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5 Things You Should Do Before Moving into Your New Home

5 Things You Should Do Before Moving into Your New Home

Finally about to close on your dream house? Read this list to get some good tips on what you should do when moving into a new home to make the place your own.

Is there anything more exciting than moving into a new home? But preparing to move is a busy time. You’ve got to figure out how to pack for moving, pick up packing boxes and look up moving tips to make the whole process go more smoothly. Plus, there’s hiring movers, renting a truck, enlisting friends and family to help – and that’s on top of all the other stuff you’ve got to do to prepare for closing day and, once you’ve taken possession, get the place ready for move in.

Before you settle into your new home, these new simple home hacks can help you make the place feel like your own. Make moving day as smooth as possible, and stave off future new homeowner hiccups, with these moving day tips.

1. Change the Locks

The very first thing you should do after taking possession of a new home is change the locks, or have them re-keyed. If you’re handy, you can do this yourself with a re-keying kit from your local big-box hardware store, or you can buy new locks. These days, homeowners can choose from a range of smart locks, as well as old-fashioned ones.

Why change the locks? While the previous owners are probably great people, there’s no knowing who has keys to your home. There could be any number of copies of your house key out there, and you never know who has them. Make sure you and your loved ones are the only people who can access your new home. Locksmith rekey services are typically covered under your home warranty.

2. Forward Your Mail

Don’t miss important bills, housewarming cards or letters from Grandma – set up mail forwarding to begin on moving day. You can apply for mail forwarding online for $1.05, or you can do it in person at the post office. Of course, you’ll still have to change your address with your bank, credit cards, magazine subscription issuers and others who send you mail, but you’ll have 60 days to change your address for magazines and a year to change it for other kinds of mail.

3. Deep Clean the Whole Place

Just like you can’t know who has a copy of your house key, you can’t know how thoroughly the previous owners cleaned the place before they left. It’s a good idea to give your new home a good deep clean – clean the refrigerator, the oven, the walls, the floors and the cabinets inside and out, as well as the bathrooms. It’s easiest to do this before you start bringing your stuff in, or at least before you start unpacking it. If you don’t want to deep clean your new home yourself, you can hire professional cleaners to perform a move-in clean.

4. Check Your Smoke Alarms and CO Detectors

Smoke alarms and CO detectors are among the most important safety devices in your home. They could save your family’s lives in the event of a fire or a carbon monoxide leak. Before you move into your new home, test your smoke alarms to make sure they’re working properly.

Your new home may not have a carbon monoxide detector; many don’t. But carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless but can be deadly. Even when it doesn’t kill, it can cause serious symptoms, including brain damage. If your new home doesn’t have a CO detector, plan to install one on moving day. Make sure to calibrate it for the first time outside, so it can use fresh air for its baseline reading.

5. Look for Plumbing Leaks

If you have a leaking pipe in your new home, you need to know about it ASAP, and the easiest time to check for plumbing leaks is before everyone has gotten settled in. On moving day, check your water meter and either write down the reading, or take a photo of it. Wait two hours, making sure no one uses the water, and then check the meter again. If the reading isn’t exactly the same as it was two hours before, you have a plumbing leak somewhere in your home, and you need to locate it and put it on the priority list of things that need fixed right away.

While you’re looking for plumbing leaks, this is an excellent time to locate your home’s main water and gas shutoff valves as well as your breaker box. That way you won’t find yourself hunting for the breaker box in the dark with a flashlight or frantically hunting for the main water shutoff valve while a burst pipe fills your basement with water. Plus, if you find a plumbing leak, you’ll want to shut off the water to your home until you locate it.

Moving day is exhausting, stressful, and exciting – but it’s worth the work to finally settle into your brand new dream home. Make sure you take the time to do moving day right; it’ll save you a lot of trouble in the long run, and help you make your home your own a lot faster.

For more helpful tips, visit the American Home Shield blog!

NextHome Orange Blossom Real Estate is the Newest NextHome Office

NextHome Orange Blossom Real Estate is the Newest NextHome Office

Ana Afshin

Pleasanton, CA — April 16, 2019 NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Orange Blossom Real Estate. The new brokerage represents the 56th office location opened in the state of Florida by the NextHome franchise. The Minneola-based brokerage will be owned and operated by broker Ana Afshin.

NextHome Orange Blossom Real Estate will provide real estate services such as first-time buyer, investor, rehab & resale, commercial, senior living, and traditional single-family sales for the areas of Minneola, Claremont, Groveland, Kissimmee, and the remainder of the North Orlando area.

Ana also works with investors from overseas, particularly from Europe and South America.

Based in Lake County, the city of Minneola is located 40 minutes northwest of Orlando and is home to just under 15,000 residents.

Ana started her real estate career right out of high school in 1999 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her stepfather convinced her to work with him at his commercial real estate business. The two of them focused on purchasing and managing apartment complexes.

Ana worked as the leasing agent for one of his complexes and was responsible for filling the units with qualified tenants, as well as maintaining each unit. Shortly after, she assisted in selling and acquiring those apartment complexes.

After moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas in 2004, Ana got her real estate license, but not for commercial real estate reasons.

