Celebrate National Watermelon Day with Inspired Salsa!

Did you know that today is National Watermelon Day? And what better way to celebrate than by enjoying summer’s most notorious fruit in a different way. Whether you slice it up, prefer it seedless, or add it to your drink, you can’t go wrong with watermelon. Try this watermelon salsa as an addition to tonight’s dinner that is great for dipping or pairs well on top of salad.

Watermelon Salsa Recipe

Serving Size: Makes 3 Cups
Recipe From: The Gunny Sack

1 personal size watermelon (1 cup of diced watermelon and the watermelon bowl, needed for recipe)
1 cup diced cucumbers
1 cup diced peppers (any combination of green, orange, yellow or red peppers)
⅓ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup diced onion
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp chopped jalapenos (optional)
Salt and black pepper for taste


  • Cut the personal size watermelon in half, cut slices in the watermelon and scoop the slices out. Hollow out the watermelon so that it can be used as a bowl. Dice enough watermelon to measure one cup. Save the remaining watermelon for another use.
  • Drain the watermelon juice out of the cup, put the diced watermelon in a bowl and add the onion, cucumbers, peppers, jalapenos (optional), cilantro, lime juice, and black pepper.
  • Mix everything together and taste the salsa. Add salt to taste and additional lime juice and black pepper, if needed. Drain any excess liquid from the bowl and then scoop the salsa into the hollowed out watermelon half.
  • Serve the watermelon salsa directly from the watermelon bowl.


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July 2017 Marketing Minute

3 Ways Real Estate Agents Waste Resources on Social Media

In previous editions of the Marketing Minute, we’ve talked about best practices for successful social media. But, oftentimes just as important as what you should be doing, is what you should NOT be doing. Take a look at three ways you might be wasting resources on social media.

A Mind-Blowing, Simple Way to Start a Prospecting Conversation

Whether you’ve been an agent for 2 months or 20 years, starting a sales conversation is an ever-present obstacle for some. This article from Inman provides an easy way to engage prospects in a sales conversation without coming off as a “sales person.” Find out their advice here.

Is it Easier to Sell Real Estate in a Good Market or a Bad One?

Most of the data we’ve shared here on the Marketing Minute has talked about the recent nationwide trend of relatively low sales inventory coupled with high buyer demand due to low interest rates. The debate goes on however, as to whether these are positive signs for sellers. Take a look at the latest debate from the Inman team here.

Is This The Future of Real Estate Marketing?

In the real estate industry, we’ve gone from simple text descriptions, photos, videos and video tours. New technology is now available that will use sophisticated cameras to render a 3-D model of your listings. Forbes discusses whether this is the future of showcasing your listings here.

Making Your Dollars Count

Here at Homes & Land, we are always looking for ways to make the most of your marketing dollars. Aside from the channels you decide to use as part of your marketing strategy, you also need to focus on the activities that drive the most revenue while delegating other tasks. This article from RISMedia talks about how to best prioritize your time. Read more here.


Survey Says: Homeownership is a Sound Investment If You Can Afford It

A Big Deal in Nonprime Mortgages Proves leery Investors are Finally Hungry Again

Is Now the Right Time to Start Selling Luxury Real Estate?

“I have always said that everyone is in sales. Maybe you don’t hold the title of salesperson, but if the business you are in requires you to deal with people, you, my friend, are in sales.”

American author, salesman, and motivational speaker



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June 2017 Marketing Minute

Existing home sales hit 5.62 million units in May, vs. expectations of 5.57 million

The May home sales numbers are in from NAR, beating economists’ estimates. The median house price rose to an all-time high, namely due to a shortage of homes on the market relative to demand nationwide. Read the full story here.

Boost Your Real Estate Business with the Three “C’s” of Marketing

If you have ever taken a marketing course, you’ve likely heard of the four “P’s” of marketing (product, price, promotion and place), but one marketing agency offers up the 3 “C’s.” Our team here at Homes & Land agrees with their approach of focusing on Consistency, Creativity and Commitment when building out your marketing program. Get their perspective here.

Who’s Powering the Housing Market? Surprise! It’s Millennials!

Much of the news coverage about buying habits of Millennials has focused on their inability and/or unwillingness to purchase a home vs. rent. However, it may come as a surprise that they are actually the largest group of homebuyers in the US! It’s part of the reason why our team continues to invest in new technologies ? like text codes ? to engage what is now the largest group of homebuyers for the fourth straight year. Read the entire article from NBC here.

Creating the Ultimate Buyer Experience

Creating memorable buying experiences can often be the difference in obtaining a one-time customer, or a lifelong customer who also refers their friends and family to you. These tips provide a good refresher on how to ensure your buyers are wowed by their experience with you. Check out the full article here.

How to Perfect Your Pre-Listing Presentation

Winning listings often comes down to first impressions. The real estate consultant in this article provides an interesting perspective on how to maximize your chances when vying for a new listing. He recommends a strong listing presentation, coupled with getting it in front of as many sellers as possible. Read all of the recommendations here.


Boomers Look To Real Estate To Afford Retirement

These are the fastest-growing cities in the U.S.

Big drop in mortgage rates juices refinances, but doesn’t seduce buyers

“As marketing converges with customer service and sales, marketing today is more about helping and less about hypinge.”

Principal – Marketing Research & Education Group, ExactTarget



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Bulletproof Decorating: How to Pick the Right Kind of Paint

Although there’s no such thing as an indestructible interior, there are steps you can take to make your home stand up better to kids and pets. One key element is the kind of paint you choose. The right blend, finish and color can make a difference in how the paint wears and resists grime and abuse.

