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Celebrating "Defining Life Moments"

So much happened it the past 2 months - that I would consider Defining Life Moments.

December was Marlene’s and my 34th wedding anniversary (choosing a life partner - a defining moment) Then in January  -we celebrated the start of my 37th year in Real Estate (choosing a career - another defining moment ),

Jared’s 28th birthday (having children – another defining moment)  and my 60th birthday (  a defining number. But just a number—I feel like I’m 45)

I was recently reading that life is the sum of “what we do” with the moments given to us. Those moments can be filled with Chasing the Wind, the Clock,  worrying about the past or being Anxious about the future. Or if we look for them – there can be special moments in each day – that can make a difference in us & others.

One defining moment - becoming a realtor 37 years ago, was a decision that radically changed Marlene’s and my life trajectory in so many ways –

especially with meeting and being involved in so many people’s lives.

It's a crazy thought, how that one decision – introduced us to thousands of people, influenced thousands of coaching moments, thousands of cups of coffee & heart to heart talks, phone calls, emails, birthday wishes and friendships +++

Here is a Fun Thought – What is the one defining moment in your life that just blows you away - the life-changing moment that has influenced your life, your friendships, influenced who you are  & who you are becoming?

Just reflecting – and letting you know Marlene and I are so happy we have had the chance share some life moments together with you.

Saying No - To Instant Gratification 

Marlene I and dated for 4 + years and even before we were married – we had started a savings account to buy our first home.

When we had saved decent down payment we started hunting for a place we could call home - bought it  - rented it out  - and moved into it when we got married. 

It was an interesting first few years of married life.  Most of our furniture was “Hand Me Down Stuff”…. The couch, tv, table & chairs. (even our  “water bed” came from one of our siblings - thanks Norma & Hank). At that time we seldom went out for dinner and even a tenting holiday was rare.

When we purchased that home, we had the biggest debt in our life. In our minds, we wanted to get control over that debt – so instead of buying “the stuff “ we chipped away at the mortgage month after month with any savings we had.

Then there came a day, we got our bank statement – and those years of extra payments paid off – the mortgage was over ½ gone! It was an AWESOME surprise and we were sooo happy we didn't buy all the “stuff” !!

It sounds crazy… with today's access to personal loans, 2nd mortgages and credit cards…why wait for the prize – buy what you want now / pay later. Right?

A recent statistic indicated that 60+ % of families have more credit card debt than savings - That instant gratification – a buy now / pay later mentality is becoming more and more a problem = happy credit card companies and unhappy stressed out families.

With Christmas just around the corner – the highest season of credit card debt is upon us.  Remember there are so many awesome gifts that can be given that money can’t buy. Time together, activities & hanging out…. Demonstrating:  love & kindness, forgiveness & appreciation with those special people in our life is the gift…..  Bring on that turkey dinner!!

When the going gets tough - the tough go on holidays

How is your elasticity? I’m talking about your mental capacity when the going gets tough and / or when you are going through some stress filled weeks or months?

My business coach Joe ingrained into my life to take time off regularly and “shut off”. Over the years, both Marlene and I can “feel” when that time is and to do something about it.

How do I create elasticity in my mental capacity? Sometimes it’s as easy as a 15 minute “Cat nap” after lunch for a few days in a row and other times it may be a long weekend away (or at home) doing absolutely nothing. Sometimes it is a good workout or some hard physical labor on the property—but—then there are the holiday times. Periodically sharing that time with friends and family is exactly what is needed and other times it takes a little hibernating to get my head screwed on.

Here is the cool part—When I learnt to listen to my body, and do what is needed, it’s like hitting the reset button.

So here we are. Summer holidays are over - and we have worked that reset button a couple of times and we are ready for Autumn. So, what is Autumn going to be like?

With 36 years of marketing real estate, we have been involved with changing markets many times ( it happens every 8-10 years. Some real estate agents are stressing out and uncertain as they have not experienced a changing market (if they have not been in the business prior to 2007) and some are even leaving the business.

Here is what is exciting for us. Experience show that every time this kind of change takes place—our real estate business grows. We are prepared, we have been there before and we have the marketing campaigns in place to get the job done.

Best wishes

Larry & Marlene

Your friends in the business

Hit The Restart Button - On Your Life

While I was having lunch with a businessman today—we had an interesting conversation about hectic schedules / family issues & mental exhaustion. He had a boat load of stuff on his plate—and his boat was sinking.

We talked about hitting the “RESTART BUTTON”—on life…

I explained that the average business life of a realtor is approx 5 years—because of all the

demands / pressure etc. (that’s if you let the business run you.)

But—if you run the business—and have scheduled times (Time to work in the business—Time to work on the business and time put aside for yourself)—to get your head screwed back on—life will just go better.

This businessman and I talked about regular—time set aside for yourself. Experience shows that when I take time off—No phones—No email—no knowledge of issues (a 1-2 week get away without phone / or computers) its just like hitting the restart button on my life (just like hitting the restart button on your computer.)

When you restart that slow messed up machine (or myself) I find myself working more efficiently—less glitches—less issues in my life—joy and energy is reignited.

So… feeling tired, drained, stressed or just basically messed up? Maybe its time to hit the RESTART button in your life.

It’s the get away with out all the “Stuff” that will refresh you. Your spouse and kids will notice a definite new you—give it a try.

Feel free to call us for some RESTART ideas or if you have any great ideas to share.

