The Top 5 Tips For Seniors Looking For A New Home

 

Moving into a new home — especially if you’ve lived in the same place for years–can be overwhelming, and the planning involved in the beginning stages can be stressful. For seniors who want to downsize or aid in their financial situation, it’s important to prepare well before even considering putting their house up for sale. Having a good plan will help you reduce your anxiety and feel in control during a big change in your life.

Here are some of the best tips on how to handle a move when you’re a senior.

Start Small

Many seniors find that after living in the same home for several years, they have accumulated way too many belongings to take to a new, smaller home. For this reason, it’s important to start going through your things as soon as you make the decision to move; don’t wait until you sell your house, when you might have limited time to get everything done. Start in one room and create “take”, “trash”, and “donate” boxes so you can separate items easily. If you have a lot of clutter, consider getting some help from friends and family, or enlist the resources of a company that can come and haul things away.

It’s a good idea to have immediate family members on hand anyway, as you may want to ask them to take some things off your hands.

Consider Your Needs

Take a look at your current home to see what works and what doesn’t, so you’ll have an idea of what to look for in your new home. If you have stairs that are getting more difficult to climb, or a large lawn that needs a lot of care and upkeep, take that into consideration and look for a one-story home with a smaller yard.

Save as Much as Possible

From the moment you begin thinking about making a move, start saving as much as you can. You can start by clipping coupons before you go grocery shopping, saving on your utility bills by sealing up cracks around windows and doors, and carpooling whenever possible to save on gas. Moving is never cheap, and it will help to have some extra cash for unexpected expenses.

Pack Smart

After you’ve gone through and pared down your belongings, make things as easy as possible on yourself by carefully labeling each box and creating a packing list to tape on the outside, so that after you get everything moved in, you won’t have any trouble finding the necessities.

You can also create makeshift dry – cleaning bags by poking a hole in the middle of the bottom of a large trash bag and slipping it over several pieces of clothing that are already on hangers. This will make moving day so much easier when it’s time to unpack; simply slide the trash bag off and hang up your clothes.

Use Technology

If even the thought of getting out and touring properties exhausts you, look to technology to help simplify your search process. Work with a real estate agent that is willing to do a lot of the legwork for you in identifying properties that fit your needs and have them send property specs via email or their MLS. Also consider using new touring technology, like Realync, to be able to tour the space live with your agent while sitting in the comfort of you own home.

Don’t feel like you need to figure it all out yourself though. Again, turn to family or friends with computers, smartphones or tablets and have them help you in the search process to make it as easy and simplified as possible.

Finding a new home doesn’t have to be an overwhelming, stressful process. With some planning and a little help from friends and family members, you can downsize and get moved with ease. Being prepared is half the battle.

About the Author

Jim Vogel focuses on helping ensure seniors are able to thrive throughout their golden years by sharing pertinent resources and information. He works with his wife to provide useful resources to aging seniors and their caregivers.

Social Platforms Best for Engagement In 2017

 

Being present and available to your consumers is the easiest way to engage with them, which is why brands are keen on using social ad spend to drive awareness and outreach. However, with social platforms constantly innovating and featuring new ad offerings, it has been difficult for many brands to break through successfully. Heading into 2017, here’s what brands should be looking out for in shaping their social strategy.

Facebook Ads Slowing Down:

At the top of the pyramid rests Facebook, from where it continues to push out new mobile and video ad products as well as e-commerce capabilities and marketing attribution tools. It has shown steady growth and has reported strong mobile ad numbers. 84% of Facebook’s total advertising revenue of $6.82 billion in the third quarter was accounted for by mobile ads, which was up from 78% a year earlier, demonstrating mobile video’s continued fierce growth.

However, in November of 2016, the company stated that revenue growth would slow down due to “ad load,” or the number of ads that the platform can release on news feed without alienating consumers. The figure below already shows the effect of ad fatigue over the first 3 quarters of 2016. As share of posts promoted by Index brands on Facebook remained level around 16%, average engagement dropped severely by 19%.

