Letter from Our Hearts 2022

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from James and Rebecca over at Integrity All Stars!

We appreciate all our family, friends, and clients – Without folks like you, our business would not be what it is today- that’s not cliché, that’s just being honest!

We do what we can to give back in the form of doing charity work for our community when we can find the time.  Luckily for us, we just had some this past weekend.  We were able to help at the 15th, and final, Scotty D Charity Golf event.  This year, Lisa Schmitz, helped me hold down our tent and raffle ticket sales as we have been donating Yeti coolers and tumblers to help raise money for children in the city of Chandler for several years now.

One thing that was new for us in 2021, we co-hosted a Prom in May with several other colleagues and we were able to raise buckets of toys & over $4325 in donations for children at Banner Children’s Hospital here in town along with some of the donations going towards the comfort of the parents whose children are undergoing cancer treatment.  One of the children we highlighted at the Prom just got word today literally minutes ago that he beat cancer!!! So exciting for his family and if we and our colleagues were able to help ease the stress and pain, if only for a moment, for any of them- it truly warms our hearts knowing that!  Every year, in these letters, I try to give a heads up on any plans for the upcoming year… last year I did give fair warning asking for anyone with interest to let me know so I could be certain to get them tickets.  I don’t think Prom will be on the agenda for this year again, but maybe next…   In the meantime, please call, text, email, carrier pigeon, or paper airplane us a message if you love a charity we can support in 2023 or have any event ideas.  We usually rely on our past clients and friends to give us ideas for both!

It’s so interesting to me now after many years of sending these letters.  I save them all! In 2018’s, I was sharing our excitement about building our new office in Chandler and having our Ribbon Cutting.  Bam, 5 years later we just moved out!  Feels like we just moved in, but don’t FRET!  We are still in town and serving our clients as always.  Between us being empty nesters now and the fact that our Brokerage (Berkshire Hathaway) has branch offices all over town, we decided this was the year to move out of Chandler (both home and office) and into our Gilbert/Mesa location off of Stapley and the 60.  Quite frankly as fun as our office was for us, especially since both babies and puppies were allowed, we just weren’t using it as much as we did pre-Covid.  Most of our work is in our client’s homes and in our cars or we aren’t doing our jobs very well.

That said, we did a really good job with the help of our clients in 2022 after all!  If you read last year’s Letter from our Hearts, you’d know I was sweating whether or not we’d take the #1 spot in the state for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices for the 3rd year in a row.  We were neck and neck, but we pulled it off. Thank you again for your support over the years!  It’s truly thanks to our clients that we won again.  I will say, that team we beat, 3 times now, I’m pretty sure will get us this year.  This was a TOUGH year in real estate for so many people!  We’ve had to roll up our sleeves and sell houses again, which for me I do enjoy.  I didn’t enjoy the run-up in prices with all of the demand we had to contend with in 2021.  2021 proved to be more record-breaking than 2020.  When I wrote this letter this time last year, I truly did not think it was possible.  Sadly, there were multiple clients we had that got bid out on homes and just couldn’t compete with the cash investors.  Now that the frenzy seems over, we are in a full fledge Buyers’ market in most parts of the Valley, a lot of our past potential clients are finding the interest rates and prices have made homeownership near to impossible for them in the current economic climate we are in.

“There is a silver lining in every season!” was something that my very dear friend and lender partner Tara Krieg just reminded me about this evening.  If someone is in a position to purchase a home today, there are some incredible deals happening with Sellers that are feeling the pinch right now.  For Buyers, we are back to getting help from Sellers in the form of concessions again, just like it was the norm prior to Covid.  Those in the market to sell, can- but work may be required in order to get top dollar in today’s market.  Please reach out to me if you have needs coming up soon so we can strategize your timing best as possible.

I just hit my 3rd year doing my weekly podcast, Grateful Heart Tv, this past Veteran’s day.  Talk about being grateful!  I’ve had some amazing guests come on over the years and I’m always doing what I can to educate on the current market conditions.  Please check out my show if you like Podcasts and you haven’t yet.  I’m literally on just about every platform out there, all of the links can be found at www.GratefulHeart.Tv.

One guest, in particular, this past year really inspired me.  With all of the affordable housing issues we are having, I am in the process of starting up a non-profit called The Alohatopia Foundation, in conjunction with Kismet Alternative Construction. If I’ve perked your interest in what I’m up to now, you should check out Episode 98; Sabs the alternative building material that’s revolutionizing the housing industry.   Fox 10 did a story on them, and so I harassed them with Ayriel’s help until they agreed to come on my show.  The irony of it all was the home I ended up walking with them on the show I literally passed daily on my 3-mile drive to my office.  I was less than 2 miles from it all along!  Murphy’s Law!


When you’re looking for something, most times it feels like it’s right in front of your nose!  Especially when you’re starting to age and your eyes don’t work quite as well as they used to! HA!

I do want to thank Ashley and Ayriel who help James and I do everything that we do for our clients and our agents.  We’d be lost without them.  Just know anytime you need anything and call our office, one of them is always happy to help you too.

Please reach out to us if we can ever be of service to you or anyone you know/love that you’d want to get great service from us.  In the uncertain times we’ve been through these last couple of years, we do believe experience matters. I’m referring to the experience our clients have with us- not just our own.

I may be looking for investors this year as I go barreling down this rabbit hole on affordable housing. I’ve become very passionate about it as I do believe in the dream of homeownership and everyone should have a chance to own their own home if they’re willing to do their part.  If helping my cause may be of interest to you, please don’t stay quiet! I’d love to know.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, & Happy Festivus for the Rest of Us!

We wish you a truly fabulous holiday season and a prosperous 2023!

With love in our hearts, James & Rebecca Hidalgo Rains