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Daniel Blizzard Hires Couple To Kill Fellow Realtor Vernon Holbrook



Yakima County, Washington, real estate agent Vernon Holbrook had made a name for himself as a beloved family man, a generous member of the community, and a hard-working professional who was still doing 60-hour weeks at the age of 78.

It was all the more shocking on May 25, 2013, when Holbrook was found brutally beaten and his throat slit in a property in Cowiche, Washington, which he allegedly wanted to show potential buyers that morning.

Holbrook survived the attack but was in a coma in the hospital, where his loved ones monitored his precarious progress.

Members of the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office interviewed and cleaned up Holbrook’s staff, who called 911 after the victim was discovered, they said oxygen series “Mastermind of Murder.” They searched the crime scene for clues and revealed an important lead: the victim’s phone was missing.

In order to find out who to meet on May 25, investigators accessed Holbrook’s phone records. These records indicated that Adriana Mendez was the last person to speak to Holbrook. The call was made that morning near the crime scene. Holbrook’s family didn’t know who Mendez was.

Investigators found that Mendez, who was 24 years old and had three children under the age of 8, lived in Yakima at the Sunshine Motel, which investigators described as “not exactly four-star accommodation”. It has been linked to criminal activities ranging from drug dealing to prostitution.

Mendez agreed to make a statement to the Yakima County sheriffs, telling them she had called Holbrook about selling a trailer. Dandruff got his number from an advertisement for his business, Aspen Real Estate.

But when Mendez denied having been in Cowiche on the day of the attack, they confronted her with the phone book, which told a different story. They also said evidence from a surveillance camera from the Sunshine Motel showed she and her three children stormed into a car with a man the morning of Holbrook’s attack.

Mendez called the man her friend Luis Gomez-Monges, who had a long criminal record. Faced with the prospect of being implicated in an attempted murder, Mendez admitted that she and Gomez-Monges drove with their children to the Cowiche property that Holbrook was showing.

She then claimed that while her children were staying in the car, she and Gomez-Monges went into the house where she saw Gomez-Monges hit Holbrook. She went back to the car and Gomez-Monges came back a few minutes later.

Detectives located Gomez-Monges in a casino, where he was arrested and taken to the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities seized a blood-stained box cutter from Gomez-Monges’ car. It was sent to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab for analysis to see if it was used in the attack.

Investigators tried to find out how the detained couple was connected to Holbrook. Was anyone else involved?

Mendez admitted that she got the number from a man named Daniel Blizzard, who helped her by paying her rent at the motel and buying her food.

Blizzard, investigators found, was in the real estate business and had a long relationship with Holbrook. In 2008, Holbrook, who was about to retire, even signed a handshake deal with Blizzard and agreed to sell Aspen Real Estate to him. Holbrook agreed to remain the face of the company for a year. Despite some initial concerns, Holbrook allowed Blizzard to enter $ 1.58 million life insurance policy under the purchase plan.

The deal eventually failed when Blizzard made no more than two payments. Reluctantly, Holbrook withdrew Aspen Real Estate about 16 months after the deal was closed.

Investigators looked into Aspen Real Estate’s financial history and found that Blizzard was up to date with the bill for the life insurance policy. This led them to believe Blizzard may have been the mastermind behind the attack. A review of the text messages between Blizzard and Mendez prior to the attack supported this theory. As they delved into the Blizzard-Mendez relationship, authorities learned they met through his girlfriend, Jill Taylor, who was divorced from Holbrook’s son, Chad.

Mendez claimed that Blizzard was the brains of the attack. She said she felt obliged to him because he had helped her and her children financially and Gomez-Monges was about to be deported. When Blizzard offered it $ 10,000 plus $ 2,000 bonus to impersonate a homebuyer and then kill Holbrook, they said yes.

When detectives interviewed Taylor, she admitted that it was through her that Mendez met Blizzard. But when officials pressed for answers about Blizzard’s relationship with her ex-father-in-law, she fell silent. However, the authorities had enough evidence to charge Taylor with attempted murder.

Blizzard was also arrested for attempted first degree murder. While prosecutors were drafting their case, they suffered a severe setback when they learned that the box cutter found in Gomez-Monges’ vehicle was unrelated to the crime.

Without this forensic evidence, the prosecutors stepped up their case witness two suspects – Mendez and Taylor. In return, both women received lighter sentences. Holbrook’s family found this “exciting” but recognized it as a necessary strategy.

Eight months after the brutal attack, as the trial drew near, Holbrook, who suffered brain damage after the attack, died from his injuries. Gomez-Monges and Blizzard have now been charged with murder.

In court, Mendez and Taylor described Blizzard as the person who pulled all the strings. Taylor, 38, also admitted she was considering Poisoning Holbrook but couldn’t pull it off. Back then, Blizzard was recruiting Mendez and Gomez-Monges.

