Attractive Curb Appeal Increases Interest in Listings

I am sure you have heard about the importance of “curb appeal”, and know that first impressions are HUGE in real estate. Encouraging your clients to pay some attention to their curb appeal can greatly increase interest in your listings.

Here are some easy and virtually cost free things you can suggest:

  • New Mulch – The fastest way to freshen up your landscaping is new mulch. Spread a layer of it all throughout your landscaped areas. This is inexpensive and requires very little time commitment.
  • Colourful Flowers  – An even better first impression can be made by planting some colorful flowers which will make your new mulch stand out even more.
  • Hedges and Bushes – Trim any over grown plants and bushes.
  • Weeds  – there are most likely some weeds that have been ignored. Weeds growing in the sidewalk cracks can easily be taken care of.
  • Windows & Screens –  Make sure the windows are clean and in working order.  Replace any screens that have been damaged.
  • Gutters – Clean the rain gutters out
  • Siding – Wash any dirt, mold or mildew from the siding.
  • Shutters – Fix any shutters and repaint if paint is peeling
  • Porches – Fix porch railings and steps and replace boards that may be rotting.
  • Fences – Fix any broken fences, latches or hinges.

For a welcoming touch suggest that they hang a welcome sign on the front door!

Here’s to a successful Summer!

Anne Marie

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Getting Your Home Ready for Sale

Getting your home ready for sale means having your house clean, decluttered, simplified and fresh! These are all a must if you want to get the best offer on your home. Here is a checklist of things to do to prepare your home for sale!

  • declutterthe entire house – get rid of anything you don’t need anymore
  • depersonalize – take down all family pictures, awards, certificates
  • get rid of fridge art & magnets – they are fun and cute for us but just makes things look messy when you are trying to sell
  • hire a cleaning company – a super thorough deep clean before your house goes on the market and then regular cleaning can really pay off and save you the stress
  • have the carpets cleaned – using a professional carpet cleaning company may be a good move if you have high traffic areas.
  • touch up paint – unless you have not painted in a while you may get away with just touching up
  • fix broken things – like a broken hinge, door handle etc.
  • weed and landscape outdoor areas – make things look beautiful outdoors too
  • neutralize – get rid of any bright, trendy colours and replace with neutral tones
  • eliminate clutter – simplify any area that has too much “stuff”
  • minimize or re-arrange furniture – make each room look as big as possible
  • stage simply – use only a few pieces to try to make the spaces look as uncluttered as possible like items on a shelf
  • clean towels in bathrooms – make the bathrooms look clean and fresh with clean towels that are hung neatly
  • check light bulbs – make sure they are all working and replace any that are burnt outmade kids’ toys look as
  • clean and neat as possible – put toys in plastic bins
  • have professional photos taken – don’t risk having less than the best and use a professional photographer
  • clear off surfaces – remove most of the stuff off of our kitchen and bathroom counters, dressers, nightstands, and desks to make spaces look uncluttered and as large as possible.
  • do not forget cabinets, drawers, and closets – assume every drawer and door will be opened!

Do Not forget to leave the house “SHOW CONDITION” anytime you leave. To avoid the panic and stress of not being ready here are some simple things you can do each day.

  • make beds as soon as you get out of them
  • keep up with the dishes
  • keep up with the laundry
  • wipe down counters daily
  • sweep/vacuum daily
  • clean bathroom mirrors daily
  • open all curtains and blinds

BONUS! Handy Tip

KEEP A LAUNDRY BASKET HANDY FOR A QUICK ESCAPE

In the case that you need to get out of the house quickly for a showing, keep a laundry basket handy and you will be ready to quickly scoop up anything that is laying around like paperwork and kids homework! You can put the laundry basket in the trunk of your car when you need to make a quick exit for a showing!

Get Your Home Ready to Sell Checklist

Agents – there is a spot for you to attach your business card!

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Vacation Away to Regenerate the Soul-New Orleans Style

It was great to have a short trip away with some friends to New Orleans, what an experience that was too!!

Have you ever been there before? I would highly recommend it!! Although I would say to go longer then 5 days, there is so much to see and do, that you will literally hurt your legs and feet with all the walking you do.

