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Can You “Drink In” Your Property?

With the spring and summer selling seasons approaching, #home sellers and their #REALTORS® are always looking for ways to make their property stand out from the competition. Location is an immovable force and as such, not much can be done about that. Size is an element that can be changed, however, unless you’re flipping the home you would most likely prefer not to undertake such a major construction project. The simple solutions to improving a property’s presentation are: clean up the clutter inside and out, paint inside and out and complete any small repairs that are needed. Sprucing up the landscaping is an often over looked opportunity to add value and increase the appeal of a property that can be quick and easy to achieve for relatively low cost. When tied to current events, and media coverage, landscaping changes can be an attention getter and selling point.

A good example of this is the current lime shortage. Lime imports are down to such low levels that they are disappearing from the glasses of our favorite beverages and “everyday vacation” cocktail drinks! This provides an excellent opportunity to draw attention to your property by planting a few lime trees. Lime trees (Citrus aurantifolia) develop into small shrub-like trees with fruits smaller than lemons. For somewhere in the neighborhood of $40 per tree you can spruce up your landscaping and make your property stand out and smell a bit more enticing than the one next door. The aroma of a home and its surrounding property has been proven to have significant impact with buyers on the desirability of a property.

If your property already has lime trees on it, make sure they make it into the marketing material. Even offering a few limes or sliced limes in water at the open house or for agents and potential buyers visiting the property can be a real winner. Another added bonus to lime trees is that they are small enough to be potted. They can then be moved around strategically to achieve just the right look, including bringing one inside during that open house. Along with the enhanced aroma and foliage, this is also a terrific conversation starter pertaining to current events. Every once in a while, all it takes to grab that new property presentation idea or finalize a sale is to drink in the news, margarita in hand, hopefully made with a lime or two! This spring and summer, as you are out strolling around your neighborhood, be sure to take the time to “drink in” the landscaping of those smart and pleasant homes that feature lime, lemon and orange trees in their landscaping.
— William Curry, April 15, 2014 Access Real Estate
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Can You “Drink In” Your Property?
With the spring and summer selling seasons approaching, #home sellers and their #REALTORS® are always looking for ways to make their property stand out from the competition. Location is an immovable force and as such, not much can be done about that. Size is an element that can be changed, however, unless you’re flipping the home you would most likely prefer not to undertake such a major construction project. The simple solutions to improving a property’s presentation are: clean up the clutter inside and out, paint inside and out and complete any small repairs that are needed. Sprucing up the landscaping is an often over looked opportunity to add value and increase the appeal of a property that can be quick and easy to achieve for relatively low cost. When tied to current events, and media coverage, landscaping changes can be an attention getter and selling point.
A good example of this is the current lime shortage. Lime imports are down to such low levels that they are disappearing from the glasses of our favorite beverages and “everyday vacation” cocktail drinks! This provides an excellent opportunity to draw attention to your property by planting a few lime trees. Lime trees (Citrus aurantifolia) develop into small shrub-like trees with fruits smaller than lemons. For somewhere in the neighborhood of $40 per tree you can spruce up your landscaping and make your property stand out and smell a bit more enticing than the one next door. The aroma of a home and its surrounding property has been proven to have significant impact with buyers on the desirability of a property.
If your property already has lime trees on it, make sure they make it into the marketing material. Even offering a few limes or sliced limes in water at the open house or for agents and potential buyers visiting the property can be a real winner. Another added bonus to lime trees is that they are small enough to be potted. They can then be moved around strategically to achieve just the right look, including bringing one inside during that open house. Along with the enhanced aroma and foliage, this is also a terrific conversation starter pertaining to current events. Every once in a while, all it takes to grab that new property presentation idea or finalize a sale is to drink in the news, margarita in hand, hopefully made with a lime or two! This spring and summer, as you are out strolling around your neighborhood, be sure to take the time to “drink in” the landscaping of those smart and pleasant homes that feature lime, lemon and orange trees in their landscaping.
— William Curry, April 15, 2014 Access Real Estate
Reblogged from peterspear  3 notes

Appending the word “marketing” to everything – e.g. search engine marketing, content marketing – only reveals that they think marketing is the promotion of stuff you’ve got in the warehouse. That’s just sales at scale. There’s a place for marketing communication, which is what they mean by marketing. But real marketing is about understanding what creates value for potential customers too, and influencing what the company does as a result – in other words, real marketers influence inside their business not just outside. This is something best done without hubris. By Fiona McAnena in comments “Growth Hacking” (via peterspear)

Reblogged from peterspear  3 notes
peterspear:

PEN Surveillance Metaphor Mapping Project via

As security expert Bruce Schneier has observed, people “tend to base risk analysis more on stories than on data. Stories engage us at a much more visceral level, especially stories that are vivid, exciting, or personally involving.” Choose the wrong story, and you can overstate the risk. This means journalists should be vigilant in deciding which literature should serve as metaphors.

peterspear:

PEN Surveillance Metaphor Mapping Project via

As security expert Bruce Schneier has observed, people “tend to base risk analysis more on stories than on data. Stories engage us at a much more visceral level, especially stories that are vivid, exciting, or personally involving.” Choose the wrong story, and you can overstate the risk. This means journalists should be vigilant in deciding which literature should serve as metaphors.