“While the money was good in commercial real estate, I really didn’t enjoy it,” said Ana. “My passion was in residential real estate, so I changed my focus to selling homes.”

Over the next five years, Ana worked at a local franchised office, before opening her own brokerage in late 2009. With residential sales slowing due to the recession, Ana went back to her roots and focused mainly on multi-family and commercial sales. During this time, she also purchased a large apartment complex that she rehabbed and resold for more than $1 million in profit.

“I take pride in not only knowing how to help investors evaluate how to buy and sell commercial and multi-family properties, but as an investor myself, I can share with them ideas and strategies on how to maximize their profits,” said Ana. “Additionally, I really loved being able to provide people with a nice home to live in.”

In 2015, Ana and her family moved to Florida after selling her Texas brokerage.

“My husband, Cameron, is from the Dallas area, but we always went to Florida for vacations with the family,” said Ana. “Since we spent so much time there, I was finally able to convince him to make the move and we relocated after we sold our brokerage.”

After making the move, Ana focused on raising the couple’s three children, while Cameron bought and flipped properties from 2015 to 2017.

In 2018, Ana was ready to come back and sell real estate full time and that’s when she found NextHome.

“I Googled every phrase related to ‘real estate franchise’ and NextHome kept coming up no matter what I searched,” said Ana with a laugh. “I was instantly intrigued because the orange colors were exactly what I used in my previous brokerage. But the thing that made me most interested in the franchise was the camaraderie between brokers– not competition.”

The NextHome Orange Blossom Real Estate difference will be the constant goal of earning client trust.

“I want our agents to know it’s not about the commission, but rather the families that are entrusting us to represent them as best as we can,” said Ana. “If we take care of our clients with top-level service, the money takes care of itself.”

Ana and Cameron have been married for 13 years and they have four wonderful children – sons Skyler (13 years old), Blaze (10), Jax (eight-months-old), and daughter Hailo (4). The family loves spending one full day a week enjoying the beach, Universal Studios or Disneyworld.

Please join us in congratulating Ana and the rest of the team at NextHome Orange Blossom Real Estate on the opening of their NextHome office in Minneola, FL!

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome launches first Rhode Island office for the franchise

NextHome launches first Rhode Island office for the franchise

Brian Buonaiuto

Pleasanton, CA — April 9, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Ocean State Realty Group. This new brokerage represents the very first office location opened in the state of Rhode Island by the NextHome franchise. The Cranston-based brokerage will be owned and operated by broker Brian Buonaiuto. He will be joined at the brokerage by his wife, Tara, who is also a licensed agent.

NextHome Ocean State Realty Group will provide real estate services such as first-time buyer, investor, rehab & resale, military relocation, and traditional single-family sales for the entire state of Rhode Island. The brokerage also works closely with the Homes For Heroes program – a home buying program specifically designed for first responders, military personnel, medical professionals, and school teachers.

“Our brokerage takes pride in being able to service the entire state,” said Brian. “Based on the size of Rhode Island, an agent can drive from one side of the state to the other in 45 minutes.”

Brian comes from a background in corporate management, where he had previously worked at several different Fortune 500 Companies such as Burger King, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and Public Storage.

Knowing he was no longer interested in corporate America, Brian had an eye on pursuing his passion for real estate and in 2018, he left his management role to make the move to selling homes full time.

“I wanted to take my business experience and direct it towards a career where I felt I could really make a difference with buyers and sellers who were looking for great representation,” said Brian.

He started with a small independent brokerage in Cranston and did very well in his first year. But it was a conversation with a friend from Florida that caught his attention.

“I was anxious to start my own brokerage as soon as I was able,” said Brian. “My friend told me about her brokerage (NextHome Gulf Coast) and I looked into the franchise.”

“Everything I saw, I absolutely loved,” he added.

Brian says the NextHome Ocean State Realty Group difference will be having “a company that delivers high level technology that not only helps the buyers and sellers, but also allows agents to provide a ton of value for their clients.”

Brian and Tara have been married for six years and they have a five-year-old son, Jack. With Jack having autism, the couple are very involved with multiple charities and organizations that provide support to families with autistic children.

Please join us in congratulating Brian, Tara and the rest of the team at NextHome Ocean State Realty Group on the opening of the first NextHome office in the state of Rhode Island!

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome Announces New Charity Partnership with Canine Companions for Independence

NextHome Announces New Charity Partnership with Canine Companions for Independence

Pleasanton, California — April 5th, 2019 – NextHome proudly announces its new national charity partner, Canine Companions for Independence®, a nonprofit with the primary purpose to enhance the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs. The partnership will drive national donation efforts from its local offices to generate additional funds that will provide Canine Companions assistance dogs to children, adults and veterans with disabilities free of charge.

The partnership with Canine Companions was revealed during the fourth annual NextHome conference. The three-day event in Las Vegas brought together hundreds of NextHome franchisees, brokers and agents from across the country to take a first peek on trending industry insights and introduce new programs, such as this partnership.

“As a firm believer in investing in your own team and giving back to local communities, it made perfect sense to associate NextHome with an organization that is equally dedicated to society by delivering the greatest resources to individuals in need,” stated Chief Executive Officer James Dwiggins. “Our hope is that our matchmade partnership with Canine Companions for Independence will enrich the lives of those people through the support of our offices, agents, followers, friends and families.”

