Hale Properties - January 2020



To Help You Discover Your Dream Home WORKING BEHIND THE SCENES

If you’ve ever bought or sold a house with the help of Hale Properties, there’s a good chance you never interacted with me throughout the whole process. However, there’s also a good chance I was partly responsible for the sale going through. If we haven’t yet had the pleasure of helping you with your real estate needs but you follow us on social media or read the inserts in our monthly newsletter, then you have seen some of the graphics I designed for Hale Properties. My name is Anna Veloz, and I’ve worked alongside Fritz, Rocky, and Mark as the business operations and marketing assistant at Hale Properties for two years next month. Since you might not interact with me otherwise, I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself and let you know a little bit about me. I started working in real estate in 2014, when I helped with similar tasks for a real estate firm in Florida. When I interviewed with Fritz, he was looking for someone who could help him process various business and marketing tasks, and after speaking briefly, he offered me the job. To be honest, neither of us knew if it would work out. Fritz was nice and seemed easy to work with, so I took the offer, optimistic it would be a good fit for me and my family. Today, I’m so glad I made that decision. Since I started working with Fritz, I’ve worn a lot of different hats. Much of my time is spent in constant correspondence with title companies, lenders, processors, underwriters, inspectors, and home service vendors. We live in a very digital world, but paperwork in this complex process still exists and “If you’re in the process of buying or selling a home right now, I look forward to playing a role in such a big part of your life from behind the scenes.”

is necessary for buying or selling a home. Part of my job is making these steps easy, seamless, and even transparent to the client. A bulk of what I do, however, is marketing. I update and monitor Hale Properties’ social media profiles and design marketing materials

that turn into postcards, flyers, brochures, and digital media that are broadcast across the web in order to promote our clients’ properties for sale.

The marketing and graphic design side of things is what I’m really passionate about. I get a chance to stretch my creativity every day, and no two projects are the same. It’s hard work to create new, interesting designs for Hale Properties’ clients to see, but getting to see the finished product when I’m done makes it all worth it. One thing that I’ve loved about working with Fritz is that he doesn’t micromanage me. He gives me complete control over the graphic design and marketing process and trusts me to create worthwhile content. He gives me enough room for creativity, and that makes my job more fun! One of the reasons why I’ve stayed with Hale Properties for the past two years is because I can tell that Fritz truly values me as a team member and values my contributions to the company on behalf of our clients. Even though I might never see you in person, I’m glad I’ve had the chance to introduce myself to all of you and share a little bit about what I do at Hale Properties. If you’re in the process of buying or selling a home right now, I look forward to playing a role in such a big part of your life from behind the scenes. If there is anything I can do for you, don’t hesitate to reach out! I am excited to help.

–Anna Veloz


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Tips for National Clean Up Your Computer Month

Everyone relies on technology. Computers, laptops, tablets, and phones are staples of modern life. However, it’s easy for these devices to become cluttered with old photos, files, and general disorganization. Luckily, January is National Clean Up Your Computer Month and an excellent time to get your technology in order.

Imagine you’re navigating a vast airport on a busy Saturday, shouldering your way through crowds and struggling to hear the PA system over the clatter of 1,000 wheeled suitcases. Suddenly, you see a pig wearing a hot pink sweater waddling toward you on a leash. Do you stop in your tracks? Does your stress level drop? Do you laugh out loud when you see its pink nail polish? If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then you can sympathize with the passengers, pilots, flight attendants, and staff at the San Francisco International Airport. They get to enjoy visits from Lilou, the world’s first airport therapy pig, on a regular basis! As part of the Wag Brigade, the airport’s cadre of (mostly canine) therapy animals, Lilou wanders the airport with her humans, bringing joy, peace, and calm to everyone she meets. Lilou may be the only pig of her kind, but airport therapy animals have been a growing trend for the last few years. According to NPR, as of 2017, more than 30 airports across the U.S. employed therapy dogs, and these days, estimates land closer to 60. The San Jose and Denver airports have therapy cats, and the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport even offers passengers the chance to play with miniature horses before boarding their flights. Therapy dogs started appearing in U.S. airports after the 9/11 terror attacks, which changed American attitudes about flying. They did so well at helping passengers calm down that airports began implementing permanent programs. Some have pets on hand 24/7 to assist passengers, while others host animal visits every few weeks or months. These days, regular travelers have fallen hard for their local therapy animals, many of whom even have their own Instagram accounts and hashtags. So, the next time you’re traveling, keep an eye out for a friendly pup, cat, pig, or horse to pet. A bit of love from an animal just might improve your trip! MEET THE WORLD’S FIRST AIRPORT THERAPY PIG How Lilou and Animals Like Her Calm Stressed-Out Travelers


Over time, computer towers can become clogged with dust, which creates additional, unwanted heat within your computer. Regular cleanings will increase the lifespan of your computer and protect its essential components. Compressed air is great for removing most of the dust and other particulates. If the fans or filters are too dirty, you can remove them from the tower to clean them better. If you use water or liquid cleaning products on them, be sure they are completely dry before placing them back into your computer.


Naming and arranging the files on your computer in such a way that they’re easy for you to find can end up saving you a lot of time. Declutter your workspace by creating one file for pictures, one for Word documents, one for spreadsheets, and one for programs to eliminate the hassle of frantically searching for the files you need.


Be sure to back up your computer before you start deleting things. This acts as a safety net in case you delete something you didn’t mean to. Additionally, consider installing a second hard drive. The extra space can help with storing important

files without having to worry about how much room is left.


