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    by System | Mar 01, 2012
    Real Estate is a career not a job. Many people today are wondering what to do when downsizing is just a matter of time, or when burnout starts affecting you. Let me give you a brief summary about getting started in a Real Estate Career.

    Many people today are looking for a career that offers flexibility with time, and the opportunity to make as much money as they want for as long as the want.

    A career in real estate starts with a 63 hour course to obtain a real estate license, which is offered by Watson Realty Corp. in our various locations. Once licensed, you can start your career by affiliating yourself with a Real Estate Broker like Watson Realty Corp.

    Now you are ready to start the career you have been dreaming of. You will be an independent contractor with the ability to learn what a real estate practitioner does to help people and make money. At this point, training is the most important step. Watson Realty Corp. offers Success School taught by experienced people in the industry. The level of knowledge gained in this process cannot be duplicated by any other source. Take advantage of it.

    Many people have the qualities to become a successful real estate agent and don’t realize their potential. Prospecting (finding customers that need to buy or sell properties) is the life blood of a real estate agent. Do you qualify?

    Stop for a minute and think about what you enjoy doing:

    Do you like a variety of challenges?
    Do you like talking to people?
    Do you like the idea of finding homes for families?
    Do you like planning your own future?
    Are you a social butterfly?

    If you answered yes to these questions you need to start investigating a career in real estate.

    What's the next step?

    Stop in or call a Watson Realty Corp. office near you and talk to the Manager who can guide you the rest of the way. If you are out of the area or just want additional information call 904.596.5959 and talk to a career counselor. Allow them to guide you into a new career.

    Many people would make great real estate agents; school teachers, housewives, salespeople, and an array of people from Corporate America have successfully entered the business and I’m waiting for you.

    Don’t wait talk to someone in the business. Great opportunities are just around the corner, but you need to take action now. Stop by or call Watson Realty Corp. today so you can start the new year on the right track.

    Richard Sluzewski
    Vice President/Managing Broker
    Watson Realty Corp.
    Port Orange Office
  • Watson Realty Corp. leadership team represents Northeast Florida at Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® Sales Rally event in California

    by System | Mar 01, 2012
    Six members of Watson Realty Corp.’s leadership and sales team attended the recent Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) Sales Rally event held at the Doubletree Suites Anaheim Resort Convention Center in Orange County, Calif. The event allowed participants opportunities to interact with other top LeadingRE colleagues and hear presentations from top real estate professionals. Workshop topics covered subjects including the latest information on what top real estate agents are doing to succeed, the Luxury Portfolio International marketing program for high-end properties, and how the online sharing and training technology of OUR WORLD™ and Institute 2.0 provide business growth for Realtors.

    The Watson Realty attendees were as follows: Dane Leslie, manager, Mandarin South office; Liz McMahan, manager, South Beach office; Millie Kanyar, manager and Diana Galavis, associate, Ft. Caroline office; Carmen Bongiovanni, associate, Palm Coast office; Missi Howell, associate, Ponte Vedra Beach office.

    The Sales Rally event concluded with a joint meeting of all attendees with LeadingRE executives Pam O’Connor, CEO and Paul Boomsma, EVP. The companies with the most presence at the event were spotlighted and Watson Realty Corp. was pleased to be among the group.
  • Bart Bartel and his Alfa Hobby

    by System | Mar 01, 2012
    In the world of Italian sports cars, Bart Bartel is known as “Black Bart”. Prior to real estate, Bart established a business locating and selling badges and emblems for fine Italian automobiles in 1979. Although he began his business in Ft. Wayne, IN he stays busy with other coinsures of these automobiles here in Florida.

    When Bart is not selling real estate, he is making contacts at one of the many gatherings involving these cars. Bart and his wife, Lady Jane, hosted their annual picnic featuring “Alfas on the Lawn” this past April. This year several cars were featured including thirteen Alfas including his own red Giulietta spider-Veloce.

    If you have questions regarding real estate or beautiful Italian sports cars, look for Bart. He is usually pursuing one or the other.

    Tina M. Arant
    VP/ Managing Broker
    Watson Realty Corp.
    Putnam County Office

    by System | Mar 01, 2012
    FREDDIE MAC has recently made changes to its existing Short Sale Addendum form that is signed by all parties to the transaction at closing. The wording in this form refers to the “ARMS LENGTH TRANSACTION” requirements that each party to the transaction must adhere to.

    The previous addendum included a paragraph that read as follows:


    As you can see from this wording, it exposed each Signatory to full liability for the actions of the other parties.

    Through the efforts of our National Organization, the American Land Title Association (ALTA), Freddie Mac has agreed to amend their form to clarify this statement as follows:


    The big change is now each signatory is ONLY responsible for his or her representations and not those of the other signatory’s.

