Keith and Kinsey's Real Estate Update


New Brokerage – Great Rock Realty
March 23, 2013, 6:09 pm
Filed under: Business, Real Estate | Tags: , , ,

Great Rock Logo TallWe’ve been slacking on blog posting lately. That is because we’ve been swamped! I think the last 6 weeks have been our busiest ever, and in addition to that we started our own real estate brokerage. I (Keith) made the transition to Great Rock Realty 5 or 6 weeks ago in to get things started. Kinsey just transferred her license over on Friday.

Great Rock Realty is now officially open and ready for business! In fact, we’ve already got two properties under contract as Great Rock Realty. Our website isn’t quite done yet, but it should be ready in a couple more weeks.

Our clients probably won’t notice much of a change with this move since we’ve always been fairly independent, even while working other brokers. Our goal with the new business is to provide the same great service, help more buyers and sellers, donate more money to charity, and eventually bring on other quality agents to do the same.

You will continue to see our personal branding as Keith and Kinsey Real Estate. This has become our recognizable personal brand. Great Rock Realty will just replace the roll that Keller Williams had played for us in the past. So, don’t be surprised to see both logos on signs around town.

We will continue our charity program with 10% of our commissions going to the charity of our clients choice. As we add agents and grow our new business, we will also donate 10% of Great Rock Realty profits to charity.

It’s been a lot of work to get things set up, and we are excited and looking forward to this new challenge and adventure. Thanks to all of our clients, family, and friends who have been very supportive in this move.

On a side note… 6 weeks until the baby is expected! 🙂 We’ve got lots to get done!

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Setting Your Goals For 2013
December 30, 2012, 9:34 pm
Filed under: Business, Life | Tags: , , , , ,

Well, here we are at the end of another year! It’s a great time to look forward to the coming year and think about what you would like to accomplish in 2013. It’s also a great time to look back and see how you did on your 2012 goals.

If you aren’t a goal setter, I encourage you to try it. Goals are a great way to improve your life. The difficulty is most people don’t set goals in a way that force them to stick to them. Most people just have some rough ideas in their head of things they want to accomplish, and most of the time they never follow through. There are 5 key things that will help you follow through with your goals:

  1. Write it down. Without your goals in writing, they will simply slip away as ideas and dreams.
  2. Have someone hold you accountable. If you have a friend or family member that knows your goals ask them to check in on you occasionally to see how you are doing.
  3. Make it measurable. Without a way to measure your goal you don’t know when you achieved it. This is the difference between saying I want to lose weight, and I want to lose 10 lbs. The 10 lbs gives you something to go by.
  4. Give it a timeline. Without a date to achieve something by, you’re not pushed to make it happen. To add to item 3, you might say, I’m going to lose 10 lbs by the end of March.
  5. It must be realistic. Make goals that push you a bit, but make them realistic. For example if you are starting up a new side business, maybe making a $30,000 profit in your first year is achievable, but making a million is not. Setting an impossible goal will just end in discouragement.

If you read our year end summary you already know that we had many great accomplishments in 2012 and we met and exceeded most of our 2012 goals. There are only two goals that I failed at. One was running a half marathon, though I got close with an 11 mile run. The other was the number of volunteer or charity events we wanted to participate in. I could make lots of excuses like a foot pain that’s been driving me nuts, or just the simple lack of time due to moving, building a house, and a busy business.  …but in reality, it’s more just lack of planning and focus in those two areas, and that I can only blame on myself.

I’ll be honest, I’m having a bit of a hard time coming up with goals for 2013.  The main reason for this is because we have a baby on the way. I know this will drastically change our lives and time commitments. My primary goal is to be a great Dad and husband, but that’s a little hard to measure or put a timeline on (if anyone has ideas on that let me know).  So, I’m setting some goals in other areas of my life that I think are realistic and achievable, yet challenging with a new baby to come. Here’s a few:

