Unplug

I hope this finds you healthy & filled with gratitude as we enter into our season of Thanksgiving!

If you are friends with me on Facebook, you may have noticed that my family and I took a trip to Maui in October!

For those of you who have never been, I assure you it’s better than anything you can imagine!  Please, get there as quickly as possible!

Something extraordinary happened on this vacation.

I completely unplugged! I left my phone behind with my assistant and was totally present with my family.

I looked them in the eyes, I listened without formulating a response, I took time to breathe, felt the sand in my feet , and even ate popscicles with my grandkids. I was aware of what was going on around me.

Something I didn’t realize that would happen, was that time felt like it expanded.  The days there seemed longer than days ever did before.  I think it’s  part of what they mean by… “Living Aloha”!:)

Why am I telling you this?  Because for the love, I needed to put down my devices and distractions in order to fully live and notice what’s happening around me.  Our families ARE important!   Maybe this is true for you?

I’m extremely grateful today for the blessings and freedom to be adventurous with the people I loved being fully present with them!  I hope you’ll join me in being present and grateful this month!  maui2016

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fall is in the Air!

 

Football, Pumpkin Since Latte’s, Turning leaves…..I love Autumn, but I have a hard time figuring out new ways to fill my home with the comforting smells of Fall without investing in the latest scented artificial air freshener of the moment. I decided to reach out to my sphere and crowdsource some ideas. Whats better than discovering a new favorite thing…..Sharing a new favorite thing:-)

Here are a few ideas/suggestions that range from simmer pots to dried herb bouquets, and the scents they leave behind are rich, cozy, and basically everything you love about fall.

The range of scents you can get from a simmer pot recipe varies as much as the ingredients do. Whether you’re after sniffs of lavender, hints of cinnamon, or a few notes of lemon, there is a perfect combination of fruit and spices out there for every autumn soul. Explore your senses and experiment with combinations until you find your signature fall scent.

Do you love that young sapling “woodsy” scent? Then gather a basket of freshly picked pinecones. Even if you can’t get your hands on real ones, craft stores sell scented fakes that are good enough to make you feel like you’ve been transported into the middle of a fairytale woodland. Plus, they’re a subtle way to decorate for fall that feels festive without being too cheesy.

During the spring & summer months, my home is usually filled with fresh cut flowers, however, in the fall you can go crazy with the herbs. Gather them up into small bouquets and leave them on mantels, in vases, or hang them on the wall. The best part is that once they dry, you don’t have to take them down.

I also highly recommend doTerra Essential Oils. My daughter recently became a distributor and keeps our family in these wonderful healing scents all the year round. If you have ever enjoyed the scent of a rose, you’ve experienced the aromatic qualities of essential oils. These naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They can be both beautifully and powerfully fragrant. Essential oils give plants their distinctive smells, essential oils protect plants and play a role in plant pollination. In addition to their intrinsic benefits to plants and their beautiful fragrance, essential oils have long been used for food preparation, beauty treatment, and health-care practices.

Just imagine the pure happiness you’ll experience when you’re cuddled up on the couch catching a football game with the fire going, inhaling those fragrant hints of pumpkin drifting through the air. I hope these ideas bring the best of Fall into your home. Enjoy the Season!

Onward,

Ann Buchanan

AnnBuchanan.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

1st Time HomeBuyers Class: Buying Smart

Our team is planning a 1st Time Home Buyers Course for the 29th. One of the great joys of this industry is helping buyers make a smart, informed purchase. The process of buying a new home can be stressful, even if you’ve already done it before. Looking at properties, researching areas, processing paperwork, etc., can all take a toll on your schedule and daily life. With all this going on, the last thing you should have to worry about is saving money when it actually comes time to buy the property. Use the following five Ann Buchanan Team recommended tips for saving money on your next new home:

Always Use a Real Estate Agent: Don’t go it alone. Would you operate on yourself? Would you perform your own dentistry? ….Go with a professional. A professional will leverage their knowledge and expertise to make sure you get the most for your home and don’t leave money on the table. Places like The Ann Buchanan Team can be of immense help during the purchase process. Not only can a professional agent help with paperwork, but they’ll also know how to negotiate on your behalf. 

Try Not to Pay PMI: We enjoy great relationships with local mortgage lenders and I always advise against PMI….also known as private mortgage insurance, this is tacked on to your monthly payment if you buy a home with less than 20 percent. Some lenders will still offer standard mortgages with smaller down payments, but they’re increasingly hard to find. Save money by trying to save at least 20 percent for your home, or purchase a home that fits into a slightly smaller budget. You won’t be sorry. 

Make Additional Monthly Payments: If your mortgage payment is low enough where you can consistently pay more each month, doing so could save you tens of thousands of dollars over the course of the mortgage and reduce the number of months you’ll need to pay.

Find Better Insurance Rates: Similar to auto insurance and health insurance, monthly property insurance premiums vary depending on the company that underwrites the policy. Spend time shopping around to different insurance companies until you find the one that offers an affordable rate that sufficiently covers your property.

There are a variety of methods a buyer can use to save money, both upfront and during the course of their mortgage. Who doesn’t like to save money and make the smartest purchase possible? Set yourself up for success and avoid financial issues in the future, always purchase a home that is within your set price range and never buy a home with zero money down; doing so will make it much harder for you to borrow against the property in the future. We look forward to seeing you at the workshop on the 29th.

BRING A FRIEND:-)

Onward,

Ann Buchanan

The Ann Buchanan Team

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How to find the perfect antiques for your home!

I recently found this great blog with ideas to help find antiques for your home.

