Off to the Races
August 27, 2013

apple-full[1]The start of a new school year brings mixed emotions.  For many, summer is too long and the start of a new school year is very exciting and long overdue.  For others, summer is never long enough and the end of summer brings nothing but anxiety as the next school year lurks around the corner.  For all kids and their families, it means transitioning away from the unscheduled pace of summer to a more hectic pace that fills the calendar with to do items.  Just as schools play a vital role in the lives of our kids, they also play a vital role in real estate.  Once again this year, Blue Leaf Realty had the good fortune of helping many families get into a new home just in time to begin the school year.  For that, we are grateful and we hope that all kids who are starting school or heading back to school will be challenged to reach their full potential.

Blue Leaf Realty Educates Real Estate Consumers in Tarrant County
July 26, 2012

Getting educated about the process and the marketplace is the most important step in the real estate process.  Scott and Liana Oram, Realtors and founders of Blue Leaf Realty, take educating consumers and clients to heart.  Both are former educators and both hold master’s degrees in education and master’s degrees in real estate.  They have designed real estate workshops for people in North Texas who have never purchased a home before as well as workshops for people who are investing in real estate to grow their net worth.  At day’s end, Blue Leaf agents believe that an educated client is one who ultimately makes smarter real estate decisions.  Whether you are buying or selling, please check out BlueLeaf’s website that outlines the FREE  Real Estate Workshops offered by Blue Leaf Realty and don’t miss out on this great resource.

Jimmy Ramey Reaches Next Real Estate Milestone
July 8, 2012

Blue Leaf Agent, Jimmy Ramey, figures out the recipe for success in real estate – delivering service that is so remarkable that people tell friends and family about their experience.  Referrals are the centerpiece of every successful real estate agent’s story and Jimmy’s story is no different.  As a result of earning his client’s trust and garnering referrals, Jimmy expects to exceed his goal for 2012.  As the real estate market in North Texas continues to heat up, Jimmy is positioned to take his real estate business to the next level.  Coming from the restaurant industry where great service is crucial, Jimmy understands how important it is to WOW each client with remarkable service.  “It’s always great to get a referral from a past customer — it lets me know that I’ve done my job,” says Jimmy Ramey.  “Many thanks to all my past clients and others who have referred me – referrals keep me busy and being busy is what I love!”  To learn more about how word-of-mouth marketing can take your business to the next level, check out one of Blue Leaf Realty’s favorite authors – Andy Sernovitz.

Taking the Plunge
February 23, 2012

111adacourt.com

Buying A Home?

 The decision to buy a home is not driven by price and value alone.  It is much more complicated.  In fact, the decision to buy a home has underlying drivers that are conscious and subconscious, rational and emotional, and simple and complex all at once.  While a would-be buyer is attempting to deal with price and value, he is also forced to grapple with much more powerful issues.  Psychological issues such as status, safety, a desire to belong, and perhaps the most powerful driver of all, the eagerness to move forward, to get to the next stage in life.  All of these very powerful thoughts and emotions are poured into a cauldron to simmer and then stirred and mixed thoroughly for good measure.  This is when the going gets tough!  At one moment, price and value are the most important driver for a would-be home buyer.  In the very next moment, status and security are the overriding forces behind the decision to purchase a home.  The would-be home buyer must be ready to let these powerful emotions and thoughts coalesce into a well-formed decision to buy.  When the right balance is struck between the rational and the emotional systems we call upon to make important decisions like buying a home, then, and only then, is a buyer ready to make the commitment necessary to find a home, put it under contract, spend money on deposits and inspections, and ultimately sign on the dotted line.

Approximately 526,000
January 24, 2012

CCR may have said it best when they sang, It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one; it ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no millionaire’s son.”  As the owner of  Blue Leaf Realty, one thing I can say for sure is that good fortune has not come our way unless it was the result of hard work and personal sacrifice.  It certainly has not been the result of lucky breaks or fortuitous timing.    

