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I just have to re-blog Kathy's post because I still keep hearing about agents and homeowners who don't see the value in staging. This is the second one I've read lately that sold immediately after staging. Now that 80%+ homebuyers begin their search on the Internet, it's those beautiful photos of staged homes that draw their interest and make them eager to see the homes. And, when they get there, it's that expert staging that creates the feelings that trigger the emotions that lead to the sale. I'm disabling comments ... please let Kathy know what you think!
Via (0 comments)
Being a New Real Estate Agent - My First Listings - 11/30/10 01:57 AM
This is a follow-up to my earlier post about my first days as a real estate agent - way back in 1985. I thought I'd continue on and tell you about my first two listings - so new agents who are feeling frustrated will see that someday they'll look back and laugh... After a couple of months sitting around the office, I did finally get two listings. Not because I knew anything about marketing at that point, but because I was the one there on floor day when the people called. I'll never forget that first listing appointment. It was (10 comments)
My First Days as a Real Estate Agent - 11/29/10 03:47 PM
Last night I was going through some old files and came across something I'd written about my frist days in real estate. Things have changed considerably since 1985, so I doubt that any new agents today will run into the same kind of crazy events. But you might get a chuckle from them just the same... In those days we took a test and then waited a couple of weeks for the results... a nerve-wracking experience. Then when the letter finally arrived saying you'd passed, you had to fill out the paperwork and mail a check to get the actual license. (9 comments)
True Story: My Daughter was Lured with a Text Message!!!!! - 11/28/10 02:56 PM
Sarah's message below is an alert that every text messager should read and heed. Her daughter was fortunate in that she had second thoughts before becoming a victim. So if you have kids with phones, share this story with them! Via Sarah Moore (RE/MAX SIGNATURE PROPERTIES): Today,everyone has a mobile phone. If you are like most, you LOVE TO TEXT! I will admit that I had not really enjoyed texting until this past year but found out convenient it is! My teenager daughter texts all the time, to my frustration! Recently her phone stopped working and we had to get her a (4 comments)
I just have to share this... the job that Maureen Bray did on staging this house is so dramatic and so impressive! All home sellers should see this kind of before and after pictures so they'd realize what a difference it can make to hire a professional stager. Buyers know they don't get the furniture - but the emotional impact created by the right furnishings can be the trigger that makes them choose one home over another. P.S. I'm disabling comments here - because Maureen deserves to hear your praise about her beautiful work! Please go tell her!
A Qualified Buyer in Winter is Generally a Very Serious Buyer - 11/26/10 01:29 PM
I think Michael has hit the nail on the head with this. People who endure winter weather to go house hunting really want a house! That's why I encourage agents to keep on prospecting between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Just like home sellers, you as agents will have less competition, because so many agents buy into the old saw that "nothing is going on" for the next several weeks. So get out there and look for those serious sellers and serious buyers! Via Michael Delaware, CRS, e-Pro (Troxel Realty Co. LLC): A qualified buyer in winter is generally a very serious buyer. If you (6 comments)
Paying it Forward As the Safety Net - 11/25/10 06:44 PM
What we do today to pay it forward is something that wouldn't even have merited a mention a few years ago: "being there" for the neighbors. Once upon a time it was simply the accepted way of life. But today... many neighbors don't even know each other. Today our elderly neighbors set off on a 50 mile drive to enjoy Thanksgiving with their son, his wife, and her extended family. They've debated all week about whether to go, because the heavy snow warnings are in effect. Finally, this morning it didn't look bad, so they decided to go for it. They (13 comments)
To Heck With Looks! - 11/24/10 02:51 AM
Tonight I raided my pile of extra blankets and tacked them up over the sliding glass doors both upstairs and here by my desk in my basement office. It looks awful, but that darned thermometer on the kitchen window is reading 2 degrees! And, in spite of what the window salesmen claim, even "good" windows do let in the cold. Brrrr... I'm sure thankful that I do have a good house with plenty of insulation, a wood stove that keeps me far warmer than the propane furnace used to, and an electric blanket! Now if I just didn't need to go (9 comments)
With $220 in Savings, I'd Activate the Law of Attraction - 11/23/10 12:58 PM
With an extra $220 in my pocket, I'd take a giant leap of faith and order two tons of hay - activating the Law of Attraction to find me a perfect new horse. Last year we lost Max to old age and the ravages of arthritis; the year before we lost my Arab gelding to cancer - and this place feels empty without a horse in the pasture. Now that Max is gone, I want a horse I can ride. The trouble is, finding a good horse isn't easy - especially if you don't have many thousands to spend on a (3 comments)
It Takes Fertilizer to Make Things Grow - 11/22/10 02:41 PM
Real estate agents generally have “farm” areas, where they plant the seeds for their business to grow, then cultivate the relationships. They add the sunshine, rain, and fertilizer by staying in touch, becoming involved in the community, and more. I’ve been thinking about that fertilizer lately after reading Carra Riley’s excellent book: Cosmic Cow Pie ... Connecting the Dots. When talking with Carra about it, she mentioned that the cosmic cow pies were good for us – because they’re the fertilizer that helps us grow. I agree. Without the threat of a splat in the face now and then to (5 comments)
