Through The Lens – July 2019 Edition
Every July 4th America celebrates the nation’s independence with barbecues, parades and fireworks. The holiday commemorates the Founding Fathers’ declaration of independence in 1776. Ever since that history making day there have been coincidences and celebrations. Check out these facts that you might not have known about the holiday we call the 4th of July
- Congress didn’t actually vote for independence on July 4.
Twelve of thirteen states approved a resolution for independence on July 2, not July 4th, when the declaration was actually adopted. New York didn’t vote until July 9. Many of the signers didn’t attach their names to the document until August 2.
John Adams famously insisted the annual celebration of independence be held July 2, not July 4th, and refused to attend any events on the latter day.
- The Fourth of July didn’t become an official holiday until over a century after America declared its independence.
In 1776, John Adams wrote a letter to his wife, saying that American independence should be celebrated with “Pomp and Parade, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one end of this Continent to the other.”
The Fourth of July wasn’t designated a federal holiday until 1870. In 1941, it became a paid holiday for federal employees.
- During the Revolutionary War, George Washington gave his soldiers a special treat for the holiday.
On July 4th, 1778, George Washington ordered a double ration of rum for his soldiers. He also ordered a cannon salute to celebrate the occasion.
Drinking was a large part of historical Fourth of July celebrations — it was traditional to drink 13 toasts, one for each state in the union.
- In a bizarre coincidence, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on July 4th, 1826 — the nation’s 50th birthday.
The two founding fathers and political adversaries died within five hours of each other.
James Monroe was the third president to die on July 4th: he passed away in 1831.
- Calvin Coolidge is the only president to be born on July 4th.
Coolidge, the 30th U.S. president, was born on Independence Day in 1872.
- Celebrating with fireworks is as old as the holiday itself.
At the first Fourth of July celebrations which took place in Philadelphia in 1777, cannons were fired 13 times, once for each of the colonies. That night, 13 fireworks were fired off from the city’s commons. The tradition of fireworks has only blossomed since then.
- Fireworks are a massive industry.
According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, Americans spend over $1 billion on fireworks a year. That number has roughly tripled over the last 20 years.
- July 4th is the biggest hot dog day of the year.
Americans consume roughly 150 million hot dogs on the Fourth of July — enough to stretch from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles five times.
Avoiding Real Estate Agent Mistakes
If you had the opportunity to create a real estate handbook, every agent out there would have something different to say. Hard-learned mistakes that should be avoided at all costs or the necessary hardships that everyone must endure. Some even have superstitions that they swear by – such as the agent who wears their same lucky socks for every listing appointment. Regardless of what tickles your fancy, there are some undeniable truths and advice that apply to all agents new or old. Here are the top 5 mistakes to avoid as a real estate agent
Mistake #1: Not having a plan in place
Don’t just go with your gut feeling …one of the most important things you can do for your business is to have a plan consisting typically of these 3 things:
· Defining your goals
· Performing a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis
· Defining your marketing plan
Mistake #2: Not having a buffer and/or another source of income
“You have to spend money, to make money.” This is no truer than when it comes to real estate. But when starting off, ensure that you have some type of nest egg or additional source of income in place to ensure you don’t spend yourself into debt. It’s important to have yourself a security blanket to tide you over until you start consistently closing deals.
Mistake #3: A Lack of Communication
Communication is crucial to building trust with your client. The top ways to create a positive sales experience are:
- Respond in a timely manner
- Listen to your client’s needs
- Provide relevant information
Communication is a skill that’s vital to your success. It will always fall upon you to remain diligent in opening up those communication channels. You need to do whatever possible to connect with your client and stay front of mind throughout their process.
Mistake #4: Burning Yourself Out
Given the daily grind of real estate, burnout is a common for all agents old and new. It’s important to block out time for yourself and for your loved ones.
Mistake #5: Not Utilizing Your Resources
Lastly and most importantly, use the resources that are at your disposal. The right tools can help you save time for yourself and boost your business. There are many fantastic options out there that effectively handle your communication with prospective clients, connecting them with you only when they’re ready to sell/buy.
HOMES AND LIVING FUN FACTS
It’s always fun to learn new things about homes and the way people live or used to live in them. Here are a few fun facts that we thought we would share.
