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Basic Principals for Managing Mold – Cleaning, Restoration and Remediation

Mold is everywhere! Knowing the proper ways to clean, restore and remediate your mold problem is the key. In this useful article from The Journal of Cleaning, Restoration and Inspection, Author Michael A. Berry, PHD shares the basic principals for managing mold.

As mold growth has become one of the biggest issues in the real estate market, Indiana Residential is certified through the IICRC/The Clean Trust in order to help home owners and real estate professionals take care of their mold problem at its source.  Have a mold problem? Let Indiana Residential’s mold remediation experts handle it. Call us today for inspections and removal estimates!

Journal of Cleaning Restoration and Inspection December 2015_Page_1

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Indiana Residential earns the construction industry’s Certified 203k Contractor designation

Indiana Residential has completed the construction/remodeling industry’s most comprehensive training in the use of the U.S. Government’s FHA 203k Home Renovation Loan program.

Indiana Residential, a home maintenance and remodeling service company has earned the designation as a Certified 203k Contractor. Indiana Residential is listed in the 203k Contractor Directory , a nationwide database of educated, knowledgeable and experienced 203k contractors, and is dedicated to helping more Americans achieve the dream of home ownership, improve our communities, and contribute to the health of our economy.

The FHA 203k Renovation Loan offers tremendous opportunities today for many consumers to tap into government insured rehab funds. The FHA 203k can revitalize entire neighborhoods, reinvigorate communities, create jobs, and help to improve the real estate market. Until recent years, there has been limited use of this program and little awareness of the opportunities it offers the current economy.

The 203k Contractor Directory, located at http://203kContractors.com® is a database through which Certified 203k Contractors can be located. It was established with the mission of educating contractors on the intricacies and nuances of the 203k program and giving consumers, lenders, and Realtors® a method of validating a contractor’s understanding of the 203k renovation loan program. Additionally, the 203k Contractor Directory increases awareness of the opportunities offered by the FHA 203k program, thereby educating everyone involved.

The Certified 203k Contractor designation provides professional guidance to those who would like to rehab or improve a home to meet their needs and these are the homes offered at the most competitive prices. As a Certified 203k Contractor, Indiana Residential can help customers more easily navigate the process of planning, construction, securing approval, and completing the home improvements.

The 203k Contractor Directory is the national database of Certified 203k Contractors. To learn more, visit www.203kContractors.com or call toll-free (855) CALL-203K.

For more information about Indiana Residential and their services, visit www.indianaresidential.com

 

 

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Top Home Improvement to Boost Your Home’s Selling Price in Indianapolis

Inspection repair Indianapolis

Contact Indiana Residential for all your home remodeling needs!

Home improvement projects can help you get top dollar for your property when you sell. Whether you are putting your home on the market right away or planning to sell in the next couple of years, the right updates and changes can have a big impact on what buyers are willing to pay.

The key is to know which projects add value and which ones do little or could even hurt your home’s appeal for buyers. Once you know which projects are worth putting time and money into, you can plan your budget.

  1. Make a Good First Impression

Buyers often drive by the property before they ever schedule an appointment to come inside. Curb appeal is what will inspire them to take the next step. If your view from the front needs a lot of work, it sets the tone for how buyers feel as they come through your front door. This project doesn’t have to be costly or time-consuming. Trimming overgrown bushes and removing dead or overpopulated plants, and spreading a fresh layer of mulch can do wonders. A fresh coat of paint to your front door and around windows and trim can make the place feel brand new. Replacing or painting old exterior light figures can have a bigger impact than you might think. Even just adding a wreath and flower pots to your front door can entice potential buyers to want to see more. Don’t forget about the exterior of the house as well. Repair any cracked concrete and edge any walkways making the potential buyers trip up to your door the best it can be

  1. The Heart of the Home

It doesn’t matter how much the buyer likes to cook, they still want an updated kitchen. They want to see working appliances that don’t look like they need replaced. How much of a remodel you should do will depend on the market in your area and how outdated your kitchen is. Even a minor remodel where you prime and paint existing cabinetry, and replace hardware and lighting fixtures can have a big impact on what price your home brings. According to Remodeling Cost vs. Value study, a minor remodel in the kitchen will provide an 82 percent return on investment.

