Archive for category Realtor Marketing

Lighting a Small Space in Your House: How to Make It Brighter

Lighting a Small Space in Your House How to Make It Brighter

Small spaces at home are often dark and cramped.  Having to work in a small home office or eat in a small dining room makes it difficult to feel relaxed and comfortable. Although installing lights can help brighten the room, there are also other ways to do so using natural lighting, such as the following:

  • Add windows to let the sunshine in. Install a window in your small living room or dining room to make the space light and bright.
  • Cut an opening in your solid wall divider or install an interior window. If you have a huge divider in between two rooms that makes each room smaller, cut a long opening out of the top of it to create more open space. If you don’t want a huge opening, install an interior window instead. An interior window will help expand the feel of the room and also let the light come in.
  • Use thin, sheer curtains instead of thicker drapes. That way, even if you need to close the window with a curtain, the natural light can still pass through, making the room brighter. Use silky sheets in white or pastel colors.
  • Install a glass interior door instead of a solid hardwood door. Interior doors add class and style to a home, but the drawback is that they take up a lot of space.  Maximize the use of interior doors without compromising the space of a room by adding a glass panel or full glass door. This will allow you to see the other room and create more light for each smaller room.
  • Paint your small space white. Painting in dark colors will create the impression of a smaller, darker room. But, painting in white or other light colors will brighten the room.
  • Let the natural light reflect all over the room. Add a mirror to an opposite facing wall to help reflect the natural light and make the room brighter.
  • Use better lighting solutions, such as wall scones, chandeliers, and pendant lights. These kinds of lighting tools can provide the proper lighting for a room without taking up much space.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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Tiny House Movement. Could you Live in 500 Square Feet?

Alan and I recently listened to a popular podcast called Stuff You Should Know and the subject was “What is a Shotgun house?”  I’ve heard the term before but not been exposed to many in Oklahoma architecture. Having family in the Mobile, Alabama area, I had seen some when visiting but more than anything the name caught my attention.

The show reminded us of the tiny house movement we’ve seen in the United States the past 5 or so years. Many people have wanted to downsize to something more manageable and less expensive while others want to reduce their carbon footprint.

The shotgun house and tiny house have size in common. I wondered if they had design commonalities as well. This is what I learned.

Built before central heat and air, shotgun houses were designed to offer the best airflow with doors and windows open. Given it’s name because the floorplan allows someone to stand at the front door and shoot a gun through the house and out the back door, these homes were popular after the Civil War

in the Southern states. They continued to be popular through the 1920’s. New Orleans has many shotgun homes but they can be found as far away as Chicago.

The shotgun house has been revived since Hurricane Katrina in the New Orleans area as an easy and quick way to build housing to those displaced by the 2005 storm.

In the western part of the country, California and other areas started thinking smaller houses for other reasons. The economy crunch and the real estate market decline caused people to want to own but have less maintenance and lower cost. The tiny house movement came from this.

Tumbleweed Tiny House:

The Widbey Plan

461SF for 1 bedroom/1 bathroom

557 SF for 2 bedroom/1 bathroom

Estimated Material Costs: .

$35,000 – $41,500.

Tumbleweed, Tiny House Company is the commonly known company to offer this kind of a home. Offering floor plans from 99 SF to 874 SF, these homes can be stationary or on wheels. They have three styles: bungalows, house to go and cottages with the later being the largest. I did find that the floorplans are quite different from the shotgun house as their main goal is efficiency and offering today’s conveniences in as little space as possible.

One of the earliest things we learn as students is that history repeats itself. The reasons can be different but usually the outcome is the same. We have seen a recent movement toward simplifying and this is how it has evolved in housing. The question is… what is your definition of enough?

Finding what works best for you and your family is what matters. Sometimes that has to do with the amount of space. Other times it is more about features of a house or location. Or maybe wanting a house on the go.

I will close with one thought… isn’t nice to have so many choices?

