Home Selling 101: How To Do It The Right Way?

If you are planning to put your home up for sale in the next few months, you will want to first work on every part of the building that’s in bad shape since any issues can significantly lower the market price. And it doesn’t really matter what time of year you decide to sell – all you need to do is take a few wise steps to ensure a speedy and legit sale. Whether you’re a first-time or a seasoned seller, the following tips will help you sell your property the right way and as quickly as possible.

 

Set the right price from the start

 

Once you’ve decided to sell your home, you will definitely need to price it well. Now, you got it all wrong if you think that you can just price your property based on how much you bought it for and maybe add a bit of a mark-up and that’s it. Note that potential buyers don’t focus on how much you paid for the home, the cost of improving it, or even the down payment that you will be paying for your next property. All they care about is simply the house. You will need to get a comparative market analysis (CMA) from realtors if you want to price your home right.

When a property is priced too high, the buyers and their agents will literally stay away, assuming that you are either not serious about selling it or you’re just unwilling to negotiate. To come up with a reasonable price, you should first determine the prices of the comparable properties sold recently, on-the-market homes, as well as properties that still have not sold. Then, make an initial evaluation of those homes compared to your own property based on the size, location, facilities, and status and price your home accordingly.

 

Improve the curb appeal of your home

 

There is no second chance to make a first impression. So, now that you have put your property up for sale, you will want to make sure that your house looks amazing, since potential buyers are doing their initial drive-bys before they schedule the actual showing.

You can improve the curb appeal of your home by painting the front door, power washing the siding,  and generally cleaning and fixing everything regardless of how trivial it may seem. These curb appeal improvements will get you quite far, but there are also other things you can do to increase the value of the house. Remember that what the buyer sees when pulling up the driveway or walking through the front door sets their overall expectations.

Get a real estate agent

 

You may need to involve a professional realtor so as not to risk losing thousands of dollars trying to sell it on your own. According to the National Association of Realtors, homes sold by real estate agents fetch higher prices than those sold without one. Note that your realtor will be in charge of advertising, showing the property, as well as completing legal requirements of buying and selling your home, so you will need to choose wisely.

Staging your home the right way

 

Prepare every room to look its best. This includes setting up the living area, bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen. In case there is a room that looks odd or seldom used, now is the time you gave it purpose. For example, the odd alcove off your kitchen can be turned into an office, making it more appealing to the eye.

Make the property easy to show

 

A house you’re selling won’t sell if you do not show it to prospective buyers. People will want to look at the home and this is the time you should be most available. Some buyers will even want to visit at night, in the morning, or on the weekends, sometimes with very little notice. It is also important to get out of sight when showing the house to potential buyers so they can be free to walk around and discuss the home without feeling like they’re intruding.

Post your listing on majority of online portals

 

A home listed on the majority of listing sites will most likely find its way to more prospective buyers. Although it is the duty of a real estate agent to list it, you may still want to confirm it’s featured on major websites. It’s even more helpful if the home appears on social media.

 

Share info about life in the neighbourhood

 

Would-be buyers of your home always want to know something about the neighbourhood. In the listing, make sure you include photos of the house and surrounding amenities such as nearby recreation sites, schools or even shopping centers. Anything that grabs the attention of interested buyers can help them decide to eventually buy the house. In this case, you are not marketing just the house, but also the lifestyle of the area it belongs to.

 

Staging your home the right way and sharing information about life in the neighbourhood can make a big difference when selling. Social media has become a great marketing tool and it is important that your realtors showcase the home on major online portals. Following the above selling tips will ensure a quick sale at a fair price.

 

How Storage Managers Are Simplifying Auction Day Listings – StorageTreasures.com Review

When it comes to getting ready for your first auction day as a property manager for a storage company, you’ll likely experience brief moments of panic, during which you become certain that you are forgetting something crucial.

“Here come the lawsuits” you begin to think, as you envision the legally required steps you’ve neglected to take and wonder how long you’ll keep your job after the last auction hunter drives away.

Although auction day doesn’t have to be scary and it gets much easier even the second time you run one, the last thing you need to worry about is advertising your sale through the proper channels in order to drum up a decent turn-out of buyers.

Why You Should List Your Facility’s Auctions Well In Advance

Let’s face it: without auction buyers you’ve got no revenue and no chance of clearing out the problematic accounts that have jammed up your space, occupied your time and drained your patience for several consecutive months. For these reasons, ensuring a good turn out of motivated buyers with cash-on-hand is much more important than most new storage managers realize.

