Tips Use Content Marketing in the Mortgage Business

Content marketing is a great way for your mortgage business to reach prospective clients.

In the world of online marketing, content is king.

According to a survey by Roper Public Affairs, 80% of consumers prefer to get their information from articles, not ads. Of those, 70% reported that content makes them feel closer to a company.

Read on to learn more about how you can use content marketing in the mortgage industry to help your business!

Demonstrate Value to Readers

One of the most important ways to create an effective content marketing campaign is to demonstrate value to readers.

But how can you do this?

Put together well-written, relevant content. You should choose topics that are trending in your industry and that help provide insight and information on these issues.

For example, you could explain how FHA interest rates are indirectly impacted by the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates. The Fed raised interest rates most recently in June 2017, making this a relevant issue for those looking at mortgages.

By doing this, you build the brand of your business as one that provides value to readers, who also can be potential clients.

Use Unique Facts For Support

In order to become a reliable source of information in content marketing, you need credibility.

One of the ways to do this is by using unique facts from reputable sources. When you use facts to support your content, this helps you stand out from other writers.

But what sources should you use?

Your mortgage business should look to information from government websites and well-known real estate sources. Using unique facts is interesting to readers while also delivering a stronger message.

Incorporate Video Content

One of the ways to break up text in content marketing is to incorporate video.

Statistics indicate choosing video content is a wise choice now and moving forward. According to a study by Cisco, video content will make up 82% of internet traffic by 2021.

Video content helps bring the written word to life. You are able to supplement your written content with high-quality video. By creating videos about these topics, you can help your readers become more engaged.

Content Marketing For Your Business

Content marketing is a great way for your mortgage business to engage clients and prospective clients.

Part of a successful content marketing campaign is when you resonate with your readers in a unique way. One way to accomplish this is by delivering well-written content on relevant topics.

Look at what is trending in your industry and use unique facts in your written content. This will help readers to see the value in your work. It also helps build trust and a comfort level. This is essential for consumers in the mortgage industry.

There are lots of options for consumers when it comes to choosing a mortgage broker. When you use a strong content marketing campaign, it can be the difference between someone picking your business over another.

Leave a lasting impression on your readers by incorporating these things into your content marketing campaign.

Write Amazing Real Estate Blog Content

You already know you need a blog and online content in order to drive more traffic to your site. But you need fresh content ideas and tips on how to write amazing real estate blog content.

You might be the real estate expert, but we can help with the content. Read on to learn a thing or two from the content experts.

Write Amazing Real Estate Blog Content with These Tips

Writing amazing real estate blog content is easy when you write about what you know. You don’t have to get fancy here, you don’t need an English degree, and you don’t need to write a novel.

All you need is a little knowledge in your industry and the willingness to share it with the world. Here are a few ways you can create amazing content for your site.

Talk About Your Local Area

How well do you know the local area you sell in? As a real estate expert, you probably know it like your own back yard.

One of the easiest ways to write great real estate blog content is to write about your local area.

Talk about upcoming local events or write a post about a recent event you attended, and don’t forget to add some pictures! That’s the easy part.

Write your own positive reviews on local restaurants, national parks, and historic attractions. Feature luxury properties and maybe mention the local celebrities buying or selling in the area.

Have fun with this! A blog should be both informative and entertaining. Now, let’s talk about some educational content ideas.

Teach DIY Home Improvement Solutions

New home owners are usually eager to get their DIY home improvement on but don’t want any Tim “the Toolman” Taylor accidents.

Offer a helping hand by writing about your home improvement experiences. Here are a few topic ideas to get you started:

  • How to Deep Clean Exteriors with a Power Washer
  • Give Your New Home a Mini Bathroom Makeover
  • Turn Your Back Yard into a Garden Oasis
  • Wallpaper for the Modern Home Owner, How to Do It Right

Things to Know About Multi Family Homes

What about those buyers who are looking for multi family homes? Write a series of blog posts, or better yet, create an eBook on the topic.

