Consumer Real Estate News

  • Keep It Green by Saving Water

    24 January 2019

    As homeowners, it's important to do your part to minimize your footprint, which - bonus - can also save you money in the long run. And in addition to turning off lights when you leave the room, focusing on water consumption is a great way to shrink your environmental impact.

    "Whether it's saving money on utility bills, environmental concerns, or wanting to decrease consumption in general, there are plenty of reasons people want to cut back on their water usage," says Max Rose, owner of Four Seasons Plumbing. "Luckily, technology has made it easier than ever before. With modern appliances and fixtures, the days of putting a brick in the toilet tank to save water are over."  

    Rose recommends homeowners take the following steps to reduce their water usage:

    Use efficient features on appliances. Every year appliances improve their energy and water efficiency. Most new dishwashers and washing machines come with sensors that can detect how much water needs to be used in a given cycle. Using that feature helps ensure those appliances use just the right amount of water necessary.  
    Wash full loads. Appliances that are older than five years may not have as many water-saving abilities as newer ones. Homeowners can reduce their water usage by washing full loads of clothes or dishes. The washer will use the same amount of water, regardless of how full it is. Only washing full loads causes the washer to be used less often.

    Repair plumbing leaks. Whether it's a leaky faucet, toilet or pipe, fixing plumbing leaks is important for saving water, saving money and avoiding bigger problems. Sometimes leaks can be easy to ignore if it's only a drop every few seconds, but those drops add up over the course of an entire day.

    Water plants using recycled water in the morning. Water previously used for cooking (such as boiling pasta) can be used to water a garden. Additionally, watering in the morning means less moisture will be lost to evaporation than watering them in the afternoon.

    Take cars to the car wash. Many commercial car washes recycle the water used in early parts of the cycle, so washing vehicles at a car wash can use less water than doing so at home. Commercial car washes also have to follow guidelines when it comes to disposing wastewater and the types of soaps they use. Washing vehicles at home can carry harmful chemicals to the storm drain, which, contrary to popular belief, does not flow to the sewer. Storm water is often carried to local waterways, which means cleaning cars at a car wash can both conserve water and prevent local pollution.

    "In addition to the aforementioned list, it's also important to do other things that have been talked about for a long time, like not leaving the faucet on while brushing your teeth," Rose says. "If you combine those common sense practices with other measures, you can see a significant difference in the amount of water you use."

    Source: Four Seasons Plumbing

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Planning a Getaway? Check Out 'the Most Welcoming Places on Earth'

    24 January 2019

    When it comes to travel, the world really is your oyster, as jet setting to locations around the globe has become accessible and often affordable to more adventurers and explorers than ever before.

    But with so many options in front of us, choosing where to go is a growing challenge. That’s where Booking.com’s annual Guest Review Awards could help. For the seventh annual edition of the awards, 759,845 properties across 219 countries and territories are being awarded, and this year, the “most welcoming places on earth” have been revealed.

    Booking.com reports that 73 percent of global travelers say friendly and interesting locals are one of their top considerations when selecting a destination for their next trip. According to customer reviews, the world’s most welcoming countries are:

    - Austria
    - The Czech Republic
    - Poland
    - New Zealand
    - Taiwan
    - Romania
    - Hungary
    - Ireland
    - Serbia
    - Greece

    Customers also reported the following as the most welcoming cities in the U.S.:

    - Newport, R.I.
    - Sedona, Ariz.
    - Oklahoma City, Ok.
    - Pittsburgh, Pa.
    - Fort Worth, Texas
    - Baltimore, Md.
    - Louisville, Ky.
    - Arlington, Va.
    - Anaheim, Calif.
    - Jacksonville, Fla.

    Take a cue from these consumers and make sure the welcome mat is properly rolled out at your next travel destination.

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Business Owners: 5 Tips to Improve Your Email Marketing Strategy

    24 January 2019

    If you're a business owner, then you know that building strong client relationships are key. One way to keep on top of this is with an email marketing campaign - but how should you build one, or improve upon the strategy you have? To help, digital marketing company fishbat, shares the following five tips to improve your brand's email marketing strategy.

    Personalization is Fundamental

    The conventional business wisdom that it's less costly to keep an existing customer versus acquiring a new one can still apply to email marketing. Your email campaigns can be seen as a way to nurture your existing customer base. Personalizing email campaigns can be essential in driving opens and conversions. Users tend to be more inclined to engage with an email that has been personalized with their name and previous purchasing habits.

    Here are a few ways you can effectively personalize email marketing campaigns:

    - Insert your customers' names wherever possible. People are significantly more likely to open an email if their first name appears in the subject line. Including their name in the body of the email furthers the personalization.

    - Send email reminders to customers who have left your site with products or services in their carts, also known as abandoned cart emails.

    - Send personalized product recommendations based on prior purchases.

