Wisestamp for your business. Seriously.

Have you been looking for an easy, diverse and customizable auto signature for your Gmail, Yahoo, AOL or Hotmail web mail?  Maybe one you could display your social media profiles, RSS feeds, fan pages and blog posts in.  Are you a Firefox, Chrome, Flock or Thunderbird user?

If so, I have been using a great add-on/extension you should be using, Wisestamp.  I have been using Wisestamp for some time with Gmail in Firefox 3.6 and in Thunderbird 3 and I love it.  It gives me the ability to create multiple signatures, add any of my social media profiles in the form of an icon and display any RSS feed I choose.  It will then auto insert itself into the aforementioned web mail services. This is what my “Business” signature looks like:

Signature Capture

So, for instance, if I was a Realtor® that wanted to advertise my services, community information, upcoming events, point customers to my Facbook fan page etc. in every email I sent out, this would be the tool to use.  It is customizable and best of all, FREE!

Check this page out for some awesome examples.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Scottsdale Realtors® Displaced Pet Rescue

We have all seen or read the stories in the news about pets being abandoned or left behind due to relocation of the family, Shilohfinancial hardship, etc.  As a result the Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS® has partnered with the Scottsdale REALTORS® Pet Rescue Team to assist in these types of situations. The Pet Rescue Team assists with temporary placement, fostering, adoption and long term placement of the pets.

So, if you know of anyone in the Scottsdale area that would either like to adopt a pet or help with the rescue effort please have them contact the Pet Rescue Team here or call SAAR at 480-945-2651.

REALTOR® or Real Estate Agent…there is a difference

A couple of days ago I had a great conversation via Twitter with Lori Bee of Bee Realty in Charlotte, NC. We were discussing the fact that most people don’t know that there is a difference between a REALTOR® and a Real Estate Licensee/Agent.  Hence, this post.

A quick note: this is the process that we have in the state of Arizona it may be different in other states.

Both, REALTORS® and Real Estate Licensees/Agents must take a 90 hour real estate course, pass two school tests and two Department of Real Estate tests and pass a fingerprint background check.  Both must also abide by the Arizona Department of Real Estate’s Rules and Regulations, Commissioners Rules and Standards and the Arizona State Constitution.

However, that is where the similarities end, REALTORS® must then attend an Ethics Course every 4 years, adhere to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics and be members of a local association, a state association and a national association that polices their ethical behavior.

By the way, the National Association of REALTORS® is the largest trade organization in the United States.

So, what does all this mean?

It means that there IS a difference between a REALTOR® and a Real Estate Agent and after reading that, who wouldn’t want to hire a REALTOR®?

How much do you know about the $8,000 First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit?

As you all may or may not know there is a new $8,000 tax credit being offered to first time home buyers that is truly a tax credit as opposed to the previous version of the tax credit which actually had to be repaid.

However, there are restrictions on this tax credit as well. For instance, did you know that if you don’t own the home as your primary residence for at least 3 years you will have to repay the $8000 tax credit?  I didn’t think so.

As a way to test your knowledge about the tax credit and a way to learn something new, NAR has set up a short 12 question quiz for anyone to take.  You can take it here.

I scored 11 out of 12, how did you do?

First time homebuyers…come on down!

According to a recent survey done by the National Association of REALTORS® the percentage of first time home buyers rose in 2008 to 41%, up from 39% in 2007 and 36% in 2006.

The median age of the first time home buyer went down from 31 in 2007 to 30 in 2008.  With the median down payment up to 4% in 2008 from 2% in 2007.  The average price of the home purchased was $165,000.

In fact, this survey has gotten some national attention, imagine that, from the Wall Street Journal.  Which states that

“The housing bust is creating a new group of winners: first-time home buyers. People who sat on the sidelines — often watching wistfully as their friends became homeowners — are suddenly in a position to grab some great deals.”

What does all of this mean?

It means that with a large inventory of homes under $165,000 in the Phoenix area, and approx. 33% of the in city population, according to Wikipedia, is between the age of 25-44, the largest demographic.  There is great opportunity for first time home Buyers to become first time home Owners.

Mini Sales Boom in Phoenix – Can you feel it?

I know this will be hard for some to believe but there is evidence that Phoenix is experiencing a mini sales boom. In January 2008 there were 2,912 homes sold and last month, December 2008, there were 5,514 homes sold, that means a 90% increase in homes sold in 2008.  FYI, last month wasn’t the highest month either, just check out his chart.

monthly_homes_sold_20082

Even in this economy and all the gloom and doom coming from the media the Phoenix area is not the only city experiencing this boom.  In fact, according to this article from REALTOR®.org there are at least 9 others, here, read the article for yourself, its short. You can find it here.

Max Pigman, Vice President of REALTOR®.com said, “There is more opportunity in this market than there has been in the last 30 years, for buyers and sellers.”

I agree and I think a 90% increase in one year proves that quite a few other people believe it too.