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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New BancFirst Building Set for Construction in Edmond

New plans are underway for the construction of a new BancFirst building in Edmond. City planning commissioners have already approved the site plan, and in conjunction with the project, the city will also be replacing the old bridge along Bryant Avenue, where the new bank will be located.

BancFirst is the largest state-chartered bank in Oklahoma and the third largest bank in the state, behind Bank of Oklahoma and Midfirst Bank. It was first organized in 1989 when Chairman H.E. “Gene” Rainbolt merged twelve banks under one state charter.

Currently, the bank serves 119 locations throughout the state. Edmond residents will soon enjoy the benefits of BancFirst in a convenient location on east Bryant Avenue, north of Spring Creek Plaza shopping center. The building will be built on a 2.7-acre lot with a drive-thru, 56 parking spaces, and two bicycle racks.

It is to help ease traffic flow in the area that city officials also announced the bridge replacement Bryant Avenue, north of 15th Street. Officials said that the bridge will be in front of the new branch of BancFirst and they are hoping to rebuild it prior to the bank’s construction. Once the bridge project commences, it will be divided into phases, so one lane will be open for traffic at all times.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors


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How to Organize Your Coat Closet


Warmer weather may be only a few months away, but during these winter months, it’s important to be sure your coat closet is neat and organized.  Organizing your coat closet is as important as organizing your clothes closet. Yes, you may only need your coat for a portion of the year, but there are many other things that you store in your coat closet, and it’s good to be able to access them easily.  So, instead of throwing things haphazardly about, save the valuable time you would spend searching for your coat, umbrella, or scarf and organize your coat closet now.

Here are a few tips to get you started…

  • Divide and conquer.  Whether your coat closet is large or small, you can maximize its space by creating and defining compartments to accommodate smaller things like your mittens and scarves. Use wooden dividers or bins to create distinctive areas, so you can arrange and sort everything.
  • Leave the floor to your shoes.  Don’t place other items on the floor because that is the one space that is suitable for shoes.  Keep the floor area open and available for shoes, so they don’t end up being scattered about the house.
  • Sort by season. Not everything in your coat closet is useful for every season.  You may need easy access to your heavy coat during the winter, but in the warmer months it can easily get in the way when you’re looking for lighter jackets and shawls.  Reorganize your coats seasonally, so that the most appropriate items are at the forefront when you need them most.
  • Make use of hooks. Install hooks on the inside of your closet door, so you can hang frequently used coats or hats. It’s even a perfect place to hang your handbag, so you can easily reach for it before you leave the house.
  • Have an umbrella rack or bin. If there is space on your floor, position an umbrella rack or small bin in that area to keep your umbrellas organized in one spot, so you’ll know where to find them on those rainy days.
  • Invest in a number of hangers to keep exclusively inside your coat closet. If you’re going to organize your coat closet, you need to be sure you can actually hang your coats!  Designating hangers for the coat closet will prevent them from being “stolen” to hang other clothes, and it will also save space versus if you folded your coats.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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More Developments In Oklahoma City Means More Jobs

Continental Resources Inc. will move its new office to downtown Oklahoma City next year as part of its plans to triple its current size by the end of 2014. CEO Harold Hamm of Continental Resources Inc says that the city will soon become the energy capital of the US.

The Enid-based company has promised a unique offer to the people of Oklahoma City. Hamm states that Oklahoma City is the best fit for them as it is home to many successful natural gas companies. Moreover, Continental will bring added diversity to the current group of oil companies located in the heart of the Midwest. About 75% of the company deals with oil that is used in its production and reserves, calling for the need of many new jobs.

With the recent emergence of new energy companies within the city, it is expected that many industry professionals will likely be following as well. President Jeff Hume of Continental Resources says that Oklahoma City will soon become the place to be.

The increased amount of available jobs within the industry will eventually lead to more people looking for residence in OKC. Further developments will soon be made including the need for Oklahoma colleges to produce more skilled professionals.

