Winter is almost here and there are some basic preparations you can do in November to make sure your home stays comfortable through the long winter days, as well as avoid any costly repairs that may come from ice and snow accumulation.
November 27, 2013
November 11, 2013
We are fast approaching the Holiday Season, which has traditionally been a slow season for buying and selling homes. However, that doesn’t mean you should take time off or slow down your activities. In fact, doing the opposite and being more aggressive during the Holiday Season may benefit your business.
November 7, 2013
Buying a new home is a huge decision. There is so much to think about and consider. You can stress yourself out lying awake at night wondering, “Is this the right house?” “Did we pick the right neighborhood?” “Will we be happy here?” To eliminate buyers’ doubt and remorse, and sleep better, you need to be an informed buyer. The more you know, the easier the decision. Do your research. Ask the right questions. Ask the right people.
September 10, 2013
In this second post on new digital technology that can help you sell homes, we’ll cover how easy it is to engage with potential buys using Facebook Events and Pinterest.
Communicate with Facebook Events
You’ve probably been using Facebook to share news about your properties and communicate with potential buyers and sellers. Consider using the Facebook Events feature for your open houses. This will allow you to easily communicate with potential buyers in a focused way. There’ll be no more plugging in of email addresses or flipping through the rolodex for phone numbers. Furthermore, if no one in the event ends up closing on the house, you will still have a new list of leads for your next deal.
Show with Pinterest
Pinterest is a relative newcomer to the world of social media. Pinterest organizes user submitted pictures into beautiful collages. Users can browser pictures and even search by tags. By adding pictures of your property to Pinterest you share them with a captive community. This site works best when paired with Instagram pictures. Don’t forget to tag your posts by amenities, type of home, and other relevant information. You can even share albums of your properties over the other social networks to help generate buzz.
Once you get started with any one of these new tools you’ll begin to see how heavily integrated they are. You’ll be able to share engaging news through one channel and easily broadcast it to another forum or site. Check back with the Century 21 Affiliated page for more tips on how to use these new technologies to close deals and engage with clients.
September 4, 2013
Welcome to the new age of digital marketing in the real estate world!
Thanks to mobile technology, the tools available to agents have expanded exponentially. All of these tools can be used by agents to help sell properties in new and engaging ways, which makes you stand out from the crowd. Avoid the humdrum of the classic real estate classified ads and start experimenting. In this post we’ll cover two of the hottest new social media channels Vine and Instagram.
Demonstrate with Vine
Vine allows you to create short animated .GIF files that can be uploaded to your site, blog, Facebook, or Twitter page. The videos are short, about 10 seconds, and can be used to showcase various amenities of the property. If the property has a sprawling backyard, a Vine of a hammock swinging or a dog playing can help you illustrate the yard’s value. Imagine introducing the property to your potential buyers by taking them on a short walk through a home’s double doors. Vine can be used to create magical, saleable moments.
Highlight with Instagram
In recent years, Instagram has become one of the premier mobile photo apps. It allows users to put filters over photos to focus on the viewer’s eye on a particular color palette or subject matter. For example, if the house has a particularly stunning view, use Instagram to highlight the landscape. The application will automatically sharpen and freshen the image making it eye catching for potential buyers. Instagram photos can then easily be linked to your social media accounts and pages to help you promote a property.
In our next post, we’ll demonstrate how to use Facebook Events and Pinterest to make it easier to promote properties.
July 11, 2013
There’s a lot of moving and shaking happening in Chicago’s Downtown Office Market. While these changes may signify larger companies moving to smaller spaces, it is not indicative that companies themselves are losing assets. Digitizing various tasks and departments has changed the space requirements of these companies. There’s a lot of opportunity in the new market to take advantage of commercial businesses’ new office demands.
By The Numbers
In second quarter of 2013 Chicago’s office buildings had a vacancy of 14.9%. What worries some realtors is that this is the third straight quarter at which the rate has held. This is still a vast improvement from the 17.3% vacancy in the middle of 2010. Professional firms in the Loop are not losing wealth, but are renewing and signing leases for efficient spaces. Knowing how a company may be changing its requirement can help an agent choose a suitable property.
On the Hunt For the Perfect Business Space
Traditionally, the professional services such as law offices, financial groups, and technology firms have purchased offices in the Loop and River North that have segmented offices. In the wake of the collaborative movement the walls are being torn down and these giants are looking for open spaces. Google recently moved its River North offices to an open space in Fulton Market that hadn’t been marked as office space. Google’s Motorola Mobility business has 600,000 square feet in the Merchandise Mart, but most of it is open showrooms.
Unlock Opportunity By Thinking Abstractly
If large companies are making the move from segmented offices to open space plans, agents who have old warehouses or nontraditional office space stand to make a coup. Presenting these properties to potential buyers as collaborative spaces that allow for creativity may help you swoon tech executives and others. A little imagination can go a long way to improving your chances of monumental success.
June 12, 2013
When a client is looking to sell their property they now have a whole host of exciting new tools to help them. Technology has changed the real estate game for the better by providing both agents and sellers more information. As realty agents it is our job to help our clients understand these new technologies. Part of that responsibility is discovering how much a home or property is worth. In 2006 a company named Zillow created an online tool called Zestimates that aids home sellers in focusing in on a value. Six years later Redfin, Trulia, and the major banks began to follow suit.
These value estimators use public data, detailed user input, and complex algorithms to calculate the value of a home. According to Zillow, the values they produce are within ten percent of the final sale value. So while the data could be more accurate, it gives a good idea to the seller, and may make your job, as an agent, easier.
