Are First-Time Homebuyers Back and Here to Stay?

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There were many positive headlines this month from various news outlets highlighting the continued growth in total number of real estate sales and growth in home prices. Aiding this growth is the percentage of potential buyers that will make up the next generation to influence the real estate industry and the economy – Generation Y, or the Millennials. The month of September was another solid month for real estate closings, according to the National Association of Realtors sales were up 2.8% over previous year with a total of 484K existing homes sold during the month. What drove the increase was the return of first-time homebuyers to a respectful level of 34% of all buyers being first-time purchasers during September, which is a level that has not been seen in over four years.

The three primary generations that made up over 90% of home purchases this year were the Baby Boomers, Generation X, and the Millennials.  The generation segments coincide with an explosion of growth in population after World War II, from 2.8 million annual U.S. births prior to the boom, to averaging over 4 million births for the period classified as the Boomer generation. The birth decline did not begin again until 1963, when the next demographic generation, Generation X, saw a decline in population growth through new births for a period that lasted until 1977.  Now, the Millennial generation has entered the prime years for buying a home and how they educate themselves about homeownership is very important to understand as they outnumber the amount of Baby Boomers with a total estimated population of over 83 million and are far more diverse than previous generations.

Millennials currently compose 35% of all homebuyers and I safely predict, from the stand point of the total number of them that percentage will increase in 2017 and beyond.  According to a recent survey published by, first-time buyers have increased to 52% of prospective buyers planning to buy a home in 2017.  This is up from 33% of prospective buyers that were first-time purchases when the company conducted the same survey the previous year. So, what makes this next generation of home owners different from previous generations but yet the same?

I am part of Generation X, which means I grew up with access to a computer in a classroom but the majority of learning took place from textbooks, and communication was in person or via the phone. Society and the media describes the Millennials as enthusiastic, tech-savvy, entrepreneurial and opportunistic – all good things!  Now for the negative labels: lazy, unproductive, and self-obsessed. I like the generation behind me, and hasn’t the label of being self-absorbed been a common description for everyone who is still growing up?

The ironic thing is those are the very similar descriptions that were placed on my generation.  We were the slacker generation because of the different music style, referred to as grunge or alternative rock, which was popular in the 1990’s. However, as a demographic group, Generation X became very independent and went to college at a higher percentage rate than the Baby Boomers before them.  We all age and mature, but the emotional needs of people that drive their behaviors remains the same.

So what will be different with the Millennials that will affect the housing market? They are delaying or eliminating marriage, but that is nothing new, as the average age of marriage and percentage of unmarried households has been going up since 1960. What is dramatically new is the way of communication. Since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, people have been able to be connected online through a mobile device 24/7.  It has always been a critical skill in business to know how to communicate effectively with your customer. As the Millennials will continue to dominate home sale purchases, communicating effectively and expediently with them will all be about how well agents tap into technology to market and respond to them. While personal referrals are critical for an agent’s success to grow their business, the latest surveys conducted by Zillow showed that 29% of Millennials found their agent online, bypassing the personal referral process. I expect that number will increase, and the number of first-time homebuyers will continue to grow.

How do you communicate effectively with this population demographic?  It actually starts before they contact you, as they begin to research the market long before they speak with a Realtor. For starters, you need to have a mobile strategy, a video strategy, and be easily found online with your agent brand visible to them in multiple online formats. In targeting this group, just like with any marketing campaign, you should focus on the buyer’s interests.  I like what the Minneapolis Association of Realtors is doing with its first ever campaign targeting first-time homebuyers. They are creating humorous 30-second videos that will be available on social media.  You can see their ads at This makes sense, as the Millennials consume information more and more through brief video segments.

To learn more about building your business, be sure to join the many Baby Boomers, Generation X’s, and Millennials who are all part of United Real Estate and register to attend the United Convention! Go to:

Peter Giese

President & Co-Founder

United Real Estate

The Best of Bob Dylan and How Going Electric Could Be Good for Your Career

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This past week Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the first musician to ever win the award.  I was not yet born when he started his journey from a controversial folk singer to a popular rock star, who plugged in an electric guitar at a folk music festival and in doing so went on to change the song writing process of popular music forever. I have to admit, I was also not old enough to remember the original releases of some of his famous songs that would blend poetry with music and lead to him receiving the Nobel Prize.  However, as a music fan I have enjoyed his songs and the first concert my wife and I saw together (over 14 years ago) was a Bob Dylan performance.  By that time his voice had faded, but the energy and passion had remained and the audience knew the words to all his hits.

