Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Market Center Newsletter for Friday May 29, 2009

Published a bit early to avoid becoming really lengthy

QUOTE: “We are what (and where) we are because of where we were when we were ten” Dr. Morris Massey.

NEW NUGGET: The SECRET is in the BAG! You can read it at:

THE SHIFT #2 WITH GARY KELLER. Coming to the New Orleans Marriott 555 Canal Street, Thursday June 18th, 7:30 am to 3:00 ( you beat the traffic going both ways, imagine that). Cost is only $20 to see and hear our founder and who I think believe to be a visionary genius. The sign-up sheet is at the front desk. Mandeville, Baton Rouge and Metairie are all predicting turnouts in excess of 100 people. We were not asked to compete, what does that tell you? If I had my magic wand working, I would not have a sign-up sheet, I would just sign everyone up automatically and then you would have to have your name removed because frankly I cannot think of too many reasons why everyone would not want to attend. MORE IMPORTANTLY, everyone of us has friends in the business who are NOT with Keller Williams – INVITE AT LEAST ONE COMPETITING AGENT TO GO WITH YOU AT YOUR COST! You want to grow your Profit Tree? Who doesn’t? We could easily surpass Baton Rouge, Mandeville AND Metairie if (1) everyone would sign up for just this one event and when you sign up, sign up for two and bring a competitor at your expense! What a deal! You and they will get an education and you will get quality time with a friend in the business – that is a Win-Win in my opinion.

I obtained my Mississippi Broker’s license because there was an interest by several agents in our Market Center to expand their business into the Picayune and western Mississippi areas that geographically are very close to Slidell; made good sense. I think it is important for everyone to know that the funds needed to make this happen did not come from Market Center money that would affect profit sharing. We will be working on making the Mississippi exposure 100% self-supporting. Anyone desiring to obtain their Mississippi license can download the appropriate forms from the Mississippi Real Estate Commission web site at: You will also be required to join the Pearl River County Board of Realtors once licensed in Mississippi. Setting this up will not happen over night as there is a learning curve (mine) to learn not only where the forms are located, but how they read, how they are used, and more importantly listing and selling techniques and traditions that may not be the same as Southeast Louisiana. The Board is closed for the Holidays so I am unable to join until next week. My membership will not become official until I attend the Board’s orientation scheduled in August.

PARTNERS MEETINGS: Just for a moment I want you to take off your shoes, literally. Take them off, clear your mind. With your mind totally clear of any pending worries, thoughts or business, I want you to put your shoes back on but as you do you recognize them as your seller’s shoes, WOW! How did that happen? Now with your seller’s shoes firmly on your feet I want you to start thinking like I would if I were your seller. You listed my home and have described just how many other KW agents are on your team and that you are going to expose my home to the 100+ agents back in the Market Center because it is quite possible a buyer for MY home may already be working with one of the selling 100! No one else in Slidell can make that claim and I’m pumped! Now imagine my dismay when you hope I never discover that on the big day of announcing MY home to the “selling 100” two things happen. First there are not 100 in attendance at this week’s Partner’s Meeting but more importantly, neither are you. Then as the various photos of my home show up on the big screen, there is no one promoting MY home as to why it is a good value for buyers. Let me assure you, if it WERE my personal home and MY agent did not see the value in promoting MY home to HIS or HER fellow associates, I would be having a serious talk with my agent; wouldn’t you?

CYA. I think we all know what CYA mean, for you-know-who it may be a lot more paper than for the rest of us. I recently attended a course hosted by the REALTOR® Association of Acadiana in Lafayette entitled, “Keeping Your Commercial Client Out of Legal Trouble” taught by Mr. Jim Hochman. The course was OUTSTANDING! There were many lessons but one lesson came across loud and clear – cover your behind! Use cover letters for everything. Use a computerized customer tracker type program like Top Producer or ACT and USE IT! The program records your contacts as to when, who, and what was said, etc. Get in the habit of attributing factual information to third parties. Get names and titles of the people you talk to and refer to them in your correspondence, conversations and even contracts when possible. Whenever your conduct a face-to-face or telephonic conversation, back it up with a confirmation letter, email or fax. You want to create a paper trail regarding your transactions. INTERESTING RECOMMENDATION: If you feel you have a transaction that may lead to legal action, make a memo to the file to document the facts as you know them to be in the order they occurred. HOWEVER, address the memo to the company broker and the company attorney. By so doing, the memo is not considered as evidence that may be obtained by the opposition through the discovery process. Since the attorney is involved, it becomes privileged information.

BROKER BIT #1: On a similar note, the Louisiana Agreement to Purchase has space for the Buyer’s and the Seller’s mailing addresses and contact info yet most agents leave this information blank. It was pointed out that in the event a buyer and/or seller must be legally served, this information is required. The spaces are there for a reason and it is not up to individual agents to determine what information is important or not. FILL IN THE BLANKS!

BROKER BIT #2: Have you ever wondered why closing companies have the parties at the closing sign in blue ink ONLY! Because it differentiates copies from originals. Copy machines have become so good it is sometimes difficult to determine the original from its copies. With that said, why as agents are we not doing the same thing with our listings and sales documents? On listings, the Market Center is to maintain all the originals of the listing and eventually the original of the Agreement to Purchase. So there are several points in this Nugget. If you are working from faxed or emailed copies of listing and sales documents you still need to arrange to get the originals whenever possible EVEN if it means using SNAIL MAIL to achieve it. Why not blue ink when you and your customers are filling in the blanks when you handwrite a contract/form? If you prepare the forms on Formulator, use Blue Ink to sign the contracts/forms. No where does it say you MUST do this, it just makes good business sense to do so. At one point REALTORS® would create multiple copies and have the customer signed duplicate originals. If the truth be known this is still a preferred method of doing business. And while you are writing in your blue or black ink, please remember someone else has reason to read it and so many times you or your customer’s hand writing is illegible (unreadable for you-know-who).

DENTAL INSURANCE for the self-employed. Health insurance for the self-employed is difficult to find and/or expensive. Ran across this company who offers dental insurance to the self-insured (among others). I don’t know anything about the company or their coverage other than their number: 800-678-7129.

EVER HEARD OF KINDLE? Kindle is available through It is an electronic book storage device. It has a WI-FI connection where you can download book from in 60 seconds from almost anywhere you are. The basic edition can store up to 1500 books that you can recall. The Millionaire Real Estate Agent and Shift are just two of the books that you can download. Not only can you use the device to read the books you have downloaded, you can also have the device read the books to you. I priced the MREA on The book is listed at $20.00. You can download the audio book for $30.98 or you can order the CD Set for $75.00 OR you can download the Kindle version for $13.17 and have everything – you can read it or you can have it read to you and you can easily put Kindle in your purse or briefcase and take your personal library with you wherever you go. There are two versions, one is $359 and the DX version (larger) is $489.00. Expensive yes but if you saved $10.00 a book AND THERE IS NO SHIPPING CHARGES ON THE BOOKS YOU DOWNLOAD, IT WOULD TAKE $360 of downloaded books to break even. No book shelves, no shipping charges, no taxes because you are ordering the downloads online and it is extremely convenient.

LOUISIANA TRAFFIC LAW – PAY ATTENTION. A law was signed into effect in June 2008 that required drivers to move into another lane, whenever possible, when they come upon an emergency vehicle. If this is impossible, you are to slow down until you pass the vehicle(s). Heavy fines will be imposed for violators.

HUMBLE AND HUNGRY, by Jon Gordon “The Energy Addict”, this is a great article and video.
DENTAL INSURANCE for the self-employed. Health insurance for the self-employed is difficult to find and/or expensive. Ran across this company who offers dental insurance to the self-insured (among others). I don’t know anything about the company or their coverage other than their number: 800-678-7129.


MEMORIAL DAY VIDEO, a little late but this is good.

GESRIN MLS DUES. The annual MLS Dues statements have gone out. Dues must be paid by July 1, 2009. SUGGESTION: Add up your license renewal fee, your E+O annual fee (both due by December 31 of each year) and your annual MLS Dues (due on 1 July of each year), the total should be between $800 and $900 annually. Divide 900 by 12 months and that equals $75.00. If you start paying your dues to yourself on a monthly basis of $75.00 a month as if you have actually paid your dues monthly, paying them when they actually become due will not be as big a shock on your bank account twice a year.

UPCOMING COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE ACTIVITIES: On June 4th at the Beau Chene Country Club there will be a CID Sponsored Networking event to include 2 hours of CE; the ABCs of the LACDB followed by a luncheon. Then on September 15, there will be 4 hours of CE, The 1031 Exchange followed by Risk Management; How to Avoid Being Sued in the Commercial RE Arena. I have attended several of the Commercial courses lately and they all have been extremely well done and very informative. If you are interested in commercial real estate in the slightest, I would highly recommend you join the NOMAR CID that costs $50.00 a year and thus far has enabled you to attend these courses free of charge.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Market Center Newsletter for Friday May 22, 2009

QUOTE: “Broke is a state of wallet; poverty a state of mind.” Joe Tye

REMINDER: Whenever you complete a CE course, please provide the Market Center with two copies of your course completion. One copy goes to the MCA to be filed in your file for the MC. The second copy goes to the Broker will bundle the certificates and periodically send them to the Board Office.

FHA To Allow Monetization of Tax Credit, this is important, the government is looking to allow the $8,000 tax credit to be used as an actual cash down payment. Read about it:


GOOD BUSINESS PRACTICE: Print out the tax role information, compare it to the seller’s information, verify legal description, include on your MLS input and then file in your listing folder. If there is any variation in who the seller is and who is identified on the tax register, ask questions. You should never make assumptions regarding “couples” but whenever there is only one buyer and/or seller you should ask if there is anyone else who appeared on the title when it was purchased (sellers) or will appear on the title when it is purchased (buyers).


LET’S SMOVE! Great video:

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE ON THIS ONE! LinkedIn 101; "Getting started and making money from the largest online network of business professionals!" Thursday, May 21st. Sponsored by Howard Brinton. Online seminar. 2:00 PM Eastern Time; 1:00 PM Central Time. Cost $39.00.

THE ATTRACTOR FACTOR, by Jim Meisenheimer

FREE MOTIVATIONAL STYLE POSTER SITE, CREATE GRADUATION POSTERS as well as other motivational type posters. Once created, you can order professionally printed posters through the web site. I used the site to create a poster for my grandson's high school graduation photo. The finished product ordered through the web site was 15 x 22.5 and cost $31.94 and I am very pleased with the reproduction.

Law of Attraction, notes from a teleclass by Michael Losier

Definition of The Law of Attraction: I attract to my life and business whatever I give my focus, thoughts and energy to, whether negative or positive.

You attract more of the negative things you think about as well as the positive.

Vibes: We pick up vibes to describe moods or feelings we are picking up. Vibes is short for vibration which is the Law of Attraction – becoming aware of the vibrations we both create in our own lives and that we experience around us.

The Law of Attraction is a science and it works. When you set up vibrations, positive or negative, the law is that it “matches” the vibration and then finds more of the same.

If you find you continually work with jerks in our business, the source of the jerks may be from your own thinking – “I always seem to get the jerks”.

Take accountability for attracting everything in your life. I have the ability to account for whatever it is that I am attracting into my life. Do I have the ability to change what I am attracting? Absolutely, to change your life, change the way you think about your life. This has been written for thousands of years starting with the Bible. “Ask and you shall receive!” Ask for negative – get negative. Ask for positive – get positive. Since we have a choice, why would anyone ever ask for negative? Because it is easier to be negative than positive!

There are only two kinds of vibrations, negative or positive.

As you read this you have a vibration and that vibration is being matched. For example if you are reading this and saying to yourself, this is hokey; that would be negative and nothing written here would change the way you think. “Thinking in a certain way” (Wallace Wattles) does not cost you a dime. By “certain way” can be negative thinking or positive thinking. If you want to know what kind of vibrations you are sending about money, open your wallet; about relationships, how’s that working for you; about not having buyers or sellers, what are you thinking and feeling about the market; it stinks? It’s down!

Three words in your vocabulary that cause you to send out negative vibes. Most people use them 150 times before noon.

  • DON'T
  • NOT
  • NO

When used, I just brought attention to that which I don’t want to bring attention, energy or focus to.

Think about it:

I don’t want to lose this sale
I don’t want more customers like that one
I don’t like what I am doing
I don’t like getting bills in the mail
I don’t like three putting (sorry, had to put that one in there)

You start to observe the things that you are getting and then look what is showing up in your life. The Law of Attraction is equally important in regards to negative and positive energy but it tends to work more on the negative because that is what we think about most.

Change the words:


Reframe the way you think and talk.

(Insert internal No sign with the words behind it)

When you go from what you don’t want to that which you do want, the words change, the vibration changes, your attitude changes not to mention having less of a negative affect on those people who are around you, feel your energy positive or negative, or hear your words. You are planting seeds in their minds, both positive and negative.

There is a difference between The Law of Attraction and The Law of Deliberate Attraction. Since the Law works almost 100% of the time, why not do it DELIBERATELY?

Three conditions or steps that need to be met to deliberately attract positive things into you life:

Formula for Deliberate Attraction

Step 1. Identify my desire
Step 2. Give my desire attention
Step 3. Allow it (be patient for it to occur and be aware of when it does)

If you like what you are getting, celebrate it and give it more of your energy and attention and focus. If you don’t like what you are getting, reframe the words you think and say (not to mention your body language – keep your chin up).

If you are in business and want to attract your ideal referral how do refer to the referrals you are currently getting or not? Reset your words. Identify what you want (your desire). Give the desire your positive full attention, focus and energy. Allow it to happen.

Referrals are easy to get a hold of. Referrals ask good questions. Referrals desire to buy or sell. Referrals are motivated. Referrals tell the truth. (For example, “buyers are liars”; we all have heard it and probably all have said it, especially you-know-who. If the Law of Attraction works and I believe it does, then every time you say “Buyers are Liars” you are setting up your environment to attract more buyers who also happen to lie.)

Learn to observe what you are getting in your life. Ask questions as to why this is happening both good and bad. If you want to attract something different, change your vibrations by changing the way you think and talk.

Step 3 is critical to the process - allowing it. People do steps 1 and 2 and then begin asking where is what I want in my life. If you are not allowing it to happen, if you are standing back wondering why it has not happened in your life yet, you are not allowing it to happen and such thinking are doubts and doubts are negative. Therefore you are not thinking positively, you are doubting it works or that it will happen and therefore your doubting thoughts tend to cancel out all the positive work you have done.

Allowing it – may be the missing piece to the Law of Attraction if you have been working with the Law.

If you desire something and it has not shown up as yet, you may (must) be doubting that you will receive it or deserve it.

Most people demand or expect proof and that may describe you and the way you think about the Law of Attraction.

Spend more time celebrating “what is” than trying to find proof that it is working.

The Law of Attraction at work; an example:

A lot of people use positive affirmations and they are very good but….

If you are over weight and you say “I have a lean slender body” and you look in the mirror, your subconscious mind is saying “No I don’t” so what you are saying and what you are thinking are working at cross purposes to each other. It is almost impossible for that not to happen. I personally (Gymbeaux) used a variation of this by using Joe Tye’s Direction-Deflection-Question (DDQ). I would simply ask myself “Is what I am about to eat or drink consistent with my desire to weight 185?” If the answer was yes, I would eat or drink it, if no, I would not. As a result, I loss 40 pounds. The DDQ was not a positive affirmation but it caused me to “think in a certain way” which is what Wallace D. Wattles said in his book The Science of Getting Rich written in 1910 from which The Secret was based; and The Secret IS The Law of Attraction!

If you want more buyers and sellers to come into your life, it is not enough to simply picture yourself as already having them in your life as so many people may have suggested because in your heart you KNOW you don’t. Therefore think in terms that “you are doing” something like attracting more happy, qualified, ready to sell, ready to buy, pleasant buyers and sellers into my life” thoughts.

I am going to suggest another technique that I have found works wonders for me on the golf course. It has been suggested by people far more intelligent that I am that our brains are computers, the best that has ever been created or probably will be created. We program computers; why not intentionally program our brains? Dr. Joseph Parent of Zen Golf suggested that before you approach your golf shot, get focused on what you want to happen; stand back from your golf ball and take a practice swing. But instead of just swinging for the sake of swinging, really feel the practice swing. Is that the swing you want to take when you hit the golf shot for real? If not, take another and another until you can feel it. The moment you really feel it is the swing you want to duplicate, tell your subconscious mind to “PROGRAM IT”, literally, like hitting the SAFE AS key on your computer’s keyboard. Since I have adopted this into my pre-shot routine on the golf course my shots have become much straighter and more like I had envisioned and my scores have begun to drop (that is a good thing for you-know-who).

Why would this technique not also work for our customers? I believe that a step that is missing in most of our lives, certainly not yours, is failure to give gratitude on a moment-to-moment and daily basis for the wonderful things we have or are about to receive. When was the last time you stopped and really thought about how grateful you were for the lead that just came into your life? Be honest. Have you ever, paused, and then just thought to yourself, “Thank you?” I doubt it. Instead, most of us immediately begin qualifying the lead as to just how real the lead is, should we spend any of our valuable time on this person, and we more often than not start with the negative thoughts about the person we are talking to trying to eliminate them rather than add them. Be honest, you know I am right on this. You are doubtful. What did Losier talk about above – doubt. If you immediately start “doubting” the validity of the lead in front of you, you are sending out negative vibrations and they are picked up by the customer and people around you. You know this is true because we all have done this – someone walks into the room, does not say a word and we ask – “What’s wrong?” Why do we do this? Because we “feel the negative vibrations, we see the frown on a person’s face, we sense something from that person’s body language, etc. – or they may have set the feeling because that is the way they always feel – they are plain and simple, a pickle-sucker!

Trying to work with The Law of Attraction costs you nothing. Doubt if you will and like so many have said: if something is free it must not have any value. If you want to write off the value of The Law of Attraction, that is your choice. A negative one I might add.

In my opinion, The Law of Attraction and having a happy attitude are almost one in the same thing. If you are grateful for waking up in the morning it is impossible to start the day being negative. If you are positive in your thoughts, always looking for the rainbow or silver lining, The Law of Attraction will naturally fall into place provided as Losier suggests, we allow it and we become observant of what we are attracting into our lives.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Weekly Newsletter for Week Ending May 15, 2009

QUOTE: “When you are complaining, you become a living, breathing crap magnet!” T. Harv Ecker. (Gymbeaux Note: If I have ever heard a quote that was more accurate than this one I don’t remember it. If you have something to complain about, the best way to get more of whatever it is you are complaining about is to continue to complain. It is the Law of Attraction in reverse – you draw into your life more of whatever you think about most!)

NUGGET FOR THE NOGGIN: Go to for the latest nugget. This one was written by Iain Legg and he has a fabulous offering for over 100 eBooks at the end of the nugget. Title: Crave More.


BORN AGAIN AMERICAN: Cool video and music. When I watched it on Monday morning there had been 7,032,585 people who have watched and listened.

THE 95/95 PROPOSITION. WHICH ARE YOU? By Jeffrey Gitomer. A must read article.

FORECLOSURE STORE: There is a site that claims to have hundreds of local properties listed that are foreclosures, bank owned, etc. I do not know anything about it other than there is a 7 day free trial and then a monthly charge to access the site. The photos are a bit misleading as you will discover if you check it out.

COMMERCIAL INVESTMENT DIVISION (CID) is offering two special events on Thursday, June 4th at Beau Chene Country Club

The “ABC’s of LACDB” class on the Louisiana Commercial Data Base and how to use it is good for 2 hours of CE credit and
Networking Buffet & New Developments Presentation

During the buffet lunch, four Northshore developers will introduce and explain their projects. Both events are FREE to CID members and $20 each to non-members. If you want to be a CID (Commercial Investment Division) member, it costs only $50.00 a year and most if not all of their educational offerings are free to members as this one is. Maybe the best $50.00 you will spend this year!

CE CLASS: KEEPING YOUR COMMERCIAL CLIENT OUT OF LEGAL TROUBLE. Speaker: Jim Hochman. Hosted by REALTOR Commercial Alliance of the REALTOR Association of Acadiana. May 19th. 8:30 to 12:30 at the RAA Office, 1819 West Pinhook Rd, Ste 115, Lafayette, LA. Cost is $50.00. Register by sending an email to: I’m registered!

20 WAYS TO GET MENTALLY TOUGH by Jon Gordon. Jon has a new book about to be published and this is an excerpt from that book. Really good stuff!

QUALIFYING BUYERS ISN’T ROCKET SCIENCE. IT’S OUR JOB! This is a great article on why some loans fail at the last minute and what real estate agents can do about it to avoid a fall-thru due to non-qualifying.

I THOUGHT THEY WANTED MY BUSINESS. By Tim Wacker. This is a great article and follows very closing on the Nugget I wrote about Customer Dis-Service.

THE SECRET WEALTH FILES REVEALED BY THE MAN WHO DISCOVERED THEM. T. HARV ECKER. This is a FREE online course offered for a limited time. You will receive an email link every 3 days for 3 weeks. I watched the first one and it was short and interesting. To take advantage of this offer go to:

LOWES REALTOR BENEFITS PROGRAM: This is a unique FREE site where you can send gift cards, discount cards or a newsletter all free of charge. You can also take advantage of REALTOR discounts, check it out. IT’S FREE!


(Gymbeaux Note: When you read this report, remember this one fact that never changes: the housing market is a LOCAL MARKET! For example, if you were to look at the numbers for the Slidell Market, the entire market may indicate one value but if you look at a subdivision within the Slidell Market the numbers could be the same, they could be higher or they could be lower – real estate is a “local market” and while these reports are good to ponder, each local area must be considered unto itself!)

The recovery in home sales slowed somewhat on a year-over-year basis in April. The results indicated that homes sales continue to suffer from overall weakness in the general economy and the weakness in middle and upper tiers of the home price segments. Unit sales were down 11.1 percent from April 2008 to April 2009 that compares unfavorably with March numbers that showed sales down only 5.8 percent from March 2008 to March 2009. Prices of sold homes were down 20.5 percent from April 2008 compared to the March report that showed closed sales prices being down 18.1 percent.

The best region for sales units was the western region where unit sales continued their run of increased housing activity although the increase is less than previous months. Unit sales in the western region were up 9.9 percent in April 2009 compared to April 2008. Other regions saw sales decreases of between 13.3 and 20.5 percent with the Northeast region having the largest unit decline compared to last year.

Prices continue to be soft with every region reporting continued price declines. The western region showed the largest decline with April 2009 prices down 31.7 percent from April 2008. The best region was the South where prices were down 15.8 percent from the same month a year ago. The national average price of homes sold was down 20.5 percent from a year ago. Much of the decline in the average sold price is due to the inordinately high number of lower priced foreclosure and short sales and the impact of the first-time homebuyer sales which typically are focused on lower priced home segments.

"April 2009 results show that low interest rates, soft home prices and high levels of affordability are having a positive effect but that the lack of affordable mortgages for the middle and upper tiered home priced segments and weakness in the general economy continue to be a drag on the housing recovery," said Steve Murray, editor of REAL Trends. "As we said in our last report, there are several factors that will subdue housing sales in 2009. The April results show strong evidence that a true broad based housing recovery is a ways off."

Housing Market Report

April 2009 March 2009

(Versus same month a year ago)

Closed Sales AVG Price Closed Sales AVG Price

-11.1% -20.5% -5.8% -14.7%

Regional Report

-20.5% -16.8% -16.2% -9.7%

-18.4% -15.8% -12.5% -7.9%

-13.3% -18.4% -10.3% -12.6%

+9.9% -31.7% +18.7% -23.0%

Thursday, May 7, 2009


QUOTE: “There are THREE kinds of people in this world; those that count and those that can’t.” Michael Waltrep


ST TAMMANY HURRICANE STORM SURGE MEETING: The Corps of Engineers has scheduled a public meeting for Tuesday, May 29th at 6:00 pm. This meeting was originally scheduled at different locations but has been moved to the Slidell Auditorium to be able to handle more residents from the entire coastline of Lake Pontchartrain.
To date, nothing has been done to protect St. Tammany Parish. The Corps needs to see and hear from us in a professional manner that we are concerned about our future.



Commercial CE & Networking on the North Shore – June 4th
CID will host “ABC’s of LACDB” followed by networking, lunch, and presentations from north shore developers. Save the date! Details to follow…

MISSISSIPPI BROKER LICENSE UPDATE: There was a form verifying my E&O Insurance Coverage missing from the application. The issuance of my Mississippi Broker’s license will be about another week.

PHENOMINAL BOOK: “When Hearts Conjoin” is a book that some of you may be surprised that I would read. It is not a book that I would have selected off a book store shelf. It was recommended by the author of The Christmas Box (another great book) Richard Paul Evans who wrote the forward to the book, and who has become an internet friend. It is a true story about a teenager who became pregnant while in her senior year. Shortly thereafter, she and her husband were again expecting but this time she was expecting twins who where “conjoined” from the waist down. The story is about her acceptance of this situation, she and her husband’s desire to have the babies and their subsequent separation. It is a book that you will not want to put down until you finish it. Made me wonder how I would have reacted. I could not recommend a book more highly. Check it out at

BROKER BIT: This is a true story. On two separate occasions I was asked to list a property, vacant land. Both owners insisted they knew exactly where the properties were located. In one situation in Slidell, I found the property but it was located beyond where a road ended. The owner insisted the agent who sold her the property took her to a lot on the north side of the road where the road ended. The actual lot was another 200 yards into the undeveloped area – almost impossible to sell. I did not list the lot. The second property was located in Pass Christian, Mississippi. The out-of-town owner gave me the location and I could not find it. After several calls and several trips, the owner sent me written directions to his property. I still could not find it. I stopped at a local convenience store and showed the owner the written description only to find out that the road to the site was wiped out during Hurricane Camille in the 60’s as was the bridge that cross a small creek.

It is becoming more frequent that buyers are not required to obtain a survey on a property being purchased. Whenever that occurs, you should strongly encourage the buyer to obtain a survey to make certain the property being purchased is really the property the buyer thinks is being purchased. Another true story occurred in Mississippi where a foreclosed on property was being purchased. Everything was moving along nicely until the survey was ordered by the buyer. It was discovered that the neighbor’s tennis court extended almost 7 feet onto the property being purchased. What eventually occurred was that the bank that now owned the foreclosed upon property deeded the 7 feet to the neighbor.

It is so critical that whenever you list a property that you obtain the legal description and ask the owners for any existing surveys, plat maps, subdivision maps, etc. If you are listing vacant land it may mean going to the courthouse to research the ownership, the legal description and the location of the property. It may also mean measuring the roadway from an established point where there are no other reference points to determine where the property is actually located.

Another true story, a former company listed a home that appeared to be the ONLY home on a gravel country road with 7 plus acre home sites. The home was new construction and abandoned and had been vandalized. My former company actually put $5,000 of company money into securing the home by installing windows and doors and other repairs to make it more desirable. The home was sold in less than 30 days. The surveyor called to tell me it was the wrong home just days before the scheduled closing. There was another home on the street but it had been completely hidden from view by vegetation. Everyone involved was sued. We all laugh about it today but at the time it was not very funny.

The lesson behind all this is to cross your T’s and dot your I’s; this is a serious business and you must verify everything. Make certain the property you are listing is the property you think you are listing. Make certain your buyers are buying the property they are buying. Make certain the sellers actually own the property being sold. And if a corporation or an LLC is involved, ask for a Corporate Resolution indicating who within the company has the authority to sell and/or buy the property.

Lots, no pun intended, to think about.