Not only will the new development benefit the city but also aid the growth of other energy companies like Devon Energy Corp. and Chesapeake Energy Corp. These huge companies also have a widening list of available jobs to fill that includes skilled positions such as geologists, landsmen and engineers.

Senior Vice President of Human and Corporate Resources of Chesapeake Energy Martha A. Burger said that improvements in the city as well as it’s a growing reputation as a great place to work and raise a family will make it easier to convince qualified workers to relocate.

President Hume said that with their move to a metropolitan area, their filling of job openings has become considerably easier.  About 25 people have already been hired in advance with plans to move to the city by next summer. Moreover, the company is trying to find prospects in northwest Oklahoma as to avoid competition with larger companies Devon and Chesapeake.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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The “Big Six” Home Selling Factors

Although they can be stated in different ways there are only six factors that affect the sale of a home.

It is important for you, as the seller, to understand who or what has control over them and how they impact on each other.

  • You control 3 of the 6
  • The Market controls 2 of the 6
  • Your REALTOR® controls 1 of the 6

YOU Control

1. Price – You determine list price for your home. However, a list price above the market for homes similar to yours will impact negatively on buyer interest in making an offer. Your REALTOR® will review price history with you to assist you in making a list price determination.

2. Terms – Buyers have requirements just as sellers do. Your willingness to respect them and be willing to negotiate which terms will be acceptable to both parties can have a very positive impact. Price and Terms will usually be negotiated at the same time.

3. Condition – How well you have maintained the home will influence both your price and length of time to sell. The pool of buyers who are willing to make major repairs is much smaller than the pool of buyers who want a home that has been well maintained.


4. Timing – Economic conditions operate independently of price, terms and property condition. Similarly, seasons and weather factors can affect the time it takes to sell a home.

5. Competition – The number of homes on the market most certainly bears heavily on your ability to sell your home on a timely basis.


6. Promotion – From entry into the Multiple Listing System, to internet marketing and any other programs your agent will have an impact on your home sale.


No one of the six factors alone controls the timely sale of your home. Your agent should provide you with

  • Feedback from prospects who have visited your home
  • Changes in market conditions

Your willingness or ability to make adjustments in price, terms or condition based on the information provided will be the final determinant as to how quickly your home will sell.

By Karen Kruschka – Prince William, Fairfax ,Stafford County VA Real Estate Service :

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Showing Feedback: Love/Hate Relationship for Realtors

When it comes to giving Realtor and Buyer feedback after a showing, most Realtors dread taking the time do it. As a Listing Realtor, we greatly appreciate any feedback, especially detailed comments from the showing Realtor.

When homes were selling the first day on the market with multiple offers, feedback had fallen out of favor.  Who cares what others thought of the house? It was sold and usually for list price or more.  The past three years have slowed and been a guessing game for even neighborhood experts on how to price homes to sell but not give them away.  We see more price reductions, more changes in how the homes are presented and that all tells me that showing feedback is more important than ever.

This past year, showing feedback was the main reason listings sold faster than their competition. In one instance, the feedback was consistent that the bedrooms felt too small. Our Seller had gorgeous antique furniture pieces but they were too large for the bedrooms. We took the feedback from the Buyer’s Realtor to heart and the Seller moved the larger pieces to storage the next day.  I was fortunate enough to get another showing from the Realtor and her Buyer after calling and telling them of the change. It made all the difference and they wrote an acceptable offer that night.

Don’t have time to give feedback? I agree that my least favorite way to give feedback is when I receive a call from the Listing Realtor. It always comes at an inconvenient time. Email and texting have been a timesaver in the world of Realtor feedback.  I happy to reply to a text. My favorite is the emails that come from our MLS sponsored Showing Assist with the multiple choice questions and a place for additional comments.  The format is great and takes me less than 60 seconds to reply.

