Archive for the ‘03 “Associate Scoop”’ Category

Why you should work with a Real Estate Agent…

Posted on: June 28th, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Charlotte Ferguson


THE BENEFITS OF WORKING WITH 

 

A REAL ESTATE AGENT

 

When home buyers and sellers work with an agent, the entire process runs smoother and is a lot less stressful than if buyers or sellers did everything on their own. A real estate agent will help you navigate the legal requirements of buying or selling a home and take care of all the paperwork. Showings of your home are scheduled easily.

Did you know?

  • 87% of buyers bought their home using a real estate agent
  • 88% of buyers would use them again or at least recommend them to someone else
  • 89% of sellers used an agent to sell their home
  • 48% of people selling homes without an agent end up with a lower selling price

Agents:

  • help sell your current home while also finding a future home for you
  • possess a wide selection of available homes not visible to the public
  • are knowledgeable about various neighbourhoods

Let your agent be your liaison, and take advantage of their knowledge and skills. They are the experts, so trust their judgment.

Not only will an agent guide you step by step through the entire process of selling or buying so that nothing is missed or forgotten, but they will also help you understand the requirements and contract terms. Finalizing contract negotiations is another area where an agent’s expertise is beneficial to you as they make sure all the paperwork is completed in a timely manner and all contract points are addressed.

Buying and selling a house is no easy task. Find an agent that you can trust and partner up with them for maximum advantage.

Charlotte Ferguson is a sales representative with Re/Max Solid Gold Realty (II) Ltd. Brokerage in Waterloo. You can contact her at 519-888-7110 or by email. For more information, check out Charlotte’s website.



Introducing… Lynda Schmidt from Staged to Sell

Posted on: May 29th, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments
STAGED TO SELL

Staged to Sell 1

As a professional home stager, Lynda Schmidt notes that many homeowners trying to sell their homes often make the same mistakes:

  • too much stuff
  • dated flooring
  • dark rooms, or
  • startling wall colours

Lynda works with homeowners and real estate agents who see untapped potential in homes about to go on the market. “The biggest thing is clutter, too much stuff,” she says, referring to the clutter as “visual noise.”

With rooms filled with collections, family photos, religious icons, furniture and toys, prospective buyers tend to focus on the stuff rather than the room itself. If that first showing proves negative, chances are the buyer will simply move on.

“Every potential buyer only knows what they see, not the potential (of the house).”

Buyers will also zero in on specific items like that defeated old couch in the rec room. “Even though the furniture shouldn’t matter, it does.” Use slip covers or remove the couch all together. Also, think of furniture placement: in a small dining room for example, placing the chairs at two sides of the table rather than on all four sides will provide more space.

It is most important for sellers to “de-personalize” their space by removing all personal items, anything that smacks of the homeowner’s tastes or interests.

“Painting has the biggest impact and is the cheapest,” she says. “And remove old, dated wallpaper.” Removing extra furniture can also make a difference: a small living room with a couch, loveseat and three or four chairs makes the room seem cramped and small.

Lynda suggests having the bedrooms and bathroom appear unused. Remove cleaning products as well as personal items such as shampoos and cosmetics. Kitchens are also an issue, as homeowners tend to keep everything–from coffee makers to spice racks–on the counters. Clear it off. “You’re selling counter space, not the stuff on the counter. “Empty and organize your closets too.”

Repairs should be done before the first showing. Every flaw–from having to remove wallpaper border to updating the kitchen flooring–will give the buyer an excuse to “chip away” at the price. This can mean the seller loses more in the sale than it would cost to do the upgrades.

When she is hired to stage a home, Lynda rents larger items such as furniture. She has her own warehouse filled with everything from candlesticks to art work to give homes some oomph — which could mean the difference between a quick sale and languishing on the market.

“A high percentage will pay more for a property they can move into without doing a thing.”

Staged to Sell 2

Lynda Schmidt is the owner of L.B. Schmidt Creative Services and was one of the first Home Staging professionals in Waterloo Region. She has been in the buiness of creative visual presentation for over 25 years. You can contact her at lbschmidt@rogers.com or 519-589-7456.



Parameters

Posted on: April 24th, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

linda samuels (125 x 114).jpgLearn One Amazing Secret That Helps You Let Go

Are you ready to learn one of the best ways to facilitate letting go?

Parameters.