    One other important change Freddie Mac has made pertains to “Short Sale Negotiation Fees”. These fees can NO LONGER be deducted from the proceeds of the sale or charged to the Borrower (Seller).

    The above change becomes effective for Short Sale payoffs approved on and after JANUARY 1, 2012. However, Servicers are encouraged to incorporate this change immediately.

    Gary R. DeChellis
    Watson Title Services, Inc.
  • Maggie’s Real Estate "Q&A"

    by System | Mar 01, 2012
    Pete asks:

    I want to buy a condo, but I’ve heard that financing is difficult to obtain. What can I do?

    Maggie answers:

    Please don’t believe everything you hear. You’ll want to find a good Realtor®, one who knows your local condo market well, and who can guide you through the entire buying process. You’ll also want to start looking for a mortgage as early as possible.

    While it’s true that financing a condo is more challenging today than it was during the real estate “boom”, or even during a so-called “normal” market, it CAN be done. You just have to know what you’re dealing with and how to proceed.

    In coastal resort communities, a large number of the condos for sale are in complexes located on or near the ocean. As you might expect, many of the condo units are vacation, or second homes. Others are investment properties that are bought solely for rental purposes.

    A great many of these properties last changed hands in the middle of the previous decade, during the real estate “boom”, and some are now in default. As you might expect, owners are more likely to default on homes that are not a primary residence.

    All of this has made lenders reluctant to make new loans on these properties. In addition, the government entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will not insure most condo loans because the complex the unit is in doesn’t meet their requirements for owner occupancy. If Fannie and Freddie won’t insure a loan, then it can’t be sold on the secondary market (to another bank or investor).

    So, what’s a Buyer to do? Ask your Realtor® which lenders are doing mortgages on condos. Some of the largest banks are currently holding a portion of their mortgages “in portfolio.” This means they’ll hold these mortgages for the duration of the loan, rather than sell them on the secondary market.

    Another alternative is to check with a credit union. Don’t belong to one? They’re easy to join by just starting an account. Or, investigate getting a loan from a small, “community bank”, where the sale of the loan on the secondary mortgage market is not an issue.

    Another possibility for your condo purchase is owner financing. Sometimes a Seller is in a position to hold a mortgage for a few years. It could be a win-win situation for both sides—You get the mortgage you need, and the Seller realizes a larger sum on the sale of the property. After all, you won’t know if you don’t ask. Good luck with your purchase.

    Maggie Hawk, REALTOR
    (386) 314-1149
    Watson Realty Corp.
  • Congratulations to West Volusia Association of Realtors’ ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

    by System | Mar 01, 2012
    Watson’s very own Ronna Janssen has been awarded West Volusia’s 2011 Rookie of the Year. The highly sought after award for new agents, the Rookie of the Year award has not been awarded since 2009.

    Ronna hit the ground running in her Real estate career. A self-proclaimed animal lover and military supporter, Ronna has completed extensive amounts of education and an inspiring amount of community service involvement:

    Affiliate Appreciation Part Planning Committee
    Legislative/RPAC Committee
    Monthly Membership Meetings
    Code Enforcement
    Realtor Safety and Security with Andrew Wooten
    203K with Patti Ketcham
    Appraiser's Panel
    Selling Real Estate with Video
    Beginner Facebook
    Advanced Facebook
    Speed Financing,
    Parade of Homes Buss Tour
    Affiliate Appreciation Night
    RPAC Luncheon
    Succeed in Today's Market
    New FR/BAR Contract with Carol Lawrence
    Social Media Marketing
    Dashboard/Flash Digest Training
    Buying Homes on the Courthouse Steps
    Short Sale Q&A with Andy Tolbert
    The Power of Relationship Selling
    Bar Camp
    45-hour post licensing course and Success School

    Along with her education and impressive committee involvement, Ronna is also the Deland office’s Watson Cares Representative, helping to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Journey's End (a shelter for animals that have been abused, neglected or have special needs) and most recently, Wreath's Across America. Additional community service involvement includes: American X-POW's, Central Florida X-POW's, Humane Society of the U.S., ASPCA, an Animal Rescuer and temporary foster home.

    With an impressive resume that continues even further, Watson Realty is proud to have one of our own honored, for her hard work- both in her business and in the community. Her work ethic and determination is one to be admired and most certainly deserving of recognition.

    Congratulations Ronna Janssen, we are proud to have you in our Watson Realty Corp., family!

    Jill Edgington
    Vice President/Broker
    Watson Realty Corp.
    Deland Office
  • Plan Ahead Make the Most of 2012

    by System | Mar 01, 2012
    The end of 2011 is rapidly approaching. Did you meet the goals you set for yourself in 2011? Did you even set goals for yourself? If you didn’t meet your goals or didn’t set goals for 2011, now is the perfect time to think about the coming year. We’re in holiday mode now and therefore should be feeling more relaxed than we are during the busy months. What better time to let the creative juices flow?!