Although real estate has been challenging at times, quitting never was an option.  Some, even from within our inner circle, have called us crazy; others have simply called us stubborn and left it at that.  Are we crazy?  I don’t think so, although I’ll freely admit that a stubborn streak runs through both me and my wife.  The truth is building from the ground up is difficult but it’s our nature, and for us it’s an integral part of the pursuit of the American Dream.  All along, our mantra has been that anything worth doing is seldom, if ever, easy. 

In our case, my wife and I did not inherit a company that was built by our predecessors, nor were either of us born with silver spoons.  Our real estate company was not borne out of a real estate boom; in fact, it was the opposite as we’ve been compelled to grow our company in an unprecedented downturn.  Furthermore, we did not receive funds to start our company from a wealthy relative or a venture capitalist and we have received no bailouts when times were tough.  No bank lent us money to get started, nor have we sold stock to would-be investors.  Instead, we simply put one foot in front of the other each day and relied upon common-sense, hard work, and faith in God along with a tenacious belief in the idea that the American Dream might be injured but it’s not dead – not for us at least.  

The reality is the formula for success is not that complicated and fairly easy to replicate.  It just involves a lot of hard work in the form of blood, sweat, and tears which makes all the difference, approximately 526,000 minutes worth of it every year.  In my opinion, that’s how good things, maybe even great things, get built, by layering minute upon minute of hard work and sacrifice.  That’s the way grandma and grandpa did it back when hard work mattered and personal sacrifice counted for something, and that’s the way we intend to do it – one minute, one hour, one day, and one month at a time.  We hope to see you at the finish line!

BlueLeaf Creates A Blue Ocean
November 26, 2011

BlueLeaf Realty survives the real estate downturn by turning up the heat and implementing the Blue Ocean strategy to wow its customers.  The Blue Ocean strategy, proposed by  Kim and Mauborgne,  is very unique: it maintains that companies will succeed not be battling the competition head-on but by harnessing uncontested market space in a variety of ways.

BlueLeaf Realty has done just that and has built a great reputation.  “The customer response has been amazing!” says BlueLeaf’s co-founder, Liana Oram.  “In a very traditional industry, it’s difficult to raise the bar and create value for customers, but the Blue Ocean strategy has given us a plan to capitalize on our strengths as a small business in a very competitive environment.” 

Today, BlueLeaf Realty is fast-becoming one of the most desirable names in Real Estate, and BlueLeaf shows no signs of slowing down in spite of a protracted downturn in its industry.  Instead, it seems plausible that BlueLeaf will continue to grow by swimming in a slipstream in the calm waters of a blue ocean.  To learn more about how the Blue Ocean strategy can enhance your business, visit Blue Ocean today.  You’ll be glad you did!

Are you a Linchpin?
November 16, 2011

I just finished reading Godin’s book Linchpin.  This book has numerous applications for business owners and entrepreneurs.  The book compels you to think about your role and the role of your business in today’s fast-moving business environment.  The book asks some fundamentally important questions such as: Are you making a difference?,  Do you understand how the world of commerce is changing?,  Are you connecting with the people you want to serve or sell to?  Many thanks to Seth Godin for writing another book that captures the essence of entrepreneurship – it should be required reading for every small business owner.  Godin gets what it’s all about!  If you’re a small business owner, I strongly recommend reading this book to find out what it means to be a Linchpin.  What you learn just might help you grow your business to the next level.  I know I’ll be leading the charge at BlueLeaf Realty to implement the ideas from Linchpin.

North Texas – A Great Place to Live, Work, and Play
October 31, 2011

Okay, forget about the traffic for just a second… North Texas is one of the best places in the US to live, work, and play.  It scores high marks across the board with only  a few exceptions.  Like many businesses, BlueLeaf Realty has put down roots in the heart of North Texas for the same reason so many residents call North Texas home.  There are job opportunities here, there are cultural attractions here, there are great sport’s venues here, and, last but not least, there are wonderful people here as well.  The best part: it’s only getting better.  As a company, BlueLeaf is growing just like the area, and we are embracing agents with the same perspective about service that we have.  Growing a real estate company over the past several years has been no small task but growing pains are a part of every great story.  We look forward to serving the North Texas community for decades to come and look forward to partnering with other North Texas real estate agents who share our MISSION to Deliver Remarkable Service.

