Phone: (480) 234-9225

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sheryl Crow turns to Interior Design

Talk about talent.  Chart busting, American singer/songwriter, Sheryl Crow, has more talent than you may know – In addition to winning 9 Grammy awards, she also gets an “A” for interior design. 
The March, 2011 issue of Architectural Digest has a great spread on Crow and her LA digs.  She apparently fired her decorator and unleashed a natural talent she possessed all along! 
The property perched high above the hustle of the city in the Hollywood Hills area of LA, was acquired over time.  According to AD, she purchased a 1920’s Spanish Colonial there in the mid 1990’s.  Since that time, she’s picked up several adjacent dwellings – a 1900’s Craftsman bungalow and a 19th century cottage – to make an 11 acre compound.  The estate offers picturesque views of LA while providing the star with serenity, space and magic.
We’ve known all along Crow has style – But, you need to check out her digs!  Unpretentious, comfortable and diverse, she’s clearly got an eye for design.
The article takes us on a tour of her home and uncovers a Crow most of us were unaware of – she blends Deco with contemporary and antiques with folk art to create a wonderfully inviting home. 
According to the article, many of her finds came from the Venice-based Obsolete, an eclectic shop offering a multitude of accessories from mannequins to vintage lighting.   If their web site has anything to do with it, the shop has got to me amazing.
Crow may be a “100 miles from Memphis” but one thing is certain – she has class and inviting me into her home has given me a new perspective.  She’s grounded with an appreciation for the past and a view towards the future.
We all can learn a thing or two from Sheryl Crow when it comes to interior design.  Pick up the March issue and see for your self.

Scottsdale International Film Festival

There’s still quite the buzz from this past year’s Scottsdale International Film Festival, but plans are well underway for the 2011 event – and there eager for volunteers.
Phoenix and Scottsdale continue to up the ante when it comes to culture.  Many people know us for our shopping, restaurants, museums and art galleries.  One cultural event more and more of us are coming to know is the Scottsdale International Film Festival.
The Scottsdale International Film Festival showcases independent and foreign films in an attempt to help us have a better appreciation for the diversity of cultures, lifestyles and beliefs from around the world.  According to their web site, the selected films “champion stories of people who stand their ground to make a difference and who seek change for the better.”  Through film, the group provides audiences with a glimpse into other cultures, perspectives and philosophies that shape our world and our lives.  The event has been gaining momentum since 2001 and now rivals those across the country.
Even if you’re not looking to volunteer, mark your calendar for this year’s event – September 30 to October 4.  There’s bound to be several films you won’t want to miss.
For more information on the festival and to find out how you can get involved by volunteering, visit them on the web.  The Scottsdale International Film Festival is a well orchestrated and wonderfully exciting exploration of cultures through cinematography that you won’t want to miss. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Phoenix Area Historic Homes Invites Visitors

Ever wonder what it was like on the inside of some of those old Phoenix area historic homes?  Well, now’s your chance as they open their doors and invite visitors inside for home tours.

I continue to be drawn to the stately beauty, the unique charm and the overflowing character of historic homes.  Perhaps it stemmed from my childhood:  As a kid growing up in a Chicago suburb, my brother and I would play in the hidden catwalk of our early 20th century brick French Normandy with its mansard roof.  Or, maybe it began with the 1920’s English Tudor where my grandparents lived while in Dayton.  We’d play for hours in the glass green house in the rear grounds where my grandmother tended her geraniums. 

Whenever I hear of an opportunity to explore historic homes, I jump at the chance.  Looks like it’s going to be a busy spring from me.  This season, a number of historic neighborhoods are inviting visitors in to take a tour.  If you’re curious like me to see the inside of some of these homes, you’ll want to mark your calendars for these Home Tours:

March 6 and 10 – Coronado Historic Home & Garden Tour (and wine tasting). 10 am to 4 pm.  Call 602-565-6544 for more information.

March 13 – Tucson Home Tour presented by Sam Hughes Neighborhood.  12Noon to 5 pm.  Call 520-323-7891 for more information.

March 20 – "Homes through Time" hosted by Cave Creek Museum featuring historic to contemporary homes.  10 am to 4 pm.  Call 480-488-2764 for more information.

March 27Encanto-Palmcroft Preservation Association hosts its biennial home tour.  10 am to 4 pm. Call 602-345-1448 for more information.

