7 goals for the real estate community this year (as illustrated by Star Wars)

Here we go. It’s a brand new year. A blank slate. What will your life and business look like in 2016? I know we all have plans for the year ahead, so as January begins I wanted to pitch in some thoughts on potential goals for the real estate community. These are meant to be fun, helpful, and provocative, so take them for what they’re worth. I snapped some photos of Star Wars actions figures to help tell the story too. I’d love to hear your take in the comments below.

1)  Say Something Different About The Market:

strorm troopers - by sacramento appraisal blog

If you’re in the habit of saying the same thing about the market all year, consider studying the market carefully and adjusting what you say throughout the year. It’s easy for both agents and appraisers to fall into the trap of using the same stale phrases, but getting more specific about the way the market behaves tends to build credibility with clients.

2)  Make it About Connections on Social Media:

storm troopers on facebook - sacramento appraisal blog

Let’s be honest. One of the sins of the real estate community is too much self-promotion, and this comes across loudly on most social media platforms. It’s easy to treat Facebook, Twitter, and other spaces like the yellow pages where we simply broadcast our services. Yet social media is all about building connections and creating conversations. Think about how you can add value to people’s lives this year online while avoiding nauseating self-promotion. Maybe take a look at what you said last year too. Have people been engaging with what you are saying? If not, maybe it’s time to mix things up or get back to a focus on relationships.

3)  Speak Graciously About Neighborhoods:

sacramento appraisal blog - star wars blog post

This might feel a bit touchy to say, but I can’t tell you how many times I hear things like, “I would never live in this neighborhood,” or “I don’t know why anyone would ever buy here.” It’s easy in the real estate community to gloss over statements like this, but the truth is they come across a bit arrogant because they demean neighborhoods and residents. Why is that person buying there? Probably because that’s what the person can afford. Let’s respect that and find ways to speak graciously about places people call home (even if we really don’t like the area). I’m not saying to be fake, but only to find ways to speak more positively about communities instead of ragging on them. Remember, your next client might want to buy in one of these neighborhoods.

4)  Learn How to Make Quick Market Graphs:

Looking at market graphs strorm troopers - sacramento appraisal blog

If you don’t know how to make graphs, why not make that a goal this year? It sounds like a scary thing to learn, but it’s very doable (seriously), and frankly it’s a skill that can help propel your business and understanding of real estate to the next level. I have a brief tutorial here, but send me an email too for some other suggestions.

5)  Remember to Say “CO” instead of “CO2” Detector:

CO alarms in appraisal reports - star wars - sacramento appraisal blog

When it comes to talking about carbon monoxide detectors, this is an easy mistake to make, yet still very important to nail for the sake of sounding professional. Remember, “CO” stands for “Carbon Monoxide” (a dangerous gas), but “CO2” stands for “Carbon Dioxide” (what comes out of our mouths when we breathe). Here are 5 ways to remember the difference in case it’s relevant.

6)  Be Generous:

being generous in real estate - sacramento appraisal blog

A generous person is a rare find. Be known this year for altruism, compassion, and responding in care when people need something. Not only does it feel great to live a life focused on others, but it’s actually really good for business. People want to work with others who are great at what they do AND generous.

7)  Be Prepared for Real Estate “Bubble” Conversations:

the force - by sacramento appraisal blog

Values have risen dramatically in recent years, and many consumers are wondering about a real estate “bubble”. Whether we are in a bubble or not, it’s important for the real estate community to expect and navigate this conversation well. How will you answer your client’s questions this year when “bubbly” conversations arise? In case it’s helpful, here are some quick points to shine some perspective on the topic.

Interview with Channel 13: By the way, here is an interview I did with Channel 13 in Sacramento a few weeks ago. Check it out if you’d like below or HERE.

Happy New Year! May this be a wonderful and rich year of life and business.

Questions: Which one did you like best? What are a couple of your big or little goals this year? By the way, did you see the new Star Wars?

If you liked this post, subscribe by email (or RSS). Thanks for being here.

My last blog post of 2015

It’s been a wonderful year. Has it been for you too? I hope so. I wanted to thank you sincerely for taking time out of your day to read my blog. I hope it’s added some value to your life or business somehow, or maybe it’s helped you navigate the real estate road a bit better. Sometimes when I tell people how much I love blogging they think I have no life. But in truth this blog is about building relationships with readers (you), and that means the world to me. I appreciate the amazing people I’ve been able to meet over the past 7 years since this whole thing began. Thank you for hanging in there with me for another year.

Two Weeks: For the next two weeks I’ll be lying low with family, which means I’ll be taking the rest of the year off (I like the way that sounds). Honestly, this has been a very successful year in terms of business, personal goals, and relationships. Yet I find myself tired and emotionally done with 2015. Can you relate? I’m ready to close this chapter, get refreshed, and open a new chapter in 2016. So these next two weeks I’ll be enjoying walks on the beach, thinking about appraisals, building a few wood projects, catching the new Star Wars movie (no spoilers please), drinking as much coffee as possible, and savoring time with my lovely wife and sons. I’ll look forward to connecting with everyone again the first week of January.