Larry & Marlene

Taking Care Of People That Are Important To Us

This year has been another fast paced blurrrrrrrr. Not just for Marlene and I, but for many of our

clients and friends as well.

We have all heard it before…”the craziness of life”. Most of us get so caught up in life that we do not guard ourselves or our hearts from our busy lifestyles and all the problems that occur when we get fried or even burnt out.

Problems? You know… breaking promises, commitments, family times, date nights, no time for play, can’t say no, getting stressed, or even the start of serious bad habits!

“Sorry, I can’t make it home for dinner tonight...Yes, it’s the second time this week”

“I know I promised the kids I would take them to the movies, but this just came up”

“Wow! What a long hard day...I need a drink to calm my nerves”

“I have no time to cook today, I’ll just pick something up at one of the drive-thrus”

“Hockey, judo, gymnastics, skating, swimming, music & singing lessons… the kids need a chauffeur”

In talking with Marlene, Jared & Tianna about what their hearts need to be revived… what makes them come alive. Some thoughts were sunlight, a good movie, bicycle riding, roller-blading, a nice family day or date night, peace, getting along, a feeling of love, a nice dinner, listening to music, a game of cards, reading a good book & hanging out with friends.

I would love just to be involved in the “amazing & fascinating” in all aspects of life—with my friends, family and clients… How about you?

Larry & Marlene

Do You Have a “Strong Why?”

For over 20 years my (Larry) business coach has engrained in me to have a
“Strong Why”. Any change in life and business needs a Strong Why…

What that means is to have a “Burning Passion Reason” to do something, to make something, to change a behavior or even transform . It becomes your deep down motivator.

Here is the real life story—I needed to change…

Just over a year ago the doctor told me to change my eating habits– I was pre diabetic. At 6’1 and 160lbs—it was nothing to do with being overweight...but diabetes was in the family history. So I needed to change my eating habits, and here is what that looks like:

Lots of vegetables, salads & protein, nuts (Paleo Style Eating), no bread or pasta or potatoes, no desserts or

sugary anything (juices, treats, sauces).

After eating this way for over a year, some of my friends were totally amazed—how I just quit eating the stuff I LOVED. They ask—what keeps me on track? Repeating to them what Joe (my coach) said is—I needed to find/ have a “Burning Passion Reason” - “A Strong Why”…

So here is my “Strong Why” that keeps me on track. I have a picture that burns in my memory of a client whose father was diabetic. I remember being with him and their family in Osoyoos boating & water skiing together. And years later I also remember him—having to have both legs amputated and in the end, being at his funeral. That picture is my “Strong Why” that keeps me on track.

So why the story?

Many times people get caught up—they want to change—but don’t know how to change or how to stick with it. To have a “Burning Passion Reason” / “A Strong Why” is one of the “tools” that has worked for me—and I hope it can help you or a friend.

Larry & Marlene

The power to’s life changing




Recently I was at a quarterly meeting in San Diego to connect with my business coach Joe Stumpf at “By Referral Only”  Real Estate Marketing University.

Joe asked: “Imagine what life could look like—if you removed/delegated even 1 or 2 of your current irritations & tolerations”. “Imagine what life could look like if you focused more on the “amazing” & ”your happy place”. “If you put the work into these changes—the pay off will be for a life time”. So lets “Imagine together…”

Imagine a couple of your work irritations and tolerations gone. What are the things that could be removed or delegated? One of our clients recently imagined not having to cut the lawn, shovel the snow covered driveway, and clean up after a winter storm...ever again. So they bought a townhouse! (one of my tolerations is the accounting end of our business. Fortunate for me, Marlene enjoys numbers and she took that over—and with that time I am able to work on bettering our team’s plans, systems and campaigns—” “In my happy place”)


Health, fitness & energy - Imagine 1 or 2 of your irritations / tolerations gone. (For me (Larry) - my “Happy place” is following a morning and afternoon daily ritual. By not guarding daily rituals—my toleration is low energy) For a friend of ours—their “happy place” is to imagine a regular work-out routine with a work-out partner or trainer.


Imagine family & relationships - What to do some people tolerate in relationships? Manipulation. Being driven by guilt, other’s 

expectations or always saying “yes” - but for the wrong reasons. (Marlene and I guard our hearts - when it comes to manipulation - we want our home to be our kids’, grandkids’ & friends favourite place to come to - This is our “happy 




Joe asked us to “imagine our finances, our wisdom, growth & mental capacity and our spiritual life”. What would happen if we removed or delegated just 1 or 2 of our irritations and tolerations and spent more time in the “amazing” & “our happy place”




“Put the work into these changes - and the pay off will be for a life time…”




Encouraged or Discouraged? 



Have you ever noticed that when you focus on what is not working in your life, that you feel discouraged? 


When things don’t quite work out the way that I had expected them to or hoped that they would, my negative self talk can easily wreck my peace of mind. I have also found that when I focus on what is working in my life I get this feeling of encouragement. 


As an example:: I (Larry) was told by my doctor this past Spring that I was pre-diabetic. “ARE YOU KIDDING? I’m 6 ‘1” and 155 could that be? I thought diabetes was a weight thing for larger or inactive people?!” 


“No, Larry,” my doctor went on to say, “you have been blessed with it geneti- cally. It’s in your DNA. Your Dad has it.”  So ok, here we go. No pasta, no potatoes, no bread and certainly no dessert.  Even minimal fruit. My inner self talk was screaming, “POOR ME!” and this continued at every dinner over the course of the next week or so. (You need  to know that I LOVE  bread, potatoes and spaghetti.) This was not good news to me...AT ALL. 


I have a few people in my life that encouraged me to go for it and make the change. I have made the decision to eat clean and exercise more and over  the past 6 months I can’t deny that I feel healthier and I’ve even gained some muscle and have lost an inch around my waist. Feeling fit and trim! 


Here is the nugget. We all hit bumps on the road, don’t we? We can have blue days (or really bad hair days), but encouragement can help bring us out of these valleys and dips. We just don’t have to live there. 


So...who are your ‘go to’ people who continuously speak encouragement into your life? Be an encourager and you will be encouraged right back. Try it out for yourself. The gift of encouragement.  We all have it. 

Marlene and I have been fortunate enough to go on some outreach trips to areas of the world that aren’t as blessed as we are (Thailand , Cambodia, Malaysia, Africa, Guatemala, etc.).


Remembering what we saw in contrast to what we have and where we live, has been a constant reminder that contentment is about how I choose to look at things.  Here are some ideas of my real life problems.


 My Problems vs. Third World Problems


· A rock went through the radiator of my truck – not a cheap fix!            


· No vehicle – just worn out shoes


· My lawn has turned so brown – can’t wait for the water restrictions to be lifted


· Walking 12 miles for drinking water and carry it back to the hut


· The line up at Costco was crazy long and I when I got home no one helped me unpack all the groceries


· So happy we got some rice to eat today


· The speaker a church on Sunday was a little boring


· If we get caught with a bible – we could go to jail or even worse


· The internet and electricity was down for days...what a hassle


· No internet and no electricity


· I had to wait in the doctor’s office for 30 minutes 


· There is a doctor coming to the village next month – a 2 day line up to be seen



So when I find myself in a “bad mood”, bored, or just dealing with life challenges, I ask myself how my first world problems compare to the similar 3rd world problem.


It is a game changer and contentment follows…


Your friends in the business,

Larry & Marlene 



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You probably have experienced something similar to this quote "The days go by slowly, but the months and years seem to travel at light speed”.


Welcome to my life – sometimes the day-in, day-out routine, although rewarding in many ways, can get to be exactly that…routine.  I work my 6 days a week, take Sunday off as my family and faith day, and then start the whole process again on Monday.


All of the sudden a month has gone by.  Winter turns to spring, then summer, then autumn, and then another year has passed.


But there is one exception to this and that is when we are on summer holidays.  It is then that the days just go by way too fast. Here’s what happens.


It all starts off with planning that one special week in summer where we do our family camping get away with Jared and Tianna.  We get busy getting the RV ready, the boat ready, and all the packing done. Then it is the 7 hour trek to Banks Lake by the Grand Coolee Dam.  It all starts off with a quick stop at Costco for supplies, then the factory outlet mall for more supplies (really?), an overnighter at the quaint Bavarian town of Leavenworth including bratwurst for supper.  Then we wake up early the next morning and within a few hours – Are we there yet? – and the answer is yes, we have arrived!


Once there, we get the trailer set up, put the boat in the water, and then the fun begins…wake boarding, skiing, bare footing, air chairing, and wake surfing.  Then it’s on to BBQs, campfires, stories, games, reading, and even a mid-day snooze.  Repeat daily, and before you know it, the pace slows down, tension disappears, and laughter abounds.


Just as we are getting into the groove, it’s over and we are packing up…really???  That went by so quick. Who said the days go by slowly???


The take away from the summer get away is a few more stories to tell, a few cuts, scrapes, sunburns, wake board and water skiing crashes, a few more aches and pains, and so many more memories stock piled into all of our memory banks. Life Is Good!


Wishing you an awesome memory filled summer! 


Your friends in the business,

Larry & Marlene 


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I started in Real Estate in January 1982, and what a wake-up call that was.  Realizing, to stay on the cutting edge would involve being a life-long student.  To always be learning, embrace change,  and never give up.


With that revelation, I started with the By Referral Only Real Estate Marketing University and continue to this day, 22 years later, to be a life-long student.


After 33 years of marketing Real Estate, I thought I had seen it all & experienced every kind of negotiating possible – until last week.


I was working to sell one of our listings, and in the end there were 2 offers that were competing for this same house.


I knew each of the Buyer’s Agents personally and had worked with them many times over the years.  Each of their buyers were eager to purchase and had written offers over full price, with great deposits, cash, no subjects, and both buyers waiving their rights to having an inspection.   This was a seller’s dream come true!


As I was negotiating these 2 offers back and forth, there came a point where my sellers said they didn't know which offer to accept –the price was beyond their wildest dreams and the offers were so similar, how could we be fair to both parties?


Both Buyer’s Agents and their buyers had been waiting patiently outside my client’s house for our decision, so I went outside and gathered everyone together and explained the situation.  I asked if each buyers agent would text me one final counter offer.


To my surprise, the answer was no – each of the buyers were at their max.  Then someone had the crazy idea to flip a coin…are you kidding…this is a house sale!


I couldn't believe it!  Both Buyer’s Agents and both buyers agreed that “to flip a coin would be fair” – one chose heads, the other tails.


