Finding Similarities Between Sales and Life

Digital marketing has today come of age and many of these alternatives for marketing are being employed by the majority of businesses. We cannot stand in denial to the fact that the process of swapping business contacts on the digital platform is for a fact fast, simple and convenient. In spite of this reality of fast and convenience which comes with a digital mode for the sharing of contacts for any purpose and more so for business relations, this process or method has an undoing in it in the sense that it is all too detached and doesn’t quite provide that appeal for a personal relation one thing that is quite pronounced in the traditional models which would involve handshakes and such personal gestures. When you get the opportunity to give someone your calling card, you will effectively get to establish real personal relations with them.

Business cards are in fact a powerful business marketing tool than most of the digital formats for marketing. The benefit of using the business cards as tools for marketing is the fact that with them you get to enjoy much ease establishing relations with your prospects much easily without any hindrance by simply having a contact with them in whatever setting. As such they will be quite effective for the generation of the contacts for business deals and purposes.

The other advantage of using the business cards is the bit that they do add to your brand identity. A business card will be the point of making a first impression for you business with the prospects you are going to meet in the field. The swapping of business contacts via the cards will be a sure way to the achievement of this purpose in the relationship than it would have been with the exchange of other digitized forms of information sharing like emails and text chats. Since the cards are going to be the first point of creating an opinion of the brand, care and thought should be taken in the designing of the business cards to ensure that they are a reflection of the professionalism due for any progressive venture. Consider an embossed design for the cards or may be metal to ensure the cards to outlive their usefulness post the handing over of the details.

Think of the business cards as being quite easily shared and will as such get penetrating the market more easily as one more advantage. These cards as well have an impact telling that you are ready and willing to do business as compared to the rather backward style of handing over your contact details scribbled on a piece of paper which all but shows your lack of seriousness.

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Modern Memorial Stones Are Like Masterpieces of Artistic Design

There is an old section in the cemetery where my parents and grandparents are buried that has the white stones with simple engravings of names, dates and epitaphs. I think that the earliest stones are from the 1700s. In the newer section the stones are mostly granite that has been engraved and polished. Some of the designs are incredible. You can spot the latest generation of monuments that have been engraved using machines and lasers. There is a company that does Jewish monuments in NJ that does some incredible black monuments with a photo of the deceased etched into the surface of the stone.

I wonder what the old stone carvers from a couple hundred years ago would think of modern memorial stones. We have went from having something, such as “Here Lies John Doe Born May 1730 Died May 1800 RIP” to elaborate designs of tombstones that include pictures and 3D sculptural shapes. Continue reading “Modern Memorial Stones Are Like Masterpieces of Artistic Design”

It is a Great Home for Us

I knew that I wanted to work with one of the top Denver realtors when I finally made the decision to buy my home here. I did not want to waste a lot of time looking at homes that are just not suited for my family and myself. I knew that I wanted a three bedroom house with at least three bathrooms, plus I wanted to live fairly close to where I work. I did not see the sense in buying a home that would take me 40 minutes or so to arrive at each day.

It was easy finding the realtor that I wanted to use after talking to a few friends who had recently purchased homes in the area. One had a nightmare encounter while the other two had used the same agent with wonderful results. Continue reading “It is a Great Home for Us”

Moving to Vegas Was Part of Our Plan

My best friend and I met each other when she moved to my town in third grade. We grew up together, and we have the kind of friendship that is going to last into our nursing home years. When we graduated from college, we already knew that we were heading for Vegas. We had both been there a couple of times, and we just fell in love with the excitement and energy of the town. We started looking at apartments for rent in North Las Vegas even before we started applying for jobs, which might not have been the wisest choice but it worked out for us. Continue reading “Moving to Vegas Was Part of Our Plan”

The Old Tree out by the Road

We had a tree that has been growing in the grassy area between our sidewalk and the road for decades. I planted it with my dad when I was five, and now my wife and I have grandchildren. I never moved other than when I went to college. I bought the place from my parents soon after graduation. That tree has been scraped and bumped by so many big trucks that now go up and down the road that it was in bad shape. I called a tree service in Long Island to see if it could be saved.

