May 022017
 

Virtual 360 Tour by Matterport

Think of this technology in terms of the Google ‘streetview’ where you can walk around with your browser and see the views captured from Google’s streetview recordings from their vehicles. In this case the same technology is used to capture the interior view of a home.

When you connect via the link you have the option to view via a ‘dollhouse’  or ‘floorplan’ display which you then click on a spot to be whisked into that area of the home. As you move about the home you can pan around as if you were standing in the room itself. There isn’t a better way to view without actually standing in the home. As so many buyers first shop via the Internet, this is a tremendous tool for the difficult to photograph large homes.  This is especially handy for buyers moving from another distant location. We think you’ll be as amazed as we were when we first saw the potential.

Call or text The Derrick Team on this or any other questions you have on how we go ‘Above & Beyond’ to market your home. 317-563-1110.

Jan 302017
 

 “Mark my word: a combination airplane and motorcar is coming. You may smile, but it will come.” – HENRY FORD, 1940

Where’s My Flying Car?

You’ve probably heard that according to many predictions years ago, we all should be driving flying cars by now. But here we are, no further along toward the Jetson’s future we were promised. I’m thinking we might be closer now than most people think and I’ll explain why.

The issues with flying cars obviously starts with making a compact machine that fits in the standard driveway and can fly on demand. It must be very reliable as a breakdown on a car leaves you stranded beside the road, but a flying car means you could crash rather spectacularly with a minor part failure. Then you add in the issue of drivers being good at flying when many fail to do well just driving on the ground. Finally, there is the power source that drives the car / plane or whatever you want to call it. But it might not seem obvious but many if these items are well along the way towards being here today.

First is the size. While this will still be a challenge there are more options now for a manufacturer in materials to make a lightweight vehicle such as carbon fiber or advance aluminum alloys. I imagine it will be a ducted fan system that provides lift and direction so it could be possible to fit all this into something the size of a large car or SUV. If it is to be drivable on the road (which is should) then it needs to be under 8 ft in width as that is the widest most roads are designed for. If nothing else, it will be able to retract from a wider flying stance to the 8 ft size for road driving.

From a reliability standpoint, I would say the technology and manufacturing abilities are here today. The only additions needed are some redundancy as seen in flying aircraft today. Some additional safety systems and maybe even a parachute system to allow for a softer landing in an emergency.

A real flying car: AeroMobil

A real flying car: AeroMobil

As far as the driving / piloting goes, that’s getting close to being ready as well. Think about the work on self-driving cars, then add in the advances of self-piloting drones and you can see many advances being made in a short amount of time. Once you can get in your ‘flying car’, punch in your destination (think GPS), and hit go, the system takes over and controls the car all the along the way with you being able to work or sight see the whole time. My thinking is there will be landing / launching pads scattered around so the car will ‘drive’ to the pad, then launch and fly to a destination pad and finally drive to where you wanted to go.

For the power source I would imagine the ducted fans, probably 4 smaller ones for best control and redundancy, would be driven by electric motors. So think of today’s hybrid cars with a small combustion engine to charge the batteries that drive the fan and wheels depending on mode. If your engine failed, you would have enough battery life to safely land at a nearby pad and drive to a repair shop.

I could go on more about the details of these items and what the next steps might be, but then I’d be writing a book by then. But by now you’re probably asking what does this have to do with real estate?

It’s all about planning for the future. If by chance flying cars are common in 10 years, it will change EVERYTHING about where you work and live. Will your current home work for you in that future? Maybe you’ll need a double wide garage to fit your flying car. If possible is your yard big enough to build your own launch / landing pad? If this happens sooner rather than later, it’s quite possible the next home you buy will end up with a flying car in the driveway. Homes often are a long term investment, so always keep the future in mind.

Whatever you’re thinking for your next home, we can help you find what you need, even space for your flying car. Call or text The Derrick Team today at 317-563-1110 for any of your real estate needs.