Those stately homes of my childhood had character and were anything but ordinary.  Talk about attention to detail - carved doors, beveled glass in the windows, a built-in bench in the morning room off the kitchen, circular staircases that would go on for ever – rare to see that kind of quality in the newer built homes of today.  I had a balcony off my bedroom in one house where my brother and I were busted for building a ladder to escape from the requisite afternoon naps!  I’m convinced it was from those days as a kid that sparked my interest in architecture, design and real estate.

As these Phoenix area historic homes open their doors and welcome visitors, I’ll walk their halls straining to hear the stories I hope those walls would tell. 

©2011 Tom Weiskopf, PLLC. Tom Weiskopf, PLLC is an AZ licensed real estate agent with John Hall & Associates serving the Phoenix area. For more information, Tom can be reached at (602) 953-4000 or via e-mail at

Saturday, February 5, 2011

It's about Lifestyle at Scottsdale Ranch!

I’m hosting an Open House in Scottsdale Ranch, a terrific master planned community on the east side of Scottsdale, and since you’re not here with me, I thought I’d bring a taste of it to you! You’re in for a treat.
Scottsdale Ranch is located just south of Shea between 94th Street and 110th , close to the 101, and easy access to nearly anything you’d ever want.  At first glance, you’d never know you were in Arizona – meandering lakes and towering palms provide a breathtaking view of the McDowell Mountains beyond. 
On the northern edge of Scottsdale Ranch is Lake Serena, a 42-acre lake stocked with Bass and Catfish.  The lake boasts five miles of shoreline ideal for that evening sail to dropping a lure.  You discover miles on sculpted paths for walking, biking and jogging.  Plus, there’s a community center and conference room available to residents, tennis, planned social events throughout the year (Jazz night was this past week), block parties, special interest clubs, community garage sales, quaint shops and eateries at the Mercado, including the ever popular Goldie’s (a must for the wings enthusiast), and AJ’s.  There’s even a wonderful Senior Center offering a plethora of activities, classes and events.
Development of the master planned community began in the early ‘80’s and the Ranch now consists of 40 different neighborhoods, from apartment-style living to grand, gated estate homes and everything in between.  I have yet to talk with a resident that doesn’t rave about the community.  Some say, once you’re here you’ll never leave.  
What attracts me aside from the beauty and the very well maintained and manicured public areas is the true sense of community I discover every time I’m here. People are outdoors, active and clearly loving life.
The home I’m holding open is on the southern edge of Scottsdale Ranch just off of 104th Street on Bella Vista.  This home has been nicely updated with gleaming stainless appliances, travertine floors, plantation shutters, impressive stone and tile baths and so much more.  It offers 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 3 + car garage, over 1760 sq. ft, sparkling pebble tec pool on a corner lot and is offered at $399,000. If you’re used to storage like the basement you had in Michigan, you’ll be in hog-heaven here!  I’ll be back holding it open tomorrow if you care to stop by!  Plug 10451 E. Bella Vista into your Garmin for directions.
If you haven’t driven through Scottsdale Ranch, I encourage you to check it out.  There’s even a great web site with inviting photos, history and more.  And, if you’re ready to look for your own home within the Ranch, call me!  I’d love to help you find the perfect place to turn house to home!
©2011 Tom Weiskopf, PLLC. Tom Weiskopf, PLLC is an AZ licensed real estate agent with John Hall & Associates serving the Phoenix area. For more information, Tom can be reached at (602) 953-4000 or via e-mail at

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

QR Codes Can Get it Sold!

No, it’s not an ink blob from the psychiatrist.  It’s my personal QR code.  Go ahead, scan it!

Is wasn’t long ago that Kyle and I were saying, “Check out the cool cross-trainers.”  Times have changed and now its, “Check out the QR code.”

We’re just starting to see ‘em pop up – everywhere, lately.  At first, you’d only see one every once in awhile.  Then, around election time, they started showing up on campaign signage.  Now, I’ve seen them in magazines, on gas pumps, even the packaging label at the store.  And, yes, they are becoming a big deal in real estate, too!

QR codes were originated in Japan and are bar codes of sorts designed to give consumers “quick response.”  Developed my Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave in the mid-‘90’s, most of the public were unable to obtain data from them, until now.