I have read about the night Bob Dylan plugged in an electric guitar at the Newport Folk Music Festival and in doing so upset the purist of acoustic folk music fans, while at the same time elevating his career to superstardom. It was documented that some fans were booing him, thinking this type of innovation was not what was needed. Even at a music festival, people don’t like surprises or change.  The strange thing is people do like good surprises, who doesn’t like it when they find twenty dollars in the laundry machine, and successful people will change. Bob Dylan was right when he wrote the song The Times They Are a Changin’ in 1964. The times are always changing.

The change he made introduced an entire new audience to his music and changed the direction of popular music. It was a bold move as he expanded his audience and he was rewarded in his career and financially with now over 100 million albums sold, a Nobel Prize, and the respect from artists of all genres. A move, that some thought was crazy, paid off by embracing the inevitable change that was occurring in consumer tastes.

I think of how many people I’ve met, and businesses I have seen, that have not changed. They have stuck with the status quo and do not reach their potential, reach a larger audience, or go in the same direction where their customers are heading. In the business world this is easy to point to, as 57% of the companies on the Fortune 500 list in 1995 are no longer on the list. Just think of Blockbuster and you can get a clear idea of how competition, when properly using technology, can displace an incumbent brand. Netflix changed the customer experience making it more user- friendly, and as a company they continue to change.  They now added a streaming video service, which attacked their own original disruptive business model.

Take a look at your business and do an honest assessment of how you are keeping up with the demands of your current and future customers.  In real estate, this means embracing technology to enhance relationships, working mobile to meet the customer where they want to do business, and promoting your agent brand effectively online so potential clients see you as the right choice to assist them with the largest financial decision they will make in their lives. How do you go electric in real estate to reach a larger audience?  There is an entire new audience for you to reach who is digesting information in quick segments of video. In August 2016 alone, over 15.5 million videos were uploaded to Facebook generating over 236 billion views!

The real estate consumer’s behavior has permanently changed.  Last year 60% of people searching for real estate didn’t just look at properties online, they actively googled real estate agents to learn more about the agent they were thinking of contacting.  Those trends are not going to reverse, so plug into them by having your online profile positively positioned on all relevant websites and social media outlets.  Give it a try to go electric by plugging into an entire new generation of home buyers by filming an introductory video of your services and making it available on your website and Facebook page. It will be a good surprise to the next generation of homeowners, who don’t see many agents communicating with them how they want to be communicated with.

As for the best of Bob Dylan, here are my top three:

  • Like A Rolling Stone
  • Lay Lady Lay
  • Tangled Up in Blue

All the best, and I would love to hear about your success stories of implementing a video strategy into your businesses, and also, what are your favorite Bob Dylan songs?  I am certain we will see and hear from both of these categories at the United Real Estate convention in Austin!


Is Developing Grit The Key to Success for Your Business and Children?

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Success and fulfillment are common goals all parents have for their children, and also what all entrepreneurs have as goals for their businesses.  This summer my family relocated to Texas, with that move came the excitement of a new adventure, as well as the apprehension that comes along with change, including a new school for our children. It is certainly true that the type and quality of education for school aged children is different from state to state, city to city, and within different school districts.  We were very comfortable with the school environment we had been a part of in Florida, and wanted to replicate this experience in Texas.  Regardless of the school, there is always one child who is deemed to overachieve, and one who is categorized as not meeting their potential. I ask myself, what is one common factor that has such an important influence on an individual reaching full potential, or a business succeeding?

As the school year started, we became more excited about this fresh start for many reasons, but we were thrilled when we found out our new school is introducing a way to teach kids about grit.  Grit is a characteristic I have always firmly believed in to overcome the inevitable life challenges we all face, and thanks to the work of Psychologist Angela Duckworth, how to develop grit in children and apply it to your business is being made available to everyone.  In her famous TED talk and now best-selling book, Angela defined grit as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals,” and documented grit is a better indicator of future earnings and happiness than IQ or talent.

