The McLaughlin Group Team

The McLaughlin Group Team

Saturday, December 31, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 252 My Favorites

Instead of writing something new, I thought I would just repost two of my favorites from the year. We started in February and have posted 252 times. We try to keep the blog related to real estate but sometimes it wanders into life's other challenges, however, for the most part, we have been true to it's initial concept. So here are my two favorites: Pit Bulls & Baby Steps, which is a story about a brokers caravan and Marathon, which is my comparison of a marathon, marraige and a real estate transaction.

Pit Bulls and Baby Steps

Crossing the stream in the listing agent's jeep enjoying the broker's caravan along Lobo Canyon, neither myself nor the two lady agents had any idea what peril loomed in front of us. A burned out house on five plus acres with incredible views and a small trailer nestled under the shade trees. As we exited the car, two rather menacing looking Pits, barking, growling & foaming at the mouth, began crashing against the glass trailer door. With each successive blow to the door, the latch is slowly giving way. Now the distance between the jeep, a large fence and trailer are measured by my perceptive and now fearful eye. And it happens, the door gives way and shooting out of the trailer like bullets exiting their gun's chamber, 200 pounds of muscle and teeth have locked on. Instinct and heart rate explode, I am at the top of the fence in seconds, relieved that I still have some life in my legs but now horrified about who I have left behind to suffer a most unfortunate mauling. As I turn to look, the dogs were on them, sniffing, wagging and licking away, just happy to have some friends on their mountain. I am humiliated but quickly shout out from my position on top of the fence, "Hey, the second story views from a new house would be spectacular." Not one of my proudest moments but since that day I have stepped in front of two dogs to take the bite instead of my clients, a Chihuahua and a Pekingese...Baby steps!


I heard marriage once described as a marathon. Think about that, being out of breath, aching muscles, blistered feet and just makes most of us want to run out and get married or if already married, asking, what mile am I at right now? The start of the marathon is exciting with the massive moving crowd and fanfare but check in around mile 14, 15, or 16 and see what's up. Skip to the finish line, more crowds, the exhilaration of completion, champagne and finally, a well deserved rest. So it goes with buying or selling a house, first comes the excitement of coming to terms, then comes the inspections, disclosures, paperwork, appraisals and the worry, stress and fatigue that inevitably hop on your shoulders for the ride. Exhausting! 45 days or so later, you're sipping a martini or lemonade by the pool, the dog is tearing up your yard and your feet are up and you are at rest. The loose toilet, the rat droppings in the attic and the bleeping bleeping smoke detector of the past month are forgotten and you are home. In the middle of your race, day, transaction, or life, you may want to take just a brief moment to ponder your coming rest.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!


Friday, December 30, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 251 The Last Work Day

Many memories, highlights, issues and concerns swirling around in my head this morning as I start work on the last official work day of the year. Although, it has been well documented in this blog that weekends are as busy as weekdays in our field. Since tomorrow is the 31st and the last day of the year, today I will dream that I am a disgruntled 40 to 50 hour a week employee, in some large corporation, watching the clock tick away as I count the hours towards a long 3 day weekend filled with football, friends, family and libations.

It has been a rather eventful year for the corporation, manufacturing in China has been difficult with Typhoons rocking our facilities. A few trips to Iowa to help facilitate the the restructuring of our midwestern strategy, a new boss who I do not see eye to eye with and has me a tad concerned going into the new year. I look out at my calendar and see my meetings are scheduled for the entire year, pending of course, typhoons, company reorganization, competitive breakthroughs and a host of staff issues that will undoubtedly arrive at the most inopportune times. Speaking of the staff, I ponder having to meet with the the same people time and time again, wondering if Charlie will ever improve on his hygiene. I can't stand sitting next to him during the meetings, the smell is unbearable and if that Jill, aka "the Blabberer" extends one more meeting because of that mouth of hers, I swear I will stand up and shove a one of those day old doughnuts right down her throat..Whew! I could get in trouble if anybody at the company were reading my blog today. I don't even want to think about the parking this year, I go to the gym to get my exercise, the company should pay for new shoes since it's a 1/2 mile hike into the office every morning. How many years until I retire? Wow, only 9:30 in the morning, 7 hours still to go, oh no, here comes Jim.......sorry about that, he just can't let it go. I got the promotion 6 years ago and he still comes over and wines but finishes with a barrage of self promotion that is only matched by the late KIM JONG IL. If his team wins the company boiling trophy again, I will make sure he will be the late JIM JONG IL. Oh boy, the final numbers for the year just came in, not to bad, maybe I will have to hit up the big boss for a little raise based on these numbers. Can it please be lunchtime yet? Well, big brother has new internet access rules starting next year, only 15 minutes online per day for personal use time, like checking mail, facebook, etc etc. I am going to maximize my internet time, on this, The Last Work Day of the year.