We arrived on the Friday, last week early enough to venture out and check things out!! It was architecturally beautiful there! So many historical buildings and homes, the trolley’s, the body of water, which of course is the Mississippi River, the food and the friendly people.  None of us have ever been here before so it was cool trying out something new!

The locals are very friendly and will suggest places to see or eat, as well as things to do. So much for you to see and do there, lots for everyone! My only suggestion is to do some research on the things you like to see before you get there and perhaps the restaurants or pubs you would like to go too.  I personally found that the food was a bit expensive that what I would normally spend.

We visited Bourbon Street, participated in the St. Patrick’s Day parade, had a walking tour of St. Peter’s Cemetery, walked up and down Canal Street, Magazine Street, River walk Shopping Plaza, the outdoor markets in Frenchmen Quarters, seen Frenchmen Street, watched the street performers, got to try a true original Cafe Monet Bignet (deep fried dough with powdered sugar ontop). Rode in a bike taxi, actually we had a race with one another, soo fun!!! There was even a Casino there too!! Some of the ladies won some pretty pennies, others just donated to the cause!

Seen our first real New Orleans style wedding celebration with the big bands and the guests following the bride and groom, really cool!! We took a riverboat dinner cruise down the Mississippi River, very nice and food was great.

If you like music, this is the place for you! Lot’s of street performers all trying to make a living, big bands playing all over. Seen some really buildings, Emerald’s Restaurant, Channing Tantum’s restaurant, lots and lots of various New Orleans food and seafood for those willing to try it all!

I think by Monday we were all pretty much toast from all the walking we have done.. which my friends fitbit has said we walked over 18,000 steps!! Like HOLLY!!! That’s alot of walking!!

Then came all the plane delays from all the snow weather warnings on the East Coast, which effected us too! First it was only an hour delay then 2 hours, then possibility of staying another day in New Orleans. We regrettably trucked home and welcomed back by this lovely real Canadian snow!!

Now to work towards having a very busy spring market for real estate photography. Thank you for all your hard work and support while I was away.

Have a wonderful  St. Patrick’s Day and celebrate with your family and friends!! 

 

 

 

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Videography Maximizes Real Estate Listings

We’ve all heard that saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Have you ever wondered how that can be multiplied to generate greater impact? The answer is video.

Phelan Photography now offers professional real estate video packages for real estate agents and property sellers, thanks to a partnership with professional videographer, Michael Kovach. These videos go beyond what a traditional virtual tour can offer by creating a better feel for the finer details and true ambiance of a home and property.

There are many benefits to including a professional real estate video with your sale listing, in addition to the traditional static photographs and/or virtual tours.

A Permanent Open House. Instead of an agent needing to invest time sitting at an open house and hoping that prospective buyers visit, a real estate video is like having a 24-hour-a-day open house. Prospective buyers can “visit” anytime. The video, which showcases internal and exterior features of the building as well as the surrounding property, can be accessed multiple times, at any time of the day, from wherever the interested individuals are located (at home, in the office, or even on their mobile device when they see the “for sale” sign and pull over right away to check out the listing!). Exposure of the listing is maximized, increasing the chances of a quick sell for the highest price.

Save Time. Because agents aren’t required to sit at an open house to try to bring in possible buyers, it saves time for them to work on other areas of the business. In addition, home buyers can use the real estate videos to pre-qualify the property by making a pre-determination of whether or not the property for sale has a majority of the features and requirements they’re looking for in their next home. This will save them time in their search by not attending open houses or making appointments to view homes that don’t fit their needs. This saves time for both the agent and the buyer. If a prospective buyer makes an appointment to view a property for which they already viewed a real estate video, the agent can be sure it offers much of what the buyer is looking for.

Easy to Share. A link to a professional real estate video is easy to share over e-mail and social media channels. Prospective buyers often start their search online and narrow down their search to a few properties solely from viewing online listings. Videos of homes and properties for sale often go viral online, with viewers who like something about a property they see and then sharing the link with their followers. It just takes that one perfect person to click on it to generate a sale!

