Saturday, January 9, 2010

Crazy week.

Well, the first week of 2010 has not been uneventful. We spent New Year's Eve and New Year's Day negotiating an offer where the other agent, our buyers and one of the sellers were all out of town which always makes things a little more interesting. We did manage to eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant and see It's Complicated (very funny) while on the phone and figuring out how to get counters back and forth on New Year's Eve. If you end up following us at all you will start to see a pattern here. Much Mexican and every once in a while a movie on a special occasion. We're crazy... we know. We end up thinking we have worked that out on New Year's Day and are thrilled to start the year with a bang. Jeff had also gotten another home under contract just before Christmas. We are thinking positive. We are committed to working hard to make up for the off year we had in 2009. We have a ways to go but we are feeling good!

Around the same time, Jeff gets the dreaded call that the heat is not working at one of our duplexes. To keep you up to speed, we own a couple duplexes that we bought a few years ago when our business was blowing and going. We don't really like to think about exactly how much money we have spent on renovations and repairs since then. We know they will be worth it one day, BUT... that doesn't really comfort us too much at this juncture. We have spent quite a lot keeping the boiler going at this particular building. Jeff spent the next few days doing everything he could to get it going again this time which included about $1200 and much stress and worry for our tenants. Did I mention that this past week was the coldest week we've had in Memphis in... I don't know... a very long time? It's 10 degrees right now. Turns out, the boiler was beyond repair. Awesome! Not really. We now have two new central heat and air systems. We could have just taken a little vacation or gone on a shopping spree and then done the HVAC and still been in the exact same place we are in now. Oh well, what the heck. I will say that we are so thankful to have really great electrician, plumber and heat and air guys that we trust and who went out of their way to help us. Thanks Steve, Mike and Jeff!

Everything else this week was pretty standard. Getting inspections done, staying on top of repairs, dotting our i's and crossing our t's. I got a little down about mid-week with the unexpected huge expense but at the end of the day, sometimes we take a couple steps forward and then a step or maybe two back. The point is that we are going to keep moving forward. This business is crazy sometimes but I love it. I love the non stop nature of it. Being "on call" at all times energizes me and I would not trade it for something more predictable although I can't promise that I won't vent sometimes. I'll come back around though! We ended the week back at our favorite Mexican place. We have some work to do tomorrow, two basketball games and an open house on Sunday and we are still thinking positive about 2010. It looks like January and February will be the best two months we've had in some time and we are so grateful!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Having fun and keeping it real.

Let me start out by saying this is supposed to be fun. There's nothing wrong with inserting a little fun into work, which is such a large portion of our lives. Even in the most dreadful job I've ever had I've still managed to have a little fun. Sometimes I may have even been guilty of having too much fun at work. That being said real estate can be fun. Even in the last couple of years when it has been very difficult we have still had fun. Mainly thats because we genuinely like the people we work for and with. (most of the time) :) See...I used an emoticon. Fun huh? Now you can be prepared to forgive spelling errors, run on sentences and poor paragraph separation from time to time.

You can see the url of this is but don't assume Ellie is the only contributor to this. As a matter of fact this is Jeff. Hi! More fun see. I told you. If you came here for Ellie you will just have to check back later. We decided to do this over the Christmas break after watching Julie and Julia half a dozen times. It seemed like a good way to communicate with our friends and clients and have a little, what...that's right fun. Have I said that enough.

That does not mean that this is going to be non stop silliness. There will be valuable information from time to time. Hopefully you will get something from this blog sometimes. I have learned a lot about real estate recently. I've learned the days when anybody could get a license and make a lot of money are gone. I've learned people who are committed to this business and willing to work will continue to succeed. Most importantly I think I've learned we fall into the latter category. I'm not saying it's been easy but we've hung in there and worked hard. I know we do a good job for our clients, I think most of them agree and we are still having fun.

Anyway that's enough for now. Now I get to go add some pictures to this blog and figure out how I want it set up. All the fun stuff. Please follow us and stop in from time to time. That's assuming our broker allows me to keep this on line after he's read the entry. :)

Jeff Bennett