February 19th, 2012
10 Ways Preparing A Property For Sale Is A Lot Like Yoga
Regular readers will know I started an absolute beginner yoga class in November. Training my body to move in certain, specific ways has been more of a challenge that I thought it would be, but it’s been paying dividends in ways I could not have imagined.
Had been contemplating it for a while, but it was an act of faith I was finally ready for. And by ‘act of faith’ I mean because I was finally really looking to change things up, the analytical brain took a back seat and the sensing, intuitive heart takes over.
Have noticed many of my thoughts as a novice mirror those of people I meet and speak with about preparing their property for sale. Some see its apparent simplicity and equate it with little worth. But even if they-sellers and agents/brokers alike-vaguely sense it could be a good thing, but will derail and frustrate themselves by struggling with what (they think) it takes to get there.
Here are 10 ways I’ve found yoga to be identical in how the refreshed home approaches preparing properties for sale:
You start with an open mind and a willing attitude.
The focus is on what you CAN do…not what you can’t do.
There is trust and respect: You trust the instructor to guide you to the best standard, the instructor respects your limits.
There is no judgement.
You work with what you have, and do the best you can.
It can take you out of your comfort zone.
You use props to help get the best possible results.
There is a commitment to the process, and to doing the best you can.
It can be uncomfortable.
It can free you up from stupid stuff, and you will literally breathe easier.
Preparing a property is a business decision, and a life decision. You are choosing to plan, and make decisions, so you can get on with your life. If your space, stuff, or circumstances are dragging you down, we should talk about how to change that.
Just call, and start the conversation. It’s really that easy.
October 20th, 2011
There are some things in the world are really starting to chafe me.
A current AARP ad shows a 60+ actor speaking, presumably to politicians in general, warning them not to mess with seniors’ benefits. Indignant, they earned these, and by-golly, they remember these things, and they vote.
While he is speaking, masses of demographically correct Nanna and Pa types are converging behind him, to ultimately be shoulder to shoulder, some with half-smiles, nodding at the camera. A little like a scene from a bad remake of a George Romero movie.
The ad’s title is Message to Congress: Cut waste and loopholes A point of view I most heartily endorse. But the tone, the vibe, I get is their elevated level of righteousness. SURE< I want to benefit from the fund I have been contributing to for 70% of my entire life already-but shouldn’t everyone who contributes be similarly entitled ? By default, are you inferring those now in their 30s, working and paying into this are even less…ummmm…entitled than I am?
Entitlement is defined by Merriam-Webster as the fact of having a right to something, or the amount to which a person has a right; and benefits as a profit earned, or gained. Very simiar, but have you ever heard someone else describe their own right to something as an entitlement? Google images for both, you’ll see what I mean.
But my bigger point how we are acting toward our fellows.
As a white, Irish-Catholic female living in the northeast, I’ve never been considered a minority. At age 53, I am not only in that demographic, I even have the card in my wallet. But something I just have to throw it out there: I think the minute we start counting up who has been wronged more, or who is owed more from the rest of society, we as a country are on a slippery slide to a fundamentally really bad and unhelpful place.
Value-or value lost-will always be in the eye of the beholder. Pick any age or demographic in our modern day : is there anyone who hasn’t had something taken away from them by others?
Whether it’s opportunitues lost or thwarted by race, creed age or gender; financial security upended, or the worlds’ ecosystem being abused-in theory, theoretically we all could have cause to be angry.
We inherit our circumstances from those that have gone before us. We “only” have the opportunity to change what lies ahead. Wishing for non-violent change, Ghandi urged us-’be the change you want to see in the world’.
I don’t want to trivialize or judge anyone’s pain or anger. There are certainly wrongs in our world that need to be righted. But real changes happen when the focus is on commonalities, and looking forward; and anger is directed at the injustice, institution or belief-an inanimate.
Horribly, history has shown us what happens when others create divisions, focus on the past, and ask that a group’s anger be directed at a specific people.