  • Get my real estate broker’s license – This is a step above a licensed agent.  Every agent must work under a broker’s supervision. Ultimately this could lead to starting our own brokerage, we’ll see.
  • Match our sales volume of 2012 – We had a phenomenal 2012 with sales up 149% over 2011 (even though our goal was 25%).  So, I’ll be happy just to match last year!
  • Stay (get) fit – I’ll admit I was pretty up and down with my workouts in 2012. There were some weeks where I just never made it to the gym and others that I kicked some butt. So, I’m going to allow myself some up and down but shoot for an overall average. So, we’ll say run 200 miles for the year, and workout 100 times a year. That’s an average of 2 workouts a week and 3.8 miles per week.
  • Charity events –Whether it’s Salvation Army bell ringing, a day working on a Habitat for Humanity house, or a charity run, our goal is to participate in 8 events that benefit charities. This one we failed at last year (I think we did 5 or 6), but we’ll try to make it happen this year.

Post in the comments a few of your goals, and we’ll try to help hold you accountable! Have a great new year! Bring on 2013!



Giving Challenge – Commit to Charitable Giving
December 24, 2012, 11:25 am
Filed under: Business, Life, Money | Tags: , , , , ,

I love the Holidays, It’s a time of year when people seem to be happy to give and help others. In fact, we’ve rung bells for the Salvation Army at Millers & Sons Supermarket twice in the recent weeks, and I’ve been amazed at the generosity of people in our small town of Verona! Although, this spirit of giving, doesn’t always seem to continue year round.

At Keith & Kinsey Real Estate we’ve made the commitment to donate 10% of our commissions to the charity of our clients choice. We started the charity program in 2010 after the earthquake in Haiti, and it’s been a hit with our clients. It always makes us and our clients feel good to know that people get help as a result of every closing. Even so, sometimes it’s easy to loose site of the real spirit of things. My wife recently emailed me a picture of another real estate agent’s business card which said, I donate 10% to XYZ. For a split second my reaction was one of spite, thinking she copied us and used it to market herself. However, that initial reaction quickly turned to delight realizing, she copied us and more charities are getting more money! 🙂

I started thinking… What if more businesses did this? What if more individuals did this? Would it every be possible for charities to replace government programs? Could it lead to the cure of certain diseases? Could it help the next generation?

My point here is not to boast or market ourselves based on our charity program. Instead, I’d like to encourage others to make the same commitment in the coming years. I challenge you to commit a portion of your income to charity. Lets see if we can change the world together.

If you need help deciding what is a worth cause to give to, Charity Navigator is a great place to research charities. They have a rating system that is based on the efficiency and performance of each charity, and they show financial information for most charities.

Acts 20:35 It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you.

Luke 6:38 For if you give, you will get! Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure.

Proverbs 28:27 He who gives to the poor will never want

Related posts:

Making a Difference Through Charity



Recommended Service Providers
December 14, 2012, 7:23 am
Filed under: Business

Great service is very important. We have had the opportunity to work with lots of service providers around Madison, Verona, and all of South Central Wisconsin. We’ve built relationships and stayed in touch with quite a few of the great service people who have provided our clients (and us personally) great service. In fact, here’s a quote from an email I recently received thanking us for recommending one of our preferred mortgage lenders:

” He is wonderful to work with.He was so prompt in getting back to us–sometimes he had answers within minutes–truly.”

We will continue to build this list of great people as our business grows. So, if you need help with anything from finding an auto mechanic to a snow removal contractor, check out who we recommend, you won’t be disappointed with their service.

Thank you to everyone who we have worked with over the years!



The Golden Rule – How Does It Relate In Business
November 15, 2012, 12:15 pm
Filed under: Business, Life, Real Estate | Tags: , , , ,

Most of you have heard of The Golden Rule; “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” As far back as I can remember this rule has been engrained in my brain. I don’t know whether my parents taught it to me or if I learned it from a Sunday school teacher way back when, but it stems from Luke 6:31 and Mathew 7:12 of the Bible. Ironically our pastor spoke about this a couple weeks ago after I had written half this blog. In any case, I’ve discovered how useful the Golden Rule is in business, in life, and in relationships.

In real estate, and any business for that matter, challenges arise, and mistakes happen. Often when a complication arises in a business transaction somebody ends up getting pissed off, defensive, disrespectful, or blaming. I’ll admit I’ve been guilty myself a time or two. However, you’d be surprised at the number of times I’ve had another agent yell, cuss, or even hang up the phone on me (I can say I’ve never done that). That kind of reaction never solves anything.

