Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Moving Right Along into Fall 2012

Helen Nagy, Director of Relocation
Relocating? Click here
The last big holiday of summer has come and gone, the kids are back in school and the weather has cooled down a bit.  We are moving right along into my favorite time of year, fall. Now that the temperatures are more conducive to walking outside, I'd like to share one of my favorite places in the Triad to enjoy our new season and get some exercise.  Before I do, let me tell you about a new "gadget" that has made me more conscious of every step I take.

I was lucky enough to be the recipient this summer of something called the Nike Fuel Band.  One of my sons received it as a give-away at a company sponsored event.  He was nice enough to pass it along to me in hopes that it would help keep me motivated to be as active as possible during the day. Sitting in an office all day talking to people who are being "moved" hardly burns an adequate amount of calories!

On the outside, the Nike Fuel Band looks like a simple black bracelet; but on the inside is where the magic resides.  As you press a button on the top of the band, it reveals different readings. One is for the current time, just like a watch. As you keep pressing the button, other displays show up for calories burned and steps taken like a pedometer.

Most importantly, something called a digital fuel count is revealed.  The user sets his or her own fuel goal and tries to gradually increase that goal as results are achieved.  The best feature to me is that it resets itself automatically each day so that you don't have to worry about remembering to do that.  There is also a Nike Fuel App for your phone so that you can sync it at the end of each day and see your activity results over the past days, weeks and months. Do you have any tools or new tech gadgets that help you achieve your desired goals or results?  Fall is a great time to begin our goal planning for 2013.
Want more info on this activity monitor?
Go to www.nike.com/FUELBAND.

One of the nicest spots that I have found for all us to "get moving" is the Triad Park in Colfax/Kernersville at 9652 E. Mountain Street.

The 426 acre park is maintained by a great crew who are friendly and helpful. There are many picnic shelters with grills, lots of places for kids to play and endless quiet spots if you just want to enjoy the beautiful trees or read a book. Ride a bike?  There are lots of good hills and trails for you too.

 If you have not visited Triad Park yet, plan a few hours soon and enjoy what it has to offer. The colors will be spectacular as the trees begin to change for fall.  And some exciting news for all Triad residents; it will soon be the home of the Carolina Field of Honor.  I will give  you the details about that in my next blog and how you can get involved in honoring your special military veteran.

Back at work, we will also be getting our minds "fit" with training this fall for relocation agents.  Our CBTR Relocation Essentials class will be held on October 3rd at the High Point office from 9-12.  This is for new agents and seasoned agents who want to learn more about relocation business.  I will be receiving our new Cartus Certified Agent training modules shortly for  2013-2014 and all relocation team agents will need to be re-certified by the end of this year.  When this is completed, it will be time to relax and enjoy the holidays.  And, if you really want to challenge yourself to get moving in 2013, you could ask Santa for a Nike Fuel Band! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Is the Housing Market Improving?

Contact Sandra Fincher
I’m Sandra Fincher, a Sales Associate with Coldwell Banker Triad, Realtors.  For the past 7 years I’ve worked primarily in the Coldwell Banker Greensboro office, but also spend a fair amount of time in the High Point and Kernersville branch offices.  For me, Real Estate is a second career.  I graduated from NC State with a degree in Chemical Engineering and worked for Procter and Gamble in a wide range of Technical and Management assignments for more than 25 years.  About 8 years ago I made a “failed attempt” at retirement and soon discovered my new passion…helping folks with the home buying and selling process. 

I find a lot of skills from my first career have served me well in Real Estate, including problem solving, managing details, creating systems, use of technology, negotiating, etc.  And I suppose the “math loving geek” in me results in my interest in analyzing Real Estate trends.  I develop graphs by using MLS searches and entering the data into a custom excel spreadsheet.  When used in a Listing presentation I find this trend data can help sellers in setting realistic list prices and realistic expectations regarding time on market.  It can also help buyers understand that the value “lost” on their current home may be recovered on the buying side.
Included are a couple of charts looking at trends in the Guilford County Single Family homes market.  This data varies quite a bit across the Triad but serves as a sample of the information available. 

Click the image for larger view

My key observations from these graphs include:

-          We have turned the corner on average sale price  J

-          Time on market is declining but is still almost 4 months on average

-          Average sales price YTD is about 87% of the price at the peak of the market

-          Buyers are negotiating big discounts from list price (95% of list price on average)
I’d like to hear from some of you.  First, how have you found skills from past careers or work experience have helped you in Real Estate?  Second, what type of data would you like to see in my next post?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Using Gmail Filters to Categorize Emails

Filters are an amazing way to take control of your incoming mails in Gmail. With filters, you can sort mail into different folders as and when they arrive. This sorting is done automatically, and creating a filter is just a one-time process.

Before we go ahead with the sorting, it is extremely important to formulate a strategy for dividing mails into categories.

Let us consider a scenario: I am an active social media user and blogger – I read newsletters, and I am subscribed to deals for my city. Therefore, my probable labels are Social Media, Blog comments, Newsletters and Deals.

Now that you have decided on your label names, it is time to create them.

I am using the new look on Gmail, which has the feature of creating filters without going to the settings page at all.

Step 1: Select some of the mails you want to filter into one label and select “Filter messages like these” from the drop-down menu.