Teach newbies everything they need to know about purchasing a multi family home like:

  • How Buying a Multi Family Home Affects Your Options
  • The Pros and Cons of Owning a Multi Family Home
  • How to Get Financed for a Multi Family Home
  • What Happens When You’re Ready to Move

You don’t have to be the next Hemingway to write amazing real estate blog content. In fact, there are plenty of resources on the web these days to help make the writing process easier for you.

What’s In It For Me? The Payoff of Real Estate Online Advertising

Many people probably remember seeing Realtors(R) faces on bus benches.

It was just the way they used to advertise and bring in new clients. That image signified a great deal of pressure for the Realtor(R). Their smiling face had to be convincing enough to tell the client, they were trustworthy.

The internet, however, has changed real estate online advertising. Realtors(R) can now rely on the internet for their marketing strategies to bring in new business.

When you advertise online you’re trying to sell a lifestyle. Your goal is to make potential clients imagine themselves in their dream home.

If you want to make their dreams come through, we’ve put together a guide to help you do it.

Digital Means Trackable

The digital era has made it possible for real estate online advertising to reach more people than old-school advertising. With the use of Facebook accounts, companies are able to track the number of shares and followers. As well as Twitter and Instagram.

Google Analytics keeps track of daily page visits, time spent on the site, and places where people click.

With previous marketing campaigns such as bus benches and newspaper adds it was more difficult to track the audience reached. The problem with newspapers and magazine adds, is only readers from a certain age and demographic.

Pay-Per-Click Real Estate Online Advertising

Pay-per-click is a type of online advertising and they also appear near the google searches. This advertising model ensures the client only pays when the advertisement results in a lead.

If the real estate company doesn’t get a click on their ad, then they don’t have to pay for it. It’s a way to create cheaper and more effective promoting.

Pinterest Advertising

Pinning has become so popular and for those who advertise, nearly 30% have an annual income of over 100K. Realtors(R) can see an increase in their number of visitors if they sign up for Pinterest.

The boards are part of why Pinterest attracts so many people. Real estate agents can post pictures of their projects in boards to attract buyers and sellers.

Boards titled dream home, style and decor, city apartments and such attract many views that can lead directly to a real estate site.

Instagram Interactions

Instagram has over 300 million users. These users are active and like to participate in the conversation. What a better way to attract more clients than interact with them.

You can attract more followers by using the right hashtags and following the newest trends. Instagram users are always looking to follow trendy images.

Instagram often works by word of mouth. The user who sees your image might not be the one buying, but with the use of a button.

Ready to Advertise

It’s time to put these new skills to work and see your online real estate traffic increase. The use of Pinterest and Instagram will make your company more visually appealing.

Taking advantage of the internet is a smart way to create new advertising and marketing campaigns for your real estate company. And only pay for the advertising that will give you clicks and results.

If you enjoyed this article, check out the rest of the blog and learn a few more tricks

5 Real Estate Advertising Tools That Can Help You Sell Your Home

If you’re thinking new tech hasn’t quite reached the real estate industry, think again. From drones to social media, there are plenty of fresh and modern ways to help sell your home fast.

Our recent advances in technology have given us the tools to advertise directly to our consumers. So, whether you’re a homeowner or agent, you have what you need at your fingertips.

Here are five real estate advertising tools that can help you sell your home faster than you could have just a few years ago.

1. Professional Photos

Buyers are using laptops and mobile devices to view available homes more than ever. Want to get them past the screen and through your door?

Make sure your listing includes high-quality professional photos of almost every room. That means iPhone snapshots won’t cut it.

Studies show that listings with professional photos sell quicker and for more money than listings without.

But if you’re dealing with a highly competitive market, consider going above and beyond professional photography. Read on for more ways to set your listing apart from the crowd.

2. Drone Photography

Since nine out of ten home buyers use the internet as a primary research tool, eye-catching content is essential.

High-quality professional photos are important but it’s becoming more and more common to see. Drone photography is a new way to get your listing to stand out.

Marketing a real estate property isn’t easy. Drone photography can provide your listing with beautiful, dramatic, sweeping shots of your property.

It can also be the best way to showcase the surrounding landscape and layout. Both of which are effective selling points and deserve to be a part of your advertising strategy.

