Friday, March 30, 2012

One Plus One, Does Not Equal Two...

Perfect Microcosm Of How Teamwork Is Working
Two months ago, the Coldwell Banker brass started two month contest where by each Realtor includes a business card with every new listing submitted. All cards are placed into a fishbowl. At the end of the competition, an iPad will be given to the card drawn from the bowl. Score!! We'll see...

The pic above is the latest listing count for the two months to date, which was posted three or four days ago. As you can see, there's quite a spread, which is a perfect snapshot of how teamwork "works." What I'm getting at is, our model of two Realtors working together returns action which is compounded exponentially. In short, 1 + 1 equals far more than Amanda and I could have produced as individual Realtors (Her name should be in the box, too).

Since they taped the page above to the doors around our building, the amount of office mates that stroll in our space saying, "44? In two months?" is quite humbling. Thanks to Team Manager, Amy, for keeping us straight!

It's going to be "ugh!!" AND kinda funny, if we don't win the iPad for our region (3 iPads total, 1 for each region). Oh well.....we'll see! It doesn't matter, really, as we keep the pedal to the metal, either way.

In case you're wondering about the black, blocked out portion of the pic, I covered the names of my office mates with a nearby brochure. Even though there are big numbers to be proud of, in no way will I expose my colleague's numbers. Simply, they may not appreciate that, and it just wouldn't be cool.

If you or anyone you know is interested in selling real estate, and like to take advantage of a market presence, please call or email or . We'd love to be YOUR REALTORS!

Monday, March 26, 2012

"It's Like A Disney Village In There..."

Not All Town Homes Are The Same. #SimsAlley !!
A few days ago we put this awesome Shandon town home on the market. As many of you know, there aren't many opportunities to purchase a town home in popular Shandon "proper." While there are a few examples like the "Doors of Shandon," and the three units at the corner of Monroe and Shandon St., there just aren't many out there. Then there's Sims Alley. For starters, it's the corner of Wheat & Sims. #HeartofShandon #PrimoLocation

When most folks think of "Sim's Alley," they immediately associate the half block development with the wooden carports surrounded by a gray fence. IMO, "the fence" does Sims Alley an injustice, as, while it's nice, the fence hides what's really there. Once people walk into the opening it's a whole 'nother experience. Just ask my wife....She was STUNNED! The azaleas are full and tremendous, and the wide cobblestone walkways are a fun surprise. Here's how one buyer's agent described it the other day..."It's like a Disney Village in there! Every step I expect a Dinsey character to pop out of the bushes." Pretty good visual!

15 Sims Alley may be the best town home in the whole place. If you'll click the link and browse the pics, you'll see what I'm talking about. Hardwoods, granite slab, subway tile, designer colors, large rooms and Soapstone counter tops make this unit a sharp and polished home. Perhaps even better, this is the end unit, which means it's only steps away from the coveted covered parking. Further still, the courtyard is AWESOME!

If you or anyone you know would like to live in a low maintenance, premiere Shandon town home, please call or email or . It's easy to show this sharp, move in ready Shandon town home.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Rare Night With Friendly Competitors!

For the first time in my career, our local Realtor Association held a rather impressive function to celebrate it's "Circle of Excellence" award winners. It's the first time I can remember Realtors from different companies getting together in a black tie environment. If you're old enough to remember the TV show, "Dallas," all these friendly competitors in the same room was our fun little equivalent of J.R., Bobby, and Cliff Barnes, "Oil Barron's Ball." HA!! I have no idea why that popped in my head, but there ya go! It was a very nice affair.

During the real estate boom, the Association got rid of the "Circle of Excellence" as it was purely based on sales performance, with a minimum volume amount needed to qualify. Well, as you can imagine, pretty much everyone hit that level, which diluted the award enough that the "powers that be," cut it out all together.

Fast forward two or three years (to tonight), and "Circle of Excellence" is back in a different form. Today, Realtors must have a minimum level of "points," which is a combination of sales volume and Realtor event participation such as luncheons, golf events, committee service, RPAC donations, etc.

Fine with me, either way! We're just happy to be included and flattered to be a part of our Board of Realtor's, "Circle of Excellence."

