Category: Real Estate Professionals

6 Tips to Choosing Kitchen Lighting

Are you thinking about upgrading your kitchen this year? Does the thought seem daunting? Here are some ways to put the spotlight on your kitchen’s design that will enhance its features and style.

Your kitchen lighting has a big impact on both the functionality and the overall feel of the room. Whether you’re going for a vintage farmhouse feel or an ultra-modern design, here are six tips for choosing kitchen lighting to create the effect you want.

updating kitchen lighting

1. Consider Your Existing Kitchen Layout

The specific layout and design of your kitchen affect the type of lighting you need. Tall ceilings and dark walls or cabinets may require more light than compact kitchens with light-colored decor. White countertops reflect light, so you can use lower-wattage bulbs while still maintaining a bright, airy feel. A series of pendant lights make a kitchen island or peninsula stand out, and a walk-in pantry needs bright lights that let you see items in the back.

2. Think In Layers

Different areas of your kitchen need different types of lighting. Layering can help you balance efficient illumination and eye-catching style. Start with the overall ambient room lighting, then add task lighting at strategic points throughout the kitchen. Accent lighting and decorative fixtures, such as track lighting and recessed lights, provide visual depth to your kitchen. Under-cabinet lighting brightens your food preparation area, and cabinet lighting focuses attention on decorative pieces displayed behind a glass cabinet door.

3. Use The Right Bulbs

Bulb colors range from cool white to yellowish, and the color you choose defines the mood of your kitchen. Soft white bulbs give your kitchen a warm look and bring out orange or red tones, making them ideal for ambient kitchen lighting. Cool white bulbs and daylight bulbs produce crisp, bright illumination, making them good for task lights near your stove, sink, or food preparation area. Energy-efficient LED or fluorescent bulbs are a modern alternative to incandescent lights.

4. Work With Natural Lighting

When you’re considering where to place lights in your kitchen, don’t forget about the natural light that comes in from your kitchen windows. Simple lighting near your windows that matches the warmth of natural light can help you maintain a consistent look from day to night, while strategically placed curtains can prevent natural light from washing out dramatic decorative lighting across the room.

5. Give Your Kitchen Some Personality

Lighting isn’t just about functional illumination. It also shows off your design personality. Colorful metal shades on pendant lights can add a whimsical look to your kitchen, while dramatic monorail lighting systems work well with a modern design theme. For a vintage kitchen, Edison light bulbs in cage-style shades enhance the retro feel of your food preparation area.

6. Go High-Tech For Convenience

Consider taking advantage of modern technology that makes kitchen lighting more useful, efficient and convenient. Dimmable lights are a simple way to control ambient light levels with just the touch of a switch. Motion-sensing lights that shut off once you leave the area help conserve energy and ensure that specific areas light up exactly when you need extra illumination. Light timers handle the shift from day to night without any extra effort on your part, and lighting that is integrated into a smart home system can be programmed to your preferences.

A friend recently renovated their kitchen from a rustic home in the mountains look to a contemporary home in the mountains look and even though it was a huge change, after completion, they were so glad that they did it. They said they went from a Mountain Home to a Home in the Mountains with just a few changes, the kitchen being their biggest change.

3 Tips To Boost Your Home Design With Energy-Efficient LED Bulbs

3 Tips To Boost Your Home Design With Energy-Efficient LED Bulbs

If you dream about transforming your home on a budget, chances are you’ve considered new paint, area rugs, or window treatments. While these updates can refresh rooms without breaking the bank, there’s a crucial and often overlooked design element that can truly transform a room – lighting.

The good news is, improving lighting doesn’t necessarily require all new fixtures. Simply swapping from standard to LED lightbulbs can upgrade the ambience of your home with stylish features and energy-saving benefits that can have a dramatic impact on your energy bill – and the look and feel of your overall space.

Lighting can alter the appearance of paint, furnishings, and decor, becoming even more important as seasons change. As the days get shorter and darker, brighten up your home with an elevated, energy-efficient home basic: LED lightbulbs.

