Father’s Day is Sunday and to help celebrate fathers everywhere, Homes.com thought it was necessary to highlight the one thing that every man of the house needs in their home. Regardless of its size, every father needs a place where he can retreat to so that he can, well, be a guy! Whether it’s a big screen TV to watch his favorite team, a pool table to challenge his friends, or maybe just his favorite worn down recliner there should always be that one place that he can call his very own Man Cave! Continue reading
Real estate professionals know how important video has become to the industry.There are millions of video tours on Youtube today and video blogs have become all the rage for top real estate pros. The problem with many real estate videos is that the quality can be poor. Just because you are taking an amateur video doesn’t mean it has to look like an amateur video.
Here are five simple steps to making great real estate videos with your smartphone:
- Step 1: Record Horizontally - Recording horizontally gives you a wider view. Conversely, when recording in a vertical position, you’re only recording part of the image. This looks okay if the video is viewed from a smartphone, but since most real estate videos also make it to YouTube and other websites, vertically recorded videos do not present as well as horizontal views.
- Step 2: Tripod and Tripod Attachments - There’s nothing worse than seeing a real estate video that is shaky or that moves around a lot. This can make people dizzy and it’s a huge turn-off for viewers. There’s a simple fix for this: use a tripod. Tripods are built for regular cameras, but there are low-cost adaptors available.
Joby sells a great all-in-one tripod for smartphones called Gorillamobile for $40. There are other options for tripods as well. For adaptor and brackets, photo retailer Adorama has a $10 product called the Heavy Duty L-Bracket, that attaches to your tripod and holds your phone in place. Studio Neat Glif is available for $20, and does the same thing as Adorama’s product. These sites also have iPad options. Other websites to check out are Amazon.com and HDhat.com.
- Step 3: Sound - The microphones that are built into smartphones aren’t usually studio quality. The easiest way to fix this is to get a microphone that plugs directly into your smartphone. There are many options, ranging from very reasonable to quite expensive. One of best entry-level options is a lavalier mic from RadioShack that plugs directly into your phone. You simply clip the mic onto your shirt or lapel and you now have a much better sound to your program. Other options are audio recorders and mic cables. You can compare products and pricing at Amazon.com. Whatever you decide on, a microphone is a must for good video quality.
- Step 4: Apps - Recording the video is one thing, but developing it into a nice production is another thing. There are many apps out there for Apple and Android devices, but here are my favorites:
iMovie (iPhone) and Clesh Video (Android): These apps are great for piecing together movie clips, editing, and importing music from your library to create great video. You can also easily post your video to Facebook and YouTube from these apps. Both are $4.99.
Filmic pro: This app enables you to tweak exposure while shooting video. It’s $3.99 and available on both iPhones and Androids.
- Step 5: Accessories - You’ve bought the apps, the tripod, and the microphones, and now you’re ready to create great video. Is there anything else that you might need? Accessories can help a lot! This includes everything from specialty lenses to professional production equipment. Here are some of my favorites:
- Lenses: The Olloclip lens add-on is the most popular. It slips right over your iPhone and gives you fish-eye, wide-angle, and macro views. It costs about $70 for all three. Check Amazon for pricing and other lens options. Another great site that specializes in real estate video equipment is hdhat.com.
- Hollywood zip lines: These devices are used by Hollywood studios, but now there’s one available for iPhone. This is a zip line that attaches to your phone and allows you to walk with your camera seamlessly without shaking extra movement. It stays in a straight line. Tiffen makes one for regular cameras for $700, but has also developed one for iPhone for $149. Great for video tours!
Creating great quality video tours and video blogs doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t have to hire a professional crew to do this work for you. All you need is the right equipment. These five simple steps should enable you to record high quality video for a very reasonable price.
Have you been wondering what most homebuyers want in their dream home? Homes.com has your answer!
We recently conducted a survey of potential homebuyers across the country – asking them to let their imaginations run wild, to find out what they want in a family home. The results showed that the American Dream of home ownership is anything but lost; it’s still out there in full force! As a real estate agent or mortgage lender, it’s good to know what homebuyers desire, so you can better connect with them. Now, it’s time to share the results with you.
Home buyers in America want: Continue reading
As a real estate professional, you have many items to check off your list when showing a property, staging a home, and throughout the selling process. The details are endless and many of them can be judged as a personal preference, but we have provided two HOT checklists, one for buyer agents and one for seller agents.
The summer months can be very busy with school closings, allowing for increased availability for consumers to move, and with increased business, we hope these HOT tips can help you stay on top of each property. Remember, these are only a few favorites, and you can share more below or on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/homesconnect. Best of luck this summer from Homes.com!
Seller Agent HOT Tips
- Sweep porches, decks and any other walkways
- Clean the gutters
- Clear lawn of any trash or debris
- Repaint doors, if they are starting to peel, and oil hinges
- Remove debris from roof
- Each room should be clutter free.
- During showings, always turn lights on.
- If carpet looks like it needs to be replaced, discuss with clients and explain how replacing it could change the entire look and value of the home. This change could also make a lasting impression on a buyer.
- Keep floor clear of items that do not belong there.
- If possible, keep pets outside during a showing.
- Remind the sellers that it’s best they not be present during the showing; it can make the buyer feel uncomfortable.
- Replace old doormats with new ones.
- Organize kitchen cabinets and the pantry.
- Suggest any excess items be removed or stored out of sight.
- A new buyer wants to imagine them self in the house, so removing family photos while your home is on the market can allow the buyer to picture themselves in your home.
- Replace broken windows and screens.
Buyer Agent HOT Tips
- Remind your clients of the important geographical variables (school, work, etc.).
- Ask if the house meets the buyer’s budget.
- Determine whether the buyers have been pre-approved for a mortgage.
- Check the age of the roof and look for any water damage in the ceilings.
- Determine whether the home needs upgrades and if the buyers are prepared to make necessary renovations.
- Discuss how long your buyers want to stay in the property, should they end up purchasing.
- Check age on all major appliances (including furnace, refrigerator, AC unit, etc.).
- Confirm the house does not have lead paint, Chinese dry wall, or any other unsafe material.
- Ask the listing agent all your important questions and stay in touch!
- Find out why the sellers are moving.
- Always prepare a comparative market analysis for your client.
A first impression can be the reason you sell a property fast! There are many ways to improve your listing, but if you use our HOT tips to get started, you and your clients may see your property off the market quicker than you thought. A lot of these suggested tips will ultimately be your clients’ responsibility, but as their real estate agent, your influence definitely makes a difference. Is it common for clients to agree to these suggestions? What have you done to make a property look better? Share with us below.
Also, if you have a process you follow during a certain stage of your listing, showing, or staging process, comment below and we can add it to the list!
At the 2011 Mid-Year National Association of Realtors conference taking place this week in Washington, D.C., many of the nation’s top real estate professionals met to discuss trends in the industry and hear from experts about several of the issues facing the real estate market and real estate professionals today. On Thursday, May 11, attendees at the conference had the opportunity to attend a three-part program from top Realtors on finding success in the resort and second home market.
If you weren’t able to attend the session, don’t worry! Homes.com has the information you need to succeed in the vacation home market.
The principle that should guide you when developing your business in the resort home market is “specialization.” Continue reading