Tag Archives: San Antonio

Coldwell Banker Skills for Amazon Alexa

As we move toward fully embracing voice-enabled technology and fully functional smart homes, Coldwell Banker has kept a pulse on the latest trends. Now Coldwell Banker is turning up the volume with an Amazon Alexa Skill for agents, brokers, and client to get real estate news on-the-fly.

Thanks to Amazon, “Alexa” has become a household name. On June 6th, 2017 Amazon Alexa users were one step closer to finding the homes of their dreams thanks to a partnership with Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. By prompting Amazon’s voice assistant with,

“ Alexa, Ask Coldwell Banker for the Home of the Week,”

users will hear a one-minute description of a featured Coldwell Banker listing and be connected to their Coldwell Banker office.

On August 1st, 2017 Coldwell Banker unveiled its second Skill for Amazon Alexa — the Coldwell Banker Gen Blue News Skill. By prompting Alexa with,

“Alexa, open Gen Blue News”,

agents will hear the latest Coldwell Banker news and access additional resources through the Alexa app.


What is a Skill?
An Amazon Alexa Skill is an app for the voice-controlled Amazon Echo speakers.

How does it work? Once you enable the skill, just prompt Alexa with, “Alexa, open Gen Blue News.” In less than 90 seconds, Gen Blue News delivers best practices, industry insights and quick challenges to help you grow your business.

Why develop the Skill? Coldwell Banker surveyed its brokers and agents and found that 79 percent of respondents would be interested in a smart home speaker, like an Amazon Echo or Dot, that was equipped with real estate news and industry insights. Your wish is our command!

What can I expect from the Gen Blue News Skill? Episodes will feature quick tips and useful info to stay ahead in the market, challenges to act on immediately to drive business and agent success stories that offer an important dose of inspiration.

Who can I expect to hear from in the Gen Blue News Skill? You’ll hear the voices of brand leadership, industry insiders and the brokers and agents who make up the Coldwell Banker network. The first episode of the Skill features Brad Inman, founder, and owner of Inman News, the leading source for real estate industry news. This episode is all about how agents can suit up for change with the innovative technology available in the real estate business.

How can I try this out for myself? You can search for the Coldwell Banker Gen Blue News Skill in the Amazon Alexa smartphone app, or using your Amazon Echo or Echo Dot, you can ask Alexa, “Enable Coldwell Banker Gen Blue News.”


 

“We’ve heard from agents that they are interested in voice-enabled technology and smart home devices, so we wanted to make sure there was another Coldwell Banker Skill for Amazon Alexa available to help the community keep a pulse on the latest trends and breaking real estate headlines. We’re excited to work with Amazon again to create our second Alexa Skill and expand our tech offerings for agents.”

— David Marine, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC

 

There has never been a more exciting time to be a part of Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® and the Coldwell Banker brand. We will work continuously to bring the latest news, tools, and support to help you bring the very best to your clients!

Show off your “Alexa Skills” by tagging us in a video of you trying out this latest development in smart home technology.

How to Deal With Unsightly City Trash Cans

We’ve all been there. Maybe it’s that one neighbor who moves their trash cans in front of your house? Or perhaps you are a real estate agent trying to guide the homeowner so that it photographs well.

Either way, large obtrusive items like city trash cans can cause quite the eyesore.

Our professional photographers do their best to ensure such things are minimized in photos to best compliment the home while remaining true to its representation. Naturally, the on-staff designers could not resist adding their bit of flair to combat the view of a, particularly overwhelming view.

The original…

And who can blame them? What is more interesting — a meeting of trash cans OR…

The most interesting man in the view.

Now THAT’S interesting.

Not quite your style? Well, what’s more stylish than an entire marching band??

We admit this isn’t our most convincing Photoshop work.

But how about THIS:

That is enough to dispell any doubt of the myth of Loch Ness.

Or maybe you’re a fan of the American Classic:

What is more American than the good ‘ole legend of Bigfoot?

No? Maybe you are more of a hero fan…

Chuck Norris a.k.a. Walker the Texas Ranger, the subject of endless memes and a legend in his own right.

Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without the other legend…

Bruce Lee. Arguably the most famous martial arts master.

 

 

Or folks could just move trash cans. (No, not our folks – your folks.)

 

It’s ok we really do understand.

 

 

Like this post? Want to see more?
Give us a little comment below.

 

Top Producers June 2017

Each month we highlight the Top Producers here at Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS®. Each name on the list represents many hours, days, and weeks of working with numerous people and professionals to secure a contract or close a deal.

There are rarely weekends, in the constant ebb and flow of work-to-be done, for the Sales Agents. When you trust in one of these professionals, you are NOT working with merely a ‘real estate agent’, you are working with a licensed REALTOR®. This license is the culmination of extensive training, experience, and knowledge tethered to a set of written Code of Ethics.

Cheers to their hard work and ongoing success!

Top 2nd Quarter April- June 2017:

 

Top 10 Producers June 2017:

 

Top 50 Producers June 2017:

 

 

Congratulations Dina Murphy, GRI Designation Achievement

San Antonio, TX – The National Association of REALTORS® and its affiliated Institutes, Societies, and Councils provide a wide-range of programs and services that assist members in increasing skills, proficiency, and knowledge. Designations and certifications acknowledging experience and expertise in various real estate sectors are awarded by NAR and each affiliated group upon completion of required courses.

With 8 offices located in San Antonio and the surrounding areas, Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® is the most innovative real estate firm in our market, Texas and possibly in North America. We continually improve and move ahead to meet the demands of our market place. Our focus on exacting the standards of INNOVATION, TRUST, and PARTNERSHIP have allowed us to remain as the market leader and most recognized real estate brand in central and south Texas.
Congratulations Dina Murphy! 

GRI

Dina Murphy was awarded the certification of GRI.

The GRI designation is a powerful tool to attract and build new business. This certification increases skill levels across the entire landscape of real estate with in-depth training in legal and regulatory issues, technology, professional standards, and the sales process. A minimum of 60 hours of coursework is required, and subjects covered generally include:

  • Market Knowledge: Neighborhoods and property amenities, considerations for housing types, developing CMAs and impact of MLS, financing option, and home-buying programs, inspections and appraisals/valuations
  • Business Skills: Prospecting, buyer and seller services, creating your niche market, negotiations, creating and implementing your brand
  • Systems and Tools: Record retention, form platforms, and applications, website portals, marketing tools, hardware and software to streamline your business
  • Avoiding Setbacks, Fines, and Lawsuits: Professional standards, contract to close, risk management, agency relationships, and advertising

Fourth of July Sentiments

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”, writes Thomas Jefferson in 1776, as one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence.

Although perhaps written in a different time with different social norms, the U.S. and Americans as a whole have made consistent strides to truly embody those words. It is this idea that has emboldened us to forge our own paths as individuals and as a nation… among these life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

On July 4th, two hundred and forty-one years ago thirteen colonies claimed their independence from Great Britain, an event which eventually led to the formation of the United States. Perhaps the concept of the Declaration of Independence can seem unclear especially given it originally represented, in part, the severing of ties between the original 13 colonies from the rule of the British. It’s origination growing vague through the years of a changing and evolving country.

But America is a young country globally speaking, and we are still learning. The true beauty is the melting pot of innovation we have become. Passionate are we, in our voices that speak to justice, courage and hope. Together we glimpse a bright future in celebrating the holiday we know as Independence Day highlighted by a celebration of fireworks, good food shared with friends and family.

Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® is not about being the biggest company. We are about helping families pursue their happiness by finding a home. There is nothing more American than finding your slice of heaven and putting down roots.

We are grateful to have helped make home a reality for Texans for the past 30 years. Here’s to celebrating the American dream and thank you for trusting our family with yours.

 

Write An Attractive Property Listing With These Tips

It’s time to put your property on the market for rental, so you need an attractive property listing to grab renters’ attention. What will convince them they need to see your property and rent it for themselves? Here are some tips for writing the best property listing possible.

Be sure to list the amenities

There are all kinds of things a renter needs to know about a property before they’ll even come look at it. Are there laundry facilities in the building? What floor is the property on? Is there dedicated parking? List everything that the property can offer a renter. Leaving these out could mean that your property is passed over.

