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News from our Affiliates Committee...March 2021

Gibby Kirby reduced cropped

“You need a professional photographer on your real estate team”

Prepared by Gibby Kirby, GK3 Studios

815-341-9399              email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Spring market is just around the corner!  After months of cold and the mountain of snow, we will soon see temperatures rising, snow melting, and the days getting longer.  This is also when we will hopefully see an influx of desperately needed inventory.  It’s important for you and your clients to be prepared to hit the ground running for what will very likely be a crazy spring market.  Having a great lender and inspector is vital for your buyers.  Having a great photographer for your sellers is king.

Imagine you are a wedding planner.  You have spent countless hours planning and contracting with vendors.  You have the perfect venue, caterer, florist, and band.  Then you show up to the wedding and decide to take the photos yourself……on your iPhone.  What do you think will be the reaction from your client.  The same is true for your sellers.

Smart phones have come a long way in their photo and video capabilities, but there are still a lot of limitations.  The biggest limitation is the lack of control of images.  Smart phones are designed to be able to give you what it thinks is the best shot, quickly.  But factor in image quality, ambient lighting, composition, and image processing and you will find your photos are not showcasing your listing the way that you want.  A professional photographer can take care of all that for you and so much more. 

There is so much that goes into photography that goes far beyond physically taking the photos.  The editing process can be baffling.  The proper equipment can easily cost thousands of dollars.  The knowledge it takes to get the best composition and angle takes time to master.  One shoot can take up hours of a photographer’s time, between travel, shooting, editing and delivering.  In a busy market, that is hours of YOUR time that would have to be spent and a good amount of money to do it properly.  So why not hire a professional to do it.  After all, isn’t that why we tell sellers they should hire a REALTOR® because they are the best? 

Even in a seller’s market, having the best quality images is important.  Buyer’s are paying top dollar for properties, and you want to make sure that your listing is one of the homes they are making an offer on.  Professional real estate photography is becoming such an important part of the transaction, and buyers are spending a lot of time looking at photos online.  If your photos do not compare to other listings, it just might get overlooked.  Buyers may wonder if the reason it doesn’t look as good in photographs is because it doesn’t look as good in person.  That is the last impression you want for your listing.

Professional real estate photography isn’t just for high-priced listings.  Almost all listings could benefit from it.  With such a hot market, a listing that truly showcases how the property looks can not only bring the most serious buyers to the table but can also weed out the buyers that may not be interested in the property.  This can save your client from dealing with unnecessary showings from buyers that have no interest in the property but couldn’t tell that from the photos.  So, make sure that you have a professional photographer as part of your real estate team.  Your listings, business, and clients will all benefit from it.

10 years working in the real estate industry has taught me the importance of photography in the real estate transaction and what is needed to best showcase your listing.  I also won’t hesitate to put the toilet seat down for the photos!


Lisa Marie Raucci reduced


Submitted by Tom Ballard and Patrice Foster from Fresh Air Experts

708-888-2008              This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Let’s talk Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

Do you realize that the air in your home or office is 2 to 5 times dirtier than air you can find on a busy street?  Why?  Because its trapped!  Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is the air quality within and around buildings and structures. IAQ is known to affect the health, comfort, and well-being of building occupants. Poor Indoor Air Quality has been linked to sick building syndrome, reduced productivity, and impaired learning in schools.  The term “air quality” means the state of the air around us. Good air quality refers to clean, clear, unpolluted air. Clean air is essential to maintaining the delicate balance of life on this planet — not just for humans, but wildlife, vegetation, water and soil.  There are a lot of different reasons why indoor air quality may suffer. Some are within our control, while others are environmental issues we really can’t change. In either case, the best thing to do is to use the right systems and services to boost your indoor air quality. Talk to an indoor air specialist to get a more defined understanding of the ramifications of the air your breathing, good, bad or indifferent.  

What are some of the symptoms of poor indoor air quality?

If you’re noticing health issues, they might be a result of poor air quality. The types of symptoms you might experience can range from cold or allergy-like symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, and coughing) to headaches, nausea, fatigue, and dizziness. It might even be difficult to breathe normally.  Think about what is in your home…cleaning products/chemicals under the sink, the various types of paints on the walls giving off VOC’s, carpets, furniture, cooking, the gas range, oven, our own breathing/exhaling air from within us.  IAQ can be affected by gases (including carbon monoxide, radon, volatile organic compounds), particulates, microbial contaminants (mold, bacteria), or any mass or energy stressors that can induce adverse health conditions. The use of ventilation to dilute contaminants is a primary method for improving indoor air quality in most buildings. Residential units can further improve indoor air quality by routine cleaning of carpets and area rugs.

Another important ingredient to good indoor air quality is the control of moisture.

The accumulation moisture (dampness) leads to mold growth and the presence of bacteria and viruses as well as dust mites and other organisms and microbiological concerns. Water intrusion through a building's envelope or water condensing on cold surfaces on the building's interior can enhance and sustain microbial growth. A well-insulated and tightly sealed envelope will reduce moisture problems but adequate ventilation is also necessary to eliminate moisture from sources indoors including human metabolic processes, cooking, bathing, cleaning, and other activities.

Personal temperature and airflow control over the HVAC system coupled with a properly designed building envelope will also aid in increasing a building's thermal quality.

Creating a high-performance luminous environment through the careful integration of daylight and electrical light sources will improve on the lighting quality and energy performance of a structure.  Solid wood products, particularly flooring, are often specified in environments where occupants are known to have allergies to dust or other particulates. Wood itself is considered to be hypo-allergenic and its smooth surfaces prevent the buildup of particles common in soft finishes like carpet.  The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recommends hardwood, vinyl, linoleum tile or slate flooring instead of carpet. The use of wood products can also improve air quality by absorbing or releasing moisture in the air to moderate humidity.

Interactions among all the indoor components and the occupants together form the processes that determine the indoor air quality. The best way to get a handle on what you’re breathing is to confer with someone who understands IAQ and what you can do to make it better.  That’s what we do.  Call us if you have any questions about your Indoor Air Quality.