Powerful perspective on today’s biggest opportunities

From the Keller Williams annual Family Reunion:

Setting the tone for his annual Vision Speech, Gary Keller, co-founder and chairman of Keller Williams Realty stated candidly, “the next two hours is information that you need to know to be the expert in your local market. You need to be the professional delivering the perspective and the projections so that your clients make informed decisions.”

 

Read more here.

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Are you as addicted to Pinterest as we are?

Don’t know what Pinterest is?  Who are you and have you just emerged from a cave recently?  Just kidding.  I’m just a little obsessed.

Pinterest is an online bulletin board like community where people share ideas, inspirations, tips, fashion, food (my favorite) and just about anything else for others to “repin,” “like,” and share in a visually pleasing way.

I have found so many neat tips for home organization, craft ideas and recipes that we need to add more hours to the day so I cantry them all out.

Give it a whirl – you won’t regret it!

Also – side tech note – the Pinterest team offers a “Pin It” bookmarklet in your account settings that allows you to save to your account from pretty much any Web site!

12 quotes to inspire success in your business | AG Beat

Charlene Jimenez | 2012/01/18

drucker 12 quotes to inspire success in your business

Business inspiration

Running a business takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and even inspiration. One of the best ways to find inspiration is to gather it from your predecessors and associates in the professional world. Being inspired professionally will also bleed into your personal life, as these are often connected. The proper inspiration will guide you in becoming a better professional, a harder worker, and a well-rounded human being. So, here are twelve business-related quotes to inspire you to continue doing business and doing it well.

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford

“Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.” – Zig Ziglar

“All lasting business is built on friendship.” – Alfred A. Montapert

“A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.” – Henry Ford

“A project is complete when it starts working for you, rather than you working for it.” – Scott Allen

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” – Peter F. Drucker

“In the end, all business operations can be reduced to three words: people, product and profits. Unless you’ve got a good team, you can’t do much with the other two.” – Lee Iacocca

“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” – Michael Leboeuf

“Do what you love to do and give it your very best. Whether it’s business or baseball, or the theater, or any field. If you don’t love what you’re doing and you can’t give it your best, get out of it. Life is too short. You’ll be an old man before you know it.” – Al Lopez

“It is difficult, but not impossible, to conduct strictly honest business.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” – Jack Welch

“I do not believe a man can ever leave his business. He ought to think of it by day and dream of it by night.” – Henry Ford

As one of the best innovators and business owners in history, it’s no wonder that Henry Ford has three of the twelve quotes above. He and all of the others quoted have been the source of professional and personal inspiration for many years. Aligning yourself with these people and their professional beliefs will only make you and your business stronger – not a bad place to be.

7 Smart Strategies for Bathroom Remodeling

By: John Riha
Published: March 4, 2011

Here’s how to get the bathroom of your dreams without making your budget a nightmare.

A mid-range bathroom remodel is a solid investment, according to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report. An average bath remodel of $16,500 will recoup about 62% of those costs when it’s time to sell your home, and a more extensive $52,200 job returns about 55.5%. In addition, you can maximize the value of your investment by using these smart strategies, which will create a stylish yet budget-friendly bathroom.

1. Stick to a plan

A bathroom remodel is no place for improvisation. Before ripping out the first tile, think hard about how you will use the space, what materials and fixtures you want, and how much you’re willing to spend.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) recommends spending up to six months evaluating and planning before beginning work. That way, you have a roadmap that will guide decisions, even the ones made under remodeling stress. Once work has begun—a process that averages 2 to 3 months—resist changing your mind. Work stoppages and alterations add costs. Some contractors include clauses in their contracts that specify premium prices for changing original plans.

If planning isn’t your strong suit, hire a designer. In addition to adding style and efficiency, a professional designer makes sure contractors and installers are scheduled in an orderly fashion. A pro charges $100 to $200 per hour, and spends 10 to 30 hours on a bathroom project.

 2. Keep the same footprint

You can afford that Italian tile you love if you can live with the total square footage you already have.

Keeping the same footprint, and locating new plumbing fixtures near existing plumbing pipes, saves demolition and reconstruction dollars. You’ll also cut down on the dust and debris that make remodeling so hard to live with.