Here are a few bright ideas to revamp rooms using the power of the humble lightbulb:

1. Go LED For Cost Savings

Select LED bulbs reduce household energy costs over the course of their lifetime. An EcoSmart lightbulb saves $0.55-$2.65 on average per bulb over its 25,000-hour lifetime. New LED lightbulbs offer the latest innovation in lighting technology and are available in a wide assortment of wattage outputs, colors, base options, and shapes.

2. Consider Function

LEDs are directional light sources, enabling them to cast light and use energy more efficiently. When choosing your ideal lightbulb style, consider the room’s purpose. A kitchen needs to be bright to aid food preparation, but your bedroom should be a restful, cozy oasis. For a living room, you may want to switch from a game-and-puzzle center with focused lighting to a darkened home theater for movie night.

* Kitchens need light to perform cooking tasks, as well as for entertaining. EcoSmart LED recessed and track lighting (BR) offer strong overhead illumination in enclosed fixtures.

* Bathrooms need effective lighting, plus decorative style. Globe-shaped LED lightbulbs emit light in every direction, making them ideal for mirror and pendant lights.

* Dining areas are a great place to show off decorative fixtures with candle bulbs. New, improved decorative bulbs feature a thinner, longer filament design – with options like fine bendy or horizontal – that combine authentic styles and 360-degree light output with low glare for high-quality lighting that doesn’t sacrifice style.

* Bedrooms or living areas where ambience is paramount offer endless creative possibilities. Vintage is a look that never truly goes out of style and EcoSmart “Edison” bulbs give a more “true vintage look,” along with the benefits of LED technology. EcoSmart offers a dimmable option for these bulbs too, so you can choose exactly how much light you want.

* Outdoor living spaces benefit from security lighting. Turn any fixture into a state-of-the-art security fixture with features like motion sensors, high output, and dusk-to-dawn. Look for lightbulbs compatible with floodlights, security, and landscape lighting (PAR).

3. Choose “Color Temperature” To Change The Mood

Today’s LED bulbs offer a wide variety of color temperatures, empowering you to make the room feel warmer and cozier, or cooler and crisper.

Contrary to what you may think, the hotter the light source (measured in Kelvins), the cooler the “color temperature,” so lights with temperatures at 5,000 or more Kelvins look brighter, crisper and more bluish. However, light temperatures around 2,500-3,000 Kelvins emit an amber, yellowish or orange tinge which makes rooms feel warmer and cozier.

“Like choosing paint in cool or warm colors, picking the right color temperature for lighting can really transform a space,” said Sarah Fishburne, Director of Trend and Design for The Home Depot. “You can emphasize warm tones like yellows, reds and oranges using ‘warm’ colored lighting, or you can make a room feel lighter, brighter, and airier by choosing ‘cool’ temperature lighting.”

Experiment with different bulbs and settings to see what works best with your room. For the ultimate color selection, try an EcoSmart lightbulb with 5 CCT (Correlated Color Temperature) that lets you customize the color of light using an integrated switch. Bulbs equipped with DuoBright technology empower you to adjust the color temperature and brightness with your existing dimmer switch to meet your preferences at any time – emitting 5,000 Kelvins (Daylight) at full brightness and slowly transitioning to 2,000 Kelvins (Sunset Glow) when dimmed.

Change Your Lightbulbs, Change The World

The other good news about swapping out lightbulbs? You’re helping the environment, too. On average, an enhanced EcoSmart LED bulb uses 85% less energy than a traditional incandescent lightbulb.

Learn more about EcoSmart lightbulbs available exclusively in-store at The Home Depot or online at HomeDepot.

When we find good articles that can help around the home, we like to share them with our clients. We hope you enjoyed this article on LED bulbs.

Three Areas Of Your Business

Three Areas Of Your Business

By Dirk Ziller, Real Estate Champions

Any successful businessperson, over a span of years, has embraced the focus to build three areas of their business simultaneously. These three areas are the growth areas, working “in” the business, and working “on” the business.

real estate

Growth is the engine that drives sales growth. It’s the part of the business that brings in the revenue of the business. The more time invested in growth daily, weekly, monthly, the greater the resulting income. The vast majority of Agents spend too little time in growth. Growth is the DIPA activity that I have talked about throughout my writings. Growth is the critical part of the business, without growth, a business will fail.