Pay attention to the property’s best features

What is it about your property that gives it the ‘wow’ factor? Maybe there’s a stunning view from the balcony, or there’s a large living and kitchen area that renters can really enjoy. Whatever it is, make sure you’re talking about it in your listing. Show renters that your property is just that little bit different.

Avoid using superlatives

You’ll see many property listings that describe a building as ‘charming’ or ‘beautiful’. These are nice words, but as writer Harriet Petersons from Academized says, ‘It doesn’t tell you anything about the property, it’s just empty words. Instead, look to tell the reader why that property is charming. Show, don’t tell.’

What’s in the neighborhood?

Your property on its own isn’t as interesting to a renter. They also need to know what the neighborhood around it is like. After all, if it isn’t a pleasant neighborhood, then why would they want to live there? Talk about what’s near the property. Can you reach a park for afternoons walks? Is there a thriving market in the next street? Let the reader know.

Be upfront about costs

Renters will have a certain amount in mind as they’re looking for a new home. If you want to make sure you get the right renters for your property, be upfront about living costs. For example, your property may charge for parking, or have an extra fee as it’s an older building. If you’re clear about these from the start, the renter will have all the facts.

Watch your spelling and grammar

This should go without saying, but your spelling and grammar need to be impeccable. If they’re not, your listing can look less than professional. Write the first draft of your listing, and then go back to it later to edit. You’ll soon see the errors that need to be corrected before publication. If you need help, have a friend read your listing, as they’ll find it easier to see where edits need to be made.

Useful tools

Everyone could use a little help when writing their property listing. Use these tools when you need some assistance:

  • Paper Fellows: This writing community is a great place to test out your writing. Use it as a place to improve the grammar in your work.
  • Assignment Writing Service: Every property listing needs to be proofread before it goes live. Give yours to this service and they can do it for you.
  • Word Counter: There are often length limitations on property listings. Use this tool to check the length of yours.
  • Write My Essay: Not sure you can write your listing yourself? Use this service to get a professional listing written for you.
  • Boom Essays: This service can help you with market research, and creating a good listing.

These tips will help you write the best property listing possible. Give them a try and you’ll get your property rented right away.

AUTHOR BIO: Mary Walton helps business people with resume editing and proofreading at Resume Writing Service. Also, she works as an online tutor and writes for students. Mary is a content manager at Australian Write My Essay service. Being a happy mother of two, she enjoys working remotely and thinks that this type of work is beneficial for personal growth. Read Mary’s blog – Simple Grad, and her latest post is UK.BestEssays.com Review.

 

Employees and Recipients of the Dr. Herbert E. Harper Scholarship

The Dr. Herbert E. Harper, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund was established by D’Ann Harper and Leesa Harper-Rispoli in 2016 of Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS®.

This newly established scholarship honors the late Dr. Herbert E. Harper Jr. and offered exclusively to agents, employees, and their children, stepchildren or grandchildren this scholarship underscores the belief CBHarper was founded on — a tradition of trust and family. is available in various amounts totaling $25,000 to students who planned to attend any community college, technical or vocational school or a four-year college or university in the United States. They submitted their application along with a compelling reason why they would like to further their education.

They submitted their application along with a compelling reason why they would like to further their education. Then a non-biased panel reads all the entries and selects the winners.

D’Ann Harper attended the San Antonio Area Foundation ceremony as the winners were bestowed their scholarships.

In our previous post here, we listed the names of all the winners:

Katie Lasko, North West Office
The daughter of Denise Barnhill, REALTOR®   [ Catherine Barnhill ]
The daughter of Ina Kazarian, REALTOR®
The daughter of Holly Mahler, REALTOR® [Kendall Mahler*]
The grandson of Connie Dukes, REALTOR®
The daughter of Carolyn DiMuzio, REALTOR®
The daughter of Henry Clarkson, REALTOR®
The daughter of Jackie Thibadeau, Support Center   [ Charlene Mastick ]
The daughter of Wanda Haltom, REALTOR®

 

*Kendall Mahler was awarded the extra honor of a renewable scholarship of $2,000 a year for up to 4 years. Kendall is planning to get a Masters degree and is so honored to have been chosen for this. It will allow her to focus on her studies, instead of worrying about the cost of graduate school.