Giving showing feedback is one more way to be a cooperative Realtor. I think it is one of the most important things we can do is help each other get homes sold and for less days on the market and the best price possible. Remember how nice is when your Sellers ask you what kind of feedback we are getting on their homes and we can actually tell them. What a wonderful gift we can give to each other as colleagues as well.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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Technology Has Changed How Realtors Set Showings

Until two years ago, the most common way for a Realtor to set a showing was by picking up the phone and calling the Listing Realtor. This usually turned into a crazy game of phone tag and ultimately a two minute long message left by the Listing Realtor of all the showing instructions and a short plug about why the Buyer should buy their listing.  I was guilty of this myself but it was the custom.

Recently, most of my showing requests come in through a appointment calendar through our MLS called Showing Assist. It allows the Showing Realtor to request an appointment online and then the system emails or texts the Listing Realtor regarding the request. After a confirmation from the Seller, the Listing Realtor can accept the showing and write an additional showing comment such as “don’t let the dog out” or “the lockbox is on the water faucet.”

One of my favorite aspects of Showing Assist is the automatic showing feedback.  The system sends a feedback request to the Showing Realtor with four multiple choices questions asking about the condition, Buyer’s interest, opinion of price and how Buyer/Realtor would rate the property on a scale of 1-5.  There is also a place for additional comments which Realtors are starting to use more. I try to always include some kind of detail as to how the showing went for the Listing Realtor to share with the Seller.

Showing Assist keeps track of the showings and the feedback responses so that Seller reports are easy to compile and share. At a time when feedback has become crucial to marketing and pricing through the process, this technology really helps.

I appreciate being able to do a lot of my correspondence outside of normal business hours. Showing Assist allows me to send my feedback reports and set showings at a time that I would never call. It is waiting on email and not intruding at a late or early hour.

More Realtors are using Showing Assist and it is great to see. If you are a Realtor and are not using it but would like too, talk to your local board about training for this great new tool.

Heather & Alan Davis
Heather: 405.473.8887
Alan: 405.834.5485

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Real Estate Neighborhood Farming | Grab Your Hoe, Let’s Get Started!

Constantly, we are fielding emails and articles about technology and real estate and all the things we should be doing to promote our listings and ourselves as Realtors. So much of it is beneficial but it’s support to traditional real estate and the practices that have worked for 50 years.  People talk about Back to Basics a lot these days and I find that one of the most important basic principles in real estate is neighborhood farming.

Neighborhood farming is marketing to a particular neighborhood/area to gain a market share of listings.  There are so many good things that come from this practice;

  1. Having several real estate signs in one area creates name recognition.
  2. It can give you the title of neighborhood expert to BuyersSellers and to other Realtors and appraisers who may have a buyer looking in the area and call you to see what you have coming available.
  3. Having a farm area is a better way to manage your time. You can service your listings and not drive across town.
  4. Have a mailing list created that is ready to print and go.
  5. People call you to list their homes without having met you before but they know you are the Realtor for the area.
  6. Open Houses can be an event holding several open at one time and generating more traffic for your Seller, you and the neighborhood!

There are many ways to get started. First you must pick an area and get a plan of how you are going to contact the homeowners/get your name out there. Consistency is key. Content is the next important thing. You should start by doing something at least once a quarter but sometimes every other month is necessary. When you get your first listing, work it as much as possible with an open house, just listed cards, great signage and make that Seller a raving fan. Once you get the house under contract, put a sold sign up immediately.

Most important, farming is creating a small community where you are the expert in the area and people come to you. You must be honest, professional, trustworthy and show results. If you want return business from this group, it is the only way to do it!

We chose our neighborhood as our farming area.  It has been wonderful for us because we get to be involved in the community through volunteering and also sell the homes we love and believe in.  In the three years we have been farming, last year was the year that we captured the market share and January’s postcard that was mailed stated that we were the “Top Selling Realtors” for the area for 2010. Our listing interviews have drastically increased and it’s only getting better.  Now it’s up to us to keep them happy and get the homes sold!

-Heather & Alan Davis
Heather: 405.473.8887
Alan: 405.834.5485

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