How The Car You Drive Can Impact Your Real-Estate Business

Just as a home’s curb appeal and exterior make the initial impression on home buyers, the real estate agent’s car is usually the first thing buyers see when meeting for the first time. If you are a realtor, your car can have a strong impact on your client’s perception of your work and capabilities, but also to your attention to detail and personality. Keeping your business car in the top conditions whether you need it to reach remote properties on time or fill in the papers on the roadshows clients that you’re handling the situation. 

Initial considerations

For many realtors, the car is an extension of their office, and conversely an extension of their client relation policy. The personality of the car needs to make the client feel safe and comfortable. A sporty Corvette, especially a visibly used one, can give off a shady realtor who’s mainly interested in flipping properties for profit. Instead, look for a car that breathes confidence and success without being pretentious. Perhaps a European mini-van in a high trim level, or a comfy BMW 5-Series estate. Some agents view their cars as mobile billboards, helping to spread the word wherever they go. If the nature of your office calls for driving all day long in the city, you should consider a smaller and more convenient smart car which is comfortable to use in the city rush, but also capable of quickly reaching out-of-town clients. 

How The Car You Drive Can Impact Your Real-Estate Business 1

What car?

If your clients are mostly upscale property owners, nothing less than pure luxury, strength, and comfort would convince them that you’re the one for the job. A large sedan like Mercedes Benz S550 as well as several alternatives would be just fine. On the contrary, some agents put a lot of effort into advertising themselves as environmentally conscious entrepreneurs, choosing a Tesla to show their commitment to the latest trends. A Range Rover Sport is the perfect car for an agent who’s mostly handling business clients. It’s roomy, comfortable, and has lots of glass, so clients can better survey the neighborhood they want to invest in. Such a thoroughbred SUV also comes handy in harsh winters, when mobility often means the difference between success and failure. 

Keeping it client-friendly

It goes without saying that the car in which you drive the clients around, looking for properties, needs to be spotlessly clean. As a complimentary service, keep some water bottles and a few packs of snacks in the air-conditioned storage if the property hunting draws on. You can equip it with an extra iPad for clients to use, and load it with info on properties you’re listing. You should also consider the comfort of the ride and safety, which means you should keep your tyres in top shape. If the tread depth has worn off past the tread wear indicators, you should replace them with a new set. It shouldn’t set you back a lot, especial now since many online vendors offer promotions on new tyres with cashback and buy 3 get 4 deals. Finally, keep an extra USB free, so clients can charge their phones and turn the radio down so you and the client can talk. 

When to replace the car

As a rule of thumb for a business that relies on the direct agent to client contact, you should replace your vehicle every three years. Not only would you be sure that your car will always be reliable, but it also sends a powerful message to your clients – that your business is growing as a result of your professional skills. Also, technology is changing quickly and if you spend a lot of time in your car, you need the latest style and comfort experience for your clients. You shouldn’t splurge on a premium category every time, but having a well-packed quality car is an indicator of your success as a real estate agent. 

How The Car You Drive Can Impact Your Real-Estate Business

Pragmatic and secure

Visual impact aside, your vehicle should provide a sense of security, which then translates to you offering reliable services and working in the client’s interest. Driving a car that is known as unsafe can potential let you down in the client’s eyes, telling them that you don’t care about your own safety either. So, make sure to drive a car that not only feels like a tank but has the NCAP ratings to back it up. Besides, the vehicle you drive your clients around needs to be practical, with enough space for clients od all sorts, couples, families even. Driving a practical and functional vehicle indicated dedicated to your business practices and keep the things real. 

Not unlike the manicured lawn, freshly painted siding, and replanted flower beds speak of the house and the owners, the realtor’s car speaks volumes about them and the way they run their business. Whether you’re a seasoned agent or a rising star, you need a vehicle that evokes success and professionalism on one side and pragmatism and care for the client on the other.

5 Fun and Simple Ways to Save Money for the Family

Saving your family money is nowhere near as difficult as many people think, which means you can lower your family’s bills and save a little money in more than one place. Saving is the easy part. It’s figuring out how to do it in your own family’s budget that makes the concept a little more difficult. With these five money saving tips, you’ll be on your way to more savings and a more fulfilling life in no time.  

Get Quotes

The first thing you need to do is go over the budget and see where you can save money on your expenses. You can get free insurance quotes for your car as well as your home, you can ask your credit card companies to lower your interest rates, and you can call the cable company and tell them you’re paying too much. Most are happy to lower your bills for you if they suspect you might leave for another company.  

Make a Meal Plan

You don’t have to sit down and plan every single meal for every single day of the week, but you should have enough meals on the menu for the entire week. You can eat them any night you want, but pick seven meals you’re going to eat this week and make a list. Now you can go to the store once and buy everything you need rather than a dozen times to pick up that one extra thing you forgot. You’ll end up spending far less the fewer times you go to the store.  

