Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

HECM Fact Sheet

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Reprinted with the permission of the SRES® Council of the National Association of REALTORS®. Copyright 2011 SRES® Council.


The Virtual Retirement Village

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

There is a new concept sweeping the nation that helps people to age in place longer.  It is called the “Virtual Retirement Village” or “Village” for short.  It’s a new idea that is a practical means to help people to remain in their homes as they grow older.  It is not a place or physical structure but a collection of neighbors working together.

The concept was started in 2001 when neighbors in a Boston area decided to band together to help each other with services, social activities, and more, allowing them to live independently in their own homes.  Beacon Hill Village was born and the idea of the Village materialized.  The idea caught on and now there are about 50 Villages in the U.S.

The concept is simple.  A Village is a community based membership organization run by the users to provide a variety of services and programs to the members.  Some Villages have age requirements, while others do not. This is a concierge style service where one phone call can access any service.  A board of directors oversees the Village, usually with members of the Village on the board.  It has its own website and newsletter.  Social and cultural events are held.  A Village will have preapproved vendors for services who have been screened and qualified, and usually offer a discount to Village members.  Some of these services might include:

• Home maintenance
• Home Health Care
• Transportation
• Yard work
• Odd jobs
• Carpentry
• House cleaning
• Meal preparation and delivery
• Legal assistance
• Daily telephone check in
• Healthcare providers
• Volunteer opportunities
• Safety services
• And peace of mind

The geographic boundaries and membership size are determined by those planning the Village and may change as Villages evolve and become part of the service continuum in their communities.   Annual dues are determined but are in the range of $600-900 for singles, and $900-1200 for couples. Membership dues cover most, if not all, of the expenses.  Some Villages fundraise annually to help keep dues low.  Others fundraise only the amount needed to get the Village up and running and rely on membership dues after that.  To keep expenses down for the members, some of  the work can be done by volunteers. 

A handful of people are looking into the feasibility of starting a Village in the San Jose area.  We are fortunate enough to have two neighboring Villages, San Francisco Village formed in 2009, and Avenidas Village in Palo Alto formed in 2007.  These two Villages will be models for our new Village.  We are in the very early stages of development and are trying to determine if the establishment of one is practical and wanted.  Much needs to be done.  There has to be community outreach to educate and recruit the public.  This must be a grass roots movement with the end users creating the Village, not the board of directors or the vendors.  Demographic studies need to be done to define the location, boundaries, and age range.  If we do decide to proceed with this work, we need to create focus groups, establish a budget, write a business plan, and develop a handbook.  We will then establish a board, work with Community Foundations for funding, and establish the Village itself. 

What can you do to help?  We need people to spread the word.  Educate yourselves on the concept, and start talking about it to your garden club, work colleagues, neighbors, Rotary group and anyone else that will listen.  We need people to do the hard work mentioned, and grow the volunteer base.

Some good links to learn more about Villages:
Beacon Hill Village
Avenidas Village
San Francisco Village
Village to Village Network

A great PowerPoint presentation from Avenidas Village:

An article from the San Francisco Chronicle on the San Francisco Village.

If interested, please contact Skip Frenzel, 408-984-6661, for more information and to volunteer for help.


Useful summary of Bailout Bill

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

summary from Financial Planning Association

FPA/AARP Introduces New Brochure to Educate Producers on Senior Selling

Monday, June 2nd, 2008


Society of Actuaries Study: Senior’s Attention is on Supplemental Health Insurance versus Larger Financial Risk Inherent in LTC Need

Monday, June 2nd, 2008


Prudential Study: 40% of Boomer Women Report No Understanding of LTCi

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Prudential study

Foreclosure Prevention Resources for REALTORS® & Consumers

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Tips for preventing forclosure

Website to find more LTC articles

Thursday, January 17th, 2008


Reply to SRES Member Posting Site posting of 1/8/08 “Holding Seminars for Seniors”

