Put your own stamp on a piece of postal history…

Everyday at Open2view, we get to shoot many different properties all over New Zealand & Australia. You can always find a property that has something a little unique and interesting about it.

However, it’s not that often we get three historic post offices up for sale! For anyone who’s ever wanted a place with a little bit of character, these properties may just be what you’re after….

The Hunterville Post Office
10 Bruce Street, Hunterville, Rangitikei

hunterville_frontView Photo Tour on Open2view.com

Currently operating as a Bed & Breakfast, this heritage listed building served as the Post Office for the Hunterville community for over 80 years and was associated with the development of the town and it’s surrounding area until May 1989 when it was closed and sold to the present owner.

Constructed in 1902-03, the post office is a fine example of the Edwardian Baroque style that was favoured by the Government Architect John T. Campbell who designed the building. Some of Campbell’s better known designs include Wellington’s Public Trust Building (1905-1909) and the Auckland Chief Post Office (1911) and also our next building…

The Eltham Post Office
45 Bridge Street, Eltham
eltham_front

View Photo Tour on Open2view.com

One of the most iconic buildings in Taranaki, The Eltham Post Office is currently used as a commercial space and residence.

With a number of improvements and restorations underway or already completed, the opportunity is waiting for a new owner to put their stamp on it (pun intended).

Another design from Government Architect JT Campbell, the two storey brick building was built in July 1904 and opened for business on 12 September 1904.

The bricks used were supplied by H Graves of the Steam Brick Works in Patea, which funnily enough, takes us to our third Post Office….

The Old Post Office
40 Stafford Street , Patea
Patea Post Office

View Photo Tour on Open2view.com

In November 1867, the present township of Patea was surveyed, and a site was reserved for a Post Office. The building in which the Post Office and Telegraph Office were combined in 1870, was enlarged from time to time over the next ten years.

In 1879-80 the building in use up to 1923 was erected, the old one being shifted further down the section and converted into a Postmasters residence.

The present building was opened in October 1923. When first built, the Post Office building was described as ‘handsome’. It still is.

Not built to face the main street, but instead it faces Stafford Street, the entrance is set at the corner of the two streets, originally designed with a view to assisting the staff and public, but also offers spectacular sea and rural views from the top floor.

Now in private ownership and used for residential purposes, the building offers such unique spaces and features, my favourite….the pillars!

Pillars

Which is your favourite? Have you converted or renovated something similar? Let us know. Get in touch and show us some pics on our facebook pages:

facebook.com/Open2viewNZ

facebook.com/Open2viewAustralia

Are there times when just one photo is a good idea?

cluttered bedroom

One can’t help but wonder if some vendors deliberately sabotage the home selling process.

We reckon having plenty of high quality photos is crucial to presenting your home at its best. But this article from Inman.com made us ask, is this true of every home?

I may be wrong about this, but there are times when having just one photo in the MLS listing may actually be in the client’s best interest.

I saw a house almost three months ago that had just come on the market. My relocating client from Maryland was very interested because the solo photo — of the front — was very attractive and the home was in an area that she liked.

Ok, so far so good. But what happened when Jeff the Author got to the house?

The listing agent was showing the home, per the seller’s instructions, and asked us to wait until the other party was done. No problem.

Very shortly after, no more than one minute — LITERALLY — the other party came back out. We knew immediately something was amiss.

Uh oh.

We walked into the house and it was immediately clear why there were no other photos taken. It looked like a war zone, with stuff piled everywhere in the kitchen, dining room, enclosed back porch and living room. Carpet was being pulled up in all the main rooms and, per the agent, was being replaced by the seller. We couldn’t see two of the three bedrooms, “because someone was sleeping in there” and the doors were locked. We may have spent two minutes in the house, max.

It was, in my client’s words, a total waste of time. She wryly commented that it was clear why there were no other photos online.

Perhaps it was that there was only one good photo that could possibly be listed!

I suspect this agent felt one photo was in her client’s best interest, since the front looked quite nice and it got people interested in touring the house. She probably figured someone would, perhaps, see the potential and overlook the disaster area once they were at the house and saw the neighborhood.

Well, according to Jeff, the house is still on the market – and in a sellers’ market, at that – two months after it was listed.

So was this a case of the fewer the photos, the better? That old saying “you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot force it to drink” comes to mind. A decent house photo may pique a buyer’s curiosity enough to lure them in – but if the rest of the place is a shambles, good luck filling them with any enthusiasm. More likely, the buyer will be furious at the agent for wasting their precious time.

Buyers want to see themselves in the house, with their stuff in place of the vendor’s. If they can’t see anything but clutter, the buyer will be unable to declutter their mind long enough to envisage the house as their home.

So, agents and vendors of the world, there is really only one thing to do: get the place tidy, then get plenty of professional photos taken. Whoops, two things.

It can be hard to remove old possessions that hold happy memories, or even those-things-that-have-never-been-used-in-ten-years-but-you-never-know-when-they-might-just-come-in-handy.

In an earlier blog post on this topic we provided some ideas for overcoming that mental hurdle and clearing away the physical one. They are:

  1. Note all the things you plan to absolutely keep – furniture, antiques, children, etc.
  2. Divide the rest of your stuff into three piles: ‘Yes’, ‘No’, and ‘Maybe’.
  3. Throw out everything in the ‘No’ pile.
  4. Throw out everything in the ‘Maybe’ pile.