Reblogged from goodideaexchange  30 notes

We assume that this will be a century of technology. But if the competition in tech moves to this new battlefield, the edge will go to those institutions that can effectively employ imagination, metaphor, and most of all, storytelling. And not just creative writing, but every discipline in the humanities, from the classics to rhetoric to philosophy. Twenty-first-century storytelling: multimedia, mass customizable, portable and scalable, drawing upon the myths and archetypes of the ancient world, on ethics, and upon a deep understanding of human nature and even religious faith. By Michael Malone. “How to Avoid a Bonfire of the Humanities” (via peterspear)

Silicon Valley Close to Cracking REALTOR Code?

What’s lost in the ongoing debate of whether or not #Realtors “deserve” their commission or are even needed at all, misses one important point. Realtors are and continue to be the integral, human foundation of the real estate and housing industry.
Buyers and sellers in a #realestate transaction tend to only look at the commission and how much a Realtor is getting paid from the standpoint of their current transaction and the money they could theoretically be saving at either end. It’s understandable for them to do this. They are seeking the best value or greatest profit at the moment they are buying or selling a home. What’s overlooked is that without Realtors, the real estate market would lack the foundation needed to determine those prices, regardless of who eventually aggregates and uses the info, whether it is mega websites, appraisers, courts, or attorneys. The benchmark for the data they use is the sale price, plus standard cost and commissions for the area, expertly ascertained by the local Realtor. They are, in essence, not only being paid for their valuable time, expertise and service in any single transaction but also for bringing whatever degree of financial stability exists to the real estate market with every transaction.
For example, what determines if a property should sell for $200,000 or $800,000? Without the accurate data, being submitted to hundreds of multiple listing services across the country, the frame of reference to reliably establish value would not exist. Where, or more importantly who, does this data come from? This data is compiled and submitted by the thousands of Realtors across the country. 
Realors serve another vital purpose as well, especially on the local level. Other than the “location, location, location” keyto value, properties vary in design, construction, amenities and neighborhood “walking score.” All of which impact value and pricing. Experienced, local Realtors not only know how all of these factors figure in to arriving at the most accurate, comparable value price but they also have working relationships with fellow Realtors which can play a vital role in having an offer accepted as well as facilitating win-win negotiations for their buyers and sellers during the transaction.
Along with the comfort and security of an experienced and licensed person walking you through one of the most significant and emotional moments in your life, the above factors are uniquely human intangibles that cannot be replaced by an algorithm. Although “cracking the Realtor code” has and will continue to be attempted at #SiliconValley incubators right down the street! Put in yesteryear’s early cyber terms: each closed transaction, completed by a Realtor, adds solid, reliable “bits of data,” ones and zeroes, to bring both tangible and intangible value to everyone in the real estate industry network, including and most importantly, our incredible clients.
— William Curry, April 8, 2014 Access Real Estate

GOT DRONES?

The next time you look up into the sky, someone up there might be looking back at you and it’s not Jeff Bezos! From the ground, up to 400 feet above, it is perfectly legal for any individual to fly a camera equipped drone over your property. While reserving judgment as to whether or not this is a positive development or productive use of technology,my interest as a REALTOR® is how this will impact my clients and their housing needs. Included within my clients’ needs and expectations is that I have a complete understanding of how the technology will affect the real estate and construction industries at large.
 
As REALTORS®, we have to stay ahead of the trends in order to help our clients make the best decisions on the buying and selling of their home before, during and after the property transaction. With that emphasis in mind, here are some insights and observations regarding the new developments in drone technology, the lower costs to purchase drones and the coming wave of drones in our skies.
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It has been our experience representing buyers and sellers throughout Silicon Valley, that our clients place a premium value on their privacy. They not only demand confidentiality and anonymity within their transaction but privacy within their home and on their property. The advent and proliferation of inexpensive, easy to operate camera drones can provide challenges in this area. 

The first place to begin safeguarding your privacy against the drone’s invasive lens would be at what can be referred to as the “eyes of your home:” the windows. Everyone loves an expansive view that inspires their soul and lets them keep an eye on the little ones but a great way to enjoy these benefits while protecting one’s privacy is to make your windows a one-way view. This can be accomplished by having the windows tinted or having factory-made tinted windows installed. A canopy over the window or window area is another way to thwart the drone’s prying eyes, as it forces the drone to change its angle.
In keeping with the canopy strategy: doors, decks, and patios should have some type of overhangs as well. Awnings work well for the doors, and simple table umbrellas or a couple of resort styled cantilever umbrellas can work for the patio and decks. Finally, taking advantage of nature’s own “canopy” can provide added value to any home in the near future as trees and landscaping on a property work wonders to enhance privacy. It is quite possible that nothing provides better cover from drones overhead than a canopy of leafy trees.
No single method will be full-proof in protecting against the drone camera but the future of real estate design and home purchases themselves will undoubtedly adjust to this new drone reality. While this Blog entry may be a little ahead of its time, Bay Area home designers, home owners and home buyers that take the coming advances in technology and drone proliferation into account in their features and upgrades might command a value added premium in their residential neighborhood.
— William Curry, April 1, 2014 Access Real Estate