Archives for February 2012

Negative People Bringing You Down?

There will always be those whom we perceive as negative. They show up in line at the grocery store, beside us on the subway, in our cubicle at the office, conducting a client discussion, passing the turkey at Thanksgiving. . . . You get the idea.

There are plenty of negative people you encounter over whom you have no influence, nor do you spend a lot of energy trying to have any influence over them. However, there are likely a handful of individuals in your life (work, home, social) over whom you do have some influence, and if you could influence them toward a more positive attitude, it would go a long way to improving your life, as well. Let’s focus on that second group of negatives, over whom you do have some influence.

Others’ behavior can be influenced by you, if you understand a basic principle: When something is personal, it becomes important.

Dr. Nido Qubein refers to this principle as the “Law of Identification” because once someone identifies personally with something (anything), it truly does become important to them.

That seems simple enough in theory, right? Think about it – if something is personal to you, it’s important to you. You move it up on your list of priorities. You schedule around it. You make time to accomplish it. The same is true for those whom you perceive to be negative. There are plenty of issues that are personal to them, as well, and plenty that aren’t.

Here’s the trick: Until you understand someone else’s beliefs, you cannot influence their behavior. To figure out why something is personal to someone else, start by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. How will this benefit them?
  2. How will this impact them?
  3. How will they be touched by this?

If you can answer these questions, your ability to connect with them will increase. The next step is to engage others to begin thinking differently about the choices they make and the way they interact with others. Influence what they believe and you’ll influence how they behave. The key to spreading positivity is helping others to believe that being positive will impact or benefit them personally.

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Favorite Places to Purchase Fresh Food in the Triad

We asked on our  facebook page  what your favorite places were to shop for fresh fruits and veggies in the Triad. LeighAnne Hunt  of You Time Solutions was first to respond and shared that her favorite place for fresh fruits/veggies was United Health Group‘s food service program trough Aramark. “I get great fruit and veggie trays already prepped from United Healthcare’s food service!” says Hunt. “. . . it is actually easier and cheaper than me buying veggies and fruit and cutting it up myself!”

Penney Duddy, FSD at United Health Care of Greensboro, shares “Yes we do buy from local people who have passed Aramark’s strict sanitation standards. We have a program for approved vendors who if they want to sell to us they have to pass certain quality and health inspections. They also have to have a letter of liability warranty. In the spring we will be having a local Farmer’s Market on site so we will be using a lot of local produce.”

Discover your local farmers at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market on Facebook!


In addition to the many farm to table restaurants, and grocery store co-ops there are also the many Farmers Markets throughout the Triad as well as farms that you can support directly.

Here are only a few :

The Piedmont Triad Farmers Market is owned by the STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA and operated by the NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE & CONSUMER SERVICES.

The Greensboro Downtown FARM MARKET – Greene Street’s ‘Green Grocery’ & CSA pickup in Greensboro is a  Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) market.

The City of Greensboro recently awarded the ongoing management of the  Greensboro Farmers’ Curb Market to the Greensboro Farmers Market Inc.


Krankies Farmers Market prides itself as an all-local, producers-only market that offers a variety of fresh produce and foods to downtown Winston-Salem. Healthy, sustainable, and humane practices help them choose their vendors.

Visit The Evening Farmers Market on Facebook

Statesville Evening Farmers Market, a non-profit group of area farmers, bakers, and crafters,  offer the convenience of early evening shopping at Pecan Park in historic downtown Statesville. They also have a growing list of recipes to help you enjoy your fresh finds!


Reynolda Farm Market is a local market located in Winston Salem that is known for selling fresh produce, meats, dairy products, and breads. Some of the local farm favorites they carry are Goat Lady Dairy cheeses, Homeland Creamery dairy and ice cream, Chapel Hill Creamery cheeses, Old Mill of Guilford products, Miss Jenny’s Pickles, and Krankies Coffee just to name a few!

Where are your favorite places to buy local produce? Share them with us by leaving a comment or join our discussion on Facebook!

What local farmers do you support and how do you help spread the word about their products?

Do you have recipes you would like to share with Linking Triad made with local farm products? Contact us and we would love to feature your recipe!


Real Estate: How’s the Market?

Inevitably in the course of meeting new folks, introducing myself, or even just wearing my RE/Max of Greensboro name badge, I get asked what I call The Question.  We all get them, no matter what we do.  I’m sure that police officers have a question they get asked every time someone finds out what they do (“Arrest anyone today?” is the first one that comes to mind) and doctors always get asked about some ailment.  I bet everyone’s career choice has a question that always gets asked.  I always get asked The Question- “How’s the market?”  Too bad I can’t answer that question.

OK hold on now.  Yes, I am a Realtor.  Yes, I work in real estate full time.  No, I don’t have another job doing something else.  Yes, I’ve been doing this for 12 years.  Hang on.  You don’t understand — when you ask that question, I can’t answer it.  Not for lack of knowledge or experience, but because I don’t have enough info.