As I flipped the coin high into the air, everyone was silent and as it hit the pavement in the middle of the street – shouts of joy came from the buyer and the Buyer’s Agent who chose “tails”.  They had just bought themselves a house!


I’m always learning new strategies to market & sell homes—this one was not in any text I have ever read!




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Spring time is nearly here, and for many it means tossing out the old, mopping and dusting the unseen places, and maybe painting or redecorating.


But there is another kind of spring cleaning – one that will spruce up our lives and brighten up our day.  What if we spring cleaned our relationships?  Scrubbing the stains off our marriages or relationships with brothers, sisters, friends or co –workers?


For a number of years, one of my siblings and I had been at odds.  We would still talk at family gatherings, yet it would be surface chatter.  It comes natural for both of us to sweep the dirt under the carpet, but it’s still dirt and I am more of a clean freak.


It was soon birthday time, and I woke up in the middle of the night thinking of the perfect gift I could give.  That morning I made the call – the birthday gift was one of an apology and that although we may not see eye to eye, we could agree to disagree and work on our relationship, love and forgiveness.


Wow!  The weight that fell off of me that morning put a big grin on my face!  I probably should have done it years ago as the gift was well accepted.


So, how are your relationships?  Who instantly comes to mind that you could tidy up that relationship with?  


Ah – Spring Cleaning – It’s time to take out the garbage…




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Dear Friends,


Just a quick note to let you know how we might help you or someone you feel comfortable introducing to us.


Recently, I received a call from Yves Rabu.  Yves and his wife, Vida, had their home for sale for three years with another agent, but it didn't sell.  It was at that point that their friend, Bill, introduced them to us and that’s where our story starts.


I met Yves & Vida at their home.  They were committed to selling and just wanted the “right coaching” to make it happen.  We started with our Room-by-Room Review and a list of things to do to make their home ready for “Show Time”.


The “Things To Do ” Seller’s Homework was more time consuming than costly – arranging furniture and reorganizing rooms to help make them look spacious, bright and to compete successfully with all the other homes for sale on the market.


While Yves & Vida were working on their homework, we prepared our Pin Point Price Evaluation – interpreting the data of sales, properties for sale and current market timing, as well as offering 3 pricing models so Yves & Vida could choose a price that would work for their situation and timing.


Yves & Vida had worked hard to make their home look perfect and with our 94 Step Marketing Campaign, we knew success would be around the corner.  Then, after 10 showings in 44 days, came the day to remember.  A three year dream came true!  Yves & Vida’s home was sold.  Vida said she didn't know whether to scream for joy, laugh or cry.  It was incredible to be a part of the excitement and is what makes our job so enjoyable.


Part 2 of the three year dream…Marlene helped Yves & Vida buy the perfect home.  It was like unwrapping a long awaited for Christmas present…to be continued.


Congrats Yves & Vida!


Your friends in the business,


Larry & Marlene

Re/Max Little Oak Realty



PS – This is the season where you are going to be noticing friends, neighbours & relatives getting ready to make a move because SPRING is around the corner.  When this happens, simply take out your cell phone, look up my number and call me immediately at 604-855-6464.  Thanks for not keeping us a secret!

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This December was a first for Marlene and I—something we had been thinking about for years, but always put it on the back burner.  The dream was to give ourselves permission to totally disengage for a few weeks—rent a condo in Mexico and just live there.  We had done the all-inclusive Mexican vacation before, yet we wanted to experience what it would be like to do a Mexican getaway where we would do our own thing.  We would cook our own meals, jump into our own car and go to that small surfing town we always want to go and check out that fishing village, hit this beach one day and another beach the next day. 


This was going to be a getaway were I wasn't going to be taking a lot of work with me. A trip where I was not going to justify my time away by spending a certain number of hours per day on work, writing or thinking about actually disengage.


Here is what happened.  In the past we had an “interest” to do this, yet this year rather than just being interested, we committed to do it.  Our motivation came from some of our clients.  We had seen a number of our friends and clients, our age, deal with health issues.  Some battles were won, and some were lost, which got us thinking—why wait?  At first, I had a 1/2 dozen reasons...


...wait until I am older

...wait until I am retired

...wait until business slows down

...wait until business picks up

...what if this…

...what if that...


In the end, we gave ourselves permission to start crossing off a few more things on our list and do them before we physically may not be able to or even want to do them any more—and then live with regret.


We had a great time—lots of sun, fun, food, and exploring.


Feeling blessed and thankful!

Your friends in the business, 


Larry and Marlene


PS—Here is my question to you, right now do you have a dream that you have not given yourself permission to do?  What have you been holding back on?  Once you give yourself permission to go for it, then you will figure out how to make it reality.

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When I say “It’s the Christmas season?”, if you were truly honest, how joyful are you?  On a level of 1(low) to 10 (high), what’s your happiness level?  Are you the Grinch at zero or one?  Or are you a 10—St. Nicholas—cheery, happy, gifting, hugging and loving everyone?  Or somewhere in between?


For me, I have been all over the map.  Some years, I have been so stressed out over the busyness of the season, the shopping, the rushing around, the parties, the get togethers, and the family gatherings.


And yet, there have been other years where we have been so relaxed, we didn’t say yes to everything, did our shopping well in advance, and went on a family holiday and enjoyed our time together.


I know we are all different, however, if you could have the perfect Christmas season, what would that look like to you?



* Don’t live on adrenalin rushing here and there—pace yourself, breathe.

