Arkansas Real Estate | Deaton Group Realty

Little Rock, North Little Rock, Maumelle, Bryant, Benton, Sherwood and surrounding areas

Little Rock AR Real Estate

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Economic & Criminal Impact of Rental Property in Little Rock

I was recently interviewed by Fox16 on the affect of rental properties in the Oak Forest area of Little Rock.  We discussed if the proper screening process of potential tenants could help the economic and criminal environment of the area.  See the story here.
rental_property_in_little_rock

In Search of Excellence in Real Estate

Read a recent article from Rismedia where the author was talking about “The Consumer’s Search for Excellence” in the real estate industry.  The author, Verl Workman, has hit the target.  See the link below for the full article.
When I opened my own agency in 2006 after 2 years as a new licensee, my goal was to change the mindset & professionalism of the real estate industry.  Our communities and our clients have less than ‘great’ thoughts and feelings about real estate agents and their practices.
Most of the thoughts about REALTORS focus around: (1) overwhelming consensus that people don’t feel they need a REALTOR®,  (2) lack of communication, (3) very little work for too much money, (4) unethical, dishonest, not trustworthy, and (5) more interested in the commission than actually helping the clients.
I teach every new agent of mine the “COFFEE” concept.  Each letter of this acronym is an area of focus for any agent to develop their business.  The last “E” stands for Excellence.  If you want to make it in this industry, every aspect of your business must strive for excellence.  Notice I used the word ‘strive’.  Everything won’t be excellent every time, but if you strive for excellence always, then you will make steps toward that.
Every day, I want to defend our industry with passion, enthusiasm, professionalism, and irrational service.  Many agree that this perception will not change, unless we change, unless we take the level of our professionalism to a much higher level.  We must communicate to the world that we are professional, valuable, and focused on doing the right things all the time.
I have made it my personal mission to bring a higher level of professionalism to this industry and communicate that “REALTORS are a dime a dozen, but we are not all created equal!”  I agree with others that unless we make significant changes to our industry, the consumer is going to demand significant changes in our profession. The responsibility for earning back our reputation as professionals falls on us.

The author asked “What can we do” and provided these suggestions:
• Adhere to our code of ethics. There can’t be any grey areas. Do the right thing every time, regardless of how it may or may not affect your commissions.
• Become students of real estate. We must be true experts in our communities and in the types of property we list and sell. The attitude of “fake it ‘til you make it” is what got us here.
• Deliver more than the client expects. Exceed their minimum level of expectation. They think most agents are weak because too many don’t take their professions seriously. Over-deliver by providing better service, knowledge and expert representation.
• Communicate. One of the most consistent complaints I hear is that agents do not communicate. This blows my mind! With text messaging, emails, smart phones, Skype, snail mail and many other automated ways to communication, there is NO excuse for not exceeding this minimum expectation! Stop shopping for and buying technology for the sake of owning technology and start using your tools to communicate more effectively and efficiently.
• Learn how to sell. Ok, I said it! We are sales people. No matter how you try and spin it, we are in sales. We sell ourselves, we sell homes, we resolves concerns, and we offer solutions to our clients’ needs. As I interview the audiences at my events, I ask, “How many of you are in sales?” and the answer is eye-opening. Less than 25 percent of the agents I survey believe they are in sales. Let’s step up and own the fact that we are professional sales people! We get hired to sell our clients’ properties—or on the buyer’s side, we get hired to find the right home and negotiate a fair deal for our buyers. Stand up as agents, brokers and brands and be counted as sales people; be proud of the service we provide and raise the bar.
I added this to the list: 
• Lower the number of licensees. Yes, this will make some angry, but the National Association of REALTORS is the largest trade organization in the country with around 1.2 million members, yet the average member makes an annual salary of $15,000!  Most consumers wouldn’t consider a person taking home $15,000 annually as a viable, necessary and professional resource.  It is too easy, and inexpensive, to obtain a real estate license in most states.  A REALTOR peer recently got mad at me because I used the word ‘most’ when talking about the poor reputation REALTORS have among the public.  But the reality is that ‘most’ of the licensed REALTORS across this country are not professional, aren’t striving for excellence, aren’t focused on the real estate industry, and get into the market to make a little ‘extra easy’ money.  Now ‘most’ of NAR’s members are ‘part time’ licensees, but being part time doesn’t mean you are the problem.  I have part time agents in my agency, but I teach them to be professional, knowledgeable, and service oriented, with the goal of focusing on real estate full time.  I personally mentor and coach them in their business development.  Most of our industry’s members are creating a huge disaster for our industry.  When most of its members don’t pursue real estate professionalism and excellence, how can an industry protect its value?   A big focus needs to be on reducing the number of broker licenses also, especially in the state of Arkansas.  We have too many agents, with no solid transaction history, and even less business management experience, who are opening their own real estate office, and trying to manage other agents with no experience managing their own business.
I love this industry and want to protect it, its integrity, its service and its value!  I love being able to interact with families while they experience a very large and important financial decision.  Do you?
http://rismedia.com/2012-12-03/the-consumers-search-for-excellence/#more-75075

Thank You – From a Real Estate Viewpoint

As we come upon this year’s Thanksgiving season, I thought I would provide what I am thankful for from a real estate viewpoint.