The tree was actually still intact and growing well. However, the tree person showed me how it was just starting to establish a thick root that was beginning to lift the sidewalk. I could see it now that I was looking for it. I did not want to have to pay to have the sidewalk fixed, so we decided to take the tree down and plant a smaller tree in its place. Continue reading “The Old Tree out by the Road”

a broker will help you find that excellent vacation home

Have you ever spent time and energy planning an Open House, just to have less than five people attend? Have you ever had a ton of people show up at your Open House, and been unable to convert a single one of them into a sale or a future client? Are you unsure about why your Open House failed?

Open Houses are now more important to the real estate agent than ever. A report in 2015 by the National Association of Realtors Home Buyers and Sellers indicated that 48% of home buyers cited the Open House as an important source for most of their information. The reasons for this are obvious, for many it’s the first time that they’re getting to smell, see, and feel the home in person. It’s also a way to see what other people think of the house, which is a powerful push in a person’s perception of a particular home.

I’m Cindy Bishop of Cindy Bishop Worldwide. I pride myself not only on being a successful real estate agent with over 28 years of experience, but a knowledgeable and helpful trainer and coach. I’m committed to making everyone who comes into contact with me succeed, and have compiled the following open house tips for you, both from my own experience, as well as teaching and coaching friends of mine. Use them to succeed, and contact me if you have any questions at all!

Here are the best ways to make your Open House perfect:

1. Pick a unique property, that’s easy to find.

We often don’t have control over which property we’re showing, but when we are able to select a house at which to host an Open House event, we should look for properties with the following:

* A direct route to them with very few turns. Street names are easy, and street signs are visible.

* Properties that are well kept, and visually pleasing from both the inside and outside.

* A home with some kind of “conversation starter”. It has a unique feature, and is not just four walls. It might have an infinity pool, a walk-in closet, or a newly redesigned kitchen.

* Your signage should be larger than life. On the event day, you need something to make the signs stand out even more. Balloons are often used, or you could even try streamers, or pinwheels. Be creative, just try to find something professional, but that catches the light and people’s attention.

2. Have your Open House event at the right time.

* Don’t have your event after dark. Plan your event to end at sunset.

* Consider having a separate open house preview, for neighbors only. And then an open-to-the-public type of event later. Neighbors love this preview event concept, because it makes them feel special, and they love suggesting who should live in their neighborhood. It also allows them to start thinking of friends and family they want nearby, and they become part of your sales force for you, as well as your advertising force for the actual open house.

* If you do have an event only for neighbors, consider taking out a camera and interviewing and recording them talking about the neighborhood. This is something you can add to your website, or social media, or have on repeat loop during your Open House. For example, imagine how powerful it is to have a recorded testimonial from a mother in the area about the school district?

* Don’t pick a date and time where people are not available, for example, the majority of people work Monday through Fridays from 8am-5pm, and may not be free on a Wednesday at 3pm. Additionally, people are usually not free on holiday weekends.

3. Make your Open House event the right vibe, and the more exciting, the better!

* Entertaining music is a possibility, but be careful that it’s not distracting and that you avoid certain genres or language that may be offensive. Music may be seen as a way to cover up noises or mechanical failures in the house. Make sure that you’re sensitive to how the music is being perceived.

* Snacks are a must! Try wine and cheese, or beer and wings. The most important part about the food is that it needs to match what type of neighborhood you are in. Fried chicken and hamburgers probably aren’t appropriate at a million-dollar listing, but champagne and caviar probably aren’t appropriate in a first-time homebuyer situation, either. Just a word of caution; however, if you are serving alcohol, be very careful about who you serve. You may even want to get someone on your team to help you out with this. The last thing you need is for someone to drink at your open house as a minor, or someone to drive off over intoxicated and get into an accident. If in the right kind of setting, having comfort foods is especially welcoming and makes many visitors feel more at home. Careful to avoid foods with bad odors or smells, as you don’t want them attributed to the home.

* Consider leaving a hand-written sign to “Help Yourself” along with a list of ingredients, so that visitors feel like they are able to eat the snacks provided without fear.

* Consider having a slideshow or interactive photo board featuring the home at various times of year. You may want to show the home off in summer months, for example, if it’s currently January and the garden and pool are frozen over.

