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Holiday Special on The Diary

Holiday Special on The Diary

Looking for a meaningful reason to reach out to your top clients this holiday season?  

We have an awesome promotion on our new Diary product that allows you to create a HomeDiary for your client, add content into it, and then invite them to receive the gift of our home management app that will help them increase the value of their home over time, and save a lot of hassles, and money, along the way.  

We are reducing our introductory price for the Diary between now and January 31, 2023, to just a one-time fee of $15, normally $29. No other subscriptions or fees to keep adding to the Diary over the course of homeownership!

The gift of the HomeDiary app is the perfect reason to touch base with your clients this holiday season.  Call them, tell them about the app you’re going to give them, and maybe add in a hand crafted home value estimate as part of the content you add into the Diary.  But first, ask them if they have done any improvements, like a new bath or kitchen.  This will give you extra data to provide a differentiated home value than those automated AVMs. Provide the value estimate as a Timeline entry with the value determined in the amount field and the CMA as a PDF attachment (or if you have a link, add that too).   See our Implementation Guide for how to add these improvement values to your estimate, and other example use cases of what you and your client can do with HomeDiary.

What do you get?

A sponsored Diary where you can collaborate and curate content for your client’s HomeDiary for the life of the ownership of their home.  Add the closing docs, reminders (like the Closing Statement for tax time), a “To Do” list from the inspection report, or just post a photo of a cool marble slab you know your clients would love for their upcoming kitchen remodel. 

Once you unlock the Diary for collaboration, you can put content in over time for no additional cost for the life of your client’s homeownership!  You are positioned as the default home pro, and your info is just a call, text or email away. 

PS. you also get a free HomeDiary account for your own house.  So add receipts, documents or create a floor plan to show your clients the cool and helpful info that can be part of their Diary.

homediary sponsor

Video on HomeDiary for Homeowners

What does your client get?

A fully functioning HomeDiary, complete with 3D Designer, our drag and drop floor planner and room design tool.  It’s like HGTV, but for their home.  If you have access to a floor plan source, we can convert that into 3D Designer for a one time fee of $30 ($45 total price for the Diary with FloorPlan). Or, you can use our iOS app to scan their home in 5 to 10 minutes and get back a customizable 3D floor plan in 1 to 2 days, priced at $55 until January 31, 2023.  Just ask your client if they have a source they can send you and upload it, and we will convert it into a 3D floor plan. 

Our Holiday Promotion, in summary:

  • Basic Diary – $15
  • Basic Diary+FloorPlan from source – $45
  • Basic Diary+FloorPlan with scan app – $55
There will always be a free version of HomeDiary for a homeowner to use.  It is private and secure by default, but you now have the ability to put content into their HomeDiary with this new feature.  See an idea for a client?  Toggle to their house in the HomeDiary app (or login using your favorite browser) and post an Idea, Reminder or Timeline entry.  Anything you can do for your own home can be done in your client’s home via the app!  All data can be exported out by the homeowner as needed and they can share content cards via the app. 

The Diary opens up new and exciting communication channels between you and your clients. Think of the difference in the relationship created between giving a calendar annually to your clients vs posting a photo of that cool marble slab you found into the Ideas section for your clients’ upcoming kitchen remodel.  It shows you’re invested in their homeownership experience in highly personal and targeted ways, and it keeps you top of mind as their agent who is there to help guide them in their homeownership journey. In other words, it puts you top of mind with your sphere of influence, about 10% of whom will move this year.  That could be 30 to 50 transactions, just by being remembered and present as the person they should be using to sell their home. 

Want this for all of your agents? We do have office and company subscription options where the base Diary is free to the agent, as the company pays a monthly fee on behalf of all agents.  If you are interested in the Office program, please contact us at sales@homediary.com or call 206-384-4400, option 2.

Paycheck Protection Program for Independent Contractors

Paycheck Protection Program for Independent Contractors

We are living in difficult times that has hit the real estate industry hard in some markets, but not so much (yet) in others. The big question is going to be, how are millions of people out of work going to impact the housing market. In cities like Seattle and Austin that have a large tech base of workers, it could be a buying opportunity and slight blip in an otherwise hot market. In others, such as Detroit, there could be a downturn. Nonetheless, listing volume will likely decrease right at the start of the traditional peak of the spring listing season. This impacts the income of real estate agents, brokers, owners, and tour companies like us, and our photographers, many of whom are independent contractors.