  1. Don’t Forget the Bathroom

Much like the kitchen, buyers like to see a functional, updated bathroom. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but low-flow toilets and showerheads, updated faucets and bright lighting can have big impact. Since this is usually a small area, you can often find it affordable to replace flooring or add a new vanity. If you have a little extra cash on hand, consider adding a second bathroom in a one-bath house. You’ll see big returns on this remodeling project. The same study from Remodeling shows that adding a bathroom can give you a 60 percent ROI. On a smaller budget, try priming and painting an old wood vanity cabinet in a fresh color, and add simple new hardware. Spruce up a basic clip mirror by adding a wood frame around it (Pinterest is swarming with instructions on this update). Bathrooms take a lot of wear and tear from water, so be sure to clean and caulk around the tub, shower and countertops to freshen up the condition.

  1. Save Your Energy

Budget-conscious buyers will appreciate renovations such as installing new windows or adding more insulation. If you have old exterior doors or windows that are original to the home, you could deter buyers who see projects in their future. However, it won’t cost you a lot to make those improvements before you list the house. A bonus is the fact that you’ll save money on heating and cooling until your home sells.

  1. Move Outdoors

One of the easiest projects to take on to add value to your home is the addition of a deck or patio. Outdoor spaces have become an extension of the home, so adding or enhancing this area is like increasing the square footage. Expect to get about 87 percent return on your efforts with the right design.

Each of these projects has the potential to increase the price of your home and bring in more buyers. To maximize your results, work with a realtor or designer and a contractor who knows the neighborhood and can give you solid advice.

Remember, spend your time and money on the things that really matter, and ask for professional opinions before you get started. The professionals at Indiana Residential can help you review all your home improvement and repair needs and work to get you the biggest bang for your buck! Contact us today to schedule a time to look at your property.

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Now Hiring! Estimator/Project Manager

Successful and growing construction services business is seeking an Estimator/Project Manager in the Indianapolis, Indiana area. This position will be responsible for preparing accurate and profitable job estimates, converting estimates into successful bids and for planning and managing the resultant projects to successful completion.

Salary plus company vehicle included. No cold call sales. Must be a dynamic and proactive communicator, who competently uses written and verbal disciplines such as e-mail, MS Office and voice-mail, etc. Candidate must be dedicated, motivated and loyal. Prefer experience in the field or a similar position estimating jobs within the construction industry

Indiana Residential, where homeowners and real estate industry professionals turn to for quality workmanship, competitive pricing and superior customer service.

APPLY NOW>

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Ready to Sell? Quick Tips on Staging Your Home to Look Its Very Best

staging-home

Stage your home with an open floor plan, let light in, and keep décor to a minimum.

When potential buyers walk into your home, they are trying to imagine themselves living in the space. While they may have a list of requirements to check off when house-hunting, it often comes down to something intangible for the place they choose. Staging a home can create the right kind of environment to make buyers pick your house over another one, but only if it’s done correctly.

According to a survey conducted by The International Association of Home Staging Professionals and StageHomes.com, 95% of homes that were staged sold in less than 11 days and the price was 17% higher. Here are a few tips to help you make the right impression with your staging and get those kind of results.

  1. Clear Clutter

The most important thing you can do is to remove clutter. This one project can be broken down into multiple tasks:

  • Remove tons of personal items, such as photos and décor covering your fridge
  • Clean off countertops, coffee tables and end tables and shelves
  • Reduce the number of items in closets (ie: put all your summer stuff in bins for now)
  • Move out excess furniture (rent a storage unit or ask a friend to keep it or even organize it neatly in garage or basement).

