Fourth-Generation Agent Ashton Gustafson Speaks to Sibcy Cline Agents

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Two fourth-generation real estate professionals: Robin Sheakley and Ashton Gustafson!

Ashton Gustafson, a Texas-based real estate professional, spoke to a group of Sibcy Cline Top 100 agents to share his thoughts on real estate – how to have music among all of the noise. His two-hour presentation sped by as he shared his stories of working with buyers and sellers. Here are some of the points taken from his presentation:

Faster than Expected is Greater than On Time
To deliver “happiness” and be memorable to clients, agents have to have be on top of their game. Service that is faster and better will be definitely be remembered and appreciated. Ashton cited an example of ordering boots online with free, three-day shipping. Instead, the boots arrived in under 24 hours with a note from the company that they realized he was ordering for the first time and wanted to do something special for this buying experience. That action led to lots of praise from Ashton for that shoe company – which was Zappo’s.

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Building Your Brand
An agent’s brand is not a logo – but how that professional conducts business. Ashton feels it is important to “get in the path of people’s stories long enough to eventually be in the past of their business.” In other words – call, write and see your sphere of influence. Offer people good information and stay connected often. He said people prefer to work with real estate agents who are also friends. In order to qualify as a friend, an agent needs to make that personal connection first.

Ashton shared an example of an agent who heard a buyer who casually mentioned that if he bought a certain home he would want to camp out in the backyard on the first night at that home. That agent leased a large star-gazing tent and to make that wish happen when the client purchased the home – and created a memorable real estate experience.

Ashton offered several useful apps to maintain agent brand building:

Slydial – This direct-to-voice-mail messaging app lets you easily leave a message. In minutes agents can make “just-thinking-about-you calls”.

Snip.ly – This app has the ability to add a personal touch to a digitally shared article. When a reader clicks through on the Sniply link, that agent’s contact information appears at the bottom of that piece – making it a much more personalized connection for the reader.

Search.Twitter.com – Twitter is great place to find out what is happening locally. By connecting to “search dot twitter dot com” – one can type in a search term and find out local news in just seconds. (Much easier than scrolling through Twitter news feeds!)

Evernote – This app is effective for note taking and lists.

Listening is Greater than Shouting
Paying attention to what people are saying, an agent can be even more connected. When house hunting, don’t see just one home, but plan tours for several homes so you can have the time to talk and figure out what that buyer really desires.

Ashton feels that having a “human” thumbprint is much more important than a mere digital one. The more personally connected agents are to their sphere, he feels will result in  more business in the future.

Your Music is Greater than the Noise
There are 1,440 minutes in a day. Ashton suggests spending those minutes wisely and not waste time on meaningless activities. He feels connecting to email all of the time is not productive – nor is immediately answering a phone call. He utilizes a “60 Daily Points of Rhythm” (or here), a system that includes 25 relationship-building calls, 25 personal prospecting emails and 5 handwritten notes of gratitude.  By concentrating on getting his points, he is accomplishing his job so he then has time for his interests and family.

Ashton consistently provides his sphere with hyper-local CMAs every 6 months, offers of home evaluations and post-buyer transaction neighborhood updates of real estate activity. Consistently providing information has resulted in recognition of Ashton as a market expert.

Want to learn more about Ashton Gufstason?
Ashton is a native of Wichita Falls, Texas. He is a fourth-generation real estate professional who was named by Realtor Magazine as part of the “30 Under 30” class in 2010.  Here is how to follow Ashton:

Sibcy Cline is Ranked on REAL Trends Top 500 List

Sibcy Cline Realtors is on the REAL Trends Top 500 list for 2017 with a ranking of number 38.  The list ranked the number of transactions of U.S. independent real estate brokers.

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View all of the brokers on this ranking list.

REAL Trends is a real estate publishing and consulting company that conducts an annual ranking of independent U.S. residential real estate brokers.

Sibcy Cline Super Open House is May 20 and 21, 2017!

Superman_WebArt.jpgThinking of buying a new home? Plan on seeing some great homes at the Sibcy Cline Super Open House Weekend on May 20 and 21, 2017! View all area open houses on Sibcy Cline’s website.

Why Sell your Home and Buy a New One?
Home values are rising and you could get top dollar for your home during this “seller’s market”.  And, mortgage interest rates are still low – which is really good new for home buyers.  Perhaps now is a good time for you to sell your old home and purchase a new one!

Sibcy Cline Realtors Ranks Among the Top 500 U.S. Power Brokers

RISMediaRanking.pngRISMedia has published its annual U.S. Power Broker rankings and Sibcy Cline Realtors was on that list at number 37 for transactions and number 65 in sales.

See a digital version of the magazine.

RISMedia is a residential real estate information resource company founded in 1980.

Why You Should Sell Your Home – Now

It’s currently a strong seller’s market with more buyers than sellers. Learn how to take advantage of this type of market and sell your home now:

Get a Very Good Price for your Home
With fewer homes on the market for sale and many motivated buyers (due to low interest rates and a strong economy), odds are in your favor to get top dollar for your home without price reductions. Many homes are receiving multiple offers – which means you will be able to select the best offer for your needs.