“Thank you D’Ann and Leesa from the bottom of our hearts”, says Kendall and her mom, Holly Mahler, REALTOR®. [pictured left]

In a formal letter thanking both Leesa and D’Ann Kendall conveys an overwhelming sentiment of gratitude.

“I will be attending Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas in hopes of receiving my Master’s Degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology within the next two years. Industrial Organizational Psychology is a field that many people don’t know much about, even though it has grown steadily into a high paying field of employment. Businesses across the globe have started to realize the monumental impact that psychology plays in their productivity and thus have begun employing I.O. Psychologists to come in and make changes to their organizational procedures. My plans are to one day be an I.O. consultant for companies who are looking to increase their productivity through examining employee training, leadership techniques, and job placement with regards to psychological research and analysis.

I am overjoyed to be receiving this Dr. Herbert E. Harper, Jr. Memorial Scholarship and I truly still can’t believe that I was selected as the recipient. Just a few weekends ago I found out that I had been accepted into Psi Chi, the International Honors Society of Psychology, because of my psychology research over achievement motivation, my 4.0 psychology GPA, as well as my overall 3.60 GPA which places me in the top 35% of the sophomore, junior, and senior students at ACU! Since applying for this scholarship I was also able to walk the stage on May 13th, 2017, and graduate with my bachelor’s of science from Abilene Christian University with Cum Laude honors. I promise you that this scholarship is in good hands and that I am going to make something wonderful out of myself.

I because of this scholarship I can now look joyfully into the future, without any fears of paying for graduate school. Thank you again for selecting me as the recipient of the Dr. Herbert E. Harper, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund and for supporting my dreams, it is an honor and a privilege.”

 

 

When the application process reopens for 2018 we will be sharing that news here on our blog and well as on all our social media channels. In the meantime, if you would like more information about the Dr. Herbert E. Harper, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund visit San Antonio Area Foundation’s website here:

http://www.saafdn.org/Scholarships/ApplyforaScholarship.aspx#489738-the-herbert-e-harper-jr-memorial-scholarship-fund

Welcome New Agent Class May 2017

Front Row [left to right]: Addie Langehennig (Vice President of Professional Development), D’Ann Harper (Broker / Owner), Leesa Harper-Rispoli (President), Brian Kimzey

Second Row [left to right]: Audrey Boerner, Stephanie Gagne, Karen Lauderdale, Crystal Bradford

Third Row [left to right]: Benjamin De La Cruz, Melissa Pressentin, Heather Jackson, Mark Tokach, Lee Ann Tokach

 

Extending a warm welcome to the most recent Sales Agents joining Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® for May 2017!

We would like to welcome the most recent Sales Agents who have decided to join us here at Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS®.

This class introduces all the tools, techniques, business practices and technological marketing channels every new REALTOR® needs to cultivate a successful real estate career here at Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS®.

If you or someone you know is looking to start OR jump-start a career in real estate, visit us:
www.cbharper.com/joinus

Artifact Collecting on your Texas Property

Recently, Linda Vieweg, REALTOR® and Gabe McCarty, REALTOR® procured a listing on 3977 Wilderness Rim in San Antonio’s 78261 zip code. This gorgeous and rare, a true one-story home was custom build for an engineer and home designer. At the time they were not able to find the type of home they desired on a level lot. So began the construction of this home surrounded by panoramic views of the city.

Nestled into the Xeriscaped backyard is a sitting area that overlooks the pool and spa. Certainly, the family enjoyed the memories built in this home set on 1.3 acres. Shaded by numerous oak trees the land reveals artifacts of the Native Americans who once lived in the area.

This raised the question what should I do if I find an artifact?