Canine Companions introduced the concept of assistance dogs for people with physical disabilities in 1975. With professional instructors who possess hundreds of years of cumulative experience in both training assistance dogs and being able to instruct people with over 60 different types of disabilities, Canine Companions is now known as the largest provider of assistance dogs in the world.

“We’re excited about this new partnership with NextHome and appreciate that they share our belief in the value of collaboration and community,” added Paige Mazzoni, Chief Executive Officer of Canine Companions for Independence. “With the support from NextHome and their franchise with hundreds of offices across the nation, we’ll be able to unite more people with dogs in a powerful program that opens up new opportunities and new possibilities and allows us to expand the work that we do that improves the quality of life for so many people.”

NextHome is encouraging its members, friends, families and supporters to help raise funds to support the mission of Canine Companions for Independence. Donations will allow Canine Companions to continue to provide expertly trained assistance dogs and follow-up services free of charge to adults, children and veterans.

To learn more about the new partnership and ways to support Canine Companions for Independence, please visit cci.org/nexthome.

Meet your March 2019 NextHomie of the Month!

Meet your March 2019 NextHomie of the Month!

Please join us as we celebrate our NextHomie of the Month for March 2019, Scott Louser of NextHome Legendary Properties! With offices in Minot and Bismarck, North Dakota, Scott serves his community in more ways than one making him the perfect fit for the Culture Committee’s NextHomie of the Month title.

For Scott, real estate and public service are a part of his DNA. His father owned a real estate franchise when Scott was growing up, and at the same time, his mother served on the state’s real estate regulatory board. While he started in a retail career, it wasn’t long before Scott realized his calling was in real estate, and that is exactly where he went.

In 1997, Scott obtained his real estate license in North Dakota and got straight to work. In 2001, Scott served as the President of the Minot Board of REALTORS® Association. In 2005, he served as the North Dakota State Real Estate President. In 2006, he was recognized as REALTOR® of the Year. In 2007, he purchased his first franchise. Oh, and in 2012, he went on to serve as the Vice President of a little group called the National Association of REALTORS®, you may have heard of them.

Scott Louser is a true servant leader and to him, that’s what life is all about. “It’s not a dirty little secret, it’s a clean big secret,” said Scott. “I get back way more than I give by tenfold. If you give back and pay it forward, you’ll always get back more than you give.”

Even after all of that, he still wanted more. In 2010, he decided to run for public office and he was selected to serve as Minot District 5’s State Representative. Since then, he has won two additional elections and continues to serve as the Assistant Majority Leader of the House today.

“I’ve always had a passion for politics,” said Scott, “I was tired of sitting back and just complaining.”

Scott first found NextHome in 2015, where he had a unique start. “I was involved in putting together the Danger Report for NAR,” said Scott, referring to the report first released in 2015 that targets the dangers and risks that impact the residential real estate market. “I talked to James Dwiggins [the CEO of NextHome] about the report twice, then we hired him to present that report to the National Association of REALTORS®.”

While working on the Danger Report together, Scott and James began working on a project of their own. Shortly after, in December of 2015, Scott announced his move to NextHome and he opened his first NextHome Legendary Properties office in Minot, North Dakota.

So, why NextHome?

“I stole this quote from (NextHome Vice President of Sales) Charis Moreno,” Scott said with a laugh, “but I wanted to be a part of something bigger. Culture is everything. They (NextHome Corporate) feel it and they work it. You can’t just say you have it, you have to work it. There’s a feel in this brand that doesn’t exist anywhere else. I was nervous, but I knew together I couldn’t fail.”

So, what’s next for Scott?

He and his wife, Alexa, have three beautiful children together. For now, serving as a father, a husband, a legislator, and a NextHome Franchise Owner of two office locations is more than enough to keep him busy.

“If I’m fortunate enough to get reelected, I’ll continue with the legislature. I’d like to expand and open other NextHome offices, but we’ll just have to see how things go.” Whatever Scott’s future may hold, we are certain it will be filled with passion and the same desire to serve that has filled his life in both real estate and politics.

“Being a REALTOR® means making a lasting difference in a client’s life, and being a Broker means making a lasting difference in a REALTOR®’s life,” said Scott.

“And being Scott Louser means making a lasting difference for what you believe in,” added Randy Lenz, Culture Committee Chair.

Congratulations, Scott Louser!

NextHome opens newest brokerage in Waynesville, Missouri

NextHome opens newest brokerage in Waynesville, Missouri

Lisa Ellis

Pleasanton, CA — March 26 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Team Ellis. This new brokerage represents the sixth office location opened in the state of Missouri by the NextHome franchise. The Waynesville-based brokerage will be owned and operated by top REALTOR® and Broker of record, Lisa Ellis.

NextHome Team Ellis will provide real estate services such as first-time buyer, investor, multi-family, land, military relocation and traditional single-family sales for all of the St. Robert and Fort Wood area. More than 90% of NextHome Team Ellis’ business is working with military families. The agents at the brokerage are experts in working with unique military loans and programs such as Veteran’s Assistance and Homes For Heroes.

