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by Steve Westmark

Toys for Tots

by Steve Westmark

Steve Westmark shares his favorite Real Estate Apps!

by Steve Westmark

STEVE:  Hi, Steve Westmark, Counselor Realty.  Thanks so much for watching my video blog this week.  As you know, the marketplace has changed significantly as we’ve added these smartphones to the marketplace like the Androids and the iPhones.  And I thought I’d share with you some of the apps that I think are really great that people can use as they’re out doing their home shopping.  Now in the Twin Cities Marketplace, I think the best one that we have out there, and we were one of the first ones to have an app, is 

Obviously, you go into your app store, type in Counselor Realty.  Once you open it up, it asks you if you want the app.  If you type in okay, then you get things automatically sent to you according to how you want stuff.  Also, when you click on it and you put in you want it text, e-mail, or phone, it comes directly to me by doing that.  And we can get you into properties immediately.  Now if you’re a national type of person and you’re looking throughout the country, the other app that I think is really good for searching houses is basically covers Alaska, Hawaii, and the whole 48 states below, and it’s quite amazing at what you can see at for every house in the marketplace.

Now here are some other apps that I think are really interesting.  Another one is called Wikihood.  Wikihood is if you’d like to learn about a neighborhood, you can get a minitour on any neighborhood in the world, and it’s just a really great app.  So it’s Wikihood.  The next one that I think is a great app is called Suburban Scout.  Suburban Scout, when you put that in, it allows you to learn about airports, landfills, sewer treatment plants, and more.   There’s a cost to it, but I think it’s a great idea to be able to look to see whatever the problems might be that surround a neighborhood.  The next one is called Safe Neighborhood.  Safe Neighborhood gives you information on if there’s any sex offenders or things that are around that neighborhood that you should be concerned about.

The next one is called Crime Stats.  So you go onto Crime Stats.  You put in crime stats as an app, and it’ll give you the stats for the crimes that are going on around the surrounding neighborhood.  And that way, you can compare house against house.  Another really interesting app, I think, is called Walk Score.  Walk Source shows you how close that house is to walking to coffee chops, grocery stores, whatever it might be.  But it gives a walk score for that house, and if you like efficiencies and effectiveness, obviously, if you were in downtown Minneapolis in a district like the warehouse district, the walk score is great for all kind of things, versus if you’re out, way out in Watertown let’s say.  Let’s say if you’re close to downtown Watertown, you’d have a better walk score than if you were out on a 10-acre hobby farm.

The next one is called Around Me.  Around me is one that also gives distances to key spots like banks, coffee shops, post offices, and those types of things.  Another one is called SiteWise, and it gives demographics to your perspective home that you’re looking at.  Now once you’ve purchased a home and you’re looking really hard at something—maybe you’re getting close—is another one that’s called Photo Measures. And Photo Measures is an app that lets you take pictures of the house.  And then you can put colors into it to see what would the house look like if it was your color.  And the last one is called ColorSmart with paint made from Behr’s ColorSmart app, you can visualize colors of your perspective home.

So these are great apps that you can use as a buyer and even as a seller, I’m sure you’d be interested in knowing how does your house show up against these different types of apps that are in the marketplace.  Well, thanks for watching my video blog this week, and make it a great day.

Steve Westmark receives the Emeritus Award in Real Estate!

by Steve Westmark

STEVE:  Hi, Steve Westmark, Counselor Realty.  Thanks so much for watching my video blog this week.  I have Mark Allen who’s the executive officer of the Minnesota Area Association of Realtors, and thanks for coming on today.

MARK:  You’re welcome. 

STEVE:  I brought Mark because I’m really giving myself—well, I’m not giving an award, but I got an award.  And the award is—what is it?

MARK:  It’s Realtor Emeritus.  And congratulations, by the way.

STEVE:  Thank you very much.

MARK:  Steve has been a proud Realtor member for 40 years.  He’s one of about 1% of members that ever achieve that status.  And I got the privilege to work with Steve for a number of years directly in the brokerage business before I started working here.  And someone that I always looked up to and still do.  And very much appreciate what he’s done for the real estate industry, including serving in many leadership positions here at the association of Realtors and at the Multiple Listing Service.  So congratulations, and I will try to do this without causing any bodily harm, if I can.  Bear with me a moment.

STEVE:  And Mark came from a family of real estate.  His father is Bob Allen, who really close friend of mine.  Then I got to meet Mark and his brother, Chris—all involved in real estate and a great real estate family.  Well, thanks for watching my video blog.  I love my new Emeritus Award, and make it a great day.


A Seamless Closing with TitleSmart and the Westmark Team!

by Steve Westmark

Counselor Realty - On the Move!

by Steve Westmark

STEVE: Hi. This is Steve Westmark, Counselor Realty. Thanks so much for watching my video blog this week. I thought I’d introduce you to our new real estate office that we’ve just moved into on February 1st. The location of our office is right at the corner of Highway 7 and Highway 101 in Minnetonka. We went from a 25,000-car traffic count to a 125,000 traffic count.

