Let Your Lights Shine!
Guest Article by Rachel Borrelli
REALTORS® often ask “Is it really necessary to change the lighting in a home when preparing a home for sale?”
While I cannot guarantee a sale of a home, I can say that outdated light fixtures suggest work. Work does not suggest TURN KEY – a term every home buyer wants to hear. It means we can move in and slowly change the things we don’t like in order to make it our own. “My home, my way.”
Now if you’re a handyman that may not mean anything, as it’s not a big job and it certainly does not need to be expensive! The big box stores and specialty lighting stores all have plenty of choices at all price points.
So when do we know if we should suggest the lights be changed:
• When they are rusty, damaged or just 20 years old and show it
• When they don’t suit the standard of the luxury home you are selling
• When there is inadequate/insufficient lighting to properly illuminate the room or closet
• When they are disproportionate and out of scale
What should it be changed to, and how trendy should the lights be? Think simple, stylish lights in silver or nickel metal with a brushed or shiny finish.
Only use a gold light fixture when all the hardware in the house is still original gold. As a general rule, leave the rustic, industrial or super modern styles for newer homes.
That does not mean you should not change out a single light because you cannot afford to change them all. If your front entrance and dining light are in the same view, then change both (but not every room).
A dark and dingy home is not appealing and can make rooms appear smaller. Ensure the rooms are bright by replacing bulbs with the maximum lighting wattage the fixture will allow.
Don’t forget to add supplemental lighting with lamps, which also create that peaceful, comfortable mood or task lighting for reading in a corner or for cooking under the kitchen cabinets.
Another tip is to use a soft white or warm white throughout each room. Not yellow or a bluish white. At the very least, ensure that all the bulbs are giving out the same colour in a room.
Refresh and dramatically transform or update your listing with the simple change of a light feature.
About Rachel Borelli
We met Rachel in Calgary and were very impressed with her. We asked her to write a guest blog post to share some of her knowledge with you. This blog is information that you can take to your next listing – and don’t forget to call Rachel if you’re an agent in the Calgary area.
Rachel is the owner and lead Property Stylist of Diversa Designs Inc., serving Calgary and surrounding areas since 2010. As a member of the Canadian Certified Staging Association and the Real Estate Staging Association, she believes staying current matters and sharing that information, so your listings sell for top dollar and as quickly as possible!
September is the new January.
September is the new January.
At least when it comes to setting goals.
When January 1st hits, many of us make New Year’s resolutions in hopes to eat better, live healthier, do more, be more productive, etc. As most of us can attest to, by March 1st, we’re nowhere near on track to keep our resolutions. With the cold weather, shorter hours of sunlight, hopes of vacations and dreams of spring & summer, we often get distracted from our goals.
However, after summer winds down and fall begins, it seems like everyone gets a chance to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. Routines become common place once again and it’s easier to focus with the pull of summer days behind us. As a result, it’s a great time to revisit or even set new goals. With a quarter of the year left, it’s also easy to see the results of short-term goals before the New Year.
Remember to make your goals SMART. Specific; Measurable; Attainable; Relevant and Time Based.
What do you think about setting goals in September? Does it feel like a second start to the year to you?
Comment on our Facebook page.
Turning a Customer into a Loyal Advocate
I don’t think REALTOR® training fully equips you for the all roles you have to take on when you sell houses! Aside from being a stellar sales person, master negotiator and amazing business person, a great REALTOR® needs to be a therapist, a teacher and a mountain mover. And this all has to occur sometimes even before the contract is signed! You pour your heart and soul into this business and the people you work with.
So after all of the heart you put into each client, they’re certain to be loyal to you, right?! Yes! And no. Loyalty is a lot like Rome: it’s built day by day.
There is a science to promoting loyalty with your clients. Loyalty is directly proportional to how valued your clients feel they are. Loyalty is built when you are consistent, offer value and ask for business.
Many of you have heard this formula from us before. Trust me, you’ll hear it again because it’s the most important thing you can do for your past clients! Make them feel appreciated and valued and they will bring business back to you again and again.
There’s proof in the numbers – The National Association of REALTORS® surveyed home buyers and sellers and found 88% of people who used a real estate agent to buy/sell would use your services again or refer you to the people they care about. And according to a consumer research study done by RE/MAX, 69% of your clients expect to hear from you after the real estate transaction has closed. That’s because you’ve sold them on your value and what you have to offer and they want to keep the relationship going that you’ve created. If you want those clients who are sold on your services to stay loyal – follow the formula! Here’s how it works:
Consistent communication continues the comfortable connection you’ve already created with your client. Comfort is a good thing because when your client has a real estate question, they will ask you, the person they’re comfortable confiding in. Consistent contact can be many things: it could be a phone call, a newsletter, a video message, an email – anything you know your client can see, hold and hear on schedule. That’s really the key – schedule your connection so it happens on time, every time.
Your clients want their connection with you to be worthwhile. So however you choose to consistently connect with them, you want them to perceive value in that connection. The important thing to note here is that value to this past client is not necessarily real estate based, many of them are no longer thinking about buying and selling, it has to be based on their place in life right now. Mix it up a little! Send a newsletter full of decorating trends and entertaining ideas for their new home, send a video with an explanation of the newest mortgage rules or start a Facebook live video and introduce the hottest new restaurant in your neighbourhood. The value items your past clients can relate to are the ones that will keep you top of mind.
ASK FOR BUSINESS.
The fact you’ve decided to stay in contact tells your past clients you’re ready to take on business they send your way, but make it clearer by asking. Most people like to follow directions so if you tell people to ‘call you with any real estate questions’ or ‘refer your friends and family’ you are more likely to get those phone calls than if you leave contact up to their discretion.
