Home Staging Ideas: How to Sell Your Home During the Holidays

Winter brings its own set of problems to home sellers. Home buyers don’t feel as motivated to go home shopping in cold, wet weather. Plus, the early nightfall makes buyers want to wait until the weekend to view houses. When the weekend rolls around, home shoppers get sidetracked with holiday activities.

Besides the typical winter slow down in sales, today’s market also makes selling your home more difficult. Market concerns include:

1. Rising interest rates

2. More houses on the market

3. Longer time frame–days on the market

If you’re selling your home or investment property during this shifting real estate market, you can tempt buyers to get out of their warm cars and take a look at your home with home staging methods. Here are a few home staging strategies to help you sell your home during the holidays:

Home Staging the Exterior

Door wreaths welcome all to your home and set the stage for celebrating. Make a simple wreath to hang on your front door with holiday colors that blend in with and dress up your home’s exterior colors. Use tree branches from your garden; attach a few gourds or pomegranates, nuts, and ribbons.

Group vines and mums or poinsettias for display impact near the front entrance. Adjust the vines to add height and movement. Add colored ribbons and fall leaves or evergreen branches.

Holiday Décor and Your Target Buyers

Do your neighbors decorate their home exteriors with Christmas decorations? If your neighborhood supports Christmas themes, then your prospective buyers will appreciate your Christmas décor.

However, if your neighborhood doesn’t decorate for Christmas, then your buyers may feel more comfortable without Christmas decorations. Play down Christmas if you live in an area that promotes “politically correct” holiday and seasons greetings instead of “Christmas Cheer.”

If you feel that you want to celebrate Christmas your way, go for it. Just understand that your home sale may take a little longer.

Home Staging with Christmas Decorations

Use less of your ornament collection this year. Don’t over-crowd your rooms. You want your buyers to see your home’s features. Rooms filled to the brim with decorations stop the buyer’s eyes from visualizing their own furnishings in your home. Plus, crowded spaces feel smaller.

Examine your room colors and compare to your Christmas decorations. Do the reds clash? You may want to store ornaments with colors that don’t add to the setting.

Home Staging for the Senses During the Holidays

Appeal to your buyer’s senses to make them feel at home.

1. Sight: Use amber-colored lights that give a rich warm golden glow to your rooms. Switch out your regular white light bulbs in a few table lamps with amber bulbs to make your home feel toasty-warm and inviting.

2. Sound: Play gentle well-known music without words. This makes buyers feel like singing along and picks up their step. Music helps buyers feel joyful in your home.

3. Smell: Use natural essential oils in a diffuser. Many people suffer from allergic reactions to artificial sprays. Simmer cider with orange slices, cinnamon and cloves.

4. Touch: Add silky and velvet fabrics to table tops that tempt the buyer to feel the softness. The brain interprets the sense of touch just by seeing softness. Also, use thick, fluffy hand towels in the bathroom and kitchen to soften the cold, hard surfaces of room typically filled with tile, granite, and porcelain.

5. Taste: Yes! The sense of smell contributes to the sense of taste. Make sure you’re cooking something heavenly. Treat your prospective buyers like a guest. Invite them to share a warm drink and a sweet snack.

The more time your buyers spend in your home, the more they have invested in it. Houses do sell all year long. If you’re selling your home during the frantic holiday season, taking a few extra home staging steps can make a big difference in your sale.

Happy Holidays!

Sales Techniques – Online Marketing

When it comes to ‘quitting jobs’ and making truckloads of money online, there are but two main areas you should focus a majority of your time on: Traffic! Generating consistent and targeted traffic to your offers.

Conversions! Persuading prospects who visit your offers to rip out their credit cards and buy-buy-buy…

If you plan out your day, you should be planning most of that “productive” time on sending more and more targeted traffic and/or testing, tweaking and improving your conversions. If you have 10 hours a week to spend on your online marketing business, 6+ hours should be spent on Traffic & Conversions.

The rest of the puzzle for making big bucks online is almost irrelevant. Yes, creating quality products is important and designing sales processes, coming up with ideas, technical necessities and all that other jazz is needed, but not as important. For example, how many PLR books do folks out there own? I’d guess many. Or, how much time is spent on forums, Facebook, learning how to set up the world’s greatest blog and so on?

People tend to distract the heck out of themselves all of the time and that’s a natural human thing to do -especially if this Internet Marketing gig is a part-time hobby and not a full-time-put-food-on-the table-career.