I am pleased my children’s school is using this research, not as another school assessment, but rather as a vehicle to build grit in the students.  The students are taught a simple way to remember the importance of building grit by using the acronym Growth, Resilience, Integrity and Tenacity.  After all, people and businesses generally won’t succeed if they don’t learn how to work hard, remain committed to their goals, persevere through struggles, and do not take short cuts.  It is these values we, as parents try to instill in our children, and it is powerful to see it supported in our new school environment.

Throughout my career, I have built several successful multi-million dollar businesses, having also conducted thousands of coaching calls with successful sales people and business owners; I know first-hand these same principals of having grit do hold true in the business world.  If it is important to instill these characteristics in your children, isn’t it equally as important to instill them in your business? The question an entrepreneur has to seek the answer to is this; how do they push themselves, making certain they have the optimism to reach their goals, knowing they will face rejection, feel uncomfortable, and receive no indication they are going to meet their desired outcome for months, years, or in some cases decades?  How do you, as an adult, become grittier to reach your goals?

The answer is complex, but there are some simple steps to get started. The three key factors I have found people should immediately focus on to build grit are:

  • Have a growth mindset – Learning is not finite and your commitment to research and learning about your profession should be a daily exercise. The goals of growth for a business should be large and a belief you can improve is a must to stay on course for the long run ahead.
  • Develop a routine of daily success – In order to end right, you have to start right, and that includes what you do when you start your day. Habits determine our behaviors and you want to develop good habits, not bad ones. Developing the commitment to daily exercise will give you a great feeling of improvement and control over your future.
  • Visualize success – If you train your brain to see success each day, you will begin to see the path to success in the real world – The old adage “I’ll believe it when I see it” is fine for the naysayers, not for the people who reach the pinnacle of success and fulfillment. Prosperous, thriving people stay motivated each day by visualizing their end outcome, knowing that setbacks are not a permanent state.

To learn more about Angela Duckworth’s work check out her TED talk

To find out where you currently rank you can take the grit assessment test

Best wishes on your success and enjoy the TED talk and grit assessment.  I would love to hear your story of success!


President & Co-Founder

United Real Estate


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Freedom is a symbol of the American dream. The hope of freedom has attracted millions of people from across the world to come to America.  The idea that freedom has always been promised to people in the United States may be comforting, but certainly not factual. There is a checkered history of freedom in America being interpreted to be meaningful to an inclusive group while excluding others. As I travel and meet with people across the U.S., I am more interested in how they define freedom for their lives, as opposed to having a debate on the historical timeline of freedom in this country. After all, shouldn’t we know what freedom looks like and means to ourselves as individuals?

A common question I ask people I meet is “Can you give me a definition of freedom?” The reaction to this question usually brings the look of bewilderment and a quiet awkward silence.  When I give an approving nod and a look of assurance to those that I posed the question to, I often times get a response that typically falls into one of two categories.  Either 1) to have enough money to never work again, or, 2) to do whatever I want.

Both of those answers sadden me a little bit, as I believe we have a built in need to contribute. Most successful people who gain true fulfillment do so by the contributions they make in their career or business, that then afford them the opportunity to give back to their community and family.  The other reason, often stated as doing “whatever I want” is the leftover rebellion of teenage years and the desire to not have anyone tell them what to do.  With either response, the individual may be missing the fundamental truth that is associated with the pursuit of happiness.

At the 2016 United® Convention in New Orleans, we first introduced the Webster dictionary of freedom: The absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action. However, as with most things in life, obtaining freedom is more complex than that simple definition in the dictionary.

Find Your Freedom® is United Real Estate trademarked recruiting slogan for real estate agents to work in a modern, relevant brokerage that allows an agent to grow their business, their income, their satisfaction in work and in life. What our slogan expresses is the reality that having freedom is not the ability to do whatever you want to do, but rather freedom is the ability to do what you are supposed to do! And in real estate that means investing in yourself to improve your business knowledge, while having the resources and training available to generate clients to meet your business goals. This is the dream of living life absent of necessity. To reach this level, it is critical to know what steps to take, and how to take them. In addition, this journey requires help and support.

