Monday, January 30, 2012

Racquet, Balls, iPod, Wall. #Drenched!

Cinder-Block Wall Will Wear You Out @May's Park
This weekend we witnessed perhaps one of the greatest tennis matches of all time. Maybe not the best, but it was up there to be sure. After all, it's the first time I can remember going to bed watching a match, only to wake up watching the same contest. The match between JokerNole and Rafael Nadal was just under six hours of crazy speed and power. No matter who won, the event had everyone who knows competition shaking their heads.

It also solidified the fact that seemingly everyone has their own "nemesis." Djokovic is clearly Nadal's nemesis, as Nadal is Federer's. Bringing this notion down a few million levels, the tall green fella in the pic above is clearly mine.

There aren't too many tennis backboards in Columbia, SC. There's one at Heathwood Park, and an uneven/warped wooden one at Trenholm Park. They're all green, and all three whip me good and teach me patience.

Gold's Gym has tons of equipment, and Shandon may be the best place to run in The Midlands, but the most brutal yet fun workout for me is to go toe-to-toe with one of these walls. Most people don't think of this, but to swing at and chase a tennis ball for an hour with an iPod strapped on is as good a workout as you can find.

The iPod is key, as it's easy to get lost in the time, and before you know it, you're drenched, and your arm is about to fall off.

The only flaw in using tennis as your core sweat box is that it takes at least two to make it happen. These walls provide an exception, and when you finally realize it, it makes for a better workout than 90% of the matches most players play.

Hopefully we'll see more walls kick up around town. Who knows, maybe one day businesses will be able to sponsor tennis backboards. After all, they may be perfect little billboards waiting to happen. (Eureka!!!... I just stumbled onto another project/blog post!)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Time To Unhook Twitterfeed/Facebook.

Last year, I posted about a quandary that many active social media users endure; Should I set up my Tweets to automatically link to my Facebook feed? As you can see from the post , I decided to swim against their advice, and "hook" Twitter and Facebook together. Fast forward to 2012, and I'm going to separate the two, at least for a while.

There are a few reasons why I've decided to switch it up.
1) Many more of my friends are now on Twitter than a year ago. That said, while I know all of my Facebook friends, I still only know a fraction of my Twitter followers. What I'm getting at is, my comments are simply going to have a different "take" on the different platforms. I just don't feel comfy Re-Tweeting some Tweets to my friends on Facebook. In short, because of the unfamiliarity of each person's Twitter followers, the Tweets are much more raw than I care to share with my friends on Facebook.

2) Twitter has become mainstream, and in many ways, a more fun place to tap and scroll than Facebook. The Twitter feed has become a more entertaining version of what the Facebook NewsFeed used to be. Too entertaining, perhaps, to gel together.

3) Twitter has become too fast for Facebook to handle. For example, Tweeps all knew Michael Jackson died before Facebook knew Farrah Fawcett passed away (and 12 full hours before my grandaddy knew of either, btw... #NewspaperInHisFrontYardTheNextMorning). Just the other day, Tweeps knew Joe Paterno died before Peter could get to the Pearly Gate. Some of you may wonder why anyone would care about that. Perhaps you wouldn't, but it's a good snapshot of how Twitter works. @LizGReardon hit the nail on the head when she Tweeted something to the effect of, "Being on Twitter is like seeing the future!" Oddly true! All Tweeps knew Osama bin Laden had been killed 20 minutes before everyone else saw the news on TV.

4 ) Play by play sports and political action. EVERY play and EVERY comment of any game/debate is Tweeted and either heralded or blasted by a person's thought. No one would clog their Facebook NewsFeed with this sort of quick, funny, and raw banter. It's FUN, but it's A LOT of banter!

5) When my Facebook friends see that little blue bird icon at the end of a comment that reads something like, "RT @5DayBander rings #POTUS @SOTU @FamouslyHot big time. #scgop #sctweets #teacyber." As you can see, I'm sure not ONE of my family members (other than Jennifer) can read what I just "Re-Tweeted," or have any interest, for that matter. #WhiteNoise #DeafEars

6) There's an app that allows Tweeps to simply type "#fb", that will place selected Tweets to land on Facebook. This way, I/Tweeps can pick and choose with a little more dicipline.

This all said, I'm unhooking Twitter from Facebook this week. Will it affect friends/clients in any way? In no way, whatsoever. It's just a fleeting thought, and a good way for the blog to flow into the weekend.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

2012 Shapin' Up To Be An Intense Year!

Thankfully, Amanda and I seem to be carrying over the crazy hustle of 2011, into what's shaping up to be an intense 2012. Earlier tonight, we put the home on 6001 Indian Mound (behind "VA") under contract." With that, we'll have 18 "sides" tagged as pending sales, at a myriad of price levels.

