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The Real Estate Notebook

The Top 10 Things to do for a More Successful 2016 in Real Estate

The Top 10 Things to do for a More Successful 2016:

By Lynn Wheeler

Branch Manager FC Tucker Company Keystone at the Crossing, Indianapolis, Indiana

It is that time of year: when we reflect on how successful we have been, and look forward to where we want to be in the coming year. Everyone wants to improve but you may not know were to start? Here are 10 ways that any real estate professional can improve their success in the coming year:

10. Talk to Someone

I consistently talk with agents who state they have regular communication with their clients…they are doing it right, keeping in touch like they should. However, when you really dig in to what agents are doing to communicate it isn’t keeping in touch. Emails campaigns and mailings are a great tool, but they are not a replacement for real honest to goodness communication. Personal communication makes the difference. Pick up the phone, send a text, send a video text, take someone to lunch…whatever you can do to really personally connect will trump a postcard about fall events or an email of the latest recipe ALL DAY LONG. It doesn’t have to be a sales pitch, it doesn’t have to be long…but simply reaching out and connecting personally will make all the difference in your success.

9. Hire a photographer

We have all seen them, some of us may even be guilty parties: bad photos. Posting pictures of a toilet or a room so dark it is unrecognizable is not only a disservice to our clients, but it’s a disservice to your income. STOP crouching in corners of bathrooms in awkward positions trying to get just far enough back to get a shot of the room. STOP adding the 5 or 10 shots you got that turned out OK, when you are allotted 24 photos. Hiring a photographer can cost less than $100 and will absolutely save time on market and get listings sold for more money. You will have more time to prospect, and take care of your clients...

Tips to Save Energy and Add Value

When it comes to energy efficiency, look for smart features and expertise to help you save energy and money and add value to your home.

1. Begin with a Right-Sized Home.

If the home you buy is simply too large for you or your family’s needs or plans, you stand a good chance of wasting energy through excessive heating and cooling costs. If it’s too small, you’ll feel cramped and uncomfortable. It’s a big investment, so seek balance and buy it “right” from the outset. 

2. Purchase Energy Star Appliances Such as Your TV, Dishwasher, Washer and Dryer, and Microwave.

And especially the refrigerator, as it alone contributes about 10 percent of the energy use in a home. Also, unplug electronics not in use or turn off power strips to avoid phantom charges. 

3. Install Efficient Lighting Such as Compact Flourescent (CLF) or LED Bulbs in Every Fixture.

Lighting accounts for about 6 percent of an energy bill each year.

4. Get an Energy Audit and Have Tests Performed to Identify Ways of Improving Your Efficiency.

You can always upgrade your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system as well as your thermal envelope, which includes insulation, windows, and doors  and the seals or weather stripping around them. Visit energy.gov/energytips for more tips.