I know it is not that bad and in fact so many people love their jobs and in many ways I do envy the stability, steadiness and certainty of the corporate life. In fact, I think just having a job is a pretty good thing, just ask around these days. It is fun for me to type away between my appointments and to poke fun at others but most of all to poke fun at myself because I realize how lucky I am. I probably met over 100 new families this year and the interaction with all of them is beyond rewarding. Challenging, fun, emotional, stimulating and I could go on and on. Throw in my team that I get to work with on a daily basis (we have no Charlies, Jills or Jims unless my group things I am one of them) and I realize just how fortunate I truly am.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 250 Hunt Club

Hunt Club is an example of a seller who looked at the market, took our advice, priced it appropriately and was rewarded with a quick sale which is tough in this current estate market. Most Agoura estates are on the market for at least 6 months so this was a wise and now happy seller.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Monday, December 26, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 249 Work, Really?

On a day like today after a couple days of gorging and with such incredible weather, the questions is work, really? Yep, but hopefully just a couple hours. Photo off the balcony at work.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 248 Xmas Dinner

So all the family got together at the lake for our Xmax dinner. Drew and his family had to get back up to the bay area for more functions, so our entire tribe pow wowed an evening earlier than usual. Plenty of food and fun and gifts for all the little ones and then an unexpected family of four shows up out of the blue. A mom and three teenagers not looking for gifts but maybe just a warm meal on a cold night. The photo is one of the teenagers putting in an order with Santa for an over sized drumstick. I am sure as they clamored and clambered back up the Oak Tree, they thought to themselves that Santa had lost some weight and certainly looked more athletic than the big guy in the red suit that mom and dad Racoon had spoke of.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Friday, December 23, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 247 Showings

How about this for last minute shopping..Two different showings today for homes. I wish they could buy the house, wrap it up and close in 1 day. That would be a nice present for under the tree. As it stands, if they buy today, it will probably be more of a Valentines Day gift.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 246 Here KItty Kitty

You know with the holiday stresses sometimes you just want to avoid all the people and hang with your cat or dog...Here kitty kitty has multiple meanings and I will leave those who know my meaning and those who don't know to have fun with it.

This is Dave, with The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 245 Driftwood

Just a block from the beach is our new listing on Driftwood in the Oxnard Shores area. Looking for a great weekend escape close by? This is a newer, beautiful 3 bedroom 3 bathroom townhome, highly upgraded and ready to move into. Just log onto and check it out. Tell me a walk on the beach with your best friend is not one of the best things that this life has to offer. Check out Driftwood and maybe you will want drift away to a better place.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 244 Wagon

After two year long leases, an interesting neighbor, a long escrow, Wagon will close on Tuesday. What a great house with an amazing setting. The new family and kids will love living there and it will be a very cool holiday moment for them. Another new beginning comes from some others beginnings end!