The result is a home that looks larger and brighter. It’s like a blank canvas, allowing the buyer to imagine more of their stuff in the space.

  1. Freshen Up

Now that you have more room to work with, you may see more flaws in your home. That’s okay; you have the time to work on those. Apply a new coat of paint to rooms that need it and replace burned-out light bulbs. Don’t forget the outside by trimming tree branches or planting a few flowers along the walkway. Make sure the lawn is mowed and trimmed, and add mulch to any flower beds or around trees.

These little changes don’t cost a lot, and they make a place feel brand new. You can swap out kitchen or bathroom hardware or remove older window treatments for a low cost as well.

 

  1. Invite People In

You want to make your home inviting and encourage buyers to stay a while. You can do this in several ways:

  • Paint the living room a warm neutral tone
  • Remove heavy draperies or open blinds to let natural light in
  • Purchase a slip cover for worn furniture
  • Arrange furniture for conversation
  • Keep trinkets and decorations to a minimum but don’t present a sterile environment to buyers

 

  1. Identify Rooms

Make sure all of your rooms have a well-defined purpose. If you have a spare bedroom with nothing in it, move furniture from another area and set it up in the space. You could find a twin bed and dresser for a guest room or a desk and chair for an office. While buyers like to envision the way they would use the space, it helps to give them a few ideas to work with.

 

  1. Clean and Clean Some More

Make sure you clean until everything shines. Don’t forget areas people usually never see. Buyers will be looking everywhere, and you want to impress them. A home with no dust, clutter or junk lying around will impress even if it doesn’t have the latest style or trendiest paint color or flooring.

Staging a home properly can be a lot of work, but it’s usually worth it in the price you get for your home. The professionals at Indiana Residential can help with any of your home improvement and repair needs to help get your home up to date and looking it’s best before, during, and after listing it on the market. Contact us today!

 

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Why is Zillow So Important to My Real Estate Business?

In the past, some real estate agents feared Zillow. As the website has continued to grow, many agents recognize the value it offers to them and their business. Instead of being the competition, Zillow has become a resource agents can use to develop brand awareness and to find leads.

Home buyers have the information they need at their fingertips with Zillow’s advanced mobile applications. They can stand in a neighborhood and find a map of all the homes nearby for sale.  It’s time to embrace this technology if you haven’t already!

zillow mobileIncrease Your Leads

Advertising with Zillow gets your name in front of more people. Studies show that most buyers research online before contacting an agent. In fact, the 2013 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers put the number at 92 percent. Of those, 90 percent went on to work with a real estate agent to complete the process.

Sites like Zillow (and Trulia-which Zillow purchased last year for 3.5 billion!!) allow buyers or sellers to locate an agent through a resource they trust. They can specify agents by location or search for a specific person. They can read reviews to decide if this is someone they are interested in working with.

Develop Your Reputation

Zillow allows you to build your reputation in two ways. First, you can create a profile on the site for buyers or sellers to find you. People can provide reviews, which will influence others to give you a chance.

The second way to build your reputation is by getting involved in the community. Visit the forums and take the time to answer questions. People who post questions on the forums are interested in buying or selling a home, but they aren’t quite ready to take the next step. They go to these forums to ask for advice or information. When you provide what they’re looking for, you develop credibility. They are more likely to remember you as someone they “know” when they are ready to move forward.

Keep Your Finger on the Pulse

Real estate agents can benefit from Zillow by reading the questions and visiting other areas of the site. They can learn who is putting homes on the market that are For Sale By Owner. This allows them to know more about the market and their competition. They have their industry statistics, but Zillow is another resource to find out what’s happening currently in the market.

zillow

Zillow makes it easy for buyers and sellers to find information and facts about real estate. What it cannot do is walk them through the process step by step. A real estate agent is essential for that part of the journey. It can never replace the agent, but it can partner with them to make the home buying or selling process easier and more stress-free.

