Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New home!

I've moved! A new home is so exciting...please visit me at my new home:
Same blog, new name!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Internet, email and cell phones...oh my!

I realize I’m getting older and not just because the other day I gave a young teenage driver the evil eye for driving too fast down the street in front of my house. I realize I’m getting older because I’m starting to say things like “do you know what life was like before cell phones and Internet?” I honestly think about that almost every day, especially with my job as a real estate agent. Yesterday when I was looking through my files I found the purchase and sale agreement (aka “the offer”) for the first house Jeff and I bought. It was handwritten and it was a carbon copy. I was stunned! How on earth would I survive in my job today without technology? First of all, with my poor handwriting someone could think they are buying a home for $275,000 in Bothell but due to my illegible handwriting, the bank might read it as $575,000 in Bellevue. Secondly, how did buyers find houses that were for sale? According to the Association of Realtors, 90% of buyers start their search online. Where did they find these homes back in the good old days?
Well the good news for all of us is that we have the Internet, email and cell phones. Sellers: rest assured that when your home goes on the market, it gets put on every agency website and real estate-related website that exists. Buyers: rest assured that you can probably go to any of the above-mentioned websites and find a plethora of homes for sale. And agents: rest assured you will never have to put forth any energy into handwriting anything except your signature or have to know who the pink, yellow and white copies go to.
Now, what does this mean for me? Is it really all this simple? No, of course it isn’t. Another fun fact: it can take 6-18 months to convert to a transaction. That means I have to do my best to keep in communication with you, negotiate for you, and make sure you’ve seen every house you want to see within those 6-18 months. Does it just end there? Nope. I know you are also looking to me for knowledge: “Is this a good investment? What am I not seeing here? Are the schools in this area going to be good for my kids? Can you give me the name of a good lender?” And guess what, I can answer those! If you’re a seller, hopefully it doesn’t take that long but it still means I have to do my best to provide you with my knowledge about the market, have excellent marketing skills and negotiate to get you the best deal possible. And guess what, I can do that too!
Bottom line: technology is great but a good agent is even better!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hi, my name is Cara and I'm an iPhone-aholic....

There is absolutely no denying the fact that I have a very large obsession with my iPhone. Its quite true and quite obvious and I am the first to admit I have a problem. But here is what you don't know. 97% of the time I am checking my email to make sure I don't miss anything from any of my clients. Since I tend to work everywhere (home, car, McDonald's, Starbucks) I am often not sitting in front of a computer. I rely heavily on my smart phone (and yes, it is extremely smart) so that I can stay in touch. According to, the average agent response time is 57 hours. 57 hours?? I am appalled. You can ask any of my clients and they will tell you that my average response time is closer to 57 seconds! I realize that when you are buying or selling a home you go into "high maintenance mode" and when you need to get a hold of me, you need to get a hold of me NOW, not 57 hours from now. So rest assured I will be available when you need me. And yes, there are those times that I am on my phone and my hand might accidentally press the facebook icon and I might spend a few moments catching up on some status updates but like I said, that is usually only 3% of the time, give or take!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Every realtor is just a ninja in a blazer....

If you watch Modern Family then you probably heard Phil say this last night. If you don't watch it, get with the program...its a fantastic show! Anyway, this made me think about how I dress as a Realtor. I won't lie, I definitely struggle with dressing "professional." If I have on something other than jeans or workout clothes, you've caught me on a fancy day. Every morning I wake up and think "OK Cara, dress for success." Perhaps by dressing the part, I can BE the part. And when I run into someone at McDonald's while I'm "networking" with my friends, someone might actually throw some business my way! But don't get me wrong, even when I'm in my favorite Lulu Lemon workout pants and Western Washington University sweatshirt, chances are I am probably still hard at work!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Me? A blog? I know. For those of you who know me well you know I don't really like to spend too much time talking about myself. I'm more of a listener. But one day it hit me that maybe if I was a little better at talking about myself, I might have more success at what I do....real estate. This is a blog about my life as a real estate agent. I won't bore you to death with confusing charts, graphs or statistics but I will share helpful information, interesting facts and fun stories about my job. And maybe, just maybe, when you are looking to buy or sell or hear of someone looking to buy or sell, you will think of me.

So here I go. Let the blogging begin.