Hopefully we'll keep this pace up until something pops (closes). Buyers and Sellers are anxious to start new chapters in their lives, and we sure try our best to help get them there. The brakes should tap soon on the number, however, as 2501 Craig Rd. in Forest Acres/Druid Hills is scheduled to close on Monday.

To be clear, all our listings don't presently enjoy contracts and have a nice red bow on top. Far from it, actually. All I'm saying is, we hustle and grind every day to procure offers the best we know how and our sales number reflects it.

As I walk by Coldwell Banker Midtown's "sales board" many times a day, as it's just outside our office, I'm privy to what fellow office mates are doing. Given we work at the most productive office in the Midlands, "the board" is a pretty good snapshot of what's going on in our marketplace. What I'm getting at is, there seems to be a good bit going on out there, which is awesome! #ActivityGeneratesActivity

To cap this post off, tonight around 11:00 I found a counter-offer in my inbox. I haven't put the magnifying glass to it yet, but the first glance is showing we're $2,500 apart on price, and $2,500 apart on closing cost assistance from the Seller. Looking at the full picture from a birds eye view, I bet Gold Nugget Point will be #19 by 2ish.

The trick now is to balance the work of "contract to close," while keeping the sales pressure to a maximum. This is where the intensity part begins to boil.

Our Buyers and Sellers do a great job of helping us get to the finish lines, and Amanda and Amy make all this work.

If you can't tell, I love the team thing....

Thank you for your business and referrals!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

MLS Top Producer 2011 - Thank You!!!!

Friends, Referrals, Hard Work, Hustle & Amanda!
Given that the end of January looms, if I'm going to do it, I need to go ahead and report that thanks to friends, referrals, hustle, and a great partner (Amanda Q. Payne)... this dink blogger once again finished a year as the Midland's Top Producing Realtor, per CMLS. I have to admit, it's humbling to receive congratulatory texts and emails from colleagues and friendly competitors from around our state and industry. Pretty motivating, too

Honestly, the feeling is a little different from last year. Last year was a gigantic personal feat. Really and truly, I never thought being in the position was an option. Like all professions, competing with 20, 30, and 40-year veterans features a certain degree of respect and admiration. Fast forward to today, and the label feels more like pressure than relief. Don't get me wrong, I'm flattered beyond words and humbled more than the keyboard in front of me can convey but it still brings some pressure (maybe that's an ulcer....I dunno). That said, I'm proud and feel compelled to keep raising the (our) bar.

This may seem a little odd, but since we're enjoying the same perspective as 2010, I'm going to take the easy way out and copy last year's thoughts (see below). After all, it's pretty much spot on as it pertains to 2011.

Thank you, friends! FJ

Of Almost 2,000 Members, Proud To Be On The List
As the first week of 2011 progresses, I'm humbled to receive congratulatory phone calls from fellow Realtors, lenders and closing attorneys. After a busy year of networking, marketing and pretty much hustling our tails off, I'm proud to announce that MLS has posted numbers that reflect that this dinky blogger is the top producing residential re-sale Realtor in the Midlands. Exhale...

When I entered this profession, I sent a postcard and an email stating something to the effect of, "As in most sales careers, success will largely depend on friends and referrals..." Fast forward five or six years, I've never written a truer statement.

While the year was lined up to be a big one from the beginning, the single greatest event of 2010 was Amanda Q. Payne joining Coldwell Banker United, Realtors in April. Amanda is a flat out producer, and made the office exponentially more fun. We're a great fit.

There are some big real estate teams in South Carolina, and the Midlands for that matter. Some big production teams are five and 10 people deep. That said, I'm probably most proud of the fact that the we, along with a new mom/work from home Team Manager (Amy Ackerman Cartin), have posted such numbers.

I've touted for a while now that we're the best real estate network in South Carolina. As we all read and constantly hear about the doom and gloom real estate market and world's financial climate, we grind every day to find a way to make things happen.

Now, as always, it's time to do what we do best. Network, Grind & Produce

Friday, January 20, 2012

Is Mitt Toooo Successful Even For GOP?

Tonight on Facebook, my lovely wife posted she's supporting former Governor Mitt Romney to be the Republican nominee for President of the United States. I understand why she's leaning Romney, and it's wasted air to argue just for argument's sake.

What does have me dazed and confused, however, are some of the comments and angles the candidates are taking, and perhaps moreover, what's firing up debate audiences and Republican Tweeps. I suppose I'll give examples in a short list form...