Located two-and-a-half hours west of St. Louis, the town of Waynesville is known for its deep military roots. As a military post, Waynesville is the home to the United States Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School.

Now in her 21st year, Lisa started real estate in 1998 at a local independent brokerage in St. Robert.  She made the move to a Coldwell Banker franchised brokerage in 2000 and saw a huge rise in her business.

In 2004, Lisa moved to a local RE/Max and grew her personal real estate sales year-over-year and was consistently a top producer in her market.

In keeping up with her business, Lisa moved to Century 21 Prestige in 2010 to manage the 12 agent brokerage, while forming her own personal real estate team – Team Ellis. She grew the team to three agents, selling more than 60 transactions annually.

After seven years of managing and running a real estate team, Lisa returned to the RE/Max brand to fully focus on sales with Team Ellis. In 2018, the five-person Team Ellis group sold more than $12 million and 87 transaction sides. Incredible numbers for an area with an average sales price of $133,000.

Lisa attributes the growth and success of the team to focusing on world-class service and client care that has her buyers and sellers returning again and again.

After 20 years in real estate and selling at the highest level, Lisa was ready to take the next step in her career – owning a brokerage.

“As I was doing some research about various franchise models, a real estate friend of mine suggested I check out NextHome,” said Lisa. “Everything I saw about the NextHome franchise fit what I was looking for. The branding, marketing and friendly feel of the company really had me intrigued. I had a great conversation with (NextHome’s VP of Sales) Charis Moreno and I brought all the info back to our team.”

“The Team Ellis members were excited and totally onboard,” she added.

Besides Lisa, NextHome Team Ellis is comprised of five dynamic REALTORS® – Angie Masterton, Hazel O’Donnell, Maryanne O’Brien, JP Macormic and Linda Wyatt.

Lisa and Team Ellis are very involved in the community. They work closely with Fort Leonard Wood, supporting military events as local sponsors and volunteers. Team Ellis also sponsors local youth sports teams in basketball and soccer.

Lisa and her husband, retired US Army E7 First Sergeant, Renard, have four children and four grandchildren.

Please join us in welcoming Lisa and the rest of the team at NextHome Team Ellis on the opening of their brand new office in Waynesville, MO!

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

‘Lazy’ Millennials Do More Work When Buying, Selling Homes

‘Lazy’ Millennials Do More Work When Buying, Selling Homes

An overhyped stereotype about millennials is that they’re entitled narcissists who can’t be bothered to do homework, legwork or even stash a few dollars in the bank (see avocado toast). That caricature can be taken apart in many ways – including by research from the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report that shows millennial home buyers and sellers are extremely motivated: They go on more tours, give more open houses, do more research on real estate professionals, and fix up their homes at higher rates than older generations.

Tours, tours, tours!

When buying a home, millennials go on more tours than their older counterparts. The average millennial goes on 4.4 tours — slightly more than Gen X and baby boomers — and outdoes the average of 2.7 for the silent generation.[1] They also attend more open houses: 42.7 percent of millennials go to at least two – a higher share of buyers than Gen X (30.4 percent), boomers (24.9 percent), and the silent generation (16.3 percent).

When millennials use an agent, they still do more themselves. Among millennials that use an agent, 20.2 percent go on tours themselves, higher than the 12.2 percent of Gen X, 10.4 percent of boomers, and 3 percent of the silent generation who do the same. Millennials selling their homes also give more tours on their own before getting their agents involved: 30.3 percent of them give tours to potential buyers before engaging an agent, compared to 18.1 percent of Gen X, 8.5 percent of boomers and 10.1 percent of the silent generation.

Millennials do their homework

Millennial buyers also do more research throughout the process. Among those who enlist the help of an agent at some point in their search, 37 percent of them preview or screen homes themselves, compared to 28.3 percent of Gen X, 29.6 percent of boomers and 14.5 percent of silent generation buyers. More millennial buyers also identify the homes they consider: 42.6 percent, compared to 32.7 percent of Gen X, 29.5 percent of boomers, and 10.3 percent of the silent generation.

When hiring the many professionals that play a part in the buying and selling processes, millennials are more likely to research and evaluate agents, contractors, inspectors, and other professionals. When looking for an agent, the average Millennial seller contacts 2.5 agents before settling on one – more than the 1.7 agents that Gen X and baby boomer sellers contact and more than the 1.4 that silent generation sellers reach out to.

When searching for an agent to help them buy a home, 81.2 percent of Millennials do at least one of the following to evaluate them:

  • Read online reviews
  • Visit their brokerage website
  • Look up their past sales history
  • Ask a friend or family member about their experience with the agent or broker
  • Figure out their market knowledge / how well they know the area
  • Interview agent(s) or broker(s)

Older generations also research their agents, but at lower rates than millennials: 75.9 percent of Gen X buyers do at least one of the above, as do 68.7 percent of Boomers and 71.1 percent of the Silent Generation.

Among buyers who use an agent, millennials are more likely to find their own inspector than older generations: 22.5 percent of millennials find their own, compared to 17.2 percent of Gen X, 11.7 percent of Boomers and 11.6 percent of the Silent Generation.