Set some boundaries or guidelines around your decision-making before you start the actual process of releasing things. Setting parameters in advance will allow you to move at a faster pace, decrease stress and reduce decision-fatigue.

Here’s one way you might use this concept. Let’s say you have decades worth of health-related newsletters. Some you’ve read and others you haven’t. While you know there’s a lot of interesting information in those pages, the information isn’t current. So instead of reading through every newsletter, you decide to activate a parameter. You choose that for any health newsletter that’s over five years old you’ll recycle it immediately without looking through the pages. By setting this date parameter, you’ll save yourself hours of reading information that isn’t relevant. Instead you can use your decision-making energy for more important choices.

You can use the parameter concept for other areas too. Let’s say your closet is overflowing. It’s a daily challenge to get dressed. There’s no space on the racks or shelves to move things around so you can’t see what’s there. You have an abundance of black pants and bulky sweaters, many of which you don’t wear. So instead of organizing the entire closet, you start with only those two categories. You opt to put some guidelines in place and decide that four pairs of black pants and six bulky sweaters are “enough.” Now it’s a matter of selecting which are your favorites. With your number parameters in place, it makes letting go easier.

Now it’s your turn to choose. Which parameters will make the letting go part of your organizing [project] easier? Remember that the more parameters you establish in advance, the less decision-fatigue you’ll experience, the faster you’ll reach your goals, and the less stress you’ll experience.

Linda Samuels, CPO-CD® is a compassionate, enthusiastic Professional Organizer who is well known for guiding her clients in a supportive, patient and nonjudgmental way. Based in Croton on Hudson, NY, she works with clients throughout the United States. Click here to learn more about Linda and Oh, So Organized!



Be Clear About YOUR Purpose

Posted on: April 3rd, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Linda Ockwell Jenner

 

BE CLEAR ABOUT YOUR PURPOSE

If you sometimes have a hard time speaking up because you are not sure how to phrase your message, here are some ideas that may help you.

  • Make your position known and ask for what you want.
  • Present a logical and compelling case for your position.
  • Get your ideas heard in a group.
  • Hold firm to your position when necessary.

Be Proactive and Establish Support

  • Build a strong foundation of trust so that you are an influencer.
  • Encourage others to feel good about your ideas.
  • Build alliances that allow you to work together and offer support to each other.

State Your Observation First

Observations can be seen as facts. Things that can be seen, heard, or taken through your senses. Facts are objective, cannot be argued, and help the other person understand what you are saying.

State Your Thoughts and Feelings

Begin each of your statements with ‘I’ to indicate that they are your own thoughts and your feelings.

State What You Want The Other Person To Do

Make statements about your needs, rather than solutions. Stating needs opens the door to generating alternative solutions. Stating solutions can close that door. For example: “I would like you to be on time for meetings” is a statement of needs. Whereas, “I will call you five minutes before meetings start to make sure you will be on time” states a solution. The first statement naturally leads to a discussion of options on how to meet the need. The second statement closes off discussion of other options and places the responsibility for the problem on you.

When sharing your ideas maintain eye contact, a serious expression, firm voice and moderate rate of speech. Avoid aggressive gestures, or non-verbal gestures that may be interpreted as anger or impatience.

Practice your clear, concise messages before delivering them to others.

Always think clearly, and quietly when you have some alone time, before you decide to deliver your message to others.

Find a Way Where Both Parties, or Groups Achieve a Win/Win Outcome

  • Ensure that your own position does address other peoples’ needs and priorities.
  • Negotiate persuasively.

Listen clearly to the other person’s response to your message. It is important to hear them out. Do not be impatient to offer your point of view, so hear, listen and digest what is being said.

If something upsets you it may be a good idea to ask for a few minutes to take in what has been said, because your emotions may take away from your thought process.

Always ask for feedback. This is a positive request and offers the other person a chance to be completely honest.

Whether you work with a large team or alone, being able to communicate your message is very important. We can become stressed and feel like an outsider if we can’t understand why others do not appear to listen or care about our purpose.

People who speak up may be seen as a trouble maker, or someone who wants to get to the top faster than others. Once again this is an observation, and may not be the true facts of the matter.

Believe in yourself. Stay true to who you are, knowing you work with others and you are thinking about their needs and priorities, as well as your own.

