November 29, 2011
William Raveis Legends agent, Phyllis Lerner, takes some time to talk about some of the latest bathroom design trends to spice up your bathrooms look and feel. Take a look at what she has to say below. Her post originally appeared on her blog, Westchester County Real Estate Listings, Market Trends News.
You may not know it yet, but your bathroom is begging to be redone. It dreams at night of the latest trends, colors, and fancy new gadgets. It talks with the tub about its most heartfelt desires. Maybe its time to make your bathrooms dreams come true!
Okay, so your bathroom doesnt have a mind of its own, but you do! And a bathroom redesign can be a fabulous way to increase your homes saleability. Every buyers loves a comfortable, modern bath.
What is hot right now? Lets start from the ground up. Buyers are looking for a bathroom that serves as a spa retreat, especially in an economy where regular trips to the spa are few and far between.
Heated floors are a good way to get started. Handy homeowners can even take on the project themselves! A woven mat or heating element is laid under your new tile. No more cold feet on winter mornings! This project runs about $500+.
And cover that new heat with some luxury tile. Travertine, marble, and granite are all popular choices. Travertine is a form of limestone that has a long history of use in buildings. It has a simple elegance and neutral tone that is always a great choice in updated baths.
Next, nothing makes a bigger change than a new coat of paint. Paint allows you to get the most bang for your buck. For just dollars a gallon, you can easily breathe new life into a dull space. Popular colors today include neutral taupes and grays. And while monotone is in, splashes of color (in small doses) can be a great way to add your own personality to the mix.
Are you a sucker for the latest gadgets? Start out with heated towel racks. You can find these for around $150 $300.
Need help conserving water? Try Waterpebble. Waterpebble is unique in the way it works to help reduce water usage, says the companys website. The clever device monitors water going down the plug hole when you shower.Memorizing your first shower and using it as a benchmark, Waterpebble then indicates, via a series of traffic lights flashing gently from green through to red, when to finish showering.Each time you shower Waterpebble automatically fractionally reduces your shower time helping you to save water without needing to think about it.
Another great energy saver is a tankless water heater. It only heats the water you need, instead of keeping gallons warms just in case.
And finally, make sure you have plenty of storage and counter space. Pedestal sinks look nice, but they are a nightmare for a womans arsenal of beauty tools. Up the space quotient by offering dual vanities, or at least an extra-wide vanity to give the buyer lots of space to imagine their stuff. And be sure to have a linen closet, or at the minimum cabinet storage, for all of lifes necessities.
A bathroom can be your sanctuary. Why not give in to its requests to be updated? After all, your bathroom knows best.
Article source: http://blog.raveis.com/2011/11/29/how-to-spice-up-your-bathroom/
November 24, 2011
Article source: http://blog.raveis.com/2011/11/24/a-thanksgiving-to-remember/
November 22, 2011
With Thanksgiving merely days away, it is now safe to say tis the season of giving. As hearts (and wallets) seem to magically open during this time of year, I began thinking of a group of people that could really use some giving this season, home sellers. Yes, this isa group that has seen uncertainty over the past three years or so. Due to still challenging market conditions, some of them are hesitant to list their home for fear of losing more equity than they wish.
However, perhaps even more daunting to them and to the many individuals who have homes on the market, is how long it will take for them to get the best buyer and price for their property. And as a result, many of them fall to the perceived best strategy for selling a home, putting it in front of what they believe will be millions of eyes on sites like Zillow, Trulia andRealtor.com.These sites are referred to a listing aggregators, or sites that aggregate listings from brokerages and a variety of other sources into one single location for easy viewing and searching.
While these sites have done a good job of providing a comprehensive database of national and international (Realtor.com) listings, we decided closer inspection was needed to see if they are driving enough traffic to listing websites to help them sell. In the spirit of giving, we decided to conduct a study of our own to see if these sites make a difference. The answer? Not really.
We thought the best way to assess how well these sites work was to examine how much traffic they were pushing toraveis.com and how many leads were being generated to our call center. The below pie chart breaks down how much traffic was being pushed toraveis.com from Trulia, Zillow andRealtor.com for year-to-date 2011.
