Great Mobile Apps for House Hunters…

January 31, 2013

If you are a house hunter and have an iPhone you really should have this app. It’s a free mobile app from Real Estate One that is GPS enabled and map based, and shows you all of the houses that are for sale in the immediate area around your current location. In fact you can expand the search area using the normal iPhone touch motions that you use to zoom in or out. You can also pan around the area to change from your current location to anywhere else. It’s fun to use and quite informative.

The app shows you a little real estate sign with the price of the listing on it. If you touch the sign it give you more information, such as the number of bedrooms and baths and square footage.  You can then choose to expand the information that is available about the house, including its listing picture and listing information. Going even deeper there is information available about the taxes, the room sizes and more – everything that you could get sitting at a PC and signed on the Multi-list service. Remember however that this app is for MIchigan-based listings only, since Real Estate One is a Michigan-only company.

You can get this app at or you can go to my mobile web site on your iPhone and download it from the home page choice there. If you like to be aware of things while you’re on the go, this is a must have app. If you don’t have an iPhone Real Estate One also has an Android version available at    For phones that don’t support either the iPhone or Android versions there is mobile version of Real Estate One’s standard criteria-based web search that will within a browser on most smartphone. It is at That app is also accessible from my Move to Milford mobile web site.

Below is a video that was created by Scott Gaffen of REal Estate One and appeared on his blog, Scott’s Tech Tips about these apps.



As always, if you need help with your search or you want to go see one of the houses that you’ve found using these apps and you’re not already signed up with another agent, give me a call – 248-763-2497 – and I’ll set up an appointment. I won’t force you into signing some Exclusive Agent agreement with me; I use an agreement that is only for the homes that I show you and allow you the freedom to use other agents if you choose to see other houses. Of course, I hope that you’ll find my service to be such that you won’t want to use other agents; but at least you’re not locked in.

The Real Secret to Awakening the Giant within…

January 30, 2013

Today’s quote from the Jack’s Winning Words blog was –   “There is no such thing as a hopeless situation. Every single circumstance of your life can change.” (Rhonda Byrne). Jack discovered that she’s famous because of her New Thought book, “The Secret.” So, what’s Rhonda’s secret? Beethoven, Einstein and Henry Ford knew it. Finally…The secret is revealed. “Everything’s possible, and Nothing’s impossible.”

I remember viewing the video presentation of The Secret several years ago. There was enough skeptic in me to temper the message; however, I found it to be generally uplifting and a positive experience. One would certainly like to believe that anything is possible. I also went through the Tony Robbins course based upon his book “Awaken the Giant Within” many years ago, which is another anything is possible message, but with some training on how to take steps to make the possible come true through careful observation and modeling techniques. The basic Robbins message was to be successful look to see what the successful people do and do the same things.

Both Byrne and Robbins stress that you can’t get what you want by sitting there going “woe is me.” You first have to realize and believe that the key to changing things in your life lies within and starts with the belief that you can do it. Both rely on visualization techniques – see yourself winning and you will win.

I’m almost sure that, if Jack had to base a sermon on this saying and the personal success themes of Byrne or Robbins, he would conclude that in order to believe in yourself and visualize your way to success, no matter which method you choose; you must start by having a strong underlying faith.

I have concluded more than once in my life that I could not solve things by myself, only through the power of my own thoughts or actions or visualization. It is during those periods of introspection that I always end up back at the same place, in prayer. A good, honest prayer session puts you in touch with the original author of the “Everything’s possible” message. Once you have Him back on your side, “Nothing’s impossible.”  So, start off with a little prayer and then visualize yourself having a great day; and, it will happen!

Beer Dinner Tonight at Palate

January 29, 2013

There’s still time to get a reservation for tonight’s Beer Dinner at the Palate in Milford. The four-course meal willFront of Palate offer different craft beers from The Witches Brew brewery with each course. to see the menu, click here. Call 248-714-5707 to see if you can still get a table.

Owner Joe Hibbert has been coming up with unique and fun events at the Palate since it opened, usually revolving somehow around the 30+ craft beers that they have on tap. And if you haven’t tried their Zombie Killer mead yet, give that a try…it’s great. This special meal will supercede the regular menu for tonight only.