Make the most of the space you have. Glass doors on showers and tubs open up the area. A pedestal sink takes up less room than a vanity. If you miss the storage, replace a mirror with a deep medicine cabinet.

3. Make lighting a priority

Multiple shower heads and radiant heat floors are fabulous adds to a bathroom remodel. But few items make a bathroom more satisfying than lighting designed for everyday grooming. You can install lighting for a fraction of the cost of pricier amenities.

Well-designed bathroom task lighting surrounds vanity mirrors and eliminates shadows on faces: You look better already. The scheme includes two ceiling- or soffit-mounted fixtures with 60 to 75 watts each, and side fixtures or sconces providing at least 150 watts each, distributed vertically across 24 inches (to account for people of various heights). Four-bulb lighting fixtures work well for side lighting.

4. Clear the air

Bathroom ventilation systems may be out of sight, but they shouldn’t be out of mind during a bathroom remodel.

Bathroom ventilation is essential for removing excess humidity that fogs mirrors, makesbathroom floors slippery, and contributes to the growth of mildew and mold. Controlling mold and humidity is especially important for maintaining healthy indoor air quality and protecting the value of your home—mold remediation is expensive, and excess humidity can damage cabinets and painted finishes.

A bathroom vent and water closet fan should exhaust air to the outside—not simply to the space between ceiling joists. Better models have whisper-quiet exhaust fans and humidity-controlled switches that activate when a sensor detects excess moisture in the air.

5. Think storage

Bathroom storage is a challenge: By the time you’ve installed the toilet, shower, and sink, there’s often little space left to store towels, toilet paper, and hair and body products. Here are some ways to find storage in hidden places.

  • Think vertically: Upper wall space in a bathroom is often underused. Freestanding, multi-tiered shelf units designed to fit over toilet tanks turn unused wall area into found storage.Spaces between wall studs create attractive and useful niches for holding soaps and toiletries. Install shelves over towel bars to use blank wall space.
  • Think moveable: Inexpensive woven baskets set on the floor are stylish towel holders. A floor-stand coat rack holds wet towels, bath robes, and clothes.
  • Think utility: Adding a slide-out tray to vanity cabinet compartments provides full access to stored items and prevents lesser-used items from being lost or forgotten.

6. Contribute sweat equity

Shave labor costs by doing some work yourself. Tell your contractor which projects you’ll handle, so there are no misunderstandings later.

Some easy DIY projects:

  • Install window and baseboard trim; save $250.
  • Paint walls and trim, 200 sq.ft.; save $200.
  • Install toilet; save $150.
  • Install towel bars and shelves; save $20 each.

7. Choose low-cost design for high visual impact

A “soft scheme” adds visual zest to your bathroom, but doesn’t create a one-of-a-kind look that might scare away future buyers.

Soft schemes employ neutral colors for permanent fixtures and surfaces, then add pizzazz with items that are easily changed, such as shower curtains, window treatments, towels, throw rugs, and wall colors. These relatively low-cost decorative touches provide tons of personality but are easy to redo whenever you want.

HouseLogic | REALTOR® Content Resource | 7 Smart Strategies for Bathroom Remodeling.

Show Your Home Pride: 7 Home Improvement Projects for $1,000 (or Less)

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Published: November 1, 2011

Americans still think buying a home is one of the best decisions they’ve ever made. Here are some ways to increase your home’s value and comfort for less than $1,000.

We knew reports of the death of American home ownership were greatly exaggerated (nod to Mark Twain), and now we’ve got the numbers to prove it.

A just-released survey by the Meredith Corp., which publishes Better Homes and Gardens magazine, says the vast majority of people polled believe owning a home is a smart financial move and a source of pride.

Here are some results of the 2,500 people surveyed online:

  • 86% of home owners still feel owning a home is a good investment.
  • 85% feel “owning a home is one of their proudest accomplishments.”
  • 69% of Americans who don’t currently own a home agree with the statement, “No matter what happens in the U.S. housing market, owning a home is still an important goal in my life.”
  • 68% of Americans plan to spend money on their homes in the next six months, with roughly half (49%) expecting to pay up to $1,000.

