How to Go Green in Real Estate and Make Your Home Environmentally Friendly

April 22 is Earth Day, observed all over the world. It is a day of action for individuals, companies, and organizations to build awareness and protect the environment. As residents of North Myrtle Beach, we aare very happy with the latest developments regarding the wind energy in the area. In 2012 North Myrtle Beach City Council approved a resolution in support of offshore wind energy in South Carolina and identified North Myrtle Beach as a "Wind Powered Economic Zone."

CENTURY 21 Thomas has been a supporter of these initiatives. Our real estate agents are aware of the importance of promoting a green economy. They are open to managing listings of eco-friendly homes or sustainably-built homes. CENTURY 21 Thomas real estate agents were happy to share a few ways to go green in real estate and help others take steps to make their homes environmentally friendly:

Improve the energy efficiency of your home - work on the key areas of the home that are common trouble spots and frequently contribute to a home's poor energy performance:
  • seal and insulate the outer walls, ceilings, windows, doors and floors
  • perform annual maintenance of your heating and cooling system, clean the filter, install and use a programmable thermostat
  • use geothermal energy to heat and cool your home by using a ground-source heat pump
  • use  energy efficient lighting and appliances labeled as energy star products
Reduce, reuse and recycle - decrease household waste:
  • use the food you already bought and have in the house instead of buying more
  • reuse items around the house such as rags and wipes, empty jars and mugs, party decorations, and gift wrap
  • return used car tires to retailers or wholesalers that recycle or retread them
  • mow higher and leaving the clippings (called grasscycling). Homeowners can reduce their mowing time by 30 to 40 percent by not having to bag clippings.
Buy a solar panel system for your home - Prices for solar panels have plummeted, and industry experts anticipate a continued decline. Most solar panels on the market are high-quality and will have a guaranteed output of not less than 90% after 10 years and no less than 80% after 25 years.

Compare your home's energy use to similar sized homes and climates across the country with the Home Energy Yardstick (home utility bills needed) to see how you measure up with your neighbors. Going green is not just a fad–it’s an important element in our fight to save and preserve our planet for the future.


Social Media for Real Estate Agents - LinkedIn (Part III)

Linkedin for Real Estate
LinkedIn is probably the best social media channel for testimonials and referrals. Even though little adopted by realtors, LinkedIn presents great opportunities for real estate agents. LinkedIn might not help you directly sell a home, but it will definitely help you create useful relationships.

Recent studies show that more than 70 percent of people would recommend the real estate agent they worked with. LinkedIn helps leverage this potential and makes it so much easier to get back in touch with previous clients. If most agents miss doing one important thing, that is contacting previous clients! The research shows how much those people are ready to recommend the agent, yet agents forget to reconnect with them. A good profile on LinkedIn with a good number of people in the network might be the solution.

Real estate agents can use LinkedIn to get referrals almost effortlessly. A profile on LinkedIn where you add a good presentation of yourself, with all the professional details and a good resume,  will help others discover and contact you. Your LinkedIn profile will help you expand your professional network while making it easier for people interested in your expertise and knowledge of the local real estate market learn more about you and get in touch with you.

real estate linkedin
One of the biggest strength of LinkedIn is its embedded tool for recommendations. Once you bring in some of your past clients, it is very easy for them to write a good recommendation for you and emphasize your professional qualities. These testimonials and recommendations will help you build your reputation and boost credibility. The recommendations will be posted on both your profile and the person who wrote them so this gives you exposure to your past client's network, increasing the chances for other people to want to work with you. LinkedIn is one of the best social media tools to tap into the power of peer review, the best component of effective marketing.

Here are some good articles and resources on using LinkedIn for real estate:

It is time to adopt LinkedIn, the social media channel that can best help you capitalize on testimonials and build your referral database. As always, if you are not a realtor but you are looking for a home in the North Myrtle Beach area, give us a call at (888) 249-2100 or visit CENTURY 21 Thomas search page.

Social Media for Real Estate Agents - Pinterest (Part II)

The real estate market is becoming more and more competitive. New people turn real estate agents every day so you have to find ways to stay ahead or else... Social media is one of the new marketing paradigms that can be turned into an extremely powerful strategy, tactic, tool, and everything in between. We have started in our previous blog post to present various  social media channels and tools useful to real estate agents. Today we will talk about Pinterest and how real estate agents can use it to make a difference.
If you want to understand Pinterest you need to understand its three main components: Pins, boards, and repins.

Pins are images that are added to Pinterest via the Pin It button  or uploaded from your computer.

Boards are are sets of pins that real estate agents create, usually around a certain topic (interior design, cleaning and organizing ideas, elegant dinnerware, etc).

Repins means adding to one of your own boards an image you find while browsing other Pinterest accounts. It's very simple: you like the image - you click repin - you choose one of your own boards you want to put it on - it gets displayed on your Pinterest board. Repining is the way to share someone else's image on your own board. But this is also the way someone else can post YOUR images on their boards! This can give real estate agents exponential exposure.

We live in a highly visual world. Don't forget that 80 % of the signals we process are visual. That's probably why Pinterest has gained tremendous success recently and people spend more and more time browsing boards on Pinterest besides catching up gossips on Facebook. When people repin an image from your Pinterest account, that image automatically gets a link back to your board. That makes it a great way to get back links, valuable for SEO and traffic building.

Here is an example of the "Real Estate Tips" board on Century 21 Thomas' Pinterest account:

Also remember that you can add a link to any image you upload on Pinterest so people who click on your image are directed to the destination of that link. So if you post a picture with a great view of one of the properties you handle, you can drive people who click on it to your listing.

The main social media for real estate opportunity with Pinterest is to promote great real estate images of the properties you manage with the goal of having other people repin them on their own boards. This gives you exponential exposure on the internet and increased chances to build traffic to your listing.

In one of our previous blog posts we emphasized how important it is to make sure you use great photography for the properties you list. Now that you have those great pictures, why not use them on Pinterest to capture more attention and traffic to your listings? Re-purposing existing photography is one of the best ways to effectively use Pinterest for real estate.

Good luck with using Pinterest for real estate. Hopefully you found these simple recommendations helpful. As always, if you are not a realtor but you are looking for a home in the North Myrtle Beach area, give us a call at (888) 249-2100 or visit CENTURY 21 Thomas search page.