Get Your Home Ready for Virtual Open House

From how we work to how we get food and socialize with friends and relatives, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a drastic effect on our lives. For those in the real estate sector, one of the most important developments has been the advent of open house live streaming and virtual tours.
In the spring of 2020, as coronavirus spread throughout Canada, in-person open homes were limited in some provinces, prompting more real estate professionals to take this vital part of the online sales process.
Although open houses are now permitted throughout the world, the pandemic continues, emphasising the importance of physical distances. With that said, it’s no wonder that open houses live streams and virtual tours continue to play an important role for realtors and its clients. Here are some ideas on how to get your home ready for a live stream open house or a virtual tour.In order to align itself with these precautionary steps, we made a variety of adjustments to better represent the real estate environment. We are also supporting all big live streaming sites such as Facebook, Zoom, YouTube, and Instagram.

Set the stage

It goes without saying that your property should look its best in front of the camera debut.

Completely set up all homes and leave the residence empty for a few days during the auction. Lighting for an open house live stream is also important. Be selective about what time of day to host activities on the basis of the daylight available, and makes it a point to turn on all the lights at home to maximise visibility. Occasionally, it can also have additional ring light depending on the house.
Inviting audiences to your open house live stream ahead of time is also an important component from a marketing and engagement perspective. Brown and her team are hosting their open houses on Zoom and Facebook, enabling fans to register for the event in advance of the live stream. This way, they will get an idea of how many people are planning to enter and who they are, which is a valuable input to the seller.

Get comfortable with the technology

Whether it’s a spotty link or a pixelated image, glitches are a popular online video grip.

Any of these glitches can be avoided in front of a live stream open house by getting to know the technology. It’s crucial to have a secure internet connexion – make sure that your Wi-Fi is working well and that you have a back-up hotspot enabled if you’re using your phone to shoot. You can also find that certain parts of the property do not provide a secure link. For example, streaming video outside doesn’t work in certain cases.
Technical problems will still arise despite your best efforts, so Brown says to plan for them to happen and not worry too much when they do.

Although the vibe of the open house doesn’t have to be excessively staged and scripted, the discomfort of the camera might come as an unfavourable experience for the prospective buyer.

Highlight the best features

Live stream open houses are an opportunity to showcase the best aspects of the home that may not have made it into the original marketing materials of the property.
Apart from the property that looks polished, it is necessary to point out certain specific features of the home to prospective buyers during the open house live stream that can not be included elsewhere.
One of the benefits of holding an open house live stream is the immersive opportunities it provides to viewers. Potential buyers can send a message to the realtor during the live stream to ask about the specifics of the home or to request a view of certain areas, such as opening a cabinet for viewing inside or showing a room from a different angle.
When starting an open house, pick your favourite place in your home as an opener to a live stream, for example, under a skylight or another talk stage.
Realtors has a wide range of digital resources and knowledge at their disposal to provide your property with a streamlined and professionally designed marketing campaign that works in the age of physical distance.

Work from home with kids or while homeschooling

It’s fair to assume that 2020 was a year of unpredictability and stress because of COVID-19. Back to school plans do not look any more exciting. Working from home has become a new standard for many, and it can be difficult for someone to adapt to this lifestyle. Put toddlers or school-aged children into a mix, and the ability to remain concentrated and complete administrative tasks can feel difficult.
If you’re talking about sending your child back to school like a lot of Canadians, one thing to remember is how to make remote work more feasible while you have a child at home. While routine is a natural part of our daily lives, there are other concerns as you prepare your home for the school plan.

#1. Attempt to create a schedule
While it is often helpful to be flexible with your daily schedule, it can be counter-productive when it comes to working from home. For Elyssa Kirkham, creator of Brave Saver’s finance blog, and her husband, the difference was a staggered schedule. She and her husband move between working and being the primary caregiver for their two children (4 and 7).

Kirkham says that this scheduling style gave each partner a significant amount of focused work time, with a few “flex” hours in the middle of the day during lunch breaks or more parenting-friendly work – such as answering emails or sending invoices. At the top of their staggered regular schedule, each partner will have a dedicated day to use the home office, lock the door and work on tasks as required.
If your boss isn’t as flexible with your hours of work, it’s always a good idea to brainstorm a few other choices. It could mean that you need to reduce your hours or split your staggered schedule to allow for mid-day meetings. In any case, aim to keep any request as collaborative as possible. It is more likely that your boss would understand if you are informed and have well-considered resolutions to review.

#2. Create expectations and boundaries
Unlike traditional school plans, working from home with a partner and children can completely change the direction of any original limitations you’ve had — especially if you don’t have a dedicated office room. Now is a perfect time to have a family meeting to discuss the new schedule and the aspirations of each family member.
For example, how are you going to build a quiet environment during a meeting or business call? It’s better to over-communicate your job schedule in advance, if possible. Otherwise, have a contingency plan in place for last-minute video calls that could pop up midday.
These same standards and boundaries must also be defined with the employer and employees. In an interview with CPA Canada, Rhonda Scharf, President of Ottawa-based On the Right Track, said, “People need to be flexible about what blurred boundaries look like because we have [other] things to do,” Scharf said. “I suggest people say, ‘Here’s what I can do, and is that all right?

In the same interview, Scharf also advises that people note that these changes are temporary. “You don’t give permission to abuse the limits later. But [you realise] right now, it’s the right thing to do, not only for your boss but for your business and all the employees [there].