I always try to put myself in the shoes of the person on the other side of the deal. I ask myself if I were them, what would I do? …and If I were them, what would I want me to do? After all, a transaction must work for the people on both sides, or you’re not going to reach a deal.

This thought process not only helps a lot with the respect factor, it can also help with negotiations. You can negotiate hard while still being respectful, and treating others how you expect to be treated. In fact, if you can be friendly, helpful, and find out what the other party really needs it will almost always result in a better deal.

In other respects treat your clients how you would want to be treated as a client too. The reason most businesses fail is because they don’t meet the needs of the customer. A business is profitable when their product or service is valuable to the consumer. Provide your clients with the service or product you would expect and your business will be perceived as valuable.

This golden rule works well for our real estate sales business, our rental business, our marriage, and life in general. It’s Gods rule and words to live by. It’s not about you, it’s about others. The rule of business is the same as life and the path to success requires you treat others the way you wish to be treated. Doing the right thing is the key to integrity.



Be The Best In Your Business
October 8, 2012, 12:58 pm
Filed under: Business, Real Estate | Tags: , ,

I have had quite a few people ask how we managed to begin our career as real estate agents in the worst possible market and grow to be successful in just a few short years. I tell them, it’s quite simple… We provide great service.

I’m sure there are lots of other factors too. Our backgrounds in Architectural technology, income property, and marketing definitely help. Also, the fact that the bad market weeded out a lot of unsuccessful agents helped too. Now, we’ve been able to ride the market up with the recent flurry of activity.

Customer service is really key. It never ceases to amaze me the number of people in business that just aren’t very good with service and follow thru. I’ve had many agents, project managers, lenders, and contractors fail to respond when inquiring for more information. Lots of professionals work for their own best interest rather than their clients.  Some, are even rude and unprofessional to other in their business and prospective clients.

The bottom line with any business is to be the best you can possibly be and provide the best service you can possibly provide. It’s not a difficult concept, but it seems to be so rare. If you have a product or service people need, and you provide good customer service, you will be successful. Here’s what we strive to do that could potentially help your business :

  • Respond to emails, voicemails, and online inquiries in a timely manner.
  • Be respectful to everyone you talk to.
  • Follow thru. If you tell someone you’ll do something, do it.
  • Operate with honesty and integrity.
  • Remember service to your colleagues in the trade is just as important as client service.
  • Meet your deadlines and timeline.
  • Plan ahead and don’t wait until the last minute.
  • Follow the Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”

If you follow these few simple rules, you’ll undoubtedly outperform 80% of your colleagues.  Like I said, it’s simple, and very much common sense. Although, common sense doesn’t seem so common these days.



100th Post – Help Us Give!
September 3, 2012, 8:05 am
Filed under: Business, Income Property, Money, Real Estate | Tags: , , , , ,

This is our 100th post! In the short time we’ve been blogging, we’ve seen our readership numbers drastically increasing and we are approaching our 10,000th view. Thank you to all of our readers for paying attention to what we have to express. We hope you are enjoying our information on real estate, finances, investments, and some personal tidbits

To celebrate our 100th post and an amazingly successful year thus far, we wanted to do something more for charity and to spread the word of what we do. So, for the next week, in addition to our usual charity program, we will donate $1 to charity for any new Facebook page “like”, Twitter follower, or blog subscriber (up to $1000). The best part is you get to help us choose the charity! Go to our Facebook page to vote which charity you like the best. If you find our Blog, Twitter feed, Facebook page, or website useful information, please share it with your friends and family to help us donate more! Thanks for your support!

Our top 5 posts of all time have been:

1) Marriage and Money – Dave Ramsey vs. Suze Orman

2) Homeowner (and Rental Owner) Tax Deductions

3) Build Wealth and Passive Income With Rental Properties

4) Our Home Build Series

5) My Debate With Suze Orman

…and one of my favorites that I thought was way underrated is Entrepreneurial Ideas For the Unemployed