All posts by Realty Executives International

7 Ways Today’s Top Real Estate Pros Wow Clients

The real estate industry is undergoing rapid change like never before. The pandemic has significantly reshaped how agents, third-party providers and clients transact. Clearly, the need for digital real estate tools has quickly escalated from a “nice to have” to a critical “must-have.” 

From the West Coast to the East Coast, agents and brokers are reporting more buyers looking to flee the cities and move to the suburbs. But with inventory as tight as ever, multiple bids are increasing while days on market linger in the single digits. 

Today’s buyers and sellers don’t only expect a frictionless, digital transaction experience — they demand it. With nearly every product and service available digitally on demand, consumers are used to clicking to transact, from reserving travel and buying a car to ordering coffee.

Recently, we polled top agents and brokers nationwide and asked them how they’re delivering that ultimate customer experience in today’s fast-changing environment. Here are their top tips:

1. Expedite the Offer

In California, Daryl Rogers, President of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Reliance Partners, Roseville, CA, finds well-priced, quality homes are listing for an average four days on market. 

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Realtor Deneen Ruffolo Honored as Lions Club’s “Humanitarian of the Year”

Deneen Ruffolo of Realty Executives Midwest, of Darien, IL was recently awarded the Humanitarian of the Year award by the Darien Lions Club, in collaboration with the city of Darien.

This esteemed award is given to a community and Lions Club member that shows commitment and passion for charitable causes. Ruffolo’s continued effort to assist in Lions Club’s Food Baskets program, Christmas program and more have ensured hundreds of families are left with food on their tables and smiles on their faces during the holiday season. Ruffolo began helping the Darien Lions Club in the mid-90s’ and began spearheading their Christmas gift donations in 2016, organizing the placement and wrapping of over 4,000 gifts to give to families in need.

Ruffolo’s coworkers and family are always in awe of the work she does year after year, thanklessly and happily.

“Deneen taught our children, and now grandchildren, how to properly treat others, to always be kind, not speak poorly of others but rather find the good in them, and to help.” Greg Ruffolo, Ruffolo’s husband, said. “In the end, that is the real reward for her.”

The award ceremony was attended by Joe Marchese, Mayor of Darien, community members and Lions Club President, John Pearson, who presented Ruffolo with a brick to be placed at the Darien Community Park. 

Ruffolo joined Realty Executives in 2010, finding her love for helping locals find their perfect home. Specializing in first-time home buyers, relocation and estate sales, Ruffolo continues to build her real estate career with Realty Executives Midwest, serving DuPage, Cook and several other counties across Illinois. 

“We feel so honored to have Deneen on our team and to have the opportunity to watch her commitment to service and her community shine through.” Patrick van den Bossche, President of Realty Executives International, said. “Her hard work and ethics are a perfect embodiment of what being an “Executive” represents.”

Pros and Cons of Owning Multiple Rental Properties

Being a rental property owner is something many strive for in their lives. This is because much of the time, owning a rental home is a great investment. The responsibility that goes along with it is great as well, though. Owning multiple rental properties only ups the stakes. As with anything else, there are a lot of disadvantages as well as advantages. Let’s go through some.

The advantages of owning multiple rental properties

Having multiple rental properties has plenty of upsides. Looking at the positive side of things first will hopefully make you see that the flaws aren’t that bad.

It’s always good to have a passive income

If you own multiple rental properties and are able to keep them occupied, not only will you have a steady and secure amount in your bank account, but you’ll also have a passive income. This is certainly always welcome.

A possible business opportunity

A great thing about owning multiple rental properties is that you don’t have to sell only to tenants who are looking for housing. If your property is in a desirable location, you could always rent it out to business owners. This could be a great investment opportunity.

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14 Frequently Forgotten Items When Moving and How to Leave Nothing Behind

There’s no getting around it. Moving is a physical and mental challenge. It’s disrupting. Home is supposed to be our sanctuary from all the craziness out there, so when that’s in a state of flux we feel vulnerable and unsettled.

And in the midst of preparing, packing and loading, it’s inevitable that something is forgotten and left behind.

But instead of losing sleep by worrying about it all, you can take control.

To Forget is Human. To Use a Moving Checklist is Divine.

Relax, take a deep breath and start making a list. “If that sounds like a simple solution, that’s because it really is,” says Jeffrey Phillip, a New York-based organizer and designer. “But sometimes, life gets in the way and we get too busy to do the thing that will make everything easier.”

So roll up your sleeves and get your priorities in order.

It doesn’t have to be as structured as an Excel spreadsheet, which is a favorite go-to for uber organizers like Phillip. It could be a Notes entry on your smartphone or tablet, or as simple as an old-fashioned notebook.

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What to Consider When Moving For Retirement

Usually, the only thing you’d think about when moving is location, location, location. However, when you’re moving for retirement, it’s never the same thing – you have to consider several factors because things will never be the same once you retire. For one, you won’t be earning the same money you usually earn from a regular day job. This means that when you retire, you should be keen on your expenses. Healthcare will also become a necessity during this phase of your life. To ensure that your move during retirement will become beneficial to you in the long run, consider these questions:

 How much is your monthly budget?