Take Some Time

Impulse buys are difficult, but you don’t have to live with regret each time you make a purchase. Is there something you love more than anything, and you really want it? Put it in your online cart and leave it there for 24-hours. If you still can’t stop thinking about it at the end of your 24-hours, it’s for you. If you still aren’t sure you want it or not, don’t buy it. The key here is to really decide you want it. If you do want it, you’ll know at the end of the day. If you don’t, you just saved yourself a lot of money and regret. If you’re worried about regret after making the decision to buy something, perhaps the decision isn’t the right one for you and your family.


Find Local Deals

Did you know you can take your kids out without blowing the budget? It’s easy to spend $100 at the movie theater on just tickets and popcorn for the average family, but you can find a better way to do it. Most movie theaters offer $1 movies for families all summer. Bowling alleys have $1 bowling night, and even skating rinks offer family packages to save money and encourage people to visit. Take advantage of those when they are offered.  

Lower Your Utility Bill

One of the biggest wastes of money in most all households is the energy bill. Start shutting the blinds during the hottest part of the day to keep it cool inside and the air from running over-time. Cook outside during the summer to prevent heating up the house. Light a fire instead of turning up the heat. Turn off lights, set timers, and invest in a smart thermostat. The more you save on utilities, the more your family can save elsewhere There are hundreds of ways you can save your money, and it all starts at home. Start paying your credit card balances in full each month to avoid paying interest charges. Start filling up your gas tank rather than putting a little in here and there. Eat at home more often, and be sure to only buy things you need. You can negotiate with just about anyone, and that’s what makes it easier to save on things you need the most for you and your family.

3 Ways to Increase ROI When House Flipping

One excellent investment opportunity that can make you a lot of money is house flipping. If you purchase properties at a cheap price and then turn around and sell them for a much higher price, you can make quite a bit of money, often in a relatively short period of time. However, not all house flipping investments really work out that well. If you are looking to increase the return on your investment so that you can really make house flipping worthwhile, consider these helpful tips.

  1. Make Sure That You Purchase the Right Properties

First of all, it is important to be careful about the properties that you purchase. You will need to look at a few things, such as how much it’s going to cost to fix up the house and how much the house is going to be worth later on.

For example, even though you might find a property that is available very cheaply, it might not be a good investment if the work that needs to be done is going to be very costly. If you can find a home in a nice neighborhood that mostly needs affordable work done, such as cosmetic repairs, then you might be able to buy it at a rock-bottom price and then turn around and sell it for a very nice profit.

Don’t get into too much of a rush when buying investment properties. Instead, take your time in really looking into the repairs that may be needed and how much they are going to cost and really studying the market in the area that the home is located in. This can help you make the right decisions.

  1. Do As Much of the Work Yourself as You Can

One big way that you can cut a lot of your costs when house flipping is by doing as much of the work yourself as you can. With many home repairs, the largest cost comes from hiring someone else to do it. If you have to pay out a lot of money in labor costs, this is going to drastically cut down on how much you actually pocket after you sell the home.

Even though you might need to hire a professional for certain things, such as electrical work, you may want to tackle some of the smaller and easier projects yourself. For example, interior painting is relatively easy for anyone who has a bit of time and patience. There are even products on the market that make basic home improvements a whole lot easier for the average person, such as locking laminate flooring and stick-down backsplashes. Plus, once you learn how to tackle some of these projects, you will be able to use this new knowledge both in your own home and in any future homes that you might purchase with the intent of flipping.

  1. Sell the Property On Your Own

Another big way that you can lose out on some of your profits is by hiring a real estate agent to help you sell the property when you put it on the market. Even though you might assume that this will make things a whole lot easier for you, you should think about how much the real estate agent’s commission will cut into your profits. If at all possible, you may want to think about listing the home yourself.

A for sale by owner process can be easier than you might think, especially now that there are tons of ways that you can advertise the property yourself online. If you need a little bit of help with the paperwork, you can also look into having a real estate lawyer assist you to ensure that everything is done properly, all without the help of a real estate agent.

As you can see, if you are looking to make a nice profit off of house flipping, there are a few tips that you can follow. This can help you make even more off of your investments.


Idea’s to Increase the Value of Your Home

People take pride in their homes. It can be wonderful to live in a residence that makes you feel good about yourself. If you have a well-maintained home, inviting guests over can be a comfortable and easy experience. There are many homeowners out there who are constantly searching for things they can do to improve their properties. Home improvements can increase your comfort and quality of life. They can do a lot more than just those things, too, however. They can give your property value a major spike. Strengthening the curb appeal of your property can be beneficial to people who are contemplating possibly selling later on. If you want to improve your home and potentially strengthen its value in the real estate world, there are many great changes you can make to it.

