Wednesday, 26 November 2014
Create a Great First Impression With Photos

It's no secret that by the time most of my clients call me to start looking at real estate, they've already done their homework by combing the Internet for interesting properties. Helpful Websites such as and have features that allow even the most basic Internet surfers all the stats they need to get started in their searches.

But which homes get written at the top of the list? Which homes invite the most visits? In almost every case the most popular are those that include great pictures. A study conducted by reported that online listings including six or more pictures were twice as likely to be viewed than those with less or no pictures.

An article in the Wall Street Journal states, "According to research from the National Association of Realtors, 98% of home buyers who searched for a home online said photos were among the most useful features of real-estate websites." And, "Listings of homes with photos taken by professionals have about 61% more views than listings without-and that's across all price tiers, according to research from Redfin, a real-estate brokerage firm."

Before you break out your camera phone and start snapping pictures of your home to post online, consider these tips for creating a great first impression with pictures.

  1. Post more than one picture. If your listing only includes a picture of the front of your house or the back yard, for instance, then guess what? People are going to think there is something terribly wrong with the rest of the house and the search will stop before they even get started.
  2. Highlight the rooms people want to see. That's awesome that your son's band has enough space to set up and play in the random room in your basement, but people want to see the shape of your kitchen, living room, bathrooms, and bedrooms. If you have a great deck with a view or an extra-large laundry room, include shots of those as well because they are selling points.
  3. Clean up before you start your photo shoot. Pictures of your mess can do more harm than good. You would think this one goes without saying, but you'd be surprised at the number of master bedrooms with unmade beds and kitchen tables piled high with junk I've seen in photo galleries. A first impression is everything!
  4. Use proper lighting to your advantage. Natural sunlight creates the best photography, so use it in rooms where this is possible. If you have a darker room, bring in extra lighting or skip that room altogether.
  5. Capture the cozy feel of the holidays. As family and friends gather in your home this holiday season, take note of what makes your home feel and look extra cozy. Think about a fire cracking in the fireplace, a dining room table set with your best china, and neatly folded guest towels in your bathroom. Keep your decorations tasteful and not overwhelming so that potential buyers can comfortably imagine their things in your space as they browse your pictures.
  6. Hire a professional. If your photo skills are lacking or you don't have anything other than the phone on your camera, consider spending a few extra dollars on a professional. The impact it could make on the number of times your home is viewed will far outweigh the reasonable cost. If you live in the Nashville, Tennessee, area, then I highly recommend Showcase Photography to do this job. Based in Franklin, Tenn., this booming business has 20 architectural photographers who complete between 60-100 photo shoots per day with 1,800 regional real estate agents. In short, this is their specialty, and their photos have helped sell many homes in this area.

For examples of their work, check out their Website:

I'm happy to help you make your home look its very best! Give me a call so I can start to highlight your home's best features, and I'll get your home sold! In the meantime, have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

Jarod Tanksley


Photo credit: Showcase Photography


Posted on 11/26/2014 4:13 PM by Jarod
Monday, 17 November 2014
How to Protect Your Home During Holiday Travels

The holiday season is upon us, and that means many people in the Brentwood, Tennessee, area will be traveling to see friends and family over the next few weeks. Whether your celebrations are an hour away from home or a whole day's worth of travel, this list will of helpful reminders can help protect you and your home from possible mayhem (don't you just love those mayhem commercials?).

Empty Things. If you've ever come home to the stench of rotting food or a mildewing dishwasher, you'll probably never do that again. Throw away food in the fridge or pantry that would have time to spoil or attract bugs. Once that's done, make sure all inside trash has been placed in outside bins. Empty the dishwasher and washing machine to prevent mold. And this should go without saying, but please, oh, please don't forget to empty the diaper pail and the litter box!

Unplug, Turn Down, and Turn Off Things. Even if you use surge protectors, which you should, consider unplugging electronics that will not be in use. Standby mode can still use power, so just err on the side of caution and reduce the possibility of a fire hazard.

There's no need to run up your electric bill with heating your home or your water while it's not being used. Most experts suggest turning the heat down to 55 degrees to trap a little warmth, and some newer water heaters have a "vacation" mode to reduce the number of times it turns on.