In the case of the ad, sure 50 million AAPR members are a lot of seniors, but that’s only roughly 16% of our total population of 311 million. 2010 census statistics show that 24% of the population is 18 or younger…which means 76% of the population is of working and voting age.
The words ’united we stand, divided we fall’ were part of a Revoloutionary War song written in 1768 by Bostonian John Dickinson. They’ve been the clarion call during many troubled times since.
There is a lot of anger in the world out there. Words matter. Be mindful of what you hear, and the real message. Be mindful of what you say, and how you say it. Be respectful of others. AND VOTE. In the end, we are all in this together.
August 18th, 2011
It takes a great deal of character stregnth to apologize quickly and out of the heart, rather than out of pity. A person must possess himself and have a deep sense of security in fundamental principles and values to genuinely apologize.
-Stephen R. Covey
They Got This Call Right
Baseball is near to my heart, but I really enjoy the ‘human’ aspect of most sports, the people behind the stats.
Last year I wrote about an incredible juxtaposition of sporting events, and unexpectedly, tonight the story continues.
After viewing a most despicable display of poor sportsmanship by adults at a local lacrosse tournament, and lamenting the reaction I saw on younger, impressionable fans, we came home to the news that with 2 outs in the 9th inning, an ump blew a call, costing the pitcher the holy grail of pitching, a perfect game.
After the game, incredibly, the umpire, Jim Joyce was in tears, apologizing, knowing what he cost that pitcher.
In turn, and even more surprisingly, the pitcher, Armando Galarraga could not have been more gracious. Their mutual respect towards each other, and their goodness in handling a bad situation well, and with grace brought tears to my eyes.
Today, it was announced that this very umpire, who was a well-respected member of the umpiring crew before this event-was voted best umpire in major league baseball by the players themselves. And it wasn’t a squeaker, either; he received 35% of the vote, almost double what the next vote-getter received.
There are lots of lessons here, and all of them good. Thanks, MLB players-you got this call right.
July 29th, 2011
The Wisdom Of Sir Winston
Been thinking about Winston Churchill a lot lately…HA-bet you’ve never read that opening line before!!
Always found his quotes both intriguing and centering…direct and succinct, yet often personal and witty. No matter his context, they seem contemporary, and are perfectly suited to help me keep my focus and equilibrium perfectly calibrated.
Last year, for my birthday, I asked a learned friend to pick me out a simple biography. It is currently occupying the ‘on-deck’ position in the pile of my ‘to-reads’, but maybe this will be the weekend…
Meantime, with all the drama in DC, and this housing market, it’s been hard keeping some distance, and not feel the life-force get sucked out of me…. maybe you need a bit of a boost, too? Here are some of my favorites to ruminate on:
-Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.
~A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.
~You have enemies? Good. That means you stood up for something, sometime in your life.
~We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
~If you are going to go through hell, keep going.
~To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.
~Solitary trees, if they grow, grow strong.
~However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.
~I never worry about action, only inaction.
~The first quality that is needed is audacity.
-Meeting Franklin Roosevelt was like opening your first bottle of champagne; knowing him was like drinking it.
And of course
~ Never ever ever give up.
July 19th, 2011
the ‘little c’
Today I have two messages, connected in an unexpected way.
Earlier today I underwent a routine health screening procedure that is recommended for people my age. Everything went beautifully. I was in good health going into it, so with God’s good grace, this will continue to be the case.
This procedure has a very high ICK factor, and required extended preparation on my part, which was one reason I put off scheduling it for a few years.
And that is POINT #1: If you are overdue for any regular health care, Man-Up (or Woman-Up) and JUST DO IT.
And if you think you don’t have the time….getting sick , even dying is really inconvenient and time-consuming.
Just as with houses, deferring maintenance does not make it go away.
