Monday, December 16, 2013

Fighting the Winter Decor Blahs

It can be easy to catch the winter blahs when most of the day turns dark before you have a chance to go out and enjoy it. Whether you are living in the home or trying to show one for a client, walking directly into a cheery room on a cold gray winter day can set the right tone for the rest of your time in the house. So here are a few simple ways to lighten up your home and get it sold or rented!

1. Add eye catching accents
Exciting furnishings and décor to perk up the life in a dull or bland space. Bright pillows, vases, lamp shades and other accessories offer cheap and easy way to bring life to an area. Just remember more is not always better, sometimes 1 or 2 quality changes is better than 5 or 6 random ones.

2. Deck the Walls
Artwork is one of the easiest, cheapest, and most fun ways to change the look of your space.  Warm colors (red, orange, yellow) make a room feel cozier. Choose a big piece of art if you need a center piece or want to make a statement, or hang a collection of prints on your wall for a more active look.  


3. Light the Night
Make the most of the remaining natural light by pulling back or changing out heavy window treatments. You can also update your lighting to brighten your gloomy days. Try mixing different light sources to add accent areas to the room.

4. Blankets and Floor Coverings
Wood floors have a classic clean look in the spring and summer, but in the winter they can look sterile and cold. Adding runners, area rugs and other floor coverings can breathe a little life onto the floor and keep your feet warm at the same time. Same thing with blankets, strategically placing some colorful blankets can add warmth to a room and supply a ready source of extra warmth.


5. Remove the Excess
So far we suggested adding things to a room, but you can also lighten up a room simply by sprucing up a bit. A couple key accent pieces will have a greater impact than a messy collection. Remove excess items and store them away for a later date.

Whether you are living in the house, trying to sell it or rent it, out first impressions are always important be sure to make that first moment in the home is an impressive one.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Why Next Year's Business Plan Should Include Working with a Property Management Company

With January fast approaching you're probably setting goals and planning for the New Year. At the top of most peoples' lists is becoming more profitable, but it can be hard to take on more clients when you already have a full work-load. So this year, why not plan to be more profitable by retaining more of the clients you already have? By referring clients whose homes aren't ready to sell to Provident Property Management in St. Charles, you will save clients, build your network, and make more money without any extra hassle or worry.

Be more profitable. Unlike other management companies that are part of real estate brokerages designed to generate their sales from your rental referrals, Provident does not sell property. Repeat... Provident does not sell homes even though they are a Real Estate Brokerage. That means that when your client is ready to sell they are referred right back to you; many times after the home's value has risen - earning you a larger commission.

It's easy and hassle free. Provident is known for outstanding customer service, and strives
to ensure that every client is taken care of. You can expect them to take care of your business and return it to you when it's time to sell. There are no contracts to sign or forms to fill out, simply make a referral and your information is automatically included with the owner's file. Provident designates you as the client's real estate agent in their software, ensuring that they make it back to you when it's time to sell.

Provident's service is so good, your clients may decide to invest in even more income producing property - bringing even more business your way from clients you already have.

There is no doubt that when you team up with Provident you win. The best part is that there is no downside - why wouldn't you retain your client and be more profitable?

So what are you waiting for? Get more information, or make a referral today by or calling (314) 403-2049.

You can also find even more helpful tips - for you or your clients - for free at

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Monday, December 9, 2013

New Website Announcement

Can you believe that just about fifteen years ago most people had not even heard of the Internet? But even more amazing is the growth in web functionality and the huge drop in the cost of that functionality. In the late 90’s it was not unusual for a company to spend tens of thousands of dollars to build an e-commerce site. Today, any business, small or large, can have an Internet catalog or e-commerce web site for only a couple hundred dollars. Technology has gotten more sophisticated and available and the huge number of businesses moving to the web is a result of the number of people who regularly use the Internet.

If you own a business today your customers EXPECT you to have a web site and email. This expectation almost requires you to have some sort of interactive, dynamic web presence. Even so, one of the question is “What are the benefits of having a business web site?” 

The Internet makes it possible to communicate with customers on their terms within their time frame. It makes it possible to automate information dissemination and customer service. Even if you don’t use the Internet to increase your market reach and revenue the Internet has made it possible to keep your customers happy. Provident is happy to announce that we have taken this next step and purchased a Domain name and are currently in the process of creating a website where clients and interested customers can come and learn more about us and access some of our services. While the launch date for our website is a little ways off, be sure that we will keep you up to date on the major developments as they happen.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The 3 Things You Must Check Before Winter

Prepping your home for cold weather protects your investment and your family.