3. 3D Immersive Video Tours

Are you a tech nerd? Well, get ready for this. If professional photos and drones aren’t enough for you, consider a 3D immersive video tour of your home.

The Bigger Equity site says we are currently in a seller’s market. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with your real estate advertising strategies.

Virtual tours have provided the kind of exposure we used to only dream about. With a 3D immersive video tour, anyone in the world can tour your property for as long as they want. From wherever they want.

The investor in China has the opportunity to “tour” your home without flying back and forth. The military wife moving cross-country gets a better chance at picking the right house for her family, without any inconvenience.

Great pictures and videos are essential, but buyers need to find your listing first. Here’s where to get eyes on your property.

4. Social Media

Ever thought to post your listing on Facebook, Twitter, or even Pinterest? These sites are the perfect place to share your amazing photos and video.

Many agents are encouraging their sellers to share their listing with their friends. And to get friends and family to share your listing with their networks.

Social media isn’t just a place to waste the hours away. It’s a great selling tool that you should be taking advantage of.

5. Don’t Forget Real Estate Advertising Basics

You can’t go wrong with these real estate advertising tools as they have stood the test of time.

Make sure your home is listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) site. Complete with a full description and professional photos. This is the first place many buyers and agents will be looking for available homes.

Also, post your home on all the major real estate sites. Here is a list to get you started:

  • Zillow
  • Trulia
  • Redfin
  • Homes.com
  • Curbed
  • Hotpads
  • ZipRealty
  • Auction.com

Finally, print good old-fashioned flyers, pamphlets, and postcards to hand out at open houses. Include your best photos and major selling points.

When you’re selling your home, make sure to use real estate advertising tools to help speed up the process.

Home Inspection Services Benefit Both the Buyer and Seller

Where would we be without some handy professionals that can keep our buildings safe?

Home inspection services are a prerequisite during any home purchase.

While most people think of an inspection as something the buyer does to protect their investment, it’s actually a necessity that helps the buyer and the seller.

Let’s dive into some points so that you’re clear on why this is the case.

#1: Home Inspection Services Prevents Buyers From Blunders

A buyer will be kicking themselves for the next 30 years if they forget about the inspection.

A home inspection gives buyers the chance to have the home looked at from top to bottom by a pro. These professionals will test out the structure of the building, in addition to the utilities and inner workings.

This is a small price to pay for your peace of mind and allows you to feel confident when buying a property.

Getting the inspection also opens up the floor for negotiating on price and other considerations.

#2: An Inspection Protects Liability And The Exchange Of Money

Home inspection services definitely protect the seller as well.

The last thing you’d want is to think that you’re flipping a house, only to have a mortgage lender back out at the last minute.

Now you’ve taken your home off the market with no money to show for it.

This is quite possible if an issue is found within the property that makes the lender wary. By having the property inspected thoroughly before listing it, you’ll mitigate any of these circumstances.

#3: A Seller Might Avoid Huge Mistakes

When selling a home, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to take inventory of the house so that you’re capitalizing on its full value.

Getting one of these inspections on the front end allows sellers to be on the safe side.

For instance, you might find that a certain type of kitchen countertop or wallpaper is outdated. You can get the home inspected with a value-based approach as well so that you’re not leaving money on the table.

You’ll be able to replace your garbage disposal if needed and get inspections of your kitchen plumbing infrastructure to avoid any possible issues during the sale.

#4: It Speeds Along The Sale Process

Time is of the essence for both the buyer and seller, so getting home inspection services is definitely positive in this regard.

The sooner a buyer is comfortable that they’re not buying a lemon, the sooner they’ll be ready to sign on the dotted line. Likewise, real estate agents put together detailed content marketing plans to get big ROI and quick sales.

A speedy sale is obviously great for the seller, so it’s best to be as transparent as possible and get the inspection out of the way early.

When all investigative measures are taken care of, the negotiating ground is laid out and both buyer and seller are a few steps closer to a resolution.

Share Your Thoughts

Are you in need of a home inspection? Perhaps you still have questions about the process and what your next steps should be.

