Author: Billy Hansen

OLD WISDOM

How do you achieve long-term success without burning yourself out along the way? This question has been nagging at me the last few years. Short-term success, or the appearance of it, can be achieved with a few years of hard work and hustle, a carefully curated social media presence, or just the good fortune of being in the right place at the right time. But how do you build an enduring and rewarding career that is measured in decades? How do you become a respected master of your craft? How do you create a legacy and a body of...

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BUILDING ON THE PAST

I love spending time at the Jones Memorial Library. I love getting lost in the rich history of our area and going down the many rabbit holes that capture my imagination. My favorite collection to explore, both for work and for fun, is the Architectural Archive. While I had always heard that you could find original plans for old buildings and historic houses at the Jones, I never knew just how extensive their collection was until just recently. If you are in real estate, own a historic structure, love old houses, or just enjoy learning about the history of...

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The Real Estate Coach: J.P. Vaughan

How many of you have ever heard of the 80/20 theory?” No hands go up in the small conference room at the back of the Dawson Ford Garbee real estate office. It’s here that J.P. Vaughan, the company’s Director of Training and Business Planning, is delivering a masterclass on real estate success to four eager new agents. J.P. is well-dressed as usual. Khaki slacks, white button-up, black rim glasses hanging from a Hampden-Sydney lanyard, blue blazer, and a Realtor Emeritus lapel pin, an honor reserved for those in the National Association of Realtors for over 40 years. The only...

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The Information Gap, A Story

Tom just inherited his great Aunt Berta’s house in a small town in Virginia. Tom didn’t know her all that well, save for the few stories his mother told him. He knows even less about the area where she lived. Tom doesn’t have a clue about the condition of the property, the character of the neighborhood, or the state of the local market. All Tom does know is that the house is his responsibility now and that he’d like to sell the place reasonably soon with the least amount of headache. The house is a 1,600-square-foot, 1960s brick ranch...

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Cost Approach

A Layman’s Guide to the Cost Approach Heck,” said the real estate agent, “you couldn’t buy land and build it for this price.” This commonly heard bit of wisdom is often shared by agents to provide the buyer with a little perspective and help them to recognize the real estate opportunity in front of them. By framing the buyer’s decision as being between two basic options: 1) Buy what you want or 2) Buy land and build what you want, the agent is essentially making an appeal to the intuitive logic of the Cost Approach, which is one of...

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The Speed of the Market

The old adage, “Everything sells eventually,” is meant to give a little hope to the real estate agent working on a difficult listing that just will not move. Unfortunately, “eventually” can sometimes take longer than anybody could have imagined, especially in commercial real estate. I’ll admit to being a bit envious when I review local residential sales data and learn that the average days on market is down to around 90 days. Meanwhile, of the estimated 300 active commercial sale listings in the Lynchburg MSA, roughly 50 percent have already been on the market for longer than a year....

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An Honest Real Estate Man

In an industry sometimes known for self-promotion, exaggeration and puffing up, Lowell Milton is disarmingly modest and self-deprecating about what he has accomplished during his 60 years in real estate, but his body of work and those who have worked with him say different. He’s qualified as an expert witness in 46 Circuit Courts in Virginia and spent a good portion of his career sharing his expertise with judges and juries while testifying on the stand for condemnation and other real estate–related cases. In addition, Lowell holds both the SREA and MAI designations from the Appraisal Institute, has provided...

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