You may have heard the term “iBuying” before. iBuyers have the ability to use technology to make an instant offer on a home. So what does this mean for the buyers and sellers? Keep reading for a closer look into the world of iBuying!
MAKE AN OFFER QUICKLY
Normal real estate transactions often take a lot of patience. The buying and selling process tends to be lengthy! Buyers are frequently caught searching for the perfect home, which means plenty of home visits and inspections. Sellers are commonly waiting for the right buyer with the right asking price. With iBuying, both buyers and sellers have the ability to work the entire transaction from the comfort of their own home! Walk-throughs and offers can be completed online at any time. With iBuying, the whole transaction can come to an end in a matter of days!
FLEXIBILITY AND CONTROL
There’s lots of finality in buying and selling homes. However, iBuying has plenty of flexibility to meet any changes you need! The time frames are completely adjustable to match up with your schedule. If the seller needs a little extra time after the transaction is completed, iBuying allows for that possibility. Flexibility in transactions allows the buyer and seller to feel in control and comfortable.
WORK WITH CONFIDENCE
This increased level of comfort can be invaluable to sellers. With common real estate transactions, there’s always a possibility that the deal will fall through. Mortgages can be rejected and appraisals may come in too low. But with iBuying, the sale is almost always final. Buyers are also able to send inspectors to check for any necessary renovations. The confidence goes both ways in iBuying – which helps to put all minds at ease in a fairly stressful ordeal!
|The primary appeal of iBuying is the quick and simple nature of the transaction. But the additional level of accommodation and certainty that goes along with it is a definite bonus! Hopefully, iBuying will help make the entire buying process easier for all!|
|Getting more customers is often a primary focus in business. But following up with them after the transaction is complete is just as important! Today, good business is dependent on creating connections and developing a quality network. One of the best ways to do this is by staying in contact with your clients. Tina Herrell, one of RE/MAX Metro’s top agents, shared some of her tips on how she follows up with her clients.
Communicating with your clients may seem like an obvious point to make, but it is the most important (and easiest) way to follow up! Simply reach out and see how your clients are doing to reinforce a good relationship – or just say hi! When you take time out of your day to check in with them, your clients will feel as though they are more than just another transaction to you. Plus, you can get as simple or complicated with it as you’d like. Try anything from sending a text to writing a personalized letter! Over time, this will build a network of people around you.
INVEST IN YOUR CLIENTS
Another way to follow up with your clients is by joining them in their passion projects. If they’re hosting a social event or involved with a charity, look for ways to help out or be included! Offering your physical support will show your interest in and dedication to them. Additionally, these events allow for the chance to build new relationships and get possible leads! See about getting involved in these kinds of functions!
SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION
Take the time to organize an event and say thank you! Hosting client appreciation parties are a great way to get everyone together and celebrate. With music, food, drinks, and party games, you can give your clients a big thank you for their business. If a big party seems daunting, Tina suggests a more intimate get-together setting. You can invite a smaller group of clients to your home or out to dinner and catch up! Although this method may take more time and energy to do, it’s a fantastic and fun way to follow up with your clients and say thanks!
|Following up with clients is a key component when curating your network. Work to establish a real connection with them! Follow up’s should leave them feeling valued and cared for. This way, they’ll be more likely to recommend others to you or come back in the future!|
|Making the right impression is always important in business. Whether it’s meeting new people or staying in touch with others, relationships are a vital part of building a quality network. So what are the best ways to maintain good relationships while cultivating new ones? Top agent Chris Hounchell shared some tips on how he manages a good Sphere of Influence!
“There’s very little as powerful as physical face time when trying to build a quality network.” – Chris Hounchell
EDUCATE, DON’T SELL
It’s easy to get excited or passionate about your business in conversation. And that’s a great place to be! People love to celebrate the things you care about. However, people don’t like being ‘sold-to.’ While talking to groups about your business, be sure to avoid the sales-pitch kind of conversation. If you work only to educate them on who you are and what you’re about, you’ll be more likely to maintain a relationship with that person – and possibly develop a lead!
