Kelly Shaffer Joins WEICHERT, REALTORS® — New Colony

Kelly ShafferKelly T. Shaffer thrives on working closely with people to help them meet their goals. She’s held positions in banking, mortgages, real estate, retail and healthcare — all industries where the customer is always put first. She’s the kind of person who feels comfortable being around others, asking them questions and listening to their needs, and then following though to get the job done.

“I strive to work harder, stronger, smarter and more efficiently,” Kelly says. “I want to become better at my chosen career, to help others, to show integrity and to be a leader in my field.”

She believes there’s no one path to success. When you realize there are many paths to success, you can move fast. “Every day in real estate brings new challenges, and when you see that you can make efficient, rational decisions that lead to successful outcomes, you gain the confidence to keep going,” she says.

Kelly’s hometown is Lakeland, Fla. She’s been married to her husband, Lt. Commander Donald E. Shaffer, for nearly 25 years and lives in Urbana, Md. They have two daughters, Ashley and Danielle, and share their home with a Boston terrier and a Sheltie. In her downtime, she gardens and works with clients as a licensed massage therapist.

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Edward Amatucci Joins WEICHERT, REALTORS® — New Colony

Eddie AmatucciEdward Amatucci has developed everything from robotic devices to scientific instruments for space missions over the past 30 years as an engineer, but he has also had a long-time interest in real estate, from holding a Realtors® license in the past to assisting his father over the years on several investment properties and more recently a commercial property.

As retirement approaches, Eddie wants to enjoy a second career serving others more directly. He sees real estate as a natural choice.

Eddie’s management and contract skills have prepared him well to professionally represent his clients as a member of the WEICHERT, REALTORS® — New Colony team. He chose to join a Weichert brokerage for its training, its lead generation programs and the marketing systems it has in place to give a seller’s home excellent exposure in the marketplace. “Those are the characteristics that set Weichert apart from other brokers,” Eddie says.

Eddie describes himself as family-oriented above all else. He says that his big Italian family has taught him to serve others and put other people first. “Faith, Family, Fun,” is a personal motto. As a first-generation American, he has a solid belief in working hard and earning his successes.

Born in Silver Spring and a life-long resident of Maryland, Eddie has lived in Mount Airy for nearly 20 years with his wife, Sally, and raised their three children there. He earned a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland, a Masters of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and a Masters of Science in Technical Management also from Johns Hopkins University. He has earned many professional awards in his engineering career, and now looks forward to the personal achievements of guiding his clients through the sale or purchase of their home.

He is a member of the Sports Car Club of America, Washington, DC Region (WDCR-SCCA) and is the editor of its online magazine, The Straightpipe. He also enjoys fishing and golf; and supports St. Michael’s Church, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Frederick Rescue Mission, among other charities.

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9 Things You’ve Got Wrong About Green Homes

Although most folks know green homes pack plenty of eco-friendly benefits, there are some pesky misconceptions that need correcting. Here are 9 myths busted.

By Deirdre Sullivan

Myth #1: Green Homes are Expensive
Fact: Eco-friendly homes come in different types, sizes, and price tags, from a green-minded prefab that can cost less than $150,000 to an eco-urban condo for $690,000 or more. The big difference is in resale value: Eco-friendly homes fetch higher prices compared with conventionally built homes.

Click on the image for more details about this green home in California, Md., built in 2010.

Myth #2: Green Homes Look Kooky
Fact: Not all green homes look like grass-roofed hobbit holes or extra-crunchy Earthships. That’s old school. Eco-friendly abodes being built today can look just like traditional houses — except they may have solar panels or small wind turbines.

Myth #3: Green Homes are a “California Thing”
Fact: California has the strictest environmental laws in the country, so it would make sense to think green homes are a hot property in the Golden State. But when you add up the number of houses that were certified in 2012 by Energy Star for their energy savings and eco-friendly benefits, Texas is a green home leader, with more than three times the number (21,351) of Energy Star-certified homes than California (6,173).

Plus, both Delaware and Maryland have a higher penetration of Energy Star homes. Both have 40% compared with California’s 23%. (Texas is 27%.)

Myth #4: Green Homes Use Only Non-Toxic Materials
Fact: Not always. Spray polyurethane foam is a petroleum-based product that’s a controversial green building favorite. Although it’s considered an energy-saving rock star because it creates a tight seal and has a high R-value (insulation), the off-gassing it creates during and shortly after installation can cause serious respiratory issues. The EPA still supports its use, but the Passive House Institute U.S. won’t certify homes insulated with the material because it contributes to global warming.

Myth #5: Green Homes Require Newfangled Technologies
Fact: Green homes aren’t about gizmos and gadgets. They’re about better construction methods that boost energy efficiency and promote healthy indoor environments. With that said, developing eco-friendly home habits like unplugging vampire devices or mastering how to program a digital thermostat can help to further shrink your home’s carbon footprint.