Buyers & Sellers!  Even though this is what everyone would expect, it is truly the most important.  When it comes down to the basic foundation of my role as a REALTOR, I put buyers and sellers together by acting as their local, professional, project manager for the largest financial decision, and transaction, of their lives to this point.  You see, unlike most of the jobs in American, I don’t create buyers or sellers.  I don’t create homes.  I don’t have a ‘widget’ to sell.  Yet, I serve as a consultant to guide and protect those buyers and sellers who have chosen me to direct them through a very important, and large, finanical decision.
I have people tell me all the time that I’m a good salesman.  And I am, but not when it comes to real estate.  Better yet, I am a good “marketingman”.  I have a degree in Marketing Management and the purest definition of marketing is “Satisfying a customer’s need”.  I don’t have anything to sell as a REALTOR.  As a “marketingman”, my role is to listen and provide a solution to the needs of my clients.  From that standpoint, I’m a good problem solver.  But back to thanksgiving.  My entire family is thankful for those buyers and sellers who see the difference in what a true real estate professional can provide.  We appreciate your trust!
I’m thankful for the country that I live in.  It definitely has some problems right now, but, for now, this is the best country in the world.  Our democratic, and capitalistic, society has provided our country more success (financially, mentally, spiritually, economically) than any country in the history of this World.  I don’t understand why some want to change it to be like everyone else.  I don’t want to be like Greece, or France, or Germany, or Russia, or China.  I want to be the USA!
I am thankful for the importance and value that the residents of the USA place on homeownership.  This may sound simple, but homeownership is a huge component of the pride, and success, we have in America.  It is also associated with higher financial net worth, less neighborhood crime, community spirit, and higher educational success.  The feeling associated with owning your piece of this country is awesome.  Don’t lose this right to be in charge of your property!
I am thankful for all the preferred partners who help me, and my buyers and sellers, daily.  Without all of us working together, doing our individual jobs to the finest of our abilities, this advantage of homeownership would not be a reality in America.  “All you can do is all you can do”.  Art Williams said this year’s ago, but it hold true always.  All that I ask of anyone working with me is to do all they can do.  Nothing less, nothing more.  It is because of these individuals that I get to put buyers and sellers together:
Lenders:  I know this will freak some of you out, but if it wasn’t for some people being very successful financially, then the rest of us wouldn’t be able to do what we want to.  Lending is one of these.  Lenders are nothing more than people, or companies, who have made a great deal of money, lending some of their success to us common folks so we can also experience some of the American dream!  Get over the fact that people are more successful than you.  Without people being successful, there isn’t anything to spread around.  If you want to be more successful, isn’t it great to know that you have the freedom to work harder and reap the full rewards of your labor (for now).
Title:  I don’t know what all they do, don’t want to, but I really appreciate the Escrow and Title officers.  Especially my friend Michelle and Donna at All American Title.  Sometimes I have to use other title companies, but when I use All American, I know, and I can reassure my clients, that Michelle and crew will take care of all that paperwork to make sure that we legally transfer ownership title from one party to the next without someone, or something, ruining a perfectly good opportunity of homeownership.
Inspectors:  When you are involved in such a large financial decision, isn’t it good to do your research on this huge investment?  Yes.  Don’t ever purchase a home without having it properly inspected.  This one element of a real estate transaction could reassure your dream of ownership, or protect you from a costly mistake.  Remember, these guys are looking over everything about your new home so you know everything, no matter how small or how large.  It is always better to make an educated decision.  I’m thankful for the inspectors who protect my client’s investment.
Handyman/Service Provider:  After we find some necessary repairs from the inspection above, I’m thankful for those service providers who get the issues resolved in a timely manner, with good quality work.  Again, these guys protect the investment of my clients.
REALTORS:  I am thankful for most of my cooperating real estate agents.  Unfortunately, many agents feel they are in competition with the other agent involved, but is is not the case at all.  Both agents involved in the transaction, whether representing buyer or seller, are there to manage the transaction between these two parties, with the benefit of both parties in their focus.  You noticed that I said ‘most’ earlier.  It is my opinion there are too many licensed agents who don’t have a clue what they are doing and they shouldn’t be representing either buyers or sellers.  Our industry is plagued with too many licensed agents.  it is too easy to get a license.  I am thankful for the recent housing market downturn because it allowed about half of the licensed agents in Arkansas to get out of real estate industry.  We have plenty of room for others who need to get out also.
Arkansas Real Estate Commission:  Many don’t understand the value of AREC in protecting our industry, our agents, and our buyers and sellers.  Arkansas has been duplicated across this country for our real estate practices, contracts, and legislation.  Arkansas has one of the lowest financial burdens concerning ‘bad’ real estate deals in the country. It is because of AREC.
As your family approaches this Thanksgiving season, don’t forget to be thankful for the power of homeownership in this country.  It is the basis of our economy, our capitalistic foundation, our net worth, our communities, and our jobs.  It should be protected and advanced.