Referencing the Texas Historical Commission Archeology Division, we weighted that simple question. Artifacts such as pottery fragments, arrowheads or remnants of early homesteads represent a source of knowledge. For thousands of years, prehistoric groups and Native American tribes lived on the land we now call Texas. A nomadic buffalo-hunting people, called the Tonkawan roamed from somewhere around Hillsboro, Texas to the vicinity of present-day San Antonio*. Written documents record only the past 500 years, so information such as what we know about the Tonkawan is pieced together through the study of artifacts and other cultural remains.

The first thing is to verify who owns the land upon which artifacts rest. Land ownership dictates whether surface collecting of artifacts may legally take place. The presence of an archeological site(s) does not restrict the property rights of the landowner••. In fact, these sites and their contents belong to property owners to manage as they choose. Many artifacts collectors can and have worked legally on private property if they are granted permission from the owner.

The most common misconception, according to the Texas Historical Commission, is that collecting from or otherwise damaging any archaeological site on private property is illegal. No laws protecting ALL archeological site on privately owned property presently exist in Texas. The majority of Texas land is in private ownership, therefore most cultural resources are located on private property. These sites then remain under the stewardship of individual landowners.

This is by no means a comprehensive guide to uncovering or collecting artifacts, however, it certainly asks an important question about owning land in Texas. Especially, land that has the potential to be culturally rich in undiscovered historical treasures.

If you would like to share an interesting story about your home, email us at PR@CBHarper.com.

 


*http://www.tamu.edu/faculty/ccbn/dewitt/adp/history/mission_period/valero/indian/tonkawa.html

**http://www.thc.texas.gov/public/upload/archeology-artifact-collecting-tx.pdf

2017 Winners of The Dr. Herbert Harper, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund

D’Ann Harper and Leesa Harper-Rispoli announced the unveiling of the Dr. Herbert E. Harper, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund during Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® 2016 REALTOR Rally. This newly established scholarship honors the late Dr. Herbert E. Harper Jr. and is available in various amounts totaling $25,000.

Offered exclusively to agents, employees, and their children, stepchildren or grandchildren this scholarship underscores the belief CBHarper was founded on — a tradition of trust and family. Students who planned to attend any community college, technical or vocation school or a four-year college or university in the United States submitted their application along with a compelling reason why they would like to further their education.

The students who have been awarded a scholarship are:

Katie Lasko, North West Office
The daughter of Denise Barnhill, REALTOR®   [ Catherine Barnhill ]
The daughter of Ina Kazarian, REALTOR®
The daughter of Holly Mahler, REALTOR® [awarded a renewable scholarship]
The grandson of Connie Dukes, REALTOR®
The daughter of Carolyn DiMuzio, REALTOR®
The daughter of Henry Clarkson, REALTOR®
The daughter of Jackie Thibadeau, Support Center   [ Charlene Mastick ]
The daughter of Wanda Haltom, REALTOR®

Here are the sentiments of several recipients:

“D’Ann and Leesa,
Yesterday I found out that I have been awarded the Dr. Herbert E. Harper, Jr. Memorial Scholarship, and today I found out that I have been selected for an interview for the Dental Hygiene Program at Amarillo College. I will go before the board for my interview the day before the scholarship reception. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make the 9 hour drive in time to attend the reception, but I just wanted to get in touch with you both and tell you how grateful I am that you made this scholarship available. Thank you for all that you have done for me and helped me throughout the years!! I couldn’t do it without such a great support system!
Thank you!”  — Charlene Mastick

 

“D’Ann and Leesa,
Thank you so much for the wonderful and very generous scholarship for Catherine Barnhill from the Dr. Herbert E. Harper, Jr. Memorial Summer Program Scholarship Fund. We are very thankful for your help in making Catherine’s dreams come true. Thank you so much, Denise and Catherine Barnhill.”    — Denise and Catherine Barnhill

A reception will be held on June 24th at UTSA’s downtown campus. We would like to extend a round of applause for these recipients and wish them all the best of luck with their education journey!

When the application process reopens for 2018 we will be sharing that news here on our blog and well as on all our social media channels. In the meantime, if you would like more information about the Dr. Herbert E. Harper, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund visit San Antonio Area Foundation’s website here:
http://www.saafdn.org/Scholarships/ApplyforaScholarship.aspx#489738-the-herbert-e-harper-jr-memorial-scholarship-fund