Have great signage out there, and we have this building that is being refurbished, redone, and we have the whole first floor on this marvelous building. Now as you see here, we’re in the reception area of our office building and we have a reception desk. To the back of it, we’ve got all the agent workspaces and things that are going on back there. Plus the coffee area. And we have all the technology of the things that were put together for us.

And then we have another space that we’re excited about. Well, this area is our Triple C or our Counselor Consumer Café. As you’ll see, we have coffee. We have refreshments. We also have flat screen TV where we rotate houses that are for sale, and we just have a nice sitting area where you can come in and just sit down. We also have free WiFi for people to use, so if you bring in your computer or iPad or whatever, you just go on and you can be looking at different things while you’re waiting to meet either with your agent or loan officer, whoever you would meet.

Well, come on in to our conference room. It’s a great area for you to either meet to close on your house where we bring our closer in, or we meet with you to talk about the pricing of your property, or we meet with our buyers to go over things that are on the computer screen and talk about houses and what fits them and how we can go through the different things, whether it be on demographics or all the different technologies that we have that’s available. But it’s a great conference room for us to meet with you, and we can’t wait until you come in and meet with us.

Well, and last and not least, they even gave me an office space that I can work in, so I’d like to show that off to you. The first area I’m going to show you is I have a flat screen and a nice conference area that I can meet with my customers and clients and friends that want to come in and talk about their real estate needs. And then it was fun putting together the technology in my office where I could have the flat screens that allow me to work with today’s technology and being able to see the different things and make my phone calls.

I’ve got a couple of phones in here and just great stuff that will really help me be effective and efficient for my customers and clients in day to day. Well, thanks so much for watching my video. We’re really excited about our real estate office. Look forward to inviting you as the weather warms up to our grand opening coming sometime either May or June. Thanks and have a great day. Bye.



2013 Marketing Plan by Steve Westmark

by Steve Westmark

Click here to see our Marketing Plan

2013 Election Legislative Political Review, by Steve Westmark

by Steve Westmark




Hi, this is Steve Westmark, Counselor Realty.  Thanks so much for watching my video blog this week.  I got back recently from the national convention of the National Association of Realtors and I got to hear two columnists from the National Journal.  One’s name was Charlie Cook and the other one was Major Garrett.  Very interesting gentlemen, and they talked on the 2012 Election, which obviously is an amazing thing that all of us caught.


But I found them to be nonpolitical in just giving of information.  So I thought I’d just hit a few highlights as we look into the 2013 year and what is going to happen.  The first thing that they mention is that some people thought that Obama was a fluke.  Some people thought that the Tea Party was a fluke.  This election proved that neither are flukes and the big question for 2013 with the Congress and Obama is will they learn to act together.


They felt that that is a big thing, that the answers that have come back to our country from that election as you can see were a different country with some very interesting ideas that are going on.  The next thing that they pointed out was the makeup of our vote.  And of course, there’s all kinds of things that I know you’re watching on political shows, and this video does not hit anywhere near the amount of data, but there were a few things that I thought were really interesting.


That was the makeup of the vote and where it came from.  And they talked about that people over 45, and I happen to be over 45, that are white went 60% for Romney and 40% for Obama.  The other side that they talked about is the under 45 vote went the reverse, that in fact it was 60% for Obama and 40% for Romney.  What they also pointed out in that is the over 45 has a tendency to be much more white, like 90%, where now we have such a multiracial, multicultural nation that the 45 and under is closer to 30% minority or multi-cultural people that are going on.


They also pointed out that 38% of the people in the United States call themselves democrat; 32% call themselves republican.  So that means that 70% are in one camp and 30% are out there just looking and listening to the ideas.  I found that to be really, really interesting in the election.  The last thing that they said from the election that was interesting was that Romney underperformed McCain, but also Obama underperformed what he did the past year.  So our voting public did not vote as much as they did in the prior election.


Now we’re going to have all kinds of political pundits looking into the future, but I think our biggest thing that we need to encourage to our politicians and wherever you stand is please roll up your sleeves, listen to the problems that we have, try to come up with some solutions, learn how to compromise, and let’s make it a better United States in 2013 and beyond.  Thanks for listening.  Make it a great day.  Bye.



STEVE:  Hi.  This is Steve Westmark of Counselor Realty.  Thanks so much for watching my video blog this week.  This week, I’d like to talk to you about a designation called the accredited buyer representative or known as ABR.  There’s 168,000 of us out of a million in the United States that have gained this designation.  It’s specifically coursework that helps you in working with buyers and doing your best in representing a buyer in the transaction.

So there’s coursework that goes along with it, a minimum number of transactions that prove that you have worked with buyers and effectively helped them in the purchase and closing of their property.  So you as a buyer should look for an accredited buyer representative to help you in purchasing your home.  They will watch out for your best interest and will follow the guidelines and ethics that are required to make a positive transaction for you in real estate.

Thanks so much for watching today.  Make it a great day.  Bye.


Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9




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The Steve Westmark Team
RE/MAX Advantage Plus
14451 Highway 7 Suite 100
Minnetonka MN 55345
Fax: 952-241-1600