The average millennial buyer also outdoes other generations when it comes to contacting lenders: Millennials contact an average of 2.8 lenders before choosing one, more than the 1.7 lenders contacted by Gen X, 1.8 by Boomers and 1.3 by the Silent Generation.

Younger sellers are more likely to fix up before selling

Millennials are more likely than all older generations to fix up their homes for sale. They outdo baby boomers and the silent generation when it comes to painting, redecorating, landscaping, replacing or buying new furniture, and kitchen and bathroom improvements. Ninety percent of millennials do some sort of improvement, compared to 84.6 percent of Gen X, 69.1 percent of boomers and 58.8 percent of the silent generation.

You might think millennials are doing more work because of the kinds of houses they own: If the houses are older, for example, they might need more repairs. But the data show that millennials sold homes that are on average about eight years newer than homes sold by older generations.

The DIY Generation flexes tech skills

Millennial sellers that use an agent are also more likely than older generations to do a lot of the work that agents often handle. For example, millennials are more likely to have photographs taken of their home: 31.7 percent do, compared to 18 percent of Gen X sellers, 11.4 percent of boomer sellers and 4.3 percent of silent generation sellers. In addition to photos, millennials also make print ads and have video or other media taken of their homes at higher rates. Given how tech savvy they are, it’s no surprise that they’re big on promoting their homes on real estate sites (22.7 percent) at nearly triple the rate of older generations (8.5 percent) and on social media (38.0 percent compared to 15.5 percent for older sellers).

Younger sellers learn as they go

Seventy-eight percent of millennial sellers are doing so for the first time; this is their first rodeo. The fact that they’re overwhelmingly learning the ropes for the first time may partially explain why they are doing more work: 58.1 percent of them have at least one offer fall through, compared to 37.9 percent of Gen X sellers, 30 percent of boomer sellers and 22 percent of silent generation sellers. Because a large proportion are first timers, they also are less likely to have an established network of professionals to rely on, which means they have to do more research to find a team.

Even so, they are more eager than older generations to do work themselves. When asked whether they prefer to take the lead themselves or rely on guidance from professionals, 57.5 percent of millennial sellers say they are more inclined to take the lead themselves – a higher percentage than older generations. Among Gen X sellers, 40 percent report taking the lead, compared to 29.5 percent for boomers and 24 for the silent generation. This preference may explain why millennials often outdo older generations when it comes to the homework, fixing up and other jobs associated with the home selling process.

[1] Millennials refers to people between the ages of 24 and 38. Gen X is 39 to 53. Baby boomers are 54-73. Silent generation refers to people age 74 and up.

For more helpful tips, visit the Zillow blog!

The Step by Step Guide to Creating Community Videos That Will Grow Your Business

The Step by Step Guide to Creating Community Videos That Will Grow Your Business

Community Videos can be a really big part of your marketing strategy as a real estate agent. They not only show that you’re passionate and knowledgeable about your community but they also can show what a buyer would get when moving to that part of town. As a realtor, you’re not just selling a home – you are selling an area or neighborhood! Below we’ve made a list of steps to help you confidently film and share a great community video!

What to expect

Time commitment: 3 days total per video
(one day planning, one day filming, one day posting and promoting)

Average budget: between $500 – $2k

Potential outcomes:

  • More followers and viewers on social media
  • More community connections
  • New clients/prospects
  • You establish yourself as a local expert
  • You help promote something you love

1. Decide What You’re Passionate About

The very first step in this process is to decide what part of your community to highlight. You need to pick something you’re excited about and passionate about, whether that be restaurants, parks, non-profit organizations, etc. Judy Weiniger, a community video master, says, “Chose the businesses that excite you.” Don’t force yourself to get excited about a subject you don’t gravitate towards.

We know it can be hard to choose the topic of your first community video, especially if you love a lot of things in your area. We put together a list based on passions and interests to help you get started.

Do you love food & drinks? You could feature….

  • Coffee Shops
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Local Chefs or Bartenders

Do you love shopping and supporting local businesses? You could feature…

  • Small Shops & Boutiques
  • Any New Shop/Business
  • Outdoor Markets

Do you love being active? You could feature…

  • Parks/Trails
  • Gyms
  • Yoga/Dance Studios
  • School Sporting Events

Do you love music & art? You could feature…

  • Art Galleries
  • Local Bands
  • Local Artists
  • Festivals
  • Craft/Pottery Studios

Do you value family? You could feature…

  • Schools/School Programs
  • Libraries
  • Family-Friendly Activities in the Area

Do you love animals? You could feature…

  • Local dog parks
  • Pet-Friendly Restaurants/Bars
  • Local Vets
  • Local Animal Shelters

If you really want to go ALL IN on community videos, you can challenge yourself to feature your 30 favorite places in town over 30 days like Craig Veroni. Craig is one of our Real Estate Video Influencer winners who found a creative way to highlight the best parts of his community on social media. He was trained by Jesse Peters, and Michael Thorne of RE Video Studio.

