Reliance Network – Custom Websites

Always custom-built, we will work in collaboration to ensure that your online brand and competitive market needs deliver an innovative, destination experience. When coupled with our exclusive platform of Agent and Specialty/Niche Websites, our clients often realize a 50% or greater increase in overall web traffic.

Check out some of our work here!

Are you interested in more information about Reliance Network & BrokerCloud? Contact us today!


Budget Friendly Curb Appeal Ideas Done in a Day

CurbAppeal

 

88 percent of homebuyers begin the process online, looking at pictures on the listing site. Good photos and real curb appeal help entice buyers to check out your house in person. You want to make a great first impression, so don’t feel scared to make a statement — you want buyers to fall in love with your house. The fixes below are minor and budget friendly enhancements that can be done in a day to help make your house more inviting and appealing, and help get potential buyers to schedule a showing!Glam the Front Door

Glam the Front Door
The entry is a huge focal point for potential buyers, especially when it’s one of the first things they see. Create appeal by cleaning the front door — wipe it down, remove dirt, update the color with some paint. The front door should play off a home’s interior: add a kick plate, swag or a seasonal wreath to reflect the interior style of the house.

Create Symmetry
It is known that humans find symmetry beautiful – symmetry is attractive to the human eye, especially in nature. Symmetry is also appreciated in the design world for its familiarity, balance and it works with every style. Using symmetry to entice potential buyers is a quick and cost-friendly tool to the home seller: compose light fixtures, plants and front-door accents based on symmetry to Symmetrycreate welcoming and inviting entryways and boost the house’s curb appeal.

Makeover the Mailbox
If you have a mailbox, it can be a great way to accent your house and add a little touch of personality. If you’re going to replace the box, pick one that mimics the style and trim of the house. You also have the option of dressing up a mail box by painting the post to match the house’s exterior color, or you can surround it with flowers or other plants.

Add Outdoor Lighting
A quick, easy, and budget friendly way of adding appeal to the outside of your house is to add outdoor lighting. Outdoor lighting adds a little something extra, and it can also provide safety and security. Homeowners have many options for lighting, from wired to solar, and lights can be purchased at many retailers and hardware stores. Install landscape lighting along paths and trees.Outdoor Lighting

Patch Up the Grass
Pets, animals, weather and other events at your house can take a toll on your yard’s grass, and most buyers will notice a lawn that looks like it’s on its last leg. Cut out any dead spots and replace with sod, or, if you have time, replant with seed. If you live in a non-drought area, turn on the sprinklers: a lawn needs at least 1″ to 1 ½” of water per week and should be watered deeply 2-3 times per week.

Install Window Boxes
Window boxes can be a really budget friendly way to liven up the outside of a house. They help play up windows, and they can add a pop of color by way of plants or flowers. For a traditional look, choose boxes made of copper or iron, and pick painted wood for more of a cottage feel. Use a window box to play with flowers that will suit the lighting in the yard and the color scheme of the outside.

Renew Planters and Beds
Poorly maintained planters and flower beds can be a big letdown to potential buyers – especially when many view poor upkeep as an indication of what a house may look like inside. Be sure to prune overgrowth, pull weeds, plant extra flowers and add new mulch to restore life and color depleted by the sun and harsh weather. Adding a border around flower beds or along paths can be a great addition, and budget friendly. If your yard already has a border, Flower Bedclean and restore pieces that are worn or upgrade the stone altogether.

Another budget friendly fix you can do in less than a day is pressure washing any dirty siding, decks, patios, driveway or sidewalks. A pressure washer can be rented at any home improvement store for a small amount, and freshly washed pavement and siding can help make a home look revitalized. If you’re limited on outdoor space or have no yard, add some color by creating a container garden. These small gardens are easy to maintain and can easily be transported to your new residence once the sale is finalized. As a seller your top priority is getting the most out of your house — concentrating on small and easy fixes that are budget friendly can really help give your house that pop so many buyers look for.


New Year To Dos for Your Home

New Year To Dos for Your Home

With the start of a new year, it’s always a good idea to assess your home and its needs. Taking stock of appliances, home systems, and other items that make a house a home will help guide you to home improvements needed, appliances that may be near the end of their lives, and any other updates that can help to boost your home’s worth. Listed below are major home systems to evaluate in the new year to help give you peace of mind.

HVAC

HVACIn the winter and summer months a home’s HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) systems are put to good use. January is the perfect month to replace disposable filters or wash permanent ones in your home’s HVAC or humidifier systems. Filters should be regularly replaced or washed when use is high or during peak seasons.

Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors save lives. Checking alarms and detectors is especially important when cold temperatures in the winter leave homes closed up. This month inspect, clean and test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and be sure to replace any that are faulty, no longer working or old.

Fire ExtinguishersExtinguishers

Very few homeowners actually have to use a fire extinguisher; many times these important tools get overlooked for maintenance. January is a great time to inspect and charge any working fire extinguishers you may have in your home. Fire extinguishers should also be placed in all accessible areas of the home where fires are more likely to occur: kitchens, garages or areas that house furnaces, boilers, fireplaces and stoves

Fire Evacuation Plan

Do you have a plan in place in case of a fire in your home? January is the perfect time to form a fire evacuation plan. Go over the plan with anyone who might live with you, and if you have kids dedicate a time to have a practice fire drill. Should your home’s bedrooms be on a second or third floor, invest in a fire escape ladder, many of which can be found at your local hardware store.

Leaking Windows and Electrical Outlets

With winter setting in, finding the weak points in your home will not only help keep your home warm, but it will also help cut down on heating bills. Identify any windows that may have broken seals by looking for condensation on the inside of the window. Examine electrical outlets throughout your home for any drafts, and insulate those that may be letting in cold air.

Check and Test GFCI Outlets

GFCI OutletsGround fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) are a must have in your home. These special outlets protect people from electric shock by monitoring the amount of current flowing through the outlet. If there is an imbalance of current, the outlet trips the circuit of the appliance, cutting off the electricity. You can test GFCI outlets with a circuit tester that has its own GFCI test button. GFCIs do wear out, and their lifespan is about 10 years. Replace GFCIs that no longer function properly — these outlets save thousands of lives each year.

Many homeowners have home safety and preparedness at the top of their priority list, and the New Year stands as the perfect time to discover what improvements and fixes your home will need in the coming months. Other items to look at in a new year:

  • If you’re in an area that is known to have inclement weather, make sure you have proper snow removal equipment and have alternative energy options in case of power outages
  • January is also a great month for reviewing warranties and product information on a furnace, large appliances, and any other big ticket items in the home

Preventative maintenance will not only save you money and keep your home safe, but houses that do not keep up with maintenance have been known to lose up to 10% to 12% off their appraised value. The US Census has estimated that annual maintenance can cost between 1% and 3% of a home’s initial costs dependent upon the geographic location of the home. With the New Year, getting a head start on yearly to dos, and anticipating yearly maintenance, will put you ahead of the issues and have you prepared for any upcoming and unforeseen fixes.


Top 10 Home Styles in the U.S.

We’ve all had that moment — driving down a street and we see a home we like specifically for the architecture and design elements. The United States is full of different home styles and architecture, and pinpointing a specific one can be difficult, especially when dominant home styles change from region to region. The homes below are examples of the most prevalent home styles found throughout the United States.

 

VictorianVictorian
Victorian homes give off a certain air and possess a very stately feel. Victorians are more about beauty than functionality, with complex designs, ornate trim, and large wraparound porches. The Victorian exterior is seen as a medium for decoration. These homes generally have gables, bay windows, towers, overhangs and many are known as ‘Painted Ladies.’ The Victorian style also has sub styles, the most notable being Gothic Revival, Italianate, Second Empire, Queen Anne and the Romanesque style.