As you can see Trulia accounts for .5% of all our traffic, Zillow is at .2% andRealtor.com is .1%. So, as a seller working with a William Raveis listing agent, you likely will have a very small chance of achieving solid exposure for your home through these sites.
And heres another thing to think about-how far do you think buyers actually end up moving from their original home? 50, maybe 100 miles? Not so much. According to National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2010 statistics,* homebuyers move a median of 13 miles from their previous residence. So if you really want to gain visibility for your home, you should ensure that it is being properly promoted locally. One of the best ways to do this is to utilize SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. If done correctly, SEO- which is the process of achieving high ranking in search engine results -can do wonders for ensuring your home is seen by as many eyes as possible. In fact, Search Engine Land, a prominent SEO and digital marketing site, recently shared that SEO is the number one source of leads for marketers. In addition, SEM (Search Engine Marketing, or increasing visibility on search engines through paid links), social media and other local advertising venues can help you achieve maximum exposure for your home.
This was a very revealing study for us. It confirmed that our powerful combination of branding (60% of our traffic is direct) and SEO is helping us provide excellent service to sellers. We are continuing to focus on marketing listings with the help of SEO and through ensuring that sellers know they have a powerful, locally focused brand on their side. Where Zillow, Trulia andRealtor.com provide lines of code, brands like William Raveis gives sellers customized marketing plans, with an emphasis on search engine and local community presence.
The cold, hard truth is, listing aggregator sites rely on ad revenue and have built very clever models to generate that revenue. Theyve convinced brokerages and agents that they need them, that their business wont be competitive without them! So rather than explore more effective strategies, such as robust SEO and local marketing campaigns, many brokerages and agents succumb to the attractively packaged advertising programs from listing aggregators without examining their true effectiveness. This post is meant to challenge that behavior. It is meant to shed some light on what many brokerages, agents and sellers hold to be true; that you cant successfully market listings without the help of listing aggregators.
To all the sellers out there-we hope weve given you something to think about this holiday season!
* National Association of Realtors Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers 2010
November 19, 2011
November 18, 2011
November 16, 2011
The efforts of William Raveis associates, staff and the communities we service to support those facing breast cancer have been nothing short of amazing. Every year from August through December, William Raveis associates, staff and management put their creative hats on to develop fun new ways to support the American Cancer Society(ACS) Patient Navigator Program. The Patient Navigator Program helps breast cancer patients navigate through the physical, emotional and financial stresses associated with the disease. As a tribute to the events our staff and surrounding communities have arranged to raise funds, we decided to put together a sampling of some of the most creative breast cancer support events weve seen in the northeast! Check them out below-we will have videos posted from the events on our youtube channel soon!
Wanna Pie in The Face?
About one week ago, William Raveis management volunteered to have pies thrown at their faces by staff, associates and mortgage bankers. It was a heckuva time! Management shielded themselves with protective plastic ponchos and goggles to withstand the powerful pies. This did not hamper the fun! For $3 a pie (and $2 extra for lunch), staff and agents could pie their bosses to their hearts content.
The BREAST Night Ever
Tomorrow, November 16th, William Raveis will host The BREAST Night Ever at Vazzys of Shelton, CT! This clever little pun, though seemingly suggestive in nature, will raise funds to support the ACS Patient Navigator from a night of fabulous food and drinks! Perhaps the most attractive draw are the enthusiastic volunteers from William Raveis management who will be doting on patrons as waiters, waitresses and bartenders! For more information, check out The BREAST Night Evers Facebook page!
Cookies for a Cure
Doris Ghitelman, a standout agent in our Fairfield, CT office, put together a creative event in conjunction with the Westport Farmers Market. She partnered with talented baker, Andre Kreft, to create a epicurean masterpiece-a line of cookies calledSavor Cookies. One specific cookie in the collection is called Pinkii, made with rosewater syrup, orange and cranberry with beet pulp to make it pink. Doris describes the event as follows: Delightful bags of thePinkki, were available to the public at a cost of $8.00 per bag.Savor Cookiesgraciously donated $4.00 per bag, which was matched byme, with our thencombined total being matched personally by Bill Raveis, Chairman CEO of WRRE. Thats$16 per bag of sweet contributions beingdonated toThe William Raveis Breast Cancer Research Fund.