Also keep in mind that you don’t just have to feature places or events, you can specifically feature people as well! Every community has inspiring individuals that your viewers will love learning more about. Craig Veroni has done another series called My Favourite Humans in Vancouver where he showcased different people.

2. Create a List of Specific Businesses to Reach out to

Once you’ve decided on what type of community videos you want to start with, it’s time to pick specific businesses/places/people to feature! When creating your list, we recommend focusing on a specific part of town. Marguerite Martin, a Real Estate Video Influencer winner in the Community Video Category, specializes in downtown Tacoma, instead of trying to cover her whole city. We also recommend keeping an eye on the news channels, papers and bloggers to see what people are talking about!

Pick the top three things you’d like to feature. Figure out who you need to contact for each topic and gather emails. If you can’t decide between a few places or businesses, ask some other people in the community what they’d prefer to see a video feature on. And like we said before, keep an eye on blogs and the news. Though it’s important to be passionate about what you feature, it’s also important that it will spark your viewer’s interest.

3. Reach Out with Video

Now it’s time to see if you’re able to film your community videos at the places you’ve chosen. Depending on what you choose, you’ll need to reach out to the person who owns or runs the establishment. If you have picked something like a park, you could try to find & contact a person through the City Government. If you’ve picked a business, then you’ll need to reach out to the owner and get permission to do a feature.

We think the very best way to reach out is through a video! It’s a great way to introduce yourself and explain what you are wanting to do. BombBomb makes this very easy to do. You could even go to the place you want to feature and record your introduction video there! (If you’d like to try BombBomb free for 2 weeks – click here!)

Not sure what to say in your email or video? We put together a script that we used to reach out to local businesses here in Colorado Springs!

Hi (Owner/Employee Name),
My name is (first name), I’m the (job title) at (company name).
As a real estate agent, I need to establish myself as an expert on our community and a great way to do that is by filming what we call a community video. For this video, I would really love to highlight your establishment, (business name).
INSERT BOMBBOMB VIDEO
My goal is to show off some awesome places in the community. I absolutely love your business, which is why I’m reaching out to you. If possible, I’d like to come by for a couple hours during a slower time and film a quick video with you. My goal is to capture the story of your business – so I’d love to interview you for part of the filming as well.
Let me know if that is something you’d be interested in! We want nothing in return. Our goal is to simply highlight our community on social media.
Sincerely,
(full name)

One last thing to remember is to make it clear that you aren’t asking for money. Ask for nothing in return. Community videos will be an investment on your part but trust us, it is an investment that’s worth it. Community videos establish you as a local expert. They will grow your following and viewership. They will help people connect you with. They will even help you establish relationships with local business owners who may eventually need to buy or sell their home! Ultimately, your community videos should bring you new clients and prospects as you grow your connections and community presence.

4. Plan a Time to Film Your Videos

The business owner might want to meet with you to plan your video. In that case, make sure to set aside time to meet and plan. You may also be able to work things out over email. We estimate most community videos take around 2 hours of filming on location. Try to schedule all your community videos for one day so you can knock them all out at once.

It’s important to pick the best time for the business owner. They likely won’t want you coming during their busiest time of day. Try to go when you won’t be disruptive with your filming and when the business owner/employees will have the most time to talk with you! If you’re filming a lot outside, try to pick a day where the weather will be nice and pick a time where the sun won’t be too harsh.

5. Hire a Videographer

**Note: This is not mandatory! Many of our video influencers shoot their community videos on their cell phones. But if you’re new to filming, a videographer is a good place to start. We jump to our tips on how to do it yourself in the video below.

We suggest using Judy Weiniger’s method of finding videographers. She says, “How I found mine is through searching videographers who do weddings.” Ask around or post something on Facebook asking for good, local wedding videographers. Most weddings are on weekends so these videographers will often be excited to get side jobs like this during the week.

When choosing a videographer, we suggest watching some of their previous videos to make sure their style aligns with what you want! The average wedding videographer gets paid between $1,000 – $2,500 for a day of filming and editing. If that is outside of your budget, we suggest trying to find an aspiring wedding videographer or a film student. They will probably work with you for a lower budget. (Thank you to BombCast Guest & John L. Scott Real Estate Agent, Paul Balzotti, for this tip!)

If you and a coworker or partner are wanting to tackle this project without hiring anyone, it’s doable! Here are some tips from Visual Storyteller, Matt Mead and Content Marketing Specialist, Alexa Franck. They walk through all the gear you need – both the basic setup and the pro setup.

6. Create a Video Outline

Now it’s time to plan out your video so you’re ready for filming! This plan should include a list of video shots you want, questions you’d like to ask the business owner, details you want the community to know, etc. Write down the script of how you want to intro and outro the video. You don’t have to stick strictly to this script, but it’ll keep you on track while filming! While planning your video, plan out the story that it will tell. Every business and person has a story to tell!

Depending on who you hire, you might sit down with your videographer to plan this out. You can also send this plan over to the business owner for them to approve before the filming. It’s always good to have a second pair of eyes (like the business owner or videographer) to look over your plan so you don’t miss any key points. You don’t want to get done filming and then realize a day later that you missed an important shot or piece of information.

It’s also important to plan for how long you want your videos to be. The ideal length of a YouTube Video is 5-10 minutes so you should shoot for getting enough footage to create this length of video.

