If there is a possibility that this lesson could open someone’s eyes to the fact that their friends and family are “not getting any younger, ya know,” realize that life is short and take the time to talk about anything and forget about everything else, they could take a short cut and not learn it the hard way or late in the game.

Our family will endure this very trying time. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers always, and I thank you for allowing me to share with you what I have learned. Perhaps you or someone you know may have gone through something similar already. If it has not happened yet, it will, and when it does I want you to know that you have my encouragement to start carving out the time now.


Jeff Pereyda

PS Since the original writing of this letter, my mother was put to rest in February of 2004, and in February of 2005, my father—the personification of self-sacrifice passed away from a brain stem stroke. They were together for over 45 years.

By Jeff Pereyda

Monday, November 10, 2008

Exchanging Links-Good or Bad Idea?

I was asked recently to reciprocate a link to my site; exchange links. And, since website owners want to be careful as to who is swapping links to their sites, I chose to do a bit of investigating first before I agreed.

  • The reciprocal link offer was coming from a reputable source. check

  • The site had a good professional look and feel. check

  • Although not directly real estate related, it still had a real estate division or section. check

All seemed in order. I clicked through their site a bit more to get to the real estate section where my link would most likely be placed. This was the opening paragraph: uncheck!

"Real Estate Agent" is just another name for "Salesperson"
Don't ever lose sight of that fact. Their only mission is to sell, sell, sell to you. Don't ever let on that you are in a desperate situation, or that you need to buy a house fast, or that you are in a desperate crunch to buy this house now, because you are being transferred into town this week. It's simply none of their business and as far as they are concerned...(you get the idea).

In a word... Ouch. I replied by letting the editor know in a few words that openly degrading someone or their profession doesn't help anyone, especially the source. It only tends to make the author seem a little less comme il faut. I told the editor of the site to reconsider the hack before asking Realtors(s) to be linked to something so contrary to what I (we) are trying to accomplish, trust.

by Jeff Pereyda
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Saturday, October 4, 2008

I Listed Hell, It Sold--A Powerful Technique Revealed

When Realtors are asked to take a listing, they don't see just stucco, studs and foundation. Since Realtors are people too, what may normally be viewed as just a property that will soon change title is seen more as a home, being part of the family it belongs to. Well, recently I was not asked to sell a home nor just stucco, studs and foundation--but rather a piece of hell itself. (This is not the actual photo).

The home was smitten with crack shacks in the backyard and with several people-sized holes in the fences that allowed these shacks to be so frequented that users had to make reservations to get in. I found out later that the main house too had a secret passage in with no lack of want from vagabonds and other scary people. Had it not been for the story attached to the owner, I would have passed on taking the listing. Something had to be done. Realtors have hearts contrary to some beliefs.

It was a sad but all too common story that many of you have witnessed as well--The owner/seller could no longer maintain the home to say the least; not to mention the loan. Both had gone by the wayside. He, along with the fully grown children living at the house, had no means to stay afloat. Of course my opinions on that were nay the time nor the place. As the owner left the property, it got even worse.

The owner had to move away, and or the sake of brevity, I dare not go into details about the home's condition, nor the repeated break ins during the listing period. But in short, the situation was iniquitous and getting dangerous. My wife did not want me going back to check up on the listing by myself. And, I admit, that property truly felt transgression when I did.

I ruminated on the real estate proverb, "A listing only needs one buyer. And his joy shall come forth from it's foundation." I prayed for that one buyer to arrive--to save the home from destruction. That one buyer came, saw the property, realized it's "vision" and wrote an offer.

Stunned, I entertained my own vision of the buyer mimicking the character of Jules from Pulp Fiction quoting Ezekiel 25:17 before writing the offer. I agree that the house needs to be cleansed, but please don't take my divine retribution reference for the house or this post too seriously but as tongue and cheek.

The powerful technique was prayer and the answer was truly heaven sent. I do count my blessings, but I won't count my chickens just yet. It still has to close escrow. Never the less, it seems that good will triumph over evil once more.

by Jeff Pereyda
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Friday, September 26, 2008

You Posted A Forward? Why You Lazy...

I am no economist, but my eyebrows raised when a long-time trusted escrow officer actually forwarded this to me.

It is not my info nor is it from my site, so no credit goes to me. Judge or yourself. If I dig a little, I can find out who wrote this and let you know.

They wrote:

I'm against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG.
Instead, I'm in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to all Americans as a "Dividend".

To make the math simple, let's assume there are 200,000,000 bonafide
U.S. Citizens 18+ Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and
child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up..
So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billion that equals to a
hefty "$425,000.00."

My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a "Dividend"
Of course, it would NOT be tax free. So let's assume a tax rate of 30%.
Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes. That sends $25.5
Billion right back to Uncle Sam.