…Because if putting food on the table and paying your bills depends on making money online, you’ll have to focus on generating traffic and converting that traffic, most likely. So, the faster you can master Traffic & Conversions, the faster you’ll achieve your goals and dreams! In this article we are going to really hit on some deep psychological triggers and why people buy things. If you think about this, you’ll also see why people even do the things they do.

Persuading prospects to buy your stuff has a lot more to do with psychology than most people out there think. There are psychological needs and desires that provoke people to rip out their credit cards and buy. If you can tap into those triggers and effectively influence prospects to buy your stuff, you’ll have an incredible edge on the rest of your competition.

In fact, as you dive deep into psychology and human nature, you’ll be able to read between the lines and actually see persuasion in action right before your very eyes. What I mean by that is, as you pay close attention to people and their actions and attempts to persuade you, you’ll be able to identify many of these triggers and understand better why humans do the things they do.

I don’t know about you, but that is incredibly powerful to know. What you’ll notice is everyone is always, in some way or another, constantly trying to persuade each other. Even infants negotiate and persuade parents to feed them, hold them, read to them, etc. That’s all fine and dandy, but how can we use these psychological triggers to make a bunch of cash?

Well, let’s look at the reasons people buy.

People will buy to gain more security. It is human nature for people to seek security and protection. Smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, anti-lock breaks, investments, download protection, lawyers, doctors, insurance and the list goes on forever. (By the way, most people buy on emotion rather than logic. In this newsletter, you’ll see why emotions are so critical to persuasion.)

People buy to save time. If there is one thing we all want more of, it’s time. In today’s society, time is precious. We are zipping around all over the place in breakneck speeds. We have everything in our lives being sped up, faster-faster and faster! I can now access the Internet anywhere at anytime with my iPhone. It’s all about speed.

If you can save people time, you can make money. Therefore, on your salesletters and advertising, be sure and hit on the fact you can save customers time.

Another reason people buy is to reduce or eliminate effort. Give me more time and save me from putting in a bunch of work and effort and I’m buying!

Who wants to work hard? Many don’t. In fact, I’d go as far to say most humans are somewhat lazy and enjoy not having to work for much. We always say, “There’s got to be an easier way of doing this”. People buy to save money and make money. Money makes the world go round and if your product saves people money, they are interested. And, if your product makes people money, they are game.

Make sure and hit on both of those triggers.

People buy to gain more comfort. Forking over $3,000 for a new couch is a simple desire to gain more comfort. Getting that new leather in the sports car is to gain more comfort (amongst other triggers). Living the Internet Lifestyle is yet another way to gain more comfort. I mean, after all, who wants to battle rush hour every single day or report to some boss, or hit the snooze button at 5am Monday through Friday?

People will buy to gain popularity, recognition or my favorite word for this emotion, VANITY. Yes indeed, people buy things so they can gain vanity. Sports cars, dresses, flashy suits, Rolex watches, jewelry, paintings, etc.

This is a big one because if you can tap into that desire of vanity (which is one of the 7 deadly sins I hear) then you are really getting deep into the psyche. How can you tap into that? Hit on how their friends will react when they have your product in their hands.

For example: Your friends will freak when they find out you quit your job and are making five times the income they are, from the comfort of your own home (and in your pajamas to boot)…

That’s appealing to vanity…

Alright now, we’re really getting into it now… what are some other reasons people buy?

People will buy fast and with a frenzy to escape pain (especially physical or emotional pain). Humans hate pain. To avoid pain is a very strong emotional desire. If you’ve ever had a kidney stone or severe back pain, or given birth (I have not had that one), then you know exactly what I am talking about. You will rip out a credit card and max that baby out in order to get rid of severe pain. If the doctor says to you,”on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being unbearable pain, what would your rank your pain level right now” and you respond with an eleven, you know what I’m talking about.

Well, you can tap into all sorts of various types of pain with your advertising and copywriting. It is unlimited. People experience all sorts of pain and you need to hit on it fast in your letters. In fact, you can even hit on itin your headlines.

Hit on the ‘pain’ and drive it home. Then, relieve that pain with your product offer. That’s money in the bank.

People will buy to emulate others. Yes, this is one of our favorite pastimes. You see, even as kids we

emulated others. I used to fly around the house as superman (cape and all). We tend to emulate brothers, sisters, parents, aunts and uncles, best friends, celebrities, people we admire, teachers, coaches and so on. It’s a basic human emotion and you can tap right on into it.

