Monday, August 21, 2017

McCall's Real Estate - August Newsletter - 2017

I'm on the verge of a couple of slow days. I don't know if business will be slow or not, but I'm going to be slow. The new computer has arrived. I'll be setting it up and moving files. For me this is like moving an entire office across town, but my good old Windows 7 computer, with the dual monitors, is so slow, I can't continue to work with it efficiently. Sniff. 2 GB is so insufficient for today's programs and downloads, I can't even do a CMA with my new subscription at Cloud CMA.

My phone just pushed 5 messages. George B. is coming down from Hendersonville to show homes next Saturday and I've just gotten notifications, that means five of our homeowners are likewise getting messages from Showing Time, showing service, that someone wants to see their home. This is via the NC Mountains MLS and it makes me glad I joined. An answering service is so important. I don't know how I worked without it.

This month, I worked with  agents from all over Western Carolina.  I closed three properties, one was with an agent from Weaverville bringing a buyer, one was my buyer from Zillow, and one was from our sphere of influence - someone I knew who knew someone - who we all knew on Facebook. I have one scheduled to close this week with a Rutherford County agent. We can't put all of our eggs in one basket when it comes to technology. We have to cast the bread on the waters and work with everyone.

Casting bread, reminds me, the new signs with the QR codes are in. You might remember I used to work with The Real Estate Book in real estate marketing. I worked for/with Steve Crowley an engineer and graphic artist who owned the local franchise. He rearranged the sign and added the QR code for me and I'm going to plug his new business, Mountain Home Solutions. The new signs look fairly like our old signs, but we have added a special scratch resistant coating with some UV protection on PVC instead of metal. They cost more, but should last longer. I'm using them in the three panel frames that were a gift from a dear friend, thank you Carla Harmon, who has moved and is no longer practicing real estate. A QR Code is another bread crumb. Someone can stop in front of the sign and connect with our local website at McCall' immediately.

Cell service is improving. Three cheers. Carolina West is open for enrollment again. When they opened enrollment on August 4th, I went out and bought a cheap flip phone, with 100 minutes for emergencies so I could use it in Golden Valley Estates. It works well in the valley, but in Yellowtop, not so much. However, Carolina West has an agreement to use Verizon towers which works in many parts of Yellowtop. Verizon does not use Carolina West's towers so your Verizon phone still won't work. We've been testing. FYI - Carolina West and Sprint appear to be reciprocal. We were able to get signal on the Carolina West towers with my husband's Sprint, work phone and friends from Florida who have a Sprint phone have a good signal at their house. I have been unable to test for internet speed, as I don't have a signal strength indicator on the CW flip phone. We anticipate getting new smart phones this week and we expect that we'll have great service, including an internet data package. I have the community tester, an internet router to test internet speed, and the We Boost cellular signal booster from We Boost, formerly Wilson Electronics. If you have enough signal you can boost it.

The Golden Valley website was hit by malicious Russian Hackers! Malware! Our web designer Judy Kemler had to restore it from a backed up version. How disappointing! They found an opening and plugged in some Malware and some 900 attempts to sell Viagra and stuff. I received a phone call from Go Daddy offering to fix it for something like $283.76. I was a little incensed. If they know there's a problem, why aren't they protecting their site? They are my host. Anyway, Judy fixed it and we're back up. I'm still working on it, a little along, very slowly. It's difficult because I'm trying to load articles in Scrivener and then into the Wordpress based site so when I get it all together I can publish it as a book. The Incomplete History of Golden Valley. The collection exists. I might have to retire before I can finish it.

McCall's Real Estate hasn't been bothered by hackers, but I'm hosting with iHouse, a company that builds templated real estate sites and hosts them. If you're interested you can find every cabin and log home in Rutherford County's MLS scrolling across the bottom of our home page. If you want to drill down to your neighborhood you can go to the bottom of the page, select Subdivision Search, then select your subdivision and you'll have all of the listings in your neighborhood, right there. I maintain this for buyers who are interested in a particular neighborhood and it's handy for sellers to see what's for sale, too. You may know of a house that's for sale that's not showing. That means the house is not listed in the Rutherford County MLS. Why wouldn't you list in Rutherford County? Just my thought, but the sellers probably don't know their agent is not a member of the local MLS. It's a lot less expensive to belong to one MLS. The NC Mountains MLS is larger, and you can cut out the local MLS which is small. (But the agents live here and work here). I'm currently a dual board member, I belong to both MLSs. That's why sometimes you see the same listing more than once in Zillow and Trulia have a pretty good de-duping system and don't often have duplicates since they sort by address, but pulls whatever is in the data feed.

Business has continued to be good, prices have not risen although inventory is shrinking and that generally precipitates an increase. Homes under two with a view don't last long. Lot sales continue to be a challenge and selling prices are low, low, low. I'm setting up a new CMA (Cost Market Analysis) system which should make it possible for us to do CMAs fast and efficiently with all of the bells and whistles. That's one of the reasons I'm upgrading equipment. My little machine won't run the program.

Today's the day for the Great American Eclipse. It's 1:43, overcast and starting to get a little dark here. We're in line for 99%. I'm going to set up my computer, today, but when it gets dark out, I'm going to take a break.

Hope all is well with you and yours. All is well.

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