SHAKE MORE HANDS
Networking events are the perfect place to get connected with people. Go out of your way to shake hands and meet new people! A good Sphere of Influence is dependent on establishing connections. Chris recommends Flash Networking; get in, make an impression, and Irish goodbye your way onto the next event!
GIVE AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE
The concept of reciprocity is an important one to remember. Sometimes, giving time, energy, or even money is necessary to develop and maintain your relationships. However, positive actions are often repaid! Look for ways to serve your community and the people in it. You’ll be surprised to see the effects of your efforts! In doing this, you’ll receive new and improved friendships, connections, and even business!
|Although time-consuming, the rewards from your activity in the community make it completely worth your while! After all, a good Sphere of Influence is reliant on people. Always look for ways to converse, interact, and serve others! Through this, you’ll find yourself rooted in a community of people just as passionate and dedicated as you. So get out there and make some connections!
Chris Hounchell, Top RE/MAX Metro Agent
Every real estate agent has their own methods for hosting an open house. RE/MAX Metro asked realtor® Mashonda Smith to give us a look into the ways she creates a fun, successful event!
Most of the time, leaving all the planning to the last minute results in a less than successful open house. Without the proper steps taken beforehand, possible buyers are less likely to see the listing or plan to come see it. Preparing ahead of time also allows for the listing to be distributed to websites in advance. Try to post your listing to the MLS three or more days before to improve your chances of open house success!
OPEN HOUSE SIGNS
A traditional (and very practical) way to reach the public is using good ol’ trusty open house signs. Place a rider on the signpost a few days before to advertise the date of the event. Then, place three or so open house signs in the yard of your home! If possible, ask neighbors to put additional signs in their own yards. Not only could this help spread the word, but that conversation may open the door for a possible transaction later down the road!
Having comps on hand at your open house is a great way to give people further information about the neighborhood. Look for examples of active, pending, and sold comps to bring along with you. This way, you can be prepared to help your potential buyers find exactly what they’re looking for – even if it isn’t the home you’re showing!
When it comes down to it, the way you host an open house is completely up to you! Try different things and see what helps you find the most success… and have fun with it!
Video is quickly becoming one of the most favored forms of content on social media. Luckily, you don’t need an entire team of videographers to get some good content for your own pages! It’s now easier than ever to take a quick video with your phone and share it with your friends and family. Improving your engagements is where it starts to become a bit difficult. Our suggestion? Improve the quality of your video with a few simple tips and tricks!
Although cameras are a wonderful way to take high-quality videos, they are oftentimes expensive and difficult to use. By providing your phone with a few extra pieces of equipment, you can mimic the quality of a camera for a fraction of the price! People are much more likely to engage with videos that look and sound good. Mountable lenses, microphones, and detachable stands are great tools for upping the quality of your video.
Another way to achieve this is by stabilizing the shot. How many times have you seen a Facebook video that you wanted to watch, but couldn’t enjoy because of how shaky it was? This issue can be immediately resolved with a miniature tripod! Not only does it eliminate an unsettled shot, but it allows you to film solo – no assistance from a friend is required! Whether positioned on a nearby desk or held at arm’s length, a tripod for your phone is the perfect way to keep your video playing smooth.
Even though the majority of smartphones have microphones already built in, they tend to have a few areas that need improving. An external mic usually reduces the amount of wind picked up in the recording. Limiting background noise works wonders for audio! Plus, you can point external mics in the direction of your source. There are many different kinds of microphones out there for smartphones, so shop around for the one that works best for you!
Utilizing your phone for video is perfect for communicating a genuine message to your audience. Overly advanced production can sometimes come across as aggressive and unengaging – not to mention the budget it often requires! Mastering video with your phone takes less time, less money, and less effort. Try using some of these tips to improve your video experience with ease!