Inspect and Insulate Things. If it will be especially cold in your area, walk around the exterior of you home and insulate any exposed pipes. Leave cabinet doors open near pipes in the kitchen and bathrooms to allow a little heat to circulate.  Inspect doors and windows for cracks and make sure they are sealed. For a more thorough list of how to protect your home during the winter, click here.                     

Secure Everything.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, nearly 400,000 burglaries take place in the United States between November and December each year!!  There are many ways to reduce your chances of becoming a victim, but here are a few of the most popular tips according to Ackerman Security.

Make sure your gifts and valuables are not visible from the street. If a criminal can easily see what is in your home, you increase the chance they will be tempted to come inside to steal the items.

Put your holiday lights on an automatic timer. This prevents thieves from "learning" your habits by taking not of when your lights are turned on and off. It is also a good idea to put your indoor lights on an automatic timer if you are vacationing for the holidays.

Secure your home. Make sure all your doors and windows have functioning locks and install a home security system. The easiest way for thieves to get into your home is through welcoming unlocked doors and windows. Do not store a spare key outside.

Do not run extension cords for holiday lights through windows. Running extension cords through windows means that window cannot close and latch completely. This makes the window an easy entry point for burglars.

Have a trusted friend or family member pick up your mail and newspapers. If you are going out of town, get someone you trust to check on your house and pick up your mail and newspapers. Nothing tells a thief you are not home like a week's worth of newspapers on your driveway.

Do not post your holiday travel plans online. Broadcasting the location or duration of your trip on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can be dangerous. It may be something exciting you really want to share, but be aware that you are blatantly telling criminals, "I'm not home."

Be wary of people going door-to-door soliciting donations. This is a common ruse used by criminals. Ask to see an I.D. that connects them with the charity. Don't feel pressured to give, trust your instincts and never give cash. Call 911 if you believe something is not right.

Don't advertise the gifts you received. Placing your empty boxes outside for pickup shows thieves what is available inside your home. We definitely encourage you to recycle, but be smart about it. Break the boxes down, turn them inside out, put them in your trash receptacle and don't place them on the curb until collection day.


I hope that you and your friends and family have a wonderful holiday season together. If you need help finding a new, cozy home where everyone can gather for Christmas, contact me today!

Jarod Tanksley



Posted on 11/17/2014 11:54 PM by Jarod
Friday, 7 November 2014
Cool Springs Mall Creates a Festive 2014 Holiday Season

Sure. There are plenty of retailers that offer shopping from the convenience of your laptop, but the Cool Springs Mall is enticing shoppers this holiday season with events and new attractions that are sure to make your holiday season more festive and fun. With only seven more weekends to get in your holiday shopping, why not come out for some good, ole' fashioned people watching among the larger-than-life decorations at the mall as you check off your family's holiday list?

The fun starts for kids TOMORROW, Nov. 8, with a Pajama Party with Santa from 9-11. Santa will be at the mall every day until Christmas Eve, so there is plenty of time to come give him your wish list. The mall is a great place for pictures with Santa. Consider coming at an off-peak time for no wait, or get a fast pass and schedule your place in line!

Pets can get in on the fun by having their pictures made with Santa on Nov. 11 and 18 from 6-9 p.m.

Then, the enjoyment expands to adults this coming Tuesday, Nov. 11th, when the Cheesecake Factory opens its doors! With more than 200 items on the menu, there's something for everyone. Bring the family in for a break and rest your feet as you treat yourself to a meal and indulge in one of 50 dessert items! Visit their Website to learn more.

On Nov. 15th, there will be a grand re-opening of the mall play area from 11-2, but the better news is that it will be up and running for the little ones throughout the holiday season.

On Sat. Dec. 6 Santa will be hanging out in the food court where you can join him for a Chick-fil-a breakfast from 8:30-10:00.

For more information about these events AND for a great list of updated sales and deals going on at the Cool Springs mall, click on the mall's Web site.

If finding a new home is on your Christmas wish list, I'd be happy to help you find the perfect place!

Jarod Tanksley

Posted on 11/07/2014 3:39 PM by Jarod