I know a lot of agents who are highly skilled at growth, but poorly skilled in administration and business planning, who earn large amounts of money. I know very few Champion Agents who are not highly skilled at growth. You can have huge deficiencies in administration and even customer service (I don’t recommend it) but still, win the income game through growth. You can’t be deficient in growth and win. Growth is the engine that powers the train; you must first pay attention to growth. Your prospecting should comprise 65% of the time you invest in growth daily. If you don’t prospect, the other growth areas won’t happen.

“In” The Business

Working “in” the business is the administration or production supporting activities. These need to be done, but not at the expense of growth. The “in” area focuses on you being an employee working in your business doing functions any employee would do. Our goal through the segment of working “in” our business is producing results for our delighted clients. We are trying to turn clients into evangelists so they generate referrals. Their transition to that level of customer satisfaction comes from working “in” the business. If you create good systems, processes, checklists, and have highly trained staff you can reduce the time you invest in this area.

“On” The Business

This segment is the segment most Agents neglect until they want to retire and find out they have nothing to sell. In Michael Gerber’s book, The E-myth, he talks about the myth of an entrepreneur. He describes that most entrepreneurs have really bought a well-paying job and don’t really own a business. Realtors® clearly fit into that category of entrepreneur. We also clearly fit into buying a well-paying job.

When we work “on” our business, it really shapes our long-term success and growth from just running faster on the treadmill of our business and life. Your long-term financial wealth is contained in the working “on” your business segment. Your ability to earn a profit and increase the profit is key. Remember, sales is a margins game. The more time we invest to plan, read, strategize, evaluate, and implement new ideas, tactics, and strategies, the more we evaluate the market, our time, our numbers, and return investment, the more ownership we gain. Becoming the owner of your real estate business only happens through diligent working “on” your business. Instead of being a highly compensated employee who pays the bills, why not become the one who orchestrates the growth of the company? Be the one who has something to sell when you want to transition or retire.

Working on your business is critical to helping you move to the next level of production, or to decrease time worked without reducing income or finding where to cut expenses by 10%. Working on your business will help you create economies of scale in administration and new ways to produce growth and income in your business. You need one hour per day of working “on” the business. For every minute you plan, you will save ten minutes in implementation.

What do you think your business would look like in 90-days, or even 6-months if you were to implement the below daily routine?

Growth: 3-hours

Administration: 1 to 2-hours

Business: 1-hour

By following the review patterns or pausing at the end of a day, week, month, quarter, six months, and year, you automatically increase the “on” time in your business. Another technique would be to schedule a block of additional planning and execution time at the end of each week. Most of our clients have ninety minutes of planning time each week where they work to improve their business. If you work to employ these techniques, you will transform the results of your business in a few short months.

 

3 Emerging Design Trends for Todays Lifestyle

3 Emerging Design Trends for Todays Lifestyle

Events from the past year have all of us reconsidering what we want and need out of our homes. From work and play to wellness, our homes have become the epicenter of, well, everything – leading to an emergence of design trends focused on adapting to a new normal. The design experts at Wilsonart, a world-leading provider of engineered surfaces, have identified three new lifestyle trends that are affecting lasting design changes.

  1. Back to Nature

It’s no secret that nature has the power to inspire, invigorate, restore and refresh. Research has shown that interacting with nature can offer mental health benefits, including decreasing stress and relieving anxiety. Likewise, incorporating elements of nature into the home has been proven to improve happiness and well-being.

Whether as a room’s canvas or a pop of color on an accent wall, paint is an easy and affordable way to bring nature’s beauty into the home with colors that evoke a sense of calm and serenity. “Dark blue hues reminiscent of water and the sky are trending, along with lush greens that infuse spaces with the fresh essence of grass and foliage,” says designer Gwen Petter. “Earthy neutrals, such as tans and beiges, are also in high demand for their ability to ground us and surround us with soothing natural tones.”

