homes: Escalon - 03/18/08 10:57 AM
Escalon is located in the crossroads between Modesto, Oakdale, Riverbank, Stockton, and Manteca. From this town you have a gateway to any of these cities. It is located along HWY 120 with McHenry Rd in Modesto turning into Mariposa Rd, which ends up in Stockton. It is home of the Escalon Cougars, which usually have one of the best football teams in the state. It is located in Stanislaus County, very near San Joaquin County.
In terms of homes, Escalon is fairly moderately priced, with a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home going for a median price of $275,000. It is a fairly … (0 comments)

homes: Foreclosure Fairs Generate Huge Turnouts - 03/06/08 12:08 PM
Many people know the Central Valley in California is the foreclosure capital of the nation, currently.  You can go down any block and see REO properties left and right and can tell they are such by the front lawn. In this area, almost 40% of the loans that were made two years ago are in some stage of the foreclosure process.
I have seen a few news articles that show that the turnout to the foreclosure workshops have been larger than expected. Having been through a foreclosure in the past, I know that this process is a very stressful situation that families … (4 comments)

homes: Pricing - 03/03/08 09:30 AM
In the area of the country that I live in, there are close to 13 months of inventory for the current market. This is actually down from 22 months that was 3 months ago.  Many of the top Realtors in the area are either struggling profusely or are leaving the business altogether. What makes the difference between an agent that is being successful in this market and one who is failing? The answer is pricing. 
One of the techniques that is being used in my area is to drop a house 20-30K below market value and start a bidding war. This … (4 comments)

homes: Open Houses Can Work - 02/28/08 09:31 AM
I have lately read quite a few posts on Active Rain that have said that it is not worth an agents time to do an open house.  What are the benefits of doing an open house, besides to reassure the home owner that you are doing everything possible to sell their home? There are many, and I recently have had situations that make it all worth it.
Two weeks ago I was doing an open house at a condo listing in Modesto and only had five or six people walk in that day.  I got all their information, but one person really … (10 comments)

homes: The real victims with foreclosures - 01/31/08 03:19 PM
Many of you know that I come from an area in the country which statistically has more foreclosures than any other part.  There are issues with banks and people trashing the homes and people vandalazing the homes for copper, but that is not the issue with this blog.  This deals with the victims that are often not talked about, which is the household pet.  Many people have just left their dogs or cats in the house or garage, tied up with little or no food or shelter. Sometimes it could be a month or so before a cleanup person or a realtor … (17 comments)

homes: Weston Ranch and 60 Minutes - 01/30/08 04:22 PM
Many of the Realtors on Active Rain saw the 60 Minutes interview on a place called Weston Ranch, in Southwest Stockton.  This place also happens to be part of the Manteca Unified School District and was a prime attraction in the late 1990s for the Bay Area Commuter. With that said, why is it the highest foreclosure area in the country? The answer is very simple. It is called Greed. Some people want everything instantaneously without having to wait or save up for it.
Many people were getting into these homes for 400-600K when the market was hot and then borrowed against … (0 comments)

homes: Step it up and make a sale - 01/11/08 03:51 PM
With market conditions being the way that they are, many people are trying new and innovative techniquess to sure that they are continuously having new clients and customers, while taking care of the customers that they currently have. For those people that are new to real estate, this is an extremely difficult time to start because they have limited training and experience and probably are in a fog as to what to do to make the sale or even get a client in the first place.
When I first started real estate I was given absolutely no training, would meet once a … (2 comments)

homes: Working with clients - 12/05/07 03:39 PM
It is especially important for new agents to remember that your clients are your lifelines. I have read numerous blogs by agents that show mistakes that have been made to not only losing the client, but possibly also your reputation as an agent. The following is a quick list of things to avoid while showing a client around:
1. Don't make fun of any religion conscioulsy or unconsciously. This is a big no-no, and not only can lead to the loss of one client, but to a boycott of you and your companies services throughout the community.
2. Don't say that "You hate" something.  … (1 comments)

homes: Being Active - 12/03/07 03:11 PM
It is very important, especially in a down market that people are active with their prospecting. This could range from mailers, to utilizing your sphere of influence, or following through on expired or withdrawn listings. The key thing is to be active. Yes, you are going to face a lot of rejection, but getting through that and getting the listing is what will separate the professional from the person pursuing it as a hobby. Remember be active, customers won't just come to you because you are in real estate, you have to go to them and make them aware that you … (8 comments)