A few tidbits. 1) Sorry about the cruddy pic! I was trying not to get "caught" snapping. 2) Shout out to wife, Jennifer, for getting all gussied up to hang out with a bunch of Realtors on a Thursday night! 3) Someone stole my damn plaque! I saw it as we entered, but by the time it was time to go, BOOM....gone. Oh well. A good time was had by all, and that's enough for me.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring Has Sprung @Downtown Cola!!!

Move In Ready Home, w/ Uber Low Rate/Payment
Remember a few years ago when real estate ads read, "Why Rent, When You Can Buy?" or, "Cheaper Than Rent!" I used these marketing catch phrases, for sure. Fast forward to today's interest rates, and the scale isn't even close. Consider this. If the going rate to rent a bedroom is $400-$500, why not have 3 bedrooms for the same clip? Further, for the first few years of the mortgage, homeowners enjoy the tax deductible(ness) of every single payment.

Here's what I'm getting at. Given the notion in the paragraph above, homes like 2508 Rigby Drive, in Druid Hills, are softballs waiting to be hit out of the park. If you browse the link, and combine today's interest rates with what all that comes with an endearing home like this, I think you'll see what I'm talking about.

This all brick Druid Hills home sports almost 1,200 feet, and 3 bedrooms. Features include hardwoods, moldings, smooth ceilings, and granite slab in the kitchen. Other than the location and curb appeal, my favorite characteristic @2508 Rigby is the open plan from dining to den. This makes for a huge space, which is awesomely positioned in relation to the big window in the front of the house. It's pretty cool!

Is home ownership for everyone? No. After all, not everyone has the credit score to make something happen. This said, if a respectable credit score is present, there's never been a better time in the history of the United States to purchase a home, and 2508 Rigby Drive is a primo example of this. BTW, if anyone is wondering, I can help find a good lender that can fit personal needs, as everyone is different.

I mean, really, take a look at all you get. Just for starters, how bout those azaleas??!

If you or anyone you know might be interested in this property, please call or email or . 2508 Rigby is a dream to show, and ready for a new owner.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thank You, Jennifer...For The Nudge

100's of CB Realtors, Standing Ovation...Fun Scene
What a Wednesday. This morning Amanda, Amy, and I rode together to Coldwell Banker's 2011 Awards and Recognition banquet. As you can see from the pic above, we took home the top brass for the company. I can't possibly convey through this keyboard how humbling this is.

Around six'ish years ago I remember my then-girlfriend, Jennifer Sparks, advising me that I should enter the real estate brokerage profession. We were sitting in her car in my driveway on Atascadero Dr. It was kinda late. As cool as my "mailbox flag" project was (some readers will remember this), Jennifer knew I was wandering for a professional identity, and searching for a career path that would enable me to stay in Columbia. Combining Jennifer's skill set hunch with a speechless level of loyalty, and an endlessly thankful referral rate from my friends, it brings us to today's accolade.

Last year I wrote this diddy, and obviously feel the same admiration for my office-mates. Even though I've been at CB-Midtown for about six years, I still move aside when the likes of Susie, Whit, Earl, George, Bill, or Michel need to fax or scan something. While this probably isn't necessary (they don't even know I'm doing it), I feel compelled to yield to their years (decades) of hard work in this tireless industry. Compared to them I'm still a newbie at our office, which is the finest/best/top producing real estate office in the Midlands.

After the breakfast banquet, we immediately returned to the job and fetched a good new listing, just off 378 in West Columbia. Of course, this is what it's all about! It's to be noted that this listing business was from a referral, which is the ultimate compliment.

Getting back to Jennifer, tomorrow I need to make a point to thank her for being brutally honest that night in my driveway, and for being an incredibly supportive wife to a guy whose job demands late nights and full weekends.

Further, as typed above, I can't express my thanks through this keyboard how much I appreciate the leads, referrals, and support from my friends. Amanda, Amy, and I truly have the best real estate network in South Carolina. We're well aware of this, and will never take it for granted. Our best "Thank you" can only come from the high performance that you expect, and we fully recognize this.