    There are many sources for the businessperson to mine for help with goal setting. Jack Canfield of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series wrote a book called, “The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be’ (Harper Paperbacks, 2006). Canfield says that you need to “Be Clear. If you don’t have a clearly stated goal in your life, you’ll never get what you want….You need to be specific about your stated goals, such as, “I would like to make $125,000 by December 31st.”

    Dave Ramsey, author of “Financial Peace” (Penguin Books, 1998) and EntreLeadership” (Howard Books, 2011) takes this one step further. He thinks, in order to work, goals must have five components. According to Ramsey, goals must:

    1) Be Specific
    2) Be Measurable
    3) Have a Time Limit
    4) Be YOUR Goals
    5) Be in Writing

    Canfield and Ramsey agree that vague goals that reference making more money, losing weight, or exercising more are unlikely to succeed because we need to have a path to follow. If you don’t know what represents the end of the road, you might set off in the wrong direction. Better to say, I want to make 10% more money in 2012 than in 2011. If weight loss is your goal, then you might say I want to lose 25 pounds in 2012.

    Once you have a specific goal or goals in mind, then you need to set a time limit and break it down into manageable chunks. Therefore, if you want to make 10% more money in 2012, you need to make 0.83% more every month and 0.19% more every week. To lose 25 pounds in a year seems like a lot, but it’s really less than half a pound a week. That can be done by skipping two venti mocha lattes a week or skipping one latte and taking two hour long walks with the dog. Specific goals seem much more obtainable. Also, breaking it down into weekly goals gives you quicker feedback and allows you to adjust your effort more often to make better progress.

    Ramsey knows that in order to have the best chance for success, we need to set our own goals. Each person has a voice inside their head. If we’re listening to someone else’s voice, we can’t hear our own. Ramsey says that, “If you don’t own the goal and it doesn’t come from your dream, then, you won’t have the toughness to persevere when the going gets tough.”

    Finally, Ramsey says that winners (people who meet their goals) with rare exception have written goals. By writing our goals down, we can take them out and measure our progress against them along the road to success.

    2012 will be here in less than a month. Do you know what road you’re going to be on next year?

    Terri E. Brown
    Vice President-Broker
    Jacksonville Regional Manager
    Watson Property Management
    Watson Realty Corp.,
  • Are you Seeing a Trend of Unrealistic Buyers in your Market?

    by System | Mar 01, 2012
    A recent question was asked of Realtors. Are you seeing a trend of unrealistic buyers in your market? “Seems like they are expecting to steal properties instead of paying fair market value.”

    Gary Rowley says we are seeing them also. However, I believe it lies with the Realtor and his/her ability to evaluate and educate the buyers of their expectations. I tell unrealistic buyers what they can expect to get for the money, and then I show them what they can get for the money.

    Lindsay Dolamore
    Broker-Vice President
    Watson Realty Corp.,
    Palm Coast office
    (386) 246 9227 Office
  • Watson Realty Corp. welcomes Broker Associate Rick Fornos to the Ponte Vedra Beach office

    by System | Mar 01, 2012

    Watson Realty Corp., REALTORS® is pleased to welcome Broker Associate Ricardo (Rick) Fornos to the Watson Realty Corp. Ponte Vedra Beach office. Fornos joins Watson Realty Corp. with 27 years of professional real estate sales experience, specializing in luxury residential, investment and commercial real estate. Fornos is a Certified Distress Property Expert (CDPE), Certified Staging Professional (CSP) and a member of Luxury Portfolio International™. With his added training and experience in these areas, Fornos is uniquely qualified to represent short sales and staging consultations.

    Fornos is fluent in English and Spanish, which gives him opportunities to better serve customers on a local level and has helped Fornos to establish an extensive national and international customer base of luxury buyers. Originally from Cuba, Rick Fornos grew up in Southern California where he attended college to prepare for a career in real estate. After 10 years as a manager in corporate business, however, he decided to pursue the real estate career he always wanted. In his first year as a licensed Realtor®, Fornos was recognized as Top Agent of the Year with a national franchise brokerage firm. This accomplishment was just the beginning – with many more awards and recognitions received since then, he has earned the distinguished reputation as a top producing associate.

    Fornos has lived in Florida for the last 17 years and resides in Ponte Vedra Beach with his wife of 29 years and twin sons. His hobbies include traveling, camping, playing basketball, racquetball, softball, bowling and watching his boys play sports and surf. He looks forward to a very long relationship Watson Realty Corp. and the Ponte Vedra Beach team.