CraftsmanCraftsman Bungalow
The Craftsman or Bungalow style is seen as an expression of structure and elements that rely heavily on simple, elegant design. The Craftsman is one of the most common and popular styles in the United States, with an incredible resurgence in the last five years. These homes are characterized by their wide front porches, low-pitched roofs and exteriors that use wood, stone and/or brick. The interior of the Craftsman also has an open floor plan with many built-ins throughout the house.

TudorTudor
Tudors are very distinct and based on English building traditions during the Tudor Era (1485 – 1603). Tudors are characterized by their asymmetrical exteriors with windows playing a large part in the design. These homes generally have stone and stucco walls with wood accents/framing, and Tudor roofs are steep-pitched. Tudor homes are one of the most recognizable styles in the United States due to their specific architectural components.

Cape CodCape Cod
Cape Cods were first built in the 1600s and took inspiration from Britain’s thatched cottages. Cape Cods have steep roofs, dormer windows and large chimneys — elements that helped the homes withstand harsh Northeastern winters. The Cape Cod style is most recognized for its dormer windows, which play a large part in the design of the home.

RanchRanch
Ranches are also known as ‘Ramblers.’ Ranches are characterized by their single-story construction and low pitched roofs. Ranches became very popular in the post World War II era, with a large resurgence in the 1960s as ‘mid-century moderns.’

ColonialColonial
Colonials are another home style that have a distinct appearance. Symmetry plays a large part in Colonials — evenly spaced shuttered windows, dormers, columns, and old Colonials will have many fireplaces. The most common Colonial in the United States is the Georgian Colonial, characterized by its strict symmetry, box shape, paneled front door below a decorative crown, simple or flattened columns, and the most notable feature of five shuttered windows across. Other notable Colonial styles in the United States are Dutch, Federal, and Spanish.

ContemporaryContemporary
Contemporary homes have an almost futuristic look to them, but many contemporary homes look to connect the indoors with the outdoors. Natural light plays a large part in the contemporary home, as do flat roofs and simple horizontal and perpendicular lines. Contemporary homes embrace industrialism and put an emphasis on the use of efficient and affordable materials, and the homes emphasize an importance of combining materials (steel, glass, wood, stone, etc.) to create a fluid space.

SpanishSpanish
Spanish style homes incorporate a fusion of design elements from European and Native American architecture. The Mission Revival style is the most popular, which has its roots in Spanish churches built by missionaries. Spanish style homes tend to have clay roof tiles, arcaded porches, arched corridors, bell towers, square pillars and quatrefoil windows (these windows resemble flowers).

MediterraneanMediterranean
The Mediterranean style became very popular in the United States in 1918 to 1940. This style is modeled after the hacienda style, where red tile roofs, arches, and plaster surfaces play a large part in the exterior of the house. Mediterranean style homes have become popular again, but the style has adopted more design elements like porticoes, balconies, and ornamental details that include heavy wood doors, tiles in multiple colors or designs, and balconies with ornate iron railings and embellishments.

Pueblo Revival Pueblo Revival
The Pueblo Revival is a style favored in the Southwest, highly influenced by the ancient Pueblo’s simple multifamily homes. This home style favors materials sourced from the earth — adobe, concrete, stucco or mortar, and wood beams — and the homes tend to feature enclosed courtyards and flat or sloping roofs. The Pueblo style is also characterized by rounded exteriors that exhibit square windows, weathered wood doors and exterior stone accents.

Homes can take any shape or size, and many homes built today embrace two or more styles. The United States has many other home styles not featured. If you’re looking for a home in a particular style, your agent will be able to help find that perfect property.

If you’re interested in learning more about home styles, you can find more information here: This Old HousePopular House StylesDIY Network


10 Tips to Prepare for A Home Sale

10 Tips to Prepare for A Home Sale

We are in the middle of summer — one of the busiest times for any real estate market — with thousands of homes and properties going up for sale in every town and city throughout the United States. Getting the most for a home is always a seller’s top priority; heeding these ten tips and tricks when considering putting your house on the market will help toward getting your top dollar.

1. Paint Color:
When choosing an exterior paint color, stick with what’s popular in the neighborhood, goes well with the surroundings of the area, or fits the style of the home. Picking a paint color that is not common or completely clashes with the rest of the neighborhood is a very risky decision, especially when thinking about listing a home. When it comes to paint, choose safe colors for the biggest return on investment. The same should be considered for interior paint — big, bold, bright colors might work for your current design scheme, but when buyers walk through a home, and the main living space is four different colors, it’s likely all they’ll see is dollar signs and time spent repainting.

2. Landscaping:
Landscaping can make or break a home sale, or turn it into a long, laborious process. When thinking of landscaping, consider the plants or trees before anything gets planted — trees and roots can wreak havoc with lawns, foundations and pipes; take into consideration how large a plant or tree will get and how far the root system will travel over time.

Front Door3. The Front Door:
The front door is one of the first things potential buyers see — a strong and visual front door can leave a great first impression to potential buyers. If the door is broken, doesn’t work properly, or is in desperate need of a makeover, a buyer may see these things as weak points and consider offering less.

4. Upgrades:
Don’t assume you’ll recoup every investment, especially when it comes to large upgrades. Pools are notorious for poor return on investment, as are other large home additions. If you’re considering upgrading your home before putting it on the market, look to areas that are sure to make you money: kitchens and bathrooms, if tastefully done, will always add to the value of a house.

5. Fireplaces:
Fireplaces appeal to a large majority of buyers, but changing out the aesthetics of a fireplace can either be a great investment opportunity, or drastically lower a buyer’s offer. It’s best to take trends into consideration when making updates or changes to a fireplace — painting over exposed brick can be a huge deal breaker for some buyers, especially when a majority of people like exposed brick fireplaces.

6. Old Appliances:
Potential buyers look at the appliances in a home to gauge their age and how well they’ve been taken care of. Appliances play a large part in any home, and if they are old, outdated and no longer working can create hesitations in potential buyers. If it’s a classic that still works, don’t worry about replacing it; if you can’t get the door clean, or the oven temperature doesn’t rise above 350 degrees, it’s probably time to replace it. There’s no need to go all out on the latest and greatest technology either — while a beautiful stainless steel fridge might be alluring, it’s likely you won’t recoup the cost through the home sale, and it’s more likely you’ll want that classy fridge in your new home.

7. Deep Cleans and Small Stuff:Clean
Most buyers have an eye for the small details of a house. An initial deep clean of the house, and continued maintenance thereafter, shows potential buyers that the house has been maintained. The small details matter: windows and window tracks, light switches, molding, a garbage disposal, tile, grout, sinks, ovens and appliances are all looked at by buyers. Make sure these items are not overlooked when the house goes on the market — potential buyers will appreciate the time you took to address them.

8. Trends:
Trends can be quite alluring for those looking to dabble in interior decorating. Some buyers like trends, but the majority of buyers look for classic, neutral colors on walls and fixtures. While a chevron pattern may be the perfect accompaniment to your current sofa or bedspread, most buyers will see the pattern, when applied to walls, as a potential paint job. If you’re considering listing your house, consider accessorizing with drapes, pillows and some pictures. These are simple ways of adding personality, and buyers will appreciate a neutral color scheme on the walls.

9. Hard to Clean Surfaces and Floors:
Buyers always look at the floors and counters in a potential home, and these surfaces can be huge selling points. If the counter tops are stained, hardwood floors scratched up, carpet damaged, or the tile is breaking, consider cleaning or finding a quick replacement. If a solid counter top is stained, a buyer will no doubt see dollar signs. If you have hardwood floors, some products can actually dull the wood over time. If the wood needs a little TLC before the house is listed, consider having the floors buffed — this will add some life, and buyers will see that they’ve been cared for.

