Mortgage Moment: Introducing Donnie Crotts

Donnie Crotts recently joined Bond Mortgage, LLC as President. He began his career in the mortgage industry in 1999 and has gained a wealth of experience since that time. In the last 19 years, he has served in both sales and operations, which has provided him the opportunity to know the full range of the mortgage business. Donnie has been committed to his customers in assisting them in meeting their financial needs toward home ownership. He has also supported his colleagues and employees in achieving tremendous success in their careers. Donnie is a native Tennessean who currently lives in Franklin, TN with his wife and son. On his off time, he is a big fan of his son’s travel baseball team and enjoys watching the many games his son plays. Donnie also enjoys spending time with his family and traveling to different areas of the country. His favorite vacation spot is anywhere with a sunny, white sand beach. Benchmark Realty would like to extend a big warm welcome to Donnie Crotts, President of Bond Mortgage. We feel blessed to be associated with such a wonderful company.            Donnie Crotts – President     NMLS – 280259  

By |2018-11-26T11:00:47-06:00November 26th, 2018|Agent Blog|Comments Off on Mortgage Moment: Introducing Donnie Crotts

How Nashvillians Feel About Short Term Rentals

As Nashville continues to grow, the city is increasingly becoming a hot spot for tourists, helping boost the economy and hospitality industries, including the rise of more Airbnb’s in Nashville and surrounding areas. There’s been some backlash from residents against these short-term rentals. While the voice of the opposition has been loud, it turns out, it’s not representative of Nashville as a whole. Airbnb recently commissioned a poll conducted by San Francisco-based David Binder Research, gathering responses from 500 voting Nashville residents. Generally, 75 percent of poll respondents supported short-term rentals through Airbnb, and 63 percent said they consider the practice to be good for Nashville. As for a deeper dive of those results, the survey found only eight percent of respondents thought second-home or investment rentals should be completely prohibited, and only 14 percent said they should be “mostly” prohibited with “some exceptions.” In fact, 60 percent of all respondents felt these types of properties should be “mostly” allowed with “some restrictions.” While the local government has put certain limitations in place on these types of properties since the start of the year, the state Senate passed a bill—the “Short Term Rental Unit Act”—that would overturn a Nashville ordinance set to [...]

By |2018-11-14T11:16:06-06:00November 14th, 2018|Agent Blog|Comments Off on How Nashvillians Feel About Short Term Rentals

The Benefit of Murals in Nashville Neighborhoods

As our city continues to grow, a number of businesses and real estate companies have begun commissioning local artists to create murals as a part of the design of their buildings. For homeowners living in nearby neighborhoods, this art can have a benefit beyond adding beauty to the city. Boosting the Local Economy With Nashville’s status on the rise as a must-visit city, tourism is booming. Music City saw a record 14.5 million visitors in 2017, a 4.6 percent increase over the previous year, and murals are playing a part in drawing that business to specific neighborhoods. According to the Nashville Business Journal, more than 100 tourists visited the Gulch in a single day to photograph the neighborhood’s latest mural, while restaurants in The Nations hosted nightly viewing parties to watch an artist paint a 165-foot-tall mural over the course of 17 days. Instagram further points to the power of murals in drawing tourists, with mural-related hashtags having tens of thousands of posts. The hashtag #ibelieveinnashville has close to 25,000 posts while #whatliftsyou is now at more than 100,000 posts. Murals are Here to Stay With groups like Nashville Walls Project, the addition of this type of street art doesn’t [...]

By |2018-11-07T09:18:10-06:00November 7th, 2018|Agent Blog|Comments Off on The Benefit of Murals in Nashville Neighborhoods

Airbnb Plans to Expand, Introduces New Categories

For many Nashville residents, Airbnb has been a hot topic over the past few years, with many homeowners listing part of their property on the popular site and others buying new homes to serve explicitly as short-term rentals. Controversy has ranged from sales tax collection to arguments regarding negative impact on neighborhoods versus overall benefit to the city. Legislation has been passed at the local level and proposed at the state level on both sides. No matter where you stand, Airbnb’s growth isn’t looking to slow any time soon. This year, the company celebrated its tenth anniversary and announced its plans for growth for the next ten years as it seeks to achieve 1 billion guests annually by 2028. With only 300 million guests hosted to date, that’s a pretty significant jump. One of the ways the company plans to get there is with the introduction of new categories. Currently, rentals are sorted into groups by entire home, private room and shared room. The new categories will expand options and make searching easier for the consumer. Airbnb has revealed four new property categories as a part of its initial changes: Vacation homes: Residences dedicated to short term use Unique: Yurts, [...]

