A Sneak Peek at CRD Podcast’s First 3 Episodes

The following information is provided by the Center for REALTOR® Development (CRD).

A few weeks ago, we provided you some general launch information about the new podcast that Center for REALTOR® Development launched in May. Now, we want to share with you some more specifics about its three initial episodes so you can get a taste of the kinds of topics the podcast will cover and the types of interviewees our host, Monica Neubauer, will be interviewing.

We’re hoping you’ll give at least one of these episodes a listen now, and possibly subscribe so that you get notified when all the future episodes release, too. For all the details about the podcast and how to subscribe, check out its website at CRDpodcast.com.

The first episode, Pricing Strategies in the Market, focuses on pricing strategies, and its guests provide some different perspectives on pricing strategies in today’s real estate market for buyers and sellers. Melanie McLane (second-generation REALTOR® and renowned instructor and consultant) and Rob Mehta (principal of Rob Mehta+Partners and 19-year industry veteran) both share their expertise about basic and advanced areas to consider when pricing homes. In addition, they talk about how to best work with appraisers and AVMs, and how to use RPR tools.

In episode two, Military Real Estate Tips, the first guest, Bryan Bergjans, joins us to talk about VA loans. He began his career in mortgage banking in 2002, and currently serves as the national director of Military and VA Lending with Caliber Home Loans. In addition to his work with Caliber, he serves in the Navy, and is also an instructor with NAR for the Military Relocation Professional certification. In the second part of the show, Juanita Charles joins the show to talk about how she serves active duty and military veterans. She served in the military, and now currently works as a REALTOR® in Clarksville, Tenn.

In the third episode, Real Estate Investing, Ron Phipps, former NAR president and owner of Phipps Realty, joins Monica to talk about how to get involved in real estate investing, and to discuss the benefits and the best ways to get started. Real estate investing is a great way to build wealth and to prepare for long-term cash flow for the future. This is a great opportunity for real estate agents, investors, and the general public. In addition to the benefits, Monica and Ron talk about some of the downsides to real estate investing, and the risk involved with different kinds of units.

In addition to this new podcast, feel free to also check out our featured product this month at the Center for REALTOR® Development, the NEW e-PRO® Day 1 and 2 online bundle, which is the educational requirement for NAR’s e-PRO® certification and is on sale this entire month of June at 25% off. This certification aims to help real estate professionals broaden their technology skills to connect effectively with today’s digitally-savvy consumer.

For more information, please visit onlinelearning.realtor.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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How to Prepare Your Home Before Going on Vacation

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

Your summer vacation is finally here! You’ve booked flights, reserved hotel rooms, and scoped out the best places to eat along the way, but have you prepared your home for your absence?

Nothing spoils a vacation like returning to smelly trash, sad houseplants, or an unexpected break-in. Whether you plan to be gone for a week or a month, there are a few simple steps you can take to get your home ready so you can relax and enjoy your time away.

Clean Up

Leave your home exactly as you’d like to find it when you return—like new!

  • Empty your refrigerator of any perishable foods that will pass their enjoy-by dates while you are away, and toss open pantry items that will mold or go stale.
  • Take out the trash and recycling. Don’t forget about smaller trash cans in bathrooms and utility rooms.
  • Finish, fold and put away laundry. You’ll likely have clothes to wash when you return, so get a jumpstart before you go.
  • Wash your sheets and towels, and remake your beds. You’ll thank your past self when you come home to fresh linens in clean bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • Wipe down counters, run your garbage disposal, sanitize toilets, and organize clutter.

Close Out

Reduce the possibility of surprise maintenance issues, which can be costly to fix, by keeping up with regular home repairs throughout the year.

  • Perform routine inspections and weatherize. Make sure your heating and cooling systems, gas and water lines, and roof and windows are in good shape. Clean up your yard, mow the grass, and take care of any dead trees or overhanging limbs that could cause damage in severe weather.
  • Unplug all small appliances. This will save power and eliminate the potential for things to short-circuit and cause significant electrical damage.
  • Check your smoke detectors. Batteries die, parts wear out, and dust and other pollutants can impede alarm performance. Make sure your home is prepared in case of fire, and consider integrating your detectors into your home security system so the fire department is notified in an emergency.
  • Turn off your water at the main shut-off valve to prevent damage in the case of a burst pipe or water heater malfunction. Consider installing a water and flood sensor, which detects moisture where it shouldn’t be and notifies your smartphone.
  • Leave your closet doors ajar to prevent mold and musty smells from building up.