The Mystery of How Computer Programs Think - 11/22/10 01:03 AM
When you send an email through Active Rain, do you have problems? I sure do. Here's how it goes... The little box pops up, already pre-populated with my email address. I write the message, try to decipher the garbled letters to enter to show that I'm a real person. Then I hit send. Then the message pops up saying "Invalid email address." So I start over and enter my other email address and the message goes through. Yesterday I decided to skip that step so I wouldn't have to decode those letters twice. Nope - "Invalid email address." So I started (9 comments)
Too Many Dogs - Friends Help Pay it Forward - 11/21/10 03:07 AM
Last night at midnight my dogs asked to go out, as is usual. I opened the back door and they immediately flew off barking, chasing something. I yelled "leave the cat alone" and then looked - that was no cat. Instead, it was a monster dog... and his smaller companion. I had a huge St. Bernard and a German Shepherd in my yard - and my dogs were not thrilled about it. Not knowing if the dogs were friendly or aggressive I started yelling at my own to get back in the house and the two smaller ones came pretty willingly. (6 comments)
Tired of Anti-American Schools and Businesses - 11/20/10 02:38 AM
This week I read a story about a young boy who was told that he could not fly his American flag on his bicycle on school grounds - because it offended other students. Last spring another American school demanded that students remove hats with American insignias and turn their shirts inside out because they promoted America, and that was offensive. Every now and then we hear about a retail store that won't allow employees to wear American flag pins on their lapels. I don't know about you, but I'm tired of it. If I was the parent of any of those (9 comments)
A Paying it Forward Story I had to share - 11/18/10 01:12 AM
Since I've been pretty much stuck to my keyboard and the phone all week, my own pay it forward efforts have been pretty wimpy. About all I've managed to do is send out a few Tweets to promote other people, go help my elderly neighbor with a short "fix-it" and let a friend cry on my shoulder for a while because she just needed to "get it out." And of course, I'm remembering to vote for the kitties of Conrad Strays every day: http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/clickToGive/shelterchallenge.faces?siteId=3 But a "Pay it Forward" story I heard from another friend tonight made me feel so good, (7 comments)
Look at the Good Side of these Statistics - 11/15/10 03:26 PM
Today I've been writing articles for a credit reporting site, so doing some extensive research on credit scores. What I found could be good news or bad news, depending upon your attitude. I learned that the average credit score in the U.S. has fallen from 676 in January to 666 in October. Not good news, considering that you need a score of 720 or so to get good rates on a home mortgage. (My research gave me numbers that said everything from 720 to 760 for the top rates, but the number mentioned most often was 720.) According to more research, (9 comments)
As a New Agent, I Gave a Lot of Money Away... Bad Tammy, Bad Tammy! - 11/14/10 07:12 PM
Tammy tells a great story here - about how she got off on the wrong foot in real estate sales - such a wrong foot that she left the business. But then... she found her true niche helping other agents succeed. Her story caught my attention because it is somewhat paralell to my own - Except I spent 19 years as a real estate agent and loved most of those years. Then my interests changed and I realized that what I loved most was helping other agents get more customers and clients. Finding our "right place" is something we should all (13 comments)
What if we started looking for the good news? - 11/14/10 02:50 PM
What if, instead of giving attention to all the bad news, we started paying attention to the good news and the good feelings? According to the Law of Attraction, we'd start getting more Good News and more good feelings. What if, instead of thinking about the 20% or so of the population that is currently unemployed, we thought about the people who still have good jobs? What if, instead of thinking about the people who have gone through foreclosure or short sales and can't buy a new home for a while, real estate agents started thinking about the people who have (30 comments)
Thank you! Paying it forward for the rescued kitties got results! - 11/13/10 07:22 PM
When I wrote a few days ago about Conrad Strays and their attempt to reach #1 for Idaho in the Animal Rescue Site Shelter Challenge, they were ranked at #2. Thanks to Active Rainers who clicked to vote, and to the other friends in my email address book, they've now made it to #1. I'm sure the competition will be stiff these next few weeks, because the other shelter isn't far behind. So if you have a couple of extra minutes, please do go vote again.We can each vote once a day until the contest ends at the end of December. (2 comments)
Lest we forget... - 11/11/10 06:14 PM
My friend Carolyne from www.Carolyne.com gave me permission to re-use her post. And since this is Veterans Day, and her message is so important, it seemed like a darned good idea. The only trouble is, even reading it a second time, my eyes have gotten all blurry... War-baby Remembers Being a war-baby, my first memories of childhood are hearing BBC London radio broadcasts here in Canada, Churchill's voice, newspapers showing pictures of him with his big cigar (why would a child remember that?), and looking up to see B52 bombers flying so low overhead that it seemed you could reach up (6 comments)
Survey Results: When Do Agents Visit Active Rain the Most? - 11/11/10 05:19 PM
The survey results are in… Not at all scientific because 8 respondents is a pretty small sampling of Active Rain users. But interesting anyway. I learned that people who read my posts are generally in the Eastern or Mountain time zones. One in Central, and one in Hawaii. That was interesting to me, because the majority of my copywriting clients are either in the Eastern or Central time zones. Half say they read AR posts every day, half say almost every day. 87.5% say they usually comment on the blogs they read. What do they read: Latest posts: 75% The (11 comments)
Paying it Forward for the Kitties - 11/11/10 02:54 AM
Do you know about the Petsmart Shelter Challenge? Every few months they hold a contest to see what shelter can get the most votes over a period of time. The one with the most votes overall gets a large prize, and the one with the most votes in each state wins $1,000. This small cat rescue really needs our help... Today I communicated with a lady named Teresa Conrad, who runs a Cat rescue called Conrad Strays down in Middleton, Idaho. She's pretty much a one-woman operation, with a few foster families who help care for some of the cats (5 comments)
If You Haven't Stayed In Touch With Past Clients, Contact Them Ahead of the Holidays - 11/09/10 05:31 PM
You know you should be staying in touch with past clients all year round, but if you’ve gotten busy and let this slide, do it now! Why is now so important? Because the holidays are right around the corner. People will be moving around, visiting more than normal, and thus – talking a lot. Some of your buyers will have out of town guests, and some of them will be out of town guests in other communities. And because the mortgage meltdown is very much on people’s minds right now, they’ll probably be talking about real estate. At least a (53 comments)
I don't know if it was dangerous or not, but... - 11/07/10 05:42 PM
Better safe than sorry! Today I got an email from one of my copywriting clients - and it looked suspicious. So before I clicked the link I wrote to ask her if she'd sent it. And no, she had not. This email had no subject line and the entire message consisted of a link. It showed that "she" had sent this link to about 8 of us... but I don't know if they were other people from her address book or not. Apparently, we aren't the only ones who got the message. When she wrote back to tell me not (10 comments)
Collecting e-mail leads - 11/07/10 01:16 AM
If you aren't involved in direct response marketing, you may never have heard of Bob Bly. He's one of the "big names" in that arena, and he writes for several different magazines both in print and on line. Tonight I read his e-letter and came across an interesting tidbit, which I'll insert here with his permission. ***Take an e-list-building tip from The Motley Fool*** Each month, The Motley Fool adds 100,000 new names to its e-list by offering free online reports to the 4 million unique visitors that come to its web site. Importantly, the only information they collect on (10 comments)
If You Live in D.C. or a State Capital... - 11/06/10 05:11 PM
If you live in one of those cities where politicians will be coming and going as a result of the elections, and if you work as a buyer's agent - this is a great time to get some prospecting letters out in the mail. A few of the new office holders may already live there, but look and see how many do not. Then do what it takes to find their home addresses. If you write and offer to send them a good list of homes for sale, neighborhood information, or whatever else they might want, you might be the only (2 comments)
About those Website and Blog Graphics - 11/05/10 06:54 PM
It seems like there's a lot of controversy over the use of photos and other graphics on our blogs and websites. Some say they add interest and cause more people to read the text. Others say they detract from the message. Personally, I enjoy the graphics I see here on Active Rain, and I try to find photos to go with my posts when I can. (I even bought some graphics software that did nothing but mess up my computer.) I've decided against getting upset over it, so now if I don't have anything that "fits" I don't worry about it. (9 comments)
Pay it Forward - My Good Deed for This Week - 11/05/10 03:04 AM
Our nearest neighbors are a couple in their mid-80's who sometimes need help with doctoring their cattle, mending a fence, installing a new light fixture, etc. Most of the time it's my husband who goes to help, except when it's the typewriter that won't work. Every time they ask me to fix that I pray that I'll be successful one more time. So far so good. But on Monday my neighbor called to tell me that his daughter-in-law had sent them a new phone and FAX machine. He asked if I would come and set them up for them. I put (10 comments)
Dog Safety on the Cheap - 11/04/10 02:24 AM
We live in "hunting country" where it really isn't safe to be out walking around in the woods at this time of year without wearing hunter orange. So when my husband wanted to go looking for firewood, we had to figure out how to keep Ralph safe. I went to the local thrift shop in search of something made of orange so I could make Ralph a "hunter orange vest." I found an orange t-shirt that I thought would work. But as long as I was there I picked up a bag of rags. My husband goes through a lot of (20 comments)
If You Use Video in Marketing - 11/03/10 01:30 AM
More and more marketers are using video these days - in real estate and everything else. I expect that's a good thing in some instances - like when you want to take people on a tour through a home for sale and show them around the property. But it does have drawbacks. I am technologically challenged, so I have no idea what the difference is between one video and another. But I know that smart marketers have figured out the way to make their videos load and play smoothly on my satellite connection, while others have not. People send me videos (7 comments)
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