By |2018-10-24T11:11:15-05:00October 24th, 2018|Agent Blog|Comments Off on Airbnb Plans to Expand, Introduces New Categories

Nashville Ranked as America’s 7th Fastest Growing City

Forbes recently released its list of America’s 25 fastest growing cities, and Nashville once again made the cut, jumping from rank 20 to seven in just one year for the Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin metropolitan area. The list considers a number of figures including population growth, employment, wages and economic output, and incorporates home price growth as a proxy for wealth. At the top of the list of factors contributing to Nashville’s growth are a 2.24 percent increase in population in 2017—with a projected 2.15 percent increase this year—and a 3.07 percent increase in job growth in 2017—with a 2.05 percent increase anticipated this year. With those new jobs come higher wages, 5.02 percent higher to be exact. This year, Forbes anticipates another 6.2 percent increase. As Music City grows and attracts new talent, those residents need somewhere to live. It’s no surprise home values are also on the rise. In 2017, home prices increased by 10 percent, and Forbes expects another 3.72 percent increase in 2018. Other areas at the top of the list include Boise City, Idaho (1); Seattle, Washington (2); Dallas, Texas (3); Orlando, Florida (4); Fort Worth, Texas (5); and Las Vegas, Nevada (6). You can read the full [...]

By |2018-10-10T12:24:10-05:00October 10th, 2018|Agent Blog|Comments Off on Nashville Ranked as America’s 7th Fastest Growing City

Surban Living and the Future of Millennial Homebuying

Many millennials are beginning to take the step from renting to homeownership. With 50 percent of millennial homeowners moving out of the city and into the suburbs as they hunt for more affordable spaces—according to a recent study by Zillow—developers and builders are looking for ways to attract these new buyers. Millennials are starting to grow their families, and many are finding that traditional city living no longer meets their needs. High rents, lower quality schools, and crime rates have them turning their sights elsewhere. But, still, the traditional view of suburban life is out of the question. Meet the new “Surban” living. A term created by John Burns Real Estate Consulting in Chicago, Surban is defined as a suburban area that has the feel of the city, combining urban energy and walkability with the space and affordability of the suburbs. It perfectly defines what this new generation of homebuyers is looking for. While they want some of the benefits of living outside of the city, they’re not ready to give up the essentials that make city life interesting. Rather than the big box retail and sprawling spaces that the suburbs are known for, new Surban living creates neighborhoods within [...]

By |2018-09-26T10:56:14-05:00September 26th, 2018|Agent Blog|Comments Off on Surban Living and the Future of Millennial Homebuying

Industry Insider Update: Technology’s Role in a Changing Industry

Last week we examined the evolving role of the real estate agent in light of changes happening across our industry. Technology is a major player in both how and why our industry is shifting. This week we’ll look at the role it’s played as well as how agents can harness technology to grow their businesses. Technology’s Impact Historically, agents have served as data providers for their clients—helping potential buyers find properties, guiding sellers through the pricing process based on home prices in the area, and more. But with the introduction of technologies like Zillow, Trulia, and even Amazon’s Alexa, consumers are being increasingly empowered with easy access to information. The power and impact of technology doesn’t end there. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will be the next big drivers of change with respect to automation and data-driven insights as well as products and services. And many transactions will be moving into the digital space, speeding up the home buying and selling process. For the smart agent, it’s time to pivot from fighting back against technology. Agents must embrace their new roles and harness new tools for greater efficiencies and sales. Smart CRM’s and the Power of Big Data CRM’s or [...]