Here comes the cold, are you ready? Well, even if you aren't; the cold is still coming. And with the cold comes winter threats on your safety and home. Luckily, by checking three things - trees, heat and plumbing - you can save yourself thousands of dollars as well as protect your family. So, instead of hoping the cold decides not to show up this year, take these steps to protect your most important investment; your home.

1.) Trees - Trees are great! Trees make air, give us shade and - oh yeah - crush your house when they fall. Actually, the part where they crush your house actually isn't that fun. Act now to take off those branches that threaten your safety and investment before those trademark Missouri ice storms hit. While you're at it, clean all the leaves from your gutters to prevent water from pooling and freezing; destroying your gutters. 

2.) Heat -Your furnace or heating unit has been sitting all summer long, just waiting for you to need it. After all that waiting, it may not be ready for winter. Have an
 HVAC contractor stop byand make sure your heating unit is safe, vacuum the unit to get rid of dust and install a new filter. If you have a chimney, go ahead and call the chimney sweep as well. These steps can save you hundreds in heating over the course of the winter.

3.) Plumbing - Outdoor plumbing is the main issue. Sprinklers need to be blown out and emptied of water. Outdoor faucets need to be covered or they can crack in the cold. A broken outdoor faucet often leaks inside the house and can quickly flood a basement before anyone notices. Be especially careful with plumbing in the attic, as some older homes have, if they aren't insulated with pipe wraps they may freeze and explode - flooding the house.

Checking these items will probably take an afternoon to accomplish, but they will protect your home from the harsh winter weather. Don't wait until the first cold hits because it will be too late. Take action now to protect your home and your family.

Need help getting your home ready for winter? Just give Provident a call; we do all this and more.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thanksgiving is a fire hazard – You Turkey.

Mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberries and pumpkin pie – staples of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Probably the most iconic of all the items that make it onto your table is the turkey. And while that Thanksgiving turkey is a delicious way to spend time with friends and families, it is also a major fire hazard. 

In fact, did you know that the National Fire Protection Association reports that some 4,000 fires occur on Thanksgiving annually?  So, in order to help you avoid becoming a statistic this year, here are the top perpetrators to watch. 

    1. Stove – With so many friends and family running around, it is easy to get distracted while cooking. Make sure you turn handles on pots and pans inward and turn off the stove when you leave the room; even if it is just for a minute

    2. Candles – When the smell of real pumpkin pie begins to merge with the candle smell you lit earlier in the day, it can be easy to forget that you lit the candle in the first place. Many fires have started because of a small, forgotten flame burning on the shelf. Don’t make the same mistake, before leaving or going to bed make a final check to be sure you blew those candles out. 

   3. Deep Fryer – The best way to make sure your turkey makes it to the table warm and juicy is to deep fry your bird. However, it is also very dangerous (as shown in this video). To avoid the danger, always fry outside, make sure the turkey is 100% defrosted and turn the flames off as you slowly lower the turkey into the oil.

4. Alcohol – If you are planning on enjoying any liquid courage this year, just remember that alcohol will make all of the above items even more of a hazard. Don’t ever cook - or for goodness sake deep fry a turkey - while drinking.

With these tips you will be able to enjoy Thanksgiving without any incidents. If in the event you do have a fire, just get out and call 911. If a grease fire occurs, don’t throw water on it (as this safety video demonstrates). Above all, enjoy yourself; It’s Thanksgiving you turkey!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

4 Ways to Use Your Pumpkin after Halloween

You spent hours planning, carving and admiring your jack-o-lantern, and we believe you when you say that it is a true work of art. However, now your work of art is rotting and looks a little more interpretive then you intended. Here are four great ideas to use your pumpkin before it stains your porch.

1.    Compost – Take a sledgehammer to that pumpkin or drop it off the roof, then bury those pumpkin pieces in the garden. Leftover jack-o-lanterns make great fertilizer for next-years garden, and burying them will keep your yard smell-free.