As you might guess, I wouldn't be a good Realtor if I didn't ask for business! If you or anyone you know is interested in buying or selling a home, or any property type for that matter, please call or email or We'd love a chance to make you proud.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Friday Was A Monster Day @SC Politics

In case you missed all the commotion last Friday, South Carolina's Lt. Governor Ken Ard stepped down from his respective office. To be blunt, Mr. Ard shed the largely ceremonial purple robe, and left the state house grounds in a veil of shame. The move has been long expected.

When we heard the shakedown that, "Friday's the day," the real fireworks and political jostling spread like a country road trash fire! Assuming powerful Senator Glenn McConnell would do whatever it took NOT to replace Ard's politically impotent post as Lt. Governor, all signs lead to Sen. John Courson to make a move. BOOM!

When this news hit, all indications were that Rep. James Smith and Rep. Nathan Ballentine would announce as candidates for Courson's Senate seat. As the dominoes fell, Councilman Seth Rose and I (my friends know I'd love to serve) were pounded with calls and text messages, asking if we'd offer ourselves as candidates for Rep. Smith's District 75 seat. As Seth and I are friends (He's a favorite client, BTW), we spoke at length on Friday morning about the situation.

By noon, a crazy thing happened. Senator Glenn McConnell honorably accepted his role as Lt. Governor, which halted the House/Senate run "announcements," and shifted the craziness to the Senate chamber itself. Given Sen. McConnell's move, the political chess match became less about yard signs and fundraising, and more about chairmanships and leadership positions. For instance, as of Friday, Larry Grooms, Jake Knotts, and Harvey Peeler all have new posts. It's yet to be seen who will serve as President Pro Tem of the Senate, which is a very big whoop.

In all, most folks outside the confines of I-77 (The Beltway) aren't privy, or don't give a poop about this stuff. That said, whether you love or hate politics, these moves have major implications for our state.

For good or bad, well done to the Senator from Charleston. Sen. Glenn McConnell squashed a lot of political wonderings and potentially millions of dollars by doing the honorable thing. His new title is arguably more prestigious, as he now represents four million souls, but his lawmaking position is much less powerful. #Honor

Boo Ken Ard. Well done, Glenn McConnell. We'll see how it all shakes out.

As a Point of Information: Robert Rikard has announced his candidacy for the SC State Senate seat currently occupied by John Courson. Time will tell where Sen. Courson will be positioneded by election day, but it's to be noted that Rikard has quickly raised upwards of $70,000., which is cash on hand. #WOW!!!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Asking $450 @KG Is Atypical, For Sure

Maximizing Expsoure w/ a Blatant Blog "Re-Post"
Given that King's Grant hasn't experienced a price point like this in years, and may not for years to come (not including the patio homes @ Oakman), I feel compelled to leave this listing on the top of the blog for another day. I probably should have waited until a Monday to post about 14 Tombee Place, as Monday is this blogs most visited day on a weekly basis. Last Friday, however, I just couldn't help myself.

Knowing better of it, combined with the notion that I can adjust accordingly, here's a Monday post about a sharp house at an atypical price point for King's Grant. FJ

"Opportunity" Price Point To Live In King's Grant
A couple of days ago, we listed this handsome all brick home in popular King's Grant. At almost 3,000 sq. feet, 14 Tombee Place sports 3 or 4 BR's and 3.5 bathrooms.

When you click the link, you'll see 14 Tombee Place is a sharp, move in ready home. Features include hardwoods, mouldings, designer colors, large rooms, an updated kitchen, nice owner's suite, and a sweet screened porch. All this makes this house a player.

The best part? The price....BOOM! Asking $450,000, 14 Tombee Place is a primo opportunity to purchase a gorgeous home in a neighborhood that consistently fetches contracts of $500,000 - $1,000,000. I hate to use the same term twice, and don't want to come off too salesman(y). That said, this listing is an opportunity for many buyers that otherwise wouldn't be able to live in King's Grant. I'm not selling you, I'm telling you...

If you or anyone you know is ready to pounce on this chance to live in King's Grant, please call or email or . It's easy to show, and ready to go.

Congrats to the person who sees this rare opening. Soon that person will be hauling kids to the pool with a smile....probably in a golf cart.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Untainted, Wholesome, Pure.. Laurens

A few days ago, the nation and world learned that if one wants to offer their name as a GOP candidate in Laurens County, South Carolina, they must be the "right kind" of Republican. To take things further, any candidate no matter their qualifications, brilliance, or talents, must sign a "Purity Pledge." You can't just say, "I swear," and a Promise Ring just will not do. To get on the ballot, you must sign that you live up to abstinence before marriage, have been faithful to your spouse, and of porno.