By |2019-06-27T09:33:11-05:00August 24th, 2018|Agent Blog, Blog, Consumer Blog, Featured Blog Posts|Comments Off on Industry Insider Update: Technology’s Role in a Changing Industry

Benchmark Realty Ranked Among Inc. 5000 List of Fastest-Growing Companies

Benchmark is excited to share that, for the fourth consecutive year, it’s been ranked on Inc. 5000’s list of fastest-growing private companies in America. With nearly seven million private companies in the U.S., only a small fraction of businesses makes the list by demonstrating consistent high growth. “Wow! Four years in a row!” said our CEO Phillip Cantrell. “Truly an outstanding recognition and accomplishment.  We feel deeply, deeply honored to be found in such rarefied company.”  Since 1982, the Inc. 5000 list has honored the journeys of the fastest-growing companies in America. It’s one of the most prestigious honors for growing private businesses and business leaders. Many companies who have ranked on past lists have become household names like Microsoft, Under Armour, Pandora, Chobani, Facebook, and more. “We have indeed been blessed. By circumstances, by loyal clients, by the hardest-working team in this industry, and most importantly, blessed by God to have achieved these successes,” Cantrell said. “We are grateful, truly humbled by this recognition, and looking forward to many more years of growth.” If you’re a real estate agent looking to make a change, now may be the right time to join ranks with one of Inc. 5000’s ranking companies. Find out [...]

By |2018-08-15T09:38:13-05:00August 15th, 2018|Agent Blog, Blog, Consumer Blog, Featured Blog Posts|Comments Off on Benchmark Realty Ranked Among Inc. 5000 List of Fastest-Growing Companies

Networking Opportunities for Middle Tennessee Real Estate Agents

As a real estate agent, building relationships is a part of the job—maybe even the best part. Connecting with other agents doesn’t just give you the chance to share stories, ideas and best practices, it also lets you build long-term friendships. That’s why we’ve introduced Group Therapy at 5:01 as a chance for real estate agents to connect with each other and potential vendors in a fun, after-hours environment. We meet at a chosen location around the Middle Tennessee area from once a month to once a quarter, depending on company schedules, giving attendees the chance to unwind and relax, with some talking business and others just having a good time. Though Benchmark agents can work out of any of seven our offices at any time, regardless of which office holds their license, it can be hard to get everyone together. Group Therapy at 5:01 has made it possible, drawing agents from across Middle Tennessee. So far, we’ve held meetings at Top Golf in downtown Nashville, Arrington Vineyards in Franklin and Urban Grub in 12th Avenue South (just to name a few). But Group Therapy at 5:01 isn’t only limited to the Benchmark community. We encourage all real estate agents [...]

By |2019-06-27T09:33:11-05:00August 7th, 2018|Agent Blog, Blog, Consumer Blog, Featured Blog Posts|Comments Off on Networking Opportunities for Middle Tennessee Real Estate Agents

A House as Whimsical as the Man Who Owned It: A Look Behind the Walls of the Late Leon Russell’s Home

The former home of renowned songwriter Leon Russell is now on the market. A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame, Leon collaborated with The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Elton John, among others, before he passed in 2016. At 6,120 square feet, the home is a marvel. But its history goes far beyond its four bedrooms, customized elevator, and gargoyle anointed terraces. It’s a place of stories and life that was as magical as the man who last called it home. The house was originally built in 1992 for Dennis Linde, another prolific songwriter. Dennis was best known for the 1972 Elvis Presley Hit “Burning Love” but was also the mastermind behind songs recorded by many other artists including Roy Orbison, Tanya Tucker, Roger Miller, Don Williams, The Judds, Alan Jackson, Mark Chesnutt, and Garth Brooks. After his death in 2006, Dennis’ wife Pam knew exactly who should start their own chapter in this wonderful home. While they had never met the Russells, she felt that Leon was the right fit to continue the legacy of memories made there. Leon’s wife, Jan Bridges, recalls, “It felt like church—like a bit of magic.” She still remembers the first day they saw [...]

By |2018-08-03T09:29:58-05:00August 3rd, 2018|Agent Blog, Blog, Consumer Blog, Featured Blog Posts|Comments Off on A House as Whimsical as the Man Who Owned It: A Look Behind the Walls of the Late Leon Russell’s Home
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