Luckily the Federal government has stepped in to help. The CARES Act that was passed in March and it is specifically designed to help small businesses and independent contractors like agents and photographers. The specific program is called the Paycheck Protection Program that has allocated $349 billion to help retain jobs.  In short, it is a way to get a very low interest loan from the SBA and if you pay your employees, or yourself as an independent contractor or self employed person, it can be converted into a grant (a forgivable loan) for the amount paid for up to 8 weeks of payments. It is effectively unemployment assistance for small businesses and independent contractors, of which most agents and photographers are classified.

You can find details on the program here: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/top-priorities/cares-act/assistance-for-small-businesses

For independent contractors and self employed individuals, you can start to apply for the loan on April 10th. Small businesses and sole proprietorships started the application process on April 3rd. It is likely you will want to do this through your bank, as most FDIC insured banks are able to handle these loans.  The maximum loan you can get is 2.5 times your average monthly payroll for 2019, subject to a cap of 100,000 for any one individual.  Other expenses like interest on a mortgage and utility bills can also be covered (although this part is unclear for a small business owner – is it my mortgage or the company’s mortgage). 

Example of how to calculate the loan amount. Lets say your annual commission income from your business was $120,000 in 2019.  The monthly average would be $8,3333.33 (because you are over the $100,000 cap, the max monthly average is $100,000/12), and your maximum loan amount would therefore be $20,833 (2.5*$8,333.33). If you paid an assistant or someone as an employee where you issued a W-2, you can include that in your loan amount too. Otherwise, if you paid someone as an independent contractor, they would have to go through the same loan process on their own. Your 1099-Misc or other documentation will be required as part of the loan process.

You can effectively use this money to pay yourself during this downturn and the government will forgive the loan if you apply for the forgiveness from your bank. So yes, there are some hoops to jump through but this is a great way to help you through a difficult time.  You are going to want to do it as soon as you can and likely through your existing bank as many are limiting applicants to existing customers only.  And, the banks are still figuring it out – I applied for our company on April 3rd and it was really just a form I filled out for Chase Bank.  They will get back to me…let’s see how long this takes.  I will post with an update later. 

Benefits of this Paycheck Protection Program:

  • Forgivable loan grant – you will have to apply to get it forgiven from your bank
  • Interest is 1%
  • Payments deferred for 6 months
  • Anything not forgiven is paid back over a 2 year term
  • No personal guarantee or collateral required (this is big)

It is a process to go through, but this is effectively a way independent contractors and self employed individuals, along with small businesses that have employees (including yourself) can get unemployment insurance, something that really has not existed before.  I am grateful for the relief the government is trying to provide and let’s all hope this is enough to get us through this difficult time in our country.

Virtual Twilight for any photo

Virtual Twilight for any photo

We transform any day photo into twilight

Introducing a new service for any photo – the Virtual Twilight upgrade.

The virtual twilight upgrade takes ONE day-time photo and simulates a twilight scene using Photoshop.  It is not a replacement for twilight photography with multi-bracketed shots or advanced lighting techniques that will bring in the interior space view.  These examples are representative of the kind of lighting and window views you should expect.  We do try to remove shadows (unlike the other guys that just darken the photo so shadows are visible), add lighting effects and adjust window color to simulate twilight photography.  However, if you are expecting to clearly see the inside of the home and have no window reflections, please do not order this option as refunds will not be provided.

– just move the slider back and forth to see the difference between the original and the edited photo –

Here is an example of the Aerial Hero Photo upgrade – you get a daytime photo and a virtual twilight photo for the upgrade price.

Pricing of the Virtual Twilight is $35 per photo edited ($100 for the Aerial Hero Photo), and you can order it as you place an order.  See examples of skies available and of finished photos below.

 – click any image to see it full screen with the selected sky –

Please email us with your requests or questions as we do have other skies we can select from if you have a special circumstance.  Note: you can also order this option after your order has been produced by emailing customer care or call us at 866-810-3816.