Growing a Real Estate Company in 2011
September 27, 2011

Growing a real estate company in the aftermath of the 2007/08 financial meltdown has provided plenty of challenges and certainly has not been easy.  Many people have asked how we’ve done it.  Others have chosen instead to ask us why we’ve bothered.  To be honest, each question has merit.  Very simply, we’ve done it with creative and cost-effective marketing, word-of-mouth referrals, being very supportive to our agents, and returning time and time again to our mantra of Delivering Remarkable Service to our clients.  Our dogged tenacity has made all the difference and our dedication to our mission is the answer to the question, “Why?”.  At the end of the day, you can blog, you can call members of your SOI, and you can post on social media sites such as Facebook, but it really all comes down to serving your existing clients.  Unparalleled service is what makes you stand out and this is how BlueLeaf Realty has earned a reputation of being one of the most highly thought of and sought out brokerages in North Texas.  Thanks to those who have supported us during the economic downturn.  Here’s to better real estate days ahead!

Avoid Costly Home Buying Mistakes
September 23, 2011

Miss the Pitfalls – Avoid These Common Home Buying Mistakes 

Purchasing a home is a big decision, and the process of buying a home can be stressful.  As such, there are some common mistakes that are inherent in the home buying process.  Fortunately, avoiding these mistakes is easier than you might think as long as you know what they are.  Below are some of the common home buying mistakes:

1.  Not doing your homework.  Because everyone leads very busy lives, it’s easy to forgo doing the research.  This mistake can cost you in the long run.  For instance, if there is a vacant field behind a home you like and you fall in love with the idea of watching the cows graze while the sun is setting, just remember that lovely field could one day become a bustling retail development.  Figuring out the zoning on the adjacent raw land should be a high priority for you and your real estate professional.  Don’t hesitate to ask your agent to investigate if you don’t have the time.   

2.  Not choosing the best location.  Although most buyers think about location in general, a common mistake is that many buyers do not think about it enough.  It’s very difficult to over think location when it comes to real estate.  Factors to consider should include, but not be limited to, such things as proximity to schools, jobs, retail providers, and major roadways.

3.  Not having the home inspected.  Many buyers make this mistake with new homes and existing homes.  In both cases, you should pay to have your home inspected.  The cost of the inspection is a small percentage of the sale’s price, so it is always smart to purchase a home inspection from a licensed inspector.  You should also talk with your real estate agent to make sure your offer to purchase a home includes an option period giving you the right to terminate and receive a full refund of your earnest money should you do so. 

4.  Not hiring a real estate agent.  Buyers, especially first time home buyers, sometimes make the mistake of deciding to go it alone.  A good buyer’s agent brings many talents to the table, and the listing agent and seller have already agreed to pay a portion of the commission to the agent who brings a buyer.  This means no out-of-pocket expense to the buyer in exchange for a wealth of expertise and knowledge about location, resale, negotiating, and market conditions, not to mention fiduciary duties to the buyer.  Ask an agent if he or she will agree to represent you exclusively and a world of opportunities will open up to you.  An agent should be willing to show you multiple properties in your price range, so don’t settle for mediocre service!  If you’re buying your first home, find someone who enjoys working with first time home buyers.  I’m biased, of course, but I stongly recommend Liana Oram – she is one of the best and takes very good care of 1st time home buyers! 

5.   Not being patient.  A common mistake is for buyers to rush through the home buying process or make an offer on the rebound.  If you don’t get the house you really thought you wanted, it might be a good idea to wait at least 24-48 hours before you make an offer on another home.  Rushing into a home purchase is never a good idea and usually results in the buyer overpaying.  It’s important to remember that there are always other nice homes on the market.  This is not to say that you shouldn’t be aggressive about a home if you really like it.  Chances are good that if you really like it, someone else really likes it too. 

6.  Not buying a home.  The final mistake many people make is not buying a home at all.  If you are in a position to buy a home, there are too many good reasons why you should buy rather than continuing to rent or live in a home that’s no longer suited for your family.  However, being able to obtain an exotic mortgage to squeeze into a home you can’t afford is just as big a mistake as not moving at all, so always weigh your options carefully and find a lender and real estate agent who you can trust.  Happy house hunting!