Finding high-quality antiques at a good price can feel like a real challenge, especially if you have a stringent budget and don’t know where to look. That said, there are many incredible pieces out there just itching to be found that will not only look great but will tell a story and serve as a point of conversation for many decades to come.

Here are 4 great options suggested by a friend:

Hit Up the Flea Markets

Flea markets are for people who are cleaning out their home and looking to get a little cash in return. I’ve learned that flea markets run the gamut when it comes to quality of merchandise and price. However, it seems that events hosted by churches have the best rock bottom deals. Although they will require a little more sifting through, they are usually a gold mine for antiques.

Keep an Eye on Craigslist

Keep a watchful eye on the ‘Antiques’ section of your local Craigslist, but don’t jump on an item immediately unless you’re willing to pay the asking price. Watch it for a few days and if no one seems to take it, make an offer. Increase your search efforts during key seasonal events such as the spring clean and post-Christmas declutter.

Try Online Auctions

We can’t all go to Christie’s, but online auctionsare a great alternative! The online art market grew by approximately 24 percent last year, thanks to newly released apps and the ability to connect directly with sellers from the comfort of your home. Check out auction sites that are specifically for antiques, such as Artebys.com, before you start sifting through the black hole of eBay.

Reuse, Repurpose, Reward

While ‘Goodwill’ or ‘The Salvation Army’ store might be your first place to hit when looking for home décor – I love to hit up my local ‘Habitat for Humanity’ stores and surplus building materials stores. These places accept donations of old furniture and leftover building supplies. Most are willing to haggle a little on the price and have the added benefit of being non-profit.

A well-curated home is a result of passion and patience. Remember that in some cases, paying for quality will be well worth it. A decent antique will have already survived the test of time and proved its worth, while cheap knock-offs just won’t make the grade!

If you love beautiful and unique antique pieces to accent your home, how have you found them? Please share your thoughts below!

 

Onward,

AnnBuchanan

The Ann Buchanan Team

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Personalize your message as often as possible.

 

Companies have access to a huge cache of data concerning their customers’ preferences, and the best organizations use this info to deliver intensely personalized messages that keep their guests coming back time after time. How often have you received a tailored ad fro a product after you made a purchase with that particular retailer? Take this local hotel success story…When a family’s young child left a stuffed animal at a Ritz-Carlton property, not only did the parents receive the toy mailed to their home a couple of days later, but also received a series of photos showing the stuffed animal on various adventures throughout the hotel (essentially a targeted marketing message designed to let the family know what they could look forward to on their next visit).

Your company may not know which newspaper your customer prefers or how he or she likes that morning cup of coffee, but you can still follow the example leading hotels have set, to deliver a message built from the ground up specifically for your customer. No wonder industry leaders have developed innovative marketing strategies that can be translated to fit almost any other type of business. I am a big believer that the best way to market yourself  is to tell your story. No agent, broker, business person is like you. You have a personal story that will resonate with people. Why? Because we are more alike than our differences. So take a moment to think about you story why did you get int he business? Why do you love helping families find their forever home? What inspires you? How does selling a home and seeing a family move forward mean to you? What is your motivation? How do you track the path of your success story? these are simple questions that will allow you to check in with yourself and stay accountable, genuine and focused on your story. So take this piece of advice and see what your story looks like for you and your clients? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Real estate is an adventure. What’s yours?

Onward,

Ann Buchanan

AnBuchanan.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Mystery of Curb Appeal

“Curb Appeal” What is it? What does it mean? Does your listing have it? We;; “Curb Appeal” is a term that we agents use when talking about homes that people are trying to sell. But the same principle holds true when you are trying to encourage potential guests to rent your property by sharing dozens of attractive photos on the various vacation rental marketplace websites such as Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com.

It is even more successful if you create videos filled with colorful landscaping of your property for your YouTube marketing channel and for your website (which you should have in addition to your listings on the marketplace websites).

If your home has bright paint or clean siding, there’s no real need to improve, but if the paint has faded and is peeling, consider having the whole house repainted in a cheerful color.

People in search of a new home might not be persuaded by an extensive flower garden — they might just like a lawn — but your renters will quite likely find it very attractive. Boast of it as a romantic setting for an evening’s outdoor dinner in your description of the home, for example. So employ your green thumb and make that property pop with color. Share your results in the comments below.

Onward,

Ann Buchanan

AnnBuchanan.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Outside the box content creation.

 

We hear about content all the time…..It’s all about content! What is good content? How do we create it? Where do we find it? Most companies love the concept of content marketing because it’s inexpensive but has the potential to lead to a significant ROI when practiced correctly. However, many leaders are satisfied just using their company blog as an outlet for content, and stopping there. Several different companies are proving that thinking creatively about content presents new opportunities for engaging with customers on a more substantive level.

One of the most notable examples, in the hotel industry, is Four Seasons, a brand recognized around the world for its commitment to providing luxury to its guests throughout their experience. If the golden rule is to learn for the best- we can certainly take a page from The Four Seasons. The company produces regular content for its magazine carrying on the tradition of luxury and offering guests a glimpse through the lens of the Four Seasons lifestyle into the brand’s destinations and activities.

The real estate industry can take a page from this model. Great content is found everywhere. Simply look around, record a conversation or write about your next marketing ideas. Are you considering blogging? Starting a Podcast? or video web series? I bet you can think of an instance today where you helped educate an internal or external customer about a contract issue, closing issue or client negotiation. Our industry is never boring and changes everyday, so write you experiences down and borrow from them for your content. Scroll through your current emails and I bet you will find a question that you can generalize for mass consumption. Share some of your favorite content ideas below int he comments and let’s create together.

Onward,

Ann Buchanan

AnnBuchanan.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment