Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Stand Up For What You Believe In

We all know it’s true: Action speaks louder than words. Whether this relates to you in your career or home life, you’ve likely experienced this reality.

I personally had a challenge to overcome the first part of this year which really left me conflicted since {I felt} there were others who may have been impacted by my decision. After a lot of thought, speaking with family and my circle of influence, I decided to take the steps necessary to tackle the challenge head on and stop with the guilt and “what if this, what if that” mentality.

At the end of it all, it worked out and no-one seems to have been affected in many of the ways I made myself believe. In my reflection, it was liberating to stand up for what I believed to be the right thing to do. 

I even experienced a boost in my self confidence, my self image and respect of myself! The intense feeling of integrity by doing the right thing continues to overwhelm me.

We all make mistakes and tend to want to take the easier route out of the challenge, but to avert that and stay steady and strong is something I now treasure.

If you are in a situation in business and this story rings true, I encourage you not to respond to the fear, but to look it in the eye and take it down! The more you stand up for your beliefs, the less you will rely on others to validate them. Do not compromise, and do not give in. Seek support from colleagues and close family members you trust, resolve it appropriately, and I promise you will be unstoppable.

Regardless of what others think or feel, the only person who makes you who you are is yourself. Don’t lose yourself…embrace yourself.

New Procedures To Protect You From Fraud

Please enjoy this informative video that describes unfortunate circumstances in the real estate industry where innocent people become victims of fraud. As you are aware, we all have had to make changes to our systems and procedures to continue to secure your information.

If you have any questions on the new procedures on how we accept incoming wires and handle outgoing wires, feel free to contact Andrea Turner at 540.450.2240. It is our top priority and commitment to secure and safeguard your information.

 

Helpful Business Tips for the New Year

new-year-business-tips

As the New Year unfolds, I like to read articles that relate to my clients. I like to know what they are reading and also share things with them that could add value to their lives and businesses. I’m always reading self-help books, myself as well. I think it’s important to grow, and books and articles are an excellent way to gain wisdom, tips, inspiration, and knowledge from others’ lives and experiences.

Here are a few nuggets I’ve learned from articles I thought you also might find helpful in your business:

Things You Shouldn’t Say To Your Clients

One of my favorite tips from this article was about “Being Inflexible” – They tell you not to say ”You can only reach me during business hours.” Instead, say “You can reach me between (pick a range of hours YOU are happy with) but I am always on alert for my clients”. You don’t have to be on call 24 hours a day, but it’s important to set reasonable expectations with your clients.

Sins of Personal Branding 

Oh boy, there were several good tips and ideas in this article, but what stood out to me most was “You’re Not Being Authentic”. This is a fast explanation for me. Your brand is an extension of you, and it should be based on the qualities you’re known for among your sphere of influence. There is an enormous amount of confidence that comes with knowing that you are who you portray yourself to be and that you have the habits, inspiration, and knowledge to back it up.

To Use or Not to Use Emoji’s

It seems nowadays everyone uses emoji’s, and sometimes you forget that other people do not. You have to be careful because some won’t even know what they mean, creating the potential of miscommunication or appearing unprofessional. Emoji’s very well could strengthen your connection to your client depending on who they are, so are are a couple tips: Do not use them if the conversation is serious; never assume your clients like them, and if you are going to use emjoi’s make sure to use the right ones.

Winterizing Your Home and Avoiding Closing Mishaps

winterizing

Winter is officially here, and in our business we hear stories of unfortunate things that happen right before closing that may have been avoided. The experience walking into closing should be joyful, not stressful, so here are few things you can share with your customers, friends or family and even do yourself to have the smooth closing experience you deserve!

1. Check those batteries! Indoor fires are very common during the winter, so keep those alarms in use!
2. Clean those gutters! Imagine water damage seeping in from a clogged gutter. You don’t want to have to lose money on repairs before closing.
3.Check for cracks or leaks! A simple walk around your property to detect a draft by a window could allow for a simple fix now, not a full window replacement later!
4. Check your furnace! A few small things to do for big results is to change the filter, clean out air ducts and check the fan belt.
5. Reverse your ceiling fan! Did you know reversing the motion of the fan circulates heat downward?

Selling your home or moving into a home in the winter doesn’t need to be a burden. These few tips could save thousands!

Creative Closing Gift Ideas and Marketing Material

 

gifts

It’s fun to be creative when giving a gift to celebrate and commemorate a home purchase. Wine, flowers, or gift certificates always hit the spot, but why not add a bit more thought and humor to the gift and delivery. It makes it more memorable and fun all the way around.

Here are a few ideas on things to  do or say:

Luxury Soap & Hand Lotion

You can wrap a unique card around a specialty set of hand soaps or lotions, and say, “You’re in good hands with us!”

Coffee Mug Set

Find a local artisan who makes beautiful coffee mugs. Add a package of your favorite organic locally roasted coffee beans, or a gift card to a local coffee shop along with a card that says, “Thanks a latte for all you do!”

Fresh Produce Basket

You can give them a gift certificate to the local farmers’ market, a couple of caramel apples from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, or a luxury basket of fresh produce and say, “No matter how you slice it, YOU and your referrals are the CORE of my business.”

It’s a great idea to let your clients and partners know how much you appreciate them all throughout the year, but during this month and the start of the new year, it’s even more fun to splurge and be creative, as everyone seems to be in gift-giving mode!

Grateful For Our Clients and Friends

were-grateful-for-the-opportunity-to-connect-today-transform-tomorrow

We love this time of year! For us, it’s a time to reflect and celebrate. We think about the whirlwind of the year and stop to focus on those positive things….like you.

Our clients make it all worthwhile. We enjoy working with you and helping you to get into your new homes. It is inherently a stressful time for anyone because of all the details and unpredictability, but we try to make it as easy as we can. We appreciate your loyalty, support, and referrals.

And a huge thank you to our “partners” – Realtors, Mortgage Lenders, Mortgage Brokers, Appraisers, etc. who work with us to make it happen. We couldn’t do it without you!

Enjoy this week with family and friends. Let it be a time to pause and express gratitude to all the people you appreciate. With support and encouragement from each other in life, we can indeed work together to transform tomorrow!

A Time Of Change And Giving

change

As we go into the “time of giving”, I challenge you to make an important decision. A decision to make a difference in the lives of others. It can be as simple as volunteering for a food pantry, giving toys to the Toys of Tots, taking clothes to shelters in your area or being a companion to one in need over the holidays. There are so many opportunities to be kind, to be a contributing citizen and to be a positive influence.

Although it’s considered I work for a small business, myself and the entire team have big ideas, big hearts and a large commitment to our customers, clients, friends and family. We have built a culture of change within that spills out into the community.

Spend your time the rest of this year being a catalyst for positive change in your homes and careers.

Make something happen! Bring joy to those less fortunate and do it without an expectation of anything in return.

It’s a New Season

 

pumpkin

Most people do not consider moving in the fall. They typically wait until the spring or summer breaks to take advantage of school transitions.

But I think October and November are fantastic months to move because the weather is gorgeous! Moving can be fun and comfortable. Halloween is an excellent opportunity to get to know new neighbors! It also allows you to have the winter time to plan how you want to landscape your outside area without feeling the pressure of needing to do it as soon as you move in the Spring/Summer.

If you have any clients who are thinking they need to wait until spring to move, consider sharing these and others of your own top five reasons why now is the best time to make that move! They can do something new and bold, perhaps go after that dream home or sell their own home to fund a year-long adventure of travel. There are an abundance of possibilities when we open our eyes to the opportunities around us instead of feeling limited by traditional cycles.

Cyber Security Best Practices

cybersecurity

Cyber Security is top of mind with most businesses, and real estate being one of the heaviest hit industries in 2016. Choosing a title company is just one phase of the process, but what do you really know about the company, especially if you are relocating into an area and find them on Google?

Here are just some of the best practices Old Towne Title takes to insure your information is safe and secure. Before making a decision on a closing agent, ask them for their policies and speak to a person in leadership face to face if you have too! Be as vigilant as we are going to be for you!

  • The office lobby is physically separated from employee’s office space. All customers/vendors are escorted through office space.
  • Old Towne Title has a written Data Security Policy under which employees are trained, audited and compliant.
  • Employees are prohibited from removing company files or information by paper or portable memory device.
  • Old Towne Title has commercially acceptable network security barriers and monitors in place.
  • Old Towne Title has an established Business Continuity Plan which is reviewed and updated annually.
  • Employees undergo background and credit checks at hiring and routinely thereafter.
  • Documents are transmitted by secure methods.
  • Employees are regularly trained on the collection, maintenance and disposal of Non-public personal information.
  • Old Towne Title has a written privacy statement which is disseminated to customers.
  • Management audits compliance with privacy statement on a regular basis

To read more on our security provisions, visit us at our website or schedule a time to visit with us personally so we can answer any further questions.

7 Reasons Why Every Homebuyer Needs Title Insurance

7-reasons-why-every-homebuyer-needs-owners-title-insurance

Do your clients ask about title insurance? After all the tedious process of a home purchase, at some point the paperwork and details may seem daunting for a client, especially a new homeowner.

While most closings and purchases happen without trouble, there are certain cases where the new homeowner can take a huge hit, being blindsided by scenarios they would not have conceived. In that situation, it’s nice for them to know that their title insurance will cover most of those unforeseen issues.

Attached is a short PDF with 7 Reasons Why they should consider title insurance. You can share this out or forward to your client and let them know you are available to answer any questions or refer them to your settlement agent as well.

 

  • Old Towne Title Locations