Merry Christmas from Lundquist Appraisal Company

I took this photo at the Capitol building in Sacramento a couple of weeks ago. If you’re local, I highly recommend grabbing a hot drink and heading over to enjoy the tree while it is still there.

From my family to yours, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!!

Question: What are you going to be doing for these next two weeks? Any plans with family or friends?

If you liked this post, subscribe by email (or RSS). Thanks for being here.

The housing market is like a…

I’m a huge fan of housing market analogies. Of course we can keep it plain by sticking to the numbers, but there is so much more flavor when we use a fitting comparison. Not only can analogies capture people’s attention, but they can also help break down complex ideas to communicate to the masses. Moreover, sometimes a funny or relevant comparison can open up the door to further conversation about trends. Today let’s take a look at some housing market analogies that complete the sentence, “The housing market is like a ….” Thank you to everyone who contributed to this post.

housing market analogies by sacramento appraisal blog - donut image purchased from 123rf dot com

Do you have any other analogies to add? I’d love to hear your take.

The New York City market was like a donut in 2014, strong on top and bottom and weak in the middle (Jonathan Miller).

The Sacramento market is like a pizza. We are affordable, there is a piece for everyone, and even when we cool off a bit, we are still great (Barbara Lebrecht)

Matryoshka Doll
The market is like a matryoshka doll. Just as there are many little dolls within one large doll, there are many sub-markets within the larger market (Ryan Lundquist).

A market within a market - purchased and used with permission by sacramento appraisal blog

The market is like an iPhone. Everybody has used it, some people use it too much, but few really know how it works (Gary Kristensen).

Real estate is like a cup of coffee – too hot you’re going to get burned; too cold you don’t want to drink it; but when it’s just right you’ll probably have another cup or two (Michele Skupic).

Ocean Waves
The market is like ocean waves. There are many things that create the waves and their size, and it’s always changing – just like the many things that make real estate values move (Craig Dunnigan)

Stock Market
The housing market is like the stock market in that a home is worth what the market says it’s worth at a point in time; if a seller isn’t happy with the current value, he can wait and hope it increases, but as with the stock market, the value could also decrease (Dean Rinker).

real estate bubble - Image purchased from 123rf dot com and used with permission - sacramento appraisal blogBubble
When real estate values are inflated, we like to say the market is like a “bubble” because we think at some point values will “pop” or correct. Interestingly enough, the National Association of Realtors used to describe the previous housing “bubble” as “a balloon with a slow leak” from 2003-2007 (thanks Jonathan Miller for that tidbit).

Roller Coaster
The market is like a roller coaster…and we are hanging on for the ride (Paula Swayne).

Teeter Totter
The market is like a playground teeter-totter, it likes to be in balance, but adults keep coming along and screwing things up (Gary Kristensen).

Parent who Threatens Consequences (and doesn’t give them)
The Fed’s talk of raising interest rates is like a parent who threatens consequences but doesn’t give them. We all know interest rates will eventually increase in the future, but we’ve been hearing about an impending increase for years now. All we know for sure is rates will definitely, probably, maybe increase soon (Ryan Lundquist).

The housing market is like a relationship, meaning it’s full of ups and downs. Any meaningful relationship has both good and bad days, right? That is very normal, and the same exact thing is true in real estate. However, one of the temptations in the real estate community is to talk like everything is always good as if values are always increasing (Ryan Lundquist).

Multi-Layered Real Estate Cake
Value in a real estate market is like a multi-layered cake since there are many “layers” in the market that help impact or create value. When one of the layers changes, it can change the rest of the market. See more here (this is my favorite analogy to use). Source: Unknown (though I first heard it from Dennis Lanni over a cup of coffee years ago).


I hope this was a fun read. Thank you again to everyone who contributed some thoughts. On a serious note, analogies can be an amazing way to describe the market, and I hope you feel encouraged to use them even more.

Questions: Do you have any analogies or metaphors to add? Which one(s) work best for you? I’d love to hear your take in the comments.

If you liked this post, subscribe by email (or RSS). Thanks for being here.

Honored with the Affiliate of the Year award

I’m excited to announce I was honored with the Affiliate of the Year award a few weeks ago from the Sacramento Association of Realtors. This award is given to one non-Realtor each year, and this year it was given to me. This was not expected, and I’m really blown away. I’m very proud to hang this plaque in my office, and I hope you can join me in the excitement. Thanks everyone.

An award from SAR - this is me with Chris Clark

An award from SAR - what an honor

If you liked this post, subscribe by email (or RSS). Thanks for being here.