Get to Know – Zach Sinks

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1) Where is your favorite place to order Friday lunch from?
Bubu because it’s healthy and extremely customizable.
 
2) If you had your choice, would you be a water, land or air animal?

Air animal, because the ability to fly would be amazing.

3) What is your favorite feature at PlanOmatic HQ?
The office dogs. Sometimes you just need to get a little K9 lovin’ in when you’re having a hard day.
 
4) What is your astrological sign? Does it hold true to your personality?
Virgo is pretty true. I feel as though I am relatively modest, reliable and loyal. However, I do not feel as pessimistic as Virgo’s are generally believed to be.
 
5) If you could own a beach house, where would it be?
Varkala, India because the Kerala state of India has always been very high on the list of places that I would love to visit and live.

In the News

PlanOmatic In the News

 

PlanOmatic is thriving thanks to your continued business and support! Check out our recent features and publications in the media:

  • PR Newswire, ““PlanOmatic Named To Inc. Magazine’s List Of America’s Fastest Growing Companies”
  • CityBizList, “PlanOmatic Named To Inc. Magazine’s List Of America’s Fastest Growing Companies”
  • New York Real Estate Journal, “Professional Profile: Kori Covrigaru 2015″
  • REAL Trends TechTouch, “PlanOmatic Named To Inc. Magazine’s List Of America’s Fastest Growing Companies”
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  • Real Estate Whisper, “Virtual Reality in Real Estate – PlanOmatic Interview”
    • Read Interview here

Mobile Friendliness, To Be, Or Not To Be…

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That is the question…

In case you haven’t noticed, desktops and home computers have evolved into a scarce medium used for surfing the web. Why, you ask? One word: smartphones. While this may not be the case for everyone, smartphones have quickly developed into a primary tool used for searching the web. It’s crucial that businesses and folks alike realize that use of smartphones has become dominant over use of the ever so familiar laptop and desktop. The significance of being optimized for a mobile device is enormous and to put it bluntly – if you are not a mobile friendly organization you may be losing out on sales and even worse, you may be driving traffic away. Here’s why it’s time to perhaps improve engagement your site;

1. The ongoing growth of smart phones;

It looks as though smartphones have consumed a large part of society and whether we like it or not, many have become reliant on their mobile device(s) when it comes to seeking information via the web. For this reason, use of mobile internet has and will continue to accelerate in our highly tech savvy society.

2. Competitive edge;

If a website is not compatible with a mobile device it is prone to slow things down for the mobile user who’s trying to access the site. This can more than likely deter the end user due to its activity (or lack thereof) and you may unintentionally end up driving them away. Consequently, the mobile user may just head on over to the guy next to you on the Google search results, that is, if he’s optimized for mobile use. The last thing that you want to do is hand a competitor YOUR business, right? Right! Thus, being mobile friendly gives your business a major advantage!

3. Enhanced searched rankings;

Mobile devices + the internet = traffic galore! It’s that simple, websites that are not compatible with handheld devices will most likely see their rankings suffer for it. In fact, Google recently launched a new addition to its search algorithm, formally referred to as ‘Mobilegeddon‘, where Google now automatically filters the search results to display mobile friendly sites over those that are not.

4. Improved user experience;

Client fulfillment is key and it generates loyal business. Assuming that a pleasant user-experience is what you, as a business, strive towards – this is just one step you can take to ensure satisfying the end user. Being mobile friendly means providing a digestible layout, coherent navigation and speedy loading! Ever heard the phrase, “It’s the little things that mean the most”? Well – we’re pretty sure that this is exactly what they were referring to.

So, we say give it a go! It’s time to jump on the mobile-friendly bandwagon, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Seasoning Your Strategy

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With August on the horizon, it’s evident that Summer is slowly winding down and with the change of season, comes fresh opportunities. Would you believe us if we told you that seasons play a critical role in your business practices? If your answer was no, it’s time to become a believer.

Businesses are most successful when their strategy is completely aligned with the industry in which they reside in, right? The real estate industry is what we like to call conditional. Really quick, let’s talk variables; most of you probably have a decent understanding as to what variables are, so we won’t bore you with stale details. We like to think of the real estate business as being the dependent variable, because in actuality, real estate is generally subject to certain circumstances, or independent variables such as, status of the economy, location, etc. Then there’s you, the controlled variable. That’s right, you as the agent are the one thing that stays consistent in the world of realty. Having said this, one of your leading duties is to evolve with the seasons.

As sweltering temperatures lessen, fall will start making its way to us. Trust us we when say that now is a very prosperous time for you – or time to spice things up rather. Fall screams warm hues, sweet aromas and harvest related knickknacks – just the right kind of decor to start incorporating in a home on the market! Buyers are always eager to get settled into a cozy home, but especially prior to the holiday season, which is why tailoring your plan of action to fit the time of year is not only important, but necessary for success.