Linda Ockwell-Jenner is truly one of a kind! As a survivor of cancer not just once, but three times, her determination to overcome all kinds of challenges defines her. Linda has put this energy to launching and managing two highly successful businesses. Learn more about Motivational Steps and The Small Business Community Network.



Expert Advice from a Financial Planner

Posted on: December 28th, 2016 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

steve bentley.jpgSMART CHRISTMAS SPENDING

This month Steve Bentley, CFP, of Northern River Financial shares his Smart Christmas Spending blog post.

What’s one thing that people do not want to experience during the Christmas season? Stress! The current commercial buildup to the festive season is so intense that some people get more stressed the closer it gets. The holiday should be about family, friends and thankfulness. Instead it is often one big sales pitch.

Maybe it is the season to start trimming your budget and not just your tree. Canadian Living magazine reported that the average adult plans to spend $766 on holiday gifts in 2016. That’s a huge chunk of change. About 27 percent will spend over $800, while 23 percent will spend $200 or less. This is indicative of the changing public mindset of spending. Consumers with big eyes are now wary of a volatile economy and consequently putting too much of the holiday season on plastic. This means more restricted budgets.

Click to read the rest of Steve’s Smart Christmas Spending post and learn several ways to keep your spending under control this December.

Northern River Financial is an integrated financial life planning firm with over 25 years of building long-term trusting relationships. We partner with some of the largest brokerages and financial services firms in Ontario and have the expertise to accommodate the needs and goals of both aspiring and seasoned clients. Our vision is inspired by our deep-rooted philosophy to enhance and enrich the lives of our clients and their families through diligent life planning, exploring new opportunities, and providing prudent advice and integrated well-managed solutions.

You can contact Steve Bentley by email at info@NorthernRiverFinancial.ca



Expert Advice from an Event Specialist!

Posted on: September 30th, 2016 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

 

karima2 (100 x 100) (120 x 120).jpgWhat is Your Time Worth?

Allow me to introduce myself. I am a cat lover, musician and entrepreneur. I am the owner of Event Depot and Living Life SocialEvents in Cambridge, Ontario. For over a decade, I have been a professional event planner. I am delighted to be a part of Cathy’s newsletter. In many aspects, our businesses complement one another. Cathy helps you organize your space, and in return, this creates calm surroundings. I help you organize your special day, and in turn, this creates a pleasant and problem-free day.

Through my experience, I can tell you the more prepared you are for your special day, the less likely something will go wrong. I realize it may go without saying, but you’d be surprised at how many people are not prepared when their big day finally arrives.

One of my many tasks as an Event Specialist is to keep you organized and use your time wisely!

  1. Make sure to have your checklist: Our team can create one for you and work through the tasks and timelines together.
  2. Budget: Having a budget spreadsheet will not only help you stay within your financial means, it also helps provide an estimate as to how much things cost. At Event Depot, we have built close relationships with our vendors to make sure you are receiving what you desire for the cost you have set aside.
  3. Categorize and File: There are numerous aspects to planning an event: i.e., caterers, DJ, décor, venue, food, photographer, and the list goes on. Therefore, it’s helpful to have categorized files either as hard copies or file folders on your computer. Trust me; it will cut down on your time immensely and will allow you to place your focus on the fun stuff!
  4. Itinerary: It’s crucial that your event planner and vendors have a schedule of the day’s events. Your event planner will make sure everyone is on time and set up accordingly. After all, this is YOUR special day, and it should be problem-free for you and your guests.

These few simple ideas will help you to save time and allow you to have an enjoyable day with your family and friends!

Karima Kassam is an Event Specialist. Event Depot is located at 3 Grand Avenue South in Cambridge, ON. Karima and her team can work with you to keep you organized while staying within your budget. Contact us or call us at (519) 267-7033 for your free consultation. We are happy to provide advice with no obligation.



LAST CHANCE to Get 11 Banner Ads for $40!

Posted on: December 22nd, 2015 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

 

A New Leaf banner ad  GET THE WORD OUT TO OUR SUBSCRIBERS!

  Would you like to see YOUR ad in our next newsletter? For the month of
..December, we’re offering our readers the option to place banner ads in our
..newsletter for all of our 2016 issues. That’s at least 11 issues for the low
..price of $40 for the entire year. We LOVE creating this newsletter for
..you, and we’re proud of our high open rate.
..

Send us an email before the end of December, and we’ll send you the ad specifications and payment details.