Redfin’s tool is less accurate than Zillow’s as it only allows users to pick homes similar to their own. This simplified process is great for sellers looking to get a general idea of what their home may be worth. Real estate agents should suggest Redfin for first time sellers.
The issue with these kinds of tools is twofold: one, they instill a false sense of confidence in the seller; and two, that confidence may lead to brash decision making that could hurt the client in the long run. As agents it our job to present these tools to clients, but to caution them on the results. Providing our customers with all the tools they need is necessary, but educating them on their use and drawbacks is even more important.
Working with these tools, agents and sellers can work together to sell a property quickly. The more informed each party is the better prepared everyone will be to make an educated decision.
May 9, 2013
Home prices are rising as fast as spring tulips. To take advantage of the market an agent’s approach to open houses should change to suit the season. In Chicago, especially this year, spring has blossomed: neighbors are throwing open doors, barbecues are being lit, and bicycles thrust out of sheds. Preparing a home to be spring friendly means changing its atmosphere so that it is light, friendly, warm, and crisp. When a potential buyer walks in they should feel uplifted. Nearly 45% of homebuyers make their decision on whether or not to purchase after an open house. Try these five tips before your next showing.
Open The Windows
One of the best parts of spring is throwing open the windows that sat sealed all through the winter. Make a real effort to clean and dust the windows themselves and the surrounding area. If possible, add white flowing curtains that can easily be caught and lifted by the wind.
Scents of Spring
Close your eyes and try to conjure up the smells that come to mind when you think of spring. Our sense of scent is heavily tied to memory and the effective combination of fragrances can propel a person into a euphoric state. Some common fragrances to spread around the property include cotton, fresh laundry, lavender, mint, and barbecue.
Bring in The Garden
Place flowers throughout the entire house. Bring the colors of spring inside to add a dash of beauty and freshness to the residence. Double check with your potential buyer to make sure they don’t have a pollen allergy beforehand.
Remember to clean the entire property from the top down. Grab a microfiber cloth and hit all the nooks and crannies. If you notice a bit of dirt, the potential buyer most certainly will.
Make Use of The Space
If the property you’re showing has yards make sure to take advantage of them. Add a picnic blanket and basket to the backyard. If you know people will be bringing kids set up a sprinkler, or a tee ball set and whiffle bat.
Preparing your open house for spring can be a fun and relaxing experience. If a client walks in and feels the buoyant energy of the new season they may be more likely to buy. To stay up to date on real estate tips and news in Chicago, like us on Facebook.
April 5, 2013
2013 is indeed turning out to be a great year for us as we expand our team with the addition of C21 Affiliated Pro-Team.
What is in store…
With the merger, C21 Affiliated is expected to become the most productive Century 21 group in 2013, with its now explosive team of over 1100 agents in 47 locations throughout Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Indiana.
The Affiliated family, with over 38 years of experience and history, will enhance its service offerings and client reach through the addition of Pro-Team. Pro-Team’s several locations in Chicago’s West and South Suburbs and their dedicated real estate experts will make the Affiliated team truly, “Smarter. Bolder. Faster.”
“We are extremely proud to join with Pro-Team, whose growth and success has been nothing but phenomenal,” said Dan Kruse, President, Century 21 Affiliated. “All our agents are excited to offer our customers everything from more robust customer service to a bigger footprint to true one-stop shopping for all aspects of a real estate transaction.”
With that, we welcome the savvy and experienced agents of Pro-Team Affiliated. We are thrilled that you are part of the family!
November 8, 2012
We’re back with a look at another growing suburb. From the countryside of Lake in the Hills, we’re off to the scenic suburb of Lemont.
Check out what Lemont has to offer by reading the list of highlights below.
- Peace in the Northeast
Not many areas in northeastern Illinois can boast rolling hills and waterways to boot! Canals, like the Illinois and Michigan Canal that connects the Lake to the Illinois River, flow through the town, which is surrounded by gently, sloping hills. These aspects create a tranquil setting for visitors and residents alike.
- Loads of Limestone
Back in the 1800s, limestone was all the rage in Lemont. While carving out the Illinois and Michigan Canal, workers struck upon a treasure—a treasure of limestone. The limestone quarries attracted even more workers and business owners to settle in the town and start making use of this discovery. If you look around town, you’ll see evidence of this beautiful limestone in historic buildings. You’ll also find Lemont’s finest in the Chicago Water Tower downtown and Holy Name Cathedral, among other Chicago landmarks.
- A Mix of Styles
Lemont offers both boutique style shopping and well-known chains to shoppers. The same goes for dining. You can sit down at a cozy café for some pumpkin pancakes, wind up some linguine at a family-owned Italian place, or mozy on down Main street to one of many pubs and bars to grab a brew.
- Sensational Schools
Lemont High School is among the 50 best schools in the Chicago area and offers a wide assortment of elective classes and extracurricular activities to students. Besides public schools, Lemont also is the home of Mt. Assisi Academy, a college preparatory school for girls.
- Recreation Rules
From swim teams and dance classes to volleyball and basketball leagues, the Lemont Park District has plenty of recreational opportunities for the young and young at heart. Beyond physical fitness, they also offer community and holiday events that bring residents together in the spirit of fun.
Fall and Winter Happenings in Lemont:
- Get ready for family fun at the Awesome Autumn Family Fun Night on November 16.
- Enjoy a tree lighting, ice sculpting, wagon rides, and more at the Hometown Holiday Event downtown Lemont on December 1.
- Bundle up for the Frigid 5k run on December 16. Afterward, have breakfast with the most popular man of the season—Santa!
Can’t get enough of Lemont? Contact your Agent for more information about this community.
Next stop on our tour…Rockford!