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Trendy Bathroom Upgrades for a Quick Sell

A recent poll on Houzz, a popular home design website, asked consumers what bathroom improvements they desire most. Many of the answers were both luxurious and affordable, and others were downright simple changes to make. Here are five hot bathroom upgrades and some ideas for incorporating them into your home to ensure a quick sell.

skylight1. Skylights

In rooms where privacy is a concern, skylights can provide both natural light and ventilation. They’re beautiful, endowing bathrooms with a major “wow” factor, and practical.  Energy Star-qualified no-leak, solar-powered fresh-air skylights can help trim electricity costs by providing natural light and passively venting moist, warm air from the room.

bathroomb2c2. Lighted vanity mirror

Home improvement stores, design studios and online retailers carry a variety of lighted vanities in shapes, sizes, styles and light sources (LED, CFL or incandescent) to suit virtually every taste. Installing one is a simple do-it-yourself job that has a big impact on a bathroom’s appearance and usability.

3. Double-flush toilet

Dual-flush toilets use only the water you need to get the job done, so they contribute positively to a home’s overall footprint and can help save on water bills. They’re a lower-cost upgrade, and even more cost-effective when installed by a savvy DIYer.

towelwarmer2

 

4. Towel warmers

Wall-mounted or free-standing, plug-in or hard-wired, all towel warmers work the same way; heated bars warm towels hung on the rack, providing a cozy, warm towel every time you bathe. Plug-in versions install easily, while hard-wired ones may require professional installation.

footrest5. Shower foot rest

Foot rests are an economical improvement – some suction-cup styles cost under $20. For a more refined look or enhanced sturdiness, it’s possible to find one that anchors into the wall through screws, or a style built into shower surrounds. If you’re redoing your shower stall, it’s the perfect time to add a stylish, sturdy foot rest.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

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Transform Small Spaces into Charming Places

In home listings across the country, the word small is often replaced with a far more marketable and appealing word: “charming.” But what makes a home charming compared to small? How does a homeowner transition a cramped room into a space with unique and appealing character?

desk2Create special spaces and storage

Carefully consider the functions of any space, such as TV viewing, reading or computer use, so that only the items needed for those specific functions are stored there.

Understanding how this space is utilized will make it easier to establish dedicated zones and supplies for each activity. Be sure to also create proper storage to manage and maintain a clutter-free home.

Make it larger with lighting

windowsClearing a small home of its clutter will automatically make it seem larger. However, the illusion of more space can also be enhanced with proper lighting.

The right lighting will also play a big role in helping create a more charming feel.

kitchen2Recessed lighting is visually appealing and perfect for small spaces. You can also affect a room’s lighting with low-cost or no-cost solutions that make the most of the space’s built-in features. For example, highlight windows instead of covering them, or make the fireplace a focal point.

Add charming details

chairrail2Woodwork is another simple embellishment that adds instant character and charm without affecting usable space. A chair rail, crown molding or even baseboards can help take a standard room and outline it with interesting architectural elements.

By managing clutter, using lighting to create bright and airy spaces and incorporating simple architectural elements, you can easily transform a cramped area into a charming and inviting room that you – or a potential buyer – can enjoy.

Source: ClosetMaid

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

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3 Steps for WINNING Local Traffic to YOUR Website

By Rebecca Chandler

This is the second in a series of conversations around practical tips to building your personal brand locally.

happy trophyWinning a Google war with a listing aggregate site with 20 million or so unique users is probably a long shot, but you CAN win more local buyer and seller traffic to your website by following these 3 steps.

Step 1 – Start with a good website. What should that include?

  • An IDX feed that puts the entire MLS on your site. That way, home shoppers won’t need to shop other websites once they’ve gotten used to yours. All the data is there.
  • Make sure your website displays well on a tablet and a phone. More and more consumers are using their tablets and phones to shop for homes – especially on the weekends when they are out looking. If the visitor has to “pinch and stretch” the screen or can’t navigate the tiny buttons, even if they find your site, they will leave your site – forever.

Step 2 – Go to where your prospects are and connect with them, physically. No, I don’t mean a group hug. (Where was your mind?) Instead, make sure they bump into your web address, not just virtually, but on the real streets of your real town. Here’s how.

  • Look for the places your ideal prospect lives, eats, works, shops and plays. Look for opportunities to advertise to reach them in those places. Use local advertising, local real estate magazines, direct mail, open house flyers, yard signs. Take out an ad in the high school football program. Sponsor an event and get your name and web address in the program. Bus stops. Billboards. You get the picture. Go where they are. Physically.

Step 3 – Be bold. Use text codes. Big brands like AMC, Costco, Kohl’s, Office Depot, Sonic and others are now using text codes to drive traffic and reminders to their clients. They place specific codes around the stores and in their ad campaigns to drive traffic to their mobile sites and apps – and ultimately sales. How do you do it?

  • Use a service like LocalSmartMobile offered by The Real Estate Book® to assign a specific code to every listing. Put that code on all advertising for that listing with a strong call to action. “To see inside this home, text T312634 to 85377.” When the consumer does, they will receive a text with a link to that property – on YOUR website (and you get a text with their phone number so you can follow up right away).
  • Use GPS enabled yard signs with text codes. LocalSmartMobile includes a yard sign with the call to action – “Text HOMES to 85377.” When the consumer does, they get a link to that listing on YOUR website, and you get a text with their phone number – so you can follow up while they are standing in front of the home.
  • Use a vanity code (Try texting SUPER to 85377) to drive traffic to YOUR mobile business card and website. Consumers can save your contact information and then go to your website to search for homes.

Taking these 3 steps will help you win more local traffic – on the real streets of your real town.

Want to learn more? Click here to watch a 2 minute video or contact your local Real Estate Book representative.

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