Rick Foster Ends Another Show!

 Posted by at 7:59 am
Sep 022012
 

Many folks in this area who are in the business of real estate recognize Rick Foster’s name–for a number of years he taught real estate courses in Ellsworth and Bangor with skill and wit! Rick retired from teaching a few years ago and he’s greatly missed not only for his great humor, but also for his down-to-earth teaching style. I’ve always valued the opportunity I have had to be both his student and colleague.

While it might be an understatement to point out that Rick is almost always just a “little bit different,” he’s proved that by announcing a second retirement.  After fifty years in broadcasting, he’s hanging up his headphones and will no longer be the “Godfather of the Golden Oldie” at WDEA in Ellsworth. (I’m quite sure he’d have a snappy retort if I called him a Golden Oldie.)

One Sunday afternoon shortly after he retired I was teaching an Associate Broker Class in Bangor and received a message from Rick. “Rick wants you to know he is sitting at home in his pajamas, eating ice cream and watching football. What are YOU doing?”

I’m not sure if this retirement means more ice cream and football for him, but I do wish Rick the best because he is one of the best!

For the story check out the Fenceviewer Website. The article includes a photo and Rick’s reminder that he has a face for radio.

 

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For Sale by Angry Wife

 Posted by at 7:50 am
Jul 252012
 

The following is just too funny–and demonstrates that a sense of humor can be important in this business. (I don’t think any of us are making light of the seller’s situation.) Reprinted from Scott Leavitt’s Tuesday Tactics Newsletter, with permission:

“We think this might be deserving of a new acronym: FSBAW (For Sale By Angry Wife)!

For Sale by Angry Wife!

The sign says it all:

“Husband left us for a 22-year-old. House for sale by scorned, slightly bitter, newly single owner… Adulterers need not apply.”

(I bet they’re serving free revenge at the open house. Cold, of course.)”

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A Little Humor…

 Posted by at 7:52 am
Apr 122012
 

This story has been floating around the internet for a while…

An agent wanted to congratulate his clients on their recent closing. He decided a nice arrangement of flowers would fit the bill.

Later that week, his client called him, perplexed: “Why did you send me a bouquet of flowers that said ‘Rest in Peace’?”

Furious, the agent called the florist about the mix-up. After tearing into the florist for five minutes on the phone, the florist cleared his throat and said: “Sir, I’m terribly sorry for the mistake. But imagine this: Somewhere last week there was a funeral with a bouquet that said: ‘Congratulations on your new home!'”

And if you think these sort of things never happen, some years ago a friend of mine went to visit his wife in the hospital… she greeted him with “Who is Bill?” It took a while for them to sort out what had happened… he’d hurried by the closed florist shop and stuck a scribbled note in the door with the instruction to send flowers to his wife from him and the kids “and bill” (meaning send him a bill)…The flowers arrived “With love from him, the kids, and Bill.”

 

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Jan 282012
 

Since tragedy and comedy are not always far apart… perhaps this can be seen as humorous. (Thanks to Steven Cook’s Real Estate Economy Watch for the information.)

It seems that Britain is not without their share of real estate market issues… many of which parallel the U.S. According to Cook’s newsletter, a relatively new British Company called “In-Deed” has researched the issue and found that,  “Difficulties securing mortgage finance is a key factor, seriously aggravated by declining service standards among property professionals, according to the firm’s research…”

So In-Deed has launched an on-line game called Angry Buyers. According to the opening page, buyers can relieve stress by launching a mortgage broker, property lawyer or estate agent out of a canon and into a building! I’m not much of an online gamer, but it appears the objective here is to “break as many windows as you can” while relieving your frustration. Doing so means you accumulate points and ultimately might win the prize of having your mortgage or rent paid for six months.  (I didn’t look for rules, but would imagine residents of other countries are not eligible.)

Of course there’s really no market for a U.S. version…

Right?

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Merry Christmas!

 Posted by at 7:06 am
Dec 222011
 

Greetings of the Season!

While it has become traditional, it is not habitual! The holidays are a great time to say “thank you” and to recap the past year.

About this time last year I announced that I was “moving to Mallett” and I’m pleased to say that decision has proven even wiser and better than I thought. The move has allowed me to focus my brokerage business and become more localized while working with some great folks. I certainly do not miss the commutes to Newport!