Is it worth just hiding it all in a closet? Not really – storage space in itself is a great selling point, so if you’ve got it, flaunt it.

Back to the original question: is having plenty of photos important? Assuming you’ve been good and tidied your room, then definitely.

Real estate is aspirational: people generally sell a house, then buy another, to improve their quality of life. As a vendor, you want people to look at your listing and see that buying your house will do this for them.

So help them see themselves in any room of the house by displaying photos of every room. You don’t need 20 shots of every room – an excessive number of photos will bore the viewer – but you need enough to get people thinking “you know, I can see myself living there – better call the agent and arrange a viewing time.”

So what next? If you’re unsure how many photos you need, head to the Open2view website and (as a rough guide) see how many photos houses similar to yours have listed. Then make sure your agent knows to contact us for the best real estate photos on the internet. We offer packages including photo tours of many sizes – your agent should be able to help you pick one. Finally, check out what else, of our vast range of services, can help you showcase your home at its best.

But in saying all that, if your house has features like this, no amount of photos will help.

living room with toilet

Guest post: Create emotional engagement with Open2view Interactive Floorplans.

Thanks to Angela Spackman from our Sydney Area Franchise for the following post and Q&A:

house-front

Engaged and motivated buyers are what every agent wants come auction day. At Open2view we know just how to create that extra level of excitement and give our agents the competitive edge. We’d call it our secret weapon except it’s really no secret; for us it’s just the basics.

To give your potential buyers a good feel for a place they need a proper look around. Every Open2view customer receives the required number of photographs and an interactive floorplan of their property. We don’t think five photos and a simple 2D floor plan are going to do the trick when it comes to telling a property’s story. We’ll make sure you have as many photos of the property as you need to capture all the special details and unique selling points.

floorplans1

With a few simple clicks of the mouse your buyer has an interactive experience which allows them to feel informed and excited about a property. The enthusiasm will build when they visit the property and will continue to do so once they get back to their computer for another tour.

close-up1

Thanks to our quality online content, buyers can spend the time between first viewing and auction day really falling in love with a property.  By the time you get to the big day they’ve virtually examined their new home from every angle, they know it inside out and they’ve already decided exactly how their personal belongings fit with the floor plan. In their mind’s eye they’re already living there.

At Open2view we aim to help our agents market each property to its full potential. We offer superior service simply by getting the basics right. Photography with interactive floorplans are just the start.

VISIT OUR WEBSITE to find out more about Interactive Floorplans and the many other Real Estate marketing services that we offer.

Angela_Spackman

Angela has been with Open2view since 2007. Her Sydney Area franchise covers the CBD, Eastern Suburbs and some of the Inner West.

Q. What led you into real estate photography?
A. Photography has always been my hobby. After moving to Australia and having my first child I wanted to work for myself to give me the flexibility to look after my daughter. I knew of Open2view because I come from NZ and I was having dinner with friends saying I wanted to do something but wasn’t sure what, they had just had their house photographed by an Open2view photographer who was telling them that they are now selling franchises in Australia, so we filled out the online application over dinner!

Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. I love getting to be out and about during the day. I love the variety and all the different forms that real estate comes in. I love the flexibility to be able to attend my kids events and be there when they need me.

DayInTheLife

Q. Apart from real estate, what else do you like to photograph? Any hobbies?
A. Well I have 2 small kids who have grandparents that live in a different country so I am always photographing them to keep the family up to date with their growing faces, plus I think they are pretty great so love taking their photo! My other great interest is Hypnotherapy and I am now a qualified Hypnotherapist. I have used it personally to make great changes in my life and love helping other people achieve the same!

Feb Property Report: New record national asking price + win a BBQ!

SthAklView

February figures from realestate.co.nz have been released this week.

The rise in the national asking price that was seen in January has continued onwards and upwards into February. With seller confidence up and supply failing to keep up with demand, the national average asking price has hit a record new high of $483,099. This is up 1.3% from January, and eclipses the previous record high from October last year of $482,063.

The rise was seen across the country with 11 regions reporting a rise in asking price, with Auckland, Wairarapa and the West Coast reaching record highs:

Auckland ($667,370 – up 12% on Feb 13.)

Wairarapa ($329,396 – up 24% on Feb 13)

West Coast ($320,245 – up 8% on Feb 13)

Graphic from realestate.co.nz

Graphic from realestate.co.nz

12,167 new property listings came on to the market during February, a seasonal increase from January, but slightly lower than expected, down 7% from the same time last year.

Although national inventory levels fell slightly in February to 26 weeks of stock, they remain well above the long term average of 37 weeks, indicating that the market is still very much in favour of the seller.


Summer doesn’t have to end! 
Now here’s the “win a BBQ” part…

BBQ Flyer

Yes, it may be officially Autumn and yes, the temperature may have dropped a couple ofdegrees overnight, but here at Open2view.com, we don’t think that means that Summer has to end!

So we are giving away 3 amazing Weber BBQ prize packs to some lucky winners on our facebook page.

You’ll be cooking up a storm all the way through the year!

Each prize pack includes a Weber Q220 portable grill with mobile stand, a BBQ cover, BBQ tools and a pizza stone to cook the perfect pizza on your BBQ! We’ll also throw in an Open2view cooler bag with some beer (Which may, or may not, be cold at time of delivery)

To enter, just head to the BBQ Giveaway tab on our NZ Facebook page.

GOOD LUCK!