* Remember that if some of your friends, relatives can’t make it to your party, then it doesn’t mean they don’t love you.  It means they are busy also—be gracious.

* Intentionally make a moment where you actually have a “Silent Night/Peace on Earth”.

* Because people spend 3-4 times their ordinary spending rate in November and December remember that Christmas is not about the “gifts” you buy.


Merry Christmas from your friends in the business,

Larry & Marlene

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Dear Friends,


Just a quick note to let you know how we might help you or someone you feel comfortable introducing to us.


Recently, we were introduced to Nick and his wife, Mandy, as well as Nick’s brother, Jordan, by Mandy’s grandfather, Ron Bergmann.


Nick & Jordan were needing some help selling their mom’s home and asked us to have a look at it.  We reviewed the market, how to showcase the property, and gave them 3 prices to choose from (depending on the speed of sale wanted).


As far as Nick & Jordan were concerned, they wanted it sold “the sooner the better” and chose a price that would get them the most money within a 60 day sale period.


After measuring the home, taking almost 100 photos and putting the sign up, we geared up our 94 Step Marketing System and we were underway!


With today’s technology, 93% of buyers search for their next home online, so this next step is crucial.  We chose the very best pictures that would showoff the property, emailed all the Realtors and then uploaded our listing package to the MLS, and all the websites we use for marketing.


Knowing the buyer’s and Realtor’s interest in any new listing peaks after the first few weeks on the market, I was really working toward a sale in under 3 weeks, and guess what?  11 days after listing the home, we negotiated a full price offer for Nick & Jordan.  It can’t get much better than that!


Congratulations Nick & Jordan, and thanks again Ron for introducing Nick, Mandy & Jordan to us.  We are so happy to have been able to help them sell their mom’s home and provide a World Class Real Estate Experience.


Your friends in the business,


Larry & Marlene

Re/Max Little Oak Realty



PS—Who is the next person you know that would like to sell before the end of summer just like Nick & Jordan wanted to?  Here is what you do:

1) Pick up your phone

2) Dial our number 604-859-2341

3) Introduce us to the people you care about and how we could best help them

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I have been a member of By Referral Only, a Real Estate Marketing University, for over 20 years—always learning, tweaking and fine tuning my business and my life.


I have learned success has so many faces.  Success at home, with family, friends, financially, spiritually, mentally, physically, and so on.


My business coach and trainer, Joe, has coached over 50,000 business people over the past 25 years with amazing outcomes.  Here are some of Joe’s findings that anyone can use for a better life:


Finding #1: Business people who take care of themselves, tend to expand their life, their authentic self and their business.  Those who don’t take care of themselves work in overwhelm, confusion and drama.


Finding #2:   Those who practice self care and set it as a high priority generally feel better about EVERYTHING!  It all starts with self care and everything else will transform.


Joe’s thoughts on how to start your daily transformation.


1. Take care of food first.  Eat quality healthy food. Question: Do you eat your for sustenance or recreation?


2. Sleep.  Are you getting 6-8 hours of healthy sleep daily?  If not, then make that a priority.  Question: Do you go to bed at approximately the same time each night?


3. Exercise.  What is the quality and duration of your physical exercise?  Question: What is your morning ritual or what is your evening ritual?


4. Spiritual Time. Question: Do you have time set aside daily for meditating/prayer/reading/listening?


Joe says the very best motivator is YOU.  You will become healthier when you are tired of being sick and tired.  Are you interested or actually committed?



* About Joe—he is the oldest man in the United States (54+) to have passed the SealFit Academy and Kokoro Camp

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Dear Friends,


Just a quick note to let you know how we might be able to help you or anyone you feel comfortable introducing to us.


Recently, I received a call from Les & Lynette Lambert. They were introduced to us by two of their relatives, who we had helped sell and buy homes with great results, and now it was their turn to look at the retirement stage of their life with a newer home that would have a basement suite for Les’ mom.


They had invited me to their place to give them an idea of things to do, and things not to do, to get their property to showcase for selling.


After all the fixes were done, we met again and discussed 3 pricing options to choose from depending on the speed of sale required and timing of which seasonal market they wanted to sell in.


In their price range & location, buyers were expecting a basement suite, and in Les & Lynette’s home, it would be difficult to suite.  So we knew we had our work cut out for us.


Within the first 2 weeks, we had accepted an offer, but the buyers’ financial picture was not what they said it was – No Sale.


We continued to market the property with more than a dozen showings within the next week, and again negotiated another offer.  


We asked all the questions we could about the buyer and their financial picture to ensure we had a real offer, but after a week, the Realtor conveniently was not available and there was trouble again.


Then it happened!  Through our marketing, we connected with a Realtor who was looking just for what Les & Lynette had.  Time was running out for the buyer as they had sold their home and needed to move-in within 6 weeks.


We negotiated the contract, and by agreeing to the dates, Les & Lynette received a premium for their home…SOLD!


Now it was shopping time!  In the following week, Marlene showed Les & Lynette the top 15 homes that matched their criteria.  They narrowed it down to a nice newer home in a great location with the perfect suite for their mom.


Congratulations Les & Lynette!


Your friends in the business,


Larry & Marlene

Re/Max Little Oak Realty



PS – Give us a call if you, or anyone you know, are looking to enter the retirement stage of your life 604-859-2341.