2.    Feed Animals – If you live in an area where wildlife frequent, you can attract some furry friends by throwing chunks of pumpkin out in your yard. The only problem is that you’ll have to get up early to see Bambi and his friends eating your treat.

You can also use any leftover pumpkin seeds in your bird feeder. – Don’t have a bird feeder? Cut one of those pumpkin in half and WHAMO! You have a bird feeder.

3.    Make a Planter – Run out to your local nursery and buy some seasonal flowers, fill your jack-o-lantern with soil and you’ve got a seasonal planter. It will be a festive decoration for a few days, and then you can plant the whole thing right in the backyard. The pumpkin will naturally compost and provide fertilizer for your plant.

4.    *Eat it – Pumpkin purée is the No. 1 use for the fleshy insides of your pumpkin, and it’s easy to do. Start by cutting your pumpkin in half. Place your pumpkin cut-side down in a baking dish with about a cup of water, and bake until the flesh is tender. Then, scoop out the flesh and puree in a food processor. Once you’ve made your pumpkin purée, it’s ready for use in all your favorite pumpkin recipes, from pies to cookies. Any extra can be stored in the freezer for several months. 

You don’t like any of these suggestions? The simple solution to your pumpkin problem is to toss it. Just remember to get rid of it before it begins to smell and stain your porch. If you are like me, you’ve probably waited too long and now don’t want to touch your once-proud work or art. So, here’s my pro tip: use a shovel. There you go four ways to re-use or dispose of your pumpkin.

*Be sure that any pumpkins chosen for eating are in good condition and suitable for human consumption. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How to Profit from Rising Equity on Homes that Won't Sell

A common problem faced by real estate agents is a home that won't sell. You may even find yourself in this situation. Many times you can save your sale if you partner with the right company.

Finding the right company is the key. Many times, property management companies are branches of a real estate brokerage designed to generate leads. Provident Property Management is different. Provident is an independent management company that does not sell properties. There are three main ways that you benefit when you work with Provident:
  •   Extend your network: What does a management only company do when a client is ready to stop renting the house and start selling it? Or what if an investor wants to purchase more rental property and asks the management company for advice? Working with a management company that doesn't sell property means that the referrals, and the sales, come to you.
  •  Save your clients: You work hard to cultivate your client list. Do you really want to throw all that hard work away by handing your clients to a real estate brokerage that also has a property management branch?  Look for a management company that doesn't sell property. Then, when it's time to sell, the client will be referred right back to you. You might even consider it a long-term investment. 
  • Build more trust: You work hard to build a relationship and trust with your clients. When you refer a client that can't or isn't ready to sell their house to a quality property management company, you build rapport. This leads to more referrals and more sales.

The dividends from working with the right property management company are countless. The trick is to find a management company that won't throw you under the bus. Luckily, in the St. Charles area Provident stands ready to help you make more money.

5 Steps to Get your Home Halloween Ready

Halloween is coming, and pretty soon your neighborhood will be crawling with little tykes, teenagers and adults all clamoring for candy. Everyone should prepare for Halloween since the traditions take place primarily at night. Take these five easy steps to get your home Halloween ready.

1.     Lights: Take some time and take a look at your porch and garage lights. Having your light on will not only signal that you indeed have candy, but ensure that there are no missteps on the way up to your door.

2.     Walkways: Identify where you want the foot traffic to go. The ideal path for pedestrians is the sidewalk because it is safe and easy. However, as darkness falls not all house lights are bright enough for everyone to see your sidewalk. Get some lights to line the path, ensuring that everyone is safe and that your flowers don’t get trampled. For a festive, do-it-yourself project, try these milk-jug ghosts. 

3.     Driveways: Cars and pedestrians don’t always mix well. Keep your driveway a pedestrian-only zone by marking it off with lights, haystacks or pumpkins. That way there are no accidents because of a small child or careless backer.

4.     Leaves: With fall come leaves on the ground. Leaves on the sidewalk can create a tripping hazard for walkers – not to mention a haven for bugs. Rake the leaves off walkways before Halloween night to ensure that no one trips.

5.     Candy: How many times have you forgotten the candy on your way to the door only to have to run back before the little tykes scamper away? Keep the candy near the door – this makes it easier for you and reduces your chances of tripping because you’re rushed. 

Overall, Halloween is about having fun! Go get some decorations and colored lights to make your home, walkway or garden glow. Happy Halloween!