Category Archives: Marketing Tips

Top 5 Features Millennials Look for in a Home

Top 5 Features Millennials Look for in a Home

For generations, homeownership has been part of the American dream. For most Americans, it is the largest, most significant investment they will make, and because homeownership is the best way to grow their wealth, the most important investment as well.

As the youngest generation of new homeowners, millennials are entering the housing market and are eager to get a home to fit their unique lifestyles. Just as every generation has its own music, its distinct style and look, the new generation of homeowners has different expectations than buyers did a few decades ago. To shed some light on these evolving home trends, here are five of the most popular features millennials look for in a home.

  1. It needs to be energy efficient. More than other generations, millennials are particularly concerned with their impact on the environment. As such, they want to be sure the home they buy will have a minimal carbon footprint. Some energy-efficient features that are a priority for homebuyers are UV-protected windows, programmable thermostats, efficient appliances and upgraded insulation.
  2. It needs to be customized to their tastes. It is not enough to find a home that is merely “livable”; millennials want a house that is an outward and inward expression of who they are. Translation: The one-size-fits-all model is no longer sufficient. This is one reason manufactured and modular homes have become so popular. They offer diverse floor plans with a number of customizable options to suit individuals’ needs and unique styles. There are even models with built-in home features for pets!
  3. Rethinking space usage. The era of buying a house as big as you can afford is on the way out. Many millennials are forgoing the extra bedrooms and enormous living rooms. These homebuyers prefer smarter ways to utilize space for their family’s needs, while keeping a cozy and intimate atmosphere.
  4. Open floor plan. In a world where everyone seems to be plugged into their phones and staring at their individual screens, the open floor plan has emerged as a way for families and guests to come together and share the same space. Basically, the fewer walls between the kitchen, dining room and living room, the better. This floor plan also aids homeowners with their entertaining needs and provides more natural light, which is very big for this young generation. 
  1. A room for a home office. The millennial workforce is a mobile workforce, and just as this generation is transforming the home market, it is also transforming the workplace. Millions of Americans work from home and many more are often given the option to work a day or two a week from home. With this shift, many potential homeowners want to be sure there is a suitable workspace for an office.

With evolving needs and different tastes, many millennials worry that they will spend a lot of time searching for that one, perfect dream home, with an emphasis on the perfect open-concept kitchen, with outdoor living areas, and multifunctional spaces. Millennials will bring new buyers to the market, so if you are considering selling your home, let me help you make it market -ready for every generation.

 

DIY Home Upgrades

DIY home upgrade

Do-it-yourself home projects are sweeping the nation, and it is easy to see why. DIY is typically budget-friendly and fulfilling to complete; simply find the right project to match your skill set and needs.

Make a hardware swap. Replacing your kitchen cabinets changes the entire look of your kitchen – but it is expensive and requires considerable skill. For a simpler, smaller project that can still have a big impact, replace the hardware on your cabinets instead. Select the hardware type first, then move on to style. Crisp, sleek hardware goes best with a modern kitchen, while more detailed offerings work well with classic, traditional kitchens.

Refresh your space with a fresh coat of paint. Repainting a wall or room is the perfect way to showcase your style, without breaking the bank. Try going bold with pops of color on an accent wall. It is easy to recreate a space that reflects who you are, without making expensive renovations.

Illuminate a simple change. It does not always take a huge change to reinvent a room; it can be as easy as changing the light fixture. You could choose to repaint your existing chandelier or you could give your ceiling fan a new look by replacing the blades. If you are on the crafty side, try making your own shade for an existing lamp with some of your favorite fabric.

Invite people to your gallery. If you cannot decide on the one perfect image for your wall, then why not go for several? Gallery walls are a great way to show your favorite prints and photos artistically. Pick the wall and apply a fresh coat of paint. Once the wall is ready, pick your photos or prints and set them in frames you love. Now the fun part lay your works of art on an open floor space and rearrange them until you find the perfect layout.

Bring a new vibe to your existing furniture. If a chair or loveseat is starting to show its age, reupholstering it is a great way to give the piece fresh life. Remove the current fabric and replace it with a new fabric of your choosing. Apply staples or stitching to hold the new fabric in place, and that old piece of furniture will have a distinctive new look.

Resolutions: Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em?

baby-new-year1Well folks, it looks like another year is in the books. And as we await the arrival of baby new year, we all tend to ask ourselves: are we going to resolve anything from 2015 for the prospect of a fantastic 2016? Chances are, that answer is yes. There is always room for improvement and it’s this time of year that brings to light all the changes we feel need to be addressed. Health, personal relations, and money are generally at the tops of said changes.

We all know that business for us in the real estate industry slows down in the colder winter months, so this is a perfect time to take stock in what we currently have, and what we need in order to fine tune our business practices to ensure continued success. As a real estate agent, this isn’t your typical 9 to 5 career. There are three arenas that we use in everyday business: an office, the field and an online presence. We can’t let one of these areas slip through the proverbial cracks or our production will suffer. So why not take a moment to re-evaluate what resolutions need to be put into place to make sure you will begin into the new year ready for anything.

First, let’s look at your office. Does your office project a confident, well-organized agent? Is finding necessary documents on your desk simple or more like a game of Marco Polo? Every professional needs to have a clean, organized office to conduct business in. Start with your desk and move outwards. There are literally tons of organizational equipment at your disposal. A desktop organizer, file cabinet and a little shelving will not only present your skills in a professional light, but a good filing system will also make you seem ready for any situation. So take advantage of the newest technologies available to give your office a bit of a makeover. Streamlining your equipment will only improve the daunting task of keeping up with client paperwork.