    Consider the Sender

    People are more likely to open promotional emails if they come from a real person and not a "donotreply" address. Make a key person within your organization the go-to point of contact for promotional emails. Personalizing the sender of emails can be a great opportunity to introduce your customer base to your brand's marketing or customer service lead.

    Go Image Free for B2B

    Business-to-business clients are often opening promotional communications in an email platform that automatically blocks images. Consider producing concise, text and hyperlink-only emails to your B2B clients so they can quickly absorb your brand messaging and calls to action without having to scroll through unattractive empty boxes.

    Make it Mobile

    A growing portion of your mailing list probably reads their email on a mobile device. Make sure that your email marketing strategy is mobile-friendly in its execution. A single-column design lends itself to mobile reading. Be sure your call to action buttons are large enough to be easily tapped on a phone or tablet. Most email marketing platforms allow you to preview your messages before sending, so take advantage of this function and know that your customers are getting the most attractive, readable email possible.

    Slice into Segments

    One of the reasons that email marketing continues to be one of the most effective marketing channels is that it offers the ability to segment your subscriber base and speak to each one accordingly. For example, if you offer discounts to senior citizens or students, you might consider segmenting your mailing list by age to send each group relevant, targeted emails.

    Source: fishbat

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Top Interior Design Trends Revealed

    23 January 2019

    Looking to be on point with your home décor this year? Then consider the insights from the second annual Interior Designer Trends Survey from 1stdibs, a global destination for designers and collectors.

    The survey, which garnered the opinions of hundreds of leading designers from around the world, reflects which style trends are on deck for the year ahead...and which ones are on their way out.

    According to interior designers, some of the biggest design statements, furniture styles, materials, colors and patterns to watch for include:

    Artisanal look: About half (49 percent) indicate that they will source artisanal and one-of-a-kind pieces, up from 42 percent from last year.

    Customized pieces: 58 percent say they're customizing their pieces in some way, up 44 percent from last year.

    Modern vibes: As in last year's survey, modern styles—-including Scandinavian modern, mid-century modern, Art Deco and American modern—will continue to play a big role in interior design.

    Amped-up color: Homeowners are continuing to gravitate toward color, including warmer and brighter shades, such as jewel tones like emerald green.

    Eclectic styles: With no one design period dominating the scene, look for home styling that incorporates a variety of periods.

    Play with patterns: A wide range of patterns will be popular, including abstract and large-scale designs, geometric shapes and nature patterns, such as florals.

    Material matters: Wood, metal, brass and other natural materials will play a big role in home décor in the year ahead.

    And what interior looks are expected to wane this year? Designers are looking to decrease their use of the following: purple hues; industrial metals and reclaimed/recycled woods; and old-world classic styles.

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Transitioning Back to Work After Baby

    23 January 2019

    (Family Features)--Just when you were getting the hang of having a baby at home, it's time to go back to work. Beyond the expected changes such as picking work tasks back up and catching up on things you've missed, your priorities have most likely shifted now that you're a parent.

    It's normal for parents to feel anxious about transitioning back to work after having a baby, but they don't have to do it alone. Most new parents have built-in support systems of friends and family, but if their child will be attending daycare, that structure can provide additional help through the transition.

    To help make the transition back to work as seamless as possible, consider these tips from infant teachers at KinderCare, which has been caring for children for almost 50 years.

    1. Choose a daycare near work.
    A parent's first instinct might be to choose a daycare that's close to home, but once you return to work you may appreciate having your baby nearby - whether to breastfeed or just get some mid-day snuggles.

    "We have an open-door policy," says Regina Campisi, a nine-year KinderCare infant teacher. "Come in during your lunch break, feed your baby, have lunch with us and get to know your child's teachers. Be a part of the educational process. It's important to bridge that gap between work and school."

    2. Feel comfortable with your child care provider.
    Parents know their babies best. Most daycare centers are willing to work with parents to answer questions and create a positive experience for both parents and children.

    Campisi recommends visiting your daycare of choice at least once before and once after your baby is born.
    "Before you have your baby, you're going to have all these questions," Campisi says. "After you have your baby, you're going to have different questions. You're going to want to show your daycare provider what your baby needs."

    Above all else, parents should feel completely at ease when their baby is at daycare. If parents feel comfortable and safe and know that their baby is in the right hands, it can make going back to work easier.

    3. Take care of yourself.
    When parents are on leave, sleepless nights are one thing. However, once parents have to get up at a certain time for work again and get their baby ready for daycare, they can find they're operating on a whole new level of sleep deprivation.

    "Going back to work is a very fast-paced time for working parents," says infant teacher Megan Martina, who has worked with KinderCare for seven years. "That's why it's important to rest and take care of yourself. Make sure you're eating and that you have someone to help you."

    "I always say, 'Don't pour from an empty cup,'" Campisi says. "If you have a day off, let me take care of your baby. Go to the grocery store; take a long shower; take a lunch break; get a new book; do something for you."

    Source: KinderCare

    Published with permission from RISMedia.