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This bottleneck has shifted Facebook’s attention to a video-first strategy across its family of apps and it now looks to rapidly expand its live video features on Facebook and Instagram. With the social giant showing a 16% increase in number of monthly users from September 2015 to September 2016 and there being an unfortunate cap on publishable ads, brands should consider diversifying their marketing efforts by capitalizing on live video technology.

Live Video Stepping In:

No, not Persicope. That is dead with a capital D.

Social juggernauts YouTube and Facebook now keep the live video momentum going. Although only 5% of Index Brands currently use Facebook Live, the total number of brand Facebook videos has increased from 0.3% in April 2016 to 1.9% in October 2016. Beauty and Auto Brands have been particularly aggressive on the matter with each vertical accounting for 21% of all Facebook Live videos. It is clear that brands wanting to succeed in 2017 will have to effectively use live video to engage millennials hungry for interactive real-time content.

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Furthermore, now that Instagram is challenging Snapchat with its “Stories” feature, it has decided to test a new ad format where it displays video ads inside live videos similar to that of Facebook Live, Snapchat, and Twitter’s pre-roll video ads. With its massive 300 million daily active users, 50% of which are already using the new feature, this is another terrific avenue of engagement that brands should capitalize on – either by directly broadcasting live video or integrating ads into live videos hosted by others. And unlike its competitors, Instagram holds an advantage with all the data and targeting it has gained from its foster parent, Facebook.

Instagram Outside of Live Video:

Instagram has a death grip on social media as it accounts for 92% of all social interactions, but it is showing signs of fatigue. Although there was an increase from 9 posts per week in Q3 2015 to 10 posts per week in Q3 2016 by Index brands, interactions per 1000 followers decreased by a whopping 30% suggesting that brands must incorporate new user-generated content and influencers to guide engagement. We are still a fan of Instagram Stories and believe that it will be the future for brands and influencers looking to drive user engagement on this platform.

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Snapchat A Serious Contender:

Let’s also not forget about this social media giant as it approaches IPO. With its 150 million daily active users, 32% of which fall into the 18-24 range and 28% of which fall into the 25-34 range, it is easily seen why digital advertisers are driving Snapchat’s valuation to $25 billion. From January to October 2016, Snapchat brand account adoption grew 50%, increasing overall adoption to 65% of brands. There was also a rise in Snapchat Discover advertisement from 23 brands accounting for 161 ads in January 2016 to 63 brands accounting for 387 ads in October 2016. With such a large increase in overall brand adoption of Snapchat Discover advertisement, this social media platform cannot be ignored when trying to reach millennial consumers. However, pushing the envelope too quickly may leave Snapchat considerate of its “ad load” just as Facebook currently is.

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Twitter’s Downswing:

Currently, Twitter accounts for 81% of all brand posts across the four major social platforms (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter) with two thirds of Index brands using their Twitter accounts to execute customer service. However, Twitter’s revenue and user growth has declined in 2016. Despite rolling out new features to enhance one-to-one conversations between brands and consumers, the average number of unique customers to whom Index brands replied on Twitter declined by 15% from Q1 to Q3. Declines were even more steep in specific verticals such as Activewear (-32%) and Department Stores/CPG (-24%). Heading into 2017, brands should be considerate of their Twitter outreach and look to not toe the line – either own it or abandon it.

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Do you have a strong 2017 marketing plan set to engage your multifamily audience? Let us know your thoughts and where you’re seeing success! If you’d like to learn more about any of the above insights, feel free to shoot us a note or give us a call at anytime: 312-971-7023. 

Until next time… keep it real! 

Where to Find Realync in 2017

2016 was an incredible year of growth for Realync growing from 500 to over 16,000 multifamily units across the United States and hosting nearly 4,000 tours on our platform. It’s onward and upward though and we are beyond excited to connect with each and every one of you in person at some point in 2017!

