Aug. 9, 2018

"Treat" Your Dog on National Dog Day!

Ever since early humans domesticated wild dogs, these steady companions have proven themselves valuable beyond measure. Since 2004, August 26th has been celebrated as National Dog Day and to honor our canine comrades, we created this list of ways to take your love for the pooches to the next level on their dedicated day. 

  • Can You Say "Dog Party"?! - Most dogs love interaction with other dogs. It's great exercise and develops/maintains social skills. Invite your friends with dogs over and let them run run run! If you don't have a fenced yard or other suitable location to let the dogs roam free, take your dog to a dog park for the same effect.
  • Donate to a No Kill Shelter - Next time you're at the store, pick up an extra bag of dog food and drop it off at Five Acres Animal Shelter for their Animeals Pet Food Pantry. Collect older blankets and towels from home and donate those. Shop Stray Rescue of St. Louis' Amazon Wish List and help them with supplies for their trauma center. No matter what, make sure you rescue your next pet and not buy from suspect breeders or pet stores!
  • Car Ride! - Don't you love seeing a dog with their head hanging out the window of a car? Most dogs love car rides and with all the Great River's Greenways and the Katy Trail, there are great places to take your dog for a walk nearby. Just remember to take the scenic route so the hünd gets plenty of car time. And always remember, if it's over 70º F, never leave a dog in the car, even with the windows down.
  • Doggy Makeover - Get your furry friend a new collar and leash or get them a doggy spa treatment (yes, these exist!). Invest in training at your local vet and teach an old dog a new trick. 
  • Frame a Photo - Take your favorite photo of your pet, print it and frame it. And take video of them rolling in the grass or frolicking in the yard...dogs are gone too soon from our lives so these moments captured on your phone will be cherished!
Posted in Tips and Tricks
July 18, 2018

Beat the Heat! Cool Things to Do Around Town

Want to get out of the house but can't stand the heat and humidity of a St. Louis summer? You can still enjoy every bit of summer with these great attractions around town! This is by no means a comprehensive list - tell us which ones we missed in the comments!

Water Fun - If you are trying to stay cool with kids, nothing is better than some form of swimming or splashing in water. Check out these ideas to quench the summer thirst for water fun!

  • St. Charles Parks: McNair, Blanchette and Waplehorst all have great pool facilities for a relatively inexpensive way to keep cool and expend that neverending kid energy!
  • Six Flags Water Park - Combining rides with refreshing water, Six Flags Water Park is a great way to spend a hot St. Louis summer day!
  • Other nearby waterparks: Aquaport in Maryland Heights, Raging Rivers in Grafton (IL) and Citygarden's splash pad are all excellent options for heat-busting family fun.

Museums - So many great options in and around STL for adding a learning component to activities while staying safely indoors and soaking up the air conditioning. Just to name a few...

Other Indoor Options - Again, here are just a few ideas!

Posted in Tips and Tricks
July 10, 2018

Heat Up Your Business @ SRE

Real Estate is a competitive business and your experience is VALUED at SRE.  We can help HEAT UP your business with our professional but fun business culture, competitive commission structure, advanced training & lead generation support with a modern "Real Estate Meets Coffee Shop" office environment. When you're Powered by SRE, everything and everybody is working to help you focus on your success! Everything is designed with the underlying goal to provide our agents with the best support for their business.  

  • Commission caps structured to put more money in your pocket
  • 3 full-time brokers and a Sales Manager that is here for you 100%
  • Agent-branded email marketing to your SOI list
  • CRM tools to manage your business (set it & forget it)
  • Encouragement to Build Your Brand - Powered by SRE!
  • Coffee shop meets Real Estate (Brick & Mortar)

Make a Smart Move to a brokerage that invests in its agents, CALL TODAY!

Our Sales Manager is happy to arrange a confidential meeting with herself, one of the owners or both (whatever you prefer) so you can see for yourself how the SRE atmosphere attracts both experienced and newly-minted agents.

Click here to take the first steps towards a Smart Career Move!

Posted in Recruitment
July 1, 2018

Looking for Fun this 4th? Check Out These Events Around Town!

Lots to celebrate this Fourth of July so head out to one of these great festivals and enjoy the community and the holiday!

St. Charles Riverfest - On July 4th head to the Parade at 10 am and enjoy vendors, music and fun until the fireworks start at 9:20 pm

O'Fallon Heritage & Freedom Fest - Free concerts, free parking and fireworks on July 3rd and 4th

Webster Groves Community Days - The Lion's Club carnival with $25 all you can ride wristbands on the 1st through the 4th with fireworks "spectacular" on July 4th

July 4th Fest with Six Flags & Coca-Cola - Exclusive ride times, fireworks all 5 nights, festive foods & more

Posted in For The Community
June 11, 2018

June is for Dads!

