Posted by Benjamin Ehinger on Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 7:44 PMBy Benjamin Ehinger / October 28, 2010Comment
I live in downtown Madison. Well, sort of. Actually, I'm just east of Blair street, which many consider to be outside of downtown. But it's a short walk to the capitol and maybe that's why I consider it to be downtown. I'm in the capitol east district. If you've ever looked at a map of Madison, it's that narrow strip of land right between Lake Mendota and Monona.
Okay, here's my plug --- there is a HUGE OPPORTUNITY on that narrow strip of land. For an area that is such an iconic location, there seems to be a disconnect with development in the area. Simply driving around you'll notice a number of car lots and numerous run down two to three story buildings. This is the urban core of Madison with numerous bike trails and walkable services. The lots are small and that's a good thing for this area because it creates a different type of experience than the typical suburban neighborhood. But for an area that was designed to have places to live, work, and play in close proximity, one would expect to see more development going on in this "urban" area.
On a regular basis I attend meetings with Downtown Madison Inc and many people there talk about the big potential of redevelopment on this plot of land. In fact, the city of Madison really wants this area to change.
When I talk to people that want to live in the downtown, near east, or near west sides of Madison, they often tell me that they like those areas because, "there's so much going on and we can walk or ride our bikes places around Madison." My wife and I love the area because of the huge variety of activities available so close. In one typical Saturday we could walk down to the farmer's market, go for a bike around around the lake, then grill out with friends at James Madison Park, and if we still have any energy, go grab a beer at the union while watching a band and lake mendota in the background. That's pretty cool. I wonder which big business or developer will come in and transform this awesome...
Posted by Benjamin Ehinger on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 7:17 PMBy Benjamin Ehinger / October 12, 2010Comment
Today I attended a seminar to learn more about short sales, foreclosures, and REO (real estate owned) properties. Peter Zerov from Homestead Title put on the seminar and had a roomful of many of the top Realtors in the Madison area.
Posted by Benjamin Ehinger on Wednesday, October 06, 2010 at 7:34 PMBy Benjamin Ehinger / October 6, 2010Comment
A few weeks ago I started my MBA at the UW-Madison. I'm in the evening program and intend to still work full-time in real estate, while also obtaining my degree. One of my classes is forcing me to do a lot of thinking right now about my core values and value creation. For any business to succeed it must create value for the customer. Okay, that seems reasonable. Create value.
How do Realtor's create value for the customer? Many Realtor's across the country are being forced to reinvent their business and determine this very issue of value creation. The agents that fail to do this will likely find challenges in a down economy. Here are some of the ways that I add value to home sellers in Madison:
Proper Pricing - Coming up with a good price is extremely important. The price should be high enough not to turn away potential buyers, yet also not too low that you have to, "give it away". As I've said in the past, everyone has a different opinion of price. There's the assessed value, appraised value, buyer's opinion of value, seller's opinion of value, the Realtor opinion of value, and of course your family and friend's opinion. I help seller's sort through all the numbers to come up with the best price.
Packaging - Have you ever noticed different types of packaging for products in a retail store? Packaging a home for sale is similar, in that it matters how the home is presented to potential home buyers. I help home sellers come up with the best way to showcase and stage the home to attract the right buyer.
Marketing - This is the part of exposing the home to the market and really getting the word out that it's for sale. Promoting the home on websites, in print, and everywhere possible. My main goal is to make sure that people know that this home for sale.
Negotiating - Often times selling a home is one of the biggest financial decisions ever. Emotions can run all over the...