Adding a professionally shot and edited real estate video to your listing is a win-win situation. It’s an excellent pre-selection tool for buyers, who will use it to determine their true interest in a property for sale, and for agents, who will more easily bring in suitable prospects to view the listed property.

If you need more information about using a real estate video to maximize your listings, have a look at the packages that are available, or send an email with any questions.

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How to Get the Perfect Professional Headshot

Did you know that headshots used for business are often referred to as “the new handshake?” Thanks to the internet and the world of social media, it’s easy for people to “meet” you before they ever see you in person for that real handshake. With this in mind, you need a professional headshot that “speaks” for you, and leaves an appropriate first impression.

It’s not as simple as sitting in your office in front of your computer’s built-in camera and taking a photo. There are certain elements that your business headshot needs, and there are numerous things you want to avoid. Here are some things to keep in mind that will help you get the perfect professional headshot to use for your business.

Appearance. This may seem like common sense, but there are many things to consider regarding your appearance for your professional headshot. The day before you have your headshot taken is not the best time to try a new haircut or colour, or a new makeup application. For the women, makeup should actually be applied in a way that highlights your facial features, but isn’t overly dramatic. For the men, be clean shaven if that is how you normally appear day-to-day; if you normally sport a beard, mustache or goatee, go with that, just make sure it’s nicely groomed. Remember, you want to appear as you would normally, so that people will recognize you.

Clothing. You want to appear professional, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to wear a suit and tie or something that is too formal. It’s important to choose clothing that is appropriate for your business and offers a true sense of how you appear day-to-day. Think about home builder Mike Holmes, for example—you’ve probably seen him in a suit at a special event, but if you visit his website or social media accounts, you’ll likely find him wearing his coveralls, and maybe even a hardhat. Wear something that conveys a true sense of you and your business. Avoid patterned shirts and stripes, or colours that will clash with backdrops, your hair colour, skin tone, etc. It’s best to wear bright and solid colours that are appropriate for your body type and skin tone.

Current. The headshots for your business should be ones that have been taken within the past couple of years. If you’re using a photo that is more than two years old, it is likely that your features, hairstyle, and/or hair colour have changed. Your headshot should be a reflection of your current appearance.

Details. Maybe you’ve noticed that some professional headshots are just that—the backdrop is plain, and it’s the head-and-shoulders of a professional wearing a business suit. And sometimes, this is as it should be. Others are more colourful, use different backdrops, are shot on location, or use props. Sometimes this is as it should be, too. When you consult with a professional photographer, they will be able to consult with you on the right aspect of fun vs. serious for your photos, including the use of location, props and backdrops, and whether to use different angles or a more direct positioning in your photo.

Above all, you want to make sure that all of these aspects work together to create professional headshots that will give the viewer an authentic sense of your personality and a glimpse into your business. And of course, you want people to recognize you instantly whether they are looking for you online, remembering meeting you because of the photo on your business card, or recognizing you when they see you in-person.

Do you have headshots but you aren’t sure how well they reflect you and your business? Do you need headshots but aren’t sure how to get started? Get in touch, I’d be pleased to discuss the process with you, or help you determine whether your current headshots work well for you and your business.

Do you know you need to have professional headshots taken? You’re in luck! Grab an appointment during Winter Business Photo Day. From just the photo shoot to complete pampering including hair and makeup, there are packages available to suit all needs and budgets, so you’ll have headshots that will help you stand out from the crowd!

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Looking to keep accountable *Strength* *Courage* *Adventure* *Business* A Review within

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There comes a time in your life where we realize things need to change either within ourselves or around us,  in order to do these things we need to make those things happen for us personally. Vulnerability, accountability, courage, sacrifice, encouragement and patience are all things we need to work on and grow with. Whether it is for you personally or in your business or both, it can be with your family and friends, no matter which you choose, it only needs to start with you.

My passions and strengths have changed over the years, as I get older, these are becoming more and more a constant in my life. My passion for Photography has never changed, it has evolved over time. When I was younger I loved to take photographs of nature and of events we had gone as a family in our younger years. Shrine Circus, clowns, parades, parks and recreations events, sports games-just to name a few. Then I moved on to families, friends, and even some animals. Then Life happened- we got older and moved on.

My courage- sometimes this is a challenge for me to have. You may see it as a smile, as a nod, but I may be scared straight too. Like the Lions in the Wizard of Oz-we all need the courage to help us grow and move forward. Getting that at times may be the issue and then how do you use it to grow within yourself? We do need to keep moving forward, try and try again, until you find what works for you. Once you do it will be quick and easy and exciting. These levels of courage can change over time, so keep moving forward and never fear the unknown as sometimes the things that await you can bring you the best news yet.

Having friends and family encourage, support, and believe in what you do may also keep you in check with your lives. We all need it no matter our ages, races or accomplishments in time or business, or personal, we are all human. As I embark on this year, I am making, attempting, being honest, to change myself and how I look at things or accept things in life, personal, business and otherwise.

Patience, understanding and courage are going to take the roll for me this year, as I move forward and switch things to better suite me as a person, as a mother, as a business owner.

I have openly accepted many things over the years, I need to also accept that I too am a person who is worthy of others. So I begin this journey with a bit more open eyes, a few more lesser why’s, and whole lot of love.

I do plan to be more adventurous this year. I would love to explore more options to photograph many things out there, and I will accept that journey openly. My life’s dream was to become a travel photographer working with Time Magazine. Although that is a far cry now, I will keep an open mind and heart for what will come. My passion and true love for photography is in my blood. I see so many things at varies times while I am with others, or working or just visiting people and wish I can take a photo or two!  I think that I may just have to be buried with my camera when the time comes!!

 

Business is hard, at times it can be ruthless for others, but at the same time rewarding as well. It is never easy or simple. Things are always changing or adjusting in some form or another. But I cam honestly say, that working for yourself has allot more advantages then working for others. Time is always on your side, you just need to make sure your time is well spent. Having said that I will be working on allot this year. Challenges, growth, improvements are always needed. Learning various options to offer to others, getting feedback to help with this is another way to grow and learn about how others see you in business. We all need to pay attention to how we treat one another in business, personal or otherwise, it affects you in many ways. Let’s go and make the world believe in you as a person, a true human being, someone they would continue to do business with. Get your values in check, do your research and get accountable for all your actions and explore all the options that are out there to grow and move forward in our ever so changing fast paced world out there.

You never know what life will throw out at you, so remember to live it to the fullest and enjoy yourself and family and friends, take your passions and run with them!! Have a purpose in life to keep going forward and making others have a reason to smile and look up to you!!

Personal Growth and Accountability

words from Anne Marie

THANK YOU!!!

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Holidays and Wishes for 2016 into 2017

 

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Merry Christmas

and

Happy New Years!!

Enjoy your family

and friends!!

See you in 2017!!

Phelan Photography

 

Anne Marie, Bill,

Ryan, Adam, Matthew and Lauren

and Jacob

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Christmas Wishes and Holiday Blues

 

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First off let me start off by saying,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years

to everyone near and far!!!!

What a time to celebrate your accomplishments, learn from your mistakes, reacquaint yourselves with family and friends, perhaps even gain some new friends or business colleague’s.  Take this holiday season to remember what this truly means to you, within your heart and soul. Share that with all  you meet no matter the season. We are all on this earth to be kind to one another.

Although it is Christmas there are many people, family and friends, people who you may never know personally, who deal with anxiety, depression, SAD, random stressful thoughts that my be good or bad, hard times can actually fall on everyone no matter the level of pay scale they may be. Be aware how you are treating others, make an attempt to get to know people, or even to make yourself better, so that you have a better understanding on how things are in the world. Experience and knowledge are the keys to improvements, and the willingness to change for the good, not just for yourself but for others too.

Life experiences, the change of the times, how we look at the world, which is ever so changing so quickly right before our eyes!! Comes into play with everyone. Some people will have to relocate for work, have been fired or had to quit, lost their job for closures, or simply for the fact that it may have been something that was just needed to change for them, LIFE is hard. Getting help, asking for help, and participating in the help are all aspects we all need to work on together. Recognise the signs when someone tells you that they may need help, communication is key, non communication had many forms. A look, a reaction, body language, disposition, visible stress. Sometimes we are too caught up with everything we forget to be aware of these signs. Some are harder to see then others, but if you try, you just may be able to see it.

Christmas and New Years are important to us all, with us, it brings most of our families together, or mine specifically. Although we too experience rough patches, stressful lives, and most times, distance and dealing with 2 other countries of separation from other family members. We miss those we don’t get to see, we wish we could see them all under one roof, or over the time frame of the holidays, that my Dear Watson, is just impossible!! 

So like many others, we forge ahead, participate when we can, with who we can, and celebrate Life.  For these things we are Thankful to be able to share with our children and young adults, who constantly remind us that “we” are getting old!! LOL!!! Something’s like this never change!! 

Traditions some are kept some are not, sometimes it is best to start new ones. Gain friendships, loose friendships, it is all part of how we deal with things, those inner thoughts, the brain that sends the signals to the heart, how to react, or not to react, choices in the end is what it means to go forward and how others will see you.

Reflections of times gone by, to a simpler time, of when your grandparents were (or still may be) around. Do you remember the laughter sitting around the tables, the games your played, the food you shared?? The music shared, the carols sang, some in tuned some not, but who cared it was a celebration to be shared!! We all long for those times, the years gone by, to help with the years ahead still to come.

I remember when my grandmother Georgina would play her piano, we would sit by the bench and sing songs, meet up with my cousins and aunts and uncles and all have a feast. Unfortunately, we don’t do that any more. No more grandparents (my grandparents) are alive anymore. No relatives have taken that role anymore, we see them occasionally at events or funerals it is sad. It makes it hard for our kids to get to know more relatives, as we did when we were growing up. Back then, we got together at least 4 times a year, now we are lucky if it is once a year. It gets harder yet as our families grow each year and all are split around the countries.  My grandma and grandpa loved playing cards. Guess they all did!! Back in those days it was something to do!! Believe me, I have relatives I have never met yet!!

Christmas will be celebrated in one form or another, from across the world. Take in your families and friends, and those who have no one to share it with, spread the love and the joy as if they were one of your own. Celebrate these moments, cherish those around you and remember you are loved.

 

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!  

 

See you in 2017!!

 

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Children’s Christmas Party with Santa December 2016

A day with Santa

A day with Santa

Waiting for Santa

Waiting for Santa

Waiting for Santa's arrival

Danielle O’ Dea Family

Stacey Evoy, John Geha, Sr., Adam Miller

Stacey Evoy, John Geha, Sr., Adam Miller

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December Holidays and Wishes!!

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Holiday family photos are always a great gift ideal to pass along to your families and friends!!

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It is that time of the year once again, as we prepare ourselves for the holiday season Christmas!! It is a joyous time of the year especially for those little ones in your home, while it is also a challenge for those who are older or perhaps have other issues going on. So take the time to make sure who ever you meet during this holiday season, you are aware of those people who may just need that extra hug or smile to get them through these challenging times. Prepare your holiday spirit with kindness and love, challenge yourself to help those who may need it.

Lots of things have been going on in our households, many relatives having surgery, kids changing jobs or moving friends. Life is never dull around here, but you know if you had nothing to look forward to whether it is helping those around you or just someone in your community, we would be totally bored. It is just how we are made internally, passionate of helping others. Keep life sparkling with Love.

As I look out the window today, the snow is starting to fall, finally!! As we have been blessed with such unseasonal warm weather with a few twists, we did have a snow storm fly in one day!! We can all get better prepared for the next few weeks ahead of us. It should bring us all together and be Thankful for what we have now. Take the time to enjoy your families and friends and perhaps that stranger you keep meaning to say Hello too or that senior citizen you see on the streets. Be kind, Be Loving, Be true to you and others.

I would like to take this time to let all my family and friends and clients, know that I appreciate each and every one of you!!

 

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I send out my Thanks to those who have done business with myself over this past year as well as to all the new clients I have met over the year, I look forward to continuing that journey into the New Year in 2017!!   Let’s make 2017 Rock!!

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From my family to yours

Have a Blessed Merry Christmas and a

Happy New Year!!!

Anne Marie, Bill, Ryan, Adam, Matthew, Lauren

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