Listed below are some of our favorite add-ons for smartphones:
Organic, healthy eating is taking the world by storm! Many restaurants have the self-proclaimed title “100% organic,” but are not actually certified. Clean Juice is the only USDA-certified organic juice bar in the country! Although named for their juice, Clean Juice also offers smoothies, acai bowls, wellness shots, and signature greenoa™ bowls. The juice bar embodies the mission statement, “Healthy in body, strong in spirit,” through its inviting atmosphere and nutritious food. Owners Glenn and Kim Gordon were thrilled to bring this principle to St. Petersburg, Florida.
“Healthy in body, strong in spirit.”
The Gordon family opened its first Clean Juice bar in 2017 in Sarasota, Florida. Dylan Hopp, a close family friend of the Gordons and fiance to Tatum Gordon, dreamed of opening another branch in his hometown of St. Petersburg. Sadly, Dylan suffered from an unexpected and fatal brain aneurysm in March of 2019. The Gordon family honored his memory by fulfilling his dream in full. Located near the downtown area on 4th Street, Clean Juice St. Petersburg had its grand opening on July 27th. That day, the team raised over $9,000 for the Bee Foundation, an organization centered around the research and awareness of brain aneurysms. The family continues to share Dylan’s strong spirit by sporting the phrase, “better together.”
Tatum, marketing coordinator and overseer of the establishment, sat with us to talk a bit about Clean Juice. One of the biggest attractions to the juicery is their selection of juice cleanse packages. Tatum explained that a one day cleanse consists of 6 different kinds of juices. This provides for breakfast, a midmorning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack, dinner, and dessert. “You’re getting all of your meals in one day – you’re just drinking them instead of eating them,” she said. The Green juice is Tatum’s personal favorite. It consists of spinach, celery, kale, cucumber, ginger, and lemon. For non-juice drinkers, she recommends Orange, which has pineapple, turmeric, carrot, and oranges. Like the other juices and foods in Clean Juice, both Green and Orange are completely organic.
However, obtaining the title ‘USDA-certified organic’ is no small feat. The certification process lasts six months and can be incredibly difficult to pass. Still, Clean Juice understood the importance of the title and followed every step in order to achieve it. Now, Clean Juice is the one and only USDA-certified juice bar in all of America. Tatum told us, “… anything in the store, when you walk in the door, you know it’s going to be organic – unless we weren’t able to source it.” If an organic ingredient is unavailable and a non-organic substitute must be made, Clean Juice vows to inform their customers.
Ultimately, the goal is to promote health and cleanliness. This is why Clean Juice believes so strongly in the power of organic. Where organic ingredients enhance the success of a cleanse, non-organic ingredients interrupt a cleanse with harmful pesticides. When eating organic, you can 100% guarantee you’re not putting toxins in your body. “It makes the whole effort 100% more effective,” Ryan added.
For a taste of something both delicious and nutritious, stop by Clean Juice on 4th Street today!
Photography often plays a crucial role in the real estate world. Often times, agents use their phones to take a picture of a house and upload it right then and there. However, it can be far more effective to take it a few steps further. Do you want your listings to catch the eye of a potential client?
Reach out to the experts from RE/MAX Metro’s Media Team, Krayer Zimring and Ryan Harris! While Ryan works primarily on the social media side of things, Krayer specializes in listings. He does everything from photos and to Matterport scans. RE/MAX Metro offers these services in-house for all agents!
One of our most impressive features is our in-house Matterport technology. With nine different lenses and both optical and infrared cameras, Matterport is sure to accurately showcase any home! The device builds out a dollhouse structure to virtually “walk-through” the listing online. “You literally feel like you’re inside the house,” Krayer said. The owner of RE/MAX Metro, Rick Brown, brought Matterport in to give agents something both affordable and professional. “[It’s] honestly the lowest price point I have ever heard of anyone getting a Matterport scan,” Ryan mentioned.
“You literally feel like you’re inside the house.”
When taking listing photos, our media team strives to make the home look the very best. They illustrate these houses in a natural environment whenever possible by focusing primarily on natural light. The team also utilizes different camera lenses depending on the size of the room. With us, the photographer always does his best to capture the room as accurately as possible. “That’s our goal,” Krayer said. “To make it look as good as it possibly can.” For this reason, Krayer and Ryan recommend taking the time and money to use their services for most listings.
However, some homes could actually disadvantage from detailed, high-quality photos. If the listing is on the smaller side, the photos might make the home look deceiving in size. In the same way, unflattering details may appear in the images of a “rough” listing. “Not every listing is going to be appropriate for it,” Ryan commented. Still, there are times where these recommendations might not apply. For example, a listing that has been on the market for a while may be worth boosting with professional photos.
If ever there’s uncertainty in selecting their services for a particular listing, consult Krayer and Ryan for honest, practical advise! Their primary goal is to help you sell. With different kinds of in-house packages, you’re sure to get what you pay for. Contact them today to have your questions answered and your needs met!
When most St. Petersburg residents hear the words ‘green bench,’ they think of the city’s infamous brewery. However, this name was actually pulled from a marketing tool directed towards tourists in the 1900s. Back then, over 3,500 benches brimmed the sidewalks and stood before stores, all uniform in size and color. While St. Petersburg was commonly referred to as “The Sunshine City,” it also gained the title, “The City of Green Benches.” Although some saw the benches as a way to attract visitors, they remind others of segregation in the city.
Nathan Stonecipher, co-owner of Green Bench Brewing, explained the reason for the company’s name. “It was an unfortunate and ugly thing that we went through as a city here,” he said. “Our idea was to bring it back and take new ownership of the green benches and really show that there’s a place for all.” With this goal in mind, Nathan and his fellow owners settled on this piece of history for their brewery’s name. “We really wanted a name that would pay homage to our area, but would also challenge us too as we looked at our history,” he explained.
Green Bench Brewing began about seven years ago with co-owners Khris Johnson, Nathan Stonecipher and Steven Duffy. The three were raised in St. Petersburg and wanted to start a project that would add to their city. “For us, this was a labor of love for many years before we got to a point where we could open our doors,” Nathan told us. Over the years, each co-owner has inherited different tasks in order to make their company the best it can be. Khris, the “creative guru,” comes up with and tweaks the beer recipes. Nathan works primarily with management, accounting, and in his own words, “all the boring stuff.” Steven looks at the construction side of things, building and expanding as they see fit.
Recently, Green Bench Brewing opened an additional space called Webb’s City Cellar. The facility focuses on sour beers, saisons, Belgium and Northern French inspired beers, with production in mead and cider too. Unlike anything else in Florida, Webb’s City Cellar showcases their large scale aging process for beers and ciders. “We really wanted something that would give people in the state of Florida a different type of space to go see… and this is what we envisioned,” Nathan said.
“We’re never quite sure how these beers are going to end up, which is part of what makes it exciting for us.”
Along with the new space, Green Bench Brewing has begun to introduce new kinds of drinks and flavors. Among these is Alice, which is a new line of sours. With flavors like raspberry and peach, this take on golden sours is already becoming a huge hit. “We’re never quite sure how these beers are going to end up, which is part of what makes it exciting for us,” Nathan admitted. Green Bench Brewing is constantly tweaking recipes towards the taste of the changing market. “We’re always experimenting with something new around here, which is what makes it fun.” Stop by at Green Bench to see what’s brewing!
New to real estate or an experienced vet in the business? The Perfect Agent classes will help literally everyone! Offering comradery, shared experiences, suggestions about communication and organizational tips, Perfect Agent classes have industry ‘secrets’ for everyone.
These classes focus on eight pillars that are essential to building a successful business.
