Wednesday
August 23, 2017

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March 2017 Business Creation Index

realtor.org Commercial Headlines - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 09:00

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The new Business Creation Index (BCI) was created to monitor local economic conditions from the perspective of NAR’s commercial members. The quarterly report offers insight from commercial real estate professionals into whether businesses are opening or closing by industry, population density, and subregion. On a monthly basis, it tracks three key questions related to local market conditions:

  1. An increase of businesses opening in local communities... Read More

Comment on 5 Ideas to Increase the Value of a Basement by Melissa

Styled, Staged & Sold - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 08:34

I’m not 100% sure “Adult Entertainment” is the phrase you’re looking for…

Comment on Sneak Peek: The ‘It’ Paint Color for 2017 by Lottie

Styled, Staged & Sold - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 06:10

Hello: Where is this beautiful floor mirror from?

Comment on Educate Sellers How Home Staging Pays Off by MartinHoockly

Styled, Staged & Sold - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 06:02

I thank the author of this blog for sharing such a useful information, this blog will be an asset to the home stagers to sell their house. The picture on this blog is more expressive about the home staging pay. Give idea to make our garden modern of our selling house.

CommercialSearch And RPR Commercial Features: Together At Last, For REALTORS®

realtor.org Commercial Headlines - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 04:00

The integration offers REALTORS® on CommercialSearch one-click access to RPR data found on both the website and RPR Mobile™. Subscribers will find property and owner facts, mortgage and tax info, transaction history, maps and photos. 

Expectations and Market Realities in Real Estate

realtor.org Commercial Headlines - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 04:00

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Highlights:

Last year in our annual Expectations & Market Realities in Real Estate 2016 report, Navigating Through The Crosscurrents, we predicted:

  • Economic growth at a slow, but steady, pace.
  • Employment growth, low gas prices, and increased consumer spending would lead the Federal Reserve to raise the federal funds rate.
  • Major geopolitical events would rattle the investment environment.
  • Commercial... Read More

Stable Growth Expected for Commercial Real Estate in 2017

realtor.org Commercial Headlines - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 04:00

WASHINGTON (February 23, 2017) — Steered ahead by strengthening demand in smaller markets, the commercial real estate sector should remain on stable ground in 2017 and offer decent returns for investors, according to the latest National Association of Realtors® quarterly commercial real estate forecast.

National office vacancy rates are forecast by Realtors® to retreat 1.1 percent to 12.1 percent over the coming year as job growth in business and professional services brings increased need for office space. The... Read More

Comment on Hot Home Trend to Watch: The Two-Toned Kitchen by Amy Anderson

Styled, Staged & Sold - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 23:34

The designs were awesome I was thought to re design my kitchen I like the most number second because in a picture it looks very simple

Comment on The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning a Bathtub (Based on the Type of Tub) by Carolyn

Styled, Staged & Sold - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 15:11

I use “Kaboom” spray to clean my tub. So simple, spray and let sit a minute or two then take a soft nylon sponge and wipe the surface followed by rinsing. Tub shines and hardly any work at all. No wax to worry about slipping on. Doesn’t do any damage to tub.

6 Outsourcing Tips For Effective Hiring

YPN Lounge - Mon, 07/31/2017 - 09:00

Anita Clark

By Anita Clark

Outsourcing in business is one of the most creative means of achieving your aims at a lower expense. In business or in any venture, great outsourcing tips helps in saving money and lessening the frustration of not having the necessary infrastructure to meet your needs. That is certainly true for professionals in all aspects of the real estate industry.

It is interesting to know that most businesses embrace the art of outsourcing, be it personnel, materials for production, infrastructure, or even skill—anything can be outsourced. All you need to know is the best way to find the right resource to meet your needs. Outsourcing can be a nightmare if the resource you find is illegitimate, which could lead to eventual hurt and disgrace for a business. Here are six steps that should be followed before and during the process of outsourcing to ensure success.

1. Clearly Define What You Want

Most of the people who outsource tend to forget that they are the ones best who understand what they want done. Assumptions about what you need are easily understandable, but can lead to a wrong step and may end up causing more trouble for you and the resource that you hire. Whether you are looking to hire someone to produce a full range of articles on home energy tips, help with marketing, or cover business tasks, you need to clearly spell out what you are looking for or you run the risk of wasting both your time and money. Being clear about the expected results prevents unnecessary confusion. As the client, you should also define the schedule with which the resource you hire should deliver whatever has been agreed upon.

2. Evaluate What Is Offered

This is a key step that most employers forget to focus on while hiring out services. Of all the outsourcing tips provided in this article, this is the most fundamental tip to have in mind. The best way of ensuring that you hire the right kind of help is by evaluating the qualifications of the resource. You should then focus on the feedback that other clients have given for this service provider. Approach the process as you would if you were hiring a full time employee, and therefore, take the time to do your research on the person you intend to hire.

