Photos: Animal Real Estate Photobombers

 

An important part of real estate photography is the ability to showcase a property in it’s setting and portray the lifestyle it affords to a potential buyer. Often while our photographers are busy at work capturing this, they get some curious bystanders coming in for a closer look! Here are some of our favourite animal photobombers we’ve captured while out on the job….

On the hunt for a new home? View more property photos on our website (even ones without photobombing animals!): www.open2view.com

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Closing time for open-plan living?

home1.com3_

Is anyone else over open-plan living?

I, for one, have found myself craving walls and doors for the last year or so. Honestly, where did all the walls go?!

The whole open-plan movement seemed like a great idea at the time. It was hailed as the answer to the modern lifestyle, where the kitchen is often the hub of the home.

But it definitely has it drawbacks and they’re starting to become more and more apparent in our household.

“Isn’t this great guys, we can chat while I’m cooking dinner.”

“What did you say? I can’t hear you over the rangehood, TV and little Robbie’s iPad.”

The competing sounds, the unwelcome smells – I’m pretty sure no one really took this into account when we all decided to get out our sledgehammers and let loose on the kitchen wall.

More architects and homeowners are now moving away from open-plan towards split-level or “broken-plan” living with areas that are linked yet separate.

If you’re thinking of the sunken lounges and split-level arrangements of the 70s you’re not far off – but picture that with less orange and garish prints.

Broken-plan living allows for living spaces to be visually linked but have separate, distinct areas that can give families more room for privacy.

Steps, different ceiling heights and contrasting textures are what sets broken-plan apart from open-plan.

Here are some great examples:

                                                                                                                          Novak + Middleton Architects

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                                                                                                                                       Alamy/Guardian.com

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                                                                                                                                                 Patrick Reynolds

I don’t think this layout hugely helps with the noise-pollution issue but don’t worry researchers are working on combatting this problem.

Quiet kitchens without noisy kettles or deafening range hoods are on their way.

An instant hot water tap could have you kicking that kettle to the kerb and a rangehood with a motor outside the home will mute that annoying humming sound.

Researchers have even come up with a sink with deadening pads to prevent the metallic sound when water hits the bottom.

I’m still not sure that’s enough to bring me back around to open-plan living – but broken-plan sounds like a great compromise.

 


What do you think about open-plan vs broken-plan living? How do open-plan or traditional living areas work for you? Let us know in the comments below or on our NZ and AU Facebook pages.

 

 

 

Preparing your home for photography…

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Your home is one of your most valuable assets. When the time comes to sell, the way you present and market your property plays a big part in attracting potential buyers and gaining the best possible sale price.

Having professional photography taken is often the first step in the marketing process. Even if you don’t have the budget to renovate before selling, there are many things you can do to help present your home in the best possible way, ready for photography and you will also have it looking shipshape for your open home viewings.

Here are some tips….

General

general

  • De-clutter the home
  • Clean the windows
  • Ensure all lights are working and are the same colour and type
  • Hide electrical cords as best as possible
  • Ensure all doors and windows can be opened and keys are available
  • Mow lawns (at least 3 days prior), weed gardens, add fresh mulch if possible

 

Bathroom

bathroom

  • Clean shower screens, basins and mirrors
  • Remove personal items, bottles and hanging items from shower and basin
  • Remove mats, scales, waste and linen baskets
  • Ensure toilet rolls are tidy and toilet seats are down
  • Co-ordinate the colour of towels and fold neatly

 

Living Areas

living

  • Remove unnecessary furniture and clutter
  • Clear tables of remotes and magazines. Tidy bookshelves.
  • Ensure curtains are hooked up and properly open
  • Remove sheer curtains altogether if possible
  • Add colour – for example flowers, cushions, throws
  • Remove heaters, fans and dehumidifiers

 

Garden and street front

garden

  • Remove toys out of sight
  • Remove pet related items and droppings
  • Keep cars out of sight
  • Remove laundry from washing lines
  • Hide rubbish bins
  • Water blast decks if necessary
  • Trim trees to enhance the views

 

Kitchen

kitchen

  • Tidy kitchen and clear bench tops
  • Remove dishes and drying racks from sinks
  • Remove tea towels, mats and remove fridge magnets etc..
  • Remove rubbish bins, pet bowls and litter trays

 

Bedrooms

bedroom

  • Make beds and turn on lamps
  • Clear items from bedside & dressing tables
  • Remove clutter and clear area underneath beds

 

Swimming pools

pool

  • Clean the pool. Remove pool cover
  • Remove pool cleaner and cleaning equipment
  • Remove pool toys etc.