Myth #6: Green Homes Need Exotic New Building Materials
Fact: Nope! New building materials have a negative impact on the planet because they produce greenhouse gases during both manufacturing and shipping. That’s why locally salvaged flooring is considered greener than the bamboo stuff that’s harvested from a sustainable source thousands of miles away.

Myth #7: Green Homes Need New Energy-Efficient Appliances
Fact: It’s not very green to trash appliances in good working condition, even if they’re not rated for energy efficiency, according to the EPA. With proper maintenance major appliances, such as refrigerators and washing machines, can be useful for 10 to 18 years.

No energy bills for this suburban Maryland home! Click the image for details.

Myth #8: Green Homes are Needed More in Urban Areas
Fact: In actuality, rural and suburban homes are the ones that need some serious greening. Thanks to walkability, people who live in high-density cities have a smaller carbon footprint since they burn fewer fossil fuels. Bonus: Walkability can actually increase your home’s value.

Myth #9: Existing Homes Can’t Be Green
Fact: False! Retrofitting an existing home is much greener than building a new one, according to a study by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. New green homes take 10 to 80 years to overcome the negative environmental affects of the construction process. Since remodeling older homes requires fewer building materials, retrofitting can leave a much smaller carbon footprint.

This Hagerstown farm home was built in 1770 and has been retrofitted so well that its annual utility bills are just $150. Click on the image to learn more.

Visit HouseLogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

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Evelyn J. Wilson Joins WEICHERT, REALTORS® — New Colony

Evelyn Wilson bio photoWith more than 17 years of residential real estate experience, Evelyn J. Wilson has just about seen it all. There’s unlikely to be a situation she hasn’t handled before. This allows her to be calm and confident, patient and personable. This makes every client feel comfortable as they move toward settlement and close the deal.

“I am committed to making each experience a positive one. The client is the priority and I am there for them completely. To me, every transaction is personal, and in many cases my buyers and sellers keep in touch even after the sale is completed,” Evelyn says.

Evelyn is a member of the Howard County Board of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors, and the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors. She is a graduate of the University of Baltimore with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, and she is originally from Baltimore. She currently lives in Randallstown.

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BOOST Your Business: Why Prospects Should List with You

By David Vane and Michael McKenna

We’re offering the BOOST program free to our Realtors®. It is an 8-week course to improve your confidence, strengthen your skills, and give you a plan of action for prospecting new buyers and sellers. It begins tomorrow, February 4.

Our final session will pull it all together. This is one of the most exciting sessions because you will fully understand the benefits to you of being a Weichert Realtor® and the value you can bring to your clients.

You will learn to: BOOST flyer

  • Differentiate yourself from other agents.
  • Learn to position everything you do in a way that shows your clients that you treat them as individuals.
  • Explain how the Weichert Price Trend Analysis is unique to the industry.
  • Build rapport.
  • Demonstrate professionalism.

This is a chance to learn how we, as agents and owners, have used each Weichert tool to its full advantage, and how you can too. We’ll be sharing our story, so that you can write yours.

Sign up for BOOST through the Weichert intranet. If you’ve missed the February 4 start date, you can still join the course for future sessions.

Details
Wednesdays at 12:30 pm
from Feb. 4, 2015 through March 25, 2015
at WEICHERT, REALTORS® — New Colony
6925 Oakland Mills Rd. Ste A
Columbia, MD 21045

 

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BOOST Your Business: Use Inventory Knowledge to Close More Deals

By Michael McKenna

BOOST is a free 8-week course to improve your confidence, strengthen your skills, and give you a plan of action for prospecting new buyers and sellers. It begins this Wednesday, February 4.BOOST flyer

Do you consider yourself a neighborhood expert?

David Vane and I have owned and operated WEICHERT, REALTORS® — New Colony since 2007, which has given us plenty of time to know Howard County and the surrounding counties extremely well. In Session 7 of the BOOST course, we’ll give you a jump on getting to know our local market inside and out.

Weichert’s market inventory activities will increase your knowledge and make you even more valuable to your buyers and sellers. You’ll learn how to focus your efforts by uncovering the buyer’s needs and motivations. You’ll become the trusted professional who shows buyers just what they want. No more feeling like just a taxi driver!

Sign up for BOOST through the Weichert intranet, and visit this page tomorrow for another preview of our program topics.

Details
Wednesdays at 12:30 pm
from Feb. 4, 2015 through March 25, 2015
at WEICHERT, REALTORS® — New Colony
6925 Oakland Mills Rd. Ste A
Columbia, MD 21045

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BOOST Your Business: Master the Buyer Consultation

By David Vane and Michael McKennaBOOST flyer

Buyers and Realtors® often jump right in to the home search process with one or the other (or even both) not knowing exactly what the buyer wants. This leads to wasted time, disappointed buyers and frustrated Realtors®.

