Category Archives: Going Green

Life on the Farm: The Urban Farmer

Backyard-Farming

As we get closer to the end of long summer days and begin our courtship with autumn’s harvest moons, it is worth mentioning a new trend appearing in the housing market: the backyard farm. With society becoming more and more health & environmentally conscious, folks are beginning to take matters into their own hands, or yards. Fresh fruits and vegetable gardens are sprouting up, bees are being cultivated and there are even a few instances of livestock where you aren’t used to finding them – the city.

Having a backyard farm is not something to be taken lightly. A lot of work goes into creating this type of backyard. There are rules that need to be followed and making sure it’s all up to code with the city and/or an HOA takes some time and effort. Of course, then there’re always the neighbors. If having things like bees or chickens is something that suits your fancy, making sure it’s good with everyone surrounding you is something that must be done. No one wants to be shocked awake every morning by a rooster or stung by a bee while swimming in their pool on a warm day. Keeping everything kosher may involve some bribery, like a BBQ or some home-brewed beer as a token of appreciation for being so cool with things. But once all of the politics are cleared up, the fun can begin.

But what does that do to the sale of a home? How does a buyer see this built-in responsibility? Is it a perk or a deal-breaker? I suppose, it all depends on the buyer. What you need to do as a realtor is show the upside of having this type of yard. Mention the fantastic condition the soil is in from seasons of use and how much money could be saved by growing their own. Make sure the hives or coops are in good condition so it is seen as a pleasure rather than as a hassle. Stage the home with the fruits from the garden. Create a centerpiece of tomatoes or squash blossoms and make sure to highlight areas where vegetation grows best, like an herb garden windowsill. Features like chicken runs and raised garden beds have not only been cared for, but can also be repurposed to suit the new owner’s needs, for example turned into safe place for a dog to exercise. Those that are into sustainable practices, will be excited that steps were already taken before they have even moved in and those with pets could be excited that there is a designated place for their pet to run without disturbing the overall landscape.

The point is to focus on promoting these landscapes as lifestyle-friendly features that can be easily modified to fit needs of new homeowners. In fact, knowing in depth the rules and regulations that may affect the sale of a property will only benefit your business, as a real estate agent. Having knowledge a client can use when deciding on a new home purchase is a win-win situation. Put tips about seasonal vegetation or an article on how to keep a garden vibrant into your newsletter. Even folks that have a plant or two can benefit from this facet of your real estate repertoire.

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Selling Homes on the Go

_tma_virtual office

To be successful in anything you do, preparation is involved. We need to be ready for anything at any time in order to prove that we are right for the job. Before the electronic age ravaged our society, everything was dealt with at a much slower pace. Today, that’s not the case.

We all know that the real estate world is a very interactive profession. Not only are you trying to get your brand out to the public as much as possible, but your properties need to reach your client base as well. Clients are no longer willing to wait for an appointment, or for you “to get back with them.” A study done by National Assoc. of Realtors and Google revealed that 89% of new-home shoppers are using mobile search engines & apps for all of their house-hunting needs. They want answers and they want answers now.

This put a realtor in a position to be always Boy Scout ready. And since we can only do so much as a human, we are now relying more on technology. No longer are the days of lugging around tons of paperwork. Now a realtor needs to lug around a smartphone & a tablet, and consequently, extra batteries & chargers. It really is a magical time!

But with all power comes great responsibility. And with this immediacy, you are now expected to have all the answers at your fingertips. Thankfully, there are tools our there to prepare you for everything.

Cut to the chase

The majority of Gmail & Yahoo email users check their emails via a mobile device, so grabbing their attention needs to be direct and to the point within the subject line & header. Otherwise, it can easily be overlooked and/or deleted, thereby wasting all your hard work. Keep it simple. Stay in touch with your virtual clients via our csutom e-newsletter: it is the same as getting the printed version, but paperless.

Your mobile office

Apps like Dropbox & Evernote are just a couple of the endless list of apps available for you to keep all of your paperwork, files, & contact information at your fingertips. Faxes should be sent to your email, as opposed to the machine in your office. These days, your office needs to be virtual, and there is no reason why it shouldn’t be.

Showing houses the virtual way

Additionally, the virtual showing of a home is no longer a fantasy, but the way of the future. Programs like Facetime & Skype are allowing agents to show a property to a client without them being there. Take pictures & videos of your listings so your client base can view virtual tours on your website. The easier a buyer can navigate through the home-buying process, the more successful you will be. So take full advantage of the incredible advances created to streamline life as a realtor…just don’t forget to sync up.

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Always Love Your Mother Because You Will Never Get Another

Mother_Earth

She feeds us, helps us breathe and provides us all of the tools we need to survive. She even keeps us from wandering off, lost in the universe. The term “Mother Earth” isn’t that far off base. So, as we approach the holiday we celebrate our birth mothers, today is the day we stop for a moment and pay our respects to our mother planet.

Just like our mother-appreciating holiday, we shouldn’t leave this special love to only one day… It should be given all year ‘round. Unfortunately, us kids are pretty selfish for the most part and don’t respect our elders as much as we should. She doesn’t ask for much, but for some reason even the easiest requests always feel like a dreadful hassle. But if we want our allowance, we really need to get on the ball. So let’s take care of Ma Earth for a day. It’s the least we can do for all that she does for us.

Clean up your room. Litterbugs are generally thought of as the annoying pests of our society. Making a mess everywhere you go helps no one. So don’t be lazy. Pick up after yourself. Organize a group & pick up a beach or a park. Even the smallest groups can make an impact. And most importantly recycle, recycle, recycle. Turn in your cans & bottles for money. Repurpose anything into something magically new. Donate your unused stuff to someone who could use it. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure…

Make your bed. It always starts at home. Saving energy & natural resources really doesn’t need a lot of time or money. Change incandescent lightbulbs to fluorescent & change out air filters. Turn off lights when you leave the room and the sink while you brush your teeth. Make sure your faucets don’t leak. A little bit of upkeep can save you money and the planet its resources.

Eat your veggies. Let’s face it… We really need to start eating better. Studies continually show up about pesticides and how great organic is. So how about we quit feeding the dog all of our nutritious food? Plant a garden & use organic pesticides. Add trees & shrubs for some good ol’ carbon dioxide. Take more walks or bike rides and fill the air with carbon dioxide & not with vehicle emissions. The less bad stuff we put into our bodies, the happier we will all be.

Get along with your brother & sister. The key to keeping Mother Earth happy is if we all work together. It isn’t good enough for her to have her proverbial “favorite kids”. We all need to fight for her love. We can do that by looking after one another. The following infographic shows how a seller’s GREEN home is growing in popularity for buyers. It is a slow progress but a progress nonetheless. So spread the word. Add graphics like this and other helpful tips to your custom newsletter. Let your clients know that you’re looking out for them too. After all, isn’t the key to our time on this planet to live by the motto “Each One, Teach One”?

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