Apr 232016
 
Save The Earth

Save The Earth

We are not referring to a fad that utilizes lots of shades of green, such as a color scheme using hunter green for decorating accents. But you might have heard the term ‘Green Building’ or ‘The Healthy Home’ being tossed around lately. The idea is building homes along the lines of being friendly to the environment. While using products that don’t harm the environment are considered, that actually is not the focus of a ‘Green Home’ today. Instead the focus is on the amount of energy used to heat and cool and how that in turn affects the environment. More energy used uses more of the non-renewable energy sources on the planet. So an energy efficient home is thus labeled a ‘Green’ home for using less energy.

With new homes there are a lot of new design options and building techniques that can add up to a lot of efficiency for overall energy requirements. We attended a workshop held by David Weekley Homes in Avon that discussed many of the new implementations they have rolled out with their homes. You can find out a lot about their ‘Energy Saver’ homes here. You can see where a lot of builders are working on building changes here. So if you are planning to build you might want to look into your options that can pay off in the long run.  Be sure and give your Realtor (The Derrick Team) a call for assistance with local builders.

Now for the other part of a ‘Green’ home we look at existing homes. The reason I bring this up is that it’s quite probable that at some point in the near future there is going to be a energy rating applied to all homes. You may already have gotten notices from your energy provider about free energy audits that they provide to check your homes efficiency rating. At this point they are going to test your home and recommend items you can address to make your home more efficient such as insulation, window replacement, etc. But at some point they will also be applying a rating to be used for comparison purposes. Comparison to what you say? To other homes when you go to sell your home. Most likely it will be a common item to list a home’s efficiency rating, much like the gas mileage when shopping for cars, in the not too distant future.

So what does this mean to you today? It might be prudent to pay attention to what adds to your home’s energy efficiency with any updates you do to your home. For instance if you need to replace the furnace, consider spending a little more to get a higher efficiency unit. And it might be a good idea to take advantage of a ‘Free Energy Audit’ if your utility provides one. I know here in Hendricks County, Hendricks Power & Duke Energy will do free audits for their customers.

So if you want your home to be ‘Green’, it’s going to take a little more work than slapping the trendiest color of green on the walls. If you have any questions on updating your home and the future value call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110 today and we’ll be happy to discuss with no obligation to you. Or use our handy Contact Form here!

 

 

Jan 282016
 

Carpenter announced at our 2016 rally that this new product will be available soon for our listings. It’s really cool and The Derrick Team plans and using it. It’s basically ‘Google Streetview’ for homes as it works the same way. Check out this demo of a Colorado Ski Lodge. Depending on your Internet speed it may take a minute to load.
Call us today at 317-563-1110 for more details on this and other tools The Derrick Team uses to sell your home.

Mar 202015
 

The answer should be obvious but I still want to go into some details so you’ll understand why I’m blogging about this. And of course to let you know that The Derrick Team ALWAYS takes great listing photos.*  One of the common complaints we hear from buyers is the lack of or poor photos on home they want to see.

There really is no excuse for an agent not to provide plenty of photos for the MLS so they are distributed throughout the Internet sites home buyers use. Yet sadly many agents only take a couple, and often those are poor quality anyway. A trend (that drives me crazy) are the photos taken with cell phones, tablets, or really cheap cameras, that are just plain, ahem, terrible. These devices lack the lenses to produce proper depth and color and often are too dark to see much for indoor photos. They are fine for selfies and personal photos but paid professionals should do their best to help their clients and decent cameras are not expensive any more. Those agents also have the option to pay professionals so there really is no excuse for poor quality photos to market their paying clients property!

I use a Coolpix-510 for our great photos. Additional flash when needed.

I use a Coolpix-510 for our great photos. Additional flash when needed.

With all that said, you should pay attention to what agents provide before you hire them to list your property. Buyers actively search the Internet first before deciding to tour homes. Do you want your home with limited photos that are dark, blurry, and just plain show your home in a bad way? Homes with photos like that will get fewer showings for that reason alone. It’s easy to check on this by looking at the agent’s current listings and marketing materials. Pictures tell thousands of dollars in this case.

Here in central Indiana MIBOR requires members to provide a minimum of 2 photos per listing. This should only be acceptable in what is referred to as ‘listed & sold’ entries. These are homes that never were marketed and the information is not for the public but for reporting purposes only. Otherwise agents are allowed to post up to 24 photos of each listing and those photos are then distributed to other Internet sites for marketing.