Oh well, enough with typing from that angle. Every group has a way, and a Purity Pledge may have worked for the Laurens County GOP.

Here's where I'm shaking my head on this. What a nightmare for the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce and economic development folks. Don't get me wrong, I understand the committee would prefer perfect people to lead their community. Great. That said, I also understand that they're looking for the impossible.

Further, as all communities claw for job growth and a youthful tax base, this is exactly the opposite of what CEO's and high school seniors want to see. To be candid, in an attempt to make their community better, they likely constructed a job repellent.

As a side note, this is the same South Carolina county where you could find the world famous "Redneck Shop," which is still a PR boondoggle for our state.

If you think about it, this "story" rubs the transparency plank sideways, too, as the committee met behind closed doors. Transparency must not be in the Purity Pledge. Oh well.

I'm for South Carolina, and Laurens County. I hope this 28 point action hasn't gone too mainstream (media mainstream), as it simply doesn't fit in 2012's world. Think about it like this: I don't know the numbers, but it would be very interesting to know the margin of victory Newt Gingrich enjoyed @Laurens County last month. You see what I'm getting at. Newt couldn't be on the ballot in Laurens. He won.

In an odd effort, the Purity Pledge is sad at best, and an oxymoron at worst. In short, it's illegal and kinda impossible. My hope is that not too much damage has been done to Laurens County, and South Carolina. We're in a regional AND global jobs recruitment battle, and this sort of action doesn't help the Palmetto State in any way.

It's to be noted that the SCGOP has deemed the "Purity Pledge" illegal, and in some form or fashion, renounced the action.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Downtown Columbia's Newest Listings

Columbia's Updated MLS Hotsheet: February 2012
This edition of The Hotsheet caught up with me a little bit, as it's already 3/5/12. Posting about new listings, trips to Greenville, and other cool stuff put this Hotsheet a few days late. That said, and since spring seems to have already sprung, it may be time to start updating more than once/month again.

At any rate, have fun clicking and scrolling! Like most HotSheets, there's a little bit of something for everyone.

Friday, March 2, 2012

F|A = Fun Branding Op For The Team!!

Tonight was a fun on all sorts of levels! First, my wife, Jennifer Sparks Jones, had the honor and pleasure of walking the runway at Girls Night Out @ 701 Whaley St. As I understand it, the benificiary of GNO is EdVenture, and is made possible by Coplan's, among others. Shout Out to Shannon Pooser/Chris Carrington, and their staff (Becky Craven, Erin Cacioppo, et al) for what apparently turned out to be a good night. From the text messages I received, Jennifer did a great job, and looked GORGEOUS (hot) while she did her thing.

Second, since Jennifer was strolling down a catwalk, I was able to have a awesomely awesome daddy date with Finley. My girl and I went to Cantina 76, ate a bunch of chips, slathered chicken fingers with ketchup, split a Shirley Temple, and "Eskimo kissed" each other 50 times.

Third FUN, is the pic above. Since tonight was a "GNO Fashion Show," I especially wanted to co-brand Amanda in some sort of marketing. In my mind, this seemed to be a perfect fit as, well, she is who she is, and very much has the whole fashion thing nicely covered. That said, I thought up this quick design that mimics the "AX" logo of Armani Exchange. Mark Pointer helped me shape it up, and BOOM! Within a few days, the pic above was on a black T-Shirt for the ladies to grab from their fashion show swag bags.

There may or may not have been a little bag drama at GNO, as I heard some (perhaps a lot?) of the shirts were swiped or omitted from the bags. I'm not sure what happened, but I had a big time from afar, and it seems as though a good time was had by all.

To add to this awesome Thursday, Finley secured a place at EPC Day School. WooOHooO! This in itself deserves a blog post in the coming days, for sure.

Congrats to Jennifer, Amanda, Finley, and GNO.

Getting back to the logo pic above... I'm not sure if we'll use it in the future, but it surely was a fun branding piece to share with Amanda at this particularly fun venue. FJ