Leave us a comment below so that we can discuss things further!

How to Market Your Home to Luxury Buyers

Looking to sell your luxury home? Your marketing needs to be on point. Here’s everything you need to know about how to sell it quickly at a competitive price.

Luxury Homes for Sale – What’s Your Price?

It’s important to sell your luxury home at a competitive price.

A competitive price is found by your real estate agent through comparative market analysis.

This takes into account the value of your home while being cognizant of the other luxury homes for sale in your area. Your real estate agent will sift through data, tour comparable homes, and call on brokers for insight.

Buyers in your area have more to spend than most. This doesn’t mean they won’t deliberate and negotiate.

This is why listing your home at a competitive price is essential.

Marketing Materials

The price of your home is just one part of your marketing plan.

Luxury homes for sale are not commonplace. Your marketing plan should have a refined, compelling strategy to match.

Create a unique website for your home.

Ensure that your website is mobile friendly. Sites with intuitive navigation, which are gorgeous and clean will charm potential buyers.

Seek out the best, innovative marketing materials to post on your website and other venues your agent deems appropriate.

This means professional picture, video, and drone photography. Hire skilled writers for your ads and brochures.

Showcase your home’s amenities. This includes:

  • Design (intricate details and open floor plan)
  • New technology: control locks, heat, and AC from your phone
  • Pool
  • Home theater
  • Spa bathroom
  • In-home gym

Location

Luxury homes for sale should emphasize their exclusivity and the gorgeous landscape in the marketing materials.

When buyers see your marketing materials, the exclusivity and privacy of your luxury home should be apparent at first glance.

Showcase the land around your home with picture and drone photography. Whether the greenery around your home is beautiful but simple or lush and colorful, ensure that its design matches your home.

Time of Year

Selling at a certain time of year is important for anyone selling a home, however, luxury homes for sale raise the stakes.

Things to consider are school, terrain, and weather.

Being cognizant of schools in your area is important for anyone selling a home. If your luxury home is in a school area, it’s important to consider the children of potential buyers. Be prepared to give some information about the schools.

Many families with children will be looking for a new home in late Spring and Summer. Selling outside this window means that fewer families are shopping.

Fortunately, it doesn’t exclude all buyers.

Potential buyers look for luxury homes outside this window, but they still want an unforgettable viewing.

If you live near water or your luxury home is lake or oceanfront, extreme weather could mean unfriendly cold, wind or even hurricanes if your luxury home is on the Gulf.

Aim to show your home in the right season, when the weather is pleasant.

10 Tiny Changes to Refresh Your Home For Fall

As winter approaches, it’s time to snuggle down and make the most of being at home. Although it can be hard to motivate ourselves to make major interior changes as temperatures drop, there are plenty of little tweaks that will make a surprisingly big difference. So ring in the new season with these small but enticing changes.

Trade pillows. If pretty florals are starting to feel all wrong, embrace the new season with something fluffier. Most of us are happy to switch our wardrobes from summer to winter, so why not our home accessories too?

Try swapping your current pillows for cozier and more tactile ones in winter whites, oranges or browns to mirror the seasonal hues – and switch light cottons for sheepskin, velvet, wool and felt. The shaggy numbers here make a pair of compact armchairs feel much more inviting on longer evenings.

Lay a jewel-bright rug. Gray has its place, but there’s nothing like a colorful rug to give a living room a warm, inviting feel, especially now that the seasons are turning. It will also keep chilly toes warmer on hard flooring. If you’re worried about rugs slipping and sliding around on hard floors, use double-sided carpet tape to keep them in place. Alternatively, use felt, rubber or vinyl nonslip rug pads. You can often cut them to fit (though watch out for cheap pads that leave a sticky residue on floors).

Sprinkle some fairy dust. Fairy lights definitely aren’t just for Christmas. They add a lovely twinkly feel to rooms, which is especially welcome now that we’re heading into autumn and winter. Hang them on a window to add an extra warm glow on those dark, cold mornings or to cheer you up at the end of the day as the light fades. They also look lovely coiled in a fireplace, hung on a mirror or picture frame, or arranged across a closet door.