Most people don’t realize that there are two markets, commercial and residential, for Realtors and in each market, there are divisions of that market.  And in each of those divisions, there are specifics to each.  So when I get asked “How’s the market?” I don’t know enough to answer the question.  You’re probably thinking (if you’re still reading this and didn’t fall asleep after you read the headline) “this guy’s a real smart aleck” and you’re right — I am.  But seriously, I don’t usually get enough information to properly answer the question.  But once I get the right information, I can answer The Question — depending on what you as a consumer are interested in.

Since I do mostly residential renting and sales, and that’s usually what people care about and are most directly affected by, let’s focus on just that: residential.  OK, now unless you’ve literally been living in a cave (and seriously, some people have been reduced to that these days) you know real estate is in the headlines constantly.  Depreciating values, loss of equity, foreclosures, short sales, you name it.  It makes it seem like there’s only bad news.  But in reality there’s bad news in only one of the four divisions of the residential market. Yes there are really four distinct markets within the residential market: buying, selling, leasing, and investing, and three of them are doing OK.  Let’s talk about them, shall we?  Yes, let’s.


Selling: Yep, it’s a tough time to be a seller.  Perhaps you’re under water on your mortgage, meaning the house is worth less on the open market than when you bought it.  Maybe you tried to refinance and you found this out the hard way.  Maybe you have to sell and you really can’t.  It’s not pretty out there.  This is the market that is the toughest — trying to sell to get your mortgage paid is not easy right now.  If you have no equity and you sell, you might be bringing money to the table to make up the difference.  I helped a buyer recently purchase a home where the seller had to bring almost $30,000 to the closing table in order to close.  And that hurts.  Or maybe you want to sell but due to your payoff you just can’t.  I can’t give you advice without knowing your personal situation, but I can tell you one thing — this, too, shall pass.  Yes, we’re bumping along the bottom of the market and there’s only one way to go — back up.  We won’t see a rapid appreciation but with less inventory and buyers slowly creeping back into the market (those low interest rates are helping!) we may see an increase in appraised values due to that increasing demand.  In some areas of the Triad we’re already seeing a slight increase in the pricing.  And some areas have held their own as far as pricing goes but have definitely increased their Days on Market.  But even that may shrink in the near future.  Hold on, it’s coming.

Buying: Oh, boy.  You never hear about the buyer’s market at all in the news.  It’s all gloom and doom out there in medialand.  But you know what?  It couldn’t be a BETTER time to buy than right now.  Seriously.  Prices are dirt cheap — like 1990 prices out there.  Interest rates are again below 4%.  FOUR PERCENT.  My first house was at 8.5% and I was lucky to get it.  Right now, you can buy for less than you can rent the same home.  In some cases you can get a home and pay less than half what you would pay in rent.  And with the instability, it means you can get a deal out there (that’s the second most frequent question I get asked, by the way — “can you find me a deal?”).  There are more desperate sellers out there than ever before, pricing is lower than it’s been in 20 years, and more foreclosures and short sales than ever before.  So if you’re in the buying market, guess what?  It’s a great market!

Investing: OK, so you have the means to do what you’ve always wanted to do — buy a few houses, fix them up, and rent them out or resell them.  You should have the means already, i.e. cash, because the bad news is there are few loans out there for investors over 75% to 80% loan to value.  But if you have that 20-25% or cash to play with, now’s the time.  The good news is that since less folks are buying, more folks are renting and there’s always a need for quality housing. And with prices as low as they are, it’s a great time to get in on the ground floor opportunity that is real estate investing.  You can get a home so low, do the work on it, and “flip” it and still sell it quickly if you price it aggressively to compete with those poor sellers who are under water and can’t move theirs.  And worst-case scenario, you can always rent it.  There are plenty of folks who have a house to sell somewhere else and until they do, they gotta rent.  So this market is great as well.

Renting: Most people don’t see this as a market — most folks are only concerned with buying and selling.  But if you aren’t ready to buy, or you plan to be in the area less than three years, there’s probably no reason to buy yet.  I always recommend buying over renting but if you’re here temporarily you may not want to.  Or maybe you need to work on your credit or save for a down payment.  If there’s a way, buy now.  But if you aren’t ready for some reason, good news — there are also more homes for rent right now than ever before.  With folks unable to sell their current homes before they can buy, they may put the house up for rent.  And since there’s more inventory, not only do you have more condos, townhomes and single-family homes to choose from, in some areas the rents may be decreasing due to a glut of rentals on the market.  So you may be able to negotiate a lower monthly rent or even a lease-purchase.  So it’s a good time to be a renter.

See, it’s not all bad news out there.  Yes, it’s hard out there for a seller but it’s great out there for a buyer, an investor or a renter.  If you’re one of the lucky three, congrats!  Get out there and make it happen!  If you’re unlucky enough to be a seller right now, hold tight — rent your home, hang on to it, even do upgrades to your current home until the market comes back.  And it will.  It always does.

The Write Motivation

Have you always wanted to write? Need some motivation to finish that novel? Start that blog or understand more about contracts and ideas that sell?

Join instructors Christopher Laney and Dena Harris and get the Write Motivation!

This 6 week inspirational instruction course at Greensboro School of Creativity’s Library takes place on Tuesdays, March 6 – April 10, 2012 from
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Space is limited to only 12 seats – so contact them today to register!

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