This fall, I changed phone companies and went with Carolina West Wireless (CWW). Sadly, as much as I wanted it to work, it didn’t. I live near the foot of Cherry Mountain on a knoll surrounded by trees. Knolls, trees, and being near the foot of a mountain are not conducive to good cell service. Back to Verizon we went with our CWW brand-new Samsung 8 phones and learned to our delight that Verizon could change out the sim card. We paid off CWW and we went back to Verizon. Our cell service is better than ever, owing, I hope to the new and better phones. We won’t know for sure until God puts the leaves back on the trees, but they work very well, now.  Kudos to CWW who made it easy to take our new phones and leave. Takeaway – If you can’t reach me on my cell, call the home office 828 245-9003.

Good News: Northgate Resort’s Camp Golden Valley is coming along nicely. Their webpage is live! They’re putting all sorts of good information online They have a Facebook Page, too: Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort Golden Valley, NC.  This is going to bring more family fun and recreation to the area. Camp Golden Valley is located on the site of the former Girl Scout Camp. There’s about 600 acres. Unless you buy a property very close by, like on The Summit Parkway or Coady Ridge, you probably won’t even know they’re there.

Carolina West Wireless has some good news. Please know, CWW works great on the Golden Valley side of the valley, I live on the Sunshine side of the valley in a very real dead zone.  And now – drum roll please…. CWW is offering WIFI internet, which is fantastic if you can get it. They are up and running! Hurrah! You can contact CWW to get a router of your own. Buzz Kill - there are data caps.

Recently we heard that the Tryon International Equestrian Center is expanding its repertoire with the WEG (World Equestrian Event) by adding Western events. There will be a reining horse program in May. This will draw top contenders from around the US and the world. TIEC is known for delivering huge prizes and this is a world event. For more information see: Carolina Classic Derby and Team USA Reining. They anticipate 500,000 attendees!

New Business:

McCall’s Real Estate is a member of 2 MLSs. We belong to Rutherford County’s MLS (RCMLS) and NC Mountains MLS. (NCMMLS). In our fall newsletter we announced that NCMMLS was merging with Carolinas Regional MLS (CRMLS). That has taken place and, as we expected, has caused some trouble. The merger disrupted the data feed from one of our two Visual Tour Companies. We build landing pages on our listings with a real estate partner, who hosts slideshow visual tours, it’s called Real Bird . These go up manually, and in the order listings are received. Joey usually puts these up. Since we build these manually, we aren’t relying on a data feed.

Our Visual Tour provider, however, imports listings from NCMMLS, now CRMMLS and phooey. The links didn’t make the exchange. Thanks to a fantastic customer service rep named Bryan, we got the tours back up and running, the back links will have to be cut and pasted manually, and there will be a little nursing to do down the line, but the tours were saved. Yeah – shout out for Bryan – he saved the day.

I guess that was a little bit of bad news, but the good news is we are now CRMLS! Instead of having a few thousand agents we now have 12,000 plus agents. The Regional MLS is prepared to swallow the Catawba Valley MLS next. That’s going to bring in even more agents and Hickory! Sellers rejoice, our frontline workforce just got larger. That said, I’m going to keep my listings in Rutherford County, too. I was the first agent in my area to name myself hyper-local and draw a circle around a territory. I have perfected a system and work well with agents from outside of our area, but no one can sell more real estate in an area than a working agent who knows and serves the area. I’m convinced of that. These other agents are becoming my best customers. We built information packages to share with out of area agents and make sure they have what they need to show and write contracts on our listings. Now, that CRMLS is taking over more and more MLSs we’ll be set to book showings with them Just like the Charlotte agent who sold our 185 Mountain Lookout Drive in December. They can book online, and the follow-up will be online. That’s a very good thing. And not to brag, but the Charlotte/Lake Noman agents were so pleased with the way we worked with them they sent us a thank you note. I collect thank you notes and I’m especially proud of that one.

More new business: I learned today that, right now, Zillow is not sending listing reports to sellers. In answer to my query I received this email: My name is John with Zillow Group's Agent Care team. Thank you for reaching out regarding the listing reports! Our developers have removed the listing report feature from the site last week. They are currently working on a revamped version of these reports and have decided to take down the existing feature in the meantime. Unfortunately, they have not yet announced an estimated time for the new version to be released, but I know it has been made a high priority task. You are still able to keep an eye on the traffic on your listings by viewing the view/save metrics in the owner dashboard of each of your listings.

So, Zillow’s not sending reports, Trulia quit sending reports after they merged with Zillow, and is not sending reports. While I like to keep our sellers in the loop, our vendors are not offering anything that will help me do that.

In other news: The real estate business is good here, better than it’s been in years. We are walking a fine line between how much it costs to build a home and how much to buy an existing home. Construction costs have fallen, but we have lost many of our contractors, and the ones who are working are working as fast as they can. I anticipate a rise in prices, which will make our existing homes more appealing, however, they may be raising the interest rate again, so it remains to be seen.

Conclusion: No matter what you predict, no matter where you think the market will go, there can always be something like a rate increase that changes the market.

Always Working for You

Our website is available 24/7 and we have loads of information there. Would you like to see what’s for sale in your Subdivision? Well you can have a look, under Search pick Subdivision pick YOUR subdivision and you’ll get every listing that’s available in the Rutherford County MLS. Under Featured Listings you can see our in-house listings and you can see our Sold Listings. If you look at the Blog you’ll find this newsletter and those that have gone before it, along with a few listings. In addition to this blog we run a Google Blogger at KDsFarm and we build landing pages for each of our listings on a platform called Real Bird. Besides using Real Bird slideshows for visual tours in the Rutherford County MLS, we subscribe to Paradym a Visual Tour Company and we place those tours in the Carolina’s Regional MLS. McCall’s Visual Tour Inventory List. To assist other agents we build Dropbox Folders and maintain them with current information so we can get our property information out with the click of a button. All of this and more to prove we really are Always Working  for You.