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Keller Williams has more offices on the 2014 Real Trends 500

by Denise Townsend Group

Top Keller Williams Offices Expand Presence on REAL Trends 500

With a 13 percent increase in the number of brokerages ranked by transactions and a 9 percent increase in the number of brokerages ranked by sales volume, Keller Williams has 126 represenatives on the 2014 REAL Trends 500 – more than any other franchise listed. The report is an annual ranking published by REAL Trends, Inc., a leading source of analysis and information on the residential brokerage and housing industry.

The Keller Williams brokerages on the list increased the number of transactions they handled by 30 percent year over year. Moreover, Keller Williams offices increased their sales volume – that is, the cumulative sales price of all properties sold – by 42 percent. The Keller Williams representatives on this year’s REAL Trends 500 handled approximately 377,000 transactions and more than $90 billion in sales.

“We are thrilled by the performance of the Keller Williams teams on the REAL Trends 500,” CEO Mark Willis said. “Our enhanced representation on the list reflects the incredible gains our associates are achieving for their businesses and for their clients.”

Keller Williams also increased its representation on the REAL Trends Canadian 250, with the number of offices listed by both transactions and volume increasing 18 percent year over year.

Keller Williams Realty’s strong showing on the REAL Trends 500 mirrors the company’s achievements in 2013:

  • Becoming the largest real estate franchise by agent count in North America.
  • Being named the #2 training organization across all industries by Training Magazine.
  • Achieving 95 percent office profitability.
  • Helping associates earn 30 percent more in gross commission income.

“As a company, Keller Williams is firing on all cylinders,” President Mary Tennant said. “We are incredibly proud of the passion, focus and commitment of all of our family members on the REAL Trends 500. They’re building dynamic businesses and delivering extraordinary client service, which is always a win-win combination.”

For more information about the REAL Trends 500, visit realtrends.com.

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Posted in Growth, Leads, Leverage, Listings, Marketing & Branding
 
 

Tom Townsend, Broker, SRES

Denise Townsend Group

Keller Williams Sunset Corridor

1915 NW Amberglen Pkwy #250

Beaverton OR 97006

503-504-3961

Elder Financial Fraud

by Denise Townsend Group

Senior financial abuse is becoming the crime of the 21st century.

In order for fraud to take place we need to learn about the fraud triangle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rationalization (or attitude) and Pressure (or incentive) can not be changed.  People are going to commit a crime if they want to.  Opportunity is the only thing you can control.  More on this to follow.

In Oregon, from 2009-2012 fraud allegations rose from 2,153 to 2,811.  Substantiations rose from 612 to 828.  For various reasons, fraud is not always reported.  A lot has to do with fear of retaliation.  Or family and friends are involved and people do not want to report them.  Oregon's highest fraud counties: Multnomah, Columbia, Coos, Curry and Jackson. 

Statistics:

About $3 billion is annually stolen from 9.5% of the elderly population, or 5.9 million people (2010)

Typically, the thieves are not strangers.

For every 1 case reported, 4 or 5 are not.

Neglect is the #1 crime,  emotional/physical abuse #2, and fraud is #3.

Financial costs:

20% of victims end up having financial or credit issues.

Health care choices are limited due to the lack of income.

Due to age, re-cap of monetary losses are limited.

Emotional costs:

Most victims relate fraud to a violent crime.

Increased depression occurs

General mistrust with everyone

Possible paranoia

A lack of independence occurs

Physical costs:

Deteriorating health

Unnecessary institutionalization increases

Medical needs may become limited

 

Perpetrators can be family members taking advantage of the situation or think it's their entitlement due to taking care of an elder or inheritance rights.  It can also be drug, alcohol or gambling related, survival (kids living with parents because they have no other means) or a social behavior problem.  Often times, it is the sons more than the daughters, but statistics are changing.  More men between the ages of 40-59 and women between 30-59 commit these crimes.

Other, more common, perpetrators (but not all):  non-agency caregivers, life and health insurance misrepresentation, predatory lenders, internet scams, security/bond scams, unscrupulous contractors, lottery scams, professional con artists, travelers (people who travel from one city to another, perform a couple scams and move on to the next place).  Just remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it is.  Buyer beware.  Ask for references, license information, insurance documentation and other credentials to prove their work.  If they can't, don't deal with them.  Even people and businesses who have never committed a crime may find themselves tempted to do so.

Here are some red flags to watch for:

Isolation - often times if someone is committing fraud they will try and keep the victim away from family, friends and their usual routine.  This way they have total control over them.

Bank Accounts Change- if their is a change in the current account to who is handling it or new accounts and money transfers, question it.  It's a good idea to get duplicate statements sent to you as well if you are in charge of a loved one.  This way you can follow transactions and balances.  Also, consider using a credit protection company to monitor accounts.  Keep checks, credit and bank cards locked up when not in use.  If you have power of attorney, don't mingle funds and keep the rest of the family in the loop so their is no mistrust.

Delinquent bills - this could be due to other financial issues, but again, question and investigate it.

Caregivers handling finances - it's not a good idea to let strangers handle your money.  If need be, deal with small purchases and small amounts of cash.  ALWAYS get the receipts.  It's best to use a trusted family member or an agency who pays for such purchases and charges you.  Have a trusted person double check your purchases.