Where are we going to meet in person, you may ask? Take your pick!

naa-student-housingNAA Student Housing Conference

2/14 – 2/15, Chicago, IL

Apartment Internet Marketing (AIM) Conference

5/8 – 5/10, Huntington Beach, CA

NAA Education Conferencenaa-edu-conf

6/21 – 6/24, Atlanta, GA

Multifamily Executive Conference

9/18 – 9/20, Las Vegas, NV

NMHC Student Housing Conferencenmhc-student-housing

9/25 – 9/27, Tampa, FL

NAA Multifamily Asset Management Conference

10/2 – 10/4, Austin, TX

IAA Midwest Multifamily Conference

10/10 – 10/11, Indianapolis, IN

NMHC Optechnmhc-optech

10/25 – 10/27, Las Vegas, NV

Our Chicago Home

350 N. Orleans St., Suite 9000N

Chicago, IL 60654

Our Indianapolis Home

12400 N Meridian St., Suite 150

Carmel, IN 46032

When we built Realync, we built it with this one word constantly echoing in our minds: simplicity. Everything we do is focused on streamlining and making the leasing/sales process easier and more efficient for everyone involved. That core belief bleeds into everything we do, including connecting with you! We want to make it easy for you to connect with us and learn all about what making your ‘real-estate-real-time’ could do for you and your business.

Please reach out if you’ll be at any of the above conferences or in Indianapolis / Chicago. We look forward to connecting with you!

Until then…keep it real!

New Year, New Team!

Happy new year everyone!  A new dawn, new horizon, new goals.  For Realync, that also entails new team members! 2016 was incredibly good to us, and with more horsepower, we’re looking forward to an even bigger 2017.  As we expand our product offering, enhance our customer’s experience and ultimately expand our portfolio of serviced real estate professionals, we knew we needed the team to help us in each of these areas.  Without further adieu, please meet:

Jeff Rade, VP of EngineeringJeff Rade - Realync

A self-proclaimed software geek, Jeff comes to us with a variety of tech-leading experience ranging from large corporations to startups.  In his first month, Jeff jumped right in immediately squashing some bugs (that’s a tech reference), and is working on some big releases coming in Q1.

Fun facts about Jeff:

  • Hometown: Chicago, IL
  • Dream House: cabin in remote mountains with lots of trees.
  • Free time activities: vacationing with family, golf, Bitcoin, and home remodeling

Jordan Easley, Director of OperationsJordan Easley - Realync

Our resident professor, Jordan comes from a rich B2B SaaS background and is focused on equipping Realync with processes & procedures that will allow us to grow in a focused manner. Additionally, he is overseeing all sales functions – he may be calling you soon!

Fun facts about Jordan:

  • Hometown: Hanna City, IL
  • Dream House: old house with character, just outside Indianapolis
  • Free time activities: sports, board games, hiking, and camping

Rachel Yockey, Director of Customer SuccessRachel Yockey - Realync

With drag racing in her blood, Rachel is always moving at 100 MPH. Rachel comes from a background in commercial real estate and SaaS, and is working on defining and optimizing the Realync customer journey with the sole focus of helping our clients shorten their sales cycles and close more deals.  

Fun facts about Rachel:

  • Hometown: Avon, IN
  • Dream House: a cottage on the beach
  • Free time activities: concerts, good food, chauffeuring and managing 3 active kids

We hope your new year is off to as an exciting start as ours and cannot wait to see what we can do together this year! Until then… keep it real!

Realync Adds Multiple “Top 50” Multifamily Players

Realync is proud to announce its latest company growth focused on the multfamily industry. Major multifamily players across the U.S. like LivCor, Fairfield, Waterton, Milhaus, Pan American Properties, JC Hart and several others have successfully rolled Realync out to over 60 communities. These multifamily players alone account for over 2,300 communities across the United States providing lots of continued growth with Realync in the coming years.

Read more in today’s press release!