At the 2017 United Convention March 2-4 in Austin, Texas, we are going to give you the knowledge to do what you are supposed to do to have the best year in your business and happiness in your life. Our special guest is one of the most dynamic speakers you will ever see. Mel Robbins energized the United audience last year, and she will spend more time with us this year to assist and push all attendees to do what they should be doing to gain success and fulfillment.

To learn more about Mel and her message, you can view a brief video clip here

To find out more about the 2017 convention, go to

Peter Giese

President & Co-Founder

United Real Estate

Have You Become Afraid of Risk?

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It’s impossible, said pride.  It’s risky, said experience. It’s pointless, said reason.  Give it a try, whispered the Heart. The month of June is traditionally the top month for closed transactions in the real estate industry.  As the school year ends, families are moving into their new homes to fit the lifestyle they are seeking for the next period of their life.  It is also a time where graduates of all ages and school levels are faced with making decisions that will affect their future. In 2016 getting into the school they desire or launch their career will be dramatically affected by the number and the quality of people they are connected to.

As an entrepreneurial agent, how successful you will be in building the business you want will also be determined by the amount of people you are connected with.  How many potential customers are you connecting with that think of you first when they think about real estate?  Unlike a typical individual who is managing a budget, as an entrepreneur you are managing a profit and loss statement.  As an entrepreneur, you must perform daily and your scorecard for year end is whether or not you made more money. Unlike an employee annual performance review, the result is always crystal clear.  You connected with more potential customers and you either made more money or you did not.

Unfortunately, too many people either seek a short cut to achieve their biggest goals and choose a path that takes the least amount of effort, while others never take a risk or fully commit to their business venture. Entrepreneurs make progress a priority. They strive to take action to improve their ability to attract new customers every day. Successful agents know if they don’t act on their idea to reach out to a new FSBO, an expired listing, immediately and continuously follow up on buyer leads, and meet someone new and friend them on Facebook, another agent will and they will lose the customer.  Often sales people will not reach out of their comfort zone because of a fear of failing. The fear of failing becomes too risky and they stay in the status quo. Successful entrepreneurs look at risk with a completely different point of view.

“Entrepreneurs may fear failure, but they are more afraid of what life would be like if they don’t follow through.” – Tony Robbins

The thought of not reaching your goal as an entrepreneur is a more frightening idea to contemplate than failing.  Successful people know they will fail, but they also know they have to make another call, see another potential client. They know each interaction with a potential customer both positive and negative will be a learning experience that will challenge them to improve their skill set to improve their experience for their next potential customers.

When I was 17 years old, I drove across the country with $300 in cash, no cell phone or credit card, to spend two weeks touring the coast of California staying in cheap motels and camping out.  As I retell that story now, I am often told I was crazy and that was too risky.  Granted some youthful risk taking is misguided, however, to be a successful entrepreneur you are going to have to take risks.  If you have the right service or product along with commitment, those risks you take will dramatically change your life for the better.  All you have to do is decide to take that giant action to realize your biggest dreams and get started.

Best wishes for a wonderful summer listening to your heart and taking the risk that will allow it to help build your business!

Peter Giese

President & Co-Founder

United Real Estate

United Real Estate Group to be Featured on CBS’ “Undercover Boss,” Friday May 20th

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CEO Dan Duffy experiences front-line look into 90-year-old brand

United Real Estate Group, a fast-growing real estate franchise company that operates multiple brands nationwide and in select countries internationally, will be featured on the popular CBS reality series, “Undercover Boss.” The show will be broadcast at 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT on Friday, May 20. This will be the first time a real estate franchise has been featured on the popular program.

United®, established in 1925, continues to grow dramatically and be recognized as an innovative leader in unique, specialized real estate marketing. United Real Estate Group operates under two distinct brands, with United Real Estate focusing on urban residential markets and United Country Real Estate focusing on lifestyle and country markets. As United celebrates its 90th anniversary, CEO Dan Duffy was a prime candidate for “Undercover Boss” as he examines company performance, execution and culture at the local office level. The series has perfected the ability to uncover what is really going on inside some of America’s most iconic companies.

