CB Jeni Homes End Of Year Sale in Plano Texas

The Enclaves at Willow Crest by CB Jeni Homes is having a huge end-of-year sale.

The Enclaves at Willow Crest - Townhomes in Plano, TX

Copyright 2010 - Imaged2Sell

The Enclaves at Willow Crest is a luxurious two-story townhome community offering buyers a convenient West Plano location, award-winning architectural designs and an exciting, low-maintenance contemporary lifestyle. This amazing new home community boasts beautiful Old-World-Style designs that offer charm and elegance, that range from 1,633 to 2,300-plus square feet of living space.

Click here for current status, details and pricing.

Products and Services or Advice?

It is important to continually ask yourself (and be honest) the following question…

“How do your customers, your clients, and your prospects see you?”

Take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left side at the top, label the column, “Products and Services.” Label the right column, “Help and Advice.”

Products and Services

Help and Advice


Every time you are in contact with a customer or prospect, whether they call you or you have a face‑to‑face meeting, evaluate the overall purpose of the meeting.

Did your customer or prospect look to you for the products or services you provide? Or did they seek your help, advice or counsel to help them make a decision that would solve a particular need or challenge they were facing?

Once you’ve determined that, place a mark in the appropriate column. Then at the end of the month, evaluate the results of your list.

If you have more marks in the “Products and Services” column than in the “Help and Advice” column, you pretty well know what perception your customers have of you.

But equally important, you also know what you need to do to change that perception. You can then begin to develop and implement a plan of action that focuses on improving your image in the eyes of your customers. Then test yourself again several months later. By comparing your evaluation sheets over the period of a year or two, you can easily see the progress you’re making.

Improvement is not always difficult. Oftentimes a person may not know where they are weak or where they need to improve. But if you can isolate those areas that need improvement, you can then begin to take the necessary steps to effect positive change.

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR

Achieving Rock Star Status

Homes For Sale in Plano Texas

The Branch Team | Real Estate Broker 0547597 | RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs

Homes For Sale in Plano Texas

Copyright 2010 - Imaged2Sell

4 Bedrooms | 2 Baths | 2-Car Garage | 3104 SF/Building Plan

Plano TX Homes For Sale – Beautiful new construction in Frisco ISD. Gourmet kitchen has granite, under mount sink, breakfast bar, and stainless appliances. Picture frame molding in formal dining. Master retreat and guest room on first level. Designer touches include iron balusters, archways, bull nose corners, and upgraded fixtures. Game and media great for entertaining. Enjoy the community pool, park and playground. Easy access to Hwy 121 and the Tollway. Ready November.

Click here for current status, pricing, photos, and a virtual tour.

Source: NTREIS

Condos For Sale in Dallas Texas

The Branch Team | Real Estate Broker 0547597 | RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs

Dallas TX Condos For Sale

Copyright 2010 - Imaged2Sell

1 Bedrooms | 1 Baths | 1-Car Garage | 852 SF/Tax

Dallas TX Condos For Sale – Uptown living–easy walk to Katy Trail, dining and the nightlife of McKinney Ave, Victory Park, and downtown. Open plan offers wood floors, Berber carpet, ceramic tile, high ceilings, lots of windows, large master and walk-in closet. Amenities include lap pool, fitness center, underground parking, 24hr concierge, and guarded access. Recent HVAC and water heater. Fresh carpet and paint.

Click here for current status, pricing, photos, and a virtual tour.

Source: NTREIS

The New Swiss Army® Knife

Swiss Army Style Knife

Licensed from iStockPhoto


My partner wound up running late for a showing and I got “tagged” to fill in at the last minute.

I was nowhere near the office, so I used my smart phone to log into the MLS and get the details on the property I was going to show and to get the showing instructions. I made a quick call to the showing service and scheduled the showing.

My GPS was not in the car, so I used the GPS built into the phone to find the address and plot a route to the property.