– other sample images – 

Spotlight Tour- Week #19

Spotlight Tour- Week #19

Space Needle views on Alki!

Seattle, WA

  See The Story of This Home

Professional HDR photography & Matterport provider by Baylee Reinert

 

Industrial modernism, natural design blends seamlessly with expansive Seattle skyline views available from your private master balcony. Reclaimed plank stairs, steel bordered treads and railing visually delightful ceiling rail design work. Masterfully crafted living spaces with lower level office, or bedroom and bath; Perfect layout with main level open concept, 1/2 bath and contemporary kitchen with island, warm knotty pine accents and oak floor/Upper master suite, spa bath 180 degree city and Space Needle views on Alki!
 

If you are interested in listing your home or have questions, please contact:

Pamela Bellah

Pamela Bellah

 

Pamela Bellah

Sotheby’s

20405 SE 127th St, Issaquah, WA 98027

 
Spotlight Tour- Week #18

Spotlight Tour- Week #18

Custom built Eco-Modern view Home

Seattle, WA

  See The Story of This Home

Professional HDR photography & Matterport provider by Joel Highet

 
Custom built Eco-Modern view home designed by acclaimed architect Sean Bell that’s right out of Dwell magazine. Not your cookie cutter box home. Must get inside to fully appreciate the home’s one-of-a kind design and style. Open floor plan with walls of windows, vaulted ceilings, multiple decks and flexible spaces make for entertainer’s dream home with all sorts of possibilities. Main level features huge dream chef’s kitchen is the home’s focal point and flows seamlessly into the spacious dining space and family and living room with a wall of windows leading to a big entertainment deck with sound and mountain views. Main floor also has bonus office and library space, large bedroom and full bath. Upper level features an awesome master suite with full bath, walk in-closet, view deck and an additional bedroom with its own dedicated full bath. Lower daylight level with separate entrance offers tons of possibilities and is currently configured with a three-quarter bath, 4th bedroom, home gym, and media/rec room. Lower level could easily be converted into a dedicated space for a home business, plus an ADU/MIL or Airbnb situation. Big Double car garage off alley with additional off-street parking next to lower level entrance. Great location only a short walk away from Lincoln Park and the stores, cafes and dining options of the Morgan Street Junction. On bus line for easy commute to downtown.

If you are interested in listing your home or have questions, please contact:

David Nicholson

David Nicholson

 

David Nicholson

John L Scott/West Seattle

4445 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116

 
 
Is a FloorPlan worth a thousand pictures?

Is a FloorPlan worth a thousand pictures?

There was an interesting article published by RETechnology about the importance of floor plans for listings. See the article here.  In this article, they reference a Rightmove study out of the UK that indicated 20% of browsers would not even look at a property that did not have a floor plan, and the users ranked floor plans as more important than the listing photos and property info!  Wow.  Now, floor plans have been more prevalent in Europe, but the National Association of Realtors also does their own study each year of buyers and sellers, and guess what, floor plans were in the top 3 in terms of very helpful info, right behind photos and detailed property info.  See the NAR Study here.

As a FloorPlanOnline customer, you probably know this great info and present it as part of your listing presentation.  If not, take this as an opportunity to differentiate at the listing appointment to Wow your seller with how you will market their home.  After all, a seller was once a buyer, so what you present as to how you will attract buyers to the listing will just solidify your expertise regarding the right marketing strategy for the listing.  The seller will see the difference and likely select you!

Our tour platform is the most robust out there, hands down. First we are the only tour company in the US that owns their own 2D/3D floor plan tool.  This has great strategic importance for us, not only for tours, but for our HomeDiary platform as well. Our tours are also secure, which means you can not only embed the whole tour into a blog post or a website, like you see below, it helps us automatically convert the unbranded tour pulled from the MLS data feed to the branded tour on sites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Redfin and even your company website and your personal one. Just configure your Brandkeepr settings under the profile.

Try this embedded tour – all content works, including on any mobile device.  Just start clicking!

Suggested action item for you.  Each time you have a listing, write a blog post describing the home, what is special about it or the location, and embed the tour into the page.  Then leverage social media channels to post the blog post link and get people coming to your site.  This is great content for Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram and more.