homes: Beware of first impressions! - 11/29/07 03:50 PM
In real estate we come upon people from all sorts of walks of life, from the blue collar to the white collar worker. It is extremely important for your reputation that we treat all of them with the respect that they deserve and the service you would give to Bill Gates. This did not happen to me, but it did happen to a colleague of mine.  A family was looking for an agent for purchasing a new house. The people drove a beat-up car and were dressed in ragged clothing. He asked if they had a pre-qual letter and found that … (4 comments)

homes: Four Ways to Spot a Scam - 11/28/07 04:19 PM
With the trouble in the mortgage and real estate industry it is essential to your clients to be able to spot scams. Although some may be difficult to spot, others can follow one of these patterns.
1. They ask the seller to help mortgage the property, usually 10-20 percent. Although notes are common in many states, this is a different situation. In some cases, carry the loan altogether.
2.  They refuse to give you their real estate license number, if asked.
3.  They offer to buy up the equity in your home and allow you to stay in it as long as you … (5 comments)

homes: Customers, What are you Looking for? - 11/20/07 03:23 PM
Every one tries to target customers or consumers.  But many people don't ask the customers what annoys you? What do you like? What misconceptions do you have about real estate?  In order to best target your audience you need to know what they are looking for, right now and be one step above them.  Some of the best marketing campaigns failed miserably. Why? Because they did not emphasize the product that was being sold, or consumers failed to see the benefit of the product out there.  Is that how customers see you?
(0 comments)

homes: Tis the Season to Sell Houses - 11/16/07 03:49 PM
Now that the holiday season is upon us, it is a time of year when many markets dry up until January, February, or March.  Well in many of our market, that has already happened to us.  So why not sell houses during this time of year.  Is it that we are assuming that buyers want to wait until after the holiday season to buy houses, or is it that there is no one out there for that.
Most of our production is directly related to effort.  The more energy you put into actively utilizing resources and leads, the more clients you … (3 comments)

homes: What is the best camera out there for Real Estate? - 11/15/07 03:49 PM
When I first started real estate, little did I know that I needed to take photography classes to capture the essence of a room.  I soon found that the camera you have makes the difference between a room looking small and a room looking majestic. The camera is perhaps the most important tool that a realtor needs to present listings, next to their computer.
I pass this question out there to all the different realtors in the business, what camera do you use? Why would you recommend it or not? 
(20 comments)

homes: Active vs Stagnant Advertising - 11/07/07 03:57 PM
Billions of dollars are spent each year on advertising.  It almost seems that everywhere we go that someone or something is trying to sell a product.  There are many different forms of advertising which I will spare thhat discussion on this blog, but what matters is whether your advertising is active or stagnant. 
Many people in the area I am at continuously are pumping down thousands of dollars a month on stagnant advertising, but how do you know the differece.
Active advertising in terms of real estate would be things that you do to advertise that generate leads or sales. 
Stagnant advertising … (4 comments)

homes: Consumers are there - 11/01/07 11:53 PM
I am an agent in the number one foreclosure area in the nation.  People are being evicted and leaving their homes in droves.  The numbers have it that 1 in 100 homes are in the process of being foreclosed upon.  The picture I paint is not pretty.  Many realtors have left the business in the last year and many are in danger of being in foreclosure themselves. But alas, all is not lost, because in this scenario, one thing give hope to all those agents that are suffering their worst year possibly ever:  There are customers out there.  
Yes the market … (8 comments)

homes: Real Estate Follow Up Calls - 11/01/07 12:15 AM
When I first became an agent, I learned how to develop my sphere of influence through networking, sending post cards and pop by's.  I had an agent training me in the Buffini System. Just some things that I learned on my own. 
1. Call clients at times that are convenient for them. If they work at night, don't call them while they are sleeping.  
2.  Don't just show up.  Call ahead of time and arrange a meeting so that it is convenient for the client.
3.  Be real.  Don't be a fake and don't sound like you are reading from a script. … (6 comments)

homes: First Impressions - 10/30/07 12:10 AM
Everyday we make first impressions about people we meet.  Whether it be right or wrong, everyone does it.  This is especially true when we meet clients for the first time.  Before you even open your mouth, the client will have determined, generally, whether or not they are going to list with you.  Your presentation will show if you are organized or if you are a waste of time to them. 
So advice to the new professionals out there, be organized, well-dressed, smell good, and use a breath mint before you meet the client.  Then blow them away with your presentation.
Remember, … (11 comments)

 

Matthew Zgonc

Realtor, CFS, CVS

Modesto, CA

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Address: 105 S Yosemite Avenue, Manteca, CA, 95336

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