I left my keycard in the office, but I was able to use the SUPRA application loaded on my iPhone to open the key box. I got the lights turned on and waited for the clients to arrive. While I waited, I knocked out a couple of emails, checked in on Activerain, and approved a new blog posting on my WordPress blog.

The clients finally arrived and we started going through the property. They lingered and talked about what they liked and did not like. At one point they want to know on which side of the house did the sun set. I opened the compass application and determined which way was west.

The power was off in the property but they want to look in the garage and climb into the attic. I opened the flashlight application that used the flash LED on the iPhone 4. It’s a remarkable little flashlight. I picked up a splinter on the way into the attic…ouch!

They had a couple of follow up questions, so I shot a quick text message off to the listing agent. He responded while we were still at the property.

We talked about financing and I input all the figures into my Mortgage Application to arrive as an estimated payment. It was within their budget so they decided to make an offer. We parted ways and I headed back to the office to put it together.

On the drive back to the office, I retrieved my 25 year old Swiss Army® knife and pulled out the tweezers to pull the splinter I picked up on the way into the attic. That old knife has been everywhere with me over the years including two combat tours in the Middle East. It’s a simple one with a knife, scissors, nail file, tweezers, and a tooth pick.

As I put the tweezers back into the knife I realized that in many ways, my iPhone 4 is the new Swiss Army® knife. It’s packed with so many useful tools. I can’t imagine being without it any more than I never leave home without that little, red pocket knife.

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR

Swiss Army® is a registered trademark of Victorinox Swiss Army Inc.

State Of The Housing Market

I was interviewed yesterday evening by Bob Morrison with the Broadcast News Service concerning the general state of the housing market.

Housing Crisis

Licensed from iStockPhoto

Today’s release of September New Homes Sales data is expected to show a modest increase.  With interest rates at all-time lows and prices being slashed, one would expect to see much more activity.

According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of REALTORS®, “A housing recovery is taking place but will be choppy at times depending on the duration and impact of a foreclosure moratorium.”

Based on what I see locally in the greater Dallas Real Estate market, I would agree that the next few years are going to be “choppy” but not simply because of the impact of the foreclosure moratorium.  I think there are some larger issues at work.

The two bigger issues are the general state of the economy and the tightened mortgage lending standards.

People are not rushing out to purchase big-ticket items because they’re not secure that they will have continued employment. The economy is still very weak and until we get Main Street back to work, I don’t see people purchasing homes on Main Street in large numbers.

I’m often asked, “How low do rates have to go to get people back in the market?” I think that’s the wrong question! Rates are at historic lows with rates on a 30-year fixed rates mortgage below 4 percent with some lenders.  Many people who can qualify have already refinanced their mortgage and plan to stay put for a while.  The lending industry did a “180” on underwriting standards and many people who are making their payments on-time simply cannot qualify to refinance or purchase a new home.

The other elephant in the room is the massive balloon of adjustable rate mortgages coming due in 2011.  As long as interest rates remain low, the impact in 2011 should be minimal. However, the bubble does not go away, it slides in 2012 and later years. Granted it gets smaller each year, but it will take five years or so to disappear.

Much of what happens in the next few years depends on getting Main Street back to work and for the lenders to let the mortgage underwriting pendulum swing back towrds center.

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR

California Real Estate Broker Sentenced to 68 Years

The Associated Press is reporting that Kathy Chen, a California real estate broker, was sentenced to 68 years. Ms Chen was convicted for using stolen identities to purchase 35 homes and then intentionally defaulting on the mortgages to steal $17.5m.

Prison Cell

Licensed from iStockPhoto

The 49-year old Chen was found guilty on 136 felony counts including conspiracy, grand theft, and forgery. Warrants have been issued for her boyfriend and brother who authorities believe have escaped to Mexico.

The crimes were committed between 2005 and 2007. I don’t think that 3 to 5 years of living the high-life is worth spending the rest of her life in prison.

Crime doesn’t pay.

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR