Convention or Conference?

by Paul Dizmang on November 12, 2013

Has is really been 23 years?  Oh my!  In 1991, I attended my very first National Association of REALTORS Convention and my eyes were as big as watermelons; mostly green with envy.  I have attended every conference since, except for 1.   It was an amazing experience that would lay the groundwork for the rest

of my real estate career.  They were talking about new technologies that would allow us to send a contract right from our office to the other agent through the phone lines.  How could this be?

Mailing recipe cards was the best way for client retention along with pre-printed information flyers, which made direct mail king.  The “big dogs” even invested in folding machines, postage machines right in their office, and the postmaster loved us.   The new ways of marketing were changing the way we do business, and a really new thing once thought impossible was now emerging, the ability to make a phone call without a landline.   All you need is 5 pound backpack phone and a big wallet, and we were calling people on the fly.  We thought long distance was expensive, but this technology was becoming affordable enough for the wannabe mobile agent.  Personal assistants were the new thing where an agent would actually hire someone to help them and have their payroll.  Classes were filled with people like me, who were so eager for knowledge that I could not take notes fast enough to keep up.

In 23 years, most things have changed dramatically, from the way we communicate to the way we dress, Thank God!  But there is one thing for sure that has not changed, it is a people business about building relationships.  People like working with agents they trust and like. Buying a home is the still the single largest purchase most Americans will make in their lifetime, and they don’t and shouldn’t give that trust to just anyone.  I have been to thousands of hours of education sessions, gone to conventions until 2000 when they changed it to a conference, and I am more convinced than ever that nothing will ever replace the personal relationship that is built, not given, from the public.  As a Realtor, I take pride in wearing my blue pin, knowing that even after all these years face to face is what makes our organization the best in the world.   




LOOK!  Made the cover in 2002!  (that’s me, the young guy in the upper pic on the left :)


The Perfect Floor For Rental Homes

by Paul Dizmang on January 9, 2012

There are 3 things I have learned about floor coverings in rentals over the last 25 years: 1. Floor coverings are expensive  2. Tenants are typically very hard on floors  3. Some of the strangest things happen I don’t even want to know about.

So I decided to do an experiment over the last 6 years to find the perfect floor covering that is durable, will withstand pets & people and a leaky washing machine.  It has to be easy to clean, low maintenance, and of course low cost.  There has to be something out there that will give landlords a solid solution.  If a family member of mine can have carpet in their home for 40 years and it is still holding strong (of course it is 1960′s green, but still) then why can’t we find a 15 year solution?

I do know that with care, any floor will do just fine however, it seems as if we are constantly keeping the carpet mills in business.  And although we do allow pets, often the problem is not the pets, but carelessness.  We all know that if one vacuums the carpet often it will prolong the life not to mention immediately clean up and spills.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t always happen like that. My dad once told me that he gave his tenants vacuum cleaners thinking that would help, and it would have had not most of the tenants sold the units at garage sales.

I tried Berber carpet for a while since it was touted “wears like iron,” and I suppose it does until the tenant actually uses the vacuum and snags it making a run and losing all the fiber.  Won’t do that again.  Vinyl rips and tears since it is not made as durable as it use to be, laminate flooring will not hold up to moisture so putting it in kitchen, laundry, or bath is a no-no.  Stick down tile doesn’t really stick, VCT works good but reminds me of my 3rd grade classroom, and commercial carpet is, well, commercial.  So what does that leave us? Hardwood and Ceramic tile.  Both are good options but can be pricey.

Over the last 2 years we have been mainly using laminate flooring in high traffic areas like hallways and living rooms, carpet in bedrooms, and ceramic tile in the kitchen and bathrooms.  So far this configuration appears to be doing quite nicely.

So what is the perfect floor?  From a landlords point of view I think it has to be our old standby, the concrete floor.  Yes it is a little cold in the winter but at least you can paint it all kinds of fun colors. :)





A Stolen Post

October 25, 2010

I liked this post enough to steal it without permission.  Yea, I know, I should have asked her, but since she isn’t in the office today what was I to do?  I’ll ask for forgiveness later.  At least I’m not saying that I wrote it, even though I feel just the same way. Showing Up [...]

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Filing for eviction

October 10, 2010

Robert was beside himself.  All he wanted to do is rent his nice home to nice people and break even.  It sounded good.  But Robert’s first experience in property management could have been a little easier.  Here are a few tips: 1.  Set your policies right up front.   For example, if your rent is due [...]

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He is such a “nice guy” Going to court, part 1.

September 26, 2010

Robert, who owned one rental home, called me for advice about a tenant that was not paying rent.  “He is such a nice guy,” he said.  Robert rented his home to this “nice guy” who had been in the home for 4 months.  He had a family, kids, mowed the yard, and seemed to keep [...]

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Why I’m going to NAR Conference in New Orleans

September 22, 2010

I am a real estate education junkie.  I go to as many conferences as I can, absorbing like a sponge as much as I can.  But this year at the National Real Estate Conference in New Orleans, my top reasons for being there have changed a bit from my list at my first conference in [...]

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Blame it on the Claws, Red Box & Mom

September 9, 2010

In the Property Management game, it is pretty typical to hear all kinds of reasons why tenants are late on their rent.  Let’s face it; being late on a payment has happened to most of us. I’ve done it; pay the fee and go on.  What is interesting however, are the reasons why people are [...]

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Scraping The EPA’s RRP Surface

July 27, 2010

I’m sure the title has you scratching your head.  Really? Could there be anymore initials in that title?  The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) put into effect their new law in regards to RRP (Renovation, Repairs & Painting) rule on April 22, 2010.  It applies to homes that were built prior to 1978 and have the [...]

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Virtual Staging

June 22, 2010

I recently read an article in REALTOR® Magazine about virtual staging.  In a nutshell, virtual staging is using tools, such as software, to spruce up an empty room by adding furniture or paint color to the photo.  It could be considered a little controversial by some and quite frankly, I couldn’t agree more.  I mean [...]

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Keep Your Census About You

May 21, 2010

I’m getting bombarded with calls from the US Census Bureau. (yeah, I had to spell check that word).  Their minions have been incessantly calling my office to get information about our vacant listings, our available rental properties and anything else that may have my company’s sign in the yard.  They demand to know who lives in [...]

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