 

Seek advice from your Real Estate professional as they may have some other suggestions specific to your property. Remember, your property will be photographed as presented, so neat and tidy presentation is essential to maximise the impact of your images. This holds true whether your potential buyer is viewing them on the internet or in a print magazine.

To view examples of how professional photography can enhance your property marketing, check out our services page or follow our facebook pages for our property for the week and other home inspiration ideas…

Facebook.com/Open2viewNZ

Facebook.com/Open2viewAustralia

NZ Property: Summer sales keep rolling on……

O2V ID#335063

O2V ID#335063

Ahhh Summer… it’s been a good one so far. You can tell from all the glorious Summer scenes and vistas our Photographers have been capturing around the country…

Seriously…take a look at these…..

The good summer weather has been great for the sunbathing, but it’s done nothing to cool the heated housing market, particularly in Auckland.

Recent figures from REINZ show that the number of dwellings sold in January (4,841) was up 2.6% on January 2014 with the National median price of $426,000, up $24,000 from the same time in 2014. The national median price rose 6.0% in the 12 months to January 2015, while Auckland’s median price increased by 16.0%

“The continuing strong performance of Auckland prices is vexing commentators and policy makers alike, however the root cause of the problem remains a shortage of property available for sale” says Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) Chief Executive Helen O’Sullivan.

REINZ data shows that Auckland’s median price increased by 16% over the past 12 months, compared to just 1.8% for the rest of the country.

Backing that up are the latest figures from Barfoot & Thompson, where the all-time high pre-Christmas values held throughout January, with the average selling price of $757,319, was only $1572, or 0.2 percent lower than December’s all-time high price.

January sales figures of 859 properties is inline with the previous January figures over the past two years, however the total value of sales in January of $650,537,392 is up $97,822,014 from the same time in 2014.

For full market reports including regional & rural statistics, visit the REINZ website.

Now, if we could just get back to working on that tan…..

O2V ID#333884

O2V ID#333884

 

The Block NZ – It’s Business Time

Alex_Corban

The time has come. Tonight, the four properties on The Block NZ will go under the hammer and honestly, I don’t think I can watch.

The producers must be doing something right. The Block NZ has to be one of the most successful reality shows NZ has seen. Whether it be our fascination with DIY, the kiwi dream of owing your own home or they just luck out with great casting, it’s easy to emotionally invest in the journey of the Block couples.

Jo and Damo - Dining

And that’s where I come unstuck. Some might call it great TV, but after enduring the agonising live auctions of the past two years, I just can’t bring myself to watch tonight!

Maree and James - Kitchen

It would be great to see all the couples do well at auction, but as pointed out in a recent post over at Properazzi, even in the middle of what seems to be a rampant Auckland property market, is there really enough demand to get all of these properties sold?

Each year, there’s been, by far, one big winner and you could say for all the rest, it’s been close to a waste of time (remember last year’s post-auction meltdown from Loz?). Yes, all the contestants know what they are getting themselves into, but it doesn’t make the awkwardness any easier to watch.

Quinn and Ben - Lounge

Which is why I’m content just to take a look back at all of the hard work the couples have put in during their time at The Block (as captured by our Open2view photographers by the way….)

We wish all the couples the best of luck tonight!

Tips for an energy efficient home.

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“Sustainable living” and “energy efficiency” are phrases we hear a lot these days and how energy efficient and ‘green’ a property is can make a big difference when it comes to buying or selling. Whether your motivation is saving the environment, saving your wallet or a bit of both, read on for a few simple tips for meeting your goal.

Wrap up

Staying cool in summer and warm in winter are basic comforts of life; efficient heating and cooling systems are therefore high on the priority list for prospective buyers.