As a real estate agent there are little things that you can do to compliment each season. Light a cinnamon scented candle, or turn on the fire-place if you are showcasing a home around the holidays. During warmer months, place fresh fruit in a bowl on the kitchen counter. These small details resonate with clients! This also goes hand in hand with keeping the visuals and content fresh and up to date – accordingly. Make sure that photos of a property match the season. I think it goes without saying that a picture of a home covered in snow is quite unseemly for the summertime.

Humans are trained to base an opinion off of a first impression and you only get one chance to do so. No matter how many flowers occupy that snow-capped homes front yard, it won’t do it any justice midsummer. It’s all about presentation and developing with every aspect of the business. As the controlled variable, you have the power to administer a fitting delivery. Get out there and go season the scene!

Visuals; The Ultimate Game Changer

 

Virtual Staging

Ah, Virtual Staging, a sophisticated service in which can literally transform a dull-looking, empty space into an outright furnished room and quite frankly – furnished is an understatement. As a realtor, orchestrating a space is a crucial step and traditional staging can be time consuming and costly. Virtual Staging grants you the ability to conveniently beautify a home or room and if it’s not already evident, we hold this service very near and dear to our hearts.

It’s no secret that humans are visual creatures and we tend to process information primarily based on what we perceive with the naked eye, so having the power to captivate a potential buyer with a click of the mouse is pretty neat, if you ask us. Picture this, *no pun intended*, your newlywed clients are searching for the home in which they intend to establish and raise a family in. Assume that you have the option to show them two different photos of the spacious kitchen in the home. The first being just that; vacant counter space, bare walls and conventional stainless steel appliances.

Inspire Your Buyer

On the other hand, the second photo is fully equipped with everything from those thrifty salt and pepper shakers to a vase full of fresh peonies placed on a wooden butcher block island. The second photo posses all of the bells and whistles. Can you guess which photograph is most likely to be aesthetically pleasing to the clients? You guessed it! The second photo embodies much more than decor, but rather a room full of memories to be made. A kitchen table represents pancakes and bacon on a Sunday morning.

Ultimately, when an individual has the ability to plainly see a home or room’s potential, it’s not difficult to envision a life there. In fact, it’s rather inspiring and as a realtor I think it’s safe to say that the utmost goal is to spark passion between your client and a home. Technology has given society and businesses a leg up in more ways than one, but the most valuable advantage technology has given realtors is the ability to make an impression. Now – go get em’!

Making the Most of the Market

 

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It’s no secret that the real estate market is at an all-time high right now. In 2015 alone the real estate market has experienced a pretty impressive growth in numbers! For the PlanOfam and real estate agents alike this is rather exciting news. But, this may be a strenuous project – specifically for home buyers. Whether putting an offer down, or vigorously searching for the ideal estate for a client, it goes without saying that those whom are involved in the industry have had their hands full this past year.

One of the most recognized trends that has caused a sudden rise in prices seems to be that home owners simply are not selling right now. As you know, the real estate world is a two-way street, so you can’t quite expect things to flow the way they normally would if there is a pretty significant component missing on the other end. With such a hot market, current homeowners may be worried that they won’t be able to find a home or are still waiting to recover their homes value from the previous fall of the economy. Either way, so much demand and not enough supply results in remarkably steep price tags. Not even the most skilled and licensed real estate agent can anticipate when and how hard, or soft this uptick in the industry will touch down. But, here at PlanOmatic, we’re all about looking at the glass half-full. You can take the edge off and make the process just a little less cumbersome.

Buyers and renters; keep a running list over the duration of the search. This process may seem daunting and after looking at tons of properties it’s easy for elements to start blending together. Make sure to write down those traits to a home that caught your eye – whether it be that dark granite kitchen counter you couldn’t take your eyes off of, or that single-sink in the master bathroom that you couldn’t bear to have to share with your better half, make note of it. In doing so, you can easily sort through the pros and cons when you start to narrow it down. Having the ability to easily recall those specific attributes to the home may just spark your interest to go ahead and put an offer down before that other couple does. Now’s the time to really drill down; ask a lot of questions. Catch sight of the surrounding area, do schools nearby have a good rating? Is there an unusually large amount of vacant properties on the block? Although you may feel eager to make an offer, make sure you that you really see a future in the space.

Agents; take this opportunity to strengthen relationships with clients. Be mindful – pick up the phone and reach out to current and past clients, nothing is more reassuring than knowing your agent has your back, even after the deal is closed. I strongly encourage agents to inform before clients have to ask – communication is always crucial, especially right now. Your clients want to know all of the little details about a space, even if it’s minute – it matters! Display an abundance of images, mention the fact that there’s a delicious bagel shop around the corner – that’s what potential homebuyers and renters want to hear.

Being that the market is at its peak, it can be a nerve-racking process for those involved on either end. However, rest assured, there is a silver lining and we can all benefit from the sudden boom. Here’s to making the most out of the market!