The Derrick Team will always use as many photos of a home as possible to make sure the Internet buyers see everything they need to. Often this is way more than the 24 photos so we add more photos to our dedicated website and other marketing materials & virtual tours that we create for each of our listings. We pride ourselves in taking great photos that reflect the home in the best possible way we can. If conditions are not great for the first photo shoot (cloudy, raining, snow, etc.) we always take updated photos at the first opportunity we can. And as the flowers pop up and the grass greens we’ll update as seasons change.

The main reason for great photos is that there is a lot of marketing involved with selling a property and every piece of that will include photos of your home. You want to hire an agent that will make sure those photos best represent your property to potential buyers. You want to make sure those buyers are drawn to come see your property in person, as that’s the last step before they write up an offer. Great photos sell your home.

Check out The Derrick Team’s listings and you’ll see that we take marketing our clients’ property seriously, which includes great photos. Call or text The Derrick Team today at 317-563-1110.

Good pictures show the outstanding features on this home in Oak Bend Estates in Avon.

Good pictures show the outstanding features on this home in Oak Bend Estates in Avon.

 

 *Occasionally the home sells before or on the day we list it, then we may only have taken preliminary photos.

 

Feb 182015
 

Update 1: Right after I published this MIBOR announced a delay until September this year for the cut-over. First little bump has occurred. 

Update 2: Matrix went live September 9th of 2015 to mixed reviews by end users. But in general I’ll say it’s more stable than Tempo ever was.

As with all technology there have been a lot of changes going on lately. Almost every day you hear about new mobile apps for searching real estate and a lot of changes with online search sites such as the Zillow / Trulia merger. But coming real soon there are big changes in store for central Indiana that will impact everyone who uses the MIBOR (Metropolitan Indianapolis Board Of Realtors) web site.

First a little background. The current MIBOR online database has been in use for several years with minor tweaks since the switch from distributed program CD’s and the old monthly catalogs. As with all technology it was the best you could get at the time but then technology evolves and eventually programs and associated databases aren’t quite up to par. The current system called TEMPO is based on a Microsoft platform which limits it to effectively be used in MS Internet Explorer. Today with all the other platforms including Apple products, Android platforms, and the explosion of mobile options, the workarounds with TEMPO just don’t work very well. So at this point it was determined that the system needed a complete overhaul and what MIBOR is rolling out very soon is called MATRIX.matrix

We REALTORS have had time to train and work with MATRIX since the beginning of the year. I can tell you it is a completely different system, which is both good and bad. I will preface this next statement with the fact I worked in IT for over 20 years and worked with many large program rollouts. The rollout of MATRIX is going to be very painful for a lot of people whom we might label ‘technology challenged’. I will also say the team in charge of the rollout has their job cut out for them. But we all know change is never easy. Even I struggle to get used to new or updated programs so there really is never and easy way to achieve something like this.

As with all new programs there will be some wrinkles and bumps to deal with as everyone gets accustom to a completely new interface. And the programmers will be busy for a while working out the usual bugs. But eventually everyone should be able to realize the improvement, especially when they learn the newer features that are available because the underlying database structure is more flexible.

One that everyone should benefit is the quicker response time because the system is based on the latest ‘cloud technology’. For REALTORS the search function includes a lot of custom shortcut tools that will make it easier to find something while on the phone with a client. And most of all will be the platform independence that should make it much easier to adapt to existing or future technology platforms. So get ready, MATRIX is coming!

Feb 112015
 

There are many great ways to expose your home to buyers but virtual tours add an element that shows your home in a manner perfect for social media. Visual Tour is a product by Paradym that we utilize for all our listings. We customize every one of our listings by adding more photos than the original 24 uploaded from MIBOR BLC and change the look and music to make each tour unique. We utilize the social media tools and post tours to our web site www.DerrickTeam.com as well as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.