Small Spaces10. Small Spaces:
Kitchens and bathrooms are undoubtedly some of the biggest selling features of a house or property. If either of these areas is small, consider revamping to make them look larger. A small bathroom with no windows is going to look like a cave if the color scheme is on the darker side. Bigger in a small space is always best — stick with neutral, light colors to help make the room look larger. Update any light bulbs that are reaching the end of their life; upgrading to a higher wattage or lumen can help enhance a small area too.

Selling a home is a large task, and every seller hopes to make money on their home sale. Prepping your home before a sale will always result in better viewings and interested buyers, and the end result will be a happy seller and an even more excited buyer.

 


Reliance Network Passes 120,000 Client Count

Reliance Network, the nation’s leader in real estate intranets and integrated MLS/search technology, has crossed 120,000 clients and 100 major Real Estate companies across the United States and in Europe.

Since the merger between Brokertec Systems and Reliance Network in the Fall of 2013, client excitement has been taken to an all-time high. New technologies are being released consistently, including small brokerage (WordPress-based) platforms as well as new managed SEO services and upgraded HTML 5 mobile interfaces.

Now Reliance offers in-house creative and marketing services as well, including customized CRM content and design, as well as full feature layouts for every scale of the existing platform. With the addition of staff from the former real estate agency, The Brick House Project, some of the best creative, content and SEO services are now available in one location.

For a list of all search-related functions built into the custom MLS system, click here.


Join Our Social Network Online Today!

Like what you see? Want to learn more information about the real estate web development services BrokerTec Systems offers Realtors and real estate firms in today’s ever-changing marketplace? 

Become a Fan of BrokerTec Systems on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and stay up-to-date on the latest BrokerTec Systems news and leading-edge technology launches.

At BrokerTec Systems, we offer a plethora of innovative web products and services designed to capitalize on the integration of distinctive real estate sales and lending products for mid- to large-size real estate companies and top real estate professionals across the country. Our mission is to help modern real estate brokerages and Realtors realize the added financial, competitive and operational benefits afforded by specialized technology integration.

Today, we offer one of the most successful and comprehensive real estate technology product lines in the U.S.

To learn more about our leading real estate business solutions, call 877.231.3209 or click here to contact us. And don’t forget to join our social network! Friend us:
www.facebook.com/brokertecsystems or follow us: http://twitter.com/brokertec.


Interested in Learning More About BrokerTec Real Estate Technology Solutions?

At BrokerTec Systems, we have assembled a highly prominent team of web developers, engineers, coders, designers and industry experts to produce real estate business solutions and technology that are simply unparalleled in today’s marketplace.

Did you know that you can schedule a virtual demonstration of most of our industry-leading real estate technology solutions simply by clicking your mouse? 

If you are interested in learning more about the real estate brokerage and Realtor-centric technology solutions available at BrokerTec Systems, please schedule a demo here. Once you answer a few questions about your company, we will contact you directly to schedule a demonstration of our vast array of services and products.

To learn more about our leading real estate business solutions, call 877.231.3209 or click here to contact us.


Featured Product of the Week: ClientConnect™ Transaction Forms for Your Real Estate Business

Among the most advanced and innovative business systems we offer at BrokerTec Systems is our Client Connect™ suite of real estate technology products.

In addition to helping real estate professionals across the country realize how easy it is to turn prospects into leads, Client Connect™ also provides agents with integrated management of transactions, real estate forms and document storage. This system gives brokers the organization they need from beginning to end of each of their transactions.

  • Built-in access to ALL of your Real Estate Forms for better mobility and time savings
  • Quickly select needed Transaction Forms categorized by use: Listing/Sales Contracts, Addendums, Disclosures, MLS Forms, Internal Forms, etc.
  • Forms are fully integrated with your Contacts, MLS Data, Calendar, Tasks and in some areas County Tax data
  • Smart auto-fill offers 2-way data entry from the Transaction File Manager or Forms direct
  • Data automatically flows into all forms and parts of the transaction for considerable time savings

For more information about our suite of Client Connect™ products and other real estate technology tools, visit www.BrokerTecSystems.com. You may also call 877.231.3209 or schedule a demo today.