This is probably one of the most important things to consider when you’re planning to move for retirement. For you to have a successful retirement, you should have an idea of how much are you willing to spend on it. You can budget for retirement by looking into your monthly expenses. Determine how much you’re spending for mortgage payments, car payments, and other recurring bills. You should also keep track of how much are you spending on leisure activities such as dining out, groceries and shopping. If you need assistance in doing all of these, you can use a mobile app (there are a handful of apps online) or hire a financial advisor. All of these can help you in your budgeting, especially if you don’t have any idea of how to do it. After considering your expenses, take note of all the possible sources of income every month. Once you have these numbers, it’ll be easy for you to come up with a monthly budget which is suitable for your needs and wants.

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Pro and Cons of Buying a Fixer Upper

Buying a home can seem long and at times, tedious, but you want to make sure you make the right choice when it comes to your new home! With so many options on the market, you may want to decide a few big decisions first, before diving into smaller and vast options for homes. One of the “big-picture” choices you can make is whether to buy a place in need of remodeling because it may be more affordable. With that in mind, there are also some cons to purchasing a fixer upper rather than a move-in ready place. Let’s go through the pros and cons so that you can make the best decision for you!

Pros of buying a fixer upper

Before we get into any details, let’s explain the definition of a fixer upper. In simple words, it is a cheaper apartment, condo or home, requires some or a lot of remodeling. This option is not appealing to everyone, as spending your money on a property that does not promise much does not sound very appealing. However, there are some advantages to choosing this option.

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How to Optimize Home Staging for Virtual Home Buying

Home staging is the revamping, repairing and redecorating of a property to make it as attractive to prospective buyers as possible. The idea behind it is to showcase a property at its best and to help viewers see past it being someone else’s home and rather envision it as their own!

The novel coronavirus pandemic has made searching online and virtual tours a necessity. Real estate has embraced this virtual world, so if you’re using home staging to sell homes, you may need to change your tactics to suit the digital market. Take a look at our ideas for making your listings more attractive to buyers:

Basic Home Staging Advice

A lot of home staging advice applies to in-person and online situations. Here’s what to do before you open up your house and showcase it to any interested parties or prospective purchasers.

·  Get Cleaning: The cardinal rule before you show any space that you want to sell is to get it as spotless as possible. All surfaces need to gleam!

·  Declutter and Depersonalize: You’re selling the space and not the stuff inside it. The home needs to be a blank canvas where a lead can imagine themselves living in it.

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Creating Your At-home Classroom

As many parents adapt to their children learning from home, the idea of the ideal workspace for kids is coming up more and more. We take a look at five steps to creating the perfect at-home classroom that will make your child learn, grow and have fun!

1. Ask the student

What inspires your child to their best and get excited about learning? No one knows better than the student themselves! Although you may already know their answer, go ahead and ask what they would like to do while at school. Maybe they like to play outside or bake in the kitchen. You can work those fun activities into your classroom with using baking to learn fractions or using outdoor games to learn new skills. Just like adults, children will want to focus on things more if it’s something they have fun doing at the same time.

2. Provide consistency 

It’s important to establish a sense of security and routine during school days. Even though you want them to enjoy their workplace, they also need to know it is meant for learning. Try to set-up a specific spot for backpacks, books and computers so that they know exactly where things are and that the space is similar to their classroom at school. Doing this will also help keep your home organized throughout the day!

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A Guide to Property Managers Going virtual

There are many ways for property managers to try to mitigate the dangers of COVID-19 for residents, staff members and themselves. It is seriously important to keep up to date on public health guidelines, and below are seven tips to help steer you and help you thrive through these challenging times.

Prioritize Maintenance

Your duties as a property manager vary. During COVID-19 you will need to limit physical contact between maintenance staff and residents. When maintenance issues arise consider whether the problem is life-threatening or if it is an immediate threat to the property before dispatching employees. If the issue can be resolved virtually use that option. Routine maintenance on building mechanicals should continue to be done to avoid larger problems that may require more physical contact.

Cleaning 

Be aware of health department guidelines about cleaning product efficacy. Disinfectants must be applied using a strategy that minimizes your employees contact with the chemicals. Provide protective gear like masks, gloves, eye coverings and for some products full body disposable suits. These measures may not be physically comfortable but are necessary to the health of your employees. Clean common areas often, especially elevators, railings, and pulls on trash chutes and doorknobs. Touch-less entry systems may be a good investment at this time.

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How COVID-19 Will Change Home Design

Coronavirus impacted the world, throughout workplaces healthcare, recreational time and much more. Home design is another field that may be forever changed due to the pandemic. With many people spending more time at home, homeowners are shifting their idea of a dream home and its necessary features. Here are five designs that may become the new norm in a post COVID-19 home.

The Essential Home Office

As office workers adjusted to working remotely, the need for the home office became apparent. Before COVID-19 many saw the home office as a use for an extra space or bedroom, but not a necessity. Now with entire families having to share a home and workspace under one roof, it is important to have a space where meetings and important phone calls can take place away from distraction. Post Coronavirus homes will need to create a space that can either be in a separate room or a desk area in an already existing room, designed for privacy and efficiency.

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