Weichert provides you with a form called “Getting to Know You and Your Next Home,” which walks you step by step through a buyer consultation. As part of the BOOST series of classes, we will show you how best to use it and what has worked well for us since we began WEICHERT, REALTORS® — New Colony in 2007.

When you take the time to begin with a Buyer Consultation, you will:

  • Increases buyer loyalty.
  • Differentiate yourself and reinforce your value.
  • Understand buyers’ needs and wants.
  • Decrease the amount of time looking at homes.
  • Educates buyers about the current market.
  • Motivate your buyers to buy now, rather than wait.

Sign up for BOOST through the Weichert intranet so that you can learn to put the Buyer Consultation Form into action. Visit this page Monday for another look at our program topics.

Details
Wednesdays at 12:30 pm
from Feb. 4, 2015 through March 25, 2015
at WEICHERT, REALTORS® — New Colony
6925 Oakland Mills Rd. Ste A
Columbia, MD 21045

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BOOST Your Business: The 5 Guiding Principles of Follow-Up

By Michael McKenna and David Vane

We’re not going to give away all five principles here before the BOOST program begins next Wednesday, but we will share this one: Write it down.

It seems simple enough, but in the moment it can be difficult to make time to do it. Take notes as you can during a meeting or a call, but plan to take five to 10 minutes afterward to write down what you’ve learned about a prospect. What are they looking for? When are they looking to buy or sell? Where are they from? What are the names of their children? What do they do in their downtime? Be prepared with these answers at your next conversation so that you can make a personal connection.

Note the date and time you spoke, the method of contact, and the prospect’s preferred method of contact for the next time. You may think that you can remember these details, but if you’re prospecting as often as you need to, it will be more than you can handle. Consider this:BOOST flyer

Buyer Prospecting Formula
Approximately 20 prospects = 1 lead
Approximately 5 leads = 1 buyer
Approximately 4 buyers = 1 sale under contract

Don’t get overwhelmed. We can help you track it all. Sign up for BOOST now through the Weichert intranet. It’s free to our Realtors.® Visit this page tomorrow for another preview of our program topics.

Details
Wednesdays at 12:30 pm
from Feb. 4, 2015 through March 25, 2015
at WEICHERT, REALTORS® — New Colony
6925 Oakland Mills Rd. Ste A
Columbia, MD 21045

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Sales BOOST: How to Close Your Open House Guests

By Michael McKenna and David Vane

It’s the day of the open house. The property is de-cluttered, well-staged, and has been advertised extensively through Weichert’s promotional network. Guests are on their way … so what’s next? BOOST flyer

One of our BOOST sessions will teach you how to create positive interactions with your guests and build long-term connections. The first rule is to listen closely to what your guests say and how they say it. Start with one of these open-ended questions to get them talking:

  • How did you hear about the open house?
  • Are you from this area?
  • Do you currently own a home?
  • What line of work are you in?
  • Are you familiar with this neighborhood?

We’ll also give you closing dialogues to keep the conversations going even after the open house, specifically written for each type of guest: the browser, the actively interested buyer, the buyer who wants the neighborhood but not the house, and the nosy neighbor (who may be a prospective seller).

Need a BOOST? Sign up now for this free 8-week course through the Weichert intranet. Visit this page Thursday for another sneak peak at our program topics.

Details
Wednesdays at 12:30 pm
from Feb. 4, 2015 through March 25, 2015
at WEICHERT, REALTORS® — New Colony
6925 Oakland Mills Rd. Ste A
Columbia, MD 21045

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BOOST Your Business: FSBOs Need You

By David Vane and Michael McKenna

We’re offering the BOOST program free to our Realtors®. It is an 8-week course to improve your confidence, strengthen your skills, and give you a plan of action for prospecting new buyers and sellers.  It begins Wednesday February 4.

The sign may read “For Sale By Owner,” but what FSBO really means is Frustrated Sellers Become Open … to speaking with you.

These are the three stages of the private seller mindset when it comes to Realtors®:

  • Get lost!
  • Let’s talk.
  • Help!

FSBO signIn our BOOST program, we’ll share the actions and approaches you can take at each stage to move from one to the next quickly. We’ll give you specific talking points for opening a dialogue and continuing to show sellers how you can reduce their stress, save them time and get their house SOLD.

We’ll also talk about how critical the follow-up stage is in converting a FSBO. Did you know it typically takes four follow-up calls for a 78% chance of converting the prospect? We’ll show you how to increase your chance of success.

Need a BOOST? Sign up now through the Weichert intranet. Visit this page tomorrow for another look at our program topics.

Details
Wednesdays at 12:30 pm
from Feb. 4, 2015 through March 25, 2015
at WEICHERT, REALTORS® — New Colony
6925 Oakland Mills Rd. Ste A
Columbia, MD 21045

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