Gomez-Monges, 39, was sentenced to 28 years in prison for first degree murder and Blizzard, 29, to 34 and a half years in prison. Mendez pleaded guilty to assault and assistance and was sentenced to one year in prison. The charges against Taylor were dropped.

Holbrook’s family now remember him as “a warrior” and acknowledge that because of his horrific death, they would never be the same.

To learn more about the case, check out “Mastermind of Murder” on oxygen or stream episodes Here.

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The secret few brokers discuss » RealtyBizNews: Real Estate News



There’s a dirty little secret in the world of real estate agents that few talk about. It’s a worrying trend that we’re seeing more and more in small and medium-sized businesses: a lot of brokerage firms just aren’t very profitable today.

In more than 35 years I have looked at thousands of annual accounts. What’s interesting lately is that even in record industry-wide years where brokers have made big bucks, if you look at their income statements, which often show a nice profitable bottom line, we find that the bottom line in many of today’s brokerage firms is indeed from the broker’s own production.

Since the beginning of the industry, the top agents have generally made more money than the broker; it is like it is. Except … today’s conditions have changed so much for the broker / owner of all company sizes that there is a real discrepancy between the broker’s and broker’s incomes. Look how things have changed in the past few years:

  • The company’s dollar has fallen nearly 30% in the past five years alone
  • Competitive broker models force higher agent splits
  • Increasing spending has drastically reduced profits
  • The downward pressure on commissions continues to rise
  • New technologies and models are designed to undermine brokers

I have written many times about the steps brokers can take to build company dollars and profits, which generally requires a change in broker strategy and direction. It also involves an investment in resources that require capital from the broker / owner. Changing direction and putting time and financial commitment into their business is the path few choose.

Instead, many small and medium-sized business brokers today choose to remain producers because it worked well for them. They work with buyers and sellers because they enjoy it, and often they don’t really make a lot of money mediating – their profit comes from acting as a broker.

The problem arises when the owner is ready for a personal change. Maybe they want to slow down; maybe even cash out by selling or merging their firms, and then it becomes important to determine the market value of their brokerage business. The income statement and the real profits determine the market value of the company. When reviewing financial data, we often find that when the brokerage commissions are included but shown as profit, the company’s profits decrease once they are adjusted to reality or, as is often the case, actually lose money.

When determining the true profitability of the owner’s production, several questions are raised:

  • How are the owner’s commissions reported in the financial data?
  • Does the owner pay the same split as a comparable broker?
  • What Are The Company’s Real Dollar And Profits After The Owner’s Compensation Is Adjusted?
  • What would the replacement costs be for management?

A case study:

We were keen to acquire a seemingly profitable Southeastern brokerage company run by a dynamic and active broker / owner. The financial metrics came as quite a surprise, however. The company had the highest dollar and profit share in real estate brokerage history. But … closer inspection revealed that the reason for the massive profits was because the owner, who was the top producer by a significant amount, hadn’t paid himself any commissions – none, nada, zero. The result was an artificially high corporate dollar and a profit margin that exceeded anything I have ever seen. Of course, the owner’s asking price was also based on this very high net profit.

After considering a real commission structure and adjusting the income for the unpaid commissions, it became clear that the owner was subsidizing the company with his commissions. In fact, the agents did not even cover overhead costs, and without the owner’s personal financial contribution, the company lost significant revenues. Unfortunately, we couldn’t justify the purchase.

Does this mean the market is grim for those thinking of selling small to medium sized brokers? Not at all, but very actively, because top companies often pay a premium in order to establish themselves in a market or to increase their existing market share. There are also ways to structure the transaction that make sense for everyone. One of the most important steps a broker / owner must take when considering a sale in the near future is to invest in good accounting records that clearly document income, expenses, and real profitability.

I’ve found over the years that documentation is one of the top deal killers for brokers looking to cash out.

If you want to learn more and find out what a review looks like for your business, click here to contact Rick Ellis today.

Documentation is one of the top deal killers for brokers looking to cash out

Rick has an MBA in Digital Technology and is a licensed real estate agent. He is a business growth advisor and a regular speaker at real estate events. Rick and his wife live on the Georgia coast on St. Simons Island. He is available to advise with brokers looking for options.

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Real Estate News

LarrainVial, DaGrosa Capital Invest in Miami Real Estate Firms



(LR) Joseph DaGrosa and Craig Studnicky with Jorge Escobar and Camilo Lopez (iStock, DaGrosa Capital, ISG World, TSG / Black Salmon)

Two financial firms acquired stakes in real estate companies in South Florida as the region continues to attract significant investment.

