White Kitchens Stand the Test of Time

Are your clients trying to prep their home’s kitchen to sell? They can’t go wrong with white.

“White has stood the test of time because it’s clean and fresh,” designer Mick de Giulio told Houselogic.com. “And those two words — clean and fresh — are classic words for describing a great kitchen. There isn’t a better way to approach design.”

What makes white so great?

It’s marketable — White continues to be the top-selling color in appliances and cabinetry year after year, which means almost everybody likes. It also means that the kitchen will appeal to a majority of potential buyers.

It’s therapeutic — The color white represents happiness, innocence and purity, and when people are surrounded by it, they tend to feel those things. Also, white reflects light and makes a smaller kitchen feel more spacious.

It’s the ultimate neutral — Every color looks good with white. It’s the perfect backdrop for letting personality shine through light fixtures, cabinet hardware and colorful accents. Plus, those elements are easy to switch out.

It gives you options — Because white is a standard color for manufacturers, buyers should be able to find just about any kitchen feature in it — cabinets, tile, countertops, appliances, etc. — to fit a whole range of budgets.

The Three R's of Real Estate

Most of us learned the three R’s in school — reading, writing and “rithmetic” — the basics. But, it’s amazing to me how many agents have forgotten to practice their real estate basics, or what I like to call the three R’s of real estate.

At the risk of sounding trite, I want to talk about the BASICS of a long-term, successful real estate business. And add a couple of thoughts about re-engaging.

R #1. Relationships. Basic? You bet! I cannot tell you the number of agents I speak with who still struggle with having enough quality leads to make a successful living. Many have even been driven to purchase expensive, low-response “internet leads” in order to find prospects. If you have been in the real estate business longer than four years and cannot sustain enough quality contacts to build your business organically, you have a relationship problem. Long-term relationships have everything to do with your success and they are the cornerstone for the next two R’s.

R #2. Repeat Clients. I know, everyone TALKS a good game about repeat business, but check the National Association of REALTORS statistics about how many people actually use the same agent again. In every study I’ve seen, the number is less than 15 percent. 

FIFTEEN PERCENT! That’s dismal, and completely avoidable.

We survey thousands of clients for REALTORS every year through our Client Follow-Up programs — more than 10,000 to date in 2015. The vast majority of consumers don’t just like their agent, they LOVE them and consider them a friend by the time the buying process is over. So, why don’t they come back to their friend?

It’s simple. Their “friendly agent” doesn’t treat them like a friend. The agent treats them like a transaction. Many clients tell us that, because they rarely (or never) hear from their agent again, they assume THEY did something wrong and that the agent would prefer NOT to do business with them again. Can you believe it? The consumer actually thinks that they are “unworthy” of the agent’s time and attention.

That’s disastrous — and it leads directly into the LACK of the last R.

R #3. Referrals. The successful outcome of relationship development is truly referrals. If 30-50 percent of your business isn’t coming from referrals from your friends and former clients, then your relationship management needs a makeover. Don’t assume that your contacts recognize your need for their help. Ask for it. Better yet, call them. Ask them to coffee or lunch to find out HOW you can help them. Don’t worry, they’ll be glad to reciprocate. Someone has to get the ball rolling.