January 21, 2017

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Comment on Show Off a Home’s Dining Space by Blake Rounkles from Idealhomesforyou

Styled, Staged & Sold - Sun, 12/18/2016 - 20:37

I love the concept. I will have to use this idea more in my photos.

Comment on Meet Our Bloggers by dave

Styled, Staged & Sold - Sun, 12/18/2016 - 20:05

I have the same question as above- Do you guys accept any guest bloggers? I really like some of the articles here and have a few ideas / articles I could contribute if it was allowed.

Comment on Prefab Housing: What It Really Is and Why You Should Care by Karen

Styled, Staged & Sold - Sun, 12/18/2016 - 13:21

Along the lines of “what’s old in new,” let’s not forget Sears & Roebuck which sold approximately 70,000 Home Kits from roughly 1908 to 1940. And no, this is not where we get “Craftsman.” Craftsman is/was a name assigned to their tool line and had nothing to do with homes. In case anyone is interested, you can read the history of the “kit home” at – Quite an interesting read; and do check out the prices which were quite high for the time period.

Thanks Melissa! I keep coming back to your blog and am never disappointed!

Comment on Meet Our Bloggers by Lodha Meridian

Styled, Staged & Sold - Fri, 12/16/2016 - 01:05

Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

Comment on Top Kitchen Design Trends for 2016 by ExpressKitchens

Styled, Staged & Sold - Wed, 12/14/2016 - 03:56

I love all these amazing kitchen interior designs. I love most the first and third design a lot. Pocket door is also amazing. I will surely implement such ideas during my home renovation.

REALTORS® Get In On the Mannequin Challenge

Speaking of Real Estate - Mon, 12/12/2016 - 13:28

For those who haven’t heard, the Mannequin Challenge, an online video challenge where people freeze in place to enact a still scene while someone takes a video of it, went viral in the last couple of months. The challenge, which started with teens capturing moments of adolescent life, has grown in popularity among people of all ages — and now real estate professionals are even joining the fun.

Members of the Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® went stiff for the challenge during the Triple Play REALTOR® Convention & Trade Expo in Atlantic City, N.J., earlier this month. The idea to take part in the online challenge came from Jesicca Skoloda, YPN chair for the Luzerne County Association of REALTORS®. Check out PAR’s video above. Think your association could do better?

FIRPTA Withholding Rate Increased to 15 Percent for High-End Properties Commercial Headlines - Mon, 12/12/2016 - 10:00

Good news for the U.S. commercial real estate industry: The Protecting American Taxpayers from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act includes two very positive FIRPTA provisions that are conservatively estimated to boost foreign investment in U.S. commercial real estate by $20-$30 billion per year.

However, as part of a package of tax changes to “pay for” the two provisions, Congress also included an increase in the FIRPTA withholding rate from 10 percent to 15 percent. It should be noted that residences purchased from foreign persons will not be affected by the higher withholding rate... Read More

Comment on Prefab Housing: What It Really Is and Why You Should Care by Jacqueline Balcells

Styled, Staged & Sold - Fri, 12/09/2016 - 11:33

On average, what are the cost benefits to the buyer?

Comment on View the Same Property Staged 3 Different Ways by Green Mountain

Styled, Staged & Sold - Fri, 12/09/2016 - 04:34

Were all these done using virtual staging? It looks so real! I used to be a skeptic about using virtual resources to stage homes; I felt it got too close to misrepresentation, especially if the sizes aren’t taken into account. But this looks so good I might have to reconsider!

Top 3 Mistakes Agents Make on the Phone

YPN Lounge - Thu, 12/08/2016 - 15:54

Alexis Craig

By Alexis Craig

Why are so many digital marketing companies saying that prospecting over the phone is dead, while they try to sell you over a cold call?

I don’t care that my mom likes to ignore my calls, prospecting on the phone isn’t dead. It can be an effective sales channel when used right. The problem is that most agents are still prospecting on the phone like it’s the 1950s. They use scripts that my grandpa used.

Inbound marketing—things like SEO and content marketing—work well because it allows people to come to you at their convenience without interruption. If you could use the phone while accomplishing the same goals as inbound marketing, then you’ll increase your business and close more sales.

Today, we’ll look at the three mistakes that every agent makes, ensuring your phone calls don’t produce any results. But before we do, I want to get into how you need to be thinking about phone calls.

The Psychology of Calling

People are busy. Everyone, including you and me, is running around like a chicken with their head cut off. We have a huge list of things to do: pick up the kids… call Tom… build a multi-million dollar business…

Talking on the phone takes a lot of work. We have to put all of our focus and effort when we talk to people. That’s why we hate talking on the phone nowadays—it means we have to stop what we’re doing to talk to you.

@unsplash, 2016.

People don’t hate talking on the phone. Whoever says that doesn’t understand reality. We’ve just packed our lives so full that we feel like we don’t have time to take a phone call. That’s why texting or emailing is often preferred—people can do it while they’re multitasking.

If you want to be effective with your phone calls, you have to do two things:

  1. Make sure your phone call isn’t interrupting people and they expect it.

  2. Get people to value taking your phone call to the point they are willing to sacrifice time on their projects.

Mistake One: Calling Cold

Never. Ever. Call cold. By cold calling, I mean someone you aren’t connected with in some way and isn’t expecting your call. There is no advantage to calling cold and is almost never received well. How do you feel when a complete stranger calls you?

You need some sort of introduction or referral if possible. If you’re calling a friend of your client, this is okay. Your client gave you their information and you have a warm introduction. But a lot of new agents like to call FSBOs without any warning. How do you think these homeowners feel when they get 20 other calls?