In fact, many newbie managers seem to think that droves of auction hunters are just going to magically appear come auction time – and that they’re all going to know the drill.

You can’t control who shows up at your storage sales – but you can make a big difference in how many interested buyers know exactly when and where your next auction is being held. StorageTreasures.com is a new site that provides a necessary service for storage facility managers that handle their own auctions of delinquent lockers.

What Does Storage Treasures Do For Managers?

What StorageTreasures.com does is take the hassle out of posting and maintaining your auction day listings. You can cross one thing off your busy pre-auction to do list by handing over the process to the folks at StorageTreasures, who will streamline posting, advertising and maintaining your listings. Best of all, you can choose between a free account, or two different paid accounts, all of which provide different capabilities and advantages. Even if you or your company isn’t ready to take the plunge and use one of the paid account options yet, you can still get a lot of use out of the free storage treasures accounts.

Signing Up for Storage Treasures

I recently signed up to give the system a test run and found it intuitive and pretty quick to get going. When you first land on the homepage you just click register and the system will guide you through the process step-by-step. The most important thing to do is to specify whether you are an auction hunter or a storage facility – choosing either of these options will lead you to very different outcomes! Signing up as a facility gives you the option to specify whether you are an owner or manager and then brings you to your profile page where you can upload a photo and fill-in some basic information about your company like its name, address and the like.

 The Difference Between Free and Paid Accounts

Once you’re up and running, you’ll notice the option on the left sidebar to add facilities under the “My Facilities” tab. Clicking add facility will bring you to the “Account Types” page, where you can opt into either a free community account, a month by month paid corporate account, and a year to year corporate account. Note that both types of paid accounts will cost you on a per-facility basis.

If you want to stick with the free account, you’ll have access to the basic functions of the site, such as making your profile, submitting auction sales to the database and e-mail based tech support.

Opting into either of the paid accounts gives you a great deal of advanced features like the ability to attach coupons to your listing, as well as a link back to your website and information on your gate hours.You can even add general descriptions of the goods being sold to increase the likelihood of a motivated turn-out of auction buyers.

Paid accounts can also upload photos and videos of their facilities and units, increasing your brand awareness, generating pre-sale buzz over your goods, ensuring people will be able to recognize your site come auction day, and generally drumming up more excitement and therefore more buyers. All of these premium features make for an excellent pre-auction tool box that managers can use to streamline their auction preparations and increase revenue, especially when corporate is willing to foot the bill for the account upgrade!

All of these sale-day features are nice, but the real allure of the premium storage treasures account is the somewhat unbelievable level of support you’ll receive from storage auction experts and lawyers specializing in self storage cases. Everything from legally verified lien documents (tailored to your state) to special help forums and the ability to directly contact legal professionals with decades of expertise in storage auctions and related legal issues becomes immediately available to facilities that opt-into either the month-by-month or yearly subscription plans.

Paid accounts also get the ability to call in directly for live phone support, which is something I know many managers prefer because sometimes a decision needs to be made immediately and there’s no time to sit around waiting for an e-mail response.

All in all, I think $25 a month is something many storage companies will find to be a tremendous value given everything that comes with it – many companies already pay out the wazoo just to get legal counsel through the Self Storage Association’s legal network. For some companies, a paid account at storage treasures could be an excellent way to kill two birds with one stone.

How to Deal with Angry Storage Customers

It’s something that’s simply part of this business. If you manage storage properties for a living, eventually you will have an encounter with an irritated, angry, or just plain furious tenant. It’s not a question of IF, but of WHEN.

Managing your property effectively also means being able to manage your own response and keep your cool when one of your storage customers flips their lid. It’s not always easy to do so, and it’s definitely not always fair, but here are some insights I’ve had while taking care of storage facilities and some tips for keeping your customers, turning arguments, misunderstandings and confrontations into opportunities, and generally making sure no one goes postal in your office.

Approach the Situation Cooperatively.

I know it’s easier said than done. Believe me, I do. But what I mean specifically by “approaching the situation cooperatively” is to turn the confrontation from a You Versus Tenant issue into a mystery you’re trying to unravel together.

With a little finesse and stagecraft (Oh, really? Your latest bill is too high? Let’s bring up your account and find out what’s going on, together!) you can almost immediately take the fight right out of one of your customers.

