home staging

Will Discount Internet Real Estate Bokerages Replace Local Realtor Expert?

discount internet real estate

Will discount internet real estate brokerages replace local Realtor experts? We recently took a listing as a seller found us online. She had previously been on the market three months. Poor seller made the mistake of hiring a discount internet Realtor.

She said they told her to buy a vendor combination key box, and she made flyers and showed the property. The property sat for these months while the seller made three house payments, paid HOA fees, utilities and maintenance costs. These ongoing expenses were triple the amount she potentially would have saved. If a property doesn’t sell with a discount brokerage, it doesn’t mean much. Happens a lot. read more

What Virtual Staging a Home For Sale Looks Like

virtual staging a home

Virtual staging a home for sale can make a huge difference for sellers in many ways, but did you know it can increase buyer showings, too? As I always say: “if I don’t show it I can’t sell it.” I am about to show you a way to use staging a property with reduced costs of about $40 per photo.

Real staging can cost several thousand dollars. A property may not look as warm and inviting once the furniture is removed and this can make a powerful impression online. Take a look at the photo above. Can you tell that this is a virtual staging? There is not any furniture in this room. There is not a TV above the fireplace. These images are superimposed onto a high resolution photograph! See the original layout below. read more

The Difference Between Target Real Estate Marketing and Spamming

target real estate marketing and spamming

The basic difference between target real estate marketing and spamming is the relationship of the spammer to the recipient. In other words, generally there is no difference. Because typically the individual orchestrating the marketing efforts does not know her recipients. In real estate, it means usually the targeted individual holds a real estate license; therefore, in the spammer’s mind, a licensed agent is free game to spam. It’s enough already with the junk email, but over the past couple of years, the spamming has extended to text messages.

Now, it’s one thing if I send an email blast to a pre-selected database of my own contacts of say, agents in the Bay Area who work with buyers. Especially when I can offer a tangible benefit, such as assurance we will work with them, as some agents in Sacramento refuse to help Bay Area agents. But I know these agents. So if one of them objected to my email, I could delete them from my database, but they never do.

It’s quite another thing if an individual seeking to increase her business buys a mailing list sold by our MetroList or Sacramento Board of Realtors. Not sure who sells these databases, probably MetroList, but you can buy their membership list. And, then these people start blasting text messages. It’s annoying. It’s like listing agents who send out a cellphone spam blast about a new listing. Do they think we don’t have eyes in our heads and we are incapable of looking at MLS to find this information?

Testing the difference between target real estate marketing and spamming, yesterday a home stager (I’ll call Janey) texted. Complete stranger to me. Asked if I would be interested in having her stage a listing and offered to send me a proposal. This is not a service that listing agents pay for, btw.  I responded like I always do to those who spam: PLEASE STOP. Short. Sweet. Gets the point across; yet polite, because I added that word: please.

This home stager felt the need to text again: I am a human.

Well, Janey, then you should know better than to send unsolicited text messages to strangers. Because we don’t like it. I mean, I am not sitting here wondering, oh my goodness, whom could I get to stage my listings? I don’t know anybody . . . waah.

Janey did not like this. She texted a quote. You can tell it’s a quote because she encased her words between quote marks. Something unrelated to the discussion (like a Trump Tweet). Janey claimed that rejecting her meant I am not a feminist. The crime committed was not her spamming. No, no, it was the victim’s fault for not allowing the spammer to realize her growth potential. She will pray for me, too.

For real. Not making this up.

I hate to tell Janey the hopeful Sacramento home stager that spammers are men, too. Not gender specific behavior. This Sacramento Realtor does not support any of you. None of us like spam. We detest it. Some of us abhor it more than others.

Whether you agree, Janey, your text message is spam. In this situation, there is no difference between target real estate marketing and spamming. It is unwanted and will do far more damage than you may realize; the opposite of what you hope to achieve.

Pray on that.

Elizabeth Weintraub

Huggable Hangers: Small Closet Solutions for Older Sacramento Homes

huggable hangers

Huggable hangers can solve small closet woes and clothes stay put.

Full credit goes to Kathy Streib, a home stager in Palm Beach County, Florida, for introducing me to Huggable Hangers. In some ways, she sent me down a rabbit hole, which I’ll get to, but first, let me say this is a great product. These are hangers for shirts and dresses and another type for pants and skirts. If you have limited closet space, you’ll probably start drooling over these hangers just like I did. If the marketing seems a bit familiar, it’s because you probably know the woman who invented Huggable Hangers.

The same Joy Mangano who came up with the idea for the Miracle Mop. I know about Joy Mangano because I watched the 2015 movie of her rise to corporate power starring Jennifer Lawrence in Joy. Probably on a flight to Hawaii because my husband swears we didn’t watch that film together. Jennifer Lawrence was nominated for an Oscar for this role, btw.

Living in a single-story home in Land Park, you can bet I have somewhat limited closet space. My husband has two closets, but I have only one, with two sliding doors. Why is that? I don’t know. Still, it’s only about 72-inches wide. Before I married my husband, I used to enjoy six double closets all to myself, if you can believe that. I had one closet just for evening gowns and a bunch of old wedding dresses. Today, Huggable Hangers seemed like part of the answer to my quest for organized space.

I went to Joy’s website and soon realized I needed to first count the number of shirt hangers versus the number of pants / skirt hangers. Then I tried to reconfigure it to match the products she had available. The only feasible way was to buy a few of the 48-item package but it came with a bunch of other stuff I would never use, and then mix it with 24-count packages of shirt hangers. It would have cost well over $300. I read the reviews, and some of them said that a cheaper manufacturer is making the products now, and they aren’t as good as the original HSN Huggable Hangers. But I did discover they are now sold at Macy’s.

Macy’s website showed them at a discount, with another discount applied on top. But it wasn’t clear whether the clips for the pants hangers were included. Since I had to go to Nordstrom yesterday anyway to return stuff I had bought for our house in Hawaii, I decided to stop at Macy’s in Arden Fair to look for Huggable Hangers. First, this department is in the basement, kind of a creepy place to go. No windows. Way in the back, past the men’s department, by the sheets and towels. I wondered: why is Macy’s making me walk through the men’s department to buy hangers? Women don’t want to stroll through men’s clothing and underwear, putting up with weirdo guys shoving smelly cologne samples at us. No, ick.

The clerk said they don’t sell Huggable Hangers anymore at Macy’s because nobody wanted to buy them. However, he had a bunch off the floor in storage. They were on sale too, for about 1/3 the price at Joy Mangano’s website. I didn’t buy every hanger but I bought more than 100 shirt hangers. The pants / skirts hangers don’t come with clips, so those are useless. Says so right on the box (not included), but the clerk swore the clips were in the box. No, they were not in the stinkin’ box because we opened it. The clips are available at HSN.

However, now my closet is very organized. The hangers are much slimmer, which means they take up a lot less room. The velvet makes your clothes stick so blouses don’t slide off. No pointy shoulder-syndrome either. Further, they have the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, on top of Oprah’s endorsement, whatever that crap is worth.

Subscribe to Elizabeth Weintraub's Blog via email