1) Apparently, Mitt Romney is too successful to be the nominee. Before folks can take their thoughts to step #2, they slay him on how much money he's made and how he made it. I just don't get this, especially coming from fired-up R's. I mean, WHO CARES?? As long as he did it legally, good for him. I actually applaud that a wildly successful person may be our leader. Am I missing something?

1a) Romney's tax returns. Last week, I thought it may be a good idea to release his tax returns. Sure, there's going to be a wild amount of "zeros" on there. Also, I'm sure to be envious. Obviously, there will be an offensively small tax rate applied, and/or offshore accounts present. Well, big deal. That's the way the system works at present. Fair? Probably not. Legal? Yes. Steve Jobs, Kobe Bryant, Bill Gates, and Jay-Z are probably in the same tax yacht, and none of them graduated from college. In short, we can get to that tax bracket too, and until someone changes the system, that's that.

Further, he's probably right when he tries to explain how Democrats will absolutely POUND on him if the numbers are published. D's would crucify him on the air, paving a way for the competition to victory. Who knows... but I get what he's saying.

2) Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has crowds hypnotized. Newt's calm demeanor but pitbull bite on the media is great TV, and pumps the Twitter-sphere. However, this does not make him a "conservative," or "Reagan." I gotta type that Ronald Reagan, if nothing else on this earth, loved his wife to the core of his spirit. Who knows if Newt wanted an "open marriage," but I'm pretty confident cheating and divorce weren't in Reagan's heart. Reagan was loyal to the core to his second wife, Nancy. Jane Wyman was his first wife. The difference between Reagan and Gingrich is that Reagan did not cheat. Jane Wyman even called Reagan a great and honorable man when he died. They supposedly divorced because the death of their infant daughter (she died the day after she was born) proved to be too much for them to handle. This aaaalll said, I understand Newt may not have met a soul mate, as Reagan may have... which may make this unfair. However, those are the punches, aren't they?

Here's a ridiculous, quick, parallel spin: "I'm the Joe Montana of this group. I have two feet, favor my right hand, and run around if I have to in order to get things done, and get paid only because I produce. I was even in the stadium with him a few times while he did great things. I'm Montana-like, because I'm claiming it." With that statement, I can hear my colleagues laughing. Difference is, I don't hear SC Republicans laughing. Conversely, they're gulping it up. Oh well, so goes the political game of defining one's self. Well done Newt, I suppose.

Congressional ethics reports and millions made via positions contrary to his Contract with America well-documented, I'm astounded my Republican friends allow him to keep claiming the "Reagan/conservative" label.

Don't get me wrong, I happen to think Newt has the ability to do colossal things. In the meantime however, one can't just claim Reagan's conservative Yin on one end, when he's really a Yang that Reagan would likely be ashamed of.

Before the political universe leaves the Palmetto State, I wish they'd expand further on the Keystone pipeline, oil shale, and our future with China.

I'm starting to think there are so many debates, and the candidates talk so much about their past while simultaneously stomping each other, that it's become boring. Given this pattern and platform, Newt may have discovered that blowing anything he can find out of the water works pretty well here. I would've assumed SC Republicans were more savvy than to reward this, but perhaps Newt is on to something.

We'll see on Saturday!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

GOP Pounded It Out @Myrtle Beach, SC

Last night many of us watched a fiery and entertaining SCGOP debate held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Many of the TV talking heads labeled last night's affair the best yet. Of the debates I've seen, I agree completely. The candidates went at it, and the moderators let them. The crowd was full of hard-core Republicans who were proud to be there, and even prouder that their state was in the national spotlight. Well done, Myrtle Beach and SCGOP.

The theme of the night was to pounce on front-runner, Mitt Romney... and pounce they did. For instance, Santorum had Romney in a steel-spiked trap regarding the voting rights of felons relating to an ad Romney is running. Santorum had him right where he wanted him, and you could see it in the body language. However, just as Santorum was about to throw a knock-out blow, Gov. Perry belted in loudly, interrupting... and stole the moment. It was a lukewarm topic, for sure, but awesome to watch unfold nonetheless.

Newt went off during the entire night, and played to the crowd in large fashion. He oddly but powerfully captures moments, and audiences continue to soak him up.

Ron Paul probably lost votes last night. Meat-eating Republicans don't want to hear his 'Squeeze the Charmin' foreign policy preachings, and when he stated we should all pay a 0% tax rate, that was "it." This might sound good on a microphone to some folks, but it's just not real. It was a, "C'mon, man" moment.