Technology changes faster than most people change their underwear, or so it seems.  Now with our Androids, or most smart phones, we can scan a code and immediately have access to detailed information about the subject, whether it is in the form of text, a URL address or other data.  One thing is for certain, we’re going to see them on everything in the very near future.

Real estate marketing is such an application for QR codes – you’ll soon see them on yard signs and property flyers.  This is a huge benefit to the potential buyer, as he or she can get immediate access to information about the property they are standing in front of – it could be a fact sheet on the home, a web link to a virtual tour and photography or other pertinent information.

Fortunately, the real estate agents at John Hall and Associates have constant access to important and ever-changing technology and information, including training, to keep us on top of the industry.  Another huge benefit to our sellers, buyers and other folks looking for the latest information on Phoenix area real estate.

©2011 Tom Weiskopf, PLLC. Tom Weiskopf, PLLC is an AZ licensed real estate agent with John Hall & Associates serving the Phoenix area. For more information, Tom can be reached at (602) 953-4000 or via e-mail at

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Visions of 2005, Again?

Remember the good 'ole days?  Could the market be turning? 
I have long been a huge proponent of open houses.  I built a solid business by getting out there and consistently sitting open houses every chance I got.  I was diligent about it and I would sit nearly seven days a week.  Sometimes I get people to come through the home.  Sometimes I didn’t.  But, regardless, it was what I did.  No matter what.
Times changed, my clientele increased and I didn’t sit as often as I once did.  But, it’s back to the basics for me.
I know a number of agents that won’t hold houses open.  They just won’t do it.  They don’t believe in it and they think it’s a waste of their time. 
My philosophy may be a bit different. 
Sellers appreciate the extra marketing effort.  Their home receives significantly more attention and traffic.  Plus, as an added bonus, I am marketing myself and getting my name out there.
Sure, the neighbors all seem to come over and take a tour.  But, you know what? I don’t really care.  In fact, I want them to come to my open houses.  They may not be a buyer for that particular home, but they do know people who might be a good fit for the house.  And, when they get ready to make a move, hopefully they’ll remember me and the constant effort I put in to getting their neighbor’s home sold. 
There is always the chronic looky-lou who seems to spend every waking weekend hour touring homes with no possibility of ever becoming a buyer.  And, there are the ones who visit open houses to gain decorating ideas.  But, there are buyers, too, who are actually qualified to purchase and sometimes even end up pulling the trigger.
From all accounts, open house traffic dropped significantly this past year.  I talked with a number of real estate agents who had sat open houses and they concur.  Many had given up on them (and some even dropped their licenses and got out of the business.)  Seems as if many consumers had also given up on them as the real estate woes sucked all hope of a better future from their soul.
I spent this past weekend hosting an open house in a well-priced Scottsdale home.  I have to say, it reminded me of the “good ole days.” Nearly 40 groups of people came through the home.  The front door never closed.  Just as one group was leaving, another would arrive.  At one time, I had three different groups touring the home – I could have used an assistant, even.  It was non-stop the entire afternoon.  I was so busy I wasn’t even able to go through my e-mail on the laptop, let alone go to the bathroom. I was whooped at the end of the day.
I remember in ’05 and ’06, I’d get non-stop traffic through certain homes.  If they liked the home, they would have to think fast because the property wouldn’t last long.  Often, I’d hear all sorts of comments and usually about the price – always followed by some facial expression that included an open mouth.
I’ll tell you what; this past weekend was déjà-vu.  Open mouths and all as people couldn’t believe how the price had dropped.  I had to chuckle to myself when one couple, who were out looking for their son, said they would share what they saw with him so he could put it on his list when he came to town in late February.  I was pretty sure the home would no longer be available.
Traffic and activity is one thing – but was the time I spent showing the home productive?  As of mid-day Monday, multiple offers on the home had been submitted and I scheduled another appointment to write up an offer this afternoon. 
I’d say it was beneficial and a good use of my time.  I bet the seller is thinking the same thing.
Getting the home sold is the name of the game – the reason I believe in hosting an open house.  I’ve played with the marketing strategy over the years and I continue to tweak how I host the visitors.  But, one thing is certain in my book, they do work! 
©2011 Tom Weiskopf, PLLC. Tom Weiskopf, PLLC is an AZ licensed real estate agent with John Hall & Associates serving the Phoenix area. For more information, Tom can be reached at (602) 953-4000 or via e-mail at