@geralt, 2017. pixabay.com

3. Match Needs With Skills

This is one of the best outsourcing tips that will save you time in screening the applicants who wish to provide the services that you need. When a client states the specific skill set they intend to bring on board, random applicants who do not have that skill set will typically back off, leaving you with only a few applicants to evaluate. This will exponentially decrease the time it takes to weed through the applicants to find the right outsource hire. Remember, first impressions matter, so if someone does not match your needs, move on to the next person. Whether you are looking for someone to handle social media tasks, provide ghostwriting services, or something entirely different, you want to be both specific and realistic with your requests.

4. The Price Is Important, But…

One of the outsourcing considerations that naturally lingers in our minds is that costs need to be managed and not allowed to spiral out of control. However, it is wrong to consider the cost of outsourcing over the quality of output that will be shown at the end of the project. It is better for you to hire a resource who provides quality output at a high price, than a resource whose price is low but the outcome is compromised and of very low quality.

5. Plan Your Budget Wisely

Many people don’t allocate enough budgetary allowances for the provision of the services they need. It is frustrating to a service provider when they realize that you aren’t a good planner for the acquisition of a service you asked for. At the same time, your project may run aground when finances are inadequate. Service providers will end up distrusting you and you will fail to achieve the goal. Always make sure you have the funds to cover all aspects of the project, even setting aside 10 percent more for any unforeseen issues or opportunities.

6. Communicate For Success

Of all the outsourcing tips listed, this is the second most important asset you as a client can input while running a project with a service provider. The failure to communicate adequately can cause a lot of harm when a project is running. A service provider may be in need of clarification at some point and the best relief from a client to a service provider is communication. Communication fosters a good relationship in business and also counts a lot to ensure that milestones for a project are achieved within the given time frame. Do your part for making the project and ongoing relationship a success by effectively communicating through the process.

If observed, these outsourcing tips will help considerably to ensure results meet the standards that have been set by you, the client. When it works well, you can bet all parties will be happy and the current and future outcomes will be headed for continued success.

Anita Clark is a residential real estate agent with Coldwell Banker SSK, REALTORS®, in Houston County, Ga. She is from Coventry, England, is a retired military spouse, and has been assisting buyers, investors, and sellers in middle Georgia since 2007. Connect with Anita on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, or on her Warner Robins GA Real Estate Blog.

3 Tips to Get Leads From Your Website

YPN Lounge - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 19:02

Alexis Craig

By Alexis Craig

We all want them. We all dream about them. I’m talking about leads coming from our own websites. It’s the Holy Grail of real estate marketing—coveted by many but acquired by few. Internet leads can be more profitable and easier to convert.

Instead of running around every day chasing prospects, being rejected, or being hung up on while making a cold-call, we can turn the wheels and have prospects requesting to work with us. Unfortunately, for most of us, our website is nothing more than a digital brochure. It’s there to impress our clients and prospects but produces minimal results. For most, it’s just costing us a ton of money. We all know we should be on the internet. So, here are 3 tips that will help you generate more leads from your website.

1. Give them a good reason to become a lead. I heard this saying once: “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.” Wherever it came from, the saying has shaped the way that I approach my business and marketing. I have always taken the saying to mean that strategy is more important than tactics. For example, when it comes to generating internet leads, it’s far more important to have the right offer than it is to mess around with things like button colors. All of that tactical internet marketing advice is useless without a good offer. You can’t improve your conversion rates with “hacks” if your offer stinks. Get your offer right and the tactical stuff is just icing on the cake.

@janeb13, 2016. pixabay.com

So, what makes a good offer? Get creative and think about your market. Here are some ideas:

  • A Bonus Video: This could be a video that dives into more details of an article you wrote or maybe an online virtual tour. It could be anything. Video tends to be perceived as a highly value offer.
  • Tools and Cheat Sheets: I love these and so do prospects. These tend to be easy to create because you can often take it from your own internal documents. For example, I have a cheat sheet that helps people write better Zillow descriptions. This guide was created from our own internal documents and standard checklist for writing listing descriptions.
  • Comprehensive Guides: Avoid the “ultimate guide to selling your home.” It’s hard to compete on that offer—a lot of agents already offer that and so does Zillow. Instead, get ultra-specific. Think, “Ultimate Guide to Buying New Construction” in a specific location.
  • Home Lists and Subscriptions: These are standard and they never get old.

Word of warning: I see a lot of agents creating a CMA offer. This is a great offer and should be on your website, but don’t let it be the only offer.  CMA offers tend to have low opt-in offers because (a.) every agent is offering it and (b.) Zillow has tools to let sellers determine their home price without ever having to talk to a real estate pro.

2. Dress your offer up with effective copy. There is a common assumption that writing great copy takes a lot of time. While there is some truth to it, it’s also inaccurate. The truth is that writing good copy on your website can be done in a few minutes with proven formulas. Once you learn the formula, there should be no reason I see the words “sign up to our weekly newsletter.” That’s not effective copy. When the internet was brand new and there were no other websites, this might have worked. But today, it’s going to get you a zero percent conversion rate. Here is a simple formula that I use to quickly write my opt-in copy: Have [single biggest problem your guide solves]? Get my [format of offer] and [get results] (twist — optional). Let’s look at some examples:

  • Having a hard time finding any homes in this seller’s market? Get my bonus video and discover how to find your dream home before any other buyers even know about them.
  • Have questions about what repairs to do before you list? Get my preparation checklist and know exactly what to repair and what you can leave alone.
  • Have to downsize? Get the list of single-family homes on the market and find your next home.