Dads do it all and then some! So what is the best way to show appreciation this Father's Day? Here are a couple of ideas that Dad will love!

  1. Dad Jokes - Punny jokes must be in a dad's DNA. Add to your dad's collection by sharing some good finds from Internet sites made to celebrate this dad oddity
  2. Gear - Got a tech-loving dad? The latest gear - or accessories for his newest tech toy - is always appreciated. Get it personalized for a special touch!
  3. Alone Time - Just like overworked moms, dads can crave time alone. Carve out a weekend to let dad have the house to himself or plan a quick and quiet trip and handle all the details so he can just set up camp and be lazy with no one watching!
  4. Hobbyist Gifts - Wood working? Sports watching? Music playing? Whatever your dad's hobby, a gift meant to increase enjoyment or make it easier will mean a lot.
  5. Put Your Feet Up - In some cases, dad's comfy chair isn't so comfy anymore. And while change can be hard, a fancy new chair will make dad's eyes light up. 
Posted in For The Community
May 8, 2018

Beyond Brunch: 5 Ideas for Mother's Day Fun!

 

Spending time with Mom is the best gift she could ask for on this coming Mother's Day. So if you're looking for something a bit different to do with Mom this year, check out these great alternatives to brunch happening around town!

Laumeier Art Fair - If Mom loves art, the Laumeier Sculpture Park's Art Fair is sure to please!

Eckert's Strawberry Festival - Fun for the whole family with rides and attractions!

Bike the Katy Trail & Visit Wineries - Bicycling, nature and wine is a combination any Mom will love!

Grant's Farm - Interacting with animals is a great option for families with small children.

Free Mother's Day Yoga in St. Peters - For those fitness-minded Moms!

Posted in Tips and Tricks
April 12, 2018

6 Smart Investments in Your Home Using Your Tax Refund


It can be hard to refrain from spending your refund on fun things you don't really need, but consider it as a handover of money the government has been saving for you for the last year. If you haven't yet spent your tax refund (Reminder: Deadline for filing is Tuesday, April 17th!), consider these ideas for reinvesting that money into your home.

  1. Upgrade old or inefficient appliances. That 20 year old dryer is costing you more money than it's saving you by not replacing it. Upgrading inefficient appliances will undoubtedly make your life easier, your home more comfortable and save you on energy costs - a triple win!
  2. Get started on that home improvement project you've been considering. Regular monthly expenses often take precedence over buying paint for that bedroom with the ugly wall color or replacing the dilapidated mailbox. Using your tax refund to pay for these types of small - or larger - home improvements is a great reinvestment that often increase the value of your home.
  3. Enhance your landscaping. Landscaping plants and labor is an expensive endeavor and is often far down on the priority list. Your home's curb appeal is its first impression and investing in it is always a great idea.
  4. Take a chore off your plate. If your hard is hilly or your lawnmower outdated, consider hiring a lawn care firm to take care of it for you for a year. The extra time it buys you will pay for itself in no time and your neighbors will envy how good your lawn looks!
  5. Pay more on your mortgage. Paying even $100 more per month on your mortgage can significantly reduce the time it takes to pay it off and the amount of interest you'll pay. 
  6. Start a rainy day fund. Many Americans don't have adequate savings and if this is you, consider starting a rainy day fund with your tax refund. You should have between 9-12 months of expenses socked away in case something happens and you can't work. 
Posted in Tips and Tricks
March 5, 2018

These 6 Home Maintenance Tasks for Daylight Saving Time will Spring You Ahead!

Time to "spring ahead" on Sunday - are you ready? Daylight Saving Time is a great biannual reminder to perform regular maintenance and cleaning of your home's systems. These six things are simple, inexpensive and will give you untold peace of mind that your home is safe and comfortable!

  1. Test Safety Equipment - Push the test button on all of your home's smoke alarms to make sure the batteries and the units are functioning correctly.  As a reminder, the National Fire Protection Association suggests having a smoke detector outside every sleeping area, in every bedroom and on every level (including the basement). Also test your carbon monoxide detector and check the expiration date on your fire extinguishers.
  2. Clean Carpets and Rugs - Rent or buy a machine that deep cleans carpets and bring rugs in high-traffic areas to professional cleaners. Manufacturers suggest deep cleaning at least once per year so the spring cleaning time is perfect!
  3. The Big Dust - Each time the clock jumps ahead or falls back is a good time to dust the areas and items that don't get regularly dusted: baseboards, light fixtures and bulbs and other nooks and crannies that often get overlooked.  Start up high and work your way to the floor for a most effective deep dusting.
  4. Clean Appliances - It might seem counterintuitive, but your dishwasher and washing machine both need to be cleaned at least once per year. There are several step-by-step guides to easily and effectively washing each appliance, but start with this one for the dishwasher and this one for the washing machine.
  5. Wash Your Pillows - All you need are two tennis balls to make washing your pillows a simple task that leaves them plump and refreshed. Wash two pillows at a time on the delicate cycle and then throw the two tennis balls in the dryer along with a dryer sheet. Just twice a year keeps you sleeping easy!
  6. Clean Out the Cabinets - It's normal for certain oft-used cabinets to end up in disarray over time. Tupperware, the medicine cabinet, linen closet, even the spice rack can get dirty with debris and expired items. When the clock jumps ahead and hour, go through those hectic cabinets with a tidy eye.
Posted in Tips and Tricks
Feb. 8, 2018