Mix in metallics. Coppery and golden tones were made for autumn. They add a touch of warm luxury but also seem to fit with the colors and low light of the season. You don’t need to make a big change — one or two lampshades, a side lamp or a vase can make a huge difference to rooms. Copper tones also go beautifully with a neutral palette of grays, whites and beiges, which so many of us have in our rooms these days.

Display evergreen foliage. You don’t need to spend a fortune on expensive bouquets to cheer up your rooms. Spring and summer flowers such as daffodils and tulips may be behind us now, but you can celebrate the change of seasons with evergreen foliage or even a display of autumnal leaves.

Pop branches, cuttings and sprigs of autumn berries in tall, colorful vases to add natural beauty to the dining table. Head to your garden for ideas, but be careful not to collect poisonous berries if you have young children or pets.

Illuminate kitchen cabinets. Undercabinet lighting makes kitchens look more appealing at night, as it creates soft pools of illumination. It’s also practical for cooking and prepping, especially in gloomy corners, when natural light is at a (inevitable as the seasons turn).

No need to despair if you don’t want the fuss and expense of getting lights wired in. Instead, look for simple stick-on, battery-operated lighting that can be secured in place using sticky tabs and operated at the switch of a button. Puck lights are compact and often feature energy-saving LED bulbs.

Try a wall light. Similarly, if you like the practicality of wired-in bedside or office lights but your walls are already plastered and painted, then try this trick: an angled plug-in light that has the look of a wired-in number. With visible wires being very on-trend, this can easily be styled as part of your interior design.

Glam up your grout. If your grout is in need of a quick cleanup (and let’s face it, whose isn’t?), consider a grout pen. This nifty device can tidy up grubby grout in a flash. Although it may not be a long-term solution, or look quite as good as replacing it properly, it can tide you over, covering up stained and cracked patches.

Simply choose the color that matches your grout — or, if you want a change, choose another color and draw over the top. Most are antibacterial too, so they should help keep mold from sprouting.

Light a candle or two. Whether you refer to it as hygge or something else, there’s no doubt that, as the evenings start to draw in, we’re more likely to light a candle and hunker down, maybe with a mug of cocoa or something a little stronger.

If you already have an assortment of tea light holders and candlesticks stashed in your drawers and cabinets, why not turn them into a flickering display on a low shelf or table? Just always be safe and never leave open flames unattended. Ordinary glass bottles and jars can also work well if you don’t have anything else at hand.

Add a bright blanket. Now that it’s cold outside, it’s time to take out your blankets. But don’t view these just as functional accessories — they can be part of your design and give tired bedrooms a seasonal refresh.

Go outside your comfort zone and choose something with a bold design or shade to change the feel of your room. Replace summer pastels with rich colors that add a mellow autumnal atmosphere, for instance. This cozy mustard number ties in with the pillows and brings the neutral bedroom to life.

 

5 Easy Design Tips For A Zen Bedroom

A good night’s sleep is a much-coveted dream of many, and for good reason. Research from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute shows that sleep is vital for emotional well-being, decision-making, physical health and creativity. And yet 45 percent of Americans report that poor sleep negatively affects their life at least one day a week, the National Sleep Foundation says. Luckily, there are some proven strategies to rediscover dreamland, and they all start with a zen bedroom. From design decisions to color choices, here are five easy ways to transform your bedroom into a calm, peaceful environment so you can relax and get the best possible rest.

1. Choose a Natural Color Palette

Neutrals like white, gray and warm brown provide a timeless backdrop that evokes the calmness of nature and matches any accent color for an ordered space. A dresser, bed frame and nightstands in a natural wood stain look great against misty gray walls and crisp white window trim and baseboards.

For walls, try a light and airy paint color like Sherwin-WiIliams Passive with the buttery-smooth Cashmere finish. If you want to try a more colorful accent wall, opt for a light shade of blue which is associated with relaxation and wisdom.

2. Invest in a Great Bed

A substantial and comfortable bed promotes a good night’s sleep. If space allows, opt for a king-size mattress with a dense memory foam core. This provides the maximum support on pressure points like hips and shoulders while keeping the spine aligned. The larger size will also minimize any disruptions from a partner’s movements during the night.