#3. Dedicate a day or night to get ready for the week ahead
Much as you prepare for school plans by planning meals and events for the coming week, remote work involves the same organisational skills. It’s all right to have lunch the night before and do all the homework and assignments you need. Remember to stick to what’s working for your family.
It’s a regular discussion for Kirkham and her husband that helps set the tone for 24 hours. The couple frequently spends time reviewing the next week before it starts. “That conversation gives us a chance to catch up on any schedule or workload conflict,” says Kirkham. From there, they can find out a way to manage their schedule in a way that works for everybody.

#4. Give yourself a break and ask for help
When you concentrate on work and your children, it’s not easy to find time for ourselves and the separation between the two. Often you can feel like you have to work late at night or early in the morning to make up for the missed time between handling this new back to the school schedule.
It’s important to have a break and time to recharge. Whether it’s time alone with your partner or time spent doing work, diary, or reading, it’s important to find a balance between your new work-life. “In times of stress, I tend to fall into the mode of perfectionism and try to fix everything at once,” Kirkham says. “But what has helped us to be more willing to accept how messy our reality is right now and to know when to let go.”

Being a parent who works from home and now coping with the addition of a number of Canadians to the 2020 school plan can be daunting. But the best thing you can do to keep up-to-date is to stick to a routine that works for you, to overcommunicate with your family and boss, and to be open to anyone who offers support. If you have the support of an extended family or anyone in your cohort, you should not feel bad for embracing the aid.

Think Outside the Box Story and Lesson to be Learned

In a small Italian town, hundreds of years ago, a small business owner owed a large amount of money to a loan-shark. The loan-shark was a very old, unattractive looking man who just so happened to fancy the daughter of the business owner. 
He agreed to make a deal with the businessman that would completely wipe out the debt he owed him. The catch, however, was that we would only wipe out the debt if he could marry the daughter of the businessman. 
Needless to say, this suggestion was met with a sense of disgust. 
The loan-shark said he’d put two pebbles in a bag, one white and one black. 
The daughter will have to get into the bag and pick up a pebble. If it were black, the debt would be washed out, but the loan-shark would marry her. If it were white, the debt would be washed out, too, so the daughter wouldn’t have to marry the loan-shark. 
Standing on a pebble-strewn path in the garden of the businessman, the loan-shark bent down and picked up two pebbles.

As he picked them up, the daughter found that she had picked up two black pebbles and put both of them in the bag. 
Then he asked the daughter to get in the bag and choose one. 
Of course, the daughter had three options as to what she should have done: 
  1. Refuse to take a pebble out of the bag. 
  2. Take both of these pebbles out of the bag and reveal the loan-shark for cheating.
  3. Pick a pebble out of the bag, knowing full well that it was dark, and sacrifice for her father’s independence. 
She took a pebble out of the bag, and before looking at it ‘accidentally,’ she dropped it in the centre of the other pebbles. She told the loan-shark;

“Oh, how clumsy of me. Never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked.”
The pebble left in the bag is obviously black, and seeing as the loan-shark didn’t want to be exposed, he had to play along as if the pebble the daughter dropped was white, and clear her father’s debt.
Moral of the story:
It’s always possible to overcome a tough situation through out of the box thinking, and not give in to the only options you think you have to pick from.

Physical Activity is Important for Health and Wellbeing

We know that staying active is one of the best ways to keep our bodies healthy. But did you know it can also improve your overall well-being and quality of life?
Here are just a few of the ways physical activity can help you feel better, look better, and live better. Because, why not?
It’s a natural mood lifter.
Regular physical activity can relieve stress, anxiety, depression, and anger. Do you know that “feel good sensation” you get after doing something physical? Think of it as a happy pill with no side effects! Most people notice they feel better over time as physical activity becomes a regular part of their lives.
It keeps you physically fit and able.
Without regular activity, your body slowly loses its strength, stamina, and ability to function properly. It’s like the old saying: you don’t stop moving from growing old, you grow old from stopping moving. Exercise increases muscle strength, which in turn increases your ability to do other physical activities.
It helps keep the doctor away.
Stand up when you eat your apple a day! Too much sitting and other sedentary activities can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. One study showed that adults who watch more than 4 hours of television a day had an 80% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
Being more active can help you:
  • lower your blood pressure
  • boost your levels of good cholesterol
  • improve blood flow (circulation)
  • keep your weight under control
  • prevent the bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis

All of this can add up to fewer medical expenses, interventions, and medications later in life!

It can help you live longer.
It’s true, 70 is the new 60… but only if you’re healthy. People who are physically active and at a healthy weight live about seven years longer than those who are not active and are obese. And the important part is that those extra years are generally healthier years! Staying active helps delay or prevent chronic illnesses and diseases associated with aging. So active adults maintain their quality of life and independence longer as they age.
Here are some other benefits you may get with regular physical activity: 
  • Helps you quit smoking and stay tobacco-free.
  • Boosts your energy level so you can get more done.
  • Helps you manage stress and tension.
  • Promotes a positive attitude and outlook.
  • Helps you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
  • Improves your self-image and self-confidence.
  • Helps you spend more time outdoors.

It is recommended that at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. You can knock that out in just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. And every minute of moderate to vigorous activity counts toward your goal.

So, this is easy! Just move more, with more intensity, and sit less. You don’t have to make big life changes to see the benefits. Just start building more activity into your day, one step at a time.