Protect your home and belongings from thieves. The highest percentage of burglaries occur during the summer months, and homes without security or alarm systems are up to 300 percent more likely to be broken into.

  • Set up remote monitoring. You can have a security system professionally installed or start with a wireless security camera that you can view from your smartphone. If you have a security monitoring service, let them know that you are traveling.
  • Collect spare keys. If you have house keys hiding under doormats or flower pots, bring them inside so prowlers don’t find them. Leave an extra set with a trusted neighbor or friend in case there’s an issue that needs to be addressed while you’re away.
  • Hold your mail and newspapers. Nothing signals that you are out of town like an overflowing mailbox or stack of unread papers on your front porch. Placing a hold with USPS is as easy as completing an online form and will prevent identity thieves from targeting sensitive information found in bills and credit card statements.
  • Take advantage of home automation. You can link everything from smart locks that you can triple-check via smartphone app to smart doorbell cameras that sense motion on your front porch and have two-way audio.
  • Close blinds into rooms that contain expensive items, and set up smart light timers that mirror your regular habits when you’re home.
  • Ask for help. Have a neighbor park in your driveway while you’re gone, and enlist a friend to water your plants and check up periodically on your property.

A little bit of preparation will go a long way when it comes to leaving your home clean and secure, and enjoying your vacation stress-free!

Emily Long is a home safety expert for SafeWise.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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Garden Design: Intertwining the Inside and Outside of Your Home

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

Interior design is something lots of people enjoy. With a specific taste and defined interior, your place can really maximize its true potential. Finding the right solutions to carry that feeling from inside to outside by adapting your garden space can really help emphasize your entire living space.

While only you can decide what you would like to see in your garden, here are some widely used garden styles that are applicable to various interior designs.

Minimalistic Style

Some people think minimalistic styles are plain, boring and uninteresting, but the true secret and idea behind minimalist gardening is to professionally use the space. With a somewhat restricted palette of materials, plants, and lack of aggressive color, this style can be widely applied to different gardens and houses.

What to Keep in Mind – There are a few major things to have in mind when thinking of starting your own minimalistic garden: space, lines, limitations, boundaries, and nature. Setting a simple limestone wall as a boundary is both aesthetically pleasing and can be great summer night fun if you use it as a screen for projection. Plants and gravel work great with wood and stone, and keeping them all aligned with other elements helps make a balanced and visually appealing feel of the space.

Maintenance – Minimalistic gardens are heavily based on wood, stone and plants; you have to address those areas accordingly. Classify your plants. Separate those that need lots of water from those that don’t. Slow-growing plants also help quite a lot when it comes to garden maintenance. Find what finish is used on your stone and wooden surfaces, and get the right agent for those surfaces to make sure they look fresh and as they should.

Naturalistic Style

This type of garden’s decorative style is quite widespread. It is based on the nature surrounding the location, or on the nature life found in the area. Its foundation lies in a natural color palette and its inspiration is found in the nature all around us, in meadows, forests, even deserts.

What to Keep in Mind – Generally, naturalistic gardens aim to keep the human impact to a minimum. All man-made structures should be done in a natural way, covered with recycled wood, stone, gravel or even completely concealed by plants. This garden style uses the general surroundings to better blend in with areas that should be left wild, if possible, without property borders. The main theme behind a naturalistic garden is to break the boundaries people feel between them and the great outdoors.

Maintenance – If you have no property borders, you will have to deal with various critters and similar problems. Also, with a garden based so much around nature, you have to carefully separate the plants, give them the right nutrients and enough water with long retractable hose reels, and regularly trim and maintain them in order to avoid garden infestation, or even some plant diseases that can be quite harmful.

Boho-Chic Style

This specific type of garden’s decorative style is definitely the most colorful and whimsical. Everything goes when it comes to color in a boho garden, but it has to be in the same saturation. Also, this garden style is recognizable for its collection of intricate antique-looking items, like chairs, stools and various gardening tools.

What to Keep in Mind – The best way to approach designing a boho-styled garden is to start with muted basic complementary colors and then build from there. Adding old furniture can really bring up the soul of your new outdoor oasis. In order to emphasize the bohemian spirit of this garden, aim to add interesting and appealing light solutions, like hanging lanterns or jars.