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Dear Friends,


Just a quick note to let you know how we might be able to help you or anyone you feel comfortable introducing to us.


Recently, clients, I will call them Bill & Barb, asked us if we could give them an idea of what their home, with a view, was worth.  They were already retired and it was time to downsize and bank some of the equity they had sitting in their house.


After doing all the research on the property we got back together with Bill & Barb.  They chose the price, gave me the keys and said, “Sell it while we are gone—we are off to Palm Springs for a month.”


Do you ever have it where things just work out perfectly?  Using our 94 step marketing campaign we had 22 showings in the first 4 weeks and it was showing #22 that landed the offer.


We emailed the contract to Bill & Barb, and followed up with a number of phone calls and counter offers in between Bill & Barb’s tennis games, bike rides and rounds of golf.


Then came the call they were waiting for, “Congratulations!! It’s sold!!”


When Bill & Barb got back from their Palm Springs getaway, Marlene took them shopping to look at townhomes and high-rise apartments that had views.


After viewing over 19 properties, Bill & Barb found the perfect place they could call home, and here is the neat part, they were able to put almost $300,000 into the bank after they purchased.


No more yard work, cleaning the gutters, trimming the trees, cleaning the windows—it’s time to travel!  I believe this is what they mean by The Golden Years!


Congrats Bill & Barb!


Your friends in the business,


Larry & Marlene

Re/Max Little Oak Realty



PS - What could you do with $300,000 cash?  If it is time to retire or downsize, and pocket some of the equity in your home to enjoy while you have your health, then give us a call.  We know how to make that dream a reality!  Call Larry or Marlene at 604-859-2341.

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Dear Friends,


Just a quick note to let you know how we might be able to help you or anyone you feel comfortable introducing to us.


Recently, I had a call from Dean and Brun.  Dean was considering taking a job in Fort McMurray and asked me into their home for an evaluation and give them an idea of things to do and not to do to get their place ready for sale.


As Dean and Brun had already been working on showcasing their home for a few weeks, it was “looking good” and I gave them just a few final ideas to make it perfect.


The real fun came with their evaluation.  Some of the homes in their area had been sitting for sale for months – if we listed there would be 5 homes for sale within a block of each other.


When working on Dean and Brun’s evaluation, we found a number of similar homes selling in equal or better locations and used their selling prices as a guide.  We then investigated the different properties for sale and offered 3 different prices depending on the timing they were looking for.


They wanted a quicker sale (not to be for sale for 6 months or more like some of the properties on their street) and chose a price and marketing campaign that would make it happen. 


I had taken over 100 pictures of their home and narrowed that down to the top 40 for our marketing pieces.  We created a voice over movie of their home, emailed approx. 500 realtors our New Listing Information Package, put a sign on the front lawn, and uploaded the listing info to the MLS system.


Through our marketing efforts, we located 4 potential buyers/Realtors within the first week.  Although the property was not right for the first 3 buyers, our 4th showing was a Realtor with a buyer who had just sold their property in Fort Langley and wanted a quick possession.


Via phone, fax, email and text, as Dean had left town on business, we were able to negotiate a full price offer for them and now they are packing!


Congrats Dean and Brun – Best wishes in Fort Mac!


Your friends in the business,


Larry & Marlene

Re/Max Little Oak Realty



PS - If you or someone you care about is thinking of making a move and could use our help like we gave Dean and Brun, then give us a call at our office at 604-859-2341.  Our goal is to give them a World Class Real

Estate Experience!


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Dear Friends,


Just a quick note to let you know how we might be able to help you or anyone you feel comfortable introducing to us.


In 2001, we met Elgin & Dorothy Taylor and helped them buy a townhome in a 55+ retirement complex in Abbotsford.  Elgin and Dorothy were people with big hearts and were anything but retired!  One of the many thing Elgin and Dorothy were involved with was drilling water wells in Ghana Africa.  As Marlene and I got to know them better, their excitement rubbed off on us and we sponsored a number of wells & even went to Africa with them.


Recently we got a call from Elgin.  It was time to sell their townhome here in Abbotsford and move closer to their kids.  As Elgin put it, they were getting on in years – it was time.


Together, we reviewed all the current sales, as well as the townhomes that were for sale.  Then Elgin and Dorothy selected an asking price.


Through our marketing efforts we had 7 showings, but no offers.  I knew we were close to market value and the feedback from these showings confirmed that.  So to stop the buyers from just looking at it and get them making offers, we refined the test price by $5,000.


And that is all it took.  Two more showings, and Elgin and Dorothy’s townhome was sold.


Congratulations!!  Wishing you the very best in your new home!


Your friends in the business,


Larry & Marlene

Re/Max Little Oak Realty


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Dear Friends,


Just a quick note to let you know how we might be able to help you or anyone you feel comfortable introducing to us.


A number of months ago I was referred to clients, I’ll call them Alex and Lisa, by their friend, Brent.  They had a dream of moving to acreage with a larger house and a shop.


Alex and Lisa had a newer home with a basement suite – all remodeled and showed really nice.  They found that in their price range there would be a trade off. Moving up to acreage would mean the house would not be as nice as what they currently had.


A few months went by, the real estate market was changing and we found many higher priced acreages were adjusting faster than Alex & Lisa’s home was.  When we were viewing properties, we were seeing that the houses on the acreages were getting nicer and nicer – and were still shopping in the same price ranges.