VT Active Listings QRCode

QR Code

We also use the print tools that include QR codes that we place on every take one flyer for our listings that make it easy to see a tour with a smart phone or tablet while sitting in front of the home. One of the newest tools is the mobile marketing option that creates a code buyers can text and see the tour photos and details on their mobile device and we capture the number for follow up. This allows us to get instant feedback on what buyers think of the listing as well as contacts to invite to open houses.

Another feature we like and use is the reporting function that allows us to send weekly traffic reports to our clients so they can see the online interest in their home. This complements the other Internet traffic reports we provide each of our listing clients.

Tour-View-Report-1

Traffic Report

The Derrick Team has always utilized Visual Tour because we want to provide the best marketing tools for our listing clients. In order to guarantee to have your home marketed with Visual Tour you’ll have to hire The Derrick Team as most other agents do not offer it. And of course no other agents offer the extensive Internet marketing that we do. Call or text 317-563-1110 for a no obligation comparative market report and all the details on how we market your home.

Be sure and check out our current listing tour below.

Virtual Tour Inventory WidgetGet Adobe Flash Player

Dec 222014
 

Let’s face it, we are so used to flipping the switch to turn on a light that when the power is out you still will flip the switch when you walk into a dark room (you know we’ve all done that before). Then you go ‘Duh, I already knew that wouldn’t work.’ Well there is a way to make sure that light will almost always work, and that’s by installing an Emergency Power System.

There are a few different ways you can set these up and the best systems will cost you a bundle. A fully automated, whole house system that you will never notice when the utility power is out is pretty much way out of most of our price ranges. This would include a large enough generator to power the entire house, a completely automated switch over system, and a very large battery bank (UPS) to run the power during the 30 to 60 second switch over. This type of system is usually only used in commercial systems due to the high cost.

There are home versions that are a bit simpler and more affordable. The basic option is a gasoline powered portable with a few outlets on the unit. These usually will power a handful of things depending on the size of the unit. Larger portable units are often setup with a single hookup to plug into the home’s wiring system. This wiring system is installed by an electrician and is properly sized so that only the important items in the house will be powered and thus you can still use a portable unit.  Having the wiring ready is key as then you can use any properly sized portable generator and plug it quickly into the house circuit when needed. The wiring system also isolates the home from the commercial power grid so when workers working on the power lines will not get shocked from your generator!

Fully automated backup generator

Fully automated backup generator

The next step would be a larger permanently installed unit with an automatic switchover system. These typically will run on natural or propane and sit somewhere outside the home ready to go when needed. With the generator, wiring, and automated switch system these can get expensive fast. These only make sense if you live out in the middle of nowhere and sometimes lose power for days.

The best way to figure out what’s the best method is to look at your own needs, and how often do you go long periods without power. I think for most of us, the quick connect to the house system is reasonable in price and worth the safety to know that within a few minutes, you can flip that switch again and this time you’ll have light!

Our listing in Brownsburg is setup with a fully automated backup power system.

Feb 052014
 
Merlin is often 'triggering' automatic lights at our home.

Merlin is often ‘triggering’ automatic lights at our home.

By now you’ve probably heard the term ‘Smart Home’ as a selling buzzword on a lot of new technology available today. But what really is a Smart Home and what does the future hold?

The general definition is a home with programmable controls for running systems within the home. A common item found in homes today is a programmable thermostat. Google ‘Smart Home’ and you’ll find plenty of companies with items to sell you to make your home automated (or smart). There actually have been items available for quite some time to automate homes and once the personal computer became a common household item linking the computer to these systems was a natural fit.

For example we’ve been using automation to control some of the lighting at the Derrick household since the late 90’s. Originally based on a system known as X10 many lights are either triggered to switch on & off by motion sensors or computer set timers. We now incorporate Insteon, which is another system compatible with X10. Over the years these device controllers have expanded in capability to pretty much turn anything on and off you want to automate. So from this perspective you can make your home as smart as you want (and how much $$ you want to spend). Today you can control anything from your computer, tablets, smart phones, or anything that connects with the Internet and back to your home. But these are all controlled by programmed timers, some sort of trigger, or by a remote switch device. Things are starting to change for the next level of ‘Smart Homes’ and the future of home automation.