Beyond color, 40% of people report that they want a connection to nature, particularly in their kitchens, according to a survey by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). Homeowners are choosing nature-inspired materials for focal areas like countertops, cabinets and islands. Wilsonart® Home offers beautiful, on-trend options for virtually every surface in the home with performance features and price points to suit any lifestyle and budget. The expertly curated collection includes environmentally sustainable materials such as high-pressure laminates and performance veneers that deliver the authentic looks of exotic woods, stone-inspired solid surface options, and non-porous engineered quartz.

  1. “Resi-mercial” and Rustic

Fueled by the drastic decline in domestic and international travel during the pandemic, homeowner interest in replicating the sophisticated style and comforts of an upscale hotel or luxury resort in their home has continued to grow. From plush towels and perfectly plump pillows to spa-worthy bathrooms and chef-quality kitchens, commercially inspired designs are increasingly crossing over into the residential arena.

Carrara marble continues to be one of the most sought-after surfaces to achieve this clean, sophisticated, “resi-mercial” look, but not everyone desires the cost and maintenance that comes with the natural stone. The Wilsonart® Solid Surface Crafted Collection combines nature’s beauty with cutting-edge design innovation to deliver the look of authentic marble in an ultra-durable acrylic solid surface. This series of movement designs capture the beauty and drama of marble typically only seen in natural materials like quartz and stone with virtually limitless design applications for the kitchen, bath, and beyond.

Scandi Noir is another “resi-mercial” design approach that is gaining traction, particularly in kitchens. This style features looser rules and is characterized by the use of dark cabinets combined with dark countertops or contrasting dark and light surfaces. “Kitchen cabinets are still predominantly white, but more homeowners are adding a pop of color with contrasting island cabinets. In fact, searches for black and navy kitchens are up significantly,” notes Petter.

  1. Sustainable Style

As our lives become increasingly home-centric, our homes need to perform on a level they may never have before, and this includes incorporating materials that work as hard as we do. “Today’s homeowners are seeking surfaces that will live up to the rigors of everyday life,” explains Petter. “There also is growing interest in sustainable alternatives to natural products, which can contribute to deforestation and degraded air quality from sourcing and mining operations. Human-made composite materials offer appealing options that often outperform natural materials, delivering greater durability, less ongoing maintenance, and fewer harmful environmental impacts.”

Alternative materials like laminate, solid surface, and quartz mimic the best of Mother Nature without impacting the environment, offering appealing options for eco-conscious consumers. Many of these engineered surfaces are UL GREENGUARD Gold Certified to meet low chemical emissions limits for better air quality. Additionally, many laminate products are made with a combination of fibers from FSC-certified, fast-growing, sustainably managed woods and post-consumer recycled content (PCRC). For more information and inspiration, visit Wilsonart.com. (BPT)

Hot Trends in Renovations

Hot Trends in Renovations

Thank you for taking a minute to read this article about Hot Trends in Renovation. When great information is found, we like sharing it with our wonderful agents. Please enjoy.

Hot Trends in Renovation
By Denise Lones, The Lones Group

This week I am on-site at one of my properties. I’ve just finished a renovation here, and I have to share something very important: the building industry, home design industry, renovation/remodel industry—they’re all changing! And it is dramatic.

That’s why I have scheduled an online workshop covering the hottest trends later this summer to go over some of those changes. I’m going to go over architectural trends, color and paint trends, cabinet trends, and more.

home renovation

Just to give you a preview of this new kitchen, one of the biggest trends in kitchens is adding shelves. You may notice that the cabinets are not white, but linen, which is one of the hottest color trends right now especially when combined with a pop of black in the handle. Another major trend we’re seeing are these clean rectangular glass tiles.

“But Denise, why should I care about trends? They’re just going to change anyway,” I can hear you say.

You should care because your clients are going to ask you questions about this. Whether they are thinking about renovating before a sale, after a sale, or just touching up their home for listing photos, they trust your opinion and they want to know what’s really going on. Personal style aside, it’s always good to keep tabs on what is currently popular, because that can affect your clients’ bottom line.