Here’s what you need to know to make the right choice.

Not all paints are created equal. In the world of paint, price is usually a good determinant of quality, says Robin Daly, the president (aka “Paint Princess”) of Daly’s Paint & Decorating. So is weight. A good-quality paint contains less water, more solids and a finer quality of titanium oxide and resin. That means more of the color actually ends up on the wall, giving you a more durable surface. It will also maintain its looks longer.

Oil change. The most common types of paint are oil based and water borne. (You might know the latter as latex, but nowadays it’s typically an acrylic-based paint, which wears better.) While oil-based paint has traditionally been the tougher of the two, advances in water-borne paint have made it nearly as durable, and you don’t have to suffer through the painstaking cleanup, smell, yellowing and environmental hazard that you get with oil-based paints. (To reduce environmental impact even more, choose a low-VOC or no-VOC paint that produces fewer volatile organic compounds.)

There are times when oil based is better, Daly concedes. But in most applications, a water-borne paint should be your first choice.

The big finish. In high-traffic areas or rooms that will be used by children and pets, go for a paint with a little sheen, because it will be easier to clean. “With families and dogs, you want something durable, but you don’t want it to look like that first apartment you rented, with shiny walls,” says Daly. That’s why she recommends an eggshell finish, which has the least possible sheen but is easier to clean than flat paint, and has a smooth surface (unlike flat), so dirt has nothing to grab on to.

Satin, the paint with the next-higher level of shine, is also an option, although some consider the finish a little colder. The reflective finish also tends to make imperfections in walls easier to see.

Touch-ups. Despite your best efforts, kids will be kids, and the wall might get soiled, burnished or drawn upon. Daly’s first line of defense for cases like that is Krud Kutter, a nontoxic cleaner that removes almost anything you throw at it. (In fact, she gives it to newlyweds as a gift.)

If Krud Kutter doesn’t “kut” it, you may need to repaint the damaged area. That’s harder than it sounds, as it’s difficult to paint a small area without the patch showing. The new coating will affect the thickness of the paint and the density of the color, causing the area to reflect light differently.

You best bet is to repaint that whole section of wall. If you don’t want to do that, try feathering the edges of the patch into the surrounding area, using a disposable foam brush. The touch-up will be easier to hide on light- or medium-colored surfaces.

Alternative easels. Amy Luff of Viva Luxe Studios in Virginia likes to placate budding Picassos by giving them a place where it’s OK to draw on the walls. Cover a surface in their bedroom or the family room with chalkboard paint or dry-erase paint, and turn them loose — with the understanding that that’s the only place in the house where drawing on the walls is permitted.

And if all else fails, Daly says, “keep the Sharpies stored somewhere else.”

Color. Don’t feel like you have to go with a neutral just because you have kids who leave dirty fingerprints. “I wouldn’t get hung up on getting gray or beige to hide things,” says Sherri Blum of Jack and Jill Interiors, a Pennsylvania nursery design company. “If you want bright white, just do it — just get a really high-quality paint in a satin finish.”

If you want a color, you’ll have fewer problems if you avoid darker colors. A wall that’s red, for instance, will often get a shiny mark — called a burnish — if you rub against it. Pale colors and midtones are less susceptible to burnishing.

Don’t forget the ceiling. Bouncing balls and wads of Play-Doh have a habit of finding their way onto the ceiling, so minimize damage by using one of the new washable flat paints there. And, again, go with a good-quality paint if you can afford it, as it will provide better protection from abuse.

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by | June 16, 2017 · 4:49 pm

5 Things to Pay Attention to on a Walk-Through

By Maria Patterson

You’ve done your research online and narrowed down the neighborhoods and homes you’re most interested in. The next step? Visit your top picks in person. But what should you look for? What real estate information will you be able to determine live that you couldn’t find in the photos and details you already looked at online? Here’s a list of what to look for when on a walk-through:

1. The neighborhood. Sure, you found out all about school quality, crime stats, proximity to transportation and more during your online research, but nothing compares to being there. Take a look at traffic patterns, the condition of surrounding homes, the neighbors, their yards, etc. After you’ve toured the house, take a few minutes for a quick stroll around the block. This will give you a much better sense of the neighborhood you may come to call home.

2. The home’s exterior. Photos online only allow you to get so close, so while you’re on site, carefully inspect the entire exterior of the home, advises Forbes. Is the paint chipping? Are the shingles in need of repair? How about the gutters? Repairs needed in any of these areas will factor greatly into your bid or can serve as a helpful negotiating point.

3. The smell. One thing you definitely cannot research online is how a home smells. So put your nose to work to sniff out mold, pet damage, air quality and general cleanliness.

4. The light. Sure, those appealing descriptions may have raved about the home’s natural light, but visit every room of the house to make your own assessment.

5. The size. But wait – with loads of photos and the exact square footage listed online, you already know the size of the home, right? Yes and no. You know the size on paper but you don’t really have a sense of size until you’re there. Photos tend to make rooms look more spacious and ceiling height adds another layer to perceived spaciousness. Above all, the most important thing you will determine from a walk-through is completely intangible, namely, how the home feels. Square footage, gourmet kitchen and wraparound porch aside, you need to be able to picture yourself living there. And that is something you can’t determine until you’re there. So don’t rush – take your time and really try the house on.

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