* Consider making a table, desk, or station with local school information, neighborhood information, etc. The more resources you can provide, the better. You want the guest to stop at this station and pour over the resources, and ask as many questions as possible.

* Make sure to engage each and every visitor so they have are interested, and want to stay longer.

4. Don’t just advertise your Open House, create buzz around it.

* Create an event on social media, and share it with all of your friends and clients, as well as everyone on your e-mail lists. Facebook ads have become an amazing resource for reaching a ton of people in your area that wouldn’t have been in your networks otherwise. And it’s incredibly cost-effective, for what it does. You should filter the Facebook ad to include only people in targeted zip codes. You can also un-invite or exclude people who work for other realtors or competing brokerages.

* Flyer surrounding businesses and schools in the area of the listing. Knock on as many doors as possible.

* Visit neighbors’ homes with nice newsletters or invitations. The nicer the invitation, the higher the chance that they will pop in to see what all of the fuss is about. Some agents even suggest using wedding style invitations.

* Don’t just advertise on one channel. You can try Facebook events, Twitter, your own website, your e-mail list, your newsletter, NextDoor.com, and even Craigslist. Just make sure you follow all of the appropriate advertising and marketing laws as designated by your brokerage and state laws.

5. Logistics, Logistics, Logistics

* Make sure everything is in order so that you look your best, and the house looks it’s best. it should be clean, light bulbs should be new, dust should be gone, air fresheners should be working, the climate should be controlled. I’ve even heard of certain agents baking cookies in advance of the big event so that the house feels and smells extra homey.

* Consider removing clutter, which makes navigating the home difficult. You can also remove or hide offensive art, or anything that might make someone feel uncomfortable. But be careful- make sure the homeowner doesn’t just throw the clutter into closets or cabinets! People care more and more about storage these days, and if it looks like the cabinets and closets are busting at the seams with junk, they’ll automatically assume that the amount of storage space in the house is not sufficient

* Use natural light to your advantage. Make sure all window treatments are open and all curtains are drawn. All light switches should be turned on, regardless of where they are. You don’t want someone afraid to go in the basement, or thinking they aren’t allowed to enter the garage.

* Make sure the home owner is not present. The last thing you need is them having an emotional breakdown because they are going down memory lane, or answering a question incorrectly. People also feel uncomfortable freeing roaming when the person who owns the property is looking over their shoulder.

* With that said, valuables, if left in the home, should be secured. At the very least, you should know what they are and where, and make an inventory of them. I strongly advise you insist that the home owner take them out of the property before the open house, so you’re not held liable for them in case of damage or theft.

* Use your team. If you are alone at an Open House, you may be spread too thin. If you leave for a minute to check that a sign on the corner hasn’t fallen down, you may miss someone who pops in to find no one there. Have one person for signage and the guest book, one person on food and drink detail, and that leaves you free to talk to and engage guests.

* Have a loan agent or lender on hand, in order to answer any potential questions the home buyer may have about the process.

* Make sure you have the necessary paperwork required. You can print out a copy of the MLS but it’s strongly suggested that you make a booklet, flyer, or something more personalized to the property, and to yourself.

* Make sure you know the neighborhood, and have done comparisons of values in the neighborhood. You may lose credibility if someone asks you a question and you’re unfamiliar with this territory, and I’m sure you’d rather look like a pro!

6. Use the Personal Touch

* It’s not enough to have each visitor sign in. You should take detailed notes on your conversation with each person. If you can’t remember this, a helpful suggestion is to hide a notebook or tablet inside a kitchen drawer, and make notes as the day goes by.

* You should remember one thing about each visitor and bring it up at some point during their tour of the home. “Jerry, wouldn’t this be an amazing place to store your golf clubs?”

* Don’t try to sell anyone. They will come to you, and request the information they need, when they need it. This is a time to establish relationships. Your only objective should be to make this home (and yourself) memorable.

7. Follow Up

* Add all visitors to your e-mail list, as well as your newsletter list. AM Open House is a great app and resource to make sure you’re keeping on task with this.

* For those visitors who were seriously interested in the home or in you, handwritten cards should be sent out thanking them for coming, and encouraging their business in the future. Take out that handy notebook you stashed, and make personal notes in each card. They’re more likely to keep it the more personal it is. Above all, make sure your contact information is on each card.