This no doubt contributed to the fact that I’m having a fairly busy year in spite of the market situation. But I still believe that my fundamental focus drives my success. Diagnosing problems and understanding clients’ needs has always been important; given the increasing complexity surrounding the buying and selling of real estate, now it is vital. More than ever you need a partner who knows how to learn and who knows how to teach.

And speaking of teaching, I am now teaching at least six real estate pre-licensing courses every year. Those of you who know me well know that teaching is my first love. This year also saw growth in enrollments in the courses I’ve offered through the Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative. Next year will include a “solopreneur” series for folks who want to start a business on a very individual and fundamental basis. A collaboration between the Cooperative and Piscataquis County Extension will create a “You Can” series of classes for folks interested in traditional skills (agricultural, homesteading, domestic). I’m working on a course called “Cash as a Crop” that will look at ways to raise and save money in this difficult economy. (It probably won’t include investing in real estate!)

Because of this increased emphasis on training and education, I’ve redesigned a second website that includes “brain leaks and musings” as well as information about courses I’m teaching. You can even sign up for email announcements of future courses.

My “work” with the kids continues… every so often someone will decide that being around the kids is keeping me young. I’m not so sure about that, but I do know that being with them is rewarding and I learn a lot from them. And they are definitely good for an occasional laugh. I enjoy their problem solving abilities and their view of the world.

I still believe that the real estate market shouldn’t control us; we should look ahead and consider what we need and want to accomplish. If you follow this blog you know that I firmly believe the statistics do not control us; we create the statistics by the actions we take and the skills we apply. That is also true of life. These are times when it’s easy to feel discouraged and uncertain. But just a slight shift of focus and we can look ahead and find opportunities all around us.

Thanks for your confidence and the opportunity to work with you. Do let me hear from you… and have a meaningful holiday and a new year filled with health, happiness and prosperity. The video below just might help with some Christmas Spirit.



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Staycationing in Maine

 Posted by at 8:26 am
Jul 152011
 

During the week of July17-22 I will be doing some “staycationing” and will be out of reach  as I make occasional  day trips to some areas with limited cell phone coverage… I will be checking messages and email, but some patience will bein order if you are trying to reach me. If you need immediate assistance, call Neil or Patsy at the office (207 564-8073).

I’ll be consulting “50 Great New England Family Fishing Vacations,” written by friend and colleague Sheila Grant. Sheila’s book is obviously about where to fish, but it is also about great places to camp, family-friendly cabins, resorts and hotels, where to hike, bike, watch wildlife, go whale watching, go horseback riding, visit a zoo or museum or historic landmark, play golf, have a kid-friendly and affordable meal, find unique shopping, and more. If you’re staycationing or visiting the area you might want to take a look too! Check it out on Facebook.

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Living in the Northeast

 Posted by at 6:31 am
Feb 262011
 

Thanks to one of my favorite magazines and websites I went on a mental journey this morning. Parts of it went back over fifty years to the memory of gathering sap with my Dad. Our tools then were bit and brace, an old truck with a home-made tank on the back, some shiny new buckets we picked up at the railroad station. My journey began when I read the ongoing blog “Dispatch from the Sugar Woods” by David Mance III.

I made another turn at an article regarding The Secret Life of Snow. This article is part of a weekly column called “The Outside Story” – a weekly column on forestry subjects, natural history, and ecology syndicated in dozens of newspapers.

I could have travelled a lot longer and further. I might even have bought a diameter tape and 10-factor prism or looked at some resources available to teachers. Instead, I decided to rush here and tell you about The Northland Woodlands magazine and Center for Education. The mission of the center is “to advance a culture of forest stewardship in the Northeast and to increase understanding of and appreciation for the natural wonders, economic productivity and ecological integrity of the region’s forests.”

If you live in the Northeast—or want to—these are folks you want to know and this is a site you’ll want to visit. One thing that may surprise you is that this is a “non-profit” organization that actually sticks to its mission. In fact, I’d been reading the magazine for a long time before I realized the non-profit nature. They produce a quality content-rich publication. The writing is superb and the information is both interesting and informative.