Your past clients want to be your greatest advocates. You can encourage their loyalty by following the three simple steps: Be consistent. Offer value. Ask for business. Show them your appreciation and watch the business come back to you. DMS Connect can help keep your connections consistent and valuable with our Mini-Mag and E-newsletter programs. Start connecting today.
A Sneak Peek
It may not be Christmas in June, but it’s coming soon! Here’s a sneak peek at some of our fresh Holiday mail designs for our Flat Cards. Click the image below to scroll through the cards.
And here are samples of our Holiday Letters – sent on their own or included with your Day Planner.
Stay tuned for information on how you can order Holiday Flat Cards, Day Planners, Calendar mail service and more…
Also, check out our Facebook Page for more sneak peeks and client holiday gift ideas.
Monthly Motivation – giving back
A Google search for quotes on giving back returns millions of results in a mere seconds. Obviously, giving back is a large part of many lives.
At DMS Connect, our staff all give back in their own ways – through coaching kids teams, volunteering at the local theater, counselling those in need, etc. In addition, the team likes to support a cause or two throughout the year and rally our network (REALTORS® across Canada) to help us in our support. It feels really great to see our ideas and plans grow and turn into more than an office-wide feat. We greatly appreciate the folks (in our community and across the country) that step up to support our causes as well as their own.
Over the last couple of weeks we, at DMS Connect, have rallied behind the Edmonton Hope Mission in a campaign to provide kids going to summer camp with the essentials (and extras) to make their camp experience one not to forget. Our camp chair quickly became overwhelmed with stuffed animals, toys, hygiene and art supplies. It was a heartwarming sight to see colleagues and friends come in with donations to support our drive. Thank you to those who stopped by and to those who liked, shared and mentioned our efforts via our Facebook posts.
We want to know: How is giving back a part of your life? Comment below or on our Facebook page.
Make Summer Camp Amazing for local kids
Today we are kicking off a Camp Kit Drive in support of the Hope Mission’s Kids Giving Hope campaign.
Please drop off any previously loved or new stuffies to our office (101-10620 178 St NW, Edmonton) along with supplies for Camp Kits. See what they need here.
The kicker is we have to have everything delivered on June 1, so please make a point to stop by before May 31.
A generous donor is also matching all financial donations this month up to $60,000 so if shopping isn’t your thing, please feel free to donate here.
Let’s help make a difference for some kids this summer!
If Edmonton isn’t your home town, we encourage you to find a cause near and dear to you and help support it this summer.
8 Secrets to Success
Why do people succeed? Is it because they’re smart? Or are they just lucky? Neither. Analyst Richard St. John condenses years of interviews into an unmissable 3-minute slideshow on the real secrets of success. This talk was presented at an official TED conference.
Richard St. John is a self-described average guy who found success doing what he loved. He spent more than a decade researching the lessons of success — and distilling them into 8 words, 3 minutes and one successful book.
What are your secrets to success? Do you agree with Richard St. John? Comment below or on our Facebook page.
Monthly Motivation – getting ahead
What’s holding you back? What’s the best thing you started that moved your business ahead?
Comment below or on our Facebook page.
A Very Special Bank Account
Imagine you had a bank account that deposited $86,400 each morning. The account carries over no balance from day to day, allows you to keep no cash balance, and every evening cancels whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every dollar each day!
We all have such a bank. Its name is Time.
Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever time you have failed to use wisely. It carries over no balance from day to day. It allows no overdraft so you can’t borrow against yourself or use more time than you have.
Each day, the account starts fresh. Each night, it destroys any unused time. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, it’s your loss and you can’t appeal to get it back.
There is never any borrowing time. You can’t take a loan out on your time or against someone else’s. The time you have is the time you have and that is that. Time management is yours to decide how you spend the time, just as with money you decide how you spend the money. It is never the case of us not having enough time to do things, but the case of whether we want to do them and where they fall in our priorities.
What are you spending your daily balance on? Is there anything you can delegate or outsource in your business so you have more time to focus on what really matters to you?
Join in the conversation in the comments here or on our Facebook page.
It’s how you look at it that counts
A story about candy and perception and how it can affect your business.
One beautiful, sunny day a man was walking his granddaughter home from school. They walked toward the centre of town and the little girl looked up at her grandpa and asked if they could stop by the candy store for a treat. The grandpa agreed, and as they approached the store he noticed there were two candy stores in the centre of town, one on the left side of the road and one on the right.
“Which candy store should we go to?” the man asked his granddaughter.
“We always go to the store on the right side of the road,” the little girl said.
“Sure,” said the Grandpa, “But why did you choose that store over the one on the left?”
“Well,” the little girl said, “The lady at the store on the right side of the road is really nice. She always gives us extra candy.”
The Grandpa asked, “What about the store on the left side of the road?”
“That lady is really mean,” said the little girl, “She always takes candy away from us.”
The Grandpa and the little girl entered the candy store and ordered ½ a pound of hard candy. The lady at the counter took a small scoop of the candy and placed it on the scale. She continued to add candy to the scale until it read 0.5 lbs.
“See!” said the little girl as she took the bag of candy and walked out the door with a big smile on her face.
Now the Grandpa was intrigued, he decided to also get a bag of candy from the store on the left side of the road. When they walked in the store they were greeted with a friendly smile and a, “how can I help you?” The Grandpa ordered ½ a pound of hard candy.
The lady behind the counter took a gigantic scoop of candy and placed it up on the weigh scale, she then proceeded to remove candy until the scale read 0.5 lbs.
~ Author Unknown
The lesson here isn’t the bottom line – both stores sold 0.5 lbs of candy. The lesson is about perception – how customers and potential customers see your actions. Adding services (or in this case candy) results in a favourable opinion whereas deducting services can be a detriment. Promise less and provide more and you’re sure to please.
What do you do to better your client’s perception of you?