For example, Dan Marino the famous retired football player lost 50 pounds with Nutrisystem, and so can YOU!

Another reason people rip out their credit cards and buy is to take advantage of opportunities. That’s a big one in our IM industry. However, I want to put a spin on this one for a second.

Not only will people buy to take advantage of opportunities, but they will also buy faster than you can believe to not miss out on opportunities. That’s called a “take-away” Let me explain this a bit more.. This technique,”the take-away” can be used on most of these triggers in this newsletter. Instead of presenting your offer as,”Take advantage of this opportunity” present it as,”You will kick yourself if you miss out on this opportunity – you might just regret it for a long-long time!”

Or,”You may not be secure without this smoke alarm” as an example. We can go on and on with examples, but the key here is sometimes it is much more powerful and compelling to present it as a take-away. People hate not having something. People often want what they cannot have too.

All in all, people will buy just to take advantage of an opportunity.

To avoid trouble is another reason people buy. I guess this is why defense ‘criminal’ attorneys are so rich. People will borrow money; sell off everything they own and more to avoid trouble. For example, “The IRS will levy your bank account and drain it in an hour if they want. We can stop them!”

That’ll get the blood boiling huh?

People buy to satisfy curiosity. This is another emotional, impulse buying trigger. Sometimes people just have to know. They will buy just to satisfy their curious nature. You can surely use this in your marketing. Marketers do this often by emailing out to their list explaining that something big is about to happen, but they cant quite tell them yet.

That’s teasing them, building anticipation and creating curiosity. Then, everyone runs to the forums to speculate. I have used,”Plus, you’ll get a very special secret bonus I can share on this letter, it’s a surprise and for paying members only!”

Afterwards, I had several people say they bought just to know what the special secret bonus was. People are curious cats.

The last one for today is this one: People buy to increase enjoyment. If you really think hard about this one, you’ll see that it stretches out all across the spectrum of products purchased.

I mean, people will buy movie tickets to increase enjoyment or some will even shop and buy anything to increase enjoyment. Just buying something is enjoyable for most. In fact, here is a very small list:

Movies, plays, sporting games, concerts, festivals, carnivals, gambling

HDTV’s, iPhones, surround sound, massage chairs, Play Station, etc

MP3’s, ebooks, membership sites, bikes, four wheelers and beach houses…

Pool tables, swimming pools, sports cars, new computers and five starhotel rooms…I could go on forever right? I mean, if you can tap into the enjoyment factor, you’ve got it rolling in the right direction. If I just say the word,”hand bag” to my wife, or “new shoes”… I’ve got her attention and she’s automatically happy.

People enjoy buying so much and so often, they’ll get rid of perfectly functional stuff just to buy seemingly better replacements.

I think it’s important to hit on again that people tend to buy on emotions. Some people hit the malls or the online malls when they feel depressed. People buy when they feel great too. People just buy-buy and buy often and always.

What you need to do is create empathy within your prospects.

Empathy is the capacity to recognize or understand another’s state of mind or emotion. It is often characterized as the ability to “put oneself into another’s shoes” or to in some way, experience the outlook or emotions of another being within oneself. It may be described metaphorically as an emotional kind of resonance or mirroring. – from Wikipedia.com

If you go to the movies and the movie makes you feel sad or teary eyed, that’s the movie creating empathy in you. The actors, the music and the scenery (and build up) creates empathy. Or, if the movie inspires you and you feel empowered, that’s empathy.

If you can put yourself in your prospects shoes, and get them to feel certain emotions you want them to feel, then you are persuading and influencing their buying behavior. Influence can be a very powerful thing. However, there are two types of influence, positive and negative. Negative influence will get you in trouble. Positive influence can make you rich and happy. We all influence each other all of the time. It’s a human nature thing. However, some are better at it than others and those who are aware of it and good at it, tend to get much more of what they want, than the rest do.

Here’s one of the biggest insights into persuasion… People resist others’ attempts to persuade them. However, they do not resist persuasive attempts when they don’t recognize them as persuasive attempts.

This is why some of the best salespeople on the planet don’t even seem like they are selling anything at all. It looks like the prospect is the one who decided to buy and that it was his/her idea in the first place.