Speaking of clients, the next area to consider streamlining is how you conduct yourself out in the field. An agent’s on-the-go lifestyle makes running back to the office for forgotten necessities an impossibility. You need to have everything you need within arm’s reach at the drop of a hat, and before technology, it meant lugging around lots of lots of paperwork in the trunk of your car. Today, this isn’t the case. Now everything can be in the palm of your hand if you have the latest equipment. But it isn’t just about a smartphone and a lightweight electronic notebook. You will always need brochures & flyers, a digital camera and who knows? You may even enjoy writing your notes down with a pen & paper. What you need is a fantastic case to carry along with you to showings and client meetings. It should be roomy enough for all of your basic needs, but organized enough that it doesn’t end up looking like a child’s backpack at the end of the day. Having all of your specific tools with you at all times will make any meeting go smoother and will present you as a capable real estate agent ready to help your client any way you can.

Lastly, consider where you’re storing your business. These days, it seems as though everyone is working off of the internet, in something called the “cloud”. What is this cloud everyone speaks of? Well, it’s basically a more efficient way of keeping all of your records electronic and at your fingertips. Having contracts, forms and digital signatures electronic takes all of the thumbs out of flash drives, misplaced emails and backup storage devices. Everything is online and easily accessible, thereby making any document you need ready at a moment’s notice. And when your business revolves around always being on the go, considering these online tools really is a choice worth considering. It isn’t as complex and scary as it looks. So as we are days from the beginnings of a new year, consider stepping out of your comfort zone if it means a stress-free prosperous 2016.

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Funny Business

realtor-sign-doritoWe all know that there is a lot of competition when it comes to the real estate game. There are always new homes going up for sale, buyers looking to find themselves a new place to live and plenty of agents working hard to land some of that business. As a buyer/seller, where do you even begin? All of these decisions make the process not only overwhelming, but extremely stressful. As an agent, it is your job to help alleviate these worries. So ask yourself…what do you do to stand out from the sea of agents ready to help? And once you get the business, what do you do to help your clients rest at ease during this tumultuous time? Lots of agents use their arsenal of knowledge to navigate thru these stormy seas. Sure, it’s incredibly helpful; everyone needs information and knowing what you’re doing is always necessary. But is it really the most ideal approach? Studies have said not quite.

There is an age-old adage: laughter is the best medicine. Apparently, this doesn’t just pertain to doctors. According to a study conducted by Baylor University’s Keller Center, when asked to choose a real estate agent, clients were more likely to choose the agent with a sense of humor. You heard it right…in a day and age where society is looking for humor in their news (ala Jon Stewart & Steven Colbert), people are asking for someone to lighten up stressful situations with a bit of humor, not just facts and statistics. And the benefits are two-fold; not only do you help your client calm their nerves, but you also build a reputation for being a well-rounded agent, thus bringing in more business. It’s a win-win!

But is real estate a funny business? From the surface, one would say no. There’s nothing all that hilarious about the process required to turn structures into homes. The key is to look deeper into the industry and process itself. It’s not about turning into a clown. It’s all about the subtlety of the delivery. Throw a pun or two into your marketing tactics and listings. Add some funny cartoons or YouTube videos to your social media pages. Make light of a tough situation by spinning a whopper of a tale to relax a stressed out client. Keeping things short and sweet for a quick chuckle is always going to bring a positive result. It’s all about building a rapport and making yourself relatable. You don’t need to be a comedic genius, you just need to be able to make a client feel comfortable in your hands. Keeping a smile on your clients’ faces will not only help the homebuying/homeselling process, but chances are, you will have a client for life.

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Mr. DeMille, I’m Ready for My Close Up

closeupThere is an idiom that has stood the test of time: seeing is believing. And when it comes to spending money, it is a rarity that we ever purchase something based on description alone. Not only do we check on the product reviews of others, but we rely on a visual picture in order to be fully convinced to part with our hard-earned cash. Nothing proves this truer than when it comes to buying property. According to the 2014 NAR® Home Buyers and Sellers profile, buyers rank listing photos as the number 1 most valuable website feature – even higher than the listing’s description! These days, 92% of people looking for a new home rely on the internet to begin their process so it seem only natural that photos are preferred over just a written description. And now that you have found yourself a home to sell, it’s time to get it ready for that photo shoot.

First, you need to speak with your home-owning clients. You have already walked through the home with them, giving suggestions to make things ready for the future showings. Now it is time to give everything some final touches so that the photo shoot goes smoothly. A great tip is to ask your professional photographer (because you shouldn’t be taking the photos on your own) for a checklist your clients can reference in order to get things camera-ready. In fact, this list can also work double-time as a handy tool for those upcoming showing days.

When it comes to the interior of the home, the added touches are all pretty simple. Keep the toilet seat down, clothes in the hamper, toiletries and other personal products hidden from view. One way to give your clients a point of reference is to have a quick tour once a housecleaner professionally cleans the place so everything has a place and the home is picture perfect. As for the exterior, you should have your clients keep the yard clean as a whistle. Keep cars in the garage and/or parked from view, landscaping tidy and trash cans & toys picked up and out of the way. The cleaner the property is kept, the easier it will be for you to photograph and show to prospective buyers.

When it comes to the actual photo shoot, the only proper way to go is with a professional photographer. Find one that understands the business and express exactly what it is that you’re looking for. Before each shoot, show the photographer certain aspects of the home that should be featured in the photos. The more you can show these special features to your prospective buyers, the easier it will be to book showings and, ultimately, sell the home. Build a relationship with them so that you can move through these shoots like a team and make the photos the very best they can be.

After all, a picture is worth a thousand words…

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