What you do not want to do is price your home out of the market. You have to be realistic about its current value. Your real estate agent will show you what similar homes are selling for and how a fair market value is determined. An overpriced home could result in an inconsistent appraisal, which will then give your buyer doubts or reason to possibly back out of the deal.

Less Time on The Market
Homes are selling at a faster pace. When your home sells in a short amount of time, you will not have to constantly clean and keep your home in tip-top shape for showings.

You will still need to prepare your home for the market initially. Staged homes show better in person and online – and will capture more interest among homebuyers. Read more about curb appeal and a staged home.

Selling As Is 
In a seller’s market, many buyers are not agonizing over every item that needs to be fixed in a home. You may be able to sell your home “as is”. However, if your home has structural issues or a roof that needs replacing, your price will need to reflect those concerns or it may be best to fix those issues first before going on the market to sell. Remember, a home in great shape will attract more buyers.

The Seller’s Market Won’t Last Forever
Conditions for a seller’s market can change, taking that advantage away. For example, if your area has a spurt of growth in new construction, you will now have more competition of available housing for sale.

Will I Find a Home Now that Mine Has Sold?
If your home sells quickly, you will now be in a position to find a new home right away. While you are selling your current home, you should start looking at homes for sale. If you find that dream home, you may want to consider a bridge loan that will give you the funds needed for a downpayment before your current home sells.

Another consideration would be to ask the buyers to be flexible on timing for the closing or occupancy of the home. You might be able to request a rent-back agreement.  This would help to alleviate moving twice.

One final idea is to move into a short-term rental while you look for a new home. Although this requires two moves, it will take away the pressure of finding that new dream home in a short amount of time.

Look at homes for sale.

Four Tips to Make Rooms in Your Home Seem Bigger

LivingRoom_NeutralColors.jpgOpen floor plans are popular among homebuyers, but traditionally homes were built with individual rooms that served specific purposes. However, with some affordable adjustments, you can make your house appear more spacious.

Knocking down walls can be expensive and time consuming. Luckily, though, you can open up your home a bit without a massive remodeling project. Doing so may help bring your home’s appearance in line with modern trends. This is especially helpful if you plan on selling your property soon. Real estate sales are often driven by a number of trends, and this year, spaciousness is among them.

There are a number of affordable ways to open up the rooms in your homes and create the illusion of larger spaces. Even a few small changes like switching out the drapes on your windows can make a huge difference by opening up rooms. If you don’t have an open floor plan, but would like to imitate one with more spacious rooms, read the tips below:

  1. Let the Light into the Windows
    Windows that aren’t blocked by heavy drapes or curtains make rooms seem bigger by letting in more natural light – the most attractive sort – and extending spaces. You can still hang thin curtains that aren’t completely opaque to achieve a similar effect. This way, it is possible to maintain a degree of privacy. You have windows, so use them to open up the rooms of your home!
  2. Match the Furniture Palette to the Paint
    Try finding at least a few pieces of furniture that match the color of the walls. This will blend couches, tables or chairs into the walls a bit, and make the room appear larger than it actually is. Maintaining unity in your palette is a great way to expand a space beyond its physical limits.
  3. Keep the Clutter Away
    When you’re staging a home, you typically hide items that you don’t use at least daily. To make a room seem bigger, you can take a similar approach. Keep plenty of efficient storage space in each room, and stow away most items around the house until you need them. Too much clutter can significantly change how a room appears, in terms of size.
  4. Make Room for Mirrors
    Mirrors serve a similar function to windows, minus the natural light. Similar to how a window creates the illusion of more space by expanding the room, a mirror’s reflection creates the impression of more space where there is none. Make sure that the mirror fits the theme of the room to ensure unity among various decorations and furniture.

Opening up your floor plan is expensive, but creating the illusion of more space is affordable and easy. Create an impression of spaciousness through mirrors and windows, cleaning consistently and thematic unity.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.

La Soupe Visits Sibcy Cline Kenwood!

PippinBusamSibcy_Soupe.jpgThe La Soupe van visited the Sibcy Cline Kenwood office offering up their tasty soups, salads and desserts!

Photo: La Soupe volunteer, Maureen Pippin (Sibcy Cline Kenwood), Pam Sibcy (Sibcy Cline Corporate), Piper Warren and Stephanie Sudbrack-Busam (Sibcy Cline Kenwood.)

About La Soupe
La Soupe is a non-profit agency (founded by local chef Suzy DeYoung in 2014) that rescues food by converting it into soup which is then donated to people in need of sustenance. Donated ingredients are turned into fabulous-tasting soups, salads, frozen meals and desserts. The organization receives food and monetary donations from individuals and companies. Partnerships include Kroger, Jungle Jim’s, Sugar Creek, Chefs’ Warehouse, Farmer Family Foundation as well as many local organic farms.

Each month about 4,000 pounds of produce is collected and 60 volunteers help transport the food to local chefs for soup creation. Those soups (as well as fresh produce) are then taken to local churches and schools to be distributed to those who live in “food deserts” – without  easy access to healthy food.

The public also gets involved with La Soupe by purchasing their soups and salads. The Soupe Shack is located in at 4150 Round Bottom Road in Newtown. Follow La Soupe on Facebook so learn about their daily menus.

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Read more about La Soupe Cincinnati here, here, and here. Watch this video: