7 Personalized Spaces: The Joy of the Calculated Risk - Guest Post by Houzz

We've all heard the expression, "the greater the risk, the greater the return." The risk/return tradeoff is generally discussed regarding a financial investment, but does the same apply when investing in your home's decor? REALTORS® around the world would vehemently discourage the risks in this ideabook because highly customized homes often yield a lower return when the home goes on the market. But let's focus more on the satisfaction the homeowner receives from realizing their personal vision. For someone who desires to break out of cookie-cutter decor, the risk definitely outweighs any expert opinion.

Kohi House

The lady who grew up envying the doll who had everything can now live the dream in a pink kitchen of her own. Sleek cabinetry in a sweet, high-gloss pink is balanced by white lower cabinets and hardwood floors. This delicate balance keep the space contemporary and less confectionery. Related: Inspired? Here’s How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets Like a Pro

Diamond and Baratta design

For a colorful family with an appreciation of the arts comes a two-story foyer from Diamond Baratta Design with flair and personality to match. There is so much to love about this space, from its saturated hues to the shiny tiled floors, captivating mural, artsy stair runner and the Murano glass chandelier. The black door, trim and railing add polished accents to this enchanting space.

Dining Rooms

Purple isn't just for royalty. Enjoy vivid colors in custom drapery and even in your chandeliers. Both can carry a high price tag, but when it's something you love, it's okay to splurge. Many clients request that their decor be unique —something they won't see in anyone else's home. This room and any room you can dream up will fit the bill.

Alki Cottage

Surprise is the spice of life, isn't it? Or is that variety? Enjoy both with a BlueStar Range that offers a splash of color in a pristine white kitchen. Little kitschy elements like this make even mundane chores more enjoyable.

Glam Pop Art

Count on a wise owl to let you know who left the toilet seat up. Be open to ideas on where to place your uncommon finds and leave your guest with something to really talk about.


When the saints go marching in, it's not enough to memorialize their presence even with a baby grand piano. Why not make a grander statement with life-size, two-dimensional musicians marching in a row? Taking a stand with an artistic statement never leaves guests to question your family's favorite pastime.

Creazioni Alice Armchair

Try a less permanent statement when exploring life outside the box. Humorous art that captures moments like the one in this painting would make any parent cringe with embarrassment. The irony lies in the fact that it becomes funny when on display and it's not your kid.



Caller ID is Now Available for the RealBird SMS Real Estate Marketing platform

SmsTwilio - the service powering the RealBird SMS marketing platform - has some amazing new features using 3rd party Add-ons and we added support for them in RealBird as well.  This is just a quick post about this update while we are working on the full announcement, should you want to start exploring it today.

One of the most useful add-ons is the caller ID lookup feature. With that, you can now receive name, address, emails and other public, non-confidential information about your prospect via service providers like Next Caller. These are all actionable information and will greatly enhance your marketing efforts and best of all, it is a low, per-lead cost, so you only pay for it when you actually receive new inquiries. 

For example, adding Next Caller's add-on to your Twilio account will cost only an additional 5 cents per lead. The standard rate is 1.5 cent per lead and for a total of 1.5+5=6.5 cents per SMS inquiry, you can have access to the clients name, gender, address and email if publicly available.

To add this feature:

  1. Visit your Twilio account's Add-on page
  2. Select the add-on and click "Install" (e.g. Advanced Caller ID by Next Caller)
  3. On the Configuration page of the add-on, under the "Use it" section, select the checkbox for "Incoming SMS Message" and click "Save" at the bottom of that page.

That's all. No changes are necessary in your RealBird account, assuming you already have the SMS platform configured.

We'll publish a more detailed tutorial for new RealBird members and in case you haven't setup the SMS platform yet. In the meantime, should you have questions, please do not hesitate to email or call us.

Important note: Caller ID and related data are provided by third parties via Twilio and RealBird in no way can guarantee accuracy. We are just forwarding that data provided by them to you. Please follow all local and federal regulations when marketing to your clients using these information.

Happy Marketing !

-- The RealBird Team


The 4 Basic Types of Home Photographers to Know - Guest Post by Houzz

The Houzz community has a wide range of services and service providers, many united in the need for quality photography showcasing their built projects. There are many ways to photograph a home and many photographers to work with. And many factors come into play in commissioning a photographer. Knowing what kind of photographer you may hire or can afford will help you as you look at the pricing and the fees photographers charge. Here is a discussion of some of the types of photographers an architect, designer or homeowner might hire and what to expect from their background and experience.

St Helena Retreat

1. Architectural or Interior Photographers What they do: A professional architectural or interior photographer often has years of specialized experience photographing architectural interiors and exteriors. He or she knows how to show a space and the circulation within the space. Architects also like the photographer to show the relationship of inside to outside. These photographers own a vast assortment of equipment that they can deploy depending on the assignment and shooting needs. Commonly they do extensive postproduction work, like with Photoshop, to deliver very high-resolution photos that are often intended for publication. What they don't usually do: Architectural or interior photographers aren't necessarily prepared for portraits or casual shots. The gear they use is often big and on a tripod — shooting people or loose compositions is not what they most often do. The process is more exacting, not spontaneous.


2. Real Estate Photographers What they do: A subset of the architectural and interior photography field, real estate photography is often characterized by a photographer working quickly, making few adjustments to the composition or to the arrangement with the room. Real estate photographers may bring a stylized look to the photos with photo editing software such as Photoshop. What they don't usually do: Typically a real estate photographer and the commissioning party do not expect to use the photos for long. The photographer's fee could be considered a sunk cost as soon as the property is sold. As a result, style and the overall design story aren't usually the focus in these photos.

Wedding Ceremony

3. Portrait or Wedding Photographers What they do: Capturing the moment, telling a story and knowing the light are some of the best skills a portrait or wedding photographer can bring to their subjects. These are working professionals who also offer enhancing Photoshop services to make the finished photo better. What they don't usually do: These photos tend to be less controlled than standard home photos. They're less about composition than about capturing the perfect moment. This is quite different from architectural photographers, who now often composite a number of photos in Photoshop to create a single, perfect shot.

High-end home interior

4. Commercial Photographers What they do: A skilled commercial photographer takes photos for use in advertising, merchandising or other types of marketing material. These photographers are very well versed in the mechanics of photography; composing, exposing and delivering high-resolution files for commercial use is standard practice. What they don't usually do: Since they have a specific client and audience in mind, many commercial photographers won't focus on trends in styling or art directing for portfolio and magazine shots.

Richardson, TX: Morgan and Monica Campbell

If You Want to Do It Yourself Of course, if you have an interest in photography, you may want to go the DIY route. Today the camera and equipment needed to make high-resolution photos is in a cost range accessible by many serious amateurs and the designers themselves. A keen eye and patience can go a long way to get some good photos. Practice makes perfect, though! Do your research. Look at inspiring examples and try to implement their style. Discuss your photos with peers, take a class and then practice some more.

Related articles on Houzz:


New syndication partner site Casalova now shows your RealBird rental listings

CasalovaWe are happy to introduce the latest addition to our syndication partner sites.

Casalova is a Canadian rental portal. It provides an end-to-end rental platform that streamlines the rental process and it is available for both the Canadian and USA market . With our recent integration, whenever you add or an update a rental listing on RealBird, they are now automatically syndicated to Casalova as well. 

Enjoy and keep publishing with RealBird !

-- The RealBird team

Katerina Gasset is joining us again as our guest webinar speaker on September 14, 2016

We are very pleased to let you know that Katerina Gasset will again be guest speaker for a full hour on our webinar next Wednesday morning. Her topic this time will be: "Take Back Your Listings And Leads!"

This is the most popular topic of her speaking engagements, it explains how to take ownership and benefit the most of your own listings on the Internet.  Note that this webinar will be useful for both seller and buyer agents, as Katerina will also explain various aspects of effective on-line lead generation in real estate.

Katerina is one of the top online marketing coaches in the real estate industry.  Her expertise combines many years of hands-on real estate business working for Re/Max, KW and then as a broker for International Properties and Investments based in Wellington, FL with over 10 years of online marketing coaching and consulting.

You don't want to miss this webinar!

The webinar is free. To register please use this link:


Hope to see you at this RealBird training webinar.

-- The RealBird Team