I know. You’re probably saying you don’t have a warm connection. That’s fine. Introduce yourself first with a sales letter. I watched my conversion increase when I did this with open house leads. Before, I use to call open house leads the day after the event. People often were short and snippy with me. I hated calling because it made me feel like a slime ball. Instead, we started sending emails the day after that thanked them for coming and told them I would be calling. This way, anyone who didn’t want to take my call wouldn’t, and I would talk to those who were willing.

Mistake Two: Getting Into the Pitch

This has to be my biggest grievance with people. A few months ago, I was interested in hearing from a digital marketing company built for real estate agents. As soon as I hopped on the phone, they immediately launched into their sales pitch without understanding a single thing about my business. They didn’t ask about my goals and where I currently am in business. They had no idea if I was a good fit for them or if their services could even help me. It’s a shame because I liked what they had to offer. I refused to buy from them simply because they had no idea if it could help my business.

It told me they were more interested in making the sale than building a relationship with me. They try to call every so often, but I have blocked their number. Selling from the start is rude and very disrespectful. Not everyone can and will use your product—that also goes for you as an agent.

Mistake Three: Alternative Choice Close

This is an old tactic and I’m still surprised to see scripts with this kind of close. It comes across as pushy. You don’t want to be seen that way in your business. Even if you manage to get an appointment from this tactic, it generally leads to high rate of “no-call-no-shows.” That’s because the prospect didn’t want it. They just agreed to do it so that they were polite.

Don’t try to trick people. If someone doesn’t want to schedule an appointment, move on. Part of being a successful real estate agent is adopting an abundance mindset and believing there are plenty of fish in the sea. Put your prospect in a follow up campaign, don’t be so eager to make the sale or get that appointment scheduled.


  • People don’t talk on the phone because they are busy.

  • Make sure your prospect expects your phone calls.

  • All calls should add value and focus on building relationships with your prospects.

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



Comment on Prefab Housing: What It Really Is and Why You Should Care by Nick Lowry

Styled, Staged & Sold - Thu, 12/08/2016 - 08:59

Prefab homes also have another perk: they reduce labor needs for builders. In my area, there’s a big labor shortage, especially for more specialty-builds. As the lack of labor draws costs up, looking to prefab designs is often just a win-win. Factory-made elements are I think, much better for the guys actually providing the labor. Pre-fabrication sites often result in less accidents and injuries, and probably add to quality of life. Not needing to travel to dozens of job-sites or work in the elements… I’d take that, any day.

NAR's 2016 MIPIM Recap Commercial Headlines - Thu, 12/08/2016 - 02:00

MIPIM, one of the largest real estate property events in the world, brings together the most influential players from all international property sectors - office, residential, retail, healthcare, sport, logistics and industrial, offering unrivaled access to the greatest number of development projects and sources of capital worldwide. This past March, MIPIM drew over 23,000 attendees from 89 countries countries, and included 2,400 exhibiting companies and 4,800 investors. NAR returned to host an expanded USA Pavilion to increase awareness of commercial and... Read More

May 2016 Economic and Commercial Real Estate Outlook Commercial Headlines - Thu, 12/08/2016 - 02:00

These slides were presented by NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun at the Commercial Economic Issues & Trends Forum at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Expo in Washington, DC, on May 12, 2016.

Lending Remains Largest Concern for Commercial Real Estate Market, Say Realtors® Commercial Headlines - Thu, 12/08/2016 - 02:00

WASHINGTON (May 13, 2016) — Realtors® specializing in commercial real estate expressed confidence in the continued recovery seen in the market but concern over the availability of commercial financing, during a commercial economic issues and trends forum at the 2016 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.

National Association of Realtors® Chief Economist Lawrence Yun discussed the forces affecting commercial markets and said that while the overall market is seeing continued recovery, trepidation remains about the availability of... Read More

New Lead Risk Reduction Credit Commercial Headlines - Thu, 12/08/2016 - 02:00

The EPA that the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Pilot Credit program has announced a newly available “Lead Risk Reduction Pilot Credit.”  Its intent is to reduce adverse health impacts and environmental pollution in buildings through the implementation of improved maintenance and lead-safe work practices, and to provide staff with the necessary information they need to promote lead-safe practices.  It specifically focuses on lead paint in dust, soil, and water.  In order to qualify for the... Read More

Quiz: Commercial Real Estate Lending Trends Commercial Headlines - Thu, 12/08/2016 - 02:00

The information from this quiz was taken from the NAR report Commercial Real Estate Lending Trends.

Commercial Lending Trends Survey Commercial Headlines - Thu, 12/08/2016 - 02:00
  • Commercial real estate (CRE) notched another year of growth in 2015, favored by continued macroeconomic growth and broadening capital markets.
  • Commercial vacancy rates declined for the core property types. Availability is expected to continue contracting for office, industrial and retail properties in 2016.
  • Vacancies for apartments are estimated to rise, due to gains in supply.
  • Commercial rents have risen across the board, and are projected to advance this year in the 2.5 percent to 4.0 percent range.
  • ... Read More

Webinar: Changes to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) Commercial Headlines - Thu, 12/08/2016 - 02:00

Learn about residential and commercial tax implications and compliance with the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act.

Get Ready for Lease Accounting Rule Changes Commercial Headlines - Thu, 12/08/2016 - 02:00

Commercial real estate opportunities are expected to come out of changes to accounting rules that take effect soon. The Financial Accounting Standards Board is rolling out new rules on lease accounting and that will spur companies that own or lease real estate to evaluate the right mix of real estate for them. NAR Government Affairs provides a report.