Paint Your Residence

Painting a property can do wonders for its value. No one wants to buy a residence that has chipping and cracking interior paint. No one wants to put their money into a home that has unattractive faded paint on its outsides, either. If you want to give your home value a big spike, painting can make an easy and budget-friendly solution. Your goal should be to paint all of your interior walls meticulously and neatly. A tidy and well-maintained home gives the impression of better value. It’s important to make smart choices in paint color selection as well. If your objective is to better the value of your home, focus on neutral paint color choices. Neutral colors tend to be the most attractive to people. Refrain from the use of paint colors that are excessively loud or bright. These can be off-putting.

Plant a Beautiful Tree

If you want to improve the value of your home, don’t concentrate exclusively on the interior. Make a point to focus on your outdoor property, too. Your outdoor space will actually be the first thing potential purchasers see, after all. That’s precisely why it’s so important to make sure that it appears as enticing and aesthetically pleasing as possible. Landscaping can do so much for home value. Think about planting a lovely shade tree on your lawn. Mature trees can beautify landscapes in a significant way. They can also offer practical advantages. If you grow a tree in a strategic spot, it can reduce your monthly cooling bills dramatically. It may be able to reduce these bills by upward of 40 percent. The presence of mature trees, lastly, can also help the environment. They can give animals in your neighborhood a nice place to live.

Add a Pool

It may seem like a big investment to add a pool, but as you invest more into your home the more it will be worth in the long run. Pools are seen as a luxury that not everyone has, so adding a pool to your home will give it a distinction in the neighborhood, and your home will be seen as a home of value compared to the houses around you.

Invest in a Room Addition

Room additions can be amazing for people who want to improve residential value. It doesn’t matter if you get a room addition that serves as an entertainment center, extra storage space, a guest bedroom or anything else. Customized room additions can up the value of your home considerably. They can make your home significantly larger. Who in the world doesn’t want or crave extra space? You can get creative with your room addition, too. You can turn it into an entertainment haven by adding a home theater to it. You can turn it into a designated kiddie play zone by filling it with toys, a jungle gym and beyond. You can do whatever you want. The sky’s the limit.

Renovate Your Bathroom

Bathrooms are big business in the home remodeling universe. If you want to better your home value, it can be wise to zero in on your bathroom. Bathroom renovations can go a long way. They don’t have to cost a lot of money, either. If you want to give your bathroom a quick overhaul, take out old lights and switch them with new ones. Take out old-fashioned wallpaper and switch it with something a lot more contemporary and fresh. Seemingly small tweaks and adjustments can actually do a lot for the value of your property.

How to Prepare for a World of Home Automation

First came computers; they were followed quickly by the internet, and soon we found ourselves in an age of handheld devices, touch screens, and motion sensors. With all of this, it was only a natural development that another byproduct of modern technology would be increasingly automated homes. From always on voice-activated devices, to remote controlled appliances, lighting and temperature control, and home theaters (see Argenta) that are better than the real thing, home automation is certainly our future.

So how do you prepare for a world of home automation? How do you make sure that you are best placed to embrace the newest developments in home tech—most of which we don’t even know about yet? Here are a few tips to get you on your way.


The best way to prepare for the future is to know what is coming. Keep one eye on tech publications, reading as much as you can about the things that are currently in concept or development phase. If you are able to, try to visit various conferences and trade shows such as CES to see what kinds of things are out there. If you cannot make it to these, there is considerable coverage to be found online. If you know which things are coming up, you can know which you want to buy, and which to hold off on to wait for a better version.

Don’t Adopt New Tech Too Early

Which leads us to our next tip—be discerning about which tech items you take on early on. In the age of instant information and social media bragging, the idea of becoming an “early adopter” can seem very tempting. But sometimes it is not the best way to go. Many new technologies need awhile to iron out the kinks and problems, and if it is something that has little or no precedent, it will be likely to face at least a few of these. Furthermore, newer cheaper or more efficient versions are likely to start cropping up in the second wave, and with home automation, you are looking at a lot of money to replace something just a few months later. So while some things you can take the risk on, it is often worth waiting awhile before incorporating the very newest of the new home technology.

Start Saving

In order to fully take advantage of the latest home tech features, you are going to have to spend some money. For this reason, you will probably want to start saving right now. Things like theaters are expensive, but when you have a saving plan, you should be able to find something in your price range.

Make Home Preparations

You might also want to design your home interior with home automation in the back of your mind. Older houses are a lot trickier to fit home automation seamlessly into, and that is because newer home layouts are often designed with modern technology taken into consideration. If you are building your own home, it will be easy to incorporate technology, but even if you already have a home, there are ways to make sure that you can accommodate new home tech. Work with interior designers and architects to better figure it out.

Embrace it

The future is coming, and resisting it will not prevent it. Homes of the future are going to be more tech driven and user-friendly than they have ever been. Rather than fearing future home technology developments, embrace the greater ease and comfort that will come from them, and jump on it early—the future is ours for the taking!