Any files you’ll never use again should be deleted. Likewise, any

programs you haven’t used in a while should be uninstalled. Check your hard drive for files that might be taking up unintended space on your computer. And remember to empty the recycling bin — it’s easy to

forget just how much goes in there.

2 • 612-567-9530

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HISTORY’S SWEETEST THEFT The Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist

Maple syrup holds a proud place in the history and culture of Quebec, Canada. It’s also a big part of Quebec’s economy, with 72% of the world’s maple syrup produced in Quebec alone. Due to tactics employed by the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (FPAQ), the NPR-backed podcast “The Indicator” estimates that maple syrup is valued at approximately $1,300 per barrel — over 20 times more than crude oil. The FPAQ controls the available syrup supply, never releasing enough maple syrup to meet demand, which increases the price. As a result, most of the world’s maple syrup is stored in various reserves. Between 2011 and 2012, a group of thieves decided to liberate the syrup from an FPAQ facility in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford, Quebec. Stealing syrup from Canada doesn’t sound as glamorous as stealing cash from a Vegas casino, but their plan could rival the plot of “Ocean’s Eleven.” At the FPAQ facility, syrup was stored in unmarked metal barrels and only inspected once a year. The heist, led by a man named Richard Vallières, involved transporting the barrels to a remote sugar shack in the Canadian wilderness, where they siphoned off the maple syrup, refilled the barrels with water, and returned the barrels to the facility. The stolen syrup was then trucked east to New Brunswick and south across the border into Vermont. Wisely, the thieves sold their ill-gotten goods in small batches, avoiding suspicion from legitimate syrup distributors. In what is now known as the Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist, thieves made off with 10,000 barrels of maple syrup valued at $18.7 million. This remains one of the most costly heists in Canadian history. Vallières himself became a millionaire and

took his family on three tropical vacations in one year.

Unfortunately, the thieves got sloppy and stopped

refilling the barrels with water. When an FPAQ inspector visited the targeted facility in the fall of 2012, he accidentally knocked over one of the empty barrels. The

inspector alerted the police, who would go on to arrest 17 men in connection to the theft, includingVallières himself.

Police were then able to recover hundreds of barrels of the stolen syrup, but most of it was never recovered — likely lost to pancake breakfasts far away.



Inspired by Epicurious


1 smoked ham hock

1 cup dried black-eyed peas

1 medium onion, diced

5–6 cups water

1 cup long-grain white rice

1 dried hot pepper, optional (arbol and Calabrian are great options)



Wash and sort peas.

2. In a saucepan, cover peas with water, discarding any that float. 3. Add pepper, ham hock, and onion. Gently boil and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until peas are just tender, about 90 minutes. At this point, you should have about 2 cups of liquid remaining. 4. Add rice, cover, drop heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, undisturbed. 5. Remove from heat and let steam for an additional 10 minutes, still covered. 6. Remove lid, fluff with a fork, and serve.

Solution on Page 4


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1161 Wayzata Blvd. E. #210 Wayzata, MN 55391 HaleProperties.com 612-567-9530


Get to Know Anna Veloz


Meet the World’s First Airport Therapy Pig Enter 2020 With an Organized Computer The Sweetest Crime in History Hoppin’ John



Tips to Establish a Family Media Use Plan

SCREEN-TIME STRATEGIES How to Set a Family Media Use Plan


With 24/7 media exposure from TVs, computers, and

smartphones, it feels like life is dominated by screens. Consider implementing a media use plan for your family so they don’t miss out on the real world.

Don’t shy away from warning your kids about what exists in the digital world. Explain to them that certain content isn’t age-appropriate, and teach them what movie and TV ratings mean. Remind them to be careful about what they put on the internet because anything they upload never really goes away. Teach them to be smart with their decisions. Connect with them on social media if it helps you keep an eye on things.



Limiting the time your children spend staring at a screen is good for their health. Try to keep screen- time usage to under two hours per day. Implement a rule for no screens at mealtimes, and keep all screens out of bedrooms at night. Keep track of the devices by having a communal charging dock in a shared area where you can make

Take an active role in what your children watch by co-viewing programs with them. You’ll have a better sense of what they’re seeing and can point them toward the programming that’s right for them. Look for educational media choices that teach good values. There are a lot of great educational opportunities on the internet, but there’s also a lot of room for negative exposure. If this is a concern, keep the family computer in a public part of your home so you can see what they’re accessing online. It’s important to educate your children about proper media health, but it’s even more important to encourage your kids to be healthy in other ways. Beyond the tips mentioned above, encourage them to play outdoors and read physical books so they can participate more actively in the real world.

sure everything is plugged in for the night.

4 • 612-567-9530

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HALE PROPERTIES Act ive List ings


$400,000 2 beds / 2 baths 1,940 sq ft 2-car garage


$575,000 5 beds / 4 baths 4,712 sq ft 3-car garage


Under Contract






Recent Closings


Sold Price: $649,900 Date Closed: Dec 23, 2019

311 1ST AVENUE NW, NEW PRAGUE MN 56071 Sold Price: $225,000 Date Closed: Dec 13, 2019


Sold Price: $775,000 Date Closed: Dec 2, 2019

If you are looking for similar efficient and effective results, call me today for a complimentary evaluation of your home.

FRITZ SOBER A Y Real Estate Broker Mobile: 952-215-8951 Office: 612-567-9530

fritz@haleproperties.com www. haleproperties.com

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