What the site can do for the agent is to let them know what questions people are asking and to ensure they know what is happening on the other side of the market. Zillow is a valuable resource for real estate agents if they utilize it and know how to make the most of this tool.

The key is to embrace technology and work with your home owners help maximize their property to stand out amongst the competition. Indiana Residential can save you time by serving as your one stop home improvement resource so you can focus on all the other ways to get ahead in todays competitive market. Contact Us today. 

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The Importance of Video When Marketing Your Real Estate Property

Today’s buyers do a lot more research online on purchasing a home before they ever make a contact with an agent or visit a property. According to the 2015 National Association of REALTORS Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from Realtor.org, over half of buyers used a mobile website or application in their search as opposed to only 20% using a print newspaper ad.

Technology has changed the way people buy homes, and it must also impact the way people sell their homes if they don’t want the property to sit on the market for a long time. Video has become popular for many buyers. They’ll watch a YouTube walk-through of a property to find out if they want to see the place in person.

Making a Good Video

Almost anyone today can make a video of a property. The key to selling it is to have a professional quality video. Besides providing a walkthrough of the property, a video can add descriptive information through text or highlight aspects of the home you want to bring to attention.

People are often intimidated by the prospect of being in front of a camera or creating a video. While it should be of good quality, it doesn’t have to be elaborate. You don’t even have to narrate. Instead, music over a list of images can create the perfect impression. Others prefer to narrate off-camera, talking about various aspects as if they were showing an individual buyer the place in person.

Make Your Home Stand Out

Statistics show that only a small percentage of real estate agents are using video in their marketing efforts. Because YouTube isn’t overloaded with them, the ones you see stand out.

If you’re a buyer looking through multiple homes with still images and you come across one with a video, you’re going to remember it. Video turns a one-dimensional property into 3D. It’s more like taking a physical tour, and it can help buyers decide if they want to take the next step and schedule a showing.

The Complete Picture

Creating a simple website for a single property allows each real estate agent the opportunity to market more effectively. They can provide more information, such as floor plans, data about the neighborhood and mortgage resources. All of that, combined with an appealing video, can encourage buyers to put some serious thought into the property.

Video is everywhere, and it’s either replacing or enhancing written content. It makes sense to utilize this valuable tool when trying to sell a property to today’s buyers.

Get your home in shape and make it video ready! The professionals at Indiana Residential can help with any of your home improvement and repair needs to help get your home up-to-date and looking it’s very best before, during, and after listing it on the real estate market. Contact us today!

 

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NOW HIRING. Construction Super Hero Wanted!

Benefits:

  • 40 Hours Each Week
  • No Travel
  • Paid Every Friday
  • Company Van
  • Tools & Disposables Paid For
  • Established Company

We are looking for people who have experience in remodeling. Skill sets should include light plumbing, light electrical, carpentry, etc.  Must be:

  • Dependable
  • Deadline Oriented
  • Must Pass Background Check

Send Resumes or Contact Information to: mike@indianaresidential.com or call 800.601.4050

 

 

 

 

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Email Marketing Tips For Realtors

As a Realtor or agent, email marketing can be a goldmine for you, if you use it properly. You have a few options to play with but if you don’t want to mess with building an email marketing “opt-in list” of your own, then renting or buying a list of email addresses is what you want to do. But contrary to what you might think, this is NOT spamming. So you don’t need to worry about the marketing police banging down your door.

Write Email Subject Lines That Get Your Attention

The subject line is what determines if the recipient will open your email or delete it. You can read about all sorts of tips and tricks to use in creating a subject line, but you must know your recipients and what will interest them.

  • What are they interested in and what kind of language will get them to open the email?
  • How can you capture interest in just a few words?

People receive numerous emails every day, sometimes dozens or even hundred. Your subject line must be one that gets their attention.

What’s the ideal length for a subject line?  

