Article: Agent Preparation for 2018

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Holiday break: How to spend it wisely

The tree is trimmed. The gifts are (almost) wrapped. A break from school and work is upon us. Our hope for you here at zBuyer is that you are able to take a few days to enjoy your families and count your blessings.

But, knowing real estate agents, your minds won’t be too far from your work. And that’s okay! Hopefully you’ve got some new toys to enjoy (maybe a few from last week’s gift guide for agents but we know that come Dec. 26 – or soon thereafter – you’ll be back at it. Look for our next article, set for Jan. 5, to be chock full of tips for making 2018 the best year of your careers.

But for now, there are a few things you can be doing to wrap up 2017 and prepare yourself for the success to follow. Consider these our gift to you.

Article: Real Estate Gift Ideas for Agents

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The Christmas shopping season is upon us! Hopefully you’re finding time to shop for those you love in between the meetings and showings and client parties – perhaps you’re even doing a little wish-list-making yourself. There’s where we come in.

These gifts are our best shot at a one-stop shop for a little December “treat yo’self” session or, more likely, some ideas for your boss or colleagues. If you’re feeling saucy, pass the link along to your loved ones so they have a few ideas for what to buy the real estate agent who has everything.

Article: Tips on Shooting Videos for Marketing

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How to create quality video marketing pieces

If you’re willing to give it the thought, planning time and appropriate portion of your marketing budget, video can and should be a part of your real estate marketing mix. When getting started in the video world it’s important to focus on two words: quality and authenticity.

For quality, you could do worse than to go back and read our post from last month about photography in real estate. Though that piece focused on listing photos, the basics apply to video of all kinds. Be sure you choose the right format and equipment to ensure a high-quality product. Don’t be afraid to spend some money to have a professional photographer’s eye (though video will cost you more than still photography).

The most attractive thing with video is the number of ways you can go with the medium. We’ll focus on two here today: walk-throughs and commercials.

Article: Best Game Room Ideas

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It’s All in the Game (Room)

Unused space is something of a luxury in most homes. Most of the time you buy a home that fits your family. If you’re lucky you’ll have some extra storage or a guest room or two. Otherwise, you’re probably putting every room to a practical purpose, whether it’s sleeping or cooking or solitude.

But sometimes the kids finally move out. Sometimes you get that big promotion. Sometimes you just have the good fortune to be able to use a certain space for whatever the heck you want. Crafting rooms, home theaters and stand-alone living quarters for an aging parent are popular choices for this “found space.”

But let us make a more fun suggestion: A rocking game room.

Now, “games” can be whatever you want them to be. Maybe you install a rack of powerful servers and a 60-inch 4K to play the latest Madden or Call of Duty. Perhaps you blow that holiday bonus on a billiards table, dart board and poker table. Maybe you go retro with stand-up arcade cabinets, Skee-ball, pop-a-shot basketball, and pinball machines. Your games, your rules.

To help you start your brainstorming, we’ve complied some of the coolest, quirkiest, most over-the-top game rooms on the Internet for inspiration, or if you’re actually serious about a game room.

You might start by dusting your brother at darts over the Thanksgiving holiday… just to make sure you’re ready.

Article: Maximizing Fall Listings

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Tips for maximizing fall listings

You’ve probably had this conversation with your friends already this year, but we’ll broach the subject again: What the heck happened to fall? The most pleasant season of the year also seems to be the shortest, with many parts of the country seemingly slipping from a 90-degree Indian summer to snow in a matter of weeks, if not days.

But we digress. For the Real Estate market, fall (however long it is) is a time to recover from the busy summer season and take stock of your listings. What sold? What didn’t? Why? Some sellers may take their homes off the market while some buyers may call of the home search until spring, opting to not add the stress of moving to the already loaded holiday season.

But for those who stay in the market, the motivation factor ratchets up a notch. They’ve already missed the summer season, so they’ll want to make up for lost time, even if that means a price drop or willingness to negotiate. For you, the upside is more time to devote to those who remain in your portfolio, which is never bad for peace of mind or relationships.

Without further ado, here are some tips to making the most of your fall listings:


Article: Taking the Best Photos

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Before a potential buyer actually comes to see a home you’ve listed, they have to WANT to see the home you’ve listed, and the only way to do that is with top-flight photos with the listing. You can have the most gorgeous write-up and the absolute best price in the market, but if someone can’t see what the home looks like, they’re moving on.

Alas, you went to business school, not photography school. How is a busy real estate agent supposed to go all Ansel Adams on each and every house they list? It’s easier than you might think: Here’s some of the best advice we could find.

Article: America’s Scariest Houses

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The house has been an important part of storytelling since time immemorial, long before Gone With the Wind’s burning plantation or The Wizard of Oz’s tumbling farmhouse. Edgar Allen Poe made great use of different abodes to set the scenes for his scariest works – The Fall of the House of Usher, A Cask of Amontillado and The Raven all come to mind. Even the stories and parables from the Bible make rich use of the places people called home.
But often truth, or at least a version of it, is even more terrifying than fiction.