During this whole process, I was in a brand-new circumstance. With health-care professionals I never met before. Talking about some fairly intimate things. Totally uncharted territory; I was nervous, vulnerable and apprehensive. Funny thing about fear, it can bring new insights and lots of clarity, in a hurry.
Because I love what I do, am always looking for new ways to present and deliver a better product and experience. One thing I do is look for things that work well, try to understand why, then see if I can draw a parallel in my own business. The product or the field doesn;t matter to me, if it makes people happy I want to know why/how.
I found myself thinking this experience was a very fresh look- a good reminder-of how it feels to be a potential customer.
ALSO-I got a renewed, and very personal perspective on the value of working with true experienced professionals.
Experience is not just about time put in someplace. Whether you work on cars or brains, at a cash register, in a library or a corner office-it’s about what one learns, and how one uses that knowledge to continually better both themselves, and the experience for others.
In many cases it means you know enough to answer most questions, but that you also know to look for unasked questions, and unspoken concerns, then how to coax them out, and make them part of the conversation.
Professionals know the journey, and understand preparing clients in a thorough, kind and direct way is just as much a part of a good process as anything else.
Oh yes…and they care. Usually a lot.
If you are an experienced professional who has made someone’s life easier today-I thank you, even if your client forgot.
If you are a client, or another professional who’s had a good experience with someone, call them tomorrow and thank them.
And if you are Dr. Geders, or one of her team at MKMG, I thank you all very much.
July 4th, 2011
Marie's Big Table...hopefully Bella made it out ok!!
Stagers and Agents Together, Part Deux
It’s been a week of big thinking. Last weekend I wrote a post on ActiveRain about Agents working with Stagers, and it was and it was featured nationally. Very cool. Wonderful for the exposure, and brought a lot of great feedback to the table… good thing I work on a big table!!
Agents who are reluctant to work with Stagers confound me. My rationale is that we work in so many similar ways, and where not alike, we can be quite complimentary. As food for thought, last post covered Goals, Skills and Expertise, and Education/Accreditation, here are some more similarities:
Income: Stagers and Agents both make their livings providing a specialized, relationship-based service. We love tho get The JOB, but know 95% of the time we need to get the RELATIONSHIP first.
Passion: Some days-situations-are more challenging than others, but Stagers and Agents I know L-O-V-E what they do. The vast majority, I believe, also continually strive to do it better.
Value: Stagers and Agents offer a value-based service. There is no standardized product, or means of delivery. Our success is tied to the degree we can demonstrate value by diagnosing, then solving problems, and removing pain.
It’s not an abstraction; ours is an interactive process. It means we have to know who you are, and what your pain is.
Time is Money: Most people think of this as a prompt, perhaps a nicer way to say ‘come on, times-a-wasting’. Rather, I believe Stagers and Agents think of time spent as time invested, and make no mistake, it’s an investment they are happy to make.
BUT-success often depends on the investment being a joint account, where all parties participate, contribute, and are committed to the investment.
AGENTS: If you know this to be part of your formula for success, you are JUSTOHSOCLOSE to even greater amazingness! Call me today, let’s talk about how we can get your properties S-O-L-D!!
June 25th, 2011
CHANGE: Something We Can ALL Get…Behind
Such a powerful word. Immediately it can inspire a plethora of images and emotions.
In world of the refreshed home, I have observed a subtle but solid shifting that is well, REFRESHING, and fills my heart with joy.
I see smart and regular folks from all sides starting to put fear aside and making decisions to get on with their lives. I hear sense and reason returning, even see confidence and happiness making the occasional cameo. Not all sunshine and rainbows, but buyers and sellers who want to move forward, and agents who are confident, adaptive and reality-based is a heck of a start.
Some changes are easier than others…often they impact others, who of course have their own reactions. But I’ve found the reality is that making changes can be a two-fold blessing: besides your end result, there is the confidence gained, and equilibrium to your decision making process gets restored by making the attempt.
May you approach all your changes with an faith, a little humor and your eyes on the…ummm…end result.