I'd love to throw my spin on the two hours, and would have a big time showcasing some of the VERY funny Tweets that flowed through the feed, but this would lead to an overwhelmingly long post. In short, if you like politics and policy, and a nice spar, last night's debate was good TV.

Did any of the candidates offer anything new? Not really. Conversely, they continued to talk about past accomplishments and pointed out their opponent's failures. Given the gravity of the situation and atmosphere, this was ok, and better than hearing the mind numbing/time wasting, "I'm conservative. I'm more Reagan." This theater was better than that, and I think we're all glad for it.

Oddly, I began this post fully intending to type about Romney's income tax disclosure situation. Oh well!... I suppose this leaves me with another blog opportunity. I'll take it!

Once again... well done, SCGOP. South Carolina was on a national stage last night, and it turned out to be a hit.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Innovation and Hustle Are Good Things

Earlier this week, @Wesley Donehue, was named one of "2011's Top 50 Most Influential People," by Columbia's Business Monthly Magazine. I don't know this for sure, but my gut tells me he was surprised by this, and truly flattered. Admittedly, I forgot to blog about this local accolade. In the meantime, his firm was featured on the CBS Evening News, commenting on South Carolina's (First In The South) Republican primary

Over the last year or so, Wesley's brand has caught fire. He does political work for a spectrum of Republican candidates and provides, in my bias, a top-shelf product for his client list. This is obviously awesome, and his friends are anxious to watch him grow.

Fast forward to the reason for this post, and what award-giving folks are having a hard time projecting, is that he's putting a personal stamp on his profession (innovation, if you will). In short, Wesley is sort of "Blue Ocean'ing" the arena of political consulting. For example, at the time, Tweeting @JimDeMint, @SCGOP, and #sctweets was ahead of the game. Further, he was ahead of the curve w/Vlogging (and getting candidates to Vlog),, and Fundraiser7, among other things. Further still, "PubPolitics" has caught on locally, which I've enjoyed sponsoring a few times (50 bucks for the beer).

Like the real estate industry, the political consulting arena is an imperfect one as the scale slides with every micro-instance. That said, Wesley is doing a big job of what DonehueDirect's tagline proclaims, "We Innovate Politics." His label is spot on with what he's trying to do, and is propelling his brand accordingly.

If you can't tell, this stuff is right up my alley...

Well done, @WesleyDonehue.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

GOP PrimeTime Enters South Carolina

Now that Iowa and New Hampshire have come and gone, our South Carolina is now the center of the political universe. If you don't like politics or negative ads, I strongly suggest you unplug every communicative device in your world.

While the negative ads will get as nasty as creative minds (and the law) will allow, the candidates will try to stay positive in person and when on a microphone. While the TV commercials do the dirty work, the positive stump and interviews will consist of two basic topics that they think you want to hear: "Reagan, Reagan, Ronald Reagan, Conservative, Conservative, Conservative... Ronald Reagan, Conservative, I'm like Reagan, I'm Conservative... Conservative... Reagan. Reagan. Reagan." You get the idea.

Reagan. :)

Three thoughts come to mind, and I'll type as if I was talking to the candidates: 1) Stop trying to be someone you're not. When you mention Reagan, again and again, and again and again, you're diluting yourself. How good can you be, when ALL you aspire to be is someone else? 2) You all wanna be the same man! Compounded further, you want to be the same man over and over and over and over and over and over. 3) Since you say the same thing, you're wasting microphone time... and then it's gone. Congratulations, you just said the same thing as the fella beside you.

What I'm getting at is, the use of President Reagan's name has become white noise. The same could be argued about the term "conservative." OK already... we get it! It's going to be interesting one day when a Tea-Partier asks a question on national TV something to the effect of, "President Reagan raised the debt ceiling, raised taxes, and maybe traded a little boom-boom under the table (Ollie North). How do you parallel?"

I kinda think this is why Herman Cain was doing so well. With his 9-9-9 thing, he actually was saying sooooomething, while everyone else just said the same ole', same ole' "I'm conservative like Reagan" thing. I mean seriously, Rick Santorum's sweater vest even got traction because no one is saying anything new.

This all said, I'm well aware I'm not a political consultant. I also understand that when candidates say "Reagan" or "conservative," the dials get a bump in the focus groups. On this one, however, I'm not sure I care. Since they all say the same thing (with the exception of maybe Romney, sometimes), I contend the candidates are wasting microphone time.

It would be awesome if a candidate would shout something like, "I propose we tweak daylight saving's time," or "$5,000,000 commission to the first person that can efficiently find a way to convert oil shale into oil, or salt water into fresh, or make a fail-safe long-lasting battery and change the auto world forever." I dunno, just something.