Another subject I cover in the class is how to save money. Your clients will be eager to hear how to do a renovation on a shoestring budget. Fixer-uppers are also going to be more financially attractive. Your clients want to know what is a good idea and what is a money-sink.

We are also going to be taking a look at all the new products coming on the market. Specifically new counter-top products and flooring products. If I had to take two things to a desert island for a renovation, give me a few gallons of paint and some new flooring. The way flooring is engineered today is mind-boggling. You can save money and make impactful transformations that wouldn’t be possible unless you knew it was available.

We’ve just gone through a very modern-minimalist phase, and now we’re swinging back to a modern-traditional phase. That means warmer colors, richer textures, and more color and textures. My goal is to help you navigate this shift, even if it isn’t your personal style.

Now, I’m a black-and-white kind of gal. I love high-contrast black and white, but on this remodel, I chose linen (not pure white) because that’s what people want. Knowing little things like that can save you money, make you money, and give you the edge.

Thank you for reading this and please remember us if you or someone you know needs a home inspection.

The Laundry Room, How Best To Remodel It.

The Laundry Room, How Best To Remodel It.

Your laundry room is one of the most-used rooms in your house. For many homeowners, however, it isn’t always one of the most pleasant rooms. Since you spend so much time in there, however, there’s no reason that it has to be an unpleasant place to be. You can redesign it so that it’s a fun, airy place that you’ll love to enter when it’s laundry time.

Remodeling The Laundry Room

Decide on a Color Scheme

If your laundry room is dark, creating a color scheme full of bright colors, or going with a neutral white, can lighten it up and make it seem both larger and more cheerful. If there is no window in the room, white or a light cream will often work best to create a more airy space. No matter which colors you choose, there will be beautiful natural materials that you can use to create a more beautiful and upscale room that will add both enjoyment and value to this space.

Choose Materials

Today’s homes are full of stone countertops and a variety of tiles. With your colors in mind, it’s time to choose your countertop’s material, your flooring and your wall colors. Countertops today are often done in natural materials like marble, granite and quartz. Choose the durability and color you need and get a countertop that will be a pleasure to look at and work with each day.

Having a tile laundry room floor is ideal because it handles water well. Both slate and porcelain tile are perfect for creating a floor that is ready for constant use. They also look great and are on-trend in modern laundry rooms. Both come in a wide variety of colors and patterns.

Work With Your Space

No matter what the size of your laundry room, there is a way to use the space to its best advantage. Plan out the optimal use for the space to include everything you need while allowing you plenty of room to move around. You may need to invest in stackable appliances to maximize the space. If the room is large, consider having different areas for different tasks and storage needs. A full-sized ironing board is easy to place in a large room, but a smaller one can benefit from one that is attached to the wall and foldable.

Using the Room

One of the most important things to consider is how you use your laundry room. Don’t think about an ideal way that the room could be used – think about the real way that you will use it each day. Make a list of what you do in there and what you need to store in it. If you store a lot of cleaning supplies, consider creating a small closet or installing a built-in, tall cabinet that will hold things like the brooms and vacuum cleaner. If you like to fold and iron in the room, make sure you leave plenty of space for these activities.

Most people store various items in their laundry rooms, and you can store in style after your remodel. Choose your cabinet sizes based on what you keep in the room, and get more out of the space by having your cabinets and shelving extend up high to the ceiling. If you often hang your clothing dry, consider installing a drying rack. If you do a lot of clothing repairs and sewing, consider adding a desk to the room to allow for sewing space.

With a new laundry room that meets the needs of your household, you will enjoy the time you spend there. You will also be able to store your necessary items and have plenty of space to get laundry done in a beautiful, updated room.

We enjoy sharing great information like this with you. If you enjoyed this article as we did, please be sure to share it with your family and friends so they can enjoy it too. And, if you need a home inspection or know of someone who does, be sure to give us a call. We’re always available for you.