Simple Gestures to Show Your Customers Appreciation All Year

Repeat and referral customers are the lifeblood of any business.  And just as you wouldn't only show your spouse or partner love on Valentine's Day, you should consider how to show your customers appreciation all year long.  These tips are cost-effective and genuine ways to keep you top of mind and prove how much you value your customer's business throughout the year.

  1. Reward Loyalty - Loyalty programs are great but they can be cumbersome, hard to manage and time consuming for little payback. But you don't have to be fancy about it! Simple things like a hand-written card in the mail or a flower/fruit arrangement can really show your appreciation for someone coming back to you with their business.  Make the reward commensurate with the size of the sale or business they're bringing you.  People don't forget when they're thanked for being loyal!
  2. Be Generous with Praise - One of the easiest ways to show your appreciation is using social media.  Calling out a customer with thanks for their business will net you more followers and encourage engagement which leads to more exposure for you.
  3. Engage Genuinely - Involve customers and clients in your decision-making and actively listen when you're getting feedback. People want to be heard and if they see you listening intently, they'll be more inclined to work with you in the future.
  4. Be Flexible - Just because you've always done something a certain way doesn't mean there isn't value to changing things up on request. Your client will appreciate your flexibility and willingness to meet their needs and be more likely to use your service the next time they need it - and they'll tell their friends about how you bent over backwards for them.
  5. Incentivize Referrals - Again, simple is best when it comes to expanding your customer base with referral business. The simplest way to gain referrals is to ask for them.  And when someone agrees or comes through with a referral, go back to tips #1 & #2 above!
  6. Focus on the Experience - Each time you interact with a customer or client, you're forming experiential knowledge and history with them. Those experiences will determine whether they want to use your service again so always keep this in mind with any knew client or potential client.
Posted in Tips and Tricks
Jan. 10, 2018

New Year's Resolutions For Your Home

Resolutions to practice better habits in our homes can be just as beneficial as those resolutions focused on our person.  Whether your main objective is to save money, make improvements or just enjoy your home more, these six suggestions are easy to implement and will provide tangible results for your most valuable asset: your home!

  1. Replace CFL and incandescent bulbs with LEDs. The price of LED bulbs has come way down in the last couple of years and the energy savings will more than cover the cost of replacing all the bulbs in your house. In addition, LEDs last 3x longer than the average compact fluorescent bulb and don't contain mercury, an element toxic to humans. 
  2. Start saving now for major repairs. If you don't already have a fund set aside for replacing the roof, the furnace, the dishwasher or any other big-ticket piece of your house that is nearing the end of its useful life, start saving NOW. The average cost of home upkeep in a year is around $3300 and goes up with the size of the house. If you know your hot water heater is 10 years old, you'll be much less distressed when it dies.
  3. Improve your home's safety in two steps. Installing a carbon monoxide detector and getting a radon test kit will do two things quickly: let you know if the air in your home is safe for your family and give you peace of mind that the invisible threats are mitigated. 
  4. Get to know your neighbors. Whether you join a local volunteer organization, sign up to the neighborhood watch or just walk over to a neighbors' house and introduce yourself, being involved in the community around you provides ample benefits.  From having a place to go in an emergency to knowing about potential threats, knowing your neighbors is a step in the right direction.
  5. Share home improvement projects with your family. Kids don't have to be just another thing to work around when you're tackling a home improvement project - they can be vital helpers! It makes them feel valuable and you get to spend quality time with them that doesn't involve a gadget. Find ways to get them involved, from picking out paint colors (within reason!) to learning how to think Safety First! 
  6. Get organized. No list of home considerations is complete without the ubiquitous calls to declutter. But it works! Clutter has been shown to make people feel uncomfortable and anxious, and as the year goes on, more and more "stuff" accumulates.  It doesn't have to be a huge task either: pick one room a week and before you know it, your clutter-free home will have you all smiles!
Posted in Tips and Tricks