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Groundhog Day Results 2016: Punxsutawney Phil Did Not See His Shadow


Groundhog Day

Screengrab by NPR from a video by the Tourism website of Pennsylvania

Early this morning, a crowd gathered at Gobbler’s Knob and waited for the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil to come out of his tree-trunk cage. The groundhog went out of his cage after a tap of a cane to the cheers and applause of the people gathered in front of him. Phil only gave a blink and did not show any other action as a response.


The groundhog tried to escape when he was placed on top of the trunk before he was closely analyzed. After interpreting Phil’s behavior, the emcee of the Groundhog Club said, “”There is no shadow to be cast! An early spring is my forecast!”.

He also advised the crowd to take their jackets off because they will not be going to need them. Only a few people followed his advice. It was reported that the temperature in Punxsutawney, Pa., that morning was 22 degrees.

In Canada, groundhog Shubenacadie Sam was also reported not seeing his shadow. Groundhogs Staten Island Chuck in New York and General Beau Lee in Georgia were also reported to have the same results for 2016 Groundhog Day.


UPN Launches North Central Region – Lead by Jeff Shipley


This month, Universal Properties Network (UPN) launched in Fargo, ND lead by Jeff Shipley, Regional Director, and Lynn Motteberg, Regional Assistant. UPN is a real estate company that provides agents with administrative support, lead generation, marketing, coaching, and training around the country. UPN currently has teams in Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Florida, and North Dakota, and is continuing to expand. UPN, headquartered in Colchester, VT, is a division of Hergenrother Realty Group.

Jeff Shipley bring his leadership and entrepreneurial expertise to Universal Properties Network as Regional Director of the North Central Region which spans Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Jeff has been a Realtor for over eleven years and has taken his real estate team, FM Team, to #1 in North Dakota. In 2014, FM Team sold more than $40 million in real estate. Jeff’s leadership extends beyond his involvement in commercial and residential real estate at KW Roers Realty. As Broker/Owner of Keller Williams Roers Realty, Jeff grew his Market Center to the be the largest real estate company in North Dakota.   Previously, Jeff was President of Fargo Moorhead Area Association of Realtors and was Director at Large of North Dakota Association of Realtors.  In 2013, Jeff founded Spire Construction which specializes in custom homes in the Fargo area.

Lynn Motteberg joins UPN as Regional Assistant and has over fifteen years of leadership experience, having recruited and developed talent for Limited Brands and Dayton’s/Marshalls Fields. Throughout her career in retail sales, Lynn has been recognized year after year for excellence in management and customer service, as well as her sales training programs. Her awards include Store Manager of the Year, Operational Excellence, Four Star Counter Manager, and Showcase Seller. Lynn was also only 1 of 10 chosen to lead Limited Brands’ Culture Team to positively impact associates in all levels of the company.  In 2014, Lynn left the retail industry and joined the FM Team at Keller Williams Roers Realty as Director of Operations. This role combines her aptitude for systems and processes, with her ability to lead and train sales teams. As Director of Operations, Lynn is committed to growth, productivity, accountability, profitability, and team culture.

Lynn brings her business acumen and passion for talent development to Universal Properties Network. She believes that if your leadership isn’t all about you, then it will certainly live beyond you. An active member of the theater community, Lynn volunteers at Trollwood, Churches United, and North Dakota State University. Lynn lives with her husband and four children in Fargo, ND.

“We are so excited to have Jeff and Lynn join UPN and head-up the North Central Region,” said UPN Founder & CEO, Adam Hergenrother. “They are a powerhouse team and are going to help agents throughout their region live extraordinary lives by giving them the support and training they need to take their business to the next level. I can’t wait to see what they accomplish.”

Universal Properties Network’s (UPN) vision is to change the way real estate professionals live and play. UPN was founded by Adam Hergenrother in October 2011.  UPN  is passionate about leadership and leverage.  By providing their agents with exceptional centralized services, including world class coaching, training, administrative support, and lead generation, they allow agents to focus on their ONE thing – helping people buy and sell real estate. Their flagship UPN team opened in October 2011 in Portland, Maine.  In under a year, their model, systems, and training have taken a $7 million a year producer and created a $25 million dollar producer.  They have since launched in Hartford, CT, Cranston, RI, Marco Island, FL, Fargo, ND, and Portsmouth, NH with plans to open 150+ additional UPN teams in the next 5 years.

UPN is Hiring! | Inside Sales Agents

UPN is on fire! We put 76 homes under contract last month! That’s 76 buyers and sellers we are helping move – just in March!

With all of that activity comes opportunity. We are currently searching for Inside Sales Agents to add to our team who will help our real estate agents help more buyers and sellers! Apply today!

Inside Sales Agents

Universal Properties Network (UPN) will change the way real estate professionals live and play through leadership, training, systems, and thinking BIG. UPN is looking for an entry-level and experienced inside sales agents to add to their Lead Generation team and to drive business expansion. This is a unique opportunity to begin a career-path with a cutting-edge organization that is energized by emerging talent. The successful candidate will be trained by some of the top agents in the industry in the areas of lead generation, appointment setting and lead conversion tactics. The Inside Sales Agent will be an integral member of the UPN team by setting appointments for UPN agents. This individual will employ their exceptional phone-based lead generation skills through the creation of sales leads, initiation of prospect calls, and establishment of ongoing rapport with existing and potential customers, follow-up, and setting appointments. Integrity and passion are essential for this role.

• Set appointments with prospects that will result in listing a property for sale or setting buyer appointments for Buyer Agents
• Call prospects, schedule appointments and follow-up events, and leave a professional impression with the target prospect
• Prospect For Sale by Owners in targeted market areas
• Prospect expired listings in targeted market areas
• Maintain and expand the company’s database of prospects – including entering new customer data and updating changes to existing customers
• Script practice daily
• Research & understand target market areas’ unique features, demographics, market trends, etc.
• Handle inbound, unsolicited prospect calls and convert them into appointments
• Make outbound follow-up calls to set appointments
• Schedule appointments in calendar for team members
• Daily, weekly, monthly reporting and accountability sessions with Leadership Team

Required Skills & Experience:
• Proven ability to build and maintain lasting relationships
• Strong problem identification and objection resolution skills
• Exceptional verbal and written communication skills
• Excellent listening skills
• Self motivated, with high energy and an engaging level of enthusiasm
• Ability to work individually and as part of a team

Additional Preferred Experience:
• Proven selling experience in the real estate industry
• Call center experience
• Demonstrated ability to convert prospects and close appointments while maintaining established sales quotas
• Solid experience in opportunity qualification – pre-call planning, call control, customer development, and time management

Please email your cover letter and resume to Hallie Warner at . In addition, please complete this personality profile and forward the two (2) PDF files along with your resume and cover letter: Please put UPN Inside Sales in the subject line.

Do You Pre-qualify Your Buyer Clients?

Prequalify buyersDo you pre-qualify your buyers before you take them out to see properties? To avoid wasting time, the first step to working with any good buyer client is pre-qualification. In this business, time is money. Every minute you spend with a potential buyer has an opportunity cost. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 1.2 million new households are formed each year, each representing a potential homebuyer. If you really want to tap to this long-term potential, you have to understand today’s buyers and pick your clients carefully. You must be prepared not only to ask the right questions but also have the right answers.

You can know your clients by preparing a set of stock of questions that cover all the bases, especially if your market has any uncommon characteristics or if buyers are looking at a new type of property. Remember that while you have the questions, you must also be ready for answers since the buyer will also be interviewing you to see if you can become their trusted real estate advisor.

We all know turning a prospect into a client isn’t easy. Making sure that the whole team is well prepared and well-trained when facing potential buyers should increase the company’s sales results.

Groundhog Day Results are In!

Gh DayThe results are in! Punxsutawney Phil, the world’s most popular and beloved groundhog has emerged from his hibernation and has seen his shadow. As tradition states we are looking at six more weeks of Winter. That’s right folks, no early Springtime for us on this side of the world!

Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction came at about 7:25AM in Punxsutawney, PA, in front of thousands of onlookers. It looks like all hopes that the overcast skies and scattered snow and rain showers will be ending anytime soon were short lived.