June 4th, 2011
GRAND RE-OPENING: Manna Foods, 171 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains NY 10601
Like success stories? The kind where hard work, solid core values, sustained focus and commitment to a goal are how it happens? Well, me too- and you will LOVE this one!!
Running a small business has never been ‘easy’, but the last few years have presented even greater challenges. Some have been squeezed out, others hang on.
Last week, Manna Foods became twice the store it had been.
Operating in the same 1000 sf storefront since 1977, this health food store took down a wall, and expanded into the adjacent vacant store, doubling their space.
Niels Svendsen, Manna’s founder and owner, gives a lot of credit to the building’s owner, Paul Dillani, for his vision, sense of community and support.
Paul also owns the adjacent restaurants, The Porter House and Hudson Grill; sharing the outside dining space is one example of his wiser, big-picture philosophy.
As our economy is starting to regenerate, it’s a great story on its own, but it’s got an even better back story.
Their customers travel from all over Westchester, but to anyone who lives in lower Westchester, has ever shopped on Mamaroneck Avenue, or worked in White Plains-Manna Foods hardly needs any introduction.
For nearly 34 years, Manna Foods has been an anchor in the continually shifting face of retail in downtown White Plains . Simply: providing area residents good choices about healthy food is pretty much Niels’ mission in life.
The list of what to like about Manna Foods is substantial:
They carry a well-chosen assortment of certified organic, natural and minimally processed foods, beverages and produce, AND a full line of vitamins and supplements their own private label, plus several brand name lines all nicely discounted.
The Food Bar, where every weekday fresh vegetarian loaves and soups, stews, chilis, salads, wraps and burritos, along with fresh-squeezed juices are made for the lunchtime crowd.
(Doug gave the Macho Stew 2 thumbs up-tasty and satisfying; and after reading their NYT review- am now watching the daily menu for the next appearance of the curried brown rice.)
You can shop online, and healthier choices are both easier and more convenient with their website: there are recipes, resources and health news, as well as an exhaustive reference library, where all you might ever need to know about conditions, wellness, drugs, herbs and supplements is literally A-Z, under Treatment Options.
The interior is bright and airy, and ohyes, lunch in the back courtyard is a lovely, relaxing mid-day repast.
But IMO, what makes Manna Foods such a great find are the people, their passions and principles.
They have not just been a presence in downtown White Plains all these years, they have been a personality.
I have been an occasional customer for at least 15 years, and without exception, every person I’ve ever spoken to there knew what they were talking about, and genuinely wanted to help me-not ‘sell’ me.
Besides Niels, there are 7 other employees at Manna. In retail where turnover is HUGE, Mannas’ staff STAYS. Gregory (r), pictured here with Niels- goes back 32 years with Manna-first few years as a customer, but an employee all the rest.
Bottom line, Manna Foods is a gem. Stop in, see their ‘new’ space, have a California Burger in the back courtyard, and get to know these great neighbors.
June 2nd, 2011
Four years ago I came to know of Furniture Sharehouse through an article in the local paper…where unwanted, unneeded furniture in good condition was collected, then re-distributed free, to local residents in need.
Victims of fire or floods, displaced seniors and veterans, families moving into more permanent housing were some of their clients.
Working retail at the time, it was a great referral for clients who were buying things, and were looking for a place to donate what they no longer wanted/needed, but they knew would be of value to someone else.
Shortly thereafter, I launched the refreshed home, so with a more flexible schedule, I was able to get involved. Since then, Furniture Sharehouse has become near and dear to my heart.
Here is a video that was created 2-1/2 years ago by award-winning Mamaroneck journalist Polly Kriesman as part of a pitch for a PBS series. (PBS ultimately passed, their loss but our gain, thank you Polly!) And ohyes, current tally shows Furniture Sharehouse has now helped furnish 1400 Westchester families, with furniture worth over $1.6M…
As you might imagine, the basics are always in demand: sofas, kitchen tables and chairs, dressers and BEDS. From week to week, it’s never known what will be donated, until we get that call or email, so we scramble…while we can usually meet most clients’ needs, sometimes we just don’t have what they need.