Home Owners – Free Info to Save Money on Energy

If a home owner has just $1,000 to spend on energy-efficient home improvements, what would you recommend he or she do first?

1.Caulk and seal all penetrations into the home. Whether you hire someone to do a home energy audit, or do it yourself, there are penetrations all around your home.  If you have a crawlspace or basement, check the penetrations from plumbing lines and electricity wires.  You may be shocked at all the gaping holes in your house. Buy a few cans of Great Stuff and take a weekend to go around and seal everything, filling around windows, too. It takes time and it’s a pain, but it works.
2. Hire an HVAC contractor to take a hard look at all your ductwork — are there any ducts leaking that need to be re-sealed? — and give you an HVAC tune-up. You might spend a couple hundred bucks, but you can save significantly depending on how old or out of shape your HVAC system is.  
3. Replace all your lighting with CFLs or LEDs. Most people tell us they’ve replaced all their incandescents, but it just isn’t true. The DOE says that only about 13% of sockets are filled with CFLs right now.
4. Program your thermostat. Most people who buy programmable thermostats don’t program them. If we actually programmed them not to heat the furniture while we’re away, that would be smart. 
5. Reduce the temperature on your water heater. The Department of Energy recommends 120 degrees. If you have a tank water heater, it keeps a certain amount of water hot and ready to go all day, so lowering the temperature reduces the energy you use to heat the water.
If, after you’ve done all those relatively low-cost things, you want to make a little bit more of an investment, consider adding insulation to your house.

Secret Weapon to Boosting Home Values

Secret Weapon to Boosting Home Values
A recent study came out from the Center for American Progress, showing that home values in an area can get a big boost by reducing the amount of violent crimes in that area.  Communities that reduce violent crimes by 10 percent could potentially see billions of dollars in home price appreciation for the community or about a 0.8 percent increase in home prices, the study says.
Researchers found that reducing murders in a particular ZIP code followed a “predictable and significant increase in housing values in the same ZIP code in the next year.” For example, reducing crime by one homicide in a ZIP code in a year can lead to a home price jump of 1.5 percent for the next year, according to the study. Researchers also found that reducing homicides by 25 percent could lead to an estimated 2.1 percent increase in housing prices over the next year.
“The basic idea is that crime has a big negative effect on property values, and if you do a cost-benefit analysis, it will be a good investment and the impact on home values is statistically significant and very large,” Kevin Hasset, director of Economic Policy studies for the American Enterprise Institute, said during a conference call.
What’s more, the study finds that a 10 percent decrease in homicides and increase in home values could also drastically expand a community’s revenues from property taxes.
Wow, what a coincedence!  On June 11, 2012, Little Rock was ranked as the 6th Most Dangerous City in America due to violent crimes!
6. Little Rock, Ark. Violent crimes per 1,000: 14.9
Our city officials had better find a way to lower the violent crimes in our communities by finding ways to lower the poverty rates, lower unemployment, and increase the household median income, or our local housing market is going to have an even harder time recovering.

Homes for Heroes Program is now available in Little Rock and North Little Rock

Homes for Heroes Program is now available in Little Rock and North Little Rock
Guess who is Little Rock & North Little Rock’s newly appointed real estate agent to the Homes for Heroes Program?  That’s right, I recently became the official REALTOR with a national program called Homes for Heroes®.
Homes for Heroes® is an organization that was formed after the tragic events of 9/11 as a way say “Thank You” to the heroes of our nation.  It is an organization that gives back to our local heroes who include, but are not limited to: Military personnel, Police/Peace Officers, Firefighters, First Responders, Teachers, and Health Care Workers.  This program allows me to give back to my local community heroes by giving them discounts and rebates when they buy or sell homes, commercial real estate, or land with me.
We also have other professional affiliates that are willing to give back to our local heroes creating a well rounded savings package for our community heroes that continues to give back to them even after they close.  These include, but are not limited to: insurance companies, home inspectors, pest inspectors, title companies, stagers, contractors and other local businesses.
So get the word out!  Homes for Heroes® is available to our local heroes anywhere in the United States and you may be a hero or know of a hero that would benefit from this program.  This program does not stop at giving back when our heroes utilize our services.  We also offer the Homes for Heroes Foundation®.  The Homes for Heroes Foundation® is a public charity exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Its mission is to provide or coordinate financial assistance and housing resources to our Nation’s Heroes such as Military personnel, Police/Peace Officers, Firefighter and First Responders who demonstrate neediness.
For more information about Homes for Heroes® or the Foundation, please log onto www.HomesForHeroes.com. For your convenience please see the frequently asked questions attached.
This is where you, or a loved one who is active or a retired, can register for more information. Or you may contact me, Scott Deaton with Deaton Group Realty at 501-580-9151 or email: scottadeaton@sbcglobal.net or website: www.ScottDeaton.com