When arranging the furniture, position the bed against the wall farthest from the door, HGTV.com suggests. This helps achieve a sense of safety and allows for foot traffic to flow through the room. Also, consider anchoring the bed with a heavy wooden, leather or upholstered headboard, or even a dark accent wall to create a sense of being enveloped or cocooned.

3. Display Beautiful Art

Choose art that is pleasing to look at and calming in its effect. Black-and-white photographs, landscapes or abstract prints of water or foliage work well. Whatever the style or medium, think simplicity and minimalism.

When hanging artwork above the bed, ensure that it feels connected to the bed rather than floating above it. To accomplish this, measure eight to 10 inches above the headboard — that’s where the bottom of the artwork’s frame should be.

4. Pay Special Attention to Lighting

One of the most annoying ways to lose sleep is glaring sunlight flooding your space. To create a nurturing and intimate sleep space, cover windows with light-blocking roller shades framed by beautiful linen drapes.

To give the room a romantic glow at night, frame the bed on either side with table lamps or wall-mounted reading lamps. Soft indirect light, rather than the harsh brightness of overhead light, will help to maintain a healthy circadian rhythm.

5. Layer on the Natural Textiles

From wool rugs to cotton bedding, go overboard on high-quality natural textiles. The softness of the material will cushion sound and make comfort and calm a priority.

For large area rugs, look for 100 percent wool since the synthetic blends don’t hold up as well to traffic and vacuuming. When shopping for bed sheets, choose 100 percent cotton with longer fibers such as Egyptian, pima and supima.

Now you’re ready to create your own zen bedroom. Go forth with calmness, serenity and balance.

10 Hot Trends For Your Home In 2018

Starting to think about making changes to your home? The new year is, not surprisingly, a popular time to try on new trends or make overdue updates. Before you hit the paint store or buy those new kitchen cabinets, take a look at what industry experts are predicting will be some of the hottest home trends for 2018.

Brass

Brass has been showing up in kitchens, baths, and lighting for a few years, but homeowners who were hesitant to take the leap can feel more confident next year. Brass accents are expected to be huge for 2018.

The end of the all-white kitchen?

It’s been the dominant interior trend for several years now, with white cabinets, white subway tile, and white quartz or marble countertops dominating kitchen design. But, next year, don’t be afraid to add a little color. Everyone will be doing it.

“Houzz says white will always be a classic color for kitchen design, but homeowners are expected to throw in bits of color, especially other neutrals like gray and blue,” said inman. “In order to add a little warmth to such a cool palette, designers are ditching painted cabinets for warm wood tones, such as mahogany.”

Mindfulness

Last year, hygge made a splash, bringing “the Danish concept of finding contentment in cosiness” to the home,” said The Independent. While we’re not quite ready to get rid of this homey trend, a new one is burgeoning: Ikigai. Will this lifestyle concept from Japan “help us live our best lives?”

The central principle of Ikigai is about finding purpose in life, and covers everything from a mindfulness surrounding daily tasks and goals to social connections to what we buy—and keep—in our home.

Wabi-Sabi

Of course, don’t fear that following Ikigai means you have to be perfect. If you also follow the principle of wabi-sabi, “the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection,” said Country Living, you can relax your mind and enjoy your surroundings without needing everything to look just so. “In home design, this translates to handmade or hand-painted items including rough linens and pottery. The result? A deeply personal, organic aesthetic.”

Into the purple

Ultra Violet, a rich, dark purple, is Pantone’s new 2018 color of the year, so if you’re a fan, you’ll have lots of options for incorporating it into your home in 2018.

Lavender

If Ultra Violet is too dramatic for you, there are other options within the purple family that designers say will be hot for 2018. “Millennial pink is still around and I still love it, but it’s morphing into lavender and lilac,” Nancy Fire, creative director of HGTV HOME, Design Works International and Studio NYC Design told House Beautiful. “People were sarcastic about millennial pink at the beginning, but it’s being used to bring out beautiful, soft tones with accents that are deeper.”