Anxiety about personal finances - again, this could be unrelated to fraud, but verify why.  Maybe the criminal is threatening behavior if payments are not made?  Or their are second thoughts on why a person is giving up money.

New BFF - a new best friend may be a new besty or it may be someone  taking advantage of an elder.  It could be a harmless, having fun and spending money friendship.  But double check.  Find out the persons name and other pertinent information and perform a background check.  Just searching for a name online can come up results for free.

Missing property or belongings - we all misplace things and get forgetful, but don't blame that on advanced age.  Be extra cautious when its a person with a mind disability.  Caregivers, delivery people, grandchildren...  all are suspect.  Take inventory, pictures or set up "Granny" cams for surveillance.

 

If you ever suspect fraud, you need to report it to the authorities.  Contact the police and the Department of Human Services in your area.  For the office near you call DHS at 1-800-232-3020.  Also, get an attorney.  Some speculate in elder law.

For more reporting information you can visit the DHS website here.

 

 

Tom Townsend, Broker, SRES

Denise Townsend Group

Keller Williams Sunset Corridor

1915 NW Amberglen Pkwy #250

Beaverton OR 97006

503-504-3961

 

 

 

55+: Why Sell? Why Stay? How to Prepare. Part 3 of 3

by Tom Townsend, Denise Townsend Group

Part 3, How to Prepare

There is no doubt about it, moving is a lot of work.  Selling your home, buying a new one, working with agents, buyers and sellers, getting both homes ready, changes of addresses, and packing - just to name a few - is time consuming.

It's also something that shouldn't be done alone.  Seniors need to share their plans with their family and get them involved.  This reduces the stress and questions over aging, health, health care, safety, distance, finance and inheritance. 

This blog, and the 2 parts previous, need to read and planned with everyone in the family.

 

It's you that's moving...

 

Start thinking and planning on the years ahead

Start now!  (Even if you are not close to retirement).  Where do you want to be?  How do you want to spend your time.  What size home do you want?  Will children and grandchildren be visiting? 

Prepare emotionally

It's hard to move and leave those memories behind.  I've personally experienced this with my grandfathers home.  After most things were moved out, I was walking through it and had almost 50 years of memories flashback.  Again, it's hard to let go.  But, eventually we must.  Start focusing on your new life and make it a positive experience.

What's your income level going to be?

The best thing to do is meet with your financial planner and decide what you can afford to do during your retirement.

How long will you work?

As posted in Part 2, people are working in to their later years.  This will definitely make a difference in what you do and how you do it. 

What is my home worth?

Hopefully you do not have to move when the market is down.  Although their is no crystal ball to foresee this (I wish), talk to an agent for a free market analysis.  Here is our link.  No mater what the market is, it doesn't hurt to find out.  We'll let you know if the time is right for you.

Here's to your health

As posted in Part 1, health can play a huge role in what you do.  It's the difference between a home, assisted living or a care facility.  If you are going to buy your own home consider it's size, number of levels and access.  While shopping for a new home keep these things things in mind. Remodeling before moving in is a great time to adjust for possible aging and health concerns.

Are my children financially fit?

Because of the recent economy, a lot of children are moving back home or may be there now.  This can put  a halt to your retirement needs, temporarily or permanently.  If there is a possibility of your children and their families moving back, and you intend to help them if that were to happen, have a contingency plan for your retirement dreams. Remember, Family Feud is a game show, not something you want to experience in real life.

Keep your home up to date

What seems to have been great over the last 40 years to you probably will not be great to someone in todays market.  Outdated homes generally sell for less.  So do homes that have not been maintained.  Don't put things off because you are moving.  Buyers will ask for repairs.  Some lenders will too in ordered for the buyers loan to be accepted .  Not doing repairs may cost you the sale, and a failed sale puts up a red flag to other buyers, which makes it tough to get people interested in your home.  As far as updates, consider spending some money to make money.  Your agent can give you insight to what should and what could be done to to help your home value.

Take, give and throw away

Do you have 40 years of treasures?  20?  5?  Even if it's a few years off, start organizing and cleaning now.  Decided what to keep, what to give to family and friends, what to donate and what needs to be thrown away.  Unsure?  Put it in a box and put that days date on it.  If you haven't opened it up in a year, toss it.

 

Is it your parents/grandparents moving...

 

Express your concerns and be empathetic. 

Don't push unless it's serious or a timing issue.

Support them through all aspects of the move.

Ask questions they may not ask, or may be afraid to ask, about the process, details, etc.

And most importantly, think of them, not you.

 

As an SRES, Seniors Real Estate Specialist, I have the training to meet your needs.  Our Team, including my wife Denise who has been a realtor for 24 years, are here to help.  We live by our motto: "Results with a Caring Touch".

Other experts to consult during the process are your mortgage office, accountant, financial planner and lawyer.  Don't have one of these?  Call us.  We have a large referral network.

Take care!

 

 

Tom Townsend, Broker, SRES

Denise Townsend Group

Keller Williams Sunset Corridor

1915 NW Amberglen Pkwy #250

Beaverton OR 97006

503-504-3961

 

 

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