3. Place your offer in the right spots The more opportunities you give your market to take advantage of your offer, the better your conversion rate is going to be. Some spots you should place your offer:

  • On the sidebars of your pages and blogs.
  • As a dedicated landing page that is frequently linked to in articles or where you send traffic.
  • After, in the middle, or near the top of your blog posts — whatever makes the most sense for a given article.
  • A pop-up. It’s been said this is likely to negatively affect SEO in the future. So, use it if it makes sense for you.

In your offers, you could ask for an email, name, and phone number. If you ask for a phone number, your conversions will be lower but the leads will be more qualified. For that reason, I tend to only ask for phone numbers on “bottom of the funnel offers,” like the “Ultimate Guide to Buying a New Construction Home.”

Conclusion. In order for any of this work, you need to drive traffic to your website. There are a ton of ways you can do this. Use a mix of social media, offline marketing, and Facebook ads to drive traffic. Once there, you should start seeing some leads that can be followed up with until an appointment can be made.

Alexis Craig, founder of Mocha Homes, leads a team of real estate rebels in Lansing, Mich. Connect with her at mochahomes.com or facebook.com/MochaHomes.

Comment on Hot Home Trend to Watch: The Two-Toned Kitchen by Beverly Carlson

Styled, Staged & Sold - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 00:40

Note the word “trend.” Trends come and go. If you are looking at selling your home anytime soon don’t paint kitchen cabinets two different colors, because it is too taste specific and kitchen cabinets are more of a chore to repaint. Also painting two different colors will make your kitchen look smaller rather than larger. Then there is the gray trend. I don’t understand the infatuation with gray tones particularly in a kitchen. Stainless steel appliances are already a gray tone. No more gray is needed in the kitchen. What are you trying to do – depress the cook?

Comment on That Small Backyard Can Still Be a Selling Point by Captain America

Styled, Staged & Sold - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 14:26

I’ve found a lot of buyers these days PREFER small yards: it means less work, and most people in the younger generation seem to prefer gardening in small pots rather than actually getting their knees dirty in a yard. And especially in the ‘first home’ condo / townhouse / etc. niche, small yards are a biiiiig selling point. Easy to decorate, easy to maintain, and you’ve still got some green space!

Tech Companies You Need to Know

YPN Lounge - Wed, 07/19/2017 - 17:12

Meet the real estate tech companies providing promising tools to brokers, agents, and their clients. NAR and Second Century Ventures recently announced the new REach® Class of 2017, featuring a roster of startups focused on security, process digitization, information transfer, and more.

Learn about this year’s class:

Adwerx: A digital advertising company for real estate professionals that focuses on retargeting and localizing ads to help build brand awareness and attract clients.

Centriq: This platform is for homeowners to centralize all aspects of home maintenance, including making repairs and finding a local contractor.

HouseCanary: This residential valuations and analytics tool provides data for every block and property in the U.S.

immoviewer: A DIY real estate software for creating and sharing 3D home tours.

Notarize: A digital notarization platform that allows businesses and individuals to collect and notarize documents anywhere, anytime, online.

Occly: A wearable personal safety device with four built-in cameras and audio capture, and an alarm button with 24-hour live monitoring.

Pearl: A certification system that uses technical data on a home’s energy efficiency to create a certification package that agents can use to market a property.

Relola: This app allows real estate pros to capture and share their insights on local listings they’ve viewed. The insights automatically post to the agent’s website and across their social channels.

Trusted Mail: Protect email from phishing attacks and cyber threats with this facial-biometric sign-in.

For more information, visit narreach.com.

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Comment on The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning a Bathtub (Based on the Type of Tub) by larryeiteljorg

Styled, Staged & Sold - Wed, 07/19/2017 - 07:38

Wow ! It is good informative tips for cleaning bathtubs. Which is more useful everyone to maintaining the wonderful bathtubs.

Comment on Hot Home Trend to Watch: The Two-Toned Kitchen by Mike Shrader

Styled, Staged & Sold - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 10:07

I’ve been seeing this trend more often here in Nashville, Tn. as well. Great article!!

Comment on That Small Backyard Can Still Be a Selling Point by Melissa Tracey

Styled, Staged & Sold - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 07:43

Hi Dee – Thanks for sharing the article! And best of luck in your own yard decorating endeavors!
-Melissa Tracey

Comment on Staging Tips for Small Rooms by StarHardware

Styled, Staged & Sold - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 03:15

Really an excellent blog to share. This is always an issue with the small rooms or kitchens that how to design them to make them look better. Thanks for sharing some tips regarding the same. Keep sharing such blogs

Comment on It’s Now Cool to Have Mismatched Fixtures by laminate countertop @expresskitchen

Styled, Staged & Sold - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 02:16

This is a great blog with so much of information about the latest trends and how mismatches are being considered cool these days. Thanks for sharing the blog and helping us with some latest designs and modern trends.