    With a passion for the real estate industry, Fornos has truly enjoyed helping his customers achieve their investment goals. He lives up to his tag line, “The Only Realtor You’ll Ever Need.” His customers quickly become and stay his friends. Rick Fornos is ready to meet all of the real estate needs of his new and return customers in the Ponte Vedra Beach and surrounding areas. For a free consultation or to view listings, contact Rick Fornos at 904-437-4122 or

    Watson Realty Corp.
  • You’ve made up your mind about Selling! Now what

    by System | Mar 01, 2012
    Before you do anything, start packing! You will have to do this anyhow, when the house sells, so get a jump on it before you even call a REALTOR to discuss listing it. Pack away the family photos, the chachka's that you've been collecting for the last 25 years and remove anything that might be a distraction to a potential buyer. You want them to be able to visualize their furnishings in your home by staying focused on the rooms not what's in it.

    You may have an older home and have not updated it throughout the years. If you don't have the funds to replace faucets or update appliances, the next best thing you can do to get more money for your home is almost virtually free! The house needs to sparkle, old or new, and smell good, too! Scrub the baseboards, wash the windows, tidy up the closets, remove excess furniture, dust the fans, and clean the vents. You get my drift! Your home is competing with model homes and must be looking its best, both inside and out! Your REALTOR should be able to make suggestions on items you may have missed after you list it.

    Where you price your home, initially, is most important. Pay close attention to what your current market value is. Your REALTOR will go over the comparables with you to get a price range and determine a marketing plan for you to get your home sold. Price it right, and stay focused on where you want to be after the home sells and you should be well on your way to a new destination!

    When you have acquired a contract, your REALTOR will assist you in finding your next home and keep you on track to a successful closing! Good luck...

    WATSON Realty Corp.
    (904) 669-0781 cell
    (904) 797-8600 office
  • Cast Your Vote for Inman's 2011 People's Choice: Real Estate's Most Influential!

    by System | Mar 01, 2012
    Now is your chance to vote for the real estate leader you believe has had the most significant impact on the industry this past year through the Inman News "People's Choice" Most Influential Real Estate Leader award. Local real estate expert, William A. Watson, Jr., chairman of the board and founder of Watson Realty Corp., is among the list of nominees for this recognition. William “Bill” Watson, Jr. founded Watson Realty Corp. in Jacksonville in 1965 with one sales office, a passion for real estate and a commitment to provide “legendary quality service.” Now a full-service real estate brokerage with 41 sales offices, 1,200 sales associates and a host of affiliate companies, Watson Realty Corp. is a trusted name in Northeast and Central Florida.

    Watson Realty Corp. has the largest market share in Northeast Florida since 1974. Mr. Watson is on the teaching panel of the Watson Success School training course for new associates and travels to his branch offices regularly to speak and motivate the associates. Often seen with his trademarked jar openers, Mr. Watson is also known for giving out gold dollars to employees who go above and beyond. Mr. Watson is frequently asked to be a guest speaker at real estate conferences across the nation and internationally due to his vast knowledge of real estate, both past and present. Currently, he serves as chairman of the board of directors at Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE).

    Watson Realty Corp. is the only independent brokerage firm in Northeast Florida with membership in LeadingRE. LeadingRE is a global network of 550 premier real estate firms representing 30 countries, selling more real estate last year than any other national real estate brand ( Many of Watson’s fellow nominees for Inman’s Most Influential are part of brokerage firms with membership in LeadingRE.

    View the complete list of nominees and cast your vote by the December 1, 2011 deadline at The winner will be announced during the Real Estate Connect conference in New York City January 11-13, 2012.
  • Bill Watson makes international connections at real estate symposium in Spain

    by System | Mar 01, 2012
    Bill Watson recently visited with French real estate colleague Charles-Marie Jottras on business opportunities between investors and corporations that want to expand their business or portfolio to the United States. The two met while attending the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) international symposium held in Madrid, Spain.

    Watson, who is chairman of the board of Watson Realty Corp., also serves as the current chairman of the board of directors for Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®. Jottras is president of two of the most respected real estate firms in France, Daniel Feau Conseil Immobilier ( and Belles Demeures de France (, both based in Paris.

    “It was gratifying to see the energy and excitement that exists among our European affiliates,” commented Watson. “They see tremendous opportunities to match clients with properties around the world, and as our global economy grows, our LeadingRE network is well-positioned to take advantage of those opportunities.”

    The Madrid event also showcased the significant marketing benefits of the network’s Luxury Portfolio International™ program for selling properties listed at or above $1 million, using the resources of its global website,, and a host of other features focused on serving affluent clientele.

    The excitement and anticipation at the event were both high for 2012. Bill Watson challenged the international members to focus this energy and take advantage of the housing opportunities in the United States and in their own local markets.