A Trip Around the World

Tomorrow I get to show homes from Brownsburg to Noblesville, seriously.  I may even end up in Greenwood this weekend – same clients.  That’s what happens when a client works in the center of Indy and doesn’t mind a commute to the suburbs.  But the thing that pervades my thoughts on this matter is how blessed I’ve been to have been exposed to the entire western half of Indy – from Greenwood to Noblesville – in my adult years.   I used to work on the southside in college and spent my lunch hours driving around, just exploring, getting to know a part of town that I’d probably never been to prior to taking that summer job.  I grew up in Brownsburg, so I burned a lot of gas learning to drive in Hendricks County.  Years later, my real estate career placed me in Pike Township, the heart of the northwest side of Marion County, where I cut my teeth on Indiana real estate.  And, then, in 2007,  I moved my business to Zionsville and quickly soaked up the northside.  All of this makes me a very well-rounded realtor, and I rarely get lost and I have a vast familiarity with those markets!   So, happy househunting to us tomorrow, and hopefully I’ll post about  a sale by week’s end!

It’s been my week for beautiful homes!

I showed another piece of history today, and this one is also dramatically cool!  315 W Walnut in the Village of Zionsville is of the Civil War era, built in 1868.  It is shockingly structurally sound  – NO uneven floors – and has been updated and modernized with character in tact.  No paneling, no drop ceiling, no asbestos flooring (that I could tel).  It sits on a large lot on the corner of Walnut & 3rd (across the street and down the block from my own century old beauty).  Two blocks west is the beautiful Zionsville public library, and 3 blocks east is the famous brick street.  For a historic home lover, this is a showplace.  It’s a shortsale, pre-foreclosure, so it’s lonely and cold, but it has so much potential to be filled with love – including a master on the main, a cast-iron soaking tub and a cool detached garage with a full apartment above it.  So much to appreciate in its offering and history!  Call me to see it.  Listed at $324,000. 

I Showed a Piece of Zionsville’s History Today

She sits just north of the bend on Elm Street and keeps a watchful eye on the town’s famed golf course.  She has watched Zionsville change and grow over the years; watched new construction pop up all around her.  She stands today 110 years young and as fabulous now, as she was then.  615 N Elm in the Village of Zionsville is just beautiful to an old-house afficianado like myself.  Now, I’m not talking about a Victorian showplace, but a type of classic charm that falls somewhere between totally liveable and totally guttable.  Beauty is, of course, in the eye of the beholder.  She is beautiful in her solid character and inviting style.  At minimum, she will need a facelift, (strip some wallpaper, change some paint, update some cabinetry), but she still has those original floors…and the trimwork…and the huge windows…and some random brick flooring that I find very charming.  One endearing feature is her lot size!  It’s over 1/2 acre, and trust me, that’s a big one for being in-town.  If you’re looking for a classic, maybe a project, definitely a way to love where you live…call me to see this one.  I showed it today to one who appreciated her style, but not her size.  Just a bit too big, but we both loved her!   Would you?  $320,000; 4 bedrooms, .64 acres.   Call me if you’d like to see her, too. 

Let the Good Times Roll!

Let the Good Times Roll!

The call I’ve been hoping for just came.  The excitement forced me to pause in my prose and dance in celebration with my team.  I’ve just been told that my little office – “Team Z” – won the coveted title of “Best of Zionsville” in the annual reader-poll by the Zionsville Times Sentinel.  The paper runs this contest annually, first asking for nominations from the readers, then publicizing the nominees in print and online for votes on several dozen categories from best chiropractor to school lunches.

This news has made me giddy!  Of course, I believe my office to be the best; but getting the public to embrace that is a huge testament to how hard we have worked since we opened.  For we are not the oldest, largest, nor most established office in our fair burg; but our neighbors have seen fit to name us “The BEST!”