When it comes to making your house more energy efficient, insulation is the key, and not just for keeping warm. Insulation acts as a barrier to heat gain as well as heat loss. It is particularly important in roofs and ceilings, walls and floors.

Effective insulation is a plus on many levels: increasing comfort levels, reducing reliance on powered heating and cooling systems therefore making your home more ‘green’ while saving you money at the same time. Some types of insulation can even act as soundproofing.The simple solution of adding blinds on windows can also reduce heat gain by up to 50%.

blindsFocus on Efficiency

Ensure any appliances you have in your home are as energy efficient as possible. Studies have shown that residential properties commonly have air conditioners that are 50% bigger than needed, thus costing you more for no extra benefit.
Installing the air conditioner in a shady place can increase its efficiency by up to 10%.

Complement air conditioner use with ceiling fans. They are an efficient way to circulate air in the house and far cheaper to run than an air conditioner.

Water Works

Water efficiency is another important area to consider and can be as simple as fixing a leaky tap. A dripping hot water tap can waste a massive 12,000 litres of hot water over a year!

Your bathroom fittings and fixtures will all make a difference to water efficiency, measured using the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme. Ideally showerheads, mixers, even the loo, should have a high WELS rating. For example, a 3-star rated showerhead will use approximately 6-7 litres of water per minute, compared to regular showerheads which can use up to 25 litres per minute.

bathroom

These simple energy efficiency fixes will not only add comfort to your home but a valuable point of difference when it comes to marketing your home for sale.

 

 

Real estate photography and content thanks to the team at Open2view Sydney

A guide to becoming more enchanting…

Guy Kawasaki

I guess you don’t get to be a Chief Evangelist of anything if you’re not enchanting.

Guy Kawasaki, Chief Evangelist for design platform Canva (and formerly with Apple), most certainly is.

At last week’s Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco, he shared his top tips on how to make any engagement an ‘Enchanting Engagement’.

Whether you’re in sales, out making business connections, or just interacting day-to-day with the people around you, we can all benefit by taking something away from his presentation. Let’s all become a little more enchanting. There’s no harm in trying right?

Here are Guy Kawasaki’s 10 tips for Enchanting Engagements….

1. Make a Duchenne Smile
Named after a French doctor, a Duchenne smile (considered a ‘real’ smile), engages the muscles around both the eyes and mouth. No good if you’re a fan of Botox. See photo below, the man practices what he preaches!

2. Default to “Yes” 
When engaging with others, always ask “How can I help you?”

3. Be a baker, not an eater 
Take a pie. An eater see’s there is only one pie. The more they eat, the less for others to eat – and they have to eat it as fast as possible. A baker thinks: “I can make another pie, I can make a bigger pie, I can make cakes”. Bakers do not see other people’s gain as their loss.

4. Accept others for who they are 
Simple. Leave all judgements behind.

5. Agree on something 
Build your relationship by finding something, no matter how trivial it may seem, that you have in common.

6. Remove the speed bumps
Identify the obstacles impeding people from doing business with you, then eliminate them. For instance, the example Kawasaki gave was: if your goal is to have customers register on your website, you might want to rethink an overly cryptic CAPTCHA system or security question, which may deter them from signing up.

7. Enchant everyone
Particularly in the real estate industry. You should never assume that one person is the decision maker (ie. the Father of the family) You never know how the influencer may be, so you need to enchant the whole family!

8. Build an ecosystem 
Think bigger than just the “house”. Create a world of partners, friends and allies that want you to succeed and will offer customers what you cannot.

9. Reciprocate
When someone thanks you for your help, reply to them by reinforcing the idea of reciprocation and telling them how they can pay you back. Eg: “I know you would do the same for me”

10. If all else fails, get on your knees
Leave your ego at the door, as Sir Richard Branson did when he asked Guy Kawasaki if he had ever flown on Virgin America. Kawasaki said he hadn’t, because he was part of a frequent flyer program on United Airlines. Branson got down on his knees and started polishing Kawasaki’s shoes with his jacket. He’s been flying Virgin ever since.

You can take a look at this presentation, plus more from Guy Kawasaki on Slideshare

For more highlights from Real Estate Connect and to keep up to date with all of our Open2view.com news, you can follow us on Facebook or Twitter:

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