i turn REALTY into REALiTY


Thumbs Up

It’s always a good feeling when a client that I’ve helped has something nice to say about my services.  In the old days, my broker might get a nice letter in the mail from a client letting him know I didn’t screw anything up, and that I should be able to keep my job for at least another day.  Nowadays, the web makes it easier to share those thoughts with the world, both good AND bad.  Fortunately, I haven’t had any bad reviews (knock on wood).

Check out the latest review [Here] I received from a satisfied client on YELP.com!

I also happened to receive an award from Seattle Magazine for my work in 2011.

A big THANK YOU to all who I’ve helped this past year.  If I can help you with a purchase or sale in 2012, give me a call.  Let’s make this a great 2012!

When REALiTY BiTES, bite back!

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Update: Left Hand Meet Right Hand

May I Introduce You To A Bank With Two Left Hands?

This is an update to my previous post about the infamous AofB transaction that I’m currently working on.

9/23/2011 – Bank finally sends FHA appraiser out to the property.
9/24/2011 – Appraiser contacts me asking for the Purchase & Sale Contract because the bank mistakenly sent him the wrong contract (someone else’s deal?)
9/26/2011 – FHA Appraisal is received by AofB who then tells our mutual client that the appraisal came in $12,000 lower than the purchase price.

Hmm… The last appraisal (from the now failed conventional financing debacle a few weeks ago) came in at value.  Has the market dropped that much in 2 weeks?

What’s even more frustrating is that the bank doesn’t seem to care, because hey, that’s just how the market is, right? Read the rest of this entry »


Left Hand, Meet Right Hand

HandsFrustration Is The Mother Of All Ideas

At least that’s where I get many of my topics…  Today’s blog post  is about a bank which we’ll call AofB for short (the names have been changed), an entity that I’m currently battling on behalf of a buyer client who unfortunately, chose them as his loan source.  Let me start at the beginning of this ordeal and walk you through the scenario.

It all began one summer day when a prior client (I say prior in that I helped him purchase and subsequently sell a condo in Seattle many years ago before he relocated out of state) called and asked for my assistance in another home purchase, as he’s relocating back to WA.  The search lasted all of one afternoon by which time he had selected his future home (after viewing 6 other properties). He felt bad that it took him so long to make a decision (this same client looked at 2 homes last time before making his decision).  I love clients like him! Read the rest of this entry »


Is it important that my Realitor can spell?

In this age of easy access to computers and spell check programs, why is it that grammar and spelling have declined? Are we just too busy to take the time to proofread? Or, are we just too lazy?

Bad Grammar = No Business Or Does It?

Many of my co-workers and friends think I’m a bit crazy when I post photos on Facebook of typos that I come across in my daily life. I get a kick out of them.

But the bigger question to ask yourself is “does it change your perception of the company or individual in a negative way”?

Put another way, would you continue to do business with an individual or company if their correspondence was riddled with bad grammar or typos?

For me, it would depend. Read the rest of this entry »


And now for something completely different…

I was surfing the internet the other day and came across an article about Coinstar that intrigued me. I knew about Coinstar from its inception many years ago, because it was started by Jens Molbak (of Molbaks Nursery in Woodinville). I had never utilized a Coinstar machine to count my coins because I’m inherently cheap and didn’t want to pay their 9.8% processing fee. Instead, I followed the Chinese tradition and used cheap (free) child labor. I would have my kids roll all of my coins up in wrappers and then I’d take it to the bank.

Now that my kids are older and no longer under my control, my loose change has just been gathering dust in my office.  What I discovered on the Coinstar site was the free (no fee) offer to exchange my loose change for Starbucks credit. Since I have a Gold Starbucks card that requires constant feeding ($$), this was the tipping point that I needed.

Today, I filled up a small baggie full of coins and took a trip to the local Coinstar machine. I added nearly $20 to my card! For those of you who don’t drink Starbucks, you can also exchange your coins for Amazon.com credit, and other merchants. Check it out here…Do you know what else I learned? Redbox video rentals is 100% owned by Coinstar! Very cool!!!

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Great customer service!

If you’ve read some of my earlier posts, I’ve ranted about some of the businesses that provided terrible customer service. This one however, is just the opposite. In a previous post, I described a home remodel that I had recently completed. In my remodel, I had purchased several appliances from my local appliance retailer, Frederick’s in Redmond WA. Eric Blakemore is the owner and he has been an acquaintance of mine for many years. I have purchased nearly all of my appliances for my personal residences and rentals from him (there were times he recommended that I go to Sears, because he couldn’t provide me with as good a deal).

Anyway, I purchased a Fisher Paykel Dishdrawer (3rd one, not because they fail, but because I keep moving!) and it stopped working yesterday. I called for repairs and the authorized service center told me it would be 10 days before they could come out to look at it. So, I called Eric. He knew exactly what the problem was (user error). And, he walked me through the very easy solution to resolve the problem. This isn’t the first time he’s solved a problem for me. Maybe that’s why I recommend him to all of my clients! If you live in the greater Seattle area and need appliances, stop by and see him.


Good Customer Service

Isn’t it sad that these days, bad customer service is more common that good customer service? In our society we’ve lowered our standards, and what should be considered average service now stands out amidst our daily experiences.

There are some exceptions to this and I’d like to sing the praises of a recent experience of mine. This past December, I was shopping for a new video camera for work (see my first video in a previous blog entry below). I searched online and in the local retail stores for the best camera at the best price (isn’t that what we all do?). To make a long story short, I ended up purchasing the new Sony SR1 digital video camera at Video Only in Bellevue. Their prices were comparable to other stores, but it was my experience with Russell Fuller the Sales Manager, through his exemplary service and can-do attitude that won my business. Interestingly enough, the camera was back-ordered for over a week at this store during the huge windstorm in early December. I could have purchased the camera elsewhere and gotten it sooner, but my experience with Russell, and his honesty and helpfulness made me determined to give him the sale. In this day and age where people are always shopping around to get the best deal or the lowest price, whether for a retail product or real estate services, I’d rather pay a bit more for the service. How about you?