A thousand bucks may not seem like a lot, but it goes long way toward improving the value and comfort of your home. Here are some projects we recommend:

1. Add a new entry door. Spruce up your curb appeal and save energy by upgrading your exterior door. Steel doors, which can mimic many types of wood, typically run for $400 at big-box stores and offer the strongest barrier against intruders.

2. Get organized. Decluttering and maximizing storage space are inexpensive ways to transform a home. Add space to kids’ rooms by installing platform or bunk beds ($400-$600); neaten piles of shoes with shoe organizers ($20), which can do double duty as catch-all organizers in family room closets and kitchen pantries; extend bookshelves to the ceiling, creating storage in otherwise dead space.

3. Save with a programmable thermostat. Switching from a manual to a programmable thermostat (less than $500) can save you up to $180 a year in energy costs. The latest models offer remote programming via the Internet.

4. Replace cabinet hardware. If you’ve got traditional knobs and pulls, try contemporary; change from staid to whimsical. Big-box retailers often have huge selections for budget prices. (10-pack for $20).

5. Update bathroom flooring. Give bathrooms a quick facelift by replacing old tile with vinyl flooring or ceramic tile, which can cost as little as $3 per square foot for material and installation.

6. Create luxury with a shower panel. Turn you bathroom into a spa with a programmable shower panel with adjustable spray jets, fog-free mirror, and multifunctional shower head. Most systems easily attach to existing plumbing. Panels typically sell for $360.

7. Turn a mudroom into a garden room. Bring nature inside by recasting your drab mudroom into a flower-filled garden room. (If you already have a utility sink, you’re halfway there. If not, it will cost you $200 to $350 to tap into existing, nearby plumbing, and $80 for a plastic tub.) Repurpose an old wood table into a potting bench. And hang your basket collection from J-hooks attached to a forged iron curtain rod ($100).

What improvements have you made recently under $1,000? What are you planning to do in the next six months?

 

HouseLogic | REALTOR® Content Resource | Show Your Home Pride: 7 Home Improvement Projects for $1,000 (or Less).

Meet the Team: Celeste Acevedo

Celeste is awesome.  The Keller Williams Media Market Center would not run without her.  We are fortunate enough to have her as a part of our team as well!

1.  Tell us a little about yourself.
I am the Market Center Administrator at KW in Media as well as a licensed agent.  As the Operations Manager I am responsible for file compliance, accounting, training, and making sure I keep the agent’s happy!  As an agent I am able to help our team because of the experience I have running and office – we are streamlined!

2.  How did you find your way into Real Estate?
I was hired as the Market Center Administrator 4 years ago.  I loved the business so much I had to get out there myself!

3.  What are some of your hobbies / past times?
I love to cook and have a Culinary Degree.  I also am addicted to my nook!  I can read 2 or 3 books at a time without the bulk of carrying them around.

4.  Favorite quote?
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”  ~ Buddha

5.  What are your goals for 2012?
My goals for 2012 are to help double my team’s production.  With the Technology that Keller Williams offers it should be easy!

 

Meet the Team: Lauri Rowe Pruyn

The 2nd installment of the Meet the Team feature brings you our Client Manager (and Realtor!) Lauri Rowe Pruyn.

1.  Tell us a little about yourself.
Well, my last name is pronounced “prine,” which a lot of people have difficulty saying.  I am 33, mother of 2 wonderful boys – James is 4 and Charlie is 3 (they’re 11 months apart) – and step-mother to a beautiful 14 year old daughter named Kyla.

2.  How did you find your way into Real Estate?
By accident.  I needed to return to work after having James, and was burnt out on the PR / Marketing / Advertising industry.  I started working as an assistant to a Realtor and realized that I could set my own hours, be flexible and not miss out on things with the kids.  I started working with Ed and here we are!

3.  What are some of your hobbies / past times?
Spending time with my kids, reading (when I get time) playing drums while my husband jams out on the guitar, creating decor for my home by re-crafting and utilizing items people are willing to throw out or give away!

4.  Favorite quote?
“Fortune favors the prepared mind.” ~ Louis Pasteur

5.  What are your goals for 2012?
To sell my first property!  Double our team’s production.  Also to get my conveyancing business running and to learn to balance home and work life.  Hoping that my father is cancer free in 2012.  Oh – I would like a 4 day retreat to a nice tropical island for my husband and I.  Hey – I can have dreams!