Journey on over to Northern Woodlands.  Then see where your mouse and your mind take you. I’ll bet you have fun and learn something too!

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Sim-ul-tan-e-ous-ly

 Posted by at 10:02 am
Jan 162011
 

Two posts in a row that aren’t about real estate? This article was in  the last issue of my MoosePrint Newsletter… I got such great feedback on it I decided to add it here!

One day last year I was working with a second grader listening to her read. Dakota is a young scholar you quickly learn to admire. She works hard at learning. She was reading along and suddenly stopped dead. “I’ll never get that word,” she said.

 “Oh yes you will,” I countered. We both worked pretty hard, a syllable at a time. Simultaneously is a pretty big word for a second grader, but she finally got it. Of course then we had to work on the meaning, so I patted her on the arm with both hands “at the same time.” For some reason, the word and her accomplishment became big. When I would see her in passing I would look at her. Her brow would furrow as she concentrated and said “Sim-ul-tan-e-ous-ly.” Sometimes we would share the word with another teacher. “Dakota knows a big word!”

This fall Dakota came to visit the Grange Hall as part of the “Words for Thirds” program. The Grange I belong to gives every third grader in three school districts their own personal dictionary. One of my greater pleasures in life is getting to do those presentations. We talk about the grange, some history, and how to use a dictionary. Towards the end I ask the kids to share one thing they’ve learned. After a few kids gave the usual answers I called on Dakota who had been sitting patiently with her hand held high. She stood up, puffed out her chest and said, “Least year I learned the word sim-ul-tan-e-ous-ly. It means at the same time.”

This is one of those stories that no matter where you end it, it’s a great story. But the story isn’t over yet. Last week I was at school and walked by Dakota’s classroom while the kids were getting ready for lunch. She spotted me, ran out into the hall and grabbed me. “Mr. Boomsma, come in here. I want to show you something.”

I pretended to let her drag me into the room and waited patiently for her to return with her “show and tell.” She returned with one of her classmates in tow and pushed her friend in front of me. “Ok,” Dakota said. “Tell him.”

Her classmate looked quite serious and a bit hesitant, but after a moment of obvious concentration she said, “Sim-ul-tan-eous-ly!” I looked at Dakota to see her ear to ear grin. “I taught her that!”

 While I was confirming that Dakota’s friend knew what the word meant she was off to find another classmate. When she returned she informed me that she was teaching everyone in the class “her” word.

It is a pretty big word, even for a third-grader. As I’ve told the story, at least one person saw a parallel to the story of Johnny Appleseed. It’s also a great Christmas story. Heck—it’s just a good story. Hard-earned accomplishments are the best. And sharing makes them even better.

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Shall We Do Some Classing?

 Posted by at 9:08 am
Jan 092011
 

Okay… This really isn’t going to have much to do with real estate.  Maybe.

I’m not particularly given to making New Year’s Resolutions, but if I were one for this year would have been “to write more.” I’ve been tempted to think that means I should be issuing a warning:

Warning! I’m a writer. Anything you do or say may be used in a future article.

My colleagues and clients do offer an abundance of topics and stories, but this morning I feel the need to rant and rave over a comment published by an alleged educational expert. He announced that he’d recently experienced some “learnings.”  This led me to spend some time wondering, “What the heck is a learning?”

I’ve begrudgingly accepted that some of my instructor colleagues are doing “trainings.” I suspect they mean they are conducting classes.

I’ve yet to hear any students announce they are going to a training to get a learning. (It gives me some comfort that my grammar checker wants me to change a lot of what I’ve written.)

I might start classing and seminaring.  I do, after all, understand the need and opportunity for growth and change. And it might actually be pretty cool to be the first instructor to offer seminaring.

I also understand the need for accuracy in communication.  That’s one reason I decided to do a writing.

No, I am not this intense about it.

Wait! I can make this have something to do with real estate. Let’s say you are in the market to buy a house… and let’s say we find one you like. When we head back to the office, we are not going there to write a contract. We are going to write an offer to purchase. In fact, it’s important to understand when and how that offer might become a contract. (The answer might surprise you.) This is just one of the learnings you’ll get if you come to one of my trainings!

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