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Category Archives: self-help

Good News for People who Have Faced Foreclosure or are Looking for a Loan Modification

With all of the bad news associated with foreclosures and loan modifications, it’s nice to hear some good news. The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) received federal funds from the attorney general for settlements with several bank mortgage servicers.

Basically, if you went through a foreclosure with a participating bank in 2008-2011, you may be eligible for a cash payment.  If you are a current borrower serviced by one of these banks, you may be eligible for a loan modification or another refinancing option.

The five participating banks are:

  • GMAC/ALLY
  • Bank of America
  • Citigroup
  • Wells Fargo
  • JP Morgan Chase

For more information on this settlement and to see if you qualify, Please call:  1-866-946-7432 or go to http://www.michigan.gov/mshda/0,4641,7-141-45866_45868-285879–,00.html

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Posted by on February 27, 2013 in housing, real estate, self-help

 

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Getting Through the Lean Months

After having such a busy schedule these last few months, my schedule has slowed down considerably as the holidays are fast approaching.  Like every new realtor, there is a worry about getting through the lean months.

Lets face it, you can advertise and farm areas to death with no immediate results.  These methods are key in establishing yourself and making your name familiar with the masses.  This is not a fast way to sustain your income though.

I make it a priority to keep my name circulating through flyers, email, social media and volunteer work.  Even so, I still need a source of income.  I think that in the beginning, many people fall off the real estate wagon because they don’t have the funds or a backup plan to sustain them.

I am a writer.  I can pull in extra money from the articles I write.  This is an ideal job because I can juggle my real estate career and my writing career without a conflict in schedules (at least at this point in my career).  I do realize that down the road, this could become a bit more challenging as I get busier.  For now, I find this to be a good compromise.

My advice to anyone starting their career is that now that you have worked to hard get here, don’t let something like paying bills get in your way of success.  It’s inevitable that down the road you will see an increase in your income, but this is a career where making money is slow in gaining momentum.

Have a back-up plan.  Something that won’t affect your number one goal of being a realtor.  Whether it is a part-time job, or a small side business, you will need some sort of supplement.  Below I have listed a few ideas for ways of making some extra money.

1.  Teach classes at a local community center.  They can be classes on how to get your home ready to sell or how to rent out your home.  The class might be based on a hobby you have or a skill you possess.

2.  Become a freelance writer.

3.  Set up a social media campaign for clients.  (maybe for other realtors or small business owners).

4.  Sell items at craft shows if you are creative.  Slow months for realtors are busy months for craft shows.

5.  Babysitting is a big business.  Try care.com or sittercity.com.

6.  Running errands or pet sitting are always in demand.

7.  Lastly, think about the skills you possess.  Maybe you are a great organizer or know how to do bookkeeping.  Whatever it is, take advantage of it so that you have more money flowing through your household.

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2012 in advice, career, how to, self-help

 

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Failure is a Stepping-Stone Towards Success

I wrote this article for my other blog, Searching for the Happiness.  I am sharing it on this blog because the advice is really quite universal.  When you feel that you have pushed yourself as far as you can go, remember the advice below. 🙂

Have you ever had a moment where you feel like you are at a crossroad and somehow the right words fall into your lap?  I tend to be the type of person who works hard towards a goal, see progress, then see a lack of any more forward movement and take that opportunity to stop, regroup and reflect.  I have found that if I quiet my mind and pay attention to what is around me, the answers or at least the right motivational words tend to appear.

This last few months have been quite a whirlwind of activity.  My busy schedule has suddenly lifted and I am left with that feeling of what should I do next?  I have begun to cherish these moments since I have learned how to make the most of them.  Downtime is a time to refresh your mind and create some new ways to go after your goals.

I tend to take time to organize the house and organize my work files.  I will do some reading and research to center myself again towards what I want to achieve.  I find that if I can’t see clutter around me, and if my mind is clear and focused, I can get back on track and make some more progress towards what I am focused on.

I happened to read an article that talked about how to look at failure.  Personally, I found the idea of looking at failure as something not to dread, but instead to celebrate as fascinating.