5 Clever Value-boosting Tips for Your Home

5 Clever Value-boosting Tips for Your Home

Have you ever had moments when you look at your home and say to yourself what a beautiful place you have? Whether it is the spacious kitchen, or the sunny yard, the charming deck, or the cozy bedrooms, there was probably something that attracted you to this house; that’s why you bought it. But remember, a new home is just like a new car: It will age and depreciate over time. It is essential to make it a habit to continuously maintain and make your home even better to boost its value as time passes. Here are 5 clever value-boosting tips for your home:

Home inspectors Pinellas, Pasco

1. Create Space
Open floor plans are becoming a trend in many major and minor remodeling projects for older homes. Conventionally, most United States houses have walls that separate the kitchen and the living room. The open floor plan aims to connect two or more rooms to form a communal living area. This open concept gives the impression of a larger space. If a wall separates your kitchen from your living room, consider removing the barrier. Create a flow between the rooms by adding stylish and functional furniture. You will be surprised how much you’ll transform your home’s feel.

2. Make the Most of Your Yard
Are you looking for a sure way of making your home one of the most attractive houses in the neighborhood? Proper landscaping will never fail you! A well-landscaped yard dramatically impacts the entire look and feel of your home, increasing your property’s value by 10 to 12 percent. Landscaping is one of the top home investments with the highest returns. HomeGain, a real estate marketing company, surveyed 2,000 brokers and found out that an investment of between $400 – $500 can generate up to four times in returns. Never overlook the landscaping!

3. Update Your Plumbing
Nothing lasts forever, including the pipes in your home. Appraisers significantly consider plumbing conditions when giving value to your property. In older houses, the piping materials may be galvanized steel or iron, durable but prone to corrosion. Over time, the tubing gradually corrodes and rusts. If your steel pipes look old and degraded, it’s about time to update your plumbing system. Unless you replace your plumbing, you’re eventually going to get plumbing disasters that may lead to expensive damages to your house and belongings. If you still have steel pipes in your home, it is best to have them replaced. There are multiple options professional plumbers can suggest regarding the material you should use as a replacement to serve you best.

4. Freshen Up Your Bathroom
Replacing outdated fixtures can go a long way to giving your bathroom a fresh new classy look. Popular finishes include brushed nickel or satin because they pair well with most tile choices. A chrome finish is also an excellent choice if you want a more classic look. You may also opt to update your contractor-grade lighting into something more stylish and functional and repaint the walls to brighten up your bathroom. Most people consider the bathroom as the most personal space in the home. We all want this intimate space to reflect our style, but it should also simultaneously deliver the comfort we need.

5. Let there be light
You can do many things to brighten up your house, so adding windows and knocking down the walls are not the only solutions. Start by fixing broken panes and light switches that trigger dim lighting and replacing old light bulbs. Make sure to trim any trees or bushes near your windows regularly to welcome the sunlight into your room. Don’t forget the exterior lighting because they contribute significantly to your home’s aesthetic appeal and crucial for your safety and security. Make sure that all the lights are correctly installed and fully functional.

Boost your home’s value with these small-scale upgrades and spruce-ups! These five value-boosting tips are for sure worth your investment.

The Importance of Having a Strong Real Estate Voice

The Importance of Having a Strong Real Estate Voice
By Denise Lones

One of the biggest challenges real estate agents face is confidence. Just about every agent I know suffers from a lack of confidence from time to time. Agents who are new face challenges with confidence because they are concerned about their knowledge and expertise. Agents who are trying to tap into a new market or niche may also feel they are in over their heads. Even agents who have had success, but had a bad transaction or weren’t successful in a listing presentation may suffer from a temporary loss of confidence.

What is the very best way to increase your confidence? Knowledge, experience, and coupling with a strong voice.

Take a moment and think about something you are very comfortable doing or a special skill that you have unrelated to real estate. Are you a good cook, artist, parent, or are great with animals? Think about something that people come to you for advice on because you are exceptional at it. Now imagine you are giving someone advice on that topic or talking through how you do something.

Real Estate Inspection

For example, my dad was a chef and I learned to be very comfortable in the kitchen from him. In fact, making Greek salad, souvlaki and tzatziki, and baklava for 100 people doesn’t phase me a bit. I don’t follow a recipe anymore – I cook with instinct. I could easily teach people how to make probably 50 dishes without having to glance at my recipes. That is because I have that knowledge, experience, and therefore, confidence in my abilities. I can have a strong voice when it comes to cooking, especially Greek cooking.

