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Archive for February, 2010

What makes our phone forwarding system different?

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Many different companies offer a variation of our phone fwding service. However, what sets our system apart from the rest is that it actually fwds the caller to the sellers’ phone directly, just like an operator would do. Our system literally connects buyer and seller together on the same line. Other competing systems simply play back the seller’s phone # to the caller, they do not connect the caller to the seller automatically. The problem with this is that not everyone will be in a position to write down the # or even willing to do so and take the extra step.

Our phone fwding system is set up so that sellers can be assured all leads from Realtor.com are coming straight to their phone in the easiest most convenient way possible.

Olympic-sized Foreclosure

Donald L. Plunkett, Jr. Donald L. Plunkett, Jr.
Friday, February 19th, 2010

We’ve handled a lot of short sales and foreclosures.  Nothing close to this size, however.  Lenders put way too much debt ($1.7 billion) on Intrawest’s high-end resort properties at places like Whistler in British Columbia and Steamboat in Colorado as the market peaked.  (Intrawest is owned by hedge fund Fortress)  They counted on expensive condo sales to help pay down the debt.  It turns out people cut back on second home purchases when the economy goes into a major recession.

Needless to say, the owners are way, way under water.  They are trying to negotiate to hold on, since they basically have no equity left in the deal and holding on is like a free option for them if the market does come back.  My guess is that this one is going back to the lender.


Sentrilock versus Supra Electronic Lockboxes

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

We refer to lockboxes that track showing activity as electronic lockboxes and boxes that do not track data as mechanical lockboxes. Electronic boxes are purchased by Realtors(R) through their local Association of Realtors(R). They are not available through any other vendor outside of the local Association.  Why is this? Each association contracts with a supplier and then sells these boxes right back to their own members. This is an enormous source of revenue for the Associations.  The association does not have to worry about competition, thus, they can sell these boxes to their members at extremely high margins. Mechanical boxes on the other hand can be purchased anywhere by anybody. I should point out that certain MLS’s have banned the use of mechanical boxes all together. (Sacramento for example)

Suppliers of E boxes – Basically, there are 2 different suppliers that local Associations can purchase boxes from – Sentrilock and Supra. The thing to remember is that a particular association can only be set up on one system, thus, the association must make a choice. They either want all Sentrilock boxes or all Supra Boxes. They can’t have both. Examples – Phoenix, Las Vegas, Austin, DFW, etc.. are all set up on the Supra System. San Diego, Lake Havasu, Grand Rapids, etc.. are all on Sentrilock.

Pros – Cons

Supra – Extremely easy to use for the Realtor, supra website is set up so that the Realtor(R) can pull showing activity easily for each box, lighter weight. Cons – key jams are not uncommon, shackles break, you must update your D or Active Key constantly to be able to use the box.

Sentrilock – Key Tray and Shackle are much more dependable, a simple light weight card is used to access each box, multiple functions can be performed while at the lockbox. Cons – heavy and extremely odd looking device, extremely confusing and difficult to operate for new Realtors(R)

Overall – Both boxes are functional and serve a valuable purpose. I’d like to see Realtors(R) be able to purchase boxes straight from the source instead of getting gouged by the local associations.