Today, our collective hearts were full with joy.
Thanks to a grant from the United Way, shipping and storage services from Connie Levene and John Levene of CONRI Services, and the good folks at Tempur-pedic, over 100 sets of bedding were donated to Furniture Sharehouse.
News12 covered the event, and at the end of the day, the Mannings’ kids will be sleeping in real mattresses.
Evoking Maslow’s Hirearchy of Needs, I have seem the good that can happen, once the basics of someone’s home are met.
Find out more, www.furnituresharehouse.org, and tell your friends.
April 16th, 2011
Is it just me, or is absolutely everyone else talking/reading/thinking Real Estate these days?!
With all the quantity of ‘stuff’ out there, it’s harder to recognize, then retain the pearls…wanted to share two things I recently read, that really resonated for me.
Chances are we have all been on both sides of this first one: the struggle over exchanging an email address.
Whether for business or social reasons, as the emailee we resist, wanting info, but not wanting to be fast-tracked into junk mail hell, or virus-infested cyberspace… just what I need, another friend who traveled to London and got mugged…
As a potential emailer, if you are reading this, chances are excellent you are asking for a worthwhile reason.
Yet we play the part of a persistent suitor: battling the memory of, while trying to atone for the sins of a past insincere love.
‘REALLY-I’m different…’ you inwardly protest!
’I would NEVER_______’ you exclaim silently!
Strains of BJ Thomas’ Somebody Done Somebody Wrong (Song) play in your head, as you search for words to explain the unexplainable why.
Susan Emo, a Realtor at RE/MAX Riverview Realty of 1000 Islands Brokerage in Canada has my favorite answer, a very professional approach to this “why”: ‘Because you’ll never know when I’ll have something great to pass on to you….you wouldn’t want to miss out, would you?”
Simple and succinct; communicates every good intent and principle. Susan recommends having the phone in hand when asking, so all contact info gets programmed right in-excellent, a two-fer!
Stepping it up a notch… delivering unpleasant information is difficult for most. But no matter what the topic is-if the information is misleading, incomplete or incorrect, it will come back to haunt us. The ramifications of deferred pain are often worse.
Just as little Bobby and Susie are going to want to one day visit Sparky who is having fun at a farm in the country, or your best friend will think about getting that…umm…interesting hair cut (again)- if I don’t completely and professionally prepare the Realtor, my clients, as well as the property to the best of my ability, ONE DAY they will want to discuss why no one wants to buy their house.
The push-pull of coming to an agreement of a listing price for a house is the parallel for agents. IMHO taking an over-priced listing -or insisting on a price as a condition of listing with that agent benefits no one and hurts many; the whys are a topic for another time.
“I tell the truth” seems to be the preferred way to position oneself to justify delivering difficult information or advice you know will not be well-received, but I like Loreena Yeo’s take on it better. Loreena, a Realtor in Frisko, Texas simply says-”I don’t participate in false hope”.
A positive, pro-active, responsible and professional statement, covering every inner conflict, ans 100% transferable. In six words. I have both of these on the wall behind my desk.
March 25th, 2011
Late last year I went thru a big learning curve…not about doing the job, but in how to market to, and reach the people I want to work with.
I was not happy with how things had been going, and I was angry and frustrated.
Then, I found ‘her’.
Months later, it is spring. Lessons have been learned, smarter choices have paid off.
People-buyers, seller and realtors-are feeling better, less fearful. And I am also feeling DARN GOOD about things in general-so I have brought her back.
This time-confident, powerful, passionate, and all about getting the job done. And ohyes, now she is -
Your Interior Decorator and Home Stager With A Mission!!
March 16th, 2011
OK, so by now we are good with overly-doting parents, refrigerator clutter, and ‘the party house’; sex, religion and politics-right?