I certainly wish Joe and his new bride Bristol success with this new dining venue. Milford has developed quite a reputation as a fine dining destination and the Palate just adds to that reputation. So, if you like good food and good craft beers, head out to the Palate on Main St in Milford tonight. Just for the occasion we’ve ordered up warmer weather today. Tomorrow it’s back to winter, but tonight we party.

Get off your duff…

January 28, 2013

“It’s easy to sit up and take notice. What is difficult is getting up and taking action.” (Honore de Balzac) – from the Jack’s Winning Words blog. As is often the case with Jack’s blog the focus is on doing and not just recognizing. If you see something that is wrong – do something about it. Jack went on to also share a saying that he says he has posted next to his computer – “Get Tough…Get Off Your Duff.” Interestingly, Jack opined that the saying that he has posted probably came from some sales pep talk.

Balzac’s advice is easier to read and think about than to act upon, since that would involve getting up and taking action. I suspect that the reason is that when we take notice of something, we start imagining how big the problem/issue may be and how difficult it would be to solve the whole problem and maybe not just the immediate problem that is front of us. If we see a hungry person on the street, we ought not worry about solving world hunger, but about helping that person get something to eat.beggar

The other reaction that can lead to inaction is the reflex to say to yourself, “There but by the Grace of God go I.” The next step in that avoidance reaction is to rush away from the problem, thanking God for your good fortune. Perhaps the reaction should be to thank God for placing you in a position to be able to help.

Another resolution for many is to notice, but also to ignore. It is very easy to rationalize not taking action by convincing yourself that you are too busy with other important things to take action on what you have just noticed that also needs attention. People who do that are often plagued by long bouts of the “coulda, woulda, shoulda’s” later.

man textingOur lives can become such a frenzy of activities that we become convinced that we are too busy to take on anything else; yet, if one really reflected upon the content of that daily frenzy, there are probably lots of things that could easily be dropped to take on a more important task. We bury our heads in the sands of busy work and trivial, time-wasting pursuits like texting and Facebooking to share what we had for breakfast with the world. Make no mistake about it; texting “OMG, U won’t believe what I just saw” is not taking action. Perhaps a signing off with a text, “OMG, gotta go, someone needs my help” is a start in the right direction.

So, whether you apply Balzac’s advice to your daily work life or to a life dedicated to service to others, the important thing is to combine Jack’s little saying with Balzac’s second sentence thought – get off your duff and take action.


January 26, 2013

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Never lose hope…

January 25, 2013

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” (MLK, Jr.) – from the Jack’s Winning Words blog that I so often used as inspiration.

MLK image over DOwntown MIlfordI marched in the recent MLK Day parade –“March On Main Street” – in Milford. It was a cold day, but an inspirational one. One thing that really hit me was that most of the parade organizers and marchers were way too young to have any personal ,memories of Dr. King or the events leading up to and surrounding his famous “I have a Dream” speech on the National Mall in Washington D.C. I also didn’t know, until one of the speakers at Milford’s parade mentioned it, that Dr. King had actually delivered that same speech weeks before in Detroit.

The words that Jack chose for today’s Winning Words post are certainly words to live by. We all face disappointments in life and it is only through continued hope that we keep striving.  I think we could add that we sometimes need infinite patience and persistence, too.

I read recently about a young man, who is an entrepreneur, trying to launch his first company.  He became discouraged after he had pitched his idea a few times to potential backers and been turned down each time. After much introspection, he decided that he needed to steel himself against those inevitable setbacks; so he set out on an unusual self-improvement project. He decided to take 100 days and to go out and ask something outrageous of total strangers so that he would experience their rejections and become less sensitive to failures. No matter how outrageous his requests, he discovered that he didn’t always get turned down. He also came to realize that he didn’t need to take personally the rejections that he was getting most of the time. He also moved from being terrified the first few times out to seek rejection, he actually began to enjoy it.