 



Time to Get INTO The Monthly Organizer…Literally!

Posted on: November 19th, 2015 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

a-new-leaf-120x240.We usually feature an article by an associate here.

.For the months of November and December, however, we’re offering .our readers the option to place banner ads in our newsletter for all of .our 2016 issues.

.That’s at least 11 issues for the low price of $40 for the entire .year. We LOVE creating this newsletter for you, and we’re proud of .our high open rate.

.Send us an email before the end of December, and we’ll .send you the ad specifications and payment details.



October “Scoop”…What About Debt?

Posted on: October 20th, 2015 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

lynn_lrg (100 x 146).jpg
WHAT ABOUT DEBT?

We hear a lot about debt today: Personal debt is at all-time highs; government debt is out of control. What does it all mean? What’s the truth? Is all debt bad? Where do you stand?  

Understand Your Debt – It is most important to understand your debt. How did that debt occur? Was it a one-time event that was out of your control? For instance – were you out of work for a period of time? Is your debt increasing every month?  

Create a Cash Flow Statement – We could call this a budget; however, many people dislike the idea of a budget. Whatever we call it, it is imperative you know what is coming into your household on a monthly basis and what is going out. If your income does not equal your expenditure – it’s easy to see that your debt can increase every month. For instance, if you are $200 short every month – and that $200 ends up on your line of credit – you start one month with $200. The following month you add $200 and on and on – you get the idea. Not only is the debt increasing, but you have also added a bill payment that does not fit in the budget. Contrary to popular opinion – having a cash flow statement can be liberating because it creates knowledge and control. It means having a plan. Yes – plans create freedom.

Not all Debt is Created Equal – There is a big difference between debt that is creating an asset and consumer debt. When I speak about debt that is creating an asset, I’m talking about a mortgage on a home or a course you took that was needed for work or the vehicle you bought to drive to work. When I speak about consumer debt, I’m talking about the impulsive purchase of a big screen TV, a seventh pair of cute dress shoes or a new tool you think is really cool but that you might only use once. When your cash flow statement shows that you do not have enough flowing in each month to cover the expenses flowing out, there are two approaches you can take to fix this.

1. You may find there is a behaviour that needs to be addressed. I’m certainly not against big screen TV’s and shoes. What may need to be addressed is the impulse buying. Credit is readily available. This is a relatively recent phenomenon. Our grandparents had only one choice; save the money and then make the purchase. It’s so easy for us to see a great deal we can’t pass up and put it on a credit card. If there are a large number of impulse purchases in your history, you may have to look at these behaviours and put some limits in place. This is not to say that you can never do anything impulsive, but wouldn’t it be great if you had that worked into a budget, and you knew what discretionary funds you had?

2. You may find your purchases are all practical. You may find that you are actually doing great. You may also find out there is nothing in your cash flow you can give up. Perhaps there just is not enough money coming in to pay your bills. For instance, if you are always going to be $200 short every month, you have discovered you need to earn another $200 a month. This could be a second stream of income. This could be taking something you love to do and turning it into something to earn some extra money. Be creative.

Be Kind to Yourself – Be prepared to accept what you learn and take whatever steps are needed. Take control of your cash flow. Give yourself a pat on the back because you have examined the situation and are taking steps to correct it. Please do not berate yourself for your situation. It does no good to blame yourself. If you find your debt is unmanageable and you need help, there are organizations such as Consolidated Credit Counselling of Canada who offer counsellors that provide training to help you take control.

To test your knowledge regarding credit, follow this link.

If you need a financial plan to help you achieve your goals, send me an email. I’m here to help.

~ Lynn@stepright.ca

Lynn Whetham is a Certified Financial Planner and managing partner at Stepright Capital Planning Inc. in St. George, Ontario.

 



Our Next `Scoop` Could Be YOURS!

Posted on: September 22nd, 2015 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

 
..We publish articles written by our friends, clients and associates
..EVERY MONTH in our GET THE ASSOCIATE SCOOP feature,
..and YOURS could be next!
….
..If you have a great article to share from your newsletter, blog or
..ANYWHERE, send us an email with the article attached,
..and we’ll review it for publication in an upcoming newsletter.
,,

We ALWAYS include your photo or logo AND a link back to your website or blog. AND we will feature your article in our blog and on our Facebook page as well.

We hope to see YOUR face in this section soon!

Submit your article here.