EXCELLENT!! Onward, then!!
QUESTION: What do pets, kids, people who smoke and cooking have in common?
ANSWER: Easy answer is they…ummm emit odors.
QUESTION: How to help a seller come to terms with, and remedy this condition?
A) Elevate the discussion, and focus on the positive first. Acknowledge that at the very core, in the majority of cases, these odor-emitters are also what bring light and love into a home and a life.
B) Separate the sin from the sinner. Understand-while buyers will smell wet dog, nasty sneakers, stale smoke and lingering fish.
Sellers think of the wagging tail that greets them every morning, the pride of their kid making the jump shot at the buzzer, perhaps their beloved spouse who is so struggling to quit, or who very romantically made the grilled salmon or scampi for dinner the night before.
C) Early on, everything is about getting the house sold. Period. It is the motivation, rationale and answer to everything. It allows for kindness, compassion and forthrightness to be present simultaneously.
D) …is for ‘de-personalize’ it. The reality is that today many people have allergies, asthma, or some other sort of respiratory ailment…why shrink the buyer pool unnecessarily?
E) “We are all in this together” My sellers know I am with them, every step of the way. So they truly get that while it may be hard for them to hear of their odoriferous conditions, it is just as hard to tell them.
February 26th, 2011
Fine for everything from toothpaste and cars, electronics, vacation destinations and upscale frozen food. Remember Carol Merrill from Let’s Make A Deal? Lawn mowers never looked better.
Your listing? Snort…giggle…blush…awkward silence…umm, not so much.
Generally, any extreme or over-personalized home décor gets panned by potential buyers, and it distracts buyers from seeing the space.
TV shows tackle the usual scenarios: exuberant color schemes, too much stuff, and funky or outdated themes; but how do you deal sellers’ décor that should require ID, or a parent or guardian?
Or a den that looks like a campaign headquarters? Homes whose cup doth runneth over with religious symbols/icons?
-Don’t over-think it, or get pulled into the emotional aspect
-Ask ‘Could/would/does ______ get in the way of selling this house?’ This desensitizes, and keeps it a business discussion
-Your official* line is anything that makes you think of anything besides buying and living in this house needs to be packed away
-*Corollary: Real Estate is hyper-local. It would be foolish to deny there are accepted differences in different markets
-Start with best-case suggestions. You may have to pick your battles, but you’re on the record, and can always re-visit
-Addressing all concerns with seller clearly and early on, is both kind and efficient Bringing things up after house has been on the market for 6 months is a bad fallback
-If the seller or agent is unsure or uncomfortable with any of this, PLEASE start the conversation with a Professional Stager first
(Good) Professional Stagers work with agents to create solutions that meet the clients needs and expectations, and support the agents’ marketing and pricing strategy. Because they believe in honoring the clients and their possessions, it is always done within a respectful relationship.
NEXT: Sniff, sniff-how many cats did you say you have??
February 2nd, 2011
Why, I’m talking about your brain, OF COURSE!
While these days find it ohsotempting to be one with the sofa, while decked out in comfy-cozies, I find too much ‘relaxing’ dulls the gray matter.
Exploring new horizons, meeting different people, engaging in something new doesn’t just make the time pass quickly. It builds new brain synapses, and is a great quick-start to your creativity. You will feel empowered, inspired, and well, refreshed.
Here are three quick, easy and cheap-to-free ways to keep you in top form, you know, for when it finally stops snowing…
1. Go to a bookstore, or the local library and browse through the new titles. There is a lot to know/see/think about in this world of ours, the new releases will span a broad spectrum of topics, great food for thought, and for those ‘small talk’ occassions that seem to sneak right up on you.
2. Go to a museum. PLEASE. I can’t say this enough (or keep writing about it!!) No matter where you live, I can almost guarantee that there are a handful of places you have never visited within a half-hours drive, and many have free or reduced admission at certain times. Learn something new, see something from another’s point of view.