That’s when it happened!  We found the perfect 2 acre property with a larger home and a huge shop – it was just right for Alex and Lisa.


We discussed values, and started the buying process.  After writing up the offer & with over 200 phone calls, emails, texts, faxes and smoke signals, Alex and Lisa have moved into their new home on acreage!


Congratulations!  The moving stresses are almost over.


We wish you and your family many, many years of enjoyment on your acreage.


Your friends in the business,


Larry & Marlene

Re/Max Little Oak Realty



PS - Who is the next person you know thinking of a life style change, moving up to a large home like Alex and Lisa, or downsizing, maybe getting ready for the empty nest?  Introduce them to us - we would love to help them with their move an provide a World Class Real Estate Experience.  Call Larry or Marlene @ 604-859-2341

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Dear Friends,


Just a quick note to let you know how we might be able to help you or anyone you feel comfortable introducing to us.


This summer we received a phone call from prospective sellers (I will call them Nathan and Kim, who were introduced to us by their children, who are our clients). Nathan was on the police force for years and just retired, so it was time to make one final retirement move.


They had spent a few months getting their home ready for sale and wanted to get a fair, realistic price for their place and not be for sale forever. They were looking for an agent who would be open, frank and get the job done.


Nathan & Kim’s decision to hire us was easy because Marlene and I have worked with so many people on the police force over the last 30 years, we had been introduced by their kids, and we have a highly successful marketing campaign and track record.


After reviewing their home and a list of all the upgrades and updates, we did the home work, researching all the properties that sold in their area as well as the ones that were for sale but had not sold yet. We then determined 3 different prices for the property.


At our next appointment I reviewed all the home work, and Nathan and Kim chose a price that best suited their situation.  We let our sellers choose the price based on timing and what is important to them.


Through our marketing efforts and Marketing Campaign, we had 12 showings in 12 days. In that time we received 4 offers, and after negotiating, chose the one we thought was the very best for us.


After dealing with a few hiccups & buyer financing issues, the property was sold for a price within $1,000 of the asking price and dates that were just right for Nathan and Kim.


Congrats – Wishing you the very best in the next chapter of your retirement years!


Your friends in the business,


Larry & Marlene

Re/Max Little Oak Realty


PS - Who is the next person you know who is thinking of retiring/wanting to downsize or is an empty nester? Your introductions are really appreciated – Marlene and I will take great care in giving your friends a World Class Real Estate Experience. 

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Dear Friends,


Just a quick note to let you know how we might be able to help you or anyone you feel comfortable introducing to us.


This May, Rob & Deb McGowan called to interview us and have me stop by to take a look at their home and help them with the idea of simplifying life by moving into a townhome.


The next day, I had the grand tour of their home and took pictures of all the features and updates they had done.  It was one of those properties that just “felt like home” and was in move-in condition.


Marlene and I then spent about 3 hours working on Rob & Deb’s evaluation, so they would have an accurate picture (through our “Pin-Point Pricing Campaign”) of what the market value of their house was, the different listing prices that we could ask and what to expect from our team & marketing system.


Together we had a fun discussion about what was important to Rob & Deb about making a move…


There were a few things that really stood out in my mind.  Rob & Deb:
1) didn’t want to be for sale for a year (like it happened to them once before)
2) wanted to be moved by summer
3) wanted to work with realtors who had integrity
4) to buy a secure be able to be “lock & leave”


After going back and forth on a few pricing options, the list price was settled and we put our marketing campaign into gear.


Now this is a great story!  Within days we had two buyers view Rob & Deb’s home and one of the buyers thought it was “just perfect” for his situation.  Within hours, the offer was negotiated subject to financing, inspection and viewing the Property Disclosure Statement.


We have found that 75% of the time, after we have an accepted offer, there should be no critical glitches and the property is sold. 25% of the time there can be issues that are deal breakers.


So after 6 days of waiting...we got the “green lights” and subject were removed.  A “SOLD” sticker was hanging on the For Sale sign...Congrats Rob &’s celebration time!


Your friends in the business,


Larry & Marlene

Re/Max Little Oak Realty


PS - Who is the next person you know looking to simplify life, downsize and work with someone they can trust to get the job done?  Give us a phone call at 604-859-2341.

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It's the long awaited for long weekend, but we hadn’t actually planed any getaway.  You know, we would just do a day trip here or there or?  So here is what happened…


I got up early, skipped breakfast and start doing a few things around the yard – all the stuff that needed to be done a month ago and didn't get done because life got busy.  Then I remembered my list of irritations – things that are not working like they should and start my MR FIT-IT program. 


“Hmm, I think I feel hungry!”  No wonder – it’s 3pm!  So I fried an egg – but before that was finished, I returned the 4 calls, 5 emails and 3 text messages +++


Been there??  Instead of relaxing with your family, you have a few emails to return, dishes to deal with, laundry to fold, kids activities, board meetings and on and on it goes.


It seems that doing nothing once in a while – lying in a 

hammock, listening to music, reading, painting, and more importantly getting away from it all (no email, cell phone, facebook, tv) has become less and less valuable  to us.


 According to research cited in Scientific American – not taking extended breaks robs us of perspective, making us crankier (anyone have a short fuse lately?) and eliminating creativity.

This may be a quote to live by:

“Every now & then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer, go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen. “ – Leonardo da Vinci


Marlene, Jared, Tianna, and I are looking forward to our summer camping vacation.   I hope you carve out some time – while the sun shines.