Maintenance – If you include actual antique pieces in your garden, make sure to take care of them properly. Most antique furniture isn’t meant for outside use, so it may be a good idea to get some of the pieces back inside when you are done using your garden. Also keep in mind that moisture can really mess up some of your rags and cloth, so think about keeping them dry.

Choosing the right style that completely intertwines with your interior design isn’t something you should be scared about. The mentioned types of garden decoration style are just some of the mostly used and well-planned ideas that can bring the best out of your garden.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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$106,900 :: 4792 PARENT, Warren MI , 48092

4 beds, 2 baths
Home size: 2,000 sq ft
Lot Size: 0 sq ft
Added: 06/11/17, Last Updated: 06/11/17
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 370061
Community: Warren (50023)
Status: Sold

Listed with Real Estate One Troy

Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!

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$114,900 :: 4705 BUCKINGHAM Drive, Warren MI , 48092

Property Photo

3 beds, 1 bath
Home size: 1,120 sq ft
Lot Size: 7,405 sq ft
Added: 04/19/17, Last Updated: 06/10/17
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 217030515
Community: Warren
The price of this listing was last reduced on 5/8/2017 by 4%
Status: Active

Fabulous ranch home waiting for new owners! Features include updated kitchen with spacious cabinets, ceramic tile bath with granite counter, as well newer flooring and freshly painted throughout. Living room is charming with cozy fireplace and a large doorwall that leads to a private patio. All bedrooms have large closets for storage. Other updates include newer roof, furnace and HWH. The yard is fenced and large with 2 gorgeous cherry trees. Location is great for easy commutes with 696 nearby. Only a few blocks from the school. This is a must see and won’t last long!

Listed with Fox Lake Realty

Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!

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You Better Know What’s Next

If you’re interested in mastering the art of working with buyers, you need to always be able to answer the question, “What’s next?”

Even though logic tells us a homebuyer will work diligently toward buying a home and only take steps toward that end, there are typically more missteps than correct steps throughout the process. Why? Because the buyer isn’t the process expert—you are. Why do we sometimes let our buyer clients get themselves so far off track in the process? The answer is simple: It’s because we don’t keep them focused on what’s next.

As an example, how often have you invested time showing homes to a prospective buyer only to learn later that qualifying for a loan is a problem? It’s only because you weren’t focused specifically on what’s next.

Below are some specific tools that will help you stay totally focused on what’s next during the process of attracting new buyer prospects.

The Magic Script. I know everyone hates scripts—and early in my sales career, I felt exactly the same—but scripts are the key to being able to focus fully on your prospect. Once you’ve mastered what to say next, you can stop worrying about that and focus instead on your buyer and their needs. At Workman Success Systems, we use a script called LPMAMA when a buyer inquires about a specific home. The letters stand for Location, Price, Motivation, Agency, Mortgage and Appointment. We believe these are the key elements to understanding enough about the buyer and their needs to move the process forward. This script works with our buyer information sheet, which is used to collect important buyer information.

A, B & C Buyer Lead Management. You should always know exactly where a buyer is in the process and have them categorized correctly. We use the following categories:

  • “A” buyers need to purchase a home in the next 30 days. These are buyers who you have an appointment scheduled with. Once you’ve finished an appointment with a buyer client in this category, you should schedule the next appointment before parting ways. It’s the only way to keep them an A.
  • “B” buyers need to purchase within 90 days. Follow up with these prospects during the weeks of the 1st and 15th each month.
  • “C” buyers need to buy in more than 90 days. Follow up with this group every single month during the week of the 8th.

These are just a couple simple yet effective tools you can use to make sure you’re always focused on what’s next. Sometimes it’s that little nudge toward the next step that can make the difference in actually closing a sale or not.

Cleve Gaddis of Gaddis Partners, RE/MAX Center learned sales the hard way, selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door, and now his real estate team closes $60 million in sales annually in Atlanta, Ga. He loves to share his sales strategies and to see others succeed. He’s the host of the Call Cleve Atlanta Real Estate Show which can be heard on NewsTalk 1160 WCFO every week. Contact him at Cleve@GoGaddis.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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9 Home Gadgets to Save Energy and Entertain

So you’re up for making your home truly state-of-the-art? I’ve got a great list for you. Here are nine gadgets to be on the lookout for:

Moen’s U lets you customize the perfect shower before ever stepping in with just a few taps on your smartphone.

Smart and Blue’s Hydrao smart showerheads let you instantly control your water consumption and energy needed to heat it by lighting up the water spray with different colors depending on the amount of water used—and it’s powered by the shower’s natural water-flow.