3. Take a class, or attend a talk. This is ‘High Season’ for Adult/Continuing Education in most local school districts or community colleges.
I took scuba diving at the Y this time of year once. While it wasn’t a hobby I ultimately pursued, I completed the course, and got my certificate, and for 6 weeks, got out of the house doing something different one night a week.
Dining Etiquette, Cartooning, All About Pearls-all part of our own WCC’s veritable smorgorsboard (orgasboard-orgasboard) of a line up. Check it out and have fun. Your sofa could use a night off.
January 1st, 2011
Conceptually, New Years Day is one of my favorite holidays. I like thinking about the future, and the way I want to get there; individual words propel me.
Unexpected and nuanced words are the ones I hear best. As intangible touchstones, they linger and invite possibilities; open up the imagination; forge, define and illuminate the path.
2010 brought a lot of challenges, but it was a wonderful year. Thinking it through, here are some of the words-and the whys- that will continue to color and shape myself, my business, my writings and my interactions in 2011.
Resonate, ponder, profound, thoughtful: Courses charted and decisions made in 2011 will be meaningful and personal
Whimsy. Big in 2010, keeping it, adding joy and delight. Why? Why not ?? I like things that make me think first, then smile.
Wisdom = Knowledge + understanding + experience + confidence.
Promise, hope, opportunity: I will probably always believe our best days are ahead of us.
Kind, heart, compassion, philanthropic: Lessons learned from the last few years.
Re-: Just add the verb of your choice, it’s doubly empowering. Recalibrate, rejuvenate, refresh, refine, rededicate, re-evaluate, refresh…
Passion, relish, zeal: Life is too short not to grab every opportunity to be intensely happy.
December 28th, 2010
January has arrived in a big way, and it’s hard not to get drawn into the whole resoloution thing.
While we may want a new set of circumstances, that whole actual change-thing…well, maybe not so much.
Many find the allure of setting a new path, and aiming high for the New Year comes to metaphorical fisticuffs with the realities of the cold, short days of winter.
What if I had a suggestion that could help save, even make you money? Required no special clothing, no measuring or weighing, no renouncing of anything. No lifestyle change, or on-going time commmitment; in fact it could free up some time, and make you more productive??
There is a lot of pressure in January, but if you are a REALTOR, or a property owner who wants to sell in the New Year, here’s your key to a long-term lease in a happy place: resolve to start a conversation with a Professional Stager.
Sorry, no Ginzu steak knives will be thrown in, but finding out more about how to put your property’s best foot forward could be the most most productive hour you will spend all year. Buyers who want to be in a house by summer are looking now, is your house ready?
Be in touch directly, or come see me. Saturday January 29th I will be speaking at the Mount Kisco Public Library; Saturday February 5th at the Ossining Public Library. Send-or better yet-BRING-your sellers.
December 11th, 2010
Come close. Closer.
And yes, that’s the first thing.
1. It is not easy being involved in the housing industry these days, but of all the things I know for sure, the desire for a space to call one’s own is in our DNA is near the top of the list. If we all took a deep breath, we’d all be a lot better off.
2. Start the conversation What most people know about Staging is what they see on TV. HGTV elevates your level of pain, but it’s not reality. Stagers know what buyers like to see, and how to make your house look it’s best, but a good Stager will welcome your questions, because that’s how we come up with solutions you can live with.
3. You can do more than you think you can. REALLY.
November 26th, 2010
Have written about belonging to ActiveRain before, the nationwide online community of Real Estate professionals, almost 197K strong.
As a Stager, it’s a great place to be-these are some of the smartest people in the business, and the more I understand what Realtors think about and why, the better I am at my job.
About every 3rd or 4th day a Realtor writes a featured post about getting a house ready for sale: how important it is, what it entails and why. INEVITABLY agents from all corners respond, YES! OF COURSE! IMPERATIVE!!