Everyone has had goals they have faced where you worked hard, picked up steam and then just sort of hit a plateau.  You no longer saw any more movement towards your goal.  What you had been working so hard at became stagnant.  This is the moment where many people give up.  They don’t know what else they can do.  Since they seem to be suddenly at the peak of their abilities, they quit.  They are bored and no longer inspired to continue to work at something that seems to have gone as far as it could possibly go.  Sound familiar?

This is the moment that you should be feeling goosebumps of excitement not disappointment and failure.  When you reach that point where you feel like you have gone the distance, you are truly on the brink of a major event.  If you have patience and faith in yourself, the world will open up with some amazing possibilities.  You will eventually reach your goal if you just stick with it.

I have read so many stories of people on the brink of quitting and the amazing turnaround that happened to them.  They couldn’t see what was in store for them, but were so grateful that they stuck it out a bit longer.

The best story of this phenomenon that I read recently was of Gabby Douglas, the olympic gymnast.  She had been away from her family for a year training with a host family.  She was bored and homesick.  She called her mom asking to come home.  She figured she would get a job at the local fast food joint and train as a runner.  Her mom and the host family were able to convince her to stick with gymnastics.  They supported her and got her back on track.  She ended up with incredible success at the olympic games (to say the least).  Who would have guessed she almost blew such an incredible achievement?

So, here I am in the midst of pushing on towards my goals.  As I have taken a moment to reflect on where I have been and where I am heading, I keep finding these articles full of inspiring tales that have motivated me to stay focused and on track.  I hope that these tidbits of wisdom help you as well to accomplish all that you are aiming for in your own life.

*If you would like to read more posts full of inspiration, please follow the link below.

http://searchingforthehappiness.wordpress.com

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2012 in advice, career planning, self-help

 

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Now This is How to Network!

Yesterday was one of those days that I considered to be successful as far as networking goes.  I worked from home yesterday.  I didn’t have any appointments, so I used my day to tweak my social media sites, write a post on my blog and do some emailing with some October housing news.

I received an email from a client I had worked with for about a month.  This client was looking to rent a home and we saw each other almost daily.  In the end when a home was found and a lease was about to be signed, the client got cold feet and decided to look into renting an apartment instead.

Yes, it was a lot of work with no results.  From my point of view though, it was another person to get to know, helping me to get my name out there.  Well, my perspective turned out to be a good perspective.  The client and I had a good rapport and ended our working relationship on good terms.  The email I received thanked me and mentioned that she had had a great experience with me.  I was offered an opportunity to help a family with their relocation needs through a referral the client provided.  Not only was I flattered, but I was relieved to know that the client really did feel that we worked well together.  It wasn’t just my point of view.

I had another referral come in for an area of the state that I don’t work in.  I passed the referral onto another realtor who I know and who does a terrific job.  The realtor were thrilled and asked what area I worked in exclusively so that she could send some business my way.  Our areas don’t overlap, and she has been in the business for years.  This could be a great connection for my business.

Last night I went up to the local high school.  I am co-chair of a committee working on the senior all-night party. I met four new people who I would be working with exclusively.  Instead of writing my contact information on a piece of paper, I gave them my business card.

I think about what my career will look like in a year if I am able to connect that well on a daily basis.  Flyers, emails and phone calls are one thing.  Personally I feel the best way to expand your business is to get personal.  There’s nothing like connecting with people in person or reaching out to those you know on an acquaintance level and get to know them better.  Most importantly to me though, I want to build my relationships in an honest and authentic way.

When I contacted the realtor with the referral, it wasn’t to see what she could do for me.  I knew I couldn’t help this customer, but I still wanted them to have a good experience.  I also wanted to give someone else I knew and admired an opportunity to get more business.  If I couldn’t help, why not pass it to someone else who would be fantastic with this customer.

When I went to the meeting, I had no plan to hand out business cards.  If I had gone around just passing them out, I would have looked ridiculous and shallow anyway.  I had an opportunity to share contact information and handing out my card was just the most efficient and quickest way to pass on the information.  Being able to advertise my services was just a bonus.

So looking down the road, I am getting a better idea of how I want my business to flow.  For me and my style of handling my business, it means getting out into the community and participating.  It’s what feels best to me.  I feel lucky to have a job where promoting myself means to go out and have some fun while doing some good work for others.  It’s a feeling of satisfaction in a way I have never felt with the past jobs I have had over the years.

 

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