In the episode, Duffy worked directly with affiliated real estate agents and auctioneers.

“With 6,000 affiliated real estate and auction professionals across the U.S., Central America, Mexico and Australia, it is often a challenge to know how services are being delivered to our clients in market and to know each of the amazing individuals that make this organization so successful,” Duffy said. “The opportunity presented by ‘Undercover Boss’ was an extraordinary chance to do just that.”

“Undercover Boss,” in its seventh season, is a two-time Emmy Award-winning reality series that follows high-level executives as they slip secretly into the rank-and-file of their own organizations. Each week, a different leader anonymously joins a team member and works with them as they do their job, offering insights into the inner workings of their operation.

“Supporting the needs of the people and communities in which United operates has always been part of our core values at United. This experience reminded me how important it is for companies to not only provide exceptional services to their customers, but also to ensure everyone working with the company is respected and provided the resources to achieve their goals,” said Duffy. ‘Undercover Boss’ provided us a behind-the-scenes view into our 90-year-old brand. The experience was amazing and emotionally powerful.”

About United Real Estate Group

United Real Estate Group, operating the United Country Real Estate and United Real Estate brands, addresses the unique markets they serve, lifestyle, country and urban, with exclusive marketing, technology and training solutions. Together, the United brands support nearly 500 offices and 6,000 real estate professionals across four continents with a unique, comprehensive marketing program that includes one of the largest portfolios of real estate websites, the largest internal real estate marketing services company, an extensive buyer database of more than 650,000 opt-in buyers, and regional, national and international advertising programs for properties. For more information about United Country Real Estate or United Real Estate, please visit or

Thank you for attending the 2016 United Real Estate Convention!

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We had an amazing time in New Orleans and I want to thank all of our brokers, agents, speakers and exhibitors who helped make this our best convention yet! Not only was the convention fun, fantastic and fast-paced, we also changed lives. “It’s not what we get, but who we become and what we contribute that gives meaning to our lives.” – Tony Robbins

Coming off such a great week I’m already looking forward to seeing everyone at next year’s convention in Austin. And for those of you who weren’t able to attend, you will want to make certain you join us next year! Now, a recap of our time in New Orleans –

First, New Orleans was a great host city! The weather was fantastic which made for a perfect charity golf outing and for walking around the city to enjoy the incredible food that is a “NOLA” staple.

The golf outing held on Thursday was our first tournament as an official Corporate Sponsor of Autism Speaks. It couldn’t have gone better – our participants not only had fun but we also reached our goal of raising $10,000. As a company, we look forward to supporting Autism Speaks throughout the year as they continue to positively impact the lives of countless individuals and their families.

Friday was our first official day of convention and I thank everyone for enthusiastically joining us during the morning session and attending the educational breakout sessions held throughout the day. Also, a special thanks to our keynote speaker, Bernice Ross, who taught us that home sellers typically list with the last agent they have seen. Let’s embrace technology and implement video to connect with potential clients, but also remember we need to be visible, active and known as the source for all consumer real estate needs in the communities we serve.

On the second day of sessions we started the morning with our amazing keynote speaker – a successful author, speaker and entrepreneur, Mel Robbins. Mel was able to personalize her experience to all of us who are also building a business. She not only gave us the motivation to go out and positively change our lives, but also the knowledge. As you look at going out and meeting new clients, remember the 5-second rule or fear will keep you from moving forward. An attendee summed up her presentation the best by describing it as “life changing.”

Convention concluded with our awards banquet, celebration and live auction, where United Real Estate demonstrated that we stand by our guiding principles and are not “benchwarmers” when it comes to living up to them. During the live auction, we were able to raise over $70,000 to support Burnell Cotlon, his family and their commitment to rebuild their community in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans – an area is still in need of basic infrastructure. We, as a United group, made a difference and then concluded the banquet by recognizing our award-winning agents and closing the night on the dance floor with the New Orleans sound of the Royal Dukes Band.

Thanks again for making our company and convention great!


Peter Giese

President and Co-Founder, United Real Estate


P.S. Browse through our convention photo album on our Facebook page and feel free to tag yourself!