I'm not sure why I started typing about this. Perhaps it's because I know we're about to get pounded with presidential politics, and hoping we'll have some good days of something more than the same old stuff we've heard for 20+ years.

Like Sen. Lloyd Bentsen calmly told Sen. Dan Quayle in a debate some years ago: "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy." Well, candidates, you're no Ronald Reagan. Be yourself!!! You might surprise it, and then perhaps you'll be like Reagan.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Former Tour Of Homes @ King's Grant!

Stunner @ King's Grant Hits Columbia's Market
At over 4600 sq/ft., 66 Somerton may be the largest King's Grant home I've listed since Hobonny Lane. With four large beds and four full baths, this is a serious house with a ton of cool amenities.

From former posts regarding homes in King's Grant, you know too well that most inventory in this neighborhood feature one or two gathering areas. 66 Somerton sports four or five. As you can see from the pics in the link, this house possesses the expected formals PLUS two huge areas replete with space and luxury... one of which is surrounded with gorgeous windows. To put it in perspective, you could pretty much have a premier sports/wine bar at this address.

66 Somerton also comes with an awesome private gunite pool, and back up to woods that provides for coveted privacy. In short, this is an entertainment mecca... at all levels.

Further still, the spacious owner's suite contains TWO (2!) full private baths. How cool is that???

Call or email or if you or anyone you know would like to view this beautiful King's Grant home.

This one has some good stuff...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Columbia's Last HotSheet Of The Year!

Columbia, SC's Newest MLS Listings: December 2011
Thank goodness it's "HotSheet" time!!!, as I apparently broke a little rule with my last post. After the Gamecocks big bowl win, I posted a great photo of Spurrier receiving his victory douse. As no foul was intended, the photographer wasn't thrilled about me using his copyrighted image. That said, he was classy about the situation and asked that it be removed, or I'd be sent a bill. Again, no harm no foul, as I promptly removed the photo. To be sure, it was a great shot of a truly happy team and coach. I'm sure you'll see it around town, or somewhere else on the Internets.

Fast forward to the HotSheet. December's edition includes a good mix of inventory between $150,000 and $300,000. Interestingly, while scrolling through the homes, I noticed Amanda and I represent three of the highest priced listings on December's list (Doesn't matter one bit, but still kinda fun!). Davant Place, Canterbury, and Dandridge are all top shelf properties, and we're proud to market these fine homes.

Have fun clicking and scrolling through the last Hotsheet of 2011!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Wow @GamecockNation. #FreeAlshon!

As we're all a little stir crazy with cabin fever, a few hours Monday afternoon provided big time excitement for South Carolina fans. Pretty much every reader of this blog obviously watched the game, and has seen the comments of Facebook and Twitter so I certainly don't have to recap. That said, the two pics above are probably my favorites of the day.

The first pic came from my friend Pierce's Facebook page. I forgot who he said snapped it, but it captures a lot. The second pic is obviously our Alshon at the end of the first half. This pic is great because it freezes his extra effort, making it look like he's levitating. You may know of some better photos, but my bet is these two will be posterized, and placed somewhere @Williams-Brice.

Thinking back a few years, here's my one thought synopsis of this year's level of bowl play produced by The Gamecocks: Stephen Garcia. Obviously I don't know this for sure, but if you think to the last few bowl games, today's effort was a completely different level. Perhaps Spurrier knew something when he started Connor Shaw at the beginning of the season. Thanks to Connor for bringing a 'gamer' effort!

Impressed BIG TIME with the USC Gamecock Football Team. I haven't checked any stat sheet, but over the last two years, I think we're 8-0 vs UGA, UT, UF, and Clemson. We live with 7 billion people that would have thought that was improbable, impossible, and a down right stupid thought.

Thank you Carolina football for what you've done to this community, our state, and university. What a run...

Monday, January 2, 2012

@Great Friends @Big Time @New Year!

Last night we brought in the New Year with good food, great friends, and a lot of funny hats. As you can tell, pretty much everyone took part in the hat theme. Even though the fellas aren't in the pic above, rest assured we sported big lids too. For instance, I turned Finley's Bumbo upside down, which oddly worked out pretty well.

As we spilled in last nights Shandon's venue, a big time was had by all. Feeling safe and full of laughs, it's tough not to have a big time when around fun people.

Next up? Devour as many collards and black eyed peas as I can throw down. Then, it's Gamecock football time. After that, the "Holiday Season" will be over and it will be time to blow the hinges off of the world of real estate production.