Wine Tasting for a Cause
The Norwell, Massachusetts office will be hosting a Vendor Night/Wine Tasting event. They are having great success connecting with vendors in town to supply delicious food for the event. Upon last checking, local vendors are provisioning 50 goodie bags for the first 50 attendees!
Westport Working It
TheWestport office sold breast cancer raffle tickets every Saturday and Sunday in October from 11 am to 3 pm on Westport, Connecticuts main strip. On the weekend of October 8-9 they sold 200 tickets and had to stop because they ran out of tickets. The office is also selling at the Pequot Runners Thanksgiving Day Road Race the three registration days before the event.
There are plenty of other efforts that are ongoing throughout the company, these are just a few highlights! We will be sure to post an update of other events occurring at the end of our fundraising season! To make a donation to the cause, please visit the William Raveis Charitable Fund page. Thank you for your support!
Article source: http://blog.raveis.com/2011/11/16/fightingforacause/
November 9, 2011
November 3, 2011
I am happy to report that all our 13 carriers backed off on applying the hurricane loss deductible in CT and NY to the Irene claims ..much to our policyholders advantage! Only one carrier in the state did not back down on the hurricane only deductible and their clients are sufferingshame on State Farm!
William Raveis Insurance department has been fielding many home and auto claims as result of the recent snow storm. Predictions are for another bad winter. Be prepared.
We want to remind everyone that all home policies have limits for tree removal coverage also tree removal is not debris removal.
Typically your home policy will limit tree removal after a storm to $1000 with only $500 per tree ; some carriers have $2000 coverage with a $500 per tree limit.
But be awaremost home insurance policies require that the trees to be removed have either hit a covered structure or are blocking egress (insurance lingo for exit or entrance from or into a home).
Debris removal is not tree or shrub removal. Debris is considered the removal of damaged structures after a covered loss ..not trees.
Bearing this in mind we encourage all to trim back any trees that are near or may touch your home and do damage in a severe ice storm like the one just past ..this is a great idea and a money saving preventative measure .
Cutting back trees before storms when the landscapers are not busy is a cost effective preventative measure.
Another loss preventative measuredraining water systems in secondary homes while they are not occupied during the winter months.
Winter ice plagued all homeowners last yearice dams can be prevented heated copper wiring around gutterline is the most expensive, but also the most effective remedy. Roof rakes ice melt substances planted along gutter lines all prevent the buildup of ice and the damming that results.
If any clients have questions on loss preventative measures..please contact us. We are happy to help.
FEMA Flood plan is again due to expire Nov 18th but we are hoping the president/congress will vote to extend FEMA flood again on a more permanent basis.
We are watching the progress. We have resources compiled should a lapse occur.
November 2, 2011
Good news in corporate relocation?
Yes, yes, yes. Between 2006 and 2009 corporate sponsored relocation has been on the decline, with 2008 and 2009 experiencing double digits declines. The good news was that 2010 saw a 15% increase in transfer volume. 2011 looks promising with many corporations projecting another 10% increase in transfer volume which includes current employees as well as new hires.Relocation is all about employee mobility. For much of the country, the real estate market has been challenging. Many homeowner employees were unable to relocate because they were upside down on their mortgages or lost considerable equity in their homes making it difficult to move to a new location. In response to this many corporations now assess home value as part of their pre-decision programs so employees have a clearer understanding of their financial picture. Some employers have added a loss on sale policy or increased the cap of their existing policy to enable their employee to make the move.
In the past, according to Worldwide ERC there was an equal division of homeowner and renters being relocated from their old location. In 2010, 62% of those employees being relocated were renters while only 38% were homeowners. In response to this, many employers have either extended their homeowner benefits or modified their current renter policy. Again, the good news is corporations are willing to modify their policies to meet the needs of their employees.
Here are some interesting facts and statistics on US Domestic transfers provided by Worldwide ERC:
- $10 Billion: amount spent annually inU.S. on corporate relocation by Worldwide ERC member corporations
- $15,110,135: average annual amount each company spends to transfer its employees
- 216,143: annual number ofU.S. domestic transfers from Worldwide ERC member companies
- $90,081: average cost to relocate current employee homeowner
- $23,497: average cost to relocate current employee renter