Category: Uncategorized (4)

In the June Keller Williams Beach Cities Newsletter, Alexis Balner was featured as the Agent Leadership Council (ALC) spotlight. Here’s a transcript of the interview:

What are your areas of expertise/ strengths in the real estate business?

I am very patient with my clients throughout the transaction. Even after the close of a transaction, I remain as an invaluable resource to my clients. I am from the East coast and believe that my direct, straight forward nature is a huge asset when working with agents on the other side of the transaction, from getting our offers accepted to negotiating while in escrow.

What are some interesting personal facts about you?

I was born and raised in NJ, I have a BA in psychology from Arizona State University and I was a wardrobe stylist for celebrities and magazines for about 5 years in my mid to late 20’s.

Why did you get into the real estate business?

I was tired of working for other people and making their businesses prosper without any reflection on my pay scale. Even when I was managing big businesses, it didn’t matter how hard I worked, I was paid the same. Real estate has given me the opportunity to work hard, play hard and have a life that I thought only people dreamed about.

What do you love most about real estate?

I love the flexibility of the daily schedule, I love that I am the creator of my own destiny and I love that I am a part of people’s stories when they are making some of the biggest decisions in their lives . I am very fulfilled through helping my clients achieve their goals.

What did you do before real estate?

I was in the restaurant industry for a long time after my time as a wardrobe stylist. I was managing restaurants, bars and nightclubs all of LA for years.

What advice would you give to new agents who just starting out in real estate?

If I can do it, anyone can do it. Hard work pays off and time on task over time will give you the results you are looking for. I am constantly educating myself further, recently becoming a licensed real estate broker, refining and expanding my expertise. There are trends in escrows from writing offers in a particular way to different ways of negotiating. If you aren’t consistently in transactions, you will miss these trends and not be the best you can be for your own career and for your clients.

If you would like to learn more about our team, please contact us today!

Buying a home versus renting is a big decision that takes careful consideration.

While there are several biased sources that can make arguments for or against owning a home, we’ve found that most home buyers base their ultimate decision on emotion.

Yes, there are some tax advantages of owning real estate, as well as the potential to earn equity or pay a mortgage note off after several years.

However, let’s address some of the more obvious topics:

Benefits of Renting

Lower Acquisition Cost
Compared to the cost of about 1-3 month’s rent payment, it’s obvious that renting a home makes financial sense in the short term.

Lower Qualifying Standards
Generally, proof of employment / income and a decent credit history (or a good explanation) is needed to rent.

Increased Mobility
If you’re planning on moving in the next 3-5 years, then it may become cost-prohibitive if you own due to the amount of equity you’ll have to gain in the short-run just to cover the cost of paying an agent, buyer closing costs, and transfer taxes.

Less Maintenance and Cost
If something breaks, a simple call to the property management company will generally solve the issue in 48 hours or less.

Benefits of Owning

Pets Are Allowed
It may seem like a funny benefit to mention first, but the millions of dog and cat lovers would definitely rank this towards the top of their list.

Peace-of-Mind and Security
You don’t have to worry about a landlord’s financial ability to make mortgage payments on time.

Pink and Purple Walls
You can paint the inside of your house any color.

Tax Benefits
The IRS has created certain tax incentives making it possible for many homeowners to exceed the standard yearly deduction.

Remaining in one neighborhood for several years lets you establish lasting friendships, as well as offers your children the benefit of educational continuity.

Appreciation of Property
From 1972 through 2005, home prices increased on average 6.5%, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Forced Savings
The monthly payment helps in repayment of the principal amount.Increased Net Worth
Few things have a greater impact on net worth than owning a home.

While the available tax advantages and potential for earned equity are generally highlighted by most industry professionals as the top reasons to own real estate, it’s important to remember that markets go through cycles. However, owning real estate that appreciates more than the rate of inflation may help contribute towards your overall investment portfolio.

Consider these tips to help keep your personal information safe and secure and protect you from identity theft:

  1. Create Strong Passwords and Update them Frequently.Remember to create a strong password, by avoiding common or easy-to-guess passwords. Common passwords often include a birth date, a pet’s name, a mother’s maiden name, or a person’s school or work. A safer password usually has some capital letters and at least one numeric or other non-alphabetical character. From time to time, it is important to change commonly used passwords.
  2. Be Aware of What You Share.Between the increasing numbers of social networks, from Facebook to Twitter, and LinkedIn to Google+, a significant amount of personal information is being shared online that can be used to authenticate a person’s identity. Don’t share or post personal information online, such as your address, phone numbers, SSN, birth date, or birth place.
  3. Keep Sensitive Personal and Financial Documents Secure.Most people store personal and financial information on their computer. If you do, it’s important to protect your computer by installing a firewall, using anti-virus and anti-spyware software, keeping your browser updated, and securing your wireless network. If you are disposing of financial or tax documents, make sure you shred them, and if you are keeping hard copies for your records, store them in a safe location. Never carry around your Social Security card.
  4. Protect Your Mobile Device.There are great apps available to help you bank, track your finances, and even do your taxes on your mobile phone. Make sure the apps that you download are from a reputable company and check the ratings and comments to be aware of what the app does and what information it may access on your mobile device. You should also secure your device with a strong password and use your phone’s auto-lock feature to protect personal information.
  5. Check Your Credit Report.Your are entitled to one free credit report each year, which is compiled from information from the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Take advantage of the free report in order to catch any errors. If any information has been compromised, set up a fraud alert with the three major credit bureaus to put a security freeze on your files and information.
  6. Don’t Fall for Phishing Scams.These email scams can come from a party claiming to be a trustworthy entity, (e.g., your bank) asking you to click on a link and confirm personal details including address, account numbers, or even your SSN. Trustworthy companies would never ask you to provide personal or sensitive information without first signing into your account behind a secure firewall. The IRS in particular will never communicate or request personal information via unsolicited email. Do not open or forward emails claiming to be from the IRS—forward them to

If you believe your identity has been stolen, it is important to put a hold on bank and credit accounts, change commonly used passwords, and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Providing the FTC with an overview of what information has been compromised allows them to build a case for any wrongdoing. Unfortunately, the FTC cannot get back any money lost, but can help safeguard against further fraudulent activity and conduct an investigation into any hacked information.


Just when the growing season looks bleakest — think scorchers and mid-summer drought — Mom Nature brings out bursts of cheery color. These drought-resistant plants help conserve water and ensure your curb appeal won’t wilt in the heat. Native varieties are the most tolerant; check your state extension service. Meanwhile, check out our slideshow of colorful drought-resistant plants!