Monthly Archives: May 2010

Agents, Need FloorPlans?

Floorplan OnlineFloorPlanOnline® has launched a new version to provide Buyers, Sellers and Agents with valuable resources. This new more user-friendly version 2.o has an integrated website that includes upgraded navigation with different property content, and multiple tour customization options.

Home Shopper Features

The advanced site presents the home buyers with a myriad of Media options; including a Floor Plan Viewer with zoom-ability and full screen, Photo Viewer with large, high quality photos, WalkThruTM Video, and the new RoomPlanner that allows the user to drag and drop furniture onto the floorplan to experiment with furniture placement and design.

FPO 2.0 brings a new, high level of information to the home buyer about a listing. Our goal is to provide the most robust content platform for properties online, said Kris Cone, CEO of FloorPlanOnline®. To be able to see the floorplan of a home, click on a room and see the photo of that room – it’s a powerful tool. To then further make it your own with the RoomPlanner gets the buyer interested and engaged.  We are taking great care to offer this premium service affordably and efficiently through full or self service options.

Listing Agent Features

The site also allows the listing agent to perform search engine optimization (SEO) on individual properties and do their own tracking via Google Analytics (or other tracking programs).

Visit FloorPlanOnline® for more information on version 2.0.

March Homes Sales Rise

Home SalesAs the federal housing tax credit ran out, home buyers raced to buy a home to meet the looming deadline. This pushed pending sales of existing homes in March up 5.3 percent over February according to the National Association of Realtors. The organization is also reporting that pending sales were up 21.1 percent from just one year ago. However sales are expected to stabilize throughout the year and not maintain this pace.

Now that the incentive and the sense of urgency to buy quickly and buy now is gone, experts are predicting that home sales will fall over the next few months. However, there is good news on the horizon as home sales are expected to become self-sustaining in the second half of 2010 and into 2011.

Despite the Economy, a New Business Thrives

The Interior PartnersTwo years ago, the housing market was slowing down and several companies were going out of business. That is also when The Interior Partners decided to set up shop. In those two years, Cindi MacPherson and Ashley Norred have experienced success after success with twenty projects under their belt. They’ve completed five residential projects, a restaurant and 15 model installations for home builders. They operate all across the Southeast.

How were they so successful in such a down market? Their low overhead, flexibility with clients and knack for staying in tight budgets have given them a competitive edge. In order to stay in budget, furniture was reused for different projects but accented with different items to provide a fresh look. Cindi MacPherson is extremely optimistic about growth potential in 2010 since the market is turning around.

Last fall, The Interior Partners won the Gold and Silver OBIEs from the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association for best model home merchandising for $299,999 and under for their work in the Bryant Lake community of LaGrange, Ga.

The Interior Partners enjoys the creativity in residential projects. Currently, they are working on one project in Midtown Atlanta, a structure of glass, stone and steel, and another in the Vinings neighborhood that was damaged by the September 2009 floods in Georgia.

The Interior Partners would love to assist you with your next project. They serve the following areas: Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama or Tennessee. Contact them by calling 678-731-0926 or visiting their website, The Interior Partners.

Just Two Weeks till the Southern Building Show!

Southern Building ShowRegistration is open for the 2010 Southern Building Show and Conference, a 3-day conference taking place May 13-15 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

The conference will feature five different tracks:

  1. design and architecture
  2. business operations and finance
  3. sales and marketing
  4. construction/building science
  5. green building.

Thursday, the conference kicks off with the Super Sales Rally, sponsored by social media marketing firm, mRELEVANCE, the rally will be led by Melinda Brody and Meredith Oliver. Always a favorite, this session will teach you how to find your inner “rockstar” and stand out from the crowd.

A host of other seminars will be taught by industry leaders through the duration of the conference. A complete schedule of sessions is available on the Southern Building Show website.

Also, several professional development opportunities are available including the following NAHB certification courses: Green Building for Building Professionals, Marketing and Communications Strategies for Aging & Accessibility (CAPS I), Design/Build Solutions for Aging and Accessibility (CAPS II) and Business Management for Business Professionals.

Full registration for the Southern Building Show is $175 and includes access to exhibits, educational seminars and the Super Sales Rally. Individual day tickets cost $125, but ticket prices will rise after May 5.

Be sure to register soon to ensure your spot at the Southern Building Show!

State Program Helps Avoid Foreclosures

foreclosure avoidanceEven with foreclosure rates increasing 14% in 2009, North Carolina still ranks one of the lowest for foreclosures nationwide.   With help from a government run program that focuses on counseling and legal-service agencies, the state was able to avoid $183.6 million in investor losses and $43.6 in value declines last year.

The State Home Foreclosure Prevention Act (SHFPP) is the result of  2008 emergency legislation to the state’s high rate of foreclosures on subprime loans and successfully dodged 2,620 foreclosures in 2009.  The project was launched with the Commissioner of Banks, 34 state agencies, HUD-certified counseling services, legal service providers, and nonprofit groups.  Lenders have to give 45 days notice before filing foreclosure, according to state law. Counselors review homeowner’s personal finances to figure out why the mortgage became unsuccessful and might be able to work out a loan modification and the Commissioner of Banks expanded the phone-counseling services to all North Carolina homeowners seeking help.

SHFPP emerged when the state passed its Emergency Foreclosure Act in 2008 and sent $600,000 in grants to nonprofits and counseling agencies.  Bank of America put up another $2 million, and North Carolina Housing Finance Agency secured $25 million in federal grants and the Commissioner of Banks pays the SHFPP staff with more than $1 million in fees it charges banks.  If these funds aren’t renewed, the project will need to tap other sources, such as national foundations.  However, with the expected budget deficit there is a chance the funding won’t be renewed.  Read the entire article.