The end of gray?  In other very important color news: “Beige and brown are back,” said Gates Interior Design. “If you never got around to embracing the grey trend, well guess what? You’re back in!”

A sink to remember

Popularized in large part by HGTV’s Chip and Joanna Gaines, the farmhouse sink has earned superstar status in the kitchen. But, they have mostly been stainless steel. Not so in 2018. Houzz predicts “warmer hues and grittier textures,” with “concrete, stone, copper and granite composite sinks in darker hues of gray, bronze or black.”

Circles

Geometric shapes aren’t going anywhere, but we may be seeing more than linear shapes next year. “Hard geometrics are going to be huge, and I think circles are the new triangle,” interior designer Genevieve Gorder told House Beautiful. “You can start small with accent pillows or dive in with graphic wallpaper.

Non-linear shapes are also showing up in other areas, like these curvy couches.

Standout lampshades Make a little, no-commitment update by addressing your lampshades. “White drum lampshades, begone,” said My Domaine. Anna Brockway, co-founder of Chairish, told them, “We’re seeing strong interest in pleated, patterned, and even wicker lampshades. This is a great way to get a sophisticated, decorated look and bring freshness to existing lighting pieces.”

10 Home Hacks To Implement In The New Year

We are always looking for ideas to make our lives easier and our home function better, and there are some great hacks out there that can help. We have curated a top ten list for the New Year.

1. Polka dot your walls

We love this idea for a homemade stencil. All you need is an old laundry basket and some tape. Adhere, paint, and, voila: polka dot walls!

2. Shine up your copper

Personally, we love the look of natural copper, but if you want to shine it up, there’s an easy fix: ketchup. Yes, your favorite condiment is also a great polish. Squirt it on, top it with salt, rub rub rub, and then wipe clean. You can also use ketchup, or vinegar for that matter, to clean brass.

3. Trap hair

How many times have you had to call the plumber for a clogged drain only to have them remove a mass of hair and other items that were causing a water flow issue? Gross, right? This $12 tool from Amazon can fix that.

“Fixing a clogged drain in your shower is never fun, which is why people went nuts over this invention,” said Good Housekeeping. “It captures hair and other debris and all you have to do is remove the gadget once a month and wipe it clean with a tissue.”

4. Organize just about anything

Who says shoe holders are only for shoes? This is a great way to organize cleaning supplies, kids’ small toys or stuffed animals, or winter gloves and scarves.

5. Create more shoe storage

Of course, you may not want to give up an inch of shoe storage, and we can relate. This creative idea for how to turn a nook into a shoe closet can give you the added storage you need without giving up valuable space.

6. Get your stainless steel appliances clean

“Stainless steel appliances seem to be stained with fingerprints constantly. But to give them a good, clean shine, all you need is a microfiber cloth (or just a soft cloth) and some rubbing alcohol,” said Clark. “If you really want to get your stainless steel super clean — depending on how big of a clean freak you are (I’m a big one…) — you can use a few drops of olive oil! Check out this video to see how it works.”

7. Repurpose your wine rack

Now this one may elicit some strong feelings. The thought of giving up a wine rack to use as a towel rack can be polarizing, and we get it. But the idea here is to look beyond a typical use for any product to see if it can provide a solution somewhere else in your home.

8. Easy glitter clean-up

This one will come in handy for cleaning up after your New Year’s celebration. “If you like to keep things tidy, glitter is probably your worst nightmare. The good news is that there is actually a solution to your problem,” said Clark. “Just use a ball of Play-Doh to pick up all those little glitter pieces!”

9. Hang art in a cinch

We are suckers for any type of help with hanging art, and this is one of the best and easiest tricks we’ve seen yet.

10. Polish up scratched furniture and floors

An easy way to improve the lookof your wood items without having to buy expensive and/or toxic products: Use a walnut. “Walnuts. Not only are they high in antioxidants; they can also extend the life of your worn wooden furniture,” said The Star. “Got scratches in finished wood? Simply rub a nut along the grooves and watch them vanish before your eyes.”