Realync bridges the gap between still photos online and physically being at a property in person by providing leasing teams the ability to instantly connect with prospective tenants via an immersive real time experience. These leasing teams at communities across the United States are increasing their conversion rates and decreasing the time it takes to close a deal by utilizing this instantaneous connection with prospects to show them exactly what units are available and exactly what they, the potential tenant, want to see.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to add these incredible companies to our customer portfolio,” said Ani Rangarajan, COO and Co-founder, Realync. “It’s an honor to work alongside these national players to help them make their leasing teams more efficient and keep their communities leased. Our focus is multifamily because of the needs identified and almost instantaneous results that we’re collecting. There are over 20 million multifamily units in the United States alone with hundreds of thousands added each year; so the opportunity couldn’t be greater.”

“At LivCor we are constantly seeking innovative solutions in the ever-evolving multifamily marketplace,” said Samantha Skrobot, Marketing Manager at LivCor. “Partnering with a creative digital provider like Realync enables us to actively participate in shaping the future of residential real estate.”

“Our closing percentage is 75% when using Realync with prospects,” said Matt Mehon, Leasing Manager at Waterton. “Yes, 75%. Having the option to tour virtually and send pre-recorded videos is great and has completely changed the way we interact with our prospects to experience our community.”

Since our public launch in March of 2015, Realync has accumulated users across the United States, in over 47 states, and around the world, in over 30 countries.

Want to learn more about the incredible conversion multifamily communities are experiencing or learn more about the platform itself? Visit http://www.realync.com or reach out to us to learn more!

Happy touring!

December Product Update

We are incredibly excited to announce that today, Realync version 2.5 launched in the App Store!

Check out the announcement from Realync CEO, Matt Weirich:

Want to learn more? Download the app for free today or message us to setup a personalized demo of the platform.

We are excited to see you on Realync and look forward to seeing you make your #realestate #realtime!

Keep it real!

 

Tech Shakeout on the Horizon for Real Estate

“It’s pretty easy to get a meeting if you are disrupting something in real estate,” said Richard Sarkis, CEO of Reonomy, a startup that evaluates commercial real-estate data.

Investors are always scouting tables for a chance to jump in on the game. They know if bets are placed correctly on a disruptive startup, the payout can be huge. Large companies are able to leverage a successful startup’s technology and extract massive data sets with which they can use to better understand housing market conditions, home-buyer demographics, and commercial real estate drifts, among a pool of other trends. Therefore, investor ears are always perked up. They are listening for the footsteps of promising tech startups – especially of those belonging to real estate.

And rightfully so.

The Federal Reserve currently values U.S. real estate at an estimated $40 trillion, making it the largest asset class in the country. To feed it’s hunger, an estimated $1.4 billion is expected to be invested in real estate tech startups this year, which is up from $1 billion last year and $438 million in 2013. This growing pot of gold has left many entrepreneurs hungry for a piece of the loot. Unfortunately, many of today’s hopefuls are blinded from what constitutes meaningful change.

“The reason there’s a graveyard of technology companies in real estate is they try to disrupt just to disrupt,” said Robert Reffkin, chief executive of Compass, a technology-driven real-estate brokerage. “Just make it better.” And it’s that mentality that has resulted in real-estate firms adopting technology at a slower pace than those in other businesses. New startups that enter the market look to capture the business of both residential and commercial brokers without consideration.

Tech firms simply do not account for the hand-holding that buyers and renters desperately need when starting the property hunt. They are under the delusion that by eliminating the middleman, an agent, the industry will become quicker and smarter. This is foolish thinking. Instead, they should focus their efforts on integrating their technology and data tools into the day-to-day operation of brokers and agents. Only then will real estate see an overall improvement in the customer experience.

But given the breadth of the real estate industry and how early it is in the game, there is a lot of hope in technology firms to disrupt effectively. A piece of advice from Brad Svrluga, partner at Primary Venture Partner, is for entrepreneurs to study history. By looking back at the last 5 years and seeing when and how disruption took place in other industries, entrepreneurs can predict tomorrow’s shortcomings and leverage that information to see what it takes to hit the market with impact. After all, this is an antiquated industry begging for change. All it will take is a little fanning for the fire to roar.

Until next time…Keep It Real!