Here’s an outline example that we used for our community videos:

Carnelian Coffee Community Video Filming Outline
Video Shot: Alexa in front of the coffee shop
Opening Script: “I’m here at Carnelian Coffee Co in Old Colorado City – only a few minutes away from the BombBomb Office! We’re going to go chat with the owner, and hear all about this cozy little spot!”
B-Roll: Alexa walking down the street into the coffee shop
Video Shot: Kate (coffee shop owner) sitting for interview
Interview Questions:
Tell us about the beginning of your coffee shop and what inspired you to start it!
Walk me through what a typical day at the coffee shop looks like for you!
What are some of the best things you serve/best selling drinks?
What do you want people to experience when they come here?
What makes your place unique?
B-Roll: Kate making a cup of coffee, pulling espresso, steaming milk, etc.
Extra B-Roll Shots:
-Shots of the shop interior and decor.
-A pan shot of the inside and outside.
-Shot of two people talking and drinking coffee.

While we were in the shop, we learned that Kate will only sell merchandise from Colorado Businesses. Because of that, we also got some footage of all of the trinkets she sold at Carnelian. It’s important to remain observant as the owner tells their story, and get shots of the amazing details they share!

Once your video is planned, you have the option of coming up with a clever name for your community video series! Here’s a few great names used by our Community Real Estate Video Influencers! See what other community video creators are doing and get some inspiration:

7. ACTION! It’s Time to Film Your Videos

Filming day has come. If you’ve followed each step and taken our advice, you’ll have scheduled to film a couple of places/business for the day. You will want to have a videographer who’s ready to go and knows what shots are needed. You’ll want to have your outline ready. And fortunately, you’ll also have already built a relationship with the business owner or manager through video or meetings so you’ll feel comfortable filming with them!

Things should go smoothly if you’ve planned accordingly. Our main piece of advice at this point is to have fun and enjoy the process! To build interest in your upcoming community videos, you should go LIVE on Facebook or Instagram before wrapping up your day of filming. You can include the business owner and quickly introduce them or give people a sneak peak of the places you’ll be featuring. Consider it a promo video for your community videos! We recommend going live for at least 5 minutes. If you’re worried about taking a video that long, try to prepare an outline for that video as well.

Try to film another promo video apart from going LIVE. When you go live, it’ll just air on Facebook or Instagram. You’ll want a promo video for other social platforms as well. Film a quick intro in front of each place you’re highlighting. In a promo video, you can inform your viewers when the community video will premiere on your social accounts. You can also give people a sneak peak into the things you’ll be talking about in the community videos.

Here are some examples of our promo videos here at BombBomb: BombBomb Facebook Videos

8. Create a Social Media Plan for the Videos

While your videographer is hard at work getting your videos edited, you can start planning out your social strategy. Here’s the distribution process we recommend for your videos!

Short Community Video Promo

General Guidelines:

  • Video Size: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Video Length: 1 minute

Where to Post:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram

Short Community Video Teaser

General Guidelines:

  • Video Size: 1080 x 1080 pixels and 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Video Length: 15-60 Seconds

Where to Post:

  • 30-60 second square teaser on Instagram and Twitter
  • 15 second vertical teaser on Instagram Story

Full Length Community Video

General Guidelines:

  • Video Size: 1080 x 1920 pixels and 1280 x 720 pixels
  • Video Length: 5-10 minutes

Where to post:

  • Vertical on IGTV
  • Horizontal on YouTube

Medium Length Community Video

General Guidelines:

  • Video Size: 1280 x 720 pixels
  • Video Length: 2-3 minutes

Where to post:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn

Create an ad budget for promoting your video on Facebook. You need to pay to get views. We suggest creating a Facebook audience that includes people in your area. You can make your lists more specific as well! If you featured a yoga studio, target people who are interested in yoga, a specific yoga studio, etc.

Another great way to help your videos do well on social is to have the business themselves use the video however they want! Let them use it on their website. Let them share it on their social pages. For them, it’s like a free promotional video so they will probably love sharing it. You can ask them to tag you in their posts.

9. See What Your Audience Loves and Give Them More

If you did three different videos and one performed better than the rest, try to replicate what you did. If your video on a coffee shop performed the best, maybe try to feature another coffee shop. Don’t try to cover all the things in your community. Find your niche and stick to it. If you’re planning to do a series, stick to the topic of your series until you have between 5-10 videos. Then start planning your your next series. You’re becoming a community expert!

Here is the community video we did here at BombBomb! We went out and visited a local coffee shop to film our community video. We used a lot of the tips we listed here in this post and the results have been great. Thanks to Kate Firoved and Carnelian Coffee for letting us stop by!

For more helpful tips, visit the BombBomb blog!

NextHome expands in New Jersey with NextHome Evolution

NextHome expands in New Jersey with NextHome Evolution

Rosemarie Heldmann

Pleasanton, CA — March 20, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Evolution. This new brokerage represents the sixth office location opened in the state of New Jersey by the NextHome franchise.

The Chester-based brokerage will be owned and operated by REALTOR® and Broker of record, Rosemarie Heldmann. NextHome Evolution will provide real estate services such as first-time buyer, investor, multi-family, land, luxury and traditional single-family sales for all of Morris County, including the towns of Chester, Long Valley, Mendham, Peapack-Gladstone, and Bedminster.

The Chester Township is located west of Morristown and home to just under 9,000 residents. The town is 40 miles west of New York City and features many Victorian-style homes and palatial estates.

While Rosemarie started her real estate sales career in 2014, she has been involved with buying and selling real estate for many years.

After a 20+ year career as an owner of a retail jewelry shop, Rosemarie went full time into selling real estate five years ago. As an avid commercial real estate investor, she used that experience to help others buy and sell real estate.

“For many years before I became a REALTOR®, I was actively buying, rehabbing and holding properties for long-term investment,” said Rosemarie. “I originally intended on getting my license and focus on purchasing my own properties.”

“But after having other investors and interested home buyers ask me if I could help them, it made sense for me to help others buy and sell properties as well,” she added.

In 2017, Rosemarie attained her broker’s license and opened her brokerage, Fieldstone Real Estate.

Although very successful, Rosemarie decided that 2018 was the year to diversify her business to add more residential sales. She found NextHome through a simple Google search of “real estate franchises.”

“I saw a NextHome sign in front of a listing when I was driving home one evening,” recalled Rosemarie. “I had to stop the car and take a look at the sign. It was so eye-catching and fresh, I was blown away by the branding.”

“Once I did more research about the company, I was hooked and knew NextHome was what I was looking for.”

When not selling real estate, Rosemarie plays tennis competitively. She has been playing tennis on the highest level for more than 45 years – often traveling to play matches throughout the state of New Jersey.

She is the mother of four daughters – Erika (30), Paige (27), Olivia (22), and Sophia (19).

Please join us in welcoming Rosemarie and the rest of the team at NextHome Evolution on the opening of their brand new office in Chester, NJ!

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome Whalen & Co. opens office location in Washington

NextHome Whalen & Co. opens office location in Washington

Chris Whalen

NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Whalen & Co. This new brokerage represents the eighth office location opened in Washington by the NextHome franchise.

The Kennewick-based brokerage will be owned and operated by REALTOR® and Broker of record, Chris Whalen. NextHome Whalen & Co. will provide real estate services such as first-time buyer, investor, multi-family, land, luxury and traditional single-family sales to the areas of the “Tri-Cities” (Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco), Benton City, Burbank, West Richland, and the remainder of Benton and Franklin Counties.

Kennewick is located three hours southeast of Seattle and home to nearly 75,000 residents. The city sits on the southwest bank of the Columbia River.

Chris was introduced to real estate in one of the most unique ways possible – as a limo driver who happened to drive a real estate agent to the airport.

“I remember picking up a gentleman while I was driving limousines at the time,” recalled Chris. “He requested to my company that I be the one to pick him back up upon his return. When I dropped him at his house and saw where he lived, I asked ‘What do you do?’ He said he was in real estate, and the rest was history.”

Chris has been interested in construction and architecture since he was a kid, so the tie into real estate seemed like a natural choice for a career.

He started in 2004 with Coldwell Banker in Phoenix, Arizona. After working several years at the brokerage, he made the moved to Keller Williams Realty and worked on one of the top teams in Arizona.

Chris and his wife, Kristina, moved a few years later and he ended up selling newly constructed homes with a company called New Home Star in Cedar Rapids, Iowa – the town where he was born and raised. At that time, New Home Star was the biggest home builder in eastern Iowa.

Knowing that he needed a position with more stability and health benefits, Chris approached the New Home Star team and asked if there were any positions that corporate could offer that made more sense for his family. They told Chris a sales manager position opened up in Kennewick, Washington if he was interested.

Randomly enough, Kristina grew up in that area, so the Whalens moved to Kennewick. Chris was not only responsible for the sales of new homes in Kennewick, but he also trained several other sales team members who worked in surrounding areas such as Spokane.

While finding his career interesting, Chris missed the ability to sell homes on his own terms versus selling just a few types of model homes. In June 2016, he left New Home Star and started his own company Whalen & Co. Real Estate and grew a successful brokerage.

He found NextHome in 2018 and found the franchise to be exactly what he had been looking for in order to grow his brokerage with the right technology and tools for his agents.

“After doing my research on NextHome, I realized that the company could advance all the technology that I wanted for my brokerage,” said Chris. “In speaking with some of the savvier agents in our area that I trust, these agents agreed and I was all in with NextHome.”

“The people are great, the support is great… NextHome is everything we were looking for,” added Chris.

Chris says the success of the company will be because of NextHome Whalen & Co.’s committed agents and their dedication towards first-class service for their clients.

Chris currently serves on the Education Committee of his local Real Estate Board and is also a Certified Real Estate Instructor with the State of Washington.

Chris and Kristina have been married since 2004 and have two children – Tommy (14) and Samantha (4). The family loves to travel and spend time on the water on their boat and enjoy the Colombia River.

Please join us in welcoming Chris and the rest of the team at NextHome Whalen & Co. on the opening of their brand new office in Kennewick, WA!

Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.