Try to keep their perspective in mind (even if you don’t agree with the content of their argument). They’ve probably been driving over to your facility, getting more and more pissed with each passing minute, planning to erupt at you over something regarding their account and expecting that you’ll put up just as much of a fight.

Twisting them right around with a little bit of this friendly Judo (Oh, really? That sounds terrible – let’s look into it together!) can defuse the situation quickly. The sheer shock value of responding to anger sweetly is often enough to defuse their negative emotions.

Listen to the Story They’re Not Telling You.

Many (but not all) storage customers are people in the midst of transitions. Transitions can be scary. Transitions can come about because of recent job loss, divorce, break-ups, serious medical issues, financial strain, evictions, overseas deployments and returns from overseas deployments.

For some of the folks storing with you right now, their ultimate need for a storage unit came as the final step in a long series of nightmarish developments in their lives. It helps to keep all this in mind when that seemingly quiet small dude that spends a lot of time in his unit suddenly bursts into your office and unleashes a torrent of abuse and spittle.

Sometimes you can take your tenants’ complaints at face value:

“That jerk from 305 keeps driving over my foot when he goes by.”

“The light needs to be replaced over my unit because I can’t see anything at night.”

“Your new trainee manager charged my credit card $750 more than my usual bill of $60.”

Face value complaints should be entertained with compassion and then swiftly remedied, with an apology if you or one of your staff were indeed at fault. Yet, oftentimes, the tenants that become truly enraged over something that doesn’t seem to be that big a deal, like the $2 per month rental rate increase that corporate enforced remotely, actually just want you to listen to the story they’re not telling you.

I can remember one guy in particular that was raising hell over a miniscule rate hike that had occured over the weekend. Despite the fact that we had given him 30 days notice as required by law, and despite the fact that I’d had many long and patient conversations with him explaining that we didn’t really have any control over the increase and that we had repeatedly gone out of our way to help him by waiving late payment fees, delaying his overlock day, and letting him borrow the company truck to do quick moves, he still found it within his rights to absolutely nut-off at us one afternoon.

But oh, how quickly did his rant about our $2 per month rate hike veer off into a seemingly unrelated tirade about the increasing costs of electricity, how outrageous gas prices were and, to top it all off,  how ridiculously low minimum wage happened to be.

I happened to agree with him on all these points and very soon his rage gave out and he seemed to forget he had ever been upset with me in the first place. Within minutes I was like an old trusted friend to whom he could vent all the injustices and frustrations he’d suffered.

This guy had no problem with me, our service, or any aspect of his storage experience that was within our daily control. He was having money problems, as most everyone does at some point or forever, and he just wanted someone to listen to his problems.

I can’t count on both hands how many times a potentially ugly storage conflict has dissolved into a griping session. And this is exactly what I mean by trying to listen to the story they’re not telling you.

Don’t Allow Yourself to Be Abused

There’s a big difference between providing excellent customer service or making things right for your tenants and allowing yourself to straight-up be abused. Let’s face it – some storage tenants aren’t reasonable, socially capable or totally stable people. Some of them just want to rage at somebody, and you’re the only one around. Don’t allow this for a second.

Aside from the fact that it’s never alright for anyone to scream at you, if you don’t nip this kind of behavior in the bud immediately you can only expect to get plenty more of it from the repeat offenders in the coming months and years.

Getting screamed at by a regular tenant puts many storage managers in an awkward situation for reasons beyond the obvious. Some managers aren’t sure how to handle the situation so that they’re balancing their professional need to keep their customers happy and their personal need not to be abused. Meanwhile, it’s confusing and surprising when someone bursts into your office when you’re having a pleasant morning and rips you a new one out of nowhere.

In cases like these, it’s best to play the calm and level-headed (yet firm) adult. You can raise your voice if necessary to put an early stop to a loud tirade and state very firmly that you will not be spoken to in this way. Look the tenant directly in the eye and speak with confidence and presence. You can keep repeating “Excuse me” loudly and forcefully if they persist in screaming over you.

Once you have their attention, you can explain calmly (and this is a good time to start lowering your voice – hoping your cues will invite them to do the same) that you will only be spoken to calmly and with respect. Follow up by saying you are more than happy to help them address whatever issue it is that is bothering them, but you will need them to first calm down and relate their problem to you respectfully.

Now you can open the channels of communication and re-frame the issue as a problem you are working together in order to solve. If they have calmed down, listen to them at length, while nodding and making direct eye contact and other cues such as timely and contemplative “mhhmm’s” to indicate that you are absorbing and considering what they are telling you.