* Some agents even send videos. You could forward on a Facebook live video of the open house, or send a YouTube video of the listing. You could even send some kind of greeting card video for a special way to say “thanks for attending!” BombBomb is a great resource for this type of video.

* Text message is a wonderful way to contact people, and has a 95% open rate. It’s less invasive than a phone call, which people may avoid answering if they don’t know a specific caller. Send a very specific text message with a thank you, the property address, and more information on the property, or a link for more information.

* Send a follow up to the follow up starting with the subject header “I forgot to tell you… ” – You can then point out a feature you neglected to tell them about on the current property, or even point out other properties that you may have listed, if this one fell short for them.

Of course, the best resource for an Open House is a coach, who can suggest strategies unique to your community and clientele. Not only is this more effective, but a coach should follow up with you to make sure that everything went smoothly, and question each step if it doesn’t.

Cindy Bishop is the Managing Director of Cindy Bishop Worldwide, a real estate education company specializing in Business Enhancement and Growth training for the Real Estate Community. Cindy is an active coach specializing in real estate agent business development.

Tired of spending time and energy planning an Open House and either no one shows up or those that do are interested in the food? Maybe tons of people showed up but no one could be converted into a buyer prospect. Are you unsure about what it actually takes to make your Open House a success? Isn’t it time to control the outcome of your business and the success of your life? Are you looking for “dryer repair in Los Angeles”? Check out tophomeappliancerepair The passionate experts in this field are ready to answer all of your requests.

4 Tips To Get That Home Sold ASAP

When homeowners ask how to get your home sold fast, there is typically more to the question. For instance, some really want to know how to get your home sold fast, some are wondering how to sell a home to get more money out of it while others have a home languishing on the market and just want to know how to get the thing sold.

There’s no mystery to get your home sold fast; it all starts with basic real estate principles and practices.

Timing

It’s important to know the current trends in your local real estate market before putting your home up for sale. Is it a buyer’s market – where there are more homes available than buyers? Or is it a seller’s market, with few homes available and lots of buyers?

Your local newspaper most likely covers your regional real estate market but this is also information you can obtain by asking your real estate agent.

This information is important for several reasons:

• If you can afford to wait to sell your home, the current market may be the deciding factor as to whether you sell it now or wait.

• It helps you price your home appropriately.

• It gives you an idea of what to expect during the time the home is on the market.
Another aspect of timing the sale of your home is the season. Home sales are seasonal and the ideal time to sell the home is in spring. This doesn’t mean, however, that homes don’t sell at other times during the year, even in the dead of winter.
In fact, although fewer homes are listed and sold in winter than in spring, the likelihood that you’ll sell your home is higher in the former than in the latter.

Price

The number one reason a home sits on the market and doesn’t sell is price. To make matters worse, sellers of overpriced homes typically reject initial offers because they think they are too low, when, in reality, they are most likely close to the market value of the home.

In a buyer’s market, it’s even more important to price your home competitively to get your home sold fast. If you choose the right real estate agent, your list price should be very close to the home’s true market value. It’s up to you, then, to either lower it a bit to create more interest or to over-price the home and risk eventually having to drop the price.

Condition

It almost sounds trite in today’s real estate market to mention that a home needs to be cleaned and de-cluttered before putting it on the market. While the advice is common, it’s still very good. A clean home with maximum curb appeal will put your house above the competition to get your home sold fast.

Make repairs to anything that obviously needs it. This means dripping faucets, loose banisters, cracked windows – anything that a buyer will notice. These little things make it appear that the home hasn’t been maintained – something no buyer wants to take on.

We can discuss larger repairs and whether or not they should be tackled.

Realtor

get your home sold fast

Your Realtor can make or break the deal. Keep that in mind when determining who to hire to assist you in the sale of your home. This is not the time to hire that friend of a friend or your Aunt Martha.

Choose your agent carefully and then work as a team, following up with one another frequently throughout the process to get your home sold fast.

Getting your home sold requires, overall, patience. Take your time with each step in the process, ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks. Listen to the advice of your real estate agent and you’ll soon be on your way to the next phase of your life.