Sometimes, the best sales messages are the ones most never realize are actually sales messages. The example that comes to mind is the radio icon, Paul Harvey. You know, the guy who says,”The rest of the story”.

Well, he is actually selling something on those radio spots. He ties the sales message carefully into his news story. He tells stories and subtly slips in a sales message. The listener then thinks it’s his or her idea to pursue the product mentioned on the advertorial. Again, people resist attempts to sell them, but will not resist if they have no idea they are being persuaded.

Sure, this can be used in a negative manner and some out there do. But, they always end up in some kind of trouble. If you use these insights for positive gain, such as to sell your products, you’re in good shape and its just good salesmanship.

Conversions are one of the big TWO for making truckloads of money online. If you can steadily increase your knowledge of how to convert better, you’ll realize where the money is to be found.

While everyone else out there is focusing on all the barrage of distractions life has to offer, focus your time on generating targeted prospects to your offers, and constantly increasing conversions.

Finally, I do have one last thing on my mind to hit on. It does not really have a lot to do with conversions, but it does have a lot to do with success.

You see, one of the major differences between those who achieve massive success online and those who don’t can be narrowed down to the way folks treat this Internet Marketing opportunity.

Most out there treat ‘making money online’ as a series of projects. I hear it all the time from tons of folks actually,”I have a lot of projects on my table to complete” and so forth.

Well, I really think that if you can change that word “project” to “business” you’ll see a different result. I mean, instead of saying,”I have a new project to complete” say “I am building this new business.”

Projects tend to be temporary and short lived. Businesses are a long term growth thing. You start a business and grow it over time. You improve it every day. A project tends to be temporary. We see projects all the time in this industry because marketers toss something online and then move on to a new project to promote. It’s ever changing.

But – a business… now that’s something long term. A business is not short lived, and done. It’s evergreen. It’s ongoing. And your mindset and the way you treat this Internet Marketing Avenue for riches is quite paramount in my book.

Start today on building a business – not a project… and you’ll see immediate differences in the entire way you approach your production and just about everything you do in this business.

It’ll make a grand difference, I assure you.

Solar Panels for Sale – Ten Tips to Choose the Right Solar Panel for Your Home

You can find a large collection of solar panels for sale these days. So, choosing one for your home can be a slightly difficult task. Given below is a list of ten useful tips that can help you choose the right solar panel for your home and install it properly.

1. The first thing you need to assess before buying home solar power systems is the amount of energy you need to power all the equipment that you use at home. Once you know exactly how much electricity is needed, you can look for an appropriate solar panel.

2. The size of your solar power system is usually dependent on two factors – your average power consumption figures and the amount of sunlight your house receives.

3. You can find two common types of solar panels for sale – panels made of crystalline silicon and panels made of amorphous silicon alloy. The latter are a good choice as they are thinner, lighter, more durable, and more efficient.

4. The cost of a solar panel largely depends on the amount of wattage it provides. So, you should always take the dollars/watt ratio into account while looking for solar energy systems. A ratio of $4.30 per watt is usually considered efficient by many.

5. If you have the required expertise and experience, you can buy all the materials needed for a panel and install it yourself. If you, on the other hand, are not into DIY projects, you can buy a panel online or from a store that offers installation services.

6. GE, BP Solar, AEE Solar, Mitsubishi Electric, Sharp, Sanyo, and Evergreen Solar are some of the most popular brands that produce home solar power systems.

7. If you are on a small budget, you can buy used solar panels, which cost considerably lesser than new panels. You need to, however, make sure that they are of good quality and are likely to last a long time. Otherwise, you might end up wasting your money on low quality panels that are not worth the package they come in.

8. You can find solar panels for sale in a number of stores. The internet, however, is considered the best place to buy solar energy systems because of the wide range of choices available online. If you research well enough, you can find some great deals on residential solar energy systems and save a lot of money.

9. Whether you buy online or offline, make sure you take a look at the choices available, compare the offers, and choose the best deal. The customer service policy, repair and maintenance policy, and warranty differ greatly from brand to brand. So, spend some time online, do some research, and make sure you buy something that gives great value for your money.

10. A south-facing roof with unobstructed space or an east-west roof with good exposure to the sun is usually the best area to install home solar power systems. A ground-mounted system is also a good idea provided you have enough space available. You should make sure that the area is not shaded by trees or any artificial structures, as it is known to affect the efficacy of the panel.