A Week In Business

New Resources Unveiled
OCEAN CITY — Homeworks Carpet One Floor & Home recently released several tools to help consumers prepare for holiday entertaining.
The first is their new fall issue of Beautiful Design Made Simple – a free digital magazine available for Apple iPads and Android tablets. The holiday entertaining issue features articles focused on beautiful design and entertaining tips that are essential during the holiday season. Features include “Setting the Perfect Table” with designer James M. Davie, “7 Simple Home Décor Tips for Entertaining”, “Hostess Gifts that Wow” and “Mani-Friendly Tips for Hassle Free Holiday Entertaining” by Julie Edelman, The Accidental Housewife.
The second resource is Carpet One Floor & Home’s new Beautiful Design Made Simple blog. The blog features additional tips and ideas not found in the digital magazine. The blog includes inspiration, cleaning tips, color trends and in depth flooring information. New posts are added every week.
“Flooring is one piece of creating a beautiful space, but we want our customers to have the tools they need to create beautiful homes,” said owner Warren Hamstead “Our digital magazine and our new blog go beyond beautiful floors to give customers the inspiration and advice they are looking for when they redecorate a room or even their whole home.”
Homeworks is also providing customers with a tool to keep carpets stain free. The Stain First Aid app is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets. The simple to use app allows the user to choose from over 50 stains. They are then given detailed instructions – and for some of the more common stains, a video – to help them clean the stain properly. The Stain First Aid app is free to download on all devices. More information can be found at StainFirstAid.com.

Hospital Program Awarded
BERLIN — Atlantic General Health System’s (AGHS) Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recently received the 2013 Outstanding Rural Health Program Award, an honor bestowed annually by the Maryland Rural Health Association. This award is given to an organization that promotes and provides effective community-oriented rural health care delivery and excels in service to rural people.
One of the goals of the AGHS Patient Centered Medical Home is to reduce hospital admission rates and emergency department visits. The participating medical home practices do this by providing their patients with a team-based approach to care to ensure that all treatment plans, whether they come from a patient’s primary care provider, a specialist, a rehab center or other care provider, work together for the best outcome for the patient. And, almost more importantly, they work to ensure patients understand their doctors’ recommendations, any prescribed medications, and how to manage their chronic diseases.
Since the patient centered medical home was expanded to include all of Atlantic General Health System’s primary care practices as well as inpatient discharge management from Atlantic General Hospital in January, hospital admission rates and emergency department visits for those participating patients have been reduced significantly.
“We’re proud to be the recipient of the Maryland Rural Health Program Award,” said Michelle Clifton, PCMH program coordinator. “It’s a testament to the strides our team is making in improving the health status of many of our patients who have chronic medical conditions. We will continue to expand our efforts to reach more individuals and further reduce readmissions and overutilization of the ER. This is the future of healthcare – to keep people well and out of the hospital unless they absolutely need those services.”

Improved Market Data
SALISBURY — The Eastern Shore of Maryland real estate market, including Worcester, Wicomico, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s, Talbot and Caroline counties, experienced some positive trends in October compared to the same month in 2012, according to The Long & Foster Market Minute® reports.
In October, the number of units sold increased in many parts of the Eastern Shore region, according to the Long & Foster Market Minute reports, which are compiled from data from residential real estate transactions within specific geographic regions, not just Long & Foster sales.
The number of units sold in October increased in many counties in the Eastern Shore region. Talbot County experienced a large increase of 68 percent, while Caroline County saw a 39 percent increase. Worcester and Queen Anne’s counties experienced increases of 33 percent and 32 percent, respectively.
According to October data, median sale prices fluctuated throughout Maryland’s Eastern Shore region. Dorchester County experienced the largest increase at 61 percent, while Wicomico County saw a healthy increase of 24 percent.
“The real estate market continues to move at a healthy pace throughout the East Coast, including in the Eastern Shore region,” said Jeffrey S. Detwiler, president and chief operating officer for The Long & Foster Companies. “Not only are we seeing more homes selling, but also sale prices are increasing in many areas, and these are positive developments for home buyers and sellers and the economy as a whole.”

Designations Explained
BERLIN — You are in the neighborhood for buying or selling a home and end up connecting with a local Realtor®. On their business card, you notice a long list of letters after the person’s name but have no idea what they stand for or what they mean. You think they might be pretty important – and you are correct. The letters stand for specific designations and certifications.
“The real estate industry is constantly changing,” said Sheila Dodson, Coastal Association of Realtors (CAR) Executive Director. “Our realtors want to stay up-to-date on all of the emerging trends and value the education and resources made available through the designation courses.”
“We are a service industry, not a sales industry,” said Kaye Jones, ERA Martin Associates.
“Designations make us as Realtors® more valuable to the buyer, seller and community at-large,” added Bernie Flax, Prudential PenFed Realty.
Pam Wadler from Shamrock Realty Group dropped her ABR® (Accredited Buyer’s Representative) designation and is taking the course again to earn it back.
“Our industry is constantly changing, as is the material being taught in continuing education courses,” said Wadler. “There is no such thing as too much education.”
Since Brent Miller took over as managing director for Sperry Van Ness – Miller Commercial Real Estate six years ago, he has stressed the importance of continuing education, professionalism and designations.
In order to work for his firm, contractors are required to be a CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) designee or be actively working towards completing the classes to receive their designation.
“The CCIM designation carries a level of professionalism that transforms our advisors into invaluable resources for any and all commercial real estate owners, investors or users,” said Brent Miller, Sperry Van Ness – Miller Commercial Real Estate. “When the economy tanked, our agents were the first ones the banks came to for help with selling, leasing and managing properties after tenants defaulted and abandoned the space.”