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

Holding Seminars for Seniors
I have my designation, and for one year have explore, several options in working the senior community to date nothing has been successful. So my question is: Would holding a seminar just for senior on topic that they can relate to be a step in the right direction. Any recommendations on what topic would be popular. I see a lot of info of reverse mortgages, is that the hot topic to run with, or estate planning, or health issues. Email me at
Posted by: Lorraine Kratz
Posted January 8, 2008 08:46
I am in the same spot. I have had three seminars and only one person came to each meeting. At the end of this month I will be doing a presentation at a new housing project in our area. This time I will talk about the How to sell and How to down size. I was at this site looking for more information.Posted by: Gary Zastrow on January 8, 2008 05:10


As Realtors, we are caught in the old adage, “He who is good with a hammer looks at everything as a nail.” It never ceases to amaze me that people will continue to do the same thing expecting a different result. (Einstein’s definition of insanity.) Look, if you are seeing that seminars don’t work, don’t do them! Here’s why…

First of all, in order to attract people to seminars, you must feed them. It’s a bribe, but it works. Next, don’t expect to convert seminar goers into clients, more on why later. Next, if you aren’t doing something different from your competition, you aren’t going to get any results. It’s time to think outside the box. You have to do something and make yourself different from your competition. You’re going to have to look at the world totally differently.

When we started real estate, we were told to get a client base, we had to cold call, do mailings, knock on doors in our farm, do community and/or charity work, etc. Folks, the seniors will never go for that! What you must do is build relationships. This takes imagination and time. You can never expect to do business with a complete stranger who answers the phone or the door. You are going to have to find a niche.

Now if you expect for me to give you the answer as to how to find that niche and become a million dollar producer, I can save you some time, stop reading now! But I can give you a formula that works if you come up with something different. The senior market, as we all learned from our SRES designation courses, are skeptical and suspicious of strangers, especially strange salesmen. After all, they are warned all the time about predator salesmen and now mortgage brokers. You have to gain their trust through time tested relationships. How do you get that? That’s up to you. But think about how you can reach them. Where are the elders? How about Senior Centers, Adult Day Care centers, Senior Fairs, church, faternal organizations, clubs, neighborhood associations, etc. Volunteering for events that have a senior twist to them works too. You could volunteer to be an ombudsman for nursing homes/assisted living homes in your area. But the big market no one remembers is the Boomer adult children of seniors. They are the ones that will have to take care of their parents, sell their houses, and deal with their finances. They are concerned about their parents well being and future, they have incentive to take care of them. Believe it or not, they don’t want to take care of them, but will since it is the right thing to do.

Also, strategic alliances with other professionals works. CPA’s, elder attorneys, Financial Planners, etc. Build a team with them and do referrals. My area has a monthly Senior Roundtable with many people representing all aspects of the senior business. Excellent networking sources. Anything that addresses seniors will do.

If you do decide to do seminars, check on what your competition is doing. Chances are they are holding seminars on reverse mortgages, estate planning, and health issues. They look at your seminar as yet ANOTHER seminar on reverse mortgages. And face it, if seniors are not in the market for a reverse mortgage, why would they come. You have to find some other topics that broadly affect people like ID theft, tax planning for elders, long term care, etc.

Once you get a new dog & pony show for your niche, it should be easy to promote it. If you do it right, you won’t have any competition. Good luck, and happy hunting!

Interesting Facts

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

10/15/2007 Date the nation’s 1st Baby Boomer, Kathleen Casey-Kirschling, filed for Social Security benefits, for which she’s elegible in Janyary 2008. (Social Security Admin)

80 Million Americans can expect to follow Casey-Kirschling over the next 2 decades (Social Security Admin)

9,349 Number of reverse mortgages issued by the FHA in a single month in 2007, vs 6,000 issued annually before 2000 (FHA)

25% U.S. households caring for older family members at home (AARP)

source: Journal of Financial Planning Dec 2007, p 14