However, if someone asked me to speak on the internal workings of the Tesla, that would put me out of my comfort zone. I wouldn’t have the confidence to talk about that because I am not a mechanic nor an electrician. My voice would not be strong because it is not a confident voice.

My goal for each and every one of you would be to gain enough confidence in your real estate trade so you could easily rattle off where your local market has been in terms of inventory, supply vs demand, days on market, and sale prices – and why. How does your local economy play into what is happening with housing? Are there new construction projects on the horizon? Are there new companies coming in and new employees needed (which will put more demand on housing)? Is your city annexing land in growth areas? What does that mean for homeowners?

Here is a hint – you probably know more than you think. Can you answer these questions?

– How has COVID affected local businesses in your area?
– How has COVID affected your local real estate market?
– How was inventory in your area this past year?
– Were there specific price points or types of inventory that were super-hot commodities? What sat on the market for longer?
– What is one local issue pertaining to real estate that you are watching in 2021?
– What is one piece of advice you have for buyers?
– What is one piece of advice you have for sellers?

If you can answer these questions easily, then you have what it takes to have a strong real estate voice! You have been paying attention to the market, can guide buyers and sellers, and therefore, should have confidence in your knowledge.

Every agent who has a strong real estate voice should be putting it to good use by communicating your market conditions to your database. Don’t rely on your company messaging or the local news – your clients need to hear from you. That is how you build value, build strong professional relationships, and get referrals.

But what if you need a little help getting your strong real estate voice out there? That is where I come in. Each year, I provide my clients with a written article that includes a quick recap of the past year and some predictions for the upcoming year. As you can imagine, COVID played quite a role and while we won’t see the full ramifications of that for many months, there are clues about how the economy and the real estate market fare.

We hoped you enjoyed this information as much as we did. If so, be sure to share it with your co-workers and other agent friends.

The Art of The Close

The Art of the Close

Denise Lones

There’s no word in real estate that is more misunderstood than the word “closing”. It conjures up images of a toothy salesman in a checkered sport coat hawking used cars. It reminds us of all of those times we were asked, “So, are you ready to buy today?”

Gives you the creeps, doesn’t it?

Well, I have good news for you: That’s not effective closing. Closing is not just asking for the business like so many sales trainers tell you. Closing is not about badgering someone to buy a product. Closing is not about getting “the sale”.

Closing is about asking questions and getting people the information they need so that they are armed with the right knowledge to make the best decisions. In essence, a good closer offers something, rather than asking for something. When your client realizes they are in good hands and have all the information and support they need, they become the closers by saying, “Get out the paperwork. Let’s sign this now.”

An agent asked me recently, “Denise, how do I close at an open house?”

“What are you trying to close for?”, I asked. “Are you trying to sell the house you’re in today? That’s going to be incredibly difficult because most people don’t just buy the property they walk into at an open house.”

Instead, I suggested closing for permission to give the clients the information they need. It’s actually quite simple. It only requires three little words:

“Would you like…”

There you have it. Those are my magic closing words. No pressure. No pushiness. No presumptions. Just a request for permission to give a client what they want.

 

Real Estate Closing

How do you use these three words? In questions like these:

“Would you like me to get you some more information on appreciation rates in the neighborhood you like?”

“Would you like me to do a complete summary of the upgrades that have been completed on this house?”

“Would you like me to search for and find properties that are similar to this one?”

And so on. You could phrase almost anything as a “Would you like…” question.

Now that’s what I call closing. When you ask people if you can get them more information or perform a specific task for them, you’re beginning the process. Closing isn’t just that question at the end that gets them to sign the contract — it’s a process of educating and providing information.

Think of it as a dance. Most sales training “gurus” would have you think that closing is a one-step dance. It is really an intricate series of moves, full of twists and turns along the way. And remember, most dances are effective with a partner! Don’t lose sight of the fact that there’s something involved in this process with you — a buyer or seller who needs your help.