There are those who might have thought it crazy to open a brick and mortar real estate office, from scratch, in a highly competitive market, at the kick-off of the “real estate recession” (we opened our doors in March, 2007).  But we ignored it, kept our focus, turned off the negative news and sold some houses – a lot of them, actually!  We sold homes in Zionsville, Carmel, Indianapolis, Fishers, Brownsburg, Avon and Plainfield.  We even sold a church in Peru!

The truth is that my team did work hard, but we also worked smart and with success because our parent company provided us with the tools to do our jobs more effectively.  And our clients and their neighbors saw the results of our Home Marketing System® and our agents’ skills; and, when they trusted Team Z to manage their real estate needs, we delivered.  And the word spread.  And our market share is growing daily. 

But back up a bit…notice I said that we “sold some houses?”  Indeed!  The market was NOT dead in 2009 – it was just different.”   Houses sold, banks lent, buyers bought and people moved – all year.  And they will in 2010 and 2011 and 2012, too. 

The Federal Government muddled around in the housing industry this year and came up with some good incentives and some crazy policies, but the overall impact seems to have produced the desired result with a hint of recovery on the horizon.  The local market stats in 2009 were up, down, up, down, up, down all year.  Our upper management described the lack of a trend as “bouncing along the bottom.”  It seems we’ve clearly hit bottom, and now we’re riding the waves to see at which level the market will stabilize. 

It’s been a rough ride, but we have survived, sustained and even prepared to take advantage of the recovery.  At Carpenter Realtors, we believe, cautiously, that recovery is here; and we are certainly preparing to seize opportunity.  We are about to unroll some new technological programs this spring that will put us light years ahead of our competition from a home marketing standpoint.  Plans are on paper for a new office building in Zionsville, and we hope to break ground by year’s end.  We are in growth mode, full steam ahead!

Personally, I’m welcoming the New Year, though I can’t complain about my sales success last year.  Eight-two percent (82%) of my total sales volume came from repeat clients and referrals from you guys!  THANK YOU!  I ended the year ranked 4th company-wide out of 700+/- agents.  I decreased my average days on market and increased my average net to seller – two measurements I use to monitor my development as an experienced, professional negotiator.  And I certainly learned a few things about managing transactional crisis!  Now, I figure that surviving “the worst since…” ought to earn one the right to dream big!

My goals for 2010 reflect my optimism for market growth.  I wish to close $9.2M in residential real estate this year and delight 48 buyers and sellers en route to the closing table. 

Will you help me reach my goals?  Do you know someone who would like to move this year?  How about your own family?  Is this the year you wish to make a housing change?  Have you wondered how much more house you might be able to buy in the current lending environment?  Let’s talk about it!  Have your friends call me if they’d like to talk about it, too.  A full understanding of the Federal tax credits for both first-time buyers and move-up buyers is advantageous for anyone even thinking about a move this year.  I can help you decipher it!

How about a career change?  I am so cautiously optimistic in the housing markets’ recovery that I believe individuals willing to educate themselves and put their work ethic into action can position themselves for a beautiful real estate career by getting started right now.  We train, equip and mentor better than any other brokerage in this market, and I’ll even set aside a desk for you while you’re in real estate school.  Please send anybody my way who might be thinking about a career transition!

If you wish to explore whether this is your time to get into the housing market or the real estate profession, give me a call.  We’ll talk about your options.  You can sell.  You should buy.  You can make a living in this business.  Stop listening to the media, talk to a professional!  “The market is not dead…..”  Will you help me spread the word that this IS a great time to buy or sell?! 

If a move or a career change are the last things on your mind, don’t forget that I want to be your housing resource.  Hit my website at www.JenniferBlandford.com for a wealth of discounts on everything from auto repair, electronics, furniture, household services and more.  It’s called Pinpoint Perks, there’s a link on my home page, and it’s a new service that I have subscribed to as a valuable resource for my friends and family.  Also, friend me @ Facebook.com/JenniferBlandfordZionsville so we can stay in touch!

I hope this proves to be the best year yet for you and your loved ones.  My cell phone is always at my side, and I’d love to hear from you…317-847-2695.