LarrainVial, a Chile-based asset manager, has each acquired a 33 percent stake in Black Salmon and TSG, a Coral Gables-based investment company and commercial property developer, both led by managing partners Camilo Lopez and Jorge Escobar. The transaction marks the first US expansion for LarrainVial, which has more than $ 28 billion in total assets under management.

In an independent deal, DaGrosa Capital Partners invested in the Aventura-based ISG World of broker Craig Studnicky. Studnicky said he will retain the majority of his ownership in the real estate company and will remain its CEO. Both companies declined to announce the terms of the deal.

DaGrosa, a Miami-based private equity firm, is led by founder and chairman Joseph DaGrosa Jr. ISG will use the new capital to strengthen its infrastructure and expand in South Florida, Latin America and elsewhere, Studnicky said.

South Florida has increasingly attracted investment from private equity firms. Madrid-based Azora Capital recently partnered with Miami-based Exan Capital to create Azora Exan, a US office, residential, hospitality, and senior residential investment joint venture

LarrainVial investment

Through Black Salmon and TSG, LarrainVial will own one-third of the companies’s combined assets and $ 1.8 billion under management projects in South Florida and the United States, including the Miami Wynwood House apartment project under construction and more than 1,500 additional residential units in South Florida, according to a press release.

“The strategic decision for Camilo [Lopez] and I was staying where we are or moving up to the big leagues and for that we definitely had to work with a big group, ”said Escobar, who is also co-CEO. TSG and Black Salmon will develop LarrainVial’s network of investors and high net worth individuals in Latin America and Europe.

The cash inflow will allow both companies to grow faster and on a larger scale, especially in multi-family and industrial real estate, he added.

Escobar said he will launch a value-added multi-family mutual fund and an industrial real estate investment fund by the end of the year, with the goal of raising nearly $ 250 million for both. The multi-family fund will focus on the Sunbelt states, while the industrial fund will target properties across the country.

DaGrosa infusion

Studnicky said DaGrosa’s investment in ISG World, a real estate brokerage firm and company that produces the Miami report, will enable ISG to expand its sales business, as well as offer home finance for developers and mortgages for home buyers.

“We can deliver the capital that Craig [Studnicky] To be more competitive, ”said DaGrosa.

ISG operates in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, as well as real estate sales in South Florida, Latin America.

Contact Katherine Kallergis

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Higher, higher, higher – Dallas home prices are up almost 25% from a year ago



A slowdown in home sales over the summer has not slowed real estate prices in Dallas.

In the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index, home values ​​in the Dallas area rose nearly 25% year over year.

It is the largest annual house price win for Dallas in the closely watched monthly real estate measurement.

Prices in the Dallas area rose nearly 2% in August alone.

And the local rise in home prices was well above the 19.8% nationwide increase in August 2020, according to Case-Shiller.

“The US housing market showed continued strength in August 2021,” said Craig J. Lazzara of S&P in the report. “Each of our city and composite indices are at their all-time highs, and year-over-year price growth continues to be very strong, albeit a little slower from the previous month’s level.

“August data also suggests that property price growth, while still very strong, may be slowing.”

Phoenix led the metropolitan areas with an annual price increase of 33.3%. San Diego prices rose 26.2% year over year and Tampa rose 25.9%.

Dallas had the fourth-highest rise in home prices among the top 20 markets included in the Case-Shiller survey.

US house prices are rising faster than ever in the monthly Case-Shiller poll, which has tracked house prices in major US cities for 30 years.

Case-Shiller’s price estimate is believed to be more accurate than real estate sales data, which can be influenced by the type of properties being sold each month.

The Case-Shiller Index compares changes in sales prices of certain properties over time.

Case-Shiller estimates that home prices in the Dallas area have increased about 50% over the past five years.

The tremendous price growth has continued even though total home sales in the region have declined in the last four months from a year earlier.

Home prices in the Dallas area have increased since the COVID-19 pandemic began and more tenants have moved into their homes.

A chronic shortage of homes in the market has added unprecedented upward pressure on home costs in North Texas.

Some real estate forecasters hope that price increases will slow down in the coming months.

“While demand remains strong and buyers are generally still paying more for property than asking price, the declining acceleration in property prices suggests buyer fatigue is on the way, especially for higher-priced properties that have seen price growth accelerating from the previous month, which is greater than that of the previous month to houses in the lower category, ”said Selma Hepp, Chief Economist at CoreLogic. “The persistently strong demand from traditional homebuyers was reinforced this summer by increasing demand from investors.”

Zillow economist Kwame Donaldson said nationwide housing construction had cooled somewhat before the fall season.

“It took a little longer to sell homes in September than it did in August, and the sales inventory increased by inches,” said Donaldson. In other words, although exceptional market conditions drove house prices higher between spring 2020 and summer 2021, recent signs suggest that the market is weakening.

“And while house price increases will remain elevated for the next few months, further acceleration is unlikely.”

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