United Real Estate 2016 Convention Feature

One of the most significant benefits of being a member of United Real Estate is the annual convention. After all, there’s no event more important where you can enjoy training, networking, and a beautiful location all packed in just a few days!

This year’s convention is February 18-20, 2016 at the New Orleans Hilton Riverside. And if you haven’t yet registered, the time to do so is now so you don’t miss out on any of the benefits this convention has to offer!

Not familiar with the benefits? Here are just 5 of the countless reasons to join us in February!

 Ongoing Training

 As an agent or broker, investing time into skill development and learning new things is essential to your success. At the URE Convention, you can do just that!

Our days are packed with training sessions and speakers with expertise in a wide variety of relevant topic areas from technology to motivational speakers and beyond. There’s something for everyone to learn and by joining us, you can enjoy a weekend packed with the information you need for success.

 Notable Keynote Speakers

 From powerful motivational speaker Mel Robbins to technology strategist Andrew Dorn and United CEO Dan Duffy, the URE Convention is packed with keynote speakers designed to deliver actionable advice and support to attendees.

Just some of the many speakers you have to look forward to aside from Mel, Andrew, and Dan include:

  • Bernice Ross – Bernice Ross is a Professor of Psychology and Master Certified Coach with over 30 years of experience in real estate. The founder and CEO of, Bernice is a coach and trainer you won’t want to miss!
  • Joeann Fossland – Known for her personal coaching skills and expertise, Joeann Fossland has over two decades of experience helping professionals uncover and follow their passion.
  • Brenda Thompson – With over 15 years of experience in real estate sales, marketing, and management, Brenda offers a diverse array of experience to agents everywhere. At the conference, this named Best Realtor in Dallas by D Magazine is ready to show other agents how to achieve the same level of success.

 Strategic Partners, Vendors, and Sponsors

 Want to learn how to win more listings, find new buyers and increase commission rates, all while lowering your costs? If so, a visit with our strategic partners, vendors, and sponsors will help you do just that!

Just some of the companies that will be present at this year’s convention include:

  • eMerge
  • Supreme Lending
  • Enhanced Marketing Solutions
  • Rekey Locksmith
  • American Home Shield
  • Zip Falcon
  • Dee Sign
  • Logo Spectrum

 Networking Opportunities

Today, networking often dictates who succeeds and who doesn’t. And at the URE Convention, you can join with hundreds of other agents to expand your network and collaborate with professionals that you will grow to know both in and out of the workplace.

Ready to Register for Your Spot at This Year’s Convention?

 The convention is months away but registration is open now! So are you ready to claim your spot amongst hundreds of new friends you’ll make?

If so, register now or visit to learn more about what to expect at this year’s event! We look forward to seeing you there!

Did You Make a New Year’s Resolution or Did You Make a Commitment?

Each January as I head out to my gym, and like all other gyms experience, I see the same trend that begins each year as they all have one thing in common. They are all filled with new members trying to fulfill a New Year’s resolution of becoming healthier, losing weight, or getting back into shape. In many areas you don’t have to go to the gym to see this, you can just look out the window and see the influx of new joggers, walkers or cyclists. All the health clubs and gyms will also have something in common once March comes around. There aren’t as many people in them anymore. If you wait until summer and revisit again you will find that gyms are populated with what is known as the “regulars.” The same individuals at the same time of the day, month after month, year after year. The “regulars” like it when the year progresses as more exercise equipment is available without a wait. Unfortunately for most people their bad habits quickly overtake their New Year’s ambition and the status quo reasserts itself and they stop their exercise plan. Clearly the time honored tradition of making a New Year’s resolution is not a process for fulfilling a goal. The New Year’s resolution by itself lacks personal accountability, which is essential to achieve a goal.

“In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.” ~ Tony Robbins

When I speak about accountability, I am really talking about commitment. Instead of following the tradition of making a onetime resolution, why not follow a proven pattern of success and instead turn an annual resolution into a commitment day. One personal belief I like to share with people is, “tell me what you are committed to and I’ll tell you what you have a chance to accomplish.” The commitment is the starting point, not the guarantee of success as you will need to continue to grow and evolve as you mature and the world changes. Now this is where the accountability becomes real.  That commitment day is not a onetime event.  That commitment day is with you each day of the week all year! That commitment to take action becomes who you actually are as an individual, who you are as a contributor to your community and who you are as a business professional.

