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Sprinkling the Holidays Into Your Listings

Dec 13, 2018 by

The season is upon us, and now is not the time to ignore your business—especially your listings—but rather, a great time to make it stand out.

That said, here are a few tips to help infuse your staging, listing photos and open houses with a bit of holiday spirit to grab the attention of potential buyers. Just remember: Run your ideas by your seller and don’t go overboard. You want to attract buyers, not push them away!

  1. Depersonalize it. Whenever showing your seller’s house, the general rule is to keep personal information about them out of sight. Holiday photos and personalized decorations, like pictures from the family hay ride or Christmas stockings with the kids’ names on them, should therefore be stored during showings.
  1. Simplify it. While highlighting the holiday season, to draw positive attention to your listing, you want to ensure the property itself is the main attraction. You don’t need to fill the home with an abundant amount of colored lights, tinsel and trees to make it look festive. A few red, silver and gold touches can generate that same holiday feel without being obnoxious.
  1. Keep it classic. A simple wreath on the door or garland over the fireplace will be more universally appealing than an inflatable Santa or life-size Nativity scene. To appeal to more buyers, minimize or eliminate overtly religious symbols.
  1. Accentuate positive features. A bland mantle can look impressive with the right decorative touches. Bay windows can be accentuated with the right seasonal color scheme. A simple staircase can turn into a must-have feature if you present it right. Use seasonal decorating to draw attention to the details that make your listing different from others on the market.
  1. Sometimes a holiday scent is all that is needed. Winter wick potpourri, freshly baked cookies, scented pinecones, pine-scented air fresheners…there are many ways to create a seasonal scent. Just try not to overwhelm visitors. The fragrance should be a pleasant background effect, not a nasal assault.

Do you find yourself spending valuable time and resources marketing your listings without really knowing what you’re getting in return? How many of your leads are calling because of listing flyers you left at a new listings? How many picked up your card at an open house? If you aren’t sure what effect, if any, your marketing is having on your business, the Holiday Marketing for Real Estate eBook can help.

Patty McNease is director of Marketing for Homes.com. For more information, please visit marketing.homes.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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Focusing on Yourself Over the Holidays

Dec 3, 2018 by

There are so many things to love about the holiday season, but sometimes we forget that. We get caught up in coordinating events, stressing about hosting and trying to manage conflicts between family members. One thing that’s been proven to lessen this kind of stress is reminding one’s self to carve out “me time” on a regular basis. Here are a few ways you can do that:

Set your alarm.
While waking up when it’s still dark and cold out is not everybody’s favourite chore, even setting your alarm for 30 minutes earlier can give you a chance to greet the day before the morning chaos has begun. Enjoy your coffee in peace and take this time to reflect.

Use your benefits.
If you have the luxury of a workplace that provides benefits, check and see if they provide you with coverage for a certain amount of massage therapy. Since most people’s benefits expire at the end of the year, this is an ideal time for you to book a relaxing massage and have it covered.

Scrap the desk lunch.
During a busy workday, it can seem like a better use of time to keep your workflow chugging along as you simultaneously scarf down a lunchtime sandwich or salad at your desk. The risk, of course, is that you end up exhausted at the end of the day.

Make a pact with yourself, if only for the season, to take a full break for your lunch. Whether you use the time to go for a stroll or find a quiet nook, use the time to let your mind recharge. As a bonus, you’ll feel refreshed when it’s time to tackle your afternoon tasks.

The holidays are all about thankfulness and gratefulness, but that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with taking some time for yourself. Your friends and family will notice the difference, and so will you.

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Staying Top-of-Mind With Clients During the Holidays

Dec 7, 2017 by

For many buyers, the holidays take priority over the home search, creating a seasonal slowdown. However, in 2017, existing-home sales show that January and March were the top two producing months (year to date), leaving us to wonder if clients are waiting for a fresh start to their search. This seasonal slowdown presents REALTORS® the perfect opportunity to seek out new ways to stay top-of-mind, and start the new year on the right track when buyers are ready to continue their search.

A Season’s Greeting
A simple gesture is all it takes to win over buyers during the holidays. A great way to stay top-of-mind is by utilizing a tried-and-true method of sending a smile: the holiday card. Holiday cards are inexpensive and easy to design. Furthermore, taking the time to design a personalized holiday card and handwriting a note are sure to let your recipient know you care.

If your budget allows, you can send a gift card with your holiday card. Gift cards tend to be the easiest way to go, but there are ways to make it more meaningful. For example, if you know your client is looking to move to a certain area, find a local coffee shop or restaurant and get them a gift card from there, instead of a franchise they can find anywhere.

Be Helpful
As the community expert, you can provide buyers with plenty of helpful information during the holidays. Creating custom email campaigns to suit your client’s needs is the easiest way to achieve this.

While your clients are preparing for their holiday festivities, ease their stress by creating a list of local caterers, event rental places, family photographers and other services they can benefit from throughout the holidays. This also increases the chances that these companies will refer you to someone else. For clients with smaller homes, offer tips on how they can make their small home feel larger for holiday parties. You can send sellers tips on how to decorate their home during the holidays without losing potential buyers.

Spread the Joy
Take full advantage of the holiday season when creating social and email campaigns. Design your content and layouts with festive designs to spread the joy of the season.

