Mortgage and Mediation

Turning Renters into Buyers

I recently had a brainstorming session with a couple of top producing Realtors to talk about renters, why they rent and how can we help them move forward into buying a home. We started the process by working with a title rep to understand how many renters we were talking about in the area which included SFR, Condos and Apartments.  Once we knew how many renters we were talking about, we wondered why they are renting and not buying and how can we help these folks understand the benefits of buying and/or what was keeping them in a rental. 

We started with apartment renters:

We assumed that some folks like renting or they think they do.  It’s convenient except for the loud neighbors that have parties or the heavy walker that live above you, something breaks down and hopefully the landlord has someone in due time to fix the repair and you don’t have to, the amenities like pools, spas and health club facilities are available but you do pay for them and don’t forget all the parking that is available, until someone takes your parking spaces and you have to park a small hike back to you place.  And let’s also not forget the  storage space you have rented that is costing you monthly for all that stuff you can’t fit in your rental and the pet you can’t have but always wanted.  (We also assume as we know, that some are looking to the future and working towards buying and doing very well in planning and some are very comfortable renting and really aren’t in a financial position to buy).

Ok then……

I believe our renter is now saying, “Why the heck am I not owning my own home?  Renting kinda suxxx!”  And that is where we start farming the apartments with “Gotcha” marking materials.  Catch their attention, “What about that pet you always wanted and should have”, “Credit Score Fear, let’s work together to see it soar into that new home”, “Need some motivation, we have a truckload for you” and make sure your graphics are great.  Better yet, find a targeted renter to help you with the project.  Help them feel important.

And then Karen pulls the credit of the renter helping with the project and we find it isn’t as bad as we thought, it is actually pretty good.  And Karen looks at our budget and we brainstorm on ways to save money if we can and we talk about our short-term and long-term plans financial plans.  Now we are getting somewhere.  We talk about our lifestyle and where we see ourselves in 5 and 10 years and that pet that we would like.  All of a sudden, we have no fear, we are confident that we can buy a home and possibly save money after getting rid of the storage space and the paid covered parking and shared extras with all the other renters.  And we won’t have to hear Paul upstairs playing golf in his living room all hours of the night or his tv that is turned up too loud and I can have my own garage.  Wow, I’m excited!!!!  Let’s move forward with a great Realtor that fits our style.  And Karen finds that perfect Realtor and now we have a client for life. 

I just made a wonderful new relationship, a new client and my new client knows her apartment neighbors and probably has friends in apartments and so on and so on.  You see it isn’t just about making another $ first.  It’s about relationships, which come from trust and then the $$ will follow in abundance.   

See you tomorrow,



February 19, 2007 Posted by | credit, fear, first time homebuyer, home, loan, marketing, mortgage, purchasing, realtor, relationships, renters, trust, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Who watched the Daytona?


I was on the edge of my seat!  Was that 6 cautions and Mark Martin lost by what is that…a increment of a second.

What an exciting race.  Busch and Stewart out then Gordon out and then Earnhardt out.  Burton just stays out of the way of the crash in the end and slides right into 3rd.  And what was with that one 180 mph thru pit only to get back in and cause yet another crash. 

I don’t know much about Nascar but I’m in on the next race.  My son is a Mark Martin fan, a couple of friends are Jeff Gordon fans and then my nieghbors are Earnhardt Jr fans.  Great combo for a Nascar day.

Okay, so at least Mr. Shell, the winner (what’s his name?) has a pretty awesome helmet! And yeh, this had nothing to do with real estate but what the heck, I’m into throwing some off-time fun in here too.


February 19, 2007 Posted by | entertainment, fun | 1 Comment

Today, I say YUCK to teenagers!

Do you have a teenager?  If you don’t, I am sure you know some?  Sometimes, I think they belong on another planet and I ask myself, “I raised that child, right?”

Well, I can come up with hundreds of examples of why I say this but today and I am a family mediator but I have to tell you, some days my mediation skills fly right out the window and I feel like a am right at war in my own home and a contributer of the war.  What is up with that?

However, in this situation I kept me under control:

I want to bring up how intuitive 6 year old can be when their is an issue with the yucky teenagers.  I have a 6 year old girl, a 14 year old boy and a 19 year old girl.  My 6 year had a friend over as usual (they hate to be without a friend at all times it seems), and she came to me right before dinner and said” I have a problem.  Why is it that my brother and sister treat their friends better than me?”  The friend chimed in and said she had the same problem in her home.  I said, “I don’t know, why don’t you bring that up at dinner and we will discuss it”, she said “okay”. 

Everyone came to dinner and the littlest one said, “I want to know why you treat your friends better then me sometimes? and she had examples to share.  Her friend chimed in stating the same.  The olders started the blame game immediately as they do and I let it go for awhile, them all debating back and forth.  I interrupted the debate eventually and asked if each of us could come up with one thing you could do better to work on treating our family members better while staying connected on a regular basis. Once they presented their thoughts, each person could suggest something they would like them to change as well.  We then committed to work on these things during the week and we would check in in 2 weeks and see how we were all doing.  I also suggested that if we catch each other slipping on our commitment to say “caught you”. 

So, it was a tough start and we haven’t had our followup dinner yet.  It has been fun catching each other during the week and catching ourselves too.

I am teaching a mediation class for mothers and daughters with the Pleasanton Adult Education and Center for Community Dispute Services on the evening of March 15th.  We will be doing introductions and chatting about our own family history of conflict and then role playing some real situation within your family.  It is going to be a great evening.  We will be sending home cheat postcards to keep you practicing what you learned and if enough interest, I will be starting a support group thereafter.

Whether you are a mother with a teenager, a mother of an adult or a daughter of an elderly mother, we all have conflict and learning how to have healthy exchanges during that conflict is so important.  It saves relationships which is what I am in the business of doing as I continue to work within my own family too.

See you tomorrow,


February 18, 2007 Posted by | communication, daughters, family, friends, home, mediation, mothers, teenagers | Leave a comment

First Street Wine Company

I visited First Street Wine Company in Livermore last night.  What a great time! Most of the regular locals were there and I immediately knew everyone on a first name basis.  I felt like part of a family which I needed last night.  A night out with the feeling of friendship.

Jeff, the owner knows his wine.  Last night I had 7 tastes.  Each one was wonderfully different and I left buying a great zinfindel.  I myself am just learning about wines, so don’t ask me anything, come down and see Jeff.  The place is relaxing but upbeat and a great stop before heading to any one of the great restaurants in our newly renovated downtown.  Livermore is the new place to be.  And me being a longtime resident of Pleasanton before moving to Livermore, that’s a big statement to post. 

February 18, 2007 Posted by | first street wine company, friends, livermore, pleasanton, Uncategorized, wine | Leave a comment