Taking one big action of joining a gym, taking professional or personal development classes, or signing up to volunteer to support a cause you believe in is not a bad thing.  However, to change your future and reach your goals of better health, financial freedom or even achieving happiness takes an understanding that every decision you make to do something or not do something will affect your future.  Now I am a firm believer that it is never too late to change and to make a positive difference in this world we are all part of, but why wait and put off living life to its fullest. The reality is the longer you wait the harder it will be, simply because you have built daily habits for an extended period of time and habits are hard to change. The good news is good habits can replace bad habits with commitment.

At United Real Estate we have a passion and commitment to make a difference and help all of our agents and brokers change their future. Needing more insight into how to make those changes so you can enjoy an abundant life and rewarding real estate career? Then I highly recommend you take one big action, and register for our annual convention in New Orleans. Take a look at our agenda and I am certain you will find it has the right amount of motivation and quality education seminars that will get you committed to grow your business and grow personally.

Thanks again! I hope to see all of you in New Orleans.

Peter Giese

Prepare Your Home for Winter

Now that the weather is only turning colder, it’s undeniable that winter is upon us. And just like you take steps once spring arrives to prepare your home for warmer months ahead, you should do the same now for the cold winter that’s about to set in.

But, what steps should you take as you prepare for cold weather? There are important measures for both your home and lawn to ensure everything is in top condition once warm weather returns, all of which we’re going to reveal below. Let’s get started!

Get Your Home Ready: 5 Important Tips

Curious what steps are most important to take as it begins to get cold outside? These 5 are a great place to get started:

  1. Inspect Your Heating System – Heating systems tend to break down on the coldest days of the year! You should pay a technician to inspect your furnace or heat pump well ahead of the cold weather. This can identify any preexisting issues and ensure your system is in tip-top shape.
  2. Inspect the Roof – Missing or damaged shingles can leak and cause issues as snow accumulates or melts. Be sure to check your roof before it begins to snow to ensure you’re prepared!
  3. Inspect the Chimney – If you live in a home with a fireplace, an inspection is in order! Get the chimney and vents cleaned to prevent fires or carbon monoxide poisoning in the home.
  4. Caulk Around Windows and Doors – If there are any gaps in caulking wider than the width of a nickel, you should reapply caulk. Use silicone caulk for exterior use because it won’t shrink and cause future gaps (or be affected by the elements).
  5. Clean Gutters – Leaves or other debris in your gutters can block water and cause damage to your roof or siding, not to mention cause ice dams. Clean them yourself or pay a professional to clean and inspect them to ensure they’re functioning properly.

Get Your Lawn Ready: 5 Important Tips

Now that you’ve handled preparation inside your home, it’s important to turn your attention to the lawn! Here are 5 additional tips to follow to ensure it’s healthy when the snow melts:

  1. Mulch Leaves Instead of Raking – Drop the rake! Mulching dry leaves in your yard is better than ranking because the small pieces will fall amidst grass blades and nourish your yard over the winter.
  2. Mulch – Mulch protects plants against cold temperatures. Use it around trees and shrubs after the first freeze by piling it between two and four inches deep around important plants in your yard.
  3. Clear Decaying/Dead Branches – Do any of your bushes or trees have decaying or dead branches? It’s important to remove them to keep all of your plants healthy.
  4. Remove Annuals and Mulch Perennials – Annuals will die as temperatures drop but perennials won’t! As such you should remove annuals but mulch perennials after the first freeze as they will often survive and regrow in the spring.
  5. Turn Off Exterior Faucets and Drain Sprinklers – Exterior faucets should be turned off and drained to prevent water in the pipes from freezing and bursting. You should also call a professional to drain your sprinkler system if you have one.

Are You Getting Ready to Sell Your Home?

If you’re currently preparing to sell your home, taking the steps above to winterize your home is a great selling feature for buyers!

If you want to take advantage of a professional team and decades of experience in home selling across the country, the team at United Real Estate can help! Contact a member of our team today to discuss your unique buying or selling needs!