'The Smart' Nest Thermostat

‘The Smart’ Nest Thermostat

A good example of the next level of automation is the Nest thermostat. Now we have an automation device that learns your habits and controls the heating & cooling in your home based on your personal activities (or it’s interpretation of them). And you can easily track and control the Nest via the Internet from your smartphone or computer. Coupled with the fact that Google just purchased the company you know this will soon be expanding into other household devices. They’ve already developed a smoke detector that will talk to the Nest and shut down the heating system when it is triggered.

Many appliance manufactures are adding monitoring systems to give the homeowner alerts. In the near future I can see a refrigerator that inventories it’s contents and lists them on your smartphone so you know to stop at the store on the way home because the kids just emptied the last of the milk. Add Google or Amazon to the mix and the milk will just show up on it’s own.

A more practical application would be a service call is automatically called when diagnostics indicate a problem and the home security system then knows to allow access for a technician with the proper verification code. You’ll be notified there was a problem and it was fixed without lifting a finger. At the point where the devices in your home are making decisions we can almost call it a ‘Artificial Intelligence Home’.

So the true definition of a ‘Smart Home’ is changing as fast at technology does. There are already a lot of voice controlled options so when you couple the security and home control systems it is now possible to come home and talk to your home to get in the door, turn on the lights, adjust the thermostat, etc. In the not too distant future your home may just talk back to you. It’ll be up to you to determine if that is ‘Smart’.

Whether it’s a smart home you want or any home, The Derrick Team is here to help. Call or text 317-563-1110 for all your real estate needs. Or use our handy Contact Form.

 

Apr 022013
 

 

slide0013_image071If you’re looking to buy a home, this is the app for you. It currently works on any GPS enabled iPhone, iPad, and Android phone.

This app features the ability to find homes around you and bring up the MLS data and photos on your device. Point towards a home, snap a photo, and it will tell you the features as listed on the MLS.

If you want more details or want to setup a showing click the request for info and the app shoots us a request and will get back with you shortly! Can’t get much easier than that!

Just type in your mobile phone number on the Home Search App at the bottom of the right column or click here to download.

Mar 152012
 

 

Virtual Tours Help Market Your Home

Virtual Tours Help Market Your Home

In one word: Marketing

Real estate agents don’t sell homes, the owners do. Property owners decide the price they are willing to take. We can guide you to set the best possible price but there is no guarantee a buyer will be willing to pay that much. In the end YOU decide to sell your property and for how much.

The reality is what real estate agents do is market your property. The idea is to market it well. The more buyers that are exposed to your home, the better chance you’ll get the price you want. It’s a numbers game that we do our best to put in your favor.

Carpenter provides all their agents with an extensive tool set to market each property beyond what most realtors can do. This is outlined in detail at Carpenter Home Marketing System .

Here’s the short list:

  • Distinctive signage
  • Information flyers
  • Targeted listing mailings
  • Newspaper advertisements (many options)
  • TV Show on Saturday mornings
  • Carpenter exclusive Homes magazine (over 50K+ distributed bi-monthly)
  • On the Internet there is:
  • CallCarpenter.com
  • Premium listing placement on Homefinder.com & Trulia.com
  • Distribution to all other home listing sites
  • Visual Tour videos on the MLS that are also uploaded to YouTube.com

What The Derrick Team adds:

All of this and more is in our toolbox to use to fine tune our marketing of your property to get maximum exposure to all buyers!

Give The Derrick Team a call or text today to setup a time we can come show you what we can do for you at 317-563-1110. We’ll talk to you with no high pressure sales and no obligation to use us when you list your property. We know you’ll like what you see! And we work 7 days a week, evenings too.

Jul 132010
 

SearchScreenLooking for a new home now or in the near future? Be sure and take advantage of our FREE Call Carpenter web site search tool. Just read what a recent new user said:

“I loved the Map View for the property search! Everyone knows the three most important factors in buying a house: location, location, location. I was able to find houses in my price range in the area where I want to live. Anyone can give you a list of addresses, but searchable map on CallCarpenter.com was the most useful tool I had during the search for my new home – except for my Realtor, of course!” 