But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket.
A husband and wife have $595,000.00. What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?
  • Pay off your mortgage - "housing crisis solved"
  • Repay college loans - "a great boost to new grads"
  • Put away money for college - "it'll be there"
  • Save it in a bank - "create money to loan to entrepreneurs"
  • Buy a new car - "create jobs"
  • Invest in the market - "capital drives growth"
  • Pay for your parent's medical insurance =E 2 "health care improves"
Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company If we're going to re-distribute wealth let's really do it...instead of trickling out If we're going to do an $85 billion bailout, let's bail out every
adult U S Citizen 18+

As for AIG - liquidate it and Sell off its parts.
Sell off the real estate. Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.

Here's my rationale. We deserve it and "AIG doesn't" we were not invited to the last 10 years of "party time" bonuses.

And remember, this plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because
$25.5 Billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.

by Jeff Pereyda
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Friday, September 19, 2008

C'mon, Let's Face It!--On facebook (tm)

You may not know this yet, but my blog needs readership. Yes, your reading it now, but just look at my comments on my previous blogs. My Livermore real estate website website gets quite a bit of traffic, but my blog?--I have 0. Go ahead and comment. Shock me.

My Active Rain blog is a mirror of this one, and it gets some readership due to the fact that Active Rain bloggers simply feed off Active Rain, kind of an obsession with those bloggers there.

But more on facebook is being published all the time. Lee Aase, the Chancellor of Social Media University, Global (SMUG) writes references to the news media about the applications of facebook below.

Here are some links to major news coverage about Facebook:
Granted, I am very new to facebook and it's applications, but you can bet that facebook is an innovation in the home and in the business world. And, I will definitely be looking closer into the ways that it can help our office and our industry. At least there people write on my "wall."

by Jeff Pereyda
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Saturday, September 13, 2008

What Does Dental Floss and Net Sheets Have In Common?

I have a great mentor/broker friend that I as a broker confide in sometimes. We share ideas and sometimes war stories.

I heard the latest doozy of his through his wife which allowed the story to leave more to the imagination, and it went something like this:

Fred, mentor, had been working with a young couple who qualified as buyers for around $400k. Fred drove them around for months in and around a not so nearby city in an obligation to help them in buying a home. Cudos.

Last week, an amazing listing became available for sale by an elderly couple selling their home. They had really fixed up their place with dual pane windows, granite counter tops, etc. Ready to move in, the offer was made, and very gratifyingly, accepted. Needless to say, the young buyers were beside themselves in elation. So was Fred. He was in pain and needed the lift in his spirits. The escrow came right around the same time Fred had the unfortunate but very necessary appointment with the dental surgeon, a 4 hour surgery appointment during that week.

The sellers of the new escrow, the elderly couple, were also in escrow for a replacement home in Florida and had been working with a Realtor there to get the job done. During that week, Fred received a call from FL. The agent representing the Florida purchase performed a net sheet (four days after the FL escrow opened) and the news was bad. It turns out that the Florida buyers could nowhere near purchase the property or hardly any other property for that matter and had to cancel the agreement both in FL and alas with Fred and his new buyers here.

Fury, tears and lawsuits were in the air. Fred, pained by speech, worked hard to calm things down, but the tears of the pain would remain for quite some time for the down trodden buyers due to the loss of their home and Fred because his mouth hurt.

Should the agent in FL have performed the net sheet a bit sooner--you think?

FYI, Fred's surgery went as scheduled with few mishaps.

Word to the wise. Do the net sheet ASAP.  And, brush and floss regularly.

by Jeff Pereyda
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Monday, September 8, 2008

What's a Livermore Home Buyer Agent to Do? Here's One!

Every home owner has found those "Just Listed" cards in their mailbox, then as an afterthought, tossed them in the trash. Well, as part of my GRI (Graduate, Realtor Institute) education a while back, I had the fortunate experience of learning some great marketing tricks while at the same time not upsetting the delicate ethical goings on of the real estate industry. One of these such tricks was a postcard.

For the agent who represents the seller, (the listing agent) they get to mail out all kinds of things for the homes they are listing:
  • Just Listed: Livermore Beauty w/ Huge Lot
  • Pending: Livermore Home for Sale
  • Just Sold: Livermore Home for Sale
Well, there are many buyer agents out there that can use the exposure too. Often, the buyer agent's credit gets swept under the rug while the listing agent gets all the glory for selling the house. But really, there are some agents that mostly represent buyers, and they do it quite well. Furthermore, why shouldn't they promote their services to the immediate community? It turns out that a buyer's agent must get permission from the listing brokerage to advertise or promote a home for sale that belongs to the listing brokerage. It's a bit of a hassle, and most buyer agents seem to let it go. Now, they do not have to.

Back to the postcard. In one of my GRI classes, the instructor had the idea of using a different title in the post cards that allow the buyer's agent to have a reason to get postcards sent out. Instead of having "Just Listed" in the headline, why not have it read, "My Buyer Just Bought?" Capital idea!

Several things on the buyer agents agenda get a booster shot. The "My Buyer Just Bought" card:
  1. Gets the Livermore buyers agent name out in the community.
  2. Promotes (Livermore home owners/sellers take notice).
  3. Eliminates the need to ask for Livermore listing broker permission.
So, to all you buyer agents out there--there's now another great way to get noticed for the hard work you do.

by Jeff Pereyda
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