The whole purpose of social media is to be social, which includes sharing information and opinions (in a mature and civil manner, too). Millions of people write blogs, as do I, but sometimes you come across a blog that just says something so clearly and succinctly that you want to copy it. Or in this case, reblog it.
I found this short and sweet blog on ActiveRain recently by Janice Ankrett of Janice Ankrett Home Staging – (http://activerain.com/blogsview/1760608/staging-helps-you-move-on-with-your-life) – a clear and simple message on one of the many important reasons why home owners should stage their homes. I couldn’t have said it better, so I’m reblogging it.
Reblogging does more than share one person’s opinion or idea. It also shares the comments that others have made, which at times can be more interesting and more informative than the original post, much like a good conversation.
Short and Sweet This Week
All the best,
THE COUNTRY’S BEST REAL ESTATE BLOGS
Zillow just announced the people’s choice best real estate blogs.
If you run a blog or are thinking of starting one, we suggest you take a look at these winners. We clicked through most of them and there is a very apparent commonality among the winners. Most focus on extreme, hyper-local blogging.
Hyper-local blogging is the best way to stake your claim on a community in the key word search arena. It is virtually impossible to penetrate Googles top pages for “Northern Virginia Real Estate.” The brokerages have that space monopolized. But, by focusing on hyper-local areas, such as individual communities, post office names, school distrcts, etc, you can achieve high placement in Google and other search enginges.
Hyper-local blogging does take some time, but once you find news sources, you can consistently come up with fresh content. Home owners association web pages, local news papers, Google alerts for your chosen areas, even community Facebook pages are all great sources of hyper-local blogging topics.
The most efficient way to take on a local market is to find these resources, bookmark them, then review the bookmarked pages weekly, identifying potential topics to write about over the course of the week.
It take time, but eventually, you can establish yourself as the dominant web location for news about a particular area. That crebibility will lead to more business.
All the best,
the art of home preparation
Early Spring Clean Up
We completed several stagings this month. We intend to feature each one, as is our practice. Our photos are backed-up in editing, so I thought I would write this edition’s blog about the fast approaching spring selling season.
Well, Punxsutawney Phil is not due to make an appearance for a few more weeks. Hopefully, you have noticed an uptick in traffic to your listings. Some of your sellers maybe caught off guard by the early traffic. Here’s what you can tell your clients to do to improve the odds of selling their home soon.
First, suggest they fertilize their lawn. If their lawn is the greener than the neighbors, that will have a positive emotional impact when potential buyers pull up to the property. Follow the instructions carefully so as not to damage the lawn.
Resist the urge to plant. Nurseries have limited inventory right now, if they are open at all. Home owners might waste valuable time driving around looking for flowers to brighten up their curb appeal. If new flowers are planted anytime soon, they are subject to freeze damage. Instead, dress up the flower bed with new mulch. This will make the area look fresh and neat and survive any late season snow fall. Hang a spring wreath on the front door – get buyers thinking positive thoughts on the way through the door.
Walk the property and identify any broken branches on trees or shrubs. Prune any unsightly or over grown plantings lightly. Prune lightly – it is very easy to take off too much when the plant is bear of leaves. Add mulch around any trees or bushes. As you are walking the property, take a moment to turn and look at the home from a distance. Does the siding look soiled? Are the gutters all straight and firmly attached? Is there any peeling paint or lose trim work?
All in all, about a day’s worth of work to speed the transition of a home from winter dull to spring fresh!
All the Best,
the art of home preparation
My job as the stager was to neutralize the setting and take off some of the hard edges of the unit, while broadening its appeal from a narrow K Street lawyer target market to a urban executive target market – an executive that might work anywhere from a law firm to an association to a government agency. We brought in a modern, but not sleek, sofa and classic sitting chairs to anchor the unit between urban and comfortable. The artwork was intentionally sparse so as not to create too much interest on the walls, which would make the room appear narrow.
All professionals like a challenge. For me, one of the challenges I enjoy is taking a space and turning it into a something unexpected. Condos present some of the best opportunities to be creative. You are forced to be very efficient in your furnishings. Placement options tend to be far fewer than with townhomes or single families, yet you still have to provide that “WOW” factor that will make the unit resonate with the buyer.
The objective of staging is to show the buyer what the possibilities are, to raise the staged property above to others the buyer may be considering – to make the stage property the one all the others are compared to. In that regard, condos are one of the biggest challenges. You need to arrange the furniture in such a way as to maximize seating, while maintaining a light and airy environment.
One such example is a condo we just staged on 16th Street in Washington, DC. The condo had been listed before – and “staged” by a furniture rental company (note: furniture rental companies offer “staging services”, but none of the employees are certified or accredited stagers. Their “stager” is also the receptionist and floor sales person. But that’s for another newsletter.). Needless to say, there was very little response. The condo was taken off the market.
Luckily I was working with a fabulous team of realtors who really have a great vision of how to update a property. Working with the owner, they made two significant changes to the condo that made it instantly more functional and appealing. They removed a wall that enclosed the kitchen and opened it up onto the eat-in area, and they turned a large closet in a large hallway into an office nook. It’s a clever and very functional use of a lot of unused space, and it avoids having to use the smaller bedroom as an office.