Rachael, first time homebuyer

Registering is quick and easy –and you’ll get great, FREE benefits.

Save This Property: Like a specific property and want to ‘keep’ it for future reference? As a registered user, you can ‘file’ properties on our site as you go through your home buying process. Sign up now for this and other great features!

Save This Search: If there’s a specific property type, price range, or location you are searching in, sign up and save your search! That way, you’ll save time whenever you visit our site. You can run your saved searches, edit search criteria, and you can be notified by email when new listings match your search criteria. Fill in the following information to begin.

Be sure and check this out today! Just click on the ‘Property Search Tool’ tab at the top of this screen.

Be sure and call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110 with any questions you have. We work 7 days a week, evenings too.

Feb 222010
 

 The Google Factor

youtubeIn my many years in the Information Technology field, I’ve seen things come and go. Technology changes quickly so time is measured in months instead of years. What’s hot now is old news 12 to 18 months later. Obviously the Internet is one technology that has lived on for a long time because of it’s usefulness to spread information. Google has become the champ of search engines (for more than the usual lifespan of a few months) and so we measure information dissemination as to how Google finds and distributes it.

 Now you ask, “Why is this important to selling my home?”

Statistics show that a large percentage of home buyers noted they first saw the home they ultimately purchased on a web site. In Real Estate this is known as the ‘First Showing’. Virtual home tours have become a nice addition to displaying homes on the Internet so The Derrick Team takes this one step further. We are launching a new marketing tool available to our Sellers at no cost. We will build a complete web site dedicated to each of our listings packed with even more information than normally distributed via the MIBOR BLC listing. This will include additional photographs and video clips to give the buyer a complete tour of your home. This web site will be a link on all distributed web site materials from the BLC so there is always an option for a Buyer to visit the site from any of the normal home search services.

In addition to this site we utilize many tools to make your site Google friendly including Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, & Google Alerts. This allows us to effectively fine tune our marketing and make sure we increase your homes’ ‘Internet Presence’ effectively. We also utilize the latest Internet social media tools to market you property which also makes it even more Google friendly.

Now is the time to sell your home with a powerful Internet Presence. Give the Derrick Team a call or text today at 317.563.1110 or use our Contact Form here.

Dec 302009
 
Early Technology

Early Technology

Over the years we’ve seen technology grow in leaps and bounds in every aspect of our lives. Some of it works to help us, while other things turn out to be a little lacking in practical sense. But for Real Estate it has helped make tremendous gains in how we buy and sell property today.

The main item we’ve become accustom to using for daily tasks is the Internet. It has gone from a small group of computers connected via telephone lines in the late 80’s to the all encompassing information resource which search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo use to bring us results for our information requests.

Where does this fit into Real Estate? Lets start with what Realtors have used for years to share information about regional property listings. Generically known as the Multiple Listing Service (MLS but here in the Indy area the BLC), this is a collection of local property information that is on the market at any given time. For years this was only available to members of the listing service which was local brokers, agents, and other MLS members. This information was printed in a book format on a regular basis and distributed to the MLS members. In each book there were pages and pages with many properties on each page in tiny little boxes with a tiny picture and not much information on the property. To get more information the agent had to call the MLS and had a larger sheet Faxed to them.

Fast forward to today and the Internet.  Now every property listed for sale by MLS members is posted in a database which is then accessible via the Internet. In the Indianapolis Metropolitan area we have MIBOR and the excellent system known as the BLC (Brokers Listing Cooperative). This information is then spread to many other sites that display the basic information to the ever growing property shoppers. According to many studies done today at least 90% of home buyers today first search on the Internet to find information about properties for sale in the area their interested in. Why is this important? How that information is displayed can make a great or lousy first impression on what is commonly referred to as the “First Showing”.

This is where an “Internet Savvy” Realtor can make a difference in selling your home. In future blog posts we’ll cover more on what a good realtor can do for you. But if you cannot wait, call The Derrick Team today at 317-563-1110 and we can show you what we will do for you to market your home to that 90% of Internet searching buyers! Or use our handy Contact Form here!

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