These responses make me crazy.
OK< I admit, my inital, gut level response is why the heck are none of these vocal, pro-staging agents located in my state, or even my time zone??
Then-frustration. It is the same (small-ish) pool of people. Saying the same thing.
The reality is there is a big disconnect most Realtors have between Staging as a good thing in principle, vs. Staging that actually puts money in their pocket. The few and the vocal are preaching to the choir, the rest view Staging as an intellectual pursuit.
Investing time energy and some funds in putting a house’s best foot forward is something that needs to be spoken of at the first meeting, directly and confidently. You get confident about something by doing it.
I find it absolutely stunning that new agents are indoctrinated on presentation scripts, but not this. That experienced agents take less-than-desirable listings, thinking the buyer’s agent will work the magic. Or brokers allow dated, out of focus, under-lit and otherwise odd/unhelpful to abysmal photos be shown on their listings. .
I understand the plethora of challenges you all face, but if you, your seller, fellow agents or agents you supervise/mentor are not getting the results you want, might it not be time to change things up a bit?
Being pro-Staging does not mean you talk about it when it is easy and the sellers are amenable. It does not mean you talk about it in the third person, as in you’ve seen it done in other homes, or on all the HGTV shows.
Instead, you need to find a local professional Stager that you like, and start the conversation BEFORE the house goes on the market. BEFORE you meet your next listing call. BEFORE you start thinking about the next/newest techno-way to bump up your business. BEFORE you plan the next price reduction.
Invest the time NOW. To that end, I am declaring December to be Start the Conversation month.
To any now-enthused Owner-Broker, Mentor, or Office Manager reading this: Call me.
If your office is within a 25 mile radius of White Plains, I will come to your office for a 1/2 day during the month of December and run a workshop for your INTERESTED agents, for free. REALLY.
November 9th, 2010
Fluffy bunny…rattlesnake…you might guess how a situation like this would play out.
Guess again! Elizabeth Arduian, a Realtor from Lubbock, Texas found a different ending-AND- a great metaphor for almost any field or situation you can think of.
In a recent blog post on ActiveRain, the online Real Estate community, she used a great YouTube clip and asked us to look at how we react when things don’t go our way, how do we handle challenges?
We all have days that get the better of us, it’s part of being human. But we can also choose to let those be the minority. If you are not happy where you are-wherever that may be-you have options. Challenge what is expected, don’t passively accept the status quo.
The current ecomony, as well as the recent elections have left many of us feeling stuck, powerless and off-track. I say: change the channel, get in touch with you inner bunny, and move forward!!
A founding belief here at the refreshed home is that if you are in charge of your space, you will be in charge of your life. Taking action will free up space in your head, and let you get on with your life, REALLY.
GO, bunny, GO!! (And thanks again, Elizabeth!!)
November 5th, 2010
Am I the only one, 72 hours out, still feeling bruised, bullied, even dirtied from all the political campaigns?
Regardless of your affiliation, it was hard to escape the rancor or this electoral season, harder to imagine this not carrying over, or the sessions to follow accomplishing anything of importance with this bad attitude.
Personally and professionally, I have always felt dealing with people directly, and with respect is how to get things done. ”Incivility” is a word I first read in an op-ed piece in the NY Times about the message our preoccupation with our electronic devices really sends; loved it.
Very fortuitously, just as the dust is settling and the posturing is starting, I found a short essay, with a simple suggestion that I would call brilliant.
Joe Reeder is a former assistant secretary of the Army, and a lawyer in Washington. In a piece written earlier this year, he describes a quick, easy, no-cost, no downside way to help neutralize partisan nonsense so all our elected officials can really focus on the task at hand. http://www.aarp.org/politics-society/government-elections/info-05-2010/break_up_political_parties.html.
If you want your elected officials to walk that walk, please consider sharing this with them. Common courtesy and professional respect, now THAT would be a refreshed house we could all get behind!!