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 243 The Flood

This is not the great biblical flood that I am referring to. This is a cautionary note to all who would turn on the water to a house without being inside. Don't do it! You just never know what valve may have been left open when the washer/refrigerator and other fixtures were removed or left on as the water was shut off. Needless to say after 14 years in this business, there are still firsts and talk about taking your breath away. From the holiday party to the flood, I can't wait to see whats next.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Friday, December 16, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 242 Holiday Party

Here we are whooping it up at the holiday party! Lots of fun!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 241 Watch, Listen and Observe

Sometimes words are simply inadequate and fall short of conveying the message one is trying to deliver or the feelings someone is trying to express. Here is an example: Kelsey got nailed in the game tonight at Thousand Oaks and she is attempting to describe the pain she is feeling. Kelsey's words pale in comparison to what her facial expressions, wincing and utterings are conveying. So here is a challenge for Wednesday; Watch the person in front of you, listen to tones more than the words, observe their body language and see if you see a little deeper into that person or realize a greater understanding of what they are saying or not saying. It's only a one day experiment, what do you have to lose? Or, interrupt people, assume you know what they are saying, ignore their body language and move about with your head in the clouds, blinded by your failure to truly watch, listen and observe.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, hoping to watch, listen, observe and keep it real in real estate!

Monday, December 12, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 240 Tebow for President

When you are in sales there are two cardinal rules: Don't talk politics and don't talk religion. When you open your mouth in these arenas, there is a 50/50 chance that the other party won't agree with you and why would you jeopardize a potential sale pontificating on your own opinions. Now there are exceptions and a few other rules like don't smoke in front of a client, don't comment on how ugly the family dog is and don't ask the woman of the house if she is pregnant unless you are 100% confident you know the answer already. These can be deal breakers! Most successful sales people generally follow these rues. I will break with tradition and sort of violate the rule and make a bold prediction: In the next 30 years, Tim Tebow will run for the office of President of the United States of America. He will win his parties nomination (I don't know which party), and he will carry Florida and Colorado. After that I have no idea what will happen. Please archive this blog and in 2032 or 2036 refer back and see who was the first to predict it! I will be 78, still typing away, selling retirement digs in the Caribbean and the Blog on that day will read:

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 11551 I TOLD YOU SO! (please refer to day 240)

This is Dave, watching ESPN for the last 2 hours, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 239 Marks

Finally! It took some time but I am sure the new family is soaking up the views! Closed on Friday.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 238 Training

Training someone on a task, presentation or skill, can be a very frustrating experience. When I look at this photo, I ask myself, what type of split I would have to give this guy and would he be able able to close the deal? :)

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 237 Time Out

Nothing like a time out in a critical moment to refocus the team, design a play or rest an exhausted squad. A time out in real estate is when you turn your cell phone off. You can refocus, think about solutions or plan new strategies but as long as that thing is ringing, vibrating or chirping, you are in the game and you have to think and play as the calls come in and you never know what the situation, sale or concern might be..TIME OUT It is 9PM and I am taking a Time Out!

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 236 Office Furniture

After visiting the Boost athletic performance grand opening, The group got motivated and Laurie decided to provide new seating for the group. We have left the lazy recliners and moved on to the exercise body balls. Here you see Kelly handling the paperwork, Laurie talking with Homes and Land and Janet texting one of her buyers. When I took this photo I was on one leg balancing. I think the group will be more productive because of the new seating arrangements.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 235 Game of the Week

Monday night at 6 the Charger girls of Agoura take on the Lion girls of Oaks Christian. I don't usually promote local games but in this case I am compelled. Sebastian the head coach of Oaks, is Kelsey and Kinsey's club coach and not only that, there are 3 others on the Agoura team that call him coach during the club season. In addition, 3 teammates on the club team play for Oaks. This weekend ended with a soccer party wrapping up nearly 6 years of club soccer with this group and it is only fitting that many of them meet Monday night at Agoura. It should be a fun evening for all the families and a really good soccer game.

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

BLINDS WIDE OPEN -day 234 R and R

A fun evening last night with great music at Maestros, to be followed up today with a golf party at Sherwood, holiday party at a client's home this evening and then a team soccer party on Sunday. This time of year, although a bit slower business wise, does allow for rejuvenation and relaxation. Lets face it, occasionally you have to pull the car in, change the oil and fill it up with gas and this weekend, this old Cadillac is filling up at the station!

This is Dave, from The McLaughlin Group, keeping it real in real estate!