Some studies say the ideal length is between six to ten words. One study provided the results accumulated from 260 million emails that were gathered from 540 different campaigns. Subject lines with between six and ten words had the highest open rate at 21 percent while emails with five or fewer word subject lines had only a 16 percent open rate and 11-15 words came in with just 14 percent. What this study shows is that too many words or too few can have the same effect and reduce the open rate for your emails.

Some ideas to include in email messages:

  • New listings on the market
  • Recent sales
  • Sudden changes in market conditions, which impact the recipient
  • Limited time promotional offer
  • Breaking news about the market or industry

These are a few ideas you can implement in your email subject line

Track and Analyze the Rate of Subscribers

Having a high open rate is not your ultimate goal. The focus should be on converting those on your email list into clients. To find out how well your email marketing campaign is performing and what return on investment you’re getting, you must have a web analytics tracking tool. One such tool that is available in certain email marketing platforms is the “Beyond the click tracking.” This tool lets you know how many people click through to your website and how many follow up. This is a valuable resource for any realtor who wants to analyze data.

Monitor Your Open Rate with Analytics

Marketing is essential to realtors but not all avenues return the same results. It’s important to analyze where and how much time you’re investing in marketing and which ones are providing the most results. Email marketing has one of the highest open rates in real estate of any industry. The average open rate is 26.01%, according to Constant Contact. If your open rate is lower, you may not be utilizing this tool effectively.

To capitalize on your email marketing campaign, follow these five basic steps:

  • Define your concept for the email campaign
  • Test out your concept and collect data
  •  Send the messages to your subscribers
  • Measure open rates, as well as bounce rate, click-throughs and other essential data and evaluate
  • Make changes based on the information provided

Email marketing can enhance your business but only if those emails are opened and if the recipient follows up.

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Instagram Marketing Basics for Realtors

instagram-indiana-residentialInstagram is the ideal avenue for realtors because it allows them to showcase their listings in photos. This social media site not only allows you to share photos with others, but it enables you to connect with your clients. You can also use it to network with other real estate agents. With over 80 million users, Instagram is a valuable resource for realtors seeking to grow their business.

  1. instagram-houseShare your photos

    Take lots of photos of your listings and select the best ones to share. Be willing to experiment with lighting and try out different angles to capture the best image. One of the best reasons to use Instagram is the fact that even amateur photographers can create appealing photos. Add creative captions and use filters to turn out the best results.

  2. Add a filter that works for the photo

    Instagram filters allow you to instill special personality to your photos. Add a haze or select a unique light. You can even give a photo that old Polaroid appeal to create an unforgettable image that stands out. An example is the Sierra filter, which creates a cloudy look to the photo from the high-exposure, low-contrast. When selecting a filter, choose one that showcases the best features of the property and helps to tell the story you want others to see.

  3. Focus on Key Features with Close-Up Shots

    Don’t overlook key features with unique shots when capturing images of the entire house. Rather than just photographing every room, consider what makes it special. Perhaps the flower garden is unbelievable, so take a picture of it. Add special captions that make each photo stand out. The details are what makes a property stand out and encourage potential buyers to consider seeing the property in person.

  4. Stay active on Instagram

    As a social media site, it’s important to make connections on Instagram. Follow other real estate agents and professionals in your industry. Your connections from Facebook can easily be connected on Instagram to start off with a solid foundation. Use hashtags to help your connections grow with other real estate agents or clients in the market for a house. Don’t forget to LIKE other people’s photos and make comments to get others to do the same for you. This can expand your reach to a new audience.

  5. Connect Instagram to other social networks

    Connect your profile on Instagram to your other social networks, so they can build off each other. This helps you build your following and get more people to see your listings. Don’t be afraid to add your photos to the MLS and online listing. A personal photo can set your property apart and it shows that you make an extra effort. Clients will notice and will appreciate your level of dedication and engagement.

    Use Instagram to help others see your homes the way you see them, and you’ll notice the results by the increase in sales.

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