Now there are life lessons in that story for all of us. Many of us avoid doing things that we should be doing in business or life out of a fear of rejection. A couple of years ago, I did a bunch of up-and-down- the-street cold calling on behalf of a business. I hate cold calling; but, after a few calls I found that I was enjoying the challenge. I met lots of new people. I didn’t always fail and got a lot of business cards out to local companies. Sure I got thrown out of a few places (the ones with No Soliciting signs that were really serious about it), but I also got into many places that had those signs and discovered a welcome reception once I was in. I guess I was running on infinite hope for most of the time.

Right now, having been patient and persistent for the last few years, I’m hopeful that the real estate market is indeed coming back in this area. All the signs point to that. We just need more homeowners who hunkered down to ride this thing out to come up for air and see if now is the time to sell. We have lots of buyers and not enough homes to show them right now. So give me a call and I’ll work with you to see if market values have recovered enough for you to consider selling. If it’s not yet he right time for your home, don’t give up hope!

Finding fun in Milford in the dead of winter…

January 24, 2013

You know it’s a bit slow when the top headline in the local paper is “Residents Adjusting to New Trash Days.” That was this week’s headline above the fold in the Milford Times. But, hey, it’s winter and it’s Milford. You have to work a little harder to find the things to do for a little fun in the dead of winter. Of course one can always attend the “Basics of Ice Fishing” out in Kensington Metropark.

That’s why a poster sent to me by one of the owners of the Palate restaurant seemed to represent a fun break for the winter blahs. Palate is having a Beer Dinner on Jan 29th. Now a beer dinner is sort of like a wine dinner, but without the wine snob part. I suppose that one could make the case that serving a variety of craft beers is sort of beer snob thing; however, it’s hard to use the words beer and snob in the same sentence, unless you have a bit of a smirk on your face.

Since it opened back in the late summer/early fall, 2012,  Palate has been the place to go for craft beers, with over 30 on tap, and great food. Owners Joe and Bristol Hibbert have worked hard to introduce not only great food but a new, technology-driven restaurant environment to the Milford dining scene. They are also trying to stage special dining events that will take advantage of, and highlight, their craft beer orientation and Joe’s commitment to buying local products and producing great  fresh food dishes.

So, check out the Beer Dinner, Jan 29th. I have uploaded the poster for the even to my Move To Milford web site and you can view it by clicking here. Hey, it’s the middle of the winter and we’re in Milford, Michigan. That doesn’t mean we can’t have fun.  See the poster for cost and where to call for reservations.

Learning life lessons from baseball’s greats…

January 22, 2013

I usually like to use quotes from Yogi Berra, if I’m using a baseball quote in a blog post; but today I saw one from another baseball great that struck a chord with me – “Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.” – Babe Ruth

Babe Ruth was the best home run hitter of his era, and most other eras for that matter; however, he was also the strike out king of his time, too. Ruth was always swinging for the fences. He once commented that he probably could have been a .600 hitter had he been willing to settle for “boring little singles.”

Now baseball purists might argue that those boring little singles, when strung together in the right ways, are what really wins most ball games – and they would be right. We can’t all hit home runs every time and sometimes you have to be happy with the little singles that are paying the monthly bills, if you can string them together.  At the same time, it’s important to take Ruth’s advice about not letting the fear of striking out keep you for swinging for the home runs.

Another Ruth quote also applies to life and real estate sales – “You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.” I have found that to be true in life and in real estate. Persistence is one of the necessary traits for success in real estate and in life. Many times hanging in there with a difficult client or persisting after you’ve lost the listing first round pays off.

Finally, when we do get those rare home runs, we cannot rest on our laurels. Each day in real estate sale is like a new baseball game; and as Ruth also said – “Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.” It is all too easy and unfortunately all too common for sales people to have a letdown after a big win or, maybe better put, a slowdown that is really just basking in the prolonged afterglow of a big success. Like any other distraction that takes your eye off the ball and your daily routine, this pause to enjoy will come back to haunt you.

So the Babe’s advice might be summed up as – never give up and never stop trying out of fear of failure and always be ready to do the whole thing over again today.

Now, I just can’t end without adding this piece of wisdom from the Yogi-mister about how to stay honest with your clients – “If you ask me anything I don’t know, I’m not going to answer.” If all Realtors® just followed that advice from Yogi Berra, instead of trying to appear to be knowledgeable by blowing smoke at their clients, we would all be the better for it.