CATS AND DOGS
The phrase “It’s raining cats and dogs” has several different meanings. One is that when houses used to have thatched roofs, pets and other small animals (squirrels, groundhogs, etc.) used to nestle into the straw for warmth. When it would rain, however, the straw would become slippery and the animals would slide out, creating the illusion that it was literally raining cats and dogs.
Clay tiles have been used by nearly every civilization as a roofing material, but the idea can actually be traced back to as far as 10,000 B.C. to those in China and the Middle East.
RED FRONT DOORS
A red front door has been a symbol for many different things over the centuries. In early American tradition, a red door meant “welcome.” Similarly, in the Chinese Feng Shui philosophy, a red door is known to create a welcoming energy. In Scotland, homeowners paint their front doors red when they’ve paid off their mortgage,
Many people believe that metal roofs are more likely to be struck by lightning, but that’s not true. Although metal does conduct electricity, it doesn’t actually draw lightning. Instead, lightning will search for the highest object in the area.
The term “housewarming party” comes from the tradition that used to occur before electricity. Every time a person built or bought a new home, guests would bring firewood as gifts and light fires in the home’s fireplaces.
HOME SWEET HOME
The majority of homeowners tend to stay in their homes for around six years before moving.
When straw was used to cover slate and stone floors in order to keep them cold, homeowners had to find a way to keep the straw inside when the front door was opened. To do so, they built a wooden floorboard in the doorway in order to “thresh” or separate the straw from the outside. This became known as a threshold.
Walking in your front door only to find your house has been broken into is a nightmare no one wants to experience. Most of us probably assume that robberies take place at night, when everyone is sound asleep in their beds. Robbing a house while someone is in it only increasing a robber’s chance of getting caught. Most burglaries tend to happen during the day when no one is home. Here are some simple things you can do to keep your house safe instead of quitting your job to protect your home all day.
1. Don’t leave your windows and doors unlocked.
Locking your doors might seem like the most obvious thing to do to keep yourself safe, but thieves know first-hand that many people skip this simple precaution. While a locked door doesn’t guarantee your safety, it will help deter any thieves that are looking for an easy target. Keeping your windows locked it also important, especially if your windows are easy to reach from the ground. It’s also recommended that you keep a dead bolt on your exterior doors since dead bolts make it slightly more difficult to break in to your home.
2. Don’t let your mail pile up while you’re on vacation.
When preparing to go on vacation, some people forget to ask someone to take care of their mail while they’re gone. Seeing an overflowing mailbox and a pile of newspapers in front of a house is a signal to thieves that they’ve found an easy target; they’ve just figured out that the house is empty. Luckily, there are easy remedies for this problem. You should definitely pause your mail while on vacation and have a friend pick up your newspapers.
3. Easily accessible backyard.
Thieves will choose the most convenient way to enter your home. Many like to enter through back windows because there is less of a chance that someone will see them breaking into your house. If you don’t have a fenced-in backyard, it will be easier for a thief to gain access to the back of your home. Make it a pain to get into your backyard. The more you can do to slow down a thief, the less chance they will succeed at getting into your home.
4.You may have a thief in your midst.
It may surprise you to know that most homes are not burglarized by strangers. It is said that 66 percent of burglaries are committed by someone who knows the victim. These are the people most likely to burglarize your house. It may be tough to cut these people out of your life. Cameras and alarm systems can often deter these people. Also, try to hide information about your whereabouts from them. It might be hard to put these protections in place, but it’s better than having to confront a person you know who stole from you
5. Don’t make it obvious that you have valuables.
Thieves are looking for the greatest potential rewards. They are likely to target homes that show obvious signs of wealth. This means that you should limit the visibility of your valuables and make it hard for them to be seen from outside. Keep expensive stuff out of sight. Your 70″ flat screen TV should not be visible from the street. Your MacBook Pro shouldn’t be kept right in front of your first-floor office window. It also helps to break down the boxes of purchased electronics and put them into your garbage can instead of leaving them fully intact on your garbage pile for everyone to see what new items you now have in your home.
If you follow the tips on this list, you will be well on your way to having a safer home. Lock your doors and windows, install deadbolts, keep your home well lit, and consider installing an alarm system. You can also protect the possessions in your home by making your smaller valuables less visible. Having a safe or lockbox will discourage a thief from taking your things when they are short on time. It’s also not a good idea to keep your car keys right by your front door. If someone does break in, they will have a very easy time taking your things and driving away in your car. And finally, get rid of that key you have hidden under your welcome mat!