Luke Roberts Smart Light – This LED pendant lamp, from Austrian startup Luke Roberts, lets you place light in any direction, illuminating only certain areas of a room through simple gestures on your phone.

Kuri – Created by Mayfield Robotics, this app uses a camera to check on pets, kids, or guests when you’re away. It sets reminders, uses Wi-Fi to connect to things like weather reports, and works with IFTTT to control some connected devices, according to CNET.com.

Hello Egg – From RnD64, this works with the Eggspert web and mobile application to fully automate planning weekly meals, supervising the pantry, organizing shopping lists, and even ordering grocery delivery. Hello Egg also projects voice-navigated video recipes and answers cooking-related questions with a connected 24/7 support team of cooking experts.

CUJO creates a guarded firewall gateway between your devices and their connection to the internet by analyzing for malicious intent, whether it’s coming in from the internet, going out to the internet, or making moves across your network.

AirTV is the only major streaming platform that integrates local over-the-air (OTA) programming with your streaming services. Just add an AirTV Adapter and an OTA antenna to get local channels in HD, without a monthly cable bill.

Sony A1E – Unlike most TV speakers, sound comes to you from the entire screen, immersing you in a new entertainment experience—if there can be such a thing!

LG W7 – Capturing Best of the Best recognition at CES 2017, the W7’s picture-on-wall design allows the television to lay virtually flat so it seems blend with the wall and disappear.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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$800 :: 8300 CONTINENTAL AVE, Warren MI, 48089

Property Photo

2 beds, 1 full bath
Home size: 926 sq ft
Lot Size: 4,791 sq ft
Added: 04/27/17, Last Updated: 06/08/17
Property Type: 1 Story, Residential
MLS Number: 21287427
Community: Warren (50023)
Tract: PIPER’S VAN DYKE # 01
The price of this listing was last reduced on 5/4/2017 by 6%
Status: Sold

Beautiful 2 bedroom 1 bath ranch. Freshly painted all through out and updated flooring includes hardwood in living room, bedrooms and ceramic floor in kitchen and updated kitchen with new countertops and cabinets. , new gas stove, newer windows.Washer/Dryer with additional cabinets in utility room.New carpet in dining room.New drapes in each room, Open concept layout. etc. All appliances included. New updated bathroom with new vanity. Great central location to schools, shopping centers & transportation. Nothing to do but move right in and enjoy!!

Listed with National Realty Centers, Inc

Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!

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$110,000 :: 27105 TOWNSEND AVE, Warren MI, 48092

Property Photo

3 beds, 1 full bath
Home size: 1,120 sq ft
Lot Size: 14,374 sq ft
Added: 04/04/17, Last Updated: 06/07/17
Property Type: 1 Story, Residential
MLS Number: 21278838
Community: Warren (50023)
Status: Sold

HUGE LOT, size of 3 lots for plenty of outdoor activities with gorgeous newly renovated ranch featuring crown moldings and updates throughout including granite counter and new back splash plus ceramic floor in kitchen. Bathroom retiled with new glass sliding shower door and vanity. All hardwood floors refinished and gleaming plus house has been professionally painted. New LED lighting and all new window treatments. Enclosed porch in backyard with heat and electricity to enjoy outdoor view. Laundry room fresh and clean with durable epoxy paint. For hobby enthusiasts the garage is heated plus there is a heated shed with electricity in yard that could also be small office. Seller has indicated it is possible to split the lot.

Listed with Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel-Bir

Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!

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$139,900 :: 28909 WARNER AVE, Warren MI, 48092

Property Photo

3 beds, 1 full, 1 part baths
Home size: 1,180 sq ft
Lot Size: 7,405 sq ft
Added: 06/05/17, Last Updated: 06/06/17
Property Type: 1 Story, Residential
MLS Number: 21304134
Community: Warren (50023)
Status: Active

Original Owner- Impeccably maintained! 3 bedrm BRICK ranch featuring a finished basement, Pella Windows, Newer roof, TREX decking and so much more. Some exposed hardwood floors & HARDWOOD floors under carpet. 2 car detached garag. Eat in kitchen – all appliances stay including the washer and dryer. Great Starter home or perfect for those looking to downsize. Fenced yard/great curb appeal! Siersma Elem. within walking distance. note: pool table stays w/ the house. Open House 6/11 Sun, 1-3pm

Listed with Real Estate One-Troy

Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!

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