Come alive and march down Main Street in Milford

January 21, 2013

From the Jack’s Winning Words Blog as we celebrate Martin Luther King Day – “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs.  Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that.”  (Howard Thurman)  It is not widely known that MLK, Jr. was influenced in his thinking by his father’s friend, Howard Thurman.  Thurman, in turn, was influenced by a personal meeting with Gandhi who spoke of the power of non-violence.

Who or what makes you come alive? There are certainly lots of very worthy causes vying for our attention these days. Which ones get yours? When you look at the people who are toiling away for causes – raising funds or doing volunteer work or just trying to improve awareness – you often find people who have in some way been personally touched by the cause for which they now devote time and energy. If it’s for a disease or illness; they might have been a victim or had a family member or close friend who was stricken by the illness/disease. If it was some other misfortune; like a fire burning out a family or a family whose bread-winner unexpectedly passed away, often neighbors in the community will rally around them to provide support. There is a collective feeling of, “There but by the grace of God go I.”

As we pause today at noon to celebrate MLK Day in Milford with a parade down Main St. it MLK image over DOwntown MIlfordis interesting that the celebration and parade are being organized largely by students and younger people in the area who are too young to actually remember Dr. King. I was alive during the events associated with Dr. King and vividly recall watching most of them unfold on broadcast TV. For many of the youth involved in today’s parade, this is about the ideas and the commitment to change and diversity that Dr. King and his movement championed.

Most of these young people who will be involved in the celebration and parade today in Milford have no personal basis for understanding how far Dr. King had to move the country in order to remove some of the inequities that existed at the time. They have grown up in an environment that was significantly changed by Dr. Kings efforts and movement.  We are fortunate that this is what made him come alive and that he did go do it. Join us at the Kroger store at 11:30 this morning and join the March Down Main St.

UPDATE – (Brrrr – It was Cold!!)

OK, so I had the time wrong – the line-0up didn’t start until 12:15 this morning. No matter; the march when on at 1 PM as planned. It was very, very cold; but, a good crownd turned out. See the pictures below –

MLK Day 2013 - At Prospect Hill parking lot - 1

MLK Day 2013 - Crowd and tent

MLK Day 2013 - one of the signs

MLK Day 2013 listening to speakers befoer parade

MLK Day 2013 - starting the march

MLK Day 2013 - end of parade entering Central Park

Did I mention that it was cold?

This was the 8th annual MLK Day March on Main Street and was once again MC’ed by Dave Armstrong. former Milford resident, who now lives in downtown Detroit. Coffee was provided by Starbucks and the folks from Coratti’s on Main provided hot chocolate as the marchers went by.

Dance with her while you can…

January 18, 2013

I posted the announcement that I was sent by the Community Ed & Recreation folks abouth the Daddy-Daughter dance and the Mommy-Son dance that is taking place at the same time (see below) on my Move To Milford Web site calendar of Upcoming Community Events.

One can’t post something like that without pausing to allow memories of our children to sweep over us. I don’t recall having the opportunity to take my daughter to a Daddy-Daughter dance when she was little. I do recall the Father of the bride dance with her at her wedding. Sadly that is sometimes the only time that many fathers get (or take) to dance with their daughters; and by then your thoughts are turning to “Where did the time go?” and “When did she grow up?” and maybe “Where was I while all of that was happening.”

So my advice, for what it’s worth, is that you dance with your daughter(s) while you can. Worry about making an extra buck tomorrow and take the opportunities like this one to take your little princess to a dance. Before too long she’ll find her Prince Charming and you’ll be waiting for your last dance with her, at the wedding.

Feb 16 – Daddy-Daughter Dance and Mother-Son Dance – 7 – 9 pm – sponsored by Huron    Valley Recreation & Community Education. The Daddy-Daughter dance will be at Milford    High School and the Mother-Son Dance at Heritage Elementary School. $25 per couple    for residents, $35 per couple for non residents. $10 for each additional daughter.    Click here to see the registration form for both dance