One very important factor to remember when asking “Would you like…” questions is the way you phrase the questions. For example, you could say, “Would you like to be on my mailing list?”

That sounds sales-y. That’s not offering information. That’s asking for something, rather than giving something. Always make sure that you’re giving something to them.

Instead, you might want to say, “Would you like me to get you some more information? I send out a great weekly email that talks about just the things you want to know–with all the numbers you need to make a good decision. Would you like me to send it to you?”

See how much less intimidating and more helpful that is?

Another of my favorite phrases is “Can I take a moment…?” This is another non-threatening way of beginning to give information to your clients.

Here are some examples:

“Can I take a moment to show you what the numbers would look like if you purchased a home like this?”

“Can I take a moment to go over what the next step would be if you were interested in buying?”

“Can I take a moment to show you how others who have invested in this neighborhood have realized significant returns?”

These are soft-closing questions. They move the conversation forward. They offer information and service. They do not ask for the sale.

When you develop a friendly give-and-take of questions and answers with your clients, you soon realize that the old ways of pushing for the sale just don’t work anymore. People want service. They want to know that you’re looking out for their interests, not just the interests of your bank account.

Always remember that you are an educator, first and foremost. You are so much more than a “salesperson”. As an educator, you have an important mission. You exist to educate your clients on exactly what they need to make the best decision for their future. They are your partners. They are your teammates.

The best way to help out your partners and teammates is with five-star service–which doesn’t include cheesy old-fashioned “ask-for-the-sale” closing questions.

If you enjoyed this information, be sure to share it with your fellow agents.

Denise Lones, President — As the founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With expertise in strategic marketing, business analysis, branding, new home project planning, product development, and agent/broker training, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate.

Disclaimer: All information, views, and experiences presented here are distributed by an actual Real Estate Coach and shared with proper consent as additional noteworthy information. The above-stated material does not necessarily reflect the opinions of our company. If you wish to use and distribute this copyrighted material for purposes beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

The Power of Gratitude

The Power of Gratitude
by Denise Lones, The Lones Group
Think about your last transaction. Was it a tough one? Were there moments when you didn’t think it would close? Or was it smooth with barely any bumps along the way?
Whichever path the transaction took, I bet there were some standout people involved that helped it across the finish line. Really think about this – who stepped up and took care of your clients? Was it:
The inspector who, despite being slammed, made time for a last-minute inspection?
The lender who worked with the underwriters to approve the buyers despite their qualifying with self-employment income?
Your managing broker who gave you great advice on handling a low appraisal?
The escrow company who worked with your out-of-area clients and coordinated their signing from afar?
You know the saying, you can’t see the forest for the trees? It means it is easy to get so caught up in the details of something that it is difficult to step back and see it as a whole. A real estate transaction is sometimes comprised of one problem after another that leaves us so tired and drained that we forget to take a look at the good details that went along with it. But I think a little time to reflect and show gratitude can be very good for our industry!
In fact, I would like to see each and every one of us add “Gratitude” to our pending to close checklists. How much better would we feel about even the worst transactions if we added a little time to thank the people involved?
Luckily there are a number of ways to do this! You can:
– Send a handwritten thank-you note
– Give them a great endorsement on LinkedIn or Facebook
– Send them a BombBomb video thanking them
– Taking a quick thank you video and posting it to their Facebook wall
– Giving them a great review on Yelp or wherever they collect reviews (a written review; don’t just rank them with no commentary)
– Giving them a great review through their company channels
– You can even show up at their office with a small gift
Whatever fits best for your style is fine. Develop your system and stick with it. The key is to spread that gratitude around!
And remember, when you thank someone for a job well done, people remember that. It is just human nature. How often do you think lenders or inspectors get a thank you note from an agent?
Don’t you think that might help them remember you when they have a referral?
Don’t underestimate the power of gratitude. Take the time and thank the industry professionals who helped with your last transaction today!
Power of Gratitude
If you enjoyed this information, be sure to share it with your fellow agents.
Denise Lones, President — As the founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With expertise in strategic marketing, business analysis, branding, new home project planning, product development, and agent/broker training, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate.
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