6 Ways To Market A Property

If everything about selling a home was straight – forward, simple, easy and constant, there would be far fewer reasons, homeowners might need to rely on the services, advice, judgment, experience and expertise, of a real estate professional. However, since things happen, and there are often challenges, unanticipated circumstances, and/ or obstacles, etc, those wanting to sell their homes, should listen to the advice of their selected real estate agent. There are numerous ways to market a home, and there is rarely any one – size – fits – all approach! Rather, together with your listing agent, your team (because successfully marketing and selling a home, is a team effort) should create a well – considered Marketing Plan. Let’s review 6 basic ways to market a property.

1. Multiple Listing Service (MLS): One of the essential keys to effective marketing, is to get as many views as possible. Using Multiple Listing Service, all the Realtors, in your area, will be invited to show your house to their customers and clients. When agents work cooperatively, your agent’s efforts are exponentially enhanced, and your home’s prospects to be sold, are improved significantly!

2. Other Websites: Many real estate brokers feed their listings to a variety of related websites. In addition, MLS does, too! Some of these include the broker’s company website, Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com, and many hundreds more. Some of these are domestic sites, while others also attract international audiences, thus adding to your potential pool of buyers.

3. Social Media: A decade or more ago, very few paid much attention to Social Media. These include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Does your agent have both a personal, as well as a business page? Does his broker also have a business page? How well is this area managed, and how many followers do they have? How do they amplify the message, so it gains attention, over competing sites, etc?

4. Networking/ word of mouth: Simply using and relying on digital marketing is not enough, although a necessary, integral component! How well does your agent network, especially within your community? Is he or she considered a resource or go – to individual, by many in the area? How well is your property, and its advantages, etc, articulated? Be careful not to ignore this vital marketing piece of the puzzle!

5. Print advertising: There was a time, not that long ago, when the primary marketing tool, was print advertising. One simply needs to see how much thinner and smaller the real estate sections of most newspapers are, today, than they used to be! However, although this may be costly, and not as effective as it once was, it should still be included in the overall plan.

6. Mailings: In our quest to use Social Media, email and texts, don’t forget about what is known, as snail mail! Well – directed, smartly composed, targeted post card campaigns, often deliver the most bang for the buck!

Marketing a property is a multi – phased, complex activity, when done properly and effectively! Carefully discuss your Marketing Plan, in advance, with your real estate agent!

5 Easy Ways To Increase Your Property Value Before Selling

It’s funny how a house doesn’t feel like an investment until it comes time to sell it. All of a sudden, after years of living there, the thought of its value hits you upside the head. Hopefully, you’ve practiced good home maintenance over the years and can now focus on cosmetic changes to increase value. And these won’t cost a fortune because many are typical do-it-yourself projects.

Lipstick on a pig

All the cosmetics in the world won’t make a pig look any prettier nor increase your property value. Sure, if you choose those fixes carefully you can realize a tidy sum at the close of escrow. But, if the house has major problems, such as with the roof or heating system, you may end up giving that money back to the buyer for repairs.

If you suspect there may be problems with the house, hire a home inspector to come in a do a thorough check. It’s worth the fee because it may allow you to head off a slowdown in the future transaction with a buyer. Home repairs that buyers expect to be made and that increase your property value the most, include:

Plumbing repairs
Updating electrical system
Repairing damaged floors

Don’t forget the little things: the dripping faucet, torn window screens and damaged counter-tops. You may have been able to live with these details but a buyer will notice them.

Larger projects, such as roof problems, are sometimes better dealt with by disclosing them to potential buyers and letting it be known that the price of the home reflects the need for the repair.

Clean

Increase the value of your home

It’s a fact: clean houses increase your property value, sell faster and for more money than dirty ones. Buyers like houses that have been well cared for and a clean house looks like a maintained house.

They also place a higher value on houses that appear to be ready to move right into. Nobody wants to have to clean a house before settling in. Some sellers think they’ll get around this chore by offering to have the house professionally cleaned before moving out. There’s no value added in that plan. The time to clean is before it hits the market.

Paint

Painting the walls creates an instant transformation in a number of ways and will increase your property value. Paint adds color to a room and makes it look and smell cleaner. Keep to the neutral colors on the color wheel, as they appeal to a broader segment of buyers.

Update the kitchen

In general, kitchens are usually most important in terms of enhancing the return on your home investment. Bathrooms are a close second. Attention to some of these little kitchen details can increase your property value.

Replace the lighting fixtures.
Put in new cabinets or, at the very least, replace the existing hardware.
Replace old appliances. New appliances make a good impression on prospective buyers.
Upgrade the faucet
Buy new curtains and throw rugs
Remove everything from the counter-tops with the exception of a few decorative items. Check decorating magazines for ideas.
Fix up the bathrooms

Nothing kills a real estate deal quicker than a nasty bathroom. Thoroughly cleaning it and painting the walls provides an instant transformation, but there’s more you can do that will increase your property value:

Install new lighting. New fixtures can create a statement with minimal effort.
Replace old sink, shower and bath faucets and handles with new decorative faucets.
Install new towel racks.
Replace shower doors.
Re-caulk the tub and sink to freshen their appearance.
Replace mirrors and medicine cabinets.
Hang new towels and add throw rugs that compliment the wall color.
That oh-so-important curb appeal

It doesn’t do you any good to invest in home improvements and updating if the exterior of the home doesn’t invite potential buyers inside. Plus, updated landscaping adds around 10 percent more to the home’s value. Here are some general considerations when trying to increase your property value:

Clean up the yard. Remove toys, trash, leaves and dead plants.
Clean the front porch by removing cobwebs from the light fixture, sweeping and applying a fresh coat of paint to the front door.
Mow the lawn. If it’s discolored, de-thatch and fertilize.
Trim trees and prune perennials to make them look tidy.
Add container plants to the porch or next to the front door.
Add surprising pops of color with seasonal flowers.
Apply fresh mulch to the beds.
Plant trees. According to the U.S. Forestry Service, trees increase property values by as much as 10 percent.

Keeping a perspective on all the work that you do in, on or around your home is important when trying to increase your property value. Specifically, focus on the kinds of improvements that will enhance your return on investment. And bear in mind that improvements should be appropriate for the immediate neighborhood. While your aim should be to have the most attractive home on the block, don’t over-improve for the neighborhood.

Finding the Right Provider to Create the Home of Your Dreams

Finding the right customer builder to work with is essential. Otherwise, you risk delays and frustrations. It can also prevent you from living in the home you really wanted. There are plenty of experts out there with the ability to create just about anything you want. Don’t be in a hurry to settle for just anyone to tackle something so important!

Referrals

Ask around for referrals to aid you with finding the best custom home builder. People love to share details about such experiences. You can also look online to find out who provides such services in your area. Once you have a few referrals, schedule a time to talk to them in person. Get an idea of who they are and what they are all about.

Find out how long they have been in business. Ask about homes they have built and where they are located. They may have pictures to share with you of the finished projects. The more you know about them, the easier it is to decide.

Details for your Home

A custom home builder realizes just how important this project really is for you. They want it to go smoothly and they want you to get the best results. They are going to sit down with you and walk you through the various steps. This will help you to see how it is all going to progress. They can share with you floor plans they offer if you don’t have one in mind. They can also help you to create one if you don’t like what they have to offer.

It isn’t uncommon for a custom home builder to know where available land is in the area. You may be able to save money with a land/home package. If you don’t already have land in mind, they can help you to find something. If you already have land, they can take a look at it. There may be costs involved to get it read that you aren’t aware of.

For example, it may need to be leveled before the foundation of a home can be placed on it. The home may need to have water and sewer lines ran to it. You should feel confident the custom home builder knows everything to ask about and check out so nothing is overlooked. Their information can help you to make important decisions.

Building Process

The amount of time it will take to get the project completed depends on many factors. The custom home builder can discuss with you when they can get started. They will have to order materials, obtain building permits, and more to get started. They can give you an estimated completion date. However, there are variables such as the weather and inspections too.

They can cause delays and there is nothing to be done about them. Make sure you can be flexible with them and give them the time they need. While you want to move into your newly designed home as soon as you can, you also want to make sure everything is done correctly before you do so. Finding the best contractor to help you get it all done is very important!