Marketing: From setting up and running your social media, to create an advanced marketing plan.
Execution: From tackling your task list and email inbox to effectively managing your time.
Finance: From tracking your expenses, to getting the best ROI.
Technology: From editing PDFs to becoming an Excel spreadsheet master.
Sales: From defining your value proposition to having the perfect listing presentation.
Real Estate: From a new spin on open houses to advanced contracts.
Systems: From learning how to create goals, to automating the systems that allow you to achieve them.
Leverage: From the beginnings of building your team to advanced lead generation.
After taking just a few classes, our agents notice a HUGE difference! In fact, one of our agents was able to use the knowledge from these classes to capture a $900k listing, go to market, and close within a couple of weeks!
These classes are designed to benefit you and your business. Our helpful videos and simple assignments will teach you how to put your best foot forward. Call today to refine your real estate skills today!
In St. Petersburg, local art is widely celebrated and promoted throughout the community. Exemplified in the murals that decorate countless buildings, big events like Localtopia and community based local markets, the city’s appreciation and celebration for local artists is easily recognized. Florida CraftArt, a statewide nonprofit organization based in St. Petersburg, Florida, works to engage with the community and promote its art. Along with providing mentorship and support for artists through galleries, shows and festivals, Florida CraftArt also offers educational lectures and activities to assist both children and adults. Additionally, support from the community is encouraged through free admission to galleries and Artlofts for all visitors.
Formally known as Florida Craftsmen, the organization originated in Deland, Florida in 1951. Professors Louis and Elsa Freund from Stetson University felt that Elsa’s homemade jewelry needed to be shown for the art that it was, so they organized annual exhibitions in galleries. In 1977, the organization became incorporated and later received its first home in 1986. However, the first space which truly looked and felt like a gallery was obtained in 1995. Florida Craftsmen officially bought the building in 2002, changing their name to Florida CraftArt in 2014. The establishment has since become the heart of the Central Arts District.
“… downtown, cornerstone, nonprofit organization.”
Tyler Jones, who is both a RE/MAX Metro agent and the president of Florida CraftArt, met with us to talk a bit about the establishment, describing it as a, “…downtown, cornerstone, nonprofit organization.” He explained that the facility only houses art from certain artists, putting the focus on both members of Florida CraftArt and Florida residents. As a membership-driven organization, Florida CraftArt offers its members discounts, perks, and exclusive looks into the company. Still, members are not the only ones who can enjoy the gallery. “The entire facility is opened to the public seven days a week,” Tyler explained.
Due to its central location and some of the largest storefront windows in the downtown corridor, the store gets significant foot traffic. Ryan, RE/MAX Metro’s media representative, described the popularity of the location, saying, “If you’re a St. Petersburg native and you walk past this intersection with the big mural in the ground, you know exactly where you are because you see all the art in the windows,” then added, “It’s a beautiful place to visit.” The gallery houses numerous kinds of mediums, including glass, ceramics, fiber and wood. Wooden pieces of art have different styles featured in the gallery, such as sculpted, carved, and turned, which is created through the use of a lathe.
“We have two sections of Florida CraftArt,” Tyler explained. The gallery consists of both a store, where everything is available to the public to be purchased and a rotating exhibit. The exhibition space has artworks that are curated and judged throughout the year, with about 8 or 9 annually. There are many different kinds of exhibits hosted in this space, such as fiber, pottery and even a pet exhibit coming soon, which highlights pets and is sponsored by both SPCA and AARP. Programming is available with usually 7 to 9 programs surrounding the current exhibits. These include artist talks, meet and greets, collector circle events and private VIP dinners for the openings.
As a nonprofit organization, Florida CraftArt relies on the support of the community and local artists. Membership is available in individual, family and corporate packages, and donations are always accepted. Stop by on 5th and Central to encourage St. Petersburg’s artistic community through Florida CraftArt!