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Dear Friends,


Just a quick note to let you know how we might be able to help you or anyone you feel comfortable introducing to us.


This April, we had a call from new clients, Mel and Jacqueline, to invite me to have a look at their house, and give them my opinion on what it would take to market their property as well as what to do to prepare their home for sale.

As it turns out, they were introduced to our team by our clients, who were also their neighbours, who thought they should at least talk to us before making any moving decisions.


As I was viewing their house, we talked about what was important to them with making a move and what their priorities were.  They had some concerns selling in the West Abbotsford area and the types of buyers that the home may attract.


I encouraged them that our experience marketing properties for the last 30 years in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission and Langley would help them “Make it Happen”, that our marketing campaign could sell their property and our team would make things as stress free as possible.


After reviewing the list of things “to do” and “not to do” to show case their home as well as 3 pricing options, Mel and Jacqueline decided that our team would be a good fit for them.  A price was chosen, and we listed their property for sale and put our marketing campaign into high gear.  Within a day, the sign was up, pictures were taken, and the listing was on our website.


Now the story gets really good.  Within a week, we had 4 offers!  Yes, some of them were LOW and a waste of time, yet because of the activity our marketing had created, we were able to negotiate a cash offer, a great price and perfect dates...SOLD!


So what did it take to “make it happen”?  I found it takes an average of 100-150 calls, emails, texts, and faxes to take a property from the listing stage to being SOLD, but with the number of offers and the negotiation “style” of these realtors, we documented 243 calls, texts, emails & faxes.


The outcome...Mel and Jacqueline are soooo happy they chose our team and that they can now move on to the next chapter of their life.


Congratulations Mel and were a pleasure to work with!!!


Your friends in the business,


Larry & Marlene

Re/Max Little Oak Realty



PS - There are certain areas and price ranges where the market is super active!  If you, a friend, neighbour or relative are thinking of making a move, then now is the time.  Give us a call today! 604-859-2341

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Dear Friends,


Just a quick note to let you know how we might help you or someone you introduce to us.


Recently, clients, Abe and Lorna Hildebrandt, introduced us to Abe’s work associate Sandra.  She and her new husband, Shaun, had purchased a new home with a suite for their in-laws to move into and had been trying to sell

 their previous home with another realtor for 173 days…but there still was no SOLD sign on their front lawn.


The listing had expired with their previous realtor and as a result of the experience Abe & Lorna just had months prior involving a quick sale, email updates, a personal blog, and negotiating a great price with the Siebert Team (as well as our team being referred twice more by two of Shaun’s co-workers), Sandra & Shaun felt they at least needed to interview us, and see what we would do to market their property.


Marlene and I then spent approximately three hours on our detailed market evaluation (Marlene looking at the property though the eyes of the buyer and Buyer’s Agent and I looking at the property through the eyes of a marketer/Seller’s Agent).


On our next appointment, we discussed the market outlook, our marketing plan, and offered 3 different prices (depending on timing and minor fixes).  Decisions were made and we started our marketing process.


Here is where it gets exciting.  We had 2 offers in 32 days.  Although offer #1 came within the first week, there were some financing issues and it was a no-go, yet within days we negotiated our 2nd offer - SOLD!


Let the celebrations begin!!  Congrats Sandra and Shaun!


Your friends in the business,


Larry & Marlene


Re/Max Little Oak Realty



P.S. - We are involved with a lot of sellers at this time, giving them ideas of what to do and what not to do to get their places ready for sale.  With the upcoming spring market, the chances are really, really good that you will be noticing people wanting to make a move like never before.  When that happens, feel comfortable introducing them to my team and I. Thanks!


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Dear Friends,


Just a quick note to let you know how we might help you or someone you introduce to us.


Recently we were introduced to Erdman, and Jackie and their translator, Rowena, by Elvis and Mirjam Wiebe.  Erdman & Jackie had come from Paraguay a few years ago and had been saving up for a down payment.


As it is more of a buyer’s market now, it was a perfect time to stop renting for Erdman and Jackie & own their own home.  Compared to 2009, buyers today are seeing sticker prices on homes that might as well say 10-15% off…a lot of choices and great prices!


After determining their needs, wants, and location, we started to sift through all of the townhomes in their price range, weeding out the very best ones, and then the shopping started.  


As it so happened, we found a multi-level townhome in a great central location.  The price was great…and although it needed some TLC, as it was a foreclosure, it was perfect! 


After the showing, we had knocked on the neighbour’s door to ask a few questions about the complex and started hearing a lot of German.  This neighbour also happened to be Paraguayan, and one word kept coming up…asado.  It seemed every phrase had the same asado word in it.


When I asked Rowena what asado meant…it all made sense.  She said, “They were looking forward to moving here and ‘making the barbeque’ with their new found friends.”


A foreclosure’s final acceptance is through court approval where there can be competing offers, so we came prepared with a 2nd offer from Erdman and Jackie that was for $9,000 higher than the original offer…just in case.


We got to court and there were no other offers, so we tucked our second offer out of sight as the gavel went down and Erdman and Jackie got a great deal on their first home in Canada! 


Congrats Erdman and Jackie…


Rowena, thanks for all your help…


It’s time to “Make the Barbeque”!!


Your friends in the business,


Larry & Marlene

Re/Max Little Oak Realty


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