For instance, most cities or communities have their own light shows or tree lighting ceremonies each year. Send clients the times and locations of these events where they live, or will be moving to, so they can see firsthand the sense of community the area has to offer.

Whether it’s through social media, email or direct mail, staying top-of-mind during the holidays is all about telling your clients that you are here for them. By utilizing these three tips, you are sure to be their top choice come the new year. If you are looking to connect with more motivated buyers this holiday season, look no further than Homes.com’s Local Connect program. New inventory is now available, just in time to start the new year off right! Click here to learn more.

For more information, please visit connect.homes.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Staying Top-of-Mind With Clients During the Holidays appeared first on RISMedia.

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3 Reasons Your Clients Should List During the Holidays

Dec 1, 2017 by

Before the internet, buying a home involved long hours of flipping through MLS books and driving prospects around neighborhoods; something many agents just didn’t have time to do during the busy holiday season. Now that buyers are able to search, filter, and scan through potential listings without leaving their couch; home buying during the holidays has never been easier. Here are three reasons why your clients should list during the holiday season.

  1. Capitalize on less competition.
    During the holiday season, sellers can feel like they don’t have enough time to maintain their home for showings or negotiate potential offers. Because of this, they wait and re-list their homes at the beginning of the coming year. While this may make sense for some, it can also mean major missed opportunities.

The smaller number of listed properties can work out in your seller’s favor since more potential buyers can potentially see your client’s home. Make sure you take advantage of this opportunity by telling your clients to keep their homes show-ready at all times and recommending the best listing price possible. If your client’s home has been on the market for a while, this may be an opportune time to consider a price adjustment.

  1. Enhance the emotional experience.
    Buying a home is an emotional experience for both the buyer and the seller. Often, the buyer’s emotional connection to the home is what really solidifies the sale. The holidays are an especially sentimental time for many, as they bring back warm memories and allow buyers to imagine future celebrations.

Selling a home over the holiday season enhances the emotional connection that a potential buyer can make with your client’s home. Foster this opportunity by reminding sellers to stage their home accordingly. Since different types of potential buyers will be coming to visit, avoid including overly religious decor. Instead, opt for simple and classic, such as a wreath on the door, a simple tree devoid of children’s popsicle-stick decorations in the main room, and subtle garland in the kitchen. Also, consider burning a pine or cranberry-scented candle for those buyers who come over for a tour.

  1. Work with motivated buyers.
    If someone ventures out to look for a home during the holiday season, it’s clear that they’re a motivated buyer. Take advantage of this opportunity by making sure the property is marketed in the best way possible. This could be a great time to update listing pictures, check in with your clients on their listing price, or re-post the listing on your social pages or blog. In addition to this, remind sellers that they should be flexible around this time, in case a potential buyer wants to schedule a last-minute showing. This is also a reason why the listing should be in peak-showing condition.

Follow these tips and hopefully your clients will be out with the old and in with the new by New Year’s Day! If you are looking to connect your sellers with motivated buyers, look no further than Homes.com’s Local Connect program. New inventory is now available, just in time for the holiday season! Click here to learn more.

For more information, please visit connect.homes.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post 3 Reasons Your Clients Should List During the Holidays appeared first on RISMedia.

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5 Safety Tips When Decorating the Exterior for the Holidays

Dec 1, 2014 by

Submitted by Nikos Phelps, president, Utopian Landscape, a member of The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET)

holiday house

Image courtesy of Utopian Landscapes/Christmas Décor, a member of PLANET

It’s that time of year where home owners are busy decorating their exteriors with holiday lights and making them for festival for the holidays. Many landscape and lawn care companies support their clients year-round by providing snow removal and holiday lighting in the winter. There are many safety concerns that home owners should take into consideration when putting up their own holiday lights, such as:

1. Inspect the lights and wires.

Inspect all lights, decorations and extension cords before using. Wires can become brittle.Throw lights away if there is exposed copper or broken sockets.

2. Don’t overload circuits and watch for electrical concerns.

Avoid connecting five or more strands end to end, otherwise the circuit can be overloaded. However, for many LEDs you can add more than five strands. Also, do not pull the strands too tight so they can reach an outlet. Other electrical concerns to watch for:

  • Tears in the wiring surface could result in electrocution.
  • When creating a lighting configuration on a lawn, make sure to keep connections out of depressions that could collect ground water.
  • Be sure to tape down extension cords if they cross walkways.

3. Read the labels carefully for outdoor use.

LED lights re more energy efficient and require less wattage than incandescent bulbs. But make sure the lights and extension cords are rated for indoor and outdoor use or specifically for outdoor use. Outdoor lights should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs.). Also, don’t replace light bulbs without unplugging the light strand or decoration.

4. Take caution on rooftops or elevated areas.

Ladders should be inspected – look for lose or missing screws, hinges, bolts and nuts before using and be sure they are stable and in good condition. Be sure to ground the ladder on a solid, even surface with no risk of sliding.

Don’t overreach when on ladders. When stringing lights, climb down and move the ladder often. Also, keep ladders as far as possible from electrical lines. 
Finally, if the roof is too steep or too high, don’t risk scaling it and endangering yourself. Hire a trained landscape professional that has the training to offer unique installation methods and premium quality products with the latest trends in decoration and technology.

5. Remove lights at the end of the holiday season.
Over a period of time, lights exposed to the weather can have damage to the wires, lights, and sockets. Watch for any weather damage before you tow the lights away for next year.

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