Sydney Crowell, Marketing Coordinator

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Neighbors

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Ah yes, neighbors. Think of your current next door neighbor. Your first thought is likely that you love them, you hate them or you have never even met them because you didn’t take the step to introduce yourself.

If you love them, chances are you chat about the kids, chat about work, chat about cars and invite each other to your backyard barbecues. You slurp back your beers in the garage, or sit on the patio and gossip about how tacky Tom’s front yard pink flamingo is or how Rebecca didn’t bring a fruit tray to the cul-de-sac block party.

If you hate your neighbors, it’s likely because they don’t mow the lawn, they rev their motorcycle at three in the morning, they won’t pay to fix the fence that you both share (and refuse to admit is your responsibility split), they blast loud music or their dog only seems to leave little chocolate presents in your yard.

I personally, don’t understand what my upstairs neighbors could possibly be doing that requires the constant stomping around at all hours of the day. Do they breed elephants? Host daily clogging lessons? Perhaps they are attempting to break the record for amount of time continuously bounced on a Pogo Stick. My boyfriend, who has a much shorter temper than mine, decided to find out one afternoon. I sat on the couch and anxiously awaited what I would hear while he trudged upstairs.

I couldn’t make out much but a light muffled conversation. A few minutes later, he returned. “Well?” I said. “They were making chicken.” he replied. “Chicken?” That’s right, after my boyfriend had asked the neighbors to please quit thudding, because he was studying for a “test he had the next day”, they apologized and said that they were cooking chicken, as if that was a valid excuse. Now i’m no Julia Child, but the last time I cooked chicken, it required little to no sumo wrestling, floor screeching, hammering or dropping of the chicken onto the kitchen floor. But I will say this, the amount of physical exertion they experienced cooking that chicken, must have made it tender and delicious! My upstairs neighbors must eat chicken for three square meals a day. Cheers to 14 more months of renting in my unit!

Most of us are too scared to address the issues that we do have with our neighbors. But the truth of the matter is, wether you love, hate or don’t even know your neighbors, they’re here to stay; at least for a while. If you love your neighbors, be thankful. If you hate them, make peace, or sign up for anger management classes. If you don’t know them, for goodness sakes, bake some cookies and introduce yourself. You never know, they may have a yacht.

Shea Stone, Marketing Assistant

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Slideshow “Video” Replaced with Narrated PlanoMotion

Technology is one of the pillars upon which PlanOmatic was founded. As an online business, we utilize cutting-edge tools to maximize marketing in the real estate industry. As a digital, tech-savvy company, we are always looking for new ways to improve and excel our tools forward. This is why PlanOmatic is happy to announce that we have upgraded our YouTube slideshow “video” (in quotations because we don’t believe slideshows are true video) to PlanoMotion, powered by our technology partner, Onvedeo.

PlanoMotion

PlanoMotion means many things, but most importantly, enhanced exposure of your listing. It includes real stock-motion video clips of the listings local area.

For brokers looking to sell, this innovative tool offers narration, professional branding, search engine optimization and a clean layout.

For families looking to buy, PlanoMotion means they can see highlighted features of the home, local school information and test ratings, and exact location on a map to view the neighborhood.

PlanoMotion_2

 

PlanOmatic’s YouTube video is all grown up. With the previous features of the YouTube slideshow and the new benefits of the PlanoMotion, you are sure to get the most out of your marketing. Use, enjoy, repeat.

Get On the Same “Page” With Facebook

As many of us know, Facebook is the largest social media site that is used by just about everyone.  You’ve most likely joined the club by now and have created a personal profile, but as a real estate professional you should also consider a Facebook “Fan Page”.  A Fan Page is like a profile for a business or other working professional and they’re very beneficial; many companies already have one.

Facebook Fan Pages are a place to house your business’ information and to connect with clients.  They allow you to focus on your insight and experience in the industry and will please your family by not flooding their Facebook newsfeed with your listings or real estate advice. They are a useful form of social media because you will get extra exposure, and your clients (and potential clients) may be more inclined to contact you if they feel they aren’t encroaching on your personal space (i.e. your personal profile).

Providing your real estate experience, advice, and listings on a Fan Page will allow buyers to find answers to their questions more quickly; and because Facebook is the largest social media site, this may be one of the first places they search for you. A Fan Page will give buyers and sellers information right away and won’t leave them guessing or waiting anxiously to speak with you in order to get answers.

This could also be a place to gather great reviews, and some of your clients might even post comments or praises that would credit your hard work and success!

By having this Fan Page available to clients, they will know that you truly care to connect with them when and where they need you.  Buyers looking for an agent will see that you’re a committed, transparent, and organized agent.

If you decide to create a Facebook Fan Page as a real estate agent, make sure you keep up with it. Respond to inquiries or post some knowledgeable